类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-10-31 18:34:09


As the king was about to embark upon this enterprise, it was proposed to place upon the banners the words “For God and our Country.” But Frederick struck out the words “For God,” saying that it was improper to introduce the name of the Deity into the quarrels of men, and that he was embarking in war to gain a province, not for religion.43 In a brief speech to his soldiers he said,“My dear Sister,—Here I am, within six leagues of a sister I love, and I have to decide that it will be impossible to see her after all. I have never so lamented the misfortune of not depending on myself as at this moment. The king being very sour sweet on my score, I dare not risk the least thing. A week from next Monday, when he arrives himself, I should be queerly treated in the camp if I were found to have disobeyed orders.

“My dear General,—While in Silesia I mentioned to you, and will now repeat in writing, that my army in Silesia was at no time so bad as at present. Were I to make shoemakers or tailors into generals, the regiments could not be worse. Regiment Thadden is not fit to be the most insignificant militia battalion of a Prussian army. Of the regiment Erlach, the men are so spoiled by smuggling they have no resemblance to soldiers; Keller is like a heap of undrilled boors; Hager has a miserable commander; and your own regiment is very mediocre. Only with Graf Von Anhalt, with Wendessen, and Markgraf Heinrich could I be content. See you, that is the state I found the regiments in, one after one. I will now speak of their man?uvring.The reader of these pages will be oppressed with the consciousness of how vast a proportion of the miseries of humanity is caused by the cruelty of man to his brother man. This globe might be a very happy home for those who dwell upon it. But its history, during the last six thousand years, has presented one of the most appalling tragedies of which the imagination can conceive. Among all the renowned warriors of the past, but few can be found who have contributed more to fill the world with desolated homes, with the moans of the dying, with the cry of the widow and the orphan, than Frederick the Great; but he laid the foundations of an empire which is at this moment the most potent upon the globe.

“Hurl them out,” he wrote. “Gather twenty, thirty thousand men, if need be. Let there be no delay. I will as soon be pitched out of Brandenburg as out of Silesia.”

“I was sitting quiet in my apartment, busy with work, and some one reading to me, when the queen’s ladies rushed in, with a torrent of domestics in their rear, who all bawled out, putting one knee to the ground, that they were come to salute the Princess of Wales. I fairly believed these poor people had lost their wits. They would not cease overwhelming me with noise and tumult; their joy was so great they knew not what they did. When the farce had lasted some time, they told me what had occurred at the dinner.From this exhausting journey for so old a man the king returned to Potsdam through a series of state dinners, balls, and illuminations. On the night of the 18th of September he was awoke by a very severe fit of suffocation. It was some time before he could get any relief, and it was thought that he was dying. The next day gout set in severely. This was followed by dropsy. The king suffered severely through the winter. There is no royal road through the sick-chamber to the tomb. The weary months of pain and languor came and went. The renowned Mirabeau visited the king in his sick-chamber on the 17th of April, 1786. He writes:And thus the king passed from regiment to regiment. Perhaps no commander, excepting Napoleon, has ever secured to an equal degree the love of his soldiers. It is said that a deserter was brought before him.

Frederick was overjoyed. He regarded the day as his own, and the Russian army as at his mercy. He sent a dispatch to anxious Berlin, but sixty miles distant: “The Russians are beaten. Rejoice with me.” It was one of the hottest of August days, without a breath of wind. Nearly every soldier of the Prussian army had been brought into action against the left wing only of the foe. After a long march and an exhausting fight, they were perishing with thirst. For twelve hours many of them had been without water. Panting with heat, thirst, and exhaustion, they were scarcely capable of any farther efforts.“I grant it, my dear D’Arget,” said the king, “but it is too372 dangerous a part to play. A reverse brings me to the edge of ruin. I know too well the mood of mind I was in the last time I left Berlin ever to expose myself to it again. If luck had been against me there, I saw myself a monarch without a throne. A bad game that. In fine, I wish to be at peace.For fifteen years she had been a mourning widow. Her husband had died on the 18th of August. The 18th day of every month had since then been a day of solitary prayer. On the 18th of every August she descended into the tomb, and sat for560 a season engaged in prayer by the side of the mouldering remains of her spouse.

It must be borne in mind that these words were written after Voltaire had quarreled with Frederick, and when it seems to have been his desire to represent all the acts of the king in as unfavorable a light as possible. Frederick himself, about eight years after the settlement of the Herstal difficulty, gave the following as his version of the affair:“We have been unfortunate, my dear marquis, but not by my fault. The victory was ours, and would even have been a complete one, when our infantry lost patience, and at the wrong moment abandoned the field of battle. The Russian infantry is almost totally destroyed. Of my own wrecks, all that I have been able to assemble amounts to thirty-two thousand men. With these I am pushing on to throw myself across the enemy’s road, and either perish or save the capital. This is not what you will call a deficiency of resolution.

186 “The next day the battalions will be formed in complete order, each grenadier with three cartridges. Crape will be placed about the colors, the drums, the fifes, and hautboys. Every officer will have crape on his hat, around his arm, and on the hilt of his sword. The funeral car will be placed near the green staircase, with the heads of the horses toward the river. Eight captains of my regiment will carry me toward the funeral car. These eight captains will also take me out of the car, and carry me into the church.Thus affairs continued through the winter. There were two frostbitten armies facing each other on the bleak plains. With apparently not much to be gained in presenting this front of defiance,496 each party breasted the storms and the freezing gales, alike refusing to yield one inch of ground.



The king, as usual, was merciless to General Finck. As soon as he returned from Austrian captivity he was tried by court-martial, and condemned to a year’s imprisonment in the fortress of Spandau, and was expelled from the army. He afterward retired to Denmark, where he was kindly received.Poor Valori, the French embassador, was placed in a very embarrassing situation. The anger of the Prussian king vented itself upon him. He was in complete disgrace. It was his duty daily to wait upon Frederick. But the king would seldom speak to him, or even look upon him; and if he did favor him with a glance, it was with an expression of scorn.

Sont pour jamais perdus dans les charrains.”Ringing violently for his servants, and deaf to all protestations and excuses, he had himself immediately rolled from the room. As the courtiers stood bewildered and gazing at each other in consternation, an officer came in with an order from the king that they should all leave the palace immediately, and come not back again. The next morning P?llnitz, who occupied a position somewhat similar to that of prime minister, applied for admission to his majesty’s apartment. But a gendarme seized him by the shoulder and turned him around, saying, “There is no admittance.” It was several days, and not till after repeated acts of humiliation, that the king would permit any member of the parliament again to enter his presence.


Copyright © 2020