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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Gustavus Adolphus

  • [King of Sweden; born at Stockholm, Dec. 9, 1594; ascended the throne, 1610; gained Livonia and Riga after repelling an invasion by Poland and Russia; undertook the command of the Protestants in the Thirty Years’ War, 1630; defeated Tilly at Leipsic and on the Lech, where Tilly was killed; met Wallenstein at Lützen, Nov. 16, 1632, and was mortally wounded early in the day, the Imperialists being, however, compelled to retreat.]
  • Praying hard is fighting hard.

  • To his soldiers. To his officers he said, “You may win salvation under my command, but hardly riches.”
  • Defending his attention to trifles, and his intercourse with his men, who without him, like boys in the schoolmaster’s absence, would slacken their blows, he said, “Cities are not taken by sitting in tents.”
  • Being found one day by his chaplain reading his Bible, he said: “The Devil is very near at hand to those who (like monarchs) are accountable to none but God for their actions.”
  • His last words, to the Duke of Lauenburg, as a second ball struck him on the field of Lützen, were, “I have enough: save thyself, brother” (Ich habe genug: rette dich, Bruder). It may be doubted whether, in the confusion and agony of the supreme moment, he said, as asserted, “I seal with my blood my religion and the liberties of Germany.”
  • Never was prophecy less fulfilled than that of the Emperor Ferdinand II., who, when he heard that the Protestant monarch was advancing from the extreme north to oppose the Imperialists, declared, “This snow-king will go on melting as he comes south.”