Eight days after the placards had been pasted up by the Frenchmen, exactly upon the same places new placards were to be found, around which the people were again assembled; on every face was seen a happy smile, from every lip was heard expressions of harmony and approbation. This was a greeting of the king not only to his Berliners, but to Prussia and to the world; he was now "the Great Frederick," and all Europe listened when he spake. Frederick's greeting read thus:
"It is known to all Europe that I have provided every possible comfort to all officers who are prisoners of war. Swedes, Frenchmen, Russians, Austrians I have allowed to pass the time of their captivity at my capital. Many among them have taken advantage of the confidence reposed in them and carried on a forbidden correspondence; they have also, by unmannerly and presumptuous conduct, greatly abused the privileges allowed them; I therefore feel myself constrained to send them to Spandau, which city must not be confounded with the fortress of the same name at Spandau; they will be no more restricted than in Berlin, but they will be more closely watched."
"For this decision I cannot be blamed. The law of nations and the example of my allied enemies justify me fully. The Austrians have not allowed any of my officers who have fallen into their hands to go to Vienna. The Russians have sent their captives to Kasan. My enemies lose no opportunity to give a false aspect to my acts; I have, therefore, thought it wise to make known the causes which lead me to change my policy with regard to the prisoners of war."
Two of the officers, with whom we are acquainted, were not included in this sentence of banishment.
One was Count Belleville. On the day that his comrades, deprived of their swords, left Berlin, his corpse was carried through the outer gate. The shot of Baron Marshal made an amputation necessary, and death was the consequence. While his friends, whose condemnation he had brought about, marched sadly to Spandau, his body was laid in the "Friedhof." To the corpse had been granted a favor denied to the living--his sword was allowed to deck his coffin.
The Austrian officer, Ranuzi, because of his wise and prudent conduct and the powerful support he gave to Baron Marshal, was permitted to remain in Berlin. Ranuzi received this permission with triumphant joy. As he looked from his window at the prisoners marching toward Spandau, he said with a proud smile--"It is written, 'Be wise as a serpent.' These fools have not regarded the words of Holy Writ, and therefore they are punished, while I shall be rewarded. Yes, my work will succeed! God gives me a visible blessing. Patience, then, patience! A day will come when I will take vengeance on this haughty enemy of the Church. On that day the colors of the apostolic majesty of Austria shall be planted on the fortress of Magdeburg!"
It was the morning of the thirteenth of August. The streets of Berlin were quiet and empty. Here and there might be seen a workman with his axe upon his shoulder, or a tradesman stepping slowly to his comptoir. The upper circle of Berlin still slumbered and refreshed itself after the emotions and excitements of yesterday.
Yesterday had been a day of rejoicing; it had brought the news of the great and glorious victory which the crown prince, Ferdinand of Brunswick, had gained at Minden, over the French army under Broglie and Contades.