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[256] one little prince hurried to offer troops. ‘I shall
Chap. LVII.}
regard it as a favor,’ wrote the Prince of Waldeck, ‘if the king will accept a regiment of six hundred men, composed of officers and soldiers, who, like their prince, will certainly demand nothing better than to find an opportunity of sacrificing themselves for his majesty.’ The offer was eagerly accepted.

On the twenty fourth of November, Faucitt, having received his instructions at Stade, set off on his mission; but the nights were so dark and the roads so bad, that it required five days to reach Brunswick.

Charles, the reigning duke, was at that time about sixty three. During the forty years of his rule, the spendthrift had squandered a loan of twelve millions of thalers, beside the millions of his revenue, on his Italian opera, his corps of French dancers, his theatre, journeys, mistresses, and gaming, his experiments in alchemy, but most of all on his little army, which now, in his decrepit age, it was his chief pride to review. Within the last three years, a new prime minister had improved the condition of his finances; at the same time Prince Ferdinand, the heir apparent, had been admitted as co-regent. In 1764 Ferdinand had married Augusta, a sister of George the Third, receiving with her a dowry of eighty thousand pounds beside an annuity of eight thousand more, chargeable on the revenues of Ireland and Hanover. His education had been in part confided to Jerusalem, a clergyman who neither had the old fashioned faith, nor the modern want of it; and his governor had been indulgent to the vices of his youth. From Frederic of Prussia, his uncle, he adopted not disinterested nationality, but scepticism, with which he mixed

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