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rise out of the chaos. The Directory had the Allons! and the Marchons! of the succeeded the overthrow of Robespierre Marseillaise Hymn sent young France in and his Jacobin friends; and it was pre- overwhelming force into Flanders, to the paring the way for its own dissolution, and Rhine, to the Jura, to the Alps. No hosthe accession of the Consulate, with the tile foot was allowed to tread the soil of Corsican at its head.
France many days. The panic-stricken Nor had the moral volcano, which had foe was pursued even into the marshes of levelled every ancient institution of France Holland, nor found, in its dykes and in the dust-just as the tremendous hur- its canals, the safety which it sought. ricane in the natural world, prostrates for- Not only did the blue-eyed Germans reests, overturns houses, and spreads desola- treat with precipitation back to the eastern tion everywhere—been confined, in its bank of the Rhine, but were glad to surravages, to the limits of that beautiful, but render the western, and with it, four millthen unhappy country.
Its effects were ions of inhabitants, to the Republic of felt in all the civilized world, especially in France. The Austrians were chased out the European portion of it. Thrones which of Switzerland, and were compelled to rehad endured a thousand years, trembled tire altogether from their ill-gotten poson their bases, and fear fell upon all the sessions in Italy! Such were the achievevenerable adjuncts by which they had been ments of a mighty nation, when freedom so long propped up.
had infused a new life throughout all the In no country was there more alarm classes of its population. among sensible and far-seeing men, than in And what if liberty was perverted to Germany: in none was there greater occa licentiousness, and new despots mounted to sion for it. From immemorial time—at the deserted seats whence the old had so least from the downfall of the Roman em recently been hurled ? Still the people pire—that country had been the prey of possessed the emblems and some of the all sorts of despotism, from that of the substantial fruits of freedom. Old mopoorest baron and the humblest priest, up nopolies were gone. The enormous landed through the double lines of State and possessions of the church, of the nobiliChurch, to the throne of the Emperor and ty, and of the crown, had been, for the the chair of the Fisherman.
most part, confiscated, and a new order of Yet, strange as it may seem to men of things, so far as the agricultural population our day, the trembling despotisms of that was concerned, had commenced. “And if country-wholly insensible of their own despotism had again taken the place of weakness, and ignorant of the nation with | liberty, even while wearing its garb, it which they had to do—combined their was some consolation to the masses, that forces, for the purpose of reducing France the despots were from among themselves, to her pristine condition. Large armies, and not of an ancient, privileged, and longwere marched to the Rhine, there to meet detested caste. And then, if it was a desinglorious defeat, and thence to be driven potism, it was a glorious one, which to back, overwhelmed with shame, to the Frenchmen is a great deal. What if it lands whence they came.
gave them chains at home? it
them Nor is it wonderful that they suffered consideration and glory abroad. Still such disasters. The enemy with whom more, if it was a despotism, it was one of they went to contend, was a young giant, their own making; and we all know that awaking up in all his energy, and intoxica- men will submit with much more contentted with the enthusiasm of newly-got- ment and better grace, to burthens of ten freedom. The sudden acquisition on which they themselves are the authors, the part of the masses of liberty, or what than to those which others impose on them. was deemed to be such, had infused a new But let us return from this digression—a Life throughout the entire nation. Old digression, however, needed to illustrate things had passed away, and all things had the subject-to the state of Germany at become new—alas ! not always in the best the epoch of the birth of Frederick Will
And when the old dynasties under- iam IV. Two great military governments took to put down this most astonishing ruled the Germanic and Germano-Slamovement which the world has ever seen, vonic races—the Austrian and Prussian
Both had attained to an acmé of hauteur, one time, it seemed as if he should be com at once insupportable and ridiculous, on pelled to stand against all continental Eu account of their achievements in arms.
And what a spectacle did he pre But the grounds of this insolent bearing sent! At one moment, we see him beatwere not equal. Austria had for a long ing the Russians on the Oder, and driving period been distinguished for her warlike them back towards Poland ; anon he is propensities and illustrious deeds. She fighting the Austrians amid the mounhad met the Turks in a hundred battles, tains of Silesia, or attacking and battering and, aided by Poland, had been the bul- down the battlements of Prague ! wark of Christendom against the Moslems. while, all seems to be lost! The enemy She had often measured her strength with takes possession of his blazing capital, the Gallic race, and not without success. whilst he flies with his shattered legions to She had, therefore, something like an an the banks of the Elbe. But soon victory cient greatness in military affairs, and her perches again on his standards, and “Old renown was world-wide extended.
Fritz” is in possession of his sandy, pineAs to Prussia, she was a parvenu among producing realm. Nothing could daunt the great powers, not having, in fact, com him. He might be beaten, but conquered, pleted a century of national existence.*
His mind was as active as his She had been singularly fortunate in the body, and his right hand wielded the goosemain, in her rulers; no royal house in quill as readily as the sword. For him to Europe having, from the first, produced write “two hundred verses on the eve more great men than that of Brandenburg. of a great battle, was almost an ordinary But Prussia is, for the most part, a poor night's work! country, and originally its extent was very That such a consummate general, the limited. Its position, too, is one of essen monarch of the nation, should be surrounded tial and innate weakness. But Frederick with able commanders, is no way astonishthe Great, whose equal in military talent ing: Himself sharing in all the fatigues has seldom been seen, either in ancient or aud
exposures of the camp—with as much modern times, had raised her up from the patience drilling a company of grenadiers, condition of a third or fourth-rate power, on foot, in the midst of a drenching rain, to a place in the very first rank. In his as he marshalled a hundred regiments on a Seven Years' War, he resisted, successful- | Champ de Mars—it was inevitable that his ly, Russia, Austria, France, Poland and spirit should be imparted to the officers Sweden, together with several of the around him, be they princes of the blood, smaller powers of Germany. Indeed, at nobles of high birth, or plebeians from the
lowest ranks. The same enthusiasm per* The national existence of Prussia dates from vaded the non-commissioned officers and January, 1701, when Frederick III., Duke of Bran
common soldiers. And at his death be denburg, assumed the title of King of Prussia, and the name of Frederick I. of that kingdom.
left Prussia the most distinguished nation * Frederick William-the Great Elector, as he is in Europe for military prowess. He left, sian kingdom. He came to the ducal throne of too, an able corps of great commanders, Brandenburg in 1640, and reigned more than forty whom his own genius and example had years. He was in every sense a great man, and a
And Prussian tactics were decided Protestant. He invited the persecuted Huguenots of France to his dominions, and adopted, as the French are now, by all the ghousands flocked thither, carrying with them their civilized world, and the plans of her campiety. He was the father of the first King of Prus-paigns and of her battles were studied, as kingdom. Even when Frederick II. (commonly sought distinction in military life.
At the commencement, Prussia was a very small master-pieces, by cadets and all others who called Frederick the Great) ascended the throne In the year 1786, died Frederick the in 1740, Prussia was not larger in extent than the Great, and with him the military glory of three millions ! He left it greatly enlarged and quite Prussia went down to the tomb, and repowerful. At present, Prussia exceeds 120,000 mained there for a quarter of a century. square miles, and has about fifteen millions of in- Frederick William II. succeeded to the habitants. Its disjointed state, as well as its natural position, is a great obstacle in the
way of its throne of his illustrious uncle, and ingloribeing a very strong country. For its defence it ously reigned till the year 1797. Neither must emphatically depend, under God, on the wisdom and valor of its inhabitants.
