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V



The WORKS of VOLTAIRE

EDITION DE LA PACIFICATION

Limited to one thousand sets
for America and Great Britain.



"Between two servants of Humanity, who appeared
eighteen hundred years apart, there is a mysterious relation.
* * Let us say it with a sentiment of
profound respect: JESUS WEPT: VOLTAIRE SMILED.
Of that divine tear and of that human smile is composed the
sweetness of the present civilization. ' '

riCTOR HUGO.



lY.OPERTY OF

I UARGtlFAVES






THE KT. HON. }<>H

PEACE AND WAR



EDITION DE LA PACIFICATION



THE WORKS OF



VO LTAI R E



A CONTEMPORARY VERSION

WITH NOTES BY TOBIAS SMOLLETT, REVISED AND MODERNIZED

NEW TRANSLATIONS BY WILLIAM F. FLEMING, AND AN

INTRODUCTION BY OLIVER H. G. LEIGH



A CRITIQUE AND BIOGRAPHY
BY

THE RT. HON. JOHN MORLEY

FORTY-THREE VOLUMES

ONB HUNDRED AND SIXTY-BIGHT DESIGNS, COMPRISING REPRODUCTIONS

OF KARB OLD ENGRAVINGS, STEEL PLATES, PHOTOGRAVURES,

AMD CURIOUS F AC-SIMILES



VOLUME XX



AKRON, OHIO

THE WERNER COMPANY
1906



COPYRIGHT 1901
BY K. R. DUMONT

OWNED BY

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THE WERNER COMPANY

MHO*, OHIO




VOLTAIRE



HISTORY OF CHARLES XII,



IN TWO VOLUMES

VOL. I



CONTENTS



CHAPTER PAGH

PRELIMINARY DISCOURSE ... 5

I. SKETCH HISTORY OF SWEDEN . . n

II. A SOLDIER-KING AT EIGHTEEN . . 44

III. CHARLES NOMINATES THE KING OF

POLAND 102

IV. THE DEFEAT AT POLTAVA . . .149

V. INTRIGUES OF CHARLES WHILE IN

TURKEY 187

VI. CHARLES IMPRISONED BY THE TURKS . 230

VII. CHARLES RETURNS TO SWEDEN . 266



LIST OF PLATES
VOL. XX



FACE



PEACE AND WAR . . . Frontispiece

CHARLES XII. OF SWEDEN IN HIS YOUTH . 100
DISGRACE OF THE SULTAN'S FAVORITES . 198
CHARLES XII. OF SWEDEN .... 264



HISTORY

OF

CHARLES THE TWELFTH.



A DISCOURSE ON THE HISTORY OF CHARLES XII.
(Prefixed to the First Edition.)

FEW ARE the princes whose lives merit a partic-
ular history. In vain have most of them been the
objects of slander, or of flattery. Small is the num-
ber of those whose memory is preserved ; and that
number would be still more inconsiderable were
none but the good remembered.

The princes who have the best claim to immor-
tality are such as have benefited mankind. Thus,
while France endures, the affection of Louis XII.
for his people will ever be held in grateful remem-
brance. The great failings of Francis I. will be
excused, for the sake of the arts and sciences of
which he was the father. Blessed will be the mem-
ory of Henry IV., who conquered his kingdom
as much by his clemency as by his valor. And the
munificence of Louis XIV. in protecting the arts
which owed their birth to Francis I. will be ever
extolled.

It is for a very different reason, that the memory
of bad princes is preserved ; like fires, plagues, and
5



6 Discourse on the History

inundations, they are remembered only for the mis-
chief they have done.

Conquerors hold a middle rank between good
kings and tyrants, but are most akin to the latter.
As they have a glaring reputation, we are desirous
of knowing the most minute circumstances of their
lives; for such is the weakness of mankind, that
they admire those who have rendered themselves
remarkable for wickedness, and talk with greater
pleasure of the destroyer than of the founder of an
empire.

As for those princes who have neither distin-
guished themselves in peace nor in war; who have
neither been remarkable for great virtues nor great
vices; their lives furnish so little matter, either for
imitation or instruction, that they are not worthy
of being committed to writing. Of so many em-
perors of Rome, Greece, Germany, and Muscovy;
of so many sultans, caliphs, popes, and kings ; how
few are there, whose names deserve to be recorded
anywhere but in chronological tables, where they
only serve to mark the different epochs.

There is commonplace among princes, as well as
among the rest of mankind ; yet such is the itch of
writing, that no sooner is a prince dead, than the
world is filled with volumes under the title of me-
moirs and histories of his life, and anecdotes of his
court. By these means books have been multiplied
in such a manner, that were a man to live a hundred
years, and to employ them all in reading, he would
not have time to run over what has been published
relating to the history of Europe alone, for the two
last centuries.



of Charles XII. 7

This eager and unreasonable desire of transmit-
ting useless stories to posterity, and of fixing the
attention of future ages upon common events, pro-
ceeds from a weakness extremely incident to those
who have lived in courts, and have unhappily been
engaged in the management of public affairs. They
consider the court in which they have lived as the
most magnificent in the world; their king as the
greatest monarch : and the affairs in which they
have been concerned as the most important that
ever were transacted: and they vainly imagine, that
posterity will view them in the same light.

If a prince undertakes a war, or his court is em-
broiled in cabals and intrigues; if he buys the friend-
ship of one of his neighbors, or sells his own to
another; if, after some victories and defeats, he at
last makes peace with his enemies; his subjects are
so warm and interested by the part which they
themselves have acted in these scenes, that they
regard their own age as the most glorious that
has existed since the creation. But what is the
consequence? Why, this prince dies; new meas-
ures are adopted; the intrigues of his court, his
mistresses, his ministers, his generals, his wars, and
even himself, are forgotten.

Ever since the time that Christian princes have
been endeavoring to cheat one another, and have
alternately been making war and peace, they have
signed an immense number of treaties, and fought
as many battles; they have performed many glo-
rious, and many infamous actions. Nevertheless,
should all this heap of transactions be transmitted
to posterity, they would most of them destroy and



8 Discourse on the History

annihilate each other; and the memory of those
only would remain which have produced great rev-
olutions, or which, being related by able writers,
are preserved from oblivion, like the pictures of
obscure persons, drawn by a masterly hand.

Sensible then, as we are, of the truth of these
observations, we should not have added a particular
history of Charles XII. King of Sweden, to the
infinite number of books with which the world is
already crowded, were it not that he and his rival,
Peter Alexiowitz, by far the greater man of the
two, are universally admitted to be the most illus-
trious persons that have appeared for upwards of
twenty centuries. The trifling pleasure, however,
of relating extraordinary events was not our only
motive for engaging in this work; we flattered
ourselves that it might be of some little use to
princes, should it ever happen to fall into their
hands. No king, surely, can be so incorrigible as,
when he reads the "History of Charles XII.", not
to be cured of the vain ambition of making con-
quests. Where is the prince that can say, I have
more courage, more virtues, more resolution, great-
er strength of body, greater skill in war, or better
troops, than Charles XII.? And yet, if, with all
these advantages, and after so many victories,
Charles was so unfortunate, what fate may other
princes expect, who, with less capacity and fewer
resources, shall entertain the same ambitious
views?

This history is composed from the relations of
some persons of distinction, who lived several
years with Charles XII. and with Peter the Great,



of Charles XII. 9

Emperor of Muscovy; and who having retired,
long after the death of these princes, into a country
of liberty, can have no interest in concealing the
truth. M. Fabricius, who lived in the most intimate
familiarity with Charles XII.; M. de Fierville, the
French ambassador; M. de Villelongue, a colonel
in the Swedish service, and even M. Poniatowski,
have all of them contributed their share in furnish-
ing me with materials.

In this work we have not ventured to advance
a single fact, without consulting eye-witnesses of
undoubted veracity; a circumstance that renders
this history very different from those gazettes which
have already been published under the title of lives
of Charles XII. If we have omitted some little
skirmishes between the Swedish and Muscovite
officers, the reason is, that we mean to write the
history, not of these officers, but only of the King
of Sweden, and even of his life none but the most
important events. The history of a prince, in our
opinion, is not to relate everything he did, but only
what he did worthy of being transmitted to pos-
terity.

Here, it may not be improper to remark, that
many things, which were true at the time of writing
this history in 1728, are not so at present. Com-
merce, for instance, begins to be more encouraged
in Sweden. The Polish infantry are better disci-
plined, and are provided with regimental clothes, a
convenience which they then wanted. In reading
history, one ought always to remember the time
in which the author wrote. To peruse the memoirs
of Cardinal de Retz, one would take the French for



10 of Charles XII.

a set of enthusiasts, breathing nothing but faction,
madness, and civil discord. To read the history
of the happy years of Louis XIV. one would think
they were born to obey, to conquer, and to cultivate
the polite arts. And, should any one consult the
memoirs of the first years of Louis XV. he will find
them devoted to luxury and avarice, and too regard-
less of everything else. The Spaniards at present
are not the Spaniards of Charles V. and yet they
may be so in a few years. The English of this age
bear no more resemblance to the fanatics in Crom-
well's time, than the monks and monsignori, that
crowd the streets of Rome, do to the ancient Scip-
ios. I doubt much whether the Swedish troops
could be rendered, all of a sudden, so hardy and
warlike as were those of Charles XII. We say
of a man, that he was brave at such a time; in like
manner we should say in speaking of a nation, they
were of this or that character in such a year, and
under such a government.

Should any prince or minister meet with disa-
greeable truths in this book, let them remember
that, as they act in a public station, they ought to
give the public an account of their conduct. Such
is the price they must pay for their greatness. The
business of a historian is to record, not to flatter;
and the only way to oblige mankind to speak well
of us, is to contribute all that lies in our power to
their happiness and welfare.



CHAPTER I.

An abridgment of the history of Sweden, to the reign of
Charles XII. The education of that prince, and an
account of his enemies. Character of the Czar Peter
Alexiowitz. Curious anecdotes relative to that prince
and the Russian nation. Muscovy, Poland, and Den-
mark, unite against Charles XII.

SWEDEN and Finland make up a kingdom two
hundred leagues broad, and three hundred long.
This country reaches from the fifty-fifth degree of
latitude, or thereabouts, to the seventieth. It lies
in a very severe climate, which is hardly ever soft-
ened either by the return of spring or of autumn.
The winter prevails there nine months in the year.
The scorching heat of the summer succeeds imme-
diately to the excessive cold of the winter. The
frost begins in the month of October, without any
of those imperceptible gradations, which in other
countries usher in the seasons, and render the alter-
ation more agreeable. Nature, in return, has
given to this cold climate a clear sky and a pure air.
The almost constant heat of the summer produces
flowers and fruits in a very short time. The long
nights of the winter are tempered by the evening
and morning twilights, which last for a greater or a
less time, in proportion as the sun is nearer to, or
farther removed from Sweden; and the light of the
moon, unobscured by clouds, and increased by the
reflection of the snow that covers the ground, and
frequently by the aurora borealis, makes it as con-

zi



12 The History

venient to travel in Sweden by night as by day. For
want of pasture, the cattle there are smaller than
in the more southern parts of Europe ; but the men
are of a large stature, healthy from the purity of the
air, and strong from the severity of the climate;
they live to a great age, unless enfeebled by the
immoderate use of wines and strong liquors, of
which the northern nations seem to be the more
fond, the less nature has indulged them with these
commodities.

The Swedes are well made, strong, and active,
and capable of enduring the greatest fatigue, want,
and hunger. Born with a military genius, and high
spirit, they are more brave than industrious, having
long neglected, and even at present but little culti-
vating the arts of commerce, which alone can sup-
ply them with those productions in which their
country is deficient. It was chiefly from Sweden*,
they say one part of which is still called Gothland
that those swarms of Goths issued forth, who like
a deluge overran Europe, and wrested it from the
Romans, who had usurped the dominion of thai:
vast country, which they continued for the space
of five hundred years to harass by their tyranny,
and to civilize by their laws.

The northern countries were much more popu-

* If our author had reflected with his usual precision,
he would have perceived that a cold, barren country, of the
extent of Sweden, could not possibly furnish a one-hun-
dredth part of those multitudes that deluged all Europe;
and a little inquiry would have given him to understand,
that the Goths themselves came from Scythia or Tartary,
which was called the OMcina Gentium. It is now (1770)
generally allowed that the Celtse, the Goths, the Heruli,
Vandals, and Huns, were all originally Tartars.



of Charles XII. 13

lous at that time than they are at present. Religion,
by allowing the men a plurality of wives, gave them
an opportunity of furnishing the state with more
subjects. The women themselves knew no reproach
but that of sterility or idleness ; and being as strong
and as laborious as the men, they bore children
faster and for a longer time. Sweden, however, with
that part of Finland which it still retains, does not
contain above four millions of inhabitants. The
soil is poor and barren; Schonen is the only prov-
ince that bears wheat. The current coin of the
kingdom does not exceed nine millions of livres.
The public bank, which is the oldest in Europe,
was at first established from mere necessity; the
copper and iron, in which their payments were for-
merly made, being too heavy to be transported.

Sweden preserved its freedom without interrup-
tion to the middle of the fourteenth century. Dur-
ing that long period, the form of government was
more than once altered; but all these alterations
were in favor of liberty. The first magistrate was
invested with the name of king, a title which, in
different countries, is attended with' very different
degrees of power. In France and Spain it signifies
an absolute monarch ; in Poland, Sweden, and Eng-
land, it means the first man of the republic. This
king could do nothing without the senate; and the
senate depended upon the States-General, which
were frequently assembled. The representatives of
the nation, in these grand assemblies, were the gen-
try, the bishops, and the deputies of the towns; and
in process of time, the very peasants, a class of
people unjustly despised in other places, and sub-



14 The History

ject to slavery in almost all the northern countries,
were admitted to a share in the administration.

About the year 1492, this nation, so jealous of
its liberty, and which still piques itself on having
conquered Rome about thirteen hundred years ago,
was subjected to the yoke by a woman, and by a
people less powerful than the Swedes.

Margaret of Waldemar, the Semiramis of the
North, and Queen of Denmark and Norway, sub-
dued Sweden by force and stratagem, and united
these three extensive kingdoms into one mighty
monarchy. After her death, Sweden was rent by
civil wars; it alternately threw off and submitted
to the Danish yoke; was sometimes governed by
kings, and sometimes by administrators. About
the year 1520, this unhappy kingdom was horribly
harassed by two tyrants: the one was Christian
II., King of Denmark, a monster whose character
was entirely composed of vices, without the least
ingredient of virtue: the other an archbishop of
Upsala, and primate of the kingdom, as barbarous
as the formen These two, by mutual agreement,
caused the consuls and the magistrates of Stock-
holm, together with ninety-four senators, to be
seized in one day, and to be executed by the hand
of the common hangman, under the frivolous pre-
tence that they were excommunicated by the pope,
for having dared to defend the rights of the state
against the encroachments of the archbishop.

While these two men, unanimous in their oppres-
sive measures, and disagreeing only about the di-
vision of the spoil, domineered over Sweden with
all the tyranny of the most absolute despotism, and



of Charles XII. 15

all the cruelty of the most implacable revenge, a
new and unexpected event gave a sudden turn to
the state of affairs in the North.

Gustavus Vasa, a young man, sprung from the
ancient kings of Sweden, arose from the forests of
Dalecarlia, where he had long lain concealed, and
came to deliver his country from bondage. He was
one of those great souls whom nature so seldom
produces, and who are born with all the qualifica-
tions necessary to form the accomplished monarch.
His handsome and stately person, and his noble and
majestic air, gained him followers at first sight. His
eloquence, recommended by an engaging manner,
was the more persuasive, the less it was artful. His
enterprising genius formed those projects which,
though to the vulgar they may appear rash, are
considered only as bold in the eyes of great men,
and which his courage and perseverance enabled
him to accomplish. Brave with circumspection, and
mild and gentle in a fierce and cruel age, he was
as virtuous as it is possible for the leader of a party
to be.

Gustavus Vasa had been the hostage of Christian,
and had been detained a prisoner contrary to the
law of nations. Having found means to escape trom
prison, he had dressed himself in the habit of a
peasant, and in that disguise had wandered about
in the mountains and woods of Dalecarlia, where
he was reduced to the necessity of working in the
copper mines, at once to procure a livelihood, and
to conceal himself from his enemies. Buried, as he
was, in these subterraneous caverns, he had the
boldness to form the design of dethroning the



1 6 The History

tyrant. With this view he discovered himself to the
peasants, who regarded him as one of those supe-
rior beings to whom the common herd of mankind
are naturally inclined to submit. These savage boors
he soon improved into hardy and warlike soldiers.
He attacked Christian and the archbishop, beat
them in several encounters, banished them both
from Sweden, and, at last, was justly chosen by the
states king of that country, of which he had been
the deliverer.

Hardly was he established on the throne, when
he undertook an enterprise still more difficult than
his conquests. The real tyrants of the state were
the bishops, who having engrossed into their own
hands almost all the riches of Sweden, employed
their ill-gotten wealth in oppressing the subjects,
and in making war upon the king. This power was
the more formidable, as, in the opinion of the ig-
norant populace, it was held to be sacred. Gustavus
punished the Catholic religion for the crimes of its
ministers; and, in less than two years, introduced
Lutheranism into Sweden, rather by the arts of pol-
icy, than by the influence of authority. Having thus
conquered the kingdom, as he was wont to say,
from the Danes and the clergy, he reigned a happy
and an absolute monarch to the age of seventy, and
then died full of glory, leaving his family and
religion in quiet possession of the throne.

One of his descendants was that Gustavus Adol-
phus, who is commonly called the great Gustavus.
He conquered Ingria, Livonia, Bremen, Verden,
Wismar, and Pomerania, not to mention above a
hundred places in Germany, which, after his death,



of Charles XII. 17

were yielded up by the Swedes. He shook the
throne of Ferdinand II. and protected the Luther-
ans in Germany, an attempt in which he was se-
cretly assisted by the pope himself, who dreaded
the power of the emperor much more than the
prevalence of heresy. He it was who by his vic-
tories effectually contributed to humble the house
of Austria; though the glory of that enterprise is
usually ascribed to Cardinal de Richelieu, who well
knew how to procure himself the reputation of those
great actions, which Gustavus was contented with
simply performing. He was just upon the point of
extending the war beyond the Danube, and perhaps
of dethroning the emperor, when he was killed, in
the thirty-seventh year of his age, at the battle of
Lutzen, which he gained over Wallenstein, carrying
along with him to his grave the name of Great, the
lamentations of the North, and the esteem of his
enemies.

His daughter Christina, a lady of extraordinary
genius, was much fonder of conversing with men
of learning, than of reigning over a people whose
knowledge was entirely confined to the art of war.
She became as famous for quitting the throne as
her ancestors had been for obtaining or securing it.
The Protestants have loaded her memory with
many injurious aspersions, as if it were impossible
for a person to be possessed of great virtues without
adhering to Luther; and the papists have piqued
themselves too much on the conversion of a woman
who had nothing to recommend her but her taste
for philosophy. She retired to Rome, where she

passed the rest of her days in the midst of those arts
Vol. 20 2



1 8 The History

of which she was so passionately fond, and for the
sake of which she had renounced a crown at twenty-
seven years of age.

Before her abdication, she prevailed upon the
states of Sweden to elect her cousin, Charles Gus-
tavus X., son to the Count Palatine, and Duke of
Deux-Ponts, as her successor. This prince added
new conquests to those of Gustavus Adolphus. He
presently carried his arms into Poland, where he
gained the famous battle of Warsaw, which lasted
for three days. He waged a long and a successful
war with the Danes; besieged them in their capital;
re-united Schonen to Sweden; and confirmed the
Duke of Holstein in the possession of Schleswig, at
least for a time. At last, having met with a reverse
of fortune, and concluded a peace with his enemies,
he turned his ambition against his subjects, and
formed the design of establishing a despotic gov-
ernment in Sweden. But, like the great Gustavus,
he died in the thirty-seventh year of his age, with-
out being able to finish his project, the full accom-
plishment of which was reserved for his son, Charles
XI.

Charles XI. was a warrior, like all his ancestors,
and more despotic than any of them. He abolished
the authority of the senate, which was declared to
be the senate of the king, and not of the kingdom.
He was prudent, vigilant, indefatigable; qualities
that must certainly have secured him the love of
his subjects, had not his despotic measures been
more apt to excite their fear than to gain their
affections.

In 1680 he married Ulrica Eleonora, daughter to



of Charles XII. 19

Frederick III., King of Denmark, a princess emi-
nent for her virtue, and worthy of greater confi-
dence than her husband was pleased to repose in
her. Of this marriage, on the 27th of June, 1682,
was born King Charles XIL, the most extraordi-
nary man, perhaps, that ever appeared in the world.
In him were united all the great qualities of his
ancestors; nor had he any other fault or failing, but
that he possessed all these virtues in too high a de-


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