Olmütz was an ancient, strongly fortified city of Moravia, pleasantly situated on the western banks of the Morawa River. It had been the capital of Moravia, and contained about ten thousand inhabitants. The place subsequently became renowned from the imprisonment of Lafayette in its citadel for many years. The city had become an arsenal, and one of the most important military store-houses of Austria.
Soon after, the king returned to Berlin and summoned his daughter to his presence. He received her very graciously. The queen, however, remained quite unreconciled, and was loud in the expression of her anger: “I am disgraced, vanquished, and my enemies are triumphant!” she exclaimed. Her chagrin was so great that she fell quite sick. To a few words of sympathy which her child uttered, she replied, “Why do you pretend to weep? It is you who have killed me.”“By no means,” the king replied. “With men like these I shall be sure of victory to-day!”114CHAPTER V. IMPRISONMENT OF FRITZ AND WILHELMINA.
This immense building presented a front of nearly a thousand feet; for, being in a quadrangular form, it fronted four ways. It was all faced with hammered stone. In one of the towers this bachelor husband constructed his library. It was a magnificent apartment, provided with every convenience, and decorated with the most tasteful adornments which the arts could furnish. Its windows commanded an enchanting prospect of the lake, with its tufted islands and the densely wooded heights beyond.His wintry ride, a defeated monarch leaving a shattered army behind him, must have been dark and dreary. He had already exhausted nearly all the resources which his father, Frederick William, had accumulated. His army was demoralized, weakened, and his materiel of war greatly impaired. His subjects were already heavily taxed. Though practicing the most rigid economy, with his eye upon every expenditure, his disastrous Bohemian campaign had cost him three hundred and fifty thousand dollars a month. The least sum with which he could commence a new campaign for the protection of Silesia was four million five hundred thousand dollars. He had already melted up the sumptuous plate, and the massive silver balustrades and balconies where his father had deposited so much solid treasure.
While in this deplorable condition, Maupertuis was found by the Prince of Lichtenstein, an Austrian officer who had met him in Paris. The prince rescued him from his brutal captors and supplied him with clothing. He was, however, taken to Vienna as a prisoner of war, where he was placed on parole. Voltaire, whose unamiable nature was pervaded by a very marked vein of malignity, made himself very merry over the misfortunes of the philosopher. As Maupertuis glided about the streets of Vienna for a time in obscurity, the newspapers began to speak of his scientific celebrity. He was thus brought into notice. The queen treated him with distinction. The Grand-duke Francis drew his own watch from his pocket, and presented it to Maupertuis265 in recompense for the one he had lost. Eventually he was released, and, loaded with many presents, was sent to Brittany.“P.S.—I most humbly beg your majesty not to speak of this323 to the queen-mother, as perhaps she would not approve of the step we are now taking.
478 The latter part of June, an army of a hundred thousand Russians, having crossed the Vistula, was concentrated, under General Soltikof, at Posen, on the River Warta, in Poland. They were marching from the northeast to attack the Prussian forces near Landshut in their rear. General Daun, with a still larger force of Austrians, was confronting Frederick on the southwest. The plan of the allies was to crush their foe between these two armies. Frederick had lost the ablest of his generals. The young men who were filling their places were untried.Early in the spring of 1757, France, Russia, Austria, Poland, and Sweden were combined against Frederick. These countries represented a population of one hundred millions. Frederick’s domains contained but five millions. His annual revenue was but about ten million dollars. He had an army in the field of one hundred and fifty thousand of the best troops in the world. His fortresses were garrisoned by about fifty thousand of inferior quality. The armies of the allies numbered four hundred and thirty thousand. Frederick was regarded as an outlaw. The design of the allies was to crush him, and to divide his territory between them. Austria was to retake Silesia. France was to have the Wesel-Cleve country. Russia was to annex to her domains Prussen, K?nigsberg, etc. Poland, having regained Saxony, was to add to her territory Magdeburg and Halle. Sweden was to have Pomerania. Never before had there appeared such a combination against any man. The situation of Frederick seemed desperate.
“When did you get rid of your guests?” inquired the king.
The question arises, Why was Frederick William so averse to the marriage of Fritz with the Princess Amelia? Probably the real reason was his rooted antipathy to his son, and his consequent unwillingness to do any thing which would promote his interests or increase his influence. His advisers strengthened him in this sentiment. The English were very unpopular at Berlin. Their assumption of superiority over all other peoples was a constant annoyance. The Prussian king said to his confidential friends,
“Anne Amelia.“Here, take that order to General Lossow, and tell him that he is not to take it ill that I trouble him, as I have none in my suite that can do any thing.” It often seemed to give Frederick pleasure, and never pain, to wound the feelings of others.
It was now half past four o’clock. The sun of the short November day was rapidly sinking. Hasty preparations were made for another charge, aided by a body of Prussian cavalry which had just reached the ground. The gathering twilight was darkening hill and valley as the third assault was made. It was somewhat successful. By this time the two armies were quite intermingled. Marshal Daun was severely wounded, and was taken into Torgau to have his wounds dressed. The hour514 of six had now arrived. It was a damp, cloudy, dark night. The combatants were guided mainly by the flash of the muskets and the guns. “The night was so dark,” says Archenholtz, “that you could not see your hand before you.” Still for two hours the battle raged.详情
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