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with unusual indulgence pardoned his errour, and only repeated, “ Confide in me in future, and you will have no 6.cause to repent.” That Frederick had at this period of his life great confidence in his young favourite, and that he was capable of confidence, was evident from his behaviour the night when the pandour Trenck, his own cousin, had nearly surrounded him and his troops. Frederick never showed on this occasion the slightest suspicion, that Trenck was in traitorous intelligence with this cousin : nor did such a suspicion appear in the king's mind till long afterwards, when a letter, which Trenck received from the pandour, and which he concealed from the king, sufficiently justified the king's withdrawing his confidence. Trenck should have carried that letter the moment he received it to Frederick, and should have thus proved, that he did confide in that king who had promised to be his friend; but instead of this, the imprudent youth, for what reason does not appear, went, and made a confident of a rascal, one Jaschinsky, who he had no reason, even at that time, to think was his friend, and for whom he had neither esteem nor affection ; by this man's advice he was guided in this most delicate affair, and by this man he was persuaded to keep the whole transaction concealed from his general, and his king. Was it wonderful, that he lost Frederick’s confidence? He complains of the misrepresentations of his enemies, and of the base arts by which Colonel Jaschinsky and others ruined him with the king; but had he behaved towards Frederick with openness and prudence, it would have been impossible for any Jaschinsky to have undermined him. Trenck’s intrigue with the Princess Amelia, . in defiance of the irritated monarch's repeated warnings, was
of itself sufficient to bring on his fate; but there can be little doubt, that Frederick would have listened to Trenck's justification, if he had not by his own dissimulation or folly closed the king's confidence against him irrecoverably. Thus it is that men often accuse their enemies or their ill fortune when they ought to blame only themselves and their own imprudence. All these errours of Trenck's youth appear trifling and excusable, because his punishment and horrid sufferings afterwards were so greatly disproportioned to the offences : but for this very reason it is necessary to point them out to youth, otherwise the example of his extraordinary heroism, generosity, and honour toward those who assisted him in his adversity, must strike young men so forcibly, that Trenck altogether might become their hero and their model: they might learn to admire even that self-willed intractable temper, and that rash vanity, to which he himself with great candour acknowledges that he owed many of his calamities.
What has been said of the eloquence of Baron Trenck’s. writing refers only to the history of his life till he quits the dungeon of Magdeburgh. The sequel of his memoirs is often interspersed with rhapsodies and nonsense. The following passage, however, will justify all that can be said of the eloquence of the first part of his memoirs, and it is a passage so strongly in favour of literature, even for military men, that it cannot be impertinent to quote it in this place.
“ I had read much ; had lived in, and seen much of the “ world; vacuity of thought therefore I was little troubled “ with; the former transactions of my life, what had hap
“ pened, and the remembrance of the persons I had known, “ I revolved so often in my mind, that they became as fami“ liar and connected as if the events had each been written 6s in the order it occurred. Habit made this mental exercise “ so perfect to me, that I could compose speeches, fables, “ odes, satires, all which I repeated aloud in my dungeon, “ and had so stored my memory with them, that I was en“ abled, after I obtained my freedom, to commit to writing “ two volumes of these my prison labours. Accustomed to “ this exercise, days that would otherwise have been days of “ misery appeared but as a moment. The following narra“ tive will show how much esteem, how many friends these “ compositions procured me, even in my dungeon, insomuch 6 that I obtained light, paper, and finally freedom itself. “ For these have I to thank the industrious acquirements of “ my youth; therefore do I counsel all my readers so to “ employ their time. Riches, honours, the favours of fortune “ may be showered by monarchs upon the most worthless ; “ but monarchs can give and take, say and unsay, raise and “ pull down. Monarchs, however, can give neither wisdom “ nor virtue.-Arbitrary power itself here, and before these, 6 is foiled.
“ How wisely has Providence ordained, that the endow“ ments of industry, learning, and science, given by our“ selves, cannot be taken from us! while on the contrary, 66. what others bestow is a fantastical dream, from which any “ accident may awaken us. The wrath of Frederick could “ destroy legions, and defeat armies; but it could not take “ from me the sense of honour, of innocence, and their sweet
“ concomitant peace of mind, it could not deprive me of for“ titude and magnanimity; I defied his power, rested on the “ justness of my cause, found in myself expedients wherewith “ to oppose him, was at length crowned with conquest, and “ came forth to the world the martyr of suffering virtue.
“ Some of my oppressors now rot in dishonourable graves. “ Others, alas ! in Vienna, remain immured in houses of cor“ rection, as Krugel and Zetto, or beg their bread like Gra“ venitz and Doo. Nor are the wealthy possessors of my “ estates more fortunate, but look down with shame, when“ ever I and my children appear. We stand erect; esteemed “ and honoured, while their injustice is manifest to the whole 66 world.
“ Young man, be industrious, for, without industry, can “ none of the treasures I have described be purchased. Thy “ labour will reward itself; then when assaulted by misfor “ tune, or even misery, learn of me, and smile; or shouldst “ thou escape such trials, still labour to acquire wisdom, that “ in old age thou mayst find content and happiness.
“ My writings produced their effect, and in reality gained “ my freedom. To my cultivation of the sciences, and pre“ sence of mind in danger, am I indebted for all: these could “ not all the power of Frederick deprive 'me of; by these I “ obtained that which he in his wrath and the might of his “ despotism had intended to take from me eternally! Yes! " this liberty I procured, though he had continually answered
“ all my petitions in my behalf, · He is a dangerous man; “ . and so long as I have life, he shall never see the light!' “ Yet have I seen it, as broadly as himself, during his life: " after his death I have seen it without revenging myself “ otherwise than by proving my innocence and virtue to a “ monarch who oppressed because he knew me not, because “ he would not recal the hasty sentence of anger, or own it " was possible he might be mistaken."
Page 135.—Translation of a Passage from Thiebault.
“ For example,” says his majesty, “ with regard to the « superstitions of different nations.-Do you believe, that the “ chasm which had opened at Rome closed up when Curtius " leaped into it? You see that such things do not happen “ in these days, therefore you must surely consider the whole “ story as only an ancient fable. After reading the history “ of the Decii, a master has a fine opportunity of kindling in " the hearts of his pupils that ardent love of their country, “ which is the fruitful principle of heroism. If Cæsar be “ the object of their studies, may not the master ask his “ pupils to give their opinions upon the conduct of that “ citizen, who enslaved his country? If they hear of the “ croisades, do not these afford an excellent subject for de" clamation against superstition ?
“ If the massacre of St. Bartholomew be related to them, “ must it not inspire horrour against fanaticism? If Cincin“ natus, Scipio, Paulus Emilius, be mentioned, will he not