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430 Frederick reached Leipsic on the 26th of October. The allied forces were rapidly concentrating in overwhelming numbers around him. On the 30th the king marched to the vicinity of Lutzen, where he encamped for the night. General Soubise, though in command of a force outnumbering that of the Prussians nearly three to one, retreated rapidly to the west before Frederick, and crossed the River Saale. Frederick followed, and effected the passage of the stream with but little opposition.

No, the prince replied; but if the king absolutely will have it, I will marry to obey him. After that I will shove my wife into a corner, and live after my own fancy.

I have hardly strength enough to trace these lines. My state is altogether worthy of pity. It is not through any menaces, however violent they may have been, that I have yielded my consent to the kings wishes. An interest still more dear to me has determined me to this sacrifice. I have been till now the innocent cause of all the unhappiness which your majesty has endured. My too sensible heart has been penetrated by the touching details you have latterly made of them. 521 This letter was extensively circulated in England. It was greatly admired. It so happened that the court was then looking around for a bride for their young king. The result was that in the course of a few months Charlotte became Queen of England, as the wife of George III.

The king was staggered. War seemed the only alternative. But war would empty his money-casks, disfigure his splendid troops, and peril the lives even of his costly giants. One of these men, James Kirkman, picked up in the streets of London, cost the king six thousand dollars before he could be inveigled, shipped, and brought to hand. Nearly all had cost large sums of money. Such men were too valuable to be exposed to danger. Frederick William was in a state of extreme nervous excitement. There was no rest for him night or day. His deep potations did not calm his turbulent spirit. War seemed imminent. Military preparations were in vigorous progress. Ovens were constructed to bake ammunition bread. Artillery was dragged out from the arsenals. It was rumored that the Prussian troops were to march immediately upon the duchy of Mecklenburg, which was then held by George II. as an appendage to Hanover.

150 The queen behaved very unamiably, plunged in black melancholy, and treating her new daughter-in-law with great contempt. There have been many sad weddings, but this was surely one of the saddest. Frederick had often declared that he never would receive the princess as his wife. In the evening, just after the newly-married couple had retired to their room, through the arrangement of the prince, a false alarm of fire was raised by some of his friends. This furnished him with the opportunity to rush from the apartment. He did not return. Ever after he saw the princess but unfrequently, treating her with cold politeness when they met, though on public occasions giving her, with all external forms of civility, the position of honor to which, as his wedded wife, she was entitled.