Read Chapter VIII. - DEATH OF FRIEDRICH WILHELM. of History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia (Vol. X.) (At Reinsberg-1736-1740), free online book, by Thomas Carlyle, on

At Wusterhausen, this Autumn, there is game as usual, but little or no hunting for the King.  He has to sit drearily within doors, for most part; listening to the rustle of falling leaves, to dim Winter coming with its rains and winds.  Field-sports are a rumor from without:  for him now no joyous sow-baiting, deer-chasing;-that, like other things, is past.

In the beginning of November, he came to Berlin; was worse there, and again was better;-strove to do the Carnival, as had been customary; but, in a languid, lamed manner.  One night he looked in upon an evening-party which General Schulenburg was giving:  he returned home, chilled, shivering, could not, all night, be brought to heat again.  It was the last evening-party Friedrich Wilhelm ever went to. [Pollnitz (i; who gives no date.] Lieutenant-General Schulenburg:  the same who doomed young Friedrich to death, as President of the Court-Martial; and then wrote the Three Letters about him which we once looked into:  illuminates himself in this manner in Berlin society,-Carnival season, 1740, weather fiercely cold.  Maypole Schulenburg the lean Aunt, Ex-Mistress of George I., over in London,-I think she must now be dead?  Or if not dead, why not!  Memory, for the tenth time, fails me, of the humanly unmemorable, whom perhaps even flunkies should forget; and I will try it no more.  The stalwart Lieutenant-General will reappear on us once, twice at the utmost, and never again.  He gave the last evening-party Friedrich Wilhelm ever went to.

Poor Friedrich Wilhelm is in truth very ill; tosses about all day, in and out of bed,-bed and wheeled-chair drearily alternating; suffers much;-and again, in Diplomatic circles, the rumors are rife and sinister.  Ever from this chill at Schulenburg’s the medicines did him no good, says Pollnitz:  if he rallied, it was the effect of Nature, and only temporary.  He does daily, with punctuality, his Official business; perhaps the best two hours he has of the four-and-twenty, for the time hangs heavy on him.  His old Generals sit round his bed, talking, smoking, as it was five years ago; his Feekin and his Children much about him, out and in:  the heavy-laden, weary hours roll round as they can.  In general there is a kind of constant Tabaks-Collegium, old Flans, Camas, Hacke, Pollnitz, Derschau, and the rest by turns always there; the royal Patient cannot be left alone, without faces he likes:  other Generals, estimable in their way, have a physiognomy displeasing to the sick man; and will smart for it if they enter,-“At sight of HIM every pain grows painfuler!”-the poor King being of poetic temperament, as we often say.  Friends are encouraged to smoke, especially to keep up a stream of talk; if at any time he fall into a doze and they cease talking, the silence will awaken him.

He is worst off in the night; sleep very bad:  and among his sore bodily pains, ennui falls very heavy to a mind so restless.  He can paint, he can whittle, chisel:  at last they even mount him a table, in his bed, with joiner’s tools, mallets, glue-pots, where he makes small carpentry,-the talk to go on the while;-often at night is the sound of his mallet audible in the Palace Esplanade; and Berlin townsfolk pause to listen, with many thoughts of a sympathetic or at least inarticulate character:  “HM, WEH, IHRO MAJESTAT:  ACH GOTT, pale Death knocks with impartial foot at the huts of poor men and the Palaces of Kings!” [Pollnitz, i.] Reverend Herr Roloff, whom they call Provost (PROBST, Chief Clergyman) Roloff, a pious honest man and preacher, he, I could guess, has already been giving spiritual counsel now and then; later interviews with Roloff are expressly on record:  for it is the King’s private thought, ever and anon borne in upon him, that death itself is in this business.

