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History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 7 by Thomas Carlyle

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Chapter VII.

CATASTROPHE, AND MAJESTY, ARRIVE IN BERLIN.

At Berlin dark rumors of this intended flight, and actual Arrest
of the Crown-Prince, are agitating all the world; especially
Lieutenant Katte, and the Queen and Wilhelmina, as we may suppose.
The first news of it came tragically on the young Princess.
[Apparently some rumor FROM FRANKFURT, which she confuses in her
after-memory with the specific news FROM WESEL; for her dates
here, as usual, are all awry (Wilhelmina, i. 246; Preuss, i. 42,
iv. 473; Seckendorf, in Forster, iii. 6).]

"Mamma had given a ball in honor of Papa's Birthday,"--Tuesday,
15th August, 1730;--and we were all dancing in the fine saloons of
Monbijou, with pretty intervals in the cool boscages and
orangeries of the place: all of us as happy as could be;
Wilhelmina, in particular, dancing at an unusual rate.
"We recommenced the ball after supper. For six years I had not
danced before; it was new fruit, and I took my fill of it, without
heeding much what was passing. Madame Bulow, who with others of
them had worn long faces all night, pleading 'illness' when one
noticed it, said to me several times: 'It is late, I wish you had
done,'--'EH, MON DIEU!' I answered, 'let me have enough of dancing
this one new time; it may be long before it comes again.'--
'That may well be!' said she. I paid no regard, but continued to
divert myself. She returned to the charge half an hour after:
'Will you end, then!' said she with a vexed air: (you are so
engaged, you have eyes for nothing.'--'You are in such a humor,'
I replied, 'that I know not what to make of it.'--'Look at the
Queen, then, Madam; and you will cease to reproach me!' A glance
which I gave that way filled me with terror. There sat the Queen,
paler than death, in a corner of the room, in low conference with
Sonsfeld and Countess Finkenstein. As my Brother was most in my
anxieties, I asked, If it concerned him? Bulow shrugged her
shoulders, answering, 'I don't know at all!' A moment after, the
Queen gave Good-night; and got into her carriage with me,--
speaking no word all the way to the Schloss; so that I thought my
Brother must be dead, and I myself took violent palpitations, and
Sonsfeld, contrary to orders, had at last to tell me in the course
of the night." Poor Wilhelmina, and poor Mother of Wilhelmina!

The fact, of Arrest, and unknown mischief to the Prince, is taken
for certain; but what may be the issues of it; who besides the
Prince have been involved in it, especially who will be found to
have been involved, is matter of dire guess to the three who are
most interested here. Lieutenant Katte finds he ought to dispose
of the Prince's effects which were intrusted to him; of the
thousand gold Thalers in particular, and, beyond and before all,
of the locked Writing-desk, in which lies the Prince's
correspondence, the very Queen and Princess likely to be concerned
in it! Katte despatches these two objects, the Money and the
little Desk, in all secrecy, to Madam Finkenstein, as to the
surest hand, with a short Note shadowing out what he thinks they
are: Countess Finkenstein, old General von Finkenstein's Wife, and
a second mother to the Prince, she, like her Husband, a sworn
partisan of the Prince and his Mother, shall do with these
precious and terrible objects what, to her own wise judgment,
seems best.

Madam Finkenstein carries them at once, in deep silence, to the
Queen. Huge dismay on the part of the Queen and Princess.
They know too well what Letters may be there: and there is a seal
on the Desk, and no key to it; neither must it, in time coming,
seem to have been opened, even if we could now open it.
A desperate pinch, and it must be solved. Female wit and
Wilhelmina did solve it, by some pre-eminently acute device of
their despair; [Wilhelmina, i. 253-257.] and contrived to get the
Letters out: hundreds of Letters, enough to be our death if read,
says Wilhelmina. These Letters they burnt; and set to writing
fast as the pen would go, other letters in their stead. Fancy the
mood of these two Royal Women, and the black whirlwind they were
in. Wilhelmina's despatch was incredible; pen went at the gallop
night and day: new letters, of old dates and of no meaning, are
got into the Desk again; the Desk closed, without mark of injury,
and shoved aside while it is yet time.--Time presses; his Majesty
too, and the events, go at gallop. Here is a Letter from his
Majesty, to a trusty Mistress of the Robes, or whatever she is;
which, let it arrive through what softening media it likes, will
complete the poor Queen's despair:--

"MY DEAR FRAU VON KAMECKE,--Fritz has attempted to desert. I have
been under the necessity to have him arrested. I request you to
tell my Wife of it in some good way, that the news may not terrify
her. And pity an unhappy Father.

"FRIEDRICH WILHELM."

[No date: "ARRIVED" (from Wesel, we conclude), Sunday, "20th
August," at the Palace of Berlin (Preuss, i. 42).]

The same post brought an order to the Colonel of the Gerns-d'Armes
to put that Lieutenant Katte of his under close confinement:--we
hope the thoughtless young fellow has already got out of the way?
He is getting his saddle altered: fettling about this and that;
does not consider what danger he is in. This same Sunday, his
Major met him on the street of Berlin; said, in a significant
tone, "You still HERE, Katte!"--"I go this night," answered Katte;
but he again put it off, did not go this night; and the order for
his arrest did come in. On the morrow morning, Colonel Pannewitz,
hoping now he was not there, went with the rhadamanthine order;
and finding the unlucky fellow, was obliged to execute it.
Katte lies in ward, awaiting what may be prepared for him.

Friedrich Wilhelm at Wesel has had rough passages with the Prince
and others. On the Saturday evening, 12th August 1730, [Preuss,
iv. 473; Seckendorf (Forster, iii. 6) says 13th, but WRONG.] his
Majesty had the Culprit brought on shore, to the Commandant's
House, for an interview. Culprit proving less remorseful than was
expected, and evidently not confessing everything, a loud terrible
scene ensued; which Friedrich Wilhelm, the unhappy Father, winded
up by drawing his sword to run the unnatural Son through the body.
Old General Mosel, Commandant of Wesel, sprang between them,
"Sire, cut me to death, but spare your Son!" and the sword was got
back to its scabbard; and the Prince lodged in a separate room,
two sentries with fixed bayonets keeping watch over him. Friedrich
Wilhelm did not see his face again for twelve months to come,--
"twelve months and three days."

Military gentlemen of due grimness interrogated the Prince next
evening, [Seckendorf (in Forster, iii. 5).] from a Paper drawn up
by his Majesty in the interim. Prince confesses little: Did design
to get across the Rhine to Landau; thence to Strasburg, Paris, in
the strictest incognito; intended to volunteer there, thought he
might take French service, profoundly incognito, and signalize
himself in the Italian War (just expected to break out), which
might have recovered him some favor from his Majesty: does not
tell clearly where his money came from; shy extremely of
elucidating Katte and Keith;--in fact, as we perceive, struggles
against mendacity, but will not tell the whole truth. "Let him lie
in ward, then; and take what doom the Laws have appointed for the
like of him!" Divine Laws, are they not? Well, yes, your Majesty,
divine and human;--or are there perhaps no laws but the human
sort, completely explicit in this case? "He is my Colonel at
least," thinks Friedrich Wilhelm, "and tried to desert and make
others desert. If a rebellious Crown-Prince, breaking his Father's
heart, find the laws still inarticulate; a deserting Colonel of
the Potsdam Regiment finds them speak plain enough. Let him take
the answer they give him?"

Dumoulin, in the mean while, can make nothing of Keith, the
runaway Lieutenant. Dumoulin, with his sagacious organ, soon came
upon the scent of Keith; and has discovered these things about
him: One evening, a week before his Majesty arrived, Sunday
evening, 6th August, 1730, [RELATIO EX ACTIS: in Preuss, iv. 473.]
Lieutenant Keith, doubtless smelling something, saddled his horse
as above mentioned, decided to have a ride in the country this
fine evening, and issued out at the Brunen Gate of Wesel. He is on
the right bank of the Rhine; pleasant yellow fields on this hand
and that. He ambles slowly, for a space; then gradually awakens
into speed, into full speed; arrives, within a couple of hours, at
Dingden, a Village in the Munster Territory, safe over the
Prussian Border, by the shortest line: and from Dingden rides at
more leisure, but without losing time, into the Dutch Overyssel
region, straight towards the Hague. He must be in the Hague? said
Dumoulin to the Official persons, on arriving there,--to
Meinertshagen the Prussian Ambassador there, [Seckendorf (Forster,
iii. 7).] and to Keppel, Dutch Official gentleman who was once
Ambassador at Berlin. Prussian Ambassador applies, and again
applies, in the highest quarters; but we fear they are slack.
Dumoulin discovers that the man was certainly here; Keppel readily
admits, He had Keith to dinner a few days ago: but where Keith now
is, Keppel cannot form the least guess.

Dumoulin suspects he is with Lord Chesterfield, the English
Ambassador here. A light was seen, for a night or two, in one of
the garret-rooms of Lord Chesterfield's house,--probably Keith
reading?--but Keith is not to be heard of, on inquiry there;
and the very light has now gone out. The Colonel at least,"
distinguished English Lord is gone to England in these days;
but his German Secretary is not gone: the House is inviolable,
impregnable to Prussia. Who knows, in spite of the light going
out, but Keith is still there, merely with a window shutter to
screen him? One morning, it becomes apparent Keith is not there.
One morning, a gentleman at the seaside is admiring Dutch
fishing-skiffs, and how they do sail, "Pooh, Sir, that is
nothing.!" answers a man in multiplex breeches: "the other night I
went across to England in one, with an Excellency's Messenger who
could not wait!"--Truth is, the Chesterfield Secretary, who
forbade lights, took the first good night for conveying Keith to
Scheveningen and the seaside; where a Fisher-boat was provided for
him; which carried him, frail craft as it was, safe across to
England. Once there, the Authorities took pity on the poor
fellow;--furnished the modicum of cash and help; sent him with
Admiral Norris to assist the Portuguese, menaced with Spanish war
at this time; among whom he gradually rose to be Major of Horse.
Friedrich Wilhelm cited him by tap of drum three times in Wesel,
and also in the Gazettes, native and Dutch; then, as he did not
come, nailed an Effigy of him (cut in four, if I remember) on the
gallows there; and confiscated any property he had. Keith had more
pedigree than property; was of Poberow in Pommern; son of poor
gentlefolks there. He sent no word of himself to Prussia, for the
next ten years; so that he had become a kind of myth to many
people; to his poor Mother among the rest, who has her tragical
surmises about him. He will appear again; but not to much purpose.
His Brother, the Page Keith, is packed into the Fusileer Regiment,
at Wesel here; and there walks sentry, unheard of for the rest of
his life. So much for the Keiths. [Preuss: Friedrich mit
seinen Verwandten und Freunden, pp. 330, 392.--See,
on this and the other points, Pollnitz, Memoiren, italic> ii. 352-374 (and correct his many blunders).]

Other difficulty there is as to the Prison of the Prince. Wesel is
a strong Town; but for obvious reasons one nearer Berlin, farther
from the frontier, would be preferable. Towards Berlin, however,
there is no route all on Prussian ground: from these divided Cleve
Countries we have to cross a bit of Hanover, a bit of
Hessen-Cassel: suppose these Serene Highnesses were to interfere?
Not likely they will interfere, answer ancient military men, of
due grimness; at any rate, we can go a roundabout road, and they
need not know! That is the method settled on; neighborhood of
Berlin, clearly somewhere there, must be the place? Old Castle of
Mittenwalde, in the Wusterhausen environs, let that be the first
resting-point, then; Rochow, Waldau, and the Wesel
Fusileer-Colonel here, sure men, with a trooper or two for escort,
shall conduct the Prisoner. By Treuenbrietzen, by circuitous
roads: swift, silent, steady,--and with vigilance, as you shall
answer!--These preliminaries settled, Friedrich Wilhelm drives off
homewards, black Care riding behind him. He reaches Berlin,
Sunday, 27th August; finds a world gone all to a kind of doomsday
with him there, poor gentleman.

SCENE AT BERLIN ON MAJESTY'S ARRIVAL.

On Sunday evening, 27th August, 1730, his Majesty, who had rested
overnight at Potsdam from his rapid journey, drove into Berlin
between four and five in the afternoon. Deserter Fritz is
following, under escort of his three military gentlemen, at a
slower rate and by circuitous routes, so as to avoid the
territories of Hanover and Hessen,--towards Mittenwalde in the
Wusterhausen neighborhood. The military gentlemen are vigilant as
Argus, and, though pitying the poor Prince, must be rigorous as
Rhadamanthus. His attempts at escape, of which tradition mentions
more than one, they will not report to Papa, nor even notice to
the Prince himself; but will take care to render futile, one and
all: his Majesty may be secure on that score.

The scenes that follow are unusual in royal history; and having
been reported in the world with infinite noise and censure, made
up of laughter and horror, it will behoove us to be the more exact
in relating them as they actually befell. Very difficult to pull,
out of that ravelled cart-load of chaotic thrums, here a thread
and there a thread, capable of being brought to the straight
state, and woven into legible narrative! But perhaps, by that
method the mingled laughter and horror will modify itself a
little. What we can well say is, that pity also ought not to be
wanting. The next six months were undoubtedly by far the
wretchedest of Friedrich Wilhelm's life. The poor King, except
that he was not conscious of intending wrong, but much the
reverse, walked in the hollow night of Gehenna, all that while,
and was often like to be driven mad by the turn things had taken.

Here is scene first: Wilhelmina reports his Majesty's arrival that
Sunday afternoon, to the following effect; she was present in the
adventure, and not a spectatress only:--

"The Queen was alone in his Majesty's Apartment, waiting for him
as he approached. At sight of her, in the distance, he called out:
'Your losel of a Son (VOTRE INDIGNE FILS) has ended at last;
you have done with HIM,' or words to that effect. 'What,' cried
the Queen, 'you have had the barbarity to kill him?' 'Yes, I tell
you,--but where is the sealed Desk?' The Queen went to her own
Apartment to fetch it; I ran in to her there for a moment: she was
out of herself, wringing her hands, crying incessantly, and said
without ceasing: 'MON DIEU, MON FILS (O God, my Son)!' Breath
failed me; I fell fainting into the arms of Madame de Sonsfeld."--
The Queen took away the Writing-case; King tore out the letters,
and went off; upon which the Queen came down again to us.

"We learned from some attendant that, at least, my Brother was not
dead. The King now came back. We all ran to kiss his hands; but me
he no sooner noticed than rage and fury took possession of him.
He became black in the face, his eyes sparkling fire, his mouth
foaming. 'Infamous CANAILLE,' said he; 'darest thou show thyself
before me? Go, keep thy scoundrel of a Brother company!' And so
saying, he seized me with one hand, slapping me on the face with
the other,'--clenched as a fist (POING),--'several blows; one of
which struck me on the temple, so that I fell back, and should
have split my head against a corner of the wainscot, had not
Madame de Sonsfeld caught me by the head-dress and broken the
fall. I lay on the ground without consciousness. The King, in a
frenzy, was for striking me with his feet; had not the Queen, my
Sisters, and the rest, run between, and those who were present
prevented him. They all ranked themselves round me, which gave
Mesdames de Kamecke and Sonsfeld time to pick me up. They put me
in a chair in the embrasure of a window; threw water on my face to
bring me to life: which care I lamentably reproached them with,
death being a thousand times better, in the pass things had come
to. The Queen kept shrieking, her firmness had quite left her:
she wrung her hands, and ran in despair up and down the room.
The King's face was so disfigured with rage, it was frightful to
look upon. The little ones were on their knees, begging for me,"--
[Wilhelmina, i. 265-267.]

--poor little beings, what a group: Amelia, the youngest girl,
about six; Henri, in his bits of trousers, hardly over four!--
For the rest, I perceive, this room was on the first or a lower
floor, and such noises were very audible. The Guard had turned out
at the noise; and a crowd was collecting to see and hear:
"Move on! Move on!"

"The King had now changed his tune: he admitted that my Brother
was still alive; but vowed horribly he would put him to death, and
lay me fast within four walls for the rest of my life. He accused
me of being the Prince's accomplice, whose crime was high
treason;--also of having an intrigue of love with Katte, to whom,
he said, I had borne several children." The timid Gouvernante
flamed up at this unheard-of insult: "'That is not true,' said
she, fiercely; 'whoever has told your Majesty such a thing has
told a lie!' 'Oh, spare my Brother, and I will marry the Duke of
Weissenfels,' whimpered I; but in the great noise he did not hear;
and while I strove to repeat it louder, Sonsfeld clapt her
handkerchief on my face.

"Hustling aside to get rid of the handkerchief, I saw Katte
crossing the Square. Four soldiers were conducting him to the
King; trunks, my Brother's and his own, sealed, were coming on in
the rear. Pale and downcast, he took off his hat to salute me,"--
poor Katte, to me always so prostrate in silent respect, and now
so unhappy! "A moment after, the King, hearing he was come, went
out exclaiming, 'Now I shall have proof about the scoundrel Fritz
and the offscouring (CANAILLE) Wilhelmina; clear proofs to cut the
heads off them.'"--The two Hofdames again interfered; and one of
them, Kamecke it was, rebuked him; told him, in the tone of a
prophetess, To take care what he was doing. Whom his Majesty gazed
into with astonishment, but rather with respect than with anger,
saying, "Your intentions are good!"

And so his Majesty flung out, seeking Katte; and vanished:
Wilhelmina saw no more of him for about a year after;
being ordered to her room, and kept prisoner there on low diet,
with sentries guarding her doors, and no outlook but the worst
horror her imagination pleased to paint.

This is the celebrated assault of paternal Majesty on Wilhelmina;
the rumor of which has gone into all lands, exciting wonder and
horror, but could not be so exact as this account at first hand.
Naturally the crowd of street-passengers, once dispersed by the
Guard, carried the matter abroad, and there was no end of
sympathetic exaggerations. Report ran in Berlin, for example, that
the poor Princess was killed, beaten or trampled to death;
which we clearly see she was not. Voltaire, in that mass of angry
calumnies, very mendacious indeed, which he calls VIE PRIVEE DU
ROI DE PRUSSE, mentions the matter with emphasis; and says
farther, The Princess once did him (Voltaire) the "honor to show
him a black mark she carried on her breast ever after;"--which is
likelier to be false than true. Captain Guy Dickens, the
Legationary Captain, who seems a clear, ingenuous and ingenious
man, and of course had access to the highest circles of refined
rumor, reports the matter about ten days after, with several
errors, in this manner:--

"BERLIN, 5th SEPTEMBER, 1730. Four or five days ago [by the
Almanac nine, and directly on his Majesty's return, which Dickens
had announced a week ago without that fact attached], the King
dreadfully ill-treated Wilhelmina in bed [not in bed at all];
whole Castle (SCHLOSS or Palace) was alarmed; Guard turned out,"--
to clear away the crowd, as we perceive. Not properly a crowd,
such was not permissible there: but a stagnation of the passers-by
would naturally ensue on that esplanade; till the Guard turned
out, and indicated with emphasis, "Move on!" Dickens hears farther
that "the Queen fares no better;"--such is the state of rumor in
Berlin at present.

Poor Katte had a hard audience of it too. He fell at Friedrich
Wilhelm's feet; and was spurned and caned;--for the rest, beyond
what was already evident, had little or nothing to confess:
Intention of flight and of accompanying in flight very undeniable;
although preliminaries and ulterior conditions of said flight not
perfectly known to Katte; known only that the thought of raising
trouble in foreign Courts, or the least vestige of treason against
his Majesty, had not entered even into their dreams. A name or two
of persons who had known, or guessed, of these operations, is
wrung from Katte;--name of a Lieutenant Spaen, for one; who, being
on guard, had admitted Katte into Potsdam once or twice in
disguise:--for him and for the like of him, of whatever rank or
whichever sex, let arrests be made out, and the scent as with
sleuth-hounds be diligently followed on all sides; and Katte,
stript of his uniform, be locked up in the grimmest manner.
Berlin, with the rumor of these things, is a much-agitated city.

Chapter VIII.

SEQUEL TO CROWN-PRINCE AND FRIENDS.

As for the Crown-Prince, prosecuting his circuitous route, he
arrives safe at Mittenwalde; is lodged in the old Castle there,
I think, for two nights (but the date, in these indexless Books,
is blown away again), in a room bare of all things, with sentries
at the door; and looks out, expecting Grumkow and the Officials to
make assault on him. One of these Officials, a certain "Gerber,
Fiscal General," who, as head of Prussian Fiscals (kind of Public
Prosecutor, or supreme Essence of Bailiffs, Catchpoles and
Grand-Juries all in one), wears a red cloak,--gave the Prince a
dreadful start. Red cloak is the Berlin Hangman's or Headsman's
dress; and poor Friedrich had the idea his end had summarily come
in this manner. Soon seeing it was otherwise, his spirits
recovered, perhaps rose by the shock.

He fronted Grumkow and the Officials, with a high, almost
contemptuous look; answered promptly,--if possible, without lying,
and yet without telling anything;--showed self-possession, pride;
retorted sometimes, "Have you nothing more to ask?" Grumkow
finding there was no way made into anything, not even into the
secret of the Writingcase and the Royal Women's operations there,
began at last, as Wilhelmina says, to hint, That in his Majesty's
service there were means of bringing out the truth in spite of
refractory humors; that there was a thing called the rack, not yet
abolished in his Prussian Majesty's dominions! Friedrich owned
afterwards, his blood ran cold. However, he put on a high look:
"A Hangman, such as you, naturally takes pleasure in talking of
his tools and his trade: but on me they will not produce any
effect. I have owned everything;--and almost regret to have done
so. For it is not my part to stand questionings and bandy
responses with a COQUIN COMME VOUS, scoundrel like you," reports
Wilhelmina, [i. 280.] though we hope the actual term was slightly
less candid!--Grumkow gathered his notes together; and went his
ways, with the man in red cloak and the rest; thus finishing the
scene in Mittenwalde. Mittenwalde, which we used to know long
since, in our Wusterhausen rides with poor Duhan; little thinking
what awaited us there one day.

Mittenwalde being finished, Friedrich, on Monday, 6th September,
1730, is sent forward to Custrin, a strong little town in a quiet
Country, some sixty or seventy miles eastward of Berlin. On the
evening of the 5th he finds himself lodged in a strong room of the
Fortress there,--room consisting af bare walls lighted from far
up; no furniture, not even the needfulest; everything indicating
that the proud spirit and the iron laws shall here have their duel
out at leisure, and see which is stronger.

His sword was taken from him at Wesel; sword, uniform, every mark
of dignity, all are now gone: he is clad in brown prison-dress of
the plainest cut and cloth; his diet is fixed at tenpence a day
("to be got from the cook's shop, six groschen for dinner, four
for supper"); [Order, 14th September, 1730 (in Forster, i. 372).]
food to be cut for him, no knife allowed. Room is to be opened,
morning, noon and evening, "on the average not above four minutes
each time;" lights, or single tallow-light, to be extinguished at
seven P.M. Absolute solitude; no flute allowed, far from it;
no books allowed, except the Bible and a Prayer-Book,--or perhaps
Noltenius's MANUAL, if he took a hankering for it. There, shut out
from the babble of fools, and conversing only with the dumb
Veracities, with the huge inarticulate meanings of Destiny,
Necessity and Eternity, let the fool of a Fritz bethink himself,
if there is any thought in him! There, among the Bogs of the Oder,
the very sedges getting brown all round him, and the very curlews
flying off for happier climes, let him wait, till the question of
his doom, rather an abstruse question, ripen in the royal breast.

As for Wilhelmina, she is close prisoner in her apartments in the
Berlin Palaoe, sentries pacing at every outlet, for many months to
come. Wilhelmina almost rather likes it, such a dog of an
existence has she had hitherto, for want of being well let alone.
She plays, reads; composes music; smuggles letters to and from
Mamma,--one in Pencil, from my Brother even, O Heavens! Wilhelmina
weeps, now and then, with her good Sonsfeld; hopes nevertheless
there will be some dawn to this RAGNAROK, or general "twilight of
the gods." Friedrich Wilhelm, convinced that England has had a
hand in this treason, signifies officially to his Excellency
Captain Dickens, That the English negotiationa are concluded;
that neither in the way of Single-Marriage nor of Double-Marriage
will he have anything more to do with England. "Well," answers
England, "who can help it? Negotiation was not quite of our
seeking. Let it so end!" [Dickens's Despatch, 25th September,
1730; and Harrington's Answer to it, of 6th October: Seckendorf
(in Forster, iii. 9), 23d September.]--Nay at dinner one day
(Seckendorf reports, while Fritz was on the road to Custrin) he
proposes the toast, "Downfall of England!" [Seckendorf (in
Forster, iii. 11).] and would have had the Queen drink it;
who naturally wept, but I conjecture could not be made to drink.
Her Majesty is a weeping, almost broken-hearted woman; his Majesty
a raging, almost broken-hearted man. Seckendorf and Grumkow are,
as it were, too victorious; and now have their apprehensions on
that latter score. But they look on with countenanoes well veiled,
and touch the helm judiciously in Tobacco-Parliament, intent on
the nearest harbor of refuge.

