“If the Austrians do not attack us here they deserve to be hanged.”On the 28th of June, 1729, the population of Bühlitz, a Hanoverian border village, sallied forth with carts, escorted by a troop of horse, and, with demonstrations both defiant and exultant, raked up and carried off all the hay. The King of Prussia happened to be at that time about one hundred miles distant from Bühlitz, at Magdeburg, reviewing his troops. He was thrown into a towering passion. Sophie Dorothee, Wilhelmina, Fritz, all felt the effects of his rage. Dubourgay writes, under date of July 30, 1729:
Thus the employments of every hour were strictly specified for every day in the week. On Wednesday he had a partial36 holiday. After half past nine, having finished his history and “got something by heart to strengthen the memory, Fritz shall rapidly dress himself and come to the king, and the rest of the day belongs to little Fritz.” On Saturday he was to be reviewed in all the studies of the week, “to see whether he has profited. General Finkenstein and Colonel Kalkstein shall be present during this. If Fritz has profited, the afternoon shall be his own. If he has not profited, he shall from two o’clock till six repeat and learn rightly what he has forgotten on the past days. In undressing and dressing, you must accustom him to get out of and into his clothes as fast as is humanly possible. You will also look that he learn to put on and put off his clothes himself, without help from others, and that he be clean, and neat, and not so dirty.”D’Argens spent the winter with the king at Leipsic. He gives the following incident: “One day I entered the king’s apartment, and found him sitting on the floor with a platter of fried meat, from which he was feeding his dogs. He had a little rod, with which he kept order among them, and shoved the best bits to his favorites.”
It seems that in England there were two parties in reference to the war. Sir Horace Walpole, in a letter under date of December 5th, 1760, wrote to Sir Horace Mann, at Florence:
“His Prussian majesty rides much about, often at a rapid rate, with a pleasant business aspect—humane, though imperative; handsome to look upon, though with a face perceptibly reddish. His age, now thirty-eight gone; a set appearance, as if already got into his forties; complexion florid; figure muscular, almost tending to be plump.”CHAPTER XIII. THE CAMPAIGN OF MOLLWITZ.
“God give his blessing to it, and bless you and your posterity, and keep you as a good Christian. And have God always before your eyes, and don’t believe that damnable predestination tenet; and be obedient and faithful. So shall it here in time, and there in eternity, go well with thee. And whosoever wishes that from the heart, let him say Amen.On the 3d of October the vanguard of this army, three thousand strong, was seen in the distance from the steeples of Berlin. The queen and royal family fled with the archives to Magdeburg. The city was summoned to an immediate surrender, and to pay a ransom of about four million dollars to rescue it from the flames. The summons was rejected. General Tottleben, in command of the advance, erected his batteries, and at five o’clock in the afternoon commenced his bombardment with red-hot balls. In the night a re-enforcement of five thousand Prussians, under Prince Eugene of Würtemberg, who had marched forty miles that day, entered the city, guided by the blaze of the bombardment, to strengthen the garrison. Tottleben retired to await the allied troops, which were rapidly on the march. In the mean time, on the 8th, General Hülsen arrived with nine thousand Prussian troops, increasing the garrison in Berlin to fifteen thousand. Frederick was also on the march, to rescue his capital, with all the troops he could muster. But the Russians had now arrived to the number of thirty-five thousand. The defenses were so weak that they could easily take or destroy the place.
But Frederick was now a full-grown man. His heirship to the throne rendered him a power among the courts of Europe. It was doubtful whether he would again submit to a caning. The infirm old king, gouty, dropsical, weakened, and lamed by ulcers, could not conceal from himself that his power, with his energies, was rapidly waning. Indeed, at times, he even talked of abdicating in favor of his son. Whenever there was a transient abatement in his maladies, he roused himself to the utmost, took short journeys, and tried to deceive himself into the belief that he was well again.
By order of the king, Fritz, who had also been condemned to die and was awaiting his doom, was brought down into a lower room of the fortress, before whose window the scaffold was erected, that he might be compelled “to see Katte die.” At his entrance the curtains were closed, shutting out the view of the court-yard. Upon the drawing of the curtains, Fritz, to his horror, beheld the scaffold draped in black on a level with the window, and directly before it.
With the first dawn of the morning, the two armies, in close contact, rushed furiously upon each other. There were seventy351 thousand on the one side, seventy-five thousand on the other. They faced each other in lines over an undulating plain nearly ten miles in extent. It is in vain to attempt to give the reader an adequate idea of the terrible battle which ensued. With musketry, artillery, gleaming sabres, and rushing horsemen, the infuriate hosts dashed upon each other. For fifteen hours the blood-red surges of battle swept to and fro over the plain. At length Prince Charles, having lost nine thousand in dead and wounded, seven thousand prisoners, sixteen thousand in all, sixty-six cannon, seventy-three flags and standards, beat a retreat. Rapidly his bleeding and exhausted troops marched back through Hohenfriedberg, entered the mountain defiles, and sought refuge, a thoroughly beaten army, among the fortresses of Bohemia. Frederick remained the undisputed victor of the field. Five thousand of his brave soldiers lay dead or wounded upon the plain. Even his stoical heart was moved by the greatness of the victory. As he first caught sight of M. Valori after the battle, he threw his arms around him, exclaiming, “My friend, God has helped me wonderfully this day.”详情
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