Historical Tales; The Romance of Reality Description
Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1893. Excerpt: ... THE YOUTH OF FREDERICK THE GREAT. An extraordinarily rude, coarse, and fierce old despot was Frederick William, first King of Prussia, son of the Great Elector and father of Frederick the Great. He hated France and the French language and culture, then so much in vogue in Europe; he despised learning and science; ostentation was to him a thing unknown; and he had but two passions, one being to possess the tallest soldiers in Europe, the other to have his own fierce will in all things on which he set his mind. Of the fear with which he inspired many of his subjects, and the methods he took to overcome it, there is no better example than that told in relation to a Jew, whom the king saw as he was riding one day through Berlin. The poor Israelite was slinking away in dread, when the king rode up, seized him, and asked in harsh tones what ailed him. "Sire, I was afraid of you," said the trembling captive. "Fear me fear me, do you?" exclaimed the king in a rage, lashing his riding-whip across the man's shoulders with every word. "You dog I'll teach you to love me " It was in some such fashion that he sought to make his son love him, and with much the same result. In fact, he seemed to entertain a bitter dislike for the beautiful and delicate boy whom fortune had sent him as an heir, and treated him with such brutal severity that the unhappy child grew timid and fearful of his presence. This the harsh old despot ascribed to cowardice, and became more violent accordingly. On one occasion when young Frederick entered his room, something having happened to excite his rage against him, he seized him by the hair, flung him violently to the floor, and caned him until he had exhausted the strength of his arm on the poor boy's body. His fury growing with the exercise of it, he now dragged the u...
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