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do not suppose that I mean[349] to speak of myself, or

time:2023-12-06 01:55:41 source:Untouched network author:hot read:596次

A troublesome neighbor he proved to everybody, not by his reforms alone;--and ended, pretty much as here in the FURSTENBUND, by having, in all matters, to give in and desist. In none of his foreign Ambitions could he succeed; in none of his domestic Reforms. In regard to these latter, somebody remarks: "No Austrian man or thing articulately contradicted his fine efforts that way; but, inarticulately, the whole weight of Austrian VIS INERTIAE bore day and night against him;--whereby, as we now see, he bearing the other way with the force of a steam-ram, a hundred tons to the square inch, the one result was, To dislocate every joint in the Austrian Edifice, and have it ready for the Napoleonic Earthquakes that ensued." In regard to ambitions abroad it was no better. The Dutch fired upon his Scheld Frigate: "War, if you will, you most aggressive Kaiser; but this Toll is ours!" His Netherlands revolted against him, "Can holy religion, and old use-and-wont be tumbled about at this rate?" His Grand Russian Copartneries and Turk War went to water and disaster. His reforms, one and all, had to be revoked for the present. Poor Joseph, broken-hearted (for his private griefs were many, too), lay down to die. "You may put for epitaph," said he with a tone which is tragical and pathetic to us, "Here lies Joseph," the grandly attempting Joseph, "who could succeed in nothing." [Died, at Vienna, 20th February, 1790, still under fifty;--born there 13th March, 1741. Hormayr, OEsterreichischer Plutarch, iv. (2tes) 125-223 (and five or six recent LIVES of Joseph, none of which, that I have seen, was worth reading, in comparison).] A man of very high qualities, and much too conscious of them. A man of an ambition without bounds. One of those fatal men, fatal to themselves first of all, who mistake half-genius for whole; and rush on the second step without having made the first. Cannot trouble the old King or us any more.

do not suppose that I mean[349] to speak of myself, or


do not suppose that I mean[349] to speak of myself, or

To the present class of readers, Furstenbund is become a Nothing; to all of us the grand Something now is, strangely enough, that incidental item which directly followed, of Reviewing the Silesian soldieries, who had so angered his Majesty last year. "If I be alive next year!" said the King to Tauentzien. The King kept his promise; and the Fates had appointed that, in doing so, he was to find his-- But let us not yet pronounce the word.

do not suppose that I mean[349] to speak of myself, or

AUGUST 16th, 1785, some three weeks after finishing the Furstenbund, Friedrich set out for Silesia: towards Strehlen long known to him and us all;--at Gross-Tinz, a Village in that neighborhood, the Camp and Review are to be. He goes by Crossen, Glogau; in a circling direction: Glogau, Schweidnitz, Silberberg, Glatz, all his Fortresses are to be inspected as well, and there is much miscellaneous business by the road. At Hirschberg, not on the military side, we have sight of him; the account of which is strange to read:--

"THURSDAY, AUGUST 18th," says a private Letter from that little Town, [Given IN EXTENSO, Rodenbeck, iii. 331-333.] "he passed through here: concourse of many thousands, from all the Country about, had been waiting for him several hours. Outriders came at last; then he himself, the Unique; and, with the liveliest expression of reverence and love, all eyes were directed on one point. I cannot describe to you my feelings, which of course were those of everybody, to see him, the aged King; in his weak hand the hat; in those grand eyes such a fatherly benignity of look over the vast crowd that encircled his Carriage, and rolled tide-like, accompanying it. Looking round when he was past, I saw in various eyes a tear trembling. ["Alas, we sha'n't have him long!"]

"His affability, his kindliness, to whoever had the honor of speech with this great King, who shall describe it! After talking a good while with the Merchants-Deputation from the Hill Country, he said, 'Is there anything more, then, from anybody?' Upon which, the President (KAUFMANNSALTESTE," Merchants'-Eldest) "Lachmann, from Greiffenberg," which had been burnt lately, and helped by the King to rebuild itself, "stepped forward, and said, 'The burnt-out Inhabitants of Greiffenberg had charged him to express once more their most submissive gratitude for the gracious help in rebuilding; their word of thanks, truly, was of no importance, but they daily prayed God to reward such Royal beneficence.' The King was visibly affected, and said, 'You don't need to thank me; when my subjects fall into misfortune, it is my duty to help them up again; for that reason am I here.'" ...

Saturday 20th, he arrived at Tinz; had a small Cavalry Manoeuvre, next day; and on Monday the Review Proper began. Lasted four days, --22d-25th August, Monday to Thursday, both inclusive. "Head-quarter was in the DORF-SCHULZE'S (Village Mayor's) house; and there were many Strangers of distinction quartered in the Country Mansions round." Gross-Tinz is about 12 miles straight north from Strehlen, and as far straight east from the Zobtenberg: Gross-Tinz, and its Review of August, 1785, ought to be long memorable.

How the Review turned out as to proficiency recovered, I have not heard; and only infer, by symptoms, that it was not unsatisfactory. The sure fact, and the forever memorable, is, That on Wednesday, the third day of it, from 4 in the morning, when the Manoeuvres began, till well after 10, when they ended, there was a rain like Noah's; rain falling as from buckets and water-spouts; and that Friedrich (and perhaps most others too), so intent upon his business, paid not the least regard to it; but rode about, intensely inspecting, in lynx-eyed watchfulness of everything, as if no rain had been there. Was not at the pains even to put on his cloak. Six hours of such down-pour; and a weakly old man of 73 past. Of course he was wetted to the bone. On returning to head- quarters, his boots were found full of water; "when pulled off, it came pouring from them like a pair of pails."


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