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generous feelings. Her mind, naturally strong of all the campaigns of this fearful war, had and observant, had been highly cultivated; and she was, and deserved to be, Frederic's favourite sister. He felt the loss as much as it was in his iron nature to feel the loss of any thing but a province or a battle.
now opened. The Austrians filled Saxony, and menaced Berlin. The Russians defeated the king's generals on the Oder, threatened Silesia, effected a junction with Laudohn, and intrenched themselves strongly at Kunersdorf. At Breslau, during the winter, he was in- Frederic hastened to attack them. A great defatigable in his poetical labours. The most battle was fought. During the earlier part of spirited lines, perhaps, that he ever wrote, are the day every thing yielded to the impetuosity to be found in a bitter lampoon on Louis and of the Prussians, and to the skill of their chief. Madame de Pompadour, which he composed The lines were forced. Half the Russian guns at this time, and sent to Voltaire. The verses were taken. The king sent off a courier to were, indeed, so good, that Voltaire was afraid Berlin with two lines, announcing a complete that he might himself be suspected of having victory. But, in the mean time, the stubborn written them, or at least of having corrected Russians, defeated yet unproken, had taken up them; and partly from fright—partly, we fear, their stand in an almost impregnable position, from love of mischief-sent them to the Duke on an eminence where the Jews of Frankfort of Choiseul, then prime minister of France. were wont to bury their dead. Here the battle Choiseul very wisely determined to encounter recommenced. The Prussian infantry, exFrederic at Frederic's own weapons, and ap-hausted by six hours of hard fighting under a plied for assistance to Palissot, who had some sun which equalled the tropical heat, were yet skill as a versifier, and who, though he had brought up repeatedly to the attack, but in vain. not yet made himself famous by bringing The king led three charges in person. Two Rousseau and Helvetius on the stage, was horses were killed under him. The officers of known to possess some little talent for satire. his staff fell all around him. His coat was Palissot produced some very stinging lines on pierced by several bullets. All was in vain. the moral and literary character of Frederic, His infantry was driven back with frightfuk and these lines the duke sent to Voltaire. This slaughter. Terror began to spread fast from war of couplets, following close on the carnage man to man. At that moment, the fiery cavalry of Zorndorf and the conflagration of Dresden, of Laudohn, still fresh, rushed on the wavering illustrates well the strangely compounded cha- ranks. Then followed a universal rout. Freracter of the King of Prussia. deric himself was on the point of falling into the hands of the conquerors, and was with difficulty saved by a gallant officer, who, at the head of a handful of Hussars, made good a diversion of a few minutes. Shattered in body, shattered in mind, the king reached that night a village which the Cossacks had plundered; and there, in a ruined and deserted farm-house, flung himself on a heap of straw. He had sent to Berlin a second despatch very different from his first:-"Let the royal family leave Berlin. Send the archives to Potsdam. The town may make terms with the enemy."
At this moment he was assailed by a new enemy. Benedict XIV., the best and wisest of the two hundred and fifty successors of St. Peter, was no more. During the short interval between his reign and that of his disciple Ganganelli, the chief seat in the Church of Rome was filled by Rezzonico, who took the name of Clement XIII. This absurd priest determined to try what the weight of his authority could offect in favour of the orthodox Maria Theresa against a heretic king. At the high mass on Christmas day, a sword with a rich belt and scabbard, a hat of crimson velvet lined with The defeat was, in truth, overwhelming. Of ermine, and a dove of pearls, the mystic sym- fifty thousand men, who had that morning bol of the Divine Comforter, were solemnly marched under the black eagles, not three blessed by the supreme pontiff, and were sent thousand remained together. The king bewith great ceremony to Marshal Daun, the con- thought him again of his corrosive sublimate, queror of Kolin and Hochkirchen. This mark and wrote to bid adieu to his friends, and to of favour had more than once been bestowed give directions as to the measures to be taken by the Popes on the great champions of the in the event of his death :—“I have no resource faith. Similar honours had been paid, more left"-such is the language of one of his letters than six centuries earlier, by Urban II. to God--" all is lost. I will not survive the ruin of frey of Bouillon. Similar honours had been my country. Farewell forever." conferred on Alba for destroying the liberties of the Low Countries, and on John Sobiesky after the deliverance of Vienna. But the presents which were received with profound reverence by the Baron of the Holy Sepulchre in the eleventh century, and which had not wholly lost their value even in the seventeenth century, appeared inexpressibly ridiculous to a generation which read Montesquieu and Voltaire. Frederic wrote sarcastic verses on the gifts, the giver, and the receiver. But the public wanted no prompter; and a universal roar of laughter from Petersburg to Lisbon reminded the Vatican that the age of crusades
But the mutual jealousies of the confederates prevented them from following up their victory. They lost a few days in loitering and squabbling; and a few days, improved by Frederic, were worth more than the years of other men. On the morning after the battle, he had got together eighteen thousand of his troops. Very soon his force amounted to thirty thousand. Guns were procured from the neighbouring fortresses; and there was again an army. Berlin was for the present safe; but calamities came pouring on the king in uninterrupted succession. One of his generals, with a large body of troops, was taken at Maxen; another was defeated at Meissen: and when at length the campaign of 1750
The fourth campaign, the most disastrous
closed, in the midst of a rigorous winter, the Bituation of Prussia appeared desperate. The only consoling circumstance was, that, in the West, Ferdinand of Brunswick had been more fortunate than his master; and by a series of exploits, of which the battle of Minden was the most glorious, had removed all apprehension of danger on the side of France.
mountains, had been transferred to the Aus trians. The Russians had overpowered the king's generals in Pomerania. The country was so completely desolated that he began, by his own confession, to look round him with blank despair, unable to imagine where recruits, horses, or provisions were to be found
Just at this time two great events brought on a complete change in the relations of al most all the powers of Europe. One of those events was the retirement of Mr. Pitt from office; the other was the death of the Empress Elizabeth of Russia.
The retirement of Pitt seemed to be an omen of utter ruin to the House of Brandenburg. His proud and vehemeat nature was incapable of any thing that looked like either fear or treachery. He had often declared that, while he was in power, England should never make
peace of Utrecht;-should never, for any selfish object, abandon an ally even in the last extremity of distress. The continenta! war was his own war. He had been bold enough he who in former times had attacked, with
The fifth year was now about to commence. It seemed impossible that the Prussian territories, repeatedly devastated by hundreds of thousands of invaders, could longer support the contest. But the king carried on war as no European power has ever carried on war, except the Committee of Public Safety during the great agony of the French Revolution. He governed his kingdom as he would have governed a besicged town, not caring to what extent property was destroyed, or the pursuits of civil life suspended, so that he did but make head against the enemy. As long as there was a man left in Prussia, that man might carry a musket-as long as there was a horse left, that horse might draw artillery. The coin was debased, the civil functionaries were left un-irresistible powers of oratory, the Hanoverian paid; in some provinces civil government policy of Carteret, and the German subsidies altogether ceased to exist. But there were still of Newcastle-to declare that Hanover ought rye-bread and potatoes; there were still lead to be as dear to us as Hampshire, and that he and gunpowder; and, while the means of sus- would conquer America in Germany. He had taining and destroying life remained, Frederic fallen; and the power which he had exercised, was determined to fight it out to the very last. not always with discretion, but always with vigour and genius, had devolved on a favour ite who was the representative of the Tory party-of the party which had thwarted Wil liam, which had persecuted Marlborough, and which had given up the Catalans to the ven geance of Philip of Anjou. To make peace with France-to shake off with all, or more than all, the speed compatible with decency, every Continental connection, these were among the chief objects of the new minister. The policy then followed inspired Frederic with an unjust, but deep and bitter aversion to the English name; and produced effects which are still felt throughout the civilized world. To that policy it was owing that, ome years later, England could not find on the whole Continent a single ally to stand by her, in her extreme need, against the House of Bourbon. To that policy it was owing that Frederic, alienated from England, was compelled to connect himself closely, during his later years, with Russia; and was induced reluctantly to assist in that great crime, the fruitful parent of other great crimes-the first partition of Poland.
The earlier part of the campaign of 1760 was unfavourable to him. Berlin was again occupied by the enemy. Great contributions were levied on the inhabitants, and the royal palace was plundered. But at length, after two years of calamity, victory came back to his arms. At Lignitz he gained a great battle over Laudohn; at Torgau, after a day of horrible carnage, he triumphed over Daun. The fifth year closed and still the event was in suspense. In the countries where the war had raged, the misery and exhaustion were more appalling than ever; but still there were left men and beasts, arms and food, and still Frederic fought on. In truth he had now been baited into savageness. His heart was ulcerated with hatred. The implacable resentment with which his enemies persecuted him, though originally provoked by his own unprincipled ambition, excited in him a thirst for vengeance which he did not even attempt to conceal. "It is hard," he says in one of his letters, "for a man to bear what I bear. I begin to feel that, as the Italians say, revenge is a pleasure for the gods. My philosophy is worn out by suffering. I am no saint, like those of whom we read in the legends; and I will own that I should die content if only I could first inflict a portion of the misery which I endure."
Scarcely had the retreat of Mr. Pitt deprived Prussia of her only friend, when the death of Elizabeth produced an entire revolution in the politics of the North The Grand Duke Peter her nephew, who now ascended the Russian throne, was not merely free from the prejudices which his aunt had entertained against Frere-deric, but was a worshipper, a servile imitator, a Boswell, of the great king. The days of the new czar's government were few and evil, bat sufficient to produce a change in the whole state of Christendom. He set the Prussian prisoners at liberty, fitted them out decently, and sent them back to their master; he withdrew his troops from the provinces which Elizabeth had decided on incorporating with her dominions,
Borne up by such feelings, he struggled with various success, but constant glory, through the compaign of 1761. On the whole, the sult of this campaign was disastrous to Prussia. No great battle was gained by the enemy; but, in spite of the desperate bounds of the hunted tiger, the circle of pursuers was fast closing round him. Laudohn had surprised the important fortress of Sweidnitz. With that fortress, half of Silesia, and the command of the most important defiles through the
and absolved all those Prussian subjects, who | multitude saluted him with loud praises and had been compelled to swear fealty to Russia, blessings. He was moved ly those marks of from their engagements. attachment, and repeatedly exclaimed-" Long live my dear people!-Long live my children!" Yet, even in the midst of that gay spectacle, he could not but perceive everywhere the traces of destruction and decay. The city had been more than once plundered. The population had considerably diminished. Berlin, however, had suffered little when compared with most parts of the kingdom. The ruin of pri
Not content with concluding peace on terms favourable to Prussia, he solicited rank in the Prussian service, dressed himself in a Prussian uniform, wore the Black Eagle of Prussia on his breast, made preparations for visiting Prussia, in order to have an interview with the object of his idolatry, and actually sent fifteen thousand excellent troops to reinforce the shattered army of Frederic. Thus strength-vate fortunes, the distress of all ranks, was ened, the king speedily repaired the losses of such as might appal the firmest mind. Almost the preceding year, reconquered Silesia, de-every province had been the seat of war, and feated Daun at Buckersdorf, invested and re- of war conducted with merciless ferocity. took Schweidnitz, and, at the close of the year, Clouds of Croatians had descended on Silesia. presented to the forces of Maria Theresa a Tens of thousands of Cossacks had been let front as formidable as before the great reverses loose on Pomerania and Brandenburg. The of 1759. Before the end of the campaign, his mere contributions levied by the invaders friend the Emperor Peter having, by a series amounted, it was said, to more than a hundred of absurd insults to the institutions, manners, millions of dollars; and the value of what and feelings of his people, united them in hos- they extorted was probably much less than the tility to his person and government, was de- value of what they destroyed. The fields lay posed and murdered. The empress, who, under uncultivated. The very seed-corn had been the title of Catherine the Second, now assumed devoured in the madness of hunger. Famine, the supreme power, was, at the commence- and contagious maladies the effect of famine, ment of her administration, by no means par- had swept away the herds and flocks; and tial to Frederic, and refused to perinit her troops there was reason to fear that a great pestilence to remain under his command. But she ob- among the human race was likely to follow in served the peace made by her husband; and the train of that tremendous war. Near fif Prussia was no longer threatened by danger teen thousand houses had been burned to the from the East. ground.
England and France at the same time paired off together. They concluded a treaty, by which they bound themselves to observe neutrality with respect to the German war. Thus ne coalitions on both sides were dissolved; and the original enemies, Austria and Prussia, remained alone confronting each other.
Austria had undoubtedly by far greater means than Prussia, and was less exhausted by hostilities; yet it seemed hardly possible that Austria could effect alone what she had in vain attempted to effect when supported by France on the one side, and by Russia on the other. Danger also began to menace the imperial house from another quarter. The Ottoman Porte held threatening language, and a hundred thousand Turks were mustered on the frontiers of Hungary. The proud and revengeful spirit of the Empress-Queen at length gave way; and, in February, 1763, the peace of Hubertsburg put an end to the conflict which had, during seven years, devasted Germany. The king ceded nothing. The whole Continent in arms had proved unable to tear Silesia from that iron grasp.
The war was over. Frederic was safe. His glory was beyond the reach of envy. If he had not made conquests as vast as those of Alexander, of Cæsar, and of Napoleon-if he had not, on field of battle, enjoyed the constant success of Marlborough and Wellington-he had yet given an example unrivalled in history, of what capacity and resolution can effect against the greatest superiority of power and the utmost spite of fortune. He entered Berlin in triumph, after an absence of more than six years. The streets were brilliantly lighted up, and as he passed along in an open carriage, with Ferdinand of Brunswick at his side, the VOL. IV.-67
The population of the kingdom had in seven years decreased to the frightful extent of ten per cent. A sixth of the males capable of bearing arms had actually perished on the field of battle. In some districts, no labourers, except women, were seen in the fields at har vest time. In others, the traveller passed shuddering through a succession of silent villages, in which not a single inhabitant remained The currency had been debased; the authority of laws and magistrates had been suspended; the whole social system was deranged. For, during that convulsive struggle, every thing that was not military violence was anarchy. Even the army was disorganized. Some great generals, and a crowd of excellent officers, had fallen, and it had been impossible to supply their places. The difficulty of finding recruits had, towards the close of the war, been so great, that selection and rejection were impossible. Whole battalions were composed of deserters or of prisoners. It was hardly to be hoped that thirty years of repose and industry would repair the ruin produced by seven years of havoc. One consolatory circumstance, indeed, there was. No debt had been incurred. The burdens of the war had been terrible, almost insupportable; but no arrear was left to embarrass the finances in the time of peace.
Here, for the present, we must pause. We have accompanied Frederic to the close of his career as a warrior. Possibly, when these Memoirs are completed, we may resume the consideration of his character, and give some account of his domestic and foreign policy, and of his private habits, during the many years of tranquillity which followed the Seven Years' War.