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event was soon followed by the general peace est part of their forces. This spirited enterof Oliva, which guaranteed Prussia to the elec- prise, however, was only glorious to him; for tor. The states of that country, however, made the French insisted upon the restoration of some opposition to a transfer in which they had every thing which had been taken from the not been consulted, and tumults ensued, which Swedes; and, upon his hesitation, over-ran the were at length appeased. Some ensuing years duchy of Cleves and principality of Minden. of tranquillity gave Frederic-William an op- At length he agreed to the peace of St. Gerportunity of displaying the beneficence of his main in 1679, by which he restored all his character, and his talents in promoting the arts conquests upon the Swedes, and abandoned the of peace. He rebuilt the fallen towns and king of Denmark. In return the French eva. ruined villages, converted forests and deserts cuated his Westphalian dominions, and paid into cultivated fields, facilitated commerce and him a sum of money. This was the conclunavigation by a canal from the Spree to the sion of the elector's military exploits. He Oder, and set on foot a variety of establish- thenceforth attended only to the improvement ments calculated to render his dominions pro- of his states, and to his political connections. sperous, and his people happy. He also attended His wisdom and equity caused him to be chosen to exterior concerns, and omitted no occasion mediator on various occasions between con. to secure and extend his territorial possessions. ' tending sovereigns; and he lost no opportunity Although Lewis XIV, had prevailed upon him of making good such claims as he possessed to remain neutral during the invasion of Flan- over neighbouring districts. He attached himders; yet when the ambition of that prince self to the interest of the emperor Leopold, threatened Holland, the elector concluded a whom he assisted with some troops against the treaty with the United States, by which he en- Turks, obtaining in return the investiture of gaged to furnish them with twenty thousand the duchy of Magdeburg, the right in which men in case of an attack. Joined by the Im- had fallen to the house of Brandenburgh. The perial troops, he began his march in 1672, but revocation of the edict of Nantes gave him an was stopt by Turenne, who took possession of accession of industrious subjects, who enriched all his territories in Westphalia. An offer his country with their arts and manufactures. made him by an assassin to rid him of his for- A French colony was formed at Berlin, which midable enemy was rejected with horror by the flourished greatly in consequence of the privi. elector, who sent information to Turenne of his leges he conferred upon it. The peace of Gerdanger. Soon after, making use of the pretext many and the North was again upon the eve of of the non-payment of the stipulated subsidies being disturbed, when a dropsy, succeeding the by Holland, his usual prudence led him to gout, put a period to the life of the Great Elector come to an agreement with the stronger, and in April, 1688, at the age of sixty-eight. He he made a separate peace with France, by which beheld the approaches of death with the greatest he regained all his lost provinces. He had, tranquillity, and employed his last hours in however, reserved himself the liberty of de- cares for the public good. Frederic-William fending the empire if attacked, and he exerted it was twice married; first to Henrietta of Orange, in 1674 by joining the allies with a body of then to Dorothea of Holstein ; and he had issue troops in Alsace. The French, in order to free by both. In private life he was kind and gethemselves from this enemy, instigated the nerous, fond of society, quick in his temper, Swedes to invade the marches of Brandenburg. but readily appeased. He is charged with no This step recalled the elector to the defence of other weakness than uxorious attachment to his subjects. He pushed on with equal celerity his second wife. He is considered as the boast and secrecy, and in June, 1675, gained the bat- and ornament of his house, and the chief founde tle of Fehrbellin against a superior Swedish er of its solid greatness. Mém. de Brandenarmy. He then followed the retiring enemy burg.-A. into Pomerania, where he took several places, FREDERIC, I. king of Prussia, III. as elecand the capital Stettin. After another success- tor of Brandenburg, son of the preceding by ful campaign, he was summoned to repel an his first wife, was born at Konigsberg, in 1657. invasion of Prussia by the Swedes. He marched Being deformed, and of a weak constitution, in the midst of winter, crossed the Frisch-haff his education was neglected; and the artifices and the gulf of Courland with his army in of his step mother so prejudiced his father sledges over the ice, and surprising the Swedes against him, that he was inclined to have dein their quarters, forced them to a precipitate prived him of the succession. In fact, the retreat from Prussia, with the loss of the great- elector made a will, by which he devised all the acquisitions of territory he had hinsself made, to consort, Sophia-Charlotta of Hanover (sister be divided among his children of the second to George I.), a woman of a superior underbed. This disposition, however, did not take standing, and truly philosophical temper, was place, and Frederic succeeded to the whole in- so little pleased with her elevation, that she said heritance in 1688. About that time war broke to one of her women, “ She was extremely out between the empire and France, and a grand mortified to go to Prussia and act the part of a alliance was formed against the latter power, stage-queen in presence of her Æsop." An Which Frederic joined. He himself took the anecdote is related, which curiously marks the command of his troops in the campaigns upon opposite characters of the royal pair. As they the Rhine in 1689, 1690. He had an inter- sat in high state, opposite each other, during the view in 1691, with king William, which the performance of the coronation ceremony, the difference of their characters rendered little sa- queen, who could not exist without perpetual tisfactory. William was cold, simple in his snuff-taking, gently stole her hand to her box manners, solid in his views. Frederic was im- at an instant she thought herself unobserved. patient, filled with notions of his own grandeur, The king, however, watched her so closely, and rigidly attentive to all points of etiquette. that he perceived it, and immediately sent a The distinction of a chair with arms and with- gentleman to ask her, “ Whether she rememout, was near embroiling them for ever ; but the bered the place where she was, and the rank elector at length agreed to send 15,000 men to she held there?" join Willian's army in Flanders. He likewise It was to be supposed that a sovereign of sent a considerable succour to the emperor in such a disposition would dignify his new title his war with the Turks. The great object of by all the magnificence he was capable of dishis ambition was to obtain the rank of royalty. playing; and Frederic was profuse in this reFor this purpose he favoured the erection of spect, to a degree which his country was ill able Hanover into a ninth electorate; and to this to support. One laudable direction of this spiend he directed all his politics. His ministers, rit was the institution of the Royal Academy of who opposed the project as chimerical and fri- Sciences at Berlin, in consequence of the solivolous, were disgraced. He purchased the citations of his queen, who persuaded him that good-will of the emperor, by resigning to him it was a fit appendage of royalty. The remainthe circle of Schwibus; and he continued, ing events of his reign were not highly importwhile the war lasted, to send his troops to the , ant. When Charles XII. of Sweden became Imperial armies. It was not, however, till the formidable by his victories, he obtained a neuwar on account of the Spanish succession, that trality for Prussia. On the decease of king he ventured to open his design. He then made William, he asserted his right to the succession it a principal condition of his co-operation with of part of his estates in consequence of the testhe emperor, that he should be recognised king tament of his grandfather Frederic-Henry prince of Prussia ; and a treaty to this effect was con- of Orange. His troops continued to serve cluded at Vienna in 1700. It was concurred in against France in the succession war, and he by the powers of the North and England, and even declared war against Lewis XIV. In 1705 the coronation took place in 1701. At this so- he lost his queen Sophia-Charlotta, who was his lemnity it was remarked that he himself put the second wife. She died with the most philosocrown upon his head; and certainly no mo- phical calmness, and her husband consoled himnarchy has been less clogged with conditions on self with the magnificence of the funeral solemthe part of the people. Though his own in- nities. By the persuasion of his ministers he ducement to assume royalty was chiefly a frivo- married in 1709, for a third wife, a princess of lous love of pomp and title, yet the descendant Mecklenburg-Schwerin, though he was then in who occupied his throne with so much distinc- an infirm state of health. In the ensuing year tion has, in the Memoirs of his family, consi- Prussia suffered greatly from a pestilential disdered this step as eventually a master-stroke of order, which was attended with the deepest policy, and that which raised the house of Bran- distress among the people, and carried off great denburg to its independence on that of Austria. numbers. The court did nothing for their rePrince Eugene viewed it in the same light, when lief, all the revenues being absorbed in vain and he said, “ The emperor ought to hang those ostentatious expences; but the prince-royal at ministers who had given him such a perfidious length obtained the dismission of his 'ministers, counsel.” At the time, it was generally thought who had abused the king's confidence. that Frederic had solicited an honour which his Amidst the subsequent disturbances of the power was inadequate to support. Even his North, Frederic employed his efforts to recon



sale of giants, whom he picked up from

teneghbouring countries at a vast expence. War of these were entrapped, or forced into is service, and he was involved in several quar

sont account of these irregular practices. He was equally attentive to propagate the breed, by

cching them with the tallest women in his dominions, who were arbitrarily compelled to the tion. Nothing, indeed, could be more despotic than his whole military system. He appointed to every captain a certain district throughout the extent of his dominions, out of which tre might take such recruits as he should choose, without distinction, provided they were unmarried men, and no young man was permitted to marry without the consent of this officer. As far, however, as could be compatible with such

galling servitude, he studied the happiness of his subjects and the prosperity of his states. He abolished all useless expences, and applied his savings to the encouragement of manufactures

and agriculture. He repeopled the countries 58. am desolated by the plague, by means of colonies te mimary drawn from the neighbouring states, which he

against settled with great advantages. He liberally ret reat the warded the industry and ingenuity of the introt ipinguets ducers of new arts; and many of the richest

Sopita-Doro- fabrics in the country owe their establishment to este r er, atter him. But his favour was entirely confined to e

t to mus f what he deemed useful. Being himself void of chartster in many science and ornamental literature, and not pos

of his prede- sessing sufficient enlargement of mind to perde s te great reductions ceive their connection with the public prosperi

sievas pemp and ap- ty, he regarded them with contempt and disD i ssione ecure the two great like, and treated their professors with every spe

e nestest the true strength cies of discouragement. Poetry and abstract come

alle treasury and a philosophy were equally his aversion. He ba

example of a wished a man of letters for placing some Latin Shre e in his own person, verses over the gate of the palace, and expelled n

e arels and by lay the celebrated Wolf for his metaphysical opiSoss Station Neap mons: to the last act, indeed, he seems to have i

v ery thing with been instigated by his theologians. He was a W

e es and received great lover of order in every department; and refer the means of his impartial in the administration of justice beD

e r and he wissen, vie tween man and man; but rigorous in his pu

very one nishments, and more inclined to aggravate than a teis te rather than the mitigate them. He caused all sentences of the N y the reale e til and military courts to be laid before him,

ANNER Be was an altered them at his pleasure; which pracr e W e Reeping the though perhaps sometimes favourable to

W e madhe equity, yer substituted his own despotic will to

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The public events of Frederic-William's iga were of no great importance. Soon afteris cuestion, he was recognised as king of Prus

a treaty with France, and his right to the sofergety of Neufchatel and Valangin pas confirmed. He preserved a neutrality with re- same time caused a young woman of Potsdam, spect to the war then subsisting among the suspected of an intrigue with the prince, to be Northern Powers till after the return of Charles publicly whipped through the streets of Berlin. XII. ;, when that monarch not agreeing to the In 1734 the king sent a body of troops to the proposal of his forbearing to carry his arms into Rhine to act under prince Eugene in favour of Poland or Saxony, the king of Prussia in 1715 the emperor against the French ; and he himdeclared war against him. Joining his forces self, accompanied by the prince-royal, repaired to those of Denmark, he took Stralsund. No to the imperial camp. No military action of other action of consequence followed ; and after consequence, however, took place. Fredericthe death of Charles XII. peace was restored William about this time fell into a bad state of between the two crowns. He interfered with health, which increased the natural violence spirit and effect in favour of the Protestants of and irritability of his disposition. He behaved, some neighbouring countries who were oppress. with brutality to his physicians, but was held in ed and ill-treated by their catholic sovereigns; some respect by the spirited remonstrances of and particularly interested himself in the atroci- the celebrated Hoffman. At length he became ous affair of Thorn. A dispute occasioned by tranquil and resigned, and died without a strug-the conduct of his enlisting-parties in Hanover gle in May, 1740, in his 52d year. He held produced a violent quarrel between him and his several conferences before his death on public brother-in-law George II. (between whom and affairs with the prince-royal, for whom he tes-. himself a mutual antipathy prevailed from their tified great regard. If, as is affirmed, he pleadinfancy), which brought on a challenge to single ed with him in favour of his tall regiment, his combat between the monarchs. It ended, howrecommendation proved fruitless. He left to ever, in idle vapour, as such royal bravadoes his son a fine army and a full treasury, which, have always done ; and a congress at Brunswick by his own confession, prepared the extraordi. settled the matter in debate: A singular do- nary efforts and successes of the following reign. mestic event took place in 1730, which strongly His issue was four sons and six daughters, one characterises the disposition of this sovereign. of whom became queen of Sweden.. Mém. de His eldest son, the prince-royal, had acquired Brandenb. Moreri. Nouv. Dict. Hist. Towers's: a great fondness for polite literature and music. Life of Frederic III.-A.. As both of these were objects of his father's de- FREDERIC II. king of Prussia, b'y some testation; his tastes. were continually thwarted reckoned the IIId. but better distinguished by: in the most forbidding manner; and his situa. the title of. The Great, which he deserved: be.. tion was in other respects rendered so uncom, yond any monarch of his time, was son of the fortable, that he took the resolution of privately preceding, and was born at Berlin on January quitting the Prussian dominions, and travelling 24, 1712. He was baptised by the name of to France or England. His design was disco- Charles-Frederic, but afterwards chose entirely vered, and its execution prevented; and the to drop the former of these names. When a prince himself, with two young officers whom child, he was committed to the care of a French he had made his. confidents, were proceeded governess, , from whom he derived a readiness. against as criminals. One of them had the in that language, and a predilection for it, good fortune to make his escape. The other, which he retained during life. In the progress named Katte, an-amiable youth, son to a gene- of education, he enjoyed few.advantages; for it ral officer, was condemned to death by the stern was his father's principal object to render him and relentless monarch, who obliged his son to thoroughly versed from childhood in military be a spectator of the execution. The prince was discipline, and in this he succeeded at the ex.. confined in the citadel of Custrin ; and it seems pence of other acquisitions.. As he grew. to.. probable that his father entertained serious in- wards manhood, however, a decided taste for tentions of beheading him for his disobedience; polite literature began to display itself. It was and that he was saved only in consequence of formed by the French books which were putthe interposition of the emperor and some other into his hands, and to which all his reading was princes, and the earnest entreaties of the queen, confined ;, and it fostered that gentleness and

After a close confinement of several months, polish of manners which distinguished him the. . the prince at length received his pardon; and more, from the contrast it afforded to his fa.

some time after, the king went to Custrin, and ther's roughness. He became likewise a great was formally reconciled to him: but such a .pa- lover and a practitioner of music; and such was. rent could never thenceforth inspire any other his apparent character at this period, that the affection than that of terror. He had about the baron de Pollnitz predicted a mild and peaceable.

