打造文化高地 京津冀“诗与远方”这样发力

141 I have received a letter from the king, all agog about the princess. When his first fire of approbation is spent, you might, praising her all the while, lead him to notice her faults. Mon Dieu, has he not already seen what an ill-assorted marriage comes tomy sister of Anspach and her husband, who hate one another like the fire? He has a thousand vexations from it every day.

It is almost touching, Mr. Carlyle writes, to reflect how unexpectedly, like a bolt out of the blue, all this had come upon Frederick, and how it overset his fine programme for the winter at Reinsberg, and for his life generally. Not the Peaceable magnanimities, but the Warlike, are the thing appointed Frederick this winter, and mainly henceforth. Those golden or soft radiances which we saw in him, admirable to Voltaire and to Frederick, and to an esurient philanthropic world, it is not218 those, it is the steel bright or stellar kind that are to become predominant in Fredericks existence; grim hail-storms, thunders, and tornado for an existence to him instead of the opulent genialities and halcyon weather anticipated by himself and others.

There was much man?uvring, in which Frederick displayed his usual skill, quite circumventing his foes. Daily he became less despairing. On the 25th of October he wrote to Fouquet: A brief account of this interview has been given by Frederick,59 and also a very minute narrative by Sir Thomas Robinson, in his official report to his government. There is no essential discrepancy between the two statements. Frederick alludes rather contemptuously to the pompous airs of Sir Thomas, saying that he negotiated in a wordy, high, droning way, as if he were speaking in Parliament. Mr. Carlyle seems to be entirely in sympathy with Frederick in his invasion of Silesia. The reader will peruse with interest his graphic, characteristic comments upon this interview:

My dear Voltaire,In spite of myself, I have to yield to the quartan fever, which is more tenacious than a Jansenist. And whatever desire I had of going to Antwerp and Brussels, I find myself not in a condition to undertake such a journey without risk. I would ask of you, then, if the road from Brussels to Cleves would not to you seem too long for a meeting? It is the one means of seeing you which remains to me. Confess that I am unlucky; for now, when I could dispose of my person, and nothing hinders me from seeing you, the fever gets its hand into the business, and seems to intend disputing me that satisfaction. Sire, affairs which I can not neglect, and, above all, the state of my health, oblige me to it.

One week after the reception of this letter the Crown Prince wrote to Baron Grumkow in the following flippant and revolting strain. He probably little imagined that the letter was to be read by all Europe and all America. But those whose paths through life lead over the eminences of rank and power can not conceal their words or deeds from the scrutiny of the world. Grumkow, a very shrewd man, had contrived to secure influence over both the father and the son. The princes letter was dated Cüstrin, February 11, 1732:

The unhappy Prince of Prussia, on his dying bed, wrote a very touching letter to his brother Frederick, remonstrating against his conduct, which was not only filling Europe with blood and misery, but which was also imperiling the existence of the Prussian kingdom.

Wilhelmina.

She returned to me an hour after, and said, with a vexed air, Will you end, then? You are so engaged you have eyes for nothing.