HISTORY OF FRIEDRICH II OF PRUSSIA
FREDERICK THE GREAT
By Thomas Carlyle
BOOK IX. — LAST STAGE OF FRIEDRICH'S APPRENTICESHIP: LIFE IN RUPPIN. — 1732-1736.
Chapter I. — PRINCESS ELIZABETH CHRISTINA OF BRUNSWICK-BEVERN.
We described the Crown-Prince as intent to comply, especially in all visible external particulars, with Papa's will and pleasure;—to distinguish himself by real excellence in Commandantship of the Regiment Goltz, first of all. But before ever getting into that, there has another point risen, on which obedience, equally essential, may be still more difficult.
Ever since the grand Catastrophe went off WITHOUT taking Friedrich's head along with it, and there began to be hopes of a pacific settlement, question has been, Whom shall the Crown-Prince marry? And the debates about it in the Royal breast and in Tobacco-Parliament, and rumors about it in the world at large, have been manifold and continual. In the Schulenburg Letters we saw the Crown-Prince himself much interested, and eagerly inquisitive on that head. As was natural: but it is not in the Crown-Prince's mind, it is in the Tobacco-Parliament, and the Royal breast as influenced there, that the thing must be decided. Who in the world will it be, then? Crown-Prince himself hears now of this party, now of that. England is quite over, and the Princess Amelia sunk below the horizon. Friedrich himself appears a little piqued that Hotham carried his nose so high; that the English would not, in those life-and-death circumstances, abate the least from their "Both marriages or none,"—thinks they should have saved Wilhelmina, and taken his word of honor for the rest. England is now out of his head;—all romance is too sorrowfully swept out: and instead of the "sacred air-cities of hope" in this high section of his history, the young man is looking into the "mean clay hamlets of reality," with an eye well recognizing them for real. With an eye and heart already tempered to the due hardness for them. Not a fortunate result, though it was an inevitable one. We saw him flirting with the beautiful wedded Wreech; talking to Lieutenant-General Schulenburg about marriage, in a way which shook the pipe-clay of that virtuous man. He knows he would not get his choice, if he had one; strives not to care. Nor does he, in fact, much care; the romance being all out of it. He looks mainly to outward advantages; to personal appearance, temper, good manners; to "religious principle," sometimes rather in the reverse way (fearing an OVERPLUS rather);—but always to likelihood of moneys by the match, as a very direct item. Ready command of money, he feels, will be extremely desirable in a Wife; desirable and almost indispensable, in present straitened circumstances. These are the notions of this ill-situated Coelebs.
The parties proposed first and last, and rumored of in Newspapers and the idle brains of men, have been very many,—no limit to their numbers; it MAY be anybody: an intending purchaser, though but possessed of sixpence, is in a sense proprietor of the whole Fair! Through Schulenburg we heard his own account of them, last Autumn;—but the far noblest of the lot was hardly glanced at, or not at all, on that occasion. The Kaiser's eldest Daughter, sole heiress of Austria and these vast Pragmatic-Sanction operations; Archduchess Maria Theresa herself,—it is affirmed to have been Prince Eugene's often-expressed wish, That the Crown-Prince of Prussia should wed the future Empress [Hormayr, Allgemeine Geschichte der neueslen Zeit (Wien, 1817), i. 13; cited in Preuss, i. 71.] Which would indeed have saved immense confusions to mankind! Nay she alone of Princesses, beautiful, magnanimous, brave, was the mate for such a Prince,—had the Good Fairies been consulted, which seldom happens:—and Romance itself might have become Reality in that case: with high results to the very soul of this young Prince! Wishes are free: and wise Eugene will have been heard, perhaps often, to express this wish; but that must have been all. Alas, the preliminaries, political, especially religious, are at once indispensable and impossible: we have to dismiss that daydream. A Papal-Protestant Controversy still exists among mankind; and this is one penalty they pay for not having settled it sooner. The Imperial Court cannot afford its Archduchess on the terms possible in that quarter.
What the Imperial Court can do is, to recommend a Niece of theirs, insignificant young Princess, Elizabeth Christina of Brunswick-Bevern, who is Niece to the Empress; and may be made useful in this way, to herself and us, think the Imperial Majesties;—will be a new tie upon the Prussians and the Pragmatic Sanction, and keep the Alliance still surer for our Archduchess in times coming, think their Majesties. She, it is insinuated by Seckendorf in Tobacco-Parliament; ought not she, Daughter of your Majesty's esteemed friend,—modest-minded, innocent young Princess, with a Brother already betrothed in your Majesty's House,—to be the Lady? It is probable she will.
Did we inform the reader once about Kaiser Karl's young marriage adventures; and may we, to remind him, mention them a second time? How Imperial Majesty, some five-and-twenty years ago, then only King of Spain, asked Princess Caroline of Anspach, who was very poor, and an orphan in the world. Who at once refused, declining to think of changing her religion on such a score;—and now governs England, telegraphing with Walpole, as Queen there instead. How Karl, now Imperial Majesty, then King of Spain, next applied to Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel; and met with a much better reception there. Applied to old Anton Ulrich, reigning Duke, who writes big Novels, and does other foolish good-natured things;—who persuaded his Grand-daughter that a change to Catholicism was nothing in such a case, that he himself should not care in the least to change. How the Grand-daughter changed accordingly, went to Barcelona, and was wedded;—and had to dun old Grandpapa, "Why don't you change, then?" Who did change thereupon; thinking to himself, "Plague on it I must, then!" the foolish old Herr. He is dead; and his Novels, in six volumes quarto, are all dead: and the Grand-daughter is Kaiserinn, on those terms, a serene monotonous well-favored Lady, diligent in her Catholic exercises; of whom I never heard any evil, good rather, in her eminent serene position. Pity perhaps that she had recommended her Niece for this young Prussian gentleman; whom it by no means did "attach to the Family" so very careful about him at Vienna! But if there lay a sin, and a punishment following on it, here or elsewhere, in her Imperial position, surely it is to be charged on foolish old Anton Ulrich; not on her, poor Lady, who had never coveted such height, nor durst for her soul take the leap thitherward, till the serene old literary gentleman showed her how easy it was.
Well, old Anton Ulrich is long since dead, [1714, age 70. Huber, t. 190.] and his religious accounts are all settled beyond cavil; and only the sad duty devolves on me of explaining a little what and who his rather insipid offspring are, so far as related to readers of this History. Anton Ulrich left two sons; the elder of whom was Duke, and the younger had an Apanage, Blankenburg by name. Only this younger had children,—serene Kaiserinn that now is, one of them: The elder died childless, [1731, Michaelis, i. 132.] precisely a few months before the times we are now got to; reigning Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel, ["Welf-BOOTHS" (Hunted Camp of the Welfs), according to Etymology. "Brunswick," again, is BRAUN'S-Wick; "Braun" (Brown) being an old militant Welf in those parts, who built some lodge for himself, as a convenience there,—Year 880, say the uncertain old Books. Hubner, t. 149; Michaelis, &c.] all but certain Apanages, and does not concern us farther. To that supreme dignity the younger has now come, and his Apanage of Blankenburg and children with him;—so that there is now only one outstanding Apanage (Bevern, not known to us yet); which also will perhaps get reunited, if we cared for it. Ludwig Rudolf is the name of this new sovereign Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel, or Duke in chief; age now sixty; has a shining, bustling, somewhat irregular Duchess, says Wilhelmina; and a nose—or rather almost no nose, for sad reasons! [Wilhelmina, ii. 121.] Other qualities or accidents I know not of him,—except that he is Father of the Vienna Kaiserinn; Grandfather of the Princess whom Seckendorf suggests for our Friedrich of Prussia.
In Ludwig Rudolf's insipid offspring our readers are unexpectedly somewhat interested; let readers patiently attend, therefore. He had three Daughters, never any son. Two of his Daughters, eldest and youngest, are alive still; the middle one had a sad fate long ago. She married, in 1711, Alexius the Czarowitz of Peter the Great: foolish Czarowitz, miserable and making others miserable, broke her heart by ill conduct, ill usage, in four years; so that she died; leaving him only a poor small Peter II., who is now dead too, and that matter ended all but the memory of it. Some accounts bear, that she did not die; that she only pretended it, and ran and left her intolerable Czarowitz. That she wedded, at Paris, in deep obscurity, an Officer just setting out for Louisiana; lived many years there as a thrifty soldier's wife; returned to Paris with her Officer reduced to half-pay; and told him—or told some select Official person after him, under seven-fold oath, being then a widow and necessitous—her sublime secret. Sublime secret, which came thus to be known to a supremely select circle at Paris; and was published in Books, where one still reads it. No vestige of truth in it,—except that perhaps a necessitous soldier's widow at Paris, considering of ways and means, found that she had some trace of likeness to the Pictures of this Princess, and had heard her tragic story.
Ludwig Rudolf's second Daughter is dead long years ago; nor has this fable as yet risen from her dust. Of Ludwig Rudolf's other two Daughters, we have said that one, the eldest, was the Kaiserinn; Empress Elizabeth Christina, age now precisely forty; with two beautiful Daughters, sublime Maria Theresa the elder of them, and no son that would live. Which last little circumstance has caused the Pragmatic Sanction, and tormented universal Nature for so many years back! Ludwig Rudolf has a youngest Daughter, also married, and a Mother in Germany,—to this day conspicuously so;—of whom next, or rather of her Husband and Family-circle, we must say a word.
Her Husband is no other than the esteemed Friend of Friedrich Wilhelm; Duke of Brunswick-Bevern, by title; who, as a junior branch, lives on the Apanage of Bevern, as his Father did; but is sure now to inherit the sovereignty and be Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel at large, he or his Sons, were the present incumbent, Ludwig Rudolf, once out. Present incumbent, we have just intimated, is his Father-in-law; but it is not on that ground that he looks to inherit. He is Nephew of old Anton Ulrich, Son of a younger Brother (who was also "Bevern" in Anton's time); and is the evident Heir-male; old Anton being already fallen into the distaff, with nothing but three Grand-daughters. Anton's heir will now be this Nephew; Nephew has wedded one of the Grand-daughters, youngest of the Three, youngest Daughter of Ludwig Rudolf, Sovereign Duke that now is; which Lady, by the family she brought him, if no otherwise, is memorable or mentionable here, and may be called, a Mother in Germany.
[ANTON ULRICH (1833-1714). Duke in Chief; that is, Duke of Brunswick-WOLFENBUTTEL. AUGUST WILHELM, elder Son and Heir (1662, 1714, 1731); had no children. LUDWIG RUDOLF, the younger Son (1671, 1731, 1735), apanagad in Blankenburg: Duke of Brunswick-BLANKENBURG; became WOLFENBUTTEL. 1731, died, 1st March, 1735. No Son; so that now the Bevern succeeded. Three Daughters: Elizabeth Christina, the Kaiserinn (1691, 1708, 1750). Charlotte Christina (1694, 1711, 1715), Alexius of Russia's, had a FABULOUS end. Antoinette Amelia (1695, 1712, 1762); Bevern's Wife,—a "Mother in Germany." FERDINAND ALBERT (1636-1687), his younger Brother apanaged in Bevern; that is, Duke of Brunswick-BEVERN. FERDINAND ALBERT, eldest Son (an elder had perished, 1704, on the Schellenberg under Marlborough), followed in Bevern (1680, 1687-1704, 1735); Kaiser's soldier, Friedrich Wilhelm's friend; married his Cousin, Antoinette Amelia ("Mother in Germany," as we call her). Duke in Chief, 1st March, 1785, on Ludwig Rudolf's decease; died himself, 3d September same year. BORN 1713, Karl the Heir (to marry our Friedrich's Sister). 1714, Anton Ulrich (Russia; tragedy of Czar Iwan). 1715, 8th November, Elizabeth Christina (Crown Prince's). 1718, Ludwig Ernst (Holland, 1787). 1721, Ferdinand (Chatham's and England's) of the Seven Years War. 1722, 1724, 1725, 1732, Four others; Boys the youngest Two, who were both killed in Friedrich's Wars.]
Father Bevern her Husband, Ferdinand Albert the name of him, is now just fifty, only ten years younger than his serene Father-in-law, Ludwig Rudolf:—whom, I may as well say here, he does at last succeed, three years hence (1735) and becomes Duke of Brunswick in General, according to hope; but only for a few months, having himself died that same year. Poor Duke; rather a good man, by all the accounts I could hear; though not of qualities that shone. He is at present "Duke of Brunswick-Bevern,"—such his actual nomenclature in those ever-fluctuating Sibyl's-leaves of German History-Books, Wilhelmina's and the others;—expectant Duke of Brunswick in General; much a friend of Friedrich Wilhelm. A kind of Austrian soldier he was formerly, and will again be for brief times; General-Feldmarschall so styled; but is not notable in War, nor otherwise at all, except for the offspring he had by this serene Spouse of his. Insipid offspring, the impatient reader says; but permits me to enumerate one or two of them:—
1. Karl, eldest Son; who is sure to be Brunswick in General; who is betrothed to Princess Charlotte of Prussia,—"a satirical creature, she, fonder of my Prince than of him," Wilhelmina thinks. The wedding nevertheless took effect. Brunswick in General duly fell in, first to the Father; then, in a few months more, to Karl with his Charlotte: and from them proceeded, in due time, another Karl, of whom we shall hear in this History;—and of whom all the world heard much in the French Revolution Wars; in 1792, and still more tragically afterwards. Shot, to death or worse, at the Battle of Jena, October, 1806; "battle lost before it was begun,"—such the strategic history they give of it. He peremptorily ordered the French Revolution to suppress itself; and that was the answer the French Revolution made him. From this Karl, what NEW Queens Caroline of England and portentous Dukes of Brunswick, sent upon their travels through the anarchic world, profitable only to Newspapers, we need not say!—
2. Anton Ulrich; named after his august Great-Grandfather; does not write novels like him. At present a young gentleman of eighteen; goes into Russia before long, hoping to beget Czars; which issues dreadfully for himself and the potential Czars he begot. The reader has heard of a potential "Czar Iwan," violently done to death in his room, one dim moonlight night of 1764, in the Fortress of Schlusselburg, middle of Lake Ladoga; misty moon looking down on the stone battlements, on the melancholy waters, and saying nothing.—But let us not anticipate.
3. Elizabeth Christina; to us more important than any of them. Namesake of the Kaiserinn, her august Aunt; age now seventeen; insipid fine-complexioned young lady, who is talked of for the Bride of our Crown-Prince. Of whom the reader will hear more. Crown-Prince fears she is "too religious,"—and will have "CAGOTS" about her (solemn persons in black, highly unconscious how little wisdom they have), who may be troublesome.
4. A merry young Boy, now ten, called Ferdinand; with whom England within the next thirty years will ring, for some time, loud enough: the great "Prince Ferdinand" himself,—under whom the Marquis of Granby and others became great; Chatham superintending it. This really was a respectable gentleman, and did considerable things,—a Trismegistus in comparison with the Duke of Cumberland whom he succeeded. A cheerful, singularly polite, modest, well-conditioned man withal. To be slightly better known to us, if we live. He at present is a Boy of ten, chasing the thistle's beard.
5. Three other sons, all soldiers, two of them younger than Ferdinand; whose names were in the gazettes down to a late period;—whom we shall ignore in this place. The last of them was marched out of Holland, where he had long been Commander-in-chief on rather Tory principles, in the troubles of 1787. Others of them we shall see storming forward on occasion, valiantly meeting death in the field of fight, all conspicuously brave of character; but this shall be enough of them at present.
It is of these that Ludwig Rudolf's youngest daughter, the serene Ferdinand Albert's wife, is Mother in Germany; highly conspicuous in their day. If the question is put, it must be owned they are all rather of the insipid type. Nothing but a kind of albuminous simplicity noticeable in them; no wit, originality, brightness in the way of uttered intellect. If it is asked, How came they to the least distinction in this world?—the answer is not immediately apparent. But indeed they are Welf of the Welfs, in this respect as in others. One asks, with increased wonder, noticing in the Welfs generally nothing but the same albuminous simplicity, and poverty rather than opulence of uttered intellect, or of qualities that shine, How the Welfs came to play such a part, for the last thousand years, and still to be at it, in conspicuous places? Reader, I have observed that uttered intellect is not what permanently makes way, but unuttered. Wit, logical brilliancy, spiritual effulgency, true or FALSE,—how precious to idle mankind, and to the Newspapers and History-Books, even when it is false: while, again, Nature and Practical Fact care next to nothing for it in comparison, even when it is true! Two silent qualities you will notice in these Welfs, modern and ancient; which Nature much values: FIRST, consummate human Courage; a noble, perfect, and as it were unconscious superiority to fear. And then SECONDLY, much weight of mind, a noble not too conscious Sense of what is Right and Not-Right, I have found in some of them;—which means mostly WEIGHT, or good gravitation, good observance of the perpendicular; and is called justice, veracity, high-honor, and other such names. These are fine qualities indeed, especially with an "albuminous simplicity" as vehicle to them. If the Welfs had not much articulate intellect, let us guess they made a good use, not a bad or indifferent, as is commoner, of what they had.
WHO HIS MAJESTY'S CHOICE IS; AND WHAT THE CROWN-PRINCE THINKS OF IT.
Princess Elizabeth Christina, the insipid Brunswick specimen, backed by Seckendorf and Vienna, proves on consideration the desirable to Friedrich Wilhelm in this matter. But his Son's notions, who as yet knows her only by rumor, do not go that way. Insipidity, triviality; the fear of "CAGOTAGE" and frightful fellows in black supremely unconscious what blockheads they are, haunts him a good deal. And as for any money coming,—her sublime Aunt the Kaiserinn never had much ready money; one's resources on that side are likely to be exiguous. He would prefer the Princess of Mecklenburg, Semi-Russian Catharine or Anna, of whom we have heard; would prefer the Princess of Eisenach (whose name he does not know rightly); thinks there are many Princesses preferable. Most of all he would prefer, what is well known of him in Tobacco-Parliament, but known to be impossible, this long while back, to go upon a round of travel,—as for instance the Prince of Lorraine is now doing,—and look about him a little.
These candid considerations the Crown-Prince earnestly suggests to Grumkow, and the secret committee of Tobacco-Parliament; earnestly again and again, in his Correspondence with that gentleman, which goes on very brisk at present. "Much of it lost," we hear;—but enough, and to spare, is saved! Not a beautiful correspondence: the tone of it shallow, hard of heart; tragically flippant, especially on the Crown-Prince's part; now and then even a touch of the hypocritical from him, slight touch and not with will: alas, what can the poor young man do? Grumkow—whose ground, I think, is never quite so secure since that Nosti business—professes ardent attachment to the real interests of the Prince; and does solidly advise him of what is feasible, what not, in head-quarters; very exemplary "attachment;" credible to what length, the Prince well enough knows. And so the Correspondence is unbeautiful; not very descriptive even,—for poor Friedrich is considerably under mask, while he writes to that address; and of Grumkow himself we want no more "description;" and is, in fact, on its own score, an avoidable article rather than otherwise; though perhaps the reader, for a poor involved Crown-Prince's sake, will wish an exact Excerpt or two before we quite dismiss it.
