The Project Gutenberg eBook of History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Volume 07

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Title: History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Volume 07

Author: Thomas Carlyle

Release date: June 16, 2008 [eBook #2107]
Most recently updated: April 4, 2013

Language: English

Credits: Produced by D.R. Thompson and David Widger




By Thomas Carlyle

Volume VII.














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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

[MISSIVE (body of important Grumkow Instructions just read by us) COMES TO HAND.]

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

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

TO HIS PRUSSIAN MAJESTY (from Excellenz Reichenbach).

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Continues after four days:—

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Excellency Hotham LOQUITUR (in a greatly condensed form).

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

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

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


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

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

TO LORD TOWNSHEND AT LONDON (from Excellency Hotham).

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

ANTISTROPHE soon follows; London Raven is himself again;—Nosti LOQUITUR:—

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


[POTSDAM, End of May, 1730.]

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

And now let us to Radewitz without delay.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[SMALL MAP IN HERE———missing]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smelfungus says elsewhere:—

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


"POTSDAM, 11th July, 1730.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Accomplices of the Crown-Prince are two: FIRST, Lieutenant Keith, actual deserter (who cannot be caught): To be hanged in effigy, cut in four quarters, and nailed to the gallows at Wesel:—GOOD, says his Majesty. SECONDLY, Lieutenant Katte of the Gens-d'Armes, intended deserter, not actually deserting, and much tempted thereto: All things considered, Perpetual Fortress Arrest to Lieutenant Katte:—NOT GOOD this; BAD this, thinks Majesty; this provokes from his Majesty an angry rebuke to the too lax Court-Martial. Rebuke which can still be read, in growling, unlucid phraseology; but with a rhadamanthine idea clear enough in it, and with a practical purport only too clear: That Katte was a sworn soldier, of the Gens-d'Armes even, or Body-guard of the Prussian Majesty; and did nevertheless, in the teeth of his oath, "worship the Rising Sun" when minded to desert; did plot and colleague with foreign Courts in aid of said Rising Sun, and of an intended high crime against the Prussian Majesty itself on Rising Sun's part; far from at once revealing the same, as duty ordered Lieutenant Katte to do. That Katte's crime amounts to high-treason (CRIMEN LOESOE MAJESTATIS); that the rule is, FIAT JUSTITIA, ET PEREAT MUNDUS;—and that, in brief, Katte's doom is, and is hereby declared to be, Death. Death by the gallows and hot pincers is the usual doom of Traitors; but his Majesty will say in this case, Death by the sword and headsman simply; certain circumstances moving the royal clemency to go so far, no farther. And the Court-Martial has straightway to apprise Katte of this same: and so doing, "shall say, That his Majesty is sorry for Katte: but that it is better he die than that justice depart out of the world." [Preuss, i. 44.]

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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