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While these coronation splendors were transpiring, Frederick was striving, with all his characteristic enthusiasm, to push forward his Moravian campaign to a successful issue. Inspired by as tireless energies as ever roused a human heart, he was annoyed beyond measure by the want of efficient co-operation on the part of his less zealous allies. Neither the Saxons nor the French could keep pace with his impetuosity. The princes who led the Saxon troops, the petted sons of kings and nobles, were loth to abandon the luxurious indulgences to which they had been accustomed. When they arrived at a capacious castle where they found warm fires, an abundant larder, and sparkling wines, they would linger there many days, decidedly preferring those comforts to campaigning through the blinding, smothering snowstorm, and bivouacking on the bleak and icy plains, swept by the gales of a northern winter. The French were equally averse to these terrible marches, far more to be dreaded than the battle-field.

Between the two camps of the Austrians and Prussians, south of the River Neisse, there was a castle called Little Schnellendorf, belonging to Count Von Steinberg. It was a very retired retreat, far from observation. Arrangements were made for a secret meeting there between Frederick and General Neipperg, to adjust the details of their plot. It was of the utmost importance that the perfidious measure should be concealed from France. The French minister, Valori, was in the Prussian camp, watching every movement with an eagle eye. Frederick, writes Carlyle, knows that the French are false to him. He by no means290 intends to be romantically true to them, and that they also know.

All negotiation in reference to the marriages was now apparently88 at an end. Lieutenant Katte remained at Potsdam. In the absence of Lieutenant Keith he became more than ever the friend and confidant of the Crown Prince. Wilhelmina, aware of the dissipated character of Katte, mourned over this intimacy. The king was very much annoyed by the blunder of which he himself had been guilty in insulting the court of England in the person of its embassador. He declared, in his vexation, that he would never again treat in person with a foreign minister; that his hot temper rendered it unsafe for him to do so. 65 After this I went home, but had scarcely entered my apartment when a messenger returned me, by order of the ministers, the declaration, still sealed as I left it; and perceiving that I was not inclined to receive it, he laid it on my table, and immediately left the house.

His majestys entrance into Frankfort, writes M. Bielfeld, who accompanied him, although very triumphant, was far from ostentatious. We passed like lightning before the eyes of the spectators, and were so covered with dust that it was difficult to distinguish the color of our coats and the features of our faces. We made some purchases at Frankfort, and the next day arrived safely in Berlin, where the king was received with the acclamations of his people.68

In reference to this event, the prince wrote to his mother from Potsdam, I am in the utmost despair. What I had always apprehended has at last come on me. The king has entirely forgotten that I am his son. This morning I came into his room as usual. At the first sight of me he sprang forward, seized me by the collar, and struck me a shower of blows with his rattan. I tried in vain to screen myself, he was in so terrible a rage, almost out of himself. It was only weariness that made him give up. I am driven to extremity. I have too much honor to endure such treatment, and I am resolved to put an end to it in one way or another.

Frederick did not pursue the Austrians after this victory. Nine acres of ground were required to bury the dead. He rented this land from the proprietor for twenty-five years. His alienation from his allies was such that, without regard to them, he was disposed to make peace with Austria upon the best terms he could for himself. England also, alarmed in view of the increasing supremacy of France, was so anxious to detach Frederick, with his invincible troops, from the French alliance, that the British cabinet urged Maria Theresa to make any sacrifice whatever that might be necessary to secure peace with Prussia. Frederick,313 influenced by such considerations, buried the illustrious Austrian dead with the highest marks of military honor, and treated with marked consideration his distinguished prisoners of war.

I must have my ships back again, said Frederick to the British court. The laws delay in England is, I perceive, very considerable. My people, who have had their property thus wrested from them, can not conveniently wait. I shall indemnify them from the money due on the Silesian bonds, and shall give England credit for the same. Until restitution is made, I shall not pay either principle or interest on those bonds.

a a. First Position of Combined Army. b b. First Position of Prussian Camp. c c. Advance of Prussian Army. d d. Second Position of Combined Army. e e. Prussians retire to Rossbach. f. French Cavalry, under St. Germain. g g. March of Combined Army to attack Prussian Rear. h. Prussian Attack led by Seidlitz. i. Position of Prussian Guns.

While Frederick William was confined to his room, tormented by the gout, he endeavored to beguile the hours in painting in oil. Some of these paintings still exist, with the epigraph, Painted by Frederick William in his torments. Wilhelmina writes: