In 1766, the young Kaiser, who has charge of the Military Department, and of little else in the Government, and is already a great traveller, and enthusiastic soldier, made a pilgrimage over the Bohemian and Saxon Battle-fields of the Seven-Years War. On some of them, whether on all I do not know, he set up memorial- stones; one of which you still see on the field of Lobositz;--of another on Prag field, and of reverent salutation by Artillery to the memory of Schwerin there, we heard long ago. Coming to Torgau on this errand, the Kaiser, through his Berlin Minister, had signified his "particular desire to make acquaintance with the King in returning;" to which the King was ready with the readiest;-- only that Kaunitz and the Kaiserinn, in the interim, judged it improper, and stopped it. "The reported Interview is not to take place," Friedrich warns the Newspapers; "having been given up, though only from courtesy, on some points of ceremonial." ["FRIEDRICH TO ONE OF HIS FOREIGN AMBASSADORS" (the common way of announcing in Newspapers): Preuss, iv. 22 n.]
The young Kaiser felt a little huffed; and signified to Friedrich that he would find a time to make good this bit of uncivility, which his pedagogues had forced upon him. And now, after three years, August, 1769, on occasion of the Silesian Reviews, the Kaiser is to come across from his Bohemian businesses, and actually visit him: Interview to be at Neisse, 25th August, 1769, for three days. Of course the King was punctual, everybody was punctual, glad and cordial after a sort,--no ceremony, the Kaiser, officially incognito, is a mere Graf von Falkenstein, come to see his Majesty's Reviews. There came with him four or five Generals, Loudon one of them; Lacy had preceded: Friedrich is in the palace of the place, ready and expectant. With Friedrich are: Prince Henri; Prince of Prussia; Margraf of Anspach: Friedrich's Nephew (Lady Craven's Margraf, the one remnant now left there); and some Generals and Military functionaries, Seidlitz the notablest figure of these. And so, FRIDAY, AUGUST 25th, shortly after noon-- But the following Two Letters, by an Eye-witness, will be preferable; and indeed are the only real Narrative that can be given:--
No. 1. ENGINEER LEFEBVRE TO PERPETUAL SECRETARY FORMEY (at Berlin).
"NEISSE, 26th [partly 25th] August, 1769.
"MY MOST WORTHY FRIEND,-I make haste to inform you of the Kaiser's arrival here at Neisse, this day, 25th August, 1769, at one in the afternoon. The King had spent the morning in a proof Manoeuvre, making rehearsal of the Manoeuvre that was to be. When the Kaiser was reported just coming, the King went to the window of the grand Episcopal Saloon, and seeing him alight from his carriage, turned round and said, 'JE L'AI VU (I have seen him).' His Majesty then went to receive him on the grand staircase [had hardly descended three or four steps], where they embraced; and then his Majesty led by the hand his august Guest into the Apartments designed for him, which were all standing open and ready,"--which, however, the august Guest will not occupy except with a grateful imagination, being for the present incognito, mere Graf von Falkenstein, and judging that THE THREE-KINGS Inn will be suitabler.
"Arrived in the Apartments, they embraced anew; and sat talking together for an hour and half.-- [The talk, unknown to Lefebvre, began in this strain. KAISER: "Now are my wishes fulfilled, since I have the honor to embrace the greatest of Kings and Soldiers." KING: "I look upon this day as the fairest of my life; for it will become the epoch of uniting Two Houses which have been enemies too long, and whose mutual interests require that they should strengthen, not weaken one another." KAISER: "For Austria there is no Silesia farther." [Preuss, v. 23;
--"The Kaiser [continues our Engineer] had brought with him the Prince of Sachsen-Teschen [his august Brother-in-law, Duke of Teschen, son of the late Polish Majesty of famous memory]: afterwards there came Feldmarschall Lacy, Graf von Dietrichstein, General von Loudon," and three others of no account to us. "At the King's table were the Kaiser, the Prince of Prussia [dissolute young Heir-Apparent, of the polygamous tendency], Prince Henri, the Margraf of Anspach [King's Nephew, unfortunate Lady- Craven Margraf, ultimately of Hammersmith vicinity]; the above Generals of the Austrian suite, and Generals Seidlitz and Tauentzien. The rest of the Court was at two other tables." Of the dinner itself an Outside Individual will say nothing.
"The Kaiser, having expressly requested the King to let him lodge in an Inn (THREE KINGS), under the name of Graf von Falkenstein, would not go into the carriage which had stood expressly ready to conduct him thither. He preferred walking on foot [the loftily scornful Incognito] in spite of the rain; it was like a lieutenant of infantry stepping out of his quarters. Some moments after, the King went to visit him; and they remained together from 5 in the evening till 8. It was thought they would be present (ASSISTER) at a Comic Opera which was to be played: but after waiting till 7 o'clock, the people received orders to go on with the Piece;"--both Majesties did afterwards look in; but finding it bad, soon went their way again. (MAJOR LEFEBVRE STOPS WRITING FOR THE NIGHT.)
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