Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 6 by Thomas Carlyle

Part 1 out of 3

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.3 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Prepared by D.R. Thompson

Carlyle's "History of Friedrich II of Prussia"




Chapter I.


The Crown-Prince's young Life being, by perverse chance, involved
and as it were absorbed in that foolish question of his English
Marriage, we have nothing for it but to continue our sad function;
and go on painfully fishing out, and reducing to an authentic
form, what traces of him there are, from that disastrous beggarly
element,--till once he get free of it, either dead or alive.
The WINDS (partly by Art-Magic) rise to the hurricane pitch, upon
this Marriage Project and him; and as for the sea, or general tide
of European Politics--But let the reader look with his own eyes.

In the spring of 1727, War, as anticipated, breaks out; Spaniards
actually begin battering at Gibraltar; Kaiser's Ambassador at
London is angrily ordered to begone. Causes of war were many:
1. Duke de Ripperda--tumbled out now, that illustrious diplomatic
bulldog, at Madrid--sought asylum in the English Ambassador's
house; and no respect was had to such asylum: that is one cause.
2. Then, you English, what is the meaning of these war-fleets in
the West Indies; in the Mediterranean, on the very coast of Spain?
We demand that you at once take them home again:--which cannot be
complied with. 3. But above all things, we demand Gibraltar of
you:--which can still less be complied with. Termagant Elizabeth
has set her heart on Gibraltar: that, in such opportunity as this
unexpected condition of the Balances now gives her, is the real
cause of the War.

Cession of Gibraltar: there had been vague promises, years ago, on
the Kaiser's part; nay George himself, raw to England at that
date, is said to have thought the thing might perhaps be done.--
Do it at once, then!" said the Termagant Queen, and repeated, with
ever more emphasis;--and there being not the least compliance, she
has opened parallels before the place, and begun war and ardent
firing there; [22d February, 1727 (Scholl, ii. 212). Salmon,
Chronological Historian (London, 1747;
a very incorrect dark Book, useful only in defect of better),
ii. 173. Coxe, Memoirs of Walpole, i. 260,
261; ii. 498-515.] preceded by protocols, debates in Parliament;
and the usual phenomena. It is the Fifth grand Crisis in the
Kaiser's spectre-huntings; fifth change in the color of the
world-lobster getting boiled in that singular manner;--Second
Sputter of actual War.

Which proved futile altogether; and amounts now, in the human
memory; to flat zero,--unless the following infinitesimally small
fraction be countable again:--

"Sputtering of War; that is to say, Siege of Gibraltar. A siege
utterly unmemorable, and without the least interest, for existing
mankind with their ungrateful humor,--if it be not; once more,
that the Father of TRISTRAM SHANDY was in it: still a Lieutenant
of foot, poor fellow; brisk, small, hot-tempered, loving, 'liable
to be cheated ten times a day if nine will not suffice you.'
He was in this Siege; shipped to the Rock to make stand there;
and would have done so with the boldest,--only he got into duel
(hot-tempered, though of lamb-like innocence), and was run through
the body; not entirely killed, but within a hair's breadth of it;
and unable for service while this sputtering went on. Little Lorry
is still living; gone to school in Yorkshire, after pranks enough,
and misventures,--half-drowning 'in the mill-race at Annamoe in
Ireland,' for one. [Laurence Sterne's Autobiography italic> (cited above).] The poor Lieutenant Father died,
soldiering in the West Indies; soon after this; and we shall not
mention him again. But History ought to remember that he is 'Uncle
Toby,' this poor Lieutenant, and take her measures!--The Siege of
Gibraltar, we still see with our eyes, was in itself Nothing."

Truly it might well enough have grown to universal flame of War.
But this always needs two parties; and pacific George would not be
second party in it. George, guided by pacific Walpole, backed by
pacific Fleury, answers the ardent firing by phlegmatic patience
and protocolling; not by counter-firing, except quite at his
convenience, from privateers, from war-ships here and there, and
in sulky defence from Gibraltar itself. Probably the Termagant,
with all the fire she has, will not do much damage upon Gibraltar?
Such was George's hope. Whereby the flame of war, ardent only in
certain Spanish batteries upon the point of San Roque, does not
spread hitherto,--though all mortals, and Friedrich Wilhelm as
much as any, can see the imminent likelihood there is. In such
circumstances, what a stroke of policy to have disjoined Friedrich
Wilhelm from the Hanover Alliance, and brought him over to our
own! Is not Grumkow worth his pension? "Grumkow serves honorably."
Let the invaluable Seckendorf persevere.


To know the special figure of the Crown-Prince's way of life in
those years, who his friends, companions were, what his pursuits
and experiences, would be agreeable to us; but beyond the outline
already given, there is little definite on record. He now resides
habitually at Potsdam, be the Court there or not; attending
strictly to his military duties in the Giant Regiment; it is only
on occasion, chiefly perhaps in "Carnival time," that he gets to
Berlin, to partake in the gayeties of society. Who his associates
there or at Potsdam were? Suhm, the Saxon Resident, a cultivated
man of literary turn, famed as his friend in time coming, is
already at his diplomatic post in Berlin, post of difficulty just
now; but I know not whether they have yet any intimacy. [Preuss,
Friedrich mit seinen Verwandten und Freunden, p. 24.]
This we do know, the Crown-Prince begins to be noted for his
sprightly sense, his love of literature, his ingenuous ways;
in the Court or other circles, whatsoever has intelligence
attracts him, and is attracted by him. The Roucoulles Soirees,--
gone all to dim backram for us, though once so lively in their
high periwigs and speculations,--fall on Wednesday. When the
Finkenstein or the others fall,--no doubt his Royal Highness
knows it. In the TABAKS-COLLEGIUM, there also, driven by duty, he
sometimes appears; but, like Seckendorf and some others, he only
affects to smoke, and his pipe is mere white clay. Nor is the
social element, any more than the narcotic vapor which prevails
there, attractive to the young Prince,--though he had better hide
his feelings on the subject.

Out at Potsdam, again, life goes very heavy; the winged Psyche
much imprisoned in that pipe-clay element, a prey to vacancy and
many tediums and longings. Daily return the giant drill-duties;
and daily, to the uttermost of rigorous perfection, they must be
done:--"This, then, is the sum of one's existence, this?"
Patience, young "man of genius," as the Newspapers would now call
you; it is indispensably beneficial nevertheless! To swallow one's
disgusts, and do faithfully the ugly commanded work, taking no
council with flesh and blood: know that "genius," everywhere in
Nature, means this first of all; that without this, it means
nothing, generally even less. And be thankful for your Potsdam
grenadiers and their pipe-clay!--

Happily he has his Books about him; his flute: Duhan, too, is
here, still more or less didactic in some branches;
always instructive and companionable, to him.
The Crown-Prince reads a great deal; very many French Books, new
and old, he reads; among the new, we need not doubt, the
Henriade of M. Arouet Junior (who now calls himself
VOLTAIRE), which has risen like a star of the first magnitude in
these years. [London, 1723, in surreptitious incomplete state,
La Ligue the title; then at length, London,
1726, as Henriade, in splendid 4to,--by
subscription (King, Prince and Princess of Wales at the top of
it), which yielded 8,000 pounds: see Voltaire, OEuvres
Completes, xiii. 408.] An incomparable piece,
patronized by Royalty in England; the delight of all kindred
Courts. The light dancing march of this new "Epic," and the brisk
clash of cymbal music audible in it, had, as we find afterwards,
greatly captivated the young man. All is not pipe-clay, then, and
torpid formalism; aloft from the murk of commonplace rise
glancings of a starry splendor, betokening--oh, how much!

Out of Books, rumors and experiences, young imagination is forming
to itself some Picture of the World as it is, as it has been.
The curtains of this strange life-theatre are mounting, mounting,
--wondrously as in the case of all young souls; but with what
specialties, moods or phenomena of light and shadow, to this young
soul, is not in any point recorded for us. The "early Letters to
Wilhelmina, which exist in great numbers," from these we had hoped
elucidation: but these the learned Editor has "wholly withheld as
useless," for the present. Let them be carefully preserved, on the
chance of somebody's arising to whom they may have uses!--

The worst feature of these years is Friedrich Wilhelm's discontent
with them. A Crown-Prince sadly out of favor with Papa. This has
long been on the growing hand; and these Double-Marriage troubles,
not to mention again the new-fangled French tendencies (BLITZ
FRANZOSEN!), much aggravate the matter, and accelerate its rate of
growth. Already the paternal countenance does not shine upon him;
flames often; and thunders, to a shocking degree;--and worse days
are coming.

Chapter II.


Gibraltar still keeps sputtering; ardent ineffectual bombardment
from the one side, sulky, heavy blast of response now and then
from the other: but the fire does not spread; nor will, we may
hope. It is true, Sweden and Denmark have joined the Treaty of
Hanover, this spring; and have troops on foot, and money paid
them; But George is pacific; Gibraltar is impregnable; let the
Spaniards spend their powder there.

As for the Kaiser, he is dreadfully poor; inapt for battle
himself. And in the end of this same May, 1727, we hear, his
principal ally, Czarina Catherine, has died;--poor brown little
woman, Lithuanian housemaid, Russian Autocrat, it is now all one;
--dead she, and can do nothing. Probably the Kaiser will sit
still? The Kaiser sits still; with eyes bent on Gibraltar, or
rolling in graud Imperial inquiry and anxiety round the world;
war-outlooks much dimmed for him since the end of May.

Alas, in the end of June, what far other Job's-post is this that
reaches Berlin and Queen Sophie? That George I., her royal Father,
has suddenly sunk dead! With the Solstice, or Summer pause of the
Sun, 21st or 22d June, almost uncertain which, the Majesty of
George I. did likewise pause,--in his carriage, on the road to
Osnabruck,--never to move more. Whereupon, among the simple
People, arose rumors of omens, preternaturalisms, for and against:
How his desperate Megaera of a Wife, in the act of dying, had
summoned him (as was presumable), to appear along with her at the
Great Judgment-Bar within year and day; and how he has here done
it. On the other hand, some would have it noted, How "the
nightingales in Herrenhausen Gardens had all ceased singing for
the year, that night he died,"--out of loyalty on the part of
these little birds, it seemed presumable. [See Kohler,
Munzbelustigungen, x. 88.]

What we know is, he was journeying towards Hanover again, hopeful
of a little hunting at the Gorhde; and intended seeing Osnabruck
and his Brother the Bishop there, as he passed. That day, 21st
June, 1727, from some feelings of his own, he was in great haste
for Osnabruck; hurrying along by extra-post, without real cause
save hurry of mind. He had left his poor old Maypole of a Mistress
on the Dutch Frontier, that morning, to follow at more leisure.
He was struck by apoplexy on the road,--arm fallen powerless,
early in the day, head dim and heavy; obviously an alarming case.
But he refused to stop anywhere; refused any surgery but such as
could be done at once. "Osnabruck! Osnabruck!" he reiterated,
growing visibly worse. Two subaltern Hanover Officials,
"Privy-Councillor von Hardenberg, KAMMERHERR (Chamberlain) von
Fabrice, were in the carriage with him;" [Gottfried,
Historische Chronik (Frankfurt, 1759), iii. 872.
Boyer, The Political State of Great Britain,
vol. xxxiii. pp. 545, 546.] King chiefly dozing, and at last
supported in the arms of Fabrice, was heard murmuring, "C'EST FAIT
DE MOI ('T is all over with me)!" And "Osnabruck! Osnabruck!"
slumberously reiterated he: To Osnabruck, where my poor old
Brother, Bishop as they call him, once a little Boy that trotted
at my knee with blithe face, will have some human pity on me!
So they rushed along all day, as at the gallop, his few attendants
and he; and when the shades of night fell, and speech had now left
the poor man, he still passionately gasped some gurgle of a sound
like "Osnabruck;" --hanging in the arms of Fabrice, and now
evidently in the article of death. What a gallop, sweeping through
the slumber of the world: To Osnabruck, Osnabruck!

In the hollow of the night (some say, one in the morning), they
reach Osnabruck. And the poor old Brother,--Ernst August, once
youngest of six brothers, of seven children, now the one survivor,
has human pity in the heart of him full surely. But George is
dead; careless of it now. [Coxe (i. 266) is "indebted to his
friend Nathaniel Wraxall" for these details,--the since famous Sir
Nathaniel, in whose Memoirs (vague, but NOT
mendacious, not unintelligent) they are now published more at
large. See his Memoirs of the Courts of Berlin, Dresden,
&c. (London. 1799), i. 35-40; also
Historical Memoirs (London, 1836), iv. 516-518.]
After sixty-seven years of it, he has flung his big burdens,--
English crowns, Hanoverian crownlets, sulkinesses, indignations,
lean women and fat, and earthly contradictions and confusions,--
fairly off him; and lies there.

