Fitz-Ullin, who was saying something aside to Julia, coloured,

time:2023-12-04 05:00:19source:zopedit:rna

In return for these Russian sons of Anak, Friedrich Wilhelm grudged not to send German smiths, millwrights, drill-sergeants, cannoneers, engineers; having plenty of them. By whom, as Peter well calculated, the inert opaque Russian mass might be kindled into luminosity and vitality; and drilled to know the Art of War, for one thing. Which followed accordingly. And it is observable, ever since, that the Russian Art of War has a tincture of GERMAN in it (solid German, as contradistinguished from unsolid Revolutionary-French); and hints to us of Friedrich Wilhelm and the Old Dessauer, to this hour.--EXEANT now the Barbaric semi-fabulous Sovereignties, till wanted again.

Fitz-Ullin, who was saying something aside to Julia, coloured,


Fitz-Ullin, who was saying something aside to Julia, coloured,

In his seventh year, young Friedrich was taken out of the hands of the women; and had Tutors and Sub-Tutors of masculine gender, who had been nominated for him some time ago, actually set to work upon their function. These we have already heard of; they came from Stralsund Siege, all the principal hands.

Fitz-Ullin, who was saying something aside to Julia, coloured,

Duhan de Jandun, the young French gentleman who had escaped from grammar-lessons to the trenches, he is the practical teacher. Lieutenant-General Graf Fink von Finkenstein and Lieutenant-Colonel von Kalkstein, they are Head Tutor (OBERHOFMEISTER) and Sub-Tutor; military men both, who had been in many wars besides Stralsund. By these three he was assiduously educated, subordinate schoolmasters working under them when needful, in such branches as the paternal judgment would admit; the paternal object and theirs being to infuse useful knowledge, reject useless, and wind up the whole into a military finish. These appointments, made at different precise dates, took effect, all of them, in the year 1719.

Duhan, independently of his experience in the trenches, appears to have been an accomplished, ingenious and conscientious man; who did credit to Friedrich Wilhelm's judgment; and to whom Friedrich professed himself much indebted in after life. Their progress in some of the technical branches, as we shall perceive, was indisputably unsatisfactory. But the mind of the Boy seems to have been opened by this Duhan, to a lively, and in some sort genial, perception of things round him;--of the strange confusedly opulent Universe he had got into; and of the noble and supreme function which Intelligence holds there; supreme in Art as in Nature, beyond all other functions whatsoever. Duhan was now turned of thirty: a cheerful amiable Frenchman; poor, though of good birth and acquirements; originally from Champagne. Friedrich loved him very much; always considered him his spiritual father; and to the end of Duhan's life, twenty years hence, was eager to do him any good in his power. Anxious always to repair, for poor Duhan, the great sorrows he came to on his account, as we shall see.

Of Graf Fink von Finkenstein, who has had military experiences of all kinds and all degrees, from marching as prisoner into France, "wounded and without his hat," to fighting at Malplaquet, at Blenheim, even at Steenkirk, as well as Stralsund; who is now in his sixtieth year, and seems to have been a gentleman of rather high solemn manners, and indeed of undeniable perfections,--of this supreme Count Fink we learn almost nothing farther in the Books, except that his little Pupil did not dislike him either. The little Pupil took not unkindly to Fink; welcoming any benignant human ray, across these lofty gravities of the OBERHOFMEISTER; went often to his house in Berlin; and made acquaintance with two young Finks about his own age, whom he found there, and who became important to him, especially the younger of them, in the course of the future. [Zedlitz-Neukirch, Preussisches Adels-Lexikon (Leipzig, l836), ii. 168. Militair-Lexicon, i. 420.] This Pupil, it may be said, is creditably known for his attachment to his Teachers and others; an attached and attaching little Boy. Of Kalkstein, a rational, experienced and earnest kind of man, though as yet but young, it is certain also that the little Fritz loved him; and furthermore that the Great Friedrich was grateful to him, and had a high esteem of his integrity and sense. "My master, Kalkstein," used to be his designation of him, when the name chanced to be mentioned in after times. They continued together, with various passages of mutual history, for forty years afterwards, till Kalkstein's death. Kalkstein is at present twenty-eight, the youngest of the three Tutors; then, and ever after, an altogether downright correct soldier and man. He is of Preussen, or Prussia Proper, this Kalkstein;--of the same kindred as that mutinous Kalkstein, whom we once heard of, who was "rolled in a carpet," and kidnapped out of Warsaw, in the Great Elector's time. Not a direct descendant of that beheaded Kalkstein's but, as it were, his NEPHEW so many times removed. Preussen is now far enough from mutiny; subdued, with all its Kalksteins, into a respectful silence, not lightly using the right even of petition, or submissive remonstrance, which it may still have. Nor, except on the score of parliamentary eloquence and newspaper copyright, does it appear that Preussen has suffered by the change.

How these Fink-Kalkstein functionaries proceeded in the great task they had got,--very great task, had they known what Pupil had fallen to them,--is not directly recorded for us, with any sequence or distinctness. We infer only that everything went by inflexible routiue; not asking at all, WHAT pupil?--nor much, Whether it would suit any pupil? Duhan, with the tendencies we have seen in him, who is willing to soften the inflexible when possible, and to "guide Nature" by a rather loose rein, was probably a genial element in the otherwise strict affair. Fritz had one unspeakable advantage, rare among princes and even among peasants in these ruined ages: that of NOT being taught, or in general not, by the kind called "Hypocrites, and even Sincere-Hypocrites,"--fatalest species of the class HYPOCRITE. We perceive he was lessoned, all along, not by enchanted Phantasms of that dangerous sort, breathing mendacity of mind, unconsciously, out of every look; but by real Men, who believed from the heart outwards, and were daily doing what they taught. To which unspeakable advantage we add a second, likewise considerable; That his masters, though rigorous, were not unlovable to him;--that his affections, at least, were kept alive; that whatever of seed (or of chaff and hail, as was likelier) fell on his mind, had SUNSHINE to help in dealing with it. These are two advantages still achievable, though with difficulty, in our epoch, by an earnest father in behalf of his poor little son. And these are, at present, nearly all; with these well achieved, the earnest father and his son ought to be thankful. Alas, in matter of education, there are no high-roads at present; or there are such only as do NOT lead to the goal. Fritz, like the rest of us, had to struggle his way, Nature and Didactic Art differing very much from one another; and to do battle, incessant partial battle, with his schoolmasters for any education he had.

A very rough Document, giving Friedrich Wilhelm's regulations on this subject, from his own hand, has come down to us. Most dull, embroiled, heavy Document; intricate, gnarled, and, in fine, rough and stiff as natural bull-headedness helped by Prussian pipe-clay can make it;--contains some excellent hints, too; and will show us something of Fritzchen and of Friedrich Wilhelm both at once. That is to say, always, if it can be read! If by aid of abridging, elucidating and arranging, we can get the reader engaged to peruse it patiently;--which seems doubtful. The points insisted on, in a ponderous but straggling confused manner, by his didactic Majesty, are chiefly these:-- 1. Must impress my Son with a proper love and fear of God, as the foundation and sole pillar of our temporal and eternal welfare. No false religions, or sects of Atheist, Arian (ArRian), Socinian, or whatever name the poisonous things have, which can so easily corrupt a young mind, are to be even named in his hearing: on the other hand, a proper abhorrence (ABSCHEU) of Papistry, and insight into its baselessness and nonsensicality (UNGRUND UND ABSURDITAT), is to be communicated to him:"--Papistry, which is false enough, like the others, but impossible to be ignored like them; mention that, and give him due abhorrence for it. For we are Protestant to the bone in this country; and cannot stand ABSURDITAT, least of all hypocritically religious ditto! But the grand thing will be, "To impress on him the true religion, which consists essentially in this, That Christ died for all men," and generally that the Almighty's justice is eternal and omnipresent, --"which consideration is the only means of keeping a sovereign person (SOUVERAINE MACHT), or one freed from human penalties, in the right way." 2. "He is to learn no Latin;" observe that, however it may surprise you. What has a living German man and King, of the eighteenth Christian SOECULUM, to do with dead old Heathen Latins, Romans, and the lingo THEY spoke their fraction of sense and nonsense in? Frightful, how the young years of the European Generations have been wasted, for ten centuries back; and the Thinkers of the world have become mere walking Sacks of Marine-stores, "GELEHRTEN, Learned," as they call themselves; and gone LOST to the world, in that manner, as a set of confiscated Pedants;--babbling about said Heathens, and THEIR extinct lingo and fraction of sense and nonsense, for the thousand years last past! Heathen Latins, Romans;--who perhaps were no great things of Heathen, after all, if well seen into? I have heard judges say, they were INferior, in real worth and grist, to German home-growths we have had, if the confiscated Pedants could have discerned it! At any rate, they are dead, buried deep, these two thousand years; well out of our way;--and nonsense enough of our own left, to keep sweeping into corners. Silence about their lingo and them, to this new Crown-Prince! "Let the Prince learn French and German," so as to write and speak, "with brevity and propriety," in these two languages, which may be useful to him in life. That will suffice for languages,--provided he have anything effectually rational to say in them. For the rest, 3. "Let him learn Arithmetic, Mathematics, Artillery,-- Economy to the very bottom." And, in short, useful knowledge generally; useless ditto not at all. "History in particular;-- Ancient History only slightly (NUR UBERHIN);--but the History of the last hundred and fifty Years to the exactest pitch. The JUS NATURALE and JUS GENTIUM," by way of hand-lamp to History, "he must be completely master of; as also of Geography, whatever is remarkable in each Country. And in Histories, most especially the History of the house of Brandenburg; where he will find domestic examples, which are always of more force than foreign. And along with Prussian History, chiefly that of the Countries which have been connected with it, as England, Brunswick, Hessen and the others. And in reading of wise History-books there must be considerations made ( sollen beym Lesen kluger Historiarum Betrachtungen gemacht werden ) upon the causes of the events."--Surely, O King! 4. "With increasing years, you will more and more, to a most especial degree, go upon Fortification,"--mark you!--"the Formation of a Camp, and the other War-Sciences; that the Prince may, from youth upwards, be trained to act as Officer and General, and to seek all his glory in the soldier profession." This is whither it must all tend. You, Finkenstein and Kalkstein, "have both of you, in the highest measure, to make it your care to infuse into my Son [EINZUPRAGEN, stamp into him] a true love for the Soldier business, and to impress on him that, as there is nothing in the world which can bring a Prince renown and honor like the sword, so he would be a despised creature before all men, if he did not love it, and seek his sole glory (DIE EINZIGE GLORIA) therein." [Preuss, i. 11-14 (of date 13th August, 1718).] Which is an extreme statement of the case; showing how much we have it at heart.


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