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reply to that letter, rejected the heart and hand it offers?—rejected

time:2023-12-05 20:27:02 source:Untouched network author:science read:630次

He had fought personally for this Kaiser, twice over, against the Turks; first as Brandenburg Captain, learning his art; and afterwards as Kaiser's Generalissimo, in 1542. He did no good upon the Turks, on that latter occasion; as indeed what good was to be done, in such a quagmire of futilities as Joachim's element there was? "Too sumptuous in his dinners, too much wine withal!" hint some calumniously. [Paulus Jovius, &c. See Pauli, iii. 70-73.] "Hector of Germany!" say others. He tried some small prefatory Siege or scalade of Pesth; could not do it; and came his ways home again, as the best course. Pedant Chroniclers give him the name HECTOR, "Joachim Hector,"--to match that of CICERO and that of ACHILLES. A man of solid structure, this our Hector, in body and mind: extensive cheeks, very large heavy-laden face; capable of terrible bursts of anger, as his kind generally were.

reply to that letter, rejected the heart and hand it offers?—rejected

The Schmalkaldic War went to water, as the Germans phrase it: Kur-Sachsen,--that is, Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous, Son of Johann "V. D. M. I. AE.," and Nephew of Friedrich the Wise,--had his sorrowfully valid reasons for the War; large force too, plenty of zealous copartners, Philip of Hessen and others; but no generalship, or not enough, for such a business. Big Army, as is apt enough to happen, fell short of food; Kaiser Karl hung on the outskirts, waiting confidently till it came to famine. Johann Friedrich would attempt nothing decisive while provender lasted;-- and having in the end, strangely enough, and somewhat deaf to advice, divided his big Army into three separate parts;--Johann Friedrich was himself, with one of those parts, surprised at Muhlberg, on a Sunday when at church (24th April, 1547); and was there beaten to sudden ruin, and even taken captive, like to have his head cut off, by the triumphant angry Kaiser. Philip of Hessen, somewhat wiser, was home to Marburg, safe with HIS part, in the interim.--Elector Joachim II. of Brandenburg had good reason to rejoice in his own cautious reluctances on this occasion. However, he did now come valiantly up, hearing what severities were in the wind.

reply to that letter, rejected the heart and hand it offers?—rejected

He pleaded earnestly, passionately, he and Cousin or already "Elector" Moritz, [Pauli, iii. 102.]--who was just getting Johann Friedrich's Electorship fished away from him out of these troubles, [Kurfurst, 4th June, 1547.]--for Johann Friedrich of Saxony's life, first of all. For Johann's life FIRST; this is a thing not to be dispensed with, your Majesty, on any terms whatever; a sine qua non, [end italic] this life to Protestant Germany at large. To which the Kaiser indicated, "He would see; not immediate death at any rate; we will see." A life that could not and must not be taken in this manner: this was the FIRST point. Then, SECONDLY, that Philip of Hessen, now home again at Marburg,--not a bad or disloyal man, though headlong, and with two wives,--might not be forfeited; but that peace and pardon might be granted him, on his entire submission. To which second point the Kaiser answered, "Yes, then, on his submission." These were the two points. These pleadings went on at Halle, where the Kaiser now lies, in triumphantly victorious humor, in the early days of June, Year 1547. Johann Friedrich of Saxony had been, by some Imperial Court-Council or other,-- Spanish merely, I suppose,--doomed to die. Sentence was signified to him while he sat at chess: "Can wait till we end the game," thought Johann;--"PERGAMUS," said he to his comrade, "Let us go on, then!" Sentence not to be executed till one see.

