类型:奇幻地区:淿ⷿ发布:2020-09-24 18:42:49


All-serenest and All-graciousest Father,To your royal majesty, my all-graciousest Father, I have, by my disobedience as Their subject and soldier, not less than by my undutifulness as Their son, given occasion to a just wrath and aversion against me. With the all-obedientest respect I submit myself wholly to the grace of my most All-gracious Father, and beg him most All-graciously to pardon me, as it is not so much the withdrawal of my liberty, in a sad arrest, as my own thoughts of the fault I have committed that have brought me to reason, who, with all-obedientest respect and submission, continue till my end my All-graciousest kings and Fathers faithfully-obedientest servant and son,F.

We had just arrived there when it began to rain heavily, and the night became exceedingly dark. About nine oclock one of the Austrian generals approached us with his light troops, and set fire to the houses close to which we were posted. By the blaze of the conflagration he soon discovered us, and began firing at us from the windows. The town was so full that it was impossible for us to find a place in it. Besides, the gate was barricaded, and from the top they were firing at us with our small field-pieces, which they had captured.Frederick therefore decided to march down the river twenty miles farther, to Lowen, where there was a good bridge. To favor the operation, Prince Leopold, with large divisions of the army and much of the baggage, was to cross the Neisse on pontoons at Michelau, a few miles above Lowen. Both passages were successfully accomplished, and the two columns effected a junction on the west side of the river on the 8th of April. The blockade of Brieg was abandoned, and its blockading force united with the general army.

It was supposed that his Prussian majesty would now march southwest for the invasion of Bohemia. Austria made vigorous preparations to meet him there. Much to the surprise and bewilderment449 of the Austrians, the latter part of April Frederick directed his columns toward the southeast. His army, about forty thousand strong, was in two divisions. By a rapid march through Neisse and Jagerndorf he reached Troppau, on the extreme southern frontier of Silesia. He then turned to the southwest. It was again supposed that he intended to invade Bohemia, but from the east instead of from the north.Poor deaf Amelia (Fredericks old love, now grown old and deaf) listened wildly for some faint sound from those lips now mute forever. George II. was no more. His grandson, George III, was now king.160

133You shall have it for fifty, said the king, because you are a good judge, and I am therefore anxious to do you a favor.

The months rolled rapidly on, and Fritz, having entered his fourteenth year, was appointed by his father, in May, 1725, captain in the Potsdam Grenadier Guard. This giant regiment has attained world-wide renown, solely from the peculiarity of its organization. Such a body of men never existed before, never will again. It was one of the singular freaks of the Prussian king to form a grenadier guard of men of gigantic stature. In the prosecution of this senseless aim not only his own realms were ransacked, but Europe and even Asia was explored in search of giants. The army was with Frederick William the great object of life, and the giant guard was the soul of the army. This guard consisted of three battalions, 800 in each, 2400 in all. The shortest of the men were nearly seven feet high. The tallest were almost nine feet in height. They had been gathered, at an enormous expense, out of every country where they could be found. No greater favor could be conferred upon the king than to obtain for him a giant. Many amusing anecdotes are related of the stratagems to which the king resorted to obtain these mammoth soldiers. Portraits were painted of all of them. Frederick William paid very little regard to individual rights or to the law of nations if any chance presented itself by which he could seize upon one of these monster men. Reigning in absolutism, compared with which the despotism of Turkey is mild, if he found in his domains any young woman of remarkable stature, he would compel her to marry one of his giants. It does not, however, appear that he thus succeeded in perpetuating a gigantic race.

The unhappy Prince of Prussia, on his dying bed, wrote a very touching letter to his brother Frederick, remonstrating against his conduct, which was not only filling Europe with blood and misery, but which was also imperiling the existence of the Prussian kingdom.It was midnight. Within doors all is silence; around it the dark earth is silent, above it the silent stars. Thus for two hours the attendant sat motionless, holding the dying king. Not a word was spoken; no sound could be heard but the painful breathing which precedes death.Again M. Jordan wrote, a week later, on the 20th of December:

There was no alternative left the young princess. Unless there were an immediate consummation of the marriage contract with the English Frederick, she was, without delay, to choose between Weissenfels and Schwedt. The queen, in response to this communication, said, I will immediately write to England; but, whatever may be the answer, it is impossible that my daughter should marry either of the individuals whom the king has designated. Baron Grumkow, who was in entire accord with the king, began, says Wilhelmina, quoting Scripture on her majesty, as the devil can on occasion. Wives, be obedient to your husbands, said he. The queen very aptly replied, Yes; but did not Bethuel, the son of Milcah, when Abrahams servant asked his daughter in marriage for young Isaac, answer, We will call the damsel, and inquire of her mouth? It is true, wives must obey their husbands, but husbands must command things just and reasonable.Ones faith in a superintending Providence is almost staggered by such outrages. It would seem that there could scarcely be any compensation even in the future world for so foul a wrong inflicted upon this guileless and innocent girl. There can be no possible solution of the mystery but in the decree, After death cometh the judgment.



And why was George II. so averse to the single marriage of the Prince of Wales to Wilhelmina? It is supposed that the opposition arose simply from his own mulish obstinacy. He hated his brother-in-law, the Prussian king. He was a weak, ill-tempered man; and having once said Both marriages or none, nothing could induce him to swerve from that position. In such a difficulty, with such men, there could be no possible compromise.



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