to one of less aggressive temperament, which stimulated
"Ah," he said, with a troubled smile, "you are waiting for the message I promised. I am distressed that I cannot make you the bearer of better news. If, however, you arrive safely at the end of your journey, and do not find Daun already in Berlin, and Contades in Magdeburg, you can assure the Grand Duke Ferdinand from me that all is not lost. Farewell, sir."
Then, bowing slightly, he advanced with a firm step to the generals. His eyes glowed and flashed once more, and his whole being reassumed its usual bold and energetic expression.
"Gentlemen," he said, in a clear voice, "fortune did not favor us yesterday, but there is no reason to despair. A day will come when we shall repay the enemy with bloody interest. I at least expect such a day; I will live for its coming, and all my thoughts and plans shall be directed toward that object. I strive for no other glory than to deliver Prussia from the conspiracy into which the whole of Europe has entered against her. I will obtain peace for my native land, but it shall be a great and honorable peace. I will accept no other: I would rather be buried under the ruins of my cannon, than accept a peace that would bring no advantages to Prussia, no fame to us Honor is the highest, the holiest possession of individuals, as it is of nations; and Prussia, who has placed her honor in our hands, must receive it from us pure and spotless. If you agree with me, gentlemen, join me in this cry, 'Long live Prussia! Long live Prussia's honor!'"
The generals and officers joined enthusiastically in this cry, and like a mighty torrent it spread from mouth to mouth, until it reached the regiments, where it was repeated again and again. The color-bearers unfurled their tattered banners, and the shout arose from thousands of throats, "Long live Prussia's honor!"
The king's countenance was bright, but a tear seemed to glitter in his eye. He raised his glance to heaven and murmured:
"I swear to live so long as there is hope, so long as I am free! I swear only to think of death when my liberty is threatened!" Slowly his glance returned to earth, and then in a powerful voice, he cried: "Onward! onward! that has ever been Prussia's watch-word, and it shall remain so--Onward! We have a great object be fore us--we must use every effort to keep the Russians out of Berlin. The palladium of our happiness must not fall into the hands of our enemies. The Oder and the Spree must be ours--we must recover to- morrow what the enemy wrenched from us yesterday!"
"Onward! onward!" cried the army, and the words of the king bore courage and enthusiasm to all hearts.
Hope was awakened, and all were ready to follow the king; for however dark and threatening the horizon appeared, all had faith in the star of the king, and believed that it could never be extinguished.