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      Bergan obeyed, and a considerable portion of the wainscoting slid easily to one side, disclosing a small room or closet, so artfully contrived between wall and chimney, that its existence could never have been suspected. It was lighted and ventilated by a window, and furnished with an armchair and a massive, old-fashioned secretary. Rue opened one of the compartments of the latter, and revealed several small canvas bags, which, it was easy to see, contained gold and silver coin.

      On the 2d of September, 1758, Frederick, advancing from the smouldering ruins of Cüstrin, pushed forward his columns by forced marches for the rescue of his brother, who was nearly surrounded by vastly outnumbering foes. While upon this rapid march an Austrian courier was captured, with the following dispatch, which he was bearing from General Daun to General Fermor, whose army of Russians had just been so terribly beaten by Frederick upon the field of Zorndorf, but of which fact the Austrian general had not yet been apprised:

      Guarantees! exclaimed the king, scornfully. Who minds or keeps guarantees in this age? Has not France guaranteed the Pragmatic Sanction? Has not England? Why do you not all fly to the queens succor?

      Thinking he must have lost his senses she did nothing of the sort, and again he cried outNeither Napoleon nor any of his family had at all the manners and customs suitable to the position in which he had placed them, and he was quite aware of the fact. His mother, as he said, could speak neither French nor Italian properly, but only a kind of Corsican patois, which he was ashamed to hear. He did everything he could to win over the emigrs and those of the old noblesse who had remained [460] in France; his great wish was to mingle the new noblesse he soon began to create with the faubourg St. Germain, and his great disappointment and anger was excited by the non-success of his attempts. From the time he rose to supreme power he contemplated a court and a noblesse for the country and a crown for himself. And that a court formed out of the materials supplied by his generals and their families would be ridiculous he knew, and meant to avoid.

      The nephew of Elizabeth, and her successor, Peter III., was a very warm admirer of Frederick. One of his first acts was to send to the Prussian king the assurance of his esteem and friendship. Peter immediately released all the Prussian prisoners in his dominions, entered into an armistice with Frederick, which529 was soon followed by a treaty of alliance. The two sovereigns commenced a very friendly correspondence. Frederick returned all the Russian prisoners, well clothed and fed, to their homes. The change was almost as sudden and striking as the transformations in the kaleidoscope. On the 23d Peter issued a decree that there was peace with Prussia, that he had surrendered to his Prussian majesty all the territorial conquests thus far made, and had recalled the Russian armies.But Astra did not explain.


      Even among the revolutionists there was sometimes a strange mixture of good and evil. The Auvergnat deputy Soubrany was proscribed by his friends, and met Frron in the street, who saidFrederick was now in such deep pecuniary embarrassment that he was compelled to humble himself so far as to apply to the King of France for money. If your majesty, he wrote, can not furnish me with any re-enforcements, you must, at least, send me funds to raise additional troops. The smallest possible sum which will enable me to maintain my position here is three million dollars.


      Sir Thomas Robinson added, Sire, I am not talking of what this power or that means to do, but of what will come of itself.279 To prophesy is not to threaten, sire. It is my zeal for the public good which brought me here, and


      The exigency demanded the most decisive action. Frederick promptly gathered his army, and dashed across the Moldau, resolved, with the energies of despair, to smite down the troops of Prince Charles; but no foe could be found. For four days he sought for them in vain. He then learned that the Austrian army had crossed the Moldau several miles north of him, thus cutting off his communications with Prague.