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Sire, I own that I am guilty. Will not your majesty grant me a pardon, which God never refuses to the greatest sinner who sincerely confesses his sins? I shall be always ready to shed even the last drop of my blood to show your majesty what grateful sentiments your clemency can raise in me.Having been not quite well lately, my physician has advised me to take more exercise than I have hitherto done. This has obliged me to mount my horse and take a gallop every morning. But, in order not to be obliged on that account to change my ordinary way of life, I get up earlier, in order to regain on the one hand what I lose on the other.

Frederick had hardly reached Berlin ere he was astonished to learn, from dispatches from the Old Dessauer, that the Austrians, not content with driving him out of Bohemia, had actually invaded Silesia. Amazed, or affecting amazement, at such audacity, he sent reiterated and impatient orders to his veteran general to fall immediately upon the insolent foe and crush him.My dearest Sister,Next Monday comes my betrothal, which will be done just as yours was. The person in question is neither beautiful nor ugly; not wanting in sense, but very ill brought up, timid, and totally behind in fashionable address. That is the candid portrait of the princess. You may judge by that, my dearest sister, if I find her to my taste or not.a. Advance of Prussians.

It would be better, M. Roloff mildly suggested, that your majesty should write at once.

Look at the queen, then, she added, and you will cease to reproach me.Ruppin, where the Crown Prince continued to reside for several years, was a small, dull town of about two thousand inhabitants. The only life it exhibited was found in the music and drillings of the garrison. The only important event in its history was the removal of the Crown Prince there. Of what is called society there was none. The hamlet was situated in the midst of a flat, marshy country, most of it quite uncultivated. The region abounded in peat bogs, and dark, still lakes, well stocked with fish.The prince inquired, in quite an indifferent tone, respecting the marriages his father had in contemplation for him. He objected to the marriage with the Princess of Mecklenburg, niece of the Czar Peter, that it would require him to change his religion, which he would not do. He expressed himself as inclined to take the second daughter of the Emperor of Germany, if the emperor would throw in a duchy or two.

CHAPTER XXXV. LIFES CLOSING SCENES.His majestys entrance into Frankfort, writes M. Bielfeld, who accompanied him, although very triumphant, was far from ostentatious. We passed like lightning before the eyes of the spectators, and were so covered with dust that it was difficult to distinguish the color of our coats and the features of our faces. We made some purchases at Frankfort, and the next day arrived safely in Berlin, where the king was received with the acclamations of his people.68George was a taciturn, jealous, sullen old man, who quarreled with his son, who was then Prince of Wales. The other powers of Europe were decidedly opposed to this double marriage, as it would, in their view, create too intimate a union between Prussia and England, making them virtually one. Frederick William also vexatiously threw hinderances in the way. But the heart of the loving mother, Sophie Dorothee, was fixed upon these nuptials. For years she left no efforts of diplomacy or intrigue untried to accomplish her end. George I. is represented40 by Horace Walpole as a stolid, stubborn old German, living in a cloud of tobacco-smoke, and stupefying his faculties with beer. He had in some way formed a very unfavorable opinion of Wilhelmina, considering her, very falsely, ungainly in person and fretful in disposition. But at last the tact of Sophie Dorothee so far prevailed over her father, the British king, that he gave his somewhat reluctant but positive consent to the double matrimonial alliance. This was in 1723. Wilhelmina was then fourteen years of age. Fritz, but eleven years old, was too young to think very deeply upon the subject of his marriage. The young English Fred bore at that time the title of the Duke of Gloucester. He soon sent an envoy to Prussia, probably to convey to his intended bride presents and messages of love. The interview took place in the palace of Charlottenburg, a few miles out from Berlin. The vivacious Wilhelmina, in the following terms, describes the interview in her journal:

The Russians, triumphantly advancing, entered Silesia, and reached Crossen, on the Oder, within a hundred miles of Fredericks encampment.


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As General Daun approached the city, the Prussian general who had been left in command of the small garrison there sent word to him that, should he menace Dresden with his forces, the Prussian commander would be under the necessity of setting fire to the suburbs, as a measure of self-defense. Daun, expostulating vehemently against so cruel an act, regardless of the menace, approached the city on the 9th of November, and at midnight commenced rearing his batteries for the bombardment. In the mean time the Prussian general had filled many of the largest houses with combustibles. As the clock struck three in the morning the torch was applied. The unhappy inhabitants had but three hours notice that their houses were to be surrendered to destruction. Instantly the flames burst forth with terrific fury in all directions. Sir Andrew Mitchel, who witnessed the conflagration, writes:This was a very serious suggestion. None of these sovereigns professed to be influenced by any other considerations than their own interests. And it was manifest that Austria could easily outbid Prussia, if determined to purchase the French alliance. For a moment the king was silent, apparently somewhat perplexed. He then said,Now thank God, one and all, With heart, with voice, with hands, Who wonders great hath done To us and to all lands.115

DArgens spent the winter with the king at Leipsic. He gives the following incident: One day I entered the kings apartment, and found him sitting on the floor with a platter of fried meat, from which he was feeding his dogs. He had a little rod, with which he kept order among them, and shoved the best bits to his favorites.Wesel was the fortress of a small province belonging to Prussia, on the Rhine, many leagues from Berlin. The intervening territory belonged to Hanover and Hesse Cassel. The king ordered his captive son to be taken, under a strong guard, by circuitous roads, so as not to attract attention, to the castle of Mittenwalde, near Berlin. The king then started for home, probably as wretched as he was making every body about him. After a very rapid journey, he reached Berlin late in the afternoon of Sunday, the 27th of August, 1730. It was the evening after the fabrication of the letters had been completed. We give, from the graphic pen of Wilhelmina, the account of the kings first interview with his family:



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