History of Friedrich the Second: Called Frederick the Great - Vol. 3

History of Friedrich the Second: Called Frederick the Great - Vol. 3

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History of Friedrich the Second: Called Frederick the Great - Vol. 3

History of Friedrich the Second: Called Frederick the Great - Vol. 3

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In his action, too, there was such rapidity, such secrecy, suddenness; a man that could not be read, even by the candid, except as in flashes of lightning. And then the anger of by-standers, un candid, who got hurt by him; the hasty malevolences, the stupidities, the opacities--enough, in modern times, what is saying much, perhaps no man's motives, intentions, and procedure have been more belied, misunderstood, misrepresented during his life. Nor, I think, since that, have many men fared worse, by the Limner or Biographic class, the favorable to him and the unfavorable, or been so smeared of and blotched of, and reduced to a mere blur and dazzlement of crosslights, incoherences, incredibilities, in which nothing, not so much as a human nose, is clearly discernible by way of feature!" Courage, reader, nevertheless; on the above terms, let us march according to promise.

CHAPTER II.
THE HOMAGINGS

YOUNG Friedrich, as his Father had done, considers it unnecessary to be crowned. Old Friedrich, first of the name, and of the King series, we did see crowned, with a pinch of snuff tempering the solemnities. That Coronation once well done suffices all his descendants hitherto. Such an expense of money--of diluted mendacity too! Such haranguing, gesturing, symbolic fugling, all grown half-false: avoid lying, even with your eyes, or knees, or the coat upon your back, so far as you easily can!

Nothing of Coronation; but it is thought needful to have the Huldigungen (Homagings) done, the Fealties sworn; and the young Majesty in due course goes about, or gives directions, now here, now there, in his various Provinces, getting that accomplished. But even in that Friedrich is by no means strait-laced or punctilious; does it commonly by Deputy; only in three places, Königsberg, Berlin, Cleve, does he appear in person. Mainly by deputy; and always with the minimum of fuss, and no haranguing that could be avoided. Nowhere are the old Stände (Provincial Parliaments) assembled, now or afterward: sufficient for this and for every occasion are the "Permanent Committees of the Stände;" nor is much speaking, unessential for dispatch of business, used to these.

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