2021-04-17 02:00:23

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Colonel Chasot, exceedingly chagrined, rode directly to the king, and inquired, Did not your majesty grant me permission to invite my friend to the review? Here is business which I must attend to. I was in a writing vein, but I believe it is better to conclude, lest I should tire you and neglect my own duties. Adieu, my dear marquis. I embrace you.

Frederick.There were some gross vulgarities in Voltaires letter which we refrain from quoting. Both of these communications were printed and widely circulated, exciting throughout Europe contempt and derision. Voltaire had still the copy of the kings private poems. Frederick, quite irritated, and not knowing what infamous use Voltaire might make of the volume, which contained some very severe satires against prominent persons, and particularly against his uncle, the King of England, determined, at all hazards, to recover the book. He knew it would be of no avail to write to Voltaire to return it.

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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.It was on the 11th of November, 1741, that Frederick, elated with his conquest of Silesia, had returned to Berlin. In commencing the enterprise he had said, Ambition, interest, and the desire to make the world speak of me, vanquished all, and war was determined on. He had, indeed, succeeded in making the world speak of him. He had suddenly become the most prominent man in Europe. Some extolled his exploits. Some expressed amazement at his perfidy. Many, recognizing his sagacity296 and his tremendous energy, sought his alliance. Embassadors from the various courts of Europe crowded his capital. Fourteen sovereign princes, with many foreigners of the highest rank, were counted among the number. The king was in high spirits. While studiously maturing his plans for the future, he assumed the air of a thoughtless man of fashion, and dazzled the eyes and bewildered the minds of his guests with feasts and pageants.

I added that my niece had burned his ode from fear that it should be imputed to me. He believed me and thanked me; not, however, without some reproaches for having burned the best verses he had ever made.128

During the previous summer, the philosopher Maupertuis, after weary wanderings in the languor of consumption, and in great dejection of spirits, had been stricken by convulsions while in his carriage at Basel. He had lost favor with the king, and was poor, friendless, and dying. His latter years had been imbittered by the venomous assaults of Voltaire.Again he wrote DArgens on the 26th of December, What a pleasure to hear that you are coming. I have sent a party of light horse to conduct you. You can make short journeys. I have directed that horses be ordered for you, that your rooms be warmed every where, and good fowls ready on all roads. Your apartment in this house is carpeted, hermetically shut. You shall suffer nothing from draughts or from noise.

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At last, my dear sister, I can announce to you a bit of good news. You were doubtless aware that the Coopers with their circles had a mind to take Leipsic. I ran up and drove them beyond Saale. They called themselves 63,000 strong. Yesterday I went to reconnoitre them; could not attack them in the post they held. This rendered them rash. To-day they came out to attack me. It was a battle after ones own heart. Thanks to God,109 I have not one hundred men killed. My brother Henry and General Seidlitz have slight hurts. We have all the enemys cannon. I am in full march to drive them over the Unstrut. You, my dear sister, my good, my divine, my affectionate sister, who deign to interest yourself in the fate of a brother who adores you, deign also to share my joy. The instant I have time I will tell you more. I embrace you with my whole heart. Adieu.It was a glorious victory. What was the price? Five thousand six hundred Prussian young men lay in their blood upon the field, dead or wounded. Six thousand seven hundred young men from Austrian homes lay by their side, silent in death, or groaning in anguish, lacerated by the missiles of war.

Frederick was indignant. Scornfully he rejected the proposal, saying, Such a paltry sum might with propriety, perhaps, be offered to a petty duke of Hesse-Darmstadt, but it is not suitable to make such a proposition to the King of Prussia.On the 11th of October an express courier reached Fredericks camp with the alarming intelligence that an Austrian division of fifteen thousand men was on the march for Berlin. The city was but poorly fortified, and held a garrison of but four thousand429 troops. Frederick had no doubt that the Austrian army was acting in co-operation with other forces of the allies, advancing upon his metropolis from the east, north, and west. Immediately he collected all his available troops and commenced a rapid march for the protection of his capital. In the mean time Wilhelmina had heard of this new peril. A rumor also had reached her that there had been a battle, and that her brother was wounded. The following letter reveals the anguish of her heart:

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Apr-17 02:00:23