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188 He then summoned his physician, M. Pitsch, and said, Feel my pulse. Tell me how long this will last.Frederick.

Alive to it, he? Yes, with a witness, were there hope in the world! which threw G?rtz upon instant gallop toward Zweibrück Schloss in search of said heir, the young Duke August Christian; who, however, had left in the interim (summoned by his uncle, on Austrian urgency, to consent along with him), but whom G?rtz, by dexterity and intuition of symptoms, caught up by the road, with what a mutual joy! As had been expected, August Christian, on sight of G?rtz, with an armed Frederick looming in the distance, took at once into new courses and activities. From him no consent now; far other: treaty with Frederick; flat refusal ever to consent: application to the Reich, application even to France, and whatever a gallant young fellow could do.Yesterday noon, said he, I had Prince Charles in my parlor. His adjutants and people were all crowding about. Such a questioning and bothering. Hundreds came dashing in, and other hundreds were sent out. In and out they went all night. No sooner was one gone than ten came. I had to keep a roaring fire in the kitchen all night, so many officers were crowding to it to warm themselves. They talked and babbled. One would say that our king was marching upon them with his Potsdam parade guard. Another would say, No, he dare not come. He will turn and run. But my delight is that our king has paid them for their fooleries so prettily this afternoon.

On Tuesday, the 20th of November, 1731, Wilhelmina, eight months after her betrothal, was married to the Prince of Baireuth. The marriage ceremony was attended with great magnificence in the royal palace of Berlin. The father of Frederick William, who was fond of pageantry, had reared one of the most sumptuous mansions in Europe, and had furnished it with splendor which no other court could outvie. Entering the interior of the palace through the outer saloon, one passed through nine apartments en suite, of grand dimensions, magnificently decorated, the last of which opened into the picture-gallery, a room ninety feet in length, and of corresponding breadth. All these were in a line. Then turning, you entered a series of fourteen rooms, each more splendid than the preceding. The chandeliers were of massive solid silver. The ceilings were exquisitely painted130 by Correggio. Between each pair of windows there were mirrors twelve feet high, and of such width that before each mirror tables could be spread for twelve guests. The last of these magnificent apartments, called the Grand Saloon, was illuminated by a lustre weighing fifty thousand crowns; the globe of it big enough to hold a child of eight years, and the branches of solid silver.Another severe fit of coughing ensued, and the king, having with difficulty got rid of the phlegm, said, The mountain is passed; we shall be better now. These were his last words. The expiring monarch sat in his chair, but in a state of such extreme weakness that he was continually sinking down, with his chest and neck so bent forward that breathing was almost impossible. One of his faithful valets took the king upon his knee and placed his left arm around his waist, while the king threw his right arm around the valets neck.

But the assailants were already so near the walls that the shot passed harmlessly over their heads. Without firing a gun or uttering a sound, these well-drilled soldiers of Frederick William hewed down the palisades, tore out the chevaux-de-frise, and clambered over the glacis. With axe and petard they burst open the gates and surged into the city.475 During this dismal winter of incessant and almost despairing labor the indefatigable king wrote several striking treatises on military affairs. It is manifest that serious thoughts at times occupied his mind. He doubtless reflected that if there were a God who took any cognizance of human affairs, there must be somewhere responsibility to Him for the woes with which these wars were desolating humanity. To the surprise of De Catt, the king presented him one evening with a sermon upon The Last Judgment, from his own pen. He also put upon paper his thoughts On the new kind of tactics necessary with the Austrians and their allies. He seems himself to have been surprised that he had been able so long to resist such overpowering numbers. In allusion to the allies he writes:

My dear Voltaire,I have received two of your letters, but could not answer sooner. I am like Charles Twelfths chess king, who was always on the move. For a fortnight past we have been kept continually afoot and under way in such weather as you never saw.In that pleasure-camp of Mühlberg, where the eyes of many86 strangers were directed to him, the Crown Prince was treated like a disobedient boy, and at one time even with blows, to make him feel that he was such. The enraged king, who never weighed the consequences of his words, added mockery to his manual outrage. Had I been so treated, he said, by my father, I would have blown my brains out. But this fellow has no honor. He takes all that comes.Guarantees! exclaimed the king, scornfully. Who minds or keeps guarantees in this age? Has not France guaranteed the Pragmatic Sanction? Has not England? Why do you not all fly to the queens succor?

Frederick William.The valet took the beef from the table and set it on the charcoal dish until wanted. He did the like with the fish and roast game, and poured me out wine and beer. I ate and drank till I had abundantly enough. Dessert, confectionery, what I could. A plate of big black cherries and a plateful of pears my waiting-man wrapped in paper, and stuffed them into my pockets to be a refreshment on the way home. And so I rose from the royal table, and thanked God and the king in my heart that I had so gloriously dined. At that moment a secretary came, brought me a sealed order for the custom-house at Berlin, with my certificates and the pass; told down on the table five tail-ducats and a gold Friedrich under them, saying, The king sent me this to take me home to Berlin.93


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Take them freely. The empress sends me as much money as I wish. I assure you that by this means I get rid of the demon of poverty as soon as I find him approaching me.

Tell your unworthy daughter, said the king to the queen, that her room is to be her prison. I shall give orders to have the guard there doubled. I shall have her examined in the most rigorous manner, and will afterward have her removed to some fit place, where she may repent of her crimes.



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