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Title: History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Volume 12
Author: Carlyle, Thomas, 1795-1881
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Volume 12" ***

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By Thomas Carlyle

Volume XII.

BEGINS. -- December, 1740-May, 1741.


Schlesien, what we call Silesia, lies in elliptic shape, spread on the
top of Europe, partly girt with mountains, like the crown or crest
to that part of the Earth;--highest table-land of Germany or of the
Cisalpine Countries; and sending rivers into all the seas. The summit
or highest level of it is in the southwest; longest diameter is from
northwest to southeast. From Crossen, whither Friedrich is now driving,
to the Jablunka Pass, which issues upon Hungary, is above 250 miles;
the AXIS, therefore, or longest diameter, of our Ellipse we may call 230
English miles;--its shortest or conjugate diameter, from Friedland in
Bohemia (Wallenstein's old Friedland), by Breslau across the Oder to the
Polish Frontier, is about 100. The total area of Schlesien is counted to
be some 20,000 square miles, nearly the third of England Proper.

Schlesien--will the reader learn to call it by that name, on occasion?
for in these sad Manuscripts of ours the names alternate--is a fine,
fertile, useful and beautiful Country. It leans sloping, as we hinted,
to the East and to the North; a long curved buttress of Mountains
("RIESENGEBIRGE, Giant Mountains," is their best-known name in
foreign countries) holding it up on the South and West sides.
This Giant-Mountain Range,--which is a kind of continuation of the
Saxon-Bohemian "Metal Mountains (ERZGEBIRGE)" and of the straggling
Lausitz Mountains, to westward of these,--shapes itself like a bill-hook
(or elliptically, as was said): handle and hook together may be some
200 miles in length. The precipitous side of this is, in general, turned
outwards, towards Bohmen, Mahren, Ungarn (Bohemia, Moravia, Hungary,
in our dialects); and Schlesien lies inside, irregularly sloping down,
towards the Baltic and towards the utmost East, From the Bohemian side
of these Mountains there rise two Rivers: Elbe, tending for the West;
Morawa for the South;--Morawa, crossing Moravia, gets into the Donau,
and thence into the Black-Sea; while Elbe, after intricate adventures
among the mountains, and then prosperously across the plains, is out,
with its many ships, into the Atlantic. Two rivers, we say, from the
Bohemian or steep side: and again, from the Silesian side, there rise
other two, the Oder and the Weichsel (VISTULA); which start pretty near
one another in the Southeast, and, after wide windings, get both into
the Baltic, at a good distance apart.

For the first thirty, or in parts, fifty miles from the Mountains,
Silesia slopes somewhat rapidly; and is still to be called a
Hill-country, rugged extensive elevations diversifying it: but after
that, the slope is gentle, and at length insensible, or noticeable
only by the way the waters run. From the central part of it, Schlesien
pictures itself to you as a plain; growing ever flatter, ever sandier,
as it abuts on the monotonous endless sand-flats of Poland, and the
Brandenburg territories; nothing but Boundary Stones with their brass
inscriptions marking where the transition is; and only some Fortified
Town, not far off, keeping the door of the Country secure in that

On the other hand, the Mountain part of Schlesien is very picturesque;
not of Alpine height anywhere (the Schnee-Koppe itself is under 5,000
feet), so that verdure and forest wood fail almost nowhere among the
Mountains; and multiplex industry, besung by rushing torrents and the
swift young rivers, nestles itself high up; and from wheat
husbandry, madder and maize husbandry, to damask-weaving, metallurgy,
charcoal-burning, tar-distillery, Schlesien has many trades, and has
long been expert and busy at them to a high degree. A very
pretty Ellipsis, or irregular Oval, on the summit of the European
Continent;--"like the palm of a left hand well stretched out, with the
Riesengebirge for thumb!" said a certain Herr to me, stretching out his
arm in that fashion towards the northwest. Palm, well stretched out,
measuring 250 miles; and the crossway 100. There are still beavers in
Schlesien; the Katzbach River has gold grains in it, a kind of Pactolus
not now worth working; and in the scraggy lonesome pine-woods, grimy
individuals, with kindled mounds of pine-branches and smoke carefully
kept down by sods, are sweating out a substance which they inform you is
to be tar.


Who first lived in Schlesien, or lived long since in it, there is no use
in asking, nor in telling if one knew. "The QUADI and the Lygii," says
Dryasdust, in a groping manner: Quadi and consorts, in the fifth or
sixth Century, continues he with more confidence, shifted Rome-ward,
following the general track of contemporaneous mankind; weak remnant of
Quadi was thereupon overpowered by Slavic populations, and their Country
became Polish, which the eastern rim of it still essentially is. That
was the end of the Quadi in those parts, says History. But they cannot
speak nor appeal for themselves; History has them much at discretion.
Rude burial urns, with a handful of ashes in them, have been dug up in
different places; these are all the Archives and Histories the Quadi now
have. It appears their name signifies WICKED. They are those poor Quadi
(WICKED PEOPLE) who always go along with the Marcomanni (MARCHMEN), in
the bead-roll Histories one reads; and I almost guess they must have
been of the same stock: "Wickeds and Borderers;" considered, on both
sides of the Border, to belong to the Dangerous Classes in those times.
Two things are certain: First, QUAD and its derivatives have, to
this day, in the speech of rustic Germans, something of that
meaning,--"nefarious," at least "injurious," "hateful, and to be
avoided:" for example, QUADdel, "a nettle-burn;" QUETSchen, "to smash"
(say, your thumb while hammering); &c. &c. And then a second thing:
The Polish equivalent word is ZLE (Busching says ZLEXI); hence ZLEzien,
SCHLEsien, meaning merely BADland, QUADland, what we might called
DAMAGitia, or Country where you get into Trouble. That is the etymology,
or what passes for such. As to the History of Schlesien, hitherwards
of these burial urns dug up in different places, I notice, as not yet
entirely buriable, Three Epochs.

FIRST EPOCH; CHRISTIANITY: A.D. 966. Introduction of Christianity;
to the length of founding a Bishopric that year, so hopeful were the
aspects; "Bishopric of Schmoger" (SchMAGram, dim little Village still
discoverable on the Polish frontier, not far from the Town of Namslau);
Bishopric which, after one removal farther inward, got across the
Oder, to "WRUTISLAV," which me now call Breslau; and sticks there, as
Bishopric of Breslau, to this day. Year 966: it was in Adalbert, our
Prussian Saint and Missionary's younger time. Preaching, by zealous
Polacks, must have been going on, while Adalbert, Bright in Nobleness,
was studying at Magdeburg, and ripening for high things in the general
estimation. This was a new gift from the Polacks, this of Christianity;
an infinitely more important one than that nickname of "ZLEZIEN," or
"DAMAGitia," stuck upon the poor Country, had been.

Twenty years of great trouble in Poland, which were of lasting benefit
to Schlesien. In 1139 the Polack King, a very potent Majesty whom we
could name but do not, died; and left his Dominions shared by punctual
bequest among his five sons. Punctual bequest did avail: but the eldest
Son (who was King, and had Schlesien with much else to his share) began
to encroach, to grasp; upon which the others rose upon him, flung him
out into exile; redivided; and hoped now they might have quiet. Hoped,
but were disappointed; and could come to no sure bargain for the next
twenty years,--not till "the eldest brother," first author of these
strifes, "died an exile in Holstein," or was just about dying, and had
agreed to take Schlesien for all claims, and be quiet thenceforth.

His, this eldest's, three Sons did accordingly, in 1159, get Schlesien
instead of him; their uncles proving honorable. Schlesien thereby
was happy enough to get cut loose from Poland, and to continue loose;
steering a course of its own;--parting farther and farther from Poland
and its habits and fortunes. These three Sons, of the late Polish
Majesty who died in exile in Holstein, are the "Piast Dukes," much
talked of in Silesian Histories: of whose merits I specify this only,
That they so soon as possible strove to be German. They were Progenitors
of all the "Piast Dukes," Proprietors of Schlesien thenceforth, till the
last of them died out in 1675,--and a certain ERBVERBRUDERUNG they
had entered into could not take effect at that time. Their merits as
Sovereign Dukes seem to have been considerable; a certain piety, wisdom
and nobleness of mind not rare among them; and no doubt it was partly
their merit, if partly also their good luck, that they took to Germany,
and leant thitherward; steering looser and looser from Poland, in their
new circumstances. They themselves by degrees became altogether German;
their Countries, by silent immigration, introduction of the arts, the
composures and sobrieties, became essentially so. On the eastern
rim there is still a Polack remnant, its territories very sandy, its
condition very bad; remnant which surely ought to cease its Polack
jargon, and learn some dialect of intelligible Teutsch, as the first
condition of improvement. In all other parts Teutsch reigns;
and Schlesien is a green abundant Country; full of metallurgy,
damask-weaving, grain-husbandry.--instead of gasconade, gilt anarchy,
rags, dirt, and NIE POZWALAM.

A.D. 1327; GET COMPLETELY CUT LOOSE. The Piast Dukes, who soon ceased to
be Polish, and hung rather upon Bohemia, and thereby upon Germany, made
a great step in that direction, when King Johann, old ICH-DIEN whom we
ought to recollect, persuaded most of them, all of them but two, "PRETIO
AC PRECE," to become Feudatories (Quasi-Feudatories, but of a sovereign
sort) to his Crown of Bohemia. The two who stood out, resisting
prayer and price, were the Duke of Jauer and the Duke of
Schweidnitz,--lofty-minded gentlemen, perhaps a thought too lofty.
But these also Johann's son, little Kaiser Karl IV., "marrying their
heiress," contrived to bring in;--one fruitful adventure of little
Karl's, among the many wasteful he made, in the German Reich. Schlesien
is henceforth a bit of the Kingdom of Bohemia; indissolubly hooked to
Germany; and its progress in the arts and composures, under wise
Piasts with immigrating Germans, we guess to have become doubly rapid.
[Busching, _Erdbeschreibung,_ viii. 725; Hubner, t. 94.]

THIRD EPOCH; ADOPT THE REFORMATION: A.D. 1414-1517. Schlesien, hanging
to Bohemia in this manner, extensively adopted Huss's doctrines; still
more extensively Luther's; and that was a difficult element in its lot,
though, I believe, an unspeakably precious one. It cost above a Century
of sad tumults, Zisca Wars; nay above two Centuries, including the sad
Thirty-Years War;--which miseries, in Bohemia Proper, were sometimes
very sad and even horrible. But Schlesien, the outlying Country, did,
in all this, suffer less than Bohemia Proper; and did NOT lose its
Evangelical Doctrine in result, as unfortunate Bohemia did, and sink
into sluttish "fanatical torpor, and big Crucifixes of japanned Tin by
the wayside," though in the course of subsequent years, named of Peace,
it was near doing so. Here are the steps, or unavailing counter-steps,
in that latter direction:--

A.D. 1537. Occurred, as we know, the ERBVERBRUDERUNG; Duke of Liegnitz,
and of other extensive heritages, making Deed of Brotherhood with
Kur-Brandenburg;--Deed forbidden, and so far as might be, rubbed out and
annihilated by the then King of Bohemia, subsequently Kaiser Ferdinand
I., Karl V.'s Brother. Duke of Liegnitz had to give up his parchments,
and become zero in that matter: Kur-Brandenburg entirely refused to do
so; kept his parchments, to see if they would not turn to something.

A.D. 1624. Schlesien, especially the then Duke of Liegnitz
(great-grandson of the ERBVERBRUDERUNG one), and poor Johann George,
Duke of Jagerndorf, cadet of the then Kur-Brandenburg, went warmly
ahead into the Winter-King project, first fire of the Thirty-Years
War; sufferings from Papal encroachment, in high quarters, being really
extreme. Warmly ahead; and had to smart sharply for it;--poor Johann
George with forfeiture of Jagerndorf, with REICHES-ACHT (Ban of the
Empire), and total ruin; fighting against which he soon died. Act of Ban
and Forfeiture was done tyrannously, said most men; and it was persisted
in equally so, till men ceased speaking of it;--Jagerndorf Duchy, fruit
of the Act, was held by Austria, ever after, in defiance of the Laws
of the Reich. Religious Oppression lay heavy on Protestant Schlesien
thenceforth; and many lukewarm individualities were brought back to
Orthodoxy by that method, successful in the diligent skilled hands of
Jesuit Reverend Fathers, with fiscals and soldiers in the rear of them.

A.D. 1648. Treaty of Westphalia mended much of this, and set fair limits
to Papist encroachment;--had said Treaty been kept: but how could it? By
Orthodox Authority, anxious to recover lost souls, or at least to have
loyal subjects, it was publicly kept in name; and tacitly, in
substance, it was violated more and more. Of the "Blossoming of Silesian
Literature," spoken of in Books; of the Poet Opitz, Poets Logan,
Hoffmannswaldau, who burst into a kind of Song better or worse at this
Period, we will remember nothing; but request the reader to remember it,
if he is tunefully given, or thinks it a good symptom of Schlesien.

A.D. 1707. Treaty of Altranstadt: between Kaiser Joseph I. and Karl XII.
Swedish Karl, marching through those parts,--out of Poland, in chase
of August the Physically Strong, towards Saxony, there to beat him
soft,--was waited upon by Silesian Deputations of a lamentable nature;
was entreated, for the love of Christ and His Evangel, to "Protect
us poor Protestants, and get the Treaty of Westphalia observed on our
behalf, and fair-play shown!" Which Karl did; Kaiser Joseph, with such
weight of French War lying on him, being much struck with the tone of
that dangerous Swede. The Pope rebuked Kaiser Joseph for such compliance
in the Silesian matter: "Holy Father," answered this Kaiser (not of
distinguished orthodoxy in the House), "I am too glad he did not ask me
to become Lutheran; I know not how I should have helped myself!" [Pauli,
_ Allgemeine Preussische Staats-Geschichte_ (viii. 298-592); Busching,
_Erdbeschreibung_ (viii. 700-739); &c.--Heinrich Wuttke, _Friedrichs
des Grossen Besitzergreifung von Schlesien_ (Seizure of Silesia by
Friedrich, 2 vols. Leipzig, 1843), I mention only lest ingenuous readers
should be tempted by the Title to buy it. Wuttke begins at the Creation
of the World; and having, in two heavy volumes, at last struggled down
close TO the BESITZERGREIFUNG or Seizure in question, calls halt; and
stands (at ease, we will hope) immovably there for the seventeen years

These are the Three Epochs;--most things, in respect of this Third or
Reformation Epoch, stepping steadily downward hitherto. As to the Fourth
Epoch, dating "13th Dec. 1740," which continues, up to our day and
farther, and is the final and crowning Epoch of Silesian History,--read
in the following Chapters.


At what hour Friedrich ceased dancing on that famous Ball-night of
Bielfeld's, and how long he slept after, or whether at all, no Bielfeld
even mythically says: but next morning, as is patent to all the world,
Tuesday, 13th December, 1740, at the stroke of nine, he steps into his
carriage; and with small escort rolls away towards Frankfurt-on-Oder;
[_Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 452; Preuss, _Thronbesteigung,_ p. 456.] out
upon an Enterprise which will have results for himself and others.

Two youngish military men, Adjutant-Generals both, were with him,
Wartensleben, Borck; both once fellow Captains in the Potsdam Giants,
and much in his intimacy ever since. Wartensleben we once saw at
Brunswick, on a Masonic occasion; Borck, whom we here see for the first
time, is not the Colonel Borck (properly Major-General) who did the
Herstal Operation lately; still less is he the venerable old Minister,
Marlborough Veteran, and now Field-Marshal Borck, whom Hotham treated
with, on a certain occasion. There are numerous Borcks always in the
King's service; nor are these three, except by loose cousinry, related
to one another. The Borcks all come from Stettin quarter; a brave
kindred, and old enough,--"Old as the Devil, DAS IST SO OLD ALS
DE BORCKEN UND DE DUWEL," says the Pomeranian Proverb;--the
Adjutant-General, a junior member of the clan, chances to be the
notablest of them at this moment. Wartensleben, Borck, and a certain
Colonel von der Golz, whom also the King much esteems, these are his
company on this drive. For escort, or guard of honor out of Berlin to
the next stages, there is a small body of Hussars, Life-guard and other
Cavalry, "perhaps 500 horse in all."

They drive rapidly, through the gray winter; reach Frankfurt-on-Oder,
sixty miles or more; where no doubt there is military business waiting.
They are forward, on the morrow, for dinner, forty miles farther, at a
small Town called Crossen, which looks over into Silesia; and is, for
the present, headquarters to a Prussian Army, standing ready there
and in the environs. Standing ready, or hourly marching in, and
rendezvousing; now about 28,000 strong, horse and foot. A Rearguard
of Ten or Twelve Thousand will march from Berlin in two days, pause
hereabouts, and follow according to circumstances: Prussian Army will
then be some 40,000 in all. Schwerin has been Commander, manager and
mainspring of the business hitherto: henceforth it is to be the King;
but Schwerin under him will still have a Division of his own.

Among the Regiments, we notice "Schulenburg Horse-Grenadiers,"--come
along from Landsberg hither, these Horse-Grenadiers, with little
Schulenburg at the head of them;--"Dragoon Regiment Bayreuth,"
"Lifeguard Carbineers," "Derschau of Foot;" and other Regiments and
figures slightly known to us, or that will be better known. [List in
_Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 453.] Rearguard, just getting under
way at Berlin, has for leaders the Prince of Holstein-Beck
("Holstein-VAISSELLE," say wags, since the Principality went all to
SILVER-PLATE) and the Hereditary Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, whom we called
the Young Dessauer, on the Strasburg Journey lately: Rearguard, we say,
is of 12,000; main Army is 28,000; Horse and Foot are in the
proportion of about 1 to 3. Artillery "consists of 20 three-pounders; 4
twelve-pounders; 4 howitzers (HAUBITZEN); 4 big mortars, calibre fifty
pounds; and of Artillerymen 166 in all."

With this Force the young King has, on his own basis (pretty much in
spite of all the world, as we find now and afterwards), determined to
invade Silesia, and lay hold of the Property he has long had there;--not
computing, for none can compute, the sleeping whirlwinds he may chance
to awaken thereby. Thus lightly does a man enter upon Enterprises which
prove unexpectedly momentous, and shape the whole remainder of his days
for him; crossing the Rubicon as it were in his sleep. In Life, as on
Railways at certain points,--whether you know it or not, there is but an
inch, this way or that, into what tram you are shunted; but try to get
out of it again! "The man is mad, CET HOMME-LA EST FOL!" said Louis
XV. when he heard it. [Raumer, _Beitrage_ (English Translation, called
_Frederick II. and his Times; from British Museum and State-Paper
Office:_--a very indistinct poor Book, in comparison with whet it might
have been), p. 73 (24th Dec. 1740).]


At all events, the man means to try;--and is here dining at Crossen,
noon of Wednesday, the 14th; certain important persons,--especially two
Silesian Gentlemen, deputed from Grunberg, the nearest Silesian Town,
who have come across the border on business,--having the honor to dine
with him. To whom his manner is lively and affable; lively in mood,
as if there lay no load upon his spirits. The business of these two
Silesian Gentlemen, a Baron von Hocke one of them, a Baron von Kestlitz
the other, was To present, on the part of the Town and Amt of Grunberg,
a solemn Protest against this meditated entrance on the Territory of
Schlesien; Government itself, from Breslau, ordering them to do so.
Protest was duly presented; Friedrich, as his manner is, and continues
to be on his march, glances politely into or at the Protest; hands it,
in silence, to some page or secretary to deposit in the due pigeon-hole
or waste-basket; and invites the two Silesian Gentlemen to dine
with him; as, we see, they have the honor to do. "He (ER) lives near
Grunberg, then, Mein Herr von Hocke?" "Close to it, IHRO MAJESTAT. My
poor mansion, Schloss of Deutsch-Kessel, is some fifteen miles hence;
how infinitely at your Majesty's service, should the march prove
inevitable, and go that way!"--"Well, perhaps!" I find Friedrich did
dine, the second day hence, with one of these Gentlemen; and lodged with
the other. Government at Breslau has ordered such Protest, on the part
of the Frontier populations and Official persons: and this is all that
comes of it.

During these hours, it chanced that the big Bell of Crossen dropped from
its steeple,--fulness of time, or entire rottenness of axle-tree, being
at last completed, at this fateful moment. Perhaps an ominous thing?
Friedrich, as Caesar and others have done, cheerfully interprets the
omen to his own advantage: "Sign that the High is to be brought low!"
says Friedrich. Were the march-routes, wagon-trains, and multifarious
adjustments perfect to the last item here at Crossen, he will with much
cheerfulness step into Silesia, independent of all Grunberg Protests and
fallen Bells.

On the second day he does actually cross; "the regiments marching in,
at different points; some reaching as far as 25 miles in." It is Friday,
16th December, 1740; there has a game begun which will last long! They
went through the Village of Lasgen; that was the first point of Silesian
ground ("Circle of Schwiebus," our old friend, is on the left near by);
and "Schwerin's Regiment was the foremost." Others cross more to the
left or right; "marching through the Village of Lessen," and other dim
Villages and little Towns, round and beyond Grunberg; all regiments and
divisions bearing upon Grunberg and the Great Road; but artistically
portioned out,--several miles in breadth (for the sake of quarters),
and, as is generally the rule, about a day's march in length. This
evening nearly the whole Army was on Silesian ground.

Printed "Patent" or Proclamation, briefly assuring all Silesians, of
whatever rank, condition or religion, "That we have come as friends to
them, and will protect all persons in their privileges, and molest
no peaceable mortal," is posted on Church-doors, and extensively
distributed by hand. Soldiers are forbidden, "under penalty of the
rods," Officers under that of "cassation with infamy," to take anything,
without first bargaining and paying ready money for it. On these
terms the Silesian villages cheerfully enough accept their new guests,
interesting to the rural mind; and though the billeting was rather
heavy, "as many as 24 soldiers to a common Farmer (GARTNER)," no
complaints were made. In one Schloss, where the owners had fled, and no
human response was to be had by the wayworn-soldiery, there did occur
some breakages and impatient kickings about; which it grieved his
Majesty to hear of, next morning;--in one, not in more.

Official persons, we perceive, study to be absolutely passive. This was
the Burgermeister's course at Grunberg to-night; Grunberg, first Town
on the Frontier, sets an example of passivity which cannot be surpassed.
Prussian troops being at the Gate of Grunberg, Burgermeister and
adjuncts sitting in a tacit expectant condition in their Town-hall,
there arrives a Prussian Lieutenant requiring of the Burgermeister the
Key of said Gate. "To deliver such Key? Would to God I durst, Mein Herr
Lieutenant; but how dare I! There is the Key lying: but to GIVE
it--You are not the Queen of Hungary's Officer, I doubt?"--The Prussian
Lieutenant has to put out hand, and take the Key; which he readily does.
And on the morrow, in returning it, when the march recommences, there
are the same phenomena: Burgermeister or assistants dare not for the
life of them touch that Key: It lay on the table; and may again, in the
course of Providence, come to lie!--The Prussian Lieutenant lays it down
accordingly, and hurries out, with a grin on his face. There was much
small laughter over this transaction; Majesty himself laughing well at
it. Higher perfection of passivity no Burgermeister could show.

The march, as readers understand, is towards Glogau; a strongish
Garrison Town, now some 40 miles ahead; the key of Northern Schlesien.
Grunberg (where my readers once slept for the night, in the late King's
time, though they have forgotten it) is the first and only considerable
Town on the hither side of Glogau. On to Glogau, I rather perceive, the
Army is in good part provisioned before starting: after Glogau,--we must
see. Bread-wagons, Baggage-wagons, Ammunition-and-Artillery wagons, all
is in order; Army artistically portioned out. That is the form of march;
with Glogau ahead. King, as we said above, dines with his Baron von
Hocke, at the Schloss of Deutsch-Kessel, short way beyond Grunberg, this
first day: but he by no means loiters there;--cuts across, a dozen miles
westward, through a country where his vanguard on its various lines
of march ought to be arriving;--and goes to lodge, at the Schloss of
Schweinitz, with his other Baron, the Von Kestlitz of Wednesday at
Crossen. [_Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 459.] This is Friday, 16th December,
his first night on Silesian ground.


Silesia, in the way of resistance, is not in the least prepared for him.
A month ago, there were not above 3,000 Austrian Foot and 600 Horse in
the whole Province: neither the military Governor Count Wallis, nor
the Imperial Court, nor any Official Person near or far, had the least
anticipation of such a Visit. Count Wallis, who commands in Glogau, did
in person, nine or ten days ago, as the rumors rose ever higher, run
over to Crossen; saw with his eyes the undeniable there; and has been
zealously endeavoring ever since, what he could, to take measures.
Wallis is now shut in Glogau; his second, the now Acting Governor,
General Browne, a still more reflective man, is doing likewise his
utmost; but on forlorn terms, and without the least guidance from Court.
Browne has, by violent industry, raked together, from Mahren and the
neighboring countries, certain fractions which raise his Force to 7,000
Foot: these he throws, in small parties, into the defensible points; or,
in larger, into the Chief Garrisons. New Cavalry he cannot get; the
old 600 Horse he keeps for himself, all the marching Army he has.
[Particulars in _Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 465; total of Austrian Force
seems to be 7,800 horse and foot.]

Fain would he get possession of Breslau, and throw in some garrison
there; but cannot. Neither he nor Wallis could compass that. Breslau
is a City divided against itself, on this matter; full of emotions, of
expectations, apprehensions for and against. There is a Supreme Silesian
Government (OBER-AMT "Head-Office," kind of Austrian Vice-Royalty) in
Breslau; and there is, on Breslau's own score, a Town-Rath; strictly
Catholic both these, Vienna the breath of their nostrils. But then
also there are forty-four Incorporated Trades; Oppressed Protestant
in Majority; to whom Vienna is not breath, but rather the want of it.
Lastly, the City calls itself Free; and has crabbed privileges still
valid; a "JUS PROESIDII" (or right to be one's own garrison) one of
them, and the most inconvenient just now. Breslau is a REICH-STADT; in
theory, sovereign member of the Reich, and supreme over its own affairs,
even as Austria itself:--and the truth is, old Theory and new Fact,
resolved not to quarrel, have lapsed into one another's arms in a quite
inextricable way, in Breslau as elsewhere! With a Head Government which
can get no orders from Vienna, the very Town-Rath has little alacrity,
inclines rather to passivity like Grunberg; and a silent population
threatens to become vocal if you press upon it.

Breslau, that is to say the OBER-AMT there, has sent courier on courier
to Vienna for weeks past: not even an answer;--what can Vienna answer,
with Kur-Baiern and others threatening war on it, and only 10,000 pounds
in its National Purse? Answer at last is, "Don't bother! Danger is
not so near. Why spend money on couriers, and get into such a taking?"
General Wallis came to Breslau, after what he had seen at Crossen; and
urged strongly, in the name of self-preservation, first law of Nature,
to get an Austrian real Garrison introduced; wished much (horrible to
think of!) "the suburbs should be burnt, and better ramparts raised:"
but could not succeed in any of these points, nor even mention some of
them in a public manner. "You shall have a Protestant for commandant,"
suggested Wallis; "there is Count von Roth, Silesian-Lutheran, an
excellent Soldier!"--"Thanks," answered they, "we can defend ourselves;
we had rather not have any!" And the Breslau Burghers have, accordingly,
set to drill themselves; are bringing out old cannon in quantity;
repairing breaches; very strict in sentry-work: "Perfectly able to
defend our City,--so far as we see good!"--Tuesday last, December 13th
(the very day Friedrich left Berlin), as this matter of the Garrison,
long urged by the Ober-Amt, had at last been got agreed to by the
Town-Rath, "on proviso of consulting the Incorporated Trades", or
at least consulting their Guild-Masters, who are usually a silent
folk,--the Guild-Masters suddenly became in part vocal; and their
forty-four Guilds unusually so:--and there was tumult in Breslau, in
the Salz-Ring (big central Square or market-place, which they call RING)
such as had not been; idle population, and guild-brethren of suspicious
humor, gathering in multitudes into and round the fine old Town-hall
there; questioning, answering, in louder and louder key; at last
bellowing quite in alt; and on the edge of flaming into one knew not
what: [_Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 469.]--till the matter of Austrian
Garrison (much more, of burning the suburbs!) had to be dropt; settled
in what way we see.

Head Government (OBER-AMT) has, through its Northern official people,
sent Protest, strict order to the Silesian Population to look sour on
the Prussians:--and we saw, in consequence, the two Silesian Gentlemen
did dine with Friedrich, and he has returned their visits; and the Mayor
of Grunberg would not touch his keys. Head Government is now redacting
a "Patent," or still more solemn Protest of its own; which likewise it
will affix in the Salz-Ring here, and present to King Friedrich: and
this--except "despatching by boat down the river a great deal of meal to
Glogau", which was an important quiet thing, of Wallis's enforcing--is
pretty much all it can do. No Austrian Garrison can be got in
("Perfectly able to defend ourselves!")--let Government and Wallis or
Browne contrive as they may. And as to burning the suburbs, better
not whisper of that again. Breslau feels, or would fain feel itself
"perfectly able;"--has at any rate no wish to be bombarded; and contains
privately a great deal of Protestant humor. Of all which, Friedrich, it
is not doubted, has notice more or less distinct; and quickens his march
the more.

General Browne is at present in the Southern parts; an able active man
and soldier; but, with such a force what can he attempt to do? There are
three strong places in the Country, Glogau, then Brieg, both on the Oder
river; lastly Neisse, on the Neisse river, a branch of the Oder (one
of the FOUR Neisse rivers there are in Germany, mostly in Silesia,--not
handy to the accurate reader of German Books). Browne is in Neisse;
and will start into a strange stare when the flying post reaches him:
Prussians actually on march! Debate with them, if debate there is to
be, Browne himself must contrive to do; from Breslau, from Vienna, no
Government Supreme or Subordinate can yield his 8,000 and him the least

Glogau, as we saw, means to defend itself; at least, General Wallis the
Commandant, does, in spite of the Glogau public; and is, with his
whole might, digging, palisading, getting in meal, salt meat and other
provender;--likewise burning suburbs, uncontrollable he, in the small
place; and clearing down the outside edifices and shelters, at a
diligent rate. Yesterday, 15th December, he burnt down the "three
Oder-Mills, which lie outside the big suburban Tavern, also the
ZIEGEL-SCHEUNE (Tile-Manufactory)," and other valuable buildings,
careless of public lamentation,--fire catching the Town itself, and
needing to be quenched again. [_Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 473-475.] Nay,
he was clear for burning down, or blowing up, the Protestant Church,
indispensable sacred edifice which stands outside the walls: "Prussians
will make a block-house of it!" said Wallis. A chief Protestant, Baron
von Something, begged passionately for only twelve hours of respite,--to
lay the case before his Prussian Majesty. Respite conceded, he and
another chief Protestant had posted off accordingly; and did the next
morning (Friday, 16th), short way from Crossen, meet his Majesty's
carriage; who graciously pulled up for a few instants, and listened to
their story. "MEINE HERREN, you are the first that ask a favor of me on
Silesian ground; it shall be done you!" said the King; and straightway
despatched, in polite style, his written request to Wallis, engaging
to make no military use whatever of said Church, "but to attack by the
other side, if attack were necessary." Thus his Majesty saved the Church
of Glogau; which of course was a popular act. Getting to see this Church
himself a few days hence, he said, "Why, it must come down at any rate,
and be rebuilt; so ugly a thing!"

Wallis is making strenuous preparation; forces the inhabitants, even
the upper kinds of them, to labor day and night by relays, in his
rampartings, palisadings; is for burning all the adjacent Villages,--and
would have done it, had not the peasants themselves turned out in
a dangerous state of mind. He has got together about 1,000 men. His
powder, they say, is fifty years old; but he has eatable provender from
Breslau, and means to hold out to the utmost. Readers must admit that
the Austrian military, Graf von Wallis to begin with,--still
more, General Browne, who is a younger man and has now the head
charge,--behave well in their present forsaken condition. Wallis (Graf
FRANZ WENZEL this one, not to be confounded with an older Wallis heard
of in the late Turk War) is of Scotch descent,--as all these Wallises
are; "came to Austria long generations ago; REICHSGRAFS since
1612:"--Browne is of Irish; age now thirty-five, ten years younger than
Wallis. Read this Note on the distinguished Browne:--

"A German-Irish Gentleman, this General (ultimately Fieldmarshal)
Graf von Browne; one of those sad exiled Irish Jacobites, or sons of
Jacobites, who are fighting in foreign armies; able and notable men
several of them, and this Browne considerably the most so. We shall meet
him repeatedly within the next eighteen years. Maximilian-Ulysses
Graf von Browne: I said he was born German; Basel his birthplace (23d
October, 1705), Father also a soldier: he must not be confounded with
a contemporary Cousin of his, who is also 'Fieldmarshal Browne,' but
serves in Russia, Governor of Riga for a long time in the coming years.
This Austrian General, Fieldmarshal Browne, will by and by concern us
somewhat; and the reader may take note of him.

"Who the Irish Brothers Browne, the Fathers of these Marshals Browne,
were? I have looked in what Irish Peerages and printed Records there
were, but without the least result. One big dropsical Book, of languid
quality, called _King James's Irish Army-List,_ has multitudes of
Brownes and others, in an indistinct form; but the one Browne wanted,
the one Lacy, almost the one Lally, like the part of HAMLET, are
omitted. There are so many Irish in the like case with these Brownes.
A Lacy we once slightly saw or heard of; busy in the Polish-Election
time,--besieging Dantzig (investing Dantzig, that Munnich might besiege
it);--that Lacy, 'Governor of Riga,' whom the RUSSIAN Browne will
succeed, is also Irish: a conspicuous Russian man; and will have a Son
Lacy, conspicuous among the Austrians. Maguires, Ogilvies (of the Irish
stock), Lieutenants 'Fitzgeral;' very many Irish; and there is not
the least distinct account to be had of any of them." [For Browne see
"Anonymous of Hamburg" (so I have had to label a J.F.S. _Geschichte des
&c._--in fact, History of Seven-Years War, in successive volumes, done
chiefly by the scissors; Leipzig and Frankfurt, 1759, et seqq.), i.
123-131 n.: elaborate Note of eight pages there; intimating withal that
he, J.F.S., wrote the _"Life of Browne,"_ a Book I had in vain sought
for; and can now guess to consist of those same elaborate eight pages,
PLUS water and lathering to the due amount. Anonymous "of Hamburg" I
call my J.F.S.,--having fished him out of the dust-abysses in that City:
a very poor take; yet worth citing sometimes, being authentic, as even
the darkest Germans generally are.--For a glimpse of LACY (the Elder
Lacy) see Busching, _Beitrage,_ vi. 162.--For WALLIS (tombstone Note on
Wallis) see (among others who are copious in that kind of article,
and keep large sacks of it, in admired disorder) Anonymous Seyfarth,
_Geschichte Friedrichs des Andern_ (Leipzig, 1784-1788), i. 112 n.;
and Anonymous, _Leben der &c. Marie Theresie_ (Leipzig, 1781), 27 n.:
laboriously authentic Books both; essentialy DICTIONARIES,--stuffed as
into a row of blind SACKS.]

Let us attend his Majesty on the next few marches towards Glogau, to see
the manner of the thing a little; after which it will behoove us to be
much more summary, and stick by the main incidents.


Friedrich's march proceeds with speed and regularity. Strict discipline
is maintained; all things paid for, damage carefully avoided: "We
come, not as invasive enemies of you or of the Queen of Hungary, but as
protective friends of Silesia and of her Majesty's rights there;--her
Majesty once allowing us (as it is presumable she will) our own rights
in this Province, no man shall meddle with hers, while we continue
here." To that effect runs the little "Patent," or initiatory
Proclamation, extensively handed out, and posted in public places, as
was said above; and the practice is conformable. To all men, coming with
Protests or otherwise, we perceive, the young King is politeness itself;
giving clear answer, and promise which will be kept, on the above
principle. Nothing angers him except that gentlemen should disbelieve,
and run away. That a mansion be found deserted by its owners, is the one
evil omen for such mansion. Thus, at the Schloss of Weichau (which is
still discoverable on the Map, across the "Black Ochel" and the "White,"
muddy streams which saunter eastward towards, the Oder there, nothing
yet running westward for the Bober, our other limitary river), next
night after Schweinitz, second night in Silesia, there was no Owner
to be met with; and the look of his Majesty grew FINSTER (dark);
remembering what had passed yesternight, in like case, at that other
Schloss from which the owner with his best portable furniture had
vanished. At which Schloss, as above noticed, some disorders were
committed by angry parties of the march;--doors burst open (doors
standing impudently dumb to the rational proposals made them!), inferior
remainders of furniture smashed into firewood, and the like,--no doubt
to his Majesty's vexation. Here at Weichau stricter measures were taken:
and yet difficulties, risks were not wanting; and the AMTMANN (Steward
of the place) got pulled about, and once even a stroke or two. Happily
the young Herr of Weichau appeared in person on the morrow, hearing his
Majesty was still there: "Papa is old; lives at another Schloss;
could not wait upon your Majesty; nor, till now, could I have that
honor."--"Well; lucky that you have come: stay dinner!" Which the young
Count did, and drove home in the evening to reassure Papa; his Majesty
continuing there another night, and the risk over. [_Helden-Geschichte,_
i. 459.]

This day, Sunday, 18th, the Army rests; their first Sunday in Silesia,
while the young Count pays his devoir: and here in Weichau, as
elsewhere, it is in the Church, Catholic nearly always, that the Heretic
Army does its devotions, safe from weather at least: such the Royal
Order, they say; which is taken note of, by the Heterodox and by the
Orthodox. And ever henceforth, this is the example followed; and in all
places where there is no Protestant Church and the Catholics have one,
the Prussian Army-Chaplain assembles his buff-belted audience in the
latter: "No offence, Reverend Fathers, but there are hours for us,
and hours for you; and such is the King's Order." There is regular
divine-service in this Prussian Army; and even a good deal of
inarticulate religion, as one may see on examining.

Country Gentlemen, Town Mayors and other civic Authorities, soon learn
that on these terms they are safe with his Majesty; march after march he
has interviews with such, to regulate the supplies, the necessities
and accidents of the quartering of his Troops. Clear, frank, open
to reasonable representation, correct to his promise; in fact,
industriously conciliatory and pacificatory: such is Friedrich to all
Silesian men. Provincial Authorities, who can get no instructions
from Head-quarters; Vienna saying nothing, Breslau nothing, and
Deputy-Governor Browne being far south in Neisse,--are naturally in
difficulties: How shall they act? Best not to act at all, if one can
help it; and follow the Mayor of Grunberg's unsurpassable pattern!--

"These Silesians," says an Excerpt I have made, "are still in majority
Protestant; especially in this Northern portion of the Province; they
have had to suffer much on that and other scores; and are secretly or
openly in favor of the Prussians. Official persons, all of the Catholic
creed, have leant heavy, not always conscious of doing it, against
Protestant rights. The Jesuits, consciously enough, have been and are
busy with them; intent to recall a Heretic Population by all
methods, fair and unfair. We heard of Charles XII.'s interference,
three-and-thirty years ago; and how the Kaiser, hard bested at that
time, had to profess repentance and engage for complete amendment.
Amendment did, for the moment, accordingly take place. Treaty of
Westphalia in all its stipulations, with precautionary improvements, was
re-enacted as Treaty of Altranstadt; with faithful intention of keeping
it too, on Kaiser Joseph's part, who was not a superstitious man:
'Holy Father, I was too glad he did not demand my own conversion to the
Protestant Heresy, bested as I am,--with Louis Quatorze and Company upon
the neck of me!' Some improvement of performance, very marked at first,
did ensue upon this Altranstadt Treaty. But the sternly accurate Karl
of Sweden soon disappeared from the scene; Kaiser Joseph of Austria soon
disappeared; and his Brother, Karl VI., was a much more orthodox person.

"The Austrian Government, and Kaiser Karl's in particular, is not to be
called an intentionally unjust one; the contrary, I rather find; but it
is, beyond others, ponderous; based broad on such multiplex formalities,
old habitudes; and GRAVITATION has a great power over it. In brief,
Official human nature, with the best of Kaisers atop, flagitated
continually by Jesuit Confessors, does throw its weight on a certain
side: the sad fact is, in a few years the brightness of that Altranstadt
improvement began to wax dim; and now, under long Jesuit manipulation,
Silesian things are nearly at their old pass; and the patience of men
is heavily laden. To see your Chapel made a Soldiers' Barrack, your
Protestant School become a Jesuit one,--Men did not then think of
revolting under injuries; but the poor Silesian weaver, trudging twenty
miles for his Sunday sermon; and perceiving that, unless their Mother
could teach the art of reading, his boys, except under soul's
peril, would now never learn it: such a Silesian could not want for
reflections. Voiceless, hopeless, but heavy; and dwelling secretly, as
under nightmare, in a million hearts. Austrian Officiality, wilfully
unjust, or not wilfully so, is admitted to be in a most heavy-footed
condition; can administer nothing well. Good Government in any kind is
not known here: Possibly the Prussian will be better; who can say?

"The secret joy of these populations, as Friedrich advances among them,
becomes more and more a manifest one. Catholic Officials do not venture
on any definite hope, or definite balance of hope and fear, but adopt
the Mayor of Grunberg's course, and study to be passive and silent.
The Jesuit-Priest kind are clear in their minds for Austria; but think,
Perhaps Prussia itself will not prove very tyrannous? At all events,
be silent; it is unsafe to stir. We notice generally, it is only in
the Southern or Mountain regions of Silesia, where the Catholics are
in majority, that the population is not ardently on the Prussian side.
Passive, if they are on the other side; accurately passive at lowest,
this it is prescribed all prudent men to be."

On the 18th, while divine service went on at Weichau, there was at
Breslau another phenomenon observable. Provincial Government in Breslau
had, at length, after intense study, and across such difficulties as
we have no idea of, got its "Patent," or carefully worded Protestation
against Prussia, brought to paper; and does, this day, with considerable
solemnity, affix it to the Rathhaus door there, for the perusal of
mankind; despatching a Copy for his Prussian Majesty withal, by
two Messengers of dignity. It has needed courage screwed to the
sticking-place to venture on such a step, without instruction from
Head-quarters; and the utmost powers of the Official mind have been
taxed to couch this Document in language politely ambiguous, and yet
strong enough;--too strong, some of us now think it. In any case, here
it now is; Provincial Government's bolt, so to speak, is shot. The
affixing took place under dark weather-symptoms; actual outburst of
thunder and rain at the moment, not to speak of the other surer omens.
So that, to the common mind at Breslau, it did not seem there would
much fruit come of this difficult performance. Breslau is secretly a
much-agitated City; and Prussian Hussar Parties, shooting forth to great
distances ahead, were, this day for the first time, observed within
sight of it.

And on the same Sunday we remark farther, what is still more important:
Herr von Gotter, Friedrich's special Envoy to Vienna, has his first
interview with the Queen of Hungary, or with Grand-Duke Franz the
Queen's Husband and Co-Regent; and presents there, from Friedrich's
own hand, written we remember when, brief distinct Note of his Prussian
Majesty's actual Proposals and real meaning in regard to this Silesian
Affair. Proposals anxiously conciliatory in tone, but the heavy purport
of which is known to us: Gotter had been despatched, time enough, with
these Proposals (written above a month ago); but was instructed not to
arrive with them, till after the actual entrance into Silesia. And now
the response to them is--? As good as nothing; perhaps worse. Let that
suffice us at present. Readers, on march for Glogau, would grudge
to pause over State-papers, though we shall have to read this of
Friedrich's at some freer moment.

Monday, 19th, before daybreak, the Army is astir again, simultaneously
wending forward; spread over wide areas, like a vast cloud (potential
thunder in it) steadily advancing on the winds. Length of the Army,
artistically portioned out, may be ten or fifteen miles, breadth already
more, and growing more; Schwerin always on the right or western wing,
close by the Bober River as yet, through Naumburg and the Towns on that
side,--Liegnitz and other important Towns lying ahead for Schwerin,
still farther apart from the main Body, were Glogau once settled.

So that the march is in two Columns; Schwerin, with the westernmost
small column, intending towards Liegnitz, and thence ever farther
southward, with his right leaning on the high lands which rise more and
more into mountains as you advance. Friedrich himself commands the other
column, has his left upon the Oder, in a country mounting continually
towards the South, but with less irregularity of level, and generally
flat as yet. From beginning to end, the entire field of march lies
between the Oder and its tributary the Bober; climbing slowly towards
the sources of both. Which two rivers, as the reader may observe,
form here a rectangular or trapezoidal space, ever widening as we go
southward. Both rivers, coming from the Giant Mountains, hasten directly
north; but Oder, bulging out easterly in his sandy course, is obliged
to turn fairly westward again; and at Glogau, and a good space farther,
flows in that direction;--till once Bober strikes in, almost at right
angles, carrying Oder with HIM, though he is but a branch, straight
northward again. Northward, but ever slower, to the swollen Pommern
regions, and sluggish exit into the Baltic there.

One of the worst features is the state of the weather. On Sunday, at
Breslau, we noticed thunder bursting out on an important occasion;
"ominous," some men thought;--omen, for one thing, that the weather
was breaking. At Weichau, that same day, rain began,--the young Herr of
Weichau, driving home to Papa from dinner with Majesty, would get his
share of it;--and on Monday, 19th, there was such a pour of rain as kept
most wayfarers, though it could not the Prussian Army, within doors.
Rain in plunges, fallen and falling, through that blessed day; making
roads into mere rivers of mud. The Prussian hosts marched on, all the
same. Head-quarters, with the van of the wet Army, that night, were
at Milkau;--from which place we have a Note of Friedrich's for Friend
Jordan, perhaps producible by and by. His Majesty lodged in some opulent
Jesuit Establishment there. And indeed he continued there, not idle,
under shelter, for a couple of days. The Jesuits, by their two head men,
had welcomed him with their choicest smiles; to whom the King was very
gracious, asking the two to dinner as usual, and styling them "Your
Reverence." Willing to ingratiate himself with persons of interest in
this Country; and likes talk, even with Jesuits of discernment.

On the morrow (20th), came to him, here at Milkau,--probably from some
near stage, for the rain was pouring worse than ever,--that Breslau
"Patent," or strongish Protestation, by its two Messengers of
dignity. The King looked over it "without visible anger" or change of
countenance; "handed it," we expressly see, "to a Page to reposit" in
the proper waste-basket;--spoke politely to the two gentlemen; asked
each or one of them, "Are you of the Ober-Amt at Breslau, then?"--using
the style of ER (He).--"No, your Majesty; we are only of the
Land-Stande" (Provincial Parliament, such as it is). "Upon which [do you
mark!] his Majesty became still more polite; asked them to dinner,
and used the style of SIE." For their PATENT, now lying safe in its
waste-basket, he gave them signed receipt; no other answer.

Rain still heavier, rain as of Noah, continued through this Tuesday, and
for days afterwards: but the Prussian hosts, hastening towards Glogau,
marched still on. This Tuesday's march, for the rearward of the Army,
10,000 foot and 2,000 horse; march of ten hours long, from Weichau to
the hamlet Milkau (where his Majesty sits busy and affable),--is thought
to be the wettest on record. Waters all out, bridges down, the Country
one wild lake of eddying mud. Up to the knee for many miles together; up
to the middle for long spaces; sometimes even up to the chin or deeper,
where your bridge was washed away. The Prussians marched through it, as
if they had been slate or iron. Rank and file, nobody quitted his rank,
nobody looked sour in the face; they took the pouring of the skies, and
the red seas of terrestrial liquid, as matters that must be; cheered
one another with jocosities, with choral snatches (tobacco, I consider,
would not burn); and swashed unweariedly forward. Ten hours some of them
were out, their march being twenty or twenty-five miles; ten to fifteen
was the average distance come. Nor, singular to say, did any loss occur;
except of ALMOST one poor Army-Chaplain, and altogether of one poor
Soldier's Wife;--sank dangerously both of them, beyond redemption she,
taking the wrong side of some bridge-parapet. Poor Soldier's Wife, she
is not named to me at all; and has no history save this, and that "she
was of the regiment Bredow." But I perceive she washed herself away in
a World-Transaction; and there was one rough Bredower, who probably sat
sad that night on getting to quarters. His Majesty surveyed the damp
battalions on the morrow (21st), not without sympathy, not without
satisfaction; allowed them a rest-day here at Milkau, to get dry and
bright again; and gave them "fifteen thalers a company," which is about
ninepence apiece, with some words of praise. [_Helden-Geschichte,_

Next day, Thursday, 22d, his Majesty and they marched on to Herrendorf;
which is only five miles from Glogau, and near enough for Head-quarters,
in the now humor of the place. Wallis has his messenger at Herrendorf,
"Sorry to warn your Majesty, That if there be the least hostility
committed, I shall have to resist it to the utmost." Head-quarters
continue six days at Herrendorf, Army (main body, or left Column, of the
Army) cantoned all round, till we consider what to do.

As to the right Column, or Schwerin's Division, that, after a rest-day
or two, gathers itself into more complete separation here, tucking in
its eastern skirts; and gets on march again, by its own route. Steadily
southward;--and from Liegnitz, and the upland Countries, there will be
news of Schwerin and it before long. Rain ending, there ensued a ringing
frost;--not favorable for Siege-operations on Glogau:--and Silesia
became all of flinty glass, with white peaks to the Southwest, whither
Schwerin is gone.


Friedrich was over from Herrendorf with the first daylight,
"reconnoitring Glogau, and rode up to the very glacis;" scanning it
on all sides. [Ib. i. 484.] Since Wallis is so resolute, here is an
intricate little problem for Friedrich, with plenty of corollaries and
conditions hanging to it. Shall we besiege Glogau, then? We have no
siege-cannon here. Time presses, Breslau and all things in such
crisis; and it will take time. By what methods COULD Glogau be
besieged?--Readers can consider what a blind many-threaded coil of
things, heaping itself here in wide welters round Glogau, and straggling
to the world's end, Friedrich has on hand: probably those six days, of
Head-quarters at Herrendorf, were the busiest he had yet had.

One thing is evident, there ought to be siege-cannon got straightway;
and, still more immediate, the right posts and battering-places
should be ready against its coming.--"Let the Young Dessauer with that
Rearguard, or Reserve of 10,000, which is now at Crossen, come up and
assist here," orders Friedrich; "and let him be swift, for the hours are
pregnant!" On farther reflection, perhaps on new rumors from Breslau,
Friedrich perceives that there can be no besieging of Glogau at this
point of time; that the Reserve, Half of the Reserve, must be left
to "mask" it; to hold it in strict blockade, with starvation daily
advancing as an ally to us, and with capture by bombarding possible when
we like. That is the ultimate decision;--arrived at through a welter
of dubieties, counterpoisings and perilous considerations, which we now
take no account of. A most busy week; Friedrich incessantly in motion,
now here now there; and a great deal of heavy work got well and rapidly
done. The details of which, in these exuberant Manuscripts, would but
weary the reader. Choosing of the proper posts and battering-places
(post "on the other side of the River," "on this side of it," "on the
Island in the middle of it"), and obstinate intrenching and preparing
of the same in spite of frost; "wooden bridge built" farther up; with
"regulation of the river-boats, the Polish Ferry," and much else: all
this we omit; and will glance only at one pregnant point, by way of

... "Most indispensable of all, the King has to provide
Subsistences:--and enters now upon the new plan, which will have to
be followed henceforth. The Provincial Chief-men (LANDES-AELTESTEN,
Land's-ELDESTS, their title) are summoned, from nine or ten Circles
which are likely to be interested: they appear punctually, and in
numbers,--lest contumacy worsen the inevitable. King dines them,
to start with; as many as 'ninety-five covers,'--day not given, but
probably one of the first in Herrendorf: not Christmas itself, one

"Dinner done, the ninety-five Land's-Eldest are instructed by proper
parties, What the Infantry's ration is, in meat, in bread, exact to the
ounce; what the Cavalry's is, and that of the Cavalry's Horse. Tabular
statement, succinct, correct, clear to the simplest capacity, shows
what quanties of men on foot, and of men on horseback, or men
with draught-cattle, will march through their respective Circles;
Lands-Eldests conclude what amount of meal and butcher's-meat it will
be indispensable to have in readiness;--what Lands-Eldest can deny the
fact? These Papers still exist, at least the long-winded Summary of them
does: and I own the reading of it far less insupportable than that of
the mountains of Proclamatory, Manifesto and Diplomatic matter. Nay
it leaves a certain wholesome impression on the mind, as of business
thoroughly well done; and a matter, capable, if left in the chaotic
state, of running to all manner of depths and heights, compendiously
forced to become cosmic in this manner.

"These Lands-Eldest undertake, in a mildly resigned or even hopeful
humor. They will manage as required, in their own Circles; will
communicate with the Circles farther on; and everywhere the due
proviants, prestations, furtherances, shall be got together by fair
apportionment on the Silesian Community, and be punctually ready as
the Army advances. Book-keeping there is to be, legible record of
everything; on all hands 'quittance' for everything furnished; and a
time is coming, when such quittance, presented by any Silesian man,
will be counted money paid by him, and remitted at the next tax-day,
or otherwise made good. Which promise also was accurately kept,
the hoped-for time having come. It must be owned the Prussian Army
understands business; and, with brevity, reduces to a minimum its own
trouble, and that of other people, non-fighters, who have to do with
it. Non-fighters, I say; to fighters we hope it will give a respectable
maximum of trouble when applied to!" [_Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 492-499.]

The Gotter Negotiation at Vienna, which we saw begin there that wet
Sunday, is now fast ending, as good as ended; without result except of a
negative kind. Gotter's Proposals,--would the reader wish to hear these
Proposals, which were so intensely interesting at one time? They are
fivefold; given with great brevity by Friedrich, by us with still

1. "Will fling myself heartily into the Austrian scale, and endeavor for
the interest of Austria in this Pragmatic matter, with my whole strength
against every comer.

2. "Will make treaty with Vienna, with Russia and the Sea-Powers, to
that effect.

3. "Will help by vote, and with whole amount of interest will endeavor,
to have Grand-Duke Franz, the Queen's Husband, chosen Kaiser; and to
maintain such choice against all and sundry. Feel myself strong enough
to accomplish this result; and may, without exaggeration, venture to say
it shall be done.

4. "To help the Court of Vienna in getting its affairs into good order
and fencible condition,--will present to it, on the shortest notice, Two
Million Gulden (200,000 pounds) ready money."--Infinitely welcome this
Fourth Proposition; and indeed all the other Three are welcome: but they
are saddled with a final condition, which pulls down all again. This,
which is studiously worded, politely evasive in phrase, and would fain
keep old controversies asleep, though in substance it is so fatally
distinct,--we give in the King's own words:

5. "For such essential services as those to which I bind myself by
the above very onerous conditions, I naturally require a proportionate
recompense; some suitable assurance, as indemnity for all the dangers
I risk, and for the part (ROLE) I am ready to play: in short, I require
hereby the entire and complete cession of all Silesia, as reward for
my labors and dangers which I take upon myself in this course now to
be entered upon for the preservation and renown of the House of
Austria;"--Silesia all and whole; and we say nothing of our "rights" to
it; politely evasive to her Hungarian Majesty, though in substance
we are so fatally distinct. [Preuss, _Thronbesteigung,_ p. 451; "from
Olenschlager, _Geschichte des Interegni_ [Frankfurt, 1746], i. 134."]

These were Friedrich's Proposals; written down with his own hand at
Reinsberg, five or six weeks ago (November 17th is the date of it); in
what mood, and how wrought upon by Schwerin and Podewils, we saw above.
Gotter has fulfilled his instructions in regard to this important little
Document; and now the effect of it is--? Gotter can report no good
effect whatever. "Be cautious," Friedrich instructs him farther; "modify
that Fifth Proposal; I will take less than the whole, 'if attention is
paid to my just claims on Schlesien.'" To that effect writes Friedrich
once or twice. But it is to no purpose; nor can Gotter, with all his
industry, report other than worse and worse. Nay, he reports before
long, not refusal only, but refusal with mockery: "How strange that his
Prussian Majesty, whose official post in Germany, as Kur-Brandenburg and
Kaiser's Chamberlain, has been to present ewer and towel to the House of
Austria, should now set up for prescribing rules to it!" A piece of wit,
which could not but provoke Friedrich; and warn him that negotiation on
this matter might as well terminate. Such had been his own thought, from
the first; but in compliance with Schwerin and Podewils he was willing
to try.

Better for Maria Theresa, and for all the world how much better, could
she have accepted this Fifth Proposition! But how could she,--the high
Imperial Lady, keystone of Europe, though by accident with only a few
pounds of ready money at present? Twenty years of bitter fighting, and
agony to herself and all the world, were necessary first; a new Fact of
Nature having turned up, a new European Kingdom with real King to it;
NOT recognizable as such, by the young Queen of Hungary or by any other
person, till it do its proofs.


What Friedrich's own humor is, what Friedrich's own inner man is saying
to him, while all the world so babbles about his Silesian Adventure?
Of this too there are, though in diluted state, some glimmerings to be
had,--chiefly in the Correspondence with Jordan.

Ingenious Jordan, Inspector of the Poor at Berlin,--his thousand old
women at their wheels humming pleasantly in the background of our
imaginations, though he says nothing of that,--writes twice a week to
his Majesty: pleasant gossipy Letters, with an easy respectfulness not
going into sycophancy anywhere; which keep the campaigning King well
abreast of the Berlin news and rumors: something like the essence of
an Old Newspaper; not without worth in our present Enterprise. One
specimen, if we had room!

JORDAN TO THE KING (successively from Berlin,--somewhat abridged.)

No. 1. "BERLIN, 14th DECEMBER, 1740 [day after his Majesty left].
Everybody here is on tiptoe for the Event; of which both origin and end
are a riddle to the most. I am charmed to see a part of your Majesty's
Dominions in a state of Pyrrhonism; the disease is epidemical here at
present. Those who, in the style of theologians, consider themselves
entitled to be certain, maintain That your Majesty is expected with
religious impatience by the Protestants, and that the Catholics hope to
see themselves delivered from a multitude of imposts which cruelly tear
up the beautiful bosom of their Church. You cannot but succeed in your
valiant and stoical Enterprise, since both religion and worldly interest
rank themselves under your flag.

"Wallis," Austrian Commandant in Glogau, "they say, has punished a
Silesian Heretic of enthusiastic turn, as blasphemer, for announcing
that a new Messiah is just coming. I have a taste for that kind of
martyrdom. Critical persons consider the present step as directly
opposed to certain maxims in the ANTI-MACHIAVEL.

"The word MANIFESTO--[your Majesty's little PATENT on entering Silesia,
which no reader shall be troubled with at present]--is the burden of
every conversation. There is a short Piece of the kind to come out
to-day, by way of preface to a large complete exposition, which a
certain Jurisconsult is now busy with. People crowd to the Bookshops
for it, as if looking out for a celestial phenomenon that had been
predicted.--This is the beginning of my Gazette; can only come out twice
a week, owing to the arrangement of the Posts. Friday, the day your
Majesty crosses into Silesia, I shall spend in prayer and devotional
exercises: Astronomers pretend that Mars will that day enter"--no matter

NOTE, The above Manifesto rumor is correct; Jurisconsult is ponderous
Herr Ludwig, Kanzler (Chancellor) of Halle University, monster of
law-learning,--who has money also, and had to help once with a House
in Berlin for one Nussler, a son-in-law of his, transiently known to
us;--ponderous Ludwig, matchless or difficult to match in learning of
this kind, will write ample enough Deductions (which lie in print still,
to the extent of tons' weight), and explain the ERBVERBRUDERUNG and
violence done upon it, so that he who runs may read. Postpone him to a
calmer time.

No. 2. "BERLIN, SATURDAY, 17th DECEMBER. Manifesto has appeared,"--can
be seen, under thick strata of cobwebs, in many Books; [In
_Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 448, 453 (what Jordan now alludes to); IB.
559-592 ["Deduction" itself, Ludwig in all his strength, some three
weeks hence; in OLENSCHLAGER (doubtless); in &c. &c.] is not worth
reading now: Incontestable rights which our House has for ages had on
Schlesien, and which doubtless the Hungarian Majesty will recognize; not
the slightest injury intended, far indeed from that; and so on!--"people
are surprised at its brevity; and, studying it as theologians do a
passage of Scripture, can make almost nothing of it. Clear as crystal,
says one; dexterously obscure by design, says another.

"Rumor that the Grand-Duke of Lorraine," Maria Theresa's Husband, "was
at Reinsberg incognito lately," Grand-Duke a concerting party, think
people looking into the thing with strong spectacles on their nose!
"M. de Beauvau [French Ambassador Extraordinary, to whom the aces were
promised if they came] said one thing that surprised me: 'What put the
King on taking this step, I do not know; but perhaps it is not such a
bad one.' Surprising news that the Elector of Saxony, King of Poland, is
fallen into inconsolable remorse for changing his religion [to Papistry,
on Papa's hest, many long years ago] and that it is not to the Pope, but
to the King of Prussia, that he opens his heart to steady his staggering
orthodoxy." Very astonishing to Jordan. "One thing is certain, all Paris
rings with your Majesty's change of religion" (over to Catholicism, say
those astonishing people, first conjurers of the universe)!

No. 3. "BERLIN, 20th DECEMBER. M. de Beauvau," French Ambassador, "is
gone. Ended, yesterday, his survey of the Cabinet of Medals; charmed
with the same: charmed too, as the public is, with the rich present he
has got from said Cabinet [coronation medal or medals in gold, I could
guess]: people say the King of France's Medal given to our M. de Camas
is nothing to it.

"Rumor of alliance between your Majesty and France with
Sweden,"--premature rumor. Item, "Queen of Hungary dead in
child-birth;"--ditto with still more emphasis! "The day before yesterday,
in all churches, was prayer to Heaven for success to your Majesty's
arms; interest of the Protestant religion being the one cause of the
War, or the only one assigned by the reverend gentlemen. At sound of
these words, the zeal of the people kindles: 'Bless God for raising
such a Defender! Who dared suspect our King's indifference to

A right clever thing this last (O LE BEAU COUP D'ETAT)! exclaims
Jordan,--though it is not clever or the contrary, not being dramatically
prearranged, as Jordan exults to think. Jordan, though there are dregs
of old devotion lying asleep in him, which will start into new activity
when stirred again, is for the present a very unbelieving little
gentleman, I can perceive.--This is the substance of public rumor at
Berlin for one week. Friedrich answers:--


Jesuit-Establishment at Milkau, Friedrich just got in, out of the
rain].--Seigneur Jordan, thy Letter has given me a deal of pleasure in
regard to all these talkings thou reportest. To-morrow [not to-morrow,
nor next day; wet troops need a rest] I arrive at our last station this
side Glogau, which place I hope to get in a few days. All favors my
designs: and I hope to return to Berlin, after executing them gloriously
and in a way to be content with. Let the ignorant and the envious talk;
it is not they that shall ever serve as loadstar to my designs; not
they, but Glory [LA GLOIRE; Fame, depending not on them]: with the love
of that I am penetrated more than ever; my troops have their hearts big
with it, and I answer to thee for success. Adieu, dear Jordan. Write me
all the ill that the public says of thy Friend, and be persuaded that I
love and will esteem thee always."--F.


No. 4; "BERLIN, 24th DECEMBER. Your Majesty's Letter fills me with
joy and contentment. The Town declared your Majesty to be already in
Breslau; founding on some Letter to a Merchant here. Ever since they
think of your Majesty acting for Protestantism, they make you step along
with strides of Achilles to the ends of Silesia.--Foreign Courts are all
rating their Ambassadors here for not finding you out.

"Wolf," his negotiations concluded at last, "has entered Halle almost
like the triumphant Entry to Jerusalem. A concourse of pedants escorted
him to his house. Lange [his old enemy, who accused him of Atheism and
other things] has called to see him, and loaded him with civilities, to
the astonishment of the old Orthodox." There let him rest, well buttoned
in gaiters, and avoiding to mount stairs.... "Madame de Roucoulles has
sent me the three objects adjoined, for your Majesty's behoof,"--woollen
achievements, done by the needle, good against the winter weather for
one she nursed. The good old soul. Enough now, of Jordan. [_OEuvres de
Frederic,_ xvii. 75-78.]

Voltaire, who left Berlin 2d or 3d December, seems to have been stopt by
overflow of rivers about Cleve, then to have taken boat; and is, about
this very time, writing to Friedrich "from a vessel on the Coasts of
Zealand, where I am driven mad." (Intends, privately, for Paris before
long, to get his MAHOMET acted, if possible.) To Voltaire, here is a
Note coming:

KING TO H. DE VOLTAIRE (at Brussels, if once got thither).


"MY DEAR VOLTAIRE,--I have received two of your Letters; but could not
answer sooner; I am like Charles Twelfth's Chess-King, who was always
kept on the move. For a fortnight past, we have been continually afoot
and under way, in such weather as you never saw.

"I am too tired to reply to your charming Verses; and shivering too
much with cold to taste all the charm of them: but that will come round
again. Do not ask poetry from a man who is actually doing the work of
a wagoner, and sometimes even of a wagoner stuck in the mud. Would you
like to know my way of life? We march from seven in the morning till
four in the afternoon. I dine then; afterwards I work, I receive
tiresome visits; with these comes a detail of insipid matters of
business. 'Tis wrong-headed men, punctiliously difficult, who are to
be set right; heads too hot which must be restrained, idle fellows that
must be urged, impatient men that must be rendered docile, plunderers
to restrain within the bounds of equity, babblers to hear babbling, dumb
people to keep in talk: in fine, one has to drink with those that like
it, to eat with those that are hungry; one has to become a Jew with
Jews, a Pagan with Pagans.

"Such are my occupations;--which I would willingly make over to another,
if the Phantom they call Fame (GLOIRE) did not rise on me too often. In
truth, it is a great folly, but a folly difficult to cast away when
once you are smitten by it. [Phantom of GLOIRE somewhat rampant in
those first weeks; let us see whether it will not lay itself again,
forevermore, before long!]

"Adieu, my dear Voltaire; may Heaven preserve from misfortune the man I
should so like to sup with at night, after fighting in the morning!
The Swan of Padua [Algarotti, with his big hook-nose and dusky solemnly
greedy countenance] is going, I think, to Paris, to profit by my
absence; the Philosopher Geometer [big Maupertuis, in red wig and yellow
frizzles, vainest of human kind] is squaring curves; poor little Jordan
[with the kindly hazel eyes, and pen that pleasantly gossips to us]
is doing nothing, or probably something near it. Adieu once more, dear
Voltaire; do not forget the absent who love you. FREDERIC." [_OEuvres de
Frederic,_ xxii. 57.]


Meanwhile, on the Western road, and along the foot of the snowy peaks
over yonder, Schwerin with the small Right column is going prosperously
forwards. Two columns always, as the reader recollects,--two parallel
military currents, flowing steadily on, shooting out estafettes, or
horse-parties, on the right and left; steadily submerging all Silesia as
they flow forward. Left column or current is in slight pause at Glogau
here; but will directly be abreast again. On Tuesday, 27th, Schwerin
is within wind of Liegnitz; on Wednesday morning, while the fires are
hardly lighted, or the smoke of Liegnitz risen among the Hills, Schwerin
has done his feat with the usual deftness: Prussian grenadiers came
softly on the sentry, softly as a dream; but with sudden levelling of
bayonets, sudden beckoning, "To your Guard-house!"--and there, turn the
key upon his poor company and him. Whereupon the whole Prussian column
marches in; tramp tramp, without music, through the streets: in the
Market-place they fold themselves into a ranked mass, and explode into
wind-harmony and rolling of drums. Liegnitz, mostly in nightcap, looks
cautiously out of window: it is a deed done, IHR HERREN; Liegnitz ours,
better late than never; and after so many years, the King has his own
again. Schwerin is sumptuously lodged in the Jesuits, Palace: Liegnitz,
essentially a Protestant Town, has many thoughts upon this event, but as
yet will be stingy of speaking them.

Thus is Liegnitz managed. A pleasant Town, amid pleasant hills on the
rocky Katzbach; of which swift stream, and other towns and passes on it,
we shall yet hear more. Population, silently industrious in weaving and
otherwise, is now above 14,000; was then perhaps about half that number.
Patiently inarticulate, by no means bright in speech or sentiment; a
much-enduring, steady-going, frugal, pious and very desirable people.

The situation of Breslau, all this while, is very critical. Much bottled
emotion in the place; no Austrian Garrison admissible; Authorities dare
not again propose such a thing, though Browne is turning every stone for
it,--lest the emotion burst bottle, and take fire. I have dim account
that Browne has been there, has got 300 Austrian dragoons into the Dom
Insel (CATHEDRAL ISLAND; "Not in the City, you perceive!" says General
Browne: "no, separated by the Oder, on both sides, from the rest of the
City; that stately mass of edifices, and good military post");--and had
hoped to get the suburbs burnt, after all. But the bottled emotion was
too dangerous. For, underground, there are ANTI-Brownes: one especially;
a certain busy Deblin, Shoemaker by craft, whom Friedrich speaks of,
but gives no name to; this zealous Cordwainer, Deblin, and he is not the
only individual of like humor, operates on the guild-brothers and lower
populations: [Preuss, _Thronbesteigung,_ p. 469; _OEuvres de
Frederic,_ ii. 61. ] things seem to be looking worse and worse for the
Authorities, in spite of General Browne and his activities and dragoons.

What the issue will be? Judge if Friedrich wished the Young Dessauer
come! Friedrich's Hussar parties (or Schwerin's, instructed by
Friedrich) go to look if the Breslau suburbs are burnt. Far from it, if
Friedrich knew;--the suburbs merely sit quaking at such a proposal,
and wish the Prussians were here. "But there is time ahead of us," said
everybody at Breslau; "Glogau will take some sieging!" Browne, in the
course of a day or two,--guessing, I almost think, that Glogau was
not to be besieged,--ranked his 300 Austrian dragoons, and rode away;
sending the Austrian State-Papers, in half a score of wagons, ahead of
him. "Archives of Breslau!" cried the general population, at sight
of these wagons; and largely turned out, with emotion again like to
unbottle itself. "Mere Tax-Ledgers, and records of the Government
Offices; come and convince yourselves!" answered the Authorities. And
the ten wagons went on; calling at Ohlau and Brieg, for farther lading
of the like kind. Which wagons the Prussian light-horse chased, but
could not catch. On to Mahren went these Archive-wagons; to Brunn, far
over the Giant Mountains;--did not come back for a long while, nor
to their former Proprietor at all. Tuesday, 27th, Leopold the Young
Dessauer does finally arrive, with his Reserve, at Glogau: never
man more welcome; such a fermentation going on at Breslau,--known to
Friedrich, and what it will issue in, if he delay, not known. With
despatch, Leopold is put into his charge; posts all yielded to him;
orders given,--blockade to be strictness itself, but no fighting if
avoidable; "starvation will soon do it, two months at most," hopes
Friedrich, too sanguine as it proved:--and with earliest daylight on
the 28th, Friedrich's Army, Friedrich himself in the van as usual, is on
march again; at its best speed for Breslau. Read this Note for Jordan:--


"HERRENDORF, 27th Dec. 1740.

"SIEUR JORDAN,--I march to-morrow for Breslau; and shall be there in
four days [three, it happened; there rising, as would seem, new reason
for haste]. You Berliners [of the 24th last] have a spirit of prophecy,
which goes beyond me. In fine, I go my road; and thou wilt shortly see
Silesia ranked in the list of our Provinces. Adieu; this is all I have
time to tell thee. Religion [Silesian Protestantism, and Breslau's
Cordwainer], religion and our brave soldiers will do the rest.

"Tell Maupertuis I grant those Pensions he proposes for his
Academicians; and that I hope to find good subjects for that dignity in
the Country where I am, withal. Give him my compliments.


The march was of the swiftest,--swifter even than had been
expected;--which, as Silesia is all ringing glass, becomes more
achievable than lately. But certain regiments outdid themselves in
marching; "in three marches, near upon seventy miles,"--with their
baggage jingling in due proximity. Through Glasersdorf, thence through
Parchwitz, Neumarkt, Lissa, places that will be better known to us;--on
Saturday, last night of the Year, his Majesty lodged at a Schloss called
Pilsnitz, five miles to west of Breslau; and van-ward regiments, a good
few, quartered in the Western and Southern suburbs of Breslau itself;
suburbs decidedly glad to see them, and escape conflagration. The
Town-gates are hermetically shut;--plenty of emotion bottled in the
100,000 hearts within. The sentries on the walls presented arms; nay,
it is affirmed, some could not help exclaiming, "WILKOMMEN, IHR LIEBEN
HERREN (Welcome, dear Sirs)!" [_Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 534.]

Colonel Posadowsky (active Horse Colonel whom we have seen before,
who perhaps has been in Breslau before) left orders "at the Scultet
Garden-House," that all must be ready and the rooms warmed, his
Majesty intending to arrive here early on the morrow. Which happened
accordingly; Majesty alighting duly at said Garden-House, near by the
Schweidnitz Gate,--I fancy almost before break of day.


The issue of this Breslau transaction is known, or could be stated in
few words; nor is the manner of it such as would, for Breslau's sake,
deserve many. But we are looking into Friedrich, wish to know his
manners and aspects: and here, ready to our hand, a Paper turns up,
compiled by an exact person with better leisure than ours, minutely
detailing every part of the affair. This Paper, after the question, Burn
or insert? is to have the lot of appearing here, with what abridgments
are possible:--

"SUNDAY, 1st JANUARY, 1741. The King having established himself in Herrn
Scultet's Garden-House, not far from the Schweidnitz Gate, there began a
delicate and great operation. The Prussians, in a soft cautious manner,
in the gray of the morning, push out their sentries towards the three
Gates on this side of the Oder; seize any 'Excise House,' or the like,
that may be fit for a post; and softly put 'twenty grenadiers' in it.
All this before sunrise. Breslau is rigidly shut; Breslau thought
always it could stand upon its guard, if attacked;--is now, in Official
quarters, dismally uncertain if it can; general population becoming
certain that it cannot, and waiting anxious on the development of this
grand drama.

"About 7 A.M. a Prussian subaltern advancing within cry of the
Schweidnitz Gate, requests of the Town-guard there, To send him out
a Town-Officer. Town-Officer appears; is informed, 'That Colonels
Posadowsky and Borck, Commissioners or plenipotentiary Messengers from
his Prussian Majesty, desire admittance to the Chief Magistrate of
Breslau, for the purpose of signifying what his Prussian Majesty's
instructions are.' Town-Officer bows, and goes upon his errand.
Town-Officer is some considerable time before he can return; City
Authorities being, as we know, various, partly Imperial, partly Civic;
elderly; and some of them gone to church,--for matins, or to be out of
the way. However, he does at last return; admits the two Colonels, and
escorts them honorably, to the Chief RATHS-SYNDIC (Lord-Mayor) old
Herr von Gutzmar's; where the poor old "President of the OBER AMT" (Von
Schaffgotsch the name of this latter) is likewise in attendance.

"Prussian Majesty's proposals are of the mildest sort: 'Nothing demanded
of Breslau but the plainly indispensable and indisputable, That
Prussia be in it what Austria has been. In all else, STATUS QUO. Strict
neutrality to Breslau, respect for its privileges as a Free City of the
Reich; protection to all its rights and privileges whatsoever. Shall be
guarded by its own Garrison; no Prussian soldier to enter except with
sidearms; only 30 guards for the King's person, who will visit the City
for a few days;--intends to form a Magazine, with guard of 1,000 men,
but only outside the City: no requisitions; ready money for everything.
Chief Syndic Gutzmar and President Schaffgotsch shall consider these
points.' [_Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 537.] Syndic and President answer,
Surely! Cannot, however, decide till they have assembled the Town-Rath;
the two Herren Colonels will please to be guests of Breslau, and lodge
in the City till then.

"And they lodged, accordingly, in the 'GROSSE RING' (called also
SALZ-RING, big Central Square, where the Rathhaus is); and they made and
received visits,--visited especially the Chief President's Office, the
Ober-Amt, and signified there, that his Prussian Majesty's expectation
was, They would give some account of that rather high Proclamation or
'Patent' they had published against him the other day, amid thunder and
lightning here, and what they now thought would be expedient upon
it? All in grave official terms, but of such a purport as was not
exhilarating to everybody in those Ober-Amt localities.

"MONDAY MORNING, 2d JANUARY. The Rath is assembled; and
consults,--consults at great length. RATH-House and Syndic Gutzmar,
in such crisis, would fain have advice from AMT-House or President
Schaffgotsch; but can get none: considerable coming and going between
them: at length, about 3 in the afternoon, the Treaty is got drawn
up; is signed by the due Breslau hands, and by the two Prussian
Colonels,--which latter ride out with it, about 4 of the clock;
victorious after thirty hours. Straight towards the Scultet Garden ride
they; Town-guard presenting Arms, at the Schweidnitz Gate; nay Town-band
breaking out into music, which is never done but to Ambassadors and high
people. By thirty hours of steady soft pressure, they have brought it
thus far.

"Friedrich had waited patiently all Sunday, keeping steady guard at the
Gates; but on Monday, naturally, the thirty hours began to hang
heavy: at all events, he perceived that it would be well to facilitate
conclusions a little from without. Breslau stands on the West, more
strictly speaking, on the South side of the Oder, which makes an elbow
here, and thus bounds it, or mostly bounds it, on two sides. The big
drab-colored River spreads out into Islands, of a confused sort, as
it passes; which are partly built upon, and constitute suburbs of the
Town,--stretching over, here and there, into straggles of farther suburb
beyond the River, where a road with its bridge happens to cross for the
Eastern parts. The principal of these Islands is the DOM INSEL,"--known
to General Browne and us,--"on which is the Cathedral, and the CLOSE
with rich Canons and their edifices; Island filled with strong high
architecture; and a superior military post.

"Friedrich has already as good as possessed himself of the three
landward Gates, which look to the south and to the west; the riverward
gates, or those on the north and the east, he perceives that it were
good now also to have; these, and even perhaps something more? 'Gather
all the river-boats, make a bridge of them across the Oder; push across
400 men:' this is done on Monday morning, under the King's own eye. This
done, 'March up to that riverward Gate, and also to that other, in a
mild but dangerous-looking manner; hew the beams of said Gate in two;
start the big locks; fling wide open said Gate and Gates:' this too
is done; Town-guard looking mournfully on. This done, 'March forward
swiftly, in two halves, without beat of drum,--whitherward you know!'

"Those three hundred Austrian Dragoons, we saw them leave the Dom
Island, three days ago; there are at present only Six Men, of the
BISHOP'S Guard, walking under arms there,--at the end of the chief
bridge, on the Townward side of their Dom Island. See, Prussian caps and
muskets, ye six men under arms! The six men clutch at their drawbridge,
and hastily set about hoisting:--alas, another Prussian corps, which
has come privately by the eastern (or Country-ward) Bridge, King himself
with it, taps them on the shoulder at this instant; mildly constrains
the six into their guard-house: the drawbridge falls; 400 Prussian
grenadiers take quiet possession of the Dom Island: King may return to
the Scultet Garden, having quickened the lazy hours in this manner. To
such of the Canons as he came upon, his Majesty was most polite; they
most submiss. The six soldiers of the drawbridge, having spoken a little
loud,--still more a too zealous beef-eater of old Schaffgotsch's found
here, who had been very loud,--were put under arrest; but more for
form's sake; and were let go, in a day or two."

Nothing could be gentler on Friedrich's part, and on that of his two
Colonels, than this delicate operation throughout:--and at 4 P.M.,
after thirty hours of waiting, it is done, and nobody's skin scratched.
Old Syndic Gutzmar, and the Town-Rath, urged by perils and a Town
Population who are Protestant, have signed the Surrender with good-will,
at least with resignation, and a feeling of relief. The Ober-Amt
Officials have likewise had to sign; full of all the silent spleen and
despondency which is natural to the situation: spleen which, in the case
of old Schaffgotsch, weak with age, becomes passionately audible here
and there. He will have to give account of that injurious Proclamation,
or Queen's "Patent," to this King that has now come.

2d-6th, 1741).

In the Royal Entrance which took place next day, note these points.
Syndic Gutzmar and the Authorities came out, in grand coaches, at 8 in
the morning; had to wait awhile; the King, having ridden away to look
after his manifold affairs, did not get back till 10. Town Guard and
Garrison are all drawn out; Gates all flung open, Prussian sentries
withdrawn from them, and from the Excise-houses they had seized: King's
Kitchen-and-Proviant Carriages (four mules to each, with bells, with
uncommonly rich housings): King's Body-Coach very grand indeed, and
grandly escorted, the Thirty Body-guards riding ahead; but nothing in
it, only a most superfine cloak "lined wholly with ermine" flung
upon the seat. Other Coaches, more or less grandly escorted; Head
Cup-bearers, Seneschals, Princes, Margraves:--but where is the King?
King had ridden away, a second time, with chief Generals, taking survey
of the Town Walls, round as far as the ZIEGEL-THOR (Tile-Gate, extreme
southeast, by the river-edge): he has thus made the whole circuit of
Breslau;--unwearied in picking up useful knowledge, "though it was very
cold," while that Procession of Coaches went on.

At noon, his Majesty, thrifty of time, did enter: on horseback, Schwerin
riding with him; behind him miscellaneous chief Officers; Borck and
Posadowsky among others; some miscellany of Page-people following. With
this natural escort, he rode in; Town-Major (Commandant of Town-guard),
with drawn sword going ahead;--King wore his usual Cocked Hat, and
practical Blue Cloak, both a little dimmed by service: but his gray
horse was admirable; and four scarlet Footmen, grand as galloon and
silver fringe could make them, did the due magnificence in dress. He
was very gracious; saluting to this side and to that, where he noticed
people of condition in the windows. "Along Schweidnitz Street, across
the Great Ring, down Albrecht Street." He alighted, to lodge, at the
Count-Schlegenberg House; which used to be the Austrian Cardinal von
Sinzendorf Primate of Silesia's hired lodging,--Sinzendorf's furniture
is put gently aside, on this new occasion. King came on the balcony; and
stood there for some minutes, that everybody might see him. The "immense
shoutings," Dryasdust assures me, have been exaggerated; and I am warned
not to believe the KRIEGS-FAMA such and such a Number, except after
comparing it with him.--That day there was dinner of more than thirty
covers, Chief Syndic Gutzmar and other such guests; but as to the
viands, says my friend, these, owing to the haste, were nothing to speak
of. [_Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 545-548.]

Dinner, better and better ordered, King more and more gracious, so it
continued all the four days of his Majesty's stay:--on the second day he
had to rise suddenly from table, and leave his guests with an apology;
something having gone awry, at one of the Gates. Awry there, between the
Town Authorities and a General Jeetz of his,--who is on march across
the River at this moment (on what errand we shall hear), and a little
mistakes the terms. His Majesty puts Jeetz right; and even waits,
till he sees his Brigade and him clear across. A junior Schaffgotsch,
[_Helden-Geschichte,_ ii. 159.] not the inconsolable Schaffgotsch
senior, but his Nephew, was one of the guests this second day; an
ecclesiastic, but of witty fashionable type, and I think a very
worthless fellow, though of a family important in the Province. Dinner
falls about noon; does not last above two hours or three, so that there
is space for a ride ("to the Dom," the first afternoon, "four runners"
always), and for much indoor work, before the supper-hour.

As the Austrian Authorities sat silent in their place, and gave no
explanation of that "Patent," affixed amid thunder and lightning,--they
got orders from his Majesty to go their ways next day; and went. In
behalf of old President von Schaffgotsch, a chief of the Silesian
Nobility, and man much loved, the Breslau people, and men from every
guild and rank of society, made petition That, he should be allowed
to continue in his Town House here. Which "first request of yours"
his Majesty, with much grace, is sorry to be obliged to refuse. The
suppressed, and insuppressible, weak indignation of old Schaffgotsch is
visible on the occasion; nor, I think, does Friedrich take it ill; only
sends him out of the way with it, for the time. The Austrian Ober-Amt
vanished bodily from Breslau in this manner; and never returned. Proper
"War-Commission (FELD-KRIEGS-COMMISSARIAT)," with Munchow, one of those
skilful Custrin Munchows, at the top of it, organized itself instead;
which, almost of necessity, became Supreme Government in a City
ungoverned otherwise:--and truly there was little regret of the
Ober-Amt, in Breslau; and ever less, to a marked extent, as the years
went on.

On the 5th of January (fourth and last night here), his Majesty gave a
grand Ball. Had hired, or Colonel Posadowsky instead of him had hired,
the Assembly Rooms (REDOUTEN-SAAL), for the purpose: "Invite all the
Nobility high and low;"--expense by estimate is a ducat (half-guinea)
each; do it well, and his Majesty will pay. About 6 in the evening, his
Majesty in person did us the honor to drive over; opened the Ball with
Madam the Countess von Schlegenberg (I should guess, a Dowager Lady),
in whose house he lodges. I am not aware that his Majesty danced much
farther; but he was very condescending, and spoke and smiled up and
down;--till, about 10 P.M., an Officer came in with a Letter. Which
Letter his Majesty having read, and seemingly asked a question or two in
regard to, put silently in his pocket, as if it were a finished thing.
Nevertheless, after a few minutes, his Majesty was found to have
silently withdrawn; and did not return, not even to supper. Perceiving
which, all the Prussian official people gradually withdrew; though
the dancing and supping continued not the less, to a late hour.
[_Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 557.]

"Open the Austrian Mail-bag (FELLEISEN); see a little what they are
saying over there!" Such order had evidently been given, this night. In
consequence of which, people wrote by Dresden, and not the direct way,
in future; wishing to avoid that openable FELLEISEN. Next morning,
January 6th, his Majesty had left for Ohlau,--early, I suppose; though
there proved to be nothing dangerous ahead there, after all.


Ohlau is a pleasant little Town, two marches southeast of Breslau; with
the Ohlau River on one side, and the Oder on the other; capable of some
defence, were there a garrison. Brieg the important Fortress, still
on the Oder, is some fifteen miles beyond Ohlau; after which, bending
straight south and quitting Oder, Neisse the still more important may be
thirty miles:--from Breslau to Neisse, by this route (which is BOW, not
STRING), sixty-five or seventy miles. One of my Topographers yields this
Note, if readers care for it:--

"Ohlau River, an insignificant drab-colored stream, rises well south of
Breslau, about Strehlen; makes, at first, direct eastward towards the
Oder; and then, when almost close upon it, breaks off to north, and
saunters along, irregularly parallel to Oder, for twenty miles farther,
before it can fall fairly in. To this circumstance both Breslau and a
Town of Ohlau owe their existence; Towns, both of them, 'between the
waters,' and otherwise well seated; Ohlau sheltering itself in the
attempted outfall of its little river; Breslau clustering itself about
the actual outfall: both very defensible places in the old rude time,
and good for trade in all times. Both Oder and Ohlau Rivers have split
and spread themselves into islands and deltas a good deal, at their
place of meeting; and even have changed their courses, and cut out new
channels for themselves, in the sandy country; making a very intricate
watery network of a site for Breslau: and indeed the Ohlau River here,
for centuries back, has been compelled into wide meanderings, mere
filling of rampart-ditches, so that it issues quite obscurely, and in an
artificial engineered condition, at Breslau."

Ohlau had been expected to make some defence; General Browne having
thrown 300 men into it, and done what he could for the works. And Ohlau
did at first threaten to make some; but thought better of it overnight,
and in effect made none; but was got (morning of January 9th) on
the common terms, by merely marching up to it in minatory posture.
"Prisoners of War, if you make resistance; Free Withdrawal [Liberty to
march away, arms shouldered, and not serve against us for a year], if
you have made none:" this is the common course, where there are Austrian
Soldiers at all; the course where none are, and only a few Syndics sit,
with their Town-Key laid on the table, a prey to the stronger hand, we
have already seen.

From Ohlau, proper Detachment, under General Kleist, is pushed forward
to summon Brieg; Jeetz from the other side of the river (whom we saw
crossing at Breslau the other day, interrupting his Majesty's dinner)
is to co-operate with Kleist in that enterprise,--were the Country once
cleared on his, Jeetz's, east side of Oder; especially were Namslau once
had, a small Town and Castle over there, which commands the Polish
and Hungarian road. Friedrich's hopes are buoyant; Schwerin is swiftly
rolling forward to rightward, nothing resisting him; Detachment is
gone from Schwerin, over the Hills, to Glatz (the GRAFSCHAFT, or County
Glatz, an Appendage to Schlesien), under excellent guidance; under
guidance, namely, of Colonel Camas, who has just come home from his
Parisian Embassy, and got launched among the wintry mountains, on a
new operation,--which, however, proves of non-effect for the present.
[_Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 678; Orlich, _Geschichte der beiden
Schlesischen Kriege,_ i. 49.]

Indeed, it is observable that southward of Breslau, the dispute, what
dispute there can be, properly begins; and that General Browne is there,
and shows himself a shining man in this difficult position. It must be
owned, no General could have made his small means go farther. Effective
garrisons, 1,600 each, put into Brieg and Neisse; works repaired,
magazines collected, there and elsewhere; the rest of his poor 7,000
thriftily sprinkled about, in what good posts there are, and "capable
of being got together in six hours:" a superior soldier, this Browne,
though with a very bad task; and seems to have inspired everybody with
something of his own temper. So that there is marching, detaching,
miscellaneous difficulty for Friedrich in this quarter, more than had
been expected. If the fate of Brieg and Neisse be inevitable, Browne
does wonders to delay it.

Of the Prussian marches in these parts, recorded by intricate Dryasdust,
there was no point so notable to me as this unrecorded one: the Stone
Pillar which, I see, the Kleist Detachment was sure to find, just now,
on the march from Ohlau to Brieg; last portion of that march, between
the village of Briesen and Brieg. The Oder, flowing on your left hand,
is hereabouts agreeably clothed with woods: the country, originally
a swamp, has been drained, and given to the plough, in an
agreeable manner; and there is an excellent road paved with solid
whinstone,--quarried in Strehlen, twenty miles away, among the Hills to
the right yonder, as you may guess;--road very visible to the Prussian
soldier, though he does not ask where quarried. These beautiful
improvements, beautiful humanities,--were done by whom? "Done in 1584,"
say the records, by "George the Pious;" Duke of Liegnitz, Brieg
and Wohlau; 156 years ago. "Pious" his contemporaries called this
George;--he was son of the ERBVERBRUDERUNG Duke, who is so important to
us; he was grandfather's grandfather of the last Duke of all; after whom
it was we that should have got these fine Territories; they should
all have fallen to the Great Elector, had not the Austrian strong hand
provided otherwise. George did these plantations, recoveries to the
plough; made this perennial whinstone road across the swamps; upon
which, notable to the roughest Prussian (being "twelve feet high by
eight feet square"), rises a Hewn Mass with this Inscription on it,--not
of the name or date of George; but of a thought of his, which is not
without a pious beauty to me:--_Straverunt alii nobis, nos Posteritati;
Omnibus at Christus stravit ad asra viam._ Others have made roads for
us; we make them for still others: Christ made a road to the stars for
us all. [Zollner, _Briefe uber Schlesien,_ i. 175; Hubner, i. t. 101.]

I know not how many Brandenburgers of General Kleist's Detachment, or
whether any, read this Stone; but they do all rustle past it there,
claiming the Heritage of this Pious George; and their mute dim interview
with him, in this manner, is a thing slightly more memorable than orders
of the day, at this date.

It was on the 11th, two days after Ohlau, that General Kleist summoned
Brieg; and Brieg answered resolutely, No. There is a garrison of 1,600
here, and a proper magazine: nothing for it but to "mask" Brieg too;
Kleist on this side the River, Jeetz on that,--had Jeetz once done with
Namslau, which he has not by any means. Namslau's answer was likewise
stiffly in the negative; and Jeetz cannot do Namslau, at least not
the Castle, all at once; having no siege-cannon. Seeing such stiffness
everywhere, Friedrich writes to Glogau, to the Young Dessauer,
"Siege-artillery hither! Swift, by the Oder; you don't need it where you
are!" and wishes it were arrived, for behoof of Neisse and these stiff


The Prussians met with serious resistance, for the first time (9th
January, same day when Ohlau yielded), at a place called Ottmachau; a
considerable little Town and Castle on the Neisse River, not far west of
Neisse Town, almost at the very south of Silesia. It lay on the route of
Schwerin's Column; long distances ahead of Liegnitz,--say, by straight
highway a hundred miles;--during which, to right and to left, there had
been nothing but submission hitherto. No resistance was expected here
either, for there was not hope in any; only that Browne had been here;
industrious to create delay till Neisse were got fully ready. He is, by
every means, girding up the loins of Neisse for a tight defence; has put
1,600 men into it, with proper stores for them, with a resolute skilful
Captain at the top of them: assiduous Browne had been at Ottmachau,
as the outpost of Neisse, a day or two before; and, they say, had
admonished them "Not to yield on any terms, for he would certainly come
to their relief." Which doubtless he would have done, had it been in his
power; but how, except by miracle, could it be? On the 9th of January,
when Schwerin comes up, Browne is again waiting hereabouts. Again in
defensive posture, but without force to undertake anything; stands on
the Southern Uplands, with Bohmen and Mahren and the Giant Mountains at
his back;--stands, so to speak, defensive at his own House-door, in this
manner; and will have, after SEEING Ottmachau's fate and Neisse's, to
duck in with a slam! At any rate, he had left these Towns in the
above firm humor, screwed to the sticking-place; and had then galloped
else-whither to screw and prepare.

And so the Ottmachau Austrians, "260 picked grenadiers" (400 dragoons
there also at first were, who, after flourishing about on the outskirts
as if for fighting, rode away), fire "DESPERAT," says my intricate
friend; [_Helden-Geschichte_, i. 672-677; Orlich, i. 50.] entirely
refusing terms from Schwerin; kill twelve of his people (Major de Rege,
distinguished Engineer Major, one of them): so that Schwerin has to
bring petards upon them, four cannon upon them; and burst in their
Town Gate, almost their Castle Gate, and pretty much their Castle
itself;--wasting three days of his time upon this paltry matter. Upon
which they do signify a willingness for "Free Withdrawal." "No, IHR
HERREN" answers, Schwerin; "not now; after such mad explosion. His
Majesty will have to settle it." Majesty, who is by this time not far
off, comes over to Ottmachau (January 12th); gives words of rebuke,
rebuke not very inexorable; and admits them Prisoners of War. "The
officers were sent to Custrin, common men to Berlin;" the usual
arrangement in such case. Ottmachau Town belongs to the Right Reverend
von Sinzendorf, Bishop of Breslau, and Primate; whose especial Palace is
in Neisse; though he "commonly sends his refractory Priests to do their
penance in the Schloss at Ottmachau here,"--and, I should say, had
better himself make terms, and come out hitherward, under present

Friedrich continues at Ottmachau; head-quarters there thenceforth, till
he see Neisse settled. On the morrow, (13th) he learns that the Siege
Artillery is at Grotkau; well forward towards Neisse; halfway between
Brieg and it. Same day, Colonel Camas returns to him out of Glatz; five
of his men lost; and reports That Browne has had the roads torn up, that
Glatz is mere ice and obstruction, and that nothing can be made of it at
this season. Good news alternating with not so good.

The truth is, Friedrich has got no Strong Place in Schlesien; all
strengths make unexpected defence; paltry little Namslan itself
cannot be quite taken, Castle cannot, till Jeetz gets his
siege-artillery,--which does not come along so fast as that to Neisse
does. Here is an Excerpt from my Dryasdust, exact though abridged,
concerning Jeetz:--

"JANUARY 24th, 1741. Prussians, masters of the Town for a couple of
weeks back, have got into the Church at Namslau, into the Cloister; are
preparing plank floors for batteries, cutting loop-holes; diligent as
possible,--siege-guns now at last just coming. The Castle fires fiercely
on them, makes furious sallies, steals six of our oxen,--makes insolent
gestures from the walls; at least one soldier does, this day. 'Sir,
may I give that fellow a shot?' asks the Prussian sentry. 'Do, then,'
answers his Major: 'too insolent that one!' And the sentry explodes on
him; brings him plunging down, head foremost (HERUNTER PURZELTE); the
too insolent mortal, silent enough thenceforth." [_Helden-Geschichte,_
i. 703.]--Jeetz did get his cannon, though not till now, this very day
I think; and then, in a couple of days more, Jeetz finished off Namslau
("officers to Custrin, Common men to Berlin"); and thereupon blockades
the Eastern side of Brieg, joining hands with Kleist on the Western:
whereby Brieg, like Glogau, is completely masked,--till the season mend.

Friedrich, now that his artillery is come, expects no difficulty with
Neisse. A "paltry hamlet (BICOQUE)" he playfully calls it; and, except
this, Silesia is now his. Neisse got (which would be the desirable
thing), or put under "mask" as Glogau is, and as Brieg is being, Austria
possesses not an inch of land within these borders. Here are some
Epistolary snatches; still in the light style, not to say the flimsy
and uplifted; but worth giving, so transparent are they; off hand, like
words we had heard his Majesty SPEAK, in his high mood:--

KING TO M. JORDAN, AT BERLIN (two successive Letters).

1. "OTTMACHAU, 14th JANUARY, 1741 [second day after our arrival there].
My dear Monsieur Jordan, my sweet Monsieur Jordan, my quiet Monsieur
Jordan, my good, my benign, my pacific, my humanest Monsieur Jordan,--I
announce to Thy Serenity the conquest of Silesia; I warn thee of the
bombardment of Neisse [just getting ready], and I prepare thee for still
more important projects; and instruct thee of the happiest successes
that the womb of Fortune ever bore.

"This ought to suffice thee. Be my Cicero as to the justice of my
cause, and I will be thy Caesar as to the execution. Adieu: thou
knowest whether I am not, with the most cordial regard, thy faithful

2. "OTTMACHAU, 17th JANUARY, 1741. I have the honor to inform your
Humanity that we are christianly preparing to bombard Neisse; and that
if the place will not surrender of good-will, needs must that it be
beaten to powder (NECESSITE SERA DE L'ABIMER). For the rest, our affairs
go the best in the world; and soon thou wilt hear nothing more of us.
For in ten days it will all be over; and I shall have the pleasure of
seeing you and hearing you, in about a fortnight.

"I have seen neither my Brother [August Wilhelm, not long ago at
Strasburg with us, and betrothed since then] nor Keyserling: I left them
at Breslau, not to expose them to the dangers of war. They perhaps will
be a little angry; but what can I do?--The rather as, on this occasion,
one cannot share in the glory, unless one is a mortar!

"Adieu, M. le Conseiller [Poor's-RATH, so styled]. Go and amuse yourself
with Horace, study Pausanias, and be gay over Anacreon. As to me, who
for amusement have nothing but merlons, fascines and gabions, [Merlons
are mounds of earth placed behind the solid or blind parts of the
parapet (that is, between the embrasures) of a Fortification; fascines
are bundles of brushwood for filling up a ditch; gabions, baskets filled
with earth to be ranged in defence till you get trenches dug.] I pray
God to grant me soon a pleasanter and peacefuler occupation, and you
health, satisfaction and whatever your heart desires.--F." [_OEuvres de
Frederic,_ xvii. 84.]


"OTTMACHAU, 17th JANUARY, 1741 [same day as the above to Jordan]. I
have begun to settle the Figure of Prussia: the outline will not be
altogether regular; for the whole of Silesia is taken, except one
miserable hamlet (BICOQUE), which perhaps I shall have to keep blockaded
till next spring.

"Up to this time, the whole conquest has cost only Twenty Men, and
Two Officers, one of whom is the poor De Rege, whom you have seen
at Berlin,"--De Rege, Engineer Major, killed here at Ottmachau, in
Schwerin's late tussle.

"You are greatly wanting to me here. So soon as you have talked that
business over, write to me about it. [What is the business? Whither is
the dusky Swan of Padua gone?] In all these three hundred miles I
have found no human creature comparable to the Swan of Padua. I would
willingly give ten cubic leagues of ground for a genius similar to
yours. But I perceive I was about entreating you to return fast, and
join me again,--while you are not yet arrived where your errand was.
Make haste to arrive, then; to execute your commission, and fly back to
me. I wish you had a Fortunatus Hat; it is the only thing defective in
your outfit.

"Adieu, dear Swan of Padua: think, I pray you, sometimes of those who
are getting themselves cut in slices [ECHINER, chined] for the sake
of glory here, and above all do not forget your friends who think a
thousand times of you.

"FREDERIC." [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xviii. 28.]

The object of the dear Swan's journey, or even the whereabouts of
it, cannot be discovered without difficulty; and is not much worth
discovering. "Gone to Turin," we at last make out, "with secret
commissions:" [Denina, _La Prusse Litteraire_ (Berlin, 1790), i. 198. A
poor vague Book; only worth consulting in case of extremity.] desirable
to sound the Sardinian Majesty a little, who is Doorkeeper of the Alps,
between France and Austria, and opens to the best bidder? No great
things of a meaning in this mission, we can guess, or Algarotti had not
gone upon it,--though he is handy, at least, for keeping it unnoticed by
the Gazetteer species. Nor was the Swan successful, it would seem;
the more the pity for our Swan! However, he comes back safe; attends
Friedrich in Silesia; and in the course of next month readers will see
him, if any reader wished it.


Neisse, which Friedrich calls a paltry hamlet (BICOQUE) is a pleasant
strongly fortified Town, then of perhaps 6 or 8,000 inhabitants, now of
double that number; stands on the right or south bank of the Neisse,--at
this day, on both banks. Pleasant broad streets, high strong houses,
mostly of stone. Pleasantly encircled by green Hills, northward
buttresses of the Giant Mountains; itself standing low and level,
on rich ground much inclined to be swampy. A lesser river, Biele,
or Bielau, coming from the South, flows leisurely enough into the
Neisse,--filling all the Fortress ditches, by the road. Orchard-growth
and meadow-growth are lordly (HERRLICH); a land rich in fruit,
and flowing with milk and honey. Much given to weaving, brewing,
stocking-making; and, moreover, trades greatly in these articles, and
above all in Wine. Yearly on St. Agnes Day, "21st January, if not a
Sunday," there is a Wine-fair here; Hungarian, of every quality from
Tokay downward, is gathered here for distribution into Germany and all
the Western Countries. While you drink your Tokay, know that it comes
through Neisse. St. Agnes Day falls but unhandily this year; and I think
the Fair will, as they say, AUSBLEIBEN, or not be held.

Neisse is a Nest of Priests (PFAFFEN-NEST), says Friedrich once; which
came in this way. About 600 years ago, an ill-conditioned Heir-Apparent
of the Liegnitz Sovereign to whom it then belonged, quarrelled with his
Father, quarrelled slightly with the Universe; and, after moping about
for some time, went into the Church. Having Neisse for an apanage
already his own, he gave it to the Bishop of Breslau; whose, in spite
of the old Father's protestings, it continued, and continues. Bishops of
Breslau are made very grand by it; Bishops of Breslau have had their own
difficulties here. Thus once (in our Perkin-Warbeck time, A.D. 1497), a
Duke of Oppeln, sitting in some Official Conclave or meeting of magnates
here,--zealous for country privilege, and feeling himself insufferably
put upon,--started up, openly defiant of Official men; glaring
wrathfully into Duke Casimir of Teschen (Bohemian-Austrian Captain of
Silesia), and into the Bishop of Breslau himself; nay at last, flashed
out his sword upon those sublime dignitaries. For which, by and by, he
had to lay his head on the block, in the great square here; and died
penitent, we hope.

This place, my Dryasdust informs me, had many accidents by floodage and
by fire; was seized and re-seized in the Thirty-Years War especially, at
a great rate: Saxon Arnheim, Austrian Holk, Swedish Torstenson; no end
to the battering and burning poor Neisse had, to the big ransoms "in new
Reichs-thalers and 300 casks of wine." But it always rebuilt itself, and
began business again. How happy when it could get under some effectual
Protector, of the Liegnitz line, of the Austrian-Bohemian line, and
this or the other battering, just suffered, was to be the last for some
time!--Here again is a battering coming on it; the first of a series
that are now imminent.

The reader is requested to look at Neisse; for besides the Tokay wine,
there will things arrive there.--Neisse River, let us again mention, is
one of four bearing that name, and all belonging to the Oder:--could not
they be labelled, then, or NUMBERED, in some way? This Neisse, which we
could call Neisse the FIRST (and which careful readers may as well make
acquaintance with on their Map, where too they will find Neisse the
SECOND, "the WUTHENDE or Roaring Neisse," and two others which concern
us less), rises in the "Western Snow-Mountains (SCHNEEGEBIRGE),"
Southwestern or Glatz district of the Giant Mountains; drains Glatz
County and grows big there; washes the Town of Glatz; then eastward
by Ottmachau, by Neisse Town; whence turning rather abruptly north or
northeast, it gets into the Oder not far south of Brieg.

Neisse as a Place of Arms, the chief Fortress of Silesia and the nearest
to Austria, is extremely desirable for Friedrich; but there is no hope
of it without some kind of Siege; and Friedrich determines to try in
that way. From Ottmachau, accordingly, and from the other sides, the
Siege-Artillery being now at hand, due force gathers itself round
Neisse, Schwerin taking charge; and for above a week there is
demonstrating and posting, summoning and parleying; and then, for three
days, with pauses intervening, there is extremely furious bombardment,
red-hot at times: "Will you yield, then?"--with steady negative from
Neisse. Friedrich's quarter is at Ottmachau, twelve miles off; from
which he can ride over, to see and superintend. The fury of his
bombardment, which naturally grieved him, testifies the intensity of his
wish. But it was to no purpose. The Commandant, Colonel von Roth (the
same who was proposed for Breslau lately, a wise head and a stout, famed
in defences) had "poured water on his ramparts," after well repairing
them,--made his ramparts all ice and glass;--and done much else. Would
the reader care to look for a moment? Here, from our waste Paper-masses,
is abundance, requiring only to be abridged:--

"JANUARY, 1741: MONDAY, 9th-WEDNESDAY, 11th. Monday, 9th, day when that
sputter at Ottmachau began,--Prussian light-troops appeared transiently
on the heights about Neisse, for the first time. Directly on sight of
whom, Commandant Roth assembled the Burghers of the place; took a new
Oath of Fidelity from one and all; admonished them to do their utmost,
as they should see him do. The able-bodied and likeliest of them (say
about 400) he has had arranged into Militia Companies, with what drill
there could be in the interim; and since his coming, has employed every
moment in making ready. Wednesday, 11th, he locks all the Gates, and
stands strictly on his guard. The inhabitants are mostly Catholic; with
sumptuous Bishops of Breslau, with KREUZHERREN (imaginary Teutsch or
other Ritters with some reality of money), with Jesuit Dignitaries,
Church and Quasi-Church Officialities, resident among them: population,
high and low, is inclined by creed to the Queen of Hungary. Commandant
Roth has only 1,200 regular soldiers; at the outside 1,600 men under
arms: but he has gunpowder, he has meal; experience also and courage;
and hopes these may suffice him for a time. One of the most determined
Commandants; expert in the defence of strong places. A born Silesian
(not Saxon, as some think),--and is of the Augsburg Confession; but that
circumstance is not important here, though at Breslau Browne thought it

"THURSDAY, 12th. The Prussians, in regular force, appear on the
Kaninchen Berg (Cony Hill, so called from its rabbits), south of the
River, evidently taking post there. Roth fires a signal shot; the
Southern Suburbs of Neisse, as preappointed, go up in flame; crackle
high and far; in a lamentable manner (ERBARMLICH), through the grim
winter air." This is the day Friedrich came over to Ottmachau, and
settled the sputter there.

"Next day, and next again, the same phenomena at Neisse; the Prussians
edging ever nearer, building their batteries, preparing to open their
cannonade. Whereupon Roth burns the remaining Suburbs, with lamentable
crackle; on all sides now are mere ashes. Bishop's Mill, Franciscan
Cloister, Bishop's Pleasure-garden, with its summer-houses; Bishop's
Hospital, and several Churches: Roth can spare none of these things,
with the Prussians nestling there. Surely the Bishop himself,
respectable Cardinal Graf von Sinzendorf, had better get out of these
localities while time yet is?" "Saturday, 14th," that was the day
Friedrich, at Ottmachau, wrote as above to Jordan (Letter No. 1), while
the Neisse Suburbs crackled lamentably, twelve miles off, "Schwerin gets
order to break up, in person, from Ottmachan to-morrow, and begin actual
business on the Kaninchen Hill yonder.

"SUNDAY, 15th. Schwerin does; marches across the River; takes post on
the south side of Neisse: notable to the Sunday rustics. Nothing but
burnt villages and black walls for Schwerin, in that Cony-Hill quarter,
and all round; and Roth salutes him with one twenty-four pounder,
which did no hurt. And so the cannonade begins, Sunday, 15th; and
intermittently, on both sides of the River, continues, always bursting
out again at intervals, till Wednesday; a mere preliminary cannonade
on Schwerin's part; making noise, doing little hurt: intended more to
terrify, but without effect that way on Roth or the Townsfolk. The poor
Bishop did, on the second day of it, come out, and make application to
Schwerin; was kindly conducted to his Majesty, who happened to be over
there; was kept to dinner; and easily had leave to retire to Freywalde,
a Country-House he has, in the safe distance. [_Helden-Geschichte,_ i.
683.] There let him be quiet, well out of these confused batterings and
burnings of property.

"His Majesty's Head-quarter is at Ottmachau, but in two hours he can be
here any day; and looks into everything; sorry that the cannonade does
not yet answer. And remnants of suburbs are still crackling into
flame; high Country-Houses of Kreuzherren, of Jesuits; a fanatic people
seemingly all set against us. 'If Neisse will not yield of good-will,
needs is it must be beaten to powder,' wrote his Majesty to Jordan in
these circumstances, as we read above. Roth is sorry to observe, the
Prussians have still one good Bishop's-mansion, in a place called the
Karlau (Karl-Meadow), with the Bishop's winter fuel all ready stacked
there; but strives to take order about the same.

"WEDNESDAY, 18th. This day two provocations happened. First, in the
morning by his Majesty's order, Colonel Borck (the same we saw at
Herstal) had gone with a Trumpeter towards Roth; intending to inform
Roth how mild the terms would be, how terrible the penalty of not
accepting them. But Roth or Roth's people singularly disregard Borck
and his Parley Trumpet; answer its blasts by musketry; fire upon it, nay
again fire worse when it advances a step farther; on these terms Borck
and Trumpet had to return. Which much angered his Majesty at Ottmachau
that evening; as was natural. Same evening, our fine quarters in the
Karlau crackled up in flame, the Bishop's winter firewood all along with
it: this was provocation second. Roth had taken order with the Karlau;
and got a resolute Butcher to do the feat, under pretext of bringing us
beef. It is piercing cold; only blackened walls for us now in the Karlau
or elsewhere. His Majesty, naturally much angered, orders for the morrow
a dose of bomb-shells and red-hot balls. Plant a few mortars on the
North side too, orders his Majesty.

"THURSDAY, 19th. Accordingly, by 8 of the clock, cannon batteries
reawaken with a mighty noise, and red-hot balls are noticeable; and at
10 the actual bombarding bursts out, terrible to hear and see;--first
shell falling in Haubitz the Clothier's shop, but being happily got
under. Roth has his City Militia companies, organized with water-hose
for quenching of the red-hot balls: in which they became expert. So that
though the fire caught many houses, they always put it out. Late in the
night, hearing no word from Roth, the Prussians went to bed.

"FRIDAY, 20th. Still no word; on which, about 4 P.M., the Prussian
batteries awaken again: volcanic torrent of red-hot shot and shells,
for seven hours; still no word from Roth. About 11 at night his Majesty
again sends a Drum (Parley Trumpet or whatever it is) to the Gate;
formally summons Roth; asks him, 'If he has well considered what this
can lead to? Especially what he, Roth, meant by firing on our first
Trumpet on Wednesday last?' Roth answered, 'That as to the Trumpet, he
had not heard of it before. On the other hand, that this mode of sieging
by red-hot balls seems a little unusual; for the rest, that he has
himself no order or intention but that of resisting to the last.' Some
say the Drum hereupon by order talked of 'pounding Neisse into powder,
mere child's-play hitherto;' to which Roth answered only by respectful

"SATURDAY, 21st-MONDAY, 23d. Midnight of Friday-Saturday, on this answer
coming, the fire-volcanoes open again;--nine hours long; shells, and
red-hot material, in terrible abundance. Which hit mostly the churches,
Jesuits' Seminariums and Collegiums; but produced no change in Roth.
From 9 A.M. the batteries are silent. Silent still, next morning:
Divine Service may proceed, if it like. But at 4 of the afternoon, the
batteries awaken worse than ever; from seven to nine bombs going at
once. Universal rage, of noise and horrid glare, making night hideous,
till 10 of the clock; Roth continuing inflexible. This is the last night
of the Siege."

Friedrich perceived that Roth would not yield; that the utter
smashing-down of Neisse might more concern Friedrich than Roth;--that,
in fine, it would be better to desist till the weather altered. Next
day, "Monday, 23d, between noon and 1 o'clock," the Prussians drew
back;--converted the siege into a blockade. Neisse to be masked, like
Brieg and Glogau (Brieg only half done yet, Jeetz without cannon till
to-morrow, 24th, and little Namslau still gesticulating): "The
only thing one could try upon it was bombardment. A Nest of Priests
(PFAFFEN-NEST); not many troops in it: but it cannot well be forced
at present. If spring were here, it will cost a fortnight's work."
[FRIEDRICH TO THE OLD DESSAUER: Fraction of Letter (Ottmachau, 16th-21st
January, 1741) cited by Orlich, i. 51;--from the Dessau Archives, where
Herr Orlich has industriously been. To all but strictly military people
these pieces of Letters are the valuable feature of Orlich's Book; and
a general reader laments that it does not all consist of such, properly
elucidated and labelled into accessibility.]

A noisy business; "King's high person much exposed: a bombardier and
then a sergeant were killed close by him, though in all he lost only
five men." [_Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 680-690.]


Browne all this while has hung on the Mountain-side, witnessing these
things; sending stores towards Glatz southwestward, and "ruining the
ways" behind them; waiting what would become of Neisse. Neisse done,
Schwerin is upon him; Browne makes off Southeastward, across the
Mountains, for Moravia and home; Schwerin following hard. At a little
place called Gratz, [The name, in old Slavic speech, signifies TOWN; and
there are many GRATZES: KONIGINgratz (QUEEN'S, which for brevity is
now generally called KONIGSgratz, in Bohemia); Gratz in Styria;
WINDISCHgratz (Wendish-town); &c.] on the Moravian border, Browne faced
round, tried to defend the Bridge of the Oppa, sharply though without
effect; and there came (January 25th) a hot sputter between them for
a few minutes:--after which Browne vanished into the interior, and we
hear, in these parts, comparatively little more of him during this War.
Friend and foe must admit that he has neglected nothing; and fairly made
the best of a bad business here. He is but an interim General, too;
his Successor just coming; and the Vienna Board of War is frequently
troublesome,--to whose windy speculations Browne replies with sagacious
scepticism, and here and there a touch of veiled sarcasm, which was not
likely to conciliate in high places. Had her Hungarian Majesty been
able to retain Browne in his post, instead of poor Neipperg who was sent
instead, there might have been a considerably different account to give
of the sequel. But Neipperg was Tutor (War-Tutor) to the Grand-Duke;
Browne is still of young standing (age only thirty-five), with a touch
of veiled sarcasm; and things must go their course.

In Schlesien, Schwerin is now to command in chief; the King going off to
Berlin for a little, naturally with plenty of errand there. The Prussian
Troops go into Winter-quarters; spread themselves wide; beset the good
points, especially the Passes of the Hills,--from Jagerndorf, eastward
to the Jablunka leading towards Hungary;--nay they can, and before long
do, spread into the Moravian Territories, on the other side; and levy
contributions, the Queen proving unreasonable.

It was Monday, 23d, when the Siege of Neisse was abandoned: on
Wednesday, Friedrich himself turns homeward; looks into Schweidnitz,
looks into Liegnitz; and arrives at Berlin as the week ends,--much
acclamation greeting him from the multitude. Except those three masked
Fortresses, capable of no defence to speak of, were Winter over, Silesia
is now all Friedrich's,--has fallen wholly to him in the space of about
Seven Weeks. The seizure has been easy; but the retaining of it, perhaps
he himself begins to see more clearly, will have difficulties! From this
point, the talk about GLOIRE nearly ceases in his Correspondence. In
those seven weeks he has, with GLOIRE or otherwise, cut out for himself
such a life of labor as no man of his Century had.


While Friedrich was so busy in Silesia, the world was not asleep around
him; the world never is, though it often seems to be, round a man and
what action he does in it. That Sunday morning, First Day of the Year
1741, in those same hours while Friedrich, with energy, with caution,
was edging himself into Breslau, there went on in the Court of
Versailles an interior Phenomenon; of which, having by chance got access
to it face to face, we propose to make the reader participant before
going farther.

Readers are languidly aware that phenomena do go on round their
Friedrich; that their busy Friedrich, with his few Voltaires and
renowned persons, are not the only population of their Century, by
any means. Everybody is aware of that fact; yet, in practice, almost
everybody is as good as not aware; and the World all round one's Hero
is a darkness, a dormant vacancy. How strange when, as here, some
Waste-paper spill (so to speak) turns up, which you can KINDLE; and, by
the brief flame of it, bid a reader look with his own eyes!--From
Herr Doctor Busching, who did the GEOGRAPHY and about a Hundred other
Books,--a man of great worth, almost of genius, could he have elaborated
his Hundred Books into Ten (or distilled, into flasks of aqua-vitae,
what otherwise lies tumbling as tanks of mash and wort, now run very
sour and mal-odorous);--it is from Herr Busching that we gain the
following rough Piece, illuminative if one can kindle it:--

The Titular-Herr Baron Anton von Geusau, a gentleman of good parts,
scholastic by profession, and of Protestant creed, was accompanying as
Travelling Tutor, in those years, a young Graf von Reuss. Graf von Beuss
is one of those indistinct Counts Reuss, who always call themselves
"Henry;" and, being now at the eightieth and farther, with uncountable
collateral Henrys intertwisted, are become in effect anonymous, or of
nomenclature inscrutable to mankind. Nor is the young one otherwise of
the least interest to us;--except that Herr Anton, the Travelling Tutor,
punctually kept a Journal of everything. Which Journal, long afterwards,
came into the hands of Busching, also a punctual man; and was by him
abridged, and set forth in print in his _Beitrage._ Offering at present
a singular daguerrotype glimpse of the then actual world, wherever Graf
von Reuss and his Geusau happened to be. Nine-tenths of it, even in
Busching's Abridgment, are now fallen useless and wearisome; but to
one studying the days that then were, even the effete commonplace of it
occasionally becomes alive again. And how interesting to catch, here and
there, a Historical Figure on these conditions; Historical Figure's very
self, in his work-day attitude; eating his victuals; writing, receiving
letters, talking to his fellow-creatures; unaware that Posterity,
miraculously through some chink of the Travelling Tutor's producing, has
got its eye upon him.

"SUNDAY, 1st JANUARY, 1741, Geusau and his young Gentleman leave Paris,
at 5 in the morning, and drive out to Versailles; intending to see the
ceremonies of New-year's day there. Very wet weather it had been, all
Wednesday, and for days before; [See in _Barbier_ (ii. 283 et seqq.)
what terrible Noah-like weather it had been; big houses, long in soak,
tumbling down at last into the Seine; CHASSE of St. Genevieve brought
out (two days ago), December 30th, to try it by miracle; &c. &c.] but
on this Sunday, New-year's morning, all is ice and glass; and they slid
about painfully by lamplight,--with unroughened horses, and on the
Hilly or Meudon road, having chosen that as fittest, the waters being
out;--not arriving at Court till 9. Nor finding very much to
comfort them, except on the side of curiosity, when there. Ushers,
INTRODUCTEURS, Cabinet Secretaries, were indeed assiduous to oblige; and
the King's Levee will be: but if you follow it, to the Chapel Royal to
witness high mass, you must kneel at elevation of the host; and this,
as reformed Christians, Reuss and his Tutor cannot undertake to do. They
accept a dinner invitation (12 the hour) from some good Samaritan of
Quality; and, for sights, will content themselves with the King's
Levee itself, and generally with what the King's Antechamber and the
OEil-de-Boeuf can exhibit to them. The Most Christian King's Levee
[LEVER, literally here his Getting out of Bed] is a daily miracle of
these localities, only grander on New-year's day; and it is to the
following effect:--

"Till Majesty please to awaken, you saunter in the Salle des
Ambassadeurs; whole crowds jostling one another there; gossiping
together in a diligent, insipid manner;" gossip all reported; snatches
of which have acquired a certain flavor by long keeping;--which the
reader shall imagine. "Meanwhile you keep your eye on the Grate of the
Inner Court, which as yet is only ajar, Majesty inaccessible as yet.
Behold, at last, Grate opens itself wide; sign that Majesty is out of
bed; that the privileged of mankind may approach, and see the miracles."
Geusau continues, abridged by Busching and us:--

"The whole Assemblage passed now into the King's Anteroom; had to wait
there about half an hour more, before the King's bedroom was opened.
But then at last, lo you,--there is the King, visible to Geusau and
everybody, washing his hands. Which effected itself in this way: 'The
King was seated; a gentleman-in-waiting knelt, before him, and held
the Ewer, a square vessel silver-gilt, firm upon the King's breast; and
another gentleman-in-waiting poured water on the King's hands.' Merely
an official washing, we perceive; the real, it is to be hoped, had, in
a much more effectual way, been going on during the half-hour
just elapsed. After washing, the King rose for an instant; had his
dressing-gown, a grand yellow silky article with silver flowerings,
pulled off, and flung round his loins; upon which he sat down again,
and,"--observe it, ye privileged of mankind,--"the Change of Shirt took
place! 'They put the clean shirt down over his head,' says Anton, 'and
plucked up the dirty one from within, so that of the naked skin you saw
little or nothing.'" Here is a miracle worth getting out of bed to look

"His Majesty now quitted chair and dressing-gown; stood up before the
fire; and, after getting on the rest of his clothing, which, on account
of Czarina Anne's death [readers remember that], was of violet or
mourning color, he had the powder-mantle thrown round him, and sat down
at the Toilette to have his hair frizzled. The Toilette, a table with
white cover shoved into the middle of the room, had on it a mirror, a
powder-knife, and"--no mortal cares what. "The King," what all mortals
note, as they do the heavenly omens, "is somewhat talky; speaks
sometimes with the Dutch Ambassador, sometimes with the Pope's Nuncio,
who seems a jocose kind of gentleman; sometimes with different French
Lords, and at last with the Cardinal Fleury also,--to whom, however, he
does not look particularly gracious,"--not particularly this time.
These are the omens; happy who can read them!--Majesty then did
his morning-prayer, assisted only by the common Almoners-in-waiting
(Cardinal took no hand, much less any other); Majesty knelt before his
bed, and finished the business 'in less than six seconds.' After which
mankind can ebb out to the Anteroom again; pay their devoir to the
Queen's Majesty, which all do; or wait for the Transit to Morning
Chapel, and see Mesdames of France and the others flitting past in their

"Queen's Majesty was already altogether dressed," says Geusau, almost
as if with some disappointment; "all in black; a most affable courteous
Majesty; stands conversing with the Russian Ambassador, with the Dutch
ditto, with the Ladies about her, and at last, 'in a friendly and merry
tone,' with old Cardinal Fleury. Her Ladies, when the Queen spoke with
them, showed no constraint at all; leant loosely with their arms on
the fire-screens, and took things easy. Mesdames of France"--Geusau saw
Mesdames. Poor little souls, they are the LOQUE, the COCHON (Rag, Pig,
so Papa would call them, dear Papa), who become tragically visible again
in the Revolution time:--all blooming young children as yet (Queen's
Majesty some thirty-seven gone), and little dreaming what lies fifty
years ahead! King Louis's career of extraneous gallantries, which ended
in the Parc-aux-Cerfs, is now just beginning: think of that too; and of
her Majesty's fine behavior under it; so affable, so patient, silent,
now and always!--"In a little while, their Majesties go along the Great
Gallery to Chapel;" whither the Protestant mind cannot with comfort
accompany. [Busching, _Beitrage,_ ii. 59-78.]

This is the daily miracle done at Versailles to the believing multitude;
only that on New-year's day, and certain supreme occasions, the shirt
is handed by a Prince of the Blood, and the towel for drying the royal
hands by a ditto, with other improvements; and the thing comes out in
its highest power of effulgence,--especially if you could see high mass
withal. In the Antechamber and (OEil-de-Boeuf, Geusau), among hundreds
of phenomena fallen dead to us, saw the Four following, which have
still some life:--1. Many Knights of the Holy Ghost (CHEVALIERS DU SAINT
ESPRIT) are about; magnificently piebald people, indistinct to us, and
fallen dead to us: but there, among the company, do not we indisputably
see, "in full Cardinal's costume," Fleury the ancient Prime Minister
talking to her Majesty? Blandly smiling; soft as milk, yet with a flavor
of alcoholic wit in him here and there. That is a man worth looking at,
had they painted him at all. Red hat, red stockings; a serenely
definite old gentleman, with something of prudent wisdom, and a touch
of imperceptible jocosity at times; mildly inexpugnable in manner: this
King, whose Tutor he was twenty years ago, still looks to him as
his father; Fleury is the real King of France at present. His age is
eighty-seven gone; the King's is thirty (seven years younger than his
Queen): and the Cardinal has red stockings and red hat; veritably there,
successively in both Antechambers, seen by Geusau, January 1st, 1741:
that is all I know. 2. The Prince de Clermont, a Prince of the Blood,
"handed the shirt," TESTE Geusau. Some other Prince, notable to Geusau,
and to us nameless, had the honor of the "towel:" but this Prince de
Clermont, a dissolute fellow of wasted parts, kind of Priest, kind of
Soldier too, is seen visibly handing the shirt there;--whom the reader
and I, if we cared about it, shall again see, getting beaten by Prince
Ferdinand, at Crefeld, within twenty years hence. These are points first
and second, slightly noticeable, slightly if at all.

Of the actual transit to high mass, transit very visible in the Great
Gallery or OEil-de-Boeuf, why should a human being now say anything?
Queen, poor Stanislaus's Daughter, and her Ladies, in their sublime
sedans, one flood of jewels, sail first; next sails King Louis, shirt
warm on his back, with "thirty-four Chevaliers of the Holy Ghost"
escorting; next "the Dauphin" (Boy of eleven, Louis XVI.'s. Father),
and "Mesdames of France, with"--but even Geusau stops short. Protestants
cannot enter that Chapel, without peril of idolatry; wherefore Geusau
and Pupil kept strolling in the general (OEil-de-Boeuf),--and "the Dutch
Ambassador approved of it," he for one. And here now is another point,
slightly noticeable:--3. High mass over, his Majesty sails back from
Chapel, in the same magnificently piebald manner; and vanishes into
the interior; leaving his Knights of the Holy Ghost, and other Courtier
multitude, to simmer about, and ebb away as they found good. Geusau and
his young Reuss had now the honor of being introduced to various people;
among others "to the Prince de Soubise." Prince de Soubise: frivolous,
insignificant being; of whom I have no portrait that is not nearly
blank, and content to be so;--though Herr von Geusau would have one,
with features and costume to it, when he heard of the Beating at
Rossbach, long after! Prince de Soubise is pretty much a blank to
everybody:--and no sooner are we loose of him, than (what every reader
will do well to note) 4. Our Herren Travellers are introduced to a real
Notability: Monseigneur, soon to be Marechal, the Comte de Belleisle;
whom my readers and I are to be much concerned with, in time coming.
"A tall lean man (LANGER HAGERER MANN), without much air of quality,"
thinks Geusau; but with much swift intellect and energy, and a
distinguished character, whatever Geusau might think. "Comte de
Belleisle was very civil; but apologized, in a courtly and kind way, for
the hurry he was in; regretting the impossibility of doing the honors
to the Comte de Reuss in this Country,--his, Belleisle's, Journey into
Germany, which was close at hand, overwhelming him with occupations and
engagements at present. And indeed, even while he spoke to us," says
Geusau, "all manner of Papers were put into his hand." [Busching, ii.
79; see Barbier, ii. 282, 287.]

"Journey to Germany, Papers put into his hand:" there is perhaps no
Human Figure in the world, this Sunday (except the one Figure now in
those same moments over at Breslau, gently pressing upon the locked
Gates there), who is so momentous for our Silesian Operations; and
indeed he will kindle all Europe into delirium; and produce mere thunder
and lightning, for seven years to come,--with almost no result in it,
except Silesia! A tall lean man; there stands he, age now fifty-six,
just about setting out on such errand. Whom one is thankful to have seen
for a moment, even in that slight manner.


Charles Louis Auguste Fouquet, Comte de Belleisle, is Grandson of that
Intendant Fouquet, sumptuous Financier, whom Louis XIV. at last threw
out, and locked into the Fortress of Pignerol, amid the Savoy Alps,
there to meditate for life, which lasted thirty years longer. It was
never understood that the sumptuous Fouquet had altogether stolen public
moneys, nor indeed rightly what he had done to merit Pignerol; and
always, though fallen somehow into such dire disfavor, he was pitied and
respected by a good portion of the public. "Has angered Colbert," said
the public; "dangerous rivalry to Colbert; that is what has brought
Pignerol upon him." Out of Pignerol that Fouquet never came; but his
Family bloomed up into light again; had its adventures, sometimes its
troubles, in the Regency time, but was always in a rising way:--and
here, in this tall lean man getting papers put into his hand, it
has risen very high indeed. Going as Ambassador Extraordinary to
the Germanic Diet, "to assist good neighbors, as a neighbor and Most
Christian Majesty should, in choosing their new Kaiser to the best
advantage:" that is the official color his mission is to have. Surely a
proud mission;--and Belleisle intends to execute it in a way that will
surprise the Germanic Diet and mankind. Privately, Belleisle intends
that he, by his own industries, shall himself choose the right Kaiser,
such Kaiser as will suit the Most Christian Majesty and him; he intends
to make a new French thing of Germany in general; and carries in his
head plans of an amazing nature! He and a Brother he has, called the
Chevalier de Belleisle, who is also a distinguished man, and seconds
M. le Comte with eloquent fire and zeal in all things, are grandsons of
that old Fouquet, and the most shining men in France at present. France
little dreams how much better it perhaps were, had they also been kept
safe in Pignerol!--

The Count, lean and growing old, is not healthy; is ever and anon
tormented, and laid up for weeks, with rheumatisms, gouts and ailments:
but otherwise he is still a swift ardent elastic spirit; with grand
schemes, with fiery notions and convictions, which captivate and hurry
off men's minds more than eloquence could, so intensely true are they to
the Count himself;--and then his Brother the Chevalier is always there
to put them into the due language and logic, where needed. [Voltaire,
xxviii. 74; xxix. 392; &c.] A magnanimous high-flown spirit; thought to
be of supreme skill both in War and in Diplomacy; fit for many things;
and is still full of ambition to distinguish himself, and tell the world
at all moments, "ME VOILA; World, I too am here!"--His plans, just
now, which are dim even to himself, except on the hither skirt of them,
stretch out immeasurable, and lie piled up high as the skies. The hither
skirt of them, which will suffice the reader at present, is:--

That your Grand-Duke Franz, Maria Theresa's Husband, shall in no wise,
as the world and Duke Franz expect, be the Kaiser chosen. Not he, but
another who will suit France better: "Kur-Sachsen perhaps, the so-called
King of Poland? Or say it were Karl Albert Kur-Baiern, the hereditary
friend and dependent of France? We are not tied to a man: only, at any
and at all rates, not Grand-Duke Franz." This is the grand, essential
and indispensable point, alpha and omega of points; very clear this
one to Belleisle,--and towards this the first steps, if as yet only
the first, are also clear to him. Namely that "the 27th of February
next",--which is the time set by Kur-Mainz and the native Officials for
the actual meeting of their Reichstag to begin Election Business, will
be too early a time; and must be got postponed. [Adelung, ii. 185 ("27th
February-1st March, 1741, at Frankfurt-on-Mayn," appointed by Kur-Mainz
"Arch-Chancellor of the REICH," under date November 3d, 1740);--ib.
236 ("Delay for a month or two," suggests Kur-Pfalz, on January
12th, seconded by others in the French interest);--upon which the
appointment, after some arguing, collapsed into the vague, and there
ensued delay enough; actual Election not till January 24th, 1742.]
Postponed; which will be possible, perhaps for long; one knows not for
how long: that is a first step definitely clear to Belleisle. Towards
which, as preliminary to it and to all the others in a dimmer state,
there is a second thing clear, and has even been officially settled (all
but the day): That, in the mean while, and surely the sooner the better,
he, Belleisle, Most Christian Majesty's Ambassador Extraordinary to the
Reichstag coming,--do, in his most dazzling and persuasive manner, make
a Tour among German Courts. Let us visit, in our highest and yet in our
softest splendor, the accessible German Courts, especially the likely
or well-disposed: Mainz, Koln, Trier, these, the three called Spiritual,
lie on our very route; then Pfalz, Baiern, Sachsen:--we will tour
diligently up and down; try whether, by optic machinery and art-magic of
the mind, one cannot bring them round.

In all these preliminary steps and points, and even in that alpha and
omega of excluding Grand-Duke Franz, and getting a Kaiser of his own,
Belleisle succeeded. With painful results to himself and to millions
of his fellow-creatures, to readers of this History, among others. And
became in consequence the most famous of mankind; and filled the whole
world with rumor of Belleisle, in those years.--A man of such intrinsic
distinction as Belleisle, whom Friedrich afterwards deliberately called
a great Captain, and the only Frenchman with a genius for war; and who,
for some time, played in Europe at large a part like that of Warwick
the Kingmaker: how has he fallen into such oblivion? Many of my readers
never heard of him before; nor, in writing or otherwise, is there
symptom that any living memory now harbors him, or has the least
approach to an image of him! "For the times are babbly," says Goethe,"
And then again the times are dumb:--

     Denn geschwatzig sind die Zeiten,
     Und sie sind auch wieder stumm."

Alas, if a man sow only chaff, in never so sublime a manner, with the
whole Earth and the long-eared populations looking on, and chorally
singing approval, rendering night hideous,--it will avail him nothing.
And that, to a lamentable extent, was Belleisle's case. His scheme of
action was in most felicitously just accordance with the national sense
of France, but by no means so with the Laws of Nature and of Fact; his
aim, grandiose, patriotic, what you will, was unluckily false and not
true. How could "the times" continue talking of him? They found they had
already talked too much. Not to say that the French Revolution has since
come; and has blown all that into the air, miles aloft,--where even
the solid part of it, which must be recovered one day, much more the
gaseous, which we trust is forever irrecoverable, now wanders and
whirls; and many things are abolished, for the present, of more value
than Belleisle!--

For my own share, being, as it were, forced accidentally to look at him
again, I find in Belleisle a really notable man; far superior to the
vulgar of noted men, in his time or ours. Sad destiny for such a man!
But when the general Life-element becomes so unspeakably phantasmal as
under Louis XV., it is difficult for any man to be real; to be other
than a play-actor, more or less eminent, and artistically dressed. Sad
enough, surely, when the truth of your relation to the Universe, and the
tragically earnest meaning of your Life, is quite lied out of you, by a
world sunk in lies; and you can, with effort, attain to nothing but to
be a more or less splendid lie along with it! Your very existence all
become a vesture, a hypocrisy, and hearsay; nothing left of you but this
sad faculty of sowing chaff in the fashionable manner! After Friedrich
and Voltaire, in both of whom, under the given circumstances, one finds
a perennial reality, more or less,--Belleisle is next; none FAILS to
escape the mournful common lot by a nearer miss than Belleisle.

Beyond doubt, there are in this man the biggest projects any French head
has carried, since Louis XIV. with his sublime periwig first took to
striking the stars. How the indolent Louis XV. and the pacific Fleury
have been got into this sublimely adventurous mood? By Belleisle
chiefly, men say;--and by King Louis's first Mistresses, blown upon by
Belleisle; poor Louis having now, at length, left his poor Queen to
her reflections, and taken into that sad line, in which by degrees he
carried it so far. There are three of them, it seems;--the first female
souls that could ever manage to kindle, into flame or into smoke:
in this or any other kind, that poor torpid male soul: those Mailly
Sisters, three in number (I am shocked to hear), successive, nay in part
simultaneous! They are proud women, especially the two younger; with
ambition in them, with a bravura magnanimity, of the theatrical or
operatic kind; of whom Louis is very fond. "To raise France to its
place, your Majesty; the top of the Universe, namely!" "Well; if it
could be done,--and quite without trouble?" thinks Louis. Bravura
magnanimity, blown upon by Belleisle, prevails among these high Improper
Females, and generally in the Younger Circles of the Court; so that poor
old Fleury has had no choice but to obey it or retire. And so Belleisle
stalks across the OEil-de-Boeuf in that important manner, visibly to
Geusau; and is the shining object in Paris, and much the topic there at

A few weeks hence, he is farther--a little out of the common turn, but
not beyond his military merits or capabilities--made Marechal de France;
[_Fastes de Louis XV.,_ i. 356 (12th February, 1741).] by way of giving
him a new splendor in the German Political World, and assisting in his
operations there, which depend much upon the laws of vision. French
epigrams circulate in consequence, and there are witty criticisms;
to which Belleisle, such a dusky world of Possibility lying ahead, is
grandly indifferent. Marechal de France;--and Geusau hears (what is a
fact) that there are to be "thirty young French Lords in his suite;" his
very "Livery," or mere plush retinue, "to consist of 110 persons;"
such an outfit for magnificence as was never seen before. And in this
equipment, "early in March" (exact day not given), magnificence of
outside corresponding to grandiosity of faculty and idea, Belleisle, we
shall find, does practically set off towards Germany;--like a kind of
French Belus, or God of the Sun; capable to dazzle weak German Courts,
by optical machinery, and to set much rotten thatch on fire!--

"There are curious daguerrotype glimpses of old Paris to be found in
that Notebook of Geusau's", says another Excerpt; "which come strangely
home to us, like reality at first-hand;--and a rather unexpected Paris
it is, to most readers; many things then alive there, which are now deep
underground. Much Jansenist Theology afloat; grand French Ladies
piously eager to convert a young Protestant Nobleman like Reuss; sublime
Dorcases, who do not rouge, or dress high, but eschew the evil world,
and are thrifty for the Poor's sake, redeeming the time. There is
a Cardinal de Polignac, venerable sage and ex-political person, of
astonishing erudition, collector of Antiques (with whom we dined); there
is the Chevalier Ramsay, theological Scotch Jacobite, late Tutor of the
young Turenne. So many shining persons, now fallen indistinct again.
And then, besides gossip, which is of mild quality and in fair
proportion,--what talk, casuistic and other, about the Moral Duties,
the still feasible Pieties, the Constitution Unigenitus! All this alive,
resonant at dinner-tables of Conservative stamp; the Miracles of Abbe
Paris much a topic there:--and not a whisper of Infidel Philosophies;
the very name of Voltaire not once mentioned in the Reuss section of
Parisian things.

"There is rumor now and then of a 'Comte de Rothenbourg,' conspicuous in
the Parisian circles; a shining military man, but seemingly in want
of employment; who has lost in gambling, within the last four years,
upwards of 50,000 pounds (1,300,000 livres, the exact cipher given).
This is the Graf von Rothenburg whom Friedrich made acquaintance with,
in the Rhine Campaign six years ago, and has ever since had in his
eye;--whom, in a few weeks hence, Friedrich beckons over to him into
the Prussian States: 'Hither, and you shall have work!' Which Rothenburg
accepts; with manifold advantage to both parties:--one of Friedrich's
most distinguished friends for the rest of his life.

"Of Cardinal Polignac there is much said, and several dinners with
him are transacted, dialogue partly given: a pious wise old gentleman
really, in his kind (age now eighty-four); looking mildly forth upon
a world just about to overset itself and go topsy-turvy, as he sees it
will. His ANTI-LUCRETIUS was once such a Poem!--but we mention him
here because his fine Cabinet of Antiques came to Berlin on his death,
Friedrich purchasing; and one often hears of it (if one cared to
hear) from the Prussian Dryasdust in subsequent years. [Came to
Charlottenburg, August, 1742 (old Polignac had died November last,
ten months after those Geusau times): cost of the Polignac Cabinet
was 40,000 thalers (6,000 pounds) say some, 90,000 livres (under
4,000 pounds) say others; cheap at either price;--and, by chance, came
opportunely, "a fire having just burnt down the Academy Edifice,"
and destroyed much ware of that kind. Rodenbeck, i. 73; Seyfarth
(Anonymous), _Geschichte Friedrichs des Andern,_ i. 236.]

"Of Friedrich's unexpected Invasion of Silesia there are also talkings
and surmisings, but in a mild indifferent tone, and much in the vague.
And in the best-informed circles it is thought Belleisle will manage to
HAVE Grand-Duke Franz, the Queen of Hungary's Husband, chosen Kaiser,
and, in some mild good way, put an end to all that;"--which is far
indeed from Belleisle's intention!


I know not whether Major Winterfeld, who was sent to Petersburg in
December last, had got back to Berlin in February, now while Friedrich
is there: but for certain the good news of him had, That he had been
completely successful, and was coming speedily, to resume his soldier
duties in right time. As Winterfeld is an important man (nearly buried
into darkness in the dull Prussian Books), let us pause for a moment
on this Negotiation of his;--and on the mad Russian vicissitudes
which preceded and followed, so far as they concern us. Russia, a big
demi-savage neighbor next door, with such caprices, such humors and
interests, is always an important, rather delicate object to Friedrich;
and Fortune's mad wheel is plunging and canting in a strange headlong
way there, of late. Czarina Anne, we know, is dead; the Autocrat of All
the Russias following the Kaiser of the Romans within eight days. Iwan,
her little Nephew, still in swaddling-clothes, is now Autocrat of All
the Russias if he knew it, poor little red-colored creature; and Anton
Ulrich and his Mecklenburg Russian Princess--But let us take up the
matter where our Notebooks left it, in Friedrich Wilhelm's time:--

"Czarina Anne with the big cheek," continues that Notebook, [Supra, p.
129.] "was extremely delighted to see little Iwan; but enjoyed him only
two months; being herself in dying circumstances. She appointed little
Iwan her Successor, his Mother and Father to be Guardians over him;
but one Bieren (who writes himself Biron, and "Duke of Courland,' being
Czarina's Quasi-Husband these many years) to be Guardian, as it were,
over both them and him. Such had been the truculent insatiable Bieren's
demand on his Czarina. 'You are running on your destruction,' said she,
with tears; but complied, as she had been wont.

"Czarina Anne died 28th October, 1740; leaving a Czar in his cradle;
little Czar Ivan of two months, with Mother and Father to preside over
him, and to be themselves presided over by Bieren, in this manner.
[Mannstein, pp. 264-267 (28th October, by Russian or Old Style, is
"17th;" we TRANSLATE, in this and other cases, Russian or English, into
New Style, unless the contrary is indicated)]. This was the first great
change for Anton Ulrich; but others greater are coming. Little Anton,
readers know, is Friedrich's Brother-in-law, much patronized by Austria;
Anton's spouse is the Half-Russian Princess Catherine of Mecklenburg
(now wholly Russian, and called Princess Anne), whom Friedrich at one
time thought of applying for, in his distress about a Wife. These two,
will they side with Prussia, will they side with Austria? It was hardly
worth inquiry, had not Fortune's wheel made suddenly a great cant, and
pitched them to the top, for the time being.

"Bieren lasted only twenty days. He was very high and arbitrary upon
everybody; Anne and Anton Ulrich suffering naturally most from him. They
took counsel with Feldmarschall Munnich on the matter; who, after study,
declared it a remediable case. Friday, 18th November, Munnich had, by
invitation, to dine with Duke Bieren; Munnich went accordingly that
day, and dined; Duke looking a little flurried, they say: and the same
evening, dinner being quite over, and midnight come, Munnich had his
measures all taken, soldiers ready, warrant in hand;--and arrested
Bieren in his bed; mere Siberia, before sunrise, looming upon Bieren.
Never was such a change as this from 18th day to 19th with a supreme
Bieren. Our friend Mannstein, excellent punctual Aide-de-Camp of
Munnich, was the executor of the feat; and has left punctual record of
it, as he does of everything,---what Bieren said, and what Madam Bieren,
who was a little obstreperous on the occasion. [Mannstein, p. 268.] What
side Anton Ulrich and Spouse will take in a quarrel between Prussia and
Austria, is now well worth asking.

"Anton Ulrich and Wife Anne, that is to say, 'Regent Anne' and
'Generalissimo Anton Ulrich,' now ruled, with Munnich for right-hand
man; and these were high times for Anton Ulrich, Generalissimo and
Czar's-Father; who indeed was modest, and did not often interfere in
words, though grieved at the foolish ways his Wife had. An indolent
flabby kind of creature, she, unfit for an Autocrat; sat in her private
apartments, all in a huddle of undress; had foolish notions,--especially
had soubrettes who led her about by the ear. And then there was a
'Princess Elizabeth,' Cousin-german of Regent Anne,--daughter, that
is to say, last child there now was, of Peter the Great and his little
brown Catherine:--who should have been better seen to. Harmless foolish
Princess, not without cunning; young, plump, and following merely her
flirtations and her orthodox devotions; very orthodox and soft, but
capable of becoming dangerous, as a centre of the disaffected. As
'Czarina Elizabeth' before long, and ultimately as 'INFAME CATIN DU
NORD, she--" But let us not anticipate!

It was in this posture of affairs, about a month after it had begun,
that Winterfeld arrived in Petersburg; and addressed himself to Munnich,
on the Prussian errand. Winterfeld was Munnich's Son-in-law (properly
stepson-in-law, having married Munnich's stepdaughter, a Fraulein von
Malzahn, of good Prussian kin); was acquainted with the latitudes and
longitudes here, and well equipped for the operation in hand. To Madam
Munnich, once Madam Malzahn, his Mother-in-law, he carried a diamond
ring of 1,200 pounds, "small testimony of his Prussian Majesty's regard
to so high a Prussian Lady;" to Munnich's Son and Madam's a present of
3,000 pounds on the like score: and the wheels being oiled in this way,
and the steam so strong (son Winterfeld an ardent man, father Munnich
the like, supreme in Russia, and the thing itself a salutary thing),
the diplomatic speed obtained was great. Winterfeld had arrived in
Petersburg December 19th: Treaty of Alliance to the effect, "Firm
friends and good neighbors, we Two, Majesties of Prussia and of All the
Russias; will help each the other, if attacked, with 12,000 men,"--was
signed on the 27th: whole Transaction, so important to Friedrich,
complete in eight days. Austrian Botta, directly on the heel of those
unsatisfactory Dialogues about Silesian roads, about troops that were
pretty, but had never looked the wolf in the face,--had rushed off,
full speed, for Petersburg, in hopes of running athwart such a Treaty
as Winterfeld's, and getting one for Austria instead. But he arrived
too late; and perhaps could have done nothing had he been in time.
Botta tried his utmost for years afterwards, above ground and below, to
obstruct and reverse this thing; but it was to no purpose, and even
to less; and only, in result, brought Botta himself into flagrant
diplomatic trouble and scandal; which made noise enough in the then
Gazetteer world, and was the finale of Botta's Russian efforts,
[Adelung, iii. ii. 289; Mannstein, p. 375 ("Lapuschin Plot," of Botta's
raising, found out "August, 1743;"--Botta put in arrest, &c.).] though
not worth mentioning now.

The Russian Notebook continues:--

"Munnich, supreme in Russia since Bieren's removal, had wise counsels
for the Regent Anne and her Husband; though perhaps, being a high old
military gentleman, he might be somewhat abrupt in his ways. And there
were domestic Ostermanns, foreign Bottas, La Chetardies, and dangerous
Intriguers and Opposition figures, to improve any grudge that might
arise. Sure enough, in March, 1741, Feldmarschall Munnich was forbid
the Court (some Ostermann succeeding him there): 'Ever true to your Two
Highnesses, though no longer needed;'--and withdrew, in a lofty friendly
strain; his Son continuing at Court, though Papa had withdrawn. Supreme
Munnich had lasted about four months; Supreme Bieren hardly three
weeks;--and Siberia is still agape.

"Munnich being gone to his own Town-Mansion, and Regent Anne sitting
in hers in a huddle of undress; little accessible to her long-headed
melancholic Ostermann, and too accessible to her Livonian maid: with
poor little Anton Ulrich pouting and remonstrating, but unable to
help,--this state of matters, with such intrigues undermining it,
could not last forever. And had not Princess Elizabeth been of indolent
luxurious nature, intent upon her prayers and flirtations, it would have
ended sooner even than it did. Princess Elizabeth had a Surgeon called
L'Estoc; a Marquis de la Chetardie, a high-flown French Excellency (who
used to be at Berlin, to our young Friedrich's delight), was her--What
shall I say? La Chetardie himself had no scruple to say it! These two
plotted for her; these were ready,--could she have been got ready; which
was not so easy. Regent Anne had her suspicions; but the Princess was so
indolent, so good: at last, when directly taxed with such a thing, the
Princess burst into ingenuous weeping; quite disarmed Regent Anne's
suspicions;--but found she had now better take L'Estoc's advice, and
proceed at once. Which she did.

"And so, on the morrow morning, 5th December, 1741, by aid of the
Preobrazinsky Regiment, and the motions usual on such occasions,--in
fact by merely pulling out the props from an undermined state of
matters,--she reduced said state gently to ruin, ready for carting to
Siberia, like its foregoers; and was hereby Czarina of All the Russias,
prosperously enough for the rest of her life. Twenty years or rather
more. An indolent, orthodox, plump creature, disinclined to cruelty;
'not an ounce of nun's flesh in her composition,' said the wits. She
maintained the Friedrich Treaty, indignant at Botta and his plots; was
well with Friedrich, or might have been kept so by management, for there
was no cause of quarrel, but the reverse, between the Countries,--could
Friedrich have held his witty tongue, when eavesdroppers were by. But he
could not always; though he tried. And sarcastic quizzing (especially
if it be truth too), on certain female topics, what Improper Female,
Czarina of All the Russias, could stand it? The history is but a
distressing one, a disgusting one, in human affairs. Elizabeth was
orthodox, too, and Friedrich not, 'the horrid man!' The fact is,--fact
dismally indubitable, though it is huddled into discreet dimness, and
all details of it (as to what Friedrich's witticisms were, and the like)
are refused us in the Prussian Books,--indignation, owing to such dismal
cause, became fixed hate on the Czarina's part, and there followed
terrible results at last: A Czarina risen to the cannibal pitch upon
a man, in his extreme need;--'INFAME CATIN DU NORD,' thinks the man!
Friedrich's wit cost him dear; him, and half a million others still
dearer, twenty years hence."--Till which time we will gladly leave the
Czarina and it.

Major von Winterfeld had been in Russia before this; and had wooed his
fair Malzahn there. He is the same Winterfeld whom we once saw dining by
the wayside with the late Friedrich Wilhelm, on that last Review-Journey
his Majesty made. A Captain in the Potsdam Giants at that time; always
in great favor with the late King; and in still greater with the
present,--who finds in him, we can dimly discover, and pretty much in
him alone, a soul somewhat like his own; the one real "peer" he had
about him. A man of little education; bred in camps; yet of a proud
natural eminency, and rugged nobleness of genius and mind. Let readers
mark this fiery hero-spirit, lying buried in those dull Books,
like lightning among clay. Here is another anecdote of his Russian

"Winterfeld had gone, in Friedrich Wilhelm's time, with a party of
Prussian drill-sergeants for Petersburg [year not given]; and duly
delivered them there. He naturally saw much of Feldmarschall Munnich,
naturally saw the Step-daughter of the Feldmarschall, a shining beauty
in Petersburg; Winterfeld himself a man of shining gifts, and character;
and one of the handsomest tall men in the world. Mutual love between
the Fraulein and him was the rapid result. But how to obtain marriage?
Winterfeld cannot marry, without leave had of his superiors: you, fair
Malzahn, are Hof-Dame of Princess Elizabeth, all your fortune the jewels
you wear; and it is too possible she will not let you go!

"They agreed to be patient, to be silent; to watch warily till
Winterfeld got home to Prussia, till the Fraulein Malzahn could also
contrive to get home. Winterfeld once home, and the King's consent had,
the Fraulein applied to Princess Elizabeth for leave of absence: 'A
few months, to see my friends in Deutschland, your Highness!' Princess
Elizabeth looked hard at her; answered evasively this and that. At last,
being often importuned, she answered plainly, 'I almost feel convinced
thou wilt never come back!' Protestations from the Fraulein were not
wanting:--'Well then,' said Elizabeth, 'if thou art so sure of it, leave
me thy jewels in pledge. Why not?' The poor Fraulein could not say
why; had to leave her jewels, which were her whole fine fortune,
'worth 100,000 rubles' (20,000 pounds); and is now the brave Wife of
Winterfeld;--but could never, by direct entreaty or circuitous interest
and negotiation, get back the least item of her jewels. Elizabeth,
as Princess and as Czarina, was alike deaf on that subject. Now or
henceforth that proved an impossible private enterprise for Winterfeld,
though he had so easily succeeded in the public one." [Retzow,
_Charakteristik des siebenjahrigen Krieges_ (Berlin, 1802), i. 45 n.]

The new Czarina was not unmerciful. Munnich and Company were tried
for life; were condemned to die, and did appear on the scaffold (29th
January, 1742), ready for that extreme penalty; but were there, on the
sudden, pardoned or half-pardoned by a merciful new Czarina, and sent to
Siberia and outer darkness. Whither Bieren had preceded them. To outer
darkness also, though a milder destiny had been intended them at first,
went Anton Ulrich and his Household. Towards native Germany at first;
they had got as far as Riga on the way to Germany, but were detained
there, for a long while (owing to suspicions, to Botta Plots, or I know
not what), till finally they were recalled into Russian exile. Strict
enough exile, seclusion about Archangel and elsewhere; in convents, in
obscure uncomfortable places:--little Iwan, after vicissitudes, even
went underground; grew to manhood, and got killed (partly by accident,
not quite by murder), some twenty-three years hence, in his dungeon
in the Fortress of Schlusselburg, below the level of the Ladoga waters
there. Unluckier Household, which once seemed the luckiest of the world,
was never known. Canted suddenly, in this way, from the very top of
Fortune's wheel to the very bottom; never to rise more;--and did not
even die, at least not all die, for thirty or forty years after. [Anton
Ulrich, not till 15th May, 1775 (two Daughters of his went, after this,
to "Horstens, a poor Country-House in Jutland," whither Catherine II.
had manumitted them, with pension;--she had wished Anton Ulrich to
go home, many years before; but he would not, from shame).--Iwan had
perished 5th August, 1764 (Catherine II. blamed for his death, but
without cause); Iwan's Mother, Princess Anne, (mercifully) 18th March,
1746. See Russian Histories, TOOKE, CASTERA, &c.,--none of which, except
MANNSTEIN, is good for much, or to be trusted without scrutiny.]

This is the Chetardie-L'Estoc conspiracy, of 5th December, 1741; the
pitching up of Princess Elizabeth, and the pitching down of Anton Ulrich
and his Munnichs, who had before pitched Bieren down. After which,
matters remained more stationary at Petersburg: Czarina Elizabeth, fat
indolent soul, floated with a certain native buoyancy, with something of
bulky steadiness, in the turbid plunge of things, and did not sink. On
the contrary, her reign, so called, was prosperous, though stupid; her
big dark Countries, kindled already into growth, went on growing rather.
And, for certain, she herself went on growing, in orthodox devotions of
spiritual type (and in strangely heterodox ditto of NONspiritual!); in
indolent mansuetudes (fell rages, if you cut on the RAWS at all!); in
perpetual incongruity; and, alas, at last, in brandy-and-water,--till,
as "INFAME CATIN DU NORD," she became terribly important to some

At her accession, and for two years following, Czarina Elizabeth, in
spite of real disinclination that way, had a War on her hands: the
Swedish War (August, 1741-August, 1743), which, after long threatening
on the Swedish side, had broken out into unwelcome actuality, in Anton
Ulrich's time; and which could not, with all the Czarina's industry, be
got rid of or staved off; Sweden being bent upon the thing, reason or
no reason. War not to be spoken of, except on compulsion, in the most
voluminous History! It was the unwisest of wars, we should say, and
in practice probably the contemptiblest; if there were not one other
Swedish War coming, which vies with it in these particulars, of which
we shall be obliged to speak, more or less, at a future stage. Of this
present Russian-Swedish war, having happily almost nothing to do
with it, we can, except in the way of transient chronology, refrain
altogether from speaking or thinking.

Poor Sweden, since it shot Karl XII. in the trenches at Fredericshall,
could not get a King again; and is very anarchic under its Phantasm
King and free National Palaver,--Senate with subaltern Houses;--which
generally has French gold in its pocket, and noise instead of wisdom in
its head. Scandalous to think of or behold. The French, desirous to keep
Russia in play during these high Belleisle adventures now on foot, had,
after much egging, bribing, flattering, persuaded vain Sweden into this
War with Russia. "At Narva they were 80,000, we 8,000; and what became
of them!" cry the Swedes always. Yes, my friends, but you had a Captain
at Narva; you had not yet shot your Captain when you did Narva! "Faction
of Hats," "Faction of Caps" (that is, NIGHT-caps, as being somnolent and
disinclined to France and War): seldom did a once-valiant far-shining
Nation sink to such depths, since they shot their Captain, and said to
Anarchy, "THOU art Captaincy, we see, and the Divine thing!" Of the
Wars and businesses of such a set of mortals let us shun speaking, where

Mannstein gives impartial account, pleasantly clear and compact, to such
as may be curious about this Swedish-Russian War; and, in the
didactic point of view, it is not without value. To us the interesting
circumstance is, that it does not interfere with our Silesian operations
at all; and may be figured as a mere accompaniment of rumbling discord,
or vacant far-off noise, going on in those Northern parts,--to which
therefore we hope to be strangers in time coming. Here are some dates,
which the reader may take with him, should they chance to illustrate

"AUGUST 4th, 1741. The Swedes declare War: 'Will recover their lost
portions of Finland, will,' &c. &c. They had long been meditating it;
they had Turk negotiations going on, diligent emissaries to the Turk
(a certain Major Sinclair for one, whom the Russians waylaid and
assassinated to get sight of his Papers) during the late Turk-Russian
War; but could conclude nothing while that was in activity; concluded
only after that was done,--striking the iron when grown COLD. A chief
point in their Manifesto was the assassination of this Sinclair; scandal
and atrocity, of which there is no doubt now the Russians were guilty.
Various pretexts for the War:--prime movers to it, practically, were the
French, intent on keeping Russia employed while their Belleisle German
adventure went on, and who had even bargained with third parties to get
up a War there, as we shall see.

"SEPTEMBER 3d, 1741. At Wilmanstrand,--key of Wyborg, their frontier
stronghold in Finland, which was under Siege,--the Swedes (about 5,000
of them, for they had nothing to live upon, and lay scattered about in
fractions) made fight, or skirmish, against a Russian attacking party:
Swedes, rather victorious on their hill-top, rushed down; and totally
lost their bit of victory, their Wilmanstrand, their Wyborg, and even
the War itself;--for this was, in literal truth, the only fighting done
by them in the entire course of it, which lasted near two years more.
The rest of it was retreat, capitulation, loss on loss without stroke
struck; till they had lost all Finland, and were like to lose Sweden
itself,--Dalecarlian mutiny bursting out ('Ye traitors, misgovernors,
worthy of death!'), with invasive Danes to rear of it;--and had to call
in the very Russians to save them from worse. Czarina Elizabeth at the
time of her accession, six months after Wilmanstrand, had made truce,
was eager to make peace: 'By no means!' answered Sweden, taking arms
again, or rather taking legs again; and rushing ruin-ward, at the old
rate, still without stroke.

"JUNE 28th, 1743. They did halt; made Peace of Abo (Truce and
Preliminaries signed there, that day: Peace itself, August 17th);
Czarina magnanimously restoring most of their Finland (thinking to
herself, 'Not done enough for me yet; cook it a little yet!');--and
settling who their next King was to be, among other friendly things. And
in November following, Keith, in his Russian galleys, with some 10,000
Russians on board, arrived in Stockholm; protective against Danes
and mutinous Dalecarles: stayed there till June of next year, 1744."
[Adelung, ii. 445. Mannstein, pp. 297 (Wilmanstrand Affair, himself
present), 365 (Peace), 373 (Keith's RETURN with his galleys). Comte de
Hordt (present also, on the Swedish side, and subsequently a Soldier
of Friedrich's) _Memoires_ (Berlin, 1789), i. 18-88. The murder of
Sinclair (done by "four Russian subalterns, two miles from Naumberg
in Silesia, 17th June, 1739, about 7 P.M.") is amply detailed from
Documents, in a late Book: Weber, _Aus Vier Jahrhunderten_ (Leipzig,
1858), i. 274-279.] Is not this a War!

On the Russian side, General Keith, under Field-marshal Lacy as chief in
command (the same Keith whom we saw at Oczakow under Munnich, some time
ago), had a great deal of the work and management; which was of a highly
miscellaneous kind, commanding fleets of gunboats, and much else; and
readers of MANNSTEIN can still judge,--much more could King Friedrich,
earnestly watching the affair itself as it went on,--whether Keith did
not do it in a solid and quietly eminent and valiant manner. Sagacious,
skilful, imperturbable, without fear and without noise; a man quietly
ever ready. He had quelled, once, walking direct into the heart of it, a
ferocious Russian mutiny, or uproar from below, which would have ruined
everything in few minutes more. (Mannstein, p. 130 (no date, April-May,
1742.) He suffered, with excellent silence, now and afterwards, much
ill-usage from above withal;--till Friedrich himself, in the third
year hence, was lucky enough to get him as General. Friedrich's Sister
Ulrique, the marriage of Princess Ulrique,--that also, as it chanced,
had something to do with this Peace of Abo. But we anticipate too far.


Friedrich stayed only three weeks at home; moving about, from Berlin to
Potsdam, to Reinsberg and back: all the gay world is in Berlin, at this
Carnival time; but Friedrich has more to do with business, of a manifold
and over-earnest nature, than with Carnival gayeties. French Valori
is here, "my fat Valori," who is beginning to be rather a favorite
of Friedrich's: with Excellency Valori, and with the other Foreign
Excellencies, there was diplomatic passaging in these weeks; and we
gather from Valori, in the inverse way (Valori fallen sulky), that it
was not ill done on Friedrich's part. He had some private consultation
with the Old Dessauer, too; "probably on military points," thinks
Valori. At least there was noticed more of the drill-sergeant than
before, in his handling of the Army, when he returned to Silesia,
continues the sulky one. "Troops and generals did not know him
again,"--so excessively strict was he grown, on the sudden. And truly
"he got into details which were beneath, not only a Prince who has
great views, but even a simple Captain of Infantry,"--according to my
(Valori's) military notions and experiences! [Valori, i. 99.]--

The truth is, Friedrich begins to see, more clearly than he did with
GLOIRE dazzling him, that his position is an exceedingly grave one, full
of risk, in the then mood and condition of the world; that he, in the
whole world, has no sure friend but his Army; and that in regard to IT
he cannot be too vigilant! The world is ominous to this youngest of the
Kings more than to another. Sounds as of general Political Earthquake
grumble audibly to him from the deeps: all Europe likely, in any event,
to get to loggerheads on this Austrian Pragmatic matter; the Nations
all watching HIM, to see what he will make of it:--fugleman he to the
European Nations, just about bursting up on such an adventure. It may
be a glorious position, or a not glorious; but, for certain, it is a
dangerous one, and awfully solitary!--

Fuglemen the world and its Nations always have, when simultaneously
bent any-whither, wisely or unwisely; and it is natural that the most
adventurous spirit take that post. Friedrich has not sought the post;
but following his own objects, has got it; and will be ignominiously
lost, and trampled to annihilation under the hoofs of the world, if he
do not mind! To keep well ahead;--to be rapid as possible; that were
good:--to step aside were still better! And Friedrich we find is very
anxious for that; "would be content with the Duchy of Glogau, and join
Austria;" but there is not the least chance that way. His Special Envoy
to Vienna, Gotter, and along with him Borck the regular Minister, are
come home; all negotiation hopeless at Vienna; and nothing but indignant
war-preparation going on there, with the most animated diligence, and
more success than had seemed possible. That is the law of Friedrich's
Silesian Adventure: "Forward, therefore, on these terms; others there
are not: waste no words!" Friedrich recognizes to himself what the
law is; pushes stiffly forward, with a fine silence on all that is not
practical, really with a fine steadiness of hope, and audacity against
discouragements. Of his anxieties, which could not well be wanting, but
which it is royal to keep strictly under lock and key, of these there is
no hint to Jordan or to anybody; and only through accidental chinks, on
close scrutiny, can we discover that they exist. Symptom of despondency,
of misgiving or repenting about his Enterprise, there is none anywhere,
Friedrich's fine gifts of SILENCE (which go deeper than the lips) are
noticeable here, as always; and highly they availed Friedrich in leading
his life, though now inconvenient to Biographers writing of the same!--

It was not on matters of drill, as Valori supposes, that Friedrich
had been consulting with the Old Dessauer: this time it was on another
matter. Friedrich has two next Neighbors greatly interested, none more
so, in the Pragmatic Question: Kur-Sachsen, Polish King, a foolish
greedy creature, who is extremely uncertain about his course in it (and
indeed always continued so, now against Friedrich, now for him, and
again against); and Kur-Hanover, our little George of England, whose
course is certain as that of the very stars, and direct against
Friedrich at this time, as indeed, at all times not exceptional, it is
apt to be. Both these Potentates must be attended to, in one's absence;
method to be gentle but effectual; the Old Dessauer to do it:--and
this is what these consultings had turned upon; and in a month or two,
readers, and an astonished Gazetteer world, will see what comes of them.

It was February 19th when Friedrich left Berlin; the 21st he spends
at Glogau, inspecting the Blockade there, and not ill content with the
measures taken: "Press that Wallis all you can," enjoins he: "Hunger
seems to be slow about it! Summon him again, were your new Artillery
come up; threaten with bombardment; but spare the Town, if possible.
Artillery is coming: let us have done here, and soon!" Next day he
arrives, not at Breslau as some had expected, but at Schweidnitz
sidewards; a strong little Town, at least an elaborately fortified, of
which we shall hear much in time coming. It lies a day's ride west of
Breslau: and will be quieter for business than a big gazing Capital
would be,--were Breslau even one's own city; which it is not, though
perhaps tending to be. Breslau is in transition circumstances at
present; a little uncertain WHOSE it is, under its Munchows and
new managers: Breslau he did not visit at all on this occasion. To
Schweidnitz certain new regiments had been ordered, there to be
disposed of in reinforcing: there, "in the Count Hoberg's Mansion,"
he principally lodges for six weeks to come; shooting out on continual
excursions; but always returning to Schweidnitz, as the centre, again.

Algarotti, home from Turin (not much of a success there, but always
melodious for talk), had travelled with him; Algarotti, and not long
after, Jordan and Maupertuis, bear him company, that the vacant moments
too be beautiful. We can fancy he has a very busy, very anxious, but not
an unpleasant time. He goes rapidly about, visiting his posts,--chiefly
about the Neisse Valley; Neisse being the prime object, were the weather
once come for siege-work. He is in many Towns (specified in RODENBECK
and the Books, but which may be anonymous here); doubtless on many
Steeples and Hill-tops; questioning intelligent natives, diligently
using his own eyes: intent to make personal acquaintance with this new
Country,--where, little as he yet dreams of it, the deadly struggles
of his Life lie waiting him, and which he will know to great perfection
before all is done!

Neisse lies deep enough in Prussian environment; like Brieg, like
Glogau, strictly blockaded; our posts thereabouts, among the Mountains,
thought to be impregnable. Nevertheless, what new thing is this? Here
are swarms of loose Hussar-Pandour people, wild Austrian Irregulars, who
come pouring out of Glatz Country; disturbing the Prussian posts towards
that quarter; and do not let us want for Small War (KLEINE KRIEG) so
called. General Browne, it appears, is got back to Glatz at this
early season, he and a General Lentulus busy there; and these are the
compliments they send! A very troublesome set of fellows, infesting
one's purlieus in winged predatory fashion; swooping down like a cloud
of vulturous harpies on the sudden; fierce enough, if the chance
favor; then to wing again, if it do not. Communication, especially
reconnoitring, is not safe in their neighborhood. Prussian Infantry,
even in small parties, generally beats them; Prussian Horse not, but is
oftener beaten,--not drilled for this rabble and their ways. In pitched
fight they are not dangerous, rather are despicable to the disciplined
man; but can, on occasion, do a great deal of mischief.

Thus, it was not long after Friedrich's coming into these parts, when
he learnt with sorrow that a Body of "500 Horse and 500 Foot" (or say it
were only 300 of each kind, which is the fact [Orlich, i. 79; _OEuvres
de Frederic,_ ii. 68.]) had eluded our posts in the Mountains, and
actually got into Neisse. "The Foot will be of little consequence,"
writes Friedrich; "but the Horse, which will disturb our communications,
are a considerable mischief." This was on the 5th of March. And about a
week before, on the 27th of February, there had well-nigh a far graver
thing befallen,--namely the capture of Friedrich himself, and the sudden
end of all these operations.


In most of the Anecdote-Books there used to figure, and still does,
insisting on some belief from simple persons, a wonderful Story in very
vague condition: How once "in the Silesian Wars," the King, in those
Upper Neisse regions, in the Wartha district between Glatz and Neisse,
was, one day, within an inch of being taken,--clouds of Hussars suddenly
rising round him, as he rode reconnoitring, with next to no escort, only
an adjutant or so in attendance. How he shot away, keeping well in the
shade; and erelong whisked into a Convent or Abbey, the beautiful Abbey
of Kamenz in those parts; and found Tobias Stusche, excellent Abbot
of the place, to whom he candidly disclosed his situation. How the
excellent Tobias thereupon instantly ordered the bells to be rung for
a mass extraordinary, Monks not knowing why; and, after bells, made
his appearance in high costume, much to the wonder of his Monks, with a
SECOND Abbot, also in high costume, but of shortish stature, whom
they never saw before or after. Which two Abbots, or at least Tobias,
proceeded to do the so-called divine office there and then; letting
loose the big chant especially, and the growl of organs, in a singularly
expressive manner. How the Pandours arrived in clouds meanwhile;
entered, in searching parties, more or less reverent of the mass;
searched high and low; but found nothing, and were obliged to take
Tobias's blessing at last, and go their ways. How the Second Abbot
thereupon swore eternal friendship with Tobias, in the private
apartments; and rode off as--as a rescued Majesty, determined to be more
cautious in Pandour Countries for the future! [Hildebrandt, _Anekdoten,_
i. 1-7. Pandour proper is a FOOT-soldier (tall raw-boned ill-washed
biped, in copious Turk breeches, rather barish in the top parts of him;
carries a very long musket, and has several pistols and butcher's-knives
stuck in his girdle): specifically a footman; but readers will permit me
to use him withal, as here, in the generic sense.]--Which story, as to
the body of it, is all myth; though, as is oftenest the case, there
lies in it some soul of fact too. The History-Books, which had not much
heeded the little fact, would have nothing to do with this account of
it. Nevertheless the people stuck to their Myth; so that Dryasdust (in
punishment for his sinful blindness to the human and divine significance
of facts) was driven to investigate the business; and did at last
victoriously bring it home to the small occurrence now called SKIRMISH
OF BAUMGARTEN, which had nearly become so great in the History of the
World,--to the following effect.

There are two Valleys with roads that lead from that Southwest quarter
of Silesia towards Glatz, each with a little Town at the end of it,
looking up into it: Wartha the name of the one: Silberberg that of the
other. Through the Wartha Valley, which is southernmost, young Neisse
River comes rushing down,--the blue mountains thereabouts very pretty,
on a clear spring day, says my touring friend. Both at Wartha, and
at Silberberg the little Town which looks into the mouth of the
northernmost Valley, the Prussians have a post. Old Derschau, Malplaquet
Derschau, with headquarters at Frankenstein, some seven or eight miles
nearer Schweidnitz, has not failed in that precaution. Friedrich wished
to visit Silberberg and Wartha; set out accordingly, 27th February, with
small escort, carelessly as usual: the Pandour people had wind of it;
knew his habits on such occasions; and, gliding through other roadless
valleys, under an adventurous Captain, had determined to whirl him
off. And they were in fact not far from succeeding, had not a mistake

Silberberg, and Wartha the southernmost, which stands upon the Neisse
River (rushing out there into the plainer country), are each about
seven or eight miles from Frankenstein, the Head-quarters; and there
are relays of posts, capable of supporting one another, all the way from
Frankenstein to each. Friedrich rode to Silberberg first; examined the
post, found it right; then rode across to Wartha, seven or eight miles
southward; examined Wartha likewise; after which, he sat down to dinner
in that little Town, with an Officer or two for company,--having, I
suppose, found all right in both the posts. In the way hither, he had
made some change in the relay arrangements, which at first involved
some diminution of his own escort, and then some marching about and
redistributing: so that, externally, it seemed as if the Principal
Relay-party were now marching on Baumgarten, an intermediate
Village,--at least so the Pandour Captain understands the movements
going on; and crouches into the due thickets in consequence, not
doubting but the King himself is for Baumgarten, and will be at hand
presently. Principal relay-party, a squadron of Schulenburg's Dragoons,
with a stupid Major over them, is not quite got into Baumgarten, when
"with horrible cries the Pandour Captain with about 500 horse," plunges
out of cover, direct upon the throat of it: and Friedrich, at Wartha,
is but just begun dining when tumult of distant musketry breaks in upon
him. With Friedrich himself, at this time, as I count, there might be
150 Horse; in Wartha post itself are at least "forty hussars and fifty
foot." By no means "nothing but a single adjutant," as the Myth bears.

The stupid Major ought to have beaten this rabble, though above two
to one of him. But he could not, though he tried considerably; on the
contrary, he was himself beaten; obliged to make off, leaving
"ten dragoons killed, sixteen prisoners, one standard and two
kettle-drums:"--victory and all this plunder, ye Pandour gentry; but
evidently no King. The Pandour gentry, on the instant, made off too,
alarm being abroad; got into some side-valley, with their prisoners and
drum-and-standard honors, and vanished from view of mankind.

Friedrich had started from dinner; got his escort under way, with the
forty hussars and the fifty foot, and what small force was attainable;
and hurried towards the scene. He did see, by the road, another
strongish party of Pandours; dashed them across the Neisse River out of
sight;--but, getting to Baumgarten, found the field silent, and ten dead
men upon it. "I always told you those Schulenburg Dragoons were good
for nothing!" writes he to the Old Dessauer; but gradually withal,
on comparing notes, finds what a danger he had run, and how rash and
foolish he had been. "An ETOURDERIE (foolish trick)," he calls it,
writing to Jordan; "a black eye;" and will avoid the like. Vienna got
its two kettle-drums and flag; extremely glad to see them; and even sang
TE-DEUM upon them, to general edification. [Orlich, i. 62-64.] This is
the naked primordial substance out of which the above Myth grew to its
present luxuriance in the popular imagination. Place, the little Village
of Baumgarten; day, 27th February, 1741. Of Tobias Stusche or the
Convent of Kamenz, not one authentic word on this occasion. Tobias
did get promotions, favors in coming years: a worthy Abbot, deserving
promotion on general grounds; and master of a Convent very picturesque,
but twelve miles from the present scene of action.


Friedrich avoided visiting Breslau, probably for the reasons above
given; though there are important interests of his there, especially his
chief Magazine; and issues of moment are silently working forward. Here
are contemporary Excerpts (in abridged form), which are authentic, and
of significance to a lively reader:--

"BRESLAU, MIDDLE OF JANUARY, 1741. The Prussian Envoy, Herr von Gotter,
had appeared here, returning from Vienna; Gotter, and then Borck, who
made no secret in Breslau society, That not the slightest hope of a
peaceable result existed, as society might have flattered itself; but
that war and battle would have to decide this matter. A Saxon
Ambassador was also here, waiting some time; message thought to
be insignificant:--probably some vague admonitory stuff again from
Kur-Sachsen (Polish King, son of August the Strong, a very insignificant
man), who acts as REICHS-VICARIUS in those Northern parts." For the
reader is to know, there are Reichs-Vicars more than one (nay more than
two on this occasion, with considerable jarring going on about them);
and I could say much about their dignities, limits, duties, [Adelung,
ii. 143, &c.; Kohler, _Reichs-Historie,_ pp. 585-589.]--if indeed
there were any duties, except dramatic ones! But the Reich itself, and
Vicarship along with it, are fallen into a nearly imaginary condition;
and the Regensburg Diet (not Princes now, but mere Delegates of Princes,
mostly Bombazine People), which, "ever since 1663," has sat continual,
instead of now and then, is become an Enchanted Piggery, strange to
look upon, under those earnest stars. "As King Friedrich did not call
at Greslau," after those Neisse bombardments, but rolled past, straight
homewards, the three Excellencies all departed,--Borck and Gotter to
Berlin, the Saxon home again with his insignificant message.

"JANUARY 19th. Schwerin too was here in the course of the winter, to
see how the magazines and other war-preparations were going on: Breslau
outwardly and inwardly is whirling with business, and offers phenomena.
For instance, it is known that the Army-Chest, heaps of silver and gold
in it, lies in the Scultet Garden-House, where the King lodged; and that
only one sentry walks there, and that in the guard-house itself, which
is some way off, there are only thirty men. January 19th, about 9 of
the clock, [_Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 700.] alarm rises, That 2,000
DIEBS-GESINDEL (Collective Thief-rabble of Breslau and dependencies)
are close by; intending a stroke upon said Garden-House and Army-Chest!
Perhaps this rumor sprang of its own accord;--or perhaps not quite?
It had been very rife; and ran high; not without remonstrances in
Town-Hall, and the like, which we can imagine. Issue was, The Officer on
post at Scultet's loaded his treasure in carts; conveyed it, that
same night, to the interior of the City, in fact to the OBERAMTS-HAUS
(Government-House that was);--which doubtless was a step in the right
direction. For now the Two Feld-Kriegs-Commissariat Gentlemen (one of
whom is the expert Munchow, son of our old Custrin friend), supreme
Prussian Authorities here, do likewise shift out of their inns; and
take old Schaffgotsch's apartments in the same Oberamts-Haus; mutely
symbolling that perhaps THEY are likely to become a kind of Government.
And the reader can conceive how, in such an element, the function of
governing would of itself fall more and more into their hands. They were
consummately polite, discreet, friendly towards all people; and did in
effect manage their business, tax-gatherings in money and in kind, with
a perfection and precision which made the evil a minimum.

"FEBRUARY 17th.... This day also, there arrived at Breslau, by boat up
the Oder, ten heavy cannon, three mortars, and ammunition of powder,
bombshells, balls, as much as loaded fifty wagons; the whole of which
were, in like manner, forwarded to Ohlau. This day, as on other days
before and after. Great Magazines forming here; the Military chiefly at
Ohlau; at Breslau the Provender part,--and this latter under noteworthy
circumstances. In the Dom-Island, namely; which is definable (in a
case of such necessity) as being 'outside the walls.' Especially as the
Reverend Fathers have mostly glided into corners, and left the place
vacant. In the Dom-Island, it certainly is; and such a stock,--all
bought for money down, and spurred forward while the roads were under
frost,--'such a stock as was not thought to be in all Silesia,' says
exaggerative wonder. The vacant edifices in the Dom-Island are filled to
the neck with meal and corn; the Prussian brigade now quartering there
('without the walls,' in a sense) to guard the same. And in the Bishop's
Garden [poor Sinzendorf, far enough away and in no want of it just now]
are mere hay-mows, bigger than houses: who can object,--in a case
of necessity? No man, unless he politically meddle, is meddled
with; politically meddling, you are at once picked up; as one or two
are,--clapped into gentle arrest, or, like old Schaffgotsch, and even
Sinzendorf before long, requested to leave the Country till it get
settled. Rigor there is, but not intentional injustice on Munchow's
part, and there is a studious avoidance of harsh manner.

"FEBRUARY-MARCH. Considerable recruiting in Schlesien: six hundred
recruits have enlisted in Breslau alone. Also his Prussian Majesty has
sent a supply of Protestant Preachers, ordained for the occasion, to
minister where needed;--which is piously acknowledged as a godsend
in various parts of Silesia. Twelve came first, all Berliners; soon
afterwards, others from different parts, till, in the end, there were
about Sixty in all. Rigorous, punctilious avoidance of offence to the
Catholic minorities, or of whatever least thing Silesian Law does not
permit, is enjoined upon them; 'to preach in barns or town-halls, where
by Law you have no Church.' Their salary is about 30 pounds a year;
they are all put under supervision of the Chaplain of Margraf Karl's
Regiment" (a judicious Chaplain, I have no doubt, and fit to be a
Bishop); and so far as appears, mere benefit is got of them by Schlesien
as well as by Friedrich, in this function. Friedrich is careful to keep
the balance level between Catholic and Protestant; but it has hung
at such an angle, for a long while past! In general, we observe
the Catholic Dignitaries, and the zealous or fanatic of that creed,
especially the Jesuits, are apt to be against him: as for the
non-fanatic, they expect better government, secular advantage; these
latter weigh doubtfully, and with less weight whichever way. In the
general population, who are Protestant, he recognizes friends;--and has
sent them Sixty Preachers, which by Law was their due long since.
Here follow two little traits, comic or tragi-comic, with which we can

"Detached Jesuit parties, here and there, seem to have mischief in hand
in a small way, encouraging deserters and the like;--and we keep an
eye on them. No discontent elsewhere, at least none audible; on the
contrary, much enlisting on the part of the Silesian youth, with other
good symptoms. But in the Dom, there is, singular to say, a Goblin found
walking, one night;--advancing, not with airs from Heaven, upon
the Prussian sentry there! The Prussian sentry handles arms; pokes
determinedly into the Goblin, and finding him solid, ever more
determinedly, till the Goblin shrieked 'Jesus Maria!' and was hauled
to the Guard-house for investigation." A weak Goblin; doubtless of the
valet kind; worth only a little whipping; but testifies what the spirit

"Another time, two deserter Frenchmen getting hanged [such the law in
aggravated cases], certain polite Jesuits, who had by permission been
praying and extreme-unctioning about them, came to thank the Colonel
after all was over. Colonel, a grave practical man, needs no 'thanks;'
would, however, 'advise your Reverences to teach your people that
perjury is not permissible, that an oath sworn ought to be kept;' and
in fine 'would advise you Holy Fathers hereabouts, and others, to have
a care lest you get into'--And twitching his reins, rode away without
saying into what." [_Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 723.]


Schwerin has been doing his best in this interim; collecting magazines
with double diligence while the roads are hard, taking up the
Key-positions far and wide, from the Jablunka round to the Frontier
Valleys of Glatz again. He was through Jablunka, at one time; on into
Mahren, as far as Olmutz; levying contributions, emitting patents: but
as to intimidating her Hungarian Majesty, if that was the intention, or
changing her mind at all, that is not the issue got. Austria has still
strength, and Pragmatic Sanction and the Laws of Nature have! Very
fixed is her Hungarian Majesty's determination, to part with no inch of
Territory, but to drive the intrusive Prussians home well punished.

How she has got the funds is, to this day, a mystery;--unless George and
Walpole, from their Secret-Service Moneys, have smuggled her somewhat?
For the Parliament is not sitting, and there will be such jargonings,
such delays: a preliminary 100,000 pounds, say by degrees 200,000
pounds,--we should not miss it, and in her Majesty's hands it would go
far! Hints in the English Dryasdust we have; but nothing definite; and
we are left to our guesses. [Tindal (XX. 497) says expressly 200,000
pounds, but gives no date or other particular.] A romantic story, first
set current by Voltaire, has gone the round of the world, and still
appears in all Histories: How in England there was a Subscription set
on foot for her Hungarian Majesty; outcome of the enthusiasm of English
Ladies of quality,--old Sarah Duchess of Marlborough putting down her
name for 40,000 pounds, or indeed putting down the ready sum itself;
magnanimous veteran that she was. Voltaire says, omitting date and
circumstance, but speaking as if it were indubitable, and a thing you
could see with eyes: "The Duchess of Marlborough, widow of him who had
fought for Karl VI. [and with such signal returns of gratitude from the
said Karl VI.], assembled the principal Ladies of London; who engaged to
furnish 100,000 pounds among them; the Duchess herself putting down [EN
DEPOSA, tabling IN CORPORE] 40,000 pounds of it. The Queen of Hungary
had the greatness of soul to refuse this money;--needing only, as she
intimated, what the Nation in Parliament assembled might please to offer
her." [Voltaire, _OEuvres (Siecle de Louis XV.,_ c. 6), xxviii. 79.]

One is sorry to run athwart such a piece of mutual magnanimity; but the
fact is, on considering a little and asking evidence, it turns out to
be mythical. One Dilworth, an innocent English soul (from whom our
grandfathers used to learn ARITHMETIC, I think), writing on the spot
some years after Voltaire, has this useful passage: "It is the great
failing of a strong imagination to catch greedily at wonders. Voltaire
was misinformed; and would perhaps learn, by a second inquiry, a truth
less splendid and amusing. A Contribution was, by News-writers upon
their own authority, fruitlessly proposed. It ended in nothing: the
Parliament voted a supply;"--that did it, Mr. Dilworth; supplies enough,
and many of them! "Fruitlessly, by News-writers on their own authority;"
that is the sad fact. [_The Life and Heroick Actions of Frederick III._
(SIC, a common blunder), by W. H. Dilworth, M.A. (London, 1758), p. 25.
A poor little Book, one of many coming out on that subject just then
(for a reason we shall see on getting thither); which contains, of
available now, the above sentence and no more. Indeed its brethren, one
of them by Samnel Johnson (IMPRANSUS, the imprisoned giant), do not even
contain that, and have gone wholly to zero.--Neither little Dilworth
nor big Voltaire give the least shadow of specific date; but both
evidently mean Spring, 1742 (not 1741).]

It is certain, little George, who considers Pragmatic Sanction as the
Keystone of Nature in a manner, has been venturing far deeper than
purse for that adorable object; and indeed has been diving, secretly, in
muddier waters than we expected, to a dangerous extent, on behalf of it,
at this very time. In the first days of March, Friedrich has heard
from his Minister at Petersburg of a DETESTABLE PROJECT, [Orlich, i.
83 (scrap of Note to Old Dessauer; no date allowed us; "early in
March").]--project for "Partitioning the Prussian Kingdom," no less; for
fairly cutting into Friedrich, and paring him down to the safe pitch,
as an enemy to Pragmatic and mankind. They say, a Treaty, Draught of a
Treaty, for that express object, is now ready; and lies at Petersburg,
only waiting signature. Here is a Project! Contracting parties (Russian
signature still wanting) are: Kur-Sachsen; her Hungarian Majesty; King
George; and that Regent Anne (MRS. Anton Ulrich, so to speak), who sits
in a huddle of undress, impatient of Political objects, but sensible to
the charms of handsome men. To the charms of Count Lynar, especially:
the handsomest of Danish noblemen (more an ancient Roman than a Dane),
whom the Polish Majesty, calculating cause and effect, had despatched to
her, with that view, in the dead of winter lately. To whom she has
given ear;--dismissing her Munnich, as we saw above;--and is ready
for signing, or perhaps has signed! [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ ii. 68.]
Friedrich's astonishment, on hearing of this "detestable Project," was
great. However, he takes his measures on it;--right lucky that he
has the Old Dessauer, and machinery for acting on Kur-Sachsen and the
Britannic Majesty. "Get your machinery in gear!" is naturally his first
order. And the Old Dessauer does it, with effect: of which by and by.

Never did I hear, before or since, of such a plunge into the muddy
unfathomable, on the part of little George, who was an honorable
creature, and dubitative to excess: and truly this rash plunge might
have cost him dear, had not he directly scrambled out again. Or did
Friedrich exaggerate to himself his Uncle's real share in the matter? I
always guess, there had been more of loose talk, of hypothesis and fond
hope, in regard to George's share, than of determinate fact or procedure
on his own part. The transaction, having had to be dropped on the
sudden, remains somewhat dark; but, in substance, it is not doubtful;
[Tindal, xx. 497.] and Parliament itself took afterwards to poking into
it, though with little effect. Kur-Sachsen's objects in the adventure
were of the earth, earthy; but on George's part it was pure adoration of
Pragmatic Sanction, anxiety for the Keystone of Nature, and lest Chaos
come again. In comparison with such transcendent divings, what is a
little Secret-Service money!--

The Count Lynar of this adventure, who had well-nigh done such a feat
in Diplomacy, may turn up transiently again. A conspicuous, more or less
ridiculous person of those times. Busching (our Geographical friend) had
gone with him, as Excellency's Chaplain, in this Russian Journey; which
is a memorable one to Busching; and still presents vividly, through
his Book, those haggard Baltic Coasts in midwinter, to readers who have
business there. Such a journey for grimness of outlook, upon pine-tufts
and frozen sand; for cold (the Count's very tobacco-pipe freezing in
his mouth), for hardship, for bad lodging, and extremity of dirt in the
unfreezable kinds, as seldom was. They met, one day on the road, a Lord
Hyndford, English Ambassador just returning from Petersburg, with his
fourgons and vehicles, and arrangements for sleep and victual, in an
enviably luxurious condition,--whom we shall meet, to our cost. They
saw, in the body, old Field-marshal Lacy, and dined with him, at Riga;
who advised brandy schnapps; a recipe rejected by Busching. And other
memorabilia, which by accident hang about this Lynar. [Busching,
_Beitrage,_ vi. 132-164.]--All through Regent Anne's time he continued a
dangerous object to Friedrich; and it was a relief when Elizabeth CATIN
became Autocrat, instead of Deshabille Anne and her Lynar. Adieu to him,
for fifteen years or more.

Of Friedrich's military operations, of his magazines, posts, diligent
plannings and gallopings about, in those weeks; of all this the reader
can form some notion by looking on the map and remembering what has gone
before: but that subterranean growling which attended him, prophetic
of Earthquake, that universal breaking forth of Bedlams, now fallen so
extinct, no reader can imagine. Bedlams totally extinct to everybody;
but which were then very real, and raged wide as the world, high as the
stars, to a hideous degree among the then sons of men;--unimaginable now
by any mortal.

And, alas, this is one of the grand difficulties for my readers and me;
Friedrich's Life-element having fallen into such a dismal condition.
Most dismal, dark, ugly, that Austrian-Succession Business, and its
world-wide battlings, throttlings and intriguings: not Dismal Swamp,
under a coverlid of London Fog, could be uglier! A Section of "History"
so called, which human nature shrinks from; of which the extant
generation already knows nothing, and is impatient of hearing anything!
Truly, Oblivion is very due to such an Epoch: and from me far be it to
awaken, beyond need, its sordid Bedlams, happily extinct. But without
Life-element, no Life can be intelligible; and till Friedrich and one or
two others are extricated from it, Dismal Swamp cannot be quite filled
in. Courage, reader!--Our Constitutional Historian makes this farther

"English moneys, desperate Russian intrigues, Treaties made and
Treaties broken--If instead of Pragmatic Sanction with eleven Potentates
guaranteeing, Maria Theresa had at this time had 200,000 soldiers and
a full treasury (as Prince Eugene used to advise the late Kaiser), how
different might it have been with her, and with the whole world that
fell upon one another's throats in her quarrel! Some eight years of the
most disastrous War; and except the falling of Silesia to its new
place, no result gained by it. War at any rate inevitable, you object?
English-Spanish War having been obliged to kindle itself; French sure
to fall in, on the Spanish side; sure to fall upon Hanover, so soon as
beaten at sea, and thus to involve all Europe? Well, it is too likely.
But, even in that case, the poor English would have gone upon their
necessary Spanish War, by the direct road and with their eyes open,
instead of somnambulating and stumbling over the chimney-tops; and the
settlement might have come far sooner, and far cheaper to mankind.--Nay,
we are to admit that the new place for Silesia was, likewise, the place
appointed it by just Heaven; and Friedrich's too was a necessary War.
Heaven makes use of Shadow-hunting Kaisers too; and its ways in this mad
world are through the great Deep."


Money somewhere her Hungarian Majesty has got; that is one thing
evident. She has an actual Army on foot, "drawn out of Italy," or whence
she could; formidable Army, says rumor, and getting well equipped;--and
here are the Pandour Precursors of it, coming down like storm-clouds
through the Glatz valleys;--nearly finishing the War for her at
a stroke, the other day, had accident favored;--and have thrown
reinforcement of 600 into Neisse. Friedrich is not insensible to these
things; and amid such alarms from far and from near, is becoming eager
to have, at least, Glogau in his hand. Glogau, he is of opinion, could
now, and should, straightway be done.

Glogau is not a strong place; after all the repairing, it could stand
little siege, were we careless of hurting it. But Wallis is obstinate;
refuses Free Withdrawal; will hold out to the uttermost, though his meal
is running low. He pretends there is relief coming; relief just at hand;
and once, in midnight time, "lets off a rocket and fires six guns,"
alarming Prince Leopold as if relief were just in the neighborhood. A
tough industrious military man; stiff to his purpose, and not without

Friedrich thinks the place might be had by assault: "Open trenches; set
your batteries going, which need not injure the Town; need only alarm
Wallis, and TERRIFY it; then, under cover of this noise and feint
of cannonading, storm with vigor." Leopold, the Young Dessauer, is
cautious; wants petards if he must storm, wants two new battalions if he
must open trenches;--he gets these requisites, and is still cunctatory.
Friedrich has himself got the notion, "from clear intelligence," true
or not, that relief to Glogau is actually on way; and under such
imminences, Russian and other, in so ticklish a state of the world, he
becomes more and more impatient that this thing were done. In the first
week of March, still hurrying about on inspection-business, he writes,
from four or five different places ("Mollwitz near Brieg" is one of
them, a Village we shall soon know better), Note after Note to Leopold;
who still makes difficulties, and is not yet perfect to the last finish
in his preparations. "Preparations!" answers Friedrich impatiently (date
MOLLWITZ, 5th MARCH, the third or fourth impatient Note he has sent);
and adds, just while quitting Mollwitz for Ohlau, this Postscript in his
own hand:--

P.S. "I am sorry you have not understood me! They have, in Bohmen, a
regular enterprise on hand for the rescue of Glogau. I have Infantry
enough to meet them; but Cavalry is quite wanting. You must therefore,
without delay, begin the siege. Let us finish there, I pray you!"
[Orlich, i. 70.]

And next day, Monday 6th, to cut the matter short, he despatches his
General-Adjutant Goltz in person (the distance is above seventy miles),
with this Note wholly in autograph, which nothing vocal on Leopold's
part will answer:--

"OHLAU, 6th MARCH. As I am certainly informed that the Enemy will make
some attempt, I hereby with all distinctness command, That, so soon as
the petards are come [which they are], you attack Glogau. And you must
make your Arrangement (DISPOSITION) for more than one attack; so that if
one fail, the other shall certainly succeed. I hope you will put off no
longer;--otherwise the blame of all the mischief that might arise out of
longer delay must lie on you alone." [Ib. i. 71.]

Goltz arrived with this emphatic Piece, Tuesday Evening, after his
course of seventy miles: this did at last rouse our cautious Young
Dessauer; and so there is next obtainable, on much compression, the
following authentic Excerpt:--

"GLOGAU, 8th MARCH, 1741. His Durchlaucht the Prince Leopold summoned
all the Generals at noon; and informed them That, this very night,
Glogau must be won. He gave them their Instructions in writing: where
each was to post himself; with what detachments; how to proceed. There
are to be three Attacks: one up stream, coming on with the River to its
right; one down stream, River to its left; and a third from the landward
side, perpendicular to the other two. The very captains that shall go
foremost are specified; at what hour each is to leave quarters, so that
all be ready simultaneously, waiting in the posts assigned;--against
what points to advance out of these, and storm Rampart and Wall. Places,
times, particulars, everything is fixed with mathematical exactitude:
'Be steady, be correct, especially be silent; and so far as Law of
Nature will permit, be simultaneous! When the big steeple of Glogau
peals Midnight,--Forward, with the first stroke; with the second, much
more with the twelfth stroke, be one and all of you, in the utmost
silence, advancing! And, under pain of death, two things: Not one shot
till you are in; No plundering when you are.'--In this manner is
the silent three-sided avalanche to be let go. Whereupon", says my
Dryasdust, "the Generals retired; and had, for one item, their fire-arms
all cleaned and new-loaded." [_Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 823; ii. 165.]

Without plans of Glogau, and more detail and study than the reader would
consent to, there can no Narrative be given. Glogau has Ramparts, due
Ring-fence, palisaded and repaired by Wallis; inside of this is an old
Town-Wall, which will need petards: there are about 1,000 men under
Wallis, and altogether on the works, not to count a mortar or two,
fifty-eight big guns. The reader must conceive a poor Town under
blockade, in the wintry night-time, with its tough Count Wallis; ill-off
for the necessaries of life; Town shrouded in darkness, and creeping
quietly to its bed. This on the one hand: and on the other hand,
Prussian battalions marching up, at 10 o'clock or later, with the utmost
softness of step; "taking post behind the ordinary field-watches;" and
at length, all standing ranked, in the invisible dark; silent, like
machinery, like a sleeping avalanche: Husht!--No sentry from the walls
dreams of such a thing. "Twelve!" sings out the steeple of Glogau; and
in grim whisper the word is, "VORWARTS!" and the three-winged avalanche
is in motion.

They reach their glacises, their ditches, covered ways, correct as
mathematics; tear out chevaux-de-frise, hew down palisades, in the given
number of minutes: Swift, ye Regiment's-carpenters; smite your best!
Four cannon-shot do now boom out upon them; which go high over their
heads, little dreaming how close at hand they are. The glacis is thirty
feet high, of stiff slope, and slippery with frost: no matter, the
avalanche, led on by Leopold in person, by Margraf Karl the King's
Cousin, by Adjutant Goltz and the chief personages, rushes up with
strange impetus; hews down a second palisade; surges in;--Wallis's
sentries extinct, or driven to their main guards. There is a singular
fire in the besieging party. For example, Four Grenadiers,--I think of
this First Column, which succeeded sooner, certainly of the Regiment
Glasenapp,--four grenadiers, owing to slippery or other accidents, in
climbing the glacis, had fallen a few steps behind the general body; and
on getting to the top, took the wrong course, and rushed along rightward
instead of leftward. Rightward, the first thing they come upon is a mass
of Austrians still ranked in arms; fifty-two men, as it turned out, with
their Captain over them. Slight stutter ensues on the part of the
Four Grenadiers; but they give one another the hint, and dash forward:
"Prisoners?" ask they sternly, as if all Prussia had been at their
rear. The fifty-two, in the darkness, in the danger and alarm, answer
"Yes."--"Pile arms, then!" Three of the grenadiers stand to see that
done; the fourth runs off for force, and happily gets back with it
before the comedy had become tragic for his comrades. "I must make
acquaintance with these four men," writes Friedrich, on hearing of
it; and he did reward them by present, by promotion to sergeantcy (to
ensigncy one of them), or what else they were fit for. Grenadiers of
Glasenapp: these are the men Friedrich heard swearing-in under his
window, one memorable morning when he burst into tears! At half-past
Twelve, the Ramparts, on all sides, are ours.

The Gates of the Town, under axe and petard, can make little resistance,
to Leopold's Column or the other two. A hole is soon cut in the
Town-Gate, where Leopold is; and gallant Wallis, who had rallied behind
it, with his Artillery-General and what they could get together, fires
through the opening, kills four men; but is then (by order, and not till
then) fired upon, and obliged to draw back, with his Artillery-General
mortally hurt. Inside he attempts another rally, some 200 with him; and
here and there perhaps a house-window tries to give shot; but it is
to no purpose, not the least stand can be made. Poor Wallis is rapidly
swept back, into the Market-place, into the Main Guard-house; and there
piles arms: "Glogau yours, Ihr Herren, and we prisoners of War!" The
steeple had not yet quite struck One. Here has been a good hour's-work!

Glogau, as in a dream, or half awake, and timidly peeping from behind
window-curtains, finds that it is a Town taken. Glogau easily consoles
itself, I hear, or even is generally glad; Prussian discipline being so
perfect, and ingress now free for the necessaries of life. There was
no plundering; not the least insult: no townsman was hurt; not even
in houses where soldiers had tried firing from windows. The Prussian
Battalions rendezvous in the Market-place, and go peaceably about their
patrolling, and other business; and meddle with nothing else. They
lost, in killed, ten men; had of killed and wounded, forty-eight; the
Austrians rather more. [Orlich, i. 75, 78; _Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 829;
irreconcilable otherwise, in some slight points.] Wallis was to have
been set free on parole; but was not,--in retaliation for some severity
of General Browne's in the interim (picking up of two Silesian Noblemen,
suspected of Prussian tendency, and locking them in Brunn over the
Hills),--and had to go to Berlin, till that was repaired. To the wounded
Artillery-General there was every tenderness shown, but he died in few
days.--The other Prisoners were marched to the Custrin-Stettin quarter;
"and many of them took Prussian service."

And this is the Scalade of Glogau: a shining feat of those days; which
had great rumor in the Gazettes, and over all the then feverish Nations,
though it has now fallen dim again, as feats do. Its importance at that
time, its utility to Friedrich's affairs, was undeniable; and it
filled Friedrich with the highest satisfaction, and with admiration to
overflowing. Done 9th March, 1741; in one hour, the very earliest of the

Goltz posted back to Schweidnitz with the news; got thither about 5
P.M.; and was received, naturally, with open arms. Friedrich in person
marched out, next morning, to make FEU-DE-JOIE and TE-DEUM-ing;--there
was Royal Letter to Leopold, which flamed through all the Newspapers,
and can still be read in innumerable Books; Letter omissible in this
place. We remark only how punctual the King is, to reward in money as
well as praise, and not the high only, but the low that had deserved: to
Prince Leopold he presents 2,000 pounds; to each private soldier who had
been of the storm, say half a guinea,--doubling and quadrupling, in the
special cases, to as high as twenty guineas, of our present money. To
the old Gazetteers, and their readers everywhere, this of Glogau is a
very effulgent business; bursting out on them, like sudden Bude-light,
in the uncertain stagnancy and expectancy of mankind. Friedrich himself
writes of it to the Old Dessauer:--

"The more I think of the Glogau business, the more important I find it.
Prince Leopold has achieved the prettiest military stroke (DIE SCHONSTE
ACTION) that has been done in this Century. From my heart I congratulate
you on having such a Son. In boldness of resolution, in plan, in
execution, it is alike admirable; and quite gives a turn to my affairs."
[Date, 13th March, 1741 (Orlich, i. 77).]

And indeed, it is a perfect example of Prussian discipline, and military
quality in all kinds; such as it would be difficult to match elsewhere.
Most potently correct; coming out everywhere with the completeness and
exactitude of mathematics; and has in it such a fund of martial fire,
not only ready to blaze out (which can be exampled elsewhere), but
capable of bottling itself IN, and of lying silently ready. Which is
much rarer; and very essential in soldiering! Due a little to the OLD
Dessauer, may we not say, as well as to the Young? Friedrich Wilhelm is
fallen silent; but his heavy labors, and military and other drillings to
Prussian mankind, still speak with an audible voice.

About three weeks after this of Glogau, Leopold the Old Dessauer, over
in Brandenburg, does another thing which is important to Friedrich, and
of great rumor in the world. Steps out, namely, with a force of 36,000
men, horse, foot and artillery, completely equipped in all points; and
takes Camp, at this early season, at a place called Gottin, not far from
Magdeburg, handy at once for Saxony and for Hanover; and continues there
encamped,--"merely for review purposes." Readers can figure what an
astonishment it was to Kur-Sachsen and British George; and how it struck
the wind out of their Russian Partition-Dream, and awoke them to a sense
of the awful fact!--Capable of being slit in pieces, and themselves
partitioned, at a day's warning, as it were! It was on April 2d, that
Leopold, with the first division of the 36,000, planted his flag near
Gottin. No doubt it was the "detestable Project" that had brought him
out, at so early a season for tent-life, and nobody could then guess
why. He steadily paraded here, all summer; keeping his 36,000 well in
drill, since there was nothing else needed of him.

The Camp at Gottin flamed greatly abroad through the timorous
imaginations of mankind, that Year; and in the Newspapers are many
details of it. And, besides the important general fact, there is still
one little point worth special mention: namely, that old Field-marshal
Katte (Father of poor Lieutenant Katte whom we knew) was of it; and
perhaps even got his death by it: "Chief Commander of the Cavalry here,"
such honor had he; but died at his post, in a couple of months, "at
Rekahn, May 31st;" [_Militair-Lexikon,_ ii. 254.] poor old gentleman,
perhaps unequal to the hardships of field-life at so early a season of
the year.


At Glogau there was Homaging, on the very morrow after the storm; on the
second day, the superfluous regiments marched off: no want of vigorous
activity to settle matters on their new footing there. General Kalkstein
(Friedrich's old Tutor, whom readers have forgotten again) is to be
Commandant of Glogau; an office of honor, which can be done by
deputy except in cases of real stress. The place is to be thoroughly
new-fortified,--which important point they commit to Engineer Wallrave,
a strong-headed heavy-built Dutch Officer, long since acquired to the
service, on account of his excellence in that line; who did, now and
afterwards, a great deal of excellent engineering for Friedrich; but for
himself (being of deep stomach withal, and of life too dissolute) made a
tragic thing of it ultimately. As will be seen, if we have leisure.

In seven or eight days, Prince Leopold having wound up his Glogau
affairs, and completed the new preliminaries there, joins the King at
Schweidnitz. In the highest favor, as was natural. Kalkstein is to take
a main hand in the Siege of Neisse; for which operation it is hoped
there will soon be weather, if not favorable yet supportable. What
of the force was superfluous at Glogau had at once marched off, as we
observed; and is now getting re-distributed where needful. There is much
shifting about; strengthening of posts, giving up of posts: the whole of
which readers shall imagine for themselves,--except only two points that
are worth remembering: FIRST, that Kalkstein with about 12,000 takes
post at Grotkau, some twenty-five miles north of Neisse, ready to move
on, and open trenches, when required: and SECOND, that Holstein-Beck
gets posted at Frankenstein (chief place of that Baumgarten Skirmish),
say thirty-five miles west-by-north of Neisse; and has some 8 or 10,000
Horse and Foot thereabouts, spread up and down,--who will be much
wanted, and not procurable, on an occasion that is coming.

Friedrich has given up the Jablunka Pass; called in the Jablunka and
remoter posts; anxious to concentrate, before the Enemy get nigh. That
is the King's notion; and surely a reasonable one; the AREA of the
Prussian Army, as I guess it from the Maps, being above 2,000 square
miles, beginning at Breslau only, and leaving out Glogau. Schwerin
thinks differently, but without good basis. Both are agreed, "The
Austrian Army cannot take the field till the forage come," till the
new grass spring, which its cavalry find convenient. That is the fair
supposition; but in that both are mistaken, and Schwerin the more
dangerously of the two.--Meanwhile, the Pandour swarms are observably
getting rifer, and of stormier quality; and they seem to harbor farther
to the East than formerly, and not to come all out of Glatz. Which
perhaps are symptomatic circumstances? The worst effect of these
preliminary Pandour clouds is, Your scout-service cannot live among
them; they hinder reconnoitring, and keep the Enemy veiled from you. Of
that sore mischief Friedrich had, first and last, ample experience at
their hands! This is but the first instalment of Pandours to Friedrich;
and the mere foretaste of what they can do in the veiling way.

Behind the Mountains, in this manner, all is inane darkness to Friedrich
and Schwerin. They know only that Neipperg is rendezvousing at Olmutz;
and judge that he will still spend many weeks upon it; the real facts
being: That Neipperg--"who arrived in Olmutz on the 10th of March," the
very day while Glogau was homaging--has been, he and those above him and
those under him, driving preparations forward at a furious rate. That
Neipperg held--I think at Steinberg his hithermost post, some twenty
miles hither of Olmutz--a Council of War, "all the Generals and even
Lentulus from Glatz, present at it," day not given; where the unanimous
decision was, "March straightway; save Neisse, since Glogau is
gone!"--and in fine, That on the 26th, Neipperg took the road
accordingly, "in spite of furious snow blowing in his face;" and is
ever since (30,000 strong, says rumor, but perhaps 10,000 of them mere
Pandours) unweariedly climbing the Mountains, laboriously jingling
forward with his heavy guns and ammunition-wagons; "contending with the
steep snowy icy roads;" intent upon saving Neisse. This is the
fact; profoundly unknown to Friedrich and Schwerin; who will be much
surprised, when it becomes patent to them at the wrong time.

SCHWEIDNITZ, 27th MARCH. This day Friedrich, with considerable
apparatus, pomp and processional cymballing, greatly the reverse of
his ulterior use and wont in such cases, quitted Schweidnitz and his
Algarottis; solemnly opening Campaign in this manner; and drove off for
Ottmachau, having work there for to-morrow.

The Siege of Neisse is now to proceed forthwith; trenches to be opened
April 4th. Friedrich is still of opinion, that his posts lie too wide
apart; that especially Schwerin, who is spread among the Hills in
Jagerndorf Country, ought to come down, and take closer order for
covering the siege. [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ ii. 70.] Schwerin answers,
That if the King will spare him a reinforcement of eight squadrons and
nine battalions (say 1,200 Horse, 9,000 Foot), he will maintain himself
where he is, and no Enemy shall get across the Mountains at all. That
is Schwerin's notion; who surely is something of a judge. Friedrich
assents; will himself conduct the reinforcement to Schwerin, and survey
matters, with his own eyes, up yonder. Friedrich marches from Ottmachau,
accordingly, 29th March;--Kalkstein, Holstein-Beck, and others are to be
rendezvoused before Neisse, in the interim; trenches ready for opening
on the sixth day hence;--and in this manner, climbs these Mountains, and
sees Jagerndorf Country for the first time.

Beautiful blue world of Hills, ridge piled on ridge behind that Neisse
region; fruitful valleys lapped in them, with grim stone Castles
and busy little Towns disclosing themselves as we advance: that is
Jagerndorf Country,--which Uncle George of Anspach, hundreds of years
ago, purchased with his own money; which we have now come to lay hold of
as his Heir! Friedrich, I believe, thinks little of all this, and
does not remember Uncle George at all. But such are the facts; and the
Country, regarded or not, is very blue and beautiful, with the Spring
sun shining on it; or with the sudden Spring storms gathering wildly
on the peaks, as if for permanent investiture, but vanishing again
straightway, leaving only a powdering of snow.

He met Schwerin at Neustadt, half-way to Jagerndorf; whither they
proceeded next day. "What news have you of the Enemy?" was Friedrich's
first question. Schwerin has no news whatever; only that the Enemy is
far off, hanging in long thin straggle from Olmutz westward. "I have a
spy out," said Schwerin; "but he has not returned yet,"--nor ever will,
he might have added. If diligent readers will now take to their Map,
and attend day by day, an invincible Predecessor has compelled what next
follows into human intelligibility, and into the Diary Form, for
their behoof;--readers of an idler turn can skip: but this confused
hurry-scurry of marches issues in something which all will have to
attend to.

"JAGERNDORF, 2d APRIL, 1741. This is the day when the Old Dessauer makes
appearance with the first brigades of his Camp at Gottin. Friedrich
is satisfied with what he has seen of Jagerndorf matters; and intends
returning towards Neisse, there to commence on the 4th. He is giving
his final orders, and on the point of setting off, when--Seven Austrian
Deserters, 'Dragoons of Lichtenstein,' come in; and report, That
Neipperg's Army is within a few miles! And scarcely had they done
answering and explaining, when sounds rise of musketry and cannon,
from our outposts on that side; intimating that here is Neipperg's Army
itself. Seldom in his life was Friedrich in an uglier situation. In
Jagerndorf, an open Town, are only some three or four thousand men,
'with three field-pieces, and as much powder as will charge them forty
times.' Happily these proved only the Pandour outskirts of Neipperg's
Army, scouring about to reconnoitre, and not difficult to beat; the
real body of it is ascertained to be at Freudenthal, fifteen miles to
westward, southwestward; making towards Neisse, it is guessed, by the
other or western road, which is the nearer to Glatz and to the Austrian
force there.

"Had Neipperg known what was in Jagerndorf--! But he does not know.
He marches on, next morning, at his usual slow rate; wide clouds of
Pandours accompanying and preceding him; skirmishing in upon all places
[upon Jagerndorf, for instance, though fifteen miles wide of their
road], to ascertain if Prussians are there. One can judge whether
Friedrich and Schwerin were thankful when the huge alarm produced
nothing! 'The mountain,' as Friedrich says, 'gave birth to a
mouse;'--nay it was a 'mouse' of essential vital use to Friedrich and
Schwerin; a warning, That they must instantly collect themselves, men
and goods; and begone one and all out of these parts, double-quick
towards Neisse. Not now with the hope of besieging Neisse,--far from
that;--but of getting their wide-scattered posts together thereabouts,
and escaping destruction in detail!

"APRIL 4th, HEAD-QUARTERS NEUSTADT. By violent exertion, with the
sacrifice only of some remote little storehouses, all is rendezvoused at
Jagerndorf, within two days; and this day they march; King and vanguard
reaching Neustadt, some twenty-five miles forward, some twenty still
from Neisse. At Neustadt, the posts that had stood in that neighborhood
are all assembled, and march with the King to-morrow. Of Neipperg,
except by transitory contact with his Pandour clouds, they have seen
nothing: his road is pretty much parallel to theirs, and some fifteen
miles leftward, Glatzward; goes through Zuckmantel, Ziegenhals, straight
upon Neisse. [Zuckmantel, "Twitch-Cloak," occurs more than once as a
Town's name in those regions: name which, says my Dryasdust without
smile visible, it got from robberies done on travellers, "twitchings of
your cloak," with stand-and-deliver, as you cross those wild mountain
spaces. (Zeiller, _Beschreibung des Konigreichs Boheim,_ Frankfurt,
1650;--a rather worthless old Book, like the rest of Zeiller's in that
kind.)] Neipperg's men are wearied with the long climb out of Mahren;
and he struggles towards Neisse as the first object;--holding upon Glatz
and Lentulus with his left. Numerous orders have been speeded from the
King's quarters, at Jagerndorf, and here at Neustadt; order especially
to Holstein-Beck at Frankenstein, and to Kalkstein at Grotkau, How they
are to unite, first with one another; and then to cross Neisse River,
and unite with the King,--to which end there is already a Bridge laid
for them, or about to be laid in good time.

"APRIL 5th, HEAD-QUARTERS STEINAU. Steinau is a little Town twenty miles
east of Neisse, on the road to Kosel [strongish place, on the Oder,
some forty miles farther east]: here Friedrich, with the main body,
take their quarters; rearguard being still at Neustadt. Temporary Bridge
there is, ready or all but ready, at Sorgau [twelve miles to north of
us, on our left]: by this Kalkstein, with his 10,000, comes punctually
across; while other brigades from the Kosel side are also punctual in
getting in; which is a great comfort: but of Holstein-Beck there is
no vestige, nor did there ever appear any. Holstein, 'whom none of
the repeated orders sent him could reach,' says Friedrich, 'remained
comfortably in his quarters; and looked at the Enemy rushing past him
to right and left, without troubling his head with them.' [_OEuvres de
Frederic,_ ii. 70.] The too easy-minded Holstein! Austrian Deserters
inform us, That General Neipperg arrived to-day with his Army in Neisse;
and has there been joined by Lentulus with the Glatz force, chiefly
cavalry, a good many thousands. We may be attacked, then, this very
night, if they are diligent? Friedrich marks out ground and plan in such
case, and how and where each is to rank himself. There came nothing of
attack; but the poor little Village of Steinau, with so many troops in
it and baggage-drivers stumbling about, takes fire; burns to ashes; 'and
we had great difficulty in saving the artillery and powder through
the narrow streets, with the houses all burning on each hand.'" Fancy
it,--and the poor shrieking inhabitants; gone to silence long since
with their shrieks, not the least whisper left of them. "The Prussians
bivouac on the field, each in the place that has been marked out. Night
extremely cold."

In this poor Steinau was a Schloss, which also went up in fire;
disclosing certain mysteries of an almost mythical nature to the German
Public. It was the Schloss of a Grafin von Callenberg, a dreadful old
Dowager of Medea-Messalina type, who "always wore pistols about
her;" pistols, and latterly, with more and more constancy, a
brandy-bottle;--who has been much on the tongues of men for a generation
back. Herr Nussler (readers recollect shifty Nussler) knew her, in the
way of business, at one time; with pity, if also with horror. Some weeks
ago, she was, by the Austrian Commandant at Neisse, summoned out of this
Schloss, as in correspondence with Prussian Officers: peasants breaking
in, tied her with ropes to the bed where she was; put bed and her into a
farm-cart, and in that scandalous manner delivered her at Neisse to the
Commandant; by which adventure, and its rages and unspeakabilities, the
poor old Callenberg is since dead. And now the very Schloss is dead; and
there is finis to a human dust-vortex, such as is sometimes noisy for
a time. Perhaps Nussler may again pass that way, if we wait. [Busching,
_Beitrage,_ ii.273 et seqq.]

"APRIL 6th, HEAD-QUARTERS FRIEDLAND. To Friedland on the 6th.,--and do
not, as expected, get away next morning. Friedland is ten miles down the
Neisse, which makes a bend of near ninety degrees opposite Steinau; and
runs thence straight north for the Oder, which it reaches some dozen
miles or more above Brieg. Both Steinau and Friedland are a good
distance from the River; Friedland, the nearer of the two, with Sorgau
Bridge direct west of it, is perhaps eight miles from that important
structure. There, being now tolerably rendezvoused, and in strength
for action, Friedrich purposes to cross Neisse River to-morrow; hoping
perhaps to meet Holstein-Beck, and incorporate him; anxious, at any
rate, to get between the Austrians and Ohlau, where his heavy Artillery,
his Ammunition, not to mention other indispensables, are lying. The
peculiarity of Neipperg at this time is, that the ground he occupies
bears no proportion to the ground he commands. His regular Horse are
supposed to be the best in the world; and of the Pandour kind, who
live, horse and man, mainly upon nothing (which means upon theft), his
supplies are unlimited. He sits like a volcanic reservoir, therefore,
not like a common fire of such and such intensity and power to
burn;--casts the ashes of him, on all sides, to many miles distance.

"FRIDAY 7th APRIL, FRIEDLAND (still Head-quarters). Unluckily, on
trying, there is no passage to be had at Sorgau. The Officer on charge
there still holds the Bridge, but has been obliged to break away the
farther end of it; 'Lentulus and Dragoons, several thousands strong'
(such is the report), having taken post there. Friedrich commands that
the Bridge be reinstated; field-pieces to defend it; Prince Leopold to
cross, and clear the ways. All Friday, Friedrich waiting at Friedland,
was spent in these details. Leopold in due force started for Sorgau,
himself with Cavalry in the van; Leopold did storm across, and go
charging and fencing, some space, on the other side; but, seeing that
it was in truth Lentulus, and Dragoons without limit, had to send report
accordingly; and then to wind himself to this side again, on new order
from the King. What is to be done, then? Here is no crossing. Friedrich
decides to go down the River; he himself to Lowen, perhaps near twenty
miles farther down, but where there is a Bridge and Highway leading
over; Prince Leopold, with the heavier divisions and baggages, to
Michelau, some miles nearer, and there to build his Pontoons and cross.
Which was effected, with success. And so,

"SATURDAY, 8th APRIL, With great punctuality, the King and Leopold met
at Michelau, both well across the Neisse. Here on Pontoons, Leopold had
got across about noon; and precisely as he was finishing, the King's
Column, which had crossed at Lowen, and come up the left bank again,
arrived. The King, much content with Leopold's behavior, nominates him
General of Infantry, a stage higher in promotion, there and then. Brieg
Blockade is, as natural, given up; the Blockading Body joining with the
King, this morning, while he passed that way. From Holstein-Beck not the
least whisper,--nor to him, if we knew it.

"Neipperg has quitted Neisse; but walks invisible within clouds of
Pandours; nothing but guessing as to Neipperg's motions. Rightly swift,
and awake to his business, Neipperg might have done, might still do, a
stroke upon us here. But he takes it easy; marches hardly five miles
a day, since he quitted Neisse again. From Michelau, Friedrich for his
part turns southwestward, in quest of Holstein and other interests;
marches towards Grotkau, not intending much farther that night. Thick
snow blowing in their faces, nothing to be seen ahead, the Prussian
column tramps along. [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ ii. 156.] In Leipe, a
little Hamlet sidewards of the road, short way from Grotkau, our Hussar
Vanguard had found Austrian Hussars; captured forty, and from them
learned that the Austrian Army is in Grotkau; that they took Grotkau
half an hour before, and are there! A poor Lieutenant Mitschepfal (whom
I think Friedrich used to know in Reinsberg) lay in Grotkau, 'with
some sixty recruits and deserters,' says Friedrich,--and with several
hundreds of camp-laborers (intended for the trenches, which will not now
be opened):--Mitschepfal made a stout defence; but, after three hours of
it, had to give in: and there is nothing now for us at Grotkau. 'Halt,'
therefore! Neipperg is evidently pushing towards Ohlau, towards Breslau,
though in a leisurely way; there it will behoove us to get the start of
him, if humanly possible: To the right about, therefore, without delay!
The Prussians repass Leipe (much to the wonder of its simple people);
get along, some seven miles farther, on the road for Ohlau; and quarter,
that night, in what handy villages there are; the King's Corps in two
Villages, which he calls 'Pogrel and Alsen,'"--which are to be found
still on the Map as "Pogarell and Alzenau," on the road from Lowen
towards Ohlau.

This is the end of that March into the Mountains, with Neisse Siege
hanging triumphant ahead. These are the King's quarters, this wintry
Spring night, Saturday, 8th April, 1741; and it is to be guessed there
is more of care than of sleep provided for him there. Seldom, in his
life, was Friedrich in a more critical position; and he well knows it,
none better. And could have his remorses upon it,--were these of the
least use in present circumstances. Here are two Letters which he
wrote that night; veiling, we perceive, a very grim world of thoughts;
betokening, however, a mind made up. Jordan, Prince August Wilhelm
Heir-Apparent, and other fine individuals who shone in the Schweidnitz
circle lately, are in Breslau, safe sheltered against this bad juncture;
Maupertuis was not so lucky as to go with them.


"POGARELL, 8th April, 1741.

"MY DEAREST BROTHER,--The Enemy has just got into Silesia; we are not
more than a mile (QUART DE MILLE) from them. To-morrow must decide our

"If I die, do not forget a Brother who has always loved you very
tenderly. I recommend to you my most dear Mother, my Domestics, and my
First Battalion [LIFEGUARD OF FOOT, men picked from his own old Ruppin
Regiment and from the disbanded Giants, star of all the Battalions].
[See Preuss, i. 144, iv. 309; Nicolai, _Beschreibung von Berlin,_ iii,
1252.] Eichel and Schuhmacher [Two of the Three Clerks] are informed
of all my testamentary wishes. Remember me always, you; but console
yourself for my death: the glory of the Prussian Arms, and the honor of
the House have set me in action, and will guide me to my last moment.
You are my sole Heir: I recommend to you, in dying, those whom I have
the most loved during my life: Keyserling, Jordan, Wartensleben; Hacke,
who is a very honest man; Fredersdorf [Factotum], and Eichel, in whom
you may place entire confidence. I bequeath 8,000 crowns (1,200 pounds,
which I have with me), to my Domestics; but all that I have elsewhere
depends on you. To each of my Brothers and Sisters make a present in
my name; a thousand affectionate regards (AMITIES ET COMPLIMENTS) to my
Sister of Baireuth. You know what I think on their score; and you know
better than I could tell you, the tenderness and all the sentiments of
most inviolable friendship with which I am, dearest Brother,

"Your faithful Brother and Servant till death,

"FEDERIC." [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxvi. 85; List of Friedrich's
Testamentary arrangements in Note there,--Six in all, at different
times, besides this.]

THE KING TO M. JORDAN (in Breslau).

"POGARELL, 8th April, 1741.

"My DEAR JORDAN,---We are going to fight to-morrow. Thou knowest the
chances of war; the life of Kings not more regarded than that of private
people. I know not what will happen to me.

"If my destiny is finished, remember a friend, who loves thee always
tenderly: if Heaven prolong my days, I will write to thee after
to-morrow, and thou wilt hear of our victory. Adieu, dear friend; I
shall love thee till death.

"FEDERIC." [Ib. xvii. 98.]

The King, we incidentally discover somewhere, "had no sleep that night;"
none, "nor the next night either,"--such a crisis coming, still not


"To-morrow," Sunday, did not prove the Day of Fight, after all. Being a
day of wild drifting snow, so that you could not see twenty paces,
there was nothing for it but to sit quiet. The King makes all his
dispositions; sketches out punctually, to the last item, where each is
to station himself, how the Army is to advance in Four Columns, ready
for Neipperg wherever he may be,--towards Ohlau at any rate, whither
it is not doubted Neipperg is bent. These snowy six-and-thirty hours
at Pogarell were probably, since the Custrin time, the most anxious of
Friedrich's life.

Neipperg, for his part, struggles forward a few miles, this Sunday,
April 9th; the Prussians rest under shelter in the wild weather.
Neipperg's head-quarters, this night, are a small Village or Hamlet,
called Mollwitz: there and in the adjacent Hamlets, chiefly in Laugwitz
and Gruningen, his Army lodges itself:--he is now fairly got between us
and Ohlau,--if, in the blowing drift, we knew it, or he knew it. But,
in this confusion of the elements, neither party knows of the other:
Neipperg has appointed that to-morrow, Monday, 10th, shall be a
rest-day:--appointment which could by no means be kept, as it turned

Friedrich had despatched messengers to Ohlau, that the force there
should join him; messengers are all captured. The like message had
already gone to Brieg, some days before, and the Blockading Body, a
good few thousand strong, quitted Brieg, as we saw, and effected their
junction with him. All day, this Sunday, 9th, it still snows and blows;
you cannot see a yard before you. No hope now of Holstein-Beck. Not the
least news from any quarter; Ohlau uncertain, too likely the wrong
way: What is to be done? We are cut off from our Magazines, have only
provision for one other day. "Had this weather lasted," says an Austrian
reporter of these things, "his Majesty would have passed his time
very ill." [_Feldzuge der Preussen_ (the complete Title is, _Sammlung
ungedruckter Nachrichten so die Geschichte der Feldzuge der Preussen von
1740 bis 1779 erlautern,_ or in English words, _Collection of unprinted
Narratives which elucidate the Prussian Campaigns from 1740 to 1779:_
5 vols. Dresden, 1782-1785), i. 33. Excellent Narratives, modest, brief,
effective (from Private Diaries and the like; many of them given also
in SEYFARTH); well worth perusal by the studious military man, and
creditably characteristic of the Prussian writers of them and actors in

Of the Battle of Mollwitz, as indeed of all Friedrich's Battles, there
are ample accounts new and old, of perfect authenticity and scientific
exactitude; so that in regard to military points the due clearness is,
on study, completely attainable. But as to personal or human details, we
are driven back upon a miscellany of sources; most of which, indeed all
of which except Nicolai, when he sparingly gives us anything, are of
questionable nature; and, without intending to be dishonest, do run out
into the mythical, and require to be used with caution. The latest and
notablest of these, in regard to Mollwitz, is the pamphlet of a Dr.
Fuchs; from which, in spite of its amazing quality, we expect to glean
a serviceable item here and there. [_Jubelschrift zur Feier_ (Centenary)
_der Schlacht bei Mollwitz, 10 April, 1741,_ von Dr. Medicinae Fuchs
(Brieg, 10th April, 1841).] It is definable as probably the most chaotic
Pamphlet ever written; and in many places, by dint of uncorrected
printing, bad grammar, bad spelling, bad sense, and in short, of
intrinsic darkness in so vivacious a humor, it has become abstruse as
Sanscrit; and really is a sharp test of what knowledge you otherwise
have of the subject. Might perhaps be used in that way, by the Examining
Military Boards, in Prussia and elsewhere, if no other use lie in it?
Fuchs's own contributions, mere ignorance, folly and credulity, are not
worth interpreting: but he has printed, and in the same abstruse form,
one or two curious Parish Manuscripts, particularly a "HISTORY" of this
War, privately jotted down by the then Schoolmaster of Mollwitz, a good
simple accurate old fellow-creature; through whose eyes it is here and
there worth while to look. In regard to Fuchs himself, a late Tourist

"This 'Centenary-Celebration Pamphlet' (Celebration itself, so obtuse
was the Country, did not take effect) was by a zealous, noisy but not
wise, old Medical Gentleman of these parts, called Dr. Fuchs (FOX);
who had set his heart on raising, by subscription, a proper National
Monument on the Field of Mollwitz, and so closing his old career.
Subscriptions did not take, in that April, 1841, nor in the following
months or twelve-months: the zealous Doctor, therefore, indignantly drew
his own purse; got a big Obelisk of Granite hewn ready, with suitable
Inscription on it; carted his big Obelisk from the quarries of Strehlen;
assembled the Country round it, on Mollwitz Field; and passionately
discoursed and pleaded, That at least the Country should bring
block-and-tackle, with proper framework, and set up this Obelisk on the
pedestal he had there built for it. The Country listened cheerfully
(for the old Doctor was a popular man, clever though flighty); but the
Country was again obtuse in the way of active furtherance, and would not
even bring block-and-tackle. The old Doctor had to answer, 'Well,
then!' and go on his way on more serious errands. The cattle have much
undermined, and rubbed down, his poor Pedestal, which is of rubble-work;
his Obelisk still lies mournfully horizontal, uninjured;--and really
ought to be set up, by some parish-rate, or effort of the community
otherwise." [Tourist's Note (Brieg, 1858).]

From the old Mollwitz Schoolmaster we distil the following:--

"MOLLWITZ, SUNDAY, 9th APRIL. Country for two days back: was in new
alarm by the Austrian Garrison of Brieg now left at liberty, who sallied
out upon the Villages about, and plundered black-cattle, sheep, grain,
and whatever they could come at. But this day (Sunday) in Mollwitz the
whole Austrian Army was upon us. First, there went 300 Hussars through
the Village to Gruningen, who quartered themselves there; and rushed
hither and thither into houses, robbing and plundering. From one they
took his best horses, from another they took linen, clothes, and other
furnitures and victual. General Neuburg [Neipperg] halted here at
Mollwitz, with the whole Army; before the Village, in mind to quarter.
And quarter was settled, so that a BAUER [Plough-Farmer] got four to
five companies to lodge, and a GARTNER [Spade-Farmer] two or three
hundred cavalry..The houses were full of Officers, the GARTE [Garths]
and the Fields full of horsemen and baggage; and all round, you saw
nothing but fires burning; the ZAUNE [wooden railings] were instantly
torn down for firewood; the hay, straw, barley and haver, were eaten
away, and brought to nothing; and everything from the barns was carried
out. And, as the whole Army could not lodge itself with us, 1,100
Infantry quartered at Laugwitz; Barzdorf got 400 Cavalry; and this day,
nobody knew what would come of it." [Extract in FUCHS, p. 6.]

Monday morning, the Prussians are up betimes; King Friedrich, as above
noted, had not, or had hardly at all, slept during those two nights,
such his anxieties. This morning, all is calm, sleeked out into spotless
white; Pogarell and the world are wrapt as in a winding-sheet, near two
feet of snow on the ground. Air hard and crisp; a hot sun possible
about noon season. "By daybreak" we are all astir, rendezvousing,
ranking,--into Four Columns; ready to advance in that fashion for
battle, or for deploying into battle, wherever the Enemy turn up. The
orders were all given overnight, two nights ago; were all understood,
too, and known to be rhadamanthine; and, down to the lowest pioneer, no
man is uncertain what to do. If we but knew where the Enemy is; on which
side of us; what doing, what intending?

Scouts, General-Adjutants are out on the quest; to no purpose hitherto.
One young General-Adjutant, Saldern, whose name we shall know again, has
ridden northward, has pulled bridle some way north of Pogarell; hangs,
gazing diligently through his spy-glass, there;--can see nothing but
a Plain of silent snow, with sparse bearding of bushes (nothing like
a hedge in these countries), and here and there a tree, the miserable
skeleton of a poplar:--when happily, owing to an Austrian Dragoon--Be
pleased to accept (in abridged form) the poor old Schoolmaster's account
of a small thing:--

"Austrian Dragoon of the regiment Althan, native of Kriesewitz in this
neighborhood, who was billeted in Christopher Schonwitz's, had been
much in want of a clean shirt, and other interior outfit; and had, last
night, imperatively despatched the man Scholzke, a farm-servant of the
said Christopher's, off to his, the Dragoon's, Father in Kriesewitz, to
procure such shirt or outfit, and to return early with the same; under
penalty of--Scholzke and his master dare not think under what penalty.
Scholzke, floundering homewards with the outfit from Kriesewitz,
flounders at this moment into Saldern's sphere of vision: 'Whence,
whither?' asks Saldern: 'Dost thou know where the Austrians are?'
(RECHT GUT: in Mollwitz), whither I am going!' Saldern takes him to
the King,--and that was the first clear light his Majesty had on the
matter." [Fuchs, pp. 6, 7.] That or something equivalent, indisputably
was; Saldern and "a Peasant," the account of it in all the Books.

The King says to this Peasant, "Thou shalt ride with me to-day!" And
Scholzke, Ploschke others call him,--heavy-footed rational biped knowing
the ground there practically, every yard of it,--did, as appears, attend
the King all morning; and do service, that was recognizable long years
afterwards. "For always," say the Books, "when the King held review
here, Ploschke failed not to make appearance on the field of Pogarell,
and get recognition and a gift from his Majesty."

At break of day the ranking and arranging began. Pogarell clock is near
striking ten, when the last squadron or battalion quits Pogarell; and
the Four Columns, punctiliously correct, are all under way. Two on each
side of Ohlau Highway; steadily advancing, with pioneers ahead to clear
any obstacle there may be. Few obstacles; here and there a little ditch
(where Ploschke's advice may be good, under the sleek of the snow), no
fences, smooth wide Plain, nothing you would even call a knoll in it
for many miles ahead and around. Mollwitz is some seven miles north from
Pogarell; intermediate lie dusty fractions of Villages more than one;
two miles or more from Mollwitz we come to Pampitz on our left, the next
considerable, if any of them can be counted considerable.

"All these Dorfs, and indeed most German ones," says my Tourist, "are
made on one type; an agglomerate of dusty farmyards, with their stalls
and barns; all the farmyards huddled together in two rows; a broad
negligent road between, seldom mended, never swept except by the
elements. Generally there is nothing to be seen, on each hand, but
thatched roofs, dead clay walls and rude wooden gates; sometimes a poor
public-house, with probable beer in it; never any shop, nowhere any
patch of swept pavement, or trim gathering-place for natives of a social
gossipy turn: the road lies sleepy, littery, good only for utilitarian
purposes. In the middle of the Village stands Church and Churchyard,
with probably some gnarled trees around it: Church often larger than you
expected; the Churchyard, always fenced with high stone-and-mortar wall,
is usually the principal military post of the place. Mollwitz, at the
present day, has something of whitewash here and there; one of the
farmer people, or more, wearing a civilized prosperous look. The belfry
offers you a pleasant view: the roofs and steeples of Brieg, pleasantly
visible to eastward; villages dotted about, Laugwitz, Barzdorf,
Hermsdorf, clear to your inquiring: and to westward, and to southward,
tops of Hill-country in the distance. Westward, twenty miles off, are
pleasant Hills; and among them, if you look well, shadowy Town-spires,
which you are assured are Strehlen, a place also of interest in
Friedrich's History.--Your belfry itself, in Mollwitz, is old, but not
unsound; and the big iron clock grunts heavily at your ear, or perhaps
bursts out in a too deafening manner, while you study the topographies.
Pampitz, too, seems prosperous, in its littery way; the Church is bigger
and newer,"--owing to an accident we shall hear of soon;--"Country
all about seems farmed with some industry, but with shallow ploughing;
liable to drought. It is very sandy in quality; shorn of umbrage;
painfully naked to an English eye." That is the big champaign, coated
with two feet of snow, where a great Action is now to go forward.

Neipperg, all this while, is much at his ease on this white resting-day,
He is just sitting down to dinner at the Dorfschulze's (Village Provost,
or miniature Mayor of Mollwitz), a composed man; when--rockets or
projectiles, and successive anxious sputterings from the steeple-tops
of Brieg, are hastily reported: what can it mean? Means little
perhaps;--Neipperg sends out a Hussar party to ascertain, and composedly
sets himself to dine. In a little while his Hussar party will come
galloping back, faster than it went; faster and fewer;--and there will
be news for Neipperg during dinner! Better here looking out, though it
was a rest-day?--

The truth is, the Prussian advance goes on with punctilious exactitude,
by no means rapidly. Colonel Count van Rothenburg,--the same whom we
lately heard of in Paris as a miracle of gambling,--he now here, in a
new capacity, is warily leading the Vanguard of Dragoons; warily, with
the Four Columns well to rear of him: the Austrian Hussar party came
upon Rothenburg, not two miles from Mollwitz; and suddenly drew bridle.
Them Rothenburg tumbles to the right-about, and chases;--finds, on
advancing, the Austrian Army totally unaware. It is thought, had
Rothenburg dashed forward, and sent word to the rearward to dash forward
at their swiftest, the Austrian Army might have been cut in pieces here,
and never have got together to try battle at all. But Rothenburg had
no orders; nay, had orders Not to get into fighting;--nor had Friedrich
himself, in this his first Battle, learned that feline or leonine
promptitude of spring which he subsequently manifested. Far from it!
Indeed this punctilious deliberation, and slow exactitude as on the
review-ground, is wonderful and noteworthy at the first start of
Friedrich;--the faithful apprentice-hand still rigorous to the rules of
the old shop. Ten years hence, twenty years hence, had Friedrich found
Neipperg in this condition, Neipperg's account had been soon settled!--
Rothenburg drove back the Hussars, all manner of successive Hussar
parties, and kept steadily ahead of the main battle, as he had been

Pampitz Village being now passed, and in rear of them to left, the
Prussian Columns halt for some instants; burst into field-music; take to
deploying themselves into line. There is solemn wheeling, shooting out
to right and left, done with spotless precision: once in line,--in two
lines, "each three men deep," lines many yards apart,--they will advance
on Mollwitz; still solemnly, field-music guiding, and banners spread.
Which will be a work of time. That the King's frugal field-dinner was
shot away, from its camp-table near Pampitz (as Fuchs has heard), is
evidently mythical; and even impossible, the Austrians having yet no
cannon within miles of him; and being intent on dining comfortably
themselves, not on firing at other people's dinners.

Fancy Neipperg's state of mind, busy beginning dinner in the little
Schulze's, or Town-Provost's house, when the Hussars dashed in at full
gallop, shouting "DER FEIND, The Enemy! All in march there; vanguard
this side of Pampitz; killed forty of us!"--Quick, your Plan of Battle,
then? Whitherward; How; What? answer or perish! Neipperg was infinitely
struck; dropt knife and fork: "Send for Romer, General of the Horse!"
Romer did the indispensable: a swift man, not apt to lose head. Romer's
battle-plan, I should hope, is already made; or it will fare ill with
Neipperg and him. But beat, ye drummers; gallop, ye aides-de-camp as
for life! The first thing is to get our Force together; and it lies
scattered about in three other Villages besides Mollwitz, miles apart.
Neipperg's trumpets clangor, his aides-de-camp gallop: he has his left
wing formed, and the other parts in a state of rapid genesis, Horse and
Foot pouring in from Laugwitz, Barzdorf, Gruningen, before the Prussians
have quite done deploying themselves, and got well within shot of him.
Romer, by birth a Saxon gentleman, by all accounts a superior soldier
and excellent General of Horse, commands this Austrian left wing,
General Goldlein, [(Anonymous) MARIA THERESA (already cited), p. 8 n.]
a Swiss veteran of good parts, presiding over the Infantry in that
quarter. Neipperg himself, were he once complete, will command the right

Neipperg is to be in two lines, as the Prussians are, with horse on each
wing, which is orthodox military order. His length of front, I should
guess, must have been something better than two English miles: a
sluggish Brook, called of Laugwitz, from the Village of that name which
lies some way across, is on his right hand; sluggish, boggy; stagnating
towards the Oder in those parts:--improved farming has, in our time,
mostly dried the strip of bog, and made it into coarse meadow, which is
rather a relief amid the dry sandy element. Neipperg's right is covered
by that. His left rests on the Hamlet of Gruningen, a mile-and-half
northeast of Mollwitz;--meant to have rested on Hermsdorf nearly east,
but the Prussians have already taken that up. The sun coming more and
more round to west of south (for it is now past noon) shines right
in Neipperg's face, and is against him: how the wind is, nobody
mentions,--probably there was no wind. His regular Cavalry, 8,600,
outnumbers twice or more that of the Prussians, not to mention their
quality; and he has fewer Infantry, somewhat in proportion;--the entire
force on each side is scarcely above 20,000, the Prussians slightly in
majority by count. In field-pieces Neipperg is greatly outnumbered; the
Prussians having about threescore, he only eighteen. [Kausler, _Atlas
der merkwurdigsten Schlachten,_ p. 232.] And now here ARE the Prussians,
close upon our left wing, not yet in contact with the right,--which in
fact is not yet got into existence;--thank Heaven they have not come
before our left got into existence, as our right (if you knew it) has
not yet quite finished doing!--

The Prussians, though so ready for deploying, have had their own
difficulties and delays. Between the boggy Brook of Laugwitz on their
left, and the Village of Hermsdorf, two miles distant, on which their
right wing is to lean, there proves not to be room enough; [_OEuvres de
Frederic,_ ii. 73.] and then, owing to mistake of Schulenburg (our old
pipe-clay friend, who commands the right wing of Horse here, and is
not up in time), there is too much room. Not room enough, for all the
Infantry, we say: the last three Battalions of the front line therefore,
the three on the utmost right, wheel round, and stand athwart; EN
POTENCE (as soldiers say), or at right angles to the first line;
hanging to it like a kind of lid in that part,--between Schulenburg and
them,--had Schulenburg come up. Thus are the three battalions got rid of
at least; "they cap the First Prussian line rectangularly, like a lid,"
says my authority,--lid which does not reach to the Second Line by a
good way. This accidental arrangement had material effects on the right
wing. Unfortunate Schulenburg did at last come up:--had he miscalculated
the distances, then? Once on the ground, he will find he does not reach
to Hermsdorf after all, and that there is now too much room! What his
degree of fault was I know not; Friedrich has long been dissatisfied
with these Dragoons of Schulenburg; "good for nothing, I always told
you" (at that Skirmish of Baumgarten): and now here is the General
himself fallen blundering!--In respect of Horse, the Austrians are
more than two to one; to make out our deficiency, the King, imitating
something he had read about Gustavus Adolphus, intercalates the
Horse-Squadrons, on each wing, with two Battalions of Grenadiers, and
SO lengthens them;--"a manoeuvre not likely to be again imitated," he

All these movements and arrangements are effected above a mile from
Mollwitz, no enemy yet visible. Once effected, we advance again with
music sounding, sixty pieces of artillery well in front,--steady,
steady!--across the floor of snow which is soon beaten smooth enough,
the stage, this day, of a great adventure. And now there is the Enemy's
left wing, Romer and his Horse; their right wing wider away, and not
yet, by a good space, within cannon-range of us. It is towards Two of
the afternoon; Schulenburg now on his ground, laments that he will not
reach to Hermsdorf;--but it may be dangerous now to attempt repairing
that error? At Two of the clock, being now fairly within distance, we
salute Romer and the Austrian left, with all our sixty cannon; and the
sound of drums and clarinets is drowned in universal artillery thunder.
Incessant, for they take (by order) to "swift-shooting," which is almost
of the swiftness of musketry in our Prussian practice; and from sixty
cannon, going at that rate, we may fancy some effect. The Austrian Horse
of the left wing do not like it; all the less as the Austrians, rather
short of artillery, have nothing yet to reply with.

