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The bishop denied that Frederick William had any claim to207 Herstal. He brought forward a prior claim of his own in behalf of the Church. The Duke of Lorraine, when proprietor of the castle and its dependencies, had pawned it to the bishop for a considerable sum of money. This money, the bishop averred, had never been repaid. Consequently he claimed the property as still in his possession.

The king, writes Küster, fell ill of the gout, saw almost nobody, never came out. It was whispered that his inflexible heart was at last breaking. And for certain there never was in his camp and over his dominions such a gloom as in this October, 1761, till at length he appeared on horseback again, with a cheerful face; and every body thought to himself, Ha! the world will still roll on, then.Besides the garrison of fifty thousand there were eighty thousand inhabitants in the city, men, women, and children. Large numbers perished. Some died of starvation; some were burned to death in their blazing dwellings; some were torn to pieces by shot and shell; some were buried beneath the ruins of their houses. In the stillness of the night the wails and groans of the sufferers were borne on the breeze to the ears of the Prussians in their intrenched camp. Starvation brought pestilence, which caused the death of thousands. The inhabitants, reduced to this state of awful misery, entreated the Austrian general to surrender. He refused, but forced out of the gates twelve thousand skeleton, starving people, who consumed the provisions, but could not contribute to the defense. Frederick drove the poor creatures back again at the point of the bayonet, threatening to shoot them all. The cruel act was deemed a necessity of war.But the good sense of the utterance, so rare in those dark days, electrified thousands of minds. It drew the attention of Europe to Frederick, and gave him wide-spread renown.

Ah! said the king, gayly, we must have them back from him again.The routed allies, exasperated and starving, and hating the Protestant inhabitants of the region through which they retreated, robbed and maltreated them without mercy. The woes which the defenseless inhabitants endured from the routed army in its flight no pen can adequately describe.CHAPTER III. THE SUFFERINGS OF FRITZ AND WILHELMINA.

Instantly, and like a change of scene in the opera, the Prussians were on the rapid march to the east in as perfect order as if on parade. Taking advantage of an eminence called James Hill, which concealed their movements from the allies, Frederick hurled his whole concentrated force upon the flank of the van of the army on the advance. He thus greatly outnumbered his foes at the point of attack. The enemy, taken by surprise in their long line of march, had no time to form.At eleven this day I went to the council-chamber for the third time, and desired Secretary Hartoff to prevail with the ministry to allow me to speak with them, and communicate what the King of Prussia had ordered me to propose. Herr von Hartoff gave them an account of my request, and brought me, for answer, that I must wait a little, because the ministers were not yet all assembled; which I did. But after having made me stay almost an hour, and after the president of the council was come, Herr von Hartoff came out to me and repeated what he had said yesterday, in very positive and absolute terms, that the ministers were resolved not to see me, and had expressly forbid him taking any paper at my hands.Frederick was in a towering passion. Voltaire was alarmed at the commotion he had created. He wrote a letter to the king, in which he declared most solemnly that he had not intended to392 have the pamphlet published; that a copy had been obtained by treachery, and had been printed without his consent or knowledge. But the king wrote back:

FREDERICK AND HIS SISTER.There is a gloom of the soul far deeper than any gloom with which nature can ever be shrouded. It is not easy to conceive of a mortal placed in circumstances of greater mental suffering than was the proud, ambitious young monarch during the hour in which he waited, in terror and disgrace, by the side of the mill, for the return of his courier. At length the clatter of hoofs was heard, and the messenger came back, accompanied by an adjutant, to announce to the king that the Prussians still held Lowen, and that the Prussian army had gained a signal victory at Mollwitz.

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I have not the honor to be acquainted with kings, said I; but, to judge from what one has read in history of several of them, I should believe, sir, on the whole, that you are right.The princess has an open countenance; her eyebrows are neat and regular; her nose is small and angular, but very elegantly defined; and her coral lips and well-turned neck are equally admirable. Goodness is strongly marked in her countenance; and we may say, from her whole figure, that the Graces have exerted themselves in forming a great princess. Her highness talks but little, especially at table, but all she says is sterling sense. She appears to have an uncommon genius, which she ornaments by the continual study of the best French authors.

At Nimburg, about twenty miles from Kolin, where the retiring Prussians were crossing the Elbe, Frederick sat upon a green mound, lost in thought, as his troops defiled before him. He was scratching figures upon the sand with his stick.As we have mentioned, the Russian general had such a dread of Frederick that he did not dare to pursue him. In his report of the victory to the Czarina Charlotte, speaking of his own heavy loss of over eighteen thousand men, he writes, Your majesty is aware that the King of Prussia sells his victories at a dear rate. To some who urged him to pursue Frederick, he replied, Let me gain but another such victory, and I may go to Petersburg with the news of it myself alone, with my staff in my hand.

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