“Certainly I will fight. But do not flatter yourself about the result. A happy chance alone can help us. Go, in God’s name to Tangermünde. Wait there how destiny shall have disposed of us. I will reconnoitre the enemy to-morrow. Next day, if there is any thing to do, we will try it. If the enemy still holds to the Wine Hills of Frankfort, I shall not dare to attack him.Thus influenced, she yielded. Tears flooded her eyes, and her voice was broken with sobs as she said, “I am ready to sacrifice myself for the peace of the family.” The deputation withdrew, leaving the princess in despair. Baron Grumkow conveyed to the king the pleasing intelligence of her submission.
Frederick had now under his command twenty-four thousand men. They were mostly on the road between Frankfort and Berlin, for the protection of the capital. His brother Henry, in the vicinity of Landshut, with his head-quarters at Schm?ttseifen, was in command of thirty-eight thousand. The Russians and Austrians numbered one hundred and twenty thousand. There was, however, but little cordial co-operation among the allies. Each was accused of endeavoring to crowd the other to the front of the battle against the terrible Frederick.
“I arrived at last about one in the morning. I instantly threw myself on a bed. I was like to die of weariness, and in mortal terror that something had happened to my brother or the hereditary prince. The latter relieved me on his own score. He arrived at last about four o’clock; had still no news of my brother. I was beginning to doze a little, when they came to inform me that M. von Knobelsdorf wished to speak to me from the Prince Royal. I darted out of bed and ran to him.
Wilhelmina says that her grandpapa George was intolerably proud after he had attained the dignity of King of England, and that he was much disposed to look down upon her father, the King of Prussia, as occupying a very inferior position. Vexatiously he delayed signing the marriage treaty, to which he had given a verbal assent, evading the subject and presenting frivolous excuses. The reputation of the English Fred was far from good. He had attained eighteen years of age, was very unattractive in personal appearance, and extremely dissolute. George I., morose and moody, was only rendered more obstinate by being pressed. These delays exasperated Frederick William, who was far from being the meekest of men. Poor Sophie Dorothee was annoyed almost beyond endurance. Wilhelmina took the matter very coolly, for she declared that she cared nothing about her cousin Fred, and that she had no wish to marry him.He therefore spread his troops abroad in winter quarters, levying contributions upon the unhappy inhabitants of Silesia for their support. The king, ever prompt in his movements, having on Monday, the 23d of January, converted the siege into a blockade, on Wednesday, the 25th, set out for home. Visiting one or two important posts by the way, he reached Berlin the latter part of the week. Here he was received with great acclamations as a conquering hero. In six weeks he had overrun Silesia, and had virtually annexed it to his own realms. Whether Austria would quietly submit to this robbery, and whether Frederick would be able to retain his conquest, were questions yet to be decided.The next morning the princess received the following cruel epistle from her mother:
Quatre bons jours en pénitence
FREDERICK AND LINSENBARTH.PREFACE.Frederick paid no regard to the remonstrance of the emperor. The bishop, in his distress, applied to the French for aid, and then to the Dutch, but all in vain. He then sent an embassy to Berlin, proposing to purchase Herstal. The king consented to sell upon the same terms his father had offered, adding to the sum the expenses of his military expedition and other little items, bringing the amount up to one hundred and eighty thousand dollars. The money was paid, and the Herstal difficulty was settled. This was Frederick’s first act of foreign diplomacy. Many severely censured him for the violent course he pursued with a power incapable of resistance. All admitted the energy and sagacity which he had developed in the affair.
“From day to day I grow more weary of dwelling in a body worn out and condemned to suffer. I am writing to you in the first moment of my grief. Astonishment, sorrow, indignation, and scorn, all blended together, lacerate my soul. Let us get to the end, then, of this execrable campaign. I will then write to you what is to become of me, and we will arrange the rest. Pity me, and make no noise about me. Bad news goes fast enough of itself. Adieu, dear marquis.”
“‘Quand on a tout perdu, quand on n’a plus d’espoir, La vie est un opprobre, et la mort un devoir.’156548 “Frederick’s share,” writes Mr. Carlyle, “as an anciently Teutonic country, and as filling up the always dangerous gap between his Ost Prussen and him, has, under Prussian administration, proved much the most valuable of the three, and, next to Silesia, is Frederick’s most important acquisition.”详情
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