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

History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 10 by Thomas Carlyle

Part 2 out of 3

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.3 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

"This morning about three o'clock, my people woke me, with word
that there was a Stafette come with Letters,"--from your Majesty
or Heaven knows whom! "I spring up in all haste; and opening the
Letter,--find it is from the Prince of Mirow; who informs me that
'he will be here to-day at noon.' I have got all things in
readiness to receive him, as if he were the Kaiser in person;
and I hope there will be material for some amusement to my Most
All-gracious Father, by next post."--Next post is half a week

"TO HIS PRUSSIAN MAJESTY (from the Crown-Prince).

"REINSBERG, 11th Novemher.

... "The Prince of Mirow's visit was so curious, I must give my
Most All-gracious Father a particular report of it. In my last, I
mentioned how General Praetorius had come to us: he was in the
room, when I entered with the Prince of Mirow; at sight of him
Praetorius exclaimed, loud enough to be heard by everybody, 'VOILA
LE PRINCE CAJUCA!' [Nickname out of some Romance, fallen extinct
long since.] Not one of us could help laughing; and I had my own
trouble to turn it so that he did not get angry.

"Scarcely was the Prince got in, when they came to tell me, for
his worse luck, that Prince Heinrich," the Ill Margraf, "was come;
--who accordingly trotted him out, in such a way that we thought
we should all have died with laughing. Incessant praises were
given him, especially for his fine clothes, his fine air, and his
uncommon agility in dancing. And indeed I thought the dancing
would never end.

"In the afternoon, to spoil his fine coat,"--a contrivance of the
Ill Margraf's, I should think,--"we stept out to shoot at target
in the rain: he would not speak of it, but one could observe he
was in much anxiety about the coat. In the evening, he got a glass
or two in his head, and grew extremely merry; said at last, 'He
was sorry that, for divers state-reasons and businesses of moment,
he must of necessity return home;'--which, however, he put off
till about two in the morning. I think, next day he would not
remember very much of it.

"Prince Heinrich is gone to his Regiment again; "Praetorius too is
off;--and we end with the proper KOW-TOW. [ OEuvres de
Frederic, xvii. part 3d, p. 109.]

These Strelitzers, we said, are juniors to infatuated Schwerin;
and poor Mirow is again junior to Strelitz: plainly one of the
least opulent of Residences. At present, it is Dowager Apanage
(WITTWEN-SITZ) to the Widow of the late Strelitz of blessed
memory: here, with her one Child, a boy now grown to what manhood
we see, has the Serene Dowager lived, these twenty-eight years
past; a Schwartzburg by birth, "the cleverest head among them
all." Twenty-eight years in dilapidated Mirow: so long has that
Tailoring Duke, her eldest STEP-SON (child of a prior wife) been
Supreme Head of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; employed with his needle, or
we know not how,--collapsed plainly into tailoring at this date.
There was but one other Son; this clever Lady's, twenty years
junior,--"Prince of Mirow" whom we now see. Karl Ludwig Friedrich
is the name of this one; age now twenty-eight gone. He, ever since
the third month of him, when the poor Serene Father died ("May,
1703"), has been at Mirow with Mamma; getting what education there
was,--not too successfully, as would appear. Eight years ago, "in
1726," Mamma sent him off upon his travels; to Geneva, Italy,
France: he looked in upon Vienna, too; got a Lieutenant-Colonelcy
in the Kaiser's Service, but did not like it; soon gave it up;
and returned home to vegetate, perhaps to seek a wife,--having
prospects of succession in Strelitz. For the Serene Half-Brother
proves to have no children: were his tailoring once finished in
the world, our Prince of Mirow is Duke in Chief. On this basis the
wedded last year; the little Wife has already brought him one
child, a Daughter; and has (as Friedrich notices) another under
way, if it prosper. No lack of Daughters, nor of Sons by and by:
eight years hence came the little Charlotte,--subsequently Mother
of England: much to her and our astonishment. [Born (at Mirow)
19th May, 1744; married (London), 8th September, 1761; died, 18th
November, 1818 (Michaelis, ii. 445, 446; Hubner, t. 195; OErtel,
pp. 43, 22).]

The poor man did not live to be Duke of Strelitz; he died, 1752,
in little Charlotte's eighth year; Tailor Duke SURVIVING him a few
months. Little Charlotte's Brother did then succeed, and lasted
till 1794; after whom a second Brother, father of the now Serene
Strelitzes;--who also is genealogically notable. For from him
there came another still more famous Queen: Louisa of Prussia;
beautiful to look upon, as "Aunt Charlotte" was not, in a high
degree; and who showed herself a Heroine in Napoleon's time, as
Aunt Charlotte never was called to do. Both Aunt and Niece were
women of sense, of probity, propriety; fairly beyond the average
of Queens. And as to their early poverty, ridiculous to this gold-
nugget generation, I rather guess it may have done them benefits
which the gold-nugget generation, in its Queens and otherwise,
stands far more in want of than it thinks.

But enough of this Prince of Mirow, whom Friedrich has
accidentally unearthed for us. Indeed there is no farther history
of him, for or against. He evidently was not thought to have
invented gunpowder, by the public. And yet who knows but, in his
very simplicity, there lay something far beyond the Ill Margraf to
whom he was so quizzable? Poor down-pressed brother mortal;
somnambulating so pacifically in Sleepy Hollow yonder, and making
no complaint!

He continued, though soon with less enthusiasm, and in the end
very rarely, a visitor of Friedrich's during this Reinsberg time.
Patriotic English readers may as well take the few remaining
vestiges, too, before quite dismissiug him to Sleepy Hollow.
Here they are, swept accurately together, from that Correspondence
of Friedrich with Papa:--

"REINSBERG, 18th NOVEMBER, 1736. ... report most submissively that
the Prince of Mirow has again been here, with his Mother, Wife,
Aunt, Hofdames, Cavaliers and entire Household; so that I thought
it was the Flight out of Egypt [Exodus of the Jews]. I begin to
have a fear of those good people, as they assured me they would
have such pleasure in coming often!"

"REINSBERG, 1st FEBRUARY, 1737." Let us give it in the Original
too, as a specimen of German spelling:--

"Der Prints von Mihrau ist vohr einigen thagen hier
gewessen und haben wier einige Wasser schwermer in der See ihm zu
Ehren gesmissen, seine frau ist mit eber thoten Printzesin nieder
geKomen.--Der General schulenburg ist heute hier gekommen und
wirdt morgen"--That is to say:--

"The Prince of Mirow was here a few days ago; and we let off, in
honor of him, a few water-rockets over the Lake: his Wife has been
brought to bed of a dead Princess. General Schulenburg [with a
small s] came hither to-day; and to-morrow will" ...

"REINSBERG, 28th MARCH, 1737. ... Prince von Mirow was here
yesterday; and tried shooting at the popinjay with us; he cannot
see rightly, and shoots always with help of an opera-glass."

"RUPPIN, 20th OCTOBER, 1737. The Prince of Mirow was with us last
Friday; and babbled much in his high way; among other things,
white-lied to us, that the Kaiserinn gave him a certain porcelain
snuff-box he was handling; but on being questioned more tightly,
he confessed to me he had bought it in Vienna." [ Briefe
an Vater, p. 71 (CARET in OEuvres italic>); pp. 85-114.--See Ib. 6th November, 1737, for faint trace
of a visit; and 25th September, 1739, for another still fainter,
the last there is.]

And so let him somnambulate yonder, till the two Queens, like
winged Psyches, one after the other, manage to emerge from him.

Friedrich's Letters to his Father are described by some Prussian
Editors as "very attractive, SEHR ANZIEHENDE BRIEFE;" which, to a
Foreign reader, seems a strange account of them. Letters very hard
to understand completely; and rather insignificant when
understood. They turn on Gifts sent to and sent from, "swans,"
"hams," with the unspeakable thanks for them; on recruits of so
many inches; on the visitors that have been; they assure us that
"there is no sickness in the regiment," or tell expressly how
much:--wholly small facts; nothing of speculation, and of
ceremonial pipe-clay a great deal. We know already under what
nightmare conditions Friedrich wrote to his Father! The attitude
of the Crown-Prince, sincerely reverent and filial, though obliged
to appear ineffably so, and on the whole struggling under such
mountains of encumbrance, yet loyally maintaining his equilibrium,
does at last acquire, in these Letters, silently a kind of beauty
to the best class of readers. But that is nearly their sole merit.
By far the most human of them, that on the first visit to Mirow,
the reader has now seen; and may thank us much that we show him no
more of them. [Vater (Berlin, 1838). Reduced in size, by suitable
omissions; and properly spelt; but with little other elucidation
for a stranger: in OEuvres, xxvii. part 3d,
pp, 1-123 (Berlin, 1856).

Chapter IV.


While these Mirow visits are about their best, and much else at
Reinsberg is in comfortable progress, Friedrich's first year there
just ending, there come accounts from England of quarrels broken
out between the Britannic Majesty and his Prince of Wales.
Discrepancies risen now to a height; and getting into the very
Newspapers;--the Rising Sun too little under the control of the
Setting, in that unquiet Country!

Prince Fred of England did not get to the Rhine Campaign, as we
saw: he got some increase of Revenue, a Household of his own;
and finally a Wife, as he had requested: a Sachsen-Gotha Princess;
who, peerless Wilhelmma being unattainable, was welcome to Prince
Fred. She is in the family-way, this summer 1737, a very young
lady still; result thought to be due--When? Result being potential
Heir to the British Nation, there ought to have been good
calculation of the time when! But apparently nobody had well
turned his attention that way. Or if Fred and Spouse had, as
is presumable, Fred had given no notice to the Paternal Majesty,--
"Let Paternal Majesty, always so cross to me, look out for himself
in that matter." Certain it is, Fred and Spouse, in the beginning
of August, 1737, are out at Hampton Court; potential Heir due
before long, and no preparation made for it. August 11th in the
evening, out at solitary Hampton Court; the poor young Mother's
pains came on; no Chancellor there, no Archbishop to see the
birth,--in fact, hardly the least medical help, and of political
altogether none. Fred, in his flurry, or by forethought,--instead
of dashing off expresses, at a gallop as of Epsom, to summon the
necessary persons and appliances, yoked wheeled vehicles and
rolled off to the old unprovided Palace of St. James's, London,
with his poor Wife in person! Unwarned, unprovided; where
nevertheless she was safely delivered that same night,--safely, as
if by miracle. The crisis might have taken her on the very
highway: never was such an imprudence. Owing, I will believe, to
Fred's sudden flurry in the unprovided moment,--unprovided, by
reason of prior desuetudes and discouragements to speech, on
Papa's side. A shade of malice there might also be. Papa doubts
not, it was malice aforethought all of it. "Had the potential Heir
of the British Nation gone to wreck, or been born on the highway,
from my quarrels with this bad Fred, what a scrape had I been in!"
thinks Papa, and is in a towering permanence of wrath ever since;
the very Newspapers and coffee-houses and populaces now all
getting vocal with it.

Papa, as it turned out, never more saw the face of Fred.
Judicious Mamma, Queen Caroline, could not help a visit, one visit
to the poor young Mother, so soon as proper: coming out from the
visit, Prince Fred obsequiously escorting her to her carriage,
found a crowd of people and populace, in front of St. James's;
and there knelt down on the street, in his fine silk breeches,
careless of the mud, to "beg a Mother's blessing," and show what a
son he was, he for his part, in this sad discrepancy that had
risen! Mamma threw a silent glance on him, containing volumes of
mixed tenor; drove off; and saw no more of Fred, she either.
I fear, this kneeling in the mud tells against Prince Fred; but in
truth I do not know, nor even much care. [Lord Hervey,
Memoirs of George the Second, ii. 362-370, 409.]
What a noise in England about nothing at all!--What a noisy
Country, your Prussian Majesty! Foolish "rising sun" not
restrainable there by the setting or shining one; opposition
parties bowling him about among the constellations, like a very
mad object!--

But in a month or two, there comes worse news out of England;
falling heavy on the heart of Prussian Majesty: news that Queen
Caroline herself is dead. ["Sunday evening, 1st December (20th
Nov.), 1737." Ib. pp. 510-539.] Died as she had lived, with much
constancy of mind, with a graceful modest courage and endurance;
sinking quietly under the load of private miseries long quietly
kept hidden, but now become too heavy, and for which the appointed
rest was now here. Little George blubbered a good deal; fidgeted
and flustered a good deal: much put about, poor foolish little
soul. The dying Caroline recommended HIM to Walpole; advised his
Majesty to marry again. "Non, j'aurai des maitresses italic> (No, I'll have mistresses)!" sobbed his Majesty
passionately. "Ah, mon Dieu, cela n'empeche pas italic> (that does not hinder)!" answered she, from long
experience of the case. There is something stoically tragic in the
history of Caroline with her flighty vaporing little King:
seldom had foolish husband so wise a wife. "Dead!" thought
Friedrich Wilhelm, looking back through the whirlwinds of life,
into sunny young scenes far enough away: "Dead!"--Walpole
continued to manage the little King; but not for long; England
itself rising in objection. Jenkins's Ear, I understand, is lying
in cotton; and there are mad inflammable strata in that Nation,
capable of exploding at a great rate.

From the Eastern regions our Newspapers are very full of events:
War with the Turk going on there; Russia and Austria both doing
their best against the Turk. The Russians had hardly finished
their Polish-Election fighting, when they decided to have a stroke
at the Turk,--Turk always an especial eye-sorrow to them, since
that "Treaty of the Pruth," and Czar Peter's sad rebuff there:--
Munnich marched direct out of Poland through the Ukraine, with his
eye on the Crimea and furious business in that quarter. This is
his second Campaign there, this of 1737; and furious business has
not failed. Last year he stormed the Lines of Perecop, tore open
the Crimea; took Azoph, he or Lacy under him; took many things:
this year he had laid his plans for Oczakow;--takes Oczakow,--
fiery event, blazing in all the Newspapers, at Reinsberg and
elsewhere. Concerning which will the reader accept this condensed
testimony by an eye-witness?

"OCZAKOW, 13th JULY, 1737. Day before yesterday, Feldmarschall
Munnich got to Oczakow, as he had planned,"--strong Turkish Town
in the nook between the Black Sea and the estuary of the Dnieper;
--"with intention to besiege it. Siege-train, stores of every
sort, which he had set afloat upon the Dnieper in time enough,
were to have been ready for him at Oczakow. But the flotilla had
been detained by shallows, by waterfalls; not a boat was come, nor
could anybody say when they were coming. Meanwhile nothing is to
be had here; the very face of the earth the Turks have burnt:
not a blade of grass for cavalry within eight miles, nor a stick
of wood for engineers; not a hole for covert, and the ground so
hard you cannot raise redoubts on it: Munnich perceives he must
attempt, nevertheless.

"On his right, by the sea-shore, Munnich finds some remains of
gardens, palisades; scrapes together some vestige of shelter there
(five thousand, or even ten thousand pioneers working desperately
all that first night, 11th July, with only half success); and on
the morrow commences firing with what artillery he has.
Much outfired by the Turks inside;--his enterprise as good as
desperate, unless the Dnieper flotilla come soon. July 12th, all
day the firing continues, and all night; Turks extremely furious:
about an hour before daybreak, we notice burning in the interior,
'Some wooden house kindled by us, town got on fire yonder,'--and,
praise to Heaven, they do not seem to succeed in quenching it
again. Munnich turns out, in various divisions; intent on trying
something, had he the least engineer furniture;--hopes desperately
there may be promise for him in that internal burning
still visible.

"In the centre of Munnich's line is one General Keith, a
deliberate stalwart Scotch gentleman, whom we shall know better;
Munnich himself is to the right: Could not one try it by scalade;
keep the internal burning free to spread, at any rate? 'Advance
within musket-shot, General Keith!' orders Munnich's Aide-de-Camp
cantering up. 'I have been this good while within it,' answers
Keith, pointing to his dead men. Aide-de-Camp canters up a second
time: 'Advance within half musket-shot, General Keith, and quit
any covert you have!' Keith does so; sends, with his respects to
Feldmarschall Munnich, his remonstrance against such a waste of
human life. Aide-de-Camp canters up a third time: 'Feldmarschall
Munnich is for trying a scalade; hopes General Keith will do his
best to co-operate!' 'Forward, then!' answers Keith; advances
close to the glacis; finds a wet ditch twelve feet broad, and has
not a stick of engineer furniture. Keith waits there two hours;
his men, under fire all the while, trying this and that to get
across; Munnich's scalade going off ineffectual in like manner:--
till at length Keith's men, and all men, tire of such a business,
and roll back in great confusion out of shot-range. Munnich gives
himself up for lost. And indeed, says Mannstein, had the Turks
sallied out in pursuit at that moment, they might have chased us
back to Russia. But the Turks did not sally. And the internal
conflagration is not quenched, far from it;--and about nine A.M.
their Powder-Magazine, conflagration reaching it, roared aloft
into the air, and killed seven thousand of them," [Mannstein,
pp. 151-156.]--

So that Oczakow was taken, sure enough; terms, life only:
and every remaining Turk packs off from it, some "twenty thousand
inhabitants young and old" for one sad item.--A very blazing semi-
absurd event, to be read of in Prussian military circles,--where
General Keith will be better known one day.

Russian War with the Turk: that means withal, by old Treaties, aid
of thirty thousand men from the Kaiser to Russia. Kaiser, so
ruined lately, how can he send thirty thousand, and keep them
recruited, in such distant expedition? Kaiser, much meditating, is
advised it will be better to go frankly into the Turk on his own
score, and try for slices of profit from him in this game.
Kaiser declares war against the Turk; and what is still more
interesting to Friedrich Wilhelm and the Berlin Circles,
Seckendorf is named General of it. Feldzeugmeister now
Feldmarschall Seckendorf, envy may say what it will, he has
marched this season into the Lower-Donau Countries,--going to
besiege Widdin, they say,--at the head of a big Army (on paper,
almost a hundred and fifty thousand, light troops and heavy)--
virtually Commander-in-Chief; though nominally our fine young
friend Franz of Lorraine bears the title of Commander, whom
Seckendorf is to dry-nurse in the way sometimes practised.
Going to besiege Widdin, they say. So has the poor Kaiser been
advised. His wise old Eugene is now gone; [Died 30th April, 1736.]
I fear his advisers,--a youngish Feldzeugmeister, Prince of
Hildburghausen, the chief favorite among them,--are none of the
wisest. All Protestants, we observe, these favorite
Hildburghausens, Schmettaus, Seckendorfs of his; and Vienna is an
orthodox papal Court;--and there is a Hofkriegsrath (Supreme
Council of War), which has ruined many a General, poking too
meddlesomely into his affairs! On the whole, Seckendorf will have
his difficulties. Here is a scene, on the Lower Donau, different
enough from that at Oczakow, not far from contemporaneous with it.
The Austrian Army is at Kolitz, a march or two beyond Belgrade:--

"KOLITZ, 2d JULY, 1737. This day, the Army not being on march, but
allowed to rest itself, Grand Duke Franz went into the woods to
hunt. Hunting up and down, he lost himself; did not return at
evening; and, as the night closed in and no Generalissimo visible,
the Generalissimo AD LATUS (such the title they had contrived for
Seckendorf) was in much alarm. Generalissimo AD LATUS ordered out
his whole force of drummers, trumpeters: To fling themselves,
postwise, deeper and deeper into the woods all round; to drum
there, and blow, in ever-widening circle, in prescribed notes, and
with all energy, till the Grand Duke were found. Grand Duke being
found, Seckendorf remonstrated, rebuked; a thought too earnestly,
some say, his temper being flurried,"--voice snuffling somewhat in
alt, with lisp to help:--"so that the Grand Duke took offence;
flung off in a huff: and always looked askance on the
Feldmarschall from that time;" [See Lebensgeschichte des
Grafen van Schmettau (by his Son: Berlin, 1806),
i. 27.]--quitting him altogether before long; and marching with
Khevenhuller, Wallis, Hildburghausen, or any of the subordinate
Generals rather. Probably Widdin will not go the road of Oczakow,
nor the Austrians prosper like the Russians, this summer.

Pollnitz, in Tobacco-Parliament, and in certain Berlin circles
foolishly agape about this new Feldmarschall, maintains always,
Seckendorf will come to nothing; which his Majesty zealously
contradicts,--his Majesty, and some short-sighted private
individuals still favorable to Seckendorf. [Pollnitz,
Memoiren, ii. 497-502.] Exactly one week after that
singular drum-and-trumpet operation on Duke Franz, the Last of the
Medici dies at Florence; [9th July ( Fastes de Louis XV.,
p. 304).] and Serene Franz, if he knew it, is Grand
Duke of Tuscany, according to bargain: a matter important to
himself chiefly, and to France, who, for Stanislaus and Lorraine's
sake, has had to pay him some 200,000 pounds a year during the
brief intermediate state.


These remote occurrences are of small interest to his Prussian
Majesty, in comparison with the Pfalz affair, the Cleve-Julich
succession, which lies so near home. His Majesty is uncommonly
anxious to have this matter settled, in peace, if possible.
Kaiser and Reich, with the other Mediating Powers, go on
mediating; but when will they decide? This year the old Bishop of
Augsburg, one Brother of the older Kur-Pfalz Karl Philip, dies;
nothing now between us and the event itself, but Karl Philip
alone, who is verging towards eighty: the decision, to be
peaceable, ought to be speedy! Friedrich Wilhelm, in January last,
sent the expert Degenfeld, once of London, to old Karl Philip;
and has him still there, with the most conciliatory offers:
"Will leave your Sulzbachs a part, then; will be content with
part, instead of the whole, which is mine if there be force in
sealed parchment; will do anything for peace!" To which the old
Kur-Pfalz, foolish old creature, is steadily deaf; answers
vaguely, negatively always, in a polite manner; pushing his
Majesty upon extremities painful to think of. "We hate war;
but cannot quite do without justice, your Serenity," thinks
Friedrich Wilhelm: "must it be the eighty thousand iron ramrods,
then?" Obstinate Serenity continues deaf; and Friedrich Wilhelm's
negotiations, there at Mannheim, over in Holland, and through
Holland with England, not to speak of Kaiser and Reich close at
hand, become very intense; vehemently earnest, about this matter,
for the next two years. The details of which, inexpressibly
uninteresting, shall be spared the reader.

Summary is, these Mediating Powers will be of no help to his
Majesty; not even the Dutch will, with whom he is specially in
friendship: nay, in the third year it becomes fatally manifest,
the chief Mediating Powers, Kaiser and France, listening rather to
political convenience, than to the claims of justice, go direct in
Kur-Pfalz's favor;--by formal treaty of their own, ["Versailles,
13th January, 1739" (Olrich, Geschichte der Schlesischen
Kriege, i. 13); Mauvillon, ii 405-446; &c.] France
and the Kaiser settle, "That the Sulzbachers shall, as a
preliminary, get provisional possession, on the now Serenity's
decease; and shall continue undisturbed for two years, till Law
decide between his Prussian Majesty and them." Two years;
Law decide;--and we know what are the NINE-POINTS in a Law-case!
This, at last, proved too much for his Majesty. Majesty's abstruse
dubitations, meditations on such treatment by a Kaiser and others,
did then, it appears, gloomily settle into fixed private purpose
of trying it by the iron ramrods, when old Kur-Pfalz should die,--
of marching with eighty thousand men into the Cleve Countries, and
SO welcoming any Sulzbach or other guests that might arrive.
Happily old Kur-Pfalz did not die in his Majesty's time;
survived his Majesty several years: so that the matter fell into
other hands,--and was settled very well, near a century after.

Of certain wranglings with the little Town of Herstal,--Prussian
Town (part of the Orange Heritage, once KING PEPIN'S Town, if that
were any matter now) in the Bishop of Liege's neighborhood, Town
highly insignificant otherwise,--we shall say nothing here, as
they will fall to be treated, and be settled, at an after stage.
Friedrich Wilhelm was much grieved by the contumacies of that
paltry little Herstal; and by the Bishop of Liege's high-flown
procedures in countenancing them;--especially in a recruiting ease
that had fallen out there, and brought matters to a head.
["December, 1738," is crisis of the recruiting case
( Helden-Geschichte, ii. 63); "17th February,
1739," Bishop's high-flown appearance in it (ib. 67); Kaiser's in
consequence, "10th April, 1739."] The Kaiser too was afflictively
high in countenancing the Bishop;---for which both Kaiser and
Bishop got due payment in time. But his Prussian Majesty would not
kindle the world for such a paltriness; and so left it hanging in
a vexatious condition. Such things, it is remarked, weigh heavier
on his now infirm Majesty than they were wont. He is more subject
to fits of hypochondria, to talk of abdicating. "All gone wrong!"
he would say, if any little flaw rose, about recruiting or the
like. "One might go and live at Venice, were one rid of it!"
[Forster (place LOST).] And his deep-stung clangorous growl
against the Kaiser's treatment of him bursts out, from time to
time; though he oftenest pities the Kaiser, too; seeing him at
such a pass with his Turk War and otherwise.

It was in this Pfalz business that Herr Luiscius, the Prussian
Minister in Holland, got into trouble; of whom there is a light
dash of outline-portraiture by Voltaire, which has made him
memorable to readers. This "fat King of Prussia," says Voltaire,
was a dreadfully avaricious fellow, unbeautiful to a high degree
in his proceedings with mankind:--

"He had a Minister at the Hague called Luiscius; who certainly of
all Ministers of Crowned Heads was the worst paid. This poor man,
to warm himself, had made some trees be felled in the Garden of
Honslardik, which belonged at that time to the House of Prussia;
he thereupon received despatches from the King, intimating that a
year of his salary was forfeited. Luiscius, in despair, cut his
throat with probably the one razor he had (SEUL RASOIR QU'IL EUT);
an old valet came to his assistance, and unhappily saved his life.
In after years, I found his Excellency at the Hague; and have
occasionally given him an alms at the door of the VIEILLE COUR
(Old Court), a Palace belonging to the King of Prussia, where this
poor Ambassador had lived a dozen years. It must be owned, Turkey
is a republic in comparison to the despotism exercised by
Friedrich Wilhelm." [ OEuvres de Voltaire (Vie Pricee,
or what they now call Memoires
), ii. 15.]

Here truly is a witty sketch; consummately dashed off, as nobody
but Voltaire could; "round as Giotto's O," done at one stroke.
Of which the prose facts are only as follows. Luiscius, Prussian
Resident, not distinguished by salary or otherwise, had, at one
stage of these negotiations, been told, from head-quarters, He
might, in casual extra-official ways, if it seemed furthersome,
give their High Mightinesses the hope, or notion, that his Majesty
did not intend actual war about that Cleve-Julich Succession,--
being a pacific Majesty, and unwilling to involve his neighbors
and mankind. Luiscius, instead of casual hint delicately dropped
in some good way, had proceeded by direct declaration;
frank assurance to the High Mightinesses, That there would be no
war. Which had never been quite his Majesty's meaning, and perhaps
was now becoming rather the reverse of it. Disavowal of Luiscius
had to ensue thereupon; who produced defensively his instruction
from head-quarters; but got only rebukes for such heavy-footed
clumsy procedure, so unlike Diplomacy with its shoes of felt;--
and, in brief, was turned out of the Diplomatic function, as unfit
for it; and appointed to manage certain Orange Properties,
fragments of the Orange Heritage which his Majesty still has in
those Countries. This misadventure sank heavily on the spirits of
Luiscius, otherwise none of the strongest-minded of men. Nor did
he prosper in managing the Orange Properties: on the contrary, he
again fell into mistakes; got soundly rebuked for injudicious
conduct there,--"cutting trees," planting trees, or whatever it
was;--and this produced such an effect on Luiscius, that he made
an attempt on his own throat, distracted mortal; and was only
stopped by somebody rushing in. "It was not the first time he had
tried that feat," says Pollnitz, "and been prevented; nor was it
long till he made a new attempt, which was again frustrated:
and always afterwards his relations kept him close in view:"
Majesty writing comfortable forgiveness to the perturbed creature,
and also "settling a pension on him;" adequate, we can hope, and
not excessive; "which Luiscius continued to receive, at the Hague,
so long as he lived." These are the prose facts; not definitely
dated to us, but perfectly clear otherwise. [Pollnitz, ii. 495,
496;--the "NEW attempt" seems to have been "June, 1739" (
Gentleman's Magazine, in mense, p. 331).]

Voltaire, in his Dutch excursions, did sometimes, in after years,
lodge in that old vacant Palace, called VIEILLE COUR, at the
Hague; where he gracefully celebrates the decayed forsaken state
of matters; dusky vast rooms with dim gilding; forgotten libraries
"veiled under the biggest spider-webs in Europe;" for the rest, an
uncommonly quiet place, convenient for a writing man, besides
costing nothing. A son of this Luiscius, a good young lad, it also
appears, was occasionally Voltaire's amanuensis there; him he did
recommend zealously to the new King of Prussia, who was not deaf
on the occasion. This, in the fire of satirical wit, is what we
can transiently call "giving alms to a Prussian Excellency;"--
not now excellent, but pensioned and cracked; and the reader
perceives, Luiscius had probably more than one razor, had not one
been enough, when he did the rash act. Friedrich employed Luiscius
Junior, with no result that we hear of farther; and seems to have
thought Luiscius Senior an absurd fellow, not worth mentioning
again: "ran away from the Cleve Country [probably some mad-house
there] above a year ago, I hear; and what is the matter where such
a crack-brain end?" [Voltaire, OEuvres
(Letter to Friedrich, 7th October, 1740), lxxii. 261; and
Fredrich's answer (wrong dated), ib. 265; Preuss, xxii. 33.]

Chapter V.


The Pfalz question being in such a predicament, and Luiscius
diplomatizing upon it in such heavy-footed manner, his Majesty
thinks a journey to Holland, to visit one's Kinsfolk there, and
incidentally speak a word with the High Mightinesses upon Pfalz,
would not be amiss. Such journey is decided on; Crown-Prince to
accompany. Summer of 1738: a short visit, quite without fuss;
to last only three days;--mere sequel to the Reviews held in those
adjacent Cleve Countries; so that the Gazetteers may take no
notice. All which was done accordingly: Crown-Prince's first sight
of Holland; and one of the few reportable points of his Reinsberg
life, and not quite without memorability to him and us.

On the 8th of July, 1738, the Review Party got upon the road for
Wesel: all through July, they did their reviewing in those Cleve
Countries; and then struck across for the Palace of Loo in
Geldern, where a Prince of Orange countable kinsman to his
Prussian Majesty, and a Princess still more nearly connected,--
English George's Daughter, own niece to his Prussian Majesty,--are
in waiting for this distinguished honor. The Prince of Orange we
have already seen, for a moment once; at the siege of Philipsburg
four years ago, when the sale of Chasot's horses went off so well.
"Nothing like selling horses when your company have dined well,"
whispered he to Chasot, at that time; since which date we have
heard nothing of his Highness.

He is not a beautiful man; he has a crooked back, and features
conformable; but is of prompt vivacious nature, and does not want
for sense and good-humor. Paternal George, the gossips say, warned
his Princess, when this marriage was talked of, "You will find him
very ill-looking, though!" "And if I found him a baboon--!"
answered she; being so heartily tired of St. James's. And in fact,
for anything I have heard, they do well enough together. She is
George II.'s eldest Princess;--next elder to our poor Amelia, who
was once so interesting to us! What the Crown-Prince now thought
of all that, I do not know; but the Books say, poor Amelia wore
the willow, and specially wore the Prince's miniature on her
breast all her days after, which were many. Grew corpulent,
somewhat a huddle in appearance and equipment, "eyelids like
upper-LIPS," for one item: but when life itself fled, the
miniature was found in its old place, resting on the old heart
after some sixty years. O Time, O Sons and Daughters
of Time!--

His Majesty's reception at Loo was of the kind he liked,--cordial,
honorable, unceremonious; and these were three pleasant days he
had. Pleasant for the Crown-Prince too; as the whole Journey had
rather been; Papa, with covert satisfaction, finding him a wise
creature, after all, and "more serious" than formerly. "Hm, you
don't know what things are in that Fritz!" his Majesty murmured
sometimes, in these later years, with a fine light in his eyes.

Loo itself is a beautiful Palace: "Loo, close by the Village
Appeldoorn, is a stately brick edifice, built with architectural
regularity; has finely decorated rooms, beautiful gardens, and
round are superb alleys of oak and linden." [Busching,
Erdbeschreibung, viii. 69.] There saunters pleasantly
our Crown-Prince, for these three days;--and one glad incident I
do perceive to have befallen him there: the arrival of a Letter
from Voltaire. Letter much expected, which had followed him from
Wesel; and which he answers here, in this brick Palace, among the
superb avenues and gardens. [ OEuvres, xxi.
203, the Letter, "Cirey, June, 1738;" Ib. 222, the Answer to it,
"Loo, 6th August, 1738."]

No doubt a glad incident, irradiating, as with a sudden sunburst
in gray weather, the commonplace of things. Here is news worth
listening to; news as from the empyrean! Free interchange of
poetries and proses, of heroic sentiments and opinions, between
the Unique of Sages and the Paragon of Crown-Princes; how charming
to both! Literary business, we perceive, is brisk on both hands;
at Cirey the Discours sur l'Homme ("Sixth
DISCOURS" arrives in this packet at Loo, surely a deathless piece
of singing); nor is Reinsberg idle: Reinsberg is copiously doing
verse, such verse! and in prose, very earnestly, an "ANTI-
MACHIAVEL;" which soon afterwards filled all the then world,
though it has now fallen so silent again. And at Paris, as
Voltaire announces with a flourish, "M. de Maupertuis's excellent
Book, Figure de la T'erre, is out;" [Paris,
1738: Maupertuis's "measurement of a degree," in the utmost North,
1736-1737 (to prove the Earth flattened there). Vivid Narrative;
somewhat gesticulative, but duly brief. The only Book of that
great Maupertuis which is now readable to human nature.] M. de
Maupertuis, home from the Polar regions and from measuring the
Earth there; the sublimest miracle in Paris society at present.
Might build, new-build, an ACADEMY OF SCIENCES at Berlin for your
Royal Highness, one day? suggests Voltaire, on this occasion:
and Friedrich, as we shall see, takes the hint. One passage of the
Crown-Prince's Answer is in these terms;--fixing this Loo visit to
its date for us, at any rate:--

"LOO IN HOLLAND, 6th AUGUST, 1739. ... I write from a place where
there lived once a great man [William III. of England, our Dutch
William]; which is now the Prince of Orange's House. The demon of
Ambition sheds its unhappy poisons over his days. He might be the
most fortunate of men; and he is devoured by chagrins in his
beautiful Palace here, in the middle of his gardens and of a
brilliant Court. It is pity in truth; for he is a Prince with no
end of wit (INFINIMENT D'ESPRIT), and has respectable qualites."
Not Stadtholder, unluckily; that is where the shoe pinches;
the Dutch are on the Republican tack, and will not have a
Stadtholder at present. No help for it in one's beautiful gardens
and avenues of oak and linden.

"I have talked a great deal about Newton with the Princess,"--
about Newton; never hinted at Amelia; not permissible!--"from
Newton we passed to Leibnitz; and from Leibnitz to the Late Queen
of England," Caroline lately gone, "who, the Prince told me, was
of Clarke's sentiment" on that important theological controversy
now dead to mankind.--And of Jenkins and his Ear did the Princess
say nothing? That is now becoming a high phenomenon in England!
But readers must wait a little.

Pity that we cannot give these two Letters in full; that no
reader, almost, could be made to understand them, or to care for
them when understood. Such the cruelty of Time upon this Voltaire-
Friedrich Correspondence, and some others; which were once so
rosy, sunny, and are now fallen drearily extinct,--studiable by
Editors only! In itself the Friedrich-Voltaire Correspondence, we
can see, was charming; very blossomy at present: businesses
increasing; mutual admiration now risen to a great height,--
admiration sincere on both sides, most so on the Prince's, and
extravagantly expressed on both sides, most so on Voltaire's.


His Majesty, we said, had three pleasant days at Loo; discoursing,
as with friends, on public matters, or even on more private
matters, in a frank unconstrained way. He is not to be called
"Majesty" on this occasion; but the fact, at Loo, and by the
leading Mightinesses of the Republic, who come copiously to
compliment him there, is well remembered. Talk there was, with
such leading Mightinesses, about the Julich-and-Berg question, aim
of this Journey: earnest enough private talk with some of them:
but it availed nothing; and would not be worth reporting now to
any creature, if we even knew it. In fact, the Journey itself
remains mentionable chiefly by one very trifling circumstance;
and then by another, not important either, which followed out of
that. The trifling circumstance is,--That Friedrich, in the course
of this Journey, became a Freemason: and the unimportant sequel
was, That he made acquaintance with one Bielfeld, on the occasion;
who afterwards wrote a Book about him, which was once much read,
though never much worth reading, and is still citable, with
precaution, now and then. [Monsieur le Baron de Bielfeld,
Lettres Familieres et Autres, 1763;--second edition,
2 vols. a Leide, 1767, is the one we use here.] Trifling
circumstance, of Freemasonry, as we read in Bielfeld and in many
Books after him, befell in manner following.

Among the dinner-guests at Loo, one of those three days, was a
Prince of Lippe-Buckeburg,--Prince of small territory, but of
great speculation; whose territory lies on the Weser, leading to
Dutch connections; and whose speculations stretch over all the
Universe, in a high fantastic style:--he was a dinner-guest;
and one of the topics that came up was Freemasonry; a phantasmal
kind of object, which had kindled itself, or rekindled, in those
years, in England first of all; and was now hovering about, a good
deal, in Germany and other countries; pretending to be a new light
of Heaven, and not a bog-meteor of phosphorated hydrogen,
conspicuous in the murk of things. Bog-meteor, foolish putrescent
will-o'-wisp, his Majesty promptly defined it to be: Tom-foolery
and KINDERSPIEL, what else? Whereupon ingenious Buckeburg, who was
himself a Mason, man of forty by this time, and had high things in
him of the Quixotic type, ventured on defence; and was so
respectful, eloquent, dexterous, ingenious, he quite captivated,
if not his Majesty, at least the Crown-Prince, who was more
enthusiastic for high things. Crown-Prince, after table, took his
Durchlaucht of Buckeburg aside; talked farther on the subject,
expressed his admiration, his conviction,--his wish to be admitted
into such a Hero Fraternity. Nothing could be welcomer to
Durchlaucht. And so, in all privacy, it was made up betweeen them,
That Durchlaucht, summoning as many mystic Brothers out of Hamburg
as were needful, should be in waiting with them, on the Crown-
Prince's road homeward,--say at Brunswick, night before the Fair,
where we are to be,--and there make the Crown-Prince a Mason.
[Bielfeld, i. 14-16; Preuss, i. 111; Preuss, Buch fur
Jedermann, i. 41.]

This is Bielfeld's account, repeated ever since; substantially
correct, except that the scene was not Loo at all: dinner and
dialogue, it now appears, took place in Durchlaucht's own
neighborhood, during the Cleve Review time; "probably at Minden,
17th July;" and all was settled into fixed program before Loo came
in sight. [ OEuvres de Frederic, xvs. 201:
Friedrich's Letter to this Durchlaucht, "Comte de Schaumbourg-
Lippe" he calls him; date, "Moyland, 26th July, 1738: "Moyland, a
certain SCHLOSS, or habitable Mansion, of his Majesty's, few miles
to north of Mors in the Cleve Country; where his Majesty used
often to pause;--and where (what will be much more remarkable to
readers) the Crown-Prince and Voltaire had their first meeting,
two years hence.] Bielfeld's report of the subsequent procedure at
Brunswick, as he saw it and was himself part of it, is liable to
no mistakes, at least of the involuntary kind; and may, for
anything we know, be correct in every particular.

He says (veiling it under discreet asterisks, which are now
decipherable enough), The Durchlaucht of Lippe-Buckeburg had
summoned six Brethren of the Hamburg Lodge; of whom we mention
only a Graf von Kielmannsegge, a Baron von Oberg, both from
Hanover, and Bielfeld himself, a Merchant's Son, of Hamburg;
these, with "Kielmannsegge's Valet to act as Tiler," Valet being
also a Mason, and the rule equality of mankind,--were to have the
honor of initiating the Crown-Prince. They arrived at the Western
Gate of Brunswick on the 11th of August, as prearranged; Prussian
Majesty not yet come, but coming punctually on the morrow. It is
Fair-time; all manner of traders, pedlers, showmen rendezvousing;
many neighboring Nobility too, as was still the habit. "Such a
bulk of light luggage?" said the Custom-house people at the Gate;
--but were pacified by slipping them a ducat. Upon which we drove
to "Korn's Hotel" (if anybody now knew it); and there patiently
waited. No great things of a Hotel, says Bielfeld; but can be put
up with;--worst feature is, we discover a Hanover acquaintance
lodging close by, nothing but a wooden partition between us:
How if he should overhear!--

Prussian Majesty and suite, under universal cannon-salvos,
arrived, Sunday the 12th; to stay till Wednesday (three days) with
his august Son-in-law and Daughter here. Durchlaucht Lippe
presents himself at Court, the rest of us not; privately settles
with the Prince: "Tuesday night, eve of his Majesty's departure;
that shall be the night: at Korn's Hotel, late enough!" And there,
accordingly, on the appointed night, 14th-15th August, 1738, the
light-luggage trunks have yielded their stage-properties;
Jachin and Boaz are set up, and all things are ready;
Tiler (Kielmannsegge's Valet) watching with drawn sword against
the profane. As to our Hanover neighbor, on the other side the
partition, says Bielfeld, we waited on him, this day after dinner,
successively paying our respects; successively pledged him in so
many bumpers, he is lying dead drunk hours ago, could not overhear
a cannon-battery, he. And soon after midnight, the Crown-Prince
glides in, a Captain Wartensleben accompanying, who is also a
candidate; and the mysterious rites are accomplished on both of
them, on the Crown-Prince first, without accident, and in the
usual way.

Bielfeld could not enough admire the demeanor of this Prince, his
clearness, sense, quiet brilliancy; and how he was so "intrepid,"
and "possessed himself so gracefully in the most critical
instants." Extremely genial air, and so young, looks younger even
than his years: handsome to a degree, though of short stature.
Physiognomy, features, quite charming; fine auburn hair (BEAU
BRUN), a negligent plenty of it; "his large blue eyes have
something at once severe, sweet and gracious." Eligible Mason
indeed. Had better make despatch at present, lest Papa be getting
on the road before him!--Bielfeld delivered a small address,
composed beforehand; with which the Prince seemed to be content.
And so, with masonic grip, they made their adieus for the present;
and the Crown-Prince and Wartensleben were back at their posts,
ready for the road along with his Majesty.

His Majesty came on Sunday; goes on Wednesday, home now at a
stretch; and, we hope, has had a good time of it here, these three
days. Daughter Charlotte and her Serene Husband, well with their
subjects, well with one another, are doing well; have already two
little Children; a Boy the elder, of whom we have heard:
Boy's name is Karl, age now three; sprightly, reckoned very
clever, by the fond parents;--who has many things to do in the
world, by and by; to attack the French Revolution, and be blown to
pieces by it on the Field of Jena, for final thing! That is the
fate of little Karl, who frolics about here, so sunshiny and
ingenuous at present.

Karl's Grandmother, the Serene Dowager Duchess, Friedrich's own
Mother-in-law, his Majesty and Friedrich would also of course see
here. Fine Younger Sons of hers are coming forward; the reigning
Duke beautifully careful about the furtherance of these Cadets of
the House. Here is Prince Ferdinand, for instance; just getting
ready for the Grand Tour; goes in a month hence: [Mauvillon (FILS,
son of him whom we cite otherwise), Geschichte Ferdinands
Herzogs von Braunschweig-Luneburg (Leipzig, 1794),
i. 17-25.] a fine eupeptic loyal young fellow; who, in a twenty
years more, will be Chatham's Generalissimo, and fight the French
to some purpose. A Brother of his, the next elder, is now fighting
the Turks for his Kaiser; does not like it at all, under such
Seckendorfs and War-Ministries as there are. Then, elder still,
eldest of all the Cadets, there is Anton Ulrich, over at
Petersburg for some years past, with outlooks high enough: To wed
the Mecklenburg Princess there (Daughter of the unutterable Duke),
and be as good as Czar of all the Russias one day. Little to his
profit, poor soul!--These, historically ascertainable, are the
aspects of the Brunswick Court during those three days of Royal
Visit, in Fair-time; and may serve to date the Masonic Transaction
for us, which the Crown-Prince has just accomplished over
at Korn's.

As for the Transaction itself, there is intrinsically no harm in
this initiation, we will hope: but it behooves to be kept well
hidden from Papa. Papa's good opinion of the Prince has sensibly
risen, in the course of this Journey, "so rational, serious, not
dangling about among the women as formerly;"--and what a shock
would this of Korn's Hotel be, should Papa hear of it! Poor Papa,
from officious tale-bearers he hears many things: is in distress
about Voltaire, about Heterodoxies;--and summoned the Crown-
Prince, by express, from Reinsberg, on one occasion lately, over
to Potsdam, "to take the Communion" there, by way of case-
hardening against Voltaire and Heterodoxies! Think of it, human
readers!--We will add the following stray particulars, more or
less illustrative of the Masonic Transaction; and so end that
trifling affair.

The Captain Wartensleben, fellow-recipient of the mysteries at
Brunswick, is youngest son, by a second marriage, of old
Feldmarschall Wartensleben, now deceased; and is consequently
Uncle, Half-Uncle, of poor Lieutenant Katte, though some years
younger than Katte would now have been. Tender memories hang by
Wartensleben, in a silent way! He is Captain in the Potsdam
Giants; somewhat an intimate, and not undeservedly so, of the
Crown-Prince;--succeeds Wolden as Hofmarschall at Reinsberg,
not many months after this; Wolden having died of an apoplectic
stroke. Of Bielfeld comes a Book, slightly citable; from no
other of the Brethren, or their Feat at Kern's, comes (we may
say) anything whatever. The Crown-Prince prosecuted his
Masonry, at Reinsberg or elsewhere, occasionally, for a year or
two; but was never ardent in it; and very soon after his
Accession, left off altogether: "Child's-play and IGNIS FATUUS
mainly!" A Royal Lodge was established at Berlin, of which the
new King consented to be patron; but he never once entered the
place; and only his Portrait (a welcomely good one, still to be
found there) presided over the mysteries in that Establishment.
Harmless "fire," but too "fatuous;" mere flame-circles cut in
the air, for infants, we know how!--

With Lippe-Buckeburg there ensued some Correspondence, high
enough on his Serenity's side; but it soon languished on the
Prince's side; and in private Poetry, within a two years of
this Brunswick scene, we find Lippe used proverbially for a
type-specimen of Fools. ["Taciturne, Caton, avec mes bons
parents, Aussi fou que la Lippe met les jeunes gens."
OEuvres, xi. 80 ( Discours sur la
Faussete, written 1740).] A windy fantastic
individual;--overwhelmed in finance-difficulties too!
Lippe continued writing; but "only Secretaries now answered
him" from Berlin. A son of his, son and successor, something of
a Quixote too, but notable in Artillery-practice and otherwise,
will turn up at a future stage.

Nor is Bielfeld with his Book a thing of much moment to
Friedrich or to us. Bielfeld too has a light airy vein of talk;
loves Voltaire and the Philosophies in a light way;--knows the
arts of Society, especially the art of flattering; and would
fain make himself agreeable to the Crown-Prince, being anxious
to rise in the world. His Father is a Hamburg Merchant, Hamburg
"Sealing-wax Manufacturer," not ill off for money: Son has been
at schools, high schools, under tutors, posture-masters;
swashes about on those terms, with French ESPRIT in his mouth,
and lace ruffles at his wrists; still under thirty; showy
enough, sharp enough; considerably a coxcomb, as is still
evident. He did transiently get about Friedrich, as we shall
see; and hoped to have sold his heart to good purpose there;--
was, by and by, employed in slight functions; not found fit for
grave ones. In the course of some years, he got a title of
Baron; and sold his heart more advantageously, to some rich
Widow or Fraulein; with whom he retired to Saxony, and there
lived on an Estate he had purchased, a stranger to
Prussia thenceforth.

His Book ( Lettres Familieres et Autres,
all turning on Friedrich), which came out in 1763, at the
height of Friedrich's fame, and was much read, is still freely
cited by Historians as an Authority. But the reading of a few
pages sufficiently intimates that these "Letters" never can
have gone through a terrestrial Post-office; that they are an
afterthought, composed from vague memory and imagination, in
that fine Saxon retreat;--a sorrowful ghost-like "TRAVELS OF
ANACHARSIS," instead of living words by an eye-witness! Not to
be cited "freely" at all, but sparingly and under conditions.
They abound in small errors, in misdates, mistakes;
small fictions even, and impossible pretensions:--foolish
mortal, to write down his bit of knowledge in that form!
For the man, in spite of his lace ruffles and gesticulations,
has brisk eyesight of a superficial kind: he COULD have done us
this little service (apparently his one mission in the world,
for which Nature gave him bed and board here); and he, the lace
ruffles having gone into his soul, has been tempted into
misdoing it!--Bielfeld and Bielfeld's Book, such as they are,
appear to be the one conquest Friedrich got of Freemasonry;
no other result now traceable to us of that adventure in Korn's
Hotel, crowning event of the Journey to Loo.


Feldmarschall Seckendorf, after unheard-of wrestlings with the
Turk War, and the Vienna War-Office (HOFKRIEGSRATH), is sitting,
for the last three weeks,--where thinks the reader?--in the
Fortress of Gratz among the Hills of Styria; a State-Prisoner, not
likely to get out soon! Seckendorf led forth, in 1737, "such an
Army, for number, spirit and equipment," say the Vienna people,
"as never marched against the Turk before;" and it must be owned,
his ill success has been unparalleled. The blame was not
altogether his; not chiefly his, except for his rash undertaking
of the thing, on such terms as there were. But the truth is, that
first scene we saw of him,--an Army all gone out trumpeting and
drumming into the woods to FIND its Commander-in-Chief,--was an
emblem of the Campaign in general. Excellent Army; but commanded
by nobody in particular; commanded by a HOFKRIEGSRATH at Vienna,
by a Franz Duke of Tuscany, by Feldmarschall Seckendorf, and by
subordinates who were disobedient to him: which accordingly,
almost without help of the Turk and his disorderly ferocity,
rubbed itself to pieces before long. Roamed about, now hither now
thither, with plans laid and then with plans suddenly altered,
Captain being Chaos mainly; in swampy countries, by overflowing
rivers, in hunger, hot weather, forced marches; till it was
marched gradualIy off its feet; and the clouds of chaotic Turks,
who did finally show face, had a cheap pennyworth of it. Never was
such a campaign seen as this of Seckendorf in 1737, said mankind.
Except indeed that the present one, Campaign of 1738, in those
parts, under a different hand, is still worse; and the Campaign of
1739, under still a different, will be worst of all!--Kaiser Karl
and his Austrians do not prosper in this Turk War, as the Russians
do,--who indeed have got a General equal to his task: Munnich, a
famed master in the art of handling Turks and War-Ministries:
real father of Russian Soldiering, say the Russians still.
[See MANNSTEIN for Munnich's plans with the Turk (methods and
devices of steady Discipline in small numbers VERSUS impetuous
Ferocity in great); and Berenhorst ( Betrachtungen uber
die Kriegskunst, Leipzig, 1796), a first-rate
Authority, for examples and eulogies of them.]

Campaign 1737, with clouds of chaotic Turks now sabring on the
skirts of it, had not yet ended, when Seckendorf was called out of
it; on polite pretexts, home to Vienna; and the command given to
another. At the gates of Vienna, in the last days of October,
1737, an Official Person, waiting for the Feldmarschall, was sorry
to inform him, That he, Feldmarschall Seckendorf, was under
arrest; arrest in his own house, in the KOHLMARKT (Cabbage-market
so called), a captain and twelve musketeers to watch over him with
fixed bayonets there; strictly private, till the HOFKRIEGSRATH had
satisfied themselves in a point or two. "Hmph!" snuffled he;
with brow blushing slate-color, I should think, and gray eyes much
alight. And ever since, for ten months or so, Seckendorf, sealed
up in the Cabbage-market, has been fencing for life with the
HOFKRIEGSRATH; who want satisfaction upon "eighty-six" different
"points;" and make no end of chicaning to one's clear answers.
And the Jesuits preach, too: "A Heretic, born enemy of Christ and
his Kaiser; what is the use of questioning!" And the Heathen rage,
and all men gnash their teeth, in this uncomfortable manner.

Answering done, there comes no verdict, much less any acquittal;
the captain and twelve musketeers, three of them with fixed
bayonets in one's very bedroom, continue. One evening, 21st July,
1738, glorious news from the seat of War--not TILL evening, as the
Imperial Majesty was out hunting--enters Vienna; blowing trumpets;
shaking flags: "Grand Victory over the Turks!" so we call some
poor skirmish there has been; and Vienna bursting all into three-
times-three, the populace get very high. Populace rush to the
Kohlmarkt: break the Seckendorf windows; intent to massacre the
Seckendorf; had not fresh military come, who were obliged to fire
and kill one or two. "The house captain and his twelve musketeers,
of themselves, did wonders; Seckendorf and all his domestics were
in arms:" "JARNI-BLEU" for the last time!--This is while the
Crown-Prince is at Wesel; sound asleep, most likely; Loo, and the
Masonic adventure, perhaps twinkling prophetically in his dreams.

At two next morning, an Official Gentleman informs Seckendorf,
That he, for his part, must awaken, and go to Gratz. And in one
hour more (3 A.M.), the Official Gentleman rolls off with him;
drives all day; and delivers his Prisoner at Gratz:--"Not so much
as a room ready there; Prisoner had to wait an hour in the
carriage," till some summary preparation were made. Wall-neighbors
of the poor Feldmarschall, in his Fortress here, were "a GOLD-COOK
(swindling Alchemist), who had gone crazy; and an Irish
Lieutenant, confined thirty-two years for some love-adventure,
likewise pretty crazy; their noises in the night-time much
disturbed the Feldmarschall." [ Seckendorfs Leben, italic> ii. 170-277. See Schmettau,
pp. 27-59.] One human thing there still is in his lot, the
Feldmarschall's old Grafinn. True old Dame, she, both in the
Kohlmarkt and at Gratz, stands by him, "imprisoned along with him"
if it must be so; ministering, comforting, as only a true Wife
can;--and hope has not quite taken wing.

Rough old Feldmarschall; now turned of sixty: never made such a
Campaign before, as this of 1737 followed by 1738! There sits he;
and will not trouble us any more during the present Kaiser's
lifetime. Friedrich Wilhelm is amazed at these sudden cantings of
Fortune's wheel, and grieves honestly as for an old friend:
even the Crown-Prince finds Seckendorf punished unjustly; and is
almost, sorry for him, after all that has come and gone.


We must add the following, distilled from the English Newspapers,
though it is now almost four months after date:--

"LONDON, 1st APRIL, 1738. In the English House of Commons, much
more in the English Public, there has been furious debating for a
fortnight past: Committee of the whole House, examining witnesses,
hearing counsel; subject, the Termagant of Spain, and her West-
Indian procedures;--she, by her procedures somewhere, is always
cutting out work for mankind! How English and other strangers,
fallen-in with in those seas, are treated by the Spaniards,
readers have heard, nay have chanced to see; and it is a fact
painfully known to all nations. Fact which England, for one
nation, can no longer put up with. Walpole and the Official
Persons would fain smooth the matter; but the West-India Interest,
the City, all Mercantile and Navigation Interests are in dead
earnest: Committee of the whole House, 'Presided by Alderman
Perry,' has not ears enough to hear the immensities of evidence
offered; slow Public is gradually kindling to some sense of it.
This had gone on for two weeks, when--what shall we say?--the
EAR OF JENKINS re-emerged for the second time; and produced
important effects!

"Where Jenkins had been all this while,--steadfastly navigating to
and fro, steadfastly eating tough junk with a wetting of rum;
not thinking too much of past labors, yet privately 'always
keeping his lost Ear in cotton' (with a kind of ursine piety, or
other dumb feeling),--no mortal now knows. But to all mortals it
is evident he was home in London at this time; no doubt a noted
member of Wapping society, the much-enduring Jenkins.
And witnesses, probably not one but many, had mentioned him to
this Committee, as a case eminently in point. Committee, as can
still be read in its Rhadamanthine Journals, orders: 'DIE JOVIS,
16* MARTII 1737-1738, That Captain Robert Jenkins do attend this
House immediately;' and then more specially, '17* MARTII" captious
objections having risen in Official quarters, as we guess,--'That
Captain Robert Jenkins do attend upon Tuesday morning next.'
[ Commons Journals, xxiii. (in diebus).]
Tuesday next is 2lst March,--1st of April, 1738, by our modern
Calendar;--and on that day, not adoubt, Jenkins does attend;
narrates that tremendous passage we already heard of, seven years
ago, in the entrance of the Gulf of Florida; and produces his Ear
wrapt in cotton:--setting all on flame (except the Official
persons) at sight of it."

Official persons, as their wont is in the pressure of debate,
endeavored to deny, to insinuate in their vile Newspapers, That
Jenkins lost his Ear nearer home and not for nothing; as one still
reads in the History Books. [Tindal (xx. 372). Coxe, &c.] Sheer
calumnies, we now find. Jenkins's account was doubtless abundantly
emphatic; but there is no ground to question the substantial truth
of him and it. And so, after seven years of unnoticeable burning
upon the thick skin of the English Public, the case of Jenkins
accidentally burns through, and sets England bellowing; such a
smart is there of it,--not to be soothed by Official wet-cloths;
but getting worse and worse, for the nineteen months ensuing.
And in short--But we will not anticipate!

Chapter VI.


The Idyllium of Reinsberg--of which, except in the way of sketchy
suggestion, there can no history be given--lasted less than four
years; and is now coming to an end, unexpectedly soon. A pleasant
Arcadian Summer in one's life;--though it has not wanted its
occasional discords, flaws of ill weather in the general sunshine.
Papa, always in uncertain health of late, is getting heavier of
foot and of heart under his heavy burdens; and sometimes falls
abstruse enough, liable to bewilderments from bad people and
events: not much worth noticing here. [See Pollnitz, ii. 509-515;
Friedrich's Letter to Wilhelmina ("Berlin, 20th January, 1739:" in
OEuvres, xxvii. part 1st, pp. 60, 61); &c.
&c.] But the Crown-Prince has learned to deal with all this; all
this is of transient nature; and a bright long future seems to lie
ahead at Reinsberg;--brightened especially by the Literary
Element; which, in this year of 1739, is brisker than it had ever
been. Distinguished Visitors, of a literary turn, look in at
Reinsberg; the Voltaire Correspondence is very lively;
on Friedrich's part there is copious production, various
enterprise, in the form of prose and verse; thoughts even of going
to press with some of it: in short, the Literary Interest rises
very prominent at Reinsberg in 1739. Biography is apt to forget
the Literature there (having her reasons); but must at last take
some notice of it, among the phenomena of the year.

To the young Prince himself, "courting tranquillity," as his door-
lintel intimated, [ "Frederico tranquillitatem colenti"
(Infra, p. 123).] and forbidden to be active except
within limits, this of Literature was all along the great light of
existence at Reinsberg; the supplement to all other employments
or wants of employment there. To Friedrich himself, in those old
days, a great and supreme interest; while again, to the modern
Biographer of him, it has become dark and vacant; a thing to be
shunned, not sought. So that the fact as it stood with Friedrich
differs far from any description that can be given of the fact.
Alas, we have said already, and the constant truth is, Friedrich's
literatures, his distinguished literary visitors and enterprises,
which were once brand-new and brilliant, have grown old as a
garment, and are a sorrow rather than otherwise to existing
mankind! Conscientious readers, who would represent to themselves
the vanished scene at Reinsberg, in this point more especially,
must make an effort.

As biographical documents, these Poetries and Proses of the young
man give a very pretty testimony of him; but are not of value
otherwise. In fact, they promise, if we look well into them, That
here is probably a practical faculty and intellect of the highest
kind; which again, on the speculative, especially on the poetical
side, will never be considerable, nor has even tried to be so.
This young soul does not deal in meditation at all, and his
tendencies are the reverse of sentimental. Here is no
introspection, morbid or other, no pathos or complaint, no
melodious informing of the public what dreadful emotions you labor
under: here, in rapid prompt form, indicating that it is truth and
not fable, are generous aspirations for the world and yourself,
generous pride, disdain of the ignoble, of the dark, mendacious;--
here, in short, is a swift-handed, valiant, STEEL-bright kind of
soul; very likely for a King's, if other things answer, and not
likely for a Poet's. No doubt he could have made something of
Literature too; could have written Books, and left some stamp of a
veracious, more or less victorious intellect, in that strange
province too. But then he must have applied himself to it, as he
did to reigning: done in the cursory style, we see what it has
come to.

It is certain, Friedrich's reputation suffers, at this day, from
his writing. From his NOT having written nothing, he stands lower
with the world. Which seems hard measure;--though perhaps it is
the law of the case, after all. "Nobody in these days," says my
poor Friend, "has the least notion of the sinful waste there is in
talk, whether by pen or tongue. Better probably that King
Friedrich had written no Verses; nay I know not that David's
Psalms did David's Kingship any good!" Which may be truer than it
seems. Fine aspirations, generous convictions, purposes,--they are
thought very fine: but it is good, on various accounts, to keep
them rather silent; strictly unvocal, except on call of real
business; so dangerous are they for becoming conscious of
themselves! Most things do not ripen at all except underground.
And it is a sad but sure truth, that every time you SPEAK of a
fine purpose, especially if with eloquence and to the admiration
of by-standers, there is the LESS chance of your ever making a
fact of it in your poor life.--If Reinsberg, and its vacancy of
great employment, was the cause of Friedrich's verse-writing, we
will not praise Reinsberg on that head! But the truth is,
Friedrich's verses came from him with uncommon fluency; and were
not a deep matter, but a shallow one, in any sense. Not much more
to him than speaking with a will; than fantasying on the flute in
an animated strain. Ever and anon through his life, on small hint
from without or on great, there was found a certain leakage of
verses, which he was prompt to utter;--and the case at Reinsberg,
or afterwards, is not so serious as we might imagine.


In late months Friedrich had conceived one notable project; which
demands a word in this place. Did modern readers ever hear of
"John Pine, the celebrated English Engraver"? John Pine, a man of
good scholarship, good skill with his burin, did "Tapestries of
the House of Lords," and other things of a celebrated nature,
famous at home and abroad: but his peculiar feat, which had
commended him at Reinsberg, was an Edition of HORACE: exquisite
old FLACCUS brought to perfection, as it were; all done with
vignettes, classical borderings, symbolic marginal ornaments, in
fine taste and accuracy, the Text itself engraved; all by the
exquisite burin of Pine. ["London, 1737" ( Biographie
Universelle, xxxiv. 465).] This Edition had come out
last year, famous over the world; and was by and by, as rumor
bore, to be followed by a VIRGIL done in the like exquisite

The Pine HORACE, part of the Pine VIRGIL too, still exist in the
libraries of the curious; and are doubtless known to the proper
parties, though much forgotten by others of us. To Friedrich,
scanning the Pine phenomenon with interest then brand-new, it
seemed an admirable tribute to classical genius; and the idea
occurred to him, "Is not there, by Heaven's blessing, a living
genius, classical like those antique Romans, and worthy of a like
tribute?" Friedrich's idea was, That Voltaire being clearly the
supreme of Poets, the HENRIADE, his supreme of Poems, ought to be
engraved like FLACCUS; text and all, with vignettes, tail-pieces,
classical borderings beautifully symbolic and exact; by the
exquisite burin of Pine. Which idea the young hero-worshipper, in
spite of his finance-difficulties, had resolved to realize;
and was even now busy with it, since his return from Loo.
"Such beautiful enthusiasm," say some readers; "and in behalf of
that particular demi-god!" Alas, yes; to Friedrich he was the best
demi-god then going; and Friedrich never had any doubt about him.

