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HISTORY OF FREDERICK THE SECOND ***




Produced by Richard Hulse, Charlie Howard, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive)









HISTORY

OF

FREDERICK THE GREAT.


[Illustration: FREDERICK THE GREAT. ÆT. 73.]




HISTORY
OF
FREDERICK THE SECOND,

CALLED
FREDERICK THE GREAT.


By JOHN S. C. ABBOTT,

AUTHOR OF “THE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE,” “THE FRENCH
REVOLUTION,” “NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA,” ETC.


_WITH ILLUSTRATIONS._


[Illustration]


NEW YORK:
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
FRANKLIN SQUARE.
1871.




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by

HARPER & BROTHERS,

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.




PREFACE.


It is not surprising that many persons, not familiar with the wild
and wondrous events of the past, should judge that many of the honest
narratives of history must be fictions - mere romances. But it is
difficult for the imagination to invent scenes more wonderful than can
be found in the annals of by-gone days. The novelist who should create
such a character as that of Frederick William, or such a career as that
of Frederick the Great, would be deemed guilty of great exaggeration,
and yet the facts contained in this volume are beyond all contradiction.

Mr. Carlyle has written the Life of Frederick the Great in six closely
printed volumes of over five hundred pages each. It is a work of much
ability and accuracy. There are, however, but few persons, in this
busy age, who can find time to read three thousand pages of fine type,
descriptive of events, many of which have lost their interest, and
have ceased to possess any practical value. Still, the student who has
leisure to peruse these voluminous annals of all the prominent actors
in Europe during the reign of Frederick and of his half-insane father,
will find a rich treat in the wonderfully graphic and accurate pages of
Carlyle.

This volume is intended to give a clear and correct idea of the man - of
his public and private character, and of his career. It would be
difficult to find, in the whole range of English literature, a theme
more full of the elements of entertainment and instruction.

The reader of these pages will be oppressed with the consciousness of
how vast a proportion of the miseries of humanity is caused by the
cruelty of man to his brother man. This globe might be a very happy
home for those who dwell upon it. But its history, during the last six
thousand years, has presented one of the most appalling tragedies of
which the imagination can conceive. Among all the renowned warriors of
the past, but few can be found who have contributed more to fill the
world with desolated homes, with the moans of the dying, with the cry
of the widow and the orphan, than Frederick the Great; but he laid the
foundations of an empire which is at this moment the most potent upon
the globe.




CONTENTS.


Page

CHAPTER I.

PARENTAGE OF FREDERICK THE GREAT.

Origin of the Prussian Monarchy. - The Duchies of Brandenburg and
Prussia. - The Elector crowned King Frederick I. - Frederick
William. - His Childhood, Youth, and Marriage. - Birth of Fritz. -
Death of Frederick I. - Eccentric Character of Frederick William. -
His defective Education. - His Energy. - Curious Anecdotes. -
Hatred of the French. - Education of Fritz. - The Father’s Plan of
Instruction 17


CHAPTER II.

LIFE IN THE PALACE.

The Palace of Wusterhausen. - Wilhelmina and Fritz. - Education of
the Crown Prince. - Rising Dislike of the Father for his Son. - The
Mother’s Sympathy. - The double Marriage. - Character of George I. -
The King of England visits Berlin. - Wilhelmina’s Account of the
Interview. - Sad Fate of the Wife of George I. - The Giant Guard. -
Despotism of Frederick William. - The Tobacco Parliament. - A
brutal Scene. - Death of George I. - The Royal Family of Prussia. -
Augustus, King of Poland. - Corruption of his Court. - Cruel
Treatment of Fritz. - Insane Conduct of the King 36


CHAPTER III.

THE SUFFERINGS OF FRITZ AND WILHELMINA.

The King an Artist. - Cruel Exactions of the King. - Conflicts of
Etiquette. - Quarrel with George II. - Nuptial Intrigues. - Energetic
Action of Frederick William. - Marriage of Frederica Louisa. - Fritz
and his Flute. - Wrath of the King. - Beats Wilhelmina and Fritz. -
Attempts to strangle Fritz. - The Hunt at Wusterhausen. - Intrigues
in reference to the Double Marriage. - Anguish of Wilhelmina. -
Cruelty of her Mother. - Resolve of Fritz to escape to England 58


CHAPTER IV.

THE ATTEMPT TO ESCAPE.

Objections to the British Alliance. - Obstinacy of the King. -
Wilhelmina’s Journal. - Policy of Frederick William and of George
II. - Letter from Fritz. - The Camp of Mühlberg. - The Plan of
Escape. - The Flight arrested. - Ungovernable Rage of the King. -
Endeavors to kill his Son. - Arrest and Imprisonment of Fritz. -
Terror of his Mother and Sister. - Wilhelmina imprisoned 80


CHAPTER V.

IMPRISONMENT OF FRITZ AND WILHELMINA.

Spirited Conduct of Fritz. - Fortress of Cüstrin. - Prison Fare. -
Wilhelmina’s Captivity. - Sad Fate of Doris Ritter. - Motives of
the King. - Doom of Lieutenant Katte. - Pathetic Supplications. -
The Execution. - Peril of Fritz. - Theology of the King. - Letter
from Fritz. - Sufferings of Wilhelmina. - Brutality of the King. -
Wilhelmina brought to Terms 100


CHAPTER VI.

THE MARRIAGE OF WILHELMINA.

Wilhelmina’s Letter to her Mother. - Cruel Response. - The Court
Festival. - First Interview with the Prince of Baireuth. - His
Character and Appearance. - Interview between the King and Fritz. -
The Partial Reconciliation. - Divine Decrees. - The King’s Sense
of Justice. - The King’s Discipline of the Judges. - Character of
Fritz. - Wilhelmina’s Annoyances. - Her Marriage. - Interview between
Wilhelmina and Fritz. - The Departure 118


CHAPTER VII.

THE MARRIAGE OF THE CROWN PRINCE.

Matrimonial Intrigues. - Letters from the King to his Son. - Letter
from Fritz to Grumkow. - Letter to Wilhelmina. - The Betrothal. -
Character of Elizabeth. - Her cruel Reception by the Prussian
Queen. - Letter from Fritz to Wilhelmina. - Disappointment and
Anguish of Elizabeth. - Studious Habits of Fritz. - Continued
Alienation of his Father. - The Marriage. - Life in the Castle at
Reinsberg 136


CHAPTER VIII.

DEVELOPMENTS OF CHARACTER.

The Castle at Reinsberg. - Slender Purses of Fritz and Wilhelmina. -
Liberality of Fritz. - The Ball at Monbijou. - Adventures of Fritz
and Wilhelmina. - Letters. - The Interview. - Anecdote of the King. -
Wilhelmina’s Account of her Brother. - Mental and Physical Maladies
of the King. - Frederick’s cruel Neglect of his Wife. - Daily Habits
of the young Prince. - The shameful Carousal 152


CHAPTER IX.

THE DEATH OF FREDERICK WILLIAM.

Voltaire and Madame Du Châtelet. - Letter from Frederick to Voltaire. -
The Reply. - Visit to the Prince of Orange. - Correspondence. - The
Crown Prince becomes a Mason. - Interesting Letter from the Crown
Prince. - Petulance and declining Health of the King. - Scenes in the
Death-chamber. - Characteristic Anecdotes. - The Dying Scene 172


CHAPTER X.

THE ACCESSION OF FREDERICK THE SECOND.

Establishment of the Berlin Academy of Sciences. - Religious
Toleration. - A Free Press. - Sternness of the young King. - Domestic
Habits of the King. - Provision for the Queen-mother. - Absolutism of
the King. - Journey to Strasbourg. - First Interview with Voltaire
191


CHAPTER XI.

DIPLOMATIC INTRIGUES.

The Herstal Affair. - The Summons. - Voltaire’s Manifesto. - George II.
visits Hanover. - The Visit of Wilhelmina to Berlin. - Unpopularity
of the King. - Death of the Emperor Charles VI. 206


CHAPTER XII.

THE INVASION OF SILESIA.

Deceptive Measures of Frederick. - Plans for the Invasion of Silesia. -
Avowed Reasons for the Invasion. - The Ball in Berlin. - The March of
the Army. - Hardships and Successes. - Letter to Voltaire. - Capture
of Glogau. - Capture of Brieg. - Bombardment of Neisse 218


CHAPTER XIII.

THE CAMPAIGN OF MOLLWITZ.

Embarrassments of Frederick. - Attempts a Compromise. - New Invasion
of Silesia. - Intrigues for the Imperial Crown. - Rivalry between
England and France. - Death of Anne of Russia. - Energy of
Austria. - Narrow Escape of Frederick. - Frederick’s Antipathy to
Christianity. - Capture of Glogau. - Peril of Frederick. - The Siege
of Neisse 237


CHAPTER XIV.

THE DEFEAT AND FLIGHT OF FREDERICK.

Preparing for the Battle. - The Surprise. - The Snow-encumbered
Plain. - Horror of the Scene. - Flight of Frederick. - His Shame
and Despair. - Unexpected Victory of the Prussians. - Letters of
Frederick. - Adventures of Maupertuis 254


CHAPTER XV.

THE WAR IN SILESIA.

The Encampment at Brieg. - Bombardment. - Diplomatic Intrigues. -
Luxury of the Spanish Minister. - Rising Greatness of Frederick. -
Frederick’s Interview with Lord Hyndford. - Plans of France. -
Desperate Prospects of Maria Theresa. - Anecdote of Frederick. -
Joint Action of England and Holland. - Heroic Character of Maria
Theresa. - Coronation of the Queen of Hungary 265


CHAPTER XVI.

THE CONQUEST OF SILESIA.

An extraordinary Interview. - Carlyle’s Sympathy. - Trifling Demeanor
of Frederick. - Conspiracy in Breslau. - Guile of Frederick. - The
successful Stratagem. - Crossing the Neisse. - The Co-operation of
France. - Anguish of Maria Theresa. - Inflexible Will of Frederick. -
Duplicity of the King. - The Surrender of Neisse 275


CHAPTER XVII.

THE CAMPAIGN OF MORAVIA.

Frederick’s Motives for the War. - Marriage of William Augustus. -
Testimony of Lord Macaulay. - Frederick and his Allies. - Visit to
Dresden. - Military Energy. - Charles Albert chosen Emperor. - The
Coronation. - Effeminacy of the Saxon Princes. - Disappointment and
Vexation of Frederick. - He withdraws in Chagrin. - The Cantonment on
the Elbe. - Winter Campaigning. - The Concentration at Chrudim 295


CHAPTER XVIII.

FREDERICK TRIUMPHANT.

The Battle of Chotusitz. - Letter to Jordan. - Results of the
Battle. - Secret Negotiations. - The Treaty of Breslau. - Entrance
into Frankfort. - Treachery of Louis XV. - Results of the Silesian
Campaigns. - Panegyrics of Voltaire. - Imperial Character of Maria
Theresa. - Her Grief over the Loss of Silesia. - Anecdote of Senora
Barbarina. - Duplicity of both Frederick and Voltaire. - Gayety in
Berlin. - Straitened Circumstances. - Unamiability of Frederick 309


CHAPTER XIX.

THE INVASION OF BOHEMIA.

Correspondence between Frederick and Voltaire. - Voltaire’s Visit to
Frederick. - Domestic Habits of the King. - Unavailing Diplomacy
of Voltaire. - The New Alliance. - The Renewal of War. - The Siege
of Prague. - The Advance upon Vienna. - Darkening Prospects. - The
Pandours. - Divisions in Council. - Sickness of Louis XV. - Energy of
Frederick. - Distress of the Army 326


CHAPTER XX.

THE RETREAT.

The Retreat ordered. - Awful Suffering. - Narrow Escape of the King. -
The Flight from Prague. - Military Mistakes of the King. - Frederick
returns to Berlin. - His wonderful administrative Ability. - Poland
joins Austria. - The Austrians enter Silesia. - Unreasonable Demands
of Frederick. - Humiliation of the King. - Prince Charles and his
Bride. - Character of Leopold. - Death of the Emperor. - Bavaria
turns against Frederick. - Anecdotes of Prince Leopold. - Peril of
Frederick. - Battle of Hohenfriedberg. - Signal Victory of Frederick
335


CHAPTER XXI.

BATTLES AND VICTORIES.

Battle of Hohenfriedberg. - Religious Antagonism. - Anecdote of the
King. - Retreat of the Austrians. - Horrors of War. - “A slight
Pleasantry.” - Sufferings of the Prussian Army. - The Victory of
Fontenoy. - Frederick’s Pecuniary Embarrassments. - Executive
Abilities of Maria Theresa. - Inflexibility of the Austrian Queen. -
The Retreat to Silesia. - The Surprise at Sohr. - Military Genius of
Frederick. - Great Victory of Sohr 352


CHAPTER XXII.

THE PEACE OF DRESDEN.

Sufferings of the Peasantry. - Renown and Peril of Frederick. - New
Plan of Maria Theresa. - Despondency of Frederick. - Surprise and
Rout of the Austrians. - The “Old Dessauer” enters Saxony. - Battle
of Kesseldorf. - Singular Prayer of the Old Dessauer. - Signal
Victory of the Prussians. - Elation of Frederick. - The Peace of
Dresden. - Death of M. Duhan 364


CHAPTER XXIII.

FREDERICK THE GREAT AT SANS SOUCI.

Days of Peace and Prosperity. - The Palace of Sans Souci. - Letter
from Marshal Keith. - Domestic Habits of the King. - Frederick’s
Snuff-boxes. - Anecdotes. - Severe Discipline of the Army. -
Testimony of Baron Trenck. - The Review. - Death of the “Divine
Emilie.” - The King’s Revenge. - Anecdote of the Poor Schoolmaster. -
The Berlin Carousal. - Appearance of his Majesty. - Honors conferred
upon Voltaire 375


CHAPTER XXIV.

THE QUARREL.

Voltaire and the Jew. - Letter from Frederick to D’Arget. -
Letter to Wilhelmina. - Caustic Letters to Voltaire. - Partial
Reconciliation. - Frederick’s brilliant Conversational Powers. -
His Neglect of his Wife. - All Females excluded from his Court. -
Maupertuis and the Academy. - Voltaire’s Malignity. - Frederick’s
Anger. - Correspondence between Voltaire and Maupertuis. - Menaces of
War. - Catt and the King 387


CHAPTER XXV.

COMMENCEMENT OF THE SEVEN YEARS’ WAR.

Secret Preparations for a Coalition. - Frederick’s Embarrassments. -
The uncertain Support of England. - Causes of the War. - Commencement
of Hostilities. - Letter from Frederick to his Sister Amelia. -
Letter to his Brother. - The Invasion of Saxony. - Misfortunes of the
Royal Family of Poland. - Battle of Lobositz. - Energetic Military
Movements. - Prisoners of War compelled to enlist in the Prussian
Service. - Dispatches from Frederick. - Battle of Prague. - Battle of
Kolin. - Retreat of Frederick. - Death of Sophia Dorothea 402


CHAPTER XXVI.

DEFEATS AND PERILS.

Grief of the King over his Mother’s Death. - Interesting Letters. -
Forces in the Field. - The March upon Dresden. - Devotion of
Wilhelmina. - Atheism of the King. - Wilhelmina to Voltaire. -
Despair of Frederick. - Great Victory of Rossbach. - Description of
the Battle. - Utter Rout of the Allies. - Elation of Frederick. - His
Poem on the Occasion. - Ravages of War 418


CHAPTER XXVII.

THE LEUTHEN CAMPAIGN.

Results of the Battle of Rossbach. - The Attack upon Breslau. -
Extraordinary Address of the King to his Troops. - Confidence of the
Prussians in their Commander. - Magnificent Array of the Austrians
at Leuthen. - Tactics of Frederick. - The Battle Hymn. - The Battle
and the Victory. - Scenes after the Battle. - Recapture of Breslau by
Frederick 434


CHAPTER XXVIII.

DOMESTIC GRIEFS AND MILITARY REVERSES.

Destruction of the Army of Prince Charles. - Dismay in Vienna. -
Testimony of Napoleon I. - Of Voltaire. - Wretchedness of the King. -
Compromise rejected. - New Preparations for War. - Treaty between
England and Prussia. - Plan of the Campaign. - Siege of Olmütz. -
Death of Prince Augustus William. - The Baggage Train. - The
irreparable Disaster. - Anxiety of Frederick for Wilhelmina. - The
March against the Russians. - The Battle of Zorndorf. - Anecdotes of
Frederick 445


CHAPTER XXIX.

THE THIRD CAMPAIGN OF THE SEVEN YEARS’ WAR.

Frederick’s Attempt to Rescue his Brother. - Captured Dispatches. -
Battle of Hochkirch. - Defeat and Retreat of Frederick. - Death of
Wilhelmina. - Letter to Voltaire. - Rejoicings at Vienna. - The Siege
of Neisse. - The Siege of Dresden. - Conflagrations and Terror. -
The Siege raised by Frederick. - Results of the Third Campaign. -
Unavailing Efforts for Peace. - Despair of Frederick 463


CHAPTER XXX.

FOURTH CAMPAIGN OF THE SEVEN YEARS’ WAR.

Desperate Exertions of Frederick. - Aid from England. - Limited
Resources. - Opening of the Campaign. - Disgraceful Conduct of
Voltaire. - Letter to Voltaire. - An Act of Desperation. - Letter to
Count Finckenstein. - Frankfort taken by the Prussians. - Terrible
Battle of Kunersdorf. - Anguish of Frederick. - The Disastrous
Retreat. - Melancholy Dispatch. - Contemplating Suicide. - Collecting
the Wrecks of the Army. - Consternation in Berlin. - Letters to
D’Argens. - Wonderful Strategical Skill. - Literary Efforts of the
King 475


CHAPTER XXXI.

THE STRUGGLE CONTINUED.

Winter Encampment. - Death of Maupertuis. - Infamous Conduct of
Voltaire. - Reproof by the King. - Voltaire’s Insincerity. -
Correspondence. - The King publishes his Poems. - Dishonorable
Conduct of the King. - New Encampment near Dresden. - Destruction
of Frederick’s Army in Silesia. - Atrocities perpetrated by the
Austrians. - Astonishing March. - The Austrians outwitted. - Dresden
bombarded and almost destroyed by Frederick. - Battle of Liegnitz. -
Utter Rout of the Austrians. - Undiminished Peril of Frederick. -
Letter to D’Argens 495


CHAPTER XXXII.

THE END OF THE FIFTH CAMPAIGN.

Incessant Marches and Battles. - Letter from Frederick to D’Argens. -
Letter to his Brother Henry. - Berlin summoned to Surrender. -
Sacking of the City. - Letter to D’Argens. - Desperate Resolves of
Frederick. - The Resort of Suicide. - Remarkable Address of Frederick
to his Generals. - Bloody Battle of Torgau. - Dismal Night-scene. -
Familiarity of the King with the Soldiers. - Winter Quarters at
Freiberg. - Singular Letter to the Countess of Camas. - Death of the
Princess Amelia. - Anecdotes of the King. - His domestic Habits. -
His unscrupulous Measures to obtain Men and Money. - Letter of
Charlotte of Mecklenburg 507


CHAPTER XXXIII.

THE END OF THE SEVEN YEARS’ WAR.

Commencement of the Sixth Campaign. - The Fortified Camp at
Bunzelwitz. - Skillful Engineering. - Unintermitted Toil of the
Soldiers. - Retreat of the Russians. - Loss of Schweidnitz. -
Peculiar Treatment of General Zastrow. - Close of the Sixth
Campaign. - The King at Breslau. - Desponding Letter to D’Argens. -
Death of Elizabeth of Russia. - Accession of Peter III. - His
Marriage with the Daughter of a Prussian General. - Takes the
Baptismal Name of Catharine. - Assassination of Peter III. -
Curious Proclamation by the Empress. - Commencement of the Seventh
Campaign. - Alliance of Russia with Prussia. - Withdrawal from the
Alliance. - Termination of the War 522


CHAPTER XXXIV.

THE PARTITION OF POLAND.

The King patronizes literary and scientific Men. - Anecdotes. -
The Family Quarrel. - Birth of Frederick William III. - Rapid
Recuperation of Prussia. - The King’s Tour of Observation. - Desolate
Aspect of the Country. - Absolutism of Frederick. - Interview between
Frederick and D’Alembert. - Unpopularity of Frederick. - Death of the
King of Poland. - Plans for the Partition of Poland. - Intrigues of
Catharine. - Interview between Frederick and the Emperor Joseph. -
Poland seized by Russia, Prussia, and Austria. - The Division of the
Spoil. - Remorse of Maria Theresa. - Indifference of Frederick to
public Opinion 536


CHAPTER XXXV.

LIFE’S CLOSING SCENES.

Character of the Crown Prince. - Stratagem of the Emperor Joseph
II. - Death of the Empress Catharine of Russia. - Matrimonial
Alliance of Russia and Prussia. - Death of the King of Bavaria. -
Attempt to Annex Bavaria to Austria. - Unexpected Energy of
Frederick. - Court Intrigues. - Preparations for War. - Address to
the Troops. - Declaration of War. - Terror in Vienna. - Irritability
of Frederick. - Death of Voltaire. - Unjust Condemnation of the
Judges. - Death of Maria Theresa. - Anecdote. - The King’s Fondness
for Children. - His Fault-finding Spirit. - The King’s Appearance. -
The Last Review. - Statement of Mirabeau. - Anecdote related by Dr.
Moore. - Frederick’s Fondness for Dogs. - Increasing Weakness. -
Unchanging Obduracy toward the Queen. - The Dying Scene 550




ILLUSTRATIONS.


Frederick the Great. Æt. 73 _Frontispiece._
Page
Frederick the Great 19

Baptism of Frederick 22

Frederick William 23

The little Drummer 29

The Arsenal 31

The Sausage Car 33

Making a Soldier of him 39

Captain of the Giant Guards 43

The Tobacco Parliament 46

Royalty at Dinner 57

Wilhelmina 62

The Dressing-gown 68

A Royal Executioner 71

Frederick and his Sister 79

The Flight arrested 90

Frederick William enraged 94

Destroying the Letters 96

Wilhelmina Imprisoned 99

Frederick in Prison 102

Doris Ritter’s Punishment 104

Frederick at Katte’s Execution 108

Grumkow’s conference with Wilhelmina 116

Disciplining the Judges 126

Berlin Palace 129

The Reconciliation 133

The Betrothal 143

Frederick and Wilhelmina 159

The King and his Servant 162

Fritz in his Library 165

The Banquet 170

The Crown Prince entering the Tobacco Parliament 182

Frederick meeting his Ministers 190

Frederick in the Garden 196

Frederick’s first Interview with Voltaire 204

The Death-scene of the Emperor 215

Map of Silesia 217

The March into Silesia 224

Attack upon Neisse 235

Frederick on the Field of Baumgarten 241

The Assault on Glogau 246

Map illustrating the Mollwitz Campaign 247

The Night before Mollwitz 251



Online LibraryJohn S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) AbbottHistory of Frederick the Second → online text (page 1 of 52)