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PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF
THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION,
APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING
PRINTED FOR THE
SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE,
SOLD AT THE DEPOSITORY,
GREAT QUEEN STREET, LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS,
AND 4, ROYAL EXCHANGE; AND BY
I. THE COPPER-MINE .. . 1
II. THE SNOW KING . . .. 49
III. THE IRON KING . . 86
IV. THE FALL OF THE HATS AND THE CAPS 134
V. PERSEVERANCE . .... 165
VI. THE THREE PICTURES ...... 190
THE COPPER MINE,
THERE is in Sweden a province called Dalecarlia.
It abounds with forests, rivers, lakes, and water-
falls. Wild and beautiful, this country does not
produce much corn, and the tender bark of the
pine is frequently used as a substitute by the
inhabitants. The winter is very long and severe,
and the summer comes so suddenly-the valleys
so quickly change their snowy mantle for their
green dress-that we may say there is no spring
"Oh I 'tis the touch of fairy hand,
That wakes the spring of northern land;
It warms not there by slow degrees,
With changeful pulse the uncertain breeze:
But sudden on the wondering sight,
Bursts forth the beam of living light;
And instant verdure springs around,
And magic flowers bedeck the ground."
2 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
The peasants of Dalecarlia are a brave, patient
race of men, who cheerfully endure both cold and
hunger. They love their country, and put their
trust in God. Tall in stature, hardy, independent,
frank-hearted and kind, the Dalecarlians are also
distinguished for their simplicity, hospitality, and
piety. Industrious and prayerful, they may bow
their necks as they enter their lowly dwellings,
but they have never yet bowed them to the yoke
of the oppressor.
It was in one of the extensive forests of Dale-
carlia, the abode of the greedy wolf and savage
bear, that there walked one evening, long ago,-
'as lorg -since as the year 1520-two young men,
engaged in deep conversation. Though meanly
'clad, their noble and intellectual countenances,
their high bearing, and polished manners, bespoke
them to be above the rank of peasants.
SAnd you tell me, indeed, Olof," observed the
younger of the two to his companion, "that the
tyrant Dane has been crowned King of Sweden?"
"It is too true," replied Olof; "Christian of
Denmark now reigns in our fatherland."
"Oh shame! shame!" cried young Erickson,
bitterly; "where were Swedish freemen and
THE COPPER MINE.
Swedish swords when that came to pass! Surely,
surely, Olof, my countrymen did not stand tamely
by and acknowledge that fierce invader as their
"Alas, Erickson! the faithless tyrant, before
his coronation, promised to release all prisoners,
and maintain the rights and freedom of the
Swedish nation. He had not been crowned
three days, however, when he violated his solemn
promise, by ordering the chiefs of the most re-
spectable Swedish families, with the members of
the senate, to be arrested, and then beheaded in
the market-place. Eighty-four of the first men
in Sweden perished on the scaffold in one day!
Prepare for the worst, my dear friend; mine is a
One moment, Olof, one moment," said Erick-
son, in an agitated voice, "my father-my vener-
able father-is he ? "
"Your father, and my father, Erickson, are
beyond the reach of the tyrant's power."
"Murdered? slain ?" said the young noble, pale
and horror-struck, oh! it cannot be! My father !
my beloved father! shall I never see thee more?
oh, woe is me!"
4 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
The grief of the unfortunate son was extreme.
His whole frame seemed shaken by the tidings of
this terrible calamity, and for a time he was over-
whelmed by violent sorrow. At length, with a
strong effort mastering his emotion, he turned to
Olof, who silently but truly sympathised with
him. Go on, Olof," he said, in a subdued voice,
"I can hear all now. Go on. What said the
When they saw the wholesale murder con-
templated, their horror and indignation were roused
to the utmost. Restraining their feelings no
longer, they rushed by thousands to the place of
execution, determined, if possible, to save the
noblest and the best in Sweden, from the heads-
man's axe. Alas! it was but the signal for
redoubled slaughter! Falling on the unarmed.
multitude, the Danish soldiers massacred all who
came in their way, without distinction of age or
sex. Men, women, children, none were spared.
The slaughter was frightful-the streets of our
capital ran with the blood of her citizens. Several
hundred dead bodies lay unburied within the
gates for days. I hastened from a scene so fear-
ful, where all who were dear to me had perished."
THE COPPER MINE.
A gloomy silence of some minutes ensued. The
young nobles were brooding over their country's
wrongs and their own deep seated griefs.
"Erickson," at length said Olof, "you have not
yet told me how you escaped from the fortress
where.Christian had confined you. The wrath of
the tyrant was extreme when he heard you had
effected your freedom. I understood he laid a
penalty of 6,000 florins* on your gaoler if he had
you not in safe keeping when called for."
Aye; Banner thought his money safe enough,
and allowed me to walk and hunt in the vicinity
of the fortress, little dreaming of escape. But I
dreamed of it, and one fine morning, disguised as
a peasant, I passed unmolested through my prison
gates. A herd of cattle being on the road, I
entered the service of the drover, and so escaped
the notice of the men sent by Banner in pursuit
of me. In safety I reached Lubec, and though
my gaoler tracked me thither, he in vain attempted
to re-capture me. The inhabitants protected me
from danger, and sent me in a vessel to Sweden."
"But know you not that Christian has heard of
your return, and even now seeks your life?" said
A florin is worth about two shillings.
6 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN IIISTORY.
Olof. "A price is set upon your head, and death
is threatened to those who afford you either food
Erickson sadly smiled. "I am safe in Dale-
carlia," he said; "here they betray not the un-
fortunate. But the Danish tyrant fears me! Aye,
and he shall fear me yet more. Hear me, Olof;-
he has deprived me of father, friends, possessions;
but he has not deprived me of my will,-he cannot
crush my spirit,-and I this day make a firm and
high resolve never to rest till my country is free!
From this hour I devote myself to Sweden. From
this hour her liberty is my great object, and ere
long, if there be any energy, any patriotism left
in the land, the Dane shall tremble on his usurped
"If' her liberation can be effected, it is you who
must do it, Erickson; and who has so good a
claim as you have to be the deliverer of our father-
land? A descendant of our ancient kings, a true-
hearted Swede, who could better head her patriot
armies? Enrol me as your first follower."
The time is not come yet, Olof; there are nu-
merous difficulties in the way to the attainment of
my object; but courage, patience, and perseverance
THE COPPER MINE.
will break through them all. And now, my
friend, we must separate; it would not be safe for
you to be seen with me, and we are approaching
"Ask me not to leave you, Erickson," replied
Olof; "we are bound by the ties of kindred, and
of friendship; our country is the same, our reli-,
gion the same, and from henceforth the same
glorious cause will animate us both. Then with
you I remain."
No, Olof, return to Stockholm, where you can
do me more service than by remaining here. You
may then assist me, whereas here you would but
endanger your own life."
"But you will perish, Erickson i the people will
not dare to give you food or shelter; the Danish
ruffians will pursue you; you will be betrayed and
taken. And once more in the tyrant's power, a
cruel death will be your fate !"
My dear friend," said the young noble calmly,
"I have a Protector on high. I put my trust in
God. He can preserve me, and prosper the cause
which I have at heart, if it be His will. Do you
trust in Him also, and leave me. My faithful
old servant attends me in my wanderings, and we
8 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
have a sufficient supply of money for all our
wants. For a time I shall be quiet, but ere long
Christian shall hear of me."
Olof, seeing further expostulation useless, was
obliged to acquiesce in his friend's determination,
and, taking an affectionate leave of him, returned
to Stockholm, while Erickson proceeded to the
little village where he was at present staying.
That evening, as the young noble sat by the
fire in the lowly hut, relating to his old attendant
the terrible tidings he had received from Olof, the
owner of the cottage, a middle-aged peasant
woman entered, and sat down by them.
"There is a little tumult in our quiet village,"
said she, during the first pause in the conversa-
tion; "some Danish soldiers have arrived to make
search, as they say, for a rebel to the king. They
have caused it to be known far and wide, that
whoever gives him food or shelter shall be put to
death, while, on the other hand, a large sum of
money will be the reward for his capture."
"And what may be the name of this rebel to
King Christian?" asked Erickson.
Why, that is the strangest part of it," replied
the woman, fixing her calm, clear eyes on the
THE COPPER MINE.
young noble,-" that is the strangest part of the
story. This dangerous rebel to the Danish usurper
appears to be no less a person than a brave, true-
hearted Swede-a descendant of the ancient kings
of Sweden-the young Gustavus Vasa! Oh!"
she continued, as she still kept her earnest gaze on
Erickson, "they made a sad mistake when they
came to Dalecarlia to look for the betrayer of Gus-
tavus Vasa. Do they think the Dalmen cowards
and traitors? do they imagine them base enough to
betray the unfortunate, and to refuse hospitality to
the houseless stranger ? Above all, is it one of the
royal line of Sweden they would deliver into their
cruel hands? Oh they little know the peasants
of Dalarna, if they think thus! Let the prince
Gustavus trust himself amongst us, and he will find
the Dalmen and Dalw omen alike faithful and loyal."
He has trusted in you, he does trust in you,"
said Erickson, rising; he knows that it is not the
love of gold, or the fear of danger, that can turn the
peasants of Dalecarlia from the path of honour, or
cause them to forget the rights of hospitality. He
has come to these mountains as to an asylum of
truth and peace, and he has found in the simple
mountaineers that which he has sought elsewhere
10 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
in vain. To show how fully he trusts you, good
Annika, he now places his life in your hands. I am
Gustavus Vasa I"
"I thought it! I knew it !" said the peasant
woman, as she fell on her knees before the disguised
noble, and kissed his hand; "from the moment I
heard the errand of the Danish soldiers I guessed it
all. The first day you entered my cottage, I saw
you were not the humble traveller you would have
passed for, but little did I dream of your real rank.
Oh," she continued, as the tears stood in her eyes,
" it is a sad day for Sweden when the descendant of
one of her ancient kings is termed a rebel !"
"It is a sad day for Sweden," said Gustavus
Vasa, thoughtfully; "but the light will come yet.
Sit down, good Annika, and give me your advice,
for we have no time to lose. I too well know the
cruel eagerness of the ferocious Danes. In another
hour we may be all slaughtered. Tell me, which is
the shortest path up the mountain ?"
Sir !" said Annika in surprise, "surely you are
not going up the mountain ?"
I must leave you," said Gustavus, and the
mountain will be the safest hiding-place for the
night. Come, Berger, prepare to march."
THE COPPER MINE.
"But why need you leave my hut?" asked
My good woman, have you not just heard that
death is threatened to any one who shall shelter the
rebel, Gustavus Vasa? Methinks I would not
willingly bring down such a punishment on you.
It would be but a poor return for your kindness
"And do you think, noble Sir, that I would let
you depart from my cottage in such a night as this?
and to wander on the bleak mountain without food
or shelter! No; the fear of death itself would not
make me do it I have a hiding-place, if the Danes
should come, where you would be quite safe-but
they will not come to-night, they are drinking too
deeply. Do not hesitate, noble prince, you will be
perfectly secure in this place of concealment."
It is not for myself I hesitate, good Annika,
but for you. I am used to danger, and have
escaped more than once when escape seemed im-
possible; but you --"
Fear not for me, Sir; I never fear when in the
path of duty. I will but fasten the door a little
more securely, and then prepare your supper-a
poor supper for one of royal blood. I think there
12 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
is a bar of iron lying outside; it will strengthen the
door. I will go for it, though I trust we shall not
need such a precaution."
