On the River Maas, a few miles north of the present city of Liege, there was a celebrated castle called Herstal. For many generations feudal lords had there displayed their pomp and power; and it had been the theatre not only of princely revelry, but of many scenes of violence and blood. A surrounding territory of a few thousand acres, cultivated by serfs, who were virtually slaves, was the hereditary domain of the petty lords of the castle. A few miles south of the castle there was a monastery called Liege, which was a dependency of the lords of Herstal.CHARGE OF GENERAL SEIDLITZ AT ZORNDORF.
“There was no need of that pretext about the waters of Plombières in demanding your leave. You can quit my service when you like. But, before going, be so good as to return me the key, the cross, and the volume of verses which I confided to you.
“Oh, Phiekin, my Phiekin!” said he, “thou must rise and help me what thou canst. This day I am going to die. Thou must be with me this day.”Such was the Tobacco Parliament in its trivial aspects. But it had also its serious functions. Many questions were discussed there which stirred men’s souls, and which roused the ambition or the wrath of the stern old king to the utmost pitch.
“My dear Voltaire,—France has been considered thus far as the asylum of unfortunate monarchs. I wish that my capital should become the temple of great men. Come to it, then, my dear Voltaire, and give whatever orders can tend to render a residence in it agreeable to you. My wish is to please you, and wishing this, my intention is to enter entirely into your views.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.
Frederick, while equally complimentary, while lavishing gifts and smiles upon his guest, to whom he had written that as there “could be but one God, so there could be but one Voltaire,” wrote from Ruppin to M. Jordan, on the 28th of November, just before Voltaire took his leave.Wilhelmina endeavored to reply. But the angry mother sternly exclaimed, “Silence!” and the tortured girl left the apartment, weeping bitterly. Even Fritz took his mother’s part, and reproached Wilhelmina for not acceding to her plan. New troubles were thickening around him. He was in debt. The king had found it out. To his father’s stern questioning, Fritz, in his terror, had uttered deliberate falsehood. He confessed a debt of about eight hundred dollars, which his father had detected, and solemnly declared that this was all. In fact, he owed an additional sum of seven thousand dollars. Should the king discover this debt, and thus detect Fritz in a lie, his rage would be tremendous. The king paid the eight hundred dollar debt of his son, and then issued a decree declaring that to lend money to any princes of the blood, even to the prince royal, was a high crime, to be punished, not only by forfeiture of the money, but78 by imprisonment. The king had begun to suspect that Fritz intended to escape. He could not escape without money. The king therefore took special precautions that his purse should be ever empty, and watched him with renewed vigilance.“Now, as I hope that his present situation, and the execution which has just taken place before his eyes, will touch and soften his heart, and will lead him to better sentiments, I charge you, as you value your conscience, to do all that is humanly possible to represent forcibly to the prince these things; and particularly, in what relates to predestination, to convince him by means of passages from the Scriptures which satisfactorily prove what I wish you to advance.”
“I bequeath eight thousand crowns (00) to my domestics. All that I have elsewhere depends on you. To each of my brothers and sisters make a present in my name; a thousand affectionate regards to my sister at Baireuth. You know what I think on their score; and you know, better than I can tell you, the tenderness and all the sentiments of most inviolable friendship with which I am, dearest brother, your faithful brother and servant till death,
The young lady was not beautiful, and there was no evidence of the slightest improprieties, or of any approach even to flirtation. But the infuriate king, who, without the shadow of reason, could accuse his own daughter of infamy, caused this young lady, under the pretext that she had been the guilty intimate of his son, to be taken from her parents, to be delivered to the executioners, and to be publicly conveyed in a cart and whipped on the bare back through the principal streets of the town. She was then imprisoned, and doomed to beat hemp as a culprit for three years.
“I suffer a thousand times more than I can tell you. Nevertheless, hope does not abandon me. I am obliged to finish. But I shall never cease to be, with the most profound respect, yourThat same evening Marie Antoinette wrote from Versailles to her sister Christine at Brussels:
A fortnight later General Schulenburg wrote, under date of the 19th of October: “I introduced to the Crown Prince all the officers of my regiment who are here. He received them in the style of a king. It is certain he feels what he is born to; and if he ever get to it, he will stand on the top of it. As to me, I129 mean to keep myself retired, and shall see as little of him as I can. I perceive well he does not like advice, and does not take pleasure except with men inferior to him in mind. His first aim is to find out the ridiculous side of every one, and he loves to banter and quiz.196详情
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