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History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 9 by Thomas Carlyle

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reference to this very War now ended. Thus, when complaint rose
about the Prussian misbehaviors on their late marches
(misbehaviors notable in Countries where their recruiting
operations had been troubled), the Kaiser took a high severe tone,
not assuaging, rather aggravating the matter; and, for his own
share, winded up by a strict prohibition of Prussian recruiting in
any and every part of the Imperial Dominions. Which Friedrich
Wilhelm took extremely ill. This is from a letter of his to the
Crown-Prince, and after the first gust of wrath had spent itself:
"It is a clear disadvantage, this prohibition of recruiting in the
Kaiser's Countries. That is our thanks for the Ten Thousand men
sent him, and for all the deference I have shown the Kaiser at all
times; and by this you may see that it would be of no use if one
even sacrificed oneself to him. So long as they need us, they
continue to flatter; but no sooner is the strait thought to be
over, and help not wanted, than they pull off the mask, and have
not the least acknowledgment. The considerations that will occur
to you on this matter may put it in your power to be prepared
against similar occasions in time coming." [6th February, 1736:
OEuvres de Frederic, xxvii. part 3d,
p. 102.]

Thus, again, in regard to the winter-quarters of the Ziethen
Hussars. Prussian Majesty, we recollect, had sent a Supernumerary
Squadron to the last Campaign on the Rhine. They were learning
their business, Friedrich Wilhelm knew; but also were fighting for
the Kaiser,--that was what the Kaiser knew about them. Somewhat to
his surprise, in the course of next year, Friedrich Wilhelm
received, from the Vienna War-Office, a little Bill of 10,284
florins (1,028 pounds 8 shillings) charged to him for the winter-
quarters of these Hussars. He at once paid the little Bill, with
only this observation: "Heartily glad that I can help the Imperial
AERARIUM with that 1,028 pounds 8 shillings. With the sincerest
wishes for hundred-thousandfold increase to it in said AERARIUM;
otherwise it won't go very far!" [Letter to Seckendorf (SENIOR):
Forster, ii. 150.]

At a later period, in the course of his disastrous Turk War, the
Kaiser, famishing for money, set about borrowing a million gulden
(l00,000 pounds) from the Banking House Splittgerber and Daun at
Berlin. Splittgerber and Daun had not the money, could not raise
it: "Advance us that sum, in their name, your Majesty," proposes
the Vienna Court: "There shall be three-per-cent bonus, interest
six per cent, and security beyond all question!" To which fine
offer his Majesty answers, addressing Seckendorf Junior: "Touching
the proposal of my giving the Bankers Splittgerber and Daun a
lift, with a million gulden, to assist in that loan of theirs,--
said proposal, as I am not a merchant accustomed to deal in
profits and percentages, cannot in that form take effect. Out of
old friendship, however, I am, on TheirO Imperial Majesty's
request, extremely ready to pay down, once and away (A FOND
PERDU), a couple of million gulden, provided the Imperial Majesty
will grant me the conditions known to your Uncle [FULFILMENT of
that now oldish Julich-and-Berg promise, namely!] which are FAIR.
In such case the thing shall be rapidly completed!" [Forster, ii.
151 (without DATE there).]

In a word, Friedrich Wilhelm falls out with the Kaiser more and
more; experiences more and more what a Kaiser this has been
towards him. Queen Sophie has fallen silent in the History Books;
both the Majesties may look remorsefully, but perhaps best in
silence, over the breakages and wrecks this Kaiser has brought
upon them. Friedrich Wilhelm does not meanly hate the Kaiser:
good man, he sometimes pities him; sometimes, we perceive, has a
touch of authentic contempt for him. But his thoughts, in that
quarter, premature old age aggravating them, are generally of a
tragic nature, not to be spoken without tears; and the tears have
a flash at the bottom of them, when he looks round on Fritz and
says, "There is one, though, that will avenge me!" Friedrich
Wilhelm, to the last a broad strong phenomenon, keeps wending
downward, homeward, from this point; the Kaiser too, we perceive,
is rapidly consummating his enormous Spectre-Hunts and Duels with
Termagants, and before long will be at rest. We have well-nigh
done with both these Majesties.

The Crown-Prince, by his judicious obedient procedures in these
Four Years at Ruppin, at a distance from Papa, has, as it were,
completed his APPRENTICESHIP; and, especially by this last
Inspection-Journey into Preussen, may be said to have delivered
his PROOF-ESSAY with a distinguished success. He is now out of his
Apprenticeship; entitled to take up his Indentures, whenever need
shall be. The rugged old Master cannot but declare him competent,
qualified to try his own hand without supervision:--after all
those unheard-of confusions, like to set the shop on fire at one
time, it is a blessedly successful Apprenticeship! Let him now,
theoretically at least, in the realms of Art, Literature,
Spiritual Improvement, do his WANDERJAHRE, over at Reinsberg,
still in the old region,--still well apart from Papa, who agrees
best NOT in immediate contact;--and be happy in the new
Domesticities, and larger opportunities, provided for him there;
till a certain time come, which none of us are in haste for.

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