though still friendly, was less a sister than formerly.
"Through this reverent silence there sounded only the trampling of the horses, and the shouting of the Berlin street-boys, who went jumping before him, capering with joy, and flung up their hats into the air, or skipped along close by him, wiping the dust from his boots. I and my Tutor had gained so much room that we could run alongside of him, hat in hand, among the boys.--You see the difference between then and now. Who was it that then made the noise? Who maintained a dignified demeanor?--Who is it that bawls and bellows now? [Nobilities ought to be noble, thinks this old Marwitz, in their reverence to Nobleness. If Nobilities themselves become Washed Populaces in a manner, what are we to say?] And what value can you put on such bellowing?
"Arrived at the Princess Amelia's Palace (which, lying in the Wilhelms-Strasse, fronts also into the Koch-Strasse), the crowd grew still denser, for they expected him there: the forecourt was jammed full; yet in the middle, without the presence of any police, there was open space left for him and his attendants. He turned into the Court; the gate-leaves went back; and the aged lame Princess, leaning on two Ladies, the OBERHOFMEISTERINN (Chief Lady) behind her, came hitching down the flat steps to meet him. So soon as he perceived her, he put his horse to the gallop, pulled up, sprang rapidly down, took off his hat (which he now, however, held quite low at the full length of his arm), embraced her, gave her his arm, and again led her up the steps. The gate-leaves went to; all had vanished, and the multitude still stood, with bared head, in silence, all eyes turned to the spot where he had disappeared; and so it lasted a while, till each gathered himself and peacefully went his way.
"And yet there had nothing happened! No pomp, no fireworks, no cannon-shot, no drumming and fifing, no music, no event that had occurred! No, nothing but an old man of 73, ill-dressed, all dusty, was returning from his day's work. But everybody knew that this old man was toiling also for him; that he had set his whole life on that labor, and for five-and-forty years had not given it the slip one day! Every one saw, moreover, the fruits of this old man's labor, near and far, and everywhere around; and to look on the old man himself awakened reverence, admiration, pride, confidence,--in short all the nobler feelings of man." [
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].