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      Before this last arrangement was effected, however, Astra had gone to New York, to see what could be done to make her art productive of something besides pleasure. That had been a very bright moment, amid the gloom and straitness following upon her father's death, wherein it had occurred to her that she possessed in brain and fingers, in her wonderful power of kneading together thought and matter into beautiful and significant shapes, the means of restoring to her mother the ease and independence which had been impaired by her father's death. Never had her art looked so divine as when it cast aside the soft drapery of personal gratifications and aims, and stood forth a young athlete, eager for strife, a sturdy son of toil, ready to earn its bread by the sweat of its brow."Is it my fault," he went on, in broken, detached sentences,"is it my fault that Fortune never shows herself to me, save at the farther end of some dark vista which the world calls crime?Pshaw! what is a life, one worthless, drunken, half-worn-out life, in comparison with the ends that I have in view,increase of knowledge, expansion and perfection of science, and through themas a casual end, I do not pretend that it is a direct one, for methe advancement of the human race.The plan seems feasible, as much so, at least, as anything can be, in this miserable, mocking world, where Fate seems to delight in balking the best talent and deranging the artfulest contrivance.Fate, Chance, or Providence, which? Three different terms for the same thing;language would be more accurate, if there were less of it.At any rate, I have given Providence a chance. Let it take the responsibility of the result.If that will be not made! But to whom else should he give the place? He cannot abide either his brother or his nephew. And Miss Lyte comes next. Besides, there are ways of finding a will, at need. The essential point is, that no other be made."

      In June, 1730, Augustus, King of Poland, had one of the most magnificent military reviews of which history gives any record. The camp of Mühlberg, as it was called, was established upon an undulating field, twelve miles square, on the right bank of the Elbe, a few leagues below Dresden. It is hardly too much to say that all the beauty and chivalry of Europe were gathered upon that field. Fabulous amounts of money and of labor were expended to invest the scene with the utmost sublimity of splendor. A military review had great charms for Frederick William. He attended as one of the most distinguished of the invited guests. The Crown Prince accompanied the king, as his father dared not leave him behind. But Fritz was exposed to every mortification and every species of ignominy which the ingenuity of this monster parent could heap upon him.At the earliest dawn the whole army was in motion. Ranked in four columns, they cautiously advanced toward Ohlau, ready to deploy instantly into line of battle should the enemy appear. Scouts were sent out in all directions. But, toiling painfully through the drifts, they could obtain no reliable information. The spy-glass revealed nothing but the winding-sheet of crisp and sparkling snow, with scarcely a shrub or a tree to break the dreary view. There were no fences to be seennothing but a smooth, white plain, spreading for miles around. The hamlet of Mollwitz, where General Neipperg had established his head-quarters, was about seven miles north from Pogerell, from which point Frederick was marching. At the distance of a few miles from each other there were several wretched little255 hamlets, consisting of a few low, thatched, clay farm-houses clustered together.


      Again he writes, under the same date, to the Marquis DArgenson:

      Mrs. Bergan gave him a surprised look. "I don't see why you should doubt him," said she. "Everybody agrees that a more correct young man does not exist. He is always to be found in his office during office hours, attends Church regularly on Sundays, as well as at most of the occasional services, goes into but little society, and that of the very best,what more would you have?"Voltaire, in his Memoirs, says that he drew up the manifesto for Frederick upon this occasion. The pretext, he writes, for this fine expedition was certain rights which his majesty pretended to have over a part of the suburbs. It was to me he committed the task of drawing up the manifesto, which I performed as well as the nature of the case would let me, never suspecting that a king, with whom I supped, and who called me his friend, could possibly be in the wrong. The affair was soon brought to a conclusion by the payment of a million of livres, which he exacted in good hard ducats, and which served to defray the expenses of his tour to Strasbourg, concerning which he complained so loudly in his poetic prose epistle.

      The concierge did not half like this, but winter was coming on and a pavilion in the middle of a large garden was difficult to let.


      Quite apart from the quarter, yet within sight, stood a cabin of especially rude and forlorn aspect; the open door of which disclosed a strong stake driven into the ground in its centre, and divers rusty chains, handcuffs, padlocks, et cetera, hanging round its sides. This was the prison. Human justice being thus provided with a fitting abode, Bergan involuntarily looked around in search of a corresponding dwelling for Heaven's mercy, in the shape of a little cross-tipped church or chapel,but saw none.It was Doctor Remy's fate, therefore, to stand by many deathbeds,where he comported himself much more like a baffled and beaten general than a sympathetic, sorrow-stricken friend. It was also his frequent privilege to see the life-forces rally and stand fast, under his generalship, to begin anew the fight that seemed wellnigh over, to win back, inch by inch, the ground that had been lost, and finally to stand a conqueror on the field. Even then, those most indebted to his skill were often chilled to see how little the cold triumph of his face had to do with their deep heart gladness. Nevertheless, this was the position wherein the doctor appeared at his best,as now at Rue's bedside.


      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.


      "Thank you; but I seldom use brandy."