"The carriage drew up; and the King said to his coachman [the far- famed Pfund]: 'Is this Dolgelin?' 'Yes, your Majesty!'--'I stay here.' 'No,' said Pfund; 'The sun is not down yet. We can get on very well to Muncheberg to-night [ten miles ahead, and a Town too, perfidious Pfund!]--and then to-morrow we are much earlier in Potsdam.' 'NA, HM,--well, if it must be so!'--
"And therewith they set to changing horses. The peasants who were standing far off, quite silent, with reverently bared heads, came softly nearer, and looked eagerly at the King. An old Gingerbread- woman (SOMMELFRAU) of Lebbenichen [always knew her afterwards] took me in her arm, and held me aloft close to the coach-window. I was now at farthest an ell from the King; and I felt as if I were looking in the face of God Almighty (ES WAR MIR ALS OB ICH DEN LIEBEN GOTT ANSAHE). He was gazing steadily out before him," into the glowing West, "through the front window. He had on an old three-cornered regimental hat, and had put the hindward straight flap of it foremost, undoing the loop, so that this flap hung down in front, and screened him from the sun. The hat-strings (HUT- CORDONS," trimmings of silver or gold cord) "had got torn loose, and were fluttering about on this down-hanging front flap; the white feather in the hat was tattered and dirty; the plain blue uniform, with red cuffs, red collar and gold shoulder-bands [epaulettes WITHOUT bush at the end], was old and dusty, the yellow waistcoat covered with snuff;--for the rest, he had black-velvet breeches [and, of course, the perpetual BOOTS, of which he would allow no polishing or blacking, still less any change for new ones while they would hang together]. I thought always he would speak to me. The old woman could not long hold me up; and so she set me down again. Then the King looked at the Clergyman, beckoned him near, and asked, Whose child it was? (Herr von Marwitz of Friedersdorf's.'--'Is that the General?' 'No, the Chamberlain.' The King made no answer: he could not bear Chamberlains, whom he considered as idle fellows. The new horses were yoked; away they went. All day the peasants had been talking of the King, how he would bring this and that into order, and pull everybody over the coals who was not agreeable to them.
"Afterwards it turned out that all Clergymen were in the habit of giving 10 thalers to the coachman Pfund, when the King lodged with them: the former Clergyman of Dolgelin had regularly done it; but the new one, knowing nothing of the custom, had omitted it last year;--and that was the reason why the fellow had so pushed along all day that he could pass Dolgelin before sunset, and get his 10 thalers in Muncheberg from the Burgermeister there."
2. JANUARY, 1785. "The second time I saw the King was at the Carnival of Berlin in 1785. I had gone with my Tutor to a Cousin of mine who was a Hofdame (DAME DE COUR) to the Princess Henri, and lived accordingly in the Prince-Henri Palace,--which is now, in our days, become the University;--her Apartments were in the third story, and looked out into the garden. As we were ascending the great stairs, there came dashing past us a little old man with staring eyes, jumping down three steps at a time. My Tutor said, in astonishment, 'That is Prince Henri!' We now stept into a window of the first story, and looked out to see what the little man had meant by those swift boundings of his. And lo, there came the King in his carriage to visit him.
"Friedrich the Second NEVER drove in Potsdam, except when on journeys, but constantly rode. He seemed to think it a disgrace, and unworthy of a Soldier, to go in a carriage: thus, when in the last Autumn of his life (this very 1785) he was so unwell in the windy Sans-Souci (where there were no stoves, but only hearth- fires), that it became necessary to remove to the Schloss in Potsdam, he could not determine to DRIVE thither, but kept hoping from day to day for so much improvement as might allow him to ride. As no improvement came, and the weather grew ever colder, he at length decided to go over under cloud of darkness, in a sedan- chair, that nobody might notice him.--So likewise during the Reviews at Berlin or Charlottenburg he appeared always on horseback: but during the Carnival in Berlin, where he usually stayed four weeks, he DROVE, and this always in Royal pomp,--thus:--
"Ahead went eight runners with their staves, plumed caps and runner-aprons [LAUFER-SCHURZE, whatever these are], in two rows. As these runners were never used for anything except this show, the office was a kind of post for Invalids of the Life-guard. A consequence of which was, that the King always had to go at a slow pace. His courses, however, were no other than from the Schloss to the Opera twice a week; and during his whole residence, one or two times to Prince Henri and the Princess Amelia [once always, too, to dine with his Wife, to whom he did not speak one word, but merely bowed at beginning and ending!]. After this the runners rested again for a year. Behind them came the Royal Carriage, with a team of eight; eight windows round it; the horses with old-fashioned harness, and plumes on their heads. Coachman and outriders all in the then Royal livery,--blue; the collar, cuffs, pockets, and all seams, trimmed with a stripe of red cloth, and this bound on both sides with small gold-cord; the general effect of which was very good. In the four boots (NEBENTRITTEN) of the coach stood four Pages, red with gold, in silk stockings, feather- hats (crown all covered with feathers), but not having plumes;--the valet's boot behind, empty; and to the rear of it, down below, where one mounts to the valet's boot [BEDIENTEN-TRITT, what is now become FOOT-BOARD], stood a groom (STALLKNECHT). Thus came the King, moving slowly along; and entered through the portal of the Palace. We looked down from the window in the stairs. Prince Henri stood at the carriage-door; the pages opened it, the King stepped out, saluted his Brother, took him by the hand, walked upstairs with him, and thus the two passed near us (we retiring upstairs to the second story), and went into the Apartment, where now Students run leaping about."
3. MAY 23d, 1785. "The third time I saw him was that same year, at Berlin still, as he returned home from the Review. ["May 21st- 23d" (Rodenbeck, iii. 327).] My Tutor had gone with me for that end to the Halle Gate, for we already knew that on that day he always visited his Sister, Princess Amelia. He came riding on a big white horse,--no doubt old CONDE, who, twenty years after this, still got his FREE-BOARD in the ECOLE VETERINAIRE; for since the Bavarian War (1778), Friedrich hardly ever rode any other horse. His dress was the same as formerly at Dolgelin, on the journey; only that the hat was in a little better condition, properly looped up, and with the peak (but not with the LONG peak, as is now the fashion) set in front, in due military style. Behind him were a guard of Generals, then the Adjutants, and finally the grooms of the party. The whole 'Rondeel' (now Belle-Alliance Platz) and the Wilhelms-Strasse were crammed full of people; all windows crowded, all heads bare, everywhere the deepest silence; and on all countenances an expression of reverence and confidence, as towards the just steersman of all our destinies. The King rode quite alone in front, and saluted people, CONTINUALLY taking off his hat. In doing which he observed a very marked gradation, according as the on-lookers bowing to him from the windows seemed to deserve. At one time he lifted the hat a very little; at another he took it from his head, and held it an instant beside the same; at another he sunk it as far as the elbow. But these motions lasted continually; and no sooner had he put on his hat, than he saw other people, and again took it off. From the Halle Gate to the Koch-Strasse he certainly took off his hat 200 times.
"Through this reverent silence there sounded only the trampling of the horses, and the shouting of the Berlin street-boys, who went jumping before him, capering with joy, and flung up their hats into the air, or skipped along close by him, wiping the dust from his boots. I and my Tutor had gained so much room that we could run alongside of him, hat in hand, among the boys.--You see the difference between then and now. Who was it that then made the noise? Who maintained a dignified demeanor?--Who is it that bawls and bellows now? [Nobilities ought to be noble, thinks this old Marwitz, in their reverence to Nobleness. If Nobilities themselves become Washed Populaces in a manner, what are we to say?] And what value can you put on such bellowing?