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    Monsieur,Although I have not the satisfaction of knowing you personally, you are not the less known to me through your works. They are treasures of the mind, if I may so express myself; and they reveal to the reader new beauties at every perusal. I think I have recognized in them the character of their ingenious author, who does honor to our age and to human nature. If ever the dispute on the comparative merits of the moderns and the ancients should be revived, the modern great men174 will owe it to you, and to you only, that the scale is turned in their favor. With the excellent quality of poet you join innumerable others more or less related to it.
    On the 20th of January, 1745, Charles Albert, the unhappy344 and ever-unfortunate Emperor of Germany, died at Munich, in the forty-eighth year of his age. Tortured by a complication of the most painful disorders, he had seldom, for weary years, enjoyed an hour of freedom from acute pain. An incessant series of disasters crushed all his hopes. He was inextricably involved in debt. Triumphant foes drove him from his realms. He wandered a fugitive in foreign courts, exposed to humiliation and the most cutting indignities. Thus the victim of bodily and mental anguish, it is said that one day some new tidings of disaster prostrated him upon the bed of death. He was patient and mild, but the saddest of mortals. Gladly he sought refuge in the tomb from the storms of his drear and joyless life. An eye-witness writes, Charles Alberts pious and affectionate demeanor drew tears from all eyes. The manner in which he took leave of his empress would have melted a heart of stone.
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    On the first of May, 1747, Frederick took formal possession of this beautiful chateau. The occasion was celebrated by quite a magnificent dinner of two hundred covers. Here, for the next forty years, he spent most of his leisure time. He had three other palaces, far surpassing Sans Souci in splendor, which he occasionally visited on days of royal festivities. Berlin and Charlottenburg were about twenty miles distant. The New Palace, so called, at Potsdam, was but about a mile from Sans Souci. He had also his palace at Rheinsberg, some thirty miles north of Berlin, where he had spent many of his early days.
    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.
    The king thinks it scarcely worth while to mention his palaces and his gardens sacked and ruined, in contempt of the regard usually paid from one sovereign to another. Is there a man in all Europe who does not see in these terrible effects an implacable hatred and a destructive fury which all nations ought to concur in repressing?149
    The king thinks it scarcely worth while to mention his palaces and his gardens sacked and ruined, in contempt of the regard usually paid from one sovereign to another. Is there a man in all Europe who does not see in these terrible effects an implacable hatred and a destructive fury which all nations ought to concur in repressing?149
    The Emperor Charles VI. left no son. He therefore promulgated a new law of succession in a decree known throughout213 Europe as the Pragmatic Sanction. By the custom of the realm the sceptre could descend only to male heirs. But by this decree the king declared that the crown of the house of Hapsburg should be transmitted to his daughter, Maria Theresa. This law had been ratified by the estates of all the kingdoms and principalities which composed the Austrian monarchy. All the leading powers of EuropeEngland, France, Spain, Prussia, Russia, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, and the Germanic bodyhad bound themselves by treaty to maintain the Pragmatic Sanction. It was a peaceable and wise arrangement, acceptable to the people of Austria and to the dynasties of Europe as a means of averting a war of succession, which might involve all the nations of the Continent in the conflict.
    Raising his eyes, says Archenholtz, he surveyed, with speechless emotion, the small remnant of his life-guard of foot, his favorite battalion. It was one thousand strong yesterday morning, hardly four hundred now. All the soldiers of this chosen battalion were personally known to himtheir names, their age, their native place, their history. In one day death had mowed them down. They had fought like heroes, and it418 was for him they had died. His eyes were visibly wet. Down his face rolled silent tears.
    Each regiment shall take but one baggage-cart for a company. No officer, whoever he may be or whatever his title, shall take with him the least of silver plate, not even a silver spoon. Whoever wants to keep table, great or small, must manage the same with tin utensils, without exception, be he who he will.
    This that is on the table the king has ordered to be served for you. You are to eat your fill and mind nobody. I am to serve.
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