非洲贫民窟的艺术人生:小小的天,有大大的梦想

Voltaire promptly replied to this letter in corresponding terms of flattery. His letter was dated Cirey, August 26th, 1736: After the battle of Chotusitz, Frederick called upon General Pallant, an Austrian officer, who was wounded and a prisoner. In the course of the conversation, General Pallant stated that France was ready at any moment to betray his Prussian majesty, and that, if he would give him six days time, he would furnish him with documentary proof. A courier was instantly dispatched to Vienna. He soon returned with a letter from Cardinal Fleury, the prime minister of Louis XV., addressed to Maria Theresa, informing her that, if she would give up Bohemia to the emperor, France would guarantee to her Silesia. Frederick, though guilty of precisely the same treachery himself, read the document with indignation, and assumed to be as much amazed at the perfidy as he could have been had he been an honest man.

After some man?uvring, the hostile forces met upon a wide, dreary, undulating plain, with here and there a hillock, in the vicinity of Rossbach. Frederick had twenty thousand men. The French general, Prince Soubise, had sixty thousand. The allies now felt sure of their prey. Their plan was to surround Frederick, destroy his army, and take him a prisoner. On the morning of the 5th of November the two hostile armies were nearly facing each other, a few miles west of the River Saale. A party of Austrians was sent by the general of the allies to destroy the bridges upon the river in the rear of the Prussians, that their retreat might be cut off. Frederick, from a house-top, eagerly watched the movement of his foes. To his surprise and great431 satisfaction, he soon saw the whole allied army commencing a circuitous march around his left to fall upon him in his rear.

My lord, I could desire your lordship to summon up, if it were necessary, the spirit of all your lordships instructions, and the sense of the king, of the Parliament, and of the whole British nation. It is upon this great moment that depends the fate, not of the house of Austria, not of the empire, but of the house of Brunswick, of Great Britain, of all Europe. I verily believe the King of Prussia himself does not know the extent of the present danger. With whatever motive he may act, there is not one, not that of the wildest resentment, that can blind him to this degreeof himself perishing in the ruin he is bringing upon others. With his concurrence, the French will, in less than six weeks, be masters of the German empire. The weak Elector of Bavaria is but their instrument. Prague and Vienna may, and probably will, be taken in that short time. Will even the King of Prussia himself be reserved to the last? The next day M. Hartoff called at the residence of M. Kannegiesser, and informed him that the ministers, understanding that he designed to ask an audience to-morrow to remind them64 of the answer which he demanded, wished to say that such applications were not customary among sovereign princes; that they dared not treat farther in that affair with him; that, as soon as they received instructions from his Britannic majesty, they would communicate to him the result.

As we have mentioned, the Russian general had such a dread of Frederick that he did not dare to pursue him. In his report of the victory to the Czarina Charlotte, speaking of his own heavy loss of over eighteen thousand men, he writes, Your majesty is aware that the King of Prussia sells his victories at a dear rate. To some who urged him to pursue Frederick, he replied, Let me gain but another such victory, and I may go to Petersburg with the news of it myself alone, with my staff in my hand.