The young officers in the Saxon army, having disposed their troops in comfortable barracks, had established their own head-quarters in the magnificent castle of Budischau, in the vicinity303 of Trebitsch. “Nothing like this superb mansion,” writes Stille, “is to be seen except in theatres, on the drop-scene of the enchanted castle.” Here these young lords made themselves very comfortable. They had food in abundance, luxuriously served, with the choicest wines. Roaring fires in huge stoves converted, within the walls, winter into genial summer. Here these pleasure-loving nobles, with song, and wine, and such favorites, male and female, as they carried with them, loved to linger.
“My dear Papa,—I have not, for a long while, presumed to come near my dear papa, partly because he forbade me, but chiefly because I had reason to expect a still worse reception than usual; and for fear of angering my dear papa by my present request, I have preferred making it in writing to him.“My dear General,—While in Silesia I mentioned to you, and will now repeat in writing, that my army in Silesia was at no time so bad as at present. Were I to make shoemakers or tailors into generals, the regiments could not be worse. Regiment Thadden is not fit to be the most insignificant militia battalion of a Prussian army. Of the regiment Erlach, the men are so spoiled by smuggling they have no resemblance to soldiers; Keller is like a heap of undrilled boors; Hager has a miserable commander; and your own regiment is very mediocre. Only with Graf Von Anhalt, with Wendessen, and Markgraf Heinrich could I be content. See you, that is the state I found the regiments in, one after one. I will now speak of their man?uvring.
“Well,” the king replied, kindly, “try it one day more. If we do not mend matters, you and I will both desert together.”
“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 city took fire in many places; magazines were consumed; the ducal palace was wrapped in flames. Nearly fifteen thousand cannon-balls, and over two thousand bombs, were hurled crashing through the thronged dwellings. Many of the Austrian guns were silenced. General Piccolomini, who was intrusted with the defense of the place, could stand it no longer. On the 4th of May he raised above the walls the white flag of surrender. The gallant general was treated magnanimously. He was invited to dine with Frederick, and, with the garrison, was permitted to retire to Neisse, pledged not to serve against the Prussians for two years. The town had been nearly demolished by the war-tempest which had beat so fiercely upon it. Frederick immediately commenced repairing the ruins and strengthening the fortifications.
Frederick.”A council of war was held. It was decided to commence an immediate and rapid retreat to Silesia. Prague, with its garrison of five thousand men, and its siege artillery, was to be abandoned to its fate. Word was sent to General Einsiedel to spike his guns, blow up his bastions, throw his ammunition into the river, and to escape, if possible, down the valley of the Moldau, to Leitmeritz.
“And what does the court of Cüstrin do? It orders the mill to be sold, that the nobleman may have his rent! Go you, sir,” addressing the grand chancellor, “about your business, this instant. Your successor is appointed; with you I have nothing more to do.” The other three were assailed in the same way, but still more vehemently, as the king’s wrath flamed higher and higher. “Out of my sight,” he exclaimed at last; “I will make an example of you which shall be remembered.182
At one o’clock in the morning of May 31 he sent for a clergyman, M. Cochius, and seemed to be in great distress both of body and of mind. “I fear,” said he, “that I have a great deal of pain yet to suffer. I can remember nothing. I can not pray. I have forgotten all my prayers.” M. Cochius endeavored to console him. At the close of the interview the king said, sadly, “Fare thee well. We shall most probably never meet again in this world.” He was then rolled, in his wheel-chair, into the chamber of the queen.
339 “No general has committed more faults than did the king in this campaign. The conduct of Marshal Traun is a model of perfection, which every soldier who loves his business ought to study, and try to imitate if he have the talent. The king has admitted that he himself regarded this campaign as his school in the art of war, and Marshal Traun as his teacher.”
THE BATTLE OF PRAGUE, MAY 6, 1757.详情
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