[经典咏流传第三季]刘宪华为你唱经典《题西林壁》

gg. Retreat of Austrians. The next morning Frederick hastened to greet his sister. Wilhelmina was not pleased with his appearance. The cares of his new reign entirely engrossed his mind. The dignity of an absolute king did not sit gracefully upon him. Though ostentatiously demonstrative in his greeting, the delicate instincts of Wilhelmina taught her that her brothers caresses were heartless. He was just recovering from a fit of the ague, and looked emaciate and sallow. The court was in mourning. During those funereal days no festivities could be indulged in. The queen-mother was decorously melancholy; she seems to have been not only disappointed, but excessively chagrined, to find that she was excluded by her son from the slightest influence in public affairs. The distant, arrogant, and assuming airs of the young king soon rendered him unpopular.

By no means, the king replied. With men like these I shall be sure of victory to-day!114 The Polish Dialogues you speak of are not known to me. I think of such satires with Epictetus, If they tell any truth of thee, correct thyself. If they are lies, laugh at them. I have learned, with years, to become a steady coach-horse. I do my stage like a diligent roadster, and pay no heed to the little dogs that will bark by the way. It seemed to be the policy of Frederick to assume a very trifling, care-for-nothing air, as though he were engaged in very harmless childs play. He threw out jokes, and wrote ludicrous letters to M. Jordan and M. Algarotti. But behind this exterior disguise it is manifest that all the energies of his soul were aroused, and that, with sleepless vigilance, he was watching every event, and providing for every possible emergence.

We have now reached the year 1726. The Emperor of Germany declares that he can never give his consent to the double marriage with the English princes. Frederick William, who is not at all fond of his wifes relatives, and is annoyed by the hesitancy which his father-in-law has manifested in reference to it, is also turning his obstinate will against the nuptial alliance. A more imperative and inflexible man never breathed. This year the unhappy wife of George I. died, unreconciled, wretched, exasperated, after thirty years captivity in the castle of Ahlden. Darker and darker seemed the gloom which enveloped the path of Sophie Dorothee. She still clung to the marriages as the dearest hope of her heart. It was with her an ever-present thought. But Frederick William was the most obdurate and obstinate of mortals.

Certainly I will fight. But do not flatter yourself about the result. A happy chance alone can help us. Go, in Gods name to Tangermünde. Wait there how destiny shall have disposed of us. I will reconnoitre the enemy to-morrow. Next day, if there is any thing to do, we will try it. If the enemy still holds to the Wine Hills of Frankfort, I shall not dare to attack him. DORIS RITTERS PUNISHMENT.

Augustus William, overwhelmed by his disgrace, and yet angered by the rebuke, coldly replied that he desired only that a court-martial should investigate the case and pronounce judgment. The king forbade that any intercourse whatever should take place between his own troops, soldiers, or officers, and those of his brother, who, he declared, had utterly degraded themselves by the loss of all courage and ambition. The prince sent to the king General Schultz to obtain the countersign for the army. Frederick refused to receive him, saying that he had no countersign to send to cowards. Augustus William then went himself to present his official report and a list of his troops. Frederick took the papers without saying a word, and then turned his back upon his brother. This cruel treatment fell with crushing force upon the unhappy prince. Conscious of military failure, disgraced in the eyes of his generals and soldiers, and abandoned by the king, his health and spirits alike failed him. The next morning he wrote a sad, respectfully reproachful letter to423 Frederick, stating that his health rendered it necessary for him to retire for a season from the army to recruit. The reply of the king, which was dated Bautzen, July 30, 1757, shows how desperate he, at that time, considered the state of his affairs. Hopeless of victory, he seems to have sought only death.

For fifteen years she had been a mourning widow. Her husband had died on the 18th of August. The 18th day of every month had since then been a day of solitary prayer. On the 18th of every August she descended into the tomb, and sat for560 a season engaged in prayer by the side of the mouldering remains of her spouse.

Ere long a company of Austrian scouts approached. From a distance they eyed the sentinel, moving to and fro as he guarded his post. A sharp-shooter crept near, and, taking deliberate aim at his supposed victim, fired. A twitch upon the rope caused the image to fall flat. The whole band of Austrians, with a shout, rushed to the spot. The Prussians, from their ambuscade, opened upon them a deadly fire of bullets. Then, as the ground was covered with the mutilated and the dead, the Prussians, causing the welkin to ring with their peals of laughter, rushed with fixed bayonets upon their entrapped foes. Not a single Austrian had escaped being struck by a bullet. Those who were not killed outright were wounded, and were taken captive. This is one of the slight pleasantries of war.

192 On the 22d of June a complaint was made to the king that the Roman Catholic schools were perverted to seducing Protestants to become Catholics. Frederick returned the complaint with the following words written upon the margin:

General Saldern, to-morrow morning I wish you to go with a detachment of infantry and cavalry to Hubertsburg. Take possession of the palace, and pack up all the furniture. The money they bring I mean to bestow on our field hospitals. I will not forget you in disposing of it.

The king, in a letter to Voltaire upon this occasion, writes: