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systems of thought which she made it her glory to cherish, and the principle of monarchy which flattered her love of praise and was the basis of her power. Soon after the peace of Hubertsburg, the youthful heir to the Austrian dominions, which, with Prussia and Russia, shaped the politics of eastern and northern Europe, was elected the successor to the Imperial crown of Germany. As an Austrian prince, it was the passion of Joseph the Second to rival Frederic of Prussia. His mother, Maria Theresa, was a devotee in her attachment to the church. The son, hating the bigotry in which he was nurtured, inclined to skepticism and unbelief. The mother venerated with an absurd intensity of deference the prerogatives of an unmixed aristocratic descent; the son affected to deride all distinctions of birth, and asserted the right to freedom of mind with such integrity, that he refused to impair it when afterwards it came to be exercised against himself. But, in the conflict which he provo