万像】万像:“领养”之困

On the 17th of April again he wrote, still from Neisse: I toil day and night to improve our situation. The soldiers will do their duty. There is none among us who will not rather have his back-bone broken than give up one foot-breadth of ground. They must either grant us a good peace, or we will surpass ourselves by miracles of daring, and force the enemy to accept it from us.

Fritz had been for some time confined to his chamber and to his bed. He was now getting out again. By his mothers persuasion he wrote to his aunt, Queen Caroline of England, expressing, in the strongest terms, his love for her daughter the Princess Amelia, and his unalterable determination never to marry unless he could lead her to the altar. Though Frederick William knew nothing of these intrigues, he hated his son with daily increasing venom. Sometimes, in a surly fit, he would not speak to him or recognize him. Again he would treat him with studied contempt, at the table refusing to give him any food, leaving him to fast while the others were eating. Not unfrequently, according to Wilhelminas account, he even boxed his ears, and smote him with his cane. Wilhelmina gives us one of the letters of her brother to his father about this time, and the characteristic paternal answer. Frederick writes, under date of September 11, 1728, from Wusterhausen:

Frederick affected great contempt for public opinion. He wrote to Voltaire:

Prince Charles had married the only sister of Maria Theresa. She was young, beautiful, and amiable. While the prince was conducting his arduous campaign on the Moldau, his wife, grief-stricken, consigned her new-born babe to the tomb. The little stranger, born in the absence of his father, had but opened his eyes upon this sad world when he closed them forever. The princess sank rapidly into a decline.