All work was set aside in honor of this great celebration--the people were spread abroad in the meadows and woods, shouting and rejoicing, playing and dancing; the rich and the distinguished joined them without ceremony, to prove to the world that in such great moments, all differences of rank were forgotten--that they were all members of one body--united in joy and in sorrow by an electric chain.
So they slumbered on; the streets were still empty, the windows still closed.
But see! There comes a horseman through the Frankfort gate, dusty and breathless; his glowing face was radiant with joy! As he dashed through the streets he waved a white handkerchief high in the air, and with a loud and powerful voice, cried out, "Victory! victory!"
This one word had a magic influence. The windows flew up, the doors were dashed open, and shouting and screaming crowds of men rushed after the horseman. At a corner they surrounded his horse and compelled him to stop. "Who is victorious?" cried they tumultuously.
"The king--the great Frederick! He has whipped the Russians at Kunersdorf!"
A cry of rapture burst from every lip. "The king is victorious! he has defeated the Russians!"
Onward flew the courier to the palace; after him streamed the mad people. "The days of mourning are over--the blood of our sons has not been shed in vain, they are the honored dead--their death brought victory to the fatherland; they have drenched the soil with the blood of our barbarous enemies. We whipped the French at Minden, the Russians at Kunersdorf, and now we have defeated the Austrians and won back the trophies of their victory at Hochkirch!"
The people surrounded the castle shouting and triumphing. The courier had entered to give to the queen the joyful news. Soon the royal messengers were flying into every corner of the city to summon the ministers and officers of state to the castle. On foot, on horseback, in carriages, they hastened on, and the people received them with joyful shouts. "The king is victorious; the Russians are defeated!"