汉匈“缠斗”三百年,为何终能成一家?

Frederick returned to Ruppin. Though he treated his wife with ordinary courtesy, as an honored member of the court, his attentions were simply such as were due to every lady of the royal household. It does not appear that she accompanied him to Ruppin or to Reinsberg at that time, though the apartments to which we have already alluded were subsequently provided for her at Reinsberg, where she was ever treated with the most punctilious politeness. Lord Dover says that after the accession of the prince to the throne he went to see his wife but once a year, on her birthday. She resided most of the time at Berlin, surrounded by a quiet little court there. However keen may have been her sufferings in view of this cruel neglect, we have165 no record that any word of complaint was ever heard to escape her lips. This poor Crown Princess, afterward queen, says Carlyle, has been heard, in her old age, reverting in a touching, transient way to the glad days she had at Reinsberg. Complaint openly was never heard of her in any kind of days; but these, doubtless, were the best of her life.

The king is more difficult than ever. He is content with nothing. He has no gratitude for whatever favors one can do him. As to his health, it is one day better, another worse; but the legs they are always swelled. Judge what my joy must be to get out of that turpitude; for the king will only stay a fortnight at most in camp. THE YOUNG LORDS OF SAXONY ON A WINTER CAMPAIGN.

I am sure his excellency had no such meaning, sire. His excellency will advance nothing so very contrary to his instructions. In the ranks all of the army were equally entitled to distinction. Promotion was conferred upon merit, not upon the accident of birth. This principle, which was entirely ignored in the other European despotisms, probably contributed to the success of Fredericks armies. A Hanoverian count wrote to him, soliciting a high position in the army for his son, in favor of his exalted birth. Frederick dictated the following reply: In the following curious proclamation, the Empress Catharine II. announced to her subjects the death of her husband:

Obey the wishes of the king, said he, and the royal favor will be restored to you. Refuse to do it, and no one can tell what will be the doom which will fall upon your mother, your brother, and yourself.

The king having breathed his last, Frederick, in tears, retired to a private room, there to reflect upon the sad receding past, and upon the opening future, with the vast responsibilities thus suddenly thrown upon him. He was now King of Prussia; and not only absolute master of himself, but absolute monarch over a realm containing two millions two hundred and forty thousand souls. He was restrained by no Parliament, no Constitution, no customs or laws superior to his own resolves. He could take advice of others, and call energetic men to his aid, but his will alone was sovereign.

Wilhelminas purse was generally empty, and she was often in great want of money. Her penurious father had married her below her rank that he might escape settling upon her a dowry. Though her husband was heir to the marquisate of Baireuth, his father was still living. That father was a drunkard and a miser. It seems that the son received but little more than his wages as colonel in the army. Wilhelmina records that one day her brother Fritz came to her and said,

Again M. Jordan wrote, a week later, on the 20th of December: