【河北文旅公益广告联播系列】平山天桂山——《天桂春雪》

On Wednesday morning General Borck was sent toward the gates of the city, accompanied by a trumpeter, who, with bugle blasts, was to summon General Roth to a parley. General Borck was instructed to inform the Austrian commander that if he surrendered immediately he should be treated with great leniency, but that if he persisted in his defense the most terrible severity should be his doom. To the people of Neisse it was a matter of but very little moment whether they were under Austrian or235 Prussian domination. They would gladly accede to any terms which would deliver them from the dreadful bombardment. General Roth, therefore, would not allow what we should call the flag of truce to approach the gates. He opened fire upon General Borck so as not to wound him, but as a warning that he must approach no nearer. The king was greatly angered by this result.

Frederick.

With twenty-one thousand your beaten and maltreated servant has hindered an army of fifty thousand from attacking him, and has compelled them to retire to Neusatz. Daily for five hours the universality of his conversation completed my enchantment at his powers. The arts, war, medicine, literature, religion, philosophy, morality, history, and legislation passed in review by turns. The great times of Augustus and Louis XIV.; the good society among the Romans, the Greeks, and the French; the chivalry of Francis I.; the valor of Henry IV.; the revival of letters, and their changes since Leo X.; anecdotes of men of talent of former days, and their errors; the eccentricities of Voltaire; the sensitive vanity of Maupertuis; the agreeableness of Algarotti; the wit of Jordan; the hypochondriacism of the Marquis DArgens, whom the king used to induce to keep his bed for four-and-twenty hours by merely telling him he looked illand what not besides? All that could be said of the most varied and agreeable kind was what came from him, in a gentle tone of voice, rather low, and very agreeable from his manner of moving his lips, which possessed an inexpressible grace.198

The king was doubtless informed of all that had occurred. They reached Manheim the next night. Keith was so terrified, fearing that his life would be the penalty, that he there threw himself upon his knees before the king, confessing all, and imploring pardon. The king, in tones of intense agitation, informed the vigilance trio that death would be their inevitable doom if they allowed the prince to escape. Thus far the prince had been nominally free. Those who occupied the carriage with himRochow, Waldau, and Buddenbrockhad assumed to be merely his traveling companions. Their office of guardship had been scrupulously concealed. But henceforth he was regarded and treated as a culprit in the custody of his jailers.

There was no alternative left the young princess. Unless there were an immediate consummation of the marriage contract with the English Frederick, she was, without delay, to choose between Weissenfels and Schwedt. The queen, in response to this communication, said, I will immediately write to England; but, whatever may be the answer, it is impossible that my daughter should marry either of the individuals whom the king has designated. Baron Grumkow, who was in entire accord with the king, began, says Wilhelmina, quoting Scripture on her majesty, as the devil can on occasion. Wives, be obedient to your husbands, said he. The queen very aptly replied, Yes; but did not Bethuel, the son of Milcah, when Abrahams servant asked his daughter in marriage for young Isaac, answer, We will call the damsel, and inquire of her mouth? It is true, wives must obey their husbands, but husbands must command things just and reasonable.

Prince Bevern, aware that the battle would be renewed upon the morrow, and conscious that he could not sustain another435 such struggle, withdrew with his Prussian troops in the night, through the silent streets of Breslau, to the other side of the Oder, leaving eighty cannon behind him. The next morning, in visiting one of the outposts, he was surprised by a party of the Austrians and taken prisoner. It was reported that, fearing the wrath of the king, he had voluntarily allowed himself to be captured. General Kyau, the next in rank, took the command. He rapidly retreated. Breslau, thus left to its fate, surrendered, with its garrison of four thousand men, ninety-eight pieces of cannon, and vast magazines filled with stores of war. The next day was Sunday. Te Deums were chanted by the triumphant Austrians in the Catholic churches in Breslau, and thanks were offered to God that Maria Theresa had reconquered Silesia, and that our ancient sovereigns are restored to us.

Frederick remained at Reitwein four days. He was very unjust to his army, and angrily reproached his soldiers for their defeat. It is true that, had every soldier possessed his own spirit, his army would have conquered, or not a man would have left the field alive. The Russians, with almost inconceivable inactivity, retired to Lossow, ten miles south of Frankfort-on-the-Oder. The king, having by great exertions collected thirty-two thousand men, marched up the valley of the Spree, and placed himself on the road between the Russians and Berlin.

But he interrupted me hastily with the word, Nothing more of kings, sirnothing more. What have we to do with them? We will spend the rest of our voyage on more agreeable and cheering objects. And now he spoke of the best of all possible worlds, and maintained that in our planet, earth, there was more evil than good. I maintained the contrary, and this discussion brought us to the end of the voyage.

Arrangements were made for them to meet at eight oclock Saturday morning, at the Lake House, situated on a small island in a beautiful artificial sheet of water a couple of miles north of Baireuth. The prince thus obeyed the letter of the order not to go to Baireuth. The following account of the interview which ensued is from the pen of Wilhelmina:

Together the king and his sturdy general returned to Kesselsdorf, and rode over the field of battle, which was still strewn with the ghastly wrecks of war. Large numbers of the citizens of Dresden were on the field searching for their lost ones among the wounded or the dead. The Queen of Poland and her children remained in the city. Frederick treated them with marked politeness, and appointed them guards of honor. The King371 of Poland, who, it will be remembered, was also Elector of Saxony, applied for peace. Frederick replied: