GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS. (1630-2.)
By Dr A. W. WARD.
Gustavns Adolphus' Elbing proposition . 190
Retrospect of his political action .191
Gustavus, Poland, and the German War . 192
Landing of Gustavus. His army .193
Gustavus and the German Protestant Princes . 194
Christian William at Magdehurg .195
Gustavus in Mecklenburg and Pomerania . 196
Hesitation of the Protestant Electors . 197
Treaty of Bärwalde . 198
Sack of Neu-Brandenburg . 199
Frankfort-on-the-Oder taken. Convention of Leipzig . 200
Beginning and progress of the siege of Magdeburg . 201
Fall of Magdeburg . 202
Destruction of Magdeburg . 203
Operations of Tilly. Hesitation of Saxony . 204
Battle of Breitenfeld . 205
Gustavus Adolphus after Breitenfeld . 206
Swedish conquest of Franconia .207
Gustavus takes up his quarters at Mainz . 208
The Saxons in Bohemia . 209
Gustavus Adolphus and Richelieu . 210
George of Hesse-Darmstadt and John George of Saxony .211
Wallenstein resumes the chief military command . 212
Wallenstein at Prague. Tilly retreats into Bavaria . 213
Death of Tilly. Swedish advance . 214
Gustavus at Munich. Negotiations with Saxony . 215
Proposals of Gustavus at Nürnberg . 216
Gustavus' and Wallenstein's camps before Nürnberg . 217
Failure of the Swedish assaults .218
Uncertain movements of Gustavus .219
Gustavus marches for Saxony .220
Battle of Lützen. Death of Gustavus . 221
Significance of his death . 222
GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS. (1630-2.)
IN the "proposition" which on May 30, 1629, Gustavus Adolphus addressed from Elbing to the Swedish Estates, and which first distinctly placed before them the plan of the great liberating expedition that has immortalised his name, he declared that to defend Sweden was to defend her faith. He won his last and greenest laurels as the champion of Protestantism, the advancement and maintenance of which had, from Gustavus Vasa onwards, been an unchanging principle of action in the Kings of Sweden. But, as the Elbing " proposition " itself indicates, it was the immediate question of the national safety which determined Gustavus Adolphus to call upon his hard-tried people for an unprecedented warlike effort. The response given by that people was, all things considered, not less heroic than the summons. For Sweden was a poor country, very heavily taxed ; and its population, including that of Finland, numbered not more than a million and a half. The King was ready at the last moment to draw back from his enterprise if his conditions were granted ; nor would he have embarked in it at all as the mere servant of a Protestant propaganda or as the swordbearer of any interests but those of his own land. He would not have done battle on German soil to suit the schemes of Richelieu, the wishes of England, or the interests of the United Provinces, or to redress the grievances of the German Princes deprived of their territorial acquisitions by the Edict of Restitution. He believed that the maritime designs of the House of Habsburg, which had been already known to his father before him, aiming as they did at the control of the Sound and the mastery of the Baltic, would strangle the national life of the kingdom which by unflinching valour and provident governance he had made doubly his. And so he went forth to carry war into the Empire, not indeed unaware of the possibility that success might carry him beyond the achievement of his immediate end, or insensible, as his great counsellor Oxenstierna afterwards phrased it, of the fundamental importance of
The plan of maritime domination which in 1627-8 Wallenstein had begun to carry out on behalf of the House of Habsburg, and which aimed at the control of the. Baltic from the Sound to the Haffs of Pomerania and Prussia, had been primarily directed against both the Scandinavian Powers, and they accordingly became allies (April, 1628), and jointly took part in the defence of Stralsund. But Gustavus, who was aware that his still unbroken power would have to bear the brunt of the struggle, fortified himself at the outset by a solemn engagement
Sweden's defensive action-as from her point of view it may still fairly be called-against that design was without loss of time seized upon by the promoters of the Grand Protestant Alliance as a proof that she must speedily proceed to the offensive. It was at this time that Sir Thomas Roe, fresh from his successful efforts at Constantinople to delay the ratification of the Peace of Szön between the Emperor and the Porte, sought to convince both Frederick Henry of Orange and Gustavus himself as to the expediency of a combined war against the House of Habsburg, of which the Swedish King should be the head (1628-9). In December, 1628, Gustavus met his Riksrâd, and, still insisting upon the dominium maris as the essential issue, obtained its assent to an anticipation of the Emperor's attack by carrying the war into the Empire. In March, by way of a preliminary measure, the island of Rügen (which Denmark was proposing to purchase from the Duke of Pomerania) was occupied by a division of the troops in Stralsund under Leslie, and gradually cleared of Imperialists.
While Gustavus Adolphus was thus revealing the design in which he was now fully prepared to engage, and at the same time offering moderate terms of peace to Poland, his proceedings were suddenly thwarted by a masterstroke on the part of his most persistent adversary. Wallenstein had from the first recognised where the chief obstacle to his and the House of Habsburg's designs was to be sought and found. In April, 1629, he despatched Arnim with a force of 15,000 men to the Polish frontier ; and Sigismund was now so strong, that, while making an abortive attempt to induce the Emperor and Wallenstein to abandon their northern policy, Gustavus had to take his departure for the seat of war. The intention was to isolate him at the very moment of his, proposed interference ; and herein also Wallenstein was successful. One of the reasons for the singularly easy terms granted to Christian IV at the Peace of Lübeck (June) was undoubtedly the wish once more to alienate the Danish from the Swedish King. At the same time an intolerable insult was offered to Gustavus Adolphus by excluding his ambassadors from the peace negotiations.
But the device, masterly though it was, proved only temporarily successful. After Sigismund's failure at Stuhm (June 17) to repulse the Swedes, he began to incline to peace ; and soon Richelieu's agent Charnace was on the spot to bring about a solution entirely in accordance with the Cardinal's policy ; Roe, who had also found his way
During his absence in Prussia, the Riksdag, in response to the royal "proposition" already mentioned, had voted the taxes, contributions, and ships demanded; and on the King's return a final consultation was held at Upsala (October 27), at which, after a most elaborate discussion of pros and cons, all the royal councillors present declared individually for the offensive. War was now solemnly decreed. The Imperial design for the mastery of the Baltic, and implicitly of Sweden itself, was once more put in the forefront ; nor can any reasonable doubt be thrown upon the truth of Oxenstierna's statement, made after his master's life had been sacrificed in the venture, that the King had regarded Pomerania and the Baltic coast as the outworks of Sweden, and had gone to war in order to secure them.
Even now he agreed to a conference at Danzig, proposed by Christian IV in his new character of mediator. But the negotiations, after dragging through the spring and summer of 1630, came to nothing ; and Christian may have been right in maintaining that Gustavus had now no desire for peace on conditions which his opponents could be expected to grant. Yet, when at last, after final delays caused by the weather, he on June 26, 1630, anchored off the island of Usedom at the mouth of the Peene in Pomerania, and during the next two days disembarked his troops, he still had good cause for avoiding anything like rashness or haste in his movements. On his fleet, in addition to 3000 marines, were 13,000 soldiers, whose numbers were soon after his landing increased by accessions from Sweden, Livonia, and Stralsund to a marching force of some 40,000 men ; while at home and in the Baltic lands in his rear he may have left behind over 30,000 more. Rather more than half of the soldiery were Swedish or Finnish by birth ; among the foreign levies the Scots were specially notable, but the Baltic lands in general, and even Brandenburg and Poland, had contributed their share. They were all welded together by confidence in their com mander, by a firm discipline, and, it cannot be doubted, by the influence of the religious observances with which that discipline was interfused. The infantry was, for the most part, armed with muskets of comparatively light weight and, in part at least, fired by flintlocks in lieu of the old cumbrous matchlocks; mounted foot-soldiers, known as dragoons, formed a complement of the cavalry, which was Gustavus' weakest arm. His strongest was his artillery, for which light iron cannon were largely em ployed ; the so-called "leather" guns fell into disuse early in the German War. Here, and throughout, extreme mobility was a leading principle of Gustavus' method of warfare, and proved a chief cause of its success.
The cost of maintaining this army, which in 1630 led to a deficit of nearly a million of dollars in the Swedish budget, was a matter of anxious forethought; and as a matter of fact the war expenditure of 1630 was diminished by half in the following year, and that of 1631 in 1632. The chief anxiety of Gustavus at the time of his landing, and the main reason for the slowness of his initial advance, was his lack of allies, either outside the Empire or within it. In the negotiations which after the conclusion of the Polish truce Charnacé had carried on in Sweden (where in February, 1630, he had had audience of the King at Västeras), some hitch had occurred, possibly due to Richelieu's sudden action in Italy. Though anxious to keep up the war with Spain, the United Provinces, besides being dissatisfied by the burden of the Swedish tolls at Pillau, now added to that of the Danish at the Sound, were unwilling to take part in a German war except by granting secret subsidies and allowing the levy of troops. England, on the point of concluding peace with Spain, was quite out of the reckoning; while Christian IV was falling back into his old attitude of hostility towards his Swedish rival, and intent upon his own ambitious designs against Hamburg. Bethlen Gabor, whose ultimate cooperation had long been a constant factor in the calculations of Gustavus, and with whom active negotiations had been carried on in 1629, had died in November of that year.
But of more immediate importance was the question of alliances within the Empire, on which the progress of the Swedish arms could not but largely depend. Although already in 1629 Duke George of Liineburg-Celle had entered into communication with Gustavus, and although early in 1630 Gustavus had sent his able secretary Philip Sattler to several of the Protestant Courts and cities, the question was obviously one of alliances, which would not be settled till the die had been cast. On July 9 the Swedish army crossed the Great Haff, and on the following day Duke Bogislav of Pomerania was obliged to admit a Swedish garrison into his capital, Stettin. His visitor then compelled him to conclude a treaty of alliance, by which his duchy and his troops were placed under Swedish control, and he paid a contribution of 200,000 dollars. Inasmuch as on Bogislav's death his duchy would pass to Brandenburg, it was stipulated that, until his successor should have accepted this treaty, or in the event of a disputed succession, Pomerania should be held in sequestration by Sweden.
In all the negotiations into which the Restltutor Germaniae (as Oxenstierna styled his master) now entered with the dispossessed Mecklenburg Dukes, with the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and with his Brandenburg brother-in-law, he showed himself resolved not only on the Pomeranian " satisfaction," but also on an "assecuration" or safeguard. This was to consist of a series of fortresses to be placed under his protection. But George William of Brandenburg, as has been seen, was now
In March, 1629, at the time of the issue of the Edict of Restitution, Wallenstein, incensed by the refusal of Magdeburg to receive and maintain an Imperial regiment or pay an accommodation of 300,000 dollars, had laid siege to the city; but after seven months he had raised the blockade, accepting, for appearance' sake, the modest payment of 30,000 dollars. Elated by this repetition of the fiasco of Stralsund, the Magdeburgers joined in an agreement formed by six Hanseatic towns to arm in common defence (November, 1629), and establish a more democratic town council. This body entered into communication with the exiled Christian William, who in his turn presented himself at a meeting of the Hanse Towns at Lübeck, and obtained from it a contingent promise of support for the Swedish cause. Finally, Gustavus Adolphus undertook to become Christian's surety for a supply of money, and to assist him as opportunity offered to recover the Magdeburg see.
Though even the new town council at Magdeburg as yet hesitated about openly promoting Christian William's return, the citizens became more and more agitated by the continued encroachments of the emissaries of the Catholic Restitution, who even ventured to affix a mandate to the door of the cathedral. Christian now contrived to make his way into Magdeburg incognito, in the company of his confidential agent Stalmann, who brought with him a commission from Gustavus, inviting Magdeburg to ally itself with him, in return for a promise of protection. Soon Stalmann revealed the presence of the "Administrator," and unfolded their plan (August 1, 1630). Christian William had in readiness a force of some 3500 men, and the Dukes of Weimar were prepared to furnish nearly as many more ; if with the aid of this force Magdeburg kept open the passage of the Elbe, and the armies of the Emperor and the League were consequently drawn to this centre of resistance, the King of Sweden must march to meet them, and round him would gather all the upholders of that Protestant cause with which the city was above all others identified. An alliance was hereupon actually concluded between Christian William, the King's agent, and the town council, against the disturbers of the spiritual and temporal peace of the Empire;
The provocation had been given prematurely; but Gustavus Adolphus was desirous of showing that he would if possible support more effective movements that might follow. On his arrival in Pomerania he found a considerable Imperial force still in control of the greater part of the country under the command of General Torquato Conti, who had taken measures for protecting the Oder against a Swedish advance. After securing Stettin, where he established a fortified camp, Gustavus took Stargard (July, 1630), and then, doubtless with a view to drawing nearer to Magdeburg, made a diversion from the line of the Oder into Mecklenburg (September). But no favourable reception was given to the proclamation which from his fortified camp he addressed to the Mecklenburgers, admonishing them in angry terms to throw off the authority usurped by Wallenstein in defiance of the law of God and the Gospel. There was little love in the land for its lawful Dukes ; and Wallenstein's administration, orderly, impartial, and expeditious, was unmistakably popular. Into Rostock the Imperialists, regardless of past compacts, had contrived to throw a garrison. The King's reinforcements from Prussia had not yet arrived ; and he did not yet feel strong enough for more extensive operations at a distance from his base. The Mecklenburg campaign therefore remained a mere demonstration (October) ; and, while Gustaf Horn invested Kolberg (which did not capitulate till March, 1631), the King resumed the campaign on the Oder. Here, less than twenty miles above Stettin, the Imperial forces, under the command of Haimbald von Schaumburg, were massed at Garz, which was connected by a bridge with the fortress of Greifenhagen, likewise in their occupation. A series of successful operations, accompanied by some hard fighting on Christmas Eve and Day, put both places into the hands of the Swedes ; and Schaumburg's army, disorganised and demoralised, and suffering terribly from the severity of the winter, hastily returned to Kiistrin, whose gates were opened to it. Thence it made its way to Frankfort-on-the-Oder, whither-or to Landsberg-such bodies of Imperialists as had remained scattered through Pomerania likewise retreated. Such was the virtual end of Wallenstein's great army of the north. The whole of the duchy, with the exception of Kolberg, Greifswald, and Demmin, was now in Gustavus' hands. The effect of this success was great with both friend and foe, and with the
During the eventful six months which had passed since the landing of Gustavus Adolphus in Usedom, the two Protestant Electors had drawn no nearer to the deliverer. John George of Saxony, though in the past two years he had been plied by Gustavus himself, by Bernard of Weimar, coming from the Hague, by the Mecklenburg Dukes, by the "Administrator," and by the city of Magdeburg, remained unmoved; and to the Magdeburgers he gave the plain advice, to remain in obedience to the Emperor. George William of Brandenburg deeply resented the hard measure which his brother-in-law had dealt out to him in Pillau. After Gustavus' landing he had asked to be allowed to remain neutral, but had been answered by a flat refusal, accompanied, however, by conciliatory assurances. Gustavus would not even bind himself to give up ultimately any places occupied by him in Brandenburg or Pomerania unless George William would become his ally. Left to his own devices by the Elector of Saxony, the Brandenburg Elector was now in the depths of irresolution, and, as to the fortress of Kustrin-on-the-Oder, issued instructions which revealed his utter helplessness.
At Ratisbon, where, as has been seen, the Electors were at this time in conference with the Emperor, the agreement at which they had arrived on the critical question of the chief military command could not bode well for any change in the policy of Restitution favourable to the Protestants. Nevertheless, the two Protestant Electors signed the letter of remonstrance addressed by the Electoral College, simultaneously with one from the Emperor, to the Swedish invader (August, 1630). But the patience of John George was not inexhaustible. When about this time he, on behalf of George William as well as of himself, applied to the Emperor for the revocation of the obnoxious Edict and was met by an arrogantly-worded refusal, coupled with a demand for aid in both men and money, he was at last found prepared with a suitable retort. His announcement of the proposed convention of Protestant Estates at Leipzig was not actual revolt, but it indicated that revolt was possible. He maintained, however, a waiting attitude, and as late as March, 1631, vouchsafed no reply to a renewed appeal from Gustavus Adolphus.
Meanwhile, the neutrality of Brandenburg had proved untenable. The successes of the Swedish arms at the close of 1630 led to a summary demand on the part of Gustavus Adolphus, first, for free transit by water
While unable to reach an understanding with the two Protestant Electors, Gustavus Adolphus arrived at a definite settlement with France. Charnacé, whose last negotiations with him had been broken off on a trivial point of form, resumed them at Bärwalde; where, though the chief difficulty was the money part of the bargain, some heat was infused into the discussion. On January 13,1631, however, a treaty of alliance between the Kings of France and Sweden was signed by their commissaries, for the protection, as it purported, of their common friends, and for assuring the security of the Baltic and of the open sea, freedom of commerce, and the restitution of the oppressed Estates of the Empire. The King of Sweden (for the treaty was practically dated as from a year back) was to conduct an army of 30,000 foot and 6000 horse into Germany, and France to pay an annual subsidy of 400,000 dollars, with an additional 120,000 for the year spent in negotiation. The alliance was to continue till March 3, 1636, and to be renewable should peace not have been concluded by that date ; but neither of the allies was to make peace without the assent of the other. The adhesion of German and other Princes and Estates was to be permitted, unless they were openly or secretly acting with the enemy-a clause intended as a warning to malevolent neutrals. With Bavaria and the League there was to be friendship and neutrality, should they incline to accept it. In all localities conquered by the King of Sweden he was to observe the laws of the Empire, and not to interfere with the exercise of the Catholic religion. To this last clause, and to that concerning the League, Gustavus had only with difficulty been induced to assent.
It will be remembered that, after Wallenstein's dismissal, the forces of both Emperor and League had been placed under the supreme command of Tilly. The removal of Wallenstein inevitably had an injurious effect upon so much of the Imperial army as had been kept under arms ; and Richelieu had taken care to close all present prospect of any reinforcements from Italy. The 12,000 troops, or thereabouts, still left of the Imperial army of the north were demoralised by want of pay as well as of success, and could clearly no longer be relied upon for the defence of Oder and Elbe. The forces of the League, on the other hand, which it was at first intended to employ for covering the lands of the west and south, were reckoned at 27,000 in the field and more than half this number in garrisons. But Tilly, after making his dispositions at Ratis-bon, waited patiently in the Weser country till his numbers should be
Immediately after the conclusion of the Treaty of Bärwalde, Gustavus, regarding the line of the Oder as temporarily closed, had, though it was mid-winter, started for Mecklenburg with a division of his army amounting to nearly 12,000 men. Before the middle of February he easily took Demmin, on the Mecklenburg frontier, and, after detaching a division to besiege Greifswald, was preparing to advance, when he learnt that Tilly was approaching Neu-Brandenburg (in Mecklenburg-Strelitz, nearly thirty miles south of Demmin), where 3000 Swedes under Kniphausen lay in garrison. Gustavus seems to have hoped to divert Tilly towards Schwedt, where the Swedes would have been nearer to their base at Stettin ; but he sent instructions to Kniphausen to conclude an honourable capitulation if it became necessary. The messenger fell into Tilly's hands, and on March 19 he took Neu-Brandenburg by storm, and put the whole garrison to the sword. "Neu-Brandenburg quarter," though it only carried out the accepted principle that no mercy need be shown to a garrison holding out after surrender has become inevitable, in its turn set a precedent soon afterwards followed at Frankfort and at Magdeburg, and thus opened a more savage epoch in the conduct of the war.
After this success Tilly stood still for some days, and then, perhaps feeling incapable of moving Gustavus from his position at Schwedt, where he continued to be in touch with the other Swedish division under Horn, marched south-west, towards the towns of Neu-Ruppin and Brandenburg. On the march he received an explicit order from Maximilian of Bavaria to lose no time in setting about the siege of Magdeburg, before whose walls and trenches Pappenheim was fretting in enforced inactivity.
No sooner was Gustavus sure of Tilly's departure than, once more leaving Horn behind to finish the siege of Greifswald (it did not fall till June), he marched with 14,000 men upon Frankfort-on-the-Oder. To secure this fortress had long been an object of anxiety to him ; but we have the explicit statement of his secretary Grubbe that his immediate purpose was to draw Tilly away from Magdeburg. Passing Küstrin without any hindrance and constructing a redoubt in face of its walls, he arrived before Frankfort, where lay a force of 5000 men, more or less, with Field-Marshal von Tiefenbach and other officers of note-the
The Convention was opened early in February, 1631, by a combative blast from the clerical trumpet. But the high-spirited Hoë von Hohenegg was on this occasion unable to carry with him his own master, or any other member of the assembly save the Landgrave of Hesse and the Weimar Dukes William and Bernard. Though, however, John George stolidly asserted that nothing need be done so long as it was not attempted to extirpate the Augsburg Confession, a statement of grievances, including of course a demand for the revocation of the Edict of Restitution, was ultimately despatched to the Emperor, accompanied by an intimation that the Protestant Estates proposed to levy troops in their several Circles, and if necessary to afford due assistance to one another. The Emperor replied by requiring the dissolution of the new association thus outlined, and soon took severe measures against some of the south-western towns that had entered into it. The scheme proceeded no further; and as to the all-important question of the choice of a leader, the King of Sweden's ambassador, though admitted to the •meeting, had been put off there with meaningless promises. Thus a possibility of combined resistance had been indicated ; but this was all. Perhaps the most interesting incident of the Convention had been a conference between Lutheran and Calvinist theologians, to which long afterwards Leibniz referred as the hopeful precursor of later attempts at religious reunion.
The particular negotiations which followed between Gustavus and the two Protestant Electors cannot here be pursued in detail ; yet the protraction of these discussions was the direct cause of the great catastrophe of the fall of Magdeburg. At last Gustavus, by means of a personal interview with George William at Berlin, supplemented by a military demonstration, secured the delivery into his hands (May 13)
The suggestion that Gustavus wished to utilise the peril of Magdeburg in order to force John George into his alliance may be dismissed as malicious. But his delay was a grievous miscalculation ; and the principal defence which he set up for it, and which other apologists have repeated, that he was bound to safeguard himself, but was prevented from effecting this by the procrastinations of the two Electors, exaggerated their real weight in the balance, and detracted from his own greatness.
On assuming the command of the troops in the city which, exclusive of the citizens, cannot have much exceeded 3000 men, Falkenberg at once introduced Swedish discipline into their ranks. Magdeburg, which numbered about 36,000 inhabitants, was well fortified except on the river side (north and north-east), where, however, the islets on the bridged marsh offered facilities of defence which were improved by Falkenberg. In the course of November, 1630, the city was invested by Pappenheim ; but during the winter months some negotiation ensued, with an equally futile attempt by Pappenheim to bribe the Swedish commander ; and it was not till the end of March, 1631, after the fall of Neu-Brandenburg, that Tilly at last sat down before Magdeburg, and the siege began in earnest. His and Pappenheim's united forces reached a total of over 22,000 foot and 3000 horse, with 86 heavy guns, besides an additional body of nearly 5000 troops near at hand at Dessau.
After Pappenheim had captured the redoubts on the right bank of the Elbe, and one or two on the left had also fallen, a pause followed, owing to the news of the capture of Frankfort and the Emperor's demand that Tilly should proceed at once to protect the Austrian lands. It was, however, resolved first to finish the siege; and on April 28 Pappenheim attacked the fortifications on the islands. By the next day all the outworks of the city were in the hands of the besiegers. On May 4 Pappenheim took possession of the razed northern suburb of Neustadt on the left bank and began erecting his batteries. On the same day, Tilly, who would gladly have preserved
Pappenheim, who led it, had already mounted the walls when Falkenberg threw himself in his way and a check resulted which Pappenheim afterwards resentfully attributed to want of proper support on the part of Tilly. But soon a gate on this side of the wall was forced; the setting on fire, by Pappenheim's orders, of a few houses increased the terror of the defenders ; through another gate the Croatians poured in ; and finally Pappenheim took in the rear the force which was resisting the Duke Adolphus of Holstein-Gottorp's assault on the south side of the city. Falkenberg had fallen, mortally wounded ; the " Administrator," Christian William, was taken prisoner. (His career was over, and he ended by becoming a convert to the Church of Rome and an Imperial pensioner.) By 1 p.m. Tilly was in complete possession of the Maiden Citys the vaunted bulwark of the Protestant faith.
