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

History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 21 by Thomas Carlyle

Part 3 out of 7

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.8 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

KING. "'Between Traun and the former there is not much difference;
but what a difference, BON DIEU, between the latter and me!'

"I named to him the Count d'Althan, who had been Adjutant-General,
and the Count de Pellegrini. He asked me twice which was which,
from the distance we were at; and said, He was so short-sighted, I
must excuse him.

EGO. "'Nevertheless, Sire, in the war your sight was good enough;
and, if I remember right, it reached very far!'

KING. "'It was not I; it was my glass.'

EGO. "'Ha, I should have liked to find that glass;--but, I fear it
would have suited my eyes as little as Scanderbeg's sword my arm.'

"I forget how the conversation changed; but I know it grew so free
that, seeing somebody coming to join in it, the King warned him to
take care; that it was n't safe to converse with a man doomed by
the theologians to Everlasting Fire. I felt as if he somewhat
overdid this of his 'being doomed,' and that he boasted too much of
it. Not to hint at the dishonesty of these free-thinking gentlemen
(MESSIEURS LES ESPRITS FORTS), who very often are thoroughly afraid
of the Devil, it is, at least, bad taste to make display of such
things: and it was with the people of bad taste whom he has had
about him, such as a Jordan, a D'Argens, Maupertuis, La Beaumelle,
La Mettrie, Abbe de Prades, and some dull sceptics of his own
Academy, that he had acquired the habit of mocking at Religion; and
of talking (DE PARLER) Dogma, Spinoism, Court of Rome and the like.
In the end, I did n't always answer when he touched upon it. I now
seized a moment's interval, while he was using his handkerchief, to
speak to him about some business, in connection with the Circle of
Westphalia, and a little COMTE IMMEDIAT [County holding direct, of
the Reich] which I have there. The King answered me: 'I, for my
part, will do anything you wish; but what thinks the other
Director, my comrade, the Elector of Cologne, about it?'

EGO. "'I was not aware, Sire, that you were an Ecclesiastical

KING. "'I am so; at least on my Protestant account.'

EGO. "'That is not to OUR account's advantage! Those good people of
mine believe your Majesty to be their protector.'

"He continued asking me the names of persons he saw. I was telling
him those of a number of young Princes who had lately entered the
Service, and some of whom gave hopes. 'That may be,' said he;
'but I think the breed of the governing races ought to be crossed.
I like the children of love: look at the Marechal de Saxe, and my
own Anhalt [severe Adjutant von Anhalt, a bastard of Prinz Gustav,
the Old Dessauer's Heir-Apparent, who begot a good many bastards,
but died before inheriting: bastards were brought up, all of them
to soldiering, by their Uncles,---this one by Uncle Moritz;
was thrown from his horse eight years HENCE, to the great joy of
many]; though I am afraid that SINCE [mark this SINCE, alas!] his
fall on his head, that latter is not so good as formerly. I should
be grieved at it, [Not for eight years yet, MON PRINCE, I am sorry
to say! Adjutant von Anhalt did, in reality, get this fall, and
damaging hurt on the head, in the "Bavarian War" (nicknamed
KARTOFFEL-KRIEG, "Potato-War"), 1778-1779. Militair-
Lexikon, i. 69: see Preuss, ii. 356, iv. 578; &c.]
both for his sake and for mine; he is a man full of talents.'

"I am glad to remember this; for I have heard it said by silly
slanderous people (SOTS DENIGRANTS), who accuse the King of Prussia
of insensibility, that he was not touched by the accident which
happened to the man he seemed to love most. Too happy if one had
only said that of him! He was supposed to be jealous of the merit
of Schwerin and of Keith, and delighted to have got them killed.
It is thus that mediocre people seek to lower great men, to
diminish the immense space that lies between themselves and such.

"Out of politeness, the King, and his Suite as well, had put on
white [Austrian] Uniforms, not to bring back on us that blue which
we had so often seen in war. He looked as though he belonged to our
Army and to the Kaiser's suite. There was, in this Visit, I
believe, on both sides, a little personality, some distrust, and
perhaps a beginning of bitterness;--as always happens, says
Philippe de Comines, when Sovereigns meet. The King took Spanish
snuff, and brushing it off with his hand from his coat as well as
he could, he said, 'I am not clean enough for you, Messieurs; I am
not worthy to wear your colors.' The air with which he said this,
made me think he would yet soil them with powder, if the
opportunity arose.

"I forgot a little Incident which gave me an opportunity of setting
off (FAIRE VALOIR) the two Monarchs to each other [Incident about
the King's high opinion of the Kaiser's drill-sergeantry in this
day's manoeuvres, and how I was the happy cause of the Kaiser's
hearing it himself: Incident omissible; as the whole Sequel is,
except a sentence or two].--

... "On this Neustadt occasion, the King was sometimes too
ceremonious; which annoyed the Kaiser. For instance,--I know not
whether meaning to show himself a disciplined Elector of the Reich,
but so it was,--whenever the Kaiser put his foot in stirrup, the
King was sure to take his Majesty's horse by the bridle, stand
respectfully waiting the Kaiser's right foot, and fit it into ITS
stirrup: and so with everything else. The Kaiser had the more
sincere appearance, in testifying his great respect; like that of a
young Prince to an aged King, and of a young Soldier to the
greatest of Captains. ...

"Sometimes there were appearances of cordiality between the two
Sovereigns. One saw that Friedrich II. loved Joseph II., but that
the preponderance of the Empire, and the contact of Bohemia and
Silesia, a good deal barred the sentiments of King and Kaiser.
You remember, Sire [Ex-Sire of Poland], their LETTERS [readers
shall see them, in 1778,--or rather REFUSE to see them!'] on the
subject of Bavaria; their compliments, the explanations they had
with regard to their intentions; all carried on with such
politeness; and that from politeness to politeness, the King ended
by invading Bohemia."

Well, here is legible record, with something really of portraiture
in it, valuable so far as it goes; record unique on this subject;--
and substantially true, though inexact enough in details.
Thus, even in regard to that of Anhalt's HEAD, which is so
impossible in this First Dialogue, Friedrich did most probably say
something of the kind, in a Second which there is, of date 1780;
of which latter De Ligne is here giving account as well,--though we
have to postpone it till its time come.

At this Neustadt Interview there did something of Political occur;
and readers ought to be shown exactly what. Kaunitz had come with
the Kaiser; and this something was intended as the real business
among the gayeties and galas at Neustadt. Poland, or its Farce-
Tragedy now playing, was not once mentioned that I hear of;
though perhaps, as FLEBILE LUDIBRIUM, it might turn up for moments
in dinner-conversation or the like: but the astonishing Russian-
Turk War, which has sprung out of Poland, and has already filled
Stamboul and its Divans and Muftis with mere horror and amazement;
and, in fact, has brought the Grand Turk to the giddy rim of the
Abyss; nothing but ruin and destruction visible to him:
this, beyond all other things whatever, is occupying these high
heads at present;--and indeed the two latest bits of Russian-Turk
news have been of such a blazing character as to occupy all the
world more or less. Readers, some glances into the Turk War, I
grieve to say, are become inevitable to us!


"OCTOBER 6th, 1768, Turks declare War; Russian Ambassador thrown
into the Seven Towers as a preliminary, where he sat till Peace
came to be needed. MARCH 23d, 1769, Display their Banner of
Mahomet, all in paroxysm of Fanaticism risen to the burning point:
'Under pain of death, No Giaour of you appear on the streets, nor
even look out, of window, this day!' Austrian Ambassador's Wife, a
beautiful gossamer creature, venturing to transgress on that point,
was torn from her carriage by the Populace, and with difficulty
saved from destruction: Brother of the Sun and Moon, apologizing
afterwards down to the very shoe-tie, is forgiven."

FIRST CAMPAIGN; 1769. "APRIL 26th-30th, Galitzin VERSUS Choczim;
can't, having no provender or powder. Falls back over Dniester
again,--overhears that extraordinary DREAM, as above recited,
betokening great rumor in Russian Society against such Purblind
Commanders-in-Chief. Purblind VERSUS Blind is fine play,
nevertheless; wait, only wait:--

"JULY 2d, Galitzin slowly gets on the advance again: 150,000 Turks,
still slower, are at last across the Donau (sharp enough French
Officers among them, agents of Choiseul; but a mass incurably
chaotic);--furiously intending towards Poland and extermination of
the Giaour. Do not reach Dniester River till September, and look
across on Poland,--for the first time, and also for the last, in
this War. SEPTEMBER 17th: Weather has been rainy; Dniester, were
Galitzin nothing, is very difficult for Turks; who try in two
places, but cannot. [Hermann, v. 611-613.] In a third place (name
not given, perhaps has no name), about 12,000 of them are across;
when Dniester, raging into flood, carries away their one Bridge,
and leaves the 12,000 isolated there. Purblind Galitzin, on express
order, does attack these 12,000 (night of September 17th-18th):--
'Hurrah' of the devouring Russians about midnight, hoarse shriek of
the doomed 12,000, wail of their brethren on the southern shore,
who cannot, help:--night of horrors 'from midnight till 2 A.M.;'
and the 12,000 massacred or captive, every man of them;
Russian loss 600 killed and wounded. Whereupon the Turk Army bursts
into unanimous insanity; and flows home in deliquium of ruin.
Choczim is got on the terms already mentioned (15 sick men and
women lying in it, and 184 bronze cannon, when we boat across);
Turk Army can by no effort be brought to halt anywhere;
flows across the Donau, disappears into Chaos:--and the whole of
Moldavia is conquered in this cheap manner. What, perhaps is still
better, Galitzin (28th September) is thrown out; Romanzow, hitherto
Commander of a second smaller Army, kind of covering wing to
Galitzin, is Chief for Second Campaign.

"In the Humber, this Winter, to the surprise of incredulous
mankind, a Russian Fleet drops anchor for a few days:
actual Russian Fleet intending for the Greek waters, for Montenegro
and intermediate errands, to conclude with 'Liberation of Greece
next Spring,'--so grandiose is this Czarina." [Hermann, v. 617.]

SECOND CAMPAIGN; 1770. "This is the flower of Anti-Turk Campaigns,
--victorious, to a blazing pitch, both by land and sea.
Romanzow, master of Moldavia, goes upon Wallachia, and the new or
rehabilitated Turk Army; and has an almost gratis bargain of both.
Romanzow has some good Officers under him ('Brigadier Stoffeln,'
much more 'General Tottlenen,' 'General Bauer,' once Colonel Bauer
of the Wesel Free-Corps,--many of the Superior Officers seem to be
German, others have Swedish or Danish names);--better Officers;
and knows better how to use them than Galitzin did. August 1st,
Romanzow has a Battle, called of Kaghul, in Pruth Country. That is
his one 'Battle' this Summer; and brings him Ismail, Akkerman, all
Wallachey, and no Turks left in those parts. But first let us
attend to sea-matters, and the Liberation of Greece, which precede
in time and importance.

"'Liberation of Greece:' an actual Fleet, steering from Cronstadt
to the Dardanelles to liberate Greece! The sound of it kindles all
the warm heads in Europe; especially Voltaire's, which, though
covered with the snow of age, is still warm internally on such
points. As to liberating Greece, Voltaire's hopes were utterly
balked; but the Fleet from Cronstadt did amazing service otherwise
in those waters. FEBRUARY 28th, 1770, first squadron of the Russian
Fleet anchors at Passawa,--not far from Calamata, in the Gulf of
Coron, on the antique Peloponnesian coast; Sparta on your right
hand, Arcadia on your left, and so many excellent Ghosts
(?#J&JL +J&) of Heroes looking on:--Russian squadron has four big
^^^^^^^^^^^^--(THIS IS GREEK TEXT) PAGE 291, BOOK XXI-------


ships, three frigates, more soon to follow: on board there are arms
and munitions of war; but unhappily only 500 soldiers. Admiral-in-
Chief (not yet come up) is Alexei Orlof, a brother of Lover
Gregory's, an extremely worthless seaman and man. Has under him
'many Danes, a good few English too,'--especially Three English
Officers, whom we shall hear of, when Alexei and they come up.
Meanwhile, on the Peloponnesian coast are modern Spartans, to the
number of 15,000, all sitting ready, expecting the Russian advent:
these rose duly; got Russian muskets, cartridges,--only two Russian
Officers:--and attacked the Turks with considerable fury or
voracity, but with no success of the least solidity. Were foiled
here, driven out there; in fine, were utterly beaten, Russians and
they: lost Tripolizza, by surprise; whereupon (April 19th) the
Russians withdrew to their Fleet; and the Affair of Greece was at
an end. [Hermann, v. 621.] It had lasted (28th February-19th April)
seven weeks and a day. The Russians retired to their Fleet, with
little loss; and rode at their ease again, in Navarino Bay. But the
15,000 modern Spartans had nothing to retire to,--these had to
retire into extinction, expulsion and the throat of Moslem
vengeance, which was frightfully bloody and inexorable on them.

"Greece having failed, the Russian Fleet, now in complete tale,
made for Turkey, for Constantinople itself. 'Into the very
Dardanelles' they say they will go; an Englishman among them--
Captain Elphinstone, a dashing seaman, if perhaps rather noisy,
whom Rulhiere is not blind to--has been heard to declare, at least
in his cups: 'Dardanelles impossible? Pshaw, I will do it, as
easily as drink this glass of wine!' Alexei Orlof is a Sham-
Admiral; but under him are real Sea-Officers, one or two.

"In the Turkish Fleet, it seems, there is an Ex-Algerine, Hassan
Bey, of some capacity in sea-matters; but he is not in chief
command, only in second; and can accomplish nothing. The Turkish
Fleet, numerous but rotten, retires daily,--through the famed
Cyclades, and Isles of Greece, Paros, Naxos, apocalyptic Patmos, on
to Scio (old Chios of the wines); and on July 5th takes refuge
behind Scio, between Scio and the Coast of Smyrna, in Tchesme Bay.
'Safe here!' thinks the chief Turk Admiral. 'Very far from safe!'
remonstrates Hassan; though to no purpose. And privately puts the
question to himself, 'Have these Giaours a real Admiral among them,
or, like us, only a sham one?'"

TCHESME BAY, 7th JULY, 1770. "Nothing can be more imaginary than
Alexei Orlof as an Admiral: but he has a Captain Elphinstone, a
Captain Gregg, a Lieutenant Dugdale; and these determine to burn
poor Hassan and his whole Fleet in Tchesme here:--and do it
totally, night of July 7th; with one single fireship; Dugdale
steering it; Gregg behind him, to support with broadsides;
Elphinstone ruling and contriving, still farther to rear;
helpless Turk Fleet able to make no debate whatever. Such a blaze
of conflagration on the helpless Turks as shone over all the world
--one of Rulhiere's finest fire-works, with little shot;--the light
of which was still dazzling mankind while the Interview at Neustadt
took place. Turk Fleet, fifteen ships, nine frigates and above
8,000 men, gone to gases and to black cinders,--Hassan hardly
escaping with I forget how many score of wounds and bruises.
[Hermann, v. 623.]

"'Now for the Dardanelles,' said Elphinstone: (bombard
Constantinople, starve it,--to death, or to what terms you will!'
'Cannot be done; too dangerous; impossible!' answered the sham
Admiral, quite in a tremor, they say;--which at length filled the
measure of Elphinstone's disgusts with such a Fleet and Admiral.
Indignant Elphinstone withdrew to his own ship, 'Adieu, Sham-
Admiral!'--sailed with his own ship, through the impossible
Dardanelles (Turk batteries firing one huge block of granite at
him, which missed; then needing about forty minutes to load again);
feat as easy to Elphinstone as this glass of wine. In sight of
Constantinople, Elphinstone, furthermore, called for his tea; took
his tea on deck, under flourishing of all his drums and all his
trumpets: tea done, sailed out again scathless; instantly threw up
his command,--and at Petersburg, soon after, in taking leave of the
Czarina, signified to her, in language perhaps too plain, or
perhaps only too painfully true, some Naval facts which were not
welcome in that high quarter." [Rulhiere, iii. 476-509.] This
remarkable Elphinstone I take to be some junior or irregular
Balmerino scion; but could never much hear of him except in
RULHIERE, where, on vague, somewhat theatrical terms, he figures
as above.

"AUGUST 1st, Romanzow has a 'Battle of Kaghul,' so they call it;
though it is a 'Slaughtery' or SCHLACHTEREI, rather than a
'Slaught' or SCHLACHT, say my German friends. Kaghul is not a
specific place, but a longish river, a branch of the Pruth;
under screen of which the Grand Turk Army, 100,000 strong, with
100,000 Tartars as second line, has finally taken position, and
fortified itself with earthworks and abundant cannon. AUGUST 1st,
1770, Romanzow, after study and advising, feels prepared for this
Grand Army and its earthworks: with a select 20,000, under select
captains, Romanzow, after nightfall, bursts in upon it,
simultaneously on three different points; and gains, gratis or
nearly so, such a victory as was never heard of before. The Turks,
on their earthworks, had 140 cannons; these the Turk gunners fired
off two times, and fled, leaving them for Romanzow's uses. The Turk
cavalry then tried if they could not make some attempt at charging;
found they could not; whirled back upon their infantry; set it also
whirling: and in a word, the whole 200,000 whirled, without blow
struck; and it was a universal panic rout, and delirious stampede
of flight, which never paused (the very garrisons emptying
themselves, and joining in it) till it got across the Donau again,
and drew breath there, not to rally or stand, but to run rather
slower. And had left Wallachia, Bessarabia, Dniester river, Donau
river, swept clear of Turks; all Romanzow's henceforth. To such
astonishment of an invincible Grand Turk, and of his Moslem
Populations, fallen on such a set of Giaours ["ALLAH KERIM, And
cannot we abolish them, then?" Not we THEM, it would appear!],--as
every reader can imagine." Which shall suffice every reader here in
regard to the Turk War, and what concern he has in the extremely
brutish phenomenon.

Tchesme fell out July 7th; Elphinstone has hardly done his tea in
the Dardanelles, when (August 1st) this of Kaghul follows:
both would be fresh news blazing in every head while the Dialogues
between Friedrich and Kaunitz were going on. For they "had many
dialogues," Friedrich says; "and one of the days" (probably
September 6th) was mainly devoted to Politics, to deep private
Colloquy with Kaunitz. Of which, and of the great things that
followed out of it, I will now give, from Friedrich's own hand, the
one entirely credible account I have anywhere met with in writing.

Friedrich's account of Kaunitz himself is altogether life-like:
a solemn, arrogant, mouthing, browbeating kind of man,--embarrassed
at present by the necessity not to browbeat, and by the
consciousness that "King Friedrich is the only man who refuses to
acknowledge my claims to distinction:" [Rulhiere (somewhere) has
heard this, as an utterance of Kaunitz's in some plaintive moment.]
--a Kaunitz whose arrogances, qualities and claims this King is not
here to notice, except as they concern business on hand. He says,
"Kaunitz had a clear intellect, greatly twisted by perversities of
temper (UN SENS DROIT, L'ESPRIT REMPLI DE TRAVERS), especially by a
self-conceit and arrogance which were boundless. He did not talk,
but preach. At the smallest interruption, he would stop short in
indignant surprise: it has happened that, at the Council-Board in
Schonbrunn, when Imperial Majesty herself asked some explanation of
a word or thing not understood by her, Kaunitz made his bow (LUI
TIRA SA REVERENCE), and quitted the room." Good to know the nature
of the beast. Listen to him, then, on those terms, since it is
necessary. The Kaunitz Sermon was of great length, imbedded in
circumlocutions, innuendoes and diplomatic cautions; but the gist
of it we gather to have been (abridged into dialogue form)
essentially as follows:--

KAUNITZ. "Dangerous to the repose of Europe, those Russian
encroachments on the Turk. Never will Imperial Majesty consent that
Russia possess Moldavia or Wallachia; War sooner,--all things
sooner! These views of Russia are infinitely dangerous to
everybody. To your Majesty as well, if I may say so; and no remedy
conceivable against them,--to me none conceivable,--but this only,
That Prussia and Austria join frankly in protest and absolute
prohibition of them."

FRIEDRICH. "I have nothing more at heart than to stand well with
Austria; and always to be her ally, never her enemy. But your
Highness sees how I am situated: bound by express Treaty with
Czarish Majesty; must go with Russia in any War! What can I do?
I can, and will with all industry, labor to conciliate Czarish
Majesty and Imperial; to produce at Petersburg such a Peace with
the Turks as may meet the wishes of Vienna. Let us hope it can be
done. By faithful endeavoring, on my part and on yours, I persuade
myself it can. Meanwhile, steadfastly together, we two! All our
little rubs, custom-house squabbles on the Frontier, and such like,
why not settle them here, and now? [and does so with his Highness.]
That there be nothing but amity, helpfulness and mutual effort
towards an object so momentous to us both, and to all mankind!"

KAUNITZ. "Good so far. And may a not intolerable Turk-Russian Peace
prove possible, without our fighting for it! Meanwhile, Imperial
Majesty [as she has been visibly doing for some time] must continue
massing troops and requisites on the Hungarian Frontier, lest the
contrary happen!"

This was the result arrived at. Of which Friedrich "judged it but
polite to inform the young Kaiser; who appeared to be grateful for
this mark of attention, being much held down by Kaunitz in his
present state of tutelage." [ OEuvres de Frederic, italic> xxvi. 30.]

And by a singular chance, on the very morrow there arrived from the
Divan (dated August 12th) an Express to Friedrich: "Mediate a Peace
for us with Russia; not you alone, as we have often asked, but
Austria AND you!" For the Kaghul Slaughtery has come on us;
Giaour Elphinstone has taken tea in the Dardanelles; and we know
not to what hand to turn!--"The young Kaiser did not hide his joy
at this Overture, as Kaunitz did his, which was perhaps still
greater:" the Kaiser warmly expressed his thanks to Friedrich as
the Author of it; Kaunitz, with a lofty indifference (MORGUE), and
nose in air as over a small matter, "merely signified his approval
of this step which the Turks had taken."

"Never was mediation undertaken with greater pleasure," adds the
King. And both did proceed upon it with all zeal; but only the King
as real "mediator," or MIDDLEman; Kaunitz from the first planting
himself immovably upon the Turk side of things, which is likewise
the Austrian; and playing in secret (as Friedrich probably expected
he would) the strangest tricks with his assumed function.

So that Friedrich had to take the burden of mediating altogether on
himself; and month after month, year after year, it is evident he
prosecutes the same with all the industry and faculty that are in
him,--in intense desire, and in hope often nearly desperate, to
keep his two neighbors' houses, and his own and the whole world
along with them, from taking fire. Apart from their conflicting
interests, the two Empresses have privately a rooted aversion to
one another. What with Russian exorbitancy (a Czarina naturally
uplifted with her Tchesmes and Kaghuls); what with Austrian
cupidity, pride, mulishness, and private trickery of Kaunitz;
the adroit and heartily zealous Friedrich never had such a bit of
diplomacy to do. For many months hence, in spite of his intensest
efforts and cunningest appliances, no way of egress visible:
"The imbroglio MUST catch fire!" At last a way opens, "Ha, at last
a way!"--then, for above a twelvemonth longer, such a guiding of
the purblind quadrupeds and obstinate Austrian mules into said way:
and for years more such an urging of them, in pig-driver fashion,
along the same, till Peace did come!--

And here, without knowing it, we have insensibly got to the topmost
summit of our Polish Business; one small step more, and we shall be
on the brow of the precipitous inclined-plane, down which Poland
and its business go careering thenceforth, down, down,--and will
need but few words more from us. Actual discovery of "a way out"
stands for next Section.

First, however, we will notice, as prefatory, a curious occurrence
in the Country of Zips, contiguous to the Hungarian Frontier.
Zips, a pretty enough District, of no great extent, had from time
immemorial belonged to Hungary; till, above 300 years ago, it was--
by Sigismund SUPER GRAMMATICAM, a man always in want of money (whom
we last saw, in flaming color, investing Friedrich's Ancestor with
Brandenburg instead of payment for a debt of money)--pledged to the
Crown of Poland for a round sum to help in Sigismund's pressing
occasions. Redemption by payment never followed; attempt at
redemption there had never been, by Sigismund or any of his
successors. Nay, one successor, in a Treaty still extant, [Preuss,
iv. 32 (date 1589; pawning had beep 1412).] expressly gave up the
right of redeeming: Pledge forfeited: a Zips belonging to Polish
Crown and Republic by every law.

Well; Imperial Majesty, as we have transiently seen, is assembling
troops on the Hungarian Frontier, for a special purpose.
Poor Poland is, by this time (1770), as we also saw, sunk in
Pestilence,--pigs and dogs devouring the dead bodies: not a loaf to
be had for a hundred ducats, and the rage of Pestilence itself a
mild thing to that of Hunger, not to mention other rages. So that
both Austria and Prussia, in order to keep out Pestilence at least,
if they cannot the other rages, have had to draw CORDONS, or lines
of troops along the Frontiers. "The Prussian cordon," I am
informed, "goes from Crossen, by Frankfurt northward, to the
Weichsel River and border of Warsaw Country:" and "is under the
command of General Belling," our famous Anti-Swede Hussar of former
years. The Austrian cordon looks over upon Zips and other
Starosties, on the Hungarian Border: where, independently of
Pestilence, an alarmed and indignant Empress-Queen has been and is
assembling masses of troops, with what object we know. Looking over
into Zips in these circumstances, indignant Kaunitz and Imperial
Majesty, especially HIS Imperial Majesty, a youth always passionate
for territory, say to themselves, "Zips was ours, and in a sense
is!"--and (precise date refused us, but after Neustadt, and before
Winter has quite come) push troops across into Zips Starosty:
seize the whole Thirteen Townships of Zips, and not only these, but
by degrees tract after tract of the adjacencies: "Must have a
Frontier to our mind in those parts: indefensible otherwise!"
And quietly set up boundary-pillars, with the Austrian double-eagle
stamped on them, and intimation to Zips and neighborhood, That it
is now become Austrian, and shall have no part farther in these
Polish Confederatings, Pestilences, rages of men, and pigs
devouring dead bodies, but shall live quiet under the double-eagle
as others do. Which to Zips, for the moment, might be a blessed
change, welcome or otherwise; but which awoke considerable
amazement in the outer world,--very considerable in King Stanislaus
(to whom, on applying, Kaunitz would give no explanation the least
articulate);--and awoke, in the Russian Court especially, a rather
intense surprise and provocation.

IN MASQUERADE (on or about New-year's Day, 1771);

Prince Henri, as we noticed, was not of this Second King-and-Kaiser
Interview; Henri had gone in the opposite direction,--to Sweden, on
a visit to his Sister Ulrique,--off for West and North, just in the
same days while the King was leaving Potsdam for Silesia and his
other errand in the Southeast parts. Henri got to Drottingholm, his
Sister's country Palace near Stockholm, by the "end of August;" and
was there with Queen Ulrique and Husband during these Neustadt
manoeuvres. A changed Queen Ulrique, since he last saw her
"beautiful as Love," whirling off in the dead of night for those
remote Countries and destinies. [Supra, viii. 309.] She is now
fifty, or on the edge of it, her old man sixty,--old man dies
within few months. They have had many chagrins, especially she, as
the prouder, has had, from their contumacious People,--contumacious
Senators at least (strong always both in POCKET-MONEY French or
Russian, and in tendency to insolence and folly),--who once, I
remember, demanded sight and count of the Crown-Jewels from Queen
Ulrique: "There, VOILA, there are they!" said the proud Queen;
"view them, count them,--lock them up: never more will I wear one
of them!" But she has pretty Sons grown to manhood, one pretty
Daughter, a patient good old Husband; and Time, in Sweden too,
brings its roses; and life is life, in spite of contumacious bribed
Senators and doggeries that do rather abound. Henri stayed with her
six or seven weeks; leaves Sweden, middle of October, 1770,--not by
the straight course homewards: "No, verily, and well knew why!"
shrieks the indignant Polish world on us ever since.

It is not true that Friedrich had schemed to send Henri round by
Petersburg. On the contrary, it was the Czarina, on ground of old
acquaintanceship, who invited him, and asked his Brother's leave to
do it. And if Poland got its fate from the circumstance, it was by
accident, and by the fact that Poland's fate was drop-ripe, ready
to fall by a touch.--Before going farther, here is ocular view of
the shrill-minded, serious and ingenious Henri, little conscious of
being so fateful a man:-

PRINCE HENRI IN WHITE DOMINO. "Prince Henri of Prussia," says
Richardson, the useful Eye-witness cited already, "is one of the
most celebrated Generals of the present age. So great are his
military talents, that his Brother, who is not apt to pay
compliments, says of him,--That, in commanding an army, he was
never known to commit a fault. This, however, is but a negative
kind of praise. He [the King] reserves to himself the glory of
superior genius, which, though capable of brilliant achievements,
is yet liable to unwary mistakes: and allows him no other than the
praise of correctness.

"To judge of Prince Henri by his appearance, I should form no high
estimate of his abilities. But the Scythian Ambassadors judged in
the same manner of Alexander the Great. He is under the middle
size; very thin; he walks firmly enough, or rather struts, as if he
wanted to walk firmly; and has little dignity in his air or
gesture. He is dark-complexioned; and he wears his hair, which is
remarkably thick, clubbed, and dressed with a high toupee.
His forehead is high; his eyes large and blue, with a little
squint; and when he smiles, his upper lip is drawn up a little in
the middle. His look expresses sagacity and observation, but
nothing very amiable; and his manner is grave and stiff rather than
affable. He was dressed, when I first saw him, in a light-blue
frock with silver frogs; and wore a red waistcoat and blue
breeches. He is not very popular among the Russians;
and accordingly their wits are disposed to amuse themselves with
his appearance, and particularly with his toupee. They say he
resembles Samson; that all his strength lies in his hair; and that,
conscious of this, and recollecting the fate of the son of Manoah,
he suffers not the nigh approaches of any deceitful Delilah.
They say he is like the Comet, which, about fifteen months ago,
appeared so formidable in the Russian hemisphere; and which,
exhibiting a small watery body, but a most enormous train, dismayed
the Northern and Eastern Potentates with 'fear of change.'

"I saw him a few nights ago [on or about New-year's Day, 1771;
come back to us, from his Tour to Moscow, three weeks before;
and nothing but galas ever since] at a Masquerade in the Palace,
said to be the most magnificent thing of the kind ever seen at the
Russian Court. Fourteen large rooms and galleries were opened for
the accommodation of the masks; and I was informed that there were
present several thousand people. A great part of the company wore
dominos, or capuchin dresses; though, besides these, some fanciful
appearances afforded a good deal of amusement. A very tall Cossack
appeared completely arrayed in the 'hauberk's twisted mail.' He was
indeed very grim and martial. Persons in emblematical dresses,
representing Apollo and the Seasons, addressed the Empress in
speeches suited to their characters. The Empress herself, at the
time I saw her Majesty, wore a Grecian habit; though I was
afterwards told that she varied her dress two or three times during
the masquerade. Prince Henri of Prussia wore a white domino.
Several persons appeared in the dresses of different nations,--
Chinese, Turks, Persians and Armenians. The most humorous and
fantastical figure was a Frenchman, who, with wonderful nimbleness
and dexterity, represented an overgrown but very beautiful Parrot.
He chattered with a great deal of spirit; and his shoulders,
covered with green feathers, performed admirably the part of wings.
He drew the attention of the Empress; a ring was formed; he was
quite happy; fluttered his plumage; made fine speeches in Russ,
French and tolerable English; the ladies were exceedingly diverted;
everybody laughed except Prince Henri, who stood beside the
Empress, and was so grave and so solemn, that he would have
performed his part most admirably in the shape of an owl.
The Parrot observed him; was determined to have revenge; and having
said as many good things as he could to her Majesty, he was hopping
away; but just as he was going out of the circle, seeming to
recollect himself, he stopped, looked over his shoulder at the
formal Prince, and quite in the parrot tone and French accent, he
addressed him most emphatically with 'HENRI! HENRI! HENRI!' and
then, diving into the crowd, disappeared. His Royal Highness was
disconcerted; he was forced to smile in his own defence, and the
company were not a little amused.

"At midnight, a spacious hall, of a circular form, capable of
containing a vast number of people, and illuminated in the most
magnificent manner, was suddenly opened. Twelve tables were placed
in alcoves around the sides of the room, where the Empress, Prince
Henri, and a hundred and fifty of the chief nobility and foreign
ministers sat down to supper. The rest of the company went up, by
stairs on the outside of the room, into the lofty galleries placed
all around on the inside. Such a row of masked visages, many of
them with grotesque features and bushy beards, nodding from the
side of the wall, appeared very ludicrous to those below.
The entertainment was enlivened with a concert of music: and at
different intervals persons in various habits entered the hall, and
exhibited Cossack, Chinese, Polish, Swedish and Tartar dances.
The whole was so gorgeous, and at the same time so fantastic, that
I could not help thinking myself present at some of the magnificent
festivals described in the old-fashioned romantes:--

'The marshal'd feast
Served up in hall with sewers and seneschals.'

The rest of the company, on returning to the rooms adjoining, found
prepared for them also a sumptuous banquet. The masquerade began at
6 in the evening, and continued till 5 next morning.

"Besides the masquerade, and other festivities, in honor of, and to
divert Prince Henri, we had lately a most magnificent show of fire-
works. They were exhibited in a wide apace before the Winter
Palace; and, in truth, 'beggared description.' They displayed, by a
variety of emblematical figures, the reduction of Moldavia,
Wallachia, Bessarabia, and the various conquests and victories
achieved since the commencement of the present War. The various
colors, the bright green and the snowy white, exhibited in these
fire-works, were truly astonishing. For the space of twenty
minutes, a tree, adorned with the loveliest and most verdant
foliage, seemed to be waving as with a gentle breeze. It was
entirely of fire; and during the whole of this stupendous scene, an
arch of fire, by the continued throwing of rockets and fire-balls
in one direction, formed as it were a suitable canopy.

"On this occasion a prodigious multitude of people were assembled;
and the Empress, it was surmised, seemed uneasy. She was afraid, it
was apprehended, lest any accident, like what happened at Paris at
the marriage of the Dauphin, should befall her beloved people.
I hope I have amused you; and ever am"--[W. Richardson,
Anecdotes of the Russian Empire, pp. 325-331:
"Petersburg, 4th January, 1771."]

The masquerades and galas in honor of Prince Henri, from a
grandiose Hostess, who had played with him in childhood, were many;
but it is not with these that we have to do. One day, the Czarina,
talking to him of the Austrian procedures at Zips, said with pique,
"It seems, in Poland you have only to stoop, and pick up what you
like of it. If the Court of Vienna have the notion to dismember
that Kingdom, its neighbors will have right to do as much."
[Rulhiere, iv. 210; Trois Demembremens, i.
142; above all, Henri himself, in OEuvres de Frederic,
xxvi. 345, "Petersburg, 8th January, 1771."] This is
supposed, in all Books, to be the PUNCTUM SALIENS, or first
mention, of the astonishing Partition, which was settled, agreed
upon, within about a year hence, and has made so much noise ever
since. And in effect it was so; the idea rising practically in that
high head was the real beginning. But this was not the first head
it had been in; far from that. Above a year ago, as Friedrich
himself informed us, it had been in Friedrich's own head,--though
at the time it went for absolutely nothing, nobody even bestowing a
sneer on it (as Friedrich intimates), and disappeared through the
Horn-Gate of Dreams.

Friedrich himself appears to have quite forgotten the Count-Lynar
idea; and, on Henri's report from Russia, was totally incredulous;
and even suspected that there might be trickery and danger in this
Russian proposal. Not till Henri's return (FEBRUARY 18th, 1771)
could he entirely believe that the Czarina was serious;--and then,
sure enough, he did, with his whole heart, go into it: the EUREKA
out of all these difficulties, which had so long seemed
insuperable. Prince Henri "had an Interview with the Austrian
Minister next day" (February 19th), who immediately communicated
with his Kaunitz,--and got discouraging response from Kaunitz;
discouraging, or almost negatory; which did not discourage
Friedrich. "A way out," thinks Friedrich: "the one way to save my
Prussia and the world from incalculable conflagration." And entered
on it without loss of a moment. And labored at it with such
continual industry, rapidity and faculty for guiding and pushing,
as all readers have known in him, on dangerous emergencies: at no
moment lifting his hand from it till it was complete.

His difficulties were enormous: what a team to drive; and on such a
road, untrodden before by hoof or wheel! Two Empresses that
cordially hate one another, and that disagree on this very subject.
Kaunitz and his Empress are extremely skittish in the matter, and
as if quite refuse it at first: "Zips will be better," thinks
Kaunitz to himself; "Cannot we have, all to ourselves, a beautiful
little cutting out of Poland in that part; and then perhaps, in
league with the Turk, who has money, beat the Russians home
altogether, and rule Poland in their stead, or 'share it with the
Sultan,' as Reis-Effendi suggests?" And the dismal truth is, though
it was not known for years afterward, Kaunitz does about this time,
in profoundest secret, actually make Treaty of Alliance with the
Turk ("so many million Piastres to us, ready money, year by year,
and you shall, if not by our mediating, then by our fighting, be a
contented Turk"); and all along at the different Russian-Turk
"Peace-Congresses," Kaunitz, while pretending to sit and mediate
along with Prussia, sat on that far other basis, privately
thwarting everything; and span out the Turk pacification in a
wretched manner for years coming. ["Peace of Kainardschi," not till
"21st July, 1774,"--after four or five abortive attempts, two of
them "Congresses," Kaunitz so industrious (Hermann, v. 664 et
antea).] A dangerous, hard-mouthed, high-stalking, ill-given old
coach-horse of a Kaunitz: fancy what the driving of him might be,
on a road he did not like! But he had a driver too, who, in
delicate adroitness, in patience and in sharpness of whip, was
consummate: "You shall know it is your one road, my ill-given
friend!" (I ostentatiously increase my Cavalry by 8,000; meaning,
"A new Seven-Years War, if you force me, and Russia by my side this
time!") So that Kaunitz had to quit his Turk courses (never paid
the Piastres back), and go into what really was the one way out.

