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Produced by David Widger




Translated from the German




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
judgment 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.

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

THE CAMP OF WALLENSTEIN was translated by Mr. James Churchill, and first
appeared in "Frazer's Magazine." It is an exceedingly happy version of
what has always been deemed the most untranslatable of Schiller's works.

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 printed, 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.

DON 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 assistance, and, it is but justice to state,
has enhanced the value of the work by his judicious suggestions.

The translation of MARY STUART is that by the late Joseph Mellish,
who appears to have been on terms of intimate friendship with Schiller.
His version was made from the prompter's copy, before 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 improvement, 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.


Book I.

Introduction. - General effects of the Reformation. - Revolt of Matthias.
- The Emperor cedes Austria and Hungary to him. - Matthias acknowledged
King of Bohemia. - The Elector of Cologne abjures the Catholic Religion.
- Consequences. - The Elector Palatine. - Dispute respecting the
Succession of Juliers. - Designs of Henry IV. of France. - Formation of
the Union. - The League. - Death of the Emperor Rodolph. - Matthias
succeeds him. - Troubles in Bohemia. - Civil War. - Ferdinand extirpates
the Protestant Religion from Styria. - The Elector Palatine, Frederick
V., is chosen King by the Bohemians. - He accepts the Crown of Bohemia. -
Bethlen Gabor, Prince of Transylvania, invades Austria. - The Duke of
Bavaria and the Princes of the League embrace the cause of Ferdinand. -
The Union arm for Frederick. - The Battle of Prague and total subjection
of Bohemia.

Book II.

State of the Empire. - Of Europe. - Mansfeld. - Christian, Duke of
Brunswick. - Wallenstein raises an Imperial Army at his own expense.
- The King of Denmark defeated. - Death of Mansfeld. - Edict of
Restitution in 1628. - Diet at Ratisbon. - Negociations. - Wallenstein
deprived of the Command. - Gustavus Adolphus. - Swedish Army. - Gustavus
Adolphus takes his leave of the States at Stockholm. - Invasion by the
Swedes. - Their progress in Germany. - Count Tilly takes the Command of
the Imperial Troops. - Treaty with France. - Congress at Leipzig. - Siege
and cruel fate of Magdeburg. - Firmness of the Landgrave of Cassel. -
Junction of the Saxons with the Swedes. - Battle of Leipzig. -
Consequences of that Victory.

Book III.

Situation of Gustavus Adolphus after the Battle of Leipzig. - Progress of
Gustavus Adolphus. - The French invade Lorraine. - Frankfort taken. -
Capitulation of Mentz. - Tilly ordered by Maximilian to protect Bavaria.
- Gustavus Adolphus passes the Lech. - Defeat and Death of Tilly. -
Gustavus takes Munich. - The Saxon Army invades Bohemia, and takes
Prague. - Distress of the Emperor. - Secret Triumph of Wallenstein. -
He offers to Join Gustavus Adolphus. - Wallenstein re-assumes the
Command. - Junction of Wallenstein with the Bavarians. - Gustavus Adolphus
defends Nuremberg. - Attacks Wallenstein's Intrenchments. - Enters
Saxony. - Goes to the succour of the Elector of Saxony. - Marches against
Wallenstein. - Battle of Lutzen. - Death of Gustavus Adolphus. - Situation
of Germany after the Battle of Lutzen.

Book IV.

Closer Alliance between France and Sweden. - Oxenstiern takes the
Direction of Affairs. - Death of the Elector Palatine. - Revolt of the
Swedish Officers. - Duke Bernhard takes Ratisbon. - Wallenstein enters
Silesia. - Forms Treasonable Designs. - Forsaken by the Army. - Retires to
Egra. - His associates put to death. - Wallenstein's death. - His

Book V.

