类型:奇幻地区:580а发布:2020-10-01 03:48:42


You will now recall to mind what passed a year and a day agohow scandalously you behaved, and what a godless enterprise you undertook. As I have had you about me from the beginning, and must know you well, I did all in the world that was in my power, by kindness and by harshness, to make an honorable man of you. As I rather suspected your evil purposes, I treated you in the harshest and sharpest way in the Saxon camp, in hopes you would consider yourself, and take another line of conduct; would confess your faults to me, and beg forgiveness. But all in vain. You grew ever more stiff-necked. You thought to carry it through with your headstrong humor. But hark ye, my lad! if thou wert sixty or seventy instead of eighteen, thou couldst not cross my resolutions. And as up to this date I have managed to sustain myself against any comer, there will be methods found to bring thee to reason too.

Frederick had seen many dark days before, but never one so dark as this. In the frenzy of his exertions to retrieve the lost battle, he cried out to his soldiers, his eyes being flooded with tears, Children, do not forsake me, your king, your father, in this pinch! The retreat became a flight. In endeavoring to cross the little stream called the Hen-Floss, there was such crowding and jamming at the bridges that the Prussians were compelled to leave one hundred and sixty-five guns of various calibre behind them. Had the Russians pursued with any vigor, scarcely a man of the Prussian army could have escaped. But General Soltikof stood in such fear of his opponent, who had often wrested victory out of defeat, that he attempted no pursuit.It was four oclock, and I could not understand what had become of my brother. I had sent out several persons on horseback to get tidings of him, and none of them came back. At length, in spite of all my prayers, the hereditary prince24 himself would go in search. I was in cruel agitations. These cataracts of rain are very dangerous in the mountain countries. The roads get suddenly overflowed, and accidents often happen. I thought for certain one had happened to my brother, or to the hereditary prince.

His Polish majesty had placed his feeble band of troops in the vicinity of Pirna, on the Elbe, amidst the defiles of a mountainous country, where they could easily defend themselves against superior numbers. Winter was rapidly approaching. In those high latitudes and among those bleak hills the storms of winter ever raged with terrible severity. The Austrians were energetically accumulating their forces in Bohemia to act against the Prussians. The invasion of Saxony by Frederick, without any apparent provocation, roused all Europe to intensity of hatred and of action.

Circumstances had already rendered Frederick one of the most important personages in Europe. He could ally himself with France, and humble Austria; or he could ally himself with England and Austria, and crush France. All the lesser lights in the Continental firmament circulated around these central luminaries. Consequently Frederick was enabled to take a conspicuous part in all the diplomatic intrigues which were then agitating the courts of Europe.

There was a famine in Poland, and the famine was followed by pestilence. A general state of tumult and discord ensued. Maria Theresa had gathered a large army on the frontiers of Hungary to watch the designs of Russia upon Turkey. Availing herself of this disturbed state of Poland, Maria Theresa marched her troops into one of its provinces called Zips, which had once belonged to Hungary, and quietly extended her boundaries around the acquisition. Catharine was much exasperated by the measure.Still the clergymen pressed upon him his sins, his many acts of oppression, his unrelenting and unforgiving spirit. Singularly enough, most of the members of the tobacco parliament were present at this strange interview; and some of them, courtier like, endeavored to defend the king against several of the charges brought against him. The king might emphatically be called a good hater; and he hated his brother-in-law, the King of England, perhaps with passion as implacable as ever took possession of a human heart. In allusion to this, one of the clergymen, M. Roloff, said,

General Neipperg halted here at Mollwitz with the whole254 army before the village, in mind to quarter. And quarter was settled, so that a plow-farmer got four to five companies to lodge, and a spade-farmer two or three hundred cavalry. The houses were full of officers, and the fields full of horsemen and baggage; and all around you saw nothing but fires burning. The wooden railings were instantly torn down for firewood. The hay, straw, barley were eaten away, and brought to nothing. Every thing from the barns was carried out. As the whole army could not lodge itself with us, eleven hundred infantry quartered at Laugwitz. B?rzdorf got four hundred cavalry; and this day nobody knew what would come of it.

I have now the honor, and, what is still more, the pleasure of being with the king at Potsdam. I have the honor to dine and sup with him almost every day. He has more wit than I have wit to tell you; speaks solidly and knowingly on all kinds of subjects; and I am much mistaken if, with the experience of four campaigns, he is not the best officer of his army. He has several persons with whom he lives with almost the familiarity of a friend, but he has no favorite. He shows a natural politeness for every body who is about him. For one who has been four days about his person, you will say, I pretend to know a great deal about his character. But what I tell you you may depend upon. With more time I shall know as much of him as he will let me know, and no one of his ministry knows any more.On the 3d of July Frederick issued his declaration of war. On that very day his solid battalions, one hundred thousand556 strong, with menacing banners and defiant bugle-notes, crossed the border, and encamped on Bohemian ground. At the same moment, the kings brother, Prince Henry, with another army of one hundred thousand men, commenced a march from the west to co-operate in an impetuous rush upon Vienna. These tidings caused the utmost consternation in the Austrian capital. An eye-witness writes:

On the 5th of May, after careful reconnoissance, Frederick crossed the Moldau several miles north of Prague. He went over upon pontoons unopposed, and thus effected a junction with his troops on the east side of the river. The Austrian army was drawn up on some formidable heights but a short distance east of the city. Their position was very strong, and they were thoroughly intrenched. On the 6th of May the dreadful battle of Prague was fought. For many years, as not a few of our readers will remember, it was fought over and over again upon all the pianos in Christendom. They will remember the awe with which, as children, they listened to the tumult of the battle, swelling forth from the ivory keys, with the rattle of musketry, the booming of the cannon, and the groans of the dyingsuch groans as even the field of battle itself could scarcely have rivaled.



The French have seized upon Friesland, and are about to pass the Weser. They have instigated the Swedes to declare war against me. The Swedes are sending seventeen thousand men into Pomerania. The Russians are besieging Memel. General Schwald has them on his front and in his rear. The troops of the empire are also about to march. All this will force me to evacuate Bohemia so soon as that crowd of enemies gets into motion.It was a sore calamity to Frederick. Had General Schmettau held out only until the next day, which he could easily have done, relief would have arrived, and the city would have been saved. Frederick was in a great rage, and was not at all in the mood to be merciful, or even just. He dismissed the unfortunate general from his service, degraded him, and left him to die in poverty.All the courts of Europe were involved in these intrigues, which led to minor complications which it would be in vain to attempt to unravel. In the secret treaty into which Frederick entered with France on the 5th of June, 1741, the Count of Belleisle engaged, in behalf of his master, Louis XV., to incite Sweden to declare war against Russia, that the semi-barbaric power of the North, just beginning to emerge into greatness, might be so occupied as not to be able to render any assistance to Austria. France also agreed to guarantee Lower Silesia, with Breslau, to Frederick, and to send two armies, of forty thousand men each, one across the Upper and the other across the Lower Rhine, to co-operate with his Prussian majesty. The forty thousand men on the Upper Rhine were to take position in the vicinity of the Electorate of Hanover, which belonged to George II. of England, prepared to act immediately in concert with the Prussian army at G?tten under the Old Dessauer, in seizing Hanover resistlessly, should England make the slightest move toward sending troops to the aid of Maria Theresa.

Permit me to say there is not a man on the earth but owes thanks for the care you take to cultivate, by sound philosophy,175 a soul that is born for command. Good kings there never were except those who had begun by seeking to instruct themselves; by knowing good men from bad; by loving what was true; by detesting persecution and superstition. No prince, persisting in such thoughts, but might bring back the golden age into his countries.



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