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CHAPTER XXIII. FREDERICK THE GREAT AT SANS SOUCI. On the 3d of July Frederick issued his declaration of war. On that very day his solid battalions, one hundred thousand556 strong, with menacing banners and defiant bugle-notes, crossed the border, and encamped on Bohemian ground. At the same moment, the kings brother, Prince Henry, with another army of one hundred thousand men, commenced a march from the west to co-operate in an impetuous rush upon Vienna. These tidings caused the utmost consternation in the Austrian capital. An eye-witness writes:

Voltaire replied from Leipsic:

Sir Thomas hastened back to Breslau, and anxiously entered into communication with Lord Hyndford. The British minister entreated the king to admit Sir Thomas to another interview, assuring him that he came with new and more liberal propositions for a compromise. The king replied, in substance, with his customary brusqueness, Just then eighteen thousand fresh Russian troops advanced upon them in solid phalanx from their centre and their right wing. It was nearly three oclock in the afternoon. The fugitive Russians were rallied. With new impetuosity the re-enforced band hurled itself upon the Prussians. They speedily regained their hundred and eighty guns, and opened upon the ranks of Frederick such torrents of grape-shot as no flesh and blood could endure. Huge gaps were torn through his lines. His men recoiled, whirled round, and were driven pell-mell from the hill.

Still the order was given for the assault. The Prussians plunged into the dense ranks of their foes, regardless of being outnumbered nearly three to one. A terrible battle was fought. General Wedell was overpowered and beaten. He retreated across the Oder, having lost six thousand men in killed, wounded, and prisoners. The victorious Russians did not pursue him. They marched down the river to Frankfort, where they effected a junction with other troops, giving them an effective force of ninety-six thousand fighting men.

George Ludwig, Count of Berg, who at this time was Bishop of Liege, was a feeble old man, tottering beneath the infirmities of eighty-two years. He did not venture upon physical resistance to the power of Prussia, but confined himself to protests, remonstrances, and to the continued exercise of his own governmental authority. As Herstal was many leagues distant from Berlin, was of comparatively little value, and could only be reached by traversing foreign states, Frederick William offered to sell all his claims to it for about eighty thousand dollars. The proposal not being either accepted or rejected by the bishop, the king, anxious to settle the question before his death, sent an embassador to Liege, with full powers to arrange the difficulty by treaty. For three days the embassador endeavored in vain to obtain an audience. He then returned indignantly to Berlin. The king, of course, regarded this treatment as an insult. The bishop subsequently averred that the audience was prevented by his own sickness. Such was the posture of affairs when Frederick William died.

My son must be impressed with love and fear of God, as the foundation of our temporal and eternal welfare. No false religions or sects of Atheist, Arian, Socinian, or whatever name the poisonous things have, which can so easily corrupt a young mind, are to be even named in his hearing. He is to be taught a proper abhorrence of papistry, and to be shown its baselessness and nonsensicality. Impress on him the true religion, which consists essentially in this, that Christ died for all men. He is to learn no Latin, but French and German, so as to speak and write with brevity and propriety.