cavalry on their right, eight battalions of infantry on
their left, with orders precise and exactly executed, bore down impetuously on the cumbrous columns, and routed them before they could form, and even before the larger part of the Prussian infantry could fire a shot.
That victory at Rossbach
gave to Prussia
the consciousness of its existence as a nation.
To his minister Frederic
sent word of this beginning of success; but far ‘more was necessary.’
He had but obtained freedom to seek new dangers; and, hastening to relieve Schweidnitz, he wrote to a friend, ‘This, for me, has been a year of horror; to save the state, I dare the impossible.’
But already Schweidnitz had surrendered.
On the twenty-second of November, Prince Bevern was surprised and taken prisoner, with a loss of eight thousand men. His successor in the command retreated to Glogau.
On the twenty-fourth, Breslau
was basely given up, and nearly all its garrison entered the Austrian service.
seemed restored to Maria Theresa
‘Does hope expire,’ said Frederic, ‘the strong man must stand distinguished.’
Treachery, the despair of his army, midwinter in a severe clime, the repeated disasters of his generals, could not move him.
Not till the second day of December did the drooping army from Glogau join the king.
power was exerted to revive their confidence.
By degrees, they catch something of his cheerful resoluteness; they share the spirit and the daring of the victors of Rossbach
; they burn to efface their own ignominy.
Yet the Austrian army of sixty thousand men, under Charles of Lorraine
and Marshal Daun
veteran troops and double in number to the Prus