Towards turning off the Brunswick speculation, or turning on the Mecklenburg or Eisenach or any other in its stead, the Correspondence naturally avails nothing. Seckendorf has his orders from Vienna: Grumkow has his pension,—his cream-bowl duly set,—for helping Beckendorf. Though angels pleaded, not in a tone of tragic flippancy, but with the voice of breaking hearts, it would be to no purpose. The Imperial Majesties have ordered, Marry him to Brunswick, "bind him the better to our House in time coming;" nay the Royal mind at Potsdam gravitates, of itself, that way, after the first hint is given. The Imperial will has become the Paternal one; no answer but obedience. What Grumkow can do will be, if possible, to lead or drive the Crown-Prince into obeying smoothly, or without breaking of harness again. Which, accordingly, is pretty much the sum of his part in this unlovely Correspondence: the geeho-ing of an expert wagoner, who has got a fiery young Arab thoroughly tied into his dastard sand-cart, and has to drive him by voice, or at most by slight crack of whip; and does it. Can we hope, a select specimen or two of these Documents, not on Grumkow's part, or for Grumkow's unlovely sake, may now be acceptable to the reader? A Letter or two picked from that large stock, in a legible state, will show us Father and Son, and how that tragic matter went on, better than description could.
Papa's Letters to the Crown-Prince during that final Custrin period,—when Carzig and Himmelstadt were going on, and there was such progress in Economics, are all of hopeful ruggedly affectionate tenor; and there are a good few of them: style curiously rugged, intricate, headlong; and a strong substance of sense and worth tortuously visible everywhere. Letters so delightful to the poor retrieved Crown-Prince then and there; and which are still almost pleasant reading to third-parties, once you introduce grammar and spelling. This is one exact specimen; most important to the Prince and us. Suddenly, one night, by estafette, his Majesty, meaning nothing but kindness, and grateful to Seckendorf and Tobacco-Parliament for such an idea, proposes,—in these terms (merely reduced to English and the common spelling):—
"TO THE CROWN-PRINCE AT CUSTRIN (from Papa). "POTSDAM, 4th February, 1732
"MY DEAR SON FRITZ,—I am very glad you need no more physic. But you must have a care of yourself, some days yet, for the severe weather; which gives me and everybody colds; so pray be on your guard (NEHMET EUCH KUBSCH IN ACHT).
"You know, my dear Son, that when my children are obedient, I love them much: so, when you were at Berlin, I from my heart forgave you everything; and from that Berlin time, since I saw you, have thought of nothing but of your well-being and how to establish you,—not in the Army only, but also with a right Step-daughter, and so see you married in my lifetime. You may be well persuaded I have had the Princesses of Germany taken survey of, so far as possible, and examined by trusty people, what their conduct is, their education and so on: and so a Princess has been found, the Eldest one of Bevern, who is well brought up, modest and retiring, as women ought to be.
"You will without delay (CITO) write me your mind on this. I have purchased the Von Katsch House; the Feldmarschall," old Wartensleben, poor Katte's grandfather, "as Governor" of Berlin, "will get that to live in: and his Government House, [Fine enough old House, or Palace, built by the Great Elector; given by him to Graf Feldmarschall von Schomberg, the "Duke Schomberg" who was killed in the Battle of the Boyne: "same House, opposite the Arsenal, which belongs now (1855) to his Royal Highness Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia." (Preuss, i. 73; and OEuvres de Frederic, xxvi. 12 n.)] I will have made new for you, and furnish it all; and give you enough to keep house yourself there; and will command you into the Army, April coming [which is quite a subordinate story, your Majesty!].
"The Princess is not ugly, nor beautiful. You must mention it to no mortal;—write indeed to Mamma (DER MAMA) that I have written to you. And when you shall have a Son, I will let you go on your Travels,—wedding, however, cannot be before winter next. Meanwhile I will try aud contrive opportunity that you see one another, a few times, in all honor, yet so that you get acquainted with her. She is a God-fearing creature (GOTTESFURCHTIGES MENSCH), which is all in all; will suit herself to you [be COMPORTABLE to you] as she does to the Parents-in-law.
"God give his blessing to it; and bless You and your Posterity, and keep Thee as a good Christian. And have God always before your eyes;—and don't believe that damnable PARTICULAR tenet [Predestination]; and be obedient and faithful: so shall it, here in Time and there in Eternity, go well with thee;—and whoever wishes that from the heart, let him say Amen.
"Your true Father to the death,
"When the Duke of Lorraine comes, I will have thee come. I think thy Bride will be here then. Adieu; God be with you." [ OEuvres de Frederic, xxvii, part 3d, p. 55.]
This important Missive reached Custrin, by estafette, that same midnight, 4th-5th February; when Wolden, "Hofmarschall of the Prince's Court" (titular Goldstick there, but with abundance of real functions laid on him), had the honor to awaken the Crown-Prince into the joy of reading. Crown-Prince instantly despatched, by another estafette, the requisite responses to Papa and Mamma,—of which Wolden does not know the contents at all, not he, the obsequious Goldstick;—but doubtless they mean "Yes," Crown-Prince appearing so overjoyed at this splendid evidence of Papa's love, as the Goldstick could perceive. [Wolden's LETTER to Friedrich Wilhelm, "5th February, 1732:" in Preuss, ii. part 2d (or URKUNDENOUCH), p. 206. Mamma's answer to the message brought her by this return estafette, a mere formal VERY-WELL, written from the fingers outward, exists (OEuvres, xxvi. 65); the rest have happily vanished.]
What the Prince's actual amount of joy was, we shall learn better from the following three successive utterances of his, confidentially despatched to Grumkow in the intermediate days, before Berlin or this "Duke of Lorraine" (whom our readers and the Crown-Prince are to wait upon), with actual sight of Papa and the Intended, came in course. Grumkow's Letters to the Crown-Prince in this important interval are not extant, nor if they were could we stand them: from the Prince's Answers it will be sufficiently apparent what the tenor of them was. Utterance first is about a week after that of the estafette at midnight:—
TO GENERAL FELDMARSCHALL VON GRUMKOW, AT POTSDAM (from the Crown-Prince).
"CUSTRIN, 11th February, 1732.
"MY DEAR GENERAL AND FRIEND,—I was charmed to learn by your Letter that my affairs are on so good a footing [Papa so well satisfied with my professions of obedience]; and you may depend on it I am docile to follow your advice. I will lend myself to whatever is possible for me; and provided I can secure the King's favor by my obedience, I will do all that is within my power.
"Nevertheless, in making my bargain with the Duke of Bevern, manage that the CORPUS DELICTI [my Intended] be brought up under her Grandmother [Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel, Ludwig Rudolf's Spouse, an airy coquettish Lady,—let her be the tutoress and model of my Intended, O General]. For I should prefer being made a"—what shall we say? by a light wife,—"or to serve under the haughty FONTANGE [Species of topknot; so named from Fontange, an unfortunate female of Louis Fourteenth's, who invented the ornament.] of my Spouse [as Ludwig Rudolf does, by all accounts], than to have a blockhead who would drive me mad by her ineptitudes? and whom I should be ashamed to produce.
"I beg you labor at this affair. When one hates romance heroines as heartily as I do, one dreads those 'virtues' of the ferocious type [LES VERTUS FAROUCHES, so terribly aware that they are virtuous]; and I had rather marry the greatest—[unnamable]—in Berlin, than a devotee with half a dozen ghastly hypocrites (CAGOTS) at her beck. If it were still MOGLICH [possible, in German] to make her Calvinist [REFORMEE; our Court-Creed, which might have an allaying tendency, and at least would make her go with the stream]? But I doubt that:—I will insist, however, that her Grandmother have the training of her. What you can do to help in this, my dear Friend, I am persuaded you will do.
"It afflicted me a little that the King still has doubts of me, while I am obeying in such a matter, diametrically opposite to my own ideas. In what way shall I offer stronger proofs? I may give myself to the Devil, it will be to no purpose; nothing but the old song over again, doubt on doubt.—Don't imagine I am going to disoblige the Duke, the Duchess or the Daughter, I beseech you! I know too well what is due to them, and too much respect their merits, not to observe the strictest rules of what is proper,—even if I hated their progeny and them like the pestilence.
"I hope to speak to you with open heart at Berlin.—You may think, too, how I shall be embarrassed, having to do the AMOROSO perhaps without being it, and to take an appetite for mute ugliness,—for I don't much trust Count Seckendorf's taste in this article,"—in spite of his testimonies in Tobacco-Parliament and elsewhere. "Monsieur! Once more, get this Princess to learn by heart the ECOLE DES MARIS and the ECOLE DES FEMMES; that will do her much more good than TRUE CHRISTIANITY by the late Mr. Arndt! [Johann Arndt ("late" this long while back), Von wahren Christenthum, Magdeburg, 1610.] If, besides, she would learn steadiness of humor (TOUJOURS DANSER SUR UN PIED), learn music; and, NOTA BENE, become rather too free than too virtuous,—ah then, my dear General, then I should feel some liking for her, and a Colin marrying a Phyllis, the couple would be in accordance: but if she is stupid, naturally I renounce the Devil and her.—It is said she has a Sister, who at least has common sense. Why take the eldest, if so? To the King it must be all one. There is also a Princess Christina Marie of Eisenach [real name being Christina WILHELMINA, but no matter], who would be quite my fit, and whom I should like to try for. In fine, I mean to come soon into your Countries; [Did come, 26th February, as we shall see.] and perhaps will say like Caesar, VENI, VIDI, VICI."...
Paragraph of tragic compliments to Grumkow we omit. Letter ends in this way:—
"Your Baireuth News is very interesting; I hope, in September next [time of a grand problem coming there for Wilhelmina], my Sister will recover her first health. If I go travelling, I hope to have the consolation of seeing her for a fortnight or three weeks; I love her more than my life; and for all my obediences to the King, surely I shall deserve that recompense. The diversions for the Duke of Lorraine are very well schemed; but"—but what mortal can now care about them? Close, and seal. [Forster, iii. 160-162; OEuvres de Frederic, xvi, 37-39.]