But Friedrich's difficulties on this course are not the thing that
can interest readers; and all readers know his faculty for
overcoming difficulties. Readers ask rather: "And had Friedrich no
feeling about Poland itself, then, and this atrocious Partitioning
of the poor Country?" Apparently none whatever;--unless it might
be, that Deliverance from Anarchy, Pestilence, Famine, and Pigs
eating your dead bodies, would be a manifest advantage for Poland,
while it was the one way of saving Europe from War. Nobody seems
more contented in conscience, or radiant with heartfelt
satisfaction, and certainty of thanks from all wise and impartial
men, than the King of Prussia, now and afterwards, in regard to
this Polish atrocity! A psychological fact, which readers can
notice. Scrupulous regard to Polish considerations, magnanimity to
Poland, or the least respect or pity for her as a dying Anarchy,
is what nobody will claim for him; consummate talent in executing
the Partition of Poland (inevitable some day, as he may have
thought, but is nowhere at the pains to say),--great talent, great
patience too, and meritorious self-denial and endurance, in
executing that Partition, and in saving IT from catching fire
instead of being the means to quench fire, no well-informed person
will deny him. Of his difficulties in the operation (which truly
are unspeakable) I will say nothing more; readers are prepared to
believe that he, beyond others, should conquer difficulties when
the object is vital to him. I will mark only the successive dates
of his progress, and have done with this wearisome subject:--

June 14th, 1771. Within four months of the arrival of Prince Henri
and that first certainty from Russia, diligent Friedrich, upon whom
the whole burden had been laid of drawing up a Plan, and bringing
Austria to consent, is able to report to Petersburg, That Austria
has dubieties, reluctances, which it is to be foreseen she will
gradually get over; and that here meanwhile (June 14th, 1771) is my
Plan of Partition,--the simplest conceivable: "That each choose
(subject to future adjustments) what will best suit him; I, for my
own part, will say, West-Preussen;--what Province will Czarish
Majesty please to say?" Czarish Majesty, in answer, is exorbitantly
liberal to herself; claims, not a Province, but four or five;
will have Friedrich, if the Austrians attack her in consequence, to
assist by declaring War on Austria; Czarish Majesty, in the
reciprocal case, not to assist Friedrich at all, till her Turk War
is done! "Impossible," thinks Friedrich; "surprisingly so, high
Madam! But, to the delicate bridle-hand, you are a
manageable entity."

It was with Kaunitz that Friedrich's real difficulties lay.
Privately, in the course of this Summer, Kaunitz, by way of
preparation for "mediating a Turk-Russian Peace," had concluded his
"subsidy Treaty" with the Turk, ["6th July, 1771" (Preuss, iv. 31;
Hermann; &c. &c.).]--Treaty never ratified, but the Piastres duly
paid;--Treaty rendering Peace impossible, so long as Kaunitz had to
do with mediating it. And indeed Kaunitz's tricks in that function
of mediator, and also after it, were of the kind which Friedrich
has some reason to call "infamous." "Your Majesty, as co-mediator,
will join us, should the Russians make War?" said Kaunitz's
Ambassador, one day, to Friedrich. "For certain, no!" answered
Friedrich; and, on the contrary, remounted his Cavalry, to signify,
"I will fight the other way, if needed!" which did at once bring
Kaunitz to give up his mysterious Turk projects, and come into the
Polish. After which, his exorbitant greed of territory there;
his attempts to get Russia into a partitioning of Turkey as well,--
("A slice of Turkey too, your Czarish Majesty and we?" hints he
more than once),--gave Friedrich no end of trouble; and are
singular to look at by the light there now is. Not for about a
twelvemonth did Friedrich get his hard-mouthed Kaunitz brought into
step at all; and to the last, perpetual vigilance and, by whip and
bit, the adroitest charioteering was needed on him.

FEBRUARY 17th, 1772, Russia and Prussia, for their own part,--
Friedrich, in the circumstances, submitting to many things from his
Czarina,--get their particular "Convention" (Bargain in regard to
Poland) completed in all parts, "will take possession 4th June
instant:" sign said Convention (February 17th);--and invite Austria
to join, and state her claims. Which, in three weeks after, MARCH
4th, Austria does;--exorbitant abundantly; and NOT to be got very
much reduced, though we try, for a series of months.
Till at last:--

AUGUST 5th, 1772, Final Agreement between the Three Partitioning
Powers: "These are our respective shares; we take possession on the
1st OF SEPTEMBER instant:"--and actual possession for Friedrich's
share did, on the 13th of that month, ensue. A right glad
Friedrich, as everybody, friend or enemy, may imagine him! Glad to
have done with such a business,--had there been no other profit in
it; which was far from being the case. One's clear belief, on
studying these Books, is of two things: FIRST, that, as everybody
admits, Friedrich had no real hand in starting the notion of
Partitioning Poland;--but that he grasped at it with eagerness, as
the one way of saving Europe from War: SECOND, what has been much
less noticed, that, under any other hand, it would have led Europe
to War;--and that to Friedrich is due the fact, that it got
effected without such accompaniment. Friedrich's share of Territory
is counted to be in all 9,465 English square miles;
Austria's, 62,500; Russia's, 87,500, [Preuss, iv. 45.] between nine
and ten times the amount of Friedrich's,--which latter, however, as
an anciently Teutonic Country, and as filling up the always
dangerous gap between his Ost-Preussen and him, has, under Prussian
administration, proved much the most valuable of the Three;
and, next to Silesia, is Friedrich's most important acquisition.
SEPTEMBER 13th, 1772, it was at last entered upon,--through such
waste-weltering confusions, and on terms never yet unquestionable.

Consent of Polish Diet was not had for a year more; but that is
worth little record. Diet, for that object, got together 19th
APRIL, 1773; recalcitrant enough, had not Russia understood the
methods: "a common fund was raised [ON SE COTISA, says Friedrich]
for bribing;" the Three Powers had each a representative General in
Warsaw (Lentulus the Prussian personage), all three with forces to
rear: Diet came down by degrees, and, in the course of five months
(SEPTEMBER 18th, 1773), acquiesced in everything.

And so the matter is ended; and various men will long have various
opinions upon it. I add only this one small Document from Maria
Theresa's hand, which all hearts, and I suppose even Friedrich's
had he ever read it, will pronounce to be very beautiful;
homely, faithful, wholesome, well-becoming in a high and true
Sovereign Woman.

be Vienna, February, 1772).

"When all my lands were invaded, and I knew not where in the world
I should find a place to be brought to bed in, I relied on my good
right and the help of God. But in this thing, where not only public
law cries to Heaven against us, but also all natural justice and
sound reason, I must confess never in my life to have been in such
trouble, and am ashamed to show my face. Let the Prince [Kaunitz]
consider what an example we are giving to all the world, if, for a
miserable piece of Poland, or of Moldavia or Wallachia, we throw
our honor and reputation to the winds. I see well that I am alone,
and no more in vigor; therefore I must, though to my very great
sorrow, let things take their course." [ "Als alle meine
lander angefochten wurden und gar nit mehr wusste wo ruhig
niederkommen sollte, steiffete ich mich auf mein gutes Recht und
den Beystand Gottes. Aber in dieser Sach, wo nit allein das
offenbare Recht himmelschreyent wider Uns, sondern auch alle
Billigkeit und die gesunde Vernunft wider Uns ist, muess bekhennen
dass zeitlebens nit so beangstigt mich befunten und mich sehen zu
lassen schame. Bedenkh der Furst, was wir aller Welt fur ein
Exempel geben, wenn wir um ein ellendes stuk von Pohlen oder von
der Moldau und Wallachey unser ehr und REPUTATION in die schanz
schlagen. Ich merkh wohl dass ich allein bin und nit mehr EN
VIGEUR, darum lasse ich die sachen, jedoch nit ohne meinen grossten
Gram, ihren Weg gehen." (From "Hormayr,
Taschenbuch, 1831, s. 66:" cited in PREUSS, iv. 38.)]

And, some days afterwards, here is her Majesty's Official Assent:
"PLACET, since so many great and learned men will have it so:
but long after I am dead, it will be known what this violating of
all that was hitherto held sacred and just will give rise to."
[From "Zietgenossen [a Biographical
Periodical], lxxi. 29:" cited in PREUSS, iv. 39.]
(Hear her Majesty!)

Friedrich has none of these compunctious visitings; but his account
too, when he does happen to speak on the subject, is worth hearing,
and credible every word. Writing to Voltaire, a good while after
(POTSDAM, 9th OCTOBER, 1773)) this, in the swift-flowing,
miscellaneous Letter, is one passage: ... "To return to your King
of Poland. I am aware that Europe pretty generally believes the
late Partition made (QU'ON A FAIT) of Poland to be a result of the
Political trickeries (MANIGANCES) which are attributed to me;
nevertheless, nothing is more untrue. After in vain proposing
different arrangements and expedients, there was no alternative
left but either that same Partition, or else Europe kindled into a
general War. Appearances are deceitful; and the Public judges only
by these. What I tell you is as true as the Forty-seventh of
Euclid." [OEuvres de Frederic, xxiii. 257.]


Considerable obloquy still rests on Friedrich, in many liberal
circles, for the Partition of Poland. Two things, however, seem by
this time tolerably clear, though not yet known in liberal circles:
first, that the Partition of Poland was an event inevitable in
Polish History; an operation of Almighty Providence and of the
Eternal Laws of Nature, as well as of the poor earthly Sovereigns
concerned there; and secondly, that Friedrich had nothing special
to do with it, and, in the way of originating or causing it,
nothing whatever.

It is certain the demands of Eternal Justice must be fulfilled:
in earthly instruments, concerned with fulfilling them, there may
be all degrees of demerit and also of merit,--from that of a world-
ruffian Attila the Scourge of God, conscious of his own ferocities
and cupidities alone, to that of a heroic Cromwell, sacredly aware
that he is, at his soul's peril, doing God's Judgments on the
enemies of God, in Tredah and other severe scenes. If the Laws and
Judgments are verily those of God, there can be no clearer merit
than that of pushing them forward, regardless of the barkings of
Gazetteers and wayside dogs, and getting them, at the earliest term
possible, made valid among recalcitrant mortals! Friedrich, in
regard to Poland, I cannot find to have had anything considerable
either of merit or of demerit, in the moral point of view; but
simply to have accepted, and put in his pocket without criticism,
what Providence sent. He himself evidently views it in that light;
and is at no pains to conceal his great sense of the value of West-
Preussen to him. We praised his Narrative as eminently true, and
the only one completely intelligible in every point: in his Preface
to it, written some years later, he is still more candid.
Speaking there in the first person, this once and never before or
after,--he says:--

"These new pretensions [of the Czarina, to assuage the religious
putrid-fever of the Poles by word of command] raised all Poland
[into Confederation of Bar, and WAR OF THE CONFEDERATES, sung by
Friedrich]; the Grandees of the Kingdom implored the assistance of
the Turks: straightway War flamed out; in which the Russian Armies
had only to show themselves to beat the Turks in every rencounter."
His Majesty continues: "This War changed the whole Political System
of Europe [general Diplomatic Dance of Europe, suddenly brought to
a whirl by such changes of the music]; a new arena (CARRIERE) came
to open itself,--and one must have been either without address, or
else buried in stupid somnolence (ENGOURDISSEMENT), not to profit
by an opportunity so advantageous. I had read Bojardo's fine
Allegory: [Signifies only, "seize opportunity;" but here is the
passage itself:--

"Quante volte le disse: 'O bella dama,
Conosci l'ora de la tua ventura,
Dapoi che un tal Baron piu the che se t'ama,
Che non ha il Ciel piu vaga creatura.
Forse anco avrai di questo tempo brama,
Che'l felice destin sempre non dura;
Prendi diletto, mentre sei su 'l verde,
Che l'avuto piacer mai non si perde.
Questa eta giovenil, ch' e si gioiosa,
Tutta in diletto consumar si deve,
Perche quasi in un punto ci e nas cosa:
Como dissolve 'l sol la bianca neve,
Como in un giorno la vermiglia rosa
Perde il vago color in tempo breve,
Cosi fugge l' eta com' un baleno,
E non si puo tener, che non ha freno.'"
(Bojardo, Orlando Innamorato, lib. i.
cant. 2.)] I seized by the forelock this unexpected opportunity;
and, by dint of negotiating and intriguing [candid King] I
succeeded in indemnifying our Monarchy for its past losses, by
incorporating Polish Prussia with my Old Provinces."
[ OEuvres de Frederic, (Preface to MEMOIRS
DEPUIS 1763 JUSQU'A 1774), vi. 6, 7: "MEMOIRES [Chapter FIRST,
including all the Polish part] were finished in 1775; Preface is
of 1779."]

Here is a Historian King who uses no rouge-pot in his Narratives,--
whose word, which is all we shall say of it at present, you find to
be perfectly trustworthy, and a representation of the fact as it
stood before himself! What follows needs no vouching for:
"This acquisition was one of the most important we could make,
because it joined Pommern to East Prussia [ours for ages past], and
because, rendering us masters of the Weichsel River, we gained the
double advantage of being able to defend that Kingdom [Ost-
Preussen], and to draw considerable tolls from the Weichsel, as all
the trade of Poland goes by that River."

Yes truly! Our interests are very visible: and the interests and
wishes and claims of Poland,--are they nowhere worthy of one word
from you, O King? Nowhere that I have noticed: not any mention of
them, or allusion to them; though the world is still so convinced
that perhaps they were something, and not nothing! Which is very
curious. In the whole course of my reading I have met with no
Autobiographer more careless to defend himself upon points in
dispute among his Audience, and marked as criminal against him by
many of them. Shadow of Apology on such points you search for in
vain. In rapid bare summary he sets down the sequel of facts, as if
assured beforehand of your favorable judgment, or with the
profoundest indifference to how you shall judge them; drops his
actions, as an Ostrich does its young, to shift for themselves in
the wilderness, and hurries on his way. This style of his,
noticeable of old in regard to Silesia too, has considerably hurt
him with the common kind of readers; who, in their preconceived
suspicions of the man, are all the more disgusted at tracing in
him, not the least anxiety to stand well with any reader, more than
to stand ill, AS ill as any reader likes!

Third parties, it would seem, have small temptation to become his
advocates; he himself being so totally unprovided with thanks for
you! But, on another score, and for the sake of a better kind of
readers, there is one third party bound to remark: 1. That hardly
any Sovereign known to us did, in his general practice, if you will
examine it, more perfectly respect the boundaries of his neighbors;
and go on the road that was his own, anxious to tread on no man's
toes if he could avoid it: a Sovereign who, at all times, strictly
and beneficently confined himself to what belonged to his real
business and him. 2. That apparently, therefore, he must have
considered Poland to be an exceptional case, unique in his
experience: case of a moribund Anarchy, fallen down as carrion on
the common highways of the world; belonging to nobody in
particular; liable to be cut into (nay, for sanitary reasons
requiring it, if one were a Rhadamanthus Errant, which one is
not!)--liable to be cut into, on a great and critically stringent
occasion; no question to be asked of IT; your only question the
consent of by-standers, and the moderate certainty that nobody got
a glaringly disproportionate share! That must have been, on the
part of an equitable Friedrich, or even of a Friedrich accurate in
Book-keeping by Double Entry, the notion silently formed
about Poland.

Whether his notion was scientifically right, and conformable to
actual fact, is a question I have no thought of entering on;
still less, whether Friedrich was morally right, or whether there
was not a higher rectitude, granting even the fact, in putting it
in practice. These are questions on which an Editor may have his
opinion, partly complete for a long time past, partly not complete,
or, in human language, completable or pronounceable at all; and may
carefully forbear to obtrude it on his readers; and only advise
them to look with their own best eyesight, to be deaf to the
multiplex noises which are evidently blind, and to think what they
find thinkablest on such a subject. For, were it never so just,
proper and needful, this is by nature a case of LYNCH LAW;
upon which, in the way of approval or apology, no spoken word is
permissible. Lynch being so dangerous a Lawgiver, even when an
indispensable one!--

For, granting that the Nation of Poland was for centuries past an
Anarchy doomed by the Eternal Laws of Heaven to die, and then of
course to get gradually buried, or eaten by neighbors, were it only
for sanitary reasons,--it will by no means suit, to declare openly
on behalf of terrestrial neighbors who have taken up such an idea
(granting it were even a just one, and a true reading of the silent
but inexorably certain purposes of Heaven), That they, those
volunteer terrestrial neighbors, are justified in breaking in upon
the poor dying or dead carcass, and flaying and burying it, with
amicable sharing of skin and shoes! If it even were certain that
the wretched Polish Nation, for the last forty years hastening with
especial speed towards death, did in present circumstances, with
such a howling canaille of Turk Janissaries and vultures of
creation busy round it, actually require prompt surgery, in the
usual method, by neighbors,--the neighbors shall and must do that
function at their own risk. If Heaven did appoint them to it,
Heaven, for certain, will at last justify them; and in the mean
while, for a generation or two, the same Heaven (I can believe) has
appointed that Earth shall pretty unanimously condemn them.
The shrieks, the foam-lipped curses of mistaken mankind, in such
case, are mankind's one security against over-promptitude (which is
so dreadfully possible) on the part of surgical neighbors.

Alas, yes, my articulate-speaking friends; here, as so often
elsewhere, the solution of the riddle is not Logic, but Silence.
When a dark human Individual has filled the measure of his wicked
blockheadisms, sins and brutal nuisancings, there are Gibbets
provided, there are Laws provided; and you can, in an articulate
regular manner, hang him and finish him, to general satisfaction.
Nations too, you may depend on it as certain, do require the same
process, and do infallibly get it withal; Heaven's Justice, with
written Laws or without, being the most indispensable and the
inevitablest thing I know of in this Universe. No doing without it;
and it is sure to come:--and the Judges and Executioners, we
observe, are NOT, in that latter case, escorted in and out by the
Sheriffs of Counties and general ringing of bells; not so, in that
latter case, but far otherwise!--

And now, leaving that vexed question, we will throw one glance--
only one is permitted--into the far more profitable question, which
probably will one day be the sole one on this matter, What became
of poor West-Preussen under Friedrich? Had it to sit, weeping
unconsolably, or not? Herr Dr. Freytag, a man of good repute in
Literature, has, in one of his late Books of Popular History,
[G. Freytag, Neue Bilder aus dem Leben des deutschen
Volkes (Leipzig, 1862).] gone into this subject, in a
serious way, and certainly with opportunities far beyond mine for
informing himself upon it:--from him these Passages have been
excerpted, labelled and translated by a good hand:--

ACQUISITION OF POLISH PRUSSIA. "During several Centuries, the much-
divided Germans had habitually been pressed upon, and straitened
and injured, by greedy conquering neighbors; Friedrich was the
first Conqueror who once more pushed forward the German Frontier
towards the East; reminding the Germans again, that it was their
task to carry Law, Culture, Liberty and Industry into the East of
Europe. All Friedrich's Lands, with the exception only of some Old-
Saxon territory, had, by force and colonization, been painfully
gained from the Sclave. At no time since the migrations of the
Middle Ages, had this struggle for possession of the wide Plains to
the east of Oder ceased. When arms were at rest, politicians
carried on the struggle."

of Enlightenment' the persecution of the Germans became fanatical
in those Countries: one Protestant Church after the other got
confiscated; pulled down; if built of wood, set on fire: its Church
once burnt, the Village had lost the privilege of having one.
Ministers and schoolmasters were driven away, cruelly maltreated.
'VEXA LUTHERANURN, DABIT THALERUM (Wring the Lutheran, you will
find money in him),' became the current Proverb of the Poles in
regard to Germans. A Protestant Starost of Gnesen, a Herr von UNRUH
of the House of Birnbaum, one of the largest proprietors of the
country, was condemned to die, and first to have his tongue pulled
out and his hands cut off,--for the crime of having copied into his
Note-book some strong passages against the Jesuits, extracted from
German Books. Patriotic 'Confederates of Bar,' joined by all the
plunderous vagabonds around, went roaming and ravaging through the
country, falling upon small towns and German villages. The Polish
Nobleman, Roskowski [a celebrated "symbolical" Nobleman, this], put
on one red boot and one black, symbolizing FIRE and DEATH; and in
this guise rode about, murdering and burning, from places to place;
finally, at Jastrow, he cut off the hands, feet, and lastly the
head of the Protestant Pastor, Willich by name, and threw the limbs
into a swamp. This happened in 1768."

of the larger German Towns, which were secured by walls, and some
protected Districts inhabited exclusively by Germans,--as the
NIEDERUNG near Dantzig, the Villages under the mild rule of the
Cistercians of Oliva, and the opulent German towns of the Catholic
Ermeland,--were in tolerable circumstances. The other Towns lay in
ruins; so also most of the Hamlets (HOFE) of the open Country.
Bromberg, the city of German Colonists, the Prussians found in
heaps and ruins: to this hour it has not been possible to ascertain
clearly how the Town came into this condition. [ "Neue
Preussische Provinzialblotter, Year 1854, No. 4,
p. 259."] No historian, no document, tells of the destruction and
slaughter that had been going on, in the whole District of the
NETZE there, during the last ten years before the arrival of the
Prussians, The Town of Culm had preserved its strong old walls and
stately churches; but in the streets, the necks of the cellars
stood out above the rotten timber and brick heaps of the tumbled
houses: whole streets consisted merely of such cellars, in which
wretched people were still trying to live. Of the forty houses in
the large Market-place of Culm, twenty-eight had no doors, no
roofs, no windows, and no owners. Other Towns were in
similar condition,"

"The Country people hardly knew such a thing as bread; many had
never in their life tasted such a delicacy; few Villages possessed
an oven. A weaving-loom was rare, the spinning-wheel unknown.
The main article of furniture, in this bare scene of squalor, was
the Crucifix and vessel of Holy-Water under it [and "POLACK!
CATHOLIK!" if a drop of gin be added].--The Peasant-Noble
[unvoting, inferior kind] was hardly different from the common
Peasant: he himself guided his Hook Plough (HACKEN-PFLUG), and
clattered with his wooden slippers upon the plankless floor of his
hut. ... It was a desolate land, without discipline, without law,
without a master. On 9,000 English square miles lived 500,000
souls: not 55 to the square mile."

SETS TO WORK. "The very rottenness of the Country became an
attraction for Friedrich; and henceforth West-Preussen was, what
hitherto Silesia had been, his favorite child; which, with infinite
care, like that of an anxious loving mother, he washed, brushed,
new-dressed, and forced to go to school and into orderly habits,
and kept ever in his eye. The diplomatic squabbles about this
'acquisition' were still going on, when he had already sent [so
early as June 4th, 1772, and still more on September 13th of that
Year [See his new DIALOGUE with Roden, our Wesel acquaintance, who
was a principal Captain in this business (in PREUSS, iv. 57, 58:
date of the Dialogue is "11th May, 1772;"--Roden was on the ground
4th June next; but, owing to Austrian delays, did not begin till
September 13th).]] a body of his best Official People into this
waste-howling scene, to set about organizing it. The Landschaften
(COUNTIES) were divided into small Circles; in a minimum of time,
the land was valued, and an equal tax put upon it; every Circle
received its LANDRATH, Law-Court, Post-office and Sanitary Police.
New Parishes, each with its Church and Parson, were called into
existence as by miracle; a company of 187 Schoolmasters--partly
selected and trained by the excellent Semler [famous over Germany,
in Halle University and SEMINARIUM, not yet in England]-- were sent
into the Country: multitudes of German Mechanics too, from brick-
makers up to machine-builders. Everywhere there began a digging, a
hammering, a building; Cities were peopled anew; street after
street rose out of the heaps of ruins; new Villages of Colonists
were laid out, new modes of agriculture ordered. In the first Year
after taking possession, the great Canal [of Bromberg] was dug;
which, in a length of fifteen miles, connects, by the Netze River,
the Weichsel with the Oder and the Elbe: within one year after
giving the order, the King saw loaded vessels from the Oder, 120
feet in length of keel," and of forty tons burden, "enter the
Weichsel. The vast breadths of land, gained from the state of swamp
by drainage into this Canal, were immediately peopled by
German Colonists.

"As his Seven-Years Struggle of War may be called super-human, so
was there also in his present Labor of Peace something enormous;
which appeared to his contemporaries [unless my fancy mislead me]
almost preternatural, at times inhuman. It was grand, but also
terrible, that the success of the whole was to him, at all moments,
the one thing to be striven after; the comfort of the individual of
no concern at all. When, in the Marshland of the Wetze, he counted
more the strokes of the 10,000 spades, than the sufferings of the
workers, sick with the marsh-fever in the hospitals which he had
built for them; [Compare PREUSS, iv. 60-71.] when, restless, his
demands outran the quickest performance,--there united itself to
the deepest reverence and devotedness, in his People, a feeling of
awe, as for one whose limbs are not moved by earthly life
[fanciful, considerably!]. And when Goethe, himself become an old
man, finished his last Drama [Second Part of FAUST], the figure of
the old King again rose on him, and stept into his Poem; and his
Faust got transformed into an unresting, creating, pitilessly
exacting Master, forcing on his salutiferous drains and fruitful
canals through the morasses of the Weichsel." [G. Freytag,
Neue Bilder aus dem Leben des deutschen Volkes
(Leipzig, 1862), pp. 397-408.]

