新华时评:决胜攻坚战

THE PANDOURS.

Here, in the little town of Cüstrin, in a house very meagerly furnished, the Crown Prince established his household upon the humblest scale. The prince was allowed to wear his sword, but not his uniform. He was debarred all amusements, and was forbidden to read, write, or speak French. To give him employment,114 he was ordered to attend regularly the sittings of the Chamber of Counselors of that district, though he was to take his seat as the youngest member. Three persons were appointed constantly to watch over him. Lord Dover writes:

The reader would not be interested in the details of the battle which ensued. It lasted for five hours. It was, as is every battle, an indescribable scene of tumult, uproar, and confusion. The result was long doubtful. Defeat to Frederick would have been utter ruin. It is wonderful how one determined man can infuse his spirit into a whole host. Every Prussian seemed to363 have the same desperate valor, and determination to conquer or to die, which animated his king. Friedrich Wilhelm feels this sad contrast very much; the127 more, as the soldier is his own chattel withal, and of superlative inches. Friedrich Wilhelm flames up into wrath; sends off swift messengers to bring these judges, one and all, instantly into his presence. The judges are still in their dressing-gowns, shaving, breakfasting. They make what haste they can. So soon as the first three or four are reported to be in the anteroom, Friedrich Wilhelm, in extreme impatience, has them called in; starts discoursing with them upon the two weights and two measures. Apologies, subterfuges, do but provoke him farther. It is not long till he starts up growling terribly, Ye scoundrels, how could you? and smites down upon the crown of them with the royal cudgel itself. Fancy the hurry-scurry, the unforensic attitudes and pleadings! Royal cudgel rains blows right and left. Blood is drawn, crowns cracked, crowns nearly broken; and several judges lost a few teeth and had their noses battered before they could get out. The second relay, meeting them in this dilapidated state on the staircases, dashed home again without the honor of a royal interview. This is an actual scene, of date, Berlin, 1731, of which no constitutional country can hope to see the fellow. Schlubhut he hanged, Schlubhut being only Schlubhuts chattel. This musketeer, his majestys own chattel, he did not hang, but set him shouldering arms again after some preliminary dusting. I march to-morrow for Breslau, and shall be there in four days. You Berliners have a spirit of prophecy which goes beyond me. In fine, I go my road; and you will shortly see Silesia ranked in the list of our provinces. Adieu! this is all I have time to tell you. Religion and our brave soldiers will do the rest.

475 During this dismal winter of incessant and almost despairing labor the indefatigable king wrote several striking treatises on military affairs. It is manifest that serious thoughts at times occupied his mind. He doubtless reflected that if there were a God who took any cognizance of human affairs, there must be somewhere responsibility to Him for the woes with which these wars were desolating humanity. To the surprise of De Catt, the king presented him one evening with a sermon upon The Last Judgment, from his own pen. He also put upon paper his thoughts On the new kind of tactics necessary with the Austrians and their allies. He seems himself to have been surprised that he had been able so long to resist such overpowering numbers. In allusion to the allies he writes:

You do not know, said he to M. Bielfeld, what I have lost in losing my father.

Leopold, in early youth, fell deeply in love with a beautiful young lady, Mademoiselle Fos. She was the daughter of an apothecary. His aristocratic friends were shocked at the idea of so unequal a marriage. The sturdy will of Leopold was unyielding. They sent him away, under a French tutor, to take the grand tour of Europe. After an absence of fourteen months he returned. The first thing he did was to call upon Mademoiselle Fos. After that, he called upon his widowed mother. It was in vain to resist the will of such a man. In 1698 he married her, and soon, by his splendid military services, so ennobled his bride that all were ready to do her homage. For half a century she was his loved and honored spouse, attending him in all his campaigns.

The two English gentlemen, stout, burly, florid men, were dressed in the gorgeous court costume of those days. Each wore a large, frizzled, powdered wig. Their shirts were heavily ruffled in the bosoms and at the wrists. Their coats, of antique cut, were covered with embroidery of gold lace. Their waistcoats hung down in deep flaps, and large buckles adorned their shoes.