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XXI. (of XXI.), by Thomas Carlyle

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Title: History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XXI. (of XXI.)
       Frederick The Great--Afternoon and Evening of Friedrich's

Author: Thomas Carlyle

Release Date: June 13, 2008 [EBook #2121]
Last Updated: November 30, 2012

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII


Produced by D.R. Thompson and David Widger



by Thomas Carlyle




LANDRATH NUSSLER AND THE KING (30th March-3d April, 1763).
KRIEGSRATH RODEN AND THE KING (6th-13th June, 1763).


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



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





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.


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:—


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).


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.


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?'


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.


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!—


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!"


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 ( Maria Theresa), iv. (2tes Bandchen) 6-124; MARIA THERESIENS LEBEN, p. 30.] In which capacity we shall meet the young man again.


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.


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.


"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.


"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:—


"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:—


"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.]


"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.


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 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)."]


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."]


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.


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:—


"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."


"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.]


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!


"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, 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.]


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.]


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.


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.


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!"


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:—


"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

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.]


"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.


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],


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:—


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.


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."


"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).


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).


"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.)


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.


"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,


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).


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!—


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 Eleanor 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:—


"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."


[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!


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:—


"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.


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."


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.


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.


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.


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:—


"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.


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:—


"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.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of History of Friedrich II. of Prussia,
Vol. XXI. (of XXI.), by Thomas Carlyle


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