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Title: History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Volume 07
Author: Carlyle, Thomas, 1795-1881
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Volume 07" ***

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By Thomas Carlyle

Volume VII.

Feb.-Nov., 1730.


Things, therefore, are got to a dead-lock at Berlin: rebellious
Womankind peremptorily refuse Weissenfels, and take to a bed of
sickness; inexpugnable there, for the moment. Baireuth is but a weak
middle term; and there are disagreements on it. Answer from England,
affirmative or even negative, we have yet none. Promptly affirmative,
that might still avail, and be an honorable outcome. Perhaps better
pause till that arrive, and declare itself?--Friedrich Wilhelm knows
nothing of the Villa mission, of the urgencies that have been used in
England: but, in present circumstances, he can pause for their answer.


To outward appearance, Friedrich Wilhelm, having written that message to
Baireuth, seems easier in mind; quiet with the Queen; though dangerous
for exploding if Wilhelmina and the Prince come in view. Wilhelmina
mostly squats; Prince, who has to be in view, gets slaps and strokes
"daily (JOURNELLEMENT)," says the Princess,--or almost daily. For the
rest, it is evident enough, Weissenfels, if not got passed through the
Female Parliament, is thrown out on the second reading, and so is at
least finished. Ought we not to make a run to Dresden, therefore,
and apprise the Polish Majesty? Short run to Dresden is appointed
for February 18th; [Fassmann, p. 404.] and the Prince-Royal, perhaps
suspected of meditating something, and safer in his Father's company
than elsewhere, is to go. Wilhelmina had taken leave of him, night of
the 17th, in her Majesty's Apartment; and was in the act of undressing
for bed, when,--judge of a young Princess's terror and surprise,--

"There stept into the anteroom," visible in the half-light there, a
most handsome little Cavalier, dressed, not succinctly as Colonel of the
Potsdam Giants, but "in magnificent French style.--I gave a shriek, not
knowing who it was; and hid myself behind a screen. Madam de Sonsfeld,
my Governess, not less frightened than myself, ran out" to see what
audacious person, at such undue hour, it could be. "But she returned
next moment, accompanying the Cavalier, who was laughing heartily, and
whom I recognized for my Brother. His dress so altered him, he seemed a
different person. He was in the best humor possible.

"'I am come to bid you farewell once more, my dear Sister,' said he:
'and as I know the friendship you have for me, I will not keep you
ignorant of my designs. I go, and do not come back. I cannot endure
the usage I suffer; my patience is driven to an end. It is a favorable
opportunity for flinging off that odious yoke; I will glide out of
Dresden, and get across to England; where I do not doubt I shall work
out your deliverance too, when I am got thither. So I beg you, calm
yourself, We shall soon meet again in places where joy shall succeed our
tears, and where we shall have the happiness to see ourselves in peace,
and free from these persecutions.'" [Wilhelmina, i. 205.]

Wilhelmina stood stupefied, in silence for some moments;--argued long
with her Brother; finally got him to renounce those wild plans, or at
least postpone them; and give her his word that he would attempt nothing
on the present occasion. This small Dresden Excursion of February, 1730,
passed, accordingly, without accident, It was but the prelude to a much
grander Visit now agreed upon between the neighboring Majesties. For
there is a grand thing in the wind. Something truly sublime, of the
scenic-military kind, which has not yet got a name; but shall soon have
a world-wide one,--"Camp of Muhlberg," "Camp of Radewitz," or however to
be named,--which his Polish Majesty will hold in those Saxon parts, in a
month or two. A thing that will astonish all the world, we may hope; and
where the King and Prince of Prussia are to attend as chief guests.

It was during this brief absence in February, or directly after
Friedrich Wilhelm had returned, that Queen Sophie had that fit of real
sickness we spoke of. Scarcely was his Majesty got home, when the Queen,
rather ambiguous in her sicknesses of late, fell really and dangerously
ill: so that Friedrich Wilhelm, at last recognizing it for real, came
hurrying in from Potsdam; wept loud and abundantly, poor man; declared
in private, "He would not survive his Feekin;" and for her sake
solemnly pardoned Wilhelmina, and even Fritz,--till the symptoms mended.
[Wilhelmina, i. 306.]


Meanwhile Dr. Villa, in England, has sped not ill. Villa's eloquence of
truth; the Grumkow-Reichenbach Correspondence in St. Mary Axe: these
two things produce their effect. These on the one hand; and then on the
other, certain questionable aspects of Fleury, after that fine Soissons
Catastrophe to the Kaiser; and certain interior quarrels in the English
Ministry, partly grounded thereon:--"On the whole, why should not we
detach Friedrioh Wilhelm from the Kaiser, if we could, and comply with a
Royal Sister?" think they at St. James's.

Political men take some interest in the question; "Why neglect your
Prince of Wales?" grumbles the Public: "It is a solid Protestant match,
eligible for Prince Fred and us!"--"Why bother with the Kaiser and his
German puddles?" asks Walpole: "Once detach Prussia from him, the
Kaiser will perhaps sit still, and leave the world and us free of
his Pragmatics and his Sanctions and Apanages."--"Quit of him? German
puddles?" answers Townshend dubitatively,--who has gained favor at
headquarters by going deeply into said puddles; and is not so ardent for
the Prussian Match; and indeed is gradually getting into quarrel with
Walpole and Queen Caroline. [Coxe, i. 332-339.] These things are all
favorable to Dr. Villa.

In fact, there is one of those political tempests (dreadful to the
teapot, were it not experienced in them) going on in England, at this
time,--what we call a Change of Ministry;--daily crisis laboring towards
fulfilment, or brewing itself ripe. Townshend and Walpole have had (how
many weeks ago Coxe does not tell us) that meeting in Colonel Selwyn's,
which ended in their clutching at swords, nay almost at coat-collars:
[Ib. p. 335.] honorable Brothers-in-law: but the good Sister, who used
to reconcile them, is now dead. Their quarrels, growing for some years
past, are coming to a head. "When the firm used to be Townshend and
Walpole, all was well; when it had to become Walpole and Townshend, all
was not well!" said Walpole afterwards.

Things had already gone so far, that Townshend brought Chesterfield over
from the Hague, last Autumn;--a Baron de Montesquieu, with the ESPRIT DE
LOIS in his head, sailed with Lord Chesterfield on that occasion, and
is now in England "for two years;"--but Chesterfield could not be made
Secretary; industrious Duke of Newcastle stuck so close by that office,
and by the skirts of Walpole. Chesterfield and Townshend VERSUS Walpole,
Colonel Stanhope (Harrington) and the Pelhams: the Prussian Match is
a card in that game; and Dr. Villa's eloquence of truth is not lost on
Queen Caroline, who in a private way manages, as always, to rule pretty
supreme in it.

There lies in the State-Paper Office, [Close by Despatch (Prussian):
"London, 8th February (o.s.) 1729-1730."] without date or signature, a
loose detached bit of writing, in scholastic style, but brief and to the
purpose, which is evidently the Memorial of Villa; but as it teaches us
nothing that we do not already know, it need not be inserted here.
The man, we can perceive farther, continued useful in those Official
quarters, answering questions about Prussia, helping in the St.-Mary-Axe
decipherings, and in other small ways, for some time longer; after which
he vanishes again from all record,--whether to teach English farther,
or live on some modicum of pension granted, no man knows. Poor old Dove,
let out upon the Deluge in serge gown: he did bring back a bit of olive,
so to speak;--had the presage but held, as it did in Noah's case!

In a word, the English Sovereignties and Ministries have determined
that an Envoy Extraordinary (one Hotham, they think of), with the due
solemnity, be sent straightway to Berlin; to treat of those interesting
matters, and officially put the question there. Whom Dubourgay is
instructed to announce to his Prussian Majesty, with salutation
from this Court. As Dubourgay does straightway, with a great deal of
pleasure. [Despatches: London, 8th February; Berlin, 2d March, 1780] How
welcome to his Majesty we need not say.

And indeed, after such an announcement (1st March, 1730, the day of
it), they fell into cheerful dialogue; and the Brigadier had some frank
conversation with his Majesty about the "Arbitration Commission" then
sitting at Brunswick, and European affairs in general. Conversation
which is carefully preserved for us in the Brigadier's Despatch of the
morrow. It never was intrinsically of much moment; and is now fallen
very obsolete, and altogether of none: but as a glance at first-hand
into the dim old thoughts of Friedrich Wilhelm, the reader may take it
with him:--

"The King said next, That though we made little noise, yet he knew well
our design--was to kindle a fire in other parts of Lower Germany. To
which I answered, That if his Majesty would give me favorable hearing,
I could easily persuade him of the peaceable intentions of our Allies.
'Well,' says he, 'the Emperor will abandon the Netherlands, and who will
be master of them? I see the day when you will make France so powerful,
that it will be difficult to bring them to reason again.'--DUBOURGAY:
'If the Emperor abandoned the Netherlands, they would be governed by
their own Magistrate, and defended by their own Militia. As to the
French, we are too well persuaded of the benefit of our Allies, to--'
Upon which the King of Prussia said, 'It appeared plainly we had a mind
to dispose as we pleased of Kingdoms and provinces in Italy, so
that probably our next thought would be to do the same in
Germany.'--DUBOURGAY: 'The allotments made in favor of Don Carlos have
been made with the consent of the Emperor and the whole Empire. We could
not suffer a longer interruption of our commerce with Spain, for the
sake of the small difference between the Treaty of Seville and the
Quadruple Alliance, in regard to the Garrison,'"--to the introducing
of Spanish Garrisons, at once, into Parma and Piacenza; which was the
special thunder-bolt of the late Soissons Catastrophe, or Treaty of
Seville.--"'Well, then,' says his Prussian Majesty, 'you must allow,
then, there IS an infraction of the Quadruple Alliance, and that the
Emperor will make war!' 'I hope not,' said I: 'but if so, a Ten-Years
War, in conjunction with the Allies of Seville, never would be so bad as
the interruption of our Commerce with Old and New Spain for one year.'

"The King of Prussia's notion about our DISPOSING OF PROVINCES IN
GERMANY," adds Dubourgay, "is, I believe, an insinuation of Seckendorf,
who, I doubt not, has made him believe we intended to do so with respect
to Berg and Julich."

Very probably:--but Hotham is getting under way, hopeful to spoil that
game. Prussian Majesty, we see, is not insensible to so much honor; and
brightens into hopefulness and fine humor in consequence. What
radiancy spread over the Queen's side of the House we need not say.
The Tobacco-Parliament is like to have a hard task.--Friedrich Wilhelm
privately is well inclined to have his Daughter married, with such
outlooks, if it can be done. The marriage of the Crown-Prince into
such a family would also be very welcome; only--only--There are
considerations on that side. There are reasons; still more there are
whims, feelings of the mind towards an unloved Heir-Apparent: upon these
latter chiefly lie the hopes of Seckendorf and the Tobacco-Parliament.

What the Tobacco-Parliament's specific insinuations and deliberations
were, in this alarming interim, no Hansard gives us a hint. Faint and
timid they needed, at first, to be; such unfavorable winds having
risen, blowing off at a sad rate the smoke of that abstruse
Institution.--"JARNI-BLEU!" snuffles the Feldzeugmeister to himself.
But "SI DEUS EST NOBISCUM," as Grumkow exclaims once to his beautiful
Reichenbach, or NOSTI as he calls him in their slang or cipher language,
"If God is with us, who can prevail against us?" For the Grumkow can
quote Scripture; nay solaces himself with it, which is a feat beyond
what the Devil is competent to.


The Special Envoy to be sent to Berlin on this interesting occasion is
a dignified Yorkshire Baronet; Sir Charles Hotham, "Colonel of the
Horse-Grenadiers;" he has some post at Court, too, and is still in his
best years. His Wife is Chesterfield's Sister; he is withal a kind
of soldier, as we see;--a man of many sabre-tashes, at least, and
acquainted with Cavalry-Drill, as well as the practices of Goldsticks:
his Father was a General Officer in the Peterborough Spanish Wars. These
are his eligibilities, recommending him at Berlin, and to Official
men at home. Family is old enough: Hothams of Scarborough in the East
Riding; old as WILHELMUS BASTARDUS; and subsists to our own day. This
Sir Charles is lineal Son of the Hothams who lost their heads in the
Civil War; and he is, so to speak, lineal UNCLE of the Lords Hotham that
now are. For the rest, a handsome figure, prompt in French, and much the
gentleman. So far has Villa sped.

Hotham got to Berlin on Sunday, 2d April, 1730. He had lingered a
little, waiting to gather up some skirts of that Reichenbach-Grumkow
Correspondence, and have them ready to show in the proper Quarter. For
that is one of the chief arrows in his quiver. But here he is at last:
and on Monday, he is introduced at Charlottenburg to the Prussian
Majesty; and finds an abundant welcome to himself and his preliminaries.
"Marriage into that fine high Country (MAGNIFIKE LAND) will be welcome
to my Daughter, I believe, as flowers in May: to me also how can it be
other than welcome!--'Farther instructions,' you say? Yes, surely; and
terms honorable on both sides. Only say nothing of it, I had rather
tell the girl myself." [Ranke, i. 284.] To that frank purport spoke his
Majesty;--and invites the Excellency Hotham to stay dinner.

Great dinner at Charlottenburg, accordingly; Monday, 3d April, 1730:
the two English Excellencies Hotham and Dubourgay, then General Borck,
Knyphausen, Grumkow, Seckendorf and others;--"where," says Hotham,
giving Despatch about it, "we all got immoderately drunk." Of which
dinner there is sordid narrative, from Grumkow to his NOSTI (to his
Reichenbach, in cant speech), still visible through St. Mary Axe, were
it worth much attention from us. Passages of wit, loaded with allusion,
flew round the table: "A German ducat is change for an English
half-guinea," and the like sprightly things. Nay at one time, Hotham's
back being turned, they openly drink,--his Majesty in a state of
exhilaration, having blabbed the secret:--"To the health of Wilhelmina
Princess of Wales!" Upon which the whole Palace of Charlottenburg
now bursts into tripudiation; the very valets cutting capers, making
somersets,--and rushing off with the news to Berlin. Observable, only,
that Hotham and Dubourgay sat silent in the tripudiation; with faces
diplomatically grave. Several points to be settled first; no hallooing
till we are out of the wood.

News came to Berlin Schloss, doubtless at full gallop, which would
only take a quarter of an hour. This is Wilhelmina's experience of
it. Afternoon of Monday, 3d of April, 1730, in the Schloss of
Berlin,--towards sunset, some ornamental seam in one's hand:--

"I was sitting quiet in my Apartment, busy with work, and some one
reading to me, when the Queen's Ladies rushed in, with a torrent of
domestics in the rear; who all bawled out, putting one knee to the
ground, 'They were come to salute the Princess of Wales.' I fairly
believed these poor people had lost their wits; they would not cease
overwhelming me with noise and tumult, their joy was so great they knew
not what they did. When the farce had lasted some time, they at last
told me"--what our readers know. What the demure Wilhelmina professes
she cared next to nothing about. "I was so little moved by it, that I
answered, going on with my work, 'Is that all?' Which greatly surprised
them. A while afterwards my Sisters and several Ladies came also to
congratulate me. I was much loved; and I felt more delighted at the
proofs each gave me of that than at what occasioned them. In the evening
I went to the Queen's: you may readily conceive her joy. On my first
entrance, she called me 'her dear Princess of Wales;' and addressed
Madam de Sonsfeld as 'Milady.' This latter took the liberty of hinting
to her, that it would be better to keep quiet; that the King having
yet given no notice of this business, might be provoked at such
demonstration, and that the least trifle could still ruin all her hopes.
The Countess Finkenstein joining her remonstrances to Sonsfeld's, the
Queen, though with regret, promised to moderate herself." [Wilhelmina,
i. 215.]

This is the effulgent flaming-point of the long-agitated English Match,
which we have so often caught in a bitterly smoking condition. "The King
indeed spoke nothing of it to us, on his return to Berlin in a day
or two," says Wilhelmina; "which we thought strange." But everybody
considered it certain, nothing but the details left to settle. "Hotham
had daily conferences with the King." "Every post brought letters from
the Prince of Wales:" of which Wilhelmina saw several,--this for one
specimen, general purport of the whole: "I conjure you, my dear Hotham,
get these negotiations finished! I am madly in love (AMOUREUX COMME UN
FOU), and my impatience is unequalled." [Ib. i. 218.] Wilhelmina thought
these sentiments "very, romantic" on the part of Prince Fred, "who had
never seen me, knew me only by repute:"--and answered his romances and
him with tiffs of laughter, in a prettily fleecing manner.

Effulgent flame-point;--which was of very brief duration indeed, and
which sank soon into bitterer smoke than ever, down almost to the
choking state. There are now six weeks of Diplomatic History at
the Court of Berlin, which end far otherwise than they began. Weeks
well-nigh indecipherable; so distracted are they, by black-art and
abstruse activities above ground and below, and so distractedly recorded
for us: of which, if it be humanly possible, we must try to convey some
faint notion to mankind.


Already next morning, after that grand Dinner at Charlottenburg,
Friedrich Wilhelm, awakening with his due headache, thought, and was
heard saying, He had gone too far! Those gloomy looks of Hotham and
Dubourgay, on the occasion; they are a sad memento that our joyance was
premature. The English mean the Double-Marriage; and Friedrich
Wilhelm is not ready, and never fairly was, for more than the Single.
"Wilhelmina Princess of Wales, yes with all my heart; but Friedrich to
an English Princess--Hm, na;"--and in a day more: ["Instruction to his
Ministers, 5th April," cited by Ranke, i. 285 n.] plainly "No." And
there it finally rests; or if rocked about, always settles there again.

And why, No?--Truly, as regarded Crown-Prince Friedrich's marriage, the
question had its real difficulties: and then, still more, it had its
imaginary; and the subterranean activities were busy! The witnesses,
contemporaneous and other, assign three reasons, or considerations and
quasi-reasons, which the Tobacco-Parliament and Friedrich Wilhelm's
lively fancy could insist upon it till they became irrefragable:--

FIRST, his rooted discontent with the Crown-Prince, some even say his
jealousy of the Crown-Prince's talents, render it unpleasant to think of
promoting him in any way. SECOND, natural German loyalty, enlivened by
the hope of Julich and Berg, attaching Friedrich Wilhelm to the Kaiser's
side of things, repels him with a kind of horror from the Anti-Kaiser or
French-English side. "Marry my Daughter, if you like; I shall be glad to
salute her as Princess of Wales; but no union in your Treaty-of-Seville
operations: in politics go you your own road, if that is it, while I
go mine; no tying of us, by Double or other Marriages, to go one road."
THIRD, the magnificence of those English. "Regardless of expense,"
insinuates the Tobacco-Parliament; "they will send their grand Princess
hither, with no end of money; brought up in grandeur to look down on the
like of us. She can dazzle, she can purchase: in the end, may there not
be a Crown-Prince Party, capable of extinguishing your Majesty here
in your own Court, and making Prussia a bit of England; all eyes being
turned to such sumptuous Princess and her Crown-Prince,--Heir-Apparent,
or 'Rising Sun' as we may call him!"--

These really are three weighty almost dreadful considerations to a
poetic-tempered King and Smoking Parliament. Out of which there is no
refuge except indeed this plain fourth one: "No hurry about Fritz's
marriage; [Friedrich Wilhelm to Reichenbach (13th May), infra.] he is
but eighteen gone; evidently too young for housekeeping. Thirty is a
good time for marrying. 'There is, thank God, no lack of royal lineage;
I have two other Princes,'"--and another just at hand, if I knew it.

To all which there is to be added that ever-recurring invincible
gravitation towards the Kaiser, and also towards Julich and Berg, by
means of him,--well acted on by the Tobacco-Parliament for the space of
those six weeks. During which, accordingly, almost from the first day
after that Hotham Dinner of April 3d, the answer of the royal mind, with
superficial fluctuations, always is: "Wilhelmina at once, if you choose;
likely enough we might agree about Crown-Prince Friedrich too, if once
all were settled; but of the Double-Marriage, at this present time, HORE
NIT, [Ranke, i. 285 n.] I will have nothing to say." And as the English
answer steadily, "Both or none!"--meaning indeed to draw Prussia away
from the Kaiser's leading-strings, and out of his present enchanted
condition under the two Black-Artists he has about him, the Negotiation
sinks again into a mere smoking, and extinct or plainly extinguishing

The Grumkow-NOSTI Cipher Correspondence might be reckoned as another
efficient cause; though, in fact, it was only a big concomitant symptom,
much depended on by both parties, and much disappointing both. In the
way of persuading or perverting Friedrich Wilhelm's judgment about
England, this deep-laid piece of machinery does not seem to have done
much, if anything; and Hotham, who with the English Court had calculated
on it (on their detection of it) as the grand means of blowing Grumkow
out of the field, produced a far opposite result on trying, as we shall
see! That was a bit of heavy ordnance which disappointed everybody.
Seized by the enemy before it could do any mischief; enemy turned it
round on the inventor; fired it off on the inventor, and--it exploded
through the touch-hole; singeing some people's whiskers: nothing more!--


Would the reader wish to look into this Nosti-Grumkow Correspondence at
all? I advise him, not. Good part of it still lies in the Paper-Office
here; [Prussian Despatches, vols. xl. xli.: in a fragmentary state; so
much of it as they had caught up, and tried to make use of;--far too
much.] likely to be published by the Prussian Dryasdust in coming
time: but a more sordid mass of eavesdroppings, kitchen-ashes and
floor-sweepings, collected and interchanged by a pair of treacherous
Flunkies (big bullying Flunky and little trembling cringing one, Grumkow
and Reichenbach), was never got together out of a gentleman's household.
To no idlest reader, armed even with barnacles, and holding mouth and
nose, can the stirring-up of such a dust-bin be long tolerable. But
the amazing problem was this Editor's, doomed to spell the Event into
clearness if he could, and put dates, physiognomy and outline to it, by
help of such Flunky-Sanscrit!--That Nosti-Grumkow Correspondence, as we
now have it in the Paper-Office,--interpretable only by acres of British
Despatches, by incondite dateless helpless Prussian Books ("printed
Blotches of Human Stupor," as Smelfungus calls them): how gladly would
one return them all to St. Mary Axe, there to lie through Eternity! It
is like holding dialogue with a rookery; asking your way (perhaps in
flight for life, as was partly my own case) by colloquy with successive
or even simultaneous Rookeries. Reader, have you tried such a thing? An
adventure, never to be spoken of again, when once DONE!

Wilhelmina pretends to give quotations [Wilhelmina, i. 233-235.] from
this subterranean Grumkow-Reichenbach Correspondence; but hers are only
extracts from some description or remembrance; hardly one word is close
to the original, though here and there some outline or shadow of a real
passage is traceable. What fractional elements, capable of gaining some
vestige of meaning when laid together in their cosmic order, I could
pick from the circumambient immensity not cosmic, are here for the
reader's behoof. Let him skip, if, like myself, he is weary; for
the substance of the story is elsewhere given. Or perhaps he has the
curiosity to know the speech of birds? With abridgment, by occasional
change of phrase, above all by immense omission,--here, in specimen, is
something like what the Rookery says to poor Friedrich Wilhelm and us,
through St. Mary Axe and the Copyists in the Foreign Office! Friedrich
Wilhelm reads it (Hotham gives him reading of it) some weeks hence; we
not till generations afterwards. I abridge to the utmost;--will mark
in single commas what is not Abridgment but exact Translation;--with
rigorous attention to dates, and my best fidelity to any meaning there
may be:--

TO NOSTI (the so-called Excellenz Reichenbach) IN LONDON:

Gumkow from Berlin LOQUITUR, Reichenbach listening with both his ears
(words caught up in St. Mary Axe).

BERLIN, 3d MARCH, 1730. "The time has now come when Reichenbach must
play his game. Let him write that the heads of the Opposition, who play
Austria as a card in Parliament, 'are in consternation, Walpole having
hinted to them that he was about to make friends with the King of
Prussia;' 'that by means of certain ministers at Berlin, and by other
subterranean channels (AUTRES SOUTERRAINS), his Prussian Majesty had
been brought to a disposition of that kind' [Knyphausen, Borck and
others will be much obliged to Reichenbach for so writing!], That
Reichenbach knows they intend sending a Minister to Berlin; but is
certain enough, as perhaps they are, his Prussian Majesty will not let
himself be lured or caught in the trap: but that the very rumor of its
being possible for him to change" from Austria, "would be an infinite
gain to the English Ministry,"--salvation of them, in fact, in the
Parliamentary cockpit. "That they had already given out in the way of
rumor, How sure they were of the Court of Berlin whenever it came to the
point. That Reichenbach had tried to learn from 73 [An Indecipherable.]
what the real result from Berlin was; and did not think it much, though
the Walpole people," all hanging so perilously upon Prussia for their
existence, 'affected a great gayety; and indeed felt what a gain it was
even to have renewed the Negotiation with his Prussian Majesty.' Here
is a King likely to get himself illuminated at first-hand upon English
affairs; by Ministers lying abroad for him, and lying at home!--

'And so the King,' concludes Grumkow, 'will think Reichenbach is a witch
(SORVIER) to be so well informed about all that, and will redouble the
good opinion he has of Reichenbach. And so, if Reichenbach second my
ideas, we will pack Borck and Knyphausen about their business; and will
do the King faithful service,'--having, some of us, our private 500
pounds a year from Austria for doing it. 'The King perceives only too
well that the Queen's sickness is but sham (MOMERIE): judge of the
effect that has! I am yours entirely (TOUT A VOUS). I wait in great
impatience to hear your news upon all this: for I inform you accurately
how the land lies here; so that it only depends upon yourself to shine,
and to pass for a miracle of just insight,'--"SORCIER," or witch at
guessing mysteries, Grumkow calls it again. He continues in another

BERLIN, 7th MARCH. (Let us give the original for a line or two): 'Queen
Sophie will soon rise from her bed of sickness, were this marriage done;
_La Mere du Prince-Royal affecte toujours d'etre bien mal; mais des que
l'affaire entre le Prince de Galles et la Princesse-Royale sera faite,
on la verra bientot sur pied.'_ "It will behoove that Reichenbach
signify to the Prince-Royal's Father that all this affair has been
concocted at Berlin with Borck and by 71 [An Indecipherable.] with
Knyphausen and 103. [An Indecipherable.] That they never lose sight of
an alliance with the English Princess and the Prince of Prussia; and
flatter themselves the Prince-Royal of Prussia will accompany the
Princess-Royal," Wilhelmina, "on HER marriage there." "In a word, that
all turns on this latter point," marriage of the PRINCE-Royal as well;
and "that Villa has given so favorable a description of this Prince,
that the English Princess will have him at what price soever. Nosti can
also allege the affair of 100,"--whom we at last decipher to be LORD
HARRINGTON, once Colonel Stanhope, of Soissons, of the Madrid Embassy,
of the descent on Vigo; a distinguished new Lord, with whom Newcastle
hopes to shove out Townshend,--"Lord Harrington, and the division
among the Ministers:"--great question, Shall the firm be Townshend
and Walpole, or Walpole and Townshend? just going on; brewing towards
decision; in which the Prussian Double-Marriage is really a kind of
card, and may by Nosti be represented as a trump card.

"The whole Town of Berlin said, This Villa was dismissed by order of the
King, for he taught the eldest Princess English; but I see well it
was Borck, 107, [An Indecipherable.] Knyphausen and Dubourgay that
despatched him, to give a true picture of the situation here. And if
Nosti has written to his Majesty to the same effect as he does to his
Friend [Despatch to Majesty has not yet come under Friend's eye] on
the Queen of England's views about the Prince-Royal of Prussia, it will
answer marvellously (CELA VIENT A MERVEILLE). I have apprised Seckendorf
of all that Nosti writes to me." 'For the rest, Nosti may perfectly
assure himself that the King never will abandon Reichenbach; and if the
Prince-Royal,' sudden Fate interfering, 'had the reins in his hand,--in
that case, Seckendorf promises to Reichenbach, on the part of the
Kaiser, all or more than all he can lose by the accession of the Prince.
Monsieur Reichenbach may depend upon that.' [Prussian Despatches, vol.
xl. The second of these two Letters is copied, we perceive, by VILLA;
who transmits it to Hotham's Secretary at Berlin, with great hopes from
it. Letter "unsigned," adds Villa (POINT SIGNEE). First was transmitted
by Townshend.--Following are transmitted by &c. &c. It is in that way
they have got into the State-Paper Office,--as ENCLOSURES in the varions
Despatches that carried them out to Berlin to serve as Diplomatic
Ammunition there.]

Slave Reichenbach at London, when this missive comes to hand, is busy
copying scandal according to former instructions for behoof of his
Prussian Majesty, and my Bashaw Grumkow; for example:--


Excellenz Reichenbach LOQUITUR;--snatched in St. Mary Axe.

LONDON, 10th MARCH, 1730. "... Reichenbach has told his Prussian Majesty
to-day by a Courier who is to pass through Brussels [Austrian Kinsky's
Courier, no doubt], what amours the Prince of Wales," dissolute Fred,
"has on hand at present with actresses and opera-girls. The King of
Prussia will undoubtedly be astonished. The affair merits some attention
at present,"--especially from an Excellenz like me.--

[MISSIVE (body of important Grumkow Instructions just read by us) COMES

LONDON, 14th MARCH, 1730. 'Reichenbach will write by the first, Ordinary
[so they name Post, in those days] all that Glumkow orders. Reichenbach
sees well, they mean to play the deuce here (_jouent le diable a quatre
ici_): but Reichenbach will tell his Prussian Majesty what Grumkow finds
fit.' Good Excellenz Reichenbach 'flatters himself the King will remain
firm, and not let his enemies deceive him. If Grumkow and Seckendorf
have opportunity they may tell his Prussian Majesty that the whole
design of this Court is to render his Country a Province dependent on
England. When once the Princess-Royal of England shall be wedded to the
Prince-Royal of Prussia, the English, by that means, will form such a
party at Berlin, that they will altogether tie his Prussian Majesty's
hands.' A comfortable piece of news to his Prussian Majesty in
Tobacco-Parliament. 'Reichenbach will assuredly be vigilant; depend on
his answering Grumkow always by the first post.'

Continues;--turning his rook-bill towards Majesty now. Same date (14th
March), same time, place and bird:--

TO HIS PRUSSIAN MAJESTY (from Excellenz Reichenbach).

'... P.S. I had closed this Letter when a person of confidence came
in [the fact being, my Grumkow's Missive of instructions came in, or
figuratively speaking, my Grumkow himself], and undertook to give me
in a few days a thorough insight into the intrigues which are concealed
under the sending of this new Minister,' Hotham, 'to Berlin; which, and
how they have been concocted, he says, it will astonish me to hear. Of
all this I shall immediately inform your Majesty in a letter of my own
hand; being ever eager to serve your Majesty alone.'

Hotham is now fairly gone, weeks ago; concluded to be now in Berlin,--to
the horror of both rooks. Here is a croak from NOSTI:--


LONDON, APRIL, 1730. "... Hotham is no such conjurer as they fancy in
Berlin;--singular enough, how these English are given to undervalue
the Germans; whilst we in Germany overvalue them" (_avons une idee
trop vaste,_ they _trap petite_). 'There is, for instance, Lord
Chesterfield, passes here for a fair-enough kind of man (BON HOMME),
and is a favorite with the King [not with Walpole or the Queen, if
Nosti knew it]; but nobody thinks him such a prodigy as you all do in
Germany,'--which latter bit of Germanism is an undoubted fact; curious
enough to the English, and to the Germans that now read in extinct

Hotham, as we said, got to Berlin on the 2d of April. From Berlin comes
thereupon, at great length, sordid description by Grumkow, of that
initiatory Hotham Dinner, April Third, with fearful details of the
blazing favor Hotham is in. Which his Majesty (when Hotham hands it to
him, in due time) will read with painful interest; as Reichenbach now
does;--but which to us is all mere puddle, omissible in this place.

To which sad Strophe, there straightway follows due Anti-strophe,
Reichenbach croaking responsive;--and we are to note, the rooks always
speak in the third person and by ambiguous periphrasis; never once say
"I" or "You," unless forced by this Editor, for brevity's sake, to do
it. Reichenbach from his perch thus hoarsely chants:--


LONDON, 11th APRIL. 'Reichenbach EST COUP-DE-FOUDRE,--is struck by
lightning,--to hear these Berlin news;'--and expresses, in the style of
a whipt dog, his sorrows, uncertainties and terrors, on the occasion.
"Struck with lightning. Feel myself quite ill, and not in a condition
to write much today. It requires another head than mine to veer round so
often (_changer si souvent de systame_). In fine, _Nosti est au bout de
son latin_ (is at his wit's end, poor devil)! Both Majesties have spoken
openly of the favorable news from Berlin; funds rose in consequence.
New Minister [Walpole come to the top of the Firm, Townshend soon to
withdraw, impatient of the bottom] is all-powerful now: O TEMPORA, O
MORES!" "I receive universal congratulations, and have to smile" in a
ghastly manner. "The King and Queen despise me. I put myself in their
way last Levee, bowing to the ground; but they did not even condescend
to look." _'Notre grand petit-maitre,'_ little George, the Olympian Jove
of these parts, "passed on as if I had not been there." 'Chesterfield,
they say, is to go, in great pomp, as Ambassador Extraordinary, and
fetch the Princess over. And'--Alas, in short, Once I was hap-hap-happy,
but now I'm MEEserable!

LONDON, 14th APRIL. "Slave Reichenbaoh cannot any longer write secret
Letters to his Prussian Majesty according to the old strain, of your
prescribing; but must stand by his vacant Official Despatches: the scene
being entirely changed, he also must change his manner of writing"--poor
knave. "He will have to inform his Majesty, however, by and by, though
it is not safe at present,"--for example,--'That his Britannic Majesty
is becoming from day to day more hated by all the world; and that the
Prince of Wales is no longer liked by the Public, as at first; because
he begins to give himself airs, and takes altogether the manners of
his Britannic Majesty, that is to say of a puppy (PETIT-MAITRE); let my
Amiable [Grumkow] be aware of that'--

Yes, let him be aware of that, to his comfort,--and still more, and all
readers along with him, of what follows:--

'Reichenbach likewise with great confidence informs the Greatest
Confidant he has in the world [same amiable Glumkow], that he has
discovered within this day or two,' a tremendous fact, known to our
readers some time ago, 'That the Prince-Royal of Prussia has given his
written assurances to the Queen here, Never to many anybody in the
world except the Princess Amelia of England, happen what will [Prussian
Majesty will read this with a terrible interest! Much nearer to him than
it is to us]. In consideration of which Promise, the Queen of England
is understood,' falsely, 'to have answered that they should, at present,
ask only the Princess-Royal of Prussia for their Prince of Wales,' and
let the Double-Marriage BE, seemingly, as his Prussian Majesty wishes
it. 'Monsieur de Reichenbaoh, did not speak of this to his Prussian
Majesty; feeling it too dangerous just now.--

'Lord Townshend is still at his place in the country [Rainham in
Norfolk]: but it is said he will soon come to Town; having heard the
great news that they had already got his Prussian Majesty by the nose.
Reichenbach forgets if he already told Grumkow that the rumor runs,
Lord Chesterfield, in quality of Ambassador to Berlin, is to bring
the Princess Wilhelmina over hither:'--you did already, poor confused
wretch; unusually bewildered, and under frightful eclipse at present.

Continues after four days:--

APRIL 18th. "... Lord Stratford [to me an unknown Lordship] and heads
of Opposition would like to ascertain what Hotham's offer to the King of
Prussia IS."

Truly, yes; they mean to ask in Parliament (as poor gamblers in that
Cockpit are wont), 'And why did not you make the offer sooner, then?
Friendship with his Prussian Majesty, last year, would have saved the
whole of that large Waterspout about the Meadows of Clamei! Nay need
we, a few months ago, have spent such loads of gold subsidizing those
Hessians and Danes against him? The treasures of this Country go
a strange road, Mr. Speaker! What is the use of our industries and
riches?' Heavens, yes, what! But we continue to excerpt and interpret:--

Reichenbach "has said nothing of this to his Prussian Majesty,
Reichenbach has not; too dangerous in own present down-pressed
state:--though amazingly exact always in news, and attached to his
Prussian Majesty as mortal seldom was. Need he fear their new Hotham,
then? Does not fear Hotham, not he him, being a man so careful of truth
in his news. Dare not, however, now send any intelligence about the
Royal Family here; Prussian Majesty having ordered him not to write
gossip like a spiteful woman: What is he to do? Instruct him, O my

"Know for the rest, and be aware of it, O Amiable, that Queen Caroline
here is of opinion, The Amiable Grumkow should be conciliated; and that
Queen Sophie and Hotham are understood to have been trying it. Do not
abandon me, O Amiable; nay I know you will not, you and Seckendorf,
never, though I am a poor man.

"Have found out a curious story, HISTOIRE FORT CRIEUSE,--about one of
Prince Fred's amourettes." Story which this Editor, in the name of the
whole human species, will totally suppress, and sweep into the cesspool,
to herald Reichenbach thither. Except only that this corollary by the
Duchess of Kendal may be appended to the thing:--

"Duchess of Kendal [Hop-pole EMERITA, now gone to devotion, whom we
know, piously turns up her eyes at such doings], thinks the Princess
Wilhelmina will have a bad life of it with Fred, and that she 'will need
the wisdom of Solomon to get on here.' Not a good bargain, this Prince
Fred and his Sister. A dissolute fellow he, not liked by the Public" (I
should hope). 'Then as to Princess Amelia, she, who was always haughty,
begins to give herself airs upon the Prince-Royal of Prussia; she is
as ill-tempered as her Father, and still more given to backbiting (PLUS
RAILLEUSE), and will greatly displease the Potsdam Majesty.'

These are cheering thoughts. "But what is to become of Nosti? Faithful
to his Grumkow, to his Seckendorf--to his pair of sheep-stealers, poor
dog. But if trouble rise;--oh, at least do not hang me, ye incomparable


Slave Nosti's terrors, could he see behind the scenes, are without
foundation! the tremendous Hotham Negotiation, all ablaze at that
Charlottenburg Dinner, is sunk low enough into the smoking state,
threatening to go out altogether. Smoke there may still be, perceptible
vestiges of smoke; which indeed, for a long time, fitfully continued:
but, at the time while Nosti, quaking in every joint of him, writes
these terrors, Hotham perceives that his errand is vain; that
properly there has as good as extinction supervened. April 3d was the
flame-point; which lasted in its brightness only for a few days or
hours. April is not gone, or half gone, when flaming has quite ceased,
and the use of bellows, never so judicious, is becoming desperate: and
long before the end of May, no red is to be seen in the affair at all,
and the very bellows are laid down.

Here--are the epochs: riddled out of such a mass of extinct rubbish as
human nature seldom had to deal with;--here are certain extracts in a
greatly condensed state, from the authentic voluminous Hotham Despatches
and Responses;--which may conveniently interrupt the Nosti Babblement at
this point.


Excellency Hotham LOQUITUR (in a greatly condensed form).

BERLIN, 12th APRIL, 1730. "... Of one or two noteworthy points I have to
apprise your Lordship. So soon as his Majesty was sober, he found that
he had gone too far at that grand dinner of Monday 3d; and was in very
bad humor in consequence. Crown-Prince has written from Potsdam to his
Sister, 'No doubt I am left here lest the English wind get at me (_de
peur que le vent anglais ne me touchat_).' Saw King at Parade, who was a
little vague; 'is giving matters his consideration.' Majesty has said to
Borck and Knyphausen, 'If they want the Double-Marriage, and to detach
me from the Kaiser, let them propose something about Julich and Berg.'
Sits the wind in that quarter? King has said since, to one Marschall,
a Private-Secretary who is in our interest: 'I hate my Son, and my
Son hates me: we are best asunder;--let them make him STATTHALTER
(Vice-regent) of Hanover, with his Princess!' Commission might be
made out in the Princess Amelia's name; proper conditions tied, and so
on:--Knyphausen suggests it could be done. Knyphausen is true to us; but
he stands alone [not alone, but cannot much help]; does not even stir in
the NOSTI or ST.-MARY-AXE Affair as yet."

Prince Friedrich to be STATTHALTER in Hanover with his English Princess?
That would save the expense of an Establishment for him at home. That
has been suggested by the Knyphausen or English party: and no doubt
it looked flattering to his Prussian Majesty for moments. This may be
called Epoch first, after that grand Charlottenburg Dinner.

Then as to the NOSTI Affair, in which Knyphausen "does not stir as
yet,"--the fact is, it was only put into Knyphausen's hands the day
before YESTERDAY, as we soon discover; and Knyphausen is not so sure
about it as some are! That Hotham Despatch is of Wednesday, 12th April.
And not till yesterday could Guy Dickens report performance of the
other important thing. Captain Guy Dickens, a brisk handy military man,
Secretary to Dubourgay this good while past, "Has duly received from
Headquarters the successive NOSTI-GRUMKOW documents, caught up in St.
Mary Axe; has now delivered them to Knyphausen, to be laid before his
Prussian Majesty in a good hour; and would fain (Tuesday, April 11th)
hope some result from this step." Not for almost a month does Hotham
himself say anything of it to the Prussian Majesty, good hour for
Knyphausen not having come. But now, in regard to that Hanover
Statthaltership, hear Townshend,--condensed, but not nearly so much
so, my Lord being a succinct man who sticks always creditably to the


LONDON, 27th APRIL. "Yes, you shall have the Hanover Vice-regency. We
will set up the Crown-Prince Friedrich in Hanover as desired; but will
give the Commission to our own Princess, that being more convenient for
several reasons: Crown-Prince, furthermore, must promise to come over to
England when we require him; ITEM may repay us our expenses hereafter,
As to Marriage-Portions, we will give none with our Princess, nor ask
any with theirs. Both marriages or none." Ann so enough.

Alas, nothing came of this; Prussian Majesty, in spite of thrift,
perceiving that, for several reasons, it would not do. Meanwhile
Grumkow, we learn from a secret source, [NOSTI, supra (18th April), p.
185; infra, p. 101.] has been considerably courted by Botham and her
Prussian Majesty; Queen Caroline having signified from England, That
they ought to gain that knave,--what price did he charge for himself?
But this also proves quite unavailing; never came to PRICING. And
so,--hear Hotham once more:--

TO LORD TOWNSHEND AT LONDON (from Excellency Hotham).

BERLIN, 18th APRIL. "... Grumkow is a thorn in my side: one would like
to do him some service in return." 'Cannot you stop an ORIGINAL Letter
of his' (we have only deciphered Copies as yet) to that Reichenbach
or NOSTI, 'strong enough to break his back?--They will try. Hotham
continues in next Despatch:--

BERLIN, 22d APRIL. "Dined with the King again; Crown-Prince was present:
dreadfully dejected,--'at which one cannot help being moved; there is
something so engaging in the Prince, and everybody says so much good of
him.'" Hear Hotham! Who again, three days after, says of our Fritz:
'If I am not much mistaken, this young Prince will one day make a very
considerable figure.' "Wish we could manage the Marriage; but this
Grumkow, this"--Cannot they contrive to send an ORIGINAL strong enough?

Alas, from the same secret source we learn, within a week, that
Grumkow's back is very strong; the Tobacco-Parliament in full blast
again, and Seckendorf's Couriers galloping to Vienna with the best news.
Nay his Majesty looks expressly "sour upon Hotham," or does not look at
all; will not even speak when he sees him;--for a reason we shall
hear. [NOSTI, infra (29th April), p. 191.] can it, be thought that any
liberality in use of the bellows or other fire-implements will now avail
with his Majesty?


But at this point let our Two Rooks recommence a little: Nosti, on the
18th, we left quaking in every joint of him;--and good news was almost
at the door, had afflicted Nosti known it. Grumkow's strain (suppressed
by us here), all this while, is in general, almost ever since the blaze
of that Hotham Dinner went off into repentant headache: 'Pshaw, don't
fear!' Nay after a fortnight or so, it is again: 'Steady! we are
all right?' Tobacco-Parliament and the Royal Imagination making such
progress. This is still but the third week since that grand Dinner at


BERLIN, 22d APRIL. 'King wants to get rid of the Princess' Wilhelmina,
'who is grown lean, ugly, with pimples on her face (_qui est devenue
maigre, laide, couperosee,'_ [This is one of the sentences Wilhelmina
has got hold of (Wilhelmina, i. 234).]--dog: will nobody horsewhip that
lie out of him!)--'judge what a treat that will be to a Prince of Wales,
who has his amourettes!' All is right, Nosti, is it not?

BERLIN, 25th APRIL. "King declared to Seckendorf yesterday again, He
might write to the Kaiser, That while he lived, nothing should ever
part his Majesty from the Kaiser and his Cause; that the French dare
not attack Luxembourg, as is threatened; and if they do--! Upon which
Seckendorf despatched a Courier to Vienna.

"As to Hotham, he explains himself upon nothing,"--stalks about with his
nose in the air, as if there were nothing farther to be explained. "I
spoke yesterday of the Single Match, Wilhelmina and Prince of Wales;
King answered, even of the Single Match, Devil fly away with it!"--or a
still coarser phrase.

'Meanwhile the Queen, though at the end of her eighth month, is cheery
as a fish in water; [Wilhelmina has this too, in a disfigured state (i.
233).] and always forms grand project of totally ruining Seckendorf, by
Knyphausen's and other help.' "Hotham yesterday, glancing at Nosti no
doubt, said to the SIEUR DE POTSDAM [cant phrase for the King], 'That
great Princes were very unlucky to have ministers that durst not show
themselves in good society; for the result was, they sent nothing but
false news and rumors picked up in coffee-houses.'"

"Coffee-houses?" answers Reichenbach, by and by: "Reichenbach is in
English society of the first distinction, and receives visits from Lords
and Dukes. This all the world knows"--to be nothing like the case, as
Townshend too has occasionally mentioned.

At any rate, continues Grumkow, "the Queen's Husband said, aside, to
Nosti's Friend, 'I see he is glancing at Reichenbach; but he won't
make much of that (cynically speaking, _ne fera que de l'eau claire).'_
Hotham is by no means a man of brilliant mind, and his manners are
rough: but Ginkel," the Dutchman, "is cleverer (PLUS SOUPLE), and much
better liked by Nosti's Master."

ANTISTROPHE soon follows; London Raven is himself again;--Nosti

LONDON, 25th APRIL. "... King has written to me, I AM to report to him
any talk there may be in the Court here about his Majesty! My Amiable
and his Seckendorf, need they ask if Nosti will, and in a way to give
them pleasure?"...

STROPHE (allegro by the Berlin Raven or Rook, who has not yet heard the
above);--Grumkow LOQUITUR:--

BERLIN, 29th APRIL. "... Wrong not to write entertaining news of the
English Court as heretofore. King likes it.

"What you say of the Prince-Royal of Prussia's writing to the Queen of
England, is very curious; and you did well to say nothing of it to the
Father; the thing being of extreme delicacy, and the proof difficult.
But it seems likely. And I insinuated something of it to his Majesty,
the day before yesterday [27th April, 1730, therefore? One momentary
glance of Hansard into the Tobacco-Parliament], as of a thing I had
learned from a spy" (such my pretence, O Nosti)--spy "who is the
intimate friend of Knyphausen and plays traitor: you may fancy that it
struck terribly. "Yes!" And his Majesty has looked sour upon Hotham ever
since; and passed above an hour in colloquy with Seckendorf and me, in
sight both of English Hotham and Dutch Ginkel without speaking to them.

"It was true enough what Nosti heard of the Queen's fair speeches, and
Hotham's, to the Friend of Nosti. But it is all ended: the Queen's,
weeks ago, being in vain: Hotham too, after some civilities, seems now
indifferent. 'ENFIN ['Afin' he always writes it, copying the indistinct
gurgle of his own horse-dialect]--AFIN FILOUTERIE TOUT PURE' (whole of
it thimblerig, on their part).

"Admirable story, that of Prince Fred's amourette [sent to the cesspool
by us, herald of Reichenbach thither]: let his Majesty know it, by
all means. What the Duchess of Kendal [lean tall female in expensive
brocades, with gilt prayer-books, visible in the body to Nosti at that
time], what the Duchess of Kendal says to you is perfectly just; and as
the Princess Wilhelmina is very ill-looking [LAIDE,--how dare you say
so, dog?], I believe she will have a bad life of it, the Prince of Wales
being accustomed to daintier meats. Yes truly, she will, as the Duchess
says, 'need to be wiser than Solomon' to conciliate the humors down
there (LA BAS) with the genius of his Prussian Majesty and Queen.--'As
for your Princess Amelia, depend upon it, while the Commandant of
Potsdam lives, she will never get hold of the Prince-Royal, though he is
so furiously taken with the Britannic Majesties.'"

[Continues; in answer to a Nosti "Caw! Caw!" which we omit.]

BERLIN, 2d MAY.--"Wish you had not told the King so positively that
the English say, it shall be Double Match or none. Hotham said to
the Swedish Ambassador: 'Reichenbach, walking in the dark, would give
himself a fine knock on the nose (_aurait un furieux pied de nez_),
when,' or IF, 'the thing was done quite otherwise.' Have a caution what
you write."

Pooh, pooh! Hotham must have said "if," not "when;" Swede is quite
astray!--And indeed we will here leave off, and shut down this magazine
of rubbish; right glad to wash ourselves wholly from it (in three
waters) forevermore. Possibly enough the Prussian Dryasdust will,
one day, print it IN EXTENSO, and with that lucidity of comment and
arrangement which is peculiar to him; exasperated readers will then see
whether I have used them ILL or not, according to the opportunity there
was!--Here, at any rate, my reader shall he free of it. Indeed he may
perceive, the negotiation was by this time come to a safe point, the
Nosti-Grumkows triumphant, and the interest of the matter mainly out.
Farther transient anxieties this amiable couple had,--traceable in that
last short croak from Grumkow,--lest the English might consent to that
of the "Single-Marriage in the mean time" (which the English never did,
or meant to do). For example, this other screech of Nosti, which shall
be his final last-screech:--

LONDON, 12th MAY.--"Lord Townshend alarmingly hinted to me: Better have
done with your Grumkow-and-Seckendorf speculations: the ill-intentioned
are perfectly sure to be found out at the end of the account; and their
tools will get ruined along with them. Nosti endeavored to talk big in
reply: but he shakes in his shoes nevertheless; and with a heart full of
distraction exclaims now, Save yourselves, save me!--If Hotham speak of
the Single-Marriage only, it is certain the Prince-Royal must mean to
run away," and so make it a Double one in time.

Yes, indeed! But these were transient terrors. The day is our own, my
Grumkow; yes, our own, my Nosti:--and so our Colloquy of Rookeries shall
be suppressible henceforth.


