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My dear Voltaire,France has been considered thus far as the asylum of unfortunate monarchs. I wish that my capital should become the temple of great men. Come to it, then, my dear Voltaire, and give whatever orders can tend to render a residence in it agreeable to you. My wish is to please you, and wishing this, my intention is to enter entirely into your views.

One incident in this connection, illustrative of the man and of the times, merits brief notice. His agent at Venice reported a female dancer there of rare attainments, Se?ora Barberina. She was marvelously beautiful, and a perfect fairy in figure and grace, and as fascinating in her vivacity and sparkling intelligence as she was lovely in person. Frederick immediately ordered her to be engaged for his opera-house at Berlin, at a salary of nearly four thousand dollars, and sundry perquisites. Mr. Carlyle has written the Life of Frederick the Great in six closely printed volumes of over five hundred pages each. It is a work of much ability and accuracy. There are, however, but few persons, in this busy age, who can find time to read three thousand pages of fine type, descriptive of events, many of which have lost their interest, and have ceased to possess any practical value. Still, the student who has leisure to peruse these voluminous annals of all the prominent actors in Europe during the reign of Frederick and of his half-insane father, will find a rich treat in the wonderfully graphic and accurate pages of Carlyle.

The Marquis of Schwedt was a very indifferent young man, living under the tutelage of his dowager mother. She was a cousin of the King of Prussia, and had named her son Frederick74 William. Having rendered herself conspicuously ridiculous by the flaunting colors of her dress, which tawdry display was in character with her mind, both she and her son were decidedly disagreeable to Wilhelmina. Frederick was astounded, alarmed, for a moment overwhelmed, as these tidings were clearly made known to him. He had brought all this upon himself. And yet, the wretched man exclaimed, what a life I lead! This is not living; this is being killed a thousand times a day!

Frederick William.

Wilhelmina was appalled in view of the difficulty and danger of the enterprise. It was a long distance from Dresden to the coast. Head winds might detain the vessel. The suspicious king would not long remain ignorant that he was missing. He would be pursued with energy almost demoniac. Being captured,80 no one could tell how fearful would be his doom. The sagacious sister was right. Fritz could not but perceive the strength of her arguments, and gave her his word of honor that he would not attempt, on the present occasion, to effect his flight. Fritz accordingly went to Dresden with his father, and returned.

Thus the summer of 1732 passed away. In November Wilhelmina returned from Baireuth to Berlin on a visit. She remained at home for ten months, leaving her babe, Frederica, at Baireuth. There must have been some urgent reason to have147 induced her to make this long visit, for her reception, by both father and mother, was far from cordial. Neither of them had been really in favor of the match with the young prospective Margraf of Baireuth, but had yielded to it from the force of circumstances. The journey to Berlin was long and cold. Her mother greeted her child with the words, What do you want here? What is a mendicant like you come hither for? The next day her father, who had been upon a journey, came home. His daughter had been absent for two years. And yet this strange father addressed her in the following cruel and sarcastic words:

It is not surprising that many persons, not familiar with the wild and wondrous events of the past, should judge that many of the honest narratives of history must be fictionsmere romances. But it is difficult for the imagination to invent scenes more wonderful than can be found in the annals of by-gone days. The novelist who should create such a character as that of Frederick William, or such a career as that of Frederick the Great, would be deemed guilty of great exaggeration, and yet the facts contained in this volume are beyond all contradiction.

It is very evident, from the glimpses we catch of Fritz at this time, that he was a wild fellow, quite frivolous, and with but a feeble sense of moral obligation. General Schulenburg, an old soldier, of stern principles, visited him at Cüstrin, and sent an account of the interview to Baron Grumkow, under date of October 4th, 1731. From this letter we cull the following statement:

Wilhelmina, who was present, gives a graphic account, with her vivacious pen, of many of the scenes, both tragic and comic, which ensued.

The End

fff. Austrian Cavalry.