Then began a massacre of the garrison, and of armed and unarmed citizens, in streets, houses, and churches. The nameless deeds of horror committed are only too well authenticated. In the course of the afternoon fire broke out in several places, and by the following morning virtually the whole of the city, with the exception of the Cathedral, the Liebfrauenkloster (where soldiers are said to have helped to extinguish the flames) and a number of houses in a remoter quarter, was reduced to ashes.
There is no evidence that Tilly interfered with the excesses of his soldiery, till on the evening of the 22nd he granted pardon to all survivors. Among these were about a thousand people who had sought refuge in the Cathedral. On the 24th Tilly commanded the stoppage of all further plundering. The charge that the destruction of the city by fire had been ordered by him is contradicted not only by his own statement but by every argument of probability. The counter-charge that it was due to Falkenberg and some who with him desired to make an earlier Moscow of Magdeburg, is more specious, but rests on no satisfactory evidence. Pappenheim's instructions early in the morning had no connexion with the general conflagration. The mystery of its origin-if mystery it be-remains unsolved. Pappenheim, who estimated-and probably greatly underestimated-the loss of life in the sack of Magdeburg at 20,000, expressed his opinion to Maximilian that no such awful visitation of God had been witnessed since the destruction of Jerusalem.
The moral impression made by the sack of Magdeburg on both friend and foe was without precedent or parallel even in the Thirty Years' War ; it remains reflected in scurrilous songs of savage triumph, in wrathful outcries, penitential psalms, and wild accusations ; it revealed itself in the amazed incredulity of Wallenstein, and in the uneasy eagerness of Gustavus Adolphus to disprove his responsibility for such a catastrophe. But its immediate effect was neither from a military nor from a political point of view overwhelming.
Even now Gustavus' relations with Brandenburg and Saxony remained to be settled. About the middle of June, after protracted negotiations, he marched upon Berlin. The Princesses of the Electoral Court, headed by the venerable Louisa Juliana, Dowager Electress Palatine, went forth into his camp; and on the 19th, with much feasting and firing of guns, his compact with the Elector was at last concluded. Spandau was placed in the King's hands for the rest of the war; Kustrin too was, if necessary, to be given up to him ; and the Elector undertook to pay a monthly contribution of 30,000 dollars.
Though Greifswald now fell and the restoration of the Mecklenburg Dukes was in progress, Gustavus, leaving part of his forces on the Oder, advanced with the rest towards the Elbe, and, after the capture of Havelberg, established himself in a fortified camp at Werben, in a very strong position between Elbe and Havel. For a moment he had thought of not passing beyond the compact territory already conquered by him ; but he soon elected to follow his star. About this time his Queen arrived at Wolgast with a fresh body of Swedish troops, part of which were united with the 6000 Englishmen and Scots levied and brought to Stettin by the Marquis of Hamilton at his own cost. But this force, like Mansfeld's of old, gradually melted away.
After the sack of Magdeburg, Tilly, uncertain as to the direction
The Elector of Brandenburg had, however unwillingly, submitted to the force of events. To the Elector of Saxony the fall of Magdeburg came home even more closely, especially when the Emperor insisted on the dismissal of the Saxon troops, as he had already enforced that of the soldiery levied in the south-west in response to the Leipzig Convention. While William of Hesse-Cassel and Bernard of Weimar, each at the head of some thousands, stood on the Hessian frontier and in Fulda, Tilly was by the end of August massing the forces of both Emperor and League at Eisleben (Luther's birthplace in the county of Mansfeld) ; and once more the destinies of the House of Wettin seemed likely to be decided, together with the great issues of the religious conflict. The ferment of opinion, which found expression in a copious pamphlet-literature, is explained by the multiplicity of considerations that pressed upon the stolid John George-his tenure of the Lusatias, his relations to the Edict of Restitution, and the conflict between his loyalty to the Emperor and the Protestant sympathies by which he was surrounded. These last found a courageous advocate in his Court-preacher, Hoë von Hohenegg, the most important personage in the Electorate next to the Elector himself. But John George listened rather to the advice of Wallenstein's former lieutenant, Arnim, now in the Saxon service, whose schemes for setting up a middle party between the Swedes and the Emperor bore some resemblance to the designs afterwards cherished by Wallenstein himself. For the present, however, Arnim advised the Swedish alliance, and by inducing Gustavus to promise his good offices for securing the archbishopric of Magdeburg to the Saxon Prince Augustus brought round the Elector. On August 30 John George offered his alliance to Gustavus, then at Brandenburg, and moved his army to Torgau. The Swedes hereupon advanced to Wittenberg ; and during September the two armies lay side by side, awaiting the sequel.
After addressing a last warning to the Elector, on September 4, he occupied Merseburg on the next day. On the 12th John George and Gustavus concluded a close offensive and defensive alliance, which secured the direction of their joint action to the King. A decisive conflict between the Catholic and Protestant armies could now no longer be delayed. On September 15 the Swedish forces, numbering 20,000 foot and 7500 horse, and the Saxon, variously estimated as between 15,000 and 20,000 men, mustered at Diiben on the Mulde.
Tilly's army of 23,000 foot and 11,000 horse was inferior in numbers to that of his enemies, and he had less than half their number (60) of guns. He would therefore have preferred, before risking a battle, to wait for Aldringer, who, with a large force from the south-west, had already reached Erfurt. But this time, not only was the usual pressure exercised on him by Pappenheim and others, but he really had no choice. Leipzig, which he entered on September 16, was almost an open town ; and when he placed himself to the north of it to await the enemy there was no time for fortifying his position. On the following day was fought the great battle of Breitenfeld, so called from the village, a couple of miles north-east of Leipzig, towards which the Swedish right wing at the crisis of the battle drove their adversaries. The incomparably superior mobility of the Swedish troops, only part of whom were actually engaged in the battle, was the main cause of the victory. Neither the charge of Pappenheim's heavy cavalry, which finally lost touch with Tilly's centre, availed, nor the rout of the Saxons on the left, whom the heavy mass of Tilly's right drove in confusion from the field, the Elector himself being carried away as far as Eilenburg. The loose formation of Gustavus' order of battle enabled him to defy the Pappenheimers, throw himself upon Tilly's left, and finally by a sudden cavalry charge from his own right retake the Saxon guns and capture Tilly's. He had thus gained a complete victory before the September evening had closed in. His losses in the battle and the pursuit amounted to barely 5000 of his own troops, besides 2000 Saxons ; of Tilly's army something like half-the numbers were variously stated from 7000 to 12,000-were left on the field or taken prisoners. The remainder rallied at Halberstadt. Tilly himself was wounded ; as was his adjutant-general, Duke Adolphus of Holstein-Gottorp, who had taken so conspicuous a part in the siege of Magdeburg. The latter died in captivity at Eilenburg.
The day of Breitenfeld, on which Tilly was widely held to have lost his reputation as a commander, suddenly raised that of Gustavus Adolphus to a height which it henceforth maintained. But it accomplished something more than this. His plans now entered into a phase which, in view of the negotiations previously carried on by him, cannot be described as altogether new, but in which these plans rapidly assumed a breadth such as they had never before reached. His thoughts now went
Of the two alternatives before Gustavus Adolphus the one was to march direct upon Vienna, while leaving Tilly to the Saxons. This course, which John George would have preferred, both as enabling him to enforce the principles of the Leipzig alliance in the west and southwest, and as sparing him a direct conflict with the Emperor, besides bringing Gustavus nearer to Poland, would have been comparatively easy of execution. But, as has been pointed out by Clausewitz in a masterly summary of the situation, Gustavus was by no means one of those generals who achieve great results by sudden blows and rapid incursions ; moreover, at Vienna, though he could have done much there for the Protestants, he could not have established for himself any secure basis either for further action or for an ultimate settlement. Such a basis he sought, and practically established, by making himself master of a line that reached from Oder and Elbe through Thuringia and Franconia by way of Frankfort to the Middle Rhine. The isolated positions still occupied by the enemy in the north were of practically little significance ; in the west he came into close touch with France. The troops of John George, which had gained no laurels at Breitenfeld, would for the present be suitably employed in the recovery of Silesia, a process which would completely estrange him from the Emperor, and furnish him with a field of operation of his own, without forwarding his design of heading a third party in the Empire.
It has been suggested that Gustavus Adolphus had yet another reason for not directing his own attack upon the Habsburg lands. There can be no doubt-though until after the close of these transactions our knowledge concerning them is drawn from the untrustworthy confession of Sezyma Rasin-that already in the earlier part of 1631 negotiations had been in progress between Gustavus and Wallenstein, and it is at least highly probable that to these dealings Arnim was no stranger. In the summer before the battle of Breitenfeld these communications, managed by Thurn and Rasin, Wallenstein's secret agent, led to a promise on the part of Gustavus that 12,000 Swedish troops should be entrusted to Wallenstein, who should be recognised as "Viceroy" of Bohemia (the title "King" not being used as yet, out of consideration for Frederick) ; Wallenstein undertaking in return to overthrow the Habsburg dominion in Bohemia, Silesia, and Moravia, and to invade the Austrian duchies. But after his great
Leaving the Saxon Elector to deal with Leipzig, Gustavus Adolphus, after concluding an alliance with the Princes of Anhalt, set forth from Halle (Sept. 27, 1631). Erfurt, where he held his entry on October 2, and where he concluded a final alliance with the Weimar Dukes, placing the command of the Thuringian reserve in the hands of the eldest, William, was to serve as base of operations for the main force (numbering about 25,000 men), with which, a few days later, the King, by way of Gotha, advanced into Franconia. On the Middle and Lower Elbe, Bauer and Tott commanded smaller armies, of which the former occupied Magdeburg as a strategical position ; whereupon the rebuilding of the town at once commenced (February, 1632). Rostock capitulated to Tott (October, 1631), who then advanced towards the Weser.
The conquest of Franconia was rapidly accomplished by Gustavus Adolphus. After taking the important Würzburg fortress of Königs-hofen, he on October 12 entered the episcopal city itself. After he had reconstructed the bridge across the Main, a struggle of several days made him master of the castle of Marienburg on the left bank, with its enormous accumulation of military supplies and ecclesiastical and literary treasures (of which latter some found their way to Upsala). The Prince-Bishop had taken refuge in France; and Gustavus, relying on his title by conquest, at once prescribed the form of homage to be taken to himself as Duke of Franconia, and to his heirs. The administration which he set up was composed of natives mixed with Swedish officers ; and of the conventual and other landed property which he proceeded to distribute the larger share went to members of the Franconian nobility who had taken his side.
The news of the Swedish progress had scattered to the winds the Frankfort " composition " meeting ; and, while the Bishop of Bamberg tried to negotiate with the conqueror, the Protestant Princes and towns near and far solicited his friendship. Nürnberg haggled long over her bargain, but by the end of October concluded, for a year in the first instance, a close alliance, as did the Margraves of Ansbach and Baireuth: all the petty Protestant Estates round about following suit. Duke George of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the north, after protracted negotiations, and the House of Württemberg in the south-which had suffered severely by the Edict of Restitution-sought and obtained the alliance of the King ; and with all Franconia, as far west as Hanau, under his control, he could enter upon the next stage of his resistless advance.
Meanwhile Tilly, who on finding that he was not pursued after Breitenfeld had turned into the much-vexed Hesse-Cassel, had been at
On November 19, Gustavus, leaving Horn behind him to guard Franconia, set out on his march towards the Rhine. Aschaffenburg was occupied without a blow ; Frankfort opened its gates, and, passing them, the King continued his march to Höchst, in the electorate of Mainz, where he was reinforced by 17,000 men under William of Hesse-Cassel. Thence he passed through the territory of William's Hesse-Darmstadt kinsman, to whom he granted moderate conditions, being at first intent on seizing Heidelberg (December). But he found the line of march much occupied by Spanish troops, and on drawing back had to dislodge them from a fortification on the right bank of the Rhine facing Oppenheim. The garrison of Mainz, upon which he now moved, was commanded by a Spaniard, de Suva. The fortress surrendered (December 20), and the city redeemed itself from being plundered by a payment of 80,000 dollars. Bernard of Weimar brought the campaign to a brilliant close with the capture of Mannheim by a stratagem (January 8, 1632).
At Mainz, the capital of one of the leading Princes of the League, which now became Gustavus' head-quarters, he established a civil administration resembling that set up at Würzburg, and prepared for his next campaign. His intention was, by means of vast armaments, to raise the forces with which he had carried on his campaigns of 1631 to more than twice their present total. But even more notable was the expansion of the general scope of his enterprise. In the course of the last operations of 1631 he had been unexpectedly brought into conflict with the troops of a Power with whom he had hitherto avoided entering into direct hostilities. But, though anxious not to precipitate a quarrel, he was prepared to face this new complication. While, therefore, mindful as ever of Sweden's maritime safety, he sent directions home that attention should be paid to the fortification of Göteborg on the Cattegat, he put the explicit question to his Riksrad whether he should treat what had occurred as a rupture of the peace and openly declare war against Spain. The Riksrâd replied that Spain must be held to have broken the peace, but that a declaration of war had better be adjourned. Yet the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs had unmistakably been added to the list of his de facto adversaries.
During the winter months of 1631-2, then, Gustavus Adolphus was preparing for the resumption of war on an unprecedented scale; but neither were the thoughts of peace now, or ever, absent from his mind. His position at this time indeed seemed that of arbiter of both war and peace. To his Court at Mainz, graced by the presence of his Queen, Maria Eleonora, whom together with the Chancellor Oxenstierna he had summoned from Stockholm, came the representatives of many Princes and of cities (Ulm and Strassburg), desirous of ratifying old alliances or concluding new; thither came too the ex-Elector Palatine, whose claims had so late as the preceding spring been still urged at Vienna by English embassies by his indefatigable agent Rusdorf, and who at Mainz was supported by Sir Henry Vane. Though received with
Of far greater moment than the wishes of England were the designs of France. Richelieu had never intended that Gustavus should take the ultimate issues of European politics into his own hands, or that after his great victory he should, instead of assailing the Emperor's dominions, invade those of members of the League, to whom an opportunity of neutrality had been expressly preserved at Bärwalde, and over whom Richelieu was most anxious to maintain his influence. Already before the battle of Breitenfeld, he had half forced Maximilian into a defensive alliance for eight years ; and after the battle, when Maximilian claimed aid in men or money, had instead sent Charnacé to Munich, to persuade the Elector to abandon the Emperor and neutrality towards Sweden. Maximilian, informed by Tilly and Aldringer of the insufficiency of their forces, and aware of the rumour of the approaching return of Wallenstein to the command of the Imperialists, in the end made up his mind for neutrality, as conducive to a general peace. Of the three Spiritual Electors, Trier at once accepted the proposal ; while Cologne and Mainz, with the Bishops of Würzburg, Worms, and Osnabrück, were at least prepared to negotiate. At a meeting of the League at Ingolstadt in January, 1632, it was, notwithstanding the protests of the Imperial ambassador Questenberg, resolved to invite the mediation of France.
Gustavus Adolphus, to whom Richelieu's agents now addressed themselves, although he was desirous of a general peace on his own terms, can only have entered into the present negotiation with the view of detaching the League from the Emperor, and of meeting the wishes of France. To the Munich proposal that the contemplated arrangement should be conditional upon his restoring to the members of the League any of their territories now in his occupation, he first returned a blank non possumus. Richelieu himself was very jealous of any encroachment by Sweden on what he regarded as the French sphere of influence-the left bank of the Rhine; and finally Gustavus offered a compromise. His conquests in the dioceses of Trier and Cologne and in the Lower Palatinate (from Bavaria) were to be restored, but all other Swedish acquisitions were to be retained till the conclusion of peace, while the army of the League was to be reduced to 12,000 men and quartered in the lands of its members. These proposals were accepted by Trier, and even by Cologne, who feared invasion, but were refused by Bavaria, who insisted on the restoration of Mainz, Würzburg, and Bamberg, and on a Swedish guarantee of Maximilian's electoral dignity during his life. The League was thus broken up, and Richelieu had in effect suffered a diplomatic rebuff prejudicial to the influence of France in western Germany.
