Charity Of Frederick III
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
THE sensibilities of Frederick III., not only went out in daily acts of kindness, but they poured through great channels of benevolence, making him one of the great philanthropists, as well as generals and scholars of his country. At his wedding reception, in his father's palace, at Berlin, costly presents came from all parts of the realm. And he took these presents and with them founded hospitals, asylums and scholarships. On the day Dueppel was taken, Frederick's father decorated his breast with the sword of the Red Eagle. But he lost sight of the nation's glory, of his own promotion, in his sympathy for the suffering. That same day, he immortalized his memory by founding the Crown Prince Institute, a school for the instruction of the children of deceased soldiers. Besides, he and his wife gave liberally for the benefit of the widows and orphans of the soldiers that fell in the war with Denmark. At the time all Germany was wild with enthusiasm at the overthrow of Napoleon III., the Crown Prince was thinking of the wounds of the Fatherland. On September 6, 187o, he issued a proclamation asking for an institution for the relief of the sufferers by the war. In 1883, on the occasion of their silver wedding, the citizens of Berlin gave Frederick and Victoria, a vessel containing two hundred thousand dollars in gold, which, like the presents received twenty-five years before, they set apart as an endowment for charities.
It is not a surprise that a man of such affections, and such practical benevolence should be universally popular. His ability and heroism on the field commanded the respect of the soldiers, while his familiar and tender treatment of them won their love. In his love for his soldiers, and in their love for him in return, he was much like Cato, the Younger, whom he resembles in many particulars. Cato's soldiers fairly worshiped him, and when his commission expired, they cried like children and embraced him. And they took off their garments and spread them on the ground to carpet the path of their chief, and tenderly kissed his hand. This affection, the army of Germany always had for Frederick, and at his death he was the pride—the idol of two millions of soldiers. His manliness, his generosity, his distinguished services to the State, made him as popular with citizens as with soldiers. His love for the common people, his liberal ideas of government, that excited criticism of a small circle of conservatives, aided him greatly in winning the heart of a nation. One of his subjects offered to die instead of his royal master, offered to have his larynx cut out and placed in the neck of his monarch, if by so doing his life could be pro-longed. The surgeon replied that such an operation could not be successful, and that the sacrifice would not be accepted. The Emperor was loved by man-kind everywhere. He was almost as popular in England as he was in his own country. And the Austrians and French, whom he did so much to humiliate and defeat with his sword, vie with the Germans in regard for his memory.