类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-10-30 12:51:44



Frederick withdrew his troops into strong cantonments in the valley of the upper Elbe. This beautiful river takes its rise in romantic chasms, among the ridges and spurs of the Giant Mountains, on the southeastern borders of Silesia. Here the Prussian army was distributed in small towns along a line following the windings of the stream, about forty miles in length. All the troops could be concentrated in forty-eight hours. The encampments faced the south, with the Elbe behind them. At some little distance north of the river, safe from surprise, the magazines were stationed. The mountains of Bohemia rose sublimely306 in the distant background. In a letter to M. Jordan, under date of Chrudim, May 5th, 1742, Frederick expresses his views of this profitless campaign in the following terms:“Should this hope fail me, you will allow that it would be too hard to crawl at the feet of a company of traitors to whom successful crimes have given the advantage to prescribe the law to me. If I had followed my own inclinations I should have put an end to myself at once after that unfortunate battle which I lost. But I felt that this would be weakness, and that it behooved me to repair the evil which had happened. But no sooner had I hastened this way to face new enemies than Winterfield was beaten and killed near Gorlitz; than the French entered the heart of my states; than the Swedes blockaded Stettin. Now there is nothing effective left for me to do. There are too many enemies. Were I even to succeed in beating two armies, the third would crush me. As for you, my incomparable sister, I have not the heart to turn you from your resolves. We think alike, and I can not condemn in you the sentiments which I daily entertain. Life has been given us as a benefit. When it ceases to be such— I have nobody left in this world to attach me to it but you. My friends, the relations I loved most, are in the grave. In short, I have lost every thing. If you take the resolution which I have taken, we end together our misfortunes and our unhappiness.Vastly superior as was the Russian army in numbers, General Soltikof did not venture to advance to attack his terrible foe. He had selected a very strong position on a range of eminences about one hundred feet high, running for several miles in an easterly direction from the river. Upon this ridge, which was called “the Heights of Kunersdorf,” the Russian general had intrenched himself with the utmost care. The surrounding country was full of bogs, and sluggish streams, and a scraggy growth of tough and thorny bushes, almost impenetrable.

“You may easily imagine that she used every endeavor for the success of her plan, and also to marry me to the English Princess Amelia. The king was informed of this design from its commencement. He was much nettled at these fresh intrigues, which have caused many quarrels between the queen and him. Seckendorf finally took part in the affair, and counseled the king to make an end of all these plans by concluding my marriage with the Princess of Bevern.Voltaire, on his journey to Paris, would pass through Frankfort. Frederick secretly employed a Prussian officer to obtain from the authorities there the necessary powers, and to arrest him, and take from him the cross of Merit, the gold key of the chamberlain, and especially the volume of poems. The officer, M. Freytag, kept himself minutely informed of Voltaire’s movements. At eight o’clock in the evening of the 31st of May the illustrious philosopher arrived, with a small suite, traveling in considerable state, and stopped at the “Golden Lion.” M. Freytag was on the spot. He was a man of distinction. He called upon Voltaire, and, after the interchange of the customary civilities, informed the poet that he was under the necessity of arresting him in the name of the King of Prussia, and detaining him until he should surrender the cross, the key, and the volume of poems. Voltaire was greatly annoyed. He professed warm friendship for the King of Prussia. Very reluctantly, and not until after several hours of altercation, he surrendered the key and the cross. The volume of poems he was very anxious indeed to retain, and affirmed that they were, he knew not where, with luggage he had left behind him in Leipsic or Dresden. He was informed that he would be detained as a prisoner until the volume was produced.

a a. Prussian Camp, left with fires burning. b b b. Prussian Main Army. c c. Ziethen’s Division. d d. Loudon’s Camp, also left with fires burning. e e e. Loudon’s Army attacked by the Prussians. f f f. Approach of Daun. g g. Lacy’s Cavalry.Voltaire was at this time in Brussels. Frederick wrote him from Wesel, under date of 2d September, 1740, giving a narrative of his adventures, partly in prose, partly in verse. It was a long communication, the rhyme very much like that which a bright school-girl would write upon the gallop. The following specimen of this singular production will give the reader a sufficient idea of the whole:“It is a monument for the latest posterity; the only book worthy of a king for these fifteen hundred years.”33

Thus parted these remarkable men, who were never destined to meet again.

The Emperor Joseph had been embarrassed in his ambitious plans by the conscientious scruples of his mother. He now entered into a secret alliance with the Czarina Catharine, by which he engaged to assist her in her advance to Constantinople, while she, in her turn, was to aid him in his encroachments and annexations to establish an empire in the West as magnificent as the czarina hoped to establish in the East.

To Voltaire the king wrote, in a very similar strain, four days later, on the 23d of December:



Gravitant contre les rochers,Suddenly dashing the tears away, he issued his swift orders, and, mounting his horse, galloped to Prague, where he arrived Sunday evening. The next day the siege was raised, and the besieging troops were on the retreat north into Saxony. The whole army was soon rendezvoused at Leitmeritz, on the Elbe, about thirty miles south of Dresden. Here Frederick awaited the development of the next movement of his foes.

160 After this interview the Crown Prince hurried away on his route to Philipsburg. He reached Nürnberg that night, where he wrote the following brief but affectionate letter to his sister:During all the day of Wednesday weeping friends stood around the bed, as the lamp of life flickered in its socket. Every moment it was expected that the emperor would breathe his last. At two o’clock the next morning the spirit took its flight, and the lifeless clay alone remained. The grief-stricken empress closed the eyes of her departed husband, kissed his hands, and “was carried out more dead than alive.” Thus ended the male line of the house of Hapsburg, after five centuries of royal sway. The emperor died on the 20th of October 1740, in the fifty-sixth year of his age.


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