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Frederick speedily concentrated all his strength at Bautzen, and strove to draw the Austrians into a battle; but in vain. The heights upon which they were intrenched, bristling with cannon, he could not venture to assail. After three weeks of impatient man?uvring, Frederick gathered his force of fifty thousand424 men close in hand, and made a sudden rush upon Bernstadt, about fifty miles to the east of Bautzen. Here he surprised an Austrian division, scattered it to the winds, seized all its baggage, and took a number of prisoners. He also captured the field equipage, coach, horses, etc., of General Nadasti, who narrowly escaped. Your friendship seduces you, mon cher. I am but a paltry knave in comparison with Alexander, and not worthy to tie the shoe-latchets of C?sar. Necessity, who is the mother of industry, has made me act, and have recourse to desperate remedies in evils of a like nature.

Early in October, the Crown Prince, not socially or morally improved by his campaigning, set out on his return to Berlin. He was by no means insensible to the fact that the crown of Prussia would soon rest upon his brow. On the 5th he called again upon his sister at Baireuth. She was sick and very sad. The following is Wilhelminas account of the interview:

Dr. Zimmermann, whose work on Solitude had given him some renown, had been sent for to administer to the illustrious patient. His prescriptions were of no avail. On the 10th of August, 1786, Frederick wrote to his sister, the Duchess Dowager of Brunswick:

The prince assumed to make a personal application of this. Herod meant the Crown Prince; Herodias, his boon companions; and John the Baptist was the chaplain. To punish the offender, the prince, with several brother officers, went at night, smashed the windows of the chaplain, and threw in a shower of fire-crackers upon him and his wife, who was in delicate health, driving them in dismay out into the stable-yard. The stern old king was very indignant at this conduct. Grumkow affirms, we hope falsely, that the prince threw the whole charge upon his associate officers, and that they were punished for the deed, while he escaped. One incident in this connection, illustrative of the man and of the times, merits brief notice. His agent at Venice reported a female dancer there of rare attainments, Se?ora Barberina. She was marvelously beautiful, and a perfect fairy in figure and grace, and as fascinating in her vivacity and sparkling intelligence as she was lovely in person. Frederick immediately ordered her to be engaged for his opera-house at Berlin, at a salary of nearly four thousand dollars, and sundry perquisites.

It was one of the grimmest camps in nature; the canvas roofs grown mere ice-plates, the tents mere sanctuaries of frost. Never did poor young Archenholtz see such industry in dragging wood-fuel, such boiling of biscuits in broken ice, such crowding round the embers to roast one side of you while the other was freezing. But Dauns people, on the opposite side of the Plauen Dell, did the like. Their tents also were left standing in the frozen state, guarded by alternating battalions no better off than their Prussian neighbors.142

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The Emperor Charles VI. left no son. He therefore promulgated a new law of succession in a decree known throughout213 Europe as the Pragmatic Sanction. By the custom of the realm the sceptre could descend only to male heirs. But by this decree the king declared that the crown of the house of Hapsburg should be transmitted to his daughter, Maria Theresa. This law had been ratified by the estates of all the kingdoms and principalities which composed the Austrian monarchy. All the leading powers of EuropeEngland, France, Spain, Prussia, Russia, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, and the Germanic bodyhad bound themselves by treaty to maintain the Pragmatic Sanction. It was a peaceable and wise arrangement, acceptable to the people of Austria and to the dynasties of Europe as a means of averting a war of succession, which might involve all the nations of the Continent in the conflict.

In case you refuse, or delay beyond the term, the answer which I hereby of right demand, you will render yourself alone responsible, before the world, for the consequences which infallibly will follow. I am, with much consideration, my cousin, your very affectionate cousin,

With that vigilant eye upon him, Frederick was compelled to some vigor of action. On the night of October 17th he commenced the bombardment. The noise was terrific. It could not294 be prevented but that the shot and shell should do some harm. Some buildings were burned; several lives were lost. M. Valori, who knew that the result could not be doubtful, was induced to go to Breslau and await the surrender. After the garrison had made apparently a gallant resistance, and Frederick had achieved apparent prodigies of valor, the city was surrendered on the 31st of October. Most of the garrison immediately enlisted in the Prussian service.