邻邦扫描:韩军将裁军7.9万人 韩研制石墨炸弹可摧毁电网(5)

The king having breathed his last, Frederick, in tears, retired to a private room, there to reflect upon the sad receding past, and upon the opening future, with the vast responsibilities thus suddenly thrown upon him. He was now King of Prussia; and not only absolute master of himself, but absolute monarch over a realm containing two millions two hundred and forty thousand souls. He was restrained by no Parliament, no Constitution, no customs or laws superior to his own resolves. He could take advice of others, and call energetic men to his aid, but his will alone was sovereign.

Wilhelmina.

The queen, looking reproachfully at Grumkow, remarked, I know full well to whom I owe all this. She then excused herself, saying that she was not well, and retired to her apartment. There she communicated to the anxious Wilhelmina the cruel message of the king. Sophie Dorothee then wrote a very earnest letter to Queen Caroline, the wife of George II., imploring that all obstacles in the way of the marriage of Wilhelmina with the Prince of Wales might be withdrawn. The idea of marriage with either Weissenfels or Schwedt was dreadful. But, on the other hand, the wrath of the king, the divorce of the queen, and75 the imprisonment of both mother and daughter in the chateau of Oranienburg, were also dreadful. Fritz was taken into the councils of his mother and sister. It was decided that he should also write to his aunt, urging his suit for the Princess Amelia. It is true that George II. was ready to accede to this marriage, but Frederick William threw obstacles in the way. It was probably the hope of Fritz to secure Amelia, notwithstanding his fathers opposition. The ready pen of Wilhelmina was employed to draft the letter, which her brother submissively copied. As it was not probable, in the intricacies in which the question was now involved, that both marriages could take place together, Fritz wrote pleading for the marriage of Wilhelmina at once, pledging his word that he would remain faithful to the Princess Amelia.

Among the women were many of distinction, who had neither shoes nor stockings, nor hardly any thing else on, thinking only of saving their lives. When I had seen my family in the open field, I endeavored to return and save something, if possible, but in vain. I could not force my way through the multitude of people thronging out at the gate, some few with horses and carriages, and others with the sick and bedridden on their backs. The bombs and red-hot balls fell so thick that all thought themselves happy if they could but escape with their lives.

The leader of an Austrian band of five hundred dragoons was on the watch. As the detachment of one hundred and fifty horse approached Baumgarten, the Austrians, from their ambuscade, plunged upon them. There was a short, sharp conflict, when the Prussians fled, leaving ten dead, sixteen prisoners, one standard, and two kettle-drums in the hands of the victors. The king had just sat down at the dinner-table, when he heard, at the distance of a few miles, the tumult of the musketry. He sprang from the table, hurriedly mustered a small force of forty hussars and fifty foot, and hastened toward the scene. Arriving at the field, he found it silent and deserted, and the ten men lying242 dead upon it. The victorious Austrians, disappointed in not finding the king, bore their spoils in triumph to Vienna. It was a very narrow escape for Frederick. Had he then been captured it might have changed the history of Europe, and no one can tell the amount of blood and woe which would have been averted.

521 This letter was extensively circulated in England. It was greatly admired. It so happened that the court was then looking around for a bride for their young king. The result was that in the course of a few months Charlotte became Queen of England, as the wife of George III.