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Frederick was in a towering passion. Voltaire was alarmed at the commotion he had created. He wrote a letter to the king, in which he declared most solemnly that he had not intended to392 have the pamphlet published; that a copy had been obtained by treachery, and had been printed without his consent or knowledge. But the king wrote back:

The Austrians had already lost, in killed, wounded, and missing, four thousand four hundred and ten men. And though the Prussians had lost four thousand six hundred and thirteen, still their infantry lines had never for a moment wavered; and now, with floating banners and peals of music, they were advancing with the strides of conquerors. The queen went to her own apartment to fetch it. I ran in to her there for a moment. She was out of her senses, wringing her hands, crying incessantly, and exclaiming, O God, my son, my son! Breath failed me. I fell fainting into the arms of Madam Sonsfeld. The queen took the writing-desk to the king. He immediately broke it open and tore out the letters, with which he went away. The queen came back to us. We were comforted by the assurance, from some of the attendants, that my brother at least was not dead. Ringing violently for his servants, and deaf to all protestations and excuses, he had himself immediately rolled from the room. As the courtiers stood bewildered and gazing at each other in consternation, an officer came in with an order from the king that they should all leave the palace immediately, and come not back again. The next morning P?llnitz, who occupied a position somewhat similar to that of prime minister, applied for admission to his majestys apartment. But a gendarme seized him by the shoulder and turned him around, saying, There is no admittance. It was several days, and not till after repeated acts of humiliation, that the king would permit any member of the parliament again to enter his presence.

The king, my brother, she wrote, supports his misfortunes with a courage and a firmness worthy of him. I am in a frightful state, and will not survive the destruction of my house and family. That is the one consolation that remains to me. I can not write farther of it. My soul is so troubled that I know not what I am doing. To me there remains nothing but to follow his destiny if it is unfortunate. I have never piqued myself on being a philosopher, though I have made many efforts to become so. The small progress I made did teach me to despise grandeur and riches. But I could never find in philosophy any cure for the wounds of the heart, except that of getting done with our miseries by ceasing to live. The state I am in is worse than death. I see the greatest man of his age, my brother, my friend, reduced to the most frightful extremity. I see my whole family exposed to dangers and, perhaps, destruction. Would to Heaven I were alone loaded with all the miseries I have described to you. This roused Voltaire. He did not venture to attack the king, but he assailed M. Maupertuis again, anonymously, but with greatly increased venom. A brief pamphlet appeared, entitled, The Diatribe of Doctor Akakia, Physician to the Pope. It was a merciless satire against M. Maupertuis. Voltaire was entirely unscrupulous, and was perfect master of the language of sarcasm. No moral principle restrained him from exaggerating, misrepresenting, or fabricating any falsehoods which would subserve his purpose. M. Maupertuis was utterly overwhelmed with ridicule. The satire was so keen that few could read it without roars of laughter. Voltaire, the kings guest, was thus exposing to the contempt of all Europe the president of the Berlin Academy, the reputation of which Academy was dear to the king above almost every thing else. An edition of the pamphlet was printed in Holland, and copies were scattered all over Berlin. Another edition was published in Paris, where thirty thousand copies were eagerly purchased.

The raven was a tame one, which had got lost and was seeking for its home. The story, however, spread, and created great sympathy for the imprisoned princess. There was a large number of French refugees in Berlin. With characteristic kindness, at the risk of incurring the royal displeasure, they sent daily a basket of food, which was placed in a situation from which Wilhelminas maids could easily convey the contents to her, while compassionate sentries kindly looked the other way. The princess wrote to her father, imploring permission to receive the sacrament, from which she had been debarred for nearly a year. The reply from her-father was couched in the following terms: