him, provided he would assist her in making something of

time:2023-12-04 04:50:59source:qsjedit:ios

"They passionately entreated him to retire now," continues Wilhelmina; "but he would not by any means. He led out the Queen, and did the other ceremonies, according to rule; had a very bad night, as we learned underhand;" but persisted stoically nevertheless, being a crowned Majesty, and bound to it. He stoically underwent four or three other days, of festival, sight-seeing, "pleasure" so called;--among other sights, saw little Fritz drilling his Cadets at Berlin;--and on the fourth day (12th October, 1723, so thinks Wilhelmina) fairly "signed the Treaty of the Double-Marriage," English Townshend and the Prussian Ministry having settled all things. [Wilhelmina, Memoires de Bareith, i. 83, 87,--In Coxe ( Memoirs of Sir Robert Walpole, London, 1798), ii. 266, 272, 273, are some faint hints, from Townshend, of this Berlin journey.]

him, provided he would assist her in making something of

"Signed the Treaty," thinks Wilhelmina, "all things being settled." Which is an error on the part of Wilhelmina. Settled many or all things were by Townshend and the others: but before signing, there was Parliament to be apprised, there were formalities, expenditure of time; between the cup and the lip, such things to intervene;--and the sad fact is, the Double-Marriage Treaty never was signed at all!--However, all things being now settled ready for signing, his Britannic Majesty, next morning, set off for the GOHRDE again, to try if there were any hunting possible.

him, provided he would assist her in making something of

This authentic glimpse, one of the few that are attainable, of their first Constitutional King, let English readers make the most of. The act done proved dreadfully momentous to our little Friend, his Grandson; and will much concern us!

him, provided he would assist her in making something of

Thus, at any rate, was the Treaty of the Double-Marriage settled, to the point of signing,--thought to be as good as signed. It was at the time when Czar Peter was making armaments to burn Sweden; when Wood's Halfpence (on behalf of her Improper Grace of Kendal, the lean Quasi-Wife, "Maypole" or Hop-pole, who had run short of money, as she often did) were about beginning to jingle in Ireland; [Coxe (i. 216, 217, and SUPPLY the dates); Walpole to Townshend, 13th October, 1723 (ib. ii. 275): "The Drapier's Letters" are of 1724.] when Law's Bubble "System" had fallen, well flaccid, into Chaos again; when Dubois the unutterable Cardinal had at length died, and d'Orleans the unutterable Regent was unexpectedly about to do so,--in a most surprising Sodom-and-Gomorrah manner. [2d December, 1723: Barbier, Journal Historique du Regne de Louis XV. (Paris, l847), i. 192, 196; Lacretelle, Histoire de France, 18me siecle; &c.] Not to mention other dull and vile phenomena of putrid fermentation, which were transpiring, or sluttishly bubbling up, in poor benighted rotten Europe here or there;--since these are sufficient to date the Transaction for us; and what does not stick to our Fritz and his affairs it is more pleasant to us to forget than to remember, of such an epoch.

Hereby, for the present, is a great load rolled from Queen Sophie Dorothee's heart. One, and, that the highest, of her abstruse negotiations, cherished, labored in, these fourteen years, she has brought to a victorious issue,--has she not? Her poor Mother, once so radiant, now so dim and angry, shut in the Castle of Ahlden, does not approve this Double-Marriage; not she for her part;--as indeed evil to all Hanoverian interests is now chiefly her good, poor Lady; and she is growing more and more of a Megaera every day. With whom Sophie Dorothee has her own difficulties and abstruse practices; but struggles always to maintain, under seven-fold secrecy, some thread of correspondence and pious filial ministration wherever possible; that the poor exasperated Mother, wretchedest and angriest of women, be not quite cut off from the kinship of the living, but that some soft breath of pity may cool her burning heart now and then. [In Memoirs of Sophia Dorothea (London, 1845), ii. 385, 393, are certain fractions of this Correspondence, "edited" in an amazing manner.] A dark tragedy of Sophie's, this; the Bluebeard Chamber of her mind, into which no eye but her own must ever look.


In reference to Queen Sophie, and chronologically if not otherwise connected with this Double-Marriage Treaty, I will mention one other thing. Her Majesty had been in fluctuating health, all summer; unaccountable symptoms turning up in her Majesty's constitution, languors, qualms, especially a tendency to swelling or increase of size, which had puzzled and alarmed her Doctors and her. Friedrich Wilhelm, on conclusion of the Marriage-Treaty, had been appointed to join his Father-in-law, Britannic George, at the Gohrde, in some three weeks' time, and have a bout of hunting. On the 8th of November, bedtime being come, he kissed his Wilhelmina and the rest, by way of good-by; intending to start very early on the morrow:--long journey (150 miles or so), to be done all in one day. In the dead of the night, Queen Sophie was seized with dreadful colics,--pangs of colic or who knows what;-- Friedrich Wilhelm is summoned; rises in the highest alarm; none but the maids and he at hand to help; and the colic, or whatever it may be, gets more and more dreadful.

Colic? O poor Sophie, it is travail, and no colic; and a clever young Princess is suddenly the result! None but Friedrich Wilhelm and the maid for midwives; mother and infant, nevertheless, doing perfectly well. Friedrich Wilhelm did not go on the morrow, but next day; laughed, ever and anon in loud hahas, at the part he had been playing; and was very glad and merry. How the experienced Sophie, whose twelfth child this is, came to commit such an oversight is unaccountable; but the fact is certain, and made a merry noise in Court circles. [Pollnitz, ii. 199; Wilhelmina, i. 87, 88.]


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