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The next Sunday, June 3d, the betrothal took place with great magnificence. The ceremony was attended by a large concourse of distinguished guests. Lord Dover says that the very evening of the day of the betrothing a courier arrived from England with dispatches announcing that the English court had yielded to all the stipulations demanded by the King of Prussia in reference to the marriage of Wilhelmina to the Prince of Wales. It was now too late to retract. Probably both the king and Wilhelmina were gratified in being able to decline the offer. But the chagrin of the queen was terrible. She fell into a violent fever, and came near dying, reproaching her daughter with having killed her. Again, on the 8th, Dr. Zimmermann wrote: The king is extraordinarily ill. On the 4th erysipelas appeared on the leg. This announces bursting and mortification. He has much oppression, and the smell of the wound is very bad. There is a gloom of the soul far deeper than any gloom with which nature can ever be shrouded. It is not easy to conceive of a mortal placed in circumstances of greater mental suffering than was the proud, ambitious young monarch during the hour in which he waited, in terror and disgrace, by the side of the mill, for the return of his courier. At length the clatter of hoofs was heard, and the messenger came back, accompanied by an adjutant, to announce to the king that the Prussians still held Lowen, and that the Prussian army had gained a signal victory at Mollwitz.

What do you mean? exclaimed the king, with an air of real or affected surprise. Then, turning to his secretary, M. Podewils, he inquired, How much of Guelderland is theirs, and not ours already?

My dearest Sister,I have the satisfaction to inform you that we have yesterday53 totally beaten the Austrians. They263 have lost more than five thousand men in killed, wounded, and prisoners. We have lost Prince Frederick, brother of Margraf Karl; General Schulenberg, Wartensleben of the Carabineers, and many other officers. Our troops did miracles, and the result shows as much. It was one of the rudest battles fought within the memory of man. High madam, he said, fervently, at this crisis, alliance with Frederick is salvation to Austria. His continued hostility is utter ruin. England can not help your majesty. The slightest endeavor would cause the loss of Hanover.

CHAPTER XXVI. DEFEATS AND PERILS.

Sophie Dorothee dispatched a courier with these documents, to go with the utmost speed to England. It was a long journey in those days, and the winds were often contrary. A fortnight passed. Three weeks were gone. Still there was no answer. On the 25th of January, 1730a day, writes Wilhelmina, which I shall never forgetFinckenstein, Borck, and Grumkow again called upon the queen, with the following message from the king:

My dearest Brother,Your letter and the one you wrote to Voltaire have nearly killed me. What fatal resolutions, great God! Ah! my dear brother, you say you love me, and you drive a dagger into my heart. Your epistle, which I did receive, made me shed rivers of tears. I am now ashamed of such weakness. My misfortune would be so great that I should find worthier resources than tears. Your lot shall be mine. I shall not survive your misfortunes, or those of the house I belong to. You may calculate that such is my firm resolution.

Each regiment shall take but one baggage-cart for a company. No officer, whoever he may be or whatever his title, shall take with him the least of silver plate, not even a silver spoon. Whoever wants to keep table, great or small, must manage the same with tin utensils, without exception, be he who he will.

Frederick retreated down the banks of the Elbe, and sent couriers to the camp at Prague, ordering the siege immediately to be raised, and the troops to retire down the Moldau to join him at Leitmeritz. The news was received at the camp at two oclock on Sunday morning, June 19, creating amazement and consternation. As Frederick was on his retreat with his broken battalions from the field of battle, parched with thirst, burning with heat, and smothered with dust, it is recorded that an old dragoon brought to the king, in his steel cap, some water which he had drawn from a well, saying to his sovereign, consolingly,

Baireuth, October 15, 1757.