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481 With the utmost exertions, inspired by terror, thirty thousand dollars were at length raised. The Russian general, Soltikof, naturally a humane man, seeing, at the close of a week of frantic exertions on the part of the magistrates of Frankfort, the impossibility of extorting the required sum, took the thirty thousand dollars, and kept his barbarian hordes encamped outside the gates. The Austrian envoy expressed to his court a suspicion that Silesia might be threatened. The reply which came back was that the Austrian court would not, and could not, believe that a prince who was under such obligations to the father of Maria Theresa, and who had made such loud professions of integrity and philanthropy, could be guilty of such an outrage.

The contest between General Neipperg and myself seemed to be which should commit the most faults. Mollwitz was the school of the king and his troops. That prince reflected profoundly upon all the faults and errors he had fallen into, and tried to correct them for the future.

These kind condescensions of his majesty, writes M. DArget, emboldened me to represent to him the brilliant position he now held, and how noble it would be, after being the hero of Germany, to become the pacificator of Europe.

MARIA THERESA AT THE HEAD OF HER ARMY.

General Finck gets a difficult commission. The unlucky army which I give up to him is no longer in a condition to make head against the Russians. Haddick will now start for Berlin, perhaps Loudon too.136 If General Finck go after these, the Russians487 will fall on his rear. If he continue on the Oder, he gets Haddick on his flank. However, I believe, should Loudon go for Berlin, he might attack Loudon and beat him. This, if it succeeded, would be a stand against misfortune, and hold matters up. Time gained is much in these desperate circumstances. C?per, my secretary, will send him the news from Torgau and Dresden. You must inform my brother137 of every thing, whom I have declared generalissimo of the army. To repair this bad luck altogether is not possible. But what my brother shall command must be done. The army swears to my nephew. This is all the advice in these unhappy circumstances I am in a condition to give. If I had still had resources, I would have staid by them.

CHAPTER XXIX. THE THIRD CAMPAIGN OF THE SEVEN YEARS WAR.

I wrote to Frederick that his ode was beautiful, but that he had better not make it public, lest it should close all the avenues to a reconciliation with the King of France, incense him irremediably, and thus force him to strain every nerve in vengeance.

Frederick, not willing utterly to destroy the city, which he wished to preserve for himself, and perhaps, though no word of his indicates it, influenced by some sympathy for the seven thousand unoffending inhabitants of the place, men, women, and children, very many of whom were Protestants, who were suffering far more from the missiles of war than the Austrian garrison, arrested the fire of his batteries, and decided to convert the siege into a blockade. His own troops were suffering much in the bleak fields swept by the gales of winter. The whole of Silesia was in his hands excepting the small towns of Brieg, Glogau, and Neisse. These were so closely invested that neither food nor re-enforcements could be introduced to them. Should they hold out until spring, Frederick could easily then, aided by the warm weather, break open their gates.

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As General Daun approached the city, the Prussian general who had been left in command of the small garrison there sent word to him that, should he menace Dresden with his forces, the Prussian commander would be under the necessity of setting fire to the suburbs, as a measure of self-defense. Daun, expostulating vehemently against so cruel an act, regardless of the menace, approached the city on the 9th of November, and at midnight commenced rearing his batteries for the bombardment. In the mean time the Prussian general had filled many of the largest houses with combustibles. As the clock struck three in the morning the torch was applied. The unhappy inhabitants had but three hours notice that their houses were to be surrendered to destruction. Instantly the flames burst forth with terrific fury in all directions. Sir Andrew Mitchel, who witnessed the conflagration, writes:

His companions had no heart to witness the bloody execution of their friend and brother-officer. The chaplain, Müller, who had accompanied the condemned to Cüstrin, and also Besserer, the chaplain of the garrison there, were either obliged by their official position, or were constrained by Christian sympathy, to ride by his side in the death-cart to the scaffold. Of the rest of his friends he took an affectionate leave, saying, Adieu, my brothers; may God be with you evermore! He was conveyed to the rampart of the castle dressed in coarse brown garments precisely like those worn by the prince.