As soon as Annika was gone, Berger approached
his master. "Oh, Sir," he said, in some agitation,
"why did you let her know your name and rank ?
Pardon me, but it was unwise. She is now gone,
doubtless, to betray you to the soldiers Poor as she
is, she must covet the gold promised for your capture."
Out upon the thought!" replied Gustavus, in-
dignantly. "I would as soon doubt her as I would
doubt you. There is truth clearly written on
her brow; and to put your suspicions to flight,
here she comes, with her bar of iron in her grasp."
"I was wrong," said Berger; but my anxiety
on your account, my noble master, makes me sus-
picious. We shall be safe here for to-night, but
to-morrow-oh! how many will have an eye to the
I do not think so," replied his master. We
have no reason to form such an opinion of the
people of Dalecarlia. At all events, we must start
to-morrow by break of day; I would not bring
harm on this humble peasant for a mine of gold."
And whither would you go, Sir ?"
THE COPPER MINE.
We will proceed westward, Berger, where we
shall be in greater security. Fortunately, the
purse you carry will aid us a long time yet."
There was very little conversation that evening
in Annika's cottage. The good woman and her
guests were alike thoughtful and sad. The fine,
intelligent brow of the young Swedish noble was
clouded with grief as he thought on the terrible
tidings he had heard from Olof, and memory carried
him back to the time when, as a happy child, he
had sat on his beloved father's knee.
Annika was meditating on the events of the day,
and her usually placid countenance wore an ex-
pression of anxiety as she thought of the morrow,
and the danger it might bring to Gustavus Vasa.
His youth, his amiable disposition, and kindness of
manner, had made her take a motherly interest in
him from the time he first came to her dwelling,
and now that interest was doubly increased. And
Berger was thinking-but I will not say what
he was thinking of.
When parting for the night, it was agreed that
the fugitives should start at an early hour in the
And very early it was when Gustavus Vasa,
14 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
rising from his humble couch, first commended him-
self to the protection of Heaven, and then entered
that part of the hut from which a rude partition
divided him. He found Annika preparing the
simple breakfast of the country, which consisted of
barley-bread and goats'-milk. Would that I had
better to offer you, Sir," said the kind-hearted
woman, "and oh! that it were in my power to
shelter you from your enemies Will you venture
to lie concealed in my poor hut for a time ? No ?
But what will become of you? and how will you
live in this mountainous country, pursued by those
merciless Danes? Alas! I tremble for your safety."
"Have no fears for me, good Annika," said
Gustavus, in a cheerful tone, "I have none for
myself. Berger carries for me a good sum of money,
and, besides being a trusty follower, is well ac-
quainted with your mountain passes. And shall
I not find friends among the friendly Dalmen?
Have I not already found a refuge from my pur-
suers? Have you betrayed me ? No;-and what.
ever may be my fortunes, and whoever may be my
friends, remember that it was your cottage which
first sheltered, and your fidelity which first en-
couraged, Gustavus Vasa."
THE COPPER MINE.
Oh, Sir, my hut is honoured, indeed !" replied
poor Annika with tears. It will be more to me
in future than a costly palace. May God protect
He will. I put my trust in Him. But it is
time we were setting forth; I must look for Berger."
The young noble had been absent only a few
minutes, when he returned with a countenance
somewhat troubled. "He is gone! Berger is
gone !" he exclaimed, and with him all my store.
I thought I could have trusted Berger."
"Has he carried off your money, Sir? asked
the astonished Annika.
"Even so. I had entrusted all to his care. For
years he has been my faithful follower; but alas!
what will not the love of gold do! For that he
has deserted me in this moment of peril."
Oh, shame shame !" cried Annika, and he
a Swede! Better that he should go than remain
with the bad thought in his heart; he might have
brought you into trouble. But how will you live
without money to buy food ?"
Money might have brought me into difficulty
also," said Gustavus. To find Berger untrue is
far more grievous to me than the loss of any
16 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
money. I must go, good Annika; he may have
betrayed me from this same love of gold. Fare-
well! I have nothing to offer you but my grati-
"Farewell, Sir Farewell! I shall daily pray
for your preservation."
Annika kept her word. She was a simple-
hearted woman; but she had great trust in God;
and when she heard how the Danish soldiers were
searching the country for Gustavus Vasa, threaten-
ing with death those who should shelter him, and
promising a large reward for his capture, she only
prayed more earnestly that Providence would
protect the unfortunate young noble. But the
soldiers at length left that part of Dalecarlia, and
Annika heard no more of Gustavus Vasa.
In one part of Dalecarlia stands a town which
may well be called the black town. It is generally
covered with a thick smoke,-so thick, that often
you could not see three steps before you. The
approach to this gloomy-looking place is by a dark
and dreary road between walls and hills of brown
slag. It is a town of burnt metal through which
you advance; the streets are black, the houses are
THE COPPER MINE.
black, all that you see is black. No,-the water
is yellow-green, and before you, where the way
terminates, sulphur-coloured flames ascend. The
smoke has destroyed all wood and verdure; instead
of grass and trees, there is deformity and desola-
tion; and in place of the sweet smell of flowers, a
constant, strong sulphureous fume. Now you may
think this a very disagreable town; but the
Swedes are very proud of it; indeed, it is the chief
town in Dalecarlia. And as to the sulphureous
smoke, though it makes one sneeze, and cough,
and feel nearly suffocated at times, yet the people
do not grumble; and when Queen Christina
visited this extraordinary place, and her courtiers
expressed a fear that the strong fumes annoyed
her, she answered in a cheerful tone, God grant
that such a smoke may never fail !" For this is
the town of Fahlun, and it is from its large, cele-
brated, and valuable copper mine,--which has been
styled the eighth wonder of the world "-that the
Amidst all the gloom, blackness, and desolation
of Fahlun, the eye rests with pleasure on two
handsome churches, with their lofty towers and
copper roofs; and the Christian traveller praises
18 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
God for the blessed light of the glorious Gospel in
a place outwardly so dark and cheerless. Shall
we pay a visit to this wonderful mine? As we'
advance along the strange and gloomy road, we
hear the din of the roaring flames, and see them
as they blaze wild and variably in the distance.
These flames rise from the ovens where the copper
is roasted. How black the streets are! and how
deserted and dull! Ah! now the wind has blown
the smoke right in our faces; it makes us cough'
terribly, but we will hasten on. There you see,
is the huge mouth of the great copper-mine. Is
it not large? What an abyss! Yes; just like a
subterraneous giant opening an enormous mouth.
And from this wide, deep, dark opening have been
cast up for ages, treasures of noble metal! God
has caused the wealth of Sweden to come from
the bowels of the earth, and from the depths of
the sea. The timber on her stately hills, the iron
and copper in her mines, and the fisheries on her
coasts-these are her riches. God has bestowed.
more, perhaps, on other lands, but He has not
forgotten Sweden. And it may be the feeling of
receiving all in a manner more directly from His
hands, that causes the Swedes, particularly the,
THE COPPER MINE.
people of Dalecarlia, to put such a simple trust in
Him. But no man is sent into the world to be
idle; and the timber requires felling, and the
mines require working, and bold and hardy fisher-
men must attend to the fisheries.
Now let us lean over this low fence round the
mouth of the mine, and look down into the black
gulf. We see nothing but a dark abyss-we hear
the thunder of the blasting, and the hollow echoes
repeating it. Yes, if you gaze stedfastly down,
you will see a light. There is another-and another
-they move-can they be torches carried by
men? Yes; though the men appear like birds,
or rather, ants. They are coming up from still
deeper regions. It makes one giddy to look down.
You should like to go down, should you ? Very
well. Now then, we must go into the mine house,
which stands opposite to the descent. Here we
put on a black blouse, a leather belt, and a felt
hat with a broad brim; this is to protect our
clothes from smoke and soot. Now we go into
the landing-room, where a fire burns which has
burnt here from time immemorial. No one re-
members when it was kindled, and no one the day
when it was put out. Through the hundreds of
20 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
years during which the mine has been worked,
this fire has burned upon its brink. Even once
when the mine fell in, and no one could work
there, yet the miners would not allow the fire to
go out. Here are the guides with their pine
torches! We must also each have a lighted torch.
And now we go down the dark, winding staircase.
What a wonderful place it is! we are now 270
feet below the surface of the earth, but you may
go far, far deeper. This mine is like a subterra-
neous town; with its astonishing labyrinth of
passages, shafts, caverns, and halls. More than
1,200 miners were formerly employed at once in
it, and it is said it would require eight days to go
through all its rooms and passages. Some of
these rooms have curious names. There is the
Jewel, the Crown, the Sceptre, Prince Oscar's
Path, the Black Knight, the Imperial Apple, the
North Star, the Silver Region, the King's Hall,
the Copper Dragon, &c. &c. See how the walls
glitter when the guide strikes his torch against
them! Look at the beautiful colours, red, gold,
and green. When the great Gustavus Adolphus
stood in one of these rooms, where the bright
copper ore shone from walls, floor, and roof, he
THE COPPER MINE.
exclaimed, Where is the monarch who has such
a palace as that in which we now are!"
Almost all the kings and queens of Sweden
have visited this mine. Charles the Ninth called
it "Sweden's Fortune," and desired that the great
room might be named the Room of God's Gifts."
The poor miners have not a pleasant life, but they
are contented. It is cold, damp, gloomy, and
always night in the mine. And dangerous too
there are many places where, if your foot slipped,
-and the ground is very slippery-you would
fall down into a black gulf! And sometimes part
of the mine falls in, and buries the poor workmen
alive, or crushes them to death. But they know
Who can protect them, and every Sunday, after the
sermon is concluded, the clergyman offers up the
following prayer in the church:-
"We thank Thee, merciful God, for the rich
treasures and abundant blessings which Thou hast
graciously conferred on this place, out of the bowels
of the earth, and out of the flinty rocks; and we
pray Thee, that Thou wilt continue to give, to
bless, and to preserve to us these precious treasures;
and give us grace to use these Thy blessings with
thankfulness, and to the honour of Thy name.
22 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
Preserve, O God, all those who labour in the deep
and perilous regions of the earth from injury, and
danger, and all evil, and give them grace to keep
Thee perpetually before their eyes, to commit
themselves, body and soul, into Thy hands; to
consider always the dangers which hang over
them, and thus be well prepared, should any
violence befall them, to depart hence in blessedness,
through Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
For centuries has this prayer been used in the
mining districts of Dalecarlia.
It was at the mouth of the great copper mine
of Fahlun, that a man stood one day, long ago,
looking down into the black abyss. His clothes
were ragged, and his countenance pale and wan,
but he seemed insensible to hunger and fatigue,
as he gazed with wonder, curiosity, and admiration
into the subterraneous world below. Long he
gazed, and busy were his thoughts, till at length
rousing himself, he exclaimed, "Yes! He who
can make the earth thus yield her hidden treasures,
can supply the wants of all His creatures. Shame
on me, that for a moment I doubted His fatherly
care. My trust in Him is strengthened. He
THE COPPER MINE.
'will preserve me in the deep mine, as He has pre-
served me on the mountain-top. I will at once
engage myself as a miner."
And it was not long before he was working in
the mine, first having been supplied with food, of
which he had tasted none for two days.
Do you wish to know the name of the man who
thus put his trust in a watchful Providence? It
was Gustavus Vasa.
Through many dangers and difficulties he had
reached Fahlun. Forlorn, destitute, and half.
starved, he determined to lie concealed in the
mines till the search after him was a little abated.
But adverse as his circumstances were, the hopes
he entertained of one day effecting the deliver-
ance of his country did not forsake him. Down
in the deep, dark mine, toiling like a slave for his
daily bread, Gustavus Vasa was still-as he had
ever been-hopeful, trustful, resolute.
Though it was not a pleasant life-to be shut
out from the pure light of heaven, a hundred and
twenty fathom deep in the hard, cold, damp,
dark, glittering mine; to see continually the same
black vaulted passages, and empty halls and ex-
cavations, which seemed to have no end; always
24 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
to feel the same damp air, and perpetual drippings
from the roof; to meet constantly the same black
figures with their solemn, pale, grimy countenances,
and slow heavy steps; to know the danger, if by
some accident the torch should go out, of being
lost in the labyrinth of passages, or falling head-
long into a fearful chasm;-this was anything but
a pleasant life. But the young nobleman bore
it cheerfully, and though associating with com-
panions so far inferior in birth and station to
himself, he did not on that account disdain them.
On the contrary, he endeavoured to lighten their
labour by teaching them the following song, which
still often sounds, both by night and day, in the
depths of the copper mine:-
"Up, brothers I let your torches glow !
Where duty calls us let us go;
Our way, though dark, is light to keep,
Though down into the deep.
"No matter though our path lies through
The yawning shaft, our watch is true;
No matter though that path be long,
The longer is our song.
"The mountain opens as we go,
With gladsome hopes we march below,
Hoping a better world to find
Than that we leave behind.
THE COPPER MINE.
"That better world is all our own,
Its wealth transcends all treasures known,
A thousand years has flow'd its ore,
And shall a thousand more.
"The world above is great and sheen,
But here the mine itself is green,
And in itself a wealth doth hold
Exhaustless, and untold.
"Such joy the earth cannot impart
As when we see the copper start,
'Mid smoke and dust behold it shine,
Forth bursting from the mine."
And he talked to them, whenever an opportu-
nity occurred, on the subject which lay nearest
his heart, the freedom of his native land. He
spoke of the frightful massacre at Stockholm, and
of the unheard-of cruelties of the Danish tyrant.
He told them of his hanging the peasants for the
slightest offences, of his beheading the nobles for
no offence at all; how he had inhumanly caused
two little boys of the ages of seven and nine to be
whipped to death, and how he had barbarously
ordered several Swedish ladies of rank to be
thrown into the sea, after having first compelled
them to make the sacks in which they were to be
put! These monstrous cruelties, which gained
26 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
for King Christian the title of "the Nero of the
North,"' were listened to by the miners with
abhorrence. They felt the yoke under which
their country groaned, and earnestly desired to
have a share in her deliverance. And when they
spoke their wishes to Gustavus Vasa, and asked
what could be done for Sweden, he would tell
them the time was not come yet, but ere long
their country would ask their help. Then turning
to them with a look of calm confidence, he would
say, In the mean time this can you do-
Thou Swede, put firmly thy trust in God,
And ardently call thou upon Him."
The superior mind of Gustaf, as he was called,
the graces of his person and conversation, and his
refined and winning manners, soon began to be
talked about amongst his fellow labourers. They
began to think he must be above the rank of a
peasant, itld their suspicions were further increased
by 'i cnr,.mstance which occurred not very long
rfter he had entered the mines. It happened that
one of the miners met with an accident, and Gus-
tzvus, who was working near, in hastening to
assist him, struck his head rather severely against
THE COPPER MINE.
a sharp point of the projecting rock. He thought
not of himself, however, till he had attended to
his companion, when having conveyed him to a
part of the mine where his wound could be dressed,
he found that his own head was streaming with
blood. Smilingly observing "it made more show
than pain," he applied a simple remedy to the
wound, and was soon singing cheerfully at his work
"That is a noble fellow !" said one miner to
another as he left them; "how kindly and ten-
derly he cared for poor Steen, yet he thinks
nothing of his own hurt, though it is not a trifling
He is noble in more respects than one, friend
Behn, or I am much mistaken. Did you notice,
when he took the handkerchief off his neck, how
finely the collar of his shirt was worked-em-
broidered, I think they cai it ? Depend upon it,
friend, Gustaf is not wh t 1, appears to be; that
black dress and begrimed face are as little suited
to him, as a king's cloak would be to me."
Dost think so?" replied Behn; "well, I have
had the same thoughts myself before this; he is
different to all of us. However, noble or not,
28 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
there is not in the mine a braver or kinder heart
"Most true, Behn, we all feel that; but Gustaf
was not born to be a miner."
The story of the embroidered collar was talked
of. It excited the curiosity of the miners, and at
length they agreed amongst themselves that their
friend Gustaf must be some person of rank in
disguise, who had been forced by the tyranny of
the government to take shelter in these remote
parts. In a little time a neighboring gentleman
heard of the circumstance. Partly from curiosity
and partly from compassion, he visited the mine.
Gustaf, quite unconscious that he had excited any
particular notice, was diligently labouring, while
his clear manly voice might be heard above his
companions', as from many hundred feet deep in
the earth, their song arose:-
Up, brothers! let your torches glow !"
The moment the gentleman fixed his eyes on
Gustaf, who was pointed out to him, his astonish-
ment was extreme, to recognize in the noble
features of the black miner, his friend Gustavus
Vasa, whose acquaintance he had made at the
THE COPPER MINE.
university of Upsal! Touched with deep com-
passion at the deplorable situation of so distin-
guished a nobleman, he could scarcely refrain from
tears, but, however, had presence of mind enough
not to make the discovery. Hastily writing a few
lines, which he desired might be given to Gustaf,
he left the copper-mine, pondering on what he had
seen. At night, when Gustavus went to him, he
received him with great kindness, made him an
offer of his house, and gave him the strongest
assurances of his friendship and protection.
My dear Gustavus," he said, I grieve indeed
to see you thus; throw off this dress, which ill
becomes you, and come to my house. You will
find better accommodation here than in the mines,
and, I give you my word, equal security. Should
there even be a chance of discovery, I, with all
my friends and vassals, will take arms in your
This offer was received with joy by Gustavus.
He took leave of the mines, and for some time
remained in his friend's house. But the thoughts
of the young patriot ever turned on one subject;
it was not a life of security and ease which could
divert his mind from his country's sorrows. In
30 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
vain, however, did he endeavour to induce his kind
host to take part in his designs for her deliverance;
arguments and entreaties were alike useless.
"I grieve for my country, Gustavus," he would
say, "deeply grieve; but what can I do ? It is
not a handful of men that can put down the Danish
tyrant. He is too strong for us. We must wait
patiently; better days may come. Were we to
attempt a rising now, it would only be the signal
for more cruelties."
And is not the land full of his cruelties
already ?" Gustavus replied. Is not our country
groaning under the Danish yoke ? Oh my friend,
a few bold hearts united in the same glorious
cause, might soon strike a decisive blow for Sweden
and liberty. The race is not always given to the
swift, nor the battle to the strong. In defence of
our country, our religion, and our homes, I entreat
you to join with me."
All was of no avail, and Gustavus Vasa, with a
sorrowing heart, perceived it. But he could no
longer remain idle, and quitting his friend, went
to the house of a gentleman named Peterson,
whom he had formerly known, and who lived at a
THE COPPER MINE.
Peterson knew him at once, and receiving him
kindly and even respectfully, as the descendant of
a royal line, bade him welcome to his house. On
hearing the wishes and plans of Gustavus, he
entered with apparent eagerness into them.
I will raise my vassals at once," he said; "who
would be backward in the sacred cause of liberty!
Yes, truly and heartily I join you, Sir; you may
command me, my wealth, my friends, my vassals.:
You will soon find Swedes who love their land
well enough to fight for her freedom, and who will
gladly follow you as their leader. I will put
down for you the names of several who, I know,
will join heart and hand in the cause."
All this promised well, and with a grateful
heart Gustavus warmly thanked his friend. His
hopes were raised, his spirits cheered, and his eyes
sparkled with animation as he read the list which
Peterson put into his hands.
This is good I" he exclaimed, this gives hope !
Sweden will yet be free; her sons will yet live in
peace and security. Oh! Peterson, with a few
more such as you we should soon force the Danes
back into their own land."
The young nobleman remained for two or three
32 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
days in Peterson's house, and by his amiable man-
ners and kind disposition won the esteem and
affection of all the inmates. The children became
very fond of him; for when not engaged in business
with their father, he was quite ready to join in
their games, and be the merriest of the merry. He
would answer all their questions, and tell them
stories which at once delighted and interested
One evening as he was thus engaged with the
children, their mother beckoned him from the
room. Do you remain here," she said to the
little ones, who were hurrying after him; Gus-
tavus is going to hide, and then you shall look for
This satisfied the children, who shut the door
and began to guess all the likely places in which
their friend would hide. In the meantime their
mother, a true Dalwoman, took her guest .to a
window. "Look there," she said, "look amongst
the trees-what do you see?"
"A soldier! a Danish soldier!" replied Gustavus,
starting; and more than one-there are several;
I am betrayed !"
There are a score of horsemen surrounding
THE COPPER MINE.
the house, sir; if you would escape, you have
not a moment to lose."
But who can have betrayed me ?" asked the
young noble, fixing his eyes on her. Could it be
Ask me not, sir, ask me not," said Peterson's
wife in a hurried manner; "enough that if one
has betrayed you, I am ready to assist in your
escape. You have been too kind to my children
to let me see you a prisoner without an attempt
for your safety. Come this way, if you value
She hurried him along several passages to an
out-house in the yard. "Now put on this
labourer's frock," she said, "and tie this handker-
chief round your head. That is right; you are well
disguised. Go out through the gate, by the fir-
trees, and take the path to your left; it leads
you through the wood. Should any one meet you,
walk slowly and lean on this stick; they will take
you for the poor sick lad who comes here for milk.
Now go; every moment is precious. Farewell!
and God be with you!"
With hasty but sincere thanks, Gustavus de-
parted. It was high time. The gate had scarcely
84 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORIES.
closed upon him, when several horsemen rode at
full speed into the yard. They were headed by
Peterson himself, who, smiling exultingly as he
dismounted, exclaimed, I do not think you will
be mistaken this time, gentlemen!"
"No, we have him at last!" replied the
soldiers; King Christian will not forget you for
this day's good work, friend Peterson."
When the treacherous host went to the sitting-
room, and inquired for Gustavus, the children all
declared he was hiding; but that they would soon
find out his place of concealment. And while
they searched through the various rooms and
passages of the old house, Peterson went to the
soldiers, and desired them to keep a strict watch
that no one left it. We have him !" he said to
the officer in command; "he is playing at hide-
and-seek with the children; it is a game hehas
played in earnest before now."
In the mean time, Gustavus Vasa pursued his
way through the wood. Night came on, but he
dared not seek refuge in any hut so near Peter-
son's abode. It was winter, and the cold was
intense; a less hardy frame than his could scarcely
have endured it. The young nobleman, however,
THE COPPER MINE.
bore it well; perhaps the thoughts which crowded
into his mind, made him, in a measure, insensible
to bodily pain. These thoughts were, for a time,
desponding ones; but a glance at the starry
firmament above him restored his mind to its
usual state of calm trustful confidence in God.
Again his resolute spirit rose to meet adversity;
again, as he thought on his past reservations, he
hoped for the future.
And truly he had need of resolution. It re-
quired indeed a mind of no common character, a
spirit not easily daunted, to meet undismayed
the dangers and difficulties which crowded on his
path. Again a fugitive and a wanderer in his
native land; pursued by the relentless Danes;
often in want of food, and afraid to ask for shelter,
he suffered, in the middle of a hard winter, hard-
ships and privations of which you, dear children,
have no conception. At one time, he had scarcely
a moment to conceal himself under a fallen fir-tree,
before a party of Danish soldiers galloped up; at
another time he was obliged to hide in a ditch;
and once he was so exhausted from cold, hunger,
and fatigue, that some peasants found him nearly
frozen to death in a wood. They took him to the
36 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN IIISTORY.
house of a farmer, named Ferhson, who paid him
every attention, and where, happily, he was re-
stored to health. Seeing him in the garb of a
peasant, the farmer asked him if he would engage
as a labourer with him. Gustavus gladly assented,
and at once entered on his duties as a farm-servant.
Here he soon became a favourite with master and
men. He was so active, strong, and industrious,
and so quick and clever in his work,-just as dili-
gent, whether his master's eye was upon him, or
not,-that it was not long before Ferhson found he
had acquired a most valuable servant. And he
was so good-natured and cheerful, so ready to give
his help to others, and had so much to tell, as in
an evening they clustered round the wood fire,
that the labourers all agreed in declaring Gustaf
to be the best companion who had come amongst
them for many a long day. The conversation of
the noble Gustavus, though varied, generally turned
on the subject which ever occupied his thoughts.
And eagerly the simple Dalmen listened, as he
spoke, with his eloquent tongue, of the blessings
of freedom; and truly did their hearts respond
to his ardent wishes for Sweden's deliverance.
With scarcely less interest they heard him speak of
THE COPPER MINE.
the great conflict of religious opinions then going
on in Germany; of the celebrated Martin Luther,
standing up to resist the Pope and his edicts; of
the errors of the Romish Church, and the beauty,
simplicity, and grandeur of the Protestant faith; "a
faith," said Gustavus Vasa, "which I trust will be
the faith of Sweden; it is already widely spreading
in our land; yes,-I look forward with hope to
seeing our country a truly Protestant country."
One day, when Gustavus had been some weeks
at the farm, Ferhson sent for him. "I wish to
speak with you, young man," said the farmer,
carefully closing the door, as Gustavus entered the
room. "Last night, unobserved by any, I was
a listener to your conversation with my labourers.
I was, I confess, astonished at what I heard.
For some reason you are in disguise. Your elo-
quence, your information, the very tone of your
voice, and step, all convince me that you are no
peasant. But to me you have been a faithful
servant, and to you I will be a faithful friend.
Tell me how I can assist you, and I will do so to
the utmost of my power."
The young noble stood for a few moments in
a thoughtful attitude, his eyes fixed on the ground,
38 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
then raising them with their usual calm expres-
sion, he said, "I can trust you, Ferhson-I am
"Gustavus Vasa!" exclaimed the astonished
farmer; "is it possible ? Can it be? It is! it is I
blind that I was not to see it before! I thought
last evening it might be one of our persecuted
nobles to whose discourse I listened with so much
pleasure; but little did I dream of discovering in
this disguise the descendant of Sweden's kings,
the patriotic Gustavus Vasa! Noble sir, what
can I do for you?"
Let me be your servant still, Ferhson; it will
be but for a short time longer."
A servant r no, that cannot be; you must
remain in this house as its honoured guest. Are
not you, of all Sweden's sons, the one who most
truly seeks her welfare? Do not many hearts, in
despair, turn to you as the only hope for our
unhappy land? Have not even my children wept
as they heard the tale of your unparalleled mis-
fortunes? Remain in this house, as its master,
noble prince, for here your name is loved and
If I am to be master," said Gustavus, smiling,
THE COPPER MINE.
" I must be obeyed. It will be safer for both,
Ferhson, that for the present I wear this disguise,
and continue to labour as I have done."
It required some persuasion to induce the honest
farmer to agree to this plan; but the event proved
Gustavus to be right in his caution. Only two
mornings after this discovery on the part of Ferh-
son, as Gustavus was labouring at some distance
from him, a party of Danish soldiers rode up to
the farm-house, and commenced a search for the
rebel, Gustavus Vasal Ferhson, though much
alarmed, had the presence of mind to call his little
son, and say to him, "Run, child, as fast as you
can run, to the barn on the further side of the
pond, and tell the labourers who are threshing
there, Gustaf and Peter, that a party of fine soldiers
have come, and they must be quick if they want
to see the grand sight. Now show me how fast
you can run, there's a brave boy."
The hardy little fellow soon delivered his mes-
sage, and Gustavus, taking the timely hint, in-
stantly prepared once more to flee-he knew not
whither. But his fellow-labourer, Peter Nilson,
seeing that there was something to alarm Gustaf in
the child's words, directed him to his hut in the
40 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
wood, where," he said in a whisper, you will be
quite safe from the cruel Danes, friend Gustaf, if,
as I suspect, it is you they seek."
Gustavus saw truth written on the Dalman's
brow, and fled to his cottage. The next morning,
Nilson concealed him in a cart, under a load of straw,
and conveyed him to Rattvik. Ferhson, knowing
he could trust Nilson, had desired him to do so,
and the peasant gladly obeyed; for the regard he
bore Gustaf was now mingled with compassion
and respect. As he walked by the side of the
cart, taking care that the fugitive should have
some air, they were overtaken by the soldiers,
who, having passed the night at the farm, were
now returning full of fury at their fresh disap-
pointment. "Stop the cart!" they shouted to
Nilson, as they rode up; that load of straw may
conceal the rebel we seek; at all events we will
make sure. He shall not escape us again."
Poor Nilson was obliged to obey, and you may
imagine what he felt when he saw the cruel soldiers
surround the cart, and rudely thrust their sharp
pikes into the straw "If he is here, this will
bring him out!" they cried; and, alas! Gustavus
received a deep wound in his side as they spoke.
THE COPPER MINE.
The pain was great, but he endured it without
a groan, and the soldiers, satisfied he could not be
there, rode on, though not without bestowing on
Nilson a hearty blow. Much alarmed for the
safety of the fugitive, the peasant anxiously in-
quired how he fared. "I have been hurt," said
Gustavus, but drive on, good Nilson." Nilson did
so, and on their arrival in Rattvik, carefully attended
to the wound, from which the blood flowed freely.
Gustavus had scarcely recovered from the fever
which his pain brought on, than with renewed
ardour he went from hut to hut, exhorting the
people to throw off the Danish yoke. They lis-
tened to what he said with eagerness; his ready
eloquence and graceful address quite won the
hearts of these simple mountaineers. But his
adventures were not over.
As the river Dalelf runs through Dalarna, so
runs the life-pulse of religion through the laborious
existence of the Dal people." And a peasant
woman sat spinning at the door of her hut; and
poor, but contented, calm, and grateful for the
blessings she enjoyed, sang as she spun:-
"God strengthen and gladden the people who dwell
By river, on hill, and in Dalom."
42 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
Before her lay the silvery Silja lake-the eye
of Dalarna-clear as a mirror; around her were
the blue hills, a constant line of beauty in the
landscape; here were the dark pine woods with
their red, delicate flowers; and there, fields of
young rye, trembling in the evening breeze. It
was the glad season of Nature's awakening from
the long sleep of winter, and the eyes of Larsson's
wife glistened with joy as she contemplated the
beauteous scene. But suddenly her look becomes
troubled. What does she see in the distance?
What can it be which makes her spinning cease,
and which causes her cheek to grow pale? Ah!
she sees the Danish soldiers! she fears by their
haste that they are on some errand of cruelty.
She knows that Gustavus Vasa is in the neigh-
bourhood; she has heard of his misfortunes; she
deeply pities the persecuted noble, and she fears
he is in danger. And see! they come nearer-
their swords glistening in the sun, as they spur
their horses on by the side of the crystal lake.
"Alas! what can they want ?" said the Dal-
woman, as she tremblingly gazed; "their haste
bodes no good; I fear they are in pursuit of some
THE COPPER MINE.
They are in pursuit of me," said a voice by
her side; will you give me shelter ? I am Gus-
Gustavus Vasal" exclaimed the astonished
peasant. For a moment she was lost in surprise,
but it was but for a moment. Come this way,
sir," she said, if I can save you, I will."
She hurried him into her cottage, and down
some steep, broken, stone steps into a dark cellar.
"I trust you will escape them this time," she said,
"but I will take a further precaution," and
ascending the steps, she firmly secured the trap-
door through which they had entered, and then
turned a great brewing-tub over it, so that it was
Scarcely had she sat down to her spinning-wheel,
when the soldiers appeared.
"We will search every cottage," said the officer
in command; perhaps we may find him in this
one; I am convinced he is lurking near." They
entered; and Larsson's wife, calmly rising from
her spinning, said, "You are welcome to search in
my poor hut, Sirs; it is not much you will find
there." After looking into the two rooms and
opening the cupboard doors, a soldier said in a low
44 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
voice to his commander, He cannot be here; the
woman would never be so calm."
Tell me," said the officer to the Dalwoman, "if
a fugitive rebel, like Gustavus Vasa, came to you
for shelter, would you admit him ?"
I have never yet turned any one from my door,
or refused hospitality to a stranger," replied the
peasant, calmly, "and that reminds me I have not
offered you a cup of my last brewing. Let me do
so now." The officer took the proffered draught,
and then departed; calling out, as he galloped off
with his party, "Remember! if I find you ever
extend your hospitality to Gustavus Vasa, nothing
shall save you from instant death !"
The Dalwoman watched them till out of sight,
and then hastened to call the noble fugitive from
his hiding-place, and to set before him the best
food she could provide. He thanked her for her
fidelity and courage, and spoke to her of his designs
for Sweden's deliverance, till her heart grew glad
at the thought. And good Larsson's heart was
glad too when he returned home, and heard what
had happened; and many conversations took place,
and many plans were laid in that cottage, on the
subject of Sweden's welfare.
THE COPPER MINE.
But again the Danes forced the patriot from
his kindly shelter, and once more he fled through
the solitary forests, and over the pine-clad moun-
tains. By night sleeping in the lonely sheds
erected for the poor wayfarer, he followed the
Dalelfthrough the boundless and snow-filled woods.
More and more desolate became the country, and
wilder rushed the rivers, while Gustavus Vasa
pursued his solitary course. Did he not despair
now? No; as he climbed those mountains, his
hopes, his energy, his undaunted resolution,
his trust in God, were all strong as ever. And
then came after him, through the woods, the swift
snow-skaters, to persuade him to return, and put
himself at the head of the peasantry by the Silja
Lake, who, roused by Danish cruelty, were only
desirous to throw off the Danish yoke. Oh! that
was a joyful message for Gustavus! With a heart
full of high hopes and glad resolves, he returned-
to accomplish that which he had so long desired-
the assembling of the peasantry of Sweden to the
battle for Sweden's deliverance. Now the hour
so long waited for-so long hoped for-was come;
now, the light was beginning to break I
It was on a feast day, as the men of Mora came
46 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
out of church, that Gustavus Vasa first addressed
them. He stood on a little eminence, and
eloquently did he describe the miseries of Sweden,
as the peasants gathered round him, contemplating
attentively the young and noble patriot, of whose
unmerited persecutions they had heard so much.
