预报更准确  服务更贴心

I got to Berneck at ten. The heat was excessive. I found myself quite worn out with the little journey I had taken. I alighted at the house which had been got ready for my brother. We waited for him, and in vain waited till three in the afternoon. At three we lost patience; had dinner served without157 him. While we were at table there came on a frightful thunder-storm. I have witnessed nothing so terrible. The thunder roared and reverberated among the rocky cliffs which begirdle Berneck, and it seemed as if the world were going to perish. A deluge of rain succeeded the thunder.

Asking me for peace is indeed a bitter joke. It is to Louis XV. you must address yourself, or to his Amboise in petticoats.129 But these people have their heads filled with ambitious projects. They wish to be the sovereign arbiters of sovereigns. That is what persons of my way of thinking will by no means put up with. I like peace as much as you could wish, but I want it good, solid, and honorable. Socrates or Plato would have thought as I do on this subject had they found themselves in the accursed position which is mine in the world.

A few days afterward, in an official document, she writes: I consent, since so many great and learned men will have it so. But long after I am dead, it will be known what this violating of all that was hitherto held sacred and just will give rise to.187

From the church the prince was conducted, not back to his prison in the fortress, but to a town mansion, which was assigned as his residence. His sword was restored to him. But he was still not fully liberated. Officials, appointed by his father, surrounded him, who watched and reported all his movements. The first act of the young prince, upon reaching his apartment after this partial liberation, was to write as follows to his father. We give the letter as translated by Carlyle:

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.

Frederick cautiously refused to sign his name to any paper. Verbally, he agreed that in one week from that time, on the 16th, General Neipperg should have liberty to retire to the south through the mountains, unmolested save by sham attacks in his rear. A small garrison was to be left in Neisse. After maintaining a sham siege for a fortnight, they were to surrender the291 city. Sham hostilities, to deceive the French, were to be continued until the year was out, and then a treaty was to be signed and ratified.

Adieu! my adorable sister. I am so tired I can not stir, having left on Tuesday night, or rather Wednesday morning, at three oclock, from a ball at Monbijou, and arrived here this Friday morning at four. I recommend myself to your gracious remembrance, and am, for my own part, till death, dearest sister, your

Frederick, not willing utterly to destroy the city, which he wished to preserve for himself, and perhaps, though no word of his indicates it, influenced by some sympathy for the seven thousand unoffending inhabitants of the place, men, women, and children, very many of whom were Protestants, who were suffering far more from the missiles of war than the Austrian garrison, arrested the fire of his batteries, and decided to convert the siege into a blockade. His own troops were suffering much in the bleak fields swept by the gales of winter. The whole of Silesia was in his hands excepting the small towns of Brieg, Glogau, and Neisse. These were so closely invested that neither food nor re-enforcements could be introduced to them. Should they hold out until spring, Frederick could easily then, aided by the warm weather, break open their gates.

The hereditary prince came in while we were talking, and earnestly entreated my brother to get him away from Baireuth. They went to a window and talked a long time together. My brother told me he would write a letter to the margraf, and give him such reasons in favor of the campaign that he doubted not it would turn the scale. He promised to obtain the kings express leave to stop at Baireuth on his return, after which he went away. It was the last time I saw him on the old footing with me. He has much changed since then. We returned to Baireuth, where I was so ill that for three days they did not think I should get over it.

Frederick had caused signal cannon to be placed at suitable points between Breslau and Strehlin, which, by transmitting reports, should give him as early intelligence as possible of the success of the enterprise. About noon, in the midst of the grand man?uvrings on the parade-ground, one distant cannon-shot was heard, to the great satisfaction of Frederick, who alone understood its significance.

Dickens at length ventured to ask the king directly, What shall I write to England?