类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-08-12 20:46:56


As has often been mentioned, the carnage of the battle-field constitutes by no means the greater part of the miseries of war. One of the sufferers from the conflagration of the city of Cüstrin gives the following graphic account of the scene. It was the 15th of August, 1758:

“I was glad to receive you in my house. I esteemed your genius, your talents, and your acquirements. I had reason to think that a man of your age, weary of fencing against authors, and exposing himself to the storm, came hither to take refuge, as in a safe harbor.“The queen was alone, in his majesty’s apartment, waiting for him as he approached. As soon as he saw her at the end of the suite of rooms, and long before he arrived in the one where she was, he cried out, ‘Your unworthy son has at last ended himself. You have done with him.

Sir Thomas Robinson added, “Sire, I am not talking of what this power or that means to do, but of what will come of itself.279 To prophesy is not to threaten, sire. It is my zeal for the public good which brought me here, and

“My dearest Sister,—I have the satisfaction to inform you that we have yesterday53 totally beaten the Austrians. They263 have lost more than five thousand men in killed, wounded, and prisoners. We have lost Prince Frederick, brother of Margraf Karl; General Schulenberg, Wartensleben of the Carabineers, and many other officers. Our troops did miracles, and the result shows as much. It was one of the rudest battles fought within the memory of man.


117 A deputation of four ministers, headed by Baron Grumkow, the next day presented themselves to the princess. To overawe Wilhelmina, they approached her with all the solemnity of state. Grumkow opened the conference:An ordinary eye would not have seen in the position any peculiar military strength. It was an undulating plain about eight miles long and broad, without any abrupt eminences. A small river bordered it on the west, beyond which rose green hills. On the east was the almost impregnable fortress of Schweidnitz, with its abundant stores. Farm-houses were scattered about, with occasional groves and morasses. There were also sundry villages in the distance.

THE KING AND HIS SERVANT.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.Dessau was a little independent principality embracing a few square miles, about eighty miles southwest of Prussia. The prince had a Liliputian army, and a revenue of about fifty thousand dollars. Leopold’s mother was the sister of the great Elector of Brandenburg’s first wife. The little principality was thus, by matrimonial alliance as well as location, in affinity with Prussia.

There was a famine in Poland, and the famine was followed by pestilence. A general state of tumult and discord ensued. Maria Theresa had gathered a large army on the frontiers of Hungary to watch the designs of Russia upon Turkey. Availing herself of this disturbed state of Poland, Maria Theresa marched her troops into one of its provinces called Zips, which had once belonged to Hungary, and quietly extended her boundaries around the acquisition. Catharine was much exasperated by the measure.Voltaire made himself very merry over the dying scene of Maupertuis. There was never another man who could throw so much poison into a sneer as Voltaire. It is probable that the conversion of Maupertuis somewhat troubled his conscience as the unhappy scorner looked forward to his own dying hour, which could not be far distant. He never alluded to Maupertuis without indulging in a strain of bitter mockery in view of his death as a penitent. Even the king, unbeliever as he was in religion or in the existence of a God, was disgusted with the malignity displayed by Voltaire. In reply to one of Voltaire’s envenomed assaults the king wrote:



At the battle of Sohr, Biche was taken captive with the king’s baggage. The animal manifested so much joy upon being restored to its master that the king’s eyes were flooded with tears.Baron Trenck, in his memoir, gives an appalling account of these hardships in the body-guards to which he belonged. In time of peace there was scarcely an hour which he could command. The morning drill commenced at four o’clock. The most complicated and perilous man?uvres were performed. Frederick considered this the best school for cavalry in the world. They were compelled to leap trenches, which were continually widened till many fell in and broke their legs or arms. They were also compelled to leap hedges, and continue to charge at the highest possible speed for miles together. Almost daily some were either killed or wounded. At midday they took fresh horses, and repeated these toilsome and dangerous labors. Frequently they would be called from their beds two or three times in one night, to keep them on the alert. But eight minutes were allowed the guardsman to present himself on horseback, in his place, fully equipped. “In one year of peace,” he says, “the body-guards lost more men and horses than they had in two battles during the war.

He then requested to be shown the cup in which his heart would be placed after that operation. His daughter, Maria Theresa, who had married the Grand-duke Francis, was in a delicate state of health. The death of her father would place the weighty crown upon her youthful brow. Grief and agitation threw her helpless upon her bed. So important was her life to the world that the emperor was unwilling that, in her214 then condition, she should enter the death-chamber. “Tell my Theresa,” said he, in faint and dying accents, “that I bless her, notwithstanding her absence.”Frederick received the disastrous news on the 24th of July, the day after the calamity. In the exercise of an unusual spirit of forbearance, he sent word to the defeated general, “It is not your fault; I dreaded something of the kind.” The king’s brother Henry was in command of a few thousand men near Bautzen, in Saxony. Frederick wrote to him to forward his troops immediately, so as to form a union with the retreating army under Wedell. Henry himself was to repair to the vicinity of Landshut, and take command of the army which was to be left in that vicinity confronting General Daun. The king took about thirty thousand picked troops, and hurried to the north to gather up by the way the troops of Henry and of Wedell, and with that combined force of forty-eight thousand men make a new attack upon the ninety-six thousand Russians.131



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