- 时间：2021-01-28 10:49:50
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In the court-yard there was a fountain with stone steps, where Frederick William loved to sit on summer evenings and smoke his pipe. He frequently took his frugal dinner here in the open air under a lime-tree, with the additional protection of an awning. After dinner he would throw himself down for a nap on a wooden bench, apparently regardless of the flaming sun.
“My dear Voltaire,—Resist no longer the eagerness I have to see you. Do, in my favor, whatever your humanity allows. In the end of August I go to Wesel, and perhaps farther. Promise that you will come and join me, for I could not live happy nor die tranquil without having embraced you. Thousand compliments to the Marquise” (Madame Du Chatelet, the divine Emilie). “I am busy with both hands—working at the army with one hand, at the people and the fine arts with the other.”
During the next three days the king suffered much from weakness and a violent cough. He was often heard murmuring prayers, and would say to those around him, “Pray for me; pray for me.” Several times he pathetically exclaimed, “Lord, enter not into judgment with thy servant, for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.” A favorite hymn was often sung to him containing the words, “Naked came I into the world, and naked187 shall I go out of it.” At this passage he repeatedly exclaimed, with much vivacity, as though it were an admirable joke, “No, not quite naked; I shall have my uniform on.”
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.”