“His very flute,” Carlyle writes, “most innocent ‘Princess,’ as he used to call his flute in old days, is denied him ever since he came to Cüstrin. But by degrees he privately gets her back, and consorts much with her; wails forth, in beautiful adagios, emotions for which there is no other utterance at present. He has liberty of Cüstrin and the neighborhood. Out of Cüstrin he is not to lodge any night without leave had of the commandant.D’Argens spent the winter with the king at Leipsic. He gives the following incident: “One day I entered the king’s apartment, and found him sitting on the floor with a platter of fried meat, from which he was feeding his dogs. He had a little rod, with which he kept order among them, and shoved the best bits to his favorites.”
“My dearest Sister,—I find no other consolation but in your precious letters. May Heaven108 reward so much virtue and such427 heroic sentiments! Since I wrote you last my misfortunes have but gone on accumulating. It seems as though destiny would discharge all its wrath and fury upon the poor country which I had to rule over. I have advanced this way to fall upon a corps of the allied army, which has run off and intrenched itself among hills, whither to follow, still more to attack them, all rules of war forbid. The moment I retire toward Saxony this whole swarm will be upon my heels. Happen what may, I am determined, at all risks, to fall upon whatever corps of the enemy approaches me nearest. I shall even bless Heaven for its mercy if it grant me the favor to die sword in hand.Her majesty now wrote to Prince Charles, urging him to engage immediately in a fight with Frederick. She sent two of the highest dignitaries of the court to K?niggr?tz to press forward immediate action. There was an eminence near by, which the Austrian officers daily ascended, and from which they could look directly into the Prussian camp and observe all that was transpiring there.
“I write from a place where there lived once a great man,27 which is now the Prince of Orange’s house. The demon of ambition sheds its unhappy poisons over his days. He might be the most fortunate of men, and he is devoured by chagrins in his beautiful palace here, in the middle of his gardens and of a brilliant court.”F.”The unhappy Crown Prince was in an agony of despair. Again and again he frantically exclaimed, “In the name of God, I beg you to stop the execution till I write to the king! I am ready to renounce all my rights to the crown if he will pardon Katte!” As the condemned was led by the window to ascend the scaffold, Fritz cried out to him, in anguish as intense as a generous heart can endure, “Pardon me, my dear Katte, pardon me! Oh that this should be what I have done for you!”
BATTLE OF ROSSBACH, NOVEMBER 5, 1757.
Frederick, having cantoned his troops at Freiberg and its vicinity, on the 27th of November wrote again to the Countess of Camas:“In case you refuse, or delay beyond the term, the answer which I hereby of right demand, you will render yourself alone responsible, before the world, for the consequences which infallibly will follow. I am, with much consideration, my cousin, your very affectionate cousin,
“‘There is this wanting,’ she said, ‘that one can not have enough; and the little there is consists of coarse pot-herbs that nobody can eat.’The Russians were entering Silesia from the northeast by the way of Poland. Frederick, by one of his incredibly rapid marches, for a time prevented the junction of the two hostile armies. After innumerable marchings and man?uvrings, during which Frederick displayed military ability which commanded the admiration even of his foes, the Prussian king found himself, on the 16th of August, at Nicolstadt, in the very heart of Silesia, at the head of fifty-seven thousand men. In front of him, obstructing his advance, there were sixty thousand Russians. In523 his rear, cutting off his retreat, there were seventy-two thousand Austrians. From a commanding eminence Frederick could watch the movements of both of these hostile bands. Both Russians and Austrians stood in such awe of the prowess of their redoubtable antagonist that they moved cautiously, like hounds surrounding the lion at bay.
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.
But, notwithstanding this wonderful victory and narrow escape, it still seemed that Frederick’s destruction was only postponed for a short time. He was in the heart of Silesia, and was surrounded by hostile armies three times more numerous than his own.
At eight o’clock in the evening his body was borne, accompanied by a battalion of the Guards, to Potsdam; eight horses drew the hearse. An immense concourse, in silence and sadness, filled the streets. He was buried in a small chapel in the church of the garrison at Potsdam. There the remains of Frederick and his father repose side by side.To the summons which Frederick sent to Maria Theresa, demanding the surrender of Silesia, no response could be returned, consistent with the dignity of the crown, but a peremptory refusal. The reply was unanswerable in its logic. Though it was, in general, couched in courteous terms, one sentence crept into it of rather scornful defiance.
“You know, my dear son, that when my children are obedient I love them much. So when you were at Berlin, I from my heart forgave you every thing; and from that Berlin time, since I saw you, have thought of nothing but of your well-being, and how to establish you; not in the army only, but also with a right step-daughter, and so see you married in my lifetime. You may be well persuaded I have had the Princesses of Germany taken survey of, so far as possible, and examined by trusty people what their conduct is, their education, and so on. And so a princess has been found, the eldest one of Bevern, who is well brought up, modest and retiring as a woman ought to be.详情
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