For the rest, this heroic idea could not realize itself; and we
are happy to have nothing more to do with Pine or the HENRIADE.
Correspondences were entered into with Pine, aud some pains taken:
Pine's high prices were as nothing; but Pine was busy with his
VIRGIL; probably, in fact, had little stomach for the HENRIADE;
"could not for seven years to come enter upon it:" so that the
matter had to die away; and nothing came of it but a small
DISSERTATION, or Introductory Essay, which the Prince had got
ready,--which is still to be found printed in Voltaire's Works
[ OEuvres, xiii. 393-402.] and in Friedrich's, if anybody
now cared much to read it. Preuss says it was finished, "the 10th
August, 1739;" and that minute fact in Chronology, with the above
tale of Hero-worship hanging to it, will suffice my readers
and me.

But there is another literary project on hand, which did take
effect;--much worthy of mention, this year; the whole world having
risen into such a Chorus of TE DEUM at sight of it next year.
In this year falls, what at any rate was a great event to
Friedrich, as literary man: the printing of his first Book,--
assiduous writing of it with an eye to print. The Book is that
"celebrated ANTI-MACHIAVEL," ever-praiseworthy Refutation of
Machiavel's PRINCE; concerning which there are such immensities of
Voltaire Correspondence, now become, like the Book itself, inane
to all readers. This was the chosen soul's employment of
Friedrich, the flower of life to him, at Reinsberg, through the
yea? 1739. It did not actually get to press till Spring 1740;
nor actually come out till Autumn,--by which time a great change
had occurred in Friedrich's title and circumstances: but we may as
well say here what little is to be said of it for modern readers.

"The Crown-Prince, reading this bad Book of Machiavel's, years
ago, had been struck, as all honest souls, especially governors or
apprentices to governing, must be, if they thought of reading such
a thing, with its badness, its falsity, detestability; and came by
degrees, obliquely fishing out Voltaire's opinion as he went
along, on the notion of refuting Machiavel; and did refute him,
the best he could. Set down, namely, his own earnest contradiction
to such ungrounded noxious doctrines; elaborating the same more
and more into clear logical utterance; till it swelled into a
little Volume; which, so excellent was it, so important to
mankind, Voltaire and friends were clear for publishing.
Published accordingly it was; goes through the press next Summer
(1740), under Voltaire's anxious superintendence: [Here, gathered
from Friedrich's Letters to Voltaire, is the Chronology of the
little Enterprise:--
1738, MARCH 21, JUNE 17, "Machiavel a baneful man," thinks
Friedrich. "Ought to be refuted by somebody?" thinks he (date not
1739, MARCH 22, Friedrich thinks of doing it himself. Has done
it, DECEMBER 4;--"a Book which ought to be printed," say Voltaire
and the literary visitors.
1740, APRIL 26, Book given up to Voltaire for printing. Printing
finished; Book appears, "end of SEPTEMBER," when a great change
had occurred in Friedrich's title and position.] for the Prince
has at length consented; and Voltaire hands the Manuscript, with
mystery yet with hints, to a Dutch Bookseller, one Van Duren at
the Hague, who is eager enough to print such an article.
Voltaire himself--such his magnanimous friendship, especially if
one have Dutch Lawsuits, or business of one's own, in those parts
--takes charge of correcting; lodges himself in the 'Old Court'
(Prussian Mansion, called VIEILLE COUR, at the Hague, where
'Luiscius,' figuratively speaking, may 'get an alms' from us);
and therefrom corrects, alters; corresponds with the Prince and
Van Duren, at a great rate. Keeps correcting, altering, till Van
Duren thinks he is spoiling it for sale;--and privately determines
to preserve the original Manuscript, and have an edition of that,
with only such corrections as seem good to Van Duren. A treasonous
step on this mule of a Bookseller's part, thinks Voltaire;
but mulishly persisted in by the man. Endless correspondence, to
right and left, ensues; intolerably wearisome to every reader.
And, in fine, there came out, in Autumn next,"--the Crown-Prince
no longer a Crown-Prince by that time, but shining conspicuous
under Higher Title,--"not one ANTI-MACHIAVEL only, but a couple or
a trio of ANTI-MACHIAVELS; as printed 'at the Hague;' as reprinted
'at London' or elsewhere; the confused Bibliography of which has
now fallen very insignificant. First there was the Voltaire text,
Authorized Edition, 'end of September, 1740;' then came, in few
weeks, the Van Duren one; then, probably, a third, combining the
two, the variations given as foot-notes:--in short, I know not how
many editions, translations, printings and reprintings; all the
world being much taken up with such a message from the upper
regions, and eager to read it in any form.

"As to Friedrich himself, who of course says nothing of the
ANTI-MACHIAVEL in public, he privately, to Voltaire, disowns all
these editions; and intends to give a new one of his own, which
shall be the right article; but never did it, having far other
work cut out for him in the months that came. But how zealous the
worlds humor was in that matter, no modern reader can conceive to
himself. In the frightful Compilation called HELDEN-GESCHICHTE,
which we sometimes cite, there are, excerpted from the then
'Bibliotheques' (NOUVELLE BIBLIOTHEQUE and another; shining
Periodicals of the time, now gone quite dead), two 'reviews' of
the ANTI-MACHIAVEL, which fill modern readers with amazement:
such a DOMINE DIMITTAS chanted over such an article!--These
details, in any other than the Biographical point of view, are now
infinitely unimportant."

Truly, yes! The Crown-Prince's ANTI-MACHIAVEL, final correct
edition (in two forms, Voltaire's as corrected, and the Prince's
own as written), stands now in clear type; [Preuss,
OEuvres de Frederic, viii. 61-163.] and, after all
that jumble of printing and counter-printing, we can any of us
read it in a few hours; but, alas, almost none of us with the
least interest, or, as it were, with any profit whatever.
So different is present tense from past, in all things, especially
in things like these! It is sixscore years since the
ANTI-MACHIAVEL appeared. The spectacle of one who was himself a
King (for the mysterious fact was well known to Van Duren and
everybody) stepping forth to say with conviction, That Kingship
was not a thing of attorney mendacity, to be done under the
patronage of Beelzebub, but of human veracity, to be set about
under quite Other patronage; and that, in fact, a King was the
"born servant of his People" (DOMESTIQUE Friedrich once calls it),
rather than otherwise: this, naturally enough, rose upon the then
populations, unused to such language, like the dawn of a new day;
and was welcomed with such applauses as are now incredible,
after all that has come and gone! Alas, in these sixscore
years, it has been found so easy to profess and speak, even
with sincerity! The actual Hero-Kings were long used to be
silent; and the Sham-Hero kind grow only the more desperate
for us, the more they speak and profess!--This ANTI-MACHIAVEL of
Friedrich's is a clear distinct Treatise; confutes, or at least
heartily contradicts, paragraph by paragraph, the incredible
sophistries of Machiavel. Nay it leaves us, if we sufficiently
force our attention, with the comfortable sense that his Royal
Highness is speaking with conviction, and honestly from the heart,
in the affair: but that is all the conquest we get of it, in these
days. Treatise fallen more extinct to existing mankind it would
not be easy to name.

Perhaps indeed mankind is getting weary of the question
altogether. Machiavel himself one now reads only by compulsion.
"What is the use of arguing with anybody that can believe in
Machiavel?" asks mankind, or might well ask; and, except for
Editorial purposes, eschews any ANTI-MACHIAVEL; impatient to be
rid of bane and antidote both. Truly the world has had a pother
with this little Nicolo Machiavelli and his perverse little Book:
--pity almost that a Friedrich Wilhelm, taking his rounds at that
point of time, had not had the "refuting" of him; Friedrich
Wilhelm's method would have been briefer than Friedrich's! But let
us hope the thing is now, practically, about completed. And as to
the other question, "Was the Signor Nicolo serious in this
perverse little Book; or did he only do it ironically, with a
serious inverse purpose?" we will leave that to be decided, any
time convenient, by people who are much at leisure in the world!--

The printing of the ANTI-MACHIAVEL was not intrinsically momentous
in Friedrich's history; yet it might as well have been dispensed
with. He had here drawn a fine program, and needlessly placarded
it for the street populations: and afterwards there rose, as could
not fail on their part, comparison between program and
performance; scornful cry, chiefly from men of weak judgment,
"Is this King an ANTI-Machiavel, then? Pfui!" Of which,--though
Voltaire's voice, too, was heard in it, in angry moments,--we
shall say nothing: the reader, looking for himself, will judge by
and by. And herewith enough of the ANTI-MACHIAVEL. Composition of
ANTI-MACHIAVEL and speculation of the Pine HENRIADE lasted, both
of them, all through this Year 1739, and farther: from these two
items, not to mention any other, readers can figure sufficiently
how literary a year it was.


In July this year the Crown-Prince went with Papa on the Prussian
Review-journey. ["Set out, 7th July" ( OEuvres, italic> xxvii. part lst, 67 n.).] Such attendance on Review-
journeys, a mark of his being well with Papa, is now becoming
usual; they are agreeable excursions, and cannot but be
instructive as well. On this occasion, things went beautifully
with him. Out in those grassy Countries, in the bright Summer,
once more he had an unusually fine time;--and two very special
pleasures befell him. First was, a sight of the Emigrants, our
Salzburgers and other, in their flourishing condition, over in
Lithuania yonder. Delightful to see how the waste is blossoming up
again; busy men, with their industries, their steady pious
husbandries, making all things green and fruitful: horse-droves,
cattle-herds, waving cornfields;--a very "SCHMALZGRUBE (Butter-
pit)" of those Northern parts, as it is since called. [Busching,
Erdbeschreibung, ii. 1049.] The Crown-Prince's own words on this
matter we will give; they are in a Letter of his to Voltaire,
perhaps already known to some readers;--and we can observe he
writes rather copiously from those localities at present, and in
a cheerful humor with everybody.

"INSTERBURG, 27th JULY, 1739 (Crown-Prince to Voltaire). ...
Prussian Lithuania is a Country a hundred and twenty miles long,
by from sixty to forty broad; ["Miles ENGLISH," we always mean,
UNLESS &c.] it was ravaged by Pestilence at the beginning of this
Century; and they say three hundred thousand people died of
disease and famine." Ravaged by Pestilence and the neglect of King
Friedrich I.; till my Father, once his hands were free, made
personal survey of it, and took it up, in earnest.

"Since that time," say twenty years ago, "there is no expense that
the King has been afraid of, in order to succeed in his salutary
views. He made, in the first place, regulations full of wisdom;
he rebuilt wherever the Pestilence had desolated: thousands of
families, from the ends of Europe," seventeen thousand Salzburgers
for the last item, "were conducted hither; the Country repeopled
itself; trade began to flourish again;--and now, in these fertile
regions, abundance reigns more than it ever did.

"There are above half a million of inhabitants in Lithuania;
there are more towns than there ever were, more flocks than
formerly, more wealth and more productiveness than in any other
part of Germany. And all this that I tell you of is due to the
King alone: who not only gave the orders, but superintended the
execution of them; it was he that devised the plans, and himself
got them carried to fulfilment; and spared neither care nor pains,
nor immense expenditures, nor promises nor recompenses, to secure
happiness and life to this half-million of thinking beings, who
owe to him alone that they have possessions and felicity in
the world.

"I hope this detail does not weary you. I depend on your humanity
extending itself to your Lithuanian brethren, as well as to your
French, English, German, or other,--all the more as, to my great
astonishment, I passed through villages where you hear nothing
spoken but French.--I have found something so heroic, in the
generous and laborious way in which the King addressed himself to
making this desert flourish with inhabitants and happy industries
and fruits, that it seemed to me you would feel the same
sentiments in learning the circumstances of such a
"I daily expect news of you from Enghien [in those Dutch-Lawsuit
Countries]. ... The divine Emilie; ... the Duke [D'Aremberg,
Austrian Soldier, of convivial turn,--remote Welsh-Uncle to a
certain little Prince de Ligne, now spinning tops in those parts;
[Born 23d May, 1735, this latter little Prince; lasted till 13th
December, 1814 ("DANSE, MAIS IL NE MARCHE PAS").] not otherwise
interesting], whom Apollo contends for against Bacchues. ...
Adieu. NE M'OUBLIEZ PAS, MON CHER AMI." [ OEuvres, italic> xxi. 304, 305.]

This is one pleasant scene, to the Crown-Prince and us, in those
grassy localities. And now we have to mention that, about a
fortnight later, at Konigsberg one day, in reference to a certain
Royal Stud or Horse-breeding Establishment in those same
Lithuanian regions, there had a still livelier satisfaction
happened him; satisfaction of a personal and filial nature.
The name of this Royal Stud, inestimable on such ground, is
Trakehnen,--lies south of Tilsit, in an upper valley of the Pregel
river;--very extensive Horse-Establishment, "with seven farms
under it," say the Books, and all "in the most perfect order,"
they need hardly add, Friedrich Wilhelm being master of it.
Well, the Royal Party was at Konigsberg, so far on the road
homewards again from those outlying parts, when Friedrich Wilhelm
said one day to his Son, quite in a cursory manner, "I give thee
that Stud of Trakehnen; thou must go back and look to it;" which
struck Fritz quite dumb at the moment.

For it is worth near upon 2,000 pounds a year (12,000 thalers);
a welcome new item in our impoverished budget; and it is an
undeniable sign of Papa's good-humor with us, which is more
precious still. Fritz made his acknowledgments, eloquent with
looks, eloquent with voice, on coming to himself; and is, in
fact, very proud of his gift, and celebrates it to his Wilhelmina,
to Camas and others who have a right to know such a thing.
Grand useful gift; and handed over by Papa grandly, in three
business words, as if it had been a brace of game: "I give it
thee, Fritz!" A thing not to be forgotten. "At bottom, Friedrich
Wilhelm was not avaricious" (not a miser, only a man grandly
abhorring waste, as the poor vulgar cannot do), "not avaricious,"
says Pollnitz once; "he made munificent gifts, and never thought
of them more." This of Trakehnen,--perhaps there might be a whiff
of coming Fate concerned in it withal: "I shall soon be dead, not
able to give thee anything, poor Fritz!" To the Prince and us it
is very beautiful; a fine effulgence of the inner man of Friedrich
Wilhelm. The Prince returned to Trakehnen, on this glad errand;
settled the business details there; and, after a few days, went
home by a route of his own;--well satisfied with this Prussian-
Review journey, as we may imagine.

++++++SEE EARLIER--- Prussian Review-journey (placing of hyphen)

One sad thing there was, though Friedrich did not yet know how
sad, in this Review-journey: the new fit of illness that overtook
his Majesty. From Pollnitz, who was of the party, we have details
on that head. In his Majesty's last bad illness, five years ago,
when all seemed hopeless, it appears the surgeons had relieved
him,--in fact recovered him, bringing off the bad humors in
quantity,--by an incision in the foot or leg. In the course of the
present fatigues, this old wound broke out again; which of course
stood much in the way of his Majesty; and could not be neglected,
as probably the causes of it were. A regimental surgeon, Pollnitz
says, was called in; who, in two days, healed the wound,--and
declared all to be right again; though in fact, as we may judge,
it was dangerously worse than before. "All well here," writes
Friedrich; "the King has been out of order, but is now entirely
recovered (TOUT A FAIT REMIS)." ["Konigsberg, 30th July, 1739," to
his Wife ( OEuvres, xxvi. 6).]

Much reviewing and heavy business followed at Konigsberg;--gift of
Trakehnen, and departure of the Crown-Prince for Trakehnen,
winding it up. Directly on the heel of which, his Majesty turned
homewards, the Crown-Prince not to meet him till once at Berlin
again. Majesty's first stage was at Pillau, where we have been.
At Pillau, or next day at Dantzig, Pollnitz observed a change in
his Majesty's humor, which had been quite sunshiny all this
journey hitherto. At Dantzig Pollnitz first noticed it; but at
every new stage it grew worse, evil accidents occurring to worsen
it; and at Berlin it was worst of all;--and, alas, his poor
Majesty never recovered his sunshine in this world again! Here is
Pollnitz's account of the journey homewards:--

"Till now," till Pillau and Dantzig, "his Majesty had been in
especially good humor; but in Dantzig his cheerfulness forsook
him;--and it never came back. He arrived about ten at night in
that City [Wednesday, 12th August, or thereby]; slept there;
and was off again next morning at five. He drove only thirty miles
this day; stopped in Lupow [coast road through Pommern], with Herr
von Grumkow [the late Grumkow's Brother], Kammer President in this
Pommern Province. From Lupow he went to a poor Village near
Belgard, EIGHTY miles farther;"--last village on the great road,
Belgard lying to left a little, on a side road;--"and stayed
there overnight.

"At Belgard, next morning, he reviewed the Dragoon Regiment von
Platen; and was very ill content with it. And nobody, with the
least understanding of that business, but must own that never did
Prussian Regiment manoeuvre worse. Conscious themselves how bad it
was, they lost head, and got into open confusion. The King did all
that was possible to help them into order again. He withdrew
thrice over, to give the Officers time to recover themselves;
but it was all in vain. The King, contrary to wont, restrained
himself amazingly, and would not show his displeasure in public.
He got into his carriage, and drove away with the Furst of
Anhalt," Old Dessauer, "and Von Winterfeld," Captain in the Giant
Regiment, "who is now Major-General von Winterfeld; [Major-General
since 1743, of high fame; fell in fight, 7th September, 1757.] not
staying to dine with General von Platen, as was always his custom
with Commandants whom he had reviewed. He bade Prince Wilhelm and
the rest of us stay and dine; he himself drove away,"--towards the
great road again, and some uncertain lodging there.

"We stayed accordingly; and did full justice to the good cheer,"--
though poor Platen would certainly look flustered, one may fancy.
"But as the Prince was anxious to come up with his Majesty again,
and knew not where he would meet him, we had to be very swift with
the business.

"We found the King with Anhalt and Winterfeld, by and by; sitting
in a village, in front of a barn, and eating a cold pie there,
which the Furst of Anhalt had chanced to have with him; his
Majesty, owing to what he had seen on the parade-ground, was in
the utmost ill-humor (HOCHST UBLER LAUNE). Next day, Saturday, he
went a hundred and fifty or two hundred miles; and arrived in
Berlin at ten at night. Not expected there till the morrow; so
that his rooms were locked,--her Majesty being over in Monbijou,
giving her children a Ball;" [Pollnitz, ii. 534-537.]--and we can
fancy what a frame of mind there was!

Nobody, not at first even the Doctors, much heeded this new fit of
illness; which went and came: "changed temper," deeper or less
deep gloom of "bad humor," being the main phenomenon to by-
standers. But the sad truth was, his Majesty never did recover his
sunshine; from Pillau onwards he was slowly entering into the
shadows of the total Last Eclipse; and his journeyings and
reviewings in this world were all done. Ten months hence, Pollnitz
and others knew better what it had been!--

Chapter VII.


Friedrich had not been long home again from Trakehnen and
Preussen, when the routine of things at Reinsberg was illuminated
by Visitors, of brilliant and learned quality; some of whom, a
certain Signor Algarotti for one, require passing mention here.
Algarotti, who became a permanent friend or satellite, very
luminous to the Prince, and was much about him in coming years,
first shone out upon the scene at this time,--coming unexpectedly,
and from the Eastward as it chanced.

On his own score, Algarotti has become a wearisome literary man to
modern readers: one of those half-remembered men; whose books seem
to claim a reading, and do not repay it you when given. Treatises,
of a serious nature, ON THE OPERA; setting forth, in earnest, the
potential "moral uses" of the Opera, and dedicated to Chatham;
Neutonianismo per le Donne (Astronomy for
Ladies): the mere Titles of such things are fatally sufficient to
us; and we cannot, without effort, nor with it, recall the
brilliancy of Algarotti and them to his contemporary world.

Algarotti was a rich Venetian Merchant's Son, precisely about the
Crown-Prince's age; shone greatly in his studies at Bologna and
elsewhere; had written Poesies (RIME); written especially that
Newtonianism for the Dames (equal to
Fontenelle, said Fame, and orthodox Newtonian withal, not
heterodox or Cartesian); and had shone, respected, at Paris, on
the strength of it, for three or four years past: friend of
Voltaire in consequence, of Voltaire and his divine Emilie, and a
welcome guest at Cirey; friend of the cultivated world generally,
which was then laboring, divine Emilie in the van of it, to
understand Newton and be orthodox in this department of things.
Algarotti did fine Poesies, too, once and again; did Classical
Scholarships, and much else: everywhere a clear-headed,
methodically distinct, concise kind of man. A high style of
breeding about him, too; had powers of pleasing, and used them:
a man beautifully lucent in society, gentle yet impregnable there;
keeping himself unspotted from the world and its discrepancies,--
really with considerable prudence, first and last.

He is somewhat of the Bielfeld type; a Merchant's Son, we observe,
like Bielfeld; but a Venetian Merchant's, not a Hamburg's; and
also of better natural stuff than Bielfeld. Concentrated himself
upon his task with more seriousness, and made a higher thing of it
than Bielfeld; though, after all, it was the same task the two
had. Alas, our "Swan of Padua" (so they sometimes called him) only
sailed, paddling grandly, no-whither,--as the Swan-Goose of the
Elbe did, in a less stately manner! One cannot well bear to read
his Books. There is no light upon Friedrich to tempt us;
better light than Bielfeld's there could have been, and much of
it: but he prudently, as well as proudly, forbore such topics.
He approaches very near fertility and geniality in his writings,
but never reaches it. Dilettantism become serious and strenuous,
in those departments--Well, it was beautiful to young Friedrich
and the world at that time, though it is not to us!--Young
Algarotti, twenty-seven this year, has been touring about as a
celebrity these four years past, on the strength of his fine
manners and Newtonianism for the Dames.

It was under escort of Baltimore, "an English Milord," recommended
from Potsdam itself, that Algarotti came to Reinsberg; the Signor
had much to do with English people now and after. Where Baltimore
first picked him up, I know not: but they have been to Russia
together; Baltimore by twelve years the elder of the two: and now,
getting home towards England again, they call at Reinsberg in the
fine Autumn weather;--and considerably captivate the Crown-Prince,
Baltimore playing chief, in that as in other points. The visit
lasted five days: [20th-25th September, 1739 ( OEuvres de
Frederic, xiv. p. xiv).] there was copious speech on
many things;--discussion about Printing of the ANTI MACHIAVEL;
Algarotti to get it printed in England, Algarotti to get Pine and
his Engraved HENRIADE put under way; neither of which projects
took effect;--readers can conceive what a charming five days these
were. Here, in the Crown-Prince's own words, are some brief
glimmerings which will suffice us:--

REINSBERG, 25th SEPT. 1739 (Crown-Prince to Papa). ... that
"nothing new has occurred in the Regiment, and we have few sick.
Here has the English Milord, who was at Potsdam, passing through
[stayed five days, though we call it passing, and suppress the
Algarotti, Baltimore being indeed chief]. He is gone towards
Hamburg, to take ship for England there. As I heard that my Most
All-gracious Father wished I should show him courtesy, I have done
for him what I could. The Prince of Mirow has also been here,"--
our old Strelitz friend. Of Baltimore nothing more to Papa. But to
another Correspondent, to the good Suhm (who is now at Petersburg,
and much in our intimacy, ready to transact loans for us,
translate Wolf, or do what is wanted), there is this passage
next day:--

REINSBERG, 26th SEPTEMBER, 1739 (to Suhm). "We have had Milord
Baltimore here, and the young Algarotti; both of them men who, by
their accomplishments, cannot but conciliate the esteem and
consideration of all who see them. We talked much of you [Suhm],
of Philosophy, of Science, Art; in short, of all that can be
included in the taste of cultivated people (HONNETES GENS)."
[ OEuvres de Frederic, xvi. 378.] And again
to another, about two weeks hence:--

REINSBERG, 10th OCTOBER, 1739 (to Voltaire). "We have had Milord
Baltimore and Algarotti here, who are going back to England.
This Milord is a very sensible man (HOMME TRESSENSE);
who possesses a great deal of knowledge, and thinks, like us, that
sciences can be no disparagement to nobility, nor degrade an
illustrious rank. I admired the genius of this ANGLAIS, as one
does a fine face through a crape veil. He speaks French very ill,
yet one likes to hear him speak it; and as for his English, he
pronounces it so quick, there is no possibility of following him.
He calls a Russian 'a mechanical animal.' He says 'Petersburg is
the eye of Russia, with which it keeps civilized countries in
sight; if you took this eye from it, Russia would fall again into
barbarism, out of which it is just struggling.' [Ib. xxi. 326,
327.] ... Young Algarotti, whom you know, pleased me beyond
measure. He promised that he"--But Baltimore, promise or not, is
the chief figure at present.

Evidently an original kind of figure to us, CET ANGLAIS.
And indeed there is already finished a rhymed EPISTLE to
Baltimore; Epitre sur la Liberte (copy goes
in that same LETTER, for Voltaire's behoof), which dates itself
likewise October 10th; beginning,--
"L'esprit libre, Milord, qui regne en Angleterre,"

which, though it is full of fine sincere sentiments, about human
dignity, papal superstition, Newton, Locke, and aspirations for
progress of culture in Prussia, no reader could stand at
this epoch.

What Baltimore said in answer to the EPITRE, we do not know;
probably not much: it does not appear he ever saw or spoke to
Friedrich a second time. Three weeks after, Friedrich writing to
Algarotti, has these words: "I pray you make my friendships to
Milord Baltimore, whose character and manner of thinking I truly
esteem. I hope he has, by this time, got my EPITRE on the English
Liberty of Thought." [29th October 1739, To Algarotti in London
( OEuvres, xviii. 5).] And so Baltimore
passes on, silent in History henceforth,--though Friedrich seems
to have remembered him to late times, as a kind of type-figure
when England came into his head. For the sake of this small
transit over the sun's disk, I have made some inquiry about
Baltimore; but found very little;--perhaps enough:--

"He was Charles, Sixth Lord Baltimore, it appears; Sixth, and last
but one. First of the Baltimores, we know, was Secretary Calvert
(1618-1624), who colonized Maryland; last of them (1774) was the
Son of this Charles; something of a fool, to judge by the face of
him in Portraits, and by some of his doings in the world. He, that
Seventh Baltimore, printed one or two little Volumes "now of
extreme rarity"--cannot be too rare); and winded up by standing an
ugly Trial at Kingston Assizes (plaintiff an unfortunate female).
After which he retired to Naples, and there ended, 1774, the last
of these Milords. [Walpole (by Park), Catalogue of Royal
and Noble Authors (London, 1806), v. 278.]

"He of the Kingston Assizes, we say, was not this Charles; but his
Son, whom let the reader forget. Charles, age forty at this time,
had travelled about the Continent a good deal: once, long ago, we
imagined we had got a glimpse of him (but it was a guess merely)
lounging about Luneville and Lorraine, along with Lyttelton, in
the Congress-of-Soissons time? Not long after that, it is certain
enough, he got appointed a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Prince
Fred; who was a friend of speculative talkers and cultivated
people. In which situation Charles Sixth Baron Baltimore continued
all his days after; and might have risen by means of Fred, as he
was anxious enough to do, had both of them lived; but they both
died; Baltimore first, in 1751, a year before Fred. Bubb
Doddington, diligent laborer in the same Fred vineyard, was much
infested by this Baltimore,--who, drunk or sober (for he
occasionally gets into liquor), is always putting out Bubb, and
stands too well with our Royal Master, one secretly fears!
Baltimore's finances, I can guess, were not in too good order;
mostly an Absentee; Irish Estates not managed in the first style,
while one is busy in the Fred vineyard! 'The best and honestest
man in the world, with a good deal of jumbled knowledge,' Walpole
calls him once: 'but not capable of conducting a party.'"
[Walpole's Letters to Mann (London, 1843),
ii. 175; 27th January, 1747. See ib. i. 82.] Oh no;--and died, at
any rate, Spring 1751: [ Peerage of Ireland
(London, 1768), ii. 172-174.] and we will not mention him farther.


Directly on the rear of these fine visitors, came, by invitation,
a pair of the Korn's-Hotel people; Masonic friends; one of whom
was Bielfeld, whose dainty Installation Speech and ways of
procedure had been of promise to the Prince on that occasion.
"Baron von Oberg" was the other:--Hanoverian Baron: the same who
went into the Wars, and was a "General von Oberg" twenty years
hence? The same or another, it does not much concern us. Nor does
the visit much, or at all; except that Bielfeld, being of writing
nature, professes to give ocular account of it. Honest transcript
of what a human creature actually saw at Reinsberg, and in the
Berlin environment at that date, would have had a value to
mankind: but Bielfeld has adopted the fictitious form; and pretty
much ruined for us any transcript there is. Exaggeration,
gesticulation, fantastic uncertainty afflict the reader;
and prevent comfortable belief, except where there is other
evidence than Bielfeld's.

At Berlin the beautiful straight streets, Linden Avenues (perhaps
a better sample than those of our day), were notable to Bielfeld;
bridges, statues very fine; grand esplanades, and such military
drilling and parading as was never seen. He had dinner-
invitations, too, in quantity; likes this one and that (all in
prudent asterisks),---likes Truchsess von Waldburg very much, and
his strange mode of bachelor housekeeping, and the way he dines
and talks among his fellow-creatures, or sits studious among his
Military Books and Paper-litters. But all is loose far-off
sketching, in the style of Anacharsis the Younger; italic> and makes no solid impression.

Getting to Reinsberg, to the Town, to the Schloss, he crosses the
esplanade, the moat; sees what we know, beautiful square Mansion
among its woods and waters;--and almost nothing that we do not
know, except the way the moat-bridge is lighted: "Bridge
furnished," he says, "with seven Statues representing the seven
Planets, each holding in her hand a glass lamp in the form of a
globe;"--which is a pretty object in the night-time. The House is
now finished; Knobelsdorf rejoicing in his success; Pesne and
others giving the last touch to some ceilings of a sublime nature.
On the lintel of the gate is inscribed FREDERICO TRANQUILLITATEM
COLENTI (To Friedrich courting Tranquillity). The gardens, walks,
hermitages, grottos, are very spacious, fine: not yet completed,--
perhaps will never be. A Temple of Bacchus is just now on hand,
somewhere in those labyrinthic woods: "twelve gigantic Satyrs as
caryatides, crowned by an inverted Punch-bowl for dome;" that is
the ingenious Knobelsdorf's idea, pleasant to the mind.
Knobelsdorf is of austere aspect; austere, yet benevolent and full
of honest sagacity; the very picture of sound sense, thinks
Bielfeld. M. Jordan is handsome, though of small stature;
agreeable expression of face; eye extremely vivid; brown
complexion, bushy eyebrows as well as beard are black. [Bielfeld
(abridged), i. 45.]

Or did the reader ever hear of "M. Fredersdorf," Head Valet at
this time? Fredersdorf will become, as it were, Privy-Purse,
House-Friend, and domestic Factotum, and play a great part in
coming years. "A tall handsome man;" much "silent sense, civility,
dexterity;" something "magnificently clever in him," thinks
Bielfeld (now, or else twenty years afterwards); whom we can
believe. [Ib. p. 49.] He was a gift from General Schwerin, this
Fredersdorf; once a Private in Schwerin's regiment, at Frankfurt-
on-Oder,--excellent on the flute, for one quality. Schwerin, who
had an eye for men, sent him to Friedrich, in the Custrin time;
hoping he might suit in fluting and otherwise. Which he
conspicuously did. Bielfeld's account, we must candidly say,
appears to be an afterthought; but readers can make their profit
of it, all the same.

As to the Crown-Prince and Princess, words fail to express their
gracious perfections, their affabilities, polite ingenuities:--
Bielfeld's words do give us some pleasant shadowy conceivability
of the Crown-Princess:--

"Tall, and perfect in shape; bust such as a sculptor might copy;
complexion of the finest; features ditto; nose, I confess,
smallish and pointed, but excellent of that kind; hair of the
supremest flaxen, 'shining' like a flood of sunbeams, when the
powder is off it. A humane ingenuous Princess; little negligences
in toilet or the like, if such occur, even these set her off, so
ingenuous are they. Speaks little; but always to the purpose, in a
simple, cheerful and wise way. Dances beautifully; heart (her
soubrette assures me) is heavenly;--and 'perhaps no Princess
living has a finer set of diaonds.'"

Of the Crown-Princess there is some pleasant shadow traced as on
cobweb, to this effect. But of the Crown-Prince there is no
forming the least conception from what he says:--this is mere
cobweb with Nothing elaborately painted on it. Nor do the
portraits of the others attract by their verisimilitude. Here is
Colonel Keyserling, for instance; the witty Courlander, famous
enough in the Friedrich circle; who went on embassy to Cirey, and
much else: he "whirls in with uproar (FRACAS) like Boreas in the
Ballet;" fowling-piece on shoulder, and in his "dressing-gown"
withal, which is still stranger; snatches off Bielfeld, unknown
till that moment, to sit by him while dressing; and there, with
much capering, pirouetting, and indeed almost ground-and-lofty
tumbling, for accompaniment, "talks of Horses, Mathematics,
Painting, Architecture, Literature, and the Art of War," while he
dresses. This gentleman was once Colonel in Friedrich Wilhelm's
Army; is now fairly turned of forty, and has been in troubles:
we hope he is not LIKE in the Bielfeld Portrait;--otherwise, how
happy that we never had the honor of knowing him! Indeed, the
Crown-Prince's Household generally, as Bielfeld paints it in
flourishes of panegyric, is but unattractive; barren to the modern
on-looker; partly the Painter's blame, we doubt not. He gives
details about their mode of dining, taking coffee, doing concert;
--and describes once an incidental drinking-bout got up
aforethought by the Prince; which is probably in good part
fiction, though not ill done. These fantastic sketchings,
rigorously winnowed into the credible and actual, leave no great
residue in that kind; but what little they do leave is of
favorable and pleasant nature.

Bielfeld made a visit privately to Potsdam, too: saw the Giants
drill; made acquaintance with important Captains of theirs (all in
ASTERISKS) at Potsdam; with whom he dined, not in a too credible
manner, and even danced. Among the asterisks, we easily pick out
Captain Wartensleben (of the Korn's-Hotel operation), and
Winterfeld, a still more important Captain, whom we saw dining on
cold pie with his Majesty, at a barn-door in Pommern, not long
since. Of the Giants, or their life at Potsdam, Bielfeld's word is
not worth hearing,--worth suppressing rather; his knowledge being
so small, and hung forth in so fantastic a way. This transient
sight he had of his Majesty in person; this, which is worth
something to us,--fact being evidently lodged in it, "After
church-parade," Autumn Sunday afternoon (day uncertain, Bielfeld's
date being fictitious, and even impossible), Majesty drove out to
Wusterhausen, "where the quantities of game surpass all belief;"
and Bielfeld had one glimpse of him:--

"I saw his Majesty only, as it were, in passing. If I may judge by
his Portraits, he must have been of a perfect beauty in his young
time; but it must be confessed there is nothing left of it now.
His eyes truly are fine; but the glance of them is terrible:
his complexion is composed of the strongest tints of red, blue,
yellow, green,"--not a lovely complexion at all; "big head; the
thick neck sunk between the shoulders; figure short and heavy
(COURTE ET RAMASSEE)." [Bielfeld, p. 35.]

"Going out to Wusterhausen," then, that afternoon, "October,
1739." How his Majesty is crushed down; quite bulged out of shape
in that sad way, by the weight of time and its pressures:
his thoughts, too, most likely, of a heavy-laden and abstruse
nature! The old Pfalz Controversy has misgone with him: Pfalz, and
so much else in the world;--the world in whole, probably enough,
near ending to him; the final shadows, sombre, grand and mournful,
closing in upon him!


Last news come to Potsdam in these days is, The Kaiser has ended
his disastrous Turk War; been obliged to end it; sudden downbreak,
and as it were panic terror, having at last come upon his
unfortunate Generals in those parts. Duke Franz was passionate to
be out of such a thing; Franz, General Neipperg and others;
and now, "2d September, 1739," like lodgers leaping from a burning
house, they are out of it. The Turk gets Belgrade itself, not to
mention wide territories farther east,--Belgrade without shot
fired;--nay the Turk was hardly to be kept from hanging the
Imperial Messenger (a General Neipperg, Duke Franz's old Tutor,
and chief Confidant, whom we shall hear more of elsewhere), whose
passport was not quite right on this occasion!--Never was a more
disgraceful Peace. But also never had been worse fighting;
planless, changeful, powerless, melting into futility at every
step:--not to be mended by imprisonments in Gratz, and still
harsher treatment of individuals. "Has all success forsaken me,
then, since Eugene died?" said the Kaiser; and snatched at this
Turk Peace; glad to have it, by mediation of France, and on
any terms.

Has not this Kaiser lost his outlying properties at a fearful
rate? Naples is gone; Spanish Bourbon sits in our Naples;
comparatively little left for us in Italy. And now the very Turk
has beaten us small; insolently fillips the Imperial nose of us,--
threatening to hang our Neipperg, and the like. Were it not for
Anne of Russia, whose big horse-whip falls heavy on this Turk, he
might almost get to Vienna again, for anything we could do!
A Kaiser worthy to be pitied;--whom Friedrich Wilhelm, we
perceive, does honestly pity. A Kaiser much beggared, much
disgraced, in late years; who has played a huge life-game so long,
diplomatizing, warring; and, except the Shadow of Pragmatic
Sanction, has nothing to retire upon.

The Russians protested, with astonishment, against such Turk Peace
on the Kaiser's part. But there was no help for it. One ally is
gone, the Kaiser has let go this Western skirt of the Turk;
and "Thamas Kouli Khan" (called also Nadir Shah, famed Oriental
slasher and slayer of that time) no longer stands upon the Eastern
skirt, but "has entered India," it appears: the Russians--their
cash, too, running low--do themselves make peace, "about a month
after;" restoring Azoph and nearly all their conquests; putting
off the ruin of the Turk till a better time.

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest