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Lairs mus par le bruyant tonnere. Frederick withdrew his troops into strong cantonments in the valley of the upper Elbe. This beautiful river takes its rise in romantic chasms, among the ridges and spurs of the Giant Mountains, on the southeastern borders of Silesia. Here the Prussian army was distributed in small towns along a line following the windings of the stream, about forty miles in length. All the troops could be concentrated in forty-eight hours. The encampments faced the south, with the Elbe behind them. At some little distance north of the river, safe from surprise, the magazines were stationed. The mountains of Bohemia rose sublimely306 in the distant background. In a letter to M. Jordan, under date of Chrudim, May 5th, 1742, Frederick expresses his views of this profitless campaign in the following terms:

The next morning, taking with him a small escort, and leaving his army to follow with as much speed as possible, he rode rapidly down the western bank of the Oder to G?rgast, where he had an encampment of about fifteen thousand Prussian troops. At five oclock in the morning of Tuesday the two bands were united. He now had at his command thirty thousand men.456 Cüstrin was on the eastern bank of the Oder, near the confluence of the Warta. A few miles below Cüstrin, at Schaumburg, there were portions of a bridge across the Oder. Here the Russians had erected a redoubt. Frederick ordered a violent attack upon that redoubt. During the night, while the attention of the Russians was occupied by the assault, Frederick marched his army twelve miles farther down the river, and crossed, without any loss, at Güstebiese. His baggage train he left, carefully guarded, on the western bank of the river.

The king, writes Stille, though fatigued, would not rest satisfied with reports or distant view. Personally he made the tour of the whole camp, to see that every thing was right, and posted the pickets himself before retiring.

Frederick, having completed the investment of Glogau, cutting off all its supplies, left a sufficient detachment there to starve the city into submission. There were about seven thousand inhabitants within the wallsa much-enduring, frugal, pious, and very desirable people. As it was probable that the feeble garrison, after a brief show of resistance, would surrender, Frederick hastened in person, with all his remaining available troops, toward Breslau, the capital of Silesia. On the 27th he wrote to M. Jordan: I flatter myself that now nothing will be wanting of that valor which the state has a right to expect of you. The hour is436 at hand. I should feel that I had accomplished nothing were I to leave Silesia in the hands of Austria. Let me then apprise you that I intend to attack Prince Charless army, which is nearly thrice the strength of our own, wherever I can find it. It matters not what are his numbers, or what the strength of his position. All this by courage and by skill we will try to overcome. This step I must risk, or all is lost. We must beat the enemy, or perish before his batteries. If there be any one who shrinks from sharing these dangers with me, he can have his discharge this evening.

There were dinner-parties, and military reviews, and operas to beguile the time. The interview lasted three days. The king and the emperor often walked out arm in arm. Frederick wrote:

In September, 1749, Madame Du Chatelet, the divine Emilie of Voltaire, suddenly died. The infidel philosopher seemed much grieved for a time. Frederick, who never fancied Madame Du Chatelet, was the more eager, now that she was out of the way, that Voltaire should come to Sans Souci, and aid him in his literary labors. A trivial incident occurred at this time worthy of record, as illustrative of the character of the king. At the close of the year 1749 there had been a review of Austrian troops at M?hren. It was not a very important affair, neither the empress queen nor her husband being present. Three380 Prussian officers made their appearance. It was said that they had come to inveigle soldiers to desert, and enlist under the banners of Prussia. They were peremptorily ordered by the Austrian authorities to leave the ground. Frederick, when he heard of it, said nothing, but treasured it up.

On Sunday he is to rise at seven oclock, and, as soon as he has got his slippers on, shall kneel at his bedside and pray to God, so as all in the room may hear, in these words:

Wilhelmina, with flooded eyes, entered her carriage, bidding a final adieu to the home of her childhood, where she had passed through so many scenes, eventful and afflictive. Though she afterward visited Berlin, it was her home no more. The Crown Prince returned to Cüstrin, where he impatiently awaited his future destinies.

But it is time to end this long, dreary letter. I have had some leisure, and have used it to open to you a heart filled with admiration and gratitude toward you. Yes, my adorable sister, if Providence troubled itself about human affairs, you ought to be the happiest person in the universe. Your not being such confirms me in the sentiments expressed in my epistle.

Dr. Zimmermann, whose work on Solitude had given him some renown, had been sent for to administer to the illustrious patient. His prescriptions were of no avail. On the 10th of August, 1786, Frederick wrote to his sister, the Duchess Dowager of Brunswick:

The general voice of history has severely condemned the Prussian king for this invasion of Silesia. Frederick probably217 owed his life to the interposition of the father of Maria Theresa, when the young prince was threatened with the scaffold by his own father. Prussia was bound by the most solemn guarantees to respect the integrity of the Austrian states. There was seemingly a great want of magnanimity in taking advantage of the extreme youth, inexperience, and delicate health of the young queen, who was also embarrassed by an empty treasury and a weakened and undisciplined army. Frederick had also made, in his Anti-Machiavel, loud protestations of his love of justice and magnanimity. Mr. Carlyle, while honestly stating these facts, still does not blame Frederick for seizing the opportunity which the death of the emperor presented for him to enlarge his dominions by plundering the domain of Maria Theresa.

Frederick, having cantoned his troops at Freiberg and its vicinity, on the 27th of November wrote again to the Countess of Camas: