“High madam,” he said, fervently, “at this crisis, alliance with Frederick is salvation to Austria. His continued hostility is utter ruin. England can not help your majesty. The slightest endeavor would cause the loss of Hanover.”“As I could not get into the cabin, because it was all engaged, I staid with the other passengers in the steerage, and the weather being fine, came upon deck. After some time there stepped out of the cabin a man in cinnamon-colored coat with gold buttons; in black wig; face and coat considerably dusted with Spanish snuff. He looked at me fixedly for a while, and then said, without farther preface, ‘Who are you, sir?’ This cavalier tone from an unknown person, whose exterior indicated nothing very important, did not please me, and I declined satisfying his curiosity. He was silent. But some time after he assumed a more courteous tone, and said, ‘Come in here to me, sir. You will be better here than in the steerage amidst the tobacco-smoke.’
“You are too good. I am ashamed to abuse your indulgence. But do, since you are willing, try and sound the French, and learn what conditions of peace they would demand. Send that Mirabeau103 to France. Willingly will I pay the expense. He may offer as much as five million thalers [,750,000] to the Favorite104 for peace alone.”
THE KING APPROACHING SCHNELLENDORF.
CHAPTER XXXIII. THE END OF THE SEVEN YEARS’ WAR.
“After about two hours I stepped out for a moment into the vestibule. I had placed before me a large glass of water, which the princess, opposite to whom I had the honor to sit, in a vein of mischievous pleasantry, had ordered to be emptied, and had filled it with Sellery wine, which was as clear as rock water. Having already lost my taste, I mixed my wine with wine. Thinking to refresh myself, I became joyous, but it was a kind of joy that leaned toward intoxication.With that vigilant eye upon him, Frederick was compelled to some vigor of action. On the night of October 17th he commenced the bombardment. The noise was terrific. It could not294 be prevented but that the shot and shell should do some harm. Some buildings were burned; several lives were lost. M. Valori, who knew that the result could not be doubtful, was induced to go to Breslau and await the surrender. After the garrison had made apparently a gallant resistance, and Frederick had achieved apparent prodigies of valor, the city was surrendered on the 31st of October. Most of the garrison immediately enlisted in the Prussian service.
MAP OF SILESIA.
“What induced you to desert me?” inquired the king.“Mr. Guy Dickens may give to the prince the assurance of the deep compassion which the king feels in view of the sad condition in which the prince finds himself, and of the sincere desire of his majesty to aid, by all the means in his power, to extricate him. While waiting the result of some negotiations now on foot, his majesty is of the opinion that it would be best for the prince to defer for a time his present design; that the present critical state of affairs in Europe do not present a favorable opportunity for the execution of the contemplated plan; that the idea of retiring to France demands very careful deliberation; and that there is not time now to ascertain how such a step would be regarded by the French court, which his majesty would think to be essential before he advise a prince so dear to him to withdraw to that country.”
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.The reception of the princess was so cruel, by Queen Sophie and her younger daughter Charlotte, that the inexperienced maiden of but seventeen summers must have been perfectly wretched. But she could only bear her anguish in silence. There was nothing for her to say, and nothing for her to do. She was led, by resistless powers, a victim to the sacrifice.
The position of Frederick became daily more embarrassing. His forces were continually decreasing. Re-enforcements were swelling the ranks of the Austrians. Elated in becoming the Imperial Army, they grew more bold and annoying, assailing the Prussian outposts and cutting off their supplies.“Madam,—I am much obliged by the wishes you deign to form; but a heavy fever I have taken hinders me from answering you.”
“We can not afford the least narrative of G?rtz and his courses: imagination, from a few traits, will sufficiently conceive them. He had gone first to Karl Theodor’s minister: ‘Dead to it, I fear; has already signed?’ Alas! yes. Upon which to Zweibrück, the heir’s minister, whom his master had distinctly ordered to sign,554 but who, at his own peril, gallant man, delayed, remonstrated, had not yet done it; and was able to answer:详情
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