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The Saxons, much irritated, were rather more disposed to thwart his plans than to co-operate in them. The Austrian horsemen were vigilant, pouncing upon every unprotected detachment. Frederick marched for the capture of Brünn, the strongest fortress in Moravia. It had a garrison of seven thousand men, under the valiant leader Roth. To arrest the march of Frederick, and leave him shelterless on the plains, the Austrian general laid sixteen villages in ashes. The poor peasantsmen, women, and childrenfoodless and shelterless, were thus cast loose upon the drifted fields. Who can gauge such woes?

Frederick, under the tutelage of his stern father, had not enjoyed the privileges of foreign travel. While other princes of far humbler expectations were taking the grand tour of Europe, the Crown Prince was virtually imprisoned in the barracks, day after day, engaged in the dull routine of drilling the giant guard. After the death of his father he did not condescend to be crowned, proudly assuming, in contradiction to some of his earlier teachings, that the crown was already placed upon his brow by divine power. He, however, exacted from the people throughout his realms oaths of allegiance, and in person visited several of the principal cities to administer those oaths with much pomp of ceremony. The Danish envoy, writing home to his government respecting the administration of Frederick, says,

Austria was rapidly marshaling her hosts, and pouring them through the defiles of the mountains to regain Silesia. Her troops still held three important fortressesNeisse, Brieg, and Glogau. These places were, however, closely blockaded by the Prussians. Though it was midwinter, bands of Austrian horsemen were soon sweeping in all directions, like local war tempests borne on the wings of the wind. Wherever there was an unprotected baggage-train, or a weakly-defended post, they came swooping down to seize their prey, and vanished as suddenly as they had appeared. Their numbers seemed to be continually increasing. All the roads were swept by these swarms of irregulars, who carefully avoided any serious engagement, while they awaited the approach of the Austrian army, which was gathering its strength to throw down to Frederick the gauntlet on an open field of battle.

Sir Thomas hastened back to Breslau, and anxiously entered into communication with Lord Hyndford. The British minister entreated the king to admit Sir Thomas to another interview, assuring him that he came with new and more liberal propositions for a compromise. The king replied, in substance, with his customary brusqueness, The king, as we have mentioned, allotted to his son a very moderate income, barely enough for the necessary expenses of his establishment. But the prince borrowed money in large sums from the Empress of Germany, from Russia, from England. It was well known that, should his life be preserved, he would soon have ample means to repay the loan. Frederick William probably found it expedient to close his eyes against these transactions. But he did not attempt to conceal the chagrin with which he regarded the literary and voluptuous tastes of his son. In conclusion, in most pathetic terms he entreated the king to listen to terms of peace, and thus to prevent the ruin of himself, of his people, and of his royal house.

a a. Prussian Army about to cross the Mützel. b b b. Russian Army ranked for Battle. c. Russian Baggage. d d. Prussian Infantry. e e. Prussian Cavalry. f. Prussian Baggage.