He has a manly voice, and a winning tongue,"
said one old man, and see, the north wind blows
-a good omen-let us attend to what he says."
Well they listened, and well he spoke. Every
word of that address, so full of truth and eloquence,
sunk deep into the hearts of the men of Mora.
After touchingly describing the wretchedness of
their beloved country under the oppressive yoke
of the Danes, and the blessings of freedom, Gus-
tavus concluded in these words ;-" You, Dalmen,
have at all times been brave and undaunted when
the weal of your country was concerned, and there-
fore are you renowned in our chronicles, and all the
inhabitants of Sweden turn now their eyes upon
you; for they are accustomed to look on you as the
firm defence and protection of our native land.
"Gladly will I join you, and will for you spare
neither my hand or my blood; for more the tyrant
has not left me. And then shall he understand
THE COPPER MINE.
that Swedish men are faithful and brave, and that
they may be governed by law, but not by the yoke."
He shall I he shall!" shouted the Dalmen, with
one voice; "we will rise for Sweden and liberty I
-Do you lead us on, noble Lord Gustavus; the
Dalmen will be your followers and your body-
guard in life and in death. Yes; our mountain
homes shall be as free as the mountain breeze I"
And where do you think Gustavus Vasa first
marched with his four hundred Mora men? To
the copper-mine at Fahlun. It was there, aided by
the hardy miners, that he gained the first victory
over his enemies, that he first raised the banner of
his country's freedom. It was from the copper-
mine in which he had laboured, that he began that
career of victory which did not cease till the liberty
of Sweden was accomplished, and himself, by the
free choice of a grateful people, elevated to its
throne. For, from Fahlun his strength increased
with every step, the patriot Swedes gathered around
him, and he soon found himself at the head of
15,000 men. One town after another fell into his
hands, and, at last, Stockholm itself. The tyrant
Christian was obliged to retire into Denmark, and
then his country, with gratitude and enthusiasm,
48 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
offered the crown to Gustavus Vasa. He refused
it, but took the title of Stadtholder. Peace and
s curity from the Danes, however, could not be ob-
tained as long as the throne of Sweden remained
vacant, and at length, to the universal joy of the
people, Gustavus was crowned king. This was in
1527. He established Protestantism in Sweden,
and reigned thirty-three years. During this long
period he displayed such virtues and such talents
for government, that he acquired fresh and im-
perishable claims on the gratitude of his country,
and his memory is, to this day, cherished by every
Now, dear children, if ever you are inclined to
be daunted by difficulties, or cast down by troubles
and disappointments, remember Gustavus Vasa.
Think of his patience, his perseverance, and his
trust in God; and ask yourselves if your trouble
is as great as his, when, toiling like a slave, he was
down a hundred fathom deep, in the dark gloomy
THE SNOW KING.
ABOUT two hundred years ago, there was assembled
in the castle of Arnheim, near Stockholm, a happy
Christmas party. General Arnheim, who loved
to see merry faces around him at that joyous season,
had collected all his children and grandchildren
under the paternal roof. And a cheerful sight it
was to witness the sports and glee of the youthful
troop; and pleasant it was to hear the merry peals
of laughter which resounded through the old castle
of Arnheim. The General thought so; his eye
always grew brighter at such times.
One of the greatest treats to these gladsome
children, was, when sitting in the evening round
the large blazing wood fire in the great hall, they
could prevail on their grandpapa to talk to them of
50 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
former days, or tell them some wondrous story.
For he had fought under the banners of the great
Gustavus Adolphus, the Lion of the North, and
Bulwark of the Protestant Faith;" he had been in
many distant lands, and seen many strange sights;
and he had such a pleasant way of relating the
different scenes in his eventful life, and the anec-
dotes with which his mind was stored! and he was
so kind too! But he enforced strict and prompt
obedience from all, even from the very youngest;
and the children, well brought up, rarely disputed
thewill of those whom they were early taughtto obey.
One evening, when thus assembled, after a day
of great enjoyment, Eric, a fine boy of ten years of
age, exclaimed, "Oh, grandpapa we had such
fine games on the lake to-day and we met an old
soldier, who came across the Baltic in his sledge
last week. It is frozen very hard indeed, this
winter; and he met with so many adventures-
once he was nearly buried in a snow-drift, and
once he lost his way! How I should like to have
been with him !"
"And he told us, grandpapa," said the little
Eva, "that in some countries there is no ice.
How very strange that must be I"
THE SNOW KINGo
But," continued Eric, "he had fought in the
Thirty Years War,' and was severely wounded at
the battle of Leipsic. I stayed talking to him till
it was nearly dark; and now, dear grandpapa, will
you tell me how it was that King Gustavus was
so beloved by his soldiers? That old man's eyes
were full of tears as he spoke of him, though it is
nearly thirty years since he died at Lutzen."
"No wonder, my boy, no wonder," replied the
General. Gustavus Adolphus endeared himself
to all classes of his subjects, but by his army he
was loved in no common degree. His commanding
intellect and unrivalled military talents caused us
to place unbounded confidence in him; while his
bravery, humanity, justice, and piety, won our
esteem and love. A great king, and an able
general, he was equally distinguished for the
virtues which adorn and dignify life. He was a
pious Christian, a sincere friend, a tender husband,
a dutiful son, and an affectionate parent. We
may truly say that Gustavus Adolphus was one
of the greatest princes that ever swayed a
He kept up great discipline in his army, did
he not?" said Frederic.
52 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
He did indeed. From the highest general to
the meanest horse-boy, no one dared to disobey;
yet each and all were ready to lay down their
lives for him. No gaming or expensive luxuries
were permitted in his camp; the officers were not
allowed to indulge in dress or show; the men were
taught moderation and frugality. All outrages,
especially theft, duelling, gambling, and impiety,
were punished with rigid severity. On taking a
town, or in marching through an enemy's country,
all pillage and cruelty were strictly forbidden.
The King himself was a bright example of that
which he enjoined on others. No gold or silver
glittered in his tent; he disdained not the humble
fare of the private soldier;-religion was the
guide of his life. He was at once the legislator,
and the most scrupulous observer of the law."
"And as to his bravery, grandpapa, the day
when, sword in hand, he fell on the plains of
Lutzen affords sufficient proof of that."
Ah that day was a sad one for Sweden. She
lost at one blow her king, her general, her father,
and her friend !"
"You were in that battle, grandpapa," said
Ulrica; "were you near the king when he fell ?"
THE SNOW KING.
No, my child, I was not. The first intima-
tion I had of the sad event was seeing his riderless
and blood-stained steed galloping through the
ranks. The dismal tidings thus announced to the
troops, a wild cry arose of 'The king is slain I
The king is slain !' There was no need then to
encourage and lead on the men. The fate of their
beloved monarch inspired them with redoubled
energy. Their courage was excited almost to
madness, and pressing on to revenge his fall, the
terrors of danger and death were alike disre-
garded. Like enraged lions they rushed on the
Austrians. The battle continued nine hours after
the death of the king, and terminated in the defeat
of the Austrians; but we could not rejoice in our
victory, it was too dearly bought."
"Was not the king galloping forwards to rally
some troops when the fatal shot was fired ?" asked
"Yes, my love. The intrepid hero had been
wounded in the arm, and, though faint and bleed-
ing, was endeavouring to conceal it from the
soldiers, when a second shot laid him low. Then
arose a desperate and fearful contest I But a
shower of balls dispersed or killed those who
54 SHORT STORES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
rushed to the aid of their beloved monarch, and
Gustavus expired, his last words being, 'Alas!
my poor queen! my poor queen!' Two of his
faithful officers threw themselves across his body,
and breathed their last in defence of it. In pro-
tecting the dear and honoured remains from the
enemy, numbers were slain. The Yellow Guard
of Gustavus-his favourite band-was cut to
pieces, and lay on the ground close by the spot
where he had fallen, precisely in the order in
which they had met the foe, having disdained to
yield one inch. Yes; the love of our soldiers to
their king was fully proved at the eventful battle
"But was he not buried at Stockholm ?" asked
He was, amidst the tears of a nation. He
was only thirty-eight when he died."
"When did you last see him, grandpapa?"
"Just before the battle. I had been conversing
with him, and was struck with his calm composure
as he gave me some orders. His manner was
more than usually kind and winning. C We know
not what may be the event of this contest,' he
said, 'but it will be a severe one. Wallenstein is
THE SNOW XIW.
not one to give way. We must trust in God for
victory, General; He orders all things well'
As he rode along the lines, after the usual
Divine Service, he addressed the men, saying, My
companions and friends, acquit yourselves like
men of service to-day. Observe your orders, and
behave valiantly, for your own sakes as well as
mine. I will lead you on.' An universal and enthuse
siastic shout from the army expressed the deter-
mination of the soldiers to follow wherever he led."
Did he always have prayers before a battle ?"
"Always. He used to say 'a good Christian
could not make a bad soldier,' and he himself was
a bright example to his army of piety and trust in
God. He was in the habit of constantly reading
the Holy Scriptures; several times, on entering
his tent, have I found him engaged in the perusal
of the sacred volume, when we thought he was
occupied with plans of battles or sieges."
But why did King Gustavus go to battle then,
dear grandpapa? for the Bible tells us to live in
peace with one another."
War is a sad thing, Eva, and Gustavus knew
its horrors. But the oppressed Protestants of
66 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
Germany had loudly called to him for help. He
was firm in his attachment to the Protestant faith;
they were persecuted and groaning under the
tyranny of Austria, and he stood forward as their
Do you think the time will ever come when
there will be no more fighting in the world?"
asked little Eva.
Our Bible tells us there will be such a time,
my child. But people must cease to be selfish,
and covetous, and cruel, before that day can be.
Our good king did what he could to alleviate the
horrors of war; but still, wherever war is, there
must be misery, and desolation, and death."
Well, for my part," said Eric, "I should like
to have gone with the great Gustavus to battle, if
it were but to see the fight."
"Ah my boy, you would soon have seen
enough, when you had walked over the battle-
field after a victory. But I remember two
brothers, fine boys about your own age, who had
the same desire as you have, and who were in the
camp of Gustavus Adolphus;--shall I tell you of
their fate ?"
"Oh pray do."
THE SNOW KING.
You must know, then, that our beloved
monarch always endeavoured to teach his soldiers
moderation and humanity. Wherever we were,
and on whatever service employed, the public
worship of God formed one of our most important
duties; for, to be taught our duty to God, was,
the king well knew, the surest and truest way of
learning our duty to our neighbour. Every regi-
ment had two chaplains, who were generally re-
spected and beloved by the soldiers. At dawn of
day, each regiment, assembled by beat of drum,
formed a circle around the chaplain appointed to
attend it. Suitable prayers were offered up, and
a psalm or hymn chanted by all present; after
which, the minister delivered a short sermon. The
boys were then sent to school, which was regularly
opened in a particular part of the camp reserved
for the purpose. If there were no important
duties to be performed, every one betook himself
to some useful occupation. The greatest order
and regularity prevailed throughout the army;
swearing and all gambling, as I said, being strictly
forbidden. At sunset, the roll of the drum again
summoned us to prayer; and after the watch was
set, we tranquilly went to rest, feeling that the
58 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
Almighty whose protection we had implored,
would defend us from harm and danger."
"But how did the soldiers employ themselves
all day, when there was no fighting? were they
not idle and dull?" asked Theodore.
Certainly not. None of the soldiers of Gus-
tavus Adolphus were allowed to remain idle.
When not engaged in active service, the men
became pioneers and military architects. Each
soldier was his own tailor and mechanic, or mended
his clothes, when necessary; it was not at all an
unusual sight to see them knitting or making lace."
Oh grandpapa I but of course the officers did
not do such things as that ?"
Yes, Eric, I know they did," exclaimed Ulrica,
"for those beautiful point-lace ruffles which grand-
papa wears sometimes, he told me he made himself
after some great battle."
Eric looked perplexed. "Why, grandpapa,"
he said, "I have always heard that the Swedish
soldiers of Gustavus Adolphus were amongst the
bravest in the world. How could they do such
"Because it was better than doing nothing, my
boy. I have often looked with pleasure on those
THE SNOW KING,
hardy soldiers, the victors in a hundred fights, as
they sat quietly knitting their own stockings, or
making lace to be sent as a remembrance to
their Swedish homes. Such employment did not
make them the less brave. Their valour, hardi-
hood, and humanity, were extolled throughout
Europe. Alike patient of summer heat and winter
cold, frugal, temperate, and highly disciplined,
our Swedish soldiers might well be deemed
examples of what soldiers should be. It was
King Gustavus who had brought the army into
this state King Gustavus, whom we almost
idolized-and who marched through Germany as
a conqueror, the sword in one hand, and mercy in
the other. All that could be done to lessen the
calamities attendant on war, he did-the most
humane, the most merciful, the most pious of
conquerors, was truly Gustavus Adolphus the
Did not the Austrians call him the Snow
King?" asked Eva.
"Yes; they thought he would, with his army,
speedily melt away before the fiery forces of the
south; but they were mistaken. The Snow King,
with his dauntless spirit and military skill, took
60 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
town after town, and city after city-freed the
oppressed Protestants in Germany from the Aus-
trian yoke, and astonished all Europe by the
success of his arms. The battles of Leipsic, of
the Lech, and of Lutzen, proved the Lion of the
North to be no Snow King."
Ah I know at the two first he defeated the
Austrian general, Count Tilly, and at Lutzen he
fought with General Wallenstein. I want you to
tell me something about that extraordinary man,
if you please."
"Yes, Fred, but grandpapa was going to tell us
of the two boys first."
"True, so I was, Eric. I had often noticed the
two brothers for their serious and proper attention
at Divine Service, and for their affectionate be-
haviour to each other. They were orphans; their
father fell in battle, and King Gustavus, taking
the children under his special protection, had them
trained up beneath his own eye. Early accustomed
to the employment of a military life, taught
patiently to endure cold, hunger, and fatigue,
brought up in habits of strict obedience, while at
the same time the importance of truth, and the
duties of kindness and humanity were impressed
THE SNOW IN. .
upon them, Charles and Gustaf gave ample promise
of becoming brave and good soldiers. They were
favourites with the whole army, though so young;
King Gustavus himself often kindly noticed the
orphans of Leipsic, as they were called. Well, as
I told you, public schools were opened every day
with the same regularity and quiet as in one of
our country towns, and the moment the forces
began to intrench themselves, the children went
to a safe and peaceable quarter, marked out as
their place of study. It happened one day, that
I was visiting the school at the time when some
little rewards of merit were being distributed
amongst the boys. I observed that though one
was presented to Gustaf, he did not seem parti-
cularly pleased, but when a similar one was given
to his brother, his countenance brightened up
"'Ah that is right 1' he exclaimed, 'now I am
so glad! Are we not happy, Charlie ?'
"' What makes you so happy, my boy I asked.
' Have you never had a reward of merit before?'
"'Oh yes, sir; the reason I am glad, is because
in a few days the king will visit us, and he always
inquires to whom the rewards have been given,
6~ SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
and I should have been so very, very sorry if Charlie
and I had not each one to show him.'
"'Why should you have been sorry ?' I said.
"'Ah sir!' exclaimed both the boys, 'King
Gustavus would have thought we had not tried to
please him, and we do indeed love him from ouri
hearts. He has been so good and kind to us!'
"'He is a good king, truly,' I observed, I trust
you will make him two brave soldiers.'
"' I hope so,' replied Gustaf; I would do any-
thing for him. How happy I should be to die in
saving his life Charlie, shall you ever forget the
day when we first saw him ? how the tears stood
in his eyes as he said, Be good boys, my children,
and I will be a father to you." He has indeed
been a father to us both!'
"' Yes, and he told us always to trust in God,
and pray devoutly to Him, for we could neither be
good or happy unless we did.-I have never
forgotten that. But see, Gustaf, the classes are
It was pleasing to a soldier's eye to observe the
quick and orderly formation of the various classes.
Each boy fell into his place in an instant, without
a word being spoken; and the steady attention
THE SNOW KING.
which the little fellows gave to their lessons was
quite remarkable. Gustaf and Charles, in par-
ticular, appeared to have no thoughts but for the
task assigned them. Their bright and happy
countenances, as side by side they looked over
the same book, bespoke much intellect and
sweetness of disposition; and I turned to the
master to make some inquiries as to their progress
in learning. His account was most satisfactory.
'They are the best boys in my school,' he said;
' in obedience, diligence, and kindness of heart,
none can equal them, and the motive which
animates them to do well, is that of pleasing our
good king. He has quite won their hearts by his
kindness to them, and I will venture to say, that
when these boys grow up, King Gustavus will not
have, in his whole army, braver soldiers or better
men than they will be.' I was about to reply,
when a sudden and loud crash was heard-I well
knew the sound! In anxious alarm I looked
around-alas the orphan brothers and two of
their companions lay dead upon the floor!"
"Oh, grandpapa! what was it? what killed them?"
"A cannon-ball had pierced the school-house,
and done its dreadful errand, The general, who
64 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
had allotted out the ground, thought it secure
from the enemy's guns, for every precaution was
taken to ensure the safety of the children. But he
was mistaken, and four out of that youthful group
were in a moment hurried into eternity!"
"How very dreadful!" exclaimed little Eva.
" I suppose all the other boys ran away directly ?"
"On the contrary, not one stirred from his
place. In such good discipline were these young
soldiers, that not a pen or a book dropped from
their hands, not a word was spoken, nor did one
even change colour. But I noticed many eyes
filled with tears as they gazed on the lifeless
bodies of their favourite companions, so lately in
health and spirits by their side."
"Was King Gustavus very sorry when he heard
of their sad fate ?"
He was deeply grieved. 'Alas! my orphan
children!' he exclaimed; I have in them lost
two brave and faithful soldiers !' By his orders,
a solemn hymn was chanted over their graves,
as they were committed to the earth amidst the
tears of the regiment."
"Poor little boys said Ulrica; "what a
terrible destruction a cannon-ball makes!"
THE SNOW KING.
A very short time after this, I was riding with
the king, who was reconnoitring the enemy, when
a ball passed through the body of the horse on
which he was mounted. Immediately falling with
its rider, it was several times rolled over and over
upon the earth by the violence of the shock,
After extricating the king from his dead steed, I
found he had happily received no injury, except
that the skin of his foot had been slightly rased
by the shot. He was calm and unmoved, but
said, I have had a fortunate escape, and a fresh
warning to be prepared for that fate which may
meet me at any moment, and to which I am as
liable as the meanest of my soldiers. I resign
myself to the will of Divine Providence.' A few
minutes after, a cannon shot carried off the head
of a young officer, much beloved by the king and
the whole army. His father, an aged nobleman,
who had distinguished himself in the Thirty Years
War, on receiving the intelligence, said to the
friends who were endeavouring to console him,
'I am a father, my friends, it is true; but I am
at the same time a Christian. My son belonged
to God before he belonged to me."'
"Oh, I do not like to hear of people killing
66 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
each other so," said Eva. "Can you not tell us
something else, dear grandpapa?"
Shall I tell you about Queen Eleanora, who
loved her husband so tenderly ? She liked fighting
as little as you do, Eva, but as Gustavus was
absent so long in Germany, she determined to
follow him thither. Accordingly, she left the
pleasures of Stockholm, and went to Germany,
taking with her no inconsiderable supply of men,
artillery and money. During her short stay at
Stettin, she expressed a wish that all the grand
fetes and entertainments prepared in honour of
her arrival, might be dispensed with. I do not
think it right,' she said, 'that I should spend my
time in diversions, while my dear husband is
exposing his life to perils in the field; I should
much prefer, if it please you, seeing the money
intended to be laid out for my amusement ex-
pended in the offices of charity.' She traversed
Germany to meet the king, and at Leipsic was
received with extraordinary honours; that Protes-
tant city presenting her, as the wife of the De-
liverer of Germany, with a copy of the Bible, and
a service of silver. Wherever she went, she was
gratified by hearing from every mouth the praises
THE SNOW KING.
of a husband whom she loved with an intense
affection. The meeting of the royal pair was a
most interesting and touching scene. Though it
took place in public, and the king was surrounded
by princes and officers, Eleanora, with a transport
of joy I cannot describe, flew to him, threw her
arms round his neck, and exclaimed with tears of
delight, 'The great Gustavus is indeed taken
prisoner at last!"'
"Was it not Queen Eleanora who gave you
the Order of the Golden Heart, grandpapa?"
It was. When our beloved king fell at
Lutzen, the sad intelligence threw the poor queen
almost into a state of distraction. For a long
time her grief was inconsolable, and for months
after the funeral solemnities were performed, she
continued to keep in her chamber a golden box
containing the heart of her deceased husband.
This she visited with tears and lamentations many
times in the day, till the senate, fearing such
indulgence of sorrow might injure her health,
induced her to consent to its interment, when she
instituted, in memory of the circumstance, the
celebrated Order of the Golden Heart."
"And that is the medal we have seen you
68 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
wear? Well, I do not wonder Queen Eleanora
loved Gustavus, but he would have wished her
to be more resigned to the Divine will, would
he not ?"
"He himself showed much resignation and trust
in God, in all the events of life. I remember once
being in some anxiety as to the future, and I
suppose, was looking troubled, when King Gus-
tavus came up to me, and with a kindly smile,
laying his hand on my shoulder, said in the words
of his grandfather Gustavus Vasa,
'Thou Swede, put firmly thy trust in God,
And ardently wait thou upon Him.'
My heart felt lighter in a moment."
"What a different man King Gustavus was to
the cruel Wallenstein!"
Different indeed! Wallenstein was remarkable
for his haughty temper, and aspiring disposition.
He was possessed of such immense wealth, that
his palace could vie in costly splendour with that
of any monarch in Europe. His table, in splendid
array, was generally furnished with covers for a
hundred guests. An armed guard of fifty men
was stationed in his ante-chamber, while six
barons, six knights, and no less than sixty pages,
THE SNOW KING. "
were in daily attendance on him. The most
gorgeous dresses were worn by his servants, and
his chamberlains were equipped with chains and
keys of massive gold. I have been told the stalls
in 'his stable were of Bohemian marble, and the
racks and mangers of polished steel. When he
travelled, his attendants and baggage occupied a
hundred wagons, and the gentlemen of his court
sixty coaches. His manner was stern and repul-
sive. When he gave orders, woe to him who
should dare to disobey! It is said, that one of his
pages happening to awake him somewhat earlier
than the appointed time, he had him immediately
executed. On the other hand, he generally re-
warded prompt obedience. Having issued an
order that no scarfs but those of a scarlet colour
were to be worn by his officers, a captain, who
was present, to show his obedience to the mandate,
immediately tore from his neck one which was
handsomely embroidered in various colours, and
trampled it under his feet. Wallenstein at once
raised him to the rank of colonel."
