“God give his blessing to it, and bless you and your posterity, and keep you as a good Christian. And have God always before your eyes, and don’t believe that damnable predestination tenet; and be obedient and faithful. So shall it here in time, and there in eternity, go well with thee. And whosoever wishes that from the heart, let him say Amen.A smile flitted across Katte’s pallid features as he replied, “Death is sweet for a prince I love so well.” With fortitude he ascended the scaffold. The executioner attempted to bandage his eyes, but he resisted, and, looking to heaven, said, “Father, into thy hands I surrender my soul!” Four grenadiers held Fritz with his face toward the window. Fainting, he fell senseless upon the floor. At the same moment, by a single blow, Katte’s head rolled upon the scaffold. As the prince recovered consciousness, he found himself still at the window, in full view of the headless and gory corpse of his friend. Another swoon consigned him to momentary unconsciousness.16
443 He did not order the exhausted troops to pursue the foe. Still, as he rode along the line after dark, he inquired,It was midnight. “Within doors all is silence; around it the dark earth is silent, above it the silent stars.” Thus for two hours the attendant sat motionless, holding the dying king. Not a word was spoken; no sound could be heard but the painful breathing which precedes death.War between Prussia and England might draw all the neighboring nations into the conflict. There was excitement in every continental court. The Pope, it is reported, was delighted. “He prays,” says Carlyle, “that Heaven would be graciously pleased to foment and blow up to the proper degree this quarrel between the two chief heretical powers, Heaven’s chief enemies, whereby holy religion might reap a good benefit.”
“Should you have known me?” the king inquired of De Catt.On Friday, the 13th of October, the two hostile armies, separated merely by a brook and a ravine, were within half a mile of each other. Daun had manifested great timidity in not venturing from behind his intrenchments to attack the little band of Prussians. Frederick, emboldened by this cowardice on the part of his opponent, made his arrangements to assail the Austrians in a secret attack before the dawn of the morning of Saturday, the 14th. In the mean time, Daun, probably a little ashamed of being held at bay by so small a force, formed his plan to surround and destroy the whole Prussian army. It is generally conceded by military critics that the plan was admirably conceived, and would have been triumphantly executed but for the singular ability displayed by Frederick.
In very rapid march, the troops advanced through Grünberg toward Glogau, about forty miles in the interior. Here there was a fortified town, which was considered the key of Northern Silesia. It was but feebly garrisoned, and was entirely unprepared for resistance. By great exertions, the Austrian governor of the province, Count Wallis, and his second in command, General Browne, succeeded in placing behind the works a little garrison of one thousand men. The whole population was summoned to work upon the ramparts. Count Wallis remained in Glogau. General Browne took command of the troops and garrisons abroad. But there was a division of sentiment within the walls. Quite a large portion of the population was Protestant, and would be glad to come under the protection of Protestant Prussia. The Catholics were zealous for the continued reign of Austria.
At that time the family consisted of nine children. Next to Wilhelmina and Fritz came Frederica, thirteen; Charlotte, eleven; Sophie Dorothee, eight; Ulrique, seven; August Wilhelm, five; Amelia, four; and Henry, a babe in arms.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.Just at the break of day of Thursday morning, September 30, as the king was in his tent, busy with his generals, examining maps in preparation for the immediate resumption of the march, an orderly came, in breathless haste, to inform the king that the Austrians were advancing rapidly upon him, and in great force. While he was yet speaking another messenger arrived, confirming the tidings, and stating that, apparently, the whole Austrian army, in battle array, was coming down upon him.
On the 12th of September Frederick dined with his brother Henry in Dresden. General Daun, as soon as he heard of the approach of the foe whom he so much dreaded, rapidly retreated eastward to Stolpen, on the road to Bautzen. Here he intrenched himself in one of the strongest posts in Germany. As Frederick,465 at Dresden, received his supplies from Bautzen, he was much embarrassed in having his line of communication thus cut. Finding all his efforts vain to provoke Daun to a battle, after four weeks of such endeavors, he loaded his baggage trains with supplies for nine days, and by a rapid march, brushing away in the movement Daun’s right flank, and advancing through Bautzen, established himself among the hills of Hochkirch. He had thus taken position thirty miles east of General Daun’s encampment at Stolpen, cutting off his line of supply.
And notwithstanding our impatience,The young officers in the Saxon army, having disposed their troops in comfortable barracks, had established their own head-quarters in the magnificent castle of Budischau, in the vicinity303 of Trebitsch. “Nothing like this superb mansion,” writes Stille, “is to be seen except in theatres, on the drop-scene of the enchanted castle.” Here these young lords made themselves very comfortable. They had food in abundance, luxuriously served, with the choicest wines. Roaring fires in huge stoves converted, within the walls, winter into genial summer. Here these pleasure-loving nobles, with song, and wine, and such favorites, male and female, as they carried with them, loved to linger.
“He now began to speak of religion; and, with eloquent tongue, to recount what mischiefs scholastic philosophy had brought upon the world; then tried to prove that creation was impossible.
THE KING IN SEARCH OF LODGINGS.On Saturday, the 25th of October of this year, George II., King of England, died. The poor old gentleman, who had been endowed with but a very ordinary share of intelligence, was seventy-seven years of age. On Monday he had presided at a review of troops in Hyde Park. On Thursday he stood upon the portico of his rural palace in Kensington to see his Guards march by for foreign service. Saturday morning he rose at an early hour, took his cup of chocolate as usual, and, opening his windows, said the morning was so fine he would take a walk in his garden. It was then eight o’clock. His valet withdrew with the cup and saucer. He had hardly shut the door when he heard a groan and a fall. Hurrying back, he found the king upon the floor. Faintly the death-stricken monarch exclaimed, “Call Amelia,” and instantly died.详情
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