吃水勿忘“修井人” 镇政府协调要回工人血汗钱

59 While the king was thus suffering the pangs of the gout, his irascibility vented itself upon his wife and children. We were obliged, says Wilhelmina, to appear at nine oclock in the morning in his room. We dined there, and did not dare to leave it even for a moment. Every day was passed by the king in invectives against my brother and myself. He no longer called me any thing but the English blackguard. My brother was named the rascal Fritz. He obliged us to eat and drink the things for which we had an aversion. Every day was marked by some sinister event. It was impossible to raise ones eyes without seeing some unhappy people tormented in one way or other. The kings restlessness did not allow him to remain in bed. He had himself placed in a chair on rollers, and was thus dragged all over the palace. His two arms rested upon crutches, which supported them. We always followed this triumphal car, like unhappy captives who are about to undergo their sentence.

I have hardly strength enough to trace these lines. My state is altogether worthy of pity. It is not through any menaces, however violent they may have been, that I have yielded my consent to the kings wishes. An interest still more dear to me has determined me to this sacrifice. I have been till now the innocent cause of all the unhappiness which your majesty has endured. My too sensible heart has been penetrated by the touching details you have latterly made of them.

It is pleasant to record another incident more creditable to Frederick. In the year 1750 there was a poor and aged schoolmaster, by the name of Linsenbarth, a very worthy man, a veritable Dominie Sampson, residing in the obscure village of Hemmleben. He had been educated as a clergyman, had considerable book learning, was then out of employment, and was in extreme destitution. The pastor of the village church died, leaving a vacant pulpit, and a salary amounting to about one hundred dollars a year. The great man of the place, a feudal lord named Von Werthern, offered the situation to Linsenbarth upon condition that he would marry his ladys termagant waiting-maid. Linsenbarth, who had no fancy for the haughty shrew, declined the offer. The lord and lady were much offended, and in various381 ways rendered the situation of the poor schoolmaster so uncomfortable that he gathered up his slender means, amounting to about three hundred dollars, all in the deteriorated coin of the province, and went to Berlin. His money was in a bag containing nearly nine thousand very small pieces of coin, called batzen. The Marquis of Schwedt advanced to meet the new-made sovereign, his face beaming jovially, and with outstretched hands, as in the days of their old companionship. Frederick, fixing his cold eye steadfastly upon him, almost floored him with the rebuff, My cousin, I am now king.

The empress, then, added Wilhelmina, is a better exorcist than other priests. I am at the head of an army which has already vanquished the enemy, and which is ready to meet the enemy again. The country which alone I desire is already conquered and securely held. This is all I want. I now have it. I will and must keep it. Shall I be bought out of this country? Never! I will sooner perish in it with all my troops. With what face shall I meet my ancestors if I abandon my right which they have transmitted to me? My first enterprise, and to be given up lightly?