honour of Lady Frances L.’s hand in due form, and led
"The first coinages of Ephraim had, it seems, in them about 3-7ths of copper; something less than the half, and more than the third," --your gold sovereign grown to be worth 28s. 6d. "But yearly it grew worse; and in 1762 [English Subsidy having failed] matters had got inverted; and there was three times as much copper as silver. Commerce, as was natural, went rocking and tossing, as on a sea under earthquakes; but there was always ready money among Friedrich's soldiers, as among no other: nor did the common people, or retail purchasers, suffer by it. 'Hah, an Ephraimite!' they would say, grinning not ill-humoredly, at sight of one of these pieces; some of which they had more specifically named 'BLUE-GOWNS' [owing to a tint of blue perceivable, in spite of the industrious plating in real silver, or at least "boiling in some solution" of it]; these they would salute with this rhyme, then current:--
"By this time, whatever of money, from any source, can be scraped together in Friedrich's world, flows wholly into the Army-Chest, as the real citadel of life. In these latter years of the War, beginning, I could guess, from 1759, all Civil expenditures, and wages of Officials, cease to be paid in money; nobody of that kind sees the color even of bad coin; but is paid only in 'Paper Assignments,' in Promises to Pay 'after the Peace.' These Paper Documents made no pretence to the rank of Currency: such holders of them as had money, or friends, and could wait, got punctual payment when the term did arrive; but those that could not, suffered greatly; having to negotiate their debentures on ruinous terms,-- sometimes at an expense of three-fourths.--I will add Friedrich's practical Schedule of Amounts from all these various Sources; and what Friedrich's own view of the Sources was, when he could survey them from the safe distance.
"SCHEDULE OF AMOUNTS [say for 1761]. To make up the Twenty-five Million thalers, necessary for the Army, there are:--
"From our Prussian Countries, ruined, harried as THALERS they have been, . . . . . . . . . . 4 millions only. From Saxony and the other Wringings, . . . . . 7 millions. English Subsidy (4 of good gold; becoppered into double), . . . . . . . . . . . 8 " From Ephraim and his Farm of the Mint (MUNZ-PATENT), . . . . . . . . . . 7 "
In sum Twenty-six Millions; leaving you one Million of margin,-- and always a plenty of cash in hand for incidental sundries. [Preuss, ii. 388.]
"Friedrich's own view of these sad matters, as he closes his
OF THE SMALL-WAR IN SPRING, 1759. THERE ARE FIVE DISRUPTIONS OF THAT GRAND CORDON (February-April); AND FERDINAND OF BRUNSWICK FIGHTS HIS BATTLE OF BERGEN (April 13th).
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