the nation nor the world had very elevated
expectations of his distinguishing himself. the reflecting, nothing could be more disIt augured anything else than greatness, that couraging. The officers who had served “Old Fritz” had driven him in his younger | under the great Frederick, were mostly years from the army, telling him to go home old and infirm men: some were afflicted and take care of his children! And most with the gout, and others were unfit for certainly and amply did his life and actions service from other causes. Among the establish the correctness of the great war- younger officers, infidelity and immorality rior's opinion. The best thing that can be extensively prevailed, as, alas ! too genersaid of his reign is, that it was one of peace. ally in the nation at large. The common But it was one of wasteful extravagance soldiers were ignorant, and treated too and mal-administration. A large army much like machines, or like beasts. There was maintained in idleness, corrupting, by was no morale among either officers or its relaxed discipline and dissolute manners, men. Among the former the prestige of the moral atmosphere, far and wide, wher- the great Frederick and his victories, was ever any portion of it was stationed. almost the only stimulus that was effective Nothing could exceed the pride and auda- to wake up their courage. Among the ciousness of the officers, especially those of latter, there was little enthusiasm in behalf the lower grades. Every one thought of any cause. A blind, unreasoning obehimself the heir of all the military capacity dience was all that was expected of either and glory of the “Great Frederick.” officers or soldiers. Count Henkel says, He who had served with the renowned in his “ Memoirs,” that when Frederick Captain, in whatever rank, deemed himself William II. died, the colonel of the regiinvincible! And when, in the early part of ment to which he belonged assembled his the French Revolution, the Prussian troops men, and made them this remarkable met with some pretty serious defeats speech :(though they gained some victories) on the Rhine, their disasters seem not to have “ His Majesty Frederick William II. has opened their eyes to the possibility, either been pleased to die. We have therefore to that they had lost any of the prowess which
swear allegiance to a new king. What his they had acquired under Frederick the Frederick, we carnot exactly tell ; but that does
name will be, whether Frederick William, or Great, or that their enemies had made any not signify. Herr Gerichtschreiber, read the advances upon the tactics and the discipline oath a loud.” of a by-gone generation. Nothing of the sort seems to have entered their heads. In the year 1797, Frederick William III.
They heard, indeed, with some degree of ascended a throne environed by many trials. astonishment, of the victories of the French Napoleon was conquering everything bein Flanders, on the Rhine, under their Re- fore him in the north of Italy, and preparpublican generals, Dumouriez, Jourdan, ing to enact the part of another Alexander Bernadotte, Moreau, and others, and espe- of Macedon, The King was still young. cially those of Napoleon in the north of Conscious of the many difficulties which Italy. But they attributed them to the beset his path, and distrustful of his own inferiority of their antagonists. Even the capacity to meet the storm, which he soon victories of Marengo and of Austerlitz, at saw was approaching, he was disposed to act later epochs, scarcely agitated their self- with a caution that bordered on timidity. complacency, or made them believe it possi- But he was surrounded by rash counselble that similar reverses might await them in lors, who clamored for war with France. their turn, They have beaten the Austri- War with France was more and more earnans, but they have not met the Prussians !" estly demanded by a large party every "Let Prussia,” said they,“ but once enter year. At the head of this party was the the lists with France, and the superiority King's cousin, Louis Ferdinand, a man of of her high-born officers, of the school of great influence among the younger officers, Frederick the Great, over the French and of vast popularity with the people. bourgeois troops, will soon appear."
At length, after years of very complex, Nothing could exceed the arrogance of and it must be confessed, of very doubtful the Prussian officers, save their contempt diplomatic manoeuvring, in which her for the French. And yet, to the eye of character for wisdom, not to say justice,
suffered_greatly, Prussia declared war affliction were profitable in the way of against France. Soon a vast army was in discipline. They led the good to seek help motion on the southern borders of her where only it could be found, in God. The kingdom, under the command of the old Duke of Brunswick, to meet the enemy; Saxony and Sweden. The retributive justice of
their former wars with Austria, Poland, Russia, Great was the vaunting of the officers and God in the affairs of men is certain, and often won. courtiers. A major boasted that he derfully signal... The chalice which we commend would make that scoundrel, Bonaparte, our own
10 other lips will, sooner or later, be commended to his groom.” Every one, save the serious The insolence of Napoleon towards the fallen royal and reflecting men who had long remarked house of Prussia, is well known. Neither the sex
nor the beauty of the Queen, who was one of the and deplored the degeneracy of the times, loveliest of women, and who died of a broken heart, was sanguine of success. Alas! in this, as
occasioned by the calamities of her country, could in too many other instances, achievement protect her against his base calumnies. On his way
io St. Helena, and during the years of his confinedid not equal promise. The declaration of ment on that rock, he lost no opportunity of insultwar was made on the 6th day of October, duet unworthy of a truly great man. Neither
ing the memory of that excellent woman-a con: 1806; on the 14th, Bonaparte, with his Scipio, nor Gustavus Adolphus, nor our own Washirresistible forces, scattered the Prussians, inglon, could have been guilty of such ineffable
baseness. as the chaff is driven by the wind, on the That he should indulge his jeers and taunts against plains of Jena. On that fatal day perished the King, was to be expected, considering the conboth the prestige of the name of the great shared by almost every other sovereign of the old Frederick, and their wretched self-delusion. dynasties of that day. One of the most amusing In a few days Napoleon was at their capi- edge, we heard from the lips of Sir Robert
Wilson, tal, occupying, if not revelling in, the de at present the military Governor of Gibraltar. serted palaces of Frederick William III. That wonderful man, whose own “Memoirs" The forces of the Prince of Ponte Corvo, the world, was several times sent by the British (Bernadotte, Soult and Murat drove a Government as Military. Commissioner," to atlarge Prussian army westward to Lübeck, leon. In this capacity he was present in the cam
tend the allied armies in their wars against Napo. and compelled them to lay down their paign of the winter of 1806-7, in Poland and Eastarms, on the other side of that city, near
ern Prussia, and witnessed, we believe, the battle
of Friedland. He was with the allied forces, in the the Danish frontier. Whilst Bonaparte, same capacity, in the campaign of 1813, and saw with the main body of his army, pursued the battle of Dresden, and that of Leipsic. He was the flying forces of the King eastward into Emperor Alexander, and ventured to accompany Poland and Eastern Prussia, where the them to Tilsit, in the incognito of a Cossack officer battles of Pultusk, Ostrolenka, Eylau, and Bonaparte soon learned that he was there, and Friedland, led to the treaty of Tilsit, and monarchs were his guests, declaring that he would the utter prostration—not to say annihila- hang Wilson, if he should catch him. The Empe. tion--of the Prussian kingdom. The foot Wilson, to apprise him of his danger, and to beseech of the conqueror was even on the neck of him to Ny. The Englishman immediately set out the fallen and wretched foe.
to quit the place, and on his way, with great sang
froid, passed by Bonaparte's quarters, leaning on Six long years of disgrace, distress, and the arm of General Worontzoff. Bonaparte, who deep humiliation, ensued. The sufferings Emperor Alexander who it was that was walking
was standing by the window, seeing him, asked the which Prussia endured—the insults heaped with Worontzoff? He replied that it was a Cosupon the men, and the cruel injuries done sack officer. The King of Prussia remarking that
the countenance of Napoleon indicated both suspito the women—have never been fully re cion and vengeance, retired as soon as he could, vealed to the world.* But these years of and hastening down to the ferry, arrived just in
time to see Wilson off. A moment only was spent
in the King's relating to him what Bonaparte had * Within the last few years many works, relating said, and in giving him some instances of Napoto this period of Prussia's humiliation, have ap leon's insolence to him and the Queen. Inter alia, peared in Germany, very few of which are known, he said, “To-day, at the dinner, at his own table, even by title, to our American public. Many of Bonaparte, remarking the rows of buttons on my these works are in the shape of " Memoirs” and pantaloons, (which studded the outer seams, from “Records,” and are more or less personal. They iop to bottom, by way of ornament,) asked me, contain, however, very many facis of a national whether it required more time to button them character, and they are deeply interesting as giving from top to bottom, than from bottom to top?' The an insight into the state of things during thai insoleni and unmannerly fellow !" But Bonaparte gloomy period. They contain details of the infa cared very little about manners when he wished to mous conduct of the French officers and soldiers, insult a fallen foe, or an unyielding friend. which are truly appalling. It is probable, however, Among the most interesting of the works referred that the rapacity and violence of the French did not to at the head of this note, we may mention those much exceed those of the Prussians themselves in written by Count Henkel, Karl Immerman, Profes
excellent King shared deeply in this con disastrous in many respects, but the last viction. A happy reaction took place; the fifteen years were peaceful, prosperous, plague of infidehty and irreligion was and in the main happy. Gradually the stayed ; and a regenerating process com kingdom recruited its resources and its menced, affecting alike the court, the army energies; its population has steadily inand the nation. A deep sense of disgrace, creased; and its proper influence in the combined with the indignation which in- European family of nations has been rejustice and oppression engendered, inflamed covered. The reign of the late King, every heart, from the monarch on the however gloomy the times during the throne, to the humblest peasant. The former portion of it, secured many blessings smothered fires gained strength year by to the people. A number of important year, until, when the proper time had ameliorations in the administration of its come—the fatal year, to Napoleon, of 1813 affairs were effected. It is indebted to
it burst forth like a volcano, and over that monarch for the existence of two of whelming the French, drove them out of its best universities——those of Berlin and Germany.
Bonn*-and for the renovation of the rest. To say that Prussia lost everything at Above all, it owes to his wisdom and fosJena, would be to utter what all the world tering care, both the existence and the has said these forty years past. To say high degree of perfection of its admirable that that defeat saved her, (by leading her School System, which has secured the in what was probably the only practi- admiration and the imitation of all the cable way
of regeneration,) is a paradox in German States, France, and several other which there is a pregnant meaning countries. Another paradox has also been uttered It is true, that the nation were not well respecting that same disastrous battle, satisfied in regard to several subjects. In namely, that Frederick the Great (by the the first place, the King had promised, in blind and vain reliance of the Prussians on
1815, to give his people a Constitution his name) was the cause of it.
adapted to the demands of the age. InFrederick William IV. was eleven years stead of this, he only restored provincial old when the battle of Jena was fought assemblies to those of the eight provinces and his country ruined; and he was of the realm which formerly had them, eighteen when the dreadful battle of and created them in those which never had Leipsic was fought, and the day of deliv- them. That these provincial assemblies, erance was come for down-trodden Prussia. which are entirely consultative bodies, have And terribly was she avenged of her great been of use in directing the government, enemy there, as well as at many other and in preparing the way for a constituplaces, and among them the plains of tional government for the entire kingdom, Waterloo. Awaking from long years of cannot be denied ; but they were far from oppression and anguish, she drove that fulfilling the expectations excited by the enemy from her borders, nor ceased from royal promise. the pursuit, until she saw him humbled in
In the next place, the government the dust. What a lesson of warning to sympathized entirely too much with Austria the oppressor, and of hope to the oppressed, and Russia, in their abhorrence of every. does her history teach!
thing like political agitation. In conseIn the month of May, 1840, died Fred- quence of this, many young men of the erick William III. at his palace in Berlin. universities, as well as other suspected The first half of his reign was eminently persons, were made to undergo severe
punishments in the shape of imprisonment, sor Steffeus, Ernest Moritz Arndt, Johannes Gus- fines, banishment, &c., which were alike tavus Droysen, Chamisso, and Varnhagen Von excessive, unjust, and impolitic. Ense-ihe last named of which has been translated into English, by Sir Alexander Duff Gordon, and Again, the army was kept on a footing was published in London, in 2 vols. 8vo., last year. entirely too large for a nation not abounding This is a work full of interesting facts. The Was in wealth, and having scarcely 14,000,000 ich erlebte of Professor Steffeus is even more interesting: it is quite voluminous, however, and has not been translated into English, so far as we know. Almost all these works have appeared within the * The University of Berlin was founded in 1809; last seven years.
that of Bonn in 1818.