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Frederick the Great and His Court   By: (1814-1873)

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FREDERICK THE GREAT AND HIS COURT

An Historical Romance

BY

L. MUHLBACH

AUTHOR OF JOSEPH II. AND HIS COURT

TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BY

MRS. CHAPMAN COLEMAN AND HER DAUGHTERS

CONTENTS.

BOOK I.

CHAPTER

I. The Queen Sophia Dorothea, II. Frederick William I., III. The Tobacco Club, IV. Air Castles, V. Father and Son, VI. The White Saloon, VII. The Maid of Honor and the Gardener, VIII. Von Manteuffel, the Diplomat, IX. Frederick, the Prince Royal, X. The Prince Royal and the Jew, XI. The Princess Royal Elizabeth Christine, XII. The Poem, XIII. The Banquet, XIV. Le Roi est Mort. Vive le Roi! XV. We are King, XVI. Royal Grace and Royal Displeasure,

BOOK II.

I. The Garden of Monbijou, II. The Queen's Maid of Honor. III. Prince Augustus William, IV. The King and the Son, V. The Queen's Tailor, VI. The Illustrious Ancestors of a Tailor, VII. Soffri e Taci, VIII. The Coronation, IX. Dorris Ritter, X. Old and New Sufferings, XI. The Proposal of Marriage, XII. The Queen as a Matrimonial Agent, XIII. Proposal of Marriage, XIV. The Misunderstanding, XV. Soiree of the Queen Dowager, XVI. Under the Lindens, XVII. The Politician and the French Tailor, XVIII. The Double Rendezvous,

BOOK III.

I. The Intriguing Courtiers, II. The King and the Secretary of the Treasury, III. The Undeceived Courtier, IV. The Bridal Pair, V. The French and German Tailors, or the Montagues and Capulets of Berlin, VI. In Rheinsberg, VII. The King and his Friend, VIII. The Farewell Audience of Marquis von Botter, the Austrian Ambassador, IX. The Masquerade, X. The Maskers, XI. Reward and Punishment, XII. The Return, XIII. The Death of the Old Time, XIV. The Discovery, XV. The Countermine, XVI. The Surprise, XVII. The Resignation of Baron von Pollnitz,

FREDERICK THE GREAT AND HIS COURT.

BOOK I.

CHAPTER I.

THE QUEEN SOPHIA DOROTHEA.

The palace glittered with light and splendor; the servants ran here and there, arranging the sofas and chairs; the court gardener cast a searching glance at the groups of flowers which he had placed in the saloons; and the major domo superintended the tables in the picture gallery. The guests of the queen will enjoy to night a rich and costly feast. Every thing wore the gay and festive appearance which, in the good old times, the king's palace in Berlin had been wont to exhibit. Jesting and merrymaking were the order of the day, and even the busy servants were good humored and smiling, knowing that this evening there was no danger of blows and kicks, of fierce threats and trembling terror. Happily the king could not appear at this ball, which he had commanded Sophia to give to the court and nobility of Berlin.

The king was ill, the gout chained him to his chamber, and during the last few sleepless nights a presentiment weighed upon the spirit of the ruler of Prussia. He felt that the reign of Frederick the First would soon be at an end; that the doors of his royal vault would soon open to receive a kingly corpse, and a new king would mount the throne of Prussia.

This last thought filled the heart of the king with rage and bitterness. Frederick William would not die! he would not that his son should reign in his stead; that this weak, riotous youth, this dreamer, surrounded in Rheinsberg with poets and musicians, sowing flowers and composing ballads, should take the place which Frederick the First had filled so many years with glory and great results.

Prussia had no need of this sentimental boy, this hero of fashion, who adorned himself like a French fop, and preferred the life of a sybarite, in his romantic castle, to the battle field and the night parade; who found the tones of his flute sweeter than the sounds of trumpets and drums; who declared that there were not only kings by "the grace of God, but kings by the power of genius and intellect, and that Voltaire was as great a king yes, greater than all the kings anointed by the Pope!" What use has Prussia for such a sovereign? No, Frederick William would not, could not die! His son should not reign in Prussia, destroying what his father had built up! Never should Prussia fall into the hands of a dreaming poet! The king was resolved, therefore, that no one should know he was ill; no one should believe that he had any disease but gout; this was insignificant, never fatal... Continue reading book >>




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