《国宝传奇——张伯驹》:讲述鲜为人知的国宝背后的故事

THE EMPRESS CATHARINE. If these terms are not accepted within a fortnight, I will not be bound by them.

It will have been easy for you to conceive my grief when you reflect upon the loss I have had. There are some misfortunes which are reparable by constancy and courage, but there are others against which all the firmness with which one can arm ones self, and all the reasonings of philosophers, are only vain and useless attempts at consolation.121 Of the latter kind is the one with which my unhappy fate overwhelms me, at a moment the most embarrassing and the most anxious of my whole life. I have not been so sick as you have heard. My only complaints are colics, sometimes hemorrhoidal, and sometimes nephritic. Meanwhile the King of Englands time of arrival was drawing nigh. We repaired on the 6th of October to Charlottenburg to receive him. My heart kept beating. I was in cruel agitations. King George arrived on the 8th about seven in the evening. The King of Prussia, the queen, and all their suite received him in the court of the palace, the apartments being on the ground floor. So soon as he had saluted the king and queen I was presented to him. He embraced me, and, turning to the queen, said, Your daughter is very large of her age. He gave the queen his hand and led her into her apartment, whither every body followed them. As soon as I came in he took a light from the table and surveyed me from head to foot. I stood motionless as a statue, and was much put out of countenance. All41 this went on without his uttering the least word. Having thus passed me in review, he addressed himself to my brother, whom he caressed much and amused himself with for a good while.

Frederick. Your majesty, replied the gunner, the devil stole them all last night. Frederick exposed himself like a common soldier. Indeed, it sometimes seems that, in the desperate state of his affairs, he sought the fatal bullet. All his efforts against the Austrians were in vain. The Prussians were repulsed with dreadful slaughter. After losing fourteen thousand men in killed, wounded, and prisoners, forty-five cannon, and twenty-two flags, Frederick was compelled to order a retreat. His magnificent regiment of guards, one thousand in number, picked men, undoubtedly the best body of troops in the world, was almost annihilated. The loss of the Austrians was about nine thousand men. They were so accustomed to be defeated by Frederick that they were equally surprised and delighted by this dearly-earned victory. The following plan will give the military reader an idea of the position of the hostile forces.

At Frankfort-on-the-Main the party were to take boats to descend the river. The prince was informed that the king had given express orders that he should not be permitted to enter the town, but that he should be conducted immediately to one of the royal yachts. Here the king received an intercepted letter from the Crown Prince to Lieutenant Katte. Boiling with indignation, he stalked on board the yacht, and assailed his captive son in the coarsest and most violent language of abuse. In the frenzy of his passion he seized Fritz by the collar, shook him, hustled him about, tore out handfuls of hair, and thrust his cane into his face, causing the blood to gush from his nose. Never before, exclaimed the unhappy prince, pathetically, did a Brandenburg face suffer the like of this.

The queen remained bitterly unreconciled to the marriage of Wilhelmina with any one but the Prince of Wales. Stung by the sense of defeat, she did every thing in her power, by all sorts of intrigues, to break off the engagement with the Prince of Baireuth. When she found her efforts entirely unavailing, she even went so far as to take her daughter aside and entreat her, since the ceremony must take place, to refuse, after the marriage, to receive the Prince of Baireuth as her husband, that the queen might endeavor to obtain a divorce.

Rgla diffremment la chose.

It was a sore calamity to Frederick. Had General Schmettau held out only until the next day, which he could easily have done, relief would have arrived, and the city would have been saved. Frederick was in a great rage, and was not at all in the mood to be merciful, or even just. He dismissed the unfortunate general from his service, degraded him, and left him to die in poverty.