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History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 14 by Thomas Carlyle

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aquiline glance transfixing him! "Alas, your Majesty, mere excess
of loyalty, submission, devotion, on my poor part! Deign to think,
may not this too,--in the present state of my King, of my Two
Kings, and of all Europe,--be itself a kind of spheral thing?"
So that the aquiline lightning was but momentary; and abated to
lambent twinklings, with something even of comic in them, as we
shall gather. Voltaire had his difficulties with Valori, too;
"What interloping fellow is this?" gloomed Valori, "A devoted
secretary of your Excellency's; on his honor, nothing more!"
answered Voltaire, bowing to the ground:--and strives to behave as
such; giving Valori "these poor Reports of mine to put in cipher,"
and the like. Very slippery ice hereabouts for the adroit man!
His reports to Amelot are of sanguine tone; but indicate, to the
by-stander, small progress; ice slippery, and a twinkle of the
comic. Many of them are lost (or lie hidden in the French Archives,
and are not worth disinterring): but here is one, saved by
Beaumarchais and published long afterwards, which will sufficiently
bring home the old scene to us. In the Palace of Berlin or else of
Potsdam (date must be, 6th-8th September, 1743), Voltaire from his
Apartment hands in a "Memorial" to Friedrich; and gets it back with
Marginalia,--as follows:

"Would your Majesty be pleased to have the kind condescension
(ASSEZ DE BONTE) to put on the margin your reflections and orders."

"1. Your Majesty is to know that the Sieur Bassecour [signifies
BACKYARD], chief Burghermaster of Amsterdam, has come lately to beg
M. de la Ville, French Minister there, to make Proposals of Peace.
La Ville answered, If the Dutch had offers to make, the King his
master could hear them.

"1. This Bassecour, or Backyard, seems to be the gentleman that
has charge of fattening the capons and turkeys for their
High Mightinesses?

"2. Is it not clear that the Peace Party will infallibly carry it,
in Holland,--since Bassecour, one of the most determined for War,
begins to speak of Peace? Is it not clear that France shows vigor
and wisdom?

"2. I admire the wisdom of France; but God preserve me from ever
imitating it!

"3. In these circumstances, if your Majesty took the tone of a
Master, gave example to the Princes of the Empire in assembling an
Army of Neutrality,--would not you snatch the sceptre of Europe
from the hands of the English, who now brave you, and speak in an
insolent revolting manner of your Majesty, as do, in Holland also,
the party of the Bentincks, the Fagels, the Opdams? I have myself
heard them, and am reporting nothing but what is very true.

"3. This would be finer in an ode than in actual reality. I disturb
myself very little about what the Dutch and English say, the rather
as I understand nothing of those dialects (PATOIS) of theirs.

"4. Do not you cover yourself with an immortal glory in declaring
yourself, with effect, the protector of the Empire? And is it not
of most pressing interest to your Majesty, to hinder the English
from making your Enemy the Grand-Duke [Maria Theresa's Husband]
King of the Romans?

"4. France has more interest than Prussia to hinder that. Besides,
on this point, dear Voltaire, you are ill informed. For there can
be no Election of a King of the Romans without the unanimous
consent of the Empire;--so you perceive, that always depends on me.

"5. Whoever has spoken but a quarter of an hour to the Duke
d'Ahremberg [who spilt Lord Stair's fine enterprises lately, and
reduced them to a DETTINGEN, or a getting into the mouse-trap and a
getting out], to the Count Harrach [important Austrian Official],
Lord Stair, or any of the partisans of Austria, even for a quarter
of an hour [as I have often done], has beard them say, That they
burn with desire to open the campaign in Silesia again. Have you in
that case, Sire, any ally but France? And, however potent you are,
is an ally useless to you? You know the resources of the House of
Austria, and how many Princes are united to it. But will they
resist your power, joined to that of the House of Bourbon?

"5. On les y recevra, Biribi,
A la facon de Barbari, Mon ami.
We will receive them, Twiddledee,
In the mode of Barbary, Don't you see?
[Form of Song, very fashionable at Paris (see Barbier soepius) in
those years: "BIRIBI," I believe, is a kind of lottery-game.]

"6. If you were but to march a body of troops to Cleves, do not you
awaken terror and respect, without apprehension that any one dare
make war on you? Is it not, on the contrary, the one method of
forcing the Dutch to concur, under your orders, in the pacification
of the Empire, and re-establishment of the Emperor, who will thus a
second time he indebted to you for his throne, and will aid in the
splendor of yours?

"6. Vous voulez qu'en vrai dieu de la machine,
"You will have me as theatre-god, then,
"J'arrive pour te denouement?
"Swoop in, and produce the catastrophe?
"Qu'aux Anglais, aux Pandours, a ce peuple insolent,
"J'aille donner la discipline?--
"Tame to sobriety those English, those Pandours, and obstreperous
"Mais examinez mieux ma mine;
"Examine the look of me better;
"Je ne suis pas assez mechant!
"I have not surliness euough.

"7. Whatever resolution may be come to, will your Majesty deign to
confide it to me, and impart the result,--to your servant, to him
who desires to pass his life at your Court? May I have the honor to
accompany your Majesty to Baireuth; and if your goodness go so far,
would you please to declare it, that I may have time to prepare for
the journey? One favorable word written to me in the Letter on that
occasion [word favorable to France, ostensible to M. Amelot and the
most Christian Majesty], one word would suffice to procure me the
happiness I have, for six years, been aspiring to, of living
beside you." Oh, send it!

"7. If you like to come to Baireuth, I shall be glad to see you
there, provided the journey don't derange your health. It will
depend on yourself, then, to take what measures you please.
[And about the ostensible WORD,--Nothing!]

"8. During the short stay I am now to make, if I could be made the
bearer of some news agreeable to my Court, I would supplicate your
Majesty to honor me with such a commission. [This does not want for
impudence, Monsieur! Friedrich answers, from aloft!]

"8. I am not in any connection with France; I have nothing to fear
nor to hope from France. If you would like, I will make a Panegyric
on Louis XV. without a word of truth in it: but as to political
business, there is, at present, none to bring us together;
and neither is it I that am to speak first. When they put a
question to me, it will he time to reply: but you, who are so much
a man of sense, you see well what a ridiculous business it would he
if, without ground given me, I set to prescribing projects of
policy to France, and even put them on paper with my own hand!

"9. Do whatsoever you may please, I shall always love your Majesty
with my whole heart."

"9. I love you with all my heart; I esteem you: I will do all to
have you, except follies, and things which would make me forever
ridiculous over Europe, and at bottom would he contrary to my
interests and my glory. The only commission I can give you for
France, is to advise them to behave with more wisdom than they have
done hitherto. That Monarchy is a body with much strength, but
without, soul or energy (NERF)."

And so you may give it to Valori to put in cipher, my illustrious
Messenger from the Spheres. [ OEuvres de Voltaire, italic> lxxiii. 101-105 (see Ib. ii. 55); OEuvres de
Frederic, xxii. 141-144.]

Worth reading, this, rather well. Very kingly, and characteristic
of the young Friedrich. Saved by Beaumarchais, who did not give it
in his famous Kehl Edition of VOLTAIRE, but "had it in Autograph
ever after, and printed it in his DECADE PHILOSOPHIQUE, 10
Messidor, An vii. [Summer, 1799j: Beaumarchais had several other
Pieces of the same sort;" which, as bits of contemporary
photographing, one would have liked to see.


This "BIRIBI" Document, I suppose to have been delivered perhaps on
the 7th; and that Friedrich HAD it, but had not yet answered it,
when he wrote the following Letter:--

"POTSDAM, 8th SEPTEMBER, 1743 [Friedrich to Voltaire].--I dare not
speak to a son of Apollo about horses and carriages, relays and
such things; these are details with which the gods do not concern
themselves, and which we mortals take upon us. You will set out on
Monday afternoon, if you like the journey, for Baireuth, and you
will dine with me in passing, if you please [at Potsdam here].

"The rest of my MEMOIRE [Paper before given?] is so blurred and in
so bad a state, I cannot yet send it you.--I am getting Cantos 8
and 9 of LA PUCELLE copied; I at present have Cantos 1, 2, 4, 5, 8
and 9: I keep them under three keys, that the eye of mortal may not
see them.

"I hear you supped yesternight in good company [great gathering in
some high house, gone all asunder now];

"The finest wits of the Canton
All collected in your name,
People all who could not but be pleased with you,
All devout believers in Voltaire,
Unanimously took you
For the god of their Paradise.

"'Paradise,' that you may not be scandalized, is taken here in a
general sense for a place of pleasure and joy. See the 'remark' on
the last verse of the MONDAIN." [ OEuvres de Frederic, italic> xxii. 144; Voltaire, lxxiii. 100 (scandalously MISdated in
Edition 1818, xxxix. 466). As to MONDAIN, and "remark" upon it,--
the ghost of what was once a sparkle of successful coterie-speech
and epistolary allusion,--take this: "In the MONDAIN Voltaire had
written, 'LE PARADIS TERRESTRE EST OU JE SUIS;' and as the Priests
made outcry, had with airs of orthodoxy explained the phrase away,"
--as Friedrich now affects to do; obliquely quizzing, in the
Friedrich manner.

Voltaire is to go upon the Baireuth Journey, then, according to
prayer. Whether Voltaire ever got that all-important "word which he
could show," I cannot say: though there is some appearance that
Friedrich may have dashed off for him the Panegyric of Louis, in
these very hours, to serve his turn, and have done with him.
Under date 7th September, day before the Letter just read, here are
snatches from another to the same address:--

"POTSDAM, 7th SEPTEMBER, 1743 [Friedrich to Voltaire].--You tell me
so much good of France and of its King, it were to be wished all
Sovereigns had subjects like you, and all Commonwealths such
citizens,--[you can show that, I suppose?] What a pity France and
Sweden had not had Military Chiefs of your way of thinking! But it
is very certain, say what you will, that the feebleness of their
Generals, and the timidity of their counsels, have almost ruined in
public repute two Nations which, not half a century ago, inspired
terror over Europe."--... "Scandalous Peace, that of Fleury, in
1735; abandoning King Stanislaus, cheating Spain, cheating
Sardinia, to get Lorraine! And now this manner of abandoning the
Emperor [respectable Karl VII. of your making]; sacrificing
Bavaria; and reducing that worthy Prince to the lowest poverty,--
poverty, I say not, of a Prince, but into the frightfulest state
for a private man!" Ah, Monsieur.

"And yet your France is the most charming of Nations; and if it is
not feared, it deserves well to be loved. A King worthy to command
it, who governs sagely, and acquires for himself the esteem of all
Europe,--[there, won't that do!] may restore its ancient splendor,
which the Broglios, and so many others even more inept, have a
little eclipsed. That is assuredly a work worthy of a Prince
endowed with such gifts! To reverse the sad posture of affairs,
nobly repairing what others have spoiled; to defend his country
against furious enemies, reducing them to beg Peace, instead of
scornfully rejecting it when offered: never was more glory
acquirable by any King! I shall admire whatsoever this great man
[CE GRAND HOMME, Louis XV., not yet visibly tending to the dung-
heap, let us hope better things!] may achieve in that way; and of
all the Sovereigns of Europe none will be less jealous of his
success than I:"--there, my spheral friend, show that!
[ OEuvres de Frederic, xxii. 139: see, for
what followed, OEuvres de Voltaire, lxxiii.
129 (report to Amelot, 27th October).]

Which the spheral friend does. Nor was it "irony," as the new
Commentators think; not at all; sincere enough, what you call
sincere;--Voltaire himself had a nose for "irony"! This was what
you call sincere Panegyric in liberal measure; why be stingy with
your measure? It costs half an hour: it will end Voltaire's
importunities; and so may, if anything, oil the business-wheels
withal. For Friedrich foresees business enough with Louis and the
French Ministries, though he will not enter on it with Voltaire.
This Journey to Baireuth and Anspach, for example, this is not for
a visit to his Sisters, as Friedrich labels it; but has extensive
purposes hidden under that title,--meetings with Franconian
Potentates, earnest survey, earnest consultation on a state of
things altogether grave for Germany and Friedrich; though he
understands whom to treat with about it, whom to answer with a
"BIRIBIRI, MON AMI." That Austrian Exorbitancy of a message to the
Diet has come out (August 16th, and is struggling to DICTATUR);
the Austrian procedures in Baiern are in their full flagrancy:
Friedrich intends trying once more, Whether, in such crisis, there
be absolutely no "Union of German Princes" possible; nor even of
any two or three of them, in the "Swabian and Franconian Circles,"
which he always thought the likeliest?

The Journey took effect, Tuesday, 10th September [Rodenbeck,
i. 93.] (not the day before, as Friedrich had been projecting);
went by Halle, straight upon Baireuth; and ended there on Thursday.
As usual, Prince August Wilhelm, and Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick,
were of it; Voltaire failed not to accompany. What the complexion
of it was, especially what Friedrich had meant by it, and how ill
he succeeded, will perhaps be most directly visible through the
following compressed Excerpts from Voltaire's long LETTER to
Secretary Amelot on the subject,--if readers will be diligent with
them. Friedrich, after four days, ran across to Anspach on
important business; came back with mere failure, and was
provokingly quite silent on it; stayed at Baireuth some three days
more; thence home by Gotha (still on "Union" business, still mere
failure), by Leipzig, and arrived at Potsdam, September 25th;--
leaving Voltaire in Wilhelmina's charmed circle (of which unhappily
there is not a word said), for about a week more.
Voltaire, directly on getting back to Berlin, "resumes the thread
of his journal" to Secretary Amelot; that is, writes him another
long Letter:--

VOLTAIRE (from Berlin, 3d October, 1743) TO SECRETARY AMELOT.

"... The King of Prussia told me at Baireuth, on the 13th or 14th
of last month, He was glad our King had sent the Kaiser money;"--
useful that, at any rate; Noailles's 6,000 pounds would not go far.
"That he thought M. le Marechal de Noailles's explanation [of a
certain small rumor, to the disadvantage of Noailles in reference
to the Kaiser] was satisfactory: 'but,' added he, 'it results from
all your secret motions that you are begging Peace from everybody,
and there may have been something in this rumor, after all.'

"He then told me he was going over to Anspach, to see what could be
done for the Common Cause [Kaiser's and Ours]; that he expected to
meet the Bishop of Wurzburg there; and would try to stir the
Frankish and Swabian Circles into some kind of Union. And, at
setting off [from Baireuth, September 16th, on this errand], he
promised his Brother-in-law the Margraf, He would return with great
schemes afoot, and even with great success;" which proved
otherwise, to a disappointing degree.

"... The Margraf of Anspach did say he would join a Union of
Princes in favor of the Kaiser, if Prussia gave example. But that
was all. The Bishop of Wurzburg," a feeble old creature, "never
appeared at Anspach, nor even sent an apology; and Seckendorf, with
the Imperial Army"--Seckendorf, caged up at Wembdingen (whom
Friedrich drove off from Anspach, twenty miles, to see and
consult), was in a disconsolate moulting condition, and could
promise or advise nothing satisfactory, during the dinner one took
with him. [September 19th, "under a shady tree, after muster of the
troops" (Rodenbeck, p. 93).] Four days running about on those
errands had yielded his Prussian Majesty nothing. "Whilst he
(Prussian Majesty) was on this Anspach excursion, the Margraf of
Baireuth, who is lately made Field-marshal of his Circle, spoke
much to me of present affairs: a young Prince, full of worth and
courage, who loves the French, hates the Austrians,"--and would
fain make himself generally useful. "To whom I suggested this
and that" (does your Lordship observe?), if it could ever come
to anything.

"The King of Prussia, on returning to Baireuth [guess, 20th
September], did not speak the least word of business to the
Margraf: which much surprised the latter! He surprised him still
more by indicating some intention to retain forcibly at Berlin the
young Duke of Wurtemberg, under pretext, 'that Madam his Mother
intended to have him taken to Vienna,' for education. To anger this
young Duke, and drive his Mother to despair, was not the method for
acquiring credit in the Circle of Swabia, and getting the Princes
brought to unite!

"The Duchess of Wurtemberg, who was there at Baireuth, by
appointment, to confer with the King of Prussia, sent to seek me.
I found her all dissolved in tears. 'Ah!' said she,--[But why is
our dear Wilhelmina left saying nothing; invisible, behind the
curtains of envious Chance, and only a skirt of them lifted to show
us this Improper Duchess once more!]--'Ah!' said she (the Improper
Duchess, at sight of me), 'will the King of Prussia be a tyrant,
then? To pay me for intrusting my Boys to him, and giving him two
Regiments [for money down], will he force me to implore justice
against him from the whole world? I must have my Child! He shall
not go to Vienna; it is in his own Country that I will have him
brought up beside me. To put my Son in Austrian hands? [unless,
indeed, your Highness were driven into Financial or other straits?]
You know if I love France;--if my design is not to pass the rest of
my days there, so soon as my Son comes to majority!' Ohone, ohoo!

"In fine, the quarrel was appeased. The King of Prussia told me he
would be gentler with the Mother; would restore the Son if they
absolutely wished it; but that he hoped the young Prince would of
himself like better to stay where he was." ...--"I trust your
Lordship will allow me to draw for those 300 ducats, for a new
carriage. I have spent all I had, running about these four months.
I leave this for Brunswick and homewards, on the evening of the
12th." [Voltaire, lxxiii. 105-109.] ...

And so the curtain drops on the Baireuth Journey, on the Berlin
Visit; and indeed, if that were anything, on Voltaire's Diplomatic
career altogether. The insignificant Accidents, the dull Powers
that be, say No. Curious to reflect, had they happened to say Yes:
--"Go into the Diplomatic line, then, you sharp climbing creature,
and become great by that method; WRITE no more, you; write only
Despatches and Spy-Letters henceforth!"--how different a world for
us, and for all mortals that read and that do not read, there had
now been!

Voltaire fancies he has done his Diplomacy well, not without fruit;
and, at Brunswick,--cheered by the grand welcome he found
there,--has delightful outlooks (might I dare to suggest them,
Monseigneur?) of touring about in the German Courts, with some
Circular HORTATORIUM, or sublime Begging-Letter from the Kaiser, in
his hand; and, by witchery of tongue, urging Wurtemberg, Brunswick,
Baireuth, Anspach, Berlin, to compliance with the Imperial Majesty
and France. [Ib. lxxiii. 133.] Would not that be sublime! But that,
like the rest, in spite of one's talent, came to nothing. Talent?
Success? Madame de Chateauroux had, in the interim, taken a dislike
to M. Amelot; "could not bear his stammering," the fastidious
Improper Female; flung Amelot overboard,--Amelot, and his luggage
after him, Voltaire's diplomatic hopes included; and there was
an end.

How ravishing the thing had been while it lasted, judge by these
other stray symptoms; hastily picked up, partly at Berlin, partly
at Brunswick; which show us the bright meridian, and also the
blaze, almost still more radiant, which proved to be sunset.
Readers have heard of Voltaire's Madrigals to certain Princesses;
and must read these Three again,--which are really incomparable in
their kind; not equalled in graceful felicity even by Goethe, and
by him alone of Poets approached in that respect. At Berlin, Autumn
1743, Three consummate Madrigals:--


"Souvent un peu de verite
Se mele au plus grossier mensonge:
Cette nuit, dans l'erreur d'un songe,
Au rang des rois j'etais monte.
Je vous aimais, Princesse, et j'osais vous le dire!
Les dieux a mon reveil ne m'ont pas tout ote,
Je n'ai perdu que mon empire."


"Si Paris venait sur la terre
Pour juger entre vos beaux yeux,
Il couperait la pomme en deux,
Et ne produirait pas de guerre."


"Pardon, charmante Ulrique; pardon, belle Amelie;
J'ai cru n'aimer que vous la reste de ma vie,
Et ne servir que sous vos lois;
Mais enfin j'entends et je vois
Cette adorable Soeur dont l'Amour suit les traces:
Ah, ce n'est pas outrager les Trois Graces
Que de les aimer toutes trois!"

[1. "A grain of truth is often mingled with the stupidest delusion.
Yesternight, in the error of a dream, I had risen to the rank of
king; I loved you, Princess, and had the audacity to say so! The
gods, at my awakening, did not strip me wholly; my kingdom was all
they took from me."
2. If Paris [of Troy] came back to decide on the charms of you Two,
he would halve the Apple, and produce no War."
3. "Pardon, charming Ulrique; beautiful Amelia, pardon: I thought I
should love only you for the rest of my life, and serve under your
laws only: but at last I hear and see this adorable Sister, whom
Love follows as Page:--Ah, it is not offending the Three Graces to
love them all three!"
--In Oeuvres de Voltaire, xviii.: No. 1 is,
p. 292 (in OEuvres de Frederic, xiv. 90-92,
the ANSWERS to it); No. 2 is, p. 320; No. 3, p. 321.]

BRUNSWICK, 16th October (blazing sunset, as it proved, but
brighter almost than meridian), a LETTER FROM VOLTAIRE TO
MAUPERTUIS (still in France since that horrible
Mollwitz-Pandour Business).

"In my wanderings I received the Letter where my dear Flattener of
this Globe deigns to remember me with so much friendship. Is it
possible that--... I made your compliments to all your friends at
Berlin; that is, to all the Court." "Saw Dr. Eller decomposing
water into elastic air [or thinking he did so, 1743]; saw the Opera
of TITUS, which is a masterpiece of music [by Friedrich himself,
with the important aid of Graun]: it was, without vanity, a treat
the King gave me, or rather gave himself; he wished I should see
him in his glory.

"His Opera-House is the finest in Europe. Charlottenburg is a
delicious abode: Friedrich does the honors there, the King knowing
nothing of it. ... One lives at Potsdam as in the Chateau of a
French Seigneur who had culture and genius,--in spite of that big
Battalion of Guards, which seems to me the terriblest Battalion in
this world.

"Jordan is still the same,--BON GARCON ET DISCRET; has his
oddities, his 1,600 crowns (240 pounds) of pension. D'Argens is
Chamberlain, with a gold key at his breast-pocket, and 100 louis
inside, payable monthly. Chasot [whom readers made acquaintance
with at Philipsburg long since], instead of cursing his destiny,
must have taken to bless it: he is Major of Horse, with income
enough. And he has well earned it, having saved the King's Baggage
at the last Battle of Chotusitz,"--what we did not notice, in the
horse-charges and grand tumults of that scene.

"I passed some days [a fortnight in all] at Baireuth. Her Royal
Highness, of course, spoke to me of you. Baireuth is a delightful
retreat, where one enjoys whatever there is agreeable in a Court,
without the bother of grandeur. Brunswick, where I am, has another
species of charm. 'Tis a celestial Voyage this of mine, where I
pass from Planet to Planet,"-- to tumultuous Paris; and, I do hope,
to my unique Maupertuis awaiting me there at last. [Voltaire,
lxxiii. 122-125.]'

We have only to remark farther, that Friedrich had again pressed
Voltaire to come and live with him, and choose his own terms;
and that Voltaire (as a second string to his bow, should this fine
Diplomatic one fail) had provisionally accepted. Provisionally;
and with one most remarkable clause: that of leaving out Madame,--
"imagining it would be less agreeable to you if I came with others
(AVEC D'AUTRES); and I own, that belonging to your Majesty alone, I
should have my mind more at ease:" [ OEuvres de Voltaire,
lxxiii. 112,116 (Proposal and Response, both of them
"7th October," five days before leaving Berlin).]--whew! And then
to add a third thing: That Madame, driven half delirious, by these
delays, and gyratings from Planet to Planet, especially by that
last Fortnight at Baireuth, had rushed off from Paris, to seek her
vagabond, and see into him with her own eyes: "Could n't help it,
my angels!" writes she to the D'Argentals (excellent guardian
angels, Monsieur and Madame; and, I am sure, PATIENT both of them,
as only MONSIEUR Job was, in the old case): "A whole fortnight
[perhaps with madrigals to Princesses], and only four lines to me!"
--and is now in bed, or lately was, at Lille, ill of slow fever
(PETITE FIEVRE); panting to be upon the road again.
[ Lettres inedites de Madame du Chastelet a M. le Comte
d'Argental (Paris, 1806) p. 253. A curiously
elucidative Letter this ("Brussels, 15th October, 1743"); a curious
little Book altogether.]

Fancy what a greeting for M. de Voltaire, from those eyes HAGARDES
ET LOUCHES; and whether he mentioned that pretty little clause of
going to Berlin "WITHOUT others," or durst for the life of him
whisper of going at all! After pause in the Brussels region, they
came back to Paris "in December;" resigned, I hope, to inexorable
Fate,--though with such Diplomatic and other fine prospects flung
to the fishes, and little but GREDINS and confusions waiting you,
as formerly.

Chapter VII.


Though Friedrich went upon the bantering tone with Voltaire, his
private thoughts in regard to the surrounding scene of things were
extremely serious; and already it had begun to be apparent, from
those Britannic-Austrian procedures, that some new alliance with
France might well lie ahead for him. During Voltaire's visit, that
extraordinary Paper from Vienna, that the Kaiser was no Kaiser, and
that there must be "compensation" and satisfactory "assurance," had
come into full glare of first-reading; and the DICTATUR-SACHE, and
denunciation of an evidently partial Kur-Mainz, was awakening
everywhere. Voltaire had not gone, when,--through Podewils Junior
(probably with help of the improper Dutch female of rank),--
Friedrich got to wit of another thing, not less momentous to him;
and throwing fearful light on that of "compensation" and
"assurance." This was the Treaty of Worms,--done by Carteret and
George, September 13th, during those languid Rhine operations;
Treaty itself not languid, but a very lively thing, to Friedrich
and to all the world! Concerning which a few words now.

We have said, according to promise, and will say, next to nothing
of Maria Theresa's Italian War; but hope always the reader keeps it
in mind. Big war-clouds waltzing hither and thither, occasionally
clashing into bloody conflict; Sardinian Majesty and Infant Philip
both personally in the field, fierce men both: Traun, Browne,
Lobkowitz, Lichtenstein, Austrians of mark, successively
distinguishing themselves; Spain, too, and France very diligent;--
Conti off thither, then in their turns Maillebois, Noailles:--high
military figures, but remote; shadowy, thundering INaudibly on this
side and that; whom we must not mention farther.

"The notable figure to us," says one of my Notes, "is Charles
Emanuel, second King of Sardinia; who is at the old trade of his
Family, and shifts from side to side, making the war-balance
vibrate at a great rate, now this scale now that kicking the beam.
For he holds the door of the Alps, Bully Bourbon on one side of it,
Bully Hapsburg on the other; and inquires sharply, "You, what will
you give me? And you?" To Maria Theresa's affairs he has been
superlatively useful, for these Two Years past; and truly she is
not too punctual in the returns covenanted for. It appears to
Charles Emanuel that the Queen of Hungary, elated in her high
thought, under-rates his services, of late; that she practically
means to give him very little of those promised slices from the
Lombard parts; and that, in the mean while, much too big a share
of the War has fallen upon his poor hands, who should be
doorholder only.

"Accordingly he grumbles, threatens: he has been listening to
France, 'Bourbon, how much will you give me, then?' and the answer
is such that he informs the Queen of Hungary and the Britannic
Majesty, of his intention to close with Bourbon, since they on
their side will do nothing considerable. George and his Carteret,
not to mention the Hungarian Majesty at all, are thunder-struck at
such a prospect; bend all their energies towards this essential
point of retaining Charles Emanuel, which is more urgent even than
getting Elsass. 'Madam,' they say to her Majesty, (we cannot save
Italy for you on other terms: Vigevanesco, Finale [which is
Genoa's], part of Piacenza [when once got]: there must be some
slice of the Lombard parts to this Charles Emanuel justly angry!'
Whereat the high Queen storms, and in her high manner scolds little
George, as if he were the blamable party,--pretending friendship,
and yet abetting mere highway robbery or little better. And his
cash paid Madam, and his Dettingen mouse-trap fought? 'Well, he has
plenty of cash:--is it my Cause, then, or his Majesty's and
Liberty's?' Posterity, in modern England, vainly endeavors to
conceive this phenomenon; yet sees it to be undeniable.

"And so there is a Treaty of Worms got concocted, after infinite
effort on the part of Carteret, Robinson too laboring and steaming
in Vienna with boilers like to burst; and George gets it signed
13th September [already signed while Friedrich was looking into
Seckendorf and Wembdingen, if Friedrich had known it]: to this
effect, That Charles Emanuel should have annually, down on the
nail, a handsome increase of Subsidy (200,000 pounds instead of
150,000 pounds) from England, and ultimately beyond doubt some
thinnish specified slices from the Lombard parts; and shall proceed
fighting for, not against; English Fleet co-operating, English
Purse ditto, regardless of expense; with other fit particulars, as
formerly. [Scholl, ii. 330-335; Adelung, iii. B, 222-226; Coxe,
iii. 296.] Maria Theresa, very angry, looks upon herself as a
martyr, nobly complying to suffer for the whim of England;
and Robinson has had such labors and endurances, a steam-engine on
the point of bursting is but an emblem of him. It was a necessary
Treaty for the Cause of Liberty, as George and Carteret, and all
English Ministries and Ministers (Diana of Newcastle very
specially, in spite of Pitt and a junior Opposition Party) viewed
Liberty. It was Love's last shift,--Diana having intervened upon
those magnificent 'Conferences of Hanau' lately! Nevertheless
Carteret was thrown out, next year, on account of it. And Posterity
is unable to conceive it; and asks always of little George, What,
in the name of wonder, had he to do there, fighting for or against,
and hiring everybody he met to fight against everybody? A King with
eyes somewhat A FLEUR-DE-TETE: yes; and let us say, his Nation,
too,--which has sat down quietly, for almost a century back, under
mountains of nonsense, inwardly nothing but dim Scepticism [except
in the stomachic regions], and outwardly such a Trinacria of
Hypocrisy [unconscious, for most part] as never lay on an honest
giant Nation before, was itself grown much of a fool, and could
expect no other kind of Kings.

"But the point intensely interesting to Friedrich in this Treaty of
Worms was, That, in enumerating punctually the other Treaties, old
and recent, which it is to guarantee, and stand upon the basis of,
there is nowhere the least mention of Friedrich's
BRESLAU-AND-BERLIN TREATY; thrice-important Treaty with her
Hungarian Majesty on the Silesian matter! In settling all manner of
adjoining and preceding matters, there is nothing said of Silesia
at all. Singular indeed. Treaties enough, from that of Utrecht
downward, are wearisomely mentioned here; but of the Berlin Treaty,
Breslau Treaty, or any Treaty settling Silesia,--much less, of any
Westminster Treaty, guaranteeing it to the King of Prussia,--there
is not the faintest mention! Silesia, then, is not considered
settled, by the high contracting parties? Little George himself,
who guaranteed it, in the hour of need, little more than a year
ago, considers it fallen loose again in the new whirl of
contingencies? 'Patience, Madam: what was good to give is good to
take!' On what precise day or month Friedrich got notice of this
expressive silence in the Treaty of Worms, we do not know; but from
that day--!"

Friedrich recollects another thing, one of many others: that of
those "ulterior mountains," which Austria had bargained for as
Boundary to Schlesien. Wild bare mountains; good for what? For
invading Schlesien from the Austrian side; if for nothing else
conceivable! The small riddle reads itself to him so, with a
painful flash of light. [ OEuvres de Frederic,
iii. 34.] Looking intensely into this matter, and putting things
together, Friedrich gets more and more the alarming assurance of
the fate intended him; and that he will verily have to draw sword
again, and fight for Silesia, and as if for life. From about the
end of 1743 (as I strive to compute), there was in Friedrich
himself no doubt left of it; though his Ministers, when he
consulted them a good while afterwards, were quite incredulous, and
spent all their strength in dissuading a new War; now when the only
question was, How to do said War? "How to do it, to make ready for
doing it? We must silently select the ways, the methods: silent,
wary,--then at last swift; and the more like a lion-spring, like a
bolt from the blue, it will be the better!" That is Friedrich's
fixed thought.

The Problem was complicated, almost beyond example. The Reich, with
a Kaiser reduced to such a pass, has its potentialities of help or
of hindrance,--its thousand-fold formulas, inane mostly, yet not
inane wholly, which interlace this matter everywhere, as with real
threads, and with gossamer or apparent threads,--which it is
essential to attend to. Wise head, that could discriminate the dead
Formulas of such an imbroglio, from the not-dead; and plant himself
upon the Living Facts that do lie in the centre there! "We cannot
have a Reichs Mediation-Army, then? Nor a Swabian-Franconian Army,
to defend their own frontier?" No; it is evident, none. "And there
is no Union of Princes possible; no Party, anywhere, that will rise
to support the Kaiser whom all Germany elected; whom Austria and
foreign England have insulted, ruined and officially designated as
non-extant?" Well, not quite No, none; YES perhaps, in some small
degree,--if Prussia will step out, with drawn sword, and give
signal. The Reich has its potentialities, its formulas not quite
dead; but is a sad imbroglio.

Definite facts again are mainly twofold, and of a much more central
nature. Fact FIRST: A France which sees itself lamentably trodden
into the mud by such disappointments and disgraces; which, on
proposing peace, has met insult and invasion;--France will be under
the necessity of getting to its feet, and striking for itself;
and indeed is visibly rising into something of determination to do
it:--there, if Prussia and the Kaiser are to be helped at all,
there lies the one real help. Fact SECOND: Friedrich's feelings for
the poor Kaiser and the poor insulted Reich, of which Friedrich is
a member. Feelings, these, which are not "feigned" (as the English
say), but real, and even indignant; and about these he can speak
and plead freely. For himself and his Silesia, THROUGH the Kaiser,
Friedrich's feelings are pungently real;--and they are withal
completely adjunct to the other set of feelings, and go wholly to
intensifying of them; the evident truth being, That neither he nor
his Silesia would be in danger, were the Kaiser safe.

Friedrich's abstruse diplomacies, and delicate motions and
handlings with the Reich, that is to say, with the Kaiser and the
Kaiser's few friends in the Reich, and then again with the French,
--which lasted for eight or nine months before closure (October,
1743 to June, 1744),--are considered to have been a fine piece of
steering in difficult waters; but would only weary the reader, who
is impatient for results and arrivals. Ingenious Herr Professor
Ranke,--whose HISTORY OF FRIEDRICH consists mainly of such matter
excellently done, and offers mankind a wondrously distilled "ASTRAL
SPIRIT," or ghost-like fac-simile (elegant gray ghost, with stars
dim-twinkling through), of Friedrich's and other people's
Diplomatizings in this World,--will satisfy the strongest
diplomatic appetite; and to him we refer such as are given that
way. [Ranke, Neun Bucher Preussischer Geschichte, italic> iii. 74-137.]' "France and oneself, as SUBSTANCE of help;
but, for many reasons, give it carefully a legal German FORM or
coat:" that is Friedrich's method as to finding help. And he
diligently prosecutes it;--and, what is still luckier, strives to
be himself at all points ready, and capable of doing with a mininum
of help from others.

Before the Year 1743 was out, Friedrich had got into serious
Diplomatic Colloquy with France; suggesting, urging, proposing,
hypothetically promising. "February 21st, 1744," he secretly
despatched Rothenburg to Paris; who, in a shining manner, consults
not only with the Amelots, Belleisles, but with the Chateauroux
herself (who always liked Friedrich), and with Louis XV. in person:
and triumphantly brings matters to a bearing. Ready here, on the
French side; so soon as your Reich Interests are made the most of;
so soon as your Patriotic "Union of Reich's Princes" is ready!
In March, 1744, the Reich side of the Affair was likewise getting
well forward ("we keep it mostly secret from the poor Kaiser, who
is apt to blab"):--and on May 22d, 1744, Friedrich, with the Kaiser
and Two other well-affected Parties (only two as yet, but we hope
for more, and invite all and sundry), sign solemnly their "UNION OF
FRANKFURT;" famous little Fourfold outcome of so much
diplomatizing. [Ranke, ubi supra (Treaty is in Adelung, iv.
103-105).] For the well-affected Parties, besides Friedrich, and
the Kaiser himself, were as yet Two only: Landgraf Wilhelm of
Hessen-Cassel, disgusted with the late Carteret astucities at
Hanau, he is one (and hires, by and by, his poor 6,000 Hessians to
the French and Kaiser, instead of to the English; which is all the
help HE can give); Landgraf Wilhelm, and for sole second to him the
new Kur-Pfalz, who also has men to hire. New Kur-Pfalz: our poor
OLD friend is dead; but here is a new one, Karl Philip Theodor by
name, of whom we shall hear again long afterwards; who was wedded
(in the Frankfurt-Coronation time, as readers might have noted) to
a Grand-daughter of the old, and who is, like the old, a Hereditary
Cousin of the Kaiser's, and already helps him all he can.

Only these Two as yet, though the whole Reich is invited to join;
these, along with Friedrich and the Kaiser himself, do now, in
their general Patriotic "Union," which as yet consists only of
Four, covenant, in Six Articles, To,--in brief, to support
Teutschland's oppressed Kaiser in his just rights and dignities;
and to do, with the House of Austria, "all imaginable good offices"
(not the least whisper of fighting) towards inducing said high
House to restore to the Kaiser his Reichs-Archives, his Hereditary
Countries, his necessary Imperial Furnishings, called for by every
law human and divine:--in which endeavor, or innocently otherwise,
if any of the contracting parties be attacked, the others will
guarantee him, and strenuously help. "All imaginable good offices;"
nothing about fighting anywhere,--still less is there the least
mention of France; total silence on that head, by Friedrich's
express desire. But in a Secret Article (to which France, you may
be sure, will accede), it is intimated, "That the way of good
offices having some unlikelihoods, it MAY become necessary to take
arms. In which tragic case, they will, besides Hereditary Baiern
(which is INalienable, fixed as the rocks, by Reichs-Law), endeavor
to conquer, to reconquer for the Kaiser, his Kingdom of Bohmen
withal, as a proper Outfit for Teutschland's Chief: and that, if
so, his Prussian Majesty (who will have to do said conquest) shall,
in addition to his Schlesien, have from it the Circles of
Konigsgratz, Bunzlau and Leitmeritz for his trouble." This is the
Treaty of Union, Secret-Article and all; done at Frankfurt-on-
Mayn, 22d May, 1744.

Done then and there; but no part of it made public, till August
following, ["22d August 1744, by the Kaiser" (Adelung, iv. 154.}]
(when the upshot had come); and the Secret Bohemian Article NOT
then made public, nor ever afterwards,--much the contrary;
though it was true enough, but inconvenient to confess, especially
as it came to nothing. "A hypothetical thing, that," says Friedrich
carelessly; "wages moderate enough, and proper to be settled
beforehand, though the work was never done." To reach down quite
over the Mountains, and have the Elbe for Silesian Frontier:
this, as an occasional vague thought, or day-dream in high moments,
was probably not new to Friedrich; and would have been very welcome
to him,--had it proved realizable, which it did not. That this was
"Friedrich's real end in going to War again," was at one time the
opinion loudly current in England and other uninformed quarters;
"but it is not now credible to anybody," says Herr Ranke;
nor indeed worth talking of, except as a memento of the angry
eclipses, and temporary dust-clouds, which rise between Nations, in
an irritated uninformed condition.

Rapidly progressive in the rear of all this, which was its
legalizing German COAT, the French Treaty, which was the interior
SUBSTANCE, or muscular tissue, perfected itself under Rothenburg;
and was signed June 5th, 1774 (anniversary, by accident, of that
First Treaty of all, "June 5th, 1741");--sanctioning, by France,
that Bohemian Adventure, if needful; minutely setting forth How,
and under what contingencies, what efforts made and what successes
arrived at, on the part of France, his Prussian Majesty shall take
the field; and try Austria, not "with all imaginable good offices"
longer, but with harder medicine. Of which Treaty we shall only say
farther, commiserating our poor readers, That Friedrich
considerably MORE than kept his side of it; and France very
considerably LESS than hers. So that, had not there been punctual
preparation at all points, and good self-help in Friedrich,
Friedrich had come out of this new Adventure worse than he did!

Long months ago, the French--as preliminary and rigorous SINE QUA
NON to these Friedrich Negotiations--had actually started work, by
"declaring War on Austria, and declaring War on England:"--Not yet
at War, then, after so much killing? Oh no, reader; mere "Allies"
of Belligerents, hitherto. These "Declarations" the French had
made; [War on England, 15th March, 1744; on Austria, 27th April
(Adelung, iv. 78, 90).] and the French were really pushing forward,
in an attitude of indignant energy, to execute the same. As shall
be noticed by and by. And through Rothenburg, through Schmettau, by
many channels, Friedrich is assiduously in communication with them;
encouraging, advising, urging; their affairs being in a sort his,
ever since the signing of those mutual Engagements, May 22d, June
5th. And now enough of that hypothetic Diplomatic stuff.

War lies ahead, inevitable to Friedrich. He has gradually increased
his Army by 18,000; inspection more minute and diligent than ever,
has been quietly customary of late; Walrave's fortification works,
impregnable or nearly so, the work at Neisse most of all, Friedrich
had resolved to SEE completed,--before that French Treaty were
signed. A cautious young man, though a rapid; vividly awake on all
sides. And so the French-Austrian, French-English game shall go on;
the big bowls bounding and rolling (with velocities, on courses,
partly computable to a quick eye);--and at the right instant, and
juncture of hits, not till that nor after that, a quick hand shall
bowl in; with effect, as he ventures to hope. He knows well, it is
a terrible game. But it is a necessary one, not to be despaired of;
it is to be waited for with closed lips, and played to
one's utmost!--

Chapter VIII.


Friedrich, with the Spectre of inevitable War daily advancing on
him, to him privately evident and certain if as yet to him only,
neglects in no sort the Arts and business of Peace, but is present,
always with vivid activity, in the common movement, serious or gay
and festive, as the day brings it. During these Winter months of
1743, and still more through Summer 1744, there are important War-
movements going on,--the French vehemently active again, the
Austrians nothing behindhand,--which will require some slight
notice from us soon. But in Berlin, alongside of all this, it is
mere common business, diligent as ever, alternating with Carnival
gayeties, with marryings, givings in marriage; in Berlin there goes
on, under halcyon weather, the peaceable tide of things, sometimes
in a high fashion, as if Berlin and its King had no concern with
the foreign War.

The Plauen Canal, an important navigation-work, canal of some
thirty miles, joining Havel to Elbe in a convenient manner, or even
joining Oder to Elbe, is at its busiest:--"it was begun June 1st,
1743 [all hands diligently digging there, June 27th, while some
others of us were employed at Dettingen,--think of it!], and was
finished June 5th, 1745." [Busching, Erdbeschreibung, italic> vi. 2192.] This is one of several such works now afoot.
Take another miscellaneous item or two.

January, 1744, Friedrich appoints, and briefly informs all his
People of it, That any Prussian subject who thinks himself
aggrieved, may come and tell his story to the King's own self:
["January, 1744" (Rodenbeck, i. 98).]--better have his story in
firm succinct state, I should imagine, and such that it will hold
water, in telling it to the King! But the King is ready to hear
him; heartily eager to get justice done him. A suitable boon, such
Permission, till Law-Reform take effect. And after Law-Reform had
finished, it was a thing found suitable; and continued to the end,
--curious to a British reader to consider!

Again: on Friedrich's birthday, 24th January, 1744, the new Academy
of Sciences had, in the Schloss of Berlin, its first Session.
But of this,--in the absence of Maupertuis, Flattener of the Earth,
who is still in France, since that Mollwitz adventure; by and for
behoof of whom, when he did return, and become "Perpetual First
President," many changes were made,--I will not speak at present.
Nor indeed afterwards, except on good chance rising;--the new
Academy, with its Perpetual First President, being nothing like so
sublime an object now, to readers and me, as it then was to itself
and Perpetual President and Royal Patron! Vapid Formey is Perpetual
Secretary; more power to him, as the Irish say. Poor Goldstick
Pollnitz is an Honorary Member;--absent at this time in Baireuth,
where those giggling Marwitzes of Wilhelmina's have been contriving
a marriage for the old fool. Of which another word soon: if we have
time. Time cannot be spent on those dim small objects: but there
are two Marriages of a high order, of purport somewhat Historical;
there is Barberina the Dancer, throwing a flash through the
Operatic and some other provinces: let us restrict ourselves to
these, and the like of these, and be brief upon them.


Marriage First, of an eminently Historical nature, is altogether
Russian, or German become Russian, though Friedrich is much
concerned in it. We heard of the mad Swedish-Russian War; and how
Czarina Elizabeth was kind enough to choose a Successor to the old
childless Swedish King,--Landgraf of Hessen-Cassel by nature;
who has had a sorry time in Sweden, but kept merry and did not mind
it much, poor old soul. Czarina Elizabeth's one care was, That the
Prince of Denmark should not be chosen to succeed, as there was
talk of his being: Sweden, Denmark, Norway, all grasped in one firm
hand (as in the old "Union-of-Calmar" times, only with better
management), might be dangerous to Russia. "Don't choose him of
Denmark!" said Elizabeth, the victorious Czarina; and made it a
condition of granting Peace, and mostly restoring Finland, to the
infatuated Swedes. The person they did choose,--satisfactory to the
Czarina, and who ultimately did become King of Sweden,--was one
Adolf Friedrich; a Holstein-Gottorp Prince, come of Royal kin, and
cousinry to Karl XII.: he is "Bishop of Lubeck" or of Eutin, so
styled; now in his thirty-third year; and at least drawing the
revenues of that See, though I think, not ecclesiastically given,
but living oftener in Hamburg, the then fashionable resort of those
Northern Grandees. On the whole, a likely young gentleman;
accepted by parties concerned;--and surely good enough for the
Office as it now is. Of whom, for a reason coming, let readers take
note, in this place.

Above a year before this time, Czarina Elizabeth, a provident
female, and determined not to wed, had pitched upon her own
Successor: [7th November, 1742 (Michaelis, ii. 627).] one Karl
Peter Ulrich; who was also of the same Holstein-Gottorp set, though
with Russian blood in him. His Grandfather was full cousin, and
chosen comrade, to Karl XII.; got killed in Karl's Russian Wars;
and left a poor Son dependent on Russian Peter the Great,--who gave
him one of his Daughters; whence this Karl Peter Ulrich, an orphan,
dear to his Aunt the Czarina. A Karl Peter Ulrich, who became
tragically famous as Czar Peter Federowitz, or Czar Peter III., in
the course of twenty years! His Father and Mother are both dead;
loving Aunt has snatched the poor boy out of Holstein-Gottorp,
which is a narrow sphere, into Russia, which is wide enough;
she has had him converted to the Greek Church, named him Peter
Federowitz, Heir and Successor;--and now, wishing to see him
married, has earnestly consulted Friedrich upon it.

Friedrich is decidedly interested; would grudge much to see an
Anti-Prussian Princess, for instance a Saxon Princess (one of whom
is said to Be trying), put into this important station! After a
little thought, he fixes,--does the reader know upon whom?
Readers perhaps, here and there, have some recollection of a
Prussian General, who is Titular Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst on his own
score; and is actual Commandant of Stettin in Friedrich's service,
and has done a great deal of good fortification there and other
good work. Instead of Titular, he has now lately, by decease of an
Elder Brother, become Actual or Semi-Actual (a Brother joined with
him in the poor Heirship); lives occasionally in the Schloss of
Zerbst; but is glad to retain Stettin as a solid supplement.
His Wife, let the reader note farther, is Sister to the above-
mentioned Adolf Friedrich, "Bishop of Lubeck," now Heir-Apparent to
Sweden,--in whom, as will soon appear, we are otherwise interested.
Wife seems to me an airy flighty kind of lady, high-paced, not too
sure-paced,--weak evidently in French grammar, and perhaps in human
sense withal:--but they have a Daughter, Sophie-Frederike, now near
fifteen, and very forward for her age; comely to look upon, wise to
listen to: "Is not she the suitable one?" thinks Friedrich, in
regard to this matter. "Her kindred is of the oldest, old as Albert
the Bear; she has been frugally brought up, Spartan-like, though as
a Princess by birth: let her cease skippiug ropes on the ramparts
yonder, with her young Stettin playmates; and prepare for being a
Czarina of the Russias," thinks he. And communicates his mind to
the Czarina; who answers, "Excellent! How did I never think of
that myself?"

And so, on or about New-year's day, 1744, while the Commandant of
Stettin and his airy Spouse are doing Christmas at their old
Schloss of Zerbst, there suddenly come Estafettes; Expresses from
Petersburg, heralded by Express from Friedrich:--with the
astonishing proposal, "Czarina wishing the honor of a visit from
Madam and Daughter; no doubt, with such and such intentions in the
rear." [Friedrich's Letters to Madam of Zerbst (date of the first
of them, 30th December, 1743), in OEuvres,
xxv. 579-589.] Madam, nor Daughter, is nothing loath;--the old
Commandant grumbles in his beard, not positively forbidding: and in
this manner, after a Letter or two in imperfect grammar, Madam and
Daughter appear in Carnival society at Berlin, charming objects
both; but do not stay long; in fact, stay only till their moneys
and arrangements are furnished them. Upon which, in all silence,
they make for Petersburg, for Moscow; travel rapidly, arrive
successfully, in spite of the grim season. ["At Moscow, 7th (18th)
February, 1744."] Conversion to the Greek Religion, change of name
from Sophie-Frederike to Catherine-Alexiewna ("Let it be
Catherine," said Elizabeth, "my dear mother's name!"--little brown
Czarina's, whom we have seen):--all this was completed by the 12th
of July following. And, in fine, next year (September 1st, 1745),
Peter Federowitz and this same Catherine-Alexiewna, second-cousins
by blood, were vouchsafed the Nuptial Benediction, and, with
invocation of the Russian Heaven and Russian Earth, were declared
to be one flesh, [Ranke, iii. 129; Memoires de Catherine
II. (Catherine's own very curious bit of
Autobiography;--published by Mr. Herzen, London, 1859), pp. 7-46.]
--though at last they turned out to be TWO FLESHES, as my reader
well knows! Some eighteen or nineteen years hence, we may look in
upon them again, if there be a moment to spare. This is Marriage
first; a purely Russian one; built together and launched on its
course, so to say, by Friedrich at Berlin, who had his own interest
in it.

Marriage Second, done at Berlin in the same months, was of still
more interesting sort to Friedrich and us: that of Princess Ulrique
to the above-named Adolf Friedrich, future King of Sweden.
Marriage which went on preparing itself by the side of the other;
and was of twin importance with it in regard to the Russian
Question. The Swedish Marriage was not heard of, except in
important whispers, during the Carnival time; but a Swedish
Minister had already come to Berlin on it, and was busy first in a
silent and examining, then in a speaking and proposing way.
It seems, the Czarina herself had suggested the thing, as a
counter-politeness to Friedrich; so content with him at this time.
A thing welcome to Friedrich. And, in due course ("June, 1744"),
there comes express Swedish Embassy, some Rodenskjold or Tessin,
with a very shining train of Swedes, "To demand Princess Ulrique in
marriage for our Future King."

To which there is assent, by no means denial, in the proper
quarter. Whereupon, after the wide-spread necessary fuglings and
preliminaries, there occurs (all by Procuration, Brother August
Wilhelm doing the Bridegroom's part), "July 17th, 1744," the
Marriage itself: all done, this last act, and the foregoing ones
and the following, with a grandeur and a splendor--unspeakable, we
may say, in short. [ Helden-Geschichte, ii.
1045-1051.] Fantastic Bielfeld taxes his poor rouged Muse to the
utmost, on this occasion; and becomes positively wearisome,
chanting the upholsteries of life;--foolish fellow, spoiling his
bits of facts withal, by misrecollections, and even by express
fictions thrown in as garnish. So that, beyond the general
impression, given in a high-rouged state, there is nothing to be
depended on. One Scene out of his many, which represents to us on
those terms the finale, or actual Departure of Princess Ulrique, we
shall offer,--with corrections (a few, not ALL);--having nothing
better or other on the subject:--

"But, in fine, the day of departure did arrive,"--eve of it did:
25th July, 1744; hour of starting to be 2 A.M. to-morrow. "The King
had nominated Grand-Marshal Graf van Gotter [same Gotter whom we
saw at Vienna once: King had appointed Gotter and two others;
not to say that two of the Princess's Brothers, with her Sister the
Margravine of Schwedt, were to accompany as far as Schwedt: six in
all; though one's poor memory fails one on some occasions!]--to
escort the Princess to Stralsund, where two Swedish Senators and
different high Lords and Ladies awaited her. Her Majesty the Queen-
Mother, judging by the movements of her own heart that the moment
of separation would produce a scene difficult to bear, had ordered
an Opera to divert our chagrin; and, instead of supper, a superb
collation EN AMBIGU [kind of supper-breakfast, I suppose], in the
great Hall of the Palace. Her Majesty's plan was, The Princess, on
coming from the Opera, should, almost on flight, taste a morsel;
take her travelling equipment, embrace her kinsfolk, dash into her
carriage, and go off like lightning. Herr Graf von Gotter was
charged with executing this design, and with hurrying
the departure.

"But all these precautions were vain. The incomparable Ulrique was
too dear to her Family and to her Country, to be parted with
forever, without her meed of tears from them in those cruel
instants. On entering the Opera-Hall, I noticed everywhere
prevalent an air of sorrow, of sombre melancholy. The Princess
appeared in Amazon-dress [riding-habit, say], of rose-color trimmed
with silver; the little vest, turned up with green-blue (CELADON),
and collar of the same; a little bonnet, English fashion, of black
velvet, with a white plume to it; her hair floating, and tied with
a rose-colored ribbon. She was beautiful as Love: but this dress,
so elegant, and so well setting off her charms, only the more
sensibly awakened our regrets to lose her; and announced that the
hour was come, in which all this appeared among us for the last
time. At the second act, young Prince Ferdinand [Youngest Brother,
Father of the JENA Ferdinand] entered the Royal Box; and flinging
himself on the Princess's neck with a burst of tears, said, 'Ah, my
dear Ulrique, it is over, then; and I shall never see you more!'
These words were a signal given to the grief which was shut in all
hearts, to burst forth with the greatest vehemence. The Princess
replied only with sobs; holding her Brother in her arms. The Two
Queens could not restrain their tears; the Princes and Princesses
followed the example: grief is epidemical; it gained directly all
the Boxes of the first rank, where the Court and Nobility were.
Each had his own causes of regret, and each melted into tears.
Nobody paid the least attention farther to the Opera; and for my
own share, I was glad to see it end.

"An involuntary movement took me towards the Palace. I entered the
King's Apartments, and found the Royal Family and part of the Court
assembled. Grief had reached its height; everybody had his
handkerchief out; and I witnessed emotions quite otherwise
affecting than those that Theatric Art can produce. The King had
composed an Ode on the Princess's departure; bidding her his last
adieus in the most tender and touching manner. It begins with
these words:--

'Partez, ma Soeur, partez;
La Suede vous attend, la Suede
vous desire,'
'Go, my Sister, go;
Sweden waits you, Sweden
wishes you.
[Does not now exist (see OEuvres de Frederic,
xiv. 88, and ib. PREFACE p. xv).]

His Majesty gave it her at the moment when she was about to take
leave of the Two Queens. [No, Monsieur, not then; it came to her
hand the second evening hence, at Schwedt; [Her own Letter to
Friedrich ( OEuvres de Frederic, xxvii. 372;
"Schwedt, 28th July, 1744").] most likely not yet written at the
time you fabulously give;--you foolish fantast, and "artist" of the
SHAM-kind!]--The Princess threw her eyes on it, and fell into a
faint [No, you Sham, not for IT]: the King had almost done the
like. His tears flowed abundantly. The Princes and Princesses were
overcome with sorrow. At last, Gotter judged it time to put an end
to this tragic scene. He entered the Hall, almost like Boreas in
the Ballet of THE ROSE; that is to say, with a crash. He made one
or two whirlwinds; clove the press, and snatched away the Princess
from the arms of the Queen-Mother, took her in his own, and whisked
her out of the Hall. All the world followed; the carriages were
waiting in the court; and the Princess in a moment found herself in
hers. I was in such a state, I know not how we got down stairs;
I remember only that it was in a concert of lamentable sobbings.
Madam the Margrafin von Schwedt, who had been named to attend the
Princess to Stralsund [read Schwedt] on the Swedish frontier, this
high Lady and the two Dames d'Atours who were for Sweden itself,
having sprung into the same carriage, the door of it was shut with
a slam; the postillions cracked, the carriage shot away,--and hid
the adorable Ulrique from the eyes of King and Court, who remained
motionless for some minutes, overcome by their feelings."
[Bielfeld, ii. 107-110.]

We said this Marriage was like the other, important for Public
Affairs. In fact, security on the Russian and Swedish side is
always an object with Friedrich when undertaking war. "That the
French bring about, help me to bring about, a Triple Alliance of
Prussia, Russia, Sweden:" this was a thing Friedrich had bargained
to see done, before joining in the War ahead: but by these Two
Espousals Friedrich hopes he has himself as good as done it.
Of poor Princess Ulrique and her glorious reception in Sweden
(after near miss of shipwreck, in the Swedish Frigate from
Stralsund), we shall say nothing more at present: except that her
glories, all along, were much dashed by chagrins, and dangerous
imminencies of shipwreck,--which latter did not quite overtake HER,
but did her sons and grandsons, being inevitable or nearly so, in
that element, in the course of time.

Sister Amelia, whom some thought disappointed, as perhaps, in her
foolish thought, she might a little be, was made Abbess of
Quedlinburg, which opulent benefice had fallen vacant; and, there
or at Berlin, lived a respectable Spinster-life, doubtless on
easier terms than Ulrique's. Always much loved by her Brother, and
loving him (and "taking care of his shirts," in the final times);
noted in society, for her sharp tongue and ways. Concerning whom
Thiebault and his Trenck romances are worth no notice,--if it be
not with horsewhips on opportunity. SCANDALUM MAGNATUM, where your
Magnates are NOT fallen quite counterfeit, was and is always
(though few now reflect on it) a most punishable crime.


Princess Ulrique was hardly yet home in Sweden, when her Brother
had actually gone forth upon the Wars again! So different is
outside from interior, now and then. "While the dancing and the
marriage-festivities went on at Court, we, in private, were busily
completing the preparations for a Campaign," dreamed of by no
mortal, "which was on the point of being opened." [ OEuvres
de Frederic, iii. 41.] July 2d, three weeks before
Princess Ulrique left, a certain Adventure of Prince Karl's in the
Rhine Countries had accomplished itself (of which in the following
Book); and Friedrich could discern clearly that the moment drew
rapidly nigh.

On the French side of the War, there has been visible--since those
high attempts of Britannic George and the Hungarian Majesty,
contumeliously spurning the Peace offered them, and grasping
evidently at one's Lorraines, Alsaces, and Three Bishoprics--a
marked change; comfortable to look at from Friedrich's side.
Most Christian Majesty, from the sad bent attitude of insulted
repentance, has started up into the perpendicular one of
indignation: "Come on, then!"--and really makes efforts, this Year,
quite beyond expectation. "Oriflamme enterprises, private
intentions of cutting Germany in Four; well, have not I smarted for
them; as good as owned they were rather mad? But to have my apology
spit upon; but to be myself publicly cut in pieces for them?"

March 15h, 1744, Most Christian Majesty did, as we saw, duly
declare War against England; against Austria, April 26th:
"England," he says, "broke its Convention of Neutrality (signed
27th September, 1741); broke said Convention [as was very natural,
no term being set] directly after Maillebois was gone; England, by
its Mediterranean Admirals and the like, has, to a degree beyond
enduring, insulted the French coasts, harbors and royal Navy:
We declare War on England." And then, six weeks hence, in regard to
Austria: "Austria, refusing to make Peace with a virtuous Kaiser,
whom we, for the sake of peace, had magnanimously helped, and then
magnanimously ceased to help;--Austria refuses peace with him or
us; on the contrary, Austria attempts, and has attempted, to invade
France itself: We therefore, on and from this 26th of April, 1744,
let the world note it, are at War with Austria." [In
Adelung, iv. 78, 90, the two Manifestoes given.]
Both these promises to Friedrich are punctually performed.

Nor, what is far more important, have the necessary preparations
been neglected; but are on a quite unheard-of scale. Such taxing
and financiering there has been, last Winter:--tax on your street-
lamp, on your fire-wood, increased excise on meat and eatables of
all kinds: Be patient, ye poor; consider GLOIRE, and an ORIFLAMME
so trampled on by the Austrian Heathen! Eatables, street-lamps, do
I say? There is 36,000 pounds, raised by a tax on--well, on
GARDEROBES (not translated)! A small help, but a help: NON OLET,
NON OLEAT. To what depths has Oriflamme come down!--The result is,
this Spring of 1744, indignant France does, by land, and even by
sea, make an appearance calculated to astonish Gazetteers and men.
Land-forces 160,000 actually on foot: 80,000 (grows at last into
100,000, for a little while) as "Army of the Netherlands,"--to
prick into Austria, and astonish England and the Dutch Barrier, in
that quarter. Of the rest, 20,000 under Conti are for Italy;
60,000 (by degrees 40,000) under Coigny for defence of the Rhine
Countries, should Prince Karl, as is surmisable, make new attempts
there. [Adelung, iv. 78; Espagnac, ii. 3.]

And besides all this, there are Two strong Fleets, got actually
launched, not yet into the deep sea, but ready for it: one in
Toulon Harbor, to avenge those Mediterranean insults; and burst
out, in concert with an impatient Spanish Fleet (which has lain
blockaded here for a year past), on the insolent blockading
English: which was in some sort done. ["19th February, 1744,"
French and Spanish Fleets run out; 22d Feb. are attacked by
Matthews and Lestock; are rather beaten, not beaten nearly enough
(Matthews and Lestock blaming one another, Spaniards and French
ditto, ditto: Adelung, iv. 32-35); with the endless janglings,
correspondings, court-martialings that ensue (Beatson,
Naval and Military Memoirs, i. 197 et seqq.;
Gentleman's Magazine, and Old Newspapers, for
1744; &c. &c.).] The other strong Fleet, twenty sail of the line,
under Admiral Roquefeuille, is in Brest Harbor,--intended for a
still more delicate operation; of which anon. Surely King Friedrich
ought to admit that these are fine symptoms? King Friedrich has
freely done so, all along; intending to strike in at the right
moment. Let us see, a little, how things have gone; and how the
right moment has been advancing in late months.

JANUARY 17th, 1744, There landed at Antibes on French soil a young
gentleman, by name "Conte di Spinelli," direct from Genoa, from
Rome; young gentleman seemingly of small importance, but
intrinsically of considerable; who hastened off for Paris, and
there disappeared. Disappeared into subterranean consultations with
the highest Official people; intending reappearance with emphasis
at Dunkirk, a few weeks hence, in much more emphatic posture.
And all through February there is observable a brisk diligence of
War-preparation, at Dunkirk: transport-ships in quantity, finally
four war-ships; 15,000 chosen troops, gradually marching in;
nearly all on board, with their equipments, by the end of
the month.

Clearly an Invading Army intended somewhither, England judges too
well whither. Anti-English Armament; to be led by, whom thinks the
reader? That same "Conte di Spinelli," who is Charles Edward the
Young Pretender,--Comte de Saxe commanding under him! This is no
fable; it is a fact, somewhat formidable; brought about, they say,
by one Cardinal Tencin, an Official Person of celebrity in the then
Versailles world; who owes his red hat (whatever such debt really
be) to old Jacobite influence, exerted for him at Rome; and takes
this method of paying his debt and his court at once. Gets, namely,
his proposal, of a Charles-Edward Invasion of England, to dovetail
in with the other wide artilleries now bent on little George in the
way we see. Had not little George better have stayed at home out of
these Pragmatic Wars? Fifteen thousand, aided by the native
Jacobite hosts, under command of Saxe,--a Saxe against a Wade is
fearful odds,--may make some figure in England! We hope always they
will not be able to land. Imagination may conceive the flurry, if
not of Britannic mankind, at least of Britannic Majesty and his
Official People, and what a stir and din they made:--of which this
is the compressed upshot.

"SATURDAY, 1st MARCH, 1744. For nearly a week past, there has been
seen hanging about in the Channel, and dangerously hovering to and
fro [had entered by the Land's-End, was first noticed on Sunday
last "nigh the Eddistone"] a considerable French Fleet, sixteen
great ships; with four or five more, probably belonging to it,
which now lie off Dunkirk: the intention of which is too well known
in high quarters. This is the grand Brest Fleet, Admiral
Roquefeuille's; which believes it can command the Channel, in
present circumstances, the English Channel-Fleets being in a
disjoined condition,--till Comte de Saxe, with his Charles-Edward
and 15,000, do ship themselves across! Great alarm in consequence;
our War-forces, 40,000 of them, all in Germany; not the least
preparation to receive an Invasive Armament. Comte de Saxe is
veritably at Dunkirk, since Saturday, March 1st: busy shipping his
15,000; equipments mostly shipped, and about 10,000 of the men:
all is activity there; Roquefeuille hanging about Dungeness, with
four of his twenty great ships detached for more immediate
protection of Saxe and those Dunkirk industries. To meet which, old
Admiral Norris, off and on towards the Nore and the Forelands, has
been doing his best to rally force about him; hopes he will now be
match for Roquefeuille:--but if he should not?

"THURSDAY, 6th MARCH. Afternoon of March 5th, old Admiral Norris,
hoping he was at length in something like equality, 'tided it round
the South Foreland;' saw Roquefeuille hanging, in full tale, within
few miles;--and at once plunged into him? No, reader; not at once,
nor indeed at all. A great sea-fight was expected; but our old
Norris thought it late in the day;--and, in effect, no fight proved
needful. Daylight was not yet sunk, when there rose from the north-
eastward a heavy gale; blew all night, and by six next morning was
a raging storm; had blown Roquefeuille quite away out of those
waters (fractions of him upon the rocks of Guernsey); had tumbled
Comte de Saxe's Transports bottom uppermost (so to speak), in
Dunkirk Roads;--and, in fact, had blown the Enterprise over the
horizon, and relieved the Official Britannic mind in the usual
miraculous manner.

"M. le Comte de Saxe--who had, by superhuman activity, saved nearly
all his men, in that hideous topsy-turvy of the Transports and
munitions--returned straightway, and much more M. le Comte de
Spinelli with him, to Paris. Comte de Saxe was directly thereupon
made Marechal de France; appointed to be Colleague of Noailles in
the ensuing Netherlands Campaign. 'Comte de Spinelli went to lodge
with his Uncle, the Cardinal Grand-Almoner Fitz-James' [a zealous
gentleman, of influence with the Holy Father], and there in privacy
to wait other chances that might rise. 'The 1,500 silver medals,
that had been struck for distribution in Great Britain,' fell, for
this time, into the melting-pot again. [Tindal, xxi. 22 (mostly a
puddle of inaccuracies, as usual); Espagnac, i. 213;
Gentleman's Magazine, xiv. 106, &c.; Barbier, ii. 382,
385, 388.]

"Great stir, in British Parliament and Public, there had latterly
been on this matter: Arrestment of suspected persons, banishment of
all Catholics ten miles from London; likewise registering of horses
(to gallop with cannon whither wanted); likewise improvising of
cavalry regiments by persons of condition, 'Set our plush people on
our coach-horses; there!' [Yes, THERE will be a Cavalry,--inferior
to General Ziethen's!]; and were actually drilling them in several
places, when that fortunate blast of storm (March 6th) blew
everything to quiet again. Field-marshal Earl of Stair, in regard
to the Scottish populations, had shown a noble magnanimity;
which was recognized: and a General Sir John Cope rode off, post-
haste, to take the chief command in that Country;--where, in about
eighteen months hence, he made a very shining thing of it!"--Take
this other Cutting from the Old Newspapers:--

"FRIDAY, 31st (20th) MARCH, 1744, A general press began for
recruiting his Majesty's regiments, and manning the Fleet;
when upwards of 1,000 men were secured in the jails of London and
Westminster; being allowed sixpence a head per diem, by the
Commissioners of the Land-tax, who examine them, and send those
away that are found fit for his Majesty's service. The same method
was taken in each County." Press ceases; enough being got,--press
no more till farther order: 5th (16th) June. [ Gentleman's
Magazine for 1744, pp. 226, 333.]

Britannic Majesty shaken by such omens, does not in person visit
Germany at all this Year; nor, by his Deputies, at all shine on the
fields of War as lately. He, his English and he, did indeed come
down with their cash in a prompt and manful manner, but showed
little other activity this year. Their troops were already in the
Netherlands, since Winter last; led now by a Field-marshal Wade, of
whom one has heard; to whom joined themselves certain Austrians,
under Duc d'Ahremberg, and certain Dutch, under some other man in
cocked-hat: the whole of whom, under Marshal Wade's chief guidance,
did as good as nothing whatever. "Inferior in force!" cried Marshal
Wade; an indolent incompetent old gentleman, frightful to see in
command of troops: "inferior in force!" cried he, which was not at
first quite the case. And when, by additions to himself, and
deductions (of a most unexpected nature) from his Enemy, he had
become nearly double in force, it was all the same: Marshal Wade
(against whom indeed was Marechal de Saxe, now in sole command, as
we shall see) took shelter in safe places, witnessing therefrom the
swift destruction of the Netherlands, and would attempt nothing.
Which indeed was perhaps prudent on the Marshal's part. Much money
was spent, and men enough did puddle themselves to death on the
clay roads, or bivouacking in the safe swamps; but not the least
stroke of battle was got out of them under this old Marshal.
Had perhaps "a divided command, though nominal Chief," poor old
gentleman;--yes, and a head that understood nothing of his business
withal. One of those same astonishing "Generals" of the English,
now becoming known in Natural History; the like of whom, till
within these hundred and fifty years, were not heard of among sane
Nations. Saxe VERSUS Wade is fearful odds. To judge by the way Saxe
has of handling Wade, may not we thank Heaven that it was not HERE
in England the trial came on! Lift up both your hands, and
bless--not General Wade, quite yet.

AND POLLNITZ A DITTO TESTIMONIAL (February 6th; April 1st, 1744).