reply to that letter, rejected the heart and hand it offers?—rejected

With Philip of Hessen things had a more conclusive aspect. Philip had accepted the terms procured for him; which had been laboriously negotiated, brought to paper, and now wanted only the sign-manual to them: "Ohne einigen Gefangniss (without any imprisonment)," one of the chief clauses. And so Philip now came over to Halle; was met and welcomed by his two friends, Joachim and Moritz, at Naumburg, a stage before Halle;--clear now to make his submission, and beg pardon of the Kaiser, according to bargain. On the morrow, 19th June, 1547, the Papers were got signed. And next day, 20th June, Philip did, according to bargain, openly beg pardon of the Kaiser, in his Majesty's Hall of Audience (Town House of Halle, I suppose); "knelt at the Kaiser's feet publicly on both knees, while his Kanzler read the submission and entreaty, as agreed upon;" and, alas, then the Kaiser said nothing at all to him.! Kaiser looked haughtily, with impenetrable eyes and shelf-lip, over the head of him; gave him no hand to kiss; and left poor Philip kneeling there. An awkward position indeed;--which any German Painter that there were, might make a Picture of, I have sometimes thought. Picture of some real meaning, more or less,--if for symbolic. Towers of Babel, medieval mythologies, and extensive smearings of that kind, he could find leisure!--Philip having knelt a reasonable time, and finding there was no help for it, rose in the dread silence (some say, with too sturdy an expression of countenance); and retired from the affair, having at least done his part of it.

The next practical thing was now supper, or as we of this age should call it, dinner. Uncommonly select and high supper: host the Duke of Alba; where Joachim, Elector Moritz, and another high Official, the Bishop of Arras, were to welcome poor Philip after his troubles. How the grand supper went, I do not hear: possibly a little constrained; the Kaiser's strange silence sitting on all men's thoughts; not to be spoken of in the present company. At length the guests rose to go away. Philip's lodging is with Moritz (who is his son-in-law, as learned readers know): "You Philip, your lodging is mine; my lodging is yours,--I should say! Cannot we ride together?"--"Philip is not permitted to go," said Imperial Officiality; "Philip is to continue here, and we fear go to prison."--"Prison?" cried they all: "OHNE EINIGEN GEFANGNISS (without ANY imprisonment)!"--"As we read the words, it is 'OHNE EWIGEN GEFANGNISS (without ETERNAL imprisonment),'" answer the others. And so, according to popular tradition, which has little or no credibility, though printed in many Books, their false Secretary had actually modified it.

"No intention of imprisoning his DURCHLAUCHT of Hessen FOREVER; not forever!" answered they. And Kurfurst Joachim, in astonished indignation, after some remonstrating and arguing, louder and louder, which profited nothing, blazed out into a very whirlwind of rage; drew his sword, it is whispered with a shudder,--drew his sword, or was for drawing it, upon the Duke of Alba; and would have done, God knows what, had not friends flung themselves between, and got the Duke away, or him away. { Pauli, iii. 103.] Other accounts bear, that it was upon the Bishop of Arras he drew his sword; which is a somewhat different matter. Perhaps he drew it on both; or on men and things in general;--for his indignation knew no bounds. The heavy solid man; yet with a human heart in him after all, and a Hohenzollern abhorrence of chicanery, capable of rising to the transcendent pitch! His wars against the Turks, and his other Hectorships, I will forget; but this, of a face so extensive kindled all into divine fire for poor Philip's sake, shall be memorable to me.

Philip got out by and by, though with difficulty; the Kaiser proving very stiff in the matter; and only yielding to obstinate pressures, and the force of time and events. Philip got away; and then how Johann Friedrich of Sachsen, after being led about for five years, in the Kaiser's train, a condemned man, liable to be executed any day, did likewise at last get away, with his head safe and Electorate gone: these are known Historical events, which we glanced at already, on another score.

For, by and by, the Kaiser found tougher solicitation than this of Joachim's. The Kaiser, by his high carriage in this and other such matters, had at length kindled a new War round him; and he then soon found himself reduced to extremities again; chased to the Tyrol Mountains, and obliged to comply with many things. New War, of quite other emphasis and management than the Schmalkaldic one; managed by Elector Moritz and our poor friend Albert Alcibiades as principals. A Kaiser chased into the mountains, capable of being seized by a little spurring;--"Capture him?" said Albert. "I have no cage big enough for such a bird!" answered Moritz; and the Kaiser was let run. How he ran then towards Treaty of Passau (1552), towards Siege of Metz and other sad conclusions, "Abdication" the finale of them: these also are known phases in the Reformation History, as hinted at above.

(Editor:science)

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