The man had his big burdens, big honors so called, absurd enough
some of them, in this world; but he bore them with a certain
gravity and discretion: a man of more probity, insight and general
human faculty than he now gets credit for. His word was sacred to
him. He had the courage of a Welf, or Lion-Man; quietly royal in
that respect at least. His sense of equity, of what was true and
honorable in men and things, remained uneffaced to a respectable
degree; and surely it had resisted much. Wilder puddle of muddy
infatuations from without and from within, if we consider it
well,--of irreconcilable incoherences, bottomless universal
hypocrisies, solecisms bred with him and imposed on him,--few sons
of Adam had hitherto lived in.

He was, in one word, the first of our Hanover Series of English
Kings; that hitherto unique sort, who are really strange to look
at in the History of the World. Of whom, in the English annals,
there is hitherto no Picture to be had; nothing but an empty blur
of discordant nonsenses, and idle, generally angry, flourishings
of the pen, by way of Picture. The English Nation, having flung
its old Puritan, Sword-and-Bible Faith into the cesspool,--or
rather having set its old Bible-Faith, MINUS any Sword, well up in
the organ-loft, with plenty of revenue, there to preach and organ
at discretion, on condition always of meddling with nobody's
practice farther,--thought the same (such their mistake) a mighty
pretty arrangement; but found it hitch before long. They had to
throw out their beautiful Nell-Gwynn Defenders of the Faith;
fling them also into the cesspool; and were rather at a loss what
next to do. "Where is our real King, then? Who IS to lead us
Heavenward, then; to rally the noble of us to him, in some small
measure, and save the rest and their affairs from running
Devilward?"--The English Nation being in some difficulty as to
Kings, the English Nation clutched up the readiest that came to
hand; "Here is our King!" said they,--again under mistake, still
under their old mistake. And, what was singular, they then avenged
themselves by mocking, calumniating, by angrily speaking, writing
and laughing at the poor mistaken King so clutched!--It is high
time the English were candidly asking themselves, with very great
seriousness indeed, WHAT it was they had done, in the sight of God
and man, on that and the prior occasion? And above all, What it is
they will now propose to do in the sequel of it! Dig gold-nuggets,
and rally the IGnoble of us?--

George's poor lean Mistress, coming on at the usual rate of the
road, was met, next morning, by the sad tidings. She sprang from
her carriage into the dusty highway; tore her hair (or headdress),
half-frantic; declared herself a ruined woman; and drove direct to
Berlin, there to compose her old mind. She was not ill seen at
Court there; had her connections in the world. Fieldmarshal
Schulenburg, who once had the honor of fighting (not to his
advantage) with Charles XII., and had since grown famous by his
Anti-Turk performances in the Venetian service, is a Brother of
this poor Maypole's; and there is a Nephew of hers, one of
Friedrich Wilhelm's Field-Officers here, whom we shall meet by and
by. She has been obliging to Queen Sophie on occasions; they can,
and do, now weep heartily together. I believe she returned to
England, being Duchess of Kendal, with heavy pensions there;
and "assiduously attended divine ordinances, according to the
German Protestant form, ever afterwards." Poor foolish old soul,
what is this world, with all its dukeries!--

The other or fat Mistress, "Cataract of fluid Tallow," Countess of
Darlington, whom I take to have been a Half-Sister rather, sat
sorrowful at Isleworth; and kept for many years a Black Raven,
which had come flying in upon her; which she somehow understood to
be the soul, or connected with the soul, of his Majesty of happy
memory. [Horace Walpole, Reminiscences. ]
Good Heavens, what fat fluid-tallowy stupor, and entirely sordid
darkness, dwells among mankind; and occasionally finds itself
lifted to the very top, by way of sample!--

Friedrich Wilhelm wept tenderly to Brigadier Dubourgay, the
British Minister at Berlin (an old military gentleman, of
diplomatic merit, who spells rather ill), when they spoke of
this sad matter. My poor old Uncle; he was so good to me in
boyhood, in those old days, when I blooded Cousin George's nose!
Not unkind, ah, only proud and sad; and was called sulky, being of
few words and heavy-laden. Ah me, your Excellenz; if the little
nightingales have a11 fallen silent, what may not I, his Son and
sephew, do?--And the rugged Majesty blubbered with great
tenderness; having fountains of tears withal, hidden in the rocky
heart of him, not suspected by every one. [Dubourgay's Despatches,
in the State-Paper Office.]

I add only that the Fabrice, who had poor George in his arms that
night, is a man worth mentioning. The same Fabrice (Fabricius, or
perhaps GOLDSCHMIDT in German) who went as Envoy from the
Holstein-Gottorp people to Charles XII. in his Turkish time;
and stayed with his Swedish Majesty there, for a year or two,
indeed till the catastrophe came. His Official LETTERS from that
scene are in print, this long while, though considerably
forgotten; [ Anecdotes du Sejour du Roi de Suide a Bender,
ou Lettres de M. le Baron de Fabrice pour servir d'elaircissement
a l'Histoire de Charles XII. (Hambourg, 1760, 8vo).]
a little Volume, worth many big ones that have been published on
that subject. The same Fabrice, following Hanover afterwards, came
across to London in due course; and there he did another memorable
thing: made acquaintance with the Monsieur Arouet, then a young
French Exile there, Arouet Junior ("LE JEUNE or L. J."), who,--
by an ingenious anagram, contrived in his indignation at such
banishment,--writes himself VOLTAIRE ever since; who has been
publishing a HENRIADE, and doing other things. Now it was by
questioning this Fabrice, and industriously picking the memory of
him clean, that M. de Voltaire wrote another book, much more of an
"Epic" than Henri IV.,--a HISTORY, namely, OF CHARLES XII.; [See
Voltaire, OEuvres Completes, ii. 149, xxx. 7, 127.
Came out in 1731 (ib. xxx. Avant-Propos, p. ii).] which seems to
me the best-written of all his Books, and wants nothing but TRUTH
(indeed a dreadful want) to make it a possession forever.
VOLTAIRE, if you want fine writing; ADLERFELD and FABRICE, if you
would see the features of the Fact: these three are still the
Books upon Charles XII.


Before this event, his Majesty was in gloomy humor; and special
vexations had superadded themselves. Early in the Spring, a
difficult huff of quarrel, the consummation of a good many grudges
long subsisting, had fallen out with his neighbor of Saxony, the
Majesty of Poland, August, whom we have formerly heard of, a
conspicuous Majesty in those days; called even "August the Great"
by some persons in his own time; but now chiefly remembered by his
splendor of upholstery, his enormous expenditure in drinking and
otherwise, also by his three hundred and fifty-four Bastards
(probably the maximum of any King's performance in that line), and
called August DER STARKE, "August the Physically Strong."
This exemplary Sovereign could not well be a man according to
Friedrich Wilhelm's heart: accordingly they had their huffs and
little collisions now and then: that of the Protestant Directorate
and Heidelberg Protestants, for instance; indeed it was generally
about Protestantism; and more lately there had been high words and
correspondings about the "Protestants of Thorn" (a bad tragedy, of
Jesuit intrusion and Polish ferocity, enacted there in 1724);
[Account of it in Buchholz, i. 98-102.]--in which sad business
Friedrich Wilhelm loyally interfered, though Britannic George of
blessed memory and others were but lukewarm; and nothing could be
done in it. Nothing except angry correspondence with King August;
very provoking to the poor soul, who had no hand but a nominal
one in the Thorn catastrophe, being driven into it by his unruly
Diet alone.

In fact, August, with his glittering eyes and excellent physical
constitution, was a very good-humored fellow; supremely pleasant
in society; and by no means wishful to cheat you, or do you a
mischief in business,--unless his necessities compelled him;
which often were great. But Friedrich Wilhelm always kept a good
eye on such points; and had himself suffered nothing from the gay
eupeptic Son of Belial, either in their old Stralsund copartnery
or otherwise. So that, except for these Protestant affairs,--and
alas, one other little cause,--Friedrich Wilhelm had contentedly
left the Physically Strong to his own course, doing the civilities
of the road to him when they met; and nothing ill had fallen out
between them. This other little cause--alas, it is the old story
of recruiting; one's poor Hobby again giving offence!
Special recruiting brabbles there had been; severe laws passed in
Saxony about these kidnapping operations: and always in the Diets,
when question rose of this matter, August had been particularly
loud in his denouncings. Which was unkind, though not unexpected.
But now, in the Spring of 1727, here has a worse case than
any arisen.

Captain Natzmer, of I know not what Prussian Regiment,
"Sachsen-Weimar Cuirassiers" [ Militair-Lexikon, italic> iii. 104.] or another, had dropt over into Saxony, to see
what could be done in picking up a tall man or two. Tall men, one
or two, Captain Natzmer did pick up, nay a tall deserter or two
(Saxon soldier, inveigled to desert); but finding his operations
get air, he hastily withdrew into Brandenburg territory again.
Saxon Officials followed him into Brandenburg territory; snapt
him back into Saxon; tried him by Saxon law there;--Saxon law,
express in such case, condemns him to be hanged; and that is his doom accordingly.

"Captain Natzmer to swing on the gallows? Taken on Brandenburg
territory too, and not the least notice given me?" Friedrich
Wilhelm blazes into flaming whirlwind; sends an Official
Gentleman, one Katsch, to his Excellenz Baron von Suhm (the
Crown-Prince's cultivated friend), with this appalling message:
"If Natzmer be hanged, for certain I will use reprisals;
you yourself shall swing!" Whereupon Suhm, in panic, fled over the
marches to his Master; who bullied him for his pusillanimous
terrors; and applied to Friedrich Wilhelm, in fine frenzy of
indignant astonishment, "What, in Heaven's name, such meditated
outrage on the law of nations, and flat insult to the Majesty of
Kings, can have meant?" Friedrich Wilhelm, the first fury being
spent, sees that he is quite out of square; disavows the reprisals
upon Suhm. "Message misdelivered by my Official Gentleman, that
stupid Katsch; never did intend to hang Suhm; oh, no;" with much
other correspondence; [In Mauvillon (ii. 189-195) more of it than
any one will read.]--and is very angry at himself, and at the
Natzmer affair, which has brought him into this bad pass.
Into open impropriety; into danger of an utter rupture, had King
August been of quarrelsome turn. But King August was not
quarrelsome; and then Seckendorf and the Tobacco-Parliament,--on
the Kaiser's score, who wants Pragmatic Sanction and much else out
of these two Kings, and can at no rate have them quarrel in the
present juncture,--were eager to quench the fire. King August let
Natzmer go; Suhm returned to his post; [Pollnitz, ii. 254.] and
things hustled themselves into some uneasy posture of silence
again;--uneasy to the sensitive fancy of Friedrich Wilhelm above
all. This is his worst collision with his Neighbor of Saxony;
and springing from one's Hobby again!--

These sorrows, the death of George I., with anxieties as to George
II. and the course he might take; all this, it was thought, preyed
upon his Majesty's spirits;--Wilhelmina says it was "the frequent
carousals with Seckendorf," and an affair chiefly of the royal
digestive-apparatus. Like enough;--or both might combine. It is
certain his Majesty fell into one of his hypochondrias at this
time; talked of "abdicating" and other gloomy things, and was very
black indeed. So that Seckendorf and Grumkow began to be alarmed.
It is several months ago he had Franke the Halle Methodist giving
ghostly counsel; his Majesty ceased to have the Newspapers read at
dinner; and listened to lugubrious Franke's exhortations instead.
Did English readers ever hear of Franke? Let them make a momentary
acquaintance with this famous German Saint. August Hermann Franke,
a Lubeck man, born 1663; Professor of Theology, of Hebrew,
Lecturer on the Bible; a wandering, persecuted, pious man.
Founder of the "Pietists," a kind of German Methodists, who are
still a famed Sect in that country; and of the WAISENHAUS, at
Halle, grand Orphan-house, built by charitable beggings of Franke,
which also still subsists. A reverend gentleman, very mournful of
visage, now sixty-four; and for the present, at Berlin,
discoursing of things eternal, in what Wilhelmina thinks a very
lugubrious manner. Well; but surely in a very serious manner!
The shadows of death were already round this poor Franke; and in
a few weeks more, he had himself departed. [Died 8th June, 1727.]
But hear Wilhelmina, what account she gives of her own and the
young Grenadier-Major's behavior on these mournful occasions.
Seckendorf's dinners she considers to be the cause;
all spiritual, sorrows only an adjunct not worth mentioning.
It is certain enough.

