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History of Friedrich II of Prussia V

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[From 1746 and onward: first published complete (after slight
revision by Voltaire), Berlin, 1751.] in Verse, very secret as yet,
the PALLADION ("exquisite Burlesque," think some), the ART OF WAR
(reckoned truly his best Piece in verse):--and wishes sometimes he
had Voltaire here to perfect him a little. This too would be one of
the practical charms of Voltaire. [Friedrich's Letter to Algarotti
( OEuvres, xviii. 66), "12th September,
1749."] For though King Friedrich knows and remembers always, that
these things, especially the Verse part, are mere amusements in
comparison, he has the creditable wish to do these well; one would
not fantasy ILL even on the Flute, if one could help it. "Why does
n't Voltaire come; as Quantz of the Flute has done?" Friedrich, now
that Voltaire has fallen widower, renews his pressings, "Why don't
you come?" Patience, your Majesty; Voltaire will come.

Nobody can wish details in this Department: but there is one thing
necessary to be mentioned, That Friedrich in these years,
1749-1752, has Printers out at Potsdam, and is Printing, "in
beautiful quarto form, with copperplates," to the extent of twelve
copies, the OEUVRES (Poetical, that is) DU PHILOSOPHE DE
SANS-SOUCI. Only twelve copies, I have heard; gift of a single copy
indicating that you are among the choicest of the chosen.
Copies have now fallen extremely rare (and are not in request at
all, with my readers or me); but there was one Copy which, or the
Mis-title of which, as OEUVRE DE "POESHIE" DU ROI MON MAITRE,
became miraculously famous in a year or two;--and is still
memorable to us all! On Voltaire's arrival, we shall hear more of
these things. Enough to say at present that the OEUVRES DU
D'APOLLON,--"three thinnish quarto volumes, all the Poetry then on
hand,"--was finished early in 1750, before Voltaire came.
That, when Voltaire came, a revisal was undertaken, a new Edition,
with Voltaire's corrections and other changes (total suppression of
the PALLADION, for one creditable change): that this Edition was to
have been in Two Volumes; that One, accordingly, rather thicker
than the former sort, was got finished in 1752 (same TITLE, only
the new Date, and "no DONJON DU CHATEAU this time"), One Volume in
1752; after which, owing to the explosions that ensued, no Second
came, nor ever will;--and that the actual contents of that far-
famed OEUVRE DE "POESHIE" (number of volumes even) are points of
mystery to me, at this day. [Herr Preuss--in the CHRONOLOGICAL LIST
of Friedrich's Writings (a useful accurate Piece otherwise), and in
two other places where he tries--is very indistinct on this of
DONJON DU CHATEAU; and it is all but impossible to ascertain from
him WHAT, in an indisputable manner, the OEUVRE DE "POESHIE" may
have been. Here are the places for groping, if another should be
induced to try: OEuvres de Frederic, x.
(Preface, p. ix); IB. xi. (Preface, p. ix); IB. Table
Chhronologique (in what Volume this is, you cannot yet
say; seems preliminary to a GENERAL INDEX, which is infinitely
wanted, but has not yet appeared to this Editor's aid), p. 14.]

Friedrich's other employments are multifarious as those of a Land's
Husband (not inferior to his Father in that respect); and, like the
benefits of the diurnal Sun, are to be considered incessant,
innumerable and, in result to us-ward, SILENT also, impossible to
speak of in this place. From the highest pitch of State-craft
(Russian Czarina now fallen plainly hostile, and needing lynx-eyed
diplomacy ever and anon), down to that of Dredging and Fascine-work
(as at Stettin and elsewhere), of Oder-canals, of Soap-boiler
Companies, and Mulberry-and-Silk Companies; nay of ordaining Where,
and where not, the Crows are to he shot, and (owing to cattle-
murrain) No VEAL to be killed: [Seyfarth, ii. 71, 83, 81; Preuss,
Buch fur Jedermann, i. 101-109; &c.] daily
comes the tide of great and of small, and daily the punctual
Friedrich keeps abreast of it,--and Dryasdust has noted the
details, and stuffed them into blind sacks,--for forty years.

The Review seasons, I notice, go somewhat as follows. For Berlin
and neighborhood, May, or perhaps end of April (weather now bright,
and ground firm); sometimes with considerable pomp ("both Queens
out," and beautiful Female Nobilities, in "twenty-four green
tents"), and often with great complicacy of manoeuvre. In June, to
Magdeburg, round by Cleve; and home again for some days. July is
Pommern: Onward thence to Schlesien, oftenest in August;
Schlesien the last place, and generally not done with till well on
in September. But we will speak of these things, more specially,
another time. Such "Reviews," for strictness of inspection civil
and military, as probably were not seen in the world since,--or
before, except in the case of this King's Father only.

Chapter V.


British Diplomacies, next to the Russian, cause some difficulties
in those years: of which more by and by. Early in 1748, while Aix-
la-Chapelle was starting, Ex-Exchequer Legge came to Berlin;
on some obscure object of a small Patch of Principality, hanging
loose during those Negotiations: "Could not we secure it for his
Royal Highness of Cumberland, thinks your Majesty?" Ex-Exchequer
Legge was here; [Coxe's Pelham, i. 431, &c.;
Rodenbeck, pp. 155, 160 (first audience 1st May, 1748);--recalled
22d November, Aix being over.] got handsome assurances of a general
nature; but no furtherance towards his obscure, completely
impracticable object; and went home in November following, to a new
Parliamentary Career.

And the second year after, early in 1750, came Sir Hanbury
Williams, famed London Wit of Walpole's circle, on objects which,
in the main, were equally chimerical: "King of the Romans, much
wanted;" "No Damage to your Majesty's Shipping from our British
Privateers;" and the like;--about which some notice, and not very
much, will be due farther on. Here, in his own words, is Hanbury's
Account of his First Audience:--

... "On Thursday," 16th July, 1750, "I went to Court by
appointment, at 11 A.M. The King of Prussia arrived about 12 [at
Berlin; King in from Potsdam, for one day]; and Count Podewils
immediately introduced me into the Royal closet; when I delivered
his Britannic Majesty's Letters into the King of Prussia's hands,
and made the usual compliments to him in the best manner I was
able. To which his Prussian Majesty replied, to the best of my
remembrance, as follows:--

"'I have the truest esteem for the King of Britain's person; and I
set the highest value on his friendship. I have at different times
received essential proofs of it; and I desire you would acquaint
the King your Master that I will (SIC) never forget them.' His
Prussian Majesty afterwards said something with respect to myself,
and then asked me several questions about indifferent things and
persons. He seemed to express a great deal of esteem for my Lord
Chesterfield, and a great deal of kindness for Mr. Villiers,"
useful in the Peace-of-Dresden time; "but did not once mention Lord
Hyndford or Mr. Legge,"--how singular!

"I was in the closet with his Majesty exactly five minutes and a
half. My audience done, Prussian Majesty came out into the general
room, where Foreign Ministers were waiting. He said, on stepping
in, just one word" to the Austrian Excellency; not even one to the
Russian Excellency, nor to me the Britannic; "conversed with the
French, Swedish, Danish;"--happy to be off, which I do not wonder
at; to dine with Mamma at Monbijou, among faces pleasant to him;
and return to his Businesses and Books next day. [Walpole,
George the Second, i. 449; Rodenbeck, i. 204.]

Witty Excellency Hanbury did not succeed at Berlin on the "Romish-
King Question," or otherwise; and indeed went off rather in a
hurry. But for the next six or seven years he puddles about, at a
great rate, in those Northern Courts; giving away a great deal of
money, hatching many futile expensive intrigues at Petersburg,
Warsaw (not much at Berlin, after the first trial there); and will
not be altogether avoidable to us in time coming, as one could have
wished. Besides, he is Horace Walpole's friend and select London
Wit: he contributed a good deal to the English notions about
Friedrich; and has left considerable bits of acrid testimony on
Friedrich, "clear words of an Eye-witness," men call them,--which
are still read by everybody; the said Walpole, and others, having
since printed them, in very dark condition. [In Walpole,
George the Second (i. 448-461), the Pieces which
regard Friedrich. In Sir Charles Hanbury Williams's Works
(edited by a diligent, reverential, but ignorant
gentleman, whom I could guess to be Bookseller Jeffery in person:
London, 1822, 3 vols. small 8vo) are witty Verses, and considerable
sections of Prose, relating to other persons and objects now rather
of an obsolete nature.] Brevity is much due to Hanbury and his
testimonies, since silence in the circumstances is not allowable.
Here is one Excerpt, with the necessary light for reading it:--

... It is on this Romish-King and other the like chimerical
errands, that witty Hanbury, then a much more admirable man than we
now find him, is prowling about in the German Courts, off and on,
for some ten years in all, six of them still to come. A sharp-eyed
man, of shrewish quality; given to intriguing, to spying, to
bribing; anxious to win his Diplomatic game by every method, though
the stake (as here) is oftenest zero: with fatal proclivity to
Scandal, and what in London circles he has heard called Wit.
Little or nothing of real laughter in the soul of him, at any time;
only a labored continual grin, always of malicious nature, and much
trouble and jerking about, to keep that up. Had evidently some
modicum of real intellect, of capacity for being wise; but now has
fatally devoted it nearly all to being witty, on those poor terms!
A perverse, barren, spiteful little wretch; the grin of him
generally an affliction, at this date. His Diplomatic
Correspondence I do not know. [Nothing of him is discoverable in
the State-Paper Office. Many of his Papers, it would seem, are in
the Earl of Essex's hands;--and might be of some Historical use,
not of very much, could the British Museum get possession of them.
Abundance of BACKSTAIRS History, on those Northern Courts,
especially on Petersburg, and Warsaw-Dresden,--authentic
Court-gossip, generally malicious, often not true, but never
mendacious on the part of Williams,--is one likely item.] He did a
great deal of Diplomatic business, issuing in zero, of which I have
sometimes longed to know the exact dates; seldom anything farther.
His "History of Poland," transmitted to the Right Hon. Henry Fox,
by instalments from Dresden, in 1748, is [See Hanbury's
Works, vol. iii.]--Well, I should be obliged to call
it worthier of Goody Two-Shoes than of that Right Hon. Henry, who
was a man of parts, but evidently quite a vacuum on the
Polish side!

Of Hanbury's News-Letters from Foreign Courts, four or five,
incidentally printed, are like the contents of a slop-pail;
uncomfortable to the delicate mind. Not lies on the part of
Hanbury, but foolish scandal poured into him; a man more filled
with credulous incredible scandal, evil rumors, of malfeasances by
kings and magnates, than most people known. His rumored mysteries
between poor Polish Majesty and pretty Daughter-in-law (the latter
a clever and graceful creature, Daughter of the late unfortunate
Kaiser, and a distinguished Correspondent of Friedrich's) are to be
regarded as mere poisoned wind. [See Hanbury's Works, italic> ii. 209-240.] That "Polish Majesty gets into his dressing-
gown at two in the afternoon" (inaccessible thenceforth, poor lazy
creature), one most readily believes; but there, or pretty much
there, one's belief has to stop. The stories, in WALPOLE, on the
King of Prussia, have a grain of fact in them, twisted into huge
irrecognizable caricature in the Williams optic-machinery.
Much else one can discern to be, in essence, false altogether.
Friedrich, who could not stand that intriguing, spying, shrewish,
unfriendly kind of fellow at his Court, applied to England in not
many months hence, and got Williams sent away: ["22d January, 1751"
(MS. LIST in State-Paper Office).] on to Russia, or I forget
whither;--which did not mend the Hanbury optical-machinery on that
side. The dull, tobacco-smoking Saxon-Polish Majesty, about whom he
idly retails so many scandals, had never done him any offence.

On the whole, if anybody wanted a swim in the slop-pails of that
extinct generation, Hanbury, could he find an Editor to make him
legible, might be printed. For he really was deep in that slop-pail
or extinct-scandal department, and had heard a great many things.
Apart from that, in almost any other department,--except in so far
as he seems to DATE rather carefully,--I could not recommend him.
The Letters and Excerpts given in Walpole are definable as one
pennyworth of bread,--much ruined by such immersion, but very
harmless otherwise, could you pick it out and clean it,--to twenty
gallons of Hanbury sherris-sack, or chamber-slop. I have found
nothing that seems to be, in all points, true or probable, but
this; worth cutting out, and rendering legible, on other accounts.
Hanbury LOQUITUR (in condensed form):

"In the summer of last year, 1749, there was, somewhere in Mahren,
a great Austrian Muster or Review;" all the more interesting, as it
was believed, or known, that the Prussian methods and manoeuvres
were now to be the rule for Austria. Not much of a Review
otherwise, this of 1749; Empress-Queen and Husband not personally
there, as in coming Years they are wont to be; that high Lady being
ardent to reform her Army, root and branch, according to the
Prussian model,--more praise to her. [ Maria Theresiens
Leben, p. 160 (what she did that way, ANNO 1749);
p. 162 (PRESENT at the Reviews, ANNO 1750).] "At this Muster in
Mahren, Three Prussian Officers happened to make their appearance,
--for several imaginable reasons, of little significance: 'For the
purpose of inveigling people to desert, and enlist with them!' said
the Austrian Authorities; and ordered the Three Prussian Officers
unceremoniously off the ground. Which Friedrich, when he heard of
it, thought an unhandsome pipe-clay procedure, and kept in mind
against the Austrian Authorities.