As to this Duke of Lorraine just coming, he is Franz Stephan, a pleasant young man of twenty-five, son of that excellent Duke Leopold Joseph, whom young Lyttelton of Hagley was so taken with, while touring in those parts in the Congress-of-Soissons time. Excellent Duke Leopold Joseph is since dead; and this Franz has succeeded to him,—what succession there was; for Lorraine as a Dukedom has its neck under the foot of France this great while, and is evidently not long for this world. Old Fleury, men say, has his eye upon it. And in fact it was, as we shall see, eaten up by Fleury within four years' time; and this Franz proved the last of all the Dukes there. Let readers notice him: a man of high destiny otherwise, of whom we are to hear much. For ten years past he has lived about Vienna, being a born Cousin of that House (Grandmother was Kaiser Leopold's own Sister); and it is understood, nay it is privately settled he is to marry the transcendent Archduchess, peerless Maria Theresa herself; and is to reap, he, the whole harvest of that Pragmatic Sanction sown with such travail of the Universe at large. May be King of the Romans (which means successor to the Kaisership) any day; and actual Kaiser one day.
We may as well say here, he did at length achieve these dignities, though not quite in the time or on the terms proposed. King of the Romans old Kaiser Karl never could quite resolve to make him,—having always hopes of male progeny yet; which never came. For his peerless Bride he waited six years still (owing to accidents), "attachment mutual all the while;" did then wed, 1738, and was the happiest of men and expectant Kaisers:—but found, at length, the Pragmatic Sanction to have been a strange sowing of dragon's-teeth, and the first harvest reapable from it a world of armed men!—For the present he is on a grand Tour, for instruction and other objects; has been in England last; and is now getting homewards again, to Vienna, across Germany; conciliating the Courts as he goes. A pacific friendly eupeptic young man; Crown-Prince Friedrich, they say, took much to him in Berlin; did not quite swear eternal friendship; but kept up some correspondence for a while, and "once sends him a present of salmon."—But to proceed with the utterances to Grumkow.
Utterance SECOND is probably of prior date; but introducible here, being an accidental Fragment, with the date lost:—
TO THE FELDMARSCHALL VON GRUMKOW (from the Crown-Prince; exact date lost).
"... As to what you tell me of the Princess of Mecklenburg," for whom they want a Brandenburg Prince,—"could not I marry her? Let her come into this Country, and think no more of Russia: she would have a dowry of two or three millions of roubles,—only fancy how I could live with that! I think that project might succeed. The Princess is Lutheran; perhaps she objects to go into the Greek Church?—I find none of these advantages in this Princess of Bevern; who, as many people, even of the Duke's Court, say, is not at all beautiful, speaks almost nothing, and is given to pouting (FAISANT LA FACHEE). The good Kaiserinn has so little herself, that the sums she could afford her Niece would be very moderate." [Fragment given in Sechendorfs Leben, iii. 249 u.]
"Given to pouting," too! No, certainly; your Insipidity of Brunswick, without prospects of ready money; dangerous for CAGOTAGE; "not a word to say for herself in company, and given to pouting:" I do not reckon her the eligible article!—
Seckendorf, Schulenburg, Grumkow and all hands are busy in this matter: geeho-ing the Crown-Prince towards the mark set before him. With or without explosion, arrive there he must; other goal for him is none!—In the mean while, it appears, illustrious Franz of Lorraine, coming on, amid the proper demonstrations, through Magdeburg and the Prussian Towns, has caught some slight illness and been obliged to pause; so that Berlin cannot have the happiness of seeing him quite so soon as it expected. The high guests invited to meet Duke Franz, especially the high Brunswicks, are already there. High Brunswicks, Bevern with Duchess, and still more important, with Son and with Daughter:—insipid CORPUS DELICTI herself has appeared on the scene; and Grumkow, we find, has been writing some description of her to the Crown-Prince. Description of an unfavorable nature; below the truth, not above it, to avert disappointment, nay to create some gleam of inverse joy, when the actual meeting occurs. That is his art in driving the fiery little Arab ignominiously yoked to him; and it is clear he has overdone it, for once. This is Friedrich's THIRD utterance to him; much the most emphatic there is:—
TO THE GENERAL FELDMARSCHALL VON GRUMKOW.
"CUSTRIN, 19th February, 1732.
"Judge, my dear General, if I can have been much charmed with the description you give of the abominable object of my desires! For the love of God, disabuse the King in regard to her [show him that she is a fool, then]; and let him remember well that fools commonly are the most obstinate of creatures.
"Some months ago he wrote a Letter to Walden," the obsequious Goldstick, "of his giving me the choice of several Princesses: I hope he will not give himself the lie in that. I refer you entirely to the Letter, which Schulenburg will have delivered,"—little Schulenburg called here, in passing your way; all hands busy. "For there is no hope of wealth, no reasoning, nor chance of fortune that could change my sentiment as expressed there [namely, that I will not have her, whatever become of me]; and miserable for miserable, it is all one! Let the King but think that it is not for himself that he is marrying me, but for MYself; nay he too will have a thousand chagrins, to see two persons hating one another, and the miserablest marriage in the world;—to hear their mutual complaints, which will be to him so many reproaches for having fashioned the instrument of our yoke. As a good Christian, let him consider, If it is well done to wish to force people; to cause divorces, and to be the occasion of all the sins that an ill-assorted marriage leads us to commit! I am determined to front everything in the world sooner: and since things are so, you may in some good way apprise the Duke" of Bevern "that, happen what may, I never will have her.
"I have been unfortunate (MALHEUREUX) all my life; and I think it is my destiny to continue so. One must be patient, and take the time as it comes. Perhaps a sudden tract of good fortune, on the back of all the chagrins I have made profession of ever since I entered this world, would have made me too proud. In a word, happen what will, I have nothing to reproach myself with. I have suffered sufficiently for an exaggerated crime [that of "attempting to desert;"—Heavens!]—and I will not engage myself to extend my miseries (CHAGRINS) into future times. I have still resources:—a pistol-shot can deliver me from my sorrows and my life: and I think a merciful God would not damn me for that; but, taking pity on me, would, in exchange for a life of wretchedness, grant me salvation. This is whitherward despair can lead a young person, whose blood is not so quiescent as if he were seventy. I have a feeling of myself, Monsieur; and perceive that, when one hates the methods of force as much as I, our boiling blood will carry us always towards extremities.
... "If there are honest people in the world, they must think how to save me from one of the most perilous passages I have ever been in. I waste myself in gloomy ideas; I fear I shall not be able to hide my grief, on coming to Berlin. This is the sad state I am in;—but it will never make me change from being,"—surely to an excessive degree, the illustrious Grumkow's most &c. &c.
"I have received a Letter from the King; all agog (BIEN COIFFE) about the Princess. I think I may still finish the week here. [26th, did arrive in Berlin: Preuss (in OEuvres, xxvii. part 3d, p. 58 n).] When his first fire of approbation is spent, you might, praising her all the while, lead him to notice her faults. Mon Dieu, has he not already seen what an ill-assorted marriage comes to,—my Sister of Anspach and her Husband, who hate one another like the fire! He has a thousand vexations from it every day.... And what aim has the King? If it is to assure himself of me, that is not the way. Madam of Eisenach might do it; but a fool not (POINT UNE BETE);—on the contrary, it is morally impossible to love the cause of our misery. The King is reasonable; and I am persuaded he will understand this himself." [OEuvres de Frederic, xvi. 41, 42.]
Very passionate pleading; but it might as well address itself to the east-winds. Have east-winds a heart, that they should feel pity? JARNI-BLEU, Herr Feldzeugmeister,—only take care he don't overset things again!
Grumkow, in these same hours, is writing a Letter to the Prince, which we still have, [Ib. xvi. 43.] How charmed his Majesty is at such obedience; "shed tears of joy," writes Grumkow, "and said it was the happiest day of his life." Judge Grumkow's feelings soon after, on this furious recalcitration breaking out! Grumkow's Answer, which also we still have [Ib. xvi. pp. 44-46.] is truculence itself in a polite form:—horror-struck as a Christian at the suicide notion, at the—in fact at the whole matter; and begs, as a humble individual, not wishful of violent death and destruction upon self and family, to wash his poor hands of it altogether. Dangerous for the like of him; "interfering between Royal Father and Royal Son of such opposite humors, would break the neck of any man," thinks Grumkow; and sums up with this pithy reminiscence: "I remember always what, the King said to me at Wusterhausen, when your Royal Highness lay prisoner in the Castle of Custrin, and I wished to take your part: 'Nein Grumkow, denket an diese Stelle, Gott gebe dass ich nicht wahr rede, aber mein Sohn stirht nicht eines naturlichen Todes; und Gott gebe dass er nicht unter Henkers Hande komme. No, Grumkow, think of what I now tell you: God grant it do not come true,—but my Son won't die a natural death; God grant he do not come into the Hangman's hands yet!' I shuddered at these words, and the King repeated them twice to me: that is true, or may I never see God's face, or have part in the merits of our Lord."—The Crown-Prince's "pleadings" may fitly terminate here.
DUKE OF LORRAINE ARRIVES IN POTSDAM AND IN BERLIN.
Saturday, 23d February, 1732, his Serene Highness of Lorraine did at length come to hand. Arrived in Potsdam that day; where the two Majesties, with the Serene Beverns, with the Prince Alexander of Wurtemberg, and the other high guests, had been some time in expectation. Suitable persons invited for the occasion: Bevern, a titular Austrian Feldmarschall; Prince Alexander of Wurtemberg, an actual one (poor old Eberhard Ludwig's Cousin, and likely to be Heir there soon); high quasi-Austrian Serenities;—not to mention Schulenburg and others officially related to Austria, or acquainted with it. Nothing could be more distinguished than the welcome of Duke Franz; and the things he saw and did, during his three weeks' visit, are wonderful to Fassmann and the extinct Gazetteers. Saw the Potsdam Giants do their "EXERCITIA," transcendent in perfection; had a boar-hunt; "did divine service in the Potsdam Catholic Church; "—went by himself to Spandau, on the Tuesday (26th), where all the guns broke forth, and dinner was ready: King, Queen and Party having made off for Berlin, in the interim, to be ready for his advent there "in the evening about, five." Majesties wait at Berlin, with their Party,—among whom, say the old Newspapers, "is his Royal Highness the Crown-Prince:" Crown-Prince just come in from Custrin; just blessed with the first sight of his Charmer, whom he finds perceptibly less detestable than he expected.
Serene Highness of Lorraine arrived punctually at five, with outburst of all the artilleries and hospitalities; balls, soirees, EXERCITIA of the Kleist Regiment, of the Gerns-d'Armes; dinners with Grumkow, dinners with Seckendorf, evening party with the Margravine Philip (Margravine in high colors);—one scenic miracle succeeding another, for above a fortnight to come.
The very first spectacle his Highness saw, a private one, and of no intense interest to him, we shall mention here for our own behoof. "An hour after his arrival the Duke was carried away to his Excellency Herr Creutz the Finance-Minister's; to attend a wedding there, along with his Majesty. Wedding of Excellency Creutz's only Daughter to the Herr HOFJAGERMEISTER von Hacke."—HOFJAGERMEISTER (Master of the Hunt), and more specifically Captain Hacke, of the Potsdam Guard or Giant regiment, much and deservedly a favorite with his Majesty. Majesty has known, a long while, the merits military and other of this Hacke; a valiant expert exact man, of good stature, good service among the Giants and otherwise, though not himself gigantic; age now turned of thirty;—and unluckily little but his pay to depend on. Majesty, by way of increment to Hacke, small increment on the pecuniary side, has lately made him "Master of the Hunt;" will, before long, make him Adjutant-General, and his right-hand man in Army matters, were he only rich;—has, in the mean while, made this excellent match for him; which supplies that defect. Majesty was the making of Creutz himself; who is grown very rich, and has but one Daughter: "Let Hacke have her!" his Majesty advised;—and snatches off the Duke of Lorraine to see it done. [Fassmann, p. 430.]
Did the reader ever hear of Finance-Minister Creutz, once a poor Regiment's Auditor, when his Majesty, as yet Crown-Prince, found talent in him? Can readers fish up from their memory, twenty years back, anything of a terrific Spectre walking in the Berlin Palace, for certain nights, during that "Stralsund Expedition" or famed Swedish-War time, to the terror of mankind? Terrific Spectre, thought to be in Swedish pay,—properly a spy Scullion, in a small concern of Grumkow VERSUS Creutz? [Antea, vol. v. pp. 356-358; Wilhelmina.] This is the same Creutz; of whom we have never spoken more, nor shall again, now that his rich Daughter is well married to Hacke, a favorite of his Majesty's and ours. It was the Duke's first sight in Berlin; February 26th; prologue to the flood of scenic wonders there.
But perhaps the wonderfulest thing, had he quite understood it, was that of the 10th March, which he was invited to. Last obligation laid upon the Crown-Prince, "to bind him to the House of Austria," that evening. Of which take this account, external and internal, from authentic Documents in our hand.
BETROTHAL OF THE CROWN-PRINCE TO THE BRUNSWICK CHARMER, NIECE OF IMPERIAL MAJESTY, MONDAY EVENING, 10th MARCH, 1732.
Document FIRST is of an internal nature, from the Prince's own hand, written to his Sister four days before:—
TO THE PRINCESS WILHELMINA AT BAIREUTH.
"BERLIN, 6th March, 1732.
"MY DEAREST SISTER,—Next Monday comes my Betrothal, which will be done just as yours was. The Person in question is neither beautiful nor ugly, not wanting for sense, but very ill brought up, timid, and totally behind in manners and social behavior (MANIERES DU SAVOIR-VIVRE): that is the candid portrait of this Princess. You may judge by that, dearest Sister, if I find her to my taste or not. The greatest merit she has is that she has procured me the liberty of writing to you; which is the one solacement I have in your absence.
"You never can believe, my adorable Sister, how concerned I am about your happiness; all my wishes centre there, and every moment of my life I form such wishes. You may see by this that I preserve still that sincere friendship which has united our hearts from our tenderest years:—recognize at least, my dear Sister, that you did me a sensible wrong when you suspected me of fickleness towards you, and believed false reports of my listening to tale-bearers; me, who love only you, and whom neither absence nor lying rumors could change in respect of you. At least don't again believe such things on my score, and never mistrust me till you have had clear proof,—or till God has forsaken me, and I have lost my wits. And being persuaded that such miseries are not in store to overwhelm me, I here repeat how much I love you, and with what respect and sincere veneration,—I am and shall be till death, my dearest Sister,—Your most humble and faithful Brother and Valet,
[OEuvres de Frederic, xxvii. part 1st, p. 5]
That was on the Thursday; Betrothal is on the Monday following. Document SECOND is from poor old Fassmann, and quite of external nature; which we much abridge:—
"Monday evening, all creatures are in gala, and the Royal Apartments upstairs are brilliantly alight; Duke of Lorraine with the other high strangers are requested to take their place up there, and wait for a short while. Prussian Majesty, Queen and Crown-Prince with him, proceeds then, in a solemn official manner, to the Durchlaucht of Bevern's Apartment, in a lower floor of the Palace; where the Bevern Party, Duke, Duchess, Son and intended Charmer are. Prussian Majesty asks the Durchlaucht and Spouse, 'Whether the Marriage, some time treated of, between that their Princess here present, and this his Crown-Prince likewise here, is really a thing to their mind?' Serene Spouses answer, to the effect, 'Yea, surely, very much!' Upon which they all solemnly ascend to the Royal Apartments [upstairs where we have seen Wilhelmina dancing before now], where Lorraine, Wurtemberg and the other sublimities are in waiting. Lorraine and the sublimities form a semicircle; with the two Majesties, and pair of young creatures, in the centre. You young creatures, you are of one intention with your parents in this matter? Alas, there is no doubt of it. Pledge yourselves, then, by exchange of rings! said his Majesty with due business brevity. The rings are exchanged: Majesty embraces the two young creatures with great tenderness;" as do Queen and Serenities; and then all the world takes to embracing and congratulating; and so the betrothal is a finished thing. Bassoons and violins, striking up, whirl it off in universal dancing,—in "supper of above two hundred and sixty persons," princely or otherwise sublime in rank, with "spouses and noble ladies there" in the due proportion. [Fassmann, pp. 432, 433.]
Here is fraction of another Note from the Crown-Prince to his Sister at Baireuth, a fortnight after that event:—
BERLIN, 24th MARCH, 1732 (to Princess Wilhelmina).—... "God be praised that you are better, dearest Sister! For nobody can love you more tenderly than I do.—As to the Princess of Bevern [my Betrothed], the Queen [Mamma, whom you have been consulting on these etiquettes] bids me answer, That you need not style her 'Highness,' and that you may write to her quite as to an indifferent Princess. As to 'kissing of the hands,' I assure you I have not kissed them, nor will kiss them; they are not pretty enough to tempt one that way. God long preserve you in perfect health! And you, preserve for me always the honor of your good graces; and believe, my charming Sister, that never brother in the world loved with such tenderness a sister so charming as mine; in short, believe, dear Sister, that without compliments, and in literal truth, I am yours wholly (TOUT A VOUS),
[Ib. xxvii. part 1st, p. 5.]
This is the Betrothal of the Crown-Prince to an Insipidity of Brunswick. Insipidity's private feelings, perhaps of a languidly glad sort, are not known to us; Crown-Prince's we have in part seen. He has decided to accept his fate without a murmur farther. Against his poor Bride or her qualities not a word more. In the Schloss of Berlin, amid such tempests of female gossip (Mamma still secretly corresponding with England), he has to be very reserved, on this head especially. It is understood he did not, in his heart, nearly so much dislike the insipid Princess as he wished Papa to think he did.
Duke Franz of Lorraine went off above a week ago, on the Saturday following the Betrothal; an amiable serene young gentleman, well liked by the Crown-Prince and everybody. "He avoided the Saxon Court, though passing near it," on his way to old Kur-Mainz; "which is a sign," thinks Fassmann, "that mutual matters are on a weak footing in that quarter;"—Pragmatic Sanction never accepted there, and plenty of intricacies existing. Crown-Prince Friedrich may now go to Ruppin and the Regiment Goltz; his business and destinies being now all reduced to a steady condition;—steady sky, rather leaden, instead of the tempestuous thunder-and-lightning weather which there heretofore was. Leaden sky, he, if left well to himself, will perhaps brighten a little. Study will be possible to him; improvement of his own faculties, at any rate. It is much his determination. Outwardly, besides drilling the Regiment Goltz, he will have a steady correspondence to keep up with his Brunswick Charmer;—let him see that he be not slack in that.
Chapter II. — SMALL INCIDENTS AT RUPPIN.
Friedrich, after some farther pause in Berlin, till things were got ready for him, went to Ruppin. This is in the Spring of 1732; [Still in Berlin, 6th March; dates from NAUEN (in the Ruppin neighborhood) for the first time, 25th April, 1732, among his LETTERS yet extant: Preuss, OEuvres de Frederic, xxvii. part lst, p. 4; xvi. 49.] and he contin his residence there till August, 1736. Four important years of young life; of which we must endeavor to give, in some intelligible condition, what traces go hovering about in such records as there are.
Ruppin, where lies the main part of the Regiment Goltz, and where the Crown-Prince Colonel of it dwells, is a quiet dull, little Town, in that northwestern region; inhabitants, grown at this day to be 10,000, are perhaps guessable then at 2,000. Regiment Goltz daily rolls its drums in Ruppin: Town otherwise lifeless enough, except on market-days: and the grandest event ever known in it, this removal of the Crown-Prince thither,—which is doubtless much a theme, and proud temporary miracle, to Ruppin at present. Of society there or in the neighborhood, for such a resident, we hear nothing.
Quiet Ruppin stands in grassy flat country, much of which is natural moor, and less of it reclaimed at that time than now. The environs, except that they are a bit of the Earth, and have a bit of the sky over them, do not set up for loveliness. Natural woods abound in that region, also peat-bogs not yet drained; and fishy lakes and meres, of a dark complexion: plenteous cattle there are, pigs among them;—thick-soled husbandmen inarticulately toiling and moiling. Some glass-furnaces, a royal establishment, are the only manufactures we hear of. Not a picturesque country; but a quiet and innocent, where work is cut out, and one hopes to be well left alone after doing it. This Crown-Prince has been in far less desirable localities.
He had a reasonable house, two houses made into one for him, in the place. He laid out for himself a garden in the outskirts, with what they call a "temple" in it,—some more or less ornamental garden-house,—from which I have read of his "letting off rockets" in a summer twilight. Rockets to amuse a small dinner-party, I should guess,—dinner of Officers, such as he had weekly or twice a week. On stiller evenings we can fancy him there in solitude; reading meditative, or musically fluting;—looking out upon the silent death of Day: how the summer gloaming steals over the moorlands, and over all lands; shutting up the toil of mortals; their very flocks and herds collapsing into silence, and the big Skies and endless Times overarching him and them. With thoughts perhaps sombre enough now and then, but profitable if he face them piously.
His Father's affection is returning; would so fain return if it durst. But the heart of Papa has been sadly torn up: it is too good news to be quite believed, that he has a son grown wise, and doing son-like! Rumor also is very busy, rumor and the Tobacco-Parliament for or against; a little rumor is capable of stirring up great storms in the suspicious paternal mind. All along during Friedrich's abode at Ruppin, this is a constantly recurring weather-symptom; very grievous now and then; not to be guarded against by any precaution;—though steady persistence in the proper precaution will abate it, and as good as remove it, in course of time. Already Friedrich Wilhelm begins to understand that "there is much in this Fritz,"—who knows how much, though of a different type from Papa's?—and that it will be better if he and Papa, so discrepant in type, and ticklishly related otherwise, live not too constantly together as heretofore. Which is emphatically the Crown-Prince's notion too.
I perceive he read a great deal at Ruppin: what Books I know not specially: but judge them to be of more serious solid quality than formerly; and that his reading is now generally a kind of studying as well. Not the express Sciences or Technologies; not these, in any sort,—except the military, and that an express exception. These he never cared for, or regarded as the noble knowledges for a king or man. History and Moral Speculation; what mankind have done and been in this world (so far as "History" will give one any glimpse of that), and what the wisest men, poetical or other, have thought about mankind and their world: this is what he evidently had the appetite for; appetite insatiable, which lasted with him to the very end of his days. Fontenelle, Rollin, Voltaire, all the then French lights, and gradually others that lay deeper in the firmament:—what suppers of the gods one may privately have at Ruppin, without expense of wine! Such an opportunity for reading he had never had before.
In his soldier business he is punctual, assiduous; having an interest to shine that way. And is, in fact, approvable as a practical officer and soldier, by the strictest judge then living. Reads on soldiering withal; studious to know the rationale of it, the ancient and modern methods of it, the essential from the unessential in it; to understand it thoroughly,—which he got to do. One already hears of conferences, correspondences, with the Old Dessauer on this head: "Account of the Siege of Stralsund," with plans, with didactic commentaries, drawn up by that gunpowder Sage for behoof of the Crown-Prince, did actually exist, though I know not what has become of it. Now and afterwards this Crown-Prince must have been a great military reader. From Caesar's COMMENTARIES, and earlier, to the Chevalier Folard, and the Marquis Feuquiere; [Memoires sur la Guerre (specially on the Wars of Louis XIV., in which Feuquiere had himself shone): a new Book at this time (Amsterdam, 1731; first COMPLETE edition is, Paris, 1770, 4 vols. 4to); at Ruppin, and afterwards, a chief favorite with Friedrich.] from Epaminondas at Leuctra to Charles XII. at Pultawa, all manner of Military Histories, we perceive, are at his finger-ends; and he has penetrated into the essential heart of each, and learnt what it had to teach him. Something of this, how much we know not, began at Ruppin; and it did not end again.
On the whole, Friedrich is prepared to distinguish himself henceforth by strictly conforming, in all outward particulars possible, to the paternal will, and becoming the most obedient of sons. Partly from policy and necessity, partly also from loyalty; for he loves his rugged Father, and begins to perceive that there is more sense in his peremptory notions than at first appeared. The young man is himself rather wild, as we have seen, with plenty of youthful petulance and longings after forbidden fruit. And then he lives in an element of gossip; his whole life enveloped in a vast Dionysius'-Ear, every word and action liable to be debated in Tobacco-Parliament. He is very scarce of money, too, Papa's allowance being extremely moderate, "not above 6,000 thalers (900 pounds)," says Seckendorf once. [Forster, iii. 114 (Seckendorf to Prince Eugene).] There will be contradictions enough to settle: caution, silence, every kind of prudence will be much recommendable.
In all outward particulars the Crown-Prince will conform; in the inward, he will exercise a judgment, and if he cannot conform, will at least be careful to hide. To do his Commandant duties at Ruppin, and avoid offences, is much his determination. We observe he takes great charge of his men's health; has the Regiment Goltz in a shiningly exact condition at the grand reviews;—is very industrious now and afterwards to get tall recruits, as a dainty to Papa. Knows that nothing in Nature is so sure of conciliating that strange old gentleman; corresponds, accordingly, in distant quarters; lays out, now and afterwards, sums far too heavy for his means upon tall recruits for Papa. But it is good to conciliate in that quarter, by every method, and at every expense;—Argus of Tobacco-Parliament still watching one there; and Rumor needing to be industriously dealt with, difficult to keep down. Such, so far as we can gather, is the general figure of Friedrich's life at Ruppin. Specific facts of it, anecdotes about it, are few in those dim Books; are uncertain as to truth, and without importance whether true or not. For all his gravity and Colonelship, it would appear the old spirit of frolic has not quitted him. Here are two small incidents, pointing that way; which stand on record; credible enough, though vague and without importance otherwise. Incident FIRST is to the following feeble effect; indisputable though extremely unmomentous: Regiment Goltz, it appears, used to have gold trimmings; the Colonel Crown-Prince petitioned that they might be of silver, which he liked better. Papa answers, Yes. Regiment Goltz gets its new regimentals done in silver; the Colonel proposes they shall solemnly BURN their old regimentals. And they do it, the Officers of them, SUB DIO, perhaps in the Prince's garden, stripping successively in the "Temple" there, with such degree of genial humor, loud laughter, or at least boisterous mock-solemnity, as may be in them. This is a true incident of the Prince's history, though a small one.
Incident SECOND is of slightly more significance; and intimates, not being quite alone in its kind, a questionable habit or method the Crown-Prince must have had of dealing with Clerical Persons hereabouts when they proved troublesome. Here are no fewer than three such Persons, or Parsons, of the Ruppin Country, who got mischief by him. How the first gave offence shall be seen, and how he was punished: offences of the second and the third we can only guess to have been perhaps pulpit-rebukes of said punishments: perhaps general preaching against military levities, want of piety, nay open sinfulness, in thoughtless young men with cockades. Whereby the thoughtless young men were again driven to think of nocturnal charivari? We will give the story in Dr. Busching's own words, who looks before and after to great distances, in a way worth attending to. The Herr Doctor, an endless Collector and Compiler on all manner of subjects, is very authentic always, and does not want for natural sense: but he is also very crude,—and here and there not far from stupid, such his continual haste, and slobbery manner of working up those Hundred and odd Volumes of his:—[See his Autobiography, which forms Beitrage, B. vi. (the biggest and last volume).]
"The sanguine-choleric temperament of Friedrich," says this Doctor, "drove him, in his youth, to sensual enjoyments and wild amusements of different kinds; in his middle age, to fiery enterprises; and in his old years to decisions and actions of a rigorous and vehement nature; yet so that the primary form of utterance, as seen in his youth, never altogether ceased with him. There are people still among us (1788) who have had, in their own experience, knowledge of his youthful pranks; and yet more are living, who know that he himself, at table, would gayly recount what merry strokes were done by him, or by his order, in those young years. To give an instance or two.
"While he was at Neu-Ruppin as Colonel of the Infantry Regiment there, the Chaplain of it sometimes waited upon him about the time of dinner,—having been used to dine occasionally with the former Colonel. The Crown-Prince, however, put him always off, did not ask him to dinner; spoke contemptuously of him in presence of the Officers. The Chaplain was so inconsiderate, he took to girding at the Crown-Prince in his sermons. 'Once on a time,' preached he, one day, 'there was Herod who had Herodias to dance before him; and he,—he gave her John the Baptist's head for her pains!'" This HEROD, Busching says, was understood to mean, and meant, the Crown-Prince; HERODIAS, the merry corps of Officers who made sport for him; JOHN THE BAPTIST'S HEAD was no other than the Chaplain not invited to dinner! "To punish him for such a sally, the Crown-Prince with the young Officers of his Regiment went, one night, to the Chaplain's house," somewhere hard by, with cow's-grass adjoining to it, as we see: and "first, they knocked in the windows of his sleeping-room upon him [HINGE-windows, glass not entirely broken, we may hope]; next there were crackers [SCHWARMER, "enthusiasts," so to speak!] thrown in upon him; and thereby the Chaplain, and his poor Wife," more or less in an interesting condition, poor woman, "were driven out into the court-yard, and at last into the dung-heap there;"—and so left, with their Head on a Charger to that terrible extent!
That is Busching's version of the story; no doubt substantially correct; of which there are traces in other quarters,—for it went farther than Ruppin; and the Crown-Prince had like to have got into trouble from it. "Here is piety!" said Rumor, carrying it to Tobacco-Parliament. The Crown-Prince plaintively assures Grumkow that it was the Officers, and that they got punished for it. A likely story, the Prince's!
"When King Friedrich, in his old days, recounted this after dinner, in his merry tone, he was well pleased that the guests, and even the pages and valets behind his back, laughed aloud at it." Not a pious old King, Doctor, still less an orthodox one! The Doctor continues: "In a like style, at Nauen, where part of his regiment lay, he had—by means of Herr von der Groben, his First-Lieutenant," much a comrade of his, as we otherwise perceive—"the Diaconus of Nauen and his Wife hunted out of bed, and thrown into terror of their lives, one night:"—offence of the Diaconus not specified. "Nay he himself once pitched his gold-headed stick through Salpius the Church Inspector's window,"—offence again not specified, or perhaps merely for a little artillery practice?—"and the throw was so dexterous that it merely made a round hole in the glass: stick was lying on the floor; and the Prince," on some excuse or other, "sent for it next morning." "Margraf Heinrich of Schwedt," continues the Doctor, very trustworthy on points of fact, "was a diligent helper in such operations. Kaiserling," whom we shall hear of, "First-Lieutenant von der Groben," these were prime hands; "Lieutenant Buddenbrock [old Feldmarschall's son] used, in his old days, when himself grown high in rank and dining with the King, to be appealed to as witness for the truth of these stories." [Busching, Beitrage zu der Lebensgeschichte denkwurdiger Personen, v. 19-21. Vol. v.—wholly occupied with Friedrich II. King of Prussia (Halle, 1788),—is accessible in French and other languages; many details, and (as Busching's wont is) few or none not authentic, are to be found in it; a very great secret spleen against Friedrich is also traceable,—for which the Doctor may have had his reasons, not obligatory upon readers of the Doctor. The truth is, Friedrich never took the least special notice of him: merely employed and promoted him, when expedient for both parties; and he really was a man of considerable worth, in an extremely crude form.]
These are the two Incidents at Ruppin, in such light as they have. And these are all. Opulent History yields from a ton of broken nails these two brass farthings, and shuts her pocket on us again. A Crown-Prince given to frolic, among other things; though aware that gravity would beseem him better. Much gay bantering humor in him, cracklings, radiations,—which he is bound to keep well under cover, in present circumstances.
Chapter III. — THE SALZBURGERS.
For three years past there has been much rumor over Germany, of a strange affair going on in the remote Austrian quarter, down in Salzburg and its fabulous Tyrolese valleys. Salzburg, city and territory, has an Archbishop, not theoretically Austrian, but sovereign Prince so styled; it is from him and his orthodoxies, and pranks with his sovereign crosier, that the noise originates. Strange rumor of a body of the population discovered to be Protestant among the remote Mountains, and getting miserably ill-used, by the Right Reverend Father in those parts. Which rumor, of a singular, romantic, religious interest for the general Protestant world, proves to be but too well founded. It has come forth in the form of practical complaint to the CORPUS EVANGELICORUM at the Diet, without result from the CORPUS; complaint to various persons;—in fine, to his Majesty Friedrich Wilhelm, WITH result.
With result at last; actual "Emigration of the Salzburgers:" and Germany—in these very days while the Crown-Prince is at Berlin betrothing himself, and Franz of Lorraine witnessing the EXERCITIA and wonders there—sees a singular phenomenon of a touching idyllic nature going on; and has not yet quite forgotten it in our days. Salzburg Emigration was all in motion, flowing steadily onwards, by various routes, towards Berlin, at the time the Betrothal took place; and seven weeks after that event, when the Crown-Prince had gone to Ruppin, and again could only hear of it, the First Instalment of Emigrants arrived bodily at the Gates of Berlin, "30th April, at four in the afternoon;" Majesty himself, and all the world going out to witness it, with something of a poetic: almost of a psalmist feeling, as well as with a practical on the part of his Majesty. First Instalment this; copiously followed by others, all that year; and flowing on, in smaller rills and drippings, for several years more, till it got completed. A notable phenomenon, full of lively picturesque and other interest to Brandenburg and Germany;—which was not forgotten by the Crown-Prince in coming years, as we shall transiently find; nay which all Germany still remembers, and even occasionally sings. Of which this is in brief the history.
The Salzburg Country, northeastern slope of the Tyrol (Donau draining that side of it, Etsch or Adige the Italian side), is celebrated by the Tourist for its airy beauty, rocky mountains, smooth green valleys, and swift-rushing streams; perhaps some readers have wandered to Bad-Gastein, or Ischl, in these nomadic summers; have looked into Salzburg, Berchtesgaden, and the Bavarian-Austrian boundary-lands; seen the wooden-clock makings, salt-works, toy-manufactures, of those simple people in their slouch-hats; and can bear some testimony to the phenomena of Nature there. Salzburg is the Archbishop's City, metropolis of his bit of sovereignty that then was. [Tolerable description of it in the Baron Riesbeck's Travels through Germany (London, 1787, Translation by Maty, 3 vols. 8vo), i. 124-222;—whose details otherwise, on this Emigration business, are of no authenticity or value. A kind of Play-actor and miscellaneous Newspaper-man in that time (not so opulent to his class as ours is); who takes the title of "Baron" on this occasion of coming, out with a Book of Imaginary "Travels." Had personally lived, practising the miscellaneous arts, about Lintz and Salzburg,—and may be heard on the look of the Country, if on little else.] A romantic City, far off among its beautiful Mountains, shadowing (itself in the Salza River, which rushes down into the Inn, into the Donau, now becoming great with the tribute of so many valleys. Salzburg we have not known hitherto except as the fabulous resting-place of Kaiser Barbarossa: but we are now slightly to see it in a practical light; and mark how the memory of Friedrich Wilhelm makes an incidental lodgment for itself there.
It is well known there was extensive Protestantism once in those countries. Prior to the Thirty-Years War, the fair chance was, Austria too would all become Protestant; an extensive minority among all ranks of men in Austria too, definable as the serious intelligence of mankind in those countries, having clearly adopted it, whom the others were sure to follow. In all ranks of men; only not in the highest rank, which was pleased rather to continue Official and Papal. Highest rank had its Thirty-Years War, "its sleek Fathers Lummerlein and Hyacinth in Jesuit serge, its terrible Fathers Wallenstein in chain-armor;" and, by working late and early then and afterwards, did manage at length to trample out Protestantism,—they know with what advantage by this time. Trample out Protestantism; or drive it into remote nooks, where under sad conditions it might protract an unnoticed existence. In the Imperial Free-Towns, Ulm, Augsburg, and the like, Protestantism continued, and under hard conditions contrives to continue: but in the country parts, except in unnoticed nooks, it is extinct. Salzburg Country is one of those nooks; an extensive Crypto-Protestantism lodging, under the simple slouch-hats, in the remote valleys there. Protestantism peaceably kept concealed, hurting nobody; wholesomely forwarding the wooden-clock manufacture, and arable or grazier husbandries, of those poor people. More harmless sons of Adam, probably, did not breathe the vital air, than those dissentient Salzburgers; generation after generation of them giving offence to no creature.
Successive Archbishops had known of this Crypto-Protestantism, and in remote periods had made occasional slight attempts upon it; but none at all for a long time past. All attempts that way, as ineffectual for any purpose but stirring up strife, had been discontinued for many generations; [Buchholz, i. 148-151.] and the Crypto-Protestantism was again become a mythical romantic object, ignored by Official persons. However, in 1727, there came a new Archbishop, one "Firmian", Count Firmian by secular quality, of a strict lean character, zealous rather than wise; who had brought his orthodoxies with him in a rigid and very lean form.
Right Reverend Firmian had not been long in Salzburg till he smelt out the Crypto-Protestantism, and determined to haul it forth from the mythical condition into the practical; and in fact, to see his law-beagles there worry it to death as they ought. Hence the rumors that had risen over Germany, in 1729: Law-terriers penetrating into human cottages in those remote Salzburg valleys, smelling out some German Bible or devout Book, making lists of Bible-reading cottagers; haling them to the Right Reverend Father-in-God; thence to prison, since they would not undertake to cease reading. With fine, with confiscation, tribulation: for the peaceable Salzburgers, respectful creatures, doffing their slouch-hats almost to mankind in general, were entirely obstinate in that matter of the Bible. "Cannot, your Reverence; must not, dare not!" and went to prison or whithersoever rather; a wide cry rising, Let us sell our possessions and leave Salzburg then, according to Treaty of Westphalia, Article so-and-so. "Treaty of Westphalia? Leave Salzburg?" shrieked the Right Reverend Father: "Are we getting into open mutiny, then? Open extensive mutiny!" shrieked he. Borrowed a couple of Austrian regiments,—Kaiser and we always on the pleasantest terms,—and marched the most refractory of his Salzburgers over the frontiers (retaining their properties and families); whereupon noise rose louder and louder.
Refractory Salzburgers sent Deputies to the Diet; appealed, complained to the CORPUS EVANGELICORUM, Treaty of Westphalia in hand,—without result. CORPUS, having verified matters, complained to the Kaiser, to the Right Reverend Father. The Kaiser, intent on getting his Pragmatic Sanction through the Diet, and anxious to offend nobody at present, gave good words; but did nothing: the Right Reverend Father answered a Letter or two from the CORPUS; then said at last, He wished to close the Correspondence, had the honor to be,—and answered no farther, when written to. CORPUS was without result. So it lasted through 1730; rumor, which rose in 1729, waxing ever louder into practicable or impracticable shape, through that next year; tribulation increasing in Salzburg; and noise among mankind. In the end of 1730, the Salzburgers sent Two Deputies to Friedrich Wilhelm at Berlin; solid-hearted, thick-soled men, able to answer for themselves, and give real account of Salzburg and the phenomena; this brought matters into a practicable state.
"Are you actual Protestants, the Treaty of Westphalia applicable to you? Not mere fanatic mystics, as Right Reverend Firmian asserts; protectible by no Treaty?" That was Friedrich Wilhelm's first question; and he set his two chief Berlin Clergymen, learned Roloff one of them, a divine of much fame, to catechise the two Salzburg Deputies, and report upon the point. Their Report, dated Berlin, 30th November, 1730, with specimens of the main questions, I have read; [Fassmann, pp. 446-448.] and can fully certify, along with Roloff and friend, That here are orthodox Protestants, apparently of very pious peaceable nature, suffering hard wrong;—orthodox beyond doubt, and covered by the Treaty of Westphalia. Whereupon his Majesty dismisses them with assurance, "Return, and say there shall be help!"—and straightway lays hand on the business, strong swift steady hand as usual, with a view that way.
Salzburg being now a clear case, Friedrich Wilhelm writes to the Kaiser; to the King of England, King of Denmark;—orders preparations to be made in Preussen, vacant messuages to be surveyed, moneys to be laid up;—bids his man at the Regensburg Diet signify, That unless this thing is rectified, his Prussian Majesty will see himself necessitated to take effectual steps: "reprisals" the first step, according to the old method of his Prussian Majesty. Rumor of the Salzburg Protestants rises higher and higher. Kaiser intent on conciliating every CORPUS, Evangelical and other, for his Pragmatic Sanction's sake, admonishes Right Reverend Firmian; intimates at last to him, That he will actually have to let those poor people emigrate if they demand it; Treaty of Westphalia being express. In the end of 1731 it has come thus far.
"Emigrate, says your Imperial Majesty? Well, they shall emigrate," answers Firmian; "the sooner the better!" And straightway, in the dead of winter, marches, in convenient divisions, some nine hundred of them over the frontiers: "Go about your business, then; emigrate—to the Old One, if you like!"—"And our properties, our goods and chattels?" ask they.—"Be thankful you have kept your skins. Emigrate, I say.!" And the poor nine hundred had to go out, in the rigor of winter, "hoary old men among them, and women coming near their time;" and seek quarters in the wide world mostly unknown to them. Truly Firmian is an orthodox Herr; acquainted with the laws of fair usage and the time of day. The sleeping Barbarossa does not awaken upon him within the Hill here:—but in the Roncalic Fields, long ago, I should not have liked to stand in his shoes!
Friedrich Wilhelm, on this procedure at Salzburg, intimates to his Halberstadt and Minden Catholic gentlemen, That their Establishments must be locked up, and incomings suspended; that they can apply to the Right Reverend Firmian upon it;—and bids his man at Regensburg signify to the Diet that such is the course adopted here. Right Reverend Firmian has to hold his hand; finds both that there shall be Emigration, and that it must go forward on human terms, not inhuman; and that in fact the Treaty of Westphalia will have to guide it, not he henceforth. Those poor ousted Salzburgers cower into the Bavarian cities, till the weather mend, and his Prussian Majesty's arrangements be complete for their brethren and them.
His Prussian Majesty has been maturing his plans, all this while;—gathering moneys, getting lands ready. We saw him hanging Schlubhut in the autumn of 1731, who had peculated from said moneys; and surveying Preussen, under storms of thunder and rain on one occasion. Preussen is to be the place for these people; Tilsit and Memel region, same where the big Fight of Tannenberg and ruin of the Teutsch Ritters took place: in that fine fertile Country there are homes got ready for this Emigration out of Salzburg.
Long ago, at the beginning of this History, did not the reader hear of a pestilence in Prussian Lithuania? Pestilence in old King Friedrich's time; for which the then Crown-Prince, now Majesty Friedrich Wilhelm, vainly solicited help from the Treasury, and only brought about partial change of Ministry and no help. "Fifty-two Towns" were more or less entirely depopulated; hundreds of thousands of fertile acres fell to waste again, the hands that had ploughed them being swept away. The new Majesty, so soon as ever the Swedish War was got rid of, took this matter diligently in hand; built up the fifty-two ruined Towns; issued Proclamations once and again (Years 1719, 1721) to the Wetterau, to Switzerland, Saxony, Schwaben; [Buchholz, i. 148.] inviting Colonists to come, and, on favorable terms, till and reap there. His terms are favorable, well-considered; and are honestly kept. He has a fixed set of terms for Colonists: their road-expenses thither, so much a day allowed each travelling soul; homesteads, ploughing implements, cattle, land, await them at their journey's end; their rent and services, accurately specified, are light not heavy; and "immunities" from this and that are granted them, for certain years, till they get well nestled. Excellent arrangements: and his Majesty has, in fact, got about 20,000 families in that way. And still there is room for thousands more. So that if the tyrannous Firmian took to tribulating Salzburg in that manner, Heaven had provided remedies and a Prussian Majesty. Heaven is very opulent; has alchemy to change the ugliest substances into beautifulest. Privately to his Majesty, for months back, this Salzburg Emigration is a most manageable matter. Manage well, it will be a god-send to his Majesty, and fit, as by pre-established harmony, into the ancient Prussian sorrow; and "two afflictions well put together shall become a consolation," as the proverb promises! Go along then, Right Reverend Firmian, with your Emigration there: only no foul-play in it,—or Halberstadt and Minden get locked:—for the rest of the matter we will undertake.
And so, February 2d, 1732, Friedrich Wilhelm's Proclamation [Copy of it in Mauvillon, February, 1732, ii. 311.] flew abroad over the world; brief and business-like, cheering to all but Firmian;—to this purport: "Come, ye poor Salzburgers, there are homes provided for you. Apply at Regensburg, at Halle: Commissaries are appointed; will take charge of your long march and you. Be kind, all Christian German Princes: do not hinder them and me." And in a few days farther, still early in February (for the matter is all ready before proclaiming), an actual Prussian Commissary hangs out his announcements and officialities at Donauworth, old City known to us, within reach of the Salzburg Boundaries; collects, in a week or two, his first lot of Emigrants, near a thousand strong; and fairly takes the road with them.
A long road and a strange: I think, above five hundred miles before we get to Halle, within Prussian land; and then seven hundred more to our place there, in the utmost East. Men, women, infants and hoary grandfathers are here;—most of their property sold,—still on ruinous conditions, think of it, your Majesty. Their poor bits of preciosities and heirlooms they have with them; made up in succinct bundles, stowed on ticketed baggage-wains; "some have their own poor cart and horse, to carry the too old and the too young, those that cannot walk." A pilgrimage like that of the Children of Israel: such a pilgrim caravan as was seldom heard of in our Western Countries. Those poor succinct bundles, the making of them up and stowing of them; the pangs of simple hearts, in those remote native valleys; the tears that were not seen, the cries that were addressed to God only: and then at last the actual turning out of the poor caravan, in silently practical condition, staff in hand, no audible complaint heard from it; ready to march; practically marching here:—which of us can think of it without emotion, sad, and yet in a sort blessed!
Every Emigrant man has four GROSCHEN a day (fourpence odd) allowed him for road expenses, every woman three groschen, every child two: and regularity itself, in the shape of Prussian Commissaries, presides over it. Such marching of the Salzburgers: host after host of them, by various routes, from February onwards; above seven thousand of them this year, and ten thousand more that gradually followed,—was heard of at all German firesides, and in all European lands. A phenomenon much filling the general ear and imagination; especially at the first emergence of it. We will give from poor old authentic Fassmann, as if caught up by some sudden photograph apparatus, a rude but undeniable glimpse or two into the actuality of this business: the reader will in that way sufficiently conceive it for himself.
Glimpse FIRST is of an Emigrant Party arriving, in the cold February days of 1732, at Nordlingen, Protestant Free-Town in Bavaria: three hundred of them; first section, I think, of those nine hundred who were packed away unceremoniously by Firmian last winter, and have been wandering about Bavaria, lodging "in Kaufbeuern" and various preliminary Towns, till the Prussian arrangements became definite. Prussian Commissaries are, by this time, got to Donauworth; but these poor Salzburgers are ahead of them, wandering under the voluntary principle as yet. Nordlingen, in Bavaria, is an old Imperial Free-Town; Protestantism not suppressed there, as it has been all round; scene of some memorable fighting in the Thirty-Years War, especially of a bad defeat to the Swedes and Bernhard of Weimar, the worst they had in the course of that bad business. The Salzburgers are in number three hundred and thirty-one; time, "first days of February, 1732, weather very cold and raw." The charitable Protestant Town has been expecting such an advent:—
"Two chief Clergymen, and the Schoolmaster and Scholars, with some hundreds of citizens and many young people" went out to meet them; there, in the open field, stood the Salzburgers, with their wives and their little ones, with their bullock-carts and baggage-wains," pilgriming towards unknown parts of the Earth. "'Come in, ye blessed of the Lord! Why stand ye without?' said the Parson solemnly, by way of welcome; and addressed a Discourse to them," devout and yet human, true every word of it, enough to draw tears from any Fassmann that were there;—Fassmann and we not far from weeping without words. "Thereupon they ranked themselves two and two, and marched into the Town," straight to the Church, I conjecture, Town all out to participate; "and there the two reverend gentlemen successively addressed them again, from appropriate texts: Text of the first reverend gentleman was, And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life. [Matthew xix. 29.] Text of the second was, Now the Lord had said unto Abraham, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee." [Genesis xii. 1.] Excellent texts; well handled, let us hope,—especially with brevity. After which the strangers were distributed, some into public-houses, others taken home by the citizens to lodge.
"Out of the Spital there was distributed to each person, for the first three days, a half-pound of flesh-meat, bread, and a measure of beer. The remaining days they got in money six CREUTZERS (twopence) each, and bread. On Sunday, at the Church-doors there was a collection; no less than eight hundred GULDEN [80 pounds; population, say, three thousand] for this object. At Sermon they were put into the central part of the Church," all Nordlingen lovingly encompassing them; "and were taught in two sermons," texts not given, What the true Church is built of, and ought to have; Nordlingen copiously shedding tears the while (VIELE THRANEN VERGOSSEN), as it well might. "Going to Church, and coming from it, each Landlord walked ahead of his party; party followed two and two. On other days, there was much catechising of them at different parts of the Town;"—orthodox enough, you see, nothing of superstition or fanaticism in the poor people;—"they made a good testimony of their Evangelical truth.