Read Chapter V. - FRIEDRICH WILHELM’S ONE WAR. of History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia (Vol. IV.) (Friedrich's Apprenticeship‚ First Stage 1713-1728), free online book, by Thomas Carlyle, on

One of Fritz’s earliest strong impressions from the outer world chanced to be of War,-so it chanced, though he had shown too little taste that way, and could not, as yet, understand such phenomena;-and there must have been much semi-articulate questioning and dialoguing with Dame de Roucoulles, on his part, about the matter now going on.

In the year 1715, little Fritz’s third year, came grand doings, not of drill only, but of actual war and fighting :  the “Stralsund Expedition,” Friedrich Wilhelm’s one feat in that kind.  Huge rumor of which fills naturally the maternal heart, the Berlin Palace drawing-rooms; and occupies, with new vivid interests, all imaginations young and old.  For the actual battledrums are now beating, the big cannon-wains are creaking under way; and military men take farewell, and march, tramp, tramp; Majesty in grenadier-guard uniform at their head :  horse, foot and artillery; northward to Stralsund on the Baltic shore, where a terrible human Lion has taken up his lair lately.  Charles XII. of Sweden, namely; he has broken out of Turkish Bender or Demotica, and ended his obstinate torpor, at last; has ridden fourteen or sixteen days, he and a groom or two, through desolate steppes and mountain wildernesses, through crowded dangerous cities;-“came by Vienna and by Cassel, then through Pommern;” leaving his “royal train of two thousand persons” to follow at its leisure.  He, for his part, has ridden without pause, forward, ever forward, in darkest incognito, the indefatigable man;-and finally, on Old-Hallowmas Eve (22d-11th November, 1714), far in the night, a Horseman, with two others still following him, travel-splashed, and white with snow, drew bridle at the gate of Stralsund; and, to the surprise of the Swedish sentinel there, demanded instant admission to the Governor.  The Governor, at first a little surly of humor, saw gradually how it was; sprang out of bed, and embraced the knees of the snowy man; Stralsund in general sprang out of bed, and illuminated itself, that same Hallow-Eve :-and in brief, Charles XII., after five years of eclipse, has reappeared upon the stage of things; and menaces the world, in his old fashion, from that City.  From which it becomes urgent to many parties, and at last to Friedrich Wilhelm himself, that he be dislodged.

The root of this Stralsund story belongs to the former reign, as did the grand apparition of Charles XII. on the theatre of European History, and the terror and astonishment he created there.  He is now thirty-three years old; and only the winding up, both of him and of the Stralsund story, falls within our present field.  Fifteen years ago, it was like the bursting of a cataract of bomb-shells in a dull ball-room, the sudden appearance of this young fighting Swede among the luxurious Kings and Kinglets of the North, all lounging about and languidly minuetting in that manner, regardless of expense!  Friedrich IV. of Denmark rejoicing over red wine; August the Strong gradually producing his “three hundred and fifty-four bastards;” [Mémoires de Bareith (Wilhelmina’s Book, Londres, 1812), .] these and other neighbors had confidently stept in, on various pretexts; thinking to help themselves from the young man’s properties, who was still a minor; when the young minor suddenly developed himself as a major and maximus, and turned out to be such a Fire-King among them!

In consequence of which there had been no end of Northern troubles; and all through the Louis-Fourteenth or Marlborough grand “Succession War,” a special “Northern War” had burnt or smouldered on its own score; Swedes VERSUS Saxons, Russians and Danes, bickering in weary intricate contest, and keeping those Northern regions in smoke if not on fire.  Charles XII., for the last five years (ever since Pultawa, and the summer of 1709), had lain obstinately dormant in Turkey; urging the Turks to destroy Czar Peter.  Which they absolutely could not, though they now and then tried; and Viziers not a few lost their heads in consequence.  Charles lay sullenly dormant; Danes meanwhile operating upon his Holstein interests and adjoining territories; Saxons, Russians, battering continually at Swedish Pommern, continually marching thither, and then marching home again, without success,-always through the Brandenburg Territory, as they needs must.  Which latter circumstance Friedrich Wilhelm, while yet only Crown-Prince, had seen with natural displeasure, could that have helped it.  But Charles XII. would not yield a whit; sent orders peremptorily, from his bed at Bender or Demotica, that there must be no surrender.  Neither could the sluggish enemy compel surrender.

So that, at length, it had grown a feeble wearisome welter of inextricable strifes, with worn-out combatants, exhausted of all but their animosity; and seemed as if it would never end.  Inveterate ineffective war; ruinous to all good interests in those parts.  What miseries had Holstein from it, which last to our own day!  Mecklenburg also it involved in sore troubles, which lasted long enough, as we shall see.  But Brandenburg, above all, may be impatient; Brandenburg, which has no business with it except that of unlucky neighborhood.  One of Friedrich Wilhelm’s very first operations, as King, was to end this ugly state of matters, which he had witnessed with impatience, as Prince, for a long while.

He had hailed even the Treaty of Utrecht with welcome, in hopes it might at least end these Northern brabbles.  This the Treaty of Utrecht tried to do, but could not :  however, it gave him back his Prussian Fighting Men; which he has already increased by six regiments, raised, we may perceive, on the ruins of his late court-flunkies and dismissed goldsticks;-with these Friedrich Wilhelm will try to end it himself.  These he at once ordered to form a Camp on his frontier, close to that theatre of contest; and signified now with emphasis, in the beginning of 1713, that he decidedly wished there were peace in those Pommern regions.  Negotiations in consequence; [10th June, 1713 :  Buchholz, .] very wide negotiations, Louis XIV. and the Kaiser lending hand, to pacify these fighting Northern Kings and their Czar :  at length the Holstein Government, representing their sworn ally, Charles XII., on the occasion, made an offer which seemed promising.  They proposed that, Stettin and its dependencies, the strong frontier Town, and, as it were, key of Swedish Pommern, should be evacuated by the Swedes, and be garrisoned by neutral troops, Prussians and Holsteiners in equal number; which neutral troops shall prohibit any hostile attack of Pommern from without, Sweden engaging not to make any attack through Pommern from within.  That will be as good as peace in Pommern, till we get a general Swedish Peace.  With which Friedrich Wilhelm gladly complies. [22d June, 1713 :  Buchholz, .]

Unhappily, however, the Swedish Commandant in Stettin would not give up the place, on any representative or secondary authority; not without an express order in his King’s own hand.  Which, as his King was far away, in abstruse Turkish circumstances and localities, could not be had at the moment; and involved new difficulties and uncertainties, new delay which might itself be fatal.  The end was, the Russians and Saxons had to cannonade the man out by regular siege :  they then gave up the Town to Prussia and Holstein; but required first to be paid their expenses incurred in sieging it,-400,000 thalers, as they computed and demonstrated, or some where about 60,000 pounds of our money.

Friedrich Wilhelm paid the money (Holstein not having a groschen); took possession of the Town, and dependent towns and forts; intending well to keep them till repaid.  This was in October, 1713; and ever since, there has been actual tranquillity in those parts :  the embers of the Northern War may still burn or smoulder elsewhere, but here they are quite extinct.  At first, it was a joint possession of Stettin, Holsteiners and Prussians in equal number; and if Friedrich Wilhelm had been sure of his money, so it would have continued.  But the Holsteiners had paid nothing; Charles XII’s sanction never could be expressly got, and the Holsteiners were mere dependents of his.  Better to increase our Prussian force, by degrees; and, in some good way, with a minimum of violence, get the Holsteiners squeezed out of Stettin :  Friedrich Wilhelm has so ordered and contrived.  The Prussian force having now gradually increased to double in this important garrison, the Holsteiners are quietly disarmed, one night, and ordered to depart, under penalties;-which was done.  Holding such a pawn-ticket as Stettin, buttoned in our own pocket, we count now on being paid our 60,000 pounds before parting with it.

Matters turned out as Friedrich Wilhelm had dreaded they might.  Here is Charles XII. come back; inflexible as cold Swedish iron; will not hear of any Treaty dealing with his properties in that manner :  Is he a bankrupt, then, that you will sell his towns by auction?  Charles does not, at heart, believe that Friedrich Wilhelm ever really paid the 60,000 pounds Charles demands, for his own part, to have, his own Swedish Town of Stettin restored to him; and has not the least intention, or indeed ability, to pay money.  Vain to answer :  “Stettin, for the present, is not a Swedish Town; it is a Prussian Pawn-ticket!”-There was much negotiation, correspondence; Louis XIV. and the Kaiser stepping in again to produce settlement.  To no purpose.  Louis, gallant old Bankrupt, tried hard to take Charles’s part with effect.  But he had, himself, no money now; could only try finessing by ambassadors, try a little menacing by them; neither of which profited.  Friedrich Wilhelm, wanting only peace on his borders, after fifteen years of extraneous uproar there, has paid 60,000 pounds in hard cash to have it :  repay him that sum, with promise of peace on his borders, he will then quit Stettin; till then not.  Big words from a French Ambassador in big wig, will not suffice :  “Bullying goes for nothing (Bange machen gilt nicht),”-the thing covenanted for will need to be done!  Poor Louis the Great, whom we now call “BANKRUPT-Great,” died while these affairs were pending; while Charles, his ally, was arguing and battling against all the world, with only a grandiloquent Ambassador to help him from Louis. "J’ai trop aime la guerre," said Louis at his death, addressing a new small Louis (five years old), his great-grandson and successor :  “I have been too fond of war; do not imitate me in that, ne m’imitez pas en cela." [1st September, 1715.] Which counsel also, as we shall see, was considerably lost in air.

Friedrich Wilhelm had a true personal regard for Charles XII., a man made in many respects after his own heart; and would fain have persuaded him into softer behavior.  But it was to no purpose.  Charles would not listen to reasons of policy; or believe that his estate was bankrupt, or that his towns could be put in pawn.  Danes, Saxons, Russians, even George I. of England (George-having just bought, of the Danish King, who had got hold of it, a great Hanover bargain, Bremen and Verden, on cheap terms, from the quasi-bankrupt estate of poor Charles),-have to combine against him, and see to put him down.  Among whom Prussia, at length actually attacked by Charles in the Stettin regions, has reluctantly to take the lead in that repressive movement.  On the 28th of April, 1715, Friedrich Wilhelm declares war against Charles; is already on march, with a great force, towards Stettin, to coerce and repress said Charles.  No help for it, so sore as it goes against us :  “Why will the very King whom I most respect compel me to be his enemy?” said Friedrich Wilhelm. [_ OEuvres de Frederic (Histoire de Brandebourg),_ ; Buchholz, .]

One of Friedrich Wilhelm’s originalities is his farewell Order and Instruction, to his three chief Ministers, on this occasion.  Ilgen, Dohna, Prinzen, tacit dusky figures, whom we meet in Prussian Books, and never gain the least idea of, except as of grim, rather cunning, most reserved antiquarlan gentlemen,-a kind of human iron-safes, solemnly filled (under triple and quadruple patent-locks) with what, alas, has now all grown waste-paper, dust and cobweb, to us :-these three reserved cunning Gentlemen are to keep a thrice-watchful eye on all subordinate boards and persons, and see well that nobody nod or do amiss.  Brief weekly report to his Majesty will be expected; staffettes, should cases of hot haste occur :  any questions of yours are “to be put on a sheet of paper folded down, to which I can write marginalia :”  if nothing particular is passing, “NIT SCHREIBEN, you don’t write.”  Pay out no money, except what falls due by the Books; none;-if an extraordinary case for payment arise, consult my Wife, and she must sign her order for it.  Generally in matters of any moment, consult my Wife; but her only, “except her and the Privy Councillors, no mortal is to poke into my affairs :”  I say no mortal, “SONST KEIN MENSCH.”

“My Wife shall be told of all things,” he says elsewhere, “and counsel asked of her.”  The rugged Paterfamilias, but the human one!  “And as I am a man,” continues he, “and may be shot dead, I command you and all to take care of Fritz (FUR FRITZ ZU SORGEN), as God shall reward you.  And I give you all, Wife to begin with, my curse (MEINEN PLUCH), that God may punish you in Time and Eternity, if you do not, after my death,-do what, O Heavens?-bury me in the vault of the Schlosskirche,” Palace-Church at Berlin!  “And you shall make no grand to-do (KEIN FESTIN) on the occasion.  On your body and life, no festivals and cérémonials, except that the regiments one after the other fire a volley over me.”  Is not this an ursine man-of-genius, in some sort, as we once defined him?  He adds suddenly, and concludes :  “I am assured you will manage everything with all the exactness in the world; for which I shall ever zealously, as long as I live, be your friend.” [26th April, 1715 :  Cosmars und Klaproths Staatsrath, (in Stenzel, ii].  Russians, Saxons affected to intend joining Friedrich Wilhelm in his Pommern Expedition; and of the latter there did, under a so-called Field-Marshal von Wackerbarth, of high plumes and titles, some four thousand-of whom only Colonel von Seckendorf, commanding one of the horse-regiments, is remarkable to us-come and serve.  The rest, and all the Russians, he was as well pleased to have at a distance.  Some sixteen thousand Danes joined him, too, with the King of Denmark at their head; very furious, all, against the Swedish-iron Hero; but they were remarked to do almost no real service, except at sea a little against the Swedish ships.  George I. also had a fleet in the Baltic; but only “to protect English commerce.”  On the whole, the Siege of Stralsund, to which the Campaign pretty soon reduced itself, was done mainly by Friedrich Wilhelm.  He stayed two months in Stettin, getting all his preliminaries completed; his good Queen, Wife “Feekin,” was with him for some time, I know not whether now or afterwards.  In the end of June, he issued from Stettin; took the interjacent outpost places; and then opened ground before Stralsund, where, in a few days more, the Danes joined him.  It was now the middle of July :  a combined Army of well-nigh forty thousand against Charles; who, to man his works, musters about the fourth part of that number. [Pauli, vii-101; Buchholz, -39; Forster, i-39; Stenzel, ii-218.]

Stralsund, with its outer lines and inner, with its marshes, ditches, ramparts and abundant cannon to them, and leaning, one side of it, on the deep sea, which Swedish ships command as yet, is very strong.  Wallenstein, we know, once tried it with furious assault, with bombardment, sap and storm; swore he would have it, “though it hung by a chain from Heaven;” but could not get it, after all his volcanic raging; and was driven away, partly by the Swedes and armed Townsfolk, chiefly by the marsh-fevers and continuous rains.  Stralsund has been taken, since that, by Prussian sieging; as old men, from the Great Elector’s time, still remember. [l0th-15th October, 1678 (Pauli, , 205).] To Louis Fourteenth’s menacing Ambassador, Friedrich Wilhelm seems to intimate that indeed big bullying words will not take it, but that Prussian guns and men, on a just ground, still may.

The details of this Siege of Stralsund are all on record, and had once a certain fame in the world; but, except as a distant echo, must not concern us here.  It lasted till midwinter, under continual fierce counter-movements and desperate sallies from the Swedish Lion, standing at bay there against all the world.  But Friedrich Wilhelm was vigilance itself; and he had his Anhalt-Dessaus with him, his Borcks, Buddenbrocks, Finkensteins, veteran men and captains, who had learned their art under Marlborough and Eugene.  The Lion King’s fierce sallies, and desperate valor, could not avail.  Point after point was lost for him.  Koppen, a Prussian Lieutenant-Colonel, native to the place, who has bathed in those waters in his youth, remembers that, by wading to the chin, you could get round the extremity of Charles’s main outer line.  Koppen states his project, gets it approved of;-wades accordingly, with a select party, under cloud of night (4th of November, eve of Gunpowder-day, a most cold-hot job); other ranked Prussian battalions awaiting intently outside, with shouldered firelock, invisible in the dark; what will become of him.  Koppen wades successfully; seizes the first battery of said line,-masters said line with its batteries, the outside battalions and he.  Irrepressibly, with horrible uproar from without and from within; the flying Swedes scarcely getting up the Town drawbridge, as he chased them.  That important line is lost to Charles.

