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people by it, that the peasant advised King Rolf to send all back, and only take his twelve champions. This advice also he followed, and journeyed on to King Adil's court. There he met with the most treacherous treatment and singular adventures, and was glad to retreat. On the return, they came again to the farm of the peasant Krane, who entertained them as well as he had done before, and thought that his prophecy of this journey had been fulfilled, which they were obliged also to confess. Krane produced some costly arms, sword, shield, and coat of mail, which he wished to present to the king, but he would in no wise accept them, thinking it not fit to beg arms from a peasant. At this Krane was greatly angered, saying, · Thou art not always so wise and prudent as thou thinkest thyself;' and he was so wrath that he would afford them no night's lodgings, but they were obliged to ride on, though night had already closed in. When they had gone to a little distance, Bodwar stopped and said : -Fools find good counsel too late. Methinks we have unwisely refused that which would have served us for future victory and success, for this peasant must certainly have been the ancient Odin, and was one-eyed as he. They therefore hastily turned about their horses' heads, but could find neither the peasant nor the farm again, but were obliged to continue their route towards Denmark. Bodwar advised King Rolf henceforth to remain quiet in his kingdom, and avoid war, as it was probable that Odin, being offended, would in future grant him no victory. And the king did so.''
But we must pass over this half fabulous period ;-the rough entertainment which the masculine princess Torborg gave to her suitors; over the exploits of the celebrated Rognar Lodbrog, and his sons, in their expeditions to England. How they took Hvitaby (Whitby), and Lugduna (Lincoln), ‘by the stratagem of begging from King Ethelred as much land as an ox's hide would cover, which they cut into narrow shreds, and made it enclose a whole district; and all the miracles and saints of the catholic period.
The second volume contains one of the most stirring and eventful narratives in the history of any country in Europe. Christian the Tyrant, Gustavus Wasa, and the gifted but eccen. tric and unfortunate Erik XIV., fill it with their strange deeds, and singular fortunes. There is no tyrant in the annals of any christian nation, that can boast a bloodier fame than Christian the Second, of Denmark. What is called “The Blood Bath of Stockholm,' that is, his wholesale butchery of the nobles, senators, and distinguished men, in 1520, is almost unparalleled, and is strikingly described. The monarchs of Denmark, for the three countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, were frequently governed by one king, had repeatedly been driven out of Sweden, for their crimes and oppressions, and an administrator appointed in the person of some patriotic noble. This
Christian ockholm ; quof almost festiviti
ential and patronation, plottestockholm,
was the case now. Christian, by force of arms and treachery, had made himself master of Stockholm ; and, amidst the festivi. ties of his coronation, plotted the murder of almost every influential and patriotic Swede. No sooner were those festivities at an end than, his victims having been lured into his toils, the work of butchery began. Senators, prelates, burgomasters, noblemen, priests, and burghers, having been huddled into a tower together, were brought out into the Great Square which was surrounded by Danish troops, and guarded by cannon pointed towards every street, and successively beheaded. Amongst these were Erik Johansson Wasa, the father of Gustavus Wasa, Joachim Brahe, Erik Gyllenstjerna, Erik Lejonhufwud, and sixteen other senators; thirteen of the town council, and fifteen of the chief citizens. The weather was wet, and the streets actually ran with blood. The next day the work of butchery went on briskly. Men were plucked suddenly from their horses as they came riding by, and were hanged on the spot, or beheaded. The whole city was surrendered to violence and plunder, and the horrible scene was closed by collecting on the third day the dead bodies which had been left on the streets, and burning them in one ghastly holocaust. The bodies of his valiant opponents, particularly the Administrator Lord Sten Sture and his young son, he caused to be torn from their graves, and burnt with the rest. Throughout the country the same horrible massacres were extended, and when, a month afterwards, he departed for Denmark, the wheel, the gallows, and bloody executioner marked his journey. It was on this gory journey that perhaps the most affecting incident in the history of royal murders occurred. In the town of Jonköping, he beheaded Sir Lindorm Ribbing and his servants. Shortly after, seeing by chance Sir Lindorm's two little boys, the one eight and the other six years old, and fearing their revenge in future years, he determined to make away with them both. The oldest boy was led out first, and was beheaded. The younger looked at the streaming blood and the red stains on his brother's clothes, without knowing what it meant; but when he was led out, he turned with childish innocence to the executioner, and said, “Dear man, dont stain my shirt like my brother's for then mamma will whip me.' The executioner melted at these words, threw the sword from him, and said I would rather blood my own shirt than thine. But the tiger-hearted Christian who had been an eye-witness of this heart-rending spectacle, was not to be touched by it. In a fury he called for a more savage servant, who struck off the heads of the innocent child and the compassionate executioner.
It was the atrocities of this monster which brought the great
Gustavus Wasa into the field; and he was already on the way to rouse his abused country to an effectual resistance, when the news of these horrors, and of his father's fate met him. Gustavus Wasa is one of the burning and shining lights of history.' He is one of the great of the earth, whose fame cannot be confined to one country, but, like the light of the sun, overspreads the whole world, warming, vivifying, and giving fresh inspiration to patriot hearts, and teaching them in the very darkest times to bid defiance to despotism and despair. It is not necessary for us to trace his career and his glorious deeds; they are familiar to the young and the generous in all languages. We need only say that they are here described in glowing and impressive words; and exhibit a great lesson, one of the greatest that man can teach to his fellows,-to stand fast by the right and the noble, and trusting to God's help to hope on in the divine work of beneficence in the face of mountains of discouragement. A more arduous task no one ever set himself than the young Gustavus Wasa; more daunting discouragement never met any one in the execution of it. His country lay prostrate at the feet of the Danish tyrant, Christian. He himself, with other nobles, had been kidnapped in his youth, and carried off to captivity in Denmark. When he resolved to fly, and had effected his escape to attempt the rescue of his country, it was some time before he dared to venture into his native land, and he sought refuge at Lübeck in Germany, where the tyrant sent to demand him. When he did reach Sweden it was to find only two fortified towns in the whole country in the hands of his own countrymen, and those were defended by two of those highhearted and heroic women of whom Sweden has been so prolific-Christiana Gyllenstjerna and Anna Bjelke. These received him with joy, but everywhere he appealed to the people in vain.
Neither salt nor herring fail us,' said they, 'so long as we obey the king. Such was the debasement of the public mind, and the fear of the despot, that his life was even threatened, and he was obliged to seek safety in the closest disguise. When he reached the solitary manor-house of Tärnö, in Södermanland, where his sister Margaret and her husband Sir Joachim Brahe, resided, their terror was beyond words when he revealed his project, and his sister on her knees besought him with tears and prayers not to involve his whole family in ruin. His brother-in-law, Joachim, hastened to Stockholm to attend the tyrant's coronation, advising Gustavus to make the best of the times, and do the same ; but Gustavus stood firm, and Joachim Brahe, as we have seen, was one of the first to lose his own head on the great day of butchery. This fearful news was brought to Gustavus by Brahe's old and faithful steward, who had been witness of the awful scene, and he immediately fled to the mountainous district of Dalarna, where the stout and patriotic Stures had ever found a faithful race, ready to come to the rescue of their country. On his journey his faithless servant attempted to rob him ; he narrowly escaped drowning by the breaking of the ice as he was crossing a frozen lake by night, and arriving in the country where he hoped to find zeal and faith, he found only shyness or treachery. His adventures in this wild region of mountains and forests, exceed those of any romance. Wandering in disguise from place to place; pursued by spies and bloody enemies, working in barns, hiding for days in mines, wintry woods, and under hedges; everywhere dis. trusted and rejected. Yet, in spite of all these difficulties, enough to sink the heart of all but such heroes as are prepared to maintain the cause of humanity, or die for it, within one year he became administrator of his nation, and within three, his country was delivered by him, it was free, and he was its crowned king. He had the honour and the blessing of introducing the reformation into it, of giving it new institutions, of establishing its prosperity, and of showing himself one of the greatest and wisest monarchs that Europe has produced. But his throne was not destitute of disquiet. He had the freedom of his country, not only to achieve but to maintain. His Danish enemies, the partizans and priests of the old papal religion, were ever at work amid the people and nobles to expel him and the new order of things. The great Stures, who had been before the patriot champions of the country, felt themselves overshadowed, and stirred up the mountain tribes of Dalarna against him, and Russia brought down upon him her barbarous forces. The greater part of his reign was a period of anxiety and arduous strife; but he triumphed over all these trials by his wisdom and firmness. Greater trials and greater need of fortitude, however, awaited him from his own children, in whom he was far from happy. He was no exception to the almost universal and singular truth, that no man of first-rate genius or eminence in any department, transmits his genius and his fortune to his son. No mighty poet or mighty conqueror, no genius, hero, or statesman of the first magnitude, produces in his son his equal, far less his superior. Alexander of Macedon, Caesar of Rome, or Napoleon of France, gave not birth to a second Alexander, a second Caesar, or a second Napoleon. There has been no second Columbus, Nelson, or Blake; no second Marlborough or Wellington; Washington, Franklin, Cromwell, Hampden, or Pym, left no sons that could outshine them in deeds or counsels of liberty. In the realms of poetry where was the offspring and heir of Homer, of Virgil, of Horace; where those of Chaucer, or Milton? Where was the son of Francis Bacon that could write a new Novum Organum? of Newton, that could draw from the secret depths of nature hidden laws so mighty as he did Who succeeded to the honours of Locke, of Descartes, of Leibnitz, of Laplace? Who shall succeed to those of Cuvier, of Humboldt, or of Bentham 7 Where is the new Goethe or Schiller of Germany? Why did Shakspeare leave us no second dramatist to ascend still another step in the scale of transcendent genius, and make even himself a lesser wonder It is because the great Source and Giver of intellectual powers has seen fit otherwise to ordain. There may be physical and other causes which operate to produce this striking phenomenon; or, arguing from the doctrines of phrenology and physiology, we should have said that as the races of inferior animals are physically moulded and wonderously improved by attention to the laws of improvement, so grand developments of head and frame in the human being should produce their like; and by culture and the light and guidance of their superior knowledge and wisdom in the training of youth, their superiors: and that by this means the progeny of heroes, whether mighty in arms, arts, or creative intellect, would go on advancing into higher forms of human greatness. But so far from this, where the highest pitch of mental vigour or wisdom, according to the old measurement of experience, is once attained, there is no maintainance of it even in the second generation; but more commonly a rapid retrogression. It would seem as if the transcendant energies that mark the individual, glorious as they may be, drawing upon him the wonder of the world, and fixing his fame as an eternal star in the heaven of history, are but just what are requisite for his appointed work—are all expended upon it, and leave no portion to be transferred to his posterity. Such men can transfer their power to their work, but not to their children. It is clearly a divine afflatus, and not transmittable and heritable property. Clever people can and do, by mere organization and idiosyncracy, propagate cleverness in their families for generations. We see many instances of it in society; but the great burning and shining lights burn out. Clever people often produce geniuses, but geniuses rarely ever clever people. Clever and wise mothers are generally the mothers and educators of the first-rate instances of genius. It was the case with Washington, with Napoleon, with Scott; and numerous are the proofs that may be cited: but on the other hand, how few are the cases where a great man is succeeded by an equally great son 2 Perhaps those of David and Solomon, and Lord Chatham and his second son, William Pitt, are the most like exceptions to this