类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-10-23 19:39:48


On the 19th of December, the day of the capitulation of Breslau, Frederick wrote from that place to his friend D’Argens as follows:


We now enter upon the third Silesian war, usually termed in history The Seven Years’ War. For four years Frederick had been aware that a coalition was secretly forming against him. Maria Theresa wished, with ardor which had never for one moment abated, to regain Silesia. All the other European powers, without exception, desired to curb Frederick, whose ambition they feared. They were well aware that he was taking advantage of a few years of peace to replenish his treasury, and to enlarge his army for new conquests. As we have before stated, Frederick, by bribery, had fully informed himself of the secret arrangements into which Austria, Russia, Poland, and other powers were entering for the dismemberment of his realms. It is in vain to attempt to unravel the intricacies of the diplomacy which ensued.“Anne Amelia.One incident in this connection, illustrative of the man and of the times, merits brief notice. His agent at Venice reported a female dancer there of rare attainments, Se?ora Barberina. She was marvelously beautiful, and a perfect fairy in figure and grace, and as fascinating in her vivacity and sparkling intelligence as she was lovely in person. Frederick immediately ordered her to be engaged for his opera-house at Berlin, at a salary of nearly four thousand dollars, and sundry perquisites.

“A droll incident happened during our dialogue. My gentleman wanted to let down a little sash window, and could not manage it. ‘You do not understand that,’ said I; ‘let me do it.’ I tried to get it down, but succeeded no better than he.a a a. First Position of the Austrian Army. b b. Extreme Left, under Loudon. c c. Austrian Reserve, under Baden-Durlach. d d d. Prussian Army. e e. The two main Prussian Batteries. f. Ziethen’s Cavalry. g g. Prussian Vanguard, under Retzow. h h h. Advance of Austrian Army. i. Right Wing, under D’Ahremberg. k k k. Position taken by the Prussians after the battle.

“Now, as I hope that his present situation, and the execution which has just taken place before his eyes, will touch and soften his heart, and will lead him to better sentiments, I charge you, as you value your conscience, to do all that is humanly possible to represent forcibly to the prince these things; and particularly, in what relates to predestination, to convince him by means of passages from the Scriptures which satisfactorily prove what I wish you to advance.”“The king,” writes Küster, “fell ill of the gout, saw almost nobody, never came out. It was whispered that his inflexible heart was at last breaking. And for certain there never was in his camp and over his dominions such a gloom as in this October, 1761, till at length he appeared on horseback again, with a cheerful face; and every body thought to himself, ‘Ha! the world will still roll on, then.’”FREDERICK THE GREAT.

The winter was long, cold, and dreary. Fierce storms swept the fields, piling up the snow in enormous drifts. But for this cruel war, the Prussian, Russian, and Austrian peasants, who had been dragged into the armies to slaughter each other, might have been in their humble but pleasant homes, by the bright fireside, in the enjoyment of all comforts.In reference to this campaign the king subsequently wrote: “At the death of the emperor there were but two Austrian regiments in Silesia. Being determined to assert my right to that duchy, I was obliged to make war during the winter, that I might make the banks of the Neisse the scene of action. Had I waited till the spring, what we gained by one single march would certainly have cost us three or four difficult campaigns.”44

Still the conquerors had such dread of their foe that they dared not emerge from their ramparts to pursue him. Had they done so, they might easily have captured or slain his whole army. Frederick bore adversity with great apparent equanimity. He did not for a moment lose self-control, or manifest any agitation.416 With great skill he conducted his retreat. Immediately after the battle he wrote to his friend Lord Marischall:“The king thinks it scarcely worth while to mention his palaces and his gardens sacked and ruined, in contempt of the regard usually paid from one sovereign to another. Is there a man in all Europe who does not see in these terrible effects an implacable hatred and a destructive fury which all nations ought to concur in repressing?”149The wife of George I., the mother of Sophie Dorothee, was the subject of one of the saddest of earthly tragedies. Her case is still involved in some obscurity. She was a beautiful, haughty, passionate princess of Zelle when she married her cousin George, Elector of Hanover. George became jealous of Count K?nigsmark, a very handsome courtier of commanding address. In an angry altercation with his wife, it is said that the infuriate husband boxed her ears. Suddenly, on the 1st of July, 1694, Count K?nigsmark disappeared. Mysteriously he vanished from earth, and was heard of no more. The unhappy wife, who had given birth to the daughter Sophie Dorothee, bearing her mother’s name, and to a son, afterward George II., almost frenzied with42 rage, was divorced from her husband, and was locked up in the gloomy castle of Ahlden, situated in the solitary moors of Luneburg heath. Here she was held in captivity for thirty years, until she died. In the mean time, George, ascending the throne of England, solaced himself in the society of female favorites, none of whom he honored with the title of wife. The raging captive of Ahlden, who seems never to have become submissive to her lot, could, of course, exert no influence in the marriage of her grandchildren.

This, however, stirred up great strife in Poland. The nobles were roused. Scenes of confusion ensued. The realm was plunged into a state of anarchy. Frederick, being in cordial co-operation with the czarina in all her measures, instructed his minister in Warsaw to follow her policy in every particular. It has generally been supposed that Frederick was the first to propose the banditti division of the kingdom of Poland between Prussia, Russia, and Austria by means of their united armies. This is not certain. But, whoever may have at first made the suggestion, it is very certain that Frederick cordially and efficiently embarked in the enterprise.178



An ordinary eye would not have seen in the position any peculiar military strength. It was an undulating plain about eight miles long and broad, without any abrupt eminences. A small river bordered it on the west, beyond which rose green hills. On the east was the almost impregnable fortress of Schweidnitz, with its abundant stores. Farm-houses were scattered about, with occasional groves and morasses. There were also sundry villages in the distance.



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