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History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 6 by Thomas Carlyle

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have made acquaintance, if he cared: a lad of sixteen; by and by
an Austrian General, as his father had been; General much noised
of,--whom we shall often see beaten, in this world, at the head of
men.--But let us now get to Soissons itself, skipping an
intermediate Letter or two:--


"SOISSONS, 28th October," 1728.

"I thank you, my dear Sir, for complying so much with my
inclinations as to let me stay some time at Soissons: but as you
have not fixed how long, I wait for farther orders.

"One of my chief reasons for disliking Luneville was the multitude
of English there; who, most of them, were such worthless fellows
that they were a dishonor to the name and Nation. With these I was
obliged to dine and sup, and pass a great part of my time. You may
be sure I avoided it as much as possible; but MALGRE MOI I
suffered a great deal. To prevent any comfort from other people,
they had made a law among themselves, not to admit any foreigner
into their company: so that there was nothing but English talked
from June to January.--On the contrary, my countrymen at Soissons
are men of virtue and good sense; they mix perpetually with the
French, and converse for the most part in that language. I will
trouble you no more upon this subject: but give me leave to say
that, however capricious I may have been on other subjects, my
sentiments in this particular are the strongest proofs I ever gave
you of my strong and hereditary aversion to vice and folly.

"Mr. Stanhope," our Minister, the Colonel or Brigadier-General,
"is always at Fontainebleau. I went with Mr. Poyntz," Poyntz not
yet a dim figure, but a brilliant, who hints about employing me,
"to Paris for four days, when the Colonel himself was there, to
meet him; he received me with great civility and kindness. We have
done expecting Mr. Walpole," fixed he in the Court regions;
"who is obliged to keep strict guard over the Cardinal," sly old
Fleury, "for fear the German Ministers should take him from us.
They pull and haul the poor old gentleman so many ways, that he
does not know where to turn, or into whose arms to throw himself."
Never fear him!--

"Ripperda's escape to England,"--grand Diplomatic bulldog that
was, who took refuge in Colonel Stanhope's at Madrid to no
purpose, and kindled the sputtering at Gibraltar, is now got
across to England, and will go to Morocco and farther, to no
purpose,--"will very much embroil affairs; which did not seem to
want another obstacle to hinder them from coming to an
accommodation. If the Devil is not very much wanting to his own
interests in this Business, it is impossible that the good work of
Peace, should go on much longer. After all, most young fellows are
of his party; and wish he may bring matters to a War; for they
make but ill Ministers at a Congress, but would make good Soldiers
in a Campaign.

"No news from Madam" BLANK "and her beloved Husband.
Their unreasonable fondness for each other can never last:
they will soon grow as cold to one another as the Town to
The Beggars' Opera." And cannot warm again,
you think? "Pray Heaven I may prove a false prophet; but Married
Love and English Music are too domestic to continue long
in favor."...

NOVEMBER 20th, SOISSONS still. "This is one of the agreeablest
Towns in France. The people are infinitely obliging to strangers:
we are of all their parties, and perpetually share with them in
their pleasures. I have learnt more French since I came hither,
than I should have picked up in a twelvemonth in Lorraine....

"A fool with a majority on his side is the greatest tyrant in the
world:"--how can I go back to loiter in Lorraine, honored Father,
where fools are in such majority? "Then the extraordinary
civilities I receive from Mr. Poyntz: He has in a manner taken me
into his family;" will evidently make an Apprentice of me.
"The first Packet that comes from Fontainebleau, I expect to be
employed. Which is no small pleasure to me: and will I hope be
of service."...

DECEMBER 20th. "A sudden order to Mr. Poyntz has broken all my
measures. He goes to-morrow to Paris, to stay there in the room of
Messrs. Stanhope and Walpole, who are on their return for
England." Congress falling into complete languor, if we knew it!
But ought not I to accompany this friendly and distinguished
Mr. Poyntz, "who has already given me papers to copy;"--in fact I
am setting off with him, honored Father!...

"Prince Frederick's journey,"--first arrival in England of
dissolute Fred from Hanover, who had NOT been to Berlin to get
married last summer,--"was very secret: Mr. Poyntz did not hear of
it till Friday last; at least he had no public notice of it."
Why should he? "There will be fine struggling for places" in this
Prince's new Household. "I hope my Brother will come in for one."
[Ayscough's Lyttelton, iii. 200-231.]--

But here we pull the string of the curtain upon Lyttelton, and
upon his Congress falling into complete languor; Congress
destined, after dining for about a year more, to explode, in the
Treaty of Seville, and to leave the Kaiser sitting horror-struck,
solitary amid the wreck of Political Nature,--which latter,
however, pieces itself together again for him and others.
Beneficent Treaty of Vienna was at last achieved; Treaty and
Treaties there, which brought matters to their old bearing again,
--Austria united with the Sea-Powers, Pragmatic Sanction accepted
by them, subsidies again to be expected from them; Baby Carlos
fitted with his Apanages, in some tolerable manner; and the
Problem, with which Creation had groaned for some twenty years
past, finally accomplished better or worse.

Lyttelton himself will get a place in Prince Frederick's
Household, and then lose it; place in Majesty's Ministry at last,
but not for a long while yet. He will be one of Prince Frederick's
men, of the Carterets, Chesterfields, Pitts, who "patronize
literature," and are in opposition to dark Walpole; one of the
"West-Wickham set;"--and will be of the Opposition party, and have
his adventures in the world. Meanwhile let him go to Paris with
Mr. Poyntz; and do his wisest there and elsewhere.

"Who's dat who ride astride de pony,
So long, so lean, so lank and bony?
Oh, he be de great orator, Little-ton-y."
[Caricature of 1741, on Lyttelton's getting into the Ministry,
with Carteret, Chesterfield, Argyll, and the rest:
see Phillimore's Lyttelton (London, l845),
i. 110; Johnson's Lives of the Poets,
? Lyttelton; &c. &c.]

For now we are round at Friedrich Wilhelm's Pomeranian Hunting
again, in the New-year's time of 1729; and must look again into
the magnanimous sick-room which ensued thereon; where a small
piece of business is going forward. What a magnanimous patient
Friedrich Wilhelm was, in Fassmann's judgment, we know: but, it
will be good to show both sides of the tapestry, and let
Wilhelmina also speak. The small business is only, a Treaty of
Marriage for one of our Princesses: not Wilhelmina, but Louisa the
next younger, who has been asked, and will consent, as appears.

Fassmann makes a very touching scene of it. King is in bed, ill of
his gout after that slaughter of the 3,602 wild swine: attendants
are sitting round his Majesty, in the way we know; Queen Sophie at
his head, "Seckendorf and several others" round the bed.
Letters arrive; Princess Frederika Louisa, a very young Lady, has
also had a Letter; which, she sees by the seal, will be
interesting, but which she must not herself open. She steps in
with it; "beautiful as an angel, but rather foolish, and a spoilt
child of fifteen," says Wilhelmina: trips softly in with it;
hands it to the King. "Give it to thy Mother, let her read it,"
says the King. Mother reads it, with audible soft voice:
Formal demand in marriage from the Serenity of Anspach,
as foreseen.

"Hearken, Louisa (HORE, LUISE), it is still time," said the King:
"Tell us, wouldst thou rather go to Anspach, now, or stay with me?
If thou choose to stay, thou shalt want, for nothing, either, to
the end of thy life. Speak!"--"At such unexpected question," says
Fassmann, "there rose a fine blush over the Princess's face, who
seemed to be at a loss for her answer. However, she soon collected
herself; kissed his Majesty's hand, and said: 'Most gracious Papa,
I will to Anspach!' To which the King: 'Very well, then; God give
thee all happiness and thousand blessings!--But, hearken, Louisa,'
the King's Majesty was pleased at the same time to add, 'We will
make a bargain, thou and I. You have excellent, Flour at Anspach
(SCHONES MEHL); but in Hams and Smoked Sausages you don't, come
up, either in quality or quantity, to us in this Country. Now I,
for my part, like good pastries. So, from time to time, thou shalt
send me a box of nice flour, and I will keep thee in hams and
sausages. Wilt thou, Louisa?' That the Princess answered Yea,"
says poor Fassmann with the tear in his eye, "may readily be
supposed!" Nay all that heard the thing round the royal bed there
--simple humanities of that kind from so great, a King--had almost
or altogether tears in their eyes. [Fassmann, pp. 393, 394.]

This surely is a very touching scene. But now listen to
Wilhelmina's account of another on the same subject, between the
same parties. "At table;" no date indicated, or a wrong one, but
evidently after this: in fact, we find it was about the beginning
of March, 1729; and had sad consequences for Wilhelmina.

"At table his Majesty told the Queen that he had Letters from
Anspach; the young Margraf to be at Berlin in May for his wedding;
that M. Bremer his Tutor was just coming with the ring of
betrothal for Louisa. He asked my Sister, If that gave her
pleasure? and How she would regulate her housekeeping when
married? My Sister had got into the way of telling him whatever
she thought, and home-truths sometimes, without his taking it ill.
She answered with her customary frankness, That she would have a
good table, which should be delicately served; and, added she,
'which shall be better than yours. And if I have children, I will
not maltreat them like you, nor force them to eat what they have
an aversion to.'--'What do you mean by that?' replied the King:
'what is there wanting at my table?'--'There is this wanting,' she
said, 'that one cannot have enough; and the little there is
consists of coarse potherbs that nobody can eat.' The King," as
was not unnatural, "had begun to get angry at her first answer:
this last put him quite in a fury; but all his anger fell on my
Brother and me. He first threw a plate at my Brother's head, who
ducked out of the way; he then let fly another at me, which I
avoided in like manner. A hail-storm of abuse followed these first
hostilities. He rose into a passion against the Queen; reproaching
her with the bad training she gave her children; and, addressing
my Brother: 'You have reason to curse your Mother,' said he, 'for
it is she that causes your being an ill-governed fellow (UN MAL
GOUVERNE). I had a Preceptor,' continued he, 'who was an honest
man. I remember always a story he told me in my youth. There was a
man, at Carthage, who had been condemned to die for many crimes he
had committed. While they were leading him to execution, he
desired he might speak to his Mother. They brought his Mother:
he came near, as if to whisper something to her;--and bit away a
piece of her ear. I treat you thus, said he, to make you an
example to all parents who take no heed to bring up their children
in the practice of virtue!--Make the application,' continued he,
always addressing my Brother: and getting no answer from him, he
again set to abusing us till he could speak no longer. We rose
from table. As we had to pass near him in going out, he aimed a
great blow at me with his crutch; which, if I had not jerked away
from it, would have ended me. He chased me for a while in his
wheel-chair, but the people drawing it gave me time to escape into
the Queen's chamber." [Wilhelmina, i. 159.]

Poor Wilhelmina, beaten upon by Papa in this manner, takes to bed
in miserable feverish pain, is ordered out by Mamma to evening
party, all the same; is evidently falling very ill. "Ill? I will
cure you!" says Papa next day, and makes her swallow a great
draught of wine. Which completes the thing: "declared small-pox,"
say all the Doctors now. So that Wilhelmina is absent thenceforth,
as Fassmann already told us, from the magnanimous paternal
sick-room; and lies balefully eclipsed, till the paternal gout and
some other things have run their course. "Small-pox; what will
Prince Fred think? A perfect fright, if she do live!" say the
English Court-gossips in the interim. But we are now arrived at a
very singular Prussian-English phenomenon; and ought to take a
new Chapter.

Chapter VI.


The Double-Marriage negotiation hung fire, in the end of 1728;
but everybody thought, especially Queen Sophie thought, it would
come to perfection; old Ilgen, almost the last thing he did, shed
tears of joy about it. These fine outlooks received a sad shock in
the Year now come; when secret grudges burst out into open flame;
and Berlin, instead of scenic splendors for a Polish Majesty, was
clangorous with note of preparation for imminent War.
Probably Queen Sophie never had a more agitated Summer than this
of 1729. We are now arrived at that thrice-famous Quarrel, or
almost Duel, of Friedrich Wilhelm and his Britannic Brother-in-law
little George II.; and must try to riddle from those distracted
Paper-masses some notice of it, not wholly unintelligible to the
reader. It is loudly talked of, loudly, but alas also loosely to a
degree, in all manner of dull Books; and is at once thrice-famous
and extremely obscure. The fact is, Nature intended it for eternal
oblivion;--and that, sure enough, would have been its fate long
since, had not persons who were then thought to be of no
importance, but are now seen to be of some, stood connected with
it more or less.

Friedrich Wilhelm, for his own part, had seen in the death of
George I. an evil omen from the English quarter; and all along, in
spite of transient appearances to the contrary, had said to
himself, "If the First George, with his solemnities and tacit
sublimities, was offensive now and then, what will the Second
George be? The Second George has been an offence from the
beginning!" In which notions the Smoking Parliament, vitally
interested to do it, in these perilous Soissons times, big with
the fate of the Empire and Universe, is assiduous to confirm his
Majesty. The Smoking Parliament, at Potsdam, at Berlin, in the
solitudes of Wusterhausen, has been busy; and much tobacco, much
meditation and insinuation have gone up, in clouds more abstruse
than ever, since the death of George I.

It is certain, George II. was a proud little fellow; very high and
airy in his ways; not at all the man to Friedrich Wilhelm's heart,
nor reciprocally. A man of some worth, too; "scrupulously kept his
word," say the witnesses: a man always conscious to himself,
"Am not I a man of honor, then?" to a punctilious degree. For the
rest, courageous as a Welf; and had some sense withal,--though
truly not much, and indeed, as it were, none at all in comparison
to what he supposed he had!--One can fancy the aversion of the
little dapper Royalty to this heavy-footed Prussian Barbarian, and
the Prussian Barbarian's to him. The bloody nose in childhood was
but a symbol of what passed through life. In return for his bloody
nose, little George, five years the elder, had carried off
Caroline of Anspach; and left Friedrich Wilhelm sorrowing, a
neglected cub,--poor honest Beast tragically shorn of his Beauty.
Offences could not fail; these two Cousins went on offending one
another by the mere act of living simultaneously. A natural
hostility, that between George II. and Friedrich Wilhelm; anterior
to Caroline of Anspach, and independent of the collisions of
interest that might fall out between them. Enmity as between a
glancing self-satisfied fop, and a loutish thick-soled man of
parts, who feels himself the better though the less successful.
House-Mastiff seeing itself neglected, driven to its hutch, for a
tricksy Ape dressed out in ribbons, who gets favor in the

George, I perceive by the very State-Papers, George and his
English Lords have a provoking slighting tone towards Friedrich
Wilhelm; they answer his violent convictions, and thoroughgoing
rapid proposals, by brief official negation, with an air of
superiority,--traces of, a polite sneer perceptible, occasionally.
A mere Clown of a King, thinks George; a mere gesticulating
Coxcomb, thinks Friedrich Wilhelm. "MEIN BRUDER DER COMODIANT, My
Brother the Play-actor" (parti-colored Merry-Andrew, of a
high-flying turn)! was Friedrich Wilhelm's private name for him,
in after days. Which George repaid by one equal to it, "My Brother
the Head-Beadle of the Holy Roman Empire,"--"ERZ-SANDSTREUER," who
solemnly brings up the SANDBOX (no blotting-paper yet in use) when
the Holy Roman Empire is pleased to write. "ERZ-SANDSTREUER,
Arch-Sandbox-Beadle of the HEILIGE ROMISCHE REICH;" it is a
lumbering nickname, but intrinsically not without felicity, and
the wittiest thing I know of little George.

Special cause of quarrel they had none that was of the least
significance; and, at this time, prudent friends were striving to
unite them closer and closer, as the true policy for both;
English Townshend himself rather wishing it, as the best Prussian
Officials eagerly did; Queen Sophie passionate for it; and only a
purchased Grumkow, a Seckendorf and the Tobacco-Parliament set
against it. The Treaty of Wusterhausen was not known; but the fact
of some Treaty made or making, some Imperial negotiation always
going on, was too evident; and Friedrich Wilhelm's partialities to
the Kaiser and his Seckendorf could be a secret nowhere.

Negotiation always going on, we say; for such indeed was the
case,--the Kaiser striving always to be loose again (having
excellent reasons, a secret bargain to the contrary, to wit!) in
regard to that Julich-and-Berg Succession; proposing "substitutes
for Julich and Berg;" and Friedrich Wilhelm refusing to accept any
imaginable substitute, anything but the article itself. So that,
I believe, the Treaty of Wusterhausen was never perfectly
ratified, after all; but hung, for so many years, always on the
point of being so. These are the uses of your purchased Grumkow,
and of riding the length of a Terrestrial Equator keeping a
Majesty in company. If, by a Double-Marriage with England, that
intricate web of chicanery had been once fairly slit in two, and
new combinations formed, on a basis not of fast-and-loose, could
it have been of disadvantage to either of the Countries, or to
either of their Kings?--Real and grave causes for agreement we
find; real or grave causes for quarrel none anywhere. But light or
imaginary causes, which became at last effectual, can be
enumerated, to the length of three or four.


FIRST, the "Ahlden Heritage" was one cause of disagreement, which
lasted long. The poor Mother of George II. and of Queen Sophie had
left considerable properties; "three million THALERS," that is
900,000 pounds, say some; but all was rather in an unliquid state,
not so much as her Will was to be had. The Will, with a 10,000
pounds or so, was in the hands of a certain Graf von Bar, one of
her confidants in that sad imprisonment: "money lent him,"
Busching says, [ Beitrage zur Lebensgeschichte
denkwurdiger Personen (Halle, 1783-l789), i. 306,
? NUSSLER. Some distracted fractions of Business Correspondence
with this Bar, in Memoirs of Sophia Dorothea, italic>--unintelligible as usual there.] "to set up a
Wax-Bleachery at Cassel:"--and the said Count von Bar was off with
it, Testamentary Paper and all; gone to the REICHSHOFRATH at
Vienna, supreme Judges, in the Empire, of such matters.
Who accordingly issued him a "Protection," to start with: so that
when the Hanover people attempted to lay hold of the questionable
wax-bleaching Count, at Frankfurt-on-Mayn,--secretly sending
"a lieutenant and twelve men" for that object,--he producec his
Protection Paper, and the lieutenant and twelve men had to hasten
home again. [Ibid.] Count von Bar had to be tried at law,--never
ask with what results;--and this itself was a long story. Then as
to the other properties of the poor Duchess, question arises, Are
they ALLODIA, or are they FEUDA,--that is to say, shall the Son
have them, or the Daughter? In short, there was no end to
questions. Friedrich Wilhelm has an Envoy at Hanover, one
Kannegiesser, laboring at Hauover, the second of such he has been
obliged to send; who finds plenty of employment in that matter.
"My Brother the COMODIANT quietly put his Father's Will in his
pocket, I have heard; and paid no regard to it (except what he was
compelled to pay, by Chesterfield and others): will he do the like
with his poor Mother's Will?" Patience, your Majesty: he is not a
covetous man, but a self-willed and a proud,--always conscious to
himself that he is the soul of honor, this poor Brother King!

Nay withal, before these testamentary bickerings are settled, here
has a new Joint-Heritage fallen: on which may rise discussions.
Poor Uncle Ernst of Osnabruck--to whom George I., chased by Death,
went galloping for shelter that night, and who could only weep
over his poor Brother dead --has not survived him many months.
The youngest Brother of the lot is now gone too. Electress
Sophie's Seven are now all gone. She had six sons: four became
Austrian soldiers, three of whom perished in war long since;
the other three, the Bishop, the King, the eldest of the Soldiers,
have all died within two years (1726-1728): [Michaelis, i. 153.
See Feder, Kurfurstinn Sophie; Hoppe,
Geschichte der Stadt Hannover; &c.] Sophie
Charlotte, "Republican Queen" of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm's
Mother, whom we knew long since, was the one Daughter. Her also
Uncle Ernst saw die, in his youth, as we may remember. They are
all dead. And now the Heritages are to settle, at least the recent
part of them. Let Kannegiesser keep his eyes open. Kannegiesser is
an expert high-mannered man; but said to be subject to sharpness
of temper; and not in the best favor with the Hanover people.
That is Cause FIRST.


Then, secondly, there is the business of Mecklenburg; deplorable
Business for Mecklenburg, and for everybody within wind of it,--
my poor readers included. Readers remember--what reader can ever
forget?--that extraordinary Duke of Mecklenburg, the "Unique of
Husbands," as we had to call him, who camE with his extraordinary
Duchess, to wait on her Uncle Peter, the Russian (say rather
SAMOEIDIC) Czar, at Magdeburg, a dozen years ago? We feared it was
in the fates we might meet that man again; and so it turns out!
The Unique of Husbands has proved also to be the unluckiest of
Misgoverning Dukes in his Epoch; and spreads mere trouble all
round him. Mecklenburg is in a bad way, this long while,
especially these ten years past. "Owing to the Charles-Twelfth
Wars," or whatever it was owing to, this unlucky Duke had fallen
into want of more money; and impoverished Mecklenburg alleged that
it was in no condition to pay more. Almost on his accession, while
the tar-barrels were still blazing, years before we ever saw him,
he demanded new subvention from his RITTERS (the "Squires" of the
Country); subvention new in Mecklenburg, though common in other
sovereign German States, and at one time in Mecklenburg too.
The Ritters would not pay; the Duke would compel them:
Ritters appeal to Kaiser in Reichshofrath, who proves favorable to
the Ritters. Duke still declines obeying Kaiser; asserts that "he
is himself in such matter the sovereign:" Kaiser fulminates what
of rusty thunder he has about him; to which the Duke, flung on his
back by it, still continues contumacious in mind and tongue:
and so between thunder and contumacy, as between hammer and
stithy, the poor Country writhes painfully ever since, and is an
affliction to everybody near it.

For ten years past, the unluckiest of Misgoverning Dukes has been
in utter controversy with his Ritters;--at law with them before
the Courts of the Empire, nay occasionally trying certain of them
himself, and cutting off their heads; getting Russian regiments,
and then obliged to renounce Russian regiments;--in short, a very
great trouble to mankind thereabouts. [Michaelis, ii. 416-435.]
So that the Kaiser in Reichshofrath, about the date indicated
(Year 1719), found good to send military coercion on him;
and intrusted that function to the Hanover-Brunswick people, to
George I. more especially; to whom, as KREIS-HAUPTMANN" ("Captain
of the Circle," Circle of Lower-Saxony, where the contumacy had
occurred), such function naturally fell. The Hanover Sovereignty,
sending 13,000 men, horse, foot and artillery into Mecklenburg,
soon did their function, with only some slight flourishes of
fighting on the part of the contumacious Duke,--in which his chief
Captain, one Schwerin, distinguishes himself: Kurt von Schwerin,
whom we shall know better by and by, for he went into the Prussian
service shortly after. Colonel von Schwerin did well what was in
him; but could not save a refractory Duke, against such odds.
The contumacious Duke was obliged to fly his country;--deposed,
or, to begin with, suspended, a Brother of his being put in as
interim Duke:--and the Unique of Husbands and paragon of
Mismanaging Dukes lives about Dantzig ever since, on a Pension
allowed him by his interim Brother; contumacious to the last;
and still stirring up strife, though now with diminished means,
Uncle Peter being now dead, and Russian help much cut off.

The Hanover Sovereignties did their function soon enough:
but their "expenses for it," these they have in vain demanded ever
since. No money to be got from Mecklenburg; and Mecklenburg owes
us "ten tons of gold,"--that is to say, 1,000,000 thalers, "tou"
being the tenth part of a million in that coin. Hanover,
therefore, holds possession--and has held ever since, with
competent small military force--of certain Districts in
Mecklenburg: Taxes of these will subsist our soldiery in the
interim, and yield interest; the principal once paid, we at once
give them up; principal, by these schedules, if you care to count
them, is one million thalers (ten TONNEN GOLDES, as above said),
or about 150,000 pounds. And so it has stood for ten years past;
Mecklenburg the most anarchic of countries, owing to the kind of
Ritters and kind of Duke it has. Poor souls, it is evident they
have all lost their beaten road, and got among the IGNES FATUI and
peat-pools: none knows the necessities and sorrows of this poor
idle Duke himself! In his young years, before accession, he once
tried soldiering; served one campaign with Charles XII., but was
glad to "return to Hamburg" again, to the peaceable scenes of
fashionable life there. [See German Spy
(London, 1725, by Lediard, Biographer of Marlborough) for a lively
picture of the then Hamburg,--resort of Northern Moneyed Idleness,
as well as of better things.] Then his Russian Unique of Wives:--
his probable adventures, prior and subsequent, in Uncle Peter's
sphere, can these have been pleasant to him? The angry Ritters,
too, their country had got much trampled to pieces in the
Charles-Twelfth Wars, Stralsund Sieges: money seemed necessary to
the Duke, and the Ritters were very scarce of it. Add, on both
sides, pride and want of sense, with mutual anger going on
CRESCENDO; and we have the sad phenomenon now visible: A Duke fled
to Dantzig, anarchic Ritters none the better for his going;
Duke perhaps threatening to return, and much flurrying his poor
interim Brother, and stirring up the Anarchies:--in brief,
Mecklenburg become a house on fire, for behoof of neighbors
and self.

