2021-04-17 12:34:13

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ENGLISH The army of General Daun, with its re-enforcements, amounted to one hundred thousand men. The Prussian garrison in the city numbered but ten thousand. The Prussian officer then in472 command, General Schmettau, emboldened by the approach of Frederick, repelled all proposals for capitulation.Thus ended in clouds, darkness, and woe the third campaign of the Seven Years War. The winter was employed by both parties in preparing for a renewal of the struggle. As the spring opened the allies had in the field such a military array as Europe had never seen before. Three hundred thousand men extended in a cordon of posts from the Giant Mountains, near the borders of Silesia, to the ocean. In the north, also, Russia had accumulated her vast armies for vigorous co-operation with the southern troops. All the leading Continental powersFrance, Austria, Russia, Sweden, and the states of the German Empirewere combined against Prussia. England alone was the inefficient ally of Frederick. Small sums of money were loaned him from the British cabinet; and the court of St. James, hostile in heart to the Prussian king, co-operated with him only so far as was deemed essential for the promotion of British interests.

On the 5th of May, after careful reconnoissance, Frederick crossed the Moldau several miles north of Prague. He went over upon pontoons unopposed, and thus effected a junction with his troops on the east side of the river. The Austrian army was drawn up on some formidable heights but a short distance east of the city. Their position was very strong, and they were thoroughly intrenched. On the 6th of May the dreadful battle of Prague was fought. For many years, as not a few of our readers will remember, it was fought over and over again upon all the pianos in Christendom. They will remember the awe with which, as children, they listened to the tumult of the battle, swelling forth from the ivory keys, with the rattle of musketry, the booming of the cannon, and the groans of the dyingsuch groans as even the field of battle itself could scarcely have rivaled.Maria Theresa, anxious to save Prague, sent an army of sixty thousand men under General Daun to its relief. This army, on the rapid march, had reached Kolin, about fifty miles east of415 Prague. Should General Daun, as was his plan, attack Frederick in the rear, while the fifty thousand in Prague should sally out and attack him in front, ruin would be almost inevitable. Frederick, gathering thirty-four thousand men, marched rapidly to Kolin and attacked the foe with the utmost possible fierceness. The Austrians not only nearly twice outnumbered him, but were also in a very commanding position, protected by earthworks. Never did men fight more reckless of life than did the Prussians upon this occasion.Frederick was rapidly awaking to the consciousness that Maria Theresa, whom he had despised as a woman, and a young wife and mother, and whose territory he thought he could dismember with impunity, was fully his equal, not only in ability to raise and direct armies, but also in diplomatic intrigue. About the middle of August he perceived from his camp in Chlum that Prince Charles was receiving large re-enforcements from the south. At the same time, he saw that corps after corps, principally of Saxon troops, were defiling away by circuitous roads to the north. It was soon evident that the heroic Maria Theresa was preparing to send an army into the very heart of Prussia to attack its capital. This was, indeed, changing the aspect of the war.

The alarm in Berlin was very great. The citizens were awake to the consciousness that there was danger; that the city itself would be assaulted. Great was the consternation in the capital when minute directions came from Frederick respecting the course to be pursued in the event of such a calamity, and the places of refuge to which the royal family should retreat.On the 2d of September, 1758, Frederick, advancing from the smouldering ruins of Cüstrin, pushed forward his columns by forced marches for the rescue of his brother, who was nearly surrounded by vastly outnumbering foes. While upon this rapid march an Austrian courier was captured, with the following dispatch, which he was bearing from General Daun to General Fermor, whose army of Russians had just been so terribly beaten by Frederick upon the field of Zorndorf, but of which fact the Austrian general had not yet been apprised:For several weeks the Austrians slowly and sullenly retired. Their retreat was conducted in two immense columns, by parallel roads at some distance from each other. Their wings of foragers and skirmishers were widely extended, so that the hungry army swept with desolation a breadth of country reaching out many leagues. Though the Austrian army was traversing the friendly territory of Bohemia, still Prince Charles was anxious to leave behind him no resources for Frederick to glean. Frederick, with his army, pressed along, following the wide-spread trail of his foes. The Austrians, with great skill, selected every commanding position on which to erect their batteries, and hurl back a storm of shot and shell into the bosoms of their pursuers. But Frederick allowed them no rest by day or by night. His solid columns so unremittingly and so impetuously pressed with shot, bullets, bayonet, and sabre-blows upon the rear ranks of the foe that there was almost an incessant battle, continuing for several weeks, crimsoning a path thirty miles wide and more than a hundred miles in length with the blood of the wounded and the slain.

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I wish that my works, and only they, had been what K?nig attacked. I could sacrifice them with a great deal of willingness to persons who think of increasing their own reputation by lessening that of others. I have not the folly nor vanity of certain authors. The cabals of literary people seem to me the disgrace of literature. I do not the less esteem the honorable cultivators of literature. It is the cabalers and their leaders that are degraded in my eyes.425 In these hours of trouble the noble Wilhelmina was as true to her brother as the magnet to the pole. She was appalled by no dangers, and roused all her energies to aid that brother, struggling, with the world arrayed against him. The king appreciated his sisters love. In a poetic epistle addressed to her, composed in these hours of adversity, he wrote:

After dinner, writes Voltaire, the king retired alone into his cabinet, and made verses till five or six oclock. A concert commenced at seven, in which the king performed on the flute as well as the best musician. The pieces of music executed were also often of the kings composition. On the days of public ceremonies he exhibited great magnificence. It was a fine spectacle to see him at table, surrounded by twenty princes of the empire, served on the most beautiful gold plate in Europe, and attended by thirty handsome pages, and as many young heyducs, superbly dressed, and carrying great dishes of massive gold. After these banquets the court attended the opera in the great theatre, three hundred feet long. The most admirable singers and the best dancers were at this time in the pay of the King of Prussia.Great God! my sister of Baireuth, my noble Wilhelmina, dead; died in the very hours while we were fighting here.Though, as we may see from Fredericks private correspondence, he suffered terribly in these hours of adversity and peril, he assumed in public a tranquil and even a jocose air. Meeting De Catt upon the evening of that dreadful day, he approached him, smiling, and with theatric voice and gesture declaimed a passage from Racine, the purport of which was, Well, here you see me not a conqueror, but vanquished.

BATTLE OF KOLIN, JUNE 18, 1757.CHARGE OF GENERAL SEIDLITZ AT ZORNDORF.

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Winter Encampment.Death of Maupertuis.Infamous Conduct of Voltaire.Reproof by the King.Voltaires Insincerity.Correspondence.The King publishes his Poems.Dishonorable Conduct of the King.New Encampment near Dresden.Destruction of Fredericks Army in Silesia.Atrocities perpetrated by the Austrians.Astonishing March.The Austrians outwitted.Dresden bombarded and almost destroyed by Frederick.Battle of Liegnitz.Utter Rout of the Austrians.Undiminished Peril of Frederick.Letter to DArgens.I understood the speech perfectly well, but my awe was too great to allow me to say, Your majesty will have the grace to allow me something. But as I was so simple, and asked for nothing, he did not offer any thing. And so he turned away. But he had gone scarcely six or eight steps when he looked around and gave me a sign to walk by his side.

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Apr-17 12:34:13