二十一、1975年整顿的显著成效及其原因

We seldom hear from Frederick any recognition of God. But on this occasion, perhaps out of regard to the feelings of his subjects, he ordered the Te Deum to be sung in the churches of Berlin for the deliverance of Silesia from invasion.

The French have seized upon Friesland, and are about to pass the Weser. They have instigated the Swedes to declare war against me. The Swedes are sending seventeen thousand men into Pomerania. The Russians are besieging Memel. General Schwald has them on his front and in his rear. The troops of the empire are also about to march. All this will force me to evacuate Bohemia so soon as that crowd of enemies gets into motion. In burning the suburbs, one of the mansions of the bishop, a few miles from Neisse, had escaped the general conflagration. The Prussians had taken possession of this large and commodious structure, with its ample supply of winter fuel. General Roth employed a resolute butcher, who, under the pretense of supplying the Prussians with beef, visited the bishops mansion, and secretly applied the torch. It was a cold winters night. The high wind fanned the flames. Scarcely an hour passed ere the whole structure, with all its supplies, was in ashes. The Prussian officers who had found a warm home were driven into the icy fields.

My lord, I could desire your lordship to summon up, if it were necessary, the spirit of all your lordships instructions, and the sense of the king, of the Parliament, and of the whole British nation. It is upon this great moment that depends the fate, not of the house of Austria, not of the empire, but of the house of Brunswick, of Great Britain, of all Europe. I verily believe the King of Prussia himself does not know the extent of the present danger. With whatever motive he may act, there is not one, not that of the wildest resentment, that can blind him to this degreeof himself perishing in the ruin he is bringing upon others. With his concurrence, the French will, in less than six weeks, be masters of the German empire. The weak Elector of Bavaria is but their instrument. Prague and Vienna may, and probably will, be taken in that short time. Will even the King of Prussia himself be reserved to the last?

On the 10th of August there was a magnificent review of the Prussian army on the plain of Strehlin, to which all the foreign embassadors were invited. During the night of the 9th, General Schwerin and Prince Leopold, with eight thousand Prussian troops, horse and foot, arrived in the southwestern suburbs of Breslau, and, at six oclock in the morning, demanded simply a passage through the city for their regiments and baggage, on the march to attack a marauding band of the Austrians on the other side of the Oder. Rambonet presented the peremptory missive, and waited forty-eight hours for the answer. He then returned to Wesel without any satisfactory reply. Frederick immediately issued a manifesto, declaring the reasons for his action, and ordered two thousand men, horse and foot, who were all ready for the emergence, to advance immediately to Maaseyk, one of the principal towns of the bishop, take possession of it and of the surrounding region, quarter themselves upon the people, enforce liberal contributions, and remain there until the bishop should come to terms.34

You will, perhaps, have heard of the check I have met with from the Russian army on the 13th138 of this month. Though at bottom our affairs in regard to the enemy here are not desperate, I find I shall not be able to make any detachment for your assistance. Should the Austrians attempt any thing against Dresden, therefore, you will see if there are means of maintaining yourself; failing which, it will behoove you to try and obtain a favorable capitulationto wit, liberty to withdraw, with the488 whole garrison, moneys, magazines, hospital, and all that we have at Dresden, either to Berlin or elsewhere, so as to join some corps of my troops.

This merciless banter from her parents cut the unhappy princess to the heart. With the utmost difficulty she refrained from bursting into convulsive crying. Her husband seems to have been a kind man, inspired with true and tender affection for his wife. But much of the time he was necessarily absent on regimental duty. The old Marquis of Baireuth, her husbands father, was penurious, irascible, and an inebriate. Wilhelmina often suffered for the necessaries of life. There seemed to be no refuge for her. The home of her step-parents was unendurable, and the home of her childhood was still more so. Few and far between must have been the joys which visited her crushed heart.

As the king cast his eye over the blood-stained field, covered with the wounded and the dead, for a moment he seemed overcome with the aspect of misery, and exclaimed, When, oh when will my woes cease?

At last, about nine, somebody brought word that my brother had changed his route and gone to Culmbach, there to stay overnight. I was for setting out thither. Culmbach is twenty miles from Berneck. But the roads are frightful, and full of precipices. Every body rose in opposition. And whether I would or not they put me into the carriage for Himmelkron, which is only about ten miles off. We had like to have got drowned on the road, the waters were so swollen. The horses could not cross but by swimming.

My dear Brother,Your bad conduct has greatly injured my affairs. It is not the enemy, but your ill-concerted measures, which have done me this harm. My generals also are inexcusable, whether they gave you bad advice or only suffered you to come to such injudicious resolutions. In this sad situation it only remains for me to make a last attempt. I must hazard a battle. If we can not conquer, we must all of us have ourselves killed.

Voltaire made himself very merry over the dying scene of Maupertuis. There was never another man who could throw so much poison into a sneer as Voltaire. It is probable that the conversion of Maupertuis somewhat troubled his conscience as the unhappy scorner looked forward to his own dying hour, which could not be far distant. He never alluded to Maupertuis without indulging in a strain of bitter mockery in view of his death as a penitent. Even the king, unbeliever as he was in religion or in the existence of a God, was disgusted with the malignity displayed by Voltaire. In reply to one of Voltaires envenomed assaults the king wrote: