Frederick soon followed the Austrians with his whole army, hoping to bring them to a decisive battle. But General Neipperg was conscious that he was unable to cope with the Prussian army in the open field. For a week there was man?uvring and counter-man?uvring with great skill on both sides, General Neipperg baffling all the endeavors of Frederick to bring him to a general action.

The first assault was made by six thousand grenadiers upon the extreme western wing of the Austrian army. The terrible conflict lasted nearly an hour. The Prussians were driven back, leaving nine out of ten of the assailing force dead or wounded behind them. The Austrians pursued, and encountered slaughter equal to that which they had inflicted. The weal or woe of a single human polyp was, in the view of Frederick, entirely unimportant in comparison with the great enterprises he was ambitious of achieving. For this dismemberment of Poland Frederick was severely assailed in a book entitled Polish Dialogues. In answer to a letter from Voltaire, he wrote, under date of March 2, 1775:

On the evening of the 3d of December, 1757, the king arrived at Parchwitz, in the heart of Silesia, about thirty miles from Breslau. Here the wreck of Prince Beverns army joined him. Thus re-enforced, he could bring about thirty thousand men into the field. He immediately, in the night, assembled his principal officers, and thus addressed them; the words were taken down at the time. We give this characteristic address slightly abbreviated: