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Title: History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Appendix
Author: Carlyle, Thomas, 1795-1881
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Appendix" ***

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By Thomas Carlyle


This Piece, it would seem, was translated sixteen years ago; some four
or five years before any part of the present HISTORY OF FRIEDRICH got to
paper. The intercalated bits of Commentary were, as is evident, all
or mostly written at the same time:--these also, though they are now
become, in parts, SUPERFLUOUS to a reader that has been diligent, I have
not thought of changing, where not compelled. Here and there, especially
in the Introductory Part, some slight additions have crept in;--which
the above kind of reader will possibly enough detect; and may even have,
for friendly reasons, some vestige of interest in assigning to their new
date and comparing with the old. (NOTE OF 1868.)

A DAY WITH FRIEDRICH.--(23d July, 1779.)

"OBERAMTMANN (Head-Manager) Fromme" was a sister's son of Poet,
Gleim,--Gleim Canon of Halberstadt, who wrote Prussian "grenadier-songs"
in, or in reference to, the Seven-Years War, songs still printed, but
worth little; who begged once, after Friedrich's death, an OLD HAT of
his, and took it with him to Halberstadt (where I hope it still is); who
had a "Temple-of-Honor," or little Garden-house so named, with Portraits
of his Friends hung in it; who put Jean Paul VERY SOON there, with a
great explosion of praises; and who, in short, seems to have been a
very good effervescent creature, at last rather wealthy too, and able
to effervesce with some comfort;--Oberamtmann Fromme, I say, was
this Gleim's Nephew; and stood as a kind of Royal Land-Bailiff under
Frederick the Great, in a tract of country called the RHYN-LUCH (a
dreadfully moory country of sands and quagmires, all green and fertile
now, some twenty or thirty miles northwest of Berlin); busy there
in 1779, and had been for some years past. He had originally been an
Officer of the Artillery; but obtained his discharge in 1769, and got,
before long, into this employment. A man of excellent disposition and
temper; with a solid and heavy stroke of work in him, whatever he might
be set to; and who in this OBERAMTMANNSHIP "became highly esteemed."
He died in 1798; and has left sons (now perhaps grandsons or
great-grandsons), who continue estimable in like situations under the
Prussian Government.

One of Fromme's useful gifts, the usefulest of all for us at present,
was "his wonderful talent of exact memory." He could remember to a
singular extent; and, we will hope, on this occasion, was unusually
conscientious to do it. For it so happened, in July, 1779 (23d July),
Friedrich, just home from his troublesome Bavarian War, [Had arrived
at Berlin May 27th (Rodenbeck, iii. 201).] and again looking into
everything with his own eyes, determined to have a personal view of
those Moor Regions of Fromme's; to take a day's driving through that
RHYN-LUCH which had cost him so much effort and outlay; and he ordered
Fromme to attend him in the expedition. Which took effect accordingly;
Fromme riding swiftly at the left wheel of Friedrich's carriage, and
loudly answering questions of his, all day.--Directly on getting home,
Fromme consulted his excellent memory, and wrote down everything; a
considerable Paper,--of which you shall now have an exact Translation,
if it be worth anything. Fromme gave the Paper to Uncle Gleim; who, in
his enthusiasm, showed it extensively about, and so soon as there was
liberty, had it "printed, at his own expense, for the benefit of poor
soldiers' children." ["Gleim's edition, brought out in 1786, the year of
Friedrich's death, is now quite gone,--the Book undiscoverable. But the
Paper was reprinted in an ANEKDOTEN-SAMMLUNG (Collection of Anecdotes,
Berlin, 1787, 8tes STUCK, where I discover it yesterday (17th July,
1852) in a copy of mine, much to my surprise; having before met with it
in one Hildebrandt's ANEKDOTEN-SAMMLUNG (Halberstadt, 1830, 4tes STUCK,
a rather slovenly Book), where it is given out as one of the rarest
of all rarities, and as having been specially 'furnished by a Dr. W.
Korte,' being unattainable otherwise! The two copies differ slightly
here and there,--not always to Dr. Korte's advantage, or rather hardly
ever. I keep them both before me in translating" (MARGINALE OF 1852)].

"The RHYN" or Rhin, is a little river, which, near its higher clearer
sources, we were all once well acquainted with: considerable little
moorland river, with several branches coming down from Ruppin Country,
and certain lakes and plashes there, in a southwest direction, towards
the Elbe valley, towards the Havel Stream; into which latter, through
another plash or lake called GULPER SEE, and a few miles farther, into
the Elbe itself, it conveys, after a course of say 50 English miles
circuitously southwest, the black drainings of those dreary and
intricate Peatbog-and-Sand countries. "LUCH," it appears, signifies
LOCH (or Hole, Hollow); and "Rhyn-Luch" will mean, to Prussian ears, the
Peatbog Quagmire drained by the RHYN.--New Ruppin, where this beautiful
black Stream first becomes considerable, and of steadily black
complexion, lies between 40 and 50 miles northwest of Berlin. Ten or
twelve miles farther north is REINSBERG (properly RHYNSBERG), where
Friedrich as Crown-Prince lived his happiest few years. The details of
which were familiar to us long ago,--and no doubt dwell clear and soft,
in their appropriate "pale moonlight," in Friedrich's memory on this
occasion. Some time after his Accession, he gave the place to Prince
Henri, who lived there till 1802. It is now fallen all dim; and there is
nothing at New Ruppin but a remembrance.

To the hither edge of this Rhyn-Luoh, from Berlin, I guess there may be
five-and-twenty miles, in a northwest direction; from Potsdam, whence
Friedrich starts to-day, about, the same distance north-by-west; "at
Seelenhorst," where Fromme waits him, Friedrich has already had 30 miles
of driving,--rate 10 miles an hour, as we chance to observe. Notable
things, besides the Spade-husbandries he is intent on, solicit his
remembrance in this region. Of Freisack and "Heavy-Peg" with her
didactic batterings there, I suppose he, in those fixed times, knows
nothing, probably has never heard: Freisack is on a branch of this same
Rhyn, and he might see it, to left a mile or two, if he cared.

