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I do not find, in fact, that it has ever done anything considerable since; which is the one sure symptom of rising. My probable conjecture rather is, that it has done (if Nature's Register, if the Eternal Daybook, were consulted) very little indeed, except dwindle into more and more contemptibility, and impotence to do anything considerable whatever! Which is a very melancholy issue of Moritz's great efforts; and might give rise to unspeakable considerations, in many a high man and many a low-for which there is not room in this place.
that manner, and see two compact bundles made of them, in the meanwhile.
Moritz, the new Elector, did not last long. Shortly after Johann Frederick got home to Weimar, Moritz had already found his death, in prosecution of that game begun by him. It is well known he had no sooner made the Electorate sure to himself than he too drew sword against the Kaiser; beat the Kaiser; chased him into the Tyrol mountains; could have taken him there, but-"I have no cage big enough to hold such a bird," said Moritz, so he let the Kaiser run; and made the Treaty of Passau with him instead. Treaty of Passau (A.D. 1552), by which Johann Frederick's liberty was brought about, for one thing, and many liberties were stipulated for the Protestants; upon which Treaty indeed Germany rested from its religious battles, of the blood-shedding sort, and fought only by ink thenceforth, till the Thirty years' War came, and a new Treaty, that of Mun
Johann Frederick, it is well known, sat magnanimously playing chess, while the Kaiser's sentence of death was brought into him; he listened to the reading of the sentence; said a polite word or two; then turning round, with "Pergamus, let us proceed!" quietly played on till the checkmate had been settled. Johann Frederick magnanimously waited out his five years of captivity, excellent old Lucas Kranach, his painter and hum-ster or Westphalia, (1648,) had to succeed. ble friend, refusing to quit him, but steadfastly sharing the same; then quietly returned (old Lucas still with him to his true loving-hearted wife, to the glad friends whose faith had been tried in the fire. With such a wife waiting him, and such a Lucas attending him, a man had still something left, had his lands been all gone; which in Johann Frederick's case, they were still far from being. He settled at Weimar, having lost electoral Wittenburg and the inalienable properties; he continued to do here, as formerly, whatever wise and noble thing he could, through the short remainder of his life: one wishes he had not founded all that imbroglio of little dukes! But perhaps he could not His younger brother succeeded: from help it: law of primogeniture, except among whom, in a direct line, come all the subsethe Brandenburg Hohenzollerns, always a quent Saxon potentates; and the present wise, decisive, thrifty and growing race, who King of Saxony, with whom one has no achad the fine talent of "annihilating rubbish," quaintance, nor much want of any. All of was not yet known in those countries. Johann them are nephews, so to speak, of Elector Frederick felt, most likely, that he, for one, Moritz, grand nephews of Duke George the in this aspect of the stars, was not founding dagger-bearded (if it rained Duke Georges"). kingdoms! But indeed it was not he, it was Duke George is, as it were, the grand-uncle his successors, his grandson and great-grand- of them all; as Albert, our little stolen boy, son chiefly, that made these multiplex divis- for whom Kunz von Kaufungen once gatherions and confusions on the face of the Ger-ed bilberries, is father of him and of them man mother-earth, and perplexed the human all. A goodly progeny, in point of numbers; soul with this inextricable wilderness of little and handsomely equipped and decorated by a dukes. From him, however, they do all de- liberal world: most expensive people--in scend; this let the reader know, and let it be general not admirable otherwise. Of which some slight satisfaction to him to have got a multifarious progeny I will remember further historical double-girth tied round them in only one, or at most two: having no esteem for them myself, nor wish to encumber anybody's innocent memory with what perhaps deserves oblivion better, and at all events is
Shortly after Passau, Moritz, now on the Kaiser's side, and clear for peace and submission to said treaty, drew out against his oldest comrade, Albert Hohenzollern of Anspach. "Albert Alcibiades," as they call him, that far-shining, too-impetuous failure of a Frederick the Great, drew out, I say, against this Alcibiades, who would not accept the Treaty of Passau; beat Alcibiades in the battle of Sievershausen, but lost his own life withal in it; no more, either of fighting or diplomatizing, needed from him; and thus, after only some six years of Electorship, slept with his fathers, no Elector, but a clod of the valley.
De Wette Lebens-Geschichte der Herzoge zu Sachsen (Weimar, 1770), i. 89.
rapidly on the way to get it, with or without my sanction. Here, however, is our third figure August the Strong.
Frederick August, the big King of Poland, called by some of his contemporaries August the Great, which epithet they had to change for August der Starke, August the Physically Strong this August, of the three hundred and fifty-two bastards, who was able to break a horse shoe with his hands, and who lived in this world regardless of expense,-he is the individual of this junior-senior Albertine Line, whom I wish to pause one moment upon merely with the remark, that if Moritz had any hand in making him the phenomenon he was, Moritz may well be ashamed of his work. More transcendent king of gluttonous flunkeys seldom trod this lower earth. A miracle to his own century, -to certain of the flunkey species a quasicelestial miracle, bright with diamonds, with endless mistresses, regardless of expense, to other men a prodigy, portent and quasiinfernal miracle, awakening insoluble inquiries: Whence this, ye righteous gods, and above all, whither! Poor devil, he was full of good humor, too, and had the best of stomachs. A man that had his own troubles withal. His miscellany of mistresses, very pretty some of them, but fools all, would have driven most men mad. You may discern dimly in the flunkey histories, in babbling Pöllnitz and others, what a set they were; what a time he must have had with their jealousies, their sick vapors, megrims, angers, and infatuations;-springing, on occasion, out of bed in their shift, like wild cats, at the throat of him, fixing their mad claws in him, when he merely enters to ask, "How do you do, mon chou?"* Some of them, it is confidently said, were his own children. The unspeakably unexemplary mortal!
He got his skin well beaten,-cow-hided, as we may say,-by Charles XII., the rough Swede, clad mostly in leather. He was coaxed and driven about by Peter the Great, as Irish post-horses are,--long miles, with a bundle of hay, never to be attained, stuck upon the pole of the coach. He reduced himself to utter bankruptcy. He had got the crown of Poland by pretending to adopt Papistry, the apostate, and even pseudoapostate; and we may say he has made Protestant Saxony, and his own House first of all, spiritually bankrupt ever since. He died
* Pölnitzl: La Saxe Galante; Memoires et Lettres &c.
at last, at Warsaw (year 1733), of an “old man's foot ;" highly composed, eupeptic to the last; busy in scheming out a partition of Poland,-a thing more than once in men's heads, but not to be completed just yet. Adieu to him for ever and a day.
One of his bastards was Rutowsky, long conspicuous in poor Saxony as their chief military man; whom the Prussians beat at Kesselsdorf,-who was often beaten; whom Frederick the Great at last shut up in Pirna. Another was the Chevalier de Saxe, also a kind of general, good for very little. But by far the notablest was he of Aurora von Königsmark's producing, whom they called Comte de Saxe in his own country, and who afterwards in France became Maréchal de Saxe; a man who made much noise in the world for a time. Of him also let us say an anecdotic word. Baron d'Espagnac and the biograghers had long been uncertain about the date of his birth,-date and place alike dubious. For whose sake, here at length, after a century of searching, is the extract from the baptismal register, found by an inquiring man. Poor Aurora, it appears, had been sent to the Harz Mountains, in the still autumn, in her interesting situation; lodges in the ancient highland town of Goslar, anonymously, very privately; and this is what the books of the old marktkirche (market-church) in that remote little place still bear:
"Den acht-und-zwenzigsten October."-But we must translate: "The twenty-eighth of October, in the year Sixteen hundred and ninety-six, in the evening, between seven and eight o clock, there was born, by the high Lady (von der vornehmen Frau) who lodges in R. Heinrich Christoph Winkel's house, a Son; which Son, on the 30th ejusdem, was in the evening baptized, in M. S. Alb's house, and, by the name Mauritius, incorporated to the Lord Jesus (dem Herrn Jesu einverleibt). Godfathers were Herr Dr. Trumph, R. N. Dusings, and R. Heinrich Christoph Winkel."* Which ought to settle that small matter, at least.
On the authority of Baron d'Espagnac, I mention one other thing of this Mauritius, or Moritz, Maréchal de Saxe; who, like his father, was an immensely strong man. Walking once in the streets of London, he came into collision with a dustman, had words with the dustman, who perhaps had splashed him with his mud-shovel, or the like.
