library, for the purpose of examining the packet of letters,

time:2023-12-01 03:55:26source:muvedit:rna

What might be the date of Fritz's first appearance in the Roucoulles "Soiree held on Wednesdays," in the Finkenstein or any other Soiree, as an independent figure, I do not know. But at the proper time, he does appear there, and with distinction not extrinsic alone;--talks delightfully in such places; can discuss, even with French Divines, in a charmingly ingenious manner. Another of his elderly consorts I must mention: Colonel Camas, a highly cultivated Frenchman (French altogether by parentage and breeding, though born on Prussian land), who was Tutor, at one time, to some of those young Margraves. He has lost an arm,--left it in those Italian Campaigns, under Anhalt-Dessau and Eugene;-- but by the aid of a cork substitute, dexterously managed, almost hides the want. A gallant soldier, fit for the diplomacies too; a man of fine high ways. [ Militair-Lexicon, i. 308.] And then his Wife--In fact, the Camas House, we perceive, had from an early time been one of the Crown-Prince's haunts. Madam Camas is a German Lady; but for genial elegance, for wit and wisdom and goodness, could not readily be paralleled in France or elsewhere. Of both these Camases there will be honorable and important mention by and by; especially of the Lady, whom he continues to call "Mamma" for fifty years to come, and corresponds with in a very beautiful and human fashion.

library, for the purpose of examining the packet of letters,

Under these auspices, in such environment, dimly visible to us, at Wusterhausen and elsewhere, is the remarkable little Crown-Prince of his century growing up,--prosperously as yet.

library, for the purpose of examining the packet of letters,

Friedrich Wilhelm holds Tabagie nightly; but at Wusterhausen or wherever he may be, there is no lack of intricate Official Labor, which, even in the Tabagie, Friedrich Wilhelm does not forget. At the time he was concocting those Instructions for his little Prince's Schoolmasters, and smoking meditative under the stars, with Magdeburg "RITTER-DIENST" and much else of his own to think of,--there is an extraneous Political Intricacy, making noise enough in the world, much in his thoughts withal, and no doubt occasionally murmured of amid the tobacco-clouds. The Business of the Heidelberg Protestants; which is just coming to a height in those Autumn months of 1719.

library, for the purpose of examining the packet of letters,

Indeed this Year 1719 was a particularly noisy one for him. This is the year of the "nephritic colic," which befell at Brandenburg on some journey of his Majesty's; with alarm of immediate death; Queen Sophie sent for by express; testament made in her favor; and intrigues, very black ones, Wilhelmina thinks, following thereupon. [ Memoires de Bareith, i. 26-29.] And the "Affair of Clement," on which the old Books are so profuse, falls likewise, the crisis of it falls, in 1719. Of Clement the "Hungarian Nobleman," who was a mere Hungarian Swindler, and Forger of Royal Letters; sowing mere discords, black suspicions, between Friedrich Wilhelm and the neighboring Courts, Imperial and Saxon: "Your Majesty to be snapt up, some day, by hired ruffians, and spirited away, for behoof of those treacherous Courts:" so that Friedrich Wilhelm fell into a gloom of melancholy, and for long weeks "never slept but with a pair of loaded pistols under his pillow:"--of this Clement, an adroit Phenomenon of the kind, and intensely agitating to Friedrich Wilhelm;--whom Friedrich Wilhelm had at last to lay hold of, try, this very year, and ultimately hang, [Had arrived in Berlin, "end of 1717;" stayed about a year, often privately in the King's company, poisoning the royal mind; withdrew to the Hague, suspecting Berlin might soon grow dangerous;--is wiled out of that Territory into the Prussian, and arrested, by one of Friedrich Wilhelm's Colonels, "end of 1718;" lies in Spandau, getting tried, for seventeen months; hanged, with two Accomplices, 18th April, 1720. (See, in succession, Stenzel, iii. 298, 302; Fassmann, p. 321; Forster, ii. 272, and iii. 320-324.)] amid the rumor and wonder of mankind:--of him, noisy as he was, and still filling many pages of the old Books, a hint shall suffice, and we will say nothing farther. But this of the Heidelberg Protestants, though also rather an extinct business, has still some claims on us. This, in justice to the "inarticulate man of genius," and for other reasons, we must endeavor to resuscitate a little.


There reigns, in these years, at Heidelberg, as Elector Palatine, a kind-tempered but abrupt and somewhat unreasonable old gentleman, now verging towards sixty, Karl Philip by name; who has come athwart the Berlin Court and its affairs more than once; and will again do so, in a singularly disturbing way. From before Friedrich Wilhelm's birth, all through Friedrich Wilhelm's life and farther, this Karl Philip is a stone-of-stumbling there. His first feat in life was that of running off with a Prussian Princess from Berlin; the rumor of which was still at its height when Friedrich Wilhelm, a fortnight after, came into the world,-- the gossips still talking of it, we may fancy, when Friedrich Wilhelm was first swaddled. An unheard-of thing; the manner of which was this.

Readers have perhaps forgotten, that old King Friedrich I. once had a Brother; elder Brother, who died, to the Father's great sorrow, and made way for Friedrich as Crown-Prince. This Brother had been married a short time; he left a Widow without children; a beautiful Lithuanian Princess, born Radzivil, and of great possessions in her own country: she, in her crapes and close-cap, remained an ornament to the new Berlin Court for some time;--not too long. The mourning-year once out, a new marriage came on foot for the brilliant widow; the Bridegroom, a James Sobieski, eldest Prince of the famous John, King Sobieski; Prince with fair outlooks towards Polish Sovereignty, and handy for those Lithuanian Possessions of hers: altogether an eligible match.

This marriage was on foot, not quite completed; when Karl Philip, Cadet of the Pfalz, came to Berlin;--a rather idle young man, once in the clerical way; now gone into the military, with secular outlooks, his elder Brother, Heir-Apparent of the Pfalz, "having no children:"--came to Berlin, in the course of visiting, and roving about. The beautiful Widow-Princess seemed very charming to Karl Philip; he wooed hard; threw the Princess into great perplexity. She had given her Yes to James Sobieski; inevitable wedding-day was coming on with James; and here was Karl Philip wooing so:--in brief, the result was, she galloped off with Karl Philip, on the eve of said wedding-day; married Karl Philip (24th July, 1688); and left Prince James standing there, too much like Lot's Wife, in the astonished Court of Berlin. [Michaelis, ii. 93.] Judge if the Berlin. public talked,--unintelligible to Friedrioh Wilhelm, then safe in swaddling-clothes.


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