At three o’clock of a dark and misty morning, the Austrians from the west, the south, and the east rushed upon the sleeping Prussians. At the same time, an attack was made upon the left wing of the Prussians, which was a feint to bewilder them, and to prevent re-enforcements from being sent to the right wing. For five hours there was a scene of tumult, confusion, and horror which can neither be described nor imagined. The morning was dark, the fog dense, and the Prussians, though ever on the alert, were taken by surprise. No one in the army of Frederick467 thought either of running or of surrendering. It was a hand-to-hand fight, with bayonets, and sabres, and butts of muskets. Marshal Keith, after receiving two bullet-wounds which he did not regard, was shot through the heart.
CHAPTER IX. THE DEATH OF FREDERICK WILLIAM.The rule, in such cases, was that a certain number of companies were to be admitted at a time. The gate was then to be closed until they had marched through the city and out at the opposite gate. After this another detachment was to be admitted, and so on, until all had passed through. But General Schwerin so contrived it, by stratagem, as to crowd in a whole regiment at once. Instead of marching through Breslau, to the surprise of the inhabitants, he directed his steps to the market-place, where he encamped and took possession of the city, admitting the remainder of his regiments. In an hour and a half the whole thing was done, and the streets were strongly garrisoned by Prussian troops. The majority of the inhabitants, being Protestant, were well pleased, and received the achievement with laughter. Many cheers resounded through the streets, with shouts of “Frederick and Silesia forever.” All the foreign ministers in Breslau, and the magistrates of the city, had been lured to Strehlin to witness the grand review.On the evening of the 5th his Prussian majesty gave a grand ball. All the nobility, high and low, were invited. The provident king arranged that the expenses, which he was to defray, should not exceed half a guinea for each guest. Early hours were fashionable in those days. Frederick entered the assembly-rooms at six o’clock, and opened the ball with a Silesian lady. He was very complaisant, and walked through the rooms with a smile upon his countenance, conversing freely with the most distinguished of his guests. About ten o’clock he silently withdrew, but the dancing and feasting continued until a late hour.
Matrimonial Intrigues.—Letters from the King to his Son.—Letter from Fritz to Grumkow.—Letter to Wilhelmina.—The Betrothal.—Character of Elizabeth.—Her cruel Reception by the Prussian Queen.—Letter from Fritz to Wilhelmina.—Disappointment and Anguish of Elizabeth.—Studious Habits of Fritz.—Continued Alienation of his Father.—The Marriage.—Life in the Castle at Reinsberg.BATTLE OF CHOTUSITZ.
“Take it down,” said the king, “and hang it lower, that the people may not hurt their necks in looking at it.”
General Daun was soon informed of this energetic movement. He instantly placed himself at the head of sixty thousand troops, and also set out, at his highest possible speed, for Glatz.
It was all in vain. On Sunday evening, September 5th, as the condemned young man was sitting alone in his prison cell, sadly awaiting his doom, yet clinging to hopes of mercy, an officer entered with the startling intelligence that the carriage was at the door to convey him to the fortress of Cüstrin, at a few leagues distance, where he was to be executed. For a moment he was greatly agitated. He soon, however, regained his equanimity. It must indeed have been a fearful communication to one in the107 vigor of health, in the prime of youth, and surrounded by every thing which could render life desirable. Two brother-officers and the chaplain accompanied him upon this dismal midnight ride. Silence, pious conversation, prayers, and occasional devotional hymns occupied the hours. The dawn of a cold winter’s morning was just appearing as they reached the fortress.In a pet Frederick left the room. The heroic general, who had flatly refused to obey a positive command, found it necessary to resign his commission. The next day another officer plundered the castle. Seventy-five thousand dollars of the proceeds of the sale were appropriated to the field hospitals. The remainder, which proved to be a large sum, was the reward of the plundering general.
“Frederick.163 “After dinner, being alone with me, he said, ‘Our sire is approaching his end. He will not live out this month. I know that I have made you great promises, but I am not in the condition to keep them. I will leave you the half of the sum which my predecessor lent you. I think that you will have every reason to be satisfied with that.’“I have at length seen Voltaire, whom I was so anxious to205 know. But, alas! I saw him when under the influence of my fever, and when my mind and my body were equally languid. With persons like him one ought not to be sick. On the contrary, one ought to be specially well. He has the eloquence of Cicero, the mildness of Pliny, and the wisdom of Agrippa. He unites, in a word, all the collected virtues and talents of the three greatest men of antiquity. His intellect is always at work. Every drop of ink that falls from his pen is transformed at once into wit. He declaimed his Mahomet to us, an admirable tragedy which he has composed. I could only admire in silence.”
The night was very dark and cold. A wintry wind swept the bleak, frozen fields. Still the routed Austrians pressed on. Still the tireless Prussians pursued. The Prussian soldiers were Protestants.445 Many of them were well instructed in religion. As they pressed on through the gloom, sweeping the road before them with artillery discharges, their voices simultaneously burst forth into a well-known Church hymn, a sort of Protestant Te Deum—
拳皇小游戏,罗马武斗大会2,无主之地2 磁力,美久广场舞大笑江湖,拳皇1 5,植物大战僵尸2电脑版在线玩,皇家守卫军1 1
These sufferings bound the brother and sister very intimately together. “This dear brother,” Wilhelmina writes, “passed all his afternoons with me. We read and wrote together, and occupied ourselves in cultivating our minds. The king now never saw my brother without threatening him with the cane. Fritz repeatedly told me that he would bear any thing from the king except blows; but that, if he ever came to such extremities with him, he would regain his freedom by flight.”A spy was sent to Saxony, who reported that there were but twenty thousand troops there. All necessary information was promptly and secretly obtained in reference to roads and fortresses. It required three weeks to receive an answer from Vienna.404 The reply was evasive, as Frederick knew that it would be. In the mean time, his Prussian majesty, with characteristic energy, had mustered on the frontier an army numbering in the aggregate nearly one hundred and fifty thousand men. These troops, in three divisions, with two thousand pieces of artillery, were to make a rush upon Saxony. Among the directions given by Frederick to the leaders of these divisions were the following:
“During the war,” writes Frederick, “the councilors and ministers540 had successively died. In such time of trouble it had been impossible to replace them. The embarrassment was to find persons capable of filling these different employments. We searched the provinces, where good heads were found as rare as in the capital. At length five chief ministers were pitched upon.”详情
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