committee, and decided them on comparing all the hitherto

time:2023-12-01 05:14:22source:qsjedit:zop

That was Friedrich Wilhelm's plan; the simplest, but probably the one effectual plan. Infallible this plan, if you dare stand upon it; which Friedrich Wilhelm does. He has a formidable Army, ready for fight; a Treasury or Army-chest in good order. George I. seconds, according to bargain; shuts the Catholic Church at Zelle in his Luneburg Country, in like fashion; Dutch, too, and Swiss will endorse the matter, should it grow too serious. All which, involving some diplomacy and correspondence, is managed with the due promptitude, moreover. [Church of Zelle shut up, 4th November; Minden, 28th November; Monastery of Hamersleben, 3d December, &c. (Putter, Historische Entwickelung der hautigen Staatsverfassung des Teutschen Reichs, Gottingen, 1788, ii. 384, 390).] And so certain doors are locked; and Friedrich Wilhelm's word, unalterable as gravitation, has gone forth. In this manner is the mad Catholic bull taken by the TAIL: keep fast hold, and apply your cudgel duly in that attitude, he will not gore you any more!

committee, and decided them on comparing all the hitherto

The Magdeburg-Hamersleben people shrieked piteously; not to Friedrich Wilhelm, whom they knew to be deaf on that side of his head, but to the Kaiser, to the Pope, to the Serenity of Heidelberg. Serene Highness of Heidelberg was much huffed; Kaiser dreadfully so, and wrote heavy menacing rebukes. To which Friedrich Wilhelm listened with a minimum of reply; keeping firm hold of the tail, in such bellowing of the animal. The end was, Serene Highness had to comply; within three months, Kaiser, Serene Highness and the other parties interested, found that there would be nothing for it but to compose themselves, and do what was just. April 16th, 1720, the Protestants are reinstated in their HEILIGE-GEIST KIRCHE; Heidelberg Catechism goes its free course again, May 16th; and one Baron Reck [Michaelis, ii. 95; Putter, ii. 384, 390; Buchholz, pp. 61-63.] is appointed Commissioner, from the CORPUS EVANGELICORUM, to Heidelberg; who continues rigorously inspecting Church matters there for a considerable time, much to the grief of Highness and Jesuits, till he can report that all is as it should be on that head. Karl Philip felt so disgusted with these results, he removed his Court, that same year, to Mannheim; quitted Heidelberg; to the discouragement and visible decay of the place; and, in spite of humble petitions and remonstrances, never would return; neither he nor those that followed him would shift from Mannheim again, to this day.

committee, and decided them on comparing all the hitherto


committee, and decided them on comparing all the hitherto

Friedrich Wilhelm's praises from the Protestant public were great, on this occasion. Nor can we, who lie much farther from it in every sense, refuse him some grin of approval. Act, and manner of doing the act, are creditably of a piece with Friedrich Wilhelm; physiognomic of the rugged veracious man. It is one of several such acts done by him: for it was a duty apt to recur in Germany, in his day. This duty Friedrich Wilhelm, a solid Protestant after his sort, and convinced of the "nothingness and nonsensicality (UNGRUND UND ABSURDITAT) of Papistry," was always honorably prompt to do. There is an honest bacon-and-greens conscience in the man; almost the one conscience you can find in any royal man of that day. Promptly, without tremulous counting of costs, he always starts up, solid as oak, on the occurrence of such a thing, and says, "That is unjust; contrary to the Treaty of Westphalia; you will have to put down that!"--And if words avail not, his plan is always the same: Clap a similar thumbscrew, pressure equitably calculated, on the Catholics of Prussia; these can complain to their Popes and Jesuit Dignitaries: these are under thumbscrew till the Protestant pressure be removed. Which always did rectify the matter in a little time. One other of these instances, that of the Salzburg Protestants, the last such instance, as this of Heidelberg was the first, will by and by claim notice from us.

It is very observable, how Friedrich Wilhelm, hating quarrels, was ever ready to turn out for quarrel on such an occasion; though otherwise conspicuously a King who stayed well at home, looking after his own affairs; meddling with no neighbor that would be at peace with him. This properly is Friedrich Wilhelm's "sphere of political activity" among his contemporaries; this small quasi-domestic sphere, of forbidding injury to Protestants. A most small sphere, but then a genuine one: nor did he seek even this, had it not forced itself upon him. And truly we might ask, What has become of the other more considerable "spheres" in that epoch? The supremest loud-trumpeting "political activities" which then filled the world and its newspapers, what has the upshot of them universally been? Zero, and oblivion; no other. While this poor Friedrich-Wilhelm sphere is perhaps still a countable quantity. Wise is he who stays well at home, and does the duty he finds lying there!--

Great favor from the Protestant public: but, on the other hand, his Majesty had given offence in high places. What help for it? The thing was a point of conscience with him; natural to the surly Royal Overseer, going his rounds in the world, stick in hand! However, the Kaiser was altogether gloomy of brow at such disobedience. A Kaiser unfriendly to Friedrich Wilhelm: witness that of the RITTER-DIENST (our unreasonable Magdeburg Ritters, countenanced by him, on such terms, in such style too), and other offensive instances that could be given. Perhaps the Kaiser will not always continue gloomy of brow; perhaps the thoughts of the Imperial breast may alter, on our behalf or his own, one day?--

Nor could King August the Physically Strong be glad to see his "Director" function virtually superseded, in this triumphant way. A year or two ago, Friedrich Wilhelm had, with the due cautions and politic reserves, inquired of the CORPUS EVANGELICORUM, "If they thought the present Directorship (that of August the Physically Strong) a good one?" and "Whether he, Friedrich Wilhelm, ought not perhaps himself to be Director?"--To which, though the answer was clear as noonday, this poor Corpus had only mumbled some "QUIETA NON MOVERE," or other wise-foolish saw; and helplessly shrugged its shoulders. [1717-1719, when August's KURPRINZ, Heir-Apparent, likewise declared himself Papist, to the horror and astonishment of poor Saxony, and wedded the late Kaiser Joseph's Daughter:--not to Father August's horror; who was steering towards "popularity in Poland," "hereditary Polish Crown," &c. with the young man. (Buchholz, i. 53-56.)] But King August himself,--though a jovial social kind of animal, quite otherwise occupied in the world; busy producing his three hundred and fifty-four Bastards there, and not careful of Church matters at all,--had expressed his indignant surprise. And now, it would seem nevertheless, though the title remains where it was, the function has fallen to another, who actually does it: a thing to provoke comparisons in the public.

Clement, the Hungarian forger, vender of false state-secrets, is well hanged; went to the gallows (18th April, 1720) with much circumstance, just two days before that Heidelberg Church was got reopened. But the suspicions sown by Clement cannot quite be abolished by the hanging of him: Forger indisputably; but who knows whether he had not something of fact for his? What with Clement, what with this Heidelberg business, the Court of Berlin has fallen wrong with Dresden, with Vienna itself, and important clouds have risen.

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