Schiller. The Thirty Years War

This etext was produced by David Widger




Translated from the German




The present is the best collected edition of the important works of Schiller which is accessible to readers in the English language. Detached poems or dramas have been translated at various times since the first publication of the original works; and in several instances these versions have been incorporated into this collection. Schiller was not less efficiently qualified by nature for an historian than for a dramatist. He was formed to excel in all departments of literature, and the admirable lucidity of style and soundness and impartiality of judgment displayed in his historical writings will not easily be surpassed, and will always recommend them as popular expositions of the periods of which they treat.

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

THE HISTORY OF THE REVOLT OF THE NETHERLANDS was translated by Lieut. E. B. Eastwick, and originally published abroad for students' use. But this translation was too strictly literal for general readers. It has been carefully revised, and some portions have been entirely rewritten by the Rev. A. J. W. Morrison, who also has so ably translated the HISTORY OF THE THIRTY YEARS WAR.

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

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

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

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

The translation of MARY STUART is that by the late Joseph Mellish, who appears to have been on terms of intimate friendship with Schiller. His version was made from the prompter's copy, before the play was published, and, like Coleridge's Wallenstein, contains many passages not found in the printed edition. These are distinguished by brackets. On the other hand, Mr. Mellish omitted many passages which now form part of the printed drama, all of which are now added. The translation, as a whole, stands out from similar works of the time (1800) in almost as marked a degree as Coleridge's Wallenstein, and some passages exhibit powers of a high order; a few, however, especially in the earlier scenes, seemed capable of improvement, and these have been revised, but, in deference to the translator, with a sparing hand.

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

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


Book I.

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

Book II.

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

Book III.

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

Book IV.

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

Book V.

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


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