Read Chapter XI. - BAYARIAN KURFURSTS IN BRANDENBURG. of History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia (Vol. II.) (Of Brandenburg And The Hohenzollerns--928-1417.), free online book, by Thomas Carlyle, on

Young Ludwig Kurfürst of Brandenburg, Kaiser Ludwig’s eldest son, having come of years, the Tutors or Statthalters went home,-not wanted except in cases of occasional absence henceforth;-and the young man endeavored to manage on his own strength.  His success was but indifferent; he held on, however, for a space of twenty years, better or worse.  “He helped King Edward III. at the Siege of Cambray (A.D. 1339);” [Michaelis, .] whose French politics were often connected with the Kaiser’s :  it is certain, Kurfürst Ludwig “served personally with 600 horse [on good payment, I conclude] at that Siege of Cambray;”-and probably saw the actual Black Prince, and sometimes dined with him, as English readers can imagine.  In Brandenburg he had many checks and difficult passages, but was never quite beaten out, which it was easy to have been.

A man of some ability, as we can gather, though not of enough :  he played his game with resolution, not without skill; but from the first the cards were against him.  His Father’s affairs going mostly ill were no help to his, which of themselves went not well.  The Brandenburgers, mindful of their old Ascanier sovereigns, were ill affected to Ludwig and the new Bavarian sort.  The Anhalt Cousinry gloomed irreconcilable; were never idle, digging pitfalls, raising troubles.  From them and others Kurfürst Ludwig had troubles enough; which were fronted by him really not amiss; which we wholly, or all but wholly, omit in this place.


The wickedest and worst trouble of their raising was that of the resuscitated Waldemar (A.D. 1345) :  “False Waldemar,” as he is now called in Brandenburg Books.  Waldemar was the last, or as good as the last, of the Ascanier Markgraves; and he, two years before Ludwig ever saw those countries, died in his bed, twenty-five good years ago; and was buried, and seemingly ended.  But no; after twenty-five years, Waldemar reappears :  “Not buried or dead, only sham-buried, sham-dead; have been in the Holy Land all this while, doing pilgrimage and penance; and am come to claim my own again,-which strangers are much misusing!” [Michaelis, .]

Perkin Warbeck, POST-MORTEM Richard II., Dimitri of Russia, Martin Guerre of the CAUSES Célèbres :  it is a common story in the world, and needs no commentary now.  POST-MORTEM Waldemar, it is said, was a Miller’s Man, “of the name of Jakob Rehback;” who used to be about the real Waldemar in a menial capacity, and had some resemblance to him.  He showed signets, recounted experiences, which had belonged to the real Waldemar.  Many believed in his pretension, and took arms to assert it; the Reich being in much internal battle at the time; poor Kaiser Ludwig, with his Avignon Popes and angry Kings Johann, wading in deep waters.  Especially the disaffected Cousinry, or Princes of Anhalt, believed and battled for POST-MORTEM Waldemar; who were thought to have got him up from the first.  Kurfürst Ludwig had four or five most sad years with him;-all the worse when the PFAFFEN-KAISER (King Johann’s son) came on the stage, in the course of them (A.D. 1346), and Kaiser Ludwig, yielding not indeed to him, but to Death, vanished from it two years after; [Elected, 1314; Muhldorf, and Election COMPLETE, 1322; died, 1347, age 60.] leaving Kurfürst Ludwig to his own shifts with the Pfaffen-Kaiser.  Whom he could not now hinder from succeeding to the Reich.  He tried hard; set up, he and others, an Anti-Kaiser (GUNTHER OF SCHWARTZBURG, temporary Anti-Kaiser, whom English readers can forget again) :  he bustled, battled, negotiated, up and down; and ran across, at one time, to Preussen to the Teutsch Ritters,-presumably to borrow money :-but it all would not do.  The Pfaffen-Kaiser carried it, in the Diet and out of the Diet :  Karl IV. by title; a sorry enough Kaiser, and by nature an enemy of Ludwig’s.

It was in this whirl of intricate misventures that Kurfürst Ludwig had to deal with his False Waldemar, conjured from the deeps upon him, like a new goblin, where already there were plenty, in the dance round poor Ludwig.  Of which nearly inextricable goblin-dance; threatening Brandenburg, for one thing, with annihilation, and yet leading Brandenburg abstrusely towards new birth and higher destinies,-how will it be possible (without raising new ghosts, in a sense) to give readers any intelligible notion?-Here, flickering on the edge of conflagration after duty done, is a poor Note which perhaps the reader had better, at the risk of superfluity, still in part take along with him :-

“Kaiser Henry VII., who died of sacramental wine, First of the Luxemburg Kaisers, left Johann still a boy of fifteen, who could not become the second of them, but did in time produce the Second, who again produced the Third and Fourth.

“Johann was already King of Bohemia; the important young gentleman, Ottocar’s grandson, whom we saw ’murdered at Olmutz none yet knows by whom,’ had left that throne vacant, and it lapsed to the Kaiser; who, the Nation also favoring, duly put in his son Johann.  There was a competitor, ‘Duke of the Tyrol,’ who claimed on loose grounds; ’My wife was Aunt of the young murdered King,’ said he; ’wherefore’ !  Kaiser, and Johann after him, rebutted this competitor; but he long gave some trouble, having great wealth and means.  He produced a Daughter, Margaret Heiress of the Tyrol,-with a terrible MOUTH to her face, and none of the gentlest hearts in her body :-that was perhaps his principal feat in the world.  He died 1331; had styled himself ‘King of Bohemia’ for twenty years,-ever since 1308;-but in the last two years of his life he gave it up, and ceased from troubling, having come to a beautiful agreement with Johann.

“Johann, namely, wedded his eldest Son to this competitor’s fine Daughter with the mouth (Year 1329) :  ’In this manner do not Bohemia and the Tyrol come together in my blood and in yours, and both of us are made men?’ said the two contracting parties.-Alas, no :  the competitor Duke, father of the Bride, died some two years after, probably with diminished hopes of it; and King Johann lived to see the hope expire dismally altogether.  There came no children, there came no-In fact Margaret, after a dozen years of wedlock, in unpleasant circumstances, broke it off as if by explosion; took herself and her Tyrol irrevocably over to Kaiser Ludwig, quite away from King Johann,-who, his hopes of the Tyrol expiring in such dismal manner, was thenceforth the bitter enemy of Ludwig and what held of him.”

Tyrol explosion was in 1342.  And now, keeping these preliminary dates and outlines in mind, we shall understand the big-mouthed Lady better, and the consequences of her in the world.


What principally raised this dance of the devils round poor Ludwig, I perceive, was a marriage he had made, three years before Waldemar emerged; of which, were it only for the sake of the Brides name, some mention is permissible.  Margaret of the Tyrol, commonly called, by contemporaries and posterity, MAULTASCHE (Mouthpoke, Pocket-mouth), she was the bride :-marriage done at Innspruck, 1342, under furtherance of father Ludwig the Kaiser :-such a mouth as we can fancy, and a character corresponding to it.  This, which seemed to the two Ludwigs a very conquest of the golden-fleece under conditions, proved the beginning of their worst days to both of them.

Not a lovely bride at all, this Maultasche; who is verging now towards middle life withal, and has had enough to cross her in the world.  Was already married thirteen years ago; not wisely nor by any means too well.  A terrible dragon of a woman.  Has been in nameless domestic quarrels; in wars and sieges with rebellious vassals; claps you an iron cap on her head, and takes the field when need is :  furious she-bear of the Tyrol.  But she has immense possessions, if wanting in female charms.  She came by mothers from that Duke of Meran whom we saw get his death (for cause), in the Plassenburg a hundred years ago. [Antes, .] Her ancestor was Husband to an Aunt of that homicided Duke :  from him, principally from him, she inherits the Tyrol, Carinthia, Styria; is herself an only child, the last of a line :  hugest Heiress now going.  So that, in spite of the mouth and humor, she has not wanted for wooers,-especially prudent Fathers wooing her for their sons.

In her Father’s lifetime, Johann King of Bohemia, always awake to such symptoms of things, and having very peculiar interests in this case, courted and got her for his Crown-Prince (as we just saw), a youth of great outlooks, outlooks towards Kaisership itself perhaps; to whom she was wedded, thirteen years ago, and duly brought the Tyrol for Heritage :  but with the worst results.  Heritage, namely, could not be had without strife with Austria, which likewise had claims.  Far worse, the marriage itself went awry :  Johann’s Crown-Prince was “a soft-natured Herr,” say the Books :  why bring your big she-bear into a poor deer’s den?  Enough, the marriage came to nothing, except to huge brawlings far enough away from us :  and Margaret Pouch-mouth has now divorced her Bohemian Crown-Prince as a Nullity; and again weds, on similar terms, Kaiser Ludwig’s son, our Brandenburg Kurfürst,-who hopes possibly that HE now may succeed as Kaiser, on the strength of his Father and of the Tyrol.  Which turned out far otherwise.

The marriage was done in the Church of Innspruck, 10th February, 1342 (for we love to be particular), “Kaiser Ludwig,” happy man, “and many Princes of the Empire, looking on;” little thinking what a coil it would prove.  “At the high altar she stript off her veil,” symbol of wifehood or widowhood, “and put on a JUNGFERNKRANZ (maiden’s-garland),” symbolically testifying how happy Ludwig junior still was.  They had a son by and by; but their course otherwise, and indeed this-wise too, was much checkered.

King Johann, seeing the Tyrol gone in this manner, gloomed terribly upon his Crown-Prince; flung him aside as a Nullity, “Go to Moravia, out of sight, on an apanage, you; be Crown-Prince no longer!”-And took to fighting Kaiser Ludwig; colleagued diligently with the hostile Pope, with the King of France; intrigued and colleagued far and wide; swearing by every method everlasting enmity to Kaiser Ludwig; and set up his son Karl as Pfaffen-Kaiser.  Nay, perhaps he was at the bottom of POST-OBIT Waldemar too.  In brief, he raised, he mainly, this devils’-dance, in which, Kaiser Ludwig having died, poor Kurfürst Ludwig, with Maultasche hanging on him, is sometimes near his wits’ end.

Johann’s poor Crown-Prince, finding matters take this turn, retired into MAHREN (Moravia) as bidden; “Margrave of Mahren;” and peaceably adjusted himself to his character of Nullity and to the loss of Maultasche;-chose, for the rest, a new Princess in wedlock, with more moderate dimensions of mouth; and did produce sons and daughters on a fresh score.  Produced, among others, one Jobst his successor in the apanage or Margrafdom; who, as JOBST, or Jodocus, OF MAHREN, made some noise for himself in the next generation, and will turn up again in reference to Brandenburg in this History.

As for Margaret Pouch-mouth, she, with her new Husband as with her old, continued to have troubles, pretty much as the sparks fly upwards.  She had fierce siegings after this, and explosive procedures,-little short of Monk Schwartz, who was just inventing gunpowder at the time.  We cannot hope she lived in Elysian harmony with Kurfürst Ludwig;-the reverse, in fact; and oftenest with the whole breadth of Germany between them, he in Brandenburg, she in the Tyrol.  Nor did Ludwig junior ever come to be Kaiser, as his Father and she had hoped; on the contrary, King Johann of Bohemia’s people,-it was they that next got the Kaisership and kept it; a new provocation to Maultasche.

Ludwig and she had a son, as we said; Prince of the Tyrol and appendages, titular Margraf of Mahren and much else, by nature :  but alas, he died about ten; a precocious boy,-fancy the wild weeping of a maternal She-bear!  And the Father had already died; [In 1361, died Kurfürst Ludwig; 1363, the Boy; 1366, Maultasche herself.] a malicious world whispering that perhaps she poisoned them BOTH.  The proud woman, now old too, pursed her big coarse lips together at such rumor, and her big coarse soul,-in a gloomy scorn appealing beyond the world; in a sorrow that the world knew not of.  She solemnly settled her Tyrol and appendages upon the Austrian Archdukes, who were children of her Mother’s Sister; whom she even installed into the actual government, to make matters surer.  This done, she retired to Vienna, on a pension from them, there to meditate and pray a little, before Death came; as it did now in a short year or two.  Tyrol and the appendages continue with Austria from that hour to this, Margaret’s little boy having died.

Margaret of the Pouch-mouth, rugged dragoon-major of a woman, with occasional steel cap on her head, and capable of swearing terribly in Flanders or elsewhere, remains in some measure memorable to me.  Compared with Pompadour, Duchess of Cleveland, of Kendal and other high-rouged unfortunate females, whom it is not proper to speak of without necessity, though it is often done,-Maultasche rises to the rank of Historical.  She brought the Tyrol and appendages permanently to Austria; was near leading Brandenburg to annihilation, raising such a goblin-dance round Ludwig and it, yet did abstrusely lead Brandenburg towards a far other goal, which likewise has proved permanent for it.