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A year and a day had elapsed since the father had seen the123 son. On the 15th of August, the king, being on a journey, stopped for a couple of hours at Cüstrin, and held an interview with Fritz. The monarch was attended by a retinue of several hundred persons. The scene which ensued is described by Grumkow in his summary of what took place at Cüstrin on the 15th of August, 1731. The king sent for the prince to be brought before him at the government house. As Fritz entered he fell upon his knees at his fathers feet. The king coldly ordered him to rise, saying,

Whatever answer may now be returned from England I will have nothing to do with it. Whether negative, affirmative, or evasive, to me it shall be as nothing. You, madam, must now choose between the Duke of Weissenfels and the Marquis of Schwedt. If you do not choose, you and Wilhelmina may prepare for Oranienburg, where you shall suffer the just penalty of mutiny against the authority set over you by God and men.

Just at the break of day of Thursday morning, September 30, as the king was in his tent, busy with his generals, examining maps in preparation for the immediate resumption of the march, an orderly came, in breathless haste, to inform the king that the Austrians were advancing rapidly upon him, and in great force. While he was yet speaking another messenger arrived, confirming the tidings, and stating that, apparently, the whole Austrian army, in battle array, was coming down upon him.

The Prussians, writes Carlyle, tramp on with the usual grim-browed resolution, foot in front, horse in rear. But they have a terrible problem at that Kesselsdorf, with its retrenched batteries and numerous grenadiers fighting under cover. The very ground is sore against them; up-hill, and the trampled snow wearing into a slide, so that you sprawl and stagger sadly. Thirty-one big guns, and near nine thousand small, pouring out mere death on you from that knoll-head. The Prussians stagger; can not stand; bend to rightward to get out of shot range; can not manage it this bout. Rally, re-enforced; try it again. Again with a will; but again there is not a way. The Prussians are again repulsed; fall back down this slippery course in more disorder than the first time. Had the Saxons stood still, steadily handling arms, how, on such terms, could the Prussians have ever managed it?90 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.

When did you get rid of your guests? inquired the king.