类型:奇幻地区:Сɹ发布:2020-10-20 20:02:25


Neither the king nor the Crown Prince appeared at the supper. With a select circle, to which neither Wilhelmina nor her mother were admitted, they supped in a private apartment. At the report that the king was treating the Crown Prince with great friendliness, the queen could not conceal her secret pique. In fact, says Wilhelmina, she did not love her children except as they served her ambitious views. She was jealous of134 Wilhelmina because she, and not her mother, had been the means of the release of Fritz. After supper the dancing was resumed, and Wilhelmina embraced an opportunity to ask her brother why he was so changed, and why he treated her so coldly. He assured her that he was not changed; that his reserve was external only; that he had reasons for his conduct. Still he did not explain his reasons, and Wilhelmina remained wounded and bewildered.

My dear Sister,Here I am, within six leagues of a sister I love, and I have to decide that it will be impossible to see her after all. I have never so lamented the misfortune of not depending on myself as at this moment. The king being very sour sweet on my score, I dare not risk the least thing. A week from next Monday, when he arrives himself, I should be queerly treated in the camp if I were found to have disobeyed orders.At the battle of Sohr, Biche was taken captive with the kings baggage. The animal manifested so much joy upon being restored to its master that the kings eyes were flooded with tears.

This immense building presented a front of nearly a thousand feet; for, being in a quadrangular form, it fronted four ways. It was all faced with hammered stone. In one of the towers this bachelor husband constructed his library. It was a magnificent apartment, provided with every convenience, and decorated with the most tasteful adornments which the arts could furnish. Its windows commanded an enchanting prospect of the lake, with its tufted islands and the densely wooded heights beyond.

Upon the kings arrival at Wesel he ordered his culprit son to be brought on shore and to be arraigned before him. It was Saturday evening, August 12, 1730. A terrible scene ensued. The despairing Crown Prince, tortured by injustice, was not disposed to humble himself before his father. Receiving no assurance that his friends would be pardoned, he evaded all attempts to extort from him confessions which would implicate them. General Mosel alone was present at this examination.

I do not complain of your heart, but of your incapacity, and of the little judgment you have shown in making your decisions. A man who has but a few days to live need not dissemble. I wish you better fortune than mine has been, and that all the miseries and bad adventures you have had may teach you to treat important matters with greater care, sense, and resolution than you have hitherto done. The greatest part of the calamities which I now apprehend comes only from you. You and your children will suffer more from them than I shall. Be persuaded, nevertheless, that I have always loved you, and that with these sentiments I shall die.Frederick turned to Voltaire and said, Monsieur De Voltaire, are you still determined upon going?

I therefore beg my dear papa to be gracious to me; and can here say that, after long reflection, my conscience has not accused me of any the least thing with which I could reproach myself. But if I have, against my will and knowledge, done any thing which has angered my dear papa, I herewith most submissively beg forgiveness, and hope my dear papa will lay aside that cruel hatred which I can not but notice in all his treatment of me. I54 could not otherwise suit myself to it, as I always thought I had a gracious papa, and now have to see the contrary. I take confidence, then, and hope that my dear papa will consider all this, and again be gracious to me. And in the mean while I assure him that I will never, all my days, fail with my will; and, notwithstanding his disfavor to me, remain my dear papas most faithful and obedient servant and son,

Early in October the allies planned an expedition for the capture of Berlin. The city had no defenses but weak palisades, which were garrisoned by but twelve hundred men. General Czernichef led a column of twenty thousand Russians, General509 Lacy another of fifteen thousand Austrians, and General Soltikof a third column of twenty thousand more.Would your majesty, Lord Hyndford replied, engage to stand by his excellency Gotters original offer at Vienna on your part? That is, would you agree, in consideration of the surrender to you of Lower Silesia and Breslau, to assist the Queen of Austria, with all your troops, for the maintenance of the Pragmatic Sanction, and to vote for the Grand-duke Francis as emperor?Frederick had now France only for an ally. But France was seeking her own private interests on the Rhine, as Frederick was aiming at the aggrandizement of Prussia on his Austrian frontiers. Neither party was disposed to make any sacrifice for the benefit of the other. Frederick, thus thrown mainly upon his345 own resources, with an impoverished treasury, and a weakened and baffled army, made indirect application to both England and Austria for peace. But both of these courts, flushed with success, were indisposed to listen to any terms which Frederick would propose.



Therefore, instead of marching upon Neisse, the king directed his course to Steinau, twenty miles east of Neisse. The siege was abandoned, and the whole Prussian army, so far as was possible, was gathered around the king. On the 5th of April Frederick established his head-quarters at Steinau. On that same day, General Neipperg, with the advanced corps of his army, triumphantly entered Neisse. Apprehensive of an immediate attack, Frederick made all his arrangements for a battle. In the confusion of those hours, during which the whole Prussian army, with all its vast accumulation of artillery and baggage-wagons, was surging like an inundation through the streets of Steinau, the village took fire and was burned to ashes. With great difficulty the artillery and powder were saved, being entangled in the narrow streets while the adjoining houses were enveloped in flames. The night was intensely cold. The Prussian army bivouacked in the open frozen fields.Having uttered this prayer, he waved his hat to his troops, and shouted, On, in Gods name!Upon the reception of this letter, the prince, without replying to it, verbally asked leave, through one of his officers, to throw up his commission and retire to his family in Berlin. The king scornfully replied, Let him go; he is fit for nothing else. In the deepest dejection the prince returned to his home. Rapidly his health failed, and before the year had passed away, as we shall have occasion hereafter to mention, he sank into the grave, deploring his unhappy lot.

At nine oclock Frederick received one of the general officers, and arranged with him all the military affairs of the day, usually dismissing him loaded with business. At ten oclock he reviewed some one of the regiments; and then, after attending parade, devoted himself to literary pursuits or private correspondence until dinner-time. This was the portion of the day he usually appropriated to authorship. He was accustomed to compose, both in prose and verse, while slowly traversing the graveled walks of his garden.On the 26th of April Frederick again wrote to M. Podewils: I can understand how you are getting uneasy at Berlin. I have the most to lose of you all, but I am quiet and prepared for events. If the Saxons take part in the invasion of Silesia, and we beat them, I am determined to plunge into Saxony. For great maladies there need great remedies. Either I will maintain my all or else lose my all. To me remains only to possess myself in patience. If all alliances, resources, and negotiations fail, and all conjunctures go against me, I prefer to perish with honor rather than lead an inglorious life, deprived of all dignity. My ambition whispers me that I have done more than another to the building up of my house, and have played a distinguished part among the crowned heads of Europe. To maintain myself there has become, as it were, a personal duty, which I will fulfill at the expense of my happiness and my life. I have no choice left. I will maintain my power, or it may go to ruin, and the Prussian name be buried under it. If the enemy attempt any thing upon us, we will either beat them, or will all be hewed to pieces for the sake of our country and the renown of Brandenburg. No other counsel can I listen to. Perform faithfully the given work on your side, as I on mine. For the rest, let what you call Providence decide as it likes. I prepare myself for every event. Fortune may be kind or be unkind, it shall neither dishearten me nor uplift me. If I am to perish, let it be with honor, and sword in hand.Linsenbarth, thus left alone, sauntered from the garden back to the esplanade. There he stood quite bewildered. He had walked that day twenty miles beneath a July sun and over the burning sands. He had eaten nothing. He had not a farthing in his pocket.



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