类型:奇幻地区:发布:2020-09-22 04:55:30


Catharine was at this time engaged vigorously in a war with the Turks. Frederick, by his treaty with the czarina, was compelled to assist her. This ambitious woman, endowed with extraordinary powers, was pushing her conquests toward Constantinople, having formed the resolve to annex that imperial city to the empire, and thus to open through the Straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles new avenues for Russian commerce.At that time the family consisted of nine children. Next to Wilhelmina and Fritz came Frederica, thirteen; Charlotte, eleven; Sophie Dorothee, eight; Ulrique, seven; August Wilhelm, five; Amelia, four; and Henry, a babe in arms.

I suffer a thousand times more than I can tell you. Nevertheless, hope does not abandon me. I am obliged to finish. But I shall never cease to be, with the most profound respect, your

In the latter part of April, the weather being very fine, the king decided to leave Berlin and retire to his rural palace at Potsdam. It seems, however, that he was fully aware that his days were nearly ended, for upon leaving the city he said, Fare thee well, then, Berlin; I am going to die in Potsdam. The winter had been one of almost unprecedented severity, and the month of May was cold and wet. As the days wore on the kings health fluctuated, and he was continually struggling between life and death. The king, with all his great imperfections, was a thoughtful man. As he daily drew near the grave, the dread realities of the eternal world oppressed his mind. He sent for three clergymen of distinction, to converse with them respecting his preparation for the final judgment. It seems that they were very faithful with him, reminding him of his many acts of violence and tyranny, alluding particularly to his hanging Baron Schlubhut, at K?nigsberg, without even a trial. The king endeavored to defend himself, saying,Voltaire, speaking of this conflict, says, It was the most inconceivable and complete rout and discomfiture of which history433 makes any mention. Thirty thousand French and twenty thousand imperial troops were there seen making a disgraceful and precipitate flight before five battalions and a few squadrons. The defeats of Agincourt, Cressy, and Poitiers were not so humiliating.110

On the River Maas, a few miles north of the present city of Liege, there was a celebrated castle called Herstal. For many generations feudal lords had there displayed their pomp and power; and it had been the theatre not only of princely revelry, but of many scenes of violence and blood. A surrounding territory of a few thousand acres, cultivated by serfs, who were virtually slaves, was the hereditary domain of the petty lords of the castle. A few miles south of the castle there was a monastery called Liege, which was a dependency of the lords of Herstal.

We have now reached the summer of 1729. George II. was a weak-minded, though a proud, conceited man, who, as King of England, assumed airs of superiority which greatly annoyed his irascible and petulant brother-in-law, Frederick William. Flushed with his new dignity, he visited his hereditary domain of Hanover. The journey led him through a portion of the Prussian territory. Courtesy required that George II. should announce that intention to the Prussian king. Courtesy also required that, as the British monarch passed over Prussian soil, Frederick William should furnish him with free post-horses. I will furnish the post-horses, said Frederick William, if the king apprise me of his intention. If he do not, I shall do nothing about it. George did not write. In affected unconsciousness that there was any such person in the world as the Prussian king, he crossed the Prussian territory, paid for his own post-horses, and did not even condescend to give Frederick William any notice of his arrival in Hanover. The King of Prussia, who could not but be conscious of the vast inferiority of Prussia to England, stung to the quick by this contemptuous treatment, growled ferociously in the Tobacco Parliament.At last, whether by accident or design, the princess broke a glass. This was the signal for our impetuous jollity, and an example that appeared highly worthy of our imitation. In an instant170 all the glasses flew to the several corners of the room. All the crystals, porcelain, mirrors, branches, bowls, and vases were broken into a thousand pieces. In the midst of this universal destruction, the prince stood, like the man in Horace who contemplates the crush of worlds, with a look of perfect tranquillity.

The French marshal, Belleisle, alarmed by the report that Frederick was entering into a treaty of peace with Austria, hastened to the Prussian camp to ascertain the truth or falsehood of the rumor. Frederick, emboldened by the document he had in his pocket, was very frank.

Secret negotiations were immediately opened at Breslau, in Silesia, between England, Austria, and Prussia. Maria Theresa, harassed by the entreaties of her cabinet and by the importunities of the British court, consented to all that Frederick demanded.

Dr. Zimmermann, whose work on Solitude had given him some renown, had been sent for to administer to the illustrious patient. His prescriptions were of no avail. On the 10th of August, 1786, Frederick wrote to his sister, the Duchess Dowager of Brunswick:DESTROYING THE LETTERS.



Fritz went in the royal carriage, with suitable escort, to meet the young marquis on the Prussian frontier, as he came to his bridals. They returned together in the carriage to Potsdam with great military display. The wedding took place on the 30th of May, 1729. It was very magnificent. Fritz was conspicuous on the occasion in a grand review of the giant grenadiers. Wilhelmina, in her journal, speaks quite contemptuously of her new brother-in-law, the Marquis of Anspach, describing him as a foolish young fellow. It was, indeed, a marriage of children. The bridegroom was a sickly, peevish, undeveloped boy of seventeen; and the bride was a self-willed and ungoverned little beauty of fifteen. The marriage proved a very unhappy one. There was no harmony between them. Frederick writes: They hate one another like the fire (comme le feu). They, however, lived together in incessant petty quarrelings for thirty years. Probably during all that time neither one of them saw a happy day.

The salvation of the army seemed to depend upon capturing the Austrian magazines at Beneschau. Marshal Schwerin was sent forward with all speed, at the head of a strong detachment, and was so lucky as to take Beneschau. Here he intrenched himself. Frederick, upon hearing the glad tidings, immediately started from Tabor to join him. His sick were at Fraunberg, Budweis, and Neuhaus, some dozen miles south of Tabor. Garrisons, amounting to three thousand men, had been left to protect them from the Pandours. As Frederick was about to abandon that whole region, it was manifest that these garrisons could not maintain themselves. He dispatched eight messengers in succession to summon the troops immediately to join him. The sick were to be left to their fate. It was one of the cruel necessities of war. But not one of these messengers escaped capture by the Pandours. Frederick commenced his march without these garrisons. The three thousand fighting men, with the three hundred sick, all fell into the hands of the Pandours.



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