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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 now opened. The Austrians filled Saxony, she was, and deserved to be, Frederic's favour- and menaced Berlin. The Russians defeated ite 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.
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 frightful 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 dif ficulty 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."
The defeat was, in truth, overwhelming. Of fifty thousand men, who had that morning marched under the black eagles, not three thousand remained together. The king be thought him again of his corrosive sublimate, and wrote to bid adieu to his friends, and to give directions as to the measures to be taken in the event of his death:-"I have no resource left"-such is the language of one of his letters -"all is lost. I will not survive the ruin of my country. Farewell forever."
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 ermine, and a dove of pearls, the mystic symbol of the Divine Comforter, were solemnly blessed by the supreme pontiff, and were sent with great ceremony to Marshal Daun, the conqueror of Kolin and Hochkirchen. This mark of favour had more than once been bestowed by the Popes on the great champions of the faith. Similar honours had been paid, more than six centuries earlier, by Urban II. to Godfrey of Bouillon. Similar honours had been conferred on Alba for destroying the liberties But the mutual jealousies of the confederates of the Low Countries, and on John Sobiesky prevented them from following up their vicafter the deliverance of Vienna. But the pre- tory. They lost a few days in loitering and sents which were received with profound re- squabbling; and a few days, improved by Freverence by the Baron of the Holy Sepulchre deric, were worth more than the years of other in the eleventh century, and which had not men. On the morning after the battle, he wholly lost their value even in the seventeenth had got together eighteen thousand of his century, appeared inexpressibly ridiculous to troops. Very soon his force amounted to thirty a generation which read Montesquieu and Vol- thousand. Guns were procured from the taire. Frederic wrote sarcastic verses on the neighbouring fortresses; and there was again gifts, the giver, and the receiver. But the an army. Berlin was for the present safe; public wanted no prompter; and a universal roar of laughter from Petersburg to Lisbon reminded the Vatican that the age of crusades
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: The fourth campaign, the most disastrous and when at length the campaign of 1750
closed, in the midst of a rigorous winter, the mountains, had been transferred to the Aus situation 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.
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 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, The retirement of Pitt seemed to be an omen except the Committee of Public Safety during of utter ruin to the House of Brandenburg. the great agony of the French Revolution. He His proud and vehement nature was incapable governed his kingdom as he would have go- of any thing that looked like either fear or verned a besicged town, not caring to what treachery. He had often declared that, while extent property was destroyed, or the pursuits he was in power, England should never make of civil life suspended, so that he did but make a peace of Utrecht;-should never, for any head against the enemy. As long as there was selfish object, abandon an ally even in the last a man left in Prussia, that man might carry extremity of distress. The continental war a musket-as long as there was a horse left, was his own war. He had been bold enough that horse might draw artillery. The coin was-he who in former times had attacked, with 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 The earlier part of the campaign of 1760 vigour and genius, had devolved on a favour was unfavourable to him. Berlin was again ite who was the representative of the Tory occupied by the enemy. Great contributions party-of the party which had thwarted Wil were levied on the inhabitants, and the royal liam, which had persecuted Marlborough, and palace was plundered. But at length, after which had given up the Catalans to the ven two years of calamity, victory came back to geance of Philip of Anjou. To make peace his arms. At Lignitz he gained a great battle with France-to shake off with all, or more over Laudohn; at Torgau, after a day of hor- than all, the speed compatible with decency, rible carnage, he triumphed over Daun. The every Continental connection, these were among fifth year closed and still the event was in the chief objects of the new minister. The suspense. In the countries where the war had policy then followed inspired Frederic with raged, the misery and exhaustion were more an unjust, but deep and bitter aversion to the appalling than ever; but still there were left English name; and produced effects which are men and beasts, arms and food, and still Fre- still felt throughout the civilized world. To deric fought on. In truth he had now been that policy it was owing that, ome years later, baited into savageness. His heart was ulce- England could not find on the whole Continent rated with hatred. The implacable resentment a single ally to stand by her, in her extreme with which his enemies persecuted him, though need, against the House of Bourbon. To that originally provoked by his own unprincipled policy it was owing that Frederic, alienated ambition, excited in him a thirst for vengeance from England, was compelled to connect himwhich he did not even attempt to conceal. "It self closely, during his later years, with Rusis hard," he says in one of his letters, "for a sia; and was induced reluctantly to assist in man to bear what I bear. I begin to feel that, that great crime, the fruitful parent of other as the Italians say, revenge is a pleasure for great crimes-the first partition of Poland. 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 Fre
Borne up by such feelings, he struggled with various success, but constant glory, through the compaign of 1761. On the whole, the re-deric, but was a worshipper, a servile imitator, 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
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,
and absolved all those Prussian subjects, who multitude saluted him with loud praises and had been compelled to swear fealty to Russia, from their engagements.
blessings. He was moved ly those marks of 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 the preceding year, reconquered Silesia, defeated Daun at Buckersdorf, invested and retook Schweidnitz, and, at the close of the year, presented to the forces of Maria Theresa a front as formidable as before the great reverses of 1759. Before the end of the campaign, his friend the Emperor Peter having, by a series of absurd insults to the institutions, manners, and feelings of his people, united them in hostility to his person and government, was deposed and murdered. The empress, who, under the title of Catherine the Second, now assumed the supreme power, was, at the commencement of her administration, by no means partial to Frederic, and refused to perinit her troops to remain under his command. But she observed the peace made by her husband; and Prussia was no longer threatened by danger from the East.
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.
such as might appal the firmest mind. Almost every province had been the seat of war, and of war conducted with merciless ferocity. Clouds of Croatians had descended on Silesia. Tens of thousands of Cossacks had been let loose on Pomerania and Brandenburg. The mere contributions levied by the invaders amounted, it was said, to more than a hundred millions of dollars; and the value of what they extorted was probably much less than the value of what they destroyed. The fields lay uncultivated. The very seed-corn had been devoured in the madness of hunger. Famine, and contagious maladies the effect of famine, had swept away the herds and flocks; and there was reason to fear that a great pestilence among the human race was likely to follow in the train of that tremendous war. Near fif teen thousand houses had been burned to the ground.
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 harvest time. In others, the traveller passed shudAustria had undoubtedly by far greater means dering through a succession of silent villages, than Prussia, and was less exhausted by hos-in which not a single inhabitant remained tilities; 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 Fertinand of Brunswick at his side, the VOL. IV.-67
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 impos sible. 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.