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you ladyship and you good family, do var vell in de vorld.

time:2023-12-06 03:32:05 source:Untouched network author:love read:353次

It is certain, Albert, before long, took this course; Uncle Sigismund and the resident Officials of the Ritterdom having made agreement to it as the one practicable course. The manner as follows: 1. Instead of Elected Hochmeister, let us be Hereditary Duke of Preussen, and pay homage for it to Uncle Sigismund in that character. 2. Such of the resident Officials of the Ritterdom as are prepared to go along with us, we will in like manner constitute permanent Feudal Proprietors of what they now possess as Life-rent, and they shall be Sub-vassals under us as Hereditary Duke. 3. In all which Uncle Sigismund and the Republic of Poland engage to maintain us against the world.

you ladyship and you good family, do var vell in de vorld.

That is, in sum, the Transaction entered into, by King Sigismund I. of Poland, on the one part, and Hochmeister Albert and his Ritter Officials, such as went along with him, (which of course none could do that were not Protestant), on the other part: done at Cracow, 8th April, 1525. [Rentsch, p. 850.--Here, certified by Rentsch, Voigt and others, is a worn-out patch of Paper, which is perhaps worth printing:-- 1490, May 17, Albert is born. 1511, February 14, Hochmeister. 1519, December, King Sigismund's first hostile movements. 1520, October, German Mercenaries arrive. 1520, November, try Siege of Dantzig. 1520, November 17, give it up. 1521, April 10, Truce for Four Years. 1523, June, Albert consults Luther. 1524, November, sees Luther. 1525, April 8, Peace of Cracow, and Albert to be Duke of Prussia.] Whereby Teutsch Ritterdom, the Prussian part of it, vanished from the world; dissolving itself, and its "hermaphrodite constitution," like a kind of Male Nunnery, as so many female ones had done in those years. A Transaction giving rise to endless criticism, then and afterwards. Transaction plainly not reconcilable with the letter of the law; and liable to have logic chopped upon it to any amount, and to all lengths of time. The Teutschmeister and his German Brethren shrieked murder; the whole world, then, and for long afterwards, had much to say and argue.

you ladyship and you good family, do var vell in de vorld.

To us, now that the logic-chaff is all laid long since, the question is substantial, not formal. If the Teutsch Ritterdom was actually at this time DEAD, actually stumbling about as a mere galvanized Lie beginning to be putrid,--then, sure enough, it behooved that somebody should bury it, to avoid pestilential effects in the neighborhood. Somebody or other;--first flaying the skin off, as was natural, and taking that for his trouble. All turns, in substance, on this latter question! If, again, the Ritterdom was not dead--?

you ladyship and you good family, do var vell in de vorld.

And truly it struggled as hard as Partridge the Almanac- maker to rebut that fatal accusation; complained (Teutschmeister and German-Papist part of it) loudly at the Diets; got Albert and his consorts put to the Ban (GEACHTET), fiercely menaced by the Kaiser Karl V. But nothing came of all that; nothing but noise. Albert maintained his point; Kaiser Karl always found his hands full otherwise, and had nothing but stamped parchments and menaces to fire off at Albert. Teutsch Ritterdom, the Popish part of it, did enjoy its valuable bailliwicks, and very considerable rents in various quarters of Germany and Europe, having lost only Preussen; and walked about, for three centuries more, with money in its pocket, and a solemn white gown with black cross on its back,--the most opulent Social Club in existence, and an excellent place for bestowing younger sons of sixteen quarters. But it was, and continued through so many centuries, in every essential respect, a solemn Hypocrisy; a functionless merely eating Phantasm, of the nature of goblin, hungry ghost or ghoul (of which kind there are many);--till Napoleon finally ordered it to vanish; its time, even as Phantasm, being come.

Albert, I can conjecture, had his own difficulties as Regent in Preussen. [1525-1568.] Protestant Theology, to make matters worse for him, had split itself furiously into 'DOXIES; and there was an OSIANDERISM (Osiander being the Duke's chaplain), much flamed upon by the more orthodox ISM. "Foreigners," too, German-Anspach and other, were ill seen by the native gentlemen; yet sometimes got encouragement. One Funccius, a shining Nurnberg immigrant there, son-in-law of Osiander, who from Theology got into Politics, had at last (1564) to be beheaded,--old Duke Albert himself "bitterly weeping" about him; for it was none of Albert's doing. Probably his new allodial Ritter gentlemen were not the most submiss, when made hereditary? We can only hope the Duke was a Hohenzollern, and not quite unequal to his task in this respect. A man with high bald brow; magnificent spade-beard; air much- pondering, almost gaunt,--gaunt kind of eyes especially, and a slight cast in them, which adds to his severity of aspect. He kept his possession well, every inch of it; and left all safe at his decease in 1568. His age was then near eighty. It was the tenth year of our Elizabeth as Queen; invincible Armada not yet built; but Alba very busy, cutting off high heads in Brabant; and stirring up the Dutch to such fury as was needful for exploding Spain and him.

This Duke Albert was a profoundly religious man, as all thoughtful men then were. Much given to Theology, to Doctors of Divinity; being eager to know God's Laws in this Universe, and wholesomely certain of damnation if he should not follow them. Fond of the profane Sciences too, especially of Astronomy: Erasmus Reinhold and his Tabulae Prutenicae were once very celebrated; Erasmus Reinhold proclaims gratefully how these his elaborate Tables (done according to the latest discoveries, 1551 and onwards) were executed upon Duke Albert's high bounty; for which reason they are dedicated to Duke Albert, and called "PRUTENICAE," meaning PRUSSIAN. [Rentsch, p. 855.] The University of Konigsberg was already founded several years before, in 1544.

Albert had not failed to marry, as Luther counselled: by his first Wife he had only daughters; by his second, one son, Albert Friedrich, who, without opposition or difficulty, succeeded his Father. Thus was Preussen acquired to the Hohenzollern Family; for, before long, the Electoral branch managed to get MITBELEHNUNG (Co-infeftment), that is to say, Eventual Succession; and Preussen became a Family Heritage, as Anspach and Baireuth were.

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.


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