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physiognomy; but the powerful glance of his deep-set eyes was softened and shaded by an expression of settled melancholy. He saluted right and left with much urbanity, proceeded to the upper end of the hall, and stood with folded arms and abstracted gaze, evidently unconscious of the passing scene.

"That is a personage of high rank," I observed; "but it cannot be the king. I have understood that Gustavus is robust in person, and has a full and jovial countenance."

"That field-officer," replied the subaltern, "is the king's right arm, the admirable Gustavus Horn whose division was immediately opposed to Tilly in the battle of Leipsic. He is at once a terrible warrior and a noble minded man. I could relate many instances of his humanity and forbearance."

"But why," said I, "that expression of sadness in his countenance?"

"He has recently lost an excellent wife and two lovely children," answered my companion," by a contageous malady. He clasped their dead bodies in a long embrace, and sent them in a silver coffin to Sweden for interment. But you must not overlook the Chancellor Oxenstiern, the tall and majestic figure approaching Gen. Horn. Observe his fine open countenance, exactly what the Italians call a viso sciotto. He is no Cardinal Richelou-no Machiavel; and yet as cunning as the devil. He is of a mild and tranquil temperament, and affords a noble proof that an honest man may be a clever fellow. Observe how cordially he presses the hand of his son-in-law, and endeavors to console him. The wife of Gustavus Horn was his favorite daughter, but his grief for her loss is not outwardly visible. The king, who is a man of quick feelings, could not refrain from remarking this singular composure on so trying an occasion, and called him cold-blooded animal. But what think you was the chancellor's reply? If my cold blood did not occasionally damp your majesty's fire, the conflagration would become inextinguishable.' Gustavus did not hesitate a moment to acknowledge the justice of the remark, nor does any man in Sweden better understand the value of Oxenstiern's cool judgment and comprehensive understanding. Had the chancellor's feelings been more acute and obvious, his mind would have been proportionably deficient in that consummate power and self-balance which have enabled him to accomplish so much for his king and country. Look at that impetuous young soldier, who is striding rapidly up the hall-I mean the one whose locks are combed half over his forehead, after the newest mode, instead of being brushed upwards in the lion-fashion, like the hair of Gustavus and the chancellor."

"Hah!" I exclaimed, "that is my own illustrious sovereign, Prince Bernard of Weimar. I have often met him when we were children, on the stairs of Luther's tower near Eisenach, and he always honored me with a friendly greeting. He has shot up into manly strength and beauty; and, if I read correctly his impatient gesture and flashing eye, he is a man of daring and impetuous character."

"Right!" answered the subaltern. "He is young and inexperienced; but there are within him all the elements of another Gustavus. Observe how eagerly he approaches Gen. Horn, and how cordially he embraces him. The General has many claims upon the esteem of this headlong youth, who has sometimes in the field dared to dispute the judgment and the orders of the veteran commander; but at length saw his errors, and redeemed them nobly, by proving himself

soldier enough to submit to his superior in rank, and man enough to acknowledge in public his own rashness and inexperience."

"Who is that grave-looking field-officer," I enquired, "who has just entered, and is so cordially saluted by every one?"

"Ah, my good and reverend sir!" exclaimed the old man, "you see there a striking proof of the advantages of war over peace, and especially in the Swedish service. In peaceable times the signal merits of that man would not have raised him from obscurity. He is Colonel Stalhaus, a Finlander. In his youth he was a footman, and now he is the equal in military rank, and the personal friend of Duke Bernard. But he is a highly-gifted man, and, amongst other occomplishments, is well acquainted with the English language. He gained this knowledge when in the service of Sir Patrick Ruthven, and it has enabled him to render some valuable aid to the king, who speaks German, French, Italian, and Latin, as fluently as his native tongue, but is ignorant of English."

My companion was here interrupted by the loud cheers of a numerous assemblage in the castle-yard. The window being immediately behind us, we had only to reverse our position to obtain a good view of the spacious enclosure, crowded with a dense mass of human beings. The pressure was terrific, and yet no soldiers were employed to clear the way for the approaching monarch and his retinue. The assembled people showed their sense of this forbearance, by uncovering their heads, and giving way respectfully as he advanced. I now beheld a large man, on horseback, plainly attired in a suit of grey cloth. He had a green feather in his hat, and was mounted on a large spotted white horse, of singular beauty and magnificent action. I required no prompting to tell me that this was the Great Gustavus.


Behold," exclaimed my cicerone, "how slowly he rides across the castle-yard. He is afraid that his mettlesome courser may injure the thoughtless children perpetually crossing his path; and, being nearsighted, he shades his eyes with his hand."

"The king is very plainly attired," I remarked; "but a man so distinguished by nature needs not the aid of dress. His features are finely moulded and full of dominion; but his person, although majestic and imposing, is somewhat too corpulent."

"Not an ounce too much of him," replied somewhat abruptly the subaltern. "He is not a heavier man than the heroic Charlemagne, or Rolf the Galloper who founded the powerful state of Normandy; and, in activity of body and mind, he is, at least, their equal."

