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The English envoy, Sir Guy Dickens, being utterly baffled in all his endeavors to discover the enterprise upon which the king was about to embark, wrote to his court:Singularly enough, the very next day Frederick received an express from the Divan requesting him, with the aid of Austria, to mediate peace with Russia. The Turks had encountered such reverses that they were anxious to sheathe the sword. Frederick with great joy undertook the mediation. But he found the mediation far more difficult than he had imagined. Catharine and Maria Theresa, so totally different in character, entertained a rooted aversion to each other. The complications were so great that month after month the deliberations were continued unavailingly. Maria Theresa was unrelentingly opposed to the advance of Russia upon Constantinople.

After some man?uvring, the hostile forces met upon a wide, dreary, undulating plain, with here and there a hillock, in the vicinity of Rossbach. Frederick had twenty thousand men. The French general, Prince Soubise, had sixty thousand. The allies now felt sure of their prey. Their plan was to surround Frederick, destroy his army, and take him a prisoner. On the morning of the 5th of November the two hostile armies were nearly facing each other, a few miles west of the River Saale. A party of Austrians was sent by the general of the allies to destroy the bridges upon the river in the rear of the Prussians, that their retreat might be cut off. Frederick, from a house-top, eagerly watched the movement of his foes. To his surprise and great431 satisfaction, he soon saw the whole allied army commencing a circuitous march around his left to fall upon him in his rear.

“Russia may be counted as the bigger half of all he had to strive with; the bigger, or at least the far uglier, more ruinous, and incendiary; and, if this were at once taken away, think what a daybreak when the night was at the blackest.”170In carrying out these measures of partition, which the world has usually regarded as one of the most atrocious acts of robbery on record, resort was had both to bribery and force. The King of Poland was the obsequious servant of Catharine. A common fund was raised by the three powers to bribe the members of the Polish diet. Each of the confederate powers also sent an army to the Polish frontiers, ready to unite and crush the distracted people should there be any forcible resistance. Thus the deed was accomplished.Lord Hyndford here came to the rescue of his colleague, and said, meekly,

MAP ILLUSTRATING THE MOLLWITZ CAMPAIGN.

The next morning Frederick crossed the river to Reitwein, on the western bank. Here, during the day, broken bands of his army came in to the number of twenty-three thousand. It would seem that a night of refreshing sleep had so far recruited the exhausted energies of the king that he was enabled to look a little more calmly upon the ruin which enveloped him. He that day wrote as follows from Reitwein to General Schmettau, who was in command of the Prussian garrison at Dresden:“I am in the condition of a traveler who sees himself surrounded421 and ready to be assassinated by a troop of cut-throats, who intend to share his spoils. Since the league of Cambrai105 there is no example of such a conspiracy as that infamous triumvirate, Austria, France, Russia, now forms against me. Was it ever before seen that three great princes laid plot in concert to destroy a fourth who had done nothing against them? I have not had the least quarrel either with France or with Russia, still less with Sweden.

In return, Voltaire compliments the king very profusely. Speaking of the book of the royal author, the Anti-Machiavel, he writes:Thus the employments of every hour were strictly specified for every day in the week. On Wednesday he had a partial36 holiday. After half past nine, having finished his history and “got something by heart to strengthen the memory, Fritz shall rapidly dress himself and come to the king, and the rest of the day belongs to little Fritz.” On Saturday he was to be reviewed in all the studies of the week, “to see whether he has profited. General Finkenstein and Colonel Kalkstein shall be present during this. If Fritz has profited, the afternoon shall be his own. If he has not profited, he shall from two o’clock till six repeat and learn rightly what he has forgotten on the past days. In undressing and dressing, you must accustom him to get out of and into his clothes as fast as is humanly possible. You will also look that he learn to put on and put off his clothes himself, without help from others, and that he be clean, and neat, and not so dirty.”

The queen remained firm in her determination that Wilhelmina should marry the Prince of Wales. The king was equally inflexible in his resolve that she should not marry the Prince of Wales. The queen occasionally had interviews with Wilhelmina, when they wept together over their disappointments and trials. The spirited young princess had no special predilections for the English prince, but she was firm in her resolve not to have a repugnant husband forced upon her. On the night of the 27th of January, 1731, as the queen was about to leave Berlin for Potsdam, she said to her daughter,“The day before yesterday, in all churches, was prayer to Heaven for success to your majesty’s arms, interest of the Protestant religion being one cause of the war, or the only one assigned by the reverend gentleman. At the sound of these words the zeal of the people kindles. ‘Bless God for raising such a defender! Who dared suspect our king’s indifference to Protestantism?

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THE BETROTHAL.“Unless one day the tumult of business and the wickedness of men alter so divine a character, you will be worshiped by your people and loved by the whole world. Philosophers, worthy of the name, will flock to your states. The illustrious Queen Christina quitted her kingdom to go in search of the arts. Reign you, Monseigneur, and the arts will come to seek you.

On Tuesday, the 20th of November, 1731, Wilhelmina, eight months after her betrothal, was married to the Prince of Baireuth. The marriage ceremony was attended with great magnificence in the royal palace of Berlin. The father of Frederick William, who was fond of pageantry, had reared one of the most sumptuous mansions in Europe, and had furnished it with splendor which no other court could outvie. Entering the interior of the palace through the outer saloon, one passed through nine apartments en suite, of grand dimensions, magnificently decorated, the last of which opened into the picture-gallery, a room ninety feet in length, and of corresponding breadth. All these were in a line. Then turning, you entered a series of fourteen rooms, each more splendid than the preceding. The chandeliers were of massive solid silver. The ceilings were exquisitely painted130 by Correggio. Between each pair of windows there were mirrors twelve feet high, and of such width that before each mirror tables could be spread for twelve guests. The last of these magnificent apartments, called the Grand Saloon, was illuminated by “a lustre weighing fifty thousand crowns; the globe of it big enough to hold a child of eight years, and the branches of solid silver.”81 The object of Colonel Hotham’s mission was well known. The cordial reception he had met from the king indicated that his message was not an unwelcome one to his Prussian majesty. In the indecent hilarity of the hour, it was assumed that the marriage contract between Wilhelmina and the Prince of Wales was settled. Brains addled with wine gave birth to stupid jokes upon the subject. “A German ducat was to be exchanged for an English half guinea.” At last, in the semi-delirium of their intoxication, one proposed as a toast, “To the health of Wilhelmina, Princess of Wales.” The sentiment was received with uproarious jollity. Though all the company were in the same state of silly inebriation, neither the king nor the British ministers, Hotham and Dubourgay, for a moment lost sight of their settled policy. The king remained firm in his silent resolve to consent only to the marriage of Wilhelmina and the Prince of Wales. Hotham and Dubourgay could not swerve from the positive instructions which they had received, to insist upon both marriages or neither. Thus, notwithstanding this bacchanal jollification, neither party was disposed to swerve a hair’s breadth from its fixed resolve, and the question was no nearer a settlement than before.

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