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On Saturday, the 25th of October of this year, George II., King of England, died. The poor old gentleman, who had been endowed with but a very ordinary share of intelligence, was seventy-seven years of age. On Monday he had presided at a review of troops in Hyde Park. On Thursday he stood upon the portico of his rural palace in Kensington to see his Guards march by for foreign service. Saturday morning he rose at an early hour, took his cup of chocolate as usual, and, opening his windows, said the morning was so fine he would take a walk in his garden. It was then eight oclock. His valet withdrew with the cup and saucer. He had hardly shut the door when he heard a groan and a fall. Hurrying back, he found the king upon the floor. Faintly the death-stricken monarch exclaimed, Call Amelia, and instantly died.

What effect was produced upon the mind of Frederick as he saw one after another of his boon companions in infidelity, in their hours of sickness and approaching death, seeking the consolations of religion, we do not know. The proud king kept his lips hermetically sealed upon that subject. Voltaire, describing the suppers of the gay revelers at Sans Souci, writes: Frederick. The kings brother Henry was in command in Saxony, at the head of thirty thousand troops. Frederick wrote to him the characteristic and very judicious advice, Do as energetically as possible whatever seems wisest to you. But hold no councils of war.

The Prince De Ligne, in a long letter to Stanislaus, King of Poland, gives an interesting account of several conversations which ensued. In this narrative he writes:

But there was another picture which met the eye of the king very different in its aspect. We know not whether it at all touched his heart. It was that of the poor peasants, with their mothers, their wives, their children, hurrying from their hamlets in all directions, in the utmost dismay. Grandmothers tottered beneath the burden of infant children. Fathers and mothers struggled on with the household goods they were striving to rescue from impending ruin. The cry of maidens and children reached the ear as they fled from the tramp of the war-horse and the approaching carnage of the death-dealing artillery. M. Pitsch made no reply. The king, probably feeling at the moment some physical monition of approaching death, cried out, Lord Jesus, to thee I live. Lord Jesus, to thee I die. In life and in death thou art my gain.

George was a taciturn, jealous, sullen old man, who quarreled with his son, who was then Prince of Wales. The other powers of Europe were decidedly opposed to this double marriage, as it would, in their view, create too intimate a union between Prussia and England, making them virtually one. Frederick William also vexatiously threw hinderances in the way. But the heart of the loving mother, Sophie Dorothee, was fixed upon these nuptials. For years she left no efforts of diplomacy or intrigue untried to accomplish her end. George I. is represented40 by Horace Walpole as a stolid, stubborn old German, living in a cloud of tobacco-smoke, and stupefying his faculties with beer. He had in some way formed a very unfavorable opinion of Wilhelmina, considering her, very falsely, ungainly in person and fretful in disposition. But at last the tact of Sophie Dorothee so far prevailed over her father, the British king, that he gave his somewhat reluctant but positive consent to the double matrimonial alliance. This was in 1723. Wilhelmina was then fourteen years of age. Fritz, but eleven years old, was too young to think very deeply upon the subject of his marriage. The young English Fred bore at that time the title of the Duke of Gloucester. He soon sent an envoy to Prussia, probably to convey to his intended bride presents and messages of love. The interview took place in the palace of Charlottenburg, a few miles out from Berlin. The vivacious Wilhelmina, in the following terms, describes the interview in her journal:

135 As the king was about to take leave of his child, whom he had treated so cruelly, he was very much overcome by emotion. It is a solemn hour, in any family, when a daughter leaves the parental roof, never to return again but as a visitor. Whether the extraordinary development of feeling which the stern old monarch manifested on the occasion was the result of nervous sensibility, excited by strong drink or by parental affection, it is not easy to decide. Wilhelmina, in a few words of intense emotion, bade her father farewell.

481 With the utmost exertions, inspired by terror, thirty thousand dollars were at length raised. The Russian general, Soltikof, naturally a humane man, seeing, at the close of a week of frantic exertions on the part of the magistrates of Frankfort, the impossibility of extorting the required sum, took the thirty thousand dollars, and kept his barbarian hordes encamped outside the gates.