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I must have my ships back again, said Frederick to the British court. The laws delay in England is, I perceive, very considerable. My people, who have had their property thus wrested from them, can not conveniently wait. I shall indemnify them from the money due on the Silesian bonds, and shall give England credit for the same. Until restitution is made, I shall not pay either principle or interest on those bonds.
"I will tell you. When the third Harry Bergan was at the point of death, his heir was in Europe. The person whom he most trusted, in the world, was his body-servant, Cato. He gave the secret to him, to be kept till the heir's return. Cato was my great-great-great grandfather. He thought the same thing might happen again, and the secret be lost; so, on his deathbed, he told it to his son, and the son told it to his son, and so on, till my father, who had no son, told it to me. So, you see, the secret has run down in the black blood alongside of the white blood, and been kept just as sacredly. But the white blood has never known it till now; when I tell it to you, because I have no child living, and Brick is still too young to be trusted with such a matter.""Not at all," answered Bergan, looking a little surprised.
Just then eighteen thousand fresh Russian troops advanced upon them in solid phalanx from their centre and their right wing. It was nearly three oclock in the afternoon. The fugitive Russians were rallied. With new impetuosity the re-enforced band hurled itself upon the Prussians. They speedily regained their hundred and eighty guns, and opened upon the ranks of Frederick such torrents of grape-shot as no flesh and blood could endure. Huge gaps were torn through his lines. His men recoiled, whirled round, and were driven pell-mell from the hill.The Duc de Chartres wrote to his father saying that he never wished to return to France, and wanted to get leave from the Convention to expatriate himself, but the Duke replied that there was no sense in it, and forbade him to write.
Well, said he one day to an attendant, who was extolling the beauties of one of his pictures, how much do you think that picture would bring at a sale?Bergan was in no mood for further exploration. He made his way back to the entrance-hall, and sat down in one of the antique chairs. He was not quite ready for the instant transition into the outward sunshine. His heart was too heavy. The ancestral home was only an ancestral tomb. Surrounded by memorials of the old state and splendor of Bergan Hall, he felt all the more keenly its present desolation and decay. Remembering the noble Bergan lineage, he was humiliated to the dust by the thought of its present representative.
On the evening of the 3d of December, 1757, the king arrived at Parchwitz, in the heart of Silesia, about thirty miles from Breslau. Here the wreck of Prince Beverns army joined him. Thus re-enforced, he could bring about thirty thousand men into the field. He immediately, in the night, assembled his principal officers, and thus addressed them; the words were taken down at the time. We give this characteristic address slightly abbreviated:Carice laid her hand upon his arm. "As you were just saying," said she, gently, "he is my father. And, dear uncle, a daughter's ear is easily hurt."