The Prussians advanced in their long double line, trampling the deep snow beneath their feet. All their banners were waving. All their bands of music were pealing forth their most martial airs. Their sixty pieces of artillery, well in front, opened a rapid and deadly fire. The thoroughly-drilled Prussian artillerymen discharged their guns with unerring aim, breaking gaps in the Austrian ranks, and with such wonderful rapidity that the unintermitted roar of the cannons drowned the sound of drums and trumpets.In August, 1785, the king again visited Silesia to review his troops. A private letter, quoted by Carlyle, gives an interesting view of his appearance at the time:Voltaire made himself very merry over the dying scene of Maupertuis. There was never another man who could throw so much poison into a sneer as Voltaire. It is probable that the conversion of Maupertuis somewhat troubled his conscience as the unhappy scorner looked forward to his own dying hour, which could not be far distant. He never alluded to Maupertuis without indulging in a strain of bitter mockery in view of his death as a penitent. Even the king, unbeliever as he was in religion or in the existence of a God, was disgusted with the malignity displayed by Voltaire. In reply to one of Voltaire’s envenomed assaults the king wrote:
“By no means,” the king replied. “With men like these I shall be sure of victory to-day!”114“I embraced the Princess Royal,” Wilhelmina continues, “and gave her every assurance of my attachment. But she remained like a statue, not answering a word. Her people not being come, I arranged her hair and readjusted her dress a little, without the least sign of thanks or any answer to all my caressings. My brother got impatient at last, and said aloud,
F.”“I have prescribed,” he said, “the conditions of peace to the Queen of Hungary. She accepts them. Having, therefore, all that I want, I make peace. All the world in my situation would do the same.
182“No,” the empress replied; “I could sleep, but I must not. Death is too near. He must not steal upon me. These fifteen years I have been making ready for him; I will meet him awake.”
“Yes,” the king replied. “I swear it to you, D’Arget. In a word, I want to have some good of my life. What are we, poor human atoms, to get up projects that cost so much blood!”“It was four o’clock, and I could not understand what had become of my brother. I had sent out several persons on horseback to get tidings of him, and none of them came back. At length, in spite of all my prayers, the hereditary prince24 himself would go in search. I was in cruel agitations. These cataracts of rain are very dangerous in the mountain countries. The roads get suddenly overflowed, and accidents often happen. I thought for certain one had happened to my brother, or to the hereditary prince.
“I am obliged to tell you that I have long forbid counts to be received, as such, into my army; for when they have served one or two years they retire, and merely make their short military career a subject of vain boasting. If your son wishes to serve, the title of count can be of no use to him. But he will be promoted if he learn his profession well.”
“Guarantees!” exclaimed the king, scornfully. “Who minds or keeps guarantees in this age? Has not France guaranteed the Pragmatic Sanction? Has not England? Why do you not all fly to the queen’s succor?”430 Frederick reached Leipsic on the 26th of October. The allied forces were rapidly concentrating in overwhelming numbers around him. On the 30th the king marched to the vicinity of Lutzen, where he encamped for the night. General Soubise, though in command of a force outnumbering that of the Prussians nearly three to one, retreated rapidly to the west before Frederick, and crossed the River Saale. Frederick followed, and effected the passage of the stream with but little opposition.
“My dearest Sister,—Next Monday comes my betrothal, which will be done just as yours was. The person in question is neither beautiful nor ugly; not wanting in sense, but very ill brought up, timid, and totally behind in fashionable address. That is the candid portrait of the princess. You may judge by that, my dearest sister, if I find her to my taste or not.BATTLE OF KOLIN, JUNE 18, 1757.“Salzdahlum, Noon, June 12, 1733.
Poor Valori, the French embassador, was placed in a very embarrassing situation. The anger of the Prussian king vented itself upon him. He was in complete disgrace. It was his duty daily to wait upon Frederick. But the king would seldom speak to him, or even look upon him; and if he did favor him with a glance, it was with an expression of scorn.
The expenses of the war were enormous. Frederick made a careful estimate, and found that he required at least three hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars a month. He could not carry on another campaign with less than four million five hundred thousand dollars. He had been expecting that Louis XV., who in person was in command of the French army on the Rhine, would send him a re-enforcement of sixty thousand troops to enable him to crush the forces of Prince Charles. But week after358 week passed, and no re-enforcements came. The French, intent upon their conquest, were as selfishly pursuing their own interests on the Rhine as Frederick was pursuing his in Silesia.While these sad scenes were transpiring, the Princess Wilhelmina was held in close captivity in her apartment at the palace in Berlin. The king had convened a council of eight clergymen, and had put to them the question whether a father had not a right to give his daughter in wedlock to whom he pleased. Much to the honor of these clergymen, they replied, with but one exception, in the negative.详情
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