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My lord, do not talk to me of magnanimity. A prince ought, in the first place, to consult his interest. I am not opposed to peace. But I expect to have four duchies given me.

Sir Thomas, somewhat discomposed, apologetically intimated that that was not all he had to offer.

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.

The next day he remarked, Daun has let us out of checkmate. The game is not lost yet. We will rest ourselves here for a few days, then we will go to Silesia and deliver Neisse. But where are all your guns? he said, playfully, to an artilleryman, who stood, vacant, on parade.

It was on the 9th of December that the king, after incredible exposure to hunger, and cold, and night-marchings, established himself for the winter in the shattered apartments of his ruined palace at Breslau. He tried to assume a cheerful aspect in public, but spent most of his hours alone, brooding over the ruin which now seemed inevitable. He withdrew from all society, scarcely spoke to any body except upon business. One day General Lentulus dined with him, and not one word was spoken at the table. On the 18th of January, 1762, the king wrote in the following desponding tones to DArgens: But this war, into which the Prussian king had so recklessly plunged all Europe, was purely a war of personal ambition. Even Frederick did not pretend that it involved any question of human rights. Unblushingly he avowed that he drew his sword and led his hundred thousand peasant-boys upon their dreadful career of carnage and misery simply that he might enlarge his territories, gain renown as a conqueror, and make the world talk about him. It must be a fearful thing to go to the356 judgment seat of Christ with such a crime weighing upon the soul.

One evening in April, the king, feeling a little better, decided to dress and hold a tobacco parliament, as formerly. Quite a numerous party of his customary cabinet was assembled, and the circle was full. The pipes were lighted; the king was in good-humor; the beer-pots circulated merrily; and as every one made an effort to be agreeable, the scene was unusually animated. Quite unexpectedly, in the midst of the lively talk, the door opened, and the Crown Prince entered. Simultaneously, as by a183 common instinct, the whole company arose and bowed profoundly to the young prince. The king was exceedingly annoyed. Trembling with rage, he exclaimed,