The next morning the princess received the following cruel epistle from her mother:At the battle of Sohr, Biche was taken captive with the king’s baggage. The animal manifested so much joy upon being restored to its master that the king’s eyes were flooded with tears.The king smiled, and immediately entered very vigorously upon business. It was not possible, under these circumstances, for him deeply to mourn over the death of so tyrannical a father. Frederick was twenty-eight years of age. He is described as a handsome young man, five feet seven inches in stature, and of graceful presence. The funeral ceremonies of the deceased monarch were conducted essentially according to the programme already given. The body of the king mouldered to dust in the sepulchre of his fathers. His spirit returned to the God who gave it.
The solid, compact army, with infantry, artillery, and cavalry in the best possible condition, advanced at the double-quick. Arriving at the gates of Maaseyk, not a moment was spent in parleying. “Open the gates instantly,” was the summons, “or we shall open them with the petard.”“My lord, the court of Vienna has entirely divulged our secret. The Dowager Empress has acquainted the court of Bavaria with it. Wasner, the Austrian minister at Paris, has communicated it to the French minister, Fleury. The Austrian minister at St. Petersburg, M. Linzendorf, has told the court of Russia of it. Sir Thomas Robinson has divulged it to the court of Dresden. Several members of the British government have talked about it publicly.”
“Almost none,” M. Podewils replied.
37 There seems to have been but little which was attractive about this castle. It was surrounded by a moat, which Wilhelmina describes as a “black, abominable ditch.” Its pets were shrieking eagles, and two black bears ugly and vicious. Its interior accommodations were at the farthest possible remove from luxurious indulgence. “It was a dreadfully crowded place,” says Wilhelmina, “where you are stuffed into garrets and have not room to turn.”545 “These Russian encroachments upon the Turk,” said Kaunitz, “are dangerous to the repose of Europe. His imperial majesty can never consent that Russia should possess the provinces of Moldavia and Wallachia. He will much rather go to war. These views of Russia are infinitely dangerous to every body. They are as dangerous to your majesty as to others. I can conceive of no remedy against them but this. Prussia and Austria must join frankly in protest and absolute prohibition of them.”
“I will not sing jeremiades to you, nor speak of my fears or anxieties; but I can assure you that they are great. The crisis I am in changes in appearance, but nothing decisive happens. I am consumed by a slow fire; I am like a living body losing limb after limb. May Heaven assist us, for we have much need of it.Frederick remained upon the field of battle four hours gathering up the spoils. The dead were left unburied. The wounded were placed in empty meal-wagons. General Loudon fled precipitately across the Katzbach River. To deceive the Austrians in reference to his movements, Frederick wrote a false dispatch to his brother Henry, which he placed in the hands of a trusty peasant. The peasant was directed to allow himself to be taken. The plan worked to a charm. The other portions of the allied army, deceived by the dispatch, retreated as Frederick wished to have them. He soon formed a junction with his brother Henry, and being astonished himself at his almost miraculous506 escape, marched to the strong fortress of Breslau, which was still held by a small Prussian garrison, and where he had large magazines.
These tidings struck the Austrian council with consternation. The French armies were declared to be the finest that had ever taken the field. The Prussian army, in stolid bravery and perfection285 of discipline, had never been surpassed. Germany was to be cut into four equal parts, and France was to be the sovereign power on the Continent.
“Dear Jordan,—I must tell you, as gayly as I can, that we have beaten the enemy soundly, and that we are all pretty well after it. Poor Rothenburg is wounded in the breast and in the arm, but, as it is hoped, without danger. Adieu. You will be happy, I think, at the good news I send you. My compliments to C?sarion.”66
In the mean time a Venetian embassador, on his way to one of the northern courts, passed a night at a hotel in Berlin. He was immediately arrested, with his luggage, by a royal order. A dispatch was transmitted to Venice, stating that the embassador would be held as a hostage till Barberina was sent to Prussia. “A bargain,” says Frederick, in his emphatic utterance, “is a bargain. A state should have law courts to enforce contracts entered into in their territories.”
Count Wallis, who was intrusted with the defense of the place, had a garrison of about a thousand men, with fifty-eight heavy guns and several mortars, and a large amount of ammunition. Glogau was in the latitude of fifty-two, nearly six degrees north245 of Quebec. It was a cold wintry night. The ground was covered with snow. Water had been thrown upon the glacis, so that it was slippery with ice. Prince Leopold in person led one of the columns. The sentinels upon the walls were not alarmed until three impetuous columns, like concentrating tornadoes, were sweeping down upon them. They shouted “To arms!” The soldiers, roused from sleep, rushed to their guns. Their lightning flashes were instantly followed by war’s deepest thunders, as discharge followed discharge in rapid succession.详情
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