"His officers could not love him, grandpapa?"
"No; he was well obeyed, from fear, but he
was without a single friend. Though he paid his
70 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
soldiers liberally, and made magnificent presents,
no one loved him. Pillage, as you know, was
strictly fbrdidden by our beloved king. Wallen-
stein, on the contrary, offered the Emperor to
raise an army of 50,000 men at his own expense,
provided they should support themselves by
plunder in the hostile countries I"
"Had he not, at times, a great aversion to
So great, that the streets near his castle were
barricaded with strong bars and chains, and sen-
tinels placed on purpose to preserve perfect
silence; while the officers who were admitted to
his presence, were obliged to prevent the jingling
of their spurs, by tying silk twist around them."
"What a selfish, cruel man he was," observed
Ulrica. "I suppose he was very angry when he
was defeated at Lutzen?"
"Yes; he cruelly had several of his brave
officers executed on the public scaffold, on a
charge of cowardice in that battle. His conduct
was uniformly so strange, King Gustavus in
general spoke of him as 'the madman."'
"And he called Count Tilly, 'the old corporal.'
I remember he was slain at the famous battle of
THE SNOW KING.
the Lech. He must have been a brave old
"Oh! Frederic," said Olga, "I never hear his
name without thinking of the terrible siege of
Magdeburg. How very cruel and barbarous
Tilly's soldiers were when he took that city !"
Pray do not talk of the siege of Magdeburg,"
said little Eva, "it makes me shudder to think of
it. Nurse was living there at the time, and she
told me one day about its horrors, but I never
wish to hear any more. Could you not tell us
another little story about good King Gustavus,
The old general smiled. "Well, dear Eva," he
said, after a pause, "I will tell you about his
being very angry with grandpapa."
"Could that be?" said the little girl, opening
her eyes in surprise, I always thought he was
very kind to you."
"And I have always heard that General Arn-
heim was one of his favourite officers," observed
That may be, dear children, but if General
Arnheim did wrong, was King Gustavus to pass
it by ? No; beloved as he was by every Swedish
72 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
heart, he would not have possessed the affections
of his people "as he did, had he made laws which
he suffered to be broken with impunity."
"Did you break his laws, grandpapa?"
"You shall hear. Duelling was a custom pre-
valent throughout Europe at that time. For the
least affront, intentional or not, men took offence,
a challenge was given, and a duel fought. So
universal was this mode of settling quarrels, that
in France alone, during the reign of Henry the
Fourth, no less than four thousand of the nobility
were slain in duels. The custom was spreading
fast amongst us, and he, who for the very slightest
affront, was not willing to give or to accept a
challenge, was deemed a coward. Gustavus
Adolphus, determined to put a stop to a practice
which he considered both absurd and murderous,
made a law that he who fought a duel, on any
pretence whatever, should be punished with death.
At the same time, he established a court of honour,
composed of the principal officers of the army, to
decide upon those questions which hitherto had
been settled by the sword, and after a fair trial,
an apology was ordered to be made on the part of
him who had given offence. Some few months
THE SNOW KING.
after this law was made, it happened that I fell
into a dispute with a brother officer about some
trifle; words ran high, and in the heat of temper,
he gave, and I accepted, a challenge. The words
had scarcely passed my lips, when I felt I had
done wrong, but I had allowed my passion to get
the better of me, and I was too proud then to
acknowledge it. Well aware that the duel could
not be fought without the King's knowledge, and
certain that such an offence would not be passed
by, we somewhat boldly resolved to go to our
sovereign and ask his permission to settle our dis-
pute with the sword. The King heard us with
calm surprise, but, concealing his indignation,
replied, 'Your request, I confess, has rather
astonished me, gentlemen. It is an unexpected
one; but you seem much in earnest on the subject,
and doubtless are convinced, that by one killing
the other, the point in dispute will be effectually
settled. I am unwilling to refuse what two of my
most experienced generals and faithful officers ask
of me. You know my opinions on duelling,-but
your request is granted; and I myself will be a
witness to your spirit and valour on the occasion.
It would be a pity for your king to miss seeing a
74 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
fight between two of his bravest subjects.' We
retired, not very certain whether the king ap-
proved of our conduct or not. Though dignified
and polite, his manner wanted that kindness and
affability which usually marked it when he spoke
to any of his old officers. However, it was too
late to retract, though a pang shot through my
heart, at the thought that I might have displeased
my gracious sovereign. To be sure that I had
not fallen in my master's favour, to have seen him
look kindly on me, as usual, I felt that I could
have made any reasonable apology to a brother
officer, or submitted to the court of judges any
insult I might have received."
But why did you not make an apology, then,
dear grandpapa?" inquired Theodore, eagerly.
My dear boy, I was too proud to do so. I felt
I had done wrong, but I could not acknowledge
it, and, like every one else who feels that, I was
not happy. However, my pride brought its own
punishment with it. At the appointed hour, on
the day named, General Bergstrom and myself,
well armed and attended, presented ourselves at
the place of meeting. Scarcely had we arrived,
when King Gustavus galloped up, at the head of
THE SNOW KING.
a body of infantry, which he immediately formed
in a circle round the spot. There was a look of
stern determination, and, I thought, displeasure,
on his brow. After the necessary preparations
had been made, as we stood confronting each other,
with our weapons drawn, ready to commence the
combat, our attention was arrested by the appear-
ance of a man, who, with a heavy sabre in his
hand, walked into the ring, and stood as if to
watch the proceedings. The king observed our
astonishment, and riding forwards, said, in a tone
of marked displeasure, Do not be surprised,
gentlemen. According to the laws of your coun-
try, your lives are already forfeited in consequence
of the offence to which you have endeavoured to
make me a party. You will therefore take notice,
that the instant one falls by the sword of his an-
tagonist, the executioner, who stands there, has
my orders to strike off the head of the other. My
laws are not to be trifled with thus.' The words
seemed to bring us to our senses. Struck with
shame at our conduct, we knelt at the feet of our
sovereign and entreated his forgiveness. 'It is
granted,' said Gustavus Adolphus, on one con-
dition-that you instantly become reconciled to
76 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
each other, and that you give me your solemn
word to refrain from such acts of disobedience for
the future.' Receiving forgiveness from the king,
we readily forgave each other, feeling ashamed
that a trifling quarrel should have disturbed a
friendship of many years.
On our giving the required promise, Gusta-
vus's brow cleared. 'I can trust you,' he said;
'but I declare, before you all, I will not again
pass over an offence of this kind. The law shall
take effect, and death shall be the punishment of
the duellist. It is my wish to have soldiers under
my command, not gladiators. If any one wishes
to prove to his fellow-countrymen that he is no
coward, let him do so on the field of battle.'
Such, my dear children, was the circumstance.
It was the only time in which I ever remember to
have fallen under the king's displeasure, and I was
taught a lesson then that I never forgot in after life."
Had King Gustavus any children?" said Eva.
He had one little daughter, named Christina,
of whom he was very fond. I first saw her at
Calmar. She was then only two years of age, and
the governor hesitated to give the king the usual
salute, lest the noise of the cannon might terrify
THE SNOW KING.
the child. Gustavus, being informed of it, ex-
claimed, Fire! the girl is the daughter of a sol-
dier, and must be accustomed early to such sounds.'
Instead of being frightened, however, little Chris-
tina clapped her hands, and cried,' More! more' '"
"And when did you see her again, grandpapa?"
"I saw her again when King Gustavus took
leave of the Estates before going to Germany.
Taking the child in his arms, he presented her to
the assembled deputies as their future sovereign.
He spoke of the probability of his falling in battle,
and commended his infant daughter to the protec-
tion of his faithful subjects in such terms as to
draw tears from the eyes of all present. One
after another, the deputies advanced, and kneel-
ing before the little Christina, took the oath of
allegiance to her as their future queen. After
a parting address to the several orders of the state
present,-a farewell which will never be forgot-
ten by those who heard it,-the king presided at
a splendid banquet, delighting all by the kindness
and affability of his manner, no less than by the
intelligence of his conversation. He then pre-
pared for embarkation, and while giving us the
requisite orders, the Princess Christina approached
78 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
for the purpose of delivering a little speech upon
his departure, in which she had been carefully
instructed. The king, busy with the scene before
him, was not aware of the child's presence, till she
had two or three times pulled him by the coat, to
attract his attention. Turning suddenly round,
Gustavus beheld his infant daughter in the atti-
tude of commencing her address. With a burst
of uncontrollable emotion he caught her up in his
arms, bestowed on her a thousand caresses, and
hung over her for a long time in tears, as if wil-
ling to defer to the last moment the pang of
separation. It was an affecting scene. The brave
warrior and tender father parted with his only-
his loved child-never to see her more!"
"Oh, I am glad my papa does not go to war,
and leave me," said Eva. "But can you tell us
anything more about Christina ?"
"She was only six years old when, by the
lamented death of her father, she became Queen
of Sweden. Of course, she had guardians, of whom
the wise and prudent Chancellor Oxenstiern was
at the head. Her education was rather a mascu-
line one. She was instructed in Latin, Greek,
Hebrew, history, and politics, while her amuse-
THE SNOW KING.
ments were riding, hunting, shooting, and review-
ing troops. At the age of eighteen she took the
reins of government."
"And she resigned them the very day I was
four years old, because she was tired of being a
queen. That is six years ago, said Frederic.
How old was Christina then, Theodore, when
she grew weary of royalty ?"
She was only eight-and-twenty. And she
gave the crown to her cousin, our present king,
Charles the Tenth."
Queen Christina was not a good queen, was
"I grieve to say she was not, Ulrica. But
reverence and affection for her father's memory
stifled all murmurs from her subjects. One action
of hers would have deeply pained our Protestant
king. After her abdication, she forsook the reli-
gion which he had so nobly upheld, and became
a Roman Catholic. Her great desire was to make
a sensation in the world, and she has succeeded;
but her extraordinary conduct has only gained her
pity, contempt, and dislike. Vain, ridiculous, and
unhappy, she is living at Rome, an unworthy
daughter of the great Gustavus Adolphus."
80 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
"I think it was rather amusing that the Aus-
trians should give our brave monarch the title of
'The Snow King,' when his armies did not melt
away, as they expected. The name of the Lion
of the North' might well be his."
General Arnheim smiled on his animated little
grandson. "Now, my dear children," said he,
"before we say good night, I should like to hear
a chant. What shall it be ?"
Shall we sing King Gustavus's own hymn,-
SBe not afraid, thou little band?'"
A chant, if you please," cried several voices.
"The same that our Swedish soldiers chanted
before the battle of Lutzen."
Very well; now then, do your best."
And in sweet, clear tones, the children all
joined in chanting Martin Luther's celebrated
paraphase of the 46th Psalm, commencing with-
God is our strong tower of refuge."
And so their pleasant day concluded.
Early on the following morning, Frederic re-
paired to the nursery. "Good morning, nurse
THE SNOW KING.