In these miserable brabbles Friedrich Wilhelm did not hitherto
officially interfere; though not uninterested in them; being a
next neighbor, and even, by known treaties, "eventual heir,"
should the Mecklenburg Line die out. But we know he was not in
favor with the Kaiser, in those old years; so the military
coercion had been done by other hands, and he had not shared in
the management at all. He merely watched the course of things;
always advised the Duke to submit to Law, and be peaceable;
was sometimes rather sorry for him, too, as would appear.

Last year, however (1728),--doubtless it was one of Seckendorf's
minor measures, done in Tobacco-Parliament,--Friedrich Wilhelm,
now a pet of the Kaiser's, is discovered to be fairly concerned in
that matter; and is conjoined with the Hanover-Brunswick
Commissioners for Mecklenburg; Kaiser specially requiring that his
Prussian Majesty shall "help in executing Imperial Orders" in the
neighboring Anarchic Country. Which rather huffed little George,--
hitherto, since, his Father's death, the principal, or as good as
sole Commissioner,--if so big a Britannic Majesty COULD be huffed
by paltry slights of that kind! Friedrich Wilhelm, who has much
meditated Mecklenburg, strains his intellect, sometimes to an
intense degree, to find out ways of settling it: George, who has
never cared to meditate it, nor been able if he had, is capable of
sniffing scornfully at Friedrich Wilhelm's projects on the matter,
and dismissing them as moonshine. [Dubourgay Despatches and the
Answers to them (more than once).] To a wise much-meditative
House-Mastiff, can that be pleasant, from an unthinking dizened
creature of the Ape species? The troubles of Mecklenburg, and
discrepancies thereupon, are capable of becoming a SECOND source
of quarrel.


Cause THIRD is the old story of recruiting; a standing cause
between Prussia and all its neighbors. And the FOURTH cause is the
tiniest of all: the "Meadow of Clamei." Meadow of Clamei, some
square yards of boggy ground; which, after long study, one does
find to exist in the obscurest manner, discoverable in the best
Maps of Germany,--some twenty miles south of the Elbe river, on
the boundary between Hanover-Luneburg and Prussia-Magdeburg,
dubious on which side of the boundary. Lonesome unknown Patch of
Meadow, lying far amid peaty wildernesses in those Salzwedel
regions: unknown to all writing mortals as yet; but which
threatens, in this summer of 1729, to become famous as Runnymead
among the Meadows of History! And the FIFTH cause--In short, there
was no real "cause" of the least magnitude; the effect was
produced by the combination of many small and imaginary ones.
For if there is a will to quarrel, we know there is a way.
And perhaps the FIFTH namable cause, in efficiency worth all the
others together, might be found in the Debates of the Smoking
Parliament that season, were the Journal of its Proceedings
extant! We gather symptoms, indisputable enough, of very diligent
elaborations and insinuations there; and conclude that to have
been the really effective cause. Clouds had risen between the two
Courts; but except for the Tobacco-Parliament, there never could
have thunder come from them.

Very soon after George's accession there began clouds to rise;
the perfectly accomplished little George assuming a severe and
high air towards his rustic Brother-in-Law. "We cannot stand these
Prussian enlistments and encroachments; rectify these, in a high
and severe manner!" says George to his Hanover Officials.
George is not warm on his throne till there comes in, accordingly,
from the Hanover Officials a Complaint to that effect, and even a
List of Hanoverian subjects who are, owing to various injustices,
now serving in the Prussian ranks: "Your Prussian Majesty is
requested to return us these men!"

This List is dated 22d January, 1728; George only a few months old
in his new authority as yet. The Prussian Majesty grumbles
painfully responsive: "Will, with eagerness, do whatever is just;
most surely! But is his Britannic Majesty aware? Hanover Officials
are quite misinformed as to the circumstances;"--and does not
return any of the men. Merely a pacific grumble, and nothing done
in regard to the complaints. Then there is the Meadow of Clamei
which we spoke of: "That belongs to Brandenburg, you say?
Nevertheless the contiguous parts of Hanover have rights upon it.
Some 'eight cart-loads of hay,' worth say almost 5 pounds or 10
pounds sterling: who is to mow that grass, I wonder?"--

Friedrich Wilhelm feels that all this is a pettifogging vexatious
course of procedure; and that his little Cousin the COMODIANT is
not treating him very like a gentleman. "Is he, your Majesty!"
suggests the Smoking Parliament.--About the middle of March,
Dubourgay hears Borck, an Official not of the Grumkow party,
sulkily commenting on "the constant hostility of the Hanover
Ministry to us" in all manner of points;---inquires withal, Could
not Mecklenburg be somehow settled, his Prussian Majesty being
somewhat anxious upon it? [Despatch, 17th March, 1729.]
Anxious, yes: his poor Majesty, intensely meditative of such a
matter in the night-watches, is capable of springing out of bed,
with an "Eureka! I have found what will do!" and demanding writing
materials. He writes or dictates in his shirt, the good anxious
Majesty; despatches his Eureka by estafette on the wings of the
wind: and your Townshend, your UNmeditative George, receives it
with curt official negative, and a polite sneer. [Dubourgay,
12th-14th April, 1729; and the Answer from St. James's.]

A few weeks farther on, this is what the Newspapers report of
Mecklenburg, in spite of his Prussian Majesty's desire to have
some mercy shown the poor infatuated Duke: "The Elector of Hanover
and the Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel," his Britannic Majesty and
Squire in that sad business, "REFUSE to withdraw their forces out
of Mecklenburg, or part with the Chest of the Revenues thereof,
until an entire satisfaction be given them for the arrears of the
Charges they have been at in putting the Sentence of the Aulic
Council [Kaiser's REICHSHOFRATH and rusty thunder] into execution
against the said Duke." [Salmon's Chronological Historian
(London, 1748,--a Book never to be quoted without
caution), ii. 216;--date (translated into new style),
10th July, 1729.]

Matters grew greatly worse when George paid his first Visit to
Hanover in character of King, early in the Summer of 1729. Part of
his road lies through Prussian Territory: "Shall he have free
post-horses, as his late Majesty was wont?" asks the Prussian
Official person. "If he write to request them, yes," answers
Friedrich Wilhelm; "if he don't write, no." George does not write;
pays for his post-horses;--flourishes along to Hanover, in
absolute silence towards his clownish Brother-in-Law. You would
say he looks over the head of him, as if there were no such clown
in existence;--he has never yet so much as notified his arrival.
"What is this? There exists no Prussia, then, for little George?"
Friedrich Wilhelm's inarticulate, interjectionary utterances, in
clangorous metallic tone, we can fancy them, now and then; and the
Tobacco-Parliament is busy! British Minister Dubourgay, steady old
military gentleman, who spells imperfectly, but is intent to keep
down mischief, writes at last to Hanover, submissively suggesting,
"Could not, as was the old wont, some notification of the King's
arrival be sent hither, which would console his Prussian Majesty?"
To which my Lord Townshend answers, "Has not been the custom, I am
informed [WRONG informed, your Lordship]; not necessary in the
circumstances." Which is a high course between neighbors and royal
gentlemen and kinsfolk. The Prussian Court hereupon likewise shuts
its lips; no mention of the Hanoverian Court, not even by her
Majesty and to Englishmen, for several weeks past. [Dubourgay.]
Some inarticulate metallic growl, in private, at dinner or in the
TABAKS-COLLEGIUM: the rest is truculent silence. Nor are our poor
Hanover Recruits (according to our List of Pressed Hanoverians) in
the least sent back; nor the Clamei Meadows settled; "Big Meadow"
or "Little one," both of which the Brandenburgers have mown in the
mean time.

Hanover Pressed men not coming home,--I think, not one of them,--
the Hanover Officials decide to seize such Prussian Soldiers as
happen to be seizable, in Hanover Territory. The highway in that
border-country runs now on this side of the march, now on that;--
watch well, and you will get Prussian Soldiers from time to time!
Which the Hanover people do; and seize several, common men and
even officers. Here is once more a high course of proceeding.
Here is coal to raise smoke enough, if well blown upon,--which,
with Seckendorf and Grumkow working the bellows, we may well fancy
it was! But listen to what follows, independently of bellows.

On the 28th June, 1729, hay lying now quite dry upon the Meadow of
Clamei, lo, the Bailiff of Hanoverian Buhlitz, Unpicturesque
Traveller will find the peat-smoky little Village of Buhlitz near
by a dusty little Town called Luchow, midway from Hamburg to
Magdeburg; altogether peaty, mossy country; in the Salzwedel
district, where used to be Wendic populations, and a Marck or
Border Fortress of Salzwedel set up against them:--Bailiff of
Buhlitz, I say, sallies forth with several carts, with all the
population of the Village, with a troop of horse to escort, and
probably flags flying and some kind of drums beating;--publicly
rakes together the hay, defiant of the Prussian Majesty and all
men; loads it on his carts, and rolls home with it; leaving to the
Brandenburgers nothing but stubble and the memory of having mown
for Hanover to eat. This is the 28th June, 1729; King of Prussia
is now at Magdeburg, reviewing his troops; within a hundred miles
of these contested quag-countries: who can blame him that he
flames up now into clear blaze of royal indignation?
The correspondence henceforth becomes altogether lively:
but in the Britannic Archives there is nothing of it,--Dubourgay
having received warning from my Lord Townshend to be altogether
ignorant of the matter henceforth, and let the Hanover Officials
manage it. His Prussian Majesty returns home in the most
tempestuous condition.

We may judge what a time Queen Sophie had of it; what scenes there
were with Crown-Prince Friedrich and Wilhelmina, in her Majesty's
Apartment and elsewhere! Friedrich Wilhelm is fast mounting to the
red-hot pitch. The bullyings, the beatings even, of these poor
Children, love-sick one of them, are lamentable to hear of, as all
the world has heard:--"Disobedient unnatural whelps, biting the
heels of your poor old parent mastiff in his extreme need, what is
to be done with you?" Fritz he often enough beats, gives a slap to
with his rattan; has hurled a plate at him, on occasion, when bad
topics rose at table; nay at Wilhelmina too, she says: but the
poor children always ducked, and nothing but a little noise and
loss of crockery ensued. Fritz he deliberately detests, as a
servant of the Devil, incorrigibly rebelling against the paternal
will, and going on those dissolute courses: a silly French
cockatoo, suspected of disbelief in Scripture; given to nothing
but fifing and play-books; who will bring Prussia aud himself to a
bad end. "God grant he do not finish on the gallows!" sighed the
sad Father once to Grumkow. The records of these things lie
written far and wide, in the archives of many countries as well as
in Wilhelmina's Book.

To me there was one undiplomatic reflection continually present:
Heavens, could nobody have got a bit of rope, and hanged those two
Diplomatic swindlers; clearly of the scoundrel genus, more than
common pickpockets are? Thereby had certain young hearts, and
honest old ones too, escaped being broken; and many a thing might
have gone better than it did. JARNI-BLEU, Herr Feldzeugmeister,
though you are an orthodox Protestant, this thousand-fold
perpetual habit of distilled lying seems to me a bad one. I do not
blame an old military gentleman, with a brow so puckered as yours,
for having little of the milk of human kindness so called:
but this of breaking, by force of lies merely, and for your own
uses, the hearts of poor innocent creatures, nay of grinding them
slowly in the mortar, and employing their Father's hand to do it
withal; this--Herr General, forgive me, but there are moments when
I feel as if the extinction of probably the intensest scoundrel of
that epoch might have been a satisfactory event!--Alas, it could
not be. Seckendorf is lying abroad for his Kaiser; "the only
really able man we have," says Eugene sometimes. Snuffles and
lisps; and travels in all, as they count, about 25,000 miles,
keeping his Majesty in company. Here are some glimpses into the
interior, dull but at first-hand, which are worth clipping and
condensing from Dubourgay, with their dates:--

30th JULY, 1729. To the respectable old Brigadier, this day or
yesterday, "her Majesty, all in tears, complained of her
situation: King is nigh losing his senses on account of the
differences with Hanover; goes from bed to bed in the
night-time, and from chamber to chamber, 'like one whose brains
are turned.' Took a fit, at two in the morning, lately, to be off
to Wusterhausen:"--about a year ago Seckendorf and Grumkow had
built a Lodge out there, where his Majesty, when he liked, could
be snug and private with them: thither his Majesty now rushed, at
two in the morning; but seemingly found little assuagement.
"Since his return, he gives himself up entirely to drink:--
Seckendorf," the snuffling Belial, "is busy, above ground and
below; has been heard saying He alone could settle these
businesses, Double-Marriage and all, would her Majesty but
trust him!"--

"The King will not suffer the Prince-Royal to sit next his Majesty
at table, but obliges him to go to the lower end; where things are
so ordered," says the sympathetic Dubourgay, "that the poor Prince
often rises without getting one bit,"--woe's me! "Insomuch that
the Queen was obliged two days ago [28th July, 1729, let us date
such an occurrence] to send, by one of the servants who could be
trusted, a Box of cold fowls and other eatables for his Royal
Highness's subsistence!" [Dubourgay, 30th July, 1729.]

