By Arne Jarrick
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It must have been very di⁄cult, not to say impossible, to obtain a true picture of the real situation even for those who read everything they could lay their hands on. 18 Anti-aristocracy sentiments were simply far too easily aroused. 20 The most decisive event for the parliament was the sovereign’s coup in February, when, through his socalled Act of Association and Security, he drastically altered the balance of power in Swedish society. In con£ict with the nobility and constitution, he increased his own power and diminished that of the nobles.
118 It was a symbolic act, for in so doing he wanted to demonstrate that he had come to the nobles as an unarmed peer,119 not as the powerful king. Presumably he wanted the nobles to allow themselves to be persuaded rather than forced to yield to his sabre-rattling. 123 The matter had been decided: the artisan journeymen had done their duty to the fatherland and should have returned to their workshops. 126 There is much in this re¤sume¤ which is uncertain. For example, we do not know what Gustavus III intended by his unctuous performance in the House of the Nobility; nor has it been ascertained whether all the members of parliament representing the clergy allowed themselves to be lulled into the same sense of security as Bishop Wallkvist would have us believe.
Trouble the King’ (‘at skriftligen anma« la [. 97 Wallqvist was speaking for himself, and it is impossible to determine what turmoil Gustavus’s note achieved among those servants of the Lord, or what role Wallqvist himself played in this context. The minutes of the clergy’s meeting on 27 April say nothing on this matter, but ‘anxiety’ and paralysis 36 b ac k t o m o d e r n r e a s o n could have been natural reactions among them precisely because, at that moment, they could have felt it impossible and necessary to heed their temporal lord at the same time.