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   Chapter 5 — AFFAIR OF HERSTAL.

History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Volume 10 By Thomas Carlyle Characters: 30690

Updated: 2017-12-04 00:02

This Rambonet, whom Voltaire found walking in the court of the old Castle of Moyland, is an official gentleman, otherwise unknown to History, who has lately been engaged in a Public Affair; and is now off again about it, "on a hired hack" or otherwise,-with very good instructions in his head. Affair which, though in itself but small, is now beginning to make great noise in the world, as Friedrich wends homewards out of his Cleve Journey. He has set it fairly alight, Voltaire and he, before quitting Moyland; and now it will go of itself. The Affair of Herstal, or of the Bishop of Liege; Friedrich's first appearance on the stage of politics. Concerning which some very brief notice, if intelligible, will suffice readers of the present day.

Heristal, now called Herstal, was once a Castle known to all mankind; King Pipin's Castle, who styled himself "Pipin of Heristal," before he became King of the Franks and begot Charlemagne. It lies on the Maas, in that fruitful Spa Country; left bank of the Maas, a little to the north of Liege; and probably began existence as a grander place than Liege (LUTTICH), which was, at first, some Monastery dependent on secular Herstal and its grandeurs:-think only how the race has gone between these two entities; spiritual Liege now a big City, black with the smoke of forges and steam-mills; Herstal an insignificant Village, accidentally talked of for a few weeks in 1740, and no chance ever to be mentioned again by men.

Herstal, in the confused vicissitudes of a thousand years, had passed through various fortunes, and undergone change of owners often enough. Fifty years ago it was in the hands of the Nassau-Orange House; Dutch William, our English Protestant King, who probably scarce knew of his possessing it, was Lord of Herstal till his death. Dutch William had no children to inherit Herstal: he was of kinship to the Prussian House, as readers are aware; and from that circumstance, not without a great deal of discussion, and difficult "Division of the Orange Heritage," this Herstal had, at the long last, fallen to Friedrich Wilhelm's share; it and Neuchatel, and the Cobweb Palace, and some other places and pertinents.

For Dutch William was of kin, we say; Friedrich I. of Prussia, by his Mother the noble Wife of the Great Elector, was full cousin to Dutch William: and the Marriage Contracts were express,-though the High Mightinesses made difficulties, and the collateral Orange branches were abundantly reluctant, when it came to the fulfilling point. For indeed the matter was intricate. Orange itself, for example, what was to be done with the Principality of Orange? Clearly Prussia's; but it lies imbedded deep in the belly of France, that will be a Caesarean-Operation for you! Had not Neuchatel happened just then to fall home to France (or in some measure to France) and be heirless, Prussia's Heritage of Orange would have done little for Prussia! Principality of Orange was, by this chance, long since, mainly in the First King's time, got settled: [Neuchatel, 3d November, 1707, to Friedrich I., natives preferring him to "Fifteen other Claimants;" Louis XIV. loudly protesting: not till Treaty of Utrecht (14th March 1713, first month of Friedrich Wilhelm's reign) would Louis XIV., on cession of Orange, consent and sanction.] but there needed many years more of good waiting, and of good pushing, on Friedrich Wilhelm's part; and it was not till 1732 that Friedrich Wilhelm got the Dutch Heritages finally brought to the square: Neuchatel and Valengin, as aforesaid, in lieu of Orange; and now furthermore, the Old Palace at Loo (that VIEILLE COUR and biggest cobwebs), with pertinents, with Garden of Honslardik; and a string of items, bigger and less, not worth enumerating. Of the items, this Herstal was one;-and truly, so far as this went, Friedrich Wilhelm often thought he had better never have seen it, so much trouble did it bring him.


The Herstal people, knowing the Prussian recruiting system and other rigors, were extremely unwilling to come under Friedrich Wilhelm's sway, could they have helped it. They refused fealty, swore they never would swear: nor did they, till the appearance, or indubitable foreshine, of Friedrich Wilhelm's bayonets advancing on them from the East, brought compliance. And always after, spite of such quasi-fealty, they showed a pig-like obstinacy of humor; a certain insignificant, and as it were impertinent, deep-rooted desire to thwart, irritate and contradict the said Friedrich Wilhelm. Especially in any recruiting matter that might arise, knowing that to be the weak side of his Prussian Majesty. All this would have amounted to nothing, had it not been that their neighbor, the Prince Bishop of Liege, who imagined himself to have some obscure claims of sovereignty over Herstal, and thought the present a good opportunity for asserting these, was diligent to aid and abet the Herstal people in such their mutinous acts. Obscure claims; of which this is the summary, should the reader not prefer to skip it:-

"The Bishop of Liege's claims on Herstal (which lie wrapt from mankind in the extensive jungle of his law-pleadings, like a Bedlam happily fallen extinct) seem to me to have grown mainly from two facts more or less radical.

"FACT FIRST. In Kaiser Barbarossa's time, year 1171, Herstal had been given in pawn to the Church of Liege, for a loan, by the then proprietor, Duke of Lorraine and Brabant. Loan was repaid, I do not learn when, and the Pawn given back; to the satisfaction of said Duke, or Duke's Heirs; never quite to the satisfaction of the Church, which had been in possession, and was loath to quit, after hoping to continue. 'Give us back Herstal; it ought to be ours!' Unappeasable sigh or grumble to this effect is heard thenceforth, at intervals, in the Chapter of Liege, and has not ceased in Friedrich's time. But as the world, in its loud thoroughfares, seldom or never heard, or could hear, such sighing in the Chapter, nothing had come of it,-till-

"FACT SECOND. In Kaiser Karl V.'s time, the Prince Bishop of Liege happened to be a Natural Son of old Kaiser Max's;-and had friends at headquarters, of a very choice nature. Had, namely, in this sort, Kaiser Karl for Nephew or Half-Nephew; and what perhaps was still better, as nearer hand, had Karl's Aunt, Maria Queen of Hungary, then Governess of the Netherlands, for Half-Sister. Liege, in these choice circumstances, and by other good chances that turned up, again got temporary clutch or half-clutch of Herstal, for a couple of years (date 1546-1548, the Prince of Orange, real proprietor, whose Ancestor had bought it for money down, being then a minor); once, and perhaps a second time in like circumstance; but had always to renounce it again, when the Prince of Orange came to maturity. And ever since, the Chapter of Liege sighs as before, 'Herstal is perhaps in a sense ours. We had once some kind of right to it!'-sigh inaudible in the loud public thoroughfares. That is the Bishop's claim. The name of him, if anybody care for it, is 'Georg Ludwig, titular COUNT OF BERG,' now a very old man: Bishop of Liege, he, and has been snatching at Herstal again, very eagerly by any skirt or tagrag that might happen to fly loose, these eight years past, in a rash and provoking manner; [Delices du Pais de Liege (Liege, 1738); Helden-Geschichte, ii. 57-62.]-age eighty-two at present; poor old fool, he had better have sat quiet. There lies a rod in pickle for him, during these late months; and will be surprisingly laid on, were the time come!"

"I have Law Authority over Herstal, and power of judging there in the last appeal," said this Bishop:-"You!" thought Friedrich Wilhelm, who was far off, and had little time to waste.-"Any Prussian recruiter that behaves ill, bring him to me!" said the Bishop, who was on the spot. And accordingly it had been done; one notable instance two years ago: a Prussian Lieutenant locked in the Liege jail, on complaint of riotous Herstal; thereupon a Prussian Officer of rank (Colonel Kreutzen, worthy old Malplaquet gentleman) coming as Royal Messenger, not admitted to audience, nay laid hold of by the Liege bailiff instead; and other unheard-of procedures. [Helden-Geschichte, ii. 63-73.] So that Friedrich Wilhelm had nothing but trouble with this petty Herstal, and must have thought his neighbor Bishop a very contentious high-flying gentleman, who took great liberties with the Lion's whiskers, when he had the big animal at an advantage.