Battle of Nordlingen. - France enters into an Alliance against Austria. -
Treaty of Prague. - Saxony joins the Emperor. - Battle of Wistock gained
by the Swedes. - Battle of Rheinfeld gained by Bernhard, Duke of Weimar.
- He takes Brisach. - His death. - Death of Ferdinand II. - Ferdinand III.
succeeds him. - Celebrated Retreat of Banner in Pomerania. - His
Successes. - Death. - Torstensohn takes the Command. - Death of Richelieu
and Louis XIII. - Swedish Victory at Jankowitz. - French defeated at
Freyburg. - Battle of Nordlingen gained by Turenne and Conde. - Wrangel
takes the Command of the Swedish Army. - Melander made Commander of the
Emperor's Army. - The Elector of Bavaria breaks the Armistice. - He adopts
the same Policy towards the Emperor as France towards the Swedes. - The
Weimerian Cavalry go over to the Swedes. - Conquest of New Prague by
Koenigsmark, and Termination of the Thirty Years' War.



From the beginning of the religious wars in Germany, to the peace of
Munster, scarcely any thing great or remarkable 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 Reformation 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 disorders. 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 the Second 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 endeavour 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 sympathies. 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 movement 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, devastated
whole countries, destroyed harvests, and reduced towns and villages to
ashes; which opened a grave for many thousand combatants, and for half a
century smothered 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
originated in the thirty years' war, may alone be sufficient 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
guarantee 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 connected with it, vain and powerless 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, necessarily revolted the tempers of men, already
half-won with the promise of a better light, and favourably disposed
them towards the new doctrines. The charm of independence, the rich
plunder of monastic institutions, made the Reformation 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 the Fifth, in the
intoxication of success, made an attempt on the independence 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
Calvinists 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 enthusiasm
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 fighting 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 goodwill of his subjects. Yet how
difficult was it to gain and to set to work this goodwill! 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 the 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
conclusion. 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

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 every sovereign. Why, then, it
may be asked, did they not operate with equal force upon the princes of
the House of Austria? What prevented this house, particularly in its
German branch, from yielding to the pressing demands of so many of its
subjects, and, after the example of other princes, enriching itself at
the expense of a defenceless clergy? It is difficult to credit that a
belief in the infallibility of the Romish Church had any greater
influence on the pious adherence of this house, than the opposite
conviction had on the revolt of the Protestant princes. In fact,
several circumstances combined to make the Austrian princes zealous
supporters of popery. Spain and Italy, from which Austria derived its
principal strength, were still devoted to the See of Rome with that
blind obedience which, ever since the days of the Gothic dynasty, had
been the peculiar characteristic of the Spaniard. The slightest
approximation, in a Spanish prince, to the obnoxious tenets of Luther
and Calvin, would have alienated for ever the affections of his
subjects, and a defection from the Pope would have cost him the kingdom.
A Spanish prince had no alternative but orthodoxy or abdication. 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 pretensions of France, and the neighbourhood of the
Pope, were motives sufficient to prevent the Emperor from declaring in
favour of a party which strove to annihilate the papal see, and also to
induce 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 suspicion 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 upon 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 the Second, a monastic
education combined with a gloomy and despotic disposition to generate an
unmitigated hostility to all innovations in religion; a feeling which
the thought that his most formidable political opponents were also the
enemies 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 seductions of foreign opinions, the progress of the
Reformation in other quarters could not well be a matter of indifference
to him. His immediate interests, therefore, urged him to attach himself
devotedly to the old church, in 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 actuated the long and active reigns
of Charles V. and Philip the Second, 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 apparently 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 consistency
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 imperial 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 Protestants to the Emperor's necessities and to the
common dangers of the empire, their encroachments on the temporalities
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 interwoven with those of the
Roman 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 Europe
as the pillars of popery. The hatred, therefore, which the Protestants
bore against the latter, was turned exclusively upon Austria; and the
cause became gradually confounded with its protector.

But this irreconcileable enemy of the Reformation - the House of Austria
- by its ambitious projects and the overwhelming force which it could
bring to their support, endangered, in no small degree, the freedom of
Europe, 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 assistance; and, by means of a
common league, they endeavoured 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 endeavouring to extirpate 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 exchequer 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 privations 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, supplies of men and money from their
subjects, to a degree which at present is inconceivable.

But, with all their 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

Online LibraryFriedrich SchillerThe Thirty Years War — Complete → online text (page 1 of 34)