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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 791MB

    Lanuage:Englist

    Software instructions

      CHAPTER XXI. BATTLES AND VICTORIES.


      On the 11th of October an express courier reached Fredericks camp with the alarming intelligence that an Austrian division of fifteen thousand men was on the march for Berlin. The city was but poorly fortified, and held a garrison of but four thousand429 troops. Frederick had no doubt that the Austrian army was acting in co-operation with other forces of the allies, advancing upon his metropolis from the east, north, and west. Immediately he collected all his available troops and commenced a rapid march for the protection of his capital. In the mean time Wilhelmina had heard of this new peril. A rumor also had reached her that there had been a battle, and that her brother was wounded. The following letter reveals the anguish of her heart:


      These were terrible tidings for Frederick. The news reached him at Gorlitz when on the rapid march toward Silesia. Prince Charles had between eighty and ninety thousand Austrian troops in the reconquered province. Frederick seemed to be marching to certain and utter destruction, as, with a feeble band of but about twenty thousand men, he pressed forward, declaring, I will attack them if they stand on the steeples of Breslau.

      Certainly, certainly, exclaimed the king.


      The fact was, that the diplomacy of Voltaire had probably not the slightest influence in guiding the action of the king. Frederick had become alarmed in view of the signal successes of the armies of Maria Theresa, under her brother-in-law, Prince Charles of Lorraine. Several Austrian generals, conspicuous among whom was Marshal Traun, were developing great military ability. The armies of Austria had conquered Bohemia and Bavaria. The French troops, discomfited in many battles, had been compelled to retreat to the western banks of the Rhine, vigorously pursued by Prince Charles. The impotent emperor Charles Albert, upon whom France had placed the imperial crown of Germany, was driven from his hereditary realm, and the heart-broken man, in poverty and powerlessness, was an emperor but in name. It was evident that Maria Theresa was gathering her strength to reconquer Silesia. She had issued a decree that the Elector of Bavaria was not legitimately chosen emperor. It was very manifest that her rapidly increasing influence would soon enable her to dethrone the unfortunate Charles Albert, and to place the imperial crown upon the brow of her husband.In that case, sir, replied the king, I wish you a good journey.

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      The victory of Sohr filled Europe with the renown of Frederick. Still his peril was great, and the difficulties before him apparently insurmountable. His treasury was exhausted. His only ally, France, would furnish him with no money, had no confidence365 in him, and was in heart exasperated against him. Not a single court in Europe expressed any friendship for Frederick. On the contrary, nearly all would have rejoiced at his downfall. There seemed to be no end to the campaigns which were opening before him. Yet Frederick knew not where to obtain the money to meet the expense even of a single campaign.

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      Now, however, Frederick, in that downward path through which the rejecters of Christianity invariably descend, had reached the point at which he renounced all belief in the immortality of the soul and in the existence of God. In a poetic epistle addressed to Marshal Keith, he declares himself a materialist, and affirms his unwavering conviction that the soul, which he says is but the result of the bodily organization, perishes with that body. He declares suicide to be the only remedy for man in his hour of extremity.


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