Embarrassments of Frederick.—Attempts a Compromise.—New Invasion of Silesia.—Intrigues for the Imperial Crown.—Rivalry between England and France.—Death of Anne of Russia.—Energy of Austria.—Narrow Escape of Frederick.—Frederick’s Antipathy to Christianity.—Capture of Glogau.—Peril of Frederick.—The Siege of Neisse.
FREDERICK AT KATTE’S EXECUTION.
Charlotte added, in terms still more bitter and unpardonable, “Your majesty is not yet aware of all her merit. I was one morning at her toilet. I remarked that she is deformed. Her gown is stuffed on one side, and she has one hip higher than the other.” The cruel girl even went so far as to accuse the princess of suffering from loathsome ulcers. This discourse was uttered in a loud voice, in presence of the domestics. Fritz was evidently greatly annoyed, and blushed deeply, but said nothing. Immediately after supper he retired. Wilhelmina soon followed him, and they met again privately in Wilhelmina’s room. The princess asked her brother how he was now getting along with his father. He replied,There was no alternative left the young princess. Unless there were an immediate consummation of the marriage contract with the English Frederick, she was, without delay, to choose between Weissenfels and Schwedt. The queen, in response to this communication, said, “I will immediately write to England; but, whatever may be the answer, it is impossible that my daughter should marry either of the individuals whom the king has designated.” Baron Grumkow, who was in entire accord with the king, “began,” says Wilhelmina, “quoting Scripture on her majesty, as the devil can on occasion. ‘Wives, be obedient to your husbands,’ said he. The queen very aptly replied, ‘Yes; but did not Bethuel, the son of Milcah, when Abraham’s servant asked his daughter in marriage for young Isaac, answer, “We will call the damsel, and inquire of her mouth?” It is true, wives must obey their husbands, but husbands must command things just and reasonable.’
“Should it chance that my army in Saxony were beaten, or that the French should get possession of Hanover, and threaten us with invasion from that quarter, or that the Russians should get through by Neumark, you are to save the royal family and the archives. Should we be beaten in Saxony, remove the royal family to Cüstrin. Should the Russians enter by Neumark, or a misfortune befall us in the Lausitz, all must go to Magdeburg, but not till the last extremity. The garrison, the royal family, and the treasure must be kept together. In such a case, the silver plate and the gold plate must at once be coined into money.
“I am greatly surprised that your excellency does not more accurately follow my orders. If you were more skillful than C?sar, and did not with strict fidelity obey my directions, all341 else were of no help to me. I hope this notice, once for all, will be enough, and that in future you will give no cause for complaint.”“We can not afford the least narrative of G?rtz and his courses: imagination, from a few traits, will sufficiently conceive them. He had gone first to Karl Theodor’s minister: ‘Dead to it, I fear; has already signed?’ Alas! yes. Upon which to Zweibrück, the heir’s minister, whom his master had distinctly ordered to sign,554 but who, at his own peril, gallant man, delayed, remonstrated, had not yet done it; and was able to answer:
“Your effrontery astonishes me. What you have done is clear as the day; and yet, instead of confessing your culpability, you persist in denying it. Do you think you can make people believe that black is white? All shall be made public. Then it will be seen whether, if your words deserve statues, your conduct does not deserve chains.”
“I assure you he is a prince who has talent, but who will be the slave of his passions, and will like nobody but such as encourage him therein. For me, I think all princes are cast in the same mould. There is only a more and a less.”“In a word, I see all black, as if I were at the bottom of a tomb. Have some compassion on the situation I am in. Conceive that I disguise nothing from you, and yet that I do not detail to you all my embarrassments, my apprehensions, and troubles. Adieu, my dear marquis. Write to me sometimes. Do not forget a poor devil who curses ten times a day his fatal existence, and could wish he already were in those silent countries from which nobody returns with news.”
Three volunteered. It was so dark that the landlord of a little country inn walked with a lantern by the side of Frederick’s horse. Lissa was on the main road to Breslau. The landlord supposed that he was guiding one of Frederick’s generals, and was very communicative.“To this tumult succeeded a fresh burst of mirth, during which the prince slipped away, and, aided by his pages, retired to his171 apartment; and the princess immediately followed. The day after this adventure the court was at its last gasp. Neither the prince nor any of the courtiers could stir from their beds.”详情
Copyright © 2020