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The annoyances to which Wilhelmina was exposed, while thus preparing for her wedding, must have been almost unendurable. Not only her mother was thus persistent and implacable in her hostility, but her father reluctantly submitted to the connection. He had fully made up his mind, with all the strength of his inflexible will, that Wilhelmina should marry either the Margrave of Schwedt or the Duke of Weissenfels. It was with extreme reluctance, and greatly to his chagrin, that the stern old man131 found himself constrained, perhaps for the first time in his life, to yield to others. The leader of an Austrian band of five hundred dragoons was on the watch. As the detachment of one hundred and fifty horse approached Baumgarten, the Austrians, from their ambuscade, plunged upon them. There was a short, sharp conflict, when the Prussians fled, leaving ten dead, sixteen prisoners, one standard, and two kettle-drums in the hands of the victors. The king had just sat down at the dinner-table, when he heard, at the distance of a few miles, the tumult of the musketry. He sprang from the table, hurriedly mustered a small force of forty hussars and fifty foot, and hastened toward the scene. Arriving at the field, he found it silent and deserted, and the ten men lying242 dead upon it. The victorious Austrians, disappointed in not finding the king, bore their spoils in triumph to Vienna. It was a very narrow escape for Frederick. Had he then been captured it might have changed the history of Europe, and no one can tell the amount of blood and woe which would have been averted.

The marquis looked for a moment upon the singular spectacle with astonishment. Then raising his hands, he exclaimed,

I am authorized to offer your majesty two million guilders [,000,000] if your majesty will consent to relinquish this enterprise and retire from Silesia. You are now, said Frederick, by consent of the allies, King of Moravia. Now is the time, now or never, to become so in fact. Push forward your Saxon troops. The Austrian forces are weak in that country. At Iglau, just over the border from Austria, there is a large magazine of military stores, which can299 easily be seized. Urge forward your troops. The French will contribute strong divisions. I will join you with twenty thousand men. We can at once take possession of Moravia, and perhaps march directly on to Vienna.

CAPTAIN OF THE GIANT GUARDS. Leitmeritz, July 13, 1757.

The physician replied, Alas! not long. At one oclock in the morning of May 31 he sent for a clergyman, M. Cochius, and seemed to be in great distress both of body and of mind. I fear, said he, that I have a great deal of pain yet to suffer. I can remember nothing. I can not pray. I have forgotten all my prayers. M. Cochius endeavored to console him. At the close of the interview the king said, sadly, Fare thee well. We shall most probably never meet again in this world. He was then rolled, in his wheel-chair, into the chamber of the queen. The kings brother Henry was in command in Saxony, at the head of thirty thousand troops. Frederick wrote to him the characteristic and very judicious advice, Do as energetically as possible whatever seems wisest to you. But hold no councils of war.

The king, in his anger, ordered all the pamphlets in Berlin to be collected and burned by the common hangman, in front of Voltaires windows. Three months passed away, during which the parties remained in this deplorable state of antagonism. Voltaire was wretched, often confined to his bed, and looked like a skeleton. He was anxious to leave Berlin, but feared that the king would not grant him leave. He wrote to Frederick, stating that he was very sick, and wished to retire to the springs of Plombires for his health. The king curtly replied,