"In undressing and dressing, you must accustom him to get out of, and into, his clothes as fast as is humanly possible (
"FRIEDRICH WILHELM." [Preuss, i. 21.]
Wusterhausen, where for the present these operations go on, lies about twenty English miles southeast of Berlin, as you go towards Schlesien (Silesia);--on the old Silesian road, in a flat moory country made of peat and sand;--and is not distinguished for its beauty at all among royal Hunting-lodges. The Gohrde at Hanover, for example, what a splendor there in comparison! But it serves Friedrich Wilhelm's simple purposes: there is game abundant in the scraggy woodlands, otter-pools, fish-pools, and miry thickets, of that old "Schenkenland" (belonged all once to the "SCHENKEN Family," till old King Friedrich bought it for his Prince); retinue sufficient find nooks for lodgment in the poor old Schloss so called; and Noltenius and Panzendorf drive out each once a week, in some light vehicle, to drill Fritz in his religious exercises.
One Zollner, a Tourist to Silesia, confesses himself rather pleased to find even Wusterhausen in such a country of sandy bent-grass, lean cattle, and flat desolate languor.
"Getting to the top of the ridge" (most insignificant "ridge," made by hand; Wilhelmina satirically says), Tourist Zollner can discern with pleasure "a considerable Brook,"--visible, not audible, smooth Stream, or chain of meres and lakelets, flowing languidly northward towards Kopenik. Inaudible big Brook or Stream; which, we perceive, drains a slightly hollowed Tract; too shallow to be called valley,--of several miles in width, of several yards in depth;--Tract with wood here and there on it, and signs of grass and culture, welcome after what you have passed. On the foreground close to you is the Hamlet of Konigs-Wusterhausen, with tolerable Lime-tree Avenue leading to it, and the air of something sylvan from your Hill-top. Konigs-Wusterhausen was once WENDISH-Westerhausen, and not far off is DEUTSCH-Wusterhausen, famed, I suppose, by faction-fights in the Vandalic times: both of them are now KING'S-Wusterhausen (since the King came thither), to distinguish them from other Wusterhausens that there are.
Descending, advancing through your Lime-tree Avenue, you come upon the backs of office-houses, out-houses, stables or the like,--on your left hand I have guessed,--extending along the Highway. And in the middle of these you come at last to a kind of Gate or vaulted passage (ART VON THOR, says Zollner), where, if you have liberty, you face to the left, and enter. Here, once through into the free light again, you are in a Court: four-square space, not without prospect; right side and left side are lodgings for his Majesty's gentlemen; behind you, well in their view, are stables and kitchens: in the centre of the place is a Fountain "with hewn steps and iron railings;" where his simple Majesty has been known to sit and smoke, on summer evenings. The fourth side of your square, again, is a palisade; beyond which, over bridge and moat and intervening apparatus, you perceive, on its trim terraces, the respectable old Schloss itself. A rectangular mass, not of vast proportions, with tower in the centre of it (tower for screw-stair, the general roadway of the House); and looking though weather-beaten yet weather-tight, and as dignified as it can. This is Wusterhausen; Friedrich Wilhelm's Hunting-seat from of old.
A dreadfully crowded place, says Wilhelmina, where you are stuffed into garrets, and have not room to turn. The terraces are of some magnitude, trimmed all round with a row of little clipped trees, one big lime-tree at each corner;--under one of these big lime-trees, aided by an awning: it is his Majesty's delight to spread his frugal but substantial dinner, four-and-twenty covers, at the stroke of 12, and so dine SUB DIO. If rain come on, says Wilhelmina, you are wet to mid-leg, the ground being hollow in that place,--and indeed in all weathers your situation every way, to a vehement young Princess's idea, is rather of the horrible sort. After dinner, his Majesty sleeps, stretched perhaps on some wooden settle or garden-chair, for about an hour; regardless of the flaming heat, under his awning or not; and we poor Princesses have to wait, praying all the Saints that they would resuscitate him soon. This is about 2 p.m.; happier Fritz is gone to his lessons, in the interim.
These four Terraces, this rectangular Schloss with the four big lindens at the corners, are surrounded by a Moat; black abominable ditch, Wilhelmina calls it; of the hue of Tartarean Styx, and of a far worse smell, in fact enough to choke one, in hot days after dinner, thinks the vehement Princess. Three Bridges cross this Moat or ditch, from the middle of three several Terraces or sides of the Schloss; and on the fourth it is impassable. Bridge first, coming from the palisade and Office-house Court, has not only human sentries walking at it; but two white Eagles perch near it, and two black ditto, symbols of the heraldic Prussian Eagle, screeching about in their littery way; item two black Bears, ugly as Sin, which are vicious wretches withal, and many times do passengers a mischief. As perhaps we shall see, on some occasion. This is Bridge first, leading to the Court and to the outer Highway; a King's gentleman, going to bed at night, has always to pass these Bears. Bridge second leads us southward to a common Mill which is near by; its clacking audible upon the common Stream of the region, and not unpleasant to his Majesty, among its meadows fringed with alders, in a country of mere and moor. Bridge third, directly opposite to Bridge first and its Bears, leads you to the Garden; whither Mamma, playing tocadille all day with her women, will not, or will not often enough, let us poor girls go. [Zollner,