Her Majesty nevertheless steadily persists; merely sinks deeper
out of sight with her English schemes; ducking till the wave go
by. Messages, desperate appeals still go, through Mamsell Bulow,
Wilhelmina's Hofdame, and other channels; nay Wilhelmina thinks
there were still intentions on the part of England, and that the
non-fulfilment of them at the last moment turned on accident;
English "Courier arrived some hours too late," thinks Wilhelmina.
[Wilhelmina (i. 369, 384), and Preuss and others after her.]
But that is a mistake. The negotiation, in spite of her Majesty's
endeavors, was essentially out; England, after such a message,
could not, nor did, stir farther in the matter.

In that Writing-case his Majesty found what we know; nothing but
mysterious effects of female art, and no light whatever. It is a
great source of wrath and of sorrow to him, that neither in the
Writing-case, nor in Katte's or the Prince's so-called
"Confessions," can the thing be seen into. A deeper bottom it must
have, thinks his Majesty, but knows not what or where. To overturn
the Country, belike; and fling the Kaiser, and European Balance of
Power, bottom uppermost? Me they presumably meant to poison! he
tells Seckendorf one day. [Dickens's Despatch, 16th September,
1730.] Was ever Father more careful for his children, soul and
body? Anxious, to excess, to bring them up in orthodox nurture and
admonition: and this is how they reward me, Herr Feldzeugmeister!
"Had he honestly confessed, and told me the whole truth, at Wesel,
I would have made it up with him quietly there. But now it must go
its lengths; and the whole world shall be judge between us."
[Seckendorf (Forster, ubi supra), 23d September.]

His Majesty is in a flaming height. He arrests, punishes and
banishes, where there is trace of cooperation or connection with
Deserter Fritz and his schemes. The Bulows, brother and sister,
brother in the King's service, sister in Wilhelmina's, respectable
goldstick people, originally of Hanover, are hurled out to
Lithuania and the world's end: let them live in Memel, and repent
as they can. Minister Knyphausen, always of English tendencies,
he, with his Wife,--to whom it is specially hard, while General
Schwerin, gallant witty Kurt, once of Mecklenburg, stays behind,--
is ordered to disappear, and follow his private rural business far
off; no minister, ever more. The Lieutenant Spaen of the Giant
Regiment, who kept false watch, and did not tell of Katte, gets
cashiering and a year in Spandau. He wandered else-whither, and
came to something afterwards, poor Spaen. [Preuss, i. 63, 66.]
Bookseller Hanau with this bad Fritz's Books: To Memel with him
also; let him deal in more orthodox kinds of Literature there.

It is dangerous to have lent the Crown-Prince money, contrary to
the Royal Edict; lucky if loss of your money will settle the
account. Witness French Montholieu, for one; Count, or whatever he
styled himself; nailed to the gallows (in effigy) after he had
fled. It is dangerous to have spoken kindly to the Crown-Prince,
or almost to have been spoken to by him. Doris Ritter, a comely
enough good girl, nothing of a beauty, but given to music, Potsdam
CANTOR'S (Precentor's) daughter, has chanced to be standing in the
door, perhaps to be singing within doors, once or twice, when the
Prince passed that way: Prince inquired about her music, gave her
music, spoke a civility, as young men will,--nothing more, upon my
honor; though his Majesty believes there was much more;
and condemns poor Doris to be whipt by the Beadle, and beat hemp
for three years. Rhadamanthus is a strict judge, your Majesty;
and might be a trifle better informed!--Poor Doris got out of this
sad Pickle, on her own strength; and wedded, and did well enough,
--Prince and King happily leaving her alone thenceforth.
Voltaire, twenty years after, had the pleasure of seeing her at
Berlin: "Wife of one Shommers, Clerk of the Hackney-Coach
Office,"--read, Schomer, FARMER of the Berlin Hackney-Coach
Enterprise in general; decidedly a poor man. Wife, by this time,
was grown hard enough of feature: "tall, lean; looked like a
Sibyl; not the least appearance how she could ever have deserved to
be whipt for a Prince." [Voltaire, OEuvres
(calumnious Vie Privee du Roi de Prusse ),
ii. 51, 52. Preuss, i. 64, 66.]

The excellent Tutor of the Crown-Prince, good Duhan de Jandun, for
what fault or complicity we know not, is hurled off to Memel;
ordered to live there,--on what resources is equally unknown.
Apparently his fault was the general one, of having miseducated
the Prince, and introduced these French Literatures, foreign
poisonous elements of thought and practice into the mind of his
Pupil, which have ruined the young man. For his Majesty perceives
that there lies the source of it; that only total perversion of
the heart and judgment, first of all, can have brought about these
dreadful issues of conduct. And indeed his Majesty understands, on
credible information, that Deserter Fritz entertains very
heterodox opinions; opinion on Predestination, for one;--which is
itself calculated to be the very mother of mischief, in a young
mind inclined to evil. The heresy about Predestination, or the
"FREIE GNADENWAHL (Election by Free Grace)," as his Majesty terms
it, according to which a man is preappointed from all Eternity
either to salvation or the opposite (which is Fritz's notion, and
indeed is Calvin's, and that of many benighted creatures, this
Editor among them), appears to his Majesty an altogether shocking
one; nor would the whole Synod of Dort, or Calvin, or St.
Augustine in person, aided by a Thirty-Editor power, reconcile his
Majesty's practical judgment to such a tenet. What! May not
Deserter Fritz say to himself, even now, or in whatever other
deeps of sin he may fall into, "I was foredoomed to it: how could
I, or how can I, help it?" The mind of his Majesty shudders, as if
looking over the edge of an abyss. He is meditating much whether
nothing can be done to save the lost Fritz, at least the soul of
him, from this horrible delusion:--hurls forth your fine Duhan,
with his metaphysics, to remote Memel, as the first step.
And signifies withal, though as yet only historically and in a
speculative way, to Finkenstein and Kalkstein themselves, That
their method of training up a young soul, to do God's will, and
accomplish useful work in this world, does by no means appear to
the royal mind an admirable one! [His Letter to them (3d December,
1730) in Forster, ii. 382.] Finkenstein and Kalkstein were always
covertly rather of the Queen's party, and now stand reprimanded,
and in marked disfavor.

That the treasonous mystery of this Crown-Prince (parricidal, it
is likely, and tending to upset the Universe) must be investigated
to the very bottom, and be condignly punished, probably with
death, his Majesty perceives too well; and also what terrible
difficulties, formal and essential, there will be, But whatever
become of his perishable life, ought not, if possible, the soul of
him to be saved from the claws of Satan! "Claws of Satan;" "brand
from the burning;" "for Christ our Saviour's sake;" "in the name
of the most merciful God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Amen:"--so
Friedrich Wilhelm phrases it, in those confused old documents and
Cabinet Letters of his; [Forster, i. 374, 379, &c.] which awaken a
strange feeling in the attentive reader; and show us the ruggedest
of human creatures melted into blubbering tenderness, and growling
huskily something which we perceive is real prayer. Here has a
business fallen out, such as seldom occurred before!--

Chapter IX.

