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CHAPTER XI. DIPLOMATIC INTRIGUES.

The assault was as sudden and resistless as the sweep of the avalanche. The Austrian division was annihilated. Scarcely a man escaped. This achievement was deemed a very brilliant367 passage of war. It cut the Austrian army in twain and secured its ruin.

Frederick, while equally complimentary, while lavishing gifts and smiles upon his guest, to whom he had written that as there could be but one God, so there could be but one Voltaire, wrote from Ruppin to M. Jordan, on the 28th of November, just before Voltaire took his leave.

The seventh campaign of the Seven Years War commenced on the 1st of July, 1762. Peter III. had sent an army of twenty thousand men to the support of Frederick. Aided by these troops, united with his own army, Frederick had emerged from532 his winter quarters, and was just about to attack the Austrian army, which was intrenched upon the heights of Burkersdorf, a little south of Schweidnitz, which fortress the Austrians then held. The evening before the contemplated attack the Russian General Czernichef entered the tent of Frederick with the following appalling tidings:

Have I need of peace? Let those who need it give me what I want, or let them fight me again and be beaten again. Have they not given whole kingdoms to Spain? And to me they can not spare a few trifling principalities. If the queen do not now grant me all I require, I shall, in four weeks, demand four principalities more. I now demand the whole of Lower Silesia, Breslau included. With that answer you can return to Vienna.

THE MARCH INTO SILESIA.

Indeed, it would seem that, at the time, Voltaire must have been very favorably impressed by the appearance of his royal host. The account he then gave of the interview was very different from that which, in his exasperation, he wrote twenty years afterward. In a letter to a friend, M. De Cideville, dated October 18th, 1740, Voltaire wrote:

Lieutenant Keith had been gone some time, stationed in Wesel with his regiment. Keiths departure had been a great joy to me, in the hope my brother would now lead a more regular life. But it proved quite otherwise. A second favorite, and a much more dangerous, succeeded Keith. This was a young man of the name of Katte, captain lieutenant in the regiment72 Gens dArmes. He was highly connected in the army. His mother was daughter of Field-marshal Wartensleben. General Katte, his father, had sent him to the universities, and afterward to travel, desiring that he should be a lawyer. But, as there was no favor to be hoped for out of the army, the young man found himself at last placed there, contrary to his expectation. He continued to apply himself to studies. He had wit, book-culture, and acquaintance with the world. The good company which he continued to frequent had given him polite manners to a degree then rare in Berlin. His physiognomy was rather disagreeable than otherwise. A pair of thick black eyebrows almost covered his eyes. His look had in it something ominous, presage of the fate he met with. A tawny skin, torn by small-pox, increased his ugliness. He affected the freethinker, and carried libertinism to excess. A great deal of ambition and headlong rashness accompanied this vice. Such a favorite was not the man to bring back my brother from his follies.

Soon after this, Fredericks next younger brother, Augustus William, who was heir-presumptive to the throne in default of a son by Frederick, was betrothed to Louisa Amelia of Brunswick, younger sister of Fredericks bride.

In the following terms Thiebault describes their parting: The final interview between Frederick and Voltaire took place on the parade at Potsdam, where the king was then occupied with393 his soldiers. One of the attendants announced Voltaire to his majesty with these words:

In reference to the course which the king had allowed himself to pursue in obtaining access to the archives of Saxony by bribing an officer to betray his trust, Augustus William wrote: