类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-09-29 09:19:27


“The day before yesterday, in all churches, was prayer to Heaven for success to your majesty’s arms, interest of the Protestant religion being one cause of the war, or the only one assigned by the reverend gentleman. At the sound of these words the zeal of the people kindles. ‘Bless God for raising such a defender! Who dared suspect our king’s indifference to Protestantism?MAKING A SOLDIER OF HIM.

43“When the body has been carried into the church, there shall be placed upon the coffin my handsomest sword, my best scarf, a pair of gilt spurs, and a gilt helmet. There shall be brought from Berlin twenty-four six-pounders, which shall make twelve discharges singly. Then the battalions will fire.

In July of this year the Crown Prince took another journey with his father through extensive portions of the Prussian territory. The following extract from one of his letters to Voltaire reflects pleasing light upon the heart of Frederick, and upon the administrative ability of his father:

The treaty of Breslau was signed on the 11th of June, and ratified at Berlin on the 28th of July. By this treaty, Silesia, Lower and Upper, was ceded to “Frederick and his heirs for evermore,” while Frederick withdrew from the French alliance, and entered into friendly relations with her Hungarian majesty. Immediately after the settlement of this question, Frederick, cantoning his troops in Silesia, returned to Berlin. Elate with victory314 and accompanied by a magnificent suite, the young conqueror hastened home, over green fields and beneath a summer’s sun. Keenly he enjoyed his triumph, greeted with the enthusiastic acclaim of the people in all the towns and villages through which he passed.67 At Frankfort-on-the-Oder, where a fair was in operation, the king stopped for a few hours. Vast crowds, which had been drawn to the place by the fair, lined the highway for a long distance on both sides, eager to see the victor who had aggrandized Prussia by adding a large province to its realms.

It was a serene, cloudless May morning when Frederick rode upon a small eminence to view the approach of his troops, and to form them in battle array. General Stille, who was an eye-witness of the scene, describes the spectacle as one of the most beautiful and magnificent which was ever beheld. The transparent atmosphere, the balmy air, transmitting with wonderful accuracy the most distant sounds, the smooth, wide-spreading prairie, the hamlets, to which distance lent enchantment, surmounted by the towers or spires of the churches, the winding columns of infantry and cavalry, their polished weapons flashing309 in the sunlight, the waving of silken and gilded banners, while bugle peals and bursts of military airs floated now faintly, and now loudly, upon the ear, the whole scene being bathed in the rays of the most brilliant of spring mornings—all together presented war in its brightest hues, divested of every thing revolting.65Fritz had been for some time confined to his chamber and to his bed. He was now getting out again. By his mother’s persuasion he wrote to his aunt, Queen Caroline of England, expressing, in the strongest terms, his love for her daughter the Princess Amelia, and his unalterable determination never to marry unless he could lead her to the altar. Though Frederick William knew nothing of these intrigues, he hated his son with daily increasing venom. Sometimes, in a surly fit, he would not speak to him or recognize him. Again he would treat him with studied contempt, at the table refusing to give him any food, leaving him to fast while the others were eating. Not unfrequently, according to Wilhelmina’s account, he even boxed his ears, and smote him with his cane. Wilhelmina gives us one of the letters of her brother to his father about this time, and the characteristic paternal answer. Frederick writes, under date of September 11, 1728, from Wusterhausen:

FREDERICK ASLEEP IN THE HUT AT OETSCHER.After the retreat of the Austrians, Frederick returned to his camp to find it plundered and burned. The semi-barbarian assailants had also consigned to the flames eight or ten sick Prussians whom they found there, and several women whom they caught. “We found the limbs of these poor men and women lying about,” writes General Lehwald.As usual, Frederick wrote a poem upon the occasion. It was vulgar and profane. Carlyle says of it, “The author, with a wild burst of spiritual enthusiasm, sings the charms of the rearward part of certain men. He rises to the height of anti-biblical profanity, quoting Moses on the Hill of Vision; sinks to the bottomless of human or ultra-human depravity, quoting King Nicomedes’s experience on C?sar, happily known only to the learned. A most cynical, profane affair; yet we must say, by way of parenthesis, one which gives no countenance to Voltaire’s atrocities of rumor about Frederick himself in the matter.”111

“At Potsdam I was lucky enough to see the king. He was on the esplanade drilling his troops. When the drill was over he went into the garden, and the soldiers dispersed. Four officers remained lounging on the esplanade. For fright, I knew not what to do; I drew the papers from my pocket. These were my memorial, two certificates of character, and a Thuringian pass. The officers, noticing this, came directly to me and said, ‘What letters have you there?’ I thankfully imparted the whole. When the officers had read them, they said, ‘We will give you good advice. The king is extra gracious to-day, and is gone alone into the garden. Follow him straight. You will have luck.’

The returning messenger took back the following reply. It was, as usual, ungrammatical, miserably spelled, and confused. Contemptuously the king spoke of his son in the third person, writing he and his instead of you and yours. Abruptly he commences:Voltaire seems to have formed a very different estimate of his329 own diplomatic abilities from those expressed by the King of Prussia. Voltaire writes:

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England, while endeavoring to subsidize Russia against Frederick, entered secretly into a sort of alliance with Frederick, hoping thus to save Hanover. The Empress Elizabeth, of Russia, heartily united with Maria Theresa against Frederick, whom she personally disliked, and whose encroachments she dreaded. His Prussian majesty, proud of his powers of sarcasm, in his poems spared neither friend nor foe. He had written some very severe things against the Russian empress, which had reached her ears.100

One’s 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.”At parting, the king bore magnanimous testimony to the fidelity of his spiritual advisers. He said to M. Roloff, who had been the principal speaker, “You do not spare me. It is right. You do your duty like an honest Christian man.”




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