The stern discipline of a modern man-of-war
was at that time almost unknown. There were
neither uniforms nor whistles, nor aught of that
system of signals and commands which is now car-
ried to such perfection.
A man-of-war scarcely
differed from a merchant vessel except in size,
armament, and the number of the officers and crew.
When one remembers that at that time tliere were
neither whiskey nor coffee on board as a solace
against the chill morning air — (they had, however,
already learned from the Dutch to use an occasion-
al quid of tobacco for this purpose) — then it is readi-
ly seen that sea life on the "■ Maria Eleonora" bore
very little resemblance to that on one of our mod-
Bv the arreen a:unwale of the deck stood two fe-
male figures, wrapped in ample travelling hoods of
black wool. One of these passengers was small in
stature, and showed under the hood an old wrink-
led face, with a pair of blinking gray eyes; she had
THE SWORD AND THE PLOUGH. 161
bundled herself up in a thick wadded cloak of Nu-
rembero; cloth. The other figure was tall and slen-
der, and wore a tight-fitting capote of black velvet
lined with ermine. Leaning against the gunwale,
she regarded with gloomy thoughtfulness the re-
ceding waves and the vessel's glistening wake.
Her features could not be seen from the deck; but
if one could have caug-ht her imag^e in the mirror-
ing wave, it would have revealed a classically beau-
tiful face, irradiated by two black eyes_ which in
lustre surpassed the shining w^ave-mirror itself.
" Holy Mary !" exclaimed the old woman vol-
ubly, in strongly accented Low-German. " When
will all this misery, which the saints have imposed
upon us on account of our sins, come to an end ?
Tell me, little lady, in what part of the world are
we now ? It seems to me as if it were a whole
year since we sailed from Stralsund, for since we
left the heretic Stockholm I have no longer kept an
account of the days. Every morning when I arise
I recite seven aves and seven joa^er nosters^ which
the reverend Father Hierony mus taught us as a pro-
tection against ghosts and evil witchcrafts. Who
knows but that the world here comes to an end,
when we have reached so far from the domain of
the holy true believing church and Christian peo-
ple! This sea has no limit — oh the horrible sea ! I
now appreciate the river Main which flowed so
peacefully beneath our little turret window in
WUrtzburg. Say, little lady, what if over there
at the horizon was the end of the earth and we
should go with full sails right into purgatory ?"
The tall, slender young girl in the velvet capote
did not seem to listen to the loquacious duenna's ef-
fusive words. Her dark, brilliant eyes, under their
long black lashes, rested pensively on the sea as if
162 TIMES OF GUSTAF ADOLF.
to read in its waves the interpretation of her heart's
dreams. And when at times a 1 on o^ swell from for-
mer storms rolled under the little waves, and the
ship gently careened, so that the guard neared the
water and the mirrored image in the sea approach-
ed the orirl on board, then a smile of minarled mel-
anchol}- and pride passed over the beautiful pale
features, and her lips moved almost inaudibly to
confide her innermost thouglits to the wave :
" It is only the great and majestic in life that
deserve to be loved /"
Then she added, transported by this thought :
" Why should not I love a great man ?"
And s-he whispered these words with an un-
bounded enthusiasm. But instantly a shudder ran
through her delicate frame, a dark flash shot throuo;h
the glimmering enamel of her black eyes, and she
uttered, almost trembling :
" Jt is only the great and majestic in life that
deserve to be hated ! . . . Why should I not
hate . . ."
She did not finish the sentence; she bent her
head against the guard; the flash in her eyes dis-:
appeared, leaving in its stead a moist tear. Two
hostile spirits contended for this passionate soul.
One said to her: "■LoveP'' the other: ''Hate! " And
her heart bled under the terrible struo;-a:le between
the angel and the demon.
It is unnecessary to mention, what the reader
has probably already divined, that the slender
young girl on board the " Maria Eleonora " was
none other than Lady Regina von Emmeritz, the
beautiful fanatic who in Frankfort-on-the-Main
tried to convert Gustaf Adolf to the Catholic
faith. The king, who knew the human heart, had
not without reason considered this fanatical girl
THE SWORD AND THE PLOUGH. 163
capable of anything if longer left a prey to the in-
fluence of the Jesuits. He had therefore, not from
revenge, which was foreign to his great soul, but
from noble compassion for a young and richly en-
dowed nature, resolved to send her for a time to a
distant land, where she could no longer be reached
by the influence of gloomy monks.
