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…dition d'…lite

Historical Tales

The Romance of Reality

By

CHARLES MORRIS

_Author of "Half-Hours with the Best American Authors," "Tales from the
Dramatists," etc._

IN FIFTEEN VOLUMES

Volume V

German

J.B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY

PHILADELPHIA AND LONDON

Copyright, 1893, by J.B. Lippincott Company.

Copyright, 1904, by J.B. Lippincott Company.

Copyright, 1908, by J.B. Lippincott Company.

_CONTENTS_


PAGE

HERMANN, THE HERO OF GERMANY 7

ALBION AND ROSAMOND 19

THE CAREER OF GRIMOALD 28

WITTEKIND, THE SAXON PATRIOT 37

THE RAIDS OF THE SEA-ROVERS 47

THE CAREER OF BISHOP HATTO 58

THE MISFORTUNES OF DUKE ERNST 64

THE REIGN OF OTHO II 69

THE FORTUNES OF HENRY THE FOURTH 77

THE ANECDOTES OF MEDI∆VAL GERMANY 92

FREDERICK BARBAROSSA AND MILAN 105

THE CRUSADE OF FREDERICK II 118

THE FALL OF THE GHIBELLINES 129

THE TRIBUNAL OF THE HOLY VEHM 138

WILLIAM TELL AND THE SWISS PATRIOTS 148

THE BLACK DEATH AND THE FLAGELLANTS 162

THE SWISS AT MORGARTEN 170

A MAD EMPEROR 176

SEMPACH AND ARNOLD WINKELRIED 187

ZISKA, THE BLIND WARRIOR 198

THE SIEGE OF BELGRADE 210

LUTHER AND THE INDULGENCES 217

SOLYMAN THE MAGNIFICENT AT GUNTZ 229

THE PEASANTS AND THE ANABAPTISTS 238

THE FORTUNES OF WALLENSTEIN 252

THE END OF TWO GREAT SOLDIERS 265

THE SIEGE OF VIENNA 277

THE YOUTH OF FREDERICK THE GREAT 288

VOLTAIRE AND FREDERICK THE GREAT 305

SCENES FROM THE SEVEN YEARS' WAR 315

THE PATRIOTS OF THE TYROL 328

THE OLD EMPIRE AND THE NEW 343







LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


GERMAN.

PAGE

MAXIMILIAN RECEIVING VENETIAN DELEGATION 7

RETURN OF HERMANN AFTER HIS VICTORY OVER THE ROMANS 13

THE BAPTISM OF WITTEKIND 43

THE MOUSE-TOWER ON THE RHINE 61

PEASANT WEDDING PROCESSION 65

SCENE OF MONASTIC LIFE 78

THUSNELDA IN THE GERMANICUS TRIUMPH 94

THE AMPHITHEATRE AT MILAN 109

STATUE OF WILLIAM TELL 153

THE CASTLE OF PRAGUE 175

STATUE OF ARNOLD WINKELRIED 193

STATUE OF LUTHER AT WORMS 225

THE MOSQUE OF SOLYMAN, CONSTANTINOPLE 236

OLD HOUSES AT M‹NSTER 246

WALLENSTEIN 252

THE PARLIAMENT HOUSE IN VIENNA 278

STATUE OF FREDERICK THE GREAT, UNTER DEN LINDEN, BERLIN 289

SANS SOUCI, PALACE OF FREDERICK THE GREAT 315

THE LAST DAY OF ANDREAS HOFER 340

A GERMAN MILK WAGON 347


[Illustration: MAXIMILIAN RECEIVING VENETIAN DELEGATION.]




_HERMANN, THE HERO OF GERMANY._


In the days of Augustus, the emperor of Rome in its golden age of
prosperity, an earnest effort was made to subdue and civilize barbarian
Germany. Drusus, the step-son of the emperor, led the first army of
invasion into this forest-clad land of the north, penetrating deeply
into the country and building numerous forts to guard his conquests. His
last invasion took him as far as the Elbe. Here, as we are told, he
found himself confronted by a supernatural figure, in the form of a
woman, who waved him back with lofty and threatening air, saying, "How
much farther wilt thou advance, insatiable Drusus? It is not thy lot to
behold all these countries. Depart hence! the term of thy deeds and of
thy life is at hand." Drusus retreated, and died on his return.

Tiberius, his brother, succeeded him, and went far to complete the
conquest he had begun. Germany seemed destined to become a Roman
province. The work of conquest was followed by efforts to civilize the
free-spirited barbarians, which, had they been conducted wisely, might
have led to success. One of the Roman governors, Sentius, prefect of the
Rhine, treated the people so humanely that many of them adopted the arts
and customs of Rome, and the work of overcoming their barbarism was
well begun. He was succeeded in this office by Varus, a friend and
confidant of the emperor, but a man of very different character, and one
who not only lacked military experience and mental ability, but utterly
misunderstood the character of the people he was dealing with. They
might be led, they could not be driven into civilization, as the new
prefect was to learn.

All went well as long as Varus remained peacefully in his head-quarters,
erecting markets, making the natives familiar with the attractive wares
of Rome, instructing them in civilized arts, and taking their sons into
the imperial army. All went ill when he sought to hasten his work by
acts of oppression, leading his forces across the Weser into the land of
the Cherusci, enforcing there the rigid Roman laws, and chastising and
executing free-born Germans for deeds which in their creed were not
crimes. Varus, who had at first made himself loved by his kindness, now
made himself hated by his severity. The Germans brooded over their
wrongs, awed by the Roman army, which consisted of thirty thousand
picked men, strongly intrenched, their camps being impregnable to their
undisciplined foes. Yet the high-spirited barbarians felt that this army
was but an entering wedge, and that, if not driven out, their whole
country would gradually be subdued.

A patriot at length arose among the Cherusci, determined to free his
country from the intolerable Roman yoke. He was a handsome and athletic
youth, Arminius, or Hermann as the Germans prefer to name him, of noble
descent, and skilled alike in the arts of war and of oratory, his
eloquence being equal to his courage. He was one of the sons of the
Germans who had served in the Roman armies, and had won there such
distinction as to gain the honors of knighthood and citizenship. Now,
perceiving clearly the subjection that threatened his countrymen, and
filled with an ardent love of liberty, he appeared among them, and
quickly filled their dispirited souls with much of his own courage and
enthusiasm. At midnight meetings in the depths of the forests a
conspiracy against Varus and his legions was planned, Hermann being the
chosen leader of the perilous enterprise.

It was not long before this conspiracy was revealed. The German control
over the Cherusci had been aided by Segestus, a treacherous chief, whose
beautiful and patriotic daughter, Thusnelda, had given her hand in
marriage to Hermann, against her father's will. Filled with revengeful
anger at this action, and hoping to increase his power, Segestus told
the story of the secret meetings, which he had discovered, to Varus, and
bade him beware, as a revolt against him might at any moment break out.
He spoke to the wrong man. Pride in the Roman power and scorn of that of
the Germans had deeply infected the mind of Varus, and he heard with
incredulous contempt this story that the barbarians contemplated rising
against the best trained legions of Rome.

Autumn came, the autumn of the year 9 A.D. The long rainy season of the
German forests began. Hermann decided that the time had arrived for the
execution of his plans. He began his work with a deceitful skill that
quite blinded the too-trusting Varus, inducing him to send bodies of
troops into different parts of the country, some to gather provisions
for the winter supply of the camps, others to keep watch over some
tribes not yet subdued. The Roman force thus weakened, the artful German
succeeded in drawing Varus with the remainder of his men from their
intrenchments, by inducing one of the subjected tribes to revolt.

The scheme of Hermann had, so far, been completely successful. Varus,
trusting to his representations, had weakened his force, and now
prepared to draw the main body of his army out of camp. Hermann remained
with him to the last, dining with him the day before the starting of the
expedition, and inspiring so much confidence in his faithfulness to Rome
that Varus refused to listen to Segestus, who earnestly entreated him to
take Hermann prisoner on the spot. He even took Hermann's advice, and
decided to march on the revolted tribe by a shorter than the usual
route, oblivious to the fact that it led through difficult mountain
passes, shrouded in forests and bordered by steep and rocky acclivities.

The treacherous plans of the patriotic German had fully succeeded. While
the Romans were toiling onward through the straitened passes, Hermann
had sought his waiting and ambushed countrymen, to whom he gave the
signal that the time for vengeance had come. Then, as if the dense
forests had borne a sudden crop of armed men, the furious barbarians
poured out in thousands upon the unsuspecting legionaries.

A frightful storm was raging. The mountain torrents, swollen by the
downpour of rain, over--flowed their banks and invaded the passes, along
which the Romans, encumbered with baggage, were wearily dragging onward
in broken columns.



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