Deceptive Measures of Frederick.—Plans for the Invasion of Silesia.—Avowed Reasons for the Invasion.—The Ball in Berlin.—The March of the Army.—Hardships and Successes.—Letter to Voltaire.—Capture of Glogau.—Capture of Brieg.—Bombardment of Neisse.When Fritz was seven years of age, he was taken from the care of his female teachers and placed under tutors who had been carefully selected for him. They were all military officers who had won renown on fields of blood. The first of these was M. Duhan, a French gentleman of good birth and acquirements. He was but thirty years of age. By his accomplishments he won the esteem, and by his amiability the love, of his pupil. Count Finkenstein, the second, was a veteran general, sixty years old, who also secured the affections of little Fritz. Colonel Kalkstein was twenty-eight years of age. He was a thorough soldier and a man of honor. For forty years, until his death, he retained the regards of his pupil, who was ever accustomed to speak of him as “my master Kalkstein.” In the education of the young32 prince every thing was conducted in accordance with the most inflexible routine. From the minute directions given to the teachers in a document drawn up by the father, bunglingly expressed and wretchedly spelled, we cull out the following:
“I replied, ‘You are in such a humor I know not what to make of it.’Sir Thomas hastened back to Presburg in despair. Feeling the “game was up,” and that there was no more hope, he asked permission to return home. The British cabinet was in a state of consternation. France, the dreaded rival of England, was attaining almost sovereign power over the Continent of Europe. Frederick himself was uneasy. He had sufficient penetration to be fully aware that he was aiding to create a resistless power, which might, by-and-by, crush him. Sir Thomas, in a state of great agitation, which was manifest in his disordered style, wrote from Presburg to Lord Hyndford at Breslau as follows. The letter was dated September 8, 1741.
Upon the ensuing day, having received the answer from Vienna, he wrote to his brother:Frederick regarded the Academy as his pet institution, and was very jealous of the illustrious philosopher, whom he had invited to Berlin to preside over its deliberations. Voltaire, knowing this very well, and fully aware that to strike the Academy391 in the person of its president was to strike Frederick, wrote an anonymous communication to a review published in Paris, in which he accused M. Maupertuis—first, of plagiarism, in appropriating to himself a discovery made by another; secondly, of a ridiculous blunder in assuming that said discovery was a philosophical principle, and not an absurdity; and thirdly, that he had abused his position as president of the Academy in suppressing free discussion, by expelling from the institution a member merely for not agreeing with him in opinion. These statements were probably true, and on that account the more damaging.
“I have seen it,” was the reply; “but it is only a scratch, which your majesty will soon heal again.”The chivalry of Europe was in sympathy with the young and beautiful queen, who, inexperienced, afflicted by the death of her father, and about to pass through the perils of maternity, had been thus suddenly and rudely assailed by one who should have protected her with almost a brother’s love and care. Every court in Europe was familiar with the fact that the father of Maria Theresa had not only humanely interceded, in the most earnest terms, for the life of Frederick, but had interposed his imperial authority’ to rescue him from the scaffold, with which he was threatened by his unnatural parent. Frederick found that he stood quite alone, and that he had nothing to depend upon but his own energies and those of his compact, well-disciplined army.
466 General Keith, as he looked upon the long and compact lines of General Daun, and saw how apparently easy it would be for him, from his commanding position, to annihilate the Prussian army, said to the king, sadly,
The ceremony of coronation was attended, near Presburg, on the 25th of June, with much semi-barbaric splendor, as the Iron Crown58 of St. Stephen was placed upon the pale, beautiful brow of the young wife and mother. All the renowned chivalry of Hungary were assembled upon that field. They came in gorgeous costume, with embroidered banners, and accompanied by imposing retinues. At the close of the ceremonies, the queen, who was distinguished as a bold rider, mounted a swift charger, and, followed by a long retinue of Magyar warriors, galloped to the top of a small eminence artificially constructed for the occasion, called the K?nigsburg, or King’s Hill, where she drew her sword, and, flourishing it toward the four quarters of the heavens, bade defiance to any adversary who should venture to question her claims. The knightly warriors who crowded the plain flashed their swords in the sunlight, as with one accord, with chivalric devotion, they vowed fidelity to their queen.525
“I have seen it,” was the reply; “but it is only a scratch, which your majesty will soon heal again.”“The country people hardly knew such a thing as bread. Many had never tasted such a delicacy. Few villages possessed an oven. A weaving-loom was rare; a spinning-wheel unknown. The main article of furniture in this bare scene of squalor was a crucifix, and a vessel of holy water under it. It was a desolate land, without discipline, without law, without a master. On nine thousand English square miles lived five hundred thousand souls—not fifty-five to the square mile.”188One’s faith in a superintending Providence is almost staggered by such outrages. It would seem that there could scarcely be any compensation even in the future world for so foul a wrong inflicted upon this guileless and innocent girl. There can be no possible solution of the mystery but in the decree, “After death cometh the judgment.
Voltaire, being safe out of Prussia, in the territory of the King of Poland, instead of hastening to Plombières, tarried in Dresden, and then in Leipsic. From those places he began shooting, through magazines, newspapers, and various other instrumentalities, his poisoned darts at M. Maupertuis. Though these malignant assaults, rapidly following each other, were anonymous, no one could doubt their authorship. M. Maupertuis, exasperated, wrote to him from Berlin on the 7th of April:“Russia,” added Sir Thomas, with some stateliness of utterance, “is not the only power which has engagements with Austria, and which must keep them too; so that, however averse to a breach—”详情
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