Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

from this country. Here, also, arose that father of modern prophets, the singularly, original Joseph Behmen, who was a native of Upper Lusatia, born in 1577 of poor and illiterate parents, by whom he was brought up in such ignorance that, till he had attained his twentieth year, he had not even learned to read. Behmen's first and last studies were the Scriptures : it is even pretended that, when his Aurora was published in 1610), he had never looked into any other volume than the Bible; but it is evident, from the language of that fantastical work, that he had been addicted to the wri. tings of astrologers and alchemists, whose crabbed jargon was strangely amalgamated with his own mystical absurdities. At the period of Frederic's arrival in Bohemia, mystics and seers were become familiar. The harp of prophecy vibrates spontaneously in seasons of national commotion. A few years after, the same spirit was afloat in Britain, where superstition and fanaticism equally abounded; but where it was powerfully counteracted by the spirit of commerce, the industry, energy, and intelligence derived from civil and municipal institutions.

The character of Bethlem Gabor, so differently represented by contemporary writers, is sufficiently illustrated by the history of Frederic. In policy or subtilty, this chief was inferior to none of his contemporaries ; but was, perhaps, afterwards' surpassed by Cromwell. His acquisitions in learning have been overrated by Harte, since it appears, from the Ambassades d'Angouleme, that he had but a smattering of Latin, and knew only his mother tongue: he was fond of theological disquisitions : either felt or affected vehement zeal for Calvinism; yet was sufficiently rational to tolerate persons of another faith. He had frequent correspondence with the Porte; and, shortly after Frederic's coronation, concluded a treaty with the reigning Sultan, by whom he was addressed in the following singular style: “ I, Sultan Soliman, by the

grace of God, Emperor of the Turks, swear by “the Almighty, by him who is holy in his might, and

mightiest in his holiness, by the immensity of his “powers in the universe, by the sun, by the moon, by “ the stars, by this earth, and the shadows of earth, by “ the eye-brows of her who bore me, by the bread that “ sustaineth me, by the sword of my right hand, by all

my faculties of body and soul, by the holiest Maho

met, by all the symbols of beatitudes and oinnipo“ tence, that I acknowledge thee my brother, thee,

my son, even thee, Bethlem Gabor, to be King of “ Hungary, whom I never will forsake in the hour of “ need; and I devote myself, and my state, and my “ power, to thy defence; so that, though I should be “ left, peradventure, with but two or four Turks to up“ hold this crown, even with these few will I not shrink 6 from the vow I have vowed, or draw back from the “ pledge I have given, to protect thee and thine, and “ to further thy designs, whatsoever they shall be. “ If I forfeit this pledge, let the wrath of God light “ on my head ; let me be utterly destroyed and blot“ ted out ; let the eternal transmute this body to stone ; « let the earth open wide its jaws to swallow me from « sight, so as that there shall be neither vestige nor record of me or my armies among the sons of men.“ From our Imperial Court at Constantinople, Novém"ber, 1619.

In the account of Elizabeth's reception, the Author omitted to mention a book no less remarkable, and still more rare, than the quarto journal published at Heidelberg in 1613, and which contains a minute detail of all the pageantry displayed by the good town of Frankenthal in honour of their sovereign lady: but the most striking passage in this work is a French sonnet addressed to Frederic, which intimates the

general expectation that he was destined to ascend a regal or even an imperial throne. At the entrance of the first triumphal arch through which the royal couple passed stood a young boy, elegantly attired, who saluted them with the following lines

“ Te puissions nous voir, ô prince valeureux,

Les cheveux tout grisons estre pere et grand pere

De tres nobles enfans, qui nous soyent pere, et mere, Et du peuple Germain, Empereurs bien heureux. Te puissions nous voir, ô prince vertueux,

Vivre bien longuement, et exempt de impropere

A l'empire Germain les ordonnances faire Suyvant de les ayeuls, les pas victorieux.

“ Te puissions nous voir, ô prince magnanime

Tenir de fiers Romains, l'universel regime,

Et tout peuple marcher dessous les estandars.
Te puissions nous voir, o prince debonnaire,

A l'antechrist Romain rendre le droit salaire,
Et nous faire en tel cas devoir des vieux soldats."

END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.

LONDON :
Printed by A. & R. Spottiswoode,

New-Street-Square.

« ZurückWeiter »