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Though Wilhelmina was also a close prisoner in her apartment in the Berlin palace, and was fed upon the coarsest fare, she103 still had a comfortable room, her musical instruments, and the companionship of her governess, Madam Sonsfeld. It was rather a relief to the unhappy princess to be shut out from the presence of her father and from the sound of his voice. She occasionally obtained a smuggled letter from her mother, and even got one, in pencil, from her brother, full of expressions of tenderness.

England was the hereditary foe of France. It was one of the leading objects in her diplomacy to circumvent that power. Our great-grandfathers, writes Carlyle, lived in perpetual terror that they would be devoured by France; that French ambition would overset the Celestial Balance, and proceed next to eat the British nation. Strengthening Austria was weakening France. Therefore the sympathies of England were strongly with Austria. In addition to this, personal feelings came in. The puerile little king, George II., hated implacably his nephew, Frederick of Prussia, which hatred Frederick returned with interest.

I am sure you will take part in this happiness, and that you will not doubt the tenderness with which I am, dearest sister, yours wholly, 278 That is your interpretation, said Frederick. But the French assert that it was an arrangement made in their favor.

Here the young prince made the most solemn promises to try to regain his fathers favor. The king then asked: Was it thou that temptedst Katte, or did Katte tempt thee? Fritz promptly replied, I tempted Katte. I am glad, rejoined the king, to hear the truth from you, at any rate.

CHAPTER XXXI. THE STRUGGLE CONTINUED.

I was sitting quiet in my apartment, busy with work, and some one reading to me, when the queens ladies rushed in, with a torrent of domestics in their rear, who all bawled out, putting one knee to the ground, that they were come to salute the Princess of Wales. I fairly believed these poor people had lost their wits. They would not cease overwhelming me with noise and tumult; their joy was so great they knew not what they did. When the farce had lasted some time, they told me what had occurred at the dinner.

The army, writes Prince Charles, mournfully, was greatly dilapidated. The soldiers were without clothes, and in a condition truly pitiable. So closely were we pursued by the enemy that at night we were compelled to encamp without tents.

Seckendorf (the embassador of the emperor) sometimes sends me money, of which I have great need. I have already taken measures that he should procure some for you. My galleons arrived yesterday, and I will divide their contents with you.

There is something truly sublime in the devotion with which he, in disregard of sleeplessness, exhaustion, and pain, gave himself to work. His three clerks were summoned to his room each morning at four oclock.

Prince Charles was en route for Berlina winters march of a hundred and fifty miles. He was not aware that the King of Prussia was near him, or that the king was conscious of his bold design. On Saturday night, November 20, the army of Prince Charles, forty thousand strong, on its line of march, suspecting no foe near, was encamped in villages, extending for twenty miles along the banks of the Queiss, one of the tributaries of the Oder. Four marches would bring them into Brandenburg. It was the design of Frederick to fall with his whole force upon the centre of this line, cut it in two, and then to annihilate the extremities. Early in the morning of Sunday, the 21st, Frederick put his troops in motion. He marched rapidly all that day, and Monday, and Tuesday. In the twilight of Tuesday evening, a dense fog enveloping the landscape, Frederick, with his concentrated force, fell impetuously upon a division of the Austrian army encamped in the village of Hennersdorf.