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Early in the spring of 1757, France, Russia, Austria, Poland, and Sweden were combined against Frederick. These countries represented a population of one hundred millions. Frederick鈥檚 domains contained but five millions. His annual revenue was but about ten million dollars. He had an army in the field of one hundred and fifty thousand of the best troops in the world. His fortresses were garrisoned by about fifty thousand of inferior quality. The armies of the allies numbered four hundred and thirty thousand. Frederick was regarded as an outlaw. The design of the allies was to crush him, and to divide his territory between them. Austria was to retake Silesia. France was to have the Wesel-Cleve country. Russia was to annex to her domains Prussen, K?nigsberg, etc. Poland, having regained Saxony, was to add to her territory Magdeburg and Halle. Sweden was to have Pomerania. Never before had there appeared such a combination against any man. The situation of Frederick seemed desperate..
In this terrible emergence, the queen, resolute as she was, was almost compelled, by the importunity of her counselors, to permit Sir Thomas Robinson, who was acting for England far more than for Austria, to go back to Frederick with the offer so humiliating to her, that she would surrender to him one half of Silesia if he would withdraw his armies and enter into an alliance with her against the French. The high-spirited queen wrung her hands in anguish as she assented to this decision, exclaiming passionately,.
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On the 11th, Brieg was summoned to surrender. The prompt and resolute response was 鈥淣o.鈥 The place was found unexpectedly strong, and a gallant little garrison of sixteen hundred men had been assembled behind its walls. Frederick was much annoyed by the delay thus occasioned. He promptly invested the city so as to cut off all supplies, and dispatched an order to Glogau to have the field artillery sent, as speedily as possible, up the Oder to Brieg.?
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On Saturday, the 15th of July, 1730, the king, with a small train, which really guarded Fritz, set out at an early hour from Potsdam on this memorable journey. Three reliable officers of89 the king occupied the same carriage with Fritz, with orders to keep a strict watch over him, and never to leave him alone. Thus, throughout the journey, one of his guards sat by his side, and the other two on the seat facing him. The king was not a luxurious traveler. He seemed to covet hardship and fatigue. Post-horses were provided all along the route. The meteoric train rushed along, scarcely stopping for food or sleep, but occasionally delayed by business of inspection, until it reached Anspach, where the king鈥檚 beautiful daughter, then but sixteen years of age, resided with her uncongenial husband. Here the Crown Prince had some hope of escape. He endeavored to persuade his brother-in-law, the young Marquis of Anspach, to lend him a pair of saddle-horses, and to say nothing about it. But the characterless young man, suspecting his brother, and dreading the wrath of his terrible father-in-law, refused, with many protestations of good-will.
A brief account of this interview has been given by Frederick,59 and also a very minute narrative by Sir Thomas Robinson, in his official report to his government. There is no essential discrepancy between the two statements. Frederick alludes rather contemptuously to the pompous airs of Sir Thomas, saying that 鈥渉e negotiated in a wordy, high, droning way, as if he were speaking in Parliament.鈥 Mr. Carlyle seems to be entirely in sympathy with Frederick in his invasion of Silesia. The reader will peruse with interest his graphic, characteristic comments upon this interview:
21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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