类型:奇幻地区:发布:2020-10-20 13:18:52


Accordingly, he made proposals to the Marquise of Schwedt that Wilhelmina should marry her son. The lady replied, in terms very creditable both to her head and her heart, Such a union, your majesty, would be in accordance with the supreme wish of my life. But how can I accept such happiness against the will of the princess herself? This I can positively never do. Here she remained firm. The raging king returned to the bedside of his wife, as rough and determined as ever. He declared that the question was now settled that Wilhelmina was to marry the old Duke of Weissenfels.

THE TOBACCO PARLIAMENT.Prisoners, captive soldiers, if at all likely fellows, writes Archenholtz, were by every means persuaded and even compelled to take Prussian service. Compelled, cudgel in hand, not asked if they wished to serve, but dragged to the Prussian colors, obliged to swear there, and fight against their countrymen.147

The fault-finding character of the king, and his intense devotion to perfecting his army, both increased with his advancing years. After one of his reviews of the troops in Silesia, in the year 1784, he wrote in the following severe strain to the commanding general:Take it down, said the king, and hang it lower, that the people may not hurt their necks in looking at it.

212 Frederick invited his sister to visit him at Reinsberg, to which place either business or pleasure immediately called him. After the lapse of two days, Wilhelmina, with the neglected Queen Elizabeth, repaired to the enchanting chateau, hoping to find, amid its rural scenes, that enjoyment which she never yet had been able to find in the sombre halls of the Berlin palace. Here quite a gay company was assembled. Frederick was very laboriously occupied during the day in affairs of state. But in the evening he appeared in the social circles, attracting the attention of all by his conversational brilliance, and by the apparent heartiness with which he entered into the amusements of the court. He took an active part in some private theatricals, and none were aware of the profound schemes of ambition which, cloaked by this external gayety, were engrossing his thoughts.

When the king reached Lissa he found the village full of Austrian officers and soldiers in a state of utter disorganization and confusion. Had the Austrians known their strength or the weakness of the king, they might easily have taken him captive. Frederick was somewhat alarmed. He, however, assumed a bold front, and rode to the principal house in the town, which was a little one side of the main street. The house was crowded with Austrian officers, bustling about, seeking lodgings for the night. The king stepped in with a slight escort, and said gayly,Dickens at length ventured to ask the king directly, What shall I write to England?With extraordinary energy and sagacity Frederick set about developing the resources of his new acquisition. Houses were built. Villages rose as by magic. Marshes were drained. Emigrants, in large numbers, mechanics and farmers, were transported to the new lands. Canals were dug. Roads were improved, and new ones opened. One hundred and eighty-seven school-550masters were sent into the country. Every where there was plowing, ditching, building.

21 Sophie Dorothee was a very pretty child. The plan was probably already contemplated by the parents that the two should be married in due time. Soon after this Frederick William lost his mother, and with her all of a mothers care and gentle influences. Her place was taken by a step-mother, whose peevishness and irritability soon developed into maniacal insanity. When Frederick William was eighteen years of age he was allowed to choose between three princesses for his wife. He took his pretty cousin, Sophie Dorothee. They were married with great pomp on the 28th of November, 1706.Through the efforts of Maria Theresa there was another brief conference, but it amounted to nothing. Neither party wished for war. But Austria craved the annexation of Bavaria, and Frederick was determined that Austria should not thus be enlarged.557 Thus the summer passed away in unavailing diplomacy and in equally unavailing military man?uvrings. While engaged in these adventures, Frederick received the tidings of the death of Voltaire, who breathed his last on the 20th of May, 1778. The soul of Frederick was too much seared by lifes stern conflicts to allow him to manifest, or probably to feel, any emotion on the occasion. He, however, wrote a eulogy upon the renowned littrateur, which, though written by a royal pen, attracted but little attention.

The old serene highness himself, face the color of gunpowder, and bluer in the winter frost, went rushing far and wide in an open vehicle which he called his cart, pushing out his detachments; supervising every thing; wheeling hither and thither as needful; sweeping out the Pandour world, and keeping it out; not much fighting needed, but a great deal of marching, murmurs Frederick, which in winter is as bad, and wears down the force of battalions.79It is probable that the suspicions of the king were excited, for suddenly he sent Lieutenant Keith to a garrison at Wesel, at a great distance from Berlin, in a small Prussian province far down the Rhine. The three had, however, concocted the following plan, to be subsequently executed. Immediately after the return from Mühlberg the king was to undertake a long journey to the Rhine. The Crown Prince, as usual, was to be dragged along with him. In this journey they would pass through Stuttgart, within a few miles of Strasbourg, which was on the French side of the river. From Stuttgart the prince was to escape in disguise, on fleetest horses, to Strasbourg, and thence proceed to London. Colonel Hotham, who had accompanied the Prussian king to the camp of Mühlberg, was apprised of all this by his secretary. He immediately dispatched the secretary, on the 16th of June, to convey the confidential intelligence to London.

It is impossible for you to imagine the horrible fatigues which we undergo. This campaign is worse than any of the others. I sometimes know not which way to turn. But why weary you with these details of my toils and miseries? My spirits have forsaken me. All my gayety is buried with those dear and noble ones to whom my heart was bound. The end of my life is melancholy and sad; but do not, therefore, my dear marquis, forget your old friend.155



Frederick was astounded, alarmed, for a moment overwhelmed, as these tidings were clearly made known to him. He had brought all this upon himself. And yet, the wretched man exclaimed, what a life I lead! This is not living; this is being killed a thousand times a day!a a. Prussian Camp, left with fires burning. b b b. Prussian Main Army. c c. Ziethens Division. d d. Loudons Camp, also left with fires burning. e e e. Loudons Army attacked by the Prussians. f f f. Approach of Daun. g g. Lacys Cavalry.

Indeed, it would seem that, at the time, Voltaire must have been very favorably impressed by the appearance of his royal host. The account he then gave of the interview was very different from that which, in his exasperation, he wrote twenty years afterward. In a letter to a friend, M. De Cideville, dated October 18th, 1740, Voltaire wrote:It was supposed, that Frederick would remain in Saxony on the defensive against the Austrians, who were rapidly gathering their army at Prague, in Bohemia. The city was situated upon the River Moldau, one of the tributaries of the Elbe, and was about sixty miles south of Dresden.


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