要闻--山东频道--人民网

Thus circumstanced, General Neipperg gave the order to retreat. At the double quick, the Austrians retired back through the street of Mollwitz, hurried across the River Laugwitz by a bridge, and, turning short to the south, continued their retreat toward Grottkau. They left behind them nine of their own guns, and eight of those which they had captured from the Prussians. The Prussians, exhausted by the long battle, their cavalry mostly dispersed and darkness already enveloping them, did not attempt any vigorous pursuit. They bivouacked on the grounds, or quartered themselves in the villages from which the Austrians had fled. The marriage took place in the Grand Saloon. The moment the benediction was pronounced, a triple discharge of cannon announced the event to the inhabitants of Berlin. Then the newly-married pair, seated under a gorgeous canopy, received the congratulations of the court. A ball followed, succeeded by a supper. After supper there came, according to the old German custom, what was called the dance of torches. This consisted of the whole company marching to music in procession through the rooms, each holding a lighted torch. The marriage festivities were continued for several days, with a succession of balls each night. Wilhelmina had not yet been permitted to see her brother since his arrest. But the king had promised Wilhelmina, as her reward for giving up the wretched Prince of Wales, that he132 would recall her brother and restore him to favor. On Friday evening, the 23d, three days after the wedding, there was a brilliant ball in the Grand Apartment. Wilhelmina thus describes the event which then took place:

The next morning the Prussian troops, led by their indomitable king, were early on the march, groping through the thick mist to find more of the foe. But the blow already given was decisive. The Austrian army was shattered, demoralized, ruined. The king could find nothing but broken tumbrils, abandoned wagons, and the dbris of an utterly routed army. Prince Charles, bewildered by the disaster, had wheeled his columns around, and fled through the passes of the mountains back to Bohemia. Five thousand of his troops he left behind in killed or prisoners.

Soon after this, Frederick again wrote to his sister a letter which throws so much light upon his character that we give it almost entire: General Finck was stationed at Maxen, with about fifteen thousand men, to cut the communications of Daun with Bohemia. Frederick, in his undue elation, was quite sure of inflicting terrible blows upon Daun. He issued imperative commands to General Finck to fight the allies regardless of their numbers. The Prussian general did not dare to disobey this command and withdraw from his commanding position, even when he saw himself being surrounded with such superior forces as would almost certainly crush him. Soon after Frederick wrote to Voltaire upon this subject again, still more severely, but in verse. The following is almost a literal translation of this poetic epistle:

Indeed I do, the king responded. Otherwise I durst not risk a battle. And now, my children, a good nights sleep to you. We shall soon attack the enemy; and we shall beat him, or we shall all die.

My lord, I could desire your lordship to summon up, if it were necessary, the spirit of all your lordships instructions, and the sense of the king, of the Parliament, and of the whole British nation. It is upon this great moment that depends the fate, not of the house of Austria, not of the empire, but of the house of Brunswick, of Great Britain, of all Europe. I verily believe the King of Prussia himself does not know the extent of the present danger. With whatever motive he may act, there is not one, not that of the wildest resentment, that can blind him to this degreeof himself perishing in the ruin he is bringing upon others. With his concurrence, the French will, in less than six weeks, be masters of the German empire. The weak Elector of Bavaria is but their instrument. Prague and Vienna may, and probably will, be taken in that short time. Will even the King of Prussia himself be reserved to the last?