“‘Well,’ said he, ‘let him quit soldiering then, and give back his regiment to the king. But quiet yourself as to the fears you may have about him if he do; for I know, by certain information, that there will be no blood spilt.’
At six o’clock in the evening the whole city was illuminated. Frederick entered his carriage, and, attended by his two brothers, the Prince of Prussia and Prince Henry, rode out to take the circuit of the streets. But the king had received information that one of his former preceptors, M. Duhan, lay at the point of death. He ordered his carriage to be at once driven to the residence of the dying man. The house of M. Duhan was situated in a court, blazing with the glow of thousands of lamps.
Prince Charles was now forming magazines at Beneschau, just south of the Sazawa River, about seventy miles north of Frederick’s encampment at Budweis. Frederick hastily recrossed the Moldau, and, marching through Bechin, concentrated nearly all his forces at Tabor. He hoped by forced marches to take the335 Austrians by surprise, and capture their magazines at Beneschau. Thousands, rumor said fourteen thousand, of the wild Pandours, riding furiously, hovered around his line of march. They were in his front, on his rear, and upon his flanks. Ever refusing battle, they attacked every exposed point with the utmost ferocity. The Prussian king thus found himself cut off from Prague, with exhausted magazines, and forage impossible. He had three hundred sick in his hospitals. He could not think of abandoning them, and yet he had no means for their transportation.511 “After having sacrificed my youth to my father, and my maturer age to my country, I think that I have acquired the right to dispose of my old age as I please. I have told you, and I repeat it, my hand shall never sign a disgraceful peace. I shall continue this campaign with the resolution to dare all, and to try the most desperate things, either to succeed or to find a glorious end.
“You will retain your posts,” said the king, severely. “I have no thought of making any change. But as to authority, I know of none there can be but what resides in the king that is sovereign.
Lord Hyndford, who says that by this rude assailment he was put extremely upon his guard, rejoined:
Forming his army in two parallel lines, nearly five miles long, facing the foe, he prepared to open the battle along the whole369 extent of the field. While thus engrossing the attention of the enemy, his main attempt was to be directed against the village of Kesselsdorf, which his practiced eye saw to be the key of the position. It was two o’clock in the afternoon ere all his arrangements were completed. The Old Dessauer was a devout man—in his peculiar style a religious man, a man of prayer. He never went into battle without imploring God’s aid. On this occasion, all things being arranged, he reverently uncovered his head, and in presence of the troops offered, it is said, the following prayer:“I have arrested the rascal Fritz. I shall treat him as his crime and his cowardice merit. He has dishonored me and all my family. So great a wretch is no longer worthy to live.”
Speaking of Frederick at this time, Bielfeld says: “Notwithstanding all the fatigues of war, the king is in perfect health, and more gay and pleasant than ever. All who approach his majesty meet with a most gracious reception. In the midst of his camp, and at the head of sixty thousand Prussians, our monarch appears to me with a new and superior air of greatness.”On the 19th of December, the day of the capitulation of Breslau, Frederick wrote from that place to his friend D’Argens as follows:
The next morning, at an early hour, he again dashed off to the east, toward Glatz, a hundred miles distant, where a portion of the Prussian troops were in cantonments, under the young Prince Leopold. Within a week he had ridden over seven hundred miles, commencing his journey every morning as early as four o’clock, and doing a vast amount of business by the way.详情
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