2021-04-17 01:43:51

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ENGLISH The Herstal Affair.The Summons.Voltaires Manifesto.George II. visits Hanover.The Visit of Wilhelmina to Berlin.Unpopularity of the King.Death of the Emperor Charles VI. Frederick.One evening in April, the king, feeling a little better, decided to dress and hold a tobacco parliament, as formerly. Quite a numerous party of his customary cabinet was assembled, and the circle was full. The pipes were lighted; the king was in good-humor; the beer-pots circulated merrily; and as every one made an effort to be agreeable, the scene was unusually animated. Quite unexpectedly, in the midst of the lively talk, the door opened, and the Crown Prince entered. Simultaneously, as by a183 common instinct, the whole company arose and bowed profoundly to the young prince. The king was exceedingly annoyed. Trembling with rage, he exclaimed,

To his mother he was very considerate in all his manifestations of filial affection, while, at the same time, he caused her very distinctly to understand that she was to take no share whatever in the affairs of government. When she addressed him, upon his accession to the throne, as Your Majesty, he replied, Call me son. That is the title of all others most agreeable to me. He decreed to her the title of Her Majesty the Queen-mother. The palace of Monbijou was assigned her, where she was surrounded with every luxury, treated with the most distinguished attention, and her court was the acknowledged centre of fashionable society.

I march to-morrow for Breslau, and shall be there in four days. You Berliners have a spirit of prophecy which goes beyond me. In fine, I go my road; and you will shortly see Silesia ranked in the list of our provinces. Adieu! this is all I have time to tell you. Religion and our brave soldiers will do the rest.The queen remained firm in her determination that Wilhelmina should marry the Prince of Wales. The king was equally inflexible in his resolve that she should not marry the Prince of Wales. The queen occasionally had interviews with Wilhelmina, when they wept together over their disappointments and trials. The spirited young princess had no special predilections for the English prince, but she was firm in her resolve not to have a repugnant husband forced upon her. On the night of the 27th of January, 1731, as the queen was about to leave Berlin for Potsdam, she said to her daughter,

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113 The prince supposed that the object of Mullers visits was to prepare him for his death. But upon receiving the full assurance that his father contemplated pardoning him, should there be evidence of repentance, he promised to take an oath of entire submission to his fathers will. Seven commissioners were sent to the prison of Cüstrin, on the 19th of November, to administer this oath with the utmost solemnity. He was conducted to the church. A large crowd was in attendance. A sermon appropriate to the occasion was preached. The sacrament of the Lords Supper was administered to him. And then he audibly repeated the oath and attached to it his signature.The next morning they learned that Lieutenant Katte had been arrested. All the private papers of Fritz were left, under Kattes charge, in a small writing-desk. These letters would implicate both the mother and the daughter. They were terror-stricken. Count Finckenstein, who was in high authority, was their friend. Through him, by the aid of Madam Finckenstein, they obtained the desk. It was locked and sealed. Despair stimulated their ingenuity. They succeeded in getting the letters. To destroy them and leave nothing in their place would only rouse to greater fury the suspicion and rage of the king. The letters were taken out and burned. The queen and Wilhelmina immediately set to work writing new ones, of a very different character, with which to replace them. For three days they thus labored almost incessantly, writing between six and seven hundred letters. They were so careful to avoid any thing97 which might lead to detection that paper was employed for each letter bearing the date of the year in which the letter was supposed to be written. Fancy the mood, writes Carlyle, of these two royal women, and the black whirlwind they were in. Wilhelminas dispatch was incredible. Pen went at the gallop night and day. New letters of old date 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.

Frederick.A glance which I gave that way filled me with terror. There sat the queen, in a corner of the room, paler than death, in low conference with Madam Sonsfeld and Countess Finckenstein. As my brother was most in my anxieties, I asked if it concerned him. Madam Bulow shrugged her shoulders, answering, I do not know at all.

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Wilhelmina and her husband soon left for Baireuth. Though the princess thus left the splendors of a royal palace for the far more quiet and humble state of a ducal mansion, still she was glad to escape from a home where she had experienced so many sorrows.There were other abodes of the king, the Berlin and Potsdam palaces, which retained much of the splendor with which they had been embellished by the splendor-loving monarch, Frederick I. There were but few regal mansions in the world which then surpassed them. And though the king furnished his own apartments with Spartan simplicity and rudeness, there were other portions of these royal residences, as also their surroundings in general, which were magnificent in the highest degree. The health of little Fritz was rather frail, and at times he found it hard to devote himself to his sturdy tasks with the energy which his father required.

At Geldern, when within a few miles of Wesel, the kings wrath flamed up anew as he learned that Lieutenant Keith had escaped. The imperiled young officer, warned of his danger, had saddled his horse as if for an evening ride in the country. He passed out at one of the gates of the city, and, riding gently till darkness came, he put spurs to his horse and escaped to the Hague. Here, through the friendly offices of Lord Chesterfield,93 the British embassador, he embarked for England. The authorities there received him kindly, and he entered the British army. For ten years he was heard of no more. The king dispatched officers in pursuit of the fugitive, and redoubled the vigilance with which Fritz was guarded.FREDERICK WILLIAM ENRAGED.178 Meanwhile Frederick the First died, and with him was buried all his false grandeur, which consisted only in a vain magnificence, and in the pompous display of frivolous ceremonies. My father, who succeeded him, compassionated the general misery. He visited the spot, and saw, with his own eyes, this vast country laid waste, and all the dreadful traces which a contagious malady, a famine, and the sordid avarice of a venal administration leave behind them. Twelve or fifteen towns depopulated, and four or five hundred villages uninhabited, presented themselves to his view. Far from being discouraged by such a sad spectacle, his compassion only became the more lively from it; and he resolved to restore population, plenty, and commerce to this land, which had even lost the appearance of an inhabited country.

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Apr-17 01:43:51