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      Bergan was silent. Though not without some touch of family pride, derived from his mother, he had nevertheless been taught to believe all upright labor honorable, to hold that life was ennobled from within, by its motive and aim, rather than from without, by its place and form. He could not help suspecting, therefore, that his host, deliberately leading the narrow life of an overseer of slaves, on his ancestral estate, was in reality a more degenerate son of his house than the relative whom he so bitterly contemned. Yet he foresaw that any attempt to defend Godfrey Bergan would but result in bringing down upon himself a torrent of fierce, half-drunken vituperation. Seasoned vessel though he were, the Major's repeated draughts of brandy, very little diluted, had not been without effect, in flushing his face, and inflaming his habitually irritable temper. His present mood would ill brook contradiction.


      The Crown Prince did not fancy this connection at all. His first wish was to journey about, through the courts of Europe, to select him a wife. But that measure his father would not think of. Frederick professed a willingness to submit to marry Anna, Princess of Mecklenburg, or the Princess of Eisenach. Seckendorf, the embassador of the emperor, aided by Grumkow, who had been bribed, urged the marriage with Elizabeth. The king adopted their views. His decision was like a decree of fate. The following letter, written by the king to his son, dated Potsdam, February 4, 1732, very clearly expresses his views:

      Come, Marquis, try to have a spark of reason. It is my life I ask of youmy life.Il en avait trois grises

      In the fearful tragedy of the French Revolution, as in many earlier dramas in the history of that nation, one can hardly fail to be struck by the extreme youth of many, perhaps most, of the leading characters, good or bad. And the hero and heroine of this act in the revolutionary drama were young, and both remarkable for their beauty.It is very evident, from the glimpses we catch of Fritz at this time, that he was a wild fellow, quite frivolous, and with but a feeble sense of moral obligation. General Schulenburg, an old soldier, of stern principles, visited him at Cüstrin, and sent an account of the interview to Baron Grumkow, under date of October 4th, 1731. From this letter we cull the following statement:


      The queen made me a sign to follow her, and passed into a neighboring apartment, where she had the English and Germans of King Georges suite successively presented to her. After some talk with these gentlemen she withdrew, leaving me to entertain them, and saying, Speak English to my daughter; you will find she speaks it very well. I felt much less embarrassed when the queen was gone, and, picking up a little courage, entered into conversation with these English. As I spoke their language like my mother tongue I got pretty well out of the affair, and every body seemed charmed with me. They made my eulogy to the queen; told her I had quite the English air, and was made to be their sovereign one day. It was saying a great deal on their part; for these English think themselves so much above all other people that they imagine that they are paying a high compliment when they tell any one he has got English manners.

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      THE EMPRESS CATHARINE.Under Frederick William the newspaper press in Berlin amounted to nothing. The capital had not a single daily paper. Speedy destruction would crush any writer who, in journal, pamphlet, or book, should publish any thing displeasing to the king. Frederick proclaimed freedom of the press. Two newspapers were established in Berlin, one in French and one in German. Distinguished men were selected to edit them. One was a noted writer from Hamburg. Frederick, in his absolutism, had adopted the resolve not to interfere with the freedom of the press unless there were some gross violation of what he deemed proper. He allowed very bitter satires to be circulated in Berlin against himself, simply replying to the remonstrances of his ministers, The press is free.

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      The Encampment at Brieg.Bombardment.Diplomatic Intrigues.Luxury of the Spanish Minister.Rising Greatness of Frederick.Fredericks Interview with Lord Hyndford.Plans of France.Desperate Prospects of Maria Theresa.Anecdote of Frederick.Joint Action of England and Holland.Heroic Character of Maria Theresa.Coronation of the Queen of Hungary.The leader of an Austrian band of five hundred dragoons was on the watch. As the detachment of one hundred and fifty horse approached Baumgarten, the Austrians, from their ambuscade, plunged upon them. There was a short, sharp conflict, when the Prussians fled, leaving ten dead, sixteen prisoners, one standard, and two kettle-drums in the hands of the victors. The king had just sat down at the dinner-table, when he heard, at the distance of a few miles, the tumult of the musketry. He sprang from the table, hurriedly mustered a small force of forty hussars and fifty foot, and hastened toward the scene. Arriving at the field, he found it silent and deserted, and the ten men lying242 dead upon it. The victorious Austrians, disappointed in not finding the king, bore their spoils in triumph to Vienna. It was a very narrow escape for Frederick. Had he then been captured it might have changed the history of Europe, and no one can tell the amount of blood and woe which would have been averted.

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      When the king, after the Seven Years War, now and then in carnival season dined with the queen in her apartments, he usually said not a word to her. He merely, on entering, on sitting down at table, and leaving it, made the customary bows, and sat opposite to her. Once the queen was ill of gout. The table was in her apartments, but she was not there. She sat in an easy-chair in the drawing-room. On this occasion the king stepped up to the queen and inquired about her health. The circumstance occasioned among the company present, and all over the town, as the news spread, great wonder and sympathy. This is probably the last time he ever spoke to her.193


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