Christy," he said to a cheerful-looking woman;
" we are going to have such a treat to-day !"
"Indeed, sir! and what may that be ?"
"Why, we are all going, in so many sledges,
across the lake. I am so delighted!"
"Across the lake Maeler! that will be a nice
excursion truly! but I must wrap up my little
girls well, then."
"Well, nurse, you could not wrap them up
much more than you do, I think. Fur pelisses,
fur bonnets, fur shoes, fur gloves, and fur muffs,
besides tippets, and veils, and handkerchiefs; what
more can they wear ?"
Ah twenty miles is a long way for little Eva
to go," said nurse, shaking her head; "I must
take care of her."
"It is well we are not going up the lake, that
would be eighty miles, you know. Nurse Christy,
Eva said you remembered something about the
siege of Magdeburg."
"I shall never forget it if I lived a hundred
years, Master Frederic," said nurse with a sigh.
Is it not at Magdeburg there is such a fine
cathedral ?" said Frederic.
"Yes, sir, they say it was a hundred and fifty
82 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
years in building. It is very magnificent, and
has two steeples 350 feet in height."
"What was there so very dreadful in the siege,
nurse? I always thought it a very fine exploit to
besiege and take a town."
"Oh, sir! you would never think so again if
you once could see what I have seen! The fair
city of Magdeburg, after being taken by Count
Tilly, was given over to pillage, then set on fire,
and 30,000 of the inhabitants put to the sword.
The whole town, except the cathedral, one church,
and a few houses, was reduced to ashes. Alas!
for the well fortified and fair city of Magdeburg!"
"What made Tilly besiege it?"
"It was a Protestant city, and had declared for
Gustavus Adolphus. The King of Sweden, how-
ever, was too far off to save us, and after a long siege
Magdeburg fell into the hands of the Austrians."
"Were you in the town at the time, nurse
"Yes, master Fred, I was a little girl at school.
One morning, just as we had assembled, some one,
running in, told us the city was taken:-' Shut
your books, and run home, my children,' said our
master, 'and pray to God to protect you.'"
THE SNOW KING.
c" We ran into the street, all dispersing different
ways. I had long been terrified by the thunder-
ing of the cannon against the city walls, but I
saw now, there was something more fearful than
that. I had only gone a few steps when I met a
little child about two years old, walking alone.
As it stopped to play with something, a soldier,
running by, killed it with his sword. Struck with
horror at the sight, I concealed myself in a door-
way. Oh, to what cruel scenes I was a witness!
The Austrian soldiers murdered all who came in
their way, man, woman, and child. I would have
given all I possessed to have been safe at home.
Trembling and crying, I at last ventured on. I
had not gone far before I saw a party of soldiers
approaching, and opening the first shop-door I
came to, I ran in. An old man was there, who,
with trembling fingers, was putting some money
and jewels in a box. He did not see me, and not
able to speak from fright, I hid myself behind a
large cask. Just as I had done so, the soldiers
rushed in. 'Deliver up your money!' they ex-
claimed to the old man, 'or you have not a
moment to live.' The poor man gave up all his
84 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
"'Is this all you have?' said the ruffians.
"'All I have in the world,' he replied.
They laughed, took the treasure, and shot him
"Oh, how dreadful! how cruel!" exclaimed
"Ah! I saw worse deeds of cruelty than that,
sir, but I will not shock you by an account of
them. The houses were all entered and ransacked,
and the children murdered, as they clung to their
mothers for protection. Twenty young ladies,
overcome with fright, jumped into the Elbe. The
bloodshed, the terror, the screams, the confusion,
and the fire, formed a scene which was indeed
terrible to contemplate, and fearful to look back
"Did you reach home in safety, nurse?"
"I did, sir, after many escapes. Once a soldier,
holding me up by the hair of my head, was about
to kill me, when he caught sight of a man trying
to escape with some treasure, and he left me, to
seize it. I reached home, but it was deserted,
and I have never since that terrible day heard
any tidings of my father, mother, or sister."
"Have you not, nurse Christy? Oh, that is
THE SNOW KING.
very sad! What should I have done if my dear
father or darling sister had perished in the siege
of Magdeburg! I did not know sieges were such
Alas! that is because they sound fine to talk
about. Sieges and battles are, in my opinion,
very unfit for men professing Christianity. Some-
times, I suppose, they can scarcely be avoided;
but I doubt not, as the world grows older, men
will grow wiser, and not live to kill each other.
King Gustavus, soldier as he was, shed tears at
the fate of Magdeburg."
By this time the gay sledges were at the door,
and Frederic, giving nurse Christy a bright riband
for her cap, ran off to join the happy party.
He thought, as he drove along, of what he had
heard, and was a little shaken in his determination
to be a soldier.
I hope all little children who read this story,
join heart and lip in the prayer of our beautiful
Liturgy, offered up every Sunday in ten thousand
English churches,-" That it may please Thee to
give to all nations unity, peace, and concord."
THE IRON KING.
ONE cold winter's morning, a little boy, about
seven years of age, was taking a ride in the
vicinity of Stockholm. The capital of Sweden
is in a situation remarkable for its romantic
.scenery. It is built on seven small rocky islands,
which are connected by bridges; and numerous
rocks of granite, rising boldly from the surface of
the water, partly bare and craggy, and partly
dotted with houses or feathered with wood, have
a very picturesque effect. The harbour is an
inlet of the Baltic, and the water is so deep, that
ships of the largest size can approach the quay.
At its extremity rises the city, street above
street, in the form of an amphitheatre; and the
palace, a magnificent building, crowns the summit.
1 .2 4 .
JW H IN*j lv
THE IRON KING.
All was now ice and snow, and every one was
warmly wrapped up in furs. The little boy, as
he looked around him, saw no gallant ships sailing
into the harbour, for the Baltic Sea was frozen
over, and now there was skating on it, races in
sledges and various games. Here came a sledge
rapidly along, with two men in it well muffled
up: and by the gratulations they received on all
sides, it was evident they had crossed the Baltic.
Some of the sledges were very elegant, with their
gaily caparisoned horses and tinkling sleigh bells;
and gracefully they skimmed along, over the ice.
Should you like to live in one of those cold
countries, with its long, long winter? The Swedish
children have not the amusements you have, but
they are very happy and contented. When the
father of a little family has been out all day in
the ice and snow, how the children watch for his
return as the evening draws in! and how quick
are their ears to catch the first sound of the distant
sleigh bells! Then may the grateful mother sing-
'Tis merry to hear at evening time
By the blazing hearth, the sleigh bells chime;
To know each bound of the steed brings near
The form of him to our bosoms dear;
88 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
Lightly we spring the fire to raise,
Till the rafters glow with the ruddy blaze.
"'Tis he and blithely the gay bells sound,
As his steed skims over the frozen ground;
Hark he has pass'd the gloomy wood,
He crosses now the ice-bound flood,
And sees the light from the open door,
To hail his toilsome journey o'er.
Our hut is small, and rude our cheer,
But love has spread the banquet here;
And childhood springs to be caress'd
By our beloved and welcome guest;
With smiling brow his tale he tells,
They, laughing, ring the merry bells. '
"From the gloomy wood the wolf may howl;
From the blasted pine loud whoop the owl;
The sudden crash of the falling tree
Is sound of terror no more to me;
No longer I list with boding fear,
The sleigh bells' merry peal to hear."
But we must return to the little Swede. The
pony on which he was mounted was a spirited
animal, and had more than once that morning
attempted to run away; but the child, who per-
fectly understood the art of managing him, held
him in with a tight rein. Indeed, it was astonish-
ing to see one so young ride so well, and have
such a command over his pony. Now he would
THE IRON KING.
put him to a quick gallop, then cause him to trot
gently, and at last he made him leap over a wall.
This feat, however, the pony seemed determined
not to accomplish, but his little master was quite
as determined that he should. Again and again
did he spur him on to the attempt, and again and
again did the pony start aside from making it.
" You will not conquer me," said the boy quietly;
and at length, after a contest which lasted nearly
an hour, the leap was made, greatly to the delight
of the attendant groom, who, however, was too
respectful to express his admiration. And Charles,
(for that was the name of the resolute young
rider,) having repeated the leap two or three
times, exulting in the mastery he had obtained
over his pony, rode home at a gallop.
Little Charles did not like reading, or learning
lessons, but he was very fond of riding, skating,
firing off cannon, or anything relating to a military
life. He was brought up in a very hardy manner,
and accustomed from an early age to suffer
patiently cold, hunger, fatigue, and pain. He
was not daunted by difficulties; and as to fear, he
did not know its name.
But Charles was very obstinate. At times,
90 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
nothing could bend his stubborn will. Punishments
he did not fear; entreaties he did not regard ;-there
was but one thing which had any effect on him
when in these obstinate moods; and that was, the
love of glory. This motive governed him all his
life, and a very bad, unworthy motive it was.
One day, after his tutor had been in vain en-
deavouring to persuade him to apply to Latin,
which nothing could induce him to learn, Charles
exclaimed, What can be the use of learning such
a dry, dead language ? What glory will it be to
You would not wish to be more ignorant than
others," replied the tutor; the King of Denmark
and the King of Poland both understand Latin;
would you be behind them?"
Behind them !" exclaimed Charles, no, in no
one thing will I be behind them! Give me the
book, I will at once begin." And in a very short
time he learned the language so well as to be
able to converse in it.
Another day, as he was reading the life of
Alexander the Great, his tutor asked what he
thought of him. "I think," said Charles, that
I should like to resemble him."
THE IRON KING.
"But he died at the early age of thirty-
"Ah I" said Charles, "and was not his life long
enough, when he had conquered kingdoms ?"
When he was eleven years old, he lost his
mother, and four years afterwards, his father also;
and Charles, now aged fifteen, was crowned King
of Sweden, under the title of Charles the Twelfth.
He was one of the most extraordinary kings that
His grandmother, the widow of Charles the
Tenth, had been left regent of the kingdom, and
not a little pleased was she with her new dignity,
which she hoped might long continue.
Charles the Eleventh had in his' will desired
that his son should not assume the reins of govern-
ment till the age of eighteen; and the young king
passed his time in hunting, reviewing his troops,
and the various military exercises in which he
delighted. As he appeared quite happy with
these amusements, the old queen looked forward
to long enjoying the sweets of authority. She
was, however, disappointed.
One day, a few months after the death of his
father, Charles was returning from the review of
92 SHORT STORIES FROM EUROPEAN HISTORY.
several of his regiments, with the counsellor of
state, Piper, by his side. He rode slowly, and
appeared to be thinking deeply. After some
time, Piper said, "May I take the liberty of
asking the subject of your Majesty's medi-
"I am thinking," replied the king, that I am
worthy of governing these brave troops myself;
and I wish neither myself nor them any longer to
receive orders from a woman."
Piper acted upon these words, and in three days
Charles the Twelfth, at the early age of fifteen,
took the government of his kingdom; while the
old queen, mortified and disappointed at such a
sudden end being put to her power, retired to a
On the day of his coronation, the young king
entered Stockholm on a bay horse ornamented
with silver trappings; and, the sceptre in his hand,
and the crown upon his head, he rode along the
streets of his capital, amidst the acclamations of
assembled thousands, and loud shouts of "Long
live King Charles the Twelfth I"
"He is young," said an old man, but not too
young to reign. There is something about him