《现场》 20200322 实地探访:北京新国展入境人员转运集散地

We have now reached the summer of 1729. George II. was a weak-minded, though a proud, conceited man, who, as King of England, assumed airs of superiority which greatly annoyed his irascible and petulant brother-in-law, Frederick William. Flushed with his new dignity, he visited his hereditary domain of Hanover. The journey led him through a portion of the Prussian territory. Courtesy required that George II. should announce that intention to the Prussian king. Courtesy also required that, as the British monarch passed over Prussian soil, Frederick William should furnish him with free post-horses. I will furnish the post-horses, said Frederick William, if the king apprise me of his intention. If he do not, I shall do nothing about it. George did not write. In affected unconsciousness that there was any such person in the world as the Prussian king, he crossed the Prussian territory, paid for his own post-horses, and did not even condescend to give Frederick William any notice of his arrival in Hanover. The King of Prussia, who could not but be conscious of the vast inferiority of Prussia to England, stung to the quick by this contemptuous treatment, growled ferociously in the Tobacco Parliament.

His very flute, Carlyle writes, most innocent Princess, as he used to call his flute in old days, is denied him ever since he came to Cüstrin. But by degrees he privately gets her back, and consorts much with her; wails forth, in beautiful adagios, emotions for which there is no other utterance at present. He has liberty of Cüstrin and the neighborhood. Out of Cüstrin he is not to lodge any night without leave had of the commandant.

525 This way! storm the others with hot tears; Adjutant Von Platen takes the flag: Platen too is instantly shot; but another takes it. This way, on! in wild storm of rage and grief; in a word, they managed to do the work at Sterbohol, they and the rest. First line, second line, infantry, cavalry (and even the very horses, I suppose), fighting inexpressibly; conquering one of the worst problems ever seen in war. For the Austrians too, especially their grenadiers there, stood to it toughly, and fought like men; and every grenadier that survived of them, as I read afterward, got double pay for life.

Four days after this Frederick wrote again, in answer to additional applications from Voltaire.

Hof, July 2, 1734, not long after 4 A.M.

The annoyances to which Wilhelmina was exposed, while thus preparing for her wedding, must have been almost unendurable. Not only her mother was thus persistent and implacable in her hostility, but her father reluctantly submitted to the connection. He had fully made up his mind, with all the strength of his inflexible will, that Wilhelmina should marry either the Margrave of Schwedt or the Duke of Weissenfels. It was with extreme reluctance, and greatly to his chagrin, that the stern old man131 found himself constrained, perhaps for the first time in his life, to yield to others.

To his brother Henry he wrote, I have had a bad time of it, my dear brother; our means are so eaten away; far too short for opposing the prodigious number of our enemies set against us. If we must fall, let us date our destruction from the infamous day of Maxen. My health is a little better, but I have still hmorro?des aveugles. That were nothing, however, were it not for the disquietudes I feel. For these three days I have had so terrible a cramp in continuance that I thought it would choke me. It is now a little gone. No wonder that the chagrins and continual disquietudes I live in should undermine, and at length overturn, the most robust constitution.

Voltaire fell sick. He had already quarreled with many persons, and had constrained the king in many cases, very reluctantly, to take his part. He now wrote to Frederick, begging permission to join him in the quietude of Sans Souci. The following extracts from the reply of his majesty will be read with interest:

Now are my wishes fulfilled, said the emperor, since I have the honor to embrace the greatest of kings and soldiers.

A comfortable house, with garden and summer-house, was provided for the Crown Prince. He occasionally gave a dinner-party to his brother officers; and from the summer-house rockets were thrown into the sky, to the great gratification of the rustic peasantry.

The queen summoned firmness to reply: You can inform the king that he will never make me consent to render my daughter miserable; and that, so long as a breath of life remains in me, I will not permit her to take either the one or the other of these persons.

My lord, do not talk to me of magnanimity. A prince ought, in the first place, to consult his interest. I am not opposed to peace. But I expect to have four duchies given me.