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History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 7 by Thomas Carlyle

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Prepared by D.R. Thompson

Carlyle's "History of Friedrich II of Prussia"



February-November, 1730.

Chapter I.


Things, therefore, are got to a dead-lock at Berlin: rebellious
Womankind peremptorily refuse Weissenfels, and take to a bed of
sickness; inexpugnable there, for the moment. Baireuth is but a
weak middle term; and there are disagreements on it. Answer from
England, affirmative or even negative, we have yet none.
Promptly affirmative, that might still avail, and be an honorable
outcome. Perhaps better pause till that arrive, and declare
itself?--Friedrich Wilhelm knows nothing of the Villa mission, of
the urgencies that have been used in England: but, in present
circumstances, he can pause for their answer.


To outward appearance, Friedrich Wilhelm, having written that
message to Baireuth, seems easier in mind; quiet with the Queen;
though dangerous for exploding if Wilhelmina and the Prince come
in view. Wilhelmina mostly squats; Prince, who has to be in view,
gets slaps and strokes "daily (JOURNELLEMENT)," says the
Princess,--or almost daily. For the rest, it is evident enough,
Weissenfels, if not got passed through the Female Parliament, is
thrown out on the second reading, and so is at least finished.
Ought we not to make a run to Dresden, therefore, and apprise the
Polish Majesty? Short run to Dresden is appointed for February
18th; [Fassmann, p. 404.] and the Prince-Royal, perhaps suspected
of meditating something, and safer in his Father's company than
elsewhere, is to go. Wilhelmina had taken leave of him, night of
the 17th, in her Majesty's Apartment; and was in the act of
undressing for bed, when,--judge of a young Princess's terror
and surprise,--

"There stept into the anteroom," visible in the half-light there,
a most handsome little Cavalier, dressed, not succinctly as
Colonel of the Potsdam Giants, but "in magnificent French style.--
I gave a shriek, not knowing who it was; and hid myself behind a
screen. Madam de Sonsfeld, my Governess, not less frightened than
myself, ran out" to see what audacious person, at such undue hour,
it could be. "But she returned next moment, accompanying the
Cavalier, who was laughing heartily, and whom I recognized for my
Brother. His dress so altered him, he seemed a different person.
He was in the best humor possible.

"'I am come to bid you farewell once more, my dear Sister,' said
he: 'and as I know the friendship you have for me, I will not keep
you ignorant of my designs. I go, and do not come back. I cannot
endure the usage I suffer; my patience is driven to an end. It is
a favorable opportunity for flinging off that odious yoke; I will
glide out of Dresden, and get across to England; where I do not
doubt I shall work out your deliverance too, when I am got
thither. So I beg you, calm yourself, We shall soon meet again in
places where joy shall succeed our tears, and where we shall have
the happiness to see ourselves in peace, and free from these
persecutions.'" [Wilhelmina, i. 205.]

Wilhelmina stood stupefied, in silence for some moments;--argued
long with her Brother; finally got him to renounce those wild
plans, or at least postpone them; and give her his word that he
would attempt nothing on the present occasion. This small Dresden
Excursion of February, 1730, passed, accordingly, without
accident, It was but the prelude to a much grander Visit now
agreed upon between the neighboring Majesties. For there is a
grand thing in the wind. Something truly sublime, of the
scenic-military kind, which has not yet got a name; but shall soon
have a world-wide one,--"Camp of Muhlberg," "Camp of Radewitz," or
however to be named,--which his Polish Majesty will hold in those
Saxon parts, in a month or two. A thing that will astonish all the
world, we may hope; and where the King and Prince of Prussia are
to attend as chief guests.

It was during this brief absence in February, or directly after
Friedrich Wilhelm had returned, that Queen Sophie had that fit of
real sickness we spoke of. Scarcely was his Majesty got home, when
the Queen, rather ambiguous in her sicknesses of late, fell really
and dangerously ill: so that Friedrich Wilhelm, at last recognizing
it for real, came hurrying in from Potsdam; wept loud and
abundantly, poor man; declared in private, "He would not
survive his Feekin;" and for her sake solemnly pardoned
Wilhelmina, and even Fritz,--till the symptoms mended.
[Wilhelmina, i. 306.]


Meanwhile Dr. Villa, in England, has sped not ill. Villa's
eloquence of truth; the Grumkow-Reichenbach Correspondence in
St. Mary Axe: these two things produce their effect. These on the
one hand; and then on the other, certain questionable aspects of
Fleury, after that fine Soissons Catastrophe to the Kaiser;
and certain interior quarrels in the English Ministry, partly
grounded thereon:--"On the whole, why should not we detach
Friedrioh Wilhelm from the Kaiser, if we could, and comply with a
Royal Sister?" think they at St. James's.

Political men take some interest in the question; "Why neglect
your Prince of Wales?" grumbles the Public: "It is a solid
Protestant match, eligible for Prince Fred and us!"--"Why bother
with the Kaiser and his German puddles?" asks Walpole:
"Once detach Prussia from him, the Kaiser will perhaps sit still,
and leave the world and us free of his Pragmatics and his
Sanctions and Apanages."--"Quit of him? German puddles?" answers
Townshend dubitatively,--who has gained favor at headquarters by
going deeply into said puddles; and is not so ardent for the
Prussian Match; and indeed is gradually getting into quarrel with
Walpole and Queen Caro1ine. {Coxe, i. 332-339.] These things are
all favorable to Dr. Villa.

In fact, there is one of those political tempests (dreadful to the
teapot, were it not experienced in them) going on in England, at
this time,--what we call a Change of Ministry;--daily crisis
laboring towards fulfilment, or brewing itself ripe. Townshend and
Walpole have had (how many weeks ago Coxe does not tell us) that
meeting in Colonel Selwyn's, which ended in their clutching at
swords, nay almost at coat-collars: [Ib. p. 335.] honorable
Brothers-in-law: but the good Sister, who used to reconcile them,
is now dead. Their quarrels, growing for some years past, are
coming to a head. "When the firm used to be Townshend and Walpole,
all was well; when it had to become Walpole and Townshend, all was
not well!" said Walpole afterwards.

Things had already gone so far, that Townshend brought
Chesterfield over from the Hague, last Autumn;--a Baron de
Montesquieu, with the ESPRIT DE LOIS in his head, sailed with Lord
Chesterfield on that occasion, and is now in England "for two
years;"--but Chesterfield could not be made Secretary; industrious
Duke of Newcastle stuck so close by that office, and by the skirts
of Walpole. Chesterfield and Townshend VERSUS Walpole, Colonel
Stanhope (Harrington) and the Pelhams: the Prussian Match is a
card in that game; and Dr. Villa's eloquence of truth is not lost
on Queen Caroline, who in a private way manages, as always, to
rule pretty supreme in it.

There lies in the State-Paper Office, [Close by Despatch
(Prussian): "London, 8th February (o.s.) 1729-1730."] without date
or signature, a loose detached bit of writing, in scholastic
style, but brief and to the purpose, which is evidently the
Memorial of Villa; but as it teaches us nothing that we do not
already know, it need not be inserted here. The man, we can
perceive farther, continued useful in those Official quarters,
answering questions about Prussia, helping in the St.-Mary-Axe
decipherings, and in other small ways, for some time longer;
after which he vanishes again from all record,--whether to teach
English farther, or live on some modicum of pension granted, no
man knows. Poor old Dove, let out upon the Deluge in serge gown:
he did bring back a bit of olive, so to speak;--had the presage
but held, as it did in Noah's case!

In a word, the English Sovereignties and Ministries have
determined that an Envoy Extraordinary (one Hotham, they think
of), with the due solemnity, be sent straightway to Berlin;
to treat of those interesting matters, and officially put the
question there. Whom Dubourgay is instructed to announce to his
Prussian Majesty, with salutation from this Court. As Dubourgay
does straightway, with a great deal of pleasure. [Despatches:
London, 8th February; Berlin, 2d March, 1780] How welcome to his
Majesty we need not say.

And indeed, after such an announcement (1st March, 1730, the day
of it), they fell into cheerful dialogue; and the Brigadier had
some frank conversation with his Majesty about the "Arbitration
Commission" then sitting at Brunswick, and European affairs in
general. Conversation which is carefully preserved for us in the
Brigadier's Despatch of the morrow. It never was intrinsically of
much moment; and is now fallen very obsolete, and altogether of
none: but as a glance at first-hand into the dim old thoughts of
Friedrich Wilhelm, the reader may take it with him:--

"The King said next, That though we made little noise, yet he knew
well our design--was to kindle a fire in other parts of Lower
Germany. To which I answered, That if his Majesty would give me
favorable hearing, I could easily persuade him of the peaceable
intentions of our Allies. 'Well,' says he, 'the Emperor will
abandon the Netherlands, and who will be master of them? I see the
day when you will make France so powerful, that it will be
difficult to bring them to reason again.'--DUBOURGAY: 'If the
Emperor abandoned the Netherlands, they would be governed by their
own Magistrate, and defended by their own Militia. As to the
French, we are too well persuaded of the benefit of our Allies,
to--' Upon which the King of Prussia said, 'It appeared plainly we
had a mind to dispose as we pleased of Kingdoms and provinces in
Italy, so that probably our next thought would be to do the same
in Germany.'--DUBOURGAY: 'The allotments made in favor of Don
Carlos have been made with the consent of the Emperor and the
whole Empire. We could not suffer a longer interruption of our
commerce with Spain, for the sake of the small difference between
the Treaty of Seville and the Quadruple Alliance, in regard to the
Garrison,'"--to the introducing of Spanish Garrisons, at once,
into Parma and Piacenza; which was the special thunder-bolt of the
late Soissons Catastrophe,or Treaty of Seville.--"'Well, then,'
says his Prussian Majesty, 'you must allow, then, there IS an
infraction of the Quadruple Alliance, and that the Emperor will
make war!' 'I hope not,' said I: (but if so, a Ten-Years War, in
conjunction with the Allies of Seville, never would be so bad as
the interruption of our Commerce with Old and New Spain for
one year.'

"The King of Prussia's notion about our DISPOSING OF PROVINCES IN
GERMANY," adds Dubourgay, "is, I believe, an insinuation of
Seckendorf, who, I doubt not, has made him believe we intended to
do so with respect to Berg and Julich."

Very probably:--but Hotham is getting under way, hopeful to spoil
that game. Prussian Majesty, we see, is not insensible to so much
honor; and brightens into hopefulness and fine humor in
consequence. What radiancy spread over the Queen's side of the
House we need not say. The Tobacco-Parliament is like to have a
hard task.--Friedrich Wilhelm privately is well inclined to have
his Daughter married, with such outlooks, if it can be done.
The marriage of the Crown-Prince into such a family would also be
very welcome; only--only--There are considerations on that side.
There are reasons; still more there are whims, feelings of the
mind towards an unloved Heir-Apparent: upon these latter chiefly
lie the hopes of Seckendorf and the Tobacco-Parliament.

What the Tobacco-Parliament's specific insinuations and
deliberations were, in this alarming interim, no Hansard gives
us a hint. Faint and timid they needed, at first, to be;
such unfavorable winds having risen, blowing off at a sad rate the
smoke of that abstruse Institution.--"JARNI-BLEU!" snuffles the
Feldzeugmeister to himself. But "SI DEUS EST NOBISCUM," as Grumkow
exclaims once to his beautiful Reichenbach, or NOSTI as he calls
him in their slang or cipher language, "If God is with us, who can
prevail against us?" For the Grumkow can quote Scripture;
nay solaces himself with it, which is a feat beyond what the Devil
is competent to.


The Special Envoy to be sent to Berlin on this interesting
occasion is a dignified Yorkshire Baronet; Sir Charles Hotham,
"Colonel of the Horse-Grenadiers;" he has some post at Court, too,
and is still in his best years. His Wife is Chesterfield's Sister;
he is withal a kind of soldier, as we see;--a man of many
sabre-tashes, at least, and acquainted with Cavalry-Drill, as well
as the practices of Goldsticks: his Father was a General Officer
in the Peterborough Spanish Wars. These are his eligibilities,
recommending him at Berlin, and to Official men at home. Family is
old enough: Hothams of Scarborough in the East Riding; old as
WILHELMUS BASTARDUS; and subsists to our own day. This Sir Charles
is lineal Son of the Hothams who lost their heads in the Civil
War; and he is, so to speak, lineal UNCLE of the Lords Hotham that
now are. For the rest, a handsome figure, prompt in French, and
much the gentleman. So far has Villa sped.

Hotham got to Berlin on Sunday, 2d April, 1730. He had lingered a
little, waiting to gather up some skirts of that
Reichenbach-Grumkow Correspondence, and have them ready to show in
the proper Quarter. For that is one of the chief arrows in his
quiver. But here he is at last: and on Monday, he is introduced at
Charlottenburg to the Prussian Majesty; and finds an abundant
welcome to himself and his preliminaries. "Marriage into that fine
high Country (MAGNIFIKE LAND) will be welcome to my Daughter, I
believe, as flowers in May: to me also how can it be other than
welcome!--'Farther instructions,' you say? Yes, surely; and terms
honorable on both sides. Only say nothing of it, I had rather tell
the girl myself." [Ranke, i. 284.] To that frank purport spoke his
Majesty;--and invites the Excellency Hotham to stay dinner.

Great dinner at Charlottenburg, accordingly; Monday, 3d April,
1730: the two English Excellencies Hotham and Dubourgay, then
General Borck, Knyphausen, Grumkow, Seckendorf and others;--
"where," says Hotham, giving Despatch about it, "we all got
immoderately drunk." Of which dinner there is sordid narrative,
from Grumkow to his NOSTI (to his Reichenbach, in cant speech),
still visible through St. Mary Axe, were it worth much attention
from us. Passages of wit, loaded with allusion, flew round the
table: "A German ducat is change for an English half-guinea," and
the like sprightly things. Nay at one time, Hotham's back being
turned, they openly drink,--his Majesty in a state of
exhilaration, having blabbed the secret:--"To the health of
Wilhelmina Princess of Wales!" Upon which the whole Palace of
Charlottenburg now bursts into tripudiation; the very valets
cuttiug capers, making somersets,--and rushing off with the news
to Berlin. Observable, only, that Hotham and Dubourgay sat silent
in the tripudiation; with faces diplomatically grave.
Several points to be settled first; no hallooing till we are out
of the wood.

News came to Berlin Schloss, doubtless at full gallop, which would
only take a quarter of an hour. This is Wilhelmina's experience of
it. Afternoon of Monday, 3d of April, 1730, in the Schloss of
Berlin,--towards sunset, some ornamental seam in one's hand:--

"I was sitting quiet in my Apartment, busy with work, and some one
reading to me, when the Queen's Ladies rushed in, with a torrent
of domestics in the rear; who all bawled out, putting one knee to
the ground, 'They were come to salute the Princess of Wales.'
I fairly believed these poor people had lost their wits;
they would not cease overwhelming me with noise and tumult, their
joy was so great they knew not what they did. When the farce had
lasted some time, they at last told me"--what our readers know.
What the demure Wilhelmina professes she cared next to nothing
about. "I was so little moved by it, that I answered, going on
with my work, 'Is that all?' Which greatly surprised them.
A while afterwards my Sisters and several Ladies came also to
congratulate me. I was much loved; and I felt more delighted at
the proofs each gave me of that than at what occasioned them.
In the evening I went to the Queen's: you may readily conceive her
joy. On my first entrance, she called me 'her dear Princess of
Wales;' and addressed Madam de Sonsfeld as 'Milady.' This latter
took the liberty of hinting to her, that it would be better to
keep quiet; that the King having yet given no notice of this
business, might be provoked at such demonstration, and that the
least trifle could still ruin all her hopes. The Countess
Finkenstein joining her remonstrances to Sonsfeld's, the Queen,
though with regret, promised to moderate herself."
[Wilhelmina, i. 215.]

This is the effulgent flaming-point of the long-agitated English
Match, which we have so often caught in a bitterly smoking
condition. "The King indeed spoke nothing of it to us, on his
return to Berlin in a day or two," says Wilhelmina; "which we
thought strange." But everybody considered it certain, nothing but
the details left to settle. "Hotham had daily conferences with the
King." "Every post brought letters from the Prince of Wales:" of
which Wilhelmina saw several,--this for one specimen, general
purport of the whole: "I conjure you, my dear Hotham, get these
negotiations finished! I am madly in love (AMOUREUX COMME UN FOU),
and my impatience is unequalled." {Ib. i. 218.] Wilhelmina thought
these sentiments "very, romantic" on the part of Prince Fred,
"who had never seen me, knew me only by repute:"--and answered
his romances and him with tiffs of laughter, in a prettily
fleering manner.

Effulgent flame-point;--which was of very brief duration indeed,
and which sank soon into bitterer smoke than ever, down almost to
the choking state. There are now six weeks of Diplomatic History
at the Court of Berlin, which end far otherwise than they began.
Weeks well-nigh indecipherable; so distracted are they, by
black-art and abstruse activities above ground and below, and so
distractedly recorded for us: of which, if it be humanly possible,
we must try to convey some faint notion to mankind.

Chapter II.


Already next morning, after that grand Dinner at Charlottenburg,
Friedrich Wilhelm, awakening with his due headache, thought, and
was heard saying, He had gone too far! Those gloomy looks of
Hotham and Dubourgay, on the occasion; they are a sad memento that
our joyance was premature. The English mean the Double-Marriage;
and Friedrich Wilhelm is not ready, and never fairly was, for more
than the Single. "Wilhelmina Princess of Wales, yes with all my
heart; but Friedrich to an English Princess--Hm, na;"--and in a
day more: ["Instruction to his Ministers, 5th April," cited by
Ranke, i. 285 n.] plainly "No." And there it finally rests; or if
rocked about, always settles there again.

And why, No?--Truly, as regarded Crown-Prince Friedrich's
marriage, the question had its real difficulties: and then, still
more, it had its imaginary; and the subterranean activities were
busy! The witnesses, contemporaneous and other, assign three
reasons, or considerations and quasi-reasons, which the
Tobacco-Parliament and Friedrich Wilhelm's lively fancy could
insist upon it till they became irrefragable:--

FIRST, his rooted discontent with the Crown-Prince, some even say
his jealousy of the Crown-Prince's talents, render it unpleasant
to think of promoting him in any way. SECOND, natural German
loyalty, enlivened by the hope of Julich and Berg, attaching
Friedrich Wilhelm to the Kaiser's side of things, repels him with
a kind of horror from the Anti-Kaiser or French-English side.
"Marry my Daughter, if you like; I shall be glad to salute her as
Princess of Wales; but no union in your Treaty-of-Seville
operations: in politics go you your own road, if that is it, while
I go mine; no tying of us, by Double or other Marriages, to go one
road." THIRD, the magnificence of those English. "Regardless of
expense," insinuates the Tobacco-Parliament; "they will send their
grand Princess hither, with no end of money; brought up in
grandeur to look down on the like of us. She can dazzle, she can
purchase: in the end, may there not be a Crown-Prince Party,
capable of extinguishing your Majesty here in your own Court, and
makiug Prussia a bit of England; all eyes being turned to such
sumptuous Princess and her Crown-Prince,--Heir-Apparent, or
'Rising Sun' as we may call him!"--

These really are three weighty almost dreadful considerations to a
poetic-tempered King and Smoking Parliament. Out of which there is
no refuge except indeed this plain fourth one: "No hurry about
Fritz's marriage; [Friedrich Wilhelm to Reichenbach (13th May),
infra.] he is but eighteen gone; evidently too young for
housekeeping. Thirty is a good time for marrying. 'There is, thank
God, no lack of royal lineage; I have two other Princes,'"--and
another just at hand, if I knew it.

To all which there is to be added that ever-recurring invincible
gravitation towards the Kaiser, and also towards Julich and Berg,
by means of him,--well acted on by the Tobacco-Parliament for the
space of those six weeks. During which, accordingly, almost from
the first day after that Hotham Dinner of April 3d, the answer of
the royal mind, with superficial fluctuations, always is:
"Wilhelmina at once, if you choose; likely enough we might agree
about Crown-Prince Friedrich too, if once all were settled; but of
the Double-Marriage, at this present time, HORE NIT, [Ranke,
i. 285 n.] I will have nothing to say." And as the English answer
steadily, "Both or none!"--meaning indeed to draw Prussia away
from the Kaiser's leading-strings, and out of his present
enchanted condition under the two Black-Artists he has about him,
the Negotiation sinks again into a mere smoking, and extinct or
plainly extinguishing state.

The Grumkow-NOSTI Cipher Correspondence might be reckoned as
another efficient cause; though, in fact, it was only a big
concomitant symptom, much depended on by both parties, and much
disappointing both. In the way of persuading or perverting
Friedrich Wilhelm's judgment about England, this deep-laid piece
of machinery does not seem to have done much, if anything;
and Hotham, who with the English Court had calculated on it (on
their detection of it) as the grand means of blowing Grumkow out
of the field, produced a far opposite result on trying, as we
shall see! That was a bit of heavy ordnance which disappointed
everybody. Seized by the enemy before it could do any mischief;
enemy turned it round on the inventor; fired it off on the
inventor, and--it exploded through the touch-hole; singeing some
people's whiskers: nothing more!--


Would the reader wish to look into this Nosti-Grumkow
Correspondence at all? I advise him, not. Good part of it still
lies in the Paper-Office here; [Prussian Despatches, vols. xl.
xli.: in a fragmentary state; so much of it as they had caught up,
and tried to make use of;--far too much.] likely to be published
by the Prussian Dryasdust in coming time: but a more sordid mass
of eavesdroppings, kitchen-ashes and floor-sweepings, collected
and interchanged by a pair of treacherous Flunkies (big bullying
Flunky and little trembling cringing one, Grumkow and
Reichenbach), was never got together out of a gentleman's
household. To no idlest reader, armed even with barnacles, and
holding mouth and nose, can the stirring-up of such a dust-bin be
long tolerable. But the amazing problem was this Editor's, doomed
to spell the Event into clearness if he could, and put dates,
physiognomy and outline to it, by help of such Flunky-Sanscrit!--
That Nosti-Grumkow Correspondence, as we now have it in the
Paper-Office,--interpretable only by acres of British Despatches,
by incondite dateless helpless Prussian Books ("printed Blotches
of Human Stupor," as Smelfungus calls them): how gladly would one
return them all to St. Mary Axe, there to lie through Eternity!
It is like holding dialogue with a rookery; asking your way
(perhaps in flight for life, as was partly my own case) by
colloquy with successive or even simultaneous Rookeries.
Reader, have you tried such a thing? An adventure, never to be
spoken of again, when once DONE!

Wilhelmina pretends to give quotations [Wilhelmina, i. 233-235.]
from this subterranean Grumkow-Reichenbach Correspondence;
but hers are only extracts from some description or remembrance;
hardly one word is close to the original, though here and there
some outline or shadow of a real passage is traceable.
What fractional elements, capable of gaining some vestige of
meaning when laid together in their cosmic order, I could pick
from the circumambient immensity not cosmic, are here for the
reader's behoof. Let him skip, if, like myself, he is weary;
for the substance of the story is elsewhere given. Or perhaps he
has the curiosity to know the speech of birds? With abridgment, by
occasional change of phrase, above all by immense omission,--here,
in specimen, is something like what the Rookery says to poor
Friedrich Wilhelm and us, through St. Mary Axe and the Copyists in
the Foreign Office! Friedrich Wilhelm reads it (Hotham gives him
reading of it) some weeks hence; we not till generations
afterwards. I abridge to the utmost;--will mark in single commas
what is not Abridgment but exact Translation;--with rigorous
attention to dates, and my best fidelity to any meaning there
may be:--

TO NOSTI (the so-called Excellenz Reichenbach) IN LONDON:

Gumkow from Berlin LOQUITUR, Reichenbach listening with both his
ears (words caught up in St. Mary Axe).

BERLIN, 3d MARCH, 1730. "The time has now come when Reichenbach
must play his game. Let him write that the heads of the
Opposition, who play Austria as a card in Parliament, 'are in
consternation, Walpole having hinted to them that he was about to
make friends with the King of Prussia;' 'that by means of certain
ministers at Berlin, and by other subterranean channels (AUTRES
SOUTERRAINS), his Prussian Majesty had been brought to a
disposition of that kind' [Knyphausen, Borck and others will be
much obliged to Reichenbach for so writing!], That Reichenbach
knows they intend sending a Minister to Berlin; but is certain
enough, as perhaps they are, his Prussian Majesty will not let
himself be lured or caught in the trap: but that the very rumor of
its being possible for him to change" from Austria, "would be an
infinite gain to the English Ministry,"--salvation of them, in
fact, in the Parliamentary cockpit. "That they had already given
out in the way of rumor, How sure they were of the Court of Berlin
whenever it came to the point. That Reichenbach had tried to learn
from 73 [An Indecipherable.] what the real result from Berlin was;
and did not think it much, though the Walpole people," all hanging
so perilously upon Prussia for their existence, 'affected a great
gayety; and indeed felt what a gain it was even to have renewed
the Negotiation with his Prussian Majesty.' Here is a King likely
to get himself illuminated at first-hand upon English affairs;
by Ministers lying abroad for him, and lying at home!--

'And so the King,' concludes Grumkow, 'will think Reichenbach is a
witch (SORVIER) to be so well informed about all that, and will
redouble the good opinion he has of Reichenbach. And so, if
Reichenbach second my ideas, we will pack Borck and Knyphausen
about their business; and will do the King faithful service,'--
having, some of us, our private 500 pounds a year from Austria for
doing it. 'The King perceives only too well that the Queen's
sickness is but sham (MOMERIE): judge of the effect that has! I am
yours entirely (TOUT A VOUS). I wait in great impatience to hear
your news upon all this: for I inform you accurately how the land
lies here; so that it only depends upon yourself to shine, and to
pass for a miracle of just insight,'--"SORCIER," or witch at
guessing mysteries, Grumkow calls it again. He continues in
another Missive:--

BERLIN, 7th MARCH. (Let us give the original for a line or two):
'Queen Sophie will soon rise from her bed of sickness, were this
marriage done; La Mere du Prince-Royal affecte toujours
d’etre bien mal; mais des que l’affaire entre le Prince de Galles
et la Princesse-Royale sera faite, on la verra bientot sur pied.'
"It will behoove that Reichenbach signify to the
Prince-Royal's Father that all this affair has been concocted at
Berlin with Borck and by 71 [An Indecipherable.] with Knyphausen
and 103. [An Indeciherable.] That they never lose sight of an
alliance with the English Princess and the Prince of Prussia;
and flatter themselves the Prince-Royal of Prussia will accompany
the Princess-Royal," Wilhelmina, "on HER marriage there." "In a
word, that all turns on this latter point," marriage of the
PRINCE-Royal as well; and "that Villa has given so favorable a
description of this Prince, that the English Princess will have
him at what price soever. Nosti can also allege the affair of
100,"--whom we at last decipher to be LORD HARRINGTON, once
Colonel Stanhope, of Soissons, of the Madrid Embassy, of the
descent on Vigo; a distinguished new Lord, with whom Newcastle
hopes to shove out Townshend,--"Lord Harrington, and the division
among the Ministers:"--great question, Shall the firm be Townshend
and Walpole, or Walpole and Townshend? just going on; brewing
towards decision; in which the Prussian Double-Marriage is really
a kind of card, and may by Nosti be represented as a trump card.

"The whole Town of Berlin said, This Villa was dismissed by order
of the King, for he taught the eldest Princess English; but I see
well it was Borck, 107, [An Indecipherable.] Knyphausen and
Dubourgay that despatched him, to give a true picture of the
situation here. And if Nosti has written to his Majesty to the
same effect as he does to his Friend [Despatch to Majesty has not
yet come under Friend's eye] on the Queen of England's views about
the Prince-Royal of Prussia, it will answer marvellously (CELA
VIENT A MERVEILLE). I have apprised Seckendorf of all that Nosti
writes to me." 'For the rest, Nosti may perfectly assure himself
that the King never will abandon Reichenbach; and if the
Prince-Royal,' sudden Fate interfering, 'had the reins in his
hand,--in that case, Seckendorf promises to Reichenbach, on the
part of the Kaiser, all or more than all he can lose by the
accession of the Prince. Monsieur Reichenbach may depend upon
that.' [Prussian Despatches, vol. xl. The second of these two
Letters is copied, we perceive, by VILLA; who transmits it to
Hotham's Secretary at Berlin, with great hopes from it.
Letter "unsigned," adds Villa (POINT SIGNEE). First was
transmitted by Townshend.--Following are transmitted by &c. &c.
It is in that way they have got into the State-Paper Office,--as
ENCLOSURES in the varions Despatches that carried them out to
Berlin to serve as Diplomatic Ammunition there.]

Slave Reichenbach at London, when this missive comes to hand, is
busy copying scandal according to former instructions for behoof
of his Prussian Majesty, and my Bashaw Grumkow; for example:--


Excellenz Reiohenbach LOQUITUR;--snatched in St. Mary Axe.

LONDON, 10th MARCH, 1730. "... Reichenbach has told his Prussian
Majesty to-day by a Courier who is to pass through Brussels
[Austrian Kinsky's Courier, no doubt], what amours the Prince of
Wales," dissolute Fred, "has on hand at present with actresses and
opera-girls. The King of Prussia will undoubtedly be astonished.
The affair merits some attention at present,"--especialIy from an
Excellenz like me.--

[MISSIVE (body of important Grumkow Instructions just read by us)

LONDON, 14th MARCH, 1730. 'Reichenbach will write by the first,
Ordinary [so they name Post, in those days] all that Glumkow
orders. Reichenbach sees well, they mean to play the deuce here
( jouent le diable a quatre ici ):
but Reichenbach will tell his Prussian Majesty what Grumkow finds
fit.' Good Excellenz Reichenbach 'flatters himself the King will
remain firm, and not let his enemies deceive him. If Grumkow and
Seckendorf have opportunity they may tell his Prussian Majesty
that the whole design of this Court is to render his Country a
Province dependent on England. When once the Princess-Royal of
England shall be wedded to the Prince-Royal of Prussia, the
English, by that means, will form such a party at Berlin, that
they will altogether tie his Prussian Majesty's hands.'
A comfortable piece of news to his Prussian Majesty in
Tobacco-Parliament. 'Reichenbach will assuredly be vigilant;
depend on his answering Grumkow always by the first post.'

Continues;--turning his rook-bill towards Majesty now. Same date
(14th March), same time, place and bird:--

TO HIS PRUSSIAN MAJESTY (from Excellenz Reichenbach).

'... P.S. I had closed this Letter when a person of confidence
came in [the fact being, my Grumkow's Missive of instructions came
in, or figuratively speaking, my Grumkow himself], and undertook
to give me in a few days a thorough insight into the intrigues
which are concealed under the sending of this new Minister,'
Hotham, 'to Berlin; which, and how they have been concocted, he
says, it will astonish me to hear. Of all this I shall immediately
inform your Majesty in a letter of my own hand; being ever eager
to serve your Majesty alone.'

Hotham is now fairly gone, weeks ago; concluded to be now in
Berlin,--to the horror of both rooks. Here is a croak from NOSTI:--


LONDON, APRIL, 1730. "... Hotham is no such conjurer as they fancy
in Berlin;--singular enough, how these English are given to
undervalue the Germans; whilst we in Germany overvalue them"
( avons une idee trop vaste, they
trap petite ). 'There is, for instance, Lord
Chesterfield, passes here for a fair-enough kind of man (BON
HOMME), and is a favorite with the King [not with Walpole or the
Queen, if Nosti knew it]; but nobody thinks him such a prodigy as
you all do in Germany,'--which latter bit of Germanism is an
undoubted fact; curious enough to the English, and to the Germans
that now read in extinct Books.

Hotham, as we said, got to Berlin on the 2d of April. From Berlin
comes thereupon, at great length, sordid description by Grumkow,
of that initiatory Hotham Dinner, April Third, with fearful
details of the blazing favor Hotham is in. Which his Majesty (when
Hotham hands it to him, in due time) will read with painful
interest; as Reichenbach now does;--but which to us is all mere
puddle, omissible in this place.

To which sad Strophe, there straightway follows due Anti-strophe,
Reichenbach croaking responsive;--and we are to note, the rooks
always speak in the third person and by ambiguous periphrasis;
never once say "I" or "You," unless forced by this Editor, for
brevity's sake, to do it. Reichenbach from his perch thus hoarsely


LONDON, 11th APRIL. 'Reichenbach EST COUP-DE-FOUDRE,--is struck by
lightning,--to hear these Berlin news;'--and expresses, in the
style of a whipt dog, his sorrows, uncertainties and terrors, on
the occasion. "Struck with lightning. Feel myself quite ill, and
not in a condition to write much today. It requires another head
than mine to veer round so often ( changer si souvent de
systame ). In fine, Nosti est au bout de son
latin [is at his wit's end, poor devil)!
Both Majesties have spoken openly of the favorable news from
Berlin; funds rose in consequence. New Minister [Walpole come to
the top of the Firm, Townshend soon to withdraw, impatient of the
bottom] is all-powerful now: O TEMPORA, O MORES!" "I receive
universal congratulations, and have to smile" in a ghastly manner.
"The King and Queen despise me. I put myself in their way last
Levee, bowing to the ground; but they did not even condescend to
look." 'Notre grand petit-maitre,' little
George, the Olympian Jove of these parts, "passed on as if
I had not been there." 'Chesterfield, they say, is to go, in
great pomp, as Ambassador Extraordinary, and fetch the
Princess over. And’--Alas, in short, Once I was hap-hap-happy, but
now I'm MEEserable!

LONDON, 14th APRIL. "Slave Reichenbaoh cannot any longer write
secret Letters to his Prussian Majesty according to the old
strain, of your prescribing; but must stand by his vacant Official
Despatches: the scene being entirely changed, he also must change
his manner of writing"--poor knave. "He will have to inform his
Majesty, however, by and by, though it is not safe at present,"--
for example,--'That his Britannic Majesty is becoming from day to
day more hated by all the world; and that the Prince of Wales is
no longer liked by the Public, as at first; because he begins to
give himself airs, and takes altogether the manners of his
Britannic Majesty, that is to say of a puppy (PETIT-MAITRE);
let my Amiable [Grumkow] be aware of that'--

Yes, let him be aware of that, to his comfort,--and still more,
and all readers along with him, of what follows:--

'Reichenbach likewise with great confidence informs the Greatest
Confidant he has in the world [same amiable Glumkow], that he has
discovered within this day or two,' a tremendous fact, known to
our readers some time ago, 'That the Prince-Royal of Prussia has
given his written assurances to the Queen here, Never to many
anybody in the world except the Princess Amelia of England, happen
what will [Prussian Majesty will read this with a terrible
interest! Much nearer to him than it is to us]. In consideration
of which Promise, the Queen of England is understood,' falsely,
'to have answered that they should, at present, ask only the
Princess-Royal of Prussia for their Prince of Wales,' and let the
Double-Marriage BE, seemingly, as his Prussian Majesty wishes it.
'Monsieur de Reichenbaoh, did not speak of this to his Prussian
Majesty; feeling it too dangerous just now.--

'Lord Townshend is still at his place in the country [Rainham in
Norfolk]: but it is said he will soon come to Town; having heard
the great news that they had already got his Prussian Majesty by
the nose. Reichenbach forgets if he already told Grumkow that the
rumor runs, Lord Chesterfield, in quality of Ambassador to Berlin,
is to bring the Princess Wilhelmina over hither:'--you did
already, poor confused wretch; unusually bewildered, and under
frightful eclipse at present.

Continues after four days:--

APRIL 18th. "... Lord Stratford [to me an unknown Lordship} and
heads of Opposition would like to ascertain what Hotham's offer to
the King of Prussia IS."

Truly, yes; they mean to ask in Parliament (as poor gamblers in
that Cockpit are wont), 'And why did not you make the offer
sooner, then? Friendship with his Prussian Majesty, last year,
would have saved the whole of that large Waterspout about the
Meadows of Clamei! Nay need we, a few months ago, have spent such
loads of gold subsidizing those Hessians and Danes against him?
The treasures of this Country go a strange road, Mr. Speaker!
What is the use of our industries and riches?' Heavens, yes, what!
But we continue to excerpt and interpret:--

Reichenbach "has said nothing of this to his Prussian Majesty,
Reichenbach has not; too dangerous in own present down-pressed
state:--though amazingly exact always in news, and attached to his
Prussian Majesty as mortal seldom was. Need he fear their new
Hotham, then? Does not fear Hotham, not he him, being a man so
careful of truth in his news. Dare not, however, now send any
intelligence about the Royal Family here; Prussian Majesty having
ordered him not to write gossip like a spiteful woman: What is he
to do? Instruct him, O my Amiable.

"Know for the rest, and be aware of it, O Amiable, that Queen
Caroline here is of opinion, The Amiable Grumkow should be
conciliated; and that Queen Sophie and Hotham are understood to
have been trying it. Do not abandon me, O Amiable; nay I know you
will not, you and Seckendorf, never, though I am a poor man.

"Have found out a curious story, HISTOIRE FORT CRIEUSE,--about one
of Prince Fred's amourettes." Story which this Editor, in the name
of the whole human species, will totally suppress, and sweep into
the cesspool, to herald Reichenbach thither. Except only that this
corollary by the Duchess of Kendal may be appended to the thing:--

"Duchess of Kendal [Hop-pole EMERITA, now gone to devotion, whom
we know, piously turns up her eyes at such doings], thinks the
Princess Wilhelmina will have a bad life of it with Fred, and that
she 'will need the wisdom of Solomon to get on here.' Not a good
bargain, this Prince Fred and his Sister. A dissolute fellow he,
not liked by the Public" (I should hope). 'Then as to Princess
Amelia, she, who was always haughty, begins to give herself airs
upon the Prince-Royal of Prussia; she is as ill-tempered as her
Father, and still more given to backbiting (PLUS RAILLEUSE), and
will greatly displease the Potsdam Majesty.'

These are cheering thoughts. "But what is to become of Nosti?
Faithful to his Grumkow, to his Seckendorf--to his pair of
sheep-stealers, poor dog. But if trouble rise;--oh, at least do
not hang me, ye incomparable pair!"--


Slave Nosti's terrors, could he see behind the scenes, are without
foundation! the tremendous Hotham Negotiation, all ablaze at that
Charlottenburg Dinner, is sunk low enough into the smoking state,
threatening to go out altogether. Smoke there may still be,
perceptible vestiges of smoke; which indeed, for a long time,
fitfully continued: but, at the time while Nosti, quaking in every
joint of him, writes these terrors, Hotham perceives that his
errand is vain; that properly there has as good as extinction
supervened. April 3d was the flame-point; which lasted in its
brightness only for a few days or hours. April is not gone, or
half gone, when flaming has quite ceased, and the use of bellows,
never so judicious, is becoming desperate: and long before the end
of May, no red is to be seen in the affair at all, and the very
bellows are laid down.

Here--are the epochs: riddled out of such a mass of extinct
rubbish as human nature seldom had to deal with;--here are certain
extracts in a greatly condensed state, from the authentic
voluminous Hotham Despatches and Responses;--which may
conveniently interrupt the Nosti Babblement at this point.


Excellency Hotham LOQUITUR (in a greatly condensed form).

BERLIN, 12th APRIL, 1730. "... Of one or two noteworthy points
I have to apprise your Lordship. So soon as his Majesty was sober,
he found that he had gone too far at that grand dinner of Monday
3d; and was in very bad humor in consequence. Crown-Prince has
written from Potsdam to his Sister, 'No doubt I am left here lest
the English wind get at me ( de peur que le vent anglais
ne me touchat ).' Saw King at Parade, who was a little
vague; 'is giving matters his consideration.' Majesty has said to
Borck and Knyphausen, 'If they want the Double-Marriage, and to
detach me from the Kaiser, let them propose something about Julich
and Berg.' Sits the wind in that quarter? King has said since, to
one Marschall, a Private-Secretary who is in our interest: 'I hate
my Son, and my Son hates me: we are best asunder;--let them make
him STATTHALTER (Vice-regent) of Hanover, with his Princess!'
Commission might be made out in the Princess Amelia's name;
proper conditions tied, and so on:--Knyphausen suggests it could
be done. Knyphausen is true to us; but he stands alone [not alone,
but cannot much help]; does not even stir in the NOSTI or
ST.-MARY-AXE Affair as yet."

Prince Friedrich to be STATTHALTER in Hanover with his English
Princess? That would save the expense of an Establishment for him
at home. That has been suggested by the Knyphausen or English
party: and no doubt it looked flattering to his Prussian Majesty
for moments. This may be called Epoch first, after that grand
Charlottenburg Dinner.

Then as to the NOSTI Affair, in which Knyphausen "does not stir as
yet,"--the fact is, it was only put into Knyphausen's hands the
day before YESTERDAY, as we soon discover; and Knyphausen is not
so sure about it as some are! That Hotham Despatch is of
Wednesday, 12th April. And not till yesterday could Guy Dickens
report performance of the other important thing. Captain Guy
Dickens, a brisk handy military man, Secretary to Dubourgay this
good while past, "Has duly received from Headquarters the
successive NOSTI-GRUMKOW documents, caught up in St. Mary Axe;
has now delivered them to Knyphausen, to be laid before his
Prussian Majesty in a good hour; and would fain (Tuesday, April
11th) hope some result from this step." Not for almost a month
does Hotham himself say anything of it to the Prussian Majesty,
good hour for Knyphausen not having come. But now, in regard to
that Hanover Statthaltership, hear Townshend,--condensed, but not
nearly so much so, my Lord being a succinct man who sticks always
creditably to the point:--


LONDON, 27th APRIL. "Yes, you shall have the Hanover Vice-regency.
We will set up the Crown-Prince Friedrich in Hanover as desired;
but will give the Commission to our own Princess, that being more
convenient for several reasons: Crown-Prince, furthermore, must
promise to come over to England when we require him; ITEM may
repay us our expenses hereafter, As to Marriage-Portions, we will
give none with our Princess, nor ask any with theirs.
Both marriages or none." Ann so enough.

Alas, nothing came of this; Prussian Majesty, in spite of thrift,
perceiving that, for several reasons, it would not do.
Meanwhile Grumkow, we learn from a secret source, [NOSTI, supra
(18th April), p. 185; infra, p. 101.] has been considerably
courted by Botham and her Prussian Majesty; Queen Caroline having
signified from England, That they ought to gain that knave,--what
price did he charge for himself? But this also proves quite
unavailing; never came to PRICING. And so,--hear Hotham
once more:--

TO LORD TOWNSHEND AT LONDON (from Excellency Hotham).

BERLIN, 18th APRIL. "... Grumkow is a thorn in my side: one would
like to do him some service in return." 'Cannot you stop an
ORIGINAL Letter of his' (we have only deciphered Copies as yet) to
that Reichenbach or NOSTI, 'strong enough to break his back?--
They will try. Hotham continues in next Despatch:--

BERLIN, 22d APRIL. "Dined with the King again; Crown-Prince was
present: dreadfully dejected,--'at which one cannot help being
moved; there is something so engaging in the Prince, and everybody
says so much good of him.'" Hear Hotham! Who again, three days
after, says of our Fritz: 'If I am not much mistaken, this young
Prince will one day make a very considerable figure.' "Wish we
could manage the Marriage; but this Grumkow, this"--Cannot they
contrive to send an ORIGINAL strong enough?

Alas, from the same secret source we learn, within a week, that
Grumkow's back is very strong; the Tobacco-Parliament in full
blast again, and Seckendorf's Couriers galloping to Vienna with
the best news. Nay his Majesty looks expressly "sour upon Hotham,"
or does not look at all; will not even speak when he sees him;--
for a reason we shall hear. [NOSTI, infra (29th April), p. 191.]
can it, be thought that any liberality in use of the bellows or
other fire-implements will now avail with his Majesty?


But at this point let our Two Rooks recommence a little: Nosti, on
the 18th, we left quaking in every joint of him;--and good news
was almost at the door, had afflicted Nosti known it. Grumkow's
strain (suppressed by us here), all this while, is in general,
almost ever since the blaze of that Hotham Dinner went off into
repentant headache: 'Pshaw, don't fear!' Nay after a fortnight or
so, it is again: 'Steady! we are all right?' Tobacco-Parliament
and the Royal Imagination making such progress. This is still but
the third week since that grand Dinner at Charlottenburg:--


BERLIN, 22d APRIL. 'King wants to get rid of the Princess'
Wilhelmina, 'who is grown lean, ugly, with pimples on her face
( qui est devenue maigre, laide, couperosee,'
[This is one of the sentences Wilhelmina has got hold of
(Wilhelmina, i. 234).]--dog: will nobody horsewhip that lie out of
him!)--'judge what a treat that will be to a Prince of Wales, who
has his amourettes!' All is right, Nosti, is it not?

BERLIN, 25th APRIL. "King declared to Seckendorf yesterday again,
He might write to the Kaiser, That while he lived, nothing should
ever part his Majesty from the Kaiser and his Cause; that the
French dare not attack Luxembourg, as is threatened; and if they
do--! Upon which Seckendorf despatched a Courier to Vienna.

"As to Hotham, he explains himself upon nothing,"--stalks about
with his nose in the air, as if there were nothing farther to be
explained. "I spoke yesterday of the Single Match, Wilhelmina and
Prince of Wales; King answered, even of the Single Match, Devil
fly away with it!"--or a still coarser phrase.

'Meanwhile the Queen, though at the end of her eighth month, is
cheery as a fish in water; [Wilhelmina has this too, in a
disfigured state (i. 233).] and always forms grand project of
totally ruining Seckendorf, by Knyphausen's and other help.'
"Hotham yesterday, glancing at Nosti no doubt, said to the SIEUR
DE POTSDAM [cant phrase for the King], 'That great Princes were
very unlucky to have ministers that durst not show themselves in
good society; for the result was, they sent nothing but false news
and rumors picked up in coffee-houses.'"

"Coffee-houses?" answers Reichenbach, by and by: "Reichenbach is
in English society of the first distinction, and receives visits
from Lords and Dukes. This all the world knows"--to be nothing
like the case, as Townshend too has occasionally mentioned.

At any rate, continues Grumkow, "the Queen's Husband said, aside,
to Nosti's Friend, 'I see he is glancing at Reichenbach; but he
won't make much of that (cynically speaking, ne fera que
de l’eau claire).' Hotham is by no means a man of
brilliant mind, and his manners are rough: but Ginkel," the
Dutchman, "is cleverer (PLUS SOUPLE), and much better liked by
Nosti's Master."

ANTISTROPHE soon follows; London Raven is himself again;
--Nosti LOQUITUR:--

LONDON, 25th APRIL. "... King has written to me, I AM to report to
him any talk there may be in the Court here about his Majesty!
My Amiable and his Seckendorf, need they ask if Nosti will, and in
a way to give them pleasure?" ...

STROPHE (allegro by the Berlin Raven or Rook, who has not yet
heard the above);--Grumkow LOQUITUR:--

BERLIN, 29th APRIL. "... Wrong not to write entertaining news of
the English Court as heretofore. King likes it.

"What you say of the Prince-Royal of Prussia's writing to the
Queen of England, is very curious; and you did well to say nothing
of it to the Father; the thing being of extreme delicacy, and the
proof difficult. But it seems likely. And I insinuated something
of it to his Majesty, the day before yesterday [27th April, 1730,
therefore? One momentary glance of Hansard into the
Tobacco-Parliament], as of a thing I had learned from a spy" (such
my pretence, O Nosti)--spy "who is the intimate friend of
Knyphausen and plays traitor: you may fancy that it struck
terribly." Yes! "And his Majesty has looked sour upon Hotham ever
since; and passed above an hour in colloquy with Seckendorf and
me, in sight both of English Hotham and Dutch Ginkel without
speaking to them.

"It was true enough what Nosti heard of the Queen's fair speeches,
and Hotham's, to the Friend of Nosti. But it is all ended:
the Queen's, weeks ago, being in vain: Hotham too, after some
civilities, seems now indifferent. 'ENFIN ['Afin' he always writes
it, copying the indistinct gurgle of his own horse-dialect]--AFIN
FILOUTERIE TOUT PURE' (whole of it thimblerig, on their part).

"Admirable story, that of Prince Fred's amourette [sent to the
cesspool by us, herald of Reichenbach thither]: let his Majesty
know it, by all means. What the Duchess of Kendal [lean tall
female in expensive brocades, with gilt prayer-books, visible in
the body to Nosti at that time], what the Duchess of Kendal says
to you is perfectly just; and as the Princess Wilhelmina is very
ill-looking [LAIDE,--how dare you say so, dog?], I believe she
will have a bad life of it, the Prince of Wales being accustomed
to daintier meats. Yes truly, she will, as the Duchess says, 'need
to be wiser than Solomon' to conciliate the humors down there (LA
BAS) with the genius of his Prussian Majesty and Queen.--'As for
your Princess Amelia, depend upon it, while the Commandant of
Potsdam lives, she will never get hold of the Prince-Royal, though
he is so furiously taken with the Britannic Majesties.'"

[Continues; in auswer to a Nosti "Caw! Caw!" which we omit.]

BERLIN, 2d MAY.--"Wish you had not told the King so positively
that the English say, it shall be Double Match or none.
Hotham said to the Swedish Ambassador: 'Reichenbach, walking in
the dark, would give himself a fine knock on the nose
( aurait un furieux pied de nez ), when,' or
IF, 'the thing was done quite otherwise.' Have a caution what
you write."

Pooh, pooh! Hotham must have said "if," not "when;" Swede is quite
astray!--And indeed we will here leave off, and shut down this
magazine of rubbish; right glad to wash ourselves wholly from it
(in three waters) forevermore. Possibly enough the Prussian
Dryasdust will, one day, print it IN EXTENSO, and with that
lucidity of comment and arrangement which is peculiar to him;
exasperated readers will then see whether I have used them ILL or
not, according to the opportunity there was!--Here, at any rate,
my reader shall he free of it. Indeed he may perceive, the
negotiation was by this time come to a safe point, the
Nosti-Grumkows triumphant, and the interest of the matter mainly
out. Farther transient anxieties this amiable couple had,--
traceable in that last short croak from Grumkow,--lest the English
might consent to that of the "Single-Marriage in the mean time"
(which the English never did, or meant to do). For example, this
other screech of Nosti, which shall be his final last-screech:--

LONDON, 12th MAY.--"Lord Townshend alarmingly hinted to me:
Better have done with your Grumkow-and-Seckendorf speculations:
the ill-intentioned are perfectly sure to be found out at the end
of the account; and their tools will get ruined along with them.
Nosti endeavored to talk big in reply: but he shakes in his shoes
nevertheless; and with a heart full of distraction exclaims now,
Save yourselves, save me!--If Hotham speak of the Single-Marriage
only, it is certain the Prince-Royal must mean to run away," and
so make it a Double one in time.

Yes, indeed! But these were transient terrors. The day is our own,
my Grumkow; yes, our own, my Nosti:--and so our Colloquy of
Rookeries shall be suppressible henceforth.


We have only to add what Hotham reports (Berlin, May 6th), That he
"has had an interview with his Majesty, and spoken of the
St.-Mary-Axe affair; Knyphausen having found a moment to lay it
before his Majesty." So that the above Excerpts from St. Mary Axe
(all but the last two),--the above, and many more suppressed by
us,--are in his Majesty's hands: and he is busy studying them;
will, it is likely, produce them in an amazed Tobacco-Parliament
one of these evenings!--

What the emotions of the royal breast were during the perusal of
this extraordinary dialogue of birds, which has come to him
through St. Mary Axe--? Manifold probably: manifold, questionable;
but not tragical, or not immediately so. Certainly it is definable
as the paltriest babble; no treason visible in it, nor
constructive treason; but it painfully indicates, were his Majesty
candid, That his Majesty is subject to spies in his own House;
nay that certain parties do seem to fancy they have got his
Majesty by the nose, and are piping tunes with an eye to his
dancing, thereto. This is a painful thought, which, I believe,
does much agitate his Majesty now and afterwards.--A painful
thought or suspicion, rising sometimes (in that temperament of
his) to the pitch of the horrible. I believe it occasionally, ever
henceforth, keeps haunting the highly poetic temperament of his
Majesty, nor ever quits him again at all; stalking always, now and
then, through the vacant chambers of his mind, in what we may call
the night-season (or time of solitude and hypochondriacal
reflection),--though in busy times again (in daylight, so to
speak) he impatiently casts it from him. Poor Majesty!

But figure Grumkow, figure the Tobacco-Parliament when Majesty
laid these Papers on the Table! A HANSARD of that night would be
worth reading. There is thunderous note of interrogation on his
Majesty's face;--what a glimmer in the hard puckery eyes of
Feldzeugmeister Seckendorf, "JARNI-BLEU!" No doubt, an excessively
astonished Parliament. Nothing but brass of face will now serve
the principal Honorable Gentleman there; but in that happily he is
not wanting.

Of course Grumkow denies the Letters point-blank: Mere forgeries,
these, of the English Court, plotting to ruin your Majesty's
faithful servant, and bring in other servants they will like
better! May have written to Reichenbach, nay indeed has, this or
that trifling thing: but those Copyists in St. Mary Axe,
"deciphering,"--garbling, manufacturing, till they make a romance
of it,--alas, your Majesty? Nay, at any rate, what are the
Letters? Grumkow can plead that they are the foolishest
insignificant rubbish of Court-gossip, not tending any bad road,
if they have a tendency. That they are adapted to the nature of
the beast, and of the situation,--this he will carefully abstain
from remarking.

We have no HANSARD of this Session; all is conjecture and
tobacco-smoke. What we know is, not the least effect, except an
internal trouble, was produced on the royal mind by the
St.-Mary-Axe Discovery. Some Question there might well be,
inarticulately as yet, of Grumkow's fidelity, at least of his
discretion; seeds of suspicion as to Grumkow, which may sprout up
by and by; resolution to keep one's eye on Grumkow. But the first
practical fruit of the matter is, fierce jealousy that the English
and their clique do really wish to interfere in our ministerial
appointments; so that, for the present, Grumkow is firmer in his
place than ever. And privately, we need not doubt, the matter
continues painful to his Majesty.

One thing is certain, precisely a week after, his Majesty,--much
fluctuating in mind evidently, for the Document "has been changed
three or four times within forty-eight hours,"--presents his final
answer to Hotham. Which runs to this effect ("outrageous," as
Hotham defines it):--

"1. For Hanover and your great liberality on that score, much
obliged; but upon reconsideration think it will not do.
2. Marriage FIRST, Prince of Wales to Wilhelmina,--Consent with
pleasure. 3. Marriage SECOND, Crown-Prince Friedrich with your
Amelia,--for that also we are extremely wishful, and trust it will
one day take effect: but first these Seville-Treaty matters, and
differences between the Kaiser and allied English and French will
require to be pulled straight; that done, we will treat about the
terms of Marriage SECOND. One indispensable will be,--That the
English guarantee our Succession in Julich and Berg." [Hotham's
Despatch, 18th May, 1730.]

"Outrageous" indeed!--Crown-Prince sends, along with this, a
loving message by Hotham, of earnestly deprecating tenor, to the
Britannic Majesty; "begs his Britannic Majesty not to reject the
King's Proposals, whatever they may be,--this for poor Sister
Wilhelmina's sake. 'For though he, the Crown-Prince, was
determined to lose his life sooner than marry anybody but the
Princess Amelia, yet if this Negotiation were broken off, his
Father would go to extremities to force him and his poor Sister
into other engagements.'"--Which, alas, what can it avail with the
Britannic Majesty, in regard to such outrageous Propositions from
the Prussian?

Britannic Majesty's Ministry, as always, answers by return of
Courier:--"MAY 22d. Both Marriagea, or none: Seville has no
concern with both, more than with one: DITTO Julich and Berg,--of
which latter indeed we know nothing,--nor (ASIDE TO HOTHAM) mean
to know." [Despatch, Whitehall, 11th May (22d by N.S.].
Whereby Hotham perceives that it is as good to throw away the
bellows, and oonsider the matter extinct. Hotham makes ready for
an Excursion into Saxony, to a thing called CAMP OF RADEWITZ,
or ENCAMPMENT OF RADEWITZ; a Military Spectacle of never-imagined
magnificence, to be given by August the Strong there, whither all
the world is crowding;--and considers any Business he had at
Berlin to be as good as done.

Evidently Friedrich Wilhelm has not been much wrought upon by the
St.-Mary-Axe Documents! One week they have been revolving in the
royal mind; part of a week in the Smoking Parliament (we know not
what day they were laid on the table there, but it must have been
a grand occurrence within those walls!)--and this already (May
13th) is the result arrived at: Propositions, changed three or
four times within forty-eight hours, and definable at last as
"outrageous;" which induce Hotham to lay down the bellows, and
prepare to go his ways. Our St.-Mary-Axe discovery seems to have
no effect at all!--

One other public result there is from it, and as yet one only:
Reichenbach, "from certain causes thereto moving Us ( aus
gewissen Uns dazu bewegenden Grunden )," gets a formal
Letter of Recall. Ostensible Letter, dated Berlin, 13th May, and
signed Friedrich Wilhelm; which the English may read for their
comfort. Only that along with this, of the same date and
signature, intended for Reichenbach's comfort, the same Leather
Bag brings a Private Letter (which Dickens or another has
contrived to get sight of and copy), apprising Reichenbach, That,
unostensibly, his proceedings are approved of; that he is to
continue at his post till further orders, all the same, "and keep
watch on these Marriages, about which there is such debating in
the world ( wovon in der Welt so viel debattirt wird italic>); things being still in the same state as half a year ago.
That is to say, I am ready for my Daughter's Marriage with the
Prince of Wales: but for my Son, he is too young yet; und
hat es damit keine Eile, weil ich Gottlob noch zwei Sohne hab italic> (nor is there any haste, as I have, thank God, two other
sons,"--and a third ooming, if I knew it):--"besides one
indispensable condition will be, that the English guarantee Julich
and Berg," which perhaps they are not in the least hurry
for, either!--

What does the English Court think of that? Dated "Berlin, 13th
May:" it is the same day when his Majesty's matured Proposals,
"changed thrice or oftener within the forty-eight hours," were
handed to Hotham for transmission to his Court. An interesting
Leather Bag, this Ordinary from Berlin. Reichenbach, we observe,
will get his share of it some ten days after that alarming rebuke
from Townshend; and it will relieve the poor wretch from his worst
terrors: "Go on with your eavesdroppings as before, you alarmed
wretch!"--There does one Degenfeld by and by, a man of better
quality (and on special haste, as we shall see) come and supersede
poor Nosti, and send him home:--there they give Nosti some
exiguous Pension, with hint to disappear forevermore. Which he
does; leaving only these St.-Mary-Axe Documents for his Lifemark
in the History of Mankind.

What the English Answer to his Majesty's Proposals of Berlin, May
13th, was, we have already seen;--dated "London, 22d May,"
probably few hours after the Courier arrived. Hotham, well
anticipating what it would be, had already, as we phrased it,
"laid down the bellows;" left the Negotiation, as essentially
extinct;--and was preparing for the "Camp at Radewitz," Britannic
Majesty being anxious to hear what Friedrioh Wilhelm and August
the Strong have on hand there.

"The King of Prussia's unsteadiness and want of resolution,"
writes Hotham (Berlin, 20th May), "will hinder him from being
either very useful to his friends, or very formidable to his
enemies." And from the same place, just about quitting it for
Radewitz, he writes again, exactly a week after ("Berlin, 27th
May"), to enclose Copy of a remarkable Letter; remarkable to us
also;--but which, he knows and we, cannot influence the English
Answer now close at hand. Here is the copied Letter; copied in Guy
Dickens's hand; from which we translate,--and also will give the
original French in this instance, for behoof of the curious:--


[POTSDAM, End of May, 1730.]

"MONSIEUR,--Je crois que c'est de la derniere importance que je
vous ecrive; et je suis assez triste d'avoir des chases a vous
dire que je devrois cacher a toute la terre: mais il faut franchir
ce mauvais pas la; et vous comptant de mes amis, je me resouds
plus facilement a vous le dire. C'est que je suis traite d'une
maniere inouie du Roi, et que je sais qu'a present ils se trament
de terribles choses contre moi, touchant certaines Lettres que
j'ai ecrites l'hiver passe, dont je crois que vous serez informe.
Enfin pour vous parler franchement, la vraie raison que le Roi a
de ne vouloir point donner les mains a ce Mariage est, qu'il me
veut toujours tenir sur un bas pied, et me faire enrager toute sa
vie, quand l'envie lui en prend; ainsi il ne l'accordera jamais.
Si l'on consent de votre cote que cette Princesse soit aussi
traitee ainsi, vous pouvez comprendre aisement que je serai fort
triste de rendre malheureuse une personne que j'estime, et de
rester toujours dans le meme etat ou je suis. Pour moi done je
crois qu'il vaudroit mieux finir le Mariage de ma Soeur ainsi
auparavant, et ne point demander au Roi seulement des assurances
sur mon sujet, d'autant plus que sa parole n'y fait rien:
suffit que je reitere les promesses que j'ai deja fait au Roi mon
Oncle, de ne prendre jamais d'autre epouse que sa seconde fille la
Princess Amelie. Je suis une personne de parole, qui pourra faire
reussir ce que j'avance, pourvu que l'on se fie a moi. Je vous le
promets, et a present vous pouvez en avertir votre Cour; et je
saurai tenir ma promesse. Je suis toujours tout a vous,


[State-Paper Office: Prussian Despatches, vol. xli. (enclosed in
Sir Charles Hotham's Despatch, Berlin, 27th-16th May, 1730).]

"Monsieur,--I believe it is of the last importance that I should
write to you; and I am very sad to have things to say which I
ought to conceal from all the earth. But one must take that bad
leap; and reckoning you among my friends, I the more easily
resolve to open myself to you.

"The case is this: I am treated in an unheard-of manner by the
King; and I know there are terrible things in preparation against
me, touching certain letters which I wrote last winter, of which I
believe you are informed. In a word, to speak frankly to you, the
real secret reason why the King will not consent to this Marriage
is, That he wishes to keep me on a low footing constantly, and to
have the power of driving me mad, whenever the whim takes him,
throughout his life; thus he never will give his consent. If it
were possible that you on your side could consent that your
Princess too should be exposed to such treatment, you may well
comprehend that I should be very sad to bring misery on a Person
whom I esteem, and to remain always in the same state as now.

"For my own part, therefore, I believe it would be better to
conclude my Sister's Marriage in the first place, and not, even to
ask from the King any assurances in regard to mine; the rather as
his word has nothing to do with it: it is enough that I here
reiterate the promises which I have already made to the King my
Uncle, Never to take another wife than his second Daughter the
Princess Amelia. I am a person of my word; and shall be able to
bring about what I set forth, provided there is trust put in me.
I promise it you; and now you may give your Court notice of it;
and I shall manage to keep my promise. I remain yours always."

The Crown-Prince, for Wilhelmina's sake and everybody's, is
extremely anxious they should agree to the Single Marriage in the
interim: but the English Court--perhaps for no deep reason,
perhaps chiefly because little George had the whim of standing
grandly immovable upon his first offer--never would hear of that.
Which was an angry thought to the Crown-Prince in after times, as
we sometimes notice.

Here, to the like effect, is another Fragment from his Royal
Highness, copied in the Dickens hand, and enclosed in the same
Despatch from Hotham;--giving us a glance into the inner workshop
of his Royal Highness, and his hidden assiduities and endeavorings
at that time:--

"... Vous pouvez croire que je ferai tout ce que je peux pour
faire reussir mon plan; mais l'on n'en remarquera rien em dehors;
--que l'on m'en laisse agir en suite, je ferai bien moi seul
reussir le reste. Je finis la par vous assurer encore, Monsieur,
que je suis tout a vous.


"... You may believe I will exert all my resources to succeed in
my plan; but there will be no outward sign visible:--leave me to
act in this way, I will myself successfully bring it through.
I end by again assuring you, Monsieur, that I am yours always."

--Which again produces no effect; the English Answer being
steadily, "Both Marriages, or none."

And this, then, is what the Hotham mission is come to?
Good Dubourgay is home, recalled about a month ago, "for the sake
of his health," [Townshend's polite Despatch to him, Whitehall,
21st April, 1730.]--good old gentleman, never to be heard of in
Diplomatic History more. Dubourgay went in the first days of May;
and the month is not out, when Hotham is off to the Camp of
Radewitz; leaving his Negotiation, as it were, extinct. To the
visible regret of the Berlin public generally; to the grievous
disappointment of Queen Sophie, of the Crown-Prince and some
others,--not to speak of Wilhelmina's feelings, which are unknown
to us.

Regretful Berlin, Wilhelmina and Mamma among the others, had, by
accident, in these dejected circumstances, a strange Sign from the
Heavens provided them, one night,--if we may be permitted to
notice it here. Monday, 29th May;--and poor Queen Sophie, we
observe withal, is in the hands of the MONTHLY NURSE since Tuesday
last! ["Prince Ferdinand (her last child, Father of him whose fate
lay at Jenz seventy-six years afterwards), born 23d May, 1730."]


Monday 29th May, 1730, Friedrich Wilhelm and the Crown-Prince and
Party were at Potsdam, so far on their way towards Radewitz.
All is peaceable at Potsdam that night: but it was a night of wild
phenomena at Berlin; or rather of one wild phenomenon, the
"Burning of the SANCT-PETERS KIRCHE," which held the whole City
awake and in terror for its life. Dim Fassmann becomes unusually
luminous on this affair (probably an eye-witness to it, poor old
soul); and enables us to fish up one old Night of Berlin City and
its vanished populations into clear view again, if we like.

For two years back Berlin had been diligently building a
non-plus-ultra of Steeples to that fine Church of St. Peter's.
Highest Steeple of them all; one of the Steeples of the World, in
a manner;--and Berlin was now near ending it. Tower, or shaft, has
been complete some time, interior fittings going on; and is just
about to get its ultimate apex, a "Crown-Royal" set on it by way
of finis. For his Majesty, the great AEdile, was much concerned in
the thing; and had given materials, multifarious helps:
Three incomparable Bells, especially, were his gift; melodious old
Bells, of distinguished tone, "bigger than the Great Bell of
Erfurt," than Tom of Lincoln,--or, as brief popular rumor has it,
the biggest Bells in the World, at least of such a TONE.
These Bells are hung, silent but ready in their upper chamber of
the Tower, and the gigantic Crown or apex is to go on; then will
the basket-work of scaffolding be peeled away, and the Steeple
stretch, high and grand, into the air, for ages it is hoped.

Far otherwise. On Monday evening, between eight and nine, there
gathered thunder over Berlin; wild tumult of the elements:
thunder-bolt "thrice in swift succession" struck the unfinished
Steeple; in the "hood" of which men thereupon noticed a light, as
of a star, or sparkle of the sun; and straight-way, in spite of
the rain-torrents, there burst out blazes of flame.
Blazes unquenchable; grand yet perilous to behold. The fire-drums
beat, the alarm-bells clanged, and ceased not; all Berlin
struggling there, all night, in vain. Such volumes of smoke:
"the heavens were black as if you had hung them with mortcloth:"
such roaring cataracts of flame, "you could have picked up a
copper doit at the distance of 800 yards."--"Hiss-s-s!" what
hissing far aloft is that? That is the incomparable big Bells
melting. There they vanish, their fine tones never to be tried
more, and ooze through the red-hot ruin, "Hush-sh-sht!" the last
sound heard from them. And the stem for holding that immense
Crown-royal,--it is a bar and bars of iron, "weighing sixteen
hundred-weight;" down it comes thundering, crashing through the
belly of St. Peter's, the fall of it like an earthquake all round.
And still the fire-drums beat, and from all surviving Steeples of
Berlin goes the clangor of alarm; "none but the very young
children can have slept that night," says our vigilant old friend.

Wind was awake, too; kindling the neighboring streets;--
storming towards the Powder-Magazine; where labor innumerable
Artillerymen, "busy with hides from the tan-pits, with
stable-dung, and other material;" speed to them, we will say!
Forty dwelling-houses went; but not the Powder-Magazine;
not Berlin utterly (so to speak) by the Powder-Magazine.
On the morrow St. Peter's and neighborhood lay black, but still
inwardly burning; not for three days more could the ruins be
completely quenched.

That was the news for Friedrich Wilhelm, before sunrise, on the
point of his departure for Muhlberg and King August's scenic
exhibitions. "HM;--but we must go, all the same! We will rebuild
it!" said he.--And truly he did so. And the polite King August,
sorry to hear of the Peterskirche, "gave him excellent sandstone
from the quarries of Pirna," says: Fassmann: "great blocks came
boating down the Elbe" from that notable Saxon Switzerland
Country, notable to readers here in time coming; and are to be
found, as ashlar, in the modern St. Peter's at Berlin; a fact
which the reader, till Pirna be better known to him, may remember
if he likes. [Fassmann, pp. 406-409.]

And now let us to Radewitz without delay.

Chapter III.


The Camp of Muhlberg, called more properly the Camp of Radewitz,
towards which Friedrich Wilhelm, with English Hotham and many
dignitaries are now gone, was one of the sublimest scenic military
exhibitions in the history of the world; leaving all manner of
imitation tournaments, modern "tin-tournaments," out of sight; and
perhaps equalling the Field of the Cloth of Gold, or Barbarossa's
Mainz Tournament in ancient times. It lasted for a month,
regardless of expense,--June month of the year 1730;--and from far
and wide the idle of mankind ran, by the thousand, to see it.
Shall the thing be abolished utterly,--as perhaps were proper, had
not our Crown-Prince been there, with eyes very open to it, and
yet with thoughts very shut;--or shall some flying trace of the
big Zero be given? Riddling or screening certain cart-loads of
heavy old German printed rubbish, [Chiefly the terrible
compilation called Helden-Staats und Lebens-Geschichte
des, &c. Friedrichs des Andern (History Heroical,
Political and Biographical of Friedrich the Second), Frankfurt and
Leipzig, 1759-1760, vol, i. first HALF, pp. 171-210. There are ten
thick and thin half-volumes, and perhaps more. One of the most
hideous imbroglios ever published under the name of Book,--without
vestige of Index, and on paper that has no margin and cannot stand
ink,--yet with many curious articles stuffed blindly into the
awful belly of it, like jewels into a rag-sack, or into TEN
rag-sacks all in one; with far more authenticity than you could
expect in such case. Let us call it, for brevity,
Helden-Geschichte, in future references.] to
omit the Hotham Despatches, we obtained the following shovelful of
authentic particulars, perhaps not quite insupportable to
existing mankind.

The exact size of the Camp of Radewitz I nowhere find measured;
but to judge on the map, [At p. 214.] it must have covered, with
its appendages, some ten or twelve square miles of ground. All on
the Elbe, right bank of the Elbe; Town of Muhlberg, chief Town of
the District, lying some ten miles northwest; then, not much
beyond it, Torgau; and then famed Wittenberg, all on the
northwest, farther down the River: and on the other side, Meissen
with its Potteries not far to the southeast of you, up the River,
on the Dresden hand. Nay perhaps many of my readers have seen the
place, and not known, in their touring expeditions; which are now
blinder than ever, and done by steam, without even eyesight, not
to say intelligence. Precisely where the railway from Leipzig to
Dresden crosses the Elbe,--there, if you happen to have daylight,
is a flat, rather clayey country, dirty-greenish, as if depastured
partly by geese; with a big full River Elbe sweeping through it,
banks barish for a mile or two; River itself swift, sleek and of
flint-color; not unpleasant to behold, thus far on its journey
from the Bohemian Giant-Mountains seaward: precisely there, when
you have crossed the Bridge, is the south-most corner of August
the Strong's Encampment,--vanished now like the last flock of
geese that soiled and nibbled these localities;--and, without
knowing it, you are actually upon memorable ground.

Actually, we may well say; apart from August and his fooleries.
For here also it was, on the ground now under your eye, that
Kurfurst Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous, having been surprised
the day before at public worship in the abovementioned Town of
Muhlberg, and completely beaten by Kaiser Karl the Fifth and his
Spaniards and Duke of Alba, did, on Monday 25th April, 1547, ride
forth as Prisoner to meet the said Kaiser; and had the worst
reception from him, poor man. "Take pity on me, O God! This is
what it is come to?" the magnanimous beaten Kurfurst was heard
murmuring as he rode. At sight of the Kaiser, he dismounted,
pulled off his iron-plated gloves, knelt, and was: for humbly
taking the Kaiser's hand, to kiss it. Kaiser would not;
Kaiser looked thunderous tornado on him, with hands rigidly in the
vertical direction. The magnanimous Kurfurst arose therefore;
doffed his hat: "Great-mightiest (GROSSMACHTIGSTER) all-gracious
Kaiser, I am your Majesty's prisoner," said he, confining himself
to the historical. "I AM Kaiser now, then?" answered the sullen
Tornado, with a black brow and hanging under-jaw.--"I request my
imprisonment may be prince-like," said the poor Prince. "It shall
be as your deserts have been!"--"I am in your power; you will do
your pleasure on me," answered the other;--and was led away, to
hard durance and peril of life for five years to come; his Cousin
Moritz, having expertly jockeyed his Electoral dignities and
territories from him in the interim; [De Wette,
Kursgefasste Lebensgeschichte der Herzoge zu Sachsen
(Weimar, 1770), pp. I, 33, 73.]--as was told above, long since.

Expert Cousin Moritz: in virtue of which same Moritz, or rather
perhaps in VICE of him, August the Strong is even now Elector of
Saxony; Papist, Pseudo-Papist Apostate King of Poland, and
Non-plus-ultra of "gluttonous Royal Flunkies;" doomed to do these
fooleries on God's Earth for a time. For the sins of the fathers
are visited upon the children,--in ways little dreamt of by the
flunky judgment,--to the sixth generation and farther.
Truly enough this is memorable ground, little as King August,
thinks of it; little as the idle tourists think, or the
depasturing geese, who happen to be there.

The ten square miles have been industriously prepared for many
months past; shaved, swept by the best engineer science:
every village of it thoroughly cleaned, at least; the villages all
let lodgings at a Californian rate; in one village, Moritz by
name, [Map at page 214.] is the slaughter-house, killing oxen
night and day; and the bakehouee, with 160 mealy bakers who never
rest: in another village, Strohme, is the playhouse of the region;
in another, Glaubitz, the post-office: nothing could excel the
arrangements; much superior, I should judge, to those for the
Siege of Troy, and other world-great enterprises. Worthy really of
admiration, had the business not been zero. Foreign Courts:
European Diplomacy at large, wondered much what cunning scheme lay
hidden here. No scheme at all, nor purpose on the part of poor
August; only that of amusing himself, and astonishing the flunkies
of Creation,--regardless of expense. Three temporary Bridges,
three besides the regular ferry of the country, cross the Elbe;
for the high officers, dames, damosels and lordships of degree,
and thousandfold spectators, lodge on both sides of the Elbe:
three Bridges, one of pontoons, one of wood-rafts, one of barrels;
immensely long, made for the occasion. The whole Saxon Army,
30,000 horse and foot with their artillery, all in beautiful
brand-new uniforms and equipments, lies beautifully encamped in
tents and wooden huts, near by Zeithayn, its rear to the Elbe;
this is the "ARMEE LAGER (Camp of the Army)" in our old Rubbish
Books. Northward of which,--with the Heath of Gorisch still well
beyond, and bluish to you, in the farther North,--rises, on
favorable ground, a high "Pavilion" elaborately built, elaborately
painted and gilded, with balcony stages round it; from which the
whole ground, and everything done in it, is surveyable to
spectators of rank.

Eastward again, or from the Pavilion southeastward, at the right
flank of the Army, where again rises a kind of Height, hard by
Radewitz, favorable for survey,--there, built of sublime silk
tents, or solid well-painted carpentry, the general color of which
is bright green, with gilt knobs and gilt gratings all about, is
the :HAUPT-LAGER," Head-quarters, Main LAGER, Heart of all the
LAGERS; where his Prussian Majesty, and his Polish ditto, with
their respective suites, are lodged. Kinglike wholly, in extensive
green palaces ready gilt and furnished; such drawing-rooms, such
bedrooms, "with floors of dyed wicker-work;" the gilt mirrors,
pictures, musical clocks; not even the fine bathing-tubs for his
Prussian Majesty have been forgotten. Never did man or flunky see
the like. Such immense successful apparatus, without and within;
no end of military valetaille, chiefly "janizaries," in Turk
costume; improvised flower-gardens even, and walks of yellow
sand,--the whole Hill of Radewitz made into a flower-garden in
that way. Nay, in the Army LAGER too, many of the Captains have
made little improvised flower-gardens in that Camp of theirs, up
and down. For other Captains not of a poetical turn, there are
billiards, coffee-houses, and plenty of excellent beer and other
liquor. But the mountains of cavalry hay, that stand guarded by
patrols in the rearward places, and the granaries of cavalry oats,
are not to be told. Eastward, from their open porticos and
precincts, with imitation "janizaries" pacing silent lower down,
the Two Majesties oversee the Army, at discretion; can survey all
things,--even while dining, which they do daily, like very kings!
Fritz is lodged there; has a magnificent bed: poor young fellow,
he alone now makes the business of any meaning to us. He is
curious enough to see the phenomena, military and other;
but oppressed with black care: "My Amelia is not here, and the
tyrant Father is--tyrannous with his rattan: ye gods!"

We could insist much on the notable people that were there;
for the Lists of them are given. Many high Lordships; some of whom
will meet us again. Weissenfels, Wilhelmina's unfavored lover, how
busy is he, commanding gallantly (in the terrific Sham-Battle)
against Wackerbarth; General Wackerbarth, whose house we saw burnt
on a Dresden visit, not so long ago. Old Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau
is there, the Old Dessauer; with four of his Princes; instructed
in soldiering, left without other instruction; without even
writing, unless they can pick it up for themselves. Likely young
fellows too, with a good stroke of work in them, of battle in
them, when called for. Young Anspach, lately wedded, comes, in
what state he can, poor youth; lodges with the Prussian Majesty
his Father-in-law; should keep rather quiet, his share of wisdom
being small. Seckendorf with his Grumkow, they also are here, in
the train of Friedrich Wilhelm. Grumkow shoves the bottle with
their Polish and Prussian Majesties: in jolly hours, things go
very high there. I observe they call King August "LE PATRON," the
Captain, or "Patroon;" a fine jollity dwelling in that Man of Sin.
Or does the reader notice Holstein-Beck, Prussian Major-General;
Prince of Holstein-Beck; a solid dull man; capable of liquor,
among other things: not wiser than he should be; sold all his
Apanage or Princeship; for example, and bought plate with it,
wherefore they call him ever since "Holstein-VAISSELLE (Holstein
PLATE)" instead of Holstein-Beck. [Busching's Beitrage,
iv. 109.] His next Brother, here likewise I should
think, being Major-General in the Saxon service, is still more
foolish. He, poor soul, is just about to marry the Orzelska;
incomparable Princess known to us, who had been her Father's
mistress:--marriage, as was natural, went asunder again (1733)
after a couple of years.--But mark especially that middle-aged
heavy gentleman, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst, Prussian Commandant of
Stettin. Not over rich (would not even be rich if he came to be
reigning Duke, as he will do); attentive at his post in those
parts, ever since the Siege-of-Stralsund time; has done his
orders, fortified Stettin to perfection; solid, heavy taciturn
man:--of whom there is nothing notable but this only, That last
year his Wife brought him a little Daughter, Catharine the name of
her. His Wife is a foolish restless dame, highborn and penniless;
let her nurse well this little Catharine: little Catharine will
become abundantly distinguished in a thirty years hence;
Empress of all the Russias that little girl; the Fates have so
appointed it, mocking the prophecies of men! Here too is our poor
unmentionable Duke of Mecklenburg: poor soul, he has left his
quarrels with the Ritterschaft for a week or two, and is here
breathing the air of the Elbe Heaths. His wild Russian Wife, wild
Peter's niece and more, we are relieved to know is dead; for her
ways and Peter's have been very strange! To this unmentionable
Duke of Mecklenburg she has left one Daughter, a Princess
Elizabeth-Catherine, who will be called Princess ANNE, one day:
whose fortunes in the world may turn out to be tragical.
Potential heiress of all the Russias, that little Elizabeth or
Anne. Heiress by her wily aunt, Anne of Courland,--Anne with the
swollen cheek, whom Moritz, capable of many things, and of being
MARECHAL DE SAXE by and by, could not manage to fall in love with
there; and who has now just quitted Courland, and become Czarina:
[Peter II., her Cousin-german, died January, 1730 (Mannstein's
Russia ).]--if Aunt Anne with the big cheek
should die childless, as is likely, this little Niece were
Heiress. WAS THUT'S, What matter!--

In the train of King August are likewise splendors of a sort, if
we had time for them. Dukes of Sachsen-Gotha, Dukes of Meiningen,
most of the Dukes that put Sachsen to their name;--Sachsen-Weimar
for one; who is Grandfather of Goethe's Friend, if not otherwise
distinguished. The Lubomirskis, Czartoryskis, and others of Polish
breed, shall be considered as foreign to us, and go unnoticed.
Nor are high Dames wanting, as we see: vast flights of airy
bright-hued womankind, Crown-Princess at the head of them, who
lodges in Tiefenau with her Crown-Prince,--and though
plain-looking, and not of the sweetest temper, is a very high Lady
indeed. Niece of the present Kaiser Karl, Daughter of the late
Kaiser, Joseph of blessed memory;--for which reason August never
yet will sign the Pragmatic Sanction, his Crown-Prince having
hereby rights of his own in opposition thereto. She is young;
to her is Tiefenau, northward, on the edge of the Gorisch Heath,
probably the choicest mansion in these circuits, given up:
also she is Lady of "the Bucentaur," frigate equal to Cleopatra's
galley in a manner; and commands, so to speak, by land and water.
Supreme Lady, she, of this sublime world-foolery regardless of
expense: so has the gallantry of August ordered it. Our Friedrich
and she will meet again, on occasions not like this!--What the
other Princesses and Countesses, present on this occasion, were to
Crown-Prince Friedrich, except a general flower-bed of human
nature,--ask not; nor even whether the Orzelska was so much as
here! The Orzelska will be married, some two months hence,
[10th August, 1730 (Sir T. Robinson: Despatch from Dresden;
in State-Paper Office).] to a Holstein-Beck; not to Holstein
PLATE, but to his Brother the unfortunate Saxon Major-General:
a man surely not of nice tastes in regard to marriage;--and I
would recommend him to keep his light Wife at home on such
occasions. They parted, as we said, in a year or two, mutually
indignant; and the Orzelska went to Avignon, to Venice and
else-whither, and settled into Catholic devotion in cheap
countries of agreeable climate. [See Pollnitz ( Memoirs,
&c.), whoever is curious about her.]

Crown-Prince Friedrich, doubtless, looking at this flower-bed of
human nature, and the reward of happy daring paid by Beauty, has
vivid images of Princess Amelia and her Vice-regency of Hanover;
bright Princess and Vice-regency, divided from him by bottomless
gulfs, which need such a swim as that of Leander across the
material Hellespont was but a trifle to!--In which of the villages
Hotham and Dickens lodged, I did not learn or inquire; nor are
their copious Despatches, chronicling these sublime phenomena from
day to day for behoof of St. James's, other than entirely inane to
us at this time. But one thing we do learn from them:
Our Crown-Prince, escaping the paternal vigilance, was secretly in
consultation with Dickens, or with Hotham through Dickens;
and this in the most tragic humor on his side. In such effulgences
of luxury and scenic grandeur, how sad an attendant is Black
Care,--nay foul misusage, not to be borne by human nature!
Accurate Professor Ranke has read somewhere,--does not comfortably
say where, nor comfortably give the least date,--this passage, or
what authorizes him to write it. "In that Pleasure-Camp of
Muhlberg, where the eyes of so many strangers were directed to
him, the Crown-Prince was treated like a disobedient boy, and one
time even with strokes (KORPERLICH MISSHANDELT), to make him feel
he was only considered as such. The enraged King, who never
weighed the consequences of his words, added mockery to his manual
outrage. He said, 'Had I been treated so by my Father, I would
have blown my brains out: but this fellow has no honor, he takes
all that comes!'" [Ranke, Neun Bucher Preussischer
Geschichte (Berlin, 1847), i. 297.] EINMAL KORPERLICH
MISSHANDELT: why did not the Professor give us time, occasion,
circumstances, and name of some eye-witness? For the fact, which
stands reported in the like fashion in all manner of Histories, we
shall otherwise find to be abundantly certain; and it produced
conspicuous definite results. It is, as it were, the one fact
still worth human remembrance in this expensive Radewitz and
its fooleries; and is itself left in that vague inert state,--
irremediable at present.

Beaten like a slave; while lodged, while figuring about, like a
royal highness, in this sumptuous manner! It appears clearly the
poor Prince did hereupon, in spite of his word given to
Wilhelmina, make up his mind to run. Ingenious Ranke, forgetting
again to date, knows from the Archives, that Friedrich went
shortly afterwards to call on Graf von Hoym, one day. Speaking to
Graf von Hoym, who is Saxon First-Minister, and Factotum of the
arrangements here, he took occasion cursorily to ask, Could not a
glimpse of Leipzig, among all these fine things, be had? Order for
horses to or at Leipzig, for "a couple of officers" (Lieutenant
Keith and self),--quietly, without fuss of passes and the like,
Herr Graf?--The Herr Graf glances into it with eyes which have
a twinkle in them: SCHWERLICH, Royal Highness. They are very
strict about passes. Do not try it, Royal Highness! [Ranke, ib.;
Forster, i. 365, and more especially iii. 4 (Seckendorf's
Narrative there).] And Friedrich did desist, in that direction,
poor youth; but tried it the more in others. Very busy, in deep
secrecy, corresponding with Lieutenant Katte at Berlin, consulting
tragically with Captain Guy Dickens here.--Whether any hint or
whisper came to the Prussian Majesty from Graf von Hoym?
Lieutenant Keith was, shortly after, sent to Wesel to mind his
soldiering there, far down the Rhine Country in the Garrison of
Wesel; [Wilhelmina told us lately (supra, p. 149), Keith HAD been
sent to Wesel; but she has misdated as usual.] better there than
colleaguing with a Fritz, and suggesting to him idle truancies
or worse.

