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5th-11th Aug. 1784. the world for his presidency in the Flight to Varennes of poor Louis XVI. and his Queen, in 1791; which was by no means so successful. “ The brave Bouillé,” as we called him long since, when writing of that latter operation, elsewhere. Bouillé left Mémoires of his own;
which speak of Friedrich: in the Vie de Bouillé, published recently by friendly hands,25 there is Summary given of all that his Papers say on Friedrich; this, in still briefer shape, but unchanged otherwise, readers shall now see.
'In July 1784, Marquis de Bouillé (lately returned from a visit to England), desirous to see the Prussian Army, and to approach the great Friedrich while it was yet time, travelled by
way of Holland to Berlin, through Potsdam' (no date; got to Berlin · August 6th ;'26 so that we can guess - August 5th' for his Potsdam day). "Saw, at Sans-Souci, in the vestibule, a bronze " Bust of Charles XII. ; in the dining-room, among other pictures, • a Portrait of the Châteauroux, Louis XV's first Mistress. In • the King's bedroom, simple camp-bed, coverlet of crimson taffetas,-rather dirty, as well as the other furniture, on account of the dogs. Many books lying about: Cicero, Tacitus, Titus * Livius' (in French Translations). On a chair, Portrait of • Kaiser Joseph II.; same in King's Apartments in Berlin Schloss, 6 also in the Potsdam New Palace : “C'est un jeune homme que je “ ne dois pas perdre de vue.”
“King entering, took off his hat, saluting the Marquis, whom . a Chamberlain called Goertz presented (no Chamberlain ; a Lieutenant-General, and much about the King; his Brother, the Weimar Goertz, is gone as Prussian Minister to Petersburg some time ago). 'King talked about the War des Isles' (my WestIndia War), and about England. “They" (the English) “ are “ like sick people who have had a fever; and don't know how “ill they have been, till the fit is over.” Fox he treated as a
noisy fellow (de brouillon); but expressed admiration of young • Pitt.
“ The coolness with which he can stand being not only
25 René de Bouillé, Essai sur la Vie du Marquis de Bouillé (Paris, 1853). 26 Rödenbeck, iii. 309.
19th-24th Aug. 1784. “ contradicted, but ridiculed and insulted, cela parait au-dessus “ de la patience humaine.” King closed the conversation by say‘ing he would be glad to see me in Silesia, whither he was just • about to go for Reviews' (will go in ten days, August 15th).
• Friedrich was 72,' last January 24th. His physiognomy, dress, appearance, are much what the numerous well-known • Portraits represent him. At Court, and on great Ceremonies, 'he appears sometimes in black-coloured stockings rolled over
the knee, and rose-coloured or sky-blue coat (bleu céleste). He is fond of these colours, as his furniture too shows. The Marquis dined with the Prince of Prussia, without previous presentation; so simple are the manners of this Soldier Court. * The Heir Presumptive lodges at a brewer's house, and in a
very mean way; is not allowed to sleep from home without permission from the King.'
Bouillé set out for Silesia, 11th August; was at Neisse in good time. Went, at 5 A.M.' (date is August 19th, Review lasts till 24th),27 to see the King mount. All the Generals, • Prince of Prussia among them, waited in the street; outside
of a very simple House, where the King lodged. After wait‘ing half an hour, his Majesty appeared; saluted very gra
ciously, without uttering a word. This was one of his special * Reviews (that was it !). “He rode (marchait) generally alone, in utter silence; it was then that he had his regard terrible, 6 and his features took the impress of severity, to say no more. (Is displeased with the Review, I doubt, though Bouillé saw nothing amiss ;—and merely tells us farther): "At the Reviews the King inspects strictly one regiment after another: it is 'he that selects the very Corporals and Sergeants, much more "the Upper Officers; nominating for vacancies what Cadets are
to fill them,—all of whom are Nobles. Yes, with rare exceptions, all. Friedrich, democratic as his temper was, is very strict on this point; “because,” says he repeatedly, “Nobles have honour; a Noble that misbehaves, or flinches in the moment of crisis, can find no refuge in his own class; whereas a man of lower birth always can in his."28 Bouillé continues :
• After Review, dined with his Majesty. Just before dinner
27 Rödenbeck, iii. 310.
28 Euvres de Frédéric (more than once).
19th-24th Aug. 1784. "he gave to the assembled Generals the “Order” for tomor• row's Manæuvres' (as we saw in Conway's case, ten years ago).
This lasted about a quarter of an hour; King then saluted everybody, taking off très-affectueusement his hat, which he im“mediately put on again. Had now his affable mien, and was
most polite to the strangers present. Conversation turned on • the Wars of Louis XIV.; then on English-American War,• King always blaming the English, whom he does not like. • Dinner lasted three hours. His Majesty said more than once 'to me' (in ill humour, I should almost guess, and wishful to hide it): “Complete freedom here, as if we were in our Tavern “ (Ici, toute liberté, Monsieur, comme si nous étions au cabaret) !" 'On the morrow,' August 20th, dined again. King talked of France; of Cardinal Richelieu, whose principles of administration he praised. Repeated several times, that “he did not think the French Nation fit for Free Government!” At the Reviews, • Friedrich did not himself command; but prescribed, and fol"lowed the movements; criticised, reprimanded, and so forth. On horseback six hours together, without seeming fatigued.
* King left for Breslau, 25th Augusť (24th, if it were of moment). Bouillé followed thither; dined again. Besides Officers, there were present several Polish Princes, the Bishop of the Diocese, and the Abbot Bastiani. King made pleasantries
about religion' (pity, that); “Bastiani not slow with repartees,' of a defensive kind. “King told me, on one occasion, “Would “ you believe it? I have just been putting my poor Jesuits' “ finances into order. They understand nothing of such things,
ces bons hommes. They are useful to me in forming my Ca“ tholic Clergy. I have arranged it with his Holiness the Pope, “ who is a friend of mine, and behaves very well to me.” Pointing from the window to the Convent of Capuchins, “Those “ fellows trouble me a little with their bell-ringings. They “ offered to stop it at night, for my sake: but I declined. “ One must leave everybody to his trade; theirs is to pray, “and I should have been sorry to deprive them of their chimes (carillon).”
"The 20,000 troops, assembled at Breslau, did not gain the King's approval,'—far from it, alas, as we shall all see! "To some Chiefs of Corps he said, “ Vous ressemblez plus à des
21st-230 Sept. 1784. “ tailleurs qu'à des militaires (You are more like tailors than “ soldiers)!” He cashiered several, and even sent one MajorGeneral to prison for six weeks. That of the tailors, and Major-General Erlach clapt in prison, is too true;—nor is that the saddest part of the Affair to us. Bouillé was bound now
on an excursion to Prague, to a Camp of the Kaiser's there. “ Mind,” said the King, alluding to Bouillé's blue uniform,
mind, in the Country you are going to, they don't like the “ blue coats; and your Queen has even preserved the family repugnance, for she does not like them either."29
September 5th, 1784, Bouillé arrived at Prague. Austrian Manæuvres are very different; troops, though more splendidly
dressed, contrast unfavourably with Prussians;'—unfavourably, though the strict King was so dissatisfied. "Kaiser Joseph, • speaking of Friedrich, always admiringly calls him “Le Roi." Joseph a great questioner, and answers his own questions. His tone brusque et décidé. Dinner lasted one hour.
Returned to Potsdam to assist at the Autumn Reviews, 21st-23d September 1784.30 • Dinner very splendid, magnifi'cently served; twelve handsome Pages, in blue or rose-coloured 'velvet, waited on the Guests,--these being forty old rude War
riors booted and spurred. King spoke of the French, approv'ingly: “But,” added he, “the Court spoils everything. Those “ Court-fellows, with their red heels and delicate nerves, make
very bad soldiers. Saxe often told me, In his Flanders Cam
paigns, the Courtiers gave him more trouble than did Cumber“ land.” Talked of Maréchal Richelieu; of Louis XIV., whose apology he skilfully made. Blamed, however, the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Great attachment of the “Protestant Refugees” to France and its King. “Would you believe it?" said he: “Under Louis XIV. they and their families used to “ assemble on the day of St. Louis, to celebrate the fête of the “ King who persecuted them !” Expressed pity for Louis XV., and praised his good-nature.
* Friedrich, in his conversation, showed a modesty which seemed a little affected. “S'il m'est permis d'avoir une opi
29 Essai sur la Vie du Marquis de Bouillé, pp. 134-149.
Rödenbeck, iii. 313.
Sept.--Oct. 1784. • nion," a common expression of his ;-said "opinion” on most
things, on Medicine among others, being always excellent. • Thinks French Literature surpasses that of the Ancients. • Small opinion of English Literature: turned Shakspeare into ridicule; and made also bitter fun of German Letters,—their Language barbarous, their Authors without genius.'
'I asked, and received permission from the King, to bring my Son to be admitted in his Académie des Gentilshommes; an exceptional favour. On parting, the King said to me: “I “hope you will return to me Maréchal de France; it is what “I should like; and your Nation couldn't do better, nobody “ being in a state to render it greater services.” Bouillé will reappear
for an instant next year. Meanwhile he returns to France, 'first days of October 1784,' where he finds Prince Henri; who is on Visit there for three months past.31 A shining event in Prince Henri's Life; and a profitable; poor King Louis,—what was very welcome in Henri's state of finance,—having, in a delicate kingly way, insinuated into him a 'Gift of 400,000 francs' (16,0001.) :32—partly by way of retaining-fee for France; “may turn to excellent account,” think some, “when a certain Nephew comes to reign yonder, as he soon must."
What Bouillé heard about the Silesian Reviews is perfectly true; and only a part of the truth. Here, to the
person chiefly responsible, is an indignant Letter of the King's: to a notable degree, full of settled wrath against one who is otherwise a dear old Friend :
Friedrich to Lieutenant-General Tauentzien, Infantry Inspector
General of Silesia.
"Potsdam, 7th September 1784. “My dear General von Tauentzien,-While in Silesia I men“ tioned to you, and will now repeat in writing, That my Army
31 "20 July 1784,' Prince Henri had gone (Rödenbeck, iii. 309).
32 Anonymous (De la Roche-Aymon), Vie privée, politique et militaire du Prince Henri, Frère de Frédéric II (a poor, vague and uninstructive, though authentic little Book: Paris, 1809), pp. 219-239.