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"Prussian Fortunes 1760 Liegnitz and Torgau" Topic


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©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango0102 Dec 2017 11:51 a.m. PST

"After four campaigns of ceaseless activity and intense stress, during which he had had to witness tens of thousands of dead and dying, all victims of his ambition, Frederick was beginning to feel the strain. Rarely healthy at the best of times, he was now increasingly prone to disabling bouts of illness, with gout and hemorrhoids to the fore. So fierce had been the attack of gout and attendant fever the previous autumn that his journey to Silesia at a crucial time had to be delayed. He had told Prince Henry: "I shall fly to you on the wings of patriotism and duty, but when I arrive you will find only a skeleton," although he added that his feeble body would still be activated by his indomitable spirit. By January 1760 the spirit had wilted too. He wrote to d'Argens to thank him for the trouble he was taking to publish his "twaddle," but asked how he could be expected to write good verse when his mind was "too disturbed, too agitated, too depressed." There was no prospect of securing peace, he cried, and one more defeat would deliver the coup de grāce. Weighed down by care, surrounded by implacable enemies, life had become an insupportable burden…and so he went on in the same vein lamenting his fate…"

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