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of sub-maxiliary contortions in th’ empherial regions

time: 2023-11-29 20:09:46laiyuan:toutiaovits: 6

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.

of sub-maxiliary contortions in th’ empherial regions

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!--

of sub-maxiliary contortions in th’ empherial regions

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:--

of sub-maxiliary contortions in th’ empherial regions

"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!'"

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:--

"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."

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