The victory of Sohr filled Europe with the renown of Frederick. Still his peril was great, and the difficulties before him apparently insurmountable. His treasury was exhausted. His only ally, France, would furnish him with no money, had no confidence365 in him, and was in heart exasperated against him. Not a single court in Europe expressed any friendship for Frederick. On the contrary, nearly all would have rejoiced at his downfall. There seemed to be no end to the campaigns which were opening before him. Yet Frederick knew not where to obtain the money to meet the expense even of a single campaign.
“Have I need of peace? Let those who need it give me what I want, or let them fight me again and be beaten again. Have they not given whole kingdoms to Spain? And to me they can not spare a few trifling principalities. If the queen do not now grant me all I require, I shall, in four weeks, demand four principalities more. I now demand the whole of Lower Silesia, Breslau included. With that answer you can return to Vienna.”“I have nothing more at heart,” Frederick replied, “than to stand well with Austria. I wish always to be her ally, never her enemy. But the prince sees how I am situated. Bound by express treaty with her czarish majesty, I must go with Russia in any war. I will do every thing in my power to conciliate her majesty with the emperor—to secure such a peace at St. Petersburg as may meet the wishes of Vienna.”183
“Europe is under the necessity of taking some speedy resolution, things are in such a state of crisis. Like a fever in a human body, got to such a height that quinquina becomes necessary. Shall we apply to Vienna, your majesty?”
Frederick, having carefully scanned the Austrian lines for an instant or two, gave the signal, and all his batteries opened their thunders. Under cover of that storm of iron, several thousand of the cavalry, led by the veteran General Bredow, deployed from behind some eminences, and first at a gentle trot, and then upon the most impetuous run, with flashing sabres, hurled themselves upon the left wing of the Austrian lines. The ground was dry and sandy, and a prodigious cloud of dust enveloped them. For a moment the tornado, vital with human energies, swept on, apparently unobstructed. The first line of the Austrian horse was met, crushed, annihilated. But the second stood as the rock breasts the waves, horse against horse, rider against rider, sabre against sabre. Nothing met the eye but one vast eddying whirlpool of dust, as if writhing in volcanic energies, while here and there the flash of fire and the gleam of steel flickered madly through it.This lasted till nightfall. As darkness veiled the awful scene the exhausted soldiers dropped upon the ground, and, regardless of the dead and of the groans of the wounded, borne heavily upon the night air, slept almost side by side. It is appalling to reflect upon what a fiend to humanity man has been, as revealed in the history of the nations. All the woes of earth combined are as nothing compared with the misery which man has inflicted upon his brother.
a a. Prussian Army about to cross the Mützel. b b b. Russian Army ranked for Battle. c. Russian Baggage. d d. Prussian Infantry. e e. Prussian Cavalry. f. Prussian Baggage.On Friday, the 11th of August, Frederick, leaving forty thousand men to guard Silesia, took fifteen thousand troops, and commenced a very rapid march to attack the fifty thousand Russians. Upon the eve of his departure he wrote to his brother Henry:“Baireuth, October 15, 1757.
“There came, in those weeks, one of the Duke of Gloucester’s gentlemen to Berlin. The queen had a soiree. He was presented to her as well as to me. He made a very obliging compliment on his master’s part. I blushed and answered only by a courtesy. The queen, who had her eye on me, was very angry that I had answered the duke’s compliments in mere silence, and rated me sharply for it, and ordered me, under pain of her indignation, to repair that fault to-morrow. I retired all in tears to my room, exasperated against the queen and against the duke. I vowed I would never marry him.FREDERICK AND HIS SISTER.
“The king respects his mother,” the same writer adds. “She is the only female to whom he pays any sort of attention. She is a good, fat woman, who moves about in her own way.“‘What form of government do you reckon the best?’
“‘Let the parsons who make for themselves a cruel and barbarous God be eternally damned, as they desire and deserve; and let those parsons who conceive God gentle and merciful enjoy the plenitude of his mercy.’详情
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