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      Leaving a sufficient force to garrison Glogau, the king ordered247 all the remaining regiments to be distributed among the other important posts; while Prince Leopold, in high favor, joined the king at Schweidnitz, to assist in the siege of Neisse. Frederick rapidly concentrated his forces for the capture of Neisse before the Austrian army should march for its relief. He thought that the Austrians would not be able to take the field before the snow should disappear and the new spring grass should come, affording forage for their horses.

      Bergan looked considerably startled. "Your sketch tallies well with some impressions of mine, which I did my best to rid myself of," said he. "But Doctor Remy has befriended me, from the first, and you yourself say that he has been largely the means of saving my mother's life."355 War is cruelty, said General Sherman; and you can not refine it. No man of refined Christian sensibilities, said the Duke of Wellington, should undertake the profession of a soldier. The exigencies of war often require things to be done from which humanity revolts. War, said Napoleon I., is the science of barbarians. One of the principal objects of Frederick in this pursuit of the Austrians through Bohemia was to lay waste the country so utterly, destroying its roads and consuming its provisions, that no Austrian army could again pass through it for the invasion of Silesia. Who can imagine the amount of woe thus inflicted upon the innocent peasants of Bohemia? Both armies were reduced to the necessity of living mainly upon the resources of the country in which they were encamped. Their foraging parties were scattered in all directions. There were frequent attacks of outposts and bloody skirmishes, in which many were slain and many were crippled for life. Each death, each wound, sent tears, and often life-long woe, to some humble cottage.

      The attack was made about eight oclock, with the whole concentrated force of the Prussians, upon the southwest wing of the quadrilateral. The carnage produced by the Prussian batteries, as their balls swept crosswise through the massed Russians, was terrible. One cannon-shot struck down forty-two men. For a moment the Prussians were thrown into confusion by the destructive fire returned by the foe, and seemed discomfited. The Russians plunged wildly forward, with loud huzzas. In the eagerness of their onset their lines were broken.In the mean time, Wilhelmina, disappointed in not finding her brother, wrote to him the following account of her adventures:

      "Things answer to names," she rejoined, quickly; "and if Doctor Remy to call a providence a chance, for instance, let him not wonder if it prove a chanceto him."

      Astra looked at him with soft, smiling, amused eyes. "Heartfree! As much as I am," said she.There is nothing left for us, my dear lord, but to mingle and blend our weeping for the losses we have had. If my head were a fountain of tears, it would not suffice for the grief I feel.


      In the court of the czarina there was a very handsome young Pole, Stanislaus Poniatowski, who had been an acknowledged lover of Catharine. Though Catharine had laid him aside for other favorites, she still regarded him with tender feelings. He was just the man to do her bidding. By skillful diplomacy she542 caused him to be elected King of Poland. That kingdom was now entirely in her hands, so far as it was in the power of its monarch to place it there.He led the way to a small room, pleasantly furnished as a library; and Bergan followed him, though not without a vague sense of a lurking reluctance and lukewarmness in the invitation,which he sternly smothered, nevertheless, as unworthy of himself and unjust to his uncle.



      During the previous summer, the philosopher Maupertuis, after weary wanderings in the languor of consumption, and in great dejection of spirits, had been stricken by convulsions while in his carriage at Basel. He had lost favor with the king, and was poor, friendless, and dying. His latter years had been imbittered by the venomous assaults of Voltaire.Chaplain Müller seems to have enjoyed the confidence of the king to an unusual decree. He was ordered to remain at Cüstrin, and to have daily interviews with the prince, to instruct him in religion. The king professed to be eminently a religious man. While torturing the body and the mind of the prince in every way, he expressed great anxiety for the salvation of his soul. It is not strange that the example of such a father had staggered the faith of the son. Illogically he renounced that religion which condemned, in the severest terms, the conduct of the father, and which caused the king often to tremble upon his throne, appalled by the declaration, Know thou that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.