Adolph Frederick was the heir to the throne of Sweden. Successful diplomacy brought a magnificent embassy from Stockholm to Berlin, to demand Princess Ulrique as the bride of Sweden’s future king. The course of love, whether true or false, certainly did in this case run smooth. The marriage ceremony was attended in Berlin with such splendor as the Prussian capital had never witnessed before. The beautiful Ulrique was very much beloved. She was married by proxy, her brother Augustus William standing in the place of the bridegroom.
“My dialogue with the king was very lively; but the king was in such suffering, and so straitened for breath, I was myself anxious to shorten it. That same evening I traveled on.”
With great courtesy of words, but pitiless energy of action, General Borck, who was in command, fulfilled his commission. A contribution was exacted of fifteen thousand dollars, to be paid within three days; sufficient rations were to be furnished daily for the troops, or the general, it was stated, would be under the painful necessity of collecting them for himself. Two hundred and fifty dollars a day were to be provided for the general’s private expenses. Remonstrances were of no avail. Resistance was not to be thought of.471 When the Austrian general conducting the siege at Neisse heard of the rapid approach of Frederick, he, in consternation, blew up many of his works, abandoned several guns, and, on the 6th of November, fled with his army over the hills to the south, to take shelter in Austria. Frederick triumphantly entered Neisse, and, having driven the Austrians from every outpost, commenced, with a recruited army, his return march to Dresden. The more slow-footed Daun did not reach Dresden till the 8th of the month. The city, outside of the walls, was crowded with the dwellings of the more respectable citizens, and the beautiful mansions of the wealthy. The King of Poland was Elector of Saxony, and was in alliance with Austria. For the Austrian commander to pursue any measure which should lead to the destruction, in whole or in part, of this beautiful capital, would inflict a terrible blow upon the subjects of the ally of Austria.“Let the courts take this for their rule; and whenever they do not carry out justice in a straightforward manner, without any regard of person and rank, they shall have to answer to his majesty for it.”
“When you sent me, inclosed in your letter, those verses for our Marcus Aurelius of the North, I fully intended to pay my court to him with them. He was at that time to have come to Brussels incognito. But the quartan fever, which unhappily he still has, deranged all his projects. He has sent me a courier to Brussels, and so I set out to find him in the neighborhood of Cleves.“Frederick.”
This letter was addressed to the “reverend, well-beloved, and faithful Müller,” and was signed “your affectionate king.” Though the king had not yet announced any intention of sparing the life of his son, and probably was fully resolved upon his execution, he was manifestly disturbed by the outcry against his proceedings raised in all the courts of Europe. Three days before the king wrote the above letter, the Emperor of Germany, Charles VI., had written to him, with his own hand, earnestly interceding for the Crown Prince. In addition to the letter, the emperor, through his minister Seckendorf, had presented a very firm remonstrance. He announced to Frederick William that112 Prince Frederick was a prince of the empire, and that he was entitled to the protection of the laws of the Germanic body; that the heir-apparent of the Prussian monarchy was under the safeguard of the Germanic empire, and that the king was bound to surrender to this tribunal the accused, and the documents relative to this trial.
As this report was made to the king, he exclaimed, angrily, “Let him lie in ward, then, and await the doom which the laws adjudge to him. He is my colonel. He has attempted to desert. He has endeavored to induce others to desert with him. The law speaks plainly enough as to the penalty for such crimes.”In return, Voltaire compliments the king very profusely. Speaking of the book of the royal author, the Anti-Machiavel, he writes:The battle, thus commenced, continued to rage for four long312 hours, with all its demon energies, its blood, its wounds, its oaths, its shrieks, its death; on the right wing, on the left wing, in the centre; till some ten or twelve thousand, some accounts say more, of these poor peasant soldiers lay prostrate upon the plain, crushed by the hoof, torn by the bullet, gashed by the sabre. Many were dead. Many were dying. Many had received wounds which would cripple them until they should totter into their graves. At the close of these four hours of almost superhuman effort, the villages all around in flames, the Austrians slowly, sullenly retired from the contest. Prince Charles, having lost nearly seven thousand men, with his remaining forces breathless, exhausted, bleeding, retired through Czaslau, and vanished over the horizon to the southwest. Frederick, with his forces almost equally breathless, exhausted, and bleeding, and counting five thousand of his soldiers strewn over the plain, in death or wounds, remained master of the field. Such was the famous battle of Chotusitz.
At an early hour on the morning of the 3d Frederick broke up his camp south of the foe, and, by a circuitous route of fourteen513 miles, came down upon the Austrians from the north. General Ziethen marched in almost a straight line for Torgau, to cut off the retreat. It was two o’clock in the afternoon when Frederick, emerging from the forest, ordered his men to charge. The assault was as impetuous and reckless as mortal men could possibly make. Instantly four hundred pieces of artillery opened fire upon them.“My dear Monsieur Jordan, my sweet Monsieur Jordan, my quiet Monsieur Jordan, my good, my benign, my pacific, my most humane Monsieur Jordan,—I announce to thy serenity the conquest of Silesia. I warn thee of the bombardment of Neisse, and I prepare thee for still more projects, and instruct thee of the happiest successes that the womb of fortune ever bore.”47
His sister Amelia and several other friends visited him at Breslau. Among others was his reader, Henry de Catt.详情
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