2021-04-17 02:34:37

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ENGLISH

The court at Vienna received with transports of joy the tidings of the victory of Hochkirch. The pope was greatly elated. He regarded the battle as one between the Catholic and Protestant powers. The holy father, Clement XIII., sent a letter of congratulation to Marshal Daun, together with a sword and hat, both blessed by his holiness. The occurrence excited the derision of Frederick, who was afterward accustomed to designate his opponent as the blessed general with the papal hat. Frederick remained at Doberschütz ten days. During this time his brother Henry joined him from Dresden with six thousand foot470 and horse. This raised his force to a little above thirty thousand men. General Finck was left in command of the few Prussian troops who remained for the defense of the capital of Saxony.Some countries take six months, some twelve, to get in motion for war. But in three weeks Prussia can be across the frontiers and upon the throats of its enemy. Some countries have a longer sword than Prussia, but none can unsheath it so soon.

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On the 26th of April Frederick again wrote to M. Podewils: I can understand how you are getting uneasy at Berlin. I have the most to lose of you all, but I am quiet and prepared for events. If the Saxons take part in the invasion of Silesia, and we beat them, I am determined to plunge into Saxony. For great maladies there need great remedies. Either I will maintain my all or else lose my all. To me remains only to possess myself in patience. If all alliances, resources, and negotiations fail, and all conjunctures go against me, I prefer to perish with honor rather than lead an inglorious life, deprived of all dignity. My ambition whispers me that I have done more than another to the building up of my house, and have played a distinguished part among the crowned heads of Europe. To maintain myself there has become, as it were, a personal duty, which I will fulfill at the expense of my happiness and my life. I have no choice left. I will maintain my power, or it may go to ruin, and the Prussian name be buried under it. If the enemy attempt any thing upon us, we will either beat them, or will all be hewed to pieces for the sake of our country and the renown of Brandenburg. No other counsel can I listen to. Perform faithfully the given work on your side, as I on mine. For the rest, let what you call Providence decide as it likes. I prepare myself for every event. Fortune may be kind or be unkind, it shall neither dishearten me nor uplift me. If I am to perish, let it be with honor, and sword in hand.

When your highness gets armies of your own, you will order them according to your mind. At present, it must be according to mine. I am firmly resolved on the utmost efforts to save my country. Happy the moment when I took to training myself in philosophy. There is nothing else that can sustain a soul in a situation like mine. I spread out to you, my dear sister, the detail of my sorrows. If these things regarded myself only, I could stand it with composure. But I am the bound guardian of the happiness of a people which has been put under my charge. There lies the sting of it. And I shall have to reproach myself with every fault if, by delay or by overhaste, I occasion the smallest accident.

The king respects his mother, the same writer adds. She is the only female to whom he pays any sort of attention. She is a good, fat woman, who moves about in her own way.It was in these hours of apparently insurmountable difficulty that the marvelous administrative genius of Frederick was displayed. No modern reader can imagine the difficulties of Frederick at this time as they already lay disclosed, and kept gradually disclosing themselves, for months coming; nor will ever know what perspicacity, what patience of scanning, sharpness of340 discernment, dexterity of management, were required at Fredericks hands; and under what imminency of peril toovictorious deliverance or ruin and annihilation, wavering fearfully in the balance, for him more than once, or rather all along.78After the battle of Chotusitz, Frederick called upon General Pallant, an Austrian officer, who was wounded and a prisoner. In the course of the conversation, General Pallant stated that France was ready at any moment to betray his Prussian majesty, and that, if he would give him six days time, he would furnish him with documentary proof. A courier was instantly dispatched to Vienna. He soon returned with a letter from Cardinal Fleury, the prime minister of Louis XV., addressed to Maria Theresa, informing her that, if she would give up Bohemia to the emperor, France would guarantee to her Silesia. Frederick, though guilty of precisely the same treachery himself, read the document with indignation, and assumed to be as much amazed at the perfidy as he could have been had he been an honest man.

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My dearest Brother,I know not if it is not too bold to trouble your majesty on private affairs. But the great confidence my sister and I have in your kindness encourages us to lay before you a sincere avowal of our little finances, which are a good deal deranged just now. The revenues, having for two years and a half past been rather small, amounting to only four hundred crowns (0) a year, could not be made to cover all the little expenses required in the adjustment of ladies. This circumstance, added to our card-playing, though small, which we could not dispense with, has led us into debt. Mine amounts to fifteen hundred crowns (25); my sisters, to eighteen hundred crowns (50). We have not spoken of it to the queen-mother, though we are sure she would have tried to assist us. But as that could not have been done without some inconvenience to her, and as she would have retrenched in some of her own little entertainments, I thought we should do better to apply directly to your majesty. We were persuaded you would have taken it amiss had we deprived the queen of her smallest pleasure, and especially as we consider you, my dear brother, the father of the family, and hope you will be so gracious as to help us. We shall never forget the kind acts of your majesty. We beg you to be persuaded of the perfect and tender attachment with which we are proud to be, all our lives, your majestys most humble sisters and servants,Charles, feeling keenly the bereavement, and alarmed for the health of his wife, whom he loved most tenderly, hastened to his home in Brussels. The prince and princess were vice-regents, or joint governors of the Netherlands. The decline of the princess was very rapid. On the 16th of December, the young prince, with flooded eyes, a broken-hearted man, followed the remains of his beloved companion to their burial. Charles never recovered from the blow. He had been the happiest of husbands. He sank into a state of deep despondency, and could never be induced to wed again. Though in April he resumed, for a time, the command of the army, his energies were wilted, his spirit saddened, and he soon passed into oblivion. This is but one among the countless millions of the unwritten tragedies of human life.

In the midst of ftes, operas, and suppers, my secret negotiation advanced. The king allowed me to speak to him on all subjects. I often intermingled questions respecting France and Austria in conversations relating to the ?neid and Livy. The discussion was sometimes very animated. At length the king said to me, Let France declare war against England, and I will march. This was all I desired. I returned as quickly as possible to the court of France. I gave them the same hopes which I had myself been led to entertain at Berlin, and which did not prove delusive.Your effrontery astonishes me. What you have done is clear as the day; and yet, instead of confessing your culpability, you persist in denying it. Do you think you can make people believe that black is white? All shall be made public. Then it will be seen whether, if your words deserve statues, your conduct does not deserve chains.Frederick had now France only for an ally. But France was seeking her own private interests on the Rhine, as Frederick was aiming at the aggrandizement of Prussia on his Austrian frontiers. Neither party was disposed to make any sacrifice for the benefit of the other. Frederick, thus thrown mainly upon his345 own resources, with an impoverished treasury, and a weakened and baffled army, made indirect application to both England and Austria for peace. But both of these courts, flushed with success, were indisposed to listen to any terms which Frederick would propose.

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Apr-17 02:34:37