Frederick.”“The valet took the beef from the table and set it on the charcoal dish until wanted. He did the like with the fish and roast game, and poured me out wine and beer. I ate and drank till I had abundantly enough. Dessert, confectionery, what I could. A plate of big black cherries and a plateful of pears my waiting-man wrapped in paper, and stuffed them into my pockets to be a refreshment on the way home. And so I rose from the royal table, and thanked God and the king in my heart that I had so gloriously dined. At that moment a secretary came, brought me a sealed order for the custom-house at Berlin, with my certificates and the pass; told down on the table five tail-ducats and a gold Friedrich under them, saying, ‘The king sent me this to take me home to Berlin.’93
“In whatever corner of the world I may end my life, be assured, Monseigneur, my wishes will be continually for you. My heart will rank itself among your subjects. Your glory will be ever dear to me. I shall wish, May you always be like yourself, and may other kings be like you. I am, with profound respect, your royal highness’s most humble“Hardly,” he replied, “in that dress. Besides, your majesty has grown thinner.”
George Ludwig, Count of Berg, who at this time was Bishop of Liege, was a feeble old man, tottering beneath the infirmities of eighty-two years. He did not venture upon physical resistance to the power of Prussia, but confined himself to protests, remonstrances, and to the continued exercise of his own governmental authority. As Herstal was many leagues distant from Berlin, was of comparatively little value, and could only be reached by traversing foreign states, Frederick William offered to sell all his claims to it for about eighty thousand dollars. The proposal not being either accepted or rejected by the bishop, the king, anxious to settle the question before his death, sent an embassador to Liege, with full powers to arrange the difficulty by treaty. For three days the embassador endeavored in vain to obtain an audience. He then returned indignantly to Berlin. The king, of course, regarded this treatment as an insult. The bishop subsequently averred that the audience was prevented by his own sickness. Such was the posture of affairs when Frederick William died.“Never mind, sire, God Almighty and we will mend this yet.417 The enemy may get a victory for once, but that does not send us to the devil.”Wilhelmina, in the following graphic narrative, describes the scene: “Mamma had given a ball in honor of papa’s birthday. We recommenced the ball after supper. For six years I had not danced before. It was new fruit, and I took my fill of it, without heeding much what was passing. Madam Bulow, who, with others, had worn long faces all night, pleading illness when one noticed it, said to me several times,
BATTLE OF LEUTHEN, DECEMBER 5, 1757.385 This good old man died in Berlin on the 24th of August, 1777, eighty-eight years of age.
Nous allions gravement d’une allure indolente,The Prussian troops, meeting with no opposition, spread over the country, and a strong division reached Weichau on Saturday, the 17th. There they spent Sunday in rest. Frederick was anxious to win to his cause the Protestant population. He consequently favored their religious institutions, and ordered that Protestant worship should be held in the villages which he occupied, and where there was no Protestant church edifice, one part of the day in the Catholic churches. This plan he continued through the campaign, much to the gratification of the chaplains of his regiments and the Protestant community in Silesia. Though the Austrian government had not been particularly oppressive to the Protestants, still it leaned decidedly against what224 it deemed heresy. The Jesuits, favored by the governmental officials, were unwearied in their endeavors to promote the interests of their Church. Frederick, by allowing the impression to be spread abroad that he was the champion of Protestantism, was enabled to secure the sympathies of quite a strong party in Silesia in his favor. It is said that two thirds of the inhabitants of Silesia were Protestants, and therefore favorable to Frederick.
“My blackguard daughter may receive the sacrament.”At this time the whole disposable force of his Prussian majesty did not exceed eighty thousand men. There were marching against him combined armies of not less, in the aggregate, than four hundred thousand. A part of the Prussian army, about thirty thousand strong, under the king’s eldest brother, Augustus William, Prince of Prussia, was sent north, especially to protect Zittau, a very fine town of about ten thousand inhabitants, where Frederick had gathered his chief magazines. Prince Charles, with seventy thousand Austrians, pursued this division. He outgeneraled the Prince of Prussia, drove him into wild country roads, took many prisoners, captured important fortresses, and, opening a fire of red-hot shot upon Zittau, laid the whole place, with its magazines, in ashes. The Prince of422 Prussia, who witnessed the conflagration which he could not prevent, retreated precipitately toward Lobau, and thence to Bautzen, with his army in a deplorable condition of exhaustion and destitution.“Your effrontery astonishes me. What you have done is clear as the day; and yet, instead of confessing your culpability, you persist in denying it. Do you think you can make people believe that black is white? All shall be made public. Then it will be seen whether, if your words deserve statues, your conduct does not deserve chains.”
“O my God, help me yet this once. Let me not be disgraced in my old days. But if Thou wilt not help me, don’t help those scoundrels, but leave us to try it out ourselves.Frederick paid but little regard to his allies save as he could make them subservient to the accomplishment of his purposes. He pushed his troops forward many leagues south into Moravia, and occupied the important posts of Troppau, Friedenthal, and Olmütz. These places were seized the latter part of December. The king hoped thus to be able, early in the spring, to carry the war to the gates of Vienna.
“The king was accustomed to pass his leisure moments in playing with them, and the room where he sat was strewed with leather balls with which they amused themselves. As they were all much indulged, though there was always one especial favorite, they used to tear the damask covers of the chairs in the king’s apartment, and gnaw and otherwise injure the furniture. This he permitted without rebuke, and used only to say,“He passed through Hirschberg on the 18th of August. A concourse of many thousands had been waiting for him several hours. Outriders came at last; then he himself, the unique; and, with the liveliest expression of reverence and love, all eyes were directed on one point. I can not describe to you my feelings, which, of course, were those of every body, to see him, the aged king; in his weak hand the hat; in those grand eyes such a fatherly benignity of look over the vast crowd that encircled his carriage, and rolled tide-like, accompanying it. Looking round, I saw in various eyes a tear trembling.
234 “Adieu, dear Swan of Padua. Think, I pray, sometimes of those who are getting themselves cut in slices for the sake of glory here; and, above all, do not forget your friends who think a thousand times of you.”详情
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