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.On the 7th of May, three days after the capture of Brieg, Lord Hyndford, the English embassador, arrived at the camp of Frederick, and obtained an audience with his majesty. It was eleven o’clock in the forenoon. He gave his government a very minute narrative of the interview. The following particulars, gleaned from that narrative, will interest the reader. It will be remembered that Frederick cherished a strong antipathy against his uncle, George II. of England.
Dickens at length ventured to ask the king directly, “What shall I write to England?”Akakia.”
In the summer of 1738 the infirm old king undertook a journey to Holland, on a visit of diplomacy to the Prince of Orange. The Crown Prince accompanied him. It does not, however, appear that they had much intercourse with each other on the journey. They spent several days at the beautiful palace of176 Loo, in Geldern, occupied by the Prince of Orange and his English bride, a niece to his Prussian majesty. The palace was imposing in its architectural structure, containing many gorgeous saloons, and surrounded with beautiful gardens. In a letter which Frederick wrote from Loo to Voltaire, dated August 6th, we find the following sentiments:
The next day he remarked, “Daun has let us out of checkmate. The game is not lost yet. We will rest ourselves here for a few days, then we will go to Silesia and deliver Neisse. But where are all your guns?” he said, playfully, to an artilleryman, who stood, vacant, on parade.
“It seems strange,” said the Austrian minister of war, “that his Prussian majesty, whose official post in Germany, as chamberlain of the emperor, is to present the basin and towel to the house of Austria, should now presume to prescribe rules to it.”Keith, trembling in every limb, returned to the stable. Though Rochow pretended not to suspect any attempt at escape, it was manifestly pretense only. The prince had provided himself with a red overcoat as a disguise to his uniform, the gray one having been left with Katte at Potsdam. As Fritz was returning to the barn with Rochow, wearing this suspicious garment, they met the minister Seckendorf, whom Fritz and his mother thoroughly hated as one of the counselors of the king. Very coolly and cuttingly Rochow inquired of Seckendorf, “How do you like his royal highness in the red overcoat?” It was a desperate game these men were playing; for, should the king suddenly91 die, Fritz would surely inherit the crown, and they would be entirely at his mercy. All hope of escape seemed now to vanish, and the prince was quite in despair.
It will be remembered that Breslau, whose inhabitants were mainly Protestant, and which was one of the so-called free cities of Germany, was surrendered to Frederick under peculiar conditions. It was to remain, in its internal government, in all respects exactly as it had been, with the simple exception that it was to recognize the sovereignty of Prussia instead of that of Austria. Its strict neutrality was to be respected. It was to be protected by its own garrison. No Prussian soldier could enter with any weapons but side-arms. The king himself, in entering the city, could be accompanied only by thirty guards.
Thus ended the fifth campaign of the Seven Years’ War. Though the king had thus far averted the destruction which seemed every hour to be impending, his strength and resources were so rapidly failing that it seemed impossible that he could518 much longer continue the struggle. Under these despairing circumstances, the king, with an indomitable spirit, engaged vigorously in gathering his strength for a renewal of the fight in the spring.
Though Frederick the First had reared and originally furnished this Berlin palace, yet the masses of solid silver wrought into its ornamentation were mainly the work of Frederick William. Conscious that his influence in Europe depended not only upon the power of his army, but also upon the fullness of his treasury, he had been striving, through all his reign, to accumulate coin. But the money, barreled up and stored away in the vaults of his palace, was of no service while thus lying idle. Banking institutions seem not then to have been in vogue in his realms. But the silver, wrought into chandeliers, mirror-frames, and music balconies, added to the imposing splendor of his court, gave him the reputation of great wealth, and could, at any time when necessary, be melted down and coined. The wealth thus hoarded by the father afterward saved the son from ruin, when involved in wars which exhausted his treasury.THE ASSAULT ON GLOGAU.“Nothing touched me so much as that you had not any trust in me. All this that I was doing for the aggrandizement of the house, the army, and the finances, could only be for you, if you made yourself worthy of it. I here declare that I have done all things to gain your friendship, and all has been in vain.”
About thirty miles southeast of Breslau is the pleasant little town of Ohlau, situated in the delta formed by the junction of the Ohlau River with the Oder. It was a place of some strength, and the Austrian authorities had thrown into it a garrison of three hundred men. Frederick appeared before its gates on the morning of January the 9th. He immediately sent in the following summons to the garrison:THE ASSAULT ON GLOGAU.
409 Frederick was much embarrassed in deciding what to do with his captives. They numbered about fourteen thousand. To guard and feed them was too troublesome and expensive. They could not be exchanged, as the King of Poland had no Prussian prisoners. To set them at liberty would speedily place them in the Austrian ranks to fight against him. Under these circumstances, Frederick compelled them all to enlist as Prussian soldiers. He compelled them to do this voluntarily, for they had their choice either to enlist under his banners or to starve. The King of Poland was permitted to return to Warsaw. The electorate of Saxony, nearly as large as the State of Massachusetts, and containing a population of one and a half millions, was annexed to Prussia. The captured soldiers, prisoners of war, were dressed in Prussian uniform, commanded by Prussian officers, and either placed in garrison or in the ranks of the army in the field. The public voice of Europe condemned Frederick very severely for so unprecedented an act.详情
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