类型:奇幻地区:ͬʥǿ发布:2020-10-20 19:09:40


The pampered duchess sent by the French minister to Berlin a complimentary message to Frederick. He disdainfully replied: The Duchess of Pompadour! who is she? I do not know her. This was an offense never to be forgiven.


If my destiny is finished, remember a friend who loves thee always tenderly. If Heaven prolong my days, I will write to thee after to-morrow, and thou shalt hear of our victory. Adieu, dear friend; I shall love thee till death.CHAPTER XXVIII. DOMESTIC GRIEFS AND MILITARY REVERSES.It was all in vain. On Sunday evening, September 5th, as the condemned young man was sitting alone in his prison cell, sadly awaiting his doom, yet clinging to hopes of mercy, an officer entered with the startling intelligence that the carriage was at the door to convey him to the fortress of Cüstrin, at a few leagues distance, where he was to be executed. For a moment he was greatly agitated. He soon, however, regained his equanimity. It must indeed have been a fearful communication to one in the107 vigor of health, in the prime of youth, and surrounded by every thing which could render life desirable. Two brother-officers and the chaplain accompanied him upon this dismal midnight ride. Silence, pious conversation, prayers, and occasional devotional hymns occupied the hours. The dawn of a cold winters morning was just appearing as they reached the fortress.

Pressing straight forward, Wednesday morning, to the east, he encamped that night about ten miles from Güstebiese. He had so successfully veiled his movements that the Russians knew not where he was. On Thursday morning, August 24, at an early hour, he resumed his march, and crossed the Mützel River at various points. His confidence of victory was so great that he destroyed all the bridges behind him to prevent the retreat of the Russians.At Geldern, when within a few miles of Wesel, the kings wrath flamed up anew as he learned that Lieutenant Keith had escaped. The imperiled young officer, warned of his danger, had saddled his horse as if for an evening ride in the country. He passed out at one of the gates of the city, and, riding gently till darkness came, he put spurs to his horse and escaped to the Hague. Here, through the friendly offices of Lord Chesterfield,93 the British embassador, he embarked for England. The authorities there received him kindly, and he entered the British army. For ten years he was heard of no more. The king dispatched officers in pursuit of the fugitive, and redoubled the vigilance with which Fritz was guarded.

It will generally be admitted by military men that Frederick did not display much ability of generalship in this campaign. He was fearless, indomitable in energy, and tireless in the endurance of fatigue, but in generalship he was entirely eclipsed by his formidable rival. Indeed, Frederick could not be blind to this, and he had sufficient candor to confess it. Subsequently, giving an account of these transactions in his Works, he writes:And so from right wing to left, writes Carlyle, miles long there is now universal storm of volleying, bayonet charging, thunder of artillery, case-shot, cartridge-shot, and sulphurous devouring whirlwind; the wrestle very tough and furious, especially on the assaulting side. Here, as at Prague, the Prussian troops were one and all in the fire, each doing strenuously his utmost. There is no reserve left. All is gone up into one combustion. To fan the fire, to be here, there, fanning the fire where need shows, this is now Fredericks function. This death-wrestle lasted, perhaps, four hours; till seven, or perhaps eight oclock, of a June evening.125 Grumkow then goes on to relate, quite in detail, that the king took up the subject of theology. He set forth the horrible results of that absolute decree notion which makes God the author of sin; and that Jesus Christ died only for some. The prince declared that he had thoroughly renounced that heresy. The king then added:

Two events occurred at this time highly characteristic of the king. There was a nobleman by the name of Schlubhut, occupying a high official position, who was found a defaulter to the amount of a sum equal to twenty-five thousand dollars. The supreme court sentenced him to three or four years imprisonment. The king was indignant at the mildness of the sentence. What, said he, when the private thief is sent to the gallows, shall a nobleman and a magistrate escape with fine and imprisonment? Schlubhut was immediately sent to prison. All night long he was disturbed with the noise of carpentering in the castle square in front of his cell. In the morning he saw directly before his window a huge gallows erected. Upon that126 gallows he was immediately hung, and his body was left to swing in the wind for several days, some say for weeks.F.

I got to Berneck at ten. The heat was excessive. I found myself quite worn out with the little journey I had taken. I alighted at the house which had been got ready for my brother. We waited for him, and in vain waited till three in the afternoon. At three we lost patience; had dinner served without157 him. While we were at table there came on a frightful thunder-storm. I have witnessed nothing so terrible. The thunder roared and reverberated among the rocky cliffs which begirdle Berneck, and it seemed as if the world were going to perish. A deluge of rain succeeded the thunder.Hardly, he replied, in that dress. Besides, your majesty has grown thinner.



The Austrian general, flushed with victory, at the head of eighty thousand troops, encamped in strong positions a few miles east of Frederick, on the road to Neisse, in Silesia. Narrowly he watched the movements of his Prussian majesty, but he did not venture to molest him. Neisse was at that time closely besieged by the Austrians. It would inevitably soon fall into their hands unless Frederick could march to its succor. The great strategic object of the Austrian commander was so to block up the road as to prevent the advance of the Prussian troops. Frederick, despising the inactivity of his cautious foe, said to his brother,It is very evident, from the glimpses we catch of Fritz at this time, that he was a wild fellow, quite frivolous, and with but a feeble sense of moral obligation. General Schulenburg, an old soldier, of stern principles, visited him at Cüstrin, and sent an account of the interview to Baron Grumkow, under date of October 4th, 1731. From this letter we cull the following statement:Frederick was elated with his victory. He had taken three thousand three hundred prisoners, twenty-one cannon, and twenty-two standards. He had added to the renown of his name, and strengthened his hold upon Silesia.

Never you mind that, they replied. The Austrians are not Prussians. You know what we can do.If these words are true, which Milton places in the lips of the apostate fiend, it is appalling to think of the ungoverned and ungovernable spirit with which the king entered the unseen world. We know not that there is any power in the alembic of death to transform the character; and certain it is that if Frederick William carried with him to the abode of spirits the same character which he cherished in this world, there are but few who could be rendered happy by his society. But we must leave him with his God, and return to the stormy scenes upon which his son now entered.



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