“Yesterday I wrote to you to come; to-day I forbid it. Daun is marching upon Berlin. Fly these unhappy countries. This news obliges me again to attack the Russians between here and Frankfort. You may imagine if this is a desperate resolution. It is the sole hope that remains to me of not being cut off from Berlin on the one side or the other. I will give these discouraged troops brandy, but I promise myself nothing of success. My one consolation is that I shall die sword in hand.”
a a. Prussian Infantry, b. Cavalry, c c. Artillery. d d. Austrian Army.L’airs émus par le bruyant tonnere.
“And if the hussar took me into the palace, it was now the secretary took me out again. And there, yoked with six horses, stood a royal wagon, which, having led me to, the secretary said, ‘You people, the king has given order that you are to take this stranger to Berlin, and you are to accept no drink-money from him.’ I again testified my thankfulness for the royal kindness, took my place, and rolled away.And thus the king passed from regiment to regiment. Perhaps no commander, excepting Napoleon, has ever secured to an equal degree the love of his soldiers. It is said that a deserter was brought before him.
There were other abodes of the king, the Berlin and Potsdam palaces, which retained much of the splendor with which they had been embellished by the splendor-loving monarch, Frederick I. There were but few regal mansions in the world which then surpassed them. And though the king furnished his own apartments with Spartan simplicity and rudeness, there were other portions of these royal residences, as also their surroundings in general, which were magnificent in the highest degree. The health of little Fritz was rather frail, and at times he found it hard to devote himself to his sturdy tasks with the energy which his father required.
“My dearest Brother,—I know not if it is not too bold to trouble your majesty on private affairs. But the great confidence my sister and I have in your kindness encourages us to lay before you a sincere avowal of our little finances, which are a good deal deranged just now. The revenues, having for two years and a half past been rather small, amounting to only four hundred crowns (0) a year, could not be made to cover all the little expenses required in the adjustment of ladies. This circumstance, added to our card-playing, though small, which we could not dispense with, has led us into debt. Mine amounts to fifteen hundred crowns (25); my sister’s, to eighteen hundred crowns (50). We have not spoken of it to the queen-mother, though we are sure she would have tried to assist us. But as that could not have been done without some inconvenience to her, and as she would have retrenched in some of her own little entertainments, I thought we should do better to apply directly to your majesty. We were persuaded you would have taken it amiss had we deprived the queen of her smallest pleasure, and especially as we consider you, my dear brother, the father of the family, and hope you will be so gracious as to help us. We shall never forget the kind acts of your majesty. We beg you to be persuaded of the perfect and tender attachment with which we are proud to be, all our lives, your majesty’s most humble sisters and servants,THE TOBACCO PARLIAMENT.
There was a famine in Poland, and the famine was followed by pestilence. A general state of tumult and discord ensued. Maria Theresa had gathered a large army on the frontiers of Hungary to watch the designs of Russia upon Turkey. Availing herself of this disturbed state of Poland, Maria Theresa marched her troops into one of its provinces called Zips, which had once belonged to Hungary, and quietly extended her boundaries around the acquisition. Catharine was much exasperated by the measure.
On the 20th of January, 1745, Charles Albert, the unhappy344 and ever-unfortunate Emperor of Germany, died at Munich, in the forty-eighth year of his age. Tortured by a complication of the most painful disorders, he had seldom, for weary years, enjoyed an hour of freedom from acute pain. An incessant series of disasters crushed all his hopes. He was inextricably involved in debt. Triumphant foes drove him from his realms. He wandered a fugitive in foreign courts, exposed to humiliation and the most cutting indignities. Thus the victim of bodily and mental anguish, it is said that one day some new tidings of disaster prostrated him upon the bed of death. He was patient and mild, but the saddest of mortals. Gladly he sought refuge in the tomb from the storms of his drear and joyless life. An eye-witness writes, “Charles Albert’s pious and affectionate demeanor drew tears from all eyes. The manner in which he took leave of his empress would have melted a heart of stone.”“I have hardly strength enough to trace these lines. My state is altogether worthy of pity. It is not through any menaces, however violent they may have been, that I have yielded my consent to the king’s wishes. An interest still more dear to me has determined me to this sacrifice. I have been till now the innocent cause of all the unhappiness which your majesty has endured. My too sensible heart has been penetrated by the touching details you have latterly made of them.
As they marched their voices burst forth simultaneously in a German hymn. The gush of their rude and many-voiced melody was borne distinctly on the wind to the eminence where Frederick stood, anxiously watching those movements which were to decide his own fate, that of his family, and of his kingdom. The following is a translation of one of the verses of this hymn:The winter was long, cold, and dreary. Fierce storms swept the fields, piling up the snow in enormous drifts. But for this cruel war, the Prussian, Russian, and Austrian peasants, who had been dragged into the armies to slaughter each other, might have been in their humble but pleasant homes, by the bright fireside, in the enjoyment of all comforts.
In the mean time, during the two years in which Maria Theresa was making these conquests, Frederick, alarmed by the aggrandizement of Austria and the weakening of France, while unavailingly striving to promote peace, was busily employed in the administration of his internal affairs. He encouraged letters; devoted much attention to the Academy of Arts and Sciences; reared the most beautiful opera-house in Europe; devoted large sums to secure the finest musicians and the most exquisite ballet-dancers which Europe could afford. He sought to make his capital attractive to all those throughout Europe who were inspired by a thirst for knowledge, or who were in the pursuit of pleasure.Frederick cautiously refused to sign his name to any paper. Verbally, he agreed that in one week from that time, on the 16th, General Neipperg should have liberty to retire to the south through the mountains, unmolested save by sham attacks in his rear. A small garrison was to be left in Neisse. After maintaining a sham siege for a fortnight, they were to surrender the291 city. Sham hostilities, to deceive the French, were to be continued until the year was out, and then a treaty was to be signed and ratified.It is said that Frederick, determined not to lose his dancer in that manner, immediately informed the young gentleman’s friends that he was about to form a mesalliance with an opera girl. The impassioned lover was peremptorily summoned home. Hatred for Frederick consequently rankled in young Mackenzie’s heart. This hatred he communicated to his brother, Lord Bute, which subsequently had no little influence in affairs of national diplomacy.详情
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