In the first blaze of the outrage at Clamei, Friedrich Wilhelm's
ardent mind suggested to him the method of single combat: defiance
of George, by cartel, To give the satisfaction of a gentleman.
There have been such instances on the part of Sovereigns;
though they are rare: Karl Ludwig of the Pfalz, Winter-king's Son,
for example, did, as is understood, challenge Turenne for burning
the Pfalz (FIRST burning that poor country got); but nothing came
of it, owing to Turenne's prudence. Friedrich Wilhelm sees well
that it all comes from George's private humor: Why should human
blood be shed except George's and mine? Friedrich Wilhelm is
decisive for sending off the cartel; he has even settled the
particulars, and sees in his glowing poetic mind how the
transaction may be: say, at Hildesheim for place; Derschau shall
be my second; Brigadier Sutton (if anybody now know such a man)
may be his. Seconds, place and general outline he has schemed out,
and fixed, so far as depends on one party; will fairly fence and
fight this insolent little Royal Gentleman; give the world a
spectacle (which might have been very wholesome to the world) of
two Kings voiding their quarrel by duel and fair personal fence.

In England the report goes, "not without foundation," think Lord
Hervey and men of sarcastic insight in the higher circles, That it
was his Britannic Majesty who "sent or would have sent a challenge
of single combat to his Prussian Majesty," the latter being the
passive party! Report flung into an INVERSE posture, as is liable
to happen; "going" now with its feet uppermost; "not without
foundation," thinks Lord Hervey. "But whether it [the cartel] was
carried and rejected, or whether the prayers and remonstrances of
Lord Townshend prevented the gauntlet being actually thrown down,
is a point which, to me [Lord Hervey] at least, has never been
cleared." [Lord Hervey, Memoirs of George II. italic> (London, 1848), i. 127.]

The Prussian Ministers, no less than Townshend would, feel well
that this of Duel will never do. Astonishment, FLEBILE LULIBRIUM,
tragical tehee from gods and men, will come of the Duel! But how
to turn it aside? For the King is determined. His truculent
veracity of mind points out this as the real way for him;
reasoning, entreating are to no purpose. "The true method, I tell
you! As to the world and its cackling,--let the world cackle!"
At length Borck hits on a consideration: "Your Majesty has been
ill lately; hand perhaps not so steady as usual? Now if it should
turn out that your Majesty proved so inferior to yourself as to--
Good Heavens!" This, it is said, was the point that staggered his
Majesty. Tobacco-Parliament, and Borck there, pushed its
advantage: the method of duel (prevalent through the early part of
July, I should guess) was given up. [Bielfeld, Lettres
familieres et autres (Second edition, 2 vols. Leide,
1767), i. 117, 118.] Why was there no Hansard in that Institution
of the Country? Patience, idle reader! We shall get some scraps of
the Debates on other subjects, by and by.--But hear Dubourgay
again, in the absence of Morning Newspapers:--

AUGUST 9th, 1729. "Berlin looks altogether warlike. At Magdeburg
they are busy making ovens to bake Ammunition-bread; Artillery is
getting hauled out of the Arsenal here;" all is clangor, din of
preparation. "It is said the King will fall on Mecklenburg;" can
at once, if he like. "These intolerable usages from England
[Seckendorf is rumored to have said], can your Majesty endure them
forever? Why not marry the Prince-Royal, at once, to another
Princess, and have done with them!"--or words to that effect, as
reported by Court-rumor to her Majesty and Dubourgay. And there is
a Princess talked of for this Match, Russian Princess, little
Czar's Sister (little Czar to have Wilhelmina, Double-Marriage to
be with Russia, not with England); but the little Czar soon died,
little Czar's Sister went out of sight, or I know not what
happened, and only brief rumor came of that.

As for the Crown-Prince, he has not fallen desperate; no;
but appears to have strange schemes in him, deep under cover.
"He has said to a confidant [Wilhelmina, it is probable], 'As to
his ill-treatment, he well knew how to free himself of that [will
fly to foreign parts, your Highness?], and would have done so long
since, were it not for his Sister, upon whom the whole weight of
his Father's resentment would then fall. Happen what will,
therefore, he is resolved to share with her all the hardships
which the King his Father may be pleased to put upon her."
[Dubourgay, 11th August, 1729.] Means privately a flight to
England, Dubourgay sees, and in a reticent diplomatic way is glad
to see.

I possess near a dozen Hanoverian and Prussian Despatches upon
this strange Business; but should shudder to inflict them on any
innocent reader. Clear, grave Despatches, very brief and just,
especially on the Prussian side: and on a matter too, which truly
is not lighter than any other Despatch matter of that
intrinsically vacant Epoch:--O reader, would I could bury all
vacant talk and writing whatsoever, as I do these poor Despatches
about the "eight cart-loads of hay"! Friedrich Wilhelm is
fair-play itself; will do all thinge, that Earth or Heaven can
require of him. Only, he is much in a hurry withal; and of this
the Hanover Officials take advantage, perhaps unconsciously, to
keep him in provocation. He lies awake at night, his heart is
sore, and he has fled to drink. Towards the middle of August,--
here again is a phenomenon,--"he springs out of bed in the middle
of night," has again an EUREKA as to this of Clamei: "Eureka, I
see now what will bring a settlement!" and sends off post-haste to
Kannegiesser at Hanover. To Kannegiesser,--Herr Reichenbach, the
special Envoy in this matter, being absent at the moment, gone to
the Gohrde, I believe, where Britannic Majesty itself is:
but Kannegiesser is there, upon the Ahlden Heritages; acquainted
with the ground, a rather precise official man, who will serve for
the hurry we are in. Post-haste; dove with olive-branch cannot go
too quick;--Kannegiesser applying for an interview, not with the
Britannic Majesty, who is at Gohrde, hunting, but with the Hanover
Council, is--refused admittance. Here are Herr Kannegiesser's
official Reports; which will themselves tell the rest of the
story, thank Heaven:--

TO HIS PRUSSIAN MAJESTY (From Herr Kannegiesser).

No. 1. "DONE AT HANOVER, 15th AUGUST, 1729.

"On the 15th day of August, at ten o'clock in the morning, I
received Two Orders of Council [these are THE EUREKA, never ask
farther what they are]; despatched on the 13th instant at seven in
the evening; whereupon I immediately went to the Council-chamber
here; and informed the Herr von Hartoff, Private Secretary, who
met me in a room adjoining, 'That, having something to propose to
his Ministry [now sitting deliberative in the interior here;
something to propose to his Ministry] on the part of the Prussian
Ministers, it was necessary I should speak to them.' Herr von
Hartoff, after having reported my demand, let me know, 'He had
received orders from the Ministry to defer what I had to say to
another time.'

"I replied, 'That, since I could not be allowed the honor of an
audience at that time, I thought myself obliged to acquaint him I
had received an Order from Berlin to apply to the Ministry of this
place, in the name of the Ministers of Prussia, and make the most
pressing instances for a speedy Answer to a Letter lately
delivered to them by Herr Hofrath Reichenbath [my worthy Assistant
here; Answer to his Letter in the first place]; and to desire that
the Answer might be lodged in my hands, in order to remit it
with safety.'

"Herr von Hartoff returned immediately to the Council-chamber;
and after having told the Ministers what I had said, brought me
the following answer, in about half-a-quarter of an hour [seven
minutes by the watch]: 'That the Ministers of this Court would not
fail answering the said Letter as soon as possible; and would take
care to give me notice of it, and send the Answer to me.'"

That was all that the punctual Kannegiesser could get out of them.
"But," continues he, "not thinking this reply sufficient, I added,
'That delays being dangerous, I would come again the next day for
a more precise answer.'"

Rather a high-mannered positive man, this Kannegiesser, of the
Ahlden Heritages; not without sharpness of temper, if the Hanover
Officials drive it too far.

No. 2.--"AT HANOVER, 16th AUGUST, 1729.

"According to the orders received from the King my Master, and
pursuant of my promise of yesterday, I went at noon this day to
the Castle (SCHLOSS), for the purpose, of making appearance in the
Council-chamber, where the Ministers were assembled.

"I let them know I was there, by Van Hartoff, Privy Secretary;
and, in the mildest terms, desired to be admitted to speak with
them. Which was refused me a second time; and the following answer
delivered me by Van Hartoff: 'That since the Prussian Ministers
had intrusted me with this Commission, the Ministers of this Court
had directed him to draw up my yesterday's Proposals in writing,
and report them to the Council.'

"Whereupon I said, 'I could not conceive any reason why I was the
only person who could not be admitted to audience. That, however,
as the Ministers of this Court were pleased to authorize him, Herr
von Hartoff, to receive my Proposals, I was obliged to tell him,'
as the first or preliminary point of my Commission, 'I had
received orders to be very pressing with the said Ministers of
this Court, for an Answer to a Letter from the Prussian Ministry,
lately delivered by Herr Legationsrath von Reichenbach;
and finding that the said Answer was not yet finished, I would
stay two days for it, that I might be more secure of getting it.
But that then I should come to put them in mind of it, and desire
audience in order to acquit myself of the REST of my Commission.'

"The Privy Secretary drew up what I said in writing. Immediately
afterwards he reported it to the Ministry, and brought me this
answer: 'That the Ministers of this Court would be as good as
their word of yesterday, and answer the above-mentioned Letter
with all possible expedition.' After which we parted."

No. 3.--"AT HANOVER, 17th AUGUST, 1729

"At two in the afternoon, this day, Herr von Hartoff came to my
house; and let me know 'He had business of consequence from the
Ministry, and that he would return at five.' By my direction he
was told, 'I should expect him.'

"At the time appointed he came; and told me, 'That the Ministers
of the Court, understanding from him that I designed to ask
audience to-morrow, did not doubt but my business would be to
remind them of the Answer which I had demanded yesterday and the
day before. That such applications were not customary among
sovereign Princes; that they, the Ministers; 'dared not treat
farther in that affair with me; that they desired me not to
mention it to them again till they had received directions from
his Britannic Majesty, to whom they had made their report;
and that as soon as they received their instructions, the result
of these should be communicated to me.'

"To this I replied, 'That I did not expect the Ministers of this
Court would refuse me the audience which I designed to ask
to-morrow; and that therefore I would not fail of being at the
Council-chamber at eleven, next day,' according to bargain, 'to
know their answer to the rest of my Proposals.'--Secretary Von
Hartoff would not hear of this resolution; and assured me
positively he had orders to listen to nothing more on the subject
from me. After which he left me?"

No. 4.--"AT HANOVER, 18th AUGUST, 1729.

"At eleven, this day, I went to the Council-chamber, for the third
time; and desired Secretary Hartoff 'To prevail with the Ministry
to allow me to speak with them, and communicate what the King of
Prussia had ordered me to propose.'

"Herr von Hartoff gave them an account of my request; and brought
me for answer, 'That I must wait a little, because the Ministers
were not yet all assembled.'" Which I did. "But after having made
me stay almost an hour, and after the President of the Council was
come, Herr von Hartoff came out to me; and repeated what he had
said yesterday, in very positive and absolute terms, 'That the
Ministers were resolved not to see me, and had expressly forbid
him taking any Paper at my hands.'

"To which I replied, 'That this was very hard usage; and the world
would see how the King of Prussia would relish it. But having
strict orders from his Majesty, my most gracious Master, to make a
Declaration to the Ministers of Hanover in his name; and finding
Herr von Hartoff would neither receive it, nor take a copy of it,
I had only to tell him that I was under the necessity of leaving
it in writing,--and had brought the Paper with me,'" let Herr von
Hartoff observe!--"'And that now, as the Council were pleased to
refuse to take it, I was obliged to leave the said Declaration on
a table in an adjoining room, in the presence of Herr von Hartoff
and other Secretaries of the Council, whom I desired to lay it
before the Ministry.'