"His Majesty began to become valetudinary; and the hypochondria
which tormented him rendered his humor very melancholy.
Monsieur Franke, the famous Pietist, founder of the Orphan-house
at Halle University, contributed not a little to exaggerate that
latter evil. This reverend gentleman entertained the King by
raising scruples of conscience about the most innocent matters.
He condemned all pleasures; damnable all of them, he said, even
hunting and music. You were to speak of nothing but the Word of
God only; all other conversation was forbidden. It was always he
that carried on the improving talk at table; where he did the
office of reader, as if it had been a refectory of monks. The King
treated us to a sermon every afternoon; his valet-de-chambre gave
out a psalm, which we all sang; you had to listen to this sermon
with as much devout attention as if it had been an apostle's.
My Brother and I had all the mind in the world to laugh;
we tried hard to keep from laughing; but often we burst out.
Thereupon reprimand, with all the anathemas of the Church hurled
out on us; which we had to take with a contrite penitent air, a
thing not easy to bring your face to at the moment. In a word,
this dog of a Franke [he died within few months, poor soul, CE
CHIEN DE FRANKE] led us the life of a set of Monks of La Trappe.

"Such excess of bigotry awakened still more gothic thoughts in the
King. He resolved to abdicate the crown in favor of my Brother.
He used to talk, He would reserve for himself 10,000 crowns a
year; and retire with the Queen and his Daughters to Wusterhausen.
There, added he, I will pray to God; and manage the farming
economy, while my wife and girls take care of the household
matters. You are clever, he said to me; I will give you the
inspection of the linen, which you shall mend and keep in order,
taking good charge of laundry matters. Frederika [now thirteen,
married to ANSPACH two years hence], who is miserly, shall have
charge of all the stores of the house. Charlotte [now eleven,
Duchess of BRUNSWICK by and by] shall go to market and buy our
provisions; and my Wife shall take charge of the little children,
[says Friedrich Wilhelm], and of the kitchen." [Little children
are: 1. Sophie Dorothee, now eight, who married Margraf of
Schwedt, and was unhappy; 2. Ulrique, a grave little soul of
seven, Queen of Sweden afterwards; 3. August Wilhelm, age now
five, became Father of a new Friedrich Wilhelm, who was King by
and by, and produced the Kings that still are; 4. Amelia, now
four, born in the way we saw; and 5. HENRI, still in arms, just
beginning to walk. There will be a Sixth and no more (son of this
Sixth, a Berlin ROUE was killed, in 1806, at the Battle of Jena,
or a day or two before); but the Sixth is not yet come to hand.]

Poor Friedrich Wilhelm; what an innocent IDYLLIUM;--which cannot
be executed by a King. "He had even begun to work at an
Instruction, or Farewell Advice, for my Brother;" and to point
towards various steps, which alarmed Grumkow and Seckendorf to a
high degree." [Wilhelmina, Memoires de Bareith, italic> i. 108.]

"Abdication," with a Crown-Prince ready to fall into the arms of
England, and a sudden finis to our Black-Art, will by no means
suit Seckendorf and Grumkow! Yet here is Winter coming;
solitary Wusterhausen, with the misty winds piping round it, will
make matters worse: something must be contrived; and what?
The two, after study, persuade Fieldmarshal Flemming over at
Warsaw (August the Strong's chief man, the Flemming of Voltaire's
CHARLES XII.; Prussian by birth, though this long while in Saxon
service), That if he the Fieldmarshal were to pay, accidentally,
as it were, a little visit to his native Brandenburg just now, it
might have fine effects on those foolish Berlin-Warsaw clouds that
had risen. The Fieldmarshal, well affected in such a case, manages
the little visit, readily persuading the Polish Majesty;
and dissipates the clouds straightway,--being well received by
Friedrich Wilhelm, and seconded by the Tobacco-Parliament with all
its might. Out at Wusterhausen everything is comfortably settled.
Nay Madam Flemming, young, brilliant, and direct from the seat of
fashion; it was she that first "built up" Wilhelmina's hair on
just principles, and put some life into her appearance.
[Wilhelmina, i. 117.] And now the Fieldmarshal (Tobacco-Parliament
suggesting it) hints farther, "If his Prussian Majesty, in the
mere greatness of his mind, were to appear suddenly in Dresden
when his royal Friend was next there,--what a sunburst after
clouds were that; how welcome to the Polish Majesty!"--"Hm, Na,
would it, then?"--The Polish Majesty puts that out of question;
specially sends invitation for the Carnival-time just coming;
and Friedrich Wilhelm will, accordingly, see Dresden and him on
that occasion. [Ib. i. 108, 109; Pollnitz, ii. 254; Fassman,
p. 374.] In those days, Carnival means "Fashionable Season," rural
nobility rallying to head-quarters for a while, and social
gayeties going on; and in Protestant Countries it means
nothing more.

This, in substance, was the real origin of Friedrich Wilhelm's
sudden visit to Dresden, which astonished the world, in January
next. It makes a great figure in the old Books. It did kindle
Dresden Carnival and the Physically Strong into supreme
illumination, for the time being; and proved the seal of good
agreement, and even of a kind of friendliness between this
heteroclite pair of Sovereigns,--if anybody now cared for those
points. It is with our Crown-Prince's share in it that we are
alone concerned; and that may require a Chapter to itself.

Chapter III.


One of the most important adventures, for our young Crown-Prince,
was this visit of his, along with Papa, to Dresden in the Carnival
of 1728. Visit contrived by Seckendorf and Company, as we have
seen, to divert the King's melancholy, and without view to the
Crown-Prince at all. The Crown-Prince, now sixteen, and not in the
best favor with his Father, had not been intended to accompany;
was to stay at Potsdam and diligently drill: nevertheless an
estafette came for him from the gallant Polish Majesty;--
Wilhelmina had spoken a word to good Suhm, who wrote to his King,
and the hospitable message came. Friedrich made no loitering,--to
Dresden is but a hundred miles, one good day;--he arrived there on
the morrow after his Father; King "on the 14th January, 1728,"
dates Fassmann; "Crown-Prince on the 15th," which I find was
Thursday. The Crown-Prince lodged with Fieldmarshal Flemming;
Friedrich Wilhelm, having come in no state, refused King August's
pressings, and took up his quarters with "the General Fieldmarshal
Wackerbarth, Commandant in Dresden,"--pleasant old military
gentleman, who had besieged Stralsund along with him in times
gone. Except Grumkow, Derschau and one or two of less importance,
with the due minimum of Valetry, he had brought no retinue;
the Crown-Prince had Finkenstein and Kalkstein with him, Tutor
and Sub-Tutor, officially there. And he lodges with old Count
Flemming and his clever fashionable Madam,--the diligent but
unsuccessful Flemming, a courtier of the highest civility, though
iracund, and "with a passion for making Treaties," whom we know
since Charles XII.'s time.

Amongst the round of splendors now set on foot, Friedrich Wilhelm
had, by accident of Nature, the spectacle of a house on fire,--
rather a symbolic one in those parts,--afforded him, almost to
start with. Deep in the first Saturday night, or rather about two
in the morning of Sunday, Wackerbarth's grand house, kindling by
negligence somewhere in the garrets, blazed up, irrepressible;
and, with its endless upholsteries, with a fine library even, went
all into flame: so that his Majesty, scarcely saving his CHATOULLE
(box of preciosities), had to hurry out in undress;--over to
Flemming's where his Son was; where they both continued
thenceforth. This was the one touch of rough, amid so much of
dulcet that occurred: no evil, this touch, almost rather
otherwise, except to poor Wackerbarth, whose fine House lay
wrecked by it.

The visit lasted till February 12th, four weeks and a day.
Never was such thrice-magnificent Carnival amusements:
illuminations, cannon-salvoings and fire-works; operas, comedies,
redoubts, sow-baitings, fox and badger-baiting, reviewing, running
at the ring:--dinners of never-imagined quality, this, as a daily
item, needs no express mention.

To the young Soldier-Apprentice all this was, of course, in
pleasant contrast with the Potsdam Guard-house; and Friedrich
Wilhelm himself is understood to have liked at least the dinners,
and the airy courteous ways, light table-wit and extreme good
humor of the host. A successful visit; burns off like successful
fire-works, piece after piece: and what more is to be said? Of all
this nothing;--nor, if we could help it, of another little
circumstance, not mentioned by the Newspapers or Fassmann, which
constitutes the meaning of this Visit for us now. It is a matter
difficult to handle in speech. An English Editor, chary of such
topics, will let two witnesses speak, credible both, though not
eye-witnesses; and leave it to the reader so. Babbling Pollnitz is
the first witness; he deposes, after alluding to the sumptuous
dinings and drinkings there:--

"One day the two Kings, after dinner, went in domino to the
redoubt [RIDOTTO, what we now call ROUT or evening party].
August had a mind to take an opportunity, and try whether the
reports of Friedrich Wilhelm's indifference to the fair sex were
correct or not. To this end, he had had a young damsel (JUNGE
PERSON) of extraordinary beauty introduced into some side-room;
where they now entered. She was lying on a bed, in a loose gauzy
undress; and though masked, showed so many charms to the eye that
the imagination could not but judge very favorably of the rest.
The King of Poland approached, in that gallant way of his, which
had gained him such favor with women. He begged her to unmask;
she at first affected reluctance, and would not. He then told her
who he was; and said, He hoped she would not refuse, when two
Kings begged her to show them this complaisance. She thereupon
took off her mask, and showed them one of the loveliest faces in
the world. August seemed quite enchanted; and said, as if it had
been the first time he ever saw her, He could not comprehend how
so bewitching a beauty had hitherto remained unknown to him.

"Friedrich Wilhelm could not help looking at her. He said to the
King of Poland, 'She is very beautiful, it must be owned;'--but at
the same instant turned his eyes away from her; and left the room,
and the ridotto altogether without delay; went home, and shut
himself in his room. He then sent for Herr von Grumkow, and
bitterly complained that the King of Poland wanted to tempt him.
Herr von Grumkow, who was neither so chaste nor so conscientious
as the King, was for making a jest of the matter; but the King
took a very serious tone; and commanded him to tell the King of
Poland in his name, 'That he begged him very much not to expose
him again to accidents of that nature, unless he wished to have
him quit Dresden at once.' Herr von Grumkow did his message.
The King of Poland laughed heartily at it; went straight to
Friedrich Wilhelm, and excused himself. The King of Prussia,
however, kept his grim look; so that August ceased joking, and
turned the dialogue on some other subject." [Pollnitz, ii. 256.]

This is Pollnitz's testimony, gathered from the whispers of the
Tabagie, or rumors in the Court-circles, and may be taken as
indisputable in the main. Wilhelmina, deriving from similar
sources, and equally uncertain in details, paints more
artistically; nor has she forgotten the sequel for her Brother,
which at present is the essential circumstance:--

"One evening, when the rites of Bacchus had been well attended to,
the King of Poland led the King [my Father], strolling about, by
degrees, into a room very richly ornamented, all the furniture and
arrangements of which were in a quite exquisite taste. The King,
charmed with what he saw, paused to contemplate the beauties of it
a little; when, all on a sudden, a curtain rose, and displayed to
him one of the most extraordinary sights. It was a girl in the
condition of our First Parents, carelessly lying on a bed.
This creature was more beautiful than they paint Venus and the
Graces; she presented to view a form of ivory whiter than snow,
and more gracefully shaped than the Venus de' Medici at Florence.
The cabinet which contained this treasure was lighted by so many
wax-candles that their brilliancy dazzled you, and gave a new
splendor to the beauties of the goddess.

"The Authors of this fine comedy did not doubt but the object
would make an impression on the King's heart; but it was quite
otherwise. No sooner had he cast his eyes on the beauty than he
whirled round with indignation; and seeing my Brother behind him,
he pushed him roughly out of the room, and immediately quitted it
himself; very angry at the scene they had been giving him, He
spoke of it, that same evening, to Grumkow, in very strong terms;
and declared with emphasis that if the like frolics were tried on
him again, he would at once quit Dresden.

"With my Brother it was otherwise. In spite of the King's care, he
had got a full view of that Cabinet Venus; and the sight of her
did not inspire in him so much horror as in his father."
[Wilhelmina, i. 112.]--Very likely not!--And in fact, "he obtained
her from the King of Poland, in a rather singular way
(d'une facon assez singuliere)" --describable,
in condensed terms, as follows:--

Wilhelmina says, her poor Brother had been already charmed over
head and ears by a gay young baggage of a Countess Orzelska;
a very high and airy Countess there; whose history is not to be
touched, except upon compulsion, and as if with a pair of tongs,--
thrice famous as she once was in this Saxon Court of Beelzebub.
She was King August's natural daughter; a French milliner in
Warsaw had produced her for him there. In due time, a male of the
three hundred and fifty-four, one Rutowski, soldier by profession,
whom we shall again hear of, took her for mistress; regardless of
natural half-sisterhood, which perhaps he did not know of.
The admiring Rutowski, being of a participative turn, introduced
her, after a while, to his honored parent and hers; by whom next--
Heavens, human language is unequal to the history of such things!
And it is in this capacity she now shines supreme in the Saxon
Court; ogling poor young Fritz, and driving him distracted;--which
phenomenon the Beelzebub Parent-Lover noticed with pain and
jealousy, it would appear.

"His Polish Majesty distinguished her extremely," says Pollnitz,
[ Memoires, ii.261.] "and was continually
visiting her; so that the universal inference was"--to the above
unspeakable effect. "She was of fine figure; had something grand
in her air and carriage, and the prettiest humor in the world.
She often appeared in men's clothes, which became her very well.
People said she was extremely open-handed;" as indeed the
Beelzebub Parent-Lover was of the like quality (when he had cash
about him), and to her, at this time, he was profuse beyond limit.
Truly a tempting aspect of the Devil, this expensive Orzelska:
something beautiful in her, if there are no Laws in this Universe;
not so beautiful, if there are! Enough to turn the head of a poor
Crown-Prince, if she like, for some time. He is just sixteen gone;
one of the prettiest lads and sprightliest; his homage, clearly
enough, is not disagreeable to the baggage. Wherefore jealous
August, the Beelzebub-Parent, takes his measures; signifies to
Fritz, in direct terms, or by discreet diplomatic hints and
innuendoes, That he can have the Cabinet Venus (Formera her name,
of Opera-singer kind);--hoping thereby that the Orzelska will be
left alone in time coming. A "facon assez singuliere"
for a Sovereign Majesty and Beelzebub Parent-Lover,
thinks Wilhelmina.

Thus has our poor Fritz fallen into the wake of Beelzebub; and is
not in a good way. Under such and no better guidance, in this
illicit premature manner, he gets his introduction to the paradise
of the world. The Formera, beautiful as painted Chaos; yes, her;--
and why not, after a while, the Orzelska too, all the same?
A wonderful Armida-Garden, sure enough. And cannot one adore the
painted divine beauties there (lovely as certain apples of the
Dead Sea), for some time?--The miseries all this brought into his
existence,--into his relations with a Father very rigorous in
principle, and with a Universe still more so,--for years to come,
were neither few nor small. And that is the main outcome of the
Dresden visitings for him and us.--

Great pledges pass between the two Kings; Prussian Crown-Prince
decorated with the Order of the Saxon Eagle, or what supreme
distinction they had: Rutowski taken over to Berlin to learn war
and drill, where he did not remain long: in fact a certain liking
seems to have risen between the two heteroclite individualities,
which is perhaps worth remembering as a point in natural history,
if not otherwise. One other small result of the visit is of
pictorial nature. In the famed Dresden Gallery there is still a
Picture, high up, visible if you have glasses, where the Saxon
Court-Painter, on Friedrich Wilhelm's bidding it is said, soon
after these auspicious occurrences, represents the two Majesties
as large as life, in their respective costumes and features (short
Potsdam Grenadier-Colonel and tall Saxon Darius or Sardanapalus),
in the act of shaking hands; symbolically burying past grudges,
and swearing eternal friendship, so to speak. [Forster, i. 226.]
To this Editor the Picture did not seem good for much;
but Friedrich Wilhelm's Portrait in it, none of the best, may be
of use to travelling friends of his who have no other.

The visit ended on the 12th of February, as the Newspapers
testify. Long before daybreak, at three in the morning, Friedrich
Wilhelm, "who had smoked after dinner till nine the night before,"
and taken leave of everybody, was on the road; but was astonished
to find King August and the Electoral Prince or Heir-Apparent (who
had privately sat up for the purpose) insist on conducting him to
his carriage. [Boyer, xxxv. l98.] "Great tokens of affection,"
known to the Newspapers, there were; and one token not yet known,
a promise on King August's part that he would return this
ever-memorable compliment in person at Potsdam and Berlin in a few
months. Remember, then!--

As for the poor Crown-Prince, whom already his Father did not
like, he now fell into circumstances more abstruse than ever in
that and other respects. Bad health, a dangerous lingering fit of
that, soon after his return home, was one of the first
consequences. Frequent fits of bad health, for some years coming;
with ominous rumors, consultations of physicians, and reports to
the paternal Majesty, which produced small comfort in that
quarter. The sad truth, dimly indicated, is sufficiently visible:
his life for the next four or five years was "extremely
dissolute." Poor young man, he has got into a disastrous course;
consorts chiefly with debauched young fellows, as Lieutenants
Katte, Keith, and others of their stamp, who lead him on ways not
pleasant to his Father, nor conformable to the Laws of this
Universe. Health, either of body or of mind, is not to be looked
for in his present way of life. The bright young soul, with its
fine strengths and gifts; wallowing like a young rhinoceros in the
mud-bath:--some say, it is wholesome for a human soul; not we!

All this is too certain; rising to its height in the years we are
now got to, and not ending for four or five years to come: and the
reader can conceive all this, and whether its effects were good or
not. Friedrich Wilhelm's old-standing disfavor is converted into
open aversion and protest, many times into fits of sorrow, rage
and despair, on his luckless Son's behalf;--and it appears
doubtful whether this bright young human soul, comparable for the
present to a rhinoceros wallowing in the mud-bath, with nothing
but its snout visible, and a dirty gurgle all the sound it makes,
will ever get out again or not.

The rhinoceros soul got out; but not uninjured; alas, no;
bitterly polluted, tragically dimmed of its finest radiances for
the remainder of life. The distinguished Sauerteig, in his
SPRINGWURZELN, has these words: "To burn away, in mad waste, the
divine aromas and plainly celestial elements from our existence;
to change our holy-of-holies into a place of riot; to make the
soul itself hard, impious, barren! Surely a day is coming, when it
will be known again what virtue is in purity and continence of
life; how divine is the blush of young human cheeks; how high,
beneficent, sternly inexorable if forgotten, is the duty laid, not
on women only, but on every creature, in regard to these
particulars? Well; if such a day never come again, then I perceive
much else will never come. Magnanimity and depth of insight will
never come; heroic purity of heart and of eye; noble pious valor,
to amend us and the age of bronze and lacquer, how can they ever
come? The scandalous bronze-lacquer age, of hungry animalisms,
spiritual impotencies and mendacities, will have to run its
course, till the Pit swallow it."--

In the case of Friedrich, it is certain such a day never fully
came. The "age of bronze and lacquer," so as it then stood,--
relieved truly by a backbone of real Spartan IRON (of right battle
STEEL when needed): this was all the world he ever got to dream
of. His ideal, compared to that of some, was but low;
his existence a hard and barren, though a genuine one, and only
worth much memory in the absence of better. Enough of all that.


August the Strong paid his Return-visit in May following. Of which
sublime transaction, stupendous as it then was to the Journalistic
mind, we should now make no mention, except for its connection
with those points,--and more especially for a foolish rumor, which
now rose about Prince Fred and the Double-Marriage, on occasion of
it. The magnificence of this visit and reception being so
extreme,--King August, for one item, sailing to it, with sound of
trumpet and hautbois, in silken flotillas gayer than Cleopatra's,
down the Elbe,--there was a rush towards Berlin of what we will
not call the scum, but must call the foam of mankind, rush of the
idle moneyed populations from all countries; and such a crowd
there, for the three weeks, as was seldom seen. Foam everywhere is
stirred up, and encouraged to get under way.

Prince Frederick of Hanover and England, "Duke of Edinburgh" as
they now call him, "Duke of Gloucester" no longer, it would seem,
nor "Prince of Wales" as yet; he, foamy as another, had thoughts
of coming; and rumor of him rose very high in Berlin,--how high we
have still singular proof. Here is a myth, generated in the busy
Court-Imagination of Berlin at this time; written down by Pollnitz
as plain fact afterwards; and from him idly copied into COXE
[Coxe's Walpole (London, 1798), i. 520.] and
other English Books. We abridge from watery Pollnitz, taking care
of any sense he has. This is what ran in certain high-frizzled
heads then and there: and was dealt out in whispers to a
privileged few, watery Pollnitz's informers among them, till they
got a myth made of it. Frederick Duke of Edinburgh, second hope of
England at this time, he is the hero.

It appears, this loose young gentleman, standing in no favor with
his sovereign Father, had never yet been across to England, the
royal Parent preferring rather not to have him in sight; and was
living idle at Hanover; very eager to be wedded to Wilhelmina, as
one grand and at present grandest resource of his existence. It is
now May, 1728; and Frederick Duke of Edinburgh is twenty-one.
He writes to his Aunt and intended Mother-in-law, Queen Sophie
(date not ascertainable to a day, Note burnt as soon as read):
"That he can endure this tantalizing suspense no longer;
such endless higgling about a supreme blessedness, virtually
agreed upon, may be sport to others, but is death to him. That he
will come privately at once, and wed his Wilhelmina; and so make
an end; the big-wigs to adjust it afterwards as they can and may."
Whereupon Sophie Dorothee, gladdest of women, sends for Dubourgay
the British Ambassador (Brigadier Dubourgay, the respectable old
gentleman who spells ill, who is strong for the Double-Marriage
always), to tell him what fine news there is, and what answer she
has sent. Respectable Dubourgay stands silent, with lengthening
face: "Your Majesty, how unfortunate that I of all men now hear
it! I must instantly despatch a courier with the news to London!"
And the respectable man, stoically deaf to her Majesty's
entreaties, to all considerations but that of his evident duty,
"sends the courier" (thinks Pollnitz);--nips thereby that fine
Hanover speculation in the bud, sees Prince Fred at once summoned
over to England, and produces several effects. Nearly the whole of
which, on examining the Documents, [Dubourgay's Despatches (1728:
29 May, 1 June, 5 October), in the State-Paper Office here.]
proves to be myth.

Pollnitz himself adds two circumstances, in regard to it, which
are pretty impossible: as, first, that Friedrich Wilhelm had
joyfully consented to this clandestine marriage, and was eagerly
waiting for it; second, that George II. too had privately favored
or even instigated the adventure, being at heart willing to escape
the trouble of Messages to Parliament, to put his Son in the
wrong, and I know not what. [Pollnitz, ii. 272-274.] The particles
of fact in the affair are likewise two: First, that Queen Sophie,
and from her the Courtier Public generally, expected the Hanover
Royal Highness, who probably had real thoughts of seeing Berlin
and his Intended, on this occasion; Dubourgay reports daily rumors
of the Royal Highness being actually "seen" there in an evanescent
manner; and Wilhelmina says, her Mother was so certain of him,
"she took every ass or mule for the Royal Highness,"--heartily
indifferent to Wilhelmina. This is the first particle of fact.
The Second is, that a subaltern Official about the Royal Highness,
one Lamothe of Hanover, who had appeared in Berlin about that
time, was thrown into prison not long after, for what misbehavior
none knew,--for encouraging dissolute Royal Highness in wild
schemes, it was guessed. And so the Myth grew, and was found ready
for Pollnitz and his followers. Royal Highness did come over to
England; not then as the Myth bears, but nine months afterwards in
December next; and found other means of irritating his imperative,
flighty, irascible and rather foolish little Father, in an
ever-increasing degree. "Very coldly received at Court," it is
said: ill seen by Walpole and the Powers; being too likely to
become a focus of Opposition there.

The Visit, meanwhile, though there came no Duke of Edinburgh to
see it, was sublime in the extreme; Polish Majesty being
magnificence itself; and the frugal Friedrich Wilhelm lighting up
his dim Court into insurpassable brilliancy, regardless of
expense; so that even the Smoking Parliament (where August
attended now and then) became luminous. The Crown-Prince, who in
late months had languished in a state of miserable health, in a
manner ominous to his physicians, confined mostly to his room or
his bed, was now happily on foot again;--and Wilhelmina notes one
circumstance which much contributed to his recovery: That the fair
Orzelska had attended her natural (or unnatural) Parent, on this
occasion; and seemed to be, as Wilhelmina thinks, uncommonly kind
to the Crown-Prince. The Heir-Apparent of Saxony, a taciturn,
inoffensive, rather opaque-looking gentleman, now turned of
thirty, and gone over to Papistry long since, with views to be
King of Poland by and by, which proved effectual as we shall find,
was also here: Count Bruhl, too, still in a very subaltern
capacity, and others whom we and the Crown-Prince shall have to
know. The Heir-Apparent's Wife (actual Kaiser's Niece, late Kaiser
Joseph's Daughter, a severe Austrian lady, haughtier than lovely)
has stayed at home in Dresden.