About the same time an effort to bring about a general peace
John George of Saxony's mind too was working in the direction of peace-but of a separate peace with the Emperor, who as early as October, 1631, had begun to sound him on the subject. The channel chosen by the Emperor was Wallenstein, whose previous communications with Gustavus Adolphus were as yet unknown at Vienna. The question had been discussed (in November) between Wallenstein and Arnim, who had urged that the policy of Reaction must be abandoned by the Emperor, the status of 1618 restored, and the Bohemian question regulated afresh. These negotiations continued; and, though Richelieu sent an ambassador to John George, and the Elector another to Gustavus Adolphus (December, 1631), to discuss the general design and to propose a "composition" meeting at Nürnberg, the King saw through the Elector as he had seen through the Cardinal. At Torgau, in February, 1632, John George made a futile attempt to detach George William of Brandenburg and to bring him over to the policy of a separate peace with the Emperor, after which the King of Sweden, his task done, might be induced to withdraw with an indemnity. Gustavus, after returning a dilatory answer to his untrustworthy ally, early in March took an opportunity of delivering himself in public at Mainz on the selfishness of Saxony, and on the hopelessness of coming to terms with the enemy.
Meanwhile the Emperor, like Gustavus himself, was preparing for a renewal of the struggle in a wider rather than a narrower area. In February, 1632, Ferdinand II concluded a close alliance with the ambitious King Philip IV of Spain; and about the same time he demanded, though in vain, an auxiliary force from Poland. He could obtain no promises in Italy except from Florence and Modena, and none from Switzerland. Even Pope Urban VIII, whose policy will be examined in a subsequent chapter, adhered to his view that the war in Germany was not a religious war, as shown by the King of Sweden's abstention from interference with any man's religion. The Sultan, stimulated by Gustavus, was moving troops to the Hungarian frontier. No ally seemed to remain to the Emperor but his Spanish kinsman, unless the restless jealousy of Christian IV were to range him on their side.
Thus the refusal of Bavaria to listen to the offers which would have detached her from his side, and the manifest inclination of Saxony
In December, 1631, Wallenstein, at Znaim in Moravia, met Eggen-berg, whom he continued to trust. It was agreed that in the course of three months he should levy and equip an army of 70,000 men, but without as yet definitely assuming the command. The sound of his drums had a magical effect; but-for after all there had been many other very rapid levies in the course of the war-still more wonderful was the power of organisation, which quickly welded into an effective army a mass heterogeneous in race, religion, and antecedents of service. The genius of a great poet has with idealising touch depicted the selfishness, the savagery, and the superstition which entered into this abnormal compound, and also the force which gave it unity and discipline. In addition to Wallenstein's own vast expenditure, large sums were contributed to the cost of raising this army by the colonels of the new regiments levied, as well as by Eggenberg and other members of the Austrian nobility, and by the young King of Hungary.
Unfortunately, the written conditions under which in April, 1632, the actual resumption of the chief command by Wallenstein was settled at Göllersdorf in Lower Austria are not extant ; and the accounts of the bargain contain much that is fictitious. The power of signing treaties of peace was certainly entrusted to the generalissimo, but with limitations which according to his own statement prevented him from treating with Sweden. On the other hand, it may be safely inferred that he exacted from the Emperor the promise of a revocation of the Edict of Restitution. Perfect independence in all matters military was as a matter of course now guaranteed to him ; and an explicit promise was made by the Emperor that neither the influence of his confessor, Lamormain, nor that of any other person, should be allowed to interfere with Wallenstein's action. He had exercised the right of nominating his officers already during his earlier tenure of the chief command; but it was now provided that no other independent command should coexist with his own in the Empire ; and King Ferdinand, the Emperor's heir, was excluded from active service in the army. Still more notable was the stipulation that in lands conquered by him he should possess not only the right of confiscation, but the prerogative of pardon.
Extraordinary as these provisions are, it should be remembered that both Wallenstein's position as a Prince of the Empire and the actual nature of the political crisis placed him in relations towards the
Emperor which differed essentially from those between sovereign and servant. Moreover, impenetrable as much remains in Wallenstein's political calculations, his new agreement with the Emperor was not inconsistent with the design of re-establishing and raising the Imperial authority-though this involved affronting the pretensions on which the Electors had insisted at Batisbon, and impeding the progress of the Catholic reaction.
Wallenstein was a man of great thoughts and of aims beyond the common. But, as has been already seen, he was also a man of business. His title as Duke of Mecklenburg was now confirmed by the Emperor ; but, as his duchy was in Swedish hands, he was promised a full equivalent, and in the meantime placed in possession of the (mediate) principality of Glogau in Silesia. He was also relieved of a debt of 400,000 dollars, still owing by him to the exchequer of Bohemia from the time of his vast purchase of estates in that country.
Of the conditions of Wallenstein's military dictatorship, which were made public at the time, Richelieu afterwards recorded his opinion that it would be difficult to decide whether they were more extraordinary or necessary. From Znaim, where in April the Commander-in-Chief had mustered his army, he marched into Bohemia, where the demoralised Saxon troops retreated before his approach. As late as May Thurn sought to reopen negotiations with Wallenstein through his brother-in-law Count Trczka ; but in vain. The negotiations with the Elector John George for a separate peace were still in progress ; and Gustavus Adolphus, who was kept well informed by his special envoy at the Saxon Court, Count Philip Reinhard von Solms, was already preparing to draw near to the Electorate. On May 21 Wallenstein had an interview at Rakonitz with Arnim, to whom, by virtue of his authority to conclude treaties, he offered as the price of a separate peace the revocation of the Edict of Restitution and freedom of religion for the Saxon Electorate. At the same time he held out the prospect of an Imperial alliance to follow upon the peace. Nothing was actually concluded ; but on the following day Wallenstein easily took possession of Prague, and the Saxon army of occupation withdrew across the frontier to Pirna. It will be seen how materially these events affected the action of Gustavus Adolphus himself in the midst of his victorious course.
The campaigns of 1632, notable for a multiplicity of operations, of which only a few can be mentioned here, began in February by the capture of Bamberg by Field-Marshal Horn, who was in command at Würzburg. Being in his turn attacked by Tilly, he successfully broke out from the episcopal capital at the head of the garrison. Gustavus, who about the same time had taken Kreuznach in the Rhenish Palatinate, at once marched to Horn's assistance, and after effecting a junction with him at Schweinfurt on the Main, drove Tilly back into Bavaria towards the Danube. Here, or on the Lech, Maximilian had resolved
From Rain the Swedes without loss of time advanced upon Augsburg, which was entered upon April 24. A garrison was placed here, and a monthly contribution was promised by the Free Imperial City. Its municipal administration was entirely Protestantised, and the citizens swore an oath of " security " to the King. From a military point of view the triangle of Donauwörth, Ulm, and Augsburg, between Danube and Lech formed a position of incomparable strength. But Gustavus had no thought now of taking up a defensive position. On April 26 the advance continued upon Ingolstadt, which Maximiliaii had likewise abandoned. His only hope now lay in Wallenstein, whose aid he had urgently solicited; for his attempt at securing a recognition of his neutrality from Gustavus Adolphus through the French resident Étienne, who was well aware how unwelcome the tidings of the "Goth's" progress must be to Richelieu, broke down on the demand of disbandment. But the siege of Ingolstadt proved more difficult than had been foreseen; and on May 1 Gustavus pushed on towards Landshut, which soon fell into his hands.
At this point some uncertainty was introduced into the King's movements by the news from Saxony and Bohemia, which at first induced him to march in the direction of Nürnberg. When, however, an advance of Wallenstein into Bavaria seemed probable, the King turned back once more, and the march on Munich continued. About the middle of May-the precise date is disputed-Gustavus Adolphus entered the Bavarian capital, leaving his troops outside. A heavy requisition (three or four hundred thousand dollars) was imposed upon the town, but only the payment of part exacted ; and even Maximilian's palace was spared, the chief spoil being the Elector's celebrated collection of cannon in the arsenal. The stay of Gustavus in Munich was cut short by the news of untoward occurrences in the west. The Elector of Trier had secured "neutrality" by accepting the protection of France and yielding up to her his fortresses, including Coblenz. But his Chapter had called in a Spanish force which seized Speier, and advanced into the Palatinate. Notwithstanding the disturbed state of the southwest, to which the Dukes of Lorraine and Orleans were preparing to contribute, Gustavus had once more to march back upon Nürnberg ; for the tidings had reached him of Wallenstein's entry into Prague, and of Arnim's withdrawal across the Saxon frontier (end of May).