February 7th, 1744, Karl Eugen, the young Duke of Wurtemberg,--
Friedrich having got, from the Kaiser, due Dispensation (VENIA
AETATIS) for the young gentleman, and had him declared Duke
Regnant, though only sixteen,--quitted Berlin with great pomp, for
his own Country, on that errand. Friedrich had hoped hereby to
settle the Wurtemberg matters on a good footing, and be sure of a
friend in Wurtemberg to the Kaiser and himself. Which hope, like
everybody's hopes about this young gentleman, was entirely
disappointed; said young gentleman having got into perverse,
haughty, sulky, ill-conditioned ways, and made a bad Life and Reign
of it,--better to lie mostly hidden from us henceforth, at least
for many years to come. The excellent Parting Letter which
Friedrich gave him got abroad into the world; was christened the
MIRROR OF PRINCES, and greatly admired by mankind. It is indeed an
almost faultless Piece of its kind; comprising, in a flowing yet
precise way, with admirable frankness, sincerity, sagacity,
succinctness, a Whole Duty of Regnant Man; [In OEuvres de
Frederic, ix. 4-7.]--but I fear it would only weary
the reader; perfect ADVICE having become so plentiful in our Epoch,
with little but "pavement" to a certain Locality the consequence!--
There is, of the same months, a TESTIMONIAL TO POLLNITZ, which also
got abroad and had its celebrity: this, as specimen of Friedrich on
the comic side, will perhaps be less afflicting; and it will rid us
of Pollnitz, poor soul, on handsome terms.

Goldstick Pollnitz is at Baireuth in these months; fallen quite
disconsolate since we last heard of him. His fine marriage went
awry,--rich lady, very wisely, drawing back;--and the foolish old
creature has decided on REchanging his religion; which he has
changed already thrice or so, in his vagabond straits; for the
purpose of "retiring to a convent" this time. Friedrich, in candid
brief manner, rough but wise, and not without some kindness for an
old dog one is used to, has answered, "Nonsense; that will never
do!" But Pollnitz persisting; formally demanding leave to demit,
and lay down the goldstick, with that view,--Friedrich does at
length send him Certificate of Leave; "which is drawn out with all
the forms, and was despatched through Eichel to the proper Board;"
but which bears date APRIL FIRST, and though officially valid, is
of quizzical nature:---perhaps already known to some readers;
having got into the Newspapers, and widely abroad, at a subsequent
time. As authentic sample of Friedrich in that kind, here it
accurately is, with only one or two slight abridgments, which
are indicated:--

"Whereas the Baron de Pollnitz, born at Berlin [at Koln, if it made
any matter], of honest parents so far as We know,--after having
served Our Grandfather as Gentleman of the Chamber, Madam d'Orleans
[wicked Regent's Mother, a famed German Lady] in the same rank, the
King of Spain in quality of Colonel, the deceased Kaiser in that of
Captain of Horse, the Pope as Chamberlain, the Duke of Brunswick as
Chamberlain, Duke of Weimar as Ensign, our Father as Chamberlain,
and, in fine, Us as Grand Master of the Ceremonies,"--has, in spite
of such accumulation of honors, become disgusted with the world;
and requests a Parting Testimony, to support his good reputation,--

"We, remembering his important services to the House, in diverting
for nine years long the late King our Father, and doing the honors
of our Court during the now Reign, cannot refuse such request;
but do hereby certify, That the said Baron has never assassinated,
robbed on the highway, poisoned, forcibly cut purses, or done other
atrocity or legal crime at our Court; but has always maintained
gentlemanly behavior, making not more than honest use of the
industry and talents he has been endowed with at birth;
imitating the object of the Drama, that is, correcting mankind by
gentle quizzing; following, in the matter of sobriety, Boerhaave's
counsels; pushing Christian charity so far as often to make the
rich understand that it is more blessed to give than to receive;--
possessing perfectly the anecdotes of our various Mansions,
especially of our worn-out Furnitures; rendering himself, by his
merits, necessary to those who know him; and, with a very bad head,
having a very good heart.

"Our anger the said Baron never kindled but once,"--in atrociously
violating the grave of an Ancestress (or Step Ancestress) of ours.
[Step-Ancestress was Dorothea, the Great Elector's second Wife;
of whom Pollnitz, in his Memoirs and Letters,
repeats the rumor that once she, perhaps, tried to poison her
Stepson Friedrich, First King. (See supra, vol. v. p. 47).] "But as
the loveliest countries have their barren spots, the beautifulest
forms their imperfections, pictures by the greatest masters their
faults, We are willing to cover with the veil of oblivion those of
the said Baron; do hereby grant him, with regret, the Congee he
requires;--and abolish his Office altogether, to blot it from men's
memory, not judging that anybody after the said Baron can be worthy
to fill it.
"Done at Potsdam, this 1st of April, 1744. FREDERIC."
[ OEuvres, xv. 193.]

The Office of Grand Master of the Ceremonies was, accordingly,
abolished altogether. But Pollnitz, left loose in this manner, did
not gallop direct, or go at all, into monkhood, as he had expected;
but, in fact, by degrees, crept home to Berlin again; took the
subaltern post of Chamberlain; and there, in the old fashion
(straitened in finance, making loans, retailing anecdotes, not
witty but the cause of wit), wore out life's gray evening;
till, about thirty years hence, he died; "died as he had lived,
swindling the very night before his decease," writes Friedrich;
[Letter to Voltaire, 13th August, 1775 ( OEuvres de
Frederic, xxiii. 344). See Preuss, v. 241
(URKUNDENBUCH), the Letters of Friedrich to Pollnitz.] who was
always rather kind to the poor old dog, though bantering him a
good deal.


Early in May, the Berlin public first saw its Barberina dance, and
wrote ecstatic Latin Epigrams about that miracle of nature and art;
[Rodenbeck, pp. 111, 190.]--miracle, alas, not entirely omissible
by us. Here is her Story, as the Books give it; slightly mythical,
I judge, in some of its non-essential parts; but good enough for
the subject:--

Barberina the Dancer had cost Friedrich some trouble; the pains he
took with her elegant pirouettings and poussettings, and the heavy
salary he gave her, are an unexpected item in his history.
He wished to favor the Arts, yes; but did he reckon Opera-dancing a
chief one among them? He had indeed built an Opera-House, and gave
free admissions, supporting the cost himself; and among his other
governings, governed the dancer and singer troops of that
establishment. Took no little trouble about his Opera:--yet perhaps
he privately knew its place, after all. "Wished to encourage
strangers of opulent condition to visit his Capital," say the
cunning ones. It may be so; and, at any rate, he probably wished to
act the King in such matters, and not grudge a little money.
He really loved music, even opera music, and knew that his people
loved it; to the rough natural man, all rhythm, even of a
Barberina's feet, may be didactic, beneficial: do not higgle, let
us do what is to be done in a liberal style. His agent at Venice--
for he has agents everywhere on the outlook for him--reports that
here is a Female Dancer of the first quality, who has shone in
London, Paris and the Capital Cities, and might answer well, but
whose terms will probably be dear. "Engage her," answers Friedrich.
And she is engaged on pretty terms; she will be free in a month or
two, and then start. [Zimmermann, Fragmente uber Friedrich
den Grossen (Leipzig, 1790), i. 88-92; Collini, ubi
infra; Denina; &c.: compare Rodenbeck, p. 191.]

Well;--but Barberina had, as is usual, subsidiary trades to her
dancing: in particular, a young English Gentleman had followed her
up and down, says Zimmermann, and was still here in Venice
passionately attached to her. Which fact, especially which young
English gentleman, should have been extremely indifferent to me,
but for a circumstance soon to be mentioned. The young English
gentleman, clear against Barberina's Prussian scheme, passionately
opposes the same, passionately renews his own offers;--induces
Barberina to inform the Prussian agent that she renounces her
engagement in that quarter. Prussian agent answers that it is not
renounceable; that he has legal writing on it, and that it must be
kept. Barberina rises into contumacy, will laugh at all writing and
compulsion. Prussian agent applies to Doge and Senate on the
subject, in his King's name; who answer politely, but do nothing:
"How happy to oblige so great a King; but--" And so it lasts for
certain months; Barberina and the young English gentleman
contumacious in Venice, and Doge and Senate merely wishing we may
get her.

Meanwhile a Venetian Ambassador happens to be passing through
Berlin, in his way to or from some Hyperborean State; arrives at
some hotel, in Berlin;--finds, on the morrow, that his luggage is
arrested by Royal Order; that he, or at least IT, cannot get
farther, neither advance nor return, till Barberina do come.
"Impossible, Signor: a bargain is a bargain; and States ought to
have law-courts that enforce contracts entered into in their
territories." The Venetian Doge and Senate do now lay hold of
Barberina; pack her into post-chaises, off towards Berlin, under
the charge of armed men, with the proper transit-papers,--as it
were under the address, "For his Majesty of Prussia, this side
uppermost,"--and thus she actually is conveyed, date or month
uncertain, by Innspruck or the Splugen, I cannot say which, over
mountain, over valley, from country to country, and from stage to
stage, till she arrives at Berlin; Ambassador with baggage having
been let go, so soon as the affair was seen to be safe.

As for the young English gentleman passionately attached, he
followed, it is understood; faithful, constant as shadow to the
sun, always a stage behind; arrived in Berlin two hours after his
Barberina, still passionately attached; and now, as the rumor goes,
was threatening even to marry her, and so save the matter.
Supremely indifferent to my readers and me. But here now is the
circumstance that makes it mentionable. The young English is
properly a young Scotch gentleman; James Mackenzie the name of
him,--a grandson of the celebrated Advocate, Sir George Mackenzie;
and younger Brother of a personage who, as Earl of Bute, became
extremely conspicuous in this Kingdom in after years. That makes it
mentionable,--if only in the shape of MYTH. For Friedrich,
according to rumor, being still like to lose his Dancer in that
manner, warned the young gentleman's friends; and had him
peremptorily summoned home, and the light fantastic toe left free
in that respect. Which procedure the indignant young gentleman
(thinks my Author) never forgave; continuing a hater of Friedrich
all his days; and instilling the same sentiment into the Earl of
Bute at a period which was very critical, as we shall see.
This is my Author's, the often fallacious though not mendacious
Dr. Zimmermann's, rather deliberate account; a man not given to
mendacity, though filled with much vague wind, which renders him
fallacious in historical points.

Readers of Walpole's George the Third know
enough of this Mackenzie, "Earl's Brother, MACKINSY," and the
sorrowful difficulties about his Scotch law-office or benefice;
in which matter "Mackinsy" behaves always in a high way, and only
the Ministerial Outs and Inns higgle pedler-like, vigilant of the
Liberties of England, as they call them. In the end, Mackinsy kept
his law-office or got it restored to him; 3,000 pounds a year
without excess of work; a man much the gentleman, according to the
rule then current: in contemplative rare moments, the man, looking
back through the dim posterns of the mind, might see afar off a
certain pirouetting Figure, once far from indifferent, and not yet
quite melted into cheerless gray smoke, as so much of the rest is--
to Mr. Mackinsy and us. I have made, in the Scotch Mackenzie
circles, what inquiry was due; find no evidence, but various
likelihoods, that this of the Barberina and him is fact, and a
piece of his biography. As to the inference deduced from it, in
regard to Friedrich and the Earl of Bute, on a critical occasion,--
that rests entirely with Zimmermann; and the candid mind inclines
to admit that, probably, it is but rumor and conjecture;
street-dust sticking to the Doctor's shoes, and demanding merely to
be well swept out again. Heigho!--

Barberina, though a dancer, did not want for more essential graces.
Very sprightly, very pretty and intelligent; not without piquancy
and pungency: the King himself has been known to take tea with her
in mixed society, though nothing more; and with passionate young
gentlemen she was very successful. Not long after her coming to
Berlin, she made conquest of Cocceji, the celebrated Chancellor's
Son; who finding no other resource, at length privately married
her. Voltaire's Collini, when he came to Berlin, in 1750,
recommended by a Signora Sister of the Barberina's, found the
Barberina and her Mother dining daily with this Cocceji as their
guest: [Collini, Mon Sejour aupres de Voltaire italic> (a Paris, 1807), pp. 13-19.] Signora Barberina privately
informed Collini how the matter was; Signorina still dancing all
the same,--though she had money in the English funds withal;
and Friedrich had been so generous as give her the fixing of her
own salary, when she came to him, this-side-uppermost, in the way
we described. She had fixed, too modestly thinks Collini, on 5,000
thalers (about 750 pounds) a year; having heart and head as well as
heels, poor little soul. Perhaps her notablest feat in History,
after all, was her leading this Collini, as she now did, into the
service of Voltaire, to be Voltaire's Secretary. As will be seen.
Whereby we have obtained a loyal little Book, more credible than
most others, about that notable man.

