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类型:奇幻地区:发布:2020-09-19 00:00:25

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Frederick was overjoyed. He regarded the day as his own, and the Russian army as at his mercy. He sent a dispatch to anxious Berlin, but sixty miles distant: The Russians are beaten. Rejoice with me. It was one of the hottest of August days, without a breath of wind. Nearly every soldier of the Prussian army had been brought into action against the left wing only of the foe. After a long march and an exhausting fight, they were perishing with thirst. For twelve hours many of them had been without water. Panting with heat, thirst, and exhaustion, they were scarcely capable of any farther efforts.The czarina had, about that time, invited Prince Henry, the warlike brother of Frederick, to visit her. They had met as children when the czarina was daughter of the commandant at Stettin. Henry was received with an extraordinary display of imperial magnificence. In the midst of this routine of feasting, balls, and masquerades, Catharine one day said to Henry, with much pique, referring to these encroachments on the part of Maria Theresa,

My dear Monsieur Jordan, my sweet Monsieur Jordan, my quiet Monsieur Jordan, my good, my benign, my pacific, my most humane Monsieur Jordan,I announce to thy serenity the conquest of Silesia. I warn thee of the bombardment of Neisse, and I prepare thee for still more projects, and instruct thee of the happiest successes that the womb of fortune ever bore.47Take it down, said the king, and hang it lower, that the people may not hurt their necks in looking at it.This is a sister I adore, and to whom I am obliged beyond measure. She has the goodness to promise me that she will take care of you and help you with her good counsel. I wish you to respect her beyond even the king and queen, and not to take the least step without her advice. Do you understand?

Frederick was a trig, slender young man of twenty-nine years. He was dressed in a closely-fitting blue coat, with buff breeches and high cavalry boots. He wore a plumed hat, which he courteously raised as the embassadors entered his tent. The scene276 which ensued was substantially as follows, omitting those passages which were of no permanent interest. After sundry preliminary remarks, Sir Thomas Robinson said,Go, my sister, go; Sweden waits you, Sweden wishes you.F.

As the king was about to embark upon this enterprise, it was proposed to place upon the banners the words For God and our Country. But Frederick struck out the words For God, saying that it was improper to introduce the name of the Deity into the quarrels of men, and that he was embarking in war to gain a province, not for religion.43 In a brief speech to his soldiers he said,In the presence of monarchs, of lords and ladies, of the highest dignitaries of Europe, the young heir apparent to the throne of Prussia, beautiful in person, high-spirited, and of superior genius, was treated by his father with studied contumely and insult. Every thing was done to expose him to contempt. He even openly flogged the prince with his rattan. It would seem that the father availed himself of this opportunity so to torture the sensibilities of his son as to drive him to suicide. Professor Ranke writes:

Charles, feeling keenly the bereavement, and alarmed for the health of his wife, whom he loved most tenderly, hastened to his home in Brussels. The prince and princess were vice-regents, or joint governors of the Netherlands. The decline of the princess was very rapid. On the 16th of December, the young prince, with flooded eyes, a broken-hearted man, followed the remains of his beloved companion to their burial. Charles never recovered from the blow. He had been the happiest of husbands. He sank into a state of deep despondency, and could never be induced to wed again. Though in April he resumed, for a time, the command of the army, his energies were wilted, his spirit saddened, and he soon passed into oblivion. This is but one among the countless millions of the unwritten tragedies of human life.

About thirty miles southeast of Breslau is the pleasant little town of Ohlau, situated in the delta formed by the junction of the Ohlau River with the Oder. It was a place of some strength, and the Austrian authorities had thrown into it a garrison of three hundred men. Frederick appeared before its gates on the morning of January the 9th. He immediately sent in the following summons to the garrison:Sire, I own that I am guilty. Will not your majesty grant me a pardon, which God never refuses to the greatest sinner who sincerely confesses his sins? I shall be always ready to shed even the last drop of my blood to show your majesty what grateful sentiments your clemency can raise in me.

Chaplain Müller seems to have enjoyed the confidence of the king to an unusual decree. He was ordered to remain at Cüstrin, and to have daily interviews with the prince, to instruct him in religion. The king professed to be eminently a religious man. While torturing the body and the mind of the prince in every way, he expressed great anxiety for the salvation of his soul. It is not strange that the example of such a father had staggered the faith of the son. Illogically he renounced that religion which condemned, in the severest terms, the conduct of the father, and which caused the king often to tremble upon his throne, appalled by the declaration, Know thou that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.

The Russians, triumphantly advancing, entered Silesia, and reached Crossen, on the Oder, within a hundred miles of Fredericks encampment.As the ladies of the court were gazing upon this spectacle, an121 officer rode up to the royal carriage, cap in hand, and said that he was directed to present to the queen and princess his Highness the Prince of Baireuth. Immediately a tall young man, in rich dress and of very courtly air, rode up to the carriage and saluted his future mother and his destined bride. His reception was very chilling. The queen, with frigid civility, scarcely recognized his low bow. Wilhelmina, faint from fasting, anxiety, and sleeplessness, was so overcome by her emotions that she fell back upon her seat in a swoon.

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The Prussians had a detached post at Smirzitz. The little garrison there was much harassed by lurking bands of Austrians, who shot their sentries, cut off their supplies, and rendered it almost certain death to any one who ventured to emerge from the ramparts. Some inventive genius among the Prussians constructed a straw man, very like life, representing a sentinel with his shouldered musket. By a series of ropes this effigy was made to move from right to left, as if walking his beat. A well-armed band of Prussians then hid in a thicket near by.

The king was by no means pleased with the costly luxuries with which his son was surrounding himself. But he had, in a very considerable degree, lost his control over the Crown Prince. Frederick was now twenty-one years of age. He had married the niece of the Emperor of Germany. The emperor had probably once saved his life, and was disposed particularly to befriend him, that he might secure his alliance when he should become King of Prussia. Frederick was now the rising sun, and his father the setting luminary. All the courts in Europe were interested in winning the regards of the Crown Prince.

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