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He was particularly fond of dogs of the graceful greyhound breed, and might often be seen with book and pencil in his hand, in the shady walks, with three or four Italian greyhounds gamboling around him, apparently entirely absorbed in deep meditation. A page usually followed at a short distance behind, to attend his call. At twelve oclock he dined with invited guests. As quite a number of distinguished men always met at his table, and the king was very fond of good living, as well as of the feast of reason and the flow of soul, the repast was frequently prolonged until nearly three oclock. At dinner he was very social, priding himself not a little upon his conversational powers.

What shall I say to you, my lord, of the Prince Royal, the lover and the favorite of the Muses? Several days, which we passed with him in his castle of Reinsberg, seemed to be but a few hours. He is the most intelligent and the most amiable of men. Though I could notice only his private virtues, I can boldly assure you, my lord, that the world will one day admire his royal qualifications, and that when he shall be upon the throne he will show himself to be the greatest of sovereigns. There is all the reason in the world to believe that he will seek out for great men with as much eagerness as his father does for giants.

The last letter which it is supposed that he wrote was the following cold epistle to his excellent wife, whom, through a long life, he had treated with such cruel neglect:

Was it not your intention to go to England?

In the latter part of June a large train of over three thousand four-horse wagons, laden with all necessary supplies, left Troppau for Olmütz. It is difficult for a reader unfamiliar with such scenes to form any conception of the magnitude of such an enterprise. There are twelve thousand horses to be shod, harnessed, and fed, and watered three or four times a day. There are three thousand wagons to be kept in repair, rattling over the stones and plowing through the mire. Six thousand teamsters are required. There is invariably connected with such a movement one or two thousand camp-followers, sutlers, women, vagabonds. A large armed force is also needed to act as convoy. 178 Meanwhile Frederick the First died, and with him was buried all his false grandeur, which consisted only in a vain magnificence, and in the pompous display of frivolous ceremonies. My father, who succeeded him, compassionated the general misery. He visited the spot, and saw, with his own eyes, this vast country laid waste, and all the dreadful traces which a contagious malady, a famine, and the sordid avarice of a venal administration leave behind them. Twelve or fifteen towns depopulated, and four or five hundred villages uninhabited, presented themselves to his view. Far from being discouraged by such a sad spectacle, his compassion only became the more lively from it; and he resolved to restore population, plenty, and commerce to this land, which had even lost the appearance of an inhabited country.

208 Whether you are still minded to assert your pretended sovereignty over Herstal, and whether you will protect the rebels at Herstal in their disorders and abominable disobedience?

Winter Encampment.Death of Maupertuis.Infamous Conduct of Voltaire.Reproof by the King.Voltaires Insincerity.Correspondence.The King publishes his Poems.Dishonorable Conduct of the King.New Encampment near Dresden.Destruction of Fredericks Army in Silesia.Atrocities perpetrated by the Austrians.Astonishing March.The Austrians outwitted.Dresden bombarded and almost destroyed by Frederick.Battle of Liegnitz.Utter Rout of the Austrians.Undiminished Peril of Frederick.Letter to DArgens.

Baron Bielfeld gives the following account of the ordinary employments, and the tone of conversation of the prince: All the employments and all the pleasures of the prince are those of a man of understanding. He is, at this time, actually engaged in refuting the dangerous political reveries of Machiavel. His conversation at table is charming. He talks much and excellently well. His mind seems to be equal to all sorts of subjects, and his imagination produces on each of them a number of new and just ideas. His genius resembles the fire of the vestals that was never extinct. A decent and polite contradiction is not disagreeable172 to him. He possesses the rare talent of displaying the wit of others, and of giving them opportunity to shine on those subjects in which they excel. He jests frequently, and sometimes rallies, but never with asperity; and an ingenious retort does not displease him.

Frederick was accustomed to cover his deep designs of diplomacy322 by the promotion of the utmost gayety in his capital. Never did Berlin exhibit such spectacles of festivity and pleasure as during the winter of 1742 and 1743. There was a continued succession of operas, balls, ftes, and sleigh-parties. Fredericks two younger sisters were at that time brilliant ornaments of his court. They were both remarkably beautiful and vivacious. The Princess Louise Ulrique was in her twenty-third year. The following letter to Frederick from these two princesses will be keenly appreciated by many of our young lady readers whose expenses have exceeded their allowance. It shows very conclusively that there may be the same pecuniary annoyances in the palaces of kings as in more humble homes.

It is unquestionable that the mental discipline acquired by this elevated course, to which he consecrated so diligently his hours, prepared him for the wonderful career upon which he soon entered, and enabled him to act with efficiency which filled Europe with his renown.