beloved people,’ he exclaimed, ‘my wishes live but
for you; to you belongs every drop of my blood, and from my heart I would gladly give my life for my country.’
And, reproving the meanness of spirit of Voltaire
, ‘I am a man,’ he wrote, in October, in the
moment of intensest danger; ‘born, therefore, to suffer; to the rigor of destiny I oppose my own constancy; menaced with shipwreck, I will breast the tempest, and think, and live, and die, as a sovereign.’
In a week, Berlin
itself was in the hands of his enemies.
When, on the fourth of November, after various
changes of position, the king of Prussia
, with but twenty-one thousand six hundred men, resumed his encampment on the heights of Rossbach
, the Prince de Rohan Soubise
, who commanded the French
and Imperial army of more than sixty-four thousand, was sure of compelling him to surrender.
On the morning of the fifth, the combined forces marched in flank to cut off his retreat.
From the battlements of the old castle of Rossbach
, Frederic gazed on their movement; his sagacity, at a glance, penetrated their design; and, obeying the flush of his exulting mind, he on the instant made his dispositions for an attack.
he cried, at half-past 2; at three, not a Prussian remained in the village.
He seemed to retreat towards Merseburg; but, concealed by the high land of Reichertswerben, the chivalrous Seidlitz, with the Prussian cavalry, having turned the right of the enemy, planted his cannon on an eminence.
Through the low ground beneath him, they were marching in columns, in eager haste, their cavalry in front and at a distance from their infantry.
A moment's delay, an inch of ground gained, and they would have come into line.
But Seidlitz and his