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diligence, was probably the effect of his whole conduct is that of a man who has peculiar condition, of that which he to do with men, and who is not ignorant then confidered as cruelty and misfortune. what motives will prevail over friends
- In this long interval of unhappiness or enemies. and obscurity he acquired skill in the ma: In 1740 the old King fell fick, and thematical sciences, such as is said to fpoke and acted in his illness with his q* put him on the level with those who have sual turbulence and roughness, reproachmade them the bufiness of their lives. ing his physicians in the groffest terms This is probably to say too much ; the with their unskilfulness and impotence, acquisitions of kings are always magni- and imparing to their ignorance or wicfied. His skill in poetry and in the kedness the pain which their prescripFrench language have been Joudly prai- tions failed to relieve. These insults they fed by Volcaire, a judge without excep. bore with the submislion which is comtion, if his honefty were equal to his monly paid to despotic monarchs ; till knowledge.' Music he not only under at last the celebrated Hofman was con. derstands, but practises on the German sulted; who failing, like the reft, to give Aute in the highest perfection ; fo that, ease to his Majesty, was, like the reft, according to the regal centure of Philip treated with injurious language. Hofof Macedon, he may be ashamed to play man, conscious of his own merit, reso well.
plied, that he could not bear reproaches He may be said to owe to the difficul. which he did not deserve; that he had ties of his youth, an advantage less fre• tried all the remedies that art could fupquently obtained by princes than litera- ply, or nature could admit; that he was ture and mathematics. The necessity of indeed a professor by his Majesty's bouna paffing his time without pomp, and of ty; but that if his abilities or integrity partaking of the pleasures and labours were doubted, he was willing to leave, of a lower ftation, made him acquainted not only the university, but the kingdom; with the various forms of life, and with and that he could not be driven into any the genuine passions, interests, defires, place where the name of Hofman would and diftrefies of mankind. Kings, with- want respect. The King, however unout this help from temporary infelicity, accustomed to such returns, was ftruck see the world in a mist, which magnifies with conviction of his own indecency; every thing near them, and bounds their told Hofman, that he had spoken well; view to a narrow compass, which few and requested him to continue his atare able to extend by the mere force of tendance. curiosity. I have always thought, that The King finding his distemper gain. what Cromwell had more than our law. ing upon his strength, grew at last fenfui kings, he owed to the private condi- fible that his end was approaching; and tion in which he first entered the world, ordering the Prince to be called to his and in which he long continued. In bed, laid several injunctions upon him that ftate he learned his art of secret tranf. of which one was, to perpetuate the tall action, and the knowledge by which he regiment by continual recruits ; and ano** was able to oppose zeal to zeal, and ther, to receive his espoused wife. The make one enthufiaft destroy another. Prince gave him a respectful answer ;
The King of Prufia gained the same but wisely avoided to diminish his own arts ; and being born to fairer opportu- right or power by an absolute promife; nities of using them, brought to the throne and the king died uncertain of the fate the knowledge of a private man, without of the tall regiment. [ii. 232.] the guilt of usurpation. Of this general The young King began his reign with acquaintance with the world there may great expectations, which he has yet be found some traces in his whole life. Turpassed. His father's faults produced His conversation is like that of other many advantages to the first years of his men upon common topics, his letters reign. He had an army of 70,000 men have an air of familiar elegance, and his well-disciplined, without any imputation
of soverity to himself; and was master of to emulate the bounties of Lewis XIV. a vaft treasure, without the crime or re- It soon appeared that he was resolved proach of raising it. It was publicly said to govern with very little minifterial afin our house of Commons, that he had fiftance: he took cognisance of every eight millions Sterling of our money ; thing with his own eyes ; declared, that but I believe he that said it had not con- in all contrarieties of interest between sidered how difficultly eight millions him and his subjects, the public good 'would be found in all the Pruffian domi- should have the preference; and, in one of nions. Men judge of what they see not, the first exertions of regal power, baby that which they see. We are used to nithed the prime minister and favourite talk in England of millions with great of his father, as one that had betrayed bis familiarity, and imagine that there is master and abufed his trufl. [ii. 328.] the fame affluence of money in other He then declared his resolution to grant countries ; in countries whole manufac- a general toleration of religion ; and, atures are few, and commerce little. mong other liberalities of concession,
Every man's first cares are necessarily allowed the profession of freemasonry. domestic. The King, being now no [585. & ii. 329, 33.]. It is the great caint longer under influence, or its appeár- of his character, that he has given reaance, determined how to act towards fon to doubt, whether this toleration is the unhappy lady who had possessed for the effect of charity or indifference; wheseven years the empty title of the Prin- ther he means to support good men of cess of Pruffia. The papers of those times every religion, or considers all religions exhibited the conversation of their firft as equally good * interview; as if the King who plans cam- There had fubfifted for some time in paigns in filence, would not accommo. Prussia an order called the order for fadate a difference with his wife, but with vour, which, according to its denominawriters of news admitted as witnesses. It tion, had been conferred with very litis certain that he received her as Queen'; tle distinction. The King instituted the but whether he treats her as a wife, is order for merit, with which ke honoured yet in dispute. [ii. 286.]
those whom he confidered as deserving. In a few days his resolution was known There were some who thought their me. with regard to the tall regiment ; for sit not sufficiently recompensed by this fome recruits being offered him, he re- new title, but he was not very ready to jected them; and this body of giants, by grant pecuniary rewards. Those who continued disregard, mouldered away. were most in his favour he sometimes
He treated his mother with great re- presented with snuff-boxes, on which fpect ; ordered that she should bear the was inscribed, Amitié augmente le prix. title of Queen-mother; and that, inftead [ii. 328.] of addrelling him as bis Majesty, the He was, however, charitable, if not should only call him fon. As he was palling soon after between
* [Our readers have seen his confeffion of faith Berlin and Potsdam, a thousand boys ner in which he writes of their perfecuted bre
[vi. 488.)-Zealous Protestants think the manwho had been marked out for military thren in France, very exceptionable:
" France service, surrounded his coach, and cried was at that time [in 1685] disturbed by the reout, “ Merciful King, deliver us from vocation of the famous edict of Nantes, and such our slavery.” He promised them their a.migration ensued as can hardly be parallelled in
history. A whole nation, as it were, departed liberty, and ordered the next day that the kingdom, through the spirit of party, and out the badge should be taken off. [ii. 286.] of hatred to the Pope, in order to receive the
He still continued that correspondence communion in both kinds in another climate, with learned men, which he began when and to chant Clement Marot's old pfalms in ohe was Prince; and the eyes of all scho- ther temples. For such powerful motives as these
200,000 inhabitants went into voluntary banishlars, a race of mortals formed for de
ment, and abandoned their poffeffions.” Memoirs pendence, were upon him, as a man like, of the house of Brandenburg, edit. Lond. 1751, pa, ly to renew the times of patronage, and 134.) YOL. XIX.
liberal: for he ordered the magistrates the feudal countries, the intricacy of of the several diftricts to be very atten- their pedigrees, the confufion of their tive to the relief of the poor ; and if the alliances, and the different rules of in. (= funds established for that use were not heritance that prevail in different places, fufficient, permitted that the deficiency it will appear evident, that of reviving should be supplied out of the revenues of antiquated claims there can be no end, the town. [ii. 333.]
and that the possession of a century is a One of his firft cares was the advance better title chan can commonly be proment of learning. Immediately upon his duced. So long a prescription, fuppo. accession, he wrote to Rollin and Vol. fes an acquiescence in the other claim. taire, that he desired the continuance of ants; and that acquiescence suppofes al. their friend!hip; and sent for M. Mau. fo some reason, perhaps now opknown, pertuis, the principal of the French aca- for which the claim was forbora. Whe. demicians, who pafled a winter in Lap- ther this rule could be considered as va- h land, to verify, by the menfuration of lid in the controverfy between thefe fo. a degree near the pole, the Newtonian vereigns, may however be doubted ; for ? doctrine of the form of the earth. He the Bifhop's answer feems to imply, that requested of Maupertuis to come to Ber- the title of the house of Brandenburg lin to fertle an academy, in terms of had been kept alive by repeated claims, & great ardour, and great condefcenfion. though the seizure of the territory had [ii. 382.]
