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30th March—30 April 1763. and buckets we need !-Büsching, a dull, though solid accurate kind of man, heavy-footed, and yet always in a hurry, always slipshod, has nothing of dramatic here; far from it; but the facts themselves fall naturally into that form,-in Three Scenes:
1. Tassdorf (still two hours from Berlin), King, Nüssler and a Crowd of People, Nüssler alone daring to speak.
King (from his Carriage, ostlers making despatch). “What is your
Circle most short of ?"
rye to sow them, and of bread till the crops come.”
King. “Rye for bread, and to sow with, I will give; with " horses I cannot assist.”
Nüssler. “On representation of Privy-Councillor von Bren“ kenhof” (the Minister concerned with such things), “your
Majesty has been pleased to give the Neumark and Pommern “ an allowance of Artillery- and Commissariat - Horses: but
poor Nether-Barnim, nobody will speak for it; and unless
your Majesty's gracious self please to take pity on it, Nether“ Barnim is lost!”—(A great many things more he said, in presence of a large crowd of men who had gathered round
the King's Carriage as the horses were being changed; and spoke with such force and frankness that the King was surprised, and asked :)—
King. “Who are you?" (has forgotten the long-serviceable man !)
Nüssler. “I am the Nüssler who was lucky enough to manage the Fixing of the Silesian Boundaries for your Majesty!"
King." Ja, ja, now I know you again! Bring me all the 6 Landraths of the Kurmark” (Mark of Brandenburg Proper, Electoral Mark) “in a body; I will speak with them.”
Nüssler. “All of them but two are in Berlin already.”
King. “ Send off estafettes for those two to come at once “to Berlin; and on Thursday," day after tomorrow, “come “ yourself, with all the others, to the Schloss to me: I will “ then have some closer conversation, and say what I can " and will do for helping of the country" (King's Carriage
30th March 3d April 1763. with low bows and blessings from Nüssler and everybody).
2. Thursday, April 1st, Nüssler and assembled Landraths at the Schloss of Berlin. To them, enter King. Nüssler (whom they have appointed spokesman).
“Your Majesty has given us Peace; you will also give us Well-being “ in the Land again : we leave it to Highest-the-Same's gracious “ judgment” (no limit to Highest-the-Same's power, it would seem) “what you will vouchsafe to us as indemnification for the “ Russian plunderings.”
King. “Be you quiet ; let me speak. Have you got a pencil “ (Hat Er crayon)? Yes! Well then, write, and these Gentlemen shall dictate to you:
• How much rye for bread; How much for seed; How many IIorses, Oxen, Cows, their Circles do in an entirely pressing way require ?
“ Consider all that to the bottom; and come to me again the “ day after tomorrow. But see that you fix everything with the “ utmost exactitude, for I cannot give much.” (Exit King.)
Nüssler (to the Landraths). “ Meine Herren, have the goodness to accompany me to our Landschaft House” (we have a kind of County Hall, it seems); “there we will consider everything."
* And Nüssler, guiding the deliberations, which are glad to ' follow him on every point, and writing as Pro-tempore Secretary, has all things brought to luminous Protocol, in the course of this day and next.'
3. Saturday April 3d, in the Schloss again: Nüssler and Landraths. To them, the King.
Nüssler. “We deliver to your Majesty the written Specifica“tion you were graciously pleased to command of us.
It con“ tains only the indispensablest things that the Circles are in “ need of. Moreover, it regards only the Stände" (richer Nobility), “who pay contribution; the Gentry" (Adel), “and other
poor people, who have been utterly plundered out by the Russians, are not included in it: the Gentry too have suffered very much by the War and the Plundering.”
30th March—3d April 1763.
King. “What Edelleute that are members of Stünde have “ you” (Er)“ got in your Circle ?"
Nüssler (names them; and, as finis of the list, adds): “I myself, too, your Majesty, I have suffered more than any
body: : I absolutely could not furnish those 4,000 bushels of 5 meal ordered of me by the Russians; upon which they —” King. “I cannot give to all : but if
Nobles in your Circle, who can in no way help themselves, I will give " them something."
Nüssler (“has not any in Nether-Barnim who are altogether in that extreme predicament; but knows several in Lebus Circle, names them to the King ;—and turning to the Landrath of Lebus, and to another who is mute): "Herr, you can name “ some more in Lebus; and you, in Teltow Circle, Herr Land
rath, since his Majesty permits.” In a word, “the King • having informed himself and declared his intention, Nüssler leads the Landraths to their old County Hall, and brings to · Protocol what had taken place.
