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For a moment or two, Bergan suspected his jaded senses of playing him false, as a step preparatory to taking leave of him altogether. There was something too incongruous to be real, between this gay scene of festivity and the picture presented by Doctor Remy's last letter,a dull, silent house, its master a feeble, exacting convalescent, its mistress and daughter worn out with anxiety and watching. An intuition of some unlooked-for calamity seized him. Putting spurs to his horse, he dashed over the mile that intervened between him and the cottage, at a scarcely less furious rate than that with which Vic had borne him over the same roadhow well he remembered it!just one year ago. He did not suspect that he was now to taste the bitterest consequences of that ride.
At the same time, Frederick, unaware of the movement of the Austrians, prepared to push the siege of Neisse with the utmost vigor. Leaving some of his ablest generals to conduct the operations there, Frederick himself marched, with strong re-enforcements, to strengthen General Schwerin, who was stationed among the Jagerndorf hills, on the southern frontier of Silesia, to prevent the Austrians from getting across the mountains. Marching from Ottmachau, the king met General Schwerin at Neustadt, half way to Jagerndorf, and they returned together to that place. But the swarming horsemen of General Neipperg were so bold and watchful that no information could be obtained of the situation or movements of the Austrian army. Frederick, seeing no indications that General Neipperg was attempting to force his way through the snow-encumbered defiles of the mountains, prepared to return, and, with his concentrated force, press with all vigor the siege of Neisse.
His sandals then he threw to the ocean-spray,In the mean time, during the two years in which Maria Theresa was making these conquests, Frederick, alarmed by the aggrandizement of Austria and the weakening of France, while unavailingly striving to promote peace, was busily employed in the administration of his internal affairs. He encouraged letters; devoted much attention to the Academy of Arts and Sciences; reared the most beautiful opera-house in Europe; devoted large sums to secure the finest musicians and the most exquisite ballet-dancers which Europe could afford. He sought to make his capital attractive to all those throughout Europe who were inspired by a thirst for knowledge, or who were in the pursuit of pleasure.
Say not alas, added the king. But how do you know?
Chapter 6 WITH A DOUBLE HEART.