Early the next morning, Czernichef, greatly admiring the exploit Frederick had performed, commenced his march home. Just before this there was a change in the British ministry, and the new cabinet clamored for peace. England entered into a treaty with France, and retired from the conflict. Frederick, vehemently upbraiding the English with treachery—the same kind533 of treachery of which he had repeatedly been guilty—marched upon Schweidnitz. After a vigorous siege of two months he captured the place.
In the mean time, Wilhelmina, disappointed in not finding her brother, wrote to him the following account of her adventures:
It seems that in England there were two parties in reference to the war. Sir Horace Walpole, in a letter under date of December 5th, 1760, wrote to Sir Horace Mann, at Florence:
“Old Leopold, quick as thought, noticing the thing, hurls cavalry on these victorious, down-plunging grenadiers; slashes them asunder into mere recoiling whirlpools of ruin, so that few of them got back unwounded; and the Prussians, storming in along with them, aided by ever new Prussians, the place was at length carried.”91CHAPTER X. THE ACCESSION OF FREDERICK THE SECOND.Frederick remained at Sohr five days. The country was scoured in all directions to obtain food for his army. It was necessary that the troops should be fed, even if the poor inhabitants starved miserably. No tongue can tell the sufferings which consequently fell upon the peasantry for leagues around. Prince Charles, with his shattered army, fell back to K?niggr?tz, remorselessly plundering the people by the way. Frederick, ordering his army to retire to Silesia, returned to Berlin.
ROYALTY AT DINNER.
“Hurl them out,” he wrote. “Gather twenty, thirty thousand men, if need be. Let there be no delay. I will as soon be pitched out of Brandenburg as out of Silesia.
The next Sunday, June 3d, the betrothal took place with great magnificence. The ceremony was attended by a large concourse of distinguished guests. Lord Dover says that the very evening of the day of the betrothing a courier arrived from England with dispatches announcing that the English court had yielded to all the stipulations demanded by the King of Prussia in reference to the marriage of Wilhelmina to the Prince of Wales. It was now too late to retract. Probably both the king and Wilhelmina were gratified in being able to decline the offer. But the chagrin of the queen was terrible. She fell into a violent fever, and came near dying, reproaching her daughter with having killed her.Some trifling unavailing efforts had been made for peace. In reply to a letter from Voltaire, alluding to this subject, Frederick wrote, under date of 2d July, 1759:
“Mais le ciel, qui de tout dispose,
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On the 17th of April again he wrote, still from Neisse: “I toil day and night to improve our situation. The soldiers will do their duty. There is none among us who will not rather have his back-bone broken than give up one foot-breadth of ground. They must either grant us a good peace, or we will surpass ourselves by miracles of daring, and force the enemy to accept it from us.”
“Seckendorf” (the embassador of the emperor) “sometimes sends me money, of which I have great need. I have already taken measures that he should procure some for you. My galleons arrived yesterday, and I will divide their contents with you.117 A deputation of four ministers, headed by Baron Grumkow, the next day presented themselves to the princess. To overawe Wilhelmina, they approached her with all the solemnity of state. Grumkow opened the conference:详情
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