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[289] flank; the bodies which Lorraine sent to its support
chap. XII.} 1757. Dec.
were defeated successively, before they could form, and were rolled back in confused masses. Lorraine was compelled to change his front for the defence of Leuthen; the victorious Prussian army advanced to continue the attack, now employing its left wing also. Leuthen was carried by storm, and the Austrians were driven to retreat, losing more than six thousand in killed and wounded, more than twenty-one thousand in prisoners. The battle, which began at half past 1, was finished at five. It was the masterpiece of motion and decision, of moral firmness and warlike genius; the greatest military deed, thus far, of the century. That victory confirmed existence to the country where Kant and Lessing were carrying free inquiry to the sources of human knowledge. The soldiers knew how the rescue of their nation hung on that battle; and, as a grenadier on the field of carnage began to sing, ‘Thanks be to God,’ the whole army, in the darkness of evening, standing amidst thousands of the dead, uplifted the hymn of praise.

Daun fled into Bohemia, leaving in Breslau a garrison of twenty thousand men. Frederic pressed forward, and astonished Europe by gaining possession of that city, reducing Schweidnitz, and recovering all Silesia. The Russian army, which, under Apraxin, had won a victory on the northeast, was arrested in its movements by intrigues at home. Prussia was saved. In this terrible campaign, two hundred and sixty thousand men had stood against seven hundred thousand, and had not been conquered.

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