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and no want of energy or volition in their enforcement. But if these are proofs of genius or natural emanations of the poetic temperament, great injustice has been done to the East, where full many a Pacha wastes his poetry on (literally) the desert air full many a Turkish Frederic William rests inglorious caret quia vate sacro-for want of a discriminating eulogist like Mr. Carlyle.
Two friends of ours were descending the Nile, when their head boatman became obstreperous; they stopped at the first military post, and complained to the commander. He heard their charge, and ordered the man to be bastinadoed without waiting for his defence, remarking, 'Do you suppose these two English gentlemen would have taken the trouble to 'come to me about you, if you were not in the wrong Surely, there was quite as much poetic justice in this decision as in Frederic William's mode of dealing with the accused husband and the son.
The late Lord Alvanley dining with a Pacha who was proud of his cook, indirectly hinted that the man's performances were not quite on a level with Careme's. The next morning the head of the chef was suspended, by way of delicate attention, to the guest's saddle-bow. Beheading for tasting to no purpose may pair off with hanging for tasting at all.
The late Mr. Morier related, as founded on fact, that an Oriental governor who had seized an English traveller's medicine chest, was puzzled what to make of it; so he collected all the Jews in the town, made each swallow the contents of a box or phial, and locked them together in a room till the effects were ascertained. This is more original than making the Jews of Berlin buy pork.
Professor Ranke describes the death-bed of Frederic William as presenting an edifying and touching scene, in which he addresses his successor in set phrases very similar to those applied by Philip of Macedon to Alexander after the adroit taming of Bucephalus. The dying despot may have had some lucid or maudlin moments, during which he showed himself not utterly destitute of rational faculties and natural affection; but there is abundant evidence that his demeanour on the near approach of death did not belie the general tenor of his life. In his first colloquy with a spiritual adviser, he improved on the doctrine of the French noble, who maintained that 'le bon Dieu' would think twice before making up his mind de damner un Clermont'Tonnerre.' 'Would it be right,' argued Frederic, that God, 'who from His love for me puts me here in His place to rule over so many thousands at my good pleasure, should one day
VOL. CXVI. NO. CCXXXV.
liken me to one of these, and judge me with the same strict'ness?' The clergyman, a Protestant, did his duty manfully, and replied that God gave power to be used as He used it, with justice and mercy, not according to the good pleasure of the ruler, who would be punished for the abuse of it as the worst of sinners; whereupon the King told him he was an ignoramus, and might go to the Devil. The patient grew more accommodating as he grew worse. In a colloquy on the same topic with another divine, he tried hard to extort the admission that faith was sufficient without good works, and that the love of God did not imply the forgiveness of enemies or the love of one's neighbour as oneself.
'King.-God knows that I have no enemy whom I have not willingly forgiven everything. I know of none but that -the King of England; but he too shall be forgiven. Ficke (the Queen), write to your brother, as soon as I am dead, that before my end I forgave him everything with all my heart. Do you hear, when I am fairly dead and no mistake.
'Divine. I do not require to know the names of your enemies; but perhaps you remember others whom you hate as much and with as little reason as your brother-in-law, although they may be no great lords or foreigners.'
Here long Hacke,' the favourite attendant, came in with medicine, and the divine was dismissed. Blowing the nose or clearing the throat in the King's chamber was forbidden under the penalty of a ducat for each offence. Hearing that his attendants were boarded in the palace, he ordered them to bring their dinners along with them, to be submitted to his inspection before eaten; on which occasions he frequently partook of their fare, and sometimes exchanged one of their dishes for one of his own. One day he ate and enjoyed a snipe, which the cook, hearing he was out of humour, had omitted in the bill of fare. The day after, seeing snipe again, he struck it out, saying he wanted no such expensive garbage. To the remonstrance that he had declared the first snipe excellent, he replied that he took it for a present, and ate it out of compliment to the giver. The cook, therefore, was mulcted in the price. In all Pope's famous Epistle there are no more curious instances of the ruling passion strong in death than these.
He insisted on the Crown Prince's taking an oath to make no alteration after his death in the colleges or army, not to lay hands on the treasure, and to take into his service no person whose name should not be mentioned in a list. The Crown Prince respectfully refused. On the 31st January 1740, the King exclaimed, I am not sorry that I must die; for he who
'fears death is a What pains me to the heart is 'that I must have such a brute (Unmenschen) as my son for 'successor.' Another time he vowed his sole cause for selfreproach was that he had not caused his son to be executed ten years ago. When the attendants rose on the Prince's entrance, the King flew into a violent passion, and cried out, Sit down ' in the Devil's name, or go all of you to the Devil.' Despite of his bluster, he was by no means void of apprehension that he was about to travel in the same direction himself, and his efforts to keep up his courage strongly resemble those of Jonathan Wild when, maddened by brandy and despair, he shouts at the top of his voice in the ocean solitude, Who's afraid?' The year before his death the King was suffering from gout, and General von Schwerin, to comfort him, suggested that he need not be afraid of dying of it. What!' shouted the King, ‘do 'you believe I am afraid of death? Bring two pistols, or 'better still, two cases of powder and matches; each of us shall 'take his seat on one, and he who sets fire to his last shall be 'counted the greatest coward of the two.'
He died on the 31st May 1740. On the 22nd April he went out in a wheel chair. Seeing a mechanic stare at him, he stopped the chair and sent a page to give the man six pulls of the nose. Whilst this was going on, an exciseman came up, and was asked what he wanted. He said he was rejoiced to see His Majesty so well. His Majesty gave him a couple of blows with his cane and ordered the footmen to give him a sound cudgelling, which was administered forthwith. After this His Majesty continued his progress, and the frightened people dispersed en l'accompagnant de mille bénédictions.' These benedictions probably resembled those which he liberally dispensed. Shortly before his death, when the Crown Prince was with him, he called up three of his most faithful and attached attendants, and when they were looking for a parting recognition of
In August 1730 the Crown Prince had a narrow escape for his life, and his sister was beaten and otherwise brutally ill-treated for interposing in his behalf. Mr. Carlyle introduces his account of the transaction with these words: The poor King, except that he was not conscious of intending wrong but much the reverse, walked in 'the hollow night of Gehenna all that while, and was often like to 'be driven mad by the turn things had taken,'- as if the turn things had taken was not exclusively owing to his own madness or brutality. Mr. Carlyle may fairly claim the privileges which he gratuitously accords to the poor King,' but even genius should refrain from constantly running counter to the moral and common sense of mankind.
their services and a recommendation to the heir, he solemnly enjoined the Prince to hang all three of them as soon as the breath was out of his body.
Byron, in one of his fits of waywardness, contends that your true poet is the miser, who indulges his imagination instead of gratifying his own or other people's senses with his wealth; but we own we see neither poetry nor genius in the accumulation of wealth or the formation of armies by obvious and vulgar means. Frederic William, however, is a social and political phenomenon well worth studying in detail; and the proof that he has hitherto been imperfectly understood is to be found in the view taken of his life and character by Mr. Carlyle, which so learned and conscientious a writer would surely not have hazarded had he anticipated that the revelations of the Baireith memoirs were about to be thus confirmed and amplified.
Amongst the curious and doubtful passages of history on which light is thrown by this compilation, is the tragic fate of Königsmark and the Princess Sophia Dorothea, wife of the Crown Prince of Hanover, afterwards George I. Although the tale has been told, with variations, by various writers of ingenuity and research, none of them had the good fortune to light upon the narrative discovered by Dr. von Weber, which was drawn up in 1725 by Count Moritz of Saxony, the son of the beautiful Countess Aurora of Königsmark, from family papers and traditions. We shall give the leading features of his version in an abridged shape.
Sophia Dorothea was the daughter of the Duke of Celle, at whose Court Königsmark was brought up. It was the familiar story of the page and the princess. So tender a friendship had grown up between them, that, during the celebration of her marriage with the Crown Prince of Hanover, Königsmark concealed himself in the chapel, and nearly betrayed the secret by the violence of his emotions. To avoid further risks of this kind, he made a journey to Sweden, where he remained till he had recovered his senses and his self-possession. On his return, his respectful adoration was renewed and tacitly permitted by the object. It was purely Platonic, and might have been unattended by compromising results, had not the Countess of Platen fallen in love with him. She was the mistress of the Elector, over whom she held sovereign sway, and, although no longer in the bloom of youth, she was both surprised and
One of the latest and most interesting, though obviously coloured for effect, appeared in the 'Revue des Deux Mondes,' for June 1853, from the able pen of M. Blaze de Bury.
enraged to find her advances received by a young officer of the body guard, in which Königsmark held a commission, much as those of the Sultana were received by Don Juan. Her wounded vanity suggested that a rival was the cause, and after jealously scrutinizing the demeanour of all the court ladies, her suspicions fell upon the Princess, who was in the habit of indulging her young admirer with occasional opportunities of private communication. Furnished with ample proofs of their indiscretion, and giving it a worse name, she hurried to the Elector, and urged him to take summary vengeance against his daughter-in-law; but his mildness of character made harsh expedients revolting to him, and he simply commanded the attendance of Königsmark, and told him, 'Count, I know all. Here is a letter for Prince Frederic 'Augustus (the general of the Imperial army); begone: apply 'from Hanover for your discharge. Farewell, and remember the 'friendship I am manifesting for you.' There was no alternative but to obey he joined the Imperial army, and served in it till the end of the campaign, when he requested leave of absence for the purpose of visiting Hanover from the Prince Commander, who granted it reluctantly.
The fatal lure was a ribbon, once bound round a bouquet given by the Princess as a prize at a match of running at the ring, at which he had come off conqueror. He had left it behind on his hurried departure, fastened to the colours of his company, and it was to reclaim this token that he came back. The standard was in the custody of the captain, his successor, one Count Platen, a relative of the Countess, who had already got possession of the ribbon. Königsmark desired her relative to tell her that if she would give it up, he would forgive her all the sufferings she had brought upon him, and that even the arms of the Elector would prove an unsafe place of refuge if she refused. This message, faithfully delivered, was not well calculated to obtain a favour from a proud passionate and jealous woman, who saw her opportunity at a glance, and was withheld by no feelings of remorse or former love from profiting by it. She feigned hesitation, and, by negotiating for the delivery of the ribbon, induced Königsmark to prolong his secret stay in Hanover till she had completed her plot. Her grand difficulty was the Elector, who was at length over-persuaded to give a modified assent. She had in her pay two Italian cut-throats, ready for any deed of villany; she joined with them three Germans of her household, who received instructions to watch for Königsmark on a specified day in the palace garden, not far from the steps leading to the Princess's apartment, to throw themselves