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Frederick regarded the Academy as his pet institution, and was very jealous of the illustrious philosopher, whom he had invited to Berlin to preside over its deliberations. Voltaire, knowing this very well, and fully aware that to strike the Academy391 in the person of its president was to strike Frederick, wrote an anonymous communication to a review published in Paris, in which he accused M. Maupertuisfirst, of plagiarism, in appropriating to himself a discovery made by another; secondly, of a ridiculous blunder in assuming that said discovery was a philosophical principle, and not an absurdity; and thirdly, that he had abused his position as president of the Academy in suppressing free discussion, by expelling from the institution a member merely for not agreeing with him in opinion. These statements were probably true, and on that account the more damaging.Delighted with this plan, and sanguine in the hope of its successful accomplishment, the czarina named her next grandson Constantine. Austria and Russia thus became allied, with all their sympathies hostile to Frederick. Old age and infirmities were stealing upon the king apace. Among the well-authenticated561 anecdotes related of him, the following is given by Carlyle:

I was in such a state I know not how we got down stairs. I remember only that it was in a concert of lamentable sobbings. Madame, the Marchioness of Schwedt, who had been named to attend the princess to Stralsund, on the Swedish frontier, this high lady, and the two dames DAtours, who were for Sweden itself, having sprung into the same carriage, the door of it was shut with a slam, the postillions cracked, the carriage shot away, and disappeared from our eyes. In a moment the king and court lost sight of the beloved Ulrique forever.73

Of what did he die? he coldly inquired of the messenger.THE DEATH-SCENE OF THE EMPEROR.

Voltaire and Madame Du Chatelet.Letter from Frederick to Voltaire.The Reply.Visit to the Prince of Orange.Correspondence.The Crown Prince becomes a Mason.Interesting Letter from the Crown Prince.Petulance and declining Health of the King.Scenes in the Death-chamber.Characteristic Anecdotes.The Dying Scene.

The more you have proved that you were acquainted with452 the intentions of Saxony, the more odious have you rendered its invasion. In order to procure this knowledge, your minister has degraded his character. By means proscribed in society, you have discovered only that the King Elector of Saxony did not love the power of Prussia, that he feared it, and that he even dared to form projects to defend himself against it. Documents which are stolen make against the accuser who produces them, if they do not prove the crime which they impute.116

The king and Voltaire soon became involved in a very serious quarrel. Voltaire had employed a Jew, by the name of Hirsch, to engage fraudulently in speculating in the funds. The transaction was so complicated that few of our readers would have the patience to follow an attempt at its disentanglement. Voltaire and his agent quarreled. The contention rang through all the court circles, as other conspicuous names were involved in the meshes of the intrigue. A lawsuit ensued, which created excitement almost inconceivable. The recent law reform caused the process to be pushed very rapidly to its conclusion. Voltaire emerged from the suit with his character sadly maimed. He was clearly convicted of both falsehood and forgery. The king, annoyed by the clamor, retired from Berlin to Sans Souci. Voltaire was not invited to accompany him, but was left in the Berlin palace. In a letter which Frederick wrote to DArget, dated April, 1752, he says:That is true, I replied, and I beg your pardon. I was too rash in accusing you of a want of expertness.

After the king, swept away in the wreck of his right wing of cavalry, had left the field, and was spurring his horse in his impetuous flight, his generals in the centre and on the left, in command of infantry so highly disciplined that every man would stand at his post until he died, resolutely maintained the battle. Frederick William had drilled these men for twenty years as men were never drilled before or since, converting them into mere machines. They were wielded by their officers as they themselves handled their muskets. Five successive cavalry charges these cast-iron men resisted. They stood like rocks dashing aside the torrent. The assailing columns melted before their terrible firethey discharging five shots to the Austrians two.SOPHIA DOROTHEA.

Of chagrin, your majesty, was the reply.


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England, while endeavoring to subsidize Russia against Frederick, entered secretly into a sort of alliance with Frederick, hoping thus to save Hanover. The Empress Elizabeth, of Russia, heartily united with Maria Theresa against Frederick, whom she personally disliked, and whose encroachments she dreaded. His Prussian majesty, proud of his powers of sarcasm, in his poems spared neither friend nor foe. He had written some very severe things against the Russian empress, which had reached her ears.100

FREDERICK AND WILHELMINA.The Prussians advanced in their long double line, trampling the deep snow beneath their feet. All their banners were waving. All their bands of music were pealing forth their most martial airs. Their sixty pieces of artillery, well in front, opened a rapid and deadly fire. The thoroughly-drilled Prussian artillerymen discharged their guns with unerring aim, breaking gaps in the Austrian ranks, and with such wonderful rapidity that the unintermitted roar of the cannons drowned the sound of drums and trumpets.


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