Page:The Hessians and the other German auxiliaries of Great Britain in the revolutionary war.djvu/21

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9
THE PRINCES.


taining together about four hundred thousand souls, had lately been united under the government of Margrave Charles Alexander. Neither land had been fortunate in its previous sovereign. Both countries had belonged to branches of the great Hohenzollern family, the main line of which had already laid in Prussia the foundations of that power which has given it to-day the foremost place in Europe. But the Margraves of Anspach and of Bayreuth lacked the ability which underlay the roughness of King Frederick William, father of Frederick the Great. Of this Frederick William we have a lively picture in the memoirs of his daughter Wilhelmina. How he chased his children about the room with his stick, how Wilhelmina hid under the bed and Frederick in the closet, how the king loved tall soldiers and bullied his wife are there graphically narrated. With the express object of making her story more cheerful, the princess tells how her father, in general the most chaste of monarchs, tried to kiss a lady of honor on the stairs, and how she struck him in the face and made his nose bleed. This Wilhelmina married a Margrave of Bayreuth, and her sister, Frederika Louisa, married a Margrave of Anspach, but did not live on good terms with him.

This Margrave of Anspach was good-natured, in his way, and kindly, when not out of temper. He liked to do small favors to his servants, and to inform these of them with his own lips. He gladly allowed dainties to be sent to the sick from his kitchen. When not in liquor, he was inclined to commute the death penalty to criminals in civil life, unless they had been guilty of such heinous offences as persuading his soldiers to

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