But here, at first hand, is a slight view of that unique Polish
Majesty, the Saxon Man of Sin; which the reader may be pleased to
accept out of idle curiosity, if for no better reason. We abridge
from Wilhelmina; [i. 124.] whom Fassmann, kindled to triple
accuracy by this grand business, is at hand to correct where
needful: [ Des glorwurdigsten Fursten und Herrn, Herrn
Friedrich Augusti des Grossen Leben und Helden-Thaten
(Of that most glorious Prince and Lord, Lord Friedrich August the
Great, King of Poland, &c., the Life and Heroic Deeds), by D. F.
(David Fassmann), Frankfurt and Leipzig, 1734; 12mo, pp. 1040.
A work written with upturned eyes of prostrate admiration for
"DERO MAJESTAT" ('Theiro' Majesty) AUGUST THE GREAT;" exact too,
but dealing merely with the CLOTHES of the matter, and such a
matter: work unreadable, except on compulsion, to the stupidest
mortal. The same Fassmann, who was at the Fair of St. Germain, who
lodged sometimes with the Potsdam Giant, and whose ways are all
fallen dark to us.] "The King of Poland arrived upon us at Berlin
on the 29th of May," says Wilhelmina; had been at Potsdam, under
Friedrich Wilhelm's care, for three days past: Saturday afternoon,
29th May, 1728; that is with exactitude the ever-memorable date.

He paid his respects in her Majesty's apartment, for an instant,
that evening; but made his formal visit next day. Very grand
indeed. Carried by two shining parti-colored creatures, heyducs
so-called, through double rows of mere peerages and sublimities,
in a sublime sedan (being lame of a foot, foot lately amputated of
two toes, sore still open): "in a sedan covered with red velvet
gallooned with gold," says the devout Fassmann, tremblingly exact,
"up the grand staircase along the grand Gallery;" in which supreme
region (Apartments of the late King Friedrich of gorgeous memory)
her Majesty now is for the occasion. "The Queen received him at
the door of her third Antechamber," says Wilhelmina; third or
outmost Antechamber, end of that grand Gallery and its peerages
and shining creatures: "he gave the Queen his hand, and led her
in." We Princesses were there, at least the grown ones of us were.
All standing, except the Queen only. "He refused to sit, and again
refused;" stoically talked graciosities, disregarding the pain of
his foot; and did not, till refusal threatened to become uncivil,
comply with her Majesty's entreaties. "How unpolite!" smiled he to
us young ones. "He had a majestic port and physiognomy; an affable
polite air accompanied all his movements, all his actions."
Kind of stereotyped smile on his face; nothing of the inner gloom
visible on our Charles II. and similar men of sin. He looked often
at Wilhelmina, and was complimentary to a degree,--for reasons
undivinable to Wilhelmina. For the rest, "much broken for his
age;" the terrible debaucheries (LES DEBAUCHES TERRIBLES) having
had their effect on him. He has fallen Widower last year. His poor
Wife was a Brandenburg-Baireuth Princess; a devout kind of woman;
austerely witnessing the irremediable in her lot. He has got far
on with his three hundred and fifty-four; is now going
fifty-five;--lame of a foot, as we see, which the great Petit of
Paris cannot cure, neither he nor any Surgeon, but can only
alleviate by cutting off two toes. Pink of politeness, no doubt of
it; but otherwise the strangest dilapidated hulk of a two-legged
animal without feathers; probably, in fact, the chief Natural
Solecism under the Sun at that epoch;--extremely complimentary to
us Princesses, to me especially. "He quitted her Majesty's
Apartment after an hour's conversation: she rose to reconduct him,
but he would by no manner of means permit that,"--and so vanished,
carried off doubtless by the shining creatures again.
The "Electoral Prince" Heir-Apparent, next made his visit;
but he was a dry subject in comparison, of whom no Princess can
say much. Prince Friedrich will know him better by and by.

Young Maurice, "Count of Saxony," famed afterwards as MARECHAL DE
SAXE, he also is here with his Half-Sister Orzelska and the
others, in the train of the paternal Man of Sin; and makes
acquaintance with Friedrich. He is son of the female Konigsmark
called Aurora ("who alone of mortals could make Charles Twelfth
fly his ground"); nephew, therefore, of the male Konigsmark who
was cut down long ago at Hanover, and buried in the fireplace.
He resembles his Father in strength, vivacity, above all things in
debauchery, and disregard of finance. They married him at the due
years to some poor rich woman; but with her he has already ended;
with her and with many others. Courland, Adrienne Lecouvreur, Anne
Iwanowna with the big cheek:--the reader has perhaps searched out
these things for himself from the dull History-Books;--or perhaps
it was better for him if he never sought them? Dukedom of
Courland, connected with Polish sovereignty, and now about to fall
vacant, was one of Count Maurice's grand sallies in the world.
Adrienne Lecouvreur, foolish French Actress, lent him all the
30,000 pounds she had gathered by holding the mirror up to Nature
and otherwise, to prosecute this Courland business; which proved
impossible for him. He was adventurous enough, audacious enough;
fought well; but the problem was, To fall in love with the Dowager
Anne Iwanowna, Cousin of Czar Peter II.; big brazen Russian woman
(such a cheek the Pictures give her, in size and somewhat in
expression like a Westphalia ham!), who was Widow of the last
active Duke:--and this, with all his adventurous audacity, Count
Maurice could not do. The big Widow discovered that he did not
like Westphalia hams in that particular form; that he only
pretended to like them; upon which, in just indignation, she
disowned and dismissed him; and falling herself to be Czarina not
long afterwards, and taking Bieren the Courlander for her beloved,
she made Bieren Duke, and Courland became impossible for
Count Maurice.

However, he too is a dashing young fellow; "circular black
eyebrows, eyes glittering bright, partly with animal vivacity,
partly with spiritual;" stands six feet in his stockings, breaks
horse-shoes with his hands; full of irregular ingenuity and
audacity; has been soldiering about, ever since birth almost;
and understands many a thing, though the worst SPELLER ever known.
With him too young Fritz is much charmed: the flower, he, of the
illegitimate three hundred and fifty-four, and probably the chief
achievement of the Saxon Man of Sin in this world, where he took
such trouble. Friedrich and he maintained some occasional
correspondence afterwards; but, to judge by Friedrich's part of it
(mere polite congratulations on Fontenoy, and the like), it must
have been of the last vacuity; and to us it is now absolute zero,
however clearly spelt and printed. [Given altogether in
OEuvres de Frederic le Grand, xvii. 300-309.
See farther, whoever has curiosity, Preuss, Friedrichs
Lebensgeschichte, iii. 167-169; Espagnac,
Vie du Comte de Saxe (a good little military Book,
done into German, Leipzig, 1774, 2 vols.); Cramer,
Denkwurdigkeiten der Grafin Aurora von Konigsmark
(Leipzig, 1836); &c. &c.]

The Physically Strong, in some three weeks, after kindling such an
effulgence about Berlin as was never seen before or since in
Friedrich Wilhelm's reign, went his way again,--"towards Poland
for the Diet," or none of us cares whither or for what. Here at
Berlin he has been sublime enough. Some of the phenomena surpassed
anything Wilhelmina ever saw: such floods and rows of resplendent
people crowding in to dinner; and she could not but contrast the
splendor of the Polish retinues and their plumages and draperies,
with the strait-buttoned Prussian dignitaries, all in mere soldier
uniform, succinct "blue coat, white linen gaiters," and no
superfluity even in the epaulettes and red facings. At table, she
says, they drank much, talked little, and bored one another a


Dilapidated Polish Majesty, we observed, was extremely attentive
to Wilhelmina; nor could she ascertain, for long after, what the
particular reason was. Long after, Wilhelmina ascertained that
there had been the wonderfulest scheme concocting, or as good as
concocted, in these swearings of eternal friendship: no other than
that of marrying her, Wilhelmina, now a slim maiden coming
nineteen, to this dilapidated Saxon Man of Sin going (or limping)
fifty-five, and broken by DEBAUCHES TERRIBLES (rivers of champagne
and tokay, for one item), who had fallen a Widower last year!
They had schemed it all out, Wilhelmina understands: Friedrich
Wilhelm to advance such and such moneys as dowry, and others
furthermore as loan, for the occasions of his Polish Majesty,
which are manifold; Wilhelmina to have The Lausitz (LUSATIA) for
jointure, Lausitz to be Friedrich Wilhelm's pledge withal;
and other intricate conditions; [Wilhelmina, i. 114.] what would
Wilhelmina have thought? One shudders to contemplate;--hopes it
might mostly be loose brain-web and courtier speculation, never
settled towards fact.

It is certain, the dilapidated Polish Majesty having become a
Widower, questions would rise, Will not he marry again? And with
whom? Certain also, he wants Friedrich Wilhelm's alliance;
having great schemes on the anvil, which are like to be delicate
and perilous,--schemes of "partitioning Poland," no less; that is
to say, cutting off the outskirts of Poland, flinging them to
neighboring Sovereigns as propitiation, or price of good-will, and
rendering the rest hereditary in his family. Pragmatic Sanction
once acceded to, would probably propitiate the Kaiser? For which,
and other reasons, Polish Majesty still keeps that card in his
hand. Friedrich Wilhelm's alliance, with such an army and such a
treasury, the uses of that are evident to the Polish Majesty.--
By the blessing of Heaven, however, his marriage with Wilhelmina
never came to anything: his Electoral Prince, Heir-Apparent,
objected to the jointures and alienations, softly, steadily;
and the project had to drop before Wilhelmina ever knew of it.

And this man is probably one of the "Four Kings" she was to be
asked by? A Swedish Officer, with some skill in palmistry, many
years ago, looked into her innocent little hand, and prophesied,
"She was to be in terms of courtship, engagement or as good as
engagement, with Four Kings, and to wed none of them." Wilhelmina
counts them in her mature days. The FIRST will surprise
everybody,--Charles XII. of Sweden;--who never can have been much
of a suitor, the rather as the young Lady was then only six gone;
but who, might, like enough, be talked of, by transient
third-parties, in those old Stralsund times. The SECOND,--cannot
WE guess who the second is? The THIRD is this August the
dilapidated Strong. As to the SECOND, Wilhelmina sees already,
in credulous moments, that it may be Hanover Fred, whom she will
never marry either;--and does not see (nor did, at the time of
writing her Memoires, "in 1744" say the
Books) that Fred never would come to Kingship, and that the
Palmistry was incomplete in that point. The FOURTH, again, is
clearly young Czar Peter II.; of whom there was transient talk or
project, some short time after this of the dilapidated THIRD.
But that too came to nothing; the poor young lad died while only
fifteen; nay he had already "fallen in love with his Aunt
Elizabeth" (INFAME CATIN DU NORD in time coming), and given up the
Prussian prospect. [He was the Great Peter's Grandson (Son having
gone a tragical road ); Czar, May, 1727--January, 1730:
Anne Iwanowna (Great Peter's Niece, elder Brother's Daughter), our
Courland friend with the big cheek, succeeded; till her death,
October, 1740: then, after some slight shock of revolution, the
Elizabeth just mentioned, who was Daughter of the Great Peter by
his little brown Czarina Catherine whom we once met.
See Mannstein, Memoirs of Russia (London,
1770), pp. 1-23, for some account of Peter II.; and the rest of
the Volume for a really intelligent History of this Anne, at least
of her Wars, where Mannstein himself usually had part.

All which would be nothing, or almost less, to Wilhelmina, walking
fancy-free there,--were it not for Papa and Mamma, and the
importunate insidious by-standers. Who do make a thing of it,
first and last! Never in any romance or stage-play was young Lady,
without blame, without furtherance and without hindrance of her
own, so tormented about a settlement in life;--passive she, all
the while, mere clay in the hands of the potter; and begging the
Universe to have the extreme goodness only to leave her alone!--

Thus too, among the train of King August in this Berlin visit, a
certain Soldier Official of his, Duke of Sachsen Weissenfels,
Johann Adolf by name, a poor Cadet Cousin of the Saxon House,--
another elderly Royal Highness of small possibility,--was
particularly attentive to Wilhelmina; now and on subsequent
occasions. Titular Duke of Weissenfels, Brother of the real Duke,
and not even sure of the succession as yet; but living on King
August's pay; not without capacity of drink and the like, some
allege:--otherwise a mere betitled, betasselled elderly military
gentleman, of no special qualities, evil or good;--who will often
turn up again in this History; but fails always to make any
impression on us except that of a Serene Highness in the abstract;
unexceptionable Human Mask, of polite turn, behung with titles,
and no doubt a stomach in the inside of it: he now, and
afterwards, by all opportunities, diligently continued his
attentions in the Wilhelmina quarter. For a good while it was
never guessed what he could be driving at; till at last Queen
Sophie, becoming aware of it, took him to task; with cold
severity, reminded him that some things are on one's level, and
some things not. To which humbly bowing, in unfeigned penitence,
he retired from the audacity, back foremost: Would never even in
dreams have presumed, had not his Prussian Majesty authorized;
would now, since HER Prussian Majesty had that feeling, withdraw
silently, and live forgotten, as an obscure Royal Highness in the
abstract (though fallen Widower lately) ought to do. And so at
least there was an end of that matter, one might hope,--though in
effect it still abortively started up now and then, on Papa's
part, in his frantic humors, for years to come.

