“Our general conclusion was that neither the king nor General520 Saldern could well be called in the wrong. General Saldern, in obeying the inner voice, did certainly right. But the king, also, in his place, might judge such a measure expedient. Perhaps General Saldern himself would have done so had he been King of Prussia.”166 攻击 This visit to Dresden, so fatal to Fritz, was closed on the 12th of February. The dissipation of those four weeks introduced the Crown Prince to habits which have left an indelible stain upon his reputation, and which poisoned his days. Upon his return to Potsdam he was seized with a fit of sickness, and for many years his health remained feeble. But he had entered upon the downward course. His chosen companions were those who were in sympathy with his newly-formed tastes. The career of dissipation into which the young prince had plunged could not be concealed from his eagle-eyed father. The king’s previous dislike to his son was converted into contempt and hatred, which feelings were at times developed in almost insane ebullitions of rage. FREDERICK CONCENTRATING HIS ARMY AT CHRUDIM.
离去 This merciless banter from her parents cut the unhappy princess to the heart. With the utmost difficulty she refrained from bursting into convulsive crying. Her husband seems to have been a kind man, inspired with true and tender affection for his wife. But much of the time he was necessarily absent on regimental duty. The old Marquis of Baireuth, her husband’s father, was penurious, irascible, and an inebriate. Wilhelmina often suffered for the necessaries of life. There seemed to be no refuge for her. The home of her step-parents was unendurable, and the home of her childhood was still more so. Few and far between must have been the joys which visited her crushed heart.
气脊 “The wide, overarching sky,” writes Carlyle, “looks down on49 no more inflexible sovereign man than him, in the red-collared blue coat and white leggins, with the bamboo in his hand; a peaceable, capacious, not ill-given sovereign man, if you will let him have his way; but to bar his way, to tweak the nose of his sovereign royalty, and ignominiously force him into another way, that is an enterprise no man or devil, or body of men or devils, need attempt. The first step in such an attempt will require to be the assassination of Frederick Wilhelm, for you may depend upon it, royal Sophie, so long as he is alive the feat can not be done.” 400 “This polite address put an end to all anger; and, as the singular manner of the man excited my curiosity, I took advantage of the invitation. We sat down and began to speak confidentially with one another. 241
“My situation changes every moment. Sometimes I am in favor, sometimes in disgrace. My chief happiness consists in my being absent from him. I lead a quiet and tranquil life with my regiment at Ruppin. Study and music are my principal occupations. I have built me a house there, and laid out a garden where I can read and walk about.” 感应 Wilhelmina says that her grandpapa George was intolerably proud after he had attained the dignity of King of England, and that he was much disposed to look down upon her father, the King of Prussia, as occupying a very inferior position. Vexatiously he delayed signing the marriage treaty, to which he had given a verbal assent, evading the subject and presenting frivolous excuses. The reputation of the English Fred was far from good. He had attained eighteen years of age, was very unattractive in personal appearance, and extremely dissolute. George I., morose and moody, was only rendered more obstinate by being pressed. These delays exasperated Frederick William, who was far from being the meekest of men. Poor Sophie Dorothee was annoyed almost beyond endurance. Wilhelmina took the matter very coolly, for she declared that she cared nothing about her cousin Fred, and that she had no wish to marry him. BAPTISM OF FREDERICK. “The king’s procedure,” added the unhappy mother, “is not in accordance with that law. He is doing violence to my daughter’s inclinations, thus rendering her wretched for the remainder of her days. He wishes to give her for a husband a brutal debauchee, a younger brother, who is nothing but an officer in the army of the King of Poland; a landless man, without the means of living according to his rank. I will write to England. But, whatever the answer, I had rather a thousand times see my child in the grave than hopelessly miserable.””
件二 “And then, grumbling and blaming, would alter the camp till it was all out of rule, and then say, When the child was but six years of age his father organized a miniature soldiers’ company for him, consisting of one hundred lads. Gradually the number was increased to three hundred. The band was called “The Crown Prince Cadets.” A very spirited, mature boy of seventeen, named Rentzel, was drill-sergeant, while an experienced colonel was appointed commander-in-chief. Fritz was very thoroughly instructed in his duties, and was furnished with a military dress, almost the fac-simile of that which his father wore. An arsenal was also provided for the child on the palace grounds at Potsdam, where he mounted batteries and practiced gunnery with small brass ordnance. Nothing was omitted which could inspire the prince with military enthusiasm, and render him skillful in the art of war. A Prussian gentleman of letters testifies as follows respecting Fritz in his seventh year:”