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Schweidnitz was strictly blockaded during the winter. On the 15th of March, the weather being still cold, wet, and stormy, Frederick marched from Breslau to attack the place. His siege artillery was soon in position. With his accustomed impetuosity he commenced the assault, and, after a terrific bombardment of many days, on the night of the 15th of April took the works by storm. The garrison, which had dwindled from eight thousand to four thousand five hundred, was all captured, with fifty-one guns, thirty-five thousand dollars of money, and a large quantity of stores. Thus the whole of Silesia was again in the hands of Frederick.

No, no, said he; you shall have those one hundred thousand thalers. I have destined them for you. People will be much surprised to see me act quite differently from what they had expected. They imagine I am going to lavish all my treasures, and that money will become as common as pebbles in Berlin. But they will find that I know better. I mean to increase my army, and to leave all other things on the old footing. I will have every consideration for the queen, my mother, and will satiate her with honors. But I do not mean that she shall meddle with my affairs. If she try it she will find so.

The Marquis DArgens, another of Fredericks infidel companions, one whom Voltaire described as the most frank atheist in Europe, after a very ignoble life of sin and shame, having quarreled with the king, found himself aged, poor, friendless, and infirm. He then, experiencing need of different support from any which infidelity could give, became penitent and prayerful. Renouncing his unbelief, he became an openly avowed disciple of Jesus.99 I flatter myself that now nothing will be wanting of that valor which the state has a right to expect of you. The hour is436 at hand. I should feel that I had accomplished nothing were I to leave Silesia in the hands of Austria. Let me then apprise you that I intend to attack Prince Charless army, which is nearly thrice the strength of our own, wherever I can find it. It matters not what are his numbers, or what the strength of his position. All this by courage and by skill we will try to overcome. This step I must risk, or all is lost. We must beat the enemy, or perish before his batteries. If there be any one who shrinks from sharing these dangers with me, he can have his discharge this evening.

Leave the cold ashes of Maupertuis in peace. He was noble and faithful. He pardoned you that vile libel of Doctor Akakia which your criminal fury scribbled against him. And what return are you making? Shame on such delirious ravings as those of Voltaire! Shall this grand genius, whom I have admired, soil himself with calumny, and be ferocious on the dead? Shall he, like a vile raven, pounce upon the sepulchre, and make prey upon its corpses?