trembled, her eyes were fixed on the ground, and every
"More I will not say; being indeed quite tired of SPEAKING on that subject. Not a subject which it concerns me to speak of; much as it concerns me, and all men, to know the truth of it, and silently in every hour and moment to do said truth. As indeed the sacred voice of their own soul, if they listen, will conclusively admonish all men; and truly if IT do not, there will be little use in my logic to them. For my own share, I want no trade with men who need to be convinced of that fact. If I am in their premises, and discover such a thing of them, I will quit their premises; if they are in mine, I will, as old Samuel advised, count my spoons. Ingenious gentlemen who believe that Beelzebub made this world, are not a class of gentlemen I can get profit from. Let them keep at a distance, lest mischief fall out between us. They are of the set deserving to be called--and this not in the way of profane swearing, but of solemn wrath and pity, I say of virtuous anger and inexorable reprobation--the damned set. For, in very deed, they are doomed and damned, by Nature's oldest Act of Parliament, they, and whatsoever thing they do or say or think; unless they can escape from that devil-element. Which I still hope they may!--
"But with regard to the facts themselves, 'DE NOTRE MAISON,' I take leave to say, they too are without basis of truth. They are not so false as the theory, because nothing can in falsity quite equal that. 'NOTRE MAISON,' this Pamphleteer may learn, if he please to make study and inquiry before speaking, did not rise by worship of Beelzebub at all in this world; but by a quite opposite line of conduct. It rose, in fact, by the course which all, except fools, stockjobber stags, cheating gamblers, forging Pamphleteers and other temporary creatures of the damned sort, have found from of old to be the one way of permanently rising: by steady service, namely, of the Opposite of Beelzebub. By conforming to the Laws of this Universe; instead of trying by pettifogging to evade and profitably contradict them. The Hohenzollerns too have a History still articulate to the human mind, if you search sufficiently; and this is what, even with some emphasis, it will teach us concerning their adventures, and achievements of success in the field of life. Resist the Devil, good reader, and he will flee from you!"--So ends our indignant friend.
How the Hohenzollerns got their big Territories, and came to what they are in the world, will be seen. Probably they were not, any of them, paragons of virtue. They did not walk in altogether speckless Sunday pumps, or much clear-starched into consciousness of the moral sublime; but in rugged practical boots, and by such roads as there were. Concerning their moralities, and conformities to the Laws of the Road and of the Universe, there will much remain to be argued by pamphleteers and others. Men will have their opinion, Men of more wisdom and of less; Apes by the Dead-Sea also will have theirs. But what man that believed in such a Universe as that of this Dead-Sea Pamphleteer could consent to live in it at all? Who that believed in such a Universe, and did not design to live like a Papin's-Digester, or PORCUS EPICURI, in an extremely ugly manner in it, could avoid one of two things: Going rapidly into Bedlam, or else blowing his brains out? "It will not do for me at any rate, this infinite Dog-house; not for me, ye Dryasdusts, and omnipotent Dog-monsters and Mud-gods, whoever you are. One honorable thing I can do: take leave of you and your Dog-establishment. Enough!"--
The First Friedrich's successor was a younger son, Friedrich II.; who lasted till 1471, above thirty years; and proved likewise a notable manager and governor. Very capable to assert himself, and his just rights, in this world. He was but Twenty-seven at his accession; but the Berlin Burghers, attempting to take some liberties with him, found he was old enough. He got the name IRONTEETH. Friedrich FERRATIS DENTIBUS, from his decisive ways then and afterwards. He had his share of brabbling with intricate litigant neighbors; quarrels now and then not to be settled without strokes. His worst war was with Pommern,--just claims disputed there, and much confused bickering, sieging and harassing in consequence: of which quarrel we must speak anon. It was he who first built the conspicuous Schloss or Palace at Berlin, having got the ground for it (same ground still covered by the actual fine Edifice, which is a second edition of Friedrich's) from the repentant Burghers; and took up his chief residence there. [1442-1431 (Nicolari, i. 81).]
But his principal achievement in Brandenburg History is his recovery of the Province called the Neumark to that Electorate. In the thriftless Sigismund times, the Neumark had been pledged, had been sold; Teutsch Ritterdom, to whose dominions it lay contiguous, had purchased it with money down. The Teutsch Ritters were fallen moneyless enough since then; they offered to pledge the Neumark to Friedrich, who accepted, and advanced the sum: after a while the Teutsch Ritters, for a small farther sum, agreed to sell Neumark. [Michaelis, i. 301.] Into which Transaction, with its dates and circumstances, let us cast one glance, for our behoof afterwards. The Teutsch Ritters were an opulent domineering Body in Sigismund's early time; but they are now come well down in Friedrich II.'s! And are coming ever lower. Sinking steadily, or with desperate attempts to rise, which only increase the speed downwards, ever since that fatal Tannenberg Business, 15th July, 1410. Here is the sad progress of their descent to the bottom; divided into three stages or periods:--
"PERIOD FIRST is of Thirty years: 1410-1440. A peace with Poland soon followed that Defeat of Tannenberg; humiliating peace, with mulct in money, and slightly in territory, attached to it. Which again was soon followed by war, and ever again; each new peace more humiliating than its foregoer. Teutsch Order is steadily sinking,--into debt, among other things; driven to severe finance-measures (ultimately even to 'debase its coin'), which produce irritation enough. Poland is gradually edging itself into the territories and the interior troubles of Preussen; prefatory to greater operations that lie ahead there.
"SECOND PERIOD, of Fourteen years. So it had gone on, from bad to worse, till 1440; when the general population, through its Heads, the Landed Gentry and the Towns, wearied out with fiscal and other oppressions from its domineering Ritterdom brought now to such a pinch, began everywhere to stir themselves into vocal complaint. Complaint emphatic enough: 'Where will you find a man that has not suffered injury in his rights, perhaps in his person? Our friends they have invited as guests, and under show of hospitality have murdered them. Men, for the sake of their beautiful wives, have been thrown into the river like dogs,'--and enough of the like sort. [Voigt, vii. 747; quoting evidently, not an express manifesto, but one manufactured by the old Chroniclers.] No want of complaint, nor of complainants: Town of Thorn, Town of Dantzig, Kulm, all manner of Towns and Baronages, proceeded now to form a BUND, or general Covenant for complaining; to repugn, in hotter and hotter form, against a domineering Ritterdom with back so broken; in fine, to colleague with Poland,--what was most ominous of all. Baronage, Burgherage, they were German mostly by blood, and by culture were wholly German; but preferred Poland to a Teutsch Ritterdom of that nature. Nothing but brabblings, scufflings, objurgations; a great outbreak ripening itself. Teutsch Ritterdom has to hire soldiers; no money to pay them. It was in these sad years that the Teutsch Ritterdom, fallen moneyless, offered to pledge the Neumark to our Kurfurst; 1444, that operation was consummated. [Pauli, ii. 187,--does not name the sum.] All this goes on, in hotter and hotter form, for ten years longer.
"PERIOD THIRD begins, early in 1454, with an important special catastrophe; and ends, in the Thirteenth year after, with a still more important universal one of the same nature. Prussian BUND, or Anti-Oppression Covenant of the Towns and Landed Gentry, rising in temperature for fourteen years at this rate, reached at last the igniting point, and burst into fire. February 4th, 1454, the Town of Thorn, darling first-child of Teutsch Ritterdom,--child 223 years old at this time, ["Founded 1231, as a wooden Burg, just across the river, on the Heathen side, mainly round the stem of an immense old Oak that grew handy there,--Seven Barges always on the river (Weichsel), to fly to our own side if quite overwhelmed"