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which has been mentioned; and though it does not, in my opinion, deserve the profound contempt with which it has been treated by Mauvillon, Spittler, Gfrörer, and others, it undoubtedly leaves more to be desired than might have been expected (or than indeed is quite excusable) in point of style, arrangement, and accuracy.
Among the foreign histories of Gustavus are works of great merit. But not only have several of them not been translated into our language; they are not even likely to be so. Some are written in a tone and temper which would not be welcome here. Some of the best are encumbered with details of a purely local interest, or with a mass of raw materials which would require a far more elaborate process than that of mere translation, to prepare them for the use and taste of the English.
On these accounts it appeared to me that there was room in our literature for a history of Gustavus, which (besides being more carefully written than that of Harte) should also gather into its pages the chief fruits of modern opportunity and diligence. Such a history I have, in the present volume, endeavoured to produce, and thus to contribute something to the further development of a noble and interesting character, and to the illustration of a critical and important period in the
annals of the world.
I cannot undertake to give a list of all who have preceded me in this field of labour, or in some portions of
it. But among those who have made Gustavus Adolphus their professed and exclusive subject may be mentioned, in addition to Harte, Mauvillon*, one of the best informed of the earlier historians, and Gfrörert, one of the latest and most popular. Among those who have written of him incidentally, or as a distinct part of a wider subject, or who have followed him through a portion only of his career, are names of great eminence. Such are Chemnitzt, Puffendorf, Holberg, Hallenberg §, and Geijer, all of whom have enriched his history from Swedish or Danish; Khevenhiller, Adlzreitter, Röse and Förster, who have illustrated it from German sources; Ranké, who has embellished it from every source; Schiller, the most eloquent of all who have treated of Gustavus, either professedly or collaterally; the "Soldat Suédois ;" and the Swedish Intelligencer, whose volume, rare in every sense, traced with a quaint but vigorous and expressive old style, contains perhaps the very best account of the king's campaigns in Germany. The
* Histoire de Gustave Adolphe, Roi de Suède, Amsterdam, 1764. † Gustav Adolph, König von Schweden, 2nd ed., Stuttgart, 1845.
Bellum Sueco-Germanicum, 1st vol. Stettin, 1648, and 2nd vol., Stockholm, 1653. The first volume was published both in Latin and German (Puffendorf, Comment. de Rebus Suecicis, Preface); the second in German only. My references to the first volume are to the Latin version. This history was written by order of the Swedish State Council, and under the supervision of Oxenstjerna.
§ Svea Rikes Historia under Konung Gustaf Adolf den Stores Regering, Stockholm, 1790-6.
present work has been the result, in a great degree of a comparison of contemporary histories, and of letters and other documents gathered partly out of the authors which have been mentioned, partly from the volumes of state and other papers published by the Royal Society of Stockholm to illustrate the history of Scandinavia*, and partly from the German, Swedish, Danish and Holland correspondence, preserved in our own State Paper Office. Nor can I omit this opportunity of expressing my gratitude both to the Earl of Clarendon and Sir George Grey for permitting me to examine and make use of these most valuable papers, and my obligations to the gentlemen of the office, whose courtesy and intelligence were exerted to give the fullest effect to their permission.
The chief authority for my introductory chapter has been the Roman Catholic contemporary historian Messenius†, compared, however, with the chronicles of the time, the Stockholm papers already spoken of, Celsius Baazius (Inventarium Ecclesiæ Sueogothorum) Holberg's Danish history, Geijer ‡, and the admirable Ranké.§ To
* Kongl, Samfundet för utgifvande af Handskrifter rörande Skandinaviens Historia, 1816-1852.
† Scondia Illustrata, Stockolm, 1700-3. The dedication of the first part to Gust. Adolphus, 1620.
Svenska Folkets Historia, Örebro, 1832-6. There is an English translation of this history by Mr. Turner.
§ Fürsten und Völker von Süd-Europa, Berlin, 1839. There are, I believe, at least three English translations under the title of the "History of the Popes."
the two last excellent historians, indeed, I have been indebted throughout for much positive information, or for indications where to find it.
Some of the best materials for Gustavus's life up to the year 1628, have been derived from Hallenberg. With that year, unfortunately, his work terminates. In the history of "Les faux Démétrius" (the remarkable episode that involved Sweden in Russian affairs) I have had the advantage of following M. Merimée, who, during a diplomatic residence in Russia, appears to have profited by the opportunity, and to have diligently investigated the subject.
An essay by Lieutenant Henning Hamilton*, that in 1839 gained the first prize in the Swedish Royal Academy of Science, History, and Antiquities, has supplied me with a good part of the groundwork for that notice of the King's inventions and improvements in the military art, which I have introduced into the chapter on the war with Poland.
From 1630 till his death, the history of Gustavus Adolphus coincides with that of the Thirty Years' War, for the events of which there is a host of witnesses, many vehemently opposed to each other in politics and religion. Here, therefore, commences a work of great
* Afhandling om Krigsmaktens och Krigkonstens tillstånd i Sverige under Konung Gustaf Adolfs regering, af Henning Hamilton. Lieut. vid Kongl, Topografiska Corpsen. Stockholm, 1846.
labour to the historian, who is resolved to judge for himself, that he may be able to act in any degree as an intelligent guide to others. In the course of this investigation I have consulted, for the Peace of Augsburg, 1555 (the imperfections and infringements of which were so closely connected with the origin and continuance of the war), the treaty itself, as given by Cyringus, and a part of the history of it by Lehmann. For the general history I have read Carafa* and portions of Khevenhiller† and Adlzreitert, and compared them with the "Cancellaria Hispanica," Chemnitz, Richelieu, "Le Soldat Suédois," and the Swedish Intelligencer. In this part of my work also Wolf and Breyer's "History of Maximilian the First of Bavaria," Von Decken's "Duke George of Brunswick and Lüneburg," Röse's "Duke Bernhard of Saxe Weimar," Förster's "Wallenstein," and Wallenstein's Letters (one of the most valuable contributions to the history of the war) have been very useful to me. My obligations to others will appear from my marginal references, where I have been careful, if I have not myself actually verified a quotation, to cite the author, who is responsible for it.
It has been my endeavour throughout, to restrain, as far as possible, every prejudice that might interfere
*Germania Sacra Restaurata, Cologne, 1639.