No Cavalry can stand long there, getting shivered in that way; in such
a noise, were there nothing more. "Are we to stand here like milestones,
then, and be all shot without a stroke struck?" "Steady!" answers Romer.
But nothing can keep them steady: "To be shot like dogs (WIE HUNDE)! For
God's sake (URN GOTTES WILLEN), lead us forward, then, to have a stroke
at them!"--in tones ever more plangent, plaintively indignant; growing
ungovernable. And Romer can get no orders; Neipperg is on the extreme
right, many things still to settle there; and here is the cannon-thunder
going, and soon their very musketry will open. And--and there
is Schulenburg, for one thing, stretching himself out eastwards
(rightwards) to get hold of Hermsdorf; thinking this an opportunity for
the manoeuvre. "Forward!" cries Romer; and his thirty Squadrons, like
bottled whirlwind now at last let loose, dash upon Schulenburg's
poor ten (five of them of Schulenburg's own regiment),--who are turned
sideways too, trotting towards Hermsdorf, at the wrong moment,--and
dash them into wild ruin. That must have been a charge! That was the
beginning of hours of chaos, seemingly irretrievable, in that Prussian
right wing.

For the Prussian Horse fly wildly; and it is in vain to rally. The King
is among them; has come in hot haste, conjuring and commanding: poor
Schulenburg addresses his own regiment, "Oh, shame, shame! shall it be
told, then?" rallies his own regiment, and some others; charges fiercely
in with them again; gets a sabre-slash across the face,--does not mind
the sabre-slash, small bandaging will do;--gets a bullet through the
head (or through the heart, it is not said which); [_Helden-Geschichte,
_ i. 899.] and falls down dead; his regiment going to the winds again,
and HIS care of it and of other things concluding in this honorable
manner. Nothing can rally that right wing; or the more you rally, the
worse it fares: they are clearly no match for Romer, these Prussian
Horse. They fly along the front of their own First Line of Infantry,
they fly between the two Lines; Romer chasing,--till the fire of the
Infantry (intolerable to our enemies, and hitting some even of our
fugitive friends) repels him. For the notable point in all this was
the conduct of the Infantry; and how it stood in these wild vortexes
of ruin; impregnable, immovable, as if every man of it were stone;
and steadily poured out deluges of fire,--"five Prussian shots for two
Austrian:"--such is perfect discipline against imperfect; and the iron
ramrod against the wooden.

The intolerable fire repels Romer, when he trenches on the Infantry:
however, he captures nine of the Prussian sixty guns; has scattered
their Horse to the winds; and charges again and again, hoping to break
the Infantry too,--till a bullet kills him, the gallant Romer; and
some other has to charge and try. It was thought, had Goldlein with his
Austrian Infantry advanced to support Romer at this juncture, the Battle
had been gained. Five times, before Romer fell and after, the Austrians
charged here; tried the Second Line too; tried once to take Prince
Leopold in rear there. But Prince Leopold faced round, gave intolerable
fire; on one face as on the other, he, or the Prussian Infantry
anywhere, is not to be broken. "Prince Friedrich", one of the Margraves
of Schwedt, King's Cousin, whom we did not know before, fell in these
wild rallyings and wrestlings; "by a cannon-ball, at the King's hand,"
not said otherwise where. He had come as Volunteer, few weeks ago,
out of Holland, where he was a rising General: he has met his fate
here,--and Margraf Karl, his Brother, who also gets wounded, will be a
mournful man to-night.

The Prussian Horse, this right wing of it, is a ruined body; boiling in
wild disorder, flooding rapidly away to rearward,--which is the safest
direction to retreat upon. They "sweep away the King's person with
them," say some cautious people; others say, what is the fact, that
Schwerin entreated, and as it were commanded, the King to go; the Battle
being, to all appearance, irretrievable. Go he did, with small escort,
and on a long ride,--to Oppeln, a Prussian post, thirty-five miles
rearward, where there is a Bridge over the Oder and a safe country
beyond. So much is indubitable; and that he despatched an Aide-de-camp
to gallop into Brandenburg, and tell the Old Dessauer, "Bestir yourself!
Here all seems lost!"--and vanished from the Field, doubtless in very
desperate humor. Upon which the extraneous world has babbled a good
deal, "Cowardice! Wanted courage: Haha!" in its usual foolish way; not
worth answer from him or from us. Friedrich's demeanor, in that disaster
of his right wing, was furious despair rather; and neither Schulenburg
nor Margraf Friedrich, nor any of the captains, killed or left living,
was supposed to have sinned by "cowardice" in a visible degree!--

Indisputable it is, though there is deep mystery upon it, the King
vanishes from Mollwitz Field at this point for sixteen hours, into the
regions of Myth, "into Fairyland," as would once have been said; but
reappears unharmed in to-morrow's daylight: at which time, not sooner,
readers shall hear what little is to be said of this obscure and
much-disfigured small affair. For the present we hasten back to
Mollwitz,--where the murderous thunder rages unabated all this while;
the very noise of it alarming mankind for thirty miles round. At
Breslau, which is thirty good miles off, horrible dull grumble was heard
from the southern quarter ("still better, if you put a staff in the
ground, and set your ear to it"); and from the steeple-tops, there was
dim cloudland of powder-smoke discernible in the horizon there. "At
Liegnitz," which is twice the distance, "the earth sensibly shook,"
[_Helden-Geschichte;_ and Jordan's Letter, infra.]--at least the air
did, and the nerves of men.

"Had Goldlein but advanced with his Foot, in support of gallant Romer!"
say the Austrian Books. But Goldlein did not advance; nor is it certain
he would have found advantage in so doing: Goldlein, where he stands,
has difficulty enough to hold his own. For the notable circumstance,
miraculous to military men, still is, How the Prussian Foot (men who had
never been in fire, but whom Friedrich Wilhelm had drilled for twenty
years) stand their ground, in this distraction of the Horse. Not
even the two outlying Grenadier Battalions will give way: those poor
intercalated Grenadiers, when their Horse fled on the right and on the
left, they stand there, like a fixed stone-dam in that wild whirlpool
of ruin. They fix bayonets, "bring their two field-pieces to flank"
(Winterfeld was Captain there), and, from small arms and big, deliver
such a fire as was very unexpected. Nothing to be made of Winterfeld and
them. They invincibly hurl back charge after charge; and, with dogged
steadiness, manoeuvre themselves into the general Line again; or into
contact with the three superfluous Battalions, arranged EN POTENCE, whom
we heard of. Those three, ranked athwart in this right wing ("like a
lid," between First Line and second), maintained themselves in like
impregnable fashion,--Winterfeld commanding;--and proved unexpectedly,
thinks Friedrich, the saving of the whole. For they also stood their
ground immovable, like rocks; steadily spouting fire-torrents. Five
successive charges storm upon them, fruitless: "Steady, MEINE KINDER;
fix bayonets, handle ramrods! There is the Horse-deluge thundering in
upon you; reserve your fire, till you see the whites of their eyes, and
get the word; then give it them, and again give it them: see whether any
man or any horse can stand it!"

Neipperg, soon after Romer fell, had ordered Goldlein forward: Goldlein
with his Infantry did advance, gallantly enough; but to no purpose.
Goldlein was soon shot dead; and his Infantry had to fall back again,
ineffectual or worse. Iron ramrods against wooden; five shots to two:
what is there but falling back? Neipperg sent fresh Horse from his
right wing, with Berlichingen, a new famed General of Horse; Neipperg is
furiously bent to improve his advantage, to break those Prussians, who
are mere musketeers left bare, and thinks that will settle the account:
but it could in no wise be done. The Austrian Horse, after their fifth
trial, renounce charging; fairly refuse to charge any more; and withdraw
dispirited out of ball-range, or in search of things not impracticable.
The Hussar part of them did something of plunder to rearward;--and,
besides poor Maupertuis's adventure (of which by and by), and an attempt
on the Prussian baggage and knapsacks, which proved to be "too well
guarded,"--"burnt the Church of Pampitz," as some small consolation.
The Prussians had stript their knapsacks, and left them in Pampitz: the
Austrians, it was noticed, stript theirs in the Field; built walls of
them, and fired behind, the same, in a kneeling, more or less protected
posture,--which did not avail them much.

In fact, the Austrian Infantry too, all Austrians, hour after hour,
are getting wearier of it: neither Infantry nor Cavalry can stand being
riddled by swift shot in that manner. In spite of their knapsack walls,
various regiments have shrunk out of ball-range; and several cannot, by
any persuasion, be got to come into it again. Others, who do reluctantly
advance,--see what a figure they make; man after man edging away as he
can, so that the regiment "stands forty to eighty men deep, with lanes
through it every two or three yards;" permeable everywhere to Cavalry,
if we had them; and turning nothing to the Enemy but color-sergeants
and bare poles of a regiment! And Romer is dead, and Goldlein of the
Infantry is dead. And on their right wing, skirted by that marshy Brook
of Laugwitz,--Austrian right wing had been weakened by detachments, when
Berlichingen rode off to succeed Romer,--the Austrians are suffering:
Posadowsky's Horse (among whom is Rothenburg, once vanguard),
strengthened by remnants who have rallied here, are at last prospering,
after reverses. And the Prussian fire of small arms, at such rate, has
lasted now for five hours. The Austrian Army, becoming instead of a web
a mere series of flying tatters, forming into stripes or lanes in the
way we see, appears to have had about enough.

These symptoms are not hidden from Schwerin. His own ammunition, too, he
knows is running scarce, and fighters here and there are searching the
slain for cartridges:--Schwerin closes his ranks, trims and tightens
himself a little; breaks forth into universal field-music, and with
banners spread, starts in mass wholly, "Forwards!" Forwards towards
these Austrians and the setting sun.

An intelligent Austrian Officer, writing next week from Neisse,
[_Feldzuge der Preussen_ (above cited), i. 38.]' confesses he never
saw anything more beautiful. "I can well say, I never in my life saw
anything more beautiful. They marched with the greatest steadiness,
arrow-straight, and their front like a line (SCHNURGLEICH), as if they
had been upon parade. The glitter of their clear arms shone strangely
in the setting sun, and the fire from them went on no otherwise than a
continued peal of thunder." Grand picture indeed; but not to be enjoyed
as a Work of Art, for it is coming upon us! "The spirits of our Army sank
altogether", continues he; "the Foot plainly giving way, Horse refusing
to come forward, all things wavering towards dissolution:"--so that
Neipperg, to avoid worse, gives the word to go;--and they roll off at
double-quick time, through Mollwitz, over Laugwitz Bridge and Brook,
towards Grotkau by what routes they can. The sun is just sunk; a quarter
to eight, says the intelligent Austrian Officer,--while the Austrian
Army, much to its amazement, tumbles forth in this bad fashion.

They had lost nine of their own cannon, and all of those Prussian nine
which they once had, except one: eight cannon MINUS, in all. Prisoners
of them were few, and none of much mark: two Field-marshals, Romer and
Goldlein, lie among the dead; four more of that rank are wounded. Four
standards too are gone; certain kettle-drums and the like trophies,
not in great number. Lieutenant-General Browne was of these retreating
Austrians; a little fact worth noting: of his actions this day, or of
his thoughts (which latter surely must have been considerable), no hint
anywhere. The Austrians were not much chased; though they might have
been,--fresh Cavalry (two Ohlau regiments, drawn hither by the sound
[Interesting correct account of their movements and adventures this day
and some previous days, in Nicolai, _Anekdoten,_ ii. 142-148.]) having
hung about to rear of them, for some time past; unable to get into the
Fight, or to do any good till now. Schwerin, they say, though he had
two wounds, was for pursuing vigorously: but Leopold of Anhalt
over-persuaded him; urged the darkness, the uncertainty. Berlichingen,
with their own Horse, still partly covered their rear; and the
Prussians, Ohlauers included, were but weak in that branch of the
service. Pursuit lasted little more than two miles, and was never hot.
The loss of men, on both sides, was not far from equal, and rather in
favor of the Austrian side:--Austrians counted in killed, wounded and
missing, 4,410 men; Prussians 4,613; [Orlich, i. 108; Kansler, p. 235,
correct; _Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 895, incorrect.]--but the Prussians
bivouacked on the ground, or quartered in these Villages, with victory
to crown them, and the thought that their hard day's work had been well
done. Besides Margraf Friedrich, Volunteer from Holland, there lay among
the slain Colonel Count von Finkenstein (Old Tutor's Son), King's friend
from boyhood, and much loved. He was of the six whom we saw consulting
at the door at Reinsberg, during a certain ague-fit; and he now rests
silent here, while the matter has only come thus far.

Such was Mollwitz, the first Battle for Silesia; which had to cost
many Battles first and last. Silesia will be gained, we can expect, by
fighting of this kind in an honest cause. But here is something already
gained, which is considerable, and about which there is no doubt. A
new Military Power, it would appear, has come upon the scene; the
Gazetteer-and-Diplomatic world will have to make itself familiar with a
name not much heard of hitherto among the Nations. "A Nation which can
fight," think the Gazetteers; "fight almost as the very Swedes did; and
is led on by its King too,--who may prove, in his way, a very Charles
XII., or small Macedonia's Madman, for aught one knows?" In which latter
branch of their prognostic the Gazetteers were much out.--

The Fame of this Battle, which is now so sunk out of memory, was great
in Europe; and struck, like a huge war-gong, with long resonance,
through the general ear. M. de Voltaire had run across to Lille in those
Spring days: there is a good Troop of Players in Lille; a Niece, Madame
Denis, wife of some Military Commissariat Denis, important in those
parts, can lodge the divine Emilie and me;--and one could at last see
MAHOMET, after five years of struggling, get upon the boards, if not yet
in Paris by a great way, yet in Lille, which is something. MAHOMET is
getting upon the boards on those terms; and has proceeded, not amiss,
through an Act or two, when a Note from the King of Prussia was handed
to Voltaire, announcing the victory of Mollwitz. Which delightful
Note Voltaire stopt the performance till he read to the Audience:
"Bravissimo!" answered the Audience. "You will see," said M. de Voltaire
to the friends about him, "this Piece at Mollwitz will make mine
succeed:" which proved to be the fact. [Voltaire, _OEuvres (Vie
Privee),_ ii. 74.] For the French are Anti-Austrian; and smell great
things in the wind. "That man is mad, your Most Christian Majesty?" "Not
quite; or at any rate not mad only!" think Louis and his Belleisles now.

Dimly poring in those old Books, and squeezing one's way into
face-to-face view of the extinct Time, we begin to notice what
a clangorous rumor was in Mollwitz to the then generation of
mankind;--betokening many things; universal European War, as the first
thing. Which duly came to pass; as did, at a slower rate, the ulterior
thing, not yet so apparent, that indeed a new hour had struck on the
Time Horologe, that a New Epoch had risen. Yes, my friends. New Charles
XII. or not, here truly has a new Man and King come upon the scene:
capable perhaps of doing something? Slumberous Europe, rotting amid its
blind pedantries, its lazy hypocrisies, conscious and unconscious: this
man is capable of shaking it a little out of its stupid refuges of
lies, and ignominious wrappages and bed-clothes, which will be its
grave-clothes otherwise; and of intimating to it, afar off, that there
is still a Veracity in Things, and a Mendacity in Sham-Things, and
that the difference of the two is infinitely more considerable than was

This Mollwitz is a most deliberate, regulated, ponderously impressive
(GRAVITATISCH) Feat of Arms, as the reader sees; done all by Regulation
methods, with orthodox exactitude; in a slow, weighty, almost
pedantic, but highly irrefragable manner. It is the triumph of Prussian
Discipline; of military orthodoxy well put in practice: the honest
outcome of good natural stuff in those Brandenburgers, and of the
supreme virtues of Drill. Neipperg and his Austrians had much despised
Prussian soldiering: "Keep our soup hot," cried they, on running out
this day to rank themselves; "hot a little, till we drive these fellows
to the Devil!" That was their opinion, about noon this day: but that is
an opinion they have renounced for all remaining days and years.--It is
a Victory due properly to Friedrich Wilhelm and the Old Dessauer, who
are far away from it. Friedrich Wilhelm, though dead, fights here, and
the others only do his bidding on this occasion. His Son, as yet,
adds nothing of his own; though he will ever henceforth begin largely
adding,--right careful withal to lose nothing, for the Friedrich Wilhelm
contribution is invaluable, and the basis of everything;--but it is
curious to see in what contrast this first Battle of Friedrich's is with
his latter and last ones.

Considering the Battle of Mollwitz, and then, in contrast, the
intricate Pragmatic Sanction, and what their consequences were and their
antecedents, it is curious once more! This, then, is what the Pragmatic
Sanction has come to? Twenty years of world-wide diplomacy, cunningly
devised spider-threads overnetting all the world, have issued here.
Your Congresses of Cambray, of Soissons, your Grumkow-Seckendorf
Machiavelisms, all these might as well have lain in their bed. Real
Pragmatic Sanction would have been, A well-trained Army and your
Treasury full. Your Treasury is empty (nothing in it but those foolish
200,000 English guineas, and the passionate cry for more): and your Army
is not trained as this Prussian one; cannot keep its ground against this
one. Of all those long-headed Potentates, simple Friedrich Wilhelm, son
of Nature, who had the honesty to do what Nature taught him, has come
out, gainer. You all laughed at him as a fool: do you begin to see
now who was wise, who fool? He has an Army that "advances on you with
glittering musketry, steady as on the parade-ground, and pours out fire
like one continuous thunder-peal;" so that, strange as it seems, you
find there will actually be nothing for you but--taking to your heels,
shall we say?--rolling off with despatch, as second-best! These things
are of singular omen. Here stands one that will avenge Friedrich
Wilhelm,--if Friedrich Wilhelm were not already sufficiently avenged by
the mere verdict of facts, which is palpably coming out, as Time peels
the wiggeries away from them more and more. Mollwitz and such places
are full of veracity; and no head is so thick as to resist conviction in
that kind.


Of the King's Flight, or sudden disappearance into Fairyland, during
this first Battle, the King himself, who alone could have told us fully,
maintained always rigorous silence, and nowhere drops the least hint.
So that the small fact has come down to us involved in a great bulk
of fabulous cobwebs, mostly of an ill-natured character, set agoing by
Voltaire, Valori and others (which fabulous process, in the good-natured
form, still continues itself); and, except for Nicolai's good industry
(in his ANEKDOTEN-Book), we should have difficulty even in guessing,
not to say understanding, as is now partly possible. The few real
particulars--and those do verify themselves, and hang perfectly
together, when the big globe of fable is burnt off from them--are to the
following effect.

"Battle lost," said Schwerin: "but what is the loss of a Battle to that
of your Majesty's own Person? For Heaven's sake, go; get across the
Oder; be you safe, till this decide itself!" That was reasonable
counsel. If defeated, Schwerin can hope to retreat upon Ohlau, upon
Breslau, and save the Magazines. This side the Oder, all will be
movements, a whirlpool of Hussars; but beyond the Oder, all is quiet,
open. To Ohlau, to Glogau, nay home to Brandenburg and the Old Dessauer
with his Camp at Gottin, the road is free, by the other side of the
Oder.--Schwerin and Prince Leopold urging him, the King did ride away;
at what hour, with what suite, or with what adventures (not mostly
fabulous) is not known:--but it was towards Lowen, fifteen miles off
(where he crossed Neisse River, the other day); and thence towards
Oppeln, on the Oder, eighteen miles farther; and the pace was swift.
Leopold, on reflection, ordered off a Squadron of Gens-d'Armes to
overtake his Majesty, at Lowen or sooner; which they never did. Passing
Pampitz, the King threw Fredersdorf a word, who was among the baggage
there: "To Oppeln; bring the Purse, the Privy Writings!" Which
Fredersdorf, and the Clerks (and another Herr, who became Nicolai's
Father-in-law in after years) did; and joined the King at Lowen; but I
hope stopped there.

The King's suite was small, names not given; but by the time he got to
Lowen, being joined by cavalry fugitives and the like, it had got to
be seventy persons: too many for the King. He selected what was his of
them; ordered the gates to be shut behind him on all others, and again
rode away. The Leopold Squadron of Gens-d'Armes did not arrive till
after his departure; and having here lost trace of him, called halt,
and billeted for the night. The King speeds silently to Oppeln on his
excellent bay horse, the worse-mounted gradually giving in. At Oppeln
is a Bridge over the Oder, a free Country beyond: Regiment La Motte
lay, and as the King thinks, still lies in Oppeln;--but in that he is
mistaken. Regiment La Motte is with the baggage at Pampitz, all this
day; and a wandering Hussar Party, some sixty Austrians, have taken
possession of Oppeln. The King, and the few who had not yet broken down,
arrive at the Gate of Oppeln, late, under cloud of night: "Who goes?"
cried the sentry from within. "Prussians! A Prussian Courier!" answer
they;--and are fired upon through the gratings; and immediately draw
back, and vanish unhurt into Night again. "Had those Hussars only let
him in!" said Austria afterwards: but they had not such luck. It was at
this point, according to Valori, that the King burst forth into audible
ejaculations of a lamentable nature. There is no getting over, then,
even to Brandenburg, and in an insolvent condition. Not open insolvency
and bankrupt disgrace; no, ruin, and an Austrian jail, is the one
outlook. "O MON DIEU, O God, it is too much (C'EN EST TROP)!" with
other the like snatches of lamentation; [Valori, i. 104.] which are not
inconceivable in a young man, sleepless for the third night, in these
circumstances; but which Valori knows nothing of, except by malicious
rumor from the valet class,--who have misinformed Valori about several
other points.

The King riding diligently, with or without ejaculations, back towards
Lowen, comes at an early hour to the Mill of Hilbersdorf, within a
mile-and-half of that place. He alights at the Mill; sends one of his
attendants, almost the only one now left, to inquire what is in Lowen.
The answer, we know, is: "A squadron of Gens-d'Armes there; furthermore,
a Prussian Adjutant come to say, Victory at Mollwitz!" Upon which the
King mounts again;--issues into daylight, and concludes these
mythical adventures. That "in Lowen, in the shop at the corner of the
Market-place, Widow Panzern, subsequently Wife Something-else, made his
Majesty a cup of coffee, and served a roast fowl along with it," cannot
but be welcome news, if true; and that his Majesty got to Mollwitz
again before dark that same "day," [Fuchs, p. 11.] is liable to no

In this way was Friedrich snatched by Morgante into Fairyland, carried
by Diana to the top of Pindus (or even by Proserpine to Tartarus,
through a bad sixteen hours), till the Battle whirlwind subsided.
Friendly imaginative spirits would, in the antique time, have so
construed it: but these moderns were malicious-valetish, not friendly;
and wrapped the matter in mere stupid worlds of cobweb, which require
burning. Friedrich himself was stone-silent on this matter, all his life
after; but is understood never quite to have pardoned Schwerin for the
ill-luck of giving him such advice. [Nicolai, ii. 180-195 (the one true
account); Laveaux, i. 194; Valori, i. 104; &c., &c. (the myth in various
stages). Most distractedly mythical of all, with the truth clear before
it, is the latest version, just come out, in _Was sich die Schlesier vom
alten Fritz erzahlen_ (Brieg, 1860), pp. 113-125.]

Friedrich's adventure is not the only one of that kind at Mollwitz;
there is another equally indubitable,--which will remain obscure,
half-mythical to the end of the world. The truth is, that Right Wing of
the Prussian Army was fallen chaotic, ruined; and no man, not even
one who had seen it, can give account of what went on there. The
sage Maupertuis, for example, had climbed some tree or place of
impregnability ("tree" Voltaire calls it, though that is hardly
probable), hoping to see the Battle there. And he did see it, much too
clearly at last! In such a tide of charging and chasing, on that
Right Wing and round all the Field in the Prussian rear; in such wide
bickering and boiling of Horse-currents,--which fling out, round all
the Prussian rear quarters, such a spray of Austrian Hussars for one
element,--Maupertuis, I have no doubt, wishes much he were at home,
doing his sines and tangents. An Austrian Hussar-party gets sight of
him, on his tree or other standpoint (Voltaire says elsewhere he was
mounted on an ass, the malicious spirit!)--too certain, the Austrian
Hussars got sight of him: his purse, gold watch, all he has of movable
is given frankly; all will not do. There are frills about the man,
fine laces, cloth; a goodish yellow wig on him, for one thing:--their
Slavonic dialect, too fatally intelligible by the pantomime accompanying
it, forces sage Maupertuis from his tree or standpoint; the big red face
flurried into scarlet, I can fancy; or scarlet and ashy-white mixed;
and--Let us draw a veil over it! He is next seen shirtless, the once
very haughty, blustery, and now much-humiliated man; still conscious
of supreme acumen, insight and pure science; and, though an Austrian
prisoner and a monster of rags, struggling to believe that he is
a genius and the Trismegistus of mankind. What a pickle! The sage
Maupertuis, as was natural, keeps passionately asking, of gods and men,
for an Officer with some tincture of philosophy, or even who could speak
French. Such Officer is at last found; humanely advances him money, a
shirt and suit of clothes; but can in nowise dispense with his going
to Vienna as prisoner. Thither he went accordingly; still in a mythical
condition. Of Voltaire's laughing, there is no end; and he changes the
myth from time to time, on new rumors coming; and there is no truth to
be had from him. [Voltaire, _OEuvres (Vie Prive),_ ii. 33-34; and see
his LETTERS for some were after the event.]

This much is certain: at Vienna, Maupertuis, prisoner on parole, glided
about for some time in deep eclipse, till the Newspapers began babbling
of him. He confessed then that he was Maupertuis, Flattener of the
Earth; but for the rest, "told rather a blind story about himself," says
Robinson; spoke as if he had been of the King's suite, "riding with the
King," when that Hussar accident befell;--rather a blind story, true
story being too sad. The Vienna Sovereignties, in the turn things had
taken, were extremely kind; Grand-Duke Franz handsomely pulled out his
own watch, hearing what road the Maupertuis one had gone; dismissed
the Maupertuis, with that and other gifts, home:--to Brittany (not
to Prussia), till times calmed for engrafting the Sciences.
[_Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 902; Robinson's Despatch (Vienna, 22d April,
1741, n.s.); Voltaire, ubi supra.]

On Wednesday, Friedrich writes this Note to his Sister; the first
utterance we have from him since those wild roamings about Oppeln and
Hilbersdorf Mill:--

KING TO WILHELMINA (at Baireuth; two days after Mollwitz).

"OHLAU, 12th April, 1741.

"MY DEAREST SISTER,--I have the satisfaction to inform you that we
have yesterday [day before yesterday; but some of us have only had one
sleep!] totally beaten the Austrians. They have lost more than 5,000
men, killed, wounded and prisoners. We have lost Prince Friedrich,
Brother of Margraf Karl; General Schulenburg, Wartensleben of the
Carabineers, and many other Officers. Our troops did miracles; and the
result shows as much. It was one of the rudest Battles fought within
memory of man.

"I am sure you will take part in this happiness; and that you will
not doubt of the tenderness with which I am, my dearest Sister,--Yours
wholly, FEDERIC." [_OEuvres,_ xxvii. i. 101.]

And on the same day there comes, from Breslau, Jordan's Answer to the
late anxious little Note from Pogarell; anxieties now gone, and smoky
misery changed into splendor of flame:

JORDAN TO THE KING (finds him at Ohlau).

"BRESLAU, 11th April, 1741. "SIRE,--Yesterday I was in terrible alarms.
The sound of the cannon heard, the smoke of powder visible from the
steeple-tops here; all led us to suspect that there was a Battle going
on. Glorious confirmation of it this morning! Nothing but rejoicing
among all the Protestant inhabitants; who had begun to be in
apprehension, from the rumors which the other party took pleasure in
spreading. Persons who were in the Battle cannot enough celebrate
the coolness and bravery of your Majesty. For myself, I am at the
overflowing point. I have run about all day, announcing this glorious
news to the Berliners who are here. In my life I have never felt a more
perfect satisfaction.

"M. de Camas is here, very ill for the last two days; attack of
fever--the Doctor hopes to bring him through,"--which proved beyond the
Doctor: the good Camas died here three days hence (age sixty-three); an
excellent German-Frenchman, of much sense, dignity and honesty; familiar
to Friedrich from infancy onwards, and no doubt regretted by him as
deserved. The Widow Camas, a fine old Lady, German by birth, will again
come in view. Jordan continues:--

"One finds, at the corner of every street, an orator of the Plebs
celebrating the warlike feats of your Majesty's troops. I have often,
in my idleness, assisted at these discourses: not artistic eloquence, it
must be owned, but spurting rude from the heart...."

Jordan adds in his next Note: "This morning (14th) I quitted M. de
Camas; who, it is thought, cannot last the day. I have hardly left him
during his illness:" [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xvii. 99.]--and so let
that scene close.

Neipperg, meanwhile, had fallen back on Neisse; taken up a strong
encampment in that neighborhood; he lies thereabouts all summer;
stretched out, as it were, in a kind of vigilant dog-sleep on the
threshold, keeping watch over Neisse, and tries fighting no more at
this time, or indeed ever after, to speak of. And always, I think, with
disadvantage, when he does try a little. He had been Grand-Duke Franz's
Tutor in War-matters; had got into trouble at Belgrade once before, and
was almost hanged by the Turks. George II. had occasionally the benefit
of him, in coming years. Be not too severe on the poor man, as the
Vienna public was; he had some faculty, though not enough. "Governor of
Luxemburg," before long: there, for most part, let him peacefully
drill, and spend the remainder of his poor life. Friedrich says, neither
Neipperg nor himself, at this time, knew the least of War; and that it
would be hard to settle which of them made the more blunders in their
Silesian tussle.

Friedrich, in about three weeks hence, was fully ready for opening
trenches upon Brieg; did open trenches, accordingly, by moonlight, in
a grand nocturnal manner (as readers shall see anon); and, by vigorous
cannonading,--Marechal de Belleisle having come, by this time, to
enjoy the fine spectacle,--soon got possession of Brieg, and held
it thenceforth. Neisse now alone remained, with Neipperg vigilantly
stretched upon the threshold of it. But the Marechal de Belleisle, we
say, had come; that was the weighty circumstance. And before Neisse can
be thought of, there is a whole Europe, bickering aloft into conflict;
embattling itself from end to end, in sequel of Mollwitz Battle;
and such a preliminary sea of negotiating, diplomatic finessing,
pulse-feeling, projecting and palavering, with Friedrich for centre all
summer, as--as I wish readers could imagine without my speaking of it
farther! But they cannot.



The Battle of Mollwitz went off like a signal-shot among the Nations;
intimating that they were, one and all, to go battling. Which they did,
with a witness; making a terrible thing of it, over all the world,
for above seven years to come. Foolish Nations; doomed to settle their
jarring accounts in that terrible manner! Nay, the fewest of them had
any accounts, except imaginary ones, to settle there at all; and they
went into the adventure GRATIS, spurred on by spectralities of the sick
brain, by phantasms of hope, phantasms of terror; and had, strictly
speaking, no actual business in it whatever.

Not that Mollwitz kindled Europe; Europe was already kindled for
some two years past;--especially since the late Kaiser died, and his
Pragmatic Sanction was superadded to the other troubles afoot. But ever
since that Image of JENKINS'S EAR had at last blazed up in the slow
English brain, like a fiery constellation or Sign in the Heavens,
symbolic of such injustices and unendurabilities, and had lighted the
Spanish-English War, Europe was slowly but pretty surely taking fire.
France "could not see Spain humbled," she said: England (in its own dim
feeling, and also in the fact of things) could not do at all without
considerably humbling Spain. France, endlessly interested in that
Spanish-English matter, was already sending out fleets, firing
shots,--almost, or altogether, putting forth her hand in it. "In which
case, will not, must not, Austria help us?" thought England,--and was
asking, daily, at Vienna (with intense earnestness, but without the
least result), through Excellency Robinson there, when the late Kaiser
died. Died, poor gentleman;--and left his big Austrian Heritages lying,
as it were, in the open market-place; elaborately tied by diplomatic
packthread and Pragmatic Sanction; but not otherwise protected against
the assembled cupidities of mankind! Independently of Mollwitz, or of
Silesia altogether, it was next to impossible that Europe could long
avoid blazing out; especially unless the Spanish-English quarrel got
quenched, of which there was no likelihood.

But if not as cause, then as signal, or as signal and cause together
(which it properly was), the Battle of Mollwitz gave the finishing
stroke, and set all in motion. This was "the little stone broken loose
from the mountain;" this, rather than the late Kaiser's Death, which
Friedrich defined in that manner. Or at least, this was the first LEAP
it took; hitting other stones big and little, which again hit others
with their leaping and rolling,--till the whole mountain-side is in
motion under law of gravity, and you behold one wide stone-torrent
thundering towards the valleys; shivering woods, farms, habitations
clean away with it: fatal to any Image of composite Clay and Brass which
it may meet!

There is, accordingly, from this point, a change in Friedrich's Silesian
Adventure; which becomes infinitely more complicated for him,--and for
those that write of him, no less! Friedrich's business henceforth is not
to be done by direct fighting, but rather by waiting to see how, and
on what side, others will fight: nor can we describe or understand
Friedrich's business, except as in connection with the immense,
obsolete, and indeed delirious Phenomenon called Austrian-Succession
War, upon which it is difficult to say any human word. If History,
driven upon Dismal Swamp with its horrors and perils, can get across
unsunk, she will be lucky!

For, directly on the back of Mollwitz, there ensued, first, an explosion
of Diplomatic activity such as was never seen before; Excellencies
from the four winds taking wing towards Friedrich; and talking and
insinuating, and fencing and fugling, after their sort, in that
Silesian Camp of his, the centre being there. A universal rookery of
Diplomatists;--whose loud cackle and cawing is now as if gone mad to
us; their work wholly fallen putrescent and avoidable, dead to all
creatures. And secondly, in the train of that, there ensued a universal
European War, the French and the English being chief parties in it;
which abounds in battles and feats of arms, spirited but delirious, and
cannot be got stilled for seven or eight years to come; and in which
Friedrich and his War swim only as an intermittent Episode henceforth.
What to do with such a War; how extricate the Episode, and leave the
War lying? The War was at first a good deal mad; and is now, to men's
imagination, fallen wholly so; who indeed have managed mostly to forget
it; only the Episode (reduced thereby to an UNintelligible state)
retaining still some claims on them.

It is singular into what oblivion the huge Phenomenon called
Austrian-Succession War has fallen; which, within a hundred years ago
or little more, filled all mortal hearts! The English were principals
on one side; did themselves fight in it, with their customary fire, and
their customary guidance ("courageous Wooden Pole with Cocked Hat," as
our friend called it); and paid all the expenses, which were extremely
considerable, and are felt in men's pockets to this day: but the English
have more completely forgotten it than any other People. "Battle of
Dettingen, Battle of Fontenay,--what, in the Devil's name, were we ever
doing there?" the impatient Englishman asks; and can give no answer,
except the general one: "Fit of insanity; DELIRIUM TREMENS, perhaps
FURENS;--don't think of it!" Of Philippi and Arbela educated Englishmen
can render account; and I am told young gentlemen entering the Army are
pointedly required to say who commanded at Aigos-Potamos and wrecked the
Peloponnesian War: but of Dettingen and Fontenoy, where is the
living Englishman that has the least notion, or seeks for any? The
Austrian-Succession War did veritably rage for eight years, at a
terrific rate, deforming the face of Earth and Heaven; the English
paying the piper always, and founding their National Debt thereby:--but
not even that could prove mnemonic to them; and they have dropped the
Austrian-Succession War, with one accord, into the general dustbin, and
are content it should lie there. They have not, in their language,
the least approach to an intelligible account of it: How it went on,
whitherward, whence; why it was there at all,--are points dark to the
English, and on which they do not wish to be informed. They have quitted
the matter, as an unintelligible huge English-and-Foreign Delirium
(which in good part it was); Delirium unintelligible to them; tedious,
not to say in parts, as those of the Austrian Subsidies, hideous and
disgusting to them; happily now fallen extinct; and capable of being
skipped, in one's inquiries into the wonders of this England and this
World. Which, in fact, is a practical conclusion not so unwise as it

"Wars are not memorable," says Sauerteig, "however big they may have
been, whatever rages and miseries they may have occasioned, or however
many hundreds of thousands they may have been the death of,--except when
they have something of World-History in them withal. If they are found
to have been the travail-throes of great or considerable changes,
which continue permanent in the world, men of some curiosity cannot but
inquire into them, keep memory of them. But if they were travail-throes
that had no birth, who of mortals would remember them? Unless
perhaps the feats of prowess, virtue, valor and endurance, they might
accidentally give rise to, were very great indeed. Much greater than
the most were, which came out in that Austrian-Succession case! Wars
otherwise are mere futile transitory dust-whirlwinds stilled in blood;
extensive fits of human insanity, such as we know are too apt to break
out;--such as it rather beseems a faithful Son of the House of Adam NOT
to speak about again; as in houses where the grandfather was hanged, the
topic of ropes is fitly avoided.

"Never again will that War, with its deliriums, mad outlays of blood,
treasure, and of hope and terror, and far-spread human destruction,
rise into visual life in any imagination of living man. In vain shall
Dryasdust strive: things mad, chaotic and without ascertainable purpose
or result, cannot be fixed into human memories. Fix them there by never
so many Documentary Histories, elaborate long-eared Pedantries, and
cunning threads, the poor human memory has an alchemy against such ill
usage;--it forgets them again; grows to know them as a mere torpor, a
stupidity and horror, and instinctively flies from Dryasdust and them."

Alive to any considerable degree, in the poor human imagination, this
Editor does not expect or even wish the Austrian-Succession War to be.
Enough for him if it could be understood sufficiently to render his
poor History of Friedrich intelligible. For it enwraps Friedrich like
a world-vortex henceforth; modifies every step of his existence
henceforth; and apart from it, there is no understanding of his business
or him. "So much as sticks to Friedrich:" that was our original bargain!
Assist loyally, O reader, and we will try to make the indispensable a
minimum for you.


The first point to be noted is, Where did it originate? To which the
answer mainly is, With that lean Gentleman whom we saw with Papers in
the OEil-de-Boeuf on New-year's day last. With Monseigneur the Marechal
de Belleisle principally; with the ambitious cupidities and baseless
vanities of the French Court and Nation, as represented by Belleisle.
George II.'s Spanish War, if you will examine, had a real necessity in
it. Jenkins's Ear was the ridiculous outside figure this matter had:
Jenkins's Ear was one final item of it; but the poor English People,
in their wrath and bellowings about that small item, were intrinsically
meaning: "Settle the account; let us have that account cleared up and
liquidated; it has lain too long!" And seldom were a People more in the
right, as readers shall yet see.

The English-Spanish War had a basis to stand on in this Universe. The
like had the Prussian-Austrian one; so all men now admit. If Friedrich
had not business there, what man ever had in an enterprise he ventured
on? Friedrich, after such trial and proof as has seldom been, got
his claims on Schlesien allowed by the Destinies. His claims on
Schlesien;--and on infinitely higher things; which were found to be his
and his Nation's, though he had not been consciously thinking of them
in making that adventure. For, as my poor Friend insists, there ARE Laws
valid in Earth and in Heaven; and the great soul of the world is just.
Friedrich had business in this War; and Maria Theresa VERSUS Friedrich
had likewise cause to appear in court, and do her utmost pleading
against him.

But if we ask, What Belleisle or France and Louis XV. had to do there?
the answer is rigorously, Nothing. Their own windy vanities, ambitions,
sanctioned not by fact and the Almighty Powers, but by phantasm and the
babble of Versailles; transcendent self-conceit, intrinsically insane;
pretensions over their fellow-creatures which were without basis
anywhere in Nature, except in the French brain alone: it was this that
brought Belleisle and France into a German War. And Belleisle and France
having gone into an Anti-Pragmatic War, the unlucky George and his
England were dragged into a Pragmatic one,--quitting their own business,
on the Spanish Main, and hurrying to Germany,--in terror as at Doomsday,
and zeal to save the Keystone of Nature these. That is the notable point
in regard to this War: That France is to be called the author of it,
who, alone of all the parties, had no business there whatever. And the
wages due to France for such a piece of industry,--the reader will yet
see what wages France and the other parties got, at the tail of the
affair. For that too is apparent in our day.

We have often said, the Spanish-English War was itself likely to
have kindled Europe; and again Friedrich's Silesian War was itself
likely,--France being nearly sure to interfere. But if both these Wars
were necessary ones, and if France interfered in either of them on the
wrong side, the blame will be to France, not to the necessary Wars.
France could, in no way, have interfered in a more barefacedly unjust
and gratuitous manner than she now did; nor, on any terms, have so
palpably made herself the author of the conflagration of deliriums
that ensued for above Seven years henceforth. Nay for above Twenty
years,--the settlement of this Silesian Pragmatic-Antipragmatic matter
(and of Jenkins's Ear, incidentally, ALONG with this!) not having fairly
completed itself till 1763.


It is very wrong to keep Enchanted Wiggeries sitting in this world, as
if they were things still alive! By a species of "conservatism," which
gets praised in our Time, but which is only a slothful cowardice, base
indifference to truth, and hatred to trouble in comparison with
lies that sit quiet, men now extensively practise this method of
procedure;--little dreaming how bad and fatal it at all times is. When
the brains are out, things really ought to die;--no matter what lovely
things they were, and still affect to be, the brains being out, they
actually ought in all cases to die, and with their best speed get
buried. Men had noses, at one time; and smelt the horror of a deceased
reality fallen putrid, of a once dear verity become mendacious,
phantasmal; but they have, to an immense degree, lost that organ since,
and are now living comfortably cheek-by-jowl with lies. Lies of that sad
"conservative" kind,--and indeed of all kinds whatsoever: for that kind
is a general mother; and BREEDS, with a fecundity that is appalling, did
you heed it much!--

It was pity that the "Holy Romish Reich, Teutsch by Nation," had not
got itself buried some ages before. Once it had brains and life, but now
they were out. Under the sway of Barbarossa, under our old anti-chaotic
friend Henry the Fowler, how different had it been! No field for a
Belleisle to come and sow tares in; no rotten thatch for a French
Sun-god to go sailing about in the middle of, and set fire to! Henry,
when the Hungarian Pan-Slavonic Savagery came upon him, had got ready in
the interim; and a mangy dog was the "tribute" he gave them; followed
by the due extent of broken crowns, since they would not be content with
that. That was the due of Belleisle too,--had there been a Henry to meet
him with it, on his crossing the marches, in Trier Country, in Spring,
1741: "There, you anarchic Upholstery-Belus, fancying yourself God of
the Sun; there is what Teutschland owes you. Go home with that; and mind
your own business, which I am told is plentiful, if you had eye for it!"

But the sad truth is, for above Four Centuries now,--and especially for
Three, since little Kaiser Karl IV. "gave away all the moneys of it," in
his pressing occasions, this Holy Romish Reich, Teutsch by Nation, has
been more and ever more becoming an imaginary quantity; the Kaisership
of it not capable of being worn by anybody, except a Hapsburger who
had resources otherwise his own. The fact is palpable. And Austria, and
Anti-Reformation Entity, "conservative" in that bad sense, of slothfully
abhorring trouble in comparison with lies, had not found the poison more
mal-odorous in this particular than in many others. And had cherished
its "Holy Romish Reich" grown UNholy, phantasmal, like so much else
in Austrian things; and had held firm grip of it, these Three Hundred
years; and found it a furthersome and suitable thing, though sensible
it was more and more becoming an Enchanted Wiggery pure and simple.
Nor have the consequences failed; they never do. Belleisle, Louis XIV.,
Henri II., Francois I.: it is long since the French have known this
state of matters; and been in the habit of breaking in upon it,
fomenting internal discontents, getting up unjust Wars,--with or
without advantage to France, but with endless disadvantage to Germany.
Schmalkaldic War; Thirty-Years War; Louis XIV.'s Wars, which brought
Alsace and the other fine cuttings; late Polish-Election War, and its
Lorraine; Austrian-Succession War: many are the wars kindled on poor
Teutschland by neighbor France; and large is the sum of woes to Europe
and to it, chargeable to that score. Which appears even yet not to be
completed?--Perhaps not, even yet. For it is the penalty of being loyal
to Enchanted Wiggeries; of living cheek-by-jowl with lies of a peaceable
quality, and stuffing your nostrils, and searing your soul, against the
accursed odor they all have!--For I can assure you the curse of Heaven
does dwell in one and all of them; and the son of Adam cannot too soon
get quit of their bad partnership, cost him what it may.

Belleisle's Journey as Sun-god began in March,--"end of March, 1741," no
date of a day to be had for that memorable thing:--and he went gyrating
about, through the German Courts, for almost a year afterwards; his
course rather erratic, but always in a splendor as of Belus, with
those hundred and thirty French Lords and Valets, and the glory of Most
Christian King irradiating him. Very diligent for the first six months,
till September or October next, which we may call his SEED-TIME; and by
no means resting after nine or twelve months, while the harrowing and
hoeing went on. In January, 1742, he had the great satisfaction to see a
Bavarian Kaiser got, instead of an Austrian; and everywhere the fruit of
his diligent husbandry begin to BEARD fairly above ground, into a crop
of facts (like armed men from dragon's teeth), and "the pleasure of
the"--WHOM was it the pleasure of?--"prosper in his hands." Belleisle
was a pretty man; but I doubt it was not "the Lord" he was doing the
pleasure of, on this occasion, but a very Different Personage, disguised
to resemble him in poor Belleisle's eyes!--

Austria was not dangerous to France in late times, and now least of all;
how far from it,--humbled by the loss of Lorraine; and now as it were
bankrupt, itself in danger from all the world. And France, so far as
express Treaties could bind a Nation, was bound to maintain Austria in
its present possessions. The bitter loss of Lorraine had been sweetened
to the late Kaiser by that solitary drop of consolation;--as his Failure
of a Life had been, poor man: "Failure the most of me has been; but
I have got Pragmatic Sanction, thanks to Heaven, and even France
has signed it!" Loss of Lorraine, loss of Elsass, loss of the Three
Bishoprics; since Karl V.'s times, not to speak of earlier, there has
been mere loss on loss:--and now is the time to consummate it, think
Belleisle and France, in spite of Treaties.

Towards humbling or extinguishing Austria, Belleisle has two preliminary
things to do: FIRST, Break the Pragmatic Sanction, and get everybody to
break it; SECOND, Guide the KAISERWAHL (Election of a Kaiser), so that
it issue, not in Grand-Duke Franz, Maria Theresa's Husband, as all
expect it will, but in another party friendly to France:--say in Karl
Albert of Bavaria, whose Family have long been good clients of ours,
dependent on us for a living in the Political World. Belleisle, there
is little doubt, had from the first cast his eye on this unlucky Karl
Albert for Kaiser; but is uncertain as to carrying him. Belleisle will
take another if he must; Kur-Sachsen, for example;--any other, and all
others, only not the Grand-Duke: that is a point already fixed with
Belleisle, though he keeps it well in the background, and is careful not
to hint it till the time come.

