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And now ensued a conflict such as has seldom been witnessed in modern times. The Russian soldiers would not run. Indeed, the bridges over the Mützel being broken down, they could only plunge into the river and be drowned. Frenzied with brandy,459 they fought like tigers. Then began a tug of deadly massacring and wrestling, man to man, with bayonets, with butts of muskets, with hands, even with teeth, such as was never seen before. The shore of Mützel is thick with men and horses, who have tried to cross, and lie swallowed in the ooze.119

I shall send you a curious pamphlet, the only work I almost ever knew that changed the opinions of many. It is called Considerations on the present German War. The confirmation of the King of Prussias victory near Torgau does not prevent the disciples of the pamphlet from thinking that the best thing which could happen for us would be to have that monarchs head shot off.162

I rely upon your zeal and hearty concurrence to support the King of Prussia and the rest of my allies, and to make ample517 provision for carrying on the war, as the only means of bringing our enemies to equitable terms of accommodation.

For a time Frederick and Voltaire seem to have lived very pleasantly together. Voltaire writes: I was lodged under the kings apartment, and never left my room except for supper. The king composed, above stairs, works of philosophy, history, poetry; and his favorite, below stairs, cultivated the same arts and the same talents. They communicated to one another their respective works. The Prussian monarch composed, at this time,387 his History of Brandenburg; and the French author wrote his Age of Louis XIV., having brought with him all his materials.94 His days thus passed happily in a repose which was only animated by agreeable occupations. Nothing, indeed, could be more delightful than this way of life, or more honorable to philosophy and literature. In accordance with this request, Voltaire repaired to Cleves to visit the king. Many years afterward, having quarreled with Frederick, and being disposed to represent him in the most unfavorable light, he gave the following account of this interview in his Vie Prive:

CHAPTER XXI. BATTLES AND VICTORIES.

Frederick immediately sent an announcement of the victory to his friend Voltaire. It does not appear that he alluded to his own adventures. Voltaire received the note when in the theatre at Lisle, while listening to the first performance of his tragedy of Mahomet. He read the account to the audience between the acts. It was received with great applause. You will see, said Voltaire, that this piece of Mollwitz will secure the success of mine. Vous verrez que cette piece de Mollwitz fera russir la miene.

His Prussian majesty has unquestionably talent, but what361 a character! He is frivolous in the extreme, and sadly a heretic in his religious views. He is a dishonorable man, and what a neighbor he has been! As to Silesia, I would as soon part with my last garment as part with it.

The Battle of Chotusitz.Letter to Jordan.Results of the Battle.Secret Negotiations.The Treaty of Breslau.Entrance into Frankfort.Treachery of Louis XV.Results of the Silesian Campaigns.Panegyrics of Voltaire.Imperial Character of Maria Theresa.Her Grief over the Loss of Silesia.Anecdote of Senora Barbarina.Duplicity of both Frederick and Voltaire.Gayety in Berlin.Straitened Circumstances.Unamiability of Frederick.

The mountain range upon the south, which separated Silesia from the realms of the Queen of Hungary, was three or four hundred miles long, with some twenty defiles practicable for the passage of troops. The French minister Valori urged Frederick to guard these passes. This was impossible; and the self-confidence of the Prussian king is revealed in his reply: My friend, if you wish to catch the mouse, you must not shut the trap, but leave it open.

The audacious duplicity of this ambitious young king was still more conspicuously developed by his entering into a secret correspondence with the court of Austria, through certain generals in the Austrian army. And that he might the more effectually disguise his treachery from his allies, the French, he requested Lord Hyndford to write dispatches to various courts292to Presburg, to England, to Dresdencomplaining that Frederick was deaf to all proposals; that nothing could influence him to enter into terms of reconciliation with Austria. It was to be so arranged that the couriers carrying these dispatches of falsehood should be captured by the French, so that these documents should be carried to the French court.