少吃牛肉,减排又救命

FREDERICK AND WILHELMINA.

On the 20th of April, Frederick, having secretly placed his army in the best possible condition, commenced a rapid march upon Prague, thus plunging into the very heart of Bohemia. He advanced in three great columns up the valley of the Elbe and the Moldau. His movements were so rapid and unexpected that he seized several Austrian magazines which they had not even time to burn. Three months provisions were thus obtained for412 his whole army. The first column, under the king, was sixty thousand strong. The second column, led by General Bevern, numbered twenty-three thousand, horse and foot. The third, under Marshal Schwerin, counted thirty-two thousand foot and twelve thousand horse. On the 2d of May the banners of Frederick were seen from the steeples of Prague. They appeared floating from the heights of the Weissenberg, a few miles west of the city. At the same time, the other two columns, which had united under Marshal Schwerin, appeared on the east side of the Moldau, upon both banks of which the city is built.

As General Daun approached the city, the Prussian general who had been left in command of the small garrison there sent word to him that, should he menace Dresden with his forces, the Prussian commander would be under the necessity of setting fire to the suburbs, as a measure of self-defense. Daun, expostulating vehemently against so cruel an act, regardless of the menace, approached the city on the 9th of November, and at midnight commenced rearing his batteries for the bombardment. In the mean time the Prussian general had filled many of the largest houses with combustibles. As the clock struck three in the morning the torch was applied. The unhappy inhabitants had but three hours notice that their houses were to be surrendered to destruction. Instantly the flames burst forth with terrific fury in all directions. Sir Andrew Mitchel, who witnessed the conflagration, writes: But at length one of the counselors, Baron Borck, urged the following consideration: Swords will be the weapons used. Your majesty has been very sick, is now weak, and also crippled with gout. The King of England is in health and vigor. There is great danger that your majesty may be worsted in the combat. That would render matters tenfold worse. 430 Frederick reached Leipsic on the 26th of October. The allied forces were rapidly concentrating in overwhelming numbers around him. On the 30th the king marched to the vicinity of Lutzen, where he encamped for the night. General Soubise, though in command of a force outnumbering that of the Prussians nearly three to one, retreated rapidly to the west before Frederick, and crossed the River Saale. Frederick followed, and effected the passage of the stream with but little opposition.

A week after the arrival of the prince the Prussian king entered the camp. As it was expected that some remarkable feats of war would be exhibited in the presence of the king, under the leadership of the renowned Prince Eugene, a very large assemblage of princes and other distinguished personages was collected on the field. The king remained for a month, dwelling in a161 tent among his own troops, and sharing all their hardships. He, with his son, attended all the councils of war. Still no attempt was made to relieve Philipsburg. The third day after the kings arrival the city surrendered to the French. The campaign continued for some time, with unavailing man?uvring on both sides of the Rhine; but the Crown Prince saw but little active service. About the middle of August the king left the camp to return home. His health was seriously impaired, and alarming symptoms indicated that he had not long to live. His journey was slow and painful. Gout tortured him. Dropsy threatened to strangle him. He did not reach home until the middle of September. The alarming state of the kings health added very much to the importance of the Crown Prince. It was evident that ere long he must come into power. The following characteristic anecdote is related of the king during this illness: Rambonet presented the peremptory missive, and waited forty-eight hours for the answer. He then returned to Wesel without any satisfactory reply. Frederick immediately issued a manifesto, declaring the reasons for his action, and ordered two thousand men, horse and foot, who were all ready for the emergence, to advance immediately to Maaseyk, one of the principal towns of the bishop, take possession of it and of the surrounding region, quarter themselves upon the people, enforce liberal contributions, and remain there until the bishop should come to terms.34

Order me, your majesty, said General Saldern, to attack the enemy and his batteries, and I will cheerfully, on the instant, obey; but I can not, I dare not, act against honor, oath, and duty. For this commission your majesty will easily find another person in my stead.

Hof, July 2, 1734, not long after 4 A.M.

When Fritz was seven years of age, he was taken from the care of his female teachers and placed under tutors who had been carefully selected for him. They were all military officers who had won renown on fields of blood. The first of these was M. Duhan, a French gentleman of good birth and acquirements. He was but thirty years of age. By his accomplishments he won the esteem, and by his amiability the love, of his pupil. Count Finkenstein, the second, was a veteran general, sixty years old, who also secured the affections of little Fritz. Colonel Kalkstein was twenty-eight years of age. He was a thorough soldier and a man of honor. For forty years, until his death, he retained the regards of his pupil, who was ever accustomed to speak of him as my master Kalkstein. In the education of the young32 prince every thing was conducted in accordance with the most inflexible routine. From the minute directions given to the teachers in a document drawn up by the father, bunglingly expressed and wretchedly spelled, we cull out the following:

This I would not do; my awe was too great. They thereupon laid hands upon me. One took me by the right arm, another by the left, and led me to the garden. Having got me there, they looked out for the king. He was among the gardeners examining some rare plant, and had his back to us. Here I had to halt. The officers began in an under tone to put me382 through my drill. Take your hat under your left arm; put your right foot foremost; breast well forward; hold your head up; hold your papers aloft in your right hand; there, sosteadysteady!

During all the day of Wednesday weeping friends stood around the bed, as the lamp of life flickered in its socket. Every moment it was expected that the emperor would breathe his last. At two oclock the next morning the spirit took its flight, and the lifeless clay alone remained. The grief-stricken empress closed the eyes of her departed husband, kissed his hands, and was carried out more dead than alive. Thus ended the male line of the house of Hapsburg, after five centuries of royal sway. The emperor died on the 20th of October 1740, in the fifty-sixth year of his age.

Distinguished strangers were often admitted to the Tabagie. The Crown Prince Fritz was occasionally present, though always reluctantly. The other children of this numerous family not unfrequently came in to bid papa good-night. Here every thing was talked of, with entire freedom, all court gossip, the adventures of the chase, diplomacy, and the administrative measures of the government. Frederick William had but very little respect for academic culture. He had scarcely the slightest acquaintance with books, and gathered around him mainly men whose knowledge was gained in the practical employments of life. It would seem, from many well-authenticated anecdotes, which have come down to us from the Tabagie, that these smoking companions of the king, like Frederick William himself, must have been generally a coarse set of men.