Inspector,” said the Assistant Commissioner. “Your
At the table sat the Russian commander-in-chief, surrounded by his generals and officers. Before him lay letters, maps, and plans, at which he gazed from time to time, while he dictated an account of the battle to the officer sitting near him, Soltikow was preparing a dispatch for the Empress Elizabeth. A few steps farther off, in stiff military bearing, stood the officers who were giving in their reports, and whose statements brought a dark cloud to the brow of the victorious commander. Turning with a hasty movement of the head to the small man with the gold-embroidered uniform and the stiffly- frizzed wig, he said--
"Did you hear that, sir marquis? Ten thousand of my brave soldiers lie dead upon the battle-field, and as many more are severely wounded."
"It follows then," said the Marquis Montalembert, the French commissioner between the courts of Vienna, Petersburg, and Paris, "it follows then, that the king of Prussia has forty thousand dead and wounded, and, consequently, his little army is utterly destroyed."
"Who knows?" said Soltikow; "the king of Prussia is accustomed to sell his defeats dearly. I should not be at all surprised if he had lost fewer soldiers than we have." [Footnote: Soltikow's own words-- See Archenholtz, p 206.] "Well, I think he has now nothing more to lose," said the marquis, laughing; "it rests with you to give the last coup de grace to this conquered and flying king, and forever prevent--"
The entrance of an officer interrupted him. The officer announced General von Loudon.
Soltikow arose, and advanced to the door to welcome the Austrian general. A proud smile was on his face as he gave his hand to Loudon; he did this with the air of a gracious superior who wished to be benevolent to his subordinate.
The quick, firm glance of Loudon seemed to read the haughty heart of his ally, and, no doubt for this reason, he scarcely touched Soltikow's hand. With erect head and proud step he advanced into the middle of the room.
"I resolved to come to your excellency," said Loudon, in a sharp, excited tone; "you have a large room, while in my hut I could scarcely find accommodation for you and your adjutants."