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princes, to the position of mere servants of the crown. It is true that the existence of the 'Empire' was protracted for another 250 years, but it was a mere name, without any living reality, edwλov dμavρóv. The ancient Empire' was indeed buried with Charles V. This dissolution and dismemberment was, if possible, carried still further by the most destructive war in the history of Germany, the Thirty Years War,


The most striking figure among the warriors and generals of the Thirty Years' War is that of Wallenstein, whom Schiller has made the central figure of a noble trilogy. Originally a simple nobleman, Albrecht von Waldstein, he had been raised to the dignity of duke, and enriched with the domains of Friedland, in the North of Bohemia. After beating the Protestants, headed by King Christian IV. of Denmark, Wallenstein turned all his forces against the city of Stralsund, the only place in Germany that continued to hold out against his victorious army. The citizens defended themselves so manfully that Wallenstein was at length obliged to raise the siege, after having uselessly sacrificed 12,000 soldiers in repeated assaults, and though he had sworn to take the town 'even if it were chained to the heavens.' The memory of the siege is still kept up by the citizens of Stralsund in an annual festival celebrated on July 24th.

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II sq. Properly speaking, the sword which he holds in his right hand digs up the sandy soil.

15. Deß (=dessen) is the demonstrative pronoun.


Stralsund is surrounded with water on all sides, and connected with the main land by means of three bridges. "Stralsund...est la plus forte place de la Poméranie. Elle est bâtie entre la mer Baltique et le lac de Franken, sur le détroit de Gella: on n'y peut arriver de terre que sur une chaussée étroite, défendue par une citadelle et par des retranchements qu'on croyait inaccessibles." Voltaire, Charles XII,

livre huitième.

28. The usual expression is hervorsprühen.

29 sqq.

The citizens of Stralsund were supported by reinforcements

sent from Sweden and Denmark.

36. The expression Himmelszelt occurs also in 8, 12,

40. Ge-zweig has a collective sense, imparted to the original word

3weig by the prefix ge..

49. Was ist's? what can this be?' Wallenstein endeavours to make light of the warning whispered to him by the tree, but for all that his mind is accessible to superstitious impressions. So also v. 65.

54. The phrase es gilt points to the object for the accomplishment of which the toast is drunk. Here's to the fall of the fortress!' See

also 8, 11.

56. Meeresflut means merely the waves of the sea; there being no ebb and flow of the tide in the Baltic.

57. See note on 22, 53.

61. The expression is intentionally repeated from v. 45. Comp. also v. 97.

67. geschäftig, instead of eilig.

73. bedächtig is the opposite of heftig, v. 65; cf. the equivalent expression mit gutem Bedacht, 13, 47.

75 sq. In prose we should be obliged to say und bei dem Klange lachte Wallenstein mächtig auf.

82. Umzuckte flashed around. Comp. 40, 7.

83. Der Eisenball is a poetical expression (omitted in Grimm) instead of the commonplace Kanonenkugel.

88. A capital illustration of the proverb 'there's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip, or the Greek πολλὰ μεταξὺ πέλει κύλικος καὶ χείλεος ἄκρου.

92. His cheek had turned pale with fright at the sudden shock. 103. Compare Schiller's lines:

mit des Geschickes Mächten

Ist kein ew'ger Bund zu flechten,

Und das Unglück schreitet schnell.

104. nimmer is a stronger negation than nicht, or keinen Krieg. Comp. also 13, 15.

105. In prose:
:: Wir ziehen von der Festung ab.


This is an allusion to the annual festivity mentioned in our introductory remarks.


The Great Elector,' Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia (1640–1688), stands at the beginning of a new epoch. The house of Habsburg, though still honoured with the Imperial name, had already sufficiently proved how little mindful it was of the true interests of the German nation, and how incapable of protecting German honour and dignity. While the Emperor quietly yielded up German territory to the encroachments of Louis XIV., the overbearing

king of France, the Great Elector stood on the banks of the Rhine, doing his duty as a prince of the Empire and fighting against Turenne. In order to free himself from this valiant adversary, the French king caused the Swedes, his allies, to invade the domains of the Elector. The Swedes were burning and ravaging the districts of the Neumark, when the Elector suddenly appeared, after a rapid march, and beat the enemy (who was not prepared for his sudden appearance) in the glorious battle of Fehrbellin. The army of the Elector consisted of 5000 cavalry, while the hostile army numbered 11,000 men.

The event which forms the subject of our ballad is related by Frederick the Great, in his Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de la maison de Brandebourg, in the following terms:

"Il est digne de la majesté de l'histoire de rapporter la belle action que fit un écuyer de l'électeur dans ce combat. L'électeur montait un cheval blanc: Froben, son écuyer, s'aperçut que les Suédois tiraient plus sur ce cheval qui se distinguait par sa couleur, que sur les autres ; il pria son maître de le troquer contre le sien, sous prétexte que celui de l'électeur était ombrageux; et à peine ce fidèle domestique l'eut-il monté quelques moments qu'il fut tué, et sauva ainsi par sa mort la vie à l'électeur."