But Fehrbellin ("Ferry of BellEEN"), distinguished by the shining
victory which "the Great Elector," Friedrich's Great-Grandfather,
gained there, over the Swedes, in 1675, stands on the Rhyn itself, about
midway; and Friedrich will pass through it on this occasion. General
Ziethen, too, lives near it at Wusterau (as will be seen): "Old
Ziethen," a little stumpy man, with hanging brows and thick pouting
lips; unbeautiful to look upon, but pious, wise, silent, and with
a terrible blaze of fighting-talent in him; full of obedience, of
endurance, and yet of unsubduable "silent rage" (which has brooked even
the vocal rage of Friedrich, on occasion); a really curious old Hussar
General. He is now a kind of mythical or demigod personage among the
Prussians; and was then (1779), and ever after the Seven-Years
War, regarded popularly as their Ajax (with a dash of the Ulysses
superadded),--Seidlitz, another Horse General, being the Achilles of
that service.

The date of this drive through the moors being "23d July, 1779," we
perceive it is just about two months since Friedrich got home from
the Bavarian War (what they now call "POTATO WAR," so barren was it in
fighting, so ripe in foraging); victorious in a sort;--and that in his
private thought, among the big troubles of the world on both sides of
the Atlantic, the infinitesimally small business of the MILLER ARNOLD'S
LAWSUIT is beginning to rise now and then. [Supra 415, 429. Preuss, i.
362; &c. &c.]

Friedrich is now 67 years old; has reigned 39: the Seven-Years War is
16 years behind us; ever since which time Friedrich has been an "old
man,"--having returned home from it with his cheeks all wrinkled, his
temples white, and other marks of decay, at the age of 51. The "wounds
of that terrible business," as they say, "are now all healed," perhaps
above 100,000 burnt houses and huts rebuilt, for one thing; and the
"ALTE FRITZ," still brisk and wiry, has been and is an unweariedly busy
man in that affair, among others. What bogs he has tapped and
dried, what canals he has dug, and stubborn strata he has bored
through,--assisted by his Prussian Brindley (one Brenkenhof, once a
Stable-boy at Dessau);--and ever planting "Colonies" on the
reclaimed land, and watching how they get on! As we shall see on this
occasion,--to which let us hasten (as to a feast not of dainties, but of
honest SAUERKRAUT and wholesome herbs), without farther parley.

Oberamtmann Fromme (whom I mark "Ich") LOQUITUR: "Major-General Graf von
Gortz," whom Fromme keeps strictly mute all day, is a distinguished man,
of many military and other experiences; much about Friedrich in this
time and onwards. [Supra, 399.] Introduces strangers, &c.; Bouille took
him for "Head Chamberlain," four or five years after this. He is ten
years the King's junior; a Hessian gentleman;--eldest Brother of the
Envoy Gortz who in his cloak of darkness did such diplomacies in the
Bavarian matter, January gone a year, and who is a rising man in that
line ever since. But let Fromme begin:--[_Anekdoten und Karakterzuge aus
dem Leben Friedrich des Zweyten_ (Berlin, bei Johann Friedrich Unger,
1787), 8te Sammlung, ss. 15-79.]

"On the 23d of July, 1779, it pleased his Majesty the King to undertake
a journey to inspect those" mud "Colonies in the Rhyn-Luch about
Neustadt-on-the-Dosse, which his Majesty, at his own cost, had settled;
thereby reclaiming a tract of waste moor (EINEN ODEN BRUCH URBAR MACHEN)
into arability, where now 308 families have their living.

"His Majesty set off from Potsdam about 5 in the morning," in an open
carriage, General von Gortz along with him, and horses from his own
post-stations; "travelled over Ferlaudt, Tirotz, Wustermark, Nauen,
Konigshorst, Seelenhorst, Dechau, Fehrbellin," [See Reimann's
KREIS-KARTEN, Nos. 74,73.] and twelve other small peat villages, looking
all their brightest in the morning sun,--"to the hills at Stollen, where
his Majesty, because a view of all the Colonies could be had from those
hills, was pleased to get out for a little," as will afterwards be
seen.--"Therefrom the journey went by Hohen-Nauen to Rathenau:" a
civilized place, "where his Majesty arrived about 3 in the afternoon;
and there dined, and passed the night.--Next morning, about 6, his
Majesty continued his drive into the Magdeburg region; inspected various
reclaimed moors (BRUCHE), which in part are already made arable, and in
part are being made so; came, in the afternoon, about 4, over Ziesar and
Brandenburg, back to Potsdam,--and did not dine till about 4, when he
arrived there, and had finished the Journey." His usual dinner-hour is
12; the STATE hour, on gala days when company has been invited, is
1 P.M.,--and he always likes his dinner; and has it of a hot peppery

"Till Seelenhorst, the Amtsrath Sach of Konigshorst had ridden before
his Majesty; but here," at the border of my Fehrbellin district, where
with one of his forest-men I was in waiting by appointment, "the turn
came for me. About 8 o'clock A.M. his Majesty arrived in Seelenhorst;
had the Herr General Graf von Gortz in the carriage with him," Gortz,
we need n't say, sitting back foremost:--here I, Fromme, with my woodman
was respectfully in readiness. "While the horses were changing, his
Majesty spoke with some of the Ziethen Hussar-Officers, who were upon
grazing service in the adjoining villages [all Friedrich's cavalry went
out to GRASS during certain months of the year; and it was a LAND-TAX
on every district to keep its quota of army-horses in this manner,--AUF
GRASUNG]; and of me his Majesty as yet took no notice. As the DAMME,"
Dams or Raised Roads through the Peat-bog, "are too narrow hereabouts, I
could not, ride beside him," and so went before? or BEHIND, with woodman
before? GOTT WEISS!" In Dechau his Majesty got sight of Rittmeister von
Ziethen," old Ajax Ziethen's son, "to whom Dechau belongs; and took
him into the carriage along with him, till the point where the Dechau
boundary is. Here there was again change of horses. Captain von
Rathenow, an old favorite of the King's, to whom the property of
Karvesee in part belongs, happened to be here with his family; he now
went forward to the carriage:--

CAPTAIN VON RATHENOW. "'Humblest servant, your Majesty!'
[UNTERTHANIGSTER KNECHT, different from the form of ending letters, but
really of the same import].

KING. "'Who are you?'

CAPTAIN. "'I am Captain von Rathenow from Karvesee.'

KING (clapping his hands together). "'Mein Gott, dear Rathenow, are you
still alive! ["LEBT ER NOCH, is HE still alive?"--way of speaking to
one palpably your inferior, scarcely now in use even to servants; which
Friedrich uses ALWAYS in speaking to the highest uncrowned persons:
it gives a strange dash of comic emphasis often in his German talk:] I
thought you were long since dead. How goes it with you 7 Are you whole
and well?"

CAPTAIN. "'O ja, your Majesty.'

KING. "'Mein Gott, how fat He has (you are) grown!'

CAPTAIN. "'Ja, your Majesty, I can still eat and drink; only the feet
get lazy' [won't go so well, WOLLEN NICHT FORT].

KING. "'Ja! that is so with me too. Are you married?'

CAPTAIN. "'Yea, your Majesty.'

KING. "'Is your wife among the ladies yonder?'

CAPTAIN. "'Yea, your Majesty.'

KING. "'Bring her to me, then!' [TO HER, TAKING OFF HIS HAT] 'I find in
your Herr Husband a good old friend.'

FRAU VON RATHENOW. "'Much grace and honor for my husband!'

KING. "'What were YOU by birth?' ["WAS SIND SIE," the respectful word,

FRAU. "'A Fraulein von Krocher.'

KING. "'Haha! A daughter of General von Krocher's?'


KING. "'Oh, I knew him very well.'--[TO RATHENOW] 'Have you children
too, Rathenow?'

CAPTAIN. "'Yes, your Majesty. My sons are in the service,' soldiering;
'and these are my daughters.'

KING. "'Well, I am glad of that (NUN, DAS FREUT MICH). Fare HE well.
Fare He well.'

"The road now went upon Fehrbellin; and Forster," Forester, "Brand, as
woodkeeper for the King in these parts, rode along with us. When we came
upon the patch of Sand-knolls which lie near Fehrbellin, his Majesty

"'Forester, why aren't these sand-knolls sown?'

FORESTER. "'Your Majesty, they don't belong to the Royal Forest; they
belong to the farm-ground. In part the people do sow them with all
manner of crops. Here, on the right hand, they have sown fir-cones

KING. "'Who sowed them?'

FORESTER. "'The Oberamtmann [Fromme] here.'

THE KING (TO ME). "'Na! Tell my Geheimer-Rath Michaelis that the
sand-patches must be sown.'--[TO THE FORESTER] 'But do you know how
fir-cones (KIENAPFEL) should be sown?'

FORESTER. "'O ja, your Majesty.'

KING. "'Na! [a frequent interjection of Friedrich's and his Father's],
how are they sown, then? From east to west, or from north to south?'
(p. 22);--but, surely, except as above, it has no sense? From north to
south, there is but one fir-seed sown against the wind; from east to
west, there is a whole row.]

FORESTER. "'From east to west.'

KING. "'That is right. But why?'

FORESTER. "'Because the most wind comes from the west.'

KING. "'That's right.'

"Now his Majesty arrived at Fehrbellin; spoke there with Lieutenant
Probst of the Ziethen Hussar regiment, [Probst is the leftmost figure
in that Chodowiecki Engraving of the famous Ziethen-and-Friedrich
CHAIR-scene, five years after this. (Supra. 374 n.)] and with the
Fehrbellin Postmeister, Captain von Mosch. So soon as the horses were
to, we continued our travel; and as his Majesty was driving close by my
Big Ditches," GRABEN, trenches, main-drains, "which have been made in
the Fehrbellin LUCH at the King's expense, I rode up to the carriage,
and said:--

ICH. "'Your Majesty, these now are the two new Drains, which by your
Majesty's favor we have got here; and which keep the Luch dry for us.'

KING. "'So, so; that I am glad of!--Who is He (are you)?'

FROMME. "'Your Majesty, I am the Beamte here of Fehrbellin.'

KING. "'What 's your name?'

ICH. "'Fromme.'

KING. "'Ha, ha! you are a son of the Landrath Fromme's.'

ICH. "'Your Majesty's pardon. My father was Amtsrath in the AMT Luhnin.'

KING. "'Amtsrath? Amtsrath? That isn't true! Your father was Landrath. I
knew him very well.--But tell me now (SAGT MIR EINMAL) has the draining
of the Luch been of much use to you here?'

ICH. "'O ja, your Majesty.'

KING. "'Do you keep more cattle than your predecessor?'

ICH. "'Yes, your Majesty. On this farm I keep 40 more; on all the farms
together 70 more.'

KING. "'That is right. The murrain (VIEHSEUCHE) is not here in this

ICH. "'No, your Majesty.'

KING. "'Have you had it here?'

ICH. "'Ja.'

KING. "'Do but diligently use rock-salt, you won't have the murrain

ICH. "'Yes, your Majesty, I do use it too; but kitchen salt has very
nearly the same effect.'

KING. "'No, don't fancy that! You must n't pound the rock-salt small,
but give it to the cattle so that they can lick it.'

ICH. "'Yes, it shall be done.'

KING. "'Are there still improvements needed here?'

ICH. "'O ja, your Majesty. Here lies the Kemmensee [Kemmen-lake]: if
that were drained out, your Majesty would gain some 1,800 acres [MORGEN,
three-fifths English acre] of pasture-land, where colonists could be
settled; and then the whole country would have navigation too, which
would help the village of Fehrbellin and the town of Ruppin to an
uncommon degree.'

KING. "'I suppose so! Be a great help to you, won't it; and many will be
ruined by the job, especially the proprietors of the ground NICHT WAHR?'

ICH. "'Your Majesty's gracious pardon [EW. MAJESTAT HALTEN ZU
GNADEN,--hold me to grace]: the ground belongs to the Royal Forest, and
there grows nothing but birches on it.'

KING. "'Oh, if birchwood is all it produces, then we may see! But you
must not make your reckoning without your host either, that the cost may
not outrun the use.'

ICH. "'The cost will certainly not outrun the use. For, first, your
Majesty may securely reckon that eighteen hundred acres will be won
from the water; that will be six-and-thirty colonists, allowing each 50
acres. And now if there were a small light toll put upon the raft-timber
and the ships that will frequent the new canal, there would be ample
interest for the outlay.'

KING. "'Na, tell my Geheimer-Rath Michaelis of it. The man understands
that kind of matters; and I will advise you to apply to the man in every
particular of such things, and wherever you know that colonists can be
settled. I don't want whole colonies at once; but wherever there are two
or three families of them, I say apply to that man about it.'

ICH. "'It shall be done, your Majesty.'

KING. "'Can't I see Wusterau,' where old Ajax Ziethen lives, 'from

ICH. "'Yes, your Majesty; there to the right, that is it.' It BELONGS to
General von Ziethen; and terrible BUILDING he has had here,--almost all
his life!

KING. "'Is the General at home?'

ICH. "'Ja.'

KING. "'How do you know?'

ICH. "'Your Majesty, the Rittmeister von Lestock lies in my village on
GRAZING service; and last night the Herr General sent a letter over to
him by a groom. In that way I know it.'

KING. "'Did General von Ziethen gain, among others, by the draining of
the Luch?'

ICH. "'O ja; the Farm-stead there to the right he built in consequence,
and has made a dairy there, which he could not have done, had not the
Luch been drained.'

KING. "'That I am glad of!--What is the Beamte's name in Alt-Ruppin?'
[Old Ruppin, I suppose, or part of its endless "RUPPIN or RHYN MERE,"
catches the King's eye.]

ICH. "'Honig.'

KING. "'How long has he been there?'

ICH. "'Since Trinity-term.'

KING. "'Since Trinity-term! What was he before?'

ICH. "'Kanonious' [a canon].

KING. "'Kanonicus? Kanonicus? How the Devil comes a Kanonicus to be a

ICH. "'Your Majesty, he is a young man who has money, and wanted to have
the honor of being a Beamte of your Majesty.'

KING. "'Why did n't the old one stay?'

ICH. "'Is dead.'

KING. "'Well, the widow might have kept his AMT, then!'

ICH. "'Is fallen into poverty.'

KING. "'By woman husbandry!'

ICH. "'Your Majesty's pardon! She cultivated well, but a heap of
mischances brought her down: those may happen to the best husbandman.
I myself, two years ago, lost so many cattle by the murrain, and got no
remission: since that, I never can get on again either.'

KING. "'My son, to-day I have some disorder in my left ear, and cannot
hear rightly on that side of my head' (!).

ICH. "'It is a pity that Geheimer-Rath Michaelis has got the very same
disorder!'--I now retired a little back from the carriage; I fancied his
Majesty might take this answer ill.

KING. "'Na, Amtmann, forward! Stay by the carriage; but TAKE CARE OF
These words marked in Italics [capitals] his Majesty repeated at least
ten times in the course of the journey. 'Tell me now, what is that
village over on the right yonder?'

ICH. "'Langen.'

KING. "'To whom does it belong?'

ICH. "'A third part of it to your Majesty, under the AMT of Alt-Ruppin;
a third to Herr von Hagen; and then the High Church (DOHM) of Berlin has
also tenants in it.'

KING. "'You are mistaken, the High Church of Magdeburg.'

ICH. "'Your Majesty's gracious pardon, the High Church of Berlin.'

KING. "'But it is not so; the High Church of Berlin has no tenants!'

ICH. "'Your Majesty's gracious pardon, the High Church of Berlin has
three tenants in the village Karvesen in my own AMT.'

KING. "'You mistake, it is the High Church of Magdeburg.'

ICH. "'Your Majesty, I must be a bad Beamte, if I did not know what
tenants and what lordships there are in my own AMT.'

KING. "'Ja, then you are in the right!--Tell me now: here on the right
there must be an estate, I can't think of the name; name me the estates
that lie here on the right.'

ICH. "'Buschow, Rodenslieben, Sommerfeld, Beetz, Karbe.'

KING. "'That's it, Karbe! To whom belongs that?'

ICH. "'To Herr von Knesebeck.'

KING. "'Was he in the service?'

ICH. "'Yes, Lieutenant or Ensign in the Guards.'

KING. "'In the Guards? [COUNTING ON HIS FINGERS.] You are right: he
was Lieutenant in the Guards. I am very glad the Estate is still in the
hands of the Knesebecks.--Na, tell me though, the road that mounts
up here goes to Ruppin, and here to the left is the grand road for

ICH. "'Ja, your Majesty.'

KING. "'Do you know how long it is since I was here last?'

ICH. "'No.'

KING. "'It is three-and-forty years. Cannot I see Ruppin somewhere

ICH. "'Yes, your Majesty: the steeple rising there over the firs, that
is Ruppin.'

KING (leaning out of the carriage with his prospect-glass). "'Ja, ja,
that is it, I know it yet. Can I see Drammitz hereabouts?'

ICH. "'No, your Majesty: Drammitz lies too far to the left, close on

KING. "'Sha'n't we see it, when we come closer?'

ICH. "'Maybe, about Neustadt; but I am not sure.'

KING. "'Pity, that. Can I see Pechlin?'

ICH. "'Not just now, your Majesty; it lies too much in the hollow. Who
knows whether your Majesty will see it at all!'

KING. "'Na, keep an eye; and if you see it, tell me. Where is the Beamte
of Alt-Ruppin?'

ICH. "'In Protzen, where we change horses, he will be.'

KING. "'Can't we yet see Pechlin?'

ICH. "'No, your Majesty.'

KING. "'To whom belongs it now?'

ICH. "'To a certain Schonermark.'

KING. "'Is he of the Nobility?'

ICH. "'No.'

KING. "'Who had it before him?'

ICH. "'The Courier (FELDJAGER) Ahrens; he got it by inheritance from his
father. The property has always been in commoners' (BURGERLICHEN) hands.

KING. "'That I am aware of. How call we the village here before us?'

ICH. "'Walcho.'

KING. "'To whom belongs it?'

ICH. "'To you, your Majesty, under the Amt Alt-Ruppin.'

KING. "'What is the village here before us?'

ICH. "'Protzen.'

KING. "'Whose is it?'

ICH. "'Herr von Kleist's.'

KING. "'What Kleist is that?'

ICH. "'A son of General Kleist's.'

KING. "'Of what General Kleist's.'

ICH. "'His brother was FLUGELADJUTANT [WING-adjutant, whatever that may
be] with your Majesty; and is now at Magdeburg, Lieutenant-Colonel in
the Regiment Kalkstein.'

KING. "'Ha, ha, that one! I know the Kleists very well. Has this Kleist
been in the service too?'

ICH. "'Yea, your Majesty; he was ensign in the regiment Prinz

KING. "'Why did the man seek his discharge?'

ICH. "'That I do not know.'

KING. "'You may tell me, I have no view in asking: why did the man take
his discharge?'

ICH. "'Your Majesty, I really cannot say.'

"We had now got on to Protzen. I perceived old General van Ziethen
standing before the Manor-house in Protzen,"--rugged brave old soul;
with his hanging brows, and strange dim-fiery pious old thoughts!--"I
rode forward to the carriage and said:--

ICH. "'Your Majesty, the Herr General von Ziethen is [are, SIND] also

KING. "'Where? where? Oh, ride forward, and tell the people to draw up;
they must halt, I'll get out.'

"And now his Majesty got out; and was exceedingly delighted at the sight
of Herr General von Ziethen; talked with him and Herr von Kleist of many
things: Whether the draining of the Luch had done him good; Whether the
murrain had been there among their cattle?--and recommended rock-salt
against the murrain. Suddenly his Majesty stept aside, turned towards
me, and called: 'Amtmann! [THEN CLOSE INTO MY EAR] Who is the fat man
there with the white coat?'

ICH (ALSO CLOSE INTO HIS MAJESTY'S EAR). "'Your Majesty, that is the
Landrath Quast, of the Ruppin Circle.'

KING. "'Very well.'

"Now his Majesty went back to General von Ziethen and Herr von Kleist,
and spoke of different things. Herr von Kleist presented some very fine
fruit to his Majesty; all at once his Majesty turned round, and said:
'Serviteur, Herr Landrath!'--As the Landrath ["fat man there with the
white coat"] was stepping towards his Majesty, said his Majesty: 'Stay
he there where he is; I know him. He is the Landrath von Quast!'["Very
good indeed, old Vater Fritz; let him stand there in his white coat,
a fat, sufficiently honored man!--Chodowiecki has an engraving of this
incident;--I saw IT at the British Museum once, where they have only
seven others on Friedrich altogether, all in one poor GOTHA ALMANAC;
very small, very coarse, but very good: this Quast (Anglice 'Tassel')
was one of them" (MARGINALE OF 1862).]

"They had now yoked the horses. His Majesty took a very tender leave of
old General von Ziethen, waved an adieu to those about, and drove on.
Although his Majesty at Protzen would not take any fruit, yet when
once we were out of the village, his Majesty took a luncheon from the
carriage-pocket for himself and the Herr General Graf von Gortz, and,
all along, during the drive, ate apricots (IMMER PFIRSCHE).

At starting, his Majesty had fancied I was to stop here, and called out
of the carriage: 'Amtmann, come along with us!'

KING. "'Where is the Beamte of Alt-Ruppin?'

ICH. "'Apparently he must be unwell; otherwise he would have been in
Protzen at the change of horses there' ["at the VORSPANN:" Yes;--and
Manor-house, EDELHOF, where old Ziethen waited, was lower down the
street, and SOONER than the Post-house?]

KING. "'Na, tell me now, don't you really know why that Kleist at
Protzen took his discharge?' [VOILA!]

ICH. "'No, your Majesty, I really do not.'

KING. "'What village is this before us?'

ICH. "'Manker.'

KING. "'And whose?'

ICH. "'Yours, your Majesty, in the AMT Alt-Ruppin.'

KING (looking round on the harvest-fields). "'Here you, now: how are you
content with the harvest?'

ICH. "'Very well, your Majesty.'

KING. "'Very well? And to me they said, Very ill!'

ICH. "'Your Majesty, the winter-crop was somewhat frost-nipt; but the
summer-crop in return is so abundant it will richly make up for the
winter-crop.' His Majesty now looked round upon the fields, shock
standing upon shock.

KING. "'It is a good harvest, you are right; shock stands close by shock

ICH. "'Yes, your Majesty; and the people here make STEIGS (mounts) of
them too.'

KING. "'Steigs, what is that?'

ICH. "'That is 20 sheaves piled all together.'

KING. "'Oh, it is indisputably a good harvest. But tell me, though, why
did Kleist of Protzen take his discharge?'

ICH. "'Your Majesty, I do not know. I suppose he was obliged to take his
father's estates in hand: no other cause do I know of.'

KING. "'What's the name of this village we are coming to?'

ICH. "'Garz.'

KING. "'To whom belongs it?'

ICH. "'To the Kriegsrath von Quast.'

KING. "'To WHOM belongs it?'

ICH. "'To Kriegsrath von Quast.'

KING. "'EY WAS [pooh, pooh]! I know nothing of Kriegsraths!--To whom
does the Estate belong?'

ICH. "'To Herr von Quast.' Friedrich had the greatest contempt for
Kriegsraths, and indeed for most other RATHS or titular shams, labelled
boxes with nothing in the inside: on a horrible winter-morning (sleet,
thunder, &c.), marching off hours before sunrise, he has been heard to
say, 'Would one were a Kriegsrath!

KING. "'Na, that is the right answer.'

"His Majesty now arrived at Garz. The changing of the horses was managed
by Herr von Luderitz of Nackeln, as first Deputy of the Ruppin Circle.
He had his hat on, and a white feather in it. When the yoking was
completed, our journey proceeded again.

KING. "'To whom belongs this estate on the left here?'

ICH. "'To Herr van Luderitz; it is called Nackeln.'

KING. "'What Luderitz is that?'

ICH. "'Your Majesty, he that was in Garz while the horses were

KING. "'Ha, ha, the Herr with the white feather!--Do you sow wheat too?'

ICH. "'Ja, your Majesty.'

KING. "'How much have you sown?'

ICH. "'Three WISPELS 12 SCHEFFELS,' unknown measures!

KING. "'How much did your predecessor use to sow?'

ICH. "'Four scheffels.'

KING. "'How has it come that you sow so much more than he?'

ICH. "'As I have already had the honor to tell your Majesty that I keep
seventy head of cows more than he, I have of course more manure for my
ground, and so put it in a better case for bearing wheat.'

KING. "'But why do you grow no hemp?'

ICH. "'It would not answer here. In a cold climate it would answer
better. Our sailors can buy Russian hemp in Lubeck cheaper, and of
better quality than I could grow here.'

KING. "'What do you sow, then, where you used to have hemp?'

ICH. "'Wheat!'

KING. "'Why do you sow no Farbekraut, ["DYE-HERB:" commonly called
"FARBERROTHE;" yields a coarse RED, on decoction of the twigs and
branches; from its roots the finer red called "KRAPP" (in French
GARANCE) is got.] no Krapp?'

ICH. "'It will not prosper; the ground is n't good enough.'

KING. "'That is people's talk: you should have made the trial.'

ICH. "'I did make the trial; but it failed; and as Beamte I cannot make
many trials; for, let them fail or not, the rent must be paid.'

KING. "'What do you sow, then, where you would have put Farbekraut?'

ICH. "'Wheat.'

KING. "'Na! Then stand by wheat!--Your tenants are in good case, I

ICH. "'Yes, your Majesty. I can show by the Register of Hypothecks
(HYPOTHEKENBUCH) that they have about 50 thousand thalers of capital
among them.'

KING. "'That is good.'

ICH. "'Three years ago a tenant died who had 11,000 thalers,' say 2,000
pounds, 'in the Bank.'

KING. "'How much?'

ICH. "'Eleven thousand thalers.'

KING. "'Keep them so always!'

ICH. "'Ja, your Majesty, it is very good that the tenant have money; but
he becomes mutinous too, as the tenants hereabouts do, who have seven
times over complained to your Majesty against me, to get rid of the
HOFDIENST,' stated work due from them.

KING. "'They will have had some cause too!'

ICH. "'Your Majesty will graciously pardon: there was an investigation
gone into, and it was found that I had not oppressed the tenants, but
had always gone upon my right, and merely held them to do their duty.
Nevertheless the matter stood as it was: the tenants are not punished;
your Majesty puts always the tenants in the right, the poor Beamte is
always in the wrong!'

KING. "'Ja: that you, my son, will contrive to get justice, you, I
cannot but believe! You will send your Departmentsrath [Judge of these
affairs] such pretty gifts of butter, capons, poults!'

ICH. "'No, your Majesty, we cannot. Corn brings no price: if one did not
turn a penny with other things, how could one raise the rent at all?'

KING. "'Where do you send your butter, capons and poults (PUTER) for

ICH. "'To Berlin.'

KING. "'Why not to Ruppin?'

ICH. "'Most of the Ruppin people keep cows, as many as are needed for
their own uses. The soldier eats nothing but old [salt] butter, he
cannot buy fresh.'

KING. "'What do you get for your butter in Berlin?'

ICH. "'Four groschen the pound; now the soldier at Ruppin buys his salt
butter at two.'

KING. "'But your capons and poults, you could bring these to Ruppin?'

ICH. "'In the regiment there are just four Staff-Officers; they can use
but little: the burghers don't live delicately; they thank God when they
can get a bit of pork or bacon.'

KING. "'Yes, there you are in the right! The Berliners, again, like
to eat some dainty article.--Na! do what you will with the tenants
[UNTERTHANEN, not quite ADSCRIPTS at that time on the Royal Demesnes,
but tied to many services, and by many shackles, from which Friedrich
all his days was gradually delivering them]; only don't oppress them.'

ICH. "'Your Majesty, that would never be my notion, nor any reasonable

KING. "'Tell me, then, where does Stollen lie?'

ICH. "'Stollen your Majesty cannot see just here. Those big hills there
on the left are the hills at Stollen; there your Majesty will have a
view of all the Colonies.'

KING. "'So? That is well. Then ride you with us thither.'

"Now his Majesty came upon a quantity of peasants who were mowing rye;
they had formed themselves into two rows, were wiping their scythes, and
so let his Majesty drive through them.

KING. "'What the Devil, these people will be wanting money from me, I

ICH. "'Oh no, your Majesty! They are full of joy that you are so
gracious as to visit this district.'

KING. "'I'll give them nothing, though.--What village is that, there
ahead of us?'

ICH. "'Barsekow.'

KING. "'To whom belongs it?'

ICH. "'To Herr von Mitschepfal.'

KING. "'What Mitschepfal is that?'

ICH. "'He was Major in the regiment which your Majesty had when
Crown-Prince.' [Supra, vii. 403.]

KING. "'Mein Gott! Is he still alive?'

ICH. "'No, HE is dead; his daughter has the estate.'

"We now came into the village of Barsekow, where the Manor-house is in

KING. "'Hear! Is that the manor-house (EDELHOF)?'

ICH. "'Ja.'

KING. "'That does look miserable.' Here Mitschepfal's daughter, who has
married a baronial Herr von Kriegsheim from Mecklenburg, came forward
while the horses were changing. Kriegsheim came on account of her into
this country: the King has given them a Colony of 200 MORGEN (acres).
Coming to the carriage, Frau von Kriegsheim handed some fruit to his
Majesty. His Majesty declined with thanks; asked, who her father was,
when he died, &c. On a sudden, she presented her husband; began to thank
for the 200 MORGEN; mounted on the coach-step; wished to kiss, if not
his Majesty's hand, at least his coat. His Majesty shifted quite to the
other side of the carriage, and cried"--good old Fritz!--"'Let be, my
daughter, let be! It is all well!--Amtmann, let us get along (MACHT DASS

KING. "'Hear now: these people are not prospering here?'

ICH. "'Far from it, your Majesty; they are in the greatest poverty.'

KING. "'That is bad.--Tell me though; there lived a Landrath here
before: he had a quantity of children: can't you recollect his name?'

ICH. "'That will have been the Landrath von Gorgas of Genser.'

KING. "'Ja, ja, that was he. Is he dead now?'

ICH. "'Ja, your Majesty. He died in 1771: and it was very singular; in
one fortnight he, his wife and four sons all died. The other four that
were left had all the same sickness too, which was a hot fever; and
though the sons, being in the Army, were in different garrisons, and no
brother had visited the other, they all got the same illness, and came
out of it with merely their life left.'

KING. "'That was a desperate affair (VERZWEIFELTER UMSTAND GEWESEN)!
Where are the four sons that are still in life?'

ICH. "'One is in the Ziethen Hussars, one in the Gens-d'-Armes, another
was in the regiment Prinz Ferdinand, and lives on the Estate Dersau. The
fourth is son-in-law of Herr General von Ziethen. He was lieutenant in
the Ziethen Regiment; but in the last war (POTATO-WAR, 1778), on account
of his ill health, your Majesty gave him his discharge; and he now lives
in Genser.'

KING. "'So? That is one of the Gorgases, then!--Are you still making
experiments with the foreign kinds of corn?'

ICH. "'O ja; this year I have sown Spanish barley. But it will not
rightly take hold; I must give it up again. However, the Holstein
STOOLing-rye (STAUDENROGGEN) has answered very well.'

KING. "'What kind of rye is that?'

ICH. "'It grows in Holstein in the Low Grounds (NIEDERUNG). Never below
the 10th grain [10 reaped for 1 sown] have I yet had it.'

KING. "'Nu, nu [Ho, ho], surely not the 10th grain all at once!'

ICH. "'That is not much. Please your Majesty to ask the Herr General
von Gortz [who has not spoken a syllable all day]; he knows this is not
reckoned much in Holstein:'--(the General Graf von Gortz I first had the
honor to make acquaintance with in Holstein).

"They now talked, for a while, of the rye, in the carriage together.
Presently his Majesty called to me from the carriage, 'Na, stand by the
Holstein STAUDEN-rye, then; and give some to the tenants too.'

ICH. "'Yes, your Majesty.'

KING. "'But give me some idea: what kind of appearance had the Luch
before it was drained?'

ICH. "'It was mere high rough masses of hillocks (HULLEN); between them
the water settled, and had no flow. In the driest years we couldn't cart
the hay out, but had to put it up in big ricks. Only in winter, when
the frost was sharp, could we get it home. But now we have cut away the
hillocks; and the trenches that your Majesty got made for us take the
water off. And now the Luch is as dry as your Majesty sees, and we can
carry out our hay when we please.'

KING. "'That is well. Have your tenants, too, more cattle than

ICH. "'Ja!'

KING. "'How many more?'

ICH. "'Many have one cow, many two, according as their means admit.'

KING. "'But how many more have they in all? About how many, that is?'

ICH. "'About 150 head.'

"His Majesty must lately have asked the Herr General von Gortz, how I
came to know him,--as I told his Majesty to ask General von Gortz about
the Holstein rye;--and presumably the Herr General must have answered,
what was the fact, That he had first known me in Holstein, where I dealt
in horses, and that I had been at Potsdam with horses. Suddenly his
Majesty said: 'Hear! I know you are fond of horses. But give up that,
and prefer cows; you will find your account better there.'

ICH. "'Your Majesty, I no longer deal in horses. I merely rear a few
foals every year.'

KING. "'Rear calves instead; that will be better.'

ICH. "'Oh, your Majesty, if one takes pains with it, there is no loss in
breeding horses. I know a man who got, two years ago, 1,000 thalers for
a stallion of his raising.'

KING. "'He must have been a fool that gave it.'

ICH. "'Your Majesty, he was a Mecklenburg nobleman.'

KING. "'But nevertheless a fool.'

"We now came upon the territory of the Amt Neustadt; and here the
Amtsrath Klausius, who has the Amt in farm, was in waiting on the
boundary, and let his Majesty drive past. But as I began to get tired
of the speaking, and his Majesty went on always asking about villages,
which stand hereabouts in great quantity, and I had always to name the
owner, and say what sons he had in the Army,--I brought up Herr Amtsrath
Klausius to the carriage, and said:--

ICH. "'Your Majesty, this is the Amtsrath Klausius, of the Amt Neustadt,
in whose jurisdiction the Colonies are.'

KING. "'So, so! that is very good (DAS IST MIR LIEB). Bring him up.'

KING. "'What's your name?' (from this point the King spoke mostly with
Amtsrath Klausius, and I only wrote down what I heard).

KL. "'Klausius.'

KING. "'Klau-si-us. Na, have you many cattle here on the Colonies?'

KL. "'1,887 head of cows, your Majesty. There would have been above
3,000, had it not been for the murrain that was here.'

KING. "'Do the people too increase well? Are there jolly children?'

KL. "'O ja, your Majesty; there are now 1,576 souls upon the Colonies.'

KING. "'Are you married too?'

KL. "'Ja, your Majesty.'

KING. "'And have you children?'

KL. "'Step-children, your Majesty.'

KING. "'Why not of your own?'

KL. "'Don't know that, your Majesty; as it happens.'

KING. "'Hear: Is it far to the Mecklenburg border, here where we are?'

KL. "'Only a short mile [5 miles English]. But there are some villages
scattered still within the boundary which belong to Brandenburg. There
are Stetzebart, Rosso and so on.'

KING. "'Ja, ja, I know them. But I should not have thought we were so
near upon the Mecklenburg country.' [TO THE HERR AMTSRATH KLAUSIUS]
'Where were you born?'

KL. "'At Neustadt on the Dosse.'

KING. "'What was your father?'

KL. "'Clergyman.'

KING. "'Are they good people, these Colonists? The first generation of
them is n't usually good for much.'

KL. "'They are getting on, better or worse.'

KING. "'Do they manage their husbandry well?'

KL. "'O ja, your Majesty. His Excellency the Minister von Derschau, too,
has given me a Colony of 75 acres, to show the other Colonists a good
example in management.'

KING (smiling). "'Ha, ha! good example! But tell me, I see no wood here:
where do the Colonists get their timber?'

KL. "'From the Ruppin district.'

KING. "'How far is that?'

KL. "'3 miles' [15 English].

KING. "'Well, that's a great way. It should have been contrived that
they could have it nearer hand.' [TO ME] 'What man is that to the right

ICH. "'Bauinspector [Buildings-Inspector] Menzelius, who has charge of
the buildings in these parts.'

KING. "'Am I in Rome? They are mere Latin names!--Why is that hedged in
so high?'

ICH. "'That is the mule-stud.'

KING. "'What is the name of this Colony?'

ICH. "'Klausiushof.'

KL. "'Your Majesty, it should be called Klaushof.'

KING. "'Its name is Klausiushof. What is the other Colony called?'

ICH. "'Brenkenhof.'

KING. "'That is not its name.'

ICH. "'Ja, your Majesty, I know it by no other!'

KING. "'Its name is Brenken-hosius-hof!--Are these the Stollen hills
that lie before us?'

ICH. "'Ja, your Majesty.'

KING. "'Have I to drive through the village?'

ICH. "'It is not indispensable; but the change of horses is there. If
your Majesty give order, I will ride forward, send the fresh horses
out of the village, and have them stationed to wait at the foot of the

KING. "'O ja, do so! Take one of my pages with you.'

"I now took measures about the new team of horses, but so arranged it,
that when his Majesty got upon the hills I was there too. At
dismounting from his carriage on the hill-top, his Majesty demanded a
prospect-glass; looked round the whole region, and then said: 'Well, in
truth, that is beyond my expectation! That is beautiful! I must say this
to you, all of you that have worked in this business, you have behaved
like honorable people!'--[TO ME] 'Tell me now, is the Elbe far from

ICH. "'Your Majesty, it is 2 miles off [10 miles]. Yonder is Wurben in
the Altmark; it lies upon the Elbe.'

KING. "'That cannot be! Give me the glass again.--Ja, ja, it is true,
though. But what other steeple is that?'

ICH. "'Your Majesty, that is Havelberg.'

KING. "'Na, come here, all of you!' (THERE WERE AMTSRATH KLAUSIUS,
BAUINSPECTOR MENZELIUS AND I.) 'Hear now, the tract of moor here to the
left must also be reclaimed; and what is to the right too, so far as the
moor extends. What kind of wood is there on it?'

ICH. "'Alders (ELSEN) and oaks, your Majesty.'

KING. "'Na! the alders you may root out; and the oaks may continue
standing; the people may sell these, or use them otherwise. When once
the ground is arable, I reckon upon 300 families for it, and 500 head of
cows,--ha?'--Nobody answered; at last I began, and said:--

ICH. "'Ja, your Majesty, perhaps!'

KING. "'Hear now, you may answer me with confidence. There will be more
or fewer families. I know well enough one cannot, all at once, exactly
say. I was never there, don't know the ground; otherwise I could
understand equally with you how many families could be put upon it.'

THE BAUINSPECTOR. "'Your Majesty, the LUCH is still subject to rights of
common from a great many hands.'

KING. "'No matter for that. You must make exchanges, give them an
equivalent, according as will answer best in the case. I want nothing
from anybody except at its value.' [TO AMTSRATH KLAUSIUS] 'Na, hear
now, you can write to my Kammer [BOARD, Board-of-Works that does NOT sit
idle!], what it is that I want reclaimed to the plough; the money for
it I will give.' [TO ME] 'And you, you go to Berlin, and explain to my
Geheimer-Rath Michaelis, by word of mouth, what it is I want reclaimed.'

"His Majesty now stept into his carriage again [was Gortz sitting all
the while, still in silence? Or had he perhaps got out at the bottom of
the hill, and sat down to a contemplative pipe of tobacco, the smoke of
which, heart-cheering to Gortz, was always disagreeable to Friedrich?
Nobody knows!]--and drove down the hill; there the horses were changed.
And now, as his Majesty's order was that I should 'attend him to the
Stollen hills,' I went up to the carriage, and asked:--

ICH. "'Does your Majesty command that I should yet accompany farther'
["BEFEHLEN, command," in the plural is polite, "your Majesty, that I yet
farther shall WITH"]?

KING. "'No, my son; ride, in God's name, home.'--

"The Herr Amtsrath [Klau-si-us] then accompanied his Majesty to
Rathenow, where he [THEY: His Majesty is plural] lodged in the
Post-house. At Rathenow, during dinner, his Majesty was uncommonly
cheerful: he dined with Herr Lieutenant-Colonel von Backhof of the
Carabineers, and the Herr Lieutenant-Colonel von Backhof himself has
related that his Majesty said:--

"'My good Von Backhof (MEIN LIEBER VON BACKHOF): if He [you] have
not for a long time been in the Fehrbellin neighborhood, go there.'"
Fehrbellin, the Prussian BANNOCKBURN; where the Great Elector cut the
hitherto invincible Swedes IN TWO, among the DAMS and intricate moory
quagmires, with a vastly inferior force, nearly all of cavalry (led by
one DERFLINGER, who in his apprentice time had been a TAILOR); beat
one end of them all to rags, then galloped off and beat the other into
ditto; quite taking the conceit out of the Swedes, or at least clearing
Prussia of them forever and a day: a feat much admired by Friedrich:
"'Go there,' he says. 'That region is uncommonly improved [as I saw
to-day]! I have not for a long time had such a pleasant drive. I decided
on this journey because I had no REVIEW on hand; and it has given me
such pleasure that I shall certainly have another by and by.'

"'Tell me now: how did you get on in the last War [KARTOFFEL KRIEG, no
fighting, only a scramble for proviant and "potatoes"]? Most likely ill!
You in Saxony too could make nothing out. The reason was, we had not men
to fight against, but cannons! I might have done a thing or two; but I
should have sacrificed more than the half of my Army, and shed innocent
human blood. In that case I should have deserved to be taken to the
Guard-house door, and to have got a sixscore there (EINEN OFFFENTLICHEN
PRODUKT)! Wars are becoming frightful to carry on.'

"'This was surely touching to hear from the mouth of a great Monarch,'
said Herr Lieutenant-Colonel von Backhof to me, and tears came into that
old soldier's eyes." Afterwards his Majesty had said:--

"Of the Battle of Fehrbellin I know everything, almost as if I myself
had been there! While I was Crown-Prince, and lay in Ruppin, there was
an old townsman, the man was even then very old: he could describe the
whole Battle, and knew the scene of it extremely well. Once I got into a
carriage, took my old genius with me, who showed me all over the ground,
and described everything so distinctly, I was much contented with him.
As we were coming back, I thought: Come, let me have a little fun with
the old blade;--so I asked him: 'Father, don't you know, then, why the
two Sovereigns came to quarrel with one another?'--'O ja, your Royal
HighnessES [from this point we have Platt-Deutsch, PRUSSIAN dialect, for
the old man's speech; barely intelligible, as Scotch is to an ingenious
Englishman], DAT WILL ICK SE WOHL SEGGEN, I can easily tell you that.
When our Chorforste [Kurfursts, Great Elector] was young, he studied in
Utrecht; and there the King of Sweden happened to be too. And now the
two young lords picked some quarrel, got to pulling caps [fell into
one another's hair], AND DIT IS NU DE PICKE DAVON, and this now was
the upshot of it.'--His Majesty spoke this in Platt-Deutsch, as here
given;--but grew at table so weary that he (they) fell asleep." So far
Backhof;--and now again Fromme by way of finish:--

"Of his Majesty's journey I can give no farther description. For though
his Majesty spoke and asked many things else; it would be difficult to
bring them all to paper." And so ends the DAY WITH FRIEDRICH THE GREAT;
very flat, but I dare say very TRUE:--a Daguerrotype of one of his Days.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Appendix" ***

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