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      But the good sense of the utterance, so rare in those dark days, electrified thousands of minds. It drew the attention of Europe to Frederick, and gave him wide-spread renown.

      Have I not, on all occasions, meant honorably by you? Last time I got wind of your debts, did I not, as a father, admonish you to tell me all? I would pay all; you were only to tell me the truth; whereupon you said there were still two thousand thalers beyond the sum named. I paid these also at once, and fancied I had made peace with you. And then it was found, by-and-by, you owed many thousands more. And as you knew you could not pay, it was as good as if the money had been stolennot to reckon how the French vermin, Montholieu and partner, cheated you with their new loans.

      I will obey your commands as to sending those unpublished pieces. Your criticism will be my reward. It is a price few sovereigns can pay. I am sure of your secrecy. Your virtue and your intellect must be in proportion. I should indeed consider it a precious happiness to come and pay my court to your royal highness. One travels to Rome to see paintings and ruins. A prince such as you is a much more singular object, worthier of a long journey.

      Thus the summer of 1732 passed away. In November Wilhelmina returned from Baireuth to Berlin on a visit. She remained at home for ten months, leaving her babe, Frederica, at Baireuth. There must have been some urgent reason to have147 induced her to make this long visit, for her reception, by both father and mother, was far from cordial. Neither of them had been really in favor of the match with the young prospective Margraf of Baireuth, but had yielded to it from the force of circumstances. The journey to Berlin was long and cold. Her mother greeted her child with the words, What do you want here? What is a mendicant like you come hither for? The next day her father, who had been upon a journey, came home. His daughter had been absent for two years. And yet this strange father addressed her in the following cruel and sarcastic words:

      163 After dinner, being alone with me, he said, Our sire is approaching his end. He will not live out this month. I know that I have made you great promises, but I am not in the condition to keep them. I will leave you the half of the sum which my predecessor lent you. I think that you will have every reason to be satisfied with that.


      Monsieur Keith, said the king to him, I am sorry we had to spoil Madames fine shrubbery by our man?uvres; have the goodness to give her that, with my apologies, and handed him a pretty casket with key to it, and in the interior 10,000 crowns.In the mean time Frederick took positions which commanded the three gates on his, the southern, side of the river; constructed a bridge of boats; and sent four hundred men across the stream, and made preparations to force an entrance. At four oclock in the afternoon of Monday, not a gun having yet been fired, a messenger brought the intelligence that the town would be surrendered. At eight oclock the next morning, Tuesday, 3d of January, 1741, the city authorities came in their coaches, with much parade, to welcome their new sovereign. It was a bitter cold morning. The king had ridden away to reconnoitre the walls in their whole circuit. It was not until near noon that he was prepared to accompany the officials to the palace which was made ready for him. He then, on horseback, attended by his principal officers, and followed by an imposing retinue, in a grand entrance, proudly took possession of his easy conquest.230 He rode a very magnificent gray charger, and wore his usual cocked hat and a blue cloak, both of which were somewhat the worse for wear. Four footmen, gorgeously dressed in scarlet, trimmed with silver lace, walked by the side of his horse. The streets through which he passed were thronged, and the windows and balconies were crowded with spectators of both sexes. Though Frederick did not meet with an enthusiastic reception, he was very gracious, bowing to the people on each side of the street, and saluting with much courtesy those who seemed to be people of note.


      In the mean time, the queen and Wilhelmina, at Berlin, unconscious of the dreadful tidings they were soon to receive, were95 taking advantage of the absence of the king in seeking a few hours of social enjoyment. They gave a ball at the pretty little palace of Monbijou, on the banks of the Spree, a short distance out from Berlin. In the midst of the entertainment the queen received, by a courier, the following dispatch from Frederick William:


      One wretched man, who had been the guilty accomplice of the Crown Prince in former scenes of guilt and shame, was so troubled by the neglect with which he was treated that he hanged himself. Matrimonial Intrigues.Letters from the King to his Son.Letter from Fritz to Grumkow.Letter to Wilhelmina.The Betrothal.Character of Elizabeth.Her cruel Reception by the Prussian Queen.Letter from Fritz to Wilhelmina.Disappointment and Anguish of Elizabeth.Studious Habits of Fritz.Continued Alienation of his Father.The Marriage.Life in the Castle at Reinsberg.