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long seen my weak, wretched, mean devotion to himself,

time:2023-12-06 02:46:13 source:Untouched network author:television read:548次

Enough for us to say, That Ritter Zimmermann--who is a Physician and a Man of Literary Genius, and should not have become a Tragic Zany--did, with unspeakable emotions, terrors, prayers to Heaven, and paroxysms of his own ridiculous kind, prescribe "Syrup of Dandelion" to the King; talked to him soothingly, musically, successfully; found the King a most pleasant Talker, but a very wilful perverse kind of Patient; whose errors in point of diet especially were enormous to a degree. Truth is, the King's appetite for food did still survive:--and this might have been, you would think, the one hopeful basis of Zimmermann's whole treatment, if there were still any hope: but no; Zimmermann merely, with uncommon emphasis, lyrically recognizes such amazing appetite in an old man overwhelmed by diseases,--trumpets it abroad, for ignorant persons to regard as a crime, or perhaps as a type generally of the man's past life, and makes no other attempt upon it;--stands by his "Extract of Dandelion boiled to the consistency of honey;" and on the seventeenth day, July 10th, voiceless from emotion, heart just breaking, takes himself away, and ceases. One of our Notes says:--

long seen my weak, wretched, mean devotion to himself,

"Zimmermann went by Dessau and Brunswick; at Brunswick, if he made speed thither, Zimmermann might perhaps find Mirabeau, who is still there, and just leaving for Berlin to be in at the death:--but if the Doctor and he missed each other, it was luckier, as they had their controversies afterwards. Mirabeau arrived at Berlin, July 21st: [Mirabeau, HISTOIRE SECRETE DE LA COUR DE BERLIN, tome iii. of OEuvres de Mirabeau: Paris, 1821, LETTRE v. p. 37.] vastly diligent in picking up news, opinions, judgments of men and events, for his Calonne;--and amazingly accurate, one finds; such a flash of insight has he, in whatever element, foul or fair.

long seen my weak, wretched, mean devotion to himself,

"JULY 9th, the day before Zimmerman's departure, Hertzberg had come out to Potsdam in permanence. Hertzberg is privately thenceforth in communication with the Successor; altogether privately, though no doubt Friedrich knew it well enough, and saw it to be right. Of course, all manner of poor creatures are diligent about their own bits of interests; and saying to themselves, 'A New Reign is evidently nigh!' Yes, my friends;--and a precious Reign it will prove in comparison: sensualities, unctuous religiosities, ostentations, imbecilities; culminating in Jena twenty years hence."

long seen my weak, wretched, mean devotion to himself,

Zimmermann haggles to tell us what his report was at Brunswick; says, he "set the Duke [ERBPRINZ, who is now Duke these six years past] sobbing and weeping;" though towards the Widow Duchess there must have been some hope held out, as we shall now see. The Duchess's Letter or Letters to her Brother are lost; but this is his Answer:--


"SANS-SOUCI, 10th August, 1786.

"MY ADORABLE SISTER,-The Hanover Doctor has wished to make himself important with you, my good Sister; but the truth is, he has been of no use to me (M'A ETE INUTILE). The old must give place to the young, that each generation may find room clear for it: and Life, if we examine strictly what its course is, consists in seeing one's fellow-creatures die and be born. In the mean while, I have felt myself a little easier for the last day or two. My heart remains inviolably attached to you, my good Sister. With the highest consideration,-- My adorable Sister,--Your faithful Brother and Servant, "FRIEDRICH." [ OEuvres de Frederic, xxvii. i. 352.]

This is Friedrich's last Letter;--his last to a friend. There is one to his Queen, which Preuss's Index seems to regard as later, though without apparent likelihood; there being no date whatever, and only these words: "Madam,--I am much obliged by the wishes you deign to form: but a heavy fever I have taken (GROSSE FIEVRE QUE J'AI PRISE) hinders me from answering you." [Ib. xxvi. 62.]


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