our hero, “did you ever hear us mention that daring robbery

time:2023-12-04 04:40:13source:qsjedit:android

On his hunts, too, Papa took him. For Papa was a famous hunter, when at Wusterhausen in the season:--hot Beagle-chase, hot Stag-hunt, your chief game deer; huge "Force-Hunt" (PARFORCE-JAGD, the woods all beaten, and your wild beasts driven into straits and caudine-forks for you); Boar-hunting (SAUHETZE, "sow-baiting," as the Germans call it), Partridge-shooting, Fox- and Wolf-hunting;-- on all grand expeditions of such sort, little Fritz shall ride with Papa and party. Rough furious riding; now on swift steed, now at places on WURSTWAGEN,--WURSTWAGEN, "Sausage-Car" so called, most Spartan of vehicles, a mere STUFFED POLE or "sausage" with wheels to it, on which you sit astride, a dozen or so of you, and career;--regardless of the summer heat and sandy dust, of the winter's frost-storms and muddy rain. All this the little Crown-Prince is bound to do;--but likes it less and less, some of us are sorry to observe! In fact he could not take to hunting at all, or find the least of permanent satisfaction in shooting partridges and baiting sows,--"with such an expenditure of industry and such damage to the seedfields," he would sometimes allege in extenuation. In later years he has been known to retire into some glade of the thickets, and hold a little Flute-Hautbois Concert with his musical comrades, while the sows were getting baited. Or he would converse with Mamma and her Ladies, if her Majesty chanced to be there, in a day for open driving. Which things by no means increased his favor with Papa, a sworn hater of "effeminate practices."

our hero, “did you ever hear us mention that daring robbery

He was "nourished on beer-soup," as we said before. Frugality, activity, exactitude were lessons daily and hourly brought home to him, in everything he did and saw. His very sleep was stingily meted out to him: "Too much sleep stupefies a fellow!" Friedrich Wilhelm was wont to say;--so that the very doctors had to interfere, in this matter, for little Fritz. Frugal enough, hardy enough; urged in every way to look with indifference on hardship, and take a Spartan view of life.

our hero, “did you ever hear us mention that daring robbery

Money-allowance completely his own, he does not seem to have had till he was seventeen. Exiguous pocket-money, counted in GROSCHEN (English PENCE, or hardly more), only his Kalkstein and Finkenstein could grant as they saw good;--about eighteenpence in the month, to start with, as would appear. The other small incidental moneys, necessary for his use, were likewise all laid out under sanction of his Tutors, and accurately entered in Day-books by them, audited by Friedrich Wilhelm; of which some specimens remain, and one whole month, September, 1719 (the Boy's eighth year), has been published. Very singular to contemplate, in these days of gold-nuggets and irrational man-mountains fattened by mankind at such a price! The monthly amount appears to have been some 3 pounds 10 shillings:--and has gone, all but the eighteenpence of sovereign pocket-money, for small furnishings and very minute necessary luxuries;--as thus:-- "To putting his Highness's shoes on the last;" for stretching them to the little feet,--and only one "last," as we perceive. "To twelve yards of Hairtape,"--HAARBAND, for our little queue, which becomes visible here. "For drink-money to the Postilions." "For the Housemaids at Wusterhausen," Don't I pay them myself? objects the auditing Papa, at that latter kind of items: No more of that. "For mending the flute, four GROSCHEN [or pence];" "Two Boxes of Colors, sixteen ditto;" "For a live snipe, twopence;" "For grinding the hanger [little swordkin];" "To a Boy whom the dog bit;" and chiefly of all, "To the KLINGBEUTEL,"-- Collection-plate, or bag, at Church,--which comes upon us once, nay twice, and even thrice a week, eighteenpence each time, and eats deep into our straitened means. [Preuss, i. 17.]

our hero, “did you ever hear us mention that daring robbery

On such terms can a little Fritz be nourished into a Friedrich the Great; while irrational man-mountains, of the beaverish or beaverish-vulpine sort, take such a price to fatten them into monstrosity! The Art-manufacture of your Friedrich can come very cheap, it would appear, if once Nature have done her part in regard to him, and there be mere honest will on the part of the by-standers. Thus Samuel Johnson, too, cost next to nothing in the way of board and entertainment in this world. And a Robert Burns, remarkable modern Thor, a Peasant-god of these sunk ages, with a touch of melodious RUNES in him (since all else lay under ban for the poor fellow), was raised on frugal oatmeal, at an expense of perhaps half a crown a week. Nuggets and ducats are divine; but they are not the most divine. I often wish the Devil had the lion's share of them,--at once, and not circuitously as now. It would be an unspeakable advantage to the bewildered sons of Adam, in this epoch!

But with regard to our little Crown-Prince's intellectual culture, there is another Document, specially from Papa's hand, which, if we can redact, adjust and abridge it, as in the former case, may be worth the reader's notice, and elucidate some things for him. It is of date, Wusterhausen, 3d September, 1721; little Fritz now in his tenth year, and out there, with his Duhans and Finkensteins, while Papa is rusticating for a few weeks. The essential title is, or might be:--

To Head-Governor van Finkenstein, Sub-Governor von Kalkstein, Preceptor Jacques Egide Duhan de Jandun, and others whom it may concern: Regulations for schooling, at Wusterhausen, 3d September, 1721; [Preuss, i. 19.]--in greatly abridged form.

SUNDAY. "On Sunday he is to rise at 7; and as soon as he has got his slippers on, shall kneel down at his bedside, and pray to God, so as all in the room may hear it [that there be no deception or short measure palmed upon us], in these words: 'Lord God, blessed Father, I thank thee from my heart that thou hast so graciously preserved me through this night. Fit me for what thy holy will is; and grant that I do nothing this day, nor all the days of my life, which can divide me from thee. For the Lord Jesus my Redeemer's sake. Amen.' After which the Lord's Prayer. Then rapidly and vigorously (GESCHWINDE UND HURTIG) wash himself clean, dress and powder and comb himself [we forget to say, that while they are combing and queuing him, he breakfasts, with brevity, on tea]: Prayer, with washing, breakfast and the rest, to be done pointedly within fifteen minutes [that is, at a quarter past 7].

"This finished, all his Domestics and Duhan shall come in, and do family worship ( das grosse Gebet zu halten ): Prayer on their knees, Duhan withal to read a Chapter of the Bible, and sing some proper Psalm or Hymn [as practised in well-regulated families]:--It will then be a quarter to 8. All the Domestics then withdraw again; and Duhan now reads with my Son the Gospel of the Sunday; expounds it a little, adducing the main points of Christianity;--questioning from Noltenius's Catechism [which Fritz knows by heart]:--it will then be 9 o'clock.

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