“What's that, sir?” Kerry sat bolt upright, staring

 people involved | time:2023-12-04 21:24:49

"And now, your excellency," said Loudon, "that we have enjoyed the German wine, let us think a little of Germany and the enemy who can no longer disturb her peace, if we act promptly. Our troops have had some hours' rest, and will now be in a condition to advance."

“What's that, sir?” Kerry sat bolt upright, staring

"Always the same old song," said Soltikow, laughing; "but I shall not be waked up from my comfortable quarters; I have done enough! my troops also."

“What's that, sir?” Kerry sat bolt upright, staring

"I have just received a courier from Daun," said Loudon, softly; "he makes it my duty to entreat your excellency to follow up our victory and crush the enemy completely."

“What's that, sir?” Kerry sat bolt upright, staring

"That will be easy work," said Montalembert, in a flattering tone. "The army of the King of Prussia is scattered and flying in every direction; they must be prevented from reassembling; the scattering troops must be harassed and more widely separated, and every possibility of retreat cut off for Frederick."

"Well, well, if that must be," said Soltikow, apathetically, placing the cup just filled with wine to his lips, "let Field-Marshal Daun undertake the duty. I have won two battles; I will wait and rest; I make no other movements till I hear of two victories won by Daun. It is not reasonable or just for the troops of my empress to act alone." [Footnote: Soltikow's own words.--See Archenholtz, p. 266.]

"But," said the Marquis Montalembert, giving himself the appearance of wishing not to be heard by Loudon, "if your excellency now remains inactive and does not press forward vigorously, the Austrians alone will reap the fruits of your victory."

"I am not at all disposed to be jealous," said Soltikow, laughing; "from my heart I wish the Austrians more success than I have had. For my part, I have done enough. [Footnote: Historical.] Fill your glasses, messieurs, fill your glasses! We have won a few hours of happiness from the goddess Bellona; let us enjoy them and forget all our cares. Let us drink once more, gentlemen. Long live our charming mistress, the Empress Elizabeth!" The Russian officers clanged their glasses and chimed in zealously, and the fragrant Rhine wine bubbled like foaming gold in the silver cups. Soltikow swallowed it with ever-increasing delight, and he became more and more animated.

The officers sat round the table with glowing cheeks and listened to their worshipped general who, in innocent gayety, related some scenes from his youth, and made his hearers laugh so loud, so rapturously, that the walls trembled, and Fritz Kober, who was crouching down in the bushes, could with difficulty prevent himself from joining in heartily.

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