124 The Crown Prince, either deeply touched with penitence or affecting to be so, again threw himself upon his knees before his father, as if imploring pardon. The king continued:
81 The object of Colonel Hotham’s mission was well known. The cordial reception he had met from the king indicated that his message was not an unwelcome one to his Prussian majesty. In the indecent hilarity of the hour, it was assumed that the marriage contract between Wilhelmina and the Prince of Wales was settled. Brains addled with wine gave birth to stupid jokes upon the subject. “A German ducat was to be exchanged for an English half guinea.” At last, in the semi-delirium of their intoxication, one proposed as a toast, “To the health of Wilhelmina, Princess of Wales.” The sentiment was received with uproarious jollity. Though all the company were in the same state of silly inebriation, neither the king nor the British ministers, Hotham and Dubourgay, for a moment lost sight of their settled policy. The king remained firm in his silent resolve to consent only to the marriage of Wilhelmina and the Prince of Wales. Hotham and Dubourgay could not swerve from the positive instructions which they had received, to insist upon both marriages or neither. Thus, notwithstanding this bacchanal jollification, neither party was disposed to swerve a hair’s breadth from its fixed resolve, and the question was no nearer a settlement than before.
“How is it possible, my lord, to believe things so contradictory? It is mighty fine, all this that you now tell me, on the part of the King of England. But how does it correspond with his last speech in Parliament, and with the doings of his ministers at Petersburg and at the Hague, to stir up allies against me? I have reason to doubt the sincerity of the King of England. Perhaps he means to amuse me. But” (with an oath55)269 “he is mistaken. I will risk every thing rather than abate the least of my pretensions.”
“Munchberg, July 2, 1734.“I am obliged to tell you that I have long forbid counts to be received, as such, into my army; for when they have served one or two years they retire, and merely make their short military career a subject of vain boasting. If your son wishes to serve, the title of count can be of no use to him. But he will be promoted if he learn his profession well.”
FREDERICK’S INTERVIEW WITH VALORI.“It would be better,” M. Roloff mildly suggested, “that your majesty should write at once.
507 “I live here the life of a literary monk. I have much to think of about my affairs. The rest of my time I give to literature, which is my consolation. I know not if I shall survive this war. Should it so happen, I am resolved to pass the rest of my days in retirement, in the bosom of philosophy and friendship.
“I replied, ‘You are in such a humor I know not what to make of it.’Gravitant contre les rochers,
It was midnight. “Within doors all is silence; around it the dark earth is silent, above it the silent stars.” Thus for two hours the attendant sat motionless, holding the dying king. Not a word was spoken; no sound could be heard but the painful breathing which precedes death.“Seigneur Jordan,” the king writes, “thy letter has given me a great deal of pleasure in regard to all these talkings thou reportest. To-morrow I arrive at our last station this side of Glogau, which place I hope to get in a few days. All things favor my designs; and I hope to return to Berlin, after executing them, gloriously, and in a way to be content with. Let the ignorant227 and the envious talk. It is not they who shall ever serve as load-star to my designs; not they, but glory. With the love of that I am penetrated more than ever. My troops have their hearts big with it, and I answer to thee for success. Adieu! dear Jordan. Write me all the ill the public says of thy friend, and be persuaded that I love and will esteem thee always.”
The king then, having ordered his guard to watch him with the utmost vigilance, assuring them that their heads should answer for it if they allowed him to escape, sent his son to another boat. He was prevailed upon to do so, as no one could tell to what length the king’s ungovernable passions might lead him.“Nürnberg, July 3, 1734.155 He then gave her a thousand crowns. Wilhelmina manifested a little natural reluctance in receiving the money. But he shrugged his shoulders and said,
Thus pressed by England, and with equal earnestness by her own Aulic Council, the queen again yielded, though almost frantic with grief, and consented to surrender the whole of Lower Silesia to Frederick if he would become her ally. As Frederick had offered these terms, it was supposed, of course, that he would accept them. Sir Thomas was again dispatched, at the top of his speed, to convey them to the camp of Frederick. But the286 repulse of the king was peremptory and decisive. To Lord Hyndford, soliciting an audience for the envoy, he replied,详情
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