The reader will remember that the king ex-
pressed this intention on the memorable night
after the festival of the Frankfort burghers; -and
later in the summer Lady Regfina was sent, by the
way of Stralsund and Stockholm, to the stern old
Lady Martha Ulfsparre, at Korsholm. The noble
king did not suspect that the demoniacal power
from whose claws he wished to save his beautiful
prisoner followed her even to Finland's remote
shores; for Lady Regina had been allowed to choose
for her companion the one of her waiting-women in
whom she felt the most confidence, and she chose,
not the light-hearted blonde Kiitchen, her good
genius, who was sent away to her home in Bavaria,
but the old Dorthe, her nurse, who, secretly in the
service of the Jesuits, had long nourished the fire
of fanaticism in the young girl's soul. Thus the
poor unprotected girl was given up to the dark
power which, ever since her earliest childhood, had
perverted her rich and sensitive heart with its
dreadful teachings. And against this power she
could only oppose a single but powerful feeling —
her admiration, her fanatical love for Gustaf Adolf,
whom she loved and hated at the same time, whom
she would have been able to kill, and yet for whom
she would herself have sufi'ered death.
The shrewd Dorthe seemed to guess her mis-
tress's thoughts; she leaned forward, winked with
164 TIMES OF GUSTAF ADOLF.
her small eyes, and said, in the familiar tone which
a subordinate in her position so easily assumes:
"Oh ho! Is that the way it stands? Do they
again come up, the sinful thoughts about the here-
tic king and all his followers? Yes, yes, the devil
is cunning; he knows what he is about. When he
wishes to catch a little frivolous girl of the common
sort, he places before her eyes a young blooming
dandy with long and well-curled locks and cavalier
appearance. When he wishes to entangle a poor
forsaken girl with great proud thoughts and noble
aspirations, then he clothes himself in the form of
a magnificent victor, who gains castles and battles;
and little does the poor child care that the fine
conqueror is a sworn enemy to her church and
faith, and is working for the ruin of both."
Regina turned her tearful and glistening eyes
away from the sea, and looked for a moment with
distrust at the old counsellor.
" Say," said she, almost violently, " is it possible
to be at once an angel of magnanimity and a mon-
ster of wickedness? Is it possible to be at once
the greatest and the most despicable of human be-
Reo-ina as^ain looked toward the sea. The
peaceful tranquillity of the morning rested on the
glittering waters, and stilled the tempest within
her. The young girl remained silent. Dorthe
" ' By their fruits shall ye know them.' Think,
what evil has not the godless king done our church
and us? He has slain many thousands of our
warriors; he has plundered our cloisters and
castles; he has driven out our nuns and holy
fathers from their godly habitations, and the de-
vout father Hieronymus has been frightfully abused
THE SWORD AND THE PLOUGH. 165
by his people, the heretic Finns. Us he has driven
away in exile to the ends of the earth "
Again Regina looked over at the islands and the
inlets, bathed in their mild morning glory. ' When
the dark demon whispered hatred in her ears, ra-
diant nature seemed to preach only love. On her
lips hovered the transporting thought: " What
matters it if he has slain thousands, if he has
driven out monks and nuns, if he has driven us,
ourselves, into exile; what matters all this, if he is
great as a man, and acts according to the dictates
of his faith?" But she kept silent from fear; she
dared not break with all her preceding life. She
caught up, instead, one of Dorthe's words, as if to
dispel the cloud of hatred and malediction which,
with its dark mist, enveloped her heart in the midst
of this peaceful and lovely picture of a sea in the
fresh splendor of a summer morning.
" Do you know, Dorthe," said she, " that the
Finns whom you hate live on the coast of this sea?
Do you see the strip of land over there in the east?
It is Finland. 1 have not yet seen its shores, and
yet I cannot detest a country which is bathed by
so glorious a sea. I cannot think that evil people
can grow up in the heart of such a nature."
" All saints protect us !" exclaimed the old
woman, while her lean hand hastily made the sign
of the cross. "Is that Finland? Saint Patrick
preserve us from ever setting foot on its cursed
soil ! Dear lady, you have, then, never heard what
is said of this land and its heathen people ? There
an eternal night prevails; there the snow never
melts; there the wild beasts and the still wilder hu-
man beings lie together, like brothers and sisters,
in dens and caves. The woods are so filled with
hobgoblins and imps that when one of them is called
166 TIMES OF GUSTAF ADOLF.
by name a hundred monsters immediately creep
forth from the leaves and branches. And people
bewitch each other with all kinds of evils, chaiia:-
ing their enemy into a wolf; and every word they
speak becomes real, so that when they wish to make
a boat or an axe, they say the word and directly
they have what they utter."
