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these events Silesia was the theatre of the opening scenes of the War of Liberation, and nowhere in Germany was the call to the people to rise against the cruel oppressions of Napoleon received with more loyalty and enthusiasm than in the province annexed by Old Fritz.'
After the peace Frederick expressed to Podewils the belief that Prussia was now so strong that the grand European protagonists, France and England, would not try to drive him out of his neutrality. He added : “A happy quietism • must be the basis of our policy for some years :
and in less elevated style: ‘I will never attack another cat.' Holding as he did that the scales of war are in the hands of the Goddess Luck, and believing that he had made himself a ' name,' he was eager to exchange the hardships of the camp and battlefield, which had begun to undermine his health, for the intellectual repose of the Round Table of Charlottenburg. To his philosophic friend Jordan he wrote: 'I return
with the comfortable feeling that I have done nothing to • reproach myself with as regards my country. To the same correspondent he used language which anticipates the longings for delivery from the bloody business of war placed by Schiller in the mouth of Max Piccolomini. 'Peace, blessed Peace, heals the wounds which war has made.' And again : 'Peace is the spring of the year which brings
forth all things : war is like autumn, when the crops are cut ' and the fruits are garnered.' The Prussians might dwell on their sovereign's political and military genius : foreign nations were as much impressed by the evasions and somersaults of Klein-Schnellendorf and Breslau as by the victories of Mollwitz and Chotusitz. His uncle the Capting' suggested that Fritz should be placed under the ban of the empire and his kingdom given to his younger brother. That stern moralist the Russian minister Bestuschev (politely called by Carlyle the corruptiblest brute of a chancellor ever known') spoke of him as a prince who respected nothing that men count holiest.'
Frederick had no abstract prejudice either against truth or untruth; but then, as we have seen him argue, a character for bad faith did not always pay. This consideration moved him to write a pamphlet in answer to the numerous attacks made upon him after the peace of Breslau for his perfidy in deserting his allies. Podewils having opposed the publication of this work, it was withheld from the press, and bas only recently been printed. The royal pamphleteer throws the blame of the situation on the French and Saxons, accusing them of breach of their engagements. Against the French he heaps separate charges of gross treachery, which were reproduced, with aggravations, in the first version of the king's Memoirs. According to an historian who has made the first Silesian war his speciality, this impeachment of the French was unfounded, the facts having been rather the converse of Frederick's statement : the evidence running to prove that he had decided on peace with Austria before the supposed intrigues, if really on the hatch, could have come to his knowledge. On the other hand, Professor Droysen, who, like Ranke, was infected by excessive worship of ambassadors and despatches, and too ready to take diplomatic chatter for gospel, quotes chapter and verse that seem somewhat to tell the other way. Frederick, no doubt, was entitled to apply to the cardinal Voltaire's remark on the prophet—'Habacuc
est capable de tout;' but fear of French defection probably moved him less than the mutterings which he heard of a coming Russian intervention in favour of his enemies, a menace the more alarming as the war had cost him 20,000 men, and his exchequer was nearly empty, while means for its replenishment, by loan or taxation, were wanting.
Frederick called international promises and guarantees ' filigree castles.' His own pledges were edifices of that description ; for whereas in the spring of 1742 he was discussing his separate treaty with the empress-queen, on November 1, 1741, he had acceded to and guaranteed, in company with France, the treaty of partition and friendship between Saxony and Bavaria : while the treaty of November 4, 1741
, between himself and the emperor specially bound him to enter into no negotiations with the enemy, i.e. Austria, without informing his ally. If the victimised emperor thought fit to preserve a dignified silence, it was otherwise, as we said, with the King of Poland. That monarch told the English minister that Prussia had first
forced him to take part in the war, and then, utterly trampling all decency under foot, had concluded peace for him without so much as asking his consent by a single word. This protest was not silenced by Frederick's snarl— The politicians and the military will approve my * motives : stoics of dry temperament and crazed brains' had no right to judge him : 'a sovereign must not act like a private person.
Answering a correspondent who detected in the late events symptoms of providential interference on the Prussian side, Frederick derided one of the most curious and most persistent of Hohenzollern superstitions. What
, he said, was the spot of earth called Prussia that it should
enter into the vast concerns of an eternal scheme; and what was he, petty ruler, with his little human doings and ambi, tions, that he should be singled out for the favour of a divine ruler of the boundless universe ?
Not long after these events, an official of the Silesian mint, resenting the disruption of his allegiance to the empress-queen, took ingenious revenge on Frederick. Promoted to higher rank at Berlin, he was charged with an issue of silver dollars which were to bear the customary. words, 'Ein Reichsthaler. When the new money came into circulation, it was seen that the legend on the coins had been slightly expanded, so as to give the reading, Ein • Reich stahl er,' anglicè, 'He stole the crown.' Thief, or hero, the violent remover of Maria Theresa's landmarks found approval in distant countries. His fame eventually reached India, where, amongst the admirers of his exploits, was the potentate whose name, as we saw, mentioned by • Old Fritz’himself at his whist-table, provoked the sarcastic parallel of Hugh Elliot. A letter from Haidar Ali invited Frederick to form a settlement on the Malabar coast, in the vicinity of Mysore, a proposal which tempted the king as little as a previous French offer of the island of Baratariahis sarcastic name for Tobago. Warned, perhaps, by the failure of the enterprise of the most aspiring of his ancestors, the Great Elector' of Brandenburg, who had acquired a temporary footing in Africa, he perceived that the situation and resources of Prussia were not such as to enable him to found an Indian 'sphere of influence' in rivalry of the conquests of the countrymen of Clive and Dupleix.
Frederick's hereditary dominions consisted of eight separate patches of territory, largely composed of moors, morasses, and sand-flats, scattered between Russia and the Rhine, which made their master, as Voltaire put it, a mere
king of strips. Two short campaigns and two victorious battles had changed all that. Confirmed by later wars, undertaken on pretended necessities of self-defence, and followed by the criminal partition of Poland, the conquest of Silesia opened to the later Hohenzollerns, after a short eclipse in the Napoleonic age, a road to the highest civil, military, and material greatness, and to the foundation, under Prussian ascendency, of an empire of which neither Frederick nor the • Great Elector' ever so much as dreamed.
Art. VI.-The Sutherland Book. By Sir William FRASER,
K.C.B., LL.D. Privately printed. 3 vols. Quarto. Edinburgh : 1892. THE He County of Sutherland is the tract anciently known as
Suder or Southerland, the district sloping to sea and sun which lay to the south of Caithness. Set between two seas, and divided from Ross for more than half its breadth by the tidal estuary of the Oikel called the Dornoch Firth, it owes to these circumstances a climate far milder than is to be found in the Scottish Lothians or in the English Midlands. The scenery of the west coast is magnificent, and no one who has seen the purple sugarloaf of Suilbhein, or the quartzose ridges of Arkle and Foihnaven, will ever forget their beauty. From the brows of Arkle Sir Edwin Landseer once watched the sun of the longest day dip in the North Sea and rise again after an amazingly short interval. Romantic as it is, Sutherland is not, however, one of the most distinctively Highland, or rather Celtic, counties of Scotland, though the early occupation is testified to by the vestiges of vanished races and of a vanished creed. The unwritten literature of the people up to the middle of this century was abundant, but it is now becoming increasingly difficult to collect. Nor does the modern crofter take much interest in the flint arrowheads and kitchen middens of his ancestors, in the dolmen at Aspisdale, the cromlech at Clashmore, the round mass of the so-called Pictish castle at Dundornadil, the vitrified fort on the hill of Creish, the fields of barrows, cairns, and kists near the rock of Megdale, or the pile dwellings submerged in Loch Stack. These are the leaves of the prehistoric Sutherland Book, and were identified in the popular creed with a degraded, unbaptised race, a survival of the unfittest, after Celts and Dalriadic Scots had taken possession of the glens.
From these mists the country was to emerge in the twelfth century ready to organise itself under the influences of the mitre and the sword, which in feudal days at once supported and threatened the supreme authority of the Crown. The coast, as possessing the readiest means of intercourse with the outer world, was selected by both earl and bishop, and from its fringe civilisation was supposed to spread inland. The true history of the earls of Sutherland is really the tale of how, by a process of agglomeration, by forays and marriages, charters and quarrels, lawsuits, purchases, and excambion, the family managed to become owners or superiors (with a few exceptions) of the whole province. As we already possess the Red Books of many noble Scottish houses, and as sixteen years have elapsed since we were enabled to review in these pages the history, archives, and correspondence of the earls of Cromartie, it did seem imperative that the muniment-room at Dunrobin should also give up its treasures. It has done so at last, and thus enriched Scottish history with a worthy record of the Mhoirfear, the chiefs of the Clhann Chattaibh na buadh, who so often led their retainers to victory.' Their Red Book also, by allowing us to watch the changes that came over the Highlands, makes us acquainted with the rise and progress of what was, and still is, one of the leading Whig families of Scotland. Sir William Fraser has compiled and edited these magnificent volumes with his wonted learning and research, and they are not unworthy of their stately predecessors. But it is to the munificence of the late Duke of Sutherland that the work owes its existence. It was undertaken by his orders, and the printing of the reserved number of a hundred copies was completed shortly before his death.
The charter chest of the earls of Sutherland has, along with its contents, been subjected to many vicissitudes. During the minority of the eleventh earl, we learn on Sir Robert Gordon's authority that the Earl of Caithness endeavoured to destroy the family writs. "He purchased,' says Sir William Fraser, 'the right of guardianship over
the young earl. Such a sale appears a scandalous proceeding; and even if we admit, with Sir Robert Walpole, that every man has his price, it is difficult to conceive a greater breach of trust than to hand over a minor to such a guardian. That Lord Caithness should have coveted the post is explicable, for the place of “Tutor’ was in those days highly esteemed, and the profession was felt to be an eligible one, since it combined the advantages of both arms and gown. The first use that this strange · Tutor' of Sutherland made of his stewardship was to burn and destroy . all the infeftments and evidents pertyning to the house of • Sutherland which he could find within the county, because 'they seemed to advance the honour and profite of that familie.'
There is a Spanish proverb which says that all those goods of a minor which do not go into the river fall into the fire ; and it is fortunate that in this case the minor was old enough