类型:奇幻地区:Ծ发布:2020-10-28 23:29:46


The day in which the treaty was signed Frederick wrote to the Marquis DArgens as follows: The best thing I have now to tell you of, my dear marquis, is the peace. And it is right that the good citizens and the public should rejoice at it. For me, poor old man that I am, I return to a town where I know nothing but the walls, where I find no longer any of my friends, where great and laborious duties await me, and where I shall soon lay my old bones in an asylum which can neither be troubled by war, by calamities, nor by the wickedness of men.339 No general has committed more faults than did the king in this campaign. The conduct of Marshal Traun is a model of perfection, which every soldier who loves his business ought to study, and try to imitate if he have the talent. The king has admitted that he himself regarded this campaign as his school in the art of war, and Marshal Traun as his teacher.The carousal presented a very splendid spectacle. It took place by night, and the spacious arena was lighted by thirty thousand torches. The esplanade of the palace, which presented an ample parallelogram, was surrounded by an amphitheatre of rising seats, crowded with the beauties and dignitaries of Europe. At one end of the parallelogram was a royal box, tapestried with the richest hangings. The king sat there; his sister, the Princess Amelia, was by his side, as queen of the festival. Where the neglected wife of Frederick was is not recorded. The entrance for the cavaliers was opposite the throne. The jousting parties consisted of four bands, representing Romans, Persians, Carthaginians, and Greeks. They were decorated with splendid equipments of jewelry, silver helmets, sashes, and housings, and were mounted on the most spirited battle-steeds which Europe could furnish. The scene was enlivened by exhilarating music, and by the most gorgeous decorations and picturesque costumes which the taste and art of the times could create. The festivities were closed by a ball in the vast saloons of the palace, and by a supper, where the tables were loaded with every delicacy.

At just twenty minutes past two oclock the breathing ceased, the spirit took its flight, and the lifeless body alone remained. Lifes great battle was ended, and the soul of the monarch ascended to that dread tribunal where prince and peasant must alike answer for all the deeds done in the body. It was the 17th of August, 1786. The king had reigned forty-six years, and had lived seventy-six years, six months, and twenty-four days.

I represented to him that perhaps it was not altogether prudent to print his Anti-Machiavel just at the time that the world might reproach him with having violated the principles he taught. He permitted me to stop the impression. I accordingly took a journey into Holland purposely to do him this trifling service. But the bookseller demanded so much money that his majesty, who was not in the bottom of his heart vexed to see210 himself in print, was better pleased to be so for nothing, than to pay for not being so. I could not avoid feeling some remorse at being concerned in printing this Anti-Machiavelian book at the very moment that the King of Prussia, who had a hundred millions in his coffers, was robbing the poor people of Liege of another, by the hand of the privy counselor Rambonet.35On the 15th of September, two days before Frederick had written the despairing letter we have just given, Wilhelmina wrote again to him, in response to previous letters, and to his poetic epistle.

I have just finished a journey intermingled with singular adventures, sometimes pleasant, sometimes the reverse. You know I had set out for Baireuth to see a sister whom I love no less than esteem. On the road Algarotti and I consulted the map to settle our route for returning by Wesel. Frankfort-on-the-202Main comes always as a principal stage. Strasbourg was no great roundabout. We chose that route in preference. The incognito was decided, names pitched upon, story we were to tell. In fine, all was arranged as well as possible. We fancied we should get to Strasbourg in three days.We have now reached the year 1726. The Emperor of Germany declares that he can never give his consent to the double marriage with the English princes. Frederick William, who is not at all fond of his wifes relatives, and is annoyed by the hesitancy which his father-in-law has manifested in reference to it, is also turning his obstinate will against the nuptial alliance. A more imperative and inflexible man never breathed. This year the unhappy wife of George I. died, unreconciled, wretched, exasperated, after thirty years captivity in the castle of Ahlden. Darker and darker seemed the gloom which enveloped the path of Sophie Dorothee. She still clung to the marriages as the dearest hope of her heart. It was with her an ever-present thought. But Frederick William was the most obdurate and obstinate of mortals.

I march to-morrow for Breslau, and shall be there in four days. You Berliners have a spirit of prophecy which goes beyond me. In fine, I go my road; and you will shortly see Silesia ranked in the list of our provinces. Adieu! this is all I have time to tell you. Religion and our brave soldiers will do the rest.189 Quite an entire change seemed immediately to take place in the character of the young king. M. Bielfeld was the first who was introduced to his apartment after the death of Frederick William. Frederick was in tears, and seemed much affected.

And twenty-five thousand spades and picks are at work, under such a field engineer as there is not in the world when he takes to that employment. At all hours, night and day, twenty-five thousand of them: half the army asleep, other half digging, wheeling, shoveling; plying their utmost, and constant as Time himself: these, in three days, will do a great deal of spadework. Batteries, redoubts, big and little; spare not for digging. Here is ground for cavalry, too. Post them here, there, to bivouac in readiness, should our batteries be unfortunate. Long trenches are there, and also short; batteries commanding every ingate, and under them are mines.The garrison retired to avoid capture. Berlin surrendered on the morning of October 9th. For three days the enemy held the city. The semi-barbaric soldiers committed fearful outrages. The soldiers sacked the kings palaces at Potsdam and Charlottenburg, smashing furniture, doors, windows, mirrors, statuary, cutting the pictures, and maltreating the inmates.

I have seen neither my brother48 nor Keyserling.49 I left them at Breslau, not to expose them to the dangers of war. They perhaps will be a little angry, but what can I do? the rather as, on this occasion, one can not share in the glory unless one is a mortar!


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On the evening of the 29th of June, 1734, there was a grand ball at the little palace of Monbijou. At three oclock in the morning the Crown Prince changed his ball-dress for a military suit, and with his staff set out at full speed for the seat of war. They traveled in carriages, by post, night and day, hastening to take part in the siege of Philipsburg. A little after midnight on the morning of the 2d of July, they reached Hof, having traveled two hundred miles, and having two hundred miles still farther to go. At Hof the prince was within thirty-five miles of Baireuth, to which place Wilhelmina had some time before returned. He was very anxious to see her. But his father had strictly prohibited his going through Baireuth, under the assumption that it would occasion loss of time. Frederick made arrangements with Wilhelmina, who was in a very delicate state of health, to meet him at Berneck, about twelve miles from Baireuth. But, unfortunately, one of the carriages which conveyed the Crown Prince and his companions lost a wheel, which detained them several hours. The commands of the king were explicit that the Crown Prince should not be separated from the rest of the company.The king, after his apparent reconciliation with Fritz, granted him a little more liberty. He was appointed to travel over and carefully inspect several of the crown domains. He was ordered to study thoroughly the practical husbandry of those domainshow they were to be plowed, enriched, and sown. He was also to devote his attention to the rearing of cattle; to the preparing of malt and the brewing of ale. Useful discourse, said the king, is to be kept up with him on these journeys, pointing out why this is and that, and whether it could not be better. On the 22d of September the Crown Prince wrote to his father as follows:



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