Fri Frederic III. Nouv. Dict. Hist. Além. de

reign, should he arrive at the crown. His at- occupying the place of an unamiable predeces tempt in 1730 to escape from his father's tyran- sor. His very first act was to disband the tall ny, and its violent consequences, have been re- regiment, which, if not done in spite to his falated in the life of that king. A degree of dis- ther's memory, proved that he already entercountenance, which continued to be shewn him tained much more solid ideas of military power, after the public reconciliation, was of service by than those of idle parade. His liberal and enaffording him the leisure to pursue his studies lightened mind displayed itself in the institution in retirement; and he added mathematics and of a new order of knighthood, called that of other solid attainments to the more amusing Merit, which was to admit persons of desert in branches of literature. In 1733 his tranquillity arms or arts, without distinction of birth or was disturbed by a command from his father to country. He wrote to several of the most emimarry Elisabeth-Christina, a princess of the nent men of letters in different countries, invithouse of Brunswick Wolfenbuttle. Though ing them to settle in his dominions; and he reextremely averse to the union, he obeyed, but called the philosopher Wolf, and made him he refused to cohabit with his consort, and ad- head of the university of Halle. Voltaire, with hered to this resolution as long as he lived. It Maupertuis and Algarotti, had an interview is supposed that this conduct was not the mere with him near Cleves; the two latter soon after consequence of personal dislike; but that some took up their residence with him. He became physical cause existed, which, from the time of an author himself, and published “ Anti-Mahis maturity, for ever withdrew him from the chiavel," a work intended to refute the dishoempire of Venus. His father's succour to the nest maxims of the celebrated Italian, relative imperial army in 1734, gave him the treat of a to the morals of sovereigns. This, indeed, was conversation with prince Eugene on military af- written while he was prince; and it was unfor. fairs ; and a visit in 1735 to Stanislaus, king of tunate that one of his first practical comments Poland, then a fugitive at Konigsberg, gratified upon it should be a seizure by military force of him with the friendship of an amiable and let- some districts in the bishopric of Liege, upon tered sovereign. His connection with men of which he had an obsolete claim, and which he letters was extended; and in 1736 he began a afterwards restored for a large sum of money. correspondence with the great object of his ad. We shall soon see from other examples how miration, Voltaire, who had so considerable a far he thought the common rules of morality share in forming his taste and opinions. Whe. binding upon a sovereign. ther he derived more benefit or injury from the The death of the emperor Charles VI., in lessons of this celebrated man, will be different- October, 1740, had left a vast inheritance to his ly determined by different judges ; but if it was daughter Maria Theresa, which, though guaVoltaire who principally impressed him with ranteed by almost all the powers of Europe,

that spirit of religious toleration which ever dis- was instantly regarded as a tempting prey by · tinguished his reign, it may be asserted, that, all her neighbours. Among these, the king of

as a sovereign, he could scarcely receive a more Prussia was the first to begin the meditated ravaluable gift. We may add, that Voltaire's pine. Among his motives, he has honestly philosophy led him to inculcate upon his pupil enumerated, “ An army fit to march, a treathe duty in a governor of promoting the happi- sury ready prepared, and, perhaps, the ambition ness of the people committed to his charge by of acquiring renown.” (Hist. de mon Temps.) justice, humanity, and the arts of peace; and The immediate object was the seizure of the that it was not his fault if Frederic afterwards rich and contiguous province of Silesia, to parts gave way to the seductions of ambition and mi- of which his family had some antiquated claims. litary glory. Baron Bielfeld, and other persons These, however, were so little producible, that of literary distinction, formed a part of the he rather chose the plea of entering Silesia, “in prince's little court at Rheinsberg, which is re- order to cover it from being invaded and atpresented as being the seat of the muses and tacked.” He knew, however, that the sword graces; and the character sustained by the only could make good such a pretext; and he prince himself at this period, was that of one of accordingly assembled a choice army of 30,000 the most polite and fascinating young men in men, at the head of which he put himself Germany.

(though not recovered from an intermittent feIn May, 1740, Frederic succeeded to the throne ver) in the middle of December of that year, of Prussia, and immediately obtained the pos- beginning his march immediately after a grand session of all that popularity which usually masked ball. A feeling of propriety induced waits upon a young sovereign, especially when him to erase the word Deo from the motto of

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