The kings procedure, added the unhappy mother, is not in accordance with that law. He is doing violence to my daughters inclinations, thus rendering her wretched for the remainder of her days. He wishes to give her for a husband a brutal debauchee, a younger brother, who is nothing but an officer in the army of the King of Poland; a landless man, without the means of living according to his rank. I will write to England. But, whatever the answer, I had rather a thousand times see my child in the grave than hopelessly miserable.

Quite unexpectedly, the latter part of January the virulence of the kings complicated diseases of gout, dropsy, and ulcers seemed to abate. Though but forty-seven years of age, he was, from his intemperate habits, an infirm old man. Though he lingered along for many months, he was a great sufferer. His unamiability filled the palace with discomfort.

The young king, all unaccustomed to those horrors of war which he had evoked, was swept along with the inundation. The danger of his falling in the midst of the general carnage, or of his capture, which was, perhaps, still more to be dreaded, was imminent. His friends entreated him to escape for his life. Even Marshal Schwerin, the veteran soldier, assured him that the battle was lost, and that he probably could escape capture only by a precipitate flight.

On the River Maas, a few miles north of the present city of Liege, there was a celebrated castle called Herstal. For many generations feudal lords had there displayed their pomp and power; and it had been the theatre not only of princely revelry, but of many scenes of violence and blood. A surrounding territory of a few thousand acres, cultivated by serfs, who were virtually slaves, was the hereditary domain of the petty lords of the castle. A few miles south of the castle there was a monastery called Liege, which was a dependency of the lords of Herstal.

Of these three women who then held the destinies of Europe in their hands, one only, Maria Theresa, in the estimation of the public, had good cause for war. Frederick was undeniably a highway robber, seeking to plunder her. She was heroically, nobly struggling in self-defense. The guilty Duchess of Pompadour, who, having the entire control of the infamous king, Louis XV., was virtually the Empress of France, stung by an insult from Frederick, did not hesitate to deluge Europe in blood, that she might take the vengeance of a woman scorned upon her foe. Catharine II., Empress of Russia, who in moral pollution rivaled the most profligate of kingswhom Carlyle satirizes as a kind of she Louis XIV.also stung by one of Fredericks witty and bitter epigrams, was mainly impelled by personal pique to push forth her armies into the bloody field.