There was a small garrison at Glatz, at Silesia, which, though closely besieged, still held out against the Austrians. Frederick thought that if he could by any stratagem draw General Daun from Dresden, he could, by a sudden rush, break down its walls and seize the city. He moved with celerity which completely deceived the Austrian commander. At two oclock in the morning of Wednesday, July 2d, his whole army was almost on the run toward Silesia. They marched as troops never marched before.502 For twelve hours their speed was unintermitted. The next day, in utter exhaustion, they rested. But on Friday, as the village clocks were tolling the hour of midnight, all were again on the move, the king himself in front. Again it was a run rather than a march through a dreary realm of bogs, wild ravines, and tangled thickets. At three oclock on Saturday morning the march was resumed.

Winter was now approaching. The Austrians in Saxony made a desperate attack upon Prince Henry, and were routed with much loss. The shattered Austrian army retired to Bohemia for winter quarters. Under the circumstances, it was a victory of immense importance to Frederick. Upon receiving the glad tidings, he wrote to Henry: On Tuesday night, the 12th of December, 1740, there was a very splendid masked ball in Berlin. The king and queen were both present. The mind of the king was evidently preoccupied, though he endeavored to assume an air of gayety. Privately quitting the ball at a late hour, he set out, early in the morning, to place himself at the head of forty thousand troops whom he had assembled near the Silesian frontier. A small escort only accompanied him. It was a cold winters day. Driving rapidly, they reached Frankfort that night, sixty miles distant. In the dawn of the next day the king was again upon the road, and, after a drive of forty miles, reached Crossen, a border town, where he established his head-quarters.

The hereditary prince came in while we were talking, and earnestly entreated my brother to get him away from Baireuth. They went to a window and talked a long time together. My brother told me he would write a letter to the margraf, and give him such reasons in favor of the campaign that he doubted not it would turn the scale. He promised to obtain the kings express leave to stop at Baireuth on his return, after which he went away. It was the last time I saw him on the old footing with me. He has much changed since then. We returned to Baireuth, where I was so ill that for three days they did not think I should get over it.

But behold the caprice of Fortune. After a hundred preferences of my rivals, she smiles upon me, and packs off the hero of the hat and sword, whom the pope had blessed, and who had gone on pilgrimages. He skulks out of Saxony, panting like a dog whom the cook has flogged out of the kitchen.

Frederick dispatched messengers to Ohlau to summon the force there to his aid; the messengers were all captured. The Prussians were now in a deplorable condition. The roads were encumbered and rendered almost impassable by the drifted snow. The army was cut off from its supplies, and had provisions on hand but for a single day. Both parties alike plundered the poor inhabitants of their cattle, sheep, and grain. Every thing that could burn was seized for their camp-fires. We speak of the carnage of the battle-field, and often forget the misery which is almost invariably brought upon the helpless inhabitants of the region through which the armies move. The schoolmaster of Mollwitz, a kind, simple-hearted, accurate old gentleman, wrote an account of the scenes he witnessed. Under date of Mollwitz, Sunday, April 9, he writes:

On the 25th of December, 1745, the peace of Dresden was signed. The demands of Frederick were acceded to. Augustus III. of Saxony, Maria Theresa of Austria, and George II. of England became parties to the treaty. The next day Frederick attended sermon in the Protestant church. Monday morning his army, by slow marches, commenced its return to Brandenburg. Frederick, highly elated by the wonderful and almost miraculous change in his affairs, entered his carriage in company with his two brothers, and drove rapidly toward Berlin. The next day,373 at two oclock in the afternoon, they reached the heath of Britz, five miles out from the city. Here the king found an immense concourse of the citizens, who had come on horseback and in carriages to escort him to his palace. Frederick sat in an open phaeton, accompanied by the Prince of Prussia and Prince Henry. The throng was so great that the horses could only proceed at the slowest pace. The air resounded with shouts of Long live Frederick the Great. The king was especially gracious, saying to those who eagerly crowded around his carriage wheels,

Ann Amelia.72

The terror in Vienna was dreadful. I will not attempt to describe the dismay the tidings excited among all ranks of people. Maria Theresa, trembling for her two sons who were in the army, immediately dispatched an autograph letter to Frederick with new proposals for a negotiation.

Voltaire, being safe out of Prussia, in the territory of the King of Poland, instead of hastening to Plombires, tarried in Dresden, and then in Leipsic. From those places he began shooting, through magazines, newspapers, and various other instrumentalities, his poisoned darts at M. Maupertuis. Though these malignant assaults, rapidly following each other, were anonymous, no one could doubt their authorship. M. Maupertuis, exasperated, wrote to him from Berlin on the 7th of April:

While in health and prosperity, quaffing the wines of Frederick, he was an avowed infidel, and eagerly joined the ribald companions of the king in denouncing all religion as the fanaticism of weak minds. But in these hours of pain, of loneliness, and of approaching death he could find no consolation in the teachings of philosophy. He sent for two Christian ministers to visit497 him daily, and daily had the Bible read to him. It was a death-bed repentance. Bitterly he deplored a wasted life. Sincerely he seemed to embrace the doctrines of Christianity.143 He died, after a lingering sickness, far from home and friends, on the 27th of July, 1759.

Early the next morning Frederick commenced the vigorous pursuit of the retiring foe. A storm arose. For twelve hours the rain fell in torrents. But the Prussian army was impelled onward, through the mud, and through the swollen streams, inspired by the almost supernatural energy which glowed in the bosom of its king. It seemed as if no hardships, sufferings, or perils could induce those iron men, who by discipline had been converted into mere machines, to wander from the ranks or to falter on the way. As we have mentioned, there were throughout all this region two religious parties, the Catholics and the Protestants. They were strongly antagonistic to each other. Under the Austrian sway, the Catholics, having the support of the government, had enjoyed unquestioned supremacy. They had often very cruelly persecuted the Protestants, robbing them of their churches, and, in their zeal to defend what they deemed the orthodox faith, depriving them of their children, and placing them under the care of the Catholic priests to be educated.

It is in such moments that I have felt how small are those advantages of birth, those vapors of grandeur, with which vanity would solace us. They amount to little, properly to nothing. Ah! would glory but make use of me to crown your successes!