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nobles, Conrad and his successors maintained possession both of this country and the other territories of the kingdom of Burgundy. Under Lothar II. Reinhold, Count of Chalons, who had been created imperial regent of Great Burgundy (which included the Swiss dominions) made an ineffectual attempt to re-establish the ancient kingdom of Burgundy; for Conrad, Count of Zähringen, having defeated and taken him prisoner, was invested with the dignity of regent in his stead. Conrad's family, during a succession of five princes, enjoyed that office without intermission; and promoted, in a supreme degree, the happiness and civilization of the Swiss, by founding several towns, among whose inhabitants they encouraged a spirit of trade and industry, as well as by rescuing the lower classes from the tyranny and oppression which the higher had hitherto exercised over them. Freyburg, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, and Zurich became flourishing cities during their regency, and they were mostly fortified by them.
In consequence of the death of Berthold V. a most excellent prince, and the last survivor of the house of Zähringen, his possessions fell to the princes of Kyburg, one of whom had married his sister Agnes, whilst the same melancholy event occasioned a vacancy in the dignity of regent (Reichsvogt), which was become almost nominal, for the Helvetian prelates and nobles began strenuously to assert and maintain their independence. Otho IV. Emperor of Germany, thereupon appointed Rudolph III. Count of Habsburg, and Landgrave of Alsace, to succeed to this office. He was constantly at variance with the Swiss on the subject of their privileges, till the period of his death, which happened in 1233. He left behind him two sons, Albert and Rudolph, the former of whom became regent, and died in 1240, having greatly contributed to the success of the Emperor Frederick's arms, both by his own skill and the bravery of his Swiss vassals.
His eldest son Rudolph V. who afterwards became emperor of Germany, and had acquired great renown under the warlike Fre derick II, in his broils with the princes of the empire, was elected to the vacant regency, with the unanimous consent of the states of Switzerland, by whom he was afterwards honoured with the title of Schutz-Herr (protector) of the Swiss. This prince possessed a more formidable power than had been known since the glorious reign of the Counts of Zähringen; besides his paternal dominions, he had inherited those of his uncle, the Count of Kyburg, and of his father-in-law, the Count of Frohburg and
Hohenberg. No prince could have made a nobler use of his power, for he employed it both in protecting his oppressed countrymen against the wanton rapacity and galling tyranny of the Helvetian nobility and clergy, and in securing to them the peaceable enjoyment of their rights and independence.
After his accession to the imperial sceptre in 1273, he still continued to deserve the grateful attachment which the Swiss evinced for him, whenever he required their assistance. In his later years, however, Rudolph tarnished the former glory of his reign, by his implicit obsequiousness to the evil counsels of his son Albert, who, having conceived the design of subjecting the whole of Switzerland to the dominion of the house of Austria, persuaded his father to demand the purchase of several considerable domains from the Swiss: nor did he suffer their non-compliance to interfere with his plans of aggrandizement; for, what he could not obtain by fair means, he effected by dint of open violence. Whilst the emperor was thus engaged in furthering the ambitious views of his son, and had convoked the diet of Mentz in order to have him crowned king of the Romans, he was seized on his journey to that city with a slow fever, and expired on the sixteenth of July, 1291, at Germersheim, in the principality of Deux Ponts.
After Rudolph's death, Adolphus of Nassau was nominated Emperor of Germany, through the intrigues of his powerful relation, the Elector of Mentz, and to the great mortification of Albert, who had violently seized the Imperial insignia, and imagined himself perfectly secure of his election. Nevertheless, the better to cloak his real views, till a more favourable opportunity of realiz ing them should present itself, the crafty prince suddenly desisted from the preparations he was making to oppose his rival, and, appearing to forget his resentment, hastened to render homage to the new emperor, who, on his side, engaged not to interfere with the intestine affairs of the house of Austria.
Adolphus shortly after recognised and enlarged the ancient privileges of the free imperial states of Switzerland, and, in 1296, solemnly swore to be their protector against the increasing usurpations of the Duke of Austria. In the mean while, he used the most unjustifiable means to extend his own possessions in Germany, and thereby totally forfeited the friendship and alliance of those who had caused his advancement, and of none more completely than of the greatest statesman of his age, the Elector of
Mentz, who, having formed an alliance with the King of Bohemia, soon assured himself of the resentful Albert's ready co-operation in accelerating the emperor's downfal.
Unappalled by the tremendous storm that was gathering over his head, Adolphus lost not a moment in assembling his forces, which were considerably increased by the unexpected arrival of a large body of Helvetians, under the command of the warlike abbot of St. Gall. This prelate had been formerly dispossessed of his dominions by Rudolph of Habsburg, at the instigation of his son, whose ambitious views he had endeavoured to counteract; but he had found means, after Rudolph's death, to reinstate himself, and now sought an opportunity of gratifying his resentment. The emperor immediately entered the territory of the Elector of Mentz, whom he forced to take refuge in one of his fortresses; but he was soon obliged to retrace his steps, in order to make head against the Duke of Austria, who was rapidly advancing, with a large army, towards the scene of hostilities. During these transactions he was formally deposed, and Albert elected emperor in his stead, by a convocation held at Mentz, under the direction of the Electors of Mentz, Saxony, and Bohemia, and before which he was summoned to appear, but he refused to obey the summons, at the same time declaring their proceedings to be as illegal, as they were unjustifiable and impotent.* The two armies being now advanced within a few hours march of each other, the empe ror took up a very advantageous position near Gelheim, in the neighbourhood of Worms. Albert, with a view of inducing him to quit this position, from which any attempt to dislodge him would have been ineffectual, made a feint retreat, and instantly beheld his adversary abandon his intrenchments in pursuit of him, whilst he himself ranged his army in order of battle, and routed, with little difficulty, the advanced cavalry of the Imperialists, whose ranks were already broken, in their eagerness to overtake, as they imagined, the flying enemy. The engagement soon became general, both sides displayed equal skill and bravery, and the Helvetians, under the command of their brave abbot, had already turned the right wing of the enemy, when the death of the unfortunate Adolphus, who received the mortal blow from the
* Amongst the manifold charges brought against Adolphus, one of them accused him of violating the constitution of the German empire, by following the counsels of his own creatures, instead of those of the electors, and another, of never rising be fore nine o'clock in the morning...Ehendorfer in Chron. Austr. t. ii. p. 760.
hand of his rival Albert, whilst bravely fighting at the head of his troops, infused so great a panic among the Imperialists, that they fell into irretrievable confusion, and abandoned themselves to a precipitate flight. This fatal event happened on the 2nd of July,
The intelligence of these unexpected disasters, and of the subsequent confirmation of Albert's elevation to the Imperial throne, spread universal dismay throughout Switzerland; indeed the new emperor seemed now more fully bent than ever on prosecuting his favourite schemes against that country. Many of those noblemen who had not joined the league of 1296, (which consisted of a considerable portion of the Helvetian clergy and nobility, together with the free Imperial cities, and the three states of the em pire, Uri, Schweitz, and Unterwalden) were compelled to renounce their former vassalage to the empire, and swear allegiance to the house of Austria. Albert shortly after annexed the provinces of Lucern and Glarus to his dominions, and constantly refused to recognise the ancient privileges of the free states. He then besieged the city of Zurich, confident that its reduction would alone be sufficient to dissolve the league, but its inhabitants so unexpectedly alarmed him, by the vigorous preparations they had made to repel his attack, that he withdrew his troops in haste, and confirmed, without hesitation, the immunities they had so long enjoyed as members of the German empire.
[To be continued.]
FROM VOL. III. OF COWPER'S CORRESPONDENCE.
A man's lordship is nothing to me, any farther than in connection with qualities that entitle him to my respect. If he thinks himself privileged by it, to treat me with neglect, I am his humble servant, and shall never be at a loss to render him an equivalent. I will not, however, belie my knowledge of mankind so much, as to seem surprised at a treatment, which I had abundant reason to expect. To these men, with whom I was once intimate, and for many years, I am no longer necessary, no longer convenient, or in any respect an object. They think of me as of the man in the moon, and whether I have a lantern, or a dog and faggot, or
whether I have neither of those desirable accommodations, is to them a matter of perfect indifference. Upon that point we are agreed, our indifference is mutual; and were I to publish again, I should give them a proof of it.
L'Estrange's Josephus has lately furnished us with evening. lectures. But the historian is so tediously circumstantial, and the translator so insupportably coarse and vulgar, that we are all three weary of him. How would Tacitus have shone upon such a subject, great master as he was of the art of description, concise without obscurity, and affecting without being poetical. But so it was ordered, and for wise reasons no doubt, that the greatest calamities any people ever suffered, and an accomplishment of one of the most signal prophecies in the scripture, should be recorded by one of the worst writers. The man was a temporizer too, and courted the favour of his Roman masters, at the expence of his own creed, or else an infidel, and absolutely disbelieved it: you will think me very difficult to please, I quarrel with Josephus for the want of elegance, and with some of our modern historians for having too much. With him, for running right forward, like a gazette, without stopping to make a single observation by the way; and with them, for pretending to delineate characters that existed two thousand years ago, and to discover the motives by which they were influenced, with the same precision as if they had been their contemporaries. Simplicity is become a very rare quality in a writer. In the decline of great kingdoms, and where refinement in all the arts is carried to an excess, I suppose it is always rare. The latter Roman writers are remarkable for false ornament; they were yet, no doubt, admired by the readers of their own day; and with respect to authors of the present æra, the most popular among them appear to me equally censurable on the same account. Swift and Addison were simple.
THE MAGNITUDE AND POPULATION OF CITIES, &c.
I AM told that Houssa and Tombuctau in Africa, Pekin in China, and Jeddo in Japan, are all larger than London. This assertion seems to admit of a query: how do our travellers, or even geogra phers, form their judgment? or what do they found their argu