类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-09-26 20:04:32


It is probable that the princess, in the strangeness of her position, very young and inexperienced, and insulted by cruel neglect, in the freshness of her great grief dared not attempt to utter a syllable, lest her voice should break in uncontrollable sobbings. The Crown Prince returned to Ruppin, leaving the princess at Berlin. Charles, the heir-apparent to the ducal crown of Brunswick, and brother of the Princess Elizabeth, about a152 week after the arrival of the princess in Berlin, was married to Fritz’s sister Charlotte—that same wicked Charlotte who had flirted with Wilhelmina’s intended, and who had so shamelessly slandered the betrothed of her brother. Several fêtes followed these marriages, with the usual concomitants of enjoyment and disappointment. Wilhelmina thus describes one of them:As the king cast his eye over the blood-stained field, covered with the wounded and the dead, for a moment he seemed overcome with the aspect of misery, and exclaimed, “When, oh when will my woes cease?”

It was now half past four o’clock. The sun of the short November day was rapidly sinking. Hasty preparations were made for another charge, aided by a body of Prussian cavalry which had just reached the ground. The gathering twilight was darkening hill and valley as the third assault was made. It was somewhat successful. By this time the two armies were quite intermingled. Marshal Daun was severely wounded, and was taken into Torgau to have his wounds dressed. The hour514 of six had now arrived. It was a damp, cloudy, dark night. The combatants were guided mainly by the flash of the muskets and the guns. “The night was so dark,” says Archenholtz, “that you could not see your hand before you.” Still for two hours the battle raged.The next Sunday, June 3d, the betrothal took place with great magnificence. The ceremony was attended by a large concourse of distinguished guests. Lord Dover says that the very evening of the day of the betrothing a courier arrived from England with dispatches announcing that the English court had yielded to all the stipulations demanded by the King of Prussia in reference to the marriage of Wilhelmina to the Prince of Wales. It was now too late to retract. Probably both the king and Wilhelmina were gratified in being able to decline the offer. But the chagrin of the queen was terrible. She fell into a violent fever, and came near dying, reproaching her daughter with having killed her.

“Among the women were many of distinction, who had neither shoes nor stockings, nor hardly any thing else on, thinking only of saving their lives. When I had seen my family in the open field, I endeavored to return and save something, if possible, but in vain. I could not force my way through the multitude of people thronging out at the gate, some few with horses and carriages, and others with the sick and bedridden on their backs. The bombs and red-hot balls fell so thick that all thought themselves happy if they could but escape with their lives.

This roused Voltaire. He did not venture to attack the king, but he assailed M. Maupertuis again, anonymously, but with greatly increased venom. A brief pamphlet appeared, entitled, “The Diatribe of Doctor Akakia, Physician to the Pope.” It was a merciless satire against M. Maupertuis. Voltaire was entirely unscrupulous, and was perfect master of the language of sarcasm. No moral principle restrained him from exaggerating, misrepresenting, or fabricating any falsehoods which would subserve his purpose. M. Maupertuis was utterly overwhelmed with ridicule. The satire was so keen that few could read it without roars of laughter. Voltaire, the king’s guest, was thus exposing to the contempt of all Europe the president of the Berlin Academy, the reputation of which Academy was dear to the king above almost every thing else. An edition of the pamphlet was printed in Holland, and copies were scattered all over Berlin. Another edition was published in Paris, where thirty thousand copies were eagerly purchased.All Europe was thrown into commotion by this bold and successful267 invasion of Silesia. France was delighted, for Prussia was weakening Austria. England was alarmed. The weakening of Austria was strengthening France, England’s dreaded rival. And Hanover was menaced by the Prussian army at G?tten, under the Old Dessauer. The British Parliament voted an additional subsidy of £300,000 to Maria Theresa. Two hundred thousand had already been granted her. This, in all, amounted to the sum of two million five hundred thousand dollars. Envoys from all the nations of Europe were sent to Frederick’s encampment at Strehlen, in the vicinity of Brieg. Some were sent seeking his alliance, some with terms of compromise, and all to watch his proceedings. The young king was not only acquiring the territory which he sought, but seemed to be gaining that renown which he had so eagerly coveted. He did not feel strong enough to make an immediate attack upon the Austrian army, which General Neipperg held, in an almost impregnable position, behind the ramparts of Neisse. For two months he remained at Strehlen, making vigorous preparations for future movements, and his mind much engrossed with diplomatic intrigues. Strehlen is a pretty little town, nestled among the hills, about twenty-five miles west of Brieg, and thirty northwest of Neisse. The troops were mainly encamped in tents on the fields around. The embassadors from the great monarchies of Europe were generally sumptuously lodged in Strehlen, or in Breslau, which was a beautiful city about thirty miles north of Strehlen. Baron Bielfeld in the following terms describes the luxury in which the Spanish minister indulged:

In this terrible emergence, the queen, resolute as she was, was almost compelled, by the importunity of her counselors, to permit Sir Thomas Robinson, who was acting for England far more than for Austria, to go back to Frederick with the offer so humiliating to her, that she would surrender to him one half of Silesia if he would withdraw his armies and enter into an alliance with her against the French. The high-spirited queen wrung her hands in anguish as she assented to this decision, exclaiming passionately,CHARGE OF GENERAL SEIDLITZ AT ZORNDORF.

“I understood the speech perfectly well, but my awe was too great to allow me to say, ‘Your majesty will have the grace to allow me something.’ But as I was so simple, and asked for nothing, he did not offer any thing. And so he turned away. But he had gone scarcely six or eight steps when he looked around and gave me a sign to walk by his side.”The French, who, through their shrewd embassador, kept themselves informed of all that was transpiring, were quite alarmed in view of the approaching accommodation between Prussia and Austria. It is said that Frederick, on the 6th of June, in reply to the earnest remonstrances of the French minister, Marshal Belleisle, against his withdrawal from the alliance, frankly said to him,

The Austrians took position upon the south, at the distance of about six miles. The Russians were at the same distance on the west, with their head-quarters at Hohenfriedberg.FREDERICK AND HIS SISTER.

Winter was now approaching. The Austrians in Saxony made a desperate attack upon Prince Henry, and were routed with much loss. The shattered Austrian army retired to Bohemia for winter quarters. Under the circumstances, it was a victory of immense importance to Frederick. Upon receiving the glad tidings, he wrote to Henry:What effect was produced upon the mind of Frederick as he saw one after another of his boon companions in infidelity, in their hours of sickness and approaching death, seeking the consolations of religion, we do not know. The proud king kept his lips hermetically sealed upon that subject. Voltaire, describing the suppers of the gay revelers at Sans Souci, writes:

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“Of the coronation itself,” she writes, “though it was truly grand, I will say nothing. The poor emperor could not enjoy it much. He was dying of gout and other painful diseases, and could scarcely stand upon his feet. He spends most of his time302 in bed, courting all manner of German princes. He has managed to lead my margraf into a foolish bargain about raising men for him, which bargain I, on fairly getting sight of it, persuade my margraf to back out of; and, in the end, he does so. The emperor had fallen so ill he was considered even in danger of his life. Poor prince! What a lot he had achieved for himself!”The Queen of Hungary had purchased the co-operation of the Polish king by offering to surrender to him a generous portion of Silesia after the province should have been reconquered. Indeed, there was a great cause of apprehension that the allied army would make a rush upon Berlin itself. The aspect of his Prussian majesty’s affairs was now gloomy in the extreme.

“You have had the most villainous affair with a Jew. It has made a frightful scandal all over town. For my own part, I have preserved peace in my house until your arrival; and I warn you that, if you have the passion of intriguing and cabaling, you have applied to the wrong person. I like peaceable, quiet people, who do not put into their conduct the violent passions of tragedy. In case you can resolve to live like a philosopher, I shall be glad to see you. But if you abandon yourself to all the violence of your passions, and get into quarrels with all the world, you will do me no good by coming hither, and you may as well stay in Berlin.”It was early in January, 1760, that the two hostile armies went into winter quarters. General Daun, with his seventy-two thousand triumphant troops, held Dresden. He encamped his army in an arc of a circle, bending toward the southwest from the city, and occupying a line about thirty miles in extent. Frederick, with thirty-two thousand troops depressed by defeat, defiantly faced his foe in a concave arc concentric to that of Daun. The two antagonistic encampments were almost within cannon-shot of each other.




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