These statements and pencillings of Freytag, apart from here and
there a flourish of poetic sentiment, I believe my readers can
accept as essentially true, and a correct portrait of the fact.
And therewith, CON LA BOCCA DOLCE, we will rise from this Supper of
Horrors. That Friedrich fortified the Country, that he built an
impregnable Graudentz, and two other Fortresses, rendering the
Country, and himself on that Eastern side, impregnable henceforth,
all readers can believe. Friedrich has been building various
Fortresses in this interim, though we have taken no notice of them;
building and repairing many things;--trimming up his Military quite
to the old pitch, as the most particular thing of all. He has his
new Silesian Fortress of Silberberg,--big Fortress, looking into
certain dangerous Bohemian Doors (in Tobias Stusche's Country, if
readers recollect an old adventure now mythical);--his new Silesian
Silberberg, his newer Polish Graudentz, and many others, and
flatters himself he is not now pregnable on any side.

A Friedrich working, all along, in Poland especially, amid what
circumambient deluges of maledictory outcries, and mendacious
shriekeries from an ill-informed Public, is not now worth
mentioning. Mere distracted rumors of the Pamphleteer and Newspaper
kind: which, after hunting them a long time, through dense and
rare, end mostly in zero, and angry darkness of some poor human
brain,--or even testify in favor of this Head-Worker, and of the
sense he shows, especially of the patience. For example: that of
the "Polish Towns and Villages, ordered" by this Tyrant "to
deliver, each of them, so many marriageable girls; each girl to
bring with her as dowry, furnished by her parents, 1 feather-bed,
4 pillows, 1 cow, 3 swine and 3 ducats,"--in which desirable
condition this tyrannous King "sent her into the Brandenburg States
to be wedded and promote population." [Lindsey, LETTERS ON POLAND
(Letter 2d). p. 61: Peyssonnel (in some. French Book of his,
"solemnly presented to Louis XVI. and the Constituent Assembly;"
cited in PREUSS, iv. 85); &c. &c.] Feather-beds, swine and ducats
had their value in Brandenburg; but were marriageable girls such a
scarcity there? Most extraordinary new RAPE OF THE SABINES;
for which Herr Preuss can find no basis or source,--nor can I;
except in the brain of Reverend Lindsey and his loud LETTERS ON
POLAND above mentioned.

Dantzig too, and the Harbor-dues, what a case! Dantzig Harbor, that
is to say, Netze River, belongs mainly to Friedrich, Dantzig City
not,--such the Czarina's lofty whim, in the late Partition
Treatyings; not good to contradict, in the then circumstances;
still less afterwards, though it brought chicanings more than
enough. "And she was not ill-pleased to keep this thorn in the
King's foot for her own conveniences," thinks the King;
though, mainly, he perceives that it is the English acting on her
grandiose mind: English, who were apprehensive for their Baltic
trade under this new Proprietor, and who egged on an ambitious
Czarina to protect Human Liberty, and an inflated Dantzig
Burgermeister to stand up for ditto; and made a dismal shriekery in
the Newspapers, and got into dreadful ill-humor with said
Proprietor of Dantzig Harbor, and have never quite recovered from
it to this day. Lindsey's POLISH LETTERS are very loud again on
this occasion, aided by his SEVEN DIALOGUES ON POLAND; concerning
which, partly for extinct Lindsey's sake, let us cite one small
passage, and so wind up.

MARCH 2d, 1775, in answer to Voltaire, Friedrich writes: ...
"The POLISH DIALOGUES you speak of are not known to me. I think of
such Satires, with Epictetus: 'If they tell any truth of thee,
correct thyself; if they are lies, laugh at them.' I have learned,
with years, to become a steady coach-horse; I do my stage, like a
diligent roadster, and pay no heed to the little dogs that will
bark by the way." And then, three weeks after:--

"I have at length got the SEVEN DIALOGUES ON POLAND; and the whole
history of them as well. The Author is an Englishman named Lindsey,
Parson by profession, and Tutor to the young Prince Poniatowski,
the King of Poland's Nephew,"--Nephew Joseph, Andreas's Son, NOT
the undistinguished Nephew: so we will believe for poor loud
Lindsey's sake! "It was at the instigation of the Czartoryskis,
Uncles of the King, that Lindsey composed this Satire,--in English
first of all. Satire ready, they perceived that nobody in Poland
would understand it, unless it were translated into French;
which accordingly was done. But as their translator was unskilful,
they sent the DIALOGUES to a certain Gerard at Dantzig, who at that
time was French Consul there, and who is at present a Clerk in your
Foreign Office under M. de Vergennes. This Gerard, who does not
want for wit, but who does me the honor to hate me cordially,
retouched these DIALOGUES, and put them into the condition they
were published in. I have laughed a good deal at them: here and
there occur coarse things (GROSSIERETES), and platitudes of the
insipid kind: but there are traits of good pleasantry. I shall not
go fencing with goose-quills against this sycophant. As Mazarin
said, 'Let the French keep singing, provided they let us keep
doing.'" [ OEuvres de Frederic, xxiii.
319-321: "Potsdam, 2d March, 1775," and "25th March" following.
See PREUSS, iii. 275, iv. 85.]

Chapter V.


After Neustadt, Kaiser Joseph and the King had no more Interviews.
Kaunitz's procedures in the subsequent Pacification and Partition
business had completely estranged the two Sovereigns: to friendly
visiting, a very different state of mutual feeling had succeeded;
which went on, such "the immeasurable ambition" visible in some of
us, deepening and worsening itself, instead of improving or
abating. Friedrich had Joseph's Portrait hung in conspicuous
position in the rooms where he lived; somebody noticing the fact,
Friedrich answered: "Ah, yes, I am obliged to keep that young
Gentleman in my eye." And, in effect, the rest of Friedrich's
Political Activity, from this time onwards, may be defined as an
ever-vigilant defence of himself, and of the German Reich, against
Austrian Encroachment: which, to him, in the years then running,
was the grand impending peril; and which to us in the new times has
become so inexpressibly uninteresting, and will bear no narrative,
Austrian Encroachment did not prove to be the death-peril that had
overhung the world in Friedrich's last years!--

These, accordingly, are years in which the Historical interest goes
on diminishing; and only the Biographical, were anything of
Biography attainable, is left. Friedrich's industrial, economic and
other Royal activities are as beautiful as ever; but cannot to our
readers, in our limits, be described with advantage. Events of
world-interest, after the Partition of Poland, do not fall out, or
Friedrich is not concerned in them. It is a dim element;
its significance chiefly German or Prussian, not European. What of
humanly interesting is discoverable in it,--at least, while the
Austrian Grudge continues in a chronic state, and has no acute
fit,--I will here present in the shape of detached Fragments,
suitably arranged and rendered legible, in hopes these may still
have some lucency for readers, and render more conceivable the
surrounding masses that have to be left dark. Our first Piece is of
Winter, or late Autumn, 1771,--while the solution of the Polish
Business is still in its inchoative stages; perfectly complete in
the Artist's own mind; Russia too adhering; but Kaunitz so
refractory and contradictory.


Friday Evening, 25th October, 1771, is the date of Zimmermann's
walk of contemplation,--among the pale Statues and deciduous
Gardenings of Sans-Souci Cottage (better than any Rialto, at its
best),--the eternal stars coming out overhead, and the transitory
candle-light of a King Friedrich close by.

"At Sans-Souci," says he, in his famed Book, "where that old God of
War (KRIEGSGOTT) forges his thunder-bolts, and writes Works of
Intellect for Posterity; where he governs his People as the best
father would his house; where, during one half of the day, he
accepts and reads the petitions and complaints of the meanest
citizen or peasant; comes to help of his Countries on all sides
with astonishing sums of money, expecting no payment, nor seeking
anything but the Common Weal; and where, during the other half, he
is a Poet and Philosopher:--at Sans-Souci, I say, there reigns all
round a silence, in which you can hear the faintest breath of every
soft wind. I mounted this Hill for the first time in Winter [late
Autumn, 25th October, 1771, edge of Winter], in the dusk. When I
beheld the small Dwelling-House of this Convulser of the World
close by me, and was near his very chamber, I saw indeed a light
inside, but no sentry or watchman at the Hero's door; no soul to
ask me, Who I was, or What I wanted. I saw nothing; and walked
about as I pleased before this small and silent House." [Preuss, i.
387 ("from EINSAMKEIT," Zimmermann's SOLITUDE, "i. 110; Edition of
Leipzig, 1784").]

Yes, Doctor, this is your Kriegsgott; throned in a free-and-easy
fashion. In regard to that of Sentries, I believe there do come up
from Potsdam nightly a corporal and six rank-and-file; but perhaps
it is at a later hour; perhaps they sit within doors, silent, not
to make noises. Another gentleman, of sauntering nocturnal habits,
testifies to having, one night, seen the King actually asleep in
bed, the doors being left ajar. [Ib. i. 388.]--As Zimmermann had a
DIALOGUE next day with his Majesty, which we propose to give;
still more, as he made such noise in the world by other Dialogues
with Friedrich, and by a strange Book about them, which are still
ahead,--readers may desire to know a little who or what the
Zimmermann is, and be willing for a rough brief Note upon him,
which certainly is not readier than it is rough:--

Johann Georg Zimmermann: born 1728, at Brugg in the Canton of Bern,
where his Father seems to have had some little property and no
employment, "a RATHSHERR (Town-Councillor), who was much
respected." Of brothers or sisters, no mention. The Mother being
from the French part of the Canton, he learned to speak both
languages. Went to Bern for his Latin and high-schooling; then to
Gottingen, where he studied Medicine, under the once great Haller
and other now dimmed celebrities. Haller, himself from Bern, had
taken Zimmermann to board, and became much attached to him: Haller,
in 1752, came on a summer visit to native Bern: Zimmermann, who had
in the mean time been "for a few months" in France, in Italy and
England, now returned and joined him there; but the great man,
feeling very poorly and very old, decided that he would like to
stay in Bern, and not move any more;--Zimmermann, accordingly, was
sent to Gottingen to bring Mrs. Haller, with her Daughters,
bandboxes and effects, home to Bern. Which he did;--and not only
them, but a soft, ingenious, ingenuous and rather pretty young
Gottingen Lady along with them, as his own Wife withal. With her he
settled as STADTPHYSICUS (Town-Doctor) in native Brugg; where his
beloved Hallers were within reach; and practice in abundance, and
honors, all that the place yielded, were in readiness for him.

Here he continued some sixteen years; very busy, very successful in
medicine and literature; but "tormented with hypochondria;"--having
indeed an immense conceit of himself, and generally too thin a skin
for this world. Here he first wrote his Book on SOLITUDE, a Book
famed over all the world in my young days (and perhaps still
famed); he wrote it a second time, MUCH ENLARGED, about thirty
years after: [ Betrachtungen uber die Einsamkeit, von
Doctor J. G. Zimmermann, Stadtphysicus in Brugg
(Zurich, 1756),--as yet only "1 vol. 8vo, price 6d." (5 groschen);
but it grew with years; and (Leipzig, 1784) came out remodelled
into 4 vols.;--was translated into French, "with many omissions,"
by Mercier (Paris, 1790); into English from Mercier (London, 1791).
"Zurich, 1763-1764:" by and by, one "Dobson did it into English."]
I read it (in the curtailed English-Mercier form, no Scene in it
like the above), in early boyhood,--and thank it for nothing, or
nearly so. Zimmermann lived much alone, at Brugg and elsewhere;
all his days "Hypochondria" was the main company he had:--and it
was natural, but UNprofitable, that he should say, to himself and
others, the best he could for that bad arrangement: poor soul!
He wrote also on MEDICAL EXPERIENCE, a famed Book in its day;"
also on NATIONAL PRIDE; and became famed through the Universe, and
was Member of infinite Learned Societies.

All which rendered dull dead Brugg still duller and more dead;
unfit utterly for a man of such sublime accomplishments. Plenty of
Counts Stadion, Kings of Poland even, offered him engagements;
eager to possess such a man, and deliver him from dull dead Brugg;
but he had hypochondria, and always feared their deliverance might
be into something duller. At length,--in his fortieth year, 1768,
--the place of Court-Physician (HOFMEDICUS) at Hanover was offered
him by George the Third of pious memory, and this he resolved to
accept; and did lift anchor, and accept and occupy accordingly.

