原州新丝路--宁夏频道--人民网

Each of these ministers makes a most brilliant figure, and never have I seen one travel with more ease and convenience, more elegance and grandeur, than does the Marquis of Montijo. Wherever he stops to dine or sup, he finds a room hung with the richest tapestry, and the floor covered with Turkey carpets, with velvet chairs, and every other kind of convenience; a table sumptuously served, the choicest wines, and a dessert of fruit and confectionery that Paris itself could not excel. This kind of enchantment, this real miracle in Germany, is performed by means of three baggage-wagons, of which two always go before the embassador, and carry with them every thing necessary for his reception. When they arrive in some poor village, the domestics268 that accompany each wagon immediately clear and clean some chamber, fix the tapestry by rings to the walls, cover the floor with carpets, and furnish the kitchen and cellar with every kind of necessary.54 War has its jokes and merriment, but the comedies of war are often more dreadful than the tragedies of peace. Frederick, in his works, records the following incident, which he narrates as slight pleasantry, to relieve the readers mind:83

It is not known that Frederick paid any attention to this appeal. Impoverished as his realms were, large sums of money were absolutely necessary for the conduct of a new campaign. The king levied a contribution upon Leipsic of nearly a million of dollars. The leading citizens said that in their extreme destitution it was impossible to raise that sum. The king threatened to burn down the city over their heads. The combustibles were gathered. The soldiers stood with the torches in their hands to kindle the conflagration. But then the king, apparently reflecting that from the smouldering ashes of the city he could glean no gold, ordered the city to be saved, but arrested a hundred of the chief merchants and threw them into prison.

In a very triumphant mood, the king, on the 19th of November, wrote a boastful and irreverent Ode to Fortune, in that easy rhyme which he called poetry. The substance of this ode, translated into prose, was as follows:

Having met with this repulse, Kannegiesser returned to Berlin with the report. Frederick William was exasperated in the highest degree by such treatment from a brother-in-law whom he both hated and despised. He had at his command an army in as perfect condition, both in equipment and drill, as Europe had ever seen. Within a weeks time forty-four thousand troops, horse, foot, and artillery, were rendezvoused at Magdeburg. Fritz was there, looking quite soldierly on his proud charger, at the head of his regiment of the giant guard. Vigorously they were put upon the march. George II., who had already in his boyhood felt the weight of Frederick Williams arm, and who well knew his desperate energy when once roused, was terrified. He had no forces in Hanover which could stand for an hour in opposition to the army which the Prussian king was bringing against him. 196 A council of war was held. It was decided to commence an immediate and rapid retreat to Silesia. Prague, with its garrison of five thousand men, and its siege artillery, was to be abandoned to its fate. Word was sent to General Einsiedel to spike his guns, blow up his bastions, throw his ammunition into the river, and to escape, if possible, down the valley of the Moldau, to Leitmeritz.

The town of Cüstrin, it will be remembered, was utterly consumed, being set on fire by the shells of the Russians. The commandant of the citadel was censured for not having prevented the calamity. He immediately sought an interview with the king, endeavoring to apologize for his conduct. The king, perhaps justly, perhaps very unjustly, interrupted him, saying,