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Frederick wished to enlarge his Liliputian realms, and become one of the powers of Europe. This he could only do by taking advantage of the apparent momentary weakness of Austria, and seizing a portion of the territory of the young queen. In order to accomplish this, it was for his interest to oppose the election of Maria Theresas husband, the Grand-duke Francis, as emperor. The imperial crown placed upon the brow of Francis would invest Austria with almost resistless power. Still, Frederick was ready to promise his earnest concurrence in this arrangement if Maria Theresa would surrender to him Silesia. He had even moderated his terms, as we have mentioned, to a portion of the province.Gentlemen, gentlemen, it is of no use to think about it.
As Frederick received the tidings of this death, he rose, dressed himself, and his ague disappeared, to return no more. A courier was immediately dispatched, at the top of his speed, to summon to his presence General Schwerin and M. Podewils, his chief minister. Two days must elapse before they could reach him. In the mean time, the king, taking counsel of no one, was maturing his plans, and making quiet but vigorous preparations for their execution. He wrote the next day to Voltaire, in allusion to the emperors death,
We! friends! Allons donc!
Many anecdotes are related illustrative of the kind feelings of378 the king toward the peasants. He was much interested in ameliorating their condition, and said to the Bishop of Varmia, Believe me, if I knew every thingif I could read every thing myselfall my subjects should be happy. But alas! I am but a man.
Her aunt, Mme. de Montesson, had, since her marriage, been on very friendly and intimate terms with her, although the two had never any real affection for each other, and now, M. de Montesson having died, his widow was aiming at nothing less than becoming the Duchess of Orlans, and found her niece a most useful and sympathetic confidant. For it had suited Mme. de Montesson to have a niece so well placed in society and so much sought after as the young Comtesse de Genlis. Flicit, on her part, was by no means blind to the advantage of having her aunt married to the first prince of the blood, and did everything in her power to forward her plans. The Duke had long been an admirer of Mme. de Montesson, who encouraged his devotion, was continually in his society, but had no intention whatever that their love-making should  end in any way but one. It was an ambition that seemed barred with almost insuperable difficulties, and yet it succeeded, though not to the full extent she desired.
All negotiation in reference to the marriages was now apparently88 at an end. Lieutenant Katte remained at Potsdam. In the absence of Lieutenant Keith he became more than ever the friend and confidant of the Crown Prince. Wilhelmina, aware of the dissipated character of Katte, mourned over this intimacy. The king was very much annoyed by the blunder of which he himself had been guilty in insulting the court of England in the person of its embassador. He declared, in his vexation, that he would never again treat in person with a foreign minister; that his hot temper rendered it unsafe for him to do so.