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Title: History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Volume 21
Author: Carlyle, Thomas, 1795-1881
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Volume 21" ***

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HISTORY OF FRIEDRICH II. OF PRUSSIA

FREDERICK THE GREAT

By Thomas Carlyle



BOOK XXI.--AFTERNOON AND EVENING OF FRIEDRICH'S LIFE--1763-1786.



Chapter I.--PREFATORY.

The Twelve Hercules-labors of this King have ended here; what was
required of him in World-History is accomplished. There remain to
Friedrich Twenty-three Years more of Life, which to Prussian History are
as full of importance as ever; but do not essentially concern European
History, Europe having gone the road we now see it in. On the grand
World-Theatre the curtain has fallen for a New Act; Friedrich's part,
like everybody's for the present, is played out. In fact, there is,
during the rest of his Reign, nothing of World-History to be dwelt on
anywhere. America, it has been decided, shall be English; Prussia be a
Nation. The French, as finis of their attempt to cut Germany in Four,
find themselves sunk into torpor, abeyance and dry-rot; fermenting
towards they know not what. Towards Spontaneous Combustion in the year
1789, and for long years onwards!

There, readers, there is the next milestone for you, in the History of
Mankind! That universal Burning-up, as in hell-fire, of Human Shams. The
oath of Twenty-five Million men, which has since become that of all men
whatsoever, "Rather than live longer under lies, we will die!"--that
is the New Act in World-History. New Act,--or, we may call it New PART;
Drama of World-History, Part Third. If Part SECOND was 1,800 years ago,
this I reckon will be Part THIRD. This is the truly celestial-infernal
Event: the strangest we have seen for a thousand years. Celestial in
one part; in the other, infernal. For it is withal the breaking out
of universal mankind into Anarchy, into the faith and practice
of NO-Government,--that is to say (if you will be candid), into
unappeasable Revolt against Sham-Governors and Sham-Teachers,--which
I do charitably define to be a Search, most unconscious, yet in deadly
earnest, for true Governors and Teachers. That is the one fact of
World-History worth dwelling on at this day; and Friedrich cannot be
said to have had much hand farther in that.

Nor is the progress of a French or European world, all silently ripening
and rotting towards such issue, a thing one wishes to dwell on. Only
when the Spontaneous Combustion breaks out; and, many-colored, with loud
noises, envelops the whole world in anarchic flame for long hundreds of
years: then has the Event come; there is the thing for all men to
mark, and to study and scrutinize as the strangest thing they ever saw.
Centuries of it yet lying ahead of us; several sad Centuries, sordidly
tumultuous, and good for little! Say Two Centuries yet,--say even Ten of
such a process: before the Old is completely burnt out, and the New in
any state of sightliness? Millennium of Anarchies;--abridge it, spend
your heart's-blood upon abridging it, ye Heroic Wise that are to
come! For it is the consummation of All the Anarchies that are and
were;--which I do trust always means the death (temporary death) of
them! Death of the Anarchies: or a world once more built wholly on Fact
better or worse; and the lying jargoning professor of Sham-Fact, whose
name is Legion, who as yet (oftenest little conscious of himself) goes
tumulting and swarming from shore to shore, become a species extinct,
and well known to be gone down to Tophet!--

There were bits of Anarchies before, little and greater: but till that
of France in 1789, there was none long memorable; all were pygmies in
comparison, and not worth mentioning separately. In 1772 the Anarchy of
Poland, which had been a considerable Anarchy for about three
hundred years, got itself extinguished,--what we may call
extinguished;--decisive surgery being then first exercised upon it: an
Anarchy put in the sure way of extinction. In 1775, again, there began,
over seas, another Anarchy much more considerable,--little dreaming that
IT could be called an Anarchy; on the contrary, calling itself Liberty,
Rights of Man; and singing boundless Io-Paeans to itself, as is common
in such cases; an Anarchy which has been challenging the Universe
to show the like ever since. And which has, at last, flamed up as an
independent Phenomenon, unexampled in the hideously SUICIDAL way;--and
does need much to get burnt out, that matters may begin anew on truer
conditions. But neither the PARTITION OF POLAND nor the AMERICAN WAR OF
INDEPENDENCE have much general importance, or, except as precursors
of 1789, are worth dwelling on in History. From us here, so far as
Friedrich is concerned with them, they may deserve some transient
mention, more or less: but World-History, eager to be at the general
Funeral-pile and ultimate Burning-up of Shams in this poor World, will
have less and less to say of small tragedies and premonitory symptoms.

Curious how the busy and continually watchful and speculating Friedrich,
busied about his dangers from Austrian encroachments, from Russian-Turk
Wars, Bavarian Successions, and other troubles and anarchies close
by, saw nothing to dread in France; nothing to remark there, except
carelessly, from time to time, its beggarly decaying condition, so
strangely sunk in arts, in arms, in finance; oftenest an object of pity
to him, for he still has a love for France;--and reads not the least
sign of that immeasurable, all-engulfing FRENCH REVOLUTION which was in
the wind! Neither Voltaire nor he have the least anticipation of such a
thing. Voltaire and he see, to their contentment, Superstition
visibly declining: Friedrich rather disapproves the heat of Voltaire's
procedures on the INFAME. "Why be in such heat? Other nonsense, quite
equal to it, will be almost sure to follow. Take care of your own skin!"
Voltaire and he are deeply alive, especially Voltaire is, to the
horrors and miseries which have issued on mankind from a Fanatic Popish
Superstition, or Creed of Incredibilities,--which (except from the
throat outwards, from the bewildered tongue outwards) the orthodox
themselves cannot believe, but only pretend and struggle to believe.
This Voltaire calls "THE INFAMOUS;" and this--what name can any of us
give it? The man who believes in falsities is very miserable. The man
who cannot believe them, but only struggles and pretends to believe;
and yet, being armed with the power of the sword, industriously keeps
menacing and slashing all round, to compel every neighbor to do like
him: what is to be done with such a man? Human Nature calls him a Social
Nuisance; needing to be handcuffed, gagged and abated. Human Nature, if
it be in a terrified and imperilled state, with the sword of this fellow
swashing round it, calls him "Infamous," and a Monster of Chaos. He
is indeed the select Monster of that region; the Patriarch of all the
Monsters, little as he dreams of being such. An Angel of Heaven the poor
caitiff dreams himself rather, and in cheery moments is conscious of
being:--Bedlam holds in it no madder article. And I often think he will
again need to be tied up (feeble as he now is in comparison, disinclined
though men are to manacling and tying); so many helpless infirm souls
are wandering about, not knowing their right hand from their left, who
fall a prey to him. "L'INFAME" I also name him,--knowing well enough how
little he, in his poor muddled, drugged and stupefied mind, is conscious
of deserving that name. More signal enemy to God, and friend of the
Other Party, walks not the Earth in our day.

Anarchy in the shape of religious slavery was what Voltaire and
Friedrich saw all round them. Anarchy in the shape of Revolt against
Authorities was what Friedrich and Voltaire had never dreamed of as
possible, and had not in their minds the least idea of. In one, or
perhaps two places you may find in Voltaire a grim and rather glad
forethought, not given out as prophecy, but felt as interior assurance
in a moment of hope, How these Priestly Sham Hierarchies will be pulled
to pieces, probably on the sudden, once people are awake to them. Yes,
my much-suffering M. de Voltaire, be pulled to pieces; or go aloft,
like the awakening of Vesuvius, one day,--Vesuvius awakening after
ten centuries of slumber, when his crater is all grown grassy, bushy,
copiously "tenanted by wolves" I am told; which, after premonitory
grumblings, heeded by no wolf or bush, he will hurl bodily aloft, ten
acres at a time, in a very tremendous manner! [First modern Eruption of
Vesuvius, A.D. 1631, after long interval of rest.] A thought like this,
about the Priestly Sham-Hierarchies, I have found somewhere in Voltaire:
but of the Social and Civic Sham-Hierarchies (which are likewise
accursed, if they knew it, and indeed are junior co-partners of the
Priestly; and, in a sense, sons and products of them, and cannot escape
being partakers of their plagues), there is no hint, in Voltaire, though
Voltaire stood at last only fifteen years from the Fact (1778-1793); nor
in Friedrich, though he lived almost to see the Fact beginning.

Friedrich's History being henceforth that of a Prussian King, is
interesting to Prussia chiefly, and to us little otherwise than as the
Biography of a distinguished fellow-man, Friedrich's Biography, his
Physiognomy as he grows old, quietly on his own harvest-field, among his
own People: this has still an interest, and for any feature of this we
shall be eager enough; but this withal is the most of what we now want.
And not very much even of this; Friedrich the unique King not having
as a man any such depth and singularity, tragic, humorous, devotionally
pious, or other, as to authorize much painting in that aspect. Extreme
brevity beseems us in these circumstances: and indeed there are,--as has
already happened in different parts of this Enterprise (Nature
herself, in her silent way, being always something of an Artist in such
things),--other circumstances, which leave us no choice as to that of
detail. Available details, if we wished to give them, of Friedrich's
later Life, are not forthcoming: masses of incondite marine-stores,
tumbled out on you, dry rubbish shot with uncommon diligence for a
hundred years, till, for Rubbish-Pelion piled on Rubbish-Ossa, you lose
sight of the stars and azimuths; whole mountain continents, seemingly
all of cinders and sweepings (though fragments and remnants do lie
hidden, could you find them again):---these are not details that will be
available! Anecdotes there are in quantity; but of uncertain quality;
of doubtful authenticity, above all. One recollects hardly any
Anecdote whatever that seems completely credible, or renders to us the
Physiognomy of Friedrich in a convincing manner. So remiss a creature
has the Prussian Clio been,--employed on all kinds of loose errands over
the Earth and the Air; and as good as altogether negligent of this most
pressing errand in her own House. Peace be with her, poor slut;
why should we say one other hard word on taking leave of her to all
eternity!--

The Practical fact is, what we have henceforth to produce is more of
the nature of a loose Appendix of Papers, than of a finished Narrative.
Loose Papers,--which, we will hope, the reader can, by industry, be made
to understand and tolerate: more we cannot do for him. No continuous
Narrative is henceforth possible to us. For the sake of Friedrich's
closing Epoch, we will visit, for the last time, that dreary imbroglio
under which the memory of Friedrich, which ought to have been, in all
the epochs of it, bright and legible, lies buried; and will try to
gather, as heretofore, and put under labels. What dwells with oneself
as human may have some chance to be humanly interesting. In the wildest
chaos of marine-stores and editorial shortcomings (provided only the
editors speak truth, as these poor fellows do) THIS can be done.
Part the living from the dead; pick out what has some meaning, leave
carefully what has none; you will in some small measure pluck up the
memory of a hero, like drowned honor by the locks, and rescue it, into
visibility.

That Friedrich, on reaching home, made haste to get out, of the bustle
of joyances and exclamations on the streets; proceeded straight to his
music-chapel in Charlottenburg, summoning the Artists, or having them
already summoned; and had there, all alone, sitting invisible wrapt in
his cloak, Graun's or somebody's grand TE-DEUM pealed out to him, in
seas of melody,--soothing and salutary to the altered soul, revolving
many things,--is a popular myth, of pretty and appropriate character;
but a myth only, with no real foundation, though it has some loose
and apparent. [In PREUSS, ii. 46, all the details of it.] No doubt,
Friedrich had his own thoughts on entering Berlin again, after such
a voyage through the deeps; himself, his Country still here, though
solitary and in a world of wild shipwrecks. He was not without piety;
but it did not take the devotional form, and his habits had nothing of
the clerical.

What is perfectly known, and much better worth knowing, is the
instantaneous practical alacrity with which he set about repairing that
immense miscellany of ruin; and the surprising success he had in dealing
with it. His methods, his rapid inventions and procedures, in this
matter, are still memorable to Prussia; and perhaps might with advantage
be better known than they are in some other Countries. To us, what is
all we can do with them here, they will indicate that this is still the
old Friedrich, with his old activities and promptitudes; which indeed
continue unabated, lively in Peace as in War, to the end of his life and
reign.

The speed with which Prussia recovered was extraordinary. Within little
more than a year (June 1st, 1764), the Coin was all in order again; in
1765, the King had rebuilt, not to mention other things, "in Silesia
8,000 Houses, in Pommern 6,500." [Rodenbeck, ii. 234, 261.] Prussia has
been a meritorious Nation; and, however cut and ruined, is and was in a
healthy state, capable of recovering soon. Prussia has defended itself
against overwhelming odds,--brave Prussia; but the real soul of its
merit was that of having merited such a King to command it. Without this
King, all its valors, disciplines, resources of war, would have availed
Prussia little. No wonder Prussia has still a loyalty to its great
Friedrich, to its Hohenzollern Sovereigns generally. Without these
Hohenzollerns, Prussia had been, what we long ago saw it, the unluckiest
of German Provinces; and could never have had the pretension to exist
as a Nation at all. Without this particular Hohenzollern, it had been
trampled out again, after apparently succeeding. To have achieved a
Friedrich the Second for King over it, was Prussia's grand merit.

An accidental merit, thinks the reader? No, reader, you may believe me,
it is by no means altogether such. Nay, I rather think, could we look
into the Account-Books of the Recording Angel for a course of centuries,
no part of it is such! There are Nations in which a Friedrich is, or can
be, possible; and again there are Nations in which he is not and
cannot. To be practically reverent of Human Worth to the due extent,
and abhorrent of Human Want of Worth in the like proportion, do
you understand that art at all? I fear, not,--or that you are much
forgetting it again! Human Merit, do you really love it enough, think
you;--human Scoundrelism (brought to the dock for you, and branded as
scoundrel), do you even abhor it enough? Without that reverence and
its corresponding opposite-pole of abhorrence, there is simply no
possibility left. That, my friend, is the outcome and summary of all
virtues in this world, for a man or for a Nation of men. It is the
supreme strength and glory of a Nation;--without which, indeed, all
other strengths, and enormities of bullion and arsenals and warehouses,
are no strength. None, I should say;--and are oftenest even the REVERSE.

Nations who have lost this quality, or who never had it, what Friedrich
can they hope to be possible among them? Age after age they grind
down their Friedrichs contentedly under the hoofs of cattle on their
highways; and even find it an excellent practice, and pride themselves
on Liberty and Equality. Most certain it is, there will no Friedrich
come to rule there; by and by, there will none be born there. Such
Nations cannot have a King to command them; can only have this or
the other scandalous swindling Copper Captain, constitutional Gilt
Mountebank, or other the like unsalutary entity by way of King; and the
sins of the fathers are visited upon the children in a frightful and
tragical manner, little noticed in the Penny Newspapers and Periodical
Literatures of this generation. Oh, my friends--! But there is plain
Business waiting us at hand.



Chapter II.--REPAIRING OF A RUINED PRUSSIA.

That of Friedrich's sitting wrapt in a cloud of reflections
Olympian-Abysmal, in the music-chapel at Charlottenburg, while he had
the Ambrosian Song executed for him there, as the preliminary step, was
a loose myth; but the fact lying under it is abundantly certain. Few
Sons of Adam had more reason for a piously thankful feeling towards the
Past, a piously valiant towards the Future. What king or man had seen
himself delivered from such strangling imbroglios of destruction, such
devouring rages of a hostile world? And the ruin worked by them lay
monstrous and appalling all round. Friedrich is now Fifty-one gone;
unusually old for his age; feels himself an old man, broken with years
and toils; and here lies his Kingdom in haggard slashed condition, worn
to skin and bone: How is the King, resourceless, to remedy it? That is
now the seemingly impossible problem. "Begin it,--thereby alone will it
ever cease to be impossible!" Friedrich begins, we may say, on the
first morrow morning. Labors at his problem, as he did in the march to
Leuthen; finds it to become more possible, day after day, month after
month, the farther he strives with it.

"Why not leave it to Nature?" think many, with the Dismal Science
at their elbow. Well; that was the easiest plan, but it was not
Friedrich's. His remaining moneys, 25 million thalers ready for a
Campaign which has not come, he distributes to the most necessitous:
"all his artillery-horses" are parted into plough-teams, and given to
those who can otherwise get none: think what a fine figure of rye
and barley, instead of mere windlestraws, beggary and desolation, was
realized by that act alone. Nature is ready to do much; will of herself
cover, with some veil of grass and lichen, the nakedness of ruin: but
her victorious act, when she can accomplish it, is that of getting YOU
to go with her handsomely, and change disaster itself into new wealth.
Into new wisdom and valor, which are wealth in all kinds; California
mere zero to them, zero, or even a frightful MINUS quantity! Friedrich's
procedures in this matter I believe to be little less didactic than
those other, which are so celebrated in War: but no Dryasdust, not even
a Dryasdust of the Dismal Science, has gone into them, rendered men
familiar with them in their details and results. His Silesian Land-Bank
(joint-stock Moneys, lent on security of Land) was of itself, had I room
to explain it, an immense furtherance. [Preuss, iii. 75; _OEuvres de
Frederic,_ vi. 84.] Friedrich, many tell us, was as great in Peace as
in War: and truly, in the economic and material provinces, my own
impression, gathered painfully in darkness, and contradiction of the
Dismal-Science Doctors, is much to that effect. A first-rate Husbandman
(as his Father had been); who not only defended his Nation, but made it
rich beyond what seemed possible; and diligently sowed annuals into it,
and perennials which flourish aloft at this day.

Mirabeau's _Monarchie Prussienne,_ in 8 thick Volumes 8vo,--composed, or
hastily cobbled together, some Twenty years after this period,--contains
the best tabular view one anywhere gets of Friedrich's economics,
military and other practical methods and resources:--solid exact Tables
these are, and intelligent intelligible descriptions, done by Mauvillon
FILS, the same punctual Major Mauvillon who used to attend us in Duke
Ferdinand's War;--and so far as Mirabeau is concerned, the Work consists
farther of a certain small Essay done in big type, shoved into the belly
of each Volume, and eloquently recommending, with respectful censures
and regrets over Friedrich, the Gospel of Free Trade, dear to Papa
Mirabeau. The Son is himself a convert; far above lying, even to
please Papa: but one can see, the thought of Papa gives him new fire of
expression. They are eloquent, ruggedly strong Essays, those of Mirabeau
Junior upon Free Trade:--they contain, in condensed shape, everything
we were privileged to hear, seventy years later, from all organs,
coach-horns, jews-harps and scrannel-pipes, PRO and CONTRA, on the same
sublime subject: "God is great, and Plugson of Undershot is his Prophet.
Thus saith the Lord, Buy in the cheapest market, sell in the dearest!"
To which the afflicted human mind listens what it can;--and after
seventy years, mournfully asks itself and Mirabeau, "M. le Comte, would
there have been in Prussia, for example, any Trade at all, any Nation at
all, had it always been left 'Free'? There would have been mere sand and
quagmire, and a community of wolves and bisons, M. le Comte. Have the
goodness to terminate that Litany, and take up another!"

We said, Friedrich began his problem on the first morrow morning; and
that is literally true, that or even MORE. Here is how Friedrich takes
his stand amid the wreck, speedy enough to begin: this view of our old
friend Nussler and him is one of the Pieces we can give,--thanks to Herr
Busching and his _Beitrage_ for the last time! Nussler is now something
of a Country Gentleman, so to speak; has a pleasant place out to east of
Berlin; is LANDRATH (County Chairman) there, "Landrath of Nether-Barnim
Circle;" where we heard of the Cossacks spoiling him: he, as who not,
has suffered dreadfully in these tumults. Here is Busching's welcome
Account.



LANDRATH NUSSLER AND THE KING (30th March-3d April, 1763).

"MARCH 30th, 1763, Friedrich, on his return to Berlin, came by the route
of Tassdorf,"--Tassdorf, in Nether-Barnim Circle (40 odd miles from
Frankfurt, and above 15 from Berlin);--"and changed horses there. During
this little pause, among a crowd assembled to see him, he was addressed
by Nussler, Landrath of the Circle, who had a very piteous story to
tell. Nussler wished the King joy of his noble victories, and of the
glorious Peace at last achieved: 'May your Majesty reign in health
and happiness over us many years, to the blessing of us all!'--and
recommended to his gracious care the extremely ruined, and, especially
by the Russians, uncommonly devastated Circle, for which," continues
Busching "this industrious Landrath had not hitherto been able to
extract any effective help." Generally for the Provinces wasted by the
Russians there had already some poor 300,000 thalers (45,000 pounds)
been allowed by a helpful Majesty, not over-rich himself at the moment;
and of this, Nether-Barnim no doubt gets its share: but what is this to
such ruin as there is? A mere preliminary drop, instead of the bucket
and buckets we need!--Busching, a dull, though solid accurate kind
of man, heavy-footed, and yet always in a hurry, always slipshod, has
nothing of dramatic here; far from it; but the facts themselves fall
naturally into that form,--in Three Scenes:--


I. TASSDORF (still two hours from Berlin), KING, NUSSLER AND A CROWD OF
PEOPLE, Nussler ALONE DARING TO SPEAK.

KING (from his Carriage, ostlers making despatch). "What is your Circle
most short of?"

LANDRATH NUSSLER. "Of horses for ploughing the seedfields of rye to sow
them, and of bread till the crops come."

KING. "Rye for bread, and to sow with, I will give; with horses I cannot
assist."

NUSSLER. "On representation of Privy-Councillor van Brenkenhof [the
Minister concerned with such things], your Majesty has been pleased to
give the Neumark and Pommern an allowance of Artillery and Commissariat
Horses: but poor Nether-Barnim, nobody will speak for it; and unless
your Majesty's gracious self please to take pity on it, Nether-Barnim is
lost!" (A great many things more he said, in presence of a large crowd
of men who had gathered round the King's Carriage as the horses were
being changed; and spoke with such force and frankness that the King was
surprised, and asked:)--

KING. "Who are you?" (has forgotten the long-serviceable man!)

NUSSLER. "I am the Nussler who was lucky enough to manage the Fixing of
the Silesian Boundaries for your Majesty!"

KING. "JA, JA, now I know you again! Bring me all the Landraths of the
Kurmark [Mark of Brandenburg Proper, ELECTORAL Mark] in a body; I will
speak with them."

NUSSLER. "All of them but two are in Berlin already."

KING. "Send off estafettes for those two to come at once to Berlin; and
on Thursday," day after to-morrow, "come yourself, with all the others,
to the Schloss to me: I will then have some closer conversation, and
say what I can and will do for helping of the country," (King's Carriage
rolls away, with low bows and blessings from Nussler and everybody).


II. THURSDAY, APRIL 1st, NUSSLER AND ASSEMBLED LANDRATHS AT THE SCHLOSS
OF BERLIN. To them, enter KING....

NUSSLER (whom they have appointed spokesman).... "Your Majesty has given
us Peace; you will also give us Well-being in the Land again: we
leave it to Highest-the-Same's gracious judgment [no limit to
Highest-the-Same's POWER, it would seem] what you will vouchsafe to us
as indemnification for the Russian plunderings."

KING. "Be you quiet; let me speak. Have you got a pencil (HAT ER
CRAYON)? Yes! Well then, write, and these Gentlemen shall dictate to
you:--

"'How much rye for bread; How much for seed; How many Horses, Oxen,
Cows, their Circles do in an entirely pressing way require?'

"Consider all that to the bottom; and come to me again the day after
to-morrow. But see that you fix everything with the utmost exactitude,
for I cannot give much." (EXIT King.)

NUSSLER (to the Landraths). "MEINE HERREN, have the goodness to
accompany me to our Landschaft House [we have a kind of County Hall, it
seems]; there we will consider everything."

And Nussler, guiding the deliberations, which are glad to follow him
on every point, and writing as PRO-TEMPORE Secretary, has all things
brought to luminous Protocol in the course of this day and next.



III. SATURDAY, APRIL 3d, IN THE SCHLOSS AGAIN: NUSSLER AND LANDRATHS. To
them, the KING.

Nussler. "We deliver to your Majesty the written Specification you
were graciously pleased to command of us. It contains only the
indispensablest things that the Circles are in need of. Moreover, it
regards only the STANDE [richer Nobility], who pay contribution; the
Gentry [ADEL], and other poor people, who have been utterly plundered
out by the Russians, are not included in it:--the Gentry too have
suffered very much by the War and the Plundering."

KING. "What EDELLEUTE that are members of STANDE have you [ER] got in
your Circle?"

NUSSLER (names them; and, as finis of the list, adds):... "I myself,
too, your Majesty, I have suffered more than anybody: I absolutely could
not furnish those 4,000 bushels of meal ordered of me by the Russians;
upon which they--"

KING. "I cannot give to all: but if you have poor Nobles in your Circle,
who can in no way help themselves, I will give them something."

NUSSLER (has not any in Nether-Barnim who are altogether in that extreme
predicament; but knows several in Lebus Circle, names them to the
King;--and turning to the Landrath of Lebus, and to another who is
mute): "Herr, you can name some more in Lebus; and you, in Teltow
Circle, Herr Landrath, since his Majesty permits."... In a word, the
King having informed himself and declared his intention, Nussler leads
the Landraths to their old County Hall, and brings to Protocol what had
taken place.

Next day, the Kammer President (Exchequer President), Van der Groben,
had Nussler, with other Landraths, to dinner. During dinner, there came
from Head Secretary Eichel (Majesty's unwearied Clerk of the PELLS,
Sheepskins, or PAPERS) an earnest request to Von der Groben for
help,--Eichel not being able to remember, with the requisite precision,
everything his Majesty had bid him put down on this matter. "You will
go, Herr von Nussler; be so kind, won't you?" And Nussler went, and
fully illuminated Eichel....

To the poorest of the Nobility, Busching tells us, what is otherwise
well known, the King gave considerable sums: to one Circle 12,000
pounds, to another 9,000 pounds, 6,000 pounds, and so on. By help
of which bounties, and of Nussler laboring incessantly with all his
strength, Nieder-Barnim Circle got on its feet again, no subject having
been entirely ruined, but all proving able to recover. [Busching,
_Beitrage_ (Nussler), i. 401-405.]

This Busching Fragment is not in the style of the Elder Dramatists, or
for the Bankside Theatre; but this represents a Fact which befell in
God's Creation, and may have an interest of its own to the Practical
Soul, especially in anarchic Countries, far advanced in the "Gold-nugget
and Nothing to Buy with it" Career of unexampled Prosperities.

On these same errands the King is soon going on an Inspection Journey,
where we mean to accompany. But first, one word, and one will suffice,
on the debased Coin. The Peace was no sooner signed, than Friedrich
proceeded on the Coin. The third week after his arrival home, there came
out a salutary Edict on it, April 21st; King eager to do it without loss
of time, yet with the deliberation requisite. Not at one big leap, which
might shake, to danger of oversetting, much commercial arrangement; but
at two leaps, with a halfway station intervening. Halfway station, with
a new coinage ready, much purer of alloy (and marked HOW much, for
the benefit of parties with accounts to settle), is to commence on
TRINITATIS (Whitsunday) instant; from and after Whitsunday the improved
new coin to be sole legal tender, till farther notice. Farther notice
comes accordingly, within a year, March 29th, 1764: "Pure money of
the standard of 1750 [honest silver coinage: readers may remember
Linsenbarth, the CANDIDATUS THEOLOGIAE, and his sack of Batzen,
confiscated at the Paekhof] shall be ready on the 1st of June instant;"
[Rodenbeck, ii. 214, 234.]--from and after which day we hear no more of
that sad matter. Finished off in about fourteen months. Here, meanwhile,
is the Inspection Journey.



KRIEGSRATH RODEN AND THE KING (6th-13th June, 1763).

JUNE 2d, 1763, Friedrich left Potsdam for Westphalia; got as far as
Magdeburg that day. Intends seeing into matters with his own eyes in
that region, as in others, after so long and sad an absence. There are
with him Friedrich Wilhelm Prince of Prussia, a tall young fellow of
nineteen; General-Adjutant von Anhalt; and one or two Prussian
military people. From Magdeburg and onwards the great Duke Ferdinand
accompanies,--who is now again Governor of Magdeburg, and a quiet
Prussian Officer as heretofore, though with excellent Pensions from
England, and glory from all the world.

The Royal Party goes by Halberstadt, which suffered greatly in the War;
thence by MINDEN (June 4th); and the first thing next day, Friedrich
takes view of the BATTLE-FIELD there,--under Ferdinand's own guidance,
doubtless; and an interesting thing to both Friedrich and him, though
left silent to us. This done, they start for Lippstadt, are received
there under joyous clangorous outburst of all the bells and all
the honors, that same afternoon; and towards sunset, Hamm being the
Night-quarter ahead, are crossing VELLINGHAUSEN BATTLE-GROUND,--where
doubtless Ferdinand again, like a dutiful apprentice, will explain
matters to his old master, so far as needful or permissible. The
conversation, I suppose, may have been lively and miscellaneous:
Ferdinand mentions a clever business-person of the name of Roden,
whom he has known in these parts; "Roden?" the King carefully makes
note;--and, in fact, we shall see Roden presently; and his bit of
DIALOGUE with the King (recorded by his own hand) is our chief errand on
this Journey. From Hamm, next morning (June 6th), they get to Wesel
by 11 A.M. (only sixty miles); Wesel all in gala, as Lippstadt was,
or still more than Lippstadt; and for four days farther, they continue
there very busy. As Roden is our chief errand, let us attend to Roden.

WESEL, MONDAY, JUNE 6th, "Dinner being done," says an authentic
Third-Party, [Rodenbeck, ii. 217.] "the King had Kammer-Director Meyen
summoned to him with his Register-Books, Schedules and Reports [what
they call ETATS]; and was but indifferently contented with Meyen and
them." And in short, "ordering Meyen to remodel these into a more
distinct condition,"--we may now introduce the Herr Kriegsrath Roden,
a subaltern, in rank, but who has perhaps a better head than Meyen, to
judge of these ETATS. Roden himself shall now report. This is the Royal
Dialogue with Roden; accurately preserved for us by him;--I wish it had
been better worth the reader's trouble; but its perfect credibility in
every point will be some recommendation to it.

"MONDAY, 6th JUNE, 1763, about 11 A.M., his Majesty arrived in Wesel,"
says Roden (confirming to us the authentic Third-Party); "I waited on
Adjutant-General Colonel von Anhalt to announce myself; who referred
me to Kriegsrath Coper ["MEIN SEGRETER KOPER" is a name we have heard
before], who told me to be ready so soon as Dinner should be over.
Dinner was no sooner over [2 P.M. or so], than the Herr Kammer-Director
Meyen with his ETATS was called in. His Majesty was not content with
these, Herr Meyen was told; and they were to be remodelled into a more
distinct condition. The instant Herr Meyen stept out, I was called in.
His Majesty was standing with his back to the fire; and said:--

KING. "'Come nearer [Roden comes nearer]. Prince Ferdinand [of
Brunswick, whom we generally call DUKE and great, to distinguish him
from a little Prussian Prince Ferdinand] has told me much good of you:
where do you come from?'

RODEN. "'From Soest' [venerable "stone-old" little Town, in
Vellinghausen region].

KING. "'Did you get my Letter?'

RODEN. "'Yea, IHRO MAJESTAT.'

KING. "'I will give you some employment. Have you got a pencil?'

RODEN. "'Yea' [and took out his Note-book and tools, which he had
"bought in a shop a quarter of an hour before"].

KING. "'Listen. By the War many Houses have got ruined: I mean that
they shall be put in order again; for which end,--to those that cannot
themselves help, particularly to Soest, Hamm, Lunen and in part Wesel,
as places that have suffered most,--I intend to give the moneys. Now you
must make me an exact List of what is to be done in those places. Thus
[King, lifting his finger, let us fancy, dictates; Roden, with brand-new
pencil and tablets, writes:]

"'1. In each of those Towns, how many ruined Houses there are which
the proprietors themselves can manage to rebuild. 2. How many which
the proprietors cannot. 3. The vacant grounds or steadings of such
proprietors as are perhaps dead, or gone else-whither, must be given to
others that are willing to build: but in regard to this, Law also must
do its part, and the absent and the heirs must be cited to say, Whether
they will themselves build? and in case they won't, the steadings can
then be given to others.'" Roden having written,--

KING. "'In the course of six days you must be ready [what an
expeditious King! Is to be at Cleve the sixth day hence: Meet me there,
then],--longer I cannot give you.'

RODEN (considering a moment). "'If your Majesty will permit me to use
ESTAFETTES [express messengers] for the Towns farthest off,--as I
cannot myself, within the time, travel over all the Towns,--I hope to be
ready.'

KING. "'That I permit; and will repay you the ESTAFETTE moneys.--Tell
me, How comes the decrease of population in these parts? Recruits I got
none.'

RODEN. "'Under favor of your Majesty, Regiment Schenkendorf got, every
year, for recompletion, what recruits were wanted, from its Canton in
the Grafschaft Mark here.'

KING. "'There you may be right: but from Cleve Country we had no
recruits; not we, though the Austrians had, [with a slight sarcasm of
tone].

RODEN. "'Out of Cleve, so far as I know, there were no recruits
delivered to the Austrians.'

KING. "'You could not know; you were with the Allied Army' [Duke
Ferdinand's, commissariating and the like, where Duke Ferdinand
recognized you to have a head].

RODEN. "'There have been many epidemic diseases too; especially in
Soest;--after the Battle of Vellinghausen all the wounded were brought
thither, and the hospitals were established there.'

KING. "'Epidemic diseases they might have got without a Battle [dislikes
hearing ill of the soldier trade]. I will have Order sent to the Cleve
Kammer, Not to lay hindrance in your way, but the contrary. Now God keep
you (GOTT BEWAHRE IHN).'"--EXIT Roden;--"DARAUF RETIRIRTE MICH," says
he;--but will reappear shortly.

Sunday, 12th June, is the sixth day hence; later than the end of Sunday
is not permissible to swift Roden; nor does he need it.

Friday, 10th, Friedrich left Wesel; crossed the Rhine, intending for
Cleve; went by CREFELD,--at Crefeld had view of another BATTLE-FIELD,
under good ciceroneship; remarks or circumstances otherwise not
given:--and, next day, Saturday, 11th, picked up D'Alembert, who, by
appointment, is proceeding towards Potsdam, at a more leisurely rate.
That same Saturday, after much business done, the King was at Kempen,
thence at Geldern; speeding for Cleve itself, due there that night. At
Geldern, we say, he picked up D'Alembert;--concerning whom, more by and
by. And finally, "on Saturday night, about half-past 8, the King entered
Cleve," amid joyances extraordinary, hut did not alight; drove direct
through by the Nassau Gate, and took quarter "in the neighboring
Country-house of Bellevue, with the Dutch General von Spaen there,"--an
obliging acquaintance once, while LIEUTENANT Spaen, in our old
Crown-Prince times of trouble! Had his year in Spandau for us there,
while poor Katte lost his head! To whom, I have heard, the King talked
charmingly on this occasion, but was silent as to old Potsdam matters.
[Supra, vii. 165.]--

By his set day, Roden is also in Cleve, punctual man, finished or just
finishing; and ready for summons by his Majesty. And accordingly:--

"CLEVE, MONDAY, JUNE 13th, At 9 in the morning," records he, "I had
audience of the King's Majesty. [In Spaen's Villa of Bellevue, shall
we still suppose? Duke Ferdinand, Prince of Prussia and the rest, have
bestowed themselves in other fit houses; D'Alembert too,--who is to make
direct for Potsdam henceforth, by his own route; and will meet us on
arriving.]--I handed him my Report, with the Tabular Schedule. His
Majesty read it carefully through, in my presence; and examined all
of it with strictness. Was pleased to signify his satisfaction with
my work. Resolved to allow 250,000 thalers (37,500 pounds) for this
business of Rebuilding; gave out the due Orders to his Kammer, in
consequence, and commanded me to arrange with the Kammer what was
necessary. This done, his Majesty said:--

KING. "'What you were described to me, I find you to be. You are a
diligent laborious man; I must have you nearer to me;--in the Berlin
Hammer you ought to be. You shall have a good, a right good Salary;
your Patent I will give you gratis; also a VORSPANN-PASS [Standing
Order available at all Prussian Post-Stations] for two carriages [rapid
Program of the thing, though yet distant, rising in the Royal fancy!].
Now serve on as faithfully as you have hitherto done.'

RODEN. "'That is the object of all my endeavors.'" (EXIT:--I did
not hear specially whitherward just now; but he comes to be supreme
Kammer-President in those parts by and by.)

"The Herr Kriegsrath Coper was present, and noted all the Orders to
he expedited." [Preuss, ii. 442; Rodenbeck, ii. 217, 218: in regard to
D'Alembert, see _OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxiv. 190.]

These snatches of notice at first-hand, and what the reader's fancy
may make of these, are all we can bestow on this Section of Friedrich's
Labors; which is naturally more interesting to Prussian readers than
to English. He has himself given lucid and eloquent account of it,--Two
ample Chapters, "DES FINANCES;" "DU MILITAIRE," [_OEuvres de Frederic,_
vii. 73-90, 91-109.]--altogether pleasant reading, should there still
be curiosity upon it. There is something of flowingly eloquent in
Friedrich's account of this Battle waged against the inanimate Chaos;
something of exultant and triumphant, not noticeable of him in regard
to his other Victories. On the Leuthens, Rossbachs, he is always cold
as water, and nobody could gather that he had the least pleasure in
recording them. Not so here. And indeed here he is as beautiful as
anywhere; and the reader, as a general son of Adam,--proud to see human
intellect and heroism slaying that kind of lions, and doing what
in certain sad epochs is unanimously voted to be impossible and
unattemptable,--exults along with him; and perhaps whispers to his own
poor heart, nearly choked by the immeasurable imbroglio of Blue-books
and Parliamentary Eloquences which for the present encumber Heaven
and Earth, "MELIORA SPERO." To Mirabeau, the following details, from
first-hand, but already of twenty-three years distance, were not known,
[Appeared first in Tome v. of _"OEuvres Posthumes de Frederic II."_ (are
in Tome vi. of Preuss's Edition of OEUVRES), "Berlin, 1788;"--above a
year after Mirabeau had left.] while he sat penning those robust Essays
on the Duty of LEAVE-ALONE.

"To form an idea of the general subversion," says the King, in regard
to 1763, "and how great were the desolation and discouragement, you must
represent to yourself Countries entirely ravaged, the very traces of
the old habitations hardly discoverable; Towns, some ruined from top to
bottom, others half destroyed by fire;--13,000 Houses, of which the
very vestiges were gone. No field in seed; no grain for the food of the
inhabitants; 60,000 horses needed, if there was to be ploughing carried
on: in the Provinces generally Half a Million Population (500,000) less
than in 1756,--that is to say, upon only Four Millions and a Half, the
ninth man was wanting. Noble and Peasant had been pillaged, ransomed,
foraged, eaten out by so many different Armies; nothing now left them
but life and miserable rags.

"There was no credit, by trading people, even for the daily necessaries
of life." And furthermore, what we were not prepared for, "No police in
the Towns: to habits of equity and order had succeeded a vile greed of
gain and an anarchic disorder. The Colleges of Justice and of Finance
had, by these frequent invasions of so many enemies, been reduced to
inaction:" no Judge, in many places not even a Tax-gatherer: the silence
of the Laws had produced in the people a taste for license; boundless
appetite for gain was their main rule of action: the noble, the
merchant, the farmer, the laborer, raising emulously each the price of
his commodity, seemed to endeavor only for their mutual ruin. Such, when
the War ended, was the fatal spectacle over these Provinces, which had
once been so flourishing: however pathetic the description may be, it
will never approach the touching and sorrowful impression which the
sight of it produced."

Friedrich found that it would never do to trust to the mere aid of Time
in such circumstances: at the end of the Thirty-Years War, "Time"
had, owing to absolute want of money, been the one recipe of the Great
Elector in a similar case; and Time was then found to mean "about a
hundred Years." Friedrich found that he must at once step in with active
remedies, and on all hands strive to make the impossible possible.
Luckily he had in readiness, as usual, the funds for an Eighth Campaign,
had such been needed. Out of these moneys he proceeded to rebuild the
Towns and Villages; "from the Corn-Stores (GRANARIES D'ABONDANCE,"
Government establishments gathered from plentiful harvests against
scarce, according to old rule) "were taken the supplies for food of the
people and sowing of the ground: the horses intended for the artillery,
baggage and commissariat," 60,000 horses we have heard, "were
distributed among those who had none, to be employed in tillage of the
land. Silesia was discharged from all taxes for six months; Pommern and
the Neumark for two years. A sum of about Three Million sterling [in
THALERS 20,389,000] was given for relief of the Provinces, and as
acquittance of the impositions the Enemy had wrung from them.

"Great as was this expense, it was necessary and indispensable. The
condition of these Provinces after the Peace of Hubertsburg recalled
what we know of them when the Peace of Munster closed the famous
Thirty-Years War. On that occasion the State failed of help from want
of means; which put it, out, of the Great Elector's power to assist
his people: and what happened? That a whole century elapsed before his
Successors could restore the Towns and Champaigns to what they were.
This impressive example was admonitory to the King: that to repair the
Public Calamities, assistance must be prompt and effective. Repeated
gifts (LARGESSES) restored courage to the poor Husbandmen, who began to
despair of their lot; by the helps given, hope in all classes sprang
up anew: encouragement of labor produced activity; love of Country rose
again with fresh life: in a word [within the second year in a markedly
hopeful manner, and within seven years altogether], the fields were
cultivated again, manufacturers had resumed their work; and the Police,
once more in vigor, corrected by degrees the vices that had taken root
during the time of anarchy." [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ vi. 74, 75.]

To Friedrich's difficulties, which were not inconsiderable, mark only
this last additament: "During this War, the elder of the Councillors,
and all the Ministers of the Grand Directorium [centre of Prussian
Administration], had successively died: and in such time of trouble
it had been impossible to replace them. The embarrassment was, To find
persons capable of filling these different employments [some would have
very soon done it, your Majesty; but their haste would not have tended
to speed!]--We searched the Provinces (ON FOUILLA, sifted), where
good heads were found as rare as in the Capital: at length five Chief
Ministers were pitched upon,"--who prove to be tolerable, and even
good. Three of them were, the VONS Blumenthal, Massow, Hagen, unknown
to readers here: fourth and fifth were, the Von Wedell as War-Minister,
once Dictator at Zullichan; and a Von der Horst, who had what we might
partially call the Home Department, and who may by accident once or so
be namable again.

Nor was War all, says the King: "accidental Fires in different places,"
while we struggled to repair the ravagings of War, "were of unexampled
frequency, and did immense farther damage. From 1765 to 1769, here is
the list of places burnt: In East Preussen, the City of Konigsberg
twice over; in Silesia, the Towns of Freystadt, Ober-Glogau [do readers
recollect Manteuffel of Foot and "WIR WOLLEN IHM WAS"!], Parchwitz,
Naumburg-on-Queiss, and Goldberg; in the Mark, Nauen; in the Neumark,
Calies and a part of Lansberg; in Pommern, Belgard and Tempelburg. These
accidents required incessantly new expenditures to repair them."

Friedrich was not the least of a Free Trader, except where it
suited him: and his continual subventions and donations, guidances,
encouragements, commandings and prohibitions, wise supervision and
impulsion,--are a thing I should like to hear an intelligent Mirabeau
(Junior or Senior) discourse upon, after he had well studied them! For
example: "ON RENDIT LES PRETRES UTILES, The Priests, Catholic Priests,
were turned to use by obliging all the rich Abbeys to establish
manufactures: here it was weavers making damasks and table-cloths; there
oil-mills [oil from linseed]; or workers in copper, wire-drawers; as
suited the localities and the natural products,--the flaxes and
the metals, with water-power, markets, and so on." What a charming
resuscitation of the rich Abbeys from their dormant condition!

I should like still better to explain how, in Lower Silesia, "we (ON)
managed to increase the number of Husbandmen by 4,000 families. You will
be surprised how it was possible to multiply to this extent the people
living by Agriculture in a Country where already not a field was waste.
The reason was this. Many Lords of Land, to increase their Domain, had
imperceptibly appropriated to themselves the holdings (TERRES) of their
vassals. Had this abuse been suffered to go on, in time a great"--But
the commentary needed would be too lengthy; we will give only the
result: "In the long-run, every Village would have had its Lord, but
there would have been no tax-paying Farmers left." The Landlord, ruler
of these Landless, might himself (as Majesty well knows) have been made
to PAY, had that been all; but it was not. "To possess something; that
is what makes the citizen attached to his Country; those who have no
property, and have nothing to lose, what tie have they?" A weak one, in
comparison!"All these things being represented to the Landlord Class,
their own advantage made them consent to replace their Peasants on the
old footing."...

"To make head against so many extraordinary demands," adds the King
(looking over to a new Chapter, that of the MILITARY, which Department,
to his eyes, was not less shockingly dilapidated than the CIVIL,
and equally or more needed instant repair), "new resources had to
be devised. For, besides what was needed for re-establishment of the
Provinces, new Fortifications were necessary; and all our Cannon,
E'VASES (worn too wide in the bore), needed to be refounded; which
occasioned considerable new expense. This led us to improvement of the
Excises,"--concerning which there will have to be a Section by itself.



OF FRIEDRICH'S NEW EXCISE SYSTEM.

In his late Inspection-Journey to Cleve Country, D'Alembert, from Paris,
by appointment waited for the King; [In (_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxiv.
377-380 (D'Alembert's fine bits of Letters in prospect of Potsdam,
"Paris, 7th March-29th April, 1763;" and two small Notes while there,
"Sans-Souci, 6th July-15th August, 1763").]--picked up at Geldern (June
11th), as we saw above. D'Alembert got to Potsdam June 22d; stayed till
middle of August. He had met the King once before, in 1755; who found
him "a BON GARCON," as we then saw. D'Alembert was always, since that
time, an agreeable, estimable little man to Friedrich. Age now about
forty-six; has lately refused the fine Russian post of "Tutor to the
Czarowitsh" (Czarowitsh Paul, poor little Boy of eight or nine, whom we,
or Herr Busching for us, saw galloping about, not long since, "in his
dressing-gown," under Panin's Tutorage); refuses now, in a delicate
gradual manner, the fine Prussian post of Perpetual President, or
Successor to Maupertuis;--definitely preferring his frugal pensions at
Paris, and garret all his own there. Continues, especially after this
two months' visit of 1763, one of the King's chief correspondents for
the next twenty years. ["29th October, 1783," D'Alembert died: "born
16th November, 1717;"--a Foundling, as is well known; "Mother a
Sister of Cardinal Tencin's; Father," accidental, "an Officer in the
Artillery."] A man of much clear intellect; a thought SHRIEKY in his
ways sometimes; but always prudent, rational, polite, and loyally
recognizing Friedrich as a precious article in this world. Here is a
word of D'Alembert's to Madame du Deffand, at Paris, some ten or twelve
days after the Cleve meeting, and the third day after his arrival
here:--

"POTSDAM, 25th JUNE, 1763. MADAME,--... I will not go into the praises
of this Prince," King Friedrich, my now Host; "in my mouth it might
be suspicious: I will merely send you two traits of him, which will
indicate his way of thinking and feeling. When I spoke to him [at
Geldern, probably, on our first meeting] of the glory he had acquired,
he answered, with the greatest simplicity, That there was a furious
discount to be deducted from said glory; that chance came in for almost
the whole of it; and that he would far rather have done Ratine's ATHALIE
than all this War:--ATHALIE is the work he likes, and rereads oftenest;
I believe you won't disapprove his taste there. The other trait I have
to give you is, That on the day [15th February last] of concluding this
Peace, which is so glorious to him, some one saying, 'It is the finest
day of your Majesty's life:' 'The finest day of life,' answered he, 'is
the day on which one quits it.'...--Adieu, Madame." [_"OEuvres Posthumes
de D'Alembert_ (Paris, 1799). i. 197:" cited in PREUSS, ii. 348.]

The meeting in Cleve Country was, no doubt, a very pretty passage, with
Two pretty Months following;--and if it be true that HELVETIUS was a
consequence, the 11th of June, 1763, may almost claim to be a kind
of epoch in Friedrich's later history. The opulent and ingenious M.
Helvetius, who wrote DE L'ESPRIT, and has got banished for that feat
(lost in the gloom of London in those months), had been a mighty
Tax-gatherer as well; D'Alembert, as brother Philosophe, was familiar
with Helvetius. It is certain, also, King Friedrich, at this time, found
he would require annually two million thalers more;--where to get them,
seemed the impossibility. A General Krockow, who had long been in French
Service, and is much about the King, was often recommending the French
Excise system;--he is the Krockow of DOMSTADTL, and that SIEGE OF
OLMUTZ, memorable to some of us:--"A wonderful Excise system," Krockow
is often saying, in this time of straits. "Who completely understands
it?" the King might ask. "Helvetius, against the world!" D'Alembert
could justly answer. "Invite Helvetius to leave his London exile, and
accept an asylum here, where he may be of vital use to me!" concludes
Friedrich.

Helvetius came in March, 1765; stayed till June, 1766: [Rodenbeck, ii.
254; Preuss, iii. 11.]--within which time a French Excise system, which
he had been devising and putting together, had just got in gear, and
been in action for a month, to Helvetius's satisfaction. Who thereupon
went his way, and never returned;--taking with him, as man and
tax-gatherer, the King's lasting gratitude; but by no means that of the
Prussian Nation, in his tax-gathering capacity! All Prussia, or all of
it that fell under this Helvetius Excise system, united to condemn it,
in all manner of dialects, louder and louder: here, for instance, is
the utterance of Herr Hamann, himself a kind of Custom-house Clerk (at
Konigsberg, in East Preussen), and on modest terms a Literary man of
real merit and originality, who may be supposed to understand this
subject: "And so," says Hamann, "the State has declared its own subjects
incapable of managing its Finance system; and in this way has intrusted
its heart, that is the purse of its subjects, to a company of Foreign
Scoundrels, ignorant of everything relating to it!" ["Hamann to Jacobi"
(see Preuss, iii. 1-35), "Konigsberg, 18th January, 1786."]

This lasted all Friedrich's lifetime; and gave rise to not a little
buzzing, especially in its primary or incipient stages. It seems to
have been one of the unsuccessfulest Finance adventures Friedrich ever
engaged in. It cost his subjects infinite small trouble; awakened very
great complaining; and, for the first time, real discontent,--skin-deep
but sincere and universal,--against the misguided Vater Fritz. Much
noisy absurdity there was upon it, at home, and especially abroad:
"Griping miser," "greedy tyrant," and so forth! Deducting all which,
everybody now admits that Friedrich's aim was excellent and proper; but
nobody denies withal that the means were inconsiderate, of no profit in
proportion to the trouble they gave, and improper to adopt unless the
necessity compelled.

Friedrich is forbidden, or forbids himself, as we have often mentioned,
to impose new taxes: and nevertheless now, on calculations deep, minute
and no doubt exact, he judges That for meeting new attacks of War (or
being ready to meet, which will oftenest mean averting them),--a thing
which, as he has just seen, may concern the very existence of the
State,--it is necessary that there should be on foot such and such
quantities and kinds of Soldiery and War-furniture, visible to all
neighbors; and privately in the Treasury never less than such and such
a sum. To which end Arithmetic declares that there is required about Two
Million thalers more of yearly revenue than we now have. And where, in
these circumstances, are the means of raising such a sum?

Friedrich imposes no new taxes; but there may be stricter methods of
levying the old;--there may, and in fact there must, be means found!
Friedrich has consulted his Finance Ministers; put the question SERIATIM
to these wise heads: they answer with one voice, "There are no means."
[Rodenbeck, ii. 256.] Friedrich, therefore, has recourse to Helvetius;
who, on due consideration, and after survey of much documentary and
tabulary raw-material, is of opinion, That the Prussian Excises would,
if levied with the punctuality, precision and vigilant exactitude of
French methods, actually yield the required overplus. "Organize me the
methods, then; get them put in action here; under French hands, if that
be indispensable." Helvetius bethought him of what fittest French hands
there were to his knowledge,--in France there are a great many hands
flung idle in the present downbreak of finance there:--Helvetius appears
to have selected, arranged and contrived in this matter with his best
diligence. De Launay, the Head-engineer of the thing, was admitted by
all Prussia, after Twenty-two years unfriendly experience of him, to
have been a suitable and estimable person; a man of judicious ways,
of no small intelligence, prudence, and of very great skill in
administering business.

Head-engineer De Launay, one may guess, would be consulted by Helvetius
in choice of the subaltern Officials, the stokers and steerers in this
new Steam-Machinery, which had all to be manned from France. There were
Four heads of departments immediately under De Launay, or scarcely under
him, junior brothers rather:--who chose these I did not hear; but these
latter, it is evident, were not a superior quality of people. Of these
Four,--all at very high salaries, from De Launay downwards; "higher than
a Prussian Minister of State!" murmured the public,--two, within the
first year, got into quarrel; fought a duel, fatal to one of them; so
that there were now only Three left. "Three, with De Launay, will do,"
opined Friedrich; and divided the vacant salary among the survivors: in
which form they had at least no more duelling.

As to the subaltern working-parties, the VISITATEURS, CONTROLLEURS,
JAUGEURS (Gaugers), PLOMBEURS (Lead-stampers), or the strangest kind of
all, called "Cellar-Rats (COMMIS RATS-DE-CAVE), "they were so detested
and exclaimed against, by a Public impatient of the work itself, there
is no knowing what their degree of scoundrelism was, nor even, within
amazingly wide limits, what the arithmetical number of them was. About
500 in the whole of Prussia, says a quiet Prussian, who has made some
inquiry; ["Beguelin, ACCISE-UND ZOLL-VERFASSUNG, s. 138" (Preuss, iii,
18).] 1,500 says Mirabeau; 3,000 say other exaggerative persons, or even
5,000; De Launay's account is, Not at any time above 200. But we can
all imagine how vexatious they and their business were. Nobody now is
privileged with exemption: from one and all of you, Nobles, Clergy,
People, strict account is required, about your beers and liquors; your
coffee, salt; your consumptions and your purchases of all excisable
articles:--nay, I think in coffee and salt, in salt for certain, what
you will require, according to your station and domestic numbers, is
computed for you, to save trouble; such and such quantities you will
please to buy in our presence, or to pay duty for, whether you buy them
or not. Into all houses, at any hour of the day or of the night, these
cellar-rats had liberty,--(on warrant from some higher rat of their own
type, I know not how much higher; and no sure appeal for you, except
to the King; tolerably sure there, if you be INNOCENT, but evidently
perilous if you be only NOT-CONVICTED!)--had liberty, I say, to search
for contraband; all your presses, drawers, repositories, you must open
to these beautiful creatures; watch in nightcap, and candle in hand,
while your things get all tumbled hither and thither, in the search for
what perhaps is not there; nay, it was said and suspected, but I never
knew it for certain, that these poisonous French are capable of slipping
in something contraband, on purpose to have you fined whether or not.

Readers can conceive, though apparently Friedrich did not, what a world
of vexation all this occasioned; and how, in the continual annoyance to
all mankind, the irritation, provocation and querulous eloquence spread
among high and low. Of which the King knew something; but far from the
whole. His object was one of vital importance; and his plan once fixed,
he went on with it, according to his custom, regardless of little rubs.
The Anecdote Books are full of details, comic mostly, on this subject:
How the French rats pounced down upon good harmless people, innocent
frugal parsonages, farm-houses; and were comically flung prostrate by
native ready wit, or by direct appeal to the King. Details, never so
authentic, could not be advisable in this place. Perhaps there are not
more than Two authentic Passages, known to me, which can now have the
least interest, even of a momentary sort, to English readers. The first
is, Of King Friedrich caricatured as a Miser grinding Coffee. I give it,
without essential alteration of any kind, in Herr Preuss's words, copied
from those of one who saw it:--the second, which relates to a Princess
or Ex-Princess of the Royal House, I must reserve for a little while.
Herr Preuss says:--

"Once during the time of the 'Regie' [which lasted from 1766 to 1786 and
the King's death: no other date assignable, though 1768, or so, may be
imaginable for our purpose], as the King came riding along the Jager
Strasse, there was visible near what is called the Furstenhaus," kind of
Berlin Somerset House, [Nicolai, i. 155.] "a great crowd of people. 'See
what it is!' the King sent his one attendant, a heiduc or groom, into
it, to learn what it was. 'They have something posted up about your
Majesty,' reported the groom; and Friedrich, who by this time had ridden
forward, took a look at the thing; which was a Caricature figure of
himself: King in very melancholy guise, seated on a Stool, a Coffee-mill
between his knees; diligently grinding with the one hand, and with the
other picking up any bean that might have fallen. 'Hang it lower,' said
the King, beckoning his groom with a wave of the finger: 'Lower, that
they may not have to hurt their necks about it!' No sooner were the
words spoken, which spread instantly, than there rose from the whole
crowd one universal huzza of joy. They tore the Caricature into a
thousand pieces, and rolled after the King with loud (LEBE HOCH, Our
Friedrich forever!' as he rode slowly away." [Preuss, iii. 275 ("from
BERLIN CONVERSUTIONSBLATT &c. of 1827, No. 253").) That is their
Friedrich's method with the Caricature Department. Heffner,
Kapellmeister in Upsala, reports this bit of memorability; he was then
of the King's Music-Chapel in Berlin, and saw this with his eyes.

The King's tendency at all times, and his practice generally, when
we hear of it, was to take the people's side; so that gradually these
French procedures were a great deal mitigated; and DIE REGIE--so they
called this hateful new-fangled system of Excise machinery--became much
more supportable, "the sorrows of it nothing but a tradition to the
younger sort," reports Dohm, who is extremely ample on this subject.
[Christian Wilhelm von Dohm, _Denkwurdigkeiten meiner Zeit_ (Lemgo und
Hanover, 1819), iv. 500 et seq.] De Launay was honorably dismissed, and
the whole Regie abolished, a month or two after Friedrich's death.

With a splenetic satisfaction authentic Dohm, who sufficiently condemns
the REGIE, adds that it was not even successful; and shows by evidence,
and computation to the uttermost farthing, that instead of two million
thalers annually, it yielded on the average rather less than one. The
desired overplus of two millions, and a good deal more did indeed come
in, says he: but it was owing to the great prosperity of Prussia at
large, after the Seven-Years War; to the manifold industries awakening,
which have gone on progressive ever since. Dohm declares farther, that
the very object was in a sort fanciful, nugatory; arguing that nobody
did attack Friedrich;--but omitting to prove that nobody would have done
so, had Friedrich NOT stood ready to receive him. We will remark only,
what is very indisputable, that Friedrich, owing to the Regie, or to
other causes, did get the humble overplus necessary for him; and did
stand ready for any war which might have come (and which did in a
sort come); that he more and more relaxed the Regie, as it became less
indispensable to him; and was willing, if he found the Caricatures and
Opposition Placards too high posted, to save the poor reading people any
trouble that was possible.

A French eye-witness testifies: "They had no talent, these Regie
fellows, but that of writing and ciphering; extremely conceited too, and
were capable of the most ridiculous follies. Once, for instance, they
condemned a common soldier, who had hidden some pounds of tobacco, to a
fine of 200 thalers. The King, on reviewing it for confirmation, wrote
on the margin: 'Before confirming this sentence, I should wish to know
where the Soldier, who gets 8 groschen [ninepence halfpenny] in the
5 days, will find the 200 crowns for paying this Fine!'" [Laveaux (2d
edition), iii. 228.] Innumerable instances of a constant disposition
that way, on the King's part, stand on record. "A crown a head on the
import of fat cattle, Tax on butcher's-meat?" writes he once to De
Launay: "No, that would fall on the poorer classes: to that I must
say No. I am, by office, Procurator of the Poor (L'AVOCAT DU PAUVRE)."
Elsewhere it is "AVOCAT DEC PAUVRE ET DU SOLDAT (of the working-man and
of the soldier); and have to plead their cause." [Preuss, iii. 20.]

We will now give our Second Anecdote; which has less of memorability
to us strangers at present, though doubtless it was then, in Berlin
society, the more celebrated of the two; relating, as it did, to a high
Court-Lady, almost the highest, and who was herself only too celebrated
in those years. The heroine is Princess Elizabeth of Brunswick, King's
own Niece and a pretty woman; who for four years (14th July, 1765-18th
April, 1769) of her long life was Princess Royal of Prussia,--Wife of
that tall young Gentleman whom we used to see dancing about, whom we
last saw at Schweidnitz getting flung from his horse, on the day of
Pirch's saddle there:--his Wife for four years, but in the fourth year
ceased to be so [Rodenbeck, ii. 241, 257.] (for excellent reasons,
on both sides), and lived thenceforth in a divorced eclipsed state at
Stettin, where is laid the scene of our Anecdote. I understand it to be
perfectly true; but cannot ascertain from any of the witnesses in what
year the thing happened; or whether it was at Stettin or Berlin,--though
my author has guessed, "Stettin, in the Lady's divorced state," as
appears.

"This Princess had commissioned, direct from Lyon, a very beautiful
dress; which arrived duly, addressed to her at Stettin. As this kind of
stuffs is charged with very heavy dues, the DOUANIER, head Custom-house
Personage of the Town, had the impertinence to detain the dress till
payment were made. The Princess, in a lofty indignation, sent word to
this person, To bring the dress instantly, and she would pay the dues on
it. He obeyed: but,"--mark the result,--"scarcely had the Princess got
eye on him, when she seized her Lyon Dress; and, giving the Douanier a
couple of good slaps on the face, ordered him out of her apartment and
house.

"The Douanier, thinking himself one and somewhat, withdrew in high
choler; had a long PROCES-VERBAL of the thing drawn out; and sent it to
the King with eloquent complaint, 'That he had been dishonored in
doing the function appointed him.' Friedrich replied as follows: TO
THE DOUANIER AT STETTIN: 'The loss of the Excise-dues shall fall to my
score; the Dress shall remain with the Princess; the slaps to him who
has received them. As to the pretended Dishonor, I entirely relieve
the complainant from that: never can the appliance of a beautiful hand
dishonor the face of an Officer of Customs.--F.'" [Laveaux (abridged),
iii. 229.]

Northern Tourists, Wraxall and others, passing that way, speak of this
Princess, down to recent times, as a phenomenon of the place. Apparently
a high and peremptory kind of Lady, disdaining to be bowed too low by
her disgraces. She survived all her generation, and the next and the
next, and indeed into our own. Died 18th February, 1840: at the age
of ninety-six. Threescore and eleven years of that eclipsed Stettin
Existence; this of the Lyon gown, and caitiff of a Custom-houser slapped
on the face, her one adventure put on record for us!--

She was signally blamable in that of the Divorce; but not she alone,
nor first of the Two. Her Crown-Prince, Friedrich Wilhelm, called
afterwards, as King, "DER DICKE (the Fat, or the Big)," and held in
little esteem by Posterity,--a headlong, rather dark and physical
kind of creature, though not ill-meaning or dishonest,--was himself a
dreadful sinner in that department of things; and had BEGUN the bad
game against his poor Cousin and Spouse! Readers of discursive turn
are perhaps acquainted with a certain "Grafin von Lichtenau," and her
MEMOIRS so called:--not willingly, but driven, I fish up one specimen,
and one only, from that record of human puddles and perversities:--

"From the first year of our attachment," says this precious Grafin, "I
was already the confidant of his," the Prince of Prussia's, "most secret
thoughts. One day [in 1767, second year of his married life, I then
fifteen, slim Daughter of a Player on the French Horn, in his Majesty's
pay], the Prince happened to be very serious; and was owning to me with
frankness that he had some wrongs towards my sex to reproach himself
with,"--alas, yes, some few:--"and he swore that he would never forsake
ME; and that if Heaven disposed of my life before his, none but he
should close my eyes. He was fingering with a penknife at the time; he
struck the point of it into the palm of his left hand, and wrote with
his blood [the unclean creature], on a little bit of paper, the Oath
which his lips had just pronounced in so solemn a tone. Vainly should I
undertake to paint my emotion on this action of his! The Prince saw what
I felt; and took advantage of it to beg that I would follow his example.
I hastened to satisfy him; and traced, as he had done, with my blood,
the promise to remain his friend to the tomb, and never to forsake
him. This Promise must have been found among his Papers after his death
[still in the Archives? we will hope not!]--Both of us stood faithful to
this Oath. The tie of love, it is true, we broke: but that was by mutual
consent, and the better to fix ourselves in the bonds of an inviolable
friendship. Other mistresses reigned over his senses; but I"--ACH GOTT,
no more of that. [_Memoires de la Comtesse de Lichtenau_ (a Londres,
chez Colburn Libraire, Conduit-street, Bond-street, 2 tomes, small 8vo,
1809), i. 129.]

The King's own account of the affair is sufficiently explicit. His words
are: "Not long ago [about two years before this of the penknife] we
mentioned the Prince of Prussia's marriage with Elizabeth of Brunswick
[his Cousin twice over, her Mother, Princess Charlotte of Prussia, being
his Father's Sister and mine, and her Father HIS Mother's Brother,--if
you like to count it]. This engagement, from which everybody had
expected happy consequences, did not correspond to the wishes of the
Royal House." Only one Princess could be realized (subsequently Wife to
the late Duke of York),--she came this same year of the penknife,--and
bad outlooks for more. "The Husband, young and dissolute (SANS MOEURS),
given up to a crapulous life, from which his relatives could not correct
him, was continually committing infidelities to his Wife. The Princess,
who was in the flower of her beauty, felt outraged by such neglect
of her charms; her vivacity, and the good opinion she had of herself,
brought her upon the thought of avenging her wrongs by retaliation.
Speedily she gave in to excesses, scarcely inferior to those of her
Husband. Family quarrels broke out, and were soon publicly known. The
antipathy that ensued took away all hope of succession [had it been
desirable in these sad circumstances!]. Prince Henri [JUNIOR, this
hopeful Prince of Prussia's Brother], who was gifted with all the
qualities to be wished in a young man [witness my tears for him], had
been carried off by small-pox. ["26th May, 1767," age 19 gone; ELOGE
of him by Friedrich ("MS. still stained with tears"), in _OEuvres de
Frederic_, vii. 37 et seq.] The King's Brothers, Princes Henri and
Ferdinand, avowed frankly that they would never consent to have, by some
accidental bastard, their rights of succession to the crown carried
off. In the end, there was nothing for it but proceeding to a divorce."
[_OEuvres de Frederic,_ vi. 23.]

Divorce was done in a beautiful private manner; case tried with strictly
shut doors; all the five judges under oath to carry into the grave
whatever they came to know of it: [Preuss, iv. 180-186.] divorce
completed 18th April, 1769; and, within three months, a new marriage
was accomplished, Princess Frederika Luisa of Hessen-Darmstadt the happy
woman. By means of whom there was duly realized a Friedrich Wilhelm, who
became "King Friedrich Wilhelm III." (a much-enduring, excellent, though
inarticulate man), as well as various other Princes and Princesses,
in spite of interruptions from the Lichtenau Sisterhood. High-souled
Elizabeth was relegated to Stettin; her amount of Pension is not
mentioned; her Family, after the unhappy proofs communicated to them,
had given their consent and sanction;--and she stayed there, idle, or
her own mistress of work, for the next seventy-one years.--Enough of HER
Lyon Dress, surely, and of the Excise system altogether!--



THE NEUE PALAIS, IN SANS-SOUCI NEIGHBORHOOD, IS FOUNDED AND FINISHED
(1763-1770).

If D'Alembert's Visit was the germ of the Excise system, it will be
curious to note,--and indeed whether or not, it will be chronologically
serviceable to us here, and worth noting,--that there went on a small
synchronous affair, still visible to everybody: namely, That in the very
hours while Friedrich and D'Alembert were saluting mutually at Geldern
(11th June, 1763), there was laid the foundation of what they call the
NEUE PALAIS; New Palace of Sans-Souci: [Rodenbeck, ii. 219.] a sumptuous
Edifice, in the curious LOUIS-QUINZE or what is called "Rococo" style
of the time; Palace never much inhabited by Friedrich or his successors,
which still stands in those ornamental Potsdam regions. Why built,
especially in the then down-pressed financial circumstances, some have
had their difficulties to imagine. It appears, this New Palace had been
determined on before the War broke out; and Friedrich said to
himself: "We will build it now, to help the mechanical classes in
Berlin,--perhaps also, in part [think some, and why should not they, a
little?] to show mankind that we have still ready money; and are nothing
like so ruined as they fancy."

"This NEUE PALAIS," says one recent Tourist, "is a pleasant quaint
object, nowadays, to the stranger. It has the air DEGAGE POCOCURANTE;
pleasantly fine in aspect and in posture;--spacious expanses round
it, not in a waste, but still less in a strict condition; and (in its
deserted state) has a silence, especially a total absence of needless
flunkies and of gaping fellow-loungers, which is charming. Stands mute
there, in its solitude, in its stately silence and negligence, like
some Tadmor of the Wilderness in small. The big square of Stables,
Coach-houses, near by, was locked up,--probably one sleeping groom in
it. The very CUSTOS of the grand Edifice (such the rarity of fees to
him) I could not awaken without difficulty. In the gray autumn zephyrs,
no sound whatever about this New Palace of King Friedrich's, except the
rustle of the crisp brown leaves, and of any faded or fading memories
you may have.

"I should say," continues he, "it somehow reminds you of the City of
Bath. It has the cut of a battered Beau of old date; Beau still extant,
though in strangely other circumstances; something in him of pathetic
dignity in that kind. It shows excellent sound masonries; which have
an over-tendency to jerk themselves into pinnacles, curvatures and
graciosities; many statues atop,--three there are, in a kind of grouped
or partnership attitude; 'These,' said diligent scandal, 'note them;
these mean Maria Theresa, Pompadour and CATIN DU NORD' (mere Muses, I
believe, or of the Nymph or Hamadryad kind, nothing of harm in them).
In short, you may call it the stone Apotheosis of an old French Beau.
Considerably weather-beaten (the brown of lichens spreading visibly
here and there, the firm-set ashlar telling you, 'I have stood a hundred
years');--Beau old and weather-beaten, with his cocked-hat not in the
fresh condition, all his gold-laces tarnished; and generally looking
strange, and in a sort tragical, to find himself, fleeting
creature, become a denizen of the Architectural Fixities and earnest
Eternities!"--

From Potsdam Palace to the New Palace of Sans-Souci may be a mile
distance; flat ground, parallel to the foot of Hills; all through
arbors, parterres, water-works, and ornamental gardenings and cottagings
or villa-ings,--Cottage-Villa for Lord Marischal is one of them. This
mile of distance, taking the COTTAGE Royal of Sans-Souci on its
hill-top as vertex, will be the base of an isosceles or nearly isosceles
triangle, flatter than equilateral. To the Cottage Royal of Sans-Souci
may be about three-quarters of a mile northeast from this New Palace,
and from Potsdam Palace to it rather less. And the whole square-mile or
so of space is continuously a Garden, not in the English sense, though
it has its own beauties of the more artificial kind; and, at any rate,
has memories for you, and footsteps of persons still unforgotten by
mankind.--Here is a Notice of Lord Marischal; which readers will not
grudge; the chronology of the worthy man, in these his later epochs,
being in so hazy a state:--

Lord Marischal, we know well and Pitt knows, was in England in
1761,--ostensibly on the Kintore Heritage; and in part, perhaps, really
on that errand. But he went and came, at dates now uncertain; was back
in Spain after that, had difficult voyagings about; [King's Letters to
him, in _OEuvres de Frederic,_ xx. 282-285.]--and did not get to rest
again, in his Government of Neufchatel, till April, 1762. There is a
Letter of the King's, which at least fixes that point:--

"BRESLAU, 10th APRIL, 1762. My nose is the most impertinent nose in
the universe, MON CHER MYLORD [Queen-Dowager snuff, SPANIOL from
the fountain-head, of Marischal's providing; quality exquisite, but
difficult to get transmitted in the Storms of War]; I am ashamed of the
trouble it costs you! I beg many pardons;--and should be quite abashed,
did I not know how you compassionate the weak points of your friends,
and that, for a long time past, you have a singular indulgence for my
nose. I am very glad to know you happily returned to your Government,
safe at Colombier (DOVE-COTE) in Neufchatel again." This is 10th April,
1762. There, as I gather, quiet in his Dove-cote, Marischal continued,
though rather weary of the business, for about a year more; or till the
King got home,--who delights in companionship, and is willing to let an
old man demit for good.

It was in Summer, 1762 (about three months after the above Letter from
the King), that Rousseau made his celebrated exodus into Neufchatel
Country, and found the old Governor so good to him,--glad to be allowed
to shelter the poor skinless creature. And, mark as curious, it must
have been on two of those mornings, towards the end of the Siege of
Schweidnitz, when things were getting so intolerable, and at times
breaking out into electricity, into "rebuke all round," that Friedrich
received that singular pair of Laconic Notes from Rousseau in
Neufchatel: forwarded, successively, by Lord Marischal; NOTE FIRST, of
date, "Motier-Travers, Neufchatel, September," nobody can guess what
day, "1762:" "I have said much ill of you, and don't repent it. Now
everybody has banished me; and it is on your threshold that I sit down.
Kill me, if you have a mind!" And then (after, not death, but the gift
of 100 crowns), NOTE SECOND, "October, 1762:"... "Take out of my sight
that sword, which dazzles and pains me; IT has only too well done its
duty, while the sceptre is abandoned:" Make Peace, can't you! [_OEuvres
completes de Rousseau_ (a Geneve, 1782-1789), xxxiii. 64, 65.]--What
curious reading for a King in such posture, among the miscellaneous
arrivals overnight! Above six weeks before either of these NOTES,
Friedrich, hearing of him from Lord Marischal, had answered: "An asylum?
Yes, by all means: the unlucky cynic!" It is on September 1st, that he
sends, by the same channel, 100 crowns for his use, with advice to "give
them in NATURA, lest he refuse otherwise;" as Friedrich knows to be
possible. In words, the Rousseau Notes got nothing of Answer. "A GARCON
SINGULIER," says Friedrich: odd fellow, yes indeed, your Majesty;--and
has such a pungency of flattery in him too, presented in the way of
snarl! His Majesty might take him, I suppose, with a kind of relish,
like Queen-Dowager snuff.

There was still another shift of place, shift which proved temporary,
in old Marischal's life: Home to native Aberdeenshire. The two childless
Brothers, Earls of Kintore, had died successively, the last of them
November 22d, 1761: title and heritage, not considerable the latter,
fell duly, by what preparatives we know, to old Marischal; but his Keith
kinsfolk, furthermore, would have him personally among them,--nay, after
that, would have him to wed and produce new Keiths. At the age of 78;
decidedly an inconvenient thing! Old Marischal left Potsdam "August,
1763," [Letter of his to the King ("LONDRES, 14 AOUT, 1763"), in
_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xx. 293.--In _Letters of Eminent Persons to
David Hume_ (Edinburgh, 1849), pp. 57-71, are some Nine from the Old
Marischal; in curiously mixed dialect, cheerful, but indistinct; the two
chief dates of which are: "Touch" (guttural TuCH, in Aberdeenshire),
"28 October, 1763," and "Potsdam, 20 February, 1765."]--NEW-PALACE
scaffoldings and big stone blocks conspicuous in those localities;
pleasant D'Alembert now just about leaving, in the other
direction;--much to Friedrich's regret, the old Marischal especially, as
is still finely evident.


FRIEDRICH TO LORD MARISCHAL (in Scotland for the last six months).

"SANS-SOUCI, 16th February, 1764.

"I am not surprised that the Scotch fight to have you among them; and
wish to have progeny of yours, and to preserve your bones. You have in
your lifetime the lot of Homer after death: Cities arguing which is your
birthplace;--I myself would dispute it with Edinburgh to possess you.
If I had ships, I would make a descent on Scotland, to steal off my CHER
MYLORD, and bring him hither. Alas, our Elbe Boats can't do it. But you
give me hopes;--which I seize with avidity! I was your late Brother's
friend, and had obligations to him; I am yours with heart and soul.
These are my titles, these are my rights:--you sha'n't be forced in
the matter of progeny here (FAIRE L'ETALON ICI), neither priests nor
attorneys shall meddle with you; you shall live here in the bosom of
friendship, liberty and philosophy." Come to me!...--F. [_OEuvres de
Frederic,_ xx. 295.]

Old Marischal did come; and before long. I know not the precise month:
but "his Villa-Cottage was built for him," the Books say, "in 1764." He
had left D'Alembert just going; next year he will find Helvetius coming.
He lived here, a great treasure to Friedrich, till his death, 25th May,
1778, age 92.

The New Palace was not finished till 1770;--in which year, also,
Friedrich reckons that the general Problem of Repairing Prussia was
victoriously over. New Palace, growing or complete, looks down on all
these operations and occurrences. In its cradle, it sees D'Alembert go,
Lord Marischal go; Helvetius come, Lord Marischal come; in its
boyhood or maturity, the Excise, and French RATS-DE-CAVE, spring up;
Crown-Prince Friedrich Wilhelm prick his hand for a fit kind of ink;
Friedrich Wilhelm's Divorced Wife give her Douanier two slaps in
the face, by way of payment. Nay, the same Friedrich Wilhelm, become
"Friedrich Wilhelm II., or DER DICKE," died in it,--his Lichtenau AND
his second Wife, jewel of women, nursing him in his last sickness there.
["Died 16th November, 1797."]

The violent stress of effort for repairing Prussia, Friedrich intimates,
was mostly over in 1766: till which date specifically, and in a looser
sense till 1770, that may be considered as his main business. But it was
not at any time his sole business; nor latterly at all equal in interest
to some others that had risen on him, as the next Chapter will now
show. Here, first, is a little Fraction of NECROLOGY, which may be worth
taking with us. Readers can spread these fateful specialties over the
Period in question; and know that each of them came with a kind of
knell upon Friedrich's heart, whatever he might be employed about.
Hour striking after hour on the Horologe of Time; intimating how the
Afternoon wore, and that Night was coming. Various meanings there would
be to Friedrich in these footfalls of departing guests, the dear, the
less dear, and the indifferent or hostile; but each of them would mean:
"Gone, then, gone; thus we all go!"



"OBITUARY IN FRIEDRICH'S CIRCLE TILL 1771."

Of Polish Majesty's death (5th October, 1763), and then (2d December
following) of his Kurprinz or Successor's, with whom we dined at
Moritzburg so recently, there will be mention by and by. November 28th,
1763, in the interval between these two, the wretched Bruhl had died.
April 14th, 1764, died the wretched Pompadour;--"To us not known, JE NE
LA CONNAIS PAS:"--hapless Butterfly, she had been twenty years in the
winged condition; age now forty-four: dull Louis, they say, looked out
of window as her hearse departed, "FROIDEMENT," without emotion of any
visible kind. These little concern Friedrich or us; we will restrict
ourselves to Friends.

"DIED IN 1764. At Pisa, Algarotti (23d May, 1764, age fifty-two); with
whom Friedrich has always had some correspondence hitherto (to himself
interesting, though not to us), and will never henceforth have more.
Friedrich raised a Monument to him; Monument still to be seen in the
Campo-Santo of Pisa: 'HIC JACET OVIDII AEMULUS ET NEUTONI DISCIPULUS;'
friends have added 'FREDERICUS MAGNUS PONI FECIT;' and on another part
of the Monument, 'ALGAROTTUS NON OMNIS.' [Preuss, iv. 188.]

"--IN 1765. At the age of eighty, November 18th, Grafin Camas, 'MA BONNE
MAMAN' (widow since 1741); excellent old Lady,--once brilliantly young,
German by birth, her name Brandt;--to whom the King's LETTERS used to
be so pretty." This same year, too, Kaiser Franz died; but him we will
reserve, as not belonging to this Select List.

"--IN 1766. At Nanci, 23d February, age eighty-six, King Stanislaus
Leczinsky: 'his clothes caught fire' (accidental spark or sputter on
some damask dressing-gown or the like); and the much-enduring innocent
old soul ended painfully his Titular career.

"DIED IN 1767. October 22d, the Grand-Duchess of Sachsen-Gotha, age
fifty-seven; a sad stroke this also, among one's narrowing List of
Friends.--I doubt if Friedrich ever saw this high Lady after the Visit
we lately witnessed. His LETTERS to her are still in the Archives of
Gotha: not hers to him; all lost, these latter, but an accidental
Two, which are still beautiful in their kind. [Given in _OEuvres de
Frederic,_ xviii. 165, 256.]

"--IN 1770. Bielfeld, the fantastic individual of old days. Had long
been out of Friedrich's circle,--in Altenburg Country, I think;--without
importance to Friedrich or us: the year of him will do, without search
for day or month.

"---IN 1771. Two heavy deaths come this year. January 28th, 1771, at
Berlin, dies our valuable old friend Excellency Mitchell,--still here on
the part of England, in cordial esteem as a man and companion; though
as Minister, I suppose, with function more and more imaginary. This
painfully ushers in the year. To usher it out, there is still worse:
faithful D'Argens dies, 26th December, 1771, on a visit in his native
Provence,--leaving, as is still visible, [Friedrich's two Letters to the
Widow (Ib. xix. 427-429).] a big and sad blank behind him at Potsdam."
But we need not continue; at least not at present.

Long before all these, Friedrich had lost friends; with a sad but quiet
emotion he often alludes to this tragic fact, that all the souls he
loved most are gone. His Winterfelds, his Keiths, many loved faces, the
War has snatched: at Monbijou, at Baireuth, it was not War; but they too
are gone. Is the world becoming all a Mausoleum, then; nothing of divine
in it but the Tombs of vanished loved ones? Friedrich makes no noise on
such subjects: loved and unloved alike must go.

We have still to mark Kaiser Franz's sudden death; a thing politically
interesting, if not otherwise. August, 1765, at Innspruck, during the
Marriage-festivities of his Second Son, Leopold (Duke of Florence, who
afterwards, on Joseph's death, was Kaiser),--Kaiser Franz, sauntering
about in the evening gala, "18th August, about 9 P.M.," suddenly
tottered, staggered as falling; fell into Son Joseph's arms; and was
dead. Above a year before, this same Joseph, his Eldest Son, had
been made King of the Romans: "elected 26th March; crowned 3d April,
1764;"--Friedrich furthering it, wishful to be friendly with his late
enemies. [Rodenbeck, ii. 234.]

On this Innspruck Tragedy, Joseph naturally became Kaiser,--Part-Kaiser;
his Dowager-Mother, on whom alone it depends, having decided that way.
The poor Lady was at first quite overwhelmed with her grief. She had the
death-room of her Husband made into a Chapel; she founded furthermore a
Monastery in Innspruck, "Twelve Canonesses to pray there for the repose
of Franz;" was herself about to become Abbess there, and quit the
secular world; but in the end was got persuaded to continue, and take
Son Joseph as Coadjutor. [Hormayr, OESTERREICHISCHER PLUTARCH (º Maria
Theresa), iv. (2tes Bandchen) 6-124; MARIA THERESIENS LEBEN, p. 30.] In
which capacity we shall meet the young man again.



Chapter III.--TROUBLES IN POLAND.

April 11th, 1764, one year after his Seven-Years labor of Hercules,
Friedrich made Treaty of Alliance with the new Czarina Catharine.
England had deserted him; France was his enemy, especially Pompadour and
Choiseul, and refused reconcilement, though privately solicited: he was
without an Ally anywhere. The Russians had done him frightful damage in
the last War, and were most of all to be dreaded in the case of any new
one. The Treaty was a matter of necessity as well as choice. Agreement
for mutual good neighborhood and friendly offices; guarantee of each
other against intrusive third parties: should either get engaged in war
with any neighbor, practical aid to the length of 12,000 men, or else
money in lieu. Treaty was for eight years from day of date.

As Friedrich did not get into war, and Catharine did, with the Turks and
certain loose Polacks, the burden of fulfilment happened to fall wholly
on Friedrich; and he was extremely punctual in performance,--eager now,
and all his life after, to keep well with such a Country under such a
Czarina. Which proved to be the whole rule of his policy on that Russian
side. "Good that Country cannot bring me by any quarrel with it; evil
it can, to a frightful extent, in case of my quarrelling with others! Be
wary, be punctual, magnanimously polite, with that grandiose Czarina and
her huge territories and notions:" this was Friedrich's constant rule
in public and in private. Nor is it thought his CORRESPONDENCE WITH
THE EMPRESS CATHARINE, when future generations see it in print,
will disclose the least ground of offence to that high-flying Female
Potentate of the North. Nor will it ever be known what the silently
observant Friedrich thought of her, except indeed what we already know,
or as good as know, That he, if anybody did, saw her clearly enough for
what she was; and found good to repress into absolute zero whatever had
no bearing upon business, and might by possibility give offence in that
quarter. For we are an old King, and have learned by bitter experiences!
No more nicknames, biting verses, or words which a bird of the air could
carry; though this poor Lady too has her liabilities, were not we old
and prudent;--and is entirely as weak on certain points (deducting the
devotions and the brandy-and-water) as some others were! The Treaty
was renewed when necessary; and continued valid and vital in every
particular, so long as Friedrich ruled.

By the end of the first eight years, by strictly following this passive
rule, Friedrich, in counterbalance of his losses, unexpectedly found
himself invested with a very singular bit of gain,--"unjust gain!" cried
all men, making it of the nature of gain and loss to him,--which is
still practically his, and which has made, and makes to this day, an
immense noise in the world. Everybody knows we mean West-Preussen;
Partition of Poland; bloodiest picture in the Book of Time, Sarmatia's
fall unwept without a crime;--and that we have come upon a very
intricate part of our poor History.

No prudent man--especially if to himself, as is my own poor case
in regard to it, the subject have long been altogether dead and
indifferent--would wish to write of the Polish Question. For almost a
hundred years the Polish Question has been very loud in the world; and
ever and anon rises again into vocality among Able Editors, as a thing
pretending not to be dead and buried, but capable of rising again, and
setting itself right, by good effort at home and abroad. Not advisable,
beyond the strict limits of compulsion, to write of it at present! The
rather as the History of it, any History we have, is not an intelligible
series of events, but a series of vociferous execrations, filling all
Nature, with nothing left to the reader but darkness, and such remedies
against despair as he himself can summon or contrive.

"Rulhiere's on that subject," says a Note which I may cite, "is the
only articulate-speaking Book to which mankind as yet can apply; [Cl.
Rulhiere, _Histoire de l'Anarchie de Pologne_ (Paris, 1807), 4 vols.
12mo.] and they will by no means find that a sufficient one. Rulhiere's
Book has its considerable merits; but it absolutely wants those of a
History; and can be recognized by no mind as an intelligible cosmic
Portraiture of that chaotic Mass of Occurrences: chronology, topography,
precision of detail by time and place; scene, and actors on scene,
remain unintelligible. Rulhiere himself knew Poland, at least had looked
on it from Warsaw outwards, year after year, and knew of it what an
inquiring Secretary of Legation could pick up on those terms, which
perhaps, after all, is not very much. His Narrative is drowned in
beautiful seas of description and reflection; has neither dates nor
references; and advances at an intolerable rate of slowness; in fact,
rather turns on its axis than advances; produces on you the effect of a
melodious Sonata, not of a lucid and comfortably instructive History.

"I forget for how long Rulhiere had been in Poland, as Ambassador's
Assistant: but the Country, the King and leading Personages were
personally known to him, more or less; Events with all details of them
were known: 'Why not write a History of the Anarchy and Wreck they fell
into?' said the Official people to him, on his return home: 'For behoof
of the Dauphin [who is to be Louis XVI. shortly]; may not he perhaps
draw profit from it? At the top of the Universe, experience is sometimes
wanted. Here are the Archives, here is Salary, here are what appliances
you like to name: Write!' It is well known he was appointed, on a
Pension of 250 pounds a year, with access to all archives, documents and
appliances in possession of the French Government, and express charge to
delineate this subject for benefit of the Dauphin's young mind. Nor can
I wonder, considering everything, that the process on Rulhiere's part,
being so full of difficulties, was extremely deliberate; that this Book
did not grow so steadily or fast as the Dauphin did; and that in
fact the poor Dauphin never got the least benefit from it,--being
guillotined, he, in 1793, and the Book intended for him never coming to
light for fourteen years afterwards, it too in a posthumous and still
unfinished condition.

"Rulhiere has heard the voices of rumor, knows an infinitude of events
that were talked of; but has not discriminated which were the vital,
which were the insignificant; treats the vital and the insignificant
alike; seldom with satisfactory precision; mournfully seldom giving
any date, and by no chance any voucher or authority;--and instead of
practical terrestrial scene of action, with distances, milestones,
definite sequence of occurrences, and of causes and effects, paints us
a rosy cloudland, which if true at all, as he well intends it to be, is
little more than symbolically or allegorically so; and can satisfy no
clear-headed Dauphin or man. Rulhiere strives to be authentic,
too; gives you no suspicion of his fairness. There is really fine
high-colored painting in Rulhiere! and you hope always he will let you
into the secret of the matter: but the sad fact is, he never does. He
merely loses himself in picturesque details, philosophic eloquences,
elegancies; takes you to a Castle of Choczim, a Monastery of
Czenstochow, a Bay of Tschesme, and lets off extensive fire-works that
contain little or no shot; leads you on trackless marches, inroads or
outroads, through the Lithuanian Peat-bogs, on daring adventures and
hair-breadth escapes of mere Pulawski, Potocki and the like;--had not
got to understand the matter himself, you perceive: how hopeless to make
you understand it!"

English readers, however, have no other shift; the rest of the Books I
have seen,--_Histoire des Revolutions de Pologne;_ [1778 (A WARSOVIE, ET
SE TROUVE A PARIS), 2 vols. 8vo.] _Histoire des Trois Demembremens de la
Pologne;_ [Anonymous (by one FERRAND, otherwise unknown to me), Paris,
1820, 3 vols. 8vo.] _Letters on Poland;_ [Anonymous (by a "Reverend
Mr. Lindsey," it would seem), LETTERS CONCERNING THE PRESENT STATE OF
POLAND, TOGETHER WITH &c. (London, 1773; 1 vol. 8vo): of these LETTERS,
or at least of Reverend Lindsey, Author of them, "Tutor to King
Stanislaus's Nephew," and a man of painfully loud loose tongue, there
may perhaps be mention afterwards.] and many more,--are not worth
mentioning at all. Comfortable in the mad dance of these is Hermann's
recent dull volume; [Hermann, _Geschichte des Russischen Staats,_ vol.
v. (already cited in regard to the Peter-Catharine tragedy); seems to be
compiled mainly from the Saxon Archives, from DESPATCHES written on
the spot and at the time.]--commonplace, dull, but steady and faithful;
yielding us at least dates, and an immunity from noise. By help of
Hermann and the others, distilled to CAPUT MORTUUM, a few dated facts
(cardinal we dare not call them) may be extracted;--dimly out of these,
to the meditating mind, some outline of the phenomenon may begin to
become conceivable. King of Poland dies; and there ensue huge Anarchies
in that Country.



KING OF POLAND DIES; AND THERE ENSUE HUGE ANARCHIES IN THAT COUNTRY.

The poor old King of Poland--whom we saw, on that fall of the curtain
at Pirna seven years ago, rush off for Warsaw with his Bruhl, with
expressive speed and expressive silence, and who has been waiting there
ever since, sublimely confident that his powerful terrestrial friends,
Austria, Russia, France, not to speak of Heaven's justice at all, would
exact due penalty, of signal and tremendous nature, on the Prussian
Aggressor--has again been disappointed. The poor old Gentleman got no
compensation for his manifold losses and woes at Pirna or elsewhere; not
the least mention of such a thing, on the final winding-up of that War
of Seven Years, in which his share had been so tragical; no alleviation
was provided for him in this world. His sorrows in Poland have been
manifold; nothing but anarchies, confusions and contradictions had been
his Royal portion there: in about Forty different Diets he had tried to
get some business done,--no use asking what; for the Diets, one and
all, exploded in NIE POZWALAM; and could do no business, good, bad or
indifferent, for him or anybody. An unwise, most idle Country; following
as chief employment perpetual discrepancy with its idle unwise King and
self; Russia the virtual head of it this long while, so far as it has
any head.

FEBRUARY-AUGUST, 1763, just while the Treaty of Hubertsburg was blessing
everybody with the return of Peace, and for long months after Peace had
returned to everybody, Polish Majesty was in sore trouble. Trouble in
regard to Courland, to his poor Son Karl, who fancied himself elected,
under favor and permission of the late Czarina our gracious Protectress
and Ally, to the difficult post of Duke in Courland; and had proceeded,
three or four years ago, to take possession,--but was now interrupted
by Russian encroachments and violences. Not at all well disposed to him,
these new Peters, new Catharines. They have recalled their Bieren from
Siberia; declare that old Bieren is again Duke, or at least that young
Bieren is, and not Saxon Karl at all; and have proceeded, Czarina
Catharine has, to install him forcibly with Russian soldiers. Karl
declares, "You shall kill ME before you or he get into this Palace of
Mietau!"--and by Domestics merely, and armed private Gentlemen, he does
maintain himself in said Palatial Mansion; valiantly indignant, for
about six months; the Russian Battalions girdling him on all sides,
minatory more and more, but loath to begin actual bloodshed. [Rulhiere,
ii. (livre v.) 81 et antea; Hermann, v. 348 et seq.] A transaction very
famed in those parts, and still giving loud voice in the Polish Books,
which indeed get ever noisier from this point onward, till they end in
inarticulate shrieks, as we shall too well hear.

Empress Catharine, after the lapse of six months, sends an Ambassador
to Warsaw (Kayserling by name), who declares, in tone altogether
imperative, that Czarish Majesty feels herself weary of such contumacy,
weary generally of Polish Majesty's and Polish Republic's multifarious
contumacies; and, in fine, cruelest of all, that she has troops on the
frontier; that Courland is not the only place where she has troops.
What a stab to the poor old man! "Contumacies?" Has not he been Russia's
patient stepping-stone, all along; his anarchic Poland and he accordant
in that, if in nothing else? "Let us to Saxony," decides he passionately,
"and leave all this." In Saxony his poor old Queen is dead long since;
much is dead: Saxony and Life generally, what a Golgotha! He immediately
sends word to Karl, "Give up Courland; I am going home!"--and did
hastily make his packages, and bid adieu to Warsaw, and, in a few weeks
after to this anarchic world altogether. Died at Dresden, 5th October,
1763.

Polish Majesty had been elected 5th October, 1733; died, you observe,
5th October, 1763;--was King of Poland ("King," save the mark!) for 30
years to a day. Was elected--do readers still remember how? Leaves a
ruined Saxony lying round him; a ruined life mutely asking him, "Couldst
thou have done no better, then?" Wretched Bruhl followed him in four or
five weeks. Nay, in about two months, his Son and Successor, "Friedrich
Christian" (with whom we dined at Moritzburg), had followed him; [Prince
died 17th December (Bruhl, 18th November), 1763.] leaving a small
Boy, age 13, as new Kurfurst, "Friedrich August" the name of him, with
guardians to manage the Minority; especially with his Mother as chief
guardian,--of whom, for two reasons, we are now to say something. Reason
FIRST is, That she is really a rather brilliant, distinguished creature,
distinguished more especially in Friedrich's world; whose LETTERS to
her are numerous, and, in their kind, among the notablest he wrote;--of
which we would gladly give some specimen, better or worse; and reason
SECOND, That in so doing, we may contrive to look, for a moment or two,
into the preliminary Polish Anarchies at first-hand; and, transiently
and far off, see something of them as if with our own eyes.

Marie-Antoine, or Marie-Antoinette, Electress of Saxony, is still a
bright Lady, and among the busiest living; now in her 40th year: "born
17th July, 1724; second child of Kaiser Karl VII.;"--a living memento to
us of those old times of trouble. Papa, when she came to him, was in his
27th year; this was his second daughter; three years afterwards he had
a son (born 1727; died 1777), who made the "Peace of Fussen," to
Friedrich's disgust, in 1745, if readers recollect;--and who, dying
childless, will give rise to another War (the "Potato War" so called),
for Friedrich's behoof and ours. This little creature would be in
her teens during that fatal Kaisership (1742-1745, her age then
18-21),--during those triumphs, flights and furnished-lodging
intricacies. Her Mamma, whom we have seen, a little fat bullet given to
devotion, was four years younger than Papa. Mamma died "11th December,
1756," Germany all blazing out in War again; she had been a Widow eleven
years.

Marie-Antoine was wedded to Friedrich Christian, Saxon Kurprinz, "20th
June, 1747;" her age 23, his 25:--Chronology itself is something, if
one will attend to it, in the absence of all else! The young pair were
Cousins, their Mothers being Sisters; Polish Majesty one's Uncle, age
now 51,--who was very fond of us, poor indolent soul, and glad of
our company on an afternoon, "being always in his dressing-gown by 2
o'clock." Concerning which the tongue of Court scandal was not entirely
idle,--Hanbury chronicling, as we once noticed. All which I believe to
be mere lying wind. The young Princess was beautiful; extremely clever,
graceful and lively, we can still see for ourselves: no wonder poor
Polish Majesty, always in his dressing-gown by 2, was charmed to have
her company,--the rather as I hope she permitted him a little smoking
withal.

Her husband was crook-backed; and, except those slight, always perfectly
polite little passages, in Schmettau's Siege (1759), in the Hubertsburg
Treaty affair, in the dinner at Moritzburg, I never heard much history
of him. He became Elector 5th October, 1763; but enjoyed the dignity
little more than two months. Our Princess had borne him seven
children,--three boys, four girls,--the eldest about 13, a Boy, who
succeeded; the youngest a girl, hardly 3. The Boy is he who sent Gellert
the caparisoned Horse, and had estafettes on the road while Gellert lay
dying. This Boy lived to be 77, and saw strange things in the world; had
seen Napoleon and the French Revolution; was the first "King of Saxony"
so called; saw Jena, retreat of Moscow; saw the "Battle of the Nations"
(Leipzig, 15th-18th October, 1813), and his great Napoleon terminate in
bankruptcy. He left no Son. A Brother, age 72, succeeded him as King for
a few years; whom again a Brother would have succeeded, had not he (this
third Brother, age now 66) renounced, in favor of HIS Son, the present
King of Saxony. Enough, enough!--

August 28th, 1763, while afflicted Polish Majesty is making his packages
at Warsaw, far away,--Marie-Antoinette, in Dresden, had sent Friedrich
an Opera of her composing, just brought out by her on her Court-theatre
there. Here is Friedrich's Answer,--to what kind of OPERA I know not,
but to a Letter accompanying it which is extremely pretty.


FRIEDRICH TO THE ELECTORAL PRINCESS (at Dresden).

"POTSDAM, 5th September, 1763.

"MADAM MY SISTER,--The remembrance your Royal Highness sends is the more
flattering to me, as I regret infinitely not to have been spectator and
hearer of the fine things [Opera THALESTRIS, words and music entirely
lost to us] which I have admired for myself in the silent state.

"I wish I could send you things as pleasant out of these parts: but,
Madam, I am obliged to give you a hint, which may be useful if you can
have it followed. In Saxony, however, my Letters get opened;--which
obliges me to send this by a special Messenger; and him, that he may
cause no suspicion, I have charged with fruits from my garden. You will
have the goodness to say [if anybody is eavesdropping] that you asked
them of me at Moritzburg, when I was happy enough to see you there [six
months ago, coming home from the Seven-Years War]. The hint I had to
give was this:--

"In Petersburg people's minds are getting angry at the stubbornness your
friends show in refusing to recognize Duke Bieren [home from Siberia,
again Duke of Courland, by Russian appointment, as if Russia had that
right; Polish Majesty and his Prince Karl resisting to the uttermost].
I counsel you to induce the powerful in your circle to have this
condescension [they have had it, been obliged to have it, though
Friedrich does not yet know]; for it will turn out ill to them, if they
persist in being obstinately stiff. It begins already to be said That
there are more than a million Russian subjects at this time refugees in
Poland; whom, by I forget what cartel, the Republic was bound to deliver
up. Orders have been given to Detachments of Military to enter certain
places, and bring away these Russians by force. In a word, you will
ruin your affairs forever, unless you find means to produce a change of
conduct on the part of him they complain of. Take, Madam, what I now say
as a mark of the esteem and profound regard with which--"--F. [_OEuvres
de Frederic,_ xxiv. 46.]

This hint, if the King knew, had been given, in a less kind shape,
by Necessity itself; and had sent Polish Majesty, and his Bruhls and
"powerful people," bodily home, and out of that Polish Russian welter,
in a headlong and tragically passionate condition. Electoral Princess,
next time she writes, is become Electress all at once.


ELECTRESS MARIE-ANTOINE TO FRIEDRICH.

"DRESDEN, 5th October, 1763.

"SIRE,--Your Majesty has given me such assurance of your goodness
and your friendship, that I will now appeal to that promise. You have
assured us, too, that you would with pleasure contribute to secure
Poland for us. The moment is come for accomplishing that promise. The
King is dead [died this very day; see if _I_ lose time in sentimental
lamentations!]--with him these grievances of Russia [our stiffness
on Courland and the like] must be extinct; the rather as we [the now
reigning] will lend ourselves willingly to everything that can be
required of us for perfect reconcilement with that Power.

"You can do all, if you will it; you can contribute to this
reconcilement. You can render it favorable to us. You will, give me
that proof of the flattering sentiments I have been so proud of
hitherto,"--won't you, now? "Russia cannot disapprove the mediation you
might deign to offer on that behalf;--our intentions being so honestly
amicable, and all ground of controversy having died with the late
King. Russia reconciled, our views on the Polish Crown might at once be
declared (ECLATER)." Oh, do it, your Majesty;--"my gratitude shall only
end with life!--M. A." [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxiv. 47.]

Friedrich, who is busy negotiating his Treaty with Russia (perfected
11th April next), and understands that they will mean not to have
a Saxon, but to have a Piast, and perhaps dimly even what Piast
(Stanislaus Poniatowski, the EMERITUS Lover), who will be their own,
and not Saxony's at all,--must have been a little embarrassed by such an
appeal from his fair friend at this moment. "Wait a little; don't
answer yet," would have occurred to the common mind. But that was not
Friedrich's resource: he answers by return of post, as always in such
cases;--and in the following adroit manner brushes off, without hurt
to it, with kisses to it rather, the beautiful hand that has him by the
button:--


TO THE ELECTRESS MARIE-ANTOINE (at Dresden).

"BERLIN, 8th October, 1763.

"MADAM MY SISTER,--I begin by making my condolences and my
congratulations to your Electoral Highness on the death of the King your
Father-in-law, and on your Accession to the Electorate.

"Your Electoral Highness will remember what I wrote, not long since,
on the affairs of Poland. I am afraid, Madam, that Russia will be more
contrary to you than you think. M. de Woronzow [famous Grand-Chancellor
of Russia; saved himself dexterously in the late Peter-Catharine
overturn; has since fallen into disfavor for his notions about our
Gregory Orlof, and is now on his way to Italy, "for health's sake," in
consequence], who is just arrived here, ["Had his audience 7th October"
(yesterday): Rodenbeck, ii. 224.] told me, too, of some things which
raise an ill augury of this affair. If you do not disapprove of my
speaking frankly to you, it seems to me that it would be suitable in
you to send some discreet Diplomatist to that Court to notify the King's
death; and you would learn by him what you have to expect from her
Czarish Majesty [the Empress, he always calls her, knowing she prefers
that title]. It seems to me, Madam, that it would be precipitate
procedure should I wish to engage you in an Enterprise, which appears to
myself absolutely dubious (HASARDEE), unless approved by that Princess.
As to me, Madam, I have not the ascendant there which you suppose: I
act under rule of all the delicacies and discretions with a Court which
separated itself from my Enemies when all Europe wished to crush me: but
I am far from being able to regulate the Empress's way of thinking.

"It is the same with the quarrels about the Duke of Courland; one cannot
attempt mediation except by consent of both parties. I believe I am
not mistaken in supposing that the Court of Russia does not mean to
terminate that business by foreign mediation. What I have heard about
it (what, however, is founded only on vague news) is, That the Empress
might prevail upon herself (POURRAIT SE RESOUDRE) to purchase from Bruhl
the Principality of Zips [Zips, on the edge of Hungary; let readers take
note of that Principality, at present in the hand of Bruhl,--who has
much disgusted Poland by his voracity for Lands; and is disgorging them
all again, poor soul!], to give it to Prince Karl in compensation: but
that would lead to a negotiation with the Court of Vienna, which might
involve the affair in other contentions.

"I conjure you, Madam, I repeat it, Be not precipitate in anything;
lest, as my fear is, you replunge Europe into the troubles it has only
just escaped from! As to me, I have found, since the Peace, so much
to do within my own borders, that I have not, I assure you, had time,
Madam, to think of going abroad. I confine myself to forming a thousand
wishes for the prosperity of your Electoral Highness, assuring you of
the high esteem with which I am,--F." [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxiv. 48.]

After some farther Letters, of eloquently pressing solicitation on the
part of the Lady, and earnest advising, as well as polite fencing, on
the part of Friedrich, the latter writes:--


FRIEDRICH TO ELECTRESS.

"MADAM MY SISTER,--At this moment I receive a Letter from the

Empress of Russia, the contents of which do not appear to me favorable,
Madam, to your hopes. She requires (EXIGE) that I should instruct my
Minister in Poland to act entirely in concert with the Count Kayserling;
and she adds these very words: 'I expect, from the friendship of your
Majesty, that you will not allow a passage through your territory, nor
the entry into Poland, to Saxon troops, who are to be regarded there
absolutely as strangers.'

"Unless your Letters, Madam [Madam had said that she had written to the
Empress, assuring her &c.] change the sentiments of the Empress, I do
not see in what way the Elector could arrive at the throne of Poland;
and consequently, whether I deferred to the wishes of the Empress in
this point, or refused to do so, you would not the more become Queen;
and I might commit myself against a Power which I ought to keep well
with (MENAGER). I am persuaded, Madam, that your Electoral Highness
enters into my embarrassment; and that, unless you find yourself
successful in changing the Empress's own ideas on this matter, you
will not require of me that I should embroil myself fruitlessly with a
neighbor who deserves the greatest consideration from me.

"All this is one consequence of the course which Count Bruhl induced his
late Polish Majesty to take with regard to the interests of Prince Karl
in Courland; and your Electoral Highness will remember, that I often
represented to you the injury which would arise to him from it.

"I will wish, Madam, that other opportunities may occur, where it may be
in my power to prove to your Electoral Highness the profound esteem and
consideration with which I am--"--F. [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxiv. 52.]


ELECTRESS TO FRIEDRICH.

"DRESDEN, 11th November, 1763.

"SIRE,--I am not yet disheartened. I love to flatter myself with your
friendship, Sire, and I will not easily renounce the hope that you will
give me a real mark of it in an affair which interests me so strongly.
Nobody has greater ascendency over the mind of the Empress of Russia
than your Majesty; use it, Sire, to incline it to our favor. Our
obligation will be infinite.... Why should she be absolutely against us?
What has she to fear from us? The Courland business, if that sticks with
her, could be terminated in a suitable manner."--Troops into Poland,
Sire?"My Husband so little thinks of sending troops thither, that he has
given orders for the return of those already there. He does not wish
the Crown except from the free suffrages of the Nation: if the Empress
absolutely refuse to help him with her good offices, let her, at least,
not be against him. Do try, Sire." [Ib. xxiv. 53.]--Friedrich answers,
after four days, or by return of post--But we will give the rest in the
form of Dialogue.

FRIEDRICH (after four days).... "If, Madam, I had Crowns to give away, I
would place the first on your head, as most worthy to bear it. But I am
far from such a position. I have just got out of a horrible War, which
my enemies made upon me with a rage almost beyond example; I endeavor
to cultivate friendship with all my neighbors, and to get embroiled with
nobody. With regard to the affairs of Poland, an Empress whom I ought to
be well with, and to whom I owe great obligations, requires me to enter
into her measures; you, Madam, whom I would fain please if I could, you
want me to change the sentiments of this Empress. Do but enter into my
embarrassment!... According to all I hear from Russia, it appears to me
that every resolution is taken there; and that the Empress is resolved
even to sustain the party of her partisans in Poland with the forces
she has all in readiness at the borders. As for me, Madam, I wish, if
possible, not to meddle at all with this business, which hitherto is
not complicated, but which may, any day, become so by the neighbors
of Poland taking a too lively part in it. Ready, otherwise, on all
occasions, to give to your Electoral Highness proofs of my--" [_OEuvres
de Frederic,_ xxiv, 54: "Potsdam, 16th November, 1763."]

Electress (after ten days).... "Why should the Empress be so much
against us? We have not deserved her hatred. On the contrary, we seek
her friendship. She declares, however, that she will uphold the freedom
of the Poles in the election of their King. You, Sire"--[Ib. xxiv. 55:
"Dresden, 26th November, 1763."] But we must cut short, though it lasts
long months after this. Great is the Electress's persistence,--"My poor
Husband being dead, cannot our poor Boy, cannot his uncle Prince
Xavier try? O Sire!" Our last word shall be this of Friedrich's; actual
Election-time now drawing nigh:--

FRIEDRICH. "I am doing like the dogs who have fought bitterly till they
are worn down: I sit licking my wounds. I notice most European Powers
doing the same; too happy if, whilst Kings are being manufactured to
right and left, public tranquillity is not disturbed thereby, and if
every one may continue to dwell in peace beside his hearth and his
household gods." ["Sans-Souci, 26th June, 1764" (Ib. p. 69).] Adieu,
bright Madam.

No reader who has made acquaintance with Polish History can well doubt
but Poland was now dead or moribund, and had well deserved to die.
Anarchies are not permitted in this world. Under fine names, they are
grateful to the Populaces, and to the Editors of Newspapers; but to
the Maker of this Universe they are eternally abhorrent; and from the
beginning have been forbidden to be. They go their course, applauded or
not applauded by self and neighbors,--for what lengths of time none of
us can know; for a long term sometimes, but always for a fixed term; and
at last their day comes. Poland had got to great lengths, two centuries
ago, when poor John Casimir abdicated his Crown of Poland, after a
trial of twenty years, and took leave of the Republic in that remarkable
SPEECH to the Diet of 1667.

This John is "Casimir V.," last Scion of the Swedish House of
Vasa,--with whom, in the Great Elector's time, we had some slight
acquaintance; and saw at least the three days' beating he got (Warsaw,
28th-30th July, 1656) from Karl Gustav of Sweden and the Great Elector,
[Supra, v. 284-286.] ancestors respectively of Karl XII. and of our
present Friedrich. He is not "Casimir the Great" of Polish Kings; but he
is, in our day, Casimir the alone Remarkable. It seems to me I once had
IN EXTENSO this Valedictory Speech of his; but it has lapsed again into
the general Mother of Dead Dogs, and I will not spend a week in fishing
for it. The gist of the Speech, innumerable Books and Dead Dogs tell
you, [HISTOIRE DES TROIS DEMEMBREMENS does, and many others do;--copied
in _Biographie Universelle,_ vii. 278 (? Casimir).] is "lamentation over
the Polish Anarchies" and "a Prophecy," which is very easily remembered.
The poor old Gentleman had no doubt eaten his peck of dirt among those
Polacks, and swallowed chagrins till he felt his stomach could no more,
and determined to have done with it. To one's fancy, in abridged form,
the Valediction must have run essentially as follows:--

"Magnanimous Polack Gentlemen, you are a glorious Republic, and have NIE
POZWALAM, and strange methods of business, and of behavior to your Kings
and others. We have often fought together, been beaten together, by our
enemies and by ourselves; and at last I, for my share, have enough of
it. I intend for Paris; religious-literary pursuits, and the society of
Ninon de l'Enclos. I wished to say before going, That according to all
record, ancient and modern, of the ways of God Almighty in this world,
there was not heretofore, nor do I expect there can henceforth be, a
Human Society that would stick together on those terms. Believe me, ye
Polish Chivalries, without superior except in Heaven, if your glorious
Republic continue to be managed in such manner, not good will come
of it, but evil. The day will arrive [this is the Prophecy, almost
IN IPSISSIMIS VERBIS], the day perhaps is not so far off, when this
glorious Republic will get torn into shreds, hither, thither; be stuffed
into the pockets of covetous neighbors, Brandenburg; Muscovy, Austria;
and find itself reduced to zero, and abolished from the face of the
world.

"I speak these words in sorrow of soul; words which probably you will
not believe. Which only Fate can compel you to believe, one day, if
they are true words:--you think, probably, they are not? Me at least, or
interest of mine, they do not regard. I speak them from the fulness of
my heart, and on behest of friendship and conviction alone; having the
honor at this moment to bid you and your Republic a very long farewell.
Good-morning, for the last time!" and so EXIT: to Rome (had been
Cardinal once); to Paris and the society of Ninon's Circle for the few
years left him of life. ["Died 16th December, 1672, age 63."]

This poor John had had his bitter experiences: think only of one
instance. In 1662, the incredible Law of LIBERUM VETO had been
introduced, in spite of John and his endeavors. LIBERUM VETO; the power
of one man to stop the proceedings of Polish Parliament by pronouncing
audibly "NIE POZWALAM, I don't permit!"--never before or since
among mortals was so incredible a Law. Law standing indisputable,
nevertheless, on the Polish Statute-Book for above two hundred years:
like an ever-flowing fountain of Anarchy, joyful to the Polish Nation.
How they got any business done at all, under such a Law? Truly they did
but little; and for the last thirty years as good as none. But if Polish
Parliament was universally in earnest to do some business, and Veto came
upon it, Honorable Members, I observe, gathered passionately round the
vetoing Brother; conjured, obtested, menaced, wept, prayed; and, if the
case was too urgent and insoluble otherwise, the NIE POZWALAM Gentleman
still obstinate, they plunged their swords through him, and in that way
brought consent. The commoner course was to dissolve and go home again,
in a tempest of shrieks and curses.

The Right of Confederation, too, is very curious: do readers know it? A
free Polack gentleman, aggrieved by anything that has occurred or been
enacted in his Nation, has the right of swearing, whether absolutely by
himself I know not, but certainly with two or three others of like mind,
that he will not accept said occurrence or enactment, and is hereby got
into arms against its abettors and it. The brightest jewel in the cestus
of Polish Liberty is this right of confederating; and it has been, till
of late, and will be now again practised to all lengths: right of every
Polish, gentleman to confederate with every other against, or for,
whatsoever to them two may seem good; and to assert their particular
view of the case by fighting for it against all comers, King and Diet
included. It must be owned, there never was in Nature such a Form
of Government before; such a mode of social existence, rendering
"government" impossible for some generations past.

On the strength of Saxony and its resources and connections, the two
Augusts had contrived to exist with the name of Kings; with the name,
but with little or nothing more. Under this last August, as we heard,
there have been about forty Diets, and in not one of them the least
thing of business done; all the forty, after trying their best, have
stumbled on NIE POZWALAM, and been obliged to vanish in shrieks and
curses. [Buchholz (_Preussisch-Brandenburgische Geschichte,_ ii. 133,
134, &c. &c.) gives various samples, and this enumeration.] As to August
the Physically Strong, such treatment had he met with,--poor August, if
readers remember, had made up his mind to partition Poland; to give away
large sections of it in purchase of the consent of neighbors, and plant
himself hereditarily in the central part;--and would have done so, had
not Grumkow and he drunk so deep, and death by inflammation of the foot
suddenly come upon the poor man. Some Partition of Poland has been more
than once thought of by practical people concerned. Poland, as "a house
chronically smoking through the slates," which usually brings a new
European War every time it changes King, does require to be taken charge
of by its neighbors.

Latterly, as we observed, there has been little of confederating;
indeed, for the last thirty years, as Rulhiere copiously informs us,
there has been no Government, consequently no mutiny needed; little or
no National business of any kind,--the Forty Diets having all gone
the road we saw. Electing of the Judges,--that, says Rulhiere, and
wearisomely teaches by example again and ever again, has always been an
interesting act, in the various Provinces of Poland; not with the hope
of getting fair or upright Judges, but Judges that will lean in the
desirable direction. In a country overrun with endless lawsuits, debts,
credits, feudal intricacies, claims, liabilities, how important to
get Judges with the proper bias! And these once got, or lost till next
term,--what is there to hope or to fear? Russia does our Politics,
fights her Seven-Years War across us; and we, happy we, have no
fighting;--never till this of Courland was there the least ill-nature
from Russia! We are become latterly the peaceable stepping-stone of
Russia into Europe and out of it;--what may be called the door-mat of
Russia, useful to her feet, when she is about paying visits or receiving
them! That is not a glorious fact, if it be a safe and "lucky" one; nor
do the Polish Notabilities at all phrase it in that manner. But a fact
it is; which has shown itself complete in the late Czarina's and late
August's time, and which had been on the growing hand ever since Peter
the Great gained his Battle of Pultawa, and rose to the ascendency,
instead of Karl and Sweden.

The Poles put fine colors on all this; and are much contented with
themselves. The Russians they regard as intrinsically an inferior
barbarous people; and to this day you will hear indignant Polack
Gentlemen bursting out in the same strain: "Still barbarian, sir; no
culture, no literature,"--inferior because they do not make verses
equal to ours! How it may be with the verses, I will not decide: but
the Russians are inconceivably superior in respect that they have, to a
singular degree among Nations, the gift of obeying, of being commanded.
Polack Chivalry sniffs at the mention of such a gift. Polack Chivalry
got sore stripes for wanting this gift. And in the end, got striped to
death, and flung out of the world, for continuing blind to the want of
it, and never acquiring it.

Beyond all the verses in Nature, it is essential to every Chivalry and
Nation and Man. "Polite Polish Society for the last thirty years
has felt itself to be in a most halcyon condition," says Rulhiere:
[Rulhiere, i. 216 (a noteworthy passage).] "given up to the agreeable,
and to that only;" charming evening-parties, and a great deal of
flirting; full of the benevolences, the philanthropies, the new
ideas,--given up especially to the pleasing idea of "LAISSEZ-FAIRE, and
everything will come right of itself." "What a discovery!" said every
liberal Polish mind: "for thousands of years, how people did torment
themselves trying to steer the ship; never knowing that the plan was,
To let go the helm, and honestly sit down to your mutual amusements and
powers of pleasing!"

To this condition of beautifully phosphorescent rot-heap has Poland
ripened, in the helpless reigns of those poor Augusts;--the fulness
of time not now far off, one would say? It would complete the picture,
could I go into the state of what is called "Religion" in Poland.
Dissenterism, of various poor types, is extensive; and, over against
it, is such a type of Jesuit Fanaticism as has no fellow in that day. Of
which there have been truly savage and sanguinary outbreaks, from
time to time; especially one at Thorn, forty years ago, which shocked
Friedrich Wilhelm and the whole Protestant world. [See supra, vi. 64
(and many old Pamphlets on it).] Polish Orthodoxy, in that time, and
perhaps still in ours, is a thing worth noting. A late Tourist informs
me, he saw on the streets of Stettin, not long since, a drunk human
creature staggering about, who seemed to be a Baltic Sailor, just
arrived; the dirtiest, or among the dirtiest, of mankind; who, as he
reeled along, kept slapping his hands upon his breast, and shouting, in
exultant soliloquy, "Polack, Catholik!" _I_ am a Pole and Orthodox, ye
inferior two-legged entities!.--In regard to the Jesuit Fanaticisms, at
Thorn and elsewhere, no blame can attach to the poor Augusts, who always
leant the other way, what they durst or could. Nor is specialty of
blame due to them on any score; it was "like People, like King," all
along;--and they, such their luck, have lived to bring in the fulness of
time.

The Saxon Electors are again aspirants for this enviable Throne. We have
seen the beautiful Electress zealously soliciting Friedrich for help in
that project; Friedrich, in a dexterously graceful manner, altogether
declining. Hereditary Saxons are not to be the expedient this time, it
would seem; a grandiose Czarina has decided otherwise. Why should not
she? She and all the world are well aware, Russia has been virtual
lord of Poland this long time. Credible enough that Russia intends
to continue so; and also that it will be able, without very much
expenditure of new contrivance for that object.

So far as can be guessed and assiduously deduced from RULHIERE, with
your best attention, Russian Catharine's interference seems first of
all to have been grounded on the grandiose philanthropic principle.
Astonishing to the liberal mind; yet to appearance true. Rulhiere
nowhere says so; but that is gradually one's own perception of
the matter; no other refuge for you out of flat inconceivability.
Philanthropic principle, we say, which the Voltaires and Sages of that
Epoch are prescribing as one's duty and one's glory: "O ye Kings, why
won't you do good to mankind, then?" Catharine, a kind of She-Louis
Quatorze, was equal to such a thing. To put one's cast Lover into
a throne,--poor soul, console him in that manner;--and reduce the
long-dissentient Country to blessed composure under him: what a thing!
Foolish Poniatowski, an empty, windy creature, redolent of macassar and
the finer sensibilities of the heart: him she did make King of Poland;
but to reduce the long-dissentient Country to composure,--that was
what she could not do. Countries in that predicament are sometimes very
difficult to compose. The Czarina took, for above five years, a great
deal of trouble, without losing patience. The Czarina, after every new
effort, perceived with astonishment that she was farther from success
than ever. With astonishment; and gradually with irritation, thickening
and mounting towards indignation.

There is no reason to believe that the grandiose Woman handled, or
designed to handle, a doomed Poland in the merciless feline-diabolic
way set forth with wearisome loud reiteration in those distracted Books;
playing with the poor Country as cat does with mouse; now lifting her
fell paw, letting the poor mouse go loose in floods of celestial joy and
hope without limit; and always clutching the hapless creature back into
the blackness of death, before eating and ending it. Reason first is,
that the Czarina, as we see her elsewhere, never was in the least a Cat
or a Devil, but a mere Woman; already virtual proprietress of Poland,
and needing little contrivance to keep it virtually hers. Reason second
is, that she had not the gift of prophecy, and could not foreknow
the Polish events of the next ten years, much less shape them out
beforehand, and preside over them, like a Devil or otherwise, in the way
supposed.

My own private conjecture, I confess, has rather grown to be, on much
reading of those RULHIERES and distracted Books, that the Czarina,--who
was a grandiose creature, with considerable magnanimities, natural
and acquired; with many ostentations, some really great qualities and
talents; in effect, a kind of She-Louis Quatorze (if the reader will
reflect on that Royal Gentleman, and put him into petticoats in Russia,
and change his improper females for improper males),--that the Czarina,
very clearly resolute to keep Poland hers, had determined with herself
to do something very handsome in regard to Poland; and to gain glory,
both with the enlightened Philosophe classes and with her own proud
heart, by her treatment of that intricate matter. "On the one hand,"
thinks she, or let us fancy she thinks, "here is Poland; a Country
fallen bedrid amid Anarchies, curable or incurable; much tormented with
religious intolerance at this time, hateful to the philosophic mind; a
hateful fanaticism growing upon it for forty years past [though it
is quite against Polish Law]; and the cries of oppressed Dissidents
[Dissenters, chiefly of the Protestant and of the Greek persuasion]
becoming more and more distressing to hear. And, on the other hand, here
is Poniatowski who, who--!"

Readers have not forgotten the handsome, otherwise extremely paltry,
young Polack, Stanislaus Poniatowski, whom Excellency Williams took
with him 8 or 9 years ago, ostensibly as "Secretary of Legation,"
unostensibly as something very different? Handsome Stanislaus did
duly become Lover of the Grand-Duchess; and has duly, in the course of
Nature, some time ago (date uncertain to me), become discarded Lover;
the question rising, What is to be done with that elegant inane
creature, and his vaporous sentimentalisms and sublime sorrows and
disappointments? "Let us make him King of Poland!" said the Czarina,
who was always much the gentleman with her discarded Lovers (more so,
I should say, than Louis Quatorze with his;--and indeed it is computed
they cost her in direct moneys about twenty millions sterling,--being
numerous and greedy; but never the least tiff of scolding or ill
language): [Castera (_Vie de Catharine II._) has an elaborate Appendix
on this part of his subject.]--"King of Poland, with furnishings, and
set him handsomely up in the world! We will close the Dissident Business
for him, cure many a curable Anarchy of Poland, to the satisfaction of
Voltaire and all leading spirits of mankind. He shall have outfit of
Russian troops, poor creature; and be able to put down Anarchies, and
show himself a useful and grateful Viceroy for us there. Outfit
of 10,000 troops, a wise Russian Manager: and the Question of the
Dissidents to be settled as the first glory of his reign!"

Ingenuous readers are invited to try, in their diffuse vague RULHIERES,
and unintelligible shrieky Polish Histories, whether this notion does
not rise on them as a possible human explanation, more credible than
the feline-diabolic one, which needs withal such a foreknowledge,
UNattainable by cat or devil? Poland must not rise to be too strong
a Country, and turn its back on Russia. No, truly; nor, except by
miraculous suspension of the Laws of Nature, is there danger of that.
But neither need Poland lie utterly lame and prostrate, useless to
Russia; and be tortured on its sick-bed with Dissident Questions and
Anarchies, curable by a strong Sovereign, of whom much is expected by
Voltaire and the leading spirits of mankind.

What we shall have to say with perfect certainty, and what alone
concerns us in our own affair, is, FIRST, that Catharine did proceed
by this method, of crowning, fitting out and otherwise setting up
Stanislaus; did attempt settlement (and at one time thought she had
settled) the Dissident Question and some curable Anarchies,--but stirred
up such legions of incurable, waxing on her hands, day after day, year
after year, as were abundantly provoking and astonishing:--and that
within the next eight years she had arrived, with Poland and her cargo
of anarchies, at results which struck the whole world dumb. Dumb with
astonishment, for some time; and then into tempests of vociferation
more or less delirious, which have never yet quite ended, though sinking
gradually to lower and lower stages of human vocality. Fact FIRST is
abundantly manifest. Nor is fact SECOND any longer doubtful, That King
Friedrich, in regard to all this, till a real crisis elsewhere had
risen, took little or no visible interest whatever; had one unvarying
course of conduct, that of punctually following Czarish Majesty in
every respect; instructing his Minister at Warsaw always to second
and reinforce the Russian one, as his one rule of policy in that
Country,--whose distracted procedures, imbecilities and anarchies, are,
beyond this point of keeping well with a grandiose Czarina concerned in
it, of no apparent practical interest to Prussia or its King.

Friedrich, for a long time, passed with the Public for contriver of the
Catastrophe of Poland,--"felonious mortal," "monster of maleficence,"
and what not, in consequence. Rulhiere, whose notion of him is none of
the friendliest nor correctest, acquits him of this atrocity; declares
him, till the very end, mainly or altogether passive in it. Which I
think is a little more than the truth,--and only a little, as perhaps
may appear by and by. Beyond dispute, these Polish events did at last
grow interesting enough to Prussia and its King;--and it will be our
task, sufficient in this place, to extricate and riddle out what few of
these had any cardinal or notable quality, and put them down (dated, if
possible, and in intelligible form), as pertinent to throwing light
on this distressing matter, with careful exclusion of the immense mass
which can throw only darkness.



EX-LOVER PONIATOWSKI BECOMES KING OF POLAND (7th Sept. 1764), AND IS
CROWNED WITHOUT LOSS OF HIS HAIR.

WARSAW, 7th SEPTEMBER 1764, Stanislaus Poniatowski, by what management
of an Imperial Catharine upon an anarchic Nation readers shall imagine
AD LIBITUM, was elected, what they call elected, King of Poland. Of
course there had been preliminary Diets of Convocation, much dieting,
demonstrating and electing of imaginary members of Diet,--only "ten
persons massacred" in the business. There was a Saxon Party; but no
counter-candidate of that or any other nation. King Friedrich, solicited
by a charming Electress-Dowager, decides to remain accurately passive.
Polish emissaries came entreating him. A certain Mockranowski, who had
been a soldier under him (never of much mark in that capacity, though
now a flamingly conspicuous "General" and Politician, in the new scene
he has got into), came passionately entreating (Potsdam, Summer of 1764,
is all the date), "DONNEZ NOUS LE PRINCE HENRI, Give us Prince Henri for
a King!" the sound of which almost made Friedrich turn pale: "Have you
spoken or hinted of this to the Prince?" "No, your Majesty." "Home,
then, instantly; and not a whisper of it again to any mortal!"
[Rulhiere, ii. 268; Hermann, vi. 355-364.] which, they say, greatly
irritated Prince Henri, and left a permanent sore-place in his mind,
when he came to hear of it long after.

"A question rises here," says one of my Notes, which perhaps I had
better have burnt: "At or about what dates did this glorious Poniatowski
become Lover of the Grand-Duchess, and then become Ex-Lover? Nobody
will say; or perhaps can? [Preuss (iv. 12) seems to try, but does not
succeed.] Would have been a small satisfaction to us, and it is
denied! 'Ritter Williams' (that is, Hanbury) must have produced him at
Petersburg some time in 1756; '11th January, 1757,' finding it would
suit, Poniatowski appeared there on his own footing as 'Ambassador from
Warsaw,'"--(easy to get that kind of credential from a devoted Warsaw,
if you are succeeding at the Court of Petersburg; "Warsaw watchfully
makes that the rule of distributing its honors; and, from freezing-point
upwards, is the most delicate thermometer," says Hermann somewhere).
And this, is our one date, "Poniatowski in business, SPRING, 1757;" of
"Poniatowski fallen bankrupt," date is totally wanting.

"Poniatowski's age is 32 gone;--how long out of Russia, readers have to
guess. Made his first public appearance on the streets of Warsaw, in the
late Election time, as a Captain of Patriot Volunteers,--'Independence
of Poland! Shall Poland be dictated to!" cried Stanislaus and an
indignant Public at one stage of the affair. His Uncles Czartoryski were
piloting him in; and in that mad element, the cries, and shiftings of
tack, had to be many. [In HERMANN, v. 362-380 (still more in RULHIERE,
ii. 119-289), wearisome account of every particular.] He is Nephew, by
his mother, of these Czartoryskis; but is not by the father of very high
family. 'Ought he to be King of Poland?' argued some Polish Emissary at
Petersburg: 'His Grandfather was Land-steward to the Sapiehas.' 'And
if he himself had been it!' said the Empress, inflexible, though with
a blush.--It seems the family was really good, though fallen poor; and,
since that Land-steward phasis, had bloomed well out again. His Father
was conspicuous as a busy, shifting kind of man, in the Charles-Twelfth
and other troubles; had died two years ago, as 'Castellan of Cracow;'
always a dear friend of Stanislaus Leczinski, who gets his death two
years hence [in 1766, as we have seen].

"King Stanislaus Poniatowski had five Brothers: two of them dead long
before this time; a third, still alive, was Bishop of Something, Abbot
of Something; ate his revenues in peace, and demands silence from us.
The other two, Casimir and Andreas, are better worth naming,--especially
the Son of one of them is. Casimir, the eldest, is 'Grand
Crown-Chamberlain' in the days now coming, is also 'Starost of Zips
[a Country you may note the name of!]--and has a Son,' who is NOT the
remarkable one. Andreas, the second Brother (died 1773), was in the
Austrian Service, 'Ordnance-Master,' and a man of parts and weight;--who
has been here at Warsaw, ardently helping, in the late Election time.
He too had a Son (at this time a child in arms),--who is really the
remarkable 'Nephew of King Stanislaus,' and still deserves a word from
us.

"This Nephew, bred as an Austrian soldier, like his Father, is the
JOSEPH PONIATOWSKI, who was very famous in the Newspapers fifty years
ago. By all appearance, a man of some real patriotism, energy and worth.
He had tried to believe (though, I think, never rightly able) what his
omnipotent Napoleon had promised him, that extinct Poland should be
resuscitated; and he fought and strove very fiercely, his Poles and
he, in that faith or half-faith. And perished, fiercely fighting for
Napoleon, fiercely covering Napoleon's retreat when his game was lost:
horse and man plunged into the Elster River (Leipzig Country, October
19th, 1813, evening of the 'Battle of the Nations' there), and sank
forever;--and the last gleam of Poland along with him. [_Biographie
Universelle_ (Poniatowski, Joseph), xxxv. 349-359.] Not even a
momentary gleam of hope for her, in the sane or half-sane kind, since
that,--though she now and then still tries it in the insane: the more to
my regret, for her and others!

"Besides these three Brothers, King Stanislaus had two Sisters still
living: one of them Wife of a very high Zamoiski; the other of a
ditto Branicki (pronounce BraniTZki)--him whom our German Books call
KRON-GROSSFELDHERR; (Grand Crown-General,' if the Crown have any
soldiers at all; the sublime, debauched old Branicki, of whom Rulhiere
is continually talking, and never reports anything but futilities in
a futile manner. So much is futile, and not worth reporting, in this
Polish element!--King Stanislaus himself was born 17th January, 1732;
played King of shreds and patches till 1790,--or even farther (not till
1795 did Catharine pluck the paper tabard quite off him); he died in
Petersburg, February 11th or 12th) 1798." After such a life!--

Stanislaus was crowned 25th November, 1764. He needs, as preliminary,
to be anointed, on the bare scalp of him, with holy oil before crowning;
ought to have his head close-shaved with that view. Stanislaus, having
an uncommonly fine head of hair, shuddered at the barbarous idea;
absolutely would not: whereupon delay, consultation; and at length some
artificial scalp, or second skull, of pasteboard or dyed leather, was
contrived for the poor man, which comfortably took the oiling in a
vicarious way, with the ambrosial locks well packed out of sight
under it, and capable of flowing out again next day, as if nothing had
happened. [Rulhiere.] Not a sublime specimen of Ornamental Human Nature,
this poor Stanislaus! Ornamental wholly: the body of him, and the mind
of him, got up for representation; and terribly plucked to pieces on the
stage of the world. You may try to drop a tear over him, but will find
mostly that you cannot.



FOR SEVERAL YEARS THE DISSIDENT QUESTION CANNOT BE GOT SETTLED;
CONFEDERATION OF RADOM (23d June, 1767-5th March, 1768) PUSHES IT INTO
SETTLEMENT.

For several years after this feat of the false scalp, through long
volumes, wearisome even in RULHIERE, there turns up nothing which can
now be called memorable. The settling of the Dissident Question proves
extremely tedious to an impatient Czarina; as to curing of the other
curable Anarchies, there is absolutely nothing but a knitting up by A,
with a ravelling-out again by B, and no progress discernible
whatever. Impatient Czarina ardently pushes on some Dissident
settlement,--seconded by King Friedrich and the chief Protestant
Courts, London included, and by the European leading spirits
everywhere,--through endless difficulties: finds native Orthodoxy an
unexpectedly stiff matter; Bishops generally having a fanaticism which
is wonderful to think of, and which keeps mounting higher and higher.
Till at length there will Images of the Virgin take to weeping,--as
they generally do in such cases, when in the vicinity of brew-houses and
conveniences; [Nicolai, in his TRAVELS OVER GERMANY, doggedly undertook
to overhaul one of those weeping Virgins (somewhere in Austria, I
think); and found her, he says, to depend on subterranean percolation
of steam from a Brewery not far off.]--a Carmelite Monk go about the
country working miracles; and, in short, an extremely ugly phasis of
religious human nature disclose itself to the afflicted reader. King
Friedrich thinks, had it not been for this Dissident Question, things
would have taken their old Saxon complexion, and Poland might have
rotted on as heretofore, perhaps a good while longer.

As to the knitting-up and ravelling-out again, which is called curing of
the other anarchies, no reader can or need say anything: it seems to be
a most painful knitting-up, by the Czartoryskis chiefly, then an
instant ravelling out by malign Opposition parties of various indistinct
complexion; the knitting, the ravelling, and the malign Opposition
parties, alike indistinct and without interest to mankind. A certain
drunken, rather brutal Phantasm of a Prince Radzivil, who hates the
Czartoryskis, and is dreadfully given to drink, to wasteful ambitions
and debaucheries, figures much in these businesses; is got banished and
confiscated, by some Confederation formed; then, by new Confederations,
is recalled and reinstated,--worse if possible than ever. The thing is
reality; but it reads like a Phantasmagory produced by Lapland Witches,
under presidency of Diabolus (very certainly the Devil presiding, as you
see at all turns),--and is not worth understanding, were it even easy.

Much semi-intelligible, wholly forgettable stuff about King Stanislaus
and his difficulties, and his duplicities and treacherous imbecilities,
[Hermann, v. 400, &c.; Rulhiere PASSIM.] now of interest to no mortal.
Stanislaus is at one time out with the uncles Czartoryski, at another in
with these worthy gentlemen: a man not likely to cure Anarchies, unless
wishing would do it. On the Dissident Question itself he needs spurring:
a King of liberal ideas, yes; but with such flames of fanaticism under
the nose of him. In regard to the Dissident and all other curative
processes he is languid, evasive, for moments recalcitrant to Russian
suggestions; a lost imbecile,--forget him, with or without a tear. He
has still a good deal of so-called gallantry on his hands; flies to his
harem when outside things go contradictory. [Hermann, v. 402, &c.] Think
of malign Journalists printing this bit of Letter at one time, to do him
ill in a certain quarter: "Oh, come to me, my Princess! Dearer than all
Empresses:--imperial charms, what were they to thine for a heart that
has--" with more of the like stuff, for a Czarina's behoof.

WINTER OF 1766, Imperial Majesty, whether after or before that
miraculous Carmelite Monk, I do not remember, became impatient of these
tedious languors and tortuosities about the Dissident Question, and gave
express order, "Settle it straightway!" To which end, Confederations
and the other machinery were set agoing: Confederations among the
Protestants and Dissidents themselves, about Thorn and such places (got
up by Russian engineering), and much more extensively in the Lithuanian
parts; Confederations of great extent, imperative, minatory; ostensibly
for reinstating these poor people in their rights (which, by old Polish
Law, they quite expressly were, if that were any matter), but in reality
for bringing back drunken Radzivil, who has covenanted to carry that
measure. And so,

JUNE 23d, 1767, These multiplex Polish-Lithuanian Confederations,
twenty-four of them in all, with their sublime marshals and officials,
and above 80,000 noblemen in them, meet by deputies at Radom, a
convenient little Town within wind of Warsaw (lies 60 miles to south of
Warsaw); and there coalesce into one general "Confederation of
Radom," [Hermann, v. 420.] with drunken Radzivil atop, who, glad to be
reinstated in his ample Domains and Wine-cellars, and willing at any
rate to spite the Czartoryskis and others, has pledged himself to carry
that great measure in Diet, and quash any NIE POZWALAMS and difficulties
there may be. This is the once world-famous, now dimly discoverable,
CONFEDERATION OF RADOM, which--by preparatory declaring, under its hand
and seal, That the Law of the Land must again become valid, and "Free
Polacks of Dissident opinions concerning Religion (NOS DISSIDENTES DE
RELIGIONE)," as the old Law phrases it, "shall have equal rights of
citizenship"--was beautifully instrumental in achieving that bit of
Human Progress, and pushing it through the Diet, and its difficulties
shortly ensuing.

Not that the Diet did not need other vigorous treatment as well, the
flame of fanaticism being frightfully ardent; many of the poor Bishops
having run nearly frantic at this open spoliation of Mother Church,
and snatching of the sword from Peter. So that Imperial Majesty had to
decide on picking out a dozen, or baker's dozen, of the hottest Bishops;
and carrying them quietly into Russia under lock and key, till the thing
were done. Done it was, surely to the infinite relief of mankind;--I
cannot say precisely on what day: October 13th-14th (locking up of the
dozen Bishops), was one vital epoch of it; November 19th, 1767 (report
of Committee on it, under Radzivil's and Russia's coercion), was
another: first and last it took about five months baking in Diet. Diet
met Oct. 4th, 1767, Radzivil controlling as Grand-Marshal, and Russia as
minatory Phantom controlling Radzivil; Diet, after adjournments,
after one long adjournment, disappeared 5th March, 1768; and of
work mentionable it had done this of the Dissidents only. That of
contributing to "the sovereign contempt with which King Stanislaus is
regarded by all ranks of men," is hardly to be called peculiar work or
peculiarly mentionable.

At this point, to relieve the reader's mind, and, at any rate, as the
date is fully come, we will introduce a small NEWSPAPER ARTICLE from
a very high hand, little guessed till long afterwards as the
writer,--namely, from King Friedrich's own. It does not touch on the
Dissident Question, or the Polish troubles; but does, in a back-handed
way, on Prussian Rumors rising about them; and may obliquely show more
of the King's feeling on that subject than we quite suppose. It seems
the King had heard that the Berlin people were talking and rumoring
of "a War being just at hand;" whereupon--"MARCH 5th, 1767, IN THE
VOSSISCHE ZEITUNG (Voss's Chronicle), No. 28," an inquisitive Berlin
public read as follows:--

"We are advised from Potsdam, that, on the 27th of February, towards
evening, the sky began to get overcast; black clouds, presaging a
tempest of unexampled fury, covered all the horizon: the thunder, with
its lightnings, forked bolts of amazing brilliancy, burst out; and,
under its redoubled peals, there descended such a torrent of hail as
within man's memory had not been seen. Of two bullocks yoked in their
plough, with which a peasant was hastening home, one was struck on the
head by a piece of it, and killed outright. Many of the common people
were wounded in the streets; a brewer had his arm broken. Roofs are
destroyed by the weight of this hail; all the windows that looked
windward while it fell were broken. In the streets, hailstones were
found of the size of pumpkins (CITROUILLES), which had not quite melted
two hours after the storm ceased. This singular phenomenon has made a
very great impression. Scientific people say, the air had not buoyancy
enough to support these solid masses when congealed to ice; that
the small hailstones in these clouds getting so lashed about in the
impetuosity of the winds, had united the more the farther they fell,
and had not acquired that enormous magnitude till comparatively near the
earth. Whatever way it may have happened, it is certain that occurrences
of that kind are rare, and almost without example." [VOSSISCHE ZEITUNG,
ubi supra: _OEuvres de Frederic,_ xv. 204.]

Another singularity is, "Professor Johann Daniel Titius of Wittenberg,"
who teaches NATURAL PHILOSOPHY in that famous University, one may
judge with what effect, wrote a Monograph on this unusual Phenomenon!
[Rodenbeck (ii. 285) gives the Title of it, "CONSIDERATIONS ON THE
POTSDAM HAIL OF LAST YEAR (Wittenberg, 1768)."]



CONFEDERATION OF BAR ENSUES, ON THE PER-CONTRA SIDE (March 28th,
1768); AND, AS FIRST RESULT OF ITS ACHIEVEMENTS (October 6th, 1768), A
TURK-RUSSIAN WAR.

The Confederation of Radom, and its victorious Diet, had hardly begun
their Song of Triumph, when there ensued on the per-contra side a
flaming CONFEDERATION OF BAR;--which, by successive stages, does at
last burn out the Anarchies of Poland, and reduce them to ashes.
Confederation of Bar; and then, as progeny of that, for and against,
such a brood of Confederations, orthodox, heterodox, big, little,
short-lived, long-lived, of all complexions and degrees of noisy fury,
potent, at any rate, each of them for murder and arson, within a
certain radius, as the Earth never saw before. Now was the time of those
inextricable marchings (as inroads and outroads) through the Lithuanian
Bogs, of those death-defiant, unparalleled exploits, skirmishings,
scaladings, riding by the edge of precipices, of Pulawski, Potocki and
others,--in which Rulhiere loses himself and turns on his axis, amid
impatient readers.

For the Russian troops (summoned by a trembling Stanislaus and his
Senate, in terms of Treaty 1764), and in more languid manner, the
Stanislaus soldiery, as per law of the case, proceeded to strike
in,--generally, my impression was, with an eye to maintain the King's
Peace and keep down murder and arson:--and sure enough, the small bodies
of drilled Russians blew an infuriated orthodox Polack chivalry to right
and left at a short notice; but as to the Constable's Peace or King's,
made no improvement upon that, far the reverse. It is certain the
Confederate chivalry were driven about, at a terrible rate,--over
the Turk frontier for shelter; began to appeal to the Grand Turk, in
desperate terms: "Brother of the Sun and Moon, saw you ever such a
chance for finishing Russia? Polack chivalry is Orthodox Catholic, but
also it is Anti-Russian!" The Turk beginning to give ear to it, made the
matter pressing and serious. Here, more specifically, are some features
and successive phases,--unless the reader prefer to skip.

"BAR, MARCH, 1768. The Confederation of Radom, as efficient preliminary,
and chief agent in that Diet of emancipation to the Dissident human
mind, might long have been famous over Poland and the world; but there
instantly followed as corollary to it a CONFEDERATION OF BAR, which
quite dimmed the fame of Radom, and indeed of all Confederations prior
or posterior! As the Confederation of Bar and its Doings, or rather
sufferings and tragical misdoings and undoings, still hang like fitful
spectralities, or historical shadows, of a vague ghastly complexion,
in the human memory, one asks at least: Since they were on this Planet,
tell us where? Bar is in the Waiwodship Podol (what we call Podolia),
some 400 miles southeast of Warsaw; not far from the Dniester
River:--not far very from that mystery of the Dniester, the Zaporavian
Cossacks,--from those rapids or cataracts (quasi-cataracts of the
Dniester, with Islands in them, where those Cossack robbers live
unassailable):--across the Dniester lies Turkey, and its famed Fortress
of Choczim. This is a commodious station for Polish Gentlemen intending
mutiny by law.

"MARCH 8th, 1768, Three short days after the Diet of Radom had done its
fine feat, and retired to privacy, news came to Warsaw, That Podolia and
the Southern parts are all up, confederating with the highest animation;
in hot rage against such decision of a Diet, contrary to Holy Religion
and to much else; and that the said decision will have to fight for
itself, now that it has done voting. This interesting news is true; and
goes on intensifying and enlarging itself, one dreadful Confederation
springing up, and then another and ever another, day after day; till at
last we hear that on the 27th of the month, MARCH 27th, 1768, at Bar, a
little Town on the Southern or Turkish Frontier, all these more or less
dreadful Confederations have met by delegates, and coalesced into one
'Confederatiou of Bar,'--which did surely prove dreadful enough, to
itself especially, in the months now ensuing!"

No history of Bar Confederation shall we dream of; far be such an
attempt from us. It consists of many Confederations, and out of each,
PRO and CONTRA, spring many. Like the Lernean Hydra, or even Hydras in
a plural condition. A many-headed dog: and how many whelps it
had,--I cannot give even the cipher of them, or I would! One whelp
Confederation, that of Cracow, is distinguished by having frequently or
generally been "drunk;" and of course its procedures had often a vinous
character. [In HERMANN (v. 431-448); and especially in RULHIERE (ii.
livre 8 et seq.), details in superabundance.] I fancy to have read
somewhere that the number of them was one hundred and twenty-five. The
rumor and the furious barking of Bar and its whelps goes into all lands:
such rabid loud baying at mankind and the moon; and then, under Russia's
treatment, such shrill yelping and shrieking, was not heard in the world
before, though perhaps it has since.

Poor BAR'S exploits in the fighting way were highly inconsiderable; all
on the same scale; and spread over such a surface of country, mostly
unknown, as renders it impossible to give them head-room, were you never
so unfurnished. They can be read in eloquent Rulhiere; but by no mortal
held in memory. Anarchy is not a thing to be written of; a Lernean
Hydra, several Lernean Hydras, in chaotic genesis, getting their heads
lopped off, and at the same time sprouting new ones in such ratio, where
is the Zoologist that will give account of it? There was not anything
considerable of fighting; but of bullying, plundering, murdering and
being murdered, a frightful amount. There are seizures of castles,
convents, defensible houses; marches at a rate like that of antelopes,
through the Lithuanian parts, boggy, hungry, boundless, opening to the
fancy the Infinitude of Peat, in the solid and the fluid state. This,
perhaps, is the finest species of feats, though they never lead to
anything. There are heroes famed for these marches.

The Pulawskis, for example,--four of them, Lawyer people,--showed much
activity, and a talent for impromptu soldiering, in that kind. The
Magnates of the Confederation, I was surprised to learn, had all quitted
it, the instant it came to strokes: "You Lawyer people, with your
priests and orthodox peasantries, you do the fighting part; ours is
the consulting!" And except Potocki (and he worse than none), there
is presently not a Magnate of them left in Poland,--the rest all gone
across the Austrian Border, to Teschen, to Bilitz, a handy little town
and domain in that Duchy of Teschen;--and sit there as "Committee of
Government:" much at their ease in comparison, could they but agree
among themselves, which they cannot. Bilitz is one of the many domains
of Magnate Sulkowski:--do readers recollect the Sulkowski who at one
time "declared War" on King Friedrich; and was picked up, both War and
he, so compendiously by General Goltz, and locked in Glogau to cool?
This is the same Sulkowski; much concerned now in these matters; a rich
Magnate, glad to see his friends about him as Governing Committee; but
gets, and gives, a great deal of vexation in it, the element proving
again too hot!--

I said there were four famed Pulawskis; [Hermann, v. 465.] a father,
once Advocate in Warsaw, with three sons and a nephew; who, though
extremely active people, could do no good whatever. The father Pulawski
had the fine idea of introducing the British Constitution; clothing
Poland wholly in British tailorage, and so making it a new Poland: but
he never could get it done. This poor gentleman died in Turkish
prison, flung into jail at Constantinople, on calumnious accusation and
contrivance by a rival countryman; his sons and nephew, poor fellows,
all had their fame, more or less, in the Cause of Freedom so called; but
no other profit in this world, that I could hear of. Casimir, the eldest
son, went to America; died there, still in the Cause of Freedom so
called; Fort Pulawski, in the harbor of Charleston (which is at present,
on very singular terms, RE-engaged in the same so-called Cause!), was
named in memory of this Casimir. He had defended Czenstochow (if anybody
knew what Czenstochow was, or could find it in the Polish map); and it
was also he that contrived that wonderful plan of suddenly snapping up
King Stanislaus from the streets of Warsaw one night, ["3d November,
1771."] and of locking him away (by no means killing him), as the source
of all our woes. O my Pulawskis, men not without manhood, what a bedlam
of a Time have you and I fallen into, and what Causes of Freedom it has
got in hand!

Bar, a poor place, with no defences but a dry ditch and some miserable
earthworks, the Confederates had not the least chance to maintain;
Kaminiec, the only fortress of the Province, they never even got into,
finding some fraction of royal soldiery who stood for King Stanislaus
there, and who fired on the Confederates when applied to. Bar a small
Russian division, with certain Stanislaus soldieries conjoined, took by
capitulation; and (date not given) entered in a victorious manner. The
War-Epic of the Confederates, which Rulhiere sings at such length, is
blank of meaning.

Of "Cloister Czenstochow," a famed feat of Pulawski's, also without
result, I could not from my Rulhiere discover (what was altogether an
illuminative fact to me!) that the date of Czenstochow was not till
1771. A feat of "Cloister BERDICZOW," almost an exact facsimile by the
same Pulawski, also resultless, I did, under Hermann's guidance, at
once find;--and hope the reader will be satisfied to accept it instead:
Cloister Berdiczow, which lies in the Palatinate of Kiow; and which
has a miraculous Holy Virgin, not less venerated far and wide in those
eastern parts, than she of Cloister Czenstochow in the western: THIS
Cloister Berdiczow and its salutary Virgin, Pulawski (the Casimir, now
of Charleston Harbor) did defend, with about 1,000 men, in a really
obstinate way, The Monastery itself had in it gifts of the faithful,
accumulated for ages; and all the richest people in those Provinces,
Confederate or not, had lodged their preciosities there, as in an
impregnable and sure place, in those times of trouble. Intensely
desirous, accordingly, the Russians were to take it, but had no cannon;
desperately resolute Pulawski and his 1,000 to defend. Pulawski and his
1,000 fired intensely, till their cannon-balls were quite done; then
took to firing with iron-work, and hard miscellanies of every sort,
especially glad when they could get a haul of glass to load with;--and
absolutely would not yield till famine came; though the terms offered
were good,--had they been kept.

So that Pulawski, it would appear, did Two Cloister Defences? Two, each
with a miraculous Holy Virgin; an eastern, and then a westerly. This of
Berdiczow, not dated to me farther, is for certain of the year 1768;
and Pulawski, owing to famine, did yield here. In 1771, at miraculous
Cloister Czenstochow, in the western parts, Pulawski did an external
feat, or consented to see it done,--that of trying to snuff out poor
King Stanislaus on the streets (3d November, 10 P.M., "miraculously" in
vain, as most readers know),--which brought its obloquies and troubles
on the Defender of Czenstochow. Obloquies and troubles: but as to
surrendering Czenstochow on call of obloquy, or of famine itself,
Pulawski would not, not he for his own part; but solemnly left his men
to do it, and walked away by circuitous uncertain paths, which end in
Charleston Harbor, as we have seen. [At Savannah, in a stricter sense.
"Perished at the Siege [futile attempt to storm, by the French, which
they called a Siege] of Savannah, 9th October, 1779."] Defence of
Czenstochow in 1771 shall not concern us farther. Truly these two small
defences of monasteries by Pulawski are almost all, I do not say of
glorious, but even of creditable or human, that reward the poor wanderer
in that Polish Valley of Jehoshaphat, much of it peat-country; wherefore
I have, as before, marked the approximate localities, approximate dates,
for behoof of ingenuous readers.

The Russians, ever since 1764, from the beginnings of those Stanislaus
times, are pledged to maintain peace in Poland; and it is they that
have to deal with this affair,--they especially, or almost wholly, poor
Stanislaus having scarcely any power, military or other, and perhaps
being loath withal. There was more of investigating and parleying,
bargaining and intriguing, than of fighting, on Stanislaus's part. "June
11th, 1768," says a Saxon Note from Warsaw, "Mokranowski, Stanislaus's
General [the same that was with Friedrich], has been sent down to Bar to
look into those Confederates. Mokranowski does not think there are
above 8,000 of them; about 3,000 have got their death from Russian
castigation. The 8,000 might be treated with, only Russians are so
dreadfully severe, especially so intent on wringing money from them.
Confederates have been complaining to the Turk; Turk ambiguous; gives
them no definite ground of hope. 'What then, is your hope?' I inquired.
'Little or none, except in Heaven,' several answered: 'it is for our
religion and our liberty:' religion cut to pieces by this Dissident
Toleration-blasphemy; liberty ditto by the Russian guarantee of peace
among us: 'what can we do but trust in God and our own despair?'"
["Essen's Report, 11th June, 1768" (in HERMANN, v. 441).] "Prave worts,
Ancient Pistol,"--but much destitute of sense, and not to be realized in
present circumstances. Here is something much more critical:--

JUNE-JULY, 1768. "The peasants in the Southern regions, Palatinates
Podol, Kiow, Braclaw, called UKRAINE or Border-Country by the Poles,
are mostly of Greek and other schismatic creeds. Their Lords are of
an orthodox religion, and not distinguished by mild treatment of such
Peasantry, upon whom civil war and plunder have been latterly a
sore visitation. To complete the matter, the Confederates in certain
quarters, blown upon by fanatical priests, set about converting these
poor peasants, or forcing them, at the point of the bayonet, to swear
that they adopt the 'Greek united rite,' which I suppose to be a kind
of half-way house towards perfect orthodoxy. In one Village, which was
getting converted in this manner, the military party seemed to be small;
the Village boiled over upon it; trampled orthodoxy and military both
under foot, in a violent and sanguinary manner; and was extremely
frightened when it had done. Extremely frightened, not the Village only,
but the schismatic mind generally in those parts, dreading vengeance for
such a paroxysm. But the atrocious Russians whispered them, 'We are here
to protect you in your religions and rights, in your poor consciences
and skins.' Upon which hint of the atrocious Russians, the schismatic
mind and population one and all rose; and, 'with the cannibal's
ferocity, gave way to their appetite for plunder!'...

"Nay, the Russian Government [certain Russian Officials hard pressed]
had invited the Zaporavian Cossacks to step over from their Islands in
the Dniester, and assist in defending their Religion [true Greek, of
course]; who at once did so; and not only extinguished the last glimmer
of Confederation there, but overwhelmed the Country, thousands on
thousands of them, attended by revolted peasants,--say a 20,000 of
peasants under command of these Zaporavians,--who went about plundering
and burning. That they plundered the Jew pot-houses of their brandy,
and drank it, was a small matter. Very furious upon Jews, upon Noblemen,
Landlords, upon Catholic Priests. 'On one tree [tree should have been
noted] was found hanged a specimen of each of those classes, with a Dog
adjoined, as fit company.' In one little Town, Town of HUMAN [so called
in that foreign dialect], getting some provocation or other, they set to
massacring; and if brandy were plentiful, we can suppose they made short
work. By the lowest computation the number of slain Jews and Catholics
amounted to 10,000 odd [Hermann, v. 444; Rulhiere, iii. 93.]--Rulhiere
says '50,000, by some accounts 200,000.'" This I guess to have been at
its height about the end of June; this leads direct to the Catastrophe,
as will presently be seen.

Foreign States don't seem to pay much attention,--indeed, what sane
person would like to interfere, or hope to do it with profit? France,
Austria, both wish well to Poland, at least ill to Russia; Choiseul has
no finance, can do nothing but intrigue, and stir up trouble everywhere:
a devout Kaiserinn goes with Holy Church, and disapproves of these
Dissident Tolerations: it is remarked that all through 1768 the
Confederates of Bar are permitted to retire over the Austrian Frontier
into Austrian Silesia, and find themselves there in safety. Permitted to
buy arms, to make preparations, issue orders: at Sulkowski's Bilitz, in
the Duchy of Teschen, supreme Managing Committee sits there; no Kaunitz
or Official person meddling with it. About the beginning of next year
(1769), it is, ostensibly, a little discountenanced; and obliged to go
to Eperjes, on the Hungarian Frontier [See Busching: for Eperjes, ii.
1427; for Bilitz, viii. 885.] (as a more decent or less conspicuous
place),--such trouble now rising; a Turk War having broken
out, momentous not to the Confederation alone. March, 1769, the
ever-intriguing Choiseul--fancy with what rapturous effect--had sent
some kind of Agent or Visitor to Teschen; Vergennes in Turkey, from the
beginning of these things, has been plying night and day his diplomatic
bellows upon every live-coal ("I who myself kindled this Turk-War!"
brags he afterwards);--not till next year (1770) did Choiseul send
his Dumouriez to the Bilitz neighborhoods; not till next again, when
Choiseul was himself out, [Thrown out "2d December, 1770,"--by Louis's
NEW Pompadour.] did his Viomenil come: [Hermann, v. 469-471; in RULHIERE
(iv. 241-289) account of Dumouries and his fencings and spyings, still
more of Viomenil, who had "French Volunteers," and did some bits of real
fighting on the small scale.] neither of whom, by their own head alone,
without funds, without troops, could do other than with fine effort make
bad worse.

It is needless continuing such a subject. Here is one glimpse two years
later, and it shall be our last: "NEAR LUBLIN, 25th SEPTEMBER, 1770. It
is frightful, all this that is passing in these parts,--about the Town
of Labun, for example. The dead bodies remain without burial; they are
devoured by the dogs and the pigs. ... Everywhere reigns Pestilence; nor
do we fear contagion so much as famine. Offer 100 ducats for a fowl
or for a bit of bread, I swear you won't get it. General von Essen
[Russian, we will hope] has had to escape from Laticzew, then from" some
other place, "Pestilence chasing him everywhere."

To apply to the Turks,--afflicted Polish Patriots prostrating themselves
with the hope of despair, "Save us, your sublime Clemency; throw a ray
of pity on us, Brother of the Sun and Moon: oh, chastise our
diabolic oppressors!"--this was one of the first resources of the Bar
Confederates. The Turks did give ear; not inattentive, though pretending
to be rather deaf. M. de Vergennes,--of whose "diplomatic bellows" we
just heard (in fact, for diligence in this Turk element, in this young
time, the like of him was seldom seen; we knew him long afterwards as
a diligent old gentleman, in French-Revolution days),--M. de Vergennes
zealously supports; zealous to let loose the Turk upon Anti-French
parties. The Turks seem to wag their heads, for some time; and their
responses are ambiguous. For some time, not for long. Here, fast enough,
comes, in disguised shape, the Catastrophe itself, ye poor plaintive
Poles!

JULY-OCTOBER, 1768. Those Zaporavian and other Cossacks, with 20,000
peasants plundering about on both sides of the Dniester, had set fire to
the little Town of Balta, which is on the south side, and belongs to
the Turks: a very grave accident, think all political people, think
especially the Foreign Excellencies at Warsaw, when news of it arrives.
Burning of Balta, not to be quenched by the amplest Russian apologies,
proved a live-coal at Constantinople; and Vergennes says, he set
population and Divan on fire by it: a proof that the population and
Divan had already been in a very inflammable state. Not a wise Divan,
though a zealous. Plenty of fury in these people; but a sad deficiency
of every other faculty. They made haste, in their hot humor, to declare
War (6th October, 1768); [Hermann, v. 608-611.] not considering much how
they would carry it on. Declared themselves in late Autumn,--as if to
give the Russians ample time for preparing; those poor Turks
themselves being as yet ready with nothing, and even the season for
field-operations being over.

King Friedrich, who has still a Minister at the Porte, endeavored to
dissuade his old Turk friends, in this rash crisis; but to no purpose;
they would listen to nothing but Vergennes and their own fury. Friedrich
finds this War a very mad one on the part of his old Turk friends; their
promptitude to go into it (he has known them backward enough when
their chances were better!), and their way of carrying it on, are alike
surprising to him. He says: "Catharine's Generals were unacquainted with
the first elements of Castrametation and Tactic; but the Generals of the
Sultan had a still more prodigious depth of ignorance; so that to form a
correct idea of this War, you must figure a set of purblind people, who,
by constantly beating a set of altogether blind, end by gaining over
them a complete mastery." [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ vi. 23, 24.] This,
as Friedrich knows, is what Austria cannot suffer; this is what
will involve Austria and Russia, and Friedrich along with them,
in--Friedrich, as the matter gradually unfolds itself, shudders to think
what. The beginnings of this War were perhaps almost comical to the
old Soldier-King; but as it gradually developed itself into complete
shattering to pieces of the stupid Blind by the ambitious Purblind, he
grew abundantly serious upon it.

It is but six months since Polish Patriotism, so effulgent to its own
eyes in Orthodoxy, in Love of glorious Liberty, confederated at Bar,
and got into that extraordinary whirlpool, or cesspool, of miseries
and deliriums we have been looking at; and now it has issued on a broad
highway of progress,--broad and precipitous,--and will rapidly arrive
at the goal set before it. All was so rapid, on the Polish and on the
Turkish part. The blind Turks, out of mere fanaticism and heat of humor,
have rushed into this adventure;--and go rushing forward into a series
of chaotic platitudes on the huge scale, and mere tragical disasters,
year after year, which would have been comical, had they not been so
hideous and sanguinary: constant and enormous blunders on the Turk
part, issuing in disasters of like magnitude; which in the course of
Two Campaigns had quite finished off their Polish friends, in a very
unexpected way; and had like to have finished themselves off, had not
drowned Poland served as a stepping-stone.

Not till March 26th, 1769, six months after declaring in such haste,
did the blind Turks "display their Banner of Mahomet," that is, begin
in earnest to assemble and make ready. Nor were the Russians shiningly
strategic, though sooner in the field,--a Prince Galitzin commanding
them (an extremely purblind person); till replaced by Romanzow, our old
Colberg acquaintance, who saw considerably better. Galitzin, early in
the season, made a rush on Choczim (ChoTzim), the first Turk Fort beyond
the Dniester; and altogether failed,--not by Turk prowess, but by his
own purblind mal-arrangements (want of ammunition, want of bread, or I
will forget what);--which occasioned mighty grumblings in Russia:
till in a month or two, by favor of Fortune and blindness of the Turk,
matters had come well round again; and Galitzin, walking up to Choczim
the second time, found there was not a Turk in the place, and that
Choczim was now his on those uncommonly easy terms!

Instead of farther details on such a War,--the shadow or reflex of
which, as mirrored in the Austrian mind, has an importance to Friedrich
and us; but the self or substance of which has otherwise little or
none,--we will close here with a bit of Russian satire on it, which is
still worth reading. The date is evidently Spring, 1769; the scene what
we are now treating of: Galitzin obliged to fall back from Choczim;
great rumor--"What a Galitzin; what a Turk War his, in contrast to
the last we had!" [Turk War of 1736-1739, under Munnich (supra, vii.
81-126).]--no Romanzow yet appointed in his room. And here is a small
Manuscript, which was then circulating fresh and new in Russian Society;
and has since gone over all the world (though mostly in an uncertain
condition, in old Jest-Books and the like), as a genuine bit of CAVIARE
from those Northern parts:--

MANUSCRIPT CIRCULATING IN RUSSIAN SOCIETY. Galitzin, much grieved about
Choczim, could not sleep; and, wandering about in his tent, overheard,
one night, a common soldier recounting his dream to the sentry outside
the door.

"A curious dream," said the soldier: "I dreamt I was in a battle; that
I got my head cut off; that I died; and, of course, went to Heaven.
I knocked at the door: Peter came with a bunch of Keys; and made such
rattling that he awoke God; who started up in haste, asking, 'What is
the matter?' 'Why,' says Peter, 'there is a great War on earth between
the Russians and the Turks.' 'And who commands my Russians?' said the
Supreme Being. 'Count Munnich,' answered Peter. 'Very well; I may go
to sleep again!'--But this was not the end of my dream," continued
the soldier; "I fell asleep and dreamt again, the very same as before,
except that the War was not Count Munnich's, but the one we are now in.
Accordingly, when God asked, 'Who commands my Russians?' Peter answered,
'Prince Galitzin.' 'Galitzin? Then get me my boots!' said the [Russian]
Supreme Being." [W. Richardson (then at Petersburg, Tutor to Excellency
Cathcart's Children; afterwards Professor at Glasgow, and a man of
Some reputation in his old age), _Anecdotes of the Russian Empire, in a
Series of Letters written a few years ago from St. Petersburg_ (London,
1784), p. 110: date of this Letter is "17th October, 1769."]



Chapter IV.--PARTITION OF POLAND.

These Polish phenomena were beginning to awaken a good deal of
attention, not all of it pleasant, on the part of Friedrich. From the
first he had, as usual, been a most clear-eyed observer of everything;
and found the business, as appears, not of tragical nature, but of
expensive-farcical, capable to shake the diaphragm rather than touch the
heart of a reflective on-looker. He has a considerable Poem on it,--WAR
OF THE CONFEDERATES by title (in the old style of the PALLADION,
imitating an unattainable JEANNE D'ARC),--considerable Poem, now
forming itself at leisure in his thoughts, ["LA GUERRE DES CONFEDERES
[_OEuvres,_ xiv. 183 et seq.], finished in November, 1771."] which
decidedly takes that turn; and laughs quite loud at the rabid
fanaticisms, blusterous inanities and imbecilities of these noisy
unfortunate neighbors:--old unpleasant style of the PALLADION and
PUCELLE; but much better worth reading; having a great deal of sharp
sense in its laughing guise, and more of real Historical Discernment
than you will find in any other Book on that delirious subject.

Much a laughing-stock to this King hitherto, such a "War of the
Confederates,"--consisting of the noisiest, emptiest bedlam tumults,
seasoned by a proportion of homicide, and a great deal of battery and
arson. But now, with a Russian-Turk War springing from it, or already
sprung, there are quite serious aspects rising amid the laughable. By
Treaty, this War is to cost the King either a 12,000 of Auxiliaries to
the Czarina, or a 72,000 pounds (480,000 thalers) annually; [_OEuvres
de Frederic,_ vi. 13.]--which latter he prefers to pay her, as the
alternative: not an agreeable feature at all; but by no means the worst
feature. Suppose it lead to Russian conquests on the Turk, to Austrian
complicacies, to one knows not what, and kindle the world round one
again! In short, we can believe Friedrich was very willing to stand well
with next-door neighbors at present, and be civil to Austria and its
young Kaiser's civilities.



FIRST INTERVIEW BETWEEN FRIEDRICH AND KAISER JOSEPH (Neisse, 25th-28th
August, 1769).

In 1766, the young Kaiser, who has charge of the Military Department,
and of little else in the Government, and is already a great traveller,
and enthusiastic soldier, made a pilgrimage over the Bohemian and Saxon
Battle-fields of the Seven-Years War. On some of them, whether on all
I do not know, he set up memorial-stones; one of which you still see
on the field of Lobositz;--of another on Prag field, and of reverent
salutation by Artillery to the memory of Schwerin there, we heard long
ago. Coming to Torgau on this errand, the Kaiser, through his Berlin
Minister, had signified his "particular desire to make acquaintance
with the King in returning;" to which the King was ready with the
readiest;--only that Kaunitz and the Kaiserinn, in the interim, judged
it improper, and stopped it. "The reported Interview is not to take
place," Friedrich warns the Newspapers; "having been given up, though
only from courtesy, on some points of ceremonial." ["FRIEDRICH TO ONE OF
HIS FOREIGN AMBASSADORS" (the common way of announcing in Newspapers):
Preuss, iv. 22 n.]

The young Kaiser felt a little huffed; and signified to Friedrich that
he would find a time to make good this bit of uncivility, which his
pedagogues had forced upon him. And now, after three years, August,
1769, on occasion of the Silesian Reviews, the Kaiser is to come across
from his Bohemian businesses, and actually visit him: Interview to be
at Neisse, 25th August, 1769, for three days. Of course the King was
punctual, everybody was punctual, glad and cordial after a sort,--no
ceremony, the Kaiser, officially incognito, is a mere Graf von
Falkenstein, come to see his Majesty's Reviews. There came with him four
or five Generals, Loudon one of them; Lacy had preceded: Friedrich is in
the palace of the place, ready and expectant. With Friedrich are: Prince
Henri; Prince of Prussia; Margraf of Anspach: Friedrich's Nephew (Lady
Craven's Margraf, the one remnant now left there); and some Generals and
Military functionaries, Seidlitz the notablest figure of these. And so,
FRIDAY, AUGUST 25th, shortly after noon--But the following Two Letters,
by an Eye-witness, will be preferable; and indeed are the only real
Narrative that can be given:--


No. 1. ENGINEER LEFEBVRE TO PERPETUAL SECRETARY FORMEY (at Berlin).

"NEISSE, 26th [partly 25th] August, 1769.

"MY MOST WORTHY FRIEND,-I make haste to inform you of the Kaiser's
arrival here at Neisse, this day, 25th August, 1769, at one in the
afternoon. The King had spent the morning in a proof Manoeuvre, making
rehearsal of the Manoeuvre that was to be. When the Kaiser was reported
just coming, the King went to the window of the grand Episcopal Saloon,
and seeing him alight from his carriage, turned round and said, 'JE L'AI
VU (I have seen him).' His Majesty then went to receive him on the
grand staircase [had hardly descended three or four steps], where they
embraced; and then his Majesty led by the hand his august Guest into
the Apartments designed for him, which were all standing open and
ready,"--which, however, the august Guest will not occupy except with
a grateful imagination, being for the present incognito, mere Graf von
Falkenstein, and judging that THE THREE-KINGS Inn will be suitabler.

"Arrived in the Apartments, they embraced anew; and sat talking together
for an hour and half.--[The talk, unknown to Lefebvre, began in this
strain. KAISER: "Now are my wishes fulfilled, since I have the honor to
embrace the greatest of Kings and Soldiers." KING: "I look upon this day
as the fairest of my life; for it will become the epoch of uniting Two
Houses which have been enemies too long, and whose mutual interests
require that they should strengthen, not weaken one another." KAISER:
"For Austria there is no Silesia farther." [Preuss, v. 23; _OEuvres de
Frederic,_ vi. 25, 26.] Talk, it appears, lasted an hour and half.]

--"The Kaiser [continues our Engineer] had brought with him the Prince
of Sachsen-Teschen [his august Brother-in-law, Duke of Teschen, son
of the late Polish Majesty of famous memory]: afterwards there came
Feldmarschall Lacy, Graf von Dietrichstein, General von Loudon," and
three others of no account to us. "At the King's table were the Kaiser,
the Prince of Prussia [dissolute young Heir-Apparent, of the polygamous
tendency], Prince Henri, the Margraf of Anspach [King's Nephew,
unfortunate Lady-Craven Margraf, ultimately of Hammersmith vicinity];
the above Generals of the Austrian suite, and Generals Seidlitz and
Tauentzien. The rest of the Court was at two other tables." Of the
dinner itself an Outside Individual will say nothing.

"The Kaiser, having expressly requested the King to let him lodge in an
Inn (THREE KINGS), under the name of Graf von Falkenstein, would not
go into the carriage which had stood expressly ready to conduct him
thither. He preferred walking on foot [the loftily scornful Incognito]
in spite of the rain; it was like a lieutenant of infantry stepping out
of his quarters. Some moments after, the King went to visit him; and
they remained together from 5 in the evening till 8. It was thought they
would be present (ASSISTER) at a Comic Opera which was to be played: but
after waiting till 7 o'clock, the people received orders to go on with
the Piece;"--both Majesties did afterwards look in; but finding it bad,
soon went their way again. (MAJOR LEFEBVRE STOPS WRITING FOR THE NIGHT.)

"This morning, 26th, the Manoeuvre [rehearsed yesterday] has been
performed before both their Majesties; the troops, by way of finish,
filing past them in the highest order. The Kaiser accompanied the King
to his abode; after which he returned to his own. This is all the news
I have to-day: the sequel by next Post (apparently a week hence). I am,
and shall ever be,--your true Friend, LEFEBVRE."


No. 2. SAME TO SAME.

"NEISSE, 2d September, 1769.

"MONSIEUR AND DEAREST FRIEND,--We had, as you heard, our first Manoeuvre
on Saturday, 26th, in presence of the Kaiser and the King, and of the
whole Court of each. That evening there was Opera; which their Majesties
honored by attending. Sunday was our Second Manoeuvre; OPERETTE in the
evening. Monday, 28th, was our last Manoeuvre; at the end of which the
two Majesties, without alighting from horseback, embraced each other;
and parted, protesting mutually the most constant and inviolable
friendship. One took the road for Breslau; the other that of
Konigsgratz. All the time the Kaiser was here, they have been
continually talking together, and exhibiting the tenderest
friendship,--from which I cannot but think there will benefit result.

"I am almost in the mind of coming to pass this Winter at Berlin; that
I may have the pleasure of embracing you,--perhaps as cordially as King
and Kaiser here. I am, and shall always be, with all my heart,--your
very good Friend, "LEFEBVRE." [Formey, _Souvenirs d'un Citoyen,_ ii.
145-148.]

The Lefebvre that writes here is the same who was set to manage the
last Siege of Schweidnitz, by Globes of Compression and other fine
inventions; and almost went out of his wits because he could not do it.
An expert ingenious creature; skilful as an engineer; had been brought
into Friedrich's service by the late Balbi, during Balbi's ascendency
(which ended at Olmutz long ago). At Schweidnitz, and often elsewhere,
Friedrich, who had an esteem for poor Lefebvre, was good to him; and
treated his excitabilities with a soft hand, not a rough. Once at Neisse
(1771, second year after these Letters), on looking round at the
works done since last review, in sight of all the Garrison he embraced
Lefebvre, while commending his excellent performance; which filled the
poor soul with a now unimaginable joy.

"HELAS," says Formey, "the poor Gentleman wrote to me of his endless
satisfaction; and how he hoped to get through his building, and retire
on half-pay this very season, thenceforth to belong to the Academy and
me; he had been Member for twenty years past." With this view, thinks
Formey, he most likely hastened on his buildings too fast: certain
it is, a barrack he was building tumbled suddenly, and some workmen
perished in the ruins. "Enemies at Court suggested," or the accident
itself suggested without any enemy, "Has not he been playing false,
using cheap bad materials?"--and Friedrich ordered him arrest in his own
Apartments, till the question were investigated. Excitable Lefebvre was
like to lose his wits, almost to leap out of his skin. "One evening at
supper, he managed to smuggle away a knife; and, in the course of the
night, gave himself sixteen stabs with it; which at length sufficed. The
King said, 'He has used himself worse than I should have done;' and was
very sorry." Of Lefebvre's scientific structures, globes of compression
and the rest, I know not whether anything is left; the above Two Notes,
thrown off to Formey, were accidentally a hit, and, in the great blank,
may last a long while.

The King found this young Kaiser a very pretty man; and could have
liked him considerably, had their mutual positions permitted. "He had a
frankness of manner which seemed natural to him," says the King; "in his
amiable character, gayety and great vivacity were prominent features."
By accidental chinks, however, one saw "an ambition beyond measure"
burning in the interior of this young man, [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ (in
_Memoires de 1763 jusqu'a_ 1775, a Chapter which yields the briefest,
and the one completely intelligible account we yet have of those
affairs), vi. 25.]--let an old King be wary. A three days, clearly,
to be marked in chalk; radiant outwardly to both; to a certain depth,
sincere; and uncommonly pleasant for the time. King and Kaiser were seen
walking about arm in arm. At one of the Reviews a Note was brought to
Friedrich: he read it, a Note from her Imperial Majesty; and handing it
to Kaiser Joseph, kissed it first. At parting, he had given Joseph,
by way of keepsake, a copy of Marechal de Saxe's REVERIES (a strange
Military Farrago, dictated, I should think, under opium ["MES REVERIES;
OUVRAGE POSTHUME, par" &c. (2 vols. 4to: Amsterdam et Leipzig, 1757).]):
this Book lay continually thereafter on the Kaiser's night-table; and
was found there at his death, Twenty-one years hence,--not a page of
it read, the leaves all sticking together under their bright gilding.
[Preuss, iv. 24 n.]

It was long believed, by persons capable of seeing into millstones,
that, under cover of this Neisse Interview, there were important
Political negotiations and consultings carried on;--that here, and in
a Second Interview or Return-Visit, of which presently, lay the real
foundation of the Polish Catastrophe. What of Political passed at the
Second Interview readers shall see for themselves, from an excellent
Authority. As to what passed at the present ("mutual word-of-honor:
should England and France quarrel, we will stand neutral" [_OEuvres
de Frederic,_ ubi supra.]), it is too insignificant for being shown to
readers. Dialogues there were, delicately holding wide of the mark, and
at length coming close enough; but, at neither the one Interview nor the
other, was Poland at all a party concerned,--though, beyond doubt, the
Turk War was; silently this first time, and with clear vocality on the
second occasion.

In spite of Galitzin's blunders, the Turk War is going on at a fine rate
in these months; Turks, by the hundred thousand, getting scattered
in panic rout:--but we will say nothing of it just yet. Polish
Confederation--horror-struck, as may be imagined, at its auxiliary
Brother of the Sun and Moon and his performances--is weltering in
violently impotent spasms into deeper and ever deeper wretchedness,
Friedrich sometimes thinking of a Burlesque Poem on the subject;--though
the Russian successes, and the Austrian grudgings and gloomings, are
rising on him as a very serious consideration. "Is there no method,
then, of allowing Russia to prosecute its Turk War in spite of Austria
and its umbrages?" thinks Friedrich sometimes, in his anxieties about
Peace in Europe:--"If the Ukraine, and its meal for the Armies, were
but Russia's! At present, Austria can strike in there, cut off the
provisions, and at once put a spoke in Russia's wheel." Friedrich tells
us, "he (ON," the King himself, what I do not find in any other Book)
"sent to Petersburg, under the name of Count Lynar, the seraphic
Danish Gentleman, who, in 1757, had brought about the Convention of
Kloster-Zeven, a Project, or Sketch of Plan, for Partitioning certain
Provinces of Poland, in that view;"--the Lynar opining, so far as I can
see, somewhat as follows: "Russia to lay hold of the essential bit of
Polish Territory for provisioning itself against the Turk, and allow to
Austria and Prussia certain other bits; which would content everybody,
and enable Russia and Christendom to extrude and suppress AD LIBITUM
that abominable mass of Mahometan Sensualism, Darkness and Fanaticism
from the fairest part of God's Creation." An excellent Project, though
not successful! "To which Petersburg, intoxicated with its own outlooks
on Turkey, paid not the least attention," says the King. [_OEuvres de
Frederic,_ vi. 26.] He gives no date to this curious statement; nor
does anybody else mention it at all; but we may fancy it to have been of
Winter, 1769-1770,--and leave it with the curious, or the idly curious,
since nothing came of it now or afterwards.

POTSDAM, 20th-29th OCTOBER, 1769. Only two months after Neisse, what
kindles Potsdam into sudden splendor, Electress Marie-Antoine makes a
Visit of nine days to the King. "In July last," says a certain Note of
ours, "the Electress was invited to Berlin, to a Wedding; 'would have
been delighted to come, but letter of invitation arrived too late. Will,
however, not give up the plan of seeing the great Friedrich.' Comes to
Potsdam 20th-29th October. Stays nine days; much delighted, both, with
the visit. 'Magnificent palaces, pleasant gardens, ravishing concerts,
charming Princes and Princesses: the pleasantest nine days I ever had
in my life,' says the Electress. Friedrich grants, to her intercession,
pardon for some culprit. 'DIVA ANTONIA' he calls her henceforth for some
time; she him, 'PLUS GRAND DES MORTELS,' 'SALOMON DU NORD,' and the
like names." [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ (CORRESPONDANCE AVEC L'ELECTRICE
MARIE-ANTOINE), xxiv. 179-186.] Next year too (September 26th-October
5th, 1770), the bright Lady made a second visit; [Rodenbeck, iii. 24.]
no third,--the times growing too political, perhaps; the times not
suiting. The Correspondence continues to the end; and is really pretty.
And would be instructive withal, were it well edited. For example,--if
we might look backwards, and shoot a momentary spark into the vacant
darkness of the Past,--Friedrich wrote (the year before this):--

POTSDAM, 3d MAY, 1768.... "Jesuits have got all cut adrift: A dim rumor
spreads that his Holiness will not rest with that first anathema, but
that a fulminating Bull is coming out against the Most Christian, the
Most Catholic and the Most Faithful. If that be so, my notion is, Madam,
that the Holy Father, to fill his table, will admit the Defender of the
Faith [poor George III.] and your Servant; for it does not suit a Pope
to sit solitary....

"A pity for the human race, Madam, that men cannot be tranquil,--but
they never and nowhere can! Not even the little Town of Neufchatel but
has had its troubles; your Royal Highness will be astonished to learn
how. A Parson there [this was above seven years ago, in old Marischal's
reign [See Letters to Marischal, "Leipzig, 9th March, 1761," "Breslau,
14th May, 1762:" in _OEuvres de Frederic,_ xx. 282, 287.]] had set forth
in a sermon, That considering the immense mercy of God, the pains of
Hell could not last forever. The Synod shouted murder at such scandal;
and has been struggling, ever since, to get the Parson exterminated. The
affair was of my jurisdiction; for your Royal Highness must know that I
am Pope in that Country;--here is my decision: Let the parsons, who make
for themselves a cruel and barbarous God, be eternally damned, as they
desire, and deserve; and let those parsons, who conceive God gentle and
merciful, enjoy the plenitude of his mercy! However, Madam, my sentence
has failed to calm men's minds; the schism continues; and the number of
the damnatory theologians prevails over the others." ["April 2d, 1768"
(a month before this Letter to Madam), there is "riot at Neufchatel; and
Avocat Gardot [heterodox Parson's ADVOCATE] killed in it" (Rodenbeck,
ii. 303).]--Or again:--

POTSDAM, 1st DECEMBER, 1766. "At present I have with me my Niece
[Sister's Daughter, of Schwedt], the Duchess of Wurtemberg; who
remembers with pleasure to have had the happiness of seeing your Royal
Highness in former times. She is very unhappy and much to be pitied;
her Husband [Eugen of Wurtemberg, whom we heard much of, and last at
Colberg] gives her a deal of trouble: he is a violent man, from whom
she has everything to fear; who gives her chagrins, and makes her
no allowances. I try my best to bring him to reason;"--but am little
successful. Three years after this, "May 3d, 1769," we find Eugen, who
once talked of running his august Reigning Brother through the body, has
ended by returning to Stuttgard and him; where, or at Mumpelgard, his
Apanage, he continued thenceforth. And was Reigning Duke himself, long
afterwards, for two years, at the very end of his life. ["Succeeded," on
his Brother Karl's death, "20th May, 1795; died 23d December, 1797, age
75."] At this date of 1766, "my poor Niece and he" have been married
thirteen years, and have half a score of children;--the eldest of them
Czar Paul's Second Wife that is to be, and Mother of the now Czars.

DECEMBER 17th, 1765.... "I have had 12,360 houses and barns to rebuild,
and am nearly through with that. But how many other wounds remain yet to
be healed!"

JULY 22d, 1766.... "Wedding festivities of Prince of Prussia. Duchess
of Kingston tipsy on the occasion!"--But we must not be tempted farther.
[_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxiv. 90-155.]



NEXT YEAR THERE IS A SECOND INTERVIEW; FRIEDRICH MAKING A RETURN-VISIT
DURING THE KAISER'S MORAVIAN REVIEWS (Camp of Mahrisch-Neustadt, 3d-7th
September, 1770).

The Russian-Turk especially in Second Campaign of it, "Liberation of
Greece," or, failing that, total destruction of the Turk Fleet in Greek
waters; conquest of Wallachia, as of Moldavia; in a word, imminency of
total ruin to the Turk by land and sea,--all this is blazing aloft at
such a pitch, in Summer, 1770, that a new Interview upon it may well, to
neighbors so much interested, seem more desirable than ever. Interview
accordingly there is to be: 3d September, and for four days following.

Kaunitz himself attends, this time; something of real business privately
probable to Kaunitz. Prince Henri is not there; Prince Henri is gone to
Sweden; on visit to his Sister, whom he has not seen since boyhood: of
which Visit there will be farther mention. Present with the King were:
[Rodenbeck, iii. 21.] the Prince of Prussia (luckier somewhat in his
second wedlock, little red-colored Son and Heir born to him just a
month ago); [Friedrich Wilhelm III., "born 3d August, 1770."] Prince
Ferdinand; two Brunswick Nephews, ERBPRINZ whom we used to hear of, and
Leopold a junior, of whom we shall once or so. No Seidlitz this
time. Except Lentulus, no General to name. But better for us than
all Generals, in the Kaiser's suite, besides Kaunitz, was Prince de
Ligne,--who holds a PEN, as will appear.

"Liberation of the Greeks" had kindled many people, Voltaire among the
number, who is still intermittently in correspondence with Friedrich: "A
magnificent Czarina about to revivify that true Temple of Mankind, or
at least to sweep the blockhead Turks out of it; what a prospect!"
Friedrich is quite cool on Greece; not too hot on any part of this
subject, though intensely concerned about it. Besides his ingenious
Count-Lynar Project, and many other businesses, Friedrich has just been
confuting Baron d'Holbach's _Systeme de la Nature;_ ["EXAMEN CRITIQUE
DU SYSTEME DE LA NATURE [in _OEuvres de Frederic,_ ix. 153 et seq.],
finished July, 1770."]--writing to Voltaire, POTSDAM, 18th AUGUST, 1770,
on this subject among others, he adds: "I am going for Silesia, on
the Reviews. I am to see the Kaiser, who has invited me to his Camp in
Mahren. That is an amiable and meritorious Prince; he values your Works,
reads them as diligently as he can; is anything but superstitious: in
brief, a Kaiser such as Germany has not for a great while had. Neither
he nor I have any love for the blockhead and barbaric sort;--but that
is no reason for extirpating them: if it were, your Turks [oppressors of
Greece] would not be the only victims!" [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxiii.
165, 166.]

In a lengthy Letter, written by request, TO STANISLAUS, KING OF POLAND,
1735, or at a distance of fifteen years from this Interview at Neustadt,
Prince de Ligne, who was present there, has left us some record or
loose lively reminiscence of it; [Prince de Ligne, _Memoires et
Melanges Historiques_ (Par. 1827), i. 3-21.]--sputtering, effervescing,
epigrammatic creature, had he confined himself to a faithful
description, and burnt off for us, not like a pretty fire-work, but like
an innocent candle, or thing for seeing by! But we must take what we
have, and endeavor to be thankful. By great luck, the one topic he
insists on is Friedrich and his aspect and behavior on the occasion:
which is what, of all else in it, we are most concerned with.

"You have ordered me, Sire [this was written for him in 1785], to speak
to you of one of the greatest men of this Age. You admire him, though
his neighborhood has done you mischief enough; and, placing yourself at
the impartial distance of History, feel a noble curiosity on all that
belongs to this extraordinary genius. I will, therefore, give you
an exact account of the smallest words that I myself heard the great
Friedrich speak.... The I (LE JE) is odious to me; but nothing is
indifferent when"--Well, your account, then, your account, without
farther preambling, and in a more exact way than you are wont!--

"By a singular chance, in 1770 [3d-7th September, if you would but
date], the Kaiser was [for the second time] enabled to deliver himself
to the personal admiration which he had conceived for the King of
Prussia; and these Two great Sovereigns were so well together, that they
could pay visits. The Kaiser permitted me to accompany; and introduced
me to the King: it was at Neustadt in Moravia [MAHRISCH-NEUSTADT, short
way from AUSTERLITZ, which is since become a celebrated place]. I can't
recollect if I had, or had assumed, an air of embarrassment; but what I
do well remember is, that the Kaiser, who noticed my look, said to the
King, 'He has a timid expression, which I never observed in him before;
he will recover presently.' This he said in a graceful merry way; and
the two went out, to go, I believe, to the Play. On the way thither, the
King for an instant quitting his Imperial Friend, asked me if my LETTER
TO JEAN JACQUES [now an entirely forgotten Piece], which had been
printed in the Papers, was really by me? I answered, 'Sire, I am not
famous enough to have my name forged' [as a certain Other name has been,
on this same unproductive topic]. He felt what I meant. It is known that
Horace Walpole took the King's name to write his famous LETTRE A JEAN
JACQUES [impossible to attend to the like of it at present], which
contributed the most to drive mad that eloquent and unreasonable man of
genius.

"Coming out of the Play, the Kaiser said to the King of Prussia: 'There
is Noverre, the famous Composer of Ballets; he has been in Berlin, I
believe.' Noverre made thereupon a beautiful dancing-master bow. 'Ah,
I know him,' said the King: 'we saw him at Berlin; he was very droll;
mimicked all the world, especially our chief Dancing Women, to make you
split with laughing.' Noverre, ill content with this way of remembering
him, made another beautiful third-position bow; and hoped possibly the
King would say something farther, and offer him the opportunity of a
small revenge. 'Your Ballets are beautiful,' said the King to him; 'your
Dancing Girls have grace; but it is grace in a squattish form (DE LA
GRACE ENGONCEE). I think you make them raise their shoulders and their
arms too much. For, Monsieur Noverre, if you remember, our principal
Dancing Girl at Berlin wasn't so.' 'That is why she was at Berlin,
Sire,' replied Noverre [satirically, all he could].

"I was every day asked to sup with the King; too often the conversation
addressed itself to me. In spite of my attachment to the Kaiser, whose
General I like to be, but not whose D'Argens or Algarotti, I had not
beyond reason abandoned myself to that feeling. When urged by the King's
often speaking to me, I had to answer, and go on talking. Besides, the
Kaiser took a main share in the conversation; and was perhaps more at
his ease with the King than the King with him. One day, they got talking
of what one would wish to be in this world; and they asked my opinion. I
said, I should like to be 'a Pretty Woman till thirty; then, till sixty,
a fortunate and skilful General;'--and not knowing what more to say, but
for the sake of adding something, whatever it might be, 'a Cardinal till
eighty.' The King, who likes to banter the Sacred College, made himself
merry on this; and the Kaiser gave him a cheap bargain of Rome and its
upholders (SUPPOTS). That supper was one of the gayest and pleasantest
I have ever seen. The Two Sovereigns were without pretension and without
reserve; what did not always happen on other days; and the amiability of
two men so superior, and often so astonished to see themselves together,
was the agreeablest thing you can imagine. The King bade me come and
see him the first time he and I should have three or four hours to
ourselves.

"A storm such as there never was, a deluge compared with which that of
Deucalion was a summer shower, covered our Hills with water [cannot say
WHICH day of the four], and almost drowned our Army while attempting
to manoeuvre. The morrow was a rest-day for that reason. At nine in the
morning, I went to the King, and stayed till one. He spoke to me of
our Generals; I let him say, of his own accord, the things I think of
Marshals Lacy and Loudon; and I hinted that, as to the others, it was
better to speak of the dead than of the living; and that one never can
well judge of a General who has not in his lifetime actually played
high parts in War. He spoke to me of Feldmarschall Daun: I said, 'that
against the French I believed he might have proved a great man; but that
against him [you], he had never quite been all he was; seeing always
his opponent as a Jupiter, thunder-bolt in hand, ready to pulverize his
Army.' That appeared to give the King pleasure: he signified to me a
feeling of esteem for Daun; he spoke favorably of General Brentano [one
of the Maxen gentlemen]. I asked his reason for the praises I knew he
had given to General Beck. 'Why (MAIS), I thought him a man of
merit,' said the King. 'I do not think so, Sire; he didn't do you much
mischief.' 'He sometimes took Magazines from me.' 'And sometimes let
your Generals escape.' (Bevern at REICHENBACH, for instance, do you
reckon that his blame?)--'I have never beaten him,' said the King. 'He
never came near enough for that: and I always thought your Majesty
was only appearing to respect him, in order that we might have more
confidence in him, and that you might give him the better slap some day,
with interest for all arrears.'

KING. "'Do you know who taught me the little I know? It was your old
Marshal Traun: that was a man, that one.--You spoke of the French: do
they make progress?'

EGO. "'They are capable of everything in time of war, Sire: but in
Peace,--their chiefs want them to be what they are not, what they are
not capable of being.'

KING. "'How, then; disciplined? They were so in the time of M. de
Turenne.'

EGO. "'Oh, it isn't that. They were not so in the time of M. de Vendome,
and they went on gaining battles. But it is now wished that they become
your Apes and ours; and that does n't suit them.'

KING. "'Perhaps so: I have said of their busy people (FAISEURS,' St.
Germains and Army-Reformers), 'that they would fain sing without knowing
music.'

EGO. "'Oh, that is true! But leave them their natural notes; profit
by their bravery, their alertness (LEGERETE), by their very faults,--I
believe their confusion might confuse their enemies sometimes.'

KING. "'Well, yes, doubtless, if you have something to support them
with.'

EGO. "'Just so, Sire,--some Swiss and Germans.'

KING. "''T is a brave and amiable nation, the French; one can't help
loving them:--but, MON DIEU, what have they made of their Men of
Letters; and what a tone has now come up among them! Voltaire, for
example, had an excellent tone. D'Alembert, whom I esteem in many
respects, is too noisy, and insists too much on producing effect in
society:--was it the Men of Letters that gave the Court of Louis XIV.
its grace, or did they themselves acquire it from the many amiable
persons they found there? He was the Patriarch of Kings, that one [in
a certain sense, your Majesty!]. In his lifetime a little too much good
was said of him; but a great deal too much ill after his death.'

EGO. "'A King of France, Sire, is always the Patriarch of Clever People
(PATRIARCHE DES GENS D'ESPRIT:' You do not much mean this, Monsieur? You
merely grin it from the teeth outward?)

KING. "'That is the bad Number to draw: they are n't worth a doit (NE
VALENT PAS LE DIABLE, these GENS D'ESPRIT) at Governing. Better be
Patriarch of the Greek Church, like my sister the Empress of Russia!
That brings her, and will bring, advantages. There's a religion for
you; comprehending many Countries and different Nations! As to our
poor Lutherans, they are so few, it is not worth while being their
Patriarch.'

EGO. "'Nevertheless, Sire, if one join to them the Calvinists, and
all the little bastard Sects, it would not be so bad a post. [The King
appeared to kindle at this; his eyes were full of animation. But it did
not last when I said:] If the Kaiser were Patriarch of the Catholics,
that too wouldn't be a bad place.'

KING. "'There, there: Europe divided into Three Patriarchates. I was
wrong to begin; you see where that leads us: Messieurs, our dreams are
not those of the just, as M. le Regent used to say. If Louis XIV. were
alive, he would thank us.'

"All these patriarchal ideas, possible and impossible to realize, made
him, for an instant, look thoughtful, almost moody.

KING. "'Louis XIV., possessing more judgment than cleverness (ESPRIT),
looked out more for the former quality than for the latter. It was
men of genius that he wanted, and found. It could not be said that
Corneille, Bossuet, Racine and Conde were people of the clever sort (DES
HOMMES D'ESPRIT).'

EGO. "'On the whole, there is that in the Country which really deserves
to be happy, It is asserted that your Majesty has said, If one would
have a fine dream, one must--'

KING. "'Yes, it is true,--be King of France.'

EGO. "'If Francis I. and Henri IV. had come into the world after your
Majesty, they would have said, "be King of Prussia."'

KING. "'Tell me, pray, is there no citable Writer left in France?'

"This made me laugh; the King asked the reason. I told him, He reminded
me of the RUSSE A PARIS, that charming little piece of verse of M. de
Voltaire's; and we remembered charming things out of it, which made us
both laugh. He said,

KING. "'I have sometimes heard the Prince de Conti spoken of: what sort
of man is he?'

EGO. "'He is a man composed of twenty or thirty men. He is proud, he is
affable,'"--he is fiddle, he is diddle (in the seesaw epigrammatic way,
for a page or more); and is not worth pen and ink from us, since the
time old Marshal Traun got us rid of him,--home across the Rhine, full
speed, with Croats sticking on his skirts. [Supra, viii. 475.]

"This portrait seemed to amuse the King. One had to captivate him by
some piquant detail; without that, he would escape you, give you no time
to speak. The success generally began by the first words, no matter how
vague, of any conversation; these he found means to make interesting;
and what, generally, is mere talk about the weather became at once
sublime; and one never heard anything vulgar from him. He ennobled
everything; and the examples of Greeks and Romans, or of modern
Generals, soon dissipated everything of what, with others, would have
remained trivial and commonplace.

"'Have you ever,' said he, 'seen such a rain as yesterday's? Your
orthodox Catholics will say, "That comes of having a man without
religion among us: what are we to do with this cursed (MAUDIT) King; a
Protestant at lowest?" for I really think I brought you bad luck. Your
soldiers would be saying, "Peace we have; and still is this devil of a
man to trouble us!"'

EGO. "'Certainly, if your Majesty was the cause, it is very bad. Such
a thing is only permitted to Jupiter, who has always good reasons for
everything; and it would have been in his fashion, after destroying the
one set by fire, to set about destroying the others by water. However,
the fire is at an end; and I did not expect to revert to it.'

KING. "'I ask your pardon for having plagued you so often with that; I
regret it for the sake of all mankind. But what a fine Apprenticeship
of War! I have committed errors enough to teach you young people, all of
you, to do better. MON DIEU, how I love your grenadiers! How well they
defiled in my presence! If the god Mars were raising a body-guard for
himself, I should advise him to take them hand over head. Do you know
I was well pleased (BIEN CONTENT) with the Kaiser last night at supper?
Did you hear what he said to me about Liberty of the Press, and the
Troubling of Consciences (LA GENE DES CONSCIENCES)? There will be bits
of difference between his worthy Ancestors and him, on some points!'

EGO. "'I am persuaded, he will entertain no prejudices on anything; and
that your Majesty will be a great Book of Instruction to him.'

KING. "'How adroitly he disapproved, without appearing to mean anything,
the ridiculous Vienna Censorship; and the too great fondness of
his Mother (without naming her) for certain things which only make
hypocrites. By the by, she must detest you, that High Lady?'

EGO. "'Well, then, not at all. She has sometimes lectured me about my
strayings, but very maternally: she is sorry for me, and quite sure
that I shall return to the right path. She said to me, some time ago,
"I don't know how you do, you are the intimate friend of Father Griffet;
the Bishop of Neustadt has always spoken well of you; likewise the
Archbishop of Malines; and the Cardinal [name Sinzendorf, or else not
known to me, dignity and red hat sufficiently visible] loves you much."'

"Why cannot I remember the hundred luminous things which escaped the
King in this conversation! It lasted till the trumpet at Head-quarters
announced dinner. The King went to take his place; and I think it was on
this occasion that, some one having asked why M. de Loudon had not come
yet, he said, 'That is not his custom: formerly he often arrived before
me. Please let him take this place next me; I would rather have him at
my side than opposite.'"

That is very pretty. And a better authority gives it, The King said to
Loudon himself, on Loudon's entering, _"Mettez-vous aupres de moi, M.
de Loudon; j'aime mieux vous avoir a cote de moi que vis-a-vis."_ He was
very kind to Loudon; "constantly called him M. LE FELDMARECHAL [delicate
hint of what should have been, but WAS not for seven years yet]; and,
at parting, gave him [as he did to Lacy also] two superb horses,
magnificently equipped." [Pezzl, _Vie de Loudon,_ ii. 29.]

"Another day," continues Prince de Ligne, "the Manoeuvres being over
in good time, there was a Concert at the Kaiser's. Notwithstanding the
King's taste for music, he was pleased to give me the preference; and
came where I was, to enchant me with the magic of his conversation, and
the brilliant traits, gay and bold, which characterize him. He asked
me to name the general and particular Officers who were present, and
to tell him those who had served under Marshal Traun: 'For, ENFIN,' he
said, 'as I think I have told you already, he is my Master; he corrected
me in the Schooling I was at.'

EGO. "'Your Majesty was very ungrateful, then; you never paid him
his lessons. If it was as your Majesty says, you should at least have
allowed him to beat you; and I do not remember that you ever did.'

KING. "'I did not get beaten, because I did not fight.'

EGO. "'It is in this manner that the greatest Generals have often
conducted their wars against each other. One has only to look at the two
Campaigns of M. de Montecuculi and M. de Turenne, in the Valley of
the Rench [Strasburg Country, 1674 and 1675, two celebrated Campaigns,
Turenne killed by a cannon-shot in the last].

KING. "'Between Traun and the former there is not much difference; but
what a difference, BON DIEU, between the latter and me!'

"I named to him the Count d'Althan, who had been Adjutant-General, and
the Count de Pellegrini. He asked me twice which was which, from the
distance we were at; and said, He was so short-sighted, I must excuse
him.

EGO. "'Nevertheless, Sire, in the war your sight was good enough; and,
if I remember right, it reached very far!'

KING. "'It was not I; it was my glass.'

EGO. "'Ha, I should have liked to find that glass;--but, I fear it would
have suited my eyes as little as Scanderbeg's sword my arm.'

"I forget how the conversation changed; but I know it grew so free that,
seeing somebody coming to join in it, the King warned him to take care;
that it was n't safe to converse with a man doomed by the theologians
to Everlasting Fire. I felt as if he somewhat overdid this of his
'being doomed,' and that he boasted too much of it. Not to hint at
the dishonesty of these free-thinking gentlemen (MESSIEURS LES ESPRITS
FORTS), who very often are thoroughly afraid of the Devil, it is, at
least, bad taste to make display of such things: and it was with the
people of bad taste whom he has had about him, such as a Jordan, a
D'Argens, Maupertuis, La Beaumelle, La Mettrie, Abbe de Prades, and
some dull sceptics of his own Academy, that he had acquired the habit of
mocking at Religion; and of talking (DE PARLER) Dogma, Spinoism, Court
of Rome and the like. In the end, I did n't always answer when he
touched upon it. I now seized a moment's interval, while he was using
his handkerchief, to speak to him about some business, in connection
with the Circle of Westphalia, and a little COMTE IMMEDIAT [County
holding direct, of the Reich] which I have there. The King answered me:
'I, for my part, will do anything you wish; but what thinks the other
Director, my comrade, the Elector of Cologne, about it?'

EGO. "'I was not aware, Sire, that you were an Ecclesiastical Elector.'

KING. "'I am so; at least on my Protestant account.'

EGO. "'That is not to OUR account's advantage! Those good people of mine
believe your Majesty to be their protector.'

"He continued asking me the names of persons he saw. I was telling him
those of a number of young Princes who had lately entered the Service,
and some of whom gave hopes. 'That may be,' said he; 'but I think the
breed of the governing races ought to be crossed. I like the children of
love: look at the Marechal de Saxe, and my own Anhalt [severe Adjutant
von Anhalt, a bastard of Prinz Gustav, the Old Dessauer's Heir-Apparent,
who begot a good many bastards, but died before inheriting: bastards
were brought up, all of them to soldiering, by their Uncles,---this one
by Uncle Moritz; was thrown from his horse eight years HENCE, to the
great joy of many]; though I am afraid that SINCE [mark this SINCE,
alas!] his fall on his head, that latter is not so good as formerly.
I should be grieved at it, [Not for eight years yet, MON PRINCE, I am
sorry to say! Adjutant von Anhalt did, in reality, get this fall,
and damaging hurt on the head, in the "Bavarian War" (nicknamed
KARTOFFEL-KRIEG, "Potato-War"), 1778-1779. _Militair-Lexikon,_ i. 69:
see Preuss, ii. 356, iv. 578; &c.] both for his sake and for mine; he is
a man full of talents.'

"I am glad to remember this; for I have heard it said by silly
slanderous people (SOTS DENIGRANTS), who accuse the King of Prussia of
insensibility, that he was not touched by the accident which happened to
the man he seemed to love most. Too happy if one had only said that
of him! He was supposed to be jealous of the merit of Schwerin and of
Keith, and delighted to have got them killed. It is thus that mediocre
people seek to lower great men, to diminish the immense space that lies
between themselves and such.

"Out of politeness, the King, and his Suite as well, had put on white
[Austrian] Uniforms, not to bring back on us that blue which we had so
often seen in war. He looked as though he belonged to our Army and to
the Kaiser's suite. There was, in this Visit, I believe, on both
sides, a little personality, some distrust, and perhaps a beginning
of bitterness;--as always happens, says Philippe de Comines, when
Sovereigns meet. The King took Spanish snuff, and brushing it off with
his hand from his coat as well as he could, he said, 'I am not clean
enough for you, Messieurs; I am not worthy to wear your colors.' The
air with which he said this, made me think he would yet soil them with
powder, if the opportunity arose.

"I forgot a little Incident which gave me an opportunity of setting off
(FAIRE VALOIR) the two Monarchs to each other [Incident about the King's
high opinion of the Kaiser's drill-sergeantry in this day's manoeuvres,
and how I was the happy cause of the Kaiser's hearing it himself:
Incident omissible; as the whole Sequel is, except a sentence or two].--

... "On this Neustadt occasion, the King was sometimes too ceremonious;
which annoyed the Kaiser. For instance,--I know not whether meaning
to show himself a disciplined Elector of the Reich, but so it
was,--whenever the Kaiser put his foot in stirrup, the King was sure to
take his Majesty's horse by the bridle, stand respectfully waiting the
Kaiser's right foot, and fit it into ITS stirrup: and so with everything
else. The Kaiser had the more sincere appearance, in testifying his
great respect; like that of a young Prince to an aged King, and of a
young Soldier to the greatest of Captains....

"Sometimes there were appearances of cordiality between the two
Sovereigns. One saw that Friedrich II. loved Joseph II., but that the
preponderance of the Empire, and the contact of Bohemia and Silesia, a
good deal barred the sentiments of King and Kaiser. You remember, Sire
[Ex-Sire of Poland], their LETTERS [readers shall see them, in
1778,--or rather REFUSE to see them!'] on the subject of Bavaria; their
compliments, the explanations they had with regard to their intentions;
all carried on with such politeness; and that from politeness to
politeness, the King ended by invading Bohemia."

Well, here is legible record, with something really of portraiture in
it, valuable so far as it goes; record unique on this subject;--and
substantially true, though inexact enough in details. Thus, even in
regard to that of Anhalt's HEAD, which is so impossible in this First
Dialogue, Friedrich did most probably say something of the kind, in a
Second which there is, of date 1780; of which latter De Ligne is here
giving account as well,--though we have to postpone it till its time
come.

At this Neustadt Interview there did something of Political occur;
and readers ought to be shown exactly what. Kaunitz had come with the
Kaiser; and this something was intended as the real business among
the gayeties and galas at Neustadt. Poland, or its Farce-Tragedy now
playing, was not once mentioned that I hear of; though perhaps, as
FLEBILE LUDIBRIUM, it might turn up for moments in dinner-conversation
or the like: but the astonishing Russian-Turk War, which has sprung out
of Poland, and has already filled Stamboul and its Divans and Muftis
with mere horror and amazement; and, in fact, has brought the Grand Turk
to the giddy rim of the Abyss; nothing but ruin and destruction visible
to him: this, beyond all other things whatever, is occupying these high
heads at present;--and indeed the two latest bits of Russian-Turk news
have been of such a blazing character as to occupy all the world more
or less. Readers, some glances into the Turk War, I grieve to say, are
become inevitable to us!



RUSSIAN-TURK WAR, FIRST TWO CAMPAIGNS.

"OCTOBER 6th, 1768, Turks declare War; Russian Ambassador thrown into
the Seven Towers as a preliminary, where he sat till Peace came to
be needed. MARCH 23d, 1769, Display their Banner of Mahomet, all in
paroxysm of Fanaticism risen to the burning point: 'Under pain of death,
No Giaour of you appear on the streets, nor even look out, of window,
this day!' Austrian Ambassador's Wife, a beautiful gossamer creature,
venturing to transgress on that point, was torn from her carriage by the
Populace, and with difficulty saved from destruction: Brother of the
Sun and Moon, apologizing afterwards down to the very shoe-tie, is
forgiven."

FIRST CAMPAIGN; 1769. "APRIL 26th-30th, Galitzin VERSUS Choczim;
can't, having no provender or powder. Falls back over Dniester
again,--overhears that extraordinary DREAM, as above recited,
betokening great rumor in Russian Society against such Purblind
Commanders-in-Chief. Purblind VERSUS Blind is fine play, nevertheless;
wait, only wait:--

"JULY 2d, Galitzin slowly gets on the advance again: 150,000 Turks,
still slower, are at last across the Donau (sharp enough French
Officers among them, agents of Choiseul; but a mass incurably
chaotic);--furiously intending towards Poland and extermination of the
Giaour. Do not reach Dniester River till September, and look across
on Poland,--for the first time, and also for the last, in this War.
SEPTEMBER 17th: Weather has been rainy; Dniester, were Galitzin
nothing, is very difficult for Turks; who try in two places, but cannot.
[Hermann, v. 611-613.] In a third place (name not given, perhaps has
no name), about 12,000 of them are across; when Dniester, raging into
flood, carries away their one Bridge, and leaves the 12,000 isolated
there. Purblind Galitzin, on express order, does attack these 12,000
(night of September 17th-18th):--'Hurrah' of the devouring Russians
about midnight, hoarse shriek of the doomed 12,000, wail of their
brethren on the southern shore, who cannot, help:--night of horrors
'from midnight till 2 A.M.;' and the 12,000 massacred or captive, every
man of them; Russian loss 600 killed and wounded. Whereupon the Turk
Army bursts into unanimous insanity; and flows home in deliquium of
ruin. Choczim is got on the terms already mentioned (15 sick men and
women lying in it, and 184 bronze cannon, when we boat across); Turk
Army can by no effort be brought to halt anywhere; flows across the
Donau, disappears into Chaos:--and the whole of Moldavia is conquered
in this cheap manner. What, perhaps is still better, Galitzin (28th
September) is thrown out; Romanzow, hitherto Commander of a second
smaller Army, kind of covering wing to Galitzin, is Chief for Second
Campaign.

"In the Humber, this Winter, to the surprise of incredulous mankind,
a Russian Fleet drops anchor for a few days: actual Russian Fleet
intending for the Greek waters, for Montenegro and intermediate errands,
to conclude with 'Liberation of Greece next Spring,'--so grandiose is
this Czarina." [Hermann, v. 617.]

SECOND CAMPAIGN; 1770. "This is the flower of Anti-Turk
Campaigns,--victorious, to a blazing pitch, both by land and sea.
Romanzow, master of Moldavia, goes upon Wallachia, and the new or
rehabilitated Turk Army; and has an almost gratis bargain of both.
Romanzow has some good Officers under him ('Brigadier Stoffeln,' much
more 'General Tottlenen,' 'General Bauer,' once Colonel Bauer of the
Wesel Free-Corps,--many of the Superior Officers seem to be German,
others have Swedish or Danish names);--better Officers; and knows better
how to use them than Galitzin did. August 1st, Romanzow has a Battle,
called of Kaghul, in Pruth Country. That is his one 'Battle' this
Summer; and brings him Ismail, Akkerman, all Wallachey, and no Turks
left in those parts. But first let us attend to sea-matters, and the
Liberation of Greece, which precede in time and importance.

"'Liberation of Greece:' an actual Fleet, steering from Cronstadt to
the Dardanelles to liberate Greece! The sound of it kindles all the warm
heads in Europe; especially Voltaire's, which, though covered with the
snow of age, is still warm internally on such points. As to liberating
Greece, Voltaire's hopes were utterly balked; but the Fleet from
Cronstadt did amazing service otherwise in those waters. FEBRUARY 28th,
1770, first squadron of the Russian Fleet anchors at Passawa,--not far
from Calamata, in the Gulf of Coron, on the antique Peloponnesian coast;
Sparta on your right hand, Arcadia on your left, and so many excellent
Ghosts (GREEK TEXT) of Heroes looking on:--Russian squadron has four big
ships, three frigates, more soon to follow: on board there are arms and
munitions of war; but unhappily only 500 soldiers. Admiral-in-Chief (not
yet come up) is Alexei Orlof, a brother of Lover Gregory's, an extremely
worthless seaman and man. Has under him 'many Danes, a good few English
too,'--especially Three English Officers, whom we shall hear of, when
Alexei and they come up. Meanwhile, on the Peloponnesian coast are
modern Spartans, to the number of 15,000, all sitting ready,
expecting the Russian advent: these rose duly; got Russian muskets,
cartridges,--only two Russian Officers:--and attacked the Turks
with considerable fury or voracity, but with no success of the least
solidity. Were foiled here, driven out there; in fine, were utterly
beaten, Russians and they: lost Tripolizza, by surprise; whereupon
(April 19th) the Russians withdrew to their Fleet; and the Affair
of Greece was at an end. [Hermann, v. 621.] It had lasted (28th
February-19th April) seven weeks and a day. The Russians retired to
their Fleet, with little loss; and rode at their ease again, in Navarino
Bay. But the 15,000 modern Spartans had nothing to retire to,--these had
to retire into extinction, expulsion and the throat of Moslem vengeance,
which was frightfully bloody and inexorable on them.

"Greece having failed, the Russian Fleet, now in complete tale, made for
Turkey, for Constantinople itself. 'Into the very Dardanelles' they say
they will go; an Englishman among them--Captain Elphinstone, a dashing
seaman, if perhaps rather noisy, whom Rulhiere is not blind to--has been
heard to declare, at least in his cups: 'Dardanelles impossible? Pshaw,
I will do it, as easily as drink this glass of wine!' Alexei Orlof is a
Sham-Admiral; but under him are real Sea-Officers, one or two.

"In the Turkish Fleet, it seems, there is an Ex-Algerine, Hassan Bey,
of some capacity in sea-matters; but he is not in chief command, only
in second; and can accomplish nothing. The Turkish Fleet, numerous but
rotten, retires daily,--through the famed Cyclades, and Isles of Greece,
Paros, Naxos, apocalyptic Patmos, on to Scio (old Chios of the wines);
and on July 5th takes refuge behind Scio, between Scio and the Coast
of Smyrna, in Tchesme Bay. 'Safe here!' thinks the chief Turk Admiral.
'Very far from safe!' remonstrates Hassan; though to no purpose. And
privately puts the question to himself, 'Have these Giaours a real
Admiral among them, or, like us, only a sham one?'"

TCHESME BAY, 7th JULY, 1770. "Nothing can be more imaginary than Alexei
Orlof as an Admiral: but he has a Captain Elphinstone, a Captain Gregg,
a Lieutenant Dugdale; and these determine to burn poor Hassan and his
whole Fleet in Tchesme here:--and do it totally, night of July 7th; with
one single fireship; Dugdale steering it; Gregg behind him, to support
with broadsides; Elphinstone ruling and contriving, still farther to
rear; helpless Turk Fleet able to make no debate whatever. Such a blaze
of conflagration on the helpless Turks as shone over all the world--one
of Rulhiere's finest fire-works, with little shot;--the light of which
was still dazzling mankind while the Interview at Neustadt took place.
Turk Fleet, fifteen ships, nine frigates and above 8,000 men, gone to
gases and to black cinders,--Hassan hardly escaping with I forget how
many score of wounds and bruises. [Hermann, v. 623.]

"'Now for the Dardanelles,' said Elphinstone: (bombard Constantinople,
starve it,--to death, or to what terms you will!' 'Cannot be done; too
dangerous; impossible!' answered the sham Admiral, quite in a tremor,
they say;--which at length filled the measure of Elphinstone's disgusts
with such a Fleet and Admiral. Indignant Elphinstone withdrew to his
own ship, 'Adieu, Sham-Admiral!'--sailed with his own ship, through the
impossible Dardanelles (Turk batteries firing one huge block of granite
at him, which missed; then needing about forty minutes to load
again); feat as easy to Elphinstone as this glass of wine. In sight of
Constantinople, Elphinstone, furthermore, called for his tea; took his
tea on deck, under flourishing of all his drums and all his trumpets:
tea done, sailed out again scathless; instantly threw up his
command,--and at Petersburg, soon after, in taking leave of the Czarina,
signified to her, in language perhaps too plain, or perhaps only too
painfully true, some Naval facts which were not welcome in that high
quarter." [Rulhiere, iii. 476-509.] This remarkable Elphinstone I take
to be some junior or irregular Balmerino scion; but could never much
hear of him except in RULHIERE, where, on vague, somewhat theatrical
terms, he figures as above.

"AUGUST 1st, Romanzow has a 'Battle of Kaghul,' so they call it;
though it is a 'Slaughtery' or SCHLACHTEREI, rather than a 'Slaught' or
SCHLACHT, say my German friends. Kaghul is not a specific place, but a
longish river, a branch of the Pruth; under screen of which the Grand
Turk Army, 100,000 strong, with 100,000 Tartars as second line, has
finally taken position, and fortified itself with earthworks and
abundant cannon. AUGUST 1st, 1770, Romanzow, after study and advising,
feels prepared for this Grand Army and its earthworks: with a select
20,000, under select captains, Romanzow, after nightfall, bursts in
upon it, simultaneously on three different points; and gains, gratis or
nearly so, such a victory as was never heard of before. The Turks, on
their earthworks, had 140 cannons; these the Turk gunners fired off two
times, and fled, leaving them for Romanzow's uses. The Turk cavalry then
tried if they could not make some attempt at charging; found they could
not; whirled back upon their infantry; set it also whirling: and in
a word, the whole 200,000 whirled, without blow struck; and it was a
universal panic rout, and delirious stampede of flight, which never
paused (the very garrisons emptying themselves, and joining in it) till
it got across the Donau again, and drew breath there, not to rally or
stand, but to run rather slower. And had left Wallachia, Bessarabia,
Dniester river, Donau river, swept clear of Turks; all Romanzow's
henceforth. To such astonishment of an invincible Grand Turk, and of his
Moslem Populations, fallen on such a set of Giaours ["ALLAH KERIM, And
cannot we abolish them, then?" Not we THEM, it would appear!],--as every
reader can imagine." Which shall suffice every reader here in regard
to the Turk War, and what concern he has in the extremely brutish
phenomenon.

Tchesme fell out July 7th; Elphinstone has hardly done his tea in the
Dardanelles, when (August 1st) this of Kaghul follows: both would be
fresh news blazing in every head while the Dialogues between Friedrich
and Kaunitz were going on. For they "had many dialogues," Friedrich
says; "and one of the days" (probably September 6th) was mainly devoted
to Politics, to deep private Colloquy with Kaunitz. Of which, and of the
great things that followed out of it, I will now give, from Friedrich's
own hand, the one entirely credible account I have anywhere met with in
writing.

Friedrich's account of Kaunitz himself is altogether life-like: a
solemn, arrogant, mouthing, browbeating kind of man,--embarrassed at
present by the necessity not to browbeat, and by the consciousness that
"King Friedrich is the only man who refuses to acknowledge my claims to
distinction:" [Rulhiere (somewhere) has heard this, as an utterance
of Kaunitz's in some plaintive moment.]--a Kaunitz whose arrogances,
qualities and claims this King is not here to notice, except as they
concern business on hand. He says, "Kaunitz had a clear intellect,
greatly twisted by perversities of temper (UN SENS DROIT, L'ESPRIT
REMPLI DE TRAVERS), especially by a self-conceit and arrogance
which were boundless. He did not talk, but preach. At the smallest
interruption, he would stop short in indignant surprise: it has happened
that, at the Council-Board in Schonbrunn, when Imperial Majesty herself
asked some explanation of a word or thing not understood by her, Kaunitz
made his bow (LUI TIRA SA REVERENCE), and quitted the room." Good to
know the nature of the beast. Listen to him, then, on those terms, since
it is necessary. The Kaunitz Sermon was of great length, imbedded in
circumlocutions, innuendoes and diplomatic cautions; but the gist of
it we gather to have been (abridged into dialogue form) essentially as
follows:--

KAUNITZ. "Dangerous to the repose of Europe, those Russian encroachments
on the Turk. Never will Imperial Majesty consent that Russia possess
Moldavia or Wallachia; War sooner,--all things sooner! These views of
Russia are infinitely dangerous to everybody. To your Majesty as well,
if I may say so; and no remedy conceivable against them,--to me none
conceivable,--but this only, That Prussia and Austria join frankly in
protest and absolute prohibition of them."

FRIEDRICH. "I have nothing more at heart than to stand well with
Austria; and always to be her ally, never her enemy. But your Highness
sees how I am situated: bound by express Treaty with Czarish Majesty;
must go with Russia in any War! What can I do? I can, and will with all
industry, labor to conciliate Czarish Majesty and Imperial; to produce
at Petersburg such a Peace with the Turks as may meet the wishes of
Vienna. Let us hope it can be done. By faithful endeavoring, on my part
and on yours, I persuade myself it can. Meanwhile, steadfastly together,
we two! All our little rubs, custom-house squabbles on the Frontier,
and such like, why not settle them here, and now? [and does so with
his Highness.] That there be nothing but amity, helpfulness and mutual
effort towards an object so momentous to us both, and to all mankind!"

KAUNITZ. "Good so far. And may a not intolerable Turk-Russian Peace
prove possible, without our fighting for it! Meanwhile, Imperial Majesty
[as she has been visibly doing for some time] must continue massing
troops and requisites on the Hungarian Frontier, lest the contrary
happen!"

This was the result arrived at. Of which Friedrich "judged it but polite
to inform the young Kaiser; who appeared to be grateful for this mark
of attention, being much held down by Kaunitz in his present state of
tutelage." [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxvi. 30.]

And by a singular chance, on the very morrow there arrived from the
Divan (dated August 12th) an Express to Friedrich: "Mediate a Peace for
us with Russia; not you alone, as we have often asked, but Austria AND
you!" For the Kaghul Slaughtery has come on us; Giaour Elphinstone
has taken tea in the Dardanelles; and we know not to what hand to
turn!--"The young Kaiser did not hide his joy at this Overture, as
Kaunitz did his, which was perhaps still greater:" the Kaiser warmly
expressed his thanks to Friedrich as the Author of it; Kaunitz, with
a lofty indifference (MORGUE), and nose in air as over a small matter,
"merely signified his approval of this step which the Turks had taken."

"Never was mediation undertaken with greater pleasure," adds the King.
And both did proceed upon it with all zeal; but only the King as real
"mediator," or MIDDLEman; Kaunitz from the first planting himself
immovably upon the Turk side of things, which is likewise the Austrian;
and playing in secret (as Friedrich probably expected he would) the
strangest tricks with his assumed function.

So that Friedrich had to take the burden of mediating altogether on
himself; and month after month, year after year, it is evident he
prosecutes the same with all the industry and faculty that are in
him,--in intense desire, and in hope often nearly desperate, to keep his
two neighbors' houses, and his own and the whole world along with
them, from taking fire. Apart from their conflicting interests, the two
Empresses have privately a rooted aversion to one another. What with
Russian exorbitancy (a Czarina naturally uplifted with her Tchesmes and
Kaghuls); what with Austrian cupidity, pride, mulishness, and private
trickery of Kaunitz; the adroit and heartily zealous Friedrich never had
such a bit of diplomacy to do. For many months hence, in spite of his
intensest efforts and cunningest appliances, no way of egress visible:
"The imbroglio MUST catch fire!" At last a way opens, "Ha, at last
a way!"--then, for above a twelvemonth longer, such a guiding of the
purblind quadrupeds and obstinate Austrian mules into said way: and
for years more such an urging of them, in pig-driver fashion, along the
same, till Peace did come!--

And here, without knowing it, we have insensibly got to the topmost
summit of our Polish Business; one small step more, and we shall be on
the brow of the precipitous inclined-plane, down which Poland and its
business go careering thenceforth, down, down,--and will need but few
words more from us. Actual discovery of "a way out" stands for next
Section.

First, however, we will notice, as prefatory, a curious occurrence
in the Country of Zips, contiguous to the Hungarian Frontier. Zips, a
pretty enough District, of no great extent, had from time immemorial
belonged to Hungary; till, above 300 years ago, it was--by Sigismund
SUPER GRAMMATICAM, a man always in want of money (whom we last saw, in
flaming color, investing Friedrich's Ancestor with Brandenburg instead
of payment for a debt of money)--pledged to the Crown of Poland for
a round sum to help in Sigismund's pressing occasions. Redemption by
payment never followed; attempt at redemption there had never been,
by Sigismund or any of his successors. Nay, one successor, in a Treaty
still extant, [Preuss, iv. 32 (date 1589; pawning had beep 1412).]
expressly gave up the right of redeeming: Pledge forfeited: a Zips
belonging to Polish Crown and Republic by every law.

Well; Imperial Majesty, as we have transiently seen, is assembling
troops on the Hungarian Frontier, for a special purpose. Poor Poland is,
by this time (1770), as we also saw, sunk in Pestilence,--pigs and dogs
devouring the dead bodies: not a loaf to be had for a hundred ducats,
and the rage of Pestilence itself a mild thing to that of Hunger, not to
mention other rages. So that both Austria and Prussia, in order to keep
out Pestilence at least, if they cannot the other rages, have had to
draw CORDONS, or lines of troops along the Frontiers. "The Prussian
cordon," I am informed, "goes from Crossen, by Frankfurt northward,
to the Weichsel River and border of Warsaw Country:" and "is under the
command of General Belling," our famous Anti-Swede Hussar of former
years. The Austrian cordon looks over upon Zips and other Starosties, on
the Hungarian Border: where, independently of Pestilence, an alarmed
and indignant Empress-Queen has been and is assembling masses of troops,
with what object we know. Looking over into Zips in these circumstances,
indignant Kaunitz and Imperial Majesty, especially HIS Imperial Majesty,
a youth always passionate for territory, say to themselves, "Zips was
ours, and in a sense is!"--and (precise date refused us, but after
Neustadt, and before Winter has quite come) push troops across into
Zips Starosty: seize the whole Thirteen Townships of Zips, and not only
these, but by degrees tract after tract of the adjacencies: "Must have
a Frontier to our mind in those parts: indefensible otherwise!" And
quietly set up boundary-pillars, with the Austrian double-eagle stamped
on them, and intimation to Zips and neighborhood, That it is now become
Austrian, and shall have no part farther in these Polish Confederatings,
Pestilences, rages of men, and pigs devouring dead bodies, but shall
live quiet under the double-eagle as others do. Which to Zips, for the
moment, might be a blessed change, welcome or otherwise; but which awoke
considerable amazement in the outer world,--very considerable in King
Stanislaus (to whom, on applying, Kaunitz would give no explanation the
least articulate);--and awoke, in the Russian Court especially, a rather
intense surprise and provocation.



PRINCE HENRI HAS BEEN TO SWEDEN; IS SEEN AT PETERSBURG IN MASQUERADE (on
or about New-year's Day, 1771); AND DOES GET HOME, WITH RESULTS THAT ARE
IMPORTANT.

Prince Henri, as we noticed, was not of this Second King-and-Kaiser
Interview; Henri had gone in the opposite direction,--to Sweden, on a
visit to his Sister Ulrique,--off for West and North, just in the same
days while the King was leaving Potsdam for Silesia and his other errand
in the Southeast parts. Henri got to Drottingholm, his Sister's country
Palace near Stockholm, by the "end of August;" and was there with Queen
Ulrique and Husband during these Neustadt manoeuvres. A changed Queen
Ulrique, since he last saw her "beautiful as Love," whirling off in the
dead of night for those remote Countries and destinies. [Supra, viii.
309.] She is now fifty, or on the edge of it, her old man sixty,--old
man dies within few months. They have had many chagrins, especially she,
as the prouder, has had, from their contumacious People,--contumacious
Senators at least (strong always both in POCKET-MONEY French or Russian,
and in tendency to insolence and folly),--who once, I remember, demanded
sight and count of the Crown-Jewels from Queen Ulrique: "There, VOILA,
there are they!" said the proud Queen; "view them, count them,--lock
them up: never more will I wear one of them!" But she has pretty Sons
grown to manhood, one pretty Daughter, a patient good old Husband; and
Time, in Sweden too, brings its roses; and life is life, in spite of
contumacious bribed Senators and doggeries that do rather abound. Henri
stayed with her six or seven weeks; leaves Sweden, middle of October,
1770,--not by the straight course homewards: "No, verily, and well knew
why!" shrieks the indignant Polish world on us ever since.

It is not true that Friedrich had schemed to send Henri round by
Petersburg. On the contrary, it was the Czarina, on ground of old
acquaintanceship, who invited him, and asked his Brother's leave to
do it. And if Poland got its fate from the circumstance, it was by
accident, and by the fact that Poland's fate was drop-ripe, ready to
fall by a touch.--Before going farther, here is ocular view of the
shrill-minded, serious and ingenious Henri, little conscious of being so
fateful a man:--PRINCE HENRI IN WHITE DOMINO. "Prince Henri of Prussia,"
says Richardson, the useful Eye-witness cited already, "is one of the
most celebrated Generals of the present age. So great are his military
talents, that his Brother, who is not apt to pay compliments, says of
him,--That, in commanding an army, he was never known to commit a fault.
This, however, is but a negative kind of praise. He [the King] reserves
to himself the glory of superior genius, which, though capable of
brilliant achievements, is yet liable to unwary mistakes: and allows him
no other than the praise of correctness.

"To judge of Prince Henri by his appearance, I should form no high
estimate of his abilities. But the Scythian Ambassadors judged in the
same manner of Alexander the Great. He is under the middle size; very
thin; he walks firmly enough, or rather struts, as if he wanted to
walk firmly; and has little dignity in his air or gesture. He is
dark-complexioned; and he wears his hair, which is remarkably thick,
clubbed, and dressed with a high toupee. His forehead is high; his eyes
large and blue, with a little squint; and when he smiles, his upper
lip is drawn up a little in the middle. His look expresses sagacity and
observation, but nothing very amiable; and his manner is grave and
stiff rather than affable. He was dressed, when I first saw him, in a
light-blue frock with silver frogs; and wore a red waistcoat and blue
breeches. He is not very popular among the Russians; and accordingly
their wits are disposed to amuse themselves with his appearance, and
particularly with his toupee. They say he resembles Samson; that all his
strength lies in his hair; and that, conscious of this, and recollecting
the fate of the son of Manoah, he suffers not the nigh approaches of any
deceitful Delilah. They say he is like the Comet, which, about fifteen
months ago, appeared so formidable in the Russian hemisphere; and which,
exhibiting a small watery body, but a most enormous train, dismayed the
Northern and Eastern Potentates with 'fear of change.'

"I saw him a few nights ago [on or about New-year's Day, 1771; come
back to us, from his Tour to Moscow, three weeks before; and nothing
but galas ever since] at a Masquerade in the Palace, said to be the most
magnificent thing of the kind ever seen at the Russian Court. Fourteen
large rooms and galleries were opened for the accommodation of the
masks; and I was informed that there were present several thousand
people. A great part of the company wore dominos, or capuchin dresses;
though, besides these, some fanciful appearances afforded a good deal
of amusement. A very tall Cossack appeared completely arrayed in the
'hauberk's twisted mail.' He was indeed very grim and martial. Persons
in emblematical dresses, representing Apollo and the Seasons, addressed
the Empress in speeches suited to their characters. The Empress herself,
at the time I saw her Majesty, wore a Grecian habit; though I was
afterwards told that she varied her dress two or three times during the
masquerade. Prince Henri of Prussia wore a white domino. Several persons
appeared in the dresses of different nations,--Chinese, Turks, Persians
and Armenians. The most humorous and fantastical figure was a Frenchman,
who, with wonderful nimbleness and dexterity, represented an overgrown
but very beautiful Parrot. He chattered with a great deal of spirit; and
his shoulders, covered with green feathers, performed admirably the part
of wings. He drew the attention of the Empress; a ring was formed; he
was quite happy; fluttered his plumage; made fine speeches in Russ,
French and tolerable English; the ladies were exceedingly diverted;
everybody laughed except Prince Henri, who stood beside the Empress, and
was so grave and so solemn, that he would have performed his part
most admirably in the shape of an owl. The Parrot observed him; was
determined to have revenge; and having said as many good things as he
could to her Majesty, he was hopping away; but just as he was going out
of the circle, seeming to recollect himself, he stopped, looked over his
shoulder at the formal Prince, and quite in the parrot tone and French
accent, he addressed him most emphatically with 'HENRI! HENRI! HENRI!'
and then, diving into the crowd, disappeared. His Royal Highness was
disconcerted; he was forced to smile in his own defence, and the company
were not a little amused.

"At midnight, a spacious hall, of a circular form, capable of containing
a vast number of people, and illuminated in the most magnificent manner,
was suddenly opened. Twelve tables were placed in alcoves around the
sides of the room, where the Empress, Prince Henri, and a hundred and
fifty of the chief nobility and foreign ministers sat down to supper.
The rest of the company went up, by stairs on the outside of the room,
into the lofty galleries placed all around on the inside. Such a row of
masked visages, many of them with grotesque features and bushy beards,
nodding from the side of the wall, appeared very ludicrous to those
below. The entertainment was enlivened with a concert of music: and
at different intervals persons in various habits entered the hall, and
exhibited Cossack, Chinese, Polish, Swedish and Tartar dances. The whole
was so gorgeous, and at the same time so fantastic, that I could not
help thinking myself present at some of the magnificent festivals
described in the old-fashioned romantes:--

     'The marshal'd feast
     Served up in hall with sewers and seneschals.'

The rest of the company, on returning to the rooms adjoining, found
prepared for them also a sumptuous banquet. The masquerade began at 6 in
the evening, and continued till 5 next morning.

"Besides the masquerade, and other festivities, in honor of, and
to divert Prince Henri, we had lately a most magnificent show of
fire-works. They were exhibited in a wide apace before the Winter
Palace; and, in truth, 'beggared description.' They displayed, by a
variety of emblematical figures, the reduction of Moldavia, Wallachia,
Bessarabia, and the various conquests and victories achieved since the
commencement of the present War. The various colors, the bright
green and the snowy white, exhibited in these fire-works, were truly
astonishing. For the space of twenty minutes, a tree, adorned with the
loveliest and most verdant foliage, seemed to be waving as with a gentle
breeze. It was entirely of fire; and during the whole of this stupendous
scene, an arch of fire, by the continued throwing of rockets and
fire-balls in one direction, formed as it were a suitable canopy.

"On this occasion a prodigious multitude of people were assembled; and
the Empress, it was surmised, seemed uneasy. She was afraid, it was
apprehended, lest any accident, like what happened at Paris at the
marriage of the Dauphin, should befall her beloved people. I hope I
have amused you; and ever am"--[W. Richardson, _Anecdotes of the Russian
Empire,_ pp. 325-331: "Petersburg, 4th January, 1771."]

The masquerades and galas in honor of Prince Henri, from a grandiose
Hostess, who had played with him in childhood, were many; but it is not
with these that we have to do. One day, the Czarina, talking to him of
the Austrian procedures at Zips, said with pique, "It seems, in Poland
you have only to stoop, and pick up what you like of it. If the Court
of Vienna have the notion to dismember that Kingdom, its neighbors will
have right to do as much." [Rulhiere, iv. 210; _Trois Demembremens,_
i. 142; above all, Henri himself, in _OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxvi. 345,
"Petersburg, 8th January, 1771."] This is supposed, in all Books, to
be the PUNCTUM SALIENS, or first mention, of the astonishing Partition,
which was settled, agreed upon, within about a year hence, and has
made so much noise ever since. And in effect it was so; the idea rising
practically in that high head was the real beginning. But this was
not the first head it had been in; far from that. Above a year ago,
as Friedrich himself informed us, it had been in Friedrich's own
head,--though at the time it went for absolutely nothing, nobody even
bestowing a sneer on it (as Friedrich intimates), and disappeared
through the Horn-Gate of Dreams.

Friedrich himself appears to have quite forgotten the Count-Lynar idea;
and, on Henri's report from Russia, was totally incredulous; and even
suspected that there might be trickery and danger in this Russian
proposal. Not till Henri's return (FEBRUARY 18th, 1771) could he
entirely believe that the Czarina was serious;--and then, sure enough,
he did, with his whole heart, go into it: the EUREKA out of all these
difficulties, which had so long seemed insuperable. Prince Henri "had
an Interview with the Austrian Minister next day" (February 19th),
who immediately communicated with his Kaunitz,--and got discouraging
response from Kaunitz; discouraging, or almost negatory; which did not
discourage Friedrich. "A way out," thinks Friedrich: "the one way to
save my Prussia and the world from incalculable conflagration." And
entered on it without loss of a moment. And labored at it with such
continual industry, rapidity and faculty for guiding and pushing, as
all readers have known in him, on dangerous emergencies: at no moment
lifting his hand from it till it was complete.

His difficulties were enormous: what a team to drive; and on such a
road, untrodden before by hoof or wheel! Two Empresses that cordially
hate one another, and that disagree on this very subject. Kaunitz and
his Empress are extremely skittish in the matter, and as if quite refuse
it at first: "Zips will be better," thinks Kaunitz to himself; "Cannot
we have, all to ourselves, a beautiful little cutting out of Poland in
that part; and then perhaps, in league with the Turk, who has money,
beat the Russians home altogether, and rule Poland in their stead, or
'share it with the Sultan,' as Reis-Effendi suggests?" And the dismal
truth is, though it was not known for years afterward, Kaunitz does
about this time, in profoundest secret, actually make Treaty of Alliance
with the Turk ("so many million Piastres to us, ready money, year by
year, and you shall, if not by our mediating, then by our fighting, be
a contented Turk"); and all along at the different Russian-Turk
"Peace-Congresses," Kaunitz, while pretending to sit and mediate
along with Prussia, sat on that far other basis, privately thwarting
everything; and span out the Turk pacification in a wretched manner
for years coming. ["Peace of Kainardschi," not till "21st July,
1774,"--after four or five abortive attempts, two of them "Congresses,"
Kaunitz so industrious (Hermann, v. 664 et antea).] A dangerous,
hard-mouthed, high-stalking, ill-given old coach-horse of a Kaunitz:
fancy what the driving of him might be, on a road he did not like! But
he had a driver too, who, in delicate adroitness, in patience and in
sharpness of whip, was consummate: "You shall know it is your one road,
my ill-given friend!" (I ostentatiously increase my Cavalry by 8,000;
meaning, "A new Seven-Years War, if you force me, and Russia by my side
this time!") So that Kaunitz had to quit his Turk courses (never paid
the Piastres back), and go into what really was the one way out.

But Friedrich's difficulties on this course are not the thing that
can interest readers; and all readers know his faculty for overcoming
difficulties. Readers ask rather: "And had Friedrich no feeling about
Poland itself, then, and this atrocious Partitioning of the poor
Country?" Apparently none whatever;--unless it might be, that
Deliverance from Anarchy, Pestilence, Famine, and Pigs eating your dead
bodies, would be a manifest advantage for Poland, while it was the
one way of saving Europe from War. Nobody seems more contented in
conscience, or radiant with heartfelt satisfaction, and certainty of
thanks from all wise and impartial men, than the King of Prussia, now
and afterwards, in regard to this Polish atrocity! A psychological fact,
which readers can notice. Scrupulous regard to Polish considerations,
magnanimity to Poland, or the least respect or pity for her as a
dying Anarchy, is what nobody will claim for him; consummate talent in
executing the Partition of Poland (inevitable some day, as he may have
thought, but is nowhere at the pains to say),--great talent, great
patience too, and meritorious self-denial and endurance, in executing
that Partition, and in saving IT from catching fire instead of being
the means to quench fire, no well-informed person will deny him. Of his
difficulties in the operation (which truly are unspeakable) I will say
nothing more; readers are prepared to believe that he, beyond others,
should conquer difficulties when the object is vital to him. I will
mark only the successive dates of his progress, and have done with this
wearisome subject:--

June 14th, 1771. Within four months of the arrival of Prince Henri and
that first certainty from Russia, diligent Friedrich, upon whom the
whole burden had been laid of drawing up a Plan, and bringing Austria
to consent, is able to report to Petersburg, That Austria has dubieties,
reluctances, which it is to be foreseen she will gradually get over;
and that here meanwhile (June 14th, 1771) is my Plan of Partition,--the
simplest conceivable: "That each choose (subject to future
adjustments) what will best suit him; I, for my own part, will say,
West-Preussen;--what Province will Czarish Majesty please to say?"
Czarish Majesty, in answer, is exorbitantly liberal to herself; claims,
not a Province, but four or five; will have Friedrich, if the Austrians
attack her in consequence, to assist by declaring War on Austria;
Czarish Majesty, in the reciprocal case, not to assist Friedrich at all,
till her Turk War is done! "Impossible," thinks Friedrich; "surprisingly
so, high Madam! But, to the delicate bridle-hand, you are a manageable
entity."

It was with Kaunitz that Friedrich's real difficulties lay. Privately,
in the course of this Summer, Kaunitz, by way of preparation for
"mediating a Turk-Russian Peace," had concluded his "subsidy Treaty"
with the Turk, ["6th July, 1771" (Preuss, iv. 31; Hermann; &c.
&c.).]--Treaty never ratified, but the Piastres duly paid;--Treaty
rendering Peace impossible, so long as Kaunitz had to do with mediating
it. And indeed Kaunitz's tricks in that function of mediator, and also
after it, were of the kind which Friedrich has some reason to call
"infamous." "Your Majesty, as co-mediator, will join us, should the
Russians make War?" said Kaunitz's Ambassador, one day, to Friedrich.
"For certain, no!" answered Friedrich; and, on the contrary, remounted
his Cavalry, to signify, "I will fight the other way, if needed!" which
did at once bring Kaunitz to give up his mysterious Turk projects, and
come into the Polish. After which, his exorbitant greed of territory
there; his attempts to get Russia into a partitioning of Turkey as
well,--("A slice of Turkey too, your Czarish Majesty and we?" hints he
more than once),--gave Friedrich no end of trouble; and are singular
to look at by the light there now is. Not for about a twelvemonth did
Friedrich get his hard-mouthed Kaunitz brought into step at all; and
to the last, perpetual vigilance and, by whip and bit, the adroitest
charioteering was needed on him.

FEBRUARY 17th, 1772, Russia and Prussia, for their own part,--Friedrich,
in the circumstances, submitting to many things from his Czarina,--get
their particular "Convention" (Bargain in regard to Poland) completed in
all parts, "will take possession 4th June instant:" sign said Convention
(February 17th);--and invite Austria to join, and state her claims.
Which, in three weeks after, MARCH 4th, Austria does;--exorbitant
abundantly; and NOT to be got very much reduced, though we try, for a
series of months. Till at last:--

AUGUST 5th, 1772, Final Agreement between the Three Partitioning Powers:
"These are our respective shares; we take possession on the 1st OF
SEPTEMBER instant:"--and actual possession for Friedrich's share did,
on the 13th of that month, ensue. A right glad Friedrich, as everybody,
friend or enemy, may imagine him! Glad to have done with such a
business,--had there been no other profit in it; which was far from
being the case. One's clear belief, on studying these Books, is of two
things: FIRST, that, as everybody admits, Friedrich had no real hand in
starting the notion of Partitioning Poland;--but that he grasped at it
with eagerness, as the one way of saving Europe from War: SECOND, what
has been much less noticed, that, under any other hand, it would have
led Europe to War;--and that to Friedrich is due the fact, that it got
effected without such accompaniment. Friedrich's share of Territory
is counted to be in all 9,465 English square miles; Austria's, 62,500;
Russia's, 87,500, [Preuss, iv. 45.] between nine and ten times the
amount of Friedrich's,--which latter, however, as an anciently Teutonic
Country, and as filling up the always dangerous gap between his
Ost-Preussen and him, has, under Prussian administration, proved much
the most valuable of the Three; and, next to Silesia, is Friedrich's
most important acquisition. SEPTEMBER 13th, 1772, it was at last entered
upon,--through such waste-weltering confusions, and on terms never yet
unquestionable.

Consent of Polish Diet was not had for a year more; but that is worth
little record. Diet, for that object, got together 19th APRIL, 1773;
recalcitrant enough, had not Russia understood the methods: "a common
fund was raised [ON SE COTISA, says Friedrich] for bribing;" the
Three Powers had each a representative General in Warsaw (Lentulus the
Prussian personage), all three with forces to rear: Diet came down
by degrees, and, in the course of five months (SEPTEMBER 18th, 1773),
acquiesced in everything.

And so the matter is ended; and various men will long have various
opinions upon it. I add only this one small Document from Maria
Theresa's hand, which all hearts, and I suppose even Friedrich's had
he ever read it, will pronounce to be very beautiful; homely, faithful,
wholesome, well-becoming in a high and true Sovereign Woman.



THE EMPRESS-QUEEN TO PRINCE KAUNITZ (Undated: date must be Vienna,
February, 1772).

"When all my lands were invaded, and I knew not where in the world I
should find a place to be brought to bed in, I relied on my good right
and the help of God. But in this thing, where not only public law cries
to Heaven against us, but also all natural justice and sound reason,
I must confess never in my life to have been in such trouble, and am
ashamed to show my face. Let the Prince [Kaunitz] consider what an
example we are giving to all the world, if, for a miserable piece of
Poland, or of Moldavia or Wallachia, we throw our honor and reputation
to the winds. I see well that I am alone, and no more in vigor;
therefore I must, though to my very great sorrow, let things take their
course." [_"Als alle meine lander angefochten wurden und gar nit mehr
wusste wo ruhig niederkommen sollte, steiffete ich mich auf mein gutes
Recht und den Beystand Gottes. Aber in dieser Sach, wo nit allein das
offenbare Recht himmelschreyent wider Uns, sondern auch alle Billigkeit
und die gesunde Vernunft wider Uns ist, muess bekhennen dass zeitlebens
nit so beangstigt mich befunten und mich sehen zu lassen schame. Bedenkh
der Furst, was wir aller Welt fur ein Exempel geben, wenn wir um ein
ellendes stuk von Pohlen oder von der Moldau und Wallachey unser ehr und
REPUTATION in die schanz schlagen. Ich merkh wohl dass ich allein bin
und nit mehr EN VIGEUR, darum lasse ich die sachen, jedoch nit ohne
meinen grossten Gram, ihren Weg gehen."_ (From "Hormayr, _Taschenbuch,_
1831, s. 66:" cited in PREUSS, iv. 38.)]

And, some days afterwards, here is her Majesty's Official Assent:
"PLACET, since so many great and learned men will have it so: but long
after I am dead, it will be known what this violating of all that was
hitherto held sacred and just will give rise to." [From _"Zietgenossen_
[a Biographical Periodical], lxxi. 29:" cited in PREUSS, iv. 39.] (Hear
her Majesty!)

Friedrich has none of these compunctious visitings; but his account
too, when he does happen to speak on the subject, is worth hearing, and
credible every word. Writing to Voltaire, a good while after (POTSDAM,
9th OCTOBER, 1773)) this, in the swift-flowing, miscellaneous Letter,
is one passage:... "To return to your King of Poland. I am aware that
Europe pretty generally believes the late Partition made (QU'ON A FAIT)
of Poland to be a result of the Political trickeries (MANIGANCES) which
are attributed to me; nevertheless, nothing is more untrue. After in
vain proposing different arrangements and expedients, there was no
alternative left but either that same Partition, or else Europe kindled
into a general War. Appearances are deceitful; and the Public judges
only by these. What I tell you is as true as the Forty-seventh of
Euclid." [_OEuvres de Frederic_, xxiii. 257.]



WHAT FRIEDRICH DID WITH HIS NEW ACQUISITION.

Considerable obloquy still rests on Friedrich, in many liberal circles,
for the Partition of Poland. Two things, however, seem by this time
tolerably clear, though not yet known in liberal circles: first, that
the Partition of Poland was an event inevitable in Polish History; an
operation of Almighty Providence and of the Eternal Laws of Nature, as
well as of the poor earthly Sovereigns concerned there; and secondly,
that Friedrich had nothing special to do with it, and, in the way of
originating or causing it, nothing whatever.

It is certain the demands of Eternal Justice must be fulfilled: in
earthly instruments, concerned with fulfilling them, there may be all
degrees of demerit and also of merit,--from that of a world-ruffian
Attila the Scourge of God, conscious of his own ferocities and
cupidities alone, to that of a heroic Cromwell, sacredly aware that he
is, at his soul's peril, doing God's Judgments on the enemies of God,
in Tredah and other severe scenes. If the Laws and Judgments are verily
those of God, there can be no clearer merit than that of pushing them
forward, regardless of the barkings of Gazetteers and wayside dogs,
and getting them, at the earliest term possible, made valid among
recalcitrant mortals! Friedrich, in regard to Poland, I cannot find to
have had anything considerable either of merit or of demerit, in the
moral point of view; but simply to have accepted, and put in his pocket
without criticism, what Providence sent. He himself evidently views
it in that light; and is at no pains to conceal his great sense of the
value of West-Preussen to him. We praised his Narrative as eminently
true, and the only one completely intelligible in every point: in
his Preface to it, written some years later, he is still more candid.
Speaking there in the first person, this once and never before or
after,--he says:--

"These new pretensions [of the Czarina, to assuage the religious
putrid-fever of the Poles by word of command] raised all Poland [into
Confederation of Bar, and WAR OF THE CONFEDERATES, sung by Friedrich];
the Grandees of the Kingdom implored the assistance of the Turks:
straightway War flamed out; in which the Russian Armies had only to
show themselves to beat the Turks in every rencounter." His Majesty
continues: "This War changed the whole Political System of Europe
[general Diplomatic Dance of Europe, suddenly brought to a whirl by such
changes of the music]; a new arena (CARRIERE) came to open itself,--and
one must have been either without address, or else buried in stupid
somnolence (ENGOURDISSEMENT), not to profit by an opportunity so
advantageous. I had read Bojardo's fine Allegory: [Signifies only,
"seize opportunity;" but here is the passage itself:--

     "Quante volte le disse: 'O bella dama,
     Conosci l'ora de la tua ventura,
     Dapoi che un tal Baron piu the che se t'ama,
     Che non ha il Ciel piu vaga creatura.
     Forse anco avrai di questo tempo brama,
     Che'l felice destin sempre non dura;
     Prendi diletto, mentre sei su 'l verde,
     Che l'avuto piacer mai non si perde.
     Questa eta giovenil, ch' e si gioiosa,
     Tutta in diletto consumar si deve,
     Perche quasi in un punto ci e nas cosa:
     Como dissolve 'l sol la bianca neve,
     Como in un giorno la vermiglia rosa
     Perde il vago color in tempo breve,
     Cosi fugge l' eta com' un baleno,
     E non si puo tener, che non ha freno.'"

(Bojardo, _Orlando Innamorato,_ lib. i. cant. 2.)] I seized by the
forelock this unexpected opportunity; and, by dint of negotiating and
intriguing [candid King] I succeeded in indemnifying our Monarchy for
its past losses, by incorporating Polish Prussia with my Old Provinces."
[_OEuvres de Frederic,_ (Preface to MEMOIRS DEPUIS 1763 JUSQU'A 1774),
vi. 6, 7: "MEMOIRES [Chapter FIRST, including all the Polish part] were
finished in 1775; Preface is of 1779."]

Here is a Historian King who uses no rouge-pot in his Narratives,--whose
word, which is all we shall say of it at present, you find to be
perfectly trustworthy, and a representation of the fact as it stood
before himself! What follows needs no vouching for: "This acquisition
was one of the most important we could make, because it joined Pommern
to East Prussia [ours for ages past], and because, rendering us masters
of the Weichsel River, we gained the double advantage of being able to
defend that Kingdom [Ost-Preussen], and to draw considerable tolls from
the Weichsel, as all the trade of Poland goes by that River."

Yes truly! Our interests are very visible: and the interests and wishes
and claims of Poland,--are they nowhere worthy of one word from you, O
King? Nowhere that I have noticed: not any mention of them, or allusion
to them; though the world is still so convinced that perhaps they were
something, and not nothing! Which is very curious. In the whole course
of my reading I have met with no Autobiographer more careless to
defend himself upon points in dispute among his Audience, and marked as
criminal against him by many of them. Shadow of Apology on such points
you search for in vain. In rapid bare summary he sets down the sequel of
facts, as if assured beforehand of your favorable judgment, or with the
profoundest indifference to how you shall judge them; drops his actions,
as an Ostrich does its young, to shift for themselves in the wilderness,
and hurries on his way. This style of his, noticeable of old in regard
to Silesia too, has considerably hurt him with the common kind of
readers; who, in their preconceived suspicions of the man, are all the
more disgusted at tracing in him, not the least anxiety to stand well
with any reader, more than to stand ill, AS ill as any reader likes!

Third parties, it would seem, have small temptation to become his
advocates; he himself being so totally unprovided with thanks for you!
But, on another score, and for the sake of a better kind of readers,
there is one third party bound to remark: 1. That hardly any Sovereign
known to us did, in his general practice, if you will examine it, more
perfectly respect the boundaries of his neighbors; and go on the road
that was his own, anxious to tread on no man's toes if he could avoid
it: a Sovereign who, at all times, strictly and beneficently confined
himself to what belonged to his real business and him. 2. That
apparently, therefore, he must have considered Poland to be an
exceptional case, unique in his experience: case of a moribund Anarchy,
fallen down as carrion on the common highways of the world; belonging to
nobody in particular; liable to be cut into (nay, for sanitary
reasons requiring it, if one were a Rhadamanthus Errant, which one
is not!)--liable to be cut into, on a great and critically stringent
occasion; no question to be asked of IT; your only question the consent
of by-standers, and the moderate certainty that nobody got a glaringly
disproportionate share! That must have been, on the part of an equitable
Friedrich, or even of a Friedrich accurate in Book-keeping by Double
Entry, the notion silently formed about Poland.

Whether his notion was scientifically right, and conformable to actual
fact, is a question I have no thought of entering on; still less,
whether Friedrich was morally right, or whether there was not a higher
rectitude, granting even the fact, in putting it in practice. These are
questions on which an Editor may have his opinion, partly complete for a
long time past, partly not complete, or, in human language, completable
or pronounceable at all; and may carefully forbear to obtrude it on his
readers; and only advise them to look with their own best eyesight, to
be deaf to the multiplex noises which are evidently blind, and to think
what they find thinkablest on such a subject. For, were it never so
just, proper and needful, this is by nature a case of LYNCH LAW; upon
which, in the way of approval or apology, no spoken word is permissible.
Lynch being so dangerous a Lawgiver, even when an indispensable one!--

For, granting that the Nation of Poland was for centuries past an
Anarchy doomed by the Eternal Laws of Heaven to die, and then of
course to get gradually buried, or eaten by neighbors, were it only for
sanitary reasons,--it will by no means suit, to declare openly on behalf
of terrestrial neighbors who have taken up such an idea (granting it
were even a just one, and a true reading of the silent but inexorably
certain purposes of Heaven), That they, those volunteer terrestrial
neighbors, are justified in breaking in upon the poor dying or dead
carcass, and flaying and burying it, with amicable sharing of skin and
shoes! If it even were certain that the wretched Polish Nation, for the
last forty years hastening with especial speed towards death, did in
present circumstances, with such a howling canaille of Turk Janissaries
and vultures of creation busy round it, actually require prompt surgery,
in the usual method, by neighbors,--the neighbors shall and must do that
function at their own risk. If Heaven did appoint them to it, Heaven,
for certain, will at last justify them; and in the mean while, for a
generation or two, the same Heaven (I can believe) has appointed
that Earth shall pretty unanimously condemn them. The shrieks, the
foam-lipped curses of mistaken mankind, in such case, are mankind's one
security against over-promptitude (which is so dreadfully possible) on
the part of surgical neighbors.

Alas, yes, my articulate-speaking friends; here, as so often elsewhere,
the solution of the riddle is not Logic, but Silence. When a dark human
Individual has filled the measure of his wicked blockheadisms, sins and
brutal nuisancings, there are Gibbets provided, there are Laws provided;
and you can, in an articulate regular manner, hang him and finish him,
to general satisfaction. Nations too, you may depend on it as certain,
do require the same process, and do infallibly get it withal; Heaven's
Justice, with written Laws or without, being the most indispensable and
the inevitablest thing I know of in this Universe. No doing without it;
and it is sure to come:--and the Judges and Executioners, we observe,
are NOT, in that latter case, escorted in and out by the Sheriffs of
Counties and general ringing of bells; not so, in that latter case, but
far otherwise!--

And now, leaving that vexed question, we will throw one glance--only one
is permitted--into the far more profitable question, which probably
will one day be the sole one on this matter, What became of poor
West-Preussen under Friedrich? Had it to sit, weeping unconsolably, or
not? Herr Dr. Freytag, a man of good repute in Literature, has, in one
of his late Books of Popular History, [G. Freytag, _Neue Bilder aus dem
Leben des deutschen Volkes_ (Leipzig, 1862).] gone into this subject,
in a serious way, and certainly with opportunities far beyond mine for
informing himself upon it:--from him these Passages have been excerpted,
labelled and translated by a good hand:--

ACQUISITION OF POLISH PRUSSIA. "During several Centuries, the
much-divided Germans had habitually been pressed upon, and straitened
and injured, by greedy conquering neighbors; Friedrich was the first
Conqueror who once more pushed forward the German Frontier towards the
East; reminding the Germans again, that it was their task to carry Law,
Culture, Liberty and Industry into the East of Europe. All Friedrich's
Lands, with the exception only of some Old-Saxon territory, had, by
force and colonization, been painfully gained from the Sclave. At no
time since the migrations of the Middle Ages, had this struggle for
possession of the wide Plains to the east of Oder ceased. When arms were
at rest, politicians carried on the struggle."

PERSECUTION OF GERMAN PROTESTANTS IN POLAND. "In the very 'Century of
Enlightenment' the persecution of the Germans became fanatical in those
Countries: one Protestant Church after the other got confiscated; pulled
down; if built of wood, set on fire: its Church once burnt, the Village
had lost the privilege of having one. Ministers and schoolmasters were
driven away, cruelly maltreated. 'VEXA LUTHERANURN, DABIT THALERUM
(Wring the Lutheran, you will find money in him),' became the current
Proverb of the Poles in regard to Germans. A Protestant Starost of
Gnesen, a Herr von UNRUH of the House of Birnbaum, one of the largest
proprietors of the country, was condemned to die, and first to have his
tongue pulled out and his hands cut off,--for the crime of having copied
into his Note-book some strong passages against the Jesuits, extracted
from German Books. Patriotic 'Confederates of Bar,' joined by all the
plunderous vagabonds around, went roaming and ravaging through the
country, falling upon small towns and German villages. The Polish
Nobleman, Roskowski [a celebrated "symbolical" Nobleman, this], put
on one red boot and one black, symbolizing FIRE and DEATH; and in this
guise rode about, murdering and burning, from places to place; finally,
at Jastrow, he cut off the hands, feet, and lastly the head of the
Protestant Pastor, Willich by name, and threw the limbs into a swamp.
This happened in 1768."

IN WHAT STATE FRIEDRICH FOUND THE POLISH PROVINCES. "Some few only of
the larger German Towns, which were secured by walls, and some protected
Districts inhabited exclusively by Germans,--as the NIEDERUNG near
Dantzig, the Villages under the mild rule of the Cistercians of
Oliva, and the opulent German towns of the Catholic Ermeland,--were in
tolerable circumstances. The other Towns lay in ruins; so also most of
the Hamlets (HOFE) of the open Country. Bromberg, the city of German
Colonists, the Prussians found in heaps and ruins: to this hour it
has not been possible to ascertain clearly how the Town came into this
condition. [_"Neue Preussische Provinzialblotter,_ Year 1854, No. 4, p.
259."] No historian, no document, tells of the destruction and slaughter
that had been going on, in the whole District of the NETZE there, during
the last ten years before the arrival of the Prussians, The Town of
Culm had preserved its strong old walls and stately churches; but in the
streets, the necks of the cellars stood out above the rotten timber and
brick heaps of the tumbled houses: whole streets consisted merely of
such cellars, in which wretched people were still trying to live. Of
the forty houses in the large Market-place of Culm, twenty-eight had no
doors, no roofs, no windows, and no owners. Other Towns were in similar
condition."

"The Country people hardly knew such a thing as bread; many had never
in their life tasted such a delicacy; few Villages possessed an oven. A
weaving-loom was rare, the spinning-wheel unknown. The main article of
furniture, in this bare scene of squalor, was the Crucifix and vessel
of Holy-Water under it [and "POLACK! CATHOLIK!" if a drop of gin
be added].--The Peasant-Noble [unvoting, inferior kind] was hardly
different from the common Peasant: he himself guided his Hook Plough
(HACKEN-PFLUG), and clattered with his wooden slippers upon the
plankless floor of his hut.... It was a desolate land, without
discipline, without law, without a master. On 9,000 English square miles
lived 500,000 souls: not 55 to the square mile."

SETS TO WORK. "The very rottenness of the Country became an attraction
for Friedrich; and henceforth West-Preussen was, what hitherto Silesia
had been, his favorite child; which, with infinite care, like that of an
anxious loving mother, he washed, brushed, new-dressed, and forced to
go to school and into orderly habits, and kept ever in his eye. The
diplomatic squabbles about this 'acquisition' were still going on,
when he had already sent [so early as June 4th, 1772, and still more on
September 13th of that Year [See his new DIALOGUE with Roden, our Wesel
acquaintance, who was a principal Captain in this business (in PREUSS,
iv. 57, 58: date of the Dialogue is "11th May, 1772;"--Roden was on the
ground 4th June next; but, owing to Austrian delays, did not begin
till September 13th).]] a body of his best Official People into this
waste-howling scene, to set about organizing it. The Landschaften
(COUNTIES) were divided into small Circles; in a minimum of time, the
land was valued, and an equal tax put upon it; every Circle received its
LANDRATH, Law-Court, Post-office and Sanitary Police. New Parishes, each
with its Church and Parson, were called into existence as by miracle;
a company of 187 Schoolmasters--partly selected and trained by
the excellent Semler [famous over Germany, in Halle University and
SEMINARIUM, not yet in England]--were sent into the Country: multitudes
of German Mechanics too, from brick-makers up to machine-builders.
Everywhere there began a digging, a hammering, a building; Cities were
peopled anew; street after street rose out of the heaps of ruins; new
Villages of Colonists were laid out, new modes of agriculture ordered.
In the first Year after taking possession, the great Canal [of Bromberg]
was dug; which, in a length of fifteen miles, connects, by the Netze
River, the Weichsel with the Oder and the Elbe: within one year after
giving the order, the King saw loaded vessels from the Oder, 120 feet in
length of keel," and of forty tons burden, "enter the Weichsel. The vast
breadths of land, gained from the state of swamp by drainage into this
Canal, were immediately peopled by German Colonists.

"As his Seven-Years Struggle of War may be called super-human, so was
there also in his present Labor of Peace something enormous; which
appeared to his contemporaries [unless my fancy mislead me] almost
preternatural, at times inhuman. It was grand, but also terrible, that
the success of the whole was to him, at all moments, the one thing to be
striven after; the comfort of the individual of no concern at all. When,
in the Marshland of the Wetze, he counted more the strokes of the 10,000
spades, than the sufferings of the workers, sick with the marsh-fever in
the hospitals which he had built for them; [Compare PREUSS, iv. 60-71.]
when, restless, his demands outran the quickest performance,--there
united itself to the deepest reverence and devotedness, in his People,
a feeling of awe, as for one whose limbs are not moved by earthly life
[fanciful, considerably!]. And when Goethe, himself become an old man,
finished his last Drama [Second Part of FAUST], the figure of the old
King again rose on him, and stept into his Poem; and his Faust got
transformed into an unresting, creating, pitilessly exacting Master,
forcing on his salutiferous drains and fruitful canals through the
morasses of the Weichsel." [G. Freytag, _Neue Bilder aus dem Leben des
deutschen Volkes_ (Leipzig, 1862), pp. 397-408.]

These statements and pencillings of Freytag, apart from here and there
a flourish of poetic sentiment, I believe my readers can accept as
essentially true, and a correct portrait of the fact. And therewith, CON
LA BOCCA DOLCE, we will rise from this Supper of Horrors. That Friedrich
fortified the Country, that he built an impregnable Graudentz, and two
other Fortresses, rendering the Country, and himself on that Eastern
side, impregnable henceforth, all readers can believe. Friedrich has
been building various Fortresses in this interim, though we have taken
no notice of them; building and repairing many things;--trimming up his
Military quite to the old pitch, as the most particular thing of all. He
has his new Silesian Fortress of Silberberg,--big Fortress, looking
into certain dangerous Bohemian Doors (in Tobias Stusche's Country,
if readers recollect an old adventure now mythical);--his new Silesian
Silberberg, his newer Polish Graudentz, and many others, and flatters
himself he is not now pregnable on any side.

A Friedrich working, all along, in Poland especially, amid what
circumambient deluges of maledictory outcries, and mendacious
shriekeries from an ill-informed Public, is not now worth mentioning.
Mere distracted rumors of the Pamphleteer and Newspaper kind: which,
after hunting them a long time, through dense and rare, end mostly in
zero, and angry darkness of some poor human brain,--or even testify in
favor of this Head-Worker, and of the sense he shows, especially of the
patience. For example: that of the "Polish Towns and Villages, ordered"
by this Tyrant "to deliver, each of them, so many marriageable girls;
each girl to bring with her as dowry, furnished by her parents,
1 feather-bed, 4 pillows, 1 cow, 3 swine and 3 ducats,"--in which
desirable condition this tyrannous King "sent her into the Brandenburg
States to be wedded and promote population." [Lindsey, LETTERS ON POLAND
(Letter 2d). p. 61: Peyssonnel (in some. French Book of his, "solemnly
presented to Louis XVI. and the Constituent Assembly;" cited in PREUSS,
iv. 85); &c. &c.] Feather-beds, swine and ducats had their value in
Brandenburg; but were marriageable girls such a scarcity there? Most
extraordinary new RAPE OF THE SABINES; for which Herr Preuss can find no
basis or source,--nor can I; except in the brain of Reverend Lindsey and
his loud LETTERS ON POLAND above mentioned.

Dantzig too, and the Harbor-dues, what a case! Dantzig Harbor, that
is to say, Netze River, belongs mainly to Friedrich, Dantzig City
not,--such the Czarina's lofty whim, in the late Partition Treatyings;
not good to contradict, in the then circumstances; still less
afterwards, though it brought chicanings more than enough. "And she
was not ill-pleased to keep this thorn in the King's foot for her own
conveniences," thinks the King; though, mainly, he perceives that it is
the English acting on her grandiose mind: English, who were apprehensive
for their Baltic trade under this new Proprietor, and who egged on an
ambitious Czarina to protect Human Liberty, and an inflated Dantzig
Burgermeister to stand up for ditto; and made a dismal shriekery in
the Newspapers, and got into dreadful ill-humor with said Proprietor
of Dantzig Harbor, and have never quite recovered from it to this day.
Lindsey's POLISH LETTERS are very loud again on this occasion, aided
by his SEVEN DIALOGUES ON POLAND; concerning which, partly for extinct
Lindsey's sake, let us cite one small passage, and so wind up.

MARCH 2d, 1775, in answer to Voltaire, Friedrich writes:... "The POLISH
DIALOGUES you speak of are not known to me. I think of such Satires,
with Epictetus: 'If they tell any truth of thee, correct thyself; if
they are lies, laugh at them.' I have learned, with years, to become a
steady coach-horse; I do my stage, like a diligent roadster, and pay
no heed to the little dogs that will bark by the way." And then, three
weeks after:--

"I have at length got the SEVEN DIALOGUES ON POLAND; and the whole
history of them as well. The Author is an Englishman named Lindsey,
Parson by profession, and Tutor to the young Prince Poniatowski,
the King of Poland's Nephew,"--Nephew Joseph, Andreas's Son, NOT the
undistinguished Nephew: so we will believe for poor loud Lindsey's
sake! "It was at the instigation of the Czartoryskis, Uncles of the King,
that Lindsey composed this Satire,--in English first of all. Satire
ready, they perceived that nobody in Poland would understand it, unless
it were translated into French; which accordingly was done. But as their
translator was unskilful, they sent the DIALOGUES to a certain Gerard at
Dantzig, who at that time was French Consul there, and who is at present
a Clerk in your Foreign Office under M. de Vergennes. This Gerard, who
does not want for wit, but who does me the honor to hate me cordially,
retouched these DIALOGUES, and put them into the condition they were
published in. I have laughed a good deal at them: here and there occur
coarse things (GROSSIERETES), and platitudes of the insipid kind:
but there are traits of good pleasantry. I shall not go fencing with
goose-quills against this sycophant. As Mazarin said, 'Let the French
keep singing, provided they let us keep doing.'" [_OEuvres de Frederic,_
xxiii. 319-321: "Potsdam, 2d March, 1775," and "25th March" following.
See PREUSS, iii. 275, iv. 85.]



Chapter V.--A CHAPTER OF MISCELLANIES.

After Neustadt, Kaiser Joseph and the King had no more Interviews.
Kaunitz's procedures in the subsequent Pacification and Partition
business had completely estranged the two Sovereigns: to friendly
visiting, a very different state of mutual feeling had succeeded;
which went on, such "the immeasurable ambition" visible in some of
us, deepening and worsening itself, instead of improving or abating.
Friedrich had Joseph's Portrait hung in conspicuous position in the
rooms where he lived; somebody noticing the fact, Friedrich answered:
"Ah, yes, I am obliged to keep that young Gentleman in my eye." And,
in effect, the rest of Friedrich's Political Activity, from this time
onwards, may be defined as an ever-vigilant defence of himself, and of
the German Reich, against Austrian Encroachment: which, to him, in the
years then running, was the grand impending peril; and which to us in
the new times has become so inexpressibly uninteresting, and will bear
no narrative, Austrian Encroachment did not prove to be the death-peril
that had overhung the world in Friedrich's last years!--

These, accordingly, are years in which the Historical interest goes
on diminishing; and only the Biographical, were anything of Biography
attainable, is left. Friedrich's industrial, economic and other Royal
activities are as beautiful as ever; but cannot to our readers, in our
limits, be described with advantage. Events of world-interest, after the
Partition of Poland, do not fall out, or Friedrich is not concerned in
them. It is a dim element; its significance chiefly German or Prussian,
not European. What of humanly interesting is discoverable in it,--at
least, while the Austrian Grudge continues in a chronic state, and has
no acute fit,--I will here present in the shape of detached Fragments,
suitably arranged and rendered legible, in hopes these may still have
some lucency for readers, and render more conceivable the surrounding
masses that have to be left dark. Our first Piece is of Winter, or late
Autumn, 1771,--while the solution of the Polish Business is still in its
inchoative stages; perfectly complete in the Artist's own mind; Russia
too adhering; but Kaunitz so refractory and contradictory.



HERR DOCTOR ZIMMERMANN, THE FAMOUS AUTHOR OF THE BOOK "ON SOLITUDE,"
WALKS REVERENTIALLY BEFORE FRIEDRICH'S DOOR IN THE DUSK OF AN OCTOBER
EVENING: AND HAS A ROYAL INTERVIEW NEXT DAY.

Friday Evening, 25th October, 1771, is the date of Zimmermann's walk
of contemplation,--among the pale Statues and deciduous Gardenings of
Sans-Souci Cottage (better than any Rialto, at its best),--the eternal
stars coming out overhead, and the transitory candle-light of a King
Friedrich close by.

"At Sans-Souci," says he, in his famed Book, "where that old God of War
(KRIEGSGOTT) forges his thunder-bolts, and writes Works of Intellect
for Posterity; where he governs his People as the best father would
his house; where, during one half of the day, he accepts and reads the
petitions and complaints of the meanest citizen or peasant; comes to
help of his Countries on all sides with astonishing sums of money,
expecting no payment, nor seeking anything but the Common Weal;
and where, during the other half, he is a Poet and Philosopher:--at
Sans-Souci, I say, there reigns all round a silence, in which you can
hear the faintest breath of every soft wind. I mounted this Hill for the
first time in Winter [late Autumn, 25th October, 1771, edge of Winter],
in the dusk. When I beheld the small Dwelling-House of this Convulser
of the World close by me, and was near his very chamber, I saw indeed a
light inside, but no sentry or watchman at the Hero's door; no soul to
ask me, Who I was, or What I wanted. I saw nothing; and walked about as
I pleased before this small and silent House." [Preuss, i. 387 ("from
EINSAMKEIT," Zimmermann's SOLITUDE, "i. 110; Edition of Leipzig,
1784").]

Yes, Doctor, this is your Kriegsgott; throned in a free-and-easy
fashion. In regard to that of Sentries, I believe there do come up from
Potsdam nightly a corporal and six rank-and-file; but perhaps it is at
a later hour; perhaps they sit within doors, silent, not to make noises.
Another gentleman, of sauntering nocturnal habits, testifies to having,
one night, seen the King actually asleep in bed, the doors being left
ajar. [Ib. i. 388.]--As Zimmermann had a DIALOGUE next day with his
Majesty, which we propose to give; still more, as he made such noise in
the world by other Dialogues with Friedrich, and by a strange Book about
them, which are still ahead,--readers may desire to know a little who or
what the Zimmermann is, and be willing for a rough brief Note upon him,
which certainly is not readier than it is rough:--

Johann Georg Zimmermann: born 1728, at Brugg in the Canton of Bern,
where his Father seems to have had some little property and no
employment, "a RATHSHERR (Town-Councillor), who was much respected." Of
brothers or sisters, no mention. The Mother being from the French part
of the Canton, he learned to speak both languages. Went to Bern for his
Latin and high-schooling; then to Gottingen, where he studied Medicine,
under the once great Haller and other now dimmed celebrities. Haller,
himself from Bern, had taken Zimmermann to board, and became much
attached to him: Haller, in 1752, came on a summer visit to native Bern:
Zimmermann, who had in the mean time been "for a few months" in France,
in Italy and England, now returned and joined him there; but the great
man, feeling very poorly and very old, decided that he would like to
stay in Bern, and not move any more;--Zimmermann, accordingly, was sent
to Gottingen to bring Mrs. Haller, with her Daughters, bandboxes and
effects, home to Bern. Which he did;--and not only them, but a soft,
ingenious, ingenuous and rather pretty young Gottingen Lady along with
them, as his own Wife withal. With her he settled as STADTPHYSICUS
(Town-Doctor) in native Brugg; where his beloved Hallers were within
reach; and practice in abundance, and honors, all that the place
yielded, were in readiness for him.

Here he continued some sixteen years; very busy, very successful in
medicine and literature; but "tormented with hypochondria;"--having
indeed an immense conceit of himself, and generally too thin a skin for
this world. Here he first wrote his Book on SOLITUDE, a Book famed over
all the world in my young days (and perhaps still famed); he wrote it
a second time, MUCH ENLARGED, about thirty years after: [_Betrachtungen
uber die Einsamkeit, von Doctor J. G. Zimmermann, Stadtphysicus
in Brugg_ (Zurich, 1756),--as yet only "1 vol. 8vo, price 6d." (5
groschen); but it grew with years; and (Leipzig, 1784) came out
remodelled into 4 vols.;--was translated into French, "with many
omissions," by Mercier (Paris, 1790); into English from Mercier
(London, 1791). "Zurich, 1763-1764:" by and by, one "Dobson did it into
English."] I read it (in the curtailed English-Mercier form, no Scene
in it like the above), in early boyhood,--and thank it for nothing, or
nearly so. Zimmermann lived much alone, at Brugg and elsewhere; all his
days "Hypochondria" was the main company he had:--and it was natural,
but UNprofitable, that he should say, to himself and others, the best
he could for that bad arrangement: poor soul! He wrote also on MEDICAL
EXPERIENCE, a famed Book in its day;" also on NATIONAL PRIDE; and
became famed through the Universe, and was Member of infinite Learned
Societies.

All which rendered dull dead Brugg still duller and more dead; unfit
utterly for a man of such sublime accomplishments. Plenty of Counts
Stadion, Kings of Poland even, offered him engagements; eager to
possess such a man, and deliver him from dull dead Brugg; but he
had hypochondria, and always feared their deliverance might be into
something duller. At length,--in his fortieth year, 1768,--the place of
Court-Physician (HOFMEDICUS) at Hanover was offered him by George the
Third of pious memory, and this he resolved to accept; and did lift
anchor, and accept and occupy accordingly.

Alas, at the Gate of Hanover, "his carriage overset;" broke his poor old
Mother-in-law's leg (who had been rejoicing doubtless to get home
into her own Country), and was the end of her--poor old soul;--and the
beginning of misfortunes continual and too tedious to mention. Spleen,
envy, malice and calumny, from the Hanover Medical world; treatment, "by
the old buckram Hofdames who had drunk coffee with George II.," "which
was fitter for a laquais-de-place" than for a medical gentleman
of eminence: unworthy treatment, in fact, in many or most
quarters;--followed by hypochondria, by dreadful bodily disorder (kind
not given or discoverable), "so that I suffered the pains of Hell," sat
weeping, sat gnashing my teeth, and could n't write a Note after dinner;
followed finally by the sickness, and then by the death, of my poor
Wife, "after five months of torment." Upon which, in 1771, Zimmermann's
friends--for he had many friends, being, in fact, a person of fine
graceful intellect, high proud feelings and tender sensibilities, gone
all to this sad state--rallied themselves; set his Hanover house in
order for him (governess for his children, what not); and sent him
off to Berlin, there to be dealt with by one Meckel, an incomparable
Surgeon, and be healed of his dreadful disorder ("LEIBESSCHADE, of which
the first traces had appeared in Brugg"),--though to most people it
seemed rather he would die; "and one Medical Eminency in Hanover said to
myself [Zimmermann] one day: 'Dr. So-and-so is to have your Pension,
I am told; now, by all right, it should belong to me, don't you think
so?'" What, "I" thought of the matter, seeing the greedy gentleman thus
"parting my skin," may be conjectured!--

The famed Meckel received his famed patient with a nobleness worthy
of the heroic ages. Dodged him in his own house, in softest beds
and appliances; spoke comfort to him, hope to him,--the gallant
Meckel;--rallied, in fact, the due medical staff one morning; came up to
Zimmermann, who "stripped," with the heart of a lamb and lion conjoined,
and trusting in God, "flung himself on his bed" (on his face, or on
his back, we never know), and there, by the hands of Meckel and staff,
"received above 2,000 (TWO THOUSAND) cuts in the space of an hour
and half, without uttering one word or sound." A frightful operation,
gallantly endured, and skilfully done; whereby the "bodily disorder"
(LEIBESSCHADE), whatever it might be, was effectually and forever sent
about its business by the noble Meckel.

Hospitalities and soft, hushed kindnesses and soothing ministrations, by
Meckel and by everybody, were now doubled and trebled: wise kind Madam
Meckel, young kind Mamsell Meckel and the Son (who "now, in
1788, lectures in Gottingen"); not these only, nor Schmucker Head
Army-Surgeon, and the ever-memorable HERR GENERALCHIRURGUS Madan, who
had both been in the operation; not these only, but by degrees all that
was distinguished in the Berlin world, Ramler, Busching, Sulzer, Prime
Minister Herzberg, Queen's and King's Equerries, and honorable men and
women,--bore him "on angel-wings" towards complete recovery. Talked
to him, sang and danced to him (at least, the "Muses" and the female
Meckels danced and sang), and all lapped him against eating cares, till,
after twelve weeks, he was fairly on his feet again, and able to make
jaunts in the neighborhood with his "life's savior," and enjoy the
pleasant Autumn weather to his farther profit.--All this, though
described in ridiculous superlative by Zimmermann, is really touching,
beautiful and human: perhaps never in his life was he so happy, or
a thousandth part so helped by man, as while under the roof of this
thrice-useful Meckel,--more power to Meckel!

Head Army-Surgeon Schmucker had gone through all the Seven-Years War;
Zimmermann, an ardent Hero-worshipper, was never weary questioning
him, listening to him in full career of narrative, on this great
subject,--only eight years old at that time. Among their country drives,
Meckel took him to Potsdam, twenty English miles off; in the end of
October, there to stay a night. This was the ever-memorable Friday, when
we first ascended the Hill of Sans-Souci, and had our evening walk of
contemplation:--to be followed by a morrow which was ten times more
memorable: as readers shall now see. [Jordens, _Lexikon_ (Zimmermann),
v. 632-658 (exact and even eloquent account, as these of Jordens,
unexpectedly, often are); Zimmermann himself, UNTERREDUNGEN MIT
FRIEDRICH DEM GROSSEN (ubi infra); Tissot, _Vie de M. Zimmermann_
(Lausanne, 1797): &c. &c.]

NEXT DAY, ZIMMERMANN HAS A DIALOGUE. Schmucker had his apartments
in "LITTLE SANS-SOUCI," where the King now lived (Big Sans-Souci, or
"Sans-Souci" by itself, means in those days, not in ours at all, "New
Palace, NEUE PALAIS," now in all its splendor of fresh finish). De
Catt, Friedrich's Reader, whom we know well, was a Genevese, and knew
Zimmermann from of old. Schmucker and De Catt were privately twitching
up Friedrich's curiosity,--to whom also Zimmermann's name, and
perhaps his late surgical operation, might be known: "Can he speak
French?"--"Native to him, your Majesty." Friedrich had some notion to
see Zimmermann; and judicious De Catt, on this fortunate Saturday, "26th
October, 1771," morrow after Zimmermann's arrival at Potsdam, "came to
our inn about, 1 P.M. [King's dinner just done]; and asked me to come
and look at the beauties of Sans-Souci [Big Sans-Souci] for a little."
Zimmermann willingly went: Catt, left him in good hands to see the
beauties; slipt off, for his own part, to "LITTLE Sans-Souci;" came
back, took Zimmermann thither; left, him with Schmucker, all trembling,
thinking perhaps the King might call him. "I trembled sometimes, then
again I felt exceeding happiness:" I was in Schmucker's room, sitting
by the fire, mostly alone for a good while, "the room that had once
been Marquis d'Argens's" (who is now dead, and buried far away, good
old soul);--when, at last, about half-past 4, Catt came jumping in,
breathless with joy; snatched me up: "His Majesty wants to speak with
you this very moment!" Zimmermann's self shall say the rest.

"I hurried, hand-in-hand with Catt, along a row of Chambers. 'Here,'
said Catt, 'we are now at the King's room!'--My heart thumped, like
to spring out of my body. Catt went in; but next moment the door again
opened, and Catt bade me enter.

"In the middle of the room stood an iron camp-bed without curtains.
There, on a worn mattress, lay King Friedrich, the terror of Europe,
without coverlet, in an old blue roquelaure. He had a big cocked-hat,
with a white feather [hat aged, worn soft as duffel, equal to most caps;
"feather" is not perpendicular, but horizontal, round the inside of the
brim], on his head.

"The King took off his hat very graciously, when I was perhaps ten steps
from him; and said in French (our whole Dialogue proceeded in French):
'Come nearer, M. Zimmermann.'

"I advanced to within two steps of the King; he said in the mean while
to Catt: 'Call Schmucker in, too.' Herr Schmucker came; placed himself
behind the King, his back to the wall; and Catt stood behind me. Now the
Colloquy began.

KING. "'I hear you have found your health again in Berlin; I wish you
joy of that.'

EGO. "'I have found my life again in Berlin; but at this moment, Sire, I
find here a still greater happiness!' [ACH!]

KING. "'You have stood a cruel operation: you must have suffered
horribly?'

EGO. "'Sire, it was well worth while.'

KING. "'Did, you let them bind you before the operation?'

EGO. "'No: I resolved to keep my freedom.'

KING (laughing in a very kind manner). "'Oh, you behaved like a brave
Switzer! But are you quite recovered, though?'

EGO. "'Sire, I have seen all the wonders of your creation in Sans-Souci,
and feel well in looking at them.'

KING. "'I am glad of that. But you must have a care, and especially not
get on horseback.'

EGO. "'It will be pleasant and easy for me to follow the counsels of
your Majesty.'

KING. "'From what Town in the Canton of Bern are you originally?'

EGO. "'From Brugg.'

KING. "'I don't know that Town.' [No wonder, thought I!]

KING. "'Where did you study?'

EGO. "'At Gottingen: Haller was my teacher.'

KING. "'What is M. Haller doing now?'

EGO. "'He is concluding his literary career with a romance.' [USONG had
just come out;--no mortal now reads a word of it; and the great Haller
is dreadfully forgotten already!]

KING. "'Ah, that is pretty!--On what system do you treat your patients?'

EGO. "'Not on any system.'

KING. "'But there are some Physicians whose methods you prefer to those
of others?'

EGO. "'I especially like Tissot's methods, who is a familiar friend of
mine.'

KING. "'I know M. Tissot. I have read his writings, and value them very
much. On the whole, I love the Art of Medicine. My Father wished me to
get some knowledge in it. He often sent me into the Hospitals; and even
into those for venereal patients, with a view of warning by example.'

EGO. "'And by terrible example!--Sire, Medicine is a very difficult Art.
But your Majesty is used to bring all Arts under subjection to the force
of your genius, and to conquer all that is difficult.'

KING. "'Alas, no: I cannot conquer all that is difficult!' [Hard-mouthed
Kaunitz, for example; stock-still, with his right ear turned on Turkey:
how get Kaunitz into step!]--Here the King became reflective; was silent
for a little moment, and then asked me, with a most bright smile: 'How
many churchyards have you filled?' [A common question of his to Members
of the Faculty.]

EGO. "'Perhaps, in my youth, I have done a little that way! But now it
goes better; for I am timid rather than bold.'

KING. "'Very good, very good.'

"Our Dialogue now became extremely brisk. The King quickened into
extraordinary vivacity; and examined me now in the character of Doctor,
with such a stringency as, in the year 1751, at Gottingen, when I
stood for my Degree, the learned Professors Haller, Richter, Segner
and Brendel (for which Heaven recompense them!) never dreamed of! All
inflammatory fevers, and the most important of the slow diseases, the
King mustered with me, in their order. He asked me, How and whereby I
recognized each of these diseases; how and whereby distinguished them
from the approximate maladies; what my procedure was in simple and
in complicated cases; and how I cured all those disorders? On
the varieties, the accidents, the mode of treatment, of small-pox
especially, the King inquired with peculiar strictness;--and spoke, with
much emotion, of that young Prince of his House who was carried off,
some years ago, by that disorder--[suddenly arrested by it, while on
march with his regiment, "near Ruppin, 26th May, 1767." This is the
Prince Henri, junior Brother of the subsequent King, Friedrich Wilhelm
II., who, among other fooleries, invaded France, in 1792, with such
success. Both Henri and he, as boys, used to be familiar to us in
the final winters of the late War. Poor Henri had died at the age of
nineteen,--as yet all brightness, amiability and nothing else: Friedrich
sent an ELOGE of him to his ACADEMIE, [In _OEuvres de Frederic,_ vii. 37
et seq.] which is touchingly and strangely filled with authentic sorrow
for this young Nephew of his, but otherwise empty,--a mere bottle of
sighs and tears]. Then he came upon Inoculation; went along over an
incredible multitude of other medical subjects. Into all he threw
masterly glances; spoke of all with the soundest [all in superlative]
knowledge of the matter, and with no less penetration than liveliness
and sense.

"With heartfelt satisfaction, and with the freest soul, I made my
answers to his Majesty. It is true, he potently supported and
encouraged me. Ever and anon his Majesty was saying to me: 'That is
very good;--that is excellently thought and expressed;--your mode of
proceeding, altogether, pleases me very well;--I rejoice to see how much
our ways of thinking correspond.' Often, too, he had the graciousness to
add: 'But, I weary you with my many questions!' His scientific questions
I answered with simplicity, clearness and brevity; and could not forbear
sometimes expressing my astonishment at the deep and conclusive (TIEFEN
UND FRAPPANTEN) medical insights and judgments of the King.

"His Majesty came now upon the history of his own maladies. He told me
them over, in their series; and asked my opinion and advice about each.
On the HAEMORRHOIDS, which he greatly complained of, I said something
that struck him. Instantly he started up in his bed; turned his head
round towards the wall, and said: 'Schmucker, write me that down!'
I started in fright at this word; and not without reason! Then our
Colloquy proceeded:--

KING. "'The Gout likes to take up his quarters with me; he knows I am
a Prince, and thinks I shall feed him well. But I feed him ill; I live
very meagrely.'

EGO. "'May Gout, thereby get disgusted, and forbear ever calling on your
Majesty!'

KING. "'I am grown old. Diseases will no longer have pity on me.'

EGO. "'Europe feels that your Majesty is not old; and your Majesty's
look (PHYSIOGNOMIE) shows that you have still the same force as in your
thirtieth year.'

KING (laughing and shaking his head). "'Well, well, well!'

"In this way, for an hour and quarter, with uninterrupted vivacity, the
Dialogue went on. At last the King gave me the sign to go; lifting his
hat very kindly, and saying: 'Adieu, my dear M. Zimmermann; I am very
glad to have seen you.'"

Towards 6 P.M. now, and Friedrich must sign his Despatches; have his
Concert, have his reading; then to supper (as spectator only),--with
Quintus Icilius and old Lord Marischal, to-night, or whom? [Of Icilius,
and a quarrel and estrangement there had lately been, now happily
reconciled, see Nicolai, _Anekdoten,_ vi. 140-142.]

"Herr von Catt accompanied me into the anteroom, and Schmucker followed.
I could not stir from the spot; could not speak, was so charmed and so
touched, that I broke into a stream of tears [being very weak of nerves
at the time!]. Herr von Catt said: 'I am now going back to the King; go
you into the room where I took you up; about eight I will conduct you
home.' I pressed my excellent countryman's hand, I"--"Schmucker said, I
had stood too near his Majesty; I had spoken too frankly, with too much
vivacity; nay, what was unheard of in the world, I had 'gesticulated'
before his Majesty! 'In presence of a King,' said Herr Schmucker, 'one
must stand stiff and not stir.' De Catt came back to us at eight; and,
in Schmucker's presence [let him chew the cud of that!], reported the
following little Dialogue with the King:--

KING. "'What says Zimmermann?'

DE CATT. "'Zimmermann, at the door of your Majesty's room, burst into a
stream of tears.'

KING. "'I love those tender affectionate hearts; I love right well those
brave Swiss people!'

"Next morning the King was heard to say: 'I have found Zimmermann
quite what you described him.'--Catt assured me furthermore, 'Since the
Seven-Years War there had thousands of strangers, persons of rank, come
to Potsdam, wishing to speak with the King, and had not attained that
favor; and of those who had, there could not one individual boast that
his Majesty had talked with him an hour and quarter at once.' [Fourteen
years hence, he dismissed Mirabeau in half an hour; which was itself a
good allowance.]

"Sunday 27th, I left Potsdam, with my kind Meckels, in an enthusiasm
of admiration, astonishment, love and gratitude; wrote to the King from
Berlin, sent him a Tissot's Book (marked on the margins for Majesty's
use), which he acknowledged by some word to Catt: whereupon
I"--In short, I got home to Hanover, in a more or less seraphic
condition,--"with indescribable, unspeakable," what not,--early in
November; and, as a healed man, never more troubled with that disorder,
though still troubled with many and many, endeavored to get a little
work out of myself again. [Zimmermann, _Meine Unterredungen_ (Dialogues)
_with Friedrich the Great_ (8vo, Leipzig, 1788), pp. 305-326.]

"Zimmermann was tall, handsome of shape; his exterior was distinguished
and imposing," says Jordens. [Ubi supra, p. 643.] "He had a firm and
light step; stood gracefully; presented himself well. He had a fine
head; his voice was agreeable; and intellect sparkled in his eyes:"--had
it not been for those dreadful hypochondrias, and confused disasters, a
very pretty man. At the time of this first visit to Friedrich he is 43
years of age, and Friedrich is on the borders of 60. Zimmermann, with
still more famous DIALOGUES, will reappear on us from Hanover, on a sad
occasion! Meanwhile, few weeks after him, here is a Visit of far more
joyful kind.



SISTER ULRIQUE, QUEEN-DOWAGER OF SWEDEN, REVISITS HER NATIVE PLACE
(December, 1771-August, 1772).

Prince Henri was hardly home from Petersburg and the Swedish Visit, when
poor Adolf Friedrich, King of Sweden, died. [12th February, 1771.] A
very great and sad event to his Queen, who had loved her old man; and
is now left solitary, eclipsed, in circumstances greatly altered on the
sudden. In regard to settlements, Accession of the new Prince,
dowager revenues and the like, all went right enough; which was some
alleviation, though an inconsiderable, to the sorrowing Widow. Her two
Princes were absent, touring over Europe, when their Father died, and
the elder of them, Karl Gustav, suddenly saw himself King. They were
in no breathless haste to return; visited their Uncle, their Prussian
kindred, on the way, and had an interesting week at Potsdam and Berlin;
[April 22d-29th: Rodenbeck, iii. 45.] Karl Gustav flying diligently
about, still incognito, as "Graf von Gothland,"--a spirited young
fellow, perhaps too spirited;--and did not reach home till May-day was
come, and the outburst of the Swedish Summer at hand.

Some think the young King had already something dangerous and serious in
view, and wished his Mother out of the way for a time. Certain it is she
decided on a visit to her native Country in December following: arrived
accordingly, December 2d, 1771; and till the middle of August next was a
shining phenomenon in the Royal House and upper ranks of Berlin Society,
and a touching and interesting one to the busy Friedrich himself, as may
be supposed. She had her own Apartments and Household at Berlin, in the
Palace there, I think; but went much visiting about, and receiving many
visits,--fond especially of literary people.

Friedrich's notices of her are frequent in his Letters of the time,
all affectionate, natural and reasonable. Here are the first two I meet
with: TO THE ELECTRESS OF SAXONY (three weeks after Ulrique's arrival);
"A thousand excuses, Madam, for not answering sooner! What will plead
for me with a Princess who so well knows the duties of friendship, is,
that I have been occupied with the reception of a Sister, who has come
to seek consolation in the bosom of her kindred for the loss of a loved
Husband, the remembrance of whom saddens and afflicts her." And again,
two months later: "... Your Royal Highness deigns to take so obliging
an interest in the visit I have had [and still have] from the Queen of
Sweden. I beheld her as if raised from the dead to me; for an absence
of eight-and-twenty years, in the short space of our duration, is almost
equivalent to death. She arrived among us, still in great affliction
for the loss she had had of the King; and I tried to distract her sad
thoughts by all the dissipations possible. It is only by dint of such
that one compels the mind to shift away from the fatal idea where grief
has fixed it: this is not the work of a day, but of time, which in the
end succeeds in everything. I congratulate your Royal Highness on your
Journey to Bavaria [on a somewhat similar errand, we may politely say];
where you will find yourself in the bosom of a Family that adores you:"
after which, and the sight of old scenes, how pleasant to go on to
Italy, as you propose! [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxiv. 230, 235. "24th
December 1771," "February, 1772." See also, _"Eptire a la Reine
Douairiere de Suede"_ (Poem on the Troubles she has had: _OEuvres de
Frederic,_ xiii. 74, "written in December, 1770"), and _"Vers a la Reine
de Suede,"_ "January, 1771" (ib. 79).]

Queen Ulrique--a solid and ingenuous character (in childhood a
favorite of her Father's, so rational, truthful and of silent staid
ways)--appears to have been popular in the Berlin circles; pleasant and
pleased, during these eight months. Formey, especially Thiebault, are
copious on this Visit of hers; and give a number of insipid Anecdotes;
How there was solemn Session of the Academy made for her, a Paper of
the King's to be read there, ["DISCOURS DE L'UTILITE DES SCIENCES ET
DES ARTS DAM UN ETAT" (in _OEuvres de Frederic,_ ix. 169 et seq.): read
"27th January, 1772." Formey, ii. 16, &c. &c.]--reading beautifully done
by me, Thiebault (one of my main functions, this of reading the King's
Academy Papers, and my dates of THEM always correct); how Thiebault was
invited to dinner in consequence, and again invited; how Formey dined
with her Majesty "twenty-five times;" and "preached to her in the
Palace, August 19th" (should be August 9th): insipid wholly, vapid and
stupid; descriptive of nothing, except of the vapidities and vanities
of certain persons. Leaving these, we will take an Excerpt, probably our
last, from authentic Busching, which is at least to be depended on for
perfect accuracy, and has a feature or two of portraiture.

Busching, for the last five or six years, is home from Russia;
comfortably established here as Consistorialrath, much concerned with
School-Superintendence; still more with GEOGRAPHY, with copious rugged
Literature of the undigested kind: a man well seen in society; has "six
families of rank which invite him to dinner;" all the dining he is equal
to, with so much undigested writing on his hands. Busching, in his
final Section, headed BERLIN LIFE, Section more incondite even than its
foregoers, has this passage:--

"On the Queen-Dowager of Sweden, Louise Ulrique's, coming to Berlin, I
felt not a little embarrassed. The case was this: Most part of the SIXTH
VOLUME of my MAGAZINE [meritorious curious Book, sometimes quoted by us
here, not yet known in English Libraries] was printed; and in it, in the
printed part, were various things that concerned the deceased Sovereign,
King Adolf Friedrich, and his Spouse [now come to visit us],--and
among these were Articles which the then ruling party in Sweden could
certainly not like. And now I was afraid these people would come upon
the false notion, that it was from the Queen-Dowager I had got the
Articles in question;--notion altogether false, as they had been
furnished me by Baron Korf [well known to Hordt and others of us, at
Petersburg, in the Czar-Peter time], now Russian Minister at Copenhagen.
However, when Duke Friedrich of Brunswick [one of the juniors,
soldiering here with his Uncle, as they almost all are] wrote to me, one
day, That his Lady Aunt the Queen of Sweden invited me to dine with her
to-morrow, and that he, the Duke, would introduce me,--I at once decided
to lay my embarrassment before the Queen herself.

"Next day, when I was presented to her Majesty, she took me by the hand,
and led me to a window [as was her custom with guests whom she judged to
be worth questioning and talking to], and so placed herself in a corner
there that I came to stand close before her; when she did me the
honor to ask a great many questions about Russia, the Imperial Court
especially, and most of all the Grand-Duke [Czar Paul that is to be,--a
kind of kinsman he, his poor Father was my late Husband's Cousin-german,
as perhaps you know]. A great deal of time was spent in this way; so
that the Princes and Princesses, punctual to invitation, had to wait
above half an hour long; and the Queen was more than once informed that
dinner was on the table and getting cold. I could get nothing of my own
mentioned here; all I could do was to draw back, in a polite way, so
soon as the Queen would permit: and afterwards, at table, to explain
with brevity my concern about what was printed in the MAGAZINE; and
request the Queen to permit me to send it her to read for herself. She
had it, accordingly, that same afternoon.

"A few days after, she invited me again; again spoke with me a long
while in the window embrasure, in a low tone of voice: confirmed to
me all that she had read,--and in particular, minutely explained that
LETTER OF THE KING [one of my Pieces] in which he relates what passed
between him and Count Tessin [Son's Tutor] in the Queen's Apartment. At
table, she very soon took occasion to say: 'I cannot imagine to myself
how the Herr Consistorialrath [Busching, to wit] has come upon that
Letter of my deceased Lord the King of Sweden's; which his Majesty did
write, and which is now printed in your MAGAZINE. For certain, the King
showed it to nobody.' Whereupon BUSCHING: 'Certainly; nor is that to
be imagined, your Majesty. But the person it was addressed to must
have shown it; and so a copy of it has come to my hands.' Queen still
expresses her wonder; whereupon again, Busching, with a courageous
candor: 'Your Majesty, most graciously permit me to say, that hitherto
all Swedish secrets of Court or State have been procurable for money and
good words!' The Queen, to whom I sat directly opposite, cast down her
eyes at these words and smiled;--and the Reichsrath Graf von Schwerin [a
Swedish Gentleman of hers], who sat at my left, seized me by the
hand, and said: 'Alas, that is true!'"--Here is a difficulty got
over; Magazine Number can come out when it will. As it did, "next
Easter-Fair," with proper indications and tacit proofs that the Swedish
part of it lay printed several months before the Queen's arrival in our
neighborhood.

Busching dined with her Majesty several times,--"eating nothing," he is
careful to mention and was careful to show her Majesty, "except, very
gradually, a small bit of bread soaked in a glass of wine!"--meaning
thereby, "Note, ye great ones, it is not for your dainties; in fact, it
is out of loyal politeness mainly!" the gloomily humble man.

"One time, the Queen asked me, in presence of various Princes and
Princesses of the Royal House: 'Do you think it advisable to enlighten
the Lower Classes by education?' To which I answered: 'Considering only
under what heavy loads a man of the Lower Classes, especially of the
Peasant sort, has to struggle through his life, one would think it was
better neither to increase his knowledge nor refine his sensibility. But
when one reflects that he, as well as those of the Higher Classes, is to
last through Eternity; and withal that good instruction may [or might,
IF it be not BAD] increase his practical intelligence, and help him
to methods of alleviating himself in this world, it must be thought
advisable to give him useful enlightenment.' The Queen accorded with
this view of the matter.

"Twice I dined with her Majesty at her Sister, Princess Amelia, the
Abbess of Quedlinburg's:--and the second time [must have been Summer,
1772], Professor Sulzer, who was also a guest, caught his death there.
When I entered the reception-room, Sulzer was standing in the middle of
a thorough-draught, which they had managed to have there, on account of
the great heat; and he had just arrived, all in a perspiration, from
the Thiergarten: I called him out of the draught, but it was too late."
[Busching: _Beitrage,_ vi. 578-582.] ACH, MEIN LIEBER SULZER,--Alas,
dear Sulzer: seriously this time!

Busching has a great deal to say about Schools, about the "School
Commission 1765," the subjects taught, the methods of teaching devised
by Busching and others, and the King's continual exertions, under
deficient funds, in this province of his affairs. Busching had
unheard-of difficulty to rebuild the old Gymnasium at Berlin into a new.
Tried everybody; tried the King thrice over, but nobody would. "One of
the persons I applied to was Lieutenant-General von Ramin, Governor of
Berlin [surliest of mankind, of whose truculent incivility there go
many anecdotes]; to Ramin I wrote, entreating that he would take a
good opportunity and suggest a new Town Schoolhouse to his Majesty:
'Excellenz, it will render you immortal in the annals of Berlin!' To
which Ramin made answer: 'That is an immortality I must renounce the
hope of, and leave to the Town-Syndics and yourself. I, for my own part,
will by no means risk such a proposal to his Majesty; which he would,
in all likelihood, answer in the negative, and receive ill at anybody's
hands.'" [Ib. vi. 568.] By subscriptions, by bequests, donations and the
private piety of individuals, Busching aiding and stirring, the thing
was at last got done. Here is another glance into School-life: not from
Busching:--

JUNE 9th, 1771. "This Year the Stande of the Kurmark find they have
an overplus of 100,000 thalers (15,000 pounds); which sum they do
themselves the pleasure of presenting to the King for his Majesty's
uses." King cannot accept it for his own uses. "This money," answers he
(9th June), "comes from the Province, wherefore I feel bound to lay it
out again for advantage of the Province. Could not it become a means of
getting English husbandry [TURNIPS in particular, whether short-horns
or not, I do not know] introduced among us? In the Towns that follow
Farming chiefly, or in Villages belonging to unmoneyed Nobles, we will
lend out this 15,000 pounds, at 4 per cent, in convenient sums for
that object: hereby will turnip-culture and rotation be vouchsafed us;
interest at 4 per cent brings us in 600 pounds annually; and this we
will lay out in establishing new Schoolmasters in the Kurmark, and
having the youth better educated." What a pretty idea; neat and
beautiful, killing two important birds with one most small stone! I have
known enormous cannon-balls and granite blocks, torrent after torrent,
shot out under other kinds of Finance-gunnery, that were not only less
respectable, but that were abominable to me in comparison.

Unluckily, no Nobles were found inclined; English Husbandry ["TURNIPSE"
and the rest of it] had to wait their time. The King again writes: "No
Nobles to be found, say you? Well; put the 15,000 pounds to interest in
the common way,--that the Schoolmasters at least may have solacement:
I will add 120 thalers (18 pounds) apiece, that we may have a chance
of getting better Schoolmasters;--send me List of the Places where the
worst are." List was sent; is still extant; and on the margin of it, in
Royal Autograph, this remark:--

"The Places are well selected. The bad Schoolmasters are mostly Tailors;
and you must see whether they cannot be got removed to little Towns, and
set to tailoring again, or otherwise disposed of, that our Schools might
the sooner rise into good condition, which is an interesting thing."
"Eager always our Master is to have the Schooling of his People improved
and everywhere diffused," writes, some years afterwards, the excellent
Zedlitz, officially "Minister of Public Justice," but much and
meritoriously concerned with School matters as well. The King's ideas
were of the best, and Zedlitz sometimes had fine hopes; but the want of
funds was always great.

"In 1779," says Preuss, "there came a sad blow to Zedlitz's hopes:
Minister von Brenkenhof [deep in West-Preussen canal-diggings and
expenditures] having suggested, That instead of getting Pensions, the
Old Soldiers should be put to keeping School." Do but fancy it; poor
old fellows, little versed in scholastics hitherto! "Friedrich, in his
pinch, grasped at the small help; wrote to the War-Department: 'Send
me a List of Invalids who are fit [or at least fittest] to be
Schoolmasters.' And got thereupon a list of 74, and afterwards 5
more [79 Invalids in all]; War-Department adding, That besides these
scholastic sort, there were 741 serving as BUDNER [Turnpike-keepers,
in a sort], as Forest-watchers and the like; and 3,443 UNVERSORGT"
(shifting for themselves, no provision made for them at all),--such
the check, by cold arithmetic and inexorable finance, upon the genial
current of the soul!--

The TURNIPS, I believe, got gradually in; and Brandenburg, in our
day, is a more and more beautifully farmed Country. Nor were the
Schoolmasters unsuccessful at all points; though I cannot report a
complete educational triumph on those extremely limited terms. [Preuss,
iii. 115, 113, &c.]

Queen Ulrique left, I think, on the 9th of August, 1772; there is sad
farewell in Friedrich's Letter next day to Princess Sophie Albertine,
the Queen's Daughter, subsequently Abbess of Quedlinburg: he is just
setting out on his Silesian Reviews; "shall, too likely, never see your
good Mamma again." ["Potsdam, 10th August, 1772:" _OEuvres de Frederic,_
xxvii. ii. 93.] Poor King; Berlin City is sound asleep, while he rushes
through it on this errand,--"past the Princess Amelia's window," in the
dead of night; and takes to humming tender strophes to her too; which
gain a new meaning by their date. ["A MA SOEUR AMELIE, EN PASSANT, LA
NUIT, SOUS SA FENETRE, POUR ALLER EN SILESIE (AOUT 1772):" _OEuvres de
Frederic,_ xiii. 77.]

Ten days afterwards (19th August, 1772),--Queen Ulrique not yet
home,--her Son, the spirited King Gustav III., at Stockholm had made
what in our day is called a "stroke of state,"--put a thorn in the
snout of his monster of a Senate, namely: "Less of palaver, venality and
insolence, from you, Sirs; we 'restore the Constitution of 1680,' and
are something of a King again!" Done with considerable dexterity and
spirit; not one person killed or hurt. And surely it was the muzzling-up
of a great deal of folly on their side,--provided only there came wisdom
enough from Gustav himself instead. But, alas, there did not, there
hardly could. His Uncle was alarmed, and not a little angry for the
moment: "You had two Parties to reconcile; a work of time, of patient
endeavor, continual and quiet; no good possible till then. And instead
of that--!" Gustav, a shining kind of man, showed no want of spirit, now
or afterwards: but he leant too much on France and broken reeds;--and,
in the end, got shot in the back by one of those beautiful "Nobles"
of his, and came to a bad conclusion, they and he. ["16th-29th March,
1792," death of Gustav III. by that assassination: "13th March, 1809,"
his Son Gustav IV, has to go on his travels; "Karl XIII.," a childless
Uncle, succeeds for a few years: after whom &c.] Scandinavian Politics,
thank Heaven, are none of our business.

Queen Ulrique was spared all these catastrophes. She had alarmed her
Brother by a dangerous illness, sudden and dangerous, in 1775; who
writes with great anxiety about it, to Another still more anxious: [See
"Correspondence with Gustav III." (in _OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxvii. ii.
84, &c.).] of this she got well again; but it did not last very long.
July 16th, 1782, she died;--and the sad Friedrich had to say, Adieu.
Alas, "must the eldest of us mourn, then, by the grave of those
younger!"



WILHELMINA'S DAUGHTER, ELIZABETH FREDERIKE SOPHIE, DUCHESS OF
WURTEMBERG, APPEARS AT FERNEY (September, 1773).

Of our dear Wilhelmina's high and unfortunate Daughter there should be
some Biography; and there will surely, if a man of sympathy and faculty
pass that way; but there is not hitherto. Nothing hitherto but a few
bare dates; bare and sternly significant, as on a Tombstone; indicating
that she had a History, and that it was a tragic one. Welcome to all of
us, in this state of matters, is the following one clear emergence of
her into the light of day, and in company so interesting too! Seven
years before her death she had gone to Lausanne (July, 1773) to consult
Tissot, a renowned Physician of those days. From Lausanne, after
two months, she visited Voltaire at Ferney. Read this Letter of
Voltaire's:--


TO ELIZABETH FREDERIKE SOPHIE, DUCHESS OF WURTEMBERG (at Lausanne).

"FEENEY, 10th July, 1773.

"MADAM,--I am informed that your most Serene Highness has deigned to
remember that I was in the world. It is very sad to be there, without
paying you my court. I never felt so cruelly the sad state to which old
age and maladies have reduced me.

"I never saw you except as a child [1743, her age then 10]: but you
were certainly the beautifulest child in Europe. May you be the happiest
Princess [alas!], as you deserve to be! I was attached to Madam the
Margravine [your dear Mother] with equal devotedness and respect; and I
had the honor to be pretty deep in her confidence, for some time
before this world, which was not worthy of her, had lost that adorable
Princess. You resemble her;--but don't resemble her in--feebleness of
health! You are in the flower of your age [coming forty, I should fear]:
let such bright flower lose nothing of its splendor; may your happiness
be able to equal [PUISSO EGALER] your beauty; may all your days be
serene, and the sweets of friendship add a new charm to them! These are
my wishes; they are as lively as my regrets at not being at your feet.
What a consolation it would be for me to speak of your loving Mother,
and of all your august relatives! Why must Destiny send you to Lausanne
[consulting Dr. Tissot there], and hinder me from flying thither!--Let
your most Serene Highness deign to accept the profound respect of the
old moribund Philosopher of Ferney.--V." [_OEuvres de Voltaire,_ xcii.
331.]

The Answer of the Princess, or farther Correspondence on the matter, is
not given; evident only that by and by, as Voltaire himself will inform
us, she did appear at Ferney;--and a certain Swedish tourist, one
Bjornstahl, who met her there, enables us even to give the date. He
reports this anecdote:--

"At supper, on the evening of 7th September, 1773, the Princess sat
next to Voltaire, who always addressed her 'VOTRE ALTESSE.' At last the
Duchess said to him, 'TU ES ANON PAPA, JE SUIS TA FILLE, ET JE VOUZ ETRE
APPELEE TA FILLE.' Voltaire took a pencil from his pocket, asked for a
card, and wrote upon it:--

    'Ah, le beau titre que voila!
     Vous me donnez la premiere des places;
     Quelle famille j'aurais la!
     Je serais le pere des Graces'
    [_OEuvres de Voltaire,_ xviii. 342.]

He gave the card to the Princess, who embraced and kissed him for it."
[Vehse, _Geschichte der Deutschen Hofe_ (Hamburg, 1853), xxv. 252, 253.]


VOLTAIRE TO FRIEDRICH (a fortnight after).

"FERNEY, 22d September, 1773.

"I must tell you that I have felt, in these late days, in spite of all
my past caprices, how much I am attached to your Majesty and to your
House. Madam the Duchess of Wurtemberg having had, like so many others,
the weakness to believe that health is to be found at Lausanne, and that
Dr. Tissot gives it if one pay him, has, as you know, made the journey
to Lausanne; and I, who am more veritably ill than she, and than all
the Princesses who have taken Tissot for an AEsculapius, had not the
strength to leave my home. Madam of Wurtemberg, apprised of all the
feelings that still live in me for the memory of Madam the Margravine
of Baireuth her Mother, has deigned to visit my hermitage, and pass two
days with us. I should have recognized her, even without warning; she
has the turn of her Mother's face with your eyes.

"You Hero-people who govern the world don't allow yourselves to be
subdued by feelings; you have them all the same as we, but you maintain
your decorum. We other petty mortals yield to all our impressions: I set
myself to cry, in speaking to her of you and of Madam the Princess her
Mother; and she too, though she is Niece of the first Captain in Europe,
could not restrain her tears. It appears to me, that she has the talent
(ESPRIT) and the graces of your House; and that especially she is more
attached to you than to her Husband [I should think so!]. She returns, I
believe, to Baireuth,--[No Mother, no Father there now: foolish Uncle
of Anspath died long ago, "3d August, 1757:" Aunt Dowager of Anspach
gone to Erlangen, I hope, to Feuchtwang, Schwabach or Schwaningen,
or some Widow's-Mansion "WITTWENSITZ" of her own; [Lived, finally at
Schwaningen, in sight of such vicissitudes and follies round her, till
"4th February, 1784" (Rodenbeck, iii. 304).] reigning Son, with his
French-Actress equipments, being of questionable figure],--

--"returns, I believe, to Baireuth; where she will find another Princess
of a different sort; I mean Mademoiselle Clairon, who cultivates
Natural History, and is Lady Philosopher to Monseigneur the
Margraf,"--high-rouged Tragedy-Queen, rather tyrannous upon him, they
say: a young man destined to adorn Hammersmith by and by, and not go a
good road.

... "I renounce my beautiful hopes of seeing the Mahometans driven out
of Europe, and Athens become again the Seat of the Muses. Neither you
nor the Kaiser are"--are inclined in the Crusading way at all.... "The
old sick man of Ferney is always at the feet of your Majesty; he feels
very sorry that he cannot talk of you farther with Madam the Duchess of
Wurtemberg, who adores you.--LE VIEUX MALADE." [_OEuvres de Voltaire,_
xcii. 390.]

To which Friedrich makes answer: "If it is forevermore forbidden me to
see you again, I am not the less glad that the Duchess of Wurtemberg has
seen you. I should certainly have mixed my tears with yours, had I been
present at that touching scene! Be it weakness, be it excess of regard,
I have built for her lost Mother, what Cicero projected for his Tullia,
a TEMPLE OF FRIENDSHIP: her Statue occupies the background, and on each
pillar stands a mask (MASCARON) containing the Bust of some Hero in
Friendship: I send you the drawing of it." ["Potsdam, 24th October,
1773:" _OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxiii. 259:--"Temple" was built in 1768
(Ib. p. 259 n.).] Which again sets Voltaire weeping, and will the
Duchess when she sees it. [Voltaire's next Letter: _OEuvres de
Voltaire,_ xcii. 434.]

We said there hitherto was nearly nothing anywhere discoverable as
History of this high Lady but the dates only; these we now give. She was
"born 30th August, 1732,"--her Mother's and Father's one Child;--four
years older than her Anspach Cousin, who inherited Baireuth too, and
finished off that genealogy. She was "wedded 26th September, 1748;" her
age then about 16; her gloomy Duke of Wurtemberg, age 20, all sunshine
and goodness to her then: she was "divorced in 1757:" "died 6th April,
1780,"--Tradition says, "in great poverty [great for her rank,
I suppose, proud as she might be, and above complaining],--at
Neustadt-on-the-Aisch" (in the Nurnberg region), whither she had
retired, I know not how long after her Papa's death and Cousin's
accession. She is bound for her Cousin's Court, we observe, just now;
and, considering her Cousin's ways and her own turn of mind, it is easy
to fancy she had not a pleasant time there.

Tradition tells us, credibly enough, "She was very like her Mother:
beautiful, much the lady (VON FEINEM TON), and of energetic character;"
and adds, probably on slight foundation, "but very cold and proud
towards the people." [Vehse, xxv. 251.] Many Books will inform you how,
"On first entering Stuttgard, when the reigning Duke and she were met
by a party of congratulatory peasant women dressed in their national
costume, she said to her Duke," being then only sixteen, poor young
soul, and on her marriage-journey, "'WAS WILL DAS GESCHMEISS (Why does
that rabble bore us)!'" This is probably the main foundation. That "her
Ladies, on approaching her, had always to kiss the hem of her gown," lay
in the nature of the case, being then the rule to people of her rank.
Beautiful Unfortunate, adieu:--and be Voltaire thanked, too!--

It is long since we have seen Voltaire before:--a prosperous Lord at
Ferney these dozen years ("the only man in France that lives like a
GRAND SEIGNEUR," says Cardinal Bernis to him once [Their CORRESPONDENCE,
really pretty of its kind, used to circulate as a separate Volume in the
years then subsequent.]); doing great things for the Pays de Gex and
for France, and for Europe; delivering the Calases, the Sirvens and the
Oppressed of various kinds; especially ardent upon the INFAME, as the
real business Heaven has assigned him in his Day, the sunset of
which, and Night wherein no man can work, he feels to be hastening on.
"Couldn't we, the few Faithful, go to Cleve in a body?" thinks he at one
time: "To Cleve; and there, as from a safe place, under the Philosopher
King, shoot out our fiery artilleries with effect?" The Philosopher King
is perfectly willing, "provided you don't involve me in Wars with
my neighbors." Willing enough he; but they the Faithful--alas, the
Patriarch finds that they have none of his own heroic ardor, and that
the thing cannot be done. Upon which, "struck with sorrow," say his
Biographers, "he writes nothing to Friedrich for two years." ["Nov.
1769," recommences (_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxiii. 140. 139).]

The truth is, he is growing very old; and though a piercing radiance, as
of stars, bursts occasionally from the central part of him, the outworks
are getting decayed and dim; obstruction more and more accumulating, and
the immeasurable Night drawing nigh. Well does Voltaire himself, at all
moments, know this; and his bearing under it, one must say, is rather
beautiful. There is a tenderness, a sadness, in these his later Letters
to Friedrich; instead of emphasis or strength, a beautiful shrill
melody, as of a woman, as of a child; he grieves unappeasably to have
lost Friedrich; never will forgive Maupertuis:--poor old man! Friedrich
answers in a much livelier, more robust tone: friendly, encouraging,
communicative on small matters;--full of praises,--in fact, sincerely
glad to have such a transcendent genius still alive with him in
this world. Praises to the most liberal pitch everything of
Voltaire's,--except only the Article on WAR, which occasionally (as
below) he quizzes a little, to the Patriarch or his Disciple.

 As we have room for nothing of all this, and perhaps shall not see
Voltaire again,--there are Two actual Interviews with him, which, being
withal by Englishmen, though otherwise not good for much, we intend for
readers here. In these last twenty years D'Alembert is Friedrich's chief
Correspondent. Of D'Alembert to the King, it may be or may not, some
opportunity will rise for a specimen; meanwhile here is a short Letter
of the King's to D'Alembert, through which there pass so many threads of
contemporaneous flying events (swift shuttles on the loud-sounding Loom
of Time), that we are tempted to give this, before the two Interviews in
question.

Date of the Letter is two months after that apparition of the Duchess of
Wurtemberg at Ferney. Of "Crillon," an ingenious enough young Soldier,
rushing ardently about the world in his holiday time, we have nothing to
say, except that he is Son of that Rossbach Crillon, who always fancies
to himself that once he perhaps spared Friedrich's life (by a glass of
wine judiciously given) long since, while the Bridge of Weissenfels was
on fire, and Rossbach close ahead. [Supra, x. 6.] Colonel "Guibert"
is another Soldier, still young, but of much superior type; greatly an
admirer of Friedrich, and subsequently a Writer upon him. [Of Guibert's
visit to Friedrich (June, 1773), see Preuss, iv. 214; Rodenbeck, iii.
80.]

In regard to the "Landgravine of Darmstadt," notice these points.
First, that her eldest Daughter is Wife, second Wife, to the
dissolute Crown-Prince of Prussia; and then, that she has Three other
Daughters,--one of whom has just been disposed of in an important way;
wedded to the Czarowitsh Paul of Russia, namely. By Friedrich's means
and management, as Friedrich informs us. [_OEuvres de Frederic,_
(MEMOIRES DE 1763 JUSQU'A 1775), vi. 57.] The Czarina, he says, had sent
out a confidential Gentleman, one Asseburg, who was Prussian by birth,
to seek a fit Wife for her Son: Friedrich, hearing of this, suggested
to Asseburg, "The Landgravine of Darmstadt, the most distinguished and
accomplished of German Princesses, has three marriageable Daughters; her
eldest, married to our Crown-Prince, will be Queen of Prussia in time
coming;--suppose now, one of the others were to be Czarina of Russia
withal? Think, might it not be useful both to your native Country and to
your adopted?" Asseburg took the hint; reported at Petersburg, That of
all marriageable Princesses in Germany, the Three of Darmstadt, one
or the other of them, would, in his humble opinion, be the eligiblest.
"Could not we persuade you to come to Petersburg, Madam Landgravine?"
wrote the Czarina thereupon: "Do us the honor of a visit, your three
Princesses and you!" The Landgravine and Daughters, with decent
celerity, got under way; [Passed through Berlin 16th-19th May, 1773:
Rodenbeck, iii. 78.] Czarowitsh Paul took interesting survey, on
their arrival; and about two months ago wedded the middle one of the
three:--and here is the victorious Landgravine bringing home the other
two. Czarowitsh's fair one did not live long, nor behave well: died of
her first child; and Czarowitsh, in 1776, had to apply to us again for
a Wife, whom this time we fitted better. Happily, the poor victorious
Landgravine was gone before anything of this; she died suddenly five
months hence; [30th March, 1774.] nothing doubting of her Russian
Adventure. She was an admired Princess of her time, DIE GROSSE
LANDGRAFIN, as Goethe somewhere calls her; much in Friedrich's
esteem,--FEMINA SEXU, INGENIO VIR, as the Monument he raised to her
at Darmstadt still bears. [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xx. 183 n. His
CORRESPONDENCE with her is Ib. xxvii ii. 135-153; and goes from 1757 to
1774.]


FRIEDRICH TO D'ALEMBERT.

"POTSDAM, 16th December, 1773.

"M. de Crillon delivered me your CRILLONADE [lengthy Letter of
introduction]; which has completed me in the History of all the Crillons
of the County of Avignon. He does n't stop here; he is soon to be off
for Russia; so that I will take him on your word, and believe him the
wisest of all the Crillons: assuring myself that you have measured and
computed all his curves, and angles of incidence. He will find Diderot
and Grimm in Russia [famous visit of Diderot], all occupied with the
Czarina's beautiful reception of them, and with the many things worthy
of admiration which they have seen there. Some say Grimm will possibly
fix himself in that Country [chose better],--which will be the asylum at
once of your fanatic CHAUMEIXES and of the ENCYCLOPEDISTES, whom he used
to denounce. [This poor Chaumeix did, after such feats, "die peaceably
at Moscow, as a Schoolmaster."]

"M. de Guibert has gone by Ferney; where it is said Voltaire has
converted him, that is, has made him renounce the errors of ambition,
abjure the frightful trade of hired manslayer, with intent to become
either Capuchin or Philosophe; so that I suppose by this time he will
have published a 'Declaration' like Gresset, informing the public That,
having had the misfortune to write a Work on Tactics, he repented it
from the bottom of his soul, and hereby assured mankind that never more
in his life would he give rules for butcheries, assassinations, feints,
stratagems or the like abominations. As to me, my conversion not being
yet in an advanced stage, I pray you to give me details about Guibert's,
to soften my heart and penetrate my bowels.

"We have the Landgravine of Darmstadt here: [Rodenbeck, iii. 89, 90.]
no end to the Landgravine's praises of a magnificent Czarina, and of all
the beautiful and grand things she has founded in that Country. As to
us, who live like mice in their holes, news come to us only from mouth
to mouth, and the sense of hearing is nothing like that of sight.
I cherish my wishes, in the mean while, for the sage Anaxagoras [my
D'Alembert himself]; and I say to Urania, 'It is for thee to sustain thy
foremost Apostle, to maintain one light, without which a great Kingdom
[France] would sink into darkness;' and I say to the Supreme Demiurgus:
'Have always the good D'Alembert in thy holy and worthy keeping.'--F."
[_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxiv. 614.]

THE BOSTON TEA (same day). Curious to remark, while Friedrich is writing
this Letter, "THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16th, 1773," what a commotion is
going on, far over seas, at Boston, New England,--in the "Old South
Meeting-house" there; in regard to three English Tea Ships that are
lying embargoed in Griffin's Wharf for above a fortnight past. The case
is well known, and still memorable to mankind. British Parliament,
after nine years of the saddest haggling and baffling to and fro, under
Constitutional stress of weather, and such east-winds and west-winds
of Parliamentary eloquence as seldom were, has made up its mind, That
America shall pay duty on these Teas before infusing them: and America,
Boston more especially, is tacitly determined that it will not; and
that, to avoid mistakes, these Teas shall never be landed at all. Such
is Boston's private intention, more or less fixed;--to say nothing of
the Philadelphias, Charlestons, New Yorks, who are watching Boston, and
will follow suit of it.

"Sunday, November 26th,--that is, nineteen days ago,--the first of
these Tea Ships, the DARTMOUTH, Captain Hall, moored itself in Griffin's
Wharf: Owner and Consignee is a broad-brimmed Boston gentleman called
Rotch, more attentive to profits of trade than to the groans of
Boston:--but already on that Sunday, much more on the Monday following,
there had a meeting of Citizens run together,--(on Monday, Faneuil Hall
won't hold them, and they adjourn to the Old South Meeting-house),--who
make it apparent to Rotch that it will much behoove him, for the sake
both of tea and skin, not to 'enter' (or officially announce) this
Ship DARTMOUTH at the Custom-house in any wise; but to pledge his
broad-brimmed word, equivalent to his oath, that she shall lie dormant
there in Griffin's Wharf, till we see. Which, accordingly, she has
been doing ever since; she and two others that arrived some days later;
dormant all three of them, side by side, three crews totally idle; a
'Committee of Ten' supervising Rotch's procedures; and the Boston world
much expectant. Thursday, December 16th: this is the 20th day since
Rotch's DARTMOUTH arrived here; if not 'entered' at Custom-house in the
course of this day, Custom-house cannot give her a 'clearance' either
(a leave to depart),--she becomes a smuggler, an outlaw, and her fate is
mysterious to Rotch and us.

"This Thursday accordingly, by 10 in the morning, in the Old South
Meeting-house, Boston is assembled, and country-people to the number of
2,000;--and Rotch never was in such a company of human Friends before.
They are not uncivil to him (cautious people, heedful of the verge of
the Law); but they are peremptory, to the extent of--Rotch may shudder
to think what. "I went to the Custom-house yesterday,' said Rotch, 'your
Committee of Ten can bear me witness; and demanded clearance and leave
to depart; but they would not; were forbidden, they said!' 'Go, then,
sir; get you to the Governor himself; a clearance, and out of harbor
this day: had n't you better?' Rotch is well aware that he had; hastens
off to the Governor (who has vanished to his Country-house, on purpose);
Old South Meeting-house adjourning till 3 P.M., for Rotch's return with
clearance.

"At 3 no Rotch, nor at 4, nor at 5; miscellaneous plangent intermittent
speech instead, mostly plangent, in tone sorrowful rather than
indignant:--at a quarter to 6, here at length is Rotch; sun is long
since set,--has Rotch a clearance or not? Rotch reports at large,
willing to be questioned and cross-questioned: 'Governor absolutely
would not! My Christian friends, what could I or can I do?' There are
by this time about 7,000 people in Old South Meeting-house, very few
tallow-lights in comparison,--almost no lights for the mind either,--and
it is difficult to answer. Rotch's report done, the Chairman [one Adams,
"American Cato," subsequently so called] dissolves the sorrowful 7,000,
with these words: 'This Meeting declares that it can do nothing more to
save the Country.' Will merely go home, then, and weep. Hark, however:
almost on the instant, in front of Old South Meeting-house, (a terrific
War-whoop; and about fifty Mohawk Indians,)--with whom Adams seems to be
acquainted; and speaks without Interpreter: Aha?--

"And, sure enough, before the stroke of 7, these fifty painted Mohawks
are forward, without noise, to Griffin's Wharf; have put sentries all
round there; and, in a great silence of the neighborhood, are busy,
in three gangs, upon the dormant Tea Ships; opening their chests, and
punctually shaking them out into the sea. 'Listening from the distance,
you could hear distinctly the ripping open of the chests, and no other
sound.' About 10 P.M. all was finished: 342 chests of tea flung out to
infuse in the Atlantic; the fifty Mohawks gone like a dream; and Boston
sleeping more silently even than usual." ["Summary of the Advices from
America" (in _Gentleman's Magazine_ for 1774, pp. 26, 27); Bancroft,
iii. 536 et seq.]

"Seven in the evening:" this, I calculate, allowing for the Earth's
rotation, will be about the time when Friedrich, well tired with the
day's business, is getting to bed; by 10 on the Boston clocks, when the
process finishes there, Friedrich will have had the best of his sleep
over. Here is Montcalm's Prophecy coming to fulfilment;--and a curious
intersection of a flying Event through one's poor LETTER TO D'ALEMBERT.
We will now give the two English Interviews with Voltaire; one of which
is of three years past, another of three years ahead.



No. 1. DR BURNEY HAS SIGHT OF VOLTAIRE (July, 1770).

In the years 1770-1771, Burney, then a famous DOCTOR OF MUSIC, made
his TOUR through France and Italy, on Musical errands and researches:
[Charles Burney's _Present State of Music in France and Italy, being
the Journal of a Tour through those Countries to collect Materials for
a General History of Music_ (London, 1773). The _History of Music_
followed duly, in Four 4tos (London, 1776-1789).] with these we have no
concern, but only with one most small exceptional offshoot or
episode which grew out of these. Enough for us to know that Burney, a
comfortable, well-disposed, rather dull though vivacious Doctor, age
near 45, had left London for Paris "in June, 1770;" that he was on to
Geneva, intending for Turin, "early in July;" and that his "M. Fritz,"
mentioned below, is a veteran Brother in Music, settled at Geneva for
the last thirty years, who has been helpful and agreeable to Burney
while here. Our Excerpt therefore dates itself, "one of the early days
of July, 1770,"--Burney hovering between two plans (as we shall dimly
perceive), and not exactly executing either:--

.... "My going to M. Fritz broke [was about breaking, but did not quite]
into a plan which I had formed of visiting M. de Voltaire, at the same
hour, along with some other strangers, who were then going to Ferney.
But, to say the truth, besides the visit to M. Fritz being more MY
BUSINESS, I did not much like going with these people, who had only a
Geneva Bookseller to introduce them; and I had heard that some English
had lately met with a rebuff from M. de Voltaire, by going without any
letter of recommendation, or anything to recommend themselves. He asked
them What they wanted? Upon their replying That they wished only to see
so extraordinary a man, he said: 'Well, gentlemen, you now see me: did
you take me for a wild beast or monster, that was fit only to be stared
at as a show?' This story very much frightened me; for, not having, when
I left London, or even Paris, any intention of going to Geneva, I was
quite unprovided with a recommendation. However, I was determined to see
the place of his residence, which I took to be [still LES DELICES],

CETTE MAISON D'ARISTIPPE, CES JARDINS D'PICURE,

to which he retired in 1755; but was mistaken [not The DELICES now at
all, but Ferney, for nine or ten years back].

"I drove to Ferney alone, after I had left M. Fritz. This House is
three or four miles from Geneva, but near the Lake. I approached it with
reverence, and a curiosity of the most minute kind. I inquired WHEN I
first trod on his domain; I had an intelligent and talkative postilion,
who answered all my questions very satisfactorily. M. de Voltaire's
estate is very large here, and he is building pretty farm-houses
upon it. He has erected on the Geneva side a quadrangular JUSTICE, or
Gallows, to show that he is the SEIGNEUR. One of his farms, or rather
manufacturing houses,--for he is establishing a manufacture upon his
estate,--was so handsome that I thought it was his chateau.

"We drove to Ferney, through a charming country, covered with corn and
vines, in view of the Lake, and Mountains of Gex, Switzerland and Savoy.
On the left hand, approaching the House, is a neat Chapel with this
inscription:--

'DEO EREXIT VOLTAIRE MDCCLXI.'

I sent to inquire, Whether a stranger might be allowed to see the House
and Gardens; and was answered in the affirmative. A servant soon came,
and conducted me into the cabinet or closet where his Master had just
been writing: this is never shown when he is at home; but having walked
out, I was allowed that privilege. From thence I passed to the
Library, which is not a very large one, but well filled. Here I found
a whole-length Figure in marble of himself, recumbent, in one of the
windows; and many curiosities in another room; a Bust of himself, made
not two years since; his Mother's picture; that of his Niece, Madam
Denis; his Brother, M. Dupuis; the Calas Family; and others. It is a
very neat and elegant House; not large, nor affectedly decorated.

"I should first have remarked, that close to the Chapel, between that
and the house, is the Theatre, which he built some years ago; where he
treated his friends with some of his own Tragedies: it is now only used
as a receptacle for wood and lumber, there having been no play acted in
it these four years. The servant told me his Master was 78 [76 gone],
but very well. 'IL TRAVAILLE,' said he, 'PENDANT DIX HEURES CHAQUE JOUR,
He studies ten hours every day; writes constantly without spectacles,
and walks out with only a domestic, often a mile or two--ET LE VOILA, LA
BAS, And see, yonder he is!'

"He was going to his workmen. My heart leaped at the sight of so
extraordinary a man. He had just then quitted his Garden, and was
crossing the court before his House. Seeing my chaise, and me on the
point of mounting it, he made a sign to his servant who had been my
CICERONE, to go to him; in order, I suppose, to inquire who I was.
After they had exchanged a few words together, he," M. de Voltaire,
"approached the place where I was standing motionless, in order to
contemplate his person as much as I could while his eyes were turned
from me; but on seeiug him move towards me, I found myself drawn by
some irresistible power towards him; and, without knowing what I did, I
insensibly met him half-way.

"It is not easy to conceive it possible for life to subsist in a form
so nearly composed of mere skin and bone as that of M. de Voltaire."
Extremely lean old Gentleman! "He complained of decrepitude, and said,
He supposed I was anxious to form an idea of the figure of one walking
after death. However, his eyes and whole countenance are still full
of fire; and though so emaciated, a more lively expression cannot be
imagined.

"He inquired after English news; and observed that Poetical squabbles
had given way to Political ones; but seemed to think the spirit of
opposition as necessary in poetry as in politics. _'Les querelles
d'auteurs sont pour le bien de la litterature, comme dans un
gouvernement libre les querelles des grands, et les clameurs des petits,
sont necessaires a la liberte._' And added, 'When critics are silent, it
does not so much prove the Age to be correct, as dull.' He inquired
what Poets we had now; I told him we had Mason and Gray. 'They write
but little,' said he: 'and you seem to have no one who lords it over the
rest, like Dryden, Pope and Swift.' I told him that it was one of the
inconveniences of Periodical Journals, however well executed, that they
often silenced modest men of genius, while impudent blockheads were
impenetrable, and unable to feel the critic's scourge: that Mr. Gray and
Mr. Mason had both been illiberally treated by mechanical critics, even
in newspapers; and added, that modesty and love of quiet seemed in these
gentlemen to have got the better even of their love of fame.

"During this conversation, we approached the buildings that he was
constructing near the road to his Chateau. 'These,' said he, pointing
to them, 'are the most innocent, and perhaps the most useful, of all
my works.' I observed that he had other works, which were of far more
extensive use, and would be much more durable, than those. He was so
obliging as to show me several farm-houses that he had built, and the
plans of others: after which I took my leave." [Burney's _Present State
of Music_ (London, 1773), pp. 55-62.



NO. 2. A REVEREND MR. SHERLOCK SEES VOLTAIRE, AND EVEN DINES WITH HIM
(April, 1776).

Sherlock's Book of TRAVELS, though he wrote it in two languages, and it
once had its vogue, is now little other than a Dance of Will-o'-wisps
to us. A Book tawdry, incoherent, indistinct, at once flashy and opaque,
full of idle excrescences and exuberances;--as is the poor man himself.
He was "Chaplain to the Earl of Bristol, Bishop of Derry;" gyrating
about as ecclesiastical Moon to that famed Solar Luminary, what could
you expect! [Title of his Book is, _Letters from an English Traveller;
translated from the French Original_ (London, 1780). Ditto, _Letters
from an English Trader; written originally in French;_ by the Rev.
Martin Sherlock, A.M., Chaplain to the Earl of Bristol, &c. (a new
Edition, 2 vols., London, 1802).] Poor Sherlock is nowhere intentionally
fabulous; nor intrinsically altogether so foolish as he seems: let that
suffice us. In his Dance of Will-o'-wisps, which in this point happily
is dated,--26th-27th April, 1776,--he had come to Ferney, with proper
introduction to Voltaire; and here (after severe excision of the flabby
parts, but without other change) is credible account of what he saw and
heard. In Three Scenes; with this Prologue,--as to Costume, which is
worth reading twice:--

VOLTAIRE'S DRESS. "On the two days I saw him, he wore white cloth shoes,
white woollen stockings, red breeches, with a nightgown and waistcoat
of blue linen, flowered, and lined with yellow. He had on a grizzle wig
with three ties, and over it a silk nightcap embroidered with gold and
silver."


SCENE I. THE ENTRANCE-HALL OF FERNEY (Friday, 26th April, 1776):
EXUBERANT SHERLOCK ENTERING, LETTER OF INTRODUCTION HAVING PRECEDED.

"He met in the hall; his Nephew M. d'Hornoi" (Grand-nephew; Abbe Mignot,
famous for BURYING Voltaire, and Madame Denis, whom we know, were
D'Hornoi's Uncle and Aunt)--Grand-nephew, "Counsellor in the Parlement
of Paris, held him by the arm. He said to me, with a very weak voice:
'You see a very old man, who makes a great effort to have the honor of
seeing you. Will you take a walk in my Garden? It will please you, for
it is in the English taste:--it was I who introduced that taste into
France, and it is become universal. But the French parody your Gardens:
they put your thirty acres into three.'

"From his Gardens you see the Alps, the Lake, the City of Geneva and its
environs, which are very pleasant. He said:--

VOLTAIRE. "'It is a beautiful prospect.' He pronounced these words
tolerably well.

SHERLOCK. "'How long is it since you were in England?'

VOLTAIRE. "'Fifty years, at least.' [Not quite; in 1728 left; in 1726
had come.] [Supra, vii. 47.]

D'HORNOI. "'It was at the time when you printed the First Edition of
your HENRIADE.'

"We then talked of Literature; and from that moment he forgot his age
and infirmities, and spoke with the warmth of a man of thirty. He
said some shocking things against Moses and against Shakspeare. [Like
enough!]... We then talked of Spain.

VOLTAIRE. "'It is a Country of which we know no more than of the most
savage parts of Africa; and it is not worth the trouble of being known.
If a man would travel there, he must carry his bed, &c. On arriving in
a Town, he must go into one street to buy a bottle of wine; a piece of
a mule [by way of beef] in another; he finds a table in a third,--and he
sups. A French Nobleman was passing through Pampeluna: he sent out for
a spit; there was only one in the Town, and that was lent away for a
wedding.'

D'HORNOI. "'There, Monsieur, is a Village which M. de Voltaire has
built!'

VOLTAIRE. "'Yes, we have our freedoms here. Cut off a little corner, and
we are out of France. I asked some privileges for my Children here, and
the King has granted me all that I asked, and has declared this Pays de
Gex exempt from all Taxes of the Farmers-General; so that salt, which
formerly sold for ten sous a pound, now sells for four. I have nothing
more to ask, except to live.'--We went into the Library" (had made the
round of the Gardens, I suppose).


SCENE II. IN THE LIBRARY.

VOLTAIRE. "'There you find several of your countrymen [he had
Shakspeare, Milton, Congreve, Rochester, Shaftesbury, Bolingbroke,
Robertson, Hume and others]. Robertson is your Livy; his CHARLES FIFTH
is written with truth. Hume wrote his History to be applauded, Rapin to
instruct; and both obtained their ends.'

SHERLOCK. "'Lord Bolingbroke and you agreed that we have not one good
Tragedy.'

VOLTAIRE. "'We did think so. CATO is incomparably well written: Addison
had a great deal of taste;--but the abyss between taste and genius is
immense! Shakspeare had an amazing genius, but no taste: he has spoiled
the taste of the Nation. He has been their taste for two hundred years;
and what is the taste of a Nation for two hundred years will be so for
two thousand. This kind of taste becomes a religion; there are, in your
Country, a great many Fanatics for Shakspeare.'

SHERLOCK. "'Were you personally acquainted with Lord Bolingbroke?'

VOLTAIRE. "'Yes. His face was imposing, and so was his voice; in his
WORKS there are many leaves and little fruit; distorted expressions,
and periods intolerably long. [TAKING DOWN A BOOK.] There, you see the
KORAN, which is well read, at least. [It was marked throughout with bits
of paper.] There are HISTORIC DOUBTS, by Horace Walpole [which had also
several marks]; here is the portrait of Richard III.; you see he was a
handsome youth.'

SHERLOCK (making an abrupt transition). "'You have built a Church?'

VOLTAIRE. "'True; and it is the only one in the Universe in honor of
God [DEO EREXIT VOLTAIRE, as we read above]: you have plenty of Churches
built to St. Paul, to St. Genevieve, but not one to God.'" EXIT Sherlock
(to his Inn; makes jotting as above;--is to dine at Ferney to-morrow).


SCENE III. DINNER-TABLE OF VOLTAIRE.

"The next day, as we sat down to Dinner," our Host in the above shining
costume, "he said, in English tolerably pronounced:--

VOLTAIRE. "'We are here for liberty and property! [parody of some old
Speech in Parliament, let us guess,--liberty and property, my Lords!]
This Gentleman--whom let me present to Monsieur Sherlock--is a Jesuit
[old Pere Adam, whom I keep for playing Chess, in his old, unsheltered
days]; he wears his hat: I am a poor invalid,--I wear my nightcap.'...

"I do not now recollect why he quoted these verses, also in English, by
Rochester, on CHARLES SECOND:--

     'Here lies the mutton-eating King,

     Who never said a foolish thing,
     Nor ever did a wise one.'

But speaking of Racine, he quoted this Couplet (of Roscomman's ESSAY ON
TRANSLATED VERSE):--

     'The weighty bullion of one sterling line
     Drawn to French wire would through whole pages shine.

SHERLOCK. "'The English prefer Corneille to Racine.'

VOLTAIRE. "'That is because the English are not sufficiently acquainted
with the French tongue to feel the beauties of Racine's style, or
the harmony of his versification. Corneille ought to please them more
because he is more striking; but Racine pleases the French because he
has more softness and tenderness.'

SHERLOCK. "'How did you find [LIKE] the English fare (LA CHERE
ANGLAISE?'--which Voltaire mischievously takes for 'the dear
Englishwoman').

VOLTAIRE. "'I found her very fresh and white,'--truly! [It should
be remembered, that when he made this pun upon Women he was in his
eighty-third year.]

SHERLOCK. "'Their language?'

VOLTAIRE. "'Energetic, precise and barbarous; they are the only Nation
that pronounce their A as E.... [And some time afterwards] Though I
cannot perfectly pronounce English, my ear is sensible of the harmony of
your language and of your versification. Pope and Dryden have the most
harmony in Poetry; Addison in Prose.' [Takes now the interrogating
side.]

VOLTAIRE. "'How have you liked (AVEX-VOUS TROUVE) the French?'

SHERLOCK. "'Amiable and witty. I only find one fault with them: they
imitate the English too much.'

VOLTAIRE. "'How! Do you think us worthy to be originals ourselves?'

SHERLOCK. "'Yes, Sir.'

VOLTAIRE. "'So do I too:--but it is of your Government that we are
envious.'

SHERLOCK. "'I have found the French freer than I expected.'

VOLTAIRE. "'Yes, as to walking, or eating whatever he pleases, or
lolling in his elbow-chair, a Frenchman is free enough; but as to
taxes--Ah, Monsieur, you are a lucky Nation; you can do what you like;
poor we are born in slavery: we cannot even die as we will; we must have
a Priest [can't get buried otherwise; am often thinking of that!]...
Well, if the English do sell themselves, it is a proof that they are
worth something: we French don't sell ourselves, probably because we are
worth nothing.'

SHERLOCK. "'What is your opinion of the ELOISE' [Rousseau's immortal
Work]?

VOLTAIRE. "'That it will not be read twenty years hence.'

SHERLOCK. "'Mademoiselle de l’Enclos wrote some good LETTERS?'

VOLTAIRE. "'She never wrote one; they were by the wretched Crebillon'
[my beggarly old "Rival" in the Pompadour epoch]!...

VOLTAIRE. "'The Italians are a Nation of brokers. Italy is an
Old-Clothes shop; in which there are many Old Dresses of exquisite
taste.... But we are still to know, Whether the subjects of the Pope
or of the Grand Turk are the more abject.' [We have now gone to the
Drawing-room, I think, though it is not jotted.]

"He talked of England and of Shakspeare; and explained to Madame Denis
part of a Scene in Henry Fifth, where the King makes love to Queen
Catherine in bad French; and of another in which that Queen takes a
lesson in English from her Waiting-woman, and where there are several
very gross double-entendres"--but, I hope, did not long dwell on
these....

VOLTAIRE. "'When I see an Englishman subtle and fond of lawsuits, I say,
"There is a Norman, who came in with William the Conqueror." When I
see a man good-natured and polite, "That is one who came with the
Plantagenets;" a brutal character, "That is a Dane:"--for your Nation,
Monsieur, as well as your Language, is a medley of many others.'

"After dinner, passing through a little Parlor where there was a head of
Locke, another of the Countess of Coventry, and several more, he took
me by the arm and stopped me: 'Do you know this Bust [bust of Sir
Isaac Newton]? It is the greatest genius that ever existed: if all the
geniuses of the Universe were assembled, he should lead the band.'

"It was of Newton, and of his own Works, that M. de Voltaire always
spoke with the greatest warmth." [Sherlock, LETTERS (London, 1802), i.
98-106.] (EXIT Sherlock, to jot down the above, and thence into Infinite
Space.)



GENERAL OR FIELDMARSHAL CONWAY, DIRECT FROM THE LONDON CIRCLES, ATTENDS
ONE OF FRIEDRICH'S REVIEWS (August-September, 1774).

Now that Friedrich's Military Department is got completely into trim
again, which he reckons to have been about 1770, his annual Reviews
are becoming very famous over Europe; and intelligent Officers of all
Countries are eager to be present, and instruct themselves there. The
Review is beautiful as a Spectacle; but that is in no sort the intention
of it. Rigorous business, as in the strictest of Universities examining
for Degrees, would be nearer the definition. Sometimes, when a new
manoeuvre or tactical invention of importance is to be tried by
experiment, you will find for many miles the environs of Potsdam, which
is usually the scene of such experiments, carefully shut in; sentries
on every road, no unfriendly eye admitted; the thing done as with closed
doors. Nor at any time can you attend without leave asked; though to
Foreign Officers, and persons that have really business there, there
appears to be liberality enough in granting it. The concourse of
military strangers seems to keep increasing every year, till Friedrich's
death. [Rodenbeck, iii. IN LOCIS.] French, more and more in quantity,
present themselves; multifarious German names; generally a few English
too,--Burgoyne (of Saratoga finally), Cornwallis, Duke of York, Marshal
Conway,--of which last we have something farther to say at present.

In Summer, 1774, Conway--the Marshal Conway, of whom Walpole is
continually talking as of a considerable Soldier and Politician, though
he was not in either character considerable, but was Walpole's friend,
and an honest modest man--had made up his mind, perhaps partly on
domestic grounds (for I have noticed glimpses of a "Lady C." much out
of humor), to make a Tour in Germany, and see the Reviews, both Austrian
and Prussian, Prussian especially. Two immense LETTERS of his on that
subject have come into my hands, [Kindly presented me by Charles Knight,
Esq., the well-known Author and Publisher (who possesses a Collection by
the same hand): these Two run to fourteen large pages in my Copy!] and
elsewhere incidentally there is printed record of the Tour; [In Keith
(Sir Robert Murray), _Memoirs and Correspondence,_ ii. 21 et, seq.]
unimportant as possible, both Tour and Letters, but capable, if squeezed
into compass, of still being read without disadvantage here.

Sir Robert Murray Keith--that is, the younger Excellency Keith, now
Minister at Dresden, whom we have sometimes heard of--accompanies Conway
on this Tour, or flies alongside of him, with frequent intersections
at the principal points; and there is printed record by Sir Robert, but
still less interesting than this of Conway, and perfectly conformable
to it:--so that, except for some words about the Lord Marischal, which
shall be given, Keith must remain silent, while the diffuse Conway
strives to become intelligible. Indeed, neither Conway nor Keith tell us
the least thing that is not abundantly, and even wearisomely known from
German sources; but to readers here, a pair of English eyes looking on
the matter (put straight in places by the help there is), may give it
a certain freshness of meaning. Here are Conway's Two Letters, with the
nine parts of water charitably squeezed out of them, by a skilful friend
of mine and his.


CONWAY TO HIS BROTHER, MARQUIS OF HERTFORD (in London).

"BERLIN, July 17th, 1774.

"DEAR BROTHER,--In the hurry I live in--... Leaving Brunswick, where,
in absence of most of the Court, who are visiting at Potsdam, my old
Commander," Duke Ferdinand, now estranged from Potsdam, [Had a kind of
quarrel with Friedrich in 1766 (rough treatment by Adjutant von
Anhalt, not tolerable to a Captain now become so eminent), and quietly
withdrew,--still on speaking terms with the King, but never his Officer
more.] and living here among works of Art, and speculations on Free
Masonry, "was very kind to me, I went to Celle, in Hanover, to pay my
respects to the Queen of Denmark [unfortunate divorced Matilda, saved
by my friend Keith,--innocent, I will hope!]... She is grown extremely
fat.... At Magdeburg, the Prussian Frontier on this side, one is not
allowed, without a permit, even to walk on the ramparts,--such the
strictness of Prussian rule.... Driving through Potsdam, on my way to
Berlin, I was stopped by a servant of the good old Lord Marischal, who
had spied me as I passed under his window. He came out in his nightgown,
and insisted upon our staying to dine with him--[worthy old man; a word
of him, were this Letter done]. We ended, on consultation about times
and movements of the King, by staying three days at Potsdam, mostly with
this excellent old Lord.

"On the third day [yesterday evening, in fact], I went, by appointment,
to the New Palace, to wait upon the King of Prussia. There was some
delay: his Majesty had gone, in the interim, to a private Concert, which
he was giving to the Princesses [Duchess of Brunswick and other high
guests [Rodenbeck (IN DIE) iii. 98.]]; but the moment he was told I
was there, he came out from his company, and gave me a most flattering
gracious audience of more than half an hour; talking on a great variety
of things, with an ease and freedom the very reverse of what I had
been made to expect.... I asked, and received permission, to visit the
Silesian Camps next month, his Majesty most graciously telling me the
particular days they would begin and end [27th August-3d September,
Schmelwitz near Breslau, are time and place [Ib. iii. 101.]]. This
considerably deranges my Austrian movements, and will hurry my return
out of those parts: but who could resist such a temptation!--I saw the
Foot-Guards exercise, especially the splendid 'First Battalion;' I could
have conceived nothing so perfect and so exact as all I saw:--so well
dressed, such men, and so punctual in all they did.

"The New Palace at Potsdam is extremely noble. Not so perfect, perhaps,
in point of taste, but better than I had been led to expect. The King
dislikes living there; never does, except when there is high Company
about him; for seven or eight months in the year, he prefers Little
Sans-Souci, and freedom among his intimates and some of his Generals....
His Music still takes up a great share of the King's time. On a table in
his Cabinet there, I saw, I believe, twenty boxes with a German flute
in each; in his Bed-chamber, twice as many boxes of Spanish snuff; and,
alike in Cabinet and in Bed-chamber, three arm-chairs in a row for three
favorite dogs, each with a little stool by way of step, that the getting
up might be easy....

"The Town of Potsdam is a most extraordinary and, in its appearance,
beautiful Town; all the streets perfectly straight, all at right angles
to each other; and all the houses built with handsome, generally elegant
fronts.... He builds for everybody who has a bad or a small house, even
the lowest mechanic. He has done the same at Berlin." Altogether, his
Majesty's building operations are astonishing. And "from whence does
this money come, after a long expensive War? It is all fairyland and
enchantment,"--MAGNUM VECTIGAL PARSIMONIA, in fact!... "At Berlin here,
I saw the Porcelain Manufacture to-day, which is greatly improved. I
leave presently. Adieu, dear Brother; excuse my endless Letter [since
you cannot squeeze the water out of it, as some will!]--Yours most
sincerely,

"HENRY SEYMOUR CONWAY."

Keith is now Minister at Dresden for some years back; and has, among
other topics, much to say of our brilliant friend the Electress there:
but his grand Diplomatic feat was at Copenhagen, on a sudden sally
out thither (in 1771): [In KEITH, i. 152 &c., nothing of intelligible
Narrative given, hardly the date discoverable.] the saving of Queen
Matilda, youngest Sister of George Third, from a hard doom. Unfortunate
Queen Matilda; one never knows how guilty, or whether guilty at all,
but she was very unfortunate, poor young Lady! What with a mad Husband
collapsed by debaucheries into stupor of insanity; what with a Doctor,
gradually a Prime Minister, Struensee, wretched scarecrow to look
upon, but wiser than most Danes about; and finally, with a
lynx-eyed Step-sister, whose Son, should Matilda mistake, will
inherit,--unfortunate Matilda had fallen into the awfulest troubles;
got divorced, imprisoned, would have lost her head along with
scarecrow Struensee had not her Brother George III. emphatically
intervened,--Excellency Keith, with Seventy-fours in the distance,
coming out very strong on the occasion,--and got her loose. Loose from
Danish axe and jail, at any rate; delivered into safety and solitude
at Celle in Hanover, where she now is,--and soon after suddenly dies of
fever, so closing a very sad short history.

Excellency Keith, famed in the Diplomatic circles ever since, is at
present ahead of Conway on their joint road to the Austrian Reviews.
Before giving Conway's Second Letter, let us hear Keith a little on his
kinsman the Old Marischal, whom he saw at Berlin years ago, and still
occasionally corresponds with, and mentions in his Correspondence. Keith
LOQUITUR; date is Dresden, February, 1770:--

HAS VISITED THE OLD MARISCHAL AT POTSDAM LATELY.... "My stay of three
days with Lord Marischal.... He is the most innocent of God's creatures;
and his heart is much warmer than his head. The place of his abode," I
must say, "is the very Temple of Dulness; and his Female Companion [a
poor Turk foundling, a perishing infant flung into his late Brother's
hands at the Fall of Oczakow, [Supra, vii. 82.]--whom the Marischal has
carefully brought up, and who refuses to marry away from him,--rather
stupid, not very pretty by the Portraits; must now be two-and-thirty
gone] is perfectly calculated to be the Priestess of it! Yet he
dawdles away his day in a manner not unpleasant to him; and I really am
persuaded he has a conscience that would gild the inside of a dungeon.
The feats of our bare-legged warriors in the late War [BERG-SCHOTTEN,
among whom I was a Colonel], accompanied by a PIBRACH [elegiac bagpipe
droning MORE SUO] in his outer room, have an effect on the old Don,
which would delight you." [Keith, i. 129; "Dresden, 25th February,
1770:" to his Sister in Scotland.]

AND THEN SEEN HIM IN BERLIN, ON THE SAME OCCASION.... "Lord Marischal
came to meet me at Sir Andrew's [Mitchell's, in Berlin, the last year of
the brave Mitchell's life], where we passed five days together. My visit
to his country residence," as you already know, "was of three days; and
I had reason to be convinced that it gave the old Don great pleasure.
He talked to me with the greatest openness and confidence of all the
material incidents of his life; and hinted often that the honor of the
Clan was now to be supported by our family, for all of whom he had the
greatest esteem. His taste, his ideas, and his manner of living, are a
mixture of Aberdeenshire and the Kingdom of Valencia; and as he seeks
to make no new friends, he seems to retain a strong, though silent,
attachment for his old ones. As to his political principles, I believe
him the most sincere of converts" to Whiggery and Orthodoxy.... "Since
I began this, I have had a most inimitable Letter from Lord Marischal. I
had mentioned Dr. Bailies to him [noted English Doctor at Dresden, bent
on inoculating and the like], and begged he would send me a state of his
case and infirmities, that the Doctor might prescribe for him. This is a
part of his answer:--

"'I thank you for your advice of consulting the English Doctor to repair
my old carcass. I have lately done so by my old coach, and it is now
almost as good as new. Please, therefore, to tell the Doctor, that from
him I expect a good repair, and shall state the case. First, he must
know that the machine is the worse for wear, being nearly eighty years
old. The reparation I propose he shall begin with is: One pair of new
eyes, one pair of new ears, some improvement on the memory. When this
is done, we shall ask new legs, and some change in the stomach. For
the present, this first reparation will be sufficient; and we must not
trouble the Doctor too much at once.'--You see by this how easy his
Lordship's infirmities sit upon him; and it is really so as he says.
Your friend Sir Andrew is, I am afraid, less gay; but I have not heard
from him these three months." [Keith, i. 132, 133; "Dresden, 13th March,
1770:" to his Father.]

CONWAY TO KEITH, ON THE LATE THREE DAYS AT POTSDAM. [Date, "Dresden,
21st July, 1774:" in KEITH, ii. 15.] "I stayed three days at Potsdam,
with much entertainment, for good part of which I am obliged to your
Excellency's old friend Lord Marischal, who showed me all the kindness
and civility possible. He stopped me as I passed, and not only made me
dine with him that day, but in a manner live with him. He is not at all
blind, as you imagined; so much otherwise, that I saw him read, without
spectacles, a difficult hand I could not easily decipher.... Stayed but
a day at Berlin;" am rushing after you:--Here is my Second Letter:--


CONWAY'S SECOND LETTER (to his Brother, as before).

"SCHMELWITZ [near Breslau] HEAD-QUARTERS,

August 31st, 1774.

"DEAR BROTHER... I left that Camp [Austrian Camp, and Reviews in
Hungary, where the Kaiser and everybody had been very gracious to
me] with much regret." Parted regretfully with Keith;--had played, at
Presburg, in sight of him and fourteen other Englishmen, a game with the
Chess Automaton [brand-new miracle, just out]; [Account of it, and of
this game, in KEITH too (ii. 18; "View, 3d September, 1774:" Keith to
his Father).]--came on through Vienna hitherward, as fast as post-horses
could carry us; travelling night and day, without stopping, being rather
behind time. "Arrived at Breslau near dark, last night; where I learnt
that the Camp was twenty miles off; that the King was gone there,
and that the Manoeuvres would begin at four or five this morning. I
therefore ordered my chaise at twelve at night, and set out, in darkness
and rain, to be presented to the King of Prussia next morning at five,
at the head of his troops.... When I arrived, before five, at the place
called 'Head-quarters,' I found myself in the middle of a miserable
Village [this Schmelwitz here]; no creature alive or stirring, nor a
sentinel, or any Military object to be seen.... As soon as anything
alive was to be found, we asked, If the King was lodged in that Village?
'Yes,' they said, 'in that House' (pointing to a clay Hovel). But
General Lentulus soon appeared; and--

"His Majesty has been very gracious; asked me many questions about my
tour to Hungary. I saw all the Troops pass him as they arrived in Camp.
They made a very fine appearance really, though it rained hard the whole
time we were out; and as his Majesty [age 62] did not cloak, we were all
heartily wet. And, what was worse, went from the field to Orders
[giving out of Parole, and the like] at his Quarters, there to make our
bow;--where we stayed in our wet clothes an hour and half [towards 10
A.M. by this time].... How different at the Emperor's, when his Imperial
Majesty and everybody was cloaked! [Got no hurt by the wet, strange to
say.] ... These are our news to this day. And now, having sat up five
nights out of the last six, and been in rain and dirt almost all day, I
wish you sincerely good-night.--H. S. C.

"P.S. Breslau, 4th September.--... My Prussian Campaign is finished,
and as much to my satisfaction as possible. The beauty and order of
the Troops, their great discipline, their" &c. &c., "almost pass all
belief.... Yesterday we were on horseback early, at four o'clock. The
movement was conducted with a spirit and order, on both sides, that was
astonishing, and struck the more delightful (SIC) by the variety, as in
the course of the Action the Enemy, conducted by General Anhalt [head
all right as yet], took three different positions before his final
retreat.

"The moment it was over [nine o'clock or so], his Majesty got a fresh
horse, and set out for Potsdam, after receiving the compliments of those
present, or rather holding a kind of short Levee in the field. I can't
say how much, in my particular, I am obliged to his Majesty for his
extraordinary reception, and distinction shown me throughout. Each day
after the Manoeuvre, and giving the Orders of the day, he held a little
Levee at the door, or in the court; at which, I can assure you, it is
not an exaggeration of vanity to say, that he not only talked to me, but
literally to nobody else at all. It was a good deal each time, and as
soon as finished he made his bow, and retired, though all, or most, of
the other Foreigners were standing by, as well as his own Generals. He
also called me up, and spoke to me several times on horseback, when we
were out, which he seldom did to anybody.

"The Prince Royal also showed me much civility. The second day, he asked
me to come and drink a dish of tea with him after dinner, and kept me an
hour and half. He told me, among other things, that the King of Prussia
had a high opinion of me, and that it came chiefly from the favorable
manner in which Duke Ferdinand and the Hereditary Prince [of Brunswick]
had spoken of me.... Pray let Horace Walpole know my address, that I may
have all the chance I can of hearing from him. But if he comes to Paris,
I forgive him.--H. S. C."

Friedrich's Reviews, though fine to look upon, or indeed the finest in
the world, were by no means of spectacular nature; but of altogether
serious and practical, almost of solemn and terrible, to the parties
interested. Like the strictest College Examination for Degrees, as we
said; like a Royal Assize or Doomsday of the Year; to Military people,
and over the upper classes of Berlin Society, nothing could be more
serious, Major Kaltenborn, an Ex-Prussian Officer, presumably of
over-talkative habits, who sounds on us like a very mess-room of the
time all gathered under one hat,--describes in an almost awful manner
the kind of terror with which all people awaited these Annual Assizes
for trial of military merit.

"What a sight," says he, "and awakening what thoughts, that of a body
of from 18,000 to 20,000 soldiers, in solemn silence and in deepest
reverence, awaiting their fate from one man! A Review, in Friedrich's
time, was an important moment for almost the whole Country. The fortune
of whole families often depended on it: from wives, mothers, children
and friends, during those terrible three days, there arose fervent
wishes to Heaven, that misfortune might not, as was too frequently the
case, befall their husbands, fathers, sons and friends, in the course of
them. Here the King, as it were, weighed the merits of his Officers, and
distributed, according as he found them light or heavy, praise or blame,
rebukes or favors; and often, too often, punishments, to be felt through
life. One single unhappy moment [especially if it were the last of a
long series of such!] often deprived the bravest Officer of his bread,
painfully earned in peace and war, and of his reputation and honor,
at least in the eyes of most men, who judge of everything only by its
issue. The higher you had risen, the easier and deeper your fall might
be at an unlucky Review. The Heads and Commanders of regiments were
always in danger of being sent about their business (WEGGEJAGT)."

The fact is, I Kaltenborn quitted the Prussian Service, and took
Hessian,--being (presumably) of exaggerative, over-talkative nature, and
strongly gravitating Opposition way!--Kaltenborn admits that the King
delighted in nothing so much as to see people's faces cheerful about
him; provided the price for it were not too high. Here is another
passage from him:--

"At latest by 9 in the morning the day's Manoeuvre had finished, and
everything was already in its place again. Straight from the ground
all Heads of regiments, the Majors-DE-JOUR, all Aides-de-Camp, and from
every battalion one Officer, proceed to Head-quarters. It was impossible
to speak more beautifully, or instructively, than the King did on such
occasions, if he were not in bad humor. It was then a very delight to
hear him deliver a Military Lecture, as it were. He knew exactly who
had failed, what caused the fault, and how it might and should have been
retrieved. His voice was soft and persuasive (HINREISSEND); he looked
kindly, and appeared rather bent upon giving good advice than commands.

"Thus, for instance, he once said to General van Lossow, Head of the
Black Hussars: 'Your (SEINE) Attack would have gone very well, had not
your own squadron pressed forward too much (VORGEPRELLT). The brave
fellows wanted to show me how they can ride. But don't I know that well
enough;--and also that you [covetous Lossow] always choose the best
horses from the whole remount for your own squadron! There was,
therefore, no need at all for that. Tell your people not to do so
to-morrow, and you will see it will go much better; all will remain
closer in their places, and the left wing be able to keep better in
line, in coming on.'--Another time, having observed, in a certain
Foot-regiment, that the soldiers were too long in getting out their
cartridges, he said to the Commandant: 'Do you know the cause of this,
my dear Colonel? Look, the cartouche, in the cartridge-box, has 32
holes; into these the fellow sticks his eight cartridges, without caring
how: and so the poor devil fumbles and gropes about, and cannot get hold
of any. But now, if the Officers would look to it that he place them
all well together in the middle of the cartouche, he would never make
a false grasp, and the loading would go as quick again. Only tell your
Officers that I had made this observation, and I am sure they will
gladly attend to it.'" [Anonymous (Kaltenborn), _Briefe eines alten
Preussischen Officiers_ (Hohenzollern, 1790), ii. 24-26.]

Of humane consolatory Anecdotes, in this kind, our Opposition Kaltenborn
gives several; of the rhadamanthine desolating or destructive kind,
though such also could not be wanting, if your Assize is to be good for
anything, he gives us none. And so far as I can learn, the effective
punishments, dismissals and the like, were of the due rarity and
propriety; though the flashes of unjust rebuke, fulminant severity,
lightnings from the gloom of one's own sorrows and ill-humor, were much
more frequent, but were seldom--I do not know if ever--persisted in to
the length of practical result. This is a Rhadamanthus much interested
not to be unjust, and to discriminate good from bad! Of Ziethen there
are two famous Review Anecdotes, omitted and omissible by Kaltenborn,
so well known are they: one of each kind. At a certain Review, year not
ascertainable,--long since, prior to the Seven-Years War,--the King's
humor was of the grimmest, nothing but faults all round; to Ziethen
himself, and the Ziethen Hussars, he said various hard things, and at
length this hardest: "Out of my sight with you!" [Madame de Blumenthal,
_Life of Ziethen,_ i. 265.] Upon which Ziethen--a stratum of red-hot
kindling in Ziethen too, as was easily possible--turns to his Hussars,
"Right about, RECHTS UM: march!" and on the instant did as bidden.
Disappeared, double-quick; and at the same high pace, in a high frame of
mind, rattled on to Berlin, home to his quarters, and there first drew
bridle. "Turn; for Heaven's sake, bethink you!" said more than one
friend whom he met on the road: but it was of no use. Everybody said,
"Ziethen is ruined;" but Ziethen never heard of the thing more.

Anecdote Second is not properly of a Review, but of an incidental Parade
of the Guard, at Berlin (25th December, 1784), by the King in person:
Parade, or rather giving out of the Parole after it, in the King's
Apartments; which is always a kind of Military Levee as well;--and
which, in this instance, was long famous among the Berlin people. King
is just arrived for Carnival season; old Ziethen will not fail to pay
his duty, though climbing of the stairs is heavy to a man of 85 gone.
This is Madam Blumenthal's Narrative (corrected, as it needs, in certain
points):--

"SATURDAY, 25th DECEMBER, 1784, Ziethen, in spite of the burden of
eighty-six years, went to the Palace, at the end of the Parade, to pay
his Sovereign this last tribute of respect, and to have the pleasure
of seeing him after six months' absence. The Parole was given out, the
orders imparted to the Generals, and the King had turned towards the
Princes of the Blood,--when he perceived Ziethen on the other side of
the Hall, between his Son and his two Aides-de-Camp. Surprised in a
very agreeable manner at this unexpected sight, he broke out into an
exclamation of joy; and directly making up to him,--'What, my good old
Ziethen, are you there!' said his Majesty: 'How sorry am I that you have
had the trouble of walking up the staircase! I should have called upon
you myself. How have you been of late?' 'Sire,' answered Ziethen, (my
health is not amiss, my appetite is good; but my strength! my strength!)
'This account,' replied the King, 'makes me happy by halves only: but
you must be tired;--I shall have a chair for you.' [Thing unexampled in
the annals of Royalty!] A chair," on order to Ziethen's Aides-de-Camp,
"was quickly brought. Ziethen, however, declared that he was not at all
fatigued: the King maintained that he was. 'Sit down, good Father (MEIN
LIEBER ALTER PAPA ZIETHEN, SETZE ER SICH DOCH)!' continued his Majesty:
'I will have it so; otherwise I must instantly leave the room; for I
cannot allow you to be incommoded under my own roof.' The old General
obeyed, and Friedrich the Great remained standing before him, in the
midst of a brilliant circle that had thronged round them. After asking
him many questions respecting his hearing, his memory and the general
state of his health, he at length took leave of him in these words:
'Adieu, my dear Ziethen [it was his last adieu!]--take care not to catch
cold; nurse yourself well, and live as long as you can, that I may often
have the pleasure of seeing you.' After having said this, the King,
instead of speaking to the other Generals, and walking through the
saloons, as usual, retired abruptly, and shut himself up in his closet."
[Blumenthal, ii. 341; _Militair-Lexikon,_ iv. 318. Chodowiecki has
made an Engraving of this Scene; useful to look at for its military
Portraits, if of little esteem otherwise. Strangely enough, both in
BLUMENTHAL and in Chodowiecki's ENGRAVING the year is given as 1785
(plainly impossible); _Militair-Lexikon_ misprints the month; and, one
way or other, only Rodenbeck (iii. 316) is right in both day and year.]

Following in date these small Conway Phenomena, if these, so extraneous
and insignificant, can have any glimmer of memorability to readers, are
two other occurrences, especially one other, which come in at this
part of the series, and greatly more require to be disengaged from the
dust-heaps, and presented for remembrance.

In 1775, the King had a fit of illness; which long occupied certain
Gazetteers and others. That is the first occurrence of the two, and far
the more important. He himself says of it, in his HISTORY, all that is
essential to us here:--

"Towards the end of 1775, the King was attacked by several strong
consecutive fits of gout. Van Swieten, a famous Doctor's Son, and
Minister of the Imperial Court at Berlin, took it into his head that
this gout was a declared dropsy; and, glad to announce to his Court
the approaching death of an enemy that had been dangerous to it, boldly
informed his Kaiser that the King was drawing to his end, and would
not last out the year. At this news the soul of Joseph flames into
enthusiasm; all the Austrian troops are got on march, their Rendezvous
marked in Bohemia; and the Kaiser waits, full of impatience, at Vienna,
till the expected event arrives; ready then to penetrate at once into
Saxony, and thence to the Frontiers of Brandenburg, and there propose
to the King's Successor the alternative of either surrendering Silesia
straightway to the House of Austria, or seeing himself overwhelmed by
Austrian troops before he could get his own assembled. All these things,
which were openly done, got noised abroad everywhere; and did not, as is
easy to believe, cement the friendship of the Two Courts. To the Public
this scene appeared the more ridiculous, as the King of Prussia, having
only had a common gout in larger dose than common, was already well
of it again, before the Austrian Army had got to their Rendezvous. The
Kaiser made all these troops return to their old quarters; and the Court
of Vienna had nothing but mockery for its imprudent conduct." [_OEuvres
de Frederic,_ vi. 124.]

The first of these gout-attacks seems to have come in the end of
September, and to have lasted about a month; after which the illness
abated, and everybody thought it was gone. The Kaiser-Joseph evolution
must have been in October, and have got its mockery in the next months.
Friedrich, writing to VOLTAIRE, October 22d, has these words:... "A pair
of charming Letters from Ferney; to which, had they been from the great
Demiurgus himself, I could not have dictated Answer. Gout held me tied
and garroted for four weeks;--gout in both feet and in both hands; and,
such its extreme liberality, in both elbows too: at present the pains
and the fever have abated, and I feel only a very great exhaustion."
[Ib. xxv. 44.] "Four consecutive attacks; hope they are now all over;"
but we read, within the Spring following, that there have been in
all twelve of them; and in May, 1776, the Newspapers count eighteen
quasi-consecutive. So that in reality the King's strength was sadly
reduced; and his health, which did not recover its old average till
about 1780, continued, for several years after this bad fit, to be a
constant theme of curiosity to the Gazetteer species, and a matter of
solicitude to his friends and to his enemies.

Of the Kaiser's immense ambition there can be no question. He is
stretching himself out on every side; "seriously wishing," thinks
Friedrich, "that he could 'revivify the German Reich,'"--new Barbarossa
in improved FIXED form; how noble! Certainly, to King Friedrich's sad
conviction, "the Austrian Court is aiming to swallow all manner of
dominions that may fall within its grasp." Wants Bosnia and Servia in
the East; longs to seize certain Venetian Territories, which would unite
Trieste and the Milanese to the Tyrol. Is throwing out hooks on Modena,
on the Ferrarese, on this and on that. Looking with eager eyes on
Bavaria,--the situation of which is peculiar; the present Kur-Baiern
being elderly, childless; and his Heir the like, who withal is already
Kur-Pfalz, and will unite the Two Electorates under one head; a thing
which Austria regards with marked dislike. [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ vi.
123.] These are anxious considerations to a King in Friedrich's sick
state. In his private circle, too, there are sorrows: death of Fouquet,
death of Quintus Icilius, of Seidlitz, Quantz (good old Quantz, with his
fine Flutings these fifty years, and the still finer memories he awoke!
[Friedrich's Teacher of the Flute; procured for him by his Mother
(supra vi. 144).]),--latterly an unusual number of deaths. The ruggedly
intelligent Quintus, a daily companion, and guest at the supper-table,
died few months before this fit of gout; and must have been greatly
missed by Friedrich. Fouquet, at Brandenburg, died last year: his
benefactor in the early Custrin distresses, his "Bayard," and chosen
friend ever since; how conspicuously dear to Friedrich to the last is
still evident. A Friedrich getting lonely enough, and the lights of his
life going out around him;--has but one sure consolation, which comes
to him as compulsion withal, and is not neglected, that of standing
steadfast to his work, whatever the mood and posture be.

The Event of 1776 is Czarowitsh Paul's arrival in Berlin, and Betrothal
to a second Wife there; his first having died in childbirth lately. The
first had been of Friedrich's choosing, but had behaved ill,--seduced by
Spanish-French Diplomacies, by this and that, poor young creature:--the
second also was of Friedrich's choosing, and a still nearer connection:
figure what a triumphant event! Event now fallen dead to every one of
us; and hardly admitting the smallest Note,--except for chronology's
sake, which it is always satisfactory to keep clear:--

"Czarowitsh Paul's first Wife, the Hessen-Darmstadt Princess of Three,
died of her first child April 26th, 1776: everybody whispered, 'It is
none of Paul's!' who, nevertheless, was inconsolable, the wild heart of
him like to break on the occurrence. By good luck, Prince Henri had set
out, by invitation, on a second visit to Petersburg; and arrived there
also on April 26th, [Rodenbeck, iii. 139-146.] the very day of the
fatality. Prince Henri soothed, consoled the poor Czarowitsh; gradually
brought him round; agreed with his Czarina Mother, that he must have a
new Wife; and dexterously fixed her choice on a 'Niece of the King's
and Henri's.' Eldest Daughter of Eugen of Wurtemberg, of whom, as an
excellent General, though also as a surly Husband, readers have some
memory; now living withdrawn at Mumpelgard, the Wurtemberg Apanage
[Montbeillard, as the French call it], in these piping times of
Peace:--she is the Princess. To King Friedrich's great surprise and joy.
The Mumpelgard Principalities, and fortunate Princess, are summoned
to Berlin. Czarowitsh Paul, under Henri's escort, and under gala and
festivities from the Frontier onward, arrived in Berlin 21st July, 1776;
was betrothed to his Wurtemberg Princess straightway; and after about a
fortnight of festivities still more transcendent, went home with her
to Petersburg; and was there wedded, 18th October following;--Czar and
Czarina, she and he, twenty years after, and their posterity reigning
ever since. [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ vi. 120-122.]

"At Vienna," says the King, "everybody was persuaded the Czarowitsh
would never come to Berlin. Prince Kaunitz had been,"--been at his old
tricks again, playing his sharpest, in the Court of Petersburg again:
what tricks (about Poland and otherwise) let us not report, for it is
now interesting to nobody. Of the Czarowitsh Visit itself I will remark
only,--what seems to be its one chance of dating itself in any of our
memories,--that it fell out shortly after the Sherlock dinner with
Voltaire (in 1776, April 27th the one event, July 21st the other);--and
that here is, by pure accident, the exuberant erratic Sherlock, once
more, and once only, emerging on us for a few moments!--



EXUBERANT SHERLOCK AND ELEVEN OTHER ENGLISH ARE PRESENTED TO FRIEDRICH
ON A COURT OCCASION (8th October, 1777); AND TWO OF THEM GET SPOKEN TO,
AND SPEAK EACH A WORD. EXCELLENCY HUGH ELLIOT IS THEIR INTRODUCER.

Harris, afterwards Earl of Malmesbury, succeeded Mitchell at Berlin;
"Polish troubles" (heartily indifferent to England), "Dantzig squabbles"
(miraculously important there),--nothing worth the least mention now.
Excellency Harris quitted Berlin in Autumn, 1776; gave place to an
Excellency Hugh Elliot (one of the Minto Elliots, Brother of the first
Earl of Minto, and himself considerably noted in the world), of whom we
have a few words to say.

Elliot has been here since April, 1777; stays some five years in this
post;--with not much Diplomatic employment, I should think, but with
a style of general bearing and social physiognomy, which, with some
procedures partly incidental as well, are still remembered in Berlin.
Something of spying, too, doubtless there was; bribing of menials,
opening of Letters: I believe a great deal of that went on; impossible
to prevent under the carefulest of Kings. [An ingenious young Friend of
mine, connected with Legationary Business, found lately, at the Hague, a
consecutive Series, complete for four or five years (I think, from 1780
onwards), of Friedrich's LETTERS to his MINISTER IN LONDON,--Copies
punctually filched as they went through the Post-office
there:--specimens of which I saw; and the whole of which I might have
seen, had it been worth the effort necessary. But Friedrich's London
Minister, in this case, was a person of no significance or intimacy; and
the King's Letters, though strangely exact, clear and even elucidative
on English Court-Politics and vicissitudes, seemed to be nearly barren
as to Prussian.] Hitherto, with one exception to be mentioned presently,
his main business seems to have been that of introducing, on different
Court-Days, a great number of Travelling English, who want to see the
King, and whom the King little wants, but quietly submits to. Incoherent
Sherlock, whom we discover to have been of the number, has, in his
tawdry disjointed Book, this Passage:--

"The last time of my seeing him [this Hero-King of my heart] was at
Berlin [not a hint of the time when]. He came thither to receive the
adieus of the Baron de Swieten, Minister from their Imperial Majesties
[thank you; that means 8th October, 1777 [Rodenbeck, iii. 172.]], and
to give audience to the new Minister, the Count Cobenzl. The Foreign
Ministers, the persons who were to be presented [we, for instance], and
the Military, were all that were at Court. We were ten English [thirteen
by tale]: the King spoke to the first and the last; not on account of
their situation, but because their names struck him. The first was Major
Dalrymple. To him the King said: 'You have been presented to me before?'
'I ask your Majesty's pardon; it was my Uncle' (Lord Dalrymple, of
whom presently). Mr. Pitt [unknown to me which Pitt, subsequent Lord
Camelford or another] was the last. THE KING: 'Are you a relation of
Lord Chatham's?' 'Yes, Sire.'--'He is a man whom I highly esteem' [read
"esteemed"].

"He then went to the Foreign Ministers; and talked more to Prince
Dolgorucki, the Russian Ambassador, than to any other. In the midst of
his conversation with this Prince, he turned abruptly to Mr. Elliot, the
English Minister, and asked: 'What is the Duchess of Kingston's family
name?' This transition was less Pindaric than it appears; he had just
been speaking of the Court of Petersburg, and that Lady was then there."
[Sherlock, ii. 27.] Whereupon Sherlock hops his ways again; leaving us
considerably uncertain. But, by a curious accident, here, at first-hand,
is confirmation of the flighty creature;--a Letter from Excellency
Elliot himself having come our way:--


TO WILLIAM EDEN, ESQUIRE (of the Foreign Office, London; Elliot's
Brother-in-law; afterwards LORD AUCKLAND).

"BERLIN, 12th October, 1777.

"MY DEAR EDEN,--If you are waiting upon the pinnacle of all impatience
to give me news from the Howes [out on their then famous "Seizure of
Philadelphia," which came to what we know!], I am waiting with no less
impatience to receive it, and think every other subject too little
interesting to be mentioned. I must, however, tell you, the King has
been here; ["Came to Berlin 8th October," on the Van-Swieten errand;
"saw Princess Amelia twice; and on the 9th returned to Potsdam"
(Rodenbeck, iii. 172).] to the astonishment of all croakers, hearty and
in high spirits. He was very civil to all of us. I was attended by one
dozen English, which nearly completes my half-hundred this season.
Pitt made one of the twelve, and was particularly distinguished. KING:
_"Monsieur est-il parent de Mylord Chatham?'_ PITT: _'Oui, Sire.'_ KING:
_'C'est un homme que j'ai beaucoup estime.'_

"You have no idea of the joy the people expressed to see the King on
Horseback,--all the Grub-street nonsense of 'a Country groaning under
the weight of its burdens,' of 'a Nation governed with a rod of iron,'
vanished before the sincere acclamations of all ranks, who joined in
testifying their enthusiasm for their great Monarch. I long for Harris
and Company [Excellency Harris; making for Russia, I believe]; they are
to pig together in my house; so that I flatter myself with having a near
view, if not a taste, of connubial joys. My love to E and _e_ [your
big _E_leanor and your LITTLE, a baby in arms, who are my Sister and
Niece;--pretty, this!]. Your most affectionate, H. E.

"P.S. I quite forgot to tell you, I sent out a servant some time ago
to England to bring a couple of Horses. He will deliver some Packets to
you; which I beg you will send, with Lord Marischal's compliments, to
their respective Addresses. There is also a china cup for Mr. Macnamara,
Lawyer, in the Temple or Lincoln's Inn, from the same person [lively old
gentleman, age 91 gone; did die next year]. What does Eleanor mean about
my Congratulatory Letter to Lord Suffolk [our Foreign Secretary, on his
marriage lately]? I wished his Lordship, most sincerely, every happiness
in his new state, as soon as I knew of it. I beg, however, Eleanor will
do the like;--and although it is not my system to 'congratulate' anybody
upon marriage, yet I never fail to wish them what, I think, it is always
two to one they do not obtain." [EDEN-HOUSE CORRESPONDENCE (part of
which, not this, has been published in late years).]

As to the Dalrymple of SHERLOCK, read this (FRIEDRICH TO D'ALEMBERT, two
years before [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxv. 21: 5th August, 1775.]):...
"A Mylord of wonderful name [Lord Dalrymple, if I could remember it], of
amiable genius (AU NOM BAROQUE, A L'ESPRIT AIMABLE), gave me a Letter on
your part. 'Ah, how goes the Prince of Philosophers, then? Is he gay;
is he busy; did you see him often?' To which the Mylord: 'I? No; I am
straight from London!'"--"QUOI DONC--?" In short, knowing my Anaxagoras,
this Mylord preferred to be introduced by him; and was right: "One of
the amiablest Englishmen I have seen; I except only the name, which I
shall never remember [but do, on this new occasion]: Why doesn't he
get himself unchristened of it, and take that of Stair, which equally
belongs to him?" (Earl of Stair by and by; Nephew, or Grand-Nephew,
of the great Earl of Stair, once so well known to some of us. Becomes
English Minister here in 1785, if we much cared.)

That word of reminiscence about Pitt is worth more attention. Not spoken
lightly, but with meaning and sincerity; something almost pathetic
in it, after the sixteen years separation: "A man whom I much
esteemed,"--and had good reason to do so! Pitt's subsequent sad and
bright fortunes, from the end of the Seven-Years War and triumphant
summing up of the JENKINS'S-EAR QUESTION, are known to readers. His
Burton-Pynsent meed of honor (Estate of 3,000 pounds a year bequeathed
him by an aged Patriot, "Let THIS bit of England go a noble road!");
his lofty silences, in the World Political; his vehement attempts in it,
when again asked to attempt, all futile,--with great pain to him, and
great disdain from him:--his passionate impatiences on minor matters,
"laborers [ornamenting Burton-Pynsent Park, in Somersetshire] planting
trees by torchlight;" "kitchen people [at Hayes in North Kent, House
still to be seen] roasting a series of chickens, chicken after chicken
all day, that at any hour, within ten minutes, my Lord may dine!"--these
things dwell in the memory of every worthy reader. Here, saved from my
poor friend Smelfungus (nobody knows how much of him I suppress), is a
brief jotting, in the form of rough MEMORANDA, if it be permissible:--

"Pitt four years King; lost in quicksands after that; off to Bath,
from gout, from semi-insanity; 'India should pay, but how?' Lost in
General-Warrants, in Wilkes Controversies, American Revolts,--generally,
in shallow quicksands;--dies at his post, but his post had become a
delirious one.

"A delicate, proud, noble man; pure as refined gold. Something
sensitive, almost feminine in him; yet with an edge, a fire, a
steadiness; liker Friedrich, in some fine principal points, than any
of his Contemporaries. The one King England has had, this King of Four
Years, since the Constitutional system set in. Oliver Cromwell, yes
indeed,--but he died, and there was nothing for it but to hang his body
on the gallows. Dutch William, too, might have been considerable,--but
he was Dutch, and to us proved to be nothing. Then again, so long as
Sarah Jennings held the Queen's Majesty in bondage, some gleams
of Kinghood for us under Marlborough:--after whom Noodleism and
Somnambulism, zero on the back of zero, and all our Affairs, temporal,
spiritual and eternal, jumbling at random, which we call the Career of
Freedom, till Pitt stretched out his hand upon them. For four years;
never again, he; never again one resembling him,--nor indeed can ever
be.

"Never, I should think. Pitts are not born often; this Pitt's ideas
could occur in the History of Mankind once only. Stranger theory of
society, completely believed in by a clear, sharp and altogether human
head, incapable of falsity, was seldom heard of in the world. For King:
open your mouth, let the first gentleman that falls into it (a mass of
Hanover stolidity, stupidity, foreign to you, heedless of you) be King:
Supreme Majesty he, with hypothetical decorations, dignities, solemn
appliances, high as the stars (the whole, except the money, a mendacity,
and sin against Heaven): him you declare Sent-of-God, supreme Captain of
your England; and having done so,--tie him up (according to Pitt) with
Constitutional straps, so that he cannot stir hand or foot, for fear of
accidents: in which state he is fully cooked; throw me at his Majesty's
feet, and let me bless Heaven for such a Pillar of Cloud by day.

"Pitt, closely as I could scrutinize, seems never to have doubted in
his noble heart but he had some reverence for George II. 'Reverenced
his Office,' says a simple reader? Alas, no, my friend, man does not
'reverence Office,' but only sham-reverences it. I defy him to reverence
anything but a Man filling an Office (with or without salary) nobly.
Filling a noble office ignobly; doing a celestial task in a quietly
infernal manner? It were kinder perhaps to run your sword through him
(or through yourself) than to take to revering him! If inconvenient
to slay him or to slay yourself (as is oftenest likely),--keep well to
windward of him; be not, without necessity, partaker of his adventures
in this extremely earnest Universe!...

"No; Nature does not produce many Pitts:--nor will any Pitt ever again
apply in Parliament for a career. 'Your voices, your most sweet voices;
ye melodious torrents of Gadarenes Swine, galloping rapidly down steep
places, I, for one; know whither I'"...--Enough.

About four months before this time, Elliot had done a feat, not in
the Diplomatic line at all, or by his own choice at all, which had
considerably astonished the Diplomatic world at Berlin, and was
doubtless well in the King's thoughts during this introduction of the
Dozen. The American War is raging and blundering along,--a delectable
Lord George Germaine (ALIAS Sackville, no other than our old Minden
friend) managing as War-Minister, others equally skilful presiding at
the Parliamentary helm; all becoming worse and worse off, as the matter
proceeds. The revolted Colonies have their Franklins, Lees, busy in
European Courts: "Help us in our noble struggle, ye European Courts;,
now is your chance on tyrannous England!" To which France at least does
appear to be lending ear. Lee, turned out from Vienna, is at work in
Berlin, this while past; making what progress is uncertain to some
people.

I know not whether it was by my Lord Suffolk's instigation, or what had
put the Britannic Cabinet on such an idea,--perhaps the stolen Letters
of Friedrich, which show so exact a knowledge of the current of events
in America as well as England ("knows every step of it, as if he
were there himself, the Arch-Enemy of honest neighbors in a time of
stress!")--but it does appear they had got it into their sagacious heads
that the bad neighbor at Berlin was, in effect, the Arch-Enemy, probably
mainspring of the whole matter; and that it would be in the highest
degree interesting to see clearly what Lee and he had on hand. Order
thereupon to Elliot: "Do it, at any price;" and finally, as mere price
will not answer, "Do it by any method,--STEAL Lee's Despatch-Box for
us!"

Perhaps few Excellencies living had less appetite for such a job than
Elliot; but his Orders were peremptory, "Lee is a rebel, quasi-outlaw;
and you must!" Elliot thereupon took accurate survey of the matter; and
rapidly enough, and with perfect skill, though still a novice in Berlin
affairs, managed to do it. Privily hired, or made his servant hire, the
chief Housebreaker or Pickpocket in the City: "Lee lodges in such and
such a Hostelry; bring us his Red-Box for a thirty hours; it shall
be well worth your while!" And in brief space the Red-Box arrives,
accordingly; a score or two of ready-writers waiting for it, who copy
all day, all night, at the top of their speed, till they have enough:
which done, the Lee Red-Box is left on the stairs of the Lee Tavern; Box
locked again, and complete; only the Friedrich-Lee Secrets completely
pumped out of it, and now rushing day and night towards England, to
illuminate the Supreme Council-Board there.

This astonishing mass of papers is still extant in England; [In
the EDEN-HOUSE ARCHIVES; where a natural delicacy (unaware that the
questionable Legationary FACT stands in print for so many years past)
is properly averse to any promulgation of them.]--the outside of them I
have seen, by no means the inside, had I wished it;--but am able to say
from other sources, which are open to all the world, that seldom had a
Supreme Council-Board procured for itself, by improper or proper ways,
a Discovery of less value! Discovery that Lee has indeed been urgent at
Berlin; and has raised in Friedrich the question, "Have you got to such
a condition that I can, with safety and advantage, make a Treaty of
Commerce with you?"--That his Minister Schulenburg has, by Order, been
investigating Lee on that head; and has reported, "No, your Majesty, Lee
and People are not in such a condition;" that his Majesty has replied,
"Well, let him wait till they are;" and that Lee is waiting accordingly.
In general, That his Majesty is not less concerned in guidance or
encouragement of the American War than he is in ditto of the Atlantic
Tides or of the East-Wind (though he does keep barometers and
meteorological apparatus by him); and that we of the Council-Board are
a--what shall I say! Not since the case of poor Dr. Cameron, in 1753,
when Friedrich was to have joined the Highlanders with 15,000 chosen
Prussians for Jacobite purposes,--and the Cham of Tartary to have taken
part in the Bangorian Controversy,--was there a more perfect platitude,
or a deeper depth of ignorance as to adjacent objects on the part of
Governing Men. For shame, my friends!--

This surprising bit of Burglary, so far as I can gather from the
Prussian Books, must have been done on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25th, 1777;
Box (with essence pumped out) restored to staircase night of
Thursday,--Police already busy, Governor Ramin and Justice-President
Philippi already apprised, and suspicion falling on the English
Minister,--whose Servant ("Arrest him we cannot without a King's
Warrant, only procurable at Potsdam!") vanishes bodily. Friday, 27th,
Ramin and Philippi make report; King answers, "greatly astonished:" a
"GARSTIGE SACHE (ugly Business), which will do the English no honor:"
"Servant fled, say you? Trace it to the bottom; swift!" Excellency
Elliot, seeing how matters lay, owned honestly to the Official People,
That it was his Servant (Servant safe gone, Chief Pickpocket not
mentioned at all); SUNDAY EVENING, 29th, King orders thereupon, "Let the
matter drop." These Official Pieces, signed by the King, by Hertzberg,
Ramin and others, we do not give: here is Friedrich's own notice of it
to his Brother Henri:--

"POTSDAM, 29th JUNE, 1777.... There has just occurred a strange thing
at Berlin. Three days ago, in absence of the Sieur Lee, Envoy of the
American Colonies, the Envoy of England went [sent!] to the Inn where
Lee lodged, and carried off his Portfolio; it seems he was in fear,
however, and threw it down, without opening it, on the stairs [alas,
no, your Majesty, not till after pumping the essence out]. All Berlin is
talking of it. If one were to act with rigor, it would be necessary to
forbid this man the Court, since he has committed a public theft: but,
not to make a noise, I suppress the thing. Sha'n't fail, however, to
write to England about it, and indicate that there was another way of
dealing with such a matter, for they are impertinent" (say, ignorant,
blind as moles, your Majesty; that is the charitable reading!).
[_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxvi. 394. In PREUSS, v. (he calls it "iv." or
"URKUNDENBUCH to vol. iv.," but it is really and practically vol. v.)
278, 279, are the various Official Reports.]

This was not Excellency Elliot's Burglary, as readers see,--among all
the Excellencies going, I know not that there is one with less natural
appetite for such a job; but sometimes what can a necessitous Excellency
do? Elliot is still remembered in Berlin society, not for this only,
but for emphatic things of a better complexion which he did; a man more
justly estimated there, than generally here in our time. Here his chief
fame rests on a witty Anecdote, evidently apocryphal, and manufactured
in the London Clubs: "Who is this Hyder-Ali," said the old King to him,
one day (according to the London Clubs). "Hm," answered Elliot, with
exquisite promptitude, politeness and solidity of information, "C'EST UN
VIEUX VOLEUR QUI COMMENCE A RADOTER (An old robber, now falling into his
dotage),"--let his dotard Majesty take that.

Alas, my friends!--Ignorance by herself is an awkward lumpish wench;
not yet fallen into vicious courses, nor to be uncharitably treated: but
Ignorance and Insolence,--these are, for certain, an unlovely Mother and
Bastard! Yes;--and they may depend upon it, the grim Parish-beadles
of this Universe are out on the track of them, and oakum and the
correction-house are infallible sooner or later! The clever Elliot, who
knew a hawk from a hernshaw, never floundered into that platitude. This,
however, is a joke of his, better or worse (I think, on his quitting
Berlin in 1782, without visible resource or outlook): "I am far from
having a Sans-Souci," writes he to the Edens; "and I think I am coming
to be SANS SIX-SOUS."--Here still are two small Fractions, which I must
insert; and then rigorously close. Kaiser Joseph, in these months, is
travelling through France to instruct his Imperial mind. The following
is five weeks anterior to that of Lee's Red-Box:--

1. A BIT OF DIALOGUE AT PARIS (Saturday, 17th May, 1777). After solemn
Session of the ACADEMIE FRANCAISE, held in honor of an illustrious COMTE
DE FALKENSTEIN (privately, Kaiser Joseph II.), who has come to look at
France, [Minute and rather entertaining Account of his procedures there,
and especially of his two Visits to the Academy (first was May 10th),
in Mayer, _Reisen Josephs II._ (Leipzig, 1778), pp. 112-132, 147
et seq.]--Comte de Falkenstein was graciously pleased to step up to
D'Alembert, who is Perpetual Secretary here; and this little Dialogue
ensued:--

FALKENSTEIN. "I have heard you are for Germany this season; some say you
intend to become German altogether?"

D'ALEMBERT. "I did promise myself the high honor of a visit to his
Prussian Majesty, who has deigned to invite me, with all the kindness
possible: but, alas, for such hopes! The bad state of my health--"

FALKENSTEIN. "It seems to me you have already been to see the King of
Prussia?"

D'ALEMBERT. "Two times; once in 1756 [1755, 17th-19th June,--if you will
be exact], at Wesel, when I remained only a few days; and again in 1763,
when I had the honor to pass three or four months with him. Since that
time I have always longed to have the honor of seeing his Majesty again;
but circumstances hindered me. I, above all, regretted not to have been
able to pay my court to him that year he saw the Emperor at Neisse,--but
at this moment there is nothing more to be wished on that head" (Don't
bow: the Gentleman is INCOGNITO).

FALKENSTEIN. "It was very natural that the Emperor, young, and desiring
to instruct himself, should wish to see such a Prince as the King of
Prussia; so great a Captain, a Monarch of such reputation, and who has
played so great a part. It was a Scholar going to see his Master" (these
are his very words, your Majesty).

D'ALEMBERT. "I wish M. le Comte de Falkenstein could see the Letters
which the King of Prussia did me the honor to write after that
Interview: it would then appear how this Prince judged of the Emperor,
as all the world has since done." ["D'Alembert to Friedrich [in _OEuvres
de Frederic,_ xxv. 75], 23d May, 1777." Ib. xxv. 82; "13th August,
1777."]

KING TO D'ALEMBERT (three months after. Kaiser is home; passed Ferney,
early in August; and did not call on Voltaire, as is well known).... "I
hear the Comte de Falkenstein has been seeing harbors, arsenals, ships,
manufactures, and has n't seen Voltaire. Had I been in the Emperor's
place, I would not have passed Ferney without a glance at the old
Patriarch, were it only to say that I had seen and heard him. Arsenals,
ships, manufactures, these you can see anywhere; but it requires ages
to produce a Voltaire. By the rumors I hear, it will have been a certain
great Lady Theresa, very Orthodox and little Philosophical, who forbade
her Son to visit the Apostle of Tolerance."

D'ALEMBERT (in answer): "No doubt your Majesty's guess is right. It must
have been the Lady Mother. Nobody here believes that the advice came
from his Sister [Queen Marie Antoinette], who, they say, is full of
esteem for the Patriarch, and has more than once let him know it by
third parties." [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxv. 84.]

According to Friedrich, Joseph's reflections in France were very gloomy:
"This is all one Country; strenuously kneaded into perfect union and
incorporation by the Old Kings: my discordant Romish Reich is of
many Countries,--and should be of one, if Sovereigns were wise and
strenuous!" [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ vi. 125.]

2. A CABINET-ORDER AND ACTUAL (fac-simile) SIGNATURE OF
FRIEDRICH'S.--After unknown travels over the world, this poor brown Bit
of Paper, with a Signature of Friedrich's to it, has wandered hither;
and I have had it copied, worthy or not. A Royal Cabinet-Order on the
smallest of subjects; but perhaps all the more significant on that
account; and a Signature which readers may like to see.

Fordan, or Fordon, is in the Bromberg Department in West
Preussen,--Bromberg no longer a heap of ruins; but a lively,
new-built, paved, CANALLED and industrious trading Town. At Fordan is a
Grain-Magazine: Bein ("Leg," DER BEIN, as they slightingly call him) is
Proviant-Master there; and must consider his ways,--the King's eye being
on him. Readers can now look and understand:--


AN DEN OBER-PROVIANTMEISTER BEIN, zu Fordan.

"POTSDAM, den 9ten April, 1777.

_"Seiner Koniglicher Majestat von Preussen, Unser allergnadigster Herr,
lassen dem Ober-Proviantmeister Bein hiebey die Getraide-Preistabelle
des Brombergschen Departments zufertigen; Woraus derselbe ersiehet
wie niedrig solche an einigen Orthen sind, und dass zu Inovraclaw und
Strezeltnow der Scheffel Roggen um 12 Groschen kostet: da solches nun
hier so wohlfeil ist, somuss ja der Preis in Pohlen noch wohl geringer,
und ist daher nicht abzusehen warum die Pohlen auf so hohe Preise
bestehen; der Bein muss sich daher nun rechte Muhe gebem, und den
Einkauf so wohlfeil als nur immer mog_ lich zu machen suchen."

"His Royal Majesty of Preussen, Our most all-gracious Lord, lets
herewith, to the Head Proviant-Master Bein, the Grain-Prices Table of
the Bromberg Department be despatched; Wherefrom Bein perceives how low
in some places these are, and that, at Inovraclaw and Strezeltnow the
Bushel of Rye costs about 14 Pence: now, as it is so cheap there, the
price in Poland must be still smaller; and therefore it is not to be
conceived why the Poles demand such high prices," as the said Bein
reports: "Bein therefore is charged to take especial pains, and try not
to make the purchase dearer than is indispensable."

FRIEDRICH'S SIGNATURE HERE--PAGE 390, BOOK XXI----

[Reference re signature] Original kindly furnished me by Mr. W. H. Doeg,
Barlow Moor, Manchester: whose it now is,--purchased in London, A.D.
1863. The FRH of German CURSIV-SCHRIFT (current hand), which the
woodcutter has appended, shut off by a square, will show English readers
what the King means: an _"Frh"_ done as by a flourish of one's stick,
in the most compendious and really ingenious manner,--suitable for an
economic King, who has to repeat it scores of times every day of his
life!



Chapter VI.--THE BAVARIAN WAR.

At the very beginning of 1778, the chronic quarrel with Austria passed,
by an accident just fallen out, into the acute state; rose
gradually, and, in spite of negotiating, issued in a thing called
Bavarian-Succession War, which did not end till Spring of the following
year. The accident was this. At Munchen, December 30th, 1777, Max
Joseph Kurfurst of Baiern, only Brother of our lively friend the
Electress-Dowager of Saxony, died; suddenly, of small-pox unskilfully
treated. He was in his fifty-second year; childless, the last of that
Bavarian branch. His Heir is Karl Theodor, Kur-Pfalz (Elector Palatine),
who is now to unite the Two Electorates,--unless Austria can bargain
with him otherwise. Austria's desire to get hold of Baiern is of very
old standing; and we have heard lately how much it was an object with
Kaunitz and his young Kaiser. With Karl Theodor they did bargain,--in
fact, had beforehand as good as bargained,--and were greatly astonished,
when King Friedrich, alone of all Teutschland or the world, mildly, but
peremptorily, interfered, and said No,--with effect, as is well known.

Something, not much, must be said of this Bavarian-Succession War; which
occupied, at a pitch of tension and anxiety foreign to him for a long
time, fifteen months of Friedrich's old age (January, 1778-March, 1779);
and filled all Europe round him and it, in an extraordinary manner.
Something; by no means much, now that we have seen the issue of such
mountains all in travail. Nobody could then say but it bade fair to
become a Fourth Austrian-Prussian War, as sanguinary as the Seven-Years
had been; for in effect there stood once more the Two Nations ranked
against each other, as if for mortal duel, near half a million men in
whole; parleying indeed, but brandishing their swords, and ever and anon
giving mutual clash of fence, as if the work had begun, though there
always intervened new parleying first.

And now everybody sees that the work never did begin; that parleying,
enforced by brandishing, turned out to be all the work there was: and
everybody has forgotten it, and, except for specific purposes, demands
not to be put in mind of it. Mountains in labor were not so frequent
then as now, when the Penny Newspaper has got charge of them; though
then as now to practical people they were a nuisance. Mountains all in
terrific travail-throes, threatening to overset the solar system, have
always a charm, especially for the more foolish classes: but when once
the birth has taken place, and the wretched mouse ducks past you,
or even nothing at all can be seen to duck past, who is there but
impatiently turns on his heel?

Those Territories, which adjoin on its own dominions, would have been
extremely commodious to Austria;--as Austria itself has long known; and
by repeatedly attempting them on any chance given (as in 1741-1745, to
go no farther back), has shown how well it knows. Indeed, the whole
of Bavaria fairly incorporated and made Austrian, what an infinite
convenience would it be!

"Do but look on the Map [this Note is not by Busching, but by somebody
of Austrian tendencies]: you would say, Austria without Bavaria is like
a Human Figure with its belly belonging to somebody else. Bavaria is the
trunk or belly of the Austrian Dominions, shutting off all the limbs of
them each from the other; making for central part a huge chasm.

"Ober-Pfalz,--which used to be Kur-Pfalz's, which is Bavaria's since we
took it from the Winter-King and bestowed it in that way,--Ober-Pfalz,
the country of Amberg, where Maillebois once pleased to make invasion of
us;--does not it adjoin on the Bohemian Forest? The RIBS there, Bohemian
all, up to the shoulder, are ours: but the shoulder-blade and left
arm, whose are they! Austria Proper and Hungary, these may be taken as
sitting-part and lower limbs, ample and fleshy; but see, just above the
pelvis, on the south side, how Bavaria and its Tyrol sticks itself
in upon Austria, who fancied she also had a Tyrol, and far the more
important one. Our Tyrol, our Styria, Carniola, Carinthia,--Bavaria
blocks these in. Then the Swabian Austria,--Breisach, and those
Upper-Rhine Countries, from which we invade France,--we cannot reach
them except through Bavarian ground. Swabian Austria should be our right
arm, fingers of it reaching into Switzerland; Ober-Pfalz our left:--and
as to the broad breast between these two; left arm and broad breast
are Bavaria's, not ours. Of the Netherlands, which might be called
geographically the head of Austria, alas, the long neck, Lorraine, was
once ours; but whose is it? Irrecoverable for the present,--perhaps may
not always be so!"

These are Kaunitz's ideas; and the young Kaiser has eagerly adopted them
as the loadstar of his life. "Make the Reich a reality again," thinks
the Kaiser (good, if only possible, think we too); "make Austria great;
Austria is the Reich, how else can the Reich be real?"

In practical politics these are rather wild ideas; but they are really
Kaunitz's and his Kaiser's; and were persisted in long after this
Bavarian matter got its check: and as a whole, they got repeated checks;
being impossible all, and far from the meaning of a Time big with French
Revolution, and with quite other things than world-greatness to Austria,
and rejuvenescence on such or on any terms to the poor old Holy Roman
Reich, which had been a wiggery so long. Nobody could guess of what it
was that France or the world might be with child: nobody, till the birth
in 1789, and even for a generation afterwards. France is weakly and
unwieldy, has strange enough longings for chalky, inky, visionary,
foolish substances, and may be in the family-way for aught we know.

To Kaunitz it is pretty clear that France will not stand in his path
in this fine little Bavarian business; which is all he cares for at
present. England in war with its Colonies; Russia attentive to its Turk;
foreign Nations, what can they do but talk; remonstrate more or less, as
they did in the case of Poland; and permit the thing with protest? Only
from one Sovereign Person, and from him I should guess not much, does
Kaunitz expect serious opposition: from Friedrich of Prussia; to whom
no enlargement of Austria can be matter of indifference. "But cannot we
perhaps make it worth his while?" thinks Kaunitz: "Tush, he is old and
broken; thought to be dying; has an absolute horror of war. He too will
sit quiet; or we must make it worth his while." In this calculation
Kaunitz deceived himself; we are now shortly to see how.

Kaunitz's Case, when he brings it before the Reich, and general Public
of mankind and its Gazetteers, will by no means prove to be a strong
one. His Law "TITLE" is this:--

"Archduke Albert V., of Austria, subsequently Kaiser Albert II., had
married Elizabeth, only Daughter of Kaiser Sigismund SUPER-GRAMMATICAM:
Albert is he who got three crowns in one year, Hungary, Bohemia, Romish
Reich; and 'we hope a fourth,' say the Old Historians, 'which was a
heavenly and eternal one,'--died, in short (1439, age forty). From him
come the now Kaisers.

"In 1426, thirteen years before this event of the Crowns, Sigismund
GRAMMATICAM had infeoffed him in a thing still of shadowy nature,--the
Expectancy of a Straubingen Princedom; pleasant extensive District,
only not yet fallen, or like falling vacant: 'You shall inherit, you
and yours (who are also my own), so soon as this present line of
Wittelsbachers die!' said Kaiser Sigismund, solemnly, in two solemn
sheepskins. 'Not a whit of it,' would the Wittelsbachers have answered,
had they known of the affair. 'When we die out, there is another Line of
Wittelsbachers, plenty of other lines; and House-treaties many and old,
settling all that, without help of you and Albert of the Three Crowns!'
And accordingly there had never come the least fruit, or attempt at
fruit, from these two Sigismund Sheepskins; which were still lying in
the Vienna Archives, where they had lain since the creation of them,
known to an Antiquary or two, but not even by them thought worthy
of mention in this busy world. This was literally all the claim that
Austria had; and every by-stander admitted it to be, in itself, not
worth a rush."

"In itself perhaps not," thought Kaunitz; "but the free consent of Karl
Theodor the Heir, will not that be a Title in full? One would hope so;
in the present state of Europe: France, England, Russia, every Nation
weltering overhead in its own troubles and affairs, little at leisure
for ours!" And it is with Karl Theodor, to make out a full Title for
himself there, that Kaunitz has been secretly busy this long time back,
especially in the late critical days of poor Kurfurst Max.

Karl Theodor of the Pfalz, now fallen Heir to Baiern, is a poor idle
creature, of purely egoistic, ornamental, dilettante nature; sunk in
theatricals, bastard children and the like; much praised by Voltaire,
who sometimes used to visit him; and by Collini, to whom he is a kind
master. Karl Theodor cares little for the integrity of Baiern, much
for that of his own skin. Very long ago, in 1742, in poor Kaiser Karl's
Coronation time, we saw him wedded, him and another, to two fair Sister
Sulzbach Princesses, [Supra, viii. 119.] Grand-daughters of old Karl
Philip, the then Kur-Pfalz, whom he has inherited. It was the last act
of that never-resting old Karl Philip, of whom we used to hear so
much: "Karl Theodor to have one of my inestimable Grand-daughters; Duke
Clement, younger Brother of our blessed new Kaiser, to have another;
thereby we unite the kindred branches of the Pfalz-Baiern Families, and
make the assurance of the Heritages doubly sure!" said old Karl Philip;
and died happy, or the happiest he could.

Readers no doubt have forgotten this circumstance; and, in their total
lack of interest in Karl Theodor and his paltry affairs, may as well
be reminded of it;--and furthermore, that these brilliant young Wives,
"Duchess Clement" especially, called on Wilhelmina during the Frankfurt
Gayeties, and were a charm to Kaiser Karl Albert, striving to look
forward across clouds into a glittering future for his House. Theodor's
Princess brought him no children; she and her Sister are both still
living; a lone woman the latter (Duke Clement dead these seven
years),--a still more lone the former, with such a Husband yet living!
Lone women both, well forward in the fifties; active souls, I should
guess, at least to judge by Duchess Clement, who being a Dowager, and
mistress of her movements, is emphatic in denouncing such disaster and
disgrace; and plays a great part, at Munchen, in the agitating
scenes now on hand. Comes out "like a noble Amazon," say the admiring
by-standers, on this occasion; stirs whatever faculty she has,
especially her tongue; and goes on urging, pushing and contriving all
she can, regardless of risks in such an imminency.

Karl Theodor finds his Heritages indisputable; but he has no Legitimate
Son to leave them to; and has many Illegitimate, whom Austria can
provide for,--and richly will. His Heir is a Nephew, Karl August
Christian, of Zweibruck; whom perhaps it would not be painful to him
to disappoint a little of his high expectations. On the whole, Peace;
plentiful provision, titular and other, for his Illegitimates; and
a comfortable sum of ready money over, to enliven the Theatricals,
Dusseldorf Picture-Galleries and Dilettante operations and
Collections,--how much welcomer to Theodor than a Baiern never so
religiously saved entire at the expense of quarrel, which cannot but be
tedious, troublesome and dangerous! Honor, indeed--but what, to an old
stager in the dilettante line, is honor? Old stagers there are who will
own to you, like Balzac's Englishman in a case of conflagration, when
honor called on all men to take their buckets, "MAIS JE N'AI POINT
D'HONNEUR!" To whom, unluckily, you cannot answer as in that case,
"C'EST EGAL, 'T is all one; do as if you had some!" Karl Theodor
scandalously left Baiern to its fate.

Karl Theodor's Heir, poor August Christian of Zweibruck, had of course
his own gloomy thoughts on this parcelling of his Bavarian reversion:
but what power has he? None, he thinks, but to take the inevitable
patiently. Nor generally in the Princes of the Reich, though one would
have thought them personally concerned, were it only for danger of a
like mistreatment, was there any emotion publicly expressed, or the
least hope of help. "Perhaps Prussia will quarrel about it?" think they:
"Austria, Prussia, in any of their quarrels we get only crushed; better
to keep out of it. We well out of it, the more they quarrel and fight,
the better for us!" England, in the shape of Hanover, would perhaps have
made some effort to interfere, provided France did: on either side, I
incline to think,--that is to say, on the side opposite to France. But
poor England is engaged with its melancholy American War; France on the
point of breaking out into Alliance with the Insurrection there. Neither
France nor England did interfere. France is sinking into bankruptcy;
intent to have a Navy before most things; to assist the Cause of Human
Liberty over seas withal, and become a sublime spectacle, and a ruin to
England,--not as in the Pitt-Choiseul time, but by that improved method.
Russia, again involved in Turk business, looks on, with now and then
a big word thrown out on the one side and the other.--Munchen, in the
interval, we can fancy what an agitated City! One Note says:--

"Kurfurst Max Joseph being dead (30th December, 1777), Privy Councillor
Johann Euchar von Obermayr, favorite and factotum Minister of the
Deceased, opened the Chatoulle [Princely Safe, or Case of Preciosities];
took from it the Act, which already lay prepared, for Homaging and
solemn Instalment of Karl Theodor Kur-Pfalz, as heir of Baiern; with
immediate intent to execute the same. Euchar orders strict closure
of the Town-gates; the Soldiery to draw out, and beset all
streets,--especially that street where Imperial Majesty's Ambassador
lives: 'Rank close with your backs to that House,' orders Euchar; 'and
the instant anybody stirs to come out, sound your drums, and, at the
same instant, let the rearmost rank of you, without looking round [for
one would not give offence, unless imperative] smite the butts of their
muskets to the ground' (ready for firing, IF imperative). Nobody, I
think, stirred out from that Austrian Excellency's House; in any case,
Obermayr completed his Act without the least protest or trouble from
anybody; and Karl Theodor, almost to his terror [for he meant to sell,
and satisfy Austria, by no means to resist or fight, the paltry old
creature, careful of self and skin only], saw himself solemnly secured
by all forms of law in all the Lands of the Deceased. [Fischer,
_Geschichte Friedrichs des Zweiten_ (Halle, 1787), ii. 358.]

"Kaiser Joseph, in a fume at this, shot off an express to Bohemia: 'Such
and such regiments, ten or twelve of you, with your artillery and tools,
march instantly into Straubingen, and occupy that Town and District.'
At Vienna, to the Karl-Theodor Ambassador, the Kaunitz Officials were
altogether loud-voiced, minatory: 'What is this, Herr Excellenz? Bargain
already made; lying ready for mere signature; and at Munchen such
doings. Sign this Bargain, or there cross your frontier 60,000 Austrian
men, and seize both Baiern and the Ober-Pfalz; bethink you, Herr!' The
poor Herr bethought him, what could he do? signed the Bargain, Karl
Theodor sanctioning, 3d January, 1778,--the fourth day after Obermayr's
Homaging feat;--and completes the first act of this bad business. The
Bargain, on Theodor's side, was of the most liberal kind: All and
sundry the Lands and Circles of Duke Johann of Straubingen, Lordship
of Mindelheim [Marlborough's old Place] superadded, and I know not what
else; Sovereignty of the Fiefs in Ober-Pfalz to lapse to the Crown of
Bohmen on my decease." Half Bavaria, or better; some reckon it as good
as two-thirds.

The figure of Duchess Clement, Amazon in hair-powder, driviug
incessantly about among the officialities and aristocratic circles;
this and the order of "Rattle your muskets on the ground;" let these
two features represent to us the Munchen of those months. Munchen,
Regensburg, Vienna are loud with pleading, protocolling; but it is not
there that the crisis of the game will be found to lie.

Friedrich has, for some time back, especially since the late
Kur-Baiern's illness, understood that Austria, always eager for a clutch
at Baiern, had something of that kind in view; but his first positive
news of it was a Letter from Duchess Clement (date, JANUARY 3d), which,
by the detail of facts, unveiled to his quick eye the true outline,
extent and nature of this Enterprise of Austria's; Enterprise which, he
could not but agree with Duchess Clement, was one of great concernment
not to Baiern alone. "Must be withstood; prevented, at whatever risk,"
thought Friedrich on the instant: "The new Elector, Karl Theodor, he
probably is dead to the matter; but one ought to ask him. If he answer,
Dead; then ask his Heir, Have you no life to it?" Heir is a gallant
enough young gentleman, of endless pedigree, but small possessions,
"Karl August Christian [Karl II. in Official style], Duke of
Zweibruck-Birkenfeld," Karl Theodor's eldest Nephew; Friedrich judges
that he probably will have haggled to sign any Austrian convention for
dismembering Baiern, and that he will start into life upon it so soon as
he sees hope.

"A messenger to him, to Karl Theodor and him," thinks Friedrich: "a
messenger instantly; and who?" For that clearly is the first thing. And
a delicate thing it is; requiring to be done in profoundest secrecy,
by hint and innuendo rather than speech; by somebody in a cloak of
darkness, who is of adroit quality, and was never heard of in diplomatic
circles before, not to be suspected of having business of mine on hand.
Friedrich bethinks him that in a late visit to Weimar, he had noticed,
for his fine qualities, a young gentleman named Gortz; Eustace von
Gortz, [Preuss, iv. 92 n. &c.] late Tutor to the young Duke (Karl
August, whom readers know as Goethe's friend): a wise, firm,
adroit-looking young gentleman; who was farther interesting as Brother
to Lieutenant-General von Gortz, a respectable soldier of Friedrich's.
Ex-Tutor at Weimar, we say, and idle for the moment; hanging about Court
there, till he should find a new function.

Of this Ex-Tutor Friedrich bethinks him; and in the course of that
same day,--for there is no delay,--Friedrich, who is at Berlin, beckons
General Gortz to come over to him from Potsdam instantly. "Hither this
evening; and in all privacy meet me in the Palace at such an hour"
(hour of midnight or thereby); which of course Gortz, duly invisible
to mankind, does. Friedrich explains: An errand to Munchen; perfectly
secret, for the moment, and requiring great delicacy and address;
perhaps not without risk, a timorous man might say: will your Brother
go for me, think you? Gortz thinks he will. "Here is his Instruction, if
so," adds the King, handing him an Autograph of the necessary outline
of procedure,--not signed, nor with any credential, or even specific
address, lest accident happen. "Adieu then, Herr General-Lieutenant;
rule is, shoes of swiftness, cloak of darkness: adieu!" And Gortz Senior
is off on the instant, careering towards Weimar, where he finds Gortz
Junior, and makes known his errand. Gortz Junior stares in the natural
astonishment; but, after some intense brief deliberation, becomes
affirmative, and in a minimum of time is ready and on the road.

Gortz Junior proved to have been an excellent choice on the King's part;
and came to good promotion afterwards by his conduct in this affair.
Gortz Junior started for Munchen on the instant, masked utterly, or
his business masked, from profane eyes; saw this person, saw that, and
glided swiftly about, swiftly and with sure aim; and speedily kindled
the matter, and had smoke rising in various points. And before January
was out, saw the Reichs-Diet at Regensburg, much more the general
Gazetteerage everywhere, seized of this affair, and thrown into
paroxysms at the size and complexion of it: saw, in fact, a world
getting into flame,--kindled by whom or what nobody could guess, for
a long time to come. Gortz had great running about in his cloak of
darkness, and showed abundant talent of the kind needed. A pushing,
clear-eyed, stout-hearted man; much cleverness and sureness in what
he did and forbore to do. His adventures were manifold; he had much
travelling about: was at Regensburg, at Mannheim; saw many persons
whom he had to judge of on the instant, and speak frankly to, or speak
darkly, or speak nothing; and he made no mistake. One of his best
counsellors, I gather, was Duchess Clement: of course it was not long
till Duchess Clement heard some inkling of him; till, in some of his
goings and comings, he saw Duchess Clement, who hailed him as an angel
of light. In one journey more mysterious than ever, "he was three
days invisible in Duchess Clement's Garden-house." "AH, MADAME, QUE
N'ETIEZ-VOUS ELECTEUR, Why were not you Elector!" writes Friedrich to
her once: "We should not have seen those shameful events, which every
good German must blush for, to the bottom of his heart (DONT TOUT BON
ALLEMAND DOIT ROUGIR JUSQU'AU FOND DU COEUR)!" [Preuss, iv. 94.]

We cannot afford the least narrative of Gortz and his courses:
imagination, from a few traits, will sufficiently conceive them. He had
gone first to Karl Theodor's Minister: "Dead to it, I fear; has already
signed?" Alas, yes. Upon which to Zweibruck the Heir's Minister; whom
his Master had distinctly ordered to sign, but who, at his own peril,
gallant man, delayed, remonstrated, had not yet done it; and was able
to answer: "Alive to it, he? Yes, with a witness, were there hope in
the world!"--which threw Gortz upon instant gallop towards Zweibruck
Schloss, in search of said Heir, the young Duke August Christian; who,
however, had left in the interim (summoned by his Uncle, on Austrian
urgency, to consent along with him); but whom Gortz, by dexterity and
intuition of symptoms, caught up by the road, with what a mutual joy!
As had been expected, August Christian, on sight of Gortz, with an armed
Friedrich looming in the distance, took at once into new courses and
activities. From him, no consent now; far other: Treaty with Friedrich;
flat refusal ever to consent: application to the Reich, application even
to France, and whatever a gallant young fellow could do.

It was by Friedrich's order that he applied to France; his younger
Brother, Max Joseph, was a soldier there, and strove to back him in
Official and other circles,--who were all friendly, even zealous for
him; and gave good words, but had nothing more. This French department
of the business was long a delay to Friedrich's operations: and in
result, poor Max's industry there, do what he could, proved rather a
minus quantity than otherwise. A good young man, they say; but not
the man to kindle into action horses that are dead,--of which he had
experience more than once in time coming. He is the same that, 30 years
after, having survived his childless elder Brother, became King Max,
first King of Baiern; begot Ludwig, second King,--who, for his part,
has begotten Otho King of Greece, and done other feats still less
worth mentioning. August Christian's behavior is praised as
excellent,--passively firm and polite; the grand requisite, persistence
on your ground of "No:"--but his luck, to find such a Friedrich, and
also to find such a Gortz, was the saving clause for him.

Friedrich was in very weak health in these months; still considered by
the Gazetteers to be dying. But it appears he is not yet too weak for
taking, on the instant necessary, a world-important resolution; and
of being on the road with it, to this issue or to that, at full speed
before the day closed. "Desist, good neighbor, I beseech you. You must
desist, and even you shall:" this resolution was entirely his own; as
were the equally prompt arrangements he contrived for executing it,
should hard come to hard, and Austria prefer war to doing justice.
"Excellent methods," say the most unfriendly judges, "which must at
once have throttled Austria into compliance, had he been as prompt in
executing them;--which he by no means was. And there lies his error
and failure; very lamentable, excusable only by decrepitude of body
producing weakness and decay of mind." This is emphatically and
wearisomely Schmettau's opinion, [F. W. C. Graf van Schmettau (this is
the ELDER Schmettau's Son, not the DRESDENER'S whom we used to quote),
FELDZUG DER PREUSSISCHEN ARMEE IN BOHMEN IM JAHRE 1778 (Berlin,
1789,--simultaneously in French too, with Plans): with which--as the
completest Account by an eager Witness and Participator--compare
always Friedrich's own (MEMOIRES DE LA GUERRE DE 1778), in _OEuvres
de Frederic,_ vi. 135-208. Schoning (vol. iv.), besides his own loose
Narrative, or Summary, has given all the CORRESPONDENCE between Henri
and the King:--sufficient to quench the sharpest appetite on this
subject.] who looks at it only as a military Adjutant, intent on honor
and rapid feats of war,--with how much reason, readers not Prussian or
military shall judge as we go on.

Saxony, we ought to mention, was also aggrieved. The Dowager-Electress
Maria Antoinette, our sprightly friend, had, as sole surviving Sister
of the late Kurfurst Max, the undoubted heirship of Kurfurst Max's
"allodial properties and territories:" territories, I think, mainly in
the Ober-Pfalz (which are NOT Bavaria Proper, but were acquired in the
Thirty-Years War), which are important in value, and which Austria,
regardless of our lively friend, has laid hold of as lapsed fiefs of
Bohemia. Clearly Bohemian, says Austria; and keeps hold. Our lively
friend hereupon makes over all her rights in that matter to her Son,
the reigning Elector; with the counsel, if counsel were needed,
"Ask protection of King Friedrich; go wholly with King Friedrich."
Mecklenburg too has an interest. Among the lapsed fiefs is one to a
Duchy called of Leuchtenberg;--in regard to which, says Mecklenburg,
as loud as it can, "That Duchy is not lapsed at all; that is now mine,
witness this Document" (of a valid testamentary nature)! Other claims
were put in; but these three: Zweibruck endlessly important; Saxony
important too, though not in such degree; Mecklenburg unimportant, but
just,--were alone recognized in impartial quarters as authentic and
worthy of notice.

Of the pleadings and procedures in the Reichs Diet no reader would
permit me to speak, were I inclined. Enough to understand that they
went on in the usual voluminous dull-droning way, crescendo always; and
deserve, what at present they are sure of, oblivion from all creatures.
The important thing was, not those pleadings in the Reichs Diet, nor the
Austrian proposals there or elsewhere; but the brandishing of arms in
emitting and also in successively answering the same. Answer always No
by Friedrich, and some new flash of handled arms,--the physiognomy of
which was the one significant point, Austria, which is far from ready
with arms, though at each fresh pleading or proposal it tries to give
a kind of brandish, says mainly three things, in essence somewhat thus.
AUSTRIA: "Cannot two States of the Reich come to a mutual understanding,
as Austria and Bavaria have done? And what have third parties to say
to it?" FRIEDRICH: "Much! Parties of the Reich have much to say to it!"
(This several times with variations.) AUSTRIA: "Our rights seem to us
valid: Zweibruck, Saxony, Mecklenburg, if aggrieved, can try in the
Reichs Law-Courts." FRIEDRICH: "Law-Courts!" with a new brandish; that
is, sets more regiments on march, from Pommern to Wesel all on march, to
Berlin, to Silesia, towards the Bohemian Frontier. AUSTRIA, by the voice
of Kaunitz: "We will not give up our rights without sentence of Law.
We cannot recognize the King of Prussia as Law-Judge in this matter."
FRIEDRICH: "The King of Prussia is of the Jury!"

Pulse after pulse, this is something like the course things had,
crescendo till, in about three months, they got to a height which
was evidently serious. Nay, in the course of the pleadings it became
manifest that on the Austrian grounds of claim, not Maria Theresa
could be heir to Straubingen, but Friedrich himself: "I descend from
Three-Crown Albert's Daughter," said Maria Theresa. "And I from an elder
Daughter of his, and do not claim!" Friedrich could have answered,
but did not; treating such claim all along as merely colorable and
chimerical, not worth attention in serious affairs of fact. Till, at
length, after about three months, there comes a really serious brandish.

SUNDAY, APRIL 5th, 1778, at Berlin, Friedrich holds review of his Army,
all assembled, equipped and in readiness; and (in that upper Parole-Room
of the Schloss) makes this Speech, which, not without extraneous
intention, was printed in the Newspapers:--

FRIEDRICH'S SPEECH TO HIS GENERALS. "Gentlemen, I have assembled you
here for a public object. Most of you, like myself, have often been in
arms along with one another, and are grown gray in the service of our
Country: to all of us is well known in what dangers, toils and renown we
have been fellow-sharers. I doubt not in the least that all of you, as
myself, have a horror of bloodshed: but the danger which now threatens
our Countries, not only renders it a duty, but puts us in the
absolute necessity, to adopt the quickest and most effectual means for
dissipating at the right time the storm which threatens to break out on
us.

"I depend with complete confidence on your soldierly and patriotic zeal,
which is already well and gloriously known to me, and which, while I
live, I will acknowledge with the heartiest satisfaction. Before all
things, I recommend to you, and prescribe as your most sacred duty,
That, in every situation, you exercise humanity on unarmed enemies;
and be continually attentive that, in this respect too, there be the
strictest discipline (MANNSZUCHT) kept among those under you.

"To travel with the pomp of a King is not among my wishes: and all of
you are aware that I have no pleasure in rich field-furniture: but
my increasing age, and the weakness it brings, render me incapable of
riding as I did in my youth. I shall, therefore, be obliged to make use
of a post-chaise in times of marching; and all of you have liberty to
do the same. But on the day of battle you shall see me on horseback; and
there, also, I hope my Generals will follow that example."

VOLTAIRE SMOTHERED UNDER ROSES. King's Speech was on Sunday, April 5th,
Evening of last Monday (March 30th), at the Theatre Francais in
Paris, poor Voltaire had that world-famous apotheosis of his; and got
"smothered under roses," as he termed it. He had left Ferney (such the
urgency of Niece Denis and her unappeasable desire for a sight of Paris
again) February 5th; arrived in Paris February 10th; ventured out to see
his poor last Tragedy, not till the sixth night of it, March 30th; was
beshouted, crowned, raised to the immortal gods by a repentant Paris
world: "Greatest of men,--You were not a miscreant and malefactor, then:
on the contrary, you were a spiritual Hercules, a heroic Son of Light;
Slayer of the Nightmare Monsters, and foul Dragons and Devils that were
preying on us: to you shall not we now say, Long life, with all our
throats and all our hearts,"--and so quench you at last! Which they
managed to do, poor repentant souls. The tottering wayworn Voltaire,
over-agitated in this way, took to bed; never rose again; and on that
day two months was dead. [In DUVERNET, and still better in LONGCHAMP ET
WAGNIERE, ample account of these interesting occurrences.] His light all
done; to King Friedrich, or to any of us, no flash of radiancy from him
any more forever.

APRIL 6th, Friedrich gets on march--perhaps about 100,000 strong--for
Schonwalde, in the Neisse-Schweidnitz neighborhood; and there, in
the course of the week, has cantoned himself, and sits completing his
magazines and appliances for actual work of war. This is a considerable
brandish; and a good deal astonishes Kaunitz and the Vienna people, who
have not 10,000 at present on those Frontiers, and nothing whatever in
a state of readiness. "Dangerous really!" Kaunitz admits; and sets new
regiments on march from Hungary, from the Netherlands, from all ends
of the Earth where they are. Tempers his own insolent talk, too; but
strives to persuade himself that it is "Menace merely. He won't; he
abhors war." Kaunitz had hardly exaggerated Friedrich's abhorrence of
war; though it turned out there were things which Friedrich abhorred
still more.

Schonwalde, head-quarter of this alarming Prussian cantonment, is close
on the new Fortress of Silberberg, a beautiful new impregnability,
looking into those valleys of the Warta, of the young Neisse, which
are the road to Bohemia or from it,--where the Pandour torrents used to
issue into the first Silesian Wars; where Friedrich himself was once
to have been snapped up, but was not quite,--and only sang Mass as
Extempore Abbot, with Tobias Stusche, in the Monastery of Camenz,
according to the myth which readers may remember. No more can Pandours
issue that way; only Prussians can enter in. Friedrich's windows in the
Schloss of Schonwalde,--which are on the left hand, if you be touring in
those parts,--look out, direct upon Silberberg, and have its battlements
between them and the 3-o'clock Sun. [Schoning, iv. (Introductory
Part).] In the Town of Silberberg, Friedrich has withal a modest little
lodging,--lodging still known,--where he can alight for an hour or
a night, in the multifarious businesses that lead him to and fro. "A
beautiful place," says Schoning; "where the King stayed twelve weeks"
or more; waiting till the Bavarian-Austrian case should ripen better. At
Schonwalde, what was important in his private circle, he heard of Lord
Marischal's death, then of Voltaire's; not to mention that of English
Pitt, and perhaps others interesting to him. [Voltaire died May 30th;
Marischal, May 25th; Pitt, May 11th;--and May 4th, in the Cantonment
here, died General von Rentzel, the same who, as Lieutenant Rentzel,
sixty years ago, had taught the little Crown-Prince his drill
(Rodenbeck, iii. 187).]

"Now was the time," cry Schmettau and the unfavorable, "when he might
have walked across into Eastern Bohemia, into Mahren, whither you like;
to Vienna itself, and taken Austria by the throat at discretion: 'Do
justice, then, will you! Let go Bavaria, or--!' In his young years,
would not he have done so? His Plan, long since laid down, was grand:
To march into Mahren, leaving Silesia guarded; nay leaving Bohemia to be
invaded,--for Prince Henri, and the Saxons, who are a willing handful,
and will complete Henri likewise to 100,000, were to do that, feat the
while;--March into Mahren, on to Vienna if he chose; laying all flat.
Infallible," say the Schmettau people. "He had the fire of head to
contrive it all; but worn down and grown old, he could not execute his
great thoughts." Which is obviously absurd, Friedrich's object not being
to lay Austria flat, or drive animosities to the sanguinary point, and
kindle all Europe into war; but merely to extract, with the minimum of
violence, something like justice from Austria on this Bavarian matter.
For which end, he may justly consider slow pressure preferable to
the cutting method. His problem is most ticklish, not allowed for by
Schmettau.

The encampment round Schonwalde, especially as there was nothing ready
thereabouts on the Austrian side, produced a visible and great effect
on the negotiations; and notably altered the high Kaunitz tone towards
Friedrich. "Must two great Courts quarrel, then, for the sake of a small
one?" murmured Kaunitz, plaintively now, to himself and to the King,--to
the King not in a very distinct manner, though to himself the principle
is long since clear as an axiom in Politics: "Great Courts should
understand one another; then the small would be less troublesome." For
a quarter of a century this has been the Kaunitz faith. In 1753, when he
miraculously screwed round the French into union with the Austrians to
put down an upstart Prussia, this was his grand fulcrum, the immovable
rock in which the great Engineer fixed down his political capstans, and
levered and screwed. He did triumphantly wind matters round,--though
whether they much profited him when round, may be a question.

But the same grand principle, in the later instance of partitioning
Poland, has it not proved eminently triumphant, successful in all
points? And, doubtless, this King of Prussia recognizes it, if made
worth his while, thinks Kaunitz. In a word, Kaunitz's next utterance is
wonderfully changed. The great Engineer speaks almost like a Bishop on
this new text. "Let the Two Courts," says he, "put themselves each in
the other's place; each think what it would want;" and in fact each, in
a Christian manner, try to do as it would be done by! How touching in
the mouth of a Kaunitz, with something of pathos, of plaintiveness,
almost of unction in it! "There is no other method of agreeing," urges
he: "War is a terrible method, disliked by both of us. Austria wishes
this of Bavaria; but his Prussian Majesty's turn will come, perhaps now
is (let him say and determine); we will make it worth his while." This
is of APRIL 24th; notable change since the cantoning round Schonwalde.

Germany at large, though it lay so silent, in its bedrid condition, was
in great anxiety. Never had the Holy Romish Reich such a shock before:
"Meaning to partition us like Poland?" thought the Reich, with a
shudder. "They can, by degrees, if they think good; these Two Great
Sovereigns!" Courage, your Durchlauchts: one of the Two great ones has
not that in his thoughts; has, and will have, the reverse of that; which
will be your anchorages in the storms of fate for a long time to come!
Nor was it--as will shortly appear to readers--Kaunitz's immediate
intention at all: enough if poor we can begin it, set it fairly under
way; let some unborn happier Kaunitz, the last of a series, complete
such blessed consummation; in a happier time, far over the practical
horizon at present. This we do gather to have been Kaunitz's real view;
and it throws a light on the vexed Partition-of-Poland question, and
gives weight to Dohm's assertion, That Kaunitz was the actual beginner
there.

Weeks before Friedrich heard of this remarkable Memorial, and ten
days before it was brought to paper, there came to Friedrich another
unexpected remarkable Document: a LETTER from Kaiser Joseph himself, who
is personally running about in these parts, over in Bohemia, endeavoring
to bring Army matters to a footing; and is no doubt shocked to find
them still in such backwardness, with a Friedrich at hand. The Kaiser's
Letter, we perceive, is pilot-balloon to the Kaunitz episcopal Document,
and to an actual meeting of Prussian and Austrian Ministers on the
Bavarian point; and had been seen to be a salutary measure by an Austria
in alarm. It asks, as the Kaunitz Memorial will, though in another
style, "Must there be war, then? Is there no possibility left in
negotiation and mutual concession? I am your Majesty's friend and
admirer; let us try." This was an unexpected and doubtless a welcome
thing to Friedrich; who answers eagerly, and in a noble style both of
courtesy and of business sense: upon which there followed two other
Imperial Letters with their two Royal answers; [In _OEuvres de
Frederic,_ (vi. 183-193), Three successive Letters from the Kaiser (of
dates, "Olmutz," "Litau," "Konigsgratz," 13th-19th April, 1778),
with King's Answers ("Schonwalde," all of them, and 14th-20th
April),--totally without interest to the general reader.] and directly
afterwards the small Austrian-Prussian Congress we spoke of, Finkenstein
and Hertzberg on the Prussian part, Cobenzl on the Austrian (Congress
sitting at Berlin), which tried to agree, but could not; and to which
Kaunitz's Memorial of April 24th was meant as some helpful sprinkling of
presidential quasi-episcopal oil.

Oil merely: for it turned out, Kaunitz had no thought at present of
partitioning the German Reich with Friedrich; but intended merely to
keep his own seized portion of Baiern, and in return for Friedrich's
assent intended to recompense Friedrich with--in fact, with Austria's
consent, That if Anspach and Baireuth lapsed home to Prussia (as it
was possible they might, the present Margraf, Friedrich's Nephew, the
Lady-Craven Margraf, having a childless Wife), Prussia should freely
open the door to them! A thing which Friedrich naturally maintained
to be in need of nobody's consent, and to lie totally apart from this
question; but which Austria always considered a very generous thing,
and always returned to, with new touches of improvement, as their
grand recipe in this matter. So that, unhappily, the Hertzberg-Cobenzl
treatyings, Kaiser's Letters and Kaunitz's episcopal oil, were without
effect,--except to gain for the Austrians, who infinitely needed it,
delay of above two months. The Letters are without general interest:
but, for Friedrich's sake, perhaps readers will consent to a specimen?
Here are parts of his First Letter: people meaning to be Kings (which
I doubt none of my readers are) could not do better than read it, and
again read it, and acquire that style, first of knowing thoroughly the
object in hand, and then of speaking on it and of being silent on it, in
a true and noble manner:--


FRIEDRICH TO HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY (at Olmutz).

"SCHONWALDE, 14th April, 1778.

"SIRE MY BROTHER,--I have received, with all the satisfaction possible,
the Letter which your Imperial Majesty has had the goodness to write to
me. I have neither Minister nor Clerk (SCRIBE) about me; therefore your
Imperial Majesty will be pleased to put up with such Answer as an Old
Soldier can give, who writes to you with probity and frankness, on one
of the most important subjects which have risen in Politics for a long
time.

"Nobody wishes more than I to maintain peace and harmony between the
Powers of Europe: but there are limits to everything; and cases so
intricate (EPINEUX) arise that goodwill alone will not suffice to
maintain things in repose and tranquillity. Permit me, Sire, to state
distinctly what the question seems to me to be. It is to determine if
an Emperor can dispose at his will of the Fiefs of the Empire. Answer in
the affirmative, and, all these Fiefs become TIMARS [in the Turk way],
which are for life only; and which the Sultan disposes of again, on the
possessor's death. Now, this is contrary to the Laws, to the Customs and
Constitutions of the German Empire."--"I, as member of the Empire, and
as having, by the Treaty of Hubertsburg, re-sanctioned the Peace of
Westphalia, find myself formally engaged to support the immunities, the
liberties and rights of the Germanic Body.

"This, Sire, is the veritable state of things. Personal interest I have
none: but I am persuaded your Majesty's self would regard me as a paltry
man, unworthy of your esteem, should I basely sacrifice the rights,
immunities and privileges, which the Electors and I have received from
our Ancestors.

"I continue to speak to your Majesty with the same frankness. I love and
honor your person. It will certainly be hard for me to fight against a
Prince gifted with excellent qualities, and whom I personally esteem.
But"--And is there no remedy? Anspach and Baireuth stand in no need
of sanction. I consent to the Congress proposed:--being with the &c.
&c.--F. [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ vi. 187.]

The sittings of this little Congress at Berlin lasted all through
May and June; to the disgust of Schmettau and the ardent Prussian
mess-rooms, "lying ready here, and forbidden to act." For the Austrians
all the while were at their busiest, improving the moments, marching
continually hitherward from Hungary, from Limburg, from all ends of the
earth. Both negotiating parties had shown a manifest wish to terminate
without war; and both made various attempts or proposals that way;
Friedrich offering, in the name of European peace, to yield the
Austrians some small rim or paring of Bavaria from the edge
adjoining them; the Austrians offering Anspach-Baireuth with some
improvements;--always offering Friedrich his own Baireuth-Anspach with
some new sauce (as that he might exchange those Territories with Saxony
for a fine equivalent in the Lausitz, contiguous to him, which was a
real improvement and increase):--but as neither party would in the least
give up in essentials, or quit the ground it had taken, the result was
nothing. Week after week; so many weeks are being lost to Friedrich;
gained to Austria: Schmettau getting more and more disgusted.

Friedrich still waited; not in all points quite ready yet, he said, nor
the futile diplomacies quite complete;--evidently in the highest degree
unwilling to come to the cutting point, and begin a War which nobody
could see the end of. Many things he tried; Peace so precious to him,
try and again try. All through June too, this went on; the result always
zero,--obviously certain to be so. As even Friedrich had at last to own
to himself; and likewise that the Campaign season was ebbing away; and
that if his grand Moravian scheme was to be tried on Austria, there was
not now a moment to lose.

Friedrich's ultimate proposal, new modification of what all his
proposals had been, "To you some thin rim of Baiern; to Saxony and
Mecklenburg some ETCETERA of indemnity, money chiefly (money always to
be paid by Karl Theodor, who has left Baiern open to the spoiler in this
scandalous manner)," was of June 13th; Austrians for ten days meditating
on it, and especially getting forward their Army matters, answer, June
24th "No we won't." Upon which Friedrich--to the joy of Schmettau and
every Prussian--actually rises. Emits his War-Manifesto (JULY 3d):
"Declaration to our Brethren (MITSTANDE) of the Reich," that
Austria will listen to nothing but War; [Fischer, ii 388; Dohm,
_Denkwurdigkeiten,_ i. 110; _OEuvres de Frederic,_ vi. 145.] and, on and
from that day, goes flowing forward in perfect columns and arrangements,
100,000 strong; through the picturesque Glatz Country, straight towards
the Bohemian Border, hour by hour. Flows over the Bohemian Border by
Nachod Town; his vanguard bursting into field-music and flourishes of
trumpeting at that grand moment (July 5th); flowed bodily over; and
encamped that night on Bohemian ground, with Nachod to rear; thence
towards Kwalkowitz, and on the second day to Jaromirtz ("Camp of
Jaromirtz"), a little Town which we have heard of before, but which
became more famous than ever during the next ten weeks.

Jaromirtz, Kwalkowitz, Konigsgratz: this is the old hill-and-dale
labyrinth of an Upper-Elbe Country; only too well known to his Majesty
and us, for almost forty years past: here again are the Austrians
waiting the King; watching diligently this new Invasion of his out of
Glatz and the East! In the same days, Prince Henri, who is also near
100,000, starts from Dresden to invade them from the West. Loudon,
facing westward, is in watch of Henri; Lacy, or indeed the Kaiser
himself, back-to-back of Loudon, stands in this Konigsgratz-Jaromirtz
part; said to be embattled in a very elaborate manner, to a length of
fifty miles on this fine ground, and in number somewhat superior to the
King;--the Austrians in all counting about 250,000; of whom Lacy has
considerably the larger share. The terror at Vienna, nevertheless, is
very great: "A day of terror," says one who was there; "I will not trust
myself to describe the sensation which this news, 'Friedrich in Bohemia
again!' produced among all ranks of people." [Cogniazzo, iv. 316, 320,
321; Preuss, iv. 101, &c.] Maria Theresa, with her fine motherly heart,
in alarm for her Country, and trembling "for my two Sons [Joseph and
Leopold] and dear Son-in-Law [of Sachsen-Teschen], who are in the Army,"
overcomes all scruples of pride; instantly despatches an Autograph to
the King ("Bearer of this, Baron von Thugut, with Full Powers"); and
on her own strength starts a new Negotiation,--which, as will be seen,
ended no better than the others. [Her Letters, four in all, with their
Appendixes, and the King's Answers, in _OEuvres de Frederic,_ vi.
196-200.]

Schmettau says, "Friedrich, cheated of his Mahren schemes, was still in
time; the Austrian position being indeed strong, but not being even
yet quite ready." Friedrich himself, however, on reconnoitring, thought
differently. A position such as one never saw before, thinks he;
contrived by Lacy; masterly use of the ground, of the rivers, of the
rocks, woods, swamps; Elbe and his branches, and the intricate shoulders
of the Giant Mountains: no man could have done it better than Lacy
here, who, they say, is the contriver and practical hand. [_OEuvres
de Frederic,_ vi. 147.] From Konigsgratz, northward, by Konigshof, by
Arnau, up to Hohenelbe, all heights are crowned, all passes bristling
with cannon. Rivers Aupa, Elbe beset with redoubts, with dams in
favorable places, and are become inundations, difficult to tap. There
are "ditches 8 feet deep by 16 broad." Behind or on the right bank of
Elbe, it is mere intrenchment for five-and-twenty miles. With bogs, with
thickets full of Croats; and such an amount of artillery,--I believe
they have in battery no fewer than 1,500 cannon. A position very
considerable indeed:--must have taken time to deliberate, delve and
invest; but it is done. Near fifty miles of it: here, clear to your
glass, has the head of Lacy visibly emerged on us, as if for survey of
phenomena:--head of Lacy sure enough (body of him lying invisible in
the heights, passes and points of vantage); and its NECK of fifty miles,
like the neck of a war-horse clothed with thunder. On which (thinks
Schmettau privately) you may, too late, make your reflections!

Schmettau asserts that the position, though strong, was nothing like
so infinitely strong; and that Friedrich in his younger days would very
soon have assaulted it, and turned Lacy inside out: but Friedrich, we
know, had his reasons against hurry. He reconnoitred diligently; rode
out reconnoitring "fifteen miles the first day" (July 6th), ditto the
second and following; and was nearly shot by Croats,--by one specific
Croat, says Prussian Mythology, supported by Engraving. An old
Engraving, which I have never seen; represents Friedrich reconnoitring
those five-and-twenty miles of Elbe, which have so many redoubts on
their side of it, and swarm with Croat parties on both sides: this is
all the truth that is in the Engraving. [Rodenbeck, p. 188.] Fact says:
Friedrich ("on the 8th," if that were all the variation) "was a mark for
the Austrian sharpshooters for half an hour." Myth says, and engraves
it, with the date of "July 7th:" Friedrich, skirting some thicket,
suddenly came upon a single Croat with musket levelled at him, wild
creature's finger just on the trigger;--and quietly admonishing,
Friedrich lifts his finger with a "DU, DU (Ah you!);" upon which, such
the divinity that hedges one, the wild creature instantly flings down
his murder-weapon, and, kneeling, embraces the King's boot,--with
kisses, for anything I know. It is certain, Friedrich, about six times
over in this paltry War or Quasi No-War, set his attendants on the
tremble; was namely, from Croateries and Artilleries, in imminent peril
of life; so careless was he, and dangerous to speak to in his sour
humor. Humor very sour, they say, for most part; being in reality
altogether backward and loath for grand enterprise; and yet striving
to think he was not; ashamed that any War of his should be a No-War.
Schmettau says:--

"On the day of getting into Jaromirtz [July 8th], the King, tired of
riding about while the Columns were slowly getting in, lay down on the
ground with his Adjutants about him. A young Officer came riding past;
whom the King beckoned to him;--wrote something with pencil (an Order,
not of the least importance), and said: 'Here; that Order to General
Lossow, and tell him he is not to take it ill that I trouble him, as I
have none in my Suite that can do anything.'" Let the Suite take it
as they can! A most pungent, severe old King; quite perverse at times,
thinks Schmettau. Thus again, more than once.:--

"On arriving with his Column where the Officer, a perfectly skilful
man, had marked out the Camp, the King would lift his spy-glass; gaze
to right and left, riding round the place at perhaps a hundred yards'
distance; and begin: 'SIEHT ER, HERR, But look, Herr, what a botching
you have made of it again (WAS ER DA WIEDER FUR DUMM ZEUG GEMACHT HAT)!'
and grumbling and blaming, would alter the Camp, till it was all out
of rule; and then say, 'See there, that is the way to mark out Camps.'"
[Schmettau, xxv. 30, 24.]

In a week's time, July 13th, came another fine excuse for inaction;
Plenipotentiary Thugut, namely, and the Kaiserinn's Letter, which we
spoke of. Autograph from Maria Theresa herself, inspired by the terror
of Vienna and of her beautiful motherly heart. Negotiation to be private
utterly: "My Son, the Kaiser, knows nothing of it; I beg the most
absolute secrecy;" which was accordingly kept, while Thugut, with
Finkenstein and Hertzberg again, held "Congress of Braunau" in those
neighborhoods,--with as little effect as ever. Thugut's Name, it seems,
was originally TUNICOTTO (Tyrolese-Italian); which the ignorant Vienna
people changed into "THU-NICHT-GUT (Do-no-good)," till Maria Theresa, in
very charity, struck out the negative, and made him "Do-good." Do-good
and his Congress held Friedrich till August 10th: five more weeks gone;
and nothing but reconnoitring,--with of course foraging, and diligently
eating the Country, which is a daily employment, and produces fencing
and skirmishing enough.

Henri, in the interim, has invaded from the West; seen Leitmeritz,
Lobositz;--Prag Nobility all running, and I suppose Prayers to St. Titus
going again,--and Loudon in alarm. Loudon, however, saved Prag "by two
masterly positions" (not mentionable here); upon which Henri took
camp at Niemes; Loudon, the weaker in this part, seizing the Iser as a
bulwark, and ranking himself behind it, back-to-back of Lacy. Here for
about five weeks sat Henri, nothing on hand but to eat the Country. Over
the heads of Loudon and Lacy, as the crow flies, Henri's Camp may be
about 70 miles from Jaromirtz, where the King is. Hussar Belling, our
old Anti-Swede friend, a brilliant cutting man, broke over the Iser
once, perhaps twice; and there was pretty fencing by him and the like
of him: "but Prince Henri did nothing," says the King, [_OEuvres de
Frederic,_ vi. 154]--was, in fact, helping the King to do nothing.
By the 10th of September, as Henri has computed, this Country will be
eaten; "Forage, I find, will be quite done here on September 10th,"
writes Henri, after a week or two's experience.

There was always talk of Henri and the King, who are 100,000 each,
joining hands by the post of Arnau, or some weak point of Lacy's
well north of Konigsgratz; thus of cutting off the meal-carts of that
back-to-back copartnery, and so of tumbling it off the ground (which
was perfectly possible, says Schmettau); and small detachments and
expeditious were pushed out, General Dahlwig, General Anhalt, partly for
that object: but not the least of it ever took effect. "Futile, lost by
loitering, as all else was," groans Schmettau. Prince Henri was averse
to attempt, intimates the King,--as indeed (though refusing to own
it) was I. "September 10th, my forage will be out, your Majesty," says
Henri, always a punctual calculating man.

The Austrians, on their side, were equally stagnant; and, except the
continual skirmishing with the Prussian foragers, undertook nothing.
"Shamefully ill-clone our foraging, too," exclaims Schmettau again and
again: "Had we done it with neatness, with regularity, the Country would
have lasted us twice as long. Doing it headlong, wastefully and by the
rule-of-thumb, the Country was a desert, all its inhabitants fled, all
its edibles consumed, before six weeks were over. Friedrich is not now
himself at all; in great things or in little; what a changed Friedrich!"
exclaims Schmettau, with wearisome iteration.

From about August 6th, or especially August 10th, when the Maria-Theresa
Correspondence, or "Congress of Braunau," ended likewise in zero,
Friedrich became impatient for actual junction with Prince Henri, actual
push of business; and began to hint of an excellent plan he had: "Burst
through on their left flank; blow up their post of Hohenelbe yonder:
thence is but one march to Iser river; junction with Prince Henri
there; and a Lacy and a Loudon tumbled to the winds." "A plan perfectly
feasible," says Schmettau; "which solaced the King's humor, but which he
never really intended to execute." Possibly not; otherwise, according
to old wont, he would have forborne to speak of it beforehand. At
all events, August 15th, in the feeling that one ought really to do
something, the rather as forage hereabouts was almost or altogether
running out, he actually set about this grand scheme.

Got on march to rightward, namely, up the Aupa river, through the gloomy
chasms of Kingdom-Wood, memorable in old days: had his bakery shifted
to Trautenau; his heavy cannon getting tugged through the mire and the
rains, which by this time were abundant, towards Hohenelbe, for the
great enterprise: and sat encamped on and about the Battle-ground
of Sohr for a week or so, waiting till all were forward; eating Sohr
Country, which was painfully easy to do. The Austrians did next to
nothing on him; but the rains, the mud and scarcity were doing much.
Getting on to Hohenelbe region, after a week's wet waiting, he, on
ocular survey of the ground about, was heard to say, "This cannot be
done, then!" "Had never meant to do it," sneers Schmettau, "and only
wanted some excuse." Which is very likely. Schmettau gives an Anecdote
of him here: In regard to a certain Hill, the Key of the Austrian
position, which the King was continually reconnoitring, and lamenting
the enormous height of, "Impossible, so high!" One of the Adjutants took
his theodolite, ascertained the height, and, by way of comforting his
Majesty, reported the exact number of feet above their present level.
"How do YOU know, Herr?" said the King angrily. "Measured it by
Trigonometry, your Majesty."--"Trigonometry! SCHER' ER SICH ZUM TEUFEL
(Off with you, Sir, to the Devil, your Trigonometry and you!)"--no
believer in mathematics, this King.

He was loath to go; and laid the blame on many things. "Were Prince
Henri now but across the Iser. Had that stupid Anhalt, when he was upon
it [galloping about, to the ruin of his head], only seized Arnau, Arnau
and its Elbe-Bridge; and had it in hand for junction with Prince Henri!"
In fine, just as the last batch of heavy cannon--twenty or thirty
hungered horses to a gun, at the rate of five miles a day in roads
unspeakable--were getting in, he ordered them all to be dragged back,
back to the Trautenau road; whither we must now all go. And, SEPTEMBER
8th, in perfect order, for the Austrians little molested him, and got a
bad bargain when they did, the great Friedrich with his whole Army
got on march homeward, after such a Campaign as we see. Climbed the
Trautenau-Landshut Pass, with nothing of effective loss except from
the rainy elements, the steep miry ways and the starved horses;
draught-horses especially starved,--whom, poor creatures, "you would
see spring at the ropes [draught-harness], thirty of them to a gun, when
started and gee-ho'd to; tug violently with no effect, and fall down in
whole rows."

Prince Henri, forage done, started punctually September 10th, two days
after his Brother; and with little or no pursuit, from the Austrians,
and with horses unstarved, got home in comparatively tolerable
circumstances. Cantoned himself in Dresden neighborhood, and sat
waiting: he had never approved this War; and now, I suppose, would not
want for reflections. Friedrich's cantonments were round Landshut,
and spread out to right and to left, from Glatz Country and the
Upper-Silesian Hills, to Silberberg and Schweidnitz;--his own quarter
is the same region, where he lay so long in Summer, 1759, talking on
learned subjects with the late Quintus Icilius, if readers remember,
and wearily waiting till Cunctator Daun (likewise now deceased) took
his stand, or his seat, at Mark Lissa, and the King could follow him
to Schmottseifen. Friedrich himself on this present occasion stayed at
Schatzlar as rear-guard, to see whether the Austrians would not perhaps
try to make some Winter Campaign of it, and if so, whether they would
attempt on Prince Henri or on him. The Austrians did not attempt on
either; showed no such intention,--though mischievous enough in
other small ways. Friedrich wrote the ELOGE of Voltaire [_OEuvres de
Frederic,_ vii. 50 et seq. ("finished Nov. 26th, 1778").] while he
waited here at Schatzlar, among the rainy Mountains. Later on, as
prospects altered, he was much at Breslau, or running about on civic
errands with Breslau as centre: at Breslau he had many Dialogues with
Professor Garve,--in whose good, but oppressively solemn, little Book,
more a dull-droning Preachment than a Narrative, no reader need look for
them or for him.

As to the EULOGY OF VOLTAIRE, we may say that it is generous, ingenious,
succinct; and of dialect now obsolete to us. There was (and is,
though suppressed) another EULOGY, brand-new, by a Contemporary of our
own,--from which I know not if readers will permit me a sentence or two,
in this pause among the rainy Mountains?

... "A wonderful talent lay in this man--[in Voltaire, to wit; "such
an intellect, the sharpest, swiftest of the world," thinks our
Contemporary; "fathoming you the deepest subject, to a depth far beyond
most men's soundings, and coming up with victory and something wise
and logically speakable to say on it, sooner than any other man,--never
doubting but he has been at the bottom, which is from three to ten miles
lower!"] wonderful talent; but observe always, if you look closely, it
was in essence a mere talent for Speech; which talent Bavius and Maevius
and the Jew Apella may admire without looking behind it, but this
Eulogist by no means will. Speech, my friend? If your sublime talent
of speech consists only in making ignorance appear to be knowledge, and
little wisdom appear to be much, I will thank you to walk on with it,
and apply at some other shop. The QUANTITY of shops where you can
apply with thrice-golden advantage, from the Morning Newspapers to
the National Senate, is tremendous at this epoch of the poor world's
history;--go, I request you! And while his foot is on the stairs,
descending from my garret, I think: O unfortunate fellow-creature in an
unfortunate world, why is not there a Friedrich Wilhelm to 'elect' you,
as he did Gundling, to his TOBACCO Parliament, and there set Fassmann
upon you with the pans of burning peat? It were better even for
yourself; wholesomely didactic to your poor self, I cannot doubt; and
for the poor multitudes to whom you are now to be sacred VATES, speaking
and singing YOUR dismal GUNDLINGIANA as if inspired by Heaven, how
infinitely better!--Courage, courage! I discern, across these hideous
jargons, the reign of greater silence approaching upon repentant men;
reign of greater silence, I say; or else that of annihilation, which
will be the most silent of all....

"Voltaire, if not a great man, is a remarkably peculiar one; and did
such a work in these Ages as will render him long memorable, more or
less. He kindled the infinite dry dung-heap of things; set it blazing
heaven-high;--and we all thought, in the French Revolution time, it
would burn out rapidly into ashes, and then there would a clear Upper
Firmament, if over a blackened Earth, be once more vouchsafed us. The
flame is now done, as I once said; and only the dull dung-heap, smokily
burning, but not now blazing, remains,--for it was very damp, EXCEPT on
the surface, and is by nature slow of combustion:--who knows but it may
have to burn for centuries yet, poisoning by its villanous mal-odors
the life-atmosphere of all men? Eternal Author of this Universe, whose
throne is Truth, to whom all the True are Sons, wilt thou not look down
upon us, then!--Till this sad process is complete? Voltaire is like to
be very memorable."...

To Friedrich the Winter was in general tranquil; a Friedrich busy
preparing all things for his grand Mahren Enterprise, and for "real work
next year." By and by there came to be real Peace-prospects instead.
Meanwhile, the Austrians do try a little, in the small Pandour way,
to dislodge him from the Upper-Silesian or Teschen regions, where the
Erbprinz of Brunswick is in command; a man not to be pricked into gratis
by Pandours. Erbprinz, accordingly, provoked by their Pandourings, broke
out at last; and about Zuckmantel instantly scourged them home, and
had peace after. Foiled here, they next tried upon Glatz; "Get into his
Glatz Country, then;--a snatch of that will balance the account" (which
was one of Newspaper glory only): and a certain Wurmser of theirs,
expert in such things, did burn the Town of Habelschwert one morning;
["18th January, 1779" (Rodenbeck, iii. 195; Schmettau, &c.).] and tried
farther, not wisely this time, a surprisal of Glatz Fortress itself; but
got smitten home by our old friend General Wunsch, without profit there.
This was the same Wurmser who came to bad issues in the Napoleon time
afterwards; a rising man then; not a dim Old-Newspaper ghost as now.

Most shameful this burning of Habelschwert by way of mere bravura,
thinks Friedrich, in a time of actual Treaty for Peace, when our
Congress of Teschen was just struggling to get together! It was the
chief stroke done by the Austrians in this War; glorious or shameful, we
will not think of inquiring. Nor in fact of adding one word more on such
a War,--except, what everybody longs for, That, NOVEMBER 27th, 1778,
Czarina Catharine, by her Prince Galitzin at Vienna, intervened in the
matter, in a lofty way; and ended it. Czarina Catharine,--small thanks
to her, it seems, for it was Friedrich that by his industries and
world-diplomacies, French and other, had got her Turks, who had been
giving trouble again, compesced into peace for her; and indeed, to
Friedrich or his interests, though bound by Treaty, she had small regard
in taking this step, but wished merely to appear in German Politics as
a She-Jove,--Czarina Catharine signified, in high and peremptory though
polite Diplomatic terms, at Vienna, "Imperial Madam, how long is such a
War to last? Be at Peace, both of you; or--! I shall, however, mediate,
if you like, being the hearty friend of both." [Copy of Galitzin's
"Declaration," in FISCHER, ii. 406-411.]

"Do," answers Maria Theresa, whose finance is quite out, whose motherly
heart is almost broken, though a young Kaiser still prances violently,
and kicks against the pricks: "Do, your noble Czarish Majesty; France
too is interfering: France and you will decide what is just, and we will
end." "Congress of Teschen" met accordingly, MARCH 10th, 1779: Teschen,
in Austrian Silesia, where we have been;--Repnin as Russian, Breteuil
the Frenchman, Cobentzl and Hertzberg as Austrian and Prussian;--and,
MAY 13th (in two months' time, not in two weeks', as had been expected,
for there rose unexpected haggles), did close everything, firm as
Diplomacy could do it, into equitable, or approximately equitable
finis: "Go home, you Austria; quit your stolen Bavaria (all but a rim or
paring, Circle of Burghausen, since you must have something!): Saxony,
Mecklenburg, these must be satisfied to moderate length; and therewith
general AS-YOU-WERE."

Russia and France were agreed on the case; and Friedrich, bitterly
longing to have done with it, had said to himself, "In two weeks or so:"
but it proved far otherwise. Never were such hagglings, provocations and
unreasonable confusions as now rose. The burning of Habelschwert was but
a type of them. Haggles on the part of worthless Karl Theodor, kindled
by Joseph and his Kaunitz, kicking against the pricks. Haggles on
Saxony's part: "I claimed 7,000,000 pounds sterling, and you allow me
600,000 pounds." "Better that than nothing," answered Friedrich. Haggles
with Mecklenburg: "Instead of my Leuchtenberg, I get an improvement in
my Law-Courts, right of Judging without Appeal; what is that!"
Haggles with the once grateful Duke of Zweibruck: "Can't part with my
Burghausen." "Suppose you had had to part with your Bavaria altogether?"
In short, Friedrich, who had gained nothing for himself, but such
infinity of outlay in all kinds, never saw such a coil of human follies
and cupidities before; and had to exhaust his utmost patience, submit
to new losses of his own, and try all his dexterities in pig-driving:
overjoyed, at last, to get out of it on any terms. Outlay of Friedrich
is about Two Millions sterling, and above 10,000 men's lives (his own
narrowly not included), with censures, criticisms, provocations and
botherations without end. In return for which, he has, truly, put a
spoke in Austria's proud wheel for this time, and managed to see fair
play in the Reich; which had seemed to him, and seems, a considerable
thing. By way of codicil, Austria agrees not to chicane him in regard to
Anspach-Baireuth,--how generous of Austria, after this experience!--

In reality, the War was an Imaginary War; deserving on its own score
little record anywhere; to readers here requiring almost less than it
has got. Schmettau, Schoning and others have been abundantly minute
upon it; but even to soldiers there is little either of interest or
instruction; to us, all it yields is certain Anecdotes of Friedrich's
temper and ways in that difficult predicament; which, as coming at
first-hand, gathered for us by punctual authentic Schmettau, who was
constantly about him, with eyes open and note-book ready, have a kind of
worth in the Biographic point of view.

The Prussian Soldiery, of whom we see a type in Schmettau, were
disgusted with this War, and called it, in allusion to the foraging, A
scramble for potatoes, "DER KARTOFFEL-KRIEG, The Potato War;" which
is its common designation to this day. The Austrians, in a like humor,
called it "ZWETSCHKEN-RUMMEL" (say "THREE-BUTTON Loo"); a game not worth
playing; especially not at such cost. Combined cost counted to have been
in sum-total 4,350,000 pounds and 20,000 men. [Preuss, iv. 115.]
"The Prussian Army was full of ardor, never abler for fight" (insists
Schmettau), which indeed seems to have been the fact on every small
occasion;--"but fatally forbidden to try." Not so fatally perhaps, had
Schmettau looked beyond his epaulettes: was not the thing, by that slow
method, got done? By the swifter method, awakening a new Seven-Years
business, how infinitely costlier might it have been!

Schmettau's NARRATIVE, deducting the endless lamentings, especially the
extensive didactic digressions, is very clear, ocular, exact; and, in
contrast with Friedrich's own, is really amusing to read. A Schmettau
giving us, in his haggard light and oblique point of vision, the naked
truth, NAKED and all in a shiver; a Friedrich striving to drape it a
little, and make it comfortable to himself. Those bits of Anecdotes in
SCHMETTAU, clear, credible, as if we had seen them, are so many crevices
through which it is curiously worth while to look.



Chapter VII.--MILLER ARNOLD'S LAWSUIT.

About the Second Law-Reform, after reading and again reading much dreary
detail, I can say next to nothing, except that it is dated as beginning
in 1776, near thirty years after Cocceji's; ["In 1748" Cocceji's was
completed; "in 1774-1775," on occasion of the Silesian Reviews, Von
Carmer, Chancellor of Silesia, knowing of the King's impatience at the
state of Law, presented successively Two MEMORIALS on the subject; the
Second of which began "4th January, 1776" to have visible fruit.] that
evidently, by what causes is not stated, but may be readily enough
conjectured (in the absence of Cocceji by death, and of a Friedrich
by affairs of War), the abuses of Law had again become more or less
unendurable to this King; that said abuses did again get some reform
(again temporary, such the Law of Nature, which bids you sweep
vigorously your kitchen, though it will next moment recommence the
gathering of dirt upon it); and that, in fine, after some reluctance in
the Law circles, and debating PRO and CONTRA, oral some of it, and done
in the King's presence, who is so intent to be convinced and see his
practical way in it, [At Potsdam, "4th January, 1776," Debate, by
solemn appointment, in the King's presence (King very unwell), between
Silesian-Chancellor von Carmer and Grand-Chancellor von Furst, as to the
feasibility of Carmer's ideas; old Furst strong in the negative;--King,
after reflection, determining to go on nevertheless. (Rodenbeck, iii.
131, 133.)]--there was, as supplement to the mere Project or Theory of
a CODEX FREDERICIANUS in Cocceji's time, an actual PRUSSIAN CODE set
about; Von Carmer, the Silesian Chancellor, the chief agent: and a
First Folio, or a First and partly a Second of it, were brought out in
Friedrich's lifetime, the remainder following in that of his Successor;
which Code is ever since the Law of the Prussian Nation to this day.
[Not finished and promulgated till "5th February, 1794;" First Volume
(containing PROZESS-ORDNUNG, Form of Procedure, in all its important
details) had come out "26th April, 1784" (Preuss, iii. 418-422).] Of
its worth as a Code I have heard favorable opinions, comparatively
favorable; but can myself say nothing: famed Savigny finds it superior
in intelligence and law-knowledge to the CODE NAPOLEON,--upon which
indeed, and upon all Codes possible to poor hag-ridden and wig-ridden
generations like ours, Savigny feels rather desperate. Unfortunate
mortals do want to have their bits of lawsuits settled, nevertheless;
and have, on trial, found even the ignorant CODE NAPOLEON a mighty
benefit in comparison to none!--

Readers all see how this Second Prussian Law-Reform was a thing
important to Prussia, of liveliest interest to the then King of Prussia;
and were my knowledge of it greater than it is, this is all I could
hope to say of it that would be suitable or profitable at present. Let
well-disposed readers take it up in their imaginations, as a fact and
mass of facts, very serious there and then; and color with it in some
degree those five or six last years of this King's life.

Connected with this Second Law Reform, and indeed partially a source of
it, or provocation to go on with it, mending your speed, there is one
little Lawsuit, called the MILLER ARNOLD CASE, which made an immense
noise in the world, and is still known by rumor to many persons, who
would probably be thankful, as certainly I myself should, for some
intelligible word on it. In regard to which, and to which alone, in this
place, we will permit ourselves a little more detail.

In the sandy moors towards the Silesian border of the Neumark, southwest
of Zullichau,--where we once were, with Dictator Wedell, fighting the
Russians in a tragic way,--there is, as was casually then indicated,
on one of the poor Brooks trickling into Oder, a Mill called KREBSMUHLE
(Crabmill); Millers of which are a line of dusty Arnolds, laboriously
for long generations grinding into meal the ryes, pulses, barleys of
that dim region; who, and whose Crabmill, in the year 1779-1780,
burst into a notoriety they little dreamt of, and became famous in the
fashionable circles of this Universe, where an indistinct rumor of them
lives to this day. We indicated Arnold and his Mill in Wedell's time;
Wedell's scene being so remote and empty to readers: in fact,
nobody knows on what paltriest of moors a memorable thing will not
happen;--here, for instance, is withal the Birthplace of that Rhyming
miracle, Frau Karsch (Karschin, KarchESS as they call her), the Berlin
literary Prodigy, to whom Friedrich was not so flush of help as had
been expected. The child of utterly poor Peasants there; whose poverty,
shining out as thrift, unweariable industry and stoical valor, is
beautiful to me, still more their poor little girl's bits of fortunes,
"tending three cows" in the solitudes there, and gazing wistfully into
Earth and Heaven with her ingenuous little soul,--desiring mainly
one thing, that she could get Books, any Book whatever; having
half-accidentally picked up the art of reading, and finding hereabouts
absolutely nothing to read. Frau Karsch, I have no doubt, knows the
Crabmill right well; and can, to all permissible lengths, inform the
Berlin Circles on this point. [See JORDENS (Karschin), ii. 607-640.] An
excellent Silesian Nobleman lifted her miraculously from the sloughs of
misery, landed her from his travelling-carriage in the upper world of
Berlin, "January, 1761" (age then thirty-nine, husband Karsch a wretched
drunken Tailor at Glogau, who thereupon enlisted, and happily got
shot or finished): Berlin's enthusiasm was, and continued to be,
considerable;--Karschin's head, I fear, proved weakish, though her
rhyming faculty was great. Friedrich saw her once, October, 1763,
spoke kindly to her (DIALOGUE reported by herself, with a Chodowiecki
ENGRAVING to help, in the MUSEN-ALMANACHS ensuing); and gave her a
10 pounds, but never much more:--"somebody had done me ill with him,"
thinks the Karschin (not thinking, "Or perhaps nobody but my poor self,
and my weakness of head"). She continued rhyming and living--certain
Principalities and High People still standing true--till "12th October,
1791."

Crabmill is in Pommerzig Township, not far from Kay:--Zullichau, Kay,
Palzig, Crossen, all come to speech again, in this Narrative; fancy how
they turned up in Berlin dinner-circles, to Dictator Wedell, gray old
gentleman, who is now these many years War-Minister, peaceable, and
well accepted, but remembers the flamy youth he had. Landlord of these
Arnolds and their Mill is Major Graf von Schmettau (no connection of our
Schmettaus),--to what insignificantly small amount of rent, I could
not learn on searching; 10 pounds annually is a too liberal guess.
Innumerable things, of no pertinency to us, are wearisomely told, and
ever again told, while the pertinent are often missed out, in that
dreary cart-load of Arnold Law-Papers, barely readable, barely
intelligible, to the most patient intellect: with despatch let us fish
up the small cardinal particles of it, and arrange in some chronological
or human order, that readers may form to themselves an outline of the
thing. In 1759, we mentioned that this Mill was going; Miller of it an
old Arnold, Miller's Lad a young. Here is the subsequent succession of
occurrences that concern us.

In 1762, Young Arnold, as I dimly gather, had got married, apparently
a Wife with portion; bought the Mill from his Father, he and Wife
co-possessors thenceforth;--"Rosine his Spouse" figuring jointly in all
these Law-Papers; and the Spouse especially as a most shifty litigant.
There they continue totally silent to mankind for about eight years.
Happy the Nation, much more may we say the Household, "whose Public
History is blank." But in the eighth year,

In 1770, Freyherr Baron von Gersdorf in Kay, who lies farther up the
stream, bethinks him of Fish-husbandry; makes a Fish-pond to himself,
and for part supply thereof, lays some beam or weir across the poor
Brook, and deducts a part of Arnold's water.

In 1773, the Arnolds fall into arrear of rent: "Want of water; Fish-pond
spoils our water," plead they to Major Graf von Schmettau. "Prosecute
Von Gersdorf, then," says Schmettau: "I must have my rent! You shall
have time, lengthened terms; but pay THEN, or else-!" For four years
the Arnolds tried more or less to pay, but never could, or never did
completely: during which period Major von Schmettau had them up in his
Court of Pommerzig,--manorial or feudal kind of Court; I think it is
more or less his, though he does not sit there; and an Advocate, not
of his appointing, though probably of his accepting, dispenses justice
there. Schlecker is the Advocate's name; acquitted by all Official
people of doing anything wrong. No appearance that the Herr Graf von
Schmettau put hand to the balances of justice in this Court; with his
eye, however, who knows but he might act on them more or less! And, at
any rate, be suspected by distressed Arnolds, especially by a distressed
Frau Arnold, of doing so. The Frau Arnold had a strong suspicion that
way; and seems to have risen occasionally upon Schlecker, who did once
order the poor woman to be locked up for contempt of Court: "Only two
hours!" asseverates Schlecker afterwards; after which she came out cool
and respectful to Court.

Not the least account survives of those procedures in Schlecker's Court;
but by accident, after many readings, you light upon a little fact which
does shed a transient ray over them. Namely, that already in 1775, four
years before the Case became audible in Official circles, much more in
general society, Frau Arnold had seized an opportunity, Majesty being
at Crossen in those neighborhoods, and presented a Petition: "Oh,
just King, appoint a MILITARY COMMISSION to investigate our business;
impartial Officers will speedily find out the facts, and decide what
is just!" [Preuss, iii. 382.] Which denotes an irritating experience in
Schlecker's Court. Certain it is, Schlecker's Court did, in this tedious
harassing way, decide against Frau Arnold in every point. "Pay Herr Graf
von Schmettau, or else disappear; prosecute Von Gersdorf, if you like!"
And, in fine, as the Arnolds could not pay up, nor see any daylight
through prosecuting Baron von Gersdorf, the big gentleman in
Kay,--Schlecker, after some five years of this, decreed Sale of the
Mill:--and sold it was. In Zullichau, September 7th, 1778, there is
Auction of the Mill; Herr Landeinnehmer (CESS-COLLECTOR) Kuppisch bought
it; knocked down to him for the moderate sum of 600 thalers, or 90
pounds sterling, and the Arnolds are an ousted family. "September
7th,"--Potato-War just closing its sad Campaign; to-morrow, march for
Trautenau, thirty horses to a gun.--

The Arnolds did make various attempts and appeals to the Neumark
REGIERUNG (College of Judges); but it was without the least result.
"Schlecker right in every point; Gersdorf right," answered the College:
"go, will you!" A Mill forfeited by every Law, and fallen to the
highest bidder. Cess-Collector Kuppisch, it was soon known, had sold
his purchase to Von Gersdorf: "Hah!" said the rural public, smelling
something bad. Certain it is, Von Gersdorf is become proprietor both of
Pond and Mill; and it is not to the ruined Arnolds that Schlecker law
can seem an admirable sample. And truly, reading over those barrow-loads
of pleadings and RELATIONES, one has to admit that, taken as a reason
for seeing oneself ruined, and one's Mill become the big gentleman's who
fancies carp, they do seem considerably insufficient. The Law-Pleadings
are duly voluminous. Barrow-loads of them, dreariest reading in
Creation, remain; going into all manner of questions, proving, from
Grotius and others, that landlords have rights upon private rivers, and
another sort upon public ditto; that Von Gersdorf, by Law of 1566, had
verily the right to put down his Fish-pond,--whether Schmettau the
duty to indemnify Arnold for the same? that is not touched upon: nor,
singular to say, is it anywhere made out, or attempted to be made out,
How much of water Arnold lost by the Pond, much less what degree of real
impediment, by loss of his own time, by loss of his customers (tired of
such waiting on a mill), Arnold suffered by the Pond. This, which you
would have thought the soul of the matter, is absolutely left out;
altogether unsettled,--after, I think, four, or at least three, express
Commissions had sat on it, at successive times, with the most esteemed
hydraulic sages opining and examining;--and remains, like the part of
Hamlet, omitted by particular desire. No wonder Frau Arnold begged for
a Military Commission; that is to say, a decision from rational human
creatures, instead of juridical wigs proceeding at this rate.

It was some time in 1775 that Rosine (what we reckoned a very
elucidative point!) had given in her Petition to the King at Crossen,
showing how ill Schlecker was using them. She now, "about Mayday, 1779,"
in a new Petition, referred to that, and again begged a Commission of
Soldier-people to settle it. May 4th, 1779,--King not yet home, but
coming, ["Arrived at Berlin May 27th" (Rodenbeck, iii. 201).]--King's
Cabinet, on Order, "SENDS this to Justice-Department;" nothing SAID
on it, the existence of the Petition sufficiently SAYING.
Justice-Department thereupon demands the Law-Records, documentary
Narrative of RES Arnold, from Custrin; finds all right: "Peace, ye
Arnolds; what would you have?" [Preuss, iii. 382.]

Same year, 1779 (no express date), Grand-Chancellor von Furst, being at
Custrin, officially examining the condition of Law-matters, Frau Arnold
failed not to try there also with a Petition: "See, great Law-gentleman
come to reform abuses, can that possibly be Law; or if so, is it not
Injustice as well?" "Tush!" answered Furst;--for I believe Law-people,
ever since this new stringency of Royal vigilance upon them, are plagued
with such complaints from Dorfships and dark greedy Peasant people;
"Tush!" and flung it promptly into his waste-basket.

Is there no hope at all, then? Arnold remembers that a Brother of his
is a Prussian soldier; and that he has for Colonel, Prince Leopold of
Brunswick, a Prince always kind to the poor. The Leopold Regiment
lies at Frankfurt: try Prince Leopold by that channel. Prince Leopold
listened;--the Soldier Arnold probably known to him as rational and
respectable. Prince Leopold now likewise applies to Furst: "A defect,
not of Law, Herr Kanzler, but of Equity, there does seem. Schmettau had
a right to his rent; Von Gersdorf, by Deed of 1566, to his Pond: but
the Arnolds had not water and have lost their Mill. Could not there,"
suggests Leopold, "be appointed, without noise of any kind, a Commission
of neutral people, strangers to the Neumark, to search this matter
to the actual root of it, and let Equity ensue?" To whom also Furst
answers, though in a politer shape, "Tush, Durchlaucht! Every man to his
trade!"

So that Prince Leopold himself, the King's own Nephew, proves futile?
Some think Leopold did, this very Autumn, casually, or as if casually,
mention the matter to the King,--whose mind is uneasily awake to
all such cases, knowing what a buckram set his Lawyers are. "At the
Reviews," as these people say, Leopold could not have done it; there
being, this Year, no Reviews, merely return of King and Army from the
Bavarian War. But during August, and on into September this Year, it
is very evident, there was a Visit of the Brunswick Family at Potsdam,
[Rodenbeck, iii. 206 et seq.] Leopold's Mamma and certain of his
Brothers,--of which, Colonel Prince Leopold, though not expressly
mentioned in the Books, may very possibly have been permitted, for a day
or two, to form part, for Mamma's behoof and his own; and may have made
his casual observation, at some well-chosen moment, with the effect
intended. In which case, Leopold was by no means futile, but proved,
after all, to be the saving clause for the Arnolds.

Gallant young fellow, one loves to believe it of him; and to add it to
the one other fact now known of him, which was also beautiful, though
tragic. Six years after, Spring, 1785, Oder River, swollen by rains, was
in wild deluge; houses in the suburbs like to be washed away. Leopold,
looking on it from the Bridge or shore, perhaps partly with an Official
eye, saw the inhabitants of some houses like to be drowned;
looked wildly for assistance, but found none; and did, himself, in
uncontrollable pity, dash off in a little boat, through the wild-eddying
surges; and got his own death there, himself drowned in struggling to
save others. Which occasioned loud lamentation in the world; in his poor
Mother's heart what unnamable voiceless lamentation! [Friedrich's Letter
to her: _OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxvii. i. 351 ("12th May, 1785").] He had
founded a Garrison School at Frankfurt; spared no expenditure of pains
or of money. A man adored in Frankfurt. "His Brother Friedrich, in
memory of him, presented, next year, the Uniform in which Leopold was
drowned, to the Freemason Lodge of Berlin, of which he had been member."
[_Militair-Lexikon,_ i. 24.] SUNT LACRYMAE RERUM.

But to return to the Arnolds, and have done with them: for we are now,
by Leopold's help or otherwise, got to the last act of that tedious
business.

August 21st, 1779 (these high Brunswickers still at Potsdam, if that had
any influence), the Arnolds again make Petition to the King: "Alas, no
justice yet, your Majesty!" "Shall we never see the end of this, then?"
thinks the King: "some Soldier, with human eyes, let him, attended by
one of their Law-wigs, go upon the ground; and search it!" And,
next day, having taken Protocol of the Arnold Complaint, issues
Cabinet-Order, or King's Message to the Custrin Law-wigs: "Colonel
Heucking [whose regiment lies in Zullichau district, a punctual enough
man], he shall be the Soldier; to whom do YOU adjoin what member of
your Court you think the fittest: and let, at last, justice be done. And
swift, if you please!"

The Custrin Regierung, without delay, name REGIERUNGS-RATH Neumann; who
is swiftly ready, as is Colonel Heucking swiftly,--and they two set out
together up the Pommerzig Brook, over that moor Country; investigating,
pondering, hearing witnesses, and no doubt consulting, and diligently
endeavoring to get to the bottom of this poor Arnold question. For how
many September days, I know not: everybody knows, however, that they
could not agree; in other words, that they saw TWO bottoms to it,--the
Law gentleman one bottom, the Soldier another. "True bottom is already
there," argued the Law gentleman: "confirm Decision of Court in
every point." "No; Arnold has lost water, has suffered wrong," thinks
Heucking; "that is the true bottom." And so they part, each with his
own opinion. Neumann affirmed afterwards, that the Colonel came with a
predetermination that way, and even that he said, once or oftener, in
his eagerness to persuade: "His Majesty has got it into his thought;
there will be nothing but trouble if you persist in that notion."
To which virtuous Neumann was deaf. Neumann also says, The Colonel,
acquainted with Austrian enemies, but not with Law, had brought with him
his Regiment's-Auditor, one Bech, formerly a Law-practitioner in Crossen
(readers know Crossen, and Ex-Dictator Wedell does),--Law-practitioner
in Crossen; who had been in strife with the Custrin Regierung, under
rebuke from them (too importunate for some of his pauper clients,
belike); was a cunning fellow too, and had the said Regierung in
ill-will. An adroit fellow Bech might be, or must have been; but his now
office of Regiment's-Auditor is certificate of honesty,--good, at least,
against Neumann.

Neumann's Court was silent about these Neumann surmises; but said
afterwards, "Heucking had not gone to the bottom of the thing." This was
in a subsequent report, some five or six weeks subsequent. Their present
report they redacted to the effect, "All correct as it stood," without
once mentioning Heucking. Gave it in, 27th September; by which time
Heucking's also was in, and had made a strong impression on his Majesty.
Presumably an honest, intelligible report; though, by ill-luck for the
curious, it is now lost; among the barrow-loads of vague wigged stuff,
this one Piece, probably human, is not to be discovered.

Friedrich's indignation at the Custrin report, "Perfectly correct as
it stood," and no mention of Heucking or his dissent, was considerable:
already, 27th September,--that is, on the very day while those Custrin
people were signing their provoking report,--Friedrich, confident
in Heucking, had transmitted to his Supreme Board of Justice
(KAMMERGERICHT) the impartial Heucking's account of the affair, with
order, "See there, an impartial human account, clear and circumstantial
(DEUTLICHES UND GANZ UMSTANDLICHES), going down to the true roots of the
business: swift, get me justice for these Arnolds!" [Preuss, iii. 480.]
Scarcely was this gone, when, September 29th, the Custrin impertinence,
"Perfectly right as it stood," came to hand; kindling the King into hot
provocation; "extreme displeasure, AUSSERSTES MISFALLEN," as his Answer
bore: "Rectify me all that straightway, and relieve these Arnolds of
their injuries!" You Pettifogging Pedant Knaves, bring that Arnold
matter to order, will you; you had better!--

The Custrin Knaves, with what feelings I know not, proceed accordingly;
appoint a new Commission, one or more Lawyers in it, and at least one
Hydraulic Gentleman in it, Schade the name of him; who are to go upon
the ground, hear witnesses and the like. Who went accordingly; and
managed, not too fast, Hydraulic Schade rather disagreeing from the
Legal Gentlemen, to produce a Report, reported UPON by the Custrin
Court, 28th October: "That there is one error found: 6 pounds 12s. as
value of corn LEFT, clearly Arnold's that, when his Mill was sold; that,
with this improvement, all is NOW correct to the uttermost; and that
Heucking had not investigated things to the bottom." By some accident,
this Report did not come at once to Friedrich, or had escaped his
attention; so that--

November 21st, matters hanging fire in this way, Frau Arnold applies
again, by Petition to his Majesty; upon which is new Royal Order, [Ib.
iii. 490.] far more patient than might have been expected: "In God's
name, rectify me that Arnold matter, and let us at last see the end of
it!" To which the Custriners answer: "All is rectified, your Majesty.
Frau Arnold, in her Petition, has not mentioned that she gained 6
pounds 12s.;"--important item that; 6 pounds 12s. for CORN left (clearly
Arnold's that, when his Mill was sold)! "Our sentence we cannot alter; a
Court's sentence is alterable only by appeal; your Majesty decides where
the appeal is to lie!" Friedrich's patience is now wearing out; but
he does not yet give way: "Berlin Kammergericht be your Appeal
Court," decides he, 28th November: and will admit of no delay on the
Kammergericht's part either. "Papers all at Custrin, say you? Send for
them by express; they will come in one day: be swift, I say!"

Chancellor Furst is not a willing horse in this case; but he is
obliged to go. December 7th, Kammergericht sits on the Arnold Appeal;
Kammergericht's view is: "Custrin papers all here, not the least delay
permitted; you, Judge Rannsleben, take these Papers to you; down
upon them: let us, if humanly possible, have a Report by to-morrow."
Rannsleben takes the Papers in hand December 7th; works upon them all
day, and all night following, at a rate of energy memorable among Legal
gentlemen; and December 8th attends with lucid Report upon them, or
couple of Reports; one on Arnold VERSUS Schmettau, in six folios; one on
Arnold VERSUS Gersdorf, in two ditto; draws these two Documents from his
pocket December 8th; reads them in assembled Court (six of the Judges
present) [Preuss, iii. 496.],--which, with marked thankfulness to the
swift Rannsleben, at once adopts his Report, and pronounces upon the
Custrin Raths, "Right in every particular." Witness our hands: every one
affixing his signature, as to a matter happily got done with.

It was Friday, 10th December, 1779, before Friedrich got this fine bit
of news; Saturday 11th, before he authentically saw their Sentence. He
is lying miserably ill of gout in the Schloss of Berlin; and I suppose,
since his Father, of blessed memory, took cudgel to certain Judges and
knocked out teeth from them, and broke the judicial crowns, nobody in
that Schloss has been in such humor against men of Law. "Attend me here
at 2 P.M. with the Three Raths who signed in Arnold's Case:" Saturday,
about 11 A.M., Chancellor Furst receives this command; gets Rannsleben,
and two others, Friedel, Graun,--and there occurred such a scene--But it
will be better to let Rannsleben himself tell the story; who has left
an AUTOBIOGRAPHY, punctually correct, to all appearance, but except this
alone notable passage of it, still unpublished, and like to continue
so:--

"BERLIN, TUESDAY, 7th DECEMBER, 1779," says Rannsleben (let him tell it
again in his own words), "the ACTA, which had arrived from Custrin IN RE
Miller Arnold and his Wife VERSUS Landrath von Gersdorf, as also those,
in the same matter, VERSUS Count von Schmettau, were assigned to me, to
be reported on QUAM PRIMUM;--our President von Rebeur," President of
the Supreme KAMMERGERICHT (King's-Chamber Tribunal, say Exchequer High
Court, or COLLEGIUM), whereof I have the honor to be one of the Seven
Judges, or RATHS,--"our President von Rebeur enjoining me to make such
utmost despatch that my Report on both these sets of Papers might be
read to the assembled Court next day; whereby said Court might then and
there be enabled to pronounce judgment on the same, I at once set to
work; went on with it all night; and on the morrow I brought both my
Reports (RELATIONES),"--one referring to the Gersdorf, the other to
the Schmettau part of the suit,--"one of six sheets, the other of two
sheets, to the Kammergericht; where both RELATIONES were read. There
were present, besides me, the following six members of the COLLEGIUM:
President von Rebeur, Raths Uhl, Friedel, Kircheisen, Graun, Gassler.

"Appellant," as we all know, "was Miller Arnold; and along with the ACTA
were various severe Cabinet-Orders, in which the King, who had taken
quite particular notice of the Case, positively enjoined, That Miller
Arnold should have justice done him. The King had not, however, given
formally any authoritative Decision of his own (KEINEN EIGENTLICHEN
MACHTSPRUCH GETHAN)," which might have given us pause, though not
full-stop by any means: "but, in his Order to the Kammergericht, had
merely said, we were to decide with the utmost despatch, and then at
once inform his Majesty how." With the speed of light or of thought,
Rannsleben hardly done reading, this Kammergericht decided,--it is well
known how: "In the King's name; right in every particular, you Custrin
Gentlemen;--which be so good as publish to parties concerned!"

Report of Kammergericht's Judgment to this effect, for behoof of
Custrin, was at once got under way; and Kammergericht, in regard to his
Majesty, agreed merely to announce the fact in that quarter: "Judgment
arrived at, please your Majesty;--Judgment already under way for
Custrin:"--you, Rannsleben, without saying what the Judgment is, you
again write for us. And Rannsleben does so; writes the above little
Message to his Majesty, "which got to the King's hand, Friday, December
10th. And the same day," continues Rannsleben, "the King despatched
a very severe Cabinet-Order to Minister von Dornberg,"--head of the
Department to which the Kammergericht belongs,--"demanding a Copy of the
Judgment. Which order was at once obeyed.

"Hereupon, on Saturday, about 11 A.M., there came to Grand-Chancellor
von Furst," sublime head of us and of all Lawyers, "a Cabinet-Order,
'Appear before me here, this day, at 2 o'clock; and bring with you your
Three Kammergericht Raths who drew up (MINUTIRT) the Judgment in the
Arnold Case.'" Message bodeful to Furst and the three Raths.

"NOTA," says Rannsleben here, "the King is under the impression that, in
judging a Case, Three Raths are always employed, and therefore demands
Three of us. But, properly, all the above-named Six MEMBRA COLLEGII,
besides myself, ought to have gone to the Palace, or else I alone." On
some points an ill-informed King. Rannsleben continues:--

"President von Rebeur came to me in his carriage, at a quarter to 12;
told me of the King's Order; and said, as the King demanded only Three
Raths, there was nothing for it but to name me and Raths Friedel and
Kircheisen, my usual partners in Judgment business. Finding, however,
on looking into the Sentence itself, that Kircheisen was not amongst the
signers of it, he [Rebeur] named, instead of him, Rath Graun, who was.
For the Herr President apprehended the King might demand to see our
Sentence IN ORIGINALI, and would then be angry that a person had been
sent to him who had not signed the same. President von Rebeur instructed
me farther, That I, as Reporter in the Case, was to be spokesman at the
Palace; and should explain to his Majesty the reasons which had weighed
with the Kammergericht in coming to such decision.

"To my dear Wife I," as beseemed a good husband, "said nothing of all
this; confiding it only to my Father-in-law, who tried to cheer me. Nor,
indeed, did I feel any fear within me, being persuaded in my conscience
that, in this decision of the Arnold Case, I had proceeded according to
the best of my knowledge and conviction.

"At 1 o'clock I drove to the Grand-Chancellor's, where I found the
Raths Friedel and Graun already arrived. The Chancellor," old Furst,
"instructed us as to what we had to do when we came before the King. And
then, towards 2 o'clock, he took us in his carriage to the Palace. We
entered the room immediately at the end of the Great Hall. Here we found
a heyduc [tall porter], by whom the Chancellor announced to the King
that we were here. Heyduc soon came back to inquire, Whether the
CABINETS-RATH Stellter," a Secretary or Short-hand writer of his
Majesty's, "had arrived yet; and whether we [WE, what a doubt!] were
Privy Councillors. We were then shortly after shown in to the King. We
passed through three rooms, the second of which was that in which stands
the CONFIDENZ TAFEL [Table that goes by pulleys through the floor, and
comes up refurnished, when you wish to be specially private with your
friends]. In the fourth, a small room with one window, was the King. The
Chancellor walked first; I followed him close; behind me came the Rath
Friedel, and then Graun. Some way within, opposite the door, stood a
screen; with our backs to this," the Kingward side of this, "we ranged
ourselves,"--in respectful row of Four, Furst at the inward end of us
(right or left is no matter). "The King sat in the middle of the room,
so that he could look point-blank at us; he sat with his back to the
chimney, in which there was a fire burning. He had on a worn hat, of the
clerical shape [old-military in fact, not a shovel at all]; CASSAQUIN,"
short dressing-gown, "of red-brown (MORDORE) velvet; black breeches, and
boots which came quite up over the knee. His hair was not dressed. Three
little benchlets or stools, covered with green cloth, stood before him,
on which he had his feet lying [terribly ill of gout]. In his lap he had
a sort of muff, with one of his hands in it, which seemed to be giving
him great pain. In the other hand he held our Sentence on the Arnold
Case. He lay reclining (LAG) in an easy-chair; at his left stood a
table, with various papers on it,--and two gold snuffboxes, richly set
with brilliants, from which he kept taking snuff now and then.

"Besides us, there was present in the room the Cabinets-Rath Stellter
[of the short-hand], who stood at a desk, and was getting ready for
writing. The King looked at us, saying, 'Come nearer!' Whereupon we
advanced another step, and were now within less than two steps of him.
He addressed himself to us three Raths, taking no notice at all of the
Grand-Chancellor:--

KING. "'Is it you who drew up the judgment in the Arnold case?'

WE (especially I, with a bow). "'Yea.'

"The King then turned to the Rath Friedel [to Friedel, as the central
figure of the Three, perhaps as the portliest, though poor Friedel,
except signing, had little cognizance of the thing, in which not he but
Rannsleben was to have been spokesman], and addressed to Friedel those
questions, of which, with their answers, there is Protocol published,
under Royal authority, in the Berlin newspapers of December 14th, 1779;"
[VON SEINER KONIGLICHEN MAJESTAT HOCHSTSELBAT ANGEHALTENES PROTOCOLL:
"Protocol [Minute of Proceedings] held by Royal Majesty's Highest-self,
on the 11th December, 1779, concerning the three Kammergerichts-Raths,
Friedel, Graun and Rannsleben:" in PREUSS, iii. 495.] Shorthand Stellter
taking down what was said,--quite accurately, testifies Rannsleben. From
Stellter (that is to say from the "Protocol" just mentioned), or from
Stellter and Rannsleben together, we continue the Dialogue:--

KING to Friedel [in the tone of a Rhadamanthus suffering from gout].
"'To give sentence against a Peasant from whom you have taken wagon,
plough and everything that enables him to get his living, and to pay his
rent and taxes: is that a thing that can be done?'

FRIEDEL (and the two Mutes, bowing). "'No.'

KING. "'May a Miller who has no water, and consequently cannot grind,
and, therefore, not earn anything, have his mill taken from him, on
account of his not having paid his rent: is that just?'

FRIEDEL (and Mutes as aforesaid). "'No.'

KING. "'But here now is a Nobleman, wishing to make a Fish-pond: to get
more water for his Pond, he has a ditch dug, to draw into it the water
from a small stream which drives a water-mill. Thereby the Miller loses
his water, and cannot grind; or, at most, can only grind in the spring
for the space of a fortnight, and late in the autumn, perhaps another
fortnight. Yet, in spite of all this, it is pretended that the Miller
shall pay his rent quite the same as at the time when he had full water
for his mill. Of course, he cannot pay his rent; his incomings are gone!
And what does the Custrin Court of Justice do? It orders the mill to
be sold, that the Nobleman may have his rent. And the Berlin
Tribunal'"--Chancellor Furst, standing painfully mute, unspoken to,
unnoticed hitherto, more like a broomstick than a Chancellor, ventures
to strike in with a syllable of emendation, a small correction, of these
words "Berlin Tribunal"--

FURST (suggestively). "'Kammergericht [mildly suggestive, and perhaps
with something in his tone which means, "I am not a broomstick!"]:
Kammergericht!'

KING (to short-hand Stellter). "'Kammergerichts-Tribunal:--[then to
Furst] Go you, Sir, about your business, on the instant! Your
Successor is appointed; with you I have nothing more to do.
Disappear!'"--"Ordered," says Official Rannsleben, "ordered the
Grand-Chancellor, in very severe terms, To be gone! telling him that
his Successor was already appointed. Which order Herr von Furst, without
saying a word, hastily obeyed, passing in front of us three, with the
utmost speed." In front,--screen, I suppose, not having room behind
it,--and altogether vanishes from Friedrich's History; all but some
GHOST of him (so we may term it), which reappears for an instant once,
as will be noticed.

KING (continues to Friedel, not in a lower tone probably):--"'the
Kammergerichts-Tribunal confirms the same. That is highly unjust; and
such Sentence is altogether contrary to his Majesty's landsfatherly
intentions:--my name [you give it, "In the King's Name," forsooth]
cruelly abused!'"

So far is set forth in the "Royal Protocol printed next Tuesday," as
well as in Rannsleben. But from this point, the Dialogue--if it can be
called Dialogue, being merely a rebuke and expectoration of Royal wrath
against Friedel and his Two, who are all mute, so far as I can learn,
and stand like criminals in the dock, feeling themselves unjustly
condemned--gets more and more into conflagration, and cannot be
distinctly reported. "MY name to such a thing! When was I found to
oppress a poor man for love of a rich? To follow wiggeries and forms
with solemn attention, careless what became of the internal fact? Act
of 1566, allowing Gersdorf to make his Pond? Like enough;--and Arnold's
loss of water, that is not worth the ascertaining; you know not yet what
it was, some of you even say it was nothing; care not whether it was
anything. Could Arnold grind, or not, as formerly? What is Act of 1566,
or any or all Acts, in comparison? Wretched mortals, had you wigs
a fathom long, and Law-books on your back, and Acts of 1566 by the
hundredweight, what could it help, if the right of a poor man were left
by you trampled under foot? What is the meaning of your sitting there
as Judges? Dispensers of Right in God's Name and mine? I will make an
example of you which shall be remembered!--Out of my sight!" Whereupon
EXEUNT in haste, all Three,--though not far, not home, as will be seen.

Only the essential sense of all this, not the exact terms, could (or
should) any Stellter take in short-hand; and in the Protocol it is
decorously omitted altogether. Rannsleben merely says: "The King farther
made use of very strong expressions against us,"--too strong to be
repeated,--"and, at last, dismissed us without saying what he intended
to do with us. We had hardly left the room, when he followed us,
ordering us to wait. The King, during the interview with us, held
the Sentence, of my composition, in his hand; and seemed particularly
irritated about the circumstance of the judgment being pronounced in his
name, as is the usual form. He struck the paper again and again with
his other hand,"--heat of indignation quite extinguishing gout, for the
moment,--"exclaiming at the same time repeatedly, 'Cruelly abused my
name (MEINEN NAMEN CRUEL MISSBRAUCHT)!'" [Preuss, iii. 495-498.]--We
will now give the remaining part of the Protocol (what directly follows
the above CATECHETICAL or DIALOGUE part before that caught fire),--as
taken down by Stellter, and read in all the Newspapers next Tuesday:--



"PROTOCOL [of December 11th, Title already given; [Supra, p. 439 n.]
Docketing adds], WHICH IS TO BE PRINTED."

... (CATECHETICS AS ABOVE,--AND THEN): "The King's desire always is
and was, That everybody, be he high or low, rich or poor, get prompt
justice; and that, without regard of person or rank, no subject of his
fail at any time of impartial right and protection from his Courts of
Law.

"Wherefore, with respect to this most unjust Sentence against the
Miller Arnold of the Pommerzig Crabmill, pronounced in the Neumark, and
confirmed here in Berlin, his Majesty will establish an emphatic example
(EIN NACHDRUCKLICHES EXEMPEL STATUIREN); to the end that all Courts of
Justice, in all the King's Provinces, may take warning thereby, and not
commit the like glaring unjust acts. For, let them bear in mind, That
the least peasant, yea, what is still more, that even a beggar, is, no
less than his Majesty, a human being, and one to whom due justice must
be meted out. All men being equal before the Law, if it is a prince
complaining against a peasant, or VICE VERSA, the prince is the same as
the peasant before the Law; and, on such occasions, pure justice must
have its course, without regard of person: Let the Law-Courts, in all
the Provinces, take this for their rule. And whenever they do not carry
out justice in a straightforward manner, without any regard of person
and rank, but put aside natural fairness,--then they shall have to
answer his Majesty for it (SOLLEN SIC ES MIT SEINER KONIGLICHEN MAJESTAT
ZU THUN KRIEGEN). For a Court of Law doing injustice is more dangerous
and pernicious than a band of thieves: against these one can protect
oneself; but against rogues who make use of the cloak of justice to
accomplish their evil passions, against such no man can guard himself.
These are worse than the greatest knaves the world contains, and deserve
double punishment.

"For the rest, be it also known to the various Courts of Justice, That
his Majesty has appointed a new Grand-Chancellor." Furst dismissed. "Yet
his Majesty will not the less look sharply with his own eyes after the
Law-proceedings in all the Provinces; and he commands you"--that is,
all the Law-courts--"urgently herewith: FIRSTLY,"--which is also
lastly,--"To proceed to deal equally with all people seeking justice,
be it prince or peasant; for, there, all must be alike. However, if
his Majesty, at any time hereafter, come upon a fault committed in this
regard, the guilty Courts can now imagine beforehand how they will
be punished with rigor, President as well as Raths, who shall have
delivered a judgment so wicked and openly opposed to justice. Which all
Colleges of Justice in all his Majesty's Provinces are particularly to
take notice of."

"MEM. By his Majesty's special command, measures are taken that this
Protocol be inserted in all the Berlin Journals." [In _Berlin'sche
Nachrichten von Staats und Gelehrten Sachen,_ No. 149, "Tuesday, 14th
December, 1779." Preuss, iii. 494.]

The remainder of Rannsleben's Narrative is beautifully brief and
significant.--"We had hardly left the room," said he SUPRA, "when
the King followed us," lame as he was, with a fulminant "Wait there!"
Rannsleben continues: "Shortly after came an Aide-de-Camp, who took
us in a carriage to the common Town-prison, the Kalandshof; here two
Corporals and two Privates were set to guard us. On the 13th December,
1779," third day of our arrest, "a Cabinet-Order was published to us,
by which the King had appointed a Commission of Inquiry; but had, at
the same time, commanded beforehand that the Sentence should not be
less than a year's confinement in a fortress, dismissal from office,
and payment of compensation to the Arnold people for the losses they had
sustained." Which certainly was a bad outlook for us.

Precisely the same has befallen our Brethren of Custrin; all suddenly
packed into Prison, just while reading our Approval of them;--there
they sit, their Sentence to be like ours. "Our arrest in the Kalandshof
lasted from 11th December, 1779, till 5th January, 1780," three weeks
and three days,--when (with Two Exceptions, to be noted presently) we
were all, Kammergerichters and Custriners alike, transferred to Spandau.

I spoke of what might be called a ghost of Kanzler Furst once revisiting
the glimpses of the Moon, or Sun if there were any in the dismal
December days. This is it, witness one who saw it: "On the morning
of December 12th, the day after the Grand-Chancellor's dismissal, the
Street in which he lived was thronged with the carriages of callers,
who came to testify their sympathy, and to offer their condolence to the
fallen Chancellor. The crowd of carriages could be seen from the windows
of the King's Palace." The same young Legal Gentleman, by and by a very
old one, who, himself one of the callers at the Ex-Chancellor's house
that day, saw this, and related it in his old age to Herr Preuss,
[Preuss, iii. 499, 500.] remembers and relates also this other
significant fact:--

"During the days that followed" the above event and Publication of the
Royal Protocol, "I often crossed, in the forenoon, the Esplanade in
front of the Palace (SCHLOSSPLATZ), at that side where the King's
apartments were; the same which his Royal Highness the Crown-Prince now
[1833] occupies. I remember that here, on that part of the Esplanade
which was directly under Friedrich's windows, there stood constantly
numbers of Peasants, not ten or twelve, but as many as a hundred at
a time; all with Petitions in their hands, which they were holding up
towards the window; shouting, 'Please his Majesty to look at these;
we have been still worse treated than the Arnolds!' And indeed, I have
understood the Law-Courts, for some time after, found great difficulty
to assert their authority: the parties against whom judgment went,
taking refuge in the Arnold precedent, and appealing direct to the
King."

Far graver than this Spectre of Furst, Minister Zedlitz hesitates,
finally refuses, to pronounce such a Sentence as the King orders on
these men of Law! Estimable, able, conscientious Zedlitz; zealous on
Education matters, too;--whom I always like for contriving to attend a
Course of Kant's Lectures, while 500 miles away from him (actual
Course in Konigsberg University, by the illustrious Kant; every Lecture
punctually taken in short-hand, and transmitted to Berlin, post after
post, for the busy man). [Kuno Fischer, _Kant's Leben_ (Mannheim, 1860),
pp. 34, 35.] Here is now some painful Correspondence between the King
and him,--painful, yet pleasant:--

KING TO MINISTER VON ZEDLITZ, WHO HAS ALARMING DOUBTS (Berlin, 28th
December, 1779).--"Your Report of the 20th instant in regard to Judgment
on the arrested Raths has been received. But do you think I don't
understand your Advocate fellows and their quirks; or how they can
polish up a bad cause, and by their hyperboles exaggerate or extenuate
as they find fit? The Goose-quill class (FEDERZEUG) can't look at facts.
When Soldiers set to investigate anything, on an order given, they go
the straight way to the kernel of the matter; upon which, plenty of
objections from the Goose-quill people!--But you may assure yourself
I give more belief to an honest Officer, who has honor in the heart of
him, than to all your Advocates and sentences. I perceive well they are
themselves afraid, and don't want to see any of their fellows punished.
"If, therefore, you will not obey my Order, I shall take another in your
place who will; for depart from it I will not. You may tell them that.
And know, for your part, that such miserable jargon (MISERABEL STYL)
makes not the smallest impression on me. Hereby, then, you are to guide
yourself; and merely say whether you will follow my Order or not; for
I will in no wise fall away from it. I am your well-affectioned
King,--FRIEDRICH."

MARGINALE (in Autograph).--"My Gentleman [you, Herr von Zedlitz, with
your dubitatings] won't make me believe black is white. I know the
Advocate sleight-of-hand, and won't be taken in. An example has become
necessary here,--those Scoundrels (CANAILLEN) having so enormously
misused my name, to practise arbitrary and unheard-of injustices. A
Judge that goes upon chicaning is to be punished more severely than a
highway Robber. For you have trusted to the one; you are on your guard
against the other."

ZEDLITZ TO THE KING (Berlin, 31st December, 1779).--"I have at all times
had your Royal Majesty's favor before my eyes as the supreme happiness
of my life, and have most zealously endeavored to merit the same: but I
should recognize myself unworthy of it, were I capable of an undertaking
contrary to my conviction. From the reasons indicated by myself, as
well as by the Criminal-Senate [Paper of reasons fortunately lost],
your Majesty will deign to consider that I am unable to draw up a
condemnatory Sentence against your Majesty's Servants-of-Justice now
under arrest on account of the Arnold Affair. Your Majesty's till
death,--VON ZEDLITZ."

KING TO ZEDLITZ (Berlin, 1st January, 1780).--"My dear State's-Minister
Freiherr von Zedlitz,--It much surprises me to see, from your Note
of yesterday, that you refuse to pronounce a judgment on those
Servants-of-Justice arrested for their conduct in the Arnold Case,
according to my Order. If you, therefore, will not, I will; and do it as
follows:--

"1. The Custrin Regierungs-Rath Scheibler, who, it appears in evidence,
was of an opposite opinion to his Colleagues, and voted That the man
up-stream had not a right to cut off the water from the man down-stream;
and that the point, as to Arnold's wanting water, should be more closely
and strictly inquired into,--he, Scheibler, shall be set free from
his arrest, and go back to his post at Custrin. And in like manner,
Kammergerichts-Rath Rannsleben--who has evidently given himself faithful
trouble about the cause, and has brought forward with a quite visible
impartiality all the considerations and dubieties, especially about
the condition of the water and the alleged hurtfulness of the Pond--is
absolved from arrest.

"2. As for the other arrested Servants-of-Justice, they are one and
all dismissed from office (CASSIRT), and condemned to one year's
Fortress-Arrest. Furthermore, they shall pay to Arnold the value of his
Mill, and make good to him, out of their own pocket, all the loss
and damage he has suffered in this business; the Neumark KAMMER
(Revenue-Board) to tax and estimate the same. [Damage came to 1,358
thalers, 11 groschen, 1 pfennig,--that is, 203 pounds 14s. and some
pence and farthings; the last farthing of which was punctually paid to
Arnold, within the next eight months;] [Preuss, iii. 409.]--so that

"3. The Miller Arnold shall be completely put as he was (IN INTEGRUM
RESTITUIRT).

"And in such way must the matter, in all branches of it, be immediately
proceeded with, got ready, and handed in for my Completion (VOLLZIEHUNG)
by Signature. Which you, therefore, will take charge of, without delay.
For the rest, I will tell you farther, that I am not ill pleased to know
you on the side you show on this occasion [as a man that will not go
against his conscience], and shall see, by and by, what I can farther do
with you. [Left him where he was, as the best thing.] Whereafter you
are accordingly to guide yourself. And I remain otherwise your
well-affectioned King, FRIEDRICH." [Ib. iii. 519, 520; see ib. 405 n.]

This, then, is an impartial account of the celebrated passage between
Friedrich and the Lawyers known by the name of "the MILLER-ARNOLD CASE;"
which attracted the notice of all Europe,--just while the decennium of
the French Revolution was beginning. In Russia, the Czarina Catharine,
the friend of Philosophers, sent to her Senate a copy of Friedrich's
PROTOCOL OF DECEMBER 11th, as a noteworthy instance of Royal supreme
judicature. In France, Prints in celebration of it,--"one Print
by Vangelisti, entitled BALANCE DE FREDERIC,"--were exhibited
in shop-windows, expounded in newspapers, and discoursed of in
drawing-rooms. The Case brought into talk again an old Miller Case
of Friedrich's, which had been famous above thirty years ago, when
Sans-Souci was getting built. Readers know it: Potsdam Miller, and his
obstinate Windmill, which still grinds on its knoll in those localities,
and would not, at any price, become part of the King's Gardens. "Not at
any price?" said the King's agent: "Cannot the King take it from you
for nothing, if he chose?" "Have n't we the Kammergericht at Berlin!"
answered the Miller. To Friedrich's great delight, as appears;--which
might render the Windmill itself a kind of ornament to his Gardens
thenceforth. The French admiration over these two Miller Cases continued
to be very great. [Dieulafoi, LE MEUNIER DE SANS-SOUCI (Comedy or farce,
of I know not what year); Andrieux, LE MOULIN DE SANS-SOUCI ("Poem," at
INSTITUT NATIONAL 15 GERMINAL, AN 5), &c. &c.: Preuss, iii. 412, 413.]

As to Miller Arnold and his Cause, the united voice of Prussian Society
condemned Friedrich's procedure: Such harshness to Grand-Chancellor
Furst and respectable old Official Gentlemen, amounting to the barbarous
and tyrannous, according to Prussian Society. To support which feeling,
and testify it openly, they drove in crowds to Furst's (some have told
me to the Prison-doors too, but that seems hypothetic); and left cards
for old Furst and Company. In sight of Friedrich, who inquired, "What is
this stir on the streets, then?"--and, on learning, made not the least
audible remark; but continued his salutary cashierment of the wigged
Gentlemen, and imprisonment till their full term ran.

My impression has been that, in Berlin Society, there was more
sympathy for mere respectability of wig than in Friedrich. To Friedrich
respectability of wig that issues in solemnly failing to do justice,
is a mere enormity, greater than the most wigless condition could be.
Wigless, the thing were to be endured, a thing one is born to, more or
less: but in wig,--out upon it! And the wig which screens, and would
strive to disguise and even to embellish such a thing: To the gutters
with such wig!

In support of their feeling for Furst and Company, Berlin Society was
farther obliged to pronounce the claim of Miller Arnold a nullity, and
that no injustice whatever had been done him. Mere pretences on his
part, subterfuges for his idle conduct, for his inability to pay due
rent, said Berlin Society. And that impartial Soldier-person, whom
Friedrich sent to examine by the light of nature, and report? "Corrupted
he!" answer they: "had intrigues with--" I forget whom; somebody of the
womankind (perhaps Arnold's old hard-featured Wife, if you are driven
into a corner!)--"and was not to be depended on at all!" In which
condemned state, Berlin Society almost wholly disapproving it, the
Arnold Process was found at Friedrich's death (restoration of honors to
old Furst and Company, one of the first acts of the New Reign, sure of
immediate popularity); and, I think, pretty much continues so still, few
or none in Berlin Society admitting Miller Arnold's claim to redress,
much less defending that onslaught on Furst and the wigs. [Herr Preuss
himself inclines that way, rather condemnatory of Friedrich; but
his Account, as usual, is exact and authentic,--though distressingly
confused, and scattered about into different corners (Preuss, iii.
381-413; then again, ibid. 520 &c.). On the other hand, there is one
Segebusch, too, a learned Doctor, of Altona, who takes the King's
side,--and really is rather stupid, argumentative merely, and
unilluminative, if you read him: Segebusch, _Historischrechtliche
Wurdigung der Einmischung Friedrich's des Grossen in die bekannte
Rechtssache des Mullers Arnold, auch fur Nicht-Juristen_ (Altona,
1829).]

Who, from the remote distance, would venture to contradict? Once more,
my own poor impression was, which I keep silent except to friends,
that Berlin Society was wrong; that Miller Arnold had of a truth lost
portions of his dam-water, and was entitled to abatement; and that
in such case, Friedrich's horror at the Furst-and-Company Phenomenon
(horror aggravated by gout) had its highly respectable side withal.

When, after Friedrich's death, on Von Gersdorf's urgent reclamations,
the case was reopened, and allowed to be carried "into the Secret
Tribunal, as the competent Court of Appeal in third instance," the said
Tribunal found, That the law-maxim depended upon by the Lower Courts, as
to "the absolute right of owners of private streams," did NOT apply
in the present case; but that the Deed of 1566 did; and also that "the
facts as to pretended damage [PRETENCE merely] from loss of water, were
satisfactorily proved against Arnold:" Gersdorf, therefore, may have his
Pond; and Arnold must refund the money paid to him for "damages" by the
condemned Judges; and also the purchase-money of his Mill, if he means
to keep the latter. All which moneys, however, his Majesty Friedrich
Wilhelm II., Friedrich's Successor, to have done with the matter,
handsomely paid out of his own pocket: the handsome way of ending it.

In his last journey to West-Preussen, June, 1784, Friedrich said to the
new Regierungs-President (Chief Judge) there: "I am Head Commissary of
Justice; and have a heavy responsibility lying on me,"--as will you
in this new Office. Friedrich at no moment neglected this part of his
functions; and his procedure in it throughout, one cannot but admit
to have been faithful, beautiful, human. Very impatient indeed when he
comes upon Imbecility and Pedantry threatening to extinguish Essence
and Fact, among his Law People! This is one MARGINALE of his, among many
such, some of them still more stinging, which are comfortable to every
reader. The Case is that of a murderer,--murder indisputable; "but may
not insanity be suspected, your Majesty, such the absence of motive,
such the--?" Majesty answers: "That is nothing but inanity and stupid
pleading against right. The fellow put a child to death; if he were a
soldier, you would execute him without priest; and because this CANAILLE
is a citizen, you make him 'melancholic' to get him off. Beautiful
justice!" [Preuss, iii. 375.]

Friedrich has to sign all Death-Sentences; and he does it, wherever I
have noticed, rigorously well. For the rest, his Criminal Calendar
seems to be lighter than any other of his time; "in a population of
5,200,000," says he once, "14 to 15 are annually condemned to death."



Chapter VIII.--THE FURSTENBUND: FRIEDRICH'S LAST YEARS.

At Vienna, on November 29th, 1780, the noble Kaiserinn Maria Theresa,
after a short illness, died. Her end was beautiful and exemplary, as
her course had been. The disease, which seemed at first only a bad
cold, proved to have been induration of the lungs; the chief symptom
throughout, a more and more suffocating difficulty to breathe. On the
edge of death, the Kaiserinn, sitting in a chair (bed impossible in such
struggle for breath), leant her head back as if inclined to sleep.
One of her women arranged the cushions, asked in a whisper, "Will your
Majesty sleep, then?" "No," answered the dying Kaiserinn; "I could
sleep, but I must not; Death is too near. He must not steal upon me.
These fifteen years I have been making ready for him; I will meet him
awake." Fifteen years ago her beloved Franz was snatched from her, in
such sudden manner: and ever since, she has gone in Widow's dress; and
has looked upon herself as one who had done with the world. The 18th
of every month has been for her a day of solitary prayer; 18th of every
August (Franz's death-day) she has gone down punctually to the vaults
in the Stephans-Kirche, and sat by his coffin there;--last August,
something broke in the apparatus as she descended; and it has ever since
been an omen to her. [Hormayr, _OEsterreichischer Plutarch,_ iv. (2tes)
94; Keith, ii. 114.] Omen now fulfilled.

On her death, Joseph and Kaunitz, now become supreme, launched abroad
in their ambitious adventures with loose rein. Schemes of all kinds;
including Bavaria still, in spite of the late check; for which latter,
and for vast prospects in Turkey as well, the young Kaiser is now upon
a cunning method, full of promise to him,--that of ingratiating himself
with the Czarina, and cutting out Friedrich in that quarter. Summer,
1780, while the Kaiserinn still lived, Joseph made his famous First
Visit to the Czarina (May-August, 1780), [Hermann, vi. 132-135.]--not
yet for some years his thrice-famous Second Visit (thrice-famous
Cleopatra-voyage with her down the Dnieper; dramaturgic cities and
populations keeping pace with them on the banks, such the scenic faculty
of Russian Officials, with Potemkin as stage-manager):--in the course
of which First Visit, still more in the Second, it is well known the
Czarina and Joseph came to an understanding. Little articulated of it as
yet; but the meaning already clear to both. "A frank partnership, high
Madam: to you, full scope in your glorious notion of a Greek Capital and
Empire, Turk quite trampled away, Constantinople a Christian metropolis
once more [and your next Grandson a CONSTANTINE,--to be in readiness]:
why not, if I may share too, in the Donau Countries, that lie handy? To
you, I say, an Eastern Empire; to me, a Western: Revival of the poor
old Romish Reich, so far as may be; and no hindrance upon Bavaria,
next time. Have not we had enough of that old Friedrich, who stands
perpetually upon STATUS QUO, and to both of us is a mere stoppage of the
way?"

Czarina Catharine took the hint; christened her next Grandson
"Constantine" (to be in readiness); [This is the Constantine who
renounced, in favor of the late Czar Nicholas; and proved a failure in
regard to "New Greek Empire," and otherwise.] and from that time stiffly
refused renewing her Treaty with Friedrich;--to Friedrich's great grief,
seeing her, on the contrary, industrious to forward every German scheme
of Joseph's, Bavarian or other, and foreshadowing to himself dismal
issues for Prussia when this present term of Treaty should expire. As to
Joseph, he was busy night and day,--really perilous to Friedrich and
the independence of the German Reich. His young Brother, Maximilian, he
contrives, Czarina helping, to get elected Co-adjutor of Koln; Successor
of our Lanky Friend there, to be Kur-Koln in due season, and make the
Electorate of Koln a bit of Austria henceforth. [Lengthy and minute
account of that Transaction, in all the steps of it, in DOHM, i.
295-39.] Then there came "PANIS-BRIEFE," [PANIS (Bread) BRIEF is a
Letter with which, in ancient centuries, the Kaiser used to furnish an
old worn-out Servant, addressed to some Monastery, some Abbot or Prior
in easy circumstances: "Be so good as provide this old Gentleman with
Panis (Bread, or Board and Lodging) while he lives." Very pretty in
Barbarossa's time;--but now--!]--who knows what?--usurpations, graspings
and pretensions without end:--finally, an open pretension to incorporate
Bavaria, after all. Bavaria, not in part now, but in whole: "You, Karl
Theodor, injured man, cannot we give you Territory in the Netherlands;
a King there you shall be, and have your vote as Kur-Pfalz still; only
think! In return for which, Bavaria ours in fee-simple, and so finish
that?" Karl Theodor is perfectly willing,--only perhaps some others are
not. Then and there, these threatening complexities, now gone like a
dream of the night, were really life-perils for the Kingdom of Prussia;
never to be lost sight of by a veteran Shepherd of the People. They
kept a vigilant King Friedrich continually on the stretch, and were
a standing life-problem to him in those final Years. Problem nearly
insoluble to human contrivance; the Russian card having palpably
gone into the other hand. Problem solved, nevertheless; it is still
remembered how.

On the development of that pretty Bavarian Project, the thing became
pressing; and it is well known by what a stroke of genius Friedrich
checkmated it; and produced instead a "FURSTENBUND," or general
"Confederation of German Princes," Prussia atop, to forbid peremptorily
that the Laws of the Reich be infringed. FURSTENBUND: this is the
victorious summit of Friedrich's Public History, towards which all his
efforts tended, during these five years: Friedrich's last feat in the
world. Feat, how obsolete now,--fallen silent everywhere, except in
German Parish-History, and to the students of Friedrich's character in
old age! Had no result whatever in European History; so unexpected was
the turn things took. A FURSTENBUND which was swallowed bodily within
few years, in that World-Explosion of Democracy, and War of the Giants;
and--unless Napoleon's "Confederation of the Rhine" were perhaps some
transitory ghost of it?--left not even a ghost behind. A FURSTENBUND
of which we must say something, when its Year comes; but obviously not
much.

Nor are the Domesticities, as set forth by our Prussian authorities,
an opulent topic for us. Friedrich's Old Age is not unamiable; on the
contrary, I think it would have made a pretty Picture, had there been
a Limner to take it, with the least felicity or physiognomic
coherency;--as there was not. His Letters, and all the symptoms we have,
denote a sound-hearted brave old man; continually subduing to himself
many ugly troubles; and, like the stars, always steady at his work. To
sit grieving or desponding is, at all times, far from him: "Why despond?
Won't it be all done presently; is it of much moment while it lasts?" A
fine, unaffectedly vigorous, simple and manful old age;--rather serene
than otherwise; in spite of electric outbursts and cloudy weather that
could not be wanting.

Of all which there is not, in this place, much more to be said.
Friedrich's element is itself wearing dim, sombre of hue; and the
records of it, too, seem to grow dimmer, more and more intermittent. Old
friends, of the intellectual kind, are almost all dead; the new are
of little moment to us,--not worth naming in comparison, The chief,
perhaps, is a certain young Marchese Lucchesini, who comes about this
time, ["Chamberlain [titular, with Pension, &c.], 9th May, 1780, age
then 28" (Preuss, iv. 211);-arrived when or how is not said.]
and continues in more and more favor both with Friedrich and his
Successor,--employed even in Diplomatics by the latter. An accomplished
young Gentleman, from Lucca; of fine intelligence, and, what was no less
essential to him here, a perfect propriety in breeding and carriage. One
makes no acquaintance with him in these straggling records, nor desires
to make any. It was he that brought the inane, ever scribbling
Denina hither, if that can be reckoned a merit. Inane Denina came as
Academician, October, 1782; saw Friedrich, [Rodenbeck, iii. 285, 286.]
at least once ("Academician, Pension; yes, yes!")--and I know not
whether any second time.

Friedrich, on loss of friends, does not take refuge in solitude;
he tries always for something of substitute; sees his man once or
twice,--in several instances once only, and leaves him to his pension in
sinecure thenceforth. Cornelius de Pauw, the rich Canon of Xanten
(Uncle of Anacharsis Klootz, the afterwards renowned), came on those
principles; hung on for six months, not liked, not liking; and was
then permitted to go home for good, his pension with him. Another,
a Frenchman, whose name I forget, sat gloomily in Potsdam, after his
rejection; silent (not knowing German), unclipt, unkempt, rough as
Nebuchadnezzar, till he died. De Catt is still a resource; steady till
almost the end, when somebody's tongue, it is thought, did him ill with
the King.

Alone, or almost alone, of the ancient set is Bastiani; a tall,
black-browed man, with uncommonly bright eyes, now himself old, and a
comfortable Abbot in Silesia; who comes from time to time, awakening
the King into his pristine topics and altitudes. Bastiani's history is
something curious: as a tall Venetian Monk (son of a tailor in Venice),
he had been crimped by Friedrich Wilhelm's people; Friedrich found him
serving as a Potsdam Giant, but discerned far other faculties in the
bright-looking man, far other knowledges; and gradually made him what
we see. Banters him sometimes that he will rise to be Pope one day, so
cunning and clever is he: "What will you say to me, a Heretic, when you
get to be Pope; tell me now; out with it, I insist!" Bastiani parried,
pleaded, but unable to get off, made what some call his one piece of
wit: "I will say: O Royal Eagle, screen me with thy wings, but spare me
with thy sharp beak!" This is Bastiani's one recorded piece of wit; for
he was tacit rather, and practically watchful, and did not waste his
fine intellect in that way.

Foreign Visitors there are in plenty; now and then something brilliant
going. But the old Generals seem to be mainly what the King has for
company. Dinner always his bright hour; from ten to seven guests daily.
Seidlitz, never of intelligence on any point but Soldiering, is long
since dead; Ziethen comes rarely, and falls asleep when he does; General
Gortz (brother of the Weimar-Munchen Gortz); Buddenbrock (the King's
comrade in youth, in the Reinsberg times), who has good faculty;
Prittwitz (who saved him at Kunersdorf, and is lively, though stupid);
General and Head-Equerry Schwerin, of headlong tongue, not witty, but
the cause of wit; Major Graf von Pinto, a magniloquent Ex-Austrian ditto
ditto: these are among his chief dinner-guests. If fine speculation
do not suit, old pranks of youth, old tales of war, become the staple
conversation; always plenty of banter on the old King's part;--who
sits very snuffy (says the privately ill-humored Busching) and does not
sufficiently abhor grease on his fingers, or keep his nails quite clean.
Occasionally laughs at the Clergy, too; and has little of the reverence
seemly in an old King. The truth is, Doctor, he has had his sufferings
from Human Stupidity; and was always fond of hitting objects on the raw.
For the rest, as you may see, heartily an old Stoic, and takes matters
in the rough; avoiding useless despondency above all; and intent to have
a cheerful hour at dinner if he can.

Visits from his Kindred are still pretty frequent; never except on
invitation. For the rest, completely an old Bachelor, an old Military
Abbot; with business for every hour. Princess Amelia takes care of
his linen, not very well, the dear old Lady, who is herself a cripple,
suffering, and voiceless, speaking only in hoarse whisper. I think I
have heard there were but twelve shirts, not in first-rate order,
when the King died. A King supremely indifferent to small concerns;
especially to that of shirts and tailorages not essential. Holds to
Literature, almost more than ever; occasionally still writes; [For one
instance: The famous Pamphlet, DE LA LITTERATURE ALLEMANDE (containing
his onslaught on Shakspeare, and his first salutation, with the reverse
of welcome, to Goethe's GOTZ VON BERLICHINGEN);--printed, under stupid
Thiebault's care, Berlin, 1780. Stands now in _OEuvres de Frederic,_
vii. 89-122. The last Pieces of all are chiefly MILITARY INSTRUCTIONS
of a practical or official nature.] has his daily Readings, Concerts,
Correspondences as usual:--readers can conceive the dim Household
Picture, dimly reported withal. The following Anecdotes may be added as
completion of it, or at least of all I have to say on it:--

YOU GO ON WEDNESDAY, THEN?--"Loss of time was one of the losses
Friedrich could least stand. In visits even from his Brothers and
Sisters, which were always by his own express invitation, he would say
some morning (call it Tuesday morning): 'You are going on Wednesday, I
am sorry to hear' (what YOU never heard before)!--'Alas, your Majesty,
we must!' 'Well, I am sorry: but I will lay no constraint on you.
Pleasant moments cannot last forever!' And sometimes, after this had
been agreed to; he would say: 'But cannot you stay till Thursday, then?
Come, one other day of it!'--'Well, since your Majesty does graciously
press!' And on Thursday, not Wednesday, on those curious terms, the
visit would terminate. This trait is in the Anecdote-Books: but its
authenticity does not rest on that uncertain basis; singularly enough,
it comes to me, individually, by two clear stages, from Friedrich's
Sister the Duchess of Brunswick, who, if anybody, would know it well!"
[My informant is Sir George Sinclair, Baronet, of Thurso; his was the
distinguished Countess of Finlater, still remembered for her graces of
mind and person, who had been Maid-of-Honor to the Duchess.]

DINNER WITH THE QUEEN.--The Queen, a prudent, simple-minded, worthy
person, of perfect behavior in a difficult position, seems to have been
much respected in Berlin Society and the Court Circles. Nor was the King
wanting in the same feeling towards her; of which there are still
many proofs: but as to personal intercourse,--what a figure has that
gradually taken! Preuss says, citing those who saw: "When the King,
after the Seven-Years War, now and then, in Carnival season, dined
with the Queen in her Apartments, he usually said not a word to her. He
merely, on entering, on sitting down at table and on leaving it, made
the customary bow; and sat opposite to her. Once, in the Seventies
[years 1770, years now past], the Queen was ill of gout; table was in
her Apartments; but she herself was not there, she sat in an easy-chair
in the drawing-room. On this occasion the King stepped up to the Queen,
and inquired about her health. The circumstance occasioned, among the
company present, and all over Town as the news spread, great wonder and
sympathy (VERWUNDERUNG UND THEILNAHME). This is probably the last time
he ever spoke to her." [Preuss, iv. 187.]

THE TWO GRAND-NEPHEWS.--"The King was fond of children; liked to have
his Grand-Nephews about him. One day, while the King sat at work in his
Cabinet, the younger of the two, a boy of eight or nine [who died soon
after twenty], was playing ball about the room; and knocked it once and
again into the King's writing operation; who twice or oftener flung it
back to him, but next time put it in his pocket, and went on. 'Please
your Majesty, give it me back!' begged the Boy; and again begged:
Majesty took no notice; continued writing. Till at length came, in the
tone of indignation, 'Will your Majesty give me my ball, then?' The
King looked up; found the little Hohenzollern planted firm, hands on
haunches, and wearing quite a peremptory air. 'Thou art a brave little
fellow; they won't get Silesia out of thee!' cried he laughing, and
flinging him his ball." [Fischer, ii. 445 ("year 1780").]

Of the elder Prince, afterwards Friedrich Wilhelm III. (Father of the
now King), there is a much more interesting Anecdote, and of his own
reporting too, though the precise terms are irrecoverable: "How the
King, questioning him about his bits of French studies, brought down a
LA FONTAINE from the shelves, and said, 'Translate me this Fable;' which
the Boy did, with such readiness and correctness as obtained the King's
praises: praises to an extent that was embarrassing, and made the honest
little creature confess, 'I did it with my Tutor, a few days since!' To
the King's much greater delight; who led him out to walk in the Gardens,
and, in a mood of deeper and deeper seriousness, discoursed and exhorted
him on the supreme law of truth and probity that lies on all men, and on
all Kings still more; one of his expressions being, 'Look at this high
thing [the Obelisk they were passing in the Gardens], its UPRIGHTness
is its strength (SA DROITURE FAIT SA FORCE);' and his final words,
'Remember this evening, my good Fritz; perhaps thou wilt think of it,
long after, when I am gone.' As the good Friedrich Wilhelm III. declares
piously he often did, in the storms of fate that overtook him." [R.
F. Eylert, _Charakterzuge und historische Fragmente aus dem Leben
des Konigs von Preussen Friedrich Wilhelm III._ (Magdeburg, 1843), i.
450-456. This is a "King's Chaplain and Bishop Eylert:" undoubtedly he
heard this Anecdote from his Master, and was heard repeating it; but the
dialect his Editors have put it into is altogether tawdry, modern,
and impossible to take for that of Friedrich, or even, I suppose, of
Friedrich Wilhelm III.]

Industrial matters, that of Colonies especially, of drainages,
embankments, and reclaiming of waste lands, are a large item in the
King's business,--readers would not guess how large, or how incessant.
Under this head there is on record, and even lies at my hand translated
into English, what might be called a Colonial DAY WITH FRIEDRICH (Day of
July 23d, 1779; which Friedrich, just come home from the Bavarian War,
spent wholly, from 5 in the morning onward, in driving about, in earnest
survey of his Colonies and Land-Improvements in the Potsdam-Ruppin
Country); curious enough Record, by a certain Bailiff or Overseer, who
rode at his chariotside, of all the questions, criticisms and remarks
of Friedrich on persons and objects, till he landed at Ruppin for the
night. Taken down, with forensic, almost with religious exactitude, by
the Bailiff in question; a Nephew of the Poet Gleim,--by whom it was
published, the year after Friedrich's death; [Is in _Anekdoten und
Karakterzuge,_ No. 8 (Berlin, 1787), pp. 15-79.] and by many others
since. It is curiously authentic, characteristic in parts, though in
its bald forensic style rather heavy reading. Luckier, for most readers,
that inexorable want of room has excluded it, on the present occasion!
[Printed now (in Edition 1868, for the first time), as APPENDIX to this
Volume.]

No reader adequately fancies, or could by any single Document be made to
do so, the continual assiduity of Friedrich in regard to these interests
of his. The strictest Husbandman is not busier with his Farm, than
Friedrich with his Kingdom throughout;--which is indeed a FARM leased
him by the Heavens; in which not a gate-bar can be broken, nor a stone
or sod roll into the smallest ditch, but it is to his the Husbandman's
damage, and must be instantly looked after. There are Meetings with the
Silesian manufacturers (in Review time), Dialogues ensuing, several of
which have been preserved; strange to read, however dull. There are many
scattered evidences;--and only slowly does, not the thing indeed, but
the degree of the thing, become fully credible. Not communicable, on the
terms prescribed us at present; and must be left to the languid fancy,
like so much else.

Here is an Ocular View, here are several such, which we yet happily
have, of the actual Friedrich as he looked and lived. These, at a cheap
rate, throw transiently some flare of illumination over his Affairs and
him: these let me now give; and these shall be all.



PRINCE DE LIGNE, AFTER TEN YEARS, SEES FRIEDRICH A SECOND TIME; TIME;
AND REPORTS WHAT WAS SAID.

In Summer, 1780, as we mentioned, Kaiser Joseph was on his first Visit
to the Czarina. They met at Mohilow on the Dnieper, towards the end of
May; have been roving about, as if in mere galas and amusements (though
with a great deal of business incidentally thrown in), for above a month
since, when Prince de Ligne is summoned to join them at Petersburg. He
goes by Berlin, stays at Potsdam with Friedrich for about a week; and
reports to Polish Majesty these new Dialogues of 1780, the year after
sending him those of Mahrisch-Neustadt of 1770, which we read above.
Those were written down from memory, in 1785; these in 1786,--and
"towards the end of it," as is internally evident. Let these also be
welcome to us on such terms as there are.

"Since your Majesty [Quasi-Majesty, of Poland] is willing to lose
another quarter of an hour of that time, which you employ so well in
gaining the love of all to whom you deign to make yourself known, here
is my Second Interview. It can be of interest only to you, Sire, who
have known the King, and who discover traits of character in what to
another are but simple words. One finds in few others that confidence,
or at least that kindliness (BONHOMIE), which characterizes your
Majesty. With you, one can indulge in rest; but with the King of
Prussia, one had always to be under arms, prepared to parry and to
thrust, and to keep the due middle between a small attack and a grand
defence. I proceed to the matter in hand, and shall speak to you of him
for the last time.

"He had made me promise to come to Berlin. I hastened thither directly
after that little War [Potato-War], which he called 'an action where he
had come as bailiff to perform an execution.' The result for him, as is
known, was a great expense of men, of horses and money; some appearance
of good faith and disinterestedness; little honor in the War; a little
honesty in Policy, and much bitterness against us Austrians. The King
began, without knowing why, to prohibit Austrian Officers from entering
his Territories without an express order, signed by his own hand.
Similar prohibition, on the part of our Court, against Prussian Officers
and mutual constraint, without profit or reason. I, for my own part, am
of confident humor; I thought I should need no permission, and I think
still I could have done without one. But the desire of having a Letter
from the great Friedrich, rather than the fear of being ill-received,
made me write to him. My Letter was all on fire with my enthusiasm,
my admiration, and the fervor of my sentiment for that sublime and
extraordinary being; and it brought me three charming Answers from him.
He gave me, in detail, almost what I had given him in the gross; and
what he could not return me in admiration,--for I do not remember
to have gained a battle,--he accorded me in friendship. For fear of
missing, he had written to me from Potsdam, to Vienna, to Dresden, and
to Berlin. [In fine, at Potsdam I was, SATURDAY, 9th JULY, 1780,
waiting ready;--stayed there about a week.] ["9th (or 10th) July, 1780"
(Rodenbeck, iii. 233): "Stayed till 16th."]

"While waiting for the hour of 12, with my Son Charles and M. de Lille
[Abbe de Lille, prose-writer of something now forgotten; by no means
lyrical DE LISLE, of LES JARDINS], to be presented to the King, I went
to look at the Parade;--and, on its breaking up, was surrounded, and
escorted to the Palace, by Austrian deserters, and particularly from
my own regiment, who almost caressed me, and asked my pardon for having
left me.

"The hour of presentation struck. The King received me with an
unspeakable charm. The military coldness of a General's Head-quarters
changed into a soft and kindly welcome. He said to me, 'He did not think
I had so big a Son.'

EGO. "'He is even married, Sire; has been so these twelve months.'

KING. "'May I (OSERAIS-JE) ask you to whom?' He often used this
expression, 'OSERAIS-JE;' and also this: 'If you permit me to have the
honor to tell you, SI VOUS ME PERMETTES D'AVOIR L'HONNEUR DE VOUS DIRE.'

EGO. "'To a Polish-Lady, a Massalska.'

KING (to my Son). "'What, a Massalska? Do you know what her Grandmother
did?'

"'No, Sire,' said Charles.

KING. "'She put the match to the cannon at the Siege of Dantzig with her
own hand; [February, 1734, in poor Stanislaus Leczinski's SECOND fit of
Royalty: supra vi. 465.] she fired, and made others fire, and
defended herself, when her party, who had lost head, thought only of
surrendering.'

EGO. "'Women are indeed undefinable; strong and weak by turns,
indiscreet, dissembling, they are capable of anything.' 'Without doubt,'
said M. de Lille, distressed that nothing had yet been said to him,
and with a familiarity which was not likely to succeed; 'Without doubt.
Look--' said he. The King interrupted him. I cited some traits in
support of my opinion,--as that of the woman Hachette at the Siege
of Beauvais. [A.D. 1472; Burgundians storming the wall had their flag
planted; flag and flag-bearer are hurled into the ditch by Hachette and
other inspired women,--with the finest results.] The King made a little
excursion to Rome and to Sparta: he liked to promenade there. After
half a second of silence, to please De Lille, I told the King that M. de
Voltaire died in De Lille's arms. That caused the King to address some
questions to him; he answered in rather too long-drawn a manner, and
went away. Charles and I stayed dinner." This is day first in Potsdam.

"Here, for five hours daily, the King's encyclopedical conversation
enchanted me completely. Fine arts, war, medicine, literature and
religion, philosophy, ethics, history and legislation, in turns passed
in review. The fine centuries of Augustus and of Louis XIV.; good
society among the Romans, among the Greeks, among the French; the
chivalry of Francois I.; the frankness and valor of Henri IV.; the
new-birth (RENAISSANCE) of Letters and their revolution since Leo X.;
anecdotes about the clever men of other times, and the trouble they
give; M. de Voltaire's slips; susceptibilities of M. de Maupertuis;
Algarotti's agreeable ways; fine wit of Jordan; D'Argens's hypochondria,
whom the King would send to bed for four-and-twenty hours by simply
telling him that he looked ill;--and, in fine, what not? Everything, the
most varied and piquant that could be said, came from him,--in a most
soft tone of voice; rather low than otherwise, and no less agreeable
than were the movements of his lips, which had an inexpressible grace.

"It was this, I believe, which prevented one's observing that he was,
in fact, like Homer's heroes, somewhat of a talker (UN PEU BABILLARD),
though a sublime one. It is to their voices, their noise and gestures,
that talkers often owe their reputation as such; for certainly one could
not find a greater talker than the King; but one was delighted at his
being so. Accustomed to talk to Marquis Lucchesini, in the presence of
only four or five Generals who did not understand French, he compensated
in this way for his hours of labor, of study, of meditation and
solitude. At least, said I to myself, I must get in a word. He had just
mentioned Virgil. I said:--

EGO. "'What a great Poet, Sire; but what a bad gardener!'

KING. "'Ah, to whom do you tell that! Have not I tried to plant, sow,
till, dig, with the GEORGICS in my hand? "But, Monsieur," said my man,
"you are a fool (BETE), and your Book no less; it is not in that way
one goes to work." Ah, MON DIEU, what a climate! Would you believe it,
Heaven, or the Sun, refuse me everything? Look at my poor orange-trees,
my olive-trees, lemon-trees: they are all starving.'

EGO. "'It would appear, then, nothing but laurels flourish with
you, Sire.' (The King gave me a charming look; and to cover an inane
observation by an absurd one, I added quickly:) 'Besides, Sire, there
are too many GRENADIERS [means, in French, POMEGRANATES as well as
GRENADIERS,--peg of one's little joke!] in this Country; they eat up
everything!' The King burst out laughing; for it is only absurdities
that cause laughter.

"One day I had turned a plate to see of what, porcelain it was. 'Where
do you think it comes from?' asked the King.

EGO. "'I thought it was Saxon; but, instead of two swords [the Saxon
mark], I see only one, which is well worth both of them.'

KING. "'It is a sceptre.'

EGO. "'I beg your Majesty's pardon; but it is so much like a sword,
that one could easily mistake it for one.' And such was really the
case. This, it, is known, is the mark of the Berlin china. As the
King sometimes PLAYED KING, and thought himself, sometimes, extremely
magnificent while taking up a walking-stick or snuffbox with a few
wretched little diamonds running after one another on it, I don't quite
know whether he was infinitely pleased with my little allegory.

"One day, as I entered his room, he came towards me, saying, 'I tremble
to announce bad news to you. I have just heard that Prince Karl of
Lorraine is dying.' [Is already dead, "at Brussels, July 4th;" Duke of
Sachsen-Teschen and Wife Christine succeeded him as Joint-Governors in
those parts.] He looked at me to see the effect this would have; and
observing some tears escaping from my eyes, he, by gentlest transitions,
changed the conversation; talked of war, and of the Marechal de Lacy.
He asked me news about Lacy; and said, 'That is a man of the greatest
merit. In former time, Count Mercy among yourselves [killed, while
commanding in chief, at the Battle of Parma in 1733], Puysegur among
the French, had some notions of marches and encampments; one sees from
Hyginus's Book [ancient Book] ON CASTRAMETATION, that the Greeks also
were much occupied with the subject: but your Marechal surpasses the
Ancients, the Moderns and all the most famous men who have meddled with
it. Thus, whenever he was your Quartermaster-General, if you will
permit me to make the remark to you, I did not gain the least advantage.
Recollect the two Campaigns of 1758 and 1759; you succeeded in
everything. I often said to myself, 'Shall I never get rid of that man,
then?' You yourselves got me rid of him; and--[some liberal or even
profuse eulogy of Lacy, who is De Ligne's friend; which we can omit].

"Next day the King, as soon as he saw me, came up; saying with the most
penetrated air: 'If you are to learn the loss of a man who loved you,
and who did honor to mankind, it will be better that it be from some
one who feels it as deeply as I do. Poor Prince Karl is no more. Others,
perhaps, are made to replace him in your heart; but few Princes will
replace him with regard to the beauty of his soul and to all his
virtues.' In saying this, his emotion became extreme. I said: 'Your
Majesty's regrets are a consolation; and you did not wait for his death
to speak well of him. There are fine verses with reference to him in the
Poem, SUR L'ART DE LA GUERRE.' My emotion troubled me against my will;
however, I repeated them to him.

    ["Soutien de mes rivaux, digne appui de ta reine,
     Charles, d'un ennemi sourd aux cris de la haine
     Recois l'eloge"...

(for crossing the Rhine in 1744): ten rather noble lines, still worth
reading; as indeed the whole Poem well is, especially to soldier
students (L'ART DE LA GUERRE, Chant vi.: _OEuvres de Frederic,_ x.
273).] The Man of Letters seemed to appreciate my knowing them by heart.

KING. "'His passage of the Rhine was a very fine thing;--but the poor
Prince depended upon so many people! I never depended upon anybody but
myself; sometimes too much so for my luck. He was badly served, not
too well obeyed: neither the one nor the other ever was the case with
me.--Your General Nadasti appeared to me a great General of Cavalry?'
Not sharing the King's opinion on this point, I contented myself with
saying, that Nadasti was very brilliant, very fine at musketry, and
that he could have led his hussars to the world's end and farther (DANS
L'ENFER), so well did he know how to animate them.

KING. "'What has become of a brave Colonel who played the devil at
Rossbach? Ah, it was the Marquis de Voghera, I think?--Yes, that's it;
for I asked his name after the Battle.'

EGO. "'He is General of Cavalry.'

KING. "'PERDI! It needed a considerable stomach for fight, to charge
like your Two Regiments of Cuirassiers there, and, I believe, your
Hussars also: for the Battle was lost before it began.'

EGO. "'Apropos of M. de Voghera, is your Majesty aware of a little thing
he did before charging? He is a boiling, restless, ever-eager kind of
man; and has something of the good old Chivalry style. Seeing that his
Regiment would not arrive quick enough, he galloped ahead of it; and
coming up to the Commander of the Prussian Regiment of Cavalry which
he meant to attack, he saluted him as on parade; the other returned the
salute; and then, Have at each other like madmen.'

KING. "'A very good style it is! I should like to know that man; I would
thank him for it.--Your General von Ried, then, had got the devil
in him, that time at Eilenburg [spurt of fight there, in the Meissen
regions, I think in Year 1758, when the D'Ahremberg Dragoons got so cut
up], to let those brave Dragoons, who so long bore your Name with glory,
advance between Three of my Columns?'--He had asked me the same question
at the Camp of Neustadt ten years since; and in vain had I told him that
it was not M. de Ried; that Ried did not command them at all; and that
the fault was Marechal Daun's, who ought not to have sent them into that
Wood of Eilenburg, still less ordered them to halt there without even
sending a patrol forward. The King could not bear our General von Ried,
who had much displeased him as Minister at Berlin; and it was his way to
put down everything to the account of people he disliked.

KING. "'When I think of those devils of Saxon Camps [Summer,
1760],--they were unattackable citadels! If, at Torgau, M. de Lacy had
still been Quartermaster-General, I should not have attempted to attack
him. But there I saw at once the Camp was ill chosen.'

EGO. "'The superior reputation of Camps sometimes causes a desire to
attempt them. For instance, I ask your Majesty's pardon, but I have
always thought you would at last have attempted that of Plauen, had the
War continued.'

KING. "'Oh, no, indeed! There was no way of taking that one.'

EGO. "'Does n't your Majesty think: With a good battery on the heights
of Dolschen, which commanded us; with some battalions, ranked behind
each other in the Ravine, attacking a quarter of an hour before daybreak
[and so forth, at some length,--excellent for soldier readers who
know the Plauen Chasm], you could have flung us out of that almost
impregnable Place of Refuge?'

KING. "'And your battery on the Windberg, which would have scourged my
poor battalions, all the while, in your Ravine?'

EGO. "'But, Sire, the night?'

KING. "'Oh, you could not miss us even by grope. That big hollow that
goes from Burg, and even from Potschappel,--it would have poured like a
water-spout [or fire-spout] over us. You see, I am not so brave as you
think.'

"The Kaiser had set out for his Interview [First Interview, and indeed
it is now more than half done, a good six weeks of it gone] with
the Czarina of Russia. That Interview the King did not like [no
wonder]:--and, to undo the good it had done us, he directly, and very
unskilfully, sent the Prince Royal to Petersburg [who had not the least
success there, loutish fellow, and was openly snubbed by a Czarina gone
into new courses]. His Majesty already doubted that the Court of Russia
was about to escape him:--and I was dying of fear lest, in the middle of
all his kindnesses, he should remember that I was an Austrian. 'What,'
said I to myself, 'not a single epigram on us, or on our Master? What a
change!'

"One day, at dinner, babbling Pinto said to the person sitting next him,
'This Kaiser is a great traveller; there never was one who went so far.'
'I ask your pardon, Monsieur,' said the King; 'Charles Fifth went to
Africa; he gained the Battle of Oran.' And, turning towards me,--who
couldn't guess whether it was banter or only history,--'This time,' said
he, 'the Kaiser is more fortunate than Charles Twelfth; like Charles,
he entered Russia by Mohilow; but it appears to me he will arrive at
Moscow.'

"The same Pinto, one day, understanding the King was at a loss whom to
send as Foreign Minister some-whither, said to him: 'Why does not your
Majesty think of sending Lucchesini, who is a man of much brilliancy
(HOMME D'ESPRIT)?' 'It is for that very reason,' answered the King,
'that I want to keep him. I had rather send you than him, or a dull
fellow like Monsieur--' I forget whom, but believe it is one whom he did
appoint Minister somewhere.

"M. de Lucchesini, by the charm of his conversation, brought out that of
the King's. He knew what topics were agreeable to the King; and then,
he knew how to listen; which is not so easy as one thinks, and which no
stupid man was ever capable of. He was as agreeable to everybody as to
his Majesty, by his seductive manners and by the graces of his mind.
Pinto, who had nothing to risk, permitted himself everything. Says he:
'Ask the Austrian General, Sire, all he saw me do when in the service of
the Kaiser.'

EGO. "'A fire-work at my Wedding, was n't that it, my dear Pinto?'

KING (interrupting). "'Do me the honor to say whether it was
successful?'

EGO. "'No, Sire; it even alarmed all my relations, who thought it a bad
omen. Monsieur the Major here had struck out the idea of joining Two
flaming Hearts, a very novel image of a married couple. But the groove
they were to slide on, and meet, gave way: my Wife's heart went, and
mine remained.'

KING. "'You see, Pinto, you were not good for much to those people, any
more than to me.'

EGO. "'Oh, Sire, your Majesty, since then, owes him some compensation
for the sabre-cuts he had on his head.'

KING. "'He gets but too much compensation. Pinto, did n't I send you
yesterday some of my good Preussen honey?'

PINTO. "'Oh, surely;--it was to make the thing known. If your Majesty
could bring that into vogue, and sell it all, you would be the greatest
King in the world. For your Kingdom produces only that; but of that
there is plenty.'

"'Do you know,' said the King, one day, to me,--'Do you know that the
first soldiering I did was for the House of Austria? MON DIEU, how the
time passes!'--He had a way of slowly bringing his hands together, in
ejaculating these MON-DIEUS, which gave him quite a good-natured and
extremely mild air.--(Do you know that I saw the glittering of the last
rays of Prince Eugen's genius?'

EGO. "'Perhaps it was at these rays that your Majesty's genius lit
itself.'

KING. "'EH, MON DIEU! who could equal the Prince Eugen?'

EGO. "'He who excels him;--for instance, he who could win Twelve
Battles!'--He put on his modest air. I have always said, it is easy
to be modest, if you are in funds. He seemed as though he had not
understood me, and said:--

KING. "'When the cabal which, during forty years, the Prince had always
had to struggle with in his Army, were plotting mischief on him, they
used to take advantage of the evening time, when his spirits, brisk
enough in the morning, were jaded by the fatigues of the day. It was
thus they persuaded him to undertake his bad March on Mainz' [March not
known to me].

EGO. "'Regarding yourself, Sire, and the Rhine Campaign, you teach me
nothing. I know everything your Majesty did, and even what you said.
I could relate to you your Journeys to Strasburg, to Holland, and what
passed in a certain Boat. Apropos of this Rhine Campaign, one of our old
Generals, whom I often set talking, as one reads an old Manuscript, has
told me how astonished he was to see a young Prussian Officer, whom he
did not know, answering a General of the late King, who had given out
the order, Not to go a-foraging: "And I, Sir, I order you to go; our
Army needs it; in short, I will have it so (JE LE VEUX)!--"'

KING. "'You look at me too much from the favorable side! Ask these
Gentlemen about my humors and my caprices; they will tell you fine
things of me.'

"We got talking of some Anecdotes which are consigned to, or concealed
in, certain obscure Books. 'I have been much amused, said I to the King,
(with the big cargo of Books, true or false, written by French Refugees,
which perhaps are unknown in France itself.' [Discourses a little on
this subject.]

KING. "'Where did you pick up all these fine old Pieces? These would
amuse me on an evening; better than the conversation of my Doctor of the
Sorbonne [one Peyrau, a wandering creature, not otherwise of the least
interest to us], [Nicolai, _Anekdoten,_ ii. 133 n.] whom I have here,
and whom I am trying to convert.'

EGO. "'I found them all in a Bohemian Library, where I sat diverting
myself for two Winters.'

KING. "'How, then? Two Winters in Bohemia? What the devil were you doing
there! Is it long since?'

EGO. "'No, Sire; only a year or two [Potato-War time]! I had retired
thither to read at my ease.'--He smiled, and seemed to appreciate my not
mentioning the little War of 1778, and saving him any speech about it.
He saw well enough that my Winter-quarters had been in Bohemia on that
occasion; and was satisfied with my reticence. Being an old sorcerer,
who guessed everything, and whose tact was the finest ever known, he
discovered that I did not wish to tell him I found Berlin changed since
I had last been there. I took care not to remind him that I was at
the capturing of it in 1760, under M. de Lacy's orders [M. de Lacy's
indeed!].--It was for having spoken of the first capture of Berlin, by
Marshal Haddick [highly temporary as it was, and followed by Rossbach],
that the King had taken a dislike to M. de Ried.

"Apropos of the Doctor of the Sorbonne [uninteresting Peyrau] with whom
he daily disputed, the King said to me once, 'Get me a Bishopric for
him.' 'I don't think,' answered I, (that my recommendation, or that of
your Majesty, could be useful to him with us.' 'Ah, truly no!' said the
King: 'Well, I will write to the Czarina of Russia for this poor devil;
he does begin to bore me. He holds out as Jansenist, forsooth. MON DIEU,
what blockheads the present Jansenists are! But France should not have
extinguished that nursery (FOYER) of their genius, that Port Royal,
extravagant as it was. Indeed, one ought to destroy nothing! Why have
they destroyed, too, the Depositaries of the graces of Rome and of
Athens, those excellent Professors of the Humanities, and perhaps of
Humanity, the Ex-Jesuit Fathers? Education will be the loser by it. But
as my Brothers the Kings, most Catholic, most Christian, most Faithful
and Apostolic, have tumbled them out, I, most Heretical, pick up as many
as I can; and perhaps, one day, I shall be courted for the sake of them
by those who want some. I preserve the breed: I said, counting my stock
the other day, "A Rector like you, my Father, I could easily sell for
300 thalers; you, Reverend Father Provincial, for 600; and so the rest,
in proportion." When one is not rich, one makes speculations.'

"From want of memory, and of opportunities to see oftener and longer the
Greatest Man that ever existed [Oh, MON PRINCE!], I am obliged to stop.
There is not a word in all this but was his own; and those who have seen
him will recognize his manner. All I want is, to make him known to those
who have not had the happiness to see him. His eyes are too hard in the
Portraits: by work in the Cabinet, and the hardships of War, they had
become intense, and of piercing quality; but they softened finely in
hearing, or telling, some trait of nobleness or sensibility. Till his
death, and but quite shortly before it,--notwithstanding many levities
which he knew I had allowed myself, both in speaking and writing,
and which he surely attributed only to my duty as opposed to my
interest,--he deigned to honor me with marks of his remembrance; and has
often commissioned his Ministers, at Paris and at Vienna, to assure me
of his good-will.

"I no longer believe in earthquakes and eclipses at Caesar's death,
since there has been nothing of such at that of Friedrich the Great. I
know not, Sire, whether great phenomena of Nature will announce the day
when you shall cease to reign [great phenomena must be very idle if they
do, your Highness!]--but it is a phenomenon in the world, that of a King
who rules a Republic by making himself obeyed and respected for his
own sake, as much as by his rights" (Hear, hear). [Prince de Ligne,
_Memoires et Melanges,_ i. 22-40.]

Prince de Ligne thereupon hurries off for Petersburg, and the final
Section of his Kaiser's Visit. An errand of his own, too, the Prince
had,--about his new Daughter-in-law Massalska, and claims of extensive
Polish Properties belonging to her. He was the charm of Petersburg and
the Czarina; but of the Massalska Properties could retrieve nothing
whatever. The munificent Czarina gave him "a beautiful Territory in
the Crim," instead; and invited him to come and see it with her, on his
Kaiser's next Visit (1787, the aquatic Visit and the highly scenic).
Which it is well known the Prince did; and has put on record, in his
pleasant, not untrue, though vague, high-colored and fantastic way,--if
it or he at all concerned us farther.



HOW GENERAL VON DER MARWITZ, IN EARLY BOYHOOD, SAW FRIEDRICH THE GREAT
THREE TIMES (1782-1785).

General von der Marwitz, who died not many years ago, is of the
old Marwitz kindred, several of whom we have known for their rugged
honesties, genialities and peculiar ways. This General, it appears,
had left a kind of Autobiography; which friends of his thought might be
useful to the Prussian Public, after those Radical distractions which
burst out in 1848 and onwards; and a first Volume of the MARWITZ
POSTHUMOUS PAPERS was printed accordingly, [NACHLASS DES GENERAL VON DER
MARWITZ (Berlin, 1852), 1 vol. 8vo.]--whether any more I have not
heard; though I found this first Volume an excellent substantial bit of
reading; and the Author a fine old Prussian Gentleman, very analogous
in his structure to the fine old English ditto; who showed me the
PER-CONTRA side of this and the other much-celebrated modern Prussian
person and thing, Prince Hardenberg, Johannes von Muller and the
like;--and yielded more especially the following Three Reminiscences
of Friedrich, beautiful little Pictures, bathed in morning light, and
evidently true to the life:--

1. JUNE, 1782 OR 1783. "The first time I saw him was in 1782 (or it
might be 1783, in my sixth year)," middle of June, whichever year, "as
he was returning from his Annual Review in Preussen [WEST-Preussen,
never revisits the Konigsberg region], and stopped to change horses
at Dolgelin." Dolgelin is in Mullrose Country, westward of
Frankfurt-on-Oder; our Marwitz Schloss not far from it. "I had been
sent with Mamsell Benezet," my French Governess; "and, along with the
Clergyman of Dolgelin, we waited for the King.

"The King, on his journeys, generally preferred, whether at midday or
for the night, to halt in some Country place, and at the Parsonages most
of all; probably because he was quieter there than in the Towns. To
the Clergyman this was always a piece of luck; not only because, if he
pleased the King, he might chance to get promoted; but because he was
sure of profitable payment, at any rate; the King always ordering 50
thalers [say 10 guineas] for his noon halt, and for his night's lodging
100. The little that the King ate was paid for over and above. It is
true, his Suite expected to be well treated; but this consisted only of
one or two individuals. Now, the King had been wont almost always, on
these journeys homewards, to pass the last night of his expedition with
the Clergyman of Dolgelin; and had done so last year, with this present
one who was then just installed; with him, as with his predecessor, the
King had talked kindly, and the 100 thalers were duly remembered. Our
good Parson flattered himself, therefore, that this time too the same
would happen; and he had made all preparations accordingly.

"So we waited there, and a crowd of people with us. The team of horses
stood all ready (peasants' horses, poor little cats of things, but the
best that could be picked, for there were then no post-horses THAT COULD
RUN FAST);--the country-fellows that were to ride postilion all decked,
and ten head of horses for the King's coach: wheelers, four, which the
coachman drove from his box; then two successive pairs before, on each
pair a postilion-peasant; and upon the third pair, foremost of all, the
King's outriders were to go.

"And now, at last, came the FELDJAGER [Chacer, Hunting-groom], with his
big whip, on a peasant's, horse, a peasant with him as attendant. All
blazing with heat, he dismounted; said, The King would be here in five
minutes; looked at the relays, and the fellows with the water-buckets,
who were to splash the wheels; gulped down a quart of beer; and so,
his saddle in the interim having been fixed on another horse, sprang up
again, and off at a gallop. The King, then, was NOT to stay in Dolgelin!
Soon came the Page, mounted in like style; a youth of 17 or 18; utterly
exhausted; had to be lifted down from his horse, and again helped upon
the fresh one, being scarcely able to stand;--and close on the rear
of him arrived the King. He was sitting alone in an old-fashioned
glass-coach, what they call a VIS-A-VIS (a narrow carriage, two seats
fore and aft, and on each of them room for only one person). The coach
was very long, like all the old carriages of that time; between the
driver's box and the body of the coach was a space of at least four
feet; the body itself was of pear-shape, peaked below and bellied out
above; hung on straps, with rolled knuckles [WINDEN], did not rest on
springs; two beams, connecting fore wheels and hind, ran not UNDER the
body of the coach, but along the sides of it, the hind-wheels following
with a goodly interval.

"The carriage drew up; and the King said to his coachman [the far-famed
Pfund]: 'Is this Dolgelin?' 'Yes, your Majesty!'--'I stay here.'
'No,' said Pfund; 'The sun is not down yet. We can get on very well
to Muncheberg to-night [ten miles ahead, and a Town too, perfidious
Pfund!]--and then to-morrow we are much earlier in Potsdam.' 'NA,
HM,--well, if it must be so!'--

"And therewith they set to changing horses. The peasants who were
standing far off, quite silent, with reverently bared heads, came
softly nearer, and looked eagerly at the King. An old Gingerbread-woman
(SOMMELFRAU) of Lebbenichen [always knew her afterwards] took me in her
arm, and held me aloft close to the coach-window. I was now at farthest
an ell from the King; and I felt as if I were looking in the face of God
Almighty (ES WAR MIR ALS OB ICH DEN LIEBEN GOTT ANSAHE). He was gazing
steadily out before him," into the glowing West, "through the front
window. He had on an old three-cornered regimental hat, and had put the
hindward straight flap of it foremost, undoing the loop, so that this
flap hung down in front, and screened him from the sun. The hat-strings
(HUT-CORDONS," trimmings of silver or gold cord) "had got torn loose,
and were fluttering about on this down-hanging front flap; the white
feather in the hat was tattered and dirty; the plain blue uniform, with
red cuffs, red collar and gold shoulder-bands [epaulettes WITHOUT
bush at the end], was old and dusty, the yellow waistcoat covered with
snuff;--for the rest, he had black-velvet breeches [and, of course, the
perpetual BOOTS, of which he would allow no polishing or blacking, still
less any change for new ones while they would hang together]. I thought
always he would speak to me. The old woman could not long hold me up;
and so she set me down again. Then the King looked at the Clergyman,
beckoned him near, and asked, Whose child it was? (Herr von Marwitz of
Friedersdorf's.)--'Is that the General?' 'No, the Chamberlain.' The King
made no answer: he could not bear Chamberlains, whom he considered as
idle fellows. The new horses were yoked; away they went. All day the
peasants had been talking of the King, how he would bring this and that
into order, and pull everybody over the coals who was not agreeable to
them.

"Afterwards it turned out that all Clergymen were in the habit of giving
10 thalers to the coachman Pfund, when the King lodged with them: the
former Clergyman of Dolgelin had regularly done it; but the new one,
knowing nothing of the custom, had omitted it last year;--and that was
the reason why the fellow had so pushed along all day that he could pass
Dolgelin before sunset, and get his 10 thalers in Muncheberg from the
Burgermeister there."

2. JANUARY, 1785. "The second time I saw the King was at the Carnival of
Berlin in 1785. I had gone with my Tutor to a Cousin of mine who was a
Hofdame (DAME DE COUR) to the Princess Henri, and lived accordingly
in the Prince-Henri Palace,--which is now, in our days, become the
University;--her Apartments were in the third story, and looked out into
the garden. As we were ascending the great stairs, there came dashing
past us a little old man with staring eyes, jumping down three steps at
a time. My Tutor said, in astonishment, 'That is Prince Henri!' We now
stept into a window of the first story, and looked out to see what the
little man had meant by those swift boundings of his. And lo, there came
the King in his carriage to visit him.

"Friedrich the Second NEVER drove in Potsdam, except when on journeys,
but constantly rode. He seemed to think it a disgrace, and unworthy of a
Soldier, to go in a carriage: thus, when in the last Autumn of his life
(this very 1785) he was so unwell in the windy Sans-Souci (where there
were no stoves, but only hearth-fires), that it became necessary to
remove to the Schloss in Potsdam, he could not determine to DRIVE
thither, but kept hoping from day to day for so much improvement as
might allow him to ride. As no improvement came, and the weather grew
ever colder, he at length decided to go over under cloud of darkness,
in a sedan-chair, that nobody might notice him.--So likewise during the
Reviews at Berlin or Charlottenburg he appeared always on horseback: but
during the Carnival in Berlin, where he usually stayed four weeks, he
DROVE, and this always in Royal pomp,--thus:--

"Ahead went eight runners with their staves, plumed caps and
runner-aprons [LAUFER-SCHURZE, whatever these are], in two rows. As
these runners were never used for anything except this show, the office
was a kind of post for Invalids of the Life-guard. A consequence of
which was, that the King always had to go at a slow pace. His courses,
however, were no other than from the Schloss to the Opera twice a week;
and during his whole residence, one or two times to Prince Henri and the
Princess Amelia [once always, too, to dine with his Wife, to whom he did
not speak one word, but merely bowed at beginning and ending!]. After
this the runners rested again for a year. Behind them came the Royal
Carriage, with a team of eight; eight windows round it; the horses with
old-fashioned harness, and plumes on their heads. Coachman and outriders
all in the then Royal livery,--blue; the collar, cuffs, pockets, and all
seams, trimmed with a stripe of red cloth, and this bound on both sides
with small gold-cord; the general effect of which was very good. In the
four boots (NEBENTRITTEN) of the coach stood four Pages, red with gold,
in silk stockings, feather-hats (crown all covered with feathers), but
not having plumes;--the valet's boot behind, empty; and to the rear of
it, down below, where one mounts to the valet's boot [BEDIENTEN-TRITT,
what is now become FOOT-BOARD], stood a groom (STALLKNECHT). Thus came
the King, moving slowly along; and entered through the portal of the
Palace. We looked down from the window in the stairs. Prince Henri stood
at the carriage-door; the pages opened it, the King stepped out, saluted
his Brother, took him by the hand, walked upstairs with him, and thus
the two passed near us (we retiring upstairs to the second story), and
went into the Apartment, where now Students run leaping about."

3. MAY 23d, 1785. "The third time I saw him was that same year, at
Berlin still, as he returned home from the Review. ["May 21st-23d"
(Rodenbeck, iii. 327).] My Tutor had gone with me for that end to the
Halle Gate, for we already knew that on that day he always visited his
Sister, Princess Amelia. He came riding on a big white horse,--no doubt
old CONDE, who, twenty years after this, still got his FREE-BOARD in the
ECOLE VETERINAIRE; for since the Bavarian War (1778), Friedrich hardly
ever rode any other horse. His dress was the same as formerly at
Dolgelin, on the journey; only that the hat was in a little better
condition, properly looped up, and with the peak (but not with the LONG
peak, as is now the fashion) set in front, in due military style. Behind
him were a guard of Generals, then the Adjutants, and finally the grooms
of the party. The whole 'Rondeel' (now Belle-Alliance Platz) and the
Wilhelms-Strasse were crammed full of people; all windows crowded, all
heads bare, everywhere the deepest silence; and on all countenances an
expression of reverence and confidence, as towards the just steersman
of all our destinies. The King rode quite alone in front, and saluted
people, CONTINUALLY taking off his hat. In doing which he observed a
very marked gradation, according as the on-lookers bowing to him from
the windows seemed to deserve. At one time he lifted the hat a very
little; at another he took it from his head, and held it an instant
beside the same; at another he sunk it as far as the elbow. But these
motions lasted continually; and no sooner had he put on his hat, than
he saw other people, and again took it off. From the Halle Gate to the
Koch-Strasse he certainly took off his hat 200 times.

"Through this reverent silence there sounded only the trampling of the
horses, and the shouting of the Berlin street-boys, who went jumping
before him, capering with joy, and flung up their hats into the air,
or skipped along close by him, wiping the dust from his boots. I and my
Tutor had gained so much room that we could run alongside of him, hat in
hand, among the boys.--You see the difference between then and now.
Who was it that then made the noise? Who maintained a dignified
demeanor?--Who is it that bawls and bellows now? [Nobilities ought to
be noble, thinks this old Marwitz, in their reverence to Nobleness. If
Nobilities themselves become Washed Populaces in a manner, what are we
to say?] And what value can you put on such bellowing?

"Arrived at the Princess Amelia's Palace (which, lying in the
Wilhelms-Strasse, fronts also into the Koch-Strasse), the crowd grew
still denser, for they expected him there: the forecourt was jammed
full; yet in the middle, without the presence of any police, there was
open space left for him and his attendants. He turned into the Court;
the gate-leaves went back; and the aged lame Princess, leaning on two
Ladies, the OBERHOFMEISTERINN (Chief Lady) behind her, came hitching
down the flat steps to meet him. So soon as he perceived her, he put his
horse to the gallop, pulled up, sprang rapidly down, took off his hat
(which he now, however, held quite low at the full length of his arm),
embraced her, gave her his arm, and again led her up the steps. The
gate-leaves went to; all had vanished, and the multitude still stood,
with bared head, in silence, all eyes turned to the spot where he had
disappeared; and so it lasted a while, till each gathered himself and
peacefully went his way.

"And yet there had nothing happened! No pomp, no fireworks, no
cannon-shot, no drumming and fifing, no music, no event that had
occurred! No, nothing but an old man of 73, ill-dressed, all dusty, was
returning from his day's work. But everybody knew that this old man was
toiling also for him; that he had set his whole life on that labor, and
for five-and-forty years had not given it the slip one day! Every one
saw, moreover, the fruits of this old man's labor, near and far,
and everywhere around; and to look on the old man himself awakened
reverence, admiration, pride, confidence,--in short all the nobler
feelings of man." [_Nachlass des General von der Marwitz,_ i. 15-20.]

This was May 21st, 1785; I think, the last time Berlin saw its King in
that public manner, riding through the streets. The FURSTENBUND Affair
is now, secretly, in a very lively state, at Berlin and over Germany at
large; and comes to completion in a couple of months hence,--as shall be
noticed farther on.



GENERAL BOUILLE, HOME FROM HIS WEST-INDIAN EXPLOITS, VISITS FRIEDRICH
(August 5th-11th, 1784).

In these last years of his life Friedrich had many French of distinction
visiting him. In 1782, the Abbe Raynal (whom, except for his power of
face, he admired little); [Rodenbeck, iii. 277 n.] in 1786, Mirabeau
(whose personal qualities seem to have pleased him);--but chiefly, in
the interval between these two, various Military Frenchmen, now home
with their laurels from the American War, coming about his Reviews:
eager to see the Great Man, and be seen by him. Lafayette, Segur and
many others came; of whom the one interesting to us is Marquis de
Bouille: already known for his swift sharp operation on the English
Leeward Islands; and memorable afterwards to all the world for his
presidency in the FLIGHT TO VARENNES of poor Louis XVI. and his Queen,
in 1791; which was by no means so successful. "The brave Bouille," as we
called him long since, when writing of that latter operation, elsewhere.
Bouille left MEMOIRES of his own: which speak of Friedrich: in the _Vie
de Bouille,_ published recently by friendly hands: [Rene de Bouille,
ESSAI SUR LA VIE DU MARQUIS DE BOUILLE (Paris, 1853)] there is Summary
given of all that his Papers say on Friedrich; this, in still briefer
shape, but unchanged otherwise, readers shall now see.

"In July, 1784, Marquis de Bouille (lately returned from a visit to
England), desirous to see the Prussian Army, and to approach the great
Friedrich while it was yet time, travelled by way of Holland to Berlin,
through Potsdam [no date; got to Berlin "August 6th;" [Rodenbeck, iii.
309.] so that we can guess "August 5th" for his Potsdam day]. Saw, at
Sans-Souci, in the vestibule, a bronze Bust of Charles XII.; in the
dining-room, among other pictures, a portrait of the Chateauroux, Louis
XV.'s first Mistress. In the King's bedroom, simple camp-bed, coverlet
of crimson taffetas,--rather dirty, as well as the other furniture,
on account of the dogs. Many books lying about: Cicero, Tacitus, Titus
Livius [in French Translations]. On a chair, Portrait of Kaiser Joseph
II.; same in King's Apartments in Berlin Schloss, also in the Potsdam
New Palace: 'C'EST UN JEUNE HOMME QUE JE NE DOIS PAS PERDRE DE VUE.'

"King entering, took off his hat, saluting the Marquis, whom
a Chamberlain called Gortz presented [no Chamberlain; a
Lieutenant-General, and much about the King; his Brother, the Weimar
Gortz, is gone as Prussian Minister to Petersburg some time ago]. King
talked about the War DES ISLES [my West-India War], and about England.
'They [the English] are like sick people who have had a fever; and don't
know how ill they have been, till the fit is over.' Fox he treated as
a noisy fellow (DE BROUILLON); but expressed admiration of young Pitt.
'The coolness with which he can stand being not only contradicted, but
ridiculed and insulted, CELA PARAIT AU-DESSUS DE LA PATIENCE HUMAINE.'
King closed the conversation by saying he would be glad to see me in
Silesia, whither he was just about to go for Reviews [will go in ten
days, August 15th].

"Friedrich was 72," last January 24th. "His physiognomy, dress,
appearance, are much what the numerous well-known Portraits represent
him. At Court, and on great Ceremonies, he appears sometimes in
black-colored stockings rolled over the knee, and rose-colored or
sky-blue coat (BLEU CELESTE). He is fond of these colors, as his
furniture too shows. The Marquis dined with the Prince of Prussia,
without previous presentation; so simple are the manners of this Soldier
Court. The Heir Presumptive lodges at a brewer's house, and in a very
mean way; is not allowed to sleep from home without permission from the
King."

Bouille set out for Silesia 11th August; was at Neisse in good time.
"Went, at 5 A.M. [date is August 19th, Review lasts till 24th],
[Rodenbeck, iii. 310.] to see the King mount. All the Generals, Prince
of Prussia among them, waited in the street; outside of a very simple
House, where the King lodged. After waiting half an hour, his Majesty
appeared; saluted very graciously, without uttering a word. This was
one of his special Reviews [that was it!]. He rode (MARCHAIT) generally
alone, in utter silence; it was then that he had his REGARD TERRIBLE,
and his features took the impress of severity, to say no more. [Is
displeased with the Review, I doubt, though Bouille saw nothing
amiss;--and merely tells us farther:] At the Reviews the King inspects
strictly one regiment after another: it is he that selects the very
Corporals and Sergeants, much more the Upper Officers; nominating for
vacancies what Cadets are to fill them,--all of whom are Nobles." Yes,
with rare exceptions, all. Friedrich, democratic as his temper was, is
very strict on this point; "because," says he repeatedly, "Nobles have
honor; a Noble that misbehaves, or flinches in the moment of crisis, can
find no refuge in his own class; whereas a man of lower birth always can
in his." [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ (more than once).] Bouille continues:--

"After Review, dined with his Majesty. Just before dinner he gave to the
assembled Generals the 'Order' for to-morrow's Manoeuvres [as we saw in
Conway's case, ten years ago]. This lasted about a quarter of an hour;
King then saluted everybody, taking off TRES-AFFECTUEUSEMENT his hat,
which he immediately put on again. Had now his affable mien, and was
most polite to the strangers present. At dinner, conversation turned
on the Wars of Louis XIV.; then on English-American War,--King always
blaming the English, whom he does not like. Dinner lasted three hours.
His Majesty said more than once to me [in ill humor, I should almost
guess, and wishful to hide it]: 'Complete freedom here, as if we were in
our Tavern, Sir (ICI, TOUTE LIBERTE, MONSIEUR, COMME SI NOUS ETIONS AU
CABARET)!' On the morrow," August 20th, "dined again. King talked of
France; of Cardinal Richelieu, whose principles of administration he
praised. Repeated several times, that 'he did not think the French
Nation fit for Free Government.' At the Reviews, Friedrich did not
himself command; but prescribed, and followed the movements; criticised,
reprimanded and so forth. On horseback six hours together, without
seeming fatigued.

"King left for Breslau 25th August [24th, if it were of moment]. Bouille
followed thither; dined again. Besides Officers, there were present
several Polish Princes, the Bishop of the Diocese, and the Abbot
Bastiani. King made pleasantries about religion [pity, that]; Bastiani
not slow with repartees", of a defensive kind. "King told me, on one
occasion, 'Would you believe it? I have just been putting my poor
Jesuits' finances into order. They understand nothing of such things,
CES BONS HOMMES. They are useful to me in forming my Catholic Clergy.
I have arranged it with his Holiness the Pope, who is a friend of mine,
and behaves very well to me.' Pointing from the window to the Convent of
Capuchins, 'Those fellows trouble me a little with their bell-ringings.
They offered to stop it at night, for my sake: but I declined. One must
leave everybody to his trade; theirs is to pray, and I should have been
sorry to deprive them of their chimes (CARILLON).'

"The 20,000 troops, assembled at Breslau, did not gain the King's
approval,"--far from it, alas, as we shall all see!" To some Chiefs of
Corps he said, 'VOUS RESSEMBLEZ PLUS A DES TAILLEURS QU'A DES MILITAIRES
(You are more like tailors than soldiers)!' He cashiered several,
and even sent one Major-General to prison for six weeks." That of the
tailors, and Major-General Erlach clapt in prison, is too true;--nor is
that the saddest part of the Affair to us. "Bouille was bound now on
an excursion to Prag, to a Camp of the Kaiser's there. 'Mind,' said the
King, alluding to Bouille's BLUE uniform,--'mind, in the Country you
are going to, they don't like the blue coats; and your Queen has even
preserved the family repugnance, for she does not like them either.'
[ESSAI SUR LA VIE DU MARQUIS DE BOUILLE, pp. l34-149.]

"September 5th, 1784, Bouille arrived at Prag. Austrian Manoeuvres
are very different; troops, though more splendidly dressed, contrast
unfavorably with Prussians;"--unfavorably, though the strict King was so
dissatisfied. "Kaiser Joseph, speaking of Friedrich, always admiringly
calls him 'LE ROI.' Joseph a great questioner, and answers his own
questions. His tone BRUSQUE ET DECIDE. Dinner lasted one hour.

"Returned to Potsdam to assist at the Autumn Reviews", 21st-23d
September, 1784. [Rodenbeck, iii. 313.] "Dinner very splendid,
magnificently served; twelve handsome Pages, in blue or rose-colored
velvet, waited on the Guests,--these being forty old rude Warriors
booted and spurred. King spoke of the French, approvingly: 'But,' added
he, 'the Court spoils everything. Those Court-fellows, with their red
heels and delicate nerves, make very bad soldiers. Saxe often told me,
In his Flanders Campaigns the Courtiers gave him more trouble than did
Cumberland.' Talked of Marechal Richelieu; of Louis XIV., whose apology
he skilfully made. Blamed, however, the Revocation of the Edict of
Nantes. Great attachment of the 'Protestant Refugees' to France and its
King. 'Would you believe it?' said he: 'Under Louis XIV. they and their
families used to assemble on the day of St. Louis, to celebrate the
FETE of the King who persecuted them!' Expressed pity for Louis XV., and
praised his good-nature.

"Friedrich, in his conversation, showed a modesty which seemed a little
affected. 'S'IL M'EST PERMIS D'AVOIR UNE OPINION,' a common expression
of his;--said 'opinion' on most things, on Medicine among others,
being always excellent. Thinks French Literature surpasses that of the
Ancients. Small opinion of English Literature: turned Shakspeare into
ridicule; and made also bitter fun of German Letters,--their Language
barbarous, their Authors without genius....

"I asked, and received permission from the King, to bring my Son to be
admitted in his ACADEMIE DES GENTILSHOMMES; an exceptional favor. On
parting, the King said to me: 'I hope you will return to me Marechal de
France; it is what I should like; and your Nation could n't do better,
nobody being in a state to render it greater services.'"

Bouille will reappear for an instant next year. Meanwhile he returns to
France, "first days of October, 1784," where he finds Prince Henri; who
is on Visit there for three months past. ["2d July, 1784," Prince Henri
had gone (Rodenbeck, iii. 309).] A shining event in Prince Henri's Life;
and a profitable; poor King Louis--what was very welcome in Henri's
state of finance--having, in a delicate kingly way, insinuated into
him a "Gift of 400,000 francs" (16,000 pounds): [Anonymous (De la
Roche-Aymon), _Vie privee, politique et militaire du Prince Henri, Frere
de Frederic II._ (a poor, vague and uninstructive, though authentic
little Book: Paris, 1809), pp. 219-239.]--partly by way of retaining-fee
for France; "may turn to excellent account," think some, "when a certain
Nephew comes to reign yonder, as he soon must."

What Bouille heard about the Silesian Reviews is perfectly true; and
only a part of the truth. Here, to the person chiefly responsible, is
an indignant Letter of the King's: to a notable degree, full of settled
wrath against one who is otherwise a dear old Friend:--


FRIEDRICH TO LIEUTENANT-GENERAL TAUENTZIEN INFANTRY INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF
SILESIA.

"POTSDAM, 7th September, 1784.

"MY DEAR GENERAL VON TAUENTZIEN,--While in Silesia I mentioned to you,
and will now repeat in writing, That my Army in Silesia was at no
time so bad as at present. Were I to make Shoemakers or Tailors into
Generals, the Regiments could not be worse. Regiment THADDEN is not
fit to be the most insignificant militia battalion of a Prussian Army;
ROTHKIRCH and SCHWARTZ"--bad as possible all of them--"of ERLACH, the
men are so spoiled by smuggling [sad industry, instead of drilling],
they have no resemblance to Soldiers; KELLER is like a heap of undrilled
boors; HAGER has a miserable Commander; and your own Regiment is
very mediocre. Only with Graf von Anhalt [in spite of his head], with
WENDESSEN and MARGRAF HEINRICH, could I be content. See you, that is the
state I found the Regiments in, one after one. I will now speak of their
Manoeuvring [in our Mimic Battles on the late occasion]:--

"Schwartz; at Neisse, made the unpardonable mistake of not sufficiently
besetting the Height on the Left Wing; had it been serious, the Battle
had been lost. At Breslau, Erlach [who is a Major-General, forsooth!],
instead of covering the Army by seizing the Heights, marched off with
his Division straight as a row of cabbages into that Defile; whereby,
had it been earnest, the enemy's Cavalry would have cut down our
Infantry, and the Fight was gone.

"It is not my purpose to lose Battles by the base conduct (LACHETE) of
my Generals: wherefore I hereby appoint, That you, next year, if I be
alive, assemble the Army between Breslau and Ohlau; and for four days
before I arrive in your Camp, carefully manoeuvre with the ignorant
Generals, and teach them what their duty is. Regiment VON ARNIM and
Garrison-Regiment VON KANITZ are to act the Enemy: and whoever does not
then fulfil his duty shall go to Court-Martial,--for I should think it
shame of any Country (JEDEN PUISSANCE) to keep such people, who trouble
themselves so little about their business. Erlach sits four weeks longer
in arrest [to have six weeks of it in full]. And you have to make known
this my present Declared Will to your whole Inspection.--F." [Rodenbeck,
iii. 311.]

What a peppering is the excellent old Tauentzien getting! Here is a case
for Kaltenborn, and the sympathies of Opposition people. But, alas,
this King knows that Armies are not to be kept at the working point
on cheaper terms,--though some have tried it, by grog, by sweetmeats,
sweet-speeches, and found it in the end come horribly dearer! One thing
is certain: the Silesian Reviews, next Year, if this King be alive,
will be a terrible matter; and Military Gentlemen had better look to
themselves in time! Kaltenborn's sympathy will help little; nothing
but knowing one's duty, and visibly and indisputably doing it, will the
least avail.

Just in the days when Bouille left him for France, Friedrich ("October,
1784") had conceived the notion of some general Confederation, or
Combination in the Reich, to resist, the continual Encroachments of
Austria; which of late are becoming more rampant than ever. Thus, in
the last year, especially within the last six months, a poor Bishop of
Passau, quasi-Bavarian, or in theory Sovereign Bishop of the Reich, is
getting himself pulled to pieces (Diocese torn asunder, and masses of
it forcibly sewed on to their new "Bishopric of Vienna"), in the most
tragic manner, in spite of express Treaties, and of all the outcries
the poor man and the Holy Father himself can make against it. [Dohm
(DENKWURDIGKEITEN, iii. 46,--GESCHICHTE DER LETZTEN PERIODE FRIEDRICHS
DES ZWEITEN) gives ample particulars. Dohm's first 3 volumes call
themselves "History of Friedrich's last Period, 1778-1786;" and are
full of Bavarian War, 3d vol. mostly of FURSTENBUND;--all in a candid,
authentic, but watery and rather wearisome way.] To this of Passau, and
to the much of PANIS-BRIEFE and the like which had preceded, Friedrich,
though studiously saying almost nothing, had been paying the utmost of
attention:--part of Prince Henri's errand to France is thought to
have been, to take soundings on those matters (on which France proves
altogether willing, if able); and now, in the general emotion about
Passau, Friedrich jots down in a Note to Hertzberg the above idea; with
order to put it into form a little, and consult about it in the
Reich with parties interested. Hertzberg took the thing up with zeal;
instructed the Prussian Envoys to inquire, cautiously, everywhere;
fancied he did find willingness in the Courts of the Reich, in Hanover
especially: in a word, got his various irons into the fire;--and had not
proceeded far, when there rose another case of Austrian Encroachment,
which eclipsed all the preceding; and speedily brought Hertzberg's irons
to the welding-point. Too brief we cannot be in this matter; here are
the dates, mostly from Dohm:--

NEW-YEAR'S DAY, 1785, on or about that day, Romanzow, Son of our
old Colberg and Anti-Turk friend, who is Russian "Minister in the
Ober-Rheinish Circle," appears at the little Court of Zweibruck, with a
most sudden and astounding message to the Duke there:--

"Important bargain agreed upon between your Kaiser and his Highness of
the Pfalz and Baiern; am commanded by my Sovereign Lady, on behalf of
her friend the Kaiser, to make it known to you. Baiern all and whole
made over to Austria; in return for which the now Kur-Baiern gets the
Austrian Netherlands (Citadels of Limburg and Luxemburg alone excepted);
and is a King henceforth, 'King of Burgundy' to be the Title, he and
his fortunate Successors for all time coming. To your fortunate self, in
acknowledgment of your immediate consent, Austria offers the free-gift
of 100,000 pounds, and to your Brother Max of 50,000 pounds; Kur-Baiern,
for his loyal conduct, is to have 150,000 pounds; and to all of you, if
handsome, Austria will be handsome generally. For the rest, the thing is
already settled; and your refusal will not hinder it from going forward.
I request to know, within eight days, what your Highness's determination
is!"

His poor Highness, thunderstruck as may be imagined, asks:
"But--but--What would your Excellency advise me?" "Have n't the least
advice," answers his Excellency: "will wait at Frankfurt-on-Mayn, for
eight days, what your Highness's resolution is; hoping it may be a wise
one;--and have the honor at present to say Good-morning." Sudden, like a
thunder-bolt in winter, the whole phenomenon. This, or JANUARY 3d,
when Friedrich, by Express from Zweibruck, first heard of this, may be
considered as birthday of a Furstenbund now no longer hypothetic, but
certain to become actual.

Zweibruck naturally shot off expresses: to Petersburg (no answer ever);
to Berlin (with answer on the instant);--and in less than eight days,
poor Zweibruck, such the intelligence from Berlin, was in a condition to
write to Frankfurt: "Excellency; No; I do not consent, nor ever will."
For King Friedrich is broad-awake again;--and Hertzberg's smithy-fires,
we may conceive how the winds rose upon these, and brought matters to a
welding heat!--

The Czarina,--on Friedrich's urgent remonstrance, "What is this, great
Madam? To your old Ally, and from the Guaranty and Author of the Peace
of Teschen!"--had speedily answered: "Far from my thoughts to violate
the Peace of Teschen; very far: I fancied this was an advantageous
exchange, advantageous to Zweibruck especially; but since Zweibruck
thinks otherwise, of course there is an end." "Of course;"--though my
Romanzow did talk differently; and the forge-fires of a certain person
are getting blown at a mighty rate! Hertzberg's operation was conducted
at first with the greatest secrecy; but his Envoys were busy in all
likely places, his Proposal finding singular consideration; acceptance,
here, there,--"A very mild and safe-looking Project, most mild in tone
surely!"--and it soon came to Kaunitz's ear; most unwelcome to the new
Kingdom of Burgundy and him!

Thrice over, in the months ensuing (April 13th, May 11th, June 23d), in
the shape of a "Circular to all Austrian Ambassadors", [Dohm, iii. 64,
68.] Kaunitz lifted up his voice in severe dehortation, the tone of him
waxing more and more indignant, and at last snuffling almost tremulous
quite into alt, "against the calumnies and malices of some persons,
misinterpreters of a most just Kaiser and his actions." But as the
Czarina, meanwhile, declared to the Reich at large, that she held, and
would ever hold, the Peace of Teschen a thing sacred, and this or any
Kingdom of Burgundy, or change of the Reichs Laws, impossible,--the
Kaunitz clangors availed nothing; and Furstenbund privately, but at
a mighty pace, went forward. And, JUNE 29th, 1785, after much
labor, secret but effective, on the part of Dohm and others, Three
Plenipotentiaries, the Prussian, the Saxon, the Hanoverian ("excellent
method to have only the principal Three!" ) met, still very privately,
at Berlin; and laboring their best, had, in about four weeks, a
Furstenbund Covenant complete; signed, JULY 23d, by these Three,--to
whom all others that approved append themselves. As an effective
respectable number, Brunswick, Hessen, Mainz and others, did, [List of
them in Dohm.]--had not, indeed, the first Three themselves,
especially as Hanover meant England withal, been themselves moderately
sufficient.--Here, before the date quite pass, are two Clippings which
may be worth their room:--

1. BOUILLE'S SECOND VISIT (Spring, 1785). May 10th, 1785,--just while
FURSTENBUND, so privately, was in the birth-throes,--"Marquis de Bouille
had again come to Berlin, to place his eldest Son in the ACADEMIE DES
GENTILSHOMMES; where the young man stayed two years. Was at Potsdam" May
13th-16th; [Rodenbeck, iii. 325.] "well received; dined at Sans-Souci.
Informed the King of the Duc de Choiseul's death [Paris, May 8th). King,
shaking his head, 'IL N'Y A PAS GRAND MAL.' Seems piqued at the Queen of
France, who had not shown much attention to Prince Henri. Spoke of
Peter the Great, 'whose many high qualities were darkened by singular
cruelty.' When at Berlin, going on foot, as his custom was, unattended,
to call on King Friedrich Wilhelm, the people in the streets crowded
much about him. 'Brother,' said he to the King, 'your subjects are
deficient in respect; order one or two of them to be hanged; it will
restrain the others!' During the same visit, one day, at Charlottenburg;
the Czar, after dinner, stepped out on a balcony which looked into
the Gardens. Seeing many people assembled below, he gnashed his teeth
(GRINCA DES DENTS), and began giving signs of frenzy. Shifty little
Catharine, who was with him, requested that a certain person down
among the crowd, who had a yellow wig, should be at once put away, or
something bad would happen. This done, the Czar became quiet again. The
Czarina added, he was subject to such attacks of frenzy; and that, when
she saw it, she would scratch his head, which moderated him. 'VOILA
MONSIEUR,' concluded the King, addressing me: 'VOILA LES GRANDS HOMMES!'

"Bouille spent a fortnight at Reinsberg, with Prince Henri; who
represents his Brother as impatient, restless, envious, suspicious, even
timid; of an ill-regulated imagination",--nothing like so wise as some
of us! "Is too apprehensive of war; which may very likely bring it on.
On the least alarm, he assembles troops at the frontier; Joseph does the
like; and so"--A notably splenetic little Henri; head of an Opposition
Party which has had to hold its tongue. Cherishes in the silent depths
of him an almost ghastly indignation against his Brother on some points.
"Bouille returned to Paris June, 1785." [ESSAI SUR LA VIE DE BOUILLE
(ubi supra).]

2. COMTE DE SEGUR (on the road to Petersburg as French Minister) HAS
SEEN FRIEDRICH: January 29th, 1785. Segur says: "With lively curiosity I
gazed at this man; there as he stood, great in genius, small in stature;
stooping, and as it were bent down under the weight of his laurels and
of his long toils. His blue coat, old and worn like his body; his long
boots coming up above the knee; his waistcoat covered with snuff, formed
an odd but imposing whole. By the fire of his eyes, you recognized
that in essentials he had not grown old. Though bearing himself like
an invalid, you felt that he could strike like a young soldier; in his
small figure, you discerned a spirit greater than any other man's....

"If used at all to intercourse with the great world, and possessed of
any elevation of mind, you have no embarrassment in speaking to a King;
but to a Great Man you present yourself not without fear. Friedrich, in
his private sphere, was of sufficiently unequal humor; wayward, wilful;
open to prejudices; indulged in mockery, often enough epigrammatic upon
the French;--agreeable in a high degree to strangers whom he pleased to
favor; but bitterly piquant for those he was prepossessed against, or
who, without knowing it, had ill-chosen the hour of approaching him. To
me, luck was kind in all these points;" my Interview delightful, but not
to be reported farther. [_"Memoires par M. le Comte de Segur_ (Paris,
1826), ii. 133, 120:" cited in PREUSS, iv. 218. For date, see Rodenbeck,
iii. 322, 323.]

Except Mirabeau, about a year after this, Segur is the last
distinguished French visitor. French Correspondence the King has
now little or none. October gone a year, his D'Alembert, the last
intellectual Frenchman he had a real esteem for, died. Paris and France
seem to be sinking into strange depths; less and less worth hearing of.
Now and then a straggling Note from Condorcet, Grimm or the like, are
all he gets there.

That of the Furstenbund put a final check on Joseph's notions of making
the Reich a reality; his reforms and ambitions had thenceforth to
take other directions, and leave the poor old Reich at peace. A mighty
reformer he had been, the greatest of his day. Broke violently in upon
quiescent Austrian routine, on every side: monkeries, school-pedantries,
trade-monopolies, serfages,--all things, military and civil, spiritual
and temporal, he had resolved to make perfect in a minimum of time.
Austria gazed on him, its admiration not unmixed with terror. He rushed
incessantly about; hardy as a Charles Twelfth; slept on his bearskin
on the floor of any inn or hut;--flew at the throat of every Absurdity,
however broad-based or dangerously armed, "Disappear, I say!" Will hurl
you an Official of Rank, where need is, into the Pillory; sets him, in
one actual instance, to permanent sweeping of the streets in Vienna.
A most prompt, severe, and yet beneficent and charitable kind of man.
Immensely ambitious, that must be said withal. A great admirer of
Friedrich; bent to imitate him with profit. "Very clever indeed," says
Friedrich; "but has the fault [a terribly grave one!] of generally
taking the second step without having taken the first."

A troublesome neighbor he proved to everybody, not by his reforms
alone;--and ended, pretty much as here in the FURSTENBUND, by having,
in all matters, to give in and desist. In none of his foreign Ambitions
could he succeed; in none of his domestic Reforms. In regard to these
latter, somebody remarks: "No Austrian man or thing articulately
contradicted his fine efforts that way; but, inarticulately, the
whole weight of Austrian VIS INERTIAE bore day and night against
him;--whereby, as we now see, he bearing the other way with the force of
a steam-ram, a hundred tons to the square inch, the one result was, To
dislocate every joint in the Austrian Edifice, and have it ready for the
Napoleonic Earthquakes that ensued." In regard to ambitions abroad it
was no better. The Dutch fired upon his Scheld Frigate: "War, if
you will, you most aggressive Kaiser; but this Toll is ours!"
His Netherlands revolted against him, "Can holy religion, and old
use-and-wont be tumbled about at this rate?" His Grand Russian
Copartneries and Turk War went to water and disaster. His reforms, one
and all, had to be revoked for the present. Poor Joseph, broken-hearted
(for his private griefs were many, too), lay down to die. "You may put
for epitaph," said he with a tone which is tragical and pathetic to us,
"Here lies Joseph," the grandly attempting Joseph, "who could succeed
in nothing." [Died, at Vienna, 20th February, 1790, still under
fifty;--born there 13th March, 1741. Hormayr, _OEsterreichischer
Plutarch,_ iv. (2tes) 125-223 (and five or six recent LIVES of Joseph,
none of which, that I have seen, was worth reading, in comparison).] A
man of very high qualities, and much too conscious of them. A man of
an ambition without bounds. One of those fatal men, fatal to themselves
first of all, who mistake half-genius for whole; and rush on the second
step without having made the first. Cannot trouble the old King or us
any more.



Chapter IX.--FRIEDRICH'S LAST ILLNESS AND DEATH.

To the present class of readers, Furstenbund is become a Nothing; to all
of us the grand Something now is, strangely enough, that incidental item
which directly followed, of Reviewing the Silesian soldieries, who had
so angered his Majesty last year. "If I be alive next year!" said
the King to Tauentzien. The King kept his promise; and the Fates had
appointed that, in doing so, he was to find his--But let us not yet
pronounce the word.

AUGUST 16th, 1785, some three weeks after finishing the Furstenbund,
Friedrich set out for Silesia: towards Strehlen long known to him and us
all;--at Gross-Tinz, a Village in that neighborhood, the Camp and Review
are to be. He goes by Crossen, Glogau; in a circling direction: Glogau,
Schweidnitz, Silberberg, Glatz, all his Fortresses are to be inspected
as well, and there is much miscellaneous business by the road. At
Hirschberg, not on the military side, we have sight of him; the account
of which is strange to read:--

"THURSDAY, AUGUST 18th," says a private Letter from that little Town,
[Given IN EXTENSO, Rodenbeck, iii. 331-333.] "he passed through here:
concourse of many thousands, from all the Country about, had been
waiting for him several hours. Outriders came at last; then he himself,
the Unique; and, with the liveliest expression of reverence and love,
all eyes were directed on one point. I cannot describe to you my
feelings, which of course were those of everybody, to see him, the aged
King; in his weak hand the hat; in those grand eyes such a fatherly
benignity of look over the vast crowd that encircled his Carriage, and
rolled tide-like, accompanying it. Looking round when he was past, I saw
in various eyes a tear trembling. ["Alas, we sha'n't have him long!"]

"His affability, his kindliness, to whoever had the honor of speech with
this great King, who shall describe it! After talking a good while
with the Merchants-Deputation from the Hill Country, he said, 'Is
there anything more, then, from anybody?' Upon which, the President
(KAUFMANNSALTESTE," Merchants'-Eldest) "Lachmann, from Greiffenberg,"
which had been burnt lately, and helped by the King to rebuild itself,
"stepped forward, and said, 'The burnt-out Inhabitants of Greiffenberg
had charged him to express once more their most submissive gratitude for
the gracious help in rebuilding; their word of thanks, truly, was of no
importance, but they daily prayed God to reward such Royal beneficence.'
The King was visibly affected, and said, 'You don't need to thank me;
when my subjects fall into misfortune, it is my duty to help them up
again; for that reason am I here.'"...

Saturday 20th, he arrived at Tinz; had a small Cavalry Manoeuvre, next
day; and on Monday the Review Proper began. Lasted four days,--22d-25th
August, Monday to Thursday, both inclusive. "Head-quarter was in the
DORF-SCHULZE'S (Village Mayor's) house; and there were many Strangers
of distinction quartered in the Country Mansions round." Gross-Tinz is
about 12 miles straight north from Strehlen, and as far straight east
from the Zobtenberg: Gross-Tinz, and its Review of August, 1785, ought
to be long memorable.

How the Review turned out as to proficiency recovered, I have not heard;
and only infer, by symptoms, that it was not unsatisfactory. The sure
fact, and the forever memorable, is, That on Wednesday, the third day
of it, from 4 in the morning, when the Manoeuvres began, till well after
10, when they ended, there was a rain like Noah's; rain falling as from
buckets and water-spouts; and that Friedrich (and perhaps most others
too), so intent upon his business, paid not the least regard to it;
but rode about, intensely inspecting, in lynx-eyed watchfulness of
everything, as if no rain had been there. Was not at the pains even to
put on his cloak. Six hours of such down-pour; and a weakly old man
of 73 past. Of course he was wetted to the bone. On returning to
head-quarters, his boots were found full of water; "when pulled off, it
came pouring from them like a pair of pails."

He got into dry clothes; presided in his usual way at dinner, which soon
followed; had many Generals and guests,--Lafayette, Lord Cornwallis,
Duke of York;--and, as might be expected, felt unusually feverish
afterwards. Hot, chill, quite poorly all afternoon; glad to get to
bed:--where he fell into deep sleep, into profuse perspiration, as his
wont was; and awoke, next morning, greatly recovered; altogether well
again, as he supposed. Well enough to finish his Review comfortably;
and start for home. Went--round by Neisse, inspection not to be omitted
there, though it doubles the distance--to Brieg that day; a drive of 80
miles, inspection-work included. Thence, at Breslan for three days more:
with dinners of state, balls, illuminations, in honor of the Duke
of York,--our as yet last Duke of York, then a brisk young fellow of
twenty-two; to whom, by accident, among his other distinctions, may
belong this of having (most involuntarily) helped to kill Friedrich the
Great!

Back to Potsdam, Friedrich pushed on with business; and complained
of nothing. Was at Berlin in about ten days (September 9th), for an
Artillery Review; saw his Sister Amelia; saw various public works in a
state of progress,--but what perhaps is medically significant, went in
the afternoon to a kind of Spa Well they have at Berlin; and slept,
not at the Palace, but at this Spa, in the hostelry or lodging-house
attached. [Rodenbeck, IN DIE.] Next day (September 10th), the Artillery
Manoeuvre was done; and the King left Berlin,--little guessing he had
seen Berlin for the last time.

The truth is, his health, unknown to him (though that of taking a Night
at the Spa Well probably denotes some guess or feeling of the kind
on his part), must have been in a dangerous or almost ruinous state.
Accordingly, soon afterwards, September 18th-19th, in the night-time,
he was suddenly aroused by a Fit of Suffocation (what they call
STICKFLUSS); and, for some hours, till relief was got, everybody feared
he would perish. Next day, there came gout; which perhaps he regarded
almost as a friend: but it did not prove such; it proved the captain
of a chaotic company of enemies; and Friedrich's end, I suppose,
was already inexorably near. At the Grand Potsdam Review (22d-23d
September), chief Review of all, and with such an affluence of Strangers
to it this Autumn, he was quite unable to appear; prescribed the
Manoeuvres and Procedures, and sorrowfully kept his room. [This of 23d
September, 1785, is what Print-Collectors know loosely as "FRIEDRICH'S
LAST REVIEW;"--one Cunningham, an English Painter (son of a Jacobite
ditto, and himself of wandering habitat), and Clemens, a Prussian
Engraver, having done a very large and highly superior Print of it, by
way of speculation in Military Portraits (Berlin, 1787); in which,
among many others, there figures the crediblest Likeness known to me
of FRIEDRICH IN OLD AGE, though Friedrich himself was not there.
(See PREUSS, iv. 242; especially see RODENBECK, iii. 337 n.)--As
Crown-Prince, Friedrich had SAT to Pesne: never afterwards to any
Artist.]

Friedrich was always something of a Doctor himself: he had little faith
in professional Doctors, though he liked to speak with the intelligent
sort, and was curious about their science, And it is agreed he really
had good notions in regard to it; in particular, that he very well
understood his own constitution of body; knew the effects of causes
there, at any rate, and the fit regimens and methods:--as an old man of
sense will usually do. The complaint is, that he was not always faithful
to regimen; that, in his old days at least, he loved strong soups, hot
spicy meats;--finding, I suppose, a kind of stimulant in them, as others
do in wine; a sudden renewal of strength, which might be very tempting
to him. There has been a great deal of unwise babble on this subject,
which I find no reason to believe, except as just said: In the fall of
this year, as usual, perhaps rather later than usual,--not till November
8th (for what reason so delaying, Marwitz told us already),--he withdrew
from Sans-Souci, his Summer-Cottage; shut himself up in Potsdam Palace
(Old Palace) for the winter. It was known he was very ailing; and that
he never stirred out,--but this was not quite unusual in late winters;
and the rumors about his health were vague and various. Now, as always,
he himself, except to his Doctors, was silent on that subject. Various
military Doctors, Theden, Frese and others of eminence, were within
reach; but it is not known to me that he consulted any of them.

Not till January, 1786, when symptoms worse than ever, of asthma, of
dropsy, began to manifest themselves, did he call in Selle, the chief
Berlin Doctor, and a man of real sagacity, as is still evident; who from
the first concluded the disease to be desperate; but of course began
some alleviatory treatment, the skilfulest possible to him. [Christian
Gottlieb Selle, KRANKHEITSGESCHICHTE DES HOCHSTSEELIGEN KONIGS VAN
PREUSSEN FRIEDRICHS DES ZWEYTEN MAJESTAT (Berlin, 1786); a very small
Pamphlet, now very rare;--giving in the most distinct, intelligent,
modest and conclusive way, an account of everything pertinent, and
rigorously of nothing else.] Selle, when questioned, kept his
worst fears carefully to himself: but the King noticed Selle's real
opinion,--which, probably, was the King's own too;--and finding little
actual alleviation, a good deal of trouble, and no possibility of a
victorious result by this warfare on the outworks, began to be weary of
Selle; and to turn his hopes--what hopes he yet had--on the fine weather
soon due. He had a continual short small cough, which much troubled him;
there was fear of new Suffocation-Fit; the breathing always difficult.

But Spring came, unusually mild; the King sat on the southern balconies
in the genial sun and air, looking over the bright sky and earth, and
new birth of things: "Were I at Sans-Souci, amid the Gardens!" thought
he. APRIL 17th, he shifted thither: not in a sedan, as Marwitz told us
of the former journey; but "in his carriage, very early in the
morning, making a long roundabout through various Villages, with
new relays,"--probably with the motive Marwitz assigns. Here are two
contemporaneous Excerpts:--

1. MIRABEAU AT SANS-SOUCI. "This same day," April 17th, it appears,
[Preuss: in _OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxv. 328 n.] "the King saw Mirabeau,
for the second and last time. Mirabeau had come to Berlin 19th January
last; his errand not very precise,--except that he infinitely wanted
employment, and that at Paris the Controller-General Calonne, since so
famous among mankind, had evidently none to offer him there. He seems to
have intended Russia, and employment with the Czarina,--after viewing
Berlin a little, with the great flashy eyesight he had. He first saw
Friedrich January 25th. There pass in all, between Friedrich and him,
seven Letters or Notes, two of them by the King; and on poor Mirabeau's
side, it must be owned, there is a massively respectful, truthful and
manly physiognomy, which probably has mended Friedrich's first opinion
of him. [... "Is coming to me to-day; one of those loose-tongued
fellows, I suppose, who write for and against all the world." (Friedrich
to Prince Henri, "25 January, 1786:" _OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxvi. 522.)]
This day, April 17th, 1786, he is at Potsdam; so far on the road to
France again,--Mirabeau Senior being reported dangerously ill. 'My
Dialogue with the King,' say the Mirabeau Papers, 'was very lively; but
the King was in such suffering, and so straitened for breath, I was
myself anxious to shorten it: that same evening I travelled on.'

"Mirabeau Senior did not die at this time: and Controller-General
Calonne, now again eager to shake off an importunate and far too
clear-sighted Mirabeau Junior, said to the latter: 'Back to Berlin,
could n't you? Their King is dying, a new King coming; highly important
to us!'--and poor Mirabeau went. Left Paris again, in May; with money
furnished, but, no other outfit, and more in the character of Newspaper
Vulture than of Diplomatic Envoy," [Rodenbeck, iii. 343. Fils Adoptif,
_Memoires de Mirabeau_ (Paris, 1834), iv. 288-292, 296.] as perhaps we
may transiently see.

2. MARIE ANTOINETTE AT VERSAILLES; TO HER SISTER CHRISTINE AT BRUSSELS
(Husband and she, Duke and Duchess of Sachsen-Teschen, are Governors of
the Netherlands):--

MARCH 20th, 1786.... "There has been arrested at Geneva one Villette,
who played a great part in that abominable Affair [of the Diamond
Necklace, now emerging on an astonished Queen and world]. [Carlyle's
_Miscellanies_ (Library Edition), v. 3-96,? DIAMOND NECKLACE. The
wretched Cardinal de Rohan was arrested at Versailles, and put in the
Bastille, "August 15th, 1785," the day before Friedrich set out for
his Silesian Review; ever since which, the arrestments and judicial
investigations have continued,--continue till "May 10th, 1786," when
Sentence was given.] M. Target", Advocate of the enchanted Cardinal, "is
coming out with his MEMOIR: he does his function; and God knows what are
the lies he will produce upon us. There is a MEMOIR by that Quack of a
Cagliostro, too: these are at this moment the theme of all talk."

APRIL 6th. "The MEMOIRS, the lies, succeed each other; and the Business
grows darker, not clearer. Such a Cardinal of the Church! He brazenly
maintains his distracted story about the Bosquet [Interview with me in
person, in that Hornbeam Arbor at Versailles; to me inconceivable, not
yet knowing of a Demoiselle d'Oliva from the streets, who had acted
my part there], and my Assent [to purchase the Necklace for me]. His
impudence and his audacity surpass belief. O Sister, I need all my
strength to support such cruel assaults.... The King of Prussia's
condition much engages attention (PREOCCUPE) here, and must do at Vienna
too: his death is considered imminent. I am sure you have your eyes open
on that side."...

APRIL 17th (just while the Mirabeau Interview at Potsdam is going
on).... "King of Prussia thought to be dying: I am weary of the
political discussions on this subject, as to what effects his death must
produce. He is better at this moment; but so weak he cannot resist long.
Physique is gone; but his force and energy of soul, they say, have often
supported him, and in desperate crises have even seemed to increase.
Liking to him I never had: his ostentatious immorality (IMMORALITE
AFFICHEE," ah, Madame!) "has much hurt public virtue [public
orthodoxy, I mean], and there have been related to me [by mendacious or
ill-informed persons] barbarities which excite horror. He has done us
all a great deal of ill. He has been a King for his own Country; but
a Trouble-feast for those about him;--setting up to be the arbiter of
Europe; always undertaking on his neighbors, and making them pay the
expense. As Daughters of Maria Theresa, it is impossible we can regret
him, nor is it the Court of France that will make his funeral oration."
[Comte de Hunolstein, _Correspondance inedite de Marie Antoinette_
(Paris, 1864), pp. 136, 137, 149.--Hunolstein's Book, I since find, is
mainly or wholly a Forgery! (NOTE of 1868.)]

From Sans-Souci the King did appear again on horseback; rode out several
times ("Conde," a fine English horse, one of his favorites, carrying
him,--the Conde who had many years of sinecure afterwards, and was well
known to Touring people): the rides were short; once to the New Palace
to look at some new Vinery there, thence to the Gate of Potsdam,
which he was for entering; but finding masons at work, and the street
encumbered, did not, and rode home instead: this, of not above two
miles, was his longest ride of all. Selle's attendance, less and less in
esteem with the King, and less and less followed by him, did not quite
cease till June 4th; that day the King had said to Selle, or to himself,
"It is enough." That longest of his rides was in the third week after;
June 22d, Midsummer-Day. July 4th, he rode again; and it was for the
last time. About two weeks after, Conde was again brought out; but it
would not do: Adieu, my Conde; not possible, as things are!--

During all this while, and to the very end, Friedrich's Affairs, great
and small, were, in every branch and item, guided on by him, with a
perfection not surpassed in his palmiest days: he saw his Ministers, saw
all who had business with him, many who had little; and in the sore coil
of bodily miseries, as Hertzberg observed with wonder, never was the
King's intellect clearer, or his judgment more just and decisive. Of his
disease, except to the Doctors, he spoke no word to anybody. The body
of Friedrich is a ruin, but his soul is still here; and receives his
friends and his tasks as formerly. Asthma, dropsy, erysipelas, continual
want of sleep; for many months past he has not been in bed, but sits day
and night in an easy-chair, unable to get breath except in that posture.
He said one morning, to somebody entering, "If you happened to want a
night-watcher, I could suit you well."

His multifarious Military businesses come first; then his three Clerks,
with the Civil and Political. These three he latterly, instead of
calling about 6 or 7 o'clock, has had to appoint for 4 each morning:
"My situation forces me," his message said, "to give them this trouble,
which they will not have to suffer long. My life is on the decline; the
time which I still have I must employ. It belongs not to me, but to
the State." [Preuss, iv. 257 n.] About 11, business, followed by short
surgical details or dressings (sadly insisted on in those Books, and
in themselves sufficiently sad), being all done,--his friends or daily
company are admitted: five chiefly, or (NOT counting Minister Hertzberg)
four, Lucchesini, Schwerin, Pinto, Gortz; who sit with him about one
hour now, and two hours in the evening again:--dreary company to our
minds, perhaps not quite so dreary to the King's; but they are all he
has left. And he talks cheerfully with them "on Literature, History,
on the topics of the day, or whatever topic rises, as if there were no
sickness here." A man adjusted to his hard circumstances; and bearing
himself manlike and kinglike among them.

He well knew himself to be dying; but some think, expected that the end
might be a little farther off. There is a grand simplicity of stoicism
in him; coming as if by nature, or by long SECOND-nature; finely
unconscious of itself, and finding nothing of peculiar in this new trial
laid on it. From of old, Life has been infinitely contemptible to him.
In death, I think, he has neither fear nor hope. Atheism, truly, he
never could abide: to him, as to all of us, it was flatly inconceivable
that intellect, moral emotion, could have been put into HIM by an Entity
that had none of its own. But there, pretty much, his Theism seems to
have stopped. Instinctively, too, he believed, no man more firmly,
that Right alone has ultimately any strength in this world: ultimately,
yes;--but for him and his poor brief interests, what good was it? Hope
for himself in Divine Justice, in Divine Providence, I think he had not
practically any; that the unfathomable Demiurgus should concern himself
with such a set of paltry ill-given animalcules as oneself and mankind
are, this also, as we have often noticed, is in the main incredible to
him.

A sad Creed, this of the King's;--he had to do his duty without fee or
reward. Yes, reader;--and what is well worth your attention, you will
have difficulty to find, in the annals of any Creed, a King or man
who stood more faithfully to his duty; and, till the last hour, alone
concerned himself with doing that. To poor Friedrich that was all the
Law and all the Prophets: and I much recommend you to surpass him,
if you, by good luck, have a better Copy of those inestimable
Documents!--Inarticulate notions, fancies, transient aspirations, he
might have, in the background of his mind. One day, sitting for a while
out of doors, gazing into the Sun, he was heard to murmur, "Perhaps I
shall be nearer thee soon:"--and indeed nobody knows what his thoughts
were in these final months. There is traceable only a complete
superiority to Fear and Hope; in parts, too, are half-glimpses of a
great motionless interior lake of Sorrow, sadder than any tears or
complainings, which are altogether wanting to it.

Friedrich's dismissal of Selle, June 4th, by no means meant that he had
given up hope from medicine; on the contrary, two days after, he had a
Letter on the road for Zimmermann at Hanover; whom he always remembers
favorably since that DIALOGUE we read fifteen years ago. His first
Note to Zimmermann is of June 6th, "Would you consent to come for a
fortnight, and try upon me?" Zimmermann's overjoyed Answer, "Yes, thrice
surely yes," is of June 10th; Friedrich's second is of June 16th, "Come,
then!" And Zimmermann came accordingly,--as is still too well known.
Arrived 23d June; stayed till 10th July; had Thirty-three Interviews or
DIALOGUES with him; one visit the last day; two, morning and evening,
every preceding day;--and published a Book about them, which made
immense noise in the world, and is still read, with little profit
or none, by inquirers into Friedrich. [Ritter von Zimmermann, _Uber
Friedrich den Grossen und meine Unterredungen mit Ihm kurz von seinem
Tode_ (1 vol. 8vo: Leipzig, 1788);--followed by _Fragmente uber
Friedrich den Grossen_ (3 vols. 12mo: Leipzig, 1790); and by &c. &c.]
Thirty-three Dialogues, throwing no new light on Friedrich, none of them
equal in interest to the old specimen known to us.

In fact, the Book turns rather on Zimmermann himself than on his Royal
Patient; and might be entitled, as it was by a Satirist, DIALOGUES
OF ZIMMERMANN I. AND FRIEDRICH II. An unwise Book; abounding in
exaggeration; breaking out continually into extraneous sallies and
extravagancies,--the source of which is too plainly an immense conceit
of oneself. Zimmermann is fifteen years older since we last saw him; a
man now verging towards sixty; but has not grown wiser in proportion.
In Hanover, though miraculously healed of that LEIBESSCHADE, and full of
high hopes, he has had his new tribulations, new compensations,--both
of an agitating character. "There arose," he says, in reference to
some medical Review-article he wrote, "a WEIBER-EPIDEMIK, a universal
shrieking combination of all the Women against me:"--a frightful
accident while it lasted! Then his little Daughter died on his hands;
his Son had disorders, nervous imbecilities,--did not die, but did
worse; went into hopeless idiotcy, and so lived for many years.
Zimmermann, being dreadfully miserable, hypochondriac, what not, "his
friends," he himself passive, it would seem, "managed to get a young
Wife for him;" thirty years younger than he,--whose performances,
however, in this difficult post, are praised.

Lastly, not many months ago (Leipzig, 1785), the big FINAL edition of
"SOLITUDE" (four volumes) has come out; to the joy and enthusiasm of all
philanthropic-philosophic and other circulating-library creatures:--a
Copy of which came, by course of nature, not by Zimmermann's help, into
the hands of Catharine of Russia. Sublime imperial Letter thereupon,
with 'valuable diamond ring;' invitation to come to Petersburg, with
charges borne (declined, on account of health); to be imperial Physician
(likewise declined);--in fine, continued Correspondence with Catharine
(trying enough for a vain head), and Knighthood of the Order of St.
Wladimir,--so that, at least, Doctor Zimmermann is RITTER Zimmermann
henceforth. And now, here has come his new Visit to Friedrich the
Great;--which, with the issues it had, and the tempestuous cloud of
tumid speculations and chaotic writings it involved him in, quite upset
the poor Ritter Doctor; so that, hypochondrias deepening to the abysmal,
his fine intellect sank altogether,--and only Death, which happily
followed soon, could disimprison him. At this moment, there is in
Zimmermann a worse "Dropsy" of the spiritual kind, than this of the
physical, which he has come in relief of!

Excerpts of those Zimmermann DIALOGUES lie copiously round me, ready
long ago,--nay, I understand there is, or was, an English TRANSLATION of
the whole of them, better or worse, for behoof of the curious:--but
on serious consideration now, I have to decide, That they are but as
a Scene of clowns in the Elder Dramatists; which, even were it NOT
overdone as it is, cannot be admitted in this place, and is plainly
impertinent in the Tragedy that is being acted here. Something of Farce
will often enough, in this irreverent world, intrude itself on the most
solemn Tragedy; but, in pity even to the Farce, there ought at least to
be closed doors kept between them.

Enough for us to say, That Ritter Zimmermann--who is a Physician and a
Man of Literary Genius, and should not have become a Tragic Zany--did,
with unspeakable emotions, terrors, prayers to Heaven, and paroxysms
of his own ridiculous kind, prescribe "Syrup of Dandelion" to the King;
talked to him soothingly, musically, successfully; found the King a
most pleasant Talker, but a very wilful perverse kind of Patient; whose
errors in point of diet especially were enormous to a degree. Truth is,
the King's appetite for food did still survive:--and this might have
been, you would think, the one hopeful basis of Zimmermann's whole
treatment, if there were still any hope: but no; Zimmermann merely, with
uncommon emphasis, lyrically recognizes such amazing appetite in an old
man overwhelmed by diseases,--trumpets it abroad, for ignorant persons
to regard as a crime, or perhaps as a type generally of the man's past
life, and makes no other attempt upon it;--stands by his "Extract of
Dandelion boiled to the consistency of honey;" and on the seventeenth
day, July 10th, voiceless from emotion, heart just breaking, takes
himself away, and ceases. One of our Notes says:--

"Zimmermann went by Dessau and Brunswick; at Brunswick, if he made speed
thither, Zimmermann might perhaps find Mirabeau, who is still there, and
just leaving for Berlin to be in at the death:--but if the Doctor and
he missed each other, it was luckier, as they had their controversies
afterwards. Mirabeau arrived at Berlin, July 21st: [Mirabeau, HISTOIRE
SECRETE DE LA COUR DE BERLIN, tome iii. of _OEuvres de Mirabeau:_ Paris,
1821, LETTRE v. p. 37.] vastly diligent in picking up news, opinions,
judgments of men and events, for his Calonne;--and amazingly accurate,
one finds; such a flash of insight has he, in whatever element, foul or
fair.

"JULY 9th, the day before Zimmerman's departure, Hertzberg had come
out to Potsdam in permanence. Hertzberg is privately thenceforth in
communication with the Successor; altogether privately, though no doubt
Friedrich knew it well enough, and saw it to be right. Of course, all
manner of poor creatures are diligent about their own bits of interests;
and saying to themselves, 'A New Reign is evidently nigh!' Yes,
my friends;--and a precious Reign it will prove in comparison:
sensualities, unctuous religiosities, ostentations, imbecilities;
culminating in Jena twenty years hence."

Zimmermann haggles to tell us what his report was at Brunswick; says, he
"set the Duke [ERBPRINZ, who is now Duke these six years past] sobbing
and weeping;" though towards the Widow Duchess there must have been some
hope held out, as we shall now see. The Duchess's Letter or Letters to
her Brother are lost; but this is his Answer:--


FRIEDRICH TO THE DUCHESS-DOWAGER OF BRUNSWICK.

"SANS-SOUCI, 10th August, 1786.

"MY ADORABLE SISTER,--The Hanover Doctor has wished to make himself
important with you, my good Sister; but the truth is, he has been of no
use to me (M'A ETE INUTILE). The old must give place to the young, that
each generation may find room clear for it: and Life, if we examine
strictly what its course is, consists in seeing one's fellow-creatures
die and be born. In the mean while, I have felt myself a little easier
for the last day or two. My heart remains inviolably attached to you, my
good Sister. With the highest consideration,--My adorable Sister,--Your
faithful Brother and Servant, "FRIEDRICH." [_OEuvres de Frederic,_
xxvii. i. 352.]

This is Friedrich's last Letter;--his last to a friend. There is one to
his Queen, which Preuss's Index seems to regard as later, though without
apparent likelihood; there being no date whatever, and only these words:
"Madam,--I am much obliged by the wishes you deign to form: but a
heavy fever I have taken (GROSSE FIEVRE QUE J'AI PRISE) hinders me from
answering you." [Ib. xxvi. 62.]

On common current matters of business, and even on uncommon, there
continue yet for four days to be Letters expressly dictated by
Friedrich; some about military matters (vacancies to be filled, new
Free-Corps to be levied). Two or three of them are on so small a subject
as the purchase of new Books by his Librarians at Berlin. One, and it
has been preceded by examining, is, Order to the Potsdam Magistrates to
grant "the Baker Schroder, in terms of his petition, a Free-Pass out of
Preussen hither, for 100 bushels of rye and 50 of wheat, though Schroder
will not find the prices much cheaper there than here." His last, of
August 14th, is to De Launay, Head of the Excise: "Your Account of
Receipts and Expenditures came to hand yesterday, 13th; but is too
much in small: I require one more detailed,"--and explains, with brief
clearness, on what points and how. Neglects nothing, great or small,
while life yet is.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 15th, 1786, Contrary to all wont, the King did not
awaken till 11 o'clock. On first looking up, he seemed in a confused
state, but soon recovered himself; called in his Generals and
Secretaries, who had been in waiting so long, and gave, with his old
precision, the Orders wanted,--one to Rohdich, Commandant of Potsdam,
about a Review of the troops there next day; Order minutely perfect,
in knowledge of the ground, in foresight of what and how the evolutions
were to be; which was accordingly performed on the morrow. The Cabinet
work he went through with the like possession of himself, giving, on
every point, his Three Clerks their directions, in a weak voice, yet
with the old power of spirit,--dictated to one of them, among other
things, an "Instruction" for some Ambassador just leaving; "four quarto
pages, which," says Hertzberg, "would have done honor to the most
experienced Minister;" and, in the evening, he signed his Missives as
usual. This evening still,--but--no evening more. We are now at the last
scene of all, which ends this strange eventful History.

Wednesday morning, General-Adjutants, Secretaries, Commandant, were
there at their old hours; but word came out, "Secretaries are to wait:"
King is in a kind of sleep, of stertorous ominous character, as if it
were the death-sleep; seems not to recollect himself, when he does
at intervals open his eyes. After hours of this, [Selle (ut sup.);
Anonymous (Kletschke), LETZTE STUNDEN UND LEICHENBEGANGNISS FRIEDRICHS
DES ZWEYTEN, (Potsdam, 1786); Preuss, iv. 264 et seq.; Rodenbeck, iii.
363-366.] on a ray of consciousness, the King bethought him of Rohdich,
the Commandant; tried to give Rohdich the Parole as usual; tried twice,
perhaps three times; but found he could not speak;--and with a glance of
sorrow, which seemed to say, "It is impossible, then!" turned his head,
and sank back into the corner of his chair. Rohdich burst into tears:
the King again lay slumberous;--the rattle of death beginning soon
after, which lasted at intervals all day. Selle, in Berlin, was sent
for by express; he arrived about three of the afternoon: King seemed a
little more conscious, knew those about him, "his face red rather than
pale, in his eyes still something of their old fire." Towards evening
the feverishness abated (to Selle, I suppose, a fatal symptom); the
King fell into a soft sleep, with warm perspiration; but, on awakening,
complained of cold, repeatedly of cold, demanding wrappage after
wrappage ("KISSEN," soft QUILT of the old fashion);--and on examining
feet and legs, one of the Doctors made signs that they were in fact
cold, up nearly to the knee. "What said he of the feet?" murmured the
King some time afterwards, the Doctor having now stepped out of sight.
"Much the same as before," answered some attendant. The King shook his
head, incredulous.

He drank once, grasping the goblet with both hands, a draught of
fennel-water, his customary drink; and seemed relieved by it;--his last
refection in this world. Towards nine in the evening, there had come on
a continual short cough, and a rattling in the breast, breath more and
more difficult. Why continue? Friedrich is making exit, on the common
terms; you may HEAR the curtain rustling down. For most part he was
unconscious, never more than half conscious. As the wall-clock above his
head struck 11, he asked: "What o'clock?" "Eleven," answered they. "At
4" murmured he, "I will rise." One of his dogs sat on its Stool near
him; about midnight he noticed it shivering for cold: "Throw a quilt
over it," said or beckoned he; that, I think, was his last completely
conscious utterance. Afterwards, in a severe choking fit, getting at
last rid of the phlegm, he said, "LA MONTAGNE EST PASSEE, NOUS IRONS
MIEUX, We are over the hill, we shall go better now."

Attendants, Hertzberg, Selle and one or two others, were in the outer
room; none in Friedrich's but Strutzki, his Kammerhussar, one of Three
who are his sole valets and nurses; a faithful ingenious man, as they
all seem to be, and excellently chosen for the object. Strutzki, to save
the King from hustling down, as he always did, into the corner of
his chair, where, with neck and chest bent forward, breathing was
impossible,--at last took the King on his knee; kneeling on the ground
with his other knee for the purpose,--King's right arm round Strutzki's
neck, Strutzki's left arm round the King's back, and supporting his
other shoulder; in which posture the faithful creature, for above two
hours, sat motionless, till the end came. Within doors, all is silence,
except this breathing; around it the dark earth silent, above it the
silent stars. At 20 minutes past 2, the breathing paused,--wavered;
ceased. Friedrich's Life-battle is fought out; instead of suffering and
sore labor, here is now rest. Thursday morning, 17th August, 1786, at
the dark hour just named. On the 31st of May last, this King had reigned
46 years. "He has lived," counts Rodenbeck, "74 years, 6 months and 24
days."

His death seems very stern and lonely;--a man of such affectionate
feelings, too; "a man with more sensibility than other men!" But so had
his whole life been, stern and lonely; such the severe law laid on him.
Nor was it inappropriate that he found his death in that poor Silesian
Review; punctually doing, as usual, the work that had come in hand. Nor
that he died now, rather than a few years later. In these final days
of his, we have transiently noticed Arch-Cardinal de Rohan, Arch-Quack
Cagliostro, and a most select Company of Persons and of Actions, like an
Elixir of the Nether World, miraculously emerging into daylight; and all
Paris, and by degrees all Europe, getting loud with the DIAMOND-NECKLACE
History. And to eyes of deeper speculation,--World-Poet Goethe's, for
instance,--it is becoming evident that Chaos is again big. As has not
she proved to be, and is still proving, in the most teeming way! Better
for a Royal Hero, fallen old and feeble, to be hidden from such things.

"Yesterday, Wednesday, August 16th," says a Note which now strikes us
as curious, "Mirabeau, smelling eagerly for news, had ridden out towards
Potsdam; met the Page riding furiously for Selle ('one horse already
broken down,' say the Peasants about); and with beak, powerful beyond
any other vulture's, Mirabeau perceived that here the end now was. And
thereupon rushed off, to make arrangements for a courier, for flying
pigeons, and the other requisites. And appeared that night at the
Queen's Soiree in Schonhausen [Queen has Apartment that evening,
dreaming of nothing], 'where,' says he, 'I eagerly whispered the French
Minister,' and less eagerly 'MON AMI Mylord Dalrymple,' the English
one;--neither of whom would believe me. Nor, in short, what Calonne will
regret, but nobody else, could the pigeons be let loose, owing to
want of funds.'" [Mirabeau, HISTOIRE SECRETE, &c. (LETTRE xiv.), pp.
58-63.]--Enough, enough.

Friedrich was not buried at Sans-Souci, in the Tomb which he had built
for himself; why not, nobody clearly says. By his own express will,
there was no embalming. Two Regiment-surgeons washed the Corpse,
decently prepared it for interment: "At 8 that same evening, Friedrich's
Body, dressed in the uniform of the First Battalion of Guards, and laid
in its coffin, was borne to Potsdam, in a hearse of eight horses, twelve
Non-commissioned Officers of the Guard escorting. All Potsdam was in the
streets; the Soldiers, of their own accord, formed rank, and followed
the hearse; many a rugged face unable to restrain tears: for the rest,
universal silence as of midnight, nothing audible among the people but
here and there a sob, and the murmur, 'ACH, DER GUTE KONIG!'

"All next day, the Body lay in state in the Palace; thousands crowding,
from Berlin and the other environs, to see that face for the last time.
Wasted, worn; but beautiful in death, with the thin gray hair parted
into locks, and slightly powdered. And at 8 in the evening [Friday,
18th], he was borne to the Garnison-Kirche of Potsdam; and laid beside
his Father, in the vault behind the Pulpit there," [Rodenbeck, iii. 365
(Public Funeral was not till September 9th).] where the two Coffins are
still to be seen.

I define him to myself as hitherto the Last of the Kings;--when the
Next will be, is a very long question! But it seems to me as if Nations,
probably all Nations, by and by, in their despair,--blinded, swallowed
like Jonah, in such a whale's-belly of things brutish, waste, abominable
(for is not Anarchy, or the Rule of what is Baser over what is
Nobler, the one life's misery worth complaining of, and, in fact, the
abomination of abominations, springing from and producing all others
whatsoever?)--as if the Nations universally, and England too if it hold
on, may more and more bethink themselves of such a Man and his Function
and Performance, with feelings far other than are possible at present.
Meanwhile, all I had to say of him is finished: that too, it seems,
was a bit of work appointed to be done. Adieu, good readers; bad also,
adieu.





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