It was soon ascertained that the main body of the Austrian249 army was fifteen miles to the southwest, at Freudenthal, pressing on toward Neisse. General Neipperg, without the slightest suspicion that Frederick was any where in his vicinity, had sent aside a reconnoitring party of skirmishers to ascertain if there were any Prussians at Jagerndorf. General Neipperg, at Freudenthal, was as near Neisse as Frederick was at Jagerndorf.
“I bequeath eight thousand crowns (00) to my domestics. All that I have elsewhere depends on you. To each of my brothers and sisters make a present in my name; a thousand affectionate regards to my sister at Baireuth. You know what I think on their score; and you know, better than I can tell you, the tenderness and all the sentiments of most inviolable friendship with which I am, dearest brother, your faithful brother and servant till death,
These men, of the highest distinction, were treated with every indignity to extort the money from them. They were incarcerated in gloomy dungeons, with straw only for their beds, and with bread and water only for their food. But even this severity was unavailing. Seventeen were then selected from their number, and were informed that they were to be forced into the ranks as common soldiers. Their muskets and their knapsacks were given to them, and they were ordered to Magdeburg to be drilled. By this application of torture the money was obtained. And now, while the storms of winter were sweeping the frozen fields, both parties were gathering their strength anew for the struggle of the sixth campaign.
“Potsdam, February 24, 1751.
“From of old, life has been infinitely contemptible to him. In death, I think, he has neither fear nor hope. Atheism, truly, he never could abide: to him, as to all of us, it was flatly inconceivable that intellect, moral emotion, could have been put into him by an Entity that had none of its own. But there, pretty much, his Theism seems to have stopped. Instinctively; too, he believed, no man more firmly, that Right alone has ultimately any strength in this world: ultimately, yes; but for him and his poor brief interests, what good was it? Hope for himself in divine Justice, in divine Providence, I think he had not practically any: that the unfathomable Demiurgus should concern himself with such a set of paltry, ill-given animalcules as one’s self and mankind570 are, this also, as we have often noticed, is in the main incredible to him.The End
“When godless fellows about you speak against your duties to God, the king, and your country, fall instantly on your knees and pray with your whole soul to Jesus Christ to deliver you from such wickedness, and lead you on better ways. And if it come in earnest from your heart, Jesus, who would have all men saved, will not leave you unheard.It is unquestionable that the mental discipline acquired by this elevated course, to which he consecrated so diligently his hours, prepared him for the wonderful career upon which he soon entered, and enabled him to act with efficiency which filled Europe with his renown.There was an institution, if we may so call it, in the palace of the King of Prussia which became greatly renowned, and which was denominated “The Tobacco College,” or “Tobacco Parliament.” It consisted simply of a smoking-room very plainly furnished,46 where the king and about a dozen of his confidential advisers met to smoke and to talk over, with perfect freedom and informality, affairs of state. Carlyle thus quaintly describes this Tabagie:
On the morning of the 17th of May Frederick’s army was drawn out in battle array, facing south, near the village of Chotusitz, about fifteen miles west of Chrudim. Almost within cannon-shot of him, upon the same plain, near the village of Czaslau, facing north, was the army of Prince Charles. The field was like a rolling western prairie, with one or two sluggish streams running through it; and here and there marshes, which neither infantry nor cavalry could traverse. The accompanying map will give the reader an idea of the nature of the ground and the position of the hostile forces.Frederick, finding that he could not rely upon the Saxons, sent to Silesia for re-enforcements of his own troops. Brünn could not be taken without siege artillery. He was capturing Moravia for the King of Poland. Frederick dispatched a courier to his Polish majesty at Dresden, requesting him immediately to forward the siege guns. The reply of the king, who was voluptuously lounging in his palaces, was, “I can not meet the expense of the carriage.” Frederick contemptuously remarked, “He has just purchased a green diamond which would have carried them thither and back again.” The Prussian king sent for siege artillery of his own, drew his lines close around Brünn, and urged Chevalier De Saxe, general of the Saxon horse, to co-operate with him energetically in battering the city into a surrender.305 The chevalier interposed one obstacle, and another, and another. At last he replied, showing his dispatches, “I have orders to retire from this business altogether, and join the French at Prague.”
“And how sad for mankind that the very interpreters of Heaven’s commandments—the theologians, I mean—are sometimes the most dangerous of all! professed messengers of the Divinity, yet men sometimes of obscure ideas and pernicious behavior, their soul blown out with mere darkness, full of gall and pride in proportion as it is empty of truths. Every thinking being who is not of their opinion is an atheist; and every king who does not favor them will be damned. Dangerous to the very throne, and yet intrinsically insignificant.
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573 He left a small sum for the support of his amiable, blameless, and neglected queen, saying, “She never gave me the least uneasiness during my whole reign, and she merits every attention and respect for her many and unshaken virtues.”“Never have my troops,” writes Frederick, “done such miracles of valor, cavalry as well as infantry, since I had the honor to command them. By this dead-lift achievement I have seen what they can do.”
Taking off his hat, he slightly saluted them, and retired behind the curtain into the interior tent.The Austrian general, flushed with victory, at the head of eighty thousand troops, encamped in strong positions a few miles east of Frederick, on the road to Neisse, in Silesia. Narrowly he watched the movements of his Prussian majesty, but he did not venture to molest him. Neisse was at that time closely besieged by the Austrians. It would inevitably soon fall into their hands unless Frederick could march to its succor. The great strategic object of the Austrian commander was so to block up the road as to prevent the advance of the Prussian troops. Frederick, despising the inactivity of his cautious foe, said to his brother,详情
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