背景资料:乌兹别克斯坦共和国

There are sometimes great and glorious objects to be attainedobjects which elevate and ennoble a nation or a racewhich warrant the expenditure of almost any amount of temporary suffering. It is not the duty of the millions to suffer the proud and haughty hundreds to consign them to ignorance and trample them in the dust. In this wicked world, where kings and nobles have ever been so ready to doom the masses of the people to ignorance, servitude, and want, human rights have almost never made any advances but through the energies of the sword. Many illustrious generals, who, with saddened hearts, have led their armies over fields of blood, have been among the most devoted friends and ornaments of humanity. Their names have been enshrined in the affections of grateful millions. The king coolly replied, We must hope that they are more afraid of us than even of the gallows.

In this frame of mind, the king began to talk seriously of abdicating in favor of Frederick, and of retiring from the cares of state to a life of religious seclusion in his country seat at Wusterhausen. He matured his plan quite to the details. Wilhelmina thus describes it:

196 Frederick was not unduly elated with his victory. He was still terribly harassed for money. There were campaigns opening before him, in an unending series, requiring enormous expenditure. Even many such victories as he had just gained would only conduct him to irretrievable ruin, unless he could succeed in conquering a peace. In these dark hours the will of this extraordinary man remained inflexible. He would not listen to any propositions for peace which did not guarantee to him Silesia. Maria Theresa would listen to no terms which did not restore to her the lost province.

Thus Frederick found himself in a barren, hostile country, with a starving army, incessantly assailed by a determined foe, groping his way in absolute darkness, and with the greatest difficulty communicating even with his own divisions, at the distance of but a few leagues. He knew not from what direction to anticipate attack, or how formidable might be his assailants. He knew not whether the French, on the other side of the Rhine, had abandoned him to his own resources, or were marching to his rescue. He knew that they were as supremely devoted to their own interests as he was to his, and that they would do nothing to aid him, unless by so doing they could efficiently benefit themselves.

Ah! yes, yes, he added, Im right. I know the gentlemen.

Frederick.

There was not a moment to be lost. General Neipperg was moving resolutely forward with a cloud of skirmishers in the advance and on his wings. With the utmost exertions Frederick immediately rendezvoused all his remote posts, destroying such stores as could not hastily be removed, and by a forced march of twenty-five miles in one day reached Neustadt. General Neipperg was marching by a parallel road about twenty miles west of that which the Prussians traversed. At Neustadt the king was still twenty miles from Neisse. With the delay of but a few hours, that he might assemble all the Prussian bands from the posts in that neighborhood, the king again resumed his march. He had no longer any hope of continuing the siege of Neisse. His only aim was to concentrate all his scattered forces, which had been spread over an area of nearly two thousand square miles, and, upon some well-selected field, to trust to the uncertain issues of a general battle. There was no choice left for him between this course and an ignominious retreat.

The betrothal took place in the Berlin palace on Monday evening, March 10, 1732. Many distinguished guests from foreign courts were present. The palace was brilliantly illuminated. The Duke and Duchess of Bevern, with their son, had accompanied their daughter Elizabeth to Berlin. The youthful pair, who were now to be betrothed only, not married, stood in the centre of the grand saloon, surrounded by the brilliant assemblage. With punctilious observance of court etiquette, they exchanged rings, and plighted their mutual faith. The old king embraced the bride tenderly. The queen-mother, hoping that the marriage would never take place, saluted her with repulsive coldness. And, worst of all, the prince himself scarcely treated143 her with civility. The sufferings of this lovely princess must have been terrible. The testimony to her beauty, her virtues, her amiable character, is uncontradicted. The following well-merited tribute to her worth is from the pen of Lord Dover:

Berlin was almost defenseless. All Saxony was rising in arms behind Frederick. The invader of Silesia was in danger of having his own realms invaded and his own capital sacked. Frederick was thoroughly roused. But he never allowed himself to appear agitated or anxious. He ordered Leopold, the Old Dessauer, to march immediately, with all the troops he could rally, to the frontiers of Saxony. He even found it necessary to detach to the aid of Leopold some corps from his own enfeebled forces, now menaced by an Austrian army twice as large as he could oppose to them.

On Sunday morning, January 15th, the deadly, concentric fire of shot and shell was opened upon the crowded city, where women and children, torn by wars merciless missiles, ran to and fro frantic with terror. The dreadful storm continued to rage, with but few intermissions, until Wednesday. Still there were no signs of surrender. The king, though his head-quarters were a few miles distant, at Ottmachau, was almost constantly on the ground superintending every thing. As he felt sure of the entire conquest of Silesia, the whole province being now in his possession except three small towns, he looked anxiously upon the destruction which his own balls and bombs were effecting. He was destroying his own property.