In the morning Julia stole from the side of Frances, at
Kurfurst Albert's Letter on this last emergency, to his Viceregent in Culmbach, is a famed Piece still extant (date 1481); [Rentsch, p. 409.] and his plan in such emergency, is a simple and likely one: "Carry the dead bodies to the Parson's house; let him see whether he will not bury them by and by!--One must fence off the Devil by the Holy Cross," says Albert,--appeal to Heaven with what honest mother-wit Heaven has vouchsafed one, means Albert. "These fellows" (the Priests), continues he, "would fain have the temporal sword as well as the spiritual. Had God wished there should be only one sword, he could have contrived that as well as the two. He surely did not want for intellect
Battle enough, poor man, with steel and other weapons:--and we see he did it with sharp insight, good forecast; now and then in a wildly leonine or AQUILINE manner. A tall hook-nosed man, of lean, sharp, rather taciturn aspect; nose and look are very aquiline; and there is a cloudy sorrow in those old eyes, which seems capable of sudden effulgence to a dangerous extent. He was a considerable, diplomatist too: very great with the Kaiser, Old Friedrich III. (Max's father, Charles V.'s Great-Grandfather); [How admirahle Albert is, not to say "almost divine," to the Kaiser's then Secretary, oily-mouthed AEneas Sylvius, afterwards Pope, Rentsch can testify (pp. 401, 586); quoting AEneas's eulogies and gossipries (
Kurfurst Albert died in 1486, March 11, aged seventy-two. It was some months after Bosworth Fight, where our Crooked Richard got his quietus here in England and brought the Wars of the Roses to their finale:--a little chubby Boy, the son of poor parents at Eisleben in Saxony, Martin Luther the name of him, was looking into this abtruse Universe, with those strange eyes of his, in what rough woollen or linsey-woolsey short-clothes we do not know. [Born 10th November, 1483]
Albert's funeral was very grand; the Kaiser himself, and all the Magnates of the Diet and Reich attending him from Frankfurt to his last resting-place, many miles of road. For he died at the Diet, in Frankfurt-on-Mayn; having fallen ill there while busy,--perhaps too busy for that age, in the harsh spring weather,--electing Prince Maximilian ("lucky Max," who will be Kaiser too before long, and is already deep in ILL-luck, tragical and other to be King of the Romans. The old Kaiser had "looked in on him at Onolzbach" (Anspach), and brought him along; such a man could not be wanting on such an occasion. A man who "perhaps did more for the German Empire than for the Electorate of Brandenburg," hint some. The Kaiser himself, Friedrich III., was now getting old; anxious to see Max secure, and to set his house in order. A somewhat anxious, creaky, close-fisted, ineffectual old Kaiser; [See Kohler (
Albert is buried at Heilsbronn in Frankenland, among his Ancestors,--burial in Brandenburg not yet common for these new Kurfursts:--his skull, in an after-time, used to be shown there, laid on the lid of the tomb; skull marvellous for strength, and for "having no visible sutures," says Rentsch. Pious Brandenburg Officiality at length put an end to that profanation, and restored the skull to its place,--marvellous enough, with what had once dwelt in it, whether it had sutures or not.
JOHANN THE CICERO IS FOURTH KURFURST, AND LEAVES TWO NOTABLE SONS.
Albert's eldest Son, the Fourth Kurfurst, was Johannes Cicero (1486-1499): Johannes was his natural name, to which the epithet "Cicero of Germany (CICERO GERMANIAE)" was added by an admiring public. He had commonly administered the Electorate during his Father's absences; and done it with credit to himself. He was an active man, nowise deficient as a Governor; creditably severe on highway robbers, for one thing,--destroys you "fifteen baronial robber-towers" at a stroke; was also concerned in the Hungarian- Bohemian DONNYBROOK, and did that also well. But nothing struck a discerning public like the talent he had for speaking. Spoke "four hours at a stretch in Kaiser Max's Diets, in elegantly flowing Latin;" with a fair share of meaning, too;--and had bursts of parliamentary eloquence in him that were astonishing to hear. A tall, square-headed man, of erect, cheerfully composed aspect, head flung rather back if anything: his bursts of parliamentary eloquence, once glorious as the day, procured him the name "Johannes CICERO;" and that is what remains of them: for they are sunk now, irretrievable he and they, into the belly of eternal Night; the final resting-place, I do perceive, of much Ciceronian ware in this world. Apparently he had, like some of his Descendants, what would now be called "distinguished literary talents,"--insignificant to mankind and us. I find he was likewise called DER GROSSE, "John the GREAT;" but on investigation it proves to be mere "John the BIG," a name coming from his tall stature and ultimate fatness of body.
For the rest, he left his family well off, connected with high Potentates all around; and had increased his store, to a fair degree, in his time. Besides his eldest Son who followed as Elector, by name Joachim I., a burly gentleman of whom much is written in Books, he left a second Son, Archbishop of Magdeburg, who in time became Archbishop of Mainz and Cardinal of Holy Church, [Ulrich van Hutten's grand "Panegyric" upon this Albert on his first Entrance into Mainz (9th October, 1514),--"entrance with a retinue of 2,000 horse, mainly furnished by the Brandenburg and Culmbach kindred," say the old Books,--is in