Fully conscious that the respect which would be paid to him as a European sovereign greatly depended upon the number of men he could bring into the field of battle, Frederick William devoted untiring energies to the creation of an army. By the most severe economy, watching with an eagle eye every expenditure, and bringing his cudgel down mercilessly upon the shoulders26 of every loiterer, he succeeded in raising and maintaining an army of one hundred thousand men; seventy-two thousand being field troops, and thirty thousand in garrison.2 He drilled these troops as troops were never drilled before.481 With the utmost exertions, inspired by terror, thirty thousand dollars were at length raised. The Russian general, Soltikof, naturally a humane man, seeing, at the close of a week of frantic exertions on the part of the magistrates of Frankfort, the impossibility of extorting the required sum, took the thirty thousand dollars, and kept his barbarian hordes encamped outside the gates.
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.”Frederick.231 “If you make any resistance, you shall be treated as prisoners of war. If you make no resistance, and promise not to serve against us, you may march out of the city unmolested, with your arms.”
Louis XV. felt insulted by this message, and responded in a similar strain of irritation. Thus the two monarchs were alienated from each other. Indeed, Frederick had almost as much cause to be dissatisfied with the French as they had to be dissatisfied with him. Each of the monarchs was ready to sacrifice the other if any thing was to be gained thereby.
Frederick was a great snuff-taker. He always carried two large snuff-boxes in his pocket. Several others stood upon tables around in his rooms, always ready for use. The cheapest of these boxes cost fifteen hundred dollars. He had some richly studded with gems, which cost seven thousand five hundred dollars. At his death one hundred and thirty snuff-boxes appeared in the inventory of his jewels.Destruction of the Army of Prince Charles.—Dismay in Vienna.—Testimony of Napoleon I.—Of Voltaire.—Wretchedness of the King.—Compromise rejected.—New Preparations for War.—Treaty between England and Prussia.—Plan of the Campaign.—Siege of Olmütz.—Death of Prince Augustus William.—The Baggage Train.—The irreparable Disaster.—Anxiety of Frederick for Wilhelmina.—The March against the Russians.—The Battle of Zorndorf.—Anecdotes of Frederick.
There can be but little doubt, however, that the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles will ere long be in the hands of Russia. “I know that I or my successors,” said the Czar Nicholas, “must547 have Constantinople. You might as well arrest a stream in its descent from a mountain as the Russians in their advance to the Hellespont.”184“Surrender to me peaceably,” was the substance of this demand, “the province of Silesia, and I will be the ally of your majesty in maintaining your right to the throne, and in defending the integrity of all the rest of your realms. I will exert my influence to have the Grand-duke Francis41 chosen Emperor of Germany, and will also immediately pay one million of dollars into the Austrian treasury.”
It is said that Frederick, determined not to lose his dancer in that manner, immediately informed the young gentleman’s friends that he was about to form a mesalliance with an opera girl. The impassioned lover was peremptorily summoned home. Hatred for Frederick consequently rankled in young Mackenzie’s heart. This hatred he communicated to his brother, Lord Bute, which subsequently had no little influence in affairs of national diplomacy.On the 7th of July he wrote again to Wilhelmina. The letter420 reveals the anxiety of his heart, and his earnest desire to escape, if possible, from his embarrassments. Wilhelmina had written, offering her services to endeavor to secure peace. The king replied:This notable paper, which reflects but little credit upon the character of Frederick, was as follows:
“My dear Voltaire,—You wish to know what I have been about since leaving Berlin. Annexed you will find a description of it.详情
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