类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-12-01 17:08:27


Still the clergymen pressed upon him his sins, his many acts of oppression, his unrelenting and unforgiving spirit. Singularly enough, most of the members of the tobacco parliament were present at this strange interview; and some of them, courtier like, endeavored to defend the king against several of the charges brought against him. The king might emphatically be called a good hater; and he hated his brother-in-law, the King of England, perhaps with passion as implacable as ever took possession of a human heart. In allusion to this, one of the clergymen, M. Roloff, said,

Again he wrote, a few months after, to the Duke of Choiseul: “He has been a bad man, this Luc. And now, if one were to bet by the law of probability, it would be three to one that Luc would go to pot [sera perdu], with his rhymings and his banterings, and his injustices and politics, all as bad as himself.”146“If these terms are not accepted within a fortnight, I will not be bound by them.”

The king exerted all his powers of fascination to gain the affections of the people. Though he dismissed all the Austrian public functionaries, and supplied their places by his own friends, he continued to the Catholics their ancient privileges, and paid marked attention to the bishop and his clergy. At the same time, he encouraged the Protestants with the expectation that he would prove their especial friend. At the assemblies which he gave each evening that he was in the city, he lavished his smiles upon the ladies who were distinguished either for exalted rank or for beauty. But there is no evidence that, during this campaign, he wrote one line to his absent, neglected wife, or that he expended one thought upon her.The consternation at Berlin, as contradictory reports of victory and defeat reached the city, was indescribable. M. Sulzer, an eye-witness of the scene, writes under date of Berlin, August 13th, 1759:

He seems ever to have treated his nominal wife, Queen Elizabeth, politely. For some months after the accession he was quite prominent in his public attentions to her. But these intervals of association grew gradually more rare, until after three or four years they ceased almost entirely.

F.”In the mean time, the queen and Wilhelmina, at Berlin, unconscious of the dreadful tidings they were soon to receive, were95 taking advantage of the absence of the king in seeking a few hours of social enjoyment. They gave a ball at the pretty little palace of Monbijou, on the banks of the Spree, a short distance out from Berlin. In the midst of the entertainment the queen received, by a courier, the following dispatch from Frederick William:

“The king’s desire always was and is that every body, be he high or low, rich or poor, get prompt justice. Wherefore, in respect to this most unjust sentence against the miller Arnold, pronounced in the Neumark, and confirmed here in Berlin, his majesty will establish an emphatic example, to the end that all559 the courts of justice in the king’s provinces may take warning thereby, and not commit the like glaring unjust acts. For let them bear in mind that the least peasant, yea, what is still more, that even a beggar, is, no less than his majesty, a human being, and one to whom due justice must be meted out. All men being equal before the law, if it is a prince complaining against a peasant, or vice versa, the prince is the same as the peasant before the law.A council of war was held. It was decided to commence an immediate and rapid retreat to Silesia. Prague, with its garrison of five thousand men, and its siege artillery, was to be abandoned to its fate. Word was sent to General Einsiedel to spike his guns, blow up his bastions, throw his ammunition into the river, and to escape, if possible, down the valley of the Moldau, to Leitmeritz.“The body of Frederick is a ruin, but his soul is still here, and receives his friends and his tasks as formerly. Asthma, dropsy, erysipelas, continual want of sleep; for many months past he has not been in bed, but sits day and night in an easy-chair, unable to get breath except in that posture. He said one morning to somebody entering, ‘If you happened to want a night-watcher, I could suit you well.’”200

The winter was long, cold, and dreary. Fierce storms swept the fields, piling up the snow in enormous drifts. But for this cruel war, the Prussian, Russian, and Austrian peasants, who had been dragged into the armies to slaughter each other, might have been in their humble but pleasant homes, by the bright fireside, in the enjoyment of all comforts.“Never was there a place in the world where liberty of speech was so fully indulged, or where the various superstitions of men were treated with so much ridicule and contempt. God was respected. But those who, in His name, had imposed on mankind, were not spared. Neither women nor priests ever entered the palace. In a word, Frederick lived without a court, without a council, and without a religion.”




It was well understood that a verdict was to be returned in accordance with the wishes of the king, and also that the king desired that no mercy should be shown to his son.15 After a session of six days the verdict of the court was rendered. The crime of the Crown Prince, in endeavoring to escape from the brutality of his father, was declared to be desertion, and the penalty was death. Lieutenant Keith was also declared to be a deserter, and doomed to die. But as he had escaped, and could not be recaptured, he was sentenced to be hanged in effigy, which effigy was then to be cut in four quarters and nailed to the gallows at Wesel. Lieutenant Katte, who certainly had not deserted, and whose only crime was that he had been a confidant of the Crown Prince in his plan to escape, was condemned to imprisonment in a fortress for two years, some say for life.Frederick dispatched messengers to Ohlau to summon the force there to his aid; the messengers were all captured. The Prussians were now in a deplorable condition. The roads were encumbered and rendered almost impassable by the drifted snow. The army was cut off from its supplies, and had provisions on hand but for a single day. Both parties alike plundered the poor inhabitants of their cattle, sheep, and grain. Every thing that could burn was seized for their camp-fires. We speak of the carnage of the battle-field, and often forget the misery which is almost invariably brought upon the helpless inhabitants of the region through which the armies move. The schoolmaster of Mollwitz, a kind, simple-hearted, accurate old gentleman, wrote an account of the scenes he witnessed. Under date of Mollwitz, Sunday, April 9, he writes:The next day the two British ministers dined with Frederick. The king was in reality, or assumed to be, in exultant spirits. He joked and bantered his guests even upon those great issues which were threatening to deluge Europe in blood. As they took leave, intending to return to Vienna through Neisse, which281 was held by the Austrian army, the king said to Sir Thomas Robinson, derisively,


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