“About nine this morning,” was the reply, “the prince got to horse. Not long after three he came back again with a swarm of officers, all going full speed for Lissa. They were full of bragging when they came; now they were off wrong side foremost! I saw how it was. Close following after him the flood of them ran. The high road was not broad enough. It was an hour and more before it ended. Such a pell-mell, such a welter! cavalry and infantry all jumbled together. Our king must have given them a terrible flogging.”466 General Keith, as he looked upon the long and compact lines of General Daun, and saw how apparently easy it would be for him, from his commanding position, to annihilate the Prussian army, said to the king, sadly,
“When I am dead,” he said, petulantly, “you will see Berlin full of madmen and freethinkers, and the sort of people who walk about the streets.”“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.
For seven weeks the siege of Olmütz was prosecuted with great vigor. With much skill Frederick protected his baggage trains in their long and exposed route of ninety miles through forests and mountain defiles. General Keith was intrusted with the details of the siege facing the town toward the east; Frederick, with a vigilant corps of horse and foot, was about twenty miles to the west, watching every movement of General Daun, so far as he was able through the thick cloud of Pandours, behind which the Austrian commander endeavored to conceal all his man?uvres.If these words are true, which Milton places in the lips of the apostate fiend, it is appalling to think of the ungoverned and ungovernable spirit with which the king entered the unseen world. We know not that there is any power in the alembic of death to transform the character; and certain it is that if Frederick William carried with him to the abode of spirits the same character which he cherished in this world, there are but few who could be rendered happy by his society. But we must leave him with his God, and return to the stormy scenes upon which his son now entered.
“Guarantee me the possession of Silesia, and pay me seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the expenses of this campaign, and I will withdraw my army.”
Berlin was almost defenseless. All Saxony was rising in arms behind Frederick. The invader of Silesia was in danger of having his own realms invaded and his own capital sacked. Frederick was thoroughly roused. But he never allowed himself to appear agitated or anxious. He ordered Leopold, the Old Dessauer, to march immediately, with all the troops he could rally, to the frontiers of Saxony. He even found it necessary to detach to the aid of Leopold some corps from his own enfeebled forces, now menaced by an Austrian army twice as large as he could oppose to them.CHAPTER VIII. DEVELOPMENTS OF CHARACTER.
This despondency lasted, however, but a moment. Concealing his emotions, he smoothed his furrowed brow, dressed his face in smiles, and wrote doggerel verses and jocose letters as if he were merely a fashionable man of pleasure. At the same time he rallied all his marvelous energies, and prepared to meet the exigency366 with sagacity and intrepidity rarely surpassed. Orders were immediately dispatched to the Old Dessauer to marshal an army to oppose Grüne and Rutowski, while the king hastened to Silesia to attack Prince Charles. Leopold, though he had nearly numbered his threescore years and ten, according to Frederick, was very glad to fight once again before he died. The veteran general ventured to make some suggestions in reference to the orders he had received. The king sternly replied,
But Wilhelmina evaded the oath upon the ground of religious115 scruples. Anxiety, confinement, and bad diet had so preyed upon her health that she was reduced almost to a skeleton. The following extract from her journal gives a graphic account of her painful condition:His companions had no heart to witness the bloody execution of their friend and brother-officer. The chaplain, Müller, who had accompanied the condemned to Cüstrin, and also Besserer, the chaplain of the garrison there, were either obliged by their official position, or were constrained by Christian sympathy, to ride by his side in the death-cart to the scaffold. Of the rest of his friends he took an affectionate leave, saying, “Adieu, my brothers; may God be with you evermore!” He was conveyed to the rampart of the castle dressed in coarse brown garments precisely like those worn by the prince.
“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.”CHAPTER I PARENTAGE OF FREDERICK THE GREAT.
In a pet Frederick left the room. The heroic general, who had flatly refused to obey a positive command, found it necessary to resign his commission. The next day another officer plundered the castle. Seventy-five thousand dollars of the proceeds of the sale were appropriated to the field hospitals. The remainder, which proved to be a large sum, was the reward of the plundering general.详情
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