George was a taciturn, jealous, sullen old man, who quarreled with his son, who was then Prince of Wales. The other powers of Europe were decidedly opposed to this double marriage, as it would, in their view, create too intimate a union between Prussia and England, making them virtually one. Frederick William also vexatiously threw hinderances in the way. But the heart of the loving mother, Sophie Dorothee, was fixed upon these nuptials. For years she left no efforts of diplomacy or intrigue untried to accomplish her end. George I. is represented40 by Horace Walpole as a stolid, stubborn old German, living in a cloud of tobacco-smoke, and stupefying his faculties with beer. He had in some way formed a very unfavorable opinion of Wilhelmina, considering her, very falsely, ungainly in person and fretful in disposition. But at last the tact of Sophie Dorothee so far prevailed over her father, the British king, that he gave his somewhat reluctant but positive consent to the double matrimonial alliance. This was in 1723. Wilhelmina was then fourteen years of age. Fritz, but eleven years old, was too young to think very deeply upon the subject of his marriage. The young English Fred bore at that time the title of the Duke of Gloucester. He soon sent an envoy to Prussia, probably to convey to his intended bride presents and messages of love. The interview took place in the palace of Charlottenburg, a few miles out from Berlin. The vivacious Wilhelmina, in the following terms, describes the interview in her journal:

Let the courts take this for their rule; and whenever they do not carry out justice in a straightforward manner, without any regard of person and rank, they shall have to answer to his majesty for it. Thus Frederick found himself in a barren, hostile country, with a starving army, incessantly assailed by a determined foe, groping his way in absolute darkness, and with the greatest difficulty communicating even with his own divisions, at the distance of but a few leagues. He knew not from what direction to anticipate attack, or how formidable might be his assailants. He knew not whether the French, on the other side of the Rhine, had abandoned him to his own resources, or were marching to his rescue. He knew that they were as supremely devoted to their own interests as he was to his, and that they would do nothing to aid him, unless by so doing they could efficiently benefit themselves.

I have seen it, was the reply; but it is only a scratch, which your majesty will soon heal again.

a a a. First Position of the Austrian Army. b b. Extreme Left, under Loudon. c c. Austrian Reserve, under Baden-Durlach. d d d. Prussian Army. e e. The two main Prussian Batteries. f. Ziethens Cavalry. g g. Prussian Vanguard, under Retzow. h h h. Advance of Austrian Army. i. Right Wing, under DAhremberg. k k k. Position taken by the Prussians after the battle.

The queen, delighted in having obtained even this measure of acquiescence on the part of the king, now conferred with Wilhelmina. But, to her surprise and bitter disappointment, the young princess did not share in her mothers joy. She was not disposed to be thus bartered away, and presented sundry objections. The poor mother, harassed by these interminable difficulties, now lost all patience. She broke out upon her equally unhappy daughter with cruel reproaches.