" That is a pretty picture which you draw," said
Regina, smiling for the first time in many weeks,
for the freshness of the sea had a good influence on
her dream}'- soul. "Happy is the land where peo-
ple can create whatever they wish for with a
single word. If I am hungry and desire beautiful
fruit, I have but to say, peach I and right away I
have it. If I feel thirsty, I say, spring I and in-
stantly a spring gurgles at my feet. If I have sor-
row in my heart, 1 say, hope I and hope returns;
and if I long for a beloved friend, I mention his
name, and he stands at my side. A glorious land
is Finland, were it such as you represent it to me.
Even if we lived with wild beasts in a cave, under
the eternal snow, we would look at each other and
say. Fatherland ! and at the same moment we
would sit hand-iii-hand on the banks of the Main,
beneath the shadow of the lindens, where we often
satwhen I was a child, and the ni2:htin2:ales of our
native land would sing blithely for us as before."
Dorthe turned angrily away. The vessel now
steered its coarse between the rocks and islands,
moved with gentle speed past the outermost reefs,
of which many that now stand high above the sur-
face of the water were at that time washed by the
" What is the name of the long richly-wooded
stretch of land to the left ?" asked Regina of the
helmsman, standing near.
THE SWORD AND THE PLOUGH. 167
" Wolf's Island," answered the man.
" There you hear it yourself, dear lady," exclaim-
ed Dorthe. "Wolf's Island! That is the first
name we hear on Finland's coast, and that shows
us what we hav^e to expect."
The vessel now turned to the north, sailed be-
tween Liingskar and Sundomland, again veered
off toward the east, passed Brando, went smoothly
over the shoals which now exclude large vessels
from these waters, into Wasa's then superb harbor,
and saluted with sixteen cannon-shots the ramparts
PEASANT, BURGHEE, AND SOLDIER.
IT was decided, as a mark of re-established
friendship between father and daughter, that
when Aaron Bertila should seat himself in his
handsome cart, for a dav's travel to Wasa, Meri
should take a seat by his side, in order that she
might purchase, in town, herrings, hops, and a few
spices, such as ginger and cinnamon, which were
already making their appearance in the houses of
the wealthier peasants. Both father and daughter
had their own plans concerning that journey; but
neither wished to acknowledge to the other that it
was news from Germany that each especially
sought. Larsson had in the meantime been charged
with the general supervision over the work at home.
It was just at the time when Gustaf Adolf and
Wallenstein stood opposite each other at Nurem-
berg. Soldiers were needed more than ever,, and
Oxenstjerna wrote letter after letter from. Saxony,
168 TIMES OF GUSTAF ADOLF.
to hasten the arrival of additional reinforcements.
Notwithstanding the height of the harvest season,
the war, which was also in the heio-ht of its har-
vesting, caused a great number of the conscripts
from the neiafhborina;' villas-es to stream down to
Wasa, from thence to be transported to Stockholm,
and so on to meet Wallenstein's threatening hosts
At that time the military drill was not nearly so
complicated and difficult as now: to stand passably
well in the ranks, to rush straight upon the enemy
at the first command, to aim surely (as the East
Bothnians had learned to do in the seal-hunts), and
to hew down manfully, — these were the chief
things. And thus one can understand that many
of these peasant boys, just taken from the plough,
had sufficient time to fall with honor at the side of
their king on the battle-field of Liitzen.
The town of Wasa was then only twenty years
old, and much smaller in extent than now, not
merely on account of its youth, but also because
Korsholm fields, which belonged to the crown, hin-
dered all extension on the south side. Around the
old Mustasaari church, on the northern extremity
of KOpman and Stora streets, were a few compact
rows of newly-built one-story houses, painted red,
with six or eight insignificant shops. Along the
quays stood store-houses, and the neighborhood
around was filled with fishermen's and sailors'
huts in scattered groups — for regular plans and
straight streets were considered by the architects
of the sixteenth century rather superfluous, and the
closer people built their houses together the safer
they considered themselves in unquiet times.
A borough, as Wasa then was, regarded itself
as one common family; and as a compensation for
THE SWORD AND THE PLOUGH. 1G9
the insignificance of their own dwellings, the in-
habitants looked with a sort of pride on the high
green ramparts of Korsholm, near them on the south.