The episcopal procedures, eight years ago, about the First Homaging of Herstal, had been of similar complexion; nor had other such failed in the interim, though this last outrage exceeded them all. This last began in the end of 1738; and span itself out through 1739, when Friedrich Wilhelm lay in his final sickness, less able to deal with it than formerly. Being a peaceable man, unwilling to awaken conflagrations for a small matter, Friedrich Wilhelm had offered, through Kreutzen on this occasion, to part with Herstal altogether; to sell it, for 100,000 thalers, say 16,000 pounds, to the high-flying Bishop, and honestly wash his hands of it. But the high-flying Bishop did not consent, gave no definite answer; and so the matter lay,-like an unsettled extremely irritating paltry little matter,-at the time Friedrich Wilhelm died.

The Gazetteers and public knew little about these particulars, or had forgotten them again; but at the Prussian Court they were in lively remembrance. What the young Friedrich's opinion about them had been we gather from this succinct notice of the thing, written seven or eight years afterwards, exact in all points, and still carrying a breath of the old humor in it. "A miserable Bishop of Liege thought it a proud thing to insult the late King. Some subjects of Herstal, which belongs to Prussia, had revolted; the Bishop gave them his protection. Colonel Kreutzen was sent to Liege, to compose the thing by treaty; credentials with him, full power, and all in order. Imagine it, the Bishop would not receive him! Three days, day after day, he saw this Envoy apply at his Palace, and always denied him entrance. These things had grown past endurance." [Preuss, OEuvres (Memoires de Brandebourg), end ii. 53.] And Friedrich had taken note of Herstal along with him, on this Cleve Journey; privately intending to put Herstal and the high-flying Bishop on a suitabler footing, before his return from those countries.

For indeed, on Friedrich's Accession, matters had grown worse, not better. Of course there was Fealty to be sworn; but the Herstal people, abetted by the high-flying Bishop, have declined swearing it. Apology for the past, prospect of amendment for the future, there is less than ever. What is the young King to do with this paltry little Hamlet of Herstal? He could, in theory, go into some Reichs-Hofrath, some Reichs-Kammergericht (kind of treble and tenfold English Court-of-Chancery, which has lawsuits 250 years old),-if he were a theoretic German King. He can plead in the Diets, and the Wetzlar Reichs-Kammergericht without end: "All German Sovereigns have power to send their Ambassador thither, who is like a mastiff chained in the back-yard [observes Friedrich elsewhere] with privilege of barking at the Moon,"-unrestricted privilege of barking at the Moon, if that will avail a practical man, or King's Ambassador. Or perhaps the Bishop of Liege will bethink him, at last, what considerable liberty he is taking with some people's whiskers? Four months are gone; Bishop of Liege has not in the least bethought him: we are in the neighborhood in person, with note of the thing in our memory.


Accordingly the Rath Rambonet, whom Voltaire found at Moyland that Sunday night, had been over at Liege; went exactly a week before; with this message of very peremptory tenor from his Majesty:-


"WESEL, 4th September, 1740.

"MY COUSIN,-Knowing all the assaults (ATTEINTES) made by you upon my indisputable rights over my free Barony of Herstal; and how the seditious ringleaders there, for several years past, have been countenanced (BESTARKET) by you in their detestable acts of disobedience against me,-I have commanded my Privy Councillor Rambonet to repair to your presence, and in my name to require from you, within two days, a distinct and categorical answer to this question: Whether you are still minded to assert your pretended sovereignty over Herstal; and whether you will protect the rebels at Herstal, in their disorders and abominable disobedience?

"In case you refuse, or delay beyond the term, the Answer which I hereby of right demand, you will render yourself alone responsible, before the world, for the consequences which infallibly will follow. I am, with much consideration,-My Cousin,-

"Your very affectionate Cousin,

"FRIEDRICH." [Helden-Geschichte, ii. 75, 111.]

Rambonet had started straightway for Liege, with this missive; and had duly presented it there, I guess on the 7th,-with notice that he would wait forty-eight hours, and then return with what answer or no-answer there might be. Getting no written answer, or distinct verbal one; getting only some vague mumblement as good as none, Rambonet had disappeared from Liege on the 9th; and was home at Moyland when Voltaire arrived that Sunday evening,-just walking about to come to heat again, after reporting progress to the above effect.

Rambonet, I judge, enjoyed only one of those divine Suppers at Moyland; and dashed off again, "on hired hack" or otherwise, the very next morning; that contingency of No-answer having been the anticipated one, and all things put in perfect readiness for it. Rambonet's new errand was to "take act," as Voltaire calls it, "at the Gates of Liege,"-to deliver at Liege a succinct Manifesto, Pair of Manifestoes, both in Print (ready beforehand), and bearing date that same Sunday, "Wesel, 11th September;" much calculated to amaze his Reverence at Liege. Succinct good Manifestoes, said to be of Friedrich's own writing; the essential of the two is this:-

Exposition of the Reasons which have induced his Majesty the King of Prussia to make just Reprisals on the Prince Bishop of Liege.

"His Majesty the King of Prussia, being driven beyond bounds by the rude proceedings of the Prince Bishop of Liege, has with regret seen himself forced to recur to the Method of Arms, in order to repress the violence and affront which the Bishop has attempted to put upon him. This resolution has cost his Majesty much pain; the rather as he is, by principle and disposition, far remote from whatever could have the least relation to rigor and severity.

"But seeing himself compelled by the Bishop of Liege to take new methods, he had no other course but to maintain the justice of his rights (LA JUSTICE DE SES DROITS), and demand reparation for the indignity done upon his Minister Von Kreuzen, as well as for the contempt with which the Bishop of Liege has neglected even to answer the Letter of the King.

"As too much rigor borders upon cruelty, so too much patience resembles weakness. Thus, although the King would willingly have sacrificed his interests to the p

ublic peace and tranquillity, it was not possible to do so in reference to his honor; and that is the chief motive which has determined him to this resolution, so contrary to his intentions.

"In vain has it been attempted, by methods of mildness, to come to a friendly agreement: it has been found, on the contrary, that the King's moderation only increased the Prince's arrogance; that mildness of conduct on one side only furnished resources to pride on the other; and that, in fine, instead of gaining by soft procedure, one was insensibly becoming an object of vexation and disdain.

"There being no means to have justice but in doing it for oneself, and the King being Sovereign enough for such a duty,-he intends to make the Prince of Liege feel how far he was in the wrong to abuse such moderation so unworthily. But in spite of so much unhandsome behavior on the part of this Prince, the King will not be inflexible; satisfied with having shown the said Prince that he can punish him, and too just to overwhelm him. FREDERIC. "WESEL, September 11th, 1740." [Helden-Geschichte, ii. 77. Said to be by Friedrich himself (Stenzel, iv. 59).]

Whether Rambonet insinuated his Paper-Packet into the Palace of Seraing, left it at the Gate of Liege (fixed by nail, if he saw good), or in what manner he "took act," I never knew; and indeed Rambonet vanishes from human History at this point: it is certain only that he did his Formality, say two days hence;-and that the Fact foreshadowed by it is likewise in the same hours, hour after hour, getting steadily done.

For the Manifestoes printed beforehand, dated Wesel, 11th September, were not the only thing ready at Wesel; waiting, as on the slip, for the contingency of No-answer. Major-General Borck, with the due Battalions, squadrons and equipments, was also ready. Major-General Borck, the same who was with us at Baireuth lately, had just returned from that journey, when he got orders to collect 2,000 men, horse and foot, with the due proportion of artillery, from the Prussian Garrisons in these parts; and to be ready for marching with them, the instant the contingency of No-answer arrives,-Sunday, 11th, as can be foreseen. Borck knows his route: To Maaseyk, a respectable Town of the Bishop's, the handiest for Wesel; to occupy Maaseyk and the adjoining "Counties of Lotz and Horn;" and lie there at the Bishop's charge till his Reverence's mind alter.

Borck is ready, to the last pontoon, the last munition-loaf; and no sooner is signal given of the No-answer come, than Borck, that same "Sunday, 11th," gets under way; marches, steady as clock-work, towards Maaseyk (fifty miles southwest of him, distance now lessening every hour); crosses the Maas, by help of his pontoons; is now in the Bishop's Territory, and enters Maaseyk, evening of "Wednesday, 14th,"-that very day Voltaire and his Majesty had parted, going different ways from Moyland; and probably about the same hour while Rambonet was "taking act at the Gate of Liege," by nail-hammer or otherwise. All goes punctual, swift, cog hitting pinion far and near, in this small Herstal Business; and there is no mistake made, and a minimum of time spent.

Borck's management was throughout good: punctual, quietly exact, polite, mildly inflexible. Fain would the Maaseyk Town-Baths have shut their gates on him; desperately conjuring him, "Respite for a few hours, till we send to Liege for instructions!" But it was to no purpose. "Unbolt, IHR HERREN; swift, or the petard will have to do it!" Borck publishes his Proclamation, a mild-spoken rigorous Piece; signifies to the Maaseyk Authorities, That he has to exact a Contribution of 20,000 thalers (3,000 pounds) here, Contribution payable in three days; that he furthermore, while he continues in these parts, will need such and such rations, accommodations, allowances,-"fifty LOUIS (say guineas) daily for his own private expenses," one item;-and, in mild rhadamanthine language, waves aside all remonstrance, refusal or delay, as superfluous considerations: Unless said Contribution and required supplies come in, it will be his painful duty to bring them in. [Helden-Geschichte, i. 427; ii. 113.]

The high-flying Bishop, much astonished, does now eagerly answer his Prussian Majesty, "Was from home, was ill, thought he had answered; is the most ill-used of Bishops;" and other things of a hysteric character. [Ib. ii. 85, 86 (date, 16th September).] And there came forth, as natural to the situation, multitudinous complainings, manifestoings, applications to the Kaiser, to the French, to the Dutch, of a very shrieky character on the Bishop of Liege's part; sparingly, if at all noticed on Friedrich's: the whole of which we shall consider ourselves free to leave undisturbed in the rubbish-abysses, as henceforth conceivable to the reader. "SED SPEM STUPENDE FEFELLIT EVENTUS," shrieks the poor old Bishop, making moan to the Kaiser: "ECCE ENIM, PRAEMISSA DUNTAXAT UNA LITERA, one Letter," and little more, "the said King of Borussia has, with about 2,000 horse and foot, and warlike engines, in this month of September, entered the Territory of Liege;" [Helden-Geschichte, ii. 88.] which is an undeniable truth, but an unavailing. Borck is there, and "2,000 good arguments with him," as Voltaire defines the phenomenon. Friedrich, except to explain pertinently what my readers already know, does not write or speak farther on the subject; and readers and he may consider the Herstal Affair, thus set agoing under Borck's auspices, as in effect finished; and that his Majesty has left it on a satisfactory footing, and may safely turn his back on it, to wait the sure issue at Berlin before long.


Voltaire told us he himself "did one Manifesto, good or bad," on this Herstal business:-where is that Piece, then, what has become of it? Dig well in the realms of Chaos, rectifying stupidities more or less enormous, the Piece itself is still discoverable; and, were pieces by Voltaire much a rarity instead of the reverse, might be resuscitated by a good Editor, and printed in his WORKS. Lies buried in the lonesome rubbish-mountains of that Helden-Geschichte,-let a SISTE VIATOR, scratched on the surface, mark where. [Ib. ii. 98-98.] Apparently that is the Piece by Voltaire? Yes, on reading that, it has every internal evidence; distinguishes itself from the surrounding pieces, like a slab of compact polished stone, in a floor rammed together out of ruinous old bricks, broken bottles and mortar-dust;-agrees, too, if you examine by the microscope, with the external indications, which are sure and at last clear, though infinitesimally small; and is beyond doubt Voltaire's, if it were now good for much.

It is not properly a Manifesto, but an anonymous memoir published in the Newspapers, explaining to impartial mankind, in a legible brief manner, what the old and recent History of Herstal, and the Troubles of Herstal, have been, and how chimerical and "null to the extreme of nullity (NULLES DE TOUT NULLITE)" this poor Bishop's pretensions upon it are. Voltaire expressly piques himself on this Piece; [Letter to Friedrich: dateless, datable "soon after 17th September;" which the rash dark Editors have by guess misdated "August; "or, what was safer for them, omitted it altogether. OEuvres de Voltaire (Paris, 1818, 40 vols.) gives the Letter, xxxix. 442 (see also ibid. 453, 463); later Editors, and even Preuss, take the safer course.] brags also how he settled "M. de Fenelon [French Ambassador at the Hague], who came to me the day before yesterday," much out of square upon the Herstal Business, till I pulled him straight. And it is evident (beautifully so, your Majesty) how Voltaire busied himself in the Gazettes and Diplomatic circles, setting Friedrich's case right; Voltaire very loyal to Friedrich and his Liege Cause at that time;-and the contrast between what his contemporary Letters say on the subject, and what his ulterior Pasquil called VIE PRIVEE says, is again great.

The dull stagnant world, shaken awake by this Liege adventure, gives voice variously; and in the Gazetteer and Diplomatic circles it is much criticised, by no means everywhere in the favorable tone at this first blush of the business. "He had written an ANTI-Machiavel," says the Abbe St. Pierre, and even says Voltaire (in the PASQUIL, not the contemporary LETTERS), "and he acts thus!" Truly he does, Monsieur de Voltaire; and all men, with light upon the subject, or even with the reverse upon it, must make their criticisms. For the rest, Borck's "2,000 arguments" are there; which Borck handles well, with polite calm rigor: by degrees the dust will fall, and facts everywhere be seen for what they are.

As to the high-flying Bishop, finding that hysterics are but wasted on Friedrich and Borck, and produce no effect with their 2,000 validities, he flies next to the Kaiser, to the Imperial Diet, in shrill-sounding Latin obtestations, of which we already gave a flying snatch: "Your HUMILISSIMUS and FIDELISSIMUS VASSALLUS, and most obsequient Servant, Georgius Ludovicus; meek, modest, and unspeakably in the right: Was ever Member of the Holy Roman Empire so snubbed, and grasped by the windpipe, before? Oh, help him, great Kaiser, bid the iron gripe loosen itself!" [Helden-Geschichte, ii, 86-116.] The Kaiser does so, in heavy Latin rescripts, in German DEHORTATORIUMS more than one, of a sulky, imperative, and indeed very lofty tenor; "Let Georgius Ludovicus go, foolish rash young Dilection (LIEBDEN, not MAJESTY, we ourselves being the only Majesty), and I will judge between you; otherwise-!" said the Kaiser, ponderously shaking his Olympian wig, and lifting his gilt cane, or sceptre of mankind, in an Olympian manner. Here are some touches of his second sublimest DEHORTATORIUM addressed to Friedrich, in a very compressed state: [Helden-Geschichte, ii. 127; a FIRST and milder (ibid. 73).]-

We Karl the Sixth, Kaiser of (TITLES ENOUGH),... "Considering these, in the Holy Roman Reich, almost unheard-of violent Doings (THATLICHKEITEN), which We, in Our Supreme-Judge Office, cannot altogether justify, nor will endure... We have the trust that you yourself will magnanimously see How evil counsellors have misled your Dilection to commence your Reign, not by showing example of Obedience to the Laws appointed for all members of the Reich, for the weak and for the strong alike, but by such Doings (THATHANDLUNGEN) as in all quarters must cause a great surprise.

"We give your Dilection to know, therefore, That you must straightway withdraw those troops which have broken into the Liege Territory; make speedy restitution of all that has been extorted;-especially General von Borck to give back at once those 50 louis d'or daily drawn by him, to renounce his demand of the 20,000 thalers, to make good all damage done, and retire with his whole military force (MILITZ) over the Liege boundaries;-and in brief, that you will, by law or arbitration, manage to agree with the Prince Bishop of Liege, who wishes it very much. These things We expect from your Dilection, as Kurfurst of Brandenburg, within the space of Two Months from the Issuing of this; and remain,"-Yours as you shall demean yourself,-KARL.

"Given at Wien, 4th of October, 1740."-The last Dehortatorium ever signed by Karl VI. In two weeks after he ate too many mushrooms,-and immense results followed!

Dehortatoriums had their interest, at Berlin and elsewhere, for the Diplomatic circles; but did not produce the least effect on Borck or Friedrich; though Friedrich noted the Kaiser's manner in these things, and thought privately to himself, as was evident to the discerning, "What an amount of wig on that old gentleman!" A notable Kaiser's Ambassador, Herr Botta, who had come with some Accession compliments, in these weeks, was treated slightingly by Friedrich; hardly admitted to Audience; and Friedrich's public reply to the last Dehortatorium had almost something of sarcasm in it: Evil counsellors yourself, Most Dread Kaiser! It is you that are "misled by counsellors, who might chance to set Germany on fire, were others as unwise as they!" Which latter phrase was remarkable to mankind.-There is a long account already run up between that old gentleman, with his Seckendorfs, Grumkows, with his dull insolencies, wiggeries, and this young gentleman, who has nearly had his heart broken and his Father's house driven mad by them! Borck remains at his post; rations duly delivered, and fifty louis a day for his own private expenses; and there is no answer to the Kaiser, or in sharp brief terms (about "chances of setting Germany on fire"), rather worse than none.

Readers see, as well as Friedrich did, what the upshot of this affair must be;-we will now finish it off, and wash our hands of it, before following his Majesty to Berlin. The poor Bishop had applied, shrieking, to the French for help;-and there came some colloquial passages between Voltaire and Fenelon, if that were a result. He had shrieked in like manner to the Dutch, but without result of any kind traceable in that quarter: nowhere, except from the Kaiser, is so much as a DEHORTATORIUM to be got. Whereupon the once high-flying, now vainly shrieking Bishop discerns clearly that there is but one course left,-the course which has lain wide open for some years past, had not his flight gone too high for seeing it. Before three weeks are over, seeing how Dehortatoriums go, he sends his Ambassadors to Berlin, his apologies, proposals: [Ambassadors arrived 28th September; last Dehortatorium not yet out. Business was completed 20th October (Rodenbeck, IN DIEBUS).] "Would not your Majesty perhaps consent to sell this Herstal, as your Father of glorious memory was pleased to be willing once?"-

Friedrich answers straightway to the effect: "Certainly! Pay me the price it was once already offered for: 100,000 thalers, PLUS the expenses since incurred. That will be 180,000 thalers, besides what you have spent already on General Borck's days' wages. To which we will add that wretched little fraction of Old Debt, clear as noon, but never paid nor any part of it; 60,000 thalers, due by the See of Liege ever since the Treaty of Utrecht; 60,000, for which we will charge no interest: that will make 240,000 thalers,-36,000 pounds, instead of the old sum you might have had it at. Produce that cash; and take Herstal, and all the dust that has risen out of it, well home with you." [Stenzel, iv. 60, who counts in gulden, and is not distinct.] The Bishop thankfully complies in all points; negotiation speedily done ("20th Oct." the final date): Bishop has not, I think, quite so much cash on hand; but will pay all he has, and 4 per centum interest till the whole be liquidated. His Ambassadors "get gold snuffboxes;" and return mildly glad!

And thus, in some six weeks after Borck's arrival in those parts, Borck's function is well done. The noise of Gazettes and Diplomatic circles lays itself again; and Herstal, famous once for King Pipin, and famous again for King Friedrich, lapses at length into obscurity, which we hope will never end. Hope;-though who can say? ROUCOUX, quite close upon it, becomes a Battle-ground in some few years; and memorabilities go much at random in this world!

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