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History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Volume 05
written by "Carlyle, Thomas, 1795-1881"
... of triangular hats, "and bid Papa good-night. One of the old Generals would sometimes put them through their exercise; and the little creatures were unwilling to go away to bed." In such Assemblage, when business of importance, foreign or domestic, was not occupying the royal thoughts,—the Talk, we can believe, was rambling and multifarious: the day's hunting, if at Wusterhausen; the day's news, if at Berlin or Potsdam; old reminiscences, too, I can fancy, turning up, and talk, even in Seckendorf's own time, about Siege of Menin (where your Majesty first did me the honor of some notice), Siege of Stralsund, and—duly on September 11th at least—Malplaquet, with Marlborough and Eugene: what Marlborough said, looked: and especially Lottum, late Feldmarschall Lottum; [Died 1719.] and how the Prussian Infantry held firm, like a wall of rocks, when the horse were swept away,—rocks highly volcanic, and capable of rolling forward too; and "how a certain Adjutant [Derschau smokes harder, and blushes brown] snatched poor Tettau on his back, bleeding to death, amid the iron whirlwinds, and brought him out of shot-range." [ Militair-Lexikon, iv. 78,? Major-General von Tettau, and i. 348,? Derschau. This was the beginning of Derschau's favor with Friedrich Wilhelm, who had witnesssed this piece of faithful work.]—"Hm, na, such a Day, that, Herr Feldzeugmeister, as we shall not see again till the Last of the Days!" Failing talk, there were Newspapers in abundance; scraggy Dutch Courants, Journals of the Rhine, FAMAS, Frankfurt ZEITUNGS; with which his Majesty exuberantly supplied himself;—being willing to know what was passing in the high places of the world, or even what in the dark snuffy Editor's thoughts was passing. This kind of matter, as some picture of the actual hour, his Majesty liked to have read to him, even during meal-time. Some subordinate character, with clear windpipe,—all the better t...

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