“In the midst of these preparations for a new campaign against a veteran army of two hundred and eighty thousand enemies, Frederick yet found sufficient leisure for peaceable occupations. He consecrated some hours every day to reading, to music, and to the conversation of men of letters.”164
The king having taken a tender adieu of M. Duhan, who died374 the next morning, traversed the brilliant streets of the rejoicing city, and returned to the palace about ten that evening.
This signal achievement raised the military fame of Frederick higher than ever before. Still it did not perceptibly diminish the enormous difficulties with which he was environed. Army after army was marching upon him. Even by a series of successful battles his forces might be annihilated. But the renown of the great victory of Rossbach will ever reverberate through the halls of history.
Louis XV. wrote a very unsatisfactory letter in reply. He stated, with many apologies, that his funds were terribly low,359 that he was exceedingly embarrassed, that it was impossible to send the sum required, but that he would try to furnish him with a hundred thousand dollars a month.He conversed cheerfully upon literature, history, and the common topics of the day. But he seemed studiously to avoid any allusion to God, to the subject of religion, or to death. He had from his early days very emphatically expressed his disbelief in any God who took an interest in the affairs of men. Throughout his whole life he had abstained from any recognition of such a God by any known acts of prayer or worship. Still Mr. Carlyle writes: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 one of the letters of the Crown Prince, speaking of the mode of traveling with his father, he says: “We have now been traveling near three weeks. The heat is as great as if we were riding astride upon a ray of the sun. The dust is like a dense cloud, which renders us invisible to the eyes of the by-standers. In addition to this, we travel like the angels, without sleep, and almost without food. Judge, then, what my condition must be.”While in this deplorable condition, Maupertuis was found by the Prince of Lichtenstein, an Austrian officer who had met him in Paris. The prince rescued him from his brutal captors and supplied him with clothing. He was, however, taken to Vienna as a prisoner of war, where he was placed on parole. Voltaire, whose unamiable nature was pervaded by a very marked vein of malignity, made himself very merry over the misfortunes of the philosopher. As Maupertuis glided about the streets of Vienna for a time in obscurity, the newspapers began to speak of his scientific celebrity. He was thus brought into notice. The queen treated him with distinction. The Grand-duke Francis drew his own watch from his pocket, and presented it to Maupertuis265 in recompense for the one he had lost. Eventually he was released, and, loaded with many presents, was sent to Brittany.Voltaire hated M. Maupertuis. He was the president of the Berlin Academy, and was regarded by Voltaire as a formidable rival. This hatred gave rise to a quarrel between Frederick and Voltaire, which was so virulent that Europe was filled with the noise of their bickerings. M. Maupertuis had published a pamphlet, in which he assumed to have made some important discovery upon the law of action. M. K?nig, a member of the Academy, reviewed the pamphlet, asserting not only that the proclaimed law was false, but that it had been promulgated half a century before. In support of his position he quoted from a letter of Leibnitz. The original of the letter could not be produced. M. K?nig was accused of having forged the extract. M. Maupertuis, a very jealous, irritable man, by his powerful influence as president, caused M. K?nig to be expelled from the Academy.
234 “Adieu, dear Swan of Padua. Think, I pray, sometimes of those who are getting themselves cut in slices for the sake of glory here; and, above all, do not forget your friends who think a thousand times of you.”The king then, having ordered his guard to watch him with the utmost vigilance, assuring them that their heads should answer for it if they allowed him to escape, sent his son to another boat. He was prevailed upon to do so, as no one could tell to what length the king’s ungovernable passions might lead him.For a moment the king was quite stunned by the blow. The withdrawal of these troops would expose him to be speedily overwhelmed by the Austrians. By earnest entreaty, Frederick persuaded Czernichef to remain with him three days longer. “I will require of you no service whatever. The Austrians know nothing of this change. They will think that you are still my ally. Your presence simply will thus aid me greatly in the battle.”
On the 28th of June, 1729, the population of Bühlitz, a Hanoverian border village, sallied forth with carts, escorted by a troop of horse, and, with demonstrations both defiant and exultant, raked up and carried off all the hay. The King of Prussia happened to be at that time about one hundred miles distant from Bühlitz, at Magdeburg, reviewing his troops. He was thrown into a towering passion. Sophie Dorothee, Wilhelmina, Fritz, all felt the effects of his rage. Dubourgay writes, under date of July 30, 1729:
“Potsdam, April 1, 1744.”详情
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