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Frederick so concentrated his forces as, ere long, to have about fifty thousand troops with him at Breslau. Weary weeks of marchings and fightings, blood and woe, passed on. Painful508 blows were struck upon both sides, but nothing decisive was accomplished. In the midst of these harassments, perils, and toils, the king wrote to DArgens, on the 18th of September, from Reisendorf:

What form of government do you reckon the best? Again he wrote, a few months after, to the Duke of Choiseul: He has been a bad man, this Luc. And now, if one were to bet by the law of probability, it would be three to one that Luc would go to pot [sera perdu], with his rhymings and his banterings, and his injustices and politics, all as bad as himself.146

I shall not attempt to describe the battle which ensuedso bloody, so disastrous to the Prussians. It was, like all other desperate battles, a scene of inconceivable confusion, tumult, and horror. At eight oclock in the morning, General Finck (who was in command of the right wing of the Prussians) was in position to move upon the extreme northern point of attack. It was not until half past eleven that Frederick, in command of the main body of the army, was ready to make a co-operative assault from the east. At the point of attack the Russians had seventy-483two cannons in battery. The Prussians opened upon them with sixty guns. Templeton describes the cannonade as the loudest which he had yet ever heard.

I added that my niece had burned his ode from fear that it should be imputed to me. He believed me and thanked me; not, however, without some reproaches for having burned the best verses he had ever made.128

Gradually the secret treaty which allied France, Bavaria, and Prussia, and it was not known how many other minor powers, against Austria, came to light. Two French armies of fifty thousand men each were on the march to act in co-operation with Frederick. England, trembling from fear of the loss of Hanover, dared not move. The Aulic Council at Vienna, in a panic, fell back into their chairs like dead men. The ruin of Maria Theresa and the fatal dismemberment of Austria seemed inevitable.

Baron Trenck, in his memoir, gives an appalling account of these hardships in the body-guards to which he belonged. In time of peace there was scarcely an hour which he could command. The morning drill commenced at four oclock. The most complicated and perilous man?uvres were performed. Frederick considered this the best school for cavalry in the world. They were compelled to leap trenches, which were continually widened till many fell in and broke their legs or arms. They were also compelled to leap hedges, and continue to charge at the highest possible speed for miles together. Almost daily some were either killed or wounded. At midday they took fresh horses, and repeated these toilsome and dangerous labors. Frequently they would be called from their beds two or three times in one night, to keep them on the alert. But eight minutes were allowed the guardsman to present himself on horseback, in his place, fully equipped. In one year of peace, he says, the body-guards lost more men and horses than they had in two battles during the war.

This way! storm the others with hot tears; Adjutant Von Platen takes the flag: Platen too is instantly shot; but another takes it. This way, on! in wild storm of rage and grief; in a word, they managed to do the work at Sterbohol, they and the rest. First line, second line, infantry, cavalry (and even the very horses, I suppose), fighting inexpressibly; conquering one of the worst problems ever seen in war. For the Austrians too, especially their grenadiers there, stood to it toughly, and fought like men; and every grenadier that survived of them, as I read afterward, got double pay for life.