Member Login - user registration - Setup as front page - add to favorites - sitemap such a declaration from me may seem strange, I confess!

such a declaration from me may seem strange, I confess

time:2023-12-05 18:57:21 source:Untouched network author:family read:421次

He got into dry clothes; presided in his usual way at dinner, which soon followed; had many Generals and guests,--Lafayette, Lord Cornwallis, Duke of York;--and, as might be expected, felt unusually feverish afterwards. Hot, chill, quite poorly all afternoon; glad to get to bed:--where he fell into deep sleep, into profuse perspiration, as his wont was; and awoke, next morning, greatly recovered; altogether well again, as he supposed. Well enough to finish his Review comfortably; and start for home. Went--round by Neisse, inspection not to be omitted there, though it doubles the distance--to Brieg that day; a drive of 80 miles, inspection-work included. Thence, at Breslan for three days more: with dinners of state, balls, illuminations, in honor of the Duke of York,--our as yet last Duke of York, then a brisk young fellow of twenty-two; to whom, by accident, among his other distinctions, may belong this of having (most involuntarily) helped to kill Friedrich the Great!

such a declaration from me may seem strange, I confess

Back to Potsdam, Friedrich pushed on with business; and complained of nothing. Was at Berlin in about ten days (September 9th), for an Artillery Review; saw his Sister Amelia; saw various public works in a state of progress,--but what perhaps is medically significant, went in the afternoon to a kind of Spa Well they have at Berlin; and slept, not at the Palace, but at this Spa, in the hostelry or lodging-house attached. [Rodenbeck, IN DIE.] Next day (September 10th), the Artillery Manoeuvre was done; and the King left Berlin, --little guessing he had seen Berlin for the last time.

such a declaration from me may seem strange, I confess

The truth is, his health, unknown to him (though that of taking a Night at the Spa Well probably denotes some guess or feeling of the kind on his part), must have been in a dangerous or almost ruinous state. Accordingly, soon afterwards, September 18th-19th, in the night-time, he was suddenly aroused by a Fit of Suffocation (what they call STICKFLUSS); and, for some hours, till relief was got, everybody feared he would perish. Next day, there came gout; which perhaps he regarded almost as a friend: but it did not prove such; it proved the captain of a chaotic company of enemies; and Friedrich's end, I suppose, was already inexorably near. At the Grand Potsdam Review [22d-23d September), chief Review of all, and with such an affluence of Strangers to it this Autumn, he was quite unable to appear; prescribed the Manoeuvres and Procedures, and sorrowfully kept his room. [This of 23d September, 1785, is what Print-Collectors know loosely as "FRIEDRICH'S LAST REVIEW;"--one Cunningham, an English Painter (son of a Jacobite ditto, and himself of wandering habitat), and Clemens, a Prussian Engraver, having done a very large and highly superior Print of it, by way of speculation in Military Portraits (Berlin, 1787); in which, among many others, there figures the crediblest Likeness known to me of FRIEDRICH IN OLD AGE, though Friedrich himself was not there. (See PREUSS, iv. 242; especially see RODENBECK, iii. 337 n.)--As Crown-Prince, Friedrich had SAT to Pesne: never afterwards to any Artist.]

such a declaration from me may seem strange, I confess

Friedrich was always something of a Doctor himself: he had little faith in professional Doctors, though he liked to speak with the intelligent sort, and was curious about their science, And it is agreed he really had good notions in regard to it; in particular, that he very well understood his own constitution of body; knew the effects of causes there, at any rate, and the fit regimens and methods:--as an old man of sense will usually do. The complaint is, that he was not always faithful to regimen; that, in his old days at least, he loved strong soups, hot spicy meats;--finding, I suppose, a kind of stimulant in them, as others do in wine; a sudden renewal of strength, which might be very tempting to him. There has been a great deal of unwise babble on this subject, which I find no reason to believe, except as just said: In the fall of this year, as usual, perhaps rather later than usual,--not till November 8th (for what reason so delaying, Marwitz told us already),--he withdrew from Sans-Souci, his Summer-Cottage; shut himself up in Potsdam Palace (Old Palace) for the winter. It was known he was very ailing; and that he never stirred out,-- but this was not quite unusual in late winters; and the rumors about his health were vague and various. Now, as always, he himself, except to his Doctors, was silent on that subject. Various military Doctors, Theden, Frese and others of eminence, were within reach; but it is not known to me that he consulted any of them.

Not till January, 1786, when symptoms worse than ever, of asthma, of dropsy, began to manifest themselves, did he call in Selle, the chief Berlin Doctor, and a man of real sagacity, as is still evident; who from the first concluded the disease to be desperate; but of course began some alleviatory treatment, the skilfulest possible to him. [Christian Gottlieb Selle, KRANKHEITSGESCHICHTE DES HOCHSTSEELIGEN KONIGS VAN PREUSSEN FRIEDRICHS DES ZWEYTEN MAJESTAT (Berlin, 1786); a very small Pamphlet, now very rare;-- giving in the most distinct, intelligent, modest and conclusive way, an account of everything pertinent, and rigorously of nothing else.] Selle, when questioned, kept his worst fears carefully to himself: but the King noticed Selle's real opinion,--which, probably, was the King's own too;--and finding little actual alleviation, a good deal of trouble, and no possibility of a victorious result by this warfare on the outworks, began to be weary of Selle; and to turn his hopes--what hopes he yet had--on the fine weather soon due. He had a continual short small cough, which much troubled him; there was fear of new Suffocation-Fit; the breathing always difficult.

But Spring came, unusually mild; the King sat on the southern balconies in the genial sun and air, looking over the bright sky and earth, and new birth of things: "Were I at Sans-Souci, amid the Gardens!" thought he. APRIL 17th, he shifted thither: not in a sedan, as Marwitz told us of the former journey; but "in his carriage, very early in the morning, making a long roundabout through various Villages, with new relays,"--probably with the motive Marwitz assigns. Here are two contemporaneous Excerpts:--

1. MIRABEAU AT SANS-SOUCI. "This same day," April 17th, it appears, [Preuss: in OEuvres de Frederic, xxv. 328 n.] "the King saw Mirabeau, for the second and last time. Mirabeau had come to Berlin 19th January last; his errand not very precise,-- except that he infinitely wanted employment, and that at Paris the Controller-General Calonne, since so famous among mankind, had evidently none to offer him there. He seems to have intended Russia, and employment with the Czarina,--after viewing Berlin a little, with the great flashy eyesight he had. He first saw Friedrich January 25th. There pass in all, between Friedrich and him, seven Letters or Notes, two of them by the King; and on poor Mirabeau's side, it must be owned, there is a massively respectful, truthful and manly physiognomy, which probably has mended Friedrich's first opinion of him. [... "Is coming to me to-day; one of those loose-tongued fellows, I suppose, who write for and against all the world." (Friedrich to Prince Henri, "25 January, 1786:" OEuvres de Frederic, xxvi. 522.)] This day, April 17th, 1786, he is at Potsdam; so far on the road to France again,--Mirabeau Senior being reported dangerously ill. 'My Dialogue with the King,' say the Mirabeau Papers, 'was very lively; but the King was in such suffering, and so straitened for breath, I was myself anxious to shorten it: that same evening I travelled on.'

"Mirabeau Senior did not die at this time: and Controller-General Calonne, now again eager to shake off an importunate and far too clear-sighted Mirabeau Junior, said to the latter: 'Back to Berlin, could n't you? Their King is dying, a new King coming; highly important to us!'--and poor Mirabeau went. Left Paris again, in May; with money furnished, but, no other outfit, and more in the character of Newspaper Vulture than of Diplomatic Envoy," [Rodenbeck, iii. 343. Fils Adoptif, Memoires de Mirabeau (Paris, 1834), iv. 288-292, 296.] as perhaps we may transiently see.


related information
  • end of the apartment. A steady stream of dirty water was
  • to say obstinate, disposition, but there was no brute-like
  • Pivart him!” added Mr. Tulliver, lifting his glass with
  • Tom, secretly astonished. “You think you’re very wise!
  • damp freshness in the air of the passage, and a sort of
  • “But you oughtn’t to hate me, Tom; it’ll be very
  • a sense that he had defined his resolution in an unmistakable
  • “Oh, I say, Maggie,” said Tom at last, lifting up the
recommended content
  • gate, but the apparatus was out of his reach, and he had
  • indifference, and lectured Tom severely on his want of
  • Stelling, who took her between his knees, and asked her
  • though he hated crying, and was ashamed of it; he couldn’t
  • Max gaining upon her, now, at every stride. There was a
  • such a disposition” afforded her a great deal of pleasant