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Frederick immediately and publicly denied that he had ever entered into any such arrangement with Austria, and declared the whole story to be a mere fabrication. Having by the stratagem obtained Neisse, and delivered Silesia from the presence of the Austrian army, he assured the French of his unchanging fidelity to their interests, and with renewed vigor commenced co-operating with them in the furtherance of some new ambitious plans.
At present, however, she was inexpressibly cheered by this hour's talk on the subject that lay nearest her heart. She greeted her parents, upon their return, with a face so much more like that which had once been the sunshine of their hearts, that they exchanged looks of surprise and delight. They were looks of questioning too. Was this pleasant change owing to Doctor Remy's influence? Was he beginning to think of Carice, in lover's wise? Was she beginning to turn unconsciously from the love that had failed her, to the calm and mature affection that was certain to stand by her? Then, by all means, let the matter so arrange itself. Though Doctor Remy was not quite the man whom they would have chosen for Carice, he was infinitely better and safer than their nephew. His reputation was fair, his talents undeniable; he was certain to win eminence in his profession; and possibly, fame beyond it, as a man of science. If he had seemed a little cold and hard, hitherto, love would soften him. Who could be otherwise than soft to Carice!
81 The object of Colonel Hothams mission was well known. The cordial reception he had met from the king indicated that his message was not an unwelcome one to his Prussian majesty. In the indecent hilarity of the hour, it was assumed that the marriage contract between Wilhelmina and the Prince of Wales was settled. Brains addled with wine gave birth to stupid jokes upon the subject. A German ducat was to be exchanged for an English half guinea. At last, in the semi-delirium of their intoxication, one proposed as a toast, To the health of Wilhelmina, Princess of Wales. The sentiment was received with uproarious jollity. Though all the company were in the same state of silly inebriation, neither the king nor the British ministers, Hotham and Dubourgay, for a moment lost sight of their settled policy. The king remained firm in his silent resolve to consent only to the marriage of Wilhelmina and the Prince of Wales. Hotham and Dubourgay could not swerve from the positive instructions which they had received, to insist upon both marriages or neither. Thus, notwithstanding this bacchanal jollification, neither party was disposed to swerve a hairs breadth from its fixed resolve, and the question was no nearer a settlement than before.Bergan drew a deep breath. "I try to do so, Miss Thane."
The young man shook his head. "I think not," said he. "Indeed, I have ceased to wish for it; I do not see any place for it in the life which I now contemplate. It was but a pleasant day-dream, at best; and it is over."Helvetius, another of the distinguished French deistical philosophers, was invited to Berlin to assist the king in his financial operations. To aid the mechanics in Berlin, and to show to the world that the king was not so utterly impoverished as many imagined, Frederick, on the 11th of June, 1763, laid the foundation of the sumptuous edifice called The New Palace of Sans Souci.
Carice's face blanched suddenly. "Ah! that has a fearful sound," she said, shiveringly. "My two brothers"