We have only to add what Hotham reports (Berlin, May 6th), That he
"has had an interview with his Majesty, and spoken of the St.-Mary-Axe
affair; Knyphausen having found a moment to lay it before his Majesty."
So that the above Excerpts from St. Mary Axe (all but the last
two),--the above, and many more suppressed by us,--are in his Majesty's
hands: and he is busy studying them; will, it is likely, produce them in
an amazed Tobacco-Parliament one of these evenings!--

What the emotions of the royal breast were during the perusal of this
extraordinary dialogue of birds, which has come to him through St. Mary
Axe--? Manifold probably: manifold, questionable; but not tragical, or
not immediately so. Certainly it is definable as the paltriest babble;
no treason visible in it, nor constructive treason; but it painfully
indicates, were his Majesty candid, That his Majesty is subject to spies
in his own House; nay that certain parties do seem to fancy they have
got his Majesty by the nose, and are piping tunes with an eye to his
dancing, thereto. This is a painful thought, which, I believe, does much
agitate his Majesty now and afterwards.--A painful thought or suspicion,
rising sometimes (in that temperament of his) to the pitch of the
horrible. I believe it occasionally, ever henceforth, keeps haunting the
highly poetic temperament of his Majesty, nor ever quits him again at
all; stalking always, now and then, through the vacant chambers of his
mind, in what we may call the night-season (or time of solitude and
hypochondriacal reflection),--though in busy times again (in daylight,
so to speak) he impatiently casts it from him. Poor Majesty!

But figure Grumkow, figure the Tobacco-Parliament when Majesty laid
these Papers on the Table! A HANSARD of that night would be worth
reading. There is thunderous note of interrogation on his Majesty's
face;--what a glimmer in the hard puckery eyes of Feldzeugmeister
Seckendorf, "JARNI-BLEU!" No doubt, an excessively astonished
Parliament. Nothing but brass of face will now serve the principal
Honorable Gentleman there; but in that happily he is not wanting.

Of course Grumkow denies the Letters point-blank: Mere forgeries, these,
of the English Court, plotting to ruin your Majesty's faithful servant,
and bring in other servants they will like better! May have written
to Reichenbach, nay indeed has, this or that trifling thing: but those
Copyists in St. Mary Axe, "deciphering,"--garbling, manufacturing, till
they make a romance of it,--alas, your Majesty? Nay, at any rate,
what are the Letters? Grumkow can plead that they are the foolishest
insignificant rubbish of Court-gossip, not tending any bad road, if they
have a tendency. That they are adapted to the nature of the beast, and
of the situation,--this he will carefully abstain from remarking.

We have no HANSARD of this Session; all is conjecture and tobacco-smoke.
What we know is, not the least effect, except an internal trouble, was
produced on the royal mind by the St.-Mary-Axe Discovery. Some Question
there might well be, inarticulately as yet, of Grumkow's fidelity, at
least of his discretion; seeds of suspicion as to Grumkow, which may
sprout up by and by; resolution to keep one's eye on Grumkow. But the
first practical fruit of the matter is, fierce jealousy that the
English and their clique do really wish to interfere in our ministerial
appointments; so that, for the present, Grumkow is firmer in his place
than ever. And privately, we need not doubt, the matter continues
painful to his Majesty.

One thing is certain, precisely a week after, his Majesty,--much
fluctuating in mind evidently, for the Document "has been changed three
or four times within forty-eight hours,"--presents his final answer
to Hotham. Which runs to this effect ("outrageous," as Hotham defines

"1. For Hanover and your great liberality on that score, much obliged;
but upon reconsideration think it will not do. 2. Marriage FIRST, Prince
of Wales to Wilhelmina,--Consent with pleasure. 3. Marriage SECOND,
Crown-Prince Friedrich with your Amelia,--for that also we are extremely
wishful, and trust it will one day take effect: but first these
Seville-Treaty matters, and differences between the Kaiser and allied
English and French will require to be pulled straight; that done, we
will treat about the terms of Marriage SECOND. One indispensable will
be,--That the English guarantee our Succession in Julich and Berg."
[Hotham's Despatch, 18th May, 1730.]

"Outrageous" indeed!--Crown-Prince sends, along with this, a loving
message by Hotham, of earnestly deprecating tenor, to the Britannic
Majesty; "begs his Britannic Majesty not to reject the King's Proposals,
whatever they may be,--this for poor Sister Wilhelmina's sake. 'For
though he, the Crown-Prince, was determined to lose his life sooner
than marry anybody but the Princess Amelia, yet if this Negotiation were
broken off, his Father would go to extremities to force him and his poor
Sister into other engagements.'"--Which, alas, what can it avail with
the Britannic Majesty, in regard to such outrageous Propositions from
the Prussian?

Britannic Majesty's Ministry, as always, answers by return of
Courier:--"MAY 22d. Both Marriages, or none: Seville has no concern with
both, more than with one: DITTO Julich and Berg,--of which latter
indeed we know nothing,--nor (ASIDE TO HOTHAM) mean to know." [Despatch,
Whitehall, 11th May (22d by N.S.)]. Whereby Hotham perceives that it
is as good to throw away the bellows, and consider the matter extinct.
Hotham makes ready for an Excursion into Saxony, to a thing called
never-imagined magnificence, to be given by August the Strong there,
whither all the world is crowding;--and considers any Business he had at
Berlin to be as good as done.

Evidently Friedrich Wilhelm has not been much wrought upon by the
St.-Mary-Axe Documents! One week they have been revolving in the royal
mind; part of a week in the Smoking Parliament (we know not what
day they were laid on the table there, but it must have been a grand
occurrence within those walls!)--and this already (May 13th) is the
result arrived at: Propositions, changed three or four times within
forty-eight hours, and definable at last as "outrageous;" which
induce Hotham to lay down the bellows, and prepare to go his ways. Our
St.-Mary-Axe discovery seems to have no effect at all!--

One other public result there is from it, and as yet one only:
Reichenbach, "from certain causes thereto moving Us (_aus gewissen Uns
dazu bewegenden Grunden_)," gets a formal Letter of Recall. Ostensible
Letter, dated Berlin, 13th May, and signed Friedrich Wilhelm; which the
English may read for their comfort. Only that along with this, of the
same date and signature, intended for Reichenbach's comfort, the same
Leather Bag brings a Private Letter (which Dickens or another has
contrived to get sight of and copy), apprising Reichenbach, That,
unostensibly, his proceedings are approved of; that he is to continue
at his post till further orders, all the same, "and keep watch on these
Marriages, about which there is such debating in the world (_wovon in
der Welt so viel debattirt wird_); things being still in the same
state as half a year ago. That is to say, I am ready for my Daughter's
Marriage with the Prince of Wales: but for my Son, he is too young yet;
_und hat es damit keine Eile, weil ich Gottlob noch zwei Sohne hab_
(nor is there any haste, as I have, thank God, two other sons,"--and a
third coming, if I knew it):--"besides one indispensable condition will
be, that the English guarantee Julich and Berg," which perhaps they are
not in the least hurry for, either!--

What does the English Court think of that? Dated "Berlin, 13th May:" it
is the same day when his Majesty's matured Proposals, "changed thrice
or oftener within the forty-eight hours," were handed to Hotham for
transmission to his Court. An interesting Leather Bag, this Ordinary
from Berlin. Reichenbach, we observe, will get his share of it some ten
days after that alarming rebuke from Townshend; and it will relieve the
poor wretch from his worst terrors: "Go on with your eavesdroppings as
before, you alarmed wretch!"--There does one Degenfeld by and by, a
man of better quality (and on special haste, as we shall see) come and
supersede poor Nosti, and send him home:--there they give Nosti some
exiguous Pension, with hint to disappear forevermore. Which he does;
leaving only these St.-Mary-Axe Documents for his Lifemark in the
History of Mankind.

What the English Answer to his Majesty's Proposals of Berlin, May 13th,
was, we have already seen;--dated "London, 22d May," probably few hours
after the Courier arrived. Hotham, well anticipating what it would
be, had already, as we phrased it, "laid down the bellows;" left the
Negotiation, as essentially extinct;--and was preparing for the "Camp
at Radewitz," Britannic Majesty being anxious to hear what Friedrioh
Wilhelm and August the Strong have on hand there.

"The King of Prussia's unsteadiness and want of resolution," writes
Hotham (Berlin, 20th May), "will hinder him from being either very
useful to his friends, or very formidable to his enemies." And from
the same place, just about quitting it for Radewitz, he writes again,
exactly a week after ("Berlin, 27th May"), to enclose Copy of a
remarkable Letter; remarkable to us also;--but which, he knows and
we, cannot influence the English Answer now close at hand. Here is
the copied Letter; copied in Guy Dickens's hand; from which we
translate,--and also will give the original French in this instance, for
behoof of the curious:--


[POTSDAM, End of May, 1730.]

"MONSIEUR,--Je crois que c'est de la derniere importance que je vous
ecrive; et je suis assez triste d'avoir des chases a vous dire que je
devrois cacher a toute la terre: mais il faut franchir ce mauvais pas
la; et vous comptant de mes amis, je me resouds plus facilement a vous
le dire. C'est que je suis traite d'une maniere inouie du Roi, et que
je sais qu'a present ils se trament de terribles choses contre moi,
touchant certaines Lettres que j'ai ecrites l'hiver passe, dont je crois
que vous serez informe. Enfin pour vous parler franchement, la vraie
raison que le Roi a de ne vouloir point donner les mains a ce Mariage
est, qu'il me veut toujours tenir sur un bas pied, et me faire enrager
toute sa vie, quand l'envie lui en prend; ainsi il ne l'accordera
jamais. Si l'on consent de votre cote que cette Princesse soit aussi
traitee ainsi, vous pouvez comprendre aisement que je serai fort triste
de rendre malheureuse une personne que j'estime, et de rester toujours
dans le meme etat ou je suis. Pour moi done je crois qu'il vaudroit
mieux finir le Mariage de ma Soeur ainsi auparavant, et ne point
demander au Roi seulement des assurances sur mon sujet, d'autant plus
que sa parole n'y fait rien: suffit que je reitere les promesses que
j'ai deja fait au Roi mon Oncle, de ne prendre jamais d'autre epouse que
sa seconde fille la Princess Amelie. Je suis une personne de parole, qui
pourra faire reussir ce que j'avance, pourvu que l'on se fie a moi. Je
vous le promets, et a present vous pouvez en avertir votre Cour; et je
saurai tenir ma promesse. Je suis toujours tout a vous,


[State-Paper Office: Prussian Despatches, vol. xli. (enclosed in Sir
Charles Hotham's Despatch, Berlin, 27th-16th May, 1730).]

"Monsieur,--I believe it is of the last importance that I should write
to you; and I am very sad to have things to say which I ought to conceal
from all the earth. But one must take that bad leap; and reckoning you
among my friends, I the more easily resolve to open myself to you.

"The case is this: I am treated in an unheard-of manner by the King;
and I know there are terrible things in preparation against me, touching
certain letters which I wrote last winter, of which I believe you are
informed. In a word, to speak frankly to you, the real secret reason why
the King will not consent to this Marriage is, That he wishes to keep
me on a low footing constantly, and to have the power of driving me mad,
whenever the whim takes him, throughout his life; thus he never will
give his consent. If it were possible that you on your side could
consent that your Princess too should be exposed to such treatment,
you may well comprehend that I should be very sad to bring misery on a
Person whom I esteem, and to remain always in the same state as now.

"For my own part, therefore, I believe it would be better to conclude my
Sister's Marriage in the first place, and not, even to ask from the King
any assurances in regard to mine; the rather as his word has nothing to
do with it: it is enough that I here reiterate the promises which I have
already made to the King my Uncle, Never to take another wife than his
second Daughter the Princess Amelia. I am a person of my word; and shall
be able to bring about what I set forth, provided there is trust put in
me. I promise it you; and now you may give your Court notice of it; and
I shall manage to keep my promise. I remain yours always."

The Crown-Prince, for Wilhelmina's sake and everybody's, is extremely
anxious they should agree to the Single Marriage in the interim: but
the English Court--perhaps for no deep reason, perhaps chiefly because
little George had the whim of standing grandly immovable upon his first
offer--never would hear of that. Which was an angry thought to the
Crown-Prince in after times, as we sometimes notice.

Here, to the like effect, is another Fragment from his Royal Highness,
copied in the Dickens hand, and enclosed in the same Despatch from
Hotham;--giving us a glance into the inner workshop of his Royal
Highness, and his hidden assiduities and endeavorings at that time:--

"... Vous pouvez croire que je ferai tout ce que je peux pour faire
reussir mon plan; mais l'on n'en remarquera rien em dehors;--que l'on
m'en laisse agir en suite, je ferai bien moi seul reussir le reste. Je
finis la par vous assurer encore, Monsieur, que je suis tout a vous.


"... You may believe I will exert all my resources to succeed in my
plan; but there will be no outward sign visible:--leave me to act in
this way, I will myself successfully bring it through. I end by again
assuring you, Monsieur, that I am yours always."--Which again produces
no effect; the English Answer being steadily, "Both Marriages, or none."

And this, then, is what the Hotham mission is come to? Good Dubourgay
is home, recalled about a month ago, "for the sake of his health,"
[Townshend's polite Despatch to him, Whitehall, 21st April, 1730.]--good
old gentleman, never to be heard of in Diplomatic History more.
Dubourgay went in the first days of May; and the month is not out, when
Hotham is off to the Camp of Radewitz; leaving his Negotiation, as it
were, extinct. To the visible regret of the Berlin public generally;
to the grievous disappointment of Queen Sophie, of the Crown-Prince and
some others,--not to speak of Wilhelmina's feelings, which are unknown
to us.

Regretful Berlin, Wilhelmina and Mamma among the others, had, by
accident, in these dejected circumstances, a strange Sign from the
Heavens provided them, one night,--if we may be permitted to notice it
here. Monday, 29th May;--and poor Queen Sophie, we observe withal, is
in the hands of the MONTHLY NURSE since Tuesday last! ["Prince Ferdinand
(her last child, Father of him whose fate lay at Jenz seventy-six years
afterwards), born 23d May, 1730."]


Monday 29th May, 1730, Friedrich Wilhelm and the Crown-Prince and Party
were at Potsdam, so far on their way towards Radewitz. All is peaceable
at Potsdam that night: but it was a night of wild phenomena at Berlin;
or rather of one wild phenomenon, the "Burning of the SANCT-PETERS
KIRCHE," which held the whole City awake and in terror for its life.
Dim Fassmann becomes unusually luminous on this affair (probably an
eye-witness to it, poor old soul); and enables us to fish up one old
Night of Berlin City and its vanished populations into clear view again,
if we like.

For two years back Berlin had been diligently building a non-plus-ultra
of Steeples to that fine Church of St. Peter's. Highest Steeple of them
all; one of the Steeples of the World, in a manner;--and Berlin was now
near ending it. Tower, or shaft, has been complete some time, interior
fittings going on; and is just about to get its ultimate apex, a
"Crown-Royal" set on it by way of finis. For his Majesty, the great
AEdile, was much concerned in the thing; and had given materials,
multifarious helps: Three incomparable Bells, especially, were his gift;
melodious old Bells, of distinguished tone, "bigger than the Great Bell
of Erfurt," than Tom of Lincoln,--or, as brief popular rumor has it,
the biggest Bells in the World, at least of such a TONE. These Bells
are hung, silent but ready in their upper chamber of the Tower, and
the gigantic Crown or apex is to go on; then will the basket-work of
scaffolding be peeled away, and the Steeple stretch, high and grand,
into the air, for ages it is hoped.

Far otherwise. On Monday evening, between eight and nine, there gathered
thunder over Berlin; wild tumult of the elements: thunder-bolt "thrice
in swift succession" struck the unfinished Steeple; in the "hood" of
which men thereupon noticed a light, as of a star, or sparkle of the
sun; and straight-way, in spite of the rain-torrents, there burst out
blazes of flame. Blazes unquenchable; grand yet perilous to behold. The
fire-drums beat, the alarm-bells clanged, and ceased not; all Berlin
struggling there, all night, in vain. Such volumes of smoke: "the
heavens were black as if you had hung them with mortcloth:" such roaring
cataracts of flame, "you could have picked up a copper doit at the
distance of 800 yards."--"Hiss-s-s!" what hissing far aloft is that?
That is the incomparable big Bells melting. There they vanish, their
fine tones never to be tried more, and ooze through the red-hot ruin,
"Hush-sh-sht!" the last sound heard from them. And the stem for holding
that immense Crown-royal,--it is a bar and bars of iron, "weighing
sixteen hundred-weight;" down it comes thundering, crashing through the
belly of St. Peter's, the fall of it like an earthquake all round. And
still the fire-drums beat, and from all surviving Steeples of Berlin
goes the clangor of alarm; "none but the very young children can have
slept that night," says our vigilant old friend.

Wind was awake, too; kindling the neighboring streets;--storming towards
the Powder-Magazine; where labor innumerable Artillerymen, "busy with
hides from the tan-pits, with stable-dung, and other material;" speed
to them, we will say! Forty dwelling-houses went; but not
the Powder-Magazine; not Berlin utterly (so to speak) by the
Powder-Magazine. On the morrow St. Peter's and neighborhood lay black,
but still inwardly burning; not for three days more could the ruins be
completely quenched.

That was the news for Friedrich Wilhelm, before sunrise, on the point
of his departure for Muhlberg and King August's scenic exhibitions.
"HM;--but we must go, all the same! We will rebuild it!" said he.--And
truly he did so. And the polite King August, sorry to hear of the
Peterskirche, "gave him excellent sandstone from the quarries of Pirna,"
says: Fassmann: "great blocks came boating down the Elbe" from that
notable Saxon Switzerland Country, notable to readers here in time
coming; and are to be found, as ashlar, in the modern St. Peter's at
Berlin; a fact which the reader, till Pirna be better known to him, may
remember if he likes. [Fassmann, pp. 406-409.]

And now let us to Radewitz without delay.


The Camp of Muhlberg, called more properly the Camp of Radewitz, towards
which Friedrich Wilhelm, with English Hotham and many dignitaries are
now gone, was one of the sublimest scenic military exhibitions in the
history of the world; leaving all manner of imitation tournaments,
modern "tin-tournaments," out of sight; and perhaps equalling the Field
of the Cloth of Gold, or Barbarossa's Mainz Tournament in ancient times.
It lasted for a month, regardless of expense,--June month of the year
1730;--and from far and wide the idle of mankind ran, by the thousand,
to see it. Shall the thing be abolished utterly,--as perhaps were
proper, had not our Crown-Prince been there, with eyes very open to it,
and yet with thoughts very shut;--or shall some flying trace of the big
Zero be given? Riddling or screening certain cart-loads of heavy
old German printed rubbish, [Chiefly the terrible compilation called
_Helden-Staats und Lebens-Geschichte des, &c. Friedrichs des Andern_
(History Heroical, Political and Biographical of Friedrich the Second),
Frankfurt and Leipzig, 1759-1760, vol, i. first HALF, pp. 171-210. There
are ten thick and thin half-volumes, and perhaps more. One of the most
hideous imbroglios ever published under the name of Book,--without
vestige of Index, and on paper that has no margin and cannot stand
ink,--yet with many curious articles stuffed blindly into the awful
belly of it, like jewels into a rag-sack, or into TEN rag-sacks all in
one; with far more authenticity than you could expect in such case. Let
us call it, for brevity, _Helden-Geschichte,_ in future references.]
to omit the Hotham Despatches, we obtained the following shovelful
of authentic particulars, perhaps not quite insupportable to existing

The exact size of the Camp of Radewitz I nowhere find measured; but
to judge on the map, [At p. 214.] it must have covered, with its
appendages, some ten or twelve square miles of ground. All on the Elbe,
right bank of the Elbe; Town of Muhlberg, chief Town of the District,
lying some ten miles northwest; then, not much beyond it, Torgau; and
then famed Wittenberg, all on the northwest, farther down the River: and
on the other side, Meissen with its Potteries not far to the southeast
of you, up the River, on the Dresden hand. Nay perhaps many of
my readers have seen the place, and not known, in their touring
expeditions; which are now blinder than ever, and done by steam, without
even eyesight, not to say intelligence. Precisely where the railway
from Leipzig to Dresden crosses the Elbe,--there, if you happen to
have daylight, is a flat, rather clayey country, dirty-greenish, as if
depastured partly by geese; with a big full River Elbe sweeping through
it, banks barish for a mile or two; River itself swift, sleek and of
flint-color; not unpleasant to behold, thus far on its journey from the
Bohemian Giant-Mountains seaward: precisely there, when you have
crossed the Bridge, is the south-most corner of August the Strong's
Encampment,--vanished now like the last flock of geese that soiled and
nibbled these localities;--and, without knowing it, you are actually
upon memorable ground.

Actually, we may well say; apart from August and his fooleries. For
here also it was, on the ground now under your eye, that Kurfurst Johann
Friedrich the Magnanimous, having been surprised the day before at
public worship in the abovementioned Town of Muhlberg, and completely
beaten by Kaiser Karl the Fifth and his Spaniards and Duke of Alba,
did, on Monday 25th April, 1547, ride forth as Prisoner to meet the said
Kaiser; and had the worst reception from him, poor man. "Take pity on
me, O God! This is what it is come to?" the magnanimous beaten Kurfurst
was heard murmuring as he rode. At sight of the Kaiser, he dismounted,
pulled off his iron-plated gloves, knelt, and was: for humbly taking the
Kaiser's hand, to kiss it. Kaiser would not; Kaiser looked thunderous
tornado on him, with hands rigidly in the vertical direction. The
magnanimous Kurfurst arose therefore; doffed his hat: "Great-mightiest
(GROSSMACHTIGSTER) all-gracious Kaiser, I am your Majesty's prisoner,"
said he, confining himself to the historical. "I AM Kaiser now,
then?" answered the sullen Tornado, with a black brow and hanging
under-jaw.--"I request my imprisonment may be prince-like," said the
poor Prince. "It shall be as your deserts have been!"--"I am in your
power; you will do your pleasure on me," answered the other;--and was
led away, to hard durance and peril of life for five years to come;
his Cousin Moritz, having expertly jockeyed his Electoral dignities
and territories from him in the interim; [De Wette, _Kursgefasste
Lebensgeschichte der Herzoge zu Sachsen_ (Weimar, 1770), pp. I, 33,
73.]--as was told above, long since.

Expert Cousin Moritz: in virtue of which same Moritz, or rather perhaps
in VICE of him, August the Strong is even now Elector of Saxony; Papist,
Pseudo-Papist Apostate King of Poland, and Non-plus-ultra of "gluttonous
Royal Flunkies;" doomed to do these fooleries on God's Earth for a time.
For the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children,--in ways
little dreamt of by the flunky judgment,--to the sixth generation and
farther. Truly enough this is memorable ground, little as King August,
thinks of it; little as the idle tourists think, or the depasturing
geese, who happen to be there.

The ten square miles have been industriously prepared for many months
past; shaved, swept by the best engineer science: every village of
it thoroughly cleaned, at least; the villages all let lodgings at a
Californian rate; in one village, Moritz by name, [Map at page 214.] is
the slaughter-house, killing oxen night and day; and the bakehouee, with
160 mealy bakers who never rest: in another village, Strohme, is the
playhouse of the region; in another, Glaubitz, the post-office: nothing
could excel the arrangements; much superior, I should judge, to those
for the Siege of Troy, and other world-great enterprises. Worthy really
of admiration, had the business not been zero. Foreign Courts: European
Diplomacy at large, wondered much what cunning scheme lay hidden here.
No scheme at all, nor purpose on the part of poor August; only that of
amusing himself, and astonishing the flunkies of Creation,--regardless
of expense. Three temporary Bridges, three besides the regular ferry of
the country, cross the Elbe; for the high officers, dames, damosels and
lordships of degree, and thousandfold spectators, lodge on both sides
of the Elbe: three Bridges, one of pontoons, one of wood-rafts, one of
barrels; immensely long, made for the occasion. The whole Saxon Army,
30,000 horse and foot with their artillery, all in beautiful brand-new
uniforms and equipments, lies beautifully encamped in tents and wooden
huts, near by Zeithayn, its rear to the Elbe; this is the "ARMEE LAGER
(Camp of the Army)" in our old Rubbish Books. Northward of which,--with
the Heath of Gorisch still well beyond, and bluish to you, in
the farther North,--rises, on favorable ground, a high "Pavilion"
elaborately built, elaborately painted and gilded, with balcony stages
round it; from which the whole ground, and everything done in it, is
surveyable to spectators of rank.

Eastward again, or from the Pavilion southeastward, at the right flank
of the Army, where again rises a kind of Height, hard by Radewitz,
favorable for survey,--there, built of sublime silk tents, or solid
well-painted carpentry, the general color of which is bright green,
with gilt knobs and gilt gratings all about, is the: "HAUPT-LAGER,"
Head-quarters, Main LAGER, Heart of all the LAGERS; where his Prussian
Majesty, and his Polish ditto, with their respective suites, are lodged.
Kinglike wholly, in extensive green palaces ready gilt and furnished;
such drawing-rooms, such bedrooms, "with floors of dyed wicker-work;"
the gilt mirrors, pictures, musical clocks; not even the fine
bathing-tubs for his Prussian Majesty have been forgotten. Never did man
or flunky see the like. Such immense successful apparatus, without and
within; no end of military valetaille, chiefly "janizaries," in Turk
costume; improvised flower-gardens even, and walks of yellow sand,--the
whole Hill of Radewitz made into a flower-garden in that way. Nay, in
the Army LAGER too, many of the Captains have made little improvised
flower-gardens in that Camp of theirs, up and down. For other Captains
not of a poetical turn, there are billiards, coffee-houses, and plenty
of excellent beer and other liquor. But the mountains of cavalry hay,
that stand guarded by patrols in the rearward places, and the granaries
of cavalry oats, are not to be told. Eastward, from their open porticos
and precincts, with imitation "janizaries" pacing silent lower down,
the Two Majesties oversee the Army, at discretion; can survey all
things,--even while dining, which they do daily, like very kings! Fritz
is lodged there; has a magnificent bed: poor young fellow, he alone now
makes the business of any meaning to us. He is curious enough to see the
phenomena, military and other; but oppressed with black care: "My Amelia
is not here, and the tyrant Father is--tyrannous with his rattan: ye

We could insist much on the notable people that were there; for the
Lists of them are given. Many high Lordships; some of whom will meet
us again. Weissenfels, Wilhelmina's unfavored lover, how busy is he,
commanding gallantly (in the terrific Sham-Battle) against Wackerbarth;
General Wackerbarth, whose house we saw burnt on a Dresden visit, not so
long ago. Old Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau is there, the Old Dessauer;
with four of his Princes; instructed in soldiering, left without other
instruction; without even writing, unless they can pick it up for
themselves. Likely young fellows too, with a good stroke of work in
them, of battle in them, when called for. Young Anspach, lately wedded,
comes, in what state he can, poor youth; lodges with the Prussian
Majesty his Father-in-law; should keep rather quiet, his share of wisdom
being small. Seckendorf with his Grumkow, they also are here, in the
train of Friedrich Wilhelm. Grumkow shoves the bottle with their Polish
and Prussian Majesties: in jolly hours, things go very high there. I
observe they call King August "LE PATRON," the Captain, or "Patroon;"
a fine jollity dwelling in that Man of Sin. Or does the reader notice
Holstein-Beck, Prussian Major-General; Prince of Holstein-Beck; a solid
dull man; capable of liquor, among other things: not wiser than he
should be; sold all his Apanage or Princeship; for example, and bought
plate with it, wherefore they call him ever since "Holstein-VAISSELLE
(Holstein PLATE)" instead of Holstein-Beck. [Busching's _Beitrage,_
iv. 109.] His next Brother, here likewise I should think, being
Major-General in the Saxon service, is still more foolish. He, poor
soul, is just about to marry the Orzelska; incomparable Princess known
to us, who had been her Father's mistress:--marriage, as was natural,
went asunder again (1733) after a couple of years.--But mark especially
that middle-aged heavy gentleman, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst, Prussian
Commandant of Stettin. Not over rich (would not even be rich if he came
to be reigning Duke, as he will do); attentive at his post in those
parts, ever since the Siege-of-Stralsund time; has done his orders,
fortified Stettin to perfection; solid, heavy taciturn man:--of whom
there is nothing notable but this only, That last year his Wife brought
him a little Daughter, Catharine the name of her. His Wife is a foolish
restless dame, highborn and penniless; let her nurse well this little
Catharine: little Catharine will become abundantly distinguished in a
thirty years hence; Empress of all the Russias that little girl; the
Fates have so appointed it, mocking the prophecies of men! Here too is
our poor unmentionable Duke of Mecklenburg: poor soul, he has left his
quarrels with the Ritterschaft for a week or two, and is here breathing
the air of the Elbe Heaths. His wild Russian Wife, wild Peter's niece
and more, we are relieved to know is dead; for her ways and Peter's have
been very strange! To this unmentionable Duke of Mecklenburg she has
left one Daughter, a Princess Elizabeth-Catherine, who will be called
Princess ANNE, one day: whose fortunes in the world may turn out to be
tragical. Potential heiress of all the Russias, that little Elizabeth or
Anne. Heiress by her wily aunt, Anne of Courland,--Anne with the swollen
cheek, whom Moritz, capable of many things, and of being MARECHAL DE
SAXE by and by, could not manage to fall in love with there; and who
has now just quitted Courland, and become Czarina: [Peter II., her
Cousin-german, died January, 1730 (Mannstein's _Russia_).]--if Aunt Anne
with the big cheek should die childless, as is likely, this little Niece
were Heiress. WAS THUT'S, What matter!--

In the train of King August are likewise splendors of a sort, if we had
time for them. Dukes of Sachsen-Gotha, Dukes of Meiningen, most of the
Dukes that put Sachsen to their name;--Sachsen-Weimar for one; who is
Grandfather of Goethe's Friend, if not otherwise distinguished.
The Lubomirskis, Czartoryskis, and others of Polish breed, shall be
considered as foreign to us, and go unnoticed. Nor are high Dames
wanting, as we see: vast flights of airy bright-hued womankind,
Crown-Princess at the head of them, who lodges in Tiefenau with her
Crown-Prince,--and though plain-looking, and not of the sweetest temper,
is a very high Lady indeed. Niece of the present Kaiser Karl, Daughter
of the late Kaiser, Joseph of blessed memory;--for which reason August
never yet will sign the Pragmatic Sanction, his Crown-Prince having
hereby rights of his own in opposition thereto. She is young; to her
is Tiefenau, northward, on the edge of the Gorisch Heath, probably the
choicest mansion in these circuits, given up: also she is Lady of
"the Bucentaur," frigate equal to Cleopatra's galley in a manner; and
commands, so to speak, by land and water. Supreme Lady, she, of this
sublime world-foolery regardless of expense: so has the gallantry of
August ordered it. Our Friedrich and she will meet again, on occasions
not like this!--What the other Princesses and Countesses, present
on this occasion, were to Crown-Prince Friedrich, except a general
flower-bed of human nature,--ask not; nor even whether the Orzelska was
so much as here! The Orzelska will be married, some two months
hence, [10th August, 1730 (Sir T. Robinson: Despatch from Dresden; in
State-Paper Office).] to a Holstein-Beck; not to Holstein PLATE, but
to his Brother the unfortunate Saxon Major-General: a man surely not of
nice tastes in regard to marriage;--and I would recommend him to keep
his light Wife at home on such occasions. They parted, as we said, in
a year or two, mutually indignant; and the Orzelska went to Avignon,
to Venice and else-whither, and settled into Catholic devotion in
cheap countries of agreeable climate. [See Pollnitz ( _Memoirs,_ &c.),
whoever is curious about her.]

Crown-Prince Friedrich, doubtless, looking at this flower-bed of human
nature, and the reward of happy daring paid by Beauty, has vivid images
of Princess Amelia and her Vice-regency of Hanover; bright Princess and
Vice-regency, divided from him by bottomless gulfs, which need such a
swim as that of Leander across the material Hellespont was but a trifle
to!--In which of the villages Hotham and Dickens lodged, I did not learn
or inquire; nor are their copious Despatches, chronicling these sublime
phenomena from day to day for behoof of St. James's, other than entirely
inane to us at this time. But one thing we do learn from them:
Our Crown-Prince, escaping the paternal vigilance, was secretly in
consultation with Dickens, or with Hotham through Dickens; and this in
the most tragic humor on his side. In such effulgences of luxury and
scenic grandeur, how sad an attendant is Black Care,--nay foul misusage,
not to be borne by human nature! Accurate Professor Ranke has read
somewhere,--does not comfortably say where, nor comfortably give the
least date,--this passage, or what authorizes him to write it. "In that
Pleasure-Camp of Muhlberg, where the eyes of so many strangers were
directed to him, the Crown-Prince was treated like a disobedient boy,
and one time even with strokes (KORPERLICH MISSHANDELT), to make him
feel he was only considered as such. The enraged King, who never weighed
the consequences of his words, added mockery to his manual outrage. He
said, 'Had I been treated so by my Father, I would have blown my brains
out: but this fellow has no honor, he takes all that comes!'" [Ranke,
_Neun Bucher Preussischer Geschichte_ (Berlin, 1847), i. 297.] EINMAL
KORPERLICH MISSHANDELT: why did not the Professor give us time,
occasion, circumstances, and name of some eye-witness? For the fact,
which stands reported in the like fashion in all manner of Histories,
we shall otherwise find to be abundantly certain; and it produced
conspicuous definite results. It is, as it were, the one fact still
worth human remembrance in this expensive Radewitz and its fooleries;
and is itself left in that vague inert state,--irremediable at present.

Beaten like a slave; while lodged, while figuring about, like a royal
highness, in this sumptuous manner! It appears clearly the poor Prince
did hereupon, in spite of his word given to Wilhelmina, make up his
mind to run. Ingenious Ranke, forgetting again to date, knows from the
Archives, that Friedrich went shortly afterwards to call on Graf von
Hoym, one day. Speaking to Graf von Hoym, who is Saxon First-Minister,
and Factotum of the arrangements here, he took occasion cursorily to
ask, Could not a glimpse of Leipzig, among all these fine things, be
had? Order for horses to or at Leipzig, for "a couple of officers"
(Lieutenant Keith and self),--quietly, without fuss of passes and the
like, Herr Graf?--The Herr Graf glances into it with eyes which have a
twinkle in them: SCHWERLICH, Royal Highness. They are very strict about
passes. Do not try it, Royal Highness! [Ranke, ib.; Forster, i. 365, and
more especially iii. 4 (Seckendorf's Narrative there).] And Friedrich
did desist, in that direction, poor youth; but tried it the more in
others. Very busy, in deep secrecy, corresponding with Lieutenant Katte
at Berlin, consulting tragically with Captain Guy Dickens here.--Whether
any hint or whisper came to the Prussian Majesty from Graf von
Hoym? Lieutenant Keith was, shortly after, sent to Wesel to mind his
soldiering there, far down the Rhine Country in the Garrison of Wesel;
[Wilhelmina told us lately (supra, p. 149), Keith HAD been sent to
Wesel; but she has misdated as usual.] better there than colleaguing
with a Fritz, and suggesting to him idle truancies or worse.

With Katte at Berlin the desperate Prince has concocted another scheme
of Flight, this Hoym one being impossible; scheme executable by Katte
and him, were this Radewitz once over. And as for his consultations
with Guy Dickens, the result of them is: Captain Dickens, on the 16th of
June, with eyes brisk enough, and lips well shut, sets out from
Radewitz express for London. This is what I read as abstract of HOTHAM'S
DESPATCH, 16th June, 1730, which Dickens is to deliver with all caution
at St. James's: "Crown-Prince has communicated to Dickens his plan of
escape; 'could no longer bear the outrages of his Father.' Is to attend
his Father to Anspath shortly (JOURNEY TO THE REICH, of which we shall
hear anon), and they are to take a turn to Stuttgard: which latter
is not very far from Strasburg on the French side of the Rhine. To
Strasburg he will make his escape; stay six weeks or a couple of months
(that his Mother be not suspected); and will then proceed to England.
Hopes England will take such measures as to save his Sister from ruin."
These are his fixed resolutions: what will England do in such abstruse
case?--Captain Dickens speeds silently with his Despatch; will find Lord
Harrington, not Townshend any more; [Resigned 15th May, 1730: Despatch
to Hotham, as farewell, of that date.] will copiously open his lips to
Harrington on matters Prussian. A brisk military man, in the prime of
his years; who might do as Prussian Envoy himself, if nothing great were
going on? Harrington's final response will take some deliberating.

Hotham, meanwhile, resumes his report, as we too must do, of the Scenic
Exhibitions;--and, we can well fancy, is getting weary of it; wishing to
be home rather, "as his business here seems ended." [Preceding Despatch
(of 16th June).] One day he mentions a rumor (inane high rumors being
prevalent in such a place); "rumor circulated here, to which I do not
give the slightest credit, that the Prince-Royal of Prussia is to have
one of the Archduchesses," perhaps Maria Theresa herself! Which might
indeed have saved immensities of trouble to the whole world, as well
as to the Pair in question, and have made a very different History for
Germany and the rest of us. Fancy it! But for many reasons, change of
religion, had there been no other, it was an impossible notion. "May
be," thinks Hotham, "that the Court of Vienna throws out this bait to
continue the King's delusion,"--or a snuffle from Seckendorf, without
the Court, may have given it currency in so inane an element as

Of the terrific Sham-Battles, conducted by Weissenfels on one side and
Wackerbarth on the other; of the charges of cavalry, play of artillery,
threatening to end in a very doomsday, round the Pavilion and the Ladies
and the Royalties assembled on the balconies there (who always go to
dinner safe, when victory has declared itself), I shall say nothing. Nor
of that supreme "attack on the intrenchments:" blowing-up of the very
Bridges; cavalry posted in the woods; host doing its very uttermost
against host, with unheard-of expenditure of gunpowder and learned
manoeuvre; in which "the Fleet" (of shallops on the Elbe, rigged mostly
in silk) took part, and the Bucentaur with all its cannon. Words fail
on such occasions. I will mention only that assiduous King August had
arranged everything like the King of Playhouse-Managers; was seen,
early in the morning, "driving his own curricle" all about, in vigilant
supervision and inspection; crossed the Tub-bridge, or perhaps the
Float-bridge (not yet blown up), "in a WURSTWAGEN;" giving himself (what
proved well founded) the assurance of success for this great day;--and
finally that, on the morrow, there occurred an illumination and display
of fire-works, the like of which is probably still a desideratum.

For the Bucentaur and Fleet were all hung with colored lamplets;
Headquarters (HAUPT-LAGER) and Army-LAGER ditto ditto; gleaming upwards
with their golden light into the silver of the Summer Twilight:--and
all this is still nothing to the scene there is across the Elbe, on our
southeast corner. You behold that Palace of the Genii; wings, turrets,
mainbody, battlements: it is "a gigantic wooden frame, on which two
hundred carpenters have been busy for above six months," ever since
Christmas last. Two hundred carpenters; and how many painters I cannot
say: but they have smeared "six thousand yards of linen canvas;" which
is now nailed up; hung with lamps, begirt with fire-works, no end of
rocket-serpents, catherine-wheels; with cannon and field-music, near and
far, to correspond;--and is now (evening of the 24th June, 1730) shining
to men and gods. Pinnacles, turrets, tablatures, tipt with various fires
and emblems, all is there:

[SMALL MAP IN HERE------missing]

symbolic Painting, six hundred yards of it, glowing with inner light,
and legible to the very owls! Arms now piled useless; Pax, with her
Appurtenances; Mars resting (in that canvas) on trophies of laurel
honorably won: and there is an Inscription, done in lamplets, every
letter taller than a man, were you close upon it, "SIC FULTA MANEBIT
(Thus supported it will stand),"--the it being either PAX (Peace) or
DOMUS (the Genii-Palace itself), as your weak judgment may lead you to
interpret delicate allusions. Every letter bigger than a man: it may be
read almost at Wittenberg, I should think; flaming as PICA written on
the sky, from the steeple-tops there. THUS SUPPORTED IT WILL STAND;
and pious mortals murmur, "Hope so, I am sure!"--and the cannons fire,
almost without ceasing; and the field-music, guided by telegraphs,
bursts over all the scene, at due moments; and the Catherine-wheels fly
hissing; and the Bucentaur and silk Brigantines glide about like living
flambeaus;--and in fact you must fancy such a sight. King August,
tired to the bone, and seeing all successful, retired about midnight.
Friedrich Wilhelm stood till the finale; Saxon Crown-Prince and he,
"in a window of the highest house in Promnitz;" our young Fritz and the
Margraf of Anspach, they also, in a neighboring window, [24th-25th June:
_Helden-Geschichte_ (above spoken of), i. 200] stood till the finale:
two in the morning, when the very Sun was not far from rising.

Or is not the ultimate closing day perhaps still notabler; a day of
universal eating? Debauchee King August had a touch of genuine human
good-humor in him; poor devil, and had the best of stomachs. Eighty
oxen, fat as Christmas, were slain and roasted, subsidiary viands I do
not count; that all the world might have one good dinner. The soldiers,
divided into proper sections, had cut trenches, raised flat mounds, laid
planks; and so, by trenching and planking, had made at once table
and seat, wood well secured on turf. At the end of every table rose
a triglyph, two strong wooden posts with lintel; on the lintel stood
spiked the ox's head, ox's hide hanging beneath it as drapery: and on
the two sides of the two posts hung free the four roasted quarters
of said ox; from which the common man joyfully helped himself. Three
measures of beer he had, and two of wine;--which, unless the measures
were miraculously small, we may take to be abundance. Thus they, in two
long rows, 30,000 of them by the tale, dine joyfully SUB DIO. The two
Majesties and two Crown-Princes rode through the ranks, as dinner went
on: "King of Prussia forever!" and caps into the air;--at length they
retire to their own HAUPT-QUARTIER, where, themselves dining, they can
still see the soldiers dine, or at least drink their three measures and
two. Dine, yea dine abundantly: let all mortals have one good dinner!--

Royal dinner is not yet done when a new miracle appears on the field:
the largest Cake ever baked by the Sons of Adam. Drawn into the
Head-quarter about an hour ago, on a wooden frame with tent over it, by
a team of eight horses; tent curtaining it, guarded by Cadets; now the
tent is struck and off;--saw mortals ever the like? It is fourteen ells
(KLEINE ELLEN) long, by six broad; and at the centre half an ell thick.
Baked by machinery; how otherwise could peel or roller act on such a
Cake? There are five thousand eggs in it; thirty-six bushels (Berlin
measure) of sound flour; one tun of milk, one tun of yeast, one ditto
of butter; crackers, gingerbread-nuts, for fillet or trimming, run all
round. Plainly the Prince of Cakes! A Carpenter with gigantic knife,
handle of it resting on his shoulder,--Head of the Board of Works,
giving word of command,--enters the Cake by incision; cuts it up by
plan, by successive signal from the Board of Works. What high person
would not keep for himself, to say nothing of eating, some fraction
of such a Nonpareil? There is cut and come again for all. Carpenter
advances, by main trench and by side trenches, steadily to word of

I mention, as another trait of the poor devil of an August, full of
good-humor after all, That he and his Royalties and big Lordships having
dined, he gave the still groaning table with all its dishes, to
be scrambled for by "the janizaries." Janizaries, Imitation-Turk
valetaille; who speedily made clearance,--many a bit of precious Meissen
porcelain going far down in society by that means.

Royal dinner done, the Colonel and Officers of every regiment, ranked
in high order, with weapons drawn, preceded by their respective bands of
music, came marching up the Hill to pay their particular respects to
the Majesty of Prussia. Majesty of Prussia promised them his favor,
everlasting, as requested; drank a glass of wine to each party (steady,
your Majesty!), who all responded by glasses of wine, and threw the
glasses aloft with shouts. Sixty pieces of artillery speaking the while,
and the bands of music breathing their sweetest;--till it was done, and
his Majesty still steady on his feet. He could stand a great deal of

And now--? Well, the Cake is not done, many cubic yards of cake
are still left, and the very corporals can do no more: let the Army
scramble! Army whipt it away in no time. And now, alas now--the time
IS come for parting. It is ended; all things end. Not for about an hour
could the HERRSCHAFTEN (Lordships and minor Sovereignties) fairly tear
themselves away, under wailing music, and with the due emotion.

The Prussian Royalties, and select few, took boat down the River, on the
morrow; towards Lichtenburg Hunting-Palace, for one day's slaughtering
of game. They slaughtered there about one thousand living creatures,
all driven into heaps for them,--"six hundred of red game" (of the stag
species), "four hundred black," or of the boar ditto. They left all
these creatures dead; dined immensely; then did go, sorrowfully sated;
Crown-Prince Friedrich in his own carriage in the rear; Papa in his,
preceding by a few minutes; all the wood horns, or French horns, wailing
sad adieu;--and hurried towards Berlin through the ambrosial night.
[28th June, 1730: _Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 205.]

And so it is all ended. And August the Strong--what shall we say of
August? History must admit that he attains the maximum in several
things. Maximum of physical strength; can break horse-shoes, nay
half-crowns with finger and thumb. Maximum of sumptuosity; really a
polite creature; no man of his means so regardless of expense. Maximum
of Bastards, three hundred and fifty-four of them; probably no mortal
ever exceeded that quantity. Lastly, he has baked the biggest Bannock
on record; Cake with 5,000 eggs in it, and a tun of butter. These things
History must concede to him. Poor devil, he was full of good-humor too,
and had the best of stomachs. His amputated great-toe does not mend:
out upon it, the world itself is all so amputated, and not like mending!
August the Strong, dilapidated at fifty-three, is fast verging towards a
less expensive country: and in three years hence will be lodged gratis,
and need no cook or flunky of either sex.

"This Camp of Radewitz," says Smelfungus, one of my Antecessors,
finishing his long narrative of it, "this Camp is Nothing; and after all
this expense of King August's and mine, it flies away like a dream. But
alas, were the Congresses of Cambrai and Soissons, was the life-long
diplomacy of Kaiser Karl, or the History of torpid moribund Europe in
those days, much of a Something? The Pragmatic Sanction, with all its
protocolling, has fled, like the temporary Playhouse of King August
erected there in the village of Strohme. Much talk, noise and imaginary
interest about both; but both literally have become zero, WERE always
zero. As well talk about the one as the other."---Then why not SILENCE
about both, my Friend Smelfnngus? He answers: "That truly is the thing
to be aimed at;--and if we had once got our own out of both, let both
be consumed with fire, and remain a handful of inarticulate black ashes
forevermore." Heavens, will I, of all men, object!

Smelfungus says elsewhere:--

"The moral to be derived, perhaps the chief moral visible at present,
from all this Section of melancholy History is: Modern Diplomacy is
nothing; mind well your own affairs, leave those of your neighbors well
alone. The Pragmatic Sanction, breaking Fritz's, Friedrich Wilhelm's,
Sophie's, Wilhelmina's, English Amelia's and I know not how many private
hearts, and distracting with vain terrors and hopes the general soul of
Europe for five-and-twenty years, fell at once into dust and vapor,
and went wholly towards limbo on the storm-winds, doing nothing for
or against any mortal. Friedrich Wilhelm's 80,000 well-drilled troops
remained very actual with their firelocks and iron ramrods, and did
a thing or two, there being a Captain over them. Friedrich Wilhelm's
Directorium, well-drilled Prussian Downing Street, every man steady
at his duty, and no wind to be wasted where silence was better, did
likewise very authentically remain,--and still remains. Nothing of
genuine and human that Friedrich Wilhelm did but remained and remains an
inheritance, not the smallest item of IT lost or losable;--and the rude
foolish Boor-King (singular enough!) is found to be the only one that
has gained by the game."--


While the Camp at Radewitz is dissolving itself in this manner, in the
last days of June, Captain Guy Dickens, the oracles at Windsor having
given him their response as to Prince Friedrich's wild project, is
getting under way for Berlin again,--whither also Hotham has returned,
to wait for Dickens's arrival, and directly thereupon come home. Dickens
is henceforth to do the British Diplomacy here, any Diplomacy there can
well be; Dickens once installed, Hotham will, right gladly, wash his
hands of this Negotiation, which he considers to be as good as dead for
a longish while past. First, however, he has one unexpected adventure
to go through in Berlin; of most unexpected celebrity in the world: this
once succinctly set forth, History will dismiss him to the shades of
private life.

Guy Dickens, arriving we can guess about the 8th or 9th of July, brings
two important Documents with him to Berlin, FIRST, the English Response
(in the shape of "Instructions" to himself, which may be ostensible in
the proper quarter) in regard to the Crown-Prince's project of flight
into England. Response which is no other than might have been expected
in the circumstances: "Britannic Majesty sorry extremely for the
Crown-Prince's situation; ready to do anything in reason to alleviate
it. Better wait, however: Prussian Majesty will surely perhaps relent a
little: then also the affairs of Europe are in a ticklish state. Better
wait. As to that of taking temporary refuge in France, Britannic Majesty
thinks that will require a mature deliberation (MURE DELIBERATION). Not
even time now for inquiry of the French Court how they would take it;
which his Britannic Majesty thinks an indispensable preliminary,"--and
so terminates. The meaning, we perceive, is in sum: "Hm, you won't,
surely? Don't; at least Don't yet!" But Dryasdust, and any readers who
have patience, can here take the Original Paper; which is written
in French (or French of Stratford at the Bow), probably that the
Crown-Prince, if needful, might himself read it, one of these days:--

"Monsieur Guy Dickens pourrait donner au Prince les assurances les plus
fortes de la compassion que le Roi a du triste etat ou il se trouve,
et du desir sincere de Sa Majeste de concourir par tout ce qui dependra
d'elle a l'en tirer. M. Guy Dickens pourrait lui communiquer en meme
terns les Instructions donnees a Monsieur Hotham [_our Answer to the
Outrageous propositions, which amounts to nothing, and may be spared
the reader_], et lui marquer qu'on avait lieu d'esperer que Sa Majeste
Prussienne ne refuserait pas au moins de s'expliquer un peu plus en
detail qu'elle n'a fait jusqu'ici. Qu'en attendant les suites que cette
negociation pourrait avoir, Sa Majeste etait d'avis que le Prince
ferait bien de differer un peu l'execution de son dessein connu: Que
la situation ou les affaires de l'Europe se trouvaient dans ce moment
critique ne paraissait pas propre a l'execution d'un dessein de cette
nature: Que pour ce qui est de l'intention ou le Prince a temoigne
etre, de se retirer en France, Sa Majeste croit qu'elle demande une mure
deliberation, et que le peu de tems qui reste ne promet pas meme qu'on
puisse s'informer de ce que la Cour de France pourrait penser la-dessus;
dont Sa Majeste trouvait cependant absolument necessaire de l'assurer,
avant de pouvoir conseiller a un Prince qui lui est si cher de se
retirer en ce pays la." [Prussian Despatches, vol. xii.: No date or
signature; bound up along with Harrington's Despatch, "Windsor, 20th
June [1st July] 1730,"--on the morrow of which day we may fancy Captain
Dickens took the road for Berlin again,--where we auspiciously see him
on Monday, 10th July, probably a night or two after his arrival.] This
is Document FIRST; of no concernment to Hotham at this stage; but only
to us and our Crown-Prince. Document SECOND would at one time have much
interested Hotham: it is no other than a Grumkow Original seized at
St. Mary Axe, such as Hotham once solicited, "strong enough to break
Grumkow's back." Hotham now scarcely hopes it will be "strong enough."
No matter; he presents it as bidden. On introducing Dickens as
successor, Monday, 10th July, he puts the Document into his Prussian
Majesty's hand: and--the result was most unexpected! Here is Hotham's
Despatch to Lord Harrington; which it will be our briefest method to
give, with some minimum of needful explanation intercalated here and

"TO THE LORD HARRINGTON (from Sir Charles Hotham).

