And now we will go to our little Crown-Prince again;--ignorant, he, of all this that is mounting up in the distance, and that it will envelop him one day.
ON THE CROWN-PRINCE'S PROGRESS IN HIS SCHOOLING.
Wilhelmina says, [
For the rest, that Friedrich Wilhelm's intentions and Rhadamanthine regulations, in regard to him, were fulfilled in every point, we will by no means affirm. Rules of such exceeding preciseness, if grounded here and there only on the SIC-VOLO, how could they be always kept, except on the surface and to the eye merely? The good Duhan, diligent to open his pupil's mind, and give Nature fair-play, had practically found it inexpedient to tie him too rigorously to the arbitrary formal departments where no natural curiosity, but only order from without, urges the ingenious pupil. What maximum strictness in school-drill there can have been, we may infer from one thing, were there no other: the ingenious Pupil's mode of SPELLING. Fritz learned to write a fine, free-flowing, rapid and legible business-hand; "Arithmetic" too, "Geography," and many other Useful Knowledges that had some geniality of character, or attractiveness in practice, were among his acquisitions; much, very much he learned in the course of his life; but to SPELL, much more to punctuate, and subdue the higher mysteries of Grammar to himself, was always an unachievable perfection. He did improve somewhat in after life; but here is the length to which he had carried that necessary art in the course of nine years' exertion, under Duhan and the subsidiary preceptors; it is in the following words and alphabetic letters that he gratefully bids Duhan farewell,--who surely cannot have been a very strict drill-sergeant in the arbitrary branches of schooling!
"Mon cher Duhan Je Vous promais (PROMETS) que quand j'aurez (J'AURAI) mon propre argent en main, je Vous donnerez (DONNERAI) enuelement (ANNUELLEMENT) 2400 ecu (ECUS) par an, et je vous aimerais (AIMERAI) toujour encor (TOUJORS ENCORE) un peu plus q'asteure (QU'A CETTE HEURE) s'il me l'est (M'EST) posible (POSSIBLE)."
"MY DEAR DUHAN,--I promise to you, that when I shall have my money in my own hands, I will give you annually 2400 crowns [say 350 pounds] EVERY YEAR; and that I will love you always even a little more than at present, if that be possible.
"FRIDERIC P.R. [Prince-Royal]."
"POTSDAM, le 20 de juin, 1727." [Preuss, i. 22.]