类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-10-20 14:07:27


“I was glad to receive you in my house. I esteemed your genius, your talents, and your acquirements. I had reason to think that a man of your age, weary of fencing against authors, and exposing himself to the storm, came hither to take refuge, as in a safe harbor.”

“It is true, sire,” Bielfeld replied, “but I know very well what you have gained in getting a kingdom. Your loss is great, but your motives for consolation are very powerful.”The Retreat ordered.—Awful Suffering.—Narrow Escape of the King.—The Flight from Prague.—Military Mistakes of the King.—Frederick returns to Berlin.—His wonderful administrative Ability.—Poland joins Austria.—The Austrians enter Silesia.—Unreasonable Demands of Frederick.—Humiliation of the King.—Prince Charles and his Bride.—Character of Leopold.—Death of the Emperor.—Bavaria turns against Frederick.—Anecdotes of Prince Leopold.—Peril of Frederick.—Battle of Hohenfriedberg.—Signal Victory of Frederick.

“‘Quand on a tout perdu, quand on n’a plus d’espoir, La vie est un opprobre, et la mort un devoir.’156Two days after the death of Katte, the king wrote to Chaplain Müller, under date of November 7th, 1730, a letter closing with the following words:

An eye-witness thus describes the tactics by which Frederick executed his design: “It is a particular man?uvre which, up to the present time, none but Prussian troops can execute with the precision and velocity indispensable to it. You divide your line into many pieces. You can push these forward stair-wise, so that they shall halt close to one another. Forming itself in this way, a mass of troops takes up in proportion very little ground. And it shows in the distance, by reason of the mixed uniforms and standards, a totally chaotic mass of men, heaped one on another. But it needs only that the commander lift his finger, and instantly this living coil of knotted intricacies develops itself in perfect order, and with a speed like that of mountain rivers.”112


“You have had the most villainous affair with a Jew. It has made a frightful scandal all over town. For my own part, I have preserved peace in my house until your arrival; and I warn you that, if you have the passion of intriguing and cabaling, you have applied to the wrong person. I like peaceable, quiet people, who do not put into their conduct the violent passions of tragedy. In case you can resolve to live like a philosopher, I shall be glad to see you. But if you abandon yourself to all the violence of your passions, and get into quarrels with all the world, you will do me no good by coming hither, and you may as well stay in Berlin.”“The king did a beautiful thing to Lieutenant Keith the other day—that poor Keith who was nailed to the gallows, in effigy, for him at Wesel, long ago, and got far less than he expected. The other day there had been a grand review, part of it extending into Madame Knyphausen’s grounds, who is Keith’s mother-in-law.

“‘Very well,’ said he; ‘but where will you find kings of that sort?’ And thereupon went into such a sally as could not in the least lead me to suppose that he was one. In the end, he expressed pity for them, that they could not know the sweets of friendship, and cited on the occasion these verses—his own, I suppose:

“It was four o’clock, and I could not understand what had become of my brother. I had sent out several persons on horseback to get tidings of him, and none of them came back. At length, in spite of all my prayers, the hereditary prince24 himself would go in search. I was in cruel agitations. These cataracts of rain are very dangerous in the mountain countries. The roads get suddenly overflowed, and accidents often happen. I thought for certain one had happened to my brother, or to the hereditary prince.“The sword and death have made frightful ravages among us. And the worst is that we are not yet at the end of the tragedy. You may judge what effect these cruel shocks make on me. I wrap myself in my stoicism the best I can. Flesh and blood revolt against such tyrannous command, but it must be followed. If you saw me you would scarcely know me again. I am old, broken, gray-headed, wrinkled. I am losing my teeth and my gayety. If this go on, there will be nothing of me left but the mania of making verses, and an inviolable attachment to my duties, and to the few virtuous men whom I know.”Most of our readers will pronounce this to be as unwarrantable an act of perfidy as history has recorded. But, in justice to Frederick, we ought to state that there are those who, while admitting all these facts, do not condemn him for his course. It is surprising to see how different are the opinions which intelligent men can form upon the same actions. Mr. Carlyle writes, in reference to these events:




“I am also permitted, sire,” said Sir Thomas, “to add the Duchy of Limburg. It is a duchy of great wealth and resources, so valuable that the Elector Palatine was willing to give in exchange for it the whole Duchy of Berg.”Frederick.”The next morning they learned that Lieutenant Katte had been arrested. All the private papers of Fritz were left, under Katte’s charge, in a small writing-desk. These letters would implicate both the mother and the daughter. They were terror-stricken. Count Finckenstein, who was in high authority, was their friend. Through him, by the aid of Madam Finckenstein, they obtained the desk. It was locked and sealed. Despair stimulated their ingenuity. They succeeded in getting the letters. To destroy them and leave nothing in their place would only rouse to greater fury the suspicion and rage of the king. The letters were taken out and burned. The queen and Wilhelmina immediately set to work writing new ones, of a very different character, with which to replace them. For three days they thus labored almost incessantly, writing between six and seven hundred letters. They were so careful to avoid any thing97 which might lead to detection that paper was employed for each letter bearing the date of the year in which the letter was supposed to be written. “Fancy the mood,” writes Carlyle, “of these two royal women, and the black whirlwind they were in. Wilhelmina’s dispatch was incredible. Pen went at the gallop night and day. New letters of old date and of no meaning are got into the desk again, the desk closed without mark of injury, and shoved aside while it is yet time.”


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