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atrocious acts which were not only tolerated but applauded by gentlemen and soldiers.

Christian IV. of Denmark, observing with grief and indignation the horrible condition to which Germany was being reduced, attempted a diversion in favour of the Protestant princes, but the attempt was futile: he was not only repulsed, but drew the armies of Austria into his own dominions. "But in Sweden had risen up a king, able, pious, earnestly desirous of the restoration of Protestantism, and qualified by a long

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military experience, though yet a young man, to cope with any general of the age. Gustavus Adolphus had mounted the Swedish throne at the age of eighteen, and was now only seven-and-thirty; yet he had already maintained a seventeen years' war against Poland, backed by the power of Austria. But now an armistice of six years had been settled with Poland. Wallenstein, the ablest general of Austria, had been removed from the command, in consequence of the universal outcry of the German princes in an imperial council at Ratisbon against his cruelties and exactions; and the far-seeing Richelieu, who was attacking the Spaniards in Italy

and the Netherlands, perceiving the immense advantages of such disunion in Germany, had offered to make an alliance with the Swedes."

Towards the close of the month of June, 1630, Gustavus Adolphus entered on the campaign. He embarked fifteen thousand of his veteran troops at Elfsnab and crossed into Pomerania. This province had to a

certain extent been abandoned by the imperial troops and fell an easy prey to the Swedish king. Its towns and fortifications fell into his hands almost without a struggle, as the Austrian general, Torquato Conti, retreated before him without coming to a general engagement; but in his retreat Conti destroyed everything-he left the country a desert. "During a whole day's march Gustavus Adolphus saw not a single head of cattle, but wretched creatures crowding round, imploring food to save them from death, and presenting the appearance of ghosts rather than men."

The earliest intelligence received by the heroic Swede related to the hazardous position of the important city of Magdeburg; he sent to the citizens a message entreating them to hold out for three weeks, when he hoped to bring them relief.

Magdeburg (capital of the Prussian province of Saxony) occupies an important position on the Elbe. It was of importance to the Imperialists to hold this town and fortress, or to destroy both; but favourably situated for defence, strongly fortified, and garrisoned by brave men, it had withstood the great Wallenstein for seven months and was at the period to which we refer (1629), showing the same bold front to Tilly-a general who had earned for himself the surname of the Ferocious. Magdeburg held staunchly to political independence and religious liberty. The atrocities committed by the imperial troops failed to strike terror into the breasts of the citizens. They believed their position to be well-nigh impregnable, and they looked for relief from Gustavus. But day by day passed over, and week by week, and still no help came. The besieged looked out wistfully for any sign of an approaching army, but they saw nothing but the entrenchments of the besiegers and the grim soldiery who were only biding their time to sack one of the fairest cities in Europe.

Gustavus on quitting Pomerania had pushed on, carrying all before him; he had beaten the Austrians at Frankfort-on-the-Oder, and might have attained a complete victory had the German princes seconded his efforts. Unfortunately they showed no great zeal in the cause, and, indignant at their timidity, he threatened to march back to Stockholm. But the critical condition of Magdeburg made him unwilling to resign the object

of his expedition-besides his promise, which, alas! for Magdeburg, was never to be redeemed.

Apprehensive of the approach of Gustavus, Tilly cast about for some ingenious scheme whereby the city might be taken. To starve it into surrender was impossible for want of time; to carry it by assault equally impracticable on account of its great strength and the vigilance of its garrison; but it might be overcome by stratagem.

One morning early in the month of May, 1631, the citizens of Magdeburg were surprised by the cessation of the fire from the Austrian batteries. That fire had been the daily music to which they had grown

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familiar, and when it ceased they looked hopefully at each other and felt that deliverance was at hand. These Austrian butchers, doubtless, had been informed of the coming of Gustavus and were ready to take flight. This surmise was confirmed by the breaking up of Tilly's camp and the rapid retreat of his troops.

