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The Thirty Tears' War.





Book I 8


III 177

IV 271





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The present is the best collected edition of the important
works of Schiller which is accessible to readers in the
English language. Detached poems or dramas have been
translated at various times since the first publication of
the original works ; and in several instances these versions
have been incorporated into this collection.

Schiller was not less efficiently qualified by nature for
an historian than for a dramatist. He was formed to
excel in all departments of literature, and the admirable
lucidity of style and soundness and impartiality of judg-
ment displayed in his historical writings will not easily
be surpassed, and will always recommend them as popular
expositions of the periods of which they treat.

Since the publication of the first English edition many
corrections and improvements have been made, with a
view to rendering it as acceptable as possible to English
readers ; and, notwithstanding the disadvantages of a
translation, the publishers feel sure that Schiller will be
heartily acceptable to English readers, and that the
influence of his writings will continue to increase.

The History of the Revolt of the Netherlands
was translated by Lieut. E. B. Eastwick, and originally
published abroad for students' use. But this translation
was too strictly literal for general readers. It has been
carefully revised, and some portions have been entirely
rewritten by the Rev. A, J. W. Morrison, who also has so
ably translated the History of the Thirty Years'


The Camp of Wallenstein was translated by Mr.
James Churchill, and first appeared in " Frazer's Maga-
zine." It is an exceedingly happy version of what has
always been deemed the most untranslatable of Schiller's

The Piccolomini and Death of Wallenstein are
the admirable version of S. T. Coleridge, completed by the
addition of all those passages which he has omitted, and
by a restoration of Schiller's own arrangement of the acts
and scenes. It is said, in defence of the variations which
exist between the German original and. the version given
by Coleridge, that he translated from a prompter's copy
in manuscript, before the drama had been j^rinted, and
that Schiller himself subsequently altered it, by omitting
some passages, adding others, and even engrafting several
of Coleridge's adaptations.

WiLHELM Tell is translated by Theodore Martin,
Esq., whose well-known position as a writer, and whose
special acquaintance with German literature make any
recommendation superfluous.

DojV Carlos is translated by R. D. Boylan, Esq., and, in
the opinion of competent judges, the version is eminently
successful. Mr. Theodore Martin kindly gave some assist-
ance, and, it is but justice to state, has enhanced the value
of the work by his judicious suggestions.

The translation of Mart Stuart is that by the late
Joseph Mellish, who appears to have been on terms of
intimate friendship with Scliiller. His version was made
from the prompter's copy, befoi-e the play was published,
and, like Coleridge's Wallenstein, contains many passages
not found in the printed edition. These are distinguished
by brackets. On the other hand, Mr. Mellish omitted
many passages which now form part of the printed drama,
all of which are now added. The translation, as a whole,


stands out from similar works of the time (1800) in almost
as marked a degree as Coleridge's Wallenstein, and some
passages exhibit powers of a high order ; a few, however,
especially in the earlier scenes, seemed capable of improve-
ment, and these have been revised, but, in deference to the
translator, with a sparing hand.

The Maid of Orleans is contributed by Miss Anna
Swanwick, whose translation of Faust has since become
well known. It has been carefully revised, and is now,
for the first time, published complete.

The Bride of Messina, which has been regarded as
the poetical masterpiece of Schiller, and, perhaps of all his
works, presents the greatest difficulties to the translator,
is rendered by A. Lodge, Esq., M. A. This version, on its
first publication in England, a few years ago, was received
with deserved eulogy by distinguished critics. To the
present edition has been prefixed Schiller's Essay on the
Use of the Chorus in Tragedy, in which the author's
favorite theory of the "Ideal of Art" is enforced with
great ingenuity and eloquence.





Feom the beginning of the religious wars in Germany to
the peace of Munster scarcely anything great or remark-
able occurred in the political world of Europe in which the
Reformation had not an important share. All the events
of this period, if they did not originate in, soon became
mixed up with, the question of religion, and no state was
either too great or too little, to feel, directly or indirectly,
more or less of its influence.

Against the reformed doctrine and its adherents the
House of Austria directed, almost exclusively, the whole
of its immense political power. In France the Reforma-
tion had enkindled a civil war which, under four stormy
reigns, shook the kingdom to its foundations, brought
foreign armies into the heart of the country, and for half
a century rendered it the scene of the most mournful dis-
orders. It was the Reformation, too, that rendered the
Spanish yoke intolerable to the Flemings, and awakened
in them both the desire and the courage to throw off its
fetters, while it also principally furnished them with the
means of their emancipation. And as to England, all the
evils with which Philip II. threatened Elizabeth were
mainly intended in revenge for her having taken his
Protestant subjects under her protection, and placing
herself at the head of a religious party which it was his
aim and endeavor to extirpate. In Germany the schisms
in the church produced also a lasting political schism,
which made that country for more than a century the
theatre of confusion, but at the same time threw up a


firm barrier against political oppression. It was, too, the
Reformation principally that first drew the northern
powers, Denmark and Sweden, into the political system
of Europe ; and while, on the one hand, the Protestant
League was strengthened by their adhesion, it, on the
other, was indispensable to their interests. States which
hitherto scarcely concerned themselves with one another's
existence, acquired through the Reformation an attractive
centre of interest, and began to be united by new political
symj)athies. And as through its influence new relations
sprang up between citizen and citizen, and between rulers
and subjects, so also entire states were forced by it into
new relative positions. Thus, by a strange course of
events, religious disputes were the means of cementing a
closer union among the nations of Europe.

Fearful, indeed, and destructive was the first move-
ment in which this general political sympathy announced
itself ; a desolating war of thirty years, which, from the
interior of Bohemia to the mouth of the Scheldt, and
from the banks of the Po to the coasts of the Baltic, devas-
tated whole countries, destroyed harvests, and reduced
towns and villages to ashes ; which opened a grave for
many thousand combatants, and for half a century smoth-
ered the glimmering sparks of civilization in Germany,
and threw back the improving manners of the country
into their pristine barbarity and wildness. Yet out of
this fearful war Europe came forth free and independent.
In it she first learned to recognize herself as a community
of nations; and this intercommunion of states, which origi-
nated in the thirty years' war, may alone be sufiicient to
reconcile the philosopher to its horrors. The hand of
industry has slowly but gradually effaced the traces of
its ravages, while its beneficent influence still survives ;
and this general sympathy among the states of Europe,
which grew out of the troubles in Bohemia, is our guaran-
tee for the continuance of that peace which was the result
of the war. As the sparks of destruction found their way
from the interior of Bohemia, Moravia, and Austria, to
kindle Germany, France, and the half of Europe, so also
will the torch of civilization make a path for itself from
the latter to enlighten the former countries.


All this was effected by religion. Religion alone could
have rendered possible all that was accomplished, but it
was far from being the sole motive of the war. Had not
private advantages and state interests been closely con-
nected with it, vain and jDowerless would have been the
arguments of theologians ; and the cry of the people would
never have met with princes so willing to espouse their
cause, nor the new doctrines have found such numerous,
brave, and persevering champions. The Reformation is
undoubtedly owing in a great measure to the invincible
power of truth, or of opinions which were held as such.
The abuses in the old church, the absurdity of many of
its dogmas, the extravagance of its requisitions, necessa-
rily revolted the tempers of men, already half-won with
the promise of a better light, and favorably disposed them
towards the new doctrines. The charm of independence,
the rich plunder of monastic institutions, made the Re-
formation attractive in the eyes of princes, and tended
not a little to strengthen their inward convictions.
Nothing, however, but political considerations could have
driven them to espouse it. Had not Charles V., in the
intoxication of success, made an attemjDt on the inde-
pendence of the German States, a Protestant league
would scarcely have rushed to arms in defence of freedom
of belief ; but for the ambition of the Guises the Calvin-
ists in France would never have beheld a Conde or a
Coligny at their head. Without the exaction of the
tenth and the twentieth penny, the See of Rome had
never lost the United Netherlands. Princes fought in
self-defence or for aggrandizement, while religious en-
thusiasm recruited their armies and opened to them the
treasures of their subjects. Of the multitude who flocked
to their standards, such as were not lured by the hope of
plunder imagined they were fighting for the truth, while
in fact they were shedding their blood for the personal
objects of their princes.

And well was it for the people that, on this occasion, their
interests coincided with those of their princes. To this
coincidence alone were they indebted for their deliverance
from popery. Well was it also for the rulers that the
subject contended too for his own cause, while he was fight-


ing their battles. Fortunately at this date no European
sovereign was so absolute as to be able, in the pursuit of
his political designs, to dispense with the good-will of his
subjects. Yet how difficult was it to gain and to set to
work this good- will! The most impressive arguments
drawn from reasons of state fall powerless on the ear of
the subject, who seldom understands, and still more rarely
is interested in them. In such circumstances, the only
course open to a prudent prince is to connect the interests
of the cabinet with some one that sits nearer to the
people's heart, if such exists, or if not, to create it.

In such a position stood a greater part of those princes
who embraced the cause of the Reformation. By a strange
concatenation of events the divisions of the Church were
associated with two circumstances, without which, in all
probability, they would have had a very different conclu-
sion. These were the increasing power of the House of
Austria, which threatened the liberties of Europe, and its
active zeal for the old religion. The first aroused the
princes, while the second armed the people.

The abolition of a foreign jurisdiction within their
own territories, the supremacy in ecclesiastical matters,
the stopping of the treasure which had so long flowed to
Rome, the rich plunder of religious foundations, were
tempting advantages to eveiy sovereign. Why, then,
it may be asked, did they not operate with equal force
upon the princes of the House of Austria? What pre-
vented this house, particularly in its German branch, from
yielding to the pressing demands of so many of its sub-
jects, and, after the example of other princes, enriching
itself at the exj)ense of a defenceless clergy ? It is dif-
ficult to credit that a belief in the infallibility of the
Romish Church had any greater influence on the pious
"db.f'rence of this house than the opposite conviction had
on thbi'^olt of the Protestant princes. In fact, several
ciroumstancc^^ombined to make the Austrian princes
zealous supportei^-^f popery. Spain and Italy, from
which Austria derive^'ts, principal strength, were still
devoted to the See of Ro.o ^yjth that blind obedience
which, ever since the days _o>i^e Gothic dvnasty, had
been the peculiar characteristic ^f ^j^g Spaniard. The


slightest approximation in a Spanish prince to the ob-
noxious tenets of Luther and Calvin would have alienated
forever the affections of his subjects, and a defection
from the Poi^e would have cost him tlie kingdom. A
Spanish prince had no alternative but orthodoxy or abdi-
cation. The same restraint was imposed upon Austria
by her Italian dominions, which she was obliged to treat,
if possible, with even greater indulgence ; impatient as
they naturally were of a foreign yoke, and possessing also
ready means of shaking it off. In regard to the latter
provinces, moreover, the rival jaretensions of France, and
the neighborhood of the Pope, were motives sufficient to
prevent the Emperor from declaring in favor of a party
which strove to annihilate the papal see, and also to in-
duce him to show the most active zeal in behalf of the
old religion. These general considerations, which must
have been equally weighty with every Spanish monarch,
were, in the particular case of Charles V., still further
enforced by peculiar and personal motives. In Italy this
monarch had a formidable rival in the King of France,
under whose protection that country might throw itself
the instant that Charles should incur the slightest sus-
picion of heresy. Distrust on the part of the Roman
Catholics, and a rupture with the church, would have
been fatal also to many of his most cherished designs.
Moreover, when Charles was first called vijjon to make
his election between the two parties, the new doctrine had
not yet attained to a full and commanding influence, and
there still subsisted a prospect of its reconciliation with
the old. In his son and successor, Philip II., a monastic
education combined with a gloomy and despotic
disposition to generate an unmitigated hostility to all in-
novations in religion; a feeling which the thought that his
most formidable political opponents were also the ene-
mies of his faith was not calculated to weaken. As his
European possessions, scattered as they were over so
many countries, were on all sides exposed to the seduc-
tions of foreign opinions, the progress of the Reformation
in other quarters could not well be a matter of indiffer-
ence to him. His immediate interests, therefore, urged
him to attach himself devotedly to the old church, ia


order to close up the sources of the heretical contagion.
Thus circumstances naturally placed this prince at the
head of the league which the Roman Catholics formed
against the Reformers. The principles which had actu-
ated the long and active reigns of Charles V. and Philip
II. remained a law for their successors ; and the more
the breach in the church widened the firmer became
the attachment of the Spaniards to Roman Catholicism.

The German line of the House of Austria was appar-
ently more unfettered ; but in reality, though free from
many of these restraints, it was yet confined by others.
The possession of the imperial throne — a dignity it was
impossible for a Protestant to hold (for with what con-
sistency could an apostate from the Romish Church wear
the crown of a Roman Emperor?) bound the successors
of Ferdinand I. to the See of Rome. Ferdinand himself
was, from conscientious motives, heartily attached to it.
Besides, the German princes of the House of Austria were
not powerful enough to dispense with the support of Spain,
which, however, they would have forfeited by the least
show of leaning towards the new doctrines. The impe-
rial dignity, also, required them to preserve the existing
political system of Germany, with which the maintenance
of their own authority was closely bound up, but which
it was the aim of the Protestant League to destroy. If
to these grounds we add the indifference of the Protes-
tants to the Emperor's necessities and to the common
dangers of the empire, their encroachments on the tem-
poralities of the church, and their aggressive violence
when they became conscious of their own power, we can
easily conceive how so many concurring motives must
have determined the emperors to the side of popery, and
how their own interests came to be intimately inter-
woven with those of the Romish Church. As its fate
seemed to depend altogether on the part taken by Austria,
the princes of this house came to be regarded by all Eu-
rope as the pillars of popery. The hatred, therefore,
which the Protestants bore against the latter was turned
exclusively upon Austria; and the cause became grad-
ually confounded with its protector.

But this irreconcilable enemy of the Reformation — ^


the House of Austria — by its ambitious projects and
the overwhelming force which it could bring to their sup-
port, endangered, in no small degree, the freedom of Eu-
rope, and more especially of the German States. This
circumstance could not fail to rouse the latter from their
security, and to render them vigilant in self-defence.
Their ordinary resources were quite insufficient to resist
so formidable a power. Extraordinary exertions were
required from their subjects ; and when even these proved
far from adequate, they had recourse to foreign assist-
ance ; and, by means of a common league, they endeav-
ored to oppose a power which, singly, they were unable
to withstand.

But the strong political inducements which the German
princes had to resist the pretensions of the House of
Austria, naturally, did not extend to their subjects. It is
only immediate advantages or immediate evils that set
the people in action, and for these a sound policy cannot
wait. Ill then would it have fared with these princes if
by good fortune another effectual motive had not offered
itself, which roused the passions of the people, and kindled
in them an enthusiasm which might be directed against the
political danger, as having with it a common cause of alarm.

This motive was their avowed hatred of the religion
which Austria protected, and their enthusiastic attachment
to a doctrine which that house was endeavoring to extir-
pate by fire and sword. Their attachment was ardent,
their hatred invincible. Religious fanaticism anticipates
even the remotest dangers. Enthusiasm never calculates
its sacrifices. What the most pressing danger of the state
could not gain from the citizens was effected by religious
zeal. For the state, or for the prince, few would have
drawn the sword ; but for religion the merchant, the
artist, the peasant, all cheerfully flew to arms. For the
state or for the prince even the smallest additional impost
would have been avoided ; but for religion the people
readily staked at once life, fortune, and all earthly hopes.
It trebled the contributions which flowed into the ex-
chequer of the princes, and the armies which marched to
the field; and, in the ardent excitement produced in all
minds by the peril to which their faith was exposed, the


subject felt not the pressure of those burdens and privai
tions under which, in cooler moments, he would have sunk
exhausted. The terrors of the Spanish Inquisition, and
the massacre of St. Bartholomew's, procured for the
Prince of Orange, the Admiral Coligny, the British Queen
Elizabeth, and the Protestant princes of Germany, sup'
plies of men and money from their subjects to a degree
which at present is inconceivable.

But, with all theii* exertions, they would have effected
little against a power which was an overmatch for any
single adversary, however powerful. At this period of
imperfect policy accidental circumstances alone could
determine distant states to afford one another a mutual
support. The differences of government, of laws, of
language, of manners, and of character, which hitherto
had kept whole nations and countries as it were insulated,
and raised a lasting barrier between them, rendered one
state insensible to the distresses of another, save where
national jealousy could indulge a malicious joy at the
reverses of a rival. This barrier the Reformation de-
stroyed. An interest more intense and more immediate
than national aggrandizement or patriotism, and entirely
independent of private utility, began to animate whole
states and individual citizens ; an interest capable of uniting
numerous and distant nations, even while it frequently
lost its force among the subjects of the same government.
"With the inhabitants of Geneva, for instance, of England,
of Germany, or of Holland, the French Calvinist possessed
a common point of union which he had not with his own
countrymen. Thus, in one important particular, he ceased
to be the citizen of a single state, and to confine his views
and sympathies to his own country alone. The
sphere of his views became enlarged. He began to
calculate his own fate from that of other nations of the
same religious profession, and to make their cause his
own. Now for the first time did princes venture to
bring the affairs of other countries before their own
councils ; for the first time could they hope for a willing
ear to their own necessities, and prompt assistance from
others. Foreign affairs had now become a matter of
domestic policy, and that aid was readily granted to the


religious confederate which would have been denied to
the mere neighbor, and still more to the distant stranger.
The inhabitant of the Palatinate leaves his native fields to
fight side by side with his religious associate of France,
against the common enemy of their faith. The Huguenot
draws his sword against the country which persecutes
him, and sheds his blood in defence of the liberties of
Holland. Swiss is arrayed against Swiss; German
against German, to determine, on the banks of the Loire
and the Seine, the succession of the French crown. The
Dane crosses the Eider, and the Swede the Baltic, to
break the chains which are forged for Germany.

It is difficult to say what would have been the fate of
the Reformation, and the liberties of the empire, had not
the formidable power of Austria declared against them.
This, however, appears certain, that nothing so com-
pletely damped the Austrian hopes of universal monarchy
as the obstinate war which they had to wage against the
new religious opinions. Under no other circumstances
could the weaker princes have roused their subjects to
such extraordinary exertions against the ambition of
Austria, or the states themselves have united so closely
against the common enemy.

The power of Austria never stood higher than after
the victory which Charles V. gained over the Germans at
MiJhlberg. With the treaty of Smalcalde the freedom of
Germany lay, as it seemed, prostrate forever; but it
revived under Maurice of Saxony, once its most formid-
able enemy. All the fruits of the victory of Miihlberg
were lost again in the Congress of Passau and the Diet of
Augsburg ; and every scheme of civil and religious oppres-
sion terminated in the concessions of an equitable peace.

The Diet of Augsburg divided Germany into two
religious and two political pai'ties, by recognizing the

Online LibraryFriedrich SchillerThe history of the thirty years' war in Germany → online text (page 1 of 35)