He drank deeply, wandering about by night as if possessed by fiends. “He has not,” writes Captain Dickens, “gone to bed sober for a month past.” Once he rose, about midnight, and, with a candle in his hand, entered the apartment of the queen, apparently in a state of extreme terror, saying that there was something haunting him. His agitation was so great that a bed was made up for him there.
The prospects of Frederick were now gloomy. The bright morning of the campaign had darkened into a stormy day. The barren region around afforded no supplies. The inhabitants were all Catholics; they hated the heretics. Inspired by their priests, they fled from their dwellings, taking with them or destroying every thing which could aid the Prussian army. But most annoying of all, the bold, sagacious chieftain, General Bathyani, with hordes of Pandours which could not be counted—horsemen who seemed to have the vitality and endurance of centaurs—was making deadly assaults upon every exposed point.THE RETREAT OF THE AUSTRIANS.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.
The Emperor Charles VI. left no son. He therefore promulgated a new law of succession in a decree known throughout213 Europe as the “Pragmatic Sanction.” By the custom of the realm the sceptre could descend only to male heirs. But by this decree the king declared that the crown of the house of Hapsburg should be transmitted to his daughter, Maria Theresa. This law had been ratified by the estates of all the kingdoms and principalities which composed the Austrian monarchy. All the leading powers of Europe—England, France, Spain, Prussia, Russia, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, and the Germanic body—had bound themselves by treaty to maintain the “Pragmatic Sanction.” It was a peaceable and wise arrangement, acceptable to the people of Austria and to the dynasties of Europe as a means of averting a war of succession, which might involve all the nations of the Continent in the conflict.In the above letter the king alludes to the “mania of making verses.” Strange as it may seem, he this winter, when apparently almost crushed beneath the weight of cares and sorrows, when every energy of mind and body seemed called into requisition in preparation for a new campaign, published an edition of his poems.
65 “After this I went home, but had scarcely entered my apartment when a messenger returned me, by order of the ministers, the declaration, still sealed as I left it; and perceiving that I was not inclined to receive it, he laid it on my table, and immediately left the house.”It was two o’clock in the afternoon of Sunday, December 12, when the banners of the Old Dessauer appeared before Myssen. The Saxon commander there broke down the bridge, and in the darkness of the night stole away with his garrison to Dresden. Leopold vigorously but cautiously pursued. As the allied army was near, and in greater force than Leopold’s command, it was necessary for him to move with much discretion. His march was along the west bank of the river. The ground was frozen and white with snow.
“Non, malgré vos vertus, non malgré vos appas, Mon ame n’est point satisfaite: Non, vous n’êtes qu’une coquette, Qui subjuguez les c?urs, et ne vous donnez pas.”39In the mean time, on the 24th of January, Charles Albert, King of Bavaria, through the intrigues of the French minister and the diplomacy of Frederick, was chosen Emperor of Germany. This election Frederick regarded as a great triumph on his part. It was the signal defeat of Austria. Very few of the sons of Adam have passed a more joyless and dreary earthly pilgrimage than was the fortune of Charles Albert. At the time of his election he was forty-five years of age, of moderate stature, polished manners, and merely ordinary abilities. He was suffering from a complication of the most painful disorders. His previous life had been but a series of misfortunes, and during all the rest of his days he was assailed by the storms of adversity. In death alone he found refuge from a life almost without a joy.
“May a miller,” he exclaimed, fiercely, “who has no water, and consequently can not grind, have his mill taken from him? Is that just? Here is a nobleman wishing to make a fish-pond. To get more water for his pond, he has a ditch dug to draw into it a small stream which drives a water-mill. Thereby the miller loses his water, and can not grind. Yet, in spite of this, it is pretended that the miller shall pay his rent, quite the same as at the time when he had full water for his mill. Of course he can not pay his rent. His incomings are gone.
“The princess is not ugly nor beautiful. You must mention it to no mortal. Write indeed to mamma that I have written138 to you. And when you shall have a son, I will let you go on your travels; wedding, however, can not be before next winter. Meanwhile I will try and contrive opportunity that you see one another a few times, in all honor, yet so that you get acquainted with her. She is a God-fearing creature, will suit herself to you, as she does to the parents-in-law.“Frederick was in very weak health in these months; still considered by the gazetteers to be dying. But it appears he is not yet too weak for taking, on the instant necessary, a world-important resolution; and of being on the road with it, to this issue or to that, at full speed before the day closed. ‘Desist, good neighbor, I beseech you. You must desist, and even you shall:’ this resolution was entirely his own, as were the equally prompt arrangements he contrived for executing it, should hard come to hard, and Austria prefer war to doing justice.”191In one short hour the gallant deed was done. But ten of the assailants were killed and forty-eight wounded. The loss of the Austrians was more severe. The whole garrison, one thousand sixty-five in number, and their materiel of war, consisting of fifty brass cannons, a large amount of ammunition, and the military chest, containing thirty-two thousand florins, fell into the hands of the victors. To the inhabitants of Glogau it was a matter of very little moment whether the Austrian or the Prussian banner floated over their citadel. Neither party paid much more regard to the rights of the people than they did to those of the mules and the horses.
The Marquis of Schwedt was a very indifferent young man, living under the tutelage of his dowager mother. She was a cousin of the King of Prussia, and had named her son Frederick74 William. Having rendered herself conspicuously ridiculous by the flaunting colors of her dress, which tawdry display was in character with her mind, both she and her son were decidedly disagreeable to Wilhelmina.Sophie Dorothee seemed to have but one thought—the double marriage. This would make Wilhelmina queen of England, and would give her dear son Frederick an English princess for his bride. Her efforts, embarrassments, disappointments, were endless. Frederick William began to be regarded by the other powers as a very formidable man, whose alliance was exceedingly desirable. His army, of sixty thousand men, rapidly increasing, was as perfect in drill and discipline as ever existed. It was thoroughly furnished with all the appliances of war. The king himself, living in Spartan simplicity, and cutting down the expenses of his court to the lowest possible figure, was consecrating the resources of his realm to the promotion of its physical strength, and was accumulating iron-bound casks of gold and silver coin in the cellars of his palace. It became a matter of much moment to every court in Europe whether such a monarch should be its enemy or its ally.“Do you think so?” inquired the king.
DISCIPLINING THE JUDGES.详情
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