COURT-MARTIAL ON CROWN-PRINCE AND CONSORTS.

The rumor of these things naturally fills all minds, and occupies
all human tongues, in Berlin and Prussia, though an Edict
threatens, That the tongues shall be cut out which speak of them
in any way, [Dickens, of 7th November, 1730.] and sounds far and
wide into foreign Courts and Countries, where there is no such
Edict. Friedrich Wilhelm's conduct, looked at from without,
appears that of a hideous royal ogre, or blind anthropophagous
Polyphemus fallen mad. Looked at from within, where the Polyphemus
has his reasons, and a kind of inner rushlight to enlighten his
path; and is not bent on man-eating, but on discipline in spite of
difficulties,--it is a wild enough piece of humanity, not so much
ludicrous as tragical. Never was a royal bear so led about before
by a pair of conjuring pipers in the market, or brought to such a
pass in his dancing for them!

"General Ginkel, the Dutch Ambassador here," writes Dickens, "told
me of an interview he had with the King;" being ordered by their
High Mightinesses to solicit his Majesty in this matter.
King "harbors 'most monstrous wicked designs, not fit to be spoken
of in words,' reports Ginkel. 'It is certain,' added he, 'if the
King of Prussia continue in the mind he is in at present, we shall
see scenes here as wicked and bloody as any that were ever heard
of since the creation of the world.' 'Will sacrifice his whole
family,' not the Crown-Prince alone; 'everybody except Grumkow
being, as he fancies, in conspiracy against him.' Poor enchanted
King!--'And all these things he said with such imprecations and
disordered looks, foaming at the mouth all the while, as it was
terrible either to see or hear.'" That is Ginkel's report, as
Dickens conveys it. [Despatch, 7th September, 1730.] Another time,
on new order, a month later, when Ginkel went again to speak a
word for the poor Prisoner, he found his Majesty clothed not in
delirious thunder, but in sorrowful thick fog; Ginkel "was the
less able to judge what the King of Prussia meant to do with his
Son, as it was evident the King himself did not know."
[Ib. 10th October.]

Poor Friedrich Wilhelm, through these months, wanders about,
shifting from room to room, in the night-time, like a man
possessed by evil fiends; "orders his carriage for Wusterhausen at
two in the morning," but finds he is no better there, and returns;
drinks a great deal, "has not gone to bed sober for a month past."
[Ib. 19th December, 1730.] One night he comes gliding like a
perturbed ghost, about midnight, with his candle in his hand, into
the Queen's apartment; says, wildly staring, "He thinks there is
something haunting him:"--O Feekin, erring disobedient Wife, wilt
not thou protect me, after all? Whither can I fly when haunted,
except to thee? Feekin, like a prudent woman, makes no criticism;
orders that his Majesty's bed be made up in her apartment till
these phenomena cease. [Ib. 27th February, 1731.] A much-agitated
royal Father.

The question what is to be done with this unhappy Crown-Prince, a
Deserter from the army, a rebel against the paternal Majesty, and
a believer in the doctrine of Election by Free Grace, or that a
man's good or ill conduct is foredoomed upon him by decree of
God,--becomes more intricate the longer one thinks of it.
Seckendorf and Grumkow, alarmed at being too victorious, are set
against violent high methods; and suggest this and that
consideration: "Who is it that can legally try, condemn, or summon
to his bar, a Crown-Prince? He is Prince of the Empire, as well as
your Majesty's Son!"--"Well, he is Heir of the Sovereign Majesty
in Prussia, too; and Colonel in the Potsdam Guards!" answers
Friedrich Wilhelm.

At length, after six or seven weeks of abstruse meditation, it is
settled in Tobacco-Parliament and the royal breast, That Katte and
the Crown-Prince, as Deserters from the Prussian Army, can and
shall be tried by Court-Martial; to that no power, on the earth or
out of it, can have any objection worth attending to. Let a fair
Court-Martial of our highest military characters be selected and
got ready. Let that, as a voice of Rhadamanthus, speak upon the
two culprits; and tell us what is to be done. By the middle of
October, things on Friedrich Wilhelm's side have got so far.

CROWN-PRINCE IN CUSTRIN.

Poor Friedrich meanwhile has had a grim time of it, these two
months back; left alone, in coarse brown prison-dress, within his
four bare walls at Custrin; in uninterrupted, unfathomable
colloquy with the Destinies and the Necessities there. The King's
stern orders must be fulfilled to the letter; the Crown-Prince is
immured in that manner. At Berlin, there are the wildest rumors as
to the state he has fallen into; "covered with rags and vermin,
unshaven, no comb allowed him, lights his own fire," says one
testimony, which Captain Dickens thinks worth reporting. For the
truth is, no unofficial eye can see the Crown-Prince, or know what
state he is in. And we find, in spite of the Edict, "tongues," not
"cut out," kept wagging at a high rate. "People of all ranks are
unspeakably indignant" at certain heights of the business:
"Margravine Albert said publicly, 'A tyrant as bad as Nero!'"
[Dickens, 7th November, 2d December, 1730.]

How long the Crown-Prince's defiant humor held out, we are not
told. By the middle of October there comes proposal of "entire
confession" from the Prince; and though, when Papa sends deputies
accordingly, there is next to nothing new confessed, and Papa's
anger blazes out again, probably we may take this as the
turning-point on his Son's part. With him, of course, that mood of
mind could not last. There is no wildest lion but, finding his
bars are made of iron, ceases to bite them. The Crown-Prince
there, in his horror, indignation and despair, had a lucid human
judgment in him, too; loyal to facts, and well knowing their
inexorable nature, Just sentiments are in this young man, not
capable of permanent distortion into spasm by any form of
injustice laid on them. It is not long till he begins to discern,
athwart this terrible, quasi-infernal element, that so the facts
are; and that nothing but destruction, and no honor that were not
dishonor, will be got by not conforming to the facts. My Father
may be a tyrant, and driven mad against me: well, well, let not me
at least go mad!

Grumkow is busy on the mild side of the business; of course
Grumkow and all official men. Grumkow cannot but ask himself this
question among others: How if the King should suddenly die upon
us! Grumkow is out at Custrin, and again out; explaining to the
Prince, what the enormous situation is; how inflexible,
inexorable, and of peril and horror incalculable to Mother and
Sister and self and royal House; and that there is one possibility
of good issue, and only one: that of loyally yielding, where one
cannot resist. By degrees, some lurid troublous but perceptible
light-gleam breaks athwart the black whirlwind of our indignation
and despair; and saner thoughts begin to insinuate themselves.
"Obey, thou art not the strongest, there are stronger than thou!
All men, the highest among them, are called to learn obedience."

Moreover, the first sweep of royal fury being past, his Majesty's
stern regulations at Custrin began to relax in fulfilment; to be
obeyed only by those immediately responsible, and in letter rather
than in spirit even by those. President von Munchow who is head of
the Domain-Kammer, chief representative of Government at Custrin,
and resides in the Fortress there, ventures after a little, the
Prince's doors being closed as we saw, to have an orifice bored
through the floor above, and thereby to communicate with the
Prince, and sympathetically ask, What he can do for him?
Many things, books among others, are, under cunning contrivance,
smuggled in by the judicious Munchow, willing to risk himself in
such a service. For example, Munchow has a son, a clever boy of
seven years old; who, to the wonder of neighbors, goes into
child's-petticoats again; and testifies the liveliest desire to be
admitted to the Prince, and bear him company a little! Surely the
law of No-company does not extend to that of an innocent child?
The innocent child has a row of pockets all round the inside of
his long gown; and goes laden, miscellaneously, like a ship of the
desert, or cockboat not forbidden to cross the line. Then there
are stools, one stool at least indispensable to human nature;
and the inside of this, once you open it, is a chest-of-drawers,
containing paper, ink, new literature and much else. No end to
Munchow'a good-will, and his ingenuity is great. [Preuss, i. 46.]

A Captain Fouquet also, furthered I think by the Old Dessauer,
whose man he is, comes to Custrin Garrison, on duty or as
volunteer, by and by. He is an old friend of the Prince's;
--ran off, being the Dessauer's little page, to the Siege of
Stralsund, long ago, to be the Dessauer's little soldier there:
--a ready-witted, hot-tempered, highly estimable man; and his real
duty here is to do the Prince what service may be possible. He is
often with the Prince; their light is extinguished precisely at
seven o'clock: "Very well, Lieutenant," he would say, "you have
done your orders to the Crown-Prince's light. But his Majesty has
no concern with Captain Fouquet's candles!" and thereupon would
light a pair. Nay, I have heard of Lieutenants who punctually blew
out the Prince's light, as a matter of duty and command; and then
kindled it again, as a civility left free to human nature.
In short, his Majesty's orders can only be fulfilled to the
letter; Commandant Lepel and all Officers are willing not to see
where they can help seeing. Even in the letter his Majesty's
orders are severe enough.

SENTENCE OF COURT-MARTIAL.

Meanwhile the Court-Martial, selected with intense study, installs
itself at Copenick; and on the 25th of October commences work.
This Deserter Crown-Prince and his accomplices, especially Katte
his chief accomplice, what is to be done with them? Copenick lies
on the road to Custrin, within a morning's drive of Berlin;
there is an ancient Palace here, and room for a Court-Martial.
"QUE FAIRE? ILS ONT DES CANONS!" said the old Prussian Raths,
wandering about in these woods, when Gustavus and his Swedes were
at the door. "QUE FAIRE?" may the new military gentlemen think to
themselves, here again, while the brown leaves rustle down upon
them, after a hundred years!

The Court consists of a President, Lieutenant-General Schulenburg,
an elderly Malplaquet gentleman of good experience; one of the
many Schulenburgs conspicuous for soldiering, and otherwise, in
those times. He is nephew of George I.'s lean mistress; who also
was a Schulenburg originally, and conspicuous not for soldiering.
Lean mistress we say; not the Fat one, or cataract of tallow, with
eyebrows like a cart-wheel, and dim coaly disks for eyes, who was
George I.'s half-sister, probably not his mistress at all; and who
now, as Countess of Darlington so called, sits at Isleworth with
good fat pensions, and a tame raven come-of-will,--probably the
SOUL of George I. in some form. [See Walpole,
Reminiscences. ] Not this one, we say:--but the
thread-paper Duchess of Kendal, actual Ex-mistress; who tore her
hair on the road when apoplexy overtook poor George, and who now
attends chapel diligently, poor old anatomy or lean human
nail-rod. For the sake of the English reader searching into what
is called "History," I, with indignation, endeavor to discriminate
these two beings once again; that each may be each, till both are
happily forgotten to all eternity. It was the latter, lean
may-pole or nail-rod one, that was Aunt of Schulenburg, the
elderly Malplaquet gentleman who now presides at Copenick. And let
the reader remember him; for he will turn up repeatedly again.

The Court consisted farther of three Major-Generals, among whom I
name only Grumkow (Major-General by rank though more of a
diplomatist and black-artist than a soldier), and Schwerin, Kurt
von Schwerin of Mecklenburg (whom Madam Knyphausen regrets, in her
now exile to the Country); three Colonels, Derschau one of them;
three Lieutenant-Colonels, three Majors and three Captains, all of
whom shall be nameless here. Lastly come three of the "Auditor" or
the Judge-Advocate sort: Mylius, the Compiler of sad Prussian
Quartos, known to some; Gerber, whose red cloak has frightened us
once already; and the Auditor of Katte's regiment. A complete
Court-Martial, and of symmetrical structure, by the rule of
three;--of whose proceedings we know mainly the result, nor seek
much to know more. This Court met on Wednesday, 25th October,
1730, in the little Town of Copenick; and in six days had ended,
signed, sealed and despatched to his Majesty; and got back to
Berlin on the Tuesday next. His Majesty, who is now at
Wusterhausen, in hunting time, finds conclusions to the
following effect:--

