类型:奇幻地区:Сβ发布:2020-10-20 14:56:01


Frederick still sought recreation in writing verses which he called poetry. To DArgens he wrote, I have made a prodigious quantity of verses. If I live I will show them to you. If I perish they are bequeathed to you, and I have ordered that they be put into your hand.It was all in vain. On Sunday evening, September 5th, as the condemned young man was sitting alone in his prison cell, sadly awaiting his doom, yet clinging to hopes of mercy, an officer entered with the startling intelligence that the carriage was at the door to convey him to the fortress of Cüstrin, at a few leagues distance, where he was to be executed. For a moment he was greatly agitated. He soon, however, regained his equanimity. It must indeed have been a fearful communication to one in the107 vigor of health, in the prime of youth, and surrounded by every thing which could render life desirable. Two brother-officers and the chaplain accompanied him upon this dismal midnight ride. Silence, pious conversation, prayers, and occasional devotional hymns occupied the hours. The dawn of a cold winters morning was just appearing as they reached the fortress.

Vastly superior as was the Russian army in numbers, General Soltikof did not venture to advance to attack his terrible foe. He had selected a very strong position on a range of eminences about one hundred feet high, running for several miles in an easterly direction from the river. Upon this ridge, which was called the Heights of Kunersdorf, the Russian general had intrenched himself with the utmost care. The surrounding country was full of bogs, and sluggish streams, and a scraggy growth of tough and thorny bushes, almost impenetrable.

Austria was rapidly marshaling her hosts, and pouring them through the defiles of the mountains to regain Silesia. Her troops still held three important fortressesNeisse, Brieg, and Glogau. These places were, however, closely blockaded by the Prussians. Though it was midwinter, bands of Austrian horsemen were soon sweeping in all directions, like local war tempests borne on the wings of the wind. Wherever there was an unprotected baggage-train, or a weakly-defended post, they came swooping down to seize their prey, and vanished as suddenly as they had appeared. Their numbers seemed to be continually increasing. All the roads were swept by these swarms of irregulars, who carefully avoided any serious engagement, while they awaited the approach of the Austrian army, which was gathering its strength to throw down to Frederick the gauntlet on an open field of battle.

Late in the fall of 1739 the health of Frederick William was so rapidly failing that it became manifest to all that his days on earth would soon be ended. He sat joylessly in his palace, listening to the moaning of the wind, the rustle of the falling leaves, and the pattering of the rain. His gloomy spirit was in accord with the melancholy days. More dreary storms darkened his turbid soul than those which wrecked the autumnal sky.

The more I think of the Glogau business the more important I find it. Prince Leopold has achieved the prettiest military stroke that has been done in this century. From my heart I congratulate you on having such a son. In boldness of resolution, in plan, in execution, it is alike admirable, and quite gives a turn to my affairs.The king, in response to the report of Baron Grumkow, which119 was so gratifying to him, sent the same evening the following note to Wilhelmina:

59 While the king was thus suffering the pangs of the gout, his irascibility vented itself upon his wife and children. We were obliged, says Wilhelmina, to appear at nine oclock in the morning in his room. We dined there, and did not dare to leave it even for a moment. Every day was passed by the king in invectives against my brother and myself. He no longer called me any thing but the English blackguard. My brother was named the rascal Fritz. He obliged us to eat and drink the things for which we had an aversion. Every day was marked by some sinister event. It was impossible to raise ones eyes without seeing some unhappy people tormented in one way or other. The kings restlessness did not allow him to remain in bed. He had himself placed in a chair on rollers, and was thus dragged all over the palace. His two arms rested upon crutches, which supported them. We always followed this triumphal car, like unhappy captives who are about to undergo their sentence.The rule, in such cases, was that a certain number of companies were to be admitted at a time. The gate was then to be closed until they had marched through the city and out at the opposite gate. After this another detachment was to be admitted, and so on, until all had passed through. But General Schwerin so contrived it, by stratagem, as to crowd in a whole regiment at once. Instead of marching through Breslau, to the surprise of the inhabitants, he directed his steps to the market-place, where he encamped and took possession of the city, admitting the remainder of his regiments. In an hour and a half the whole thing was done, and the streets were strongly garrisoned by Prussian troops. The majority of the inhabitants, being Protestant, were well pleased, and received the achievement with laughter. Many cheers resounded through the streets, with shouts of Frederick and Silesia forever. All the foreign ministers in Breslau, and the magistrates of the city, had been lured to Strehlin to witness the grand review.

466 General Keith, as he looked upon the long and compact lines of General Daun, and saw how apparently easy it would be for him, from his commanding position, to annihilate the Prussian army, said to the king, sadly,

Du dernier jour mena?aient les humains.



Devils in the blockhead! Thank my sister, then?



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