"By a singular chance, in 1770 [3d-7th September, if you would but date], the Kaiser was [for the second time] enabled to deliver himself to the personal admiration which he had conceived for the King of Prussia; and these Two great Sovereigns were so well together, that they could pay visits. The Kaiser permitted me to accompany; and introduced me to the King: it was at Neustadt in Moravia [MAHRISCH-NEUSTADT, short way from AUSTERLITZ, which is since become a celebrated place]. I can't recollect if I had, or had assumed, an air of embarrassment; but what I do well remember is, that the Kaiser, who noticed my look, said to the King, 'He has a timid expression, which I never observed in him before; he will recover presently.' This he said in a graceful merry way; and the two went out, to go, I believe, to the Play. On the way thither, the King for an instant quitting his Imperial Friend, asked me if my LETTER TO JEAN JACQUES [now an entirely forgotten Piece], which had been printed in the Papers, was really by me? I answered, 'Sire, I am not famous enough to have my name forged' [as a certain Other name has been, on this same unproductive topic]. He felt what I meant. It is known that Horace Walpole took the King's name to write his famous LETTRE A JEAN JACQUES [impossible to attend to the like of it at present], which contributed the most to drive mad that eloquent and unreasonable man of genius.
"Coming out of the Play, the Kaiser said to the King of Prussia: 'There is Noverre, the famous Composer of Ballets; he has been in Berlin, I believe.' Noverre made thereupon a beautiful dancing- master bow. 'Ah, I know him,' said the King: 'we saw him at Berlin; he was very droll; mimicked all the world, especially our chief Dancing Women, to make you split with laughing.' Noverre, ill content with this way of remembering him, made another beautiful third-position bow; and hoped possibly the King would say something farther, and offer him the opportunity of a small revenge. 'Your Ballets are beautiful,' said the King to him; 'your Dancing Girls have grace; but it is grace in a squattish form (DE LA GRACE ENGONCEE). I think you make them raise their shoulders and their arms too much. For, Monsieur Noverre, if you remember, our principal Dancing Girl at Berlin wasn't so.' 'That is why she was at Berlin, Sire,' replied Noverre [satirically, all he could].
"I was every day asked to sup with the King; too often the conversation addressed itself to me. In spite of my attachment to the Kaiser, whose General I like to be, but not whose D'Argens or Algarotti, I had not beyond reason abandoned myself to that feeling. When urged by the King's often speaking to me, I had to answer, and go on talking. Besides, the Kaiser took a main share in the conversation; and was perhaps more at his ease with the King than the King with him. One day, they got talking of what one would wish to be in this world; and they asked my opinion. I said, I should like to be 'a Pretty Woman till thirty; then, till sixty, a fortunate and skilful General;'--and not knowing what more to say, but for the sake of adding something, whatever it might be, 'a Cardinal till eighty.' The King, who likes to banter the Sacred College, made himself merry on this; and the Kaiser gave him a cheap bargain of Rome and its upholders (SUPPOTS). That supper was one of the gayest and pleasantest I have ever seen. The Two Sovereigns were without pretension and without reserve; what did not always happen on other days; and the amiability of two men so superior, and often so astonished to see themselves together, was the agreeablest thing you can imagine. The King bade me come and see him the first time he and I should have three or four hours to ourselves.
"A storm such as there never was, a deluge compared with which that of Deucalion was a summer shower, covered our Hills with water [cannot say WHICH day of the four], and almost drowned our Army while attempting to manoeuvre. The morrow was a rest-day for that reason. At nine in the morning, I went to the King, and stayed till one. He spoke to me of our Generals; I let him say, of his own accord, the things I think of Marshals Lacy and Loudon; and I hinted that, as to the others, it was better to speak of the dead than of the living; and that one never can well judge of a General who has not in his lifetime actually played high parts in War. He spoke to me of Feldmarschall Daun: I said, 'that against the French I believed he might have proved a great man; but that against him [you], he had never quite been all he was; seeing always his opponent as a Jupiter, thunder-bolt in hand, ready to pulverize his Army.' That appeared to give the King pleasure: he signified to me a feeling of esteem for Daun; he spoke favorably of General Brentano [one of the Maxen gentlemen]. I asked his reason for the praises I knew he had given to General Beck. 'Why (MAIS), I thought him a man of merit,' said the King. 'I do not think so, Sire; he didn't do you much mischief.' 'He sometimes took Magazines from me.' 'And sometimes let your Generals escape.' (Bevern at REICHENBACH, for instance, do you reckon that his blame?)--'I have never beaten him,' said the King. 'He never came near enough for that: and I always thought your Majesty was only appearing to respect him, in order that we might have more confidence in him, and that you might give him the better slap some day, with interest for all arrears.'
KING. "'Do you know who taught me the little I know? It was your old Marshal Traun: that was a man, that one.--You spoke of the French: do they make progress?'
EGO. "'They are capable of everything in time of war, Sire: but in Peace,--their chiefs want them to be what they are not, what they are not capable of being.'
KING. "'How, then; disciplined? They were so in the time of M. de Turenne.' EGO. "'Oh, it isn't that. They were not so in the time of M. de Vendome, and they went on gaining battles. But it is now wished that they become your Apes and ours; and that does n't suit them.'
KING. "'Perhaps so: I have said of their busy people (FAISEURS,' St. Germains and Army-Reformers), 'that they would fain sing without knowing music.'
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