类型:奇幻地区:Ϻ发布:2020-09-19 03:46:40


The friendship of these two remarkable men must have been of a singular character. Voltaire thus maliciously wrote of the king:I march to-morrow against the Russians. As the events of war may lead to all sorts of accidents, and it may easily happen to me to be killed, I have thought it my duty to let you know what my plans were; the rather, as you are the guardian of my nephew,118 with unlimited authority.You shall have it for fifty, said the king, because you are a good judge, and I am therefore anxious to do you a favor.

Along the eastern edge of this vast wilderness the army of Frederick marched for two days. But Hungarian Pandours in swarms, savage men on their fleet and shaggy horses, were continually emerging from the paths of the forest, with gleaming sabres and shrill war-cries, assailing the flank of the Prussian line wherever there was the slightest exposure. In the vicinity of the little village of Sohr the king encamped for two days. The halt seemed necessary to refresh his horses, and to send out foraging parties to replenish his stores. But the light horsemen of the foe were so thick around him, so vigilant, and so bold,362 that no baggage train could enter his camp unless protected by eight thousand foot and three thousand horse.When your highness gets armies of your own, you will order them according to your mind. At present, it must be according to mine.


The king said that he would come and see me incognito at Brussels. But having fallen ill a couple of leagues from Cleves, he wrote me that he expected I would make the advances. I went accordingly to present my profound homages. I found at the gate of the court-yard a single soldier on guard. The privy councilor Rambonet, Minister of State, was walking about the court, blowing on his fingers to warm them. He had on great ruffles of dirty linen, a hat with holes in it, and an old periwig, one end of which hung down into one of his pockets, while the other hardly covered his shoulder.308

You will have received a letter from me dated yesterday. This is the second I write to you from Berlin. I refer you to what was in the other. If it must be that Emilie accompany Apollo, I consent. But if I could see you alone, that is what I should prefer. I should be too much dazzled. I could not stand so much splendor all at once. It would overpower me. I should need the veil of Moses to temper the united radiance of your two divinities.

I should think myself richer in the possession of your works than in that of all the transient goods of fortune.At the same time that the tidings of the death of Augustus William were communicated to the king, he received also the tidings, which to him were truly heart-rending, that Wilhelmina, worn down with care and sorrow, was fast sinking into the grave.In the mean time a Venetian embassador, on his way to one of the northern courts, passed a night at a hotel in Berlin. He was immediately arrested, with his luggage, by a royal order. A dispatch was transmitted to Venice, stating that the embassador would be held as a hostage till Barberina was sent to Prussia. A bargain, says Frederick, in his emphatic utterance, is a bargain. A state should have law courts to enforce contracts entered into in their territories.

Three days after, on the 17th, the king wrote again to M. Jordan:Archenholtz describes it as a thing surpassable only by doomsday; clangorous rage of noise risen to the infinite; the boughs of the trees raining down upon you with horrid crash; the forest, with its echoes, bellowing far and near, and reverberating in universal death-peal, comparable to the trump of doom.157

Friedrich Wilhelm feels this sad contrast very much; the127 more, as the soldier is his own chattel withal, and of superlative inches. Friedrich Wilhelm flames up into wrath; sends off swift messengers to bring these judges, one and all, instantly into his presence. The judges are still in their dressing-gowns, shaving, breakfasting. They make what haste they can. So soon as the first three or four are reported to be in the anteroom, Friedrich Wilhelm, in extreme impatience, has them called in; starts discoursing with them upon the two weights and two measures. Apologies, subterfuges, do but provoke him farther. It is not long till he starts up growling terribly, Ye scoundrels, how could you? and smites down upon the crown of them with the royal cudgel itself. Fancy the hurry-scurry, the unforensic attitudes and pleadings! Royal cudgel rains blows right and left. Blood is drawn, crowns cracked, crowns nearly broken; and several judges lost a few teeth and had their noses battered before they could get out. The second relay, meeting them in this dilapidated state on the staircases, dashed home again without the honor of a royal interview. This is an actual scene, of date, Berlin, 1731, of which no constitutional country can hope to see the fellow. Schlubhut he hanged, Schlubhut being only Schlubhuts chattel. This musketeer, his majestys own chattel, he did not hang, but set him shouldering arms again after some preliminary dusting.



Frederick William.

George Ludwig, Count of Berg, who at this time was Bishop of Liege, was a feeble old man, tottering beneath the infirmities of eighty-two years. He did not venture upon physical resistance to the power of Prussia, but confined himself to protests, remonstrances, and to the continued exercise of his own governmental authority. As Herstal was many leagues distant from Berlin, was of comparatively little value, and could only be reached by traversing foreign states, Frederick William offered to sell all his claims to it for about eighty thousand dollars. The proposal not being either accepted or rejected by the bishop, the king, anxious to settle the question before his death, sent an embassador to Liege, with full powers to arrange the difficulty by treaty. For three days the embassador endeavored in vain to obtain an audience. He then returned indignantly to Berlin. The king, of course, regarded this treatment as an insult. The bishop subsequently averred that the audience was prevented by his own sickness. Such was the posture of affairs when Frederick William died.As soon as I am dead, my body must be washed, a white shirt must be placed upon it, and it must be stretched out upon a table. They must then shave and wash me, and cover me with a sheet. After four hours my body must be opened. The surgeons of the regiments in town will examine into the malady which has caused my death. They will then dress me in my best clothes, with all my decorations. Then I am to be placed in my coffin, and thus left all night.



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