* Cramer: Aurora von Konigsmark (Leipzig, 1836) I. 126.
man would make no apology; willing to try a round of boxing instead. Moritz grasps him suddenly by the back of the breeches; whirls him aloft, in horizontal position; pitches him into his own mud-cart, and walks on.* A man of much physical strength, till his wild ways wasted it all.
got to be August III., King of Poland; spent his time in smoking tobacco; and had Brühl for minister,-Brühl of the three hundred and sixty-five suits of clothes, who brought Frederick of Prussia and the Seven years' War into his country, and thereby, so to speak, quite broke the back of Saxony,-I think we may close our excerpts from the Albertine Line. Of the elder or Ernstine Line, in its disintegrated state, I will hastily subjoin yet a word, with the reader's leave, and then end.
He was tall of stature, had black circular eyebrows, black bright eyes,-brightness partly intellectual, partly animal,-oftenest with a smile in them. Undoubtedly a man of unbounded dissoluteness; of much energy, loose native ingenuity; and the worst speller probably ever known. Take this one specimen, the shortest I have, not otherwise the best; specimen achieved, when there had a proposal risen in the obsequious Académie Française to elect this Maréchal a member. The Maréchal had the sense to decline. Ils veule me fere de la Cadémie, writes he; sela miret com une bage a un chas; meaning probably, Ils veulent me faire de l'Académie; cela m'iroit comme une bague à un chat: "They would have me in the Academy; it would suit me as a ring would a cat,' -or say, a pair of breeches a cock. Probably he had much skill in war; I cannot judge; his victories were very pretty; but it is to be remembered, he gained them all over the Duke of Cumberland; who was beaten by everybody that tried, and never beat anything, except once some starved Highland peasants at Culloden.
ERNSTINE LINE (in the disintegrated state, or broken small).
Noble Johann Frederick, who lost the Electorate, and retired to Weimer, nobler for his losses, is not to be particularly blamed for splitting his territory into pieces, and founding that imbroglio of little dukedoms, which run about, ever shifting, like a mass of quicksilver cut into little separate pools and drops; distractive to the human mind, in a geographical and in far deeper senses. The case was not peculiar to Johann Frederick of the Ernstine Line; but was common to all German dukes and lines. The pious German mind grudges to lop anything away; holds by the palpably superfluous; and in general "cannot annihilate rubbish ;"that is its inborn fault. Law of primogeniture, for such small sovereignties and dukedoms, is hardly yet, as the general rule, above a century old in that country; which, for sovereigns and for citizens, much more than for geographers, was certainly a strange
Espagnac: Vie du Maréchal de Saxe (ii. 274, of the German Translation).
To resume and conclude. August the Physically Strong, be it known in brief then, is great grandson of an Elector called Johann George I., who behaved very ill in the Thirty-state of matters! years' War; now joining with the great Gustavus, now deserting him; and seeking merely, in a poor tortuous way, little to the honor of German Protestantism in that epoch, to save his own goods and skin; wherein, too, he did not even succeed: August the Physically Strong, and PseudoPapist apostate, is great grandson of that poor man; who again is grand nephew of the worldly-wise Elector Moritz, PassauTreaty Moritz, questionable Protestant, questionable friend and enemy of Charles V., with "No cage fit to hold so big a bird,"and is therefore also great-grand-nephew of Luther's friend, "If it rained duke Georges." To his generation there are six from duke George's, five from elector Moritz's: that is genealogy. And if I add that the son of August the Physically Strong was he who
The Albertine Line, Electoral though it now was, made apanages, subdivisions, unintelligible little dukes and dukeries of a similar kind, though perhaps a little more charily; almost within a century we can remember little sovereign dukes of that line. A Duke of Weissenfels, for instance, who had built the biggest bassoon ever heard of; thirty feet high, or so; and was seen playing on it from a trap-ladder ;*-poor soul, denied an employment in this world, and obliged to fly to bassoons!
Then, too, a Duke of Merseburg, who was dining solemnly, when the "Old Dessauer" (conqueror at Kesselsdorf afterwards, and a great rough Prussian son of Mars) broke in upon him, in a friendly manner, half drunk, with half-drunk grenadiers whom he had been reviewing; and reviewed and paraded them again there within the sublime ducal
* Pollnitz: Memoires et Lettres.
ing sadly the centuries with their stormful opulences rush past you, century after century in vain!
But it is better we should close. Of the Ernestine Line, in its disintegrated state, let us mention only two names, in the briefest manner, who are not quite without significance to men and Englishmen, and therewith really end. The first is Bernhard of Weimar; champion of Elizabeth Stuart, Ex-queen of Bohemia; famed captain in the Thirty-years' War; a really notable man. Whose Life Goethe once thought of writing; but prudently (right prudently, as I can now see) drew out of it, and wrote nothing. Not so easy to dig out a Hero from the mountainous owl-droppings, deadening to the human nostril, which moulder in Record Offices and Public Libraries; patrolled over by mere irrational monsters, of the gryphon and vulture and chimaera species! Easier, a good deal, to versify the Ideal a little, and stick by ballads and the legitimate drama. Bernhard was Johann Frederick the Magnanimous's great-grandson: that is his genealogy; great grandson of little stolen Ernst's grandson. He began in those Bohemian Campaigns (1621), a young lad of seventeen; Rittmeister to one of his elder Brothers; some three of whom, in various capacities, fought in the Protestant wars of their time. Very ardent Protestants, they and he; men of devout mind withal; as generally their whole Line, from Johann Frederick the Magnanimous downwards, were distinguished by being. He had risen to be a famed captain, while still young; and, under and after the great Gustavus, he did exploits to make the whole world know him. He "was in two
dining-room itself, and fired volleys there (to the ruin of mirrors and cut-glass); and danced with the princesses, his officers and he, a princess in your left hand, a drawn sword in your right;--and drank and uproared, in a Titanic manner, for about eight hours; making a sorcerer's sabbath of the poor duke's solemn dinner.* SachsenWeissenfels, Sachsen-Merseburg, SachsenZeitz:-there were many little dukes of the Albertine Line, too, but happily they are now all dead, childless; and their apanages have fallen home to the general mass, which does not henceforth make subdivisions of itself. The Ernstine Line was but like the Albertine, and like all its neighbors, in that respect.
So, too, it would be cruel to say of these Ernstine little Dukes that they have no history; though it must be owned, in the modern state of the world, they are ever more, and have long been, almost in the impossibility of having any. To build big bassoons, and play on them from trap-ladders; to do hunting, build opera-houses, give courtshows; what else, if they do not care to serve in foreign armies, is well possible for them? It is a fatal position; and they really ought to be delivered from it. Perhaps then they might do better. Nay, perhaps already here and there they have more history than we are all aware of. The late Duke of Weimar was beneficent to men of letters; had the altogether essential merit, too, which is a very singular one, of finding out, for that object, the real men of letters instead of the counterfeit. A Duke of SaschenGotha, of earlier date, went into the Grumbach'sche Hamdel (sad "Grumbach Brabble," consisting of wild justice in high quar-and-thirty battles;" gained, or helped to ters, by assassination or sudden homicide in gain, almost all of them; but unfortunately the street, with consequences; of all which lost that of Nördlingen, which, next to Lütthe English reader happily knows nothing), zen, was the most important of all. He had went into it bravely, if rashly, in generous taken Breisach (in the Upper-Rhine country), pity for Grumbach, in high hope for himself thought to be inexpugnable; and was just withal; and got thrown into jail for life, poor in sight of immense ulterior achievements Duke! On the whole, I rather think they and advancements, when he died suddenly would still gladly have histories if they (1639), still only in his 35th year. The could; and am willing to regret that brave Richelieu French poisoned him (so ran and men and princes, descended presumably from runs the rumor); at least he died conveWitekind and the gods, certainly from John niently for Richelieu, for Germany most inconthe Steadfast and John Frederick the Mag- veniently; and was in truth a mighty kind nanimous, should be reduced to stand inert of man; distinguished much from the imin the whirling arena of the world in that broglio of little Dukes: "grandson's greatmanner, swathed in old wrappages and pack-grandson," as I said, “ of ”Or, alas, is thread meshes, into inability to move; watch- it hopeless to charge a modern reader's mem*Des Weltberühmten Fürstens Leopoldi von ory even with Bernhard!
