for sea, Mrs. Montgomery, indeed, was still kind, and,
This was May 21st, 1785; I think, the last time Berlin saw its King in that public manner, riding through the streets. The FURSTENBUND Affair is now, secretly, in a very lively state, at Berlin and over Germany at large; and comes to completion in a couple of months hence,--as shall be noticed farther on.
GENERAL BOUILLE, HOME FROM HIS WEST-INDIAN EXPLOITS, VISITS FRIEDRICH (August 5th-11th, 1784).
In these last years of his life Friedrich had many French of distinction visiting him. In 1782, the Abbe Raynal (whom, except for his power of face, he admired little); [Rodenbeck, iii. 277 n.] in 1786, Mirabeau (whose personal qualities seem to have pleased him);--but chiefly, in the interval between these two, various Military Frenchmen, now home with their laurels from the American War, coming about his Reviews: eager to see the Great Man, and be seen by him. Lafayette, Segur and many others came; of whom the one interesting to us is Marquis de Bouille: already known for his swift sharp operation on the English Leeward Islands; and memorable afterwards to all the world for his presidency in the FLIGHT TO VARENNES of poor Louis XVI. and his Queen, in 1791; which was by no means so successful. "The brave Bouille," as we called him long since, when writing of that latter operation, elsewhere. Bouille left MEMOIRES of his own: which speak of Friedrich: in the
"In July, 1784, Marquis de Bouille (lately returned from a visit to England), desirous to see the Prussian Army, and to approach the great Friedrich while it was yet time, travelled by way of Holland to Berlin, through Potsdam [no date; got to Berlin "August 6th;" [Rodenbeck, iii. 309.] so that we can guess "August 5th" for his Potsdam day]. Saw, at Sans-Souci, in the vestibule, a bronze Bust of Charles XII.; in the dining-room, among other pictures, a portrait of the Chateauroux, Louis XV.'s first Mistress. In the King's bedroom, simple camp-bed, coverlet of crimson taffetas,-- rather dirty, as well as the other furniture, on account of the dogs. Many books lying about: Cicero, Tacitus, Titus Livius [in French Translations]. On a chair, Portrait of Kaiser Joseph II.; same in King's Apartments in Berlin Schloss, also in the Potsdam New Palace: 'C'EST UN JEUNE HOMME QUE JE NE DOIS PAS PERDRE DE VUE.'
"King entering, took off his hat, saluting the Marquis, whom a Chamberlain called Gortz presented [no Chamberlain; a Lieutenant- General, and much about the King; his Brother, the Weimar Gortz, is gone as Prussian Minister to Petersburg some time ago]. King talked about the War DES ISLES [my West-India War], and about England. 'They [the English] are like sick people who have had a fever; and don't know how ill they have been, till the fit is over.' Fox he treated as a noisy fellow (DE BROUILLON); but expressed admiration of young Pitt. 'The coolness with which he can stand being not only contradicted, but ridiculed and insulted, CELA PARAIT AU-DESSUS DE LA PATIENCE HUMAINE.' King closed the conversation by saying he would be glad to see me in Silesia, whither he was just about to go for Reviews [will go in ten days, August 15th].
"Friedrich was 72," last January 24th. "His physiognomy, dress, appearance, are much what the numerous well-known Portraits represent him. At Court, and on great Ceremonies, he appears sometimes in black-colored stockings rolled over the knee, and rose-colored or sky-blue coat (BLEU CELESTE). He is fond of these colors, as his furniture too shows. The Marquis dined with the Prince of Prussia, without previous presentation; so simple are the manners of this Soldier Court. The Heir Presumptive lodges at a brewer's house, and in a very mean way; is not allowed to sleep from home without permission from the King."
Bouille set out for Silesia 11th August; was at Neisse in good time. "Went, at 5 A.M. [date is August 19th, Review lasts till 24th], [Rodenbeck, iii. 310.] to see the King mount. All the Generals, Prince of Prussia among them, waited in the street; outside of a very simple House, where the King lodged. After waiting half an hour, his Majesty appeared; saluted very graciously, without uttering a word. This was one of his special Reviews [that was it!]. He rode (MARCHAIT) generally alone, in utter silence; it was then that he had his REGARD TERRIBLE, and his features took the impress of severity, to say no more. [Is displeased with the Review, I doubt, though Bouille saw nothing amiss;--and merely tells us farther:] At the Reviews the King inspects strictly one regiment after another: it is he that selects the very Corporals and Sergeants, much more the Upper Officers; nominating for vacancies what Cadets are to fill them,--all of whom are Nobles." Yes, with rare exceptions, all. Friedrich, democratic as his temper was, is very strict on this point; "because," says he repeatedly, "Nobles have honor; a Noble that misbehaves, or flinches in the moment of crisis, can find no refuge in his own class; whereas a man of lower birth always can in his." [
"After Review, dined with his Majesty. Just before dinner he gave to the assembled Generals the 'Order' for to-morrow's Manoeuvres [as we saw in Conway's case, ten years ago]. This lasted about a quarter of an hour; King then saluted everybody, taking off TRES- AFFECTUEUSEMENT his hat, which he immediately put on again. Had now his affable mien, and was most polite to the strangers present. At dinner, conversation turned on the Wars of Louis XIV.; then on English-American War,--King always blaming the English, whom he does not like. Dinner lasted three hours. His Majesty said more than once to me [in ill humor, I should almost guess, and wishful to hide it]: 'Complete freedom here, as if we were in our Tavern, Sir (ICI, TOUTE LIBERTE, MONSIEUR, COMME SI NOUS ETIONS AU CABARET)!' On the morrow," August 20th, "dined again. King talked of France; of Cardinal Richelieu, whose principles of administration he praised. Repeated several times, that 'he did not think the French Nation fit for Free Government.' At the Reviews, Friedrich did not himself command; but prescribed, and followed the movements; criticised, reprimanded and so forth. On horseback six hours together, without seeming fatigued.