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572 His feet and legs became cold. Death was stealing its way toward the vitals. About nine oclock Wednesday evening a painful cough commenced, with difficulty of breathing, and an ominous rattle in the throat. One of his dogs sat by his bedside, and shivered with cold; the king made a sign for them to throw a quilt over it. On the 14th of August Frederick had reached Liegnitz. His foes surrounded him in such numbers that escape seemed impossible, and destruction sure. General Loudon, with thirty-five thousand allies, was scarcely a mile east of him. General Lacy, with an immense swarm of cavalry, was at the distance of but a few thousand yards on the west. General Daun, with his immense army, approaching from the southwest, had taken possession of Liegnitz. Frederick was encamped upon some heights a few miles east of the city. To human view, the position of his Prussian majesty was desperate.

My dear General,While in Silesia I mentioned to you, and will now repeat in writing, that my army in Silesia was at no time so bad as at present. Were I to make shoemakers or tailors into generals, the regiments could not be worse. Regiment Thadden is not fit to be the most insignificant militia battalion of a Prussian army. Of the regiment Erlach, the men are so spoiled by smuggling they have no resemblance to soldiers; Keller is like a heap of undrilled boors; Hager has a miserable commander; and your own regiment is very mediocre. Only with Graf Von Anhalt, with Wendessen, and Markgraf Heinrich could I be content. See you, that is the state I found the regiments in, one after one. I will now speak of their man?uvring.

About two hundred miles south of Berlin there was quite an important marquisate called Baireuth. The marquis had a good-looking young son, the heir-apparent, who had just returned from the grand tour of Europe. Upon the death of his father he would enter upon quite a rich inheritance. This young marquis, Frederick by name, Baron Borck proposed as a substitute for77 the Duke of Weissenfels. It was understood that Wilhelmina was such a prize that kings, even, would be eager to obtain her hand. There could therefore be no doubt but that the Marquis of Baireuth would feel signally honored by such nuptials. The worn and weary mother eagerly accepted this proposal. She suggested it to the king. Sullenly he gave it his assent, saying, I will passively submit to it, but will take no active part whatever in the affair. Neither will I give Wilhelmina one single copper for dowry. In reference to this event, the prince wrote to his mother from Potsdam, I am in the utmost despair. What I had always apprehended has at last come on me. The king has entirely forgotten that I am his son. This morning I came into his room as usual. At the first sight of me he sprang forward, seized me by the collar, and struck me a shower of blows with his rattan. I tried in vain to screen myself, he was in so terrible a rage, almost out of himself. It was only weariness that made him give up. I am driven to extremity. I have too much honor to endure such treatment, and I am resolved to put an end to it in one way or another. A court-martial was convened to pronounce sentence upon the105 Crown Prince and his confederates. The court was appointed by the king, and consisted of three major generals, three colonels, three lieutenant colonels, three majors, three captains, and three belonging to the civil courts, called auditors. The court, thus composed of eighteen members, met on the 20th of October, 1730, in the little town of Copenick, a few miles from Berlin. Grumkow, well aware that these proceedings would attract the attention of every court in Europe, had persuaded the king to submit to the formality of a court-martial.