2021-04-14 11:55:28

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ENGLISH Wilhelmina.

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.

Never was there a place in the world where liberty of speech was so fully indulged, or where the various superstitions of men were treated with so much ridicule and contempt. God was respected. But those who, in His name, had imposed on mankind, were not spared. Neither women nor priests ever entered the palace. In a word, Frederick lived without a court, without a council, and without a religion.In this terrible emergence, the queen, resolute as she was, was almost compelled, by the importunity of her counselors, to permit Sir Thomas Robinson, who was acting for England far more than for Austria, to go back to Frederick with the offer so humiliating to her, that she would surrender to him one half of Silesia if he would withdraw his armies and enter into an alliance with her against the French. The high-spirited queen wrung her hands in anguish as she assented to this decision, exclaiming passionately,Again he writes, under the same date, to Cardinal De Fleury, then the most prominent member of the cabinet of Louis XV.:

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France was first in the field with a superb host of one hundred and ten thousand men. The other powers speedily followed. In four great armies of invasion these hosts pressed upon Prussia from the southeast and southwest, the northeast and northwest. The Russian battalions were one hundred thousand strong. The Austrian army was still more formidable.The Russians, triumphantly advancing, entered Silesia, and reached Crossen, on the Oder, within a hundred miles of Fredericks encampment.The whole allied army was now put wildly to flight, in one of the most humiliating and disastrous retreats which has ever occurred. There is generally some slight diversity of statement in reference to the numbers engaged on such occasions. Frederick gives sixty-three thousand as the allied force. The allies lost, in killed, wounded, and missing, about ten thousand men. The loss of the Prussians was but five hundred. The French, in a tumultuous mass, fled to the west. Crossing the Unstrut River at Freiburg, they burned the bridge behind them. The Prussians rebuilt the bridge, and vigorously pursued. The evening after the battle the king wrote as follows to Wilhelmina. His letter was dated Near Weissenfels.

At the close of the business, the king, who had been exceedingly courteous during the whole interview, took General Neipperg aside, and, beckoning Lord Hyndford to join them, said, addressing Lord Hyndford,All Europe, England alone excepted, was aroused against him. Armies were every where being marshaled. The press of all continental Europe was filled with denunciations of his crimes and encroachments. Not all his efforts to assume a careless air411 could efface from his countenance the impression left there by the struggles of his soul. His features, as seen in a portrait painted about this time, are expressive of the character of an anxious and unhappy man.

Frederick, having carefully scanned the Austrian lines for an instant or two, gave the signal, and all his batteries opened their thunders. Under cover of that storm of iron, several thousand of the cavalry, led by the veteran General Bredow, deployed from behind some eminences, and first at a gentle trot, and then upon the most impetuous run, with flashing sabres, hurled themselves upon the left wing of the Austrian lines. The ground was dry and sandy, and a prodigious cloud of dust enveloped them. For a moment the tornado, vital with human energies, swept on, apparently unobstructed. The first line of the Austrian horse was met, crushed, annihilated. But the second stood as the rock breasts the waves, horse against horse, rider against rider, sabre against sabre. Nothing met the eye but one vast eddying whirlpool of dust, as if writhing in volcanic energies, while here and there the flash of fire and the gleam of steel flickered madly through it.General Maguire had been left in Dresden with but about fourteen thousand men for its defense. On Saturday, July 13th, the Prussian army appeared before the city. All the night they were erecting their batteries. Early Sunday morning the cannonade began. As Daun might speedily arrive at the head of sixty thousand troops for the relief of the garrison, the bombardment was conducted with the utmost possible energy. Day and night the horrible tempest fell upon the doomed city. Adversity had soured the kings disposition, and rendered him merciless. He had no compassion upon the innocent inhabitants. It was his aim, at whatever cost, to secure the immediate surrender of the place. He cruelly directed his terrific fire upon the thronged dwellings rather than upon the massive fortifications. Street after street blazed up in flames. It was Fredericks relentless503 plan by fire torture to force the citizens to compel Maguire to the surrender. But the Austrian commander hardened his heart against the misery of the Saxon people, and held the place.

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On the 26th of April Frederick again wrote to M. Podewils: I can understand how you are getting uneasy at Berlin. I have the most to lose of you all, but I am quiet and prepared for events. If the Saxons take part in the invasion of Silesia, and we beat them, I am determined to plunge into Saxony. For great maladies there need great remedies. Either I will maintain my all or else lose my all. To me remains only to possess myself in patience. If all alliances, resources, and negotiations fail, and all conjunctures go against me, I prefer to perish with honor rather than lead an inglorious life, deprived of all dignity. My ambition whispers me that I have done more than another to the building up of my house, and have played a distinguished part among the crowned heads of Europe. To maintain myself there has become, as it were, a personal duty, which I will fulfill at the expense of my happiness and my life. I have no choice left. I will maintain my power, or it may go to ruin, and the Prussian name be buried under it. If the enemy attempt any thing upon us, we will either beat them, or will all be hewed to pieces for the sake of our country and the renown of Brandenburg. No other counsel can I listen to. Perform faithfully the given work on your side, as I on mine. For the rest, let what you call Providence decide as it likes. I prepare myself for every event. Fortune may be kind or be unkind, it shall neither dishearten me nor uplift me. If I am to perish, let it be with honor, and sword in hand.

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Apr-14 11:55:28