On the 21st I leave Berlin, and mean to be at Neisse on the 24th at least. Your excellency will, in the mean time, make out the order of battle for the regiments which have come in. For I will, on the 25th, without delay, cross the Neisse, and attack those people, cost what it may, and chase them out of Silesia, and follow them as far as possible. You will, therefore, take measure and provide every thing, that the project may be executed the moment I arrive. I am so stupefied with the misfortune which has befallen494 General Finck that I can not recover from my astonishment. It deranges all my measures. It cuts me to the quick. Ill luck, which persecutes my old age, has followed me from Kunersdorf to Saxony. I will still strive what I can. The little ode I sent you, addressed to Fortune, was written too soon. One should not shout victory until the battle is over. I am so crushed by these reverses and disasters that I wish a thousand times I were dead.

Frederick had not grown old gracefully. He was domineering, soured, and irritable, finding fault with every body and every thing. As his troops were getting into camp at Jaromirtz on the 8th of July, the king, weary with riding, threw himself upon the ground for a little rest, his adjutants being near him. A young officer was riding by. Frederick beckoned to him, and wrote, with his pencil, an order of not the slightest importance, and said to the officer, aloud, in the hearing of all, purposely to wound their feelings,

Frederick had an army of thirty-five thousand men at Liegnitz, in Silesia, under the command of young Leopold. Every man was a thoroughly trained soldier. The army was in the best possible condition. At seven oclock in the morning of November 15, 1745, the king left Berlin at full speed for Liegnitz. He arrived there the next day, and at once took the command. There is great velocity in this young king, writes Carlyle; a panther-like suddenness of spring in him; cunning too, as any felis of them; and with claws as the felis leo on occasion. Retire from Silesia! exclaimed the king, vehemently. And277 for money? Do you take me for a beggar? Retire from Silesia, in the conquest of which I have expended so much blood and treasure! No, sir, no. That is not to be thought of. If you have no better proposals to suggest, it is not worth while talking.

Have I not, on all occasions, meant honorably by you? Last time I got wind of your debts, did I not, as a father, admonish you to tell me all? I would pay all; you were only to tell me the truth; whereupon you said there were still two thousand thalers beyond the sum named. I paid these also at once, and fancied I had made peace with you. And then it was found, by-and-by, you owed many thousands more. And as you knew you could not pay, it was as good as if the money had been stolennot to reckon how the French vermin, Montholieu and partner, cheated you with their new loans.

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.Fredericks Antipathy to Christianity.Capture of Glogau.Peril of Frederick.The Siege of Neisse.

Fredericks army was now in a state of great destitution. The region around was so stripped of its resources that it could afford his foragers no more supplies. It was difficult for him to fill his baggage-trains even in Silesia, so much had that country been devastated by war; and wherever any of his supply wagons appeared, swarms of Austrian dragoons hovered around, attacking and destroying them. To add to the embarrassments of the Prussian king, his purse was empty. His subjects could endure no heavier taxation. All the plate which Frederick William had accumulated had been converted into coin and expended.357 Even the massive silver balustrades, which were reserved until a time of need, were melted and gone. He knew not where to look for a loan. All the nations were involved in ruinous war. All wished to borrow. None but England had money to lend; and England was fighting Frederick, and furnishing supplies for his foes.

And peasants as postillions disguised,

Yesterday I joined the army, and Daun decamped. I have493 followed him thus far, and will continue it to the frontiers of Bohemia. Our measures are so taken that he will not get out of Saxony without considerable loss.

He saw his ministers, saw all who had business with him, many who had little; and in the sore coil of bodily miseries, as569 Hertzberg observed with wonder, never was the kings intellect clearer, or his judgment more just and decisive. Of his disease, except to the doctors, he spoke no word to any body.