Alas, at the Gate of Hanover, "his carriage overset;" broke his
poor old Mother-in-law's leg (who had been rejoicing doubtless to
get home into her own Country), and was the end of her--poor old
soul;--and the beginning of misfortunes continual and too tedious
to mention. Spleen, envy, malice and calumny, from the Hanover
Medical world; treatment, "by the old buckram Hofdames who had
drunk coffee with George II.," "which was fitter for a laquais-de-
place" than for a medical gentleman of eminence: unworthy
treatment, in fact, in many or most quarters;--followed by
hypochondria, by dreadful bodily disorder (kind not given or
discoverable), "so that I suffered the pains of Hell," sat weeping,
sat gnashing my teeth, and could n't write a Note after dinner;
followed finally by the sickness, and then by the death, of my poor
Wife, "after five months of torment." Upon which, in 1771,
Zimmermann's friends--for he had many friends, being, in fact, a
person of fine graceful intellect, high proud feelings and tender
sensibilities, gone all to this sad state--rallied themselves;
set his Hanover house in order for him (governess for his children,
what not); and sent him off to Berlin, there to be dealt with by
one Meckel, an incomparable Surgeon, and be healed of his dreadful
disorder ("LEIBESSCHADE, of which the first traces had appeared in
Brugg"),--though to most people it seemed rather he would die;
"and one Medical Eminency in Hanover said to myself [Zimmermann]
one day: 'Dr. So-and-so is to have your Pension, I am told; now, by
all right, it should belong to me, don't you think so?'" What, "I"
thought of the matter, seeing the greedy gentleman thus "parting my
skin," may be conjectured!--

The famed Meckel received his famed patient with a nobleness worthy
of the heroic ages. Dodged him in his own house, in softest beds
and appliances; spoke comfort to him, hope to him,--the gallant
Meckel;--rallied, in fact, the due medical staff one morning;
came up to Zimmermann, who "stripped," with the heart of a lamb and
lion conjoined, and trusting in God, "flung himself on his bed" (on
his face, or on his back, we never know), and there, by the hands
of Meckel and staff, "received above 2,000 (TWO THOUSAND) cuts in
the space of an hour and half, without uttering one word or sound."
A frightful operation, gallantly endured, and skilfully done;
whereby the "bodily disorder" (LEIBESSCHADE), whatever it might be,
was effectually and forever sent about its business by the
noble Meckel.

Hospitalities and soft, hushed kindnesses and soothing
ministrations, by Meckel and by everybody, were now doubled and
trebled: wise kind Madam Meckel, young kind Mamsell Meckel and the
Son (who "now, in 1788, lectures in Gottingen"); not these only,
nor Schmucker Head Army-Surgeon, and the ever-memorable HERR
GENERALCHIRURGUS Madan, who had both been in the operation;
not these only, but by degrees all that was distinguished in the
Berlin world, Ramler, Busching, Sulzer, Prime Minister Herzberg,
Queen's and King's Equerries, and honorable men and women,--bore
him "on angel-wings" towards complete recovery. Talked to him, sang
and danced to him (at least, the "Muses" and the female Meckels
danced and sang), and all lapped him against eating cares, till,
after twelve weeks, he was fairly on his feet again, and able to
make jaunts in the neighborhood with his "life's savior," and enjoy
the pleasant Autumn weather to his farther profit.--All this,
though described in ridiculous superlative by Zimmermann, is really
touching, beautiful and human: perhaps never in his life was he so
happy, or a thousandth part so helped by man, as while under the
roof of this thrice-useful Meckel,--more power to Meckel!

Head Army-Surgeon Schmucker had gone through all the Seven-Years
War; Zimmermann, an ardent Hero-worshipper, was never weary
questioning him, listening to him in full career of narrative, on
this great subject,--only eight years old at that time. Among their
country drives, Meckel took him to Potsdam, twenty English miles
off; in the end of October, there to stay a night. This was the
ever-memorable Friday, when we first ascended the Hill of Sans-
Souci, and had our evening walk of contemplation:--to be followed
by a morrow which was ten times more memorable: as readers shall
now see. [Jordens, Lexikon ( Zimmermann),
v. 632-658 (exact and even eloquent account, as these of Jordens,
unexpectedly, often are); Zimmermann himself, UNTERREDUNGEN MIT
FRIEDRICH DEM GROSSEN (ubi infra); Tissot, Vie de M.
Zimmermann (Lausanne, 1797): &c. &c.]

NEXT DAY, ZIMMERMANN HAS A DIALOGUE. Schmucker had his apartments
in "LITTLE SANS-SOUCI," where the King now lived (Big Sans-Souci,
or "Sans-Souci" by itself, means in those days, not in ours at all,
"New Palace, NEUE PALAIS," now in all its splendor of fresh
finish). De Catt, Friedrich's Reader, whom we know well, was a
Genevese, and knew Zimmermann from of old. Schmucker and De Catt
were privately twitching up Friedrich's curiosity,--to whom also
Zimmermann's name, and perhaps his late surgical operation, might
be known: "Can he speak French?"--"Native to him, your Majesty."
Friedrich had some notion to see Zimmermann; and judicious De Catt,
on this fortunate Saturday, "26th October, 1771," morrow after
Zimmermann's arrival at Potsdam, "came to our inn about, 1 P.M.
[King's dinner just done]; and asked me to come and look at the
beauties of Sans-Souci [Big Sans-Souci] for a little."
Zimmermann willingly went: Catt, left him in good hands to see the
beauties; slipt off, for his own part, to "LITTLE Sans-Souci;" came
back, took Zimmermann thither; left, him with Schmucker, all
trembling, thinking perhaps the King might call him. "I trembled
sometimes, then again I felt exceeding happiness:" I was in
Schmucker's room, sitting by the fire, mostly alone for a good
while, "the room that had once been Marquis d'Argens's" (who is now
dead, and buried far away, good old soul);--when, at last, about
half-past 4, Catt came jumping in, breathless with joy; snatched me
up: "His Majesty wants to speak with you this very moment!"
Zimmermann's self shall say the rest.

"I hurried, hand-in-hand with Catt, along a row of Chambers.
'Here,' said Catt, 'we are now at the King's room!'--My heart
thumped, like to spring out of my body. Catt went in; but next
moment the door again opened, and Catt bade me enter.

"In the middle of the room stood an iron camp-bed without curtains.
There, on a worn mattress, lay King Friedrich, the terror of
Europe, without coverlet, in an old blue roquelaure. He had a big
cocked-hat, with a white feather [hat aged, worn soft as duffel,
equal to most caps; "feather" is not perpendicular, but horizontal,
round the inside of the brim], on his head.

"The King took off his hat very graciously, when I was perhaps ten
steps from him; and said in French (our whole Dialogue proceeded in
French): 'Come nearer, M. Zimmermann.'

"I advanced to within two steps of the King; he said in the mean
while to Catt: 'Call Schmucker in, too.' Herr Schmucker came;
placed himself behind the King, his back to the wall; and Catt
stood behind me. Now the Colloquy began.

KING. "'I hear you have found your health again in Berlin; I wish
you joy of that.'

EGO. "'I have found my life again in Berlin; but at this moment,
Sire, I find here a still greater happiness!' [ACH!]

KING. "'You have stood a cruel operation: you must have suffered

EGO. "'Sire, it was well worth while.'

KING. "'Did, you let them bind you before the operation?'

EGO. "'No: I resolved to keep my freedom.'

KING (laughing in a very kind manner). "'Oh, you behaved like a
brave Switzer! But are you quite recovered, though?'

EGO. "'Sire, I have seen all the wonders of your creation in Sans-
Souci, and feel well in looking at them.'

KING. "'I am glad of that. But you must have a care, and especially
not get on horseback.'

EGO. "'It will be pleasant and easy for me to follow the counsels
of your Majesty.'

KING. "'From what Town in the Canton of Bern are you originally?'

EGO. "'From Brugg.'

KING. "'I don't know that Town.' [No wonder, thought I!]

KING. "'Where did you study?'

EGO. "'At Gottingen: Haller was my teacher.'

KING. "'What is M. Haller doing now?'

EGO. "'He is concluding his literary career with a romance.'
[USONG had just come out;--no mortal now reads a word of it;
and the great Haller is dreadfully forgotten already!]

KING. "'Ah, that is pretty!--On what system do you treat your

EGO. "'Not on any system.'

KING. "'But there are some Physicians whose methods you prefer to
those of others?'

EGO. "'I especially like Tissot's methods, who is a familiar friend
of mine.'

KING. "'I know M. Tissot. I have read his writings, and value them
very much. On the whole, I love the Art of Medicine. My Father
wished me to get some knowledge in it. He often sent me into the
Hospitals; and even into those for venereal patients, with a view
of warning by example.'

EGO. "'And by terrible example!--Sire, Medicine is a very difficult
Art. But your Majesty is used to bring all Arts under subjection to
the force of your genius, and to conquer all that is difficult.'

KING. "'Alas, no: I cannot conquer all that is difficult!'
[Hard-mouthed Kaunitz, for example; stock-still, with his right ear
turned on Turkey: how get Kaunitz into step!]--Here the King became
reflective; was silent for a little moment, and then asked me, with
a most bright smile: 'How many churchyards have you filled?'
[A common question of his to Members of the Faculty.]

EGO. "'Perhaps, in my youth, I have done a little that way! But now
it goes better; for I am timid rather than bold.'

KING. "'Very good, very good.'

"Our Dialogue now became extremely brisk. The King quickened into
extraordinary vivacity; and examined me now in the character of
Doctor, with such a stringency as, in the year 1751, at Gottingen,
when I stood for my Degree, the learned Professors Haller, Richter,
Segner and Brendel (for which Heaven recompense them!) never
dreamed of! All inflammatory fevers, and the most important of the
slow diseases, the King mustered with me, in their order. He asked
me, How and whereby I recognized each of these diseases; how and
whereby distinguished them from the approximate maladies; what my
procedure was in simple and in complicated cases; and how I cured
all those disorders? On the varieties, the accidents, the mode of
treatment, of small-pox especially, the King inquired with peculiar
strictness;--and spoke, with much emotion, of that young Prince of
his House who was carried off, some years ago, by that disorder--
[suddenly arrested by it, while on march with his regiment, "near
Ruppin, 26th May, 1767." This is the Prince Henri, junior Brother
of the subsequent King, Friedrich Wilhelm II., who, among other
fooleries, invaded France, in 1792, with such success. Both Henri
and he, as boys, used to be familiar to us in the final winters of
the late War. Poor Henri had died at the age of nineteen,--as yet
all brightness, amiability and nothing else: Friedrich sent an
ELOGE of him to his ACADEMIE, [In OEuvres de Frederic,
vii. 37 et seq.] which is touchingly and strangely
filled with authentic sorrow for this young Nephew of his, but
otherwise empty,--a mere bottle of sighs and tears]. Then he came
upon Inoculation; went along over an incredible multitude of other
medical subjects. Into all he threw masterly glances; spoke of all
with the soundest [all in superlative] knowledge of the matter, and
with no less penetration than liveliness and sense.

"With heartfelt satisfaction, and with the freest soul, I made my
answers to his Majesty. It is true, he potently supported and
encouraged me. Ever and anon his Majesty was saying to me: 'That is
very good;--that is excellently thought and expressed;--your mode
of proceeding, altogether, pleases me very well;--I rejoice to see
how much our ways of thinking correspond.' Often, too, he had the
graciousness to add: 'But, I weary you with my many questions!'
His scientific questions I answered with simplicity, clearness and
brevity; and could not forbear sometimes expressing my astonishment
at the deep and conclusive (TIEFEN UND FRAPPANTEN) medical insights
and judgments of the King.

"His Majesty came now upon the history of his own maladies. He told
me them over, in their series; and asked my opinion and advice
about each. On the HAEMORRHOIDS, which he greatly complained of, I
said something that struck him. Instantly he started up in his bed;
turned his head round towards the wall, and said: 'Schmucker, write
me that down!' I started in fright at this word; and not without
reason! Then our Colloquy proceeded:--

KING. "'The Gout likes to take up his quarters with me; he knows I
am a Prince, and thinks I shall feed him well. But I feed him ill;
I live very meagrely.'

EGO. "'May Gout, thereby get disgusted, and forbear ever calling on
your Majesty!'

KING. "'I am grown old. Diseases will no longer have pity on me.'

EGO. "'Europe feels that your Majesty is not old; and your
Majesty's look (PHYSIOGNOMIE) shows that you have still the same
force as in your thirtieth year.'

KING (laughing and shaking his head). "'Well, well, well!'

"In this way, for an hour and quarter, with uninterrupted vivacity,
the Dialogue went on. At last the King gave me the sign to go;
lifting his hat very kindly, and saying: 'Adieu, my dear
M. Zimmermann; I am very glad to have seen you.'"

Towards 6 P.M. now, and Friedrich must sign his Despatches;
have his Concert, have his reading; then to supper (as spectator
only),--with Quintus Icilius and old Lord Marischal, to-night, or
whom? [Of Icilius, and a quarrel and estrangement there had lately
been, now happily reconciled, see Nicolai, Anekdoten, italic> vi. 140-142.]

"Herr von Catt accompanied me into the anteroom, and Schmucker
followed. I could not stir from the spot; could not speak, was so
charmed and so touched, that I broke into a stream of tears [being
very weak of nerves at the time!]. Herr von Catt said: 'I am now
going back to the King; go you into the room where I took you up;
about eight I will conduct you home.' I pressed my excellent
countryman's hand, I"--"Schmucker said, I had stood too near his
Majesty; I had spoken too frankly, with too much vivacity;
nay, what was unheard of in the world, I had 'gesticulated' before
his Majesty! 'In presence of a King,' said Herr Schmucker, 'one
must stand stiff and not stir.' De Catt came back to us at eight;
and, in Schmucker's presence [let him chew the cud of that!],
reported the following little Dialogue with the King:--

KING. "'What says Zimmermann?'

