余秀华诗集《我们爱过又忘记》精装再版

While matters were in this extremity, the British minister, Dubourgay, and Baron Knyphausen, a distinguished Prussian official, dispatched Rev. Dr. Villa, a scholarly man, who had been Wilhelminas teacher of English, on a secret mission to the court of England, to communicate the true state of affairs, and to endeavor to secure some disentanglement of the perplexities. Dr. Villa was a warm friend of Wilhelmina, and, in sympathy with her sorrows, wept as he bade her adieu. The king was in such ill humor that his daughter dared not appear in his presence. If Fritz came within reach of his fathers arm he was pretty sure to receive a blow from his rattan.

The ordinary routine of the day, when not absent on travels or campaigns, was as follows: As soon as dressed, one of his pages brought the packet of letters. The number was usually very large. He employed himself in reading these letters till eight oclock. By a particular style of folding, he designated those to which no reply was to be returned, those to which there was to be an immediate reply, and those which required further consideration. At eight oclock one of the four secretaries of the cabinet entered, took the three parcels, and, while the king was breakfasting, received from him very briefly the character of the response to be made.

My dear Son Fritz,I am glad you need no more medicine. But you must have a care of yourself some days yet, for the severe weather gives me and every body colds. So pray be on your guard. On the evening of the 5th his Prussian majesty gave a grand ball. All the nobility, high and low, were invited. The provident king arranged that the expenses, which he was to defray, should not exceed half a guinea for each guest. Early hours were fashionable in those days. Frederick entered the assembly-rooms at six oclock, and opened the ball with a Silesian lady. He was very complaisant, and walked through the rooms with a smile upon his countenance, conversing freely with the most distinguished of his guests. About ten oclock he silently withdrew, but the dancing and feasting continued until a late hour. The zealous bishop, perhaps not unwilling to secure the crown of martyrdom, pressed on, preaching the Gospel, in face of prohibitions and menaces, until he entered one of the sacred inclosures which was a sanctuary of the idols of these heathen. The priests rushed upon him, endeavored to drive him out, and struck him with a dagger in the back of his neck. He uttered but one cry, Jesus, receive me! and, stretching out his arms, fell with his face to the ground, and lay dead there in the form of a crucifix. The place is yet pointed out where Adalbert fell. Still the seeds of Christianity were sown. Other missionaries followed. Idolatry disappeared, and the realm became nominally Christian. Revealed religion introduced increased enlightenment and culture, though there still remained much of the savagery of ancient days.

The Crown Prince, with what degree of sincerity we know not, was now in tears. Prostrating himself before his majesty, he kissed his feet. The king, much moved, was in tears also, and retired to another room.

I attacked the enemy this morning about eleven. We beat 485him back to the Jews Church-yard, near Frankfort.134 All my troops came into action, and have done wonders. I reassembled them three times. At length I was myself nearly taken prisoner, and we had to quit the field. My coat is riddled with bullets. Two horses were killed under me.135 My misfortune is that I am still alive. Our loss is very considerable. Of an army of forty-eight thousand men, I have at this moment, while I write, not more than three thousand together. I am no longer master of my forces. This despondency lasted, however, but a moment. Concealing his emotions, he smoothed his furrowed brow, dressed his face in smiles, and wrote doggerel verses and jocose letters as if he were merely a fashionable man of pleasure. At the same time he rallied all his marvelous energies, and prepared to meet the exigency366 with sagacity and intrepidity rarely surpassed. Orders were immediately dispatched to the Old Dessauer to marshal an army to oppose Grüne and Rutowski, while the king hastened to Silesia to attack Prince Charles. Leopold, though he had nearly numbered his threescore years and ten, according to Frederick, was very glad to fight once again before he died. The veteran general ventured to make some suggestions in reference to the orders he had received. The king sternly replied,

Amiti, plaisir des grandes ames; Amiti, que les rois, ces illustres ingrats Sont assez malheureux de ne conna?tre pas!

This immense building presented a front of nearly a thousand feet; for, being in a quadrangular form, it fronted four ways. It was all faced with hammered stone. In one of the towers this bachelor husband constructed his library. It was a magnificent apartment, provided with every convenience, and decorated with the most tasteful adornments which the arts could furnish. Its windows commanded an enchanting prospect of the lake, with its tufted islands and the densely wooded heights beyond.

Since you speak so much of marriages, said the general, I suppose you wish to be married?

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.

Such a show for pomp and circumstance, Wilhelmina owns, as could not be equaled in the world; such wheeling, rhythmic coalescing and unfolding, accurate as clock-work, far and wide; swift, big column here hitting big column there at the appointed place and moment; with their volleyings and trumpetings, bright uniforms, and streamers, and field-music, in equipment and man?uvre perfect all, to the meanest drummer or black kettle-drummer; supreme drill sergeant playing on the thing as on his huge piano, several square miles in area.18

His diet was regulated at a sum which made it barely sufficient to prevent actual starvation. His apartment was most miserable, and almost entirely devoid of furniture. He was in great want of linen, and of others of the first necessaries of life. At nine oclock at night his candle was taken from him, while pen, ink, paper, and books were alike denied him.

The French minister at the court of Berlin, Count Rothenburg, was a Prussian by birth. He was a man of much diplomatic ability, and a very accomplished gentleman. Having spent much of his life in Paris, he had acquired the polished manners of the French court, and wore the costume appropriate to the Tuileries and Versailles. He and his associates in the embassy attracted much attention as they appeared in their cocked hats, flowing wigs, laced coats, and other gorgeous trimmings. The king, in his homespun garb, was apprehensive that the example so obnoxious to him might spread.

The seventh day after our accession to the throne of all the Russias we received information that the late emperor, Peter III., was attacked with a violent colic. That we might not be wanting in Christian duty, or disobedient to the divine command by which we are enjoined to preserve the life of our neighbor, we immediately ordered that the said Peter should be furnished with every thing that might be judged necessary to restore his health by the aids of medicine. But, to our great regret and affliction, we were yesterday evening apprized that, by permission of the Almighty, the late emperor departed this life.