2021-04-17 12:53:10

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ENGLISH The pulse is gone, the physician said, sadly.

To obviate the difficulty of the Crown Prince becoming the head of a party in Berlin antagonistic to the king, the plan was suggested of having him appointed, with his English princess, vice-regent of Hanover. But this plan failed. Hotham now84 became quite discouraged. He wrote home, on the 22d of April, that he had that day dined with the king; that the Crown Prince was present, but dreadfully dejected, and that great sympathy was excited in his behalf, as he was so engaging and so universally popular. He evidently perceived some indications of superiority in the Crown Prince, for he added, If I am not much mistaken, this young prince will one day make a very considerable figure.

b. Where Rothenburg met the Hussars.At Frankfort-on-the-Main the party were to take boats to descend the river. The prince was informed that the king had given express orders that he should not be permitted to enter the town, but that he should be conducted immediately to one of the royal yachts. Here the king received an intercepted letter from the Crown Prince to Lieutenant Katte. Boiling with indignation, he stalked on board the yacht, and assailed his captive son in the coarsest and most violent language of abuse. In the frenzy of his passion he seized Fritz by the collar, shook him, hustled him about, tore out handfuls of hair, and thrust his cane into his face, causing the blood to gush from his nose. Never before, exclaimed the unhappy prince, pathetically, did a Brandenburg face suffer the like of this.The king, smothering his wrath, did not immediately seek an interview with his son. But the next day, encountering him, he said, sarcastically, Ah! you are still here, then; I thought that by this time you would have been in Paris. The prince, somewhat emboldened by despair, ventured to reply, I certainly could have been there had I wished it.

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The Crown Prince was quite exasperated that the English court would not listen to his earnest plea for the marriage of Wilhelmina to the Prince of Wales, and accept his vows of fidelity to the Princess Amelia. The stubborn adhesion of the King of England to the declaration of both marriages or none so annoyed him that he banished Amelia from his thoughts. In his reckless way he affirmed that the romance of marriage was all over with him; that he cared not much what bride was forced upon him, provided only that she were rich, and that she were not too scrupulous in religious principle. The tongues of all the court gossips were busy upon this theme. Innumerable were the candidates suggested to share the crown of the future Prussian king. The Archduchess Maria Theresa, subsequently the renowned Empress of Germany, was proposed by Prince Eugene. But the imperial court could not wed its Catholic heiress to a Protestant prince. Still the emperor, though unwilling to give his daughter to the Crown Prince, was anxious137 for as close an alliance as possible with Prussia, and recommended a niece of the empress, the young Princess Elizabeth Christina, only daughter of Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick Bevern. She was seventeen years of age, rather pretty, with a fine complexion, not rich, of religious tastes, and remarkably quiet and domestic in her character. Let us deceive the fever, my dear Voltaire, and let me have at least the pleasure of embracing you. Make my best excuses to Madame the Marquise that I can not have the satisfaction of seeing her at Brussels. All that are about me know the intention I was in, which certainly nothing but the fever could make me change.

General Neipperg had advanced as far as Baumgarten when283 he heard of this entire circumvention of his plans. Exasperated by the discomfiture, he pushed boldly forward to seize Schweidnitz, where Frederick had a large magazine, which was supposed not to be very strongly protected. But the vigilant Frederick here again thwarted the Austrian general. Either anticipating the movement, or receiving immediate information of it, he had thrown out some strong columns to Reichenbach, where they so effectually intrenched themselves as to bar, beyond all hope of passage, the road to Schweidnitz. General Neipperg had advanced but half a days march from Baumgarten when he heard of this. He ordered a halt, and retraced his steps as far as Frankenstein, where he had a very strongly intrenched camp.It seemed to be the policy of Frederick to assume a very trifling, care-for-nothing air, as though he were engaged in very harmless childs play. He threw out jokes, and wrote ludicrous letters to M. Jordan and M. Algarotti. But behind this exterior disguise it is manifest that all the energies of his soul were aroused, and that, with sleepless vigilance, he was watching every event, and providing for every possible emergence.

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The next morning Frederick hastened to greet his sister. Wilhelmina was not pleased with his appearance. The cares of his new reign entirely engrossed his mind. The dignity of an absolute king did not sit gracefully upon him. Though ostentatiously demonstrative in his greeting, the delicate instincts of Wilhelmina taught her that her brothers caresses were heartless. He was just recovering from a fit of the ague, and looked emaciate and sallow. The court was in mourning. During those funereal days no festivities could be indulged in. The queen-mother was decorously melancholy; she seems to have been not only disappointed, but excessively chagrined, to find that she was excluded by her son from the slightest influence in public affairs. The distant, arrogant, and assuming airs of the young king soon rendered him unpopular.As he reached Potsdam and turned the corner of the palace, he saw, at a little distance, a small crowd gathered around some object; and soon, to his inexpressible surprise, beheld his father, dressed, in his wheel-chair, out of doors, giving directions about laying the foundations of a house he had undertaken to build. The old king, at the sight of his son, threw open his arms, and Frederick, kneeling before him, buried his face in his fathers lap, and they wept together. The affecting scene forced tears into the eyes of all the by-standers. Frederick William, upon recovering from a fainting-fit, had insisted that he would not die, and had compelled his attendants to dress him and conduct him to the open air.

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Apr-17 12:53:10