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We have been running about like fools, quite inflated with our victory, to see if we could not chase the Austrians out of Dresden. But they made mockery of us from the tops of their mountains. So I have withdrawn, like a naughty little boy, to hide myself, out of spite, in one of the most cursed villages of Saxony. We must now drive these gentlemen of the imperial army out of Freiberg in order to get something to eat and a place to sleep in.158 I replied, You are in such a humor I know not what to make of it.

You have been willing to suffer for me. Is it not much more natural that I should sacrifice myself for you, and that I should finish, once for all, this fatal division in the family? Could I balance a moment between the choice of unhappiness for myself and the pardon of my brother? What dreadful discourses have there not been held to me on this subject! I tremble when I think of them. All the objections I could allege against the kings proposal were refuted to me beforehand. Your majesty yourself had proposed to him the Prince of Baireuth as a fit alliance for me. I can not therefore imagine that you will disapprove of my resolution. Besides, necessity is not to be resisted. I shall have the honor to offer a more circumstantial detail of the whole transaction to your majesty when I shall be permitted to throw myself at your feet. I can understand easily what must be your grief on the occasion. It is that which touches me the most.

But, alas! poor Goltz, just when ready to march, was taken with sudden, violent fever, the fruit probably of overwork; and in that sad flame blazed away his valiant existence in three or four days; gone forever, June 30, 1761, to the regret of Frederick and of many.167 Had all our fatalities been limited to stoppages of speed on the journey, we should have taken patience. But after frightful roads we found lodgings still more frightful.

The queen, Maria Theresa, still remained at Presburg, in her Hungarian kingdom. The Aulic Council was with her. On the 15th of August Sir Thomas Robinson had returned to Presburg with the intelligence of his unsuccessful mission, and of the unrelenting determination of Frederick to prosecute the war with the utmost vigor unless Silesia were surrendered to him.


The king then, having ordered his guard to watch him with the utmost vigilance, assuring them that their heads should answer for it if they allowed him to escape, sent his son to another boat. He was prevailed upon to do so, as no one could tell to what length the kings ungovernable passions might lead him.

Voltaire was, at this time, about forty years of age. His renown as a man of genius already filled Europe. He was residing,173 on terms of the closest intimacy, with Madame Du Chatelet, who had separated from her husband. With congenial tastes and ample wealth they occupied the chateau of Cirey, delightfully situated in a quiet valley in Champagne, and which they had rendered, as Madame testifies, a perfect Eden on earth. It is not always, in the divine government, that sentence against an evil work is executed speedily. Madame Du Chatelet, renowned in the writings of Voltaire as the divine Emilie, was graceful, beautiful, fascinating. Her conversational powers were remarkable, and she had written several treatises upon subjects connected with the pure sciences, which had given her much deserved celebrity.

Singularly enough, the very next day Frederick received an express from the Divan requesting him, with the aid of Austria, to mediate peace with Russia. The Turks had encountered such reverses that they were anxious to sheathe the sword. Frederick with great joy undertook the mediation. But he found the mediation far more difficult than he had imagined. Catharine and Maria Theresa, so totally different in character, entertained a rooted aversion to each other. The complications were so great that month after month the deliberations were continued unavailingly. Maria Theresa was unrelentingly opposed to the advance of Russia upon Constantinople.

Frederick immediately sent an announcement of the victory to his friend Voltaire. It does not appear that he alluded to his own adventures. Voltaire received the note when in the theatre at Lisle, while listening to the first performance of his tragedy of Mahomet. He read the account to the audience between the acts. It was received with great applause. You will see, said Voltaire, that this piece of Mollwitz will secure the success of mine. Vous verrez que cette piece de Mollwitz fera russir la miene.

When the child was but six years of age his father organized a miniature soldiers company for him, consisting of one hundred lads. Gradually the number was increased to three hundred. The band was called The Crown Prince Cadets. A very spirited, mature boy of seventeen, named Rentzel, was drill-sergeant, while an experienced colonel was appointed commander-in-chief. Fritz was very thoroughly instructed in his duties, and was furnished with a military dress, almost the fac-simile of that which his father wore. An arsenal was also provided for the child on the palace grounds at Potsdam, where he mounted batteries and practiced gunnery with small brass ordnance. Nothing was omitted which could inspire the prince with military enthusiasm, and render him skillful in the art of war. A Prussian gentleman of letters testifies as follows respecting Fritz in his seventh year:

The crowd heard what he said. With bursts of laughter they tore the caricature in pieces, scattered it to the winds, and greeted the king, as he rode away, with enthusiastic shouts of Our Fritz forever.