ENGLISH “实力彩票代理团队”But this war, into which the Prussian king had so recklessly plunged all Europe, was purely a war of personal ambition. Even Frederick did not pretend that it involved any question of human rights. Unblushingly he avowed that he drew his sword and led his hundred thousand peasant-boys upon their dreadful career of carnage and misery simply that he might enlarge his territories, gain renown as a conqueror, and make the world talk about him. It must be a fearful thing to go to the356 judgment seat of Christ with such a crime weighing upon the soul.
“Guarantee me the possession of Silesia, and pay me seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the expenses of this campaign, and I will withdraw my army.”BATTLE OF LEUTHEN, DECEMBER 5, 1757.
Augustus William, overwhelmed by his disgrace, and yet angered by the rebuke, coldly replied that he desired only that a court-martial should investigate the case and pronounce judgment. The king forbade that any intercourse whatever should take place between his own troops, soldiers, or officers, and those of his brother, who, he declared, had utterly degraded themselves by the loss of all courage and ambition. The prince sent to the king General Schultz to obtain the countersign for the army. Frederick refused to receive him, saying “that he had no countersign to send to cowards.” Augustus William then went himself to present his official report and a list of his troops. Frederick took the papers without saying a word, and then turned his back upon his brother. This cruel treatment fell with crushing force upon the unhappy prince. Conscious of military failure, disgraced in the eyes of his generals and soldiers, and abandoned by the king, his health and spirits alike failed him. The next morning he wrote a sad, respectfully reproachful letter to423 Frederick, stating that his health rendered it necessary for him to retire for a season from the army to recruit. The reply of the king, which was dated Bautzen, July 30, 1757, shows how desperate he, at that time, considered the state of his affairs. Hopeless of victory, he seems to have sought only death.
The king, in a letter to Voltaire upon this occasion, writes:
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:354During the night bands of barbarian, half-drunken Cossacks ranged the field, plundering the wounded and the dead, friends and foes alike, and thrusting their bayonets through those who presented any remonstrance, or who might, by any possibility, call them to account. Four hundred of these wretches the equally merciless Prussians drove into a barn, fastened them in, set460 fire to the building, and burned them all to ashes. During the carnage of this bloody day the Russians lost, in killed, wounded, and missing, 21,539. The Prussians lost 11,390, more than one third of their number.
The night was very dark and cold. A wintry wind swept the bleak, frozen fields. Still the routed Austrians pressed on. Still the tireless Prussians pursued. The Prussian soldiers were Protestants.445 Many of them were well instructed in religion. As they pressed on through the gloom, sweeping the road before them with artillery discharges, their voices simultaneously burst forth into a well-known Church hymn, a sort of Protestant Te Deum—
370 And now the Prussians from the centre press the foe with new vigor. Leopold, at the head of his victorious division, charged the allied troops in flank, pouring in upon them his resistless horsemen. Whole regiments were made prisoners. Ere nightfall of the short December day, the whole allied army, broken and disordered, was on the retreat back to Dresden. The night alone protected them from utter ruin. They had lost six thousand prisoners, and three thousand in killed and wounded.92There was much man?uvring, in which Frederick displayed his usual skill, quite circumventing his foes. Daily he became less despairing. On the 25th of October he wrote to Fouquet:
After this address to the assembled generals Frederick rode out to the camp, and addressed each regiment in the most familiar and fatherly, yet by no means exultant terms. It was night. The glare of torches shed a lurid light upon the scene. The first regiment the king approached was composed of the cuirassiers of the Life Guard.
Prince Charles had arrived in Dresden the night before. He heard the roar of the cannonade all the day, but, for some unexplained reason, did not advance to the support of his friends. The very unsatisfactory excuse offered was, that his troops were exhausted by their long march; and that, having been recently twice beaten by the Prussians, his army would be utterly demoralized if led to another defeat.详情
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