“High madam,” he said, fervently, “at this crisis, alliance with Frederick is salvation to Austria. His continued hostility is utter ruin. England can not help your majesty. The slightest endeavor would cause the loss of Hanover.”
“Certainly I will fight. But do not flatter yourself about the result. A happy chance alone can help us. Go, in God’s name to Tangermünde. Wait there how destiny shall have disposed of us. I will reconnoitre the enemy to-morrow. Next day, if there is any thing to do, we will try it. If the enemy still holds to the Wine Hills of Frankfort, I shall not dare to attack him.
Four campaigns of the Seven Years’ War have passed. We are now entering upon the fifth, that of 1760. The latter part501 of April Frederick broke up his encampment at Freiberg, and moved his troops about twenty miles north of Dresden. Here he formed a new encampment, facing the south. His left wing was at Meissen, resting on the Elbe. His right wing was at the little village of Katzenh?user, about ten miles to the southwest. Frederick established his head-quarters at Schlettau, midway of his lines. The position thus selected was, in a military point of view, deemed admirable. General Daun remained in Dresden “astride” the Elbe. Half of his forces were on one side and half on the other of the river.Russia took 87,500 square miles. Austria received 62,500. The share which fell to Frederick was but 9456 square miles. Small in respect to territory as was Frederick’s share, it was regarded, in consequence of its position and the nature of the country, equally valuable with the other portions.“I am also permitted, sire,” said Sir Thomas, “to add the Duchy of Limburg. It is a duchy of great wealth and resources, so valuable that the Elector Palatine was willing to give in exchange for it the whole Duchy of Berg.”
492 The Russians did not attempt to march upon Berlin. About the middle of September General Soltikof gathered all his forces in hand, and commenced a march into Silesia to effect a junction with General Daun. Frederick followed, and, by a very rapid march, took possession of Sagan, on the Bober, where he was in direct communication with Henry. On the 24th of September the king wrote to his younger brother Ferdinand, in Berlin:The End
The king had a logical mind. He could keenly feel where the argument pinched. He seemed quite troubled. After a moment’s pause, he said, “Well, I will do it.” Then, turning to the queen, he said, “You, Phiekin, may write to your brother, after I am dead, and tell him that I forgave him, and died at peace with him.”
There were nearly thirty thousand men, infantry and cavalry, thus assembling under the banners of Frederick for battle. They were in as perfect state of drill as troops have ever attained, and were armed with the most potent implements of war which that age could furnish. The king was visibly affected by the spectacle. Whether humane considerations touched his heart, or merely poetic emotion moved him, we can not tell. But he was well aware that within a few hours not merely hundreds, but thousands of those men, torn by shot and shell, would be prostrate in their blood upon the plain; and he could not but know that for all the carnage and the suffering, he, above all others, would be responsible at the bar of God.The attack was made about eight o’clock, with the whole concentrated force of the Prussians, upon the southwest wing of the quadrilateral. The carnage produced by the Prussian batteries, as their balls swept crosswise through the massed Russians, was terrible. One cannon-shot struck down forty-two men. For a moment the Prussians were thrown into confusion by the destructive fire returned by the foe, and seemed discomfited. The Russians plunged wildly forward, with loud huzzas. In the eagerness of their onset their lines were broken.
In the court-yard there was a fountain with stone steps, where Frederick William loved to sit on summer evenings and smoke his pipe. He frequently took his frugal dinner here in the open air under a lime-tree, with the additional protection of an awning. After dinner he would throw himself down for a nap on a wooden bench, apparently regardless of the flaming sun.
All thoughts of the double marriage were for the moment relinquished. The Czar of Russia had a son and a daughter. It was proposed to marry Wilhelmina to the son and Fritz to the daughter, and thus to secure a Russian instead of an English alliance. Harassed by these difficulties, Frederick William grew increasingly morose, venting his spite upon his wife and children. Fritz seriously contemplated escaping from his father’s abuse by flight, and to take refuge with his uncle George in England, and thus to secure his marriage with Amelia. The portraits of the62 princess which he had seen proved her to be very beautiful. All reports pronounced her to be as lovely in character as in person. He was becoming passionately attached to her. Wilhelmina was his only confidante. Regard for her alone restrained him from attempting to escape. “He would have done so long ago,” writes Dubourgay, under date of August 11, 1729, “were it not for his sister, upon whom the whole weight of his father’s resentment would then fall. Happen what will, therefore, he is resolved to share with her all the hardships which the king, his father, may be pleased to put upon her.”“It is said she has a sister who at least has common sense. Why take the eldest, if so? To the king it must be all one. There is also a princess, Christina Marie, of Eisenach, who would be quite my fit, and whom I should like to try for. In fine, I mean soon to come into your countries, and perhaps will say, like C?sar, Veni, vidi, vici.”详情
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