In conclusion, he gives utterance to that gloomy creed of infidelity and atheism which he had adopted instead of the Christian faith. Thus destiny with a deluge of torments fills the poisoned remnants of my days. The present is hideous to me, the future unknown. Do you say that I am the creature of a beneficent being? I see that all men are the sport of destiny. And if there do exist some gloomy and inexorable being who allows a despised herd of creatures to go on multiplying here, he values them as nothing. He looks down on our virtues, our misdeeds, on the horrors of war, and on all the cruel plagues which ravage earth, as a thing indifferent to him. Wherefore my sole refuge and only haven, loved sister, is in the arms of death.106 He had hardly arrived at Leitmeritz ere he received the tidings of the death of Sophia Dorothea, his mother. She died at Berlin on the 28th of June, 1757, in the seventy-first year of her age. This grief, coming in the train of disasters which seemed to be overwhelming his Prussian majesty, affected him very deeply. Frederick was subdued and softened by sorrow. He remembered the time when a mothers love rocked his cradle, and wrapped him around with tender care. The reader will be surprised to learn that his griefperhaps with some comminglings of remorsewas so great that he shut himself in his closet, and wept with sobbings like a child.

For a hundred miles around, writes St. Germain, the country434 is plundered and harried as if fire from heaven had fallen on it. Scarcely have our plunderers and marauders left the houses standing. From seven till nine Duhan takes him on history; at nine oclock comes Noltenius (a clergyman from Berlin) with the Christian religion till a quarter to eleven. Then Fritz rapidly washes his face with water, his hands with soap and water; clean shirt; powders and puts on his coat. At eleven oclock he comes to the king, dines with him at twelve, and stays till two. I am also permitted, sire, said Sir Thomas, to add the Duchy of Limburg. It is a duchy of great wealth and resources, so valuable that the Elector Palatine was willing to give in exchange for it the whole Duchy of Berg.

BERLIN PALACE. And what aim has the king? If it is to assure himself of me, that is not the way. Madam of Eisenach might do it, but a fool not. On the contrary, it is morally impossible to love the cause of our misery. The king is reasonable, and I am persuaded he will understand this himself. Your excellency was right to warn me against a cunning enemy whom you know better than I. Here have I tried fighting him, and have got beaten. Your unfortunate

The darkest hour is often nearest the dawn. The next day after Frederick had written the above letter he received news of the death of his most inveterate enemy, Elizabeth, the Empress of Russia. As we have mentioned, she was intensely exasperated against him in consequence of some sarcasms in which he had indulged in reference to her private life. Elizabeth was the daughter of Peter the Great, and had inherited many of her fathers imperial traits of character. She was a very formidable foe.

As this report was made to the king, he exclaimed, angrily, Let him lie in ward, then, and await the doom which the laws adjudge to him. He is my colonel. He has attempted to desert. He has endeavored to induce others to desert with him. The law speaks plainly enough as to the penalty for such crimes.

On the evening of the 29th of June, 1734, there was a grand ball at the little palace of Monbijou. At three oclock in the morning the Crown Prince changed his ball-dress for a military suit, and with his staff set out at full speed for the seat of war. They traveled in carriages, by post, night and day, hastening to take part in the siege of Philipsburg. A little after midnight on the morning of the 2d of July, they reached Hof, having traveled two hundred miles, and having two hundred miles still farther to go. At Hof the prince was within thirty-five miles of Baireuth, to which place Wilhelmina had some time before returned. He was very anxious to see her. But his father had strictly prohibited his going through Baireuth, under the assumption that it would occasion loss of time. Frederick made arrangements with Wilhelmina, who was in a very delicate state of health, to meet him at Berneck, about twelve miles from Baireuth. But, unfortunately, one of the carriages which conveyed the Crown Prince and his companions lost a wheel, which detained them several hours. The commands of the king were explicit that the Crown Prince should not be separated from the rest of the company.

At length Frederick, weary of these unavailing efforts, dashed off in rapid march toward the River Neisse, and with his vanguard, on the 11th of September, crossed the river at the little town of Woitz, a few miles above the city. The river was speedily spanned with his pontoon bridges. As the whole army hurried forward to effect the passage, Frederick, to his surprise, found the Austrian army directly before him, occupying a position from which it could not be forced, and where it could not be turned. For two days Frederick very earnestly surveyed the region, and then, recrossing the river and gathering in his pontoons, passed rapidly down the stream on the left or northern bank, and, after a brief encampment of a few days, crossed the river fifteen miles below the city. He then threw his army into the rear of Neippergs, so as to cut off his communications and his daily convoys of food. He thus got possession again of Oppeln, of the strong castle of Friedland, and of the country generally between the Oder and the Neisse rivers.

To travel with the pomp of a king is not among my wishes, and all of you are aware that I have no pleasure in rich field-furniture; but my increasing age, and the weakness it brings, render me incapable of riding as I did in my youth. I shall, therefore, be obliged to make use of a post-chaise in times of marching, and all of you have liberty to do the same. But on the day of battle you shall see me on horseback; and there, also, I hope my generals will follow that example.

George Ludwig, Count of Berg, who at this time was Bishop of Liege, was a feeble old man, tottering beneath the infirmities of eighty-two years. He did not venture upon physical resistance to the power of Prussia, but confined himself to protests, remonstrances, and to the continued exercise of his own governmental authority. As Herstal was many leagues distant from Berlin, was of comparatively little value, and could only be reached by traversing foreign states, Frederick William offered to sell all his claims to it for about eighty thousand dollars. The proposal not being either accepted or rejected by the bishop, the king, anxious to settle the question before his death, sent an embassador to Liege, with full powers to arrange the difficulty by treaty. For three days the embassador endeavored in vain to obtain an audience. He then returned indignantly to Berlin. The king, of course, regarded this treatment as an insult. The bishop subsequently averred that the audience was prevented by his own sickness. Such was the posture of affairs when Frederick William died.