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403 Frederick was in great perplexity. To wait for his enemies to complete their arrangements, and to commence the attack at their leisure, placed him at great disadvantage. To begin the attack himself, and thus to open anew the floodgates of war, would increase the hostility with which the nations were regarding him. As the diplomacy of the foreign cabinets had been secret, he would universally be regarded as the aggressor. England was Fredericks only allya treacherous ally, influenced not by sympathy for Frederick, but by hatred of France, and by fear of the loss of Hanover. The British cabinet would abandon Prussia the first moment it should see it to be for its interest to do so.

321 First he asked me if it were true that the French nation were so angered against him, if the king was, and if you were. I answered that there was nothing permanent. He then condescended to speak fully upon the reasons which induced him to make peace. These reasons were so remarkable that I dare not trust them to this paper. All that I dare say is, that it seems to me easy to lead back the mind of this sovereign, whom the situation of his territories, his interest, and his taste would appear to mark as the natural ally of France. He said, moreover, that he earnestly desired to see Bohemia in the emperors hands, that he renounced all claim on Berg and Jülick, and that he thought only of keeping Silesia. He said that he knew well enough that the house of Austria would one day wish to recover that fine province, but that he trusted he could keep his conquest. That he had at that time a hundred and thirty thousand soldiers perfectly prepared for war; that he would make of Neisse, Glogau, and Brieg fortresses as strong as Wesel; that he was well informed that the Queen of Hungary owed eighty million German crowns (,000,000); that her provinces, exhausted and wide apart, would not be able to make long efforts; and that the Austrians for a long time to come could not of themselves be formidable.71

On Sunday he is to rise at seven oclock, and, as soon as he has got his slippers on, shall kneel at his bedside and pray to God, so as all in the room may hear, in these words: In the autumn of 1750 Frederick held a famous Berlin carousal, the celebrity of which filled all Europe. Distinguished guests flocked to the city from all the adjoining realms. Wilhelmina came to share in the festivities. Voltaire was also present, the observed of all observers. An English gentleman, Sir Jonas Hanway, in the following terms describes the appearance of Frederick at this time:

The fault-finding character of the king, and his intense devotion to perfecting his army, both increased with his advancing years. After one of his reviews of the troops in Silesia, in the year 1784, he wrote in the following severe strain to the commanding general:

250 General Neipperg, as his men were weary with their long march, did not make an attack, but allowed his troops a short season of repose in the enjoyment of the comforts of Neisse. The next morning, the 6th, Frederick continued his retreat to Friedland, ten miles farther north. He was anxious to get between the Austrians and Ohlau. He had many pieces of artillery there, and large stores of ammunition, which would prove a rich prize to the Austrians. It was Fredericks intention to cross the River Neisse at a bridge at Sorgau, eight miles from Friedland; but the officer in charge there had been compelled to destroy the bridge, to protect himself from the Austrian horsemen, who in large numbers had appeared upon the opposite banks. Prince Leopold was sent with the artillery and a strong force to reconstruct the bridge and force the passage, but the Austrian dragoons were encountered in such numbers that the enterprise was found impossible.

The King an Artist.Cruel Exactions of the King.Conflicts of Etiquette.Quarrel with George II.Nuptial Intrigues.Energetic Action of Frederick William.Marriage of Frederica Louisa.Fritz and his Flute.Wrath of the King.Beats Wilhelmina and Fritz.Attempts to strangle Fritz.The Hunt at Wusterhausen.Intrigues in reference to the Double Marriage.Anguish of Wilhelmina.Cruelty of her Mother.Resolve of Fritz to escape to England.