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278 That is your interpretation, said Frederick. But the French assert that it was an arrangement made in their favor.

M. Pitsch made no reply. The king, probably feeling at the moment some physical monition of approaching death, cried out, Lord Jesus, to thee I live. Lord Jesus, to thee I die. In life and in death thou art my gain. THE KING AND HIS SERVANT.

Prince Charles had arrived in Dresden the night before. He heard the roar of the cannonade all the day, but, for some unexplained reason, did not advance to the support of his friends. The very unsatisfactory excuse offered was, that his troops were exhausted by their long march; and that, having been recently twice beaten by the Prussians, his army would be utterly demoralized if led to another defeat.

In conclusion, he gives utterance to that gloomy creed of infidelity and atheism which he had adopted instead of the Christian faith. Thus destiny with a deluge of torments fills the poisoned remnants of my days. The present is hideous to me, the future unknown. Do you say that I am the creature of a beneficent being? I see that all men are the sport of destiny. And if there do exist some gloomy and inexorable being who allows a despised herd of creatures to go on multiplying here, he values them as nothing. He looks down on our virtues, our misdeeds, on the horrors of war, and on all the cruel plagues which ravage earth, as a thing indifferent to him. Wherefore my sole refuge and only haven, loved sister, is in the arms of death.106 Look at the queen, then, she added, and you will cease to reproach me.

Never were the prospects of Frederick more gloomy. He had taken up his residence for the winter in a very humble cottage near the hamlet of Freiberg. He must have been very unhappy. Scenes of suffering were every where around him. It was terribly cold. His troops were poorly clothed, and fed, and housed.

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Precisely at midnight all were in silent, rapid motion. The march of half an hour brought them to their appointed stations. The soft and sandy soil was easily shoveled. Every man plied pick and spade with intensest energy. As the town clock of Brieg struck one, they had so far dug themselves in as to be quite sheltered from the fire of the hostile batteries, should the guns open upon them. Before the dawn of day they had two batteries, of twenty-five guns each, in position, and several mortars ready for action.

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The entertainment was prolonged until a late hour of the night. The delighted guests, as they retired, urged their host to attend parade with them in the morning, offering to come in person to conduct him to the ground. The count, with pleasure, accepted the invitation. In the morning he was escorted to the parade-ground. His fame spread rapidly. Friends multiplied. He was invited to sup with the officers in the evening, and accepted the invitation. Marshal Broglio, a very stately gentleman of seventy years, was military governor at Strasbourg. The count and one of his companions, the distinguished philosopher Count Algarotti, were invited to dine with the marshal. The supper given in the evening by the officers was brilliant. They then repaired to the opera. A poor little girl came to the box with a couple of lottery tickets for sale. Frederick gave her four ducats (), and tore up the tickets.

The Prussians had a detached post at Smirzitz. The little garrison there was much harassed by lurking bands of Austrians, who shot their sentries, cut off their supplies, and rendered it almost certain death to any one who ventured to emerge from the ramparts. Some inventive genius among the Prussians constructed a straw man, very like life, representing a sentinel with his shouldered musket. By a series of ropes this effigy was made to move from right to left, as if walking his beat. A well-armed band of Prussians then hid in a thicket near by.

On the 2d of September, 1758, Frederick, advancing from the smouldering ruins of Cüstrin, pushed forward his columns by forced marches for the rescue of his brother, who was nearly surrounded by vastly outnumbering foes. While upon this rapid march an Austrian courier was captured, with the following dispatch, which he was bearing from General Daun to General Fermor, whose army of Russians had just been so terribly beaten by Frederick upon the field of Zorndorf, but of which fact the Austrian general had not yet been apprised:

In his epistle Frederick had expressed the opinion that428 there was no God who took any interest in human affairs. He had also repeatedly expressed the resolve to Wilhelmina, and to Voltaire, to whom he had become partially reconciled, that he was prepared to commit suicide should events prove as disastrous as he had every reason to expect they would prove. He had also urged his sister to follow his example, and not to survive the ruin of the family. Such was the support which the king, in hours of adversity, found in that philosophy for which he had discarded the religion of Jesus Christ.

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