Voltaire, speaking of this conflict, says, “It was the most inconceivable and complete rout and discomfiture of which history433 makes any mention. Thirty thousand French and twenty thousand imperial troops were there seen making a disgraceful and precipitate flight before five battalions and a few squadrons. The defeats of Agincourt, Cressy, and Poitiers were not so humiliating.”110“Each regiment shall take but one baggage-cart for a company. No officer, whoever he may be or whatever his title, shall take with him the least of silver plate, not even a silver spoon. Whoever wants to keep table, great or small, must manage the same with tin utensils, without exception, be he who he will.”
“He had his sword drawn, and continued to exercise the corps for an hour after. He made them wheel, march, form the square, and fire by divisions and in platoons, observing all their motions with infinite attention; and, on account of some blunder, put two officers of the Prince of Prussia’s regiment in arrest. In short, he seemed to exert himself with all the spirit of a young officer567 eager to attract the notice of his general by uncommon alertness.”199“I forewarn you of this, that, if we should meet again in flesh and bone, you might not feel yourself too violently shocked by my appearance. There remains nothing to me unaltered but my heart, which, as long as I breathe, will retain sentiments of esteem and tender friendship for my good mamma. Adieu.”159
Wilhelmina’s Letter to her Mother.—Cruel Response.—The Court Festival.—First Interview with the Prince of Baireuth.—His Character and Appearance.—Interview between the King and Fritz.—The Partial Reconciliation.—Divine Decrees.—The King’s Sense of Justice.—The King’s Discipline of the Judges.—Character of Fritz.—Wilhelmina’s Annoyances.—Her Marriage.—Interview between Wilhelmina and Fritz.—The Departure.An eye-witness thus describes the tactics by which Frederick executed his design: “It is a particular man?uvre which, up to the present time, none but Prussian troops can execute with the precision and velocity indispensable to it. You divide your line into many pieces. You can push these forward stair-wise, so that they shall halt close to one another. Forming itself in this way, a mass of troops takes up in proportion very little ground. And it shows in the distance, by reason of the mixed uniforms and standards, a totally chaotic mass of men, heaped one on another. But it needs only that the commander lift his finger, and instantly this living coil of knotted intricacies develops itself in perfect order, and with a speed like that of mountain rivers.”112
“Heir is a gallant enough young gentleman. Frederick judges that he probably will have haggled to sign any Austrian convention for dismemberment of Baiern, and that he will start into life upon it so soon as he sees hope.
On the 29th of November, 1780, Maria Theresa died. The extraordinary character which she had developed through life was equally manifested in the hour of death. She died of congestion of the lungs, which created a painful and suffocating difficulty of breathing. Her struggles for breath rendered it impossible for her to lie upon the bed. Bolstered in her chair, she leaned her head back as if inclined to sleep.“Constantinople! never. It is the empire of the world.”
Frederick soon followed the Austrians with his whole army, hoping to bring them to a decisive battle. But General Neipperg was conscious that he was unable to cope with the Prussian army in the open field. For a week there was man?uvring and counter-man?uvring with great skill on both sides, General Neipperg baffling all the endeavors of Frederick to bring him to a general action.As they marched their voices burst forth simultaneously in a German hymn. The gush of their rude and many-voiced melody was borne distinctly on the wind to the eminence where Frederick stood, anxiously watching those movements which were to decide his own fate, that of his family, and of his kingdom. The following is a translation of one of the verses of this hymn:a a. Austrian Army, b b. Prussian Army. c. Ziethen’s Hussars. d. Nadasti’s Hussars. e. The Oak Wood.
“I am sure you will take part in this happiness, and that you will not doubt the tenderness with which I am, dearest sister, yours wholly,On the 29th of November, 1780, Maria Theresa died. The extraordinary character which she had developed through life was equally manifested in the hour of death. She died of congestion of the lungs, which created a painful and suffocating difficulty of breathing. Her struggles for breath rendered it impossible for her to lie upon the bed. Bolstered in her chair, she leaned her head back as if inclined to sleep.
“October 7, 1743.Maupertuis.”
Prince Charles had married the only sister of Maria Theresa. She was young, beautiful, and amiable. While the prince was conducting his arduous campaign on the Moldau, his wife, grief-stricken, consigned her new-born babe to the tomb. The little stranger, born in the absence of his father, had but opened his eyes upon this sad world when he closed them forever. The princess sank rapidly into a decline.A few days after this interview, the Dutch embassador, General Ginckel, arrived with the Resolution from the English and Dutch courts, demanding that the king should evacuate Silesia. Lord Hyndford was much embarrassed, apprehending that the presentation of the summons at that time would work only mischief. He persuaded General Ginckel to delay the presentation until he could send a courier to England for instructions. In a fortnight the courier returned with the order that the Resolution was immediately to be presented to his Prussian majesty.“But she returned the next moment accompanying the cavalier, who was laughing heartily, and whom I recognized for my brother. His dress so altered him he seemed a different person. He was in the best humor possible. ‘I am come to bid you farewell once more, my dear sister,’ said he; ‘and as I know the friendship you have for me, I will not keep you ignorant of my designs. I go, and do not come back. I can not endure the usage I suffer. My patience is driven to an end. It is a favorable79 opportunity for flinging off that odious yoke. I will glide out of Dresden and get across to England, where, I do not doubt, I shall work out your deliverance too, when I am got thither. So I beg you calm yourself. We shall soon meet again in places where joy shall succeed our tears, and where we shall have the happiness to see ourselves in peace, and free from these persecutions.’”
507 “I live here the life of a literary monk. I have much to think of about my affairs. The rest of my time I give to literature, which is my consolation. I know not if I shall survive this war. Should it so happen, I am resolved to pass the rest of my days in retirement, in the bosom of philosophy and friendship.详情
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