"BERLIN, 30th June (11th July), 1730.

"MY LORD,--Though the conduct of his Prussian Majesty has been such, for
some time past, that one ought to be surprised at nothing he does,--it
is nevertheless with great concern that I now have to acquaint your
Lordship with an extravagancy of his which happened yesterday," Monday,
10th July, 1730.

"The King of Prussia, had appointed me to be with him about noon, with
Captain Guy Dickens [who has just returned from England, on what secret
message your Lordship knows!].--We both attended his Prussian
Majesty, and I presented Captain Guy Dickens to him, who delivered his
credentials: after which the King talked to us a quarter of an hour
about indifferent matters. Seeing him in a very good humor, I took that
opportunity of telling him, 'That as General Grumkow had denied his
having held a Secret Correspondence with Reichenbach, or having written
the Letters I had some time ago delivered to his Majesty, I was now
ordered by the King my Master to put into his hands an Original Letter
of General Grumkow'"----Where is that Original Letter? ask some minute
readers. Minute readers, the IPSISSIMUM CORPUS of it is lost to mankind.
Official Copy of it lies safe here in the State-Paper Office (Prussian
Despatches, volume xli.; without date of its own, but near a Despatch
dated 20th June, 1730); has, adjoined to it, an Autograph jotting by
George Second to the effect, "Yes, send it," and also some preliminary
scribbles by Newcastle, to the like purport. No date of its own, we
say, though, by internal evidence and light of FASSMANN, [p. 404.] it
is conclusively datable "Berlin, 20th May," if anybody cared to date it.
The Letter mentions lightly that "pretended discovery [the St.-Mary-Axe
one, laid on the table of Tobacco-Parliament, 6th May or soon after],
innocent trifles all _I_ wrote; hope you burnt them, nevertheless,
according to promise: yours to me I did burn as they came, and will defy
the Devil to produce;" brags of his Majesty's fine spirits;--and is,
Jotting and all, as insignificant a Letter as any other portion of the
"Rookery Colloquy," though its fate was a little more distinguished.
Prussian Dryasdust is expected to give it in FAC-SIMILE, one
day,--surely no British Under-Secretary will exercise an unwise
discretion, and forbid him that small pleasure!--"which was an
undeniable proof of all the rest, and could not but convince his
Prussian Majesty of the truth of them."--Well?

"He took the Letter from me, cast his eye upon it; and seeing it to
be Grumkow's hand, said to me with all the anger imaginable [fancy the
thunder-burst!], _'Messieurs, j'ai eu assez de ces choses la;'_ threw
the Letter upon the ground, and immediately turning his back went out of
the room, and shut the door upon us,"--probably with a slam! And
that is the naked truth concerning this celebrated Intercepted Letter.
Majesty answered explosively,--his poor heart being in a burdened and
grieved condition, not unlike growing a haunted one,--"I have had enough
of that stuff before!" pitched the new specimen away, and stormily
whirled out with a slam of the door. That he stamped with his foot, is
guessable. That he "lifted his foot as if to kick the Honorable English
Excellency," [Wilhelmina, i. 228.] which the English Excellency never
could have stood, but must have died on the spot,--of this, though
several Books have copied it from Wilhelmina, there is no vestige of
evidence: and the case is bad enough without this.

"Your Lordship will easily imagine that Captain Guy Dickens and I were
not a little astonished at this most extraordinary behavior. I took up
the Letter he had thrown upon the floor [IPSISSIMUM CORPUS of it lost
to mankind, last seen going into Hotham's pocket in this manner]; and
returning home, immediately wrote one to his Prussian Majesty, of which
a copy is here enclosed."--Let us read that essential Piece: sound
substance, in very stiff indifferent French of Stratford,--which may as
well be made English at once:--


"SIRE,--It is with the liveliest grief that I find myself under the
necessity,--after what has passed today at the audience I had of your
Majesty, where I neither did nor said anything in regard to that Letter
of Monsieur Grumkow's or to putting it into your Majesty's hands, that
was not by my Master's order,--it is, I say, Sire, with the liveliest
grief that I am obliged to inform your Majesty of the necessity there
lies on me to despatch a Courier to London to apprise the King my Master
of an incident so surprising as the one that has just happened. For
which reason I beg (SUPPLIE) your Majesty will be pleased to cause the
necessary Orders for Post-horses to be furnished me, not only for the
said Courier, but also for myself,--since, after what has just happened,
it is not proper for me to prolong my stay here (_faire un plus long
sejour ici_).

"I have the honor to be, your Majesty's, &c. &c. &c.


"About two hours afterwards, General Borck came to me; and told me He
was in the utmost affliction for what had happened; and beseeched me to
have a little patience, and that he hoped means would be found to make
up the matter to me. Afterwards he communicated to me, by word of
mouth, the Answer the King of Prussia had given to the last Orders I had
received by Captain Guy Dickens,"--Orders, "Come home immediately," to
which the "Answer" is conceivable.

"I told him that, after the treatment I had received at noon, and the
affront put upon the King my Master's character, I could no longer
receive nor charge myself with anything that came from his Prussian
Majesty. That as to what related to me personally, it was very easily
made up; but having done nothing but in obedience to the King my
Master's orders, it belonged to him only to judge what satisfaction was
due for the indignity offered to his character. Wherefore I did not look
upon myself as authorized to listen to any expedients till I knew his
Majesty's pleasure upon the matter.

"In the evening, General Borck wrote a Letter to Captain Guy Dickens
and two to me, the Copies of which are enclosed,"--fear not, reader! "The
purport of them was to desire That I would take no farther notice of
what had happened, and that the King of Prussia desired I would come and
dine with him next day."--Engaged otherwise, your Majesty, next day!" The
Answer to these Letters I also enclose to your Lordship,"--reader not
to be troubled with it. "I excused myself from dining with the King of
Prussia, not thinking myself at liberty to appear any more at Court till
I received his Majesty's," my own King's, "commands, and told General
Borck that I looked upon myself as indispensably obliged to acquaint the
King my Master with everything that had passed, it being to no purpose
to think of concealing it, since the thing was already become public,
and would soon be known in all the Courts of Europe.

"This, my Lord, is the true state of this unaccountable accident. You
will see, by General Borck's Letter, that the King of Prussia, being now
returned to his senses, is himself convinced of the extravagancy of this
proceeding; and was very desirous of having it concealed;--which was
impossible; for the whole Town knew it an hour after it had happened.

"As to my own part, I am not a little concerned at this unfortunate
incident. As it was impossible to foresee this fit of madness in the
King of Prussia, there was no guarding against it: and after it had
happened, I thought I could do no less than resent it in the manner I
have done,--without prostituting the character with which the King has
been pleased to honor me. I hope, however, this affair will be attended
with no ill consequences: for the King of Prussia himself is at present
so ashamed of his behavior, that he says, He will order Count Degenfeld
[Graf von Degenfeld, going at a leisurely pace to remove NOSTI from his
perch among you] [Supra, p. 197.] to hasten his journey to England, with
orders to endeavor to make up the affair immediately.

"As I had already received the King's Orders, by Captain Guy Dickens, To
return home forthwith, I thought, after what had happened, the sooner I
left this place the better; and the rather because it might be proper I
should make a report of it to his Majesty. I shall therefore set out
a few hours after this Messenger; and will make all the expedition

"The King of Prussia sets out for Anspach on Saturday next,"--11th
July is Tuesday, Saturday next will be 15th July, which proves correct.
[Fassmann, p. 410.] "I am, with the utmost respect, My Lord, Your
Lordship's most obedient and most humble servant,


[State-Paper Office: Prussian Despatches, vol. xli.] No sooner was the
door slammed to than his Majesty began to repent. At sight of the demand
for Post-horses, he repented bitterly; sent Borck to ask Hotham to
dinner, with what success we have seen. Sent Borck to negotiate, to
correspond, to consult with Dickens, to do his utmost in pacifying
Hotham. All which Correspondence exists, but is not worth giving.
Borck's remonstrances are in rugged soldier-like style, full of
earnestness and friendliness. Do not wreck, upon trifles, a noble
interest we have in common; King is jealous about foreign interference
with his Ministers, but meant nothing; I tell you it is nothing
I--Hotham is polite, good-tempered; but remains inflexible: With myself,
on my own score, it were soon settled, or is already settled; but with
the King my Master,--no expedient but post-horses! The Diplomatist world
of Berlin is in a fuss; Queen Sophie and "the Minister of Denmark," with
other friendly Ministers, how busy! "All day," this day and the next,
"they spent in comings and goings" [Wilhelmina, i. 229, 230.] advising
Hotham to relent: Hotham could not relent. The Crown-Prince himself
writes, urged by a message from his Mother; Crown-Prince sends Katte off
from Potsdam with this Billet [Ib. i. 230.] (if this be a correct copy
to translate from)


"POTSDAM, 11th July, 1730.

"MONSIEUR,--Having learned by M. de Leuvener," the Danish Minister,
a judicious well-affected man, "what the King my Father's ultimate
intentions are, I cannot doubt but you will yield to his desires. Think,
Monsieur, that my happiness and my Sister's depend on the resolution
you shall take, and that your answer will mean the union or the disunion
forever of the two Houses! I flatter myself that it will be favorable,
and that you will yield to my entreaties. I never shall forget such a
service, but recognize it all my life by the most perfect esteem," with
which I now am, TOUT A VOUS,


This Billet Katte delivers: but to this also Hotham remains inexorable;
polite, hopeful even: No harm will come; Degenfeld will go, I
myself will help when at home; but for the present, no resource but
post-horses! Which they at last yield him, the very post-horses ready to

And so Hotham, spirited judicious English gentleman, rolls off
homewards, ["Wednesday," 12th (Dickens).] a few hours after his
Courier,--and retires honorably into the shades of private life, steady
there thenceforth. He has not been successful in Berlin: surely his
Negotiation is now OUT in all manner of senses! Long ago (to use our
former ignoble figure) he had "laid down the bellows, though there was
still smoke traceable:" but now, by this Grumkow Letter, he has, as
it were, struck the POKER through the business; and that dangerous
manoeuvre, not proving successful, has been fatal and final! Queen
Sophie and certain others may still flatter themselves; but it is
evident the Negotiation is at last complete. What may lie in flight
to England and rash desperate measures, which Queen Sophie trembles
to think of, we do not know: but by regular negotiation this thing can
never be.

It is darkly apprehended the Crown-Prince still meditates Flight; the
maternal heart and Wilhelmina's are grieved to see Lieutenant Katte
so much in his confidence--could wish him a wiser councillor in such
predicaments and emergencies! Katte is greatly flattered by the Prince's
confidence; even brags of it in society, with his foolish loose tongue.
Poor youth, he is of dissolute ways; has plenty of it "unwise intellect,"
little of the "wise" kind; and is still under the years of discretion.
Towards Wilhelmina there is traceable in him something,--something as
of almost loving a bright particular star, or of thrice-privately
worshipping it for his own behoof. And Wilhelmina, during the late
Radewitz time, when Mamma "gave four Apartments (or Royal Soirees)
weekly," was severe upon him, and inaccessible in these Court Soirees. A
rash young fool; carries a loose tongue:--still worse, has a Miniature,
recognizable as Wilhelmina; and would not give it up, either for the
Queen's Majesty or me!--"Thousand and thousand pardons, High Ladies
both; my loose tongue shall be locked: but these two Miniatures, the
Prince and Princess Royal, I copied them from two the Prince had lent
me and has got back, ask me not for these;--never, oh, I cannot
ever!"--Upon which Wilhelmina had to take a high attitude, and pass
him speechless in the Soirees. The foolish fellow:--and yet one is not
heartily angry either; only reserved in the Soirees; and anxious about
one's Brother in such hands.

Friedrich Wilhelm repents much that Hotham explosion; is heard saying
that he will not again treat in person with any Envoy from foreign
parts, being of too hot temper, but will leave his Ministers to do it.
[Dickens's Despatch, Berlin, 22d July (n.s.), 1730.] To Queen Sophie he
says coldly, "Wilhelmina's marriage, then, is off; an end to IT. Abbess
of Herford [good Protestant refuge for unprovided Females of Quality,
which is in our gift], let her be Abbess there;"--and writes to the then
extant Abbess to make Wilhelmina "Coadjutress," or Heir-Apparent to that
Chief-Nunship! Nay what is still more mortifying, my Brother says, "On
the whole, I had better, had not I?" The cruel Brother; but indeed the
desperate!--for things are mounting to a pitch in this Household.

Queen Sophie's thoughts,--they are not yet of surrender; that they
will never be, while a breath of life is left to Queen Sophie and her
Project: we may fancy Queen Sophie's mood. Nor can his Majesty be in a
sweet temper; his vexations lately have been many. First, England is now
off, not off-and-on as formerly: that comfortable possibility, hanging
always in one's thoughts, is fairly gone; and now we have nothing but
the Kaiser to depend on for Julich and Berg, and the other elements
of our salvation in this world! Then the St.-Mary-Axe discoveries,
harassing shadows of suspicion that will rise from them, and the
unseemly Hotham catastrophe and one's own blame in it; Womankind and
Household still virtually rebellious, and all things going awry; Majesty
is in the worst humor;--bullies and outrages his poor Crown-Prince
almost worse than ever. There have been rattan-showers, hideous to think
of, descending this very week [Guy Dickens's Despatch, 18th July, 1730.]
on the fine head, and far into the high heart of a Royal Young Man; who
cannot, in the name of manhood, endure, and must not, in the name of
sonhood, resist, and vainly calls to all the gods to teach him WHAT he
shall do in this intolerable inextricable state of matters.

Fate and these two Black-Artists have driven Friedrich Wilhelm nearly
mad; and he, in turn, is driving everybody so. He more than suspects
Friedrich of an intention to fly; which is horrible to Friedrich
Wilhelm: and yet he bullies him occasionally, as a spiritless wretch,
for bearing such treatment. "Cannot you renounce the Heir-Apparentship,
then; your little Brother is a fine youth. Give it up; and go,
unmolested, to the--in fact to the Devil: Cannot you?"--"If your
Majesty, against the honor of my Mother, declare that I am not your
eldest son: Yes, so; not otherwise, ever!" modestly but steadily
persists the young man, whenever this expedient is proposed to him,--as
perhaps it already sometimes is. Whereat the desperate Father can only
snort indignantly futile. A case growing nearly desperate. Desperate,
yes, on all hands: unless one had the "high mast" above alluded to, with
two pulleys and ropes; and could see a certain Pair of Scoundrels mount
rapidly thither, what hope is there for anybody? A violent crisis does
not last, however; that is one certainty in it. Either these agonistic
human beings, young and old, will all die, all go to Bedlam, with their
intolerable woes; or else something of explosive nature will take place
among them. The maddest boil, unless it kill you with its torments, does
at length burst, and become an abscess.

Of course Captain Dickens, the instant Hotham was gone, hastened privily
to see the Crown-Prince; saw Katte and him "at the Gate of the Potsdam
Palace at midnight," [Wilhelmina; Ranke, i. 301.] or in some other less
romantic way;--read him the Windsor Paper of "INSTRUCTIONS" known to us;
and preached from that text. No definite countenance from England, the
reverse rather, your Highness sees;--how can there be? Give it up, your
Highness; at least delay it!--Crown-Prince does not give it up a whit;
whether he delays it, we shall see.

A busy week for the Crown-Prince and Katte, this of the Hotham
Catastrophe; who have many consultations, the Journey to Anspach being
on Saturday next! Crown-Prince has given him in keeping a writing-case
with private letters; 1,000 ducats of money, money raised by loan, by
picking jewels off some miniatures of honor, and the like sore methods.
Katte has his very coat, a gray top-coat or travelling roquelaure, in
keeping;--and their schemes are many. Off we must and will be, by some
opportunity. Could not Katte get a "Recruiting Furlough," leave to go
into the REICH on that score; and join one there? Lieutenant Keith is at
Wesel; ready, always ready. Into France, into Holland, England? If the
English would not,--there is war to be in Italy, say all the Newspapers:
why not a campaign as Volunteers in Italy, till we saw how matters went?
Anything and all things are preferable to ignominy like this. No dog
could, endure it!


On Saturday the 15th July, 1730, early in the morning as his wont was,
Friedrich Wilhelm, with a small train of official military persons,
rolled off from Potsdam, towards Leipzig, on that same journey of
his, towards Anspach and the Reich. To Anspach, to see our poor young
daughter, lately married there; therefrom we can have a run into the
Reich, according to circumstances. In this wide route there lie many
Courts and scenes, which it might behoove us to look into; Courts
needing to be encouraged to stand for the Kaiser's rights, against those
English, French and intrusive Foreigners of the Seville Treaty. We may
hope at least to ease our own heavy mind, and have the chaff somewhat
blown out of it, by this rushing through the open atmosphere.--Such, so
far as I can gather, were Friedrich Wilhelm's objects in this Journey;
which turned out to be a more celebrated one than he expected. The
authentic records of it are slight, the rumors about it have been many.
[Forster (iii. 1-11) contains Seckendorf's Narrative, as sent to Vienna;
Preuss (iv. 470), a Prussian RELATIO EX ACTIS: these are the only
two ORIGINAL pieces which I have seen; Excerpts of others (correct
doubtless, but not in a very distinct condition) occur in Ranke, i.
294-340.] After painful sifting through mountains of dust and ashes for
a poor cinder of a fact here and there, our duty is, to tell the English
reader one good time, what certainties, or available cinders, have
anywhere turned up. Crown-Prince Friedrich, it has been decided, after
some consultation, shall go with his Majesty. Better he go with us,
to be under our own eyes, lest he run away, or do other mischief. Old
General Buddenbrock, old Colonel Waldau, and Lieutenant-Colonel Rochow
travel in the same carriage with the Prince; are to keep a strict
watch over him, one of them at least to be always by him. Old General
Buddenbrock, a grim but human old military gentleman, who has been in
all manner of wars: he fought at Steenkirk even, and in the Siege of
Namur, under Dutch William; stood, through Malplaquet and much else,
under Marlborough; did the Siege of Stralsund too, and descent on Rugen
there, which was not his first acquaintance with Karl of Sweden; and
is a favorite old friend of Friedrich Wilhelm's. A good old gentleman,
though very strict; now hard on sixty. He is chief of the Three.

Old Waldau, not younger, though still only Colonel of Horse, likewise
celebrates the Malplaquet anniversary; a Pomeranian man, and silent
smoker in the Tabagie, well seen by the master there. To these two
elderly authorities, Lieutenant-Colonel Rochow, still only about forty,
and probably sharper of eye, is adjoined as active partner. I conclude,
the Prince and Buddenbrock ride face forward; Buddenbrock can tell him
about so many things, if he is conversable: about Dutch William; about
Charles XII., whose Polish fights he witnessed, as an envoy from
Berlin, long ago. A Colonel Krocher, I find, is general manager of the
Journey;--and it does not escape notice that Friedrich, probably out of
youthful curiosity, seems always very anxious to know, to the uttermost
settled point, where our future stages are to be. His Royal Highness
laid in a fair stock of District Maps, especially of the Rhine
Countries, at Leipzig, too; [Forster, iii. 2.] and is assiduous in
studying them,--evidently very desirous to know the face of Germany, the
Rhine Countries in particular?

Potsdam, Wittenberg, Leipzig, the wheels rush rapidly on, stage
succeeding stage; and early in the afternoon we are at Leipzig,--never
looking out at Luther's vestiges, or Karl V.'s, or thinking about
Luther, which thou and I, good English reader, would surely have done,
in crossing Wittenberg and the birthplace of Protestantism. At Leipzig
we were thinking to have dined. At the Peter's Gate there,--where at
least fresh horses are, and a topographic Crown-Prince can send hastily
to buy maps,--a General Hopfgarten, Commandant of the Town, is out with
the military honors; he has, as we privately know, an excellent dinner
ready in the Pleissenburg Fortress yonder, [Fassmann, p. 410.]--but he
compliments to a dreadful extent! Harangues and compliments in no end
of florid inflated tautologic ornamental balderdash; repeating and again
repeating, What a never-imagined honor it is; in particular saying three
times over, How the Majesty of Saxony, King August, had he known, would
have wished for wings to fly hither; and bowing to the very ground, "as
if, in the Polish manner, he wished to clasp your feet," said Friedrich
Wilhelm afterwards. I can fancy Friedrich Wilhelm somewhat startled!
How, at the first mention of this idea of big August, with his lame
foot, taking wing, and coming like a gigantic partridge, with lame foot
and cocked-hat, Friedrich Wilhelm grinned. How, at the second mention,
and Polish threat of your feet, Friedrich Wilhelm, who hates all
lies, and cares not for salutations in the market-place, jerks himself
impatiently and saves his feet. At the third mention, clear it is,
Friedrich Wilhelm utters the word, "ANSPANNEN, Horses!"--and in very
truth takes to the road again; hungry indeed, but still angrier; leaving
Hopfgarten bent into the shape of a parabola, and his grand dinner
cooling futile, in what tragic humor we can imagine. [Ib. p. 411.] Why
has no Prussian Painter done that scene? Let another Chodowiecki, when
another comes, try whether he cannot.

Friedrich Wilhelm regretted the dinner, regretted to hurt the good man's
feelings; but could stand it no longer. He rushes off for Meuselwitz,
where Seckendorf, with at least silence, and some cold collation instead
of dinner, is awaiting him. Twenty miles off is Meuselwitz; up the
flat valley of the Pleisse River towards Altenburg; through a region
memorable, were we not so hungry. Famed fights have had their arena
here; Lutzen, the top of its church-steeple visible on your right, it is
there where the great Gustavus fell two hundred years ago: on that wide
champaign, a kind of Bull-ring of the Nations, how many fights have
been, and will be! Altenburg one does not see to-night: happy were we
but at Meuselwitz, a few miles nearer; and had seen what dinner the old
Feldzeugmeister has.

Dinner enough, we need not doubt. The old Feldzeugmeister has a big line
Schloss at Meuselwitz; his by unexpected inheritance; with uncommonly
fine gardens; with a good old Wife, moreover, blithe though
childless;--and he is capable of "lighting more than one candle" when
a King comes to visit him. Doubtless the man hurls his thrift into
abeyance; and blazes out with conspicuous splendor, on this occasion. A
beautiful Castle indeed, this Meuselwitz of his; the towers of Altenburg
visible in the distance; Altenburg, where Kunz von Kauffungen stole the
two little Princes; centuries ago;--where we do not mean to pause
at this time. On the morrow morning,--unless they chose to stay over
Sunday; which I cannot affirm or deny,--Seckendorf also has made his
packages; and joins himself to Friedrich. Wilhelm's august travelling
party. Doing here a portion of the long space (length of the Terrestrial
Equator in all) which he is fated to accomplish in the way of riding
with that Monarch.

From Meuselwitz, through Altenburg, Gera, Saalfeld, to Coburg, is our
next day's journey. Up one fork of the Leipzig Pleisse, then across the
Leipzig Elster, these streams now dwindling to brooks; leading us up
to the water-shed or central Hill-countries between the Mayn and Saale
Rivers; where the same shower will run partly, on this hand, northward
by the Elster, Pleisse or other labyrinthic course, into the Saale, into
the Elbe; and partly, on the other hand, will flow southward into
the Mayn; and so, after endless windings in the Fir Mountains
(FICHTEL-GEBIRGE), get by Frankfurt into the Rhine at Mainz. Mayn takes
the south end of your shower; Saale takes the north,--or farther east
yonder, shower will roll down into the same grand Elbe River by the
Mulde (over which the Old Dessauer is minded to build a new stone
bridge; Wallenstein and others, as well as Time, have ruined many
bridges there). That is the line of the primeval mountains, and their
ever-flowing rain-courses, in those parts.

At Gera, dim, old Town,--does not your Royal Highness well know the
"Gera Bond (GERAISCHE VERTRAG)"? Duhan: did not forget to inform you of
that? It is the corner-stone of the House of Brandenburg's advancement
in the world. Here, by your august ancestors, the Law of Primogeniture
was settled, and much rubbish was annihilated in the House of
Brandenburg: Eldest Son always to inherit the Electorate unbroken;
after Anspach and Baireuth no more apanages, upon any cause or pretext
whatsoever; and these themselves to lapse irrevocable to the main or
Electoral House, should they ever fall vacant again. Fine fruit of the
decisive sense that was in the Hohenzollerns; of their fine talent for
annihilating rubbish,--which feat, if a man can do it, and keep doing
it, will more than most others accelerate his course in this world. It
was in this dim old Town of Gera, in the Year 1598, by him that had the
twenty-three children, that the "GERA BOND" was brought to parchment.
But indeed it was intrinsically only a renewal, more solemnly
sanctioned, of Albert Achilles's HAUS ORDNUNG (House-Order), done in
1478, above a century earlier.--

But see, we are under way again. His Prussian Majesty rushes forward
without pause; will stop nowhere, except where business demands;
no Majesty of his day travels at such a speed. Orlamunde an hour
hence,--your Royal Highness has heard of Orlamunde and its famed Counts
of a thousand years back, when Kaiser Redbeard was in the world, and the
Junior Hohenzollern, tired of hawking, came down from the Hills to him?
Orlamunde (OrlaMOUTH) is not far off, on our right; and this itself is
the Orla; this pleasant streamlet we are now quitting, which has borne
us company for some time: this too will get into the Saale, and be at
Magdeburg, quite beyond the Dessauer's Bridge, early to-morrow. Ha, here
at last is Saalfeld, Town and Schloss, and the incipient Saal itself:
his Serene Highness Saalfeld-Coburg's little REZIDENZ;--probably his
Majesty will call on him, in passing? I have no doubt he does; and
transacts the civilities needful.

Christian Ernst, whose Schloss this is, a gentleman of his Majesty's age
(born 1683), married an amiable FRAULEIN not of quality, whom indeed the
Kaiser has ennobled: he lives here,--I think, courting the shade rather;
and rules conjointly with his younger Brother, or Half-Brother, Franz
Josias, who resides at Coburg. Dukes of Saalfeld-Coburg, such is their
style, and in good part their possession; though, it is well known to
this travelling party and the world, there has been a Lawsuit about
Coburg this half-century and more; and though somewhere about 200
"CONCLUSA," [Michaelis, i. 524, 518; Busching, _Erdbeschreibung, _ vi.
2464; OErtel, t. 74; Hubner, t. 166.] or Decrees of Aulic Council, have
been given in favor of the Saalfelders, their rivals of Meiningen never
end. Nor will end yet, for five years more to come; till, in 1735,
"206 CONCLUSA being given," they do end, and leave the Saalfelders in
peaceable possession; who continue so ever since to this day. [Carlyle's
_ Miscellanies,_ vi.? PRINZENRAUB.] How long his Majesty paused in that
Schloss of Saalfeld, or what he there did, or what he spake,--except
perhaps encourage Christian Ernst to stand by a Kaiser's Majesty
against these French insolences, and the native German, Spanish, English
derelictions of duty,--we are left to the vaguest guess of fancy, And
must get on to Coburg for the night.

At Coburg, in its snug valley, under the FESTUNG or Hill Castle,--where
Martin Luther sat solitary during the Diet of Augsburg (Diet known to
us, our old friend Margraf George of Anspach hypothetically "laying his
head on the block? there, and the great Kaiser, Karl V., practically
burning daylight, with pitiable spilling of wax, in the CORPUS-CHRISTI
procession there), [Antea, vol. v. p. 197.]--where Martin Luther sat
solitary, and wrote that celebrated Letter about 16 Crows holding THEIR
Parliament all round," and how "the pillars of the world were never seen
by anybody, and yet the world is held up, in these dumb continents of
space;"--at Coburg, we will not doubt, his Majesty found Franz Josias
at home, and illuminated to receive him. Franz Josias, a hearty man of
thirty-five, he too will stand by the Kaiser in these coming storms?
With a weak contingent truly, perhaps some score or two of fighters: but
many a little makes a mickle!--remark, however; two points, of a merely
genealogical nature. First, that Franz Josias has, or rather is going
to have, a Younger Son, [Friedrich Josias: 1737-1815.] who in some sixty
years hence will become dreadfully celebrated in the streets of Paris,
as "Austrian Coburg." The Austrian Coburg of Robes-Pierre and Company.
An immeasurable terror and portent,--not much harm in him, either, when
he actually comes, with nothing but the Duke of York and Dunkirk for
accompaniment,--to those revolutionary French of 1792-1794. This is
point FIRST. Point SECOND is perhaps still more interesting; this
namely: That Franz Josias has an Eldest Son (boy of six when Friedrich
Wilhelm makes his visit),--a GRANDSON'S GRANDSON of whom is, at this
day, Prince of Wales among the English People, and to me a subject of
intense reflection now and then!--

From Coburg, Friedrich Wilhelm, after pause again unknown, rushed on to
Bamberg; new scenes and ever new opening on the eyes of our young Hero
and his Papa. The course is down the valley of the Itz, one of the many
little valleys in the big slope of the Rodach; for the waters are now
turned, and all streams and brooks are gurgling incessantly towards
the Mayn. Towards Frankfurt, Mainz and the Rhine,--far enough from the
Saale, Mulde, or the Old Dessauer's Bridge to-day; towards Rotterdam and
the uttermost Dutch swamps today. Near upon Bamberg we cross the
Mayn itself; Red Mayn and White conjoined, coming from Culmbach and
Baireuth,--mark that, your Highness. A country of pleasant hills and
vines: and in an hour hence, through thick fir woods,--each side of your
road horribly decked with gibbeted thieves swinging aloft, [Pollnitz,
_Memoirs and Letters_ (English Translation, London, 1745), i. 209. Let
me say again, this is a different Book from the "MEMOIRS of Pollnitz;"
and a still different from the MEMOIREN, or "Memoirs of Brandenburg BY
Pollnitz:" such the excellence of nomenclature in that old fool!]--you
arrive at Bamberg, chief of Bishoprics, the venerable town; whose
Bishop, famous in old times, is like an Archbishop, and "gets his
pallium direct from the Pope,"--much good may it do him! "Is
bound, however, to give up his Territory, if the Kaiser elected is
landless,"--far enough from likely now. And so you are at last fairly in
the Mayn Valley; River Mayn itself a little step to north;--long course
and many wide windings between you and Mainz or Frankfurt, not to speak
of Rotterdam, and the ultimate Dutch swamps.

At Bamberg why should a Prussian Majesty linger, except for picturesque
or for mere baiting purposes? At Bamberg are certain fat Catholic
Canons, in indolent, opulent circumstances; and a couple of sublime
Palaces, without any Bishop in them at present. Nor indeed does one much
want Papist Bishops, wherever they get their pallium; of them as well
keep to windward! thinks his Majesty. And indeed there is no Bishop
here. The present Bishop of Bamberg--one of those Von Schonborns,
Counts, sometimes Cardinals, common in that fat Office,--is a Kaiser's
Minister of State; lives at Vienna, enveloped in red tape, as well as
red hat and stockings; and needs no exhortation in the Kaiser's favor.
Let us yoke again, and go.--Fir woods all round, and dead malefactors
blackening in the wind: this latter point I know of the then Bamberg;
and have explanation of it. Namely, that the Prince-Bishop, though a
humane Catholic, is obliged to act so. His small Domain borders on some
six or seven bigger sovereignties; and, being Ecclesiastical, is made
a cesspool to the neighboring scoundrelism; which state of things this
Prince Bishop has said shall cease. Young Friedrich may look, therefore,
and old Friedrich Wilhelm and Suite; and make of it what they can.

"Bamberg, through Erlangen, to Nurnberg;" so runs the way. At Erlangen
there loiters now, recruiting, a certain Rittmeister von Katte, cousin
to our Potsdam Lieutenant and confidant; to him this transit of the
Majesty and Crown-Prince must be an event like few, in that stagnant
place. French Refugees are in Erlangen, busy building new straight
streets; no University as yet;--nay a high Dowager of Baireuth is in it,
somewhat exuberant Lady (friend Weissenfels's Sister) on whom Friedrich
Wilhelm must call in passing. This high Widow of Baireuth is not Mother
of the present Heir-Apparent there, who will wed our Wilhelmina one
day;--ah no, his Mother was "DIVORCED for weighty reasons;"[Hubner, t.
181.] and his Father yet lives, in the single state; a comparatively
prosperous gentleman these four years last past; Successor, since
four years past, of this Lady's Husband, who was his Cousin-german.
Dreadfully poor before that, the present Margraf of Baireuth, as we once
explained; but now things are looking up with him again, some jingle
of money heard in the coffers of the man; and his eldest Prince, a fine
young fellow, only apt to stammer a little when agitated, is at present
doing the return part of the Grand Tour,--coming home by Geneva they

Rittmeister von Katte, I doubt not, witnesses this transit of the
incognito Majesty, this call upon the exuberant Dowager; but can have
little to say to it, he. I hope he is getting tall recruits here in
the Reich; that will be the useful point for him. He is our Lieutenant
Katte's Cousin, an elder and wiser man than the Lieutenant. A
Reichsgraf's and Field-marshal's nephew, he ought to get advanced in his
profession;--and can hope to do so when he has deserved it, not sooner
at all, in that thrice-fortunate Country. Let the Rittmeister here keep
himself well apart from what is NOT his business, and look out for tall

Bamberg is halfway-house between Coburg and Nurnberg; whole distance of
Coburg and Nurnberg,--say a hundred and odd miles,--is only a fair day's
driving for a rapid King. And at Nurnberg, surely, we must lodge for a
night and portion of a day, if not for more. On the morrow, it is but
a thirty-five miles drive to Anspach; pleasant in the summer evening,
after all the sights in this old Nurnberg, "city of the Noricans
(NORICORUM BURGUN)." Trading Staple of the German world in old days;
Toy-shop of the German world in these new. Albert Durer's and Hans
Sach's City,--mortals infinitely indifferent to Friedrich Wilhelm. But
is it not the seed-ground of the Hohenzollerns, this Nurnberg, memorable
above cities to a Prussian Majesty? Yes, there in that old white Castle,
now very peaceable, they dwelt; considerably liable to bickerings and
mutinous heats; and needed all their skill and strength to keep
matters straight. It is now upon seven hundred years since the Cadet of
Hohenzollern gave his hawk the slip, patted his dog for the last time,
and came down from the Rough-Alp countries hitherward. And found favor,
not unmerited I fancy, with the great Kaiser Redbeard, and the fair
Heiress of the Vohburgs; and in fact, with the Earth and with the
Heavens in some degree. A loyal, clever, and gallant kind of young
fellow, if your Majesty will think? Much has grown and waned since that
time: but the Hohenzollerns, ever since, are on the waxing hand;--unless
this accursed Treaty of Seville and these English Matches put a stop to

Alas, it is not likely Friedrich Wilhelm, in the hurry and grating whirl
of things, had many poetic thoughts in him, or pious aurora memories
from the Past Ages, instead of grumbly dusty provocations from the
present,--his feeling, haste mainly, and need of getting through! The
very Crown-Prince, I should guess, was as good as indifferent to this
antique Cadet of the Hohenzollerns; and looked on Nurnberg and the old
white Castle with little but ENNUI: the Princess of England, and black
cares on her beautiful account and his own, possess him too exclusively.
But in truth we do not even know what day they arrived or departed;
much less what they did or felt in that old City. We know only that the
pleasant little town of Anspach, with its huge unfinished SCHLOSS,
lay five-and-thirty miles away; and that thither was the next and
quasi-final bit of driving. Southwestward thirty-five miles; through
fine summer hills and dales; climbing always, gently, on the southward
hand; still drained by the Mayn River, by the Regnitz and other
tributaries of the Mayn:--half-way is Heilsbronn, [Not Heilbronn,
the well-known, much larger Town, in Wurtemberg, 80 or 100 miles to
westward. Both names (which are applied to still other places) signify
HEALTH-WELL, or even HOLY-WELL,--these two words, HEALTHY and HOLY (what
is very remarkable), being the same in old Teutonic speech.] with its
old Monastery; where the bones of our Hohenzollern Forefathers rest,
and Albert Achilles's "skull, with no sutures visible." On the gloomy
Church-walls their memorials are still legible: as for the Monastery
itself, Margraf George, tour memorable Reformation friend, abolished
that,--purged the monks away, and put Schoolmasters in their stead;
who were long of good renown in those parts, but have since gone to
Erlangen, so to speak. The July sunset streaming over those old spires
of Heilsbronn might awaken thoughts in a Prussian Majesty, were he not
in such haste.

At Anspach, what a thrice-hospitable youthfully joyful welcome from
the young married couple there! Margravine Frederika is still not quite
sixteen; "beautiful as Day," and rather foolish: fancy her joy at sight
of Papa's Majesty and Brother Fritz; and how she dances about, and
perhaps bakes "pastries of the finest Anspach flour." Ah, DID you send
me Berlin sausages, then, you untrue Papa? Well, I will bake for you,
won't I;--Sarah herself not more loyally {whom we read of in GENESIS),
that time the Angels entered HER tent in a hungry condition!--

Anspach, as we hint, has an unfinished Palace, of a size that might
better beseem Paris or London; Palace begun by former Margraves, left
off once and again for want of cash; stands there as a sad monument
of several things;--the young family living meanwhile in some solid
comfortable wing, or adjacent edifice, of natural dimensions. They are
so young, as we say, and not too wise. By and by they had a son, and
then a second son; which latter came to manhood, to old age; and made
some noise in the foolish parts of the Newspapers,--winding up
finally at Hammersmith, as we often explain;--and was the last of the
Anspach-Baireuth Margraves. I have heard farther that Frederika did
not want for temper, as the Hohenzollerns seldom do; that her Husband
likewise had his own stock of it, rather scant of wisdom withal; and
that their life was not quite symphonious always,--especially cash being
short. The Dowager Margravine, Margraf's Mother, had governed with great
prudence during her Son's long minority. I think she is now, since the
marriage, gone to reside at her WITTWENSITZ (Dowager-Seat) of Feuchtwang
(twenty miles southwest of us); but may have come up to welcome the
Majesties into these parts. Very beautiful, I hear; still almost young
and charming, though there is a mortal malady upon her, which she knows
of. [Pollnitz, _Memoirs and Letters,_ i. 209 (date, 29th September,
1729;--needs WATCHING before believing).] Here are certain Seckendorfs
too, this is the Feldzeugmeister's native country;--and there are
resources for a Royal Travelling-Party. How long the Royal Party
stayed at Anspach I do not know; nor what they did there,--except that
Crown-Prince Friedrich is said to have privately asked the young
Margraf to lend him a pair of riding-horses, and say nothing of it;
who, suspecting something wrong, was obliged to make protestations and

As to the Crown-Prince, there is no doubt but here at last things are
actually coming to a crisis with him. To say truth, it has been the
young man's fixed purpose ever since he entered on this Journey, nay
was ever since that ignominy in the Camp of Radewitz, to run away;--and
indeed all this while he has measures going on with Katte at Berlin of
the now-or-never sort. Rash young creatures, elder of them hardly above
five-and-twenty yet: not good at contriving measures. But what then?
Human nature cannot stand this always; and it is time there were an end
of deliberating. Can we ever have such a chance again?--What I find of
certain concerning Friedrich while at Anspach is, That there comes by
way of Erlangen, guided forward from that place by the Rittmeister von
Katte, a certain messenger and message, which proved of deep importance
to his Royal Highness. The messenger was Lieutenant Katte's servant: who
has come express from Berlin hither. He inquired, on the road, as he was
bidden, at Erlangen, of Master's Cousin, the experienced Rittmeister,
Where his Royal Highness at present was, that he might deliver a Letter
to him? The Master's Cousin, who answered naturally, "At Anspach," knew
nothing, and naturally could get to know nothing, of what the message
in this Letter was. But he judged, from cross-questionings, added to dim
whispering rumors he had heard, that it was questionable, probably in
an extreme degree. Wherefore, along with his Cousin the Lieutenant's
messenger to Anspach, the Rittmeister forwarded a Note of his own to
Lieutenant-Colonel Rochow, of this purport, "As a friend, I warn you,
have a watchful eye on your high charge!"--and, for his own share,
determined to let nothing escape him in his corner of the matter. This
note to Rochow, and the Berlin Letter for the Crown-Prince reach Anspach
by the same hand; Lieutenant Katte's express, conscious of nothing,
delivering them both. Rochow and the Rittmeister, though the poor Prince
does not know it, are broad awake to all movements he and the rash
Lieutenant may make.

Lieutenant Katte, in this Letter now arrived, complains: "That he never
yet can get recruiting furlough; whether it be by accident, or that
Rochow has given my Colonel a hint, no furlough yet to be had: will,
at worst, come without furlough and in spite of all men and things,
whenever wanted. Only--Wesel still, if I might advise!" This is the
substance of Katte's message by express. Date must be the end of July,
1730; but neither Date nor Letter is now anywhere producible, except
from Hearsay.

Deeply pondering these things, what shall the poor Prince do? From
Canstatt, close by Stuttgard, a Town on our homeward route,--from
Canstatt, where Katte was to "appear in disguise," had the furlough been
got, one might have slipt away across the Hills. It is but eighty miles
to Strasburg, through the Kniebiss Pass, where the Murg, the Kinzig, and
the intricate winding mountain streams and valleys start Rhine-ward:
a labyrinthic rock-and-forest country, where pursuit or tracking were
impossible. Near by Strasburg is Count Rothenburg's Chateau; good
Rothenburg, long Minister in Berlin,--who saw those PROFOSSEN, or
Scavenger-Executioners in French Costume long since, and was always good
to me:--might not that be a method? Lieutenant Keith indeed is in Wesel,
waiting only a signal. Suppose he went to the Hague, and took soundings
there what welcome we should have? No, not till we have actually run;
beware of making noise!--The poor Prince is in unutterable perplexity;
can only answer Katte by that Messenger of his, to the effect (date and
Letter burnt like the former): "Doubt is on every hand; doubt,--and yet
CERTAINTY. Will write again before undertaking anything."

And there is no question he did write again; more than once: letters by
the post, which his faithful Lieutenant Katte in Berlin received; one
of which, however, stuck on the road; and this one,--by some industry of
postmasters spirited into vigilance, as is likeliest, though others say
by mere misaddressing, by "want of BERLIN on the address,"--fell into
the hands of vigilant RITTMEISTER Katte at Erlangen. Who grew pale in
reading it, and had to resolve on a painful thing! This was, I suppose,
among the last Letters of the series; and must have been dated, as I
guess, about the 29th of July, 1730; but they are now all burnt, huddled
rapidly into annihilation, and one cannot say!--

Certain it is that the Royal Travelling-Party left Anspach in a
few days, to go, southward still, "by the OEttingen Country towards
Augsburg." [Fassmann, p. 410.] Feuchtwang (WET Wang, not Durrwang or DRY
Wang) is the first stage; here lives the Dowager Margravine of Anspach:
here the Prince does some inconceivably small fault "lets a knife, which
he is handing to or from the Serene Lady, fall," [Ranke, i. 304 ("from
a Letter the Prince had written to Katte").] who, as she is weak, may
suffer by the jingle; for which Friedrich Wilhelm bursts out on him like
the Irish Rebellion,--to the silent despair of the poor Prince. The poor
Prince meditates desperate resolutions, but has to keep them strictly to

Doubtless the Buddenbrock Trio, good old military gentlemen, would
endeavor to speak comfort to him, when they were on the road again.
Here is Nordlingen, your Highness, where Bernhard of Weimar, for his
over-haste, got so beaten in the Thirty-Years War; would not wait till
the Swedes were rightly gathered: what general, if he have reinforcement
at hand, would not wait for it? The waters now, you observe, run all
into the Wornitz, into the Donau: it is a famed war-country this; known
to me well in my young Eugene-Marlborough days!--"Hm, Ha, yes!" For
the Prince is preoccupied with black cares; and thinks Blenheim and the
Schellenberg businesses befell long since, and were perhaps simple to
what he has now on hand. That Feuchtwang scene, it would appear, has
brought him to a resolution. There is a young page Keith of the party,
Lieutenant Keith of Wesel's Brother; of this page Keith, who is often
busy about horses, he cautiously makes question, What help may be in
him? A willing mind traceable in this poor lad, but his terrors great.

To Donauworth from Anspach, through Feuchtwang and Nordlingen, is some
seventy or eighty miles. At Donauworth one surely ought to lodge, and
see the Schellenberg on the morrow; nay drive to the Field of Hochstadt
(Blenheim, BLINDHEIM), which is but a few miles farther up the River?
Buddenbrock was there, and Anhalt-Dessau: for their very sake, were
there nothing farther, one surely ought to go? Such was the probability,
a visit to Blenheim field in passing. And surely, somewhere in those
heart-rending masses of Historical Rubbish, I did at last find express
evanescent mention of the fact,--but cannot now say where;--the exact
record, or conceivable image of which, would have been a perceptible
pleasure to us. Alas, in those dim dreary Books, all whirling dismal
round one's soul, like vortices of dim Brandenburg sand, how should
anything human be searched out and mentioned to us; and a thousand,
things not-human be searched out, and eternally suppressed from us, for
the sake of that? I please myself figuring young Friedrich looking at
the vestiges of Marlborough, even in a preoccupied uncertain manner.
Your Majesty too, this is the very "Schellenberg (or JINGLE-HILL)," this
Hill we are now skirting, on highways, on swift wheels; which overhangs
Donauworth, our resting-place this hot July evening. Yes, your Majesty,
here was a feat of storming done,--pang, pang!--such a noise as never
jingled on that Hill before: like Doomsday come; and a hero-head to rule
the Doomsday, and turn it to heroic marching music. A very pretty
feat of war, your Majesty! His Majesty well knows it; feat of his
Marlborough's doing, famed everywhere for the twenty-six years last
past; and will go to see the Schellenberg and its Lines. The great Duke
is dead four years; sank sadly, eclipsed under tears of dotage of his
own, and under human stupidity of other men's! But Buddenbrock is still
living, Anhalt-Dessau and others of us are still alive a little while!

Hochstadt itself--Blenheim, as the English call it, meaning BLINDHEIM,
the other village on the Field--is but a short way up the River; well
worth such a detour. By what way they drove to the field of honor and
back from it, I do not know. But there, northward, towards the heights,
is the little wood where Anhalt-Dessau stood at bay like a Molossian
dog, of consummate military knowledge; and saved the fight in Eugene's
quarter of it. That is visible enough; and worth looking at. Visible
enough the rolling Donau, Marlborough's place; the narrow ground, the
bordering Hills all green at this season;--and down old Buddenbrock's
cheek, end Anhalt's, there would roll an iron tear or two. Augsburg is
but some thirty miles off, once we are across the Donau,--by the Bridge
of Donauworth, or the Ferry of Hochstadt,--swift travellers in a long
day, the last of July, are soon enough at Augsburg.

As for Friedrich, haunted and whipt onwards by that scene at Feuchtwang,
he is inwardly very busy during this latter part of the route. Probably
there is some progress towards gaining Page Keith, Lieutenant Keith of
Wesel's Brother; some hope that Page Keith, at the right moment, can
be gained: the Lieutenant at Wesel is kept duly advised. To Lieutenant
Katte at Berlin Friedrich now writes, I should judge from Donauworth or
Augsburg, "That he has had a scene at Feuchtwang; that he can stand it
no longer. That Canstatt being given up, as Katte cannot be there to go
across the Kniebiss with us, we will endure till we are near enough
the Rhine. Once in the Rhineland, in some quiet Town there, handy for
Speyer, for French Landau,"--say Sinzheim; last stage hitherward of
Heidelberg, but this we do not write,--"there might it not be? Be,
somewhere, it shall and must! You, Katte, the instant you hear that
we are off, speed you towards the Hague; ask for 'M. le Comte
d'Alberville;' you will know that gentleman WHEN you see him: Keith,
our Wesel friend, will have taken the preliminary soundings;--and I
tell you, Count d'Alberville, or news of him, will be there. Bring the
great-coat with you, and the other things, especially the 1,000 gold
ducats. Count d'Alberville at the Hague, if all have gone right:--nay if
anything go wrong, cannot he, once across the Rhine, take refuge in the
convents in those Catholic regions? Nobody, under the scapulary, will
suspect such a heretic as him. Speed, silence, vigilance! And so adieu!"
A letter of such purport Friedrich did write; which Letter, moreover,
the Lieutenant Katte received: it was not this, it was another, that
stuck upon the road, and fell into the Rittmeister's hand. This is the
young Prince's ultimate fixed project, brought to birth by that slight
accident of dropping the knife at Feuchtwang; [Ranke, i. 304.] and
hanging heavy on his mind during this Augsburg drive. At Augsburg,
furthermore, "he bought, in all privacy, red cloth, of quantity to make
a top-coat;" red, the gray being unattainable in Katte's hands: in all
privacy; though the watchful Rochow had full knowledge of it, all the


The travelling Majesty of Prussia went diligently up and down,
investigating ancient Augsburg: saw, I doubt not, the FUGGEREI, or
ancient Hospice of the Fuggers,--who were once Weavers in those parts,
and are now Princes, and were known to entertain Charles V. with
fires of cinnamon, nay with transient flames of Bank-bills on one
old occasion. Saw all the Fuggeries, I doubt not; the ancient
Luther-and-Melanchthon relics, Diet-Halls and notabilities of this
renowned Free Town;--perhaps remembered Margraf George, and loud-voiced
Kurfurst Joachim with the Bottle-nose (our DIRECT Ancestor, though
mistaken in opinion on some points!), who were once so audible there.

One passing phenomenon we expressly know he saw; a human, not a
historically important one. Driving through the streets from place to
place, his Majesty came athwart some questionable quaint procession,
ribbony, perhaps musical; Majesty questioned it: "A wedding procession,
your Majesty!"--"Will the Bride step out, then, and let us see how she
is dressed!" "VOM HERZEN GERN; will have the honor." Bride stept out,
with blushes,--handsome we will hope; Majesty surveyed her, on the
streets of Augsburg, having a human heart in him; and (says Fassmann, as
if with insidious insinuation) "is said to have made her a present." She
went her way; fulfilled her destiny in an anonymous manner: Friedrich
Wilhelm, loudly named in the world, did the like; and their two orbits
never intersected again.--Some forty-five miles south of Augsburg, up
the Wertach River, more properly up the Mindel River, lies Mindelheim,
once a name known in England and in Prussia; once the Duke of
Marlborough's "Principality:" given him by a grateful Kaiser Joseph;
taken from him by a necessitous Kaiser Karl, Joseph's Brother, that now
is. I know not if his Majesty remembers that transaction, now while in
these localities; but know well, if he does, he must think it a shabby

On the same day, 1st August, 1730, we quit Augsburg; set out
fairly homewards again. The route bends westward this time; towards
Frankfurt-on-Mayn; there yachts are to be ready; and mere sailing
thenceforth, gallantly down the Rhine-stream,--such a yacht-voyage, in
the summer weather, with no Tourists yet infesting it,--to end, happily
we will hope, at Wesel, in the review of regiments, and other business.
First stage, first pause, is to be at Ludwigsburg, and the wicked old
Duke of Wurtemberg's; thither first from Augsburg. We cross the Donau at
Dillingen, at Gunzberg, or I know not where; and by to-morrow's sunset,
being rapid travellers, find ourselves at Ludwigsburg,--clear through
Canstatt, Stuttgard, and certainly no Katte waiting there! Safe across
the intermediate uplands, here are we fairly in the Neckar Country, in
the Basin of the Rhine again; and old Duke Eberhard Ludwig of Wurtemberg
bidding us kindly welcome, poor old bewildered creature, who has become
the talk of Germany in those times. Will English readers consent to a
momentary glance into his affairs and him? Strange things are going on
at Lndwigsburg; nay the origin of Ludwigsburg, and that the Duke should
be there and not at Stuttgard, is itself strange. Let us take this
Excerpt, headed LUDWIGSBURG in 1730, and then hasten on:--


"Duke Eberhard Ludwig, now an elderly gentleman of fifty-four, has
distinguished himself in his long reign, not by political obliquities
and obstinacies, though those also were not wanting, but by
matrimonial and amatory; which have rendered him conspicuous to his
fellows-creatures, and still keep him mentionable in History, briefly
and for a sad reason. Duke Eberhard Ludwig was duly wedded to an
irreproachable Princess of Baden-Durlach (Johanna Elizabeth) upwards
of thirty years ago; and he duly produced one Son in consequence,
with other good results to himself and her. But in course of time Duke
Eberhard Ludwig took to consorting with bad creatures; took, in fact,
to swashing about at random in the pool of amatory iniquity, as if there
had been no law known, or of the least validity, in that matter.

"Perceiving which, a certain young fellow, Gravenitz by name, who had
come to him from the Mecklenbnrg regions, by way of pushing fortune, and
had got some pageship or the like here in Wurtemberg, recollected that
he had a young Sister at home; pretty and artful, who perhaps might do a
stroke of work here. He sends for the young Sister; very pretty indeed,
and a gentlewoman by birth, though penniless. He borrows clothes for her
(by onerous contract with the haberdashers, it is said, being poor to
a degree); he easily gets her introduced to the Ducal Soirees; bids
her--She knows what to do? Right well she knows what; catches, with her
piquant face, the dull eye of Eberhard Ludwig, kindles Eberhard Ludwig,
and will not for something quench him. Not she at all: How can SHE; your
Serene Highness, ask her not! A virtuous young lady, she, and come of
a stainless Family!--In brief, she hooks, she of all the fishes in the
pool, this lumber of a Duke; enchants him, keeps him hooked; and has
made such a pennyworth of him, for the last twenty years and more, as
Germany cannot match. [Michaelis, iii. 440.] Her brother Gravenitz the
page has become Count Gravenitz the prime minister, or chief of the
Governing Cabal; she Countess Gravenitz and Autocrat of Wurtemberg.
Loaded with wealth, with so-called honors, she and hers, there go they,
flaunting sky-high; none else admitted to more than the liberty of
breathing in silence in this Duchy;--the poor Duke Eberhard Ludwig
making no complaint; obedient as a child to the bidding of his
Gravenitz. He is become a mere enchanted simulacrum of a Duke; bewitched
under worse than Thessalian spells; without faculty of willing, except
as she wills; his People and he the plaything of this Circe or Hecate,
that has got hold of him. So it has lasted for above twenty years.
Gravenitz has become the wonder of Germany; and requires, on these
bad grounds, a slight mention in Human History for some time to
come. Certainly it is by the Gravenitz alone that Eberhard Ludwig is
remembered; and yet, down since Ulrich with the Thumb, [Ulricus POLLEX
(right thumb bigger than left); died A.D. 1265 (Michaelis, iii. 262).]
which of those serene abstruse Beutelsbachers, always an abstruse
obstinate set, has so fixed himself in your memory?--

"Most persons in Wurtemberg, for quiet's sake, have complied with the
Gravenitz; though not without protest, and sometimes spoken protest.
Thus the Right Reverend Osiander (let us name Osiander, Head of the
Church in Wurtemberg) flatly refused to have her name inserted in the
Public Prayers; 'Is not she already prayed for?' said Osiander: 'Do we
not say, DELIVER US FROM EVIL?' said the indignant Protestant man. And
there is one other person that never will comply with her: the lawful
Wife of Eberhard Ludwig. Serene Lady, she has had a sad existence of it;
the voice of her wrongs audible, to little purpose, this long while, in
Heaven and on Earth. But it is not in the power of reward or punishment
to bend her female will in the essential point: 'Divorce, your Highness?
When _I_ am found guilty, yes. Till then, never, your Highness, never,
never,' in steady CRESCENDO tone:--so that his Highness is glad to
escape again, and drop the subject. On which the Serene Lady again falls
silent. Gravenitz, in fact, hopes always to be wedded with the right,
nay were it only with the left hand: and this Serene Lady stands like
a fateful monument irremovably in the way. The Serene Lady steadily
inhabits her own wing of the Ducal House, would not exchange it for
the Palace of Aladdin; looks out there upon the grand equipages, high
doings, impure splendors of her Duke and his Gravenitz with a clear-eyed
silence, which seems to say more eloquently than words, 'MENE, MENE, YOU
are weighed!' In the land of Wurtemberg, or under the Sun, is no reward
or punishment that can abate this silence. Speak of divorce, the
answer is as above: leave divorce lying, there is silence looking forth
clear-eyed from that particular wing of the Palace, on things which the
gods permit for a time.

"Clear-eyed silence, which, as there was no abating of it, grew at last
intolerable to the two sinners. 'Let us remove,' said the Gravenitz,
'since her Serene Highness will not: build a new charming Palace,--say
at our Hunting Seat, among those pleasant Hills in the Waiblingen
region,--and take the Court, out thither.' And they have done so, in
these late bad years; taking out with them by degrees all the Courtier
Gentry, all the RATHS, Government Boards, public businesses; and
building new houses for them, there. ["From 1727 to 1730" was this
latter removal. A hunting-lodge, of Eberhard Ludwig's building,
and named by him LUGWIGSBURG, stood here since 1705; nucleus of the
subsequent palace, with its "Pheasantries," its "Favoritas," &c. &c. The
place had originally been monastic (Busching, _Erdbeschreibung,_ vi.
1519).] Founding, in fact, a second Capital for Wurtemberg, with what
distress, sulky misery and disarrangement, to Stuttgard and the old
Capital, readers can fancy. There it stands, that Ludwigsburg, the
second Capital of Wurtemberg, some ten or twenty miles from Stuttgard
the first: a lasting memorial of Circe Gravenitz and her Ludwig. Has
not she, by her incantations, made the stone houses dance out hither?
It remains to this day a pleasant town, and occasional residence of
sovereignty. WAIBLINGEN, within an hour's ride, has got memorability
on other grounds;--what reader has not heard of GHIBELLINES, meaning
Waiblingens? And in another hour up the River, you will come to
Beutelsbach itself, where Ulrich with the Thumb had his abode (better
luck to him!), and generated this Lover of the Gravenitz, and much other
nonsense loud now and then for the last four centuries in the world!--

"There is something of abstruse in all these Beutelsbachers, from Ulrich
with the Thumb downwards: a mute ennui, an inexorable obstinacy; a
certain streak of natural gloom which no illumination can abolish.
Veracity of all kinds is great in them; sullen passive courage plenty
of it; active courage rarer; articulate intellect defective: hence a
strange stiff perversity of conduct visible among them, often marring
what wisdom they have;--it is the royal stamp of Fate put upon these
men. What are called fateful or fated men; such as are often seen on the
top places of the world, making an indifferent figure there. Something
of this, I doubt not, is concerned in Eberhard Ludwig's fascination; and
we shall see other instances farther down in this History.

"But so, for twenty years, the absurd Duke, transformed into a mere
Porcus by his Circe in that scandalous miraculous manner, has lived; and
so he still lives. And his Serene Wife, equally obstinate, is living at
Stuttgard, happily out of his sight now. One Son, a weakly man, who had
one heir, but has now none, is her only comfort. His Wife is a Prussian
Margravine (Friedrich Wilhelm's HALF-AUNT), and cultivates Calvinism in
the Lutheran Country: this Husband of hers, he too has an abstruse life,
not likely to last. We need not doubt 'the Fates' are busy, and the
evil demons, with those poor fellow-beings! Nay it is said the Circe is
becoming much of a Hecate now; if the bewitched Duke could see it. She
is getting haggard beyond the power of rouge; her mind, any mind she
has, more and more filled with spleen, malice, and the dregs of pride
run sour. A disgusting creature, testifies one Ex-Official gentleman,
once a Hofrath under her, but obliged to run for life, and invoke free
press in his defence: [_Apologie de Monsieur Forstner de Breitembourg,
&c._ (Paris, 1716; or "a Londres, aux depens de la Compagnie, 1745"):
in Spittler, _Geschichte Wurtembergs_ (Spittlers WERKE, Stuttgard und
Tubingen, 1828; vol. v.), 497-539. Michaelis, iii. 428-439, gives (in
abstruse Chancery German) a Sequel to this fine affair of Forstner's.]
no end to the foul things she will say, of an unspeakable nature, about
the very Duke her victim, testifies this Ex-Official: malicious as a
witch, says he, and as ugly as one in spite of paint,--'TOUJOURS UN

But here is the august Prussian Travelling-Party: shove aside your
bewitchments and bewilderments; hang a decent screen over many things!
Poor Eberhard Ludwig, who is infinitely the gentleman, bestirs himself
a good deal to welcome old royal friends; nor do we hear that the
least thing went awry during this transit of the royalties. "Field of
Blenheim, says your Majesty? Ah me!"--For Eberhard Ludwig knows that
ground; stood the World-Battle there, and so much has come and gone
since then: Ah me indeed!

Friedrich Wilhelm and he have met before this, and have much to tell one
another; Treaty of Seville by no means their only topic. Nay the flood
of cordiality went at length so far, that at last Friedrich Wilhelm, the
conscientious King, came upon the most intimate topics: Gravenitz; the
Word of God; scandal to the Protestant Religion: no likely heir to your
Dukedom; clear peril to your own soul. Is not her Serene Highness an
unexceptionable Lady, heroic under sore woes; and your wedded Wife above
all?--'M-NA, and might bring Heirs too: only forty come October:--Ah
Duke, ah Friend! AVISEZ LA FIN, Eberhard Ludwig; consider the end of
it all; we are growing old fellows now! The Duke, I conceive, who was
rather a fat little man, blushed blue, then red, and various colors;
at length settling into steady pale, as it were, indicating anthracitic
white-heat: it is certain he said at length, with emphasis, "I will!"
And he did so, by and by. Friedrich Wilhelm sent a messenger to
Stuttgard to do his reverence to the high injured Lady there, perhaps to
show her afar off some ray of hope if she could endure. Eberhard Ludwig,
raised to a white-heat, perceives that in fact he is heartily tired
of this Circe-Hecate; that in fact she has long been an intolerable
nightmare to him, could he but have known it.

And his Royal Highness the Crown-Prince all this while? Well, yes;
his Royal Highness has got a Court Tailor at Ludwigsburg; and, in all
privacy (seen well by Rochow), has had the Augsburg red cloth cut into
a fine upper wrappage, over coat or roquelaure for himself; intending to
use the same before long. Thus they severally, the Father and the Son;
these are their known acts at Ludwigsburg, That the Father persuaded
Eberhard Ludwig of the Gravenitz enormity, and that the Son got his red
top-coat ready. On Thursday, 3d of August (late in the afternoon, as I
perceive), they, well entertained, depart towards Mannheim, Kur-Pfalz
(Elector Palatine) old Karl Philip of the Pfalz's place; hope to be
there on the morrow some time, if all go well. Gloomy much enlightened
Eberhard takes leave of them, with abstruse but grateful feelings; will
stand by the Kaiser, and dismiss that Gravenitz nightmare by the first

As accordingly he did. Next Summer, going on a visit northward,
specially to Berlin, [There for some three weeks, "till 9th June, 1731,
with a suite of above fifty persons" (Fassmann, pp. 421, 422).] he left
order that the Gravenitz was to be got out of his sight, safe stowed
away, before his return. Which by the proper officers, military certain
of them, was accomplished,--by fixed bayonets at last, and not without
futile demur on the part of the Gravenitz. Poor Eberhard Ludwig, "he
published in the pulpits, That he was now minded to lead a better
life,"--had time now been left him. Same year, 1731, November being
come, gloomy Eberhard Ludwig lost, not unexpectedly, his one Son,--the
one Grandson was gone long since. The serene steadfast Duchess now had
her Duke again, what was left of him: but he was fallen into the sere
and yellow leaf; in two years more, he died childless; [31st October,
1733: Michaelis, iii. 441.] and his Cousin, Karl Alexander, an Austrian
Feldmarschall of repute, succeeded in Wurtemberg. With whom we may
transiently meet, in time coming; with whom, and perhaps less pleasantly
with certain of his children; for they continue to this day,--with the
old abstruse element still too traceable in them.

Old Karl Philip, Kurfurst of the Pfalz, towards whom Friedrich Wilhelm
is now driving, with intent to be there to-morrow evening, is not quite
a stranger to readers here; and to Friedrich Wilhelm he is much the
reverse, perhaps too much. This is he who ran away with poor Prince
Sobieski's Bride from Berlin, at starting in life; who fell upon his own
poor Protestant Heidelbergers and their Church of the Holy Ghost (being
himself Papist, ever since that slap on the face to his ancestor); and
who has been in many quarrels with Friedrich Wilhelm and others. A
high expensive sovereign gentleman, this old Karl Philip; not, I should
suppose, the pleasantest of men to lodge with. One apprehends, he
cannot be peculiarly well disposed to Friedrich Wilhelm, after that sad
Heidelberg passage of fence, twelve or eleven years ago. Not to
mention the inextricable Julich-and-Berg business, which is a standing
controversy between them.

Poor old Kurfurst, he is now within a year of seventy. He has had
crosses and losses; terrible campaignings against the Turk, in old
times; and always such a stock of quarrels, at home, as must have
been still worse to bear. A life of perpetual arguing, squabbling and
battling,--one's neighbors being such an unreasonable set! Brabbles
about Heidelberg Catechism, and Church of the Holy Ghost, so that
foreign Kings interfered, shaking their whips upon us. Then brabbles
about boundaries; about inheritances, and detached properties very
many,--clearly mine, were the neighbors reasonable! In fact this
sovereign old gentleman has been in the Kaiser's courts, or even on the
edge of fight, oftener than most other men; and it is as if that
first adventure, of the Sobieski wedding turned topsy-turvy, had been
symbolical of much that followed in his life.

We remember that unpleasant Heidelberg affair: how hopeful it once
looked; fact DONE, Church of the Holy Ghost fairly ours; your CORPUS
EVANGELICORUM fallen quasi-dead; and nothing now for it but protocolling
by diplomatists, pleading in the Diets by men in bombazine, never like
ending at all;--when Friedrich Wilhelm did suddenly end it; suddenly
locked up his own Catholic establishments and revenues, and quietly
inexorable put the key in his pocket; as it were, drew his own whip,
with a "Will you whip MY Jew?"--and we had to cower out of the affair,
Kaiser himself ordering us, in a most humiliated manner! Readers can
judge whether Kur-Pfalz was likely to have a kindly note of Friedrich
Wilhelm in that corner of his memory. The poor man felt so disgusted
with Heidelberg, he quitted it soon after. He would not go to Dusseldorf
(in the Berg-and-Julich quarter), as his Forefathers used to do; but set
up his abode at Mannheim, where he still is. Friedrich Wilhelm, who
was far from meaning harm or insolence in that Heidelberg affair, hopes
there is no grudge remaining. But so stand the facts: it is towards
Mannheim, not towards Heidelberg that we are now travelling!--For the
rest, this scheme of reprisals, or whipping your Jew if you whip mine,
answered so well, Friedrich Wilhelm has used it, or threatened to use,
as the real method, ever since, where needful; and has saved thereby
much bombazine eloquence, and confusion to mankind, on several

But the worst between these two High Gentlemen is that Julich-and-Berg
controversy; which is a sore still running, and beyond reach of probable
surgery. Old Karl Philip has no male Heir; and is like to be (what he
indeed proved) the last of the NEUBERG Electors Palatine. What trouble
there rose with the first of them, about that sad business; and how the
then Brandenburger, much wrought upon, smote the then Neuburger across
the very face, and drove him into Catholicism, we have not forgotten;
how can we ever?--It is one hundred and sixteen years since that
after-dinner scene; and, O Heavens, what bickering and brabbling
and confused negotiation there has been; lawyers' pens going
almost continually ever since, shadowing out the mutual darkness of
sovereignties; and from time to time the military implements brandishing
themselves, though loath generally to draw blood! For a hundred and
sixteen years:--but the Final Bargain, lying on parchment in the
archives of both parties, and always acknowledged as final, was to
this effect: "You serene Neuburg keep what you have got; we
serene Brandenburg the like: Cleve with detached pertinents ours;
Julich-and-Berg mainly yours. And let us live in perpetual amity on that
footing. And, note only furthermore, when our Line fails, the whole of
these fine Duchies shall be yours: if your Line fail, ours." That was
the plain bargain, done solemnly in 1624, and again more solemnly and
brought to parchment with signature in 1666, as Friedrich Wilhelm
knows too well. And now the very case is about to occur; this old
man, childless at seventy, is the last of the Neuburgs. May not one
reasonably pretend that a bargain should be kept?

"Tush," answers old Karl Philip always: "Bargain?" And will not hear
reason against himself on the subject; not even when the Kaiser asks
him,--as the Kaiser really did, after that Wusterhausen Treaty, but
could get only negatives. Karl Philip has no romantic ideas of justice,
or of old parchments tying up a man. Karl Philip had one Daughter by
that dear Radzivil Princess, Sobieski's stolen Bride; and he never, by
the dear Radzivil or her dear successor, [See Buchholz, i. 61 n.] had
any son, or other daughter that lived to wed. One Daughter, we say;
a first-born, extremely precious to him. Her he married to the young
fortunate Sulzbach Cousin, Karl Joseph Heir-Apparent of Sulzbach, who,
by all laws, was to succeed in the Pfalz as well,--Karl Philip thinking
furthermore, "He and she, please Heaven, shall hold fast by Dusseldorf
too, and that fine Julich-and-Berg Territory, which is mine. Bargains?"
Such was, and is, the old man's inflexible notion. Alas, this one
Daughter died lately, and her Husband lately; [She in 1728; he in 1729:
their eldest Daughter was born 1721 (Hubner, t. 140; Michaelis, ii. 101,
123).] again leaving only Daughters; will not this change the notion?
Not a whit,--though Friedrich Wilhelm may have fondly hoped it by
possibility might, Not a whit: Karl Philip cherishes his little
Grand-daughter, now a child of nine, as he did her Mother and her
Mother's Mother; hopes one day to see her wedded (as he did) to a new
Heir-Apparent of the Pfalz and Sulzbach; and, for her behoof, will hold
fast by Berg and Julich, and part with no square inch of it for any

What is Friedrich Wilhelm to do? Seek justice for himself by his 80,000
men and the iron ramrods? Apparently he will not get it otherwise. He is
loath to begin that terrible game. If indeed Europe do take fire, as
is likely at Seville or elsewhere--But in the meanwhile how happy if
negotiation would but serve! Alas, and if the Kaiser, England; Holland
and the others, could be brought to guarantee me,--as indeed they
should (to avoid a CASUS BELLI), and some of them have said they will!
Friedrich Wilhelm tried this Julich-and-Berg Problem by the pacific
method, all his life; strenuously, and without effect. Result perhaps
was coming nevertheless; at the distance of another hundred years!--One
thing I know: whatever rectitude and patience, whatever courage,
perseverance, or other human virtue he has put into this or another
matter, is not lost; not it nor any fraction of it, to Friedrich Wilhelm
and his sons' sons; but will well avail him and them, if not soon, then
later, if not in Berg and Julich, then in some other quarter of the
Universe, which is a wide Entity and a long-lived! Courage, your

So stand matters as Friedrich Wilhelm journeys towards Mannheim: human
politeness will have to cloak well, and keep well down, a good many
prickly points in the visit ahead. Alas, poor Friedrich Wilhelm has got
other matter to think of, by the time we arrive in Mannheim.


The Royal Party, quitting Ludwigsburg,--on Thursday, 3d August, 1730,
some hours after dinner, as I calculate it,--had but a rather short
journey before them: journey to a place called Sinzheim, some fifty or
sixty miles; a long way short of Heidelberg; the King's purpose being
to lodge in that dilapidated silent Town of Sinzheim, and leave both
Heidelberg and Mannheim, with their civic noises, for the next
day's work. Sinzheim, such was the program, as the Prince and others
understood it; but by some accident, or on better calculation, it was
otherwise decided in the royal mind: not at Sinzheim, intricate decayed
old Town, shall we lodge to-night, but five or six miles short of it, in
the naturally silent Village of Steinfurth, where good clean empty Barns
are to be found. Which latter is a favorite method of his Majesty, fond
always of free air and the absence of fuss. Shake-downs, a temporary
cooking apparatus, plenty of tobacco, and a tub to wash in: this is
what man requires, and this without difficulty can be got. His Majesty's
tastes are simple; simple, and yet good and human. Here is a small Royal
Order, which I read once, and ever since remember,--though the reference
is now blown away, and lost in those unindexed Sibylline Farragos, the
terror of human nature;--let us copy it from memory, till some deliverer
arise with finger on page. [Probably in Rodenbeck's _Beitrage,_--but
long sad searching there, and elsewhere, proves unavailing at present.
Historical Farragos without INDEX; a hundred, or several hundred, blind
sacks of Historical clippings, generally authentic too if useless, and
not the least scrap of LABEL on them:--are not these a handy article!]
"At Magdeburg, on this Review-Journey, have dinner for me, under a
certain Tree you know of, outside the ramparts." Dinner of one
sound portion solid, one ditto liquid, of the due quality; readied
honestly,--and to be eaten under a shady Tree; on the Review-ground
itself, with the summer sky over one's head. Could Jupiter Tonans, had
he been travelling on business in those parts, have done better with his

"At Sinzheim?" thinks his Royal Highness; and has spoken privily to
the Page Keith. To glide out of their quarters there, in that waste
negligent old Town (where post-horses can be had), in the gray of the
summer's dawn? Across the Rhine to Speyer is but three hours riding;
thence to Landau, into France, into--? Enough, Page Keith has undertaken
to get horses, and the flight shall at last be. Husht, husht. To-morrow
morning, before the sparrow wake, it is our determination to be upon the

Ruins of the Tower of Stauffen, HOHEN or High STAUFFEN, where Kaiser
Barbarossa lived once, young and ruddy, and was not yet a MYTH, "winking
and nodding under the Hill at Salzburg,"--yes, it is but a few miles
to the right there, were this a deliberate touring party. But this is
a rapid driving one; knows nothing about Stauffen, cares nothing.--We
cannot fancy Friedrich remembered Barbarossa at all; or much regarded
Heilbronn itself, the principal and only famous Town they pass this day.
The St. Kilian's Church, your Highness, and big stone giant at the top
of the steeple yonder,--adventurous masons and slater people get upon
the crown of his head, sometimes, and stand waving flags. [Buddaus,
_Lexicon,_ ii.? Heilbronn.] The Townhouse too (RATHHAUS), with its
amazing old Clock? And Gotz von Berlichingen, the Town-Councillors
once had him in prison for one night, in the "Gotz's Tower" here; your
Highness has heard of "Gotz with the Iron Hand"? Berlichingens still
live at Jaxthausen, farther down the Neckar Valley, in these parts; and
show the old HAND, considerably rusted now. Heilbronn, the most famous
City on the Neckar; and its old miraculous Holy Well--? What cares his
Highness! Weinsberg again, which is but a few miles to the right of
us,--there it was that the Besieged Wives did that astonishing feat,
600 years ago; coming out, as the capitulation bore, "with their most
valuable property," each brought her Husband on her back (were not the
fact a little uncertain!)--whereby the old Castle has, to this day, the
name "WEIBERTREUE, Faithfulness of Women." Welf's Duchess, Husband on
back, was at the head of those women; a Hohenzollern ancestor of yours,
I think I have heard, was of the besieging party. [Siege is notorious
enough; A.D. 1140: Kohler _Reichshistorie,_ p. 167, who does not
mention the story of the women; Menzel (Wolfgang), _Geschichte der
Deutschen,_ p. 287, who takes no notice that it is a highly mythical
story,--supported only by the testimony of one poor Monk in Koln,
vaguely chronicling fifty years after date and at that good distance.]
Alas, thinks his Royal Highness, is there not a flower of Welfdom now
in England; and I, unluckiest of Hohenzollerns, still far away from
her here! It is at Windsor, not in Weinsberg, or among the ruins of
WEIBERTREUE, that his Highness wishes to be.

At Heilbronn our road branches off to the left; and we roll diligently
towards Sinzheim, calculating to be there before nightfall. Whew!
Something has gone awry at Sinzheim: no right lodging in the waste Inns
there; or good clean Barns, of a promising character, are to be had
nearer than there: we absolutely do not go to Sinzheim to-night; we are
to stop at Steinfurth, a small quiet Hamlet with Barns, four or five
miles short of that! This was a great disappointment to the Prince,--and
some say, a highly momentous circumstance in his History: ["Might
perhaps have succeeded at Sinzheim" (Seckendorf's _Relation of the
Crown-Prince's meditated Flight,_ p. 2;--addressed to Prince Eugene few
days afterwards; given in Forster, iii. 1-13).]--however, he rallies
in the course of the evening; speaks again to Page Keith. "Steinfurth
[STONY-FORD, over the Brook here]; be it at Steinfurth, all the same!"
Page Keith will manage to get horses for us here, no less. And Speyer
and the Ferry of the Rhine are within three hours. Favor us, Silence and
all ye good genii!--

On Friday morning, 4th August, 1730, "usual hour of starting, 3 A.M.,"
not being yet came, the Royal Party lies asleep in two clean airy Barns,
facing one another, in the Village of Steinfurth; Barns facing one
another, with the Heidelberg Highway and Village Green asleep in front
between them; [Compare Wilhelmina, i. 259 (her Account of the Flight:
"Heard it from my Brother,"--and report it loosely after a dozen
years!).] for it is little after two in the morning, the dawn hardly
beginning to break. Prince Friedrich, with his Trio of Vigilance,
Buddenbrock, Waldau, Rochow, lies in one Barn; Majesty, with his
Seckendorf and party, is in the other: apparently all still locked in
sleep? Not all: Prince Friedrich, for example, is awake;--the Trio is
indeed audibly asleep; unless others watch for them, their six eyes are
closed. Friedrich cautiously rises; dresses; takes his money, his new
red roquelaure, unbolts the Barn-door, and walks out. Trio of Vigilance
is sound asleep, and knows nothing: alas, Trio of Vigilance, while its
own six eyes are closed, has appointed another pair to watch.

Gummersbach the Valet comes to Rochow's bolster: "Hst, Herr
Oberst-Lieutenant, please awaken! Prince Royal is up, has on his
top-coat, and is gone out of doors!" Rochow starts to his habiliments,
or perhaps has them ready on; in a minute or two, Rochow also is forth
into the gray of the morning;--finds the young Prince actually on the
Green there; in his red roquelaure, leaning pensively on one of the
travelling carriages. _"Guten Morgen, Ihro Konigliche Hoheit!_" [Ranke,
1. 305.]--Fancy such a salutation to the young man! Page Keith, at
this moment, comes with a pair of horses, too: "Whither with the nags,
Sirrah?" Rochow asked with some sharpness. Keith, seeing how it was,
answered without visible embarrassment, "Herr, they are mine and Kunz
the Page's horses" (which, I suppose, is true); "ready at the usual
hour!" Keith might add.--"His Majesty does not go till five this
morning;--back to the stables!" beckoned Rochow; and, according to the
best accounts, did not suspect anything, or affected not to do so.

Page Keith returned, trembling in his saddle. Friedrich strolled towards
the other Barn,--at least to be out of Rochow's company. Seckendorf
emerges from the other Barn; awake at the common hour: "How do you like
his Royal Highness in the red roquelaure?" asks Rochow, as if nothing
had happened. Was there ever such a baffled Royal Highness; or young
bright spirit chained in the Bear's Den in this manner? Our Steinfurth
project has gone to water; and it is not to-day we shall get across the
Rhine!--Not to-day; nor any other day, on that errand, strong as our
resolutions are! For new light, in a few hours afterwards, pours in
upon the project; and human finesse, or ulterior schemes, avail nothing
henceforth. "The Crown-Prince's meditated Flight" has tried itself, and
failed. Here and so that long meditation ENDS; this at Steinfurth was
all the over-act it could ever come to. In few hours more it will melt
into air; and only the terrible consequences will remain!--

By last night's arrangement, the Prince with his Trio was to set out an
hour before his Father, which circumstance had helped Page Keith in his
excuses. Naturally the Prince had now no wish to linger on the Green of
Steinfurth, in such a posture of affairs: "Towards Heidelberg, then; let
us see the big Tun there: ALLONS!" How the young Prince and his Trio did
this day's journey; where he loitered, what he saw, said or thought, we
have no account: it is certain only that his Father, who set out from
Steinfurth an hour after him, arrived in Mannheim several hours before
him; and, in spite of Kurfurst Karl Philip's welcome, testified the
liveliest inquietude on that unaccountable circumstance. Beautiful
Rhine-stream, thrice-beautiful trim Mannheim;--yes, all is beautiful
indeed, your Serenity! But where can the Prince be? he kept ejaculating.
And Karl Philip had to answer what he could. Of course the Prince may
be lingering about Heidelberg, looking at the big Tun and other
miracles:--"I had the pleasure to repair that world-famous Tub or Tun,
as your Majesty knows; which had lain half burnt, ever since Louis XIV.
with his firebrand robberies lay upon us, and burnt the Pfalz in whole,
small honor to him! I repaired the Tun: [Kohler, _Munzbelustigungen_
(viii. 418-424; 145-152), who gives a view of the world's wonder, lying
horizontal with stairs running up to it. Big Tuns of that kind were not
uncommon in Germany; and had uses, if multiplex dues of wine were to
be paid IN NATURA: the Heidelberg, the biggest of them, is small to the
Whitbread-and-Company, for porter's-ale, in our time.] it is probably
the successfulest feat I did hitherto; and well worth looking at, had
your Majesty had time!"--"JA WOHL;--but he came away an hour before
me!"--The polite Karl Philip, at length, sent off one of his own
Equerries to ride towards Heidelberg, or even to Steinfurth if needful,
and see what was become of the Prince. This Official person met the
Prince, all in order, at no great distance; and brought him safe to
Papa's presence again.

Why Papa was in such a fuss about this little circumstance? Truly there
has something come to Papa's knowledge since he started, perhaps since
he arrived at Mannheim. Page Keith, who rides always behind the King's
coach, has ridden this day in an agony of remorse and terror; and at
length (probably in Mannheim, once his Majesty is got to his Apartments,
or now that he finds his Majesty so anxious there) has fallen on his
knees, and, with tears and obtestations, made a clean breast. Page Keith
has confessed that the Crown-Prince and he were to have been in Speyer,
or farther, at this time of the day; flying rapidly into France. "God's
Providence alone prevented it! Pardon, pardon: slay me, your Majesty;
but there is the naked truth, and the whole of it, and I have nothing
more to say!" Hereupon ensues despatch of the Equerry; and hereupon, as
we may conjecture, the Equerry's return with Fritz and the Trio is an
unspeakable relief to Friedrich Wilhelm.

Friedrich Wilhelm now summons Buddenbrock and Company straightway;
shows, in a suppressed-volcanic manner, with questions and
statements,--obliged to SUPPRESS oneself in foreign hospitable Serene
Houses,--what atrocity of scandal and terror has been on the edge of
happening: "And you three, Rochow, Waldau, Buddenbrock, mark it, you
three are responsible; and shall answer, I now tell you, with your
heads. Death the penalty, unless you bring HIM to our own Country
again,--'living or dead,'" added the Suppressed-Volcano, in low
metallic tone; and the sparkling eyes of him, the red tint, and rustling
gestures, make the words too credible to us. [Ranke, i. 307.]

What Friedrich Wilhelm got to speak about with the old Kur-Pfalz, during
their serene passages of hospitality at Mannheim, is not very clear to
me; his Prussian Majesty is privately in such a desperate humor, and
the old Kur-Pfalz privately so discrepant on all manner of points,
especially on the Julich-and-Berg point. They could talk freely about
the old Turk Campaigns, Battle of Zentha, [11th September, 1697;
Eugene's crowning feat;--breaking of the Grand Turk's back in this
world; who has staggered about, less and less of a terror and outrage,
more and more of a nuisance growing unbearable, ever since that day.
See Hormayr (iii. 97-101) for some description of this useful bit of
Heroism.] and Prince Eugene; very freely about the Heidelberg Tun. But
it is known old Karl Philip had his agents at the Congress of Soissons,
to secure that Berg-and-Julich interest for the Sulzbachs and him:
directly in the teeth of Friedrich Wilhelm. How that may have gone,
since the Treaty of Seville broke out to astonish mankind,--will be
unsafe to talk about. For the rest, old Karl Philip has frankly adopted
the Pragmatic Sanction; but then he has, likewise, privately made league
with France to secure him in that Julich-and-Berg matter, should the
Kaiser break promise;--league which may much obstruct said Sanction.
Nay privately he is casting glances on his Bavarian Cousin, elegant
ambitious Karl Albert. Kurfurst of Baiern,--are not we all from the same
Wittelsbach stock, Cousins from of old?--and will undertake, for the
same Julich-and-Bergobject, to secure Bavaria in its claims on the
Austrian Heritages in defect of Heirs Male in Austria. [Michaelis, ii.
99-101.] Which runs directly into the throat of said Pragmatic Sanction;
and engages to make it, mere waste sheepskin, so to speak! Truly old
Karl Philip has his abstruse outlooks, this way, that way; most abstruse
politics altogether:--and in fact we had better speak of the Battle of
Zentha and the Heidelberg Tun, while this Visit lasts.

On the morrow, Saturday, August 5th, certain Frenchmen from the Garrison
of Landau come across to pay their court and dine. Which race of men
Friedrich Wilhelm does not love; and now less than ever, gloomily
suspicious they may be come on parricide Fritz's score,--you Rochow
and Company keep an eye! By night and by day an eye upon him! Friedrich
Wilhelm was, no doubt, glad to get away on the morrow afternoon; fairly
out into the Berg-Strasse, into the summer breezes and umbrageous woods,
with all his pertinents still safe about him; rushing towards Darmstadt
through the Sunday stillness, where he will arrive in the evening,
time enough. ["Sunday Evening arrive at Darmstadt," says Seckendorf (in
Forster, iii. 3), but by mistake calls it the "7th" instead of "6th."]

The old Prince of Darmstadt, Ernst Ludwig, Landgraf of Hessen-Darmstadt,
age now sixty-three, has a hoary venerable appearance, according to
Pollnitz, "but sits a horse well, walks well, and seems to enjoy perfect
health,"--which we are glad to hear of. What more concerns us, "he
lives usually, quite retired, in a small house upon the Square," in
this extremely small Metropolis of his, "and leaves his Heir-Apparent
to manage all business in the Palace and elsewhere." [Pollnitz, _Memoirs
and Letters,_ ii. 66.] poor old Gentleman, he has the biggest Palace
almost in the world; only he could not finish it for want of funds; and
it lies there, one of the biggest futilities, vexatious to look upon.
No doubt the old Gentleman has had vexations, plenty of them, first
and last. He is now got disgusted with the affairs of public life,
and addicts himself very much to "turning ivory," as the more
eligible employment. He lives in that small house of his, among his
turning-lathes and ivory shavings; dines in said small house, "at a
table for four persons:" only on Sunday, and above all on this Sunday,
puts off his apron; goes across to the Palace; dines there in state,
with his Heir and the Grandees. He has a kinship by affinity to
Friedrich Wilhelm; his Wife (dead long years since), Mother of this
Heir-Apparent, was an Anspach Princess, Aunt to the now Queen Caroline
of England. Poor old fellow, these insignificancies, and that he
descends direct from Philip the Magnanimous of Hessen (Luther's Philip,
who insisted on the supplementary Wife), are all I know of him; and he
is somewhat tragic to me there, turning ivory in this extremely anarchic
world. What the passages between him and Friedrich Wilhelm were, on this
occasion, shall remain conjectural to all creatures. Friedrich Wilhelm
said, this Sunday evening at Darmstadt to his own Prince: "Still here,
then? I thought you would have been in Paris by this time!"--To which
the Prince, with artificial firmness, answered, He could certainly, if
he had wished; [Seckendorf (in Forster, iii.), p. 3.] and being familiar
with reproaches, perhaps hoped it was nothing.

From Darmstadt to Frankfurt-on-Mayn is not quite forty miles, an easy
morning drive; through the old Country called of Katzen-ellenbogen;
CATS-ELBOW, a name ridiculous to hear. [CATTIMELIBOCUM, that is,
CATTUM-MELIBOCUM (CATTI a famed Nation, MELIBOCUS the chief Hill or
Fortress of their Country), is said to be the original;--which has got
changed; like ABALLABA into "Appleby," or GOD ENCOMPASS US into "The
Goat and Compasses," among ourselves.] Berg-Strasse and the Odenwald
(FOREST of the OTTI) are gone; but blue on the northeast yonder, if your
Royal Highness will please to look, may be seen summits of the SPESSART,
a much grander forest,--tall branchy timbers yonder, one day to be masts
of admirals, when floated down as far as Rotterdam, whitherward one
still meets them going. Spessart;--and nearer, well hidden on the right,
is an obscure village called DETTINGEN, not yet become famous in the
Newspapers of an idle world; of an England surely very idle to go
thither seeking quarrels! All which is, naturally, in the highest degree
indifferent to a Crown-Prince so preoccupied.--They reach Frankfurt,
Monday, still in good time.

Behold, at Frankfurt, the Trio of Vigilance, Buddenbrock and Company
(horrible to think of!) signify, "That we have the King's express orders
Not to enter the Town at all with your Royal Highness. We, for our part,
are to go direct into one of the Royal Yachts, which swing at anchor
here, and to wait in the same till his Majesty have done seeing
Frankfurt, and return to us." Here is a message for the poor young
Prince: Detected, prisoner, and a volcanic Majesty now likely to be in
full play when he returns!--Gilt weathercock on the Mayn Bridge (which
one Goethe used to look at, in the next generation)--this, and the
steeple-tops of Frankfurt, especially that steeple-top with the grinning
skull of the mutinous malefactor on it, warning to mankind what mutiny
leads to; this, then, is what we are to see of Frankfurt; and with such
a symphony as our thoughts are playing in the background. Unhappy Son,
unhappy Father, once more!

Nay Friedrich Wilhelm got new lights in Frankfurt: Rittmeister Katte
had an estafette waiting for him there. Estafette with a certain Letter,
which the Rittmeister had picked up in Erlangen, and has shot across by
estafette to wait his Majesty here. Majesty has read with open eyes
and throat: Letter from the Crown-Prince to Lieutenant Katte in Berlin:
treasonous Flight-project now indisputable as the sun at noon!--His
Majesty stept on board the Yacht in such humor as was never seen
before: "Detestable rebel and deserter, scandal of scandals--!"--it is
confidently written everywhere (though Seckendorf diplomatically keeps
silence), his Majesty hustled and tussled the unfortunate Crown-Prince,
poked the handle of his cane into his face and made the nose
bleed,--"Never did a Brandenburg face suffer the like of this!" cried
the poor Prince, driven to the edge of mad ignition and one knows not
what: when the Buddenbrocks, at whatever peril interfered; got the
Prince brought on board a different Yacht; and the conflagration
moderated for the moment. The Yachts get under way towards Mainz and
down the Rhine-stream. The Yachts glide swiftly on the favoring current,
taking advantage of what wind there may be: were we once ashore at Wesel
in our own country,--wait till then, thinks his Majesty!

And so it was on these terms that Friedrich made his first acquaintance
with the beauties of the Rhine;--readers can judge whether he was in
a temper very open to the picturesque. I know not that they paused at
Mainz, or recollected Barbarossa's World-Tournament, or the Hochheim
vineyards at all: I see the young man's Yacht dashing in swift gallop,
not without danger, through the Gap of Bingen; dancing wildly on the
boiling whirlpools of St. Goar, well threading the cliffs;--the young
man gloomily insensible to danger of life, and charm of the picturesque.
Coblenz (CONFLUENTIA), the Moselle and Ehrenbreitstein: Majesty, smoking
on deck if he like, can look at these through grimly pacifying tobacco;
but to the Crown-Prince life itself is fallen haggard and bankrupt.

Over against Coblenz, nestled in between the Rhine and the foot of
Ehrenbreitstein, [Pollnitz, _Memoirs and Letters,_ iii. 180.] there,
perhaps even now, in his Hunting Lodge of Kerlich yonder, is his
Serene Highness the fat little Kurfurst of Trier, one of those Austrian
Schonborns (Brother to him of Bamberg); upon whom why should we make a
call? We are due at Bonn; the fortunate young Kurfurst of Koln, richest
Pluralist in the Church, expects us at his Residence there. Friedrich
Wilhelm views the fine Fortress of Ehrenbreitstein:--what would your
Majesty think if this were to be yours in a hundred years; this and
much else, by way of compound-interest for the Berg-and-Julich and other
outstanding debts? Courage, your Majesty!--On the fat little Kurfurst,
at Kerlich here, we do not call: probably out hunting; "hunts every
day," [Busching, _Beitrage,_ iv. 201.] as if it were his trade, poor
little soul.

At Bonn, where we do step ashore to lodge with a lean Kurfurst,
Friedrich Wilhelm strictly charges, in my (Seckendorf's) hearing, the
Trio of Vigilance to have an eye; to see that they bring the Prince on
board again, "LIVING OR DEAD."--No fear, your Majesty. Prince listened
with silent, almost defiant patience, "MIT GROSSER GEDULD." [Seckendorf
(in Forster, iii. 4).] At Bonn the Prince contrived to confide to
Seckendorf, "That he had in very truth meant to run away: he could not,
at the age he was come to, stand such indignities, actual strokes as
in the Camp of Radewitz;--and he would have gone long since, had it
not been for the Queen and the Princess his Sister's sake. He could not
repent what he had done: and if the King did not cease beating him in
that manner, &c., he would still do it. For loss of his own life, such a
life as his had grown, he cared little; his chief misery was, that those
Officers who had known of the thing should come to misfortune by his
means. If the King would pardon these poor gentlemen, he would tell
him everything. For the rest, begged Seckendorf to help him in this
labyrinth;--nothing could ever so oblige him as help now;" and more
of the like sort. These things he said, at Bonn, to Seckendorf, the
fountain of all his woes. [Ibid.] What Seckendorf's reflections on this
his sad handiwork now were, we do not know. Probably he made none, being
a strong-minded case-hardened old stager; but resolved to do what he
could for the poor youth. Somewhere on this route, at Bonn more likely
than elsewhere, Friedrich wrote in pencil three words to Lieutenant
Keith at Wesel, and got it to the Post-Office: "SAUVEZ-VOUS, TOUT EST
DECOUVERT (All is found out;--away)!" [Wilhelmina (i. 265) says it was
a Page of the Old Dessauer's, a comrade of Keith's, who, having known in
time, gave him warning. Certain it is, this Note of Friedrich's, which
the Books generally assign as cause, could not have done it (infra, p.
275, and the irrefragable date there).]

Clement August, expensive Kurfurst of Koln (Elector of Cologne, as we
call it), who does the hospitalities here at Bonn, in a grand way, with
"above a hundred and fifty chamberlains" for one item,--glance at him,
reader; perhaps we shall meet the man again. He is younger Brother of
the elegant ambitious Karl Albert, Kurfurst of Bavaria, whom we have
transiently heard of: sons both of them are of that "Elector of Bavaria"
who haunts us in the Marlborough Histories,--who joined Louis XIV. in
the Succession War, and got hunted about at such a rate, after Blenheim
especially. His Boys, prisoners of the Kaiser, were bred up in a
confiscated state, as sons of a mere private gentleman; nothing visibly
ahead of them, at one time, but an obscure and extremely limited destiny
of that kind;--though now again, on French favor, and the turn of
Fortune's inconstant wheel, they are mounting very high. Bavaria came
all back to the old Elector of Bavaria; even Marlborough's "Principality
of MINDELHEIM" came. [At the Peace of Baden (corollary to UTRECHT),
1714. Elector had been "banned" (GEACHTET, solemnly drummed out),
1706; nothing but French pay to live upon, till he got back: died 26th
February, 1726, when Karl Albert succeeded (Michaelis, ii. 255).]
And the present Kurfurst, who will not do the Pragmatic Sanction at
all,--Kurfurst Karl Albert of Baiern, our old Karl Philip of Mannheim's
genealogical "Cousin;"--we heard of abstruse colleaguings there,
tendencies to break the Pragmatic Sanction altogether, and reduce it
to waste sheepskin! Not impossible Karl Albert will go high enough.
And this Clement August the cadet, he is Kurfurst of Koln; by good
election-tactics, and favor of the French, he has managed to succeed an
Uncle here: has succeeded at Osnabruck in like fashion;--poor old Ernst
August of Osnabruck (to whom we once saw George I. galloping to die, and
who himself soon after died), his successor is this same Clement August,
the turn for a CATHOLIC Bishop being come at Osnabruck, and the French
being kind. Kurfurst of Koln, Bishop of Osnabruck, ditto of Paderborn
and Munster, ditto now of Hildesheim; richest Pluralist of the Church.
Goes about here in a languid expensive manner; "in green coat trimmed
with narrow silver-lace, small bag-wig done with French garniture
(SCHLEIFE) in front; and has red heels to his shoes." A lanky indolent
figure, age now thirty; "tall and slouching of person, long lean face,
hook-nose, black beard, mouth somewhat open." [Busching (_Beitrage,_ iv.
201-204: from a certain Travelling Tutor's MS. DIARY of 1731; where also
is detail of the Kurfurst's mode of Dining,--elaborate but dreary, both
mode and detail). His Schloss is now the Bonn University.] Has above
one hundred and fifty chamberlains;--and, I doubt not, is inexpressibly
wearisome to Friedrich Wilhelm in his Majesty's present mood. Patience
for the moment, and politeness above all things!--The Trio of Vigilance
had no difficulty with Friedrich; brought him on board safe again next
day, and all proceeded on their voyage; the Kurfurst in person politely
escorting as far as Koln.

Koln, famed old City of the Three Kings, with its famed Cathedral where
those three gentlemen are buried, here the Kurfurst ceases escorting;
and the flat old City is left, exciting what reflections it can. The
architectural Dilettanti of the world gather here; St. Ursula and her
Eleven Thousand Virgins were once massacred here, your Majesty; an
English Princess she, it is said. "NARREN-POSSEN (Pack of nonsense)!"
grumbles Majesty.--Pleasant Dusseldorf is much more interesting to his
Majesty; the pleasant Capital of Berg, which ought to be ours, if right
could be done; if old Pfalz would give up his crotchets; and the bowls,
in the big game playing at Seville and elsewhere, would roll fair!
Dusseldorf and that fine Palace of the Pfalzers, which ought to be
mine;--and here next is Kaiserswerth, a place of sieges, cannonadings,
known to those I knew. 'M-NA, from father to son and grandson it goes
on, and there is no end to trouble and war!--

His Majesty's next lodging is at Mors; old gaunt Castle in the Town of
Mors, which (thanks to Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau and the Iron Ramrods)
is now his Majesty's in spite of the Dutch. There the lodging is, at an
hour's drive westward from the Rhine-shore:--where his Majesty quitted
the River, I do not know; nor whether the Crown-Prince went to Mors with
him, or waited in his Yacht; but guess the latter. His Majesty intends
for Geldern on the morrow, on matters of business thither, for the Town
is his: but what would the Prince, in the present state of things,
do there?--At Mors, Seckendorf found means to address his Majesty
privately, and snuffled into him suggestions of mercy to the repentant
Prince, and to the poor Officers whom he was so anxious about. "Well, if
he WILL confess everything, and leave off his quirks and concealments:
but I know he won't!" answered Majesty.

In that dilapidated Castle of Mors,--look at it, reader, though in the
dark; we may see it again, or the shadow of it, perhaps by moonlight.
A very gaunt old Castle; next to nothing living in it, since the old
Dessauer (by stratagem, and without shot fired) flung out the Dutch, in
the Treaty-of-Utrecht time; Mors Castle and Territory being indisputably
ours, though always withheld from us on pretexts. [Narrative of the
march thither (Night of 7th November, 1712), and dexterous surprisal of
the place, in _Leopoldi von Anhalt-Dessau Leben und Thaten_ (Anonymous,
by RANFFT), pp. 85-90;--where the Despatch of the astonished Dutch
Commandant himself, to their High Mightinesses, is given. Part of
the Orange Heritage, this Mors,--came by the Great Elector's first
Wife;--but had hung SUB LITE (though the Parchments were plain enough)
ever since our King William's death, and earlier. Neuchatel, accepted
instead of ORANGE, and not even of the value of Mors, was another item
of the same lot. Besides which, we shall hear of old Palaces at Loo and
other dilapidated objects, incidentally in time coming.]

At Geldern, in the pressure of business next day, his Majesty got word
from Wesel, that Lieutenant Keith was not now to be found in Wesel.
"Was last seen there (that we can hear of) certain hours before your
Majesty's All-gracious Order arrived. Had saddled his own horse; came
ambling through the Brunen Gate, 'going out to have a ride,' he said;
and did not return."--"Keith gone, scandalous Keith, whom I pardoned
only few weeks ago; he too is in the Plot! Will the very Army break
its oath, then?" His Majesty bursts into fire and flame, at these new
tidings; orders that Colonel Dumoulin (our expertest rogue-tracer) go
instantly on the scent of Keith, and follow him till found and caught.
Also, on the other hand, that the Crown-Prince be constituted prisoner;
sail down to Wesel, prisoner in his Yacht, and await upon the Rhine
there his Majesty's arrival. Formidable omens, it is thought.

His Majesty, all business done in Geldern, drives across to Wesel; can
see Fritz's Yacht waiting duly in the River, and black Care hovering
over her. It is on the evening of the 12th of August, 1730. And so his
Majesty ends this memorable Tour into the Reich; but has not yet ended
the gloomy miseries, for himself and others, which plentifully sprung
out of that.


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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