Mr. Carlyle has written the Life of Frederick the Great in six closely printed volumes of over five hundred pages each. It is a work of much ability and accuracy. There are, however, but few persons, in this busy age, who can find time to read three thousand pages of fine type, descriptive of events, many of which have lost their interest, and have ceased to possess any practical value. Still, the student who has leisure to peruse these voluminous annals of all the prominent actors in Europe during the reign of Frederick and of his half-insane father, will find a rich treat in the wonderfully graphic and accurate pages of Carlyle.The returning messenger took back the following reply. It was, as usual, ungrammatical, miserably spelled, and confused. Contemptuously the king spoke of his son in the third person, writing he and his instead of you and yours. Abruptly he commences:
“Since this time he has spared no expense for the furtherance of his salutary intentions. He first established wise regulations and laws. He rebuilt whatever had been allowed to go to ruin in consequence of the plague. He brought and established there thousands of families from the different countries of Europe. The lands became again productive, and the country populous. Commerce reflourished; and at the present time abundance reigns in this country more than ever before. There are now half a million of inhabitants in Lithuania. There are more towns than formerly; more flocks, and more riches and fertility than in any other part of Germany.The correspondence thus commenced was prosecuted with great vigor. It seemed difficult to find language sufficiently expressive of their mutual admiration. Frederick received many of Voltaire’s unpublished manuscripts, and sent him many tokens of regard. Some of Frederick’s manuscripts Voltaire also examined, and returned with slight corrections and profuse expressions of delight.
“From the Field of Battle of Chotusitz, May 17, 1742.Frederick exclaimed, in astonishment, “What an infernal fire! Did you ever hear such a cannonade before? I never did.”
“I therefore beg my dear papa to be gracious to me; and can here say that, after long reflection, my conscience has not accused me of any the least thing with which I could reproach myself. But if I have, against my will and knowledge, done any thing which has angered my dear papa, I herewith most submissively beg forgiveness, and hope my dear papa will lay aside that cruel hatred which I can not but notice in all his treatment of me. I54 could not otherwise suit myself to it, as I always thought I had a gracious papa, and now have to see the contrary. I take confidence, then, and hope that my dear papa will consider all this, and again be gracious to me. And in the mean while I assure him that I will never, all my days, fail with my will; and, notwithstanding his disfavor to me, remain my dear papa’s most faithful and obedient servant and son,In his “epistle” Frederick had expressed the opinion that428 there was no God who took any interest in human affairs. He had also repeatedly expressed the resolve to Wilhelmina, and to Voltaire, to whom he had become partially reconciled, that he was prepared to commit suicide should events prove as disastrous as he had every reason to expect they would prove. He had also urged his sister to follow his example, and not to survive the ruin of the family. Such was the support which the king, in hours of adversity, found in that philosophy for which he had discarded the religion of Jesus Christ.
Linsenbarth, thus left alone, sauntered from the garden back to the esplanade. There he stood quite bewildered. He had walked that day twenty miles beneath a July sun and over the burning sands. He had eaten nothing. He had not a farthing in his pocket.The king himself became much fascinated with the personal loveliness and the sparkling intelligence of the young dancer. He even condescended to take tea with her, in company with others. Not long after her arrival in Berlin she made a conquest of a young gentleman of one of the first Prussian families, M. Cocceji, son of the celebrated chancellor, and was privately married to him. For a time Barberina continued upon the stage. At length, in the enjoyment of ample wealth, she purchased a splendid mansion, and, publicly announcing her marriage, retired with her husband to private life. But the mother of Cocceji, and other proud family friends, scorned the lowly alliance. A320 divorce was the result. Soon after, Barberina was married to a nobleman of high rank, and we hear of her no more.
Upon one occasion she ordered a very rich silk dress directly from Lyons. The custom-house dues were heavy. The custom-house officer detained the dress until the dues should be paid. The haughty princess, exceedingly indignant, sent an order to him to bring the dress instantly to her, and she would pay the538 demand. As soon as he entered her apartment, she snatched the dress from his hands, and with her open palm gave him two slaps in the face, ordering him immediately to leave the house175
The Encampment at Brieg.—Bombardment.—Diplomatic Intrigues.—Luxury of the Spanish Minister.—Rising Greatness of Frederick.—Frederick’s Interview with Lord Hyndford.—Plans of France.—Desperate Prospects of Maria Theresa.—Anecdote of Frederick.—Joint Action of England and Holland.—Heroic Character of Maria Theresa.—Coronation of the Queen of Hungary.“I am unfortunate and old, dear marquis. That is why they persecute me. God knows what my future is to be this year. I grieve to resemble Cassandra with my prophecies. But how augur well of the desperate situation we are in, and which goes on growing worse? I am so gloomy to-day I will cut short.The Austrians took position upon the south, at the distance of about six miles. The Russians were at the same distance on the west, with their head-quarters at Hohenfriedberg.
MAP OF THE CAMPAIGN OF ROSSBACH.
188 He then summoned his physician, M. Pitsch, and said, “Feel my pulse. Tell me how long this will last.”Maximilian Joseph, son of the emperor, was at the time of his father’s death but seventeen years of age. He was titular Elector of Bavaria; but Austrian armies had overrun the electorate, and he was a fugitive from his dominions. At the entreaty of his mother, he entered into a treaty of alliance with the Queen of Hungary. She agreed to restore to him his realms, and to recognize his mother as empress dowager. He, on the other hand, agreed to support the Pragmatic Sanction, and to give his vote for the Grand-duke Francis as Emperor of Germany.
The Austrians retired to Dresden for winter quarters. Frederick was left in the field which he had won. Gradually he withdrew to his old camping-ground at Freiberg, where his troops had been cantoned the previous winter. On the 10th of November, 1760, he wrote from Meissen to the Marquis D’Argens at Berlin:详情
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