in front of the bow of the Mermaid, as if to make room

time:2023-12-07 14:10:38 source:Alliance under the city author:reading

For which small glimpse of the fact itself, at first-hand, across a whirlwind of distracted rumors new and old about the fact, let us be thankful to Wilhelmina. Seckendorf's hopeless attempts to resuscitate extinct English things, and make the Prussian Majesty break his word, continue to the very last; but are worth no notice from us. Grumkow's Drinking-bout with the Dilapidated-Strong at Crossen, which follows now in January, has been already noticed by us. And the Dilapidated-Strong's farewell next morning,--"Adieu, dear Grumkow; I think I shall not see you again!" as he rolled off towards Warsaw and the Diet,--will require farther notice; but must stand over till this Marriage be got done. Of which latter Event,--Wilhelmina once more kindling the old dark Books into some light for us,--the essential particulars are briefly as follows.

in front of the bow of the Mermaid, as if to make room

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.

in front of the bow of the Mermaid, as if to make room

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.

in front of the bow of the Mermaid, as if to make room

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:--


"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.]


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