THE FLIGHT ARRESTED.Frederick, having obtained all that, for the present, he could hope to obtain, deemed it for his interest to attempt to promote the peace of Europe. His realms needed consolidating, his army recruiting, his treasury replenishing. But he found it much easier to stir up the elements of strife than to allay them.
“I hope to speak to you with open heart at Berlin. You may think, too, how I shall be embarrassed in having to act the lover without being it, and to feign a passion for mute ugliness; for I have not much faith in Count Seckendorf’s taste in this article. Monsieur, once more get this princess to learn by heart the Ecole des Maris and the Ecole des Femmes. That will do her much more good than True Christianity by the late Arndt. If, beside, she would learn steadiness of humor, learn music, become rather too free than too virtuous—ah! then, my dear general, then I should feel some liking for her; and a Colin marrying a Phillis, the couple would be in accordance. But if she is stupid, naturally I renounce the devil and her.
“And all that I have been relating to you is due to the king alone, who not only gave the orders, but himself saw that they were faithfully obeyed. He both conceived the designs and executed them. He spared neither care, nor trouble, nor vast treasures, nor promises, nor recompenses, in order to assure the existence and the comfort of half a million of rational beings, who owe to him alone their happiness. There is something in my mind so heroic in the generous and laborious manner in which the king has devoted himself to the restoring to this deserted country its population, fertility, and happiness, that I think you will see his conduct in the same light as I do when you are made acquainted with the circumstances.”“I grant it, my dear D’Arget,” said the king, “but it is too372 dangerous a part to play. A reverse brings me to the edge of ruin. I know too well the mood of mind I was in the last time I left Berlin ever to expose myself to it again. If luck had been against me there, I saw myself a monarch without a throne. A bad game that. In fine, I wish to be at peace.”
To his mother he was very considerate in all his manifestations of filial affection, while, at the same time, he caused her very distinctly to understand that she was to take no share whatever in the affairs of government. When she addressed him, upon his accession to the throne, as “Your Majesty,” he replied, “Call me son. That is the title of all others most agreeable to me.” He decreed to her the title of “Her Majesty the Queen-mother.” The palace of Monbijou was assigned her, where she was surrounded with every luxury, treated with the most distinguished attention, and her court was the acknowledged centre of fashionable society.“Grumkow led me to the young man in gray. Coming near, I recognized him, though with difficulty. He had grown much stouter, and his neck was much shorter. His face also was much changed, and was no longer as handsome as it had been. I fell upon his neck. I was so overcome that I could only speak in an unconnected manner. I wept, I laughed like a person out of her senses. In my life I have never felt so lively a joy. After these first emotions were subsided I went and threw myself at the feet of the king, who said to me aloud, in the presence of my brother,“Forgive me, your majesty,” General Saldern replied, “but this is contrary to my honor and my oath.”
MAP OF THE CAMPAIGN OF ROSSBACH.General Daun, with the utmost caution, followed the retreating army. Though his numbers were estimated at seventy-five thousand, he did not dare to encounter Frederick with his thirty thousand Prussians on the field of battle. With skill which has elicited the applause of all military critics, Frederick, early in August, continued his retreat till he reached, on the 8th of the month, Grüssau, on his own side of the mountains in Silesia. On this march he wrote to his brother Henry from Skalitz:
The king, after his apparent reconciliation with Fritz, granted him a little more liberty. He was appointed to travel over and carefully inspect several of the crown domains. He was ordered to study thoroughly the practical husbandry of those domains—how they were to be plowed, enriched, and sown. He was also to devote his attention to the rearing of cattle; to the preparing of malt and the brewing of ale. “Useful discourse,” said the king, “is to be kept up with him on these journeys, pointing out why this is and that, and whether it could not be better.” On the 22d of September the Crown Prince wrote to his father as follows:
George Ludwig, Count of Berg, who at this time was Bishop of Liege, was a feeble old man, tottering beneath the infirmities of eighty-two years. He did not venture upon physical resistance to the power of Prussia, but confined himself to protests, remonstrances, and to the continued exercise of his own governmental authority. As Herstal was many leagues distant from Berlin, was of comparatively little value, and could only be reached by traversing foreign states, Frederick William offered to sell all his claims to it for about eighty thousand dollars. The proposal not being either accepted or rejected by the bishop, the king, anxious to settle the question before his death, sent an embassador to Liege, with full powers to arrange the difficulty by treaty. For three days the embassador endeavored in vain to obtain an audience. He then returned indignantly to Berlin. The king, of course, regarded this treatment as an insult. The bishop subsequently averred that the audience was prevented by his own sickness. Such was the posture of affairs when Frederick William died.
It was Frederick’s aim to reach Oppeln, a small town upon the River Oder, about thirty miles from the field of battle. He supposed that one of his regiments still held that place. But this regiment had hurriedly vacated the post, and had repaired, with all its baggage, to Pampitz, in the vicinity of Mollwitz. Upon the retirement of this garrison a wandering party of sixty Austrian hussars had taken possession of the town.
While these coronation splendors were transpiring, Frederick was striving, with all his characteristic enthusiasm, to push forward his Moravian campaign to a successful issue. Inspired by as tireless energies as ever roused a human heart, he was annoyed beyond measure by the want of efficient co-operation on the part of his less zealous allies. Neither the Saxons nor the French could keep pace with his impetuosity. The princes who led the Saxon troops, the petted sons of kings and nobles, were loth to abandon the luxurious indulgences to which they had been accustomed. When they arrived at a capacious castle where they found warm fires, an abundant larder, and sparkling wines, they would linger there many days, decidedly preferring those comforts to campaigning through the blinding, smothering snowstorm, and bivouacking on the bleak and icy plains, swept by the gales of a northern winter. The French were equally averse to these terrible marches, far more to be dreaded than the battle-field.On the 8th of March Leopold summoned all his generals at noon, and informed them that Glogau, at all hazards, must be taken that very night. The most minute directions were given to each one. There were to be three attacks—one up the river on its left bank, one down the river on its right bank, and one on the land side perpendicular to the other two. The moment the clock on the big steeple in Glogau should give the first stroke of midnight, the three columns were to start. Before the last stroke should be given they were all to be upon the silent, rapid advance.详情
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