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Frederick was in very weak health in these months; still considered by the gazetteers to be dying. But it appears he is not yet too weak for taking, on the instant necessary, a world-important resolution; and of being on the road with it, to this issue or to that, at full speed before the day closed. Desist, good neighbor, I beseech you. You must desist, and even you shall: this resolution was entirely his own, as were the equally prompt arrangements he contrived for executing it, should hard come to hard, and Austria prefer war to doing justice.191

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Compact as a wall, and with an incredible velocity, Seidlitz, in the blaze of rapid steel, is in upon them. From the first it was manifest that the destruction of the advance-guard was certain. The Prussian cavalry slashed through it again and again, throwing it into inextricable disorder. In less than half an hour this important portion of the allied troops was put to utter rout, tumbling off the ground, plunging down hill in full flight, across its own infantry, or whatever obstacle, Seidlitz on the hips of it, and galloping madly over the horizon. With the utmost secrecy Frederick matured his plans. It could not be concealed that he was about to embark in some important military enterprise. The embassadors from other courts exerted all their ingenuity, but in vain, to ascertain in what direction the army was to march. Though the French had an embassador at Berlin, still it would seem that Voltaire was sent as a spy, under the guise of friendship, to attempt to ferret out the designs of the king. These men, who did not profess any regard to the principles of religion, seem also to have trampled219 under feet all the instincts of honor. Voltaire endeavored to conceal his treachery beneath smiles and flattery, writing even love verses to the king. The king kept his own secret. Voltaire was not a little chagrined by his want of success. In his billet of leave he wrote: 525

The friendship of these two remarkable men must have been of a singular character. Voltaire thus maliciously wrote of the king: It would be unjust alike to the father and the son to withhold a letter which reflects so much credit upon them bothupon179 the father for his humane measures, and upon the son for his appreciation of their moral beauty.

Taking off his hat, he slightly saluted them, and retired behind the curtain into the interior tent.

It is late. I wish you had done.

The battle soon began, with its tumult, its thunder-roar of artillery and musketry, its gushing blood, its cries of agony, its death convulsions. Both parties fought with the reckless courage, the desperation with which trained soldiers, of whatever nationality, almost always fight.

Frederick had now under his command twenty-four thousand men. They were mostly on the road between Frankfort and Berlin, for the protection of the capital. His brother Henry, in the vicinity of Landshut, with his head-quarters at Schm?ttseifen, was in command of thirty-eight thousand. The Russians and Austrians numbered one hundred and twenty thousand. There was, however, but little cordial co-operation among the allies. Each was accused of endeavoring to crowd the other to the front of the battle against the terrible Frederick.

THE ASSAULT ON GLOGAU.

With the first dawn of the morning, the two armies, in close contact, rushed furiously upon each other. There were seventy351 thousand on the one side, seventy-five thousand on the other. They faced each other in lines over an undulating plain nearly ten miles in extent. It is in vain to attempt to give the reader an adequate idea of the terrible battle which ensued. With musketry, artillery, gleaming sabres, and rushing horsemen, the infuriate hosts dashed upon each other. For fifteen hours the blood-red surges of battle swept to and fro over the plain. At length Prince Charles, having lost nine thousand in dead and wounded, seven thousand prisoners, sixteen thousand in all, sixty-six cannon, seventy-three flags and standards, beat a retreat. Rapidly his bleeding and exhausted troops marched back through Hohenfriedberg, entered the mountain defiles, and sought refuge, a thoroughly beaten army, among the fortresses of Bohemia. Frederick remained the undisputed victor of the field. Five thousand of his brave soldiers lay dead or wounded upon the plain. Even his stoical heart was moved by the greatness of the victory. As he first caught sight of M. Valori after the battle, he threw his arms around him, exclaiming, My friend, God has helped me wonderfully this day.