In regard to Pragmatic Sanction, Belleisle and France found no
difficulty,--or the difficulty only (which we hope must have been
considerable) of eating their own Covenant in behalf of Pragmatic
Sanction; and declaring, which they did without visible blush, That it
was a Covenant including, if not expressly, then tacitly, as all human
covenants do, this clause, "SALVO JURE TERTII (Saving the rights of
Third Parties),"--that is, of Electors of Bavaria, and others who may
object, against it! O soul of honor, O first Nation of the Universe,
was there ever such a subterfuge? Here is a field of flowering corn, the
biggest in the world, begirt with elaborate ring-fence, many miles of
firm oak-paling pitched and buttressed;--the poor gentleman now dead
gave you his Lorraine, and almost his life, for swearing to keep up said
paling. And you do keep it up,--all except six yards; through which the
biggest team on the highway can drive freely, and the paltriest cadger's
ass can step in for a bellyful!

It appears, the first Nation of the Universe had, at an early period of
their consultations, hit upon this of SALVO JURE TERTII, as the method
of eating their Covenant, before an enlightened public. [20th January,
1741, in their Note of Ceremony, recognizing Maria Theresa as Queen of
Hungary, Note which had been due so very long (ADELUNG, ii. 206), there
is ominous silence on Pragmatic Sanction; "beginning of March," there
is virtual avowal of SALVO JURE (ib. 279);--open avowal on Belleisle's
advent (ib. 305).] And they persisted in it, there being no other for
them. An enlightened public grinned sardonically, and was not taken in;
but, as so many others were eating their Covenants, under equally
poor subterfuges, the enlightened public could not grin long on any
individual,--could only gape mutely, with astonishment, on all. A
glorious example of veracity and human nobleness, set by the gods of
this lower world to their gazing populations, who could read in the
Gazettes! What is truth, falsity, human Kingship, human Swindlership?
Are the Ten Commandments only a figure of speech, then? And it was
some beggarly Attorney-Devil that built this sublunary world and us?
Questions might rise; had long been rising;--but now there was about
enough, and the response to them was falling due; and Belleisle himself,
what is very notable, had been appointed to get ready the response.
Belleisle (little as Belleisle dreamt of it, in these high Enterprises)
was ushering in, by way of response, a RAGNAROK, or Twilight of the
Gods, which, as "French Revolution, or Apotheosis of SANSCULOTTISM," is
now well known;--and that is something to consider of!


The operation once accomplished on its own Pragmatic Covenant, France
found no difficulty with the others. Everybody was disposed to eat his
Covenant, who could see advantage in so doing, after that admirable
example. The difficulty of France and Belleisle rather was, to keep
the hungry parties back: "Don't eat your Covenant TILL the proper time;
patience, we say!" A most sad Miscellany of Royalties, coming all to
the point, "Will you eat your Covenant, Will you keep it?"--and eating,
nearly all; in fact, wholly all that needed to eat.

On the first Invasion of Silesia, Maria Theresa had indignantly
complained in every Court; and pointing to Pragmatic Sanction, had
demanded that such Law of Nature be complied with, according to
covenant. What Maria Theresa got by this circuit of the Courts,
everybody still knows. Except England, which was willing, and Holland,
which was unwilling, all Courts had answered, more or less uneasily:
"Law of Nature,--humph: yes!"--and, far from doing anything, not one of
them would with certainty promise to do anything. From England alone and
her little King (to whom Pragmatic Sanction is the Palladium of Human
Freedoms and the Keystone of Nature) could she get the least help. The
rest hung back; would not open heart or pocket; waited till they
saw. They do now see; now that Belleisle has done his feat of

Eleven great Powers, some count Thirteen, some Twelve, [Scholl, ii. 286;
Adelung, LIST, ii. 127.]--but no two agree, and hardly one agrees with
himself;--enough, the Powers of Europe, from Naples and Madrid to Russia
and Sweden, have all signed it, let us say a Dozen or a Baker's-Dozen
of them. And except our little English Paladin alone, whose interest
and indeed salvation seemed to him to lie that way, and who needed no
Pragmatic Covenant to guide him, nobody whatever distinguished himself
by keeping it. Between December, 1740, when Maria Theresa set up her
cries in all Courts, on to April, 1741, England, painfully dragging
Holland with her, had alone of the Baker's-Dozen spoken word of
disapproval; much less done act of hindrance. Two especially (France and
Bavaria, not to mention Spain) had done the reverse, and disowned, and
declared against, Pragmatic Sanction. And after the Battle of Mollwitz,
when the "little stone" took its first leap, and set all thundering,
then came, like the inrush of a fashion, throughout that high Miscellany
or Baker's-Dozen, the general eating of Covenants (which was again
quickened in August, for a reason we shall see): and before November
of that Year, there was no Covenant left to eat. Of the Baker's-Dozen
nobody remained but little George the Paladin, dragging Holland
painfully along with him;--and Pragmatic Sanction had gone to water,
like ice in a June day, and its beautiful crystalline qualities and
prismatic colors were forever vanished from the world. Will the reader
note a point or two, a personage or two, in this sordid process,--not
for the process's sake, which is very sordid and smells badly, but for
his own sake, to elucidate his own course a little in the intricacies
now coming or come upon him and me?

1. ELECTOR OF BAVARIA.--Karl Albert of Baiern is by some counted as a
Signer of the Pragmatic Sanction, and by others not; which occasions
that discrepancy of sum-total in the Books. And he did once, in a sense,
sign it, he and his Brother of Koln; but, before the late Kaiser's
death, he had openly drawn back from it again; and counted himself a
Non-signer. Signer or not, he, for his part, lost no moment (but rather
the contrary) in openly protesting against it, and signifying that he
never would acknowledge it. Of this the reader saw something, at the
time of her Hungarian Majesty's Accession. Date and circumstances of it,
which deserve remembering, are more precisely these: October 20th, 1740,
Karl Albert's Ambassador, Perusa by name, wrote to Karl from Vienna,
announcing that the Kaiser was just dead. From Munchen, on the 21st,
Karl Albert, anticipating such an event, but not yet knowing it, orders
Perusa, in CASE of the Kaiser's decease, which was considered probable
at Munchen, to demand instant audience of the proper party (Kanzler
Sinzendorf), and there openly lodge his Protest. Which Perusa did,
punctually in all points,--no moment LOST, but rather the contrary, as
we said! Let poor Karl Albert have what benefit there is in that fact.
He was, of all the Anti-Pragmatic Covenant-Breakers (if he ever fairly
were such), the only one that proceeded honorably, openly and at once,
in the matter; and he was, of them all, by far the most unfortunate.

This is the poor gentleman whom Belleisle had settled on for being
Kaiser. And Kaiser he became; to his frightful sorrow, as it proved: his
crown like a crown of burning iron, or little better! There is little of
him in the Books, nor does one desire much: a tall aquiline type of
man; much the gentleman in aspect; and in reality, of decorous serious
deportment, and the wish to be high and dignified. He had a kind of
right, too, in the Anti-Pragmatic sense; and was come of Imperial
kindred,--Kaiser Ludwig the Bavarian, and Kaiser Rupert of the Pfalz,
called Rupert KLEMM, or Rupert Smith's-vice, if any reader now remember
him, were both of his ancestors. He might fairly pretend to Kaisership
and to Austrian ownership,--had he otherwise been equal to such
enterprises. But, in all ambitions and attempts, howsoever grounded
otherwise, there is this strict question on the threshold: "Are you of
weight for the adventure; are not you far too light for it?" Ambitious
persons often slur this question; and get squelched to pieces, by
bringing the Twelve Labors of Hercules on Unherculean backs! Not every
one is so lucky as our Friedrich in that particular,--whose back, though
with difficulty, held out. Which poor Karl Albert's never had much
likelihood to do. Few mortals in any age have offered such an example of
the tragedies which Ambition has in store for her votaries; and what a
matter Hope FULFILLED may be to the unreflecting Son of Adam.

We said, he had a kind of right to Austria, withal. He descended by the
female line from Kaiser Ferdinand I. (as did Kur-Sachsen, though by
a younger Daughter than Karl Albert's Ancestress); and he appealed to
Kaiser Ferdinand's Settlement of the Succession, as a higher than any
subsequent Pragmatic could be. Upon which there hangs an incident; still
famous to German readers. Karl Albert, getting into Public Argument
in this way, naturally instructed Perusa to demand sight of Kaiser
Ferdinand's Last Will, the tenor of which was known by authentic Copy
in Munchen, if not elsewhere among the kindred. After some delay, Perusa
(4th November, 1740), summoning the other excellencies to witness, got
sight of the Will: to his horror, there stood, in the cardinal passage,
instead of "MUNNLICHE" (male descendants), "EHELICHE" (lawfully begotten
descendants),--fatal to Karl Albert's claim! Nor could he PROVE that
the Parchment had been scraped or altered, though he kept trying and
examining for some days. He withdrew thereupon, by order, straightway
from Vienna; testifying in dumb-show what he thought. "It is your Copy
that is false," cried the Vienna people: "it has been foisted on
you, with this wrong word in it; done by somebody (your friend, the
Excellency Herr von Hartmann, shall we guess?), wishing to curry favor
with ambitious foolish persons!" Such was the Austrian story. Perhaps in
Munchen itself their Copyist was not known;--for aught I learn, the Copy
was made long since, and the Copyist dead. Hartmann, named as Copyist by
the Vienna people, made emphatic public answer: "Never did I copy it, or
see it!" And there rose great argument, which is not yet quite ended,
as to the question, "Original falsified, or Copy falsified?"--and the
modern vote, I believe, rather clearly is, That the Austrian Officials
had done it--in a case of necessity. [Adelung, ii. 150-154 (14th-20th
November, 1740), gives the public facts, without commentary. Hormayr
(_Anemonen aus dem Tagebuch eines alten Pilgersmannes,_ Jena, 1845, i.
162-169,--our old Hormayr of the AUSTRIAN PLUTARCH, but now Anonymous,
and in Opposition humor) considers the case nearly proved against
Austria, and that Bartenstein and one Bessel, a pillar of the Church,
were concerned in it.] Possible? "But you will lose your soul!" said the
Parson once to a poor old Gentlewoman, English by Nation, who refused,
in dying, to contradict some domestic fiction, to give up some domestic
secret: "But you will lose your soul, Madam!"--"Tush, what signifies my
poor silly soul compared with the honor of the family?"--

2. KING FRIEDRICH;--King Friedrich may be taken as the Anti-Pragmatic
next in order of time. He too lost not a moment, and proceeded openly;
no quirking to be charged upon him. His account of himself in this
matter always was: "By the Treaty of Wusterhausen, 1726, unquestionably
Prussia undertook to guarantee Pragmatic Sanction; the late Kaiser
undertaking in return, by the same Treaty, to secure Berg and Julich
to Prussia, and to have some progress made in it within six months from
signing. And unquestionably also, the late Kaiser did thereupon, or even
had already done, precisely the reverse; namely, secured, so far as in
him was possible, Berg and Julich to Kur-Pfalz. Such Treaty, having
in this way done suicide, is dead and become zero: and I am free, in
respect of Pragmatic Sanction, to do whatever shall seem good to me. My
wish was, and would still be, To maintain Pragmatic Sanction, and even
to support it by 100,000 men, and secure the Election of the Grand-Duke
to the Kaisership,--were my claims on Silesia once liquidated. But these
have no concern with Pragmatic Sanction, for or against: these are good
against whoever may fall Heir to the House of Austria, or to Silesia:
and my intention is, that the strong hand, so long clenched upon my
rights, shall open itself by this favorable opportunity, and give them
out." That is Friedrich's case. And in truth the jury everywhere has to
find,--so soon as instructed, which is a long process in some sections
of it (in England, for example),--That Pragmatic Sanction has not,
except helpless lamentations, "Alas that YOU should be here to insist
upon your rights, and to open fists long closed!"--the least, word to
say to Friedrich.

3. TERMAGANT OF SPAIN.--Perhaps the most distracted of the
Anti-Pragmatic subterfuges was that used by Spain, when the She-dragon
or Termagant saw good to eat her Covenant; which was at a very early
stage. The Termagant's poor Husband is a Bourbon, not a Hapsburg at all:
"But has not he fallen heir to the Spanish Hapsburgs; become all one
as they, an ALTER-EGO of the Spanish Hapsburgs?" asks she. "And the
Austrian Hapsburgs being out, do not the Spanish Hapsburgs come in?
He, I say, this BOURBON-Hapsburg, he is the real Hapsburg, now that
the Austrian Branch is gone; President he of the Golden Fleece [which
a certain "Archduchess," Maria Theresa, had been meddling with];
Proprietor, he, of Austrian Italy, and of all or most things
Austrian!"--and produces Documentary Covenants of Philip II. with his
Austrian Cousins; "to which Philip," said the Termagant, "we Bourbons
surely, if you consider it, are Heir and Alter-Ego!" Is not, this a
curious case of testamentary right; human greed obliterating personal
identity itself?

Belleisle had a great deal of difficulty, keeping the Termagant back
till things were ripe. Her hope practically was, Baby Carlos being
prosperous King of Naples this long while, to get the Milanese for
another Baby she has,--Baby Philip, whom she once thought of making
Pope;--and she is eager beyond measure to have a stroke at the Milanese.
"Wait!" hoarsely whispers Belleisle to her; and she can scarcely wait.
Maria Theresa's Note of Announcement "New Queen of Hungary, may it
please you!" the French, as we saw, were very long in answering. The
Termagant did not answer it at all; complained on the contrary, "What is
this, Madam! Golden Fleece, you?"--and, early in March, informed
mankind that she was Spanish Hapsburg, the genuine article; and sent
off Excellency Montijos, a little man of great expense, to assist at
the Election of a proper Kaiser, and be useful to Belleisle in the great
things now ahead. [Spain's Golden-Fleece pretensions, 17th January, 1741
(Adelung, ii. 233, 234); "Publishes at Paris," in March (ib. 293); and
on the 23d March accredits Montijos (ib. 293): Italian War, held back
by Belleisle and the English Fleets, cannot get begun till October

4. KING OF POLAND.--The most ticklish card in Belleisle's game,
and probably the greatest fool of these Anti-Pragmatic Dozen, was
Kur-Sachsen, King of Poland. He, like Karl Albert Kur-Baiern, derives
from Kaiser Ferdinand, though by a YOUNGER Daughter, and has a like
claim on the Austrian Succession; claim nullified, however, by that
small circumstance itself, but which he would fain mend by one makeshift
or another; and thinks always it must surely be good for something. This
is August III., this King of Poland, as readers know; son of August the
Strong: Papa made him change to the Catholic religion so called,--for
the sake of getting Poland, which proves a very poor possession to
him. Who knows what damage the poor creature may have got by that sad
operation;--which all Saxony sighed to the heart on hearing of; for it
was always hoped he had some real religion, and would deliver them
from that Babylonish Captivity again! He married Kaiser Joseph I.'s
Daughter,--Maria Theresa's Cousin, and by an Elder Brother;--this, too,
ought surely to be something in the Anti-Pragmatic line? It is true,
Kur-Baiern has to Wife another Daughter of Kaiser Joseph's; but she is
the younger: "I am senior THERE, at least!" thinks the foolish man.

Too true, he had finally, in past years, to sign Pragmatic Sanction; no
help for it, no hope without it, in that Polish-Election time. He
will have to eat his Covenant, therefore, as the first step in
Anti-Pragmatism; and he is extremely in doubt as to the How, sometimes
as to the Whether. And shifts and whirls, accordingly, at a great rate,
in these months and years; now on Maria Theresa's side, deluded by
shadows from Vienna, and getting into Russian Partition-Treaties; anon
tickled by Belleisle into the reverse posture; then again reversing.
An idle, easy-tempered, yet greedy creature, who, what with religious
apostasy in early manhood, what with flaccid ambitions since, and idle
gapings after shadows, has lost helm in this world; and will make a very
bad voyage for self and country.

His Palinurus and chief Counsellor, at present and afterwards, is a
Count von Bruhl, once page to August the Strong; now risen to such
height: Bruhl of the three hundred and sixty-five suits of clothes; whom
it has grown wearisome even to laugh at. A cunning little wretch, they
say, and of deft tongue; but surely among the unwisest of all the Sons
of Adam in that day, and such a Palinurus as seldom steered before.
Kur-Sachsen, being Reichs-Vicar in the Northern Parts,--(Kur-Baiern and
Kur-Pfalz, as friends and good Wittelsbacher Cousins surely ought, in a
crisis like this, have agreed to be JOINT-Vicars in the Southern Parts,
and no longer quarrel upon it),--Kur-Sachsen has a good deal to do
in the Election preludings, formalities and prearrangements; and is
capable, as Kur-Pfalz and Cousin always are, of serving as chisel to
Belleisle's mallet, in such points, which will plentifully turn up.

5. KING OF SARDINIA.--Reichs-Vicar in the Italian Parts is Charles
Amadeus King of Sardinia (tough old Victor's Son, whom we have heard
of): an office mostly honorary; suitable to the important individual
who keeps the Door of the Alps. Charles Amadeus had signed the Pragmatic
Sanction; but eats his Covenant, like the others, on example of
France;--having, as he now bethinks himself, claims on the Milanese.
There are two claimants on the Milanese, then; the Spanish Termagant,
and he? Yes; and they will have their difficulties, their extensive
tusslings in Italian War and otherwise, to make an adjustment of it;
and will give Belleisle (at least the Doorkeeper will) an immensity of
trouble, in years coming.

In this way do the Pragmatic people eat their own Covenant, one after
the other, and are not ashamed;--till all have eaten, or as good as
eaten; and, almost within year and day, Pragmatic Sanction is a vanished
quantity; and poor Kaiser Karl's life-labor is not worth the sheepskin
and stationery it cost him. History reports in sum, That "nobody kept
the Pragmatic Sanction; that the few [strictly speaking, the one] who
acted by it, would have done precisely the same, though there had never
been such a Document in existence." To George II., it is, was and will
be, the Keystone of Nature, the true Anti-French palladium of mankind;
and he, dragging the unwilling Dutch after him, will do great things for
it: but nobody else does anything at all. Might we hope to bid adieu to
it, in this manner, and never to mention it again!--

Document more futile there had not been in Nature, nor will be.
Friedrich had not yet fought at Mollwitz in assertion of his Silesian
claim, when the poor Pope--poor soul, who had no Covenant to eat,
but took pattern by others--claimed, in solemn Allocution, Parma and
Piacenza for the Holy See. [Adelung, ii. 376 (5th April, 1741)] All the
world is claiming. Of the Court of Wurtemberg and its Protestings, and
"extensive Deduction" about nothing at all, we do not speak; [Ib. ii.
195, 403.] nor of Montmorency claiming Luxemburg, of which he is Titular
"Duke;" nor of Monsignore di Guastalla claiming Mantua; nor of--In
brief, the fences are now down; a broad French gap in those miles of
elaborate paling, which are good only as firewood henceforth, and
any ass may rush in and claim a bellyful. Great are the works of


At equal step with the ruining of Pragmatic Sanction goes on that
spoiling of Grand-Duke Franz's Election to the Kaisership: these two
operations run parallel; or rather, under different forms, they are one
and the same operation. "To assist, as a Most Christian neighbor ought,
in picking out the fit Kaiser," was Belleisle's ostensible mission; and
indeed this does include virtually his whole errand. Till three months
after Belleisle's appearance in the business, Grand-Duke Franz never
doubted but he should be Kaiser; Friedrich's offers to, help him in it
he had scorned, as the offer of a fifth wheel to his chariot, already
rushing on with four. "Here is Kur-Bohmen, Austria's own vote," counts
the Grand-Duke; "Kur-Sachsen, doing Prussian-Partition Treaties for us;
Kur-Trier, our fat little Schonborn, Austrian to the bone; Kur-Mainz,
important chairman, regulator of the Conclave; here are Four Electors
for us: then also Kur-Pfalz, he surely, in return for the Berg-Julich
service; finally, and liable to no question Kur-Hanover, little
George of England with his endless guineas and resources, a little
Jack-the-Giantkiller, greater than all Giants, Paladin of the Pragmatic
and us: here are Six Electors of the Nine. Let Brandenburg and the
Bavarian Couple, Kur-Baiern and Kur-Koln, do their pleasure!" This was
Grand-Duke Franz's calculation.

By the time Belleisle had been three months in Germany, the Grand-Duke's
notion had changed; and he began "applying to the Sea-Powers," "to
Russia," and all round. In Belleisle's sixth month, the Grand-Duke,
after such demolition of Pragmatic, and such disasters and
contradictions as had been, saw his case to be desperate; though he
still stuck to it, Austrian-like,--or rather, Austria for him stuck
to it, the Grand-Duke being careless of such things;--and indeed,
privately, never did give in, even AFTER the Election, as we shall have
to note.

The Reich itself being mainly a Phantasm or Enchanted Wiggery, its
"Kaiser-Choosing" (KAISERWAHL),--now getting under way at Frankfurt,
with preliminary outskirts at Regensburg, and in the Chancery of
Mainz--is very phantasmal, not to say ghastly; and forbidding, not
inviting, to the human eye. Nine Kurfursts, Choosers of Teutschland's
real Captain, in none of whom is there much thought for Teutschland or
its interests,--and indeed in hardly more than One of whom (Prussian
Friedrich, if readers will know it) is there the least thought that way;
but, in general, much indifference to things divine or diabolic, and
thought for one's own paltry profits and losses only! So it has long
been; and so it now is, more than usual.--Consider again, are Enchanted
Wiggeries a beautiful thing, in this extremely earnest World?--

The Kaiserwahl is an affair depending much on processions,
proclamations, on delusions optical, acoustic; on palaverings,
manoeuvrings, holdings back, then hasty pushings forward; and indeed
is mainly, in more senses than one, under guidance of the Prince of the
Power of the Air. Unbeautiful, like a World-Parliament of Nightmares
(if the reader could conceive such a thing); huge formless, tongueless
monsters of that species, doing their "three readings,"--under
Presidency or chief-pipership as above! Belleisle, for his part, is
consummately skilful, and manages as only himself could. Keeps his game
well hidden, not a hint or whisper of it except in studied proportions;
spreads out his lines, his birdlime; tickles, entices, astonishes; goes
his rounds, like a subtle Fowler, taking captive the minds of men;
a Phoebus-Apollo, god of melody and of the sun, filling his net with

I believe, old Kur-Pfalz, for the sake of French neighborhood, and
Berg-and-Julich, were there nothing more, was very helpful to him;--in
March past, when the Election was to have been, when it would have
gone at once in favor of the Grand-Duke, Kur-Pfalz got the Election
"postponed a little." Postponing, procrastinating; then again pushing
violently on, when things are ripe: Belleisle has only to give signal
to a fit Kur-Pfalz. In all Kurfurst Courts, the French Ambassadors sing
diligently to the tune Belleisle sets them; and Courts give ear, or will
do, when the charmer himself arrives.

Kur-Sachsen, as above hinted, was his most delicate operation, in the
charming or trout-tickling way. And Kur-Sachsen--and poor Saxony, ever
since--knows if he did not do it well! "Deduct this Kur-Sachsen from the
Austrian side," calculates Belleisle; "add him to ours, it is almost an
equality of votes. Kur-Baiern, our own Imperial Candidate; Kur-Koln, his
Brother; Kur-Pfalz, by genealogy his Cousin (not to mention Berg-Julich
matters); here are three Wittelsbachers, knit together; three sure
votes; King Friedrich, Kur-Brandenburg, there is a fourth; and if
Kur-Sachsen would join?" But who knows if Kur-Sachsen will! The poor
soul has himself thoughts of being Kaiser; then no thoughts, and again
some: thoughts which Belleisle knows how to handle. "Yes, Kaiser you,
your Majesty; excellent!" And sets to consider the methods: "Hm, ha, hm!
Think, your Majesty: ought not that Bohemian Vote to be excluded, for
one thing? Kur-Bohmen is fallen into the distaff, Maria Theresa herself
cannot vote. Surely question will rise, Whether distaff can, validly,
hand it over to distaff's husband, as they are about doing? Whether,
in fact, Kur-Bohmen is not in abeyance for this time?" "So!" answered
Kur-Sachsen, Reichs-Vicarius. And thereupon meetings were summoned;
Nightmare Committees sat on this matter under the Reichs-Vicar, slowly
hatching it; and at length brought out, "Kur-Bohmen NOT transferable by
the distaff; Kur-Bohmen in abeyance for this time." Greatly to the joy
of Belleisle; infinitely to the chagrin of her Hungarian Majesty,--who
declared it a crying injustice (though I believe legally done in every
point); and by and by, even made it a plea of Nullity, destructive to
the Election altogether, when her Hungarian Majesty's affairs looked
up again, and the world would listen to Austrian sophistries and
obstinacies. This was an essential service from Kur-Sachsen. [Began,
indistinctly, "in March" (1741); languid "for some months" (Adelung, ii.
292); "November 4th," was settled in the negative, "Kur-Bohmen not to
have a vote" (_Maria Theresiens Leben,_ p. 47 n.)].

After which Kur-Sachsen's own poor Kaisership died away into "Hm, ha,
hm!" again, with a grateful Belleisle. Who nevertheless dexterously
retained Kur-Sachsen as ally; tickling the poor wretch with other baits.
Of the Kaiser he had really meant all along, there was dead silence,
except between the parties; no whisper heard, for six months after it
had been agreed upon; none, for two or near three months after formal
settlement, and signing and sealing. Karl Albert's Treaty with Belleisle
was 18th May, 1741; and he did not declare himself a Candidate till
1st-4th July following. [Adelung, ii. 357, 421.] Belleisle understands
the Nightmare Parliaments, the electioneering art, and how to deal
with Enchanted Wiggeries. More perfect master, in that sad art, has not
turned up on record to one's afflicted mind. Such a Sun-god, and doing
such a Scavengerism! Belleisle, in the sixth month (end of August,
1741), feels sure of a majority. How Belleisle managed, after that, to
checkmate George of England, and make even George vote for him, and the
Kaiserwahl to be unanimous against Grand-Duke Franz, will be seen. Great
are Belleisle's doings in this world, if they were useful either to God
or man, or to Belleisle himself first of all!--


Belleisle's schemes, in the rear of all this labor, are grandiose to a
degree. Men wonder at the First Napoleon's mad notions in that kind. But
no Napoleon, in the fire of the revolutionary element; no Sham-Napoleon,
in the ashes of it: hardly a Parisian Journalist of imaginative turn,
speculating on the First Nation of the Universe and what its place
is,--could go higher than did this grandiose Belleisle; a man with
clear thoughts in his head, under a torpid Louis XV. Let me see, thinks
Belleisle. Germany with our Bavarian for Kaiser; Germany to be cut
into, say, Four little Kingdoms: 1. Bavaria with the lean Kaiserhood;
2. Saxony, fattened by its share of Austria; 3. Prussia the like;
4. Austria itself, shorn down as above, and shoved out to the remote
Hungarian parts: VOILA. These, not reckoning Hanover, which perhaps we
cannot get just yet, are Four pretty Sovereignties. Three, or Two, of
these hireable by gold, it is to be hoped. And will not France have
a glorious time of it; playing master of the revels there, egging one
against the other! Yes, Germany is then, what Nature designed it, a
Province of France: little George of Hanover himself, and who knows
but England after him, may one day find their fate inevitable, like the
others. O Louis, O my King, is not this an outlook? Louis le Grand was
great; but you are likely to be Louis the Grandest; and here is a World
shaped, at last, after the real pattern!

Such are, in sad truth, Belleisle's schemes; not yet entirely hatched
into daylight or articulation; but becoming articulate, to himself and
others, more and more. Reader, keep them well in mind: I had rather
not speak of them again. They are essential to our Story; but they
are afflictively vain, contrary to the Laws of Fact; and can, now
or henceforth, in nowise be. My friend, it was not Beelzebub, nor
Mephistopheles, nor Autolyeus-Apollo that built this world and us; it
was Another. And you will get your crown well rapped, M. le Marechal,
for so forgetting that fact! France is an extremely pretty creature;
but this of making France the supreme Governor and God's-Vicegerent of
Nations, is, was, and remains, one of the maddest notions. France at its
ideal BEST, and with a demi-god for King over it, were by no means fit
for such function; nay of many Nations is eminently the unfittest for
it. And France at its WORST or nearly so, with a Louis XV. over it by
way of demi-god--O Belleisle, what kind of France is this; shining in
your grandiose imagination, in such contrast to the stingy fact: like
a creature consisting of two enormous wings, five hundred yards in
potential extent, and no body bigger than that of a common cock,
weighing three pounds avoirdupois. Cock with his own gizzard much out of
sorts, too!

It was "early in March" [Adelung, ii. 305.] when Belleisle, the
Artificial Sun-god, quitted Paris on this errand. He came by the Moselle
road; called on the Rhine Kurfursts, Koln, Trier, Mainz; dazzling them,
so far as possible, with his splendor for the mind and for the eye.
He proceeded next to Dresden, which is a main card: and where there is
immense manipulation needed, and the most delicate trout-tickling; this
being a skittish fish, and an important, though a foolish. Belleisle was
at Dresden when the Battle of Mollwitz fell out: what a windfall
into Belleisle's game! He ran across to Friedrich at Mollwitz, to
congratulate, to consult,--as we shall see anon.

Belleisle, I am informed, in this preliminary Tour of his, speaks only,
or hints only (except in the proper quarters), of Election Business;
of the need there perhaps is, on the part of an Age growing in liberal
ideas, to exclude the Austrian Grand-Duke; to curb that ponderous,
harsh, ungenerous House of Austria, too long lording it over generous
Germany; and to set up some better House,--Bavaria, for example; Saxony,
for example? Of his plans in the rear of this he is silent; speaks only
by hints, by innuendoes, to the proper parties. But ripening or ripe,
plans do lie to rear; far-stretching, high-soaring; in part, dark even
at Versailles; darkly fermenting, not yet developed, in Belleisle's
own head; only the Future Kaiser a luminous fixed point, shooting beams
across the grandiose Creation-Process going on there.

By the end of August, 1741, Belleisle had become certain of his game;
24th January, 1742, he saw himself as if winner. Before August, 1741,
he had got his Electors manipulated, tickled to his purpose, by the
witchery of a Phoebus-Autolycus or Diplomatic Sun-god; majority secured
for a Bavarian Kaiser, and against an Austrian one. And in the course
of that month,--what was still more considerable!--he was getting, under
mild pretexts, about a hundred thousand armed Frenchmen gently wafted
over upon the soil of Germany. Two complete French Armies, 40,000 each
(PLUS their Reserves), one over the Upper Rhine, one over the Lower;
about which we shall hear a great deal in time coming! Under mild
pretexts: "Peaceable as lambs, don't you observe? Merely to protect
Freedom of Election, in this fine neighbor country; and as allies to our
Friend of Bavaria, should he chance to be new Kaiser, and to persist
in his modest claims otherwise." This was his crowning stroke. Which
finished straightway the remnants of Pragmatic Sanction and of every
obstacle; and in a shining manner swept the roads clear. And so, on
January 24th following, the Election, long held back by Belleisle's
manoeuvrings, actually takes effect,--in favor of Karl Albert, our
invaluable Bavarian Friend. Austria is left solitary in the Reich;
Pragmatic Sanction, Keystone of Nature, which Belleisle and France had
sworn to keep in, is openly torn out by Belleisle and by France and
the majority of mankind; and Belleisle sees himself, to all appearance,

This was the harvest reaped by Belleisle, within year and day; after
endless manoeuvring, such as only a Belleisle in the character of
Diplomatic Sun-god could do. Beyond question, the distracted ambitions
of several German Princes have been kindled by Belleisle; what we called
the rotten thatch of Germany is well on fire. This diligent sowing in
the Reich--to judge by the 100,000, armed men here, and the counter
hundreds of thousands arming--has been a pretty stroke of dragon's-teeth
husbandry on Belleisle's part.


It was April 26th when Marechal de Belleisle, with his Brother the
Chevalier, with Valori and other bright accompaniment, arrived in
Friedrich's Camp. "Camp of Mollwitz" so named; between Mollwitz and
Brieg; where Friedrich is still resting, in a vigilant expectant
condition; and, except it be the taking of Brieg, has nothing military
on hand. Wednesday, 26th April, the distinguished Excellency--escorted
for the last three miles by 120 Horse, and the other customary
ceremonies--makes his appearance: no doubt an interesting one to
Friedrich, for this and the days next following. Their talk is not
reported anywhere: nor is it said with exactitude how far, whether
wholly now, or only in part now, Belleisle expounded his sublime ideas
to Friedrich; or what precise reception they got. Friedrich himself
writes long afterwards of the event; but, as usual, without precision,
except in general effect. Now, or some time after, Friedrich says he
found Belleisle, one morning, with brow clouded, knit into intense
meditation: "Have you had bad news, M. le Marechal?" asks
Friedrich. "No, oh no! I am considering what we shall make of that
Moravia?"--"Moravia; Hm!" Friedrich suppresses the glance that is rising
to his eyes: "Can't you give it to Saxony, then? Buy Saxony into the
Plan with it!" "Excellent," answers Belleisle, and unpuckers his stern
brow again.

Friedrich thinks highly, and about this time often says so, of the man
Belleisle: but as to the man's effulgencies, and wide-winged Plans, none
is less seduced by them than Friedrich: "Your chickens are not hatched,
M. le Marechal; some of us hope they never will be,--though the
incubation-process may have uses for some of us!" Friedrich knows that
the Kaisership given to any other than Grand-Duke Franz will be mostly
an imaginary quantity. "A grand Symbolic Cloak in the eyes of the
vulgar; but empty of all things, empty even of cash, for the last Two
Hundred Years: Austria can wear it to advantage; no other mortal.
Hang it on Austria, which is a solid human figure,--so." And Friedrich
wishes, and hopes always, Maria Theresa will agree with him, and get it
for her Husband. "But to hang it on Bavaria, which is a lean bare pole?
Oh, M. le Marechal!--And those Four Kingdoms of yours: what a brood of
poultry, those! Chickens happily yet UNhatched;--eggs addle, I should
venture to hope:--only do go on incubating, M. le Marechal!" That is
Friedrich's notion of the thing. Belleisle stayed with Friedrich "a
few days," say the Books. After which, Friedrich, finding Belleisle too
winged a creature, corresponded, in preference, with Fleury and the Head
Sources;--who are always intensely enough concerned about those "aces"
falling to him, and how the same are to be "shared." [Details in
_Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 912, 962, 916; in _OEuvres de Frederic,_ ii. 79,
80; &c.]

Instead of parade or review in honor of Belleisle, there happened to be
a far grander military show, of the practical kind. The Siege of Brieg,
the Opening of the Trenches before Brieg, chanced to be just ready, on
Belleisle's arrival:--and would have taken effect, we find, that very
night, April 26th, had not a sudden wintry outburst, or "tempest of
extraordinary violence," prevented. Next night, night of the 27th-28th,
under shine of the full Moon, in the open champaign country, on both
sides of the River, it did take effect. An uncommonly fine thing of its
sort; as one can still see by reading Friedrich's strict Program for
it,--a most minute, precise and all-anticipating Program, which still
interests military men, as Friedrich's first Piece in that kind,--and
comparing therewith the Narratives of the performance which ensued.
[_Ordre und Dispositiones (SIC), wornach sich der General-Lieutenant von
Kalckstein bei Eroffnung der Trancheen, &c. (Oeuvres de Frederic,_ xxx.
39-44): the Program. _Helden-Geschichte,_ i. 916-928: the Narrative.]

Kalkstein, Friedrich's old Tutor, is Captain of the Siege; under him
Jeetz, long used to blockading about Brieg. The silvery Oder has its due
bridges for communication; all is in readiness, and waiting manifold as
in the slip,--and there is Engineer Walrave, our Glogau Dutch friend,
who shall, at the right instant, "with his straw-rope (STROHSEIL) mark
out the first parallel," and be swift about it! There are 2,000 diggers,
with the due implements, fascines, equipments; duly divided, into Twelve
equal Parties, and "always two spademen to one pickman" (which indicates
soft sandy ground): these, with the escorting or covering battalions,
Twelve Parties they also, on both sides of the River, are to be in their
several stations at the fixed moments; man, musket, mattock, strictly
exact. They are to advance at Midnight; the covering battalions so many
yards ahead: no speaking is permissible, nor the least tobacco-smoking;
no drum to be allowed for fear of accident; no firing, unless you are
fired on. The covering battalions are all to "lie flat, so soon as they
get to their ground, all but the Officers and sentries." To rear
of these stand Walrave and assistants, silent, with their
straw-rope;--silent, then anon swift, and in whisper or almost by
dumb-show, "Now, then!" After whom the diggers, fascine-men, workers,
each in his kind, shall fall to, silently, and dig and work as for life.

All which is done; exact as clock-work: beautiful to see, or half see,
and speak of to your Belleisle, in the serene moonlight! Half an hour's
marching, half an hour's swift digging: the Town-clock of Brieg was
hardly striking One, when "they had dug themselves in." And, before
daybreak, they had, in two batteries, fifty cannon in position, with
a proper set of mortars (other side the River),--ready to astonish
Piccolomini and his Austrians; who had not had the least whisper of
them, all night, though it was full moon. Graf von Piccolomini, an
active gallant person, had refused terms, some time before; and was
hopefully intent on doing his best. And now, suddenly, there rose round
Piccolomini such a tornado of cannonading and bombardment, day after
day, always "three guns of ours playing against one of theirs," that his
guns got ruined; that "his hay-magazines took fire,"--and the Schloss
itself, which was adjacent to them, took fire (a sad thing to Friedrich,
who commanded pause, that they might try quenching, but in vain):--and
that, in short, Piccolomini could not stand it; but on the 4th of May,
precisely after one week's experience, hung out the white flag, and
"beat chamade at 3 of the afternoon." He was allowed to march out next
morning, with escort to Neisse; parole pledged, Not to serve against us
for two years coming.

Friedrich in person (I rather guess, Belleisle not now at his side)
saw the Garrison march out;--kept Piccolomini to dinner; a gallant
Piccolomini, who had hoped to do better, but could not. This was a
pretty enough piece of Siege-practice. Torstenson, with his Swedes,
had furiously besieged Brieg in 1642, a hundred years ago; and could do
nothing to it. Nothing, but withdraw again, futile; leaving 1,400 of his
people dead. Friedrich, the Austrian Garrison once out, set instantly
about repairing the works, and improving them into impregnability,--our
ugly friend Walrave presiding over that operation too.

Belleisle, we may believe, so long as he continued, was full of polite
wonder over these things; perhaps had critical advices here and there,
which would be politely received. It is certain he came out extremely
brilliant, gifted and agreeable, in the eyes of Friedrich; who often
afterwards, not in the very strictest language, calls him a great man,
great soldier, and by far the considerablest person you French have.
It is no less certain, Belleisle displayed, so far as displayable,
his magnificent Diplomatic Ware to the best advantage. To which, we
perceive, the young King answered, "Magnificent, indeed!" but would not
bite all at once; and rather preferred corresponding with Fleury,
on business points, keeping the matter dexterously hanging, in an
illuminated element of hope and contingency, for the present.

Belleisle, after we know not how many days, returned to Dresden;
perfected his work at Dresden, or shoved it well forward, with "that
Moravia" as bait. "Yes, King of Moravia, you, your Polish Majesty, shall
be!"--and it is said the simple creature did so style himself, by and
by, in certain rare Manifestoes, which still exist in the cabinets of
the curious. Belleisle next, after only a few days, went to Munchen;
to operate on Karl Albert Kur-Baiern, a willing subject. And, in short,
Belleisle whirled along incessantly, torch in hand; making his "circuit
of the German Courts,"--details of said circuit not to be followed by us
farther. One small thing only I have found rememberable; probably
true, though vague. At Munchen, still more out at Nymphenburg, the fine
Country-Palace not far off, there was of course long conferencing, long
consulting, secret and intense, between Belleisle with his people and
Karl Albert with his. Karl Albert, as we know, was himself willing. But
a certain Baron von Unertl--heavy-built Bavarian of the old type, an
old stager in the Bavarian Ministries--was of far other disposition. One
day, out at Nymphenburg, Unertl got to the Council-room, while Belleisle
and Company were there: Unertl found the apartment locked, absolutely no
admittance; and heard voices, the Kurfurst's and French voices, eagerly
at work inside. "Admit me, Gracious Herr; UM GOTTES WILLEN, me!" No
admission. Unertl, in despair, rushed round to the garden side of the
Apartment; desperately snatched a ladder, set it up to the window,
and conjured the Gracious Highness: "For the love of Heaven, my
ALLERGNADIGSTER, don't! Have no trade with those French! Remember your
illustrious Father, Kurfurst Max, in the Eugene-Marlborough time, what
a job he made of it, building actual architecture on THEIR big promises,
which proved mere acres of gilt balloon!" [Hormayr, _Anemonen_ (cited
above), ii. 152.] Words terribly prophetic; but they were without effect
on Karl Albert.

The rest of Belleisle's inflammatory circuitings and extensive
travellings, for he had many first and last in this matter, shall be
left to the fancy of the reader. May 18th, he made formal Treaty with
Karl Albert: Treaty of Nymphenburg, "Karl Albert to be Kaiser; Bavaria,
with Austria Proper added to it, a Kingdom; French armies, French
moneys, and other fine items." [Given in Adelung, ii. 359.] Treaty to
be kept dead secret; King Friedrich, for the present, would not accede.
[Given in Adelung, ii. 421.] June 25th, after some preliminary survey of
the place, Belleisle made his Entry into Frankfurt: magnificent in the
extreme. And still did not rest there; but had to rush about, back to
Versailles, to Dresden, hither, thither: it was not till the last day
of July that he fairly took up his abode in Frankfurt; and--the Election
eggs, so to speak, being now all laid--set himself to hatch the same.
A process which lasted him six months longer, with curious phenomena to
mankind. Not till the middle of August did he bring those 80,000 Armed
Frenchmen across the Rhine, "to secure peace in those parts, and freedom
of voting." Not till November 4th had Kur-Sachsen, with the Nightmares,
finished that important problem of the Bohemian Vote, "Bohemian Vote
EXCLUDED for this time;"--after which all was ready, though still not
in the least hurry. November 20th, came the first actual
"Election-Conference (WAHL-CONFERENZ)" in the Romer at Frankfurt; to
which succeeded Two Months more of conferrings (upon almost nothing at
all): and finally, 24th January, 1742, came the Election itself, Karl
Albert the man; poor wretch, who never saw another good day in this

Belleisle during those six months was rather high and airy, extremely
magnificent; but did not want discretion: "more like a Kurfurst than an
Ambassador;" capable of "visiting Kur-Mainz, with servants purposely
in OLD liveries,"--where the case needed old, where Kur-Mainz needed
snubbing; not otherwise. [Buchholz, ii. 57 n.] "The Marechal de
Belleisle," says an Eye-witness, of some fame in those days, "comes out
in a variety of parts, among us here; plays now the General, now the
Philosopher, now the Minister of State, now the French Marquis;--and
does them all to perfection. Surely a master in his art. His Brother the
Chevalier is one of the sensiblest and best-trained persons you can see.
He has a penetrating intellect; is always occupied, and full of great
schemes; and has nevertheless a staid kind of manner. He is one of the
most important Personages here; and in all things his Brother's right
hand." [Von Loen, _Kleine Schriften_ (cited in Adelung, ii. 400).]
In Frankfurt, both Belleisle and his Brother were much respected, the
Brother especially, as men of dignified behavior and shining qualities;
but as to their hundred and thirty French Lords and other Valetry, these
by their extravagances and excesses (AUSSCHWEIFUNGEN) made themselves
extremely detestable, it would appear. [Buchholz, ii. 54; in Adelung,
ii. 398 n., a French BROCARD on the subject, of sufficient emphasis.]


George II. did not hear of Mollwitz for above a fortnight after it fell
out; but he had no need of Mollwitz to kindle his wrath or his activity
in that matter. [Mollwitz first heard of in London, April 25th (14th);
Subsidy of 300,000 pounds voted same day. _London Gazette_ (April
11th-14th, 1741); _Commons Journals,_ xxiii. 705.] George II. had seen,
all along, with natural manifold aversion and indignation, these high
attempts of his Nephew. "Who is this new little King, that will not let
himself be snubbed, and laughed at, and led by the nose, as his Father
did; but seems to be taking a road of his own, and tacitly defying us
all? A very high conduct indeed, for a Sovereign of that magnitude.
Aspires seemingly to be the leader among German Princes; to
reduce Hanover and us,--us, with the gold of England in our
breeches-pocket,--to the second place? A reverend old Bishop of Liege,
twitched by the rochet, and shaken hither and thither, like a reverend
old clothes-screen, till he agree to stand still and conform. And now a
Silesia seized upon; a Pragmatic Sanction kicked to the winds: the
whole world to be turned topsy-turvy, and Hanover and us, with our
breeches-pocket, reduced to--?"

The emotions, the prognosticatings, and distracted procedures of his
Britannic Majesty, of which we have ourselves seen somewhat, in this
fermentation of the elements, are copiously set down for us by the
English Dryasdust (mostly in unintelligible form): but, except for sane
purposes, one must be careful not to dwell on them, to the sorrow of
readers. Seldom was there such a feat of Somnambulism, as that by the
English and their King in the next twenty Years. To extract the particle
of sanity from it, and see how the poor English did get their own errand
done withal, and Jenkins's Ear avenged,--that is the one interesting
point; Dryasdust and the Nightmares shall, to all time, be welcome to
the others. Here are some Excerpts, a select few; which will perhaps
be our readiest expedient. These do, under certain main aspects,
shadow forth the intricate posture of King George and his Nation, when
Belleisle, as Protagonistes or Chief Bully, stept down into the ring,
in that manner; asking, "Is there an Antagonistes, then, or Chief
Defender?" I will label them, number them; and, with the minimum of
needful commentary, leave them to imaginative readers.


The fuliginous explosions, more or less volcanic, which went on
in Parliament and in English society, against Friedrich's Silesian
Enterprise, for long years from this date, are now all dead and
avoidable,--though they have left their effects among us to this day.
Perhaps readers would like to see the one reasonable word I have fallen
in with, of opposite tendency; Mr. Viner's word, at the first starting
of that question: plainly sensible word, which, had it been attended to
(as it was not), might have saved us so much nonsense, not of idle talk
only, but of extremely serious deed which ensued thereupon!

"LONDON, 19th APRIL, 1741. This day [Mollwitz not yet known, Camp of
Gottin too well known!] King George, in his own high person, comes down
to the House of Lords,--which, like the Other House, is sunk painfully
in Walpole Controversies, Spanish-War Controversies, of a merely
domestic nature;--and informs both Honorable Houses, with extreme
caution, naming nobody, That he much wishes they would think of helping
him in these alarming circumstances of the Celestial Balance, ready
apparently to go heels uppermost. To which the general answer is, 'Yes,
surely!'--with a vote of 300,000 pounds for her Hungarian Majesty, a few
days hence. From those continents of Parliamentary tufa, now fallen
so waste and mournful, here is one little piece which ought to be
extricated into daylight:--

"MR. VINER (on his legs):... 'If I mistake not the true intention of the
Address proposed,' in answer to his Majesty's most gracious Speech from
the Throne, 'we are invited to declare that we will oppose the King of
Prussia in his attempts upon Silesia: a declaration in which I see
not how any man can concur who KNOWS NOT the nature of his Prussian
Majesty's Claim, and the Laws of the German Empire [NOR DO I, MR. V.]!
It ought therefore, Sir, to have been the first endeavor of those by
whom this Address has been so zealously supported, to show that his
Prussian Majesty's Claim, so publicly explained [BY KAUZLER LUDWIG, OF
urged and so strongly supported, is without foundation and reason, and
is only one of those imaginary titles which Ambition may always find to
the dominions of another.' (HEAR MR VINER!)" [Tindal, xx. 491, gives the
Royal Speech (DATE in a very slobbery condition); see also Coxe, _House
of Austria,_ iii. 365. Viner's Fragment of a Speech is in Thackeray,
_Life of Chatham,_ i. 87.]...

