类型:奇幻地区:ĹӰ3Ӱ发布:2020-09-21 14:57:31


My dear Papa,I have not, for a long while, presumed to come near my dear papa, partly because he forbade me, but chiefly because I had reason to expect a still worse reception than usual; and for fear of angering my dear papa by my present request, I have preferred making it in writing to him.

On the 7th of January, 1742, Fredericks eldest brother, William Augustus, was married to Louisa Amelia, a younger sister of the kings neglected wife, Elizabeth. The king himself graced297 the festival, in gorgeous attire, and very successfully plied all his wonderful arts of fascination. He appeared, says Bielfeld, so young, so gay, so graceful, that I could not have refrained from loving him, even if he had been a stranger.

Now thank God, one and all, With heart, with voice, with hands, Who wonders great hath done To us and to all lands.115All negotiation in reference to the marriages was now apparently88 at an end. Lieutenant Katte remained at Potsdam. In the absence of Lieutenant Keith he became more than ever the friend and confidant of the Crown Prince. Wilhelmina, aware of the dissipated character of Katte, mourned over this intimacy. The king was very much annoyed by the blunder of which he himself had been guilty in insulting the court of England in the person of its embassador. He declared, in his vexation, that he would never again treat in person with a foreign minister; that his hot temper rendered it unsafe for him to do so.Dear sister, fear nothing on my score. Men are always in the hand of what we call destiny. Accidents will befall people walking on the streets, sitting in their room, lying on their bed; and there are many who escape the perils of war.

481 With the utmost exertions, inspired by terror, thirty thousand dollars were at length raised. The Russian general, Soltikof, naturally a humane man, seeing, at the close of a week of frantic exertions on the part of the magistrates of Frankfort, the impossibility of extorting the required sum, took the thirty thousand dollars, and kept his barbarian hordes encamped outside the gates.On one occasion the king himself narrowly escaped being taken prisoner. One of his officers, General Trenck, gives the following graphic narrative of the incident:Frederick wished to enlarge his Liliputian realms, and become one of the powers of Europe. This he could only do by taking advantage of the apparent momentary weakness of Austria, and seizing a portion of the territory of the young queen. In order to accomplish this, it was for his interest to oppose the election of Maria Theresas husband, the Grand-duke Francis, as emperor. The imperial crown placed upon the brow of Francis would invest Austria with almost resistless power. Still, Frederick was ready to promise his earnest concurrence in this arrangement if Maria Theresa would surrender to him Silesia. He had even moderated his terms, as we have mentioned, to a portion of the province.

My dearest Sister,I am in despair that I can not satisfy158 my impatience and my duty, to throw myself at your feet this day. But, alas! dear sister, it does not depend upon me. We poor princes are obliged to wait here till our generals come up. We dare not go along without them. They broke a wheel in Gera. Hearing nothing of them since, we are absolutely forced to wait here. Judge in what a mood I am, and what sorrow must be mine. Express order not to go by Baireuth or Anspach. Forbear, dear sister, to torment me on things not depending on myself at all.New columns were formed. Soon after three another charge was ordered. It was sanguinary and unsuccessful as the first. Frederick himself was wounded by a nearly spent case-shot which struck him on the breast. The blow was severe and painful. Had the ball retained a little more impetus it would have passed through his body. It is said that the ball struck him to the earth, and that for some time he was void of consciousness. Upon reviving, his first words to his adjutant, a son of Old Dessauer, who was sorrowfully bending over him, were, What are you doing here? Go and stop the runaways.

443 He did not order the exhausted troops to pursue the foe. Still, as he rode along the line after dark, he inquired,Who can imagine the conflicting emotions of joy and wretchedness, of triumph and shame, of relief and chagrin, with which the heart of Frederick must have been rent! The army of Prussia had triumphed, under the leadership of his generals, while he, its young and ambitious sovereign, who had unjustly provoked260 war that he might obtain military glory, a fugitive from the field, was scampering like a coward over the plains at midnight, seeking his own safety. Never, perhaps, was there a more signal instance of a retributive providence. Frederick knew full well that the derision of Europe would be excited by caricatures and lampoons of the chivalric fugitive. Nor was he deceived in his anticipations. There was no end to the ridicule which was heaped upon Frederick, galloping, for dear life, from the battle-field in one direction, while his solid columns were advancing to victory in the other. His sarcastic foes were ungenerous and unjust. But when do foes, wielding the weapons of ridicule, ever pretend even to be just and generous?

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.

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You have reason to curse your mother, for it is she who causes your being an ill-governed fellow. I had a preceptor, continued he, who was an honest man. I remember always a story which he told me in his youth. There was a man at Carthage who had been condemned to die for many crimes he had committed. While they were leading him to execution he desired he might speak to his mother. They brought his mother. He came near, as if to whisper something to her, and bit away a piece of her ear. I treat you thus, said he, to make you an example to all parents who take no heed to bring up their children in the practice of virtue. Make the application, continued he, always addressing my brother; and, getting no answer57 from him, he again set to abusing us till he could speak no longer.Well, my children, said Frederick, how do you think that it will be with us now? The Austrians are twice as strong as we.

It is perhaps not strange that Frederick should have imbibed a strong feeling of antipathy to Christianity. In his fathers life he had witnessed only its most repulsive caricature. While making the loudest protestations of piety, Frederick William, in his daily conduct, had manifested mainly only every thing that is hateful and of bad report. Still, it is quite evident that Frederick was not blind to the distinction between the principles of Christianity as taught by Jesus and developed in his life, and the conduct of those who, professing his name, trampled those principles beneath their feet. In one of his letters to Voltaire, dated Cirey, August 26, 1736, Frederick wrote: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.



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