if meditating a dart at it, with the desperate purpose

"'Paradise,' that you may not be scandalized, is taken here in a general sense for a place of pleasure and joy. See the 'remark' on the last verse of the MONDAIN." [ OEuvres de Frederic, xxii. 144; Voltaire, lxxiii. 100 (scandalously MISdated in Edition 1818, xxxix. 466). As to MONDAIN, and "remark" upon it,-- the ghost of what was once a sparkle of successful coterie-speech and epistolary allusion,--take this: "In the MONDAIN Voltaire had written, 'LE PARADIS TERRESTRE EST OU JE SUIS;' and as the Priests made outcry, had with airs of orthodoxy explained the phrase away," --as Friedrich now affects to do; obliquely quizzing, in the Friedrich manner.

if meditating a dart at it, with the desperate purpose

Voltaire is to go upon the Baireuth Journey, then, according to prayer. Whether Voltaire ever got that all-important "word which he could show," I cannot say: though there is some appearance that Friedrich may have dashed off for him the Panegyric of Louis, in these very hours, to serve his turn, and have done with him. Under date 7th September, day before the Letter just read, here are snatches from another to the same address:--

if meditating a dart at it, with the desperate purpose

"POTSDAM, 7th SEPTEMBER, 1743 [Friedrich to Voltaire].--You tell me so much good of France and of its King, it were to be wished all Sovereigns had subjects like you, and all Commonwealths such citizens,--[you can show that, I suppose?] What a pity France and Sweden had not had Military Chiefs of your way of thinking! But it is very certain, say what you will, that the feebleness of their Generals, and the timidity of their counsels, have almost ruined in public repute two Nations which, not half a century ago, inspired terror over Europe."--... "Scandalous Peace, that of Fleury, in 1735; abandoning King Stanislaus, cheating Spain, cheating Sardinia, to get Lorraine! And now this manner of abandoning the Emperor [respectable Karl VII. of your making]; sacrificing Bavaria; and reducing that worthy Prince to the lowest poverty,-- poverty, I say not, of a Prince, but into the frightfulest state for a private man!" Ah, Monsieur.

if meditating a dart at it, with the desperate purpose

"And yet your France is the most charming of Nations; and if it is not feared, it deserves well to be loved. A King worthy to command it, who governs sagely, and acquires for himself the esteem of all Europe,--[there, won't that do!] may restore its ancient splendor, which the Broglios, and so many others even more inept, have a little eclipsed. That is assuredly a work worthy of a Prince endowed with such gifts! To reverse the sad posture of affairs, nobly repairing what others have spoiled; to defend his country against furious enemies, reducing them to beg Peace, instead of scornfully rejecting it when offered: never was more glory acquirable by any King! I shall admire whatsoever this great man [CE GRAND HOMME, Louis XV., not yet visibly tending to the dung- heap, let us hope better things!] may achieve in that way; and of all the Sovereigns of Europe none will be less jealous of his success than I:"--there, my spheral friend, show that! [ OEuvres de Frederic, xxii. 139: see, for what followed, OEuvres de Voltaire, lxxiii. 129 (report to Amelot, 27th October).]

Which the spheral friend does. Nor was it "irony," as the new Commentators think; not at all; sincere enough, what you call sincere;--Voltaire himself had a nose for "irony"! This was what you call sincere Panegyric in liberal measure; why be stingy with your measure? It costs half an hour: it will end Voltaire's importunities; and so may, if anything, oil the business-wheels withal. For Friedrich foresees business enough with Louis and the French Ministries, though he will not enter on it with Voltaire. This Journey to Baireuth and Anspach, for example, this is not for a visit to his Sisters, as Friedrich labels it; but has extensive purposes hidden under that title,--meetings with Franconian Potentates, earnest survey, earnest consultation on a state of things altogether grave for Germany and Friedrich; though he understands whom to treat with about it, whom to answer with a "BIRIBIRI, MON AMI." That Austrian Exorbitancy of a message to the Diet has come out (August 16th, and is struggling to DICTATUR); the Austrian procedures in Baiern are in their full flagrancy: Friedrich intends trying once more, Whether, in such crisis, there be absolutely no "Union of German Princes" possible; nor even of any two or three of them, in the "Swabian and Franconian Circles," which he always thought the likeliest?

The Journey took effect, Tuesday, 10th September [Rodenbeck, i. 93.] (not the day before, as Friedrich had been projecting); went by Halle, straight upon Baireuth; and ended there on Thursday. As usual, Prince August Wilhelm, and Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, were of it; Voltaire failed not to accompany. What the complexion of it was, especially what Friedrich had meant by it, and how ill he succeeded, will perhaps be most directly visible through the following compressed Excerpts from Voltaire's long LETTER to Secretary Amelot on the subject,--if readers will be diligent with them. Friedrich, after four days, ran across to Anspach on important business; came back with mere failure, and was provokingly quite silent on it; stayed at Baireuth some three days more; thence home by Gotha (still on "Union" business, still mere failure), by Leipzig, and arrived at Potsdam, September 25th;-- leaving Voltaire in Wilhelmina's charmed circle (of which unhappily there is not a word said), for about a week more. Voltaire, directly on getting back to Berlin, "resumes the thread of his journal" to Secretary Amelot; that is, writes him another long Letter:--

VOLTAIRE (from Berlin, 3d October, 1743) TO SECRETARY AMELOT.

"... The King of Prussia told me at Baireuth, on the 13th or 14th of last month, He was glad our King had sent the Kaiser money;"-- useful that, at any rate; Noailles's 6,000 pounds would not go far. "That he thought M. le Marechal de Noailles's explanation [of a certain small rumor, to the disadvantage of Noailles in reference to the Kaiser] was satisfactory: 'but,' added he, 'it results from all your secret motions that you are begging Peace from everybody, and there may have been something in this rumor, after all.'

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