“Then,” writes Wilhelmina, “as to his bride, I begged him to tell me candidly if the portrait the queen and my sister had been making of her were the true one.”“You have cut me to the heart, and have inflicted on me the greatest misery I ever endured. I had placed all my hope in you, in consequence of my ignorance of your character. You have had the address to disguise to me the bad propensities of your heart, and the baseness of your disposition. I repent a thousand times the kindness I have shown you, the care I have taken of your education, and all that I have suffered on your account. I no longer acknowledge you as my daughter, and shall, in future, never regard you but as my most cruel enemy, since it is you who have sacrificed me to my persecutors, who now triumph over me. Never count upon me again. I vow eternal hatred to you, and will never forgive you.”
181 “Sire, I can not bear these reproaches, which I do not deserve. I have tried, for the relief of your majesty, all the remedies which art can supply, or which nature can admit. If my ability or my integrity is doubted, I am willing to leave not only the university, but the kingdom. But I can not be driven into any place where the name of Hoffman will not be respected.”
447 “We have taken here from fourteen to fifteen thousand prisoners. In all, I have above twenty-three thousand of the queen’s troops in my hands, fifteen generals, and above seven hundred officers. It is a plaster on my wounds, but it is far enough from healing them.”On Friday, the 11th of August, Frederick, leaving forty thousand men to guard Silesia, took fifteen thousand troops, and commenced a very rapid march to attack the fifty thousand Russians. Upon the eve of his departure he wrote to his brother Henry:
In the mean time, the queen and Wilhelmina, at Berlin, unconscious of the dreadful tidings they were soon to receive, were95 taking advantage of the absence of the king in seeking a few hours of social enjoyment. They gave a ball at the pretty little palace of Monbijou, on the banks of the Spree, a short distance out from Berlin. In the midst of the entertainment the queen received, by a courier, the following dispatch from Frederick William:“Your majesty,” Sir Thomas rejoined, “by a little engineering art, could render Limburg impregnable to the French or any others.”They repaired to the carriage, which was immediately ordered. Not a word was spoken until they reached the palace. Wilhelmina did not venture to ask any questions. Fearing that her brother was dead, she was in terrible trepidation. Having arrived at the palace, Madam Sonsfeld informed her of the contents of the dispatch.
THE EMPRESS CATHARINE.The captive Crown Prince was conveyed from Wesel to the castle of Mittenwalde, where he was imprisoned in a room without furniture or bed. An old chest which chanced to be there was his only seat. One of the king’s favorite ministers, Grumkow, with other officials, was sent to interrogate him. The prince, probably aware that nothing which he could now do could make matters worse than they actually were, displayed much spirit in the interview. Frankly avowing his intention to escape, he refused to make any disclosures which should implicate his friends. Grumkow insolently informed him that the101 use of the rack was not yet abolished in his majesty’s dominions, and that, if he were not more pliant, the energies of that instrument might be called into requisition. Frederick admitted afterward that his blood ran cold at that suggestion. Still he had the nerve to reply, according to the testimony of Wilhelmina,
“Hardly,” he replied, “in that dress. Besides, your majesty has grown thinner.”
Soon after, a soldier, six feet three inches tall, the ringleader of a gang, broke into a house and robbed it of property to the amount of about five thousand dollars. He was sentenced to be hung. We give the result in the words of Carlyle:One evening in April, the king, feeling a little better, decided to dress and hold a tobacco parliament, as formerly. Quite a numerous party of his customary cabinet was assembled, and the circle was full. The pipes were lighted; the king was in good-humor; the beer-pots circulated merrily; and as every one made an effort to be agreeable, the scene was unusually animated. Quite unexpectedly, in the midst of the lively talk, the door opened, and the Crown Prince entered. Simultaneously, as by a183 common instinct, the whole company arose and bowed profoundly to the young prince. The king was exceedingly annoyed. Trembling with rage, he exclaimed,
“Europe is under the necessity of taking some speedy resolution, things are in such a state of crisis. Like a fever in a human body, got to such a height that quinquina becomes necessary. Shall we apply to Vienna, your majesty?”THE EMPRESS CATHARINE.“The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”
The Dauphiness of France was daughter of the King of Poland. With tears she craved protection for her parents. The Duchess of Pompadour was anxious to show her gratitude to407 Maria Theresa, who had condescended to address her as a “cousin and a dear sister.” A French army of one hundred thousand men was soon on the march to aid Austria in the liberation of Saxony. At the same time, an Austrian army of sixty thousand men, under Marshal Browne, was advancing rapidly from Bohemia to penetrate the fastnesses of the mountains for the release of the Polish king.
It was a glorious victory. What was the price? Five thousand six hundred Prussian young men lay in their blood upon the field, dead or wounded. Six thousand seven hundred young men from Austrian homes lay by their side, silent in death, or groaning in anguish, lacerated by the missiles of war.But, in the midst of these scenes of gayety, the king was contemplating the most complicated combinations of diplomacy. Europe was apparently thrown into a state of chaos. It was Frederick’s one predominant thought to see what advantages he could secure to Prussia from the general wreck and ruin. Lord Macaulay, speaking of these scenes, says:详情
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