been hitherto forborn i Attro same time he shewed the world, The King did not fuffer his claim to to that litera v amusements were not likely, be subjected to any altercations ; but has as has inore than once happened to royal ving published a declaration, in which students, to withdraw him from the care he charged the Bishop with violence and of the kingdom, or make him forget his injustice, and remarked, that the feudal intereit. He began by reviving a claim laws allowed every man whofe poffefto Herstal and Hermal, two districts in fion was with-held from him, to enter the poffeffion of the Bishop of Liege. it with an armed force, he immediately When he sent his commissary to demand dispatched 2000 soldiers into the contro the homage of the inhabitants, they re- verted countries, where they lived with fused him admiflion, declaring that they out control, exercising every kind of acknowledged no fovereign but the Bi-military tyranny, till the cries of the in shop. The King then wrote a letter to habitants forced the Bifhop to relinquish the Bishop, in which he complained of them to the quiet government of Pruffia*. the violation of his right, and the con- This was but a petty acquifition ; the tempt of his authority; charged the pre- time was now come when the King of late with countenancing the
late act of Prussia was to form and execute greater disobedience, and required an answer in designs. On the zoth of October 1740, two days.
half Europe was thrown into confufion In threc days the answer was sent; in by the death of Charles VI. Emperor of which the Bishop founds his claim to Germany, by whose death all the here the two lordihips, upon a grant of ditary dominions of the house of Austria Charles V. guarantied by France and descended, according to the pragmatic Spain ; alledges, that his predeceffors had fanction (iii. 495.), to his eldest daughter, enjoyed this grant above a century, and who was married to the Duke of Lorthat he never intended to infringe the rain, at the time of the Emperor's death
fo rights of Prussia; but as the house of Duke of Tuscany. Brandenburg had always made some pre- By how many securities the pragmatic fu tenfions to that territory, he was willing fanction was fortified, and how little it to do what other bishops had offered, to
fo purchase that claim for 100,000 crowns.
[According to our history [ii. 479.), which is ii. 431.]
confirmed by Salmon, Geogr. p. 168. the King
paled from bis claim, on the Bishop's paying him Toercry man that knows the state of about 200,000 crowns.]
was regarded when those fecurities be. would always fight in his presence; and
came necessary ; how many claimants that he would recompense those who bitarted up at onceto the feveral dominions should distinguish themselves in his er
of the house of Austria ; how vehemente vice, rather as a father than as a king.”. ly their pretenfions were inforced, and [ii. 576.] how many invafions were threatened or The civilities of the great are never attempted; the distresses of the Empe- thrown away. The soldiers would naror's daughter, known for several years turally follow fuch a leader with alacriby the title only of Queen of Hungary, ty; especially because they expected no because Hungary was the only country opposition. But human expectations are
to which her claim had not been disputed; frequently deceived. 2. the firmness with which she struggled with Entering thus suddenly into a country a her difficulties, and the good fortune by which he was supposed rather likely to te which she furmounted them; the narrow protect than to invade, he acted for a: plan of this essay will not suffer me to some time with absolute authority: but to relate : let them be told by some other fuppofing that this fubmisuon would not
writer of more leisure and wider intelli- always lait, he endeavoured to perfuade gence.
the Queen to a cession of Silefia; imaUpon the Emperor's death, many of gining that the would easily be persua
the German princes fell opon the Au- ded to yield what was already loit. He is frian territories, as opon a dead carcase, therefore ordered his ministers to declare M to be dismembered among them without at Vienna, " That he was ready to 到 xefiftance. Among thele, with what- guaranty all the German dominions of
ever justice, certainly with very little ge. the house of Auftria; that he would conin nerolity, was the King of Prussia; who clude a treaty with Auftria, Russia, and pai having assembled his troops, as was i- the maritime powers ; that he would ena magined, to support the pragmatic fanc. deavour that the Duke of Lorrain should
tion, on a sudden entered Silesia with be elected Emperor, and believed that 30,000 men; publishing a declaration, he could accomplish it; that he would
in which he disclaims any design of in- immediately advance to the Queen two & juring the rights of the house of Austria, millions of florins; that, in recompense tin bat urges his claim to Silefia, as arising for all this, he required Sileña to be 1 from ancient conventions of family and con- yielded to him.” [ii. 40.]
fraternity between the house of Branden- There seem not to be the offers of a il burg, and the princes of Silesia, and other prince very much convinced of his own
honourable titles. He says, the fear of right. He afterwards moderated his to being defeated by other pretenders to claim, and ordered his minister to hinc
the Austrian dominions, obliged him to at Vienna that half of Silesia would conenter Silefia without any previous expo- tent hiin. ftulation with the Queen, and that he The Queen answered, That though Thall ftrenuously espouse the interests of the the King alledged as his reason for enhouse of Austria (ii. 575.]
tering Silehia, the danger of the Austrian Such a declaration was, I believe, in territories from other pretenders, and the opinion of all Europe, nothing less endeavours to perfuade her to give up than the aggravacion of hoftility by in- part of her poffeffions for the prelervation sult; and was received by the Auftrians of the rest, it was evident that he was with suitable indignation. The King the first and only invader, and that till pursued his purpose, marched forward, he entered in an hostile manner, all her and in the frontiers of Silesia made a estates were unmolested. speech to his followers, in which he To his promises of afistance the rea told them, “ That he confidered them plied, That she set an high value on the rather as friends than subjects; that the King of Prussia's friendship; but that he troops of Brandenburg had been always was already obliged to all her against eminent for their bravery, that they invaders, both by the golden bull, and
the pragmatic fanction, of which he was One of the most remarkable events of a guarantee; and that if these ties were the Silefia war, was the conquest of of no force, the knew not what to hope Great Glogaw, which was taken by an from other engagements. Of his offers assault in the dark, headed by Prince of alliances with Russia and the mari. Leopold of Anhalt Deffau. They artime powers; the observed, that it could rived at the foot of the fortifications a. be never fit to alienate her dominions bout twelve at night, March 8. 1741, for the confolidation of an alliance and in two hours were masters of the formed only to keep them entire.** place. In attempts of this kind ma
With regard to his interest in the e- ny accidents happen which cannot be lection of an Emperor, she expressed her heard without surprise. Four Prurgratitude in strong terms ; but added, fan grenadiers who had climbed the that the election ought to be free, and ramparts, mising their own company, that io must be necessarily imbarrassed by met an Austrian caprain with fifty-two · contentions thus raised in the heart of men: they were at firft frighted, and the empire. Of the pecuniary aslistance were about to retreat ; but gathering proposed the remarks, that no prince e. courage, commanded the Auftrians to ver made war to oblige another to take lay down their arms; and, in the terror money, and that the contributions al. of darkness and confusion, were unexready levied in Şilefia exceed the two pectedly obeyed. Eiii. 138.}. millions offered as its purchase.
At the same time a confpiracy, to kill She concluded, That as the valued or carry away the King of Prussia was the King's friendship, the was willing said to be discovered. The Prossians to purchafe it by any compliance but published a memorial, in which the Au. the diminution of her dominions, and Arian court was accused of employing exhorted him to perform his part in fup- emissaries and affaflins against the King; port of the pragmatic sanction. Fiii. 42.] and it was alledged in direct terms, that
The King finding negotiation thus in- one of them had confeffed himself oblieffectual, pushed forward his inroads, ged by oath to destroy him, which oath and now began to show how secretly he had been given him in an aulic council could take his measures. When he call. in the presence of the Duke of Lorrain. ed a council of war, he proposed the To this the Austrians answered, That question in a few words; all his gene- the character of the Queen and Duke rals wrote their opinions in his presence was too well known not to deftroy the wipon feparate papers; which he carried force of such an accusation ; that the away, and examining them in privaten tale of the confession was an impofture ; formed his resolution without imparting and that no such attempt was ever made. it otherwise than by his orders.
Each party was now inflamed, and He began, not without policy, to orders were given to the Austrian geneseize first upon the estates of the clergy; ral to hazard a battle. The two armies an order every where neceffary, and e- met at Molwitz, and parted without a very where envied. He plundered the complete vi&ory on either fide. The convents of their stores of provifion, and Austrians quitted the field in good ortold them that he never had heard of a- der ; and the King of Pruflia rode away py magazines erected by the apostles. upon the first disorder of his troops,
This infalt was mean, because it was without waiting for the last event. This unjuft ; but those who could not refift attention to his personal safety has not were obliged to bear it. He proceeded yet been forgotten. (iii. 187. 223.) in his expedition ; and a detachment of After this there was no action of mach his troops took Jablunca, one of the importance, the Auftrians having aban. itrong places of Silefia; which was foon doned Silesia. But the King of Prussia, after abandoned for want of provisions, irritated by oppofition, transferred his which the Austrian husfars, who were interest in the election to the Duke of now in motion, were busy to intercept. Bavaria.