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carriage driving up to the door. Her heart palpitated violently.

time:2023-12-05 20:04:25 source:Untouched network author:knowledge read:770次

George, then, at an early age went to his Uncle Vladislaus, King of Hungary and Bohemia: for George's Mother, as we know, was of royal kin; daughter of the Polish King, Casimir IV. (late mauler of the Teutsch Ritters); which circumstance had results for George and us. Daughter of Casimir IV. the Lady was; and therefore of the Jagellon blood by her father, which amounts to little; but by her mother she was Granddaughter of that Kaiser Albert II. who "got Three Crowns in one year, and died the next;" whose posterity have ever since,--up to the lips in trouble with their confused competitive accompaniments, Hunniades, Corvinus, George Podiebrad and others, not to speak of dragon Turks coiling ever closer round you on the frontier,--been Kings of Hungary and Bohemia; TWO of the crowns (the HERITABLE two) which were got by Kaiser Albert in that memorable year. He got them, as the reader may remember, by having the daughter of Kaiser Sigismund to wife,--Sigismund SUPER- GRAMMATICAM, whom we left standing, red as a flamingo, in the market-place of Constance a hundred years ago. Thus Time rolls on in its many-colored manner, edacious and feracious.

carriage driving up to the door. Her heart palpitated violently.

It is in this way that George's Uncle, Vladislaus, Albert's daughter's son, is now King of Hungary and Bohemia: the last King Vladislaus they had; and the last King but one, of any kind, as we shall see anon. Vladislaus was heir of Poland too, could he have managed to get it; but he gave up that to his brother, to various younger brothers in succession; having his hands full with the Hungarian and Bohemian difficulty. He was very fond of Nephew George; well recognizing the ingenuous, wise and loyal nature of the young man. He appointed George tutor of his poor son Ludwig; whom he left at the early age of ten, in an evil world, and evil position there. "Born without Skin," they say, that is, born in the seventh month;--called Ludwig OHNE HAUT (Ludwig NO-Skin), on that account. Born certainly, I can perceive, rather thin of skin; and he would have needed one of a rhinoceros thickness!

carriage driving up to the door. Her heart palpitated violently.

George did his function honestly, and with success: Ludwig grew up a gallant, airy, brisk young King, in spite of difficulties, constitutional and other; got a Sister of the great Kaiser Karl V. to wife;--determined (A.D. 1526) to have a stroke at the Turk dragon; which, was coiling round his frontier, and spitting fire at an intolerable rate. Ludwig, a fine young man of twenty, marched away with much Hungarian chivalry, right for the Turk (Summer 1526); George meanwhile going busily to Bohemia, and there with all his strength levying troops for reinforcement. Ludwig fought and fenced, for some time, with the Turk outskirts; came at last to a furious general battle with the Turk (29th August, 1526), at a place called Mohacz, far east in the flats of the Lower Donau; and was there tragically beaten and ended. Seeing the Battle gone, and his chivalry all in flight, Ludwig too had to fly; galloping for life, he came upon bog which proved bottomless, as good as bottomless; and Ludwig, horse and man, vanished in it straightway from this world. Hapless young man, like a flash of lightning suddenly going down there--and the Hungarian Sovereignty along with him. For Hungary is part of Austria ever since; having, with Bohemia, fallen to Karl V.'s Brother Ferdinand, as now the nearest convenient heir of Albert with his Three Crowns. Up to the lips in difficulties to this day!--

carriage driving up to the door. Her heart palpitated violently.

George meanwhile, with finely appointed reinforcements, was in full march to join Ludwig; but the sad news of Mohacz met him: he withdrew, as soon as might be, to his own territory, and quitted Hungarian politics. This, I think, was George's third and last trial of war. He by no means delighted in that art, or had cultivated it like Casimir and some of his brothers.--

George by this time had considerable property; part of it important to the readers of this History. Anspach we already know; but the Duchy of Jagerndorf,--that and its pleasant valleys, fine hunting-grounds and larch-clad heights, among the Giant Mountains of Silesia,--that is to us the memorable territory. George got it in this manner:--

Some ten or fifteen years ago, the late King Vladislaus, our Uncle of blessed memory, loving George, and not having royal moneys at command, permitted him to redeem with his own cash certain Hungarian Domains, pledged at a ruinously cheap rate, but unredeemable by Vladislaus. George did so; years ago, guess ten or fifteen. George did not like the Hungarian Domains, with their Turk and other inconveniences; he proposed to exchange them with King Vladislaus for the Bohemian-Silesian Duchy of Jagerndorf; which had just then, by failure of heirs, lapsed to the King. This also Vladislaus, the beneficent cashless Uncle, liking George more and more, permitted to be done. And done it was; I see not in what year; only that the ultimate investiture (done, this part of the affair, by Ludwig OHNE HAUT, and duly sanctioned by the Kaiser) dates 1524, two years before the fatal Mohacz business.

From the time of this purchase, and especially till Brother Casimir's death, which happened in 1527, George resided oftener at Jagerndorf than at Anspach. Anspach, by the side of Baireuth, needed no management; and in Jagerndorf much probably required the hand of a good Governor to put it straight again. The Castle of Jagerndorf, which towers up there in a rather grand manner to this day, George built: "the old Castle of the Schellenbergs" (extinct predecessor Line) now gone to ruins, "stands on a Hill with larches on it, some miles off." Margraf George was much esteemed as Duke of Jagerndorf. What his actions in that region were, I know not; but it seems he was so well thought of in Silesia, two smaller neighboring Potentates, the Duke of Oppeln and the Duke of Ratibor, who had no heirs of their body, bequeathed, with the Kaiser's assent, these towns and territories to George: [Rentsch, pp. 623, 127-131. Kaiser is Ferdinand, Karl V.'s Brother,--as yet only KING of Bohemia and Hungary, but supreme in regard to such points. His assent is dated "17th June, 1531" in Rentsch.]--in mere love to their subjects (Rentsch intimates), that poor men might be governed by a wise good Duke, in the time coming. The Kaiser would have got the Duchies otherwise.

Nay the Kaiser, in spite of his preliminary assent, proved extortionate to George in this matter; and exacted heavy sums for the actual possession of Oppeln and Ratibor. George, going so zealously ahead in Protestant affairs, grew less and less a favorite with Kaisers. But so, at any rate, on peaceable unquestionable grounds, grounds valid as Imperial Law and ready money, George is at last Lord of these two little Countries, in the plain of South-Silesia, as of Jagerndorf among the Mountains hard by. George has and holds the Duchy of Jagerndorf, with these appendages (Jagerndorf since 1524, Ratibor and Oppeln since some years later); and lives constantly, or at the due intervals, in his own strong Mountain-Castle of Jagerndorf there,--we have no doubt, to the marked benefit of good men in those parts. Hereby has Jagerndorf joined itself to the Brandenburg Territories: and the reader can note the circumstance, for it will prove memorable one day.


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