传媒期刊秀:《网络传播》

His wintry ride, a defeated monarch leaving a shattered army behind him, must have been dark and dreary. He had already exhausted nearly all the resources which his father, Frederick William, had accumulated. His army was demoralized, weakened, and his materiel of war greatly impaired. His subjects were already heavily taxed. Though practicing the most rigid economy, with his eye upon every expenditure, his disastrous Bohemian campaign had cost him three hundred and fifty thousand dollars a month. The least sum with which he could commence a new campaign for the protection of Silesia was four million five hundred thousand dollars. He had already melted up the sumptuous plate, and the massive silver balustrades and balconies where his father had deposited so much solid treasure. Now are my wishes fulfilled, said the emperor, since I have the honor to embrace the greatest of kings and soldiers.

He then adds the philosophical reflection: Bad is often better for princes than good. Instead of intoxicating them with presumption, it renders them circumspect and modest.76 But, notwithstanding this wonderful victory and narrow escape, it still seemed that Fredericks destruction was only postponed for a short time. He was in the heart of Silesia, and was surrounded by hostile armies three times more numerous than his own.

The routed allies, exasperated and starving, and hating the Protestant inhabitants of the region through which they retreated, robbed and maltreated them without mercy. The woes which the defenseless inhabitants endured from the routed army in its flight no pen can adequately describe.

Wilhelmina had never seen the Prince of Wales. Her mother had not attempted to conceal from her that he was exceedingly plain in person, slightly deformed, weak in intellect, and debased by his debaucheries. But the ambitious queen urged these considerations, not as objections, but as incentives to the marriage. You will be able, she said, to have him entirely under your direction. You will thus be virtually King of England, and can exert a powerful control over all the nations of Europe. These considerations, however, did not influence the princess so much as they did her mother. She had never taken any special interest in her marriage with the Prince of Wales. Indeed, at times, she had said that nothing should ever induce her to marry him. This was a very serious suggestion. None of these sovereigns professed to be influenced by any other considerations than their own interests. And it was manifest that Austria could easily outbid Prussia, if determined to purchase the French alliance. For a moment the king was silent, apparently somewhat perplexed. He then said,

The whole country, my dear country, lies one frightful waste, presenting only objects to excite terror, pity, and despair. The business of the husbandman and the shepherd are quite discontinued. The husbandman and shepherd are become soldiers themselves, and help to ravage the soil they formerly occupied. The towns are inhabited by old men, women, and children. Perhaps here and there a warrior, rendered unfit for service by wounds and want of limbs, is left at his door. His little children hang round him, ask a history of every wound, and grow themselves soldiers before they find strength for the field.