"After this I went home; but had scarcely entered my apartment,
when a messenger returned me the Declaration, still sealed as I
left it, by order of the Ministers: and perceiving I was not
inclined to receive it, he laid it on my table, and immediately
left the house." [A Letter from an English Traveller to his Friend
at London, relating to the Differences betwixt the Courts of
Prussia and Hanover, with Copies of, &c. Translated from the
French (London, A. Millar, at Buchanan's Head, 1730), pp. 29-34.
An excellent distinct little Pamphlet; very explanatory in this
matter,--like the smallest rushlight in a dark cellar of

Whereupon Kannegiesser, without loss of a moment, returns to
Berlin, 19th August; and reports progress.

Simple honest Orson of a Prussian Majesty, what a bepainted,
beribboned insulting Play-actor Majesty has he fallen in with!--
"Hm, so? Hm, na!" and I see the face of him, all colors of the
prism, and eyes in a fine frenzy; betokening thundery weather to
some people! Instantly he orders 44,000 men to get on march;
[Friedrich Wilhelm's "Manifesto" is in Mauvillon, italic> ii. 210-215, dated "20th August, 1729" (the day after
Kannegieseer's return).] and these instantly begin to stir;
small preparation needed, ever-ready being the word with them.
From heavy guns, ammunition-wagons and draught-horses, down to the
last buckle of a spatterdash, things are all ticketed and ready in
his Majesty's country; things, and still more evidently men.
Within a week, the amazed Gazetteers {Newspaper Editors we now
call them) can behold the actual advent of horse, foot and
artillery regiments at Magdeburg; actual rendezvous begun, and
with a frightful equable velocity going on day after day. On the
15th day of September, if Fate's almanac hold steady, there will
be 44,000 of them ready there. Such a mass of potential-battle as
George or the Hanover Officiality are--ready to fight?

Alas, far enough from that. Forces of their own they have, after a
sort; subsidized Hessians, Danes, these they can begin to stir up;
but they have not a regiment ready for fighting; and have NOTHING,
if all were ready, which this 44,000 cannot too probably sweep out
of the world. I suppose little George must have exhibited some
prismatic colors of countenance, too. This insulted Orson is
swinging a tremendous club upon the little peruked ribboned high
gentleman, promenading loftily in his preserves yonder!
The Prussian forces march, steady, continual; Crown-Prince
Friedrich's regiment of Giants is on march, expressly under charge
of Friedrich himself:--the young man's thoughts are not recorded
for us; only that he gets praise from his Father, so dexterous and
perfect is he with the Giants and their getting into gear. Nor is
there, says our Foreign Correspondent, the least truth, in your
rumor that the Prussian forces, officers or men, marched with bad
will; "conspicuously the reverse is the truth, as I myself can
testify." [Pamphlet cited above.] And his Britannic Majesty, now
making a dreadful flutter to assemble as fast as possible, is like
to get quite flung into the bogs by this terrible Orson!--

What an amazement, among the Gazetteers: thunder-clouds of war
mounting up over the zenith in this manner, and blotting out the
sun; may produce an effect on the Congress of Soissons?
Presumably: and his Imperial Majesty, left sitting desolate on his
Pragmatic Sanction, gloomily watching events, may find something
turn up to his advantage? Prussia and England are sufficiently in
quarrel, at any rate; perhaps almost too much.--The Pope, in these
circumstances, did a curious thing. The Pope, having prayed lately
for rain and got it, proceeds now, in the end of September, while
such war-rumors are still at their height in Rome, to pray, or
even do a Public Mass, or some other so-called Pontificality,
"in the Chapel of Philip Neri in the New Church," by way of still
more effectual miracle. Prays, namely, That Heaven would be
graciously pleased to foment, and blow up to the proper degree,
this quarrel between the two chief Heretic Powers, Heaven's chief
enemies, whereby Holy Religion might reap a good benefit, if it
pleased Heaven. But, this time, the miracle did not go off
according to program. ["Extract of a Letter from Rome, 24th
September, 1729," in Townshend's Despatch, Whitehall, 10th
Outober, 1729.]

For at this point, before the Pope had prayed, but while the
troops and artillery were evidently all on march ("Such an
artillery as I," who am Kaiser's Artillery-Master, "for my poor
part, never had the happiness to see before in any country,"
snuffles Seckendorf in the Smoking Parliament), and now swords
are, as it were, drawn, and in the air make horrid circles,--the
neighbors interfere: "Heavens I put up your swords!"--and the huge
world-wide tumult suddenly (I think, in the very first days of
this month September) collapses, sinks into something you can put
into a snuff-box.

Of course it could never come to actual battle, after all.
Too high a pickle-herring tragedy that. Here is a COMODIANT not
wanting to be smitten into the bogs; an honest Orson who wants
nothing, nor has ever wanted, but fair-play. Fair-play; and not to
be insulted on the streets, or have one's poor Hobby quite knocked
from under one!--Neighbors, as we say, struck in; France, Holland,
all the neighbors, at this point: "Do it by arbitration;
Wolfenbuttel for the one, Sachsen-Gotha for the other;
Commissioners to meet at Brunswick!" And that, accordingly, was
the course fixed upon; and settlement, by that method, was
accomplished, without difficulty, in some six months hence.
[16th April, 1730 (Forster, ii. 105).] Whether Clamei was awarded
to Hanover or to Brandenburg, I never knew, or how the hay of it
is cut at this moment. I only know there was no battle on the
subject; though at one time there was like to be such a clash of
battle as the old Markgraves never had with their old Wends;
not if we put all their battlings into one.

Seckendorf's radiant brow has to pucker itself again: this fine
project, of boiling the Kaiser's eggs by setting the world on
fire, has not prospered after all. The gloomy old villain came to
her Majesty one day, [Dubourgay, 30th July, 1729.] while things
were near the hottest; and said or insinuated, He was the man that
could do these businesses, and bring about the Double-Marriage
itself, if her Majesty were not so harsh upon him. Whereupon her
Majesty, reporting to Dubourgay, threw out the hint, "What if we
(that is, you) did give him a forty or fifty thousand thalers
verily, for he will do anything for money?" To which Townshend
answers from the Gohrde, to the effect: "Pooh, he is a mere bag of
noxious futilities; consists of gall mainly, and rusty old lies
and crotchets; breathing very copperas through those old choppy
lips of his: let him go to the--!" Next Spring, at the happy end
of the Arbitration, which he had striven all he could to mar and
to retard, he fell quite ill; took to his bed for two days,--
colics, or one knows not what;--"and I can't say I am very sorry
for him," writes the respectable Dubourgay. [25th April, 1730.]
On the 8th day of September, 1729, Friedrich Crown-Prince
re-enters Potsdam [Ib. 11th Sept. 1729.] with his two battalions
of Giants; he has done so well, the King goes out from Berlin to
see him march in with them; rejoicing to find something of a
soldier in the young graceless, after all. "The King distributed
100,000 thalers (15,000 pounds) among his Army;" being well
pleased with their behavior, and doubtless right glad to be out of
such a Business. The Ahlden Heritages will now get liquidated;
Mecklenburg,--our Knyphausen, with the Hanover Consorts, will
settle Mecklenburg; and all shall be well again, we hope!--

The fact, on some of these points, turned out different; but it
was now of less importance. As to Knyphausen's proceedings at
Mecklenburg, after the happy Peace, they were not so successful as
had been hoped. Need of quarrel, however, between the Majesties,
there henceforth was not in Mecklenburg; and if slight rufflings
and collisions did arise, it was not till after our poor
Double-Marriage was at any rate quite out of the game, and they
are without significance to us. But the truth is, though
Knyphausen did his best, no settlement came; nor indeed could ever
come. Shall we sum up that sorry matter here, and wash our hands
of it?


Knyphausen, we say, proved futile; nor could human wit have
succeeded. The exasperated Duke was contumacious, irrational;
the two Majesties kept pulling different ways upon him.
Matters grew from very bad to worse; and Mecklenburg continued
long a running sore. Not many months after this (I think, still in
1729), the irrational Duke, having got money out of Russia, came
home again from Dantzig; to notable increase of the Anarchies in
Mecklenburg, though without other result for himself.
The irrational Duke proved more contumacious than ever, fell into
deeper trouble than ever;--at length (1733) he made Proclamation
to the Peasantry to rise and fight for him; who did turn out, with
their bill-hooks and bludgeons, under Captains named by him, "to
the amount of 18,000 Peasants,"--with such riot as may be fancied,
but without other result. So that the Hanover Commissioners
decided to seize the very RESIDENZ Cities (Schwerin and Domitz)
from this mad Duke, and make the country clear of him,--his
Brother being Interim Manager always, under countenance of the
Commissioners. Which transactions, especially which contemplated
seizure of the Residence Cities, Friedrich Wilhelm, eventual heir,
could not see with equanimity at all. But having no forces in the
country, what could he do? Being "Joint-Commissioner" this long
while past, though without armed interference hitherto, he
privately resolves that he will have forces there; the rather as
the poor Duke professes penitence, and flies to him for help.
Poor soul, his Russian Unique of Wives has just died, far enough
away from him this long while past: what a life they have had,
these two Uniques!--

Enough, "on the 19th of October, 1733, Lieutenant-General
Schwerin,"--the same who was Colonel Schwerin, the Duke's chief
Captain here, at the beginning of these troubles, now
Lientenant-General and a distinguished PRUSSIAN officer,--
"marches into Mecklenburg with three regiments, one of foot, two
of horse:" [Buchholz, i. 122, 142; Michaelis, ii. 433, 437.] he,
doubtless, will help in quelling those Peasant and other
Anarchies? Privately his mission is most delicate. He is not to
fight with the Hanoverians; is delicately but effectually to shove
them well away from the Residence Cities, and fasten himself down
in those parts. Which the Lieutenant-General dexterously does.
"A night's quarter here in Parchim,"--such is the
Lieutenant-General's request, polite but impressive, from the
outskirts of that little Town, a Town essential to certain
objects, and in fact the point he is aiming at: "night's quarter;
you cannot refuse it to this Prussian Company marching under the
Kaiser's Commission?" No, the Hanoverian Lieutenant of Foot dare
not take upon him to refuse:--but next morning, he is himself
invited to withdraw, the Prussians having orders to continue here
in Parchim! And so with the other points and towns, that are
essential in the enterprise on hand. A dexterous
Lieutenant-General this Schwerin:--his two Horse-Colonels are
likewise men to be noted; Colonel Wreech, with a charming young
Wife, perhaps a too charming; Colonel Truchsess von Waldburg,
known afterwards, with distinction, in London Society and widely
otherwise. And thus, in the end of 1733, the Mecklenburg Residence
Cities, happen what may, are secured for their poor irrational
Duke. These things may slightly ruffle some tempers at Hanover;
but it is now 1733, and our poor Double-Marriage is clean out of
the game by that time!--

The irrational Duke could not continue in his Residence Cities,
with the Brother administering over him; still proving
contumacious, he needed absolutely to be driven out, to Wismar or
I know not whither; went wandering about for almost twenty years
to come; disturbed, and stirring up disturbance. Died 1747, still
in that sad posture; Interim Brother, with Posterity, succeeding.
[Michaelis, ii. 434-440.] But Hanover and Prussia interfered no
farther; the brother administered on his own footing, "supported
by troops hired from Hamburg. Hanover and Prussia, 400
Hanoverians, 200 Prussians, merely retained hold of their
respective Hypothecs [Districts held in pawn] till the expenses
should be paid,"--million of THALERS, and by those late anarchies
a new heavy score run up.

Prussia and Hanover retained hold of their Hypothecs; for as to
the expenses, what hope was there? Fifty years hence we find the
Prussian Hypothecs occupied as at first; and "rights of enlistment
exercised." Never in this world were those expenses paid;--nor
could be, any part of them. The last accounts were: George III. of
England, on marrying, in 1761, a Mecklenburg Princess,--"Old Queen
Charlotte," then young enough,--handsomely tore up the bill;
and so ended that part of a desperate debt. But of the Prussian
part there was no end, nor like to be any: "down to this day [says
Buchholz, in 1775], two squadrons of the Ziethen Hussars usually
lie there," and rights of enlisting are exercised. I conclude, the
French Revolution and its Wars wiped away this other desperate
item. And now let us hope that Mecklenburg is better off than
formerly,--that, at least, our hands are clear of it in time
coming. I add only, with satisfaction, that this Unique of Dukes
was no ancestor of Old Queen Charlotte's, but only a remote
Welsh-Uncle, far enough apart;--cannot be too far.


Knyphausen did not settle Mecklenburg, as we perceive! Neither did
Kannegiesser and the unliquidated Heritages prosper, at Hanover,
quite to perfection. One Heritage, that of Uncle Osnabruck, little
George flatly refused to share: FEUDUM the whole of that, not
ALLODIUM any part of it, so that a Sister cannot claim. Which, I
think, was confirmed by the Arbitrators at Brunswick;
thereby ending that. Then as to the Ahlden ALLODIA or FEUDA,--
Kannegiesser, blamably or not, never could make much of the
business. A precise strict man, as we saw at the Hanover
Council-room lately; whom the Hanover people did not like. So he
made little of it. Nay at the end of next year (December, 1730),
sending in his accounts to Berlin, he demands, in addition to the
three thalers (or nine shillings) daily allowed him, almost a
second nine shillings for sundries, chiefly for "hair-powder and
shoe-blacking"! And is instantly recalled; and vanishes from
History at this point. [Busching, Beitrage,
i. 307, &c. ? Nussler.]

Upon which Friedrich Wilhelm selects another; "sends deal boxes
along with him," to bring home what cash there is. This one's name
is Nussler; an expectant Prussian Official, an adroit man, whom we
shall meet again doing work. He has the nine shillings a day,
without hair-powder or blacking, while employed here; at Berlin no
constant salary whatever,--had to "borrow 75 pounds for outfit on
this business;"--does a great deal of work without wages, in hope
of effective promotion by and by. Which did follow, after tedious
years; Friedrich Wilhelm finding him, on such proof (other proof
will not do), FIT for promoting to steady employment.

Nussler was very active at Hanover, and had his deal boxes;
but hardly got them filled according to hope. However, in some
eighteen months he had actually worked out, in difficult
instalments, about 13,000 pounds, and dug the matter to the
bottom. He came home with his last instalment, not disapproved of,
to Berlin (May, 1732); six years after the poor Duchess's death,
so the Ahlden ALLODIA too had their end.

Chapter VII.


While the Hanover Imminency was but beginning, and horrid crisis
of War or Duel--was yet in nobody's thoughts, the Anspach Wedding
[30th May, 1729] had gone on at Berlin. To Friedrich Wilhelm's
satisfaction; not to his Queen's, the match being but a poor one.
The bride was Frederika Louisa, not the eldest of their Daughters,
but the next-eldest: younger than Wilhelmina, and still hardly
fifteen; the first married of the Family. Very young she: and gets
a very young Margraf,--who has been, and still is a minor;
under his Mother's guardianship till now: not rich, and who has
not had a good chance to be wise. The Mother--an excellent
magnanimous Princess, still young and beautiful, but laboring
silently under some mortal disease--has done her best to manage
for him these last four or five years; [Pollnitz, Memoirs
and Letters (English Translation, London, I745),
i. 200-204. There are "MEMOIRS of Pollnitz," then "MEMOIRS AND
LETTERS," besides the "MEMOIRS of Brandenburg" (posthumous, which
we often cite); all by this poor man. Only the last has any
Historical value, and that not much. The first two are only worth
consulting, cautiously, as loose contemporary babble,--written for
the Dutch Booksellers, one can perceive.] and, as I gather, is
impatient to see him settled, that she may retire and die.

Friday forenoon, 19th May, 1729, the young Margraf arrived in
person at Berlin,--just seventeen gone Saturday last, poor young
soul, and very foolish. Sublime royal carriage met him at the
Prussian frontier; and this day, what is more interesting, our
"Crown-Prince rides out to meet him; mounts into the royal
carriage beside him;" and the two young fools drive, in such a
cavalcade of hoofs and wheels,--talking we know not what,--into
Potsdam; met by his Majesty and all the honors. What illustrious
gala there then was in Potsdam and the Court world, read,--with
tedium, unless you are in the tailor line,--described with minute
distinctness by the admiring Fassmann. [pp.396-401.] There are
Generals, high Ladies, sons of Bellona and Latona; there are
dinners, there are hautboys,--"two-and-thirty blackamoors," in
flaming uniforms, capable of cymballing and hautboying "up the
grand staircase, and round your table, and down again," in a
frightfully effective manner, while you dine. Madame Kamecke is to
go as Oberhofmeisterinn to Anspach; and all the lackeys destined
thither are in their new liveries, blue turned up with red velvet.
Which is delightful to see. Review of the Giant grenadiers cannot
fail; conspicuous on parade with them our Crown-Prince as
Lieutenant-Colonel: "the beauty of this Corps as well as the
perfection of their EXERCITIA,"--ah yes, we know it, my dim old
friend. The Marriage itself followed, at Berlin, after many
exercitia, snipe-shootings, feastings, hautboyings; on the 30th
of the month; with torch-dance and the other customary trimmings;
"Bride's garter cut in snips" for dreaming upon "by his Royal
Majesty himself." The LUSTBARKEITEN, the stupendous public
entertainments having ended, there is weeping and embracing (MORE
HUMANO); and the happy couple, so-called happy, retire to Anspach
with their destinies and effects.

A foolish young fellow, this new Brother-in-law, testifies
Wilhelmina in many places. Finances in disorder; Mother's wise
management, ceasing too soon, has only partially availed.
King "has lent some hundreds of thousands of crowns to Anspach
[says Friedrich at a later period], which there is no chance of
ever being repaid. All is in disorder there, in the finance way;
if the Margraf gets his hunting and his heroning, he laughs at all
the rest; and his people pluck him bare at every hand."
[Schulenburg's Letter (in Forster, iii. 72).] Nor do the married
couple agree to perfection;--far from it: "hate one another like
cat and dog (like the fire, COMME LE FEU)," says Friedrich:
[Correspondence (more than once).] "his Majesty may see what comes
of ill-assorted marriages!"--In fact, the union proved none of the
most harmonious; subject to squalls always;--but to squalls only;
no open tempest, far less any shipwreck: the marriage held
together till death, the Husband's death, nearly thirty years
after, divided it. There was then left one Son; the same who at
length inherited Baireuth too,--inherited Lady Craven,--and died
in Bubb Doddington's Mansion, as we often teach our readers.

Last year, the Third Daughter was engaged to the Heir-Apparent of
Brunswick; will be married, when of age. Wilhelmina, flower of
them all, still hangs on the bush, "asked," or supposed to be
"asked by four Kings," but not attained by any of them; and one
knows not what will be her lot. She is now risen out of the
sickness she has had,--not small-pox at all, as malicious English
rumor gave it in England;--and "looks prettier than ever,"
writes Dubourgay.

Here is a marriage, then; first in the Family;--but not the
Double-Marriage, by a long way! The late Hanover Tornado, sudden
Waterspout as we called it, has quenched that Negotiation; and one
knows not in what form it will resuscitate itself. The royal mind,
both at Berlin and St. James's, is in a very uncertain state after
such a phenomenon.

Friedrich Wilhelm's favor for the Crown-Prince, marching home so
gallantly with his Potsdam Giants, did not last long. A few weeks
later in the Autumn we have again ominous notices from Dubourgay.
And here, otherwise obtained, is a glimpse into the interior of
the Berlin Schloss; momentary perfect clearness, as by a flash of
lightning, on the state of matters there; which will be
illuminative to the reader.


This is another of those tragi-comic scenes, tragic enough in
effect, between Father and Son; Son now about eighteen,--fit to be
getting through Oxford, had he been an English gentleman of
private station. It comes from the irrefragable Nicolai; who dates
it about this time, uncertain as to month or day.

Fritz's love of music, especially of fluting, is already known to
us. Now a certain Quantz was one of his principal instructors in
that art, and indeed gave him the last finish of perfection in it.
Quantz, famed Saxon music-master and composer, Leader of the
Court-Band in Saxony, king of flute-players in his day,--
(a village-farrier's son from the Gottingen region, and himself
destined to shoe horses, had not imperative Nature prevailed over
hindrances);--Quantz, ever from Fritz's sixteenth year, was wont
to come occasionally, express from Dresden, for a week or two, and
give the young man lessons on the flute. The young man's Mother,
good Queen Feekin, had begged this favor for him from the Saxon
Sovereignties; and pleaded hard for it at home, or at worst kept
it secret there. It was one of the many good maternities,
clandestine and public, which she was always ready to achieve for
him where possible;--as he also knew full well in his young
grateful heart, and never forgot, however old he grew! Illustrious
Quantz, we say, gives Fritz lessons on the flute; and here is a
scene they underwent;--they and a certain brisk young soldier
fellow, Lieutenant von Katte, who was there too; of whom the
reader will tragically hear more in time.

On such occasions Fritz was wont to pull off the tight Prussian
coat or COATIE, and clap himself into flowing brocade of the due
roominess and splendor,--bright scarlet dressing-gown, done in
gold, with tags and sashes complete;--and so, in a temporary
manner, feel that there was such a thing as a gentleman's suitable
apparel. He would take his music-lessons, follow his clandestine
studies, in that favorable dress:--thus Buffon, we hear, was wont
to shave, and put on clean linen, before he sat down to write,
finding it more comfortable so. Though, again, there have been
others who could write in considerable disorder; not to say
litter, and palpable imperfection of equipment: Samuel Johnson,
for instance, did some really grand writing in a room where there
was but one chair, and that one incapable of standing unless you
sat on it, having only three feet. A man is to fit himself to what
is round him: but surely a Crown-Prince may be indulged in a
little brocade in his leisure moments!--

Fritz and Quantz sat doing music, an unlawful thing, in this
pleasant, but also unlawful costume; when Lieutenant Katte, who
was on watch in the outer room, rushes in, distraction in his
aspect: Majesty just here! Quick, double quick! Katte snatches the
music-books and flutes, snatches Quantz; hurries with him and them
into some wall-press, or closet for firewood, and stands quaking
there. Our poor Prince has flung aside his brocade, got on his
military coatie; and would fain seem busy with important or
indifferent routine matters. But, alas, he cannot undo the French
hairdressing; cannot change the graceful French bag into the
strict Prussian queue in a moment. The French bag betrays him;
kindles the paternal vigilance,--alas, the paternal wrath, into a
tornado pitch. For his vigilant suspecting Majesty searches about;
finds the brocade article behind a screen; crams it, with loud
indignation, into the fire; finds all the illicit French Books;
confiscates them on the spot, confiscates all manner of contraband
goods:--and there was mere sulphurous whirlwind in those serene
spaces for about an hour! If his Majesty had looked into the
wood-closet? His Majesty, by Heaven's express mercy, omitted that.
Haude the Bookseller was sent for; ordered to carry off that
poisonous French cabinet-library in mass; sell every Book of it,
to an undiscerning public, at what price it will fetch.
Which latter part of his order, Haude, in deep secrecy, ventured
to disobey, being influenced thereto. Haude, in deep secrecy, kept
the cabinet-library secure; and "lent" the Prince book after book
from it, as his Royal Highness required them.

Friedrich, it is whispered in Tobacco-Parliament, has been known,
in his irreverent impatience, to call the Grenadier uniform his
"shroud (STERBEKITTEL, or death-clothes);" so imprisoning to the
young mind and body! Paternal Majesty has heard this blasphemous
rumor; hence doubtless, in part, his fury against the wider
brocade garment.

It was Quantz himself that reported this explosion to authentic
Nicolai, many years afterwards; confessing that he trembled, every
joint of him, in the wood-closet, during that hour of hurricane;
and the rather as he had on "a red dress-coat," whioh color,
foremost of the flaring colors, he knew to be his Majesty's
aversion, on a man's back. [Nicolai, Anekdoten italic> (Berlin, 1790), ii. 148.] Of incomparable Quantz, and his
heart-thrilling adagios, we hope to hear transiently again, under
joyfuler circumstances. Of Lieutenant von Katte,--a short stout
young fellow, with black eyebrows, pock-marked face, and rather
dissolute manners,--we shall not fail to hear.

Chapter VIII.


It is not certain that the late Imminency of Duel had much to do
with such explosions. The Hanover Imminency, which we likened to a
tropical waterspout, or sudden thunderous blotting-out of the sky
to the astonished Gazetteers, seems rather to have passed away as
waterspouts do,--leaving the earth and air, if anything, a little
REFRESHED by such crisis. Leaving, that is to say, the two
Majesties a little less disposed for open quarrel, or rash
utterance of their ill humor in time coming. But, in the mean
while, all mutual interests are in a painful state of suspended
animation: in Berlin there is a privately rebellious Spouse and
Household, there is a Tobacco-Parliament withal;--and the royal
mind, sensitive, imaginative as a poet's, as a woman's, and liable
to transports as of a Norse Baresark, is of uncertain movement.
Such a load of intricacies and exaggerated anxieties hanging on
it, the royal mind goes like the most confused smoke-jack, sure
only to HAVE revolutions; and we know how, afar from Soissons, and
at home in Tobacco-Parliament, the machine is influenced!
Enough, the explosive procedures continue, and are on the
increasing hand.

Majesty's hunting at Wusterhausen was hardly done, when that
alarming Treaty of Seville came to light (9th November, 1729),
France and England ranked by the side of Spain, disposing of
Princes and Apanages at their will, and a Kaiser left sitting
solitary,--which awakens the domestic whirlwinds at Berlin, among
other results. "CANAILLE ANGLAISE, English Doggery!" and similar
fine epithets, addressed to Wilhelmina and the Crown-Prince, fly
about; not to speak of occasional crockery and other missiles.
Friedrich Wilhelm has forbidden these two his presence altogether,
except at dinner: Out of my sight, ye Canaille Anglaise;
darken not the sunlight for me at all!

This is in the Wusterhausen time,--Hanover Imminency only two
months gone. And Mamma sends for us to have private dialogues in
her Apartment there, with spies out in every direction to make
signal of Majesty's return from his hunt,--who, however, surprises
as on one occasion, so that we have to squat for hours, and almost
get suffocated. [Wilhelmina, i. 172.] Whereupon the Crown-Prince,
who will be eighteen in a couple of months, and feels the
indignity of such things, begs of Mamma to be excused in future.
He has much to suffer from his Father again, writes Dubourgay in
the end of November: "it is difficult to conceive the vile
stratagems that are made use of to provoke the Father against the
Son." [Dubourgay, 28th November, 1729.] Or again, take this,
as perhaps marking an epoch in the business, a fortnight
farther on:--

DECEMBER 10th 1729. "His Prussian Majesty cannot bear the sight of
either the Prince or Princess Royal: The other day, he asked the
Prince: 'Kalkstein makes you English; does not he?'" Kalkstein,
your old Tutor, Borck, Knyphausen, Finkenstein, they are all of
that vile clique! "To which the Prince answered, 'I respect the
English because I know the people there love me;' upon which the
King seized him by the collar, struck him fiercely with his cane,"
in fact rained showers of blows upon him; "and it was only by
superior strength," thinks Dubourgay, "that the poor Prince
escaped worse. There is a general apprehension of something
tragical taking place before long."

Truly the situation is so violent, it cannot last. And in effect a
wild thought, not quite new, ripens to a resolution in the
Crown-Prince under such pressures: In reference to which, as we
grope and guess, here is a Billet to Mamma, which Wilhelmina has
preserved. Wilhelmina omits all trace of date, as usual; but
Dubourgay, in the above Excerpt, probably supplies that defect:--

FRIEDRICH TO HIS MOTHER (Potsdam, December, 1729).

"I am in the uttermost despair. What I had always apprehended has
at last come on me. The King has entirely forgotten that I am his
Son. This morning I came into his room as usual; at the first
sight of me," or at the first passage of Kalkstein-dialogue with
me, "he sprang forward, seized me by the collar, and struck me a
shower of cruel blows with his rattan. I tried in vain to screen
myself, he was in so terrible a rage, almost out of himself;
it was only weariness," not my superior strength, "that made him
give up."

"I am driven to extremity. I have too much honor to endure such
treatment; and I am resolved to put an end to it in one way or
another." [Wilhelmina, i. 175.]

Is not this itself sufficiently tragical? Not the first stroke he
had got, we can surmise; but the first torrent of strokes, and
open beating like a slave;--which to a proud young man and Prince,
at such age, is indeed INtolerable. Wilhelmina knows too well what
he meaus by "ending it in one way or another;" but strives to
reassure Mamma as to its meaning "flight," or the like desperate
resolution. "Mere violence of the moment," argues Wilhelmina;
terribly aware that it is deeper-rooted than that.

Flight is not a new idea to the Crown-Prince; in a negative form
we have seen it present in the minds of by-standers:
"a Crown-Prince determined NOT to fly," whispered they. [Dubourgay
(9th August, 1729), supra, p. 129.] Some weeks ago, Wilhelmina
writes: "The King's bad treatments began again on his
reappearance" at Potsdam after the Hunting; "he never saw my
Brother without threatening him with his cane. My Brother told me
day after day, He would endure everything from the King, only not
blows; and that if it ever came to such extremity, he would be
prepared to deliver himself by running off." And here, it would
seem, the extremity has actually come.

Wilhelmina, pitying her poor Brother, but condemning him on many
points, continues: [i. 173, 174.] "Lieutenant Keith," that wild
companion of his, "had been gone some time, stationed in Wesel
with his regiment." Which fact let us also keep in mind.
"Keith's departure had been a great joy to me; in the hope my
Brother would now lead a more regular life: but it proved quite
otherwise. A second favorite, and a much more dangerous, succeeded
Keith. This was a young man of the name of Katte,
Captain-Lieutenant in the regiment GENS-D'ARMES. He was highly
connected in the Army; his Mother had been a daughter of
Feldmarschall Graf von Wartensleben,"--a highest dignitary of the
last generation. Katte's Father, now a General of distinction,
rose also to be Feldmarschall; Cousins too, sons of a
Kammer-President von Katte at Magdeburg, rose to Army rank in time
coming; but not this poor Katte,--whom let the reader note!

"General Katte his Father," continues Wilhelmina, "had sent him to
the Universities, and afterwards to travel, desiring he should be
a Lawyer. But as there was no favor to expect out of the Army, the
young man found himself at last placed there, contrary to his
expectation. He continued to apply himself to studies; he had wit,
book-culture, acquaintance with the world; the good company which
he continued to frequent had given him polite manners, to a degree
then rare in Berlin. His physiognomy was rather disagreeable than
otherwise. A pair of thick black eyebrows almost covered the eyes
of him; his look had in it something ominous, presage of the fate
he met with: a tawny skin, torn by small-pox, increased his
ugliness. He affected the freethinker, and carried libertinism to
excess; a great deal of ambition and headlong rashness accompanied
this vice." A dangerous adviser here in the Berlin element, with
lightnings going! "Such a favorite was not the man to bring back
my Brother from his follies. This I learned at our [Mamma's and
my] return to Berlin," from the Wusterhausen and the Potsdam
tribulations;--and think of it, not without terror, now that the
extremity seems coming or come.

Chapter IX.


For one thing, Friedrich Wilhelm, weary of all this English pother
and futility, will end the Double-Marriage speculation; Wilhelmina
shall be disposed of, and so an end. Friedrich Wilhelm, once the
hunting was over at Wusterhausen, ran across, southward,--to
"Lubnow," Wilhelmina calls it,--to Lubben in the Nether Lausitz,
[25th October, 1729 (Fassmann, p. 404).] a short day's drive;
there to meet incognito the jovial Polish Majesty, on his route
towards Dresden; to see a review or so; and have a little talk
with the ever-cheerful Man of Sin. Grumkow and Seckendorf, of
course these accompany; Majesty's shadow is not surer.

Review was held at Lubben, Weissenfels Commander-in-chief taking
charge; dinner also, a dinner or two, with much talk and drink;--
and there it was settled, Wilhelmina has since known, that
Weissenfels, Royal Highness in the Abstract, was to be her
Husband, after all. Weissenfels will do; either Weissenfels or
else the Margraf of Schwedt, thinks Friedrich Wilhelm; somebody
shall marry the baggage out of hand, and let us have done with
that. Grumkow, as we know, was very anxious for it; calculating
thereby to out the ground from under the Old Dessauer, and make
this Weissenfels Generalissimo of Prussia; a patriotic thought.
Polish Majesty lent hand, always willing to oblige.

Friedrich Wilhelm, on his return homewards, went round by Dahme
for a night:--not "Dam," O Princess, there is no such town or
schloss! Round by Dahme, a little town and patch of territory, in
the Saxon Countries, which was Weissenfels's Apanage;--"where
plenty of Tokay" cheered the royal heart; and, in such mood, it
seemed as if one's Daughter might do very well in this extremely
limited position. And Weissenfels, though with dark misgivings as
to Queen Sophie, was but too happy to consent: the foolish
creature; a little given to liquor too! Friedrich Wilhelm, with
this fine project in his head, drove home to Potsdam;--and there
laid about him, on the poor Crown-Prince, in the way we have seen;
terrifying Queen and Princess, who are at Berlin till Christmas
and the Carnival be over. Friedrich Wilhelm means to see the
Polish Majesty again before long,--probably so soon as this of
Weissenfels is fairly got through the Female Parliament, where it
is like there will be difficulties.

Christmas came to Berlin, and the King with it; who did the
gayeties for a week or two, and spoke nothing about business to
his Female Parliament. Dubourgay saw him, at Parade, on New-Year's
morning; whither all manner of Foreign Dignitaries had come to pay
their respects: "Well," cried the King to Dubourgay, "we shall
have a War, then,"--universa1 deadly tug at those Italian
Apanages, for and against an insulted Kaiser,--"War; and then all
that is crooked will be pulled straight!" So spake Friedrich
Wilhelm on the New-Year's morning; War in Italy, universal spasm
of wrestle there, being now the expectation of foolish mankind:
Crooked will be pulled straight, thinks Friedrich Wilhelm;
and perhaps certain high Majesties, deaf to the voice of
Should-not, will understand that of Can-not, Excellenz!--
Crooked will become straight? "Indeed if so, your Majesty,
the sooner the better!" I ventured to answer. [Dubourgay,
8th January, 1730.]

New Year's day is not well in, and the ceremonial wishes over,
when Friedrich Wilhelm, his mind full of serious domestic and
foreign matter, withdraws to Potsdam again; and therefrom begins
fulminating in a terrible manner on his womankind at Berlin, what
we called his Female Parliament,--too much given to opposition
courses at present. Intends to have his measures passed there, in
defiance of opposition; straightway; and an end put to this
inexpressible Double-Marriage higgle-haggle. Speed to him! we will
say.--Three high Crises occur, three or even four, which can now
without much detail be made intelligible to the patient reader:
on the back of which we look for some catastrophe and finis to the
Business;--any catastrophe that will prove a finis, how welcome
will it be!


Still early in January, a few days after his Majesty's return to
Potsdam, three high Official gentlemen, Count Fink van
Finkenstein, old Tutor to the Prince, Grumkow and General Borck
announce themselves one morning; "Have a pressing message from the
King to her Majesty." [Wilhelmina, i. 180.] Queen is astonished;
expecting anything sooner.--"This regards me, I have a dreading!"
shuddered Wilhelmina to Mamma. "No matter," said the Queen,
shrugging her shoulders; "one must have firmness; and that is not
what I shall want;"--and her Majesty went into the
Audience-chamber, leaving Wilhelmina in such tremors.

Finkenstein, a friendly man, as Borck too is, explains to her
Majesty, "That they three have received each a Letter overnight,--
Letter from the King, enjoining in the FIRST place 'silence under
pain of death;' in the SECOND place, apprising them that he, the
King, will no longer endure her Majesty's disobedience in regard
to the marriage of his Daughter, but will banish Daughter and
Mother 'to Oranienburg,' quasi-divorce, and outer darkness, unless
there be compliance with his sovereign will; THIRDLY, that they
are accordingly to go, all three, to her Majesty, to deliver the
enclosed Royal Autograph [which Finkenstein presents], testifying
what said sovereign will is, and on the above terms expect her
Majesty's reply;"--as they have now sorrowfully done, Finkenstein
and Borck with real sorrow; Grumkow with the reverse of real.

Sovereign will is to the effect: "Write to England one other time,
Will you at once marry, or not at once; Yea or No? Answer can be
here within a fortnight; three weeks, even in case of bad winds.
If the answer be not Yea at once; then you, Madam, you at once
choose Weissenfels or Schwedt, one or the other,--under what
penalties you know; Oranienburg and worse!"

Here is a crisis. But her Majesty did not want firmness. "Write to
England? Yes, willingly. But as to Weissenfels and Schwedt,
whatever answer come from England,--Impossible!" steadily answers
her Majesty. There was much discourse, suasive, argumentative;
Grumkow "quoting Scripture on her Majesty, as the Devil can on
occasion," says Wilhelmina. Express Scriptures, Wives, be
obedient to your husbands, and the like texts:
but her Majesty, on the Scripture side too, gave him as good as he
brought. "Did not Bethuel the son of Milcah, [Genesis xxiv.
14-58.] when Abraham's servant asked his daughter in marriage for
young Isaac, answer, We will call the damsel and inquire
of her mouth. And they called Rebecca, and said unto her, Wilt
thou go with this man? And she said, I will go."
Scripture for Scripture, Herr von Grumkow! "Wives must obey their
husbands; surely yes. But the husbands are to command things just
and reasonable. The King's procedure is not accordant with that
law. He is for doing violence to my Daughter's inclination, and
rendering her unhappy for the rest of her days;--will give her a
brutal debauchee," fat Weissenfels, so describable in strong
language; "a younger brother, who is nothing but the King of
Poland's Officer; landless, and without means to live according to
his rank. Or can it be the State that will profit from such a
marriage? If they have a Household, the King will have to support
it.--Write to England; Yes; but whatever the answer of England,
Weissenfels never! A thousand times sooner see my child in her
grave than hopelessly miserable!" Here a qualm overtook her
Majesty; for in fact she is in an interesting state, third month
of her time: "I am not well; You should spare me, Gentlemen, in
the state I am in.--I do not accuse the King," concluded she:
"I know," hurling a glance at Grumkow, "to whom I owe all this;"--
and withdrew to her interior privacies; reading there with
Wilhelmina "the King's cruel Letter," and weeping largely, though
firm to the death. [Wilhelmina, i. 179-182. Dubourgay has
nothing,--probably had heard nothing, there being "silence under
pain of death" for the moment.]

What to do in such a crisis? Assemble the Female Parliament, for
one thing: good Madam Finkenstein (old Tutor's wife), good Mamsell
Bulow, Mamsell Sonsfeld (Wilhelmina's Governess), and other
faithful women:--well if we can keep away traitresses, female
spies that are prowling about; especially one "Ramen," a Queen's
soubrette, who gets trusted with everything, and betrays
everything; upon whom Wilhelmina is often eloquent. Never was such
a traitress; took Dubourgay's bribe, which the Queen had advised;
and, all the same, betrays everything,--bribe included. And the
Queen, so bewitched, can keep nothing from her. Female Parliament
must, take precautions about the Ramen!--For the rest, Female
Parliament advises two things: 1. Pressing Letter to England;
that of course, written with the eloquence of despair: and then
2. That in ease of utter extremity, her Majesty "pretend to fall
ill." That is Crisis First; and that is their expedient upon it.

Letter goes to England, therefore; setting forth the extremity of
strait, and pinch: "Now or never, O my Sister Caroline!" Many such
have gone, first and last; but this is the strongest of all.
Nay the Crown-Prince too shall write to his Aunt of England:
you, Wilhelmina, draw out, a fit brief Letter for him: send it to
Potsdam, he will copy it there! [Wilhelmina, i. 183.] So orders
the Mother: Wilhelmina does it, with a terrified heart;
Crown-Prince copies without scruple: "I have already given your
Majesty my word of honor never to wed any one but the Princess
Amelia your Daughter; I here reiterate that Promise, in case your
Majesty will consent to my Sister's Marriage,"--should that alone
prove possible in the present intricacies. "We are all reduced to
such a state that"--Wilhelmina gives the Letter in full; but as it
is professedly of her own composition, a loose vague piece, the
very date of which you have to grope out for yourself, it cannot
even count among the several Letters written by the Crown-Prince,
both before and after it, to the same effect, which are now
probably all of them lost, [TRACE of one, Copy of ANSWER from
Queen Caroline to what seems to have been one, Answer rather of
dissuasive tenor, is in State-Paper Office: Prussian
Despatches, vol. xl,--dateless; probably some months
later in 1780.] without regret to anybody; and we will not reckon
it worth transcribing farther. Such Missive, such two Missives
(not now found in any archive) speed to England by express;
may the winds be favorable. Her Majesty waits anxious at Berlin;
ready to take refuge in a bed of sickness, should bad come
to worse.


In England, in the mean while, they have received a curious little
piece of secret information. One Reichenbach, Prussian Envoy at
London--Dubourgay has long marvelled at the man and at the news he
sends to Berlin. Here, of date 17th January, 1730, is a Letter on
that subject from Dubourgay, official but private as yet, for
"George Tilson, Esq.:"--Tilson is Under-Secretary in the Foreign
Office, whose name often turns up on such occasions in the
DUBOURGAY, the ROBINSON and other extinct Paper-heaps of that
time. Dubourgay dates doubly, by old and new style; in general we
print by the new only, unless the contrary be specified.


"BERLIN, 6th Jan. 1729 (by new style, 17th Jan. 1730).

"SIR,--I believe you may remember that we have for a long time
suspected that most of Reichenbach's Despatches were dictated by
some people here. About two days ago a Paper fell into my hands,"
realized quietly for a consideration, "containing an Account of
money charged to the 'Brothers Jourdan and Lautiers,' Merchants
here, by their Correspondent in London, for sending Letters from,"
properly in, or through, "your City to Reichenbach.

"Jourdan and Lautiers's London Correspondents are Mr. Thomas
Greenhill in Little Bell Alley and Mr. John Motteux in St. Mary
Axe. Mr. Guerin my Agent knows them very well; having paid them
several little bills on my account:"--Better ask Mr. Guerin.
"I know not through the hands of which of those Merchants the
above-mentioned Letters have passed; but you have ways enough to
find it out, if you think it worth while. I make no manner of
doubt but Grumkow and his party make use of this conveyance to
(SIC) their instructions to Reichenbach. In the Account which I
have seen, 'eighteen-pence' is charged for carrying each Letter to
Reichenbach: the charge in general is for 'Thirty-two Letters;'
and refers to a former Account." So that they must have been
long at it.

"I am, with the greatest truth,


Here is a trail which Tilson will have no difficulty in running
down. I forget whether it was in Bell Alley or St. Mary Axe that
the nest was found; but found it soon was, and the due springes
were set; and game came steadily dropping in,--Letters to and
Letters from,--which, when once his Britannic Majesty had, with
reluctance, given warrant to open and decipher them, threw light
on Prussian Affairs, and yielded fine sport and speculation in the
Britannic Majesty's Apartment on an evening.

This is no other than the celebrated "Cipher Correspondence
between Grumkow and Reichenbach;" Grumkow covertly instructing his
slave Reichenbach what the London news shall be: Reichenbach
answering him, To hear is to obey! Correspondence much noised of
in the modern Prussian Books; and which was, no doubt, very
wonderful to Tilson and Company;--capable of being turned to uses,
they thought. The reader shall see specimens by and by; and he
will find it unimportant enough, and unspeakably stupid to him.
It does show Grumkow as the extreme of subtle fowlers, and how the
dirty-fingered Seckendorf and he cooked their birdlime: but to us
that is not new, though at St. James's it was. Perhaps uses may
lie in it there? At all events, it is a pretty topic in Queen
Caroline's apartment on an evening; and the little Majesty and
she, with various laughters and reflections, can discern, a
little, How a poor King of Prussia is befooled by his servants,
and in what way a fierce Bear is led about by the nose, and dances
to Grumkow's piping. Poor soul, much of his late raging and
growling, perhaps it was only Grumkow's and not his! Does not hate
us, he, perhaps; but only Grumkow through him? This doleful
enchantment, and that the Royal Wild Bear dances only to tunes,
ought to be held in mind, when we want anything with him.--
Those, amid the teheeings, are reflections that cannot escape
Queen Caroline and her little George, while the Prussian Express,
unknown to them, is on the road.


The Prussian Express, Queen Sophie's Courier to England, made his
best speed: but he depends on the winds for even arriving there;
and then he depends on the chances for an answer there;
an uncertain Courier as to time: and it was not in the power of
speed to keep pace with Friedrich Wilhelm's impatience. "No answer
yet?" growls Friedrich Wilhelm before a fortnight is gone.
"No answer?"--and January has not ended till a new Deputation of
the same Three Gentlemen, Finkenstein, Borck, Grumkow, again waits
on the Queen, for whom there is now this other message.
"Wednesday, 25th January, 1730," so Dubourgay dates it;
so likewise Wilhelmina, right for once: "a day I shall never
forget," adds she.

Finkenstein and Borck, merciful persons, and always of the English
party, were again profoundly sorry. Borck has a blaze of temper in
him withal; we hear he apprised Grumkow, at one point of the
dialogue, that he, Grumkow, was a "scoundrel," so Dubourgay calls
it,--which was one undeniable truth offered there that day.
But what can anything profit? The Message is: "Whatever the answer
now be from England, I will have nothing to do with it.
Negative, procrastinative, affirmative, to me it shall be zero.
You, Madam, have to choose, for Wilhelmina, between Weissenfels
and Schwedt; otherwise I myself will choose: and upon you and her
will alight Oranienburg, outer darkness, and just penalties of
mutiny against the Authority set over you by God and men.
Weissenfels or Schwedt: choose straightway." This is the King's
message by these Three.

"You can inform the King," replied her Majesty, [Wilhelmina,
i. 188.] "that he will never make me consent to render my Daughter
miserable; and that, so long as a breath of life (UN SOUFFLE DE
VIE) remains in me, I will not permit her to take either the one
or the other of those persons." Is that enough? "For you, Sir,"
added her Majesty, turning to Grumkow, "for you, Sir, who are the
author of my misfortunes, may my curse fall upon you and your
house! You have this day killed me. But I doubt not, Heaven will
hear my prayer, and avenge these wrongs." [Dubourgay, 28th
January, 1730; Wilhelmina, i. 188 (who suppresses the maledictory
part).]--And herewith to a bed of sickness, as the one
refuge left!

Her Majesty does now, in fact, take to bed at Berlin; "fallen very
ill," it would appear; which gives some pause to Friedrich Wilhelm
till he ascertain. "Poorly, for certain," report the Doctors, even
Friedrich Wilhelm's Doctor. The humane Doctors have silently given
one another the hint; for Berlin is one tempest of whispers about
her Majesty's domestic sorrows, "Poorly, for interesting reasons:
--perhaps be worse before she is better, your Majesty!"--"Hmph!"
thinks Friedrich Wilhelm out at Potsdam. And then the treacherous
Ramen reports that it is all shamming; and his Majesty, a Bear,
though a loving one, is driven into wrath again; and so wavers
from side to side.

It is certain the Queen held, faster or looser, by her bed of
sickness, as a main refuge in these emergencies: the last shift
of oppressed womankind;--sanctioned by Female Parliament, in this
instance. "Has had a miscarriage!" writes Dubourgay, from Berlin
gossip, at the beginning of the business. Nay at one time she
became really ill, to a dangerous length; and his Majesty did not
at first believe it; and then was like to break his heart, poor
Bear; aud pardoned Wilhelmina and even Fritz, at the Mother's
request,--till symptoms mended again. [Wilhelmina, i. 207.]
JARNI-BLEU, Herr Seckendorf, "Grumkow serves us honorably (DIENET
EHRLICH)"--does not he!--Ambiguous bed of sickness, a refuge in
time of trouble, did not quite terminate till May next, when her
Majesty's time came; a fine young Prince the result; [23d May,
1730, August Ferdinand; her last child.] and this mode of refuge
in trouble ceased to be necessary.


Directly on the back of that peremptory act of disobedience by the
womankind on Wednesday last, Friedrich Wilhelm came to Berlin
himself. He stormfully reproached his Queen, regardless of the
sick-bed; intimated the infallible certainty, That Wilhelmina
nevertheless would wed without delay, and that either Weissenfels
or Schwedt would be the man. And this said, he straightway walked
out to put the same in execution.

Walked, namely, to the Mother Margravine of Schwedt, the lady in
high colors, Old Dessauer's Sister; and proposed to her that
Wilhelmina should marry her Son.--"The supreme wish of my life,
your Majesty," replied she of the high colors: "But, against the
Princess's own will, how can I accept such happiness? Alas, your
Majesty, I never can!"--and flatly refused his Majesty on those
terms: a thing Wilhelmina will ever gratefully remember of her.
[Wilhelmina, i. 197.]

So that the King is now reduced to Weissenfels; and returns still
more indignant to her Majesty's apartment. Weissenfels, however,
it shall be; and frightful rumors go that he is written to, that
he is privately coming, and that there will be no remedy.
[Wilhelmina, i. 197.] Wilhelmina, formerly almost too florid, is
gone to a shadow; "her waist hardly half an ell;" worn down by
these agitations. The Prince and she, if the King see either of
them,--it is safer to run, or squat behind screens.


In this high wind of extremity, the King now on the spot and in
such temper, Borck privately advises, "That her Majesty bend a
little,--pretend to give up the English connection, and propose a
third party, to get rid of Weissenfels."--"What third party,
then?"--"Well, there is young Brandenburg-Culmbach, for example,
Heir-Apparent of Baireuth; Friedrich, a handsome enough young
Prince, just coming home from the Grand Tour, we hear; will have a
fine Territory when his Father dies: age is suitable; old kinship

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