The King was necessarily much disturbed by the news of the Rakonitz interview and its consequences ; but his ambassador at Dresden was in answer to his complaints told that the Elector himself attached no importance to the negotiations of his field-marshal with Wallenstein, and that he hoped for a junction between Gustavus' army and his own at Leitmeritz. Deception was in the air, and the King, Arnim's policy being also that of his master, was so fully persuaded that the conclusion of a separate peace between Wallenstein and the Saxons was impending that he took measures for eventually buying over Saxon officers to the Swedish side. On the other hand, Wallenstein may not have intended to deceive the Saxons, for at this time he might still hope to oblige the Emperor to accept his policy. On June 23 a special envoy from Gustavus arrived at Dresden in the person of Count Palatine Augustus of Sulzbach, who laid before the Elector a series of proposals on the part of the King. They are largely identical with the famous programme put forward by him about the same time at Nürnberg ; and nowhere is a clearer indication to be found of his political intentions when he stood at the very height of his military successes.
A preliminary demand extremely distasteful to John George, who had always shown a strong aversion from his brother Elector, was the restoration of the unfortunate Frederick. The Swedish " satisfaction " was evidently susceptible of reduction, but ultimately Pomerania would clearly be insisted on ; while some kind of supremacy was claimed by the King over the Catholic lands conquered by him. But the most startling proposal, at least from the Saxon point of view, was the formation
We are not informed as to the close of the negotiations at Dresden about these proposals; but the mission of Augustus of Sulzbach was so far successful that the Elector promised to have no further dealings with Wallenstein unless with the King's consent, and on June 28 signified to Wallenstein that he had broken off the negotiations. On the other hand, the Elector promised to unite his troops with the Swedes ; Arnim betook himself to Silesia ; and Wallenstein, having, in the last days of June, effected a junction with the Bavarian troops, headed by Maximilian himself, at Eger, marched with them upon Franconia.
Their advent here had been anticipated by Gustavus Adolphus. When forced to change his plan of action, he had left Banér and Bernard of Weimar behind him to hold Bavaria and Swabia and started on his long march with an army of not more than 18,000 men. On June 18 he reached Fiirth on the Regnitz opposite Nürnberg. He now sent the experienced diplomatist Sattler, and Chemnitz, the historian of the Swedish War, to ascertain the views of the Nürnberg authorities on the twofold question of a general and a separate peace. His propositions, though with variants of some importance, were in substance those which he had laid before the Saxon Elector ; and in the discussion, of which notes are preserved, his emissaries argued in favour of a corpus evangelicorum under a qualified capo. In other words, Gustavus Adolphus aimed at becoming the head of a confederation which would have included all Protestant Germany. Although we do not know the limits to which he intended that his control might, permanently or temporarily, extend, this formed design on his part is of the very highest importance-far exceeding even that of Sattler's incidental statements as to what his master was prepared to do, should he in course of time be elected Roman King or Emperor. This was not the present issue, though it was nearer to the domain of practical politics than when, during the winter negotiations at Mainz, Richelieu is said to have dropped a hint in the same direction ; and we have Oxenstierna's statement that his sovereign had no such end in view Of immediate significance at the present moment was his eagerness to secure the towns, more especially the great towns, of the south-west. If they adhered to him-and it will not be forgotten how close already were the bonds which united to him the Hanse Towns of the north-the Princes, so he averred himself, would soon follow. The Nürnbergers,
But his intention of crushing the Bavarians before their junction with Wallenstein was frustrated ; though, moving on from Forth, he occupied the road leading from Ratisbon to Eger by Amberg and Weiden. The Bavarians had already reached Eger ; and, massing his forces, Wallenstein was clearly desirous of waging a decisive conflict (June). That, with forces scattered over so wide an area, Gustavus should exhibit some uncertainty in his movements was inevitable ; but after he had resolved in his turn on giving battle at Nürnberg, the energy with which he concentrated his forces is extremely remarkable. Before the actual conflict he more than doubled his numbers, raising them to little short of 48,000 troops, as against more than 60,000 enemies. The latter estimate, however, is very uncertain, because of the extraordinary numbers of non-combatants-15,000 men it is said and as many women-comprised in Wallenstein's army.
After falling back on Nürnberg, and marking out a camp for his forces on the western and southern sides of the city, Gustavus paused to await both the arrival of the enemy and that of his own reinforcements. The fortifications of Nürnberg itself were strengthened, and the citizens cheerfully prepared for the defence, contrasting-if we may attach credit to a song of the day-their own hopefulness, as they beheld their " father " and his " heroes " in their midst, with the desolation of Magdeburg when her fate was upon her. By the middle of the month Wallenstein had taken up his position in a vast fortified camp which extended on the left bank of the Regnitz as far as Fürth immediately opposite Nürnberg, and faced the main Swedish position from heights covered with batteries. The Swedes had failed in all their attempts to prevent the construction of the vast camp which threatened an effective blockade of the city and of the Swedish camp at its gates. Within the walls the signs of famine were already at hand ; for the town was crowded with fugitive peasantry ; and the ravages of disease were spreading among the Swedish soldiery.
Soon after the middle of August, however, Gustavus had gathered his forces, Wallenstein, strangely as it was thought, hazarding no interference with the arrival of the service contingents. The most important of these was that brought by Oxenstierna from Rhine and Mosel, with which, after effecting a junction with the troops of Banér and those of William of Weimar, he had reached Nürnberg on August 20. All was now ready for a decisive struggle.
On August 31, the Swedish army was drawn up in fighting order
The King frankly confessed to the Nürnbergers the failure of his great effort, but the preparations in which he engaged for constructing another camp showed that he had as yet no design of moving. Hereupon he once more tried negotiations with the adversary whose resistance had at last stayed his victorious course. The intermediary was the Imperialist general Sparre, one of Wallenstein's former agents, who had been taken prisoner by the Swedes. Thurn, too, and the Bohemian agitator Bubna were in the King's camp, and may have contributed to complicate the situation. But the proposals of Gustavus, placed on record by Oxenstierna, were both clear and moderate. Pomerania and the dignity of a Prince of the Empire were to be the King's own " satisfaction " ; the Elector Palatine was to be restored, but so likewise was the Elector of Mainz; Saxony and Brandenburg were to be compensated by Magdeburg and Halberstadt ; Wallenstein by a duchy of Franconia. The Emperor was to guarantee these arrangements. But Gustavus' offer of a conference on the question of peace, to be held in the sight of both armies, was declined by Wallenstein till he should have referred the proposal to the Emperor. (It was actually referred to him, and an indecisive answer came two months afterwards.) As we know from Oxenstierna, the impression left on Gustavus by the apathetic bearing of Wallenstein was that no settlement remained possible between them but war to the knife.
Meanwhile, though Gustavus had pressed forward the entrenchments, the lack of provisions was becoming serious on his side ; and Wallenstein was in his turn being pressed by those around him to assume the offensive. But he was still immovable. At last the King, in order if possible to "draw the fox," resolved on abandoning his position. Placing a garrison of nearly 5000 in Nürnberg, and sending a formal challenge of battle for the morrow to Wallenstein, he broke up his camp on September 18. Three days later, after the Swedes had reached Neustadt (near Coburg),
Wallenstein also broke up his camp, and, burning down the villages round Nürnberg, marched north.
The course now pursued by Gustavus Adolphus is open to much criticism; nor can it be denied that his wonderful versatility and buoyancy at this time began to resemble a hazardous mutability of design. It should, however, be noted that the plan on which he now resolved had the persistent approval of Oxenstierna, who so often, as he told the King, had occasion to pour water upon his fire. Gustavus determined on returning to Swabia, and thence, moving down the Danube, to invade the Austrian lands, where he reckoned on being supported by a rising among the sturdy peasants of Upper Austria, of whose continued unrest satisfactory assurances had reached him. Wallenstein, the King seems to have calculated, would by such a movement be drawn out of Saxony ; and in the meantime he ordered a Swedish force under D u wall from the Brandenburg side to join Arnim, who now had 16,000 men under his command. If, however, it proved necessary to furnish Saxony with further assistance, this task was to fall to Bernard of Weimar, who was placed at the head of the force in Franconia during the illness of his elder brother, William. Yet, when Bernard proposed to move forward on his own account, the King showed much displeasure. He had once more modified or postponed his plan of action ; and after crossing the Danube at Donauwörth, and recapturing Rain, halted at Neuburg, with the intention of continuing his march to the Lake of Constance (October). Here at last definite news reached him of Wallen-stein's movements, and an interval of high-strung expectation ended in clear and firm resolve.
Notwithstanding the doubts of Gustavus, who remembered the old dealings with Arnim and his master, Wallenstein had never hesitated in his determination to crush the Saxons, after Gustavus had himself failed to come to their aid. Against Arnim, Maradas had led an Imperialist force from Bohemia ; and, in the middle of August, Field-Marshal Hoik had by Wallenstein's orders broken into the south-west of the Electorate, and finally carried his raids as far as the neighbourhood of Dresden. Hoik, a Dane and a Lutheran by birth and breeding, who had formerly served against Wallenstein at Stralsund, by the brutal excesses of his flying column earned for himself in the Erzgebirge and its near neighbourhood a long-enduring infamy. In September Wallenstein detached Gallas with a force of from 10,000 to 12,000 in Hoik's wake ; and, in the middle of October, the Bavarian troops having marched south to operate nearer home against the Swedes, himself approached by way of Thuringia, and after effecting a junction with both Hoik and Gallas, reached Leipzig. Both town and castle (the Pleissenburg) after a show of resistance capitulated. The Commander-in-Chief was here also joined by Aldringer, with a division from Bavaria, and by Pappenheim, who during the greater part of the year had been carrying on successful
Sure at last of Wallenstein's purpose, Gustavus determined upon keeping his promise to the Saxon Elector. The intentions of John George may even now have seemed doubtful to the King ; but whether Wallenstein were to crush Saxony, or whether it were to lapse -into neutrality, Gustavus, as he seems now to have fully recognised, would be placed in an impossible position. His way home would be blocked, his tenure of Pomerania imperilled by the "Duke of Mecklenburg," and the freedom of the Baltic might once more be threatened by the Imperial Commander-in-Chief. If so, where was he to look for allies? Denmark's jealousy was stronger than ever. The desire of the United Provinces for peace grew with the revived ambition of Spain to take part in the war. He could place no trust in English diplomacy, which in the person of Sir Henry Vane continued to occupy itself with the subsidiary question of the restoration of Charles I's brother-in-law. Even France, while leaving the subsidies promised at Bärwalde unpaid, was alike intent upon her own operations on the Rhine, and undesirous of making Gustavus the arbiter of the German War. His progress had reached a stage of great difficulty, and we know for certain that in these closing weeks of his career of conquest his mind was much occupied with what had been his primary concern when he had opened his German campaigns- the problems of safeguarding the destinies of his own Swedish kingdom.
On October 17 the Swedish army reached Nördlingen ; and on the 24th Gustavus rode into the faithful city of Nürnberg, there to confer with Oxenstierna on the situation. The Chancellor was to remain as the King's plenipotentiary in southern Germany, with instructions to summon to Ulm a meeting of the Swabian, Franconian, and two Rhenish Circles, which should there renounce their allegiance to the Emperor, accept the King's "direction and protection," and order a general excise towards the prosecution of the war. The Chancellor received the King's instructions as to the government of his daughter and heiress, Christina, should his death take place during her minority. At Erfurt Gustavus bade farewell to his Queen, and on November 11 he reached Naumburg, about nine miles from Weissenfels. After the Hessians and the Weimarers had joined him, his force is reckoned to have amounted to 19,000 foot, with 6500 horse and 60 guns.
The troops of John George of Saxony and Duke George of Luneburg were not on the spot. Arnim, who commanded the Saxon forces that were still in Silesia, was busily negotiating according to his wont. But with all his coming and going, Gustavus1 urgent entreaties could not induce the Elector to do more than order two regiments of horse to march south with the Luneburg troops. None of these, or of the Saxons, appeared on the field of battle.
To keep in touch with Pappenheim, Wallenstein moved back his main army on Merseburg and Lützen, and by this movement induced Gustavus to advance. On the evening of November 15 the Swedes stood on the border of the great plain which opens east of the Saale upon Lützen, Markranstädt, and Leipzig-in this war, as in the Napoleonic, the chosen battle-field of the nations. On the morning of the 16th, in a November fog, the battle of Lützen began. The high road to Leipzig had been entrenched by Wallenstein and was defended by artillery. Behind it stood his army, in three lines of battle, with cavalry on either wing ; upon it the Swedes advanced in their lighter formation of two lines, the King and his blue and yellow guards on the right ; Bernard of Weimar (but as to this the accounts differ) in command on the left. About ten o'clock the fog for a time dispersed, and the attack, led by the King in person, began. Notwithstanding a charge of Ottavio Piccolomini's cavalry, the Swedes had taken the battery on the road, but they were driven out again ; and, as the fog thickened, Gustavus, hastening to the assistance of one of his regiments, was momentarily isolated and carried among the enemy's cavalry. His horse received a wound, and then he was wounded himself, whereupon he begged the Duke Francis Albert of Lauenburg to help him from the field ; but the Duke fled. A royal page (Leubelfing) remained by the side of his master, when some troopers rode up and put an end to his life. His body was found naked, and covered with wounds. The supposed foul play on the part of the Duke of Lauenburg is an exploded fiction.
This happened about noon. But the battle continued to rage till nightfall. So soon as the King's death became known the command of his army was taken over by Bernard of Weimar. Pappenheim, whose cavalry now intervened in the battle, was in his turn mortally wounded; he died next day at Leipzig. After the Imperialists had recovered their batteries on the high road, they were finally driven out by the valour of the Swedish infantry ; but nearly the whole of the Yellow Regiment was destroyed in the process. Late in the evening, after making a last attempt to rally his yielding troops, Wallenstein ordered retreat to be sounded, and Leipzig was reached in the course of the night. He had left 6000 dead on the field, the Swedes 4000. The stern judgment afterwards held by Wallenstein at Prague, when he magisterially distributed capital and other punishments as well as large pecuniary rewards, seems to indicate that he had no choice but to retreat. Yet
The death of Gustavus Adolphus, at the height of his fame and almost at the height of his power-when still in the prime of life (he was not yet thirty-nine years of age) and full of aspirations which, marvellous as his career had been, were still unsatisfied-struck the world with awe, and was fitly moralised by Cardinal Richelieu, the man who best knew how to turn the event to political account. The full significance of the removal of such a personality from the very midst of the scene of military as well as that of political action it would be almost impossible to overestimate. He was great, not only because of what he achieved, but of what he set himself to accomplish. Oxenstierna may have been warranted in asserting that his master intended to be Emperor of Scandinavia, and to rule over an empire comprising all the Baltic lands. He certainly meant Sweden to be made impregnably strong, and left free to hold to the faith which she had chosen. Thus, as the simple triplet on the stone at Breiterifeld avers, he saved religious libei'ty for the world. He did so consciously, and not as a mere consequence of his political designs. To the fulfilment of his purpose he brought the gifts of a born ruler of men, as well as those of a great general and a great statesman. Cast in heroic mould, of commanding stature and fair-haired (re d'oro), he was a Swede every inch of him. Affable, free of speech, full of wrath if discipline were broken or disaster provoked, he was the comrade of his soldiers, by whose side he fought and prayed. He was at the same time a master of military detail; his reforms were grounded on experience, and his tactics inspired by the prescience of victory. He had been carefully trained in the art of government, and besides being able to speak eight languages, and interested in letters and learning, was versed in the administrative business of his own country and capable of understanding the political systems of other lands. He was an adept in negotiation ; he was proof against the diplomatic insinuations of Wallenstein, and met as an equal the statecraft of Richelieu. His occasional political miscalculations and his strategic mistakes-not always easily distinguishable from one another -were almost invariably redeemed by his courage and resource ; but the foundation of his strength lay in his unfaltering conviction that his cause was that of his country and one of which God had charged him with the defence.