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      Napoleon had insisted upon his marrying Mme. Grandt, his mistress, who had always received his guests during the loose society lately prevalent: people said that since he had done so, his salon was not nearly so amusing. She was a pretty but extremely stupid person, always making some mistake. On one occasion the celebrated traveller, M. Denon, was going to dine with them, and Talleyrand told her to be sure to talk to him about his travels, adding


      To his physicians, who were doubtful respecting the nature of his disease, he said, If Doctor Gazelli were here you would soon know what is my complaint. As it is, you will only learn after you have dissected me.


      Lord Hyndford commenced his communication by assuring his majesty of the friendly feelings and good wishes of the English government. Frederick listened with much impatience, and soon interrupted him, exclaiming passionately,

      "You would easily understand, if you had looked into his face once; it is a clean passport to confidence. Besides, there is the unvarying testimony of his past life, as set forth by everybody that knows him.sober, honest, frank, kind, religious, everything that is desirable. A man does not become a murderer in cold blood, all at once; he has to prepare himself for it by vice, or intemperance, or a course of hard, cold, selfish living. There is always a downward slope, before the final plunge."

      So, after Mr. Bergan had politely assented to his observations upon the dulness of Berganton, and somewhat pointedly remarked that perseverance and energy, when conjoined with upright habits, were pretty sure to command a reasonable measure of success anywhere, the conversation turned aside into other channels. The opportunity for a frank explanationwhich could alone have placed him upon his proper footing with his new-found relativeswas lost. It would not return until it was too late to be of any considerable service.


      On the 15th of November Frederick arrived at Lauban, within a hundred miles of Dresden. General Daun immediately raised the siege and retired into Bohemia. Frederick marched triumphantly into the city. Thus, as the extraordinary result of the defeat at Hochkirch, Frederick, by the exhibition of military ability which astonished Europe, regained Neisse, retained Dresden, and swept both Silesia and Saxony entirely free of his foes. Frederick remained in Dresden about a month. He then retired to Breslau, in Silesia, for winter quarters. The winter was a very sad one to him. Private griefs and public calamities weighed heavily upon his heart.125 Though during the year he had destroyed a hundred thousand of his enemies, he had lost thirty thousand of his own brave little band. It was almost impossible, by any energies of conscription, to replace this waste of war. His treasury was exhausted. Though he wrenched from the wretched Saxons every dollar which military rapacity and violence could extort from them, still they were so impoverished by the long and desolating struggle that but little money could be found in the almost empty purses of a beggared people. Another campaign was soon to open, in which the allies, with almost unlimited resources of men and treasure, would again come crowding upon him in all directions in overpowering numbers.

      The reader would not be interested in the details of the battle which ensued. It lasted for five hours. It was, as is every battle, an indescribable scene of tumult, uproar, and confusion. The result was long doubtful. Defeat to Frederick would have been utter ruin. It is wonderful how one determined man can infuse his spirit into a whole host. Every Prussian seemed to363 have the same desperate valor, and determination to conquer or to die, which animated his king.

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      Whatever mistakes Bergan may have made, in his life, or may make hereafter,whatever sins he may commit, through ignorance, or in sudden passion,let it be remembered, to his credit, that he could meet those clear, innocent, child-eyes, without a blush, and answer the question as gravely and simply as it had been asked,The next morning they learned that Lieutenant Katte had been arrested. All the private papers of Fritz were left, under Kattes charge, in a small writing-desk. These letters would implicate both the mother and the daughter. They were terror-stricken. Count Finckenstein, who was in high authority, was their friend. Through him, by the aid of Madam Finckenstein, they obtained the desk. It was locked and sealed. Despair stimulated their ingenuity. They succeeded in getting the letters. To destroy them and leave nothing in their place would only rouse to greater fury the suspicion and rage of the king. The letters were taken out and burned. The queen and Wilhelmina immediately set to work writing new ones, of a very different character, with which to replace them. For three days they thus labored almost incessantly, writing between six and seven hundred letters. They were so careful to avoid any thing97 which might lead to detection that paper was employed for each letter bearing the date of the year in which the letter was supposed to be written. Fancy the mood, writes Carlyle, of these two royal women, and the black whirlwind they were in. Wilhelminas dispatch was incredible. Pen went at the gallop night and day. New letters of old date and of no meaning are got into the desk again, the desk closed without mark of injury, and shoved aside while it is yet time.

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      Bergan then touched lightly upon his disappointment in the dull old townfinding it so much duller and older, even to decrepitude, than he had expected, and consequently, so little eligible to his purpose. And here, if he had been met by a more interested glance, and a fuller sympathy, he would have gone on to speak of the disgraceful scene into which he had been betrayed by his unclethe Majorand the obligation under which he felt himself placed thereby to remain in Berganton, at least long enough to efface any unfavorable impression which it might have caused. But, though his uncle Godfrey heard him patiently and courteously enough, there was so little of the hearty interest of kinship in his manner, that Bergan could not bring himself to open the subject. Not only was it unpleasant in itself, but it touched at many points on deep things of his nature, which instinctively refused to pour themselves into any but a friendly, sympathetic ear.This visit to Dresden, so fatal to Fritz, was closed on the 12th of February. The dissipation of those four weeks introduced the Crown Prince to habits which have left an indelible stain upon his reputation, and which poisoned his days. Upon his return to Potsdam he was seized with a fit of sickness, and for many years his health remained feeble. But he had entered upon the downward course. His chosen companions were those who were in sympathy with his newly-formed tastes. The career of dissipation into which the young prince had plunged could not be concealed from his eagle-eyed father. The kings previous dislike to his son was converted into contempt and hatred, which feelings were at times developed in almost insane ebullitions of rage.


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