Notwithstanding the opposition, Parliament voted to continue the subsidy to Frederick of about three million four hundred thousand dollars (￡670,000). This sum was equal to twice or three times that amount at the present day.“I am so stupefied with the misfortune which has befallen494 General Finck that I can not recover from my astonishment. It deranges all my measures. It cuts me to the quick. Ill luck, which persecutes my old age, has followed me from Kunersdorf to Saxony. I will still strive what I can. The little ode I sent you, addressed to Fortune, was written too soon. One should not shout victory until the battle is over. I am so crushed by these reverses and disasters that I wish a thousand times I were dead.
The Prussian minister replied that he could not conceive why he should be refused an audience; that he should not fail to be at the council-chamber at eleven o’clock the next day to receive an answer to the proposals already made, and also to the proposals which he was prepared to make. He endeavored to inform Hartoff of the terms of compromise which the Prussian king was ready to present. But Hartoff refused to hear him, declaring that he had positive orders not to listen to any thing he had to say upon the subject. We will give the conclusion in the words of the Prussian minister, as found in his dispatch of the 18th of August, 1729:
Notwithstanding these sentiments, the king sent throughout Silesia a supply of sixty Protestant preachers, ordained especially243 for the work. Though Frederick himself did not wish to live in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ, it is very evident that he did not fear the influence of that Gospel upon his Silesian subjects. Very wisely the Protestant preachers were directed carefully to avoid giving any offense to the Catholics. They were to preach in barns and town-halls in places where there was no Protestant church. The salary of each was one hundred and fifty dollars a year, probably with rations. They were all placed under the general superintendence of one of the army chaplains.
“My lord, there seems to be a contradiction in all this. The King of England, in his letter, tells me you are instructed as to every thing, and yet you pretend ignorance. But I am perfectly informed of all. And I should not be surprised if, after all these fine words, you should receive some strong letter or resolution for me.” Then, turning to his secretary, he added, sarcastically, “Write down that my lord would be surprised to receive such instruction.”
“This I would not do; my awe was too great. They thereupon laid hands upon me. One took me by the right arm, another by the left, and led me to the garden. Having got me there, they looked out for the king. He was among the gardeners examining some rare plant, and had his back to us. Here I had to halt. The officers began in an under tone to put me382 through my drill. ‘Take your hat under your left arm; put your right foot foremost; breast well forward; hold your head up; hold your papers aloft in your right hand; there, so—steady—steady!’
THE YOUNG LORDS OF SAXONY ON A WINTER CAMPAIGN.CHAPTER XXXV. LIFE’S CLOSING SCENES.“What shall I say to you, my lord, of the Prince Royal, the lover and the favorite of the Muses? Several days, which we passed with him in his castle of Reinsberg, seemed to be but a few hours. He is the most intelligent and the most amiable of men. Though I could notice only his private virtues, I can boldly assure you, my lord, that the world will one day admire his royal qualifications, and that when he shall be upon the throne he will show himself to be the greatest of sovereigns. There is all the reason in the world to believe that he will seek out for great men with as much eagerness as his father does for giants.”
The reception of the princess was so cruel, by Queen Sophie and her younger daughter Charlotte, that the inexperienced maiden of but seventeen summers must have been perfectly wretched. But she could only bear her anguish in silence. There was nothing for her to say, and nothing for her to do. She was led, by resistless powers, a victim to the sacrifice.
“After which the Lord’s Prayer; then rapidly and vigorously wash himself clean; dress, and powder, and comb himself. While they are combing and queuing him, he is to breakfast on tea. Prayer, washing, breakfast, and the rest to be done pointedly within fifteen minutes.“I have seen neither my brother48 nor Keyserling.49 I left them at Breslau, not to expose them to the dangers of war. They perhaps will be a little angry, but what can I do? the rather as, on this occasion, one can not share in the glory unless one is a mortar!
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The king had a logical mind. He could keenly feel where the argument pinched. He seemed quite troubled. After a moment’s pause, he said, “Well, I will do it.” Then, turning to the queen, he said, “You, Phiekin, may write to your brother, after I am dead, and tell him that I forgave him, and died at peace with him.”The Prince of Soubise had rendezvoused fifty thousand French and Saxon troops at Erfurt, about a hundred and seventy miles west of Dresden. He had also, scattered around at different posts, easily accessible, a hundred thousand more well-armed and well-disciplined troops. Frederick took twenty-three thousand men and marched to assail these foes in almost despairing battle. To plunge with so feeble a band into such a mass of enemies seemed to be the extreme of recklessness.
Frederick published his manifesto on the 10th of August, 1744. Early in the morning of the 15th he set out from Potsdam upon this new military expedition. His two eldest brothers, Augustus William, Prince of Prussia, and Prince Henry, accompanied him. The army entered Bohemia in three columns, whose concentrated force amounted to nearly one hundred thousand men. Frederick in person led the first column, the old331 Prince Leopold the second, and Marshal Schwerin the third. Marching by different routes, they swept all opposition before them. On the 4th of September the combined army appeared before the walls of Prague. Here, as in every act of Frederick’s life, his marvelous energy was conspicuous.Many of the trenches were sixteen feet broad by sixteen feet524 deep. Under each battery there were two mines. In case of capture, the mines and the victors could be blown high into the air. Knowing that the batteries were all mined, the Russian and Austrian soldiers would be slow to make charges in which victory would be certain death. The small villages around were all strongly fortified.“Ah!” said the king, gayly, “we must have them back from him again.”详情
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