Next day, the Kammer Presidenť (Exchequer President), Von der Gröben, had Nüssler, with other Landraths, to dinner.
During dinner, there came from Head-Secretary Eicheľ (Majesty's unwearied Clerk of the Pells, Sheepskins, or Papers) " an earnest request to Von der Gröben for help,-Eichel not being able to remember, with the requisite precision, everything his Majesty had bid him put down on this matter. “You will
go, • Herr von Nüssler; be so kind, won't you ?" And Nüssler went, and fully illuminated Eichel.'
To the poorest of the Nobility, Büsching tells us, what is otherwise well known, the King gave considerable sums: to one Circle 12,0001., to another 9,0001., 6,0001., and so on. “By help of which bounties, and of Nüssler labouring incessantly with all his strength, Nieder-Barnim Circle got on its feet again, no subject “ having been entirely ruined, but all proving able to recover.??
This Büsching Fragment is not in the style of the Elder Dramatists, or for the Bankside Theatre; but this represents a Fact which befel in God's Creation, and may have an interest of its own to the Practical Soul,
: Büsching, Beyträge (8 Nüssler), i. 401-405.
21st April 1763—1st June 1764. especially in anarchic Countries, far advanced in the "Gold-nugget and Nothing to Buy with it” Career of unexampled Prosperities.
On these same errands, the King is soon going on an Inspection Journey, where we mean to accompany. But first, one word, and one will suffice, on the debased Coin. The Peace was no sooner signed, than Friedrich proceeded on the Coin. The third week after his arrival home, there came out a salutary Edict on it, April 21st; King eager to do it without loss of time, yet with the deliberation requisite. Not at one big leap, which might shake, to danger of oversetting, much commercial arrangement; but at two leaps, with a halfway station intervening. Halfway station, with a new coinage ready, much purer of alloy (and marked how much, for the benefit of parties with accounts to settle), is to commence on Trinitatis (Whitsunday) instant; from and after Whitsunday, the improved new coin to be sole legal tender, till farther notice. Farther notice comes accordingly, within a year, March 29th, 1764: “Pure money of the standard of 1750” (honest silver coinage: readers may remember Linsenbarth, the Candidatus Theologiæ, and his sack of Batzen, confiscated at the Packhof) “shall be ready on the 1st of June instant;' —from and after which day we hear no more of that sad matter. Finished off in about fourteen months. Here, meanwhile, is the Inspection Journey.
Kriegsrath Roden and the King (6th-13th June
1763). June 2d, 1763, Friedrich left Potsdam for Westphalia; got as far as Magdeburg that day. Intends seeing into
• Rödenbeck, ü. 214, 234.
6th-13th June 1763. matters with his own eyes in that region, as in others, after so long and sad an absence. There are with him Friedrich Wilhelm Prince of Prussia, a tall young
fellow of nineteen; General-Adjutant von Anhalt; and one or two Prussian military people. From Magdeburg and onwards the great Duke Ferdinand accompanies,—who is now again Governor of Magdeburg, and a quiet Prussian Officer as heretofore, though with excellent Pensions from England, and glory from all the world.
The Royal Party goes by Halberstadt, which suffered greatly in the War; thence by Minden (June 4th); and the first thing next day, Friedrich takes view of the Battlefield there,—under Ferdinand's own guidance, doubtless; and an interesting thing to both Friedrich and him, though left silent to us. This done, they start for Lippstadt, are received there under joyous clangorous outburst of all the bells and all the honours, that same afternoon; and towards sunset, Hamm being the Night-quarter ahead, are crossing Vellinghausen Battleground,—where doubtless Ferdinand again, like a dutiful apprentice, will explain matters to his old master, so far as needful or permissible. The conversation, I suppose, may have been lively and miscellaneous: Ferdinand mentions a clever business-person of the name of Roden, whom he has known in these parts; “Roden ?” the King carefully makes note;—and, in fact, we shall see Roden presently, and his bit of Dialogue with the King (recorded by his own hand) is our chief errand on this Journey. From Hamm, next morning (June 6th), they get to Wesel by 11 A.M. (only sixty miles); Wesel all in gala as Lippstadt was, or still more than Lippstadt; and for four days farther, they continue there very busy. As Roden is our chief errand, let us attend to Roden.