类型:奇幻地区:˼发布:2020-10-23 14:08:33


Voltaire, in his Memoirs, says that he drew up the manifesto for Frederick upon this occasion. The pretext, he writes, for this fine expedition was certain rights which his majesty pretended to have over a part of the suburbs. It was to me he committed the task of drawing up the manifesto, which I performed as well as the nature of the case would let me, never suspecting that a king, with whom I supped, and who called me his friend, could possibly be in the wrong. The affair was soon brought to a conclusion by the payment of a million of livres, which he exacted in good hard ducats, and which served to defray the expenses of his tour to Strasbourg, concerning which he complained so loudly in his poetic prose epistle.

37 There seems to have been but little which was attractive about this castle. It was surrounded by a moat, which Wilhelmina describes as a black, abominable ditch. Its pets were shrieking eagles, and two black bears ugly and vicious. Its interior accommodations were at the farthest possible remove from luxurious indulgence. It was a dreadfully crowded place, says Wilhelmina, where you are stuffed into garrets and have not room to turn.My dear Sister,A minute since the whole ceremony was finished. God be praised, it is over. I hope you will take it as a mark of my friendship that I give you the first news of it. I hope that I shall have the honor to see you again soon, and to assure you, my dear sister, that I am wholly yours. I write in great haste, and add nothing that is merely formal. Adieu.THE QUEENS APPEAL TO THE HUNGARIAN NOBLES.

THE NEW PALACE AT POTSDAM.All thoughts of the double marriage were for the moment relinquished. The Czar of Russia had a son and a daughter. It was proposed to marry Wilhelmina to the son and Fritz to the daughter, and thus to secure a Russian instead of an English alliance. Harassed by these difficulties, Frederick William grew increasingly morose, venting his spite upon his wife and children. Fritz seriously contemplated escaping from his fathers abuse by flight, and to take refuge with his uncle George in England, and thus to secure his marriage with Amelia. The portraits of the62 princess which he had seen proved her to be very beautiful. All reports pronounced her to be as lovely in character as in person. He was becoming passionately attached to her. Wilhelmina was his only confidante. Regard for her alone restrained him from attempting to escape. He would have done so long ago, writes Dubourgay, under date of August 11, 1729, were it not for his sister, upon whom the whole weight of his fathers resentment would then fall. Happen what will, therefore, he is resolved to share with her all the hardships which the king, his father, may be pleased to put upon her.THE EMPRESS CATHARINE.

It being his majestys birthday, writes Grumkow, the prince, in deep emotion, followed his father, and, again falling prostrate, testified such heartfelt joy, gratitude, and affection over this blessed anniversary as quite touched the heart of the king, who at last clasped him in his arms, and hurried out to avoid sobbing aloud. The Crown Prince followed his majesty, and, in the presence of many hundred people, kissed his majestys feet, and was again embraced by his majesty, who said, Behave well, as I see you mean, and I will take care of you. Which words, writes Grumkow, threw the Crown Prince into such an ecstasy of joy as no pen can express.Yes, I tell you, the king replied; but I must have his writing-case. For he had already informed himself that it was in the queens possession.

And notwithstanding our impatience,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.For my own part, therefore, I believe it would be better to conclude my sisters marriage in the first place, and not even to ask from the king any assurance 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 that there is trust put in me. I promise it to you. And now you may give your court notice of it, and I shall manage to keep my promise. I remain yours always.

There was to be a grand review on the parade-ground just out from Berlin, at which the French embassy was to be present. The king caused a party equal in number, composed of the lowest of the people, to be dressed in an enormous exaggeration of the French costume. Their cocked hats were nearly a yard in diameter. Immense wigs reached to their heels; and all other parts of the French court costume were caricatured in the most grotesque manner possible. As soon as the French embassy appeared, there was a great sound of trumpets and martial bands from another part of the field, and these harlequins were brought forward to the gaze of every eye, and conspicuously to the view of Count Rothenburg and his companions. Military discipline prevented any outburst of derisive laughter. Perfect silence reigned. The king sat upon his horse as stolid and grim as fate. Count Rothenburg yielded to this gross discourtesy of the king, and ever after, while he remained in Berlin, wore a plain German costume.In the above letter the king alludes to the mania of making verses. Strange as it may seem, he this winter, when apparently almost crushed beneath the weight of cares and sorrows, when every energy of mind and body seemed called into requisition in preparation for a new campaign, published an edition of his poems.

I waver between hope and fear of paying my court to you. I hope it might still be at Berneck, if you could contrive a road into the Nürnberg highway again, avoiding Baireuth; otherwise I dare not go. The bearer, Captain Knobelsdorf, will apprise you of every particular. Let him settle something that may be possible. This is how I stand at present: instead of having to expect some favor from the king, I get nothing but chagrin. But what is more cruel upon me than all is that you are ill. God, in his grace, be pleased to help you, and restore that health which I so much wish for you.There were dinner-parties, and military reviews, and operas to beguile the time. The interview lasted three days. The king and the emperor often walked out arm in arm. Frederick wrote:I am unfortunate and old, dear marquis. That is why they persecute me. God knows what my future is to be this year. I grieve to resemble Cassandra with my prophecies. But how augur well of the desperate situation we are in, and which goes on growing worse? I am so gloomy to-day I will cut short.


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I will not see him. I wish to listen to no more of his offers. The sooner he takes himself away the better.



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