“‘Look at the queen, then,’ she added, ‘and you will cease to reproach me.’c. Prussian Infantry.
While these scenes were transpiring the Crown Prince was habitually residing at Potsdam, a favorite royal residence about seventeen miles west from Berlin. Here he was rigidly attending to his duties in the giant regiment. We have now, in our narrative, reached the year 1727. Fritz is fifteen years of age. He is attracting attention by his vivacity, his ingenuous, agreeable manners, and his fondness for polite literature. He occasionally is summoned by his father to the Smoking Cabinet. But the delicacy of his physical organization is such that he loathes tobacco, and only pretends to smoke, with mock gravity puffing from his empty, white clay pipe. Neither has he any relish for the society which he meets there. Though faithful to the mechanical duties of the drill, they were very irksome to him. His books and his flute were his chief joy. Voltaire was just then rising to celebrity in France. His writings began to attract the attention of literary men throughout Europe. Fritz, in his youthful enthusiasm, was charmed by them. In the latter part of June, 1729, a courier brought the intelligence to Berlin that George I. had suddenly died of apoplexy. He was on a journey to Hanover when he was struck down on the road. Almost insensible, he was conveyed, on the full gallop, to Osnabrück, where his brother, who was a bishop, resided, and where medical aid could be obtained. But the shaft was fatal. At midnight his carriage reached Osnabrück. The old man, sixty-seven years of age, was heard to murmur, “It is all over with me,” and his spirit passed away to the judgment.
Two Silesian barons called upon him, and presented a protest from the authorities they represented against his meditated invasion, the design of which was now manifest to all. The king received them very courteously, tossed the protest to a secretary223 to file away or to cast into the waste-paper basket, and invited the two gentlemen to dine with him.
But Frederick did not seem to think himself at all bound by his treaty obligations with France to refrain from entering into secret arrangements with the foe which would promote his interests, however antagonistic those arrangements might be to his assumed obligations. He was the ally of France in the attempt to wrest territory from the young Queen of Austria, and to weaken her power. His armies and those of France were acting in co-operation. Frederick now proposed to the common enemy that, if Silesia were surrendered to him, he would no longer act in co-operation with his ally; but, that France might not discover his perfidy, he would still pretend to make war. The Austrians were to amuse themselves in defending Neisse from a sham siege until the pleasant weeks of autumn were gone, and then they were to march, with all their guns and ammunition, south to Vienna, there to fight the French. Frederick, still assuming that he was the ally of France, was to avail himself of the excuse that the season of ice and snow was at hand, and withdraw into winter quarters. Such, in general, were the terms which Frederick authorized his minister, Goltz, to propose to Lord Hyndford, as the agent of England and Austria.This volume is intended to give a clear and correct idea of the man—of his public and private character, and of his career. It would be difficult to find, in the whole range of English literature, a theme more full of the elements of entertainment and instruction.308
On Sunday morning, January 15th, the deadly, concentric fire of shot and shell was opened upon the crowded city, where women and children, torn by war’s merciless missiles, ran to and fro frantic with terror. The dreadful storm continued to rage, with but few intermissions, until Wednesday. Still there were no signs of surrender. The king, though his head-quarters were a few miles distant, at Ottmachau, was almost constantly on the ground superintending every thing. As he felt sure of the entire conquest of Silesia, the whole province being now in his possession except three small towns, he looked anxiously upon the destruction which his own balls and bombs were effecting. He was destroying his own property.
“If it be true that you design to attack me again, I declare to you that I have still health enough to find you, wherever you are, and to take the most signal vengeance upon you. Thank the respect and obedience which have hitherto restrained my arm, and saved you from the worst adventure you have ever had.详情
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