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‘ [283] family, and, for all your pride, are of equal birth, and
chap. XII.} 1757
of the same blood. Would you stand above them? Then excel them in humanity, gentleness, and virtue.’ At heart opposed to the cause of mankind, the Prince had, from the first, urged his brother to avoid the war; and at this time, when drops of bitterness were falling thickly into the hero's cup, he broke out into pusillanimous complaints, advising a shameful peace, by concession to Austria. But Frederic's power was now first to appear; as victory fell away from him, he stood alone before his fellow-men, in unconquerable greatness.

Raising the siege of Prague, he conducted the retreat of one division of his army into Saxony without loss; the other the Prince of Prussia led in a manner contrary to the rules of war and to common sense, and more disastrous than the loss of a pitched battle. Frederic censured the dereliction harshly; in that day of disaster, he would not tolerate a failure of duty, even in the heir to the throne.1

The increasing dangers became terrible. ‘I am

resolved,’ wrote Frederic, in July, ‘to save my country or perish.’ Colin became the war-cry of French and Russians, of Swedes and Imperialists; a Russian army invaded his dominions on the east; the Swedes from the north threatened Pomerania and Berlin; a vast army of the French was concentrating itself at Erfurt for the recovery of Saxony; while Austria, recruited by Bavaria and Wurtemberg, was conquering Silesia. ‘The Prussians will win no more victories,’ wrote the queen of Poland. Death at this

1 The royalist writers make an outcry against Frederic for his justice on this occasion; and award to the vain and mean-spirited Prino of Prussia the honors of martyrdom.

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