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      to which she had to answer:

      Still the queen-mother, Sophie Dorothee, clung to the double marriage. Her brother, George II., was now King of England. His son Fred, who had been intended for Wilhelmina, was not a favorite of his fathers, and had not yet been permitted to go to England. In May, 1728, he was twenty-one years of age. He was living idly in Hanover, impatient to wed his cousin Wilhelmina, who was then nineteen years of age. He seems to have secretly contemplated, in conference with Wilhelminas mother, Sophie Dorothee, a trip incognito to Berlin, where he would marry the princess clandestinely, and then leave it with the royal papas to settle the difficulty the best way they could. The plan was not executed. Wilhelmina manifested coquettish indifference to the whole matter. She, however, writes that Queen Sophie was so confidently expecting him that she took every ass or mule for his royal highness.

      [Pg 59]

      There are two towns of Peshawur: one a distracted, silly place, with no beginning nor end, straggling along something in the manner of Madras, with an embryonic bazaar and all the amusements demanded by soldiers; the other enclosed in walls of dried mud, which are preserved only "to protect the town from robbers."

      She rowed on steadily, hugging the shore under the wooded hillside, where the rich autumn colouring and the clear, cool lights were so full of beautya beauty which she could feel, with a vague, dim sense which just touched the realm of poetry. Perhaps she felt the same sense of loss which Keats or Alfred de Musset would have felt in the stillness of such a scenethe want of something to people the wood and the riversome race of beings loftier than fishermen and peasants; some of those mystic forms which[Pg 32] the poet sees amidst the shadows of old woods or in the creeks and sheltered inlets of a secluded river.

      The king was staggered. War seemed the only alternative. But war would empty his money-casks, disfigure his splendid troops, and peril the lives even of his costly giants. One of these men, James Kirkman, picked up in the streets of London, cost the king six thousand dollars before he could be inveigled, shipped, and brought to hand. Nearly all had cost large sums of money. Such men were too valuable to be exposed to danger. Frederick William was in a state of extreme nervous excitement. There was no rest for him night or day. His deep potations did not calm his turbulent spirit. War seemed imminent. Military preparations were in vigorous progress. Ovens were constructed to bake ammunition bread. Artillery was dragged out from the arsenals. It was rumored that the Prussian troops were to march immediately upon the duchy of Mecklenburg, which was then held by George II. as an appendage to Hanover.



      In the evening, lamps shining out through latticed windows lighted the faithful in their pious gymnastics. A moollah's chant in the distance rose high overhead, and very shrill, and in the darkness the stars shed pale light on the tombstones mirrored in the black water; a plaintive flute softly carried on the sound of the priests' prayers. Down the dark streets the folk, walking barefoot without a sound, and wrapped in white, looked like ghosts."I am really very well. There is nothing the matter with me."