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      Four days after this Frederick wrote again, in answer to additional applications from Voltaire.


      It is said that Frederick, determined not to lose his dancer in that manner, immediately informed the young gentlemans friends that he was about to form a mesalliance with an opera girl. The impassioned lover was peremptorily summoned home. Hatred for Frederick consequently rankled in young Mackenzies heart. This hatred he communicated to his brother, Lord Bute, which subsequently had no little influence in affairs of national diplomacy.The unhappy Crown Prince was in an agony of despair. Again and again he frantically exclaimed, In the name of God, I beg you to stop the execution till I write to the king! I am ready to renounce all my rights to the crown if he will pardon Katte! As the condemned was led by the window to ascend the scaffold, Fritz cried out to him, in anguish as intense as a generous heart can endure, Pardon me, my dear Katte, pardon me! Oh that this should be what I have done for you!


      No, no, said he; you shall have those one hundred thousand thalers. I have destined them for you. People will be much surprised to see me act quite differently from what they had expected. They imagine I am going to lavish all my treasures, and that money will become as common as pebbles in Berlin. But they will find that I know better. I mean to increase my army, and to leave all other things on the old footing. I will have every consideration for the queen, my mother, and will satiate her with honors. But I do not mean that she shall meddle with my affairs. If she try it she will find so.

      Wilhelmina, with flooded eyes, entered her carriage, bidding a final adieu to the home of her childhood, where she had passed through so many scenes, eventful and afflictive. Though she afterward visited Berlin, it was her home no more. The Crown Prince returned to Cüstrin, where he impatiently awaited his future destinies.The incident accords so well with the habitual treachery of Robespierre, that if not true it may be called ben trovato; but in fact it is not really certain that it took place.

      His uncle,accepting his forbearance as a sign of acquiescence to his wishes,now, for the first time, really exerted himself for his entertainment. He talked with vivacity, humor, intelligence, and much of the tone and manner of his earlier days. His better self revived, for a time; and Bergan recognized something of the refined, cultured, accomplished gentleman, of his mother's descriptions, whose lightsome flow of spirits, gay sparkle of wit, and frank, cordial address, had made him the life and soul of the circle wherein he moved. It was mournful to see him under this pleasant transformation, and think of him in his usual aspect. Bergan could not but wonder how he had ever fallen to that lower level. He had not seen the easy descent from gayety to dissipation of his younger days; nor could he understand how naturally, with years, drinking in frivolous companionship had been exchanged for drinking alone, lavishness for parsimony, the gay, aimless life of a man of the world for the steady, energetic pursuit of one selfish, isolated, exclusive object.The darkest hour is often nearest the dawn. The next day after Frederick had written the above letter he received news of the death of his most inveterate enemy, Elizabeth, the Empress of Russia. As we have mentioned, she was intensely exasperated against him in consequence of some sarcasms in which he had indulged in reference to her private life. Elizabeth was the daughter of Peter the Great, and had inherited many of her fathers imperial traits of character. She was a very formidable foe.


      For some time past, the road had led through a monotonous pine barren, and the traveller had fallen into a fit of thought. Raising his eyes, at last, from the path on which they had been fixed in abstraction, he saw that the long vista before him was once more enlivened by a moving object. His keen, far sight, trained in western wilds, easily made it out to be a half-obsolete kind of chaise, moving in the same direction as himself, but moving so slowly that he gained on it at every step. In a few moments, he was close behind it, quietly observing its superannuated style and condition, as well as the skinny little horse that furnished its motive power. Hearing the sound of his quick, firm tread, its occupant lifted his eyes from the tattered volume over which he was poring, and turned to look at him.

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      With her fathers death vanished for ever the bright, unclouded happiness of her childhood; her life henceforth was chequered with brilliant success, artistic and social, and acute sorrows in her domestic life; like a picture in which the brightness of the lights seem to deepen the gloom of the shadows. They were very badly off, for Louis Vige had left scarcely any provision for his family, and Lisette for some time was so stunned with the shock and grief that she seemed to be sunk in despair, taking no interest in anything, and giving up even the painting which had been her passion. Doyen, amongst other friends of Vige, used to come to see them; his visits were the greatest consolation to them all, especially to the young girl, who appreciated the affection he had always shown for her father, and by him she was persuaded to resume the studies and work which alone had power to divert her mind in some degree from her sorrow. She began to paint from nature, and did several portraits both in oil and in pastel, working [22] chiefly with another young girl about a year older than herself, Mlle. Boquet, whose father kept a curiosity shop in the rue Saint Denis where he lived, and where Lisette used to go in the evenings to draw from casts by candlelight with her friend.

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      178 Meanwhile Frederick the First died, and with him was buried all his false grandeur, which consisted only in a vain magnificence, and in the pompous display of frivolous ceremonies. My father, who succeeded him, compassionated the general misery. He visited the spot, and saw, with his own eyes, this vast country laid waste, and all the dreadful traces which a contagious malady, a famine, and the sordid avarice of a venal administration leave behind them. Twelve or fifteen towns depopulated, and four or five hundred villages uninhabited, presented themselves to his view. Far from being discouraged by such a sad spectacle, his compassion only became the more lively from it; and he resolved to restore population, plenty, and commerce to this land, which had even lost the appearance of an inhabited country.


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