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A week after the arrival of the prince the Prussian king entered the camp. As it was expected that some remarkable feats of war would be exhibited in the presence of the king, under the leadership of the renowned Prince Eugene, a very large assemblage of princes and other distinguished personages was collected on the field. The king remained for a month, dwelling in a161 tent among his own troops, and sharing all their hardships. He, with his son, attended all the councils of war. Still no attempt was made to relieve Philipsburg. The third day after the king’s arrival the city surrendered to the French. The campaign continued for some time, with unavailing man?uvring on both sides of the Rhine; but the Crown Prince saw but little active service. About the middle of August the king left the camp to return home. His health was seriously impaired, and alarming symptoms indicated that he had not long to live. His journey was slow and painful. Gout tortured him. Dropsy threatened to strangle him. He did not reach home until the middle of September. The alarming state of the king’s health added very much to the importance of the Crown Prince. It was evident that ere long he must come into power. The following characteristic anecdote is related of the king during this illness:.
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Before sunrise Sunday morning the Prussians had seized upon many important posts. About seven o’clock a flag of truce, or rather a trumpeter, approached one of the gates, demanding admittance to communicate to the chief magistrate of the city the intentions and requisitions of the Prussian king. After some delay, two colonels were admitted. They demanded the entire surrender of the city, and that the authority of Frederick, the King of Prussia, should be recognized instead of that of Maria Theresa, Queen of Austria. All their local laws and customs were to be respected, and they were to be protected in all their rights and privileges. Their own garrison should guard the city. No Prussian soldier should enter the gates with other than side-arms. The king himself, in taking possession of the city, should be accompanied by a body-guard of but thirty men. The city council was assembled to consider this summons, and thirty hours were spent in anxious deliberation.?
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“Berlin,” she writes, “had become as odious to me as it once was dear. I flattered myself that, renouncing grandeurs, I might lead a soft and tranquil life in my new home, and begin a happier year than the one which had just ended.”!
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Before the king released the Crown Prince he extorted from him an oath that he would be, in all respects, obedient to his father; that he would never again attempt to escape, or take any journey without permission; that he would scrupulously discharge all the duties of religion, and that he would marry any princess whom his father might select for him. The next morning, after the interview to which we have above alluded, the prince called upon his sister. They had a short private interview, Madam Sonsfeld alone being present. The prince gave a recital of his adventures and misfortunes during the many months since they last had met. The princess gave an account of her great trials, and how she had consented to a marriage, which was not one of her choice, to obtain her brother’s release.
(But Heaven, which of all disposes,
The Crown Prince met the masons by agreement at “Korn’s Hotel.” On the night of Tuesday, August 14th, 1738, the king having that evening continued his journey, Frederick, after adopting177 extreme precautions to prevent any publicity of the act, fearing probably only lest it should reach his father’s ears, passed through the mysterious rites of initiation. It does not, however, appear that subsequently he took any special interest in the society.28
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21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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