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Thus his Prussian majesty and the Queen of Hungary met each other like two icebergs in a stormy sea. The allies were exasperated, not conquered, by the defeat of Sohr. Maria Theresa, notwithstanding the severity of winters cold, resolved immediately to send three armies to invade Prussia, and storm Berlin itself. She hoped to keep the design profoundly secret, so that Frederick might be taken at unawares. The Swedish envoy at Dresden spied out the plan, and gave the king warning. Marshal Grüne was to advance from the Rhine, and enter Brandenburg from the west. Prince Charles, skirting Western Silesia, was to march upon Brandenburg from the south. General Rutowski was to spring upon the Old Dessauer, who was encamped upon the frontiers of Saxony, overwhelm and crush his army with superior numbers, and then, forming a junction with Marshal Brüne, with their united force rush upon Berlin. Frederick was astounded, alarmed, for a moment overwhelmed, as these tidings were clearly made known to him. He had brought all this upon himself. And yet, the wretched man exclaimed, what a life I lead! This is not living; this is being killed a thousand times a day!

FLIGHT OF FREDERICK.

I am obliged to tell you that I have long forbid counts to be received, as such, into my army; for when they have served one or two years they retire, and merely make their short military career a subject of vain boasting. If your son wishes to serve, the title of count can be of no use to him. But he will be promoted if he learn his profession well.

Yesterday noon, said he, I had Prince Charles in my parlor. His adjutants and people were all crowding about. Such a questioning and bothering. Hundreds came dashing in, and other hundreds were sent out. In and out they went all night. No sooner was one gone than ten came. I had to keep a roaring fire in the kitchen all night, so many officers were crowding to it to warm themselves. They talked and babbled. One would say that our king was marching upon them with his Potsdam parade guard. Another would say, No, he dare not come. He will turn and run. But my delight is that our king has paid them for their fooleries so prettily this afternoon.

The king, Frederick I., had for some time been in a feeble state of health. The burden of life had proved heavier than he was able to bear. His wife was crazed, his home desolate, his health broken, and many mortifications and disappointments had so crushed his spirits that he had fallen into the deepest state of melancholy. As he was sitting alone and sad in a chill morning of February, 1713, gazing into the fire, absorbed in painful musings, suddenly there was a crash of the glass door of the apartment. His frenzied wife, half-clad, with disheveled hair,23 having escaped from her keepers, came bursting through the shattered panes. Her arms were gashed with glass, and she was in the highest state of maniacal excitement. The shock proved a death-blow to the infirm old king. He was carried to his bed, which he never left, dying in a few days. His grandson Frederick was then fourteen months old.

Thus, writes Voltaire, Frederick invaded Saxony under the pretense of friendship, and that he might make war upon Maria Theresa with the money of which he should rob the Saxons.

I have the honor to inform your humanity that we are Christianly preparing to bombard Neisse; and that, if the place will not surrender of good-will, needs must that it be beaten to powder. For the rest, our affairs go the best in the world; and soon233 thou wilt hear nothing more of us, for in ten days it will all be over, and I shall have the pleasure of seeing you and hearing you in about a fortnight.

In the following terms, Frederick correctly sums up the incidents of the two Silesian campaigns: