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But no sooner did Frederick get an intimation that Austria was contemplating this enlargement of her domains than he roused himself to prevent it with all the vigor of his earlier years. It was a very delicate matter; for Charles Theodore, the elector, and his nephew August Christian, heir to the electorate, a young gentleman of very illustrious pedigree, but of a very slender purse, had both been bribed by Austria secretly to co-operate in the movement. The reader will be interested in Carlyles account, slightly abbreviated, of Fredericks skill in diplomacy:Both of the English ministers, in much agitation, spoke together. The king, impatiently interrupting them, said,
He rose about five oclock. After a horseback ride of an hour he devoted the mornings to his books. The remainder of the day was given to society, music, and recreation. The following extract from his correspondence throws additional light upon the employment of his time. The letter was addressed to an intimate friend, Baron Von Suhm, of Saxony:
My adorable Sister,The Hanover doctor has wished to make himself important with you, my good sister; but the truth is, he has been of no use to me. The old must give place to the young, that each generation may find room clear for it; and life, if we examine strictly what its course is, consists in seeing ones fellow-creatures die and be born. In the mean while, I have felt myself a little easier for the last day or two. My heart remains inviolably attached to you, my good sister. With the highest consideration, my adorable sister, your faithful brother and servant,The concierge did not half like this, but winter was coming on and a pavilion in the middle of a large garden was difficult to let.