Queen and Children, mostly hoping hitherto, though fearing too, live in much anxiety and agitation.  The Crown-Prince is often over from Reinsberg; must not come too often, nor even inquire too much:  his affectionate solicitude might be mistaken for solicitude of another kind!  It is certain he is in no haste to be King; to quit the haunts of the Muses, and embark on Kingship.  Certain, too, he loves his Father; shudders at the thought of losing HIM.  And yet again there will gleams intrude of a contrary thought; which the filial heart disowns, with a kind of horror, “Down, thou impious thought!”-We perceive he manages in general to push the crisis away from him; to believe that real danger is still distant.  His demeanor, so far as we can gather from his Letters or other evidence, is amiable, prudent, natural; altogether that of a human Son in those difficult circumstances.  Poor Papa is heavy-laden:  let us help to bear his burdens;-let us hope the crisis is still far off!-

Once, on a favorable evening, probably about the beginning of April, when he felt as if improving, Friedrich Wilhelm resolved to dress, and hold Tobacco-Parliament again in a formal manner, Let us look in there, through the eyes of Pollnitz, who was of it, upon the last Tobacco-Parliament:-

“A numerous party; Schwerin, Hacke, Derschau, all the chiefs and commandants of the Berlin Garrison are there; the old circle full; social human speech once more, and pipes alight; pleasant to the King.  He does not himself smoke on this occasion; but he is unusually lively in talk; much enjoys the returning glimpse of old days; and the Tobacco circle was proceeding through its phases, successful beyond common.  All at once the Crown-Prince steps in; direct from Reinsberg:  [12th April, 1740? (OEuvres, xxvii. part lst, ; Pollnitz is dateless] an unexpected pleasure.  At sight of whom the Tobacco circle, taken on the sudden, simultaneously started up, and made him a bow.  Rule is, in Tobacco-Parliament you do not rise-for anybody; and they have risen.  Which struck the sick heart in a strange painful way.  ’Hm, the Rising Sun?’ thinks he; ’Rules broken through, for the Rising Sun.  But I am not dead yet, as you shall know!’ ringing for his servants in great wrath; and had himself rolled out, regardless of protestations and excuses.  ‘Hither, you Hacke!’ said he.

“Hacke followed; but it was only to return on the instant, with the King’s order, ’That you instantly quit the Palace, all of you, and don’t come back!’ Solemn respectful message to his Majesty was of no effect, or of less; they had to go, on those terms; and Pollnitz, making for his Majesty’s apartment next morning as usual, was twitched by a Gens-d’arme, ‘No admittance!’ And it was days before the matter would come round again, under earnest protestations from the one side, and truculent rebukes from the other.” [Pollnitz (abridged), i.] Figure the Crown-Prince, figure the poor sick Majesty; and what a time in those localities!

With the bright spring weather he seemed to revive; towards the end of April he resolved for Potsdam, everybody thinking him much better, and the outer Public reckoning the crisis of the illness over.  He himself knew other.  It was on the 27th of the month that he went; he said, “Fare thee well, then, Berlin; I am to die in Potsdam, then (ICH WERDE IN POTSDAM STERBEN)!” The May-flowers came late; the weather was changeful, ungenial for the sick man:  this winter of 1740 had been the coldest on record; it extended itself into the very summer; and brought great distress of every kind;-of which some oral rumor still survives in all countries.  Friedrich Wilhelm heard complaints of scarcity among the people; admonitions to open his Corn-granaries (such as he always has in store against that kind of accident); but he still hesitated and refused; unable to look into it himself, and fearing deceptions.

For the rest, he is struggling between death and life; in general persuaded that the end is fast hastening on.  He sends for Chief Preacher Roloff out to Potsdam; has some notable dialogues with Roloff, and with two other Potsdam Clergymen, of which there is record still left us.  In these, as in all his demeanor at this supreme time, we see the big rugged block of manhood come out very vividly; strong in his simplicity, in his veracity.  Friedrich Wilhelm’s wish is to know from Roloff what the chances are for him in the other world,-which is not less certain than Potsdam and the giant grenadiers to Friedrich Wilhelm; and where, he perceives, never half so clearly before, he shall actually peel off his Kinghood, and stand before God Almighty, no better than a naked beggar.  Roloff’s prognostics are not so encouraging as the King had hoped.  Surely this King “never took or coveted what was not his; kept true to his marriage-vow, in spite of horrible examples everywhere; believed the Bible, honored the Preachers, went diligently to Church, and tried to do what he understood God’s commandments were?” To all which Roloff, a courageous pious man, answers with discreet words and shakings of the head, “Did I behave ill, then; did I ever do injustice?” Roloff mentions Baron Schlubhut the defalcating Amtmann, hanged at Konigsberg without even a trial.  “He had no trial; but was there any doubt he had justice?  A public thief, confessing he had stolen the taxes he was set to gather; insolently offering, as if that were all, to repay the money, and saying, It was not MANIER (good manners) to hang a nobleman!” Roloff shakes his head, Too violent, your Majesty, and savoring of the tyrannous.  The poor King must repent.

“Well,-is there anything more?  Out with it, then; better now than too late!”-Much oppression, forcing men to build in Berlin.-“Oppression? was it not their benefit, as well as Berlin’s and the Country’s?  I had no interest in it other.  Derschau, you who managed it?” and his Majesty turned to Derschau.  For all the smoking generals and company are still here; nor will his Majesty consent to dismiss them from the presence and be alone with Roloff:  “What is there to conceal?  They are people of honor, and my friends.”  Derschau, whose feats in the building way are not unknown even to us, answers with a hard face, It was all right and orderly; nothing out of square in his building operations.  To which Roloff shakes his head:  “A thing of public notoriety, Herr General.”-“I will prove everything before a Court,” answers the Herr General with still harder face; Roloff still austerely shaking his head.  Hm!-And then there is forgiveness of enemies; your Majesty is bound to forgive all men, or how can you ask to be forgiven?  “Well, I will, I do; you Feekin, write to your Brother (unforgivablest of beings), after I am dead, that I forgave him, died in peace with him.”-Better her Majesty should write at once, suggests Roloff.-“No, after I am dead,” persists the Son of Nature,-that will be safer! [Wrote accordingly, “not able to finish without many tears;” honest sensible Letter (though indifferently spelt), “Berlin, 1st June, 1740;”-lies now in State-Paper Office:  “ROYAL LETTERS, vol. xciv., Prussia, 1689-1777.”] An unwedgeable and gnarled big block of manhood and simplicity and sincerity; such as we rarely get sight of among the modern sons of Adam, among the crowned sons nearly never.  At parting he said to Roloff, “You (ER, He) do not spare me; it is right.  You do your duty like an honest Christian man.” [Notata ex ore Roloffi ("found among the Seckendorf Papers,” no date but “May 1740"), in Forster, i, 155; in a fragmentary state:  completed in Pollnitz, i-549.]

Roloff, I perceive, had several Dialogues with the King; and stayed in Potsdam some days for that object.  The above bit of jotting is from the Seckendorf Papers (probably picked up by Seckendorf Junior), and is dated only “May.”  Of the two Potsdam Preachers, one of whom is “Oesfeld, Chaplain of the Giant Grenadiers,” and the other is “Cochius, Calvinist Hofprediger,” each published on his own score some Notes of dialogue and circumstance; [Cochius the HOFPREDIGER’S (Calvinist Court-Chaplain’s) ACCOUNT of his Interviews (first of them “Friday, 27th May, 1740, about 9 P.M."); followed by ditto from Oesfeld (Chaplain of the Giants), who usually accompanied Cochius,-are in Seyfarth, Geschichte Friedrich des Grossen (Leipzig, 1783-1788), i. (Beylage) 24-40.  Seyfarth was Regiments-Auditor in Halle:  his Work, solid though stupid, consists nearly altogether of multifarious BEYLAGEN (Appendices) and NOTES; which are creditably accurate, and often curious; and, as usual, have no Index for an unfortunate reader.] which are to the same effect, so far as they concern us; and exhibit the same rugged Son of Nature, looking with all his eyesight into the near Eternity, and sinking in a human and not inhuman manner amid the floods of Time.  Wa, Wa, what great God is this, that pulls down the strength of the strongest Kings!-

The poor King’s state is very restless, fluctuates from day to day; he is impatient of bed; sleeps very ill; is up whenever possible; rolls about in his wheeled-chair, and even gets into the air:  at one time looking strong, as if there were still months in him, and anon sunk in fainting weakness, as if he had few minutes to live.  Friedrich at Reinsberg corresponds very secretly with Dr. Eller; has other friends at Potsdam whose secret news he very anxiously reads.  To the last he cannot bring himself to think it “serious.” [Letter to Eller, 25th May, 1740 (OEuvres ), xv.]

On Thursday, 26th of May, an express from Eller, or the Potsdam friends, arrives at Reinsberg:  He is to come quickly, if he would see his Father again alive!  The step may have danger, too; but Friedrich, a world of feelings urging him, is on the road next morning before the sun.  His journey may be fancied; the like of it falls to all men.  Arriving at last, turning hastily a corner of the Potsdam Schloss, Friedrich sees some gathering in the distance:  it is his Father in his ROLLWAGEN (wheeled-chair),-not dying; but out of doors, giving orders about founding a House, or seeing it done.  House for one Philips, a crabbed Englishman he has; whose tongue is none of the best, not even to Majesty itself, but whose merits as a Groom, of English and other Horses, are without parallel in those parts.  Without parallel, and deserve a House before we die.  Let us see it set agoing, this blessed Mayday!  Of Philips, who survived deep into Friedrich’s time, and uttered rough sayings (in mixed intelligible dialect) when put upon in his grooming, or otherwise disturbed, I could obtain no farther account:  the man did not care to be put in History (a very small service to a man); cared to have a house with trim fittings, and to do his grooming well, the fortunate Philips.

At sight of his Son, Friedrich Wilhelm threw out his arms; the Son kneeling sank upon his breast, and they embraced with tears.  My Father, my Father; My Son, my Son!  It was a scene to make all by-standers and even Philips weep.-Probably the emotion hurt the old King; he had to be taken in again straightway, his show of strength suddenly gone, and bed the only place for him.  This same Friday he dictated to one of his Ministers (Boden, who was in close attendance) the Instruction for his Funeral; a rude characteristic Piece, which perhaps the English reader knows.  Too long and rude for reprinting here. [Copy of it, in Seyfarth (ubi supra), -24.  Translated in Mauvillon (i-437); in &c. &c.]

He is to be buried in his uniform, the Potsdam Grenadiers his escort; with military decorum, three volleys fired (and take care they be well fired, “NICHT PLACKEREN"), so many cannon-salvos;-and no fuss or flaunting ceremony:  simplicity and decency is what the tenant of that oak coffin wants, as he always did when owner of wider dominions.  The coffin, which he has ready and beside him in the Palace this good while, is a stout piece of carpentry, with leather straps and other improvements; he views it from time to time; solaces his truculent imagination with the look of it:  “I shall sleep right well there,” he would say.  The image he has of his Burial, we perceive, is of perfect visuality, equal to what a Defoe could do in imagining.  All is seen, settled to the last minuteness:  the coffin is to be borne out by so and so, at such and such a door; this detachment is to fall-in here, that there, in the attitude of “cover arms” (musket inverted under left arm); and the band is to play, with all its blackamoors, O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden (O Head, all bleeding wounded); a Dirge his Majesty had liked, who knew music, and had a love for it, after his sort.  Good Son of Nature:  a dumb Poet, as I say always; most dumb, but real; the value of him great, and unknown in these babbling times.  It was on this same Friday night that Cochius was first sent for; Cochius, and Oesfeld with him, “about nine o’clock.”

For the next three days (Saturday to Monday) when his cough and many sufferings would permit him, Friedrich Wilhelm had long private dialogues with his Son; instructing him, as was evident, in the mysteries of State; in what knowledge, as to persons and to things, he reckoned might be usefulest to him.  What the lessons were, we know not; the way of taking them had given pleasure to the old man:  he was heard to say, perhaps more than once, when the Generals were called in, and the dialogue interrupted for a while:  “Am not I happy to have such a Son to leave behind me!” And the grimly sympathetic Generals testified assent; endeavored to talk a little, could at least smoke, and look friendly; till the King gathered strength for continuing his instructions to his Successor.  All else was as if settled with him; this had still remained to do.  This once done (finished, Monday night), why not abdicate altogether; and die disengaged, be it in a day or in a month, since that is now the one work left?  Friedrich Wilhelm does so purpose.

His state, now as all along, was fluctuating, uncertain, restless.  He was heard murmuring prayers; he would say sometimes, “Pray for me; BETET BETET.”  And more than once, in deep tone:  “Lord, enter not into judgment with Thy servant, for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified!” The wild Son of Nature, looking into Life and Death, into Judgment and Eternity, finds that these things are very great.  This too is a characteristic trait:  In a certain German Hymn (Why fret or murmur, then? the title of it), which they often sang to him, or along with him, as he much loved it, are these words, “Naked I came into the world, and naked shall I go,”-“No,” said he “always with vivacity,” at this passage; “not quite nakid, I shall have my uniform on:”  Let us be exact, since we are at it!  After which the singing proceeded again.  “The late Graf Alexander von Wartenberg”-Captain Wartenberg, whom we know, and whose opportunities-“was wont to relate this.” [Busching (in 1786), Beitrage, i.]

Tuesday, 31st May, “about one in the morning,” Cochius was again sent for.  He found the King in very pious mood, but in great distress, and afraid he might yet have much pain to suffer.  Cochius prayed with him; talked piously.  “I can remember nothing,” said the King; “I cannot pray, I have forgotten all my prayers.”-“Prayer is not in words, but in the thought of the heart,” said Cochius; and soothed the heavy-laden man as he could.  “Fare you well,” said Friedrich Wilhelm, at length; “most likely we shall not meet again in this world.”  Whereat Cochius burst into tears, and withdrew.  About four, the King was again out of bed; wished to see his youngest Boy, who had been ill of measles, but was doing well:  “Poor little Ferdinand, adieu, then, my little child!” This is the Father of that fine Louis Ferdinand, who was killed at Jena; concerning whom Berlin, in certain emancipated circles of it, still speaks with regret.  He, the Louis Ferdinand, had fine qualities; but went far a-roving, into radicalism, into romantic love, into champagne; and was cut down on the threshold of Jena, desperately fighting,-perhaps happily for him.

From little Ferdinand’s room Friedrich Wilhelm has himself rolled into Queen Sophie’s.  “Feekin, O my Feekin, thou must rise this day, and help me what thou canst.  This day I am going to die; thou wilt be with me this day!” The good Wife rises:  I know not that it was the first time she had been so called; but it did prove the last.  Friedrich Wilhelm has decided, as the first thing he will do, to abdicate; and all the Official persons and companions of the sick-room, Pollnitz among them, not long after sunrise, are called to see it done.  Pollnitz, huddling on his clothes, arrived about five:  in a corridor he sees the wheeled-chair and poor sick King; steps aside to let him pass:  “’It is over (DAS IST VOLLBRACHT),’ said the King, looking up to me as he passed:  he had on his nightcap, and a blue mantle thrown round him.”  He was wheeled into his anteroom; there let the company assemble; many of them are already there.

The royal stables are visible from this room:  Friedrich Wilhelm orders the horses to be ridden out:  you old Furst of Anhalt-Dessau my oldest friend, you Colonel Hacke faithfulest of Adjutant-Generals, take each of you a horse, the best you can pick out:  it is my last gift to you.  Dessau, in silence, with dumb-show of thanks, points to a horse, any horse:  “You have chosen the very worst,” said Friedrich Wilhelm:  “Take that other, I will warrant him a good one!” The grim old Dessauer thanks in silence; speechless grief is on that stern gunpowder face, and he seems even to be struggling with tears.  “Nay, nay, my friend,” Friedrich Wilhelm said, “this is a debt we have all to pay.”

The Official people, Queen, Friedrich, Minister Boden, Minister Podewils, and even Pollnitz, being now all present, Friedrich Wilhelm makes his Declaration, at considerable length; old General Bredow repeating it aloud, [Pollnitz, i.] sentence by sentence, the King’s own voice being too weak; so that all may hear:  “That he abdicates, gives up wholly, in favor of his good Son Friedrich; that foreign Ambassadors are to be informed; that you are all to be true and loyal to my Son as you were to me”-and what else is needful.  To which the judicious Podewils makes answer, “That there must first be a written Deed of his high Transaction executed, which shall be straightway set about; the Deed once executed, signed and sealed,-the high Royal will, in all points, takes effect.”  Alas, before Podewils has done speaking, the King is like falling into a faint; does faint, and is carried to bed:  too unlikely any Deed of Abdication will be needed.