"Next Summer," next Spring, 1750, "an Austrian Captain being in
Mecklenburg, travelling about, met there an old acquaintance, one
Chapeau [HAT! can it be possible?], who is in great favor with the
King of Prussia:"--very well, Excellency Hanbury; but who, in the
name of wonder, can this HAT, or Chapeau, have been? After study,
one perceives that Hanbury wrote Chazeau, meaning CHASOT, an old
acquaintance of our own! Brilliant, sabring, melodying Chasot,
Lieutenant-Colonel of the Baireuth Dragoons; who lies at Treptow,
close on Mecklenburg, and is a declared favorite of the Duchess,
often running over to the RESIDENZ there. Often enough; but HONI
SOIT, O reader; the clever Lady is towards sixty, childless,
musical; and her Husband--do readers recollect him at all?--is that
collapsed TAILORING Duke whom Friedrich once visited,--and whose
Niece, Half-Niece, is Charlotte, wise little hard-favored creature
now of six, in clean bib and tucker, Ancestress of England that is
to be; whose Papa will succeed, if the Serene Tailor die first,--
which he did not quite. To this Duchess, musical gallant Chasot may
well be a resource, and she to him. Naturally the Austrian Captain,
having come to Mecklenburg, dined with Serene Highness, he and
Chasot together, with concert following, and what not, at the
Schloss of Neu-Strelitz:--And now we will drop the 'Chapeau,' and
say Chasot, with comfort, and a shade of new interest.

"'The grand May Review at Berlin just ahead, won't you look in;
it is straight on your road home?' suggests Chasot to his
travelling friend. 'One would like it, of all things,' answered the
other: 'but the King?' 'Tush,' said Chasot; 'I will make that all
straight!' And applies to the King accordingly: 'Permission to an
Austrian Officer, a good acquaintance of mine.' 'Austrian Officer?'
Friedrich's eyes lighten; and he readily gives the permission.
This was at Berlin, on the very eve of the Review; and Chasot and
his Austrian are made happy in that small matter. And on the morrow
[end of May, 1750], the Austrian attends accordingly; but, to his
astonishment, has hardly begun to taste the manoeuvres, when--one
of Friedrich's Aides-de-Camp gallops up: 'By the King's command,
Mein Herr, you retire on the instant!'

"Next day, the Austrian is for challenging Chasot. 'As you like,
that way,' answers Chasot; 'but learn first, that on your affront I
rode up to the King; and asked, publicly, Did not your Majesty
grant me permission? Unquestionably, Monsieur Chasot;--and if he
had not come, how could I have paid back the Moravian business of
last year!'" [Walpole, George the Second,
i. 457, 459.]--This is much in Friedrich's way; not the unwelcomer
that it includes a satirical twitch on Chasot, whom he truly likes
withal, or did like, though now a little dissatisfied with those
too frequent Mecklenburg excursions and extra-military cares.
Of this, merely squeezing the Hanbury venom out of it, I can
believe every particular.

"Did you ever hear of anything so shocking?" is Hanbury's meaning
here and elsewhere. "I must tell you a story of the King of
Prussia's regard for the Law of Nations," continues he to Walpole?
[Ib. i. 458.] Which proves to be a story, turned topsy-turvy, of
one Hofmann, Brunswick Envoy, who (quite BEYOND commission, and a
thing that must not be thought of at all!) had been detected in
dangerous intriguings with the ever-busy Russian Excellency, or
another; and got flung into Spandau, [Adelung, v. 534;
vii. 132-144.]--seemingly pretty much his due in the matter. And so
of other Hanbury things. "What a Prussia; for rigor of command, one
huge prison, in a manner!" King intent on punctuality, and all his
business upon the square. Society, official and unofficial, kept
rather strictly to their tackle; their mode of movement not that of
loose oxen at all! "Such a detestable Tyrant,"--who has ordered ME,
Hanbury, else-whither with my exquisite talents and admired wit!--


By far the notablest arrival in Berlin is M. de Voltaire's July
10th; a few days before Hanbury got his First Audience, "five
minutes long." But that arrival will require a Chapter to itself;
--most important arrival, that, of all! The least important, again,
is probably that of Candidatus Linsenbarth, in these same weeks;--
a rugged poverty-stricken old Licentiate of Theology; important to
no mortal in Berlin or elsewhere:--upon whom, however, and upon his
procedures in that City, we propose, for our own objects, to bestow
a few glances; rugged Narrative of the thing, in singular exotic
dialect, but true every word, having fortunately come to us from
Linsenbarth's own hand. [Through Rodenbeck, Beitrage, italic> i. 463 et seq.]

Berlin, it must be admitted, after all one's reading in poor
Dryasdust, remains a dim empty object; Teutschland is dim and
empty: and out of the forty blind sacks, or out of four hundred
such, what picture can any human head form to itself of Friedrich
as King or Man? A trifling Adventure of that poor individual,
called Linsenbarth CANDIDATUS THEOLOGIAE, one of the poorest of
mortals, but true and credible in every particular, comes gliding
by chance athwart all that; and like the glimmer of a poor
rushlight, or kindled straw, shows it us for moments, a thing
visible, palpable, as it worked and lived. In the great dearth,
Linsenbarth, if I can faithfully interpret him for the modern
reader, will be worth attending to.

Date of Linsenbarth's Adventure is June-August, 1750. "Schloss of
Beichlingen" and "Village of Hemmleben" are in the Thuringen Hill
Country (Weimar not far off to eastward): the Hero himself, a tall
awkward raw-boned creature, is, for perhaps near forty years past,
a CANDIDATUS, say Licentiate, or Curate without Cure. Subsists, I
should guess, by schoolmastering--cheapest schoolmaster
conceivable, wages mere nothing--in the Villages about; in the
Village of Hemmleben latterly; age, as I discover, grown to be
sixty-one, in those straitened but by no means forlorn
circumstances. And so, here is veteran Linsenbarth of Hemmleben, a
kind of Thuringian Dominie Sampson; whose Interview with such a
brother mortal as Friedrich King of Prussia may be worth looking
at,--if I can abridge it properly.

Well, it appears, in the year 1750, at this thrice-obscure Village
of Hemmleben, the worthy old pastor Cannabich died;--worthy old
man, how he had lived there, modestly studious, frugal, chiefly on
farm-produce, with tobacco and Dutch theology; a modest blessing to
his fellow-creatures! And now he is dead, and the place vacant.
Twenty pounds a Year certain; let us guess it twenty, with glebe-
land, piggeries, poultry-hutches: who is now to get all that?
Linsenbarth starts with his Narrative, in earnest.

Linsenbarth, who I guess may have been Assistant to the deceased
Cannabich, and was now out of work, says: "I had not the least
thought of profiting by this vacancy; but what happened? The Herr
Graf von Werthern, at Schloss Beichlingen, sent his Steward
[LEHNSDIRECTOR, FIEF-DIRECTOR is the title of this Steward, which
gives rise to obsolete thought of mill-dues, road-labor, payments
IN NATURA], his Lehnsdirector, Herr Kettenbeil, over to my LOGIS
[cheap boarding quarters]; who brought a gracious salutation from
his Lord; saying farther, That I knew too well [excellent Cannabich
gone from us, alas!] the Pastorate of Hemmleben was vacant;
that there had various competitors announced themselves,
SUPPLICANDO, for the place; the Herr Graf, however, had yet given
none of them the FIAT, but waited always till I should apply. As I
had not done so, he (the Lord Graf) would now of his own motion
give me the preference, and hereby confer the Pastorate upon me!"--

"Without all controversy, here was a VOCATIO DIVINA, to be received
with the most submissive thanks! But the lame second messenger came
hitching in [HALTING MESSENGER, German proverb] very soon.
Kettenbeil began again: 'He must mention to me SUB ROSA, Her
Ladyship the Frau Grafin wanted to have her Lady's-maid provided
for by this promotion, too; I must marry her, and take the living
at the same time.'"

Whew! And this is the noble Lady's way of thinking, up in her fine
Schloss yonder? Linsenbarth will none of it. "For my notion fell at
once," says he, "when I heard it was DO UT FACIAS, FACIO UT FACIAS
(I give that thou mayest do, I do that thou mayest do; Wilt have
the kirk, then take the irk, WILLST DU DIE PFARRE, SO NIMM DIE
QUARRE); on those terms, my reply was: 'Most respectful thanks,
Herr Fief-judge, and No, for such a vocation! And why? The vocation
must have LIBERTATEM, there must be no VITIUM ESSENTIALE in it;
it must be right IN ESSENTIALI, otherwise no honest man can accept
it with a good conscience. This were a marriage on constraint;
out of which a thousand INCONVENIENTIAE might spring!'"
Hear Linsenbarth, in the piebald dialect, with the sound heart, and
preference of starvation itself to some other things! Kettenbeil
(CHAIN-AXE) went home; and there was found another Candidatus
willing for the marriage on constraint, "out of which
INCONVENIENTIAE might spring," in Linsenbarth's opinion.

"And so did the sneakish courtly gentleman [HOFMANN, courtier as
Linsenbarth has it], who grasped with both hands at my rejected
offer, experience before long," continues Linsenbarth. "For the
loose thing of court-tatters led him such a life that, within three
years, age yet only thirty, he had to bite the dust" (BITE AT THE
GRASS, says Linsenbarth, proverbially), which was an INCONVENIENTIA
including all others. "And I had LEGITIMAM CAUSAM to refuse the

"However, it was very ill taken of me. All over that Thuringian
region I was cried out upon as a headstrong foolish person:
The Herr Graf von Werthern, so ran the story, had of his own
kindness, without request of mine, offered me a living; RARA AVIS,
singular instance; and I, rash and without head, flung away such
gracious offer. In short, I was told to my face [by good-natured
friends], Nobody would ever think of me for promotion again;"--
universal suffrage giving it clear against poor Linsenbarth, in
this way.

"To get out of people's sight at least," continues he, "I decided
to leave my native place, and go to Berlin," 250 miles away or
more. "And so it was that, on June the 20th, 1750, I landed at
Berlin for the first time: and here straightway at the PACKHOF (or
Custom-house), in searching of my things, 400 THALERS (some 60
pounds), all in Nurnberg BATZEN, were seized from me;"--BATZEN,
quarter-groats we may say; 7 and a half batzen go to a shilling;
what a sack there must have been of them, 9,000 in all, about the
size of herring-scales, in bad silver; fruit of Linsenbarth's stern
thrift from birth upwards:--all snatched from him at one swoop.
"And why?" says he, quite historically: Yes, Why? The reader, to
understand it wholly, would need to read in Mylius's
Edicten-Sammlung, in SEYFARTH and elsewhere; [Mylius,
Edict xli., January, 1744, &c. &c.] and to
know the scandalous condition of German coinage at this time and
long after; every needy little Potentate mixing his coin with
copper at discretion, and swindling mankind with it for a season;
needing to be peremptorily forbidden, confiscated or ordered home,
by the like of Friedrich. Linsenbarth answers his own "And why?"
with historical calmness:--

"The king had, some (six) years ago, had the batzen utterly cried
down (GANZ UND GAR); they were not to circulate at all in his
Countries; and I was so bold, I had brought batzen hither into the
King's Capital, KONIGLICHE RESIDENZ itself! At the Packhof, there
was but one answer, 'Contraband, Contraband!'"--Here was a welcome
for a man. "I made my excuses: Did not the least know;
came straight from Thuringen, many miles of road; could not guess
there What His Majesty the King had been pleased to forbid in His
(THEIRO) Countries. 'You should have informed yourself,' said the
Packhof people; and were deaf to such considerations. 'A man coming
into such a Residenz Town as Berlin, with intent to abide there,
should have inquired a little what was what, especially what coins
were cried down, and what allowed,' said they of the Packhof."
Poor Linsenbarth! "'But what am I to do now? How am I to live, if
you take my very money from me?' 'That is your outlook,' said they;
--and added, He must even find stowage for his stack of herring-
scales or batzen, as soon as it was sealed up; 'we have no room for
it in the Packhof!'" for a man: Here is a roughish welcome "I must
leave all my money here; and find stowage for it, in a day or two.

"There was, accordingly, a truck-porter called in; he loaded my
effects on his barrow, and rolled away. He brought me to the WHITE
SWAN in the JUDENSTRASSE [none of the grandest of streets, that
Berlin JEWRY], threw my things out, and demanded four groschen.
Two of my batzen" 2 and a half exact, "would have done; but I had
no money at all. The landlord came out: seeing that I had a stuffed
feather-bed [note the luggage of Linsenbarth: "FEDER-BETT," of
extreme tenuity], a trunk full of linens, a bag of Books and other
trifles, he paid the man; and sent me to a small room in the court-
yard [Inn forms a Court, perhaps four stories high]: 'I could stay
there,' he said; 'he would give me food and drink in the
meanwhile.' And so I lived in this Inn eight weeks long, without
one red farthing, in mere fear and anxiety." June 20th PLUS eight
weeks brings us to August 15th; Voltaire in HEIGHT of feather;
and very great things just ahead! ["Grand Carrousel, 25th August;"
&c.]--of which soon.

The White Swan was a place where Carriers lodged: some limb of the
Law, of Subaltern sort, whom Linsenbarth calls "DER ADVOCAT B."
(one of the Ousted of Cocceji, shall we fancy!), had to do with
Carriers and their pie-powder lawsuits. Advocat B. had noticed the
gray dreary CANDIDATUS, sitting sparrow-like in remote corners;
had spoken to him;--undertook for a LOUIS D'OR, no purchase no pay,
to get back his batzen for him. They went accordingly, one morning,
to "a grand House;" it was a Minister's (name not given), very
grand Official Man: he heard the Advocat B.'s short statement;
and made answer: "Monsieur, and is it you that will pick holes in
the King's Law? I have understood you were rather aiming at the
HAUSVOGTEI [Common Jail of Berlin]: Go on in that way, and you are
sure of your promotion!"--Advocat B. rushed out with Linsenbarth
into the street; and there was neither pay nor purchase in
that quarter.

Poor Linsenbarth was next advised, by simple neighbors, to go
direct to the King; as every poor man can, at certain hours of the
day. "Write out your Case (Memorial) with extreme brevity," said
they; "nothing but the essential points, and those clear."
Linsenbarth, steam at the high-pressure, composed (CONZIPIRTE) a
Memorial of that right laconic sort; wrote it fair (MUNDIRTE ES);--
and went off therewith "at opening of the Gates [middle time of
August, 1750, no date farther), [August 21st? (See Rodenbeck,
DIARY, which we often quote, i. 205.)]--without one farthing in my
pocket, in God's name, to Potsdam." He continues:--

"And at Potsdam I was lucky enough to see the King; my first sight
of him. He was on the Palace Esplanade there, drilling his troops
[fine trim sanded Expanse, with the Palace to rear, and Garden-
walks and River to front; where Friedrich Wilhelm sat, the last day
he was out, and ordered Jockey Philips's house to be actually set
about; where the troops do evolutions every morning;--there is
Friedrich with cocked-hat and blue coat; say about 11 A.M.].

"When the drill was over, his Majesty went into the Garden, and the
soldiers dispersed; only four Officers remained lounging upon the
Esplanade, and walked up and down. For fright I knew not what to
do; I pulled the Papers out of my pocket,--these were my Memorial,
two Certificates of character, and a Thuringen Pass [poor soul].
The Officers noticed this; came straight to me, and said, 'What
letters has He there, then?' I thankfully and gladly imparted the
whole; and when the Officers had read them, they said, 'We will
give you [Him, not even THEE] a good advice, The King is extra-
gracious to-day, and is gone alone into the Garden. Follow him
straight. Thou wilt have luck.'

"This I would not do; my awe was too great. They thereupon laid
hands on me [the mischievous dogs, not ill-humored either]:
one took me by the right arm, another by the left, 'Off, off;
to the Garden!' Having got me thither, they looked out for the
King. He was among the gardeners, examining some rare plant;
stooping over it, and had his back to us. Here I had to halt;
and the Officers began, in underhand tone [the dogs!], to put me
through my drill: 'Hat under left arm!--Right foot foremost!--
Breast well forward!--Head up!--Papers from pouch!--Papers aloft in
right hand!--Steady! Steady!'--And went their ways, looking always
round, to see if I kept my posture. I perceived well enough they
were pleased to make game of me; but I stood, all the same, like a
wall, being full of fear. The Officers were hardly out of the
Garden, when the King turned round, and saw this extraordinary
machine,"--telegraph figure or whatever we may call it, with papers
pointing to the sky. "He gave such a look at me, like a flash of
sunbeams glancing through you; and sent one of the gardeners to
bring my papers. Which having got, he struck into another walk with
them, and was out of sight. In few minutes he appeared again at the
place where the rare plant was, with my Papers open in his left
hand; and gave me a wave with them To come nearer. I plucked up a
heart, and went straight towards him. Oh, how thrice and four-times
graciously this great Monarch deigned to speak to me!--

KING. "'My good Thuringian (LIEBER THURINGER), you came to Berlin,
seeking to earn your bread by industrious teaching of children;
and here, at the Packhof, in searching your things, they have taken
your Thuringen hoard from you. True, the batzen are not legal here;
but the people should have said to you: You are a stranger, and did
n't know the prohibition;--well then, we will seal up the Bag of
Batzen; you send it back to Thuringen, get it changed for other
sorts; we will not take it from you!--

"'Be of heart, however; you shall have your money again, and
interest too.--But, my poor man, Berlin pavement is bare, they
don't give anything gratis: you are a stranger; before you are
known and get teaching, your bit of money is done; what then?'

"I understood the speech right well; but my awe was too great to
say: 'Your Majesty will have the all-highest grace to allow me
something!' But as I was so simple and asked for nothing, he did
not offer anything. And so he turned away; but had scarcely gone
six or eight steps, when he looked round, and gave me a sign I was
to walk by him; and then began catechising:--

KING. "'Where did you (ER) study?'

LINSENBARTH. "'Your Majesty, in Jena.'

KING. "'What years?'

LINSENBARTH. "'From 1716 to 1720.' ["Born 1689" (Rodenbeck, p.
474); twenty-five when he went.]

KING. "'Under what Pro-rector were you inscribed?'


KING. "'Who were your other Professors in the Theological Faculty?'"

LINSENBARTH--names famed men; sunk now, mostly, in the bottomless
waste-basket: "Buddaus" (who did a DICTIONARY of the BAYLE sort,
weighing four stone troy, out of which I have learned many a
thing), "Buddaeus," "Danz," "Weissenborn," "Wolf" (now back at
Halle after his tribulations,--poor man, his immortal System of
Philosophy, where is it!).

KING. "'Did you study BIBLICA diligently?'


KING. "'That is he who had such quarrelling with Wolf?'

LINSENBARTH. "'Yea, your Majesty! He was--'

KING (does not want to know what he was). "'What other useful
Courses of Lectures (COLLEGIA) did you attend?'

LINSENBARTH. "'Thetics and Exegetics with Fortsch [How the deuce
did Fortsch teach these things?]; Hermeneutics and Polemics with
Walch [editor of Luther's Works, I suppose];
Hebraics with Dr. Danz; Homiletics with Dr. Weissenborn; PASTORALE
[not Pastoral Poetry, but the Art of Pastorship] and MORALE with
Dr. Buddaeus.' [There, your Majesty!--what a glimpse, as into
infinite extinct Continents, filled with ponderous thorny
inanities, invincible nasal drawling of didactic Titans, and the
awful attempt to spin, on all manner of wheels, road-harness out of
split cobwebs: Hoom! Hoom-m-m! Harness not to be had on those
terms. Let the dreary Limbus close again, till the general Day of
Judgment for all this.]

KING (glad to get out of the Limbus). "'Were things as wild then at
Jena, in your time, as of old, when the Students were forever
scuffling and ruffling, and the Couplet went:--

"Wer kommt von Jena ungeschlagen,
Der hat von grossen Gluck zu sagen.
"He that comes from Jena SINE BELLO,
He may think himself a lucky fellow"?'

LINSENBARTH. "'That sort of folly is gone quite out of fashion;
and a man can lead a silent and quiet life there, just as at other
Universities, if he will attend to the DIC, CURHIC? [or know what
his real errand is]. In my time their Serene Highnesses, the
Nursing-fathers of the University (NUTRITORES ACADEMIAE),--of the
Ernestine Line [Weimar-Gotha Highnesses, that is], were in the
habit of having the Rufflers (RENOMISTEN), Renowners as they are
called, who made so much disturbance, sent to Eisenach to lie in
the Wartburg a while; there they learned to be quiet.'
[Clock strikes Twelve,--dinner-time of Majesty.]

KING. "'Now I must go: they are waiting for their soup'" (and so
ends Dialogue for the present). 'Did the King bid me wait?

"When we got out of the Garden," says Linsenbarth, silent on this
point, "the four Officers were still there upon the Esplanade
[Captains of Guard belike]; they went into the Palace with the
King,"--clearly meaning to dine with his Majesty.

"I remained standing on the Esplanade. For twenty-seven hours I had
not tasted food: not a farthing IN BONIS [of principal or interest]
to get bread with; I had waded twenty miles hither, in a sultry
morning, through the sand. Not a difficult thing to keep down
laughter in such circumstances!"--Poor soul; but the Royal mind is
human too.--"In this tremor of my heart, there came a KAMMER-HUSSAR
[Soldier-Valet, Valet reduced to his simplest expression] out of
the Palace, and asked, 'Where is the man that was with my King
(MEINEM KONIG,--THY King particularly?) in the Garden?' I answered,
'Here!' And he led me into the Schloss, to a large Room, where
pages, lackeys, and Kammer-hussars were about. My Kammer-hussar
took me to a little table, excellently furnished; with soup, beef;
likewise carp dressed with garden-salad, likewise game with
cucumber-salad: bread, knife, fork, spoon and salt were all there
[and I with an appetite of twenty-seven hours; I too was there].
My hussar set me a chair, said: 'This that is on the table, the
King has ordered to be served for you (IHM): you are to eat your
fill, and mind nobody; and I am to serve. Sharp, then, fall to!'--
I was greatly astonished, and knew not what to do; least of all
could it come into my head that the King's Kammer-hussar, who
waited on his Majesty, should wait on me. I pressed him to sit by
me; but as he refused, I did as bidden; sat down, took my spoon,
and went at it with a will (FRISCH)!

"The hussar took the beef from the table, set it on the charcoal
dish (to keep it hot till wanted); he did the like with the fish
and roast game; and poured me out wine and beer--[was ever such a
lucky Barmecide!] I ate and drank till I had abundantly enough.
Dessert, confectionery, what I could,--a plateful of big black
cherries, and a plateful of pears, my waiting-man wrapped in paper
and stuffed them into my pockets, to be a refreshment on the way
home. And so I rose from the Royal table; and thanked God and the
King in my heart, that I had so gloriously dined,"--HERRLICH,
"gloriously" at last. Poor excellent down-trodden Linsenbarth,
one's heart opens to him, not one's larder only.

"The hussar took away. At that moment a Secretary came; brought me
a sealed Order (Rescript) to the Packhof at Berlin, with my
Certificates (TESTIMONIA), and the Pass; told down on the table
five Tail-ducats (SCHWANZ-DUKATEN), and a Gold Friedrich under them
[about 3 pounds 10s., I think; better than 10 pounds of our day to
a common man, and better than 100 pounds to a Linsenbarth],--
saying, The King sent me this to take me home to Berlin again.

"And if the hussar took me into the Palace, it was now the
Secretary that took me out again. And there, yoked with six horses,
stood a royal Proviant-wagon; which having led me to, the Secretary
said: 'You people, the King has given order you are to take this
stranger to Berlin, and also to accept no drink-money from him.'
I again, through the HERRN SECRETARIUM, testified my most
submissive thankfulness for all Royal graciousnesses; took my
place, and rolled away.

"On reaching Berlin, I went at once to the Packhof, straight to the
office-room,"--standing more erect this time,--"and handed them my
Royal Rescript. The Head man opened the seal; in reading, he
changed color, went from pale to red; said nothing, and gave it to
the second man to read. The second put on his spectacles; read, and
gave it to the third. However, he [the Head man] rallied himself at
last: I was to come forward, and be so good as write a quittance
(receipt), 'That I had received, for my 400 thalers all in Batzen,
the same sum in Brandenburg coin, ready down, without the least
deduction.' My cash was at once accurately paid. And thereupon the
Steward was ordered, To go with me to the White Swan in the
Judenstrasse, and pay what I owed there, whatever my score was.
For which end they gave him twenty-four thalers; and if that were
not enough, he was to come and get more." On these high terms
Linsenbarth marched out of the Packhof for the second time;
the sublime head of him (not turned either) sweeping the
very stars.

"That was what the King had meant when he said, "You shall have
your money back and interest too:' VIDELICET, that the Packhof was
to pay my expenses at the White Swan. The score, however, was only
10 thaler,' 4 groschen, 6 pfennigs [30 shillings, 5 pence, and 2 or
perhaps 3 quarter-farthings], for what I had run up in eight
weeks,"--an uncommonly frugal rate of board, for a man skilled in
Hermeneutics, Hebraics, Polemics, Thetica, Exegetics, Pastorale,
Morale (and Practical Christianity and the Philosophy of Zeno,
carried to perfection, or nearly so)! "And herewith this troubled
History had its desired finish." And our gray-whiskered, raw-boned,
great-hearted Candidatus lay down to sleep, at the White Swan;
probably the happiest man in all Berlin, for the time being.

Linsenbarth dived now into Private-teaching, "INFORMATION," as he
calls it; forming, and kneading into his own likeness, such of the
young Berliners as he could get hold of:--surely not without some
good effect on them, the model having, besides Hermeneutics in
abundance, so much natural worth about it. He himself found the
mine of Informing a very barren one, as to money: continued poor in
a high degree, without honor, without emolument to speak of;
and had a straitened, laborious, and what we might think very dark
Life-pilgrimage. But the darkness was nothing to him, he carried
such an inextinguishable frugal rushlight within. Meat, clothes and
fire he did not again lack, in Berlin, for the time he needed
them,--some twenty-seven years still. And if he got no printed
praise in the Reviews, from baddish judges writing by the sheet,--
here and there brother mortals, who knew him by their own eyes and
experiences, looked, or transiently spoke, and even did, a most
real praise upon him now and then. And, on the whole, he can do
without praise; and will stand strokes even without wincing or
kicking, where there is no chance.

A certain Berlin Druggist ("Herr Medicinal-Assessor Rose," whom we
may call Druggist First, for there were Two that had to do with
Linsenbarth) was good and human to him. In Rose's House, where he
had come to teach the children, and which continued, always
thenceforth, a home to him when needful, he wrote this NARRATIVE
(Anno 1774); and died there, three years afterwards,--"24th August,
1777, of apoplexy, age 88," say the Burial Registers.
[In Rodenbeck, Beitrage, i. 472-475, these
latter Details (with others, in confused form); IB. 462-471, the
NARRATIVE itself.] Druggist Second, on succeeding the humane
Predecessor, found Linsenbarth's papers in the drug-stores of the
place: Druggist Second chanced to be one Klaproth, famed among the
Scientific of the world; and by him the Linsenbarth Narrative was
forwarded to publication, and such fame as is requisite.


Of the then very famous "Berlin Carrousel of 1750" we propose to
say little; the now chief interesting point in it being that M. de
Voltaire is curiously visible to us there. But the truth is, they
were very great days at Berlin, those of Autumn, 1750;
distinguished strangers come or coming; the King giving himself up
to entertainment of them, to enjoyment of them; with such a hearty
outburst of magnificence, this Carrousel the apex of it, as was
rare in his reign. There were his Sisters of Schwedt and Baireuth,
with suite, his dear Wilhelmina queen of the scene; ["Came 8th
August" (Rodenbeck, 205).] there were-- It would be tedious to
count what other high Herrschaften and Durchlauchtig Persons.
And to crown the whole, and entertain Wilhelmina as a Queen should
be, there had come M. de Voltaire; conquered at length to us, as we
hope, and the Dream of our Youth realized. Voltaire's reception,
July 10th and ever since, has been mere splendor and kindness;
really extraordinary, as we shall find farther on.
Reception perfect in all points, except that of the Pompadour's
Compliments alone. "That sublime creature's compliments to your
Majesty; such her express command! " said Voltaire. "JE NE LA
CONNAIS PAS," answered Friedrich, with his clear-ringing voice,
"I don't know her;" [Voltaire to Madame Denis, "Potsdam, 11th
August, 1750" ( OEuvres, lxxiv. 184).]--
sufficient intimation to Voltaire, but painful and surprising.
For which some diplomatic persons blame Friedrich to this day;
but not I, or any reader of mine. A very proud young King; in his
silent way, always the prouder; and stands in no awe of the Divine
Butterflies and Crowned Infatuations never so potent, as more
prudent people do.

In a Berlin of such stir and splendor, the arrivals of Sir Jonas
Hanway, of the "young Lord Malton" (famed Earl or Marquis of
Rockingham that will be), or of the witty Excellency Hanbury, are
as nothing;--Sir Jonas's as less than nothing. A Sir Jonas noticed
by nobody; but himself taking note, dull worthy man;
and mentionable now on that account. Here is a Scrap regarding him,
not quite to be thrown away:

"Sir Jonas Hanway was not always so extinct as he has now become.
Readers might do worse than turn to his now old Book of TRAVELS
again, and the strange old London it awakens for us: A 'Russian
Trading Company,' full of hope to the then mercantile mind;
a Mr. Hanway despatched, years ago, as Chief Clerk, inexpressibly
interested to manage well;--and managing, as you may read at large.
Has done his best and utmost, all this while; and had such
travellings through the Naphtha Countries, sailings on the Caspian;
such difficulties, successes,--ultimately, failure. Owing to Mr.
Elton and Thamas Kouli Khan mainly. Thamas Kouli Khan--otherwise
called Nadir Shah (and a very hard-headed fellow, by all
appearance)--wiled and seduced Mr. Elton, an Ex-Naval gentleman,
away from his Ledgers, to build him Ships; having set his heart on
getting a Navy. And Mr. Elton did build him (spite of all I could
say) a Bark or two on the Caspian;--most hopeful to the said Nadir
Shah; but did it come to anything? It disgusted, it alarmed the
Russians; and ruined Sir Jonas,--who is returning at this period,
prepared to render account of himself at London, in a loftily
resigned frame of mind. [Jonas Hanway, An Account of &c.
(or in brief, TRAVELS: London, 3 vols. 4to, 1753),
ii. 183. "Arrived in Berlin," from the Caspian and Petersburg side,
"August 15th, 1750."]

"The remarks of Sir Jonas upon Berlin--for he exercises everywhere
a sapient observation on men and things--are of dim tumidly
insignificant character, reminding us of an extinct Minerva's Owl;
and reduce themselves mainly to this bit of ocular testimony, That
his Prussian Majesty rides much about, often at a rapid rate;
with a pleasant business aspect, humane though imperative;
handsome to look upon, though with face perceptibly reddish [and
perhaps snuff on it, were you near]. His age now thirty-eight gone;
a set appearance, as if already got into his forties. Complexion
florid, figure muscular, almost tending to be plump.

"Listen well through Hanway, you will find King Friedrich is an
object of great interest, personal as well as official, and much
the theme in Berlin society; admiration of him, pride in him, not
now the audiblest tone, though it lies at the bottom too:
'Our Friedrich the Great,' after all [so Hanway intimates, though
not express as to epithets or words used]. The King did a beautiful
thing to Lieutenant-Colonel Keith the other day [as some readers
may remember]: to Lieutenant-Colonel Keith; that poor Keith who was
nailed to the gallows for him (in effigy), at Wesel long ago;
and got far less than he had expected. The other day, there had
been a grand Review, part of it extending into Madam Knyphausen's
grounds, who is Keith's Mother-in-law. 'Monsieur Keith,' said the
King to him, 'I am sorry we had to spoil Madam's fine shrubbery by
our manoeuvres: have the goodness to give her that, with my
apologies,'--and handed him a pretty Casket with key to it, and in
the interior 10,000 crowns. Not a shrub of Madam's had been cut or
injured; but the King, you see, would count it 1,500 pounds of
damage done, and here is acknowledgment for it, which please
accept. Is not that a gracious little touch?

"This King is doing something at Embden, Sir Jonas fears, or trying
to do, in the Trade-and-Navigation way; scandalous that English
capitalists will lend money in furtherance of such destructive
schemes by the Foreigner! For the rest, Sir Jonas went to call on
Lord Malton (Marquis of Rockingham that will be): an amiable and
sober young Nobleman, come thus far on his Grand Tour," and in time
for the Carrousel. "His Lordship's reception at Court here, one
regretted to hear, was nothing distinguished; quite indifferent,
indeed, had not the Queen-Mother stept in with amendments. The
Courts are not well together; pity for it. My Lord and his Tutor
did me the honor to return my visit; the rather as we all quartered
in the same Inn. Amiable young Nobleman,"--so distinguished since,
for having had unconsciously an Edmund Burke, and such torrents of
Parliamentary Eloquence, in his breeches-pocket (BREECHES-POCKET
literally; how unknown to Hanway!)--"Amiable young Nobleman, is not
it one's duty to salute, in passing such a one? Though I would by
no means have it over-done, and am a calmly independent man.

"Sir Jonas also saw the Carrousel [of which presently]; and admired
the great men of Berlin. Great men, all obsolete now, though then
admired to infinitude, some of them: 'You may abuse me,' said the
King to some stranger arrived in Berlin; 'you may abuse me, and
perhaps here and there get praise by doing it: but I advise you not
to doubt of Lieberkuhn [the fashionable Doctor] in any company in
Berlin,'" [Hanway, ii. 190, 202, &c.]--How fashionable are men!

One Collini, a young Italian, quite new in Berlin, chanced also to
be at the Carrousel, or at the latter half of it,--though by no
means in quest of such objects just at present, poor young fellow!
As he came afterwards to be Secretary or Amanuensis of Voltaire,
and will turn up in that capacity, let us read this Note
upon him:--

"Signor Como Alessandro Collini, a young Venetian gentleman of some
family and education, but of no employment or resource, had in late
years been asking zealously all round among his home circle, What
am I to do with myself? mere echo answering, What,--till a Signora
Sister of Barberina the Dancer's answered: 'Try Berlin, and King
FRIDERICO IL GRANDE there? I could give you a letter to my Sister!'
At which Collini grasps; gets under way for Berlin,--through wild
Alpine sceneries, foreign guttural populations; and with what
thoughts, poor young fellow. It is a common course to take, and
sometimes answers, sometimes not. The cynosure of vague creatures,
with a sense of faculty without direction. What clouds of winged
migratory people gathering in to Berlin, all through this Reign.
Not since Noah's Ark a stranger menagerie of creatures, mostly
wild. Of whom Voltaire alone is, in our time, worth mention.

"Collini gazed upon the Alpine chasms, and shaggy ice-palaces, with
tender memory of the Adriatic; courageously steered his way through
the inoffensive guttural populations; had got to Berlin, just in
this time; been had to dinner daily by the hospitable Barberinas,
young Cocceji always his fellow-guest,--'Privately, my poor
Signorina's Husband!' whispered old Mamma. Both the Barberinas were
very kind to Collini; cheering him with good auguries, and offers
of help. Collini does not date with any punctuality; but the German
Books will do it for him. August 25th-27th was Carrousel;
and Collini had arrived few days before." [Collini, Mon
Sejour aupres de Voltaire (Paris, 1807), pp. 1-21.]

And now it is time we were at the Carrousel ourselves,--in a brief
transient way.

Chapter VI.


Readers have heard of the PLACE DU CARROUSEL at Paris; and know
probably that Louis XIV. held world-famous Carrousel there (A.D.
1662); and, in general, that Carrousel has something to do with
Tourneying, or the Shadow of Tourneying. It is, in fact, a kind of
superb be-tailored running at the ring, instead of be-blacksmithed
running at one another. A Second milder Edition of those Tournament
sports, and dangerous trials of strength and dexterity, which were
so grand a business in the Old iron Ages. Of which, in the form of
Carrousel or otherwise, down almost to the present day, there have
been examples, among puissant Lords;--though now it is felt to have
become extremely hollow; perhaps incapable of fully entertaining
anybody, except children and their nurses on a high occasion.

A century ago, before the volcanic explosion of so many things
which it has since become wearisome to think of in this earnest
world, the Tournament, emblem of an Age of Chivalry, which was
gone: but had not yet declared itself to be quite gone, and even to
be turned topsy-turvy, had still substance as a mummery,--not
enough, I should say, to spend much money upon. Not much real
money: except, indeed, the money were offered you gratis, from
other parties interested? Sir Jonas kindly informs us, by
insinuation, that this was, to a good degree, Friedrich's case in
the now Carrousel: "a thing got up by the private efforts of
different great Lords and Princes of the blood;" each party
tailoring, harnessing and furbishing himself and followers;
Friedrich contributing little but the arena and general outfit.
I know not whether even the 40,000 lamps (for it took place by
night) were of his purchase, though that is likely; and know only
that the Suppers and interior Palace Entertainments would be his.
"Did not cost the King much money," says Sir Jonas; which is
satisfactory to know. For of the Carrousel kind, or of the Royal-
Mummery kind in general, there has been, for graceful arrangement,
for magnificence regardless of expense,--inviting your amiable Lord
Malton, and the idlers of all Countries, and awakening the rapture
of Gazetteers,--nothing like it since Louis the Grand's time.
Nothing,--except perhaps that Camp of Muhlberg or Radowitz, where
we once were. Done, this one, not at the King's expense alone, but
at other people's chiefly: that is an unexpected feature, welcome
if true; and, except for Sir Jonas, would not have helped to
explain the puzzle for us, as it did in the then Berlin circles.
Muhlberg, in my humble judgment, was worth two of this as a
Mummery;--but the meritorious feature of Friedrich's is, that it
cost him very little.

It was, say all Gazetteers and idle eye-witnesses, a highly
splendid spectacle. By much the most effulgent exhibition Friedrich
ever made of himself in the Expensive-Mummery department: and I
could give in extreme detail the phenomena of it; but, in mercy to
poor readers, will not. Fancy the assiduous hammering and sawing on
the Schloss-Platz, amid crowds of gay loungers, giving cheerful
note of preparation, in those latter days of August, 1750. And, on
WEDNESDAY NIGHT, 25th AUGUST, look and see,--for the due moments
only, and vaguely enough (as in the following Excerpt):--

PALACE-ESPLANADE OF BERLIN, 25th AUGUST, 1750 (dusk sinking into
dark): "Under a windy nocturnal sky, a spacious Parallelogram,
enclosed for jousting as at Aspramont or Trebisond. Wide enough
arena in the centre; vast amphitheatre of wooden seats and
passages, firm carpentry and fitted for its business, rising all
round; Audience, select though multitudinous, sitting decorous and
garrulous, say since half-past eight. There is royal box on the
ground-tier; and the King in it, King, with Princess Amelia for the
prizes: opposite to this is entrance for the Chevaliers,--four
separate entrances, I think. Who come,--lo, at last!--with
breathings and big swells of music, as Resuscitations from the
buried Ages.

"They are in four 'Quadrilles,' so termed: Romans, Persians,
Carthaginians, Greeks. Four Jousting Parties, headed each by a
Prince of the Blood:--with such a splendor of equipment for jewels,
silver helmets, sashings, housings, as eye never saw. Prancing on
their glorious battle-steeds (sham-battle, steeds not sham, but
champing their bits as real quadrupeds with fire in their
interior):--how many in all, I forgot to count. Perhaps, on the
average, sixty in each Quadrille, fifteen of them practical
Ritters; the rest mythologic winged standard-bearers, blackamoors,
lictors, trumpeters and shining melodious phantasms as escort,--of
this latter kind say in round numbers Two Hundred altogether;
and of actual Ritters threescore. [Blumenthal, Life of De
Ziethen (Ziethen was in it, and gained a prize),
i. 257-263 et seq.; Voltaire's LETTERS to Niece Denis
( OEuvres, lxxiv. 174, 179, 198);--and two
contemporary 4tos on the subject, with Drawings &c., which may well
continue unknown to every reader.] Who run at rings, at Turks'
heads, and at other objects with death-doing lance; and prance and
flash and career along: glorious to see and hear. Under proud
flourishings of drums and trumpets, under bursts and breathings of
wind-music; under the shine of Forty Thousand Lamps, for one item.
All Berlin and the nocturnal firmament looking on,--night rather
gusty, 'which blew out many of the lamps,' insinuates Hanway.

"About midnight, Beauty in the form of Princess Amelia distributes
the prizes; Music filling the air; and human 'EUGE'S,' and the
surviving lamps, doing their best. After which the Principalities
and Ritters withdraw to their Palace, to their Balls and their
Supper of the gods; and all the world and his wife goes home again,
amid various commentary from high and low. 'JAMAIS, Never,'
murmured one high Gentleman, of the Impromptu kind, at the Palace

'Jamais dans Athene et dans Rome
On n'eut de plus beaux jours, ni de plus digne prix.
J'ai vu le fils de Mars sous les traits de Paris,
Et Venus qui donnait la pomme.'"
[Never in Athens or Rome were there braver sights or a worthier
prize: I have seen the son of Mars [King Friedrich] with Paris's
features, and Venus [Amelia] crowning the victorious."
( OEuvres de Voltaire, xviii. 320.]

And Amphitheatre and Lamps lapse wholly into darkness, and the
thing has finished, for the time being. August 27th, it was
repeated by daylight: if possible, more charming than ever; but not
to be spoken of farther, under penalties. To be mildly forgotten
again, every jot and tittle of it,--except one small insignificant
iota, which, by accident, still makes it remarkable. Namely, that
Collini and the Barberinas were there; and that not only was
Voltaire again there, among the Princes and Princesses; but that
Collini saw Voltaire, and gives us transient sight of him,--thanks
to Collini. Thursday, 27th August, 1750, was the Daylight version
of the Carrouse1; which Collini, if it were of any moment, takes to
have PRECEDED that of the 40,000 Lamps. Sure enough Collini was
there, with eyes open:--

"Madame de Cocceji [so one may call her, though the known alias is
Barberina] had engaged places; she invited me to come and see this
Festivity. We went;" and very grand it was. "The Palace-Esplanade
was changed" by carpentries and draperies "into a vast
Amphitheatre; the slopes of it furnished with benches for the
spectators, and at the four corners of it and at the bottom,
magnificently decorated boxes for the Court." Vast oval
Amphitheatre, the interior arena rectangular, with its Four
Entrances, one for each of the Four Quadrilles. "The assemblage
was numerous and brilliant: all the Court had come from Potsdam
to Berlin.

"A little while before the King himself made appearance, there rose
suddenly a murmur of admiration, and I heard all round me, from
everybody, the name 'Voltaire! Voltaire!' Looking down, I saw
Voltaire accordingly; among a group of great lords, who were
walking over the Arena, towards one of the Court Boxes. He wore a
modest countenance, but joy painted itself in his eyes: you cannot
love glory, and not feel gratefully the prize attached to it,"--
attained as here. "I lost sight of him in few instants," as he
approached his Box "the place where I was not permitting farther
view." [Collini, Mon Sejour, p. 21.]

This was Collini's first sight of that great man (DE CE GRAND
HOMME). With whom, thanks to Barberina, he had, in a day or two,
the honor of an Interview (judgment favorable, he could hope);
and before many months, Accident also favoring, the inexpressible
honor of seeing himself the great man's Secretary,--how far beyond
hope or aspiration, in these Carrousel days!

Voltaire had now been here some Seven Weeks,--arrived 10th July, as
we often note;--after (on his own part) a great deal of haggling,
hesitating and negotiating; which we spare our readers. The poor
man having now become a Quasi-Widower; painfully rallying, with his
whole strength, towards new arrangements,--now was the time for
Friedrich to urge him: "Come to me! Away from all that dismal
imbroglio; hither, I say!" To which Voltaire is not inattentive;
though he hesitates; cannot, in any case, come without delay;--
lingers in Paris, readjusting many things, the poor shipwrecked
being, among kind D'Argentals and friends. Poor Ishmael, getting
gray; and his tent in the desert suddenly carried off by a blast
of wind!

To the legal Widower, M. le Marquis, he behaves in money matters
like a Prince; takes that Paris Domicile, in the Rue Traversiere,
all to himself; institutes a new household there,--Niece Denis to
be female president. Niece Denis, widow without encumbrances;
whom in her married state, wife to some kind of Commissariat-
Officer at Lille, we have seen transiently in that City, her Uncle
lodging with her as he passed. A gadding, flaunting, unreasonable,
would-be fashionable female--(a Du Chatelet without the grace or
genius, and who never was in love with you!)--with whom poor Uncle
had a baddish life in time coming. All which settled, he still
lingers. Widowed, grown old and less adventurous! 'That House in
the Rue Traversiere, once his and Another's, now his alone,--for
the time being, it is probably more like a Mausoleum than a House
to him. And Versailles, with its sulky Trajans, its Crebillon
cabals, what charm is in Versailles? He thinks of going to Italy
for a while; has never seen that fine Country: of going to Berlin
for a while: of going to-- In fact, Berlin is clearly the place
where he will land; but he hesitates greatly about lifting anchor.
Friedrich insists, in a bright, bantering, kindly way; "You were
due to me a year ago; you said always, 'So soon as the lying-in is
over, I am yours:'--and now, why don't you come?"

Friedrich, since they met last, has had some experiences of
Voltaire, which he does not like. Their roads, truly--one adulating
Trajan in Versailles, and growing great by "Farces of the Fair;"
the other battling for his existence against men and devils, Trajan
and Company included--have lain far apart. Their Correspondence
perceptibly languishing, in consequence, and even rumors rising on
the subject, Voltaire wrote once: "Give me a yard of ribbon, Sire
[your ORDER OF MERIT, Sire], to silence those vile rumors!"
Which Friedrich, on such free-and-easy terms, had silently
declined. "A meddlesome, forward kind of fellow; always getting
into scrapes and brabbles!" thinks Friedrich. But is really
anxious, now that the chance offers again, to have such a Levite
for his Priest, the evident pink of Human Intellect; and tries
various incitements upon him;--hits at last (I know not whether by
device or by accident) on one which, say the French Biographers,
did raise Voltaire and set him under way.

A certain M. Baculard d'Arnaud, a conceited, foolish young fellow,
much patronized by Voltaire, and given to write verses, which are
unknown to me, has been, on Voltaire's recommending, "Literary
Correspondent" to Friedrich (Paris Book-Agent and the like) for
some time past; corresponding much with Potsdam, in a way found
entertaining; and is now (April, 1750) actually going thither, to
Friedrich's Court, or perhaps has gone. At any rate, Friedrich--by
accident or by device--had answered some rhymes of this D'Arnaud,
"Yes; welcome, young sunrise, since Voltaire is about to set!"
[ OEuvres de Frederic, xiv. 95 (Verses
"A D'ARNAUD," of date December, 1749.)] I hope it was by device;
D'Arnaud is such a silly fellow; too absurd, to reckon as morning
to anybody's sunset. Except for his involuntary service, for and
against, in this Voltaire Journey, his name would not now be
mentionable at all. "Sunset?" exclaimed Voltaire, springing out of
bed (say the Biographers), and skipping about indignantly in his
shirt: "I will show them I am not set yet!" [Duvernet (Second),
p. 159.] And instantly resolved on the Berlin Expedition. Went to
Compiegne, where the Court then was; to bid his adieus; nay to ask
formally the Royal leave,--for we are Historiographer and titular
Gentleman of the Chamber, and King's servant in a sense. Leave was
at once granted him, almost huffingly; we hope not with too much
readiness? For this is a ticklish point: one is going to Prussia
"on a Visit" merely (though it may be longish); one would not have
the door of France slammed to behind one! The tone at Court did
seem a little succinct, something almost of sneer in it. But from
the Pompadour herself all was friendly; mere witty, cheery
graciosities, and "My Compliments to his Majesty of Prussia,"--
Compliments how answered when they came to hand: "JE NE LA

In short, M. de Voltaire made all his arrangements; got under way;
piously visited Fontenoy and the Battle-fields in passing: and is
here, since July 10th,--in very great splendor, as we see:--on his
Fifth Visit to Friedrich. Fifth; which proved his Last,--and is
still extremely celebrated in the world. Visit much misunderstood
in France and England, down to this day. By no means sorted out
into accuracy and intelligibility; but left as (what is saying a
great deal!) probably the wastest chaos of all the Sections of
Friedrich's History. And has, alone of them, gone over the whole
world; being withal amusing to read, and therefore well and widely
remembered, in that mendacious and semi-intelligible state. To lay
these goblins, full of noise, ignorance and mendacity, and give
some true outline of the matter, with what brevity is consistent
with deciphering it at all, is now our sad task,--laborious,
perhaps disgusting; not impossible, if readers will loyally assist.

Voltaire had taken every precaution that this Visit should succeed,
or at least be no loss to one of the parties. In a preliminary
Letter from Paris,--prose and verse, one of the cleverest
diplomatic pieces ever penned; Letter really worth looking at,
cunning as the song of Apollo, Voltaire symbolically intimates:
"Well, Sire, your old Danae, poor malingering old wretch, is coming
to her Jove. It is Jove she wants, not the Shower of Jove;
nevertheless"--And Friedrich (thank Hanbury, in part, for that bit
of knowledge) had remitted him in hard money 600 pounds "to pay the
tolls on his road." [Walpole, i. 451 ("Had it from Princess Amelia
herself"); see Voltaire to Friedrich, "Paris, 9th June, 1750;"
Friedrich to Voltaire, "Potsdam, 24th May" ( OEuvres de
Voltaire, lxxiv. 158, 155).] As a high gentleman
would; to have done with those base elements of the business.

Nay furthermore, precisely two days before those splendors of the
Carrousel, Friedrich,--in answer to new cunning croakeries and
contrivances ("Sire, this Letter from my Niece, who is inconsolable
that I should think of staying here;" where, finding oneself so
divinized, one is disposed to stay),--has answered him like a King:
By Gold Key of Chamberlain, Cross of the Order of Merit, and
Pension of 20,000 francs (850 pounds) a year,--conveyed in as royal
a Letter of Business as I have often read; melodious as Apollo,
this too, though all in business prose, and, like Apollo, practical
God of the SUN in this case. ["Berlin, 23d August, 1750"
( OEuvres de Frederic, xxii. 255);--Voltaire
to Niece Denis, "24th August" (misprinted "14th"); to D'Argental,
"28th August" ( OEuvres de Voltaire, lxxiv.
185, 196).] Dated 23d August, 1750. This Letter of Friedrich's I
fancy to be what Voltaire calls, "Your Majesty's gracious Agreement
with me," and often appeals to, in subsequent troubles. Not quite a
Notarial Piece, on Friedrich's part; but strictly observed by him
as such.

Four days after which, Collini sees Voltaire serenely shining among
the Princes and Princesses of the world; Amphitheatre all
whispering with bated breath, "Voltaire! Voltaire!" But let us hear
Voltaire himself, from the interior of the Phenomenon, at this its
culminating point:--

Voltaire to his D'Argentals,--to Niece Denis even, with whom, if
with no other, he is quite without reserve, in showing the bad and
the good,--continues radiantly eloquent in these first months:
... "Carrousel, twice over; the like never seen for splendor, for
[rather copious on this sublimity]--After which we played ROME
SAUVEE [my Anti-Crebillon masterpiece], in a pretty little Theatre,
which I have got constructed in the Princess Amelia's Antechamber.
I, who speak to you, I played CICERO." Yes; and was manager and
general stage-king and contriver; being expert at this, if at
anything. And these beautiful Theatricals had begun weeks ago, and
still lasted many weeks; [Rodenbeck, "August-October," 1750.]--with
such divine consultings, directings, even orderings of the
brilliant Royalties concerned.--Duvernet (probably on D'Arget's
authority) informs us that "once, in one of the inter-acts, finding
the soldiers allowed him for Pretorian Guards not to understand
their business here," not here, as they did at Hohenfriedberg and
elsewhere, "Voltaire shrilled volcanically out to them [happily
unintelligible): 'F----, Devil take it, I asked for men; and they
ALLEMANDS)!' At which the Princesses were good-natured enough to
burst into laughter." [Duvernet (Second), p. 162,--time probably
15th October.] Voltaire continues: "There is an English Ambassador
here who knows Cicero's Orations IN CATILINAM by heart;" an
excellent Etonian, surely. "It is not Milord Tyrconnell"
(blusterous Irish Jacobite, OUR Ambassador, note him, fat Valori
having been recalled); no, "it is the Envoy from England,"
Excellency Hanbury himself, who knows his Cicero by heart. "He has
sent me some fine verses on ROME SAUVEE; he says it is my best
work. It is a Piece appropriate for Ministerial people; Madame la
Chanceliere," Cocceji's better half, "is well pleased with it.
[ OEuvres, lxxiv. (LETTERS, to the D'Argentals
and Denis, "20th August-23d September, 1750"), pp. 187, 219, 231,
&c. &c.] And then,"--But enough.