Then there is the Margraf of Schwedt, Friedrich Wilhelm by name,
chief Prince of the Blood, his Majesty's Cousin, and the Old
Dessauer's Nephew; none of the likeliest of men, intrinsically
taken: he and his Dowager Mother--the Dessauer's Sister, a
high-going, tacitly obstinate old Dowager (who dresses, if I
recollect, in flagrant colors)--are very troublesome to
Wilhelmina. The flagrant Dame--she might have been "Queen-Mother"
once forsooth, had Papa and my Brother but been made away with!--
watches her time, and is diligent by all opportunities.

Chapter IV.


And the Double-Marriage, in such circumstances, are we to consider
it as dead, then? In the soul of Queen Sophie and those she can
influence, it lives flame-bright; but with all others it has
fallen into a very dim state. Friedrich Wilhelm is still privately
willing, perhaps in a degree wishful; but the delays, the
supercilious neglects have much disgusted him; and he, in the mean
while, entertains those new speculations. George II., never a
lover of the Prussian Majesty's nor loved by him, has been very
high and distant ever since his Accession; offensive rather than
otherwise. He also is understood to be vaguely willing for the
thing; willing enough, would it be so kind as accomplish itself
without trouble to him. But the settlements, the applications to
Parliament:--and all for this perverse Fred, who has become
unlovely, and irritates our royal mind? George pushes the matter
into its pigeon-holes again, when brought before him.
Higher thoughts occupy the soul of little George. Congress of
Soissons, Convention of the Pardo, [Or, in effect, "Treaty of
Madrid," 6th March, 1728. This was the PREFACE to Soissons;
Termagant at length consenting there, "at her Palace of the Pardo"
(Kaiser and all the world urging her for ten months past), to
accept the Peace, and leave off besieging Gibraltar to no purpose
(Coxe, i. 303).] Treaty of Seville; a part to be acted on the
world-theatre, with applauses, with envies, almost from the very
demi-gods? Great Kaisers, overshadowing Nature with their
Pragmatic Sanctions, their preternatural Diplomacies, and making
the Terrestrial Balance reel hither and thither;--Kaisers to be
clenched perhaps by one's dexterity of grasp, and the Balance
steadied again? Prussian Double-Marriage!

One royal soul there is who never will consent to have the
Double-Marriage die: Queen Sophie. She had passed her own private
act-of-parliament for it; she was a very obstinate wife, to a
husband equally obstinate. "JE BOULEVERSERAI L'EMPIRE," writes she
once; "I will overturn the German Empire," if they drive me to it,
in this matter. [Letter copied by Dubourgay (in Despatch, marked
PRIVATE, to Lord Townshend, 3d-14th May, 1729); no clear address
given,--probably to Dubourgay himself, CONVEYED by "a Lady" (one
of the Queen's Ladies), as he dimly intimates.] What secret
manoeuvring and endeavoring went on unweariedly on royal Sophie's
part, we need not say; nor in what bad element, of darkness and
mendacity, of eavesdropping, rumoring, backstairs intriguing, the
affair now moved. She corresponds on it with Queen Caroline of
England; she keeps her two children true to it, especially her
Son, the more important of them.


Queen Sophie did not overturn the Empire, but she did almost
overturn her own and her family's existence, by these courses;
which were not wise in her case. It is certain she persuaded
Crown-Prince Friedrich, who was always his Mother's boy, and who
perhaps needed little bidding in this instance, "to write to Queen
Caroline of England;" Letters one or several: thrice-dangerous
Letters; setting forth (in substance), His deathless affection to
that Beauty of the world, her Majesty's divine Daughter the
Princess Amelia (a very paragon of young women, to judge by her
picture and one's own imagination); and likewise the firm
resolution he, Friedrich Crown-Prince, has formed, and the vow he
hereby makes, Either to wed that celestial creature when
permitted, or else never any of the Daughters of Eve in this
world. Congresses of Soissons, Smoking Parliaments, Preliminaries
of the Pardo and Treaties of Seville may go how they can. If well,
it shall be well: if not well, here is my vow, solemn promise and
unchangeable determination, which your gracious Majesty is humbly
entreated to lay up in the tablets of your royal heart, and to
remember on my behalf, should bad days arise!--

It is clear such Letters were sent; at what date first beginning,
we do not know;--possibly before this date? Nor would matters rise
to the vowing pitch all at once. One Letter, supremely dangerous
should it come to be known, Wilhelmina has copied for us,
[Wilhelmina, i. 183.]--in Official style (for it is the Mother's
composition this one) and without date to it:--the guessable date
is about two years hence; and we will give the poor Document
farther on, if there be place for it.

Such particulars are yet deeply unknown to Friedrich Wilhelm;
but he surmises the general drift of things in that quarter;
and how a disobedient Son, crossing his Father's will in every
point, abets his Mother's disobedience, itself audacious enough,
in regard to this one. It is a fearful aggravation of Friedrich
Wilhelm's ill-humor with such a Son, which has long been upon the
growing hand. His dislikes, we know, were otherwise neither few
nor small. Mere "disLIKES" properly so called, or dissimilarities
to Friedrich Wilhelm, a good many of them; dissimilarities also to
a Higher Pattern, some! But these troubles of the Double-Marriage
will now hurry them, the just and the unjust of them, towards the
flaming pitch. The poor youth has a bad time; and the poor Father
too, whose humor we know! Surly gusts of indignation, not
unfrequently cuffs and strokes; or still worse, a settled
aversion, and rage of the chronic kind; studied neglect and
contempt,--so as not even to help him at table, but leave him
fasting while the others eat; [Dubourgay, SCAPIUS.] this the young
man has to bear. The innumerable maltreatments, authentically
chronicled in Wilhelmina's and the other Books, though in a
dateless, unintelligible manner, would make a tragic sum!--
Here are two Billets, copied from the Prussian State-Archives,
which will show us to what height matters had gone, in this the
young man's seventeenth year.

TO HIS MAJESTY (from the Crown-Prince).

"WUSTERHAUSEN, 11th September, 1728.
MY DEAR PAPA,--I have not, for a long while, presumed to come to
my dear Papa; partly because he forbade me; but chiefly because I
had reason to expect a still worse reception than usual: and, for
fear of angering my dear Papa by my present request, I have
preferred making it in writing to him.

I therefore beg my dear Papa to be gracious to me; and can here
say that, after long reflection, my conscience has not accused me
of any the least thing with which I could reproach myself. But if
I have, against my will and knowledge, done anything that has
angered my dear Papa, I herewith most submissively beg
forgiveness; and hope my dear Papa will lay aside that cruel
hatred which I cannot but notice in all his treatment of me.
I could not otherwise suit myself to it; as I always thought I had
a gracious Papa, and now have to see the contrary. I take
confidence, then, and hope that my dear Papa will consider all
this, and again be gracious to me. And, in the mean while, I
assure him that I will never, all my days, fail with my will;
and, notwithstanding his disfavor to me, remain

"My dear Papa's
"Most faithful and obedient Servant and Son,


To which Friedrich Wilhelm, by return of messenger, writes what
follows. Very implacable, we may perceive;--not calling his
Petitioner "Thou," as kind Paternity might have dictated;
infinitely less by the polite title "They (SIE)," which latter
indeed, the distinguished title of "SIC," his Prussian Majesty, we
can remark, reserves for Foreigners of the supremest quality, and
domestic Princes of the Blood; naming all other Prussian subjects,
and poor Fritz in this place, "He (ER)," in the style of a
gentleman to his valet,--which style even a valet of these new
days of ours would be unwilling to put up with. "ER, He," "His"
and the other derivatives sound loftily repulsive in the German
ear; and lay open impassable gulfs between the Speaker and the
Spoken-to. "His obstinate"--But we must, after all, say THY and
THOU for intelligibility's sake:--

"Thy obstinate perverse disposition [KOPF, head], which does not
love thy Father,--for when one does everything [everything
commanded] and really loves one's Father, one does what the Father
requires, not while he is there to see it, but when his back is
turned too [His Majesty's style is very abstruse, ill-spelt,
intricate, and in this instance trips itself, and falls on its
face here, a mere intricate nominative without a verb!]--For the
rest, thou know'st very well that I can endure no effeminate
fellow (EFEMINIRTEN KERL), who has no human inclination in him;
who puts himself to shame, cannot ride nor shoot; and withal is
dirty in his person; frizzles his hair like a fool, and does not
cut it off. And all this I have, a thousand times, reprimanded;
but all in vain, and no improvement in nothing (KEINE BESSERUNG IN
NITS IST). For the rest, haughty, proud as a churl; speaks to
nobody but some few, and is not popular and affable; and cuts
grimaces with his face, as if he were a fool; and does my will in
nothing unless held to it by force; nothing out of love;--and has
pleasure in nothing but following his own whims [own KOPF],--no
use to him in anything else. This is the answer.


[Preuss, i. 27; from Cramer, pp. 33, 34.]


These are not favorable outlooks for the Double-Marriage.
Nevertheless it comes and goes; and within three weeks later, we
are touched almost with a kind of pity to see it definitely
emerging in a kind of Official state once more. For the question
is symbolical of important political questions. The question means
withal, What is to be done in these dreadful Congress-of-Soissons
complexities, and mad reelings of the Terrestrial Balance?
Shall we hold by a dubious and rather losing Kaiser of this kind,
in spite of his dubieties, his highly inexplicit, procedures (for
which he may have reasons) about the Promise of Julich and Berg?
Or shall we not clutch at England, after all,--and perhaps bring
him to terms? The Smoking Parliament had no Hansard; but, we guess
its Debates (mostly done in dumb-show) were cloudy, abstruse and
abundant, at this time! The Prussian Ministers, if they had any
power, take different sides; old Ilgen, the oldest and ablest of
them, is strong for England.

Enough, in the beginning of October, Queen Sophie, "by express
desire of his Majesty," who will have explicit, Yes or No on that
matter, writes to England, a Letter "PRIVATE AND OFFICIAL," of
such purport,--Letter (now invisible) which Dubourgay is proud to
transmit. [Despatch, 5th October, 1728, in State-Paper Office.]
Dubourgay is proud; and old Ilgen, her Majesty informed me on the
morrow, "wept for joy," so zealous was he on that side. Poor old
gentleman,--respectable rusty old Iron Safe with seven locks,
which nobody would now care to pick,--he died few weeks after, at
his post as was proper; and saw no Double-Marriage, after all.
But Dubourgay shakes out his feathers; the Double-Marriage being
again evidently alive.

For England answers, cordially enough, if not, with all the hurry
Friedrich Wilhelm wanted, "Yea, we are willing for the thing;"--
and meets, with great equanimity and liberality, the new whims,
difficulties and misgivings, which arose on Friedrich Wilhelm's
part, at a wearisome rate, as the negotiation went on; and which
are always frankly smoothed away again by the cooler party.
Why did not the bargain close, then? Alas, one finds, the answer
YEA had unfortunately set his Prussian Majesty on viewing, through
magnifiers, what advantages there might have been in NO: this is a
difficulty there is no clearing away! Probably, too, the
Tobacco-Parliament was industrious. Friedrich Wilhelm, at last,
tries if Half will not do; anxious, as we all too much are, "to
say Yes AND No;" being in great straits, poor man:--"Your Prince
of Wales to wed Wilhelmina at once; the other Match to stand
over?" To which the English Government answers always briefly,
"No; both the Marriages or none!"--Will the reader consent to a
few compressed glances into the extinct Dubourgay Correspondence;
much compressed, and here and there a rushlight stuck in it, for
his behoof. Dubourgay, at Berlin, writes; my Lord Townshend, in
St. James's reads, usually rather languid in answering:--

BERLIN, 9th NOVEMBER, 1728. "Prussian Majesty much pleased with
English Answers" to the Yes-or-No question: "will send a Minister
to our Court about the time his Britannic Majesty may think of
coming over to his German Dominions. Would Finkenstein (Head
Tutor), or would Knyphausen (distinguished Official here), be the
agreeable man?" "Either," answer the English; "either is good."

BERLIN, SAME DATE. "Queen sent for me just now; is highly content
with the state of things. 'I have now,' said her Majesty, 'the
pleasure to tell you that I am free, God be blessed, of all the
anguish I have labored under for some time past, which was so
great that I have several times been on the point of sending for
you to procure my Brother's protection for my Son, who, I thought,
ran the greatest danger from the artifices of Seckendorf and'"--
Poor Queen!

