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3. What seems to be Friedrich's own invention, what in outcome he thinks will be the summary of all good Law-Procedure: A final Sentence (three "instances" you can have, but the third ends it for you) within the Year. Good, surely. A justice that intends to be exact must front the complicacies in a resolute piercing manner, and will not be tedious. Nay a justice that is not moderately swift,--human hearts waiting for it, the while, in a cancerous state, instead of hopefully following their work,--what, comparatively, is the use of its being never so exact!--
Simple enough methods; rough and ready. Needing, in the execution, clear human eyesight, clear human honesty,--which happen to be present here, and without which no "method" whatever can be executed that will really profit.
In the course of 1748, Friedrich, judging by Pommern and the other symptoms that his enterprise was safe, struck a victorious Medal upon it: "FRIDERICUS BORUSSORUM REX," pressing with his sceptre the oblique Balance to a level posture; with Epigraph, "EMENDATO JURE." [Letter to Cocceji, accompanying Copy of the Medal in Gold, "24th June, 1748" (Seyfarth, ii. 67 n.).] And by New-year's day, 1750, the matter was in effect completed; and "justice cheap, expeditious, certain," a fact in all Prussian Lands.
Nay, in 1749-1751, to complete the matter, Cocceji's "Project of a general Law-Code," PROJEKT DES CORPORIS JURIS FRIDERICIANI, came forth in print: [Halle, 2 vols. folio (Preuss, i. 316; see IB. 315 n., as to the LAW-PROCEDURE, $c. now settled by Cocceji).] to the admiration of mankind, at home and abroad; "the First Code attempted since Justinian's time," say they. PROJECT translated into all languages, and read in all countries. A poor mildewed copy of this CODEX FRIDERICIANUS--done at Edinburgh, 1761, not said by whom; evidently bought at least TWICE, and mostly never yet read (nor like being read)--is known to me, for years past, in a ghastly manner! Without the least profit to this present, or to any other Enterprise;--though persons of name in Jurisprudence call it meritorious in their Science; the first real attempt at a Code in Modern times. But the truth is, this Cocceji CODEX remained a PROJECT merely, never enacted anywhere. It was not till 1773, that Friedrich made actual attempt to build a Law-Code and did build one (the foundation-story of one, for his share, completed since), in which this of Cocceji had little part. In 1773, the thing must again be mentioned; the "Second Law-Reform," as they call it. What we practically know from this time is, That Prussian Lawsuits, through Friedrich's Reign, do all terminate, or push at their utmost for terminating, within one year from birth; and that Friedrich's fame, as a beneficent Justinian, rose high in all Countries (strange, in Countries that had thought him a War-scourge and Conquering Hero); strange, but undeniable; [See
Of Friedrich's Literary works, nobody, not even Friedrich himself, will think it necessary that we say much. But the fact is, he is doing a great many things that way: in Prose, the MEMOIRS OF BRANDENBURG, coming out as Papers in the Academy from time to time; [From 1746 and onward: first published complete (after slight revision by Voltaire), Berlin, 1751.] in Verse, very secret as yet, the PALLADION ("exquisite Burlesque," think some), the ART OF WAR (reckoned truly his best Piece in verse):--and wishes sometimes he had Voltaire here to perfect him a little. This too would be one of the practical charms of Voltaire. [Friedrich's Letter to Algarotti (
Nobody can wish details in this Department: but there is one thing necessary to be mentioned, That Friedrich in these years, 1749-1752, has Printers out at Potsdam, and is Printing, "in beautiful quarto form, with copperplates," to the extent of twelve copies, the OEUVRES (Poetical, that is) DU PHILOSOPHE DE SANS-SOUCI. Only twelve copies, I have heard; gift of a single copy indicating that you are among the choicest of the chosen. Copies have now fallen extremely rare (and are not in request at all, with my readers or me); but there was one Copy which, or the Mis-title of which, as OEUVRE DE "POESHIE" DU ROI MON MAITRE, became miraculously famous in a year or two;--and is still memorable to us all! On Voltaire's arrival, we shall hear more of these things. Enough to say at present that the OEUVRES DU PHILOSOPHE DE SANS-SOUCI: AU DONJON DU CHATEAU: AVEC PRIVILEGE D'APOLLON,--"three thinnish quarto volumes, all the Poetry then on hand,"--was finished early in 1750, before Voltaire came. That, when Voltaire came, a revisal was undertaken, a new Edition, with Voltaire's corrections and other changes (total suppression of the PALLADION, for one creditable change): that this Edition was to have been in Two Volumes; that One, accordingly, rather thicker than the former sort, was got finished in 1752 (same TITLE, only the new Date, and "no DONJON DU CHATEAU this time"), One Volume in 1752; after which, owing to the explosions that ensued, no Second came, nor ever will;--and that the actual contents of that far- famed OEUVRE DE "POESHIE" (number of volumes even) are points of mystery to me, at this day. [Herr Preuss--in the CHRONOLOGICAL LIST of Friedrich's Writings (a useful accurate Piece otherwise), and in two other places where he tries--is very indistinct on this of DONJON DU CHATEAU; and it is all but impossible to ascertain from him WHAT, in an indisputable manner, the OEUVRE DE "POESHIE" may have been. Here are the places for groping, if another should be induced to try:
Friedrich's other employments are multifarious as those of a Land's Husband (not inferior to his Father in that respect); and, like the benefits of the diurnal Sun, are to be considered incessant, innumerable and, in result to us-ward, SILENT also, impossible to speak of in this place. From the highest pitch of State-craft (Russian Czarina now fallen plainly hostile, and needing lynx-eyed diplomacy ever and anon), down to that of Dredging and Fascine-work (as at Stettin and elsewhere), of Oder-canals, of Soap-boiler Companies, and Mulberry-and-Silk Companies; nay of ordaining Where, and where not, the Crows are to he shot, and (owing to cattle- murrain) No VEAL to be killed: [Seyfarth, ii. 71, 83, 81; Preuss,
The Review seasons, I notice, go somewhat as follows. For Berlin and neighborhood, May, or perhaps end of April (weather now bright, and ground firm); sometimes with considerable pomp ("both Queens out," and beautiful Female Nobilities, in "twenty-four green tents"), and often with great complicacy of manoeuvre. In June, to Magdeburg, round by Cleve; and home again for some days. July is Pommern: Onward thence to Schlesien, oftenest in August; Schlesien the last place, and generally not done with till well on in September. But we will speak of these things, more specially, another time. Such "Reviews," for strictness of inspection civil and military, as probably were not seen in the world since,--or before, except in the case of this King's Father only.
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