Rejection of Swedish Charles as a surrogate for Stuart Charles wrongly reduces "one of the most moving passages of eighteenth-century poetry to total banality." Even Johnson's unlikely but assumed reading about Charles of Sweden's military successes prior to Pultowa show Johnson's pleasure in this "Jacobite hero." (3) Logically, on this hypothesis eight-year-old Jacobite Johnson in Lichfield shared fellow Jacobites' awareness and approval of heroic Charles XII's plans to invade Britain; both Johnson's own approval and the Jacobites' approval of Charles remained static until the autumn of 1748 when Johnson seized the moment sympathetically to meld Charles of Sweden and the other Jacobite hero Charles Edward--as Jacobite readers knew.
On 28 June 1709 Charles' hubris, poor tactics, and inept logistics finally caught up with him at the catastrophic battle of Pultowa. Charles who, Frederick the Great said, "n'auroit jamais fait la guerre avec reflexion," there left 6,901 dead on the steaming fields and 2,760 prisoners in Russian hands.
(1644 - 1709) A famous Cossack hetman, hero of Byron 's poem Mazeppa (1819) and of Pushkin 's drama Pultowa
. Mazeppa was born of a noble Polish family in Podolia and became a page in the court of John Casimir, king of Poland.