KING. "'I love those tender affectionate hearts; I love right well those brave Swiss people!'
"Next morning the King was heard to say: 'I have found Zimmermann quite what you described him.'--Catt assured me furthermore, 'Since the Seven-Years War there had thousands of strangers, persons of rank, come to Potsdam, wishing to speak with the King, and had not attained that favor; and of those who had, there could not one individual boast that his Majesty had talked with him an hour and quarter at once.' [Fourteen years hence, he dismissed Mirabeau in half an hour; which was itself a good allowance.]
"Sunday 27th, I left Potsdam, with my kind Meckels, in an enthusiasm of admiration, astonishment, love and gratitude; wrote to the King from Berlin, sent him a Tissot's Book (marked on the margins for Majesty's use), which he acknowledged by some word to Catt: whereupon I"--In short, I got home to Hanover, in a more or less seraphic condition,--"with indescribable, unspeakable," what not,--early in November; and, as a healed man, never more troubled with that disorder, though still troubled with many and many, endeavored to get a little work out of myself again. [Zimmermann,
"Zimmermann was tall, handsome of shape; his exterior was distinguished and imposing," says Jordens. [Ubi supra, p. 643.] "He had a firm and light step; stood gracefully; presented himself well. He had a fine head; his voice was agreeable; and intellect sparkled in his eyes:"--had it not been for those dreadful hypochondrias, and confused disasters, a very pretty man. At the time of this first visit to Friedrich he is 43 years of age, and Friedrich is on the borders of 60. Zimmermann, with still more famous DIALOGUES, will reappear on us from Hanover, on a sad occasion! Meanwhile, few weeks after him, here is a Visit of far more joyful kind.
SISTER ULRIQUE, QUEEN-DOWAGER OF SWEDEN, REVISITS HER NATIVE PLACE (December, 1771-August, 1772).
Prince Henri was hardly home from Petersburg and the Swedish Visit, when poor Adolf Friedrich, King of Sweden, died. [12th February, 1771.] A very great and sad event to his Queen, who had loved her old man; and is now left solitary, eclipsed, in circumstances greatly altered on the sudden. In regard to settlements, Accession of the new Prince, dowager revenues and the like, all went right enough; which was some alleviation, though an inconsiderable, to the sorrowing Widow. Her two Princes were absent, touring over Europe, when their Father died, and the elder of them, Karl Gustav, suddenly saw himself King. They were in no breathless haste to return; visited their Uncle, their Prussian kindred, on the way, and had an interesting week at Potsdam and Berlin; [April 22d- 29th: Rodenbeck, iii. 45.] Karl Gustav flying diligently about, still incognito, as "Graf von Gothland,"--a spirited young fellow, perhaps too spirited;--and did not reach home till May-day was come, and the outburst of the Swedish Summer at hand.
Some think the young King had already something dangerous and serious in view, and wished his Mother out of the way for a time. Certain it is she decided on a visit to her native Country in December following: arrived accordingly, December 2d, 1771; and till the middle of August next was a shining phenomenon in the Royal House and upper ranks of Berlin Society, and a touching and interesting one to the busy Friedrich himself, as may be supposed. She had her own Apartments and Household at Berlin, in the Palace there, I think; but went much visiting about, and receiving many visits,--fond especially of literary people.
Friedrich's notices of her are frequent in his Letters of the time, all affectionate, natural and reasonable. Here are the first two I meet with: TO THE ELECTRESS OF SAXONY (three weeks after Ulrique's arrival); "A thousand excuses, Madam, for not answering sooner! What will plead for me with a Princess who so well knows the duties of friendship, is, that I have been occupied with the reception of a Sister, who has come to seek consolation in the bosom of her kindred for the loss of a loved Husband, the remembrance of whom saddens and afflicts her." And again, two months later: "... Your Royal Highness deigns to take so obliging an interest in the visit I have had [and still have] from the Queen of Sweden. I beheld her as if raised from the dead to me; for an absence of eight-and- twenty years, in the short space of our duration, is almost equivalent to death. She arrived among us, still in great affliction for the loss she had had of the King; and I tried to distract her sad thoughts by all the dissipations possible. It is only by dint of such that one compels the mind to shift away from the fatal idea where grief has fixed it: this is not the work of a day, but of time, which in the end succeeds in everything. I congratulate your Royal Highness on your Journey to Bavaria [on a somewhat similar errand, we may politely say]; where you will find yourself in the bosom of a Family that adores you:" after which, and the sight of old scenes, how pleasant to go on to Italy, as you propose! [
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