While these scenes of war and intrigue were transpiring, no one knowing what alarming developments any day might present, Vienna was thrown into a state of terror in apprehension of the immediate approach of a French army to open upon it all the horrors of a bombardment. The citizens were called out en masse to work upon the fortifications. The court fled to Presburg, in Hungary. The national archives were hurried off to Gr?tz. The royal family was dispersed. There were but six thousand troops in the city. General Neipperg, with nearly the whole Austrian army, was a hundred and fifty miles distant to the north, on the banks of the Neisse. The queen, on the 10th of September, assembled at Presburg the Hungarian Parliament, consisting almost exclusively of chivalric nobles renowned in war. The queen appeared before them with her husband, the Grand-duke Francis, by her side, and with a nurse attending, holding her infant son and heir. Addressing them in Latin, in a brief, pathetic speech, she said:
The marquis looked for a moment upon the singular spectacle with astonishment. Then raising his hands, he exclaimed,
The great victory of Fontenoy, gained by the French on the Rhine, caused boundless exultation throughout France. “The French,” writes Carlyle, “made immense explosions of rejoicing over this victory; Voltaire celebrating it in prose and verse to an amazing degree; the whole nation blazing out over it into illuminations, arcs of triumph, and universal three times three; in short, I think nearly the heartiest national huzza, loud, deep, long-drawn, that the nation ever gave in like case.Again he writes, under the same date, to the Marquis D’Argenson:
“Having been not quite well lately, my physician has advised me to take more exercise than I have hitherto done. This has obliged me to mount my horse and take a gallop every morning. But, in order not to be obliged on that account to change my ordinary way of life, I get up earlier, in order to regain on the one hand what I lose on the other.
While on the retreat, one of his aids approached him, and the king, with a smile, said, “Daun has played me a slippery trick to-day.”The severity of discipline in the Prussian army was dreadful. The slightest misdemeanor was punished mercilessly. The drill, exposure, and hardships in the camp made life to the soldier a scene of constant martyrdom. Desertion was almost impossible. The only avenue of escape was suicide. In the little garrison at Potsdam, in ten years, over three hundred, by self-inflicted death, escaped their miseries. Dr. Zimmerman states that it not unfrequently happened that a soldier murdered a child, and then came and gave himself up to justice. They thought that if they committed379 suicide they would be subject to eternal punishment. But the murdered infant was sure to go to heaven, and the murderer would have time to repent and make his peace with God.Matrimonial Intrigues.—Letters from the King to his Son.—Letter from Fritz to Grumkow.—Letter to Wilhelmina.—The Betrothal.—Character of Elizabeth.—Her cruel Reception by the Prussian Queen.—Letter from Fritz to Wilhelmina.—Disappointment and Anguish of Elizabeth.—Studious Habits of Fritz.—Continued Alienation of his Father.—The Marriage.—Life in the Castle at Reinsberg.
“He has done us all a great deal of ill. He has been king for his own country, but a trouble-feast for those about him—setting up to be the arbiter of Europe, always assailing his neighbors, and making them pay the expense. As daughters of Maria Theresa, it is impossible we can regret him; nor is it the court of France that will make his funeral oration.”197THE KING APPROACHING SCHNELLENDORF.A few days after her arrival at Berlin, Fritz, on short leave of absence, ran over from Ruppin, and had a brief interview with his sister, whom he had not seen since her marriage. The royal family supped together, with the exception of the king, who was absent. At the table the conversation turned upon the future princess royal, Elizabeth. The queen said, addressing Wilhelmina, and fixing her eyes on Fritz,详情
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