A most indispensable thing, surely. Which was never done, nor can ever
be done; but was assumed as either unnecessary or else done of its own
accord, by that Collective Wisdom of England (with a sage George II.
at the head of it); who plunged into Dettingen, Fontenoy, Austrian
Subsidies, Aix-la-Chapelle, and foundation of the English National Debt,
among other strange things, in consequence!--

Upon that of Kanzler Ludwig, and the "so public Explanation" (which we
slightly heard of long since), here is another Note,--unless readers
prefer to skip it:--

"That the Diplomatic and Political world is universally in travail at
this time, no reader need be told; Europe everywhere in dim anxiety,
heavy-laden expectation (which to us has fallen so vacant); looking
towards inevitable changes and the huge inane. All in travail;--and
already uttering printed Manifestoes, Patents, Deductions, and other
public travail-SHRIEKS of that kind. Printed; not to speak of the
unprinted, of the oral which vanished on the spot; or even of the
written which were shot forth by breathless estafettes, and unhappily
did not vanish, but lie in archives, still humming upon us, "Won't you
read me, then?"--Alas, except on compulsion, No! Life being precious
(and time, which is the stuff of life), No!--

"At Reinsberg as elsewhere, at Reinsberg first of all, it had been felt,
in October last, that there would be Manifestoes needed; learned Proof,
the more irrefragable the better, of our Right to Silesia. It was
settled there, Let Ludwig, Kanzler of the University of Halle, do it.
[Herr Kanzler Ludwig, monster of Antiquarian, Legal and other Learning
there: wealthy, too, and close-fisted; whom we have seen obliged to open
his closed fist, and to do building in the Friedrich Strasse, before
now; Nussler, his son-in-law, having no money:--as careless readers
have perhaps forgotten?] Ludwig set about his new task with a proud
joy. Ludwig knows that story, if he know anything. Long years ago he
put forth a Chapter upon it; weighty Chapter; in a Book of weight, said
Judges;--Book weighing, in pounds avoirdupois and otherwise, none of
us now knows what: [Title of this weighty Performance (see Preuss,
_Thronbesteigung,_ p. 432) is, or was (size not given), _Germania
Princeps_ (Halae, 1702). Preuss says farther, "That Book ii. c. 3
handles the Prussian claims: Jagerndorf being? 13; Liegnitz,? 14; Oppeln
and Ratibor,? 16;--and that Ludwig had sent a Copy of this Argument
[weighty Performance altogether? Or Book ii. c. 3 of it, which would
have had a better chance?] to King Friedrich, on the death of Kaiser
Karl VI."]--but, in after years, it used to be said by flatterers of the
Kanzler, 'Herr Kanzler, see the effect of Learning. It was you, it was
your weighty Book, that caused all this World-tumult, and flung the
Nations into one another's hair!' Upon which the old Kanzler would
blush: 'You do me too much honor!'

"Ludwig, directly on order given, gathered out his documents again, in
the King's name this time; and promised something weighty by New-year's
day at latest." Doubtless to the joy of Nussler, who has still no
regular appointment, though well deserving one. "And sure enough, on
January 7th, at Berlin, 'in three languages,' Ludwig's DEDUCTION had
come out; an eager Public waiting for it: [Title is, _Rechtsgegrundetes
Eigenthum_ (in the Latin copies, _Patrimonium,_ and _Propriete fondee en
Droit_ in the French copies) _des &c.,_--that is to say, _Legal Right of
Property in the Royal-Electoral House of Brandenburg to the Duchies
and Principalities of Jagerndorf, Liegnitz, Brieg, Wohlau_ (Berlin,
7th January, 1741).]--and at Berlin it was generally thought to be
conclusive. I have looked into Ludwig's Deduction, stern duty urging,
in this instance for one: such portions as I read are nothing like so
stupid as was expected; and, in fact, are not to be called stupid at
all, but fit for their purpose, and moderately intelligible to those who
need them,"--which happily we do not in this place.

Judicious Mr. Viner availed nothing against the Proposed Address; any
more than he would against the Atlantic Tide, coming in unanimous,
under influence of the Moon itself,--as indeed this Address, and the
triumphant Subsidy which was voted in the rear of it, may be said to
have done. [Coxe, iii. 265.] Subsidy of 300,000 pounds to her Hungarian
Majesty; which, with the 200,000 pounds already gone that road, makes
a handsome Half-million for the present Year. The first gush of the
Britannia Fountain,--which flowed like an Amalthea's Horn for seven
years to come; refreshing Austria, and all thirsty Pragmatic Nations, to
defend the Keystone of this Universe. Unluckily every guinea of it went,
at the same time, to encourage Austria in scorning King Friedrich's
offers to it; which perhaps are just offers, thinks Mr. Viner; which
once listened to, Pragmatic Sanction would be safe. [Mr. Viner was of
Pupham, or Pupholm, in Lincolnshire, for which County he sat then, and
for many years before and after,--from about 1713 till 1761, when he
died. A solid, instructed man, say his contemporaries. "He was a friend
of Bolingbroke's, and had a house near Bolingbroke's Battersea one." He
is Great great-grandfather to the present Mr. Viner, and to the Countess
de Grey and Ripon; which is an interesting little fact.]

This Parliament is strong for Pragmatic Sanction, and has high
resentments against Walpole; in both which points the New Parliament,
just getting elected, will rival and surpass it,--especially in the
latter point, that of uprooting Walpole, which the Nation is bent on,
with a singular fury. Pragmatic Sanction like to be ruined; and Walpole
furiously thrown out: what a pair of sorrows for poor George! During his
late Caroline's time, all went peaceably, and that of "governing" was
a mere pleasure; Walpole and Caroline cunningly doing that for him, and
making him believe he was doing it. But now has come the crisis, the
collapse; and his poor Majesty left alone to deal with it!--


"For above Ten Years, Walpole himself", says my Constitutional Historian
(unpublished), "for almost Twenty Years, Walpole virtually and through
others, has what they call 'governed' England; that is to say, has
adjusted the conflicting Parliamentary Chaos into counterpoise, by
what methods he had; and allowed England, with Walpole atop, to jumble
whither it would and could. Of crooked things made straight by Walpole,
of heroic performance or intention, legislative or administrative, by
Walpole, nobody ever heard; never of the least hand-breadth gained from
the Night-realm in England, on Walpole's part: enough if he could manage
to keep the Parish Constable walking, and himself float atop. Which task
(though intrinsically zero for the Community, but all-important to
the Walpole, of Constitutional Countries) is a task almost beyond the
faculty of man, if the careless reader knew it!

"This task Walpole did,--in a sturdy, deep-bellied, long-headed,
John-Bull fashion, not unworthy of recognition. A man of very forcible
natural eyesight, strong natural heart,--courage in him to all lengths;
a very block of oak, or of oakroot, for natural strength. He was always
very quiet with it, too; given to digest his victuals, and be peaceable
with everybody. He had one rule, that stood in place of many: To keep
out of every business which it was possible for human wisdom to stave
aside. 'What good will you get of going into that? Parliamentary
criticism, argument and botheration? Leave well alone. And even leave
ill alone:--are you the tradesman to tinker leaky vessels in England?
You will not want for work. Mind your pudding, and say little!' At home
and abroad, that was the safe secret. For, in Foreign Politics, his rule
was analogous: 'Mind your own affairs. You are an Island, you can do
without Foreign Politics; Peace, keep Peace with everybody: what, in the
Devil's name, have you to do with those dog-worryings over Seas? Once
more, mind your pudding!' Not so bad a rule; indeed it is the better
part of an extremely good one;--and you might reckon it the real rule
for a pious Rritannic Island (reverent of God, and contemptuous of the
Devil) in times of general Down-break and Spiritual Bankruptcy, when
quarrellings of Sovereigns are apt to be mere dog-worryings and Devil's
work, not good to interfere in.

"In this manner, Walpole, by solid John-Bull faculty (and methods of
his own), had balanced the Parliamentary swaggings and clashings, for
a great while; and England had jumbled whither it could, always in a
stupid, but also in a peaceable way. As to those same 'methods of his
own' they were--in fact they were Bribery. Actual purchase of votes by
money slipt into the hand. Go straight to the point. 'The direct
real method this,' thinks Walpole: 'is there in reality any other?' A
terrible question to Constitutional Countries; which, I hear, has never
been resolved in the negative, by the modern improvements of science.
Changes of form have introduced themselves; the outward process, I
hear, is now quite different. According as the fashions and conditions
alter,--according as you have a Fourth Estate developed, or a Fourth
Estate still in the grub stage and only developing,--much variation of
outward process is conceivable.

"But Votes, under pain of Death Official, are necessary to your poor
Walpole: and votes, I hear, are still bidden for, and bought. You may
buy them by money down (which is felony, and theft simple, against the
poor Nation); or by preferments and appointments of the unmeritorious
man,--which is felony double-distilled (far deadlier, though more
refined), and theft most compound; theft, not of the poor Nation's
money, but of its soul and body so far, and of ALL its moneys and
temporal and spiritual interests whatsoever; theft, you may say, of
collops cut from its side, and poison put into its heart, poor Nation!
Or again, you may buy, not of the Third Estate in such ways, but of
the Fourth, or of the Fourth and Third together, in other still more
felonious and deadly, though refined ways. By doing clap-traps, namely;
letting off Parliamentary blue-lights, to awaken the Sleeping Swineries,
and charm them into diapason for you,--what a music! Or, without
clap-trap or previous felony of your own, you may feloniously, in the
pinch of things, make truce with the evident Demagogos, and Son of Nox
and of Perdition, who has got 'within those walls' of yours, and is
grown important to you by the Awakened Swineries, risen into alt, that
follow him. Him you may, in your dire hunger of votes, consent to
comply with; his Anarchies you will pass for him into 'Laws,' as you are
pleased to term them;--instead of pointing to the whipping-post, and
to his wicked long ears, which are so fit to be nailed there, and of
sternly recommending silence, which were the salutary thing.--Buying may
be done in a great variety of ways. The question, How you buy? is not,
on the moral side, an important one. Nay, as there is a beauty in going
straight to the point, and by that course there is likely to be the
minimum of mendacity for you, perhaps the direct money-method is a shade
less damnable than any of the others since discovered;--while, in
regard to practical damage resulting, it is of childlike harmlessness in

"That was Walpole's method; with this to aid his great natural faculty,
long-headed, deep-bellied, suitable to the English Parliament and
Nation, he went along with perfect success for ten or twenty years. And
it might have been for longer,--had not the English Nation accidentally
come to wish, that it should CEASE jumbling NO-whither; and try to
jumble SOME-whither, at least for a little while, on important business
that had risen for England in a certain quarter. Had it not been for
Jenkins's Ear blazing out in the dark English brain, Walpole might have
lasted still a long while. But his fate lay there:--the first Business
vital to England which might turn up; and this chanced to be the Spanish
War. How vital, readers shall see anon. Walpole, knowing well enough in
what state his War-apparatus was, and that of all his Apparatuses there
was none in a working state, but the Parliamentary one,--resisted
the Spanish War; stood in the door against it, with a rhinoceros
determination, nay almost something of a mastiff's; resolute not to
admit it, to admit death as soon. Doubtless he had a feeling it would
be death, the sagacious man;--and such it is now proving; the Walpole
Ministry dying by inches from it; dying hard, but irremediably.

"The English Nation was immensely astonished, which Walpole was not, any
more than at the other Laws of Nature, to find Walpole's War-apparatus
in such a condition. All his Apparatuses, Walpole guesses, are in
no better, if it be not the Parliamentary one. The English Nation is
immensely astonished, which Walpole again is not, to find that his
Parliamentary Apparatus has been kept in gear and smooth-going by the
use of OIL: 'Miraculous Scandal of Scandals!' thinks the English Nation.
'Miracle? Law of Nature, you fools!' thinks Walpole. And in fact there
is such a storm roaring in England, in those and in the late and the
coming months, as threatens to be dangerous to high roofs,--dangerous
to Walpole's head at one time. Storm such as had not been witnessed in
men's memory; all manner of Counties and Constituencies, with solemn
indignation, charging their representatives to search into that
miraculous Scandal of Scandals, Law of Nature, or whatever it may be;
and abate the same, at their peril.

"To the now reader there is something almost pathetic in these solemn
indignations, and high resolves to have Purity of Parliament
and thorough Administrative Reform, in spite of Nature and the
Constitutional Stars;--and nothing I have met with, not even the
Prussian Dryasdust, is so unsufferably wearisome, or can pretend to
equal in depth of dull inanity, to ingenuous living readers, our poor
English Dryasdust's interminable, often-repeated Narratives, volume
after volume, of the debatings and colleaguings, the tossings and
tumults, fruitless and endless, in Nation and National Palaver, which
ensued thereupon. Walpole (in about a year hence), [February 13th (2d),
1742, quitting the House after bad usage there, said he would never
enter it again; nor did: February 22d, resigned in favor of Pulteney and
Company (Tindal, xx. 530; Thackeray, i. 45).] though he struck to the
ground like a rhinoceros, was got rolled out. And a Successor, and
series of Successors, in the bright brand-new state, was got rolled
in; with immense shouting from mankind:--but up to this date we have
no reason to believe that the Laws of Nature were got abrogated on
that occasion, or that the constitutional stars have much altered their
courses since."

That Walpole will probably be lost, goes much home to the Royal bosom,
in these troublous Spring months of 1741, as it has done and will do.
And here, emerging from the Spanish Main just now, is a second sorrow,
which might quite transfix the Royal bosom, and drive Majesty itself
to despair; awakening such insoluble questions,--furnishing such proof,
that Walpole and a good few other persons (persons, and also things, and
ideas and practices, deep-rooted in the Country) stand much in need of
being lost, if England is to go a good road!

The Spanish War being of moment to us here, we will let our
Constitutional Historian explain, in his own dialect, How it was so
vital to England; and shall even subjoin what he gives as History of it,
such being so admirably succinct, for one quality.


"There was real cause for a War with Spain. It is one of the few cases,
this, of a war from necessity. Spain, by Decree of the Pope,--some Pope
long ago, whose name we will not remember, in solemn Conclave, drawing
accurately 'his Meridian Line,' on I know not what Telluric or
Uranic principles, no doubt with great accuracy 'between Portugal
and Spain,'--was proprietor of all those Seas and Continents. And now
England, in the interim, by Decree of the Eternal Destinies, had clearly
come to have property there, too; and to be practically much concerned
in that theoretic question of the Pope's Meridian. There was no
reconciling of theory with fact. 'Ours indisputably,' said Spain, with
loud articulate voice; 'Holiness the Pope made it ours!'--while fact
and the English, by Decree of the Eternal Destinies, had been grumbling
inarticulately the other way, for almost two hundred years past, and no
result had.

"In Oliver Cromwell's time, it used to be said, 'With Spain, in Europe,
there may be peace or war; but between the Tropics it is always war.'
A state of things well recognized by Oliver, and acted on, according
to his opportunities. No settlement was had in Oliver's brief time;
nor could any be got since, when it was becoming yearly more pressing.
Bucaniers, desperate naval gentlemen living on BOUCAN, or hung beef;
who are also called Flibustiers (FLIBUTIERS, 'Freebooters,' in French
pronunciation, which is since grown strangely into FILIBUSTERS,
Fillibustiers, and other mad forms, in the Yankee Newspapers now
current): readers have heard of those dumb methods of protest. Dumb and
furious; which could bring no settlement; but which did astonish the
Pope's Decree, slashing it with cutlasses and sea-cannon, in that
manner, and circuitously forwarded a settlement. Settlement was becoming
yearly more needful: and, ever since the Treaty of Utrecht especially,
there had been an incessant haggle going on, to produce one; without the
least effect hitherto. What embassyings, bargainings, bargain-breakings;
what galloping of estafettes; acres of diplomatic paper, now fallen
to the spiders, who always privately were the real owners! Not in
the Treaty of Utrecht, not in the Congresses of Cambray, of Soissons,
Convention of Pardo, by Ripperda, Horace Walpole, or the wagging of
wigs, could this matter be settled at all. Near two hundred years of
chronic misery;--and had there been, under any of those wigs, a
Head capable of reading the Heavenly Mandates, with heart capable of
following them, the misery might have been briefly ended, by a direct
method. With what immense saving in all kinds, compared with the oblique
method gone upon! In quantity of bloodshed needed, of money, of idle
talk and estafettes, not to speak of higher considerations, the saving
had been incalculable. For it was England's one Cause of War during the
Century we are now upon; and poor England's course, when at last driven
into it, went ambiguously circling round the whole Universe, instead of
straight to the mark. Had Oliver Cromwell lived ten years longer;--but
Oliver Cromwell did not live; and, instead of Heroic Heads, there came
in Constitutional Wigs, which makes a great difference.

"The pretensions of Spain to keep Half the World locked up in embargo
were entirely chimerical; plainly contradictory to the Laws of Nature;
and no amount of Pope's Donation Acts, or Ceremonial in Rota or
Propaganda, could redeem them from untenability, in the modern days. To
lie like a dog in the manger over South America, and say snarling, 'None
of you shall trade here, though I cannot!'--what Pope or body of Popes
can sanction such a procedure? Had England had a Head, instead of Wigs,
amid its diplomatists, England, as the chief party interested, would
have long since intimated gently to such dog in the manger: 'Dog, will
you be so obliging as rise! I am grieved to say, we shall have to do
unpleasant things otherwise. Dogs have doors for their hutches: but to
pretend barring the Tropic of Cancer,--that is too big a door for
any dog. Can nobody but you have business here, then, which is not
displeasing to the gods? We bid you rise!' And in this mode there is no
doubt the dog, bark and bite as he might, would have ended by
rising; not only England, but all the Universe being against him. And
furthermore, I compute with certainty, the quantity of fighting needed
to obtain such result would, by this mode, have been a minimum. The
clear right being there, and now also the clear might, why take refuge
in diplomatic wiggeries, in Assiento Treaties, and Arrangements which
are NOT analogous to the facts; which are but wigged mendacities,
therefore; and will but aggravate in quantity and in quality the
fighting yet needed? Fighting is but (as has been well said) a battering
out of the mendacities, pretences, and imaginary elements: well
battered-out, these, like dust and chaff, fly torrent-wise along the
winds, and darken all the sky; but these once gone, there remain the
facts and their visible relation to one another, and peace is sure.

"The Assiento Treaty being fixed upon, the English ought to have kept
it. But the English did not, in any measure; nor could pretend to have
done. They were entitled to supply Negroes, in such and such number,
annually to the Spanish Plantations; and besides this delightful branch
of trade, to have the privilege of selling certain quantities of their
manufactured articles on those coasts; quantities regulated briefly by
this stipulation, That their Assiento Ship was to be of 600 tons burden,
so many and no more. The Assiento Ship was duly of 600 tons accordingly,
promise kept faithfully to the eye; but the Assiento Ship was attended
and escorted by provision-sloops, small craft said to be of the most
indispensable nature to it. Which provision-sloops, and indispensable
small craft, not only carried merchandise as well, but went and came
to Jamaica and back, under various pretexts, with ever new supplies of
merchandise; converting the Assiento Ship into a Floating Shop, the Tons
burden and Tons sale of which set arithmetic at defiance. This was the
fact, perfectly well known in England, veiled over by mere smuggler
pretences, and obstinately persisted in, so profitable was it.
Perfectly well known in Spain also, and to the Spanish Guarda-Costas
and Sea-Captains in those parts; who were naturally kept in a perennial
state of rage by it,--and disposed to fly out into flame upon it, when a
bad case turned up! Such a case that of Jenkins had seemed to them; and
their mode of treating it, by tearing off Mr. Jenkins's Ear, proved to
be--bad shall we say, or good?--intolerable to England's thick skin; and
brought matters to a crisis, in the ways we saw."...

The Jenkins's-Ear Question, which then looked so mad to everybody, how
sane has it now grown to my Constitutional Friend! In abstruse ludicrous
form there lay immense questions involved in it; which were serious
enough, certain enough, though invisible to everybody. Half the World
lay hidden in embryo under it. Colonial-Empire, whose is it to be? Shall
Half the World be England's, for industrial purposes; which is innocent,
laudable, conformable to the Multiplication-table at least, and other
plain Laws? Or shall it be Spain's for arrogant-torpid sham-devotional
purposes, contradictory to every Law? The incalculable Yankee Nation
itself, biggest Phenomenon (once thought beautifulest) of these
Ages,--this too, little as careless readers on either side of the sea
now know it, lay involved. Shall there be a Yankee Nation, shall there
not be; shall the New World be of Spanish type, shall it be of English?
Issues which we may call immense. Among the then extant Sons of Adam,
where was he who could in the faintest degree surmise what issues lay in
the Jenkins's-Ear Question? And it is curious to consider now, with what
fierce deep-breathed doggedness the poor English Nation, drawn by their
instincts, held fast upon it, and would take no denial, as if THEY had
surmised and seen. For the instincts of simple guileless persons (liable
to be counted STUPID, by the unwary) are sometimes of prophetic nature,
and spring from the deep places of this Universe!--My Constitutional
Friend entitles his next Section CARTHAGENA; but might more fitly have
headed it (for such in reality it is, Carthagena proving the evanescent
point of that sad business),


1. WAR, AND PORTO-BELLO (NOVEMBER, 1739-MARCH, 1740).--"November
4th, 1739, War was at length (after above four months' obscure
quasi-declaring of it, in the shape of Orders in Council, Letters of
Marque, and so on) got openly declared; 'Heralds at Arms at the usual
places' blowing trumpets upon it, and reading the royal Manifesto, date
of which is five days earlier, 'Kensington, October 30th (19th).' The
principal Events that ensue, arrange themselves under Three Heads, this
of Porto-Bello being the FIRST; and (by intense smelting) are datable
as follows:--[_Gentleman's Magazine,_ ix. 551, x. 124, 142, 144, 350;
Tindal, xx. 430-433, 442; &c.]

"Tuesday Evening, 1st December, 1739, Admiral Vernon, our chosen
Anti-Spaniard, finding, a while ago, that he had missed the Azogue Ships
on the Coast of Spain, and must try America and the Spanish Main, in
that view arrives at Porto-Bello. Next day, December 2d, Vernon
attacks Porto-Bello; attacks certain Castles so called, with furious
broadsiding, followed by scalading; gets surrender (on the 3d);--seamen
have allowance instead of plunder;--blows up what Castles there are; and
returns to Port Royal in Jamaica.

"Never-imagined joy in England, and fame to Vernon, when the news came:
'Took it with Six Ships,' cry they; 'the scurvy Ministry, who had heard
him, in the fire of Parliamentary debate, say Six, would grant him no
more: invincible Vernon!' Nay, next Year, I see, 'London was illuminated
on the Anniversary of Porto-Bello:'--day settled in permanence as one of
the High-tides of the Calendar, it would appear. And 'Vernon's Birthday'
withal--how touching is stupidity when loyal!--was celebrated amazingly
in all the chief Towns, like a kind of Christmas, when it came round;
Nature having deigned to produce such a man, for a poor Nation in
difficulties. Invincible Vernon, it is thought by Gazetteers, 'will look
in at Carthagena shortly;' much more important Place, where a certain
Governor Don Blas has been insolent withal, and written Vernon letters.

14th March, 1740, Vernon did, accordingly, look in on Carthagena;
[_Gentleman's Magazine,_ x. 350.] cast anchor in the shallow waste of
surfs there, that Monday; and tried some bombarding, with bomb-ketches
and the like, from Thursday till Saturday following. Vernon hopes he
did hit the Jesuits' College, South Bastion, Custom-house and other
principal edifices; but found that there was no getting near enough on
that seaward side. Found that you must force the Interior Harbor,--a
big Inland Gulf or Lake, which gushes in by what they call LITTLE-MOUTH
(Boca-Chica), and has its Booms, Castles and Defences, which are
numerous and strongish;--and that, for this end, you must have seven or
eight thousand Land Forces, as well as an addition of Ships. On Saturday
Evening, therefore, Vernon calls in his bomb-ketches; sails past,
examining these things; and goes forth on other small adventures. For

"Sunday, 3d April, 1740, 'about 10 at night' opens cannonade on Chagres
(place often enough taken, by cutlass and pistol, in the Bucanier
times); and, on Tuesday, 5th, gets surrender of Chagres: 'Custom-house
crammed with goods, which we set fire to.' On news of which, there is
again, in England, joy over the day of small things. The poor English
People are set on this business of avenging Jenkins's Ear, and of
having the Ocean Highway unbarred; and hope always it can be done by the
Walpole Apparatuses, which ought to be in working order, and are not.
'Support this hero, you Walpole and Company, in his Carthagena views: it
will be better for you!"

"Walpole and Company, aware of that fact, do take some trouble about it;
and now, may not we say, PAULLO MAJORA CANAMUS? All through that Summer,
1740,"--while King Friedrich went rushing about, to Strasburg, to Wesel;
doing his Herstals and Practicalities, with a light high hand, in almost
an entertaining manner; and intent, still more, on his Voltaires and
a Life to the Muses,--"there was, in England, serious heavy tumult of
activity, secret and public. In the Dockyards, on the Drill-grounds,
what a stir: Camp in the Isle of Wight, not to mention Portsmouth and
the Sea-Industries; 6,000 Marines are to be embarked, as well as Land
Regiments,--can anybody guess whither? America itself is to furnish 'one
Regiment, with Scotch Officers to discipline it,' if they can.

"Here is real haste and effort; but by no means such speed as could be
wished; multiplex confusions and contradictions occurring, as is usual,
when your machinery runs foul. Nor are the Gazetteers without
their guesses, though they study to be discreet. 'Here is something
considerable in the wind; a grand idea, for certain;'--and to men of
discernment it points surely towards Carthagena and heroic Vernon out
yonder? Government is dumb altogether; and lays occasional embargo;
trying hard (without success), in the delays that occurred, to keep it
secret from Don Blas and others. The outcome of all which was,

"3. CARTHAGENA ITSELF (NOVEMBER, 1740--APRIL, 1741).--On November
6th,--by no means 'July 3d,' as your first fond program bore; which
delay was itself likely to be fatal, unless the Almanac, and course of
the Tropical Seasons would delay along with you!--we say, On Sunday,
6th November, 1740 [Kaiser Karl's Funeral just over, and great thoughts
going on at Reinsberg], Rear-Admiral Sir Chaloner Ogle,--so many weeks
and months after the set time,--does sail from St. Helen's (guessed,
for Carthagena); all people sending blessings with him. Twenty-five
big Ships of the Line, with three Half-Regiments on board; fireships,
bomb-ketches, in abundance; and eighty Transports, with 6,000 drilled
Marines: a Sea-and-Land Force fit to strengthen Hero Vernon with
a witness, and realize his Carthagena views. A very great day at
Portsmouth and St. Helen's for these Sunday folk. [Tindal, xx.
463 (LISTS, &c. there; date wrong, "31st October," instead of 26th
(o.s.),--many things wrong, and all things left loose and flabby, and
not right! As is poor Tindal's way).]

"Most obscure among the other items in that Armada of Sir Chaloner's,
just taking leave of England; most obscure of the items then, but
now most noticeable, or almost alone noticeable, is a young
Surgeon's-Mate,--one Tobias Smollett; looking over the waters there and
the fading coasts, not without thoughts. A proud, soft-hearted, though
somewhat stern-visaged, caustic and indignant young gentleman. Apt to be
caustic in speech, having sorrows of his own under lock and key, on this
and subsequent occasions. Excellent Tobias; he has, little as he hopes
it, something considerable by way of mission in this Expedition, and
in this Universe generally. Mission to take Portraiture of English
Seamanhood, with the due grimness, due fidelity; and convey the same to
remote generations, before it vanish. Courage, my brave young Tobias;
through endless sorrows, contradictions, toils and confusions, you will
do your errand in some measure; and that will be something!--

"Five weeks before (29th September, 1740, which was also several months
beyond time set), there had sailed, strictly hidden by embargoes which
were little effectual, another Expedition, all Naval; intended to be
subsidiary to this one: Commodore Anson's, of three inconsiderable
Ships; who is to go round Cape Horn, if he can; to bombard Spanish
America from the other side; and stretch out a hand to Vernon in his
grand Carthagena or ulterior views. Together they may do some execution,
if we judge by the old Bucanier and Queen-Elizabeth experiences? Anson's
Expedition has become famous in the world, though Vernon got no good of

Well! Here truly was a business; not so ill-contrived. Somebody of head
must have been at the centre of this: and it might, in result, have
astonished the Spaniard, and tumbled him much topsy-turvy in those
latitudes,--had the machinery for executing it been well in gear. Under
Friedrich Wilhelm's captaincy and management, every person, every item,
correct to its time, to its place, to its function, what a thing!
But with mere Walpole Machinery: alas, it was far too wide a Plan for
Machinery of that kind, habitually out of order, and only used to be as
correct as--as it could. Those DELAYS themselves, first to Anson, then
to Ogle, since the Tropical Almanac would not delay along with them, had
thrown both Enterprises into weather such as all but meant impossibility
in those latitudes! This was irremediable;--had not been remediable, by
efforts and pushings here and there. The best of management, as under
Anson, could not get the better of this; worst of management, as in the
other case, was likely to make a fine thing of it! Let us hasten on:--

"January 20th, 1741, We arrive, through much rough weather and other
confused hardships, at Port Royal in Jamaica; find Vernon waiting on
the slip; the American Regiment, tolerably drilled by the Scotch
Lieutenants, in full readiness and equipment; a body of Negroes
superadded, by way of pioneer laborers fit for those hot climates. One
sad loss there had been on the voyage hither: Land forces had lost
their Commander, and did not find another. General Cathcart had died of
sickness on the voyage; a Charles Lord Cathcart, who was understood
to possess some knowledge of his business; and his Successor, one
Wentworth, did not happen to have any. Which was reckoned unlucky, by
the more observant. Vernon, though in haste for Carthagena, is in some
anxiety about a powerful French Fleet which has been manoeuvring in
those waters for some time; intent on no good that Vernon can imagine.
The first thing now is, See into that French Fleet. French Fleet, on our
going to look in the proper Island, is found to be all off for home;
men 'mostly starved or otherwise dead,' we hear; so that now, after this
last short delay,--To Carthagena with all sail.

"Wednesday Evening, 15th March, 1741, We anchor in the Playa Grande, the
waste surfy Shallow which washes Carthagena seaward: 124 sail of us, big
and little. We find Don Blas in a very prepared posture. Don Blas has
been doing his best, this twelvemonth past; plugging up that Boca-Chica
(LITTLE MOUTH) Ingate, with batteries, booms, great ships; and has
castles not a few thereabouts and in the Interior Lake or Harbor; all
which he has put in tolerable defence, so far as can be judged: not an
inactive, if an insolent Don. We spend the next five days in considering
and surveying these Performances of his: What is to be done with them;
how, in the first place, we may force Boca-Chica; and get in upon his
Interior Castles and him. After consideration, and plan fixed:

"Monday, 20th March, Sir Chaloner, with broadsides, sweeps away
some small defences which lie to left of Boca-Chica [to our LEFT, to
Boca-Chica's RIGHT, if anybody cares to be particular]. Whereupon the
Troops land, some of them that same evening; and, within the next
two days, are all ashore, implements, Negroes and the rest; building
batteries, felling wood; intent to capture Boca-Chica Castle, and
demolish the War-Ships, Booms, and fry of Fascine and other Batteries;
and thereby to get in upon Don Blas, and have a stroke at his Interior
Castles and Carthagena itself. Till April 5th, here are sixteen days of
furious intricate work; not ill done:--the physical labor itself, the
building of batteries, with Boca-Chica firing on you over the woods, is
scarcely do-able by Europeans in that season; and the Negroes who are
able for it, 'fling down their burdens, and scamper, whenever a gun goes
off.' Furious fighting, too, there was, by seamen and landsmen; not ill
done, considering circumstances.

"On the sixteenth day, April 5th [King Friedrich hurrying from the
Mountains that same day, towards Steinau, which took fire with him
at night], Boca-Chica Castle and the intricate War-Ships, Booms, and
Castles thereabouts (Don Blas running off when the push became intense),
are at last got. So that now, through Boca-Chica, we enter the Interior
Harbor or Harbors. 'Harbors' which are of wide extent, and deep enough:
being in fact a Lake, or rather Pair of Lakes, with Castles (CASTILLO
GRANDE, 'Castle Grand,' the chief of them), with War-Ships sunk or
afloat, and miscellaneous obstructions: beyond all which, at the
farther shore, some five miles off, Carthagena itself does at last lie
potentially accessible; and we hope to get in upon Don Blas and it.
There ensue five days of intricate sea-work; not much of broadsiding,
mainly tugging out of sunk War-Ships, and the like, to get alongside of
Castle Grand, which is the chief obstruction.

"April 10, Castle Grand itself is got; nobody found in it when we storm.
Don Blas and the Spaniards seem much in terror; burning any Ships they
still have, near Carthagena; as if there were no chance now left." This
is the very day of Mollwitz Battle; near about the hour when Schwerin
broke into field-music, and advanced with thunderous glitter against the
evening sun! Carthagena Expedition is, at length, fairly in contact with
its Problem,--the question rising, 'Do you understand it, then?'

"Up to this point, mistakes of management had been made good by
obstinate energy of execution; clear victory had gone on so far, the
Capture of Carthagena now seemingly at hand. One thing was unfortunate:
'the able Mr. Moor [meritorious Captain of Foot, who, by accident, had
spent some study on his business], the one real Engineer we had,' got
killed in that Boca-Chica struggle: an end to poor Moor! So that
the Siege of Carthagena will have to go on WITHOUT Engineer science
henceforth. May be important, that,--who knows? Another thing was still
more palpably important: Sea-General Vernon had an undisguised contempt
for Land-General Wentworth. 'A mere blockhead, whose Brother has a
Borough,' thinks Vernon (himself an Opposition Member, of high-sniffing,
angry, not too magnanimous turn);--and withdraws now to his Ships;
intimating: 'Do your Problem, then; I have set you down beside it, which
was my part of the affair!'--Let us give the attack of Fort Lazar, and
end this sad business.

"Sunday, 16th April, Wentworth, once master of the Uppermost Lake or
Harbor (what the Natives call the SURGIDERO, or Anchorage Proper),
had disembarked, high up to the right, a good way south of Carthagena;
meaning to attack there-from a certain Fort Lazar, which stands on a
Hill between Carthagena and him: this Hill and Fort once his, he has
Carthagena under his cannon; Carthagena in his pocket, as it were. 'Fort
not to be had without batteries,' thinks Wentworth; though the sickly
rainy season has set in. 'Batteries? Scaling-ladders, you mean!' answers
Vernon, with undisguised contempt. For the two are, by this time, almost
in open quarrel. Wentworth starts building batteries, in spite of the
rain-deluges; then stops building;--decides to do it by scalade, after
all. And, at two in the morning of this Sunday, April 16th, sets forth,
in certain columns,--by roads ill-known, with arrangements that do NOT
fit like clock-work,--to storm said Hill and Fort. The English are an
obstinate people; and strenuous execution will sometimes amend defects
of plan,--sometimes not.

"The obstinate English, nothing in them but sullen fire of valor, which
has to burn UNluminous, did, after mistake on mistake, climb the
rocks or heights of Lazar Hill, in spite of the world and Don Blas's
cannonading; but found, when atop, That Fort Lazar, raining cannon-shot,
was still divided from them by chasms; that the scaling-ladders had
not come (never did come, owing to indiscipline somewhere),--and that,
without wings as of eagles, they could not reach Fort Lazar at all!
For about four hours, they struggled with a desperate doggedness,
to overcome the chasms, to wrench aside the Laws of Nature, and do
something useful for themselves; patiently, though sulkily; regardless
of the storm of shot which killed 600 of them, the while. At length,
finding the Laws of Nature too strong for them, they descended gloomily:
'in gloomy silence' marched home to their tents again,--in a humor too
deep for words.

"Yes; and we find they fell sick in multitudes, that night; and, 'in two
days more, were reduced from 6,645 to 3,200 effective;' Vernon, from
the sea, looking disdainfully on:--and it became evident that the big
Project had gone to water; and that nothing would remain but to return
straightway to Jamaica, in bankrupt condition. Which accordingly was set
about. And ten days hence (April 26th)) the final party of them did
get on board,--punctual to take 'three tents,' their last rag of
Siege-furniture, along with them; 'lest Don Blas have trophies,' thinks
poor Wentworth. And sailed away, with their sad Siege finished in such
fashion. Strenuous Siege; which, had the War-Sciences been foolishness,
and the Laws of Nature and the rigors of Arithmetic and Geometry been
stretchable entities, might have succeeded better!" [Smollett's Account,
_Miscellaneous Works_ (Edinburgh, 1806), iv. 445-469, is that of a
highly intelligent Eye-witness, credible and intelligible in every

"Evening of April 26th:"--I perceive it was in the very hours while
Belleisle arrived in Friedrich's Camp at Mollwitz; eve of that Siege of
Brieg, which we saw performing itself with punctual regard to said
Laws and rigors, and issuing in so different a manner! Nothing that
my Constitutional Historian has said equals in pungent enormity the
matter-of-fact Picture, left by Tobias Smollett, of the sick and
wounded, in the interim which follow&d that attempt on Fort Lazar and
the Laws of Nature:--

"As for the sick and wounded", says Tobias, "they were, next day, sent
on board of the transports and vessels called hospital-ships; where they
languished in want of every necessary comfort and accommodation. They
were destitute of surgeons, nurses, cooks and proper provision; they
were pent up between decks in small vessels, where they had not room to
sit upright; they wallowed in filth; myriads of maggots were hatched in
the putrefaction of their sores, which had no other dressing than that
of being washed by themselves with their own allowance of brandy; and
nothing was heard but groans, lamentations and the language of despair,
invoking death to deliver them from their miseries. What served to
encourage this despondence, was the prospect of those poor wretches who
had strength and opportunity to look around them; for there they beheld
the naked bodies of their fellow-soldiers and comrades floating up and
down the harbor, affording prey to the carrion-crows and sharks, which
tore them in pieces without interruption, and contributing by their
stench to the mortality that prevailed.

"This picture cannot fail to be shocking to the humane reader,
especially when he is informed, that while those miserable objects
cried in vain for assistance, and actually perished for want of proper
attendance, every ship of war in the fleet could have spared a couple of
surgeons for their relief; and many young gentlemen of that profession
solicited their captains in pain for leave to go and administer help
to the sick and wounded. The necessities of the poor people were well
known; the remedy was easy and apparent; but the discord between the
chiefs was inflamed to such a degree of diabolical rancor, that the
one chose rather to see his men perish than ask help of the other, who
disdained to offer his assistance unasked, though it might have
saved the lives of his fellow-subjects." [Smollett, IBID. (Anderson's
Edition), iv. 466.]

In such an amazing condition is the English Fighting Apparatus under
Walpole, being important for England's self only; while the Talking
Apparatus, important for Walpole, is in such excellent gearing, so well
kept in repair and oil! By Wentworth's blame, who had no knowledge of
war; by Vernon's, who sat famous on the Opposition side, yet wanted
loyalty of mind; by one's blame and another's, WHOSE it is idle arguing,
here is how your Fighting Apparatus performs in the hour when needed.
Unfortunate General, or General's Cocked-Hat (a brave heart too, they
say, though of brain too vacant, too opaque); unfortunate Admiral
(much blown away by vanity, in-nature and Parliamentary wind);--doubly
unfortunate Nation, that employs such to lead its armaments! How the
English Nation took it? The English Nation has had much of this kind to
take, first and last; and apparently will yet have. "Gloomy silence,"
like that of the poor men going home to their tents, is our only dialect
towards it.

This is a dreadful business, this of the wrecked Carthagena Expedition;
such a force of war-munitions in every kind,--including the rare kind,
human Courage and force of heart, only not human Captaincy, the rarest
kind,--as could have swallowed South America at discretion, had there
been Captains over it. Has gone blundering down into Orcus and the
shark's belly, in that unutterable manner. Might have been didactic
to England, more than it was; England's skin being very thick against
lessons of that nature. Might have broken the heart of a little
Sovereign Gentleman Curator of England, had he gone hypochondriacally
into it; which he was far from doing, brisk little Gentleman; looking
out else-whither, with those eyes A FLEUR DE TETE, and nothing of
insoluble admitted into the brain that dwelt inside.

What became subsequently of the Spanish War, we in vain inquire of
History-Books. The War did not die for many years to come, but neither
did it publicly live; it disappears at this point: a River Niger, seen
once flowing broad enough; but issuing--Does it issue nowhere, then?
Where does it issue? Except for my Constitutional Historian, still
unpublished, I should never have known where.--By the time these
disastrous Carthagena tidings reached England, his Britannic Majesty
was in Hanover; involved, he, and all his State doctors, English and
Hanoverian, in awful contemplation on Pragmatic Sanction, Kaiserwahl,
Celestial Balance, and the saving of Nature's Keystone, should this
still prove possible to human effort and contrivance. In which Imminency
of Doomsday itself, the small English-Spanish matter, which the Official
people, and his Majesty as much as any, had bitterly disliked, was quite
let go, and dropped out of view. Forgotten by Official people; left
to the dumb English Nation, whose concern it was, to administer as IT

Anson--with his three ships gone to two, gone ultimately to one--is
henceforth what Spanish War there officially is. Anson could not meet
those Vernon-Wentworth gentlemen "from the other side of the Isthmus of
Darien," the gentlemen, with their Enterprise, being already bankrupt
and away. Anson, with three inconsiderable ships, which rotted gradually
into one, could not himself settle the Spanish War: but he did, on his
own score, a series of things, ending in beautiful finis of the Acapulco
Ship, which were of considerable detriment, and of highly considerable
disgrace, to Spain;--and were, and are long likely to be, memorable
among the Sea-heroisms of the world. Giving proof that real Captains,
taciturn Sons of Anak, are still born in England; and Sea-kings, equal
to any that were. Luckily, too, he had some chaplain or ship's-surgeon
on board, who saw good to write account of that memorable VOYAGE of his;
and did it, in brief, perspicuous terms, wise and credible: a real Poem
in its kind, or Romance all Fact; one of the pleasantest little Books
in the World's Library at this date. Anson sheds some tincture of heroic
beauty over that otherwise altogether hideous puddle of mismanagement,
platitude, disaster; and vindicates, in a pathetically potential way,
the honor of his poor Nation a little.

Apart from Official Anson, the Spanish War fell mainly, we may say,
into the hands of--of Mr. Jenkins himself, and such Friends of his,
at Wapping, Bristol and the Seaports, as might be disposed to go
privateering. In which course, after some crosses at first, and great
complaints of losses to Spanish Privateers, Wapping and Bristol did at
length eminently get the upper hand; and thus carried on this Spanish
War (or Spanish-French, Spain and France having got into one boat), for
long years coming; in an entirely inarticulate, but by no means quite
ineffectual manner,--indeed, to the ultimate clearance of the Seas from
both French and Spaniard, within the next twenty years. Readers shall
take this little Excerpt, dated Three Years hence, and set it twinkling
in the night of their imaginations:--

BRISTOL, MONDAY, 21st (10th) SEPTEMBER, 1744.... "Nothing is to be seen
here but rejoicings for the number of French prizes brought into this
port. Our Sailors are in high spirits, and full of money; and while on
shore, spend their whole time in carousing, visiting their mistresses,
going to plays, serenading, &c., dressed out with laced hats, tossels
(SIC), swords with sword-knots, and every other way of spending their
money." [Extract of a Letter from Bristol, in _Gentleman's Magazine,_
xiv. 504.]

Carthagena, Walpole, Viners: here are Sorrows for a Britannic
Majesty;--and these are nothing like all. But poor readers should
have some respite; brief breathing-time, were it only to use their
pocket-handkerchiefs, and summon new courage!


After Brieg, Friedrich undertook nothing military, except strict
vigilance of Neipperg, for a couple of months or more. Military,
especially offensive operations, are not the methods just now. Rest on
your oars; see how this seething Ocean of European Politics, and Peace
or War, will settle itself into currents, into set winds; by which
of them a man may steer, who happens to have a fixed port in view.
Neipperg, too, is glad to be quiescent; "my Infantry hopelessly
inferior," he writes to head-quarters: "Could not one hire 10,000
Saxons, think you,"--or do several other chimerical things, for help?
Except with his Pandour people, working what mischief they can, Neipperg
does nothing. But this Hungarian rabble is extensively industrious,
scouring the country far and wide; and gives a great deal of trouble
both to Friedrich and the peaceable inhabitants. So that there is plenty
of Small War always going on:--not mentionable here, any passage of
it, except perhaps one, at a place called Rothschloss; which concerns
a remarkable Prussian Hussar Major, their famed Ziethen, and is still
remembered by the Prussian public.

We have heard of Captain, now Major Ziethen, how Friedrich Wilhelm sent
him to the Rhine Campaign, six years ago, to learn the Hussar Art from
the Austrians there. One Baronay (BARONIAY, or even BARANYAI, as others
write him), an excellent hand, taught him the Art;--and how well he has
learned, Baronay now sadly experiences. The affair of Rothschloss (in
abridged form) befell as follows:--

"In these Small-War businesses, Baronay, Austrian Major-General of
Hussars, had been exceedingly mischievous hitherto. It was but the other
day, a Prussian regular party had to go out upon him, just in time; and
to RE-wrench 'sixty cart-loads of meal,' wrenched by him from suffering
individuals; with which he was making off to Neisse, when the Prussians
[from their Camp of Mollwitz, where they still are] came in sight.

"And now again (May 16th) news is, That Baronay, and 1,400 Hussars with
him, has another considerable set of meal-carts,--in the Village of
Rothschloss, about twenty miles southward, Frankenstein way; and means
to march with them Neisse-ward to-morrow. Two marches or so will bring
him home; if Prussian diligence prevent not. 'Go instantly,' orders
Friedrich,--appointing Winterfeld to do it: Winterfeld with 300
dragoons, with Ziethen and Hussars to the amount of 600; which is more
than one to two of Austrians.

"Winterfeld and Ziethen march that same day; are in the neighborhood of
Rothschloss by nightfall; and take their measures,--block the road
to Neisse, and do other necessary things. And go in upon Baronay next
morning, at the due rate, fiery men both of them; sweep poor Baronay
away, MINUS the meal; who finds even his road blocked (bridge bursting
into cannon-shot upon him, at one point), instead of bridge, a stream,
or slow current of quagmire for him,--and is in imminent hazard.
Ziethen's behavior was superlative (details of it unintelligible off the
ground); and Baronay fled totally in wreck;--his own horse shot, and at
the moment no other to be had; swam the quagmire, or swashed through it,
'by help of a tree;' and had a near miss of capture. Recovering himself
on the other side, Baronay, we can fancy, gave a grin of various
expression, as he got into saddle again: 'The arrow so near killing was
feathered from one's own wing, too!'--And indeed, a day or two after, he
wrote Ziethen a handsome Letter to that effect." [_Helden-Geschichte,_
i. 927; Orlich, i. 120. _The Life of General de Zieten_ (English
Translation, very ill printed, Berlin, 1803), BY FRAU VON BLUMENTHAL
(a vaguish eloquent Lady, but with access to information, being a
connection of Z.'s), p. 84.]

Ziethen, for minor good feats, had been made Lieutenant-Colonel, the
very day he marched; his Commission dates May 16th, 1741; and on the
morrow he handsels it in this pretty manner. He is now forty-two; much
held down hitherto; being a man of inarticulate turn, hot and abrupt
in his ways,--liable always to multifarious obstruction, and unjust
contradiction from his fellow-creatures. But Winterfeld's report on this
occasion was emphatic; and Ziethen shoots rapidly up henceforth;
Colonel within the year, General in 1744; and more and more esteemed by
Friedrich during their subsequent long life together.

Though perhaps the two most opposite men in Nature, and standing so far
apart, they fully recognized one another in their several spheres. For
Ziethen too had good eyesight, though in abstruse sort:--rugged simple
son of the moorlands; nourished, body and soul, on orthodox frugal
oatmeal (so to speak), with a large sprinkling of fire and iron
thrown in! A man born poor: son of some poor Squirelet in the Ruppin
Country;--"used to walk five miles into Ruppin on Saturday nights," in
early life, "and have his hair done into club, which had to last him
till the week following." [_Militair-Lexikon,_ iv. 310.] A big-headed,
thick-lipped, decidedly ugly little man. And yet so beautiful in his
ugliness: wise, resolute, true, with a dash of high uncomplaining sorrow
in him;--not the "bleached nigger" at all, as Print-Collectors sometimes
call him! No; but (on those oatmeal terms) the Socrates-Odysseus, the
valiant pious Stoic, and much-enduring man. One of the best Hussar
Captains ever built. By degrees King Friedrich and he grew to
be,--with considerable tiffs now and then, and intervals of gloom and
eclipse,--what we might call sworn friends. On which and on general
grounds, Ziethen has become, like Friedrich himself, a kind of mythical
person with the soldiery and common people; more of a demi-god than any
other of Friedrich's Captains.

Friedrich is always eagerly in quest of men like Ziethen; specially so
at this time. He has meditated much on the bad figure his Cavalry made
at Mollwitz; and is already drilling them anew in multiplex ways, during
those leisure days he now has,--with evident success on the next trial,
this very Summer. And, as his wont is, will not rest satisfied there.
But strives incessantly, for a series of summers and years to come,
till he bring them to perfection; or to the likeness of his own thought,
which probably was not far from that. Till at length it can be said his
success became world-famous; and he had such Seidlitzes and Ziethens as
were not seen before or since.



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