Instantly the Prussian troops were ordered to the right about. Rapidly retracing their steps through the streets of Leipe, much to the surprise of its inhabitants, they pressed on seven miles farther toward Ohlau, and encamped for the night. The anxiety of Frederick in these hours when he was retiring before the foe, and when there was every probability of his incurring disgrace instead of gaining honor, must have been dreadful. There was no sleep for him that night. The Prussians were almost surrounded by the Austrians, and it was quite certain that the morrow would usher in a battle. Oppressed by the peril of his position, the king, during the night, wrote to his brother Augustus252 William, who was at Breslau, as follows. The letter was dated at the little village of Pogerell, where the king had taken shelter.
On the 16th the battered, smouldering, blood-stained city was surrendered, with its garrison of sixteen thousand men. The prisoners of war were marched off to Frederick’s strong places in the north. Prague was compelled to take the oath of allegiance to the emperor, and to pay a ransom of a million of dollars. Abundant stores of provision and ammunition were found in the city. It was a brilliant opening of the campaign.The battle of Torgau is to be numbered among the most bloody of the Seven Years’ War. The Austrians lost twelve thousand in killed and wounded, eight thousand prisoners, forty-five cannon, and twenty-nine flags. The Prussian loss was also very heavy. There were fourteen thousand killed or wounded, and four thousand taken prisoners.
“Your excellency does not know that wily enemy, the King of Prussia, as well as I do. By no means get into a battle with him. Cautiously man?uvre about. Detain him there till I have got my stroke in Saxony done. Don’t try fighting him.
When they reached Strasbourg they provided themselves with French dresses. The king and his brother put up at different inns, that they might be less liable to suspicion. Frederick,200 with several of his party, took lodgings at the Raven Hotel. He sent the landlord out to invite several army officers to sup with a foreign gentleman, Count Dufour, from Bohemia, who was an entire stranger in the place. Some of the officers very peremptorily declined the invitation, considering it an imposition. Three, however, allured by the singularity of the summons, repaired to the inn. The assumed count received them with great courtesy, apologized for the liberty he had taken, thanked them for their kindness, and assured them that, being a stranger, he was very happy to make the acquaintance of so many brave officers, whose society he valued above that of all others.Voltaire, in summing up a sketch of this campaign of 1757, writes in characteristic phrase:The young officers in the Saxon army, having disposed their troops in comfortable barracks, had established their own head-quarters in the magnificent castle of Budischau, in the vicinity303 of Trebitsch. “Nothing like this superb mansion,” writes Stille, “is to be seen except in theatres, on the drop-scene of the enchanted castle.” Here these young lords made themselves very comfortable. They had food in abundance, luxuriously served, with the choicest wines. Roaring fires in huge stoves converted, within the walls, winter into genial summer. Here these pleasure-loving nobles, with song, and wine, and such favorites, male and female, as they carried with them, loved to linger.
Linsenbarth, thus left alone, sauntered from the garden back to the esplanade. There he stood quite bewildered. He had walked that day twenty miles beneath a July sun and over the burning sands. He had eaten nothing. He had not a farthing in his pocket.The Palace of Wusterhausen.—Wilhelmina and Fritz.—Education of the Crown Prince.—Rising Dislike of the Father for his Son.—The Mother’s Sympathy.—The double Marriage.—Character of George I.—The King of England visits Berlin.—Wilhelmina’s Account of the Interview.—Sad Fate of the Wife of George I.—The Giant Guard.—Despotism of Frederick William.—The Tobacco Parliament.—A brutal Scene.—Death of George I.—The Royal Family of Prussia.—Augustus, King of Poland.—Corruption of his Court.—Cruel Treatment of Fritz.—Insane Conduct of the King.
a a. Austrian Army. b b. Position of Saxon Forepost, under Nostitz. c c. Advance of Prussian Army. d. Lucchesi’s Cavalry, re-enforced by Daun. e. Left Wing, under Nadasti. f. Frederick’s Hill of Observation. g g. Prussian Army about to attack. h. Ziethen’s Cavalry. i i i. Retreat of Austrians.
“I took my brother by the hand, and implored the king to restore his affection to him. This scene was so touching that it drew tears from all present. I then approached the queen. She was obliged to embrace me, the king being close opposite. But I remarked that her joy was only affected. I turned to my brother again. I gave him a thousand caresses, to all which he remained cold as ice, and answered only in monosyllables. I presented to him my husband, to whom he did not say one word. I was astonished at this; but I laid the blame of it on the king, who was observing us, and who I judged might be intimidating my brother. But even the countenance of my brother surprised me. He wore a proud air, and seemed to look down upon every body.”
The shrewd foresight of Frederick, and his rapidly developing military ability, had kept his army in the highest state of discipline, while his magazines were abundantly stored with all needful supplies. It was written at the time:“At last, about nine, somebody brought word that my brother had changed his route and gone to Culmbach, there to stay overnight. I was for setting out thither. Culmbach is twenty miles from Berneck. But the roads are frightful, and full of precipices. Every body rose in opposition. And whether I would or not they put me into the carriage for Himmelkron, which is only about ten miles off. We had like to have got drowned on the road, the waters were so swollen. The horses could not cross but by swimming.详情
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