Ups and downs there still were; sore fluctuating labor, as the poor King struggles to his final rest, this morning.  He was at the window again, when the WACHT-PARADE (Grenadiers on Guard) turned out; he saw them make their evolutions for the last time. [Pauli, vii.] After which, new relapse, new fluctuation.  It was about eleven o’clock, when Cochius was again sent for.  The King lay speechless, seemingly still conscious, in bed; Cochius prays with fervor, in a loud tone, that the dying King may hear and join.  “Not so loud!” says the King, rallying a little.  He had remembered that it was the season when his servants got their new liveries; they had been ordered to appear this day in full new costume:  “O vanity!  O vanity!” said Friedrich Wilhelm, at sight of the ornamented plush.  “Pray for me, pray for me; my trust is in the Saviour!” he often said.  His pains, his weakness are great; the cordage of a most tough heart rending itself piece by piece.  At one time, he called for a mirror:  that is certain:-rugged wild man, son of Nature to the last.  The mirror was brought; what he said at sight of his face is variously reported:  “Not so worn out as I thought,” is Pollnitz’s account, and the likeliest;-though perhaps he said several things, “ugly face,” “as good as dead already;” and continued the inspection for some moments. [Pollnitz, i; Wilhelmina, i.] A grim, strange thing.

“Feel mv pulse, Pitsch,” said he, noticing the Surgeon of his Giants:  “tell me how long this will last.”-“Alas, not long,” answered Pitsch.-“Say not, alas; but how do you (He) know?”-“The pulse is gone!”-“Impossible,” said he, lifting his arm:  “how could I move my fingers so, if the pulse were gone?” Pitsch looked mournfully steadfast.  “Herr Jesu, to thee I live; Herr Jesu, to thee I die; in life and in death thou art my gain (DU BIST MEIN GEWINN).”  These were the last words Friedrich Wilhelm spoke in this world.  He again fell into a faint.  Eller gave a signal to the Crown-Prince to take the Queen away.  Scarcely were they out of the room, when the faint had deepened into death; and Friedrich Wilhelm, at rest from all his labors, slept with the primeval sons of Thor.

No Baresark of them, nor Odin’s self, I think, was a bit of truer human stuff;-I confess his value to me, in these sad times, is rare and great.  Considering the usual Histrionic, Papin’s-Digester, Truculent-Charlatan and other species of “Kings,” alone attainable for the sunk flunky populations of an Era given up to Mammon and the worship of its own belly, what would not such a population give for a Friedrich Wilhelm, to guide it on the road BACK from Orcus a little?  “Would give,” I have written; but alas, it ought to have been “SHOULD give.”  What THEY “would” give is too mournfully plain to me, in spite of ballot-boxes:  a steady and tremendous truth from the days of Barabbas downwards and upwards!-Tuesday, 31st May, 1740, between one and two o’clock in the afternoon, Friedrich Wilhelm died; age fifty-two, coming 15th August next.  Same day, Friedrich his Son was proclaimed at Berlin; quilted heralds, with sound of trumpet and the like, doing what is customary on such occasions.

On Saturday, 4th June, the King’s body is laid out in state; all Potsdam at liberty to come and see.  He lies there, in his regimentals, in his oaken coffin, on a raised place in the middle of the room; decent mortuary draperies, lamps, garlands, banderols furnishing the room and him:  at his feet, on a black-velvet TABOURET (stool), are the chivalry emblems, helmet, gauntlets, spurs; and on similar stools, at the right hand and the left, lie his military insignia, hat and sash, sword, guidon, and what else is fit.  Around, in silence, sit nine veteran military dignitaries; Buddenbrock, Waldau, Derschau, Einsiedel, and five others whom we omit to name.  Silent they sit.  A grim earnest sight in the shine of the lamplight, as you pass out of the June sun.  Many went, all day; looked once again on the face that was to vanish.  Precisely at ten at night, the coffin-lid is screwed down:  twelve Potsdam Captains take the coffin on their shoulders; four-and-twenty Corporals with wax torches, four-and-twenty Sergeants with inverted halberts lowered; certain Generals on order, and very many following as volunteers; these perform the actual burial,-carry the body to the Garrison Church, where are clergy waiting, which is but a small step off; see it lodged, oak coffin and all, in a marble coffin in the side vault there, which is known to Tourists. [Pauli, vii.] It is the end of the week, and the actual burial is done,-hastened forward for reasons we can guess.

Filial piety by no means intends to defraud a loved Father of the Spartan ceremonial contemplated as obsequies by him:  very far from it.  Filial piety will conform to that with rigor; only adding what musical and other splendors are possible, to testify his love still more.  And so, almost three weeks hence, on the 23d of the month, with the aid of Dresden Artists, of Latin Cantatas and other pomps (not inexcusable, though somewhat out of keeping), the due Funeral is done, no Corpse but a Wax Effigy present in it;-and in all points, that of the Potsdam Grenadiers not forgotten, there was rigorous conformity to the Instruction left.  In all points, even to the extensive funeral dinner, and drinking of the appointed cask of wine, “the best cask in my cellar.”  Adieu, O King.

The Potsdam Grenadiers fired their three volleys (not “PLACKERING,” as I have reason to believe, but well); got their allowance, dinner-liquor, and appointed coin of money:  it was the last service required of them in this world.  That same night they were dissolved, the whole Four Thousand of them, at a stroke; and ceased to exist as Potsdam Grenadiers.  Colonels, Captains, all the Officers known to be of merit, were advanced, at least transferred.  Of the common men, a minority, of not inhuman height and of worth otherwise, were formed into a new Regiment on the common terms:  the stupid splay-footed eight-feet mass were allowed to stalk off whither they pleased, or vegetate on frugal pensions; Irish Kirkman, and a few others neither knock-kneed nor without head, were appointed HEYDUCS, that is, porters to the King’s or other Palaces; and did that duty in what was considered an ornamental manner.

Here are still two things capable of being fished up from the sea of nugatory matter; and meditated on by readers, till the following Books open.

The last breath of Friedrich Wilhelm having fled, Friedrich hurried to a private room; sat there all in tears; looking back through the gulfs of the Past, upon such a Father now rapt away forever.  Sad all, and soft in the moonlight of memory,-the lost Loved One all in the right as we now see, we all in the wrong!-this, it appears, was the Son’s fixed opinion.  Seven years hence, here is how Friedrich concludes the HISTORY of his Father, written with a loyal admiration throughout:  “We have left under silence the domestic chagrins of this great Prince:  readers must have some indulgence for the faults of the Children, in consideration of the virtues of such a Father.” [OEuvres, (Mémoires de Brandebourg: finished about 1747).] All in tears he sits at present, meditating these sad things.

In a little while the Old Dessauer, about to leave for Dessau, ventures in to the Crown-Prince, Crown-Prince no longer; “embraces his knees;” offers, weeping, his condolence, his congratulation;-hopes withal that his sons and he will be continued in their old posts, and that he, the Old Dessauer, “will have the same authority as in the late reign.”  Friedrich’s eyes, at this last clause, flash out tearless, strangely Olympian.  “In your posts I have no thought of making change:  in your posts, yes;-and as to authority, I know of none there can be but what resides in the King that is sovereign!” Which, as it were, struck the breath out of the Old Dessauer; and sent him home with a painful miscellany of feelings, astonishment not wanting among them.

At an after hour, the same night, Friedrich went to Berlin; met by acclamation enough.  He slept there, not without tumult of dreams, one may fancy; and on awakening next morning, the first sound he heard was that of the Regiment Glasenap under his windows, swearing fealty to the new King.  He sprang out of bed in a tempest of emotion; bustled distractedly to and fro, wildly weeping.  Pollnitz, who came into the anteroom, found him in this state, “half-dressed, with dishevelled hair, in tears, and as if beside himself.”  “These huzzaings only tell me what I have lost!” said the new King.-“HE was in great suffering,” suggested Pollnitz; “he is now at rest.”  “True, he suffered; but he was here with us:  and now !” [Ranke (i, 47)], from certain Fragments, still, in manuscript, of Pollnits’s Memoiren.