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Lieutenant Keith had been gone some time, stationed in Wesel with his regiment. Keiths departure had been a great joy to me, in the hope my brother would now lead a more regular life. But it proved quite otherwise. A second favorite, and a much more dangerous, succeeded Keith. This was a young man of the name of Katte, captain lieutenant in the regiment72 Gens dArmes. He was highly connected in the army. His mother was daughter of Field-marshal Wartensleben. General Katte, his father, had sent him to the universities, and afterward to travel, desiring that he should be a lawyer. But, as there was no favor to be hoped for out of the army, the young man found himself at last placed there, contrary to his expectation. He continued to apply himself to studies. He had wit, book-culture, and acquaintance with the world. The good company which he continued to frequent had given him polite manners to a degree then rare in Berlin. His physiognomy was rather disagreeable than otherwise. A pair of thick black eyebrows almost covered his eyes. His look had in it something ominous, presage of the fate he met with. A tawny skin, torn by small-pox, increased his ugliness. He affected the freethinker, and carried libertinism to excess. A great deal of ambition and headlong rashness accompanied this vice. Such a favorite was not the man to bring back my brother from his follies.

The king having breathed his last, Frederick, in tears, retired to a private room, there to reflect upon the sad receding past, and upon the opening future, with the vast responsibilities thus suddenly thrown upon him. He was now King of Prussia; and not only absolute master of himself, but absolute monarch over a realm containing two millions two hundred and forty thousand souls. He was restrained by no Parliament, no Constitution, no customs or laws superior to his own resolves. He could take advice of others, and call energetic men to his aid, but his will alone was sovereign.

The freezing gales of winter soon came, when neither army could keep the open field. Frederick established his winter quarters at Breslau. General Loudon, with his Austrians, was about thirty miles southwest of him at Kunzendorf. Thus ended the sixth campaign.The battle of Rossbach was fought on the 5th of November, 1757. Frederick had but little time to rejoice over his victory. The Austrians were overrunning Silesia. On the 14th of the month, the important fortress of Schweidnitz, with all its magazines, fell into their hands. Then Prince Charles, with sixty thousand Austrian troops, marched upon Breslau, the principal city of Silesia, situated on the Oder. The Prince of Bevern held the place with a little over twenty thousand Prussian troops. His army was strongly intrenched outside of the walls, under the guns of the city.

Formerly, my dear marquis, the affair of the 15th would have decided the campaign. At present it is but a scratch. A great battle must determine our fate. Such we shall soon have. Then, should the event prove favorable to us, you may, with good reason, rejoice. I thank you for your sympathy. It has cost much scheming, striving, and address to bring matters to this point. Do not speak to me of dangers. The last action cost me only a coat and a horse. That is buying victory cheap.151

But the young King Frederick was very ambitious of enlarging the borders of his Liliputian realm, and of thus attaining a higher position among the proud and powerful monarchs who surrounded him. Maria Theresa, who had inherited the crown of Austria, was a remarkably beautiful, graceful, and accomplished216 young lady, in the twenty-fourth year of her age. She was a young wife, having married Francis, Duke of Lorraine. Her health, as we have mentioned, was at that time delicate. Frederick thought the opportunity a favorable one for wresting Silesia from Austria, and annexing it to his own kingdom. The queen was entirely inexperienced, and could not prove a very formidable military antagonist. Her army was in no respect, either in number, discipline, or materiel, prepared for war. Her treasury was deplorably empty. There was also reason for Frederick to hope that several claimants would rise in opposition to her, disputing the succession.

Many of the trenches were sixteen feet broad by sixteen feet524 deep. Under each battery there were two mines. In case of capture, the mines and the victors could be blown high into the air. Knowing that the batteries were all mined, the Russian and Austrian soldiers would be slow to make charges in which victory would be certain death. The small villages around were all strongly fortified.

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The prince was withdrawn, and placed in a room where two sentries watched over him with fixed bayonets. The king malignantly assumed that the prince, being a colonel in the army and attempting to escape, was a deserter, whose merited doom was death. General Mosel urged the king not to see his son again, as his presence was sure to inflame his anger to so alarming a pitch. The father did not again see him for a year and three days.Surrender to me peaceably, was the substance of this demand, the province of Silesia, and I will be the ally of your majesty in maintaining your right to the throne, and in defending the integrity of all the rest of your realms. I will exert my influence to have the Grand-duke Francis41 chosen Emperor of Germany, and will also immediately pay one million of dollars into the Austrian treasury.Again the king interrupted him, saying, The public will be much obliged to you, sir! But hear me. With respect to Russia, you know how matters stand. From the King of Poland I have nothing to fear. As for the King of England, he is my relation. If he do not attack me, I shall not him. If he do attack me, the Prince of Anhalt, with my army at G?tten, will take care of him.

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