The long-credited story, confirmed by Mes-
senius, that Korsholm had been built by Earl
Birger and received its name from a large wooden
cross which was there raised both as a religious
symbol, a sign of victory, and a refuge, was founded
on the equally old tradition that the celebrated earl,
on his expedition to Finland, landed upon this very
coast. Later researches have thrown doubt upon
this story and Korsholm's origin at the same time;
but certain it is, that the fortress is very old, nay,
so old that it is scarcely remembered, save as the
remains of somethino- more ancient. It is a fact
that it has never, so far as is known, offered resis-
tance to an enemy; its situation made it unimpor-
tant to Finland's defence; and since Ulea and
Kajana castles were erected, shortly before the
time of our story, it had ceased to be regarded as
a military post. Its principal use was now partly
to afford a residence for the governor of the
northern districts, partly to lodge other crown
officials, to serve as a prison, and, together with its
appanage of land, to yield a nice income for the sup-
port of the governor. The governor of the north-
ern part of Finland, Johan Mansson Ulfsparre of
Tusenhult, who was soon after succeeded by
Colonel Ernst Creutz of Sarvelax, lived only by
intervals at Korsholm; yet it is said that his seven-
ty-year old mother. Lady Martha, ruled with a stern
hand over both castle and estate during his absence.
Between the peasants and the burghers of the
new towns there prevailed at that time an unnatural
and injurious rivalry, originating in the efi"orts of
the government to suppress the country trade for
170 TIMES OF GUSTAF ADOLF.
the advantage of the towns, and, in a singularly
narrow-minded way, i-egulate tlie exchange of pro-
duce. Therefore, when the old and powerful peas-
ant chief, with his daughter, drove in through the
country toll-gate from the I^illkyro side, a few of
the citizens nodded a greeting to the well-known
old man for the sake of his wealth; but the more
haughty among the merchants, who feared Bertila's
personal influence with the king, looked at him with
unfriendly eyes, and gave vent to their ill-feeling
in mocking words, uttered loudly enough to reach
the old man's ears.
"There comes the Storkyro peasant-king! " said
they; "and Wasa hasn't prepared any triumphal
arch! He thinks himself too good to thresh in the
barn; he means to enter the army and become
generalissimo at once. Take care! Do you not
see how ungracious he looks, his cabin majesty!
if he could have his way, he would plough up all
Wasa into a grain-field ! "
With the hot-blooded Bertila, anger was seldom
far oiF; but he concealed his resentment, and urged
forward the horse, that he might soon arrive at the
house of the sailor's widow where he generally
stayed when in town. He had not gone far, how-
ever, on Kopman street — which in our time is not
one of the broadest, but was then extremely narrow
— before it was blocked up by a crowd of drunken
recruits, who, in an ale-house near by, had inaugur-
ated their new comradeship and strengthened them-
selves for the long journey in prospect. Two
under-officers had joined the crowd as its self con-
stituted leaders, and rushed, with a bold, "Out of
the way, peasant! " toward the new-comer.
Bertila, already irritated and unable to restrain
his anger, answered the shout with a rather un-
THE SWORD AND THE PLOUGH. 171
gentle cut of the whip, which knocked off the
speaker's broad-bri mined hat with its eagle
feather. Then the fray begun. The man
ru>hed upon the peasant's cart, and the whole
crowd followed him.
"Aha, old fellow!" exclaimed' the merry ser-
geant, Bengt Kristerson, whom Bertila had so ig-
nominiously thrust out of doors in Storkyro; "now,
we have you here at our mercy, and 1 shall thank
you for your gracious treatment yesterday. Make
room, boys; the old fellow is mine; that codfish I
mean to scale myself."
Bertila was too old to depend further on the
strength of his fist, and looked around for a place
of retreat. Armed with the whip, he jumped from
the cart,- which had stopped close by the steps of
the shop, and gave the horse a cut, so that the
latter, with the cart and the daughter, cleared its
way through the yielding throng and galloped up
the street. But if Bertila had intended to seek a
refuge in the shop, he was disappointed, for the
door was shut in his face by the inhospitable
owner. The old champion, seeing escape cut off,
placed himself with his back against the shop-door
und threatened the assailants with his long whip.
" Let us thrash the proud Storkyro peasant!"
screamed a young Laihela boy, who, during the
one week that he had carried a musket, had been
able to forget his peasant name, but not his peas-
"Your father was a better man, Matts Hin-
drikson," said Bertila, with contempt. "Instead
of ranting against his own people, he helped us,
like an honest peasant, to pommel Peter Gumse's
cavalry in former days."
