Suddenly, dead ahead, there loomed up a big black object.

time:2023-12-07 14:00:46 source:Alliance under the city author:method

Monday, 8th June, 1733, the Crown-Prince is again over from Ruppin: King, Queen and Crown-Prince are rendezvoused at Potsdam; and they set off with due retinues towards Wolfenbuttel, towards Salzdahlum the Ducal Schloss there; Sister Wilhelmina sending blessings, if she had them, on a poor Brother in such interesting circumstances. Mamma was "plunged in black melancholy;" King not the least; in the Crown-Prince nothing particular to be remarked. They reached Salzdahlum, Duke Ludwig Rudolf the Grandfather's Palace, one of the finest Palaces, with Gardens, with antiques, with Picture-Galleries no end; a mile or two from Wolfenbuttel; built by old Anton Ulrich, and still the ornament of those parts; --reached Salzdahlum, Wednesday the 10th; where Bride, with Father, Mother, much more Grandfather, Grandmother, and all the sublimities interested, are waiting in the highest gala; Wedding to be on Friday next.

Suddenly, dead ahead, there loomed up a big black object.

Friday morning, this incident fell out, notable and somewhat contemptible: Seckendorf, who is of the retinue, following his bad trade, visits his Majesty who is still in bed:--"Pardon, your Majesty: what shall I say for excuse? Here is a Letter just come from Vienna; in Prince Eugene's hand;--Prince Eugene, or a Higher, will say something, while it is still time!" Majesty, not in impatience, reads the little Prince's and the Kaiser's Letter. "Give up this, we entreat you for the last time; marry with England after all!" Majesty reads, quiet as a lamb; lays the Letter under his pillow; will himself answer it; and does straightway, with much simple dignity, to the effect, "For certain, Never, my always respected Prince!" [Account of the Interview by Seckendorf, in Forster, iii, 148-155; Copy of the answer itself is in the State-Paper Office here.] Seckendorf, having thus shot his last bolt, does not stay many hours longer at Salzdahlum;--may as well quit Friedrich Wilhelm altogether, for any good he will henceforth do upon him. This is the one incident between the Arrival at Salzdahlum and the Wedding there.

Suddenly, dead ahead, there loomed up a big black object.

Same Friday, 12th June, 1733, at a more advanced hour, the Wedding itself took effect; Wedding which, in spite of the mad rumors and whispers, in the Newspapers, Diplomatic Despatches and elsewhere, went off, in all respects, precisely as other weddings do; a quite human Wedding now and afterwards. Officiating Clergyman was the Reverend Herr Mosheim: readers know with approval the Ecclesiastical History of Mosheim: he, in the beautiful Chapel of the Schloss, with Majesties and Brunswick Sublimities looking on, performed the ceremony: and Crown-Prince Friedrich of Prussia has fairly wedded the Serene Princess Elizabeth Christina of Brunswick-Bevern, age eighteen coming, manners rather awkward, complexion lily-and-rose;--and History is right glad to have done with the wearisome affair, and know it settled on any tolerable terms whatever. Here is a Note of Friedrich's to his dear Sister, which has been preserved:--

Suddenly, dead ahead, there loomed up a big black object.


"SALZDAHLUM, Noon, 19th June, 1733.

"MY DEAR SISTER,--A minute since, the whole Ceremony was got finished; and God be praised it is over! I hope you will take it as a mark of my friendship that I give you the first news of it.

"I hope I shall have the honor to see you again soon; and to assure you, my dear Sister, that I am wholly yours (TOUT A VOUS). I write in great haste; and add nothing that is merely formal. Adieu. [ OEuvres, xxvii. part 1st, p. 9.]

One Keyserling, the Prince's favorite gentleman, came over express, with this Letter and the more private news; Wilhelmina being full of anxieties. Keyserling said, The Prince was inwardly "well content with his lot; though he had kept up the old farce to the last; and pretended to be in frightful humor, on the very morning; bursting out upon his valets in the King's presence, who reproved him, and looked rather pensive,"--recognizing, one hopes, what a sacrifice it was. The Queen's Majesty, Keyserling reported, "was charmed with the style and ways of the Brunswick Court; but could not endure the Princess-Royal [new Wife], and treated the two Duchesses like dogs (COMME DES CHIENS)." [Wilhelmina, ii. 114.] Reverend Abbot Mosheim (such his title; Head Churchman, theological chief of Helmstadt University in those parts, with a couple of extinct little ABBACIES near by, to help his stipend) preached next Sunday, "On the Marriage of the Righteous,"-- felicitous appropriate Sermon, said a grateful public; [Text, Psalm, xcli. 12; "Sermon printed in Mosheim's Works." ]--and in short, at Salzdahlum all goes, if not as merry as some marriage-bells, yet without jarring to the ear.


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