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same success as I have sometimes had, when I have endeavoured to amuse the man on earth that I love and esteem the most.
His serene highness, the reigning prince of Meinungen, is certainly in sense and extent of dominion, one of the least princes in the empire of Germany; but in folly and poverty you will hardly find one that exceeds him. His first step in life, in order to raise his power and character in Germany, was marrying a waiting-woman (of no family) of her serene highness the princess dowager of Meinungen, his lady mother. This stroke put the empire in a flame: the mis-alliance was reckoned infamous; and his cousin, the late king of Poland, wrote to the emperor, Charles the Sixth, to complain of this notorious contamination of blood, and to beg him to declare the children of such a marriage incapable of succeeding to the principality of Meinungen. But, as the court of Vienna had in those days ministers in it that were no enemy to a round sum of money properly applied, the
prince of Meinungen found means, by the force of gold, to baffle all the king of Poland's designs, and to have his children publicly declared capable of succeeding him. This step of the emperor's highly affronted the king of Poland, who, in his wrath, wrote a letter to his imperial majesty, which, after he had complained bitterly of the declaration that had been made, he ended with this remarkable paragraph—“I must confess, that it is in your imperial majesty's power to create princes, but God alone can give me cousins." But, notwithstanding all this, the declaration remained valid during the life of Charles the Sixth; but, upon the election of Charles the Seventh, the present king of Poland solicited the affair with such success, that the declaration of Charles the Sixth was set aside, and the children of his serene highness of Meinungen declared incapable of succeeding to their father; and thus the affair remains even unto this day. But, as this match of the prince's was only the effect of a hasty
lust, so he soon grew tired of her serene highness the chamber-maid, whom he had too rashly placed upon the throne of Meinungen; and, being some time ago at Frankfort, his majesty became enamoured with the wife of a secretary of a secretary of the empress-queen's residing in that town. He pursued, and obtained the enjoyment of his passion in a very short time, for the fair one, dazzled by the highdegree of her lover, and her husband fired with the ambition of gaining the favour and confidence of so great a prince, soon agreed that she should yield herself up to his arms, upon such conditions as were stipulated at Frankfort, but not made public till some time after they all arrived at Meinungen. Upon the arrival of the prince in his capital, love began to display his triumph over his serene highness. The lady and her husband found beauty and ambition gratified to the extent of their wishes. She was declared favourite and he first minister. Her highness, the chamber-maid, was no more to be seen: she was left
to the last refuge of tears and patience, and died soon after for actual want of the necessaries of life. The old councillors of Meinungen were thunderstruck, but durst not speak. While the rest of the courtiers applauded what their prince had done, and made all the haste possible to ingratiate themselves with the two new rising suns. No day passed without some fresh instance of his serene highness's love to the wife, and confidence in the husband; and, at last, his fondness for his mistress grew tọ such a pitch, that he ordered one of his chamberlains to notify to the whole court of Meinungen, that he had given the rank of precedence to his new mistress above and before all and every one of his subjects.
This ill-considered step of his serene highness alarmed the whole body of courtiers. They had quietly submitted to many partialities that had been shown to the two strangers, but this wounded their honour. Nothing was to be heard but murmurs through the whole corps of
nobility of Meinungen, and those murmurs soon swelled into open railings, in which (it is said) the sacred person of the prince himself was not spared. But above, far above the rest, the baroness Kheichlin, wife to the grand veneur of Meinungen, sister to the countess Holsendorf, whose husband is chief of the Consistory, and commonly called Pope of Saxony, and who has six-and-thirty quarters in her coat of arms, gave the loudest vent to her passion. She had long been in possession of the pàs over all the court of Meinungen, and could not bear to see a foreigner walk before her. To revenge her, self, therefore, for this affront, she made use of her natural weapon, the tongue, in such a manner, as highly offended the favourite, and, of course, the dread sovereign of Meinungen. But talking was not sufficient for the vent of her anger, and she resolved in the insolence of her heart scribere principi, to remonstrate against the loss of her dignity, suffered by the newmade regulation, and pleaded with great force