It should, however, be added that this story, in spite of the authority of Frederick the Great, has no actual foundation, and may be treated as a mere legend.


The Rhin is a small river in the Mark.

5. The expression noch mehr denotes that the Swedes had obtained a considerable portion of Pomerania in the Westphalian peace (1648).

8. The river Oder discharges its waters into the Baltic by three different channels, called Peene, Swine, and Dievenow. The Peene formed in those days the frontier between Sweden and Prussia. 9. Count Gustavus Wrangl was the Swedish commander. II. The more usual phrase is jeder Art.

13. traun, 'to be sure'; see n. on 22, 16.

16. nicht aus Scheuen, not out of fear. Comp. the phrase, er scheut das Feuer, he is afraid of fire.

18. The preposition zu is generally added, when ruten is construed with the dative.-Soldiers are often addressed as Kinder by a popular commander.

20. geschieht gerichtet wird (sc. das Schießen).


The contraction Schlecht's instead of Schlechtes is somewhat harsh, but in the style of popular poetry.


The famous general of the Elector mentioned in the present line is commonly styled der alte Dörflinger.

27. weichet, in the sense of the Fr. reculez, retirez, to which zurück is commonly added in German.

28. der gleiche sich stets gleiche, undisturbed.

29. mochte es ahnen=‘probably had a presentiment.'

32. gangen instead of gegangen, is another peculiarity of popular speech. Comp. also 12, 9.

33. The fate of Prussia seemed at that critical moment to depend on the accurate aim of a Swedish soldier.

35. Frederick, the son of the Great Elector, was crowned king of Prussia at Königsberg in 1701. He reigned from 1688-1713.

36. An Elector wore in token of his dignity a peculiarly shaped hat or cap of scarlet trimmed with ermine.

39. The prince of Homburg was one of the Great Elector's generals; he was noted for his impetuosity (Šiße) and nearly lost his life for allowing his rashness to carry him away so far as to counter. act the express orders of the Elector. See H. von Kleist's tragedy, Prinz Friedrich von Homburg.

41. Death is often compared to a reaper. Kohlrausch, p. 66, 4.

42. Alles=Alle. See note on 17, 118.

Comp. our note on

46. Gewehr is used in the wider sense of 'artillery.'


48. zurecht reiten zureiten, ' to break in' (of a horse).

49. In prose: zu ihm herüber.-Lieblingsroß, 'favourite horse.' We have elsewhere spoken of the compounds formed with Liebling, and their correspondence with the adj. favourite.

52. den Zügel lang verhänget: comp. 4, 82.

59. Der Schimmel sezt hoch auf=bäumt sich hoch auf.

60. According to strict grammar, we should expect the plural of the verb after two subjects. But this rule is by no means invariably observed in German.

61. Ritter denotes the noble cavaliers, and not exactly 'knights.' The time of medieval knighthood had long since passed by.

63. Ha! expresses the Elector's surprise when he understands Froben's generous intention.


"L'année 1717, le prince Eugène assiégea Belgrade, dans laquelle il y avait près de quinze mille hommes de garnison; il se vit lui-même

assiégé par une armée innombrable de Turcs qui avançaient contre son camp et qui l'environnèrent de tranchées; il était précisément dans la situation où se trouva César en assiégeant Alexie; il s'en tira comme lui; il battit les ennemis et prit la ville; toute son armée devait périr; mais la discipline militaire triompha de la force et du nombre.” Voltaire, Siècle de Louis XV, p. 4 éd. de Basle (1785). Eugene's splendid victory was celebrated in the popular song which we have likewise inserted in the present collection. Freiligrath's poem is intended to suggest a scene which may have taken place at the time of the composition of the spirited Volkslied which has not lost anything of its vitality after the lapse of more than a century and a half.

I. Wer da? who's there?' is the cry of the sentinels.
6. In prose: schwere Karabiner.

9. Das Pikét, a French expression like most military terms, instead of the German die Feldwache.

14. The dative Decken is antiquated, instead of Dede.

See also

Aue § 37, note, and compare the phrases auf Erden, zu Ehren, von Seiten.






Die Knöchel denotes the dice (Würfel) which are made of

Affaite is often used of a battle.

We often say, zu Nuß und Frommen, for the benefit of.......' Weißen und Rothen denotes the different uniforms of the Imperial troops. The general uniform of the Austrian army is white. 27. Denen is archaic instead of den.—Reitersleute is the plural of Reitersmann.

34. that streichen is in the popular style instead of er strich, comp. 13, 26.


In the 'Volkslied' we notice very many antiquated expressions. We shall merely give their modern equivalents.

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3. Belgarad is a lengthened form instead of the usual Belgrad.

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6. für vor. In the language of the seventeenth century the two prepositions für and vor were used quite promiscuously.

8. Stuck Stück or Stück (en), field-piece, cannon.



Observe the careless rhyme or rather assonance in Lager and


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