The king then took the pen himself, and added with his own hand:Maria Theresa was developing character which attracted the admiration of Europe. She seriously contemplated taking command of her armies herself. She loved Duke Francis, her husband, treated him very tenderly, and was anxious to confer upon him honor; but by nature vastly his superior, instinctively she assumed the command. She led; he followed. She was a magnificent rider. Her form was the perfection of grace. Her beautiful, pensive, thoughtful face was tanned by the weather. All hearts throbbed as, on a spirited charger, she sometimes swept before the ranks of the army, with her gorgeous retinue, appearing and disappearing like a meteor. She was as devout as she317 was brave, winning the homage of all Catholic hearts. We know not where, in the long list of sovereigns, to point to man or woman of more imperial energies, of more exalted worth.
Two days after committing this important document to Count Finck, Frederick took leave of his mother and his brother. His mother he never saw again. We have no evidence that on this visit he even called upon his irreproachable, amiable, neglected wife. In preparation for the worst, Frederick had provided poison for himself, and wore it constantly about his person. It consisted of several small pills in a glass tube. This fact is fully established.“We had just arrived there when it began to rain heavily, and the night became exceedingly dark. About nine o’clock one of the Austrian generals approached us with his light troops, and set fire to the houses close to which we were posted. By the blaze of the conflagration he soon discovered us, and began firing at us from the windows. The town was so full that it was impossible for us to find a place in it. Besides, the gate was barricaded, and from the top they were firing at us with our small field-pieces, which they had captured.
His Prussian majesty carefully examined the position of the Saxons. They were in a region of precipices and chasms, broken into a labyrinth of sky-piercing and craggy rocks. The eminences, in some cases, rose two thousand feet, and were covered with pine forests. “There is no stronger position in the world,” Frederick writes. All these passes were fortified, mile after mile, by batteries, ramparts, palisades, and abattis. But the Saxon troops, taken unawares, had but a small supply of provisions. Frederick decided to block every entrance to their encampment, and thus to starve them out. His Polish majesty sent frantic cries to France and Austria for help. Frederick was assailed with the title of the “Prussian robber.”In a very triumphant mood, the king, on the 19th of November, wrote a boastful and irreverent “Ode to Fortune,” in that easy rhyme which he called poetry. The substance of this ode, translated into prose, was as follows:
On the 16th of November General Neipperg broke up his camp at Neisse, according to the arrangement and, leaving a small garrison in the city to encounter the sham siege, defiled through the mountains on the south into Moravia. The Prussians, pretending to pursue, hung upon his rear for a short distance, making as much noise and inflicting as little harm as possible. General Neipperg pressed rapidly on to Vienna, where he was exultingly welcomed to aid in defending the city menaced by the French.
44 Prussian recruiters were sent in all directions to search with eagle eyes for candidates for the Potsdam Guard. Their pay was higher than that of any other troops, and they enjoyed unusual privileges. Their drill and discipline were as perfect as could by any possibility be achieved. The following stories are apparently well-authenticated, describing the means to which the king often resorted to obtain these men.
With the last day threatened mankind.详情
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