The citizens watched the departure of the enemy with the utmost joy; relief was surely at hand; they at least were to be spared the "tender mercies" of those ferocious troopers who had won for themselves eternal infamy by their revolting cruelty. So said, so thought, the good folks of Magdeburg, and quiet families clustered round the board at evening meal

gave special thanks to God for this great deliverance. The garrison were right jovial in their way and jested, at the cost of Tilly, who had wasted so much time in the fruitless effort to subdue the town. "Magdeburg fall a prey to this dastard Austrian!-never while a hand remains to grasp a falchion

'And let me the cannikin clink, clink,

And let me the cannikin clink;

A soldier's a man,

A life's but a span,

Why, then let a soldier drink.'"

Who can blame the town guard if they kept holiday that night? they had kept watch and ward through many a weary night. Now the danger was over they had nothing to fear; Gustavus Adolphus would soon be in their midst.

Had the usual precautions been observed, and that untiring vigilance maintained which had characterised the garrison throughout the siege, a great calamity would have been spared. In the darkness and silence of the night a few troopers stole down to the walls of Magdeburg, and took cognizance of the state of the city so far as they were able. There was the stillness of death over the old town. No measured tread of sentinel, no watchword challenge, not even the bay of a dog-Magdeburg slept, and the silence was only broken by the musical chimes from the cathedral tower. The troopers having satisfied themselves that the city was unguarded, departed with the news, and about an hour before dawn on the morning of the 10th of May, a large detachment of Tilly's army came back to Magdeburg; they crept forward stealthily, part of the darkness -apparitions that seemed to grow out of the darkness; lanterns were borne by a few of the troopers, and many carried scaling ladders. They crossed the dry ditch, and gathered in great force under the walls that had so long defied their guns; they planted their ladders, and a picked number of veterans ascended and made good their footing on the rampart. Signalling to those below that all was well, they were speedily joined by a larger number of troopers, and their first act was to surprise the sleeping sentries, and slay them before they could raise an alarm.

The work they had come to accomplish was then begun. The alarm was raised just as the grey dawn was yielding to the roseate tint of morning, and a wild cry-the shriek of despair-told them that the enemy were within the city.

While the gates were flung open, and a body of cavalry charged up the

principal thoroughfare, the soldiers who had scaled the walls busied themselves in butchering. In vain the garrison attempted resistance. They were only partially aware of the real extent of their danger-suddenly roused from their sleep, some of them but half roused, all of them bewildered by surprise and terror. Their ranks were broken, they were put to flight, pursued, cut down, hunted from place to place, and brutally murdered when they cried for quarter.

In the meanwhile the houses of the wealthiest citizens were rifled, the inhabitants put to death, and the buildings fired. There was no sparing, no respect for age or sex-the mother was slaughtered in the midst of her terrified children, or cruelly rescued to see each of her darlings slain, herself the last victim. The troopers were diabolical in their merciless ingenuity: they revelled in the horrible outrages they committed. They celebrated their bloody saturnalia, and joined their coarse jests and mocking laughter to the entreaties of their miserable victims. Scores were hurled into the Elbe-driven into the river at the sword's point, hunted to death; a very large number were consumed in their houses— birds burnt in their nests-the assassins driving those who attempted to escape back into the flames, seizing an infant from its mother's arms, and casting it on a heap of blazing furniture, holding her fast to see her child die. Scores of women, in the great terror which seized on them when the news spread that the enemy were within the walls, had fled for refuge in a church. Even Attila had some respect for holy things and holy places, and, perhaps, they thought that the Austrians might spare them as they knelt before God's altar. The troopers closed the doors of the church, and set the building on fire. The frantic cries of the women rose shrill and piercing above the roar of the fire and the shrieks of the people without. But there was no mercy for them: they were to be sacrificed as a burnt offering—a human holocaust to Austrian despotism. Outside another church fifty-three women were afterwards found together in a ghastly group, each with her head severed from her body.

Every man who entered the city that day seemed devil-inspired. Blood and plunder were what they all sought; but they indulged their ferocious passions by every kind of gratuitous cruelty, some of them binding young and beautiful women to their saddle girths, and bearing them through all the horrors of that frightful day.

There is no counterpart in modern history to the outrages committed

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