410 It became more and more manifest to Frederick that he must encounter a terrible conflict upon the opening of the spring. Early in January he took a short trip to Berlin, but soon returned to Dresden. Though he avoided all appearance of anxiety, and kept up a cheerful air, he was fully conscious of his peril. This is evident from the secret instructions he left with his minister, Count Finck, upon his departure from Berlin. The dispatch was dated January 10th, 1757: 3d彩票字谜 He has got himself a bad literary character. I said to him laughingly one day that he was like the man in the last century of whom it was said that nothing but such a character could keep down such parts. When the will was signed I wrote a letter in duplicate, saying that I held all Miss Pontifex had left me in trust for Ernest except as regards L5000, but that he was not to come into the bequest, and was to know nothing whatever about it directly or indirectly, till he was twenty-eight years old, and if he was bankrupt before he came into it the money was to be mine absolutely. At the foot of each letter Miss Pontifex wrote, 鈥淭he above was my understanding when I made my will,鈥?and then signed her name. The solicitor and his clerk witnessed; I kept one copy myself and handed the other to Miss Pontifex鈥檚 solicitor. On the 15th of November Frederick arrived at Lauban, within a hundred miles of Dresden. General Daun immediately raised the siege and retired into Bohemia. Frederick marched triumphantly into the city. Thus, as the extraordinary result of the defeat at Hochkirch, Frederick, by the exhibition of military ability which astonished Europe, regained Neisse, retained Dresden, and swept both Silesia and Saxony entirely free of his foes. Frederick remained in Dresden about a month. He then retired to Breslau, in Silesia, for winter quarters. The winter was a very sad one to him. Private griefs and public calamities weighed heavily upon his heart.125 Though during the year he had destroyed a hundred thousand of his enemies, he had lost thirty thousand of his own brave little band. It was almost impossible, by any energies of conscription, to replace this waste of war. His treasury was exhausted. Though he wrenched from the wretched Saxons every dollar which military rapacity and violence could extort from them, still they were so impoverished by the long and desolating struggle that but little money could be found in the almost empty purses of a beggared people. Another campaign was soon to open, in which the allies, with almost unlimited resources of men and treasure, would again come crowding upon him in all directions in overpowering numbers. The old gentleman said not another word, but unfolded his Times and began to read it. As for Ernest, he blushed crimson. The pair did not speak during the rest of the time they were in the carriage, but they eyed each other from time to time, so that the face of each was impressed on the recollection of the other. Fortinbras did not press the subject. Waiting for Corinna, they talked of casual things. Martin, now a creature of health and appetite, devoured innumerable rolls and absorbed many bowls of coffee, to the outspoken admiration of Fortinbras. But still Corinna did not come. Then Martin filled a pipe of caporal and, smoking it with gusto, told Fortinbras more of what he had learned at the Caf茅 de l鈥橴nivers. He expressed his wonder at the people鈥檚 lack of enthusiasm for their political leaders. The next morning Frederick hastened to greet his sister. Wilhelmina was not pleased with his appearance. The cares of his new reign entirely engrossed his mind. The dignity of an absolute king did not sit gracefully upon him. Though ostentatiously demonstrative in his greeting, the delicate instincts of Wilhelmina taught her that her brother鈥檚 caresses were heartless. He was just recovering from a fit of the ague, and looked emaciate and sallow. The court was in mourning. During those funereal days no festivities could be indulged in. The queen-mother was decorously melancholy; she seems to have been not only disappointed, but excessively chagrined, to find that she was excluded by her son from the slightest influence in public affairs. The distant, arrogant, and assuming airs of the young king soon rendered him unpopular.