“I am permitted,” the embassador said, “to offer your majesty the whole of Austrian Guelderland. It lies contiguous to your majesty’s possessions in the Rhine country. It will be a very important addition to those possessions. I am permitted to say the whole of Austrian Guelderland.”
It is a fact worthy of mention, as illustrative of the neglect with which the king had regarded his own German language in his devotion to the French tongue, that in these three lines there were eleven words wrongly spelled.148 “Your brother is in despair at the idea of marrying her. And he is not wrong. She is an actual fool. She can only answer whatever is said to her by yes or no, accompanied by a silly laugh, which is painful to hear.”“His Prussian majesty rides much about, often at a rapid rate, with a pleasant business aspect—humane, though imperative; handsome to look upon, though with a face perceptibly reddish. His age, now thirty-eight gone; a set appearance, as if already got into his forties; complexion florid; figure muscular, almost tending to be plump.”
CHAPTER XXXIV. THE PARTITION OF POLAND.
But this victory on the Rhine was of no avail to Frederick in Bohemia. It did not diminish the hosts which Prince Charles was gathering against him. It did not add a soldier to his diminished columns, or supply his exhausted magazines, or replenish his empty treasury. Louis XV. was so delighted with the victory that he supposed Frederick would be in sympathy with him. He immediately dispatched a courier to the Prussian king with the glad tidings. But Frederick, disappointed, embarrassed, chagrined, instead of being gratified, was irritated by the news. He sent back the scornful reply “that a victory upon the Scamander,84 or in the heart of China, would have been just as important to him.
“My dear Papa,—I have not, for a long while, presumed to come near my dear papa, partly because he forbade me, but chiefly because I had reason to expect a still worse reception than usual; and for fear of angering my dear papa by my present request, I have preferred making it in writing to him.
“Mais le ciel, qui de tout dispose,The Queen of Prussia had recently given birth to another prince. She was on a bed of languor. The king was somewhat mollified, and was anxious to be relieved from these protracted difficulties. Colonel Hotham reached the palace of Charlottenburg on the 2d of April, 1730, and was graciously received by the king. The next day quite a splendid dinner was given in honor of the British envoy. All the notables who surrounded the table, the English and the Prussian, in accordance with the degrading custom of those times, drank deeply. Hotham, in his dispatch, without any apparent sense of shame, writes, “We all got immoderately drunk.”“It was four o’clock, and I could not understand what had become of my brother. I had sent out several persons on horseback to get tidings of him, and none of them came back. At length, in spite of all my prayers, the hereditary prince24 himself would go in search. I was in cruel agitations. These cataracts of rain are very dangerous in the mountain countries. The roads get suddenly overflowed, and accidents often happen. I thought for certain one had happened to my brother, or to the hereditary prince.
The sun had just risen above the horizon when the conflict commenced. It reached its meridian. Still the storm of battle swept the plains and reverberated over the hills. Heights had been taken and retaken; charges had been made and repelled; the surges of victory had rolled to and fro; over many leagues the thunderbolts of battle were thickly flying; bugle peals, cries of onset, shrieks of the wounded crushed beneath artillery wheels, blended with the rattle of musketry and the roar of artillery; riderless horses were flying in all directions; the extended plain was covered with the wreck and ruin of battle, and every moment was multiplying the victims of war’s horrid butchery.
Days of Peace and Prosperity.—The Palace of Sans Souci.—Letter from Marshal Keith.—Domestic Habits of the King.—Frederick’s Snuff-boxes.—Anecdotes.—Severe Discipline of the Army.—Testimony of Baron Trenck.—The Review.—Death of the “Divine Emilie.”—The King’s Revenge.—Anecdote of the Poor Schoolmaster.—The Berlin Carousal.—Appearance of his Majesty.—Honors conferred upon Voltaire.“The seventh day after our accession to the throne of all the Russias we received information that the late emperor, Peter III., was attacked with a violent colic. That we might not be wanting in Christian duty, or disobedient to the divine command by which we are enjoined to preserve the life of our neighbor, we immediately ordered that the said Peter should be furnished with every thing that might be judged necessary to restore his health by the aids of medicine. But, to our great regret and affliction, we were yesterday evening apprized that, by permission of the Almighty, the late emperor departed this life.”
“You do not know,” said he to M. Bielfeld, “what I have lost in losing my father.”详情
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