Frederick returned to Ruppin. Though he treated his wife with ordinary courtesy, as an honored member of the court, his attentions were simply such as were due to every lady of the royal household. It does not appear that she accompanied him to Ruppin or to Reinsberg at that time, though the apartments to which we have already alluded were subsequently provided for her at Reinsberg, where she was ever treated with the most punctilious politeness. Lord Dover says that after the accession of the prince to the throne he went to see his wife but once a year, on her birthday. She resided most of the time at Berlin, surrounded by a quiet little court there. However keen may have been her sufferings in view of this cruel neglect, we have165 no record that any word of complaint was ever heard to escape her lips. “This poor Crown Princess, afterward queen,” says Carlyle, “has been heard, in her old age, reverting in a touching, transient way to the glad days she had at Reinsberg. Complaint openly was never heard of her in any kind of days; but these, doubtless, were the best of her life.”On the 10th of August there was a magnificent review of the Prussian army on the plain of Strehlin, to which all the foreign embassadors were invited. During the night of the 9th, General Schwerin and Prince Leopold, with eight thousand Prussian troops, horse and foot, arrived in the southwestern suburbs of Breslau, and, at six o’clock in the morning, demanded simply a passage through the city for their regiments and baggage, on the march to attack a marauding band of the Austrians on the other side of the Oder.At the bridges Frederick found but three thousand men of his late army. The huts around were filled with the wounded and the dying, presenting an aspect of misery which, in these hours of terrible defeat, appalled his majesty. In one of these huts, surrounded by mutilated bodies, groans, and death, Frederick wrote the following dispatch to his minister (Finckenstein) at Berlin. It was dated Oetscher, August 12, 1759:
About thirty miles southeast of Breslau is the pleasant little town of Ohlau, situated in the delta formed by the junction of the Ohlau River with the Oder. It was a place of some strength, and the Austrian authorities had thrown into it a garrison of three hundred men. Frederick appeared before its gates on the morning of January the 9th. He immediately sent in the following summons to the garrison: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.
“Now, as I hope that his present situation, and the execution which has just taken place before his eyes, will touch and soften his heart, and will lead him to better sentiments, I charge you, as you value your conscience, to do all that is humanly possible to represent forcibly to the prince these things; and particularly, in what relates to predestination, to convince him by means of passages from the Scriptures which satisfactorily prove what I wish you to advance.”“If you wish to come hither you can. I hear nothing of lawsuits, not even of yours. Since you have gained it I congratulate389 you, and I am glad that this scurvy affair is done.96 I hope you will have no more quarrels, either with the Old or the New Testament. Such contentions leave their mark upon a man. Even with the talents of the finest genius in France, you will not cover the stains which this conduct will fasten on your reputation in the long run. I write this letter with the rough common sense of a German, without employing equivocal terms which disfigure the truth. It is for you to profit by it.”
“I have been assured that you are an honest and pious clergyman, and a faithful minister of the Word of God. Since, therefore, you are going to Cüstrin, on account of the execution of111 Lieutenant Katte, I command you, after the execution, to pay a visit to the Prince Royal; to reason with him and to represent to him that whosoever abandons God is also abandoned by God; and that, when God has abandoned a man, and has taken away his grace from him, that man is incapable of doing what is good, and can only do what is evil. You will exhort him to repent, and to ask pardon for the many sins he has committed, and into which he has seduced others, one of whom has been just punished with death.“One day the king entered the town of Collin, with his horse and foot guard and the whole of the baggage. We had but four small field-pieces with us. The squadron to which I belonged was placed in the suburb. In the evening our advanced posts were driven back into the town, and the huzzas of the enemy followed them pell-mell. All the country around was covered with the light troops of the Austrians. My commandant sent me to the king to take his orders.
Frederick William, the Crown Prince, was at the time of the birth of his son Frederick twenty-four years of age. He was a22 very peculiar man, sturdy and thick-set in figure, of strong mental powers, but quite uneducated. He was unpolished in manners, rude in his address, honest and sincere, a stern, persevering worker, despising all luxurious indulgence, and excessively devoted to the routine of military duties.“It seems that in Poland the Austrians have only to stoop and pick up what they like. If the court of Vienna has the intention to dismember that kingdom, its neighbors will have the right to take their share.”185
“Now thank God, one and all, With heart, with voice, with hands, Who wonders great hath done To us and to all lands.”115
Thus parted these remarkable men, who were never destined to meet again.“In this tremor of my heart,” writes Linsenbarth, “there came a valet out of the palace and asked, ‘Where is the man that was with my king in the garden?’ I answered, ‘Here.’ He led me into the palace to a large room, where pages, lackeys, and soldier valets were about. My valet took me to a little table excellently furnished with soup, beef; likewise carp, dressed with garden salad; likewise game, with cucumber salad; bread, knife, fork, plate, spoon were all there. My valet set me a chair, and said,详情
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