Unwilling to irritate this partizan of Gustavus by pursuing the subject, I remarked the uncommon beauty of the king's horse.

"A fine horse," he replied, "is the hobby of Gustavus, and by the indulgence of this foible he has too often exposed to imminent peril a life on which hinges the fate of Protestant Europe. On all occasions, and even in important engagements, he persists in riding horses easily distinguishable from all others. A few days before the battle of Leipsic, a horse-dealer brought into the camp a noble charger, very peculiarly marked and coloured. This fellow was a spy employed by the base and cowardly Austrians, who calculated that. Gustavus would ride this fine animal in the approaching engagement, ar become an easy mark for their bullets."


"And who," I inquired, "is that broad-shouldered hero,with a clear, dark complexion, accompanied by a fine youth in the garb of a student?"

"That man of bone and muscle," he replied, "is the brave and


chivalrous Banner, a name admirably characteristic of the man. is truly a living standard, and, in the wildest tumult of the battle, stands firm as a castle-tower, rallies around him the bewildered soldiers, and leads them on again to combat and to victory. His noble daring cannot, however, be unknown to you. How much I regret that I cannot show you those valient soldiers, Collenburg and Teufel. Alas! they fell on the field of Leipsic. That fine-looking youth," he continued, in a whisper, "is a natural son of the king, born, however, before his marriage. Such an accident may happen to the best of men in the days of youthful riot; and to kings, who are greatly tempted, we should be greatly tolerant. When Gustavus married, he undertook, in good faith, to become the husband of one woman, and he has eyer been a model of conjugal tenderness and fidelity."

During these details, the king had entered the hall, and taken a chair upon a raised platform at the upper end; his chancellor and staff officers standing on each side of him. Suddenly the lively and beautiful march, which had greeted the entrance of Gustavus, ceased; the king nodded to the band, and the wind instruments began to play the solemn dead-march, usually performed when a condemned officer is going to execution. The large folding doors again opened, and two black coffins were brought in by soldiers, moving in slow time to the saddening music, and followed by a tall and harsh looking man, with uncovered head and vulgar features. He wore a red cloak which but partially concealed a glittering blade of unusual breadth, and resembling rather a surgical snstrument than a weapon. "What does all this portend?" I eagerly inquired from my old companion,who had hitherto answered all my queries with singular intelligence, and in language far above his apparent condition. Without, however, removing his eager gaze from this singular spectacle below, he briefly answered: "those are two coffins, and that man with the red cloak and sword is the provost marshal." The coffins were placed in two of the hall, the headsman, retreated behind the body guards, the music ceased, and Gustavus spoke to the following effect, with an impressive dignity of look, voice, and language, which no time will erase from my recollection.

"My beloved soldiers and friends! It is well known to you, that after mature deliberation with my faithful counsellors and field officers, I have forbidden duels in my army, under pain of death to the offending parties. My brave generals expressed their entire approval of this regulation, and recorded their unanimous opinion, that there is no essential connexion between duelling and the true honor of a soldier, and that a conscientious avoidance of single combat is perfectly consistent with heroic courage and an elevated sense of honor.

"The soldier must be animated by a just cause, or his courage is worthless as the embroidery of his uniform; an ornament, but not a virtue. During the middle ages, the practice of duelling was perhaps expedient, to counterbalance the enormous evils which grew out of a lawless state of society; and it must be allowed, that the rude and chivalrous habits of that savage period, were redeemed by no small portion of honorable and devotional feeling. Let us then prefer the iubstance to the shadow, and model our conduct by the better qualities of our ancestors, instead of copying their romantic exaggerations and absurdities. The lawless days of chivalry are gone by. They have been succeeded throughout Christian Europe by settled governments and institutions, which, however imperfect, afford comparative security to person and property. Why then will civilized men cling to the

savage customs of a savage period?-And why are we Protestants?Why are we in arms against Catholics?-Is it not solely because they forbid us to keep pace with an improved state of knowledge, civil and religious? Some of you will perhaps contend, that an occasional duel is favorable to discipline and good manners; but, are you prepared to prove that the Catholic officers, who fight duels with impunity, bear any comparison with mine in urbanity and discipline? And do you attach any value to that base and cowardly complaisance, which springs from the fear of death? Believe me, gentlemen, in a well disciplined army, there will always be an immense majority of brave men, whose courtesy is prompted by good feeling and common sense; and, where the great majority is civilized, rudeness becomes the exception to the rule, and meets with merited contempt and avoidance. Why then will even men of tried courage apply a remedy so strong as mortal combat to an evil so trivial."

Here Gustavus paused, and fixed his eagle eyes upon the duellists, who stood with folded arms and sullen mien, in the centre of the hall. Their very souls seemed to quail under his searching glance; their eyes fell, and the dark red hue of conscious guilt suffused their cheeks and foreheads. The royal orator resumed:

"And yet we this day behold two officers of acknowledged bravery, who have yielded to this insane impulse, and who perhaps flatter themselves, that their readiness to stake life will excite admiration and astonishment. I had given them credit for better heads and better hearts, and I lament exceedingly their infatuation. There are some individuals, whose gloomy and ferocious temperament betrays their natural affinity to the tyger and the hyena; whose pride is not ennobled by a spark of honorable feeling; whose courage is devoid of generosity; who have no sympathies in common with their fellow-men; and who find a horrible gratification in hazarding their lives to accomplish the destruction of any one whose enjoyment of life, health, and reason, is greater than their own. I thank the Almighty, that this demoniacal spirit prevails not in my army; and should it unfortunately animate any of my soldiers, they have my free permission to join the gipsy-camps of Tilly and Wallenstein."

The Swedish generals here exchanged looks and nods of proud gratification, and Prince Bernard of Wiemar, whose fine eyes flashed with ungovernable delight, advanced a step towards the royal orator, as if he would have expressed his approbation by a cordial embrace. Controlling, however, with visible effort, this sudden impulse, he resumed his place. Meanwhile, the king exchanged a glance of friendly inintelligence with his chancellor, and continued in a tone of diminished severity.

"You will probably, gentlemen, charge me with inconsistency in thus sanctioning a public duel, after my promulgation of a general order against the practice of duelling. There are, however, peculiar circumstances connected with this duel, to explain which, and to vindicate myself, I have requested your presence on this occasion. The gentlemen before you, Captains Barstrom and Seifert, are well known as officers of high and deserved reputation. Barstrom has evinced heroic courage on many occasions, and he saved my life in the Polish war, when I was bare-headed and surrounded, Syrot having struck off my iron cap, which heretic head-gear the Austrians sent as a trophy to Loretto. I knighted Barstrom on the field of battle; and, relying upon his good sense and moderation, I promised to grant him a free boon. He never availed himself of this pledge until yesterday,

when he solicited my permission to meet Captain Seifert in single combat.

"Seifert has studied chivalry at German Universities, and to good purpose, if we may judge from the brilliant valor which made him a captain on the field of Leipzic. He has endeavored to prove to me, by numerous Greek and Latin scraps, that I ought to sanction this duel; but it would not be difficult to bring forward old Homer himself in evidence, that the Greeks were not very fastidious in points of etiquette. For instance, Achilles called Agamemnon "a drunkard, with the look of a dog and the valour of a deer." Seifert, however, is not a man to be influenced by either classical or Christian authorities; his reason lies in prostrate adoration before the shrine of false honor, that Moloch of the dark ages, around which the chivalry of that period danced, until their giddy brains lost the faculty of distinguishing right from wrong;

"Thus solemnly pledged to two irreconcilable obligations, how can I extricate myself from a predicament so embarrassing? I have exhausted my powers of reasoning and persuasion in vain endeavors to effect a reconciliation. My promise of a free boon to Barstrom I cannot honorably retract; nor can I, for his sake, infringe upon the salutary law so long established. Happily one alternative remains. These misguided men are determined to fight, and, if possible to destroy each other. Be it so! Their savage propensities shall be gratified, and I will witness their chivalrous courage and heroic contempt of life.Now, gentlemen! draw, and do your worst! Fight until the death of one shall prove the other the better swordsman; but mark well the consequence! Soon as one of you is slain, my executioner shall strike off the head of the other. Thus my pledge to Barstrom will be redeemed, and the law against duelling will remain inviolate."

Here Gustavus ceased to speak;-the solemn dead march was repeated by the band, the coffins were brought nearer to the duellists, and the grim-visaged executioner again came into view, with his horrible weapon. At this awful moment I beheld Seifert and Barstrom suddenly rush forward, throw themselves at the feet of Gustavus, and supplicate for mercy.



Mercy depends not upon me, but upon yourselves," mildly replied the king, soon as the band had ceased. If you do not fight, the executioner will find no occupation here." These words were accompanied by a glance at the headsman, who immediately quitted the hall by a side door. "But if you are sincerely desirous," continued Gustavus, to regain the good opinion of the brave men and good Christians here assembled, you will at once relinquish every hostile feeling, an embrace each other as friends."


The duellists instantly flew into each other's arms. Gustavus raised his folded hands and kingly features in devotional feeling towards heaven, and the chancellor gave a signal to the band, which played a fine hymn on reconciliation and brotherly love. I now heard with inexpressible delight the King, Oxensteirn, Horn, Banner, Stahlhautsh, and Prince Bernard, with the assembled officers aud guards, singing the impressive verses of Luther, with beautiful accuracy of time and tone. The magnificent bass of Gustavus Adelphus was easily distinguishable by its organ-like fulness and grandeur; it resembled the deep low breathing of a silver trumpet, and although forty years have rolled over my head since I heard it, the rich and solemn tones of the royal singer still vibrate upon my memory.

The hallowed feeling spread through hall and gallery, and every

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