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For several weeks the Austrians slowly and sullenly retired. Their retreat was conducted in two immense columns, by parallel roads at some distance from each other. Their wings of foragers and skirmishers were widely extended, so that the hungry army swept with desolation a breadth of country reaching out many leagues. Though the Austrian army was traversing the friendly territory of Bohemia, still Prince Charles was anxious to leave behind him no resources for Frederick to glean. Frederick, with his army, pressed along, following the wide-spread trail of his foes. The Austrians, with great skill, selected every commanding position on which to erect their batteries, and hurl back a storm of shot and shell into the bosoms of their pursuers. But Frederick allowed them no rest by day or by night. His solid columns so unremittingly and so impetuously pressed with shot, bullets, bayonet, and sabre-blows upon the rear ranks of the foe that there was almost an incessant battle, continuing for several weeks, crimsoning a path thirty miles wide and more than a hundred miles in length with the blood of the wounded and the slain. 525

The wife of George I., the mother of Sophie Dorothee, was the subject of one of the saddest of earthly tragedies. Her case is still involved in some obscurity. She was a beautiful, haughty, passionate princess of Zelle when she married her cousin George, Elector of Hanover. George became jealous of Count K?nigsmark, a very handsome courtier of commanding address. In an angry altercation with his wife, it is said that the infuriate husband boxed her ears. Suddenly, on the 1st of July, 1694, Count K?nigsmark disappeared. Mysteriously he vanished from earth, and was heard of no more. The unhappy wife, who had given birth to the daughter Sophie Dorothee, bearing her mothers name, and to a son, afterward George II., almost frenzied with42 rage, was divorced from her husband, and was locked up in the gloomy castle of Ahlden, situated in the solitary moors of Luneburg heath. Here she was held in captivity for thirty years, until she died. In the mean time, George, ascending the throne of England, solaced himself in the society of female favorites, none of whom he honored with the title of wife. The raging captive of Ahlden, who seems never to have become submissive to her lot, could, of course, exert no influence in the marriage of her grandchildren.

Et des paysans en postillons masqus, But General Neipperg, the Austrian commander-in-chief, proved as watchful, enterprising, and energetic as Frederick.248 His scouting bands swarmed in all directions. The Prussian foraging parties were cut off, their reconnoitrers were driven back, and all the movements of the main body of the Austrian army were veiled from their view. General Neipperg, hearing of the fall of Glogau, decided, notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather and the snow, to march immediately, with thirty thousand men, to the relief of Neisse. His path led through mountain defiles, over whose steep and icy roads his heavy guns and lumbering ammunition-wagons were with difficulty drawn.

The Prussians remained at Lobositz nearly a fortnight, to see if Marshal Browne would again attempt to force the defiles. The Saxon troops, for whose relief the Austrians were advancing, were about thirty miles farther north, on the south, or left408 bank of the Elbe. The news of the repulse of Marshal Browne at Lobositz fell disastrously upon their starving ranks. Maria Theresa was much distressed. She sent a messenger to her Austrian general to relieve the Saxons at whatever cost. A confidential messenger was dispatched through the mountains to the Saxon camp, which he reached in safety. He informed his Polish majesty that Marshal Browne, with a picked force of eight thousand, horse and foot, would march by a circuitous route of sixty miles, so as to approach Pirna from the northeast, where but a small Prussian force was stationed. He would be there without fail on the 11th of August.

Wilhelmina. We arrived at Berlin the end of October. My younger brothers, followed by the princes of the blood and by all the court, received us at the bottom of the stairs. I was led to my apartment, where I found the reigning queen, my sisters, and the princesses. I learned, with much chagrin, that the king was ill of tertian ague. He sent me word that, being in his fit, he could not see me, but that he depended on having that pleasure to-morrow. The queen-mother, to whom I went without delay, was in a dark condition. Her rooms were all hung in their lugubrious drapery. Every thing was as yet in the depth of mourning for my father. What a scene for me! Nature has her rights. I can say with truth I have almost never in my life been so moved as on this occasion. My interview with my mother was very touching.

In the mean while, Marshal Daun was so confident that Frederick, with but thirty thousand men, could not drive him from his intrenchments, guarded by eighty thousand veteran troops, that he wrote to General Harsch, who was conducting the siege of Neisse,