Next they took the Isle of Rügen from him, which shuts up the harbor.  Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau, our rugged friend, in Danish boats, which were but ill navigated, contrives, about a week after that Koppen feat, to effect a landing-on Rügen at nightfall; beats off the weak Swedish party;-entrenches, palisades himself to the teeth, and lies down under arms.  That latter was a wise precaution.  For, about four in the morning, Charles comes in person, with eight pieces of cannon and four thousand horse and foot :  Charles is struck with amazement at the palisade and ditch ("MEIN GOTT, who would have expected this!” he was heard murmuring); dashes, like a fire-flood, against ditch and palisade; tears at the pales himself, which prove impregnable to his cannon and him.  He storms and rages forward, again and again, now here, now there; but is met everywhere by steady deadly musketry; and has to retire, fruitless, about daybreak, himself wounded, and leaving his eight cannons, and four hundred slain.

Poor Charles, there had been no sleep for him that night, and little for very many nights :  “on getting to horse, on the shore at Stralsund, he fainted repeatedly; fell out of one faint into another; but such was his rage, he always recovered himself, and got on horseback again.” [Buchholz, .] Poor Charles :  a bit of right royal Swedish-German stuff, after his kind; and tragically ill bested now at last!  This is his exit he is now making,-still in a consistent manner.  It is fifteen years now since he waded ashore at Copenhagen, and first heard the bullets whistle round him.  Since which time, what a course has he run; crashing athwart all manner of ranked armies, diplomatic combinations, right onward, like a cannon-ball; tearing off many solemn wigs in those Northern parts, and scattering them upon the winds,-even as he did his own full-bottom wig, impatiently, on that first day at Copenhagen, tiding it unfurthersome for actual business in battle. [Kohler, Munzbelustigungen, xi.]

In about a month hence, the last important hornwork is forced; Charles, himself seen fiercely fighting on the place, is swept back from his last hornwork; and the general storm, now altogether irresistible, is evidently at hand.  On entreaty from his followers, entreaty often renewed, with tears even (it is said) and on bended knees, Charles at last consents to go.  He left no orders for surrender; would not name the word; “left only ambiguous vague orders.”  But on the 19th December, 1715, he does actually depart; gets on board a little boat, towards a Swedish frigate, which is lying above a mile out; the whole road to which, between Rügen and the mainland, is now solid ice, and has to be cut as he proceeds.  This slow operation, which lasted all day, was visible, and its meaning well known, in the besiegers’ lines.  The King of Denmark saw it; and brought a battery to bear upon it; his thought had always been, that Charles should be captured or killed in Stralsund, and not allowed to get away.  Friedrich Wilhelm was of quite another mind, and had even used secret influences to that effect; eager that Charles should escape.  It is said, he remonstrated very passionately with the Danish King and this battery of his; nay, some add, since remonstrances did not avail, and the battery still threatened to fire, Friedrich Wilhelm drew up a Prussian regiment or two at the muzzles of it, and said, You shall shoot us first, then. [Buchholz, .] Which is a pleasant myth at least; and symbolical of what the reality was.

Charles reached his frigate about nightfall, but made little way from the place, owing to defect of wind.  They say, he even heard the chamade beating in Stralsund next day, and that a Danish frigate had nearly taken him; both which statements are perhaps also a little mythical.  Certain only that he vanished at this point into Scandinavia; and general Europe never saw him more.  Vanished into a cloud of untenable schemes, guided by Alberoni, Baron Gortz and others; wild schemes, financial, diplomatic, warlike, nothing not chimerical in them but his own unquenchable real energy;-and found his death (by assassination, as appears) in the trenches of Frederickshall, among the Norway Hills, one winter night, three years hence.  Assassination instigated by the Swedish Official Persons, it is thought.  The bullet passed through both his temples; he had clapt his hand upon the hilt of his sword, and was found leant against the parapet, in that attitude,-gone upon a long march now.  So vanished Charles Twelfth; the distressed Official Persons and Nobility exploding upon him in that rather damnable way,-anxious to slip their muzzles at any cost whatever.  A man of antique character; true as a child, simple, even bashful, and of a strength and valor rarely exampled among men.  Open-hearted Antique populations would have much worshipped such an Appearance;-Voltaire, too, for the artificial Moderns, has made a myth of him, of another type; one of those impossible cast-iron gentlemen, heroically mad, such as they show in the Playhouses, pleasant but not profitable, to an undiscerning Pub1ic. The last of the Swedish Kings died in this way; and the unmuzzled Official Persons have not made much of kinging it in his stead.  Charles died; and, as we may say, took the life of Sweden along with him; for it has never shone among the Nations since, or been much worth mentioning, except for its misfortunes, spasmodic impotences and unwisdoms.

Stralsund instantly beat the chamade, as we heard; and all was surrender and subjection in those regions.  Surrender; not yet pacification, not while Charles lived; nor for half a century after his death, could Mecklenburg, Holstein-Gottorp, and other his confederates, escape a sad coil of calamities bequeathed by him to them.  Friedrich Wilhelm returned to Berlin, victorious from his first, which was also his last Prussian War, in January, 1716; and was doubtless a happy man, NOT “to be buried in the Schlosskirche (under penalty of God’s curse),” but to find his little Fritz and Feekin, and all the world, merry to see him, and all things put square again, abroad as at home.  He forbade the “triumphal entry” which Berlin was preparing for him; entered privately; and ordered a thanksgiving sermon in all the churches next Sunday.


In the King’s absence nothing particular had occurred,-except indeed the walking of a dreadful Spectre, three nights over, in the corridors of the Palace at Berlin; past the doors where our little Prince and Wilhelmina slept :  bringing with it not airs from Heaven, we may fear, but blasts from the Other place!  The stalwart sentries shook in their paces, and became “half-dead” from terror.  “A horrible noise, one night,” says Wilhelmina, “when all were buried in sleep :  all the world started up, thinking it was fire; but they were much surprised to find that it was a Spectre.  Evident Spectre, seen to pass this way, and glide along that gallery, as if towards the apartments of the Queens Ladies.  Captain of the Guard could find nothing in that gallery, or anywhere, and withdrew again :-but lo, it returns the way it went!  Stalwart sentries were found melted into actual delirium of swooning, as the Preternatural swept by this second time.  “They said, It was the Devil in person; raised by Swedish wizards to kill the Prince-Royal.” [Wilhelmina, Mémoires de Bareith, .]l Poor Prince-Royal; sleeping sound, we hope; little more than three years old at this time, and knowing nothing of it!-All Berlin talked of the affair.  People dreaded it might be a “Spectre” of Swedish tendencies; aiming to burn the Palace, spirit off the Royal Children, and do one knew not what?

Not that at all, by any means!  The Captain of the Guard, reinforcing himself to defiance even of the Preternatural, does, on the third or fourth apparition, clutch the Spectre; finds him to be-a prowling Scullion of the Palace, employed here he will not say how; who is straightway locked in prison, and so exorcised at least.  Exorcism is perfect; but Berlin is left guessing as to the rest,-secret of it discoverable only by the Queen’s Majesty and some few most interior parties.  To the following effect.

Spectre-Scullion, it turns out, had been employed by Grumkow, as spy upon one of the Queen’s Maids of Honor,-suspected by him to be a No-maid of Dishonor, and of ill intentions too,-who lodges in that part of the Palace :  of whom Herr Grumkow wishes intensely to know, “Has she an intrigue with Creutz the new Finance-Minister, or has she not?” “Has, beyond doubt!” the Spectre-Scullion hopes he has discovered, before exorcism.  Upon which Grumkow, essentially illuminated as to the required particular, manages to get the Spectre-Scullion loose again, not quite hanged; glozing the matter off to his Majesty on his return :  for the rest, ruins entirely the Creutz speculation; and has the No-maid called of Honor-with whom Creutz thought to have seduced the young King also, and made the young King amenable-dismissed from Court in a peremptory irrefragable manner.  This is the secret of the Spectre-Scullion, fully revealed by Wilhelmina many years after.

This one short glance into the Satan’s Invisible-World of the Berlin Palace, we could not but afford the reader, when an actual Goblin of it happened to be walking in our neighborhood.  Such an Invisible-World of Satan exists in most human Houses, and in all human Palaces;-with its imps, familiar demons, spies, go-betweens, and industrious bad-angels, continually mounting and descending by THEIR Jacob’s-Ladder, or Palace Backstairs :  operated upon by Conjurers of the Grumkow-Creutz or other sorts.  Tyrannous Mamsell Leti, [Leti, Governess to Wilhelmina, but soon dismissed for insolent cruelty and other bad conduct, was daughter of that Gregorio Leti ("Protestant Italian Refugee,” “Historiographer of Amsterdam,” &c. &c.), who once had a pension in this country; and who wrote History-Books, a Life of Cromwell one of them, so regardless of the difference between true and false.] treacherous Mamsell Ramen, valet-surgeon Eversmann, and plenty more :  readers of Wilhelmina’s Book are too well acquainted with them.  Nor are expert Conjurers wanting; capable to work strange feats with so plastic an element as Friedrich Wilhelm’s mind.  Let this one short glimpse of such Subterranean World be sufficient indication to the reader’s fancy.

Creutz was not dismissed, as some people had expected he might be.  Creutz continues Finance-Minister; makes a great figure in the fashionable Berlin world in these coming years, and is much talked of in the old Books,-though, as he works mostly underground, and merely does budgets and finance-matters with extreme talent and success, we shall hope to hear almost nothing more of him.  Majesty, while Crown-Prince, when he first got his regiment from Papa, had found this Creutz “Auditor” in it; a poor but handsome fellow, with perhaps seven shillings a week to live upon; but with such a talent for arranging, for reckoning and recording, in brief for controlling finance, as more and more charmed the royal mind. [Mauvillon ("Elder Mauvillon,” ANONYMOUS), Histoire de Frederic Guillaume I., par M. de M-(Amsterdam et Leipzig, 1741), .  A vague flimsy compilation;-gives abundant “State-Papers” (to such as want them), and echoes of old Newspaper rumor.  Very copious on Creutz.]

One of Majesty’s first acts was to appoint him Finance-Minister; [4th May, 1713 :  Preuss, . n.] and there he continued steady, not to be overset by little flaws of wind like this of the Spectre-Scullion’s raising.  It is certain he did, himself, become rich; and helped well to make his Majesty so.  We are to fancy him his Majesty’s bottle-holder in that battle with the Finance Nightmares and Imbroglios, when so much had to be subjugated, and drilled into step, in that department.  Evidently a long-headed cunning fellow, much of the Grumkow type;-standing very low in Wilhelmina’s judgment; and ill-seen, when not avoidable altogether, by the Queen’s Majesty.  “The man was a poor Country Bailiff’s (AMTMANN’S, kind of Tax-manager’s) son :  from Auditor of a regiment,” Papa’s own regiment, “he had risen to be Director of Finance, and a Minister of State.  His soul was as low as his birth; it was an assemblage of all the vices,” [Wilhelmina, .] says Wilhelmina, in the language of exaggeration.-Let him stand by his budgets; keep well out of Wilhelmina’s and the Queen’s way;-and very especially beware of coming on Grumkow’s field again.