“It would be easier for me to make peace with France than with Prussia. What good could possibly result now from peace with Prussia? I must have Silesia again. Without Silesia the imperial sceptre would be but a bauble. Would you have us sway that sceptre under the guardianship of Prussia? Prince Charles is now in a condition to fight the Prussians again. Until after another battle, do not speak to me of peace. You say that if we make peace with Prussia, Frederick will give his vote for the grand-duke as emperor. The grand-duke is not so ambitious of an empty honor as to engage in it under the tutelage of Prussia. Consider, moreover, is the imperial dignity consistent with the loss of Silesia? One more battle I demand. Were I compelled to agree with Frederick to-morrow, I would try him in a battle to-night.”85“Whatever answer may now be returned from England I will have nothing to do with it. Whether negative, affirmative, or evasive, to me it shall be as nothing. You, madam, must now choose between the Duke of Weissenfels and the Marquis of Schwedt. If you do not choose, you and Wilhelmina may prepare for Oranienburg, where you shall suffer the just penalty of mutiny against the authority set over you by God and men.”Thus influenced, she yielded. Tears flooded her eyes, and her voice was broken with sobs as she said, “I am ready to sacrifice myself for the peace of the family.” The deputation withdrew, leaving the princess in despair. Baron Grumkow conveyed to the king the pleasing intelligence of her submission.
178 “Meanwhile Frederick the First died, and with him was buried all his false grandeur, which consisted only in a vain magnificence, and in the pompous display of frivolous ceremonies. My father, who succeeded him, compassionated the general misery. He visited the spot, and saw, with his own eyes, this vast country laid waste, and all the dreadful traces which a contagious malady, a famine, and the sordid avarice of a venal administration leave behind them. Twelve or fifteen towns depopulated, and four or five hundred villages uninhabited, presented themselves to his view. Far from being discouraged by such a sad spectacle, his compassion only became the more lively from it; and he resolved to restore population, plenty, and commerce to this land, which had even lost the appearance of an inhabited country.
CHAPTER XXXIII. THE END OF THE SEVEN YEARS’ WAR.“After which the Lord’s Prayer; then rapidly and vigorously wash himself clean; dress, and powder, and comb himself. While they are combing and queuing him, he is to breakfast on tea. Prayer, washing, breakfast, and the rest to be done pointedly within fifteen minutes.
“One day the king entered the town of Collin, with his horse and foot guard and the whole of the baggage. We had but four small field-pieces with us. The squadron to which I belonged was placed in the suburb. In the evening our advanced posts were driven back into the town, and the huzzas of the enemy followed them pell-mell. All the country around was covered with the light troops of the Austrians. My commandant sent me to the king to take his orders.
“Potsdam, February 24, 1751.
CHAPTER I PARENTAGE OF FREDERICK THE GREAT.MAP ILLUSTRATING THE CAMPAIGN IN MORAVIA.
“My lord, the court of Vienna has entirely divulged our secret. The Dowager Empress has acquainted the court of Bavaria with it. Wasner, the Austrian minister at Paris, has communicated it to the French minister, Fleury. The Austrian minister at St. Petersburg, M. Linzendorf, has told the court of Russia of it. Sir Thomas Robinson has divulged it to the court of Dresden. Several members of the British government have talked about it publicly.”
“His affability, his kindliness, to whoever had the honor of speech with this great king, who shall describe it! After talking a good while with the merchants’ deputation from the hill country, he said, ‘Is there any thing more, then, from any body?’ Upon which the president stepped forward and said, ‘The burned-out inhabitants of Greiffenberg have charged me to express once more their most submissive gratitude for the gracious help in rebuilding; their word of thanks is indeed of no importance; but they daily pray God to reward such royal beneficence.’ The king was visibly affected, and said, ‘You don’t need to thank me; when my subjects fall into misfortune, it is my duty to help them up again; for that reason am I here.’”
The young lady was not beautiful, and there was no evidence of the slightest improprieties, or of any approach even to flirtation. But the infuriate king, who, without the shadow of reason, could accuse his own daughter of infamy, caused this young lady, under the pretext that she had been the guilty intimate of his son, to be taken from her parents, to be delivered to the executioners, and to be publicly conveyed in a cart and whipped on the bare back through the principal streets of the town. She was then imprisoned, and doomed to beat hemp as a culprit for three years.“‘What!’ cried the queen, ‘have you had the barbarity to kill him?详情
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