【思想如电】夕阳倚窗

On the 15th of March Frederick left Berlin for Silesia. Stopping to examine some of his works at Glogau and Breslau, he reached Neisse on the 23d. On the 29th he dismissed the Old Dessauer, with many expressions of kindness and sympathy, to go home to recover his health. In the midst of ftes, operas, and suppers, my secret negotiation advanced. The king allowed me to speak to him on all subjects. I often intermingled questions respecting France and Austria in conversations relating to the ?neid and Livy. The discussion was sometimes very animated. At length the king said to me, Let France declare war against England, and I will march. This was all I desired. I returned as quickly as possible to the court of France. I gave them the same hopes which I had myself been led to entertain at Berlin, and which did not prove delusive.

Upon the kings arrival at Wesel he ordered his culprit son to be brought on shore and to be arraigned before him. It was Saturday evening, August 12, 1730. A terrible scene ensued. The despairing Crown Prince, tortured by injustice, was not disposed to humble himself before his father. Receiving no assurance that his friends would be pardoned, he evaded all attempts to extort from him confessions which would implicate them. General Mosel alone was present at this examination.

A week after the arrival of the prince the Prussian king entered the camp. As it was expected that some remarkable feats of war would be exhibited in the presence of the king, under the leadership of the renowned Prince Eugene, a very large assemblage of princes and other distinguished personages was collected on the field. The king remained for a month, dwelling in a161 tent among his own troops, and sharing all their hardships. He, with his son, attended all the councils of war. Still no attempt was made to relieve Philipsburg. The third day after the kings arrival the city surrendered to the French. The campaign continued for some time, with unavailing man?uvring on both sides of the Rhine; but the Crown Prince saw but little active service. About the middle of August the king left the camp to return home. His health was seriously impaired, and alarming symptoms indicated that he had not long to live. His journey was slow and painful. Gout tortured him. Dropsy threatened to strangle him. He did not reach home until the middle of September. The alarming state of the kings health added very much to the importance of the Crown Prince. It was evident that ere long he must come into power. The following characteristic anecdote is related of the king during this illness:

I am not afraid in contemplating the dread tribunal before which I must now so soon appear. I am certain of my cause. Look at me! A man that is certain of his cause can enter on such a journey with good courage and a composed mind.