类型:奇幻地区:发布:2020-09-30 03:18:08


On the 15th of March Frederick left Berlin for Silesia. Stopping to examine some of his works at Glogau and Breslau, he reached Neisse on the 23d. On the 29th he dismissed the Old Dessauer, with many expressions of kindness and sympathy, to go home to recover his health.Dr. Zimmermann, whose work on Solitude had given him some renown, had been sent for to administer to the illustrious patient. His prescriptions were of no avail. On the 10th of August, 1786, Frederick wrote to his sister, the Duchess Dowager of Brunswick:To his mother he was very considerate in all his manifestations of filial affection, while, at the same time, he caused her very distinctly to understand that she was to take no share whatever in the affairs of government. When she addressed him, upon his accession to the throne, as Your Majesty, he replied, Call me son. That is the title of all others most agreeable to me. He decreed to her the title of Her Majesty the Queen-mother. The palace of Monbijou was assigned her, where she was surrounded with every luxury, treated with the most distinguished attention, and her court was the acknowledged centre of fashionable society.

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!

Sir Thomas, deeply chagrined, hastened back to Presburg. Acting in behalf of the English cabinet, he trembled in view of the preponderance of the French court and of the loss of Hanover. With the most impassioned earnestness he entreated the queen to yield to the demands of Frederick, and thus secure his alliance.The five great powers of Europe, who have sworn alliance, and conspired to ruin the Marquis of Brandenburg, how might they puzzle their heads to guess what he is now doing! Scheming some dangerous plan, think they, for the next campaign, collecting funds, studying about magazines for man and horse; or is he deep in negotiations to divide his enemies, and get new allies for himself? Not a bit of it. He is sitting peaceably in his room feeding his dogs.165

MAP ILLUSTRATING THE MOLLWITZ CAMPAIGN.Knocking against the rocks,But, after this avowal, allow me to entreat you to look back at what was the pitiable state of your enemy when you lay before Prague. It is the sudden whirl of fortune for both parties. The like can occur again when one is the least expecting it. C?sar was the slave of pirates, and yet he became master of the world. A great genius like yours finds resources even when all is lost.

The king, after his apparent reconciliation with Fritz, granted him a little more liberty. He was appointed to travel over and carefully inspect several of the crown domains. He was ordered to study thoroughly the practical husbandry of those domainshow they were to be plowed, enriched, and sown. He was also to devote his attention to the rearing of cattle; to the preparing of malt and the brewing of ale. Useful discourse, said the king, is to be kept up with him on these journeys, pointing out why this is and that, and whether it could not be better. On the 22d of September the Crown Prince wrote to his father as follows:A week after the arrival of the prince the Prussian king entered the camp. As it was expected that some remarkable feats of war would be exhibited in the presence of the king, under the leadership of the renowned Prince Eugene, a very large assemblage of princes and other distinguished personages was collected on the field. The king remained for a month, dwelling in a161 tent among his own troops, and sharing all their hardships. He, with his son, attended all the councils of war. Still no attempt was made to relieve Philipsburg. The third day after the kings arrival the city surrendered to the French. The campaign continued for some time, with unavailing man?uvring on both sides of the Rhine; but the Crown Prince saw but little active service. About the middle of August the king left the camp to return home. His health was seriously impaired, and alarming symptoms indicated that he had not long to live. His journey was slow and painful. Gout tortured him. Dropsy threatened to strangle him. He did not reach home until the middle of September. The alarming state of the kings health added very much to the importance of the Crown Prince. It was evident that ere long he must come into power. The following characteristic anecdote is related of the king during this illness:

Done, that Sterbohol work; those foot-chargings, horse-chargings; that battery of Homoly Hill; and, hanging upon that, all manner of redoubts and batteries to the rightward and rearward; but how it was done no pen can describe, nor any intellect in clear sequence understand. An enormous mle there: new Prussian battalions charging, and ever new, irrepressible by case-shot, as they successively get up; Marshal Browne, too, sending for new battalions at double-quick from his left, disputing stiffly every inch of his ground, till at length (hour not given), a cannon shot tore away his foot, and he had to be carried into Prague, mortally wounded. Which probably was a most important circumstance, or the most important of all.It was Fredericks aim to reach Oppeln, a small town upon the River Oder, about thirty miles from the field of battle. He supposed that one of his regiments still held that place. But this regiment had hurriedly vacated the post, and had repaired, with all its baggage, to Pampitz, in the vicinity of Mollwitz. Upon the retirement of this garrison a wandering party of sixty Austrian hussars had taken possession of the town.Poor Linsenbarth had a feather bed, a small chest of clothes, and a bag of books. He went to a humble inn, called the White Swan, utterly penniless. The landlord, seeing that he could levy upon his luggage in case of need, gave him food and a small room in the garret to sleep in. Here he remained in a state verging upon despair for eight weeks. Some of the simple neighbors advised him to go directly to the king, as every poor man could do at certain hours in the day. He wrote a brief statement of the facts, and started on foot for Potsdam. We give the result in the words of Linsenbarth:

I must observe that hitherto the King of Prussia does, as it were, every thing himself; and that, excepting the finance minister, who preaches frugality, and finds for that doctrine uncommon acceptance, his majesty allows no counseling from any minister; so that the minister for foreign affairs has nothing to do but to expedite the orders he receives, his advice not being asked upon any matter. And so it is with the other ministers.You, as a follower of Epicurus, put a value upon life. As for me, I regard death from the Stoic point of view. Never shall I see the moment which will oblige me to make a disadvantageous peace. No persuasion, no eloquence, shall ever induce me to sign my own dishonor. Either I will bury myself under the ruins of my country, or, if that consolation appears too great to the Destiny which persecutes me, I shall know how to put an end to my misfortunes when it is no longer possible to bear them. I have acted, and continue to act, in pursuance of this conviction, and according to the dictates of honor, which have always directed my steps. My conduct shall continue, at all times, to be conformable to these principles.

The authorship of the article could not be concealed. Frederick was indignant. He angrily seized his pen, and wrote a reply, which, though anonymous, was known by all to have been written by the king. In this reply he accused the writer of the article, whom he well knew to be Voltaire, of being a manifest retailer of lies, a concocter of stupid libels, and as guilty of conduct more malicious, more dastardly, more infamous than he had ever known before.



413 The final and decisive struggle took place on and around two important eminences, called the Sterbohol Hill and the Homoly Hill. Both of these heights the Prussians stormed. In the following glowing words Carlyle pictures the scene:Such was the Tobacco Parliament in its trivial aspects. But it had also its serious functions. Many questions were discussed there which stirred mens souls, and which roused the ambition or the wrath of the stern old king to the utmost pitch.The eastern half of the immense quadrangle endeavored to reform itself, so as to present a new front to the foe. But, before this could be done, Frederick hurled his right wing, his centre, and all that remained disposable of his left wing upon it. His cavalry plunged into the disordered mass. His batteries, with almost unprecedented rapidity of fire, tore the tumultuous and panic-stricken ranks to shreds; and his line of infantry, like a supernatural wall of bristling steel, unwaveringly advanced, pouring in upon the foe the most deadly volleys.

At one oclock in the morning of May 31 he sent for a clergyman, M. Cochius, and seemed to be in great distress both of body and of mind. I fear, said he, that I have a great deal of pain yet to suffer. I can remember nothing. I can not pray. I have forgotten all my prayers. M. Cochius endeavored to console him. At the close of the interview the king said, sadly, Fare thee well. We shall most probably never meet again in this world. He was then rolled, in his wheel-chair, into the chamber of the queen.An extraordinary Interview.Carlyles Sympathy.Trifling Demeanor of Frederick.Conspiracy in Breslau.Guile of Frederick.The successful Stratagem.Crossing the Neisse.The Co-operation of France.Anguish of Maria Theresa.Inflexible Will of Frederick.Duplicity of the King.The Surrender of Neisse.



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