In Princess Amelia's Antechamber, there or in other celestial
places, in Palace after Palace, it goes on. Gayety succeeding
gayety; mere Princesses and Princes doing parts; in ROME SAUVEE,
and in masterpieces of Voltaire's, Voltaire himself acting CICERO
and elderly characters, LUSIGNAN and the like. Excellent in acting,
say the witnesses; superlative, for certain, as Preceptor of the
art,--though impatient now and then. And wears such Jewel-ornaments
(borrowed partly from a Hebrew, of whom anon), such magnificence of
tasteful dress;--and walks his minuet among the Morning Stars. Not
to mention the Suppers of the King: chosen circle, with the King
for centre; a radiant Friedrich flashing out to right and left,
till all kindles into coruscation round him; and it is such a blaze
of spiritual sheet-lightnings,--wonderful to think of; Voltaire
especially electric. Never, or seldom, were seen such suppers;
such a life for a Supreme Man of Letters so fitted with the place
due to him. Smelfungus says:--

"And so your Supreme of Literature has got into his due place at
last,--at the top of the world, namely; though, alas, but for
moments or for months. The King's own Friend; he whom the King
delights to honor. The most shining thing in Berlin, at this
moment. Virtually a kind of PAPA, or Intellectual Father of
Mankind," sneers Smelfungus; "Pope improvised for the nonce.
The new Fridericus Magnus does as the old Pipinus, old Carolus
Magnus did: recognizes his Pope, in despite of the base vulgar;
elevates him aloft into worship, for the vulgar and for everybody!
Carolus Magnus did that thrice-salutary feat [sublimely human, if
you think of it, and for long centuries successful more or less];
Fridericus Magnus, under other omens, unconsciously does the like,
--the best he can! Let the Opera Fiddlers, the Frerons, Travenols
and Desfontaines-of-Sodom's Ghost look and consider!"--

Madame Denis, an expensive gay Lady, still only in her thirties,
improvable by rouge, carries on great work in the Rue Traversiere;
private theatricals, suppers, flirtations with Italian travelling
Marquises;--finds Intendant Longchamp much in her way, with his
rigorous account-books, and restriction to 100 louis per month;
wishes even her Uncle were back, and cautions him, Not to believe
in Friedrich's flattering unctions, or put his trust in Princes at
all. Voltaire, with the due preliminaries, shows Friedrich her
Letter, one of her Letters, [Now lost, as most of them are;
Voltaire's Answer to it, already cited, is "24th August, 1750"
(misprinted "14th August," OEuvres, lxxiv.
185; see IB. lxxv. 135); King Friedrich's PRACTICAL Answer (so
munificent to Denis and Voltaire), "Your Majesty's gracious
Agreement," bore date "August 23d."]--with result as we saw above.

Formey says: "In the Carnival time, which Voltaire usually passed
at Berlin, in the Palace, people paid their court to him as to a
declared Favorite. Princes, Marshals, Ministers of State, Foreign
Ambassadors, Lords of the highest rank, attended his audience;
and were received," says Formey, nowhere free from spite on this
subject, "in a sufficiently lofty style (HAUTEUR ASSEZ
DEDAIGNEUSE). [Formey, Souvenirs, i. 235,
236.] A great Prince had the complaisance to play chess with him;
and to let him win the pistoles that were staked. Sometimes even
the pistole disappeared before the end of the game," continues
Formey, green with spite;--and reports that sad story of the
candle-ends; bits of wax-candle, which should have remained as
perquisite to the valets, but which were confiscated by Voltaire
and sent across to the wax-chandler's. So, doubtless, the spiteful
rumor ran; probably little but spite and fable, Berlin being bitter
in its gossip. Stupid Thiebault repeats that of the candle-ends,
like a thing he had seen (twelve years BEFORE his arrival in those
parts); and adds that Voltaire "put them in his pocket,"--like one
both stupid and sordid. Alas, the brighter your shine, the blacker
is the shadow you cast.

Friedrich, with the knowledge he already had of his yoke-fellow,--
one of the most skittish, explosive, unruly creatures in harness,--
cannot be counted wise to have plunged so heartily into such an
adventure with him. "An undoubted Courser of the Sun!" thought
Friedrich;--and forgot too much the signs of bad going he had
sometimes noticed in him on the common highways. There is no doubt
he was perfectly sincere and simple in all this high treatment of
Voltaire. "The foremost, literary spirit of the world, a man to be
honored by me, and by all men; the Trismegistus of Human
Intellects, what a conquest to have made; how cheap is a little
money, a little patience and guidance, for such solacement and
ornament to one's barren Life!" He had rashly hoped that the dreams
of his youth could hereby still be a little realized; and something
of the old Reinsberg Program become a fruitful and blessed fact.
Friedrich is loyally glad over his Voltaire; eager in all ways to
content him, make him happy; and keep him here, as the Talking
Bird, the Singing Tree and the Golden Water of intelligent mankind;
the glory of one's own Court, and the envy of the world.
"Will teach us the secret of the Muses, too; French Muses, and help
us in our bits of Literature!" This latter, too, is a consideration
with Friedrich, as why should it not,--though by no means the sole
or chief one, as the French give it out to be.

On his side, Voltaire is not disloyal either; but is nothing like
so completely loyal. He has, and continued always to have, not
unmixed with fear, a real admiration for Friedrich, that terrible
practical Doer, with the cutting brilliances of mind and character,
and the irrefragable common sense; nay he has even a kind of love
to him, or something like it,--love made up of gratitude for past
favors, and lively anticipation of future. Voltaire is, by nature,
an attached or attachable creature; flinging out fond boughs to
every kind of excellence, and especially holding firm by old ties
he had made. One fancies in him a mixed set of emotions, direct and
reflex,--the consciousness of safe shelter, were there nothing
more; of glory to oneself, derived and still derivable from this
high man:--in fine, a sum-total of actual desire to live with King
Friedrich, which might, surely, have almost sufficed even for
Voltaire, in a quieter element. But the element was not quiet,--far
from it; nor was Voltaire easily sufficeable!


Whether Maupertuis, in red wig with yellow bottom, saw these high
gauderies of the Carrousel, the Plays in Princess Amelia's
Antechamber, and the rest of it, I do not know: but if so, he was
not in the top place; nor did anybody take notice of him, as
everybody did of Voltaire. Meanwhile, I have something to quote, as
abridged and distilled from various sources, chiefly from Formey;
which will be of much concernment farther on.

Some four weeks after those Carrousel effulgencies, Perpetual
President Maupertuis had a visit (September 21st, just while the
Sun was crossing the Line; thanks to Formey for the date, who keeps
a Note-book, useful in these intricacies): visit from Professor
Konig, an effective mathematical man from the Dutch parts.
Whom readers have forgotten again; though they saw him once:
in violent quarrel, about the Infinitely Little, with Madame du
Chatelet, Voltaire witnessing with pain;--it was just as they
quitted Cirey together, ten years ago, for these new courses of
adventure. Do readers recall the circumstance? Maupertuis, referee
in that quarrel, had, with a bluntness offensive to the female
mind, declared Konig indisputably in the right; and there had
followed a dryness between the divine Emilie and the Flattener of
the Earth, scarcely to be healed by Voltaire's best efforts.

Konig has gone his road since then; become a fine solid fellow;
Professor in a Dutch University; more latterly Librarian to the
Dutch Stadtholder: still frank of speech, and with a rugged free-
and-easy turn, but of manful manners; really a person of various
culture, and as is still noticeable, of a solid geometric turn of
mind. Having now, as Librarian at the Hague, more leisure and more
money, he has made a run to Berlin,--chiefly or entirely to see his
Maupertuis again, whom he still remembers gratefully as his first
Patron in older times, and a man of sound parts, though rather
blusterous now and then, A little bit of scientific business also
he has with him. Konig is Member of the Berlin Academy, for some
years back; and there is a thing he would speak with the Perpetual
President upon. "Wants nothing else in Berlin," says Formey:
a hearing by the road that Maupertuis was not there, he had
actually turned homewards again: but got truer tidings, and came
on." The more was the pity, as perhaps will appear! "He arrived
September 20th [if you will be particular on cheese-parings];
called on me that day, being lodged in my neighborhood; and next
day, found Maupertuis at home;" [Formey, i. 176-179.]--and flew
into his arms again, like a good boy long absent.

Maupertuis, not many months ago, had, in Two successive Papers, I
think Two, communicated to the Academy a Discovery of Metaphysico-
Mathematical or altogether Metaphysical nature, on the Laws of
Motion;--Discovery which he has, since that, brought to complete
perfection, and sent forth to the Universe at large, in his sublime
little Book of COSMOLOGY; [In La Beaumelle, Vie de
Maupertuis (Paris, 1856), pp. 105-130, confused
account of this "Discovery," and of the gradual Publication of it
to mankind,--very gradual; first of all in the old Paris times;
in the Berlin ACADEMY latterly; and in fine, to all the world, in
this ESSAI DE COSMOLOGIE (Berlin, Summer of 1750).]--grateful
Academy striving to admire, and believe, with its Perpetual
President, that the Discovery was sublime to a degree; second only
to the flattening of the Earth; and would probably stand
thenceforth as a milestone in the Progress of Human Thought.
"Which Discovery, then?" Be not too curious, reader; take only of
it what shall concern you!

It is well known there have been, to the metaphysical head,
difficulties almost insuperable as to How, in the System of Nature,
Motion is? How, in the name of wonder, it can be; and even, Whether
it is at all? Difficulties to the metaphysical head, sticking its
nose into the gutter there;--not difficult to my readers and me,
who can at all times walk across the room, and triumphantly get
over them. But stick your nose into any gutter, entity, or object,
this of Motion or another, with obstinacy,--you will easily drown,
if that be your determination!--Suffice it for us to know in this
matter, that Maupertuis, intensely watching Nature, has discovered,
That the key of her enigma (or at least the ultimate central DOOR,
which hides all her Motional enigmas, the key to WHICH cannot even
be imagined as discoverable!) is, that "Nature is superlatively
THRIFTY in this affair of motion;" that she employs, for every
Motion done or do-able, "a MINIMUM OF ACTION;" and that, if you
well understand this, you will, at least, announce all her
procedures in one proposition, and have found the DOOR which leads
to everything. Which will be a comfort to you; still looking vainly
for the key, if there is still no key conceivable.

Perpetual President Maupertuis, having surprised Nature in this
manner, read Papers upon it to an Academy listening with upturned
eyes; new Papers, perfected out of old,--for he has long been
hatching these Phoenix-eggs; and has sent them out complete, quite
lately, in a little Book called COSMOLOGIE, where alone I have had
the questionable benefit of reading them. Grandly brief, as if
coming from Delphi, the utterance is; loftily solemn, elaborately
modest, abstruse to the now human mind; but intelligible, had it
only been worth understanding:--a painful little Book, that
COSMOLOGIE, as the Perpetual President's generally are. "Minimum of
Action, LOI D'EPARGNE, Law of Thrift," he calls this sublime
Discovery;--thinks it will be Sovereign in Natural Theology as
well: "For how could Nature be a Save-all, without Designer
present?"--and speaks, of course, among other technical points,
about "VIS VIVA, or Velocity multiplied by the Square of the Time:"
which two points, "LOI D'EPARGNE," and that "the VIS VIVA is always
a Minimum," the reader can take along with him; I will permit him
to shake the others into Limbo again, as forgettable by human
nature at this epoch and henceforth.

In La Beaumelle's Vie de Maupertuis (printed
at last, Paris, 1856, after lying nearly a century in manuscript,
an obtuse worthless leaden little Book), there is much loud droning
and detailing, about this COSMOLOGIE, this sublime "Discovery," and
the other sublime Discoveries, Insights and Apocalyptic Utterances
of Maupertuis; though in so confused a fashion, it is seldom you
can have the poor pleasure of learning exactly when, or except by
your own severe scrutiny, exactly what. For reasons that will
appear, certain of those Apocalyptic Utterances by Perpetual
President Maupertuis have since got a new interest, and one has
actually a kind of wish to read the IPSISSIMA VERBA of them, at
this date! But in La Beaumelle (his modern Editor lying fast asleep
throughout) there is no vestige of help. Nay Maupertuis's own Book,
[ OEuvres de Maupertuis, Lyon, 1756, 4 vols.
4to.] luxurious cream-paper Quartos, or Octaves made four-square by
margin,--which you buy for these and the cognate objects,--proves
altogether worthless to you. The Maupertuis Quartos are not
readable for their own sake (solemnly emphatic statement of what
you already know; concentrated struggle to get on wing, and failure
by so narrow a miss; struggle which gets only on tiptoe, and won't
cease wriggling and flapping); and then (to your horror) they prove
to be carefully cleaned of all the Maupertuis-VOLTAIRE matter;--
edition being SUBSEQUENT to that world-famous explosion.
CAVEAT EMPTOR.--Our Excerpt proceeds:--

"Industrious Konig, like other mathematical people, has been
listening to these Oracles on the 'Law of Minimum,' by the
Perpetual President; and grieves to find, after study, That said
Law does not quite hold; that in fact it is, like Descartes's old
key or general door, worth little or nothing; as Leibnitz long ago
seems to have transiently recognized. Konig has put his strictures
on paper: but will not dream of publishing, till the Perpetual
President have examined them and satisfied himself; and that is
Konig's business at present, as he knocks on Maupertuis, while Sol
is crossing the Line. Maupertuis has a House of the due style:
Wife a daughter of Minister Borck's (high Borcks, 'old as the
DIUVEL'); no children;--his back courts always a good deal dirty
with pelicans, bustards, perhaps snakes and other zoological
wretches, which sometimes intrude into the drawing-rooms, otherwise
very fine. A man of some whims, some habits; arbitrary by nature,
but really honest, though rather sublimish in his interior, with
red Wig and yellow bottom.

