At Oppeln there was a bridge across the Oder by which the king hoped to escape with his regiment to the free country beyond. There he intended to summon to his aid the army of thirty-six thousand men which he had sent to G?tten under the Old Dessauer. The discharge of the musketry of the Austrians blasted even this dismal hope. It seemed as though Frederick259 were doomed to drain the cup of misery to its dregs; and his anguish must have been intensified by the consciousness that he deserved it all. But a few leagues behind him, the bleak, snow-clad plains, swept by the night-winds, were strewed with the bodies of eight or nine thousand men, the dying and the dead, innocent peasant-boys torn from their homes, whose butchery had been caused by his own selfish ambition.

Before sunrise Sunday morning the Prussians had seized upon many important posts. About seven oclock a flag of truce, or rather a trumpeter, approached one of the gates, demanding admittance to communicate to the chief magistrate of the city the intentions and requisitions of the Prussian king. After some delay, two colonels were admitted. They demanded the entire surrender of the city, and that the authority of Frederick, the King of Prussia, should be recognized instead of that of Maria Theresa, Queen of Austria. All their local laws and customs were to be respected, and they were to be protected in all their rights and privileges. Their own garrison should guard the city. No Prussian soldier should enter the gates with other than side-arms. The king himself, in taking possession of the city, should be accompanied by a body-guard of but thirty men. The city council was assembled to consider this summons, and thirty hours were spent in anxious deliberation. His majesty commands me to inform your royal highness that he has cause to be greatly discontented with you; that you deserve to have a court-martial held over you, which would sentence you and all your generals to death; but that his majesty will not carry the matter so far, being unable to forget that in the chief general he has a brother. At Nimburg, about twenty miles from Kolin, where the retiring Prussians were crossing the Elbe, Frederick sat upon a green mound, lost in thought, as his troops defiled before him. He was scratching figures upon the sand with his stick.

Amid the vicissitudes of the revolving centuries the rollicking lords grew poor, and the frugal monks grew rich. A thrifty city rose around the monastery, and its bishop wielded a power, temporal and spiritual, more potent than had ever issued from the walls of the now crumbling and dilapidated castle. In some of the perplexing diplomatic arrangements of those days, the castle of Herstal, with its surrounding district, was transferred to Frederick William of Prussia. The peasants, who had heard of the military rigor of Prussia, where almost every able-bodied man was crowded into the army, were exceedingly troubled by this transfer, and refused to take the oath of allegiance to their new sovereign, who had thus succeeded to the ownership of themselves, their flocks, and their herds. The gleaming sabres of Frederick Williams dragoons soon, however, brought them to terms. Thus compelled to submission, they remained unreconciled and irritated. Upon the withdrawal of the Prussian troops, the authority of Frederick William over the Herstal people also disappeared, for they greatly preferred the milder rule of the Bishop of Liege. Frederick had been three days and nights at work upon his fortress before the allies ventured forward to look into it. It was then a Gibraltar. Still for eight days more the spade was not intermitted. Cogniazo, an Austrian, writes: It is a masterpiece of art, in which the principles of tactics are combined with those of field fortifications as never before.

With extraordinary energy and sagacity Frederick set about developing the resources of his new acquisition. Houses were built. Villages rose as by magic. Marshes were drained. Emigrants, in large numbers, mechanics and farmers, were transported to the new lands. Canals were dug. Roads were improved, and new ones opened. One hundred and eighty-seven school-550masters were sent into the country. Every where there was plowing, ditching, building. In that case, sir, replied the king, I wish you a good journey.

I knew that the Duke De Choiseul would content himself with persuading the King of France that the King of Prussia was an irreconcilable enemy, whom it was therefore necessary, if possible, to annihilate.

M. DArget, private secretary of the French minister Valori, gives an interesting account of an interview he held with Frederick at this time. M. DArget was quite a favorite of the king, who conversed with him with unusual frankness.

The sword and death have made frightful ravages among us. And the worst is that we are not yet at the end of the tragedy. You may judge what effect these cruel shocks make on me. I wrap myself in my stoicism the best I can. Flesh and blood revolt against such tyrannous command, but it must be followed. If you saw me you would scarcely know me again. I am old, broken, gray-headed, wrinkled. I am losing my teeth and my gayety. If this go on, there will be nothing of me left but the mania of making verses, and an inviolable attachment to my duties, and to the few virtuous men whom I know.