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Dr. Zimmermann, whose work on Solitude had given him some renown, had been sent for to administer to the illustrious patient. His prescriptions were of no avail. On the 10th of August, 1786, Frederick wrote to his sister, the Duchess Dowager of Brunswick:Well! Was I wrong? Here is your sisters husband. Go together to Saint-Germain, and dont let me see either of you until everything is arranged. I hate all talk of money affairs.
As an inevitable consequence, Bergan's responses were uttered with answering fervor. And how perfectly they met his wants! How wonderfully they expressed his sense of weakness and failure, his depression and humiliation, his new-born self-distrust, his earnest desire and determination to be stronger against future temptations. In some sentences, there was a depth of meaning and of fitness, that seemed to have been waiting all these years for this moment of complete interpretation. Continually was he startled by subtile references to his peculiar circumstances, by the calm precision with which his sores were probed, and the tender skill which applied to them healing balm.
"Why did you not tell me?" he asked.
"He would never say what was not true," affirmed Mrs. Bergan, decidedly.Bergan was silent. Though not without some touch of family pride, derived from his mother, he had nevertheless been taught to believe all upright labor honorable, to hold that life was ennobled from within, by its motive and aim, rather than from without, by its place and form. He could not help suspecting, therefore, that his host, deliberately leading the narrow life of an overseer of slaves, on his ancestral estate, was in reality a more degenerate son of his house than the relative whom he so bitterly contemned. Yet he foresaw that any attempt to defend Godfrey Bergan would but result in bringing down upon himself a torrent of fierce, half-drunken vituperation. Seasoned vessel though he were, the Major's repeated draughts of brandy, very little diluted, had not been without effect, in flushing his face, and inflaming his habitually irritable temper. His present mood would ill brook contradiction.
While Frederick was involved in all these difficulties, he was cheered by the hope that the French would soon come to his rescue. Unutterable was his chagrin when he learned, early in October, that the French had done exactly as he would have done in their circumstances. Appalling, indeed, were the tidings soon brought to him, that Prince Charles, with his army, had marched unmolested into Bohemia; that he had already effected a junction with General Bathyani and his countless swarm of Pandours; and, moreover, that a Saxon army, twenty thousand strong, in alliance with the Queen of Hungary, was on the way to join his already overwhelming foes. It was reported, at the same time, that Prince Charles was advancing upon Budweis, and that his advance-guard had been seen, but a few miles off, on the western side of the Moldau.