类型:奇幻地区:Ϻm2发布:2020-10-23 12:49:20


Upon reaching the neighborhood of Landshut, the king was surrounded by a troop of two thousand Protestant peasants. They begged permission of him to massacre the Catholics of those parts, and clear the country of them altogether. This animosity arose from the persecutions which the Protestants had suffered during the Austrian domination.The wagons had accomplished about half the distance, when, on Friday, the 30th of June, as they were emerging from wild ravines among the mountains, they were simultaneously attacked in front, centre, and rear by three divisions of the Austrians, each about five thousand strong. Then ensued as terrible a scene of panic and confusion as war has ever witnessed. The attack of horsemen with their gleaming sabres, the storm of bullets, thick as hailstones, the thunders of the cannon, as the ponderous balls tore their way through wagons, and horses, and men, soon presented such a spectacle of devastation, ruin, and woe as mortal eyes have seldom gazed upon.

It appears, moreover, that Fritz devoted himself very assiduously to his military duties, earnestly studying the art of war, and making himself familiar with the achievements of the most renowned commanders. His frugal father allowed him but a very meagre income for a princenot above four thousand five hundred dollars a year. With this sum it was scarcely possible to keep up even the appearance of such an establishment as belonged to his rank. Such glimpses as we get of his moral and social developments during this period are not favorable. He paid no respect to the claims of religion, and was prone to revile Christianity and its advocates. He was particularly annoyed if the chaplain uttered, in his sermons, any sentiments which the prince thought had a bearing against the sensual indulgences and the wild amusements of himself and his companions. On one occasion the chaplain said in his sermon, There was Herod, who had Herodias to dance before him, and he gave her John the Baptists head for her pains.Frederick was now in such deep pecuniary embarrassment that he was compelled to humble himself so far as to apply to the King of France for money. If your majesty, he wrote, can not furnish me with any re-enforcements, you must, at least, send me funds to raise additional troops. The smallest possible sum which will enable me to maintain my position here is three million dollars.

His majesty commands me to inform your royal highness that he has cause to be greatly discontented with you; that you deserve to have a court-martial held over you, which would sentence you and all your generals to death; but that his majesty will not carry the matter so far, being unable to forget that in the chief general he has a brother.

I was shut up in my bedchamber, where I saw nobody, and continued always to fast. I was really dying of hunger. I read as long as there was daylight, and made remarks upon what I read. My health began to give way. I became as thin as a skeleton from want of food and exercise. One day Madam De Sonsfeld and myself were at table, looking sadly at one another, having nothing to eat but soup made with salt and water, and a ragout of old bones, full of hairs and other dirt, when we heard a knocking at the window. Surprised, we rose hastily to see what it was. We found a raven with a morsel of bread in its beak, which it laid down on the sill of the window so soon as it saw us, and flew away. Tears came into our eyes at this adventure. Our lot is very deplorable, said I to my governess, since it even touches the creatures devoid of reason. They have more compassion for us than men, who treat us with so much cruelty.

Prussia had enjoyed eight years of peace. But Frederick was not a popular man excepting with his own subjects. They idolized him. Innumerable are the anecdotes related illustrative of his kindness to them. He seemed to be earnestly seeking their welfare. But foreign courts feared him. Many hated him. He was unscrupulous and grasping, and had but very little sense of moral integrity. He was ambitious of literary renown; of reputation as a keen satirist. With both pen and tongue he was prone to lash without mercy his brother sovereigns, and even the courtiers who surrounded him. There were no ties of friendship which could exempt any one from his sarcasm. Other sovereigns felt that he was continually on the watch to enlarge his realms, by invading their territories, as he had robbed Maria Theresa of the province of Silesia.

Frederick angrily replied, You can have no instructions to ask that question. And if you had, I have an answer ready for you. England has no right to inquire into my designs. Your great sea armaments, did I ask you any question about them? No! I was, and am, silent on that head.40

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Frederick exclaimed, in astonishment, What an infernal fire! Did you ever hear such a cannonade before? I never did.Sire, it would be cheap at a hundred ducats.

The authorship of the article could not be concealed. Frederick was indignant. He angrily seized his pen, and wrote a reply, which, though anonymous, was known by all to have been written by the king. In this reply he accused the writer of the article, whom he well knew to be Voltaire, of being a manifest retailer of lies, a concocter of stupid libels, and as guilty of conduct more malicious, more dastardly, more infamous than he had ever known before.General Daun was proverbially slow-footed. For thirteen days the wretched city burned and bled. In a memorial to the world, which the King of Poland, as Elector of Saxony, published on the occasion, he said,



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