Frederick was, with great energy, gathering all his resources for a decisive conflict in his fortresses along the banks of the Neisse. By almost superhuman exertions he had collected an army there of about seventy thousand men. The united army of Austria and Saxony marching upon him amounted to one hundred thousand regulars, together with uncounted swarms of349 Pandours sweeping around him in all directions, interrupting his communications and cutting off his supplies. The return mail brought back, under date of May 22, the stereotype British answer: Both marriages or none. Just before the reception of this reply, as Colonel Hotham was upon the eve of leaving Berlin, the Crown Prince addressed to him, from Potsdam, the following interesting letter:

The king, with a very complaisant smile, said, Russia, my good sirIt is not proper for me to explain myself, but I have means to keep the Russians employed. In the midst of ftes, operas, and suppers, my secret negotiation advanced. The king allowed me to speak to him on all subjects. I often intermingled questions respecting France and Austria in conversations relating to the ?neid and Livy. The discussion was sometimes very animated. At length the king said to me, Let France declare war against England, and I will march. This was all I desired. I returned as quickly as possible to the court of France. I gave them the same hopes which I had myself been led to entertain at Berlin, and which did not prove delusive.

A hangman such as you naturally takes pleasure in talking of his tools and of his trade, but on me they will produce no effect. I have owned every thing, and almost regret to have done so. I ought not to degrade myself by answering the questions of a scoundrel such as you are. 220 From all persons who return from Reinsberg the unanimous report is that the king works the whole day through with an assiduity which is unique, and then, in the evening, gives himself to the pleasures of society with a vivacity of mirth and sprightly humor, which makes those evening parties charming.