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“It’s a cyclone! We must drop down to avoid it!”

time: 2023-11-29 19:52:20laiyuan:toutiaovits: 9921

"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!'"

“It’s a cyclone! We must drop down to avoid it!”

October 5th: this is the day the Crown-Prince arrives at Baireuth; to be called away by express four days after. How valuable, at Vienna or elsewhere, our dark friend the Lackey's medical opinion is, may be gathered from this other Entry, three weeks farther on,--enough to suffice us on that head:--

“It’s a cyclone! We must drop down to avoid it!”

"The Nigger tells me he has a bad opinion of the King's health. If you roll the King a little fast in his Bath-chair, you hear the water jumble in his body,"--with astonishment! "King gets into passions; has beaten the pages [may we hope, our dark friend among the rest?], so that it was feared apoplexy would take him."

“It’s a cyclone! We must drop down to avoid it!”

This will suffice for the physiological part; let us now hear our poor friend on the Crown-Prince and his arrival:--

"OCTOBER 12th. Return of the Prince-Royal to Potsdam; tender reception.--OCTOBER 21st. Things look ill in Potsdam. The other leg is now also begun running; and above a quart (MAAS) of water has come from it. Without a miracle, the King cannot live,"-- thinks our dark friend. "The Prince-Royal is truly affected (VERITABLEMENT ATTENDRI) at the King's situation; has his eyes full of water, has wept the eyes out of his head: has schemed in all ways to contrive a commodious bed for the King; wouldn't go away from Potsdam. King forced him away; he is to return Saturday afternoon. The Prince-Royal has been heard to say, 'If the King will let me live in my own way, I would give an arm to lengthen his life for twenty years.' King always calls him Fritzchen. But Fritzchen," thinks Seckendorf Junior, "knows nothing about business. The King is aware of it; and said in the face of him one day: 'If thou begin at the wrong end with things, and all go topsy-turvy after I am gone, I will laugh at thee out of my grave!'" [Seckendorf (BARON), Journal Secret; cited in Forster, ii. 142.]

So Friedrich Wilhelm; laboring amid the mortal quicksands; looking into the Inevitable, in various moods. But the memorablest speech he made to Fritzchen or to anybody at present, was that covert one about the Kaiser and Seckendorf, and the sudden flash of insight he got, from some word of Seckendorf's, into what they had been meaning with him all along. Riding through the village of Priort, in debate about Vienna politics of a strange nature, Seckendorf said something, which illuminated his Majesty, dark for so many years, and showed him where he was. A ghastly horror of a country, yawning indisputable there; revealed to one as if by momentary lightning, in that manner! This is a speech which all the ambassadors report, and which was already mentioned by us,--in reference to that opprobrious Proposal about the Crown-Prince's Marriage, "Marry with England, after all; never mind breaking your word!" Here is the manner of it, with time and place:--

"Sunday last," Sunday, 17th October, 1734, reports Seckendorf, Junior, through the Nigger or some better witness, "the King said to the Prince-Royal: 'My dear Son, I tell thee I got my death at Priort. I entreat thee, above all things in the world, don't trust those people (DENEN LEUTEN), however many promises they make. That day, it was April 17th, 1733, there was a man said something to me: it was as if you had turned a dagger round in my heart.'" [Seckendorf (BARON), Journal Secret; cited in Forster, ii. 142.]--

Figure that, spoken from amid the dark sick whirlpools, the mortal quicksands, in Friedrich Wilhelm's voice, clangorously plaintive; what a wild sincerity, almost pathos, is in it; and whether Fritzchen, with his eyes all bewept even for what Papa had suffered in that matter, felt lively gratitudes to the House of Austria at this moment!--

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