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He stopped short suddenly, as though he had been betrayed

time:2023-12-06 03:39:46 source:Untouched network author:map read:479次

"As to the theory, I must needs say, nothing can be falser, more heretical or more damnable. My own poor opinion, and deep conviction on that subject is well known, this long while. And, in fact, the summary of all I have believed, and have been trying as I could to teach mankind to believe again, is even that same opinion and conviction, applied to all provinces of things. Alas, in this his sad theory about the world, our poor impudent Pamphleteer is by no means singular at present; nay rather he has in a manner the whole practical part of mankind on his side just now; the more is the pity for us all!--

He stopped short suddenly, as though he had been betrayed

"It is very certain, if Beelzebub made this world, our Pamphleteer, and the huge portion of mankind that follow him, are right. But if God made the world; and only leads Beelzebub, as some ugly muzzled bear is led, a longer or shorter temporary DANCE in this divine world, and always draws him home again, and peels the unjust gains off him, and ducks him in a certain hot Lake, with sure intent to lodge him there to all eternity at last,--then our Pamphleteer, and the huge portion of mankind that follow him, are wrong.

He stopped short suddenly, as though he had been betrayed

"More I will not say; being indeed quite tired of SPEAKING on that subject. Not a subject which it concerns me to speak of; much as it concerns me, and all men, to know the truth of it, and silently in every hour and moment to do said truth. As indeed the sacred voice of their own soul, if they listen, will conclusively admonish all men; and truly if IT do not, there will be little use in my logic to them. For my own share, I want no trade with men who need to be convinced of that fact. If I am in their premises, and discover such a thing of them, I will quit their premises; if they are in mine, I will, as old Samuel advised, count my spoons. Ingenious gentlemen who believe that Beelzebub made this world, are not a class of gentlemen I can get profit from. Let them keep at a distance, lest mischief fall out between us. They are of the set deserving to be called--and this not in the way of profane swearing, but of solemn wrath and pity, I say of virtuous anger and inexorable reprobation--the damned set. For, in very deed, they are doomed and damned, by Nature's oldest Act of Parliament, they, and whatsoever thing they do or say or think; unless they can escape from that devil-element. Which I still hope they may!--

He stopped short suddenly, as though he had been betrayed

"But with regard to the facts themselves, 'DE NOTRE MAISON,' I take leave to say, they too are without basis of truth. They are not so false as the theory, because nothing can in falsity quite equal that. 'NOTRE MAISON,' this Pamphleteer may learn, if he please to make study and inquiry before speaking, did not rise by worship of Beelzebub at all in this world; but by a quite opposite line of conduct. It rose, in fact, by the course which all, except fools, stockjobber stags, cheating gamblers, forging Pamphleteers and other temporary creatures of the damned sort, have found from of old to be the one way of permanently rising: by steady service, namely, of the Opposite of Beelzebub. By conforming to the Laws of this Universe; instead of trying by pettifogging to evade and profitably contradict them. The Hohenzollerns too have a History still articulate to the human mind, if you search sufficiently; and this is what, even with some emphasis, it will teach us concerning their adventures, and achievements of success in the field of life. Resist the Devil, good reader, and he will flee from you!"--So ends our indignant friend.

How the Hohenzollerns got their big Territories, and came to what they are in the world, will be seen. Probably they were not, any of them, paragons of virtue. They did not walk in altogether speckless Sunday pumps, or much clear-starched into consciousness of the moral sublime; but in rugged practical boots, and by such roads as there were. Concerning their moralities, and conformities to the Laws of the Road and of the Universe, there will much remain to be argued by pamphleteers and others. Men will have their opinion, Men of more wisdom and of less; Apes by the Dead-Sea also will have theirs. But what man that believed in such a Universe as that of this Dead-Sea Pamphleteer could consent to live in it at all? Who that believed in such a Universe, and did not design to live like a Papin's-Digester, or PORCUS EPICURI, in an extremely ugly manner in it, could avoid one of two things: Going rapidly into Bedlam, or else blowing his brains out? "It will not do for me at any rate, this infinite Dog-house; not for me, ye Dryasdusts, and omnipotent Dog-monsters and Mud-gods, whoever you are. One honorable thing I can do: take leave of you and your Dog-establishment. Enough!"--

The First Friedrich's successor was a younger son, Friedrich II.; who lasted till 1471, above thirty years; and proved likewise a notable manager and governor. Very capable to assert himself, and his just rights, in this world. He was but Twenty-seven at his accession; but the Berlin Burghers, attempting to take some liberties with him, found he was old enough. He got the name IRONTEETH. Friedrich FERRATIS DENTIBUS, from his decisive ways then and afterwards. He had his share of brabbling with intricate litigant neighbors; quarrels now and then not to be settled without strokes. His worst war was with Pommern,--just claims disputed there, and much confused bickering, sieging and harassing in consequence: of which quarrel we must speak anon. It was he who first built the conspicuous Schloss or Palace at Berlin, having got the ground for it (same ground still covered by the actual fine Edifice, which is a second edition of Friedrich's) from the repentant Burghers; and took up his chief residence there. [1442-1431 (Nicolari, i. 81).]

But his principal achievement in Brandenburg History is his recovery of the Province called the Neumark to that Electorate. In the thriftless Sigismund times, the Neumark had been pledged, had been sold; Teutsch Ritterdom, to whose dominions it lay contiguous, had purchased it with money down. The Teutsch Ritters were fallen moneyless enough since then; they offered to pledge the Neumark to Friedrich, who accepted, and advanced the sum: after a while the Teutsch Ritters, for a small farther sum, agreed to sell Neumark. [Michaelis, i. 301.] Into which Transaction, with its dates and circumstances, let us cast one glance, for our behoof afterwards. The Teutsch Ritters were an opulent domineering Body in Sigismund's early time; but they are now come well down in Friedrich II.'s! And are coming ever lower. Sinking steadily, or with desperate attempts to rise, which only increase the speed downwards, ever since that fatal Tannenberg Business, 15th July, 1410. Here is the sad progress of their descent to the bottom; divided into three stages or periods:--

"PERIOD FIRST is of Thirty years: 1410-1440. A peace with Poland soon followed that Defeat of Tannenberg; humiliating peace, with mulct in money, and slightly in territory, attached to it. Which again was soon followed by war, and ever again; each new peace more humiliating than its foregoer. Teutsch Order is steadily sinking,--into debt, among other things; driven to severe finance-measures (ultimately even to 'debase its coin'), which produce irritation enough. Poland is gradually edging itself into the territories and the interior troubles of Preussen; prefatory to greater operations that lie ahead there.

(Editor:map)

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