第十四届MAHB年度先生盛典在京启幕 群星璀璨

But the ever-vigilant Frederick had smuggled a false sister into the society of the Catholic ladies, who kept him informed of every measure that was proposed. At the very hour when Frederick was dining with the two English ministers, and making282 himself so merry with jests and banter, he was aware that General Neipperg, with the whole Austrian army, was crossing the River Neisse, on the march, by a route thirty miles west of his encampment, to take Breslau by surprise. But he had already adopted effectual measures to thwart their plans.

Frederick exposed himself like a common soldier. Indeed, it sometimes seems that, in the desperate state of his affairs, he sought the fatal bullet. All his efforts against the Austrians were in vain. The Prussians were repulsed with dreadful slaughter. After losing fourteen thousand men in killed, wounded, and prisoners, forty-five cannon, and twenty-two flags, Frederick was compelled to order a retreat. His magnificent regiment of guards, one thousand in number, picked men, undoubtedly the best body of troops in the world, was almost annihilated. The loss of the Austrians was about nine thousand men. They were so accustomed to be defeated by Frederick that they were equally surprised and delighted by this dearly-earned victory. The following plan will give the military reader an idea of the position of the hostile forces. And thus the king passed from regiment to regiment. Perhaps no commander, excepting Napoleon, has ever secured to an equal degree the love of his soldiers. It is said that a deserter was brought before him. Early in June, the cautious but ever-vigilant General Daun succeeded in throwing into Olmütz a re-enforcement of eleven hundred Austrian troops. They were guided by peasants through by-paths in the forests. Crossing the river some miles below Olmütz, they entered the city from the east.

a a a. Russian Army. b b. Austrians, under Loudon. c c. Russian Abatis. d. Russian Wagenburg. e e. Position of Prussian Army Evening of 11th. f f. Vanguard, under Finck. g. Prussian Heavy Baggage. h. Attack of Prussian Grenadiers. i i. Prussian main Army. k k. Fincks Line of Attack.

Frederick.

Through the efforts of Maria Theresa there was another brief conference, but it amounted to nothing. Neither party wished for war. But Austria craved the annexation of Bavaria, and Frederick was determined that Austria should not thus be enlarged.557 Thus the summer passed away in unavailing diplomacy and in equally unavailing military man?uvrings. While engaged in these adventures, Frederick received the tidings of the death of Voltaire, who breathed his last on the 20th of May, 1778. The soul of Frederick was too much seared by lifes stern conflicts to allow him to manifest, or probably to feel, any emotion on the occasion. He, however, wrote a eulogy upon the renowned littrateur, which, though written by a royal pen, attracted but little attention.

On the 6th of July, the trunk having arrived, the volume of poems was recovered and Voltaire was allowed to go on his way. His pen, dipped in gall, was an instrument which even a monarch might fear. It inflicted wounds upon the reputation of Frederick which will probably never be healed. Four years passed away, during which Voltaire and Frederick were almost entirely strangers to each other.

And would you regard with the same indifference, M. DArget rejoined, seeing us at the gates of Vienna?

Two days before Frederick reached Brieg, a column of his army, under General Schwerin, which had advanced by a line parallel to the Oder, but several miles to the west, encountering no opposition, reached Ottmachau, a considerable town with a strong castle on the River Neisse. This was near the extreme southern border of Silesia. The Austrian commander, General Browne, had placed here also a garrison of sixteen hundred men,232 with orders not to yield upon any terms, for that re-enforcements should be speedily sent to them. A slight conflict ensued. Twelve of the Prussians were killed. This was the first blood which was shed. A delay of three days took place, when four cannon were brought up, and the gates, both of the town and of the castle, were blown open. The garrison offered to withdraw upon the terms proposed in the summons to surrender. The king was sent for to obtain his decision. He rebuked the garrison sternly, and held all as prisoners of war. The officers were sent to Cüstrin, the common soldiers to Berlin.

Wilhelmina well understood that her brother contemplated running away, escaping, if possible, to England. We have mentioned that the young prince, after his return from Dresden, had become quite dissipated. The companions he chose were wild young army officers of high birth, polished address, and, in godless lives, fashionable men of the world. Lieutenant Katte was a genteel man of pleasure. Another of his bosom companions, Lieutenant Keith, a young man of illustrious lineage, was also a very undesirable associate for any young man whose principles71 of virtue were not established.8 Of Keith and Katte, the two most intimate friends of Fritz, Wilhelmina writes, about this time:

Thus was commenced the Seven Years War. It proved one of the most bloody and cruel strifes which man has ever waged against his brother man. Through its terrible scenes of conflagration, blood, and despair, Frederick obtained the renown of being one of the ablest generals who ever marshaled armies upon fields of blood.

Your excellency was right to warn me against a cunning enemy whom you know better than I. Here have I tried fighting him, and have got beaten. Your unfortunate