With Katte at Berlin the desperate Prince has concocted another
scheme of Flight, this Hoym one being impossible; scheme
executable by Katte and him, were this Radewitz once over. And as
for his consultations with Guy Dickens, the result of them is:
Captain Dickens, on the 16th of June, with eyes brisk enough, and
lips well shut, sets out from Radewitz express for London. This is
what I read as abstract of HOTHAM'S DESPATCH, 16th June, 1730,
which Dickens is to deliver with all caution at St. James's:
"Crown-Prince has communicated to Dickens his plan of escape;
'could no longer bear the outrages of his Father.' Is to attend
his Father to Anspath shortly (JOURNEY TO THE REICH, of which we
shall hear anon), and they are to take a turn to Stuttgard:
which latter is not very far from Strasburg on the French side of
the Rhine. To Strasburg he will make his escape; stay six weeks or
a couple of months (that his Mother be not suspected); and will
then proceed to England. Hopes England will take such measures as
to save his Sister from ruin." These are his fixed resolutions:
what will England do in such abstruse case?--Captain Dickens
speeds silently with his Despatch; will find Lord Harrington, not
Townshend any more; [Resigned 15th May, 1730: Despatch to Hotham,
as farewell, of that date.] will copiously open his lips to
Harrington on matters Prussian. A brisk military man, in the prime
of his years; who might do as Prussian Envoy himself, if nothing
great were going on? Harrington's final response will take
some deliberating.

Hotham, meanwhile, resumes his report, as we too must do, of the
Scenic Exhibitions;--and, we can well fancy, is getting weary of
it; wishing to be home rather, "as his business here seems ended."
[Preceding Despatch (of 16th June).] One day he mentions a rumor
(inane high rumors being prevalent in such a place); "rumor
circulated here, to which I do not give the slightest credit, that
the Prince-Royal of Prussia is to have one of the Archduchesses,"
perhaps Maria Theresa herself! Which might indeed have saved
immensities of trouble to the whole world, as well as to the Pair
in question, and have made a very different History for Germany
and the rest of us. Fancy it! But for many reasons, change of
religion, had there been no other, it was an impossible notion.
"May be," thinks Hotham, "that the Court of Vienna throws out this
bait to continue the King's delusion,"--or a snuffle from
Seckendorf, without the Court, may have given it currency in so
inane an element as Radewitz.

Of the terrific Sham-Battles, conducted by Weissenfels on one side
and Wackerbarth on the other; of the charges of cavalry, play of
artillery, threatening to end in a very doomsday, round the
Pavilion and the Ladies and the Royalties assembled on the
balconies there (who always go to dinner safe, when victory has
declared itself), I shall say nothing. Nor of that supreme "attack
on the intrenchments:" blowing-up of the very Bridges;
cavalry posted in the woods; host doing its very uttermost against
host, with unheard-of expenditure of gunpowder and learned
manoeuvre; in which "the Fleet" (of shallops on the Elbe, rigged
mostly in silk) took part, and the Bucentaur with all its cannon.
Words fail on such occasions. I will mention only that assiduous
King August had arranged everything like the King of
Playhouse-Managers; was seen, early in the morning, "driving his
own curricle" all about, in vigilant supervision and inspection;
crossed the Tub-bridge, or perhaps the Float-bridge (not yet blown
up), "in a WURSTWAGEN;" giving himself (what proved well founded)
the assurance of success for this great day;--and finally that, on
the morrow, there occurred an illumination and display of
fire-works, the like of which is probably still a desideratum.

For the Bucentaur and Fleet were all hung with colored lamplets;
Headquarters (HAUPT-LAGER) and Army-LAGER ditto ditto; gleaming
upwards with their golden light into the silver of the Summer
Twilight:--and all this is still nothing to the scene there is
across the Elbe, on our southeast corner. You behold that Palace
of the Genii; wings, turrets, mainbody, battlements: it is
"a gigantic wooden frame, on which two hundred carpenters have
been busy for above six months," ever since Christmas last.
Two hundred carpenters; and how many painters I cannot say:
but they have smeared "six thousand yards of linen canvas;" which
is now nailed up; hung with lamps, begirt with fire-works, no end
of rocket-serpents, catherine-wheels; with cannon and field-music,
near and far, to correspond;--and is now (evening of the 24th
June, 1730) shining to men and gods. Pinnacles, turrets,
tablatures, tipt with various fires and emblems, all is there:


symbolic Painting, six hundred yards of it, glowing with inner
light, and legible to the very owls! Arms now piled useless;
Pax, with her Appurtenances; Mars resting (in that canvas) on
trophies of laurel honorably won: and there is an Inscription,
done in lamplets, every letter taller than a man, were you close
upon it, "SIC FULTA MANEBIT (Thus supported it will stand),"--
the it being either PAX (Peace) or DOMUS (the Genii-Palace
itself), as your weak judgment may lead you to interpret delicate
allusions. Every letter bigger tban a man: it may be read almost
at Wittenberg, I should think; flaming as PICA written on the sky,
from the steeple-tops there. THUS SUPPORTED IT WILL STAND;
and pious mortals murmur, "Hope so, I am sure!"--and the cannons
fire, almost without ceasing; and the field-music, guided by
telegraphs, bursts over all the scene, at due moments; and the
Catherine-wheels fly hissing; and the Bucentaur and silk
Brigantines glide about like living flambeaus;--and in fact you
must fancy such a sight. King August, tired to the bone, and
seeing all successful, retired about midnight. Friedrich Wilhelm
stood till the finale; Saxon Crown-Prince and he, "in a window of
the highest house in Promnitz;" our young Fritz and the Margraf of
Anspach, they also, in a neighboring window, [24th-25th June:
Helden-Geschichte (above spoken of), i. 200]
stood till the finale: two in the morning, when the very Sun was
not far from rising.

Or is not the ultimate closing day perhaps still notabler; a day
of universal eating? Debauchee King August had a touch of genuine
human good-humor in him; poor devil, and had the best of stomachs.
Eighty oxen, fat as Christmas, were slain and roasted, subsidiary
viands I do not count; that all the world might have one good
dinner. The soldiers, divided into proper sections, had cut
trenches, raised flat mounds, laid planks; and so, by trenching
and planking, had made at once table and seat, wood well secured
on turf. At the end of every table rose a triglyph, two strong
wooden posts with lintel; on the lintel stood spiked the ox's
head, ox's hide hanging beneath it as drapery: and on the two
sides of the two posts hung free the four roasted quarters of said
ox; from which the common man joyfully helped himself.
Three measures of beer he had, and two of wine;--which, unless
the measures were miraculously small, we may take to be abundance.
Thus they, in two long rows, 30,000 of them by the tale, dine
joyfully SUB DIO. The two Majesties and two Crown-Princes rode
through the ranks, as dinner went on: "King of Prussia forever!"
and caps into the air;--at length they retire to their own
HAUPT-QUARTIER, where, themselves dining, they can still see the
soldiers dine, or at least drink their three measures and two.
Dine, yea dine abundantly: let all mortals have one good dinner!--

Royal dinner is not yet done when a new miracle appears on the
field: the largest Cake ever baked by the Sons of Adam. Drawn into
the Head-quarter about an hour ago, on a wooden frame with tent
over it, by a team of eight horses; tent curtaining it, guarded by
Cadets; now the tent is struck and off;--saw mortals ever the
like? It is fourteen ells (KLEINE ELLEN) long, by six broad;
and at the centre half an ell thick. Baked by machinery;
how otherwise could peel or roller act on such a Cake? There are
five thousand eggs in it; thirty-six bushels (Berlin measure) of
sound flour; one tun of milk, one tun of yeast, one ditto of
butter; crackers, gingerbread-nuts, for fillet or trimming, run
all round. Plainly the Prince of Cakes! A Carpenter with gigantic
knife, handle of it resting on his shoulder,--Head of the Board of
Works, giving word of command,--enters the Cake by incision;
cuts it up by plan, by successive signal from the Board of Works.
What high person would not keep for himself, to say nothing of
eating, some fraction of such a Nonpareil? There is cut and come
again for all. Carpenter advances, by main trench and by side
trenches, steadily to word of command.

I mention, as another trait of the poor devil of an August, full
of good-humor after all, That he and his Royalties and big
Lordships having dined, he gave the still groaning table with all
its dishes, to be scrambled for by "the janizaries." Janizaries,
Imitation-Turk valetaille; who speedily made clearance,--many a
bit of precious Meissen porcelain going far down in society by
that means.

Royal dinner done, the Colonel and Officers of every regiment,
ranked in high order, with weapons drawn, preceded by their
respective bands of music, came marching up the Hill to pay their
particular respects to the Majesty of Prussia. Majesty of Prussia
promised them his favor, everlasting, as requested; drank a glass
of wine to each party (steady, your Majesty!), who all responded
by glasses of wine, and threw the glasses aloft with shouts.
Sixty pieces of artillery speaking the while, and the bands of
music breathing their sweetest;--till it was done, and his Majesty
still steady on his feet. He could stand a great deal of wine.

And now--? Well, the Cake is not done, many cubic yards of cake
are still left, and the very corporals can do no more: let the
Army scramble! Army whipt it away in no time. And now, alas now--
the time IS come for parting. It is ended; all things end. Not for
about an hour could the HERRSCHAFTEN (Lordships and minor
Sovereignties) fairly tear themselves away, under wailing music,
and with the due emotion.

The Prussian Royalties, and select few, took boat down the River,
on the morrow; towards Lichtenburg Hunting-Palace, for one day's
slaughtering of game. They slaughtered there about one thousand
living creatures, all driven into heaps for them,--"six hundred of
red game" (of the stag species), "four hundred black," or of the
boar ditto. They left all these creatures dead; dined immensely;
then did go, sorrowfully sated; Crown-Prince Friedrich in his own
carriage in the rear; Papa in his, preceding by a few minutes;
all the wood horns, or French horns, wailing sad adieu;--and
hurried towards Berlin through the ambrosial night. [28th June,
1730: Helden-Geschichte, i. 205.]

And so it is all ended. And August the Strong--what shall we say
of August? History must admit that he attains the maximum in
several things. Maximum of physical strength; can break
horse-shoes, nay half-crowns with finger and thumb. Maximum of
sumptuosity; really a polite creature; no man of his means so
regardless of expense. Maximum of Bastards, three hundred and
fifty-four of them; probably no mortal ever exceeded that
quantity. Lastly, he has baked the biggest Bannock on record;
Cake with 5,000 eggs in it, and a tun of butter. These things
History must concede to him. Poor devil, he was full of good-humor
too, and had the best of stomachs. His amputated great-toe does
not mend: out upon it, the world itself is all so amputated, and
not like mending! August the Strong, dilapidated at fifty-three,
is fast verging towards a less expensive country: and in three
years hence will be lodged gratis, and need no cook or flunky of
either sex.

"This Camp of Radewitz," says Smelfungus, one of my Antecessors,
finishing his long narrative of it, "this Camp is Nothing; and
after all this expense of King August's and mine, it flies away
like a dream. But alas, were the Congresses of Cambrai and
Soissons, was the life-long diplomacy of Kaiser Karl, or the
History of torpid moribund Europe in those days, much of a
Something? The Pragmatic Sanction, with all its protocolling, has
fled, like the temporary Playhouse of King August erected there in
the village of Strohme. Much talk, noise and imaginary interest
about both; but both literally have become zero, WERE always zero.
As well talk about the one as the other."---Then why not SILENCE
about both, my Friend Smelfnngus? He answers: "That truly is the
thing to be aimed at;--and if we had once got our own out of both,
let both be consumed with fire, and remain a handful of
inarticulate black ashes forevermore." Heavens, will I, of all
men, object!

Smelfungus says elsewhere:--

"The moral to be derived, perhaps the chief moral visible at
present, from all this Section of melancholy History is:
Modern Diplomacy is nothing; mind well your own affairs, leave
those of your neighbors well alone. The Pragmatic Sanction,
breaking Fritz's, Friedrich Wilhelm's, Sophie's, Wilhelmina's,
English Amelia's and I know not how many private hearts, and
distracting with vain terrors and hopes the general soul of Europe
for five-and-twenty years, fell at once into dust and vapor, and
went wholly towards limbo on the storm-winds, doing nothing for or
against any mortal. Friedrich Wilhelm's 80,000 well-drilled troops
remained very actual with their firelocks and iron ramrods, and
did a thing or two, there being a Captain over them.
Friedrich Wilhelm's Directorium, well-drilled Prussian Downing
Street, every man steady at his duty, and no wind to be wasted

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