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At that moment there sounded from without a peculiar howling

time: 2023-11-29 19:39:13laiyuan:toutiaovits: 94517

Of his young Madam, or Princess-Royal, peaceably resident at Berlin or at Schonhausen, and doing the vacant officialities, formal visitings and the like, we hear nothing; of Queen Sophie and the others, nothing: anxious, all of them, no doubt, about the event at Potsdam, and otherwise silent to us. His Majesty's illness comes and goes; now hope, and again almost none. Margraf of Schwedt and his young Bride, we already know, were married in November; and Lieutenant Chasot (two days old in Berlin) told us, there was Dinner by the Crown-Prince to all the Royal Family on that occasion;--poor Majesty out at Potsdam languishing in the background, meanwhile.

At that moment there sounded from without a peculiar howling

His Carnival the Crown-Prince passes naturally at Berlin. We find he takes a good deal to the French Ambassador, one Marquis de la Chetardie; a showy restless character, of fame in the Gazettes of that time; who did much intriguing at Petersburg some years hence, first in a signally triumphant way, and then in a signally untriumphant; and is not now worth any knowledge but a transient accidental one. Chetardie came hither about Stanislaus and his affairs; tried hard, but in vain, to tempt Friedrich Wilhelm into interference;--is naturally anxious to captivate the Crown-Prince, in present circumstances.

At that moment there sounded from without a peculiar howling

Friedrich Wilhelm lay at Potsdam, between death and life, for almost four months to come; the Newspapers speculating much on his situation; political people extremely anxious what would become of him,--or in fact, when he would die; for that was considered the likely issue. Fassmann gives dolorous clippings from the Leyden Gazette, all in a blubber of tears, according to the then fashion, but full of impertinent curiosity withal. And from the Seckendorf private Papers there are Extracts of a still more inquisitive and notable character: Seckendorf and the Kaiser having an intense interest in this painful occurrence.

At that moment there sounded from without a peculiar howling

Seckendorf is not now himself at Berlin; but running much about, on other errands; can only see Friedrich Wilhelm, if at all, in a passing way. And even this will soon cease;--and in fact, to us it is by far the most excellent result of this French-Austrian War, that it carries Seckendorf clear away; who now quits Berlin and the Diplomatic line, and obligingly goes out of our sight henceforth. The old Ordnance-Master, as an Imperial General of rank, is needed now for War-Service, if he has any skill that way. In those late months, he was duly in attendance at Philipsburg and the Rhine-Campaign, in a subaltern torpid capacity, like Brunswick-Bevern and the others; ready for work, had there been any: but next season, he expects to have a Division of his own, and to do something considerable.--In regard to Berlin and the Diplomacies, he has appointed a Nephew of his, a Seckendorf Junior, to take his place there; to keep the old machinery in gear, if nothing more; and furnish copious reports during the present crisis. These Reports of Seckendorf Junior--full of eavesdroppings, got from a KAMMERMOHR (Nigger Lackey), who waits in the sick-room at Potsdam, and is sensible to bribes--have been printed; and we mean to glance slightly into them. But as to Seckendorf Senior, readers can entertain the fixed hope that they have at length done with him; that, in these our premises, we shall never see him again;--nay shall see him, on extraneous dim fields, far enough away, smarting and suffering, till even we are almost sorry for the old knave!--

Friedrich Wilhelm's own prevailing opinion is, that he cannot recover. His bodily sufferings are great: dropsically swollen, sometimes like to be choked: no bed that he can bear to lie on;-- oftenest rolls about in a Bath-chair; very heavy-laden indeed; and I think of tenderer humor than in former sicknesses. To the Old Dessauer he writes, few days after getting home to Potsdam: "I am ready to quit the world, as Your Dilection knows, and has various times heard me say. One ship sails faster, another slower; but they come all to one haven. Let it be with me, then, as the Most High has determined for me." [Orlich, Geschichte der Schlesischen Kriege (Berlin, 1841), i. 14. "From the Dessau Archives; date, 21st September, 1734."] He has settled his affairs, Fassmann says, so far as possible; settled the order of his funeral, How he is to be buried, in the Garrison Church of Potsdam, without pomp or fuss, like a Prussian Soldier; and what regiment or regiments it is that are to do the triple volley over him, by way of finis and long farewell. His soul's interests too, --we need not doubt he is in deep conference, in deep consideration about these; though nothing is said on that point. A serious man always, much feeling what immense facts he was surrounded with; and here is now the summing up of all facts. Occasionally, again, he has hopes; orders up "two hundred of his Potsdam Giants to march through the sick-room," since he cannot get out to them; or old Generals, Buddenbrock, Waldau, come and take their pipe there, in reminiscence of a Tabagie. Here, direct from the fountain-head, or Nigger Lackey bribed by Seckendorf Junior, is a notice or two:--

"POTSDAM, SEPTEMBER 3Oth, 1734. Yesterday, for half an hour, the King could get no breath: he keeps them continually rolling him about" in his Bath-chair, "over the room, and cries 'LUFT, LUFT (Air, air)!'

"OCTOBER 2d. The King is not going to die just yet; but will scarcely see Christmas. He gets on his clothes; argues with the Doctors, is impatient; won't have people speak of his illness;--is quite black in the face; drinks nothing but MOLL [which we suppose to be small bitter beer], takes physic, writes in bed.

"OCTOBER 5th. The Nigger tells me things are better. The King begins to bring up phlegm; drinks a great deal of oatmeal water [HAFERGRUTZWASSER, comfortable to the sick]; says to the Nigger: 'Pray diligently, all of you; perhaps I shall not die!'"

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