Partez, ma s?ur, partez; La Sude vous attend, la Sude vous dsire. Frederick was now in imminent danger of being assailed by a coalition of Austria, Russia, Poland, and England. Indeed, it was by no means certain that France might not also join the alliance. All this was the result of Fredericks great crime in wresting Silesia from Austria. Such was the posture of affairs when, in the summer of 1755, Frederick decided to take a trip into Holland incognito. He disguised himself with a black wig, and assumed the character of a musician of the King of Poland. At Amsterdam he embarked for Utrecht in the common passage-boat. The king mingled with the other passengers without any one suspecting his rank. There chanced to be in the boat a young Swiss gentleman, Henry de Catt, twenty-seven years of age. He was a teacher, taking a short tour for recreation. He gives the following account of his interview with the king, whom, at the time, he had no reason to suppose was other than an ordinary passenger. We give the narrative in his own words:

And you, sir, responded the king, with an air of great disdain, at the same time placing in his hand the cardinals letter, do you dare to talk to me in this manner?

His wintry ride, a defeated monarch leaving a shattered army behind him, must have been dark and dreary. He had already exhausted nearly all the resources which his father, Frederick William, had accumulated. His army was demoralized, weakened, and his materiel of war greatly impaired. His subjects were already heavily taxed. Though practicing the most rigid economy, with his eye upon every expenditure, his disastrous Bohemian campaign had cost him three hundred and fifty thousand dollars a month. The least sum with which he could commence a new campaign for the protection of Silesia was four million five hundred thousand dollars. He had already melted up the sumptuous plate, and the massive silver balustrades and balconies where his father had deposited so much solid treasure.

And you, sir, responded the king, with an air of great disdain, at the same time placing in his hand the cardinals letter, do you dare to talk to me in this manner? Frederick, in describing this interview, writes: Augustus answered yes to every thing, with an air of being convinced, joined to a look of great ennui. Count Brühl,61 whom this interview displeased, interrupted it by announcing to his majesty that the Opera was about to commence. Ten kingdoms to conquer would not have kept the King of Poland a minute longer. He went, therefore, to the Opera; and the King of Prussia obtained at once, in spite of those who opposed it, a final decision.62

The battle of Rossbach was fought on the 5th of November, 1757. Frederick had but little time to rejoice over his victory. The Austrians were overrunning Silesia. On the 14th of the month, the important fortress of Schweidnitz, with all its magazines, fell into their hands. Then Prince Charles, with sixty thousand Austrian troops, marched upon Breslau, the principal city of Silesia, situated on the Oder. The Prince of Bevern held the place with a little over twenty thousand Prussian troops. His army was strongly intrenched outside of the walls, under the guns of the city.

Thus affairs continued through the winter. There were two frostbitten armies facing each other on the bleak plains. With apparently not much to be gained in presenting this front of defiance,496 each party breasted the storms and the freezing gales, alike refusing to yield one inch of ground.

I am firmly resolved on the utmost efforts to save my country. Happy the moment when I took to training myself in philosophy. There is nothing else that can sustain a soul in a situation like mine. I spread out to you, my dear sister, the detail of my sorrows. If these things regarded myself only, I could stand it with composure. But I am the bound guardian of the happiness of a people which has been put under my charge. There lies the sting of it. And I shall have to reproach myself with every fault if, by delay or by overhaste, I occasion the smallest accident.

This ode, an irrepressible extempore effusion, as he termed it, the royal poet forwarded to DArgens. The day but one after writing this, General Daun, having effectually surrounded General Finck with nearly fifty thousand men of the allied troopsnearly four to oneafter a severe conflict, compelled the surrender of his whole army. The following plan of the battle of Maxen will show how completely Finck was encircled. General Daun claimed that he marched back into Dresden, as prisoners of war, eight generals, five hundred and twenty-nine officers, and fifteen thousand privates, with all their equipments and appurtenances.141 The next day, the 22d, Frederick wrote to DArgens:

These men, of the highest distinction, were treated with every indignity to extort the money from them. They were incarcerated in gloomy dungeons, with straw only for their beds, and with bread and water only for their food. But even this severity was unavailing. Seventeen were then selected from their number, and were informed that they were to be forced into the ranks as common soldiers. Their muskets and their knapsacks were given to them, and they were ordered to Magdeburg to be drilled. By this application of torture the money was obtained. And now, while the storms of winter were sweeping the frozen fields, both parties were gathering their strength anew for the struggle of the sixth campaign.

Your excellency does not know that wily enemy, the King of Prussia, as well as I do. By no means get into a battle with him. Cautiously man?uvre about. Detain him there till I have got my stroke in Saxony done. Dont try fighting him.

As God often, by wondrous guidance, strange paths, and thorny steps, will bring men into the kingdom of Christ, so may our divine Redeemer help that this prodigal son be brought into his communion; that his godless heart be beaten until it is softened and changed, and so he be snatched from the claws of Satan. This grant us, the Almighty God and Father, for our Lord Jesus Christ and his passion and deaths sake. Amen.