类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-08-09 02:25:19


The king, as usual, was merciless to General Finck. As soon as he returned from Austrian captivity he was tried by court-martial, and condemned to a year’s imprisonment in the fortress of Spandau, and was expelled from the army. He afterward retired to Denmark, where he was kindly received.

The annoyances to which Wilhelmina was exposed, while thus preparing for her wedding, must have been almost unendurable. Not only her mother was thus persistent and implacable in her hostility, but her father reluctantly submitted to the connection. He had fully made up his mind, with all the strength of his inflexible will, that Wilhelmina should marry either the Margrave of Schwedt or the Duke of Weissenfels. It was with extreme reluctance, and greatly to his chagrin, that the stern old man131 found himself constrained, perhaps for the first time in his life, to yield to others.

“What do you mean?” exclaimed the king, with an air of real or affected surprise. Then, turning to his secretary, M. Podewils, he inquired, “How much of Guelderland is theirs, and not ours already?”

“The difficulties I had last campaign were almost infinite, there were such a multitude of enemies acting against me. Pomerania, Brandenburg, Saxony, frontiers of Silesia, were alike in danger, and often all at one time. If I escaped absolute destruction, I must impute it chiefly to the misconduct of my enemies, who gained such advantages, but had not the sense to follow them up. Experience often corrects people of their blunders. I can not expect to profit by any thing of that kind on their part in the course of this campaign.”148General Daun was soon informed of this energetic movement. He instantly placed himself at the head of sixty thousand troops, and also set out, at his highest possible speed, for Glatz.

The day in which the treaty was signed Frederick wrote to the Marquis D’Argens as follows: “The best thing I have now to tell you of, my dear marquis, is the peace. And it is right that the good citizens and the public should rejoice at it. For me, poor old man that I am, I return to a town where I know nothing but the walls, where I find no longer any of my friends, where great and laborious duties await me, and where I shall soon lay my old bones in an asylum which can neither be troubled by war, by calamities, nor by the wickedness of men.”England furnished him with a subsidy of about four million dollars. He immediately melted this coin, gold and silver, and adulterated it with about half copper, thus converting his four476 millions into nominally eight millions. But a few weeks of such operations as he was engaged in would swallow up all this. The merciless conscription, grasping nearly every able-bodied man, destroyed nearly all the arts of industry. The Prussian realms, thus impoverished by war’s ravages and taxation, could furnish the king with very meagre supplies. When the king invaded any portion of the territory of the allies, he wrenched from the beggared people every piece of money which violence or terror could extort. Wealthy merchants were thrown into prison, and fed upon bread and water until they yielded. The most terrible severities were practiced to extort contributions from towns which had been stripped and stripped again. Still violence could wrench but little from the skinny hand of beggary. These provinces, swept by war’s surges year after year, were in the most deplorable state of destitution and misery.



“Think you there is any pleasure in living this dog’s life, in seeing and causing the butchery of people you know nothing of, in losing daily those you do know and love, in seeing perpetually your reputation exposed to the caprices of chance, passing year after year in disquietudes and apprehensions, in risking without end your life and your fortune?Ruppin, where the Crown Prince continued to reside for several years, was a small, dull town of about two thousand inhabitants. The only life it exhibited was found in the music and drillings of the garrison. The only important event in its history was the removal of the Crown Prince there. Of what is called society there was none. The hamlet was situated in the midst of a flat, marshy country, most of it quite uncultivated. The region abounded in peat bogs, and dark, still lakes, well stocked with fish.

“My lord, there seems to be a contradiction in all this. The King of England, in his letter, tells me you are instructed as to every thing, and yet you pretend ignorance. But I am perfectly informed of all. And I should not be surprised if, after all these fine words, you should receive some strong letter or resolution for me.” Then, turning to his secretary, he added, sarcastically, “Write down that my lord would be surprised to receive such instruction.The king, Frederick I., had for some time been in a feeble state of health. The burden of life had proved heavier than he was able to bear. His wife was crazed, his home desolate, his health broken, and many mortifications and disappointments had so crushed his spirits that he had fallen into the deepest state of melancholy. As he was sitting alone and sad in a chill morning of February, 1713, gazing into the fire, absorbed in painful musings, suddenly there was a crash of the glass door of the apartment. His frenzied wife, half-clad, with disheveled hair,23 having escaped from her keepers, came bursting through the shattered panes. Her arms were gashed with glass, and she was in the highest state of maniacal excitement. The shock proved a death-blow to the infirm old king. He was carried to his bed, which he never left, dying in a few days. His grandson Frederick was then fourteen months old.Thus originated with the Empress Catharine, one hundred years ago, the idea of driving the Turks out of Europe, and of annexing Constantinople to her majestic empire. From that time until now the question has been increasingly agitating the courts of Europe. Every day, now, the “Eastern Question” is assuming greater importance. The following map very clearly shows the commanding position of Constantinople, and the immense strength, both in a military and a commercial point of view, it would give to the Russian empire.


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