The vessel in question, it may be remembered, had specie

time:2023-12-04 04:12:18source:xsnedit:android

The Document has otherwise its beauty; but such is the spelling of it. In fact his Grammar, as he would himself now and then regretfully discern, in riper years, with some transient attempt or resolution to remedy or help it, seems to have come mainly by nature; so likewise his "STYLUS" both in French and German,-- a very fair style, too, in the former dialect:--but as to his spelling, let him try as he liked, he never came within sight of perfection.

The vessel in question, it may be remembered, had specie

The things ordered with such rigorous minuteness, if but arbitrary things, were apt to be neglected; the things forbidden, especially in the like case, were apt to become doubly tempting. It appears, the prohibition of Latin gave rise to various attempts, on the part of Friedrich, to attain that desirable Language. Secret lessons, not from Duhan, but no doubt with Duhan's connivance, were from time to time undertaken with this view: once, it is recorded, the vigilant Friedrich Wilhelm, going his rounds, came upon Fritz and one of his Preceptors (not Duhan but a subaltern) actually engaged in this illicit employment. Friedrich himself was wont to relate this anecdote in after 1ife. [Busching, Beitrage zu der Lebensgeschichte denkwurdiger Personen, v. 33. Preuss, i. 24.] They had Latin books, dictionaries, grammars on the table, all the contraband apparatus; busy with it there, like a pair of coiners taken in the fact. Among other Books was a copy of the Golden Bull of Kaiser Karl IV.,-- Aurea Bulla, from the little golden BULLETS or pellets hung to it,--by which sublime Document, as perhaps we hinted long ago, certain so-called Fundamental Constitutions, or at least formalities and solemn practices, method of election, rule of precedence, and the like, of the Holy Roman Empire, had at last been settled on a sure footing, by that busy little Kaiser, some three hundred and fifty years before; a Document venerable almost next to the Bible in Friedrich Wilhelm's loyal eyes, "What is this; what are you venturing upon here?" exclaims Paternal Vigilance, in an astonished dangerous tone. "Ihro Majestat, ich explicire dem Prinzen Auream Bullam," exclaimed the trembling pedagogue: "Your Majesty, I am explaining AUREA BULLA [Golden Bull] to the Prince!"--"Dog, I will Golden-Bull you!" said his Majesty, flourishing his rattan, "Ich will dich, Schurke, be-auream-bullam!" which sent the terrified wretch off at the top of his speed, and ended the Latin for that time. [Forster, i. 356.]

The vessel in question, it may be remembered, had specie

Friedrich's Latin could never come to much, under these impediments. But he retained some smatterings of it in mature life; and was rather fond of producing his classical scraps,-- often in an altogether mouldy, and indeed hitherto inexplicable condition. "De gustibus non est disputandus," "Beati possEdentes," "CompIlle intrare," "BeatUS pauperes spiritus;" the meaning of these can be guessed: but "Tot verbas tot spondera," for example,--what can any commentator make of that? "Festina lente," "Dominus vobiscum," "Flectamus genua," "Quod bene notandum;" these phrases too, and some three or four others of the like, have been riddled from his Writings by diligent men: [Preuss (i. 24) furnishes the whole stock of them.] "O tempora, O mores! You see, I don't forget my Latin," writes he once.

The vessel in question, it may be remembered, had specie

The worst fruit of these contraband operations was, that they involved the Boy in clandestine practices, secret disobediences, apt to be found out from time to time, and tended to alienate his Father from him. Of which sad mutual humor we already find traces in that early Wusterhausen Document: "Not to be so dirty," says the reproving Father. And the Boy does not take to hunting at all, likes verses, story-books, flute-playing better; seems to be of effeminate tendencies, an EFFEMINIRTER KERL; affects French modes, combs out his hair like a cockatoo, the foolish French fop, instead of conforming to the Army-regulation, which prescribes close-cropping and a club!

This latter grievance Friedrich Wilhelm decided, at last, to abate, and have done with; this, for one. It is an authentic fact, though not dated,--dating perhaps from about Fritz's fifteenth year. "Fritz is a QUERPFEIFER UND POET," not a Soldier! would his indignant Father growl; looking at those foreign effeminate ways of his. QUERPFEIFE, that is simply "German-flute," "CROSS-PIPE" (or FIFE of any kind, for we English have thriftily made two useful words out of the Deutsch root); "Cross-pipe," being held across the mouth horizontally. Worthless employment, if you are not born to be of the regimental band! thinks Friedrich Wilhelm. Fritz is celebrated, too, for his fine foot; a dapper little fellow, altogether pretty in the eyes of simple female courtiers, with his blond locks combed out at the temples, with his bright eyes, sharp wit, and sparkling capricious ways. The cockatoo locks, these at least we will abate! decides the Paternal mind.

And so, unexpectedly, Friedrich Wilhelm has commanded these bright locks, as contrary to military fashion, of which Fritz has now unworthily the honor of being a specimen, to be ruthlessly shorn away. Inexorable: the HOF-CHIRURGUS (Court-Surgeon, of the nature of Barber-Surgeon), with scissors and comb, is here; ruthless Father standing by. Crop him, my jolly Barber; close down to the accurate standard; soaped club, instead of flowing locks; we suffer no exceptions in this military department: I stand here till it is done. Poor Fritz, they say, had tears in his eyes; but what help in tears? The judicious Chirurgus, however, proved merciful. The judicious Chirurgus struck in as if nothing loath, snack, snack; and made a great show of clipping. Friedrich Wilhelm took a newspaper till the job were done; the judicious Barber, still making a great show of work, combed back rather than cut off these Apollo locks; did Fritz accurately into soaped club, to the cursory eye; but left him capable of shaking out his chevelure again on occasion,--to the lasting gratitude of Fritz. [Preuss, i. 16.]


On the whole, as we said, a youth needs good assimilating power, if he is to grow in this world! Noltenius aud Panzendorf, for instance, they were busy "teaching Friedrich religion." Rather a strange operation this too, if we were to look into it. We will not look too closely. Another pair of excellent most solemn drill-sergeants, in clerical black serge; they also are busy instilling dark doctrines into the bright young Boy, so far as possible; but do not seem at any time to have made too deep an impression on him. May we not say that, in matter of religion too, Friedrich was but ill-bested? Enlightened Edict-of-Nantes Protestantism, a cross between Bayle and Calvin: that was but indifferent babe's milk to the little creature. Nor could Noltenius's Catechism, and ponderous drill-exercise in orthodox theology, much inspire a clear soul with pieties, and tendencies to soar Heavenward.


copyright © 2016 powered by one without two net   sitemap