Page:The Hessians and the other German auxiliaries of Great Britain in the revolutionary war.djvu/23

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
11
THE PRINCES.


Margrave. “My gracious master,” answered the other, “I think you will sleep far better to-night for having heard the crack of the pistols now, rather than an hour ago.”

It was far from safe to criticise the Margrave's conduct. In 1740 one Christoph Wilhelm von Rauber was accused of posting up caricatures and lampoons. For this he was sentenced to strike himself on the mouth, under penalty of having it done for him by the executioner; to see the latter burn his lampoons; and finally to have his head cut off; which last punishment was graciously commuted to perpetual imprisonment and confiscation.[1]

Charles Alexander, son of this murdering Margrave, appears to have been more humane than his father. He was sent in his youth to Utrecht to learn republican virtues, and then to Italy, probably to learn princely graces. He returned worn out with dissipation, the blame of which his father found it convenient to lay on his travelling companion, Councillor Mayer. The latter was imprisoned at Zelle, and his subsequent fate is unknown. According to another story, he was executed at Altenkirchen.

In 1777, Charles Alexander, who had become Margrave both of Anspach and of Bayreuth, was deeply in debt, and delighted with the chance to let out two regiments of his subjects for foreign service. Recruits and additional soldiers were sent out from time to time until a total of two thousand three hundred and fifty-three men had been reached, for whose services

  1. “Geschichte des vorletzten Markgrafen von Brandenburg-Ansbach,” von Karl Heinrich Ritter von Lang.