NOV, 16th. "Queen told me: When the Court was at Wusterhausen,"
two months ago, hunting partridges and wild swine, [Fassmann,
p. 386.] "Seckendorf and Grumkow intrigued for a match between
Wilhelmina and the Prince of Weissenfels," elderly Royal Highness
in the Abstract, whom we saw already, "thereby to prevent a closer
union between the Prussian and English Courts,--and Grumkow having
withal the private view of ousting his antagonist the Prince of
Anhalt [Old Dessauer, whom he had to meet in duel, but did not
fight], as Weissenfels, once Son-in-law, would certainly be made
Commander-in-Chief," [Dubourgay, in State-Paper Office (Prussian
Despatches, vol. XXXV.)] to the extrusion of Anhalt from that
office. Which notable piece of policy her Majesty, by a little
plain speech, took her opportunity of putting an end to, as we
saw. For the rest, "the Dutch Minister and also the French
Secretaries here," greatly interested about the peace of Europe,
and the Congress of Soissons in these weeks, "have had a
communication from this Court, of the favorable disposition ours
is in with respect to the Double Match,"--beneficent for the
Terrestrial Balance, as they and I hope. So that things look
well? Alas,--

DECEMBER 25th. "Queen sent for me yesterday: Hopes she does no
wrong in complaining of her Husband to her Brother. King shows
scruples about the Marriages; does not relish the expense of an
establishment for the Prince; hopes, at all events, the Marriage
will not take place for a year yet;--would like to know what Dowry
the English Princess is to bring?"--"No Dowry with our Princess,"
the English answer; "nor shall you give any with yours."

NEW-YEAR'S DAY, 1729. "Queen sent for me: King is getting
intractable about the Marriages; she reasoned with him from two
o'clock till eight," without the least permanent effect. "It is
his covetousness," I Dubourgay privately think!--Knyphausen, who
knows the King well, privately tells me, "He will come round."
"It is his avarice," thinks Knyphausen too; "nay it is also his
jealousy of the Prince, who is very popular with the Army.
King does everything to mortify him, uses him like a child;
Crown-Prince bears it with admirable patience." This is
Knyphausen's weak notion; rather a weak creaky official gentleman,
I should gather, of a cryptosplenetic turn. "Queen told me some
days later, His Majesty ill-used the Crown-Prince, because he did
not drink hard enough; makes him hunt though ill;" is very hard
upon the poor Crown-Prince,--who, for the rest, "sends loving
messages to England," as usual; [Dubourgay, 16th January.]
covertly meaning the Princess Amelia, as usual. "Some while ago,
I must inform your Lordship, the Prince was spoken to," by Papa as
would appear, "to sound his inclination as to the Princess
Caroline," Princess likewise of England, and whose age, some
eighteen months less than his own, might be suitabler, the
Princess Amelia being half a year his elder; [Caroline born 10th
June 1713; Amelia, 10th July, 1711.] "but,"--mark how true he
stood,--"his Royal Highness broke out into such raptures of love
and passion for the Princess Amelia, and showed so much impatience
for the conclusion of that Match, as gave the King of Prussia a
great deal of surprise, and the Queen as much satisfaction."
Truth is, if an old Brigadier Diplomatist may be judge, "The great
and good qualities of that young Prince, both of person and mind,
deserve a distinct and particular account, with which I shall
trouble your Lordship another day;" [Despatch, 25th December,
1728.]--which unluckily I never did; his Lordship Townshend
having, it would seem, too little curiosity on the subject.

And so the matter wavers; and in spite of Dubourgay's and Queen
Sophie's industry, and the Crown-Prince's willing mind, there
can nothing definite be made of it at this time. Friedrich
Wilhelm goes on visits, goes on huntings; leaves the matter to
itself to mature a little. Thus the negotiation hangs fire;
and will do so,--till dreadful waterspouts come, and perhaps
quench it altogether?


His Majesty is off for a Hunting Visit to the Old Dessauer,--
Crown-Prince with him, who hates hunting. Then, "19th January,
1729," says the reverential Fassmann, he is off for a grand hunt
at Copenick; then for a grander in Pommern (Crown-Prince still
with him): such a slaughter of wild swine as was seldom heard of,
and as never occurred again. No fewer than "1,882 head (STUCK) of
wild swine, 300 of them of uncommon magnitude," in the Stettin and
other Pommern regions; "together with 1,720 STUCK in the Mark
Brandenburg, once 450 in a day: in all, 3,602 STUCK." Never was
his Majesty in better spirits: a very Nimrod or hunting Centaur;
trampling the cobwebs of Diplomacy, and the cares of life, under
his victorious hoofs. All this slaughter of swine, 3,602 STUCK by
tale, was done in the season 1729. "From which," observes the
adoring Fassmann, [p. 387.] "is to be inferred the importance," at
least in wild swine, "of those royal Forests in Pommern and the
Mark;" not to speak of his Majesty's supreme talent in hunting, as
in other things.

What Friedrich Wilhelm did with such a mass of wild pork? Not an
ounce of it was wasted, every ounce of it brought money in.
For there exist Official Schedules, lists as for a window-tax or
property-tax, drawn up by his Majesty's contrivance, in the chief
Localities: every man, according to the house he keeps, is bound
to take, at a just value by weight, such and such quotities of
suddenly slaughtered wild swine, one or so many,--and consume them
at his leisure, as ham or otherwise,--cash payable at a fixed
term, and no abatement made. [Forster, Beneckendorf (if they had
an Index I).] For this is a King that cannot stand waste at all;
thrifty himself, and the Cause of thrift.


This was one of Friedrich Wilhelm's grandest hunting-bouts, this
of January, 1729; at all events, he will never have another such.
By such fierce riding, and defiance of the winter elements and
rules of regimen, his Majesty returned to Potsdam with ill
symptoms of health;--symptoms never seen before; except
transiently, three years ago, after a similar bout; when the
Doctors, shaking their heads, had mentioned the word "Gout."--
"NARREN-POSSEN!" Friedrich Wilhelm had answered, "Gout?"--But now,
February, 1729, it is gout in very deed. His poor Majesty has to
admit: "I am gouty, then! Shall have gout for companion
henceforth. I am breaking up, then?" Which is a terrible message
to a man. His Majesty's age is not forty-one till August coming;
but he has hunted furiously.

Adoring Fassmann gives a quite touching account of Friedrich
Wilhelm's performances under gout, now and generally, which were
begun on this occasion. How he suffered extremely, yet never
neglected his royal duties in any press of pain. Could seldom get
any sleep till towards four or five in the morning, and then had
to be content with an hour or two; after which his Official
Secretaries came in with their Papers, and he signed, despatched,
resolved, with best judgment,--the top of the morning always
devoted to business. At noon, up if possible; and dines, "in
dressing-gown, with Queen and children." After dinner, commonly to
bed again; and would paint in oil; sometimes do light joiner-work,
chiselling and inlaying; by and by lie inactive with select
friends sitting round, some of whom had the right of entry, others
not, under penalties. Buddenbrock, Derschau, rough old Marlborough
stagers, were generally there; these, "and two other persons,"--
Grumkow and Seckendorf, whom Fassmann does not name, lest he get
into trouble,--"sat, well within earshot, round the bed.
And always at the head was TheirO Majesty the Queen, sometimes
with the King's hand laid in hers, and his face turned up to her,
as if he sought assuagement"--O my dim old Friend, let us dry
our tears!

"Sometimes the Crown-Prince read aloud in some French Book," Title
not given; Crown-Prince's voice known to me as very fine.
Generally the Princess Louisa was in the room, too; Louisa, who
became of Anspach shortly; not Wilhelmina, who lies in fever and
relapse and small-pox, and close at death's door, almost since the
beginning of these bad days. The Crown-Prince reads, we say, with
a voice of melodious clearness, in French more or less
instructive. "At other times there went on discourse, about public
matters, foreign news, things in general; discourse of a cheerful
or of a serious nature," always with some substance of sense in
it,--"and not the least smut permitted, as is too much the case in
certain higher circles!" says adoring Fassmann; who privately
knows of "Courts" (perhaps the GLORWURDIGSTE, Glory-worthiest,
August the Great's Court, for one?) "with their hired Tom-Fools,"
not yet an extinct species attempting to ground wit on that bad
basis. Prussian Majesty could not endure any "ZOTEN:" profanity
and indecency, both avaunt. "He had to hold out in this way, awake
till ten o'clock, for the chance of night's sleep." Earlier in the
afternoon, we said, he perhaps does a little in oil-painting,
having learnt something of that art in young times;--there is a
poor artist in attendance, to mix the colors, and do the first
sketch of the thing. Specimens of such Pictures still exist,
Portraits generally; all with this epigraph, FREDERICUS WILHELMUS
IN TORMENTIS PINXIT (Painted by Friedrich Wilhelm in his
torments); and are worthy the attention of the curious. [Fassmann,
p. 392; see Forster, &c.] Is not this a sublime patient?

Fassmann admits, "there might be spurts of IMpatience now and
then; but how richly did Majesty make it good again after
reflection! He was also subject to whims even about people whom he
otherwise esteemed. One meritorious gentleman, who shall be
nameless, much thought of by the King, his Majesty's nerves could
not endure, though his mind well did: 'Makes my gout worse to see
him drilling in the esplanade there; let another do it!'--and
vouchsafed an apologetic assurance to the meritorious gentleman
afflicted in consequence."--O my dim old Friend, these surely are
sublimities of the sick-bed? "So it lasted for some five weeks
long," well on towards the summer of this bad year 1729.
Wilhelmina says, in briefer business language, and looking only at
the wrong side of the tapestry, "It was a Hell-on-Earth to us,
Les peines du Purgatoire ne pouvaient egaler celles que
NOUS endurions;" [i. 157.] and supports the statement
by abundant examples, during those flamy weeks.

For, in the interim, withal, the English negotiation is as good as
gone out; nay there are waterspouts brewing aloft yonder, enough
to wash negotiation from the world. Of which terrible
weather-phenomena we shall have to speak by and by: but must
first, by way of commentary, give a glance at Soissons and the
Terrestrial LIBRA, so far as necessary for human objects,--not
far, by any means.

Chapter V.


The so-called Spanish War, and dangerous futile Siege of
Gibraltar, had not ended at the death of George I.; though
measures had already been agreed upon, by the Kaiser and parties
interested, to end it,--only the King of Spain (or King's Wife, we
should say) made difficulties. Difficulties, she; and kept firing,
without effect, at the Fortress for about a year more; after
which, her humor or her powder being out, Spanish Majesty signed
like the others. Peace again for all and sundry of us:
"Preliminaries" of Peace signed at Paris, 31st May, 1727, three
weeks before George's death; "Peace" itself finally at the Pardo
or at Madrid, the Termagant having spent her powder, 6th March,
1728; [Scholl, ii. 212, 213.] and a "Congress" (bless the mark!)
to settle on what terms in every point.

Congress, say at Aix-la-Chapelle; say at Cambrai again,--for there
are difficulties about the place. Or say finally at Soissons;
where Fleury wished it to be, that he might get the reins of it
better in hand; and where it finally was,--and where the ghost or
name of it yet is, an empty enigma in the memories of some men.
Congress of Soissons did meet, 14th June, 1728; opened itself, as
a Corporeal Entity in this world; sat for above a year;--and did
nothing; Fleury quite declining the Pragmatic Sanction, though the
anxious Kaiser was ready to make astonishing sacrifices, give up
his Ostend COMPANY (Paper Shadow of a Company), or what you will
of that kind,--if men would have conformed.

These Diplomatic gentlemen,--say, are they aught? They seem to
understand me, by each at once his choppy finger laying on his
skinny lips! Princes of the Powers of the Air, Shall we define
them? It is certain the solid Earth or her facts, except being
held in perpetual terror by such workings of the Shadow-world,
reaped no effect from those Twenty Years of Congressing;
Seckendorf himself might as well have lain in bed, as ridden those
25,000 miles, and done such quantities of double-distillations.
No effect at all: only some futile gunpowder spent on Gibraltar,
and splinters of shot and shells (salable as old iron) found about
the rocks there; which is not much of an effect for Twenty Years
of such industry.

The sublime Congress of Soissons met, as we say, at the above date
(just while the Polish Majesty was closing his Berlin Visit);
but found itself no abler for work than that of Cambrai had been.
The Deputies from France I do not mention; nor from Spain, nor
from Austria. The Deputies from England were Colonel or now
properly Brigadier-General Stanhope, afterwards Lord Harrington;
Horace Walpole (who is Robert's Brother, and whose Secretary is
Sir Thomas Robinson, "QUOI DONE, CRUSOE?" whom we shall hear of
farther); and Stephen Poyntz, a once bright gentleman, now dim and
obsolete, whom the readers of Coxe's Walpole
have some nominal acquaintance with. Here, for Chronology's sake,
is a clipping from the old English newspapers to accompany them:
"There is rumor that POLLY PEACHUM is gone to attend the Congress
at Soissons; where, it is thought, she will make as good a figure,
and do her country as much service, as several others that shall
be nameless." [ Mist's Weekly Journal, 29th
June, 1728.]

