Frederick declares, in his history, that never were tidings more welcome to him than these. He had embarked in the enterprise for the conquest of Moravia with the allies. He could not, without humiliation, withdraw. But, now that the ally, in whose behalf he assumed to be fighting, had abandoned him, he could, without dishonor, relinquish the field. Leaving the Saxons to themselves, with many bitter words of reproach, he countermanded his order for Silesian re-enforcements, assembled his troops at Wischau, and then, by a rapid march through Olmütz, returned to his strong fortresses in the north.186 “The next day the battalions will be formed in complete order, each grenadier with three cartridges. Crape will be placed about the colors, the drums, the fifes, and hautboys. Every officer will have crape on his hat, around his arm, and on the hilt of his sword. The funeral car will be placed near the green staircase, with the heads of the horses toward the river. Eight captains of my regiment will carry me toward the funeral car. These eight captains will also take me out of the car, and carry me into the church.
He rose about five o’clock. After a horseback ride of an hour he devoted the mornings to his books. The remainder of the day was given to society, music, and recreation. The following extract from his correspondence throws additional light upon the employment of his time. The letter was addressed to an intimate friend, Baron Von Suhm, of Saxony:
“You speak of my personal safety. You ought to know, as I do, that it is not necessary for me to live. But while I do live I must fight for my country, and save it if it be possible. In many little things I have had luck; I think of taking for my motto, Maximus in minimis, et minimus in maximis.154
Frederick wrote to Wilhelmina: “Voltaire picks Jews’ pockets, but he will get out of it by some somersault.”The emperor was probably induced to this decisive course not merely by motives of humanity, but also by the consideration that by thus saving the life of Frederick he would forever attach him to the interests of the house of Austria. The kings of Poland and Sweden also wrote to the king, earnestly interceding for the life of the Crown Prince.
“In the mean time the Austrians had turned in upon us a rivulet, and by midnight we found our horses in the water up to their bellies. We were really incapable of defending ourselves.”
“I am just arrived here after cruel and frightful marchings. There is nothing desperate in all that. I believe the noise and disquietude this hurly-burly has caused will be the worst of it. Show this letter to every body, that it may be known that the state is not undefended. I have made about one thousand prisoners from Haddick.132 All his meal-wagons have been taken. Finck,133 I believe, will keep an eye on him. This is all I can say. To-morrow I march to within two leagues of Frankfort. Katte must instantly send me two hundred tons of meal and one hundred bakers. I am very tired. For six nights I have not closed an eye. Farewell.Maria Theresa, anxious to save Prague, sent an army of sixty thousand men under General Daun to its relief. This army, on the rapid march, had reached Kolin, about fifty miles east of415 Prague. Should General Daun, as was his plan, attack Frederick in the rear, while the fifty thousand in Prague should sally out and attack him in front, ruin would be almost inevitable. Frederick, gathering thirty-four thousand men, marched rapidly to Kolin and attacked the foe with the utmost possible fierceness. The Austrians not only nearly twice outnumbered him, but were also in a very commanding position, protected by earthworks. Never did men fight more reckless of life than did the Prussians upon this occasion.
The next day, December 11, 1779, the king issued the following protocol in the newspapers:
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While these scenes of war and intrigue were transpiring, no one knowing what alarming developments any day might present, Vienna was thrown into a state of terror in apprehension of the immediate approach of a French army to open upon it all the horrors of a bombardment. The citizens were called out en masse to work upon the fortifications. The court fled to Presburg, in Hungary. The national archives were hurried off to Gr?tz. The royal family was dispersed. There were but six thousand troops in the city. General Neipperg, with nearly the whole Austrian army, was a hundred and fifty miles distant to the north, on the banks of the Neisse. The queen, on the 10th of September, assembled at Presburg the Hungarian Parliament, consisting almost exclusively of chivalric nobles renowned in war. The queen appeared before them with her husband, the Grand-duke Francis, by her side, and with a nurse attending, holding her infant son and heir. Addressing them in Latin, in a brief, pathetic speech, she said:Upon one occasion she ordered a very rich silk dress directly from Lyons. The custom-house dues were heavy. The custom-house officer detained the dress until the dues should be paid. The haughty princess, exceedingly indignant, sent an order to him to bring the dress instantly to her, and she would pay the538 demand. As soon as he entered her apartment, she snatched the dress from his hands, and with her open palm gave him two slaps in the face, ordering him immediately to leave the house175
“When the king, after the Seven Years’ War, now and then in carnival season dined with the queen in her apartments, he usually said not a word to her. He merely, on entering, on sitting down at table, and leaving it, made the customary bows, and sat opposite to her. Once the queen was ill of gout. The table was in her apartments, but she was not there. She sat in an easy-chair in the drawing-room. On this occasion the king stepped up to the queen and inquired about her health. The circumstance occasioned among the company present, and all over the town, as the news spread, great wonder and sympathy. This is probably the last time he ever spoke to her.”193“Well,” the king replied, kindly, “try it one day more. If we do not mend matters, you and I will both desert together.”详情
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