“The whole country, my dear country, lies one frightful waste, presenting only objects to excite terror, pity, and despair. The business of the husbandman and the shepherd are quite discontinued. The husbandman and shepherd are become soldiers themselves, and help to ravage the soil they formerly occupied. The towns are inhabited by old men, women, and children. Perhaps here and there a warrior, rendered unfit for service by wounds and want of limbs, is left at his door. His little children hang round him, ask a history of every wound, and grow themselves soldiers before they find strength for the field.In the presence of monarchs, of lords and ladies, of the highest dignitaries of Europe, the young heir apparent to the throne of Prussia, beautiful in person, high-spirited, and of superior genius, was treated by his father with studied contumely and insult. Every thing was done to expose him to contempt. He even openly flogged the prince with his rattan. It would seem that the father availed himself of this opportunity so to torture the sensibilities of his son as to drive him to suicide. Professor Ranke writes:MAP OF THE CAMPAIGN OF ROSSBACH.
General Neipperg cautiously advanced toward him, and encamped in the vicinity of Steinau—the same Steinau which but a few weeks before had been laid in ashes as the Prussian troops284 passed through it. The two armies were now separated from each other but by an interval of about five miles. The country was flat, and it was not probable that the contest which Frederick so eagerly sought could long be avoided.
Frederick, having completed the investment of Glogau, cutting off all its supplies, left a sufficient detachment there to starve the city into submission. There were about seven thousand inhabitants within the walls—“a much-enduring, frugal, pious, and very desirable people.” As it was probable that the feeble garrison, after a brief show of resistance, would surrender, Frederick hastened in person, with all his remaining available troops, toward Breslau, the capital of Silesia. On the 27th he wrote to M. Jordan:In the above letter the king alludes to the “mania of making verses.” Strange as it may seem, he this winter, when apparently almost crushed beneath the weight of cares and sorrows, when every energy of mind and body seemed called into requisition in preparation for a new campaign, published an edition of his poems.One clause in the king’s will was judiciously disregarded. As a last mark of his contempt for his own species, Frederick had directed that he should be buried at Sans Souci by the side of his dogs.
In July of this year the Crown Prince took another journey with his father through extensive portions of the Prussian territory. The following extract from one of his letters to Voltaire reflects pleasing light upon the heart of Frederick, and upon the administrative ability of his father:
“I will not see him. I wish to listen to no more of his offers. The sooner he takes himself away the better.”
Kannegiesser, at Hanover, received the king’s propositions for reconciliation at ten o’clock in the morning of the 15th of August, 1729. George II. was then absent on a hunting excursion. The Prussian embassador called immediately at the council-chamber of the Hanoverian court, and informed M. Hartoff, the privy secretary, that he wished an audience with the ministry, then in session, to make a proposition to them from the Prussian court. Hartoff, who had met Kannegiesser in a room adjoining the council-chamber, reported the request to the council, and returned with the disrespectful answer that “M. Kannegiesser must defer what he has to say to some other time.”MAP OF THE CAMPAIGN OF ROSSBACH.“Judge, my dear general, if I have been much charmed with the description you give of the abominable object of my desires. For the love of God disabuse the king in regard to her. Let him remember that fools are commonly the most obstinate of creatures. Let the king remember that it is not for himself that he is marrying me, but for myself. Nay, he too will have a thousand chagrins to see two persons hating one another, and the most miserable marriage in the world; to hear their mutual complaints, which will be to him so many reproaches for having fashioned the instrument of our yoke. As a good Christian, let him consider if it is well done to wish to force people, to cause divorces, and to be the occasion of all the sins that an ill-assorted marriage leads us to commit. I am determined to front every thing in the world sooner. Since things are so, you may, in some good way, apprise the Duke of Bevern that, happen what may, I never will have her.
“These engagements,” said Sir Thomas, “are good as against the French, your majesty. But the Barrier treaty, confirmed at Utrecht, was for our benefit and that of Holland.”
“All religions must be tolerated, and the king’s solicitor must have an eye that none of them make unjust encroachments on the other; for in this country every man must get to heaven his own way.”“It is the common rumor now,” Sir Thomas replied, “that your majesty, after the 12th of August, will join the French. Sire, I venture to hope not. Austria prefers your friendship; but if your majesty disdain Austria’s advances, what is it to do? Austria must throw itself entirely into the hands of France, and endeavor to outbid your majesty.”详情
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