"Do you hear, boys?" cried one of the subal-
172 TIMES OF GUSTAF ADOLF.
terns, " the dog brags of having given brave sol-
diers a thrashing! "
"We will not allow any one to tyrannize over
"The peasant shall dance after our whip!"
"And not we after his! "
And five or six of the most excited of the sol-
diers, who had lately worn the peasant jacket
themselves, rushed to pull Bertila down from the
steps. The old man would have been lost, had not
his adversary of the day before, the jolly sergeant,
thrown himself between him and the aggressors.
"Hold on, boys!" cried Bengt Kristerson, in
thundering tones. "What the devil are you think-
ing of '? Are you honest soldiers? Do you not see
that the old man is seventy years of age — and yet
you go six against one? Ijlitz-donner-ICreutz-
Pappenheim [the sergeant had learned this potent
oath, which never failed of its effect, in the proper
school], is that war-like? What do you suppose
the king would say about it? Out of the way,
boys; the old man is mine; I alone have the right
to wash him clean. You should have seen how he
lifted me yesterday like an old glove and threw me
down the steps. It was a manly stroke, and now
it has to be repaid."
Courage and magnanimity seldom fail of their
impression. Those standing nearest willingly gave
way. The sergeant advanced to the steps. Bertila
could have reached him with the whip, but he did
not strike. He knew his people.
"Do you know what it means, peasant?" cried
the sergeant, with an air of authority which would
have become General Stalhandske himself, "do you
know what it means to throw his royal majesty's
soldier down the steps? Do you know what it
THE SWORD AND THE PLOUGH. 173
means to knock off the hat of the defender of the
evangelical faith and the conqueror of the power-
ful Roman emperor, who with his own hand has
gained fourteen battles and run his sword through
sixteen or seventeen living generals? Do you
know, peasant, if I were in your place ..."
" If I were in the place of his royal majesty's
soldier," answered Bertila, coolly, " I would respect
an honest man in his own house and a grandsire in
his old age. And if I were Bengt Kristerson, if I
had conquered the Roman emperor and run my
sword through seventeen living generals, I would
still not forget that Bengt Kristerson's father,
Krister Nilson, was a peasant in Limingo, and
fell on Ilmola ice like an honest fighter against
The sergeant for a moment seemed dumb-
founded. Then he stepped close up to his ad-
versary, and said, with a grim aspect:
" Do you know, peasant, that I could impale
you on this?" and so saying he drew his frightful
long sword half-way out of the scabbard.
Bertila looked at him coldly, with crossed arms.
"Are you not afraid, old fellow?" resumed the
conqueror of the Roman empire, evidently discom-
posed by the peasant's firm attitude.
Bertila felt his advantage.
" When did you ever see an honest Finn
afraid?" said the old man, almost smiling.
The sergeant was not a vicious man. He felt
suddenly inclined to magnanimity; his fierce mien
changed into the blustering and jovial air which
became him so well.
" Do you know, boys," said he, with a glance at
his comrades, " that the old ox has both horns and
hoofs? He might have become something in the
174 TIMES OF GUSTAF ADOLF.
world if he had been among cavaliers. Yesterday,
when they were fourteen against one — for you
must know, boys, that all fourteen of the laborers
helped to lift me on the clodhopper's back, and
then every one had marks from it — yes, as 1 say,
yesterday I would have beaten the old fellow
black and blue, had it not been for the presence
of women who sat with us at table. But to-day
we are fifteen against one; and so I propose that
we let the old man go."
"He is as rich as Beelzebub," cried some of
the crowd; "he shall treat us to a keg of ale."
Bertila drew out a little leather purse, took
some of Carl IX.'s silver coins, and threw them
contemptuously among the rabble. This irritated
the soldiers anew; several arms were raised, and
the storm threatened to burst forth again, when
suddenly the whole crowd turned and rushed down
to the harbor. Cannon-shots were heard; it was the
brig " Maria Eleonora," which saluted Korsholm.
THE ARRIVAL AT KORSHOLM.
EVERYBODY in Wasa who had life and feet
had gone down to the harbor to enjoy the
uncommon spectacle of a man-of-war. Five or six
hundred people lined the shore, rowed out in boats,
or climbed the masts of the vachts or the roofs of
the store-houses to get a better view. Two hun-