In the month of October, 1747, Field-marshal Keith visited his Prussian majesty at Sans Souci. In a letter to his brother he thus describes the results of his observations:“Anne Amelia.
“Raising his eyes,” says Archenholtz, “he surveyed, with speechless emotion, the small remnant of his life-guard of foot, his favorite battalion. It was one thousand strong yesterday morning, hardly four hundred now. All the soldiers of this chosen battalion were personally known to him—their names, their age, their native place, their history. In one day death had mowed them down. They had fought like heroes, and it418 was for him they had died. His eyes were visibly wet. Down his face rolled silent tears.”CHAPTER XXXII. THE END OF THE FIFTH CAMPAIGN.
BATTLE OF ROSSBACH, NOVEMBER 5, 1757.
“The princess has an open countenance; her eyebrows are neat and regular; her nose is small and angular, but very elegantly defined; and her coral lips and well-turned neck are equally admirable. Goodness is strongly marked in her countenance; and we may say, from her whole figure, that the Graces have exerted themselves in forming a great princess. Her highness talks but little, especially at table, but all she says is sterling sense. She appears to have an uncommon genius, which she ornaments by the continual study of the best French authors.”a a. Prussian Army. b. Prussian Detachment, under Wunsch. c c. Austrian Attack, under Daun. d d. Attack of Brentano and Sincere. e e e. Reich’s Army.
Wilhelmina was appalled in view of the difficulty and danger of the enterprise. It was a long distance from Dresden to the coast. Head winds might detain the vessel. The suspicious king would not long remain ignorant that he was missing. He would be pursued with energy almost demoniac. Being captured,80 no one could tell how fearful would be his doom. The sagacious sister was right. Fritz could not but perceive the strength of her arguments, and gave her his word of honor that he would not attempt, on the present occasion, to effect his flight. Fritz accordingly went to Dresden with his father, and returned.“Dear sister, fear nothing on my score. Men are always in the hand of what we call destiny. Accidents will befall people walking on the streets, sitting in their room, lying on their bed; and there are many who escape the perils of war.”Four campaigns of the Seven Years’ War have passed. We are now entering upon the fifth, that of 1760. The latter part501 of April Frederick broke up his encampment at Freiberg, and moved his troops about twenty miles north of Dresden. Here he formed a new encampment, facing the south. His left wing was at Meissen, resting on the Elbe. His right wing was at the little village of Katzenh?user, about ten miles to the southwest. Frederick established his head-quarters at Schlettau, midway of his lines. The position thus selected was, in a military point of view, deemed admirable. General Daun remained in Dresden “astride” the Elbe. Half of his forces were on one side and half on the other of the river.
Again he wrote D’Argens on the 26th of December, “What a pleasure to hear that you are coming. I have sent a party of light horse to conduct you. You can make short journeys. I have directed that horses be ordered for you, that your rooms be warmed every where, and good fowls ready on all roads. Your apartment in this house is carpeted, hermetically shut. You shall suffer nothing from draughts or from noise.”“There has been a revolution in St. Petersburg. The Czar Peter III., your majesty’s devoted friend, has been deposed, and probably assassinated. The Czarina Catharine, influenced by the enemies of your majesty, and unwilling to become embroiled in a conflict with Austria and France, has ordered me to return instantly homeward with the twenty thousand troops under my command.”
“Now are my wishes fulfilled,” said the emperor, “since I have the honor to embrace the greatest of kings and soldiers.”General Loudon was in command of the Austrians, and General Butturlin of the Russians, who were arrayed against Frederick. They could not agree upon a plan of attack. Neither commander was willing to expose his troops to the brunt of a battle in which the carnage would necessarily be dreadful. Thus the weeks wore away. Frederick could not be safely attacked, and winter was approaching.详情
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