History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Volume 04
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Of Friedrich's childhood, there is not, after all our reading, much that it would interest the English public to hear tell of. Perhaps not much of knowable that deserves anywhere to be known. Books on it, expressly handling it, and Books on Friedrich Wilhelm's Court and History, of which it is always a main element, are not wanting: but they are mainly of the sad sort which, with pain and difficulty, teach us nothing, Books done by pedants and tenebrific persons, under the name of men; dwelling not on things, but, at endless length, on the outer husks of things: of unparalleled confusion, too;—not so much as an Index granted you; to the poor half-peck of cinders, hidden in these wagon-loads of ashes, no sieve allowed! Books tending really to fill the mind with mere dust-whirlwinds, —if the mind did not straightway blow them out again; which it does. Of these let us say nothing. Seldom had so curious a Phenomenon worse treatment from the Dryasdust, species.