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The French, who, through their shrewd embassador, kept themselves informed of all that was transpiring, were quite alarmed in view of the approaching accommodation between Prussia and Austria. It is said that Frederick, on the 6th of June, in reply to the earnest remonstrances of the French minister, Marshal Belleisle, against his withdrawal from the alliance, frankly said to him,

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On Friday, the 1st of October, 1756, the Prussian army under Frederick, leaving the Saxons besieged in their encampment, marched up the river to meet the foe advancing to the aid of the Saxons. They encountered the Austrians, under Marshal Browne, at Lobositz, about thirty miles south of Pirna. A terrible battle of seven hours duration ensued. The opposing generals were of nearly equal ability. The soldiers were equal in courage. The carnage of the bloody conflict was almost equal on either side. The desperation of the Prussian assault was resistless. Bayonet often crossed bayonet. The Austrians were driven from their strong position into the city. The Prussians laid the city in ashes. As the Austrians fled from the blazing streets, many, endeavoring to swim across the Elbe, were drowned. At the close of this bloody strife General Browne withdrew his army to the rear, where he still presented a defiant front to the Prussians. He had lost from his ranks, in killed and wounded, two thousand nine hundred and eighty-four. The loss of Frederick was still greater; it numbered three thousand three hundred and eight. Neither party would confess to a defeat. To which I replied, that this was very hard usage, and the world would see how the King of Prussia would relish it. But having strict orders from his majesty, my most gracious master, to make a declaration to the ministers of Hanover in his name, and finding that Herr von Hartoff would neither receive it nor take a copy of it, I had only to tell him that I was under the necessity of leaving it in writing, and had brought the paper with me; and that now, as the council were pleased to refuse to take it, I was obliged to leave the said declaration on a table in an adjoining room, in the presence of Herr von Hartoff and other secretaries of the council, whom I desired to lay it before the ministry.

The monarchic, if the king is just and enlightened.

His contempt, writes Sir Thomas in his narrative, was so great, and was expressed in such violent terms, that now, if ever, was the time to make the last effort. A moment longer was not to be lost, to hinder the king from dismissing us.

And G?rtz senior is off on the instant, careering toward Weimar, where he finds G?rtz junior, and makes known his errand. G?rtz junior stares in the natural astonishment; but, after some intense brief deliberation, becomes affirmative, and in a minimum of time is ready and on the road.

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In broken bands the Prussians retreated down by the way of Oetscher to the bridges at G?ritz, where they had crossed the Oder, and where their heavy baggage was stationed. Frederick was among the last to quit the fatal field. As a swarm of Cossacks approached the spot where he stood, a party of his friends charged them fiercely, cutting to the right and left, and held them for a moment at bay. One of Fredericks adjutants seized the bridle of his horse, and galloped off with the unresisting monarch.

The Saxons were compelled to a precipitate retreat. Their march was long, harassing, and full of suffering, from the severe cold of those latitudes, and from the assaults of the fierce Pandours, every where swarming around. Villages were burned, and maddened men wreaked direful vengeance on each other. Scarcely eight thousand of their number, a frostbitten, starving, emaciate band, reached the borders of Saxony. Curses loud and deep were heaped upon the name of Frederick. His Polish majesty, though naturally good-natured, was greatly exasperated in view of the conduct of the Prussian king in forcing the troops into the severities of such a campaign. Frederick himself was also equally indignant with Augustus for his want of co-operation. The French minister, Valori, met him on his return from these disasters. He says that his look was ferocious and dark; that his laugh was bitter and sardonic; that a vein of suppressed rage, mockery, and contempt pervaded every word he uttered.