6th June-10th July 1786. bers favourably since that Dialogue we read fifteen years ago. His first Note to Zimmermann is of June 6th, “Would you consent to come for a fortnight, and try upon me?” Zimmermann's overjoyed Answer, “Yes, thrice surely yes,” is of June 10th; Friedrich's second is of June 16th, “Come, then!" And Zimmermann came accordingly, -as is still too well known. Arrived, 232 June; stayed till 10th July; had Thirty-three Interviews or Dialogues with him: one visit the last day; two, morning and evening, every preceding day ;-and published a Book about them, which made immense noise in the world, and is still read, with little profit or none, by inquirers into Friedrich.11 Thirty-three Dialogues, throwing no new light on Friedrich, none of them equal in interest to the old specimen known to us.

In fact, the Book turns rather on Zimmermann himself than on his royal Patient; and might be entitled, as it was by a Satirist, Dialogues of Zimmermann I. and Friedrich II. An unwise Book; abounding in exaggeration; breaking out continually into extraneous sallies and extravagancies,—the source of which is too plainly an immense conceit of oneself. Zimmermann is fifteen years

older since we last saw him; a man now verging towards sixty; but has not grown wiser in proportion. In Hanover, though miraculously healed of that Leibesschade, and full of high hopes, he has had his new tribulations, new compensations,—both of an agitating character. • There arose,' he says, in reference to some medical Review-article he wrote, "a Weiber-epidemik, ' a universal shrieking combination of all the Women

11 Ritter von Zimmermann, Über Friedrich den Grossen und meine . Unterredungen mit Ihm kurz vor seinem Tode (1 vol. 8vo: Leipzig, 1788);followed by Fragmente über Friedrich den Grossen (3 voll. 12mo: Leipzig, 1790); and by &c. &c.


6th June-10th July 1786.

against me:'-a frightful accident while it lasted! Then his little Daughter died on his hands; his Son had disorders, nervous imbecilities,—did not die, but did worse; went into hopeless idiotcy, and so lived for many years. Zimmermann, being dreadfully miserable, hypochondriac, what not, his friends,' he himself passive, it would seem, 'managed to get a young Wife for him;' thirty years younger than he,—whose performances, however, in this difficult post, are praised.

Lastly, not many months ago (Leipzig, 1785), the big final edition of “ Solitude(four volumes) has come out; to the joy and enthusiasm of all philanthropic-philosophic and other circulating-library creatures :—a Copy of which came, by course of nature, not by Zimmermann's help, into the hands of Catharine of Russia. Sublime imperial Letter thereupon, with valuable diamond ring ;' invitation to come to Petersburg, with charges borne (declined, on account of health); to be imperial Physician (likewise declined);—in fine, continued Correspondence with Catharine (trying enough for a vain head), and Knighthood of the Order of St. Wladimir,—so that, at least, Doctor Zimmermann is Ritter Zimmermann henceforth. And now, here has come his new Visit to Friedrich the Great;—which, with the issues it had, and the tempestuous cloud of tumid speculations and chaotic writings it involved him in, quite upset the poor Ritter Doctor; so that, hypochondrias deepening to the abysmal, his fine intellect sank altogether,—and only Death, which happily followed soon, could disimprison him. At this moment, there is in Zimmermann a worse “Dropsy” of the spiritual kind, than this of the physical, which he has come in relief of !

Excerpts of those Zimmermann Dialogues lie copi

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10th-21st July 1786. ously round me, ready long ago, —nay, I understand there is, or was, an English Translation of the whole of them, better or worse, for behoof of the curious :—but on serious consideration now, I have to decide, That they are but as a Scene of Clowns in the Elder Dramatists; which, even were it not overdone as it is, cannot be admitted in this place, and is plainly impertinent in the Tragedy that is being acted here. Something of Farce will often enough, in this irreverent world, intrude itself on the most solemn Tragedy; but, in pity even to the Farce, there ought at least to be closed doors kept between them.

Enough for us to say, That Ritter Zimmermann,who is a Physician and a Man of literary Genius, and should not have become a Tragic Zany, --- did, with unspeakable emotions, terrors, prayers to Heaven, and paroxysms of his own ridiculous kind, prescribe “ Syrup of Dandelion” to the King; talked to him soothingly, musically, successfully; found the King a most pleasant Talker, but a very wilful perverse kind of Patient; whose errors in point of diet especially were enormous to a degree. Truth is, the King's appetite for food did still survive :—and this might have been, you would think, the one hopeful basis of Zimmermann's whole treatment, if there were still any hope: but no; Zimmermann merely, with uncommon emphasis, lyrically recognises such amazing appetite in an old man overwhelmed by diseases,-trumpets it abroad, for ignorant persons to regard as a crime, or perhaps as a type generally of the man's past life, and makes no other attempt upon it;—stands by his “Extract of Dandelion boiled to the consistency of honey;" and on the seventeenth day, July 10th, voiceless from emotion, heart just

10th Aug. 1786.
breaking, takes himself


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* Zimmermann went by Dessau and Brunswick; at Brunswick, if he madle speed thither, Zimmermann might perhaps • find Mirabeau, who is still there, and just leaving for Berlin to be in at the death but if the Doctor and he missed each other, it was luckier, as they had their controversies afterwards. • Mirabeau arrived at Berlin, July 21st :12 vastly diligent in pick‘ing up news, opinions, judgments of men and events, for his • Calonne ;-and amazingly accurate, one finds; such a flash of * insight has he, in whatever element, foul or fair.

July 9th, the day before Zimmermann's departure, Herz- berg had come out to Potsdam in permanence. llerzberg is “privately thenceforth in communication with the Successor ; altogether privately, though no doubt Friedrich knew it well enough, and saw it to be right. Of course, all manner of poor creatures are diligent about their own bits of interests; and 6 saying to themselves, "A New Reign is evidently nigh!" Yes, my friends ;—and a precious Reign it will prove in comparison : sensualities, unctuous religiosities, ostentations, imbecilities; culminating in Jena twenty years hence.'

Zimmermann haggles to tell us what his report was at Brunswick; says, he " set the Duke” (Erbprinz, who is now Duke these six years past) “sobbing and weeping;" though towards the Widow Duchess there must have been some hope held out, as we shall now see. The Duchess's Letter or Letters to her Brother are lost; but this is his Answer:


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Friedrich to the Duchess-Dowager of Brunswick.

“Sans-Souci, 10th August 1786. “My adorable Sister,—The Hanover Doctor has wished to “ make himself important with you, my good Sister; but the

12 Mirabeau, Histoire secrète de la Cour de Berlin, Tome iii. of Euvrcs de Mirabeau : Paris, 1821, Lettre v. p. 37.

10th Aug. 1786. “ truth is, he has been of no use to me (m'a été inutile). The old “ must give place to the young, that each generation may find “ room clear for it: and Life, if we examine strictly what its

course is, consists in seeing one's fellow-creatures die and be “ born. In the mean while, I have felt myself a little easier for “ the last day or two. My heart remains inviolably attached to

you, my good Sister. With the highest consideration, My " adorable Sister,-Your faithful Brother and Servant,



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This is Friedrich's last Letter;—his last to a friend. There is one to his Queen, which Preuss's Index seems to regard as later, though without apparent likelihood; there being no date whatever, and only these words: “ Madam, -I am much obliged by the wishes you deign

to form: but a heavy fever I have taken (grosse fièvre que j'ai prise) hinders me from answering you.

On common current matters of business, and even on uncommon, there continue yet for four days to be Letters expressly díctated by Friedrich; some about military matters (vacancies to be filled, new Free-Corps to be levied). Two or three of them are on so small a subject as the purchase of new Books by his Librarians at Berlin.

One, and it has been preceded by examining, is, Order to the Potsdam Magistrates to grant the · Baker Schröder, in terms of his petition, a Free-Pass

out of Preussen hither, for 100 bushels of rye and • 50 of wheat, though Schröder will not find the prices ' much cheaper there than here.' His last, of August 14th, is to De Launay, Head of the Excise: “Your “ Account of Receipts and Expenditures came to hand

yesterday, 13th; but is too much in small: I require one more detailed,”—and explains, with brief clear13 Euvres de Frédéric, xxvii. 1. 352.

14 Ibid. xxvi, 62.


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