类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-10-21 02:02:26


As General Daun approached the city, the Prussian general who had been left in command of the small garrison there sent word to him that, should he menace Dresden with his forces, the Prussian commander would be under the necessity of setting fire to the suburbs, as a measure of self-defense. Daun, expostulating vehemently against so cruel an act, regardless of the menace, approached the city on the 9th of November, and at midnight commenced rearing his batteries for the bombardment. In the mean time the Prussian general had filled many of the largest houses with combustibles. As the clock struck three in the morning the torch was applied. The unhappy inhabitants had but three hours’ notice that their houses were to be surrendered to destruction. Instantly the flames burst forth with terrific fury in all directions. Sir Andrew Mitchel, who witnessed the conflagration, writes:

“A droll incident happened during our dialogue. My gentleman wanted to let down a little sash window, and could not manage it. ‘You do not understand that,’ said I; ‘let me do it.’ I tried to get it down, but succeeded no better than he.384 “I was greatly astonished, and knew not what to do; least of all could it come into my head that the king’s valet who waited on his majesty should wait on me. I pressed him to sit by me; but, as he refused, I did as bidden.

491 The rumor that Daun was marching upon Berlin proved a false alarm. On the 4th of September the king again wrote D’Argens from his encampment at Waldau, a few leagues south of his last position, just over the border in Saxony:289

“The poor courtier,” Wilhelmina adds, “obliged to become possessor of this miserable performance, and to pay so dear for it, determined for the future to be more circumspect in his admiration.Frederick, leaving his army safe for a short time, quartered, as he supposed, for the winter, in his strong fortresses of Silesia, returned hastily to Berlin. It was necessary for him to make immediate preparation for another campaign. “From December 13, 1744,” writes Carlyle, “when he hastened home to Berlin, under such aspects, to June 4, 1745, when aspects suddenly changed, are probably the worst six months Frederick had yet had in the world.”77

Days of pain and nights of sleeplessness were his portion. A hard cough racked his frame. His strength failed him. Ulcerous sores broke out upon various parts of his body. A constant oppression at his chest rendered it impossible for him to lie down. Gout tortured him. His passage to the grave led through eighteen months of constant suffering. Dr. Zimmermann, in his diary of the 2d of August, writes:

Again he wrote a few months after, while absent from home: “I set off on the 25th to return to my dear garden at Ruppin. I burn with impatience to see again my vineyards, my cherries, and my melons. There, tranquil and free from all useless cares, I shall live really for myself. I become every day more avaricious of my time, of which I render an account to myself, and never lose any of it without much regret. My mind is now wholly turned toward philosophy. That study renders me wonderful services, which are repaid by me with affection. I find myself happy because I am more tranquil than formerly. My167 soul is much less agitated with violent and tumultuous emotions. I suppress the first impulses of my passions, and do not proceed to act upon them till after having well considered the question before me.”

“His Prussian majesty requires nothing for himself. He has taken up arms simply and solely with the view of restoring to the empire its freedom, to the emperor his imperial crown, and to all Europe the peace which is so desirable.”The betrothal took place in the Berlin palace on Monday evening, March 10, 1732. Many distinguished guests from foreign courts were present. The palace was brilliantly illuminated. The Duke and Duchess of Bevern, with their son, had accompanied their daughter Elizabeth to Berlin. The youthful pair, who were now to be betrothed only, not married, stood in the centre of the grand saloon, surrounded by the brilliant assemblage. With punctilious observance of court etiquette, they exchanged rings, and plighted their mutual faith. The old king embraced the bride tenderly. The queen-mother, hoping that the marriage would never take place, saluted her with repulsive coldness. And, worst of all, the prince himself scarcely treated143 her with civility. The sufferings of this lovely princess must have been terrible. The testimony to her beauty, her virtues, her amiable character, is uncontradicted. The following well-merited tribute to her worth is from the pen of Lord Dover:



“In this tremor of my heart,” writes Linsenbarth, “there came a valet out of the palace and asked, ‘Where is the man that was with my king in the garden?’ I answered, ‘Here.’ He led me into the palace to a large room, where pages, lackeys, and soldier valets were about. My valet took me to a little table excellently furnished with soup, beef; likewise carp, dressed with garden salad; likewise game, with cucumber salad; bread, knife, fork, plate, spoon were all there. My valet set me a chair, and said,A few days afterward, in an official document, she writes: “I consent, since so many great and learned men will have it so. But long after I am dead, it will be known what this violating of all that was hitherto held sacred and just will give rise to.”187

Ringing violently for his servants, and deaf to all protestations and excuses, he had himself immediately rolled from the room. As the courtiers stood bewildered and gazing at each other in consternation, an officer came in with an order from the king that they should all leave the palace immediately, and come not back again. The next morning P?llnitz, who occupied a position somewhat similar to that of prime minister, applied for admission to his majesty’s apartment. But a gendarme seized him by the shoulder and turned him around, saying, “There is no admittance.” It was several days, and not till after repeated acts of humiliation, that the king would permit any member of the parliament again to enter his presence.For such a mind and such a body there could be no possible peace or repose in the dying-chamber. Feverish, restless, sleepless, impatient, he knew not what to do with himself. He was incessantly passing from his bed to his wheel-chair and back again, irascibly demanding this and that, complaining of every body and every thing. Sometimes he would declare that he would no longer be sick, but would dress and be well; and scarcely would he get his clothes on ere he would sink in fainting weakness, as though he had not another hour to live. Thus the sad days of sickness wore away as death drew near.



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