游戏搜索 找到你喜欢的游戏! 中华网游戏大全

It was an act of desperation. The king fully appreciated its peril. But the time had long since passed when he could rely upon the ordinary measures of prudence. In despair was his only hope.

Days of pain and nights of sleeplessness were his portion. A hard cough racked his frame. His strength failed him. Ulcerous sores broke out upon various parts of his body. A constant oppression at his chest rendered it impossible for him to lie down. Gout tortured him. His passage to the grave led through eighteen months of constant suffering. Dr. Zimmermann, in his diary of the 2d of August, writes:

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. In another letter to Grumkow, he writes: As to what you tell me of the Princess of Mecklenburg, could not I marry her?140 She would have a dowry of two or three million rubles.22 Only fancy how I could live with that. I think that project might succeed. I find none of these advantages in the Princess of Bevern, who, as many people even of the dukes court say, is not at all beautiful, speaks almost nothing, and is given to pouting. The good empress has so little money herself that the sums she could afford her niece would be very moderate.

On the 18th of September, when the rejoicing Austrians at K?niggr?tz were firing salutes, drinking wine, and feasting in honor of the election of the grand-duke to the imperial dignity, Frederick, availing himself of the carousal in the camp of his foes, crossed the Elbe with his whole army, a few miles above K?niggr?tz, and commenced his retreat to Silesia. His path led through a wild, sparsely inhabited country, of precipitous rocks, hills, mountain torrents, and quagmires. One vast forest spread along the banks of the Elbe, covering with its gloom an extent of sixty square miles. A few miserable hamlets were scattered over this desolate region. The poor inhabitants lived mainly upon the rye which they raised and the swine which ranged the forest.

While pushing these intrigues of diplomacy, Frederick was equally busy in marshaling his armies, that the sword might contribute its energies to the enforcement of his demands. One hundred thousand troops were assembled in Berlin, in the highest state of discipline and equipment, ready to march at a moments warning.

About seven oclock in the morning the king ascended an eminence, and carefully scanned the field, where sixty thousand men were facing each other, soon to engage in mutual slaughter. There were two spectacles which arrested his attention. The one was the pomp, and pageantry, and panoply of war, with its serried ranks, its prancing steeds, its flashing armor, its waving banners, its inspiriting bugle-pealsa scene in itself beautiful and sublime in the highest conceivable degree.

Before the king released the Crown Prince he extorted from him an oath that he would be, in all respects, obedient to his father; that he would never again attempt to escape, or take any journey without permission; that he would scrupulously discharge all the duties of religion, and that he would marry any princess whom his father might select for him. The next morning, after the interview to which we have above alluded, the prince called upon his sister. They had a short private interview, Madam Sonsfeld alone being present. The prince gave a recital of his adventures and misfortunes during the many months since they last had met. The princess gave an account of her great trials, and how she had consented to a marriage, which was not one of her choice, to obtain her brothers release.

God be praised, my dearest sister, that you are better. Nobody can love you more tenderly than I do. As to the Princess of Bevern, the queen bids me answer that you need not style her Highness, but that you may write to her quite as to an indifferent145 princess. As to kissing the hands, I assure you I have not kissed them nor will kiss them. They are not pretty enough to tempt me that way.