雷蕾的专栏作者中国国家地理网

Take it down, said the king, and hang it lower, that the people may not hurt their necks in looking at it.

The queens intentions were always good, Wilhelmina kindly urged. The king replied, Let us not enter into that detail. What is past is past. I will try to forget it. You are the dearest to me of all the family. I am too sad of heart to take leave of you. Embrace your husband on my part. I am so overcome that I must not see him. Soon after Frederick wrote to Voltaire upon this subject again, still more severely, but in verse. The following is almost a literal translation of this poetic epistle:

The city took fire in many places; magazines were consumed; the ducal palace was wrapped in flames. Nearly fifteen thousand cannon-balls, and over two thousand bombs, were hurled crashing through the thronged dwellings. Many of the Austrian guns were silenced. General Piccolomini, who was intrusted with the defense of the place, could stand it no longer. On the 4th of May he raised above the walls the white flag of surrender. The gallant general was treated magnanimously. He was invited to dine with Frederick, and, with the garrison, was permitted to retire to Neisse, pledged not to serve against the Prussians for two years. The town had been nearly demolished by the war-tempest which had beat so fiercely upon it. Frederick immediately commenced repairing the ruins and strengthening the fortifications.

That evening Wilhelmina was taken sick with burning fever and severe pain. Still she was compelled to rise from her bed and attend a court party. The next morning she was worse. The king, upon being told of it, exclaimed gruffly, Ill? I will58 cure you! and compelled her to swallow a large draught of wine. Soon her sickness showed itself to be small-pox. Great was the consternation of her mother, from the fear that, even should she survive, her beauty would be so marred that the English prince would no longer desire her as his bride. Fortunately she escaped without a scar.