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      The utter ruin of the town of Cüstrin, and the misery of its houseless and starving population, seemed to affect the king deeply. To the inhabitants, who clustered around him, he said, kindly,

      When near Augsburg, Fritz wrote a letter to Lieutenant Katte, stating that he should embrace the first opportunity to escape to the Hague; that there he should assume the name of the Count of Alberville. He wished Katte to join him there, and to bring with him the overcoat and the one thousand ducats which he had left in his hands. On Thursday, August 3d, the royal party reached the little hamlet of Steinfurth, not far from the Rhine. Here, as was not unfrequently the case, they slept in barns, carefully swept and prepared for them. The usual hour of starting was three oclock in the morning.397 Some years before this time Frederick had taken possession of East Friesland, and had made Emden a port of entry. It was a very important acquisition, as it opened to Prussia a convenient avenue for maritime commerce. With great vigor and sagacity Frederick was encouraging this commerce, thus strengthening his kingdom and enriching his subjects. England, mistress of the seas, and then, as usual, at war with France, was covering all the adjacent waters with her war-ships and privateers. Frederick had inquired of the English court, through his embassador at London, whether hemp, flax, or timber were deemed contraband. No, was the official response. Freighted with such merchandise, the Prussian ships freely sailed in all directions. But soon an English privateer seized several of them, upon the assumption that the planks with which they were loaded were contraband.

      Frederick wrote to Wilhelmina: Voltaire picks Jews pockets, but he will get out of it by some somersault.

      Doctor Remy stood aghast. For one moment, he believed that her senses were taking leave of her.


      My friends, the disasters which have befallen us here are not unknown to you. Schweidnitz is lost. The Prince of Bevern is beaten. Breslau is gone, and all our war-stores there. A large part of Silesia is lost. Indeed, my embarrassments would be insuperable were it not that I have boundless trust in you. There is hardly one among you who has not distinguished himself by some memorable action. All these services I well know, and shall never forget.



      Bergan hesitated; a further explanation would take him upon delicate ground.Bergan could scarcely believe that it was Astra who spoke. Hitherto, she had been the moral sunshine of the house, felt even where it did not directly fall. Her spirit, in its potency of cheer, resembled the sunbeam which, though it kindle but one little spot on the floor into actual brightness, diffuses its light and cheerfulness throughout a whole room. As every article of furniture, every picture, every face, in the room, is the brighter for the sunbeam, so every inmate of Mrs. Lyte's rambling old dwelling had been the happier for Astra's presence and influence. The sound of her clear, buoyant voice, the thought of her light, busy figure, just across the hall, had always served to quicken and brighten his own energies. It had been very much his wont to bring all his shadows, discouragements, and despondencies, to be dissipated by contact with her breezy activity and cheery hopefulness. What had come over her, that she met him now with such dreary premonition of ill, such persistent dwelling upon the dark side? He looked down upon her with the question in his eyes, if not on his lips.