Chaplain Müller was especially directed to argue with Frederick upon this point, and, if possible, to convert him to Christianity. The correspondence which ensued between the king and Müller is preserved. The king wrote to the chaplain, under date of November 3d, 1730:Three volunteered. It was so dark that the landlord of a little country inn walked with a lantern by the side of Frederick’s horse. Lissa was on the main road to Breslau. The landlord supposed that he was guiding one of Frederick’s generals, and was very communicative.
The allies represented a population of ninety millions. The realms of Frederick embraced scarcely five millions of inhabitants. The allies decided that they would no longer make an exchange of prisoners. It was manifest that, by merely protracting the war, even without any signal successes on the part of the allies, Frederick would find all his resources of men exhausted. Frederick, who was never very scrupulous with regard to the means which he employed for the promotion of his ends, immediately compelled his prisoners of war, of whatever nationality, to enlist in his service.
THE BATTLE OF PRAGUE, MAY 6, 1757.“General Saldern, to-morrow morning I wish you to go with a detachment of infantry and cavalry to Hubertsburg. Take possession of the palace, and pack up all the furniture. The money they bring I mean to bestow on our field hospitals. I will not forget you in disposing of it.”
a. Prussian Camp. b b. Prussian Infantry. c c. Prussian Cavalry. d. Position of Buddenbrock. e e. Austrian Infantry. f f. Austrian Cavalry. g. Austrian Hussars.
It was now midwinter. Frederick, having established his troops in winter quarters, took up his residence in Breslau. His troubles were by no means ended. Vastly outnumbering foes still surrounded him. Very vigorous preparations were to be made for the sanguinary conflicts which the spring would surely introduce. Frederick did what he could to infuse gayety into the society at Breslau, though he had but little heart to enter into those gayeties himself. For a week he suffered severely from colic pains, and could neither eat nor sleep. “Eight months,” he writes, “of anguish and agitation do wear one down.”
“I am delighted, my dear Wilhelmina, that you are so submissive to the wishes of your father. The good God will bless you for it; and I will never abandon you. I will take care of you all my life, and will endeavor to prove to you that I am your very affectionate father.”“Formerly, my dear marquis, the affair of the 15th would have decided the campaign. At present it is but a scratch. A great battle must determine our fate. Such we shall soon have. Then, should the event prove favorable to us, you may, with good reason, rejoice. I thank you for your sympathy. It has cost much scheming, striving, and address to bring matters to this point. Do not speak to me of dangers. The last action cost me only a coat and a horse. That is buying victory cheap.151
“Be firm, my child. Trust in my management. Only swear to me, on your eternal salvation, that never, on any compulsion, will you marry another than the Prince of Wales. Give me that oath.”
Coarse brown clothes of plainest cut were furnished him. His flute was taken from him, and he was deprived of all books but the Bible and a few devotional treatises. He was allowed a daily sum, amounting to twelve cents of our money, for his food—eight cents for his dinner and four for his supper. His food was purchased at a cook-shop near by, and cut for him. He was not permitted the use of a knife. The door was opened three times a day for ventilation—morning, noon, and night—but not for more than four minutes each time. A single tallow-candle was allowed him; but that was to be extinguished at seven o’clock in the evening.
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On the 15th of May, 1753, the Russian Senate had passed the resolution that it should henceforth be the policy of Russia not only to resist all further encroachments on the part of Prussia, but to seize the first opportunity to force the Prussian monarch back to the possession of simply his original boundary of Brandenburg. It was also agreed that, should Prussia attack any of the allies of Russia, or be attacked by any of them, the armies of the czar should immediately array themselves against the armies of Frederick. There were many other papers, more or less obscure, which rendered it very certain that Maria Theresa would ere long make a new attempt to regain Silesia, and that in that attempt she would be aided both by Russia and Poland. Frederick also knew full well that nothing would better please his uncle George II. of England than to see Prussia crowded back to her smallest limits. To add to Frederick’s embarrassment, France was hopelessly alienated from him.
51 Some of the courtiers, in order to divert the king from his melancholy, and from these ideas of abdication, succeeded in impressing upon him the political necessity of visiting Augustus, the King of Poland, at Dresden. The king did not intend to take Fritz with him. But Wilhelmina adroitly whispered a word to Baron Suhm, the Polish embassador, and obtained a special invitation for the Crown Prince. It is a hundred miles from Berlin to Dresden—a distance easily traversed by post in a day. It was the middle of January, 1728, when the Prussian king reached Dresden, followed the day after by his son. They were sumptuously entertained for four weeks in a continuous round of magnificent amusements, from which the melancholic King of Prussia recoiled, but could not well escape.详情
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