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类型:奇幻地区:ܰغ发布:2020-10-28 22:25:36

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As God often, by wondrous guidance, strange paths, and thorny steps, will bring men into the kingdom of Christ, so may our divine Redeemer help that this prodigal son be brought into his communion; that his godless heart be beaten until it is softened and changed, and so he be snatched from the claws of Satan. This grant us, the Almighty God and Father, for our Lord Jesus Christ and his passion and deaths sake. Amen.

Thus originated with the Empress Catharine, one hundred years ago, the idea of driving the Turks out of Europe, and of annexing Constantinople to her majestic empire. From that time until now the question has been increasingly agitating the courts of Europe. Every day, now, the Eastern Question is assuming greater importance. The following map very clearly shows the commanding position of Constantinople, and the immense strength, both in a military and a commercial point of view, it would give to the Russian empire.The apartments prepared for the Princess Royal were also very magnificent. Her parlor was twenty feet high. It had six windows, three opening in the main front toward the town, and the other three opening toward the interior court. The spaces between the windows were covered with immense mirrors, so arranged as to display the ceiling, beautifully painted by one of the finest artists of the day. The artist had spread his colors with such delicacy and skill, so exquisitely blending light and shade, that the illusion was almost perfect. The spectator felt that the real sky, with its fleecy clouds and infinite depth of blue, overarched him.

The court at Vienna received with transports of joy the tidings of the victory of Hochkirch. The pope was greatly elated. He regarded the battle as one between the Catholic and Protestant powers. The holy father, Clement XIII., sent a letter of congratulation to Marshal Daun, together with a sword and hat, both blessed by his holiness. The occurrence excited the derision of Frederick, who was afterward accustomed to designate his opponent as the blessed general with the papal hat. Frederick remained at Doberschütz ten days. During this time his brother Henry joined him from Dresden with six thousand foot470 and horse. This raised his force to a little above thirty thousand men. General Finck was left in command of the few Prussian troops who remained for the defense of the capital of Saxony.It will be perceived that this paper is slightly less despairing than the preceding letter which he had written to Count Finckenstein. Frederick, having written the order to General Finck, threw himself, in utter exhaustion, upon some straw in a corner of the hut, and fell soundly asleep. The Prussian officers, passing by, gazed sadly through the open door upon the sleeping monarch. A single sentinel guarded the entrance.

Frederick had seen many dark days before, but never one so dark as this. In the frenzy of his exertions to retrieve the lost battle, he cried out to his soldiers, his eyes being flooded with tears, Children, do not forsake me, your king, your father, in this pinch! The retreat became a flight. In endeavoring to cross the little stream called the Hen-Floss, there was such crowding and jamming at the bridges that the Prussians were compelled to leave one hundred and sixty-five guns of various calibre behind them. Had the Russians pursued with any vigor, scarcely a man of the Prussian army could have escaped. But General Soltikof stood in such fear of his opponent, who had often wrested victory out of defeat, that he attempted no pursuit.Dessau was a little independent principality embracing a few square miles, about eighty miles southwest of Prussia. The prince had a Liliputian army, and a revenue of about fifty thousand dollars. Leopolds mother was the sister of the great Elector of Brandenburgs first wife. The little principality was thus, by matrimonial alliance as well as location, in affinity with Prussia.

On the 5th of May, after careful reconnoissance, Frederick crossed the Moldau several miles north of Prague. He went over upon pontoons unopposed, and thus effected a junction with his troops on the east side of the river. The Austrian army was drawn up on some formidable heights but a short distance east of the city. Their position was very strong, and they were thoroughly intrenched. On the 6th of May the dreadful battle of Prague was fought. For many years, as not a few of our readers will remember, it was fought over and over again upon all the pianos in Christendom. They will remember the awe with which, as children, they listened to the tumult of the battle, swelling forth from the ivory keys, with the rattle of musketry, the booming of the cannon, and the groans of the dyingsuch groans as even the field of battle itself could scarcely have rivaled.From seven till nine Duhan takes him on history; at nine oclock comes Noltenius (a clergyman from Berlin) with the Christian religion till a quarter to eleven. Then Fritz rapidly washes his face with water, his hands with soap and water; clean shirt; powders and puts on his coat. At eleven oclock he comes to the king, dines with him at twelve, and stays till two.An embassador, Count De Gotter, was sent to Vienna to present this demand to Maria Theresa. He was authorized, in case these terms were not accepted, to declare war. But in the mean time, before the count could possibly reach Vienna, consequently before there was any declaration of war, or even any demand presented, Frederick, at the head of his troops, had entered Silesia, and was seizing its defenseless fortresses.42

Prussia had enjoyed eight years of peace. But Frederick was not a popular man excepting with his own subjects. They idolized him. Innumerable are the anecdotes related illustrative of his kindness to them. He seemed to be earnestly seeking their welfare. But foreign courts feared him. Many hated him. He was unscrupulous and grasping, and had but very little sense of moral integrity. He was ambitious of literary renown; of reputation as a keen satirist. With both pen and tongue he was prone to lash without mercy his brother sovereigns, and even the courtiers who surrounded him. There were no ties of friendship which could exempt any one from his sarcasm. Other sovereigns felt that he was continually on the watch to enlarge his realms, by invading their territories, as he had robbed Maria Theresa of the province of Silesia.He had hardly arrived at Leitmeritz ere he received the tidings of the death of Sophia Dorothea, his mother. She died at Berlin on the 28th of June, 1757, in the seventy-first year of her age. This grief, coming in the train of disasters which seemed to be overwhelming his Prussian majesty, affected him very deeply. Frederick was subdued and softened by sorrow. He remembered the time when a mothers love rocked his cradle, and wrapped him around with tender care. The reader will be surprised to learn that his griefperhaps with some comminglings of remorsewas so great that he shut himself in his closet, and wept with sobbings like a child.

In a very triumphant mood, the king, on the 19th of November, wrote a boastful and irreverent Ode to Fortune, in that easy rhyme which he called poetry. The substance of this ode, translated into prose, was as follows:Prince Charles had married the only sister of Maria Theresa. She was young, beautiful, and amiable. While the prince was conducting his arduous campaign on the Moldau, his wife, grief-stricken, consigned her new-born babe to the tomb. The little stranger, born in the absence of his father, had but opened his eyes upon this sad world when he closed them forever. The princess sank rapidly into a decline.Have I not, on all occasions, meant honorably by you? Last time I got wind of your debts, did I not, as a father, admonish you to tell me all? I would pay all; you were only to tell me the truth; whereupon you said there were still two thousand thalers beyond the sum named. I paid these also at once, and fancied I had made peace with you. And then it was found, by-and-by, you owed many thousands more. And as you knew you could not pay, it was as good as if the money had been stolennot to reckon how the French vermin, Montholieu and partner, cheated you with their new loans.

CHAPTER XIX. THE INVASION OF BOHEMIA.

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My lord, there seems to be a contradiction in all this. The King of England, in his letter, tells me you are instructed as to every thing, and yet you pretend ignorance. But I am perfectly informed of all. And I should not be surprised if, after all these fine words, you should receive some strong letter or resolution for me. Then, turning to his secretary, he added, sarcastically, Write down that my lord would be surprised to receive such instruction.But it so happened that the beautiful dancer had in the train of her impassioned admirers a young English gentleman, a younger brother of the Earl of Bute. He was opposed to Barberinas going to Prussia, and induced her to throw up the engagement. Frederick was angry, and demanded the execution of the contract. The pretty Barberina, safe in Venice, made herself merry with the complaints of the Prussian monarch. Frederick, not accustomed to be thwarted, applied to the doge and the Senate of Venice to compel Barberina to fulfill her contract. They replied with great politeness, but did nothing. Barberina319 remained with her lover under the sunny skies of Italy, charming with her graceful pirouettes admiring audiences in the Venetian theatres.

CHAPTER XX. THE RETREAT.

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