At a subsequent period, Barberina decided on declaring her marriage
with Cocceji; she drew her money from the English funds, purchased
a fine mansion, and went to live with the said Cocceji there,
giving up the Opera and public pirouettes. But this did not answer
either. Cocceji's Mother scorned irreconcilably the Opera alliance;
Friedrich, who did not himself like it in his Chancellor's Son,
promoted the young man to some higher post in the distant Silesian
region. But there, alas, they themselves quarrelled; divorced one
another; and rumor again was busy. "You, Cocceji yourself, are but
a schoolmaster's grandson [Barberina, one easily supposes, might
have a temper withal]; and it is I, if you will recollect, that
drew money from the English funds!" Barberina married again; and to
a nobleman of sixteen quarters this time, and with whom at least
there was no divorce. Successful with passionate gentlemen; having
money from the English funds. Her last name was Grafinn--I really
know not what. Her descendants probably still live, with sixteen
quarters, in those parts. It was thus she did her life-journey,
waltzing and walking; successfully holding her own against the
world. History declares itself ashamed of spending so many words on
such a subject. But the Dancer of Friedrich, and the authoress,
prime or proximate, of Collini's Voltaire,
claims a passing remembrance. Let us, if we can easily help it,
never speak of her more.


May 25th, 1744, just while Barberina began her pirouettings at
Berlin, poor Karl Edzard, Prince of East Friesland, long a weak
malingering creature, died, rather suddenly; childless, and the
last of his House, which had endured there about 300 years.
Our clever Wilhelmina at Baireuth, though readers have forgotten
the small circumstance, had married a superfluous Sister-in-law of
hers to this Karl Edward; and, they say, it was some fond hope of
progeny, suddenly dashed into nothingness, that finished the poor
man, that night of May 25th. In any case, his Territory falls to
Prussia, by Reich's Settlement of long standing (1683-1694);
which had been confirmed anew to the late King, Friedrich Wilhelm:
--we remember how he returned with it, honest man, from that
KLADRUP JOURNEY in 1732, and was sniffed at for bringing nothing
better. And in the interim, his royal Hanover Cousins, coveting
East Friesland, had clapt up an ERBVERBRUDERUNG with the poor
Prince there (Father, I think, of the one just dead): "A thing
ULTRA VIRES," argued Lawyers; "private, quasi-clandestine;
and posterior (in a sense) to Reich's CONCLUSUM, 1694."

On which ground, however, George II. now sued Fricdrich at Reich's
Law,--Friedrich, we need not say, having instantly taken possession
of Ost-Friesland. And there ensued arguing enough between them, for
years coming; very great expenditure of parchment, and of mutual
barking at the moon (done always by proxy, and easy to do);
which doubtless increased the mutual ill-feeling, but had no other
effect. Friedrich, who had been well awake to Ost-Friesland for
some time back, and had given his Official people (Cocceji his
Minister of Justice, Chancellor by and by, and one or two
subordinates) their precise Instructions, laid hold of it, with a
maximum of promptitude; thereby quashing a great deal of much more
dangerous litigation than Uncle George's.

"In all Germany, not excepting even Mecklenburg, there had been no
more anarchic spot than Ost-Friesland for the last sixty or seventy
years. A Country with parliamentary-life in extraordinary vivacity
(rising indeed to the suicidal or internecine pitch, in two or
three directions), and next to no regent-life at all. A Country
that had loved Freedom, not wisely but too well! Ritter Party,
Prince's Party, Towns' Party;--always two or more internecine
Parties: 'False Parliament you: traitors!' 'We? False YOU,
traitors!'--The Parish Constable, by general consent, kept walking;
but for Government there was this of the Parliamentary Eloquences
(three at once), and Freedom's battle, fancy it, bequeathed from
sire to son! 'The late Karl Edzard never once was in Embden, his
chief Town, though he lived within a dozen miles of it.'--And then,
still more questionable, all these energetic little Parties had
applied to the Neighboring Governments, and had each its small
Foreign Battalion, 'To protect US and our just franchises!'
Imperial Reich's-Safeguard Battalion, Dutch Battalion, Danish
Battalion,--Prussian, it first of all was (year 1683, Town of
Embden inviting the Great Elector), but it is not so now.
The Prussians had needed to be quietly swift, on that 25th day of
May, 1744.

"And truly they were so; Cocceji having all things ready;
leading party-men already secured to him, troops within call, and
the like. The Prussians--Embden Town-Councils inviting their
astonished Dutch Battalion not to be at home--marched quietly into
Embden 'next day,' and took possession of the guns. Marched to
Aurich (official metropolis), Danes and Imperial Safeguard saying
nothing; and, in short, within a week had, in their usual exact
fashion, got firm hold of chaotic Ost-Friesland. And proceeded to
manage it, in like sort,--with effects soon sensible, and steadily
continuing. Their Parliamentary-life Friedrich left in its full
vigor: 'Tax yourselves; what revenue you like; and see to the
outlay of it yourselves. Allow me, as LANDES-HERR, some trifle of
overplus: how much, then? Furthermore a few recruits,--or recruit-
money in lieu, if you like better!' And it was astonishing how the
Parliamentary vitality, not shortened of its least franchise, or
coerced in any particular, but merely stroked the right way of the
hair, by a gently formidable hand, with good head guiding, sank
almost straightway into dove-life, and never gave Friedrich any
trouble, whatever else it might do. The management was good;
the opportunity also was good. 'In one sitting, the Prussian Agent,
arbitrating between Embden and the Ritters, settled their
controversy, which had lasted fifty years.' The poor Country felt
grateful, which it might well do; as if for the laying of goblins,
for the ending of long-continued local typhoon! Friedrich's first
Visit, in 1751, was welcomed with universal jubilation; and poor
Ost-Friesland thanked him in still more solid ways, when occasion
rose. [Ranke, iii. 370-382.]

"It is not an important Country:--only about the size of Cheshire;
wet like it, and much inferior to it in cheese, in resources for
leather and live-stock, though it perhaps excels, again, in clover-
seeds, rape-seeds, Flanders horses, and the flax products.
The 'clear overplus' it yielded to Friedrich, as Sovereign
Administrator and Defender, was only 3,200 pounds; for recruit-
MONEY, 6,000 pounds (no recruits in CORPORE); in all, little more
than 9,000 pounds a year. But it had its uses too. Embden, bigger
than Chester, and with a better harbor, was a place of good trade;
and brought Friedrich into contact with sea-matters; in which, as
we shall find, he did make some creditable incipiencies, raising
expectations in the world; and might have carried it farther, had
not new Wars, far worse than this now at hand, interrupted him."

Friedrich was at Pyrmont, taking the waters, while this of
Friesland fell out; he had gone thither May 20th; was just arrived
there, four days before the death of Karl Edzard. [Rodenbeck,
p. 102.] His Officials, well pre-instructed, managed the Ost-
Friesland Question mainly themselves. Friedrich was taking the
waters; ostensibly nothing more. But he was withal, and still more
earnestly, consulting with a French Excellency (who also had felt a
need of the waters), about the French Campaign for this Season:
Whether Coigny was strong enough in the Middle-Rhine Countries;
how their Grand Army of the Netherlands shaped to prosper;
and other the like interesting points. [Ranke, iii. 165, 166.]
Frankfurt Union is just signed (May 22d). Most Christian Majesty is
himself under way to the Netherlands, himself going to command
there, as we shall see. "Good!" answers Friedrich: "But don't
weaken Coigny, think of Prince Karl on that side; don't detach from
Coigny, and reduce his 60,000 to 40,000!"

Plenty of mutual consulting, as they walk in the woods there.
And how profoundly obscure, to certain Official parties much
concerned, judge from the following small Document, preserved
by accident:--

LYTTELTON (our old Soissons Friend, now an Official in Prince Fred's
Household, friend of Pitt, and much else) TO HIS FATHER AT HAGLEY.

ARGYLE STREET, LONDON, "May 5th [16th], 1744.
"DEAR SIR,--Mr. West [Gilbert West, of whom there is still some
memory] comes with us to Hagley; and, if you give me leave, I will
bring our friend Thomson too"--oh Jamie Thamson, Jamie Thamson, oh!
"His SEASONS will be published in about a week's time, and a most
noble work they will be.

"I have no public news to tell you, which you have not had in the
Gazettes, except what is said in Private Letters from Germany, of
the King of Prussia's having drunk himself into direct madness, and
being confined on that account; which, if true, may have a great
effect upon the fate of Europe at this critical time." Yes indeed,
if true. "Those Letters say, that, at a review, he caused two men
to be taken out of the line, and shot, without any cause assigned
for it, and ordered a third to be murdered in the same manner;
but the Major of the regiment venturing to intercede for him, his
Majesty drew his sword, and would have killed the Officer too, if
he, perceiving his madness, had not taken the liberty to save
himself, by disarming the King; who was immediately shut up;
and the Queen, his Mother, has taken the Regency upon herself till
his recovery." PAPAE! "I do not give you this news for certain; but
it is generally believed in town. Lord Chesterfield says, 'He is
only thought to be MAD in Germany, because he has MORE WIT than
other Germans.'

"The King of Sardinia's Retreat from his lines at Villa Franca, and
the loss of that Town [20th April, one of those furious tussles,
French and Spaniard VERSUS Sardinian Majesty, in the COULISSES or
side-scenes of the Italian War-Theatre, neither stage nor side-
scenes of which shall concern us in this place], certainly bear a
very ill aspect; but it is not considered as"--anything to speak
of; nor was it. "We expect with impatience to know what will be the
effect of the Dutch Ambassador to Paris,--[to Valenciennes, as it
turns out, King Louis, on his high errand to the Netherlands, being
got so far; and the "effect" was no effect at all, except good
words on his part, and persistence in the battering down of Menin
and the Dutch Barrier, of which we shall hear ere long].

"I pray God the Summer may be happy to us, by being more easy than
usual to you,"--dear Father, much suffering by incurable ailments.
"It is the only thing wanting to make Hagley Park a Paradise.

"Poor Pope is, I am afraid, going to resign all that can die of him
to death;"--did actually die, 30th May (10th June): a world-tragedy
that too, though in small compass, and acting itself next door, at
Twickenham, without noise; a star of the firmament going out;--
twin-star, Swift (Carteret's old friend), likewise going out, sunk
in the socket, "a driveller and a show." ... "I am, with the truest
respect and affection, dear Sir, your most dutiful Son,--

[Ayscough, Lord Lyttelton's Miscellaneous Works, italic> (Lond., 1776), iii. 318.]

Friedrich returned from Pyrmont, 11th June; saw, with a grief of
his own, with many thoughts well hidden, his Sister Ulrique whirled
away from him, 26th July, in the gray of the summer dawn.
In Berlin, in Prussia, nobody but one is aware of worse just
coming. And now the War-drums suddenly awaken again; and poor
readers--not to speak of poor Prussia and its King!--must return to
that uncomfortable sphere, till things mend.

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