Their task seemed easy to the sanguine mind. The Kaiser has agreed
with Spain in the Italian-Apanage matter; with the Sea-Powers in
regard to his Ostend Company, which is abolished forever:
what then is to prevent a speedy progress, and glad conclusion?
The Pragmatic Sanction. "Accept my Pragmatic Sanction," said the
Kaiser, "let that be the preliminary of all things."--"Not the
preliminary," answered Fleury; "we will see to that as we go on;
not the preliminary, by any means!" There was the rub. The sly old
Cardinal had his private treaties with Sardinia; views of his own
in the Mediterranean, in the Rhine quarter; and answered steadily,
"Not the preliminary, by any means!" The Kaiser was equally
inflexible. Whereupon immensities of protocolling, arguing, and
the Congress "fell into complete languor," say the Histories.
[Scholl, ii. 215.] Congress ate its dinner heartily, and wrote
immensely, for the space of eighteen months; but advanced no
hair's-breadth any-whither; no prospect before it, but that of
dinner only, for unlimited periods.

Kaiser will have his Pragmatic Sanction, or not budge from the
place; stands mulelike amid the rain of cudgellings from the
by-standers; can be beaten to death, but stir he will not.--Hints,
glances of the eye, pass between Elizabeth Farnese and the other
by-standers; suddenly, 9th November, 1729, it is found they have
all made a "TREATY OF SEVILLE" with Elizabeth Farnese; France,
England, Holland, Spain, have all closed,--Italian Apanages to be
at once secured, Ostend to be at once suppressed, with what else
behooves;--and the Kaiser is left alone; standing upon his
Pragmatic Sanction there, nobody bidding him now budge!

At which the Kaiser is naturally thrice and four times wroth and
alarmed;--and Seckendorf in the TABAKS-COLLEGIUM had need to be
doubly busy. As we shall find he is (though without effect), when
the time comes round:--but we have not yet got to November of this
Year 1729; there are still six or eight important months between
us and that. Important months; and a Prussian-English
"Waterspout," as we have named it, to be seen, with due wonder, in
the political sky!--

Congress of Soissons, now fallen mythical to mankind, and as inane
as that of Cambrai, is perhaps still memorable in one or two
slight points. First, it has in it, as one of the Austrian
Deputies, that Baron von Bentenrieder, tallest of living
Diplomatists, who was pressed at one time for a Prussian soldier;
--readers recollect it? Walking through the streets of
Halberstadt, to stretch his long limbs till his carriage came up,
the Prussian sentries laid hold of him, "Excellent Potsdam giant,
this one! "--and haled him off to their guard-house; till carriage
and lackeys came; then, "Thousand humblest pardons, your
Excellenz!" who forgave the fellows. Barely possible some lighter
readers might wish to see, for one moment, an Excellenz that has
been seized by a Press-gang? Which perhaps never happened to any
other Excellenz;--the like of which, I have been told, might merit
him a soiree from strong-minded women, in some remoter parts of
the world. Not to say that he is the tallest of living
Diplomatists; another unique circumstance!--Bentenrieder soon
died; and had his place at Soissons filled up by an Excellenz of
the ordinary height, who had never been pressed. But nothing can
rob the Congress of this fact, that it once had Bentenrieder for
member; and, so far, is entitled to the pluperfect distinction in
one particular.

Another point is humanly interesting in this Congress; but cannot
fully be investigated for want of dates. Always, we perceive,
according to the news of it that reach Berlin,--of England going
right for the Kaiser or going wrong for him,--his Prussian
Majesty's treatment of his children varies. If England go right
for the Kaiser, well, and his Majesty is in good-humor with Queen,
with Crown-Prince and Wilhelmina. If England go wrong for the
Kaiser, dark clouds gather on the royal brow, in the royal heart;
explode in thunder-storms; and at length crockery goes flying
through the rooms, blows descend on the poor Prince's back;
and her Majesty is in tears, mere Chaos come again. For as a
general rule, unless the English Negotiation have some prospering
fit, and produce exceptional phenomena, Friedrich Wilhelm, ever
loyal in heart, stands steadfast by his Kaiser; ever ready "to
strike out (LOS ZU SCHLAGEN," as he calls it) with his best
strength in behalf of a cause which, good soul, he thinks is
essentially German;--all the readier if at any time it seem now
exclusively German, the French, Spanish, English, and other
unlovely Foreign world being clean cut loose from it, or even
standing ranked against it. "When will it go off, then (WANN GEHT
ES LOS)?" asks Friedrich Wilhelm often; diligently drilling his
sixty thousand, and snorting contempt on "Ungermanism
(UNDEUTSCHHEIT)," be it on the part of friends or of enemies.
Good soul, and whether he will ever get Julich aud Berg out of it,
is distractingly problematical, and the Tobacco-Parliament is busy
with him!

Curious to see, so far as dates go, how Friedrich Wilhelm changes
his tune to Wife and Children in exact correspondence to the notes
given out at Soissons for a Kaiser and his Pragmatic Sanction.
Poor Prussian Household, poor back, and heart, of Crown-Prince;
what a concert it is in this world, Smoking Parliament for
souffleur! Let the big Diplomatist Bassoon of the Universe go this
way, there are caresses for a young Soldier and his behavior in
the giant regiment; let the same Bassoon sound that way, bangs and
knocks descend on him; the two keep time together,--so busy is the
Smoking Parliament with his Majesty of Prussia. The world has
seen, with horror and wonder, Friedrich Wilhelm's beating of his
grown children: but the pair of MEERKATZEN, or enchanted
Demon-Apes, disguised as loyal Councillors, riding along with him
the length of a Terrestrial Equator, have not been so familiar to
the world. Seckendorf, Grumkow: we had often heard of
Devil-Diplomatists; and shuddered over horrible pictures of them
in Novels; hoping it was all fancy: but here actually is a pair of
them, transcending all Novels;--perhaps the highest cognizable
fact to be met with in Devil-Diplomacy. And it may be a kind of
comfort to readers, both to know it, and to discern gradually what
the just gods make of it withal. Devil-Diplomatists do exist, at
least have existed, never doubt it farther; and their
astonishingly dexterous mendacities and enchanted spider-webs,--
CAN these go any road but one in this Universe?

That the Congress of Cambrai was not a myth, we convinced
ourselves by a letter of Voltaire's, who actually saw it dining
there in the Year 1722, as he passed that way. Here, for Soissons,
in like manner, are two Letters, by a less celebrated but a still
known English hand; which, as utterances in presence of the fact
itself, leave no doubt on the subject. These the afflicted reader
will perhaps consent to take a glance of. If the Congress of
Soissons, for the sake of memorable objects concerned there, is
still to be remembered, and believed in, for a little while,--the
question arises, How to do it, then?

The writer of these Letters is a serious, rather long-nosed young
English gentleman, not without intelligence, and of a wholesome
and honest nature; who became Lord Lyttelton, FIRST of those
Lords, called also "the Good Lord," father of "the Bad:" a lineal
descendant of that Lyttelton UPON whom Coke sits, or seems to sit,
till the end of things: author by and by of a History of
Henry the Second and other well-meant books: a man of
real worth, who attained to some note in the world. He is now upon
the Grand Tour,--which ran, at that time, by Luneville and
Lorraine, as would appear; at which point we shall first take him
up. He writes to his Father, Sir Thomas, at Hagley among the
pleasant Hills of Worcestershire,--date shortly after the
assembling of that Congress to rear of him;--and we strive to add
a minimum of commentary. The "piece of negligence," the "Mr. D.,"
--none of mortals now knows who or what they were:--


"LUNEVILLE 21st July" 1728.

"DEAR SIR,--I thank you for so kindly forgiving the piece of
negligence I acquainted you of in my last. Young fellows are often
guilty of voluntary forgetfulness in those affairs; but I assure
you mine was quite accidental:"--Never mind it, my Son!

"Mr. D. tells you true that I am weary of losing money at cards;
but it is no less certain that without them I shall soon be weary
of Lorraine. The spirit of quadrille [obsolete game at cards] has
possessed the land from morning till midnight; there is nothing
else in every house in Town.

"This Court is fond of strangers, but with a proviso that
strangers love quadrille. Would you win the hearts of the Maids of
Honor, you must lose your money at quadrille; would you be thought
a well-bred man, you must play genteelly at quadrille; would you
get a reputation of good sense, show judgment at quadrille.
However in summer one may pass a day without quadrille; because
there are agreeable promenades, and little parties out of doors.
But in winter you are reduced to play at it, or sleep, like a fly,
till the return of spring.

"Indeed in the morning the Duke hunts,"--mark that Duke, and two
Sons he has. "But my malicious stars have so contrived it, that I
am no more a sportsman than a gamester. There are no men of
learning in the whole Country; on the contrary, it is a character
they despise. A man of quality caught me, the other day, reading a
Latin Author; and asked me, with an air of contempt, Whether I was
designed for the Church? All this would be tolerable if I was not
doomed to converse with a set of English, who are still more
ignorant than the French; and from whom, with my utmost endeavors,
I cannot be absent six hours in the day. Lord" BLANK--Baltimore,
or Heaven-knows-who,--"is the only one among them who has common
sense; and he is so scandalously debauched, in his principles as
well as practice, that his conversation is equally shocking to my
morals and my reason."--Could not one contrive to get away from
them; to Soissons, for example, to see business going on; and the
Terrestrial Balance settling itself a little?

"My only improvement here is in the company of the Duke," who is a
truly distinguished Duke to his bad Country; "and in the exercise
of the Academy,"--of Horsemanship, or what? "I have been absent
from the latter near three weeks, by reason of a sprain I got in
the sinews of my leg. My duty to my dear Mother; I hope you and
she continue well. I am, Sir, your dutiful Son.--G. L."
[ The Works of Lord George Lyttelton, by
Ayscough (London, 1776), iii. 215.]

These poor Lorrainers are in a bad way; their Country all trampled
to pieces by France, in the Louis-Fourteenth and still earlier
times. Indeed, ever since the futile Siege of Metz; where we saw
the great Kaiser, Karl V., silently weeping because he could not
recapture Metz, [Antea, vol. v. p. 211.] the French have been busy
with this poor Country;--new sections of it clipt away by them;
"military roads through it, ten miles broad," bargained for;
its Dukes oftenest in exile, especially the Father of this present
Duke: [A famed Soldier in his day; under Kaiser Leopold, "the
little Kaiser in red stockings," one of whose Daughters he had to
wife. He was at the Rescue of Vienna (Sobieski's), and in how many
far fiercer services; his life was but a battle and a march.
Here is his famed Letter to the Kaiser, when death suddenly
called, Halt!

"WELS NEAR LINZ ON THE DONAU, 17th April, 1690.

"SACRED MAJESTY,--According to your Orders, I set out from
Innspruck to come to Vienna; but I am stopped here by a Greater
Master. I go to render account to Him of a life which I had wholly
consecrated to you. Remember that I leave a Wife with whom you are
concerned [QUI ROUS TOUCHE,--who is your lawful Daughter];
Children to whom I can bequeath nothing but my sword; and Subjects
who are under Oppression.


(Henault, Abrege Chronologique, Paris, 1775,
p. 850).--Charles "V." the French uniformly call this one;
Charles "IV." the Germans, who, I conclude, know better.]--and
they are now waiting a good opportunity to swallow it whole, while
the people are so busy with quadrille parties. The present Duke,
returning from exile, found his Land in desolation, much of it
"running fast to wild forest again;" and he has signalized himself
by unwearied efforts in every direction to put new life into it,
which have been rather successful. Lyttelton, we perceive, finds
improvement in his company. The name of this brave Duke is
Leopold; age now forty-nine; life and reign not far from done:
a man about whom even Voltaire gets into enthusiasm. [Siecle de
Louis XIV. ( OEuvres, xxvi. 95-97); Hubner,
t. 281.]

The Court and Country of Lorraine, under Duke Leopold, will prove
to deserve this brief glance from Lyttelton and us. Two sons Duke
Leopold has: the elder, Franz, now about twenty, is at Vienna,
with the highest outlooks there: Kaiser Karl is his Father's
cousin-german; and Kaiser Karl's young Daughter, high beautiful
Maria Theresa,--the sublimest maiden now extant,--yes, this lucky
Franz is to have her: what a prize, even without Pragmatic
Sanction! With the younger son, Karl of Lorraine, Lyttelton may

Book of the day: