- History of Friedrich II of Prussia - Frederick the Great (Chapter XI. - In Papa's Sick-Room; Prussian Inspections: End of War.) by Napoleon Bonaparte
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History of Friedrich II of Prussia - Frederick the Great
Chapter XI. - In Papa's Sick-Room; Prussian Inspections: End of War.

by Napoleon Bonaparte

It appears, Friedrich met a cordial reception in the sickroom at Potsdam; and, in spite of his levities to Wilhelmina, was struck to the heart by what he saw there. For months to come, he seems to be continually running between Potsdam and Ruppin, eager to minister to his sick Father, when military leave is procurable. Other fact, about him, other aspect of him, in those months, is not on record for us.

Of his young Madam, or Princess-Royal, peaceably resident at Berlin or at Schonhausen, and doing the vacant officialities, formal visitings and the like, we hear nothing; of Queen Sophie and the others, nothing: anxious, all of them, no doubt, about the event at Potsdam, and otherwise silent to us. His Majesty's illness comes and goes; now hope, and again almost none. Margraf of Schwedt and his young Bride, we already know, were married in November; and Lieutenant Chasot (two days old in Berlin) told us, there was Dinner by the Crown-Prince to all the Royal Family on that occasion;--poor Majesty out at Potsdam languishing in the background, meanwhile.

His Carnival the Crown-Prince passes naturally at Berlin. We find he takes a good deal to the French Ambassador, one Marquis de la Chetardie; a showy restless character, of fame in the Gazettes of that time; who did much intriguing at Petersburg some years hence, first in a signally triumphant way, and then in a signally untriumphant; and is not now worth any knowledge but a transient accidental one. Chetardie came hither about Stanislaus and his affairs; tried hard, but in vain, to tempt Friedrich Wilhelm into interference;--is naturally anxious to captivate the Crown-Prince, in present circumstances.

Friedrich Wilhelm lay at Potsdam, between death and life, for almost four months to come; the Newspapers speculating much on his situation; political people extremely anxious what would become of him,--or in fact, when he would die; for that was considered the likely issue. Fassmann gives dolorous clippings from the Leyden Gazette, all in a blubber of tears, according to the then fashion, but full of impertinent curiosity withal. And from the Seckendorf private Papers there are Extracts of a still more inquisitive and notable character: Seckendorf and the Kaiser having an intense interest in this painful occurrence.

Seckendorf is not now himself at Berlin; but running much about, on other errands; can only see Friedrich Wilhelm, if at all, in a passing way. And even this will soon cease;--and in fact, to us it is by far the most excellent result of this French-Austrian War, that it carries Seckendorf clear away; who now quits Berlin and the Diplomatic line, and obligingly goes out of our sight henceforth. The old Ordnance-Master, as an Imperial General of rank, is needed now for War-Service, if he has any skill that way. In those late months, he was duly in attendance at Philipsburg and the Rhine-Campaign, in a subaltern torpid capacity, like Brunswick-Bevern and the others; ready for work, had there been any: but next season, he expects to have a Division of his own, and to do something considerable.--In regard to Berlin and the Diplomacies, he has appointed a Nephew of his, a Seckendorf Junior, to take his place there; to keep the old machinery in gear, if nothing more; and furnish copious reports during the present crisis. These Reports of Seckendorf Junior--full of eavesdroppings, got from a KAMMERMOHR (Nigger Lackey), who waits in the sick-room at Potsdam, and is sensible to bribes--have been printed; and we mean to glance slightly into them. But as to Seckendorf Senior, readers can entertain the fixed hope that they have at length done with him; that, in these our premises, we shall never see him again;--nay shall see him, on extraneous dim fields, far enough away, smarting and suffering, till even we are almost sorry for the old knave!--

Friedrich Wilhelm's own prevailing opinion is, that he cannot recover. His bodily sufferings are great: dropsically swollen, sometimes like to be choked: no bed that he can bear to lie on;-- oftenest rolls about in a Bath-chair; very heavy-laden indeed; and I think of tenderer humor than in former sicknesses. To the Old Dessauer he writes, few days after getting home to Potsdam: "I am ready to quit the world, as Your Dilection knows, and has various times heard me say. One ship sails faster, another slower; but they come all to one haven. Let it be with me, then, as the Most High has determined for me." [Orlich, Geschichte der Schlesischen Kriege (Berlin, 1841), i. 14. "From the Dessau Archives; date, 21st September, 1734."] He has settled his affairs, Fassmann says, so far as possible; settled the order of his funeral, How he is to be buried, in the Garrison Church of Potsdam, without pomp or fuss, like a Prussian Soldier; and what regiment or regiments it is that are to do the triple volley over him, by way of finis and long farewell. His soul's interests too, --we need not doubt he is in deep conference, in deep consideration about these; though nothing is said on that point. A serious man always, much feeling what immense facts he was surrounded with; and here is now the summing up of all facts. Occasionally, again, he has hopes; orders up "two hundred of his Potsdam Giants to march through the sick-room," since he cannot get out to them; or old Generals, Buddenbrock, Waldau, come and take their pipe there, in reminiscence of a Tabagie. Here, direct from the fountain-head, or Nigger Lackey bribed by Seckendorf Junior, is a notice or two:--

"POTSDAM, SEPTEMBER 3Oth, 1734. Yesterday, for half an hour, the King could get no breath: he keeps them continually rolling him about" in his Bath-chair, "over the room, and cries 'LUFT, LUFT (Air, air)!'

"OCTOBER 2d. The King is not going to die just yet; but will scarcely see Christmas. He gets on his clothes; argues with the Doctors, is impatient; won't have people speak of his illness;--is quite black in the face; drinks nothing but MOLL [which we suppose to be small bitter beer], takes physic, writes in bed.

"OCTOBER 5th. The Nigger tells me things are better. The King begins to bring up phlegm; drinks a great deal of oatmeal water [HAFERGRUTZWASSER, comfortable to the sick]; says to the Nigger: 'Pray diligently, all of you; perhaps I shall not die!'"

October 5th: this is the day the Crown-Prince arrives at Baireuth; to be called away by express four days after. How valuable, at Vienna or elsewhere, our dark friend the Lackey's medical opinion is, may be gathered from this other Entry, three weeks farther on,--enough to suffice us on that head:--

"The Nigger tells me he has a bad opinion of the King's health. If you roll the King a little fast in his Bath-chair, you hear the water jumble in his body,"--with astonishment! "King gets into passions; has beaten the pages [may we hope, our dark friend among the rest?], so that it was feared apoplexy would take him."

This will suffice for the physiological part; let us now hear our poor friend on the Crown-Prince and his arrival:--

"OCTOBER 12th. Return of the Prince-Royal to Potsdam; tender reception.--OCTOBER 21st. Things look ill in Potsdam. The other leg is now also begun running; and above a quart (MAAS) of water has come from it. Without a miracle, the King cannot live,"-- thinks our dark friend. "The Prince-Royal is truly affected (VERITABLEMENT ATTENDRI) at the King's situation; has his eyes full of water, has wept the eyes out of his head: has schemed in all ways to contrive a commodious bed for the King; wouldn't go away from Potsdam. King forced him away; he is to return Saturday afternoon. The Prince-Royal has been heard to say, 'If the King will let me live in my own way, I would give an arm to lengthen his life for twenty years.' King always calls him Fritzchen. But Fritzchen," thinks Seckendorf Junior, "knows nothing about business. The King is aware of it; and said in the face of him one day: 'If thou begin at the wrong end with things, and all go topsy-turvy after I am gone, I will laugh at thee out of my grave!'" [Seckendorf (BARON), Journal Secret; cited in Forster, ii. 142.]

So Friedrich Wilhelm; laboring amid the mortal quicksands; looking into the Inevitable, in various moods. But the memorablest speech he made to Fritzchen or to anybody at present, was that covert one about the Kaiser and Seckendorf, and the sudden flash of insight he got, from some word of Seckendorf's, into what they had been meaning with him all along. Riding through the village of Priort, in debate about Vienna politics of a strange nature, Seckendorf said something, which illuminated his Majesty, dark for so many years, and showed him where he was. A ghastly horror of a country, yawning indisputable there; revealed to one as if by momentary lightning, in that manner! This is a speech which all the ambassadors report, and which was already mentioned by us,--in reference to that opprobrious Proposal about the Crown-Prince's Marriage, "Marry with England, after all; never mind breaking your word!" Here is the manner of it, with time and place:--

"Sunday last," Sunday, 17th October, 1734, reports Seckendorf, Junior, through the Nigger or some better witness, "the King said to the Prince-Royal: 'My dear Son, I tell thee I got my death at Priort. I entreat thee, above all things in the world, don't trust those people (DENEN LEUTEN), however many promises they make. That day, it was April 17th, 1733, there was a man said something to me: it was as if you had turned a dagger round in my heart.'" [Seckendorf (BARON), Journal Secret; cited in Forster, ii. 142.]--

Figure that, spoken from amid the dark sick whirlpools, the mortal quicksands, in Friedrich Wilhelm's voice, clangorously plaintive; what a wild sincerity, almost pathos, is in it; and whether Fritzchen, with his eyes all bewept even for what Papa had suffered in that matter, felt lively gratitudes to the House of Austria at this moment!--

It was four months after, "21st January, 1735," [Fassmann, p. 533.] when the King first got back to Berlin, to enlighten the eyes of the Carnival a little, as his wont had been. The crisis of his Majesty's illness is over, present danger gone; and the Carnival people, not without some real gladness, though probably with less than they pretend, can report him well again. Which is far from being the fact, if they knew it. Friedrich Wilhelm is on his feet again; but he never more was well. Nor has he forgotten that word at Priort, "like the turning of a dagger in one's heart;"--and indeed gets himself continually reminded of it by practical commentaries from the Vienna Quarter.

In April, Prince Lichtenstein arrives on Embassy with three requests or demands from Vienna: "1. That, besides the Ten Thousand due by Treaty, his Majesty would send his Reich's Contingent," NOT comprehended in those Ten Thousand, thinks the Kaiser. "2. That he would have the goodness to dismiss Marquis de la Chetardie the French Ambassador, as a plainly superfluous person at a well-affected German Court in present circumstances;" --person excessively dangerous, should the present Majesty die, Crown-Prince being so fond of that Chetardie. "3. That his Prussian Majesty do give up the false Polish Majesty Stanislaus, and no longer harbor him in East Preussen or elsewhere." The whole of which demands his Prussian Majesty refuses; the latter two especially, as something notably high on the Kaiser's part, or on any mortal's, to a free Sovereign and Gentleman. Prince Lichtenstein is eloquent, conciliatory; but it avails not. He has to go home empty-handed;--manages to leave with Herr von Suhm, who took care of it for us, that Anecdote of the Crown- Prince's behavior under cannon-shot from Philipsburg last year; and does nothing else recordable, in Berlin.

The Crown-Prince's hopes were set, with all eagerness, on getting to the Rhine-Campaign next ensuing; nor did the King refuse, for a long while, but still less did he consent; and in the end there came nothing of it. From an early period of the year, Friedrich Wilhelm sees too well what kind of campaigning the Kaiser will now make; at a certain Wedding-dinner where his Majesty was,-- precisely a fortnight after his Majesty's arrival in Berlin,-- Seckendorf Junior has got, by eavesdropping, this utterance of his Majesty's: "The Kaiser has not a groschen of money. His Army in Lombardy is gone to twenty-four thousand men, will have to retire into the Mountains. Next campaign [just coming], he will lose Mantua and the Tyrol. God's righteous judgment it is: a War like this! Comes of flinging old principles overboard,--of meddling in business that was none of yours;" and more, of a plangent alarming nature. [Forster, ii. 144 (and DATE it from Militair- Lexikon, ii. 54).]

Friedrich Wilhelm sends back his Ten Thousand, according to contract; sends, over and above, a beautiful stock of "copper pontoons" to help the Imperial Majesty in that River Country, says Fassmann;--sends also a supernumerary Troop of Hussars, who are worth mentioning, "Six-score horse of Hussar type," under one Captain Ziethen, a taciturn, much-enduring, much-observing man, whom we shall see again: these are to be diligently helpful, as is natural; but they are also, for their own behoof, to be diligently observant, and learn the Austrian Hussar methods, which his Majesty last year saw to be much superior. Nobody that knows Ziethen doubts but he learnt; Hussar-Colonel Baronay, his Austrian teacher here, became too well convinced of it when they met on a future occasion. [ Life of Ziethen (veridical but inexact, by the Frau von Blumenthal, a kinswoman of his; English Translation, very ill printed, Berlin, 1803), p. 54.] All this his Majesty did for the ensuing campaign: but as to the Crown-Prince's going thither, after repeated requests on his part, it is at last signified to him, deep in the season, that it cannot be: "Won't answer for a Crown-Prince to be sharer in such a Campaign;--be patient, my good Fritzchen, I will find other work for thee." [Friedrich's Letter, 5th September, 1735; Friedrich Wilhelm's Answer next day ( OEuvres de Frederic, xxvii. part 3d, 93-95).] Fritzchen is sent into Preussen, to do the Reviewings and Inspections there; Papa not being able for them this season; and strict manifold Inspection, in those parts, being more than usually necessary, owing to the Russian-Polish troubles. On this errand, which is clearly a promotion, though in present circumstances not a welcome one for the Crown-Prince, he sets out without delay; and passes there the equinoctial and autumnal season, in a much more useful way than he could have done in the Rhine-Campaign.

In the Rhine-Moselle Country and elsewhere the poor Kaiser does exert himself to make a Campaign of it; but without the least success. Having not a groschen of money, how could he succeed? Noailles, as foreseen, manoeuvres him, hitch after hitch, out of Italy; French are greatly superior, more especially when Montemar, having once got Carlos crowned in Naples and put secure, comes to assist the French; Kaiser has to lean for shelter on the Tyrol Alps, as predicted. Italy, all but some sieging of strong-places, may be considered as lost for the present.

Nor on the Rhine did things go better. Old Eugene, "the shadow of himself," had no more effect this year than last: nor, though Lacy and Ten Thousand Russians came as allies, Poland being all settled now, could the least good be done. Reich's Feldmarschall Karl Alexander of Wurtemberg did "burn a Magazine" (probably of hay among better provender) by his bomb-shells, on one occasion. Also the Prussian Ten Thousand--Old Dessauer leading them, General Roder having fallen ill--burnt something: an Islet in the Rhine, if I recollect, "Islet of Larch near Bingen," where the French had a post; which and whom the Old Dessauer burnt away. And then Seckendorf, at the head of thirty thousand, he, after long delays, marched to Trarbach in the interior Moselle Country; and got into some explosive sputter of battle with Belleisle, one afternoon,-- some say, rather beating Belleisle; but a good judge says, it was a mutual flurry and terror they threw one another into. [ OEuvres de Frederic, i. 168.] Seckendorf meant to try again on the morrow: but there came an estafette that night: "Preliminaries signed (Vienna, 3d October, 1735);--try no farther!" ["Cessation is to be, 5th November for Germany, 15th for Italy; Preliminaries" were, Vienna, "3d October," 1735 (Scholl, ii. 945).] And this was the second Rhine-Campaign, and the end of the Kaiser's French War. The Sea-Powers, steadily refusing money, diligently run about, offering terms of arbitration; and the Kaiser, beaten at every point, and reduced to his last groschen, is obliged to comply. He will have a pretty bill to pay for his Polish-Election frolic, were the settlement done! Fleury is pacific, full of bland candor to the Sea-Powers; the Kaiser, after long higgling upon articles, will have to accept the bill.

The Crown-Prince, meanwhile, has a successful journey into Preussen; sees new interesting scenes, Salzburg Emigrants, exiled Polish Majesties; inspects the soldiering, the schooling, the tax- gathering, the domain-farming, with a perspicacity, a dexterity and completeness that much pleases Papa. Fractions of the Reports sent home exist for us: let the reader take a glance of one only; the first of the series; dated MARIENWERDER (just across the Weichsel, fairly out of Polish Preussen and into our own), 27th September, 1735, and addressed to the "Most All-gracious King and Father;"--abridged for the reader's behoof:--

... "In Polish Preussen, lately the Seat of War, things look hideously waste; one sees nothing but women and a few children; it is said the people are mostly running away,"--owing to the Russian-Polish procedures there, in consequence of the blessed Election they have had. King August, whom your Majesty is not in love with, has prevailed at this rate of expense. King Stanislaus, protected by your Majesty in spite of Kaisers and Czarinas, waits in Konigsberg, till the Peace, now supposed to be coming, say what is to become of him: once in Konigsberg, I shall have the pleasure to see him. "A detachment of five-and-twenty Saxon Dragoons of the Regiment Arnstedt, marching towards Dantzig, met me: their horses were in tolerable case; but some are piebald, some sorrel, and some brown among them," which will be shocking to your Majesty, "and the people did not look well." ...

"Got hither to Marienwerder, last night: have inspected the two Companies which are here, that is to say, Lieutenant-Col. Meier's and Rittmeister Haus's. In very good trim, both of them; and though neither the men nor their horses are of extraordinary size, they are handsome well-drilled fellows, and a fine set of stiff-built horses (GEDRUNGENEN PFERDEN). The fellows sit them like pictures (REITEN WIE DIE PUPPEN; I saw them do their wheelings. Meier has some fine recruits; in particular two;"--nor has the Rittmeister been wanting in that respect. "Young horses" too are coming well on, sleek of skin. In short, all is right on the military side. [ OEuvres de Frederic, xxvii. part 3d, p. 97.]

Civil business, too, of all kinds, the Crown-Prince looked into, with a sharp intelligent eye;--gave praise, gave censure in the right place; put various things on a straight footing, which were awry when he found them. In fact, it is Papa's second self; looks into the bottom of all things quite as Papa would have done, and is fatal to mendacities, practical or vocal, wherever he meets them. What a joy to Papa: "Here, after all, is one that can replace me, in case of accident. This Apprentice of mine, after all, he has fairly learned the Art; and will continue it when I am gone!"--

Yes, your Majesty, it is a Prince-Royal wise to recognize your Majesty's rough wisdom, on all manner of points; will not be a Devil's-FRIEND, I think, any more than your Majesty was. Here truly are rare talents; like your Majesty and unlike;-- and has a steady swiftness in him, as of an eagle, over and above! Such powers of practical judgment, of skilful action, are rare in one's twenty-third year. And still rarer, have readers noted what a power of holding his peace this young man has? Fruit of his sufferings, of the hard life he has had. Most important power; under which all other useful ones will more and more ripen for him. This Prince already knows his own mind, on a good many points; privately, amid the world's vague clamor jargoning round him to no purpose, he is capable of having HIS mind made up into definite Yes and No,--so as will surprise us one day.

Friedrich Wilhelm, we perceive, [His Letter, 24th October, 1735. (Ib. p. 99).] was in a high degree content with this performance of the Prussian Mission: a very great comfort to his sick mind, in those months and afterwards. Here are talents, here are qualities, --visibly the Friedrich-Wilhelm stuff throughout, but cast in an infinitely improved type:--what a blessing we did not cut off that young Head, at the Kaiser's dictation, in former years!--

At Konigsberg, as we learn in a dim indirect manner, the Crown- Prince sees King Stanislaus twice or thrice,--not formally, lest there be political offence taken, but incidentally at the houses of third-parties;--and is much pleased with the old gentleman; who is of cultivated good-natured ways, and has surely many curious things, from Charles XII. downwards, to tell a young man. [Came 8th October, went 21st ( OEuvres de Frederic, xxvii. part 3d, p. 98).] Stanislaus has abundance of useless refugee Polish Magnates about him, with their useless crowds of servants, and no money in pocket; Konigsberg all on flutter, with their draperies and them, "like a little Warsaw:" so that Stanislaus's big French pension, moderate Prussian monthly allowance, and all resources, are inadequate; and, in fact, in the end, these Magnates had to vanish, many of them, without settling their accounts in Konigsberg. [History of Stanislaus. ] For the present they wait here, Stanislaus and they, till Fleury and the Kaiser, shaking the urn of doom in abstruse treaty after battle, decide what is to become of them.

Friedrich returned to Dantzig: saw that famous City, and late scene of War; tracing with lively interest the footsteps of Munnich and his Siege operations,--some of which are much blamed by judges, and by this young Soldier among the rest. There is a pretty Letter of his from Dantzig, turning mainly on those points. Letter written to his young Brother-in-law, Karl of Brunswick, who is now become Duke there; Grandfather and Father both dead; [Grandfather, 1st March, 1735; Father (who lost the Lines of Ettlingen lately in our sight), 3d September, 1735. Supra, vol. vi. p. 372.] and has just been blessed with an Heir, to boot. Congratulation on the birth of this Heir is the formal purport of the Letter, though it runs ever and anon into a military strain. Here are some sentences in a condensed form:--

"DANTZIG, 26th OCTOBER, 1735. ... Thank my dear Sister for her services. I am charmed that she has made you papa with so good a grace. I fear you won't stop there; but will go on peopling the world"--one knows not to what extent--"with your amiable race. Would have written sooner; but I am just returning from the depths of the barbarous Countries; and having been charged with innumerable commissions which I did not understand too well, had no good possibility to think or to write.

"I have viewed all the Russian labors in these parts; have had the assault on the Hagelsberg narrated to me; been on the grounds;-- and own I had a better opinion of Marshal Munnich than to think him capable of so distracted an enterprise. [ OEuvres de Frederic, xxvii. part 2d, p. 31. Pressed for time, and in want of battering-cannon, he attempted to seize this Hagelsberg, one of the outlying defences of Dantzig, by nocturnal storm; lost two thousand men; and retired, WITHOUT doing "what was flatly impossible," thinks the Crown-Prince. See Mannstein, pp. 77-79, for an account of it.] ... Adieu, my dear Brother. My compliments to the amiable young Mother. Tell her, I beg you, that her proof-essays are masterpieces (COUPS D'ESSAI SONT DES COUPS DE MAITRE)." ...

"Your most," &c.,


The Brunswick Masterpiece, achieved on this occasion, grew to be a man and Duke, famous enough in the Newspapers in time coming: Champagne, 1792; Jena, 1806; George IV.'s Queen Caroline; these and other distracted phenomena (pretty much blotting out the earlier better sort) still keep him hanging painfully in men's memory. From his birth, now in this Prussian Journey of our Crown- Prince, to his death-stroke on the Field of Jena, what a seventy- one years!--

Fleury and the Kaiser, though it is long before the signature and last finish can take place, are come to terms of settlement, at the Crown-Prince's return; and it is known, in political circles, what the Kaiser's Polish-Election damages will probably amount to. Here are, in substance, the only conditions that could be got for him:--

"1. Baby Carlos, crowned in Naples, cannot be pulled out again: Naples, the Two Sicilies, are gone without return. That is the first loss; please Heaven it be the worst! On the other hand, Baby Carlos will, as some faint compensation, surrender to your Imperial Majesty his Parma and Piacenza apanages; and you shall get back your Lombardy,--all but a scantling which we fling to the Sardinian Majesty; who is a good deal huffed, having had possession of the Milanese these two years past, in terms of his bargain with Fleury. Pacific Fleury says to him: 'Bargain cannot be kept, your Majesty; please to quit the Milanese again, and put up with this scantling.'

"2. The Crown of Poland, August III. has got it, by Russian bombardings and other measures: Crown shall stay with August,--all the rather as there would be no dispossessing him, at this stage. He was your Imperial Majesty's Candidate; let him be the winner there, for your Imperial Majesty's comfort.

"3. And then as to poor Stanislaus? Well, let Stanislaus be Titular Majesty of Poland for life;--which indeed will do little for him:--but in addition, we propose, That, the Dukedom of Lorraine being now in our hands, Majesty Stanislaus have the life-rent of Lorraine to subsist upon; and--and that Lorraine fall to us of France on his decease!--'Lorraine?' exclaim the Kaiser, and the Reich, and the Kaiser's intended Son-in-law Franz Duke of Lorraine. There is indeed a loss and a disgrace; a heavy item in the Election damages!

"4. As to Duke Franz, there is a remedy. The old Duke of Florence, last of the Medici, is about to die childless: let the now Duke of Lorraine, your Imperial Majesty's intended Son-in-law, have Florence instead.--And so it had to be settled. 'Lorraine? To Stanislaus, to France?' exclaimed the poor Kaiser, still more the poor Reich, and poor Duke Franz. This was the bitterest cut of all; but there was no getting past it. This too had to be allowed, this item for the Election breakages in Poland. And so France, after nibbling for several centuries, swallows Lorraine whole. Duke Franz attempted to stand out; remonstrated much, with Kaiser and Hofrath, at Vienna, on this unheard-of proposal: but they told him it was irremediable; told him at last (one Bartenstein, a famed Aulic Official, told him), 'No Lorraine, no Archduchess, your Serenity!'--and Franz had to comply, Lorraine is gone; cunning Fleury has swallowed it whole. 'That was what he meant in picking this quarrel.!' said Teutschland mournfully. Fleury was very pacific, candid in aspect to the Sea-Powers and others; and did not crow afflictively, did not say what he had meant.

"5. One immense consolation for the Kaiser, if for no other, is: France guarantees the Pragmatic Sanction,--though with very great difficulty; spending a couple of years, chiefly on this latter point as was thought. [Treaty on it not signed till 18th November, 1738 (Scholl, ii. 246).] How it kept said guarantee, will be seen in the sequel."

And these were the damages the poor Kaiser had to pay for meddling in Polish Elections;--for galloping thither in chase of his Shadows. No such account of broken windows was ever presented to a man before. This may be considered as the consummation of the Kaiser's Shadow-Hunt; or at least its igniting and exploding point. His Duel with the Termagant has at last ended; in total defeat to him on every point. Shadow-Hunt does not end; though it is now mostly vanished; exploded in fire. Shadow-Hunt is now gone all to Pragmatic Sanction, as it were: that now is the one thing left in Nature for a Kaiser; and that he will love, and chase, as the summary of all things. From this point he steadily goes down, and at a rapid rate;--getting into disastrous Turk Wars, with as little preparation for War or Fact as a life-long Hunt of SHADOWS presupposes; Eugene gone from him, and nothing but Seckendorfs to manage for him;--and sinks to a low pitch indeed. We will leave him here; shall hope to see but little more of him.

In the Summer of 1736, in consequence of these arrangements,-- which were completed so far, though difficulties on Pragmatic Sanction and other points retarded the final signature for many months longer,--the Titular Majesty Stanislaus girt himself together for departure towards his new Dominion or Life-rent; quitted Konigsberg; traversed Prussian Poland, safe this time, "under escort of Lieutenant-General von Katte [our poor Katte of Custrin's Father] and fifty cuirassiers;" reached Berlin in the middle of May, under flowerier aspects than usual. He travelled under the title of "Count" Something, and alighted at the French Ambassador's in Berlin: but Friedrich Wilhelm treated him like a real Majesty, almost like a real Brother; had him over to the Palace; rushed out to meet him there, I forget how many steps beyond the proper limits; and was hospitality itself and munificence itself;--and, in fact, that night and all the other nights, "they smoked above thirty pipes together," for one item. May 21st, 1736, [Forster (i. 227), following loose Pollnitz (ii. 478), dates it 1735: a more considerable error, if looked into, than is usual in Herr Forster; who is not an ill-informed nor inexact man;--though, alas, in respect of method (that is to say, want of visible method, indication, or human arrangement), probably the most confused of all the Germans!] Ex-Majesty Stanislaus went on his way again; towards France,--towards Meudon, a quiet Royal House in France,--till Luneville, Nanci, and their Lorraine Palaces are quite ready. There, in these latter, he at length does find resting-place, poor innocent insipid mortal, after such tossings to and fro: and M. de Voltaire, and others of mark, having sometimes enlivened the insipid Court there, Titular King Stanislaus has still a kind of remembrance among mankind.

Of his Prussian Majesty we said that, though the Berlin populations reported him well again, it was not so. The truth is, his Majesty was never well again. From this point, age only forty- seven, he continues broken in bodily constitution; clogged more and more with physical impediments; and his History, personal and political withal, is as that of an old man, finishing his day. To the last he pulls steadily, neglecting no business, suffering nothing to go wrong. Building operations go on at Berlin; pushed more than ever, in these years, by the rigorous Derschau, who has got that in charge. No man of money or rank in Berlin but Derschau is upon him, with heavier and heavier compulsion to build: which is felt to be tyrannous; and occasions an ever- deepening grumble among the moneyed classes. At Potsdam his Majesty himself is the Builder; and gives the Houses away to persons of merit. [Pollnitz, ii. 469.]

Nor is the Army less an object, perhaps almost more. Nay, at one time, old Kur-Pfalz being reckoned in a dying condition, Friedrich Wilhelm is about ranking his men, prepared to fight for his rights in Julich and Berg; Kaiser having openly gone over, and joined with France against his Majesty in that matter. However, the old Kur-Pfalz did not die, and there came nothing of fight in Friedrich Wilhelm's time. But his History, on the political side, is henceforth mainly a commentary to him on that "word" he heard in Priort, "which was as if you had turned a dagger in my heart!" With the Kaiser he has fallen out: there arise unfriendly passages between them, sometimes sarcastic on Friedrich Wilhelm's part, in reference to this very War now ended. Thus, when complaint rose about the Prussian misbehaviors on their late marches (misbehaviors notable in Countries where their recruiting operations had been troubled), the Kaiser took a high severe tone, not assuaging, rather aggravating the matter; and, for his own share, winded up by a strict prohibition of Prussian recruiting in any and every part of the Imperial Dominions. Which Friedrich Wilhelm took extremely ill. This is from a letter of his to the Crown-Prince, and after the first gust of wrath had spent itself: "It is a clear disadvantage, this prohibition of recruiting in the Kaiser's Countries. That is our thanks for the Ten Thousand men sent him, and for all the deference I have shown the Kaiser at all times; and by this you may see that it would be of no use if one even sacrificed oneself to him. So long as they need us, they continue to flatter; but no sooner is the strait thought to be over, and help not wanted, than they pull off the mask, and have not the least acknowledgment. The considerations that will occur to you on this matter may put it in your power to be prepared against similar occasions in time coming." [6th February, 1736: OEuvres de Frederic, xxvii. part 3d, p. 102.]

Thus, again, in regard to the winter-quarters of the Ziethen Hussars. Prussian Majesty, we recollect, had sent a Supernumerary Squadron to the last Campaign on the Rhine. They were learning their business, Friedrich Wilhelm knew; but also were fighting for the Kaiser,--that was what the Kaiser knew about them. Somewhat to his surprise, in the course of next year, Friedrich Wilhelm received, from the Vienna War-Office, a little Bill of 10,284 florins (1,028 pounds 8 shillings) charged to him for the winter- quarters of these Hussars. He at once paid the little Bill, with only this observation: "Heartily glad that I can help the Imperial AERARIUM with that 1,028 pounds 8 shillings. With the sincerest wishes for hundred-thousandfold increase to it in said AERARIUM; otherwise it won't go very far!" [Letter to Seckendorf (SENIOR): Forster, ii. 150.]

At a later period, in the course of his disastrous Turk War, the Kaiser, famishing for money, set about borrowing a million gulden (l00,000 pounds) from the Banking House Splittgerber and Daun at Berlin. Splittgerber and Daun had not the money, could not raise it: "Advance us that sum, in their name, your Majesty," proposes the Vienna Court: "There shall be three-per-cent bonus, interest six per cent, and security beyond all question!" To which fine offer his Majesty answers, addressing Seckendorf Junior: "Touching the proposal of my giving the Bankers Splittgerber and Daun a lift, with a million gulden, to assist in that loan of theirs,-- said proposal, as I am not a merchant accustomed to deal in profits and percentages, cannot in that form take effect. Out of old friendship, however, I am, on TheirO Imperial Majesty's request, extremely ready to pay down, once and away (A FOND PERDU), a couple of million gulden, provided the Imperial Majesty will grant me the conditions known to your Uncle [FULFILMENT of that now oldish Julich-and-Berg promise, namely!] which are FAIR. In such case the thing shall be rapidly completed!" [Forster, ii. 151 (without DATE there).]

In a word, Friedrich Wilhelm falls out with the Kaiser more and more; experiences more and more what a Kaiser this has been towards him. Queen Sophie has fallen silent in the History Books; both the Majesties may look remorsefully, but perhaps best in silence, over the breakages and wrecks this Kaiser has brought upon them. Friedrich Wilhelm does not meanly hate the Kaiser: good man, he sometimes pities him; sometimes, we perceive, has a touch of authentic contempt for him. But his thoughts, in that quarter, premature old age aggravating them, are generally of a tragic nature, not to be spoken without tears; and the tears have a flash at the bottom of them, when he looks round on Fritz and says, "There is one, though, that will avenge me!" Friedrich Wilhelm, to the last a broad strong phenomenon, keeps wending downward, homeward, from this point; the Kaiser too, we perceive, is rapidly consummating his enormous Spectre-Hunts and Duels with Termagants, and before long will be at rest. We have well-nigh done with both these Majesties.

The Crown-Prince, by his judicious obedient procedures in these Four Years at Ruppin, at a distance from Papa, has, as it were, completed his APPRENTICESHIP; and, especially by this last Inspection-Journey into Preussen, may be said to have delivered his PROOF-ESSAY with a distinguished success. He is now out of his Apprenticeship; entitled to take up his Indentures, whenever need shall be. The rugged old Master cannot but declare him competent, qualified to try his own hand without supervision:--after all those unheard-of confusions, like to set the shop on fire at one time, it is a blessedly successful Apprenticeship! Let him now, theoretically at least, in the realms of Art, Literature, Spiritual Improvement, do his WANDERJAHRE, over at Reinsberg, still in the old region,--still well apart from Papa, who agrees best NOT in immediate contact;--and be happy in the new Domesticities, and larger opportunities, provided for him there; till a certain time come, which none of us are in haste for.
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