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These tidings struck the Austrian council with consternation. The French armies were declared to be the finest that had ever taken the field. The Prussian army, in stolid bravery and perfection285 of discipline, had never been surpassed. Germany was to be cut into four equal parts, and France was to be the sovereign power on the Continent.

While on the retreat, one of his aids approached him, and the king, with a smile, said, Daun has played me a slippery trick to-day.

All Frankfort was excited by these events. The renown of Voltaire as a philosopher, a poet, and as the friend of Frederick, filled Europe. His eccentricities were the subject of general remark. The most distinguished men, by birth and culture, had paid him marked attention during his brief compulsory sojourn in Frankfort. Having arrived at The Billy-Goat, his conduct, according to the report of M. Freytag, was that of a madman, in which attempted flight, feigned vomitings, and a cocked pistol took part. The account which Voltaire gave of these events is now universally pronounced to be grossly inaccurate.

Voltaire was at this time in Brussels. Frederick wrote him from Wesel, under date of 2d September, 1740, giving a narrative of his adventures, partly in prose, partly in verse. It was a long communication, the rhyme very much like that which a bright school-girl would write upon the gallop. The following specimen of this singular production will give the reader a sufficient idea of the whole:

Olmütz was an ancient, strongly fortified city of Moravia, pleasantly situated on the western banks of the Morawa River. It had been the capital of Moravia, and contained about ten thousand inhabitants. The place subsequently became renowned from the imprisonment of Lafayette in its citadel for many years. The city had become an arsenal, and one of the most important military store-houses of Austria.

They reached Milkau Tuesday night, the 20th. Here they were allowed one day of rest, and Frederick gave each soldier a gratuity of about fifteen cents. On Thursday the march was resumed, and the advance-guard of the army was rapidly gathered around Glogau, behind whose walls Count Wallis had posted his intrepid little garrison of a thousand men. Here Frederick encountered his first opposition. The works were found too strong to be carried by immediate assault, and Frederick had not yet brought forward his siege cannon. The following extracts from the correspondence which Frederick carried on at226 this time develop the state of public sentiment, and the views and character of the king. His friend Jordan, who had been left in Berlin, wrote to him as follows, under date of December 14, 1740, the day after the king left to place himself at the head of his army:

While matters were in this extremity, the British minister, Dubourgay, and Baron Knyphausen, a distinguished Prussian official, dispatched Rev. Dr. Villa, a scholarly man, who had been Wilhelminas teacher of English, on a secret mission to the court of England, to communicate the true state of affairs, and to endeavor to secure some disentanglement of the perplexities. Dr. Villa was a warm friend of Wilhelmina, and, in sympathy with her sorrows, wept as he bade her adieu. The king was in such ill humor that his daughter dared not appear in his presence. If Fritz came within reach of his fathers arm he was pretty sure to receive a blow from his rattan.

The reader of these pages will be oppressed with the consciousness of how vast a proportion of the miseries of humanity is caused by the cruelty of man to his brother man. This globe might be a very happy home for those who dwell upon it. But its history, during the last six thousand years, has presented one of the most appalling tragedies of which the imagination can conceive. Among all the renowned warriors of the past, but few can be found who have contributed more to fill the world with desolated homes, with the moans of the dying, with the cry of the widow and the orphan, than Frederick the Great; but he laid the foundations of an empire which is at this moment the most potent upon the globe.