THE BATTLE OF PRAGUE, MAY 6, 1757.

Under Frederick William the newspaper press in Berlin amounted to nothing. The capital had not a single daily paper. Speedy destruction would crush any writer who, in journal, pamphlet, or book, should publish any thing displeasing to the king. Frederick proclaimed freedom of the press. Two newspapers were established in Berlin, one in French and one in German. Distinguished men were selected to edit them. One was a noted writer from Hamburg. Frederick, in his absolutism, had adopted the resolve not to interfere with the freedom of the press unless there were some gross violation of what he deemed proper. He allowed very bitter satires to be circulated in Berlin against himself, simply replying to the remonstrances of his ministers, The press is free.

346 With a tender heart, Leopold was one of the most stern and rugged of men. Spending his whole life amidst the storms of battle, he seemed ever insensible to fatigue, and regardless of all physical comforts. And yet there was a vein of truly feminine gentleness and tenderness in his heart, which made him one of the most loving of husbands and fathers.

Early in November he came to Berlin, languid, crippled, and wretched. The death-chamber in the palace is attended with all the humiliations and sufferings which are encountered in the poor mans hut. The king, through all his life, had indulged his irritable disposition, and now, imprisoned by infirmities and tortured with pain, his petulance and abuse became almost unendurable. Miserable himself, he made every one wretched around him. He was ever restlessnow in his bed, now out of it, now in his wheel-chair, continually finding fault, and often dealing cruel blows to those who came within his reach. He was unwilling to be left for a moment alone. The old generals were gathered in his room, and sat around his bed talking and smoking. He could not sleep at night, and allowed his attendants no repose. Restlessly he tried to divert his mind by whittling, painting, and small carpentry. The Crown Prince dared not visit him too often, lest his solicitude should be interpreted into impatience for the king to die, that he might grasp the crown. In the grossest terms the king insulted his physicians, attributing all his sufferings to their wickedness or their ignorance. Fortunately the miserable old man was too weak to attempt to cane them. A celebrated physician, by the name of Hoffman, was sent for to prescribe for the king. He was a man of much intellectual distinction, and occupied an important position in the university. As his prescriptions failed to give relief to his majesty, he was assailed, like the rest, in the vilest language of vituperation. With great dignity Professor Hoffman replied:

At the second repulse, the Saxon grenadiers, greatly elated, gave a shout of victory, and rushed from their works to pursue the retreating Prussians. This was their ruin.

I forget how the conversation changed. But I know that it grew so free that, seeing somebody coming to join in it, the king warned him to take care, saying that it was not safe to converse with a man doomed by the theologians to everlasting fire. I felt as if he somewhat overdid this of his being doomed, and that he boasted too much of it. Not to hint at the dishonesty of these free-thinking gentlemen, who very often are thoroughly afraid of the devil, it is at least bad taste to make display of such things. And it was with the people of bad taste whom he had about him, and some dull skeptics of his own academy, that he had acquired the habit of mocking at religion.

Seckendorf (the embassador of the emperor) sometimes sends me money, of which I have great need. I have already taken measures that he should procure some for you. My galleons arrived yesterday, and I will divide their contents with you.