Accomplices of the Crown-Prince are two: FIRST, Lieutenant Keith,
actual deserter (who cannot be caught): To be hanged in effigy,
cut in four quarters, and nailed to the gallows at Wesel:--GOOD,
says his Majesty. SECONDLY, Lieutenant Katte of the Gens-d'Armes,
intended deserter, not actually deserting, and much tempted
thereto: All things considered, Perpetual Fortress Arrest to
Lieutenant Katte:--NOT GOOD this; BAD this, thinks Majesty; this
provokes from his Majesty an angry rebuke to the too lax
Court-Martial. Rebuke which can still be read, in growling,
unlucid phraseology; but with a rhadamanthine idea clear enough in
it, and with a practical purport only too clear: That Katte was a
sworn soldier, of the Gens-d'Armes even, or Body-guard of the
Prussian Majesty; and did nevertheless, in the teeth of his oath,
"worship the Rising Sun" when minded to desert; did plot and
colleague with foreign Courts in aid of said Rising Sun, and of an
intended high crime against the Prussian Majesty itself on Rising
Sun's part; far from at once revealing the same, as duty ordered
Lieutenant Katte to do. That Katte's crime amounts to high-treason
(CRIMEN LOESOE MAJESTATIS); that the rule is, FIAT JUSTITIA, ET
PEREAT MUNDUS;--and that, in brief, Katte's doom is, and is hereby
declared to be, Death. Death by the gallows and hot pincers is the
usual doom of Traitors; but his Majesty will say in this case,
Death by the sword and headsman simply; certain circumstances
moving the royal clemency to go so far, no farther. And the
Court-Martial has straightway to apprise Katte of this same:
and so doing, "shall say, That his Majesty is sorry for Katte:
but that it is better he die than that justice depart out of the
world." [Preuss, i. 44.]

This is the iron doom of Katte; which no prayer or influence of
mortal will avail to alter,--lest justice depart out of the world.
Katte's Father is a General of rank, Commandant of Konigsberg at
this moment; Katte's Grandfather by the Mother's side, old
Fieldmarshal Wartensleben, is a man in good favor with Friedrich
Wilhelm, and of high esteem and mark in his country for half a
century past. But all this can effect nothing. Old Wartensleben
thinks of the Daughter he lost; for happily Katte's Mother is dead
long since. Old Wartensleben writes to Friedrich Wilhelm; his
mournful Letter, and Friedrich Wilhelm's mournful but inexorable
answer, can be read in the Histories; but show only what we
already know.

Katte's Mother, Fieldmarshal Wartensleben's Daughter, died in
1706; leaving Katte only two years old. He is now twenty-six;
very young for such grave issues; and his fate is certainly very
hard. Poor young soul, he did not resist farther, or quarrel with
the inevitable and inexorable. He listened to Chaplain Muller of
the Gens-d'Armes; admitted profoundly, after his fashion, that the
great God was just, and the poor Katte sinful, foolish, only to be
saved by miracle of mercy; and piously prepared himself to die on
these terms. There are three Letters of his to his Grandfather,
which can still be read, one of them in Wilhelmina's Book,
[Wilhelmina, i. 302.] the sound of it like that of dirges borne on
the wind, Wilhelmina evidently pities Katte very tenderly; in her
heart she has a fine royal-maiden kind of feeling to the poor
youth. He did heartily repent and submit; left with Chaplain
Muller a Paper of pious considerations, admonishing the Prince to
submit. These are Katte's last employments in his prison at
Berlin, after sentence had gone forth.

KATTE'S END, 6th NOVEMBER, 1780.

On Sunday evening, 6th November, it is intimated to him,
unexpectedly at the moment, that he has to go to Custrin, and
there die;--carriage now waiting at the gate. Katte masters the
sudden flurry; signifies that all is ready, then; and so, under
charge of his old Major and two brother Officers, who, and
Chaplain Muller, are in the carriage with him, a troop of his own
old Cavalry Regiment escorting, he leaves Berlin (rather on sudden
summons); drives all night, towards Custrin and immediate death.
Words of sympathy were not wanting, to which Katte answered
cheerily; grim faces wore a cloud of sorrow for the poor youth
that night. Chaplain Muller's exhortations were fervent and
continual; and, from time to time, there were heard, hoarsely
melodious through the damp darkness and the noise of wheels,
snatches of "devotional singing," led by Muller.

It was in the gray of the winter morning, 6th November, 1730, that
Katte arrived in Custrin garrison. He took kind leave of Major and
men: Adieu, my brothers; good be with you evermore!--And, about
nine o'clock he is on the road towards the Rampart of the Castle,
where a scaffold stands. Katte wore, by order, a brown dress
exactly like the Prince's; the Prince is already brought down into
a lower room to see Katte as he passes (to "see Katte die," had
been the royal order; but they smuggled that into abeyance);
and Katte knows he shall see him. Faithful Muller was in the
death-car along with Katte: and he had adjoined to himself one
Besserer, the Chaplain of the Garrison, in this sad function,
since arriving. Here is a glimpse from Besserer, which we may take
as better than nothing:--

"His (Katte's) eyes were mostly directed to God; and we (Muller
and I), on our part, strove to hold his heart up heavenwards, by
presenting the examples of those who had died in the Lord,--as of
God's Son himself, and Stephen, and the Thief on the Cross,--till,
under such discoursing, we approached the Castle. Here, after long
wistful looking about, he did get sight of his beloved Jonathan,"
Royal Highness the Crown-Prince, "at a window in the Castle;
from whom he, with the politest and most tender expression, spoken
in French, took leave, with no little emotion of sorrow." [Letter
to Katte's Father (Extract, in Preuss, Friedrich mit
Freunden und Verwandten, p. 7).]

President Munchow and the Commandant were with the Prince;
whose emotions one may fancy; but not describe. Seldom did any
Prince or man stand in such a predicament. Vain to say, and again
say: "In the name of God, I ask you, stop the execution till I
write to the King!" Impossible that; as easily stop the course of
the stars. And so here Katte comes; cheerful loyalty still beaming
on his face, death now nigh. "PARDONNEZ-MOI, MON CHER KATTE!"
cried Priedrich in a tone: Pardon me, dear Katte; oh, that this
should be what I have done for you!--"Death is sweet for a Prince
I love so well," said Katte, "LA MORT EST DOUCE POUR UN SI AIMABLE
PRINCE;" [Wilhelmina, i. 307; Preuss, i. 45.] and fared on,--round
some angle of the Fortress, it appears; not in sight of Friedrich;
who sank into a faint, and had seen his last glimpse of Katte in
this world.

The body lay all day upon the scaffold, by royal order; and was
buried at night obscurely in the common churchyard; friends, in
silence, took mark of the place against better times,--and Katte's
dust now lies elsewhere, among that of his own kindred.

"Never was such a transaction before or since, in Modern History,"
cries the angry reader: "cruel, like the grinding of human hearts
under millstones, like--" Or indeed like the doings of the gods,
which are cruel, though not that alone? This is what, after much
sorting and sifting, I could get to know about the definite facts
of it. Commentary, not likely to be very final at this epoch, the
reader himself shall supply at discretion.

END OF BOOK 7

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