“You are now,” said Frederick, “by consent of the allies, King of Moravia. Now is the time, now or never, to become so in fact. Push forward your Saxon troops. The Austrian forces are weak in that country. At Iglau, just over the border from Austria, there is a large magazine of military stores, which can299 easily be seized. Urge forward your troops. The French will contribute strong divisions. I will join you with twenty thousand men. We can at once take possession of Moravia, and perhaps march directly on to Vienna.Her majesty now wrote to Prince Charles, urging him to engage immediately in a fight with Frederick. She sent two of the highest dignitaries of the court to K?niggr?tz to press forward immediate action. There was an eminence near by, which the Austrian officers daily ascended, and from which they could look directly into the Prussian camp and observe all that was transpiring there.
“Nürnberg, July 3, 1734.FREDERICK THE GREAT.
“Russia,” added Sir Thomas, with some stateliness of utterance, “is not the only power which has engagements with Austria, and which must keep them too; so that, however averse to a breach—In carrying forward these intrigues at the camp of Frederick, the Count of Belleisle had an associate minister in the embassy, M. De Valori. A slight incident occurred in connection with this minister which would indicate, in the view of most persons, that Frederick did not cherish a very high sense of honor. M. Valori was admitted to an audience with his Prussian majesty. During the interview, as the French minister drew his hand from his pocket, he accidentally dropped a note upon the floor. Frederick, perceiving it, slyly placed his foot upon it. As soon as the minister had bowed himself out, Frederick eagerly seized the273 note and read it. It contained some secret instructions to M. Valori from the French court, directing him not to give Glatz to his Prussian majesty if it could possibly be avoided. Frederick did not perceive any thing ignoble in this act of his, for he records it himself;56 neither does Mr. Carlyle condemn him.57 Most readers will probably regard it as highly dishonorable.
“‘Yes, I tell you,’ the king replied; ‘but I must have his writing-case.’ For he had already informed himself that it was in the queen’s possession.
113 The prince supposed that the object of Muller’s visits was to prepare him for his death. But upon receiving the full assurance that his father contemplated pardoning him, should there be evidence of repentance, he promised to take an oath of entire submission to his father’s will. Seven commissioners were sent to the prison of Cüstrin, on the 19th of November, to administer this oath with the utmost solemnity. He was conducted to the church. A large crowd was in attendance. A sermon appropriate to the occasion was preached. The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was administered to him. And then he audibly repeated the oath and attached to it his signature.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:
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.”WILHELMINA.
Sunday, July 6th, was a day of terrible heat. At three o’clock in the morning the Prussian troops were again in motion. There was not a breath of wind. The blazing sun grew hotter and hotter. There was no shade. The soldiers were perishing of thirst. Still the command was “onward,” “onward.” In that day’s march one hundred and five Prussian soldiers dropped dead in their tracks.These two events so exasperated his Prussian majesty that the next morning, at an early hour, he reopened upon the doomed236 city with renewed vigor his fire of bombshells and red-hot shot. Fire companies were organized throughout the city, to rush with their engines wherever the glowing balls descended, and thus the flames which frequently burst out were soon extinguished. All day Thursday, Thursday night, Friday, and until nine in the morning of Saturday, the tempest of battle, with occasional lulls, hurled its bolts and uttered its thunders. There was then a short rest until four o’clock on Sunday afternoon, when the batteries again opened their action more vigorously than ever, nine bombs being often in the air at the same time.
It was but sixty miles from Prague to Tabor. The march of Frederick’s division led through Kunraditz, across the Sazawa River, through Bistritz and Miltchin. It was not until the ninth332 day of their toilsome march that the steeples of Tabor were descried, in the distant horizon, on its high, scarped rock. Here both columns united. Half of the draught cattle had perished by the way, and half of the wagons had been abandoned.THE KING IN SEARCH OF LODGINGS.The officer drew up a statement of the facts, and sent it to the king, with the complaint that he had been dishonored in discharging the duties intrusted to him by his majesty. The king sent the following reply:
On the 20th of April he wrote: “Our situation is disagreeable, but my determination is taken. If we needs must fight, we will do it like men driven desperate. Never was there a greater peril than that I am now in. Time, at its own pleasure, will untie this knot, or destiny, if there is one, determine the event. The348 game I play is so high, one can not contemplate the issue with cold blood. Pray for the return of my good luck.”CHAPTER XXXIV. THE PARTITION OF POLAND.
In September, 1777, the King of Bavaria died. The emperor thought it a good opportunity to annex Bavaria to Austria. “Do but look on the map,” says Carlyle, in his peculiar style of thought and expression: “you would say, Austria without Bavaria is like a human figure with its belly belonging to somebody else. Bavaria is the trunk or belly of the Austrian dominions, shutting off all the limbs of them each from the other; making for central part a huge chasm.”详情
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