“For a hundred miles around,” writes St. Germain, “the country434 is plundered and harried as if fire from heaven had fallen on it. Scarcely have our plunderers and marauders left the houses standing.”
In the latter part of June a large train of over three thousand four-horse wagons, laden with all necessary supplies, left Troppau for Olmütz. It is difficult for a reader unfamiliar with such scenes to form any conception of the magnitude of such an enterprise. There are twelve thousand horses to be shod, harnessed, and fed, and watered three or four times a day. There are three thousand wagons to be kept in repair, rattling over the stones and plowing through the mire. Six thousand teamsters are required. There is invariably connected with such a movement one or two thousand camp-followers, sutlers, women, vagabonds. A large armed force is also needed to act as convoy.a a. Stages of the Prussian March. b. Daun’s Encampment. c. Prussian Batteries and Intrenchments. d d d. Prussian Camps. e e. Loudon’s March against Mosel’s Convoy. f f. Mosel’s resting Quarters. g. Convoy attacked and ruined.Days of pain and nights of sleeplessness were his portion. A hard cough racked his frame. His strength failed him. Ulcerous sores broke out upon various parts of his body. A constant oppression at his chest rendered it impossible for him to lie down. Gout tortured him. His passage to the grave led through eighteen months of constant suffering. Dr. Zimmermann, in his diary of the 2d of August, writes:
It would seem that Frederick was not very willing to receive, as his guest, the divine Emilie, who occupied so questionable a position in the household of Voltaire; for he wrote again, on the 5th of August, in reply to a letter from Voltaire, saying,Kannegiesser, at Hanover, received the king’s propositions for reconciliation at ten o’clock in the morning of the 15th of August, 1729. George II. was then absent on a hunting excursion. The Prussian embassador called immediately at the council-chamber of the Hanoverian court, and informed M. Hartoff, the privy secretary, that he wished an audience with the ministry, then in session, to make a proposition to them from the Prussian court. Hartoff, who had met Kannegiesser in a room adjoining the council-chamber, reported the request to the council, and returned with the disrespectful answer that “M. Kannegiesser must defer what he has to say to some other time.”Circumstances had already rendered Frederick one of the most important personages in Europe. He could ally himself with France, and humble Austria; or he could ally himself with England and Austria, and crush France. All the lesser lights in the Continental firmament circulated around these central luminaries. Consequently Frederick was enabled to take a conspicuous part in all the diplomatic intrigues which were then agitating the courts of Europe.
“Believe, my charming sister, that never brother in the world loved with such tenderness a sister so charming as mine.”dd. Prussian Cavalry.
“‘See there; that is the way to mark out camps.’”192“I shall send you a curious pamphlet, the only work I almost ever knew that changed the opinions of many. It is called ‘Considerations on the present German War.’ The confirmation of the King of Prussia’s victory near Torgau does not prevent the disciples of the pamphlet from thinking that the best thing which could happen for us would be to have that monarch’s head shot off.”162
Frederick.”With the first dawn of the morning, the two armies, in close contact, rushed furiously upon each other. There were seventy351 thousand on the one side, seventy-five thousand on the other. They faced each other in lines over an undulating plain nearly ten miles in extent. It is in vain to attempt to give the reader an adequate idea of the terrible battle which ensued. With musketry, artillery, gleaming sabres, and rushing horsemen, the infuriate hosts dashed upon each other. For fifteen hours the blood-red surges of battle swept to and fro over the plain. At length Prince Charles, having lost nine thousand in dead and wounded, seven thousand prisoners, sixteen thousand in all, sixty-six cannon, seventy-three flags and standards, beat a retreat. Rapidly his bleeding and exhausted troops marched back through Hohenfriedberg, entered the mountain defiles, and sought refuge, a thoroughly beaten army, among the fortresses of Bohemia. Frederick remained the undisputed victor of the field. Five thousand of his brave soldiers lay dead or wounded upon the plain. Even his stoical heart was moved by the greatness of the victory. As he first caught sight of M. Valori after the battle, he threw his arms around him, exclaiming, “My friend, God has helped me wonderfully this day.”Such were the measures adopted during the first week of Frederick’s reign. He soon abolished the enormously expensive regiment of giants, and organized, instead of them, four regiments composed of men of the usual stature.32 Within a few months he added sixteen thousand men to his already large army, thus193 raising the number of the standing army of his little realm to over ninety thousand men. He compelled his old associates to feel, and some of them very keenly, that he was no longer their comrade, but their king. One of the veteran and most honored officers of Frederick William, in his expressions of condolence and congratulation, ventured to suggest the hope that he and his sons might continue to “occupy the same posts and retain the same authority as in the last reign.”
Fully conscious that the respect which would be paid to him as a European sovereign greatly depended upon the number of men he could bring into the field of battle, Frederick William devoted untiring energies to the creation of an army. By the most severe economy, watching with an eagle eye every expenditure, and bringing his cudgel down mercilessly upon the shoulders26 of every loiterer, he succeeded in raising and maintaining an army of one hundred thousand men; seventy-two thousand being field troops, and thirty thousand in garrison.2 He drilled these troops as troops were never drilled before.
“General Saldern, to-morrow morning I wish you to go with a detachment of infantry and cavalry to Hubertsburg. Take possession of the palace, and pack up all the furniture. The money they bring I mean to bestow on our field hospitals. I will not forget you in disposing of it.
After a long pause Lord Hyndford inquired, “Would your majesty consent to an armistice?Two days after the death of Katte, the king wrote to Chaplain Müller, under date of November 7th, 1730, a letter closing with the following words:“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.”
In one short hour the gallant deed was done. But ten of the assailants were killed and forty-eight wounded. The loss of the Austrians was more severe. The whole garrison, one thousand sixty-five in number, and their materiel of war, consisting of fifty brass cannons, a large amount of ammunition, and the military chest, containing thirty-two thousand florins, fell into the hands of the victors. To the inhabitants of Glogau it was a matter of very little moment whether the Austrian or the Prussian banner floated over their citadel. Neither party paid much more regard to the rights of the people than they did to those of the mules and the horses.“Voltaire has conducted himself like a blackguard and a consummate rascal. I have talked to him as he deserved. He is a sad fellow. I am quite ashamed for human abilities that a man who has so much of them should be so full of wickedness. I am not surprised that people talk at Paris of the quarrel of our beaux esprits. Voltaire is the most mischievous madman I ever knew. He is only good to read. It is impossible for you to388 imagine the duplicities, the impositions, the infamies he practiced here. I am quite indignant that so much talent and acquirement do not make men better. I took the part of Maupertuis because he is a good sort of man, and the other had determined upon ruining him. A little too much vanity had rendered him too sensitive to the man?uvres of this monkey, whom he ought to have despised after having castigated him.”95详情
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