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You never can believe, my adorable sister, how concerned I am about your happiness. All my wishes centre there, and every moment of my life I form such wishes. You may see by this that I preserve still that sincere friendship which has united our hearts from our tenderest years. Recognize at least, my dear sister, that you did me a sensible wrong when you suspected me of fickleness toward you, and believed false reports of my listening to tale-bearersme, who love only you, and whom neither absence nor lying rumors could change in respect of you. At least, dont again believe such things on my score, and never mistrust me till you have had clear proof, or till God has forsaken me, or I have lost my wits. Do not press each other, my children. Take care of yourselves that the horses may not trample upon you, and that no accident may happen.

293 Of the political morality of this game of fast-and-loose what have we to say, except that the dice on both sides seem to be loaded; that logic might be chopped upon it forever; that a candid mind will settle what degree of wisdom (which is always essential veracity) and what of folly (which is always falsity) there was in Frederick and the others; whether, or to what degree, there was a better course open to Frederick in the circumstances; and, in fine, it will have to be granted that you can not work in pitch and keep hands evidently clean. Frederick has got into the enchanted wilderness populous with devils and their work, alas! It will be long before he get out of it again; his life waning toward night before he get victoriously out, and bequeath his conquest to luckier successors!

Sir Thomas, who was not aware of the engagement into which the allies had entered to keep Russia busy by a war with Sweden, intimated that there were powers which might yet come to the rescue of the queen, and mentioned Russia as one.

In the suburbs of Glogau there was a Protestant church which Count Wallis deemed it a military necessity to order to be burned down, lest it should protect the Prussians in their attack. The Prussians, said Wallis, will make a block-house of it. The Protestants pleaded earnestly for a brief respite, and sent a delegation to Frederick to intercede for the safety of their church. The king very courteously, and with shrewd policy, replied,

Neither the king nor the Crown Prince appeared at the supper. With a select circle, to which neither Wilhelmina nor her mother were admitted, they supped in a private apartment. At the report that the king was treating the Crown Prince with great friendliness, the queen could not conceal her secret pique. In fact, says Wilhelmina, she did not love her children except as they served her ambitious views. She was jealous of134 Wilhelmina because she, and not her mother, had been the means of the release of Fritz. After supper the dancing was resumed, and Wilhelmina embraced an opportunity to ask her brother why he was so changed, and why he treated her so coldly. He assured her that he was not changed; that his reserve was external only; that he had reasons for his conduct. Still he did not explain his reasons, and Wilhelmina remained wounded and bewildered.

Frederick had become very ambitious of high intellectual culture and of literary renown. He gathered around him a numerous class of scholarly men, and opened an extensive correspondence with the most distinguished philosophers, poets, and historians all over Europe. He commenced and persevered in a course of very rigorous study, rising at an early hour, and devoting the unbroken morning to intellectual pursuits. The renowned men of earth have not attained their renown but by untiring exertions.166 For six or seven consecutive hours every day the prince was busy in his library, when no one was allowed to interrupt him. He wrote to a friend about this time:

The audacious duplicity of this ambitious young king was still more conspicuously developed by his entering into a secret correspondence with the court of Austria, through certain generals in the Austrian army. And that he might the more effectually disguise his treachery from his allies, the French, he requested Lord Hyndford to write dispatches to various courts292to Presburg, to England, to Dresdencomplaining that Frederick was deaf to all proposals; that nothing could influence him to enter into terms of reconciliation with Austria. It was to be so arranged that the couriers carrying these dispatches of falsehood should be captured by the French, so that these documents should be carried to the French court.