THE nephew of Frederic II. was Gustavus III. of Sweden, and he is certainly entitled to rank among the more distinguished men of his age. It was the saying of Frederic, "My nephew is an extraordinary person; he succeeds in all he undertakes;" and considering the difficulties of his position, the adverse circumstances in which some of his enterprises were attempted, his success amply justified the panegyric at the time it was pronounced, and before the military disasters of his reign.
He was born with a great ambition to distinguish, both his country among the nations of Europe and himself among her sovereigns. Inflamed with the recollection of former Swedish monarchs, and impatient of the low position to which the ancient renown of his country had fallen through a succession of feeble princes, he formed the project of relieving the crown from the trammels imposed upon it by an overwhelming aristocracy, as the only means by which the old glories of Sweden could be revived, and the influence of the Gustavuses and the Charleses restored. The king of the country, indeed, when he ascended the throne was its sovereign only in name. He had all the responsibility of the government cast upon him; he had all its weight resting upon his shoulders; he had all the odium of executing the laws to suppress sedition, to