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recovery about a hundred years. Warned by this deterrent example, he resolved not to trust to time, but to step in at once with active remedies. Mr. Carlyle thinks that political economists are pledged by their science to disapprove of this decision, but I see no cause why this should be so. The doctrine that it is unwise to do by artificial means what will be consummately well effected by natural means does not conflict with the common-sense rule of applying exceptional means to exceptional emergencies. A system of bounties to secure the growing of corn is likely, under ordinary circumstances, to be superfluous or pernicious; but if the farmers of a particular district are so impoverished that it is hardly possible for them to plough and sow their fields, they may be relieved, without injury to any one, by help in money, or by a temporary remission of taxes. The charge which " professors of the dismal science " have made against Frederick is sufficiently illustrated in a single wellpacked sentence of Macaulay's, and there is no allusion in it to the extraordinary assistance which he lent his subjects when such had been rendered indispensable by war. "The public money," says Macaulay, " of which the King was generally so sparing, was lavishly spent in ploughing bogs, in planting mulberry-trees amidst the sand, in bringing sheep from Spain to improve the Saxon wool, in bestowing prizes for fine yarn, in building manufactories of porcelain, manufactories of carpets, manufactories of hardware, manufactories of lace." Whether Frederick was far wrong in stimulating his people to improve their wool and their yarn may be doubted, but it is clear that the case of a country desolated and demoralised by war does not fall within any of the categories specified by Macaulay, nor does he, in his other remarks upon Frederick's administration, pronounce one syllable of censure upon the policy of exceptional outlay in that instance.
During the war, Frederick had not burdened himself with Frederick Working for his People. 167
any considerable debt, and at its close he had upwards of three millions sterling ready for another campaign. With this money he set about rebuilding the towns, repaying the impositions wrung from the provinces by the enemy, and giving aid to the necessitous. The artillery, baggage, and commissariat horses were distributed among those who had none, to be employed in tillage of the land. The Government grain stores were taken for the food of the people, and to sow the ground. All taxes were remitted to Silesia for six months; to Pomerania and the Newmark for two years. "Repeated gifts restored courage to the poor husbandmen, who began to despair of their lot; by the helps given, hope in all classes sprang up anew; encouragement of labour produced activity; love of country arose again with fresh life; in a word, the fields were cultivated again, manufacturers resumed their work, and the police, once more in vigour, corrected by degrees the vices that had taken root during the time of anarchy." Within the second year improvement was manifest, and within seven years the country had regained its wonted look of prosperity. "In Lower Silesia," says Frederick, with glowing satisfaction, "we managed to increase the number of husbandmen by 4,000 families." With like alacrity and energy, he set about restoring the currency, and getting rid of the debased coinage which war had forced upon him. Within some fourteen months of the cessation of hostilities, the money was pure. One can understand enthusiasm for a King who could work for his people in this fashion!
THE PARTITION OF POLAND — FREDERICK'S LA W REFORMS.
FREDERICK has been much blamed for his share in the partition of Poland; but if we are to do him anything like justice in that matter, we must view him, in Poland also, in capacity of regal husbandman. Mr. Carlyle goes much farther than merely to commend his administration of the part of Poland which fell to his share, averring that much is to be said in defence of the partition itself; and I own that, after considering the question as carefully as I can, I regard Mr. Carlyle, in this instance, as on the whole, right. He by no means pronounces an unqualified approval on Frederick. Poland, he says, was looked upon by Frederick as "a moribund anarchy, fallen down as carrion on the common highways of the world; belonging to nobody in particular; liable to be cut into on a great and critically stringent occasion." He dbes not say that Frederick's conception of the way in which the Polish problem ought to be solved was morally right, or that "a higher rectitude " might not have dictated a different course from that pursued by the Prussian king. The case was exceptional, and no precedent is to be founded on it. "Were it never so just, proper, and needful, this is by nature a case of Lynch Law; upon which, in the way of approval or apology, no spoken word is permissible. Lynch
Lynch Law. 169
being so dangerous a lawgiver, even when an indispensable one!"
It is difficult to conceive a case in which the intervention of Lynch law could have been more called for than in that of Poland. Not only was the anarchy of the country inveterate, chronic, incurable; not only did it involve risk to the neighbouring countries; it was in itself peculiarly execrable. The Poles had fallen in great part under the influence of the Jesuits, and were fanatically intolerant of every form of faith except their own intensely superstitious Catholicism. The country, with its furious priests and weeping images of the Virgin, was fast retrograding to barbarism, and was, in fact, a scandal to Europe. In their frantic wilfulness and hatred of all restraint, the Poles had made government an impossibility among them, unless it came from without. Had Frederick exerted his influence with the Austrian and Eussian Courts to have his brother Henry, a man of great ability and an admirable commander, appointed King of Poland, as some intelligent Poles desired, the issue might have been better for all parties; but I am not prepared to prove that such a course was practicable. Mr. Carlyle translates for us, from Herr Freytag, the following account of what Poland was when Frederick got his share of it, and what that share (West Preussen) became under Frederick's management.
Poland Before Partition And After.
During several centuries, the much-divided Germans had habitually been pressed upon, and straitened and injured, by greedy, conquering neighbours; Friedrich was the first conqueror who once more pushed forward the German frontier towards the East; reminding the Germans again that it was their task to carry law, culture, liberty, and industry, into the East of Europe. All Priedrich's lands, with the exception only of some old-Saxon territory, had, by force and colonisation, been painfully gained from the Sclave. At no time since the migrations of the Middle Ages, had this struggle for possession of the wide plains to the East of Oder ceased. When arms were at rest, politicians carried on the struggle.
In the very "century of enlightenment" the persecution of the Germans became fanatical in those countries; one Protestant church after the other got confiscated; pulled down; if built of wood, set on fire: its church once burnt, the village had lost the privilege of having one. Ministers and schoolmasters were driven away, cruelly maltreated. "Wring the Lutheran, you will find money in him," became the current proverb of the Poles in regard to Germans. A Protestant Starost of Onesen, a Herr Von Unruh, of the House of Birnbaum, one of the largest proprietors of the country, was condemned to die, and first to have his tongue pulled out, and his hands cut off, for the crime of having copied into his note-book some strong passages against the Jesuits, extracted from German books. Patriotic Confederates of Bar, joined by all the plunderous vagabonds around, went roaming and ravaging through the country, falling upon small towns and German villages. The Polish nobleman, Boskowski, put on one red boot and one black, symbolising fire and death; and in this guise rode about, murdering and burning, from place to place; finally, at Jastrow, he cut off the hands, feet, and, lastly, the head of the Protestant pastor, Willich by name, and threw the limbs into a swamp. This happened in 1768.
When Prussian Poland came into possession of Friedrieh the towns, with some few exceptions, lay in ruins; so also most of the hamlets of the open country. Bromberg, the city of German colonists, the Prussians found in heaps and ruins: to this hour it has not been possible to ascertain clearly how the town came into this condition. No historian, no document tells of the destruction and slaughter that had been going on, in the whole district of the Netze there, during the last ten years before the arrival of the Prussians. The town of Culm had preserved its strong old walls and stately churches; but in the streets, the necks of the cellars stood out above the rotten timber and brick heaps of the tumbled houses; whole streets consisted merely of such cellars, in which wretched people were still trying to live. Of the forty houses in the large market-place of Culm, twenty-eight had no doors, uo roofs, no windows, and no owners. Other towns were in similar condition.
The country people hardly knew such a thing as bread; many had never in their life tasted such a delicacy; few villages possessed an oven. A weaving-loom was rare, the spinning-wheel unknown. The main article of furniture, in this scene of squalor, was the crucifix and vessel of holy-water nnder it. The peasant-noble was hardly different from the common peasant; he himself guided his hook-plough and clattered with his wooden slippers upon the plankless floor of his hut. It was a desolate land, without discipline, without law, without a master.
The very rottenness of the country became an attraction for Friedrich; and henceforth West Preussen was, what hitherto Silesia had been, his favourite child; which, with infinite care, like an anxious, loving mother, he washed, brushed, new-dressed, and forced to go to school and into orderly habits, and kept ever in his eye. The diplomatic squabbles about this " acquisition " were still going on, when he had already sent a body of his best official people into this waste howling scene, to set about organising it. The Counties were divided into small Circles; in a