And notwithstanding our impatience,
Frederick was overjoyed. In the exuberance of his satisfaction, he sent Prince Leopold a present of ten thousand dollars. To each private soldier he gave half a guinea, and to the officers sums in proportion. To the old Duke of Dessauer, father of the young Prince Leopold, he wrote:“‘Let the parsons who make for themselves a cruel and barbarous God be eternally damned, as they desire and deserve; and let those parsons who conceive God gentle and merciful enjoy the plenitude of his mercy.’
The Prussian minister replied that he could not conceive why he should be refused an audience; that he should not fail to be at the council-chamber at eleven o’clock the next day to receive an answer to the proposals already made, and also to the proposals which he was prepared to make. He endeavored to inform Hartoff of the terms of compromise which the Prussian king was ready to present. But Hartoff refused to hear him, declaring that he had positive orders not to listen to any thing he had to say upon the subject. We will give the conclusion in the words of the Prussian minister, as found in his dispatch of the 18th of August, 1729:
On Wednesday, April 12, two days after the battle, Frederick wrote to his sister Wilhelmina from Ohlau as follows:Destruction of the Army of Prince Charles.—Dismay in Vienna.—Testimony of Napoleon I.—Of Voltaire.—Wretchedness of the King.—Compromise rejected.—New Preparations for War.—Treaty between England and Prussia.—Plan of the Campaign.—Siege of Olmütz.—Death of Prince Augustus William.—The Baggage Train.—The irreparable Disaster.—Anxiety of Frederick for Wilhelmina.—The March against the Russians.—The Battle of Zorndorf.—Anecdotes of Frederick.
“Madam,—I am much obliged by the wishes you deign to form; but a heavy fever I have taken hinders me from answering you.
“I have been assured that you are an honest and pious clergyman, and a faithful minister of the Word of God. Since, therefore, you are going to Cüstrin, on account of the execution of111 Lieutenant Katte, I command you, after the execution, to pay a visit to the Prince Royal; to reason with him and to represent to him that whosoever abandons God is also abandoned by God; and that, when God has abandoned a man, and has taken away his grace from him, that man is incapable of doing what is good, and can only do what is evil. You will exhort him to repent, and to ask pardon for the many sins he has committed, and into which he has seduced others, one of whom has been just punished with death.Again he wrote, a few months after, to the Duke of Choiseul: “He has been a bad man, this Luc. And now, if one were to bet by the law of probability, it would be three to one that Luc would go to pot [sera perdu], with his rhymings and his banterings, and his injustices and politics, all as bad as himself.”146
a a. Prussian Infantry, b. Cavalry, c c. Artillery. d d. Austrian Army.
Still the order was given for the assault. The Prussians plunged into the dense ranks of their foes, regardless of being outnumbered nearly three to one. A terrible battle was fought. General Wedell was overpowered and beaten. He retreated across the Oder, having lost six thousand men in killed, wounded, and prisoners. The victorious Russians did not pursue him. They marched down the river to Frankfort, where they effected a junction with other troops, giving them an effective force of ninety-six thousand fighting men.
The withdrawal of Russia from the alliance against Frederick, though hailed by him with great joy, still left him, with wasted armies and exhausted finances, to struggle single-handed against Austria and France united, each of which kingdoms was far more powerful than Prussia. The winter passed rapidly away without any marked events, each party preparing for the opening of the campaign in the ensuing spring. On the 8th of June, 1762, Frederick wrote to D’Argens:详情
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