DE CATT. "'Zimmermann, at the door of your Majesty's room, burst
into a stream of tears.'

KING. "'I love those tender affectionate hearts; I love right well
those brave Swiss people!'

"Next morning the King was heard to say: 'I have found Zimmermann
quite what you described him.'--Catt assured me furthermore, 'Since
the Seven-Years War there had thousands of strangers, persons of
rank, come to Potsdam, wishing to speak with the King, and had not
attained that favor; and of those who had, there could not one
individual boast that his Majesty had talked with him an hour and
quarter at once.' [Fourteen years hence, he dismissed Mirabeau in
half an hour; which was itself a good allowance.]

"Sunday 27th, I left Potsdam, with my kind Meckels, in an
enthusiasm of admiration, astonishment, love and gratitude;
wrote to the King from Berlin, sent him a Tissot's Book (marked on
the margins for Majesty's use), which he acknowledged by some word
to Catt: whereupon I"--In short, I got home to Hanover, in a more
or less seraphic condition,--"with indescribable, unspeakable,"
what not,--early in November; and, as a healed man, never more
troubled with that disorder, though still troubled with many and
many, endeavored to get a little work out of myself again.
[Zimmermann, Meine Unterredungen (Dialogues)
with Friedrich the Great (8vo, Leipzig,
1788), pp. 305-326.]

"Zimmermann was tall, handsome of shape; his exterior was
distinguished and imposing," says Jordens. [Ubi supra, p. 643.]
"He had a firm and light step; stood gracefully; presented himself
well. He had a fine head; his voice was agreeable; and intellect
sparkled in his eyes:"--had it not been for those dreadful
hypochondrias, and confused disasters, a very pretty man. At the
time of this first visit to Friedrich he is 43 years of age, and
Friedrich is on the borders of 60. Zimmermann, with still more
famous DIALOGUES, will reappear on us from Hanover, on a sad
occasion! Meanwhile, few weeks after him, here is a Visit of far
more joyful kind.

NATIVE PLACE (December, 1771-August, 1772).

Prince Henri was hardly home from Petersburg and the Swedish Visit,
when poor Adolf Friedrich, King of Sweden, died. [12th February,
1771.] A very great and sad event to his Queen, who had loved her
old man; and is now left solitary, eclipsed, in circumstances
greatly altered on the sudden. In regard to settlements, Accession
of the new Prince, dowager revenues and the like, all went right
enough; which was some alleviation, though an inconsiderable, to
the sorrowing Widow. Her two Princes were absent, touring over
Europe, when their Father died, and the elder of them, Karl Gustav,
suddenly saw himself King. They were in no breathless haste to
return; visited their Uncle, their Prussian kindred, on the way,
and had an interesting week at Potsdam and Berlin; [April 22d-
29th: Rodenbeck, iii. 45.] Karl Gustav flying diligently about,
still incognito, as "Graf von Gothland,"--a spirited young fellow,
perhaps too spirited;--and did not reach home till May-day was
come, and the outburst of the Swedish Summer at hand.

Some think the young King had already something dangerous and
serious in view, and wished his Mother out of the way for a time.
Certain it is she decided on a visit to her native Country in
December following: arrived accordingly, December 2d, 1771;
and till the middle of August next was a shining phenomenon in the
Royal House and upper ranks of Berlin Society, and a touching and
interesting one to the busy Friedrich himself, as may be supposed.
She had her own Apartments and Household at Berlin, in the Palace
there, I think; but went much visiting about, and receiving many
visits,--fond especially of literary people.

Friedrich's notices of her are frequent in his Letters of the time,
all affectionate, natural and reasonable. Here are the first two I
meet with: TO THE ELECTRESS OF SAXONY (three weeks after Ulrique's
arrival); "A thousand excuses, Madam, for not answering sooner!
What will plead for me with a Princess who so well knows the duties
of friendship, is, that I have been occupied with the reception of
a Sister, who has come to seek consolation in the bosom of her
kindred for the loss of a loved Husband, the remembrance of whom
saddens and afflicts her." And again, two months later: "... Your
Royal Highness deigns to take so obliging an interest in the visit
I have had [and still have] from the Queen of Sweden. I beheld her
as if raised from the dead to me; for an absence of eight-and-
twenty years, in the short space of our duration, is almost
equivalent to death. She arrived among us, still in great
affliction for the loss she had had of the King; and I tried to
distract her sad thoughts by all the dissipations possible. It is
only by dint of such that one compels the mind to shift away from
the fatal idea where grief has fixed it: this is not the work of a
day, but of time, which in the end succeeds in everything.
I congratulate your Royal Highness on your Journey to Bavaria [on a
somewhat similar errand, we may politely say]; where you will find
yourself in the bosom of a Family that adores you:" after which,
and the sight of old scenes, how pleasant to go on to Italy, as you
propose! [ OEuvres de Frederic, xxiv. 230,
235. "24th December 1771," "February, 1772." See also,
"Eptire a la Reine Douairiere de Suede" (Poem on the
Troubles she has had: OEuvres de Frederic,
xiii. 74, "written in December, 1770"), and "Vers a la
Reine de Suede," "January, 1771" (ib. 79).]

Queen Ulrique--a solid and ingenuous character (in childhood a
favorite of her Father's, so rational, truthful and of silent staid
ways)--appears to have been popular in the Berlin circles;
pleasant and pleased, during these eight months. Formey, especially
Thiebault, are copious on this Visit of hers; and give a number of
insipid Anecdotes; How there was solemn Session of the Academy made
for her, a Paper of the King's to be read there, ["DISCOURS DE
OEuvres de Frederic, ix. 169 et seq.): read "27th
January, 1772." Formey, ii. 16, &c. &c.]--reading beautifully done
by me, Thiebault (one of my main functions, this of reading the
King's Academy Papers, and my dates of THEM always correct);
how Thiebault was invited to dinner in consequence, and again
invited; how Formey dined with her Majesty "twenty-five times;"
and "preached to her in the Palace, August 19th" (should be August
9th): insipid wholly, vapid and stupid; descriptive of nothing,
except of the vapidities and vanities of certain persons.
Leaving these, we will take an Excerpt, probably our last, from
authentic Busching, which is at least to be depended on for perfect
accuracy, and has a feature or two of portraiture.

Busching, for the last five or six years, is home from Russia;
comfortably established here as Consistorialrath, much concerned
with School-Superintendence; still more with GEOGRAPHY, with
copious rugged Literature of the undigested kind: a man well seen
in society; has "six families of rank which invite him to dinner;"
all the dining he is equal to, with so much undigested writing on
his hands. Busching, in his final Section, headed BERLIN LIFE,
Section more incondite even than its foregoers, has this passage:--

"On the Queen-Dowager of Sweden, Louise Ulrique's, coming to
Berlin, I felt not a little embarrassed. The case was this:
Most part of the SIXTH VOLUME of my MAGAZINE [meritorious curious
Book, sometimes quoted by us here, not yet known in English
Libraries] was printed; and in it, in the printed part, were
various things that concerned the deceased Sovereign, King Adolf
Friedrich, and his Spouse [now come to visit us],--and among these
were Articles which the then ruling party in Sweden could certainly
not like. And now I was afraid these people would come upon the
false notion, that it was from the Queen-Dowager I had got the
Articles in question;--notion altogether false, as they had been
furnished me by Baron Korf [well known to Hordt and others of us,
at Petersburg, in the Czar-Peter time], now Russian Minister at
Copenhagen. However, when Duke Friedrich of Brunswick [one of the
juniors, soldiering here with his Uncle, as they almost all are]
wrote to me, one day, That his Lady Aunt the Queen of Sweden
invited me to dine with her to-morrow, and that he, the Duke, would
introduce me,--I at once decided to lay my embarrassment before the
Queen herself.

"Next day, when I was presented to her Majesty, she took me by the
hand, and led me to a window [as was her custom with guests whom
she judged to be worth questioning and talking to], and so placed
herself in a corner there that I came to stand close before her;
when she did me the honor to ask a great many questions about
Russia, the Imperial Court especially, and most of all the Grand-
Duke [Czar Paul that is to be,--a kind of kinsman he, his poor
Father was my late Husband's Cousin-german, as perhaps you know].
A great deal of time was spent in this way; so that the Princes and
Princesses, punctual to invitation, had to wait above half an hour
long; and the Queen was more than once informed that dinner was on
the table and getting cold. I could get nothing of my own mentioned
here; all I could do was to draw back, in a polite way, so soon as
the Queen would permit: and afterwards, at table, to explain with
brevity my concern about what was printed in the MAGAZINE;
and request the Queen to permit me to send it her to read for
herself. She had it, accordingly, that same afternoon.

"A few days after, she invited me again; again spoke with me a long
while in the window embrasure, in a low tone of voice: confirmed to
me all that she had read,--and in particular, minutely explained
that LETTER OF THE KING [one of my Pieces] in which he relates what
passed between him and Count Tessin [Son's Tutor] in the Queen's
Apartment. At table, she very soon took occasion to say: 'I cannot
imagine to myself how the Herr Consistorialrath [Busching, to wit]
has come upon that Letter of my deceased Lord the King of Sweden's;
which his Majesty did write, and which is now printed in your
MAGAZINE. For certain, the King showed it to nobody.'
Whereupon BUSCHING: 'Certainly; nor is that to be imagined, your
Majesty. But the person it was addressed to must have shown it;
and so a copy of it has come to my hands.' Queen still expresses
her wonder; whereupon again, Busching, with a courageous candor:
'Your Majesty, most graciously permit me to say, that hitherto all
Swedish secrets of Court or State have been procurable for money
and good words!' The Queen, to whom I sat directly opposite, cast
down her eyes at these words and smiled;--and the Reichsrath Graf
von Schwerin [a Swedish Gentleman of hers], who sat at my left,
seized me by the hand, and said: 'Alas, that is true!'"--Here is a
difficulty got over; Magazine Number can come out when it will. As
it did, "next Easter-Fair," with proper indications and tacit
proofs that the Swedish part of it lay printed several months
before the Queen's arrival in our neighborhood.

Busching dined with her Majesty several times,--"eating nothing,"
he is careful to mention and was careful to show her Majesty,
"except, very gradually, a small bit of bread soaked in a glass of
wine!"--meaning thereby, "Note, ye great ones, it is not for your
dainties; in fact, it is out of loyal politeness mainly!" the
gloomily humble man.

"One time, the Queen asked me, in presence of various Princes and
Princesses of the Royal House: 'Do you think it advisable to
enlighten the Lower Classes by education?' To which I answered:
'Considering only under what heavy loads a man of the Lower
Classes, especially of the Peasant sort, has to struggle through
his life, one would think it was better neither to increase his
knowledge nor refine his sensibility. But when one reflects that
he, as well as those of the Higher Classes, is to last through
Eternity; and withal that good instruction may [or might, IF it be
not BAD] increase his practical intelligence, and help him to
methods of alleviating himself in this world, it must be thought
advisable to give him useful enlightenment.' The Queen accorded
with this view of the matter.

"Twice I dined with her Majesty at her Sister, Princess Amelia, the
Abbess of Quedlinburg's:--and the second time [must have been
Summer, 1772], Professor Sulzer, who was also a guest, caught his
death there. When I entered the reception-room, Sulzer was standing
in the middle of a thorough-draught, which they had managed to have
there, on account of the great heat; and he had just arrived, all
in a perspiration, from the Thiergarten: I called him out of the
draught, but it was too late." [Busching: Beitrage, italic> vi. 578-582.] ACH, MEIN LIEBER SULZER,--Alas, dear Sulzer:
seriously this time!

Busching has a great deal to say about Schools, about the "School
Commission 1765," the subjects taught, the methods of teaching
devised by Busching and others, and the King's continual exertions,
under deficient funds, in this province of his affairs.
Busching had unheard-of difficulty to rebuild the old Gymnasium at
Berlin into a new. Tried everybody; tried the King thrice over, but
nobody would. "One of the persons I applied to was Lieutenant-
General von Ramin, Governor of Berlin [surliest of mankind, of
whose truculent incivility there go many anecdotes]; to Ramin I
wrote, entreating that he would take a good opportunity and suggest
a new Town Schoolhouse to his Majesty: 'Excellenz, it will render
you immortal in the annals of Berlin!' To which Ramin made answer:
'That is an immortality I must renounce the hope of, and leave to
the Town-Syndics and yourself. I, for my own part, will by no means
risk such a proposal to his Majesty; which he would, in all
likelihood, answer in the negative, and receive ill at anybody's
hands.'" [Ib. vi. 568.] By subscriptions, by bequests, donations
and the private piety of individuals, Busching aiding and stirring,
the thing was at last got done. Here is another glance into School-
life: not from Busching:--

Book of the day: