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circumstances, or rather private feelings, which probably

time:2023-12-01 15:19:10 Source: Originally writtenedit:food

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... "On Thursday," 16th July, 1750, "I went to Court by appointment, at 11 A.M. The King of Prussia arrived about 12 [at Berlin; King in from Potsdam, for one day]; and Count Podewils immediately introduced me into the Royal closet; when I delivered his Britannic Majesty's Letters into the King of Prussia's hands, and made the usual compliments to him in the best manner I was able. To which his Prussian Majesty replied, to the best of my remembrance, as follows:-- "'I have the truest esteem for the King of Britain's person; and I set the highest value on his friendship. I have at different times received essential proofs of it; and I desire you would acquaint the King your Master that I will (SIC) never forget them.' His Prussian Majesty afterwards said something with respect to myself, and then asked me several questions about indifferent things and persons. He seemed to express a great deal of esteem for my Lord Chesterfield, and a great deal of kindness for Mr. Villiers," useful in the Peace-of-Dresden time; "but did not once mention Lord Hyndford or Mr. Legge,"--how singular!

circumstances, or rather private feelings, which probably

"I was in the closet with his Majesty exactly five minutes and a half. My audience done, Prussian Majesty came out into the general room, where Foreign Ministers were waiting. He said, on stepping in, just one word" to the Austrian Excellency; not even one to the Russian Excellency, nor to me the Britannic; "conversed with the French, Swedish, Danish;"--happy to be off, which I do not wonder at; to dine with Mamma at Monbijou, among faces pleasant to him; and return to his Businesses and Books next day. [Walpole, George the Second, i. 449; Rodenbeck, i. 204.]

circumstances, or rather private feelings, which probably

Witty Excellency Hanbury did not succeed at Berlin on the "Romish- King Question," or otherwise; and indeed went off rather in a hurry. But for the next six or seven years he puddles about, at a great rate, in those Northern Courts; giving away a great deal of money, hatching many futile expensive intrigues at Petersburg, Warsaw (not much at Berlin, after the first trial there); and will not be altogether avoidable to us in time coming, as one could have wished. Besides, he is Horace Walpole's friend and select London Wit: he contributed a good deal to the English notions about Friedrich; and has left considerable bits of acrid testimony on Friedrich, "clear words of an Eye-witness," men call them,--which are still read by everybody; the said Walpole, and others, having since printed them, in very dark condition. [In Walpole, George the Second (i. 448-461), the Pieces which regard Friedrich. In Sir Charles Hanbury Williams's Works (edited by a diligent, reverential, but ignorant gentleman, whom I could guess to be Bookseller Jeffery in person: London, 1822, 3 vols. small 8vo) are witty Verses, and considerable sections of Prose, relating to other persons and objects now rather of an obsolete nature.] Brevity is much due to Hanbury and his testimonies, since silence in the circumstances is not allowable. Here is one Excerpt, with the necessary light for reading it:--

circumstances, or rather private feelings, which probably

... It is on this Romish-King and other the like chimerical errands, that witty Hanbury, then a much more admirable man than we now find him, is prowling about in the German Courts, off and on, for some ten years in all, six of them still to come. A sharp-eyed man, of shrewish quality; given to intriguing, to spying, to bribing; anxious to win his Diplomatic game by every method, though the stake (as here) is oftenest zero: with fatal proclivity to Scandal, and what in London circles he has heard called Wit. Little or nothing of real laughter in the soul of him, at any time; only a labored continual grin, always of malicious nature, and much trouble and jerking about, to keep that up. Had evidently some modicum of real intellect, of capacity for being wise; but now has fatally devoted it nearly all to being witty, on those poor terms! A perverse, barren, spiteful little wretch; the grin of him generally an affliction, at this date. His Diplomatic Correspondence I do not know. [Nothing of him is discoverable in the State-Paper Office. Many of his Papers, it would seem, are in the Earl of Essex's hands;--and might be of some Historical use, not of very much, could the British Museum get possession of them. Abundance of BACKSTAIRS History, on those Northern Courts, especially on Petersburg, and Warsaw-Dresden,--authentic Court-gossip, generally malicious, often not true, but never mendacious on the part of Williams,--is one likely item.] He did a great deal of Diplomatic business, issuing in zero, of which I have sometimes longed to know the exact dates; seldom anything farther. His "History of Poland," transmitted to the Right Hon. Henry Fox, by instalments from Dresden, in 1748, is [See Hanbury's Works, vol. iii.]--Well, I should be obliged to call it worthier of Goody Two-Shoes than of that Right Hon. Henry, who was a man of parts, but evidently quite a vacuum on the Polish side!

Of Hanbury's News-Letters from Foreign Courts, four or five, incidentally printed, are like the contents of a slop-pail; uncomfortable to the delicate mind. Not lies on the part of Hanbury, but foolish scandal poured into him; a man more filled with credulous incredible scandal, evil rumors, of malfeasances by kings and magnates, than most people known. His rumored mysteries between poor Polish Majesty and pretty Daughter-in-law (the latter a clever and graceful creature, Daughter of the late unfortunate Kaiser, and a distinguished Correspondent of Friedrich's) are to be regarded as mere poisoned wind. [See Hanbury's Works, ii. 209-240.] That "Polish Majesty gets into his dressing- gown at two in the afternoon" (inaccessible thenceforth, poor lazy creature), one most readily believes; but there, or pretty much there, one's belief has to stop. The stories, in WALPOLE, on the King of Prussia, have a grain of fact in them, twisted into huge irrecognizable caricature in the Williams optic-machinery. Much else one can discern to be, in essence, false altogether. Friedrich, who could not stand that intriguing, spying, shrewish, unfriendly kind of fellow at his Court, applied to England in not many months hence, and got Williams sent away: ["22d January, 1751" (MS. LIST in State-Paper Office).] on to Russia, or I forget whither;--which did not mend the Hanbury optical-machinery on that side. The dull, tobacco-smoking Saxon-Polish Majesty, about whom he idly retails so many scandals, had never done him any offence.

On the whole, if anybody wanted a swim in the slop-pails of that extinct generation, Hanbury, could he find an Editor to make him legible, might be printed. For he really was deep in that slop-pail or extinct-scandal department, and had heard a great many things. Apart from that, in almost any other department,--except in so far as he seems to DATE rather carefully,--I could not recommend him. The Letters and Excerpts given in Walpole are definable as one pennyworth of bread,--much ruined by such immersion, but very harmless otherwise, could you pick it out and clean it,--to twenty gallons of Hanbury sherris-sack, or chamber-slop. I have found nothing that seems to be, in all points, true or probable, but this; worth cutting out, and rendering legible, on other accounts. Hanbury LOQUITUR (in condensed form):

"In the summer of last year, 1749, there was, somewhere in Mahren, a great Austrian Muster or Review;" all the more interesting, as it was believed, or known, that the Prussian methods and manoeuvres were now to be the rule for Austria. Not much of a Review otherwise, this of 1749; Empress-Queen and Husband not personally there, as in coming Years they are wont to be; that high Lady being ardent to reform her Army, root and branch, according to the Prussian model,--more praise to her. [ Maria Theresiens Leben, p. 160 (what she did that way, ANNO 1749); p. 162 (PRESENT at the Reviews, ANNO 1750).] "At this Muster in Mahren, Three Prussian Officers happened to make their appearance, --for several imaginable reasons, of little significance: 'For the purpose of inveigling people to desert, and enlist with them!' said the Austrian Authorities; and ordered the Three Prussian Officers unceremoniously off the ground. Which Friedrich, when he heard of it, thought an unhandsome pipe-clay procedure, and kept in mind against the Austrian Authorities.

"Next Summer," next Spring, 1750, "an Austrian Captain being in Mecklenburg, travelling about, met there an old acquaintance, one Chapeau [HAT! can it be possible?], who is in great favor with the King of Prussia:"--very well, Excellency Hanbury; but who, in the name of wonder, can this HAT, or Chapeau, have been? After study, one perceives that Hanbury wrote Chazeau, meaning CHASOT, an old acquaintance of our own! Brilliant, sabring, melodying Chasot, Lieutenant-Colonel of the Baireuth Dragoons; who lies at Treptow, close on Mecklenburg, and is a declared favorite of the Duchess, often running over to the RESIDENZ there. Often enough; but HONI SOIT, O reader; the clever Lady is towards sixty, childless, musical; and her Husband--do readers recollect him at all?--is that collapsed TAILORING Duke whom Friedrich once visited,--and whose Niece, Half-Niece, is Charlotte, wise little hard-favored creature now of six, in clean bib and tucker, Ancestress of England that is to be; whose Papa will succeed, if the Serene Tailor die first,-- which he did not quite. To this Duchess, musical gallant Chasot may well be a resource, and she to him. Naturally the Austrian Captain, having come to Mecklenburg, dined with Serene Highness, he and Chasot together, with concert following, and what not, at the Schloss of Neu-Strelitz:--And now we will drop the 'Chapeau,' and say Chasot, with comfort, and a shade of new interest.