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The French, who, through their shrewd embassador, kept themselves informed of all that was transpiring, were quite alarmed in view of the approaching accommodation between Prussia and Austria. It is said that Frederick, on the 6th of June, in reply to the earnest remonstrances of the French minister, Marshal Belleisle, against his withdrawal from the alliance, frankly said to him,

My brother Henry has gone to see the Duchess of Gotha to-day. I am so oppressed with grief that I would rather keep my sadness to myself. I have reason to congratulate myself much on account of my brother Henry. He has behaved like an angel, as a soldier, and well toward me as a brother. I can not, unfortunately, say the same of the elder. He sulks at me, and has sulkily retired to Torgau, from which place he has gone to Wittenberg. I shall leave him to his caprices and to his bad conduct; and I prophesy nothing for the future unless the younger guide him.

Should this hope fail me, you will allow that it would be too hard to crawl at the feet of a company of traitors to whom successful crimes have given the advantage to prescribe the law to me. If I had followed my own inclinations I should have put an end to myself at once after that unfortunate battle which I lost. But I felt that this would be weakness, and that it behooved me to repair the evil which had happened. But no sooner had I hastened this way to face new enemies than Winterfield was beaten and killed near Gorlitz; than the French entered the heart of my states; than the Swedes blockaded Stettin. Now there is nothing effective left for me to do. There are too many enemies. Were I even to succeed in beating two armies, the third would crush me. As for you, my incomparable sister, I have not the heart to turn you from your resolves. We think alike, and I can not condemn in you the sentiments which I daily entertain. Life has been given us as a benefit. When it ceases to be such I have nobody left in this world to attach me to it but you. My friends, the relations I loved most, are in the grave. In short, I have lost every thing. If you take the resolution which I have taken, we end together our misfortunes and our unhappiness.

Archenholtz describes it as a thing surpassable only by doomsday; clangorous rage of noise risen to the infinite; the boughs of the trees raining down upon you with horrid crash; the forest, with its echoes, bellowing far and near, and reverberating in universal death-peal, comparable to the trump of doom.157