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and I jump in mineself, and up jump de von bottom, and

time:2023-12-06 02:43:22 source:Untouched network author:year read:511次

One word must be spent on poor Albert, Casimir's son, [1522-1557] already mentioned. This poor Albert, whom they call ALCIBIADES, made a great noise in that epoch; being what some define as the "Failure of a Fritz;" who has really features of him we are to call "Friedrich the Great," but who burnt away his splendid qualities as a mere temporary shine for the able editors, and never came to anything.

and I jump in mineself, and up jump de von bottom, and

A high and gallant young fellow, left fatherless in childhood; perhaps he came too early into power:--he came, at any rate, in very volcanic times, when Germany was all in convulsion; the Old Religion and the New having at length broken out into open battle, with huge results to be hoped and feared; and the largest game going on, in sight of an adventurous youth. How Albert staked in it; how he played to immense heights of sudden gain, and finally to utter bankruptcy, I cannot explain here: some German delineator of human destinies, "Artist" worth the name, if there were any, might find in him a fine subject.

and I jump in mineself, and up jump de von bottom, and

He was ward of his Uncle George; and the probable fact is, no guardian could have been more faithful. Nevertheless, on approaching the years of majority, of majority but not discretion, he saw good to quarrel with his Uncle; claimed this and that, which was not granted: quarrel lasting for years. Nay matters ran so high at last, it was like to come to war between them, had not George been wiser. The young fellow actually sent a cartel to his Uncle; challenged him to mortal combat,--at which George only wagged his old beard, we suppose, and said nothing. Neighbors interposed, the Diet itself interposed; and the matter was got quenched again. Leaving Albert, let us hope, a repentant young man. We said he was full of fire, too much of it wildfire.

and I jump in mineself, and up jump de von bottom, and

His profession was Arms; he shone much in war; went slashing and fighting through those Schmalkaldic broils, and others of his time; a distinguished captain; cutting his way towards something high, he saw not well what. He had great comradeship with Moritz of Saxony in the wars: two sworn brothers they, and comrades in arms:--it is the same dexterous Moritz, who, himself a Protestant, managed to get his too Protestant Cousin's Electorate of Saxony into his hand, by luck of the game; the Moritz, too, from whom Albert by and by got his last defeat, giving Moritz his death in return. That was the finale of their comradeship. All things end, and nothing ceases changing till it end.

He was by position originally on the Kaiser's side; had attained great eminence, and done high feats of arms and generalship in his service. But being a Protestant by creed, he changed after that Schmalkaldic downfall (rout of Muhlberg, 24th April, 1547), which brought Moritz an Electorate, and nearly cost Moritz's too Protestant Cousin his life as well as lands. [Account of it in De Wette, Lebensgeschichte der Herzoge zu Sachsen (Weimar, 1770), pp. 32-35.] The victorious Kaiser growing now very high in his ways, there arose complaints against him from all sides, very loud from the Protestant side; and Moritz and Albert took to arms, with loud manifestos and the other phenomena.

This was early in 1552, five years after Muhlberg Rout or Battle. The there victorious Kaiser was now suddenly almost ruined; chased like a partridge into the Innspruck Mountains,--could have been caught, only Moritz would not; "had no cage to hold so big a bird," he said. So the Treaty of Passau was made, and the Kaiser came much down from his lofty ways. Famed TREATY OF PASSAU (22d August, 1552), which was the finale of these broils, and hushed them up for a Fourscore years to come. That was a memorable year in German Reformation History.

Albert, meanwhile, had been busy in the interior of the country; blazing aloft in Frankenland, his native quarter, with a success that astonished all men. For seven months he was virtually King of Germany; ransomed Bamberg, ransomed Wurzburg, Nurnberg (places he had a grudge at); ransomed all manner of towns and places,-- especially rich Bishops and their towns, with VERBUM DIABOLI sticking in them,--at enormous sums. King of the world for a brief season;--must have had some strange thoughts to himself, had they been recorded for us. A pious man, too; not in the least like "Alcibiades," except in the sudden changes of fortune he underwent. His Motto, or old rhymed Prayer, which he would repeat on getting into the saddle for military work,--a rough rhyme of his own composing,--is still preserved. Let us give it, with an English fac-simile, or roughest mechanical pencil-tracing,--by way of glimpse into the heart of a vanished Time and its Man-at-arms: [Rentsch, p. 644.] Das Walt der Herr Jesus Christ, Mit dem Vater, der uber uns ist: Wer starker ist als dieser Mann, Der komm und thu' ein Leid mir an. Guide it the Lord Jesus Christ, [Read "Chris" or "Chriz," for the rhyme's sake.] And the Father, who over us is: He that is stronger than that Man, [Sic.] Let him do me a hurt when he can.

He was at the Siege of Metz (end of that same 1552), and a principal figure there. Readers have heard of the Siege of Metz: How Henry II. of France fished up those "Three Bishoprics" (Metz, Toul, Verdun, constituent part of Lorraine, a covetable fraction of Teutschland) from the troubled sea of German things, by aid of Moritz now KUR-SACHSEN, and of Albert; and would not throw them in again, according to bargain, when Peace, the PEACE OF PASSAU came. How Kaiser Karl determined to have them back before the year ended, cost what it might; and Henry II. to keep them, cost what it might. How Guise defended, with all the Chivalry of France; and Kaiser Karl besieged, [19th October, 1552, and onwards.] with an Army of 100,000 men, under Duke Alba for chief captain. Siege protracted into midwinter; and the "sound of his cannon heard at Strasburg," which is eighty miles off, "in the winter nights." [Kohler, Reichs-Historie, p. 453;-- and more especially Munzbelustigungen (Nurnberg, 1729-1750), ix. 121-129. The Year of this Volume, and of the Number in question, is 1737; the MUNZE or Medal "recreated upon" in of Henri II.]


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