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few, who, like themselves, are reared above the rest of the species by their birth, their ability, or their fortune, to mark by what steps kingdoms rise to graudeur, and individuals to eminence; and again, by what vices, or what errors, individuals are ruined and nations sink into insignificance ;-how far man has been everywhere, and throughout so many ages alike, and in what respects his nature is changed by the climate or the government, the literature or the religion of his country; how particular constitutions are best adapted to particular countries; how the continued struggles have terminated between the prerogatives of Sovereigns on the one hand, and the demands of the subjects on the other, how a small number of daring spirits have directed, impelled, and held the mastery over millions; how the despotism of one is the eldest offspring of anarchy amongst the many to observe the various forms and modifications of civil policy, good or bad, legitimate or usurped from the extremes of grinding tyranny or licentious republicanism; through the numerous gradations of oligarchy or aristocracy to monarchy, arbitrary or temperate, hereditary or elective, and our own mixed constitution shining conspicuously in the midst, and realizing in actual existence more than the philosophers and historians of old had conceived in their fondest imaginations of Utopian excellence, in a word that meditations such as these, must be calculated not only to captivate the fancy, but to enlarge the understanding and correct the heart, far more than the inspection of ranks of human machines, who are no better after all than gilded slaves.
The studies of the royal Princes of England, during their stay in Germany were not directed to any great nor substantial purpose. The knowledge of the art of war was the avowed object
But war's a game which were their subjects wise
in fact they were to be made into soldiers, not into men and philosophers. Although whole continents passed before them in review, although they surveyed all the kingdoms of Europe with their various customs and transactions; their constitutions formed from the same feudal system, but differing from the force of natural character or accidental circumstances; their revolutions through a long series of years, and the illustrious dead who have defended or improved them; the continual flux and reflux of worldly prosperity; the progress of communities from ignorance to knowledge, from rudeness to refinement, and again from refinement to luxury, and from luxury to decay, yet these reflections vast and weighty as they are, would have exalted the royal minds, and filled them without overwhelming them. Their faculties would have expanded with the occasion, and the fruits of it would have exhibited themselves in one of the royal Princes, when by the course of succession he ascended the throne of his father.
It is true that the view of the Prussian armies might have instilled into the breasts of the royal youths a love of fame, and what is surreptitiously called, deeds of heroism and bravery, but on what is fame founded ? on the slaughter of thousands of human beings, and the fame rises in proportion to the number of the murdered; the fame of the hero rests on the devastation of a country, on the destruction of the hopes of the industrious labourers, on the broken heart of the widow and the tears of the orphan. But could not the royal youths have been led to other subjects which are passing on the great theatre of the world, by which those high sentiments might be engendered in their minds, which would prove a powerful incentive to noble actions, and render them the benefactors, instead of the destroyers of their race? The Bishop of Osnaburg might, like Themistocles have been prevented from sleeping by thinking of the trophies of Miltiades. Prince William, like Cæsar, might have dropped tears of ambition upon the tomb of an Alexander, but was it only by the military car of the laurelcrowned victor that their hearts were to be vivified by a love of fame? could they not be warmed into enthusiasm by the contemplation of godlike qualities and superior achievements which the pages of history present to them in such lavish pro
fusion. Were there no examples existing in their own country, who, having surveyed in modern history the conduct of the mighty dead, who were stamped in a nobler mould than ordinary beings, have formed at that very instant in secresy and solitude, the great design of following their footsteps ? of devoting themselves with all their physical and mental energies to the cause of their country, the glory of their age, and the general good of the human race? who have been led forward by the animating hope, that they too may be enrolled in the pages of history; that the temple of fame may be opened for their admission, and that their names may be inscribed in golden characters on the tablets of imperishable renown.
It is true that modern history could not furnish the royal Princes with any great achievements committed by their immediate ancestors; and in regard to the reign of their own father, it had been marked by one of the most disastrous wars in which this country was ever engaged, nor did his own character present to them any peculiar features beyond the range of ordinary men; in fact, in many instances, George III. was a very ordinary man indeed, and therefore there was no additional motive in the study of his history to deter them from the commission of any acts, by which they could degenerate from the living head of their family. And not merely are individuals, who may be thought to feel a kind of private interest, heated by such considerations, but the remark may be applied with nearly the same force to whole cities, and provinces, and nations. The glory of their forefathers, the deeds of those, who have gone before them have ever been found the strongest and most efficacious arguments to excite a people at large; men of common capacity and ordinary character to vigorous exertion, or undaunted resistance; to active daring or patient resolution.
It was the opinion of General Bude that the royal Princes had ambition enough in them, without any endeavour to fan the flame of it to a greater intensity by the examples of ancient or modern history, but his opinion was formed upon
erroneous grounds, for there are many of those examples, that would rather deter them from those projects of gigantic mischief, which too often teem in the heads of Princes and of Kings, for they represent in the case of nations as of individuals, that actual tragedy of events, where misfortune is consequent upon crime, while justice and moderation are alone conducive to real prosperity and repose. They prove that all violent inordinate passions are not only the destroyers of happiness, but the consumers of life. They pourtray the dying patriot, like Wolfe or Nelson, those complete counterparts to Epaminondas or Codrus, or any of the most hallowed names of antiquity ; lamented by the tears of millions, and consecrated by the veneration of ages, while they depict tyrants, like those of Asia, if no external force sweep them from existence as the inflictors of torments on their own hearts, torn by remorse, distracted with apprebensions, not in tumult nor in battle, but in the common occurrences, and the most peaceful moments of their being, in suspicion of the very guards whom they have hired to defend them; in danger from the very minions whom they have raised to support them; in dread from the very relatives to whom the ties of nature have allied them; without a single friend whom they can trust with confidence, or a a single dependent who serves them with affection. They will shew us the fallen Charles, calmly and with dignity on the scaffold; the powerful Cromwell full of restless inquietude, perpetually changing his abode, like the poetical personification of sickness, "impatient of himself,” and in the eye of reason and philosophy, as completely an object of pity, as the martyred sovereign may in his last moments be a theme of admiration.
As a soldier, Frederic was a very eligible individual for the young Princes to associate with, but as a man, he was directly the reverse, that is, if their minds were not to be contaminated by the principles of the free-thinker, and the latitudinarian. The companion and the disciple of Voltaire, was, perhaps, of all men the last, into whose society, George III. would have thrown his sons. The pbilosophy which prevailed at the Court of Berlin was ill suited to the meridian of London, and particularly that part of it, in which the palace of St. James' was situate. At the latter place, a liberal idea, was as rare as a guinea in the pocket of a poet; and the individual, who had so little religion in him, as to declare that he could not understand the creed of St. Athanasius, was scouted as a profane and impious personage. At the soirees of the Prussian Monarch, subjects were discussed, at which, had they been even touched upon in the formal evening parties at Windsor, or St. James' Palace, the whole company would have been seized with the St. Vitus' dance of abhorrence, and the unfortunate wight, who might perhaps, have introduced them inadvertently, would have been stigmatised as the destroyer of the morals of the rising generation, and an enemy to the established religion of the land. Frederick, was anything but a courtier, taken in the real sense of that truly contemptible character; and although he exacted the most implicit obedience from his officials and subordinates, according to the strictest rules of military discipline, yet there was nothing in him of that smooth, silky, sycophantish, mawkish, fawnish demeanour, by which a courtier is as well known as a polecat by its stench. He entertained a sovereign contempt for illiterate men, nor did he hesitate to show it, whenever the occasion presented itself. One evening, when the röyal Princes were present, the subject, which was under discussion in the immediate circle of the King, was optimism, and it cannot be supposed that it was a subject to which the royal youths had paid much attention, consequently, they took little or no part in the discussion. Frederick on a sudden, addressing himself to Prince William, who was standing very near him, inquired if he had ever read Voltaire's Candid. His Royal Highness answered in the negative--Frederic immediately turned upon his heels, with that scowl of contempt upon his countenance, which he was so apt to assume, when anything contemptible struck him, and without saying another word, joined another party in a distant part of the apartment. In