消费维权简报(2020年2月11日

92 The royal yachts glided down the Main to the Rhine, and thence down the Rhine to Wesel. Probably a heavier heart than that of the prince never floated upon that world-renowned stream. Lost in painful musings, he had no eye to gaze upon the picturesque scenes of mountain, forest, castle, and ruins through which they were gliding. At Bonn he had an interview with Seckendorf, whose influence was great with his father, and whom he hoped to interest in his favor. To him he said,

Voltaire has given a detailed account of the incidents connected with this visit to his Prussian majesty. It is a humiliating exhibition of the intrigues and insincerity which animated the prominent actors in those scenes. Kaunitz, the Austrian prime minister, was by no means prepared for this decisive action. In less than a week Frederick had one hundred thousand soldiers on the frontiers. Austria had not ten thousand there to meet them. Kaunitz, quite alarmed, assumed a supplicatory tone, and called for negotiation.

On came the Russians in ever-increasing numbers. Fredericks484 heavy artillery, each piece drawn by twelve horses, could not be brought forward through the bogs, and the entangling woods, and over the rugged heights. Though the Prussians fought with all the energies mortal valor could inspire, and though the king flew from post to post of peril and of death, animating his troops by voice and gesture, and by his own reckless courage, it was all in vain. Hope soon died in all hearts. The king was heard despairingly to exclaim, Is there not one bullet which can reach me, then?

Compact as a wall, and with an incredible velocity, Seidlitz, in the blaze of rapid steel, is in upon them. From the first it was manifest that the destruction of the advance-guard was certain. The Prussian cavalry slashed through it again and again, throwing it into inextricable disorder. In less than half an hour this important portion of the allied troops was put to utter rout, tumbling off the ground, plunging down hill in full flight, across its own infantry, or whatever obstacle, Seidlitz on the hips of it, and galloping madly over the horizon. It afflicted me a little that the king still has doubts of me, while I am obeying in such a matter diametrically opposite to my own ideas. In what way shall I offer stronger proofs? I may give myself to the devil, it will be to no purpose. Nothing but the old song over again, doubt on doubt. Dont imagine I am going to disoblige the duke, the duchess, or the daughter, I beseech you. I know too well what is due to them, and too much respect their merits, not to observe the strictest rules of what is proper, even if I hated their progeny and them like the pestilence.

The Crown Prince, with what degree of sincerity we know not, was now in tears. Prostrating himself before his majesty, he kissed his feet. The king, much moved, was in tears also, and retired to another room.

Forgive me, your majesty, General Saldern replied, but this is contrary to my honor and my oath.

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.

The king, after his apparent reconciliation with Fritz, granted him a little more liberty. He was appointed to travel over and carefully inspect several of the crown domains. He was ordered to study thoroughly the practical husbandry of those domainshow they were to be plowed, enriched, and sown. He was also to devote his attention to the rearing of cattle; to the preparing of malt and the brewing of ale. Useful discourse, said the king, is to be kept up with him on these journeys, pointing out why this is and that, and whether it could not be better. On the 22d of September the Crown Prince wrote to his father as follows:

The garrison retired to avoid capture. Berlin surrendered on the morning of October 9th. For three days the enemy held the city. The semi-barbaric soldiers committed fearful outrages. The soldiers sacked the kings palaces at Potsdam and Charlottenburg, smashing furniture, doors, windows, mirrors, statuary, cutting the pictures, and maltreating the inmates.