Anhalt-Dessau Leben, &c., (Leipzig, 1742.) Pp. surely notable to Englishmen, and much to be
Another individual of the Ernestine Line,
"1° JOHANN ERNST (1658-1729), youngest son of Ernst the Pious; got Saalfeld for his portion. The then Coburg Line died out in 1678, upon herit; arguings, bargainings; and, between Meinwhich arose great arguings as to who should inungen and Saalfeld especially, a lawsuit in the Reichshofrath (Imperial Aulic Council, as we call it), which seemed as if it would never end. At length, in 1735, Saalfeld, after two hundred and six Conclusa (Decrees),' in its favor, carried the point over Meinungen; got possession of 'Coburg Town, and nearly all the Territory,' and holds it
ever since. Johann Ernst was dead in the interim; but had left his son,
"2° FRANZ JOSIAS (born, 1697) Duke of SachsenSaalfeld,-who, as we see, in 1735, after these 206 Conclusa,' got Coburg too, and adopted that town as his Residenz; Duke of Sachsen-CoburgSaalfeld thenceforth. His son and successor
distinguished amid that imbroglio of little | Dukes, is the "Prinz ALBRECHT Franz August Karl Emanuel von Sachsen-CoburgGotha," whom we call, in briefer English, Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg; actual Prince Consort of these happy realms. He also is a late, very late, grandson of that little stolen Ernst. Concerning whom both English History and English Prophecy might say something, but not conveniently in this place. By the generality of thinking Englishmen he is regarded as a man of solid sense and worth, seemingly of superior talent, placed in circumstances beyond measure singular. Very complicated circumstances; and which do not promise to grow less so, but the contrary. For the Horologe of Time goes inexorably on; and the Sick Ages ripen (with terrible rapidity at present) towardsWho will tell us what! The human wisdom of this Prince, whatever share of it he has, may one day be unspeakably important to mankind!-But enough, enough. We will here subjoin his Pedigree at least; which is a very innocent Document, riddled from the big Historical cinderheaps, and may be comfortable to some persons:
"Ernst the Pious, Duke of Sachsen-Gotha (1601-1675), was one of Bernhard of Weimar's elder brothers; great-grandson of Johann Frederick the Magnanimous, who lost the Electorate. Had been a soldier in his youth; succeeded to Gotha and the main part of the Territories; and much distinguished himself there. A patron of learning, among other good things; set Seckendorf on compiling the History of the Reformation. To all appearance, an excellent, prudent and really pious Governor of men. He left seven sons; who at first lived together at Gotha, and governed conjointly; but at length divided the Territories; Frederick the eldest taking Gotha, where various other Fredericks succeeded him, and the line did not die out till 1824. The other six brothers likewise all founded Lines,' Coburg, Meinungen, Hildburghausen, &c., most of which soon died out; but it is only the youngest brother, he of Saalfeld with his Line, that concerns us here.
"3° ERNST FRIEDRICH 1724-1800);—and his "4° Franz Friedrich Anton (1750-1806). He left three daughters, one of whom became Duchess of Kent, and Mother of Queen Victoria: likewise three sons; the youngest of whom is Leopold, now King of the Belgians; and the eldest of whom was
"5° ERNST Anton Karl Ludwig (1784-1844); to whom Sachsen-Gotha fell in 1824;-whose elder son is now reigning Duke of Sachsen- Coburg-Saalfeld-Gotha (chief Residence Gotha); and whose younger is
"6° PRINCE ALBERT, whom we know."*
So that the young gentleman who will one day (it is hoped, but not till after many years) be King of England, is visibly, as we count, Thirteenth in direct descent from that little boy Ernst whom Kunz von Kaufungen stole. Ernst's generation and Twelve others have blossomed out and grown big, and have faded and been blown away; and in these 400 years, since Kunz did his feat, we have arrived so far. And that is the last "pearl, or odd button," we will string on that Transaction.
* Hübner, Tab. 163; Oertel, Tab. 74; Michaelis, Chur- und Fürstlichen Häuser in Teutschland, i