“Oh sweet and dear hope of my remaining days! oh sister whose friendship, so fertile in resources, shares all my sorrows, and with a helpful arm assists me in the gulf! it is in vain that the destinies have overwhelmed me with disasters. If the crowd of kings have sworn my ruin, if the earth have opened to swallow me, you still love me, noble and affectionate sister. Loved by you, what is there of misfortune?”Soon after this, Frederick again wrote to his sister a letter which throws so much light upon his character that we give it almost entire:
In Berlin you will do well to think of your safety. It is a great calamity. I will not survive it. The consequences of this battle will be worse than the battle itself. I have no resources more; and, to confess the truth, I hold all for lost. I will not survive the destruction of my country. Farewell forever.
THE LAST REVIEW.“Our general conclusion was that neither the king nor General520 Saldern could well be called in the wrong. General Saldern, in obeying the inner voice, did certainly right. But the king, also, in his place, might judge such a measure expedient. Perhaps General Saldern himself would have done so had he been King of Prussia.”166
On the 28th of June, 1729, the population of Bühlitz, a Hanoverian border village, sallied forth with carts, escorted by a troop of horse, and, with demonstrations both defiant and exultant, raked up and carried off all the hay. The King of Prussia happened to be at that time about one hundred miles distant from Bühlitz, at Magdeburg, reviewing his troops. He was thrown into a towering passion. Sophie Dorothee, Wilhelmina, Fritz, all felt the effects of his rage. Dubourgay writes, under date of July 30, 1729:
Frederick was now in such deep pecuniary embarrassment that he was compelled to humble himself so far as to apply to the King of France for money. “If your majesty,” he wrote, “can not furnish me with any re-enforcements, you must, at least, send me funds to raise additional troops. The smallest possible sum which will enable me to maintain my position here is three million dollars.”
“P.S.—I most humbly beg your majesty not to speak of this323 to the queen-mother, as perhaps she would not approve of the step we are now taking.69 “The king,” writes Wilhelmina, “almost caused my brother and myself to die of hunger. He always acted as carver, and served every body except us. When, by chance, there remained any thing in the dish, he spit in it, to prevent our eating of it. We lived entirely upon coffee, milk, and dried cherries, which ruined our health. I was nourished with insults and invectives, and was abused all day long, in every possible manner, and before every body. The king’s anger went so far against my brother and myself that he drove us from him, forbidding us to appear in his presence except at meals.“How glorious,” he exclaimed, “is my king, the youngest of kings, and the grandest! A king who carries in the one hand an all-conquering sword, but in the other a blessed olive-branch, and is the arbiter of Europe for peace or war.”
440“You are a cowardly deserter,” the father exclaimed, “devoid of all feelings of honor.”
MAKING A SOLDIER OF HIM.
FREDERICK THE GREAT.
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:详情
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