类型:奇幻地区:发布:2020-10-29 16:22:14


Frederick, under the tutelage of his stern father, had not enjoyed the privileges of foreign travel. While other princes of far humbler expectations were taking the grand tour of Europe, the Crown Prince was virtually imprisoned in the barracks, day after day, engaged in the dull routine of drilling the giant guard. After the death of his father he did not condescend to be crowned, proudly assuming, in contradiction to some of his earlier teachings, that the crown was already placed upon his brow by divine power. He, however, exacted from the people throughout his realms oaths of allegiance, and in person visited several of the principal cities to administer those oaths with much pomp of ceremony. The Danish envoy, writing home to his government respecting the administration of Frederick, says,209 The poor old bishop called loudly upon the Emperor of Germany for help. The territory of the Bishop of Liege was under the protection of the empire. The Emperor Charles VI. immediately issued a decree ordering Frederick to withdraw his troops, to restore the money which he had extorted, and to settle the question by arbitration, or by an appeal to the laws of the empire. This was the last decree issued by Charles VI. Two weeks after he died.The latter part of April Prince Charles had gathered a large force of Austrian regulars at Olmütz, with the manifest intention of again invading Silesia. The King of Poland had entered into cordial alliance with Austria, and was sending a large army of Saxon troops to co-operate in the enterprise. Fredericks indignation was great, and his peril still greater. Encamped in the valley of the Neisse, assailed on every side, and menaced with still more formidable foes, he dispatched orders to the Old Dessauer immediately to establish an army of observation (thirty thousand strong) upon the frontiers of Saxony. He was to be prepared instantly, upon the Saxon troops leaving Saxony, to ravage the country with the most merciless plunderings of war.

God be praised, my dearest sister, that you are better. Nobody can love you more tenderly than I do. As to the Princess of Bevern, the queen bids me answer that you need not style her Highness, but that you may write to her quite as to an indifferent145 princess. As to kissing the hands, I assure you I have not kissed them nor will kiss them. They are not pretty enough to tempt me that way.

Twelve days after the battle of Liegnitz Frederick wrote as follows to his friend, the Marquis DArgens, who was at Berlin. The letter was dated Hermannsdorf, near Breslau, 27th of August, 1760:M. DArget, private secretary of the French minister Valori, gives an interesting account of an interview he held with Frederick at this time. M. DArget was quite a favorite of the king, who conversed with him with unusual frankness.There were other abodes of the king, the Berlin and Potsdam palaces, which retained much of the splendor with which they had been embellished by the splendor-loving monarch, Frederick I. There were but few regal mansions in the world which then surpassed them. And though the king furnished his own apartments with Spartan simplicity and rudeness, there were other portions of these royal residences, as also their surroundings in general, which were magnificent in the highest degree. The health of little Fritz was rather frail, and at times he found it hard to devote himself to his sturdy tasks with the energy which his father required.

By all the devils, exclaimed the king, I shall not till we have taken Dresden. Then I will provide for you to your hearts content.Many thousands are made miserable, inhabitants as well as strangers. Many from the open country and defenseless towns in Prussia, Pomerania, and the New Marche had fled hither, with their most valuable effects, in hopes of security when the Russians entered the Prussian territories; so that a great many who, a little while ago, were possessed of considerable fortunes, are now reduced to beggary. On the roads nothing was to be seen but misery, and nothing to be heard but such cries and lamentations as were enough to move even the stones. No one knew where to get a morsel of bread, nor what to do for farther subsistence. The fire was so furious that the cannon in the store and artillery houses were all melted. The loaded bombs and cartridges for cannon and muskets, with a large quantity of gunpowder, went off at once with a most horrible explosion. The fury of the enemy fell almost entirely upon the inhabitants. They did not begin to batter the fortifications, except with a few shot, till the 17th, after the rest was all destroyed.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.

In the mean time, Wilhelmina, disappointed in not finding her brother, wrote to him the following account of her adventures:

Though General Soltikof had lost an equal number of men, he was still at the head of nearly eighty thousand troops flushed with victory. He could summon to his standard any desirable re-enforcements. An unobstructed march of but sixty miles would lead his army into the streets of Berlin. The affairs of Frederick were indeed desperate. There was not a gleam of hope to cheer him. In preparation for his retirement from the army, from the throne, and from life, he that evening drew up the following paper, placing the fragments of the army which he was about to abandon in the hands of General Finck. By the death of the king, the orphan and infant child of his brother Augustus William (who had died but a few months before) would succeed to the throne. Frederick appointed his brother Henry generalissimo of the Prussian army.So saying, he seized me with one hand, striking me several blows in the face with the other fist. One of the blows struck me on the temple, so that I fell back, and should have split my head against a corner of the wainscot had not Madam Sonsfeld caught me by the head-dress and broken the fall. I lay on the floor without consciousness. The king, in his frenzy, proceeded to kick me out of a window which opened to the floor. The queen, my sisters, and the rest, ran between, preventing him. They all ranged themselves around me, which gave Mesdames De Kamecke and Sonsfeld time to pick me up. They put me in a chair in an embrasure of a window. Madam Sonsfeld supported my head, which was wounded and swollen with the blows I had received. They threw water upon my face to bring me to life, which care I lamentably reproached them with, death being a thousand times better in the pass things had come to. The queen was shrieking. Her firmness had entirely abandoned her. She ran wildly about the room, wringing her hands in despair. My brothers and sisters, of whom the youngest was not more than four years old, were on their knees begging for me. The kings face was so disfigured with rage that it was frightful to look upon.

The unhappy Crown Prince was in an agony of despair. Again and again he frantically exclaimed, In the name of God, I beg you to stop the execution till I write to the king! I am ready to renounce all my rights to the crown if he will pardon Katte! As the condemned was led by the window to ascend the scaffold, Fritz cried out to him, in anguish as intense as a generous heart can endure, Pardon me, my dear Katte, pardon me! Oh that this should be what I have done for you!General Daun thought that such energy as this could not be a feint. He was much nearer to Glatz than was Frederick. Monday, July 7th, the Prussian troops rested. General Daun pressed on. Tuesday night he was two days march ahead of Frederick. In the mean time, the Prussian king, who had made this tremendous march simply to draw the foe from Dresden, suddenly turned, and with the utmost velocity directed his troops back toward the city.SIEGE OF OLMüTZ, MAY 12JULY 2, 1758.



There is a gloom of the soul far deeper than any gloom with which nature can ever be shrouded. It is not easy to conceive of a mortal placed in circumstances of greater mental suffering than was the proud, ambitious young monarch during the hour in which he waited, in terror and disgrace, by the side of the mill, for the return of his courier. At length the clatter of hoofs was heard, and the messenger came back, accompanied by an adjutant, to announce to the king that the Prussians still held Lowen, and that the Prussian army had gained a signal victory at Mollwitz.Would your majesty, Lord Hyndford replied, engage to stand by his excellency Gotters original offer at Vienna on your part? That is, would you agree, in consideration of the surrender to you of Lower Silesia and Breslau, to assist the Queen of Austria, with all your troops, for the maintenance of the Pragmatic Sanction, and to vote for the Grand-duke Francis as emperor?

Russia, added Sir Thomas, with some stateliness of utterance, is not the only power which has engagements with Austria, and which must keep them too; so that, however averse to a breach



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