Upon one occasion she ordered a very rich silk dress directly from Lyons. The custom-house dues were heavy. The custom-house officer detained the dress until the dues should be paid. The haughty princess, exceedingly indignant, sent an order to him to bring the dress instantly to her, and she would pay the538 demand. As soon as he entered her apartment, she snatched the dress from his hands, and with her open palm gave him two slaps in the face, ordering him immediately to leave the house175Early in October the allies planned an expedition for the capture of Berlin. The city had no defenses but weak palisades, which were garrisoned by but twelve hundred men. General Czernichef led a column of twenty thousand Russians, General509 Lacy another of fifteen thousand Austrians, and General Soltikof a third column of twenty thousand more.
“‘See there; that is the way to mark out camps.’”192
“The enemy threw such a multitude of bombs and red-hot balls into the city that by nine o’clock in the morning it burned, with great fury, in three different places. The fire could not be extinguished, as the houses were closely built, and the streets narrow. The air appeared like a shower of fiery rain and hail. The surprised inhabitants had not time to think of any thing but of saving their lives by getting into the open fields.Kannegiesser, at Hanover, received the king’s propositions for reconciliation at ten o’clock in the morning of the 15th of August, 1729. George II. was then absent on a hunting excursion. The Prussian embassador called immediately at the council-chamber of the Hanoverian court, and informed M. Hartoff, the privy secretary, that he wished an audience with the ministry, then in session, to make a proposition to them from the Prussian court. Hartoff, who had met Kannegiesser in a room adjoining the council-chamber, reported the request to the council, and returned with the disrespectful answer that “M. Kannegiesser must defer what he has to say to some other time.”
“I flatter myself that now nothing will be wanting of that valor which the state has a right to expect of you. The hour is436 at hand. I should feel that I had accomplished nothing were I to leave Silesia in the hands of Austria. Let me then apprise you that I intend to attack Prince Charles’s army, which is nearly thrice the strength of our own, wherever I can find it. It matters not what are his numbers, or what the strength of his position. All this by courage and by skill we will try to overcome. This step I must risk, or all is lost. We must beat the enemy, or perish before his batteries. If there be any one who shrinks from sharing these dangers with me, he can have his discharge this evening.”“My situation changes every moment. Sometimes I am in favor, sometimes in disgrace. My chief happiness consists in my being absent from him. I lead a quiet and tranquil life with my regiment at Ruppin. Study and music are my principal occupations. I have built me a house there, and laid out a garden where I can read and walk about.”
“Leitmeritz, July 13, 1757.It turned out that the rumor of the march upon Berlin was greatly exaggerated. General Haddick, with an Austrian force of but four thousand men, by a sudden rush through the woods, seized the suburbs of Berlin. The terrified garrison, supposing that an overwhelming force of the allied army was upon them, retreated, with the royal family and effects, to Spandau. General Haddick, having extorted a ransom of about one hundred and forty thousand dollars from the city, and “two dozen pair of gloves for the empress queen,” and learning that a division of Frederick’s army was fast approaching, fled precipitately. Hearing of this result, the king arrested his steps at Torgau, and returned to Leipsic. The Berliners asserted that “the two dozen pair of gloves were all gloves for the left hand.”While Frederick William was confined to his room, tormented by the gout, he endeavored to beguile the hours in painting in oil. Some of these paintings still exist, with the epigraph, “Painted by Frederick William in his torments.” Wilhelmina writes:
FREDERICK ASLEEP IN THE HUT AT OETSCHER.BATTLE OF“Country, for two days back, was in new alarm by the Austrian garrison of Brieg, now left at liberty, who sallied out upon the villages about, and plundered black cattle, sheep, grain, and whatever they could come at. But this day in Mollwitz the whole Austrian army was upon us. First there went three hundred hussars through the village to Grüningen, who quartered themselves there, and rushed hither and thither into houses, robbing and plundering. From one they took his best horses; from another they took linen, clothes, and other furnitures and victual.
“The Crown Prince begs his Britannic majesty not to reject the king’s proposals, whatever they may be, for his sister Wilhelmina’s sake. For, though the Crown Prince is determined to lose his life sooner than marry any body but the Princess Amelia, yet, if this negotiation were broken off, his father would go to extremities to force him and his sister into other engagements.”Linsenbarth, thus left alone, sauntered from the garden back to the esplanade. There he stood quite bewildered. He had walked that day twenty miles beneath a July sun and over the burning sands. He had eaten nothing. He had not a farthing in his pocket.
Frederick.”But no sooner did Frederick get an intimation that Austria was contemplating this enlargement of her domains than he roused himself to prevent it with all the vigor of his earlier years. It was a very delicate matter; for Charles Theodore, the elector, and his nephew August Christian, heir to the electorate, a young gentleman of very illustrious pedigree, but of a very slender purse, had both been bribed by Austria secretly to co-operate in the movement. The reader will be interested in Carlyle’s account, slightly abbreviated, of Frederick’s skill in diplomacy:Quatre bons jours en pénitence
These solemn tones of sacred psalmody fell impressively upon the ear of the king when his earthly all was trembling in the balance. Religionless and atheistic as he was, he could not repress some visible emotion. One of his officers, aware of the king’s avowed contempt for every thing of a religious nature, inquired,Several years now passed away with nothing specially worthy of record. Frederick did not grow more amiable as he advanced in years. Though Frederick was often unreasonable, petulant, and unjust, and would seldom admit that he had been in the wrong, however clear the case, it can not be doubted that it was his general and earnest desire that justice should be exercised in all his courts.The king kicked him, and struck him several heavy blows with his cane. He was hit repeatedly in the face, and blood gushed from the wounds. With his own hands the king tore from Katte’s breast the cross of the Order of Saint John. After this disgraceful scene the interrogatory commenced. Katte confessed all the circumstances of the prince’s intended escape, but denied that there had been any design against the king or the state. His own and the prince’s letters were examined, but nothing was found in them to criminate either. Katte was then100 remanded to prison. Wilhelmina, after receiving the grossest possible insults from her father, who accused her, in coarsest terms, of being the paramour of Lieutenant Katte, was ordered to her room. Two sentries were placed at her door, and directions were given that she should be fed only on prison fare.详情
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