511 “After having sacrificed my youth to my father, and my maturer age to my country, I think that I have acquired the right to dispose of my old age as I please. I have told you, and I repeat it, my hand shall never sign a disgraceful peace. I shall continue this campaign with the resolution to dare all, and to try the most desperate things, either to succeed or to find a glorious end.
It was early in January, 1760, that the two hostile armies went into winter quarters. General Daun, with his seventy-two thousand triumphant troops, held Dresden. He encamped his army in an arc of a circle, bending toward the southwest from the city, and occupying a line about thirty miles in extent. Frederick, with thirty-two thousand troops depressed by defeat, defiantly faced his foe in a concave arc concentric to that of Daun. The two antagonistic encampments were almost within cannon-shot of each other.Frederick’s treatment of the unfortunate General Zastrow, who was in command at Schweidnitz, was quite peculiar. Very generously he wrote to him:THE YOUNG LORDS OF SAXONY ON A WINTER CAMPAIGN.
“Monsieur, there is nothing I wish so much as to possess all your writings. Pray do communicate them to me without reserve. If there be among your manuscripts any that you wish to conceal from the eyes of the public, I engage to keep them in profoundest secrecy.
The friendship of these two remarkable men must have been of a singular character. Voltaire thus maliciously wrote of the king:For fifteen years she had been a mourning widow. Her husband had died on the 18th of August. The 18th day of every month had since then been a day of solitary prayer. On the 18th of every August she descended into the tomb, and sat for560 a season engaged in prayer by the side of the mouldering remains of her spouse.“All that I ever wanted, more than I ever demanded, Austria now offers me. Can any one blame me that I close such an alliance as ours all along has been, when such terms are presented to me as Austria now proposes?”
293 “Of the political morality of this game of fast-and-loose what have we to say, except that the dice on both sides seem to be loaded; that logic might be chopped upon it forever; that a candid mind will settle what degree of wisdom (which is always essential veracity) and what of folly (which is always falsity) there was in Frederick and the others; whether, or to what degree, there was a better course open to Frederick in the circumstances; and, in fine, it will have to be granted that you can not work in pitch and keep hands evidently clean. Frederick has got into the enchanted wilderness populous with devils and their work, alas! It will be long before he get out of it again; his life waning toward night before he get victoriously out, and bequeath his conquest to luckier successors!”
“Gentlemen, gentlemen, it is of no use to think about it.”154 Three years were occupied in enlarging and decorating this palace. In the mean time the Princess Elizabeth resided in Berlin, or in a small country house provided for her at Sch?nhausen. The Crown Prince occasionally visited her, always treating her with the marked respect due a lady occupying her high position.
“I understood the speech perfectly well, but my awe was too great to allow me to say, ‘Your majesty will have the grace to allow me something.’ But as I was so simple, and asked for nothing, he did not offer any thing. And so he turned away. But he had gone scarcely six or eight steps when he looked around and gave me a sign to walk by his side.”
Frederick speedily concentrated all his strength at Bautzen, and strove to draw the Austrians into a battle; but in vain. The heights upon which they were intrenched, bristling with cannon, he could not venture to assail. After three weeks of impatient man?uvring, Frederick gathered his force of fifty thousand424 men close in hand, and made a sudden rush upon Bernstadt, about fifty miles to the east of Bautzen. Here he surprised an Austrian division, scattered it to the winds, seized all its baggage, and took a number of prisoners. He also captured the field equipage, coach, horses, etc., of General Nadasti, who narrowly escaped.“I liked dancing, and was taking advantage of my chances. Grumkow came up to me, in the middle of a minuet, and said, ‘Mon dieu, madame, you seem to have got bit by the tarantula. Don’t you see those strangers who have just come in?’ I stopped short, and, looking all around, I noticed at last a young man, dressed in gray, whom I did not know. ‘Go, then,’ said Grumkow, ‘and embrace the Crown Prince. There he is before you.’ My whole frame was agitated with joy. ‘Oh, heavens, my brother!’ cried I; ‘but I do not see him. Where is he? For God’s sake show him to me.’
Frederick, finding that he could not rely upon the Saxons, sent to Silesia for re-enforcements of his own troops. Brünn could not be taken without siege artillery. He was capturing Moravia for the King of Poland. Frederick dispatched a courier to his Polish majesty at Dresden, requesting him immediately to forward the siege guns. The reply of the king, who was voluptuously lounging in his palaces, was, “I can not meet the expense of the carriage.” Frederick contemptuously remarked, “He has just purchased a green diamond which would have carried them thither and back again.” The Prussian king sent for siege artillery of his own, drew his lines close around Brünn, and urged Chevalier De Saxe, general of the Saxon horse, to co-operate with him energetically in battering the city into a surrender.305 The chevalier interposed one obstacle, and another, and another. At last he replied, showing his dispatches, “I have orders to retire from this business altogether, and join the French at Prague.”338 Just at that time, when all hope seemed lost, it so happened that a cannon-ball crushed the foot of the Austrian commander. This disaster, together with the darkness and the torrents of rain, caused the fire of the enemy to cease. The next morning some Prussian re-enforcements came to the rescue of the king, and he escaped.
There was a small garrison at Glatz, at Silesia, which, though closely besieged, still held out against the Austrians. Frederick thought that if he could by any stratagem draw General Daun from Dresden, he could, by a sudden rush, break down its walls and seize the city. He moved with celerity which completely deceived the Austrian commander. At two o’clock in the morning of Wednesday, July 2d, his whole army was almost on the run toward Silesia. They marched as troops never marched before.502 For twelve hours their speed was unintermitted. The next day, in utter exhaustion, they rested. But on Friday, as the village clocks were tolling the hour of midnight, all were again on the move, the king himself in front. Again it was a run rather than a march through a dreary realm of bogs, wild ravines, and tangled thickets. At three o’clock on Saturday morning the march was resumed.详情
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