Linsenbarth, thus left alone, sauntered from the garden back to the esplanade. There he stood quite bewildered. He had walked that day twenty miles beneath a July sun and over the burning sands. He had eaten nothing. He had not a farthing in his pocket.Lord Hyndford, evidently embarrassed, for the facts were strongly against him, endeavored, in some additional remarks, to assume ignorance of any unfriendly action on the part of the British government. The king again, in a loud and angry tone, replied,
“They then went away, often looking around to see if I kept my posture. I perceived well enough that they were making game of me; but I stood all the same like a wall, being full of fear. When the king turned round he gave a look at me like a flash of sunbeams glancing through you. He sent one of the gardeners to bring my papers. Taking them, he disappeared in one of the garden walks. In a few minutes he came back with my papers open in his hand, and waved with them for me to come nearer. I plucked up heart and went directly to him. Oh, how graciously this great monarch deigned to speak to me!CHAPTER XXVIII. DOMESTIC GRIEFS AND MILITARY REVERSES.
354In the cold of the winter morning the Old Dessauer carefully reconnoitred the position of his foes. Their batteries seemed innumerable, protected by earth-works, and frowning along a cliff which could only be reached by plunging into a gully and wading through a half-frozen bog. There was, however, no alternative but to advance or retreat. He decided to advance.
Voltaire hated M. Maupertuis. He was the president of the Berlin Academy, and was regarded by Voltaire as a formidable rival. This hatred gave rise to a quarrel between Frederick and Voltaire, which was so virulent that Europe was filled with the noise of their bickerings. M. Maupertuis had published a pamphlet, in which he assumed to have made some important discovery upon the law of action. M. K?nig, a member of the Academy, reviewed the pamphlet, asserting not only that the proclaimed law was false, but that it had been promulgated half a century before. In support of his position he quoted from a letter of Leibnitz. The original of the letter could not be produced. M. K?nig was accused of having forged the extract. M. Maupertuis, a very jealous, irritable man, by his powerful influence as president, caused M. K?nig to be expelled from the Academy.
“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.”“As you pass through Neisse, please present my compliments to Marshal Neipperg; and you can say, your excellency, that I hope to have the pleasure of calling upon him one of these days.”
CHAPTER IV. THE ATTEMPT TO ESCAPE.
“Do not press each other, my children. Take care of yourselves that the horses may not trample upon you, and that no accident may happen.”“P.S.—I most humbly beg your majesty not to speak of this323 to the queen-mother, as perhaps she would not approve of the step we are now taking.
“My dear Voltaire,—You wish to know what I have been about since leaving Berlin. Annexed you will find a description of it.
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The king kicked him, and struck him several heavy blows with his cane. He was hit repeatedly in the face, and blood gushed from the wounds. With his own hands the king tore from Katte’s breast the cross of the Order of Saint John. After this disgraceful scene the interrogatory commenced. Katte confessed all the circumstances of the prince’s intended escape, but denied that there had been any design against the king or the state. His own and the prince’s letters were examined, but nothing was found in them to criminate either. Katte was then100 remanded to prison. Wilhelmina, after receiving the grossest possible insults from her father, who accused her, in coarsest terms, of being the paramour of Lieutenant Katte, was ordered to her room. Two sentries were placed at her door, and directions were given that she should be fed only on prison fare.Another severe fit of coughing ensued, and the king, having with difficulty got rid of the phlegm, said, “The mountain is passed; we shall be better now.” These were his last words. The expiring monarch sat in his chair, but in a state of such extreme weakness that he was continually sinking down, with his chest and neck so bent forward that breathing was almost impossible. One of his faithful valets took the king upon his knee and placed his left arm around his waist, while the king threw his right arm around the valet’s neck.Prince Charles had arrived in Dresden the night before. He heard the roar of the cannonade all the day, but, for some unexplained reason, did not advance to the support of his friends. The very unsatisfactory excuse offered was, that his troops were exhausted by their long march; and that, having been recently twice beaten by the Prussians, his army would be utterly demoralized if led to another defeat.
149 “The queen can not console herself for this reverse. She vents her despair in the abuse of that poor princess. She wanted me to refuse the marriage decidedly, and told me that she should not mind my quarreling again with the king provided I would only show firmness, in which case she would be well able to support me. I would not follow her advice, and declared to her plainly that I did not choose to incur the displeasure of my father, which had already caused me so much suffering.221 By the 10th of December, within a fortnight of the time that the king received the tidings of the death of the emperor, he had collected such a force on the frontiers of Silesia that there could be no question that the invasion of that province was intended. As not the slightest preparation had been made on the part of Austria to meet such an event, the king could with perfect ease overrun the province and seize all its fortresses. But Austria was, in territory, resources, and military power, vastly stronger than Prussia. It was therefore scarcely possible that Frederick could hold the province, after he had seized it, unless he could encourage others to dispute the succession of Maria Theresa, and thus involve Europe in a general war. Frederick, having made all his arrangements for prompt and vigorous action, sent to Maria Theresa a message which could be regarded only as an insult:详情
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