During the winter Russia and France interposed in behalf of peace. The belligerents agreed to submit the question to their decision. Austria was permitted to take a small slice of Bavaria, and for a time the horrors of war were averted.68In 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.
186 “The next day the battalions will be formed in complete order, each grenadier with three cartridges. Crape will be placed about the colors, the drums, the fifes, and hautboys. Every officer will have crape on his hat, around his arm, and on the hilt of his sword. The funeral car will be placed near the green staircase, with the heads of the horses toward the river. Eight captains of my regiment will carry me toward the funeral car. These eight captains will also take me out of the car, and carry me into the church.
SIEGE OF OLMüTZ, MAY 12—JULY 2, 1758.Voltaire and the Jew.—Letter from Frederick to D’Arget.—Letter to Wilhelmina.—Caustic Letters to Voltaire.—Partial Reconciliation.—Frederick’s brilliant Conversational Powers.—His Neglect of his Wife.—All Females excluded from his Court.—Maupertuis and the Academy.—Voltaire’s Malignity.—Frederick’s Anger.—Correspondence between Voltaire and Maupertuis.—Menaces of War.—Catt and the King.CHAPTER XXIII. FREDERICK THE GREAT AT SANS SOUCI.
But this war, into which the Prussian king had so recklessly plunged all Europe, was purely a war of personal ambition. Even Frederick did not pretend that it involved any question of human rights. Unblushingly he avowed that he drew his sword and led his hundred thousand peasant-boys upon their dreadful career of carnage and misery simply that he might enlarge his territories, gain renown as a conqueror, and make the world talk about him. It must be a fearful thing to go to the356 judgment seat of Christ with such a crime weighing upon the soul.“I am greatly surprised that your excellency does not more accurately follow my orders. If you were more skillful than C?sar, and did not with strict fidelity obey my directions, all341 else were of no help to me. I hope this notice, once for all, will be enough, and that in future you will give no cause for complaint.”George was a taciturn, jealous, sullen old man, who quarreled with his son, who was then Prince of Wales. The other powers of Europe were decidedly opposed to this double marriage, as it would, in their view, create too intimate a union between Prussia and England, making them virtually one. Frederick William also vexatiously threw hinderances in the way. But the heart of the loving mother, Sophie Dorothee, was fixed upon these nuptials. For years she left no efforts of diplomacy or intrigue untried to accomplish her end. George I. is represented40 by Horace Walpole as a stolid, stubborn old German, living in a cloud of tobacco-smoke, and stupefying his faculties with beer. He had in some way formed a very unfavorable opinion of Wilhelmina, considering her, very falsely, ungainly in person and fretful in disposition. But at last the tact of Sophie Dorothee so far prevailed over her father, the British king, that he gave his somewhat reluctant but positive consent to the double matrimonial alliance. This was in 1723. Wilhelmina was then fourteen years of age. Fritz, but eleven years old, was too young to think very deeply upon the subject of his marriage. The young English Fred bore at that time the title of the Duke of Gloucester. He soon sent an envoy to Prussia, probably to convey to his intended bride presents and messages of love. The interview took place in the palace of Charlottenburg, a few miles out from Berlin. The vivacious Wilhelmina, in the following terms, describes the interview in her journal:
Gravitant contre les rochers,
“My blackguard daughter may receive the sacrament.”
539 Under the energetic administration of Frederick, Prussia began, very rapidly, to recover from the desolation which had overwhelmed it. The coin, in a little more than a year, was restored to its purity. In the course of two years Frederick rebuilt, in different parts of his realms, fourteen thousand five hundred houses. The army horses were distributed among the impoverished farmers for plow teams. Early in June, 1763, the king set out on a general tour of inspection.“It is a monument for the latest posterity; the only book worthy of a king for these fifteen hundred years.”33
Character of the Crown Prince.—Stratagem of the Emperor Joseph II.—Death of the Empress Catharine of Russia.—Matrimonial Alliance of Russia and Prussia.—Death of the King of Bavaria.—Attempt to Annex Bavaria to Austria.—Unexpected Energy of Frederick.—Court Intrigues.—Preparations for War.—Address to the Troops.—Declaration of War.—Terror in Vienna.—Irritability of Frederick.—Death of Voltaire.—Unjust Condemnation of the Judges.—Death of Maria Theresa.—Anecdote.—The King’s Fondness for Children.—His Fault-finding Spirit.—The King’s Appearance.—The Last Review.—Statement of Mirabeau.—Anecdote related by Dr. Moore.—Frederick’s Fondness for Dogs.—Increasing Weakness. —Unchanging Obduracy toward the Queen.—The Dying Scene.
“I have called you together, not to ask your advice, but to inform you that to-morrow I shall attack Marshal Daun. I am aware that he occupies a strong position, but it is one from which he can not escape. If I beat him, all his army must be taken prisoners or drowned in the Elbe. If we are beaten, we must all perish. This war is become tedious. You must all find it so. We will, if we can, finish it to-morrow. General Ziethen, I confide to you the right wing of the army. Your object must be, in marching straight to Torgau, to cut off the retreat of the Austrians when I shall have beaten them, and driven them from the heights of Siptitz.”详情
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