FREDERICK IN THE GARDEN.“A droll incident happened during our dialogue. My gentleman wanted to let down a little sash window, and could not manage it. ‘You do not understand that,’ said I; ‘let me do it.’ I tried to get it down, but succeeded no better than he.
“‘Sir,’ said he, ‘allow me to remark, on my side, that you understand as little of it as I.’It was a dreary winter to Frederick in Breslau. Sad, silent, and often despairing, he was ever inflexibly resolved to struggle till the last possible moment, and, if need be, to bury himself beneath the ruins of his kingdom. All his tireless energies he devoted to the Herculean work before him. No longer did he affect gayety or seek recreations. Secluded, solitary, sombre, he took counsel of no one. In the possession of absolute power, he issued his commands as with the authority of a god.Winter Encampment.—Death of Maupertuis.—Infamous Conduct of Voltaire.—Reproof by the King.—Voltaire’s Insincerity.—Correspondence.—The King publishes his Poems.—Dishonorable Conduct of the King.—New Encampment near Dresden.—Destruction of Frederick’s Army in Silesia.—Atrocities perpetrated by the Austrians.—Astonishing March.—The Austrians outwitted.—Dresden bombarded and almost destroyed by Frederick.—Battle of Liegnitz.—Utter Rout of the Austrians.—Undiminished Peril of Frederick.—Letter to D’Argens.
The king, in response to the report of Baron Grumkow, which119 was so gratifying to him, sent the same evening the following note to Wilhelmina:Frederick caught eagerly at the suggestion, as the remark was reported to him by his brother. He drew up a new plan of partition, which he urged with all his powers of address upon both Russia and Austria. The conscience of Maria Theresa was strongly opposed to the deed. Catharine and Kaunitz were very greedy in their demands. Circumstances assumed such an aspect that it was very difficult for Maria Theresa to oppose the measure. At length, through the extraordinary efforts of Frederick, on the 5th of August, 1772, the following agreement was adopted:
Late in the fall of 1739 the health of Frederick William was so rapidly failing that it became manifest to all that his days on earth would soon be ended. He sat joylessly in his palace, listening to the moaning of the wind, the rustle of the falling leaves, and the pattering of the rain. His gloomy spirit was in accord with the melancholy days. More dreary storms darkened his turbid soul than those which wrecked the autumnal sky.
Under these circumstances, the young queen, urged by her council and by the English court, very reluctantly consented to propose terms of compromise to Frederick. Sir Thomas Robinson, subsequently Earl of Grantham, was sent from Vienna to Breslau to confer with the British minister there, Lord Hyndford, and with him to visit Frederick, at his camp at Strehlen, in the attempt to adjust the difficulties. The curious interview which ensued has been minutely described by Sir Thomas Robinson. It took place under the royal canvas tent of his Prussian majesty at 11 o’clock A.M. of the 7th of August, 1741.
“‘The monarchic, if the king is just and enlightened.’
b. Where Rothenburg met the Hussars.
“‘Well,’ said he one day to an attendant, who was extolling the beauties of one of his pictures, ‘how much do you think that picture would bring at a sale?’At three o’clock in the morning of the 20th of August, and after the march of a few hours, the little army of Frederick commenced constructing a fortified camp near the poor little village of Bunzelwitz, about half way between the Silesian fortresses of Schweidnitz and Striegau. Spades were provided. Fifty thousand men were instantly employed, according to a well-matured plan, in digging and trenching. The extraordinary energies of Frederick seemed to nerve every arm. Here there was speedily reared the camp of Bunzelwitz, which has attained world-wide renown.
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