"Konig, all filial gladness, is received gladly;--though, by
degrees, with some surprise, on the paternal part, to find Konig
ripened out of son, client and pupil, into independent posture of a
grown man. Frankly certain enough about himself, and about the
axioms of mathematics. Standing, evidently, on his own legs;
kindly as ever, but on these new terms,--in fact rather an
outspoken free-and-easy fellow (I should guess), not thinking that
offence can be taken among friends. Formey confesses, this was
uncomfortable to Maupertuis; in fact, a shock which he could not
recover from. They had various meetings, over dinner aud otherwise,
at the Perpetual President's, for perhaps two weeks at this time
(dates all to be had in Formey's Note-book, if anybody would
consult); in the whole course of which the shock to the Perpetual
President increased, instead of diminishing. Republican freedom and
equality is evidently Konig's method; Konig heeds not a whit the
oracular talent or majestic position of Maupertuis; argues with the
frankest logic, when he feels dissent;--drives a majestic Perpetual
President, especially in the presence of third parties, much out of
patience. Thus, one evening, replying to some argument of the
Perpetual President's, he begins: 'My poor friend, MON PAUVRE AMI,
don't you perceive, then'-- Upon which Maupertuis sprang from his
chair, violently stamping, and pirouetted round the room, 'Poor
friend, poor friend? are you so rich: then!' frank Konig merely
grinning till the paroxysm passed. [Formey, i. 177.] Konig went
home again, RE INFECTA about the end of the month."

Such a Konig--had better not have come! As to his strictures on the
LAW OF THRIFT, the arguings on them, alone together, or with
friends by, merely set Maupertuis pirouetting: and as to the Konig
Manuscripts on them "to be published in the Leipzig ACTA, after
your remarks and permission," Maupertuis absolutely refused to look
at said Manuscripts: "Publish them there, here, everywhere, in the
Devil and his Grandmother's name; and then there is an end,
Monsieur!" Konig went his ways therefore, finding nothing else for
it; published his strictures, in the Leipzig ACTA in March next,--
and never saw Maupertuis again, for one result, out of several that
followed! I have no doubt he was out to Voltaire, more than once,
in this fortnight; and eat "the King's roast" pleasantly with that
eminent old friend. Voltaire always thought him a BON GARCON
(justly, by all the evidence I have); and finds his talk agreeable,
and his Berlin news--especially that of Maupertuis and his
explosive pirouettings. Adieu, Herr Professor; you know not, with
your Leipzig ACTA and Fragment of Leibnitz, what an explosion you
are preparing!

Chapter VII.


Voltaire's Terrestrial Paradise at Berlin did not long continue
perfect. Scarcely had that grand Carrousel vanished in the azure
firmaments, when little clouds began rising in its stead;
and before long, black thunder-storms of a very strange and even
dangerous character.

It must have been a painful surprise to Friedrich to hear from his
Voltaire, some few weeks after those munificences, That he,
Voltaire, was in very considerable distress of mind, from the bad,
not to call it the felonious and traitorous, conduct of
M. D'Arnaud,--once Friedrich's shoeing-horn and "rising-sun" for
Voltaire's behoof; now a vague flaunting creature, without
significance to Friedrich or anybody! That D'Arnaud had done this
and done that, of an Anti-Voltairian, treasonous nature;--and that,
in short, life was impossible in the neighborhood of such a
D'Arnaud! "D'Arnaud has corrupted my Clerk (Prince Henri hungering
in vain for LA PUCELLE, has got sight of it, in this way);
[Clerk was dismissed accordingly (one Tinois, an ingenious
creature),--and COLLINI appointed in his stead.] D'Arnaud has been
gossiping to Freron and the Paris Newspapers; D'Arnaud has"
[Voltaire to Friedrich ( OEuvres de Frederic,
xxii. 257), undated, "November, 1750."]-- Has, in effect, been a
flaunting young fool; of dissolute, esurient, slightly profligate
turn; occasionally helping in the Theatricals, and much studious to
make himself notable, and useful to the Princely kind. A D'Arnaud
of nearly no significance, to Friedrich or to anybody. A D'Arnaud
whose bits of fooleries and struttings about, in the peacock or
jackdaw way, might surely have been below the notice of
a Trismegistus!

Friedrich, painfully made sensible what a skinless explosive
Trismegistus he has got on hand, answers, I suppose, in words
little or nothing,--in Letters, I observe, answers absolutely
nothing, to Voltaire repeating and re-repeating;--does simply
dismiss D'Arnaud (a "BON DIABLE," as Voltaire, to impartial people,
calls him), or accept D'Arnaud's demission, and cut the poor fool
adrift. Who sallies out into infinite space, to Paris latterly
("alive there in 1805"); and claims henceforth perpetual oblivion
from us and mankind. And now there will be peace in our garden of
the gods, and perpetual azure will return?

Alas, D'Arnaud is not well gone, when there has begun brewing in
threefold secrecy a mass of galvanic matter, which, in few weeks
more, filled the Heavens with miraculous foul gases and the
blackness of darkness;--which, in short, exploded about New-year's
time, as the world-famous VOLTAIRE-HIRSCH LAWSUIT, still
remembered, though only as a portent and mystery, by observant
on-lookers. Of which it is now our sad duty to say something;
though nowhere, in the Annals of Jurisprudence, is there a more
despicable thing, or a deeper involved in lies and deliriums by
current reporters of it, about which the sane mind can be called
upon accidentally to speak a word. Beaten, riddled, shovelled,
washed in many waters, by a patient though disgusted Predecessor in
this field, there lies by me a copious but wearisome Narrative of
this matter;--the more vivid portions of which, if rightly
disengaged, and shown in sequence, may satisfy the curious.

Duvernet (who, I can guess, had talked with D'Arget on the subject)
has, alone of the French Biographers, some glimmer of knowledge
about it; Duvernet admits that it was a thing of Illegal Stock-
jobbing; that--
1. "That M. de Voltaire had agreed with a Jew named Hirsch to go
to Dresden and, illegally, PURCHASE a good lot of STEUER-SCHEINE
[Saxon Exchequer Bills, which are payable in gold to a BONA FIDE
PRUSSIAN holding them, but are much in discount otherwise, as
readers may remember]; and given Hirsch a Draft on Paris, due after
some weeks, for payment of the same; Hirsch leaving him a stock of
jewels in pledge till the STEUER-SCHEINE themselves come to hand.
2. "That Hirsch, having things of his own in view with the money,
sent no STEUER-SCHEINE from Dresden, nothing but vague lying talk
instead of STEUER: so that Voltaire's suspicions naturally
kindling, he stopped payment of the Paris Draft, and ordered Hirsch
to come home at once.
3. "That Hirsch coming, a settlement was tried: 'Give me back my
Draft on Paris, you objectionable blockhead of a Hirsch; there are
your Diamonds, there is something even for your expenses (some fair
moiety, I think); and let me never see your unpleasant face again!'
To which Hirsch, examining the diamonds, answered [says Duvernet,
not substantially incorrect hitherto, though stepping along in
total darkness, and very partial on Voltaire's behalf],--Hirsch,
examining the diamonds, answered, 'But you have changed some of
them! I cannot take these!'--and drove Voltaire quite to despair,
and into the Law-Courts; which imprisoned Hirsch, and made him
do justice." [Duvernet (T.J.D.V.), 170, 173, 175:--vague utterly;
dateless (tries one date, and is mistaken even in the Year);
wrong in nearly every detail; "the 'STAIRE or STEUER was a BANK?"
&c. &c.]

In which last clause, still more in the conclusion, that it was "to
the triumph of Voltaire," Duvernet does substantially mistake!
And indeed, except as the best Parisian reflex of this matter, his
Account is worth nothing:--though it may serve as Introduction to
the following irrefragable Documents and more explicit featurings.
We learn from him, and it is the one thing we learn of credible,
That "Voltaire, when it came to Law Procedures, begged Maupertuis
to speak for him to M. Jarriges," a Prussian Frenchman, "one of the
Judges; and that Maupertuis answered, 'I cannot interfere in a bad
business (ME MELER D'UNE MAUVAISE AFFAIRE).'" The other French
Biographies, definable as "IGNOR-AMUS speaking in a loud voice to
IGNOR-ATIS," require to be altogether swept aside in this matter.
Even "Clog." jumbling Voltaire's undated LETTERS into confusion
thrice confounded, and droning out vituperatively in the dark,
becomes a MINUS quantity in these Friedrich affairs. In regard to
the Hirsch Process, our one irrefragable set of evidences is:
The Prussian LAW-REPORT by KLEIN,--especially the Documents
produced in Court, and the Sentence given. [Ernst Ferdinand Klein,
Annalen der Gesetzgebung und Rechtsgelehrsamkeit in den
Preussischen Staaten (Berlin und Stettin), 1790,"
v. 215-260.] Other lights are to be gathered, with severe scrutiny
and caution, from the circumambient contemporary rumor,--especially
from the PREFACE to a "Comedy" so called of "TANTALE EN PROCES
(Tantalus," Voltaire, "at Law");--which PREFACE is evidently
Hirsch's own Story, put into language for him by some humane
friend, and addressed to a "clear-seeing Public." [TANTALE EN
PROCES (ascribed to Friedrich himself, by some wonderful persons!)
is in Supplement aux OEuvres Posthumes de Frederic II.
(Cologne, 1789), i. 319 et seq. Among the weakest of
Comedies (might be by D'Arnaud, or some such hand); nothing in it
worth reading except the Preface.] "And in fine," says my
Manuscript, "by sweeping out the distinctly false, and well
discriminating the indubitable from what is still in part
dubitable, sufficient twilight [abridgable in a high degree, I
hope!] rises over the Affair, to render it visible in all its
main features."

(10th November-25th December, 1750).

"Saxon STEUER-SCHEIN, some readers know, is, in the rough,
equivalent to Exchequer Bill. Payable at the Saxon Treasury;
to Prussians, in gold; to all other men, in paper only,--which
(thanks to Bruhl and his unheard-of expenditures and financierings)
is now at a discount say of 25, or even 30 per cent. By Article
Eleventh of the Dresden TREATY OF PEACE, King Friedrich, if our
readers have not forgotten, got stipulated, That all Prussian
holders of these SCHEINE should be paid in gold; interest at the
due days; and at the due days principal itself:--in gold they,
whatever became of others. No farther specifications, as to proof,
method, limits or conditions of any kind, occur in regard to this
Eleventh Article; which is a just one, beyond doubt, but most
carelessly drawn up. Apparently it trusts altogether to the
personal honesty of all Prussian subjects: 'Prove yourself a
Prussian subject, and we pay your Steuer-Schein in real money.'
But now if a Saxon or other Non-Prussian, who can get no payment
save in paper, were to have his Note smuggled or trafficked over
into Prussia, and presented as a Prussian one? In our time, such
traffic would start on the morrow morning; and in a week or two,
all Notes whatsoever would be presented as Prussian, payable in
gold! Not so in those days;--though a small contraband of that kind
does by degrees threaten to establish itself, and Friedrich had to
publish severe rescripts (one before this Hirsch-Voltaire business,
[10th August, 1748 (Seyfarth, i. 62).] one still severer after),
and menace it down again. The malpractice seems to have proved
menaceable in that manner; nor was any new arrangement made upon
it,--no change, till the Steuer-Scheine, by their gradual terms,
were all paid either in real money or imaginary, and thus, in the
course of years, the thing burnt to the socket, and went out."

Voltaire's rash Adventure, dangerous Navigation and gradual Wreck,
in this Forbidden Sea of Steuer-Scheine,--will become conceivable
to readers, on study diligent enough of the following Documents and
select Details:--

DOCUMENT FIRST (a small Missive, in Voltaire's hand).

"Je prie instamment monsieur hersch de venir demain mardi matin a
potsdam pour affaire pressante, et d'aporter (SIC) avec luy les
diamants qui doivent servir pour la representation de la tragedie
qui se jouera a cinq heures de soir chez S.A.R. Monseigneur le
Prince henri
"Ce lundy a midy. VOLTAIRE."

Which being interpreted, rightly spelt, and dated (as by chance we
can do) with distinctness, will run as follows in English:--
"POTSDAM, Monday, 9th November, 1750.
"I earnestly request Mr. Hirsch to come to-morrow Tuesday morning
to Potsdam, on business that is urgent; and to bring with him the
Diamonds needed for the Tragedy which is to be represented, at five
in the evening, in His Royal Highness Prince Henry's Apartment."
[Klein, v. 260.]

"On Tuesday the 10th," say the Old Newspapers, "was ROME SAUVEE;"--
with Voltaire, perceptible there as "CICERON," [Rodenbeck, i. 209.]
in due splendor of diamonds; Hirsch having no doubt been punctual.
A glorious enough Cicero;--and such a piece of "urgent business"
done with your Hirsch, just before emerging on the stage!

"Hirsch, in that NARRATIVE, describes himself as a young innocent
creature. Not very old, we will believe: but as to innocence!--For
certain, he is named Abraham Hirsch, or Hirschel: a Berlin Jew of
the Period; whom one inclines to figure as a florid oily man, of
Semitic features, in the prime of life; who deals much in jewels,
moneys, loans, exchanges, all kinds of Jew barter; whether
absolutely in old clothes, we do not know--certainly not unless
there is a penny to be turned. The man is of oily Semitic type, not
old in years,--there is a fraternal Hirsch, and also a paternal,
who is head of the firm;--and this young one seems to be already
old in Jew art. Speaks French and other dialects, in a Hebrew,
partially intelligible manner; supplies Voltaire with diamonds for
his stage-dresses, as we perceive. To all appearance, nearly
destitute of human intellect, but with abundance of vulpine
instead. Very cunning; stupid, seemingly, as a mule otherwise;--
and, on the whole, resembling in various points of character a mule
put into breeches, and made acquainted with the uses of money.
He is come 'on pressing business,'--perhaps not of stage-diamonds
alone? Here now is DOCUMENT SECOND; nearly of the same date; may be
of the very same;--more likely is a few days later, and betokens
mysterious dialogue and consultation held on Tuesday 10th. It is in
two hands: written on some scrap or TORN bit of paper, to judge by
the length of the lines.


"In Voltaire's hand, this part:--

'Savoir s'il est encore tems de declarer les billets qu'on
a sur la steure. si on en specifie le numero dans la declaration.'

'If it is still time to declare [to announce in Saxony and demand
payment for] Notes one holds on the Steuer? If one is to specify
the No. in the declaration?'

"In Hirsch's hand, this part:--

'l'on peut declarer des billets sur la steure, qu'on a en
depost en pays etranger, et dont on ne pourra savoir le numero que
dans quinze jours ou trois Semaines.' [Klein, 259.]

'One can declare Notes on the Steuer, which one holds in deposit in
Foreign Countries; and of which one cannot state the No. till after
a fortnight or three weeks.'

"Which of these Two was the Serpent, which the Eve, in this STEUER-
SCHEIN Tree of Knowledge, that grew in the middle of Paradise,
remains entirely uncertain. Hirsch, of course, says it was
Voltaire; Voltaire (not aware that DOCUMENT SECOND remained in
existence) had denied that his Hirsch business was in any way
concerned with STEUER;--and must have been a good deal struck, when
DOCUMENT SECOND came to light; though what could he do but still
deny! Hirsch asserts himself to have objected the 'illegality, the
King's anger;' but that Voltaire answered in hints about his favor
with the King; 'about his power to make one a Court-Jeweller,' if
he liked; and so at last tempted the baby innocence of Hirsch;--for
the rest, admits that the Steuer-Notes were expected to yield a
Profit--of 35 per cent:--and, in fact, a dramatic reader can
imagine to himself dialogue enough, at different times, going on,
partly by words, partly by hint, innuendo and dumb-show, between
this Pair of Stage-Beauties. But, for near a fortnight after
DOCUMENT FIRST, there is nothing dated, or that can be clearly

"MONDAY, 23d NOVEMBER, 1750. It is credibly certain the Jew Hirsch
came again, this day, to the Royal Schloss of Potsdam, to
Voltaire's apartment there [right overhead of King Friedrich's, it
is!]--where, after such dialogue as can be guessed at, there was
handed to Hirsch by Voltaire, in the form of Two negotiable Bills,
a sum of about 2,250 pounds; with which the Jew is to make at once
for Dresden, and buy Steuer-Scheine. [Hirsch's Narrative, in
Preface to Tantale en Proces, p. 340.]
Steuer-Scheine without fail: 'but in talking or corresponding on
the matter, we are always to call them FURS or DIAMONDS,'--mystery
of mysteries being the rule for us. This considerable sum of 2,250
pounds may it not otherwise, contrives Voltaire, be called a 'Loan'
to Jeweller Hirsch, so obliging a Jeweller, to buy 'Furs' or
'Diamonds' with? At a gain of 35 per 100 Pieces, there will be
above 800 pounds to me, after all expenses cleared: a very pretty
stroke of business do-able in few days!"--

"Monday, 23d November:" The beautiful Wilhelmina, one remarks, is
just making her packages; right sad to end such a Visit as this had
been! Thursday night, from her first sleeping-place, there is a
touching Farewell to her Brother;--tender, melodiously sorrowful,
as the Song of the Swan. [Wilhelmina to Friedrich, "Brietzen, 26th
November, JOUR FUNESTE POUR MOI" ( OEuvres de Frederic,
xxvii. i. 197).] To Voltaire she was always good;
always liked Voltaire. Voltaire would be saying his Adieus, in
state, among the others, to that high Being,--just in the hours
while such a scandalous Hirsch-Concoction went, on underground!

"As to the Two Bills and Voltaire's security for them, readers are
to note as follows. Bill FIRST is a Draft, on Voltaire's Paris
Banker for 40,000 livres (about 1,600 pounds), not payable for some
weeks: 'This I lend you, Monsieur Hirsch; mind, LEND you,--to buy
Furs!' 'Yes, truly, what we call Furs;--and before the Bill falls
payable, there will be effects for it in Monseigneur de Voltaire's
hand; which is security enough for Monseigneur.' The SECOND Bill,
again"--Truth is, there were in succession two Second Bills, an
INTENDED-Second (of this same Monday 23d), which did not quite
suit, and an ACTUAL-Second (two days later), which did. INTENDED-
Second Bill was one for 4,000 thalers (about 600 pounds), drawn by
Voltaire on the Sieur Ephraim,--a very famous Jew of Berlin now and
henceforth, with whom as money-changer, if not yet otherwise (which
perhaps Ephraim thinks unlucky), Voltaire, it would seem, is in
frequent communication. This Bill, Ephraim would not accept;
told Hirsch he owed M. de Voltaire nothing; "turned me rudely
away," says Hirsch (two of a trade, and no friends, he and I!)--so
that there is nothing to be said of this Ephraim Bill; and except
as it elucidates some dark portions of the whirlpools, need not
have been noticed at all. "Hirsch," continues my Authority, "got
only Two available Bills; the first on Paris for 1,600 pounds,
payable in some weeks; and, after a day or two, this other: The
ACTUAL BILL SECOND; which is a Draft for 4,430 thalers (about 650
pounds), by old Father Hirsch, head of the Firm, on Voltaire
himself:--'Furs too with that, Monsieur Hirsch, at the rate of 35
per piece, you understand?' 'Yea, truly, Monseigneur!'--Draft
accepted by Voltaire, and the cash for it now handed to Hirsch Son:
the only absolutely ready money he has yet got towards the affair.

"For these Two Bills, especially for this Second, I perceive,
Voltaire holds borrowed jewels (borrowed in theatrical times, or
partly bought, from the Hirsch Firm, and not paid for), which make
him sure till he see the STEUER Papers themselves.--(And now off,
my good Sieur Hirsch; and know that if you please ME, there are--
things in my power which would suit a man in the Jeweller and
Hebrew line!' Hirsch pushes home to Berlin; primed and loaded
in this manner; Voltaire naturally auxious enough that the shot
may hit. Alas, the shot will not even go off, for some time:
an ill omen!

"SUNDAY, 29th NOVEMBER, Hirsch, we hear, is still in Berlin.
Fancy the humor of Voltaire, after such a week as last! TUESDAY,
December 1st) Hirsch still is not off: 'Go, you son of Amalek!'
urges Voltaire; and sends his Servant Picard, a very sharp fellow,
for perhaps the third time,--who has orders now, as Hirsch
discovers, to stay with him, not quit sight of him till he do go.
[Hirsch's Narrative; see Voltaire's Letter to D'Arget (
OEuvres, lxiv. 11).] Hirsch's hour of departure for
Dresden is not mentioned in the ACTS; but I guess he could hardly
get over Wednesday, with Picard dogging him on these terms;
and must have taken the diligence on Wednesday night: to arrive in
Dresden about December 4th. 'Well; at least, our shot is off;
has not burst out, and lodged in our person here,--thanked be all
the gods!'

"Off, sure enough:--and what should we say if the whole matter were
already oozing out; if, on this same Sunday evening, November 29th)
not quite a week's time yet, the matter (as we learn long
afterwards) had been privately whispered to his Majesty:
'That Voltaire has sent off a Jew to buy Steuer-Scheine, and has
promised to get him made Court-Jeweller!' [Voltaire,
OEuvres, lxxiv. 314 ("Letter to Friedrich, February,
1751,"--AFTER Catastrophe).], So; within a week, and before Hirsch
is even gone! For men are very porous; weighty secrets oozing out
of them, like quicksilver through clay jars. I could guess, Hirsch,
by way of galling insolent Ephraim, had blabbed something: and in
the course of five days, it has got to the very King,--this
Kammerherr Voltaire being such a favorite and famous man as never
was; the very bull's-eye of all kinds of Berlin gossip in these
days. 'Hm, Steuer-Scheine, and the Jew Hirsch to be Court-Jeweller,
you say?' thinks the King, that Sunday night; but locks the rumor
in his Royal mind, he, for his part; or dismisses it as incredible:
'There ought to be impervious vessels too, among the porous!'
Voltaire notices nothing particular, or nothing that he speaks of
as particular. This must have been a horrid week to him, till
Hirsch got away." Hirsch is away (December 2d); in Dresden, safe
enough; but--

"But, the fortnight that follows is conceivable as still worse.
Hirsch writing darkly, nothing to the purpose; Voltaire driving
often into Berlin, hearing from Ephraim hints about, 'No connection
with that House;' 'If Monseigneur have intrusted Hirsch with
money,--may there be a good account of it!' and the like.
Black Care devouring Monseigueur; but nothing definite; except the
fact too evident, That Hirsch does not send or bring the smallest
shadow of Steuer-Scheine,--'Peltries,' or 'Diamonds,' we mean,--or
any value whatever for that Paris Bill of ours, payable shortly,
and which he has already got cashed in Dresden. Nothing but
excuses, prevarications; stupid, incoherently deceptive jargon, as
of a mule intent on playing fox with you. Vivid Correspondence is
conceivable; but nothing of it definite to us, except this sample"
(which we give translated):--

DOCUMENT THIRD (torn fraction in Voltaire's hand: To Hirsch,
doubtless; early in December). ... "Not proper (IL NE FALLAIT PAS)
to negotiate Bills of Exchange, and never produce a single
diamond"--bit of peltry, or ware of any kind, you son of Amalek!
"Not proper to say: I have got money for your bills of exchange,
and I bring you nothing back; and I will repay your money when you
shall no longer be here [in Germany at all]. Not proper to promise
at 35 louis, and then say 30. To say 30, and then next morning 25.
You should at least have produced goods (IL FALLAIT EN DONNER) at
the price current; very easy to do when one was on the spot.
All your procedures have been faults hitherto. [Klein, v. 259.]

"These are dreadful symptoms. Steuer-Notes, promised at 35
discount, are not to be had except at 30. Say 30 then, and get done
with it, mule of a scoundrel! Next day the 30 sinks to 25; and not
a Steuer-Note, on any terms, comes to hand. And the mule of a
scoundrel has drawn money, in Dresden yonder, for my Bill on
Paris,--excellent to him for trade of his own! What is to be done
with such an Ass of Balaam? He has got the bit in his teeth, it
would seem. Heavens, he too is capable of stopping short, careless
of spur and cudgel; and miraculously speaking to a NEW Prophet
[strange new "Revealer of the Lord's Will," in modern dialect], in
this enlightened Eighteenth Century itself!--One thing the new
Prophet, can do: protest his Paris Bill.

"DECEMBER 12th [our next bit of certainty], Voltaire writes, haste,
haste, to Paris, 'Don't pay;' and intimates to Hirsch, 'You will
have to return your Dresden Banker his money for that Paris Bill.
At Paris I have protested it, mark me; and there it never will be
paid to him or you. And you must come home again instantly, job
undone, lies not untold, you--!' Hirsch, with money in hand,
appears not to have wanted for a briskish trade of his own in the
Dresden marts. But this of cutting off his supplies brings him
instantly back:"--and at Berlin, DECEMBER 16th, new facts emerge
again of a definite nature.

"WEDNESDAY, 16th DECEMBER, 1750. 'To-day the King with Court and
Voltaire come to Berlin for the Carnival;' [Rodenbeck, i. 209.]
to-day also Voltaire, not in Carnival humor, has appointed his Jew
to meet him. In the Royal Palace itself,--we hope, well remote from
Friedrich's Apartment!--this sordid conference, needing one's
choicest diplomacy withal, and such exquisite handling of bit and
spur, goes on. And probably at great length. Of which, as the
FINALE, and one clear feature significant to the fancy, here is,--
for record of what they call 'COMPLETE SETTLEMENT,' which it was
far from turning out to be:--

DOCUMENT FOURTH (in Hirsch's hand, First Piece of it).

"'Pour quittance generale promettant de rendre a Mr. de
Voltaire tous billets, ordres et lettres de change a moy donnez
jusqu'a ce jour, 16 Decembre, 1750.
"'Account all settled; I promising to return M. de Voltaire all
Letters, Orders and Bills of Exchange given me to this day, 16th
December, 1750.

[Hirsch signs. But you have forgotten something, Monsieur Hirsch!

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