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Title: History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Volume 17
Author: Carlyle, Thomas, 1795-1881
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Volume 17" ***

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HISTORY OF FRIEDRICH II. OF PRUSSIA

FREDERICK THE GREAT

By Thomas Carlyle



Book XVII--THE SEVEN-YEARS WAR: FIRST CAMPAIGN.--1756-1757.



Chapter I.--WHAT FRIEDRICH HAD READ IN THE MENZEL DOCUMENTS.

The ill-informed world, entirely unaware of what Friedrich had been
studying and ascertaining, to his bitter sorrow, for four years past,
was extremely astonished at the part he took in those French-English
troubles; extremely provoked at his breaking out again into a Third
Silesian War, greater than all the others, and kindling all Europe in
such a way. The ill-informed world rang violently, then and long after,
with a Controversy, "Was it of his beginning, or Not of his beginning?"
Controversy, which may in our day be considered as settled by unanimous
mankind; finished forever; and can now have no interest for any
creature.

Omitting that, our problem is (were it possible in brief compass), To
set forth, by what authentic traits there are,--not the "ambitious,"
"audacious," voracious and highly condemnable Friedrich of the
Gazetteers,--but the thrice-intricately situated Friedrich of Fact. What
the Facts privately known to Friedrich were, in what manner known; and
how, in a more complex crisis than had yet been, Friedrich demeaned
himself: upon which latter point, and those cognate to it, readers ought
not to be ignorant, if now fallen indifferent on so many other points of
the Affair. What a loud-roaring, loose and empty matter is this tornado
of vociferation which men call "Public Opinion"! Tragically howling
round a man; who has to stand silent the while; and scan, wisely under
pain of death, the altogether inarticulate, dumb and inexorable matter
which the gods call Fact! Friedrich did read his terrible Sphinx-riddle;
the Gazetteer tornado did pipe and blow. King Friedrich, in contrast
with his Environment at that time, will most likely never be portrayed
to modern men in his real proportions, real aspect and attitude then and
there,--which are silently not a little heroic and even pathetic, when
well seen into;--and, for certain, he is not portrayable at present,
on our side of the Sea. But what hints and fractions of feature we
authentically have, ought to be given with exactitude, especially with
brevity, and left to the ingenuous imagination of readers.

The secret sources of the Third Silesian War, since called "Seven-Years
War," go back to 1745; nay, we may say, to the First Invasion of Silesia
in 1740. For it was in Maria Theresa's incurable sorrow at loss of
Silesia, and her inextinguishable hope to reconquer it, that this and
all Friedrich's other Wars had their origin. Twice she had signed Peace
with Friedrich, and solemnly ceded Silesia to him: but that too, with
the Imperial Lady, was by no means a finis to the business. Not that
she meant to break her Treaties; far from her such a thought,--in the
conscious form. Though, alas, in the unconscious, again, it was always
rather near! practically, she reckoned to herself, these Treaties would
come to be broken, as Treaties do not endure forever; and then, at the
good moment, she did purpose to be ready. "Silesia back to us; Pragmatic
Sanction complete in every point! Was not that our dear Father's will,
monition of all our Fathers and their Patriotisms and Traditionary
Heroisms; and in fact, the behest of gods and men?" Ten years ago, this
notion had been cut down to apparent death, in a disastrous manner, for
the second time. But it did not die in the least: it never thinks of
dying; starts always anew, passionate to produce itself again as action
valid at last; and lives in the Imperial Heart with a tenacity that is
strange to observe. Still stranger, in the envious Valet-Heart,--in that
of Bruhl, who had far less cause!

The Peace of Dresden, Christmas, 1745, seemed to be an act of
considerable magnanimity on Friedrich's part. It was, at the first blush
of it, "incredible" to Harrach, the Austrian Plenipotentiary; whose
embarrassed, astonished bow we remember on that occasion, with English
Villiers shedding pious tears. But what is very remarkable withal is
a thing since discovered: [INFRA, next Note (p. 276).] That Harrach,
magnanimous signature hardly yet dry, did then straightway, by order of
his Court, very privately inquire of Bruhl, "There is Peace, you see;
what they call Peace:--but our TREATY OF WARSAW, for Partition of this
magnanimous man, stands all the same; does n't it?" To which, according
to the Documents, Bruhl, hardly escaped from the pangs of death, and
still in a very pale-yellow condition, had answered in effect, "Hah,
say you so? One's hatred is eternal;--but that man's iron heel! Wait a
little; get Russia to join in the scheme!"--and hung back; the willing
mind, but the too terrified! And in this way, like a famishing dog in
sight of a too dangerous leg of mutton, Bruhl has ever since rather
held back; would not re-engage at all, for almost two years, even on
the Czarina's engaging; and then only in a cautious, conditional and
hypothetic manner,--though with famine increasing day by day in sight
of the desired viands. His hatred is fell; but he would fain escape with
back unbroken.



HOW FRIEDRICH DISCOVERED THE MYSTERY. CONCERNING MENZEL AND WEINGARTEN.

Friedrich has been aware of this mystery, at least wide awake to it and
becoming ever more instructed, for almost four years. Traitor Menzel the
Saxon Kanzellist--we, who have prophetically read what he had to confess
when laid hold of, are aware, though as yet, and on to 1757, it is a
dead secret to all mortals but himself and "three others"--has been busy
for Prussia ever since "the end of 1752." Got admittance to the Presses;
sent his first Excerpt "about the time of Easter-Fair, 1753,"--time
of Voltaire's taking wing. And has been at work ever since. Copying
Despatches from the most secret Saxon Repositories; ready always on
Excellency Mahlzahn's indicating the Piece wanted; and of late, I should
think, is busier than ever, as the Saxon Mystery, which is also an
Austrian and Russian one, gets more light thrown into it, and seems to
be fast ripening towards action of a perilous nature. The first Excerpts
furnished by Menzel, readers can judge how enigmatic they were. These
Menzel Papers, copies mainly of Petersburg or Vienna DESPATCHES to
Bruhl, with Bruhl's ANSWERS,--the principal of which were subsequently
printed in their best arrangement and liveliest point of vision [In
Friedrich's Manifestoes, chiefly in MEMOIRE RAISONNE SUR LA CONDUITE DES
COURS DE VIENNE ET DE SAXE (compiled from the MENZEL ORIGINALS, so
soon as these were got hold of: Berlin, Autumn, 1756). A solid and
able Paper; rapidly done, by one Count Herzberg, who rose high in
after times. Reprinted, with many other "Pieces" and "Passages," in
_Gesammelte Nachrichten und Urkunden,_--which is a "Collection" of such
(2 vols., 113 Nos. small 8vo, no Place, 1757, my Copy of it).]--are by
no means a luminous set of Documents to readers at this day. Think what
a study they were at Potsdam in 1753, while still in the chaotic state;
fished out, more or less at random, as Menzel could lay hold of them,
or be directed to them; the enigma clearing itself only by intense
inspection, and capability of seeing in the dark!

It appears,--if you are curious on the anecdotic part,--

"Winterfeld was the first that got eye on this dangerous Saxon
Mystery; some Ex-Saxon, about to settle in Berlin, giving hint of it
to Winterfeld; who needed only a hint. So soon as Winterfeld convinced
himself that there was weight in the affair, he imparted it to
Friedrich: 'Scheme of partitioning, your Majesty, of picking
quarrel, then overwhelming and partitioning; most serious scheme,
Austrian-Russian as well as Saxon; going on steadily for years past, and
very lively at this time!' If true, Friedrich cannot but admit that this
is serious enough: important, thrice over, to discover whether it is
true;--and gives Winterfeld authority to prosecute it to the bottom, in
Dresden or wherever the secret may lie. Who thereupon charged Mahlzahn,
the Prussian Minister at Dresden, to find some proper Menzel, and bestir
himself. How Mahlzahn has found his Menzel, and has bestirred himself,
we saw. Thief-keys were made to pattern in Berlin; first set did not
fit, second did; and stealthy Menzel gains admittance to that Chamber of
the Archives, can steal thither on shoes of felt when occasion serves,
and copy what you wish,--for a consideration. Intermittently, since
about Easter-Fair, 1753. Three persons are cognizant of it, Winterfeld,
Mahlzahn, Friedrich; three, and no more. Probably the abstrusest study;
and the most intense, going on in the world at that epoch. [Rotzow,
_Charakteristik des Siebenjahrigen Krieges _(Berlin, 1802), i. 23.]

"At a very early stage of the Menzel Excerpts it became manifest that
certain synchronous Austrian Ditto would prove highly elucidative; that,
in fact, it would be indispensable to get hold of these as well. Which
also Winterfeld has managed to do. A deep-headed man, who has his eyes
about him; and is very apt to manage what he undertakes. One Weingarten
Junior, a Secretary in the Austrian Embassy at Berlin (Excellency
Peubla's second Secretary), has his acquaintanceships in Berlin Society;
and for one thing, as Winterfeld discovers, is 'madly in love' with
some Chambermaid or quasi-chambermaid (let us call her Chambermaid),
'Daughter of the Castellan at Charlottenburg.' Winterfeld, through the
due channels, applied to this Chambermaid, 'Get me a small secret Copy
of such and such Despatches, out of your Weingarten; it will be well for
you and him; otherwise perhaps not well!' Chambermaid, hope urging,
or perhaps hope and fear, did her best; Weingarten had to yield the
required product and products, as required. By this Weingarten, from
some date not long after Menzel's first mysterious Dresden Excerpts,
the necessary Austrian glosses, so far as possible to Weingarten on the
indications given him, have been regularly had, for the two or three
years past.

"Weingarten first came to be seriously suspected June, 1756 (Weingarten
Junior, let us still say, for there was a Senior of unstained fidelity);
'June 15th,' Excellency Peubla pointedly demands him from Friedrich and
the Berlin Police: 'Weingarten Junior, my SECOND Secretar, fugitive and
traitor; hidden somewhere!' ["BERLIN, 22d JUNE: Every research making
for Mr. Weingatten,--in vain hitherto" (_Gentleman's Magazine, _xxvi.,
i. e. for 1756, p. 363).] Excellency Peubla is answered, 24th June: 'We
would so fain catch him, if we could! We have tried at Stendal,--not
there: tried his Mother-in-law; knows nothing: have forborne laying up
his poor Wife and Children; and hope her Imperial Majesty will
have pity on that poor creature, who is fallen so miserable.'
[_Helden-Geschichte,_ iii. 713.] So that Excellency Peubla had nothing
for it but to compose himself; to honor the unstainable fidelity of
Weingarten Senior by a public piece of promotion, which soon ensued; and
let the Junior run. Weingarten Junior, on the first suspicion, had
vanished with due promptitude,--was not to be unearthed again. We
perceive he has married his Charlottenburg Beauty, and there are
helpless babies. It seems, he lived long years after, in the Altmark, as
a Herr von Weiss,'--his reflections manifold, but unknown. [Retzow, i.
37.] What is much notabler, Cogniazzo, the Austrian Veteran, heard
Weingarten's MASTER, Graf von Peubla, talk of the 'GRAND MYSTERE,' soon
after, and how Friedrich had heard of it, not from Weingarten alone, but
from Gross-Furst PETER, Russian Heir-Apparent! [Cogniazzo, i. 225.]

"As to Menzel, he did not get away. Menzel, as we saw, lasted in free
activity till 1757; and was then put under lock and key. Was not hanged;
sat prisoner for twenty-seven years after; overgrown with hair, legs
and arms chained together, heavy iron bar uniting both ankles; diet
bread-and-water;--for the rest, healthy; and died, not very miserable it
is said, in 1784. Shocking traitors, Weingarten and he."

Yes, a diabolical pair, they, sure enough:--and the thing they betrayed
against their Masters, was that a celestial thing? Servants of the Devil
do fall out; and Servants not of the Devil are fain, sometimes, to raise
a quarrel of that kind!--

The then world, as we said, was one loud uproar of logic on the right
reading and the wrong of those Sibylline Documents: "Did your King of
Prussia interpret them aright, or even try it? Did not he use them as a
cloak for highway robbery, and swallowing of a peaceable Saxony, bad man
that he surely is?" For Friedrich's demeanor, this time again, when
it came to the acting point, was of eminent rapidity; almost a swifter
lion-spring than ever; and it brought on him, in the aerial or vocal
way, its usual result: huge clamor of rage and logic from uninformed
mankind. Clamorous rage and logic, which has now sunk irresuscitably
dead;--nothing of it much worth mentioning to modern readers, scarcely
even its HIC JACET (in Footnotes, for the benefit of the curious!),--and
it is, at last, a thing not doubtful to anybody that Friedrich, in that
matter did read aright. So that now the loud uproar is reduced to one
small question with us, What did he read in those Menzel Documents? What
Fact lying in them was it that Friedrich had to read? Here, smelted down
by repeated roastings, is succinct answer;--for the ultimate fragment of
incombustible here as elsewhere, will go into a nutshell, once the
continents of Diplomatist-Gazetteer logic and disorderly stable-litter,
threatening to heap themselves over the very stars, have been faithfully
burnt away.

Readers heard of a "Union of Warsaw," early in 1745, concluded by the
Sea-Powers and the Saxon-Polish and Hungarian Majesties: very
harmless UNION of Warsaw, public to all the world,--but with a certain
thrice-secret "TREATY of Warsaw" (between Polish and Hungarian Majesty
themselves two, the Sea-Powers being horror-struck by mention of
it) which had followed thereupon, in an eager and wonderful manner.
Thrice-secret Treaty, for Partitioning Friedrich, and settling the
respective shares of his skin. Treaty which, to denote its origin, we
called of Warsaw; though it was not finished there (shares of skin so
difficult to settle), and "Treaty of LEIPZIG, 18th May, 1745," is
its ALIAS in Books:--of which Treaty, as the Sea-Powers had recoiled
horror-struck, there was no whisper farther, to them or to the rest of
exoteric mankind;--though it has been one of the busiest Entities ever
since. From the Menzel Documents, I know not after what circuitous
gropings and searchings, Friedrich first got notice of that Treaty:
[Now printed in _OEuvres de Frederic,_ iv. 40-42.] figure his look on
discovering it!

We said it was the remarkablest bit of sheepskin in its Century. Readers
have heard too, That it was proposed to Bruhl, by a grateful Austria,
directly on signing the Peace of Dresden: "Our Partition-Treaty stands
all the same, does it not?"--and in what humor Bruhl answered: "Hah? Get
Russia to join!" Both these facts, That there is a Treaty of Warsaw and
that this is the Austrian-Saxon temper and intention towards him and
it, Friedrich learned from the Menzel Documents. And if the reader will
possess himself of these two facts, and understand that they are of a
germinative, most vital quality, indestructible by the times and the
chances; and have been growing and developing themselves, day and night
ever since, in a truly wonderful manner,--the reader knows in substance
what Menzel had to reveal.

Russia was got to join;--there are methods of operating on Russia, and
kindling a poor fat Czarina into strange suspicions and indignations.
In May, 1746, within six months of the Peace of Dresden, a Treaty of
Petersburg, new version of the Warsaw one, was brought to parchment;
Czarina and Empress-Queen signing,--Bruhl dying to sign, but not daring.
How Russia has been got to join, and more and more vigorously bear a
hand; how Bruhl's rabidities of appetite, and terrors of heart, have
continued ever since; how Austria and Russia,--Bruhl aiding with
hysterical alacrity, haunted by terror (and at last mercifully EXCUSED
from signing),--have, year after year, especially in this last year,
1755, brought the matter nearer and nearer perfection; and the Two
Imperial Majesties, with Bruhl to rear, wait only till they are fully
ready, and the world gives opportunity, to pick a quarrel with
Friedrich, and overwhelm and partition him, according to covenant: This,
wandering through endless mazes of detail, is in sum what the Menzel
Documents disclose to Friedrich and us. How, in a space of ten years,
the small seed-grain of a Treaty of Warsaw, or Treaty of Petersburg,
planted and nourished in that manner, in the Satan's Invisible World,
has grown into a mighty Tree there,--prophetic of Facts near at hand;
which were extremely sanguinary to the Human Race for the next Seven
Years.

This is the sum-total: but for Friedrich's sake, and to illustrate
the situation, let us take a few glances more, into the then Satan's
Invisible World, which had become so ominously busy round Friedrich and
others. The Czarina, we say, was got to engage; 22d May, 1746, there
came a Treaty of Petersburg duly valid, which is that of Warsaw under a
new name: and still Bruhl durst not, for above a year coming,--not till
August 15th, 1747; [MEMOIRE RAISONNE (in _Gesammelte Nachrichten _), i.
459.] and then, only in a hypothetic half-and-half way, with fear and
trembling, though with hunger unspeakable, in sight of the viands. A
very wretched Bruhl, as seen in these Menzel Documents. On poor Polish
Majesty Bruhl has played the sorcerer, this long while, and ridden him
as he would an enchanted quadruped, in a shameful manner: but how, in
turn (as we study Menzel), is Bruhl himself hagridden, hunted by his
own devils, and leads such a ghastly phantasmal existence yonder, in
the Valley of the Shadow of CLOTHES,--mere Clothes, metaphorical and
literal! ["MONTREZ-MOI DES VERTUS, PAS DES CULOTTES (Have you no virtues
then to show me; nothing but pain of breeches)!" exclaimed an impatient
French Traveller, led about in Bruhl's Palace one day: Archenholtz,
_Geschichte des Siebenjahrigen Krieges,_ i. 63.] Wretched Bruhl,
agitated with hatreds of a rather infernal nature, and with terrors of
a not celestial, comes out on our sympathies, as a dog almost
pitiable,--were that possible, with twelve tailors sewing for him, and a
Saxony getting shoved over the precipices by him.

A famishing dog in the most singular situation. What he dare do, he
does, and with such a will. But there is almost only one thing safe to
him: that of egging on the Czarina against Friedrich; of coining lies to
kindle Czarish Majesty; of wafting on every wind rumors to that end, and
continually besieging with them the empty Czarish mind. Bruhl has many
Conduits, "the Sieur de Funck," "the Sieur Gross" plenty of Legationary
Sieurs and Conduits;--which issue from all quarters on Petersburg, and
which find there a Reservoir, and due Russian SERVICE-PIPES, prepared
for them;--and Bruhl is busy. "Commerce of Dantzig to be ruined,"
suggests he, "that is plain: look at his Asiatic Companies, his Port of
Embden. Poland is to be stirred up;--has not your Czarish Majesty
heard of his intrigues there? Courland, which is almost become your
Majesty's--cunningly snatched by your Majesty's address, like a valuable
moribund whale adrift among the shallows,--this bad man will have it
out to sea again, with the harpoons in it; fairly afloat amid the Polish
Anarchies again!" These are but specimens of Bruhl. Or we can give such
in Bruhl's own words, if the reader had rather. Here are Two, which have
the advantage of brevity:--

1.... The Sieur de Funck, Saxon Minister at Petersburg, wrote to Count
Bruhl, 9th July, 1755 (says an inexorable Record), "That the Sieur Gross
[now Minister of Russia at Dresden, who vanished out of Berlin like an
angry sky-rocket some years ago] would do a good service to the Common
Cause, if he wrote to his Court, 'That the King of Prussia had found a
channel in Courland, by which he learned all the secrets of the Russian
Court;'" and Sieur Funck added, "that it was expected good use could be
made of such a story with her Czarish Majesty."--To which Count Bruhl
replies, 23d July, "That he has instructed the Sieur Gross, who will not
fail to act in consequence."

2. Sieur Prasse, same Funck's Secretary of Legation, at Petersburg,
writes to Count Bruhl, 12th April, 1756:--

"I am bidden signify to your Excellency that it is greatly wished,
in order to favor certain views, you would have the goodness to cause
arrive in Petersburg, by different channels, the following intelligence:
'That the King of Prussia, on pretext of Commerce, is sending officers
and engineers into the Ukraine, to reconnoitre the Country and excite a
rebellion there.' And this advice, be pleased to observe, is not to come
direct from the Saxon Court, nor by the Envoy Gross, but by some third
party,--to the end there may be no concert noticed;--as they [L'ON, the
"service-pipes," and managing Excellencies, Russian and Austrian] have
given the same commission to other Ministers, so that the news shall
come from more places than one.

"They [the said managing Excellencies] have also required me to write to
the Baron de Sack," our Saxon Minister in Sweden, "upon it, which I will
not fail to do; and they assured me that our Court's advantage was
not less concerned in it than that of their own; adding these words
[comfortable to one's soul], 'The King of Prussia [in 1745] gave Saxony
a blow which it will feel for fifty years; but we will give him one
which he will feel for a hundred.'"

To which beautiful suggestion Excellency Bruhl answers, 2d June, 1756:
"As to the Secret Commission of conveying to Petersburg, by concealed
channels, Intelligence of Prussian machinations in the Ukraine, we are
still busy finding out a right channel; and they [L'ON, the managing
Excellencies] shall very soon, one way or the other, see the effect of
my personal inclination to second what is so good an intention, though
a little artful (UN PEU ARTIFICIEUSE,"--UN PEU, nothing to speak of)!
[MEMOIRE RAISONNE (in _ Gesammelte Nachrichten _), i. 424-425; and ib.
472.]

Fancy a poor fat Czarina, of many appetites, of little judgment,
continually beaten upon in this manner by these Saxon-Austrian artists
and their Russian service-pipes. Bombarded with cunningly devised
fabrications, every wind freighted for her with phantasmal rumors, no
ray of direct daylight visiting the poor Sovereign Woman; who is lazy,
not malignant if she could avoid it: mainly a mass of esurient oil,
with alkali on the back of alkali poured in, at this rate, for ten years
past; till, by pouring and by stirring, they get her to the state of
SOAP and froth! Is it so wonderful that she does, by degrees, rise into
eminent suspicion, anger, fear, violence and vehemence against her bad
neighbor? One at last begins to conceive those insane whirls, continual
mad suspicions, mad procedures, which have given Friedrich such
vexation, surprise and provocation in the years past.

Friedrich is always specially eager to avoid ill-will from Russia; but
it has come, in spite of all he could do and try. And these procedures
of the Czarish Majesty have been so capricious, unintelligible,
perverse, and his feeling is often enough irritation, temporary
indignation,--which we know makes Verses withal! I can nowhere learn
from those Prussian imbroglios of Books, what the Friedrich Sayings
or Satirical Verses properly were: Retzow speaks of a PRODUKT, one
at least, known in interior Circles. [Retzow, i. 34.] PRODUKT which
decidedly requires publication, beyond anything Friedrich ever
wrote;--though one can do without it too, and invoke Fancy in defect of
Print. The sharpness of Friedrich's tongue we know; and the diligence of
birds of the air. To all her other griefs against the bad man, this has
given the finish in the tender Czarish bosom;--and like an envenomed
drop has set the saponaceous oils (already dosed with alkali, and
well in solution) foaming deliriously over the brim, in never-imagined
deluges of a hatred that is unappeasable;--very costly to Friedrich and
mankind. Rising ever higher, year by year; and now risen, to what height
judge by the following:--

AT PETERSBURG, 14th-15th MAY, 1753, "There was Meeting of the Russian
Senate, with deliberation held for these two days; and for issue this
conclusion come to:--

"That it should be, and hereby is, settled as a fundamental maxim of the
Russia Empire, Not only to oppose any farther aggrandizement of the
King of Prussia, but to seize the first convenient opportunity for
overwhelming (ECRASER), by superior force, the House of Brandenburg
[Hear, hear!], and reducing it to its former state of mediocrity."
[MEMOIRE RAISONNE (in _Gesammelte Nachrichten _), i. 421.] Leg of mutton
to be actually gone into. With what an enthusiasm of "Hear, hear!" from
Bruhl and kindred parties; especially from Bruhl,--who, however, dare
not yet bite, except hypothetically, such his terrors and tremors. Or,
look again (same Senate),

AT PETERSBURG, (OCTOBER, 1755): "To which Fundamental Maxim, articulately
fixed ever since those Maydays of 1753, the august Russian Sanhedrim,
deliberating farther in October, 1755, adds this remarkable extension,

"That it is our resolution to attack the King of Prussia without farther
discussion, whensoever the said King shall attack any Ally of Russia's,
or shall himself be attacked by any of them." Hailed by Bruhl, as
natural, with his liveliest approval. "A glorious Deliberation, that,
indeed!" writes he: "It clears the way of action for Russia's Allies in
this matter; and for us too; though nobody can blame us, if we proceed
with the extremest caution,"--and rather wait till the Bear is nearly
killed. [MEMOIRE RAISONNE (in _Gesammelte Nachrichten_ ), i. 422.]

Many marvels Friedrich had deciphered out of this Weingarten-Menzel
Apocalypse of Satan's Invisible World; and one often fancies Friedrich's
tone of mind, in his intense inspecting of that fateful continent
of darkness, and his labyrinthic stepping by degrees to the oracular
points, which have a light in them when flung open. But in respect of
practical interest, this of October, 1755 (which would get to Potsdam
probably in few weeks after) must have surpassed all the others. Marvels
many, one after the other: [For example, or in recapitulation: a Treaty
of Warsaw or Leipzig, to partition him (18th May, 1745); Treaty of
Petersburg (22d May, 1746, new form of Warsaw Treaty, with Czarina
superadded); tremulous Quasi-Accession thereto of his Polish Majesty
(most tremulous, hypothetic Quasi-Accession, "Yes-AND-No," 15th August,
1747, and often afterwards); first Deliberation of the Russian Senate,
15th May, 1753; &c. &c. For example, or in recapitulation: a Treaty
of Warsaw or Leipzig, to partition him (18th May, 1745); Treaty of
Petersburg (22d May, 1746, new form of Warsaw Treaty, with Czarina
superadded); tremulous Quasi-Accession thereto of his Polish Majesty
(most tremulous, hypothetic Quasi-Accession, "Yes-AND-No," 15th August,
1747, and often afterwards); first Deliberation of the Russian Senate,
15th May, 1753; &c. &c.] no doubt left, long since, of the constant
disposition, preparation and fixed intention to partition him. But
here, in this last indication by the Russian Senate,--which kindles into
dismal evidence so many other enigmatic tokens,--there has an ulterior
oracular point disclosed itself to Friedrich; in vaguer condition, but
not less indubitable, and much more perilous: namely, That now, at last
(end of 1755), the Two Imperial Majesties, very eager both, consider
that the time is come. And are--as Friedrich looks abroad on the
Austrian-Russian marchings of troops, campings, and unusual military
symptoms and combinations--visibly preparing to that end.

"They have agreed to attack me next Year (1756), if they can; and next
again (1757), without IF:" so Friedrich, putting written word and public
occurrence together, gradually reads; and so, all readers will see,
the fact was,--though Imperial Majesty at Schonbrunn, as we shall find,
strove to deny it when applied to; and scouted, as mere fiction
and imagination, the notion of such an "Agreement." Which I infer,
therefore, NOT to have existed in parchment; not in parchment, but
only in reality, and as a mutual Bond registered in--shall we say "in
Heaven", as some are wont?--registered, perhaps, in TWO Places, very
separate indeed! No truer "Agreement" ever did exist;--though a devout
Imperial Majesty denies it, who would shudder at the lie direct.

Poor Imperial Majesty: who can tell her troubles and straits in this
abstruse time! Heaven itself ordering her to get back the Silesia of her
Fathers, if she could;--yet Heaven always looking dubious, surely, upon
this method of doing it. By solemn Public Treaties signed in sight
of all mankind; and contrariwise, in the very same moments, by Secret
Treaties, of a fell nature, concocted underground, to destroy the life
of these! Imperial Majesty flatters herself it may be fair: "Treaty of
Dresden, Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle; Treaties wrung from me by force, the
tyrannic Sea-Powers screwing us; Kaunitz can tell! A consummate Kaunitz;
who has provided remedies. Treaties do get broken. Besides, I will
not go to War, unless HE the Bad One of Prussia do!"--Alas, your noble
Majesty, plain it at least is, your love of Silesia is very strong. And
consummate Kaunitz and it have led you into strange predicaments. The
Pompadour, for instance: who was it that answered, "JE NE LA CONNAIS
PAS; I don't know her!"? How gladly would the Imperial Maria Theresa,
soul of Propriety, have made that answer! But she did not; she had to
answer differently. For Kaunitz was imperative: "A kind little Note to
the Pompadour; one, and then another and another; it is indispensable,
your Imperial Majesty!" And Imperial Majesty always had to do it. And
there exist in writing, at this hour, various flattering little Notes
from Imperial Majesty to that Address; which begin, "MA COUSINE,"
"PRINCESSE ET COUSINE," say many witnesses; nay "MADAME MA TRES CHERE
SOEUR," says one good witness: [Hormayr (cited in Preuss, i. 433 n.),--as
are Duclos; Montgaillard; MEMOIRES DE RICHELIEU; &c.]--Notes which ought
to have been printed, before this, or given at least to the Museums.
"My Cousin," "Princess and Cousin," "Madame my dearest Sister:" Oh,
high Imperial Soul, with what strange bed-fellows does Misery of various
kinds bring us acquainted!

Friedrich was blamably imprudent in regard to Pompadour, thinks Valori:
"A little complaisance might have--what might it not have done!--" But
his Prussian Majesty would not. And while the Ministers of all the
other Powers allied with France "went assiduously to pay their court
to Madame, the Baron von Knyphausen alone, by his Master's order, never
once went." ["Don't! JE NE LA CONNAIS PAS"],--while the Empress-Queen
was writing her the most flattering letters. The Prince of Prussia,
King's eldest Brother, wished ardently to obtain her Portrait, and had
applied to me for it; as had Prince Henri to my Predecessor. The King,
who has such gallant and seductive ways when he likes, could certainly
have reconciled this "celebrated Lady",--a highly important Improper
Female to him and others. [Valori, i. 320.]

Yes; but he quite declined, not counting the costs. Costs may be
immediate; profits are remote,--remote, but sure. Costs did indeed prove
considerable, perhaps far beyond his expectation; though, I flatter
myself, they never awoke much remorse in him, on that score!--

Friedrich's Enigma, towards the end of 1755 and onwards, is becoming
frightfully stringent; and the solution, "What practically will be the
wise course for me?" does not lessen in abstruse intricacy, but the
reverse, as it grows more pressing. A very stormy and dubious Future,
truly! Two circumstances in it will be highly determinative: one of
them evident to Friedrich; the other unknown to him, and to all mortals,
except two or three. FIRST,

That there will be an English-French War straightway; and that, as
usual, the French, weaker at sea, will probably attack Hanover;--
that is to say, bring the War home to one's own door, and ripen
into fulfilment those Austrian-Russian Plots. This is the evident
circumstance, fast coming on; visible to Friedrich and to everybody.
But that, in such event, Austria will join, not with England, but with
France: this is a SECOND circumstance, guessable by nobody; known
only to Kaunitz and a select one or two; but which also will greatly
complicate Friedrich's position, and render his Enigma indeed
astonishingly intricate, as well as stringent for solution!



Chapter II.--ENGLISH DIPLOMACIES ABROAD, IN PROSPECT OF A FRENCH WAR.

Britannic Majesty, I know not at what date, but before the launching of
that poor Braddock thunder-bolt, much more after the tragic explosion it
made, had felt that French War was nearly inevitable, and also that the
French method would be, as heretofore, to attack Hanover, and wound
him in that tender part. There goes on, accordingly, a lively Foreign
Diplomatizing, on his Majesty's part, at present,--in defect, almost
total, of Domestic Preparation, military and other;--Majesty and
Ministers expecting salvation from abroad, as usual. Military
preparation does lag at a shameful rate: but, on the other hand,
there is a great deal of pondering, really industrious considering and
contriving, about Foreign Allies, and their subsidies and engagements.
That step, for example, the questionable Seizure of the French Ships
WITHOUT Declaration of War, was a contrivance by diplomatic Heads (of
bad quality): "Seize their ships," said some bad Head, after meditating;
"put their ships in SEQUESTRATION, till they do us justice. If they
won't, and go to War,--then THEY are the Aggressors, not we; and our
Allies have to send their auxiliary quotas, as per contract!" So the
Ships were seized; held in sequestration, "till many of the cargoes
(being perishable goods, some even fish) rotted." [Smollett's _History
of England; _&c. &c.] And in return, as will be seen, not one auxiliary
came to hand: so that the diplomatic Head had his rotted cargoes, and
much public obloquy, for his pains. Not a fortunate stroke of business,
that!--

Britannic Majesty, on applying at Vienna (through Keith, Sir or Mr.
Robert Keith, the FIRST Excellency of that name, for there are two, a
father and a son, both Vienna Excellencies), was astonished to learn
That, in such event of an Aggression, even on Hanover, there was no
co-operation to be looked for here. Altogether cold on that subject, her
Imperial Majesty seems; regardless of Excellency Keith's remonstrances
and urgencies; and, in the end, is flatly negatory: "Cannot do it, your
Excellency; times so perilous, bad King of Prussia so minatory,"--not
to mention, SOTTO VOCE that we have turned on our axis, and the wind
(thanks to Kaunitz) no longer hits us on the same cheek as formerly!

"Cannot? Will not?" Britannic Majesty may well stare, wide-eyed;
remembering such gigantic Subsidizings and Alcides Labors, Dettingens,
Fontenoys, on the per-contra side. But so stands the fact: "No help from
an ungrateful Vienna;--quick, then, seek elsewhere!" And Hanbury and the
Continental British Excellencies have to bestir themselves as they never
did. Especially Hanbury; who is directed upon Russia,--whom alone of
these Excellencies it is worth while to follow for a moment. Russia,
on fair subsidy, yielded us a 35,000 last War (willingly granted, most
useful, though we had no fighting out of them, mere terror of them being
enough): beyond all things, let Hanbury do his best in Russia!

Hanbury, cheerfully confident, provides himself with the requisites,
store of bribe-money as the chief;--at Warsaw withal, he picks up one
Poniatowski (airy sentimental coxcomb, rather of dissolute habits,
handsomest and windiest of young Polacks): "Good for a Lover to the
Grand-Duchess, this one!" thinks Hanbury. Which proved true, and had its
uses for Hanbury;--Grand-Duchess and Grand-Duke (Catherine and Peter,
whom we saw wedded twelve years ago, Heirs-Apparent of this Russian
Chaos) being an abstrusely situated pair of Spouses; well capable of
something political, in private ways, in such a scene of affairs; and
Catherine, who is an extremely clever creature, being out of a lover
just now. A fine scene for the Diplomatist, this Russia at present.
Nowhere in the world can you do so much with bribery; quite a standing
item, and financial necessary-of-life to Officials of the highest rank
there, as Hanbury well knows. [His Letters (in Raumer), PASSIM.] That
of Poniatowski proved, otherwise too, a notable stroke of Hanbury's; and
shot the poor Polish Coxcomb aloft into tragic altitudes, on the sudden,
as we all know!

Hanbury's immense dexterities, and incessant labors at Petersburg, shall
lie hidden in the slop-pails: it is enough to say, his guineas, his
dexterities and auxiliary Poniatowskis did prevail; and he triumphantly
signed his Treaty (Petersburg, 30th September) "Subsidy-Treaty for
55,000 men, 15,000 of them cavalry," not to speak of "40 to 50 galleys"
and the like; "to attack whomsoever Britannic Majesty bids: annual cost
a mere 500,000 pounds while on service; 100,000 pounds while waiting."
[In _Adelung,_ vii. 609.] And, what is more, and what our readers are to
mark, the 55,000 begin on the instant to assemble,--along the Livonian
Frontier or Lithuanian, looking direct into Preussen. Diligently
rendezvousing there; 55,000 of them, nay gradually 70,000; no stinginess
in the Czarina to her Ally of England. A most triumphant thing, thinks
Hanbury: Could another of you have done it? Signed, ready for ratifying,
30th September, 1755 (bad Braddock news not hindering);--and before it
is ratified (this also let readers mark), the actual Troops getting on
march.

Hanbury's masterpiece, surely; a glorious triumph in the circumstances,
and a difficult, thinks Hanbury. Had Hanbury seen the inside of the
cards, as readers have, he would not have thought it so triumphant. For
years past,--especially since that "Fundamental maxim, May 14th-15th,
1753," which we heard of,--the Czarina's longings had been fixed. And
here now--scattering money from both hands of it, and wooing us with
diplomatic finessings--is the Fulfilment come! "Opportunity" upon
Preussen; behold it here.

The Russian Senate again holds deliberation; declares (on the heel of
this Hanbury Treaty), "in October, 1755," what we read above, That its
Anti-Prussian intentions are--truculent indeed. And it is the common
talk in Petersburg society, through Winter, what a dose the ambitious
King of Prussia has got brewed for him, [MEMOIRE RAISONNE (in
_Gesammelte Nachrichten _), i. 429, &c.] out of Russian indignation
and resources, miraculously set afloat by English guineas. A triumphant
Hanbury, for the time being,--though a tragical enough by and by!



THE TRIUMPHANT HANBURY TREATY BECOMES, ITSELF, NOTHING OR LESS;--BUT
PRODUCES A FRIEDRICH TREATY, FOLLOWED BY RESULTS WHICH SURPRISE
EVERYBODY.

King Friedrich's outlooks, on this consummation, may well seem to him
critical. The sore longing of an infuriated Czarina is now let loose,
and in a condition to fulfil itself! To Friedrich these Petersburg news
are no secret; nor to him are the Petersburg private intentions a thing
that can be doubted. Apart from the Menzel-Weingarten revelations, as
we noticed once, it appears the Grand-Duke Peter (a great admirer
of Friedrich, poor confused soul) had himself thrice-secretly warned
Friedrich, That the mysterious Combination, Russia in the van, would
attack him next Spring;--"not Weingarten that betrayed our GRAND
MYSTERE; from first hand, that was done!" said Excellency Peubla,
on quitting Berlin not long after. [Cogniazzo, _Gestandnisse eines
OEsterreichischen Veterans _(as cited above), i. 225. "September 16th,
1756," Peubla left Berlin (Rodenbeck, i. 298),--three months after
Weingarten's disappearance.] The Grand Mystery is not uncertain to
Friedrich; and it may well be very formidable,--coupled with those
Braddock explosions, Seizures of French ships, and English-French War
imminent, and likely to become a general European one; which are the
closing prospects of 1755. The French King he reckons not to be well
disposed to him; their old Treaty of "twelve years" (since 1744) is just
about running out. Not friendly, the French King, owing to little rubs
that have been; still less the Pompadour;--though who could guess how
implacable she was at "not being known (NE LA CONNAIS PAS)"! At Vienna,
he is well aware, the humor towards him is mere cannibalism in refined
forms. But most perilous of all, most immediately perilous, is the
implacable Czarina, set afloat upon English guineas!

With a hope, as is credibly surmised, that the English might soothe or
muzzle this implacable Czarina, Friedrich, directly after Hanbury's feat
in Petersburg, applied at London, with an Offer which was very tempting
there: "Suppose your Britannic Majesty would make, with me, an express
'NEUTRALITY CONVENTION;' mutual Covenant to keep the German Reich
entirely free of this War now threatening to break out? To attack
jointly, and sweep home again with vigor, any and every Armed Non-German
setting foot on the German soil!" An offer most welcome to the Heads of
Opposition, the Pitts and others of that Country; who wish dear Hanover
safe enough (safe in Davy-Jones's locker, if that would do); but are
tired of subsidizing, and fighting and tumulting, all the world over,
for that high end. So that Friedrich's Proposal is grasped at; and after
a little manipulation, the thing is actually concluded.

By no means much manipulation, both parties being willing. There was
uncommonly rapid surgery of any little difficulties and discrepancies;
rapid closure, instant salutary stitching together of that long
unhealable Privateer Controversy, as the main item: "20,000 pounds
allowed to Prussia for Prussian damages; and to England, from the other
side, the remainder of Silesiau Debt, painfully outstanding for two
or three years back, is to be paid off at once;"--and in this way
such "NEUTRALITY CONVENTION OF PRUSSIA WITH ENGLAND" comes forth as a
Practical Fact upon mankind. Done at Westminster, 16th January, 1756.
The stepping-stone, as it proved, to a closer Treaty of the same date
next Year; of which we shall hear a great deal. The stepping-stone,
in fact, to many large things;--and to the ruin of our late
"Russian-Subsidy Treaty" (Hanbury's masterpiece), for one small thing.
"That is a Treaty signed, sure enough," answer they of St. James's; "and
we will be handsome about it to her Czarish Majesty; but as to RATIFYING
it, in its present form,--of course, never!"

What a clap of thunder to Excellency Hanbury; his masterpiece found
suddenly a superfluity, an incommodity! The Orthodox English course now
is, "No foreign soldiers at all to be allowed in Germany;" and there
are the 55,000 tramping on with such alacrity. "We cannot ratify that
Treaty, Excellency Hanbury," writes the Majesty's Ministry, in a tone
not of gratitude: "you must turn it some other way!" A terrible blow to
Hanbury, who had been expecting gratitude without end. And now, try how
he might, there was no turning it another way; this, privately, and
this only, being the Czarina's own way. A Czarina obstinate to a degree;
would not consent, even when they made her the liberal offer, "Keep your
55,000 at home; don't attack the King of Prussia with them; you shall
have your Subsidy all the same!" "No, I won't!" answered she,--to
Hanbury's amazement. Hanbury had not read the Weingarten-Menzel
Documents;--what double double of toil and trouble might Hanbury have
saved himself and others, could he have read them!

Hanbury could not, still less could the Majesty's Ministry, surmise the
Czarina's secret at all, now or for a good while coming. And in fact,
poor Hanbury, busy as a Diplomatic bee, never did more good in Russia,
or out of it. By direction of the Majesty's Ministry, Hanbury still
tried industriously, cash in both hands; tried various things: "Assuage
the Czarina's mind; reconcile her to King Friedrich;"--all in vain.
"Unite Austria, Russia and England, can't you, then?--in a Treaty
against the Designs of France:" how very vain! Then, at a later stage,
"Get us the Czarina to mediate between Prussia and Austria" (so
very possible to sleek them down into peace, thought Majesty's
Ministry):--and unwearied Hanbury, cunning eloquence on his lips, and
money in both hands, tries again, and ever again, for many months. And
in the way of making ropes from sand, it must be owned there never was
such twisting and untwisting, as that appointed Hanbury. Who in fact
broke his heart by it;--and died mad, by his own hand, before long.
[Hanbury's "Life" (in _Works, _vol. iii.) gives sad account.] Poor soul,
after all!--Here are some Russian Notices from him (and he has many
curious, not pertinent here), which are still worth gleaning.

PETERSBURG, 2d OCTOBER, 1755.... "The health of the Empress [Czarina
Elizabeth, CATIN DU NORD, age now forty-five] is bad. She is affected
with spitting of blood, shortness of breath, constant coughing, swelled
legs and water on the chest; yet she danced a minuet with me," lucky
Hanbury. "There is great fermentation at Court. Peter [Grand-Duke Peter]
does not conceal his enmity to the Schuwalofs [paramours of CATIN,
old and new]; Catherine [Grand-Duchess, who at length has an Heir,
unbeautiful Czar Paul that will be, and "miscarriages" not a few] is
on good terms with Bestuchef" (corruptiblest brute of a Chancellor ever
known, friend to England by England's giving him 10,000 pounds, and the
like trifles, pretty frequently; Friedrich's enemy, chiefly from defect
of that operation)--she is "on good terms with Bestuchef. I think it
my duty to inform the King [great George, who will draw his prognostics
from it] of my observations upon her; which I can the better do, as I
often have conversations with her for hours together, as at supper my
rank places me always next to her," twice-lucky Hanbury.

"Since her coming to this Country, she has, by every method in her
power, endeavored to gain the affections of the Nation: she applied
herself with diligence to study their language; and speaks it at
present, as the Russians tell me, in the greatest perfection. She has
also succeeded in her other aim; for she is esteemed and beloved here
in a high degree. Her person is very advantageous, and her manners very
captivating. She has great knowledge of this Empire; and makes it her
only study. She has parts; and Great-Chancellor [brute Bestuchef] tells
me that nobody has more steadiness and resolution. She has, of late,
openly declared herself to me in respect of the King of Prussia;"--hates
him a good deal, "natural and formidable enemy of Russia;" "heart
certainly the worst in the world [and so on; but will see better by and
by, having eyes of her own]:--she never mentions the King of England but
with the utmost respect and highest regard; is thoroughly sensible of
the utility of the union between England and Russia; always calls his
Majesty the Empress's best and greatest Ally [so much of nourishment in
him withal, as in a certain web-footed Chief of Birds, reckoned chief by
some]; and hopes he will also give his friendship and protection to the
Grand-Duke and herself.--As for the Grand-Duke, he is weak and violent;
but his confidence in the Grand-Duchess is so great, that sometimes he
tells people, that though he does not understand things himself, his
Wife understands everything. Should the Empress, as I fear, soon die,
the Government will quietly devolve on them." [Hanbury's Despatch,
"October 2d, 1755" (Raumer, pp. 223-225); Subsidy Treaty still at its
floweriest.]

Catherine's age is twenty-six gone; her Peter's twenty-seven: one of
the cleverest young Ladies in the world, and of the stoutest-hearted,
clearest-eyed;--yoked to a young Gentleman much the reverse. Thank
Hanbury for this glimpse of them, most intricately situated Pair; who
may concern us a little in the sequel.--And, in justice to poor Hanover,
the sad subject-matter of Excellency Hanbury's Problems and Futilities
in Russia and elsewhere, let us save this other Fraction by a very
different hand; and close that Hanbury scene:--

"Friedrich himself was so dangerous," says the Constitutional Historian
once: "Friedrich, in alliance with France, how easy for him to catch
Hanover by the throat at a week's notice, throw a death-noose round the
throat of poor Hanover, and hand the same to France for tightening
at discretion! Poor Hanover indeed; she reaps little profit from her
English honors: what has she had to do with these Transatlantic Colonies
of England? An unfortunate Country, if the English would but think;
liable to be strangled at any time, for England's quarrels: the
Achilles'-heel to invulnerable England; a sad function for Hanover,
if it be a proud one, and amazingly lucrative to some Hanoverians. The
Country is very dear to his Britannic Majesty in one sense, very dear to
Britain in another! Nay Germany itself, through Hanover, is to be torn
up by War for Transatlantic interests,--out of which she does not even
get good Virginia tobacco, but grows bad of her own. No more concern
than the Ring of Saturn with these over-sea quarrels; and can, through
Hanover, be torn to pieces by War about them. Such honor to give a King
to the British Nation, in a strait for one; and such profit coming of
it:--we hope all sides are grateful for the blessings received!"



THERE HAS BEEN A COUNTER-TREATY GOING ON AT VERSAILLES IN THE INTERIM;
WHICH HEREUPON STARTS OUT, AND TUMBLES THE WHOLLY ASTONISHED EUROPEAN
DIPLOMACIES HEELS-OVER-HEAD.

To expectant mankind, especially to Vienna and Versailles, this
Britannic-Prussian Treaty was a great surprise. And indeed it proved the
signal of a general System of New Treaties all round. The first
signal, in fact,--though by no means the first cause,--of a total
circumgyration, summerset, or tumble heels-over-head in the Political
relations of Europe altogether, which ensued thereupon; miraculous,
almost as the Earthquake at Lisbon, to the Gazetteer, and Diplomatic
mind, and incomprehensible for long years after. First signal we say, by
no means that it was the first cause, or indeed that it was a cause at
all,--the thing being determined elsewhere long before; ever since 1753,
when Kaunitz left it ready, waiting only its time.

Kaiser Franz, they say, when (probably during those Keith urgencies)
the joining with France and turning against poor Britannic Majesty
was proposed in Council at Vienna, opened his usually silent lips; and
opined with emphasis against such a course, no Kaunitz or creature able
to persuade Kaiser Franz that good would come of it;--though, finding
Sovereign Lady and everybody against him, he held his peace again. And
returned to his private banking operations, which were more extensive
than ever, from the new troubles rising. "Lent the Empress-Queen, always
on solid securities," says Friedrich, "large sums, from time to time, in
those Wars; dealt in Commissariat stores to right and left; we ourselves
had most of our meal from him this year." [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ iv.
8.] Kaiser Franz was, and continued, of the old way of thinking; but
consummate Kaunitz, and the High Lady's fixed passion for her Schlesien,
had changed everybody else. The ulterior facts are as follows,
abbreviated to the utmost.

September 22d, 1755, a few days before Hanbury's Subsidy-feat at
Petersburg, which took such a whirl for Hanbury, there had met for the
first time at Versailles, more especially at Babiole, Pleasure-House
of the Pompadour, a most Select Committee of Three Persons: Graf von
Stahremberg, Austrian Ambassador; Pompadour herself; and a certain
infinitely elegant Count and Reverence de Bernis (beautiful
Clerico-Mundane Gentleman, without right Benefice hitherto, but much
in esteem with the Pompadour);--for deepest practical consideration
in regard to closure of a French-Austrian Alliance. Reverend Count
(subsequently Cardinal) de Bernis has sense in Diplomacy; has his
experiences in Secular Diplomatic matters; a soft-going cautious man,
not yet official, but tending that way: whom the Pompadour has brought
with her as henchman, or unghostly counsellor, in this intricate
Adventure.

Stahremberg, instructed from home, has no hesitation; nor has Pompadour
herself, remembering that insolent "JE NE LA CONNAIS PAS," and the
per-contra "MA COUSINE," "PRINCESSE ET SOEUR:"--but Bernis, I suppose,
looks into the practical difficulties; which are probably very
considerable, to the Official French eye, in the present state of Europe
and of the public mind. From September 22d, or autumnal equinox, 1755,
onward to this Britannic-Prussian phenomenon of January, 1756,
the Pompadour Conclave has been sitting,--difficulties, no doubt,
considerable. I will give only the dates, having myself no interest in
such a Committee at Babiole; but the dates sufficiently betoken that
there were intricacies, conflicts between the new and the old. Hitherto
the axiom always was, "Prussia the Adjunct and Satellite of France:" now
to be entirely reversed, you say?

JULY, 1755, that is two months before this Babiole Committee met, a Duc
de Nivernois, respectable intelligent dilettante French Nobleman,
had been named as Ambassador to Friedrich, "Go, you respectable wise
Nivernois, Nobleman of Letters so called; try and retain Friedrich for
us, as usual!" And now, on meeting of the Babiole Committee, Nivernois
does not go; lingers, saddled and bridled, till the very end of the
Year; arrives in Berlin January 12th, 1756. Has his First
Audience January 14th; a man highly amiable to Friedrich; but with
proposals,--wonderful indeed.

The French, this good while back, are in no doubt about War with
England, a right hearty War; and have always expected to retain Prussia
as formerly,--though rather on singular terms. Some time ago, for
instance, M. de Rouille, War-Minister, requested Knyphausen, Prussian
Envoy at Paris: "Suggest to your King's Majesty what plunder there is at
Hanover. Perfectly at liberty to keep it all, if he will plunder Hanover
for us!" [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ iv. 29.] Pleasant message to the proud
King; who answered with the due brevity, to the purport, "Silence,
Sir!"--with didactic effects on the surprised Rouille. Who now mends his
proposal; though again in a remarkable way. Instructs Nivernois, namely,
"To offer King Friedrich the Island of Tobago, if he will renew Treaty,
and take arms for us. Island of Tobago (a deserted, litigated, but
pretty Island, were it ever ours), will not that entice this King,
intent on Commerce?" Friedrich, who likes Nivernois and his polite ways,
answers quizzingly: "Island of Tobago? Island of Barataria your Lordship
must be meaning; Island of which I cannot be the Sancho Panza!" [Ib.
31.] And Nivernois found he must not mention Tobago again.

For the rest, Friedrich made no secret of his English Treaty; showed it
with all frankness to Nivernois, in all points: "Is there, can the most
captious allege that there is, anything against France in it. My one
wish and aim, that of Peace for myself: judge!" Nivernois stayed till
March; but seems to have had, of definite, only Tobago and good words;
so that nothing farther came of him, and there was no Renewal of
Treaty then or after. Thus, in his third month (March, 1756), practical
Nivernois was recalled, without result;--instead of whom fat Valori was
sent; privately intending "to do nothing but observe, in Berlin." From
all which, we infer that the Babiole Committee now saw land; and that
Bernis himself had decided in the affirmative: "Austria, not Prussia;
yes, Madame!" To the joy of Madame and everybody. For, it is incredible,
say all witnesses, what indignation broke out in Paris when Friedrich
made this new "defection," so they termed it; revolt from his Liege Lord
(who had been so exemplary to him on former occasions!), and would not
bite at Tobago when offered. So that the Babiole Committee went on,
henceforth, with flowing sea; and by Mayday (1st MAY, 1756) brought
out its French-Austrian Treaty in a completed state. "To stand by one
another," like Castor and Pollux, in a manner; "24,000, reciprocally,
to be ready on demand;" nay I think something of "subsidies" withal,--TO
Austria, of course. But the particulars are not worth giving; the
Performance, thanks to a zealous Pompadour, having quite outrun the
Stipulation, and left it practically out of sight, when the push came.
Our Constitutional Historian may shadow the rest:--

"France and England going to War in these sad circumstances, and France
and Austria being privately prepared [by Kaunitz and others] to swear
everlasting friendship on the occasion, instead of everlasting enmity
as heretofore; unexpected changes, miraculous to the Gazetteers, became
inevitable;--nothing less, in short, than explosion or topsy-turvying
of the old Diplomatic-Political Scheme of Europe. Old dance of
the Constellations flung heels-over-head on the sudden; and much
pirouetting, jigging, setting, before they could change partners, and
continue their august dance again, whether in War or Peace. No end to
the industrious wonder of the Gazetteer mind, to the dark difficulties
of the Diplomatic. What bafflings, agonistic shufflings, impotent
gazings into the dark; what seductive fiddling, and being fiddled to!
A most sad function of Humanity, if sometimes an inevitable one; which
ought surely at all times to be got over as briefly as possible. To be
written of, especially, with a maximum of brevity; human nature being
justly impatient of talk about it, beyond the strictly needful."

Most true it is, and was most miraculous, though now quite forgotten
again, Political Europe had to make a complete whirl-round on that
occasion. And not in a day, and merely saying to itself, "Let me do
summerset!" as idle readers suppose,--but with long months of agonistic
shuffle and struggle in all places, and such Diplomatic fiddling and
being fiddled to, as seldom was before. Of which, these two instances,
the Bernis and the Hanbury, are to serve as specimen; two and no more:
a universe of extinct fiddling compressed into two nutshells, if readers
have an ear.



Chapter III.--FRENCH-ENGLISH WAR BREAKS OUT.

The French, in reality a good deal astonished at the Prussian-Britannic
Treaty, affected to take it easy: "Treaty for Neutrality of Germany?"
said they: "Very good indeed. Perhaps there are places nearer us, where
our troops can be employed to more advantage!" [Their "Declaration" on
it (Adelung, vii. 613.)]--hinting vocally, as henceforth their silent
procedures, their diligence in the dockyards, moving of troops coastward
and the like, still more clearly did, That an Invasion of England itself
was the thing next to be expected.

England and France are, by this time, alike fiercely determined on War;
but their states of preparation are very different. The French have
War-ships again, not to mention Armies which they always have; some
skilful Admirals withal,--La Gallisonniere, our old Canada friend, is
one, very busy at present;--and mean to try seriously the Question of
Sea-Supremacy once more. If an Invasion did chance to land, the state
of England would be found handy beyond hope! How many fighting regiments
England has, I need not inquire, nor with what strategic virtue they
would go to work;--enough to mention the singular fact (recently true,
and still, I perceive, too like the truth), That of all their regiments,
"only Three are in this Country", or have Colonels even nominated.
Incredible; but certain. And the interesting point is, his Grace of
Newcastle dare not have Colonels, still less higher Officers nominated;
because Royal Highness of Cumberland would have the naming of them, and
they would be enemies to his Grace. [Walpole, _George the Second, _ii.
19 (date, "March 25th, 1755;" and how long after, is not said: but see
Pitt's Speeches, ib., all through 1756, and farther).] In such posture
stands the Envy of surrounding Nations at this moment.

"Hire Hessians," cry they; "hire Hanoverians; if France land on us,
we are undone!"--and continue their Parliamentary Eloquences in a most
distressful manner. "Apply to the Dutch, at any rate, for their 6,000
as per Treaty", cries everybody. Which is done. But the Dutch piteously
wring their hands: "Dare not, your Majesty; how dare we, for France
and our neglected Barrier! Oh, generous Majesty, excuse us!"--and the
generous Majesty has to do it; and leave the Dutch in peace, this time.
Hessians, Hanoverians, after eloquence enough, are at last got sent for,
to guard us against this terrible Invasion: about 10,000 of each kind;
and do land,--the native populations very sulky on them ("We won't
billet you, not we; build huts, and be--!"), with much Parliamentary and
Newspaper Commentary going on, of a distressful nature. "Saturday, 15th
May, 1756, Hessians disembark at Southampton; obliged to pitch Camp in
the neighborhood: Friday, 21st May, the Hanoverians, at Chatham, who hut
themselves Canterbury way;"--and have (what is the sum-total of
their achievements in this Country) a case of shoplifting,
"pocket-handkerchief, across the counter, in open day;" one case (or
what seemed to be one, but was not); ["At Maidstone, 13th Septemher,
1756;" Hanoverian soldier, purchasing a handkerchief, imagines he has
purchased two (not yet clipt asunder), haberdasher and he having no
language in common: _Gentleman's Magazine, _for 1756, pp. 259, 448, &c.;
Walpole, SAEPIUS.] "and the fellow not to be tried by us for it!" which
enrages the constitutional heart. Alas, my heavy-laden constitutional
heart; but what can we do? These drilled louts will guard us, should
this terrible Invasion land. And indeed, about three weeks BEFORE these
louts arrived, the terrible Invasion had declared itself to have
been altogether a feint; and had lifted anchor, quite in the opposite
direction, on an errand we shall hear of soon!

About the same date, I observe, "the first regiment of Footguards
practising the Prussian drill-exercise in Hyde Park;" and hope his Grace
of Newcastle and the Hero of Culloden (immortal Hero, and aiming high in
Politics at this time) will, at least, have fallen upon some method of
getting Colonels nominated. But the wide-weltering chaos of platitudes,
agitated by hysterical imbecilities, regulating England in this great
crisis, fills the constitutional mind with sorrow; and indeed is
definable, once more, as amazing! England is a stubborn Country; but it
was not by procedures of the Cumberland-Newcastle kind that England,
and her Colonies, and Sea-and-Land Kingdoms, was built together; nor by
these, except miracle intervene, that she can stand long against stress!
Looking at the dismal matter from this distance, there is visible to me
in the foggy heart of it one lucent element, and pretty much one only;
the individual named William Pitt, as I have read him: if by miracle
that royal soul could, even for a time, get to something of Kingship
there? Courage; miracles do happen, let us hope!--This is whitherward
the grand Invasion had gone:--

TOULON, 10th APRIL, 1756. La Gallisonniere, our old Canadian friend, a
crooked little man of great faculty, who has been busy in the dockyards
lately, weighs anchor from Toulon; "12 sail of the line, 5 frigates and
above 100 transport-ships;" with the grand Invasion-of-England Armament
on board: 16,000 picked troops, complete in all points, Marechal Duc de
Richelieu commanding. [Adelung, viii. 70.] Weighs anchor; and, singular
to see, steers, not for England, and the Hessian-Hanover Defenders (who
would have been in such excellent time); but direct for Minorca, as the
surer thing! Will seize Minorca; a so-called inexpugnable Possession
of the English,--Key of their Mediterranean Supremacies;--really
inexpugnable enough; but which lies in the usual dilapidated state,
though by chance with a courageous old Governor in it, who will not
surrender quite at once.

APRIL 18th, La Gallisonniere disembarks his Richelieu with a Sixteen
Thousand, unopposed at Port-Mahon, or Fort St. Philip, in Minorca; who
instantly commences Siege there. To the astonishment of England and
his Grace of Newcastle who, except old Governor Blakeney, much in
dilapidation ("wooden platforms rotten," "batteries out of repair," and
so on), have nothing ready for Richelieu in that quarter. The story of
Minorca; and the furious humors and tragic consummations that arose on
it, being still well known, we will give the dates only.

FORT ST. PHILIP, APRIL 18th-MAY 20th. For a month, Richelieu, skilful in
tickling the French troops, has been besieging, in a high and grandiose
way; La Gallisonniere vigilantly cruising; old Blakeney, in spite of
the rotten platforms, vigorously holding out; when--May 19th, La
Gallisonniere descries an English fleet in the distance; indisputably
an English fleet; and clears his decks for a serious Affair just coming.
THURSDAY, 20th MAY, Admiral Byng accordingly (for it is he, son of that
old seaworthy Byng, who once "blew out" a minatory Spanish Fleet and
"an absurd Flame of War" in the Straits of Messina, and was made Lord
Torrington in consequence,--happily now dead)--Admiral Byng does come
on; and gains himself a name badly memorable ever since. Attacks
La Gallisonniere, in a wide-lying, languid, hovering, uncertain
manner:--"Far too weak" he says; "much disprovided, destitute, by
blame of Ministry and of everybody" (though about the strength of La
Gallisonniere, after all);--is almost rather beaten by La Gallisonniere;
does not in the least, beat him to the right degree:--and sheers off:
in the night-time, straight for Gibraltar again. To La Gallisonniere's
surprise, it is said; no doubt to old Blakeney and his poor Garrison's,
left so, to their rotten platforms and their own shifts.

Blakeney and Garrison stood to their guns in a manful manner, for above
a month longer; day after day, week after week, looking over the horizon
for some Byng or some relief appearing, to no purpose! JUNE 14th, there
are three available breaches; the walls, however, are very sheer (a
Fortress hewn in the rock): Richelieu scanning them dubiously, and
battering his best, for about a fortnight more, is ineffectual on
Blakeney.

JUNE 27th, Richelieu, taking his measures well, tickling French honor
well, has determined on storm. Richelieu, giving order of the day,
"Whosoever of you is found drunk shall NOT be of the storm-party" (which
produced such a teetotalism as nothing else had done),--storms, that
night, with extreme audacity. The Place has to capitulate: glorious
victory; honorable defence: and Minorca gone.

And England is risen to a mere smoky whirlwind, of rage, sorrow and
darkness, against Byng and others. Smoky darkness, getting streaked
with dangerous fire. "Tried?" said his Grace of Newcastle to the City
Deputation: "Oh indeed he shall be tried immediately; he shall be hanged
directly!"--assure yourselves of that. [Walpole, ii. 231: Details of the
Siege, ib. 218-225; in _Gentleman's Magazine_, xxvi. 256, 312-313, 358;
in Adelung, vii.; &c. &c.] And Byng's effigy was burnt all over England.
And mobs attempt to burn his Seat and Park; and satires and caricatures
and firebrands are coming out: and the poor Constitutional Country
is bent on applying surgery, if it but know how. Surgery to such
indisputable abominations was certainly desirable. The new Relief
Squadron, which had been despatched by Majesty's Ministry, was too late
for Blakeney, but did bring home a superseded Byng.

SPITHEAD, TUESDAY, 27th JULY, The superseded Byng arrives; is punctually
arrested, on arriving: "Him we will hang directly:--is there anything
else we can try [except, perhaps, it were hanging of ourselves, and our
fine methods of procedure], by way of remedying you?"--War against
France, now a pretty plain thing, had been "declared," 17th May (French
counter-declaring, 9th June): and, under a Duke of Newcastle and a Hero
of Culloden, not even pulling one way, but two ways; and a
Talking-Apparatus full of discords at this time, and pulling who shall
say how many ways,--the prospects of carrying on said War are none of
the best. Lord Loudon, a General without skill, and commanding, as Pitt
declares, "a scroll of Paper hitherto" (a good few thousands marked on
it, and perhaps their Colonels even named), is about going for America;
by no means yet gone, a long way from gone: and, if the Laws of Nature
be suspended--Enough of all that!



KING FRIEDRICH'S ENIGMA GETS MORE AND MORE STRINGENT.

Friedrich's situation, in those fatefully questionable months and for
many past (especially from January 16th to July),--readers must imagine
it, for there is no description possible. In many intricacies Friedrich
has been; but never, I reckon, in any equal to this. Himself certain
what the Two Imperial Women have vowed against him; self and Winterfeld
certain of that sad truth; and all other mortals ready to deny it, and
fly delirious on hint of it, should he venture to act in consequence!
Friedrich's situation is not unimaginable, when (as can now be done by
candid inquirers who will take trouble enough) the one or two internal
facts of it are disengaged from the roaring ocean of clamorous delusions
which then enveloped them to everybody, and are held steadily in view,
said ocean being well run off to the home of it very deep underground.
Lies do fall silent; truth waits to be recognized, not always in
vain. No reader ever will conceive the strangling perplexity of that
situation, now so remote and extinct to us. All I can do is, to set down
what features of it have become indisputable; and leave them as detached
traceries, as fractions of an outline, to coalesce into something of
image where they can.

Winterfeld's opinion was, for some time past, distinct: "Attack them;
since it is certain they only wait to attack us!" But Friedrich would by
no means listen to that. "We must not be the aggressor, my friend; that
would spoil all. Perhaps the English will pacify the Russian CATIN for
me; tie her, with packthreads, bribes and intrigues, from stirring?
Wait, watch!" Fiery Winterfeld, who hates the French, who despises the
Austrians, and thinks the Prussian Army a considerable Fact in Politics,
has great schemes: far too great for a practical Friedrich. "Plunge into
the Austrians with a will: Prussian Soldiery,--can Austrians resist
it? Ruin them, since they are bent on ruining us. Stir up the Hungarian
Protestants; try all things. Home upon our implacable enemies, sword
drawn, scabbard flung away! And the French,--what are the French? Our
King should be Kaiser of Teutschland; and he can, and he may:--the
French would then be quieter!" These things Winterfeld carried in his
head; and comrades have heard them from him over wine. [Retzow, i.
43, &c.] To all which Friedrich, if any whisper of them ever got to
Friedrich, would answer one can guess how.

It is evident, Friedrich had not given up his hope (indeed, for above a
year more, he never did) that England might, by profuse bribery,--"such
the power of bribery in that mad court!"--assuage, overnet with
backstairs packthreads, or in some way compesce the Russian delirium for
him. And England, his sole Ally in the world, still tender of Austria,
and unable to believe what the full intentions of Austria are; England
demands much wariness in his procedures towards Austria; reiterating
always, "Wait, your Majesty! Oh, beware!"--

His own Army, we need not say, is in perfect preparation. The Army--let
us guess, 150,000 regular, or near 200,000 of all arms and kinds
[Archenholtz (i, 8) counts vaguely "160,000" at this date.]--

never was so perfect before or since. Old Captains in it, whom we used
to know, are grayer and wiser; young, whom we heard less of, are grown
veterans of trust. Schwerin, much a Cincinnatus since we last saw
him, has laid down his plough again, a fervid "little Marlborough" of
seventy-two;--and will never see that beautiful Schwerinsburg, and its
thriving woods and farm-fields, any more. Ugly Walrave is not now chief
Engineer; one Balbi, a much prettier man, is. Ugly Walrave (Winterfeld
suspecting and watching him) was found out; convicted of "falsified
accounts," of "sending plans to the Enemy," of who knows all what;--and
sits in Magdeburg (in a thrice-safe prison-cell of his own contriving),
prisoner for life. ["Arrested at Potsdam 12th February, 1748, and after
trial put into the STERN at Magdeburg; sat there till he died, 16th
January, 1773" (_Militalr-Lexikon, _iv. 150-151).] The Old Dessauer
is away, long since; and not the Old alone. Dietrich of Dessau is now
"Guardian to his Nephew," who is a Child left Heir there. Death has been
busy with the Dessauers:--but here is Prince Moritz, "the youngest, more
like his Father than any of them." Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick, Moritz
of Dessau, Keith, Duke of Brunswick-Bevern: no one of these people has
been idle, in the ten years past. Least of all, has the Chief Captain of
them,--whose diligence and vigilance in that sphere, latterly, were not
likely to decline!

Friedrich's Army is in the perfection of order. Ready at the hour, for
many months back; but the least motion he makes with it is a subject of
jealousy. Last year, on those Russian advancings and alacrities, he had
marched some Regiments into Pommern, within reach of Preussen, should
the Russians actually try a stroke there: "See!" cried all the world:
"See!" cried the enlightened Russian Public. This year 1756, from
June onwards and earlier, there are still more fatal symptoms, on the
Austrian side: great and evident War-preparations; Magazines forming;
Camps in Bohemia, Moravia; Camp at Konigsgratz, Camp at Prag,--handy
for the Silesian Border. Friedrich knows they have deliberated on their
Pretext for a War, and have fixed on what will do,--some new small
Prussian-Mecklenburg brabble, which there has lately been; paltry enough
recruiting-quarrel, such as often are (and has been settled mutually
some time ago, this one, but is capable of being ripped up again);--and
that, on this cobweb of a pretext, they mean to draw sword when they
like. Russia too has its Pretext ready. And if Friedrich hint of
stirring, England whispers hoarse, England and other friends, "Wait,
your Majesty! Oh, beware!" To keep one's sword at its sharpest, and,
with an easy patient air, one's eyes vigilantly open: this is nearly all
that Friedrich can do, in neighborhood of such portentous imminencies.
He has many critics, near and far;--for instance:--

BERLIN, 31st JULY, 1756, Excellency Valori writes to Versailles: ... "to
give you account of a Conversation I have had, a day or two ago, with
the Prince of Prussia [August Wilhelm, Heir-Apparent], who honors me
with a particular confidence,"--and who appears to be, privately, like
some others, very strong in the Opposition view. "He talked to me of
the present condition of the King his Brother, of his Brother's
apprehensions, of his military arrangements, of the little trust placed
in him by neighbors, of their hostile humor towards him, and of many
other things which this good Prince [little understanding them, as would
appear, or the dangerous secret that lay under them] did not approve
of. The Prince then said,"--listen to what the Prince of Prussia said to
Valori, one of the last days of July, 1756,--

"'There is an Anecdote which continually recurs to me, in the passes we
are got to at present. Putting the case we might be attacked by Russia,
and perhaps by Austria, the late Rothenburg was sent [as readers know],
on the King's part, to Milord Tyrconnel, to know of him what, in such
case, were the helps he might reckon on from France. Milord enumerated
the various helps; and then added [being a blusterous Irishman, sent
hither for his ill tongue]: "Helps enough, you observe, Monsieur; but,
MORBLEU, if you deceive us, you will be squelched (VOUS SEREZ ECRASES)!"
The King my 'Brother was angry enough at hearing such a speech: but,
my dear Marquis,' and the Prince turned full upon me with a face of
inquiry, 'Can the thing actually come true? And do you think it can be
the interest of your Master [and his Scarlet Woman] to abandon us to the
fury of our enemies? Ah, that cursed Convention [Neutrality-Convention
with England]! I would give a finger from my hand that it had never been
concluded. I never approved of it; ask the Duc de Nivernois, he knows
what we said of it together. But how return on our steps? Who would now
trust us?'" This Prince appeared "to be much affected by the King his
Brother's situation [of which he understood as good as nothing], and
agreed that he," the King his Brother, "had well deserved it." [Valori,
ii, 129-131.]

This is not the first example, nor the last, of August Wilhelm's
owning a heedless, good-natured tongue; considerably prone to take
the Opposition side, on light grounds. For which if he found a kind of
solacement and fame in some circles, it was surely at a dear rate!
To his Brother, that bad habit would, most likely, be known; and his
Brother, I suppose, did not speak of it at all; such his Brother's
custom in cases of the kind.--Judicious Valori, by way of answer,
dilated on the peculiar esteem of his Majesty Louis XV. for the Prussian
Majesty,--"so as my Instructions direct me to do;" and we hear no more
of the Prince of Prussia's talk, at this time; but shall in future; and
may conjecture a great deal about the atmosphere Friedrich had now to
live in. A Friedrich undergoing, privately, a great deal of criticism:
"Mad tendency to war; lust of conquest; contempt for his neighbors, for
the opinion of the world;--no end of irrational tendencies:" [Ib. ii.
124-151 ("July 27th-August 21st").] from persons to whom the secret of
his Problem is deeply unknown.

One wise thing the English have done: sent an Excellency Mitchell, a man
of loyalty, of sense and honesty, to be their Resident at Berlin. This
is the noteworthy, not yet much noted, Sir Andrew Mitchell; by far the
best Excellency England ever had in that Court. An Aberdeen Scotchman,
creditable to his Country: hard-headed, sagacious; sceptical of shows;
but capable of recognizing substances withal, and of standing loyal
to them, stubbornly if needful; who grew to a great mutual regard with
Friedrich, and well deserved to do so; constantly about him, during the
next seven years; and whose Letters are among the perennially valuable
Documents on Friedrich's History. [Happily secured in the British
Museum; and now in the most perfect order for consulting (thanks to Sir
F. Madden "and three years' labor" well invested);--should certainly,
and will one day, be read to the bottom, and cleared of their
darknesses, extrinsic and intrinsic (which are considerable) by somebody
competent.]

Mitchell is in Berlin since June 10th. Mitchell, who is on the scene
itself, and looking into Friedrich with his own eyes, finds the
reiterating of that "Beware, your Majesty!" which had been his chief
task hitherto, a more and more questionable thing; and suggests to him
at last: "Plainly ask her Hungarian Majesty, What is your meaning by
those Bohemian Campings?" "Pshaw," answers Friedrich: "Nothing but
some ambiguous answer, perhaps with insult in it!"--nevertheless thinks
better; and determines to do so. [Mitchell Papers.]



Chapter IV.--FRIEDRICH PUTS A QUESTION AT VIENNA, TWICE OVER.

July 18th, 1756, Friedrich despatches an Express to Graf von Klinggraf,
his Resident at Vienna (an experienced man, whom we have seen before in
old Carteret, "Conference-of-Hanau" times), To demand audience of the
Empress; and, in the fittest terms, friendly and courteous, brief and
clear, to put that question of Mitchell's suggesting. "Those unwonted
Armaments, Camps in Bohmen, Camps in Mahren, and military movements
and preparations," Klinggraf is to say, "have caused anxiety in her
Majesty's peaceable Neighbor of Prussia; who desires always to continue
in peace; and who requests hereby a word of assurance from her Majesty,
that these his anxieties are groundless." Friedrich himself hopes little
or nothing from this; but he has done it to satisfy people about him,
and put an end to all scruples in himself and others. The Answer may be
expected in ten or twelve days.

And, about the same time,--likely enough, directly after, though there
is no date given, to a fact which is curious and authentic,--

Friedrich sent for two of his chief Generals, to Potsdam, for a secret
Conference with Winterfeld and him. The Generals are, old Schwerin and
General Retzow Senior,--Major-General Retzow, whom we used to hear of in
the Silesian Wars,--and whose Son reports on this occasion. Conference
is on this Imminency of War, and as to what shall be done in it.
Friedrich explains in general terms his dangers from Austria and Russia,
his certainty that Austria will attack him; and asks, Were it, or were
it not, better to attack Austria, as is our Prussian principle in such
case? Schwerin and Retzow--Schwerin first, as the eldest; and after
him Retzow, "who privately has charge from the Prussian Princes to do
it"--opine strongly: That indications are uncertain, that much seems
inevitable which does not come; that in a time of such tumultuous
whirlings and unexpected changes, the true rule is, Watch well, and
wait.

After enough of this, with Winterfeld looking dissent but saying almost
nothing, Friedrich gives sign to Winterfeld;--who spreads out, in their
lucidest prearranged order, the principal Menzel-Weingarten Documents;
and bids the two Military Gentlemen read. They read; with astonishment,
are forced to believe; stand gazing at one another;--and do now take
a changed tone. Schwerin, "after a silence of everybody for some
minutes,"--"bursts out like one inspired; 'If War is to be and must be,
let us start to-morrow; seize Saxony at once; and in that rich corny
Country form Magazines for our Operations on Bohemia!'" [Retzow, i. 39.]

That is privately Friedrich's own full intention. Saxony, with its Elbe
River as Highway, is his indispensable preliminary for Bohemia: and he
will not, a second time, as he did in 1744 with such results, leave it
in an unsecured condition. Adieu then, Messieurs; silent: AU REVOIR,
which may be soon! Retzow Junior, a rational, sincere, but rather
pipe-clayed man, who is wholly to be trusted on this Conference, with
his Father for authority, has some touches of commentary on it, which
indicate (date being 1802) that till the end of his life, or of Prince
Henri his Patron's, there remained always in some heads a doubt as to
Friedrich's wisdom in regard to starting the Seven-Years War, and to
Schwerin's entire sincerity in that inspired speech. And still more
curious, that there was always, at Potsdam as elsewhere, a Majesty's
Opposition Party; privately intent to look at the wrong side; and doing
it diligently,--though with lips strictly closed for most part; without
words, except well-weighed and to the wise: which is an excellent
arrangement, for a Majesty and Majesty's Opposition, where feasible in
the world!--

From Retzow I learn farther, that Winterfeld, directly on the back of
this Conference, took a Tour to the Bohemian Baths, "To Karlsbad, or
Toplitz, for one's health;" and wandered about a good deal in those
Frontier Mountains of Bohemia, taking notes, taking sketches (not with
a picturesque view); and returned by the Saxon Pirna Country, a strange
stony labyrinth, which he guessed might possibly be interesting soon.
The Saxon Commandant of the Konigstein, lofty Fortress of those parts,
strongest in Saxony, was of Winterfeld's acquaintance: Winterfeld called
on this Commandant; found his Konigstein too high for cannonading those
neighborhoods, but that there was at the base of it a new Work going
on; and that the Saxons were, though languidly, endeavoring to bestir
themselves in matters military. Their entire Army at present is under
20,000; but, in the course of next Winter, they expect to have
it 40,000. Shall be of that force, against Season 1757. No doubt
Winterfeld's gatherings and communications had their uses at Potsdam, on
his getting home from this Tour to Toplitz.

Meanwhile, Klinggraf has had his Audience at Vienna; and has sped as
ill as could have been expected. The Answer given was of supercilious
brevity; evasive, in effect null, and as good as answering, That there
is no answer. Two Accounts we have, as Friedrich successively had them,
of this famed passage: FIRST, Klinggraf's own, which is clear, rapid,
and stands by the essential; SECOND, an account from the other side of
the scenes, furnished by Menzel of Dresden, for Friedrich's behoof
and ours; which curiously illustrates the foregoing, and confirms the
interpretation Friedrich at once made of it. This is Menzel's account;
in other words, the Saxon Envoy at Vienna's, stolen by Menzel.

July 26th, it appears, Klinggraf--having applied to Kaunitz the
day before, who noticed a certain flurry in him, and had answered
carelessly, "Audience? Yes, of course; nay I am this moment going to
the Empress: only you must tell me about what?"--was admitted to the
Imperial Presence, he first of many that were waiting. Imperial Presence
held in its hand a snip of Paper, carefully composed by Kaunitz from the
data, and read these words: "DIE BEDENKLICHEN UMSTANDE, The questionable
circumstances of the Time have moved me to consider as indispensably
necessary those measures which, for my own security and for defence
of my Allies, I am taking, and which otherwise do not tend the least
towards injury of anybody whatsoever;"--and adding no syllable more,
gave a sign with her hand, intimating to Klinggraf that the Interview
was done. Klinggraf strode through the Antechamber, "visibly
astonished," say on-lookers, at such an Answer had. Answer, in
fact, "That there is no answer," and the door flung in your face!
[_Helden-Geschichte, _iii. 772. In Valori, ii. 128, Friedrich's little
Paper of INSTRUCTIONS to Klinggraf; this Vienna ANSWER to it, ib.
138:--see ib. 138, 162; and _Gesammelte Nachrichten, _ii. 214-221.]

Friedrich, on arrival of report from Klinggraf, and without waiting for
the Menzel side of the scenes, sees that the thing is settled. Writes
again, however (August 2d, probably the day after, or the same day,
Klinggraf's Despatch reached him); instructing Klinggraf To request
"a less oracular response;" and specially, "If her Imperial Majesty
(Austria and Russia being, as is understood, in active League against,
him) will say, That Austria will not attack him this year or the
next?" Draw up memorial of that, Monsieur Klinggraf; and send us
the supercilious No-Answer: till which arrive we do not cross the
Frontier,--but are already everywhere on march to it, in an industrious,
cunningly devised, evident and yet impenetrably mysterious manner.

Excellency Valori never saw such activity of military preparation: such
Artillery, "2,000 big pieces in the Park here;" Regiments, Wagon-trains,
getting under way everywhere, no man can guess whitherward; "drawn up in
the Square here, they know not by what Gate they are to march." By three
different Gates, I should think;--mysteriously, in Three Directions,
known only to King Friedrich and his Adjutant-General, all these
Regiments in Berlin and elsewhere are on march. Towards Halle (Leipzig
way); towards Brietzen (Wittenberg and Torgau way); towards Bautzen
neighborhood,--towards Three settled Points of the Saxon Frontier; will
step across the instant the supercilious No-Answer comes to hand. Are to
converge about Dresden and the Saxon Switzerland;--about 65,000 strong,
equipped as no Army before or since has been;--and take what luck there
may be.

Bruhl and Polish Majesty's Army, still only about 18,000, have their
apprehensions of such visit: but what can they do? The Saxon Army draws
out into Camp, at sight of this mysterious marching; strong Camp "in the
angle of Elbe and Mulde Rivers;"--then draws in again; being too weak
for use. And is thinking, Menzel informs us, to take post in the stony
labyrinthic Pirna Country: such the advice an Excellency Broglio has
given;--French Excellency, now in Dresden; Marechal de Broglio's Son,
and of little less explosive nature than his Father was. Bruhl
and Polish Majesty, guessing that the hour is come, are infinitely
interested. Interested, not flurried. "Austrian-Russian Anti-Prussian
Covenant!" say Bruhl and Majesty, rather comfortably to themselves: "We
never signed it. WE never would sign anything; what have we to do with
it? Courage; steady; To Pirna, if they come! Are not Excellency Broglio,
and France, and Austria, and the whole world at our back?"

It was full three weeks before Klinggraf's Message of Answer could
arrive at Berlin. Of Friedrich in the interim, launching such a
world-adventure, himself silent, in the midst of a buzzing Berlin,
take these indications, which are luminous enough. Duke Ferdinand
of Brunswick is to head one of the Three "Columns." Duke Ferdinand,
Governor of Magdeburg, is now collecting his Column in that
neighborhood, chiefly at Halle; whitherward, or on what errand, is
profoundly unknown. Unknown even to Ferdinand, except that it is for
actual Service in the Field. Here are two Friedrich Letters (ruggedly
Official, the first of them, and not quite peculiar to Ferdinand), which
are worth reading:--


THE KING TO DUKE FERDINAND OF BRUNSWICK.

"POTSDAM, 15th August, 1756.

"For time of Field-Service I have made the arrangement, That for the
Subaltern Officers of your regiment, over and above their ordinary
Equipage-moneys, there shall, to each Subaltern Officer, and once for
all, be Eight Thalers [twenty-four shillings sterling] advanced. That
sum [eight thalers per subaltern] shall be paid to the Captain of every
Company; and besides this there shall, monthly, Two Thalers be deducted
from the Subaltern's Pay, and be likewise paid over to the Captain:--in
return for which, He is to furnish Free Table for the Subalterns
throughout the Campaign, and so long as the regiment is in the field.

"Of the Two Baggage-carts per Company, the regiment shall take only One,
and leave the other at home. No Officer, let him be who or of what title
he will, Generals not excepted, shall take with him the least of Silver
Plate, not even a silver spoon. Whoever wants, therefore, to keep
table, great or small (TAFEL ODER TISCH), must manage the same with tin
utensils;--without exception, be he who he will.

"Each Captain shall take with him a little Cask of Vinegar; of which, as
soon as the regiments get to Camp, he must give me reckoning, and I
will then have him repaid. This Vinegar shall solely and exclusively be
employed for this purpose, That in places where the water is bad, there
be poured into it, for the soldiers, a few drops of the vinegar, to
correct the water, and thereby preserve them from illnesses.

"So soon as the regiment gets on march, the Women who have permission
to follow are put under command of the Profoss; that thereby all
plunderings and disorders may the more be guarded against. If the
Captains and Officers take Grooms (JAGER) or the like Domestics, there
can muskets be given to these, that use may be had of them, in case of
an attack in quarters, or on march, when a WAGENBURG (wagon-fortress) is
to be formed.... FRIEDRICH." [Preuss, ii. 6, 7.]

SAME TO SAME (Confidential, this one).

"POTSDAM, 24th August.

... "Make as if you were meaning to go into Camp at Halle. The reason
why I stop you is, that the Courier from Vienna has not yet come.
We must therefore reassure the Saxon neighborhood. ... I have
been expecting answer from hour to hour; cannot suitably begin a
War-Expedition till it come; do therefore apprise Your Dilection, though
under the deepest secrecy.

"And it is necessary, and my Will is, That, till farther order, you keep
all the regiments and corps belonging to your Column in the places where
they are when this arrives. And shall, meanwhile, with your best skill
mask all this, both from the Town of Halle, and from the regiments
themselves; making, in conformity with what I said yesterday, as if you
were a Corps of Observation come to encamp here, and were waiting the
last orders to go into camp."

"FRIEDRICH." [Ib. ii. 7, 8.]


And in regard to the Vienna Courier, and Friedrich's attitude towards
that Phenomenon, read only these Two Notes:--


1. FRIEDRICH TO THE PRINCE OF PRUSSIA AND THE PRINCESS AMELIA (at
Berlin)

POTSDAM, "25th August," 1756.

"MY DEAR BROTHER, MY DEAR SISTER,--I write to you both at once, for want
of time. I will follow the advice you are so good as give me; and will
take leave of the Queen [our dear Mamma] by Letter. And that the reading
of my Letter may not frighten her, I will send it by my Sister, to be
presented in a favorable moment.

"I have yet got no Answer from Vienna; by Klinggraf's account, I shall
not receive it till to-morrow [came this night], But I count myself
surer of War than ever; as the Austrians have named Generals, and their
Army is ordered to march, from Kolin to Konigsgratz"--Schlesien way. "So
that, expecting nothing but a haughty Answer, or a very uncertain one,
on which there will be no reliance possible, I have arranged everything
for setting out on Saturday next. To-morrow, so soon as the news comes,
I will not fail to let you know. Assuring you that I am, with a perfect
affection, my dear Brother and my dear Sister,--Yours,--F." [_OEuvres de
Frederic,_ xxvi. 155.]

Answer comes from Klinggraf that same night. Once more, an Answer almost
worse than could have been expected. "The 'League with Russia against
you' is nonextant, a thing of your imagination: Have not we already
answered?" [In _Gesammelte Urkunden, _i. 217: Klinggraf's second
question (done by Letter this time), "18th August;" Maria Theresa's
Answer, "21st August,"] Whereupon,

2. FRIEDRICH TO THE PRINCE OF PRUSSIA.

POTSDAM, "26th August," 1756.

"MY DEAR BROTHER,--I have already written to the Queen; softening things
as much as I could [Letter lost]. My Sister, to whom I address the
Letter, will deliver it.

"You have seen the Paper I sent to Klinggraf. Their Answer is 'That they
have not made an Offensive Alliance with Russia against me.' The Answer
is impertinent, high and contemptuous; and of the Assurance that I
required [as to This Year and next], not one word. So that the sword
alone can cut this Gordian Knot. I am innocent of this War; I have
done what I could to avoid it; but whatever be one's love of peace, one
cannot and must not sacrifice to that, one's safety and one's honor.
Such, I believe, will be your opinion too, from the sentiments I know in
you. At present, our one thought must be, To do War in such a way as may
cure our Enemies of their wish to break Peace again too soon. I embrace
you with all my heart. I have had no end of business (TERRIBLEMENT A
FAIRE)."--F. [_OEuvres,_ xxvi. 116.]

THE MARCH INTO SAXONY, IN THREE COLUMNS.

Ahead of that last Note, from an earlier hour of the same day, Thursday,
26th August, there is speeding forth, to all Three Generals of Division,
this Order (take Duke Ferdinand's copy):--[not in original]--

"I hereby order that Your Dilection (EW. LIEBDEN), with all the
regiments and corps in the Column standing under your command, Shall
now, without more delay, get on march, on the 29th inst.; and proceed,
according to the March-Tables and Instructions already given, to execute
what Your Dilection has got in charge."--F.

The same Thursday, 26th, Excellency Mitchell, informed by Podewils
of the King's wish to see him at Potsdam, gets under way from Berlin;
arrives "just time enough to speak with the King before he sat down to
supper." Very many things to be consulted of, and deliberatively touched
upon, with Mitchell and England; no end of things and considerations,
for England and King Friedrich, in this that is now about to burst forth
on an astonished world!--Over in London, we observe, just in the hours
when Mitchell was harnessing for Potsdam, and so many Orders and Letters
were speeding their swiftest in that quarter, there is going forward, on
Tower-Hill yonder, the following Operation:--

"LONDON, THURSDAY, 26th AUGUST, 1756. About five in the afternoon, a
noted Admiral [only in Effigy as yet; but who has been held in miserable
durance, and too actual question of death or life, ever since his
return: "Oh, yes indeed! Hang HIM at once",--if that can be a remedy!]
was, after having been privately shown to many ladies and gentlemen,
brought--in an open sedan, guarded by a number of young gentlemen under
arms, with drums beating, colors flying--to Tower-Hill, where a Gallows
had been erected for him at six the same morning. He was richly dressed,
in a blue and gold coat, buff waistcoat, trimmed, &c. in full uniform.
When brought under the Gallows, he stayed a small space, till his
clergyman (a chimney-sweeper) had given him some admonitions: that done,
he was drawn, by pulleys, to the top of the Gallows, which was twenty
feet high; every person expressing as much satisfaction as if it had
been the real man.

"He remained there, guarded by the above volunteers, without any
molestation, two hours; when, upon a supposition of being obstructed by
the Governor of the Tower, some sailors appeared, who wanted to pull him
down, in order to drag him along the streets. But a fire being kindled,
which consisted of tar-barrels, fagots, tables, tubs, &c., he was
consumed in about half an hour." [Old Newspapers (_Gentleman's Magazine,
_ xxvi. 409).]

That is their employment on Tower-Hill, over yonder, while Mitchell is
getting under way to see Friedrich.

Mitchell continued at Potsdam over Friday; and was still in eager
consultation that night, when the King said to him, with a certain
expressiveness of glance: "BON SOIR, then;--To-morrow morning about
four!" And on the morrow, Saturday, 28th, Mitchell reports hurriedly:--

"... Am just returned to Berlin, in time to write to your Lordship. This
morning, between four and five, I took leave of the King of Prussia.
He went immediately upon the Parade; mounted on horseback; and, after
a very short exercise of his Troops, put himself at their head; and
marched directly for Belitz [half-way to Brietzen, TREUENbrietzen
as they call it]; where, To-morrow, he will enter the Saxon
Territory,"--as, at their respective points, his two other Columns
will;--and begin, who shall say what terrible game; incalculable to your
Lordship and me, with such Operations afoot on Tower-Hill! [Mitchell
Papers, vi. 804 ("To Lord Holderness, 28th August, 1756").]--

Seven Hussar Regiments of Duke Ferdinand's Column got the length of
Leipzig that Sunday Evening, 29th; and took possession of the place. [In
_Helden-Geschichte, _iii. 731, his "Proclamation" there, 29th August,
1756.] Duke Ferdinand to right of the King, Duke of Brunswick-Bevern to
left,--the Three Columns cross the Border, at points, say 80 miles
from one another; occasionally, on the march, bending to rightwards and
leftwards, to take in the principal Towns, and make settlements there,
the two might be above a hundred miles from Friedrich on each hand. The
length of march for each Column,--Ferdinand "from Leipzig, by Chemnitz,
Freyberg, Dippoldiswalde, to the Village of Cotta" (Pirna neighborhood,
south of Elbe); Bevern, "through the Lausitz, by Bautzen, to Lohmen"
(same neighborhood, north of Elbe); King Friedrich, to Dresden, by the
course of the Elbe itself, was not far from equal, and may be called
about 150 miles. They marched with diligence, not with hurry; had their
pauses, rest-days, when business required. They got to their ground,
with the simultaneousness appointed, on the eleventh or twelfth day.

The middle Column, under the King, where Marshal Keith is second
in command, goes by Torgau (detaching Moritz of Dessau to pick up
Wittenberg, and ruin the slight works there); crosses the Elbe at
Torgau, September 2d; marches, cantoning itself day after day, along the
southern bank of the River; leaves Meissen to the left, I perceive, does
not pass through Meissen; comes first at Wilsdruf on ground where
we have been,--and portions of it, I doubt not, were billeted in
Kesselsdorf; and would take a glance at the old Field, if they had time.
There is strict discipline in all the Columns; the authorities complying
on summons, and arranging what is needful. Nobody resists; town-guards
at once ground arms, and there is no soldier visible; soldiers all
ebbing away, whitherward we guess. [_Helden-Geschichte, _iii. 732, 733;
_OEuvres de Frederic,_ iv. 81.]

At Wilsdruf, Friedrich first learns for certain, that the Saxon Army,
with King, with Bruhl and other chief personages, are withdrawn to
Pirna, to the inexpugnable Konigstein and Rock-Country. The Saxon Army
had begun assembling there, September 1st, directly on the news that
Friedrich was across the Border; September 9th, on Friedrich's approach,
the King and Dignitaries move off thither, from Dresden, out of his
way. Excellency Broglio has put them on that plan. Which may have its
complexities for Friedrich, hopes Broglio,--though perhaps its still
greater for some other parties concerned! For Bruhl and Polish Majesty,
as will appear by and by, nothing could have turned out worse.

Meanwhile Friedrich pushes on: "Forward, all the same." Polish Majesty,
dating from Struppen, in the Pirna Country, has begun a Correspondence
with Friedrich, very polite on both hands; and his Adjutant-General, the
Chevalier Meagher ("Chevalier de MARRE," as Valori calls him,--MA'AR, as
he calls himself in Irish), has just had, at Wilsdruf, an interview with
Friedrich; but is far from having got settlement on the terms he wished.
Polish Majesty magnanimously assenting to "a Road through his Country
for military purposes;" offers "the strictest Neutrality, strictest
friendship even; has done, and will do, no injury whatever to his
Prussian Majesty--["Did we ever SIGN anything?" whisper comfortably
Bruhl and he to one another];--expects, therefore, that his Prussian
Majesty will march on, whither he is bound; and leave him unmolested
here." [_Helden-Geschichte, _ iii. 774.]

That was Meagher's message; that is the purport of all his Polish
Majesty's Eleven Letters to Friedrich, which precede or follow,--
reiterating with a certain bovine obstinacy, insensible to time or
change, That such is Polish Majesty's fixed notion: "Strict neutrality,
friendship even; and leave me unmolested here." [In _OEuvres de
Frederic,_ iv. 235-260 ("29th August-10th September-18th September,"
1756), are collected now, the Eleven Letters, with their Answers.]
"Strict neutrality, yes: but disperse your Army, then," answers
Friedrich; send your Army back to its cantonments: I must myself
have the keeping of my Highway, lest I lose it, as in 1744." This is
Friedrich's answer; this at first, and for some time coming; though, as
the aspects change, and the dangerous elements heap themselves higher,
Friedrich's answer will rise with them, and his terms, like the Sibyl's,
become worse and worse. This is the utmost that Meagher, at Wilsdruf,
can make of it; and this, in conceivable circumstances, will grow less
and less.

Next day, September 9th, Friedrich, with some Battalions, entered
Dresden, most of his Column taking Camp near by; General Wylich had
entered yesterday, and is already Commandant there. Friedrich sends, by
Feldmarschall Keith, highest Officer of his Column, his homages to her
Polish Majesty:--nothing given us of Keith's Interview; except by a
side-wind, "That Majesty complained of those Prussian Sentries walking
about in certain of her corridors" (with an eye to Something, it may be
feared!)--of which, doubtless, Keith undertook to make report. Friedrich
himself waits upon the Junior Princes, who are left here: is polite and
gracious as ever, though strict, and with business enough; lodges, for
his own part, "in the Garden-House of Princess Moczinska;"--and next
morning leads off his Column, a short march eastward, to the Pirna
Country; where, on the right and on the left, Ferdinand at Cotta, Bevern
at Lohmen (if readers will look on their Map), he finds the other Two in
their due positions. Head-quarter is Gross-Sedlitz (westernmost skirt
of the Rock-region); and will have to continue so, much longer than had
been expected.

The Diplomatic world in Dresden is in great emotion; more especially
just at present. This morning, before leaving, Friedrich had to do
an exceedingly strict thing: secure the Originals of those Menzel
Documents. Originals indispensable to him, for justifying his new
procedures upon Saxony. So that there has been, at the Palace, a Scene
this morning of a very high and dissonant nature,--"Marshal Keith" in
it, "Marshal Keith making a second visit" (say some loose and false
Accounts);--the facts being strictly as follows.

Far from removing those Prussian sentries complained of last night,
here seems to be a double strength of them this morning. And her
Polish Majesty, a severe, hard-featured old Lady, has been filled with
indignant amazement by a Prussian Officer--Major von Wangenheim, I
believe it is--requiring, in the King of Prussia's name, the Keys of
that Archive-room; Prussian Majesty absolutely needing sight, for a
little while, of certain Papers there. "Enter that room? Archives of
a crowned Head? Let me see the living mortal that will dare to do
it!"--one fancies the indignant Polish Majesty's answer; and how,
calling for materials, she "openly sealed the door in question," in
Wangenheim's presence. As this is a celebrated Passage, which has been
reported in several loose ways, let us take it from the primary source,
Chancery style and all. Graf von Sternberg, Austrian Excellency, writing
from the spot and at the hour, informs his own Court, and through that
all Courts, in these solemnly Official terms:--

"DRESDEN, 10th SEPTEMBER, 1756. The Queen's Majesty, this forenoon, has
called to her all the Foreign Ministers now at Dresden; and in Highest
Own Person has signified to us, How, the Prussian intrusions and
hostilities being already known, Highest said Queen's Majesty would now
simply state what had farther taken place this morning:--

"Highest said Queen's Majesty, to wit, had, in her own name, requested
the King of Prussia, in conformity with his assurances [by Keith,
yesternight] of paying every regard for Her and the Royal
Family; To remove the Prussian Sentries pacing about in those
Corridors,"--Corridors which lead to the Secret Archives, important to
some of us!--"Instead of which, the said King had not only doubled
his Sentries there; but also, by an Officer, demanded the Keys of the
Archive-apartment [just alluded to]! And as the Queen's Majesty, for
security of all writings there, offered to seal the Door of it herself,
and did so, there and then,--the said Officer had so little respect,
that he clapped his own seal thereon too.

"Nor was he content therewith,"--not by any means!--"but the same
Officer [having been with Wylich, Commandant here] came back, a short
time after, and made for opening of the Door himself. Which being
announced to the Queen's Majesty, she in her own person (HOCHSTDIESELBE,
Highest-the-Same) went out again; and standing before the Door, informed
him, 'How Highest-the-Same had too much regard to his Prussian Majesty's
given assurance, to believe that such order could proceed from the
King.' As the Officer, however, replied, 'That he was sorry to have such
an order to execute; but that the order was serious and precise; and
that he, by not executing it, would expose himself to the greatest
responsibility," Her Majesty continued standing before the Door; and
said to the Officer, 'If he meant to use force, he might upon Her make
his beginning.'" There is for you, Herr Wangenheim!--

"Upon which said Officer had gone away, to report anew to the King [I
think, only to Wylich the Commandant; King now a dozen miles off, not
so easily reported to, and his mind known]; and in the mean while Her
Majesty had called to her the Prussian and English Ambassadors
[Mahlzahn and Stormont; sorry both of them, but how entirely
resourceless,--especially Mahlzahn!], and had represented and
repeated to them the above; beseeching that by their remonstrances and
persuasions they would induce the King of Prussia, conformably with his
given assurance, to forbear. Instead, however, of any fruit from such
remonstrances and urgencies, final Order came, 'That, Queen's Majesty's
own Highest Person notwithstanding, force must be used.'

"Whereupon her Majesty, to avoid actual mistreatment, had been obliged
to"--to become passive, and, no Keys being procurable from her, see
a smith with his picklocks give these Prussians admission.
Legation-Secretary Plessmann was there (Menzel one fancies sitting,
rather pale, in an adjacent room [Supra, p. 266.]); and they knew what
to do. Their smith opens the required Box for them (one of several "all
lying packed for Warsaw," says Friedrich); from which soon taking
what they needed, Wangenheim and Wylich withdrew with their booty, and
readers have the fruit of it to this day. "Which unheard-of procedure,
be pleased, your Excellencies, to report to your respective Courts."
[_Gesammelte Nachrichten, _i. 222 (or "No. 26" of that Collection);
_OEuvres de Frederic,_ iv. 83.]

Poor old Lady, what a situation! And I believe she never saw her poor
old Husband again. The day he went to Pirna (morning of yesterday,
September 9th, Friedrich entering in the evening), these poor Spouses
had, little dreaming of it, taken leave of one another forevermore. Such
profit lies in your Bruhl. Kings and Queens that will be governed by a
Jesuit Guarini, and a Bruhl of the Twelve Tailors, sometimes pay dear
for it. They, or their representatives, are sure to do so. Kings and
Queens,--yes, and if that were all: but their poor Countries too? Their
Countries;--well, their Countries did not hate Beelzebub, in his various
shapes, ENOUGH. Their Countries should have been in watch against
Beelzebub in the shape of Bruhls;--watching, and also "praying" in a
heroic manner, now fallen obsolete in these impious times!



Chapter V.--FRIEDRICH BLOCKADES THE SAXONS IN PIRNA COUNTRY.

Friedrich reckons himself to have 65,000 men in Saxony. Schwerin is
issuing from Silesia, through the Glatz Mountains, for Bohemia, at the
head of 40,000. The Austrian force is inferior in quantity, and far from
ready:--Two "Camps" in Bohemia they have; the chief one under
Browne (looking, or intending, this Saxon way), and a smaller under
Piccolomini, in the Konigshof-Kolin region:--if well run into from front
and rear, both Browne and Piccolomini might be beautifully handled; and
a gash be cut in Austria, which might incline her to be at peace again!
Nothing hinders but this paltry Camp of the Saxons; itself only 18,000
strong, but in a Country of such strength. And this does hinder,
effectually while it continues: "How march to Bohemia, and leave the
road blocked in our rear?"

The Saxon Camp did continue,--unmanageable by any method, for five weeks
to come; the season of war-operations gone, by that time:--and
Friedrich's First Campaign, rendered mostly fruitless in this manner,
will by no means check the Austrian truculencies, as by his velocity he
hoped to do. No; but, on the contrary, will rouse the Austrians, French
and all Enemies, to a tenfold pitch of temper. And bring upon himself,
from an astonished and misunderstanding Public, such tempests and world-
tornadoes of loud-roaring obloquy, as even he, Friedrich, had never
endured before.

To readers of a touring habit this Saxon Country is perhaps well known.
For the last half-century it has been growing more and more famous,
under the name of "Saxon Switzerland (SACHSISCHE SCHWEITZ)," instead of
"Misnian Highlands (MEISSNISCHE HOCHLAND)," which it used to be called.
A beautiful enough and extremely rugged Country; interesting to the
picturesque mind. Begins rising, in soft Hills, on both sides of the
Elbe, a few miles east of Dresden, as you ascend the River; till it
rises into Hills of wild character, getting ever wilder, and riven into
wondrous chasms and precipices. Extends, say almost twenty miles up
the River, to Tetschen and beyond, in this eastern direction; and with
perhaps ten miles of breadth on each side of the River: area of the
Rock-region, therefore, is perhaps some four hundred square miles. The
Falkenberg (what we should call HAWKSCRAG) northeastward in the Lausitz,
the Schneeberg (SNOW MOUNTAIN), southeastward on the Bohemian border,
are about thirty-five miles apart: these two are both reckoned to be in
it,--its last outposts on that eastern side. But the limits of it are
fixed by custom only, and depend on no natural condition.

We might define it as the Sandstone NECK of the Metal Mountains: a
rather lower block, of Sandstone, intercalated into the Metal-Mountain
range, which otherwise, on both hands, is higher, and of harder rocks.
Southward (as SHOULDER to this sandstone NECK) lies, continuous, broad
and high, the "Metal-Mountain range" specially so called: northward
and northeastward there rise, beyond that Falkenberg, many mountains,
solitary or in groups,--"the Metal Mountains" fading out here into "the
Lausitz Hills," still in fine picturesque fashion, which are Northern
Border to the great Bohemian "Basin of the Elba," after you emerge from
this Sandstone Country.

Saxon Switzerland is not very high anywhere; 2,000 feet is a notable
degree of height: but it is torn and tumbled into stone labyrinths,
chasms and winding rock-walls, as few regions are. Grows pinewood, to
the topmost height; pine-trees far aloft look quietly down upon you,
over sheer precipices, on your intricate path. On the slopes of the
Hills is grass enough; in the intervals are Villages and husbandries,
are corn and milk for the laborious natives,--who depend mainly on
quarrying, and pine-forest work: pines and free-stone, rafts of long
slim pines, and big stone barges, are what one sees upon the River
there. A Note, not very geological, says of it:--

"Elbe sweeps freely through this Country, for ages and aeons past;
curling himself a little into snake-figure, and with increased
velocity, but silent mostly, and trim to the edge, a fine flint-colored
river;--though in aeons long anterior, it must have been a very
different matter for torrents and water-power. The Country is one huge
Block of Sandstone, so many square miles of that material; ribbed,
channelled, torn and quarried, in this manner, by the ever-busy
elements, for a million of Ages past! Chiefly by the Elbe himself, since
he got to be a River, and became cosmic and personal; ceasing to be a
mere watery chaos of Lakes and Deluges hereabouts. For the Sandstone was
of various degrees of hardness; tenacious as marble some parts of
it, soft almost as sand other parts. And the primordial diluviums and
world-old torrents, great and small, rushing down from the Bohemian
Highlands, from the Saxon Metal Mountains, with such storming, gurgling
and swashing, have swept away the soft parts, and left the hard standing
in this chaotic manner, and bequeathed it all to the Elbe, and the
common frosts and rains of these human ages.

"Elbe has now a trim course; but Elbe too is busy quarrying and mining,
where not artificially held in;--and you notice at every outlet of a
Brook from the interior, north side and south side, how busy the Brook
has been. Boring, grinding, undermining; much helped by the frosts, by
the rains. AEons ago, the Brook was a lake, in the interior; but was
every moment laboring to get out; till it has cut for itself that
mountain gullet, or sheer-down chasm, and brought out with it an
Alluvium or Delta,--on which, since Adam's time, human creatures have
built a Hamlet. That is the origin, or unwritten history, of most
hamlets and cultivated spots you fall in with here: they are the waste
shavings of the Brook, working millions of years, for its own object
of getting into the Elbe in level circumstances. Ploughed fields, not
without fertility, are in the interior, if you ascend that Brook; the
Hamlet, at the delta or mouth of it, is as if built upon its TONGUE
and into its GULLET: think how picturesque, in the November rains, for
example!

"The road" one road, "from Dresden to Aussig, to Lobositz, Budin, Prag,
runs up the river-brink (south brink); or, in our day, as Prag-Dresden
Railway, thunders through those solitudes; strangely awakening their
echoes; and inviting even the bewildered Tourist to reflect, if he
could. The bewildered Tourist sees rock-walls heaven-high on both hands
of him; River and he rushing on between, by law of gravitation, law of
ennui (which are laws of Nature both), with a narrow strip of sky in
full gallop overhead; and has little encouragement to reflect, except
upon his own sorrows, and delirious circumstances, physical and moral.
'How much happier, were I lying in my bed!' thinks the bewildered
Tourist;--does strive withal to admire the Picturesque, but with little
success; notices the 'BASTEI (Bastion),' and other rigorously prescribed
points of the Sublime and Beautiful, which are to be 'done.' That
you will have to DO, my friend: step out, you will have to go on that
Pinnacle, with indifferent Hotel attached; on that iron balcony, aloft
among the clouds yonder; and shudder to project over Elbe-flood from
such altitudes, admiring the Picturesque in prescribed manner.

"This Country has for its permanent uses, timber, free-stone, modicum
of milk and haver, serviceable to the generality;--and to his Polish
Majesty, at present, it is as the very Ark of Noah: priceless at this
juncture; being the strongest military country in the world. Excellent
strength in it; express Fortresses; especially one Fortress called the
Konigstein, not far from Schandau, of a towering precipitous nature,
with 'a well 900 feet deep' in it, and pleasant Village outside at the
base;--Fortress which is still, in our day, reckoned a safe place for
the Saxon Archives and preciosities. Impregnable to gunpowder artillery;
not to be had except by hunger. And then, farther down the River, close
by Pirna, presiding over Pirna, as that Konigstein in some sort does
over Schandau, is the Sonnenstein: Sonnenstein too was a Fortress in
those days of Friedrich, but not impregnable, if judged worth taking.
The Austrians took it, a year or two hence; Friedrich retook it,
dismantled it: 'the Sonnenstein is now a Madhouse,' say the Guide-books.

"Sonnenstein stands close east or up-stream of Pirna, which is a town of
5,000 souls, by much the largest in those parts; Konigstein a little
down-stream of Schandau, which latter is on the opposite or north side
of the River. These are the two chief Towns, which do all the trade of
this region; picturesque places both:--the Tourist remembers Pirna?
Standing on its sleek table or stair-step, by the River's edge; well
above floodmark; green, shaggy or fringy mountains looking down on it to
rearward; in front, beyond the River, nothing visible but mile-long
cream-colored rock-wall, with bushes at bottom and top, wall quarried by
Elbe, as you can see. Pirna is near the beginning [properly END, but we
start from Dresden] or western extremity of Saxon Schweitz. Schandau,
almost at the opposite or eastern extremity, is still more picturesque;
standing on the delta of a little Brook, with high rock-cliffs, with
garden-shrubberies, sanded walks, tufts of forest-umbrage; a bright-
painted, almost OPERATIC-looking place,--with spa-waters, if I
recollect: "yes truly, and the "Bath Season" making its packages in
great haste, breaking up prematurely, this Year (1756)!--

Directly on arriving at Gross-Sedlitz, Friedrich takes ocular survey
of this Country, which is already not unknown to him. He finds that the
Saxons have secured themselves within the Mountains; a rocky streamlet,
Brook of Gottleube, which issues into Elbe just between Gross-Sedlitz
and them, "through a dell of eighty or a hundred feet deep," serving
as their first defence; well in front of the mere rocky Heights and
precipices behind it, which stretch continuously along to southward,
six miles or more, from Pirna and the south brink of Elbe. At
Langen-Hennersdorf, which is the southernmost part, these Heights make
an elbow inwards, by Leopoldshayn, towards the Konigstein, which is but
four miles off; here too the Saxons are defended by a Brook (running
straight towards Konigstein, this one) in front of their Heights; and
stand defensive, in this way, along a rock-bulwark of ten miles long:
the passes all secured by batteries, by abatis, palisades, mile after
mile, as Friedrich rides observant leftward: behind them, Elbe rushing
swifter through his rock-walls yonder, with chasms and intricate gorges;
defending them inexpugnably to rear. Six miles long of natural bulwark
(six to Hennersdorf), where the gross of the Saxons lie; then to
Konigstein four other miles, sufficiently, if more sparsely, beset by
them. "No stronger position in the world," Friedrich thinks; [_OEuvres
de Frederic,_ iv. 83, 84 (not a very distinct Account; and far from
accurate in the details,--which are left without effectual correction
even in the best Editions).]--and that it is impossible to force this
place, without a loss of life disproportionate even to its importance
at present. Not to say that the Saxons will make terms all the easier,
BEFORE bloodshed rise between us;--and furthermore that Hunger (for
we hear they have provision only for two weeks) may itself soon do it.
"Wedge them in, therefore; block every outgate, every entrance; nothing
to get in, except gradually Hunger. Hunger, and on our part rational
Offers, will suffice." That is Friedrich's plan; good in itself,--though
the ovine obstinacy, and other circumstances, retarded the execution of
it to an unexpected extent, lamentable to Friedrich and to some others.

The Prussian-Saxon military operations for the next five weeks need not
detain us. Their respective positions on the Heights behind that Brook
Gottleube, and on the plainer Country in front of it,--

How the Prussians lie, first Division of them, from Gross-Sedlitz to
Zehist, under the King; then second Division from Zehist to Cotta, and
onward by "the Rothschenke" (RED-HOUSE Tavern), by Markersbach, and
sparsely as far as Hellendorf on the Prag Highway; in brief, where all
the Divisions of them lie, and under whom; and where the Prussians,
watching Elbe itself, have Batteries and Posts on the north side of it:
all this is marked on the Map;--to satisfy ingenuous curiosity, should
it make tour in those parts. To which add only these straggles of Note,
as farther elucidative:--

"The Saxons, between Elbe and their Lines, possess about thirty square
miles of country. From Pirna or Sonnenstein to Konigstein, as the crow
flies, may be five miles east to west; but by Langen-Hennersdorf, and
the elbow there, it will be ten: at Konigstein, moreover, Elbe makes
an abrupt turn northward for a couple of miles, instead of westward
as heretofore, turning abruptly westward again after that: so that the
Saxon 'Camp' or Occupancy here, is an irregular Trapezium, with
Pirna and Konigstein for vertices, and with area estimable as
above,--ploughable, a fair portion of it, and not without corn of its
own. So that the 'two weeks' provision' spun themselves out (short
allowance aiding) to two months, before actual famine came.

... "The High-road from the Lausitz parts crosses Elbe at Pirna; falls
into the Dresden-Prag High-road there; and from Pirna towards Toplitz,
for the first few miles, this latter runs through the Prussian Posts;
but we may guess it is not much travelled at present. North of Elbe,
too, the Prussians have batteries on the fit points; detachments of due
force, from Gross-Sedlitz Bridge-of-Pontoons all round to Schandau,
or beyond; could fire upon the Konigstein, across the River: they
have plugged up the Saxon position everywhere. They have a Battery
especially, and strong post, to cannonade the Bridge at Pirna, should
the Saxons think of trying there. It is now the one Saxon or even
Half-Saxon Bridge; Sonnenstein and Pirna command the Saxon end of it,
a strong battery the Prussian end: a Bridge lying mainly idle, like the
general Highway to Toplitz at this time. Beyond the Konigstein, again,
at a place called Wendisch-Fahre (WENDS'-FERRY), the Prussians have,
by means of boats swinging wide at anchor on the swift current, what is
called a Flying-bridge, with which the north side can communicate with
the south. They have a post at Nieder-Raden (OBER Raden, railway station
in our time, is on the south side): Nether Raden is an interesting
little Hamlet, mostly invisible to mankind (built in the THROAT of the
stone chasms there), from which you begin mounting to the BASTEI far
aloft. A Raden to be noted, by the Tourist and us."

Little, or even nothing, of fighting there is: why should there be?
The military operations are a dead-lock, and require no word. Thirty
thousand, half of the Prussian Force, lie, vigilant as lynxes,
blockading here; other half, 32,000, under Marshal Keith, have marched
forward to Aussig, to Nollendorf on the Bohemian frontier, to clear the
ways, and look into any Austrian motion thereabouts,--with whom, with
some Pandour detachment of whom, Duke Ferdinand, leading the vanguard,
has had a little brush among the Hills; smiting them home again, in his
usual creditable way (September 13th); and taking Camp at Peterswalde,
he and others of the Force, that night. [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ iv. 85;
ANONYMOUS OF HAMBURG, i. 19.] It is with this Keith Army, with this if
with any, that adventures are to be looked for at present.

Polish Majesty's Head-quarters are at Struppen, well in the centre
of the Saxon lines; "goes always to the Konigstein to sleep." Polish
Majesty's own table is, by Friedrich's permission for that special
object, supplied AD LIBITUM: but the common men were at once put
on short allowance, which grows always the shorter. Polish Majesty
corresponds with Friedrich, as we saw; and above all, sends burning
Messages to Austria, to France, to every European Court, charged with
mere shrieks: "Help me; a robber has me!" In which sense, Excellencies
of all kinds, especially one Lord Stormont, the English Excellency,
daily running out from Dresden to Gross-Sedlitz, are passionately
industrious with Friedrich; who is eager enough to comply, were there
any safe means possible. But there are none. Unfortunately, too,
it appears the Austrians are astir; Feldmarschall Browne actually
furbishing himself at Prag yonder with an eye hitherward, and
extraordinary haste and spirit shown: which obliges Friedrich to rise
in his demands; ovine obstinacy, on the other side, naturally increasing
from the same cause.

"Polish Majesty, we say, has liberty to bring in proviant for self and
suite, rigorously for no mortal more; and he lives well, in the culinary
sense,--surely for most part 'in his dressing-gown,' too, poor loose
collapsed soul! Bruhl and he have plenty of formal business: but their
one real business is that of crying, by estafettes and every conceivable
method, to Austria, 'Get us out of this!' To which Austria has answered,
'Yes; only patience, and be steady!'--Friedrich's head-quarters are at
Sedlitz; and the negotiating and responding which he has, transcends
imagination. His first hope was, Polish Majesty might be persuaded to
join with him;--on the back of that, certainty, gradually coming, that
Polish Majesty never would; and that the Austrians would endeavor a
rescue, were they once ready. Starvation, or the Austrians, which will
be first here? is the question; and Friedrich studies to think it will
be the former. At all events, having settled on the starvation method,
and seen that all his posts are right, we perceive he does not stick
close by Sedlitz; but runs now hither now thither; is at Torgau, where
an important establishment, kind of New Government for Saxony, on the
Finance side, is organizing itself. What his work with Ambassadors
was, and how delicate the handling needed, think!"--Here is another
Clipping:--

... "Polish Majesty passes the day at Struppen, amid many vain noises
of Soldiering, of Diplomatizing; the night always at Konigstein, and
finally both day and night,--quite luxuriously accommodated, Bruhl and
he, to the very end of this Affair. Towards Struppen [this is weeks
farther on, but we give it here],--Comte de Broglio [Old Broglio's elder
Son, younger is in the Military line], who is Ambassador to his
Saxon-Polish Majesty, sets out from Dresden for an interview with said
Majesty. At the Prussian lines, he is informed, 'Yes, you can go; but,
without our King's Order, you cannot return.' 'What? The Most Christian
Majesty's Ambassador, and treated in this way? I will go to where the
Polish King is, and I will return to my own King, so often as I find
business: stop me at your peril!' and threatened and argued, and made a
deal of blusterous noise;--far too much, thinks Valori; think the
Prussian Officers, who are sorry, but inflexible. Margraf Karl,
Commandant of the place, in absence of King Friedrich (who is gone
lately, on a Business we shall hear of), earnestly dissuaded Excellency
Broglio; but it was to no purpose. Next day Broglio appeared in his
state-carriage, formally demanding entrance, free thoroughfare: 'Do you
dare refuse me?' 'Yes,' answered Margraf Karl; 'we do and must.'
Indignant Broglio reappeared, next day, on foot; Lieutenant-General
Prince Friedrich Eugen of Wurtemberg the chief man in charge: 'Do you
dare?' 'Indubitably, Yes;'--and Broglio still pushing on incredulous,
Eugen actually raised his arm,--elbow and fore-arm across the breast of
Most Christian Majesty's Ambassador,--who recoiled, to Dresden, in mere
whirlwinds of fire; and made the most of it [unwisely, thinks Valori] in
writing to Court. [Valori, ii. 349, 209, 353 ("Wednesday, 6th October,"
the day of it, seemingly); ib. i. 312, &c.] Court, in high dudgeon,
commanded Valori to quit Berlin without taking leave. Valori, in his
private capacity, wrote an Adieu; [Friedrich's kind Letter in answer to
it, "2d November, 1756," in Valori, i. 313.] and in his public, as the
fact stood, That he was gone without Adieu."

And the Dauphiness, daughter of those injured Polish Majesties, fell
on her knees (Pompadour permitting and encouraging) at the feet of Most
Christian Majesty; on her knees, all in passion of tears; craved help
and protection to her loved old Mother, in the name of Nature and of all
Kings: could any King resist? And his Pompadour was busy: "Think of
that noble Empress, who calls me COUSIN AND DEAR PRINCESS; think of that
insolent Prussian Robber: Ah, your Majesty:"-and King Louis, though
not a hating man, did privately dislike Friedrich; and evil speeches
of Friedrich's had been reported to him. And, in short, the upshot was:
King Louis, bound only to 24,000 for help of Austria, determined to
send, and did send, above 100,000 across the Rhine, next Year, for that
object; as will be seen. And all Frenchmen--all except Belleisle, who
is old--are charmed with these new energetic measures, and beautiful new
Austrian connections.

Certain it is, the Austrians are coming, her Imperial Majesty bent with
all her might on relief of those Saxon martyrs; which indeed is relief
of herself, as she well perceives: "Courage, my friends; endure yet a
little!" Messengers smuggle themselves through the Mountain paths, and
go and return, though with difficulty.

Since September 19th, the Correspondence with Polish Majesty has ceased:
no persuading of the Polish Majesty. Winterfeld went twice to him;
conferred at large, Bruhl forbidden to be there, on the actual
stringencies and urgencies of Fact between the Two Countries; but it was
with no result at all. Polish Majesty has not the least intention that
Saxony shall be even a Highway for Friedrich, if at any time Polish
Majesty can hinder it: "Neutrality," therefore, will not do for
Friedrich; he demands Alliance, practical Partnership; and to that his
Polish Majesty is completely abhorrent. Diplomatizing may cease; nothing
but wrestle of fight will settle this matter.

Friedrich, able to get nothing from the Sovereign of Saxony, is reduced
to grasp Saxony itself: and we can observe him doing it; always the
closer, always the more carefully, as the complicacy deepens, and the
obstinacy becomes more dangerous and provoking. What alternative is
there? On first entering Saxony, Friedrich had made no secret that he
was not a mere bird of passage there. At Torgau, there was at once a
"Field-Commissariat" established, with Prussian Officials of eminence to
administer, the Military Chest to be deposited there, and Torgau to be
put in a state of defence. Torgau, our Saxon Metropolis of War-Finance,
is becoming more and more the Metropolis of Saxon Finance in general.
Saxon Officials were liable, from the first, to be suspended, on
Friedrich's order. Saxon Finance-Officials, of all kinds, were from
the first instructed, that till farther notice there must be no
disbursements without King Friedrich's sanction. And, in fact, King
Friedrich fully intends that Saxony is to help him all it can; and that
it either will or else shall, in this dire pressure of perplexity,
which is due in such a degree to the conduct of the Saxon Government for
twelve years past. Would Saxony go with him in any form of consent, how
much more convenient to Friedrich! But Saxony will not; Polish Majesty,
not himself suffering hunger, is obstinate as the decrees of Fate (or as
sheep, when too much put upon), regardless of considerations;--and,
in fine, here is Browne actually afoot; coming to relieve Polish
Majesty!--The Austrians had uncommonly bestirred themselves:--

The activity, the zeal of all ranks, ever since this expedition into
Saxony, and clutching of Saxony by the throat, contemporary witnesses
declare to have been extraordinary. "Horses for Piccolomini's
Cavalry,--they had scarcely got their horses, not to speak of training
them, not to speak of cannon and the heavier requisites, when Schwerin
began marching out of Glatz on Piccolomini. As to the cannon for Browne
and him, draught-cattle seem absolutely unprocurable. Whereupon Maria
Theresa flings open her own Imperial Studs: 'There, yoke these to our
cannon; let them go their swiftest;'--which awoke such an enthusiasm,
that noblemen and peasants crowded forward with their coach-horses and
their cart-horses, to relay Browne, all through Bohemia, at different
stages; and the cannon and equipments move to their places at the
gallop, in a manner," [Archenholtz, i. 24.]--and even Browne, at the
base of the Metal Mountains, has got most of his equipments. And is
astir towards Pirna (Army of 60,000, rumor says), for relief of the
Saxon martyrs. Friedrich's complexities are getting day by day more
stringent.

From the middle of September, Marshal Keith, as was observed, with Half
of the Prussians, Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick under him, has been on
the Bohemian slope of the Metal Mountains; securing the roads, towns and
passes thereabouts, and looking out for the advance of Marshal Browne
from the interior parts. Town of Aussig, and the River-road (castle of
Tetschen, on its high rock known to Tourists, which always needs to be
taken on such occasions), these Keith has secured. Lies encamped from
Peterswalde to Aussig, the middle or main strength of him being in the
Hamlet of Johnsdorf (discoverable, if readers like): there lies Keith,
fifteen miles in length; like a strap, or bar, thrown across the back of
that Metal-Mountain Range,--or part of its back; for the range is very
broad, and there is much inequality, and many troughs, big and little,
partial and general, in the crossing of it. A tract which my readers and
I have crossed before now, by the "Pascopol" or Post-road and otherwise;
and shall often have to cross!

Browne, vigorously astir in the interior (cannon and equipments coming
by relays at such a pace), is daily advancing, with his best speed: in
the last days of September, Browne is encamped at Budin; may cross the
Eger River any day, and will then be within two marches of Keith. His
intentions towards Pirna Country are fixed and sure; but the plan
or route he will take is unknown to everybody, and indeed to Browne
himself, till he see near at hand and consider. Browne's problem, he
himself knows, is abundantly abstruse,--bordering on the impossible;
but he will try his best. To get within reach of the Saxons is almost
impossible to Browne, even were there no Keith there. As good as
impossible altogether, by any line of march, while Keith is afoot in
those parts. By Aussig, down the River, straight for the interior of
their Camp, it is flatly impossible: by the south or southeast corner of
their Camp (Gottleube way), or by the northeast (by Schandau way, right
bank of Elbe), it is virtually so,--at least without beating Keith.
Could one beat Keith indeed;--but that will not be easy! And that,
unluckily, is the preliminary to everything.

"By the Hellendorf-Hennersdorf side, in the wastes where Gottleube Brook
gathers itself, Browne might have a chance. There, on that southeast
corner of their Camp, were he once there to attack the Prussians from
without, while the Saxons burst up from within,--there," thinks a good
judge, "is much the favorablest place. But unless Browne's Army had
wings, how is it ever to get there? Across those Metal-Mountain ranges,
barred by Keith:--by Aussig, with the rocks overhanging Elbe River and
him, he cannot go in any case. Were there no Keith, indeed (but there
always is, standing ready on the spring), one might hold to leftward,
and by stolen marches, swift, far round about--!

"By Schandau region, north side of the Elbe, is Browne's easiest, and
indeed one feasible, point of approach,--no Prussians at present
between him and that; the road open, though a far circuit northward for
Browne,--were he to cross the Elbe in Leitmeritz circle, and march with
velocity? That too will be difficult,--nearly impossible in sight of
Keith. And were that even done, the egress for the Saxons, by Schandau
side, is through strait mountain gorges, intricate steep passes,
crossings of the Elbe: what force of Saxons or of Austrians will drive
the Prussians from their redoubts and batteries there?" [_OEuvres de
Frederic,_ iv. 86, 93, 96.]

Browne's problem is none of the feasiblest: but his orders are strict,
"Relieve the Saxons, at all risks." And Browne, one of the ablest
soldiers living ("Your Imperial Majesty's best general," said the dying
Khevenhuller long since), will do his utmost upon it. Friedrich does
not think the enterprise very dangerous,--beating of Keith the
indispensable preliminary to it; but will naturally himself go and look
into it.

Tuesday, September 28th, Friedrich quits Pirna Country by the Prag
Highway; making due inspection of his Posts as he goes along; and, the
outmost of these once past, drives rapidly up the Mountains; gets, with
small escort, through Peterswalde on to Johnsdorf that night. Does
not think this Keith position good; breaks up this "Camp of Johnsdorf"
bodily next morning; and marches down the Mountains, direct towards
Browne; who, we hear, is about crossing the Eger (his Pontoons now
come at last), and will himself be on the advance. From Turmitz, a poor
mountain hamlet in the hollow of the Hills, which is head-quarters that
night, the march proceeds again; Friedrich with the vanguard; Army, I
think, on various country-roads, on both hands; till all get upon the
Great Road again,--Prag-Toplitz-Dresden Post-road; which is called,
specially in this part of it, and loosely in whole, "The Pascopol," and
leads down direct to Budin and Browne.

"A 'Pascopol' famed in military annals," says our Tourist. "It is a
road with many windings, many precipitous sweeps of up and down; road
precipitous in structure;--offers views to the lover of wild Nature:
huge lonesome Hills scattered in the distance; waste expanses nearer
hand, and futile attempts at moorish agriculture; but little else that
is comfortable. In times of Peace, you will meet, at long intervals,
some post-vehicle struggling forward under melancholy circumstances;
some cart, or dilapidated mongrel between cart and basket, with a lean
ox harnessed to it, and scarecrow driver, laden with pit-coal,--which
you wish safe home, and that the scarecrow were getting warmed by it.
But in War-time the steep road is livelier; the common Invasion road
between Saxony and Bohemia; whole Armies sweeping over it, and their
thousand-fold wagons and noises making clangor enough. ... One of those
Hollows, on the Pascopol, is Joachimsthal, with its old Silver Mines;
yielding coins which were in request with traders, the silver being
fine. 'Let my ducat be a Joachimsthal one, then!' the old trader would
say: 'a JOACHIMSTHAL-ER;' or, for brevity, a 'THAL-ER;' whence THALER,
and at last DOLLAR (almighty and otherwise),--now going round the world!
[Busching, _Erdbeschreibung,_v. 178.] Pascopol finishes in Welmina
Township. From the last hamlet in Welmina, at the neck of the last Hill,
step downward one mile, holding rather to the left, you will come on the
innocent Village of Lobositz, its poor corn-mills and huckster-shops all
peaceably unknown as yet, which is soon to become very famous."

The Country-roads where Friedrich's Army is on march, I should think,
are mostly on the mounting hand. For here, from Turmitz, is a trough
again; though the last considerable one; and on the crest of that, we
shall look down upon the Bohemian Plains and the grand Basin of the
Elbe,--through various scrubby villages which are not nameworthy;
through one called Kletschen, which for a certain reason is. Crossing
the shoulder of Kletschenberg (HILL of this Kletschen), which abuts upon
the Pascopol,--yonder in bright sunshine is your beautiful expansive
Basin of the Elbe, and the green Bohemian Plains, revealed for a moment.
Friedrich snatches his glass, not with picturesque object: "See, yonder
is Feldmarschall Browne, then! In camp yonder, down by Lobositz, not
ten miles from us,--[it is most true; Browne marched this morning, long
before the Sun; crossed Eger, and pitched camp at noon]--Good!" thinks
Friedrich. And pushes down into the Pascopol, into the hollows and minor
troughs, which hide Browne henceforth, till we are quite near.

Quite near, through Welmina and a certain final gap of the Hills,
Friedrich with the vanguard does emerge, "an hour before sunset;"
overhanging Browne; not above a mile from the Camp of Browne. A very
large Camp, that of Browne's, flanked to right by the Elbe; goes from
Sulowitz, through Lobositz, to Welhoten close on Elbe;--and has
properties extremely well worth studying just now! "Friedrich" the Books
say, "bivouacs by a fire of sticks," short way down on the southern
slope of the Hill; and till sunset and after, has eye-glass, brain, and
faculties and activities sufficiently occupied for the rest of the
night;--his Divisions gradually taking post behind him, under arms; "not
till midnight, the very rearmost of them." ["Tuesday, 28th September,
left the Camp at Sedlitz, with 8 battalions 20 squadrons, to Johnsdorf:
29th, to Turmitz,--Browne is to pass the Eger tomorrow. From the tops of
the Pascopol (30th), SEE an Austrian Camp in the Plain of Lobositz.
Vanguard bivouacs in the 'neck' of the two Hills or a little beyond."
PRUSSIAN ACCOUNT OF CAMPAIGN 1756 (in _Gesammelte Nachrichten_,
i. 844-845, 840-858); Anonymous of Hamburg; &c. &c.]



Chapter VI.--BATTLE OF LOBOSITZ.

Welmina,--or Reschni-Aujest, last pertinent of Welmina (but we will take
Friedrich's name for it), offers to the scrutinizing eye nothing, in
our day, but some bewildered memory of "Alte Fritz" clinging obstinately
even to the Peasant mind thereabouts. A sleepy littery place; some
biggish haggard untrimmed trees, some broken-backed sleepy-looking
thatched houses, not in contact, and each as far as might be with its
back turned on the other, and cloaked in its own litter and privacy.
Probably no human creature will be visible, as you pass through. Much
straw lying about, chiefly where the few gaunt trees look down on it
(cattle glad of any shelter): in fact, it is mainly an extinct tumult
of straw; nothing alive, as you pass, but a few poor oxen languidly
sauntering up and down, finding much to trample, little to eat. The
Czech Populations (were it not for that "Question of the Nationalities")
are not very beautiful!

Close south of this poor Hamlet is a big Hill, conspicuous with three
peaks; quite at the other base of which, a good way down, lies Lobositz,
the main Village in those parts; a place now of assiduous corn-mill and
fruit trade; and one of the stations on the Dresden-Prag Railway. This
Hill is what Lloyd calls the Lobosch; [Major-General Lloyd, _History
of the late War in Germany, _1756-1759 (3 vols. 4to, London, 1781), i.
2-11.] twin to which, only flatter, is Lloyd's "Homolka Hill" (Hill
of RADOSTITZ in more modern Plans and Books). Conspicuous Heights, and
important to us here,--though I did not find the Peasants much know them
under those names. By the southern shoulder of this Lobosch Hill runs
the road from Welmina to Lobositz, with branches towards many other
villages. To your right or southern hand, short way southward, rises the
other Hill, which Lloyd calls Homolka Hill; the gap or interval between
Homolka and Lobosch, perhaps a furlong in extent, is essentially the
PASS through those uplands. This pass, Friedrich, at the first moment,
made sure of; filling the same with battalions, there to bivouac. He
likewise promptly laid hold of the two Hills, high Lobosch to his left,
and lower Homolka to right; which precautionary measure it is reckoned
a fault in Browne to have neglected, that night; fault for which he
smarted on the morrow.

From this upland pass, or neck between the two Mountains, Friedrich's
battalions would have had a fine view, had the morning shone for them:
Lobositz, Leitmeritz, Melnick; a great fertile Valley, or expanse of
fruitful country, many miles in breadth and length; Elbe, like a silver
stripe, winding grandly through the finest of all his countries, before
ducking himself into the rock-tumults of that Pirna district. The
mountain gorges of Prag and Moldau River, south of Melnick, lie hidden
under the horizon, or visible only as peaks, thirty miles and more to
southeastward; a bright country intervening, sprinkled with steepled
towns. To northwestward, far away, are the Lausitz Mountains, ranked
in loose order, but massive, making a kind of range: and as outposts
to them in their scattered state, Hills of good height and aspect are
scattered all about, and break the uniformity of the Plain. Nowhere in
North Germany could the Prussian battalions have a finer view,--if the
morning were fine, and if views were their object.

The morning, first in October, was not fine; and it was far other than
scenery that the Prussian battalions had in hand!--Friday, 1st October,
1756, Day should have broken: but where is day? At seven in the morning
(and on till eleven), thick mist lay over the plain; thin fog to the
very hill-tops; so that you cannot see a hundred yards ahead. Lobositz
is visible only as through a crape; farther on, nothing but gray sea;
under which, what the Austrians are doing, or whether there are any
Austrians, who can say? Leftward on the Lobosch-Hill side, as we
reconnoitre, some Pandours are noticeable, nestled in the vineyards
there:--that sunward side of the Lobosch is all vineyards, belonging
to the different Lobositzers: scrubby vineyards, all in a brown plucked
state at this season. Vineyards parted by low stone walls, say three or
four feet high (parted by hurdles, or by tiny trenches, in our day, and
the stone walls mere stone facings): there are the Pandours crouched,
and give fire in a kneeling posture when you approach. Lower down, near
Lobositz itself, flickerings as of Horse squadrons, probably Hussar
parties, twinkle dubious in the wavering mist. Problem wrapt in mist;
nothing to be seen; and all depends on judging it with accuracy! Seven
by the clock: Deploy, at any rate; let us cover our post; and be in
readiness for events.

Friedrich's vanguard of itself nearly fills that neck, or space between
the Lobosch and Homolka Hills. He spreads his Infantry and "hundred
field-pieces," in part, rightwards along the Homolka Hill; but chiefly
leftwards along the Lobosch, where their nearest duty is to drive off
those Pandours. Always as a new battalion, pushing farther leftward,
comes upon its ground, the Pandours give fire on it;--and it on the
Pandours; till the Left Wing is complete, and all the Lobosch is, in
this manner, a crackling of Pandour musketry, and anti-musketry. Right
Wing, steady to its guns on the Homolka, has as yet nothing to do. Those
wings of Infantry are two lines deep; the Cavalry, in three lines, is
between them in the centre; no room for Cavalry elsewhere, except on the
outskirts some fringing of light horse, to be ready for emergencies.

The Pandour firing, except for the noise of it, does not amount to much;
they can take no aim, says Lloyd, crouching behind their stone fences;
and the Prussian Battalions, steadily pushing downwards, trample out
their sputtering, and clear the Lobosch of them to a safe distance.
But the ground is intricate, so wrapt in mist for the present. That
crackling lasts for hours; decisive of nothing; and the mist also, and
one's anxious guessings and scrutinizings, lasts in a wavering fitful
manner.

Once, for some time, in the wavering of the mist, there was seen, down
in the plain opposite our centre, a body of Cavalry. Horse for certain:
say ten squadrons of them, or 1,500 Horse; continually manoeuvring,
changing shape; now in more ranks, now in fewer; sometimes
"checkerwise," formed like a draught-board; shooting out wings: they
career about, one sees not whither, or vanish again into the mist
behind. "Browne's rear-guard this, that we are come upon," thinks
Friedrich; "these squatted Pandours, backed by Horse, must be his
rear-guard, that are amusing us: Browne and the Army are off; crossing
the Elbe, hastening towards the Schandau, the Pirna quarter, while we
stand bickering and idly sputtering here!"--Weary of such idle business,
Friedrich orders forward Twenty of his Squadrons from the centre
station: "Charge me those Austrian Horse, and let us finish this." The
Twenty Squadrons, preceded by a pair of field-pieces, move down hill;
storm in upon the Austrian party, storm it furiously into the mist; are
furiously chasing it,--when unexpected cannon-batteries, destructive
case-shot, awaken on their left flank (batteries from Lobositz, one may
guess); and force them to draw back. To draw back, with some loss; and
rank again, in an indignantly blown condition, at the foot of their
Hill. Indignant; after brief breathing, they try it once more.

"Don't try it!" Friedrich had sent out to tell them: for the mist
was clearing; and Friedrich, on the higher ground, saw new important
phenomena: but it was too late. For the Twenty Squadrons are again
dashing forward; sweeping down whatever is before them: in spite of
cannon-volleys, they plunge deeper and deeper into the mist; come upon
"a ditch twelve feet broad" (big swampy drain, such as are still found
there, grass-green in summer-time); clear said ditch; forward still
deeper into the mist: and after three hundred yards, come upon a second
far worse "ditch;" plainly impassable this one,--"ditch" they call it,
though it is in fact a vile sedgy Brook, oozing along there (the MORELL
BACH, considerable Brook, lazily wandering towards Lobositz, where it
disembogues in rather swifter fashion);--and are saluted with cannon,
from the farther side; and see serried ranks under the gauze of mist:
Browne's Army, in fact! The Twenty Squadrons have to recoil out of
shot-range, the faster, the better; with a loss of a good many men, in
those two charges. Friedrich orders them up Hill again; much regretful
of this second charge, which he wished to hinder; and posts them to
rearward,--where they stand silent, the unconscious stoic-philosophers
in buff, and have little farther service through the rest of the day.

It is now 11 o'clock; the mist all clearing off; and Friedrich, before
that second charge, had a growing view of the Plain and its condition.
Beyond question, there is Browne; not in retreat, by any means; but in
full array; numerous, and his position very strong. Ranked, unattackable
mostly, behind that oozy Brook, or BACH of Morell; which has only two
narrow Bridges, cannon plenty on both: one Bridge from the south parts
to Sulowitz (OUR road to Sulowitz and it would be by Radostitz and
the Homolka); and then one other Bridge, connecting Sulowitz with
Lobositz,--which latter is Browne's own Bridge, uniting right wing and
left of Browne, so to speak; and is still more unattackable, in the
circumstances. What will Friedrich decide on attempting?

That oozy Morell Brook issues on Browne's side of Lobositz, cutting
Browne in two; but is otherwise all in Browne's favor. Browne
extends through Lobositz; and beyond it, curves up to Welhoten on
the River-brink; at Lobositz are visible considerable redoubts,
cannon-batteries and much regular infantry. Browne will be difficult to
force yonder, in the Lobositz part; but yonder alone can he be tried.
He is pushing up more Infantry that way; conscious probably of that
fact,--and that the Lobosch Hill is not his, but another's. What would
not Browne now give for the Lobosch Hill! Yesternight he might have had
it gratis, in a manner; and indeed did try slightly, with his Pandour
people (durst not at greater expense),--who have now ceased sputtering,
and cower extinct in the lower vineyards there. Browne, at any rate,
is rapidly strengthening his right wing, which has hold of Lobositz;
pushing forward in that quarter,--where the Brook withal is of firmer
bottom and more wadable. Thither too is Friedrich bent. So that Lobositz
is now the key of the Battle; there will the tug of war now be.

Friedrich's cavalry is gone all to rearward. His right wing holds the
Homolka Hill,--that too would now be valuable to Browne; and cannot be
had gratis, as yesternight! Friedrich's left wing is on the Lobosch;
Pandours pretty well extinct before it, but now from Welhoten quarter
new Regulars coming on thither,--as if Browne would still take the
Lobosch? Which would be victory to him; but is not now possible to
Browne. Nor will long seem so;--Friedrich having other work in view for
him;--meaning now to take Lobositz, instead of losing the Lobosch to
him! Friedrich pushes out his Left Wing still farther leftward, leftward
and downward withal, to clear those vineyard-fences completely of
their occupants, Pandour or Regular, old or new. This is done; the
vineyard-fences swept;--and the sweepings driven, in a more and more
stormy fashion, towards Welhoten and Lobositz; the Lobosch falling quite
desperate for Browne.

Henceforth Friedrich directs all his industry to taking Lobositz;
Browne, to the defending of it, which he does with great vigor and
fire; his batteries, redoubts, doing their uttermost, and his battalions
rushing on, mass of them after mass, at quick march, obstinate, fierce
to a degree, in the height of temper; and showing such fight as we never
had of them before. Friedrich's Left Wing and Browne's Right now have it
to decide between them;--any attempt Browne makes with his Left through
Sulowitz (as he once did, and once only) is instantly repressed by
cannon from the Homolka Hill. And the rest of the Battle, or rather the
Battle itself,--for all hitherto has been pickeering and groping in the
mist,--may be made conceivable in few words.

Friedrich orders the second line of his Left Wing to march up and join
with the first; Right Wing, shoving ITS two lines into one, is now to
cover the Lobosch as well. Left Wing, in condensed condition, shall
fall down on Lobositz, and do its best. They are now clear of the
vineyard-works; the ground is leveller, though still sloping,--a three
furlongs from the Village, and somewhat towards the Elbe, when Browne's
battalions first came extensively to close grips; fierce enough (as was
said); the toughest wrestle yet had with those Austrians,--coming on
with steady fury, under such force of cannon; with iron ramrods too,
and improved ways, like our own. But nothing could avail them; the
counter-fury being so great. They had to go at the Welhoten part, and
even to run,--plunging into Elbe, a good few of them, and drowning there, in the
vain hope to swim. "Never have my troops," says Friedrich, "done such
miracles of valor, cavalry as well as infantry, since I had the honor to
command them. By this dead-lift achievement (TOUR DE FORCE) I have seen
what they can do." [Letter to Schwerin, "Lobositz, 2d August, 1756"
(Retzow, i. 64); RELATION DE LA CAMPAGNE, 1756, that is, PRUSSIAN
ACCOUNT (in _Gesammelte Nachrichten), _i. 848. Lloyd, UT SUPRA, i. 2-11
(who has solid information at first hand, having been an actor in these
Wars. A man of great natural sagacity and insight; decidedly luminous
and original, though of somewhat crabbed temper now and then; a man
well worth hearing on this and on whatever else he handles). Tempelhof,
GESCHICHTE DES SIEBENJAHRIGEN KRIEGES (which is at first a mere
Translation of Lloyd, nothing new in it but certain notes and criticisms
on Lloyd; when Lloyd ends, Tempelhof, Prussian Major and Professor, a
learned, intelligent, but diffuse man, of far inferior talent to Lloyd,
continues and completes on his own footing: six very thin 4tos, Berlin,
1794), i. 38 (Battle, with FOOTNOTES), and ib. 51 (CRITICISM of Lloyd).
Prussian and Austrian Accounts in _Helden-Geschichte, _iii. 800 et seq.
Many Narratives in FELDZUGE, and the BEYLAGE to Seyfarth; &c. &c.]

In fine, after some three hours more of desperate tugging and
struggling, cannon on both sides going at a great rate, and infinite
musketry ("ninety cartridges a man on our Prussian side, and ammunition
falling done"), not without bayonet-pushings, and smitings with the butt
of your musket, the Austrians are driven into Lobositz; are furiously
pushed there, and, in spite of new battalions coming to the rescue,
are fairly pushed through. These Village-streets are too narrow for
new battalions from Browne; "much of the Village should have been burnt
beforehand," say cool judges. And now, sure enough, it does get burnt;
Lobositz is now all on fire, by Prussian industry. So that the Austrians
have to quit it instantly; and rush off in great disorder; key of the
Battle, or Battle itself, quite lost to them.

The Prussian infantry, led by the Duke of Brunswick-Bevern ("Governor of
Stettin," one of the Duke-Ferdinand cousinry, frugal and valiant), gave
the highest satisfaction; seldom was such firing, such furious pushing;
they had spent ninety cartridges a man; were at last quite out of
cartridges; so that Bevern had to say, "Strike in with bayonets, MEINE
KINDER; butt-ends, or what we have; HERAN!" Our Grenadiers were mainly
they that burnt Lobositz. "How salutary now would it have been," says
Epimetheus Lloyd, "had Browne had a small battery on the other side of
the Elbe;" whereby he might have taken them in flank, and shorn them
into the wind! Epimetheus marks this battery on his Plan; and is wise
behindhand, at a cheap rate.

Browne's Right Wing, and probably his Army with it, would have gone much
to perdition, now that Lobositz was become Prussian,--had not Browne,
in the nick of the moment, made a masterly movement: pushed forward
his Centre and Left Wing, numerous battalions still fresh, to interpose
between the chasing Prussians and those fugitives. The Prussians,
infantry only, cannot chase on such terms; the Prussian cavalry, we
know, is far rearward on the high ground. Browne retires a mile
or two,--southward, Budin-ward,--not chased; and there halts, and
rearranges himself; thinking what farther he will do. His aim in
fighting had only been to defend himself; and in that humble aim he has
failed. Chase of the Prussians over that Homolka-Lobosch country, with
the high grounds rearward and the Metal Mountains in their hands, he
could in no event have attempted.

The question now is: Will he go back to Budin; or will he try
farther towards Schandau? Nature points to the former course, in such
circumstances; Friedrich, by way of assisting, does a thing much
admired by Lloyd;--detaches Bevern with a strong party southward, out
of Lobositz, which is now his, to lay hold of Tschirskowitz, lying
Budin-ward, but beyond the Budin Road. Which feat, when Browne hears
of it, means to him, "Going to cut me off from Budin, then? From my
ammunition-stores, from my very bread-cupboard!" And he marches that
same midnight, silently, in good order, back to Budin. He is not much
ruined; nay the Prussian loss is numerically greater: "3,308 killed and
wounded, on the Prussian side; on the Austrian, 2,984, with three cannon
taken and two standards." Not ruined at all; but foiled, frustrated; and
has to devise earnestly, "What next?" Once rearranged, he may still try.

The Battle lasted seven hours; the last four of it very hot, till
Lobositz was won and lost. It was about 5 P.M. when Browne fired his
retreat-cannon:--cannon happened to be loaded (say the Anecdote-Books,
mythically given now and then); Friedrich, wearied enough, had flung
himself into his carriage for a moment's rest, or thankful reflection;
and of all places, the ball of the retreat-cannon lighted THERE. Between
Friedrich's feet, as he lay reclining,--say the Anecdote-Books, whom
nobody is bound to believe.

On the strength of those two Prussian charges, which had retired from
case-shot on their flank, and had not wings, for getting over sedge and
ooze, Austria pretended to claim the victory. "Two charges repelled by
our gallant horse; Lobositz, indeed, was got on fire, and we had nothing
for it but to withdraw; but we took a new position, and only left
that for want of water;"--with the like excuses. "Essentially a clear
victory," said the Austrians; and sang TE-DEUM about it;--but profited
nothing by that piece of melody. The fact, considerable or not, was,
from the first, too undeniable: Browne beaten from the field. And beaten
from his attempt too (the Saxons not relievable by this method); and
lies quiet in Budin again,--with his water sure to him; but what other
advantages gained?

Here are two Letters, brief both, which we may as well read:--

1. FRIEDRICH TO WILHELMINA (at Baireuth).

"LOBOSITZ, 4th October, 1756.

"MY DEAR SISTER,--Your will is accomplished. Tired out by these
Saxon delays, I put myself at the head of my Army of Bohemia [Keith's
hitherto]; and marched from Aussig to--a Name which seemed to me of good
augury, being yours,--to the Village of Welmina [Battle was called OF
WELMINA, by the Prussians at first]. I found the Austrians here, near
Lobositz; and, after a Fight of seven hours, forced them to run. Nobody
of your acquaintance is killed, except Generals Luderitz and OErzen [who
are not of ours].

"I return you a thousand thanks for the tender part you take in my lot.
Would to Heaven the valor of my Army might procure us a stable Peace!
That ought to be the aim of War. Adieu, my dear Sister; I embrace you
tenderly, assuring you of the lively affection with which I am--F."
[_OEuvres,_ xxvii. i. 291.]

2. PRINCE OF PRUSSIA TO VALORI (who is still at Berlin, but soon going
as it proves,--Broglio's explosion at the Lines of Gross-Sedlitz being
on hand, during the King's absence, in these very hours) ["5th-6th
October" (Valori, ii. 353).]

"CAMP OF LOBOSITZ, 5th October, 1756.

"You will know the news of the day; and I am persuaded you take part
in it. All you say to me betokens the conspiracy there is for the
destruction of our Country. If that is determined in the Book of Fate,
we cannot escape it.

"Had my advice been asked, a year ago, I should have voted to preserve
the Alliance [with YOU] which we had been used to for sixteen years
[strictly for twelve, though in substance ever since 1740], and which
was by nature advantageous to us. But if my advice were asked just now,
I should answer, That the said method being now impossible, we are in
the case of a ship's captain who defends himself the best he can, and
when all resources are exhausted, has, rather than surrender on shameful
conditions, to fire the powder-magazine, and blow up his ship. You
remember that of your Francois I."--FORS L'HONNEUR; ah yes, very
well!--"Perhaps it will be my poor Children who will be the victims of
these past errors,"--for such I still think them, I for my part.

"The Gazettes enumerate the French troops that are to besiege Wesel,
Geldern [Wesel they will get gratis, poor Geldern will almost break
their heart first], and take possession of Ost-Friesland; the Russian
Declaration [Manifesto not worth reading] tells us Russia's intentions
for the next year [most truculent intentions]: we will defend ourselves
to the last drop of our blood, and perish with honor. If you have any
counsel farther, I pray you give it me.

MAP GOES HERE--BETWEEN P. 350 AND 351 Chap VII book 17

"Remain always my friend; and believe that in all situations I will
remain yours; and trying to do what my duty is, will not forfeit the
sentiments on your part which have been so precious to me. Your servant,
GUILLAUME." [Valori, ii. 204-206.]

"Pity this good Prince contemplating the downfall of his House,"
suggests Valori: "He deserved a better fate! He would be in despair to
think I had sent this Letter to your Excellency; but I thought perhaps
you would show it to the King,"--and that it might do good one day.
[Valori (to the French Minister, "12th October, 1756"), ii. 204.] The
Prussians lay in their "Camp of Lobositz," posted up and down in that
neighborhood, for a couple of weeks more; waiting whether Browne would
attempt anything farther in the fighting way; and, in fine, whether the
solution of the crisis would fall out hereabouts, or on the other side
of the Hills.



Chapter VII.--THE SAXONS GET OUT OF PIRNA ON DISMAL TERMS.

The disaster of October 1st--for which they were trying to sing TE-DEUMS
at Vienna--fell heavier on the poor Saxons, in their cage at Pirna:
"Alas, where is our deliverance now?" Friedrich's people, in their lines
here, gave them such a "joy-firing" for Lobositz as Retzow has seldom
heard; huge volleyings, salvoings, running-fires, starting out,
artistically timed and stationed, thunderous, high; and borne by the
echoes, gloomily reverberative, into every dell and labyrinth of the
Pirna Country;--intended to strike a deeper damp into them, thinks he.
[Retzow, i. 67.] But Imperial Majesty was mindful, too; and straightway
sent Browne positive order, "Deliver me these poor Saxons at any price!"
And in the course of not quite a week from Lobositz, there arrives a
confidential Messenger from Browne: "Courage still, ye caged Saxons; I
will try it another way! Only you must hold out till the 11th; on the
11th stand to your tools, and it shall be done."

Browne is to take a succinct Detachment, 8,000 picked men, horse and
foot; to make a wider sweep with these, well eastward by the foot of
Lausitz Hills, and far enough from all Prussian parties and scouts;
to march, with all speed and silence, "through Bohm-Leipa, Kamnitz,
Rumburg, Schluckenau; and come in upon the Schandau region, quite from
the northeast side; say, at Lichtenhayn; an eligible Village, which is
but seven miles or so from the Konigstein, with the chasmy country
and the river intervening. Monday, October 11th, Browne will arrive at
Lichtenhayn (sixty miles of circling march from Budin); privately post
himself near Lichtenhayn; Prussian posts, of no great strength, lying
ahead of him there. You, indignant extenuated Saxons, are to get
yourselves across,--near the Konigstein it will have to be, under cover
of the Konigstein's cannon,--on the front or riverward side of those
same Prussian posts: crossing-place (Browne's Messenger settles) can
be Thurmsdorf Hamlet, opposite the Lilienstein, opposite the Hamlets of
Ebenheit and Halbstadt there. Konigstein fire will cover your bridge and
your building of it.

"Monday night next, I say, post yourselves there, with hearts resolute,
with powder dry; there, about the eastern roots of the Lilienstein
[beautiful Show Mountain, with stair-steps cut on it for Tourist people,
by August the Strong], and avoid the Prussian battery and abatis which
is on it just now! You at Ebenheit, I at Lichtenhayn, trimmed and braced
for action, through that Monday night. Tuesday morning, the Konigstein,
at your beckoning, shall fire two cannon-shots; which shall mean, 'All
ready here!' Then forward, you, on those Prussian posts by the front;
I will attack them by the rear. With right fury, both of us! I am
told, they are but weak in those posts; surely, by double impetus, and
dead-lift effort from us both, they CAN be forced? Only force them,--you
are in the open field again; and you march away with me, colors flying;
your hunger-cage and all your tribulations left behind you!"--


This is Browne's plan. The poor Saxons accept,--what choice have
they?--though the question of crossing and bridge-building has its
intricacies; and that inevitable item of "postponement till the 11th"
is a sore clause to them; for not only are there short and ever shorter
rations, but grim famine itself is advancing with large strides. The
"daily twenty ounces of meal" has sunk to half that quantity; the "ounce
or so of butcher's-meat once a week" has vanished, or become HORSE of
extreme leanness. The cavalry horses have not tasted oats, nothing but
hay or straw (not even water always); the artillery horses had to
live by grazing, brown leaves their main diet latterly. Not horses any
longer; but walking trestles, poor animals! And the men,--well, they are
fallen pale; but they are resolute as ever. The nine corn-mills, which
they have in this circuit of theirs, grind now night and day; and all
the cavalry are set to thresh whatever grain can be found about; no
hind or husbandman shall retain one sheaf: in this way, they hope, utter
hunger may be staved off, and the great attempt made. [PRECIS DE
LA RETRAITE DE L'ARMEE SAXONNE DE SON CAMP DE PIRNA (in _Gesammelte
Nachrichten, _i. 482-494).]

Browne skilfully and perfectly did his part of the Adventure. Browne
arrives punctually at Lichtenhayn, evening of the 11th; bivouacs, hidden
in the Woods thereabouts, in cold damp weather; stealthily reconnoitres
the Prussian Villages ahead, and trims himself for assault, at sound
of the two cannons to-morrow. But there came no cannon-signal on the
morrow; far other signallings and messagings to-morrow, and next
day, and next, from the Konigstein and neighborhood! "Wait, Excellency
Feldmarschall [writes Bruhl to him, Note after Note, instead of
signalling from the Konigstein]: do wait a very little! You run no
risk in waiting; we, even if we MUST yield, will make that our first
stipulation!" "YOU will?" grumbles Browne; and waits, naturally, with
extreme impatience. But the truth is, the Adventure, on the Saxon side
of it, has already altogether misgone; and becomes, from this point
onwards, a mere series of failures, futilities and disastrous miseries,
tragical to think of. Worth some record here, since there are
Documents abundant;--especially as Feldmarschall Rutowski (who is
General-in-Chief, an old, not esteemed, friend of ours) has produced, or
caused to be produced, a Narrative, which illuminates the Business
from within as well. [PRECIS, &c. (just cited); compare TAGEBUCH DER
EINSCHLIESSUNG DES SACHSISCHEN LAGERS BEY PIRNA ("Diary," &c., which is
the Prussian Account: in Seyfarth, BEYLAGEN), ii. 22-48.] The latter is
our main Document here:--

I know not how much of the blame was General Rutowski's: one could
surmise some laxity of effort, and a rather slovenly-survey of facts, in
that quarter. The Enterprise, from the first, was flatly impossible, say
judges; and it is certain, poor Rutowski's execution was not first-rate.
"How get across the Elbe?" Rutowski had said to himself, perhaps not
quite with the due rigor of candor proportionate to the rigorous fact:
"How get across the Elbe? We have copper pontoons at Pirna; but they
will be difficult to cart. Or we might have a boat-bridge; boats planked
together two and two. At Pirna are plenty of boats; and by oar and
track-rope, the River itself might be a road for them? Boats or pontoons
to Konigstein, by water or land, they must be got. Eight miles of
abysmal roads, our horses all extenuated? Impossible to cart these
pontoons!" said Rutowski to himself.--Pity he had not tried it. He had
a week to do those eight bad miles in; and 2,000 lean horses, picking
grass or brown leaves, while their riders threshed. "We will drag our
pontoons by water, by the Elbe tow-path," thought Rutowski, "that
will be easier;"--and forthwith sets about preparing for it, secretly
collecting boats at Pirna, steersmen, towing-men, bridge-tackle and what
else will be necessary.

Rutowski made, at least, no delay. Browne's messenger, we find, had come
to him, "Thursday, 7th:" and on Friday night Rutowski has a squad of
boatmen, steersmen and twoscore of towing peasants ready; and
actually gets under way. They are escorted by the due battalions with
field-pieces;--who are to fire upon the Prussian batteries, and keep up
such a blaze of musketry and heavier shot, as will screen the boats in
passing. Surely a ticklish operation, this;--arguing a sanguine temper
in General Rutowski! The south bank of the River is ours; but there are
various Prussian batteries, three of them very strong, along the north
bank, which will not fail to pelt us terribly as we pass. No help for
it;--we must trust in luck! Here is the sequel, with dates adjusted.

ELBE RIVER, NIGHT OF OCTOBER 8th-9th. Friday night, accordingly, so
soon as Darkness (unusually dark this night) has dropt her veil on the
business, Rutowski sets forth. The Prussian battery, or bridge-head
(TETE-DE-PONT), at Pirna, has not noticed him, so silent was he. But,
alas, the other batteries do not fail to notice; to give fire; and, in
fact, on being answered, and finding it a serious thing, to burst out
into horrible explosion; unanswerable by the Saxon field-pieces;
and surely perilous to human nature steering and towing those big
River-Boats. "Loyal to our King, and full of pity for him; that are
we;"--but towing at a rate, say of two shillings per head! Before long,
the forty towing peasants fling down their ropes, first one, then more,
then all, in spite of efforts, promises, menaces; and vanish among the
thickets,--forfeiting the two shillings, on view of imminent death.
Soldiers take the towing-ropes; try to continue it a little; but now the
steersmen also manage to call halt: "We won't! Let us out, let us out!
We will steer you aground on the Prussian shore if you don't!" making
night hideous. And the towing enterprise breaks down for that bout;
double barges mooring on the Saxon shore, I know not precisely at what
point, nor is it material.

SATURDAY NIGHT, OCTOBER 9th-10th) New boatmen, forty new towmen have
been hired at immense increase of wages; say four shillings for the
night: but have you much good probability, my General, that even for
that high guerdon imminence of death can be made indifferent to towmen?
No, you have n't. The matter goes this night precisely as it did last:
towmen vanishing in the horrible cannon tumult; steersmen shrieking, "We
will ground you on the Prussian shore;" very soldiers obliged to give it
up; and General Rutowski himself obliged to wash his hands of it, as
a thing that cannot be done. In fact, a thing which need not have been
tried, had Rutowski been rigorously candid with himself and his hopes,
as the facts now prove to be. "Twenty-four hours lost by this bad
business" (says he; "thirty-six," as I count, or, to take it rigorously,
"forty-eight" even): and now, Sunday morning instead of Friday, at what,
in sad truth, is metaphorically "the eleventh hour," Rutowski has to
bethink him of his copper pontoons; and make the impossible carting
method possible in a day's time, or do worse.

SUNDAY, MONDAY, OCTOBER 10th-11th, By unheard-of exertions, all hands
and all spent-horses now at a dead-lift effort night and day, Rutowski
does get his pontoons carted out of the Pirna storehouse; lands them
at Thurmsdorf,--opposite the Lilienstein,--a mile or so short of
Konigstein, where his Bridge shall be. It is now the 11th, at night. And
our pontoons are got to the ground, nothing more. Every man of us, at
this hour, should have been across, and trimming himself to climb, with
bayonet fixed! Browne is ready, expecting our signal-shot to storm in
on his side. And our bridge is not built, only the pontoons here. "All
things went perverse," adds Rutowski, for farther comfort: "we [Saxon
Home-Army] had with us, except Officers, only Four Pontoniers, or
trained Bridge-builders; all the rest are at Warsaw:" sad thought, but
too late to think it!

TUESDAY, TILL WEDNESDAY EARLY (12th-13th), Bridge, the Four Pontoniers,
with Officers and numb soldiers doing their best, is got built;--Browne
waiting for us, on thorns, all day; Prussians extensively beginning to
strengthen their posts, about the Lilienstein, about Lichtenhayn, or
where risk is; and in fact pouring across to that northern side, quite
aware of Rutowski and Browne.

That same night, 12th-13th, while the Bridge was struggling to complete
itself,--rain now falling, and tempests broken out,--the Saxon Army,
from Pirna down to Hennersdorf, had lifted itself from its Lines, and
got under way towards Thurmsdorf, and the crossing-place. Dark night,
plunging rain; all the elements in uproar. The worst roads in Nature;
now champed doubly; "such roads as never any Army marched on before."
Most of their cannon are left standing; a few they had tried to yoke,
broke down, "and choked up the narrow road altogether; so that the
cavalry had to dismount, and lead their horses by side-paths,"--figure
what side-paths! Distance to Thurmsdorf, from any point of the Saxon
Lines, cannot be above six miles: but it takes them all that night and
all next day. Such a march as might fill the heart with pity. Oh, ye
Rutowskis, Bruhls, though never so decorated by twelve tailors, what
a sight ye are at the head of men! Dark night, wild raging weather,
labyrinthic roads worn knee-deep. It is broad daylight, Wednesday, 13th,
and only the vanguard is yet got across, trailing a couple of cannons;
and splashes about, endeavoring to take rank there, in spite of wet and
hunger; rain still pouring, wind very high.

Nothing of Browne comes, this Wednesday; but from the opposite
Gross-Sedlitz and Gottleube side, the Prussians are coming. This
morning, at daylight, struck by symptoms, "the Prussians mounted our
empty redoubts:" they are now in full chase of us, Ziethen with Hussars
as vanguard. A difficult bit of marching, even Ziethen and his light
people find it; sprawling forward, at their cheeriest, with daylight
to help, and in chase, not chased, through such intricacies of rock and
mud. Ziethen's company did not assist the Saxons! They wheel round, show
fight, and there is volleying and bickering all day; the Saxon march
getting ever more perturbed. Nearly all the baggage has to be left.
Ziethen takes into the woods near Thurmsdorf; giving fire as the poor
wet Saxons, now much in a pell-mell condition, pass to their Bridge.
[PRUSSIAN ACCOUNT (in _Gesammelte Nachrichten), _i. 852.] Heavier
Prussians are striding on to rear; these, from some final hill-top, do
at last belch out two cannon-shots: figure the confusion at that Bridge,
the speed now becoming delirious there! Towards evening, rain still
violent, the Saxons, baggageless, and rushing quite pell-mell the latter
part of them, are mostly across, still countable to 14,000 or so;--upon
which they cut their Bridge adrift, and let the river take it. At
Raden, a few miles lower, the Prussians fished it out; rebuilt it more
deliberately,--and we shall find it there anon. This day Friedrich,
hearing what is afoot, has returned in person from the Lobositz
Country; takes Struppen as his head-quarter, which was lately the Polish
Majesty's.

From Browne there has nothing come this Wednesday; but to-morrow morning
at seven there comes a Letter from him, written this night at ten; to
the effect:--

"HEAD-QUARTER, LICHTENHAYN, Wednesday, October 13th, 10 P.M.

"EXCELLENZ,--Have [omitting the I] waited here at Lichtenhayn since
Tuesday, expecting your signal-cannon; hearing nothing of it, conclude
you have by misfortune not been able to get across; and that the
Enterprise is up. My own position being dangerous [Prussians of double
my strength intrenched within few miles of me], I turn homewards
to-morrow at nine A.M.: ready for whatever occurs TILL then; and
sorrowfully say adieu," [PRECIS (ut supra), p. 493; _Helden-Geschichte,
_iii. 940; &c.]

Dreadful weather for Browne in his bivouac, and wearisome waiting,
with Prussians and perils accumulating on him! Browne was ill of lungs;
coughing much; lodging, in these violent tempests, on the cold ground.
A right valiant soldier and man, as does appear; the flower of all the
Irish Brownes (though they have quite forgotten him in our time), and of
all those Irish Exiles then tragically spending themselves in Austrian
quarrels! "You saw the great man," says one who seems to have been
present, "how he sacrificed himself to this Enterprise. What Austrian
Field-marshal but himself would ever have lowered his loftiness to lead,
in person, so insignificant a Detachment, merely for the public good!
I have seen staff-officers, distinguished only by their sasheries and
insignia, who would not have stirred to inspect a vedette without 250
men. Our Field-marshal was of another turn. Sharing with his troops all
the hardships, none excepted, of these critical days; and in spite of a
violent cough, which often brought the visible blood from his lungs, and
had quite worn him down; exposing himself, like the meanest of the Army,
to the tempests of rainy weather. Think what a sight it was, going to
your very heart, and summoning you to endurance of every hardship,--that
evening [not said which], when the Field-marshal, worn out with his
fatigues and his disorder, sank out of fainting-fits into a sleep! The
ground was his bed, and the storm of clouds his coverlid. In crowds his
brave war-comrades gathered round; stripped their cloaks, their coats,
and strove in noble rivalry which of them should have the happiness to
screen the Father of the Army at their own cost of exposure, and by
any device keep the pelting of the weather from that loved head!"
[Cogniazzo, _Gestandnisse eines OEsterreichischen Veterans, _ii. 251.]
There is a picture for you, in the heights of Lichtenhayn, as you steam
past Schandau, in contemplative mood; and perhaps think of "Justice to
Ireland!" among other sad thoughts that rise.

From Thurmsdorf to the Pontoon-Bridge there was a kind of road; down
which the Saxons scrambled yesterday; and, by painful degrees, got
wriggled across. But, on the other shore, forward to the Hamlets of
Halbstadt and Ebenheit, there is nothing but a steep slippery footpath:
figure what a problem for the 14,000 in such weather! Then at
Ebenheit, close behind, Browne-wards, were Browne now there, rises the
Lilienstein, abrupt rocky mountain, its slopes on both hands washed
by the River (River making its first elbow here, closely girdling this
Lilienstein): on both these slopes are Prussian batteries, each with its
abatis; needing to be stormed:--that will be your first operation.
Abatis and slopes of the Lilienstein once stormed, you fall into a
valley or hollow, raked again by Prussian batteries; and will have to
mount, still storming, out of the valley, sky-high across the Ziegenruck
(GOAT'S-BACK) ridge: that is your second preliminary operation. After
which you come upon the work itself; namely, the Prussian redoubts at
Lichtenhayn, and 12,000 men on them by this time! A modern Tourist says,
reminding or informing:

"From the Konigstein to Pirna, Elbe, if serpentine, is like a serpent
rushing at full speed. Just past the Konigstein, the Elbe, from
westward, as its general course is, turns suddenly to northward; runs so
for a mile and a half; then, just before getting to the BASTEI at
Raden, turns suddenly to westward again, and so continues. Tourists
know Raden,"--where the Prussians have just fished out a Bridge for
themselves,--"with the BASTEI high aloft to west of it. The Old Inn,
hospitable though sleepless, stands pleasantly upon the River-brink,
overhung by high cliffs: close on its left side, or in the intricacies
to rear of it, are huts and houses, sprinkled about, as if burrowed in
the sandstone; more comfortably than you could expect. The site is a
narrow dell, narrow chasm, with labyrinthic chasms branching off from
it; narrow and gloomy as seen from the River, but opening out even into
cornfields as you advance inwards: work of a small Brook, which is still
industriously tinkling and gushing there, and has in Pre-Adamite times
been a lake, and we know not what. Nieder-Raden, this, on the north side
of the River; of Ober-Raden, on the south side, there is nothing visible
from your Inn windows,"--nor have we anything to do with it farther.
An older Guide of Tourists yields us this second Fraction (capable of
condensation):--

... "To Halbstadt, thence to Ebenheit, your path is steeper and steeper;
from Ebenheit to the Lilienstein you take a guide. The Mountain is
conical; coarse RED sandstone; steps cut for you where needed: August
the Strong's Hunting-Lodge (JAGDHUTTE) is here (August went thither in
a grand way, 1708, with his Wife); Lodge still extant, by the side of a
wood;--Lilienstein towering huge and sheer, solitary, grand, like some
colossal Pillar of the Cyclops, from this round Pediment of Country
which you have been climbing; tops of Lilienstein plumed everywhere with
fir and birch, Pediment also very green and woody. August the Strong,
grandly visiting here, 1708, on finish of those stair-steps cut for
you, set up an Ebenezer, or Column of Memorial at this Hunting-Hut, with
Inscription which can still be read, though now with difficulty in its
time-worn state:--

"FRIEDERICUS AUGUSTUS, REX [of what? Dare not say of POLAND just now,
for fear of Charles XII.], ET ELECTOR SAX., UT FORTUNAEM VIRTUTE, ITA
ASPERAM HANC RUPEM PRIMUS [PRIMUS not of men, but of Saxon Electors]
SUPERAVIT, ADITUMQUE FACILIOREM REDDI CURAVIT. ANNO 1708."--"UT FORTUNAM
VIRTUTE, As his fortune by valor, SO he conquered this rugged rock
by"--Poor devil, only hear him:--and think how good Nature is (for the
time being) to poor devils and their 354 bastards! [M.(agister) Wilhelm
Lebrecht Gotzinger, _Schandau und seine Umgebungen, oder Beschreibung
der Sachsischen Schweitz _(Dresden, 1812), pp. 145-148. Gotzinger,
who designates himself as "Pastor at Neustadt near Stolpen" (northwest
border of the Pirna Country), has made of this (which would now be
called a TOURIST'S GUIDE, and has something geological in it) a modest,
good little Book, put together with industry, clearness, brevity. Gives
interesting Narrative of our present Business too, as gathered from his
"Father" and other good sources and testimonies.]

Bruhl and the Polish Majesty, safe enough they, and snug in the
Konigstein, are clear for advancing: "Die like soldiers, for your King
and Country!" writes Polish Majesty, "Thursday, two in the morning:"
that also Rutowski reads; and I think still other Royal Autographs, sent
as Postscripts to that. From the Konigstein they duly fire off the two
Cannon-shot, as signal that we are coming; signal which Browne, just in
the act of departing, never heard, owing to the piping of the winds and
rattling of the rain. "Advance, my heroes!" counsel they: "You cannot
drag your ammunitions, say you; your poor couple of big guns? Here are
his Majesty's own royal horses for that service!"--and, in effect, the
royal stud is heroically flung open in this pressure; and a splashing
column of sleek quadrupeds, "150 royal draught-horses, early in the
forenoon," [Gotzinger, p. 156.] swim across to Ebenheit accordingly, if
that could encourage. And, "about noon, there is strong cannonading from
the Konigstein, as signal to Browne," who is off. Polish Majesty looking
with his spy-glass in an astonished manner. In Vain! Rutowski and his
Council of War--sitting wet in a hut of Ebenheit, with 14,000 starved
men outside, who have stood seventy-two hours of rain, for one item--see
nothing for it but "surrender on such terms as we can get."

"In fact," independently of weather and circumstances, "the Enterprise,"
says Friedrich, "was radically impossible; nobody that had known the
ground could have judged it other." Rutowski had not known it, then?
Browne never pretended to know it. Rutowski was not candid with the
conditions; the conditions never known nor candidly looked at; and
THEY are now replying to him with candor enough. From the first his
Enterprise was a final flicker of false hope; going out, as here, by
spasm, in the rigors of impossibility and flat despair.

That column of royal horses sent splashing across the River,--that was
the utmost of self-sacrifice which I find recorded of his Polish Majesty
in this matter. He was very obstinate; his Bruhl and he were. But his
conduct was not very heroic. That royal Autograph, "General Rutowski,
and ye true Saxons, attack these Prussian lines, then; sell your lives
like men" (not like Bruhl and me), must have fallen cold on the heart,
after seventy-two hours of rain! Rutowski's wet Council of War, in the
hut at Ebenheit, rain still pouring, answers unanimously, "That it were
a leading of men to the butchery;" that there is nothing for it but
surrender. Bruhl and Majesty can only answer: "Well-a-day; it must be
so, then!"--

Winterfeld, Prussian Commander hereabouts, grants Armistice, grants
liberal "wagon-loads of bread" first of all; terms of Capitulation to be
settled at Struppen to-morrow.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15th, Rutowski goes across to Struppen, the late Saxon
head-quarter, now Friedrich's;--Friday gone a fortnight was the day
of Lobositz. Winterfeld and he are the negotiators there; Friedrich
ratifying or refusing by marginal remarks. The terms granted are hard
enough: but they must be accepted. First preliminary of all terms has
already been accepted: a gift of bread to these poor Saxons; their
haversacks are empty, their cartridge-boxes drowned; it has rained on
them three days and nights. Last upshot of all terms is still well known
to everybody: That the 14,000 Saxons are compelled to become Prussian,
and "forced to volunteer"!

That had been Friedrich's determination, and reading of his rights in
the matter, now that hard had come to hard. "You refused all terms; you
have resisted to death (or death's-DOOR); and are now at discretion!"
Of the question, What is to be done with those Saxons? Friedrich
had thought a great deal, first and last; and had found it very
intricate,--as readers too will, if they think of it. "Prisoners of
War,--to keep them locked up, with trouble and expense, in that fashion?
They can never be exchanged: Saxony has now nothing to exchange them
with; and Austria will not. Their obstinacy has had costs to me; who of
us can count what costs! In short, they shall volunteer!"

"Never did I, for my poor part, authorize such a thing," loudly
asseverated Rutowski afterwards. And indeed the Capitulation is not
precise on that interesting point. A lengthy Document, and not worth
the least perusal otherwise; we condense it into three Articles, all
grounding on this general Basis, not deniable by Rutowski: "The Saxon
Army, being at such a pass, ready to die of hunger, if we did NOT lift
our finger, has, so to speak, become our property; and we grant it the
following terms:"--

"1. Kettle-drums, standards and the like insignia and matters of
honor,--carry these to the Konigstein, with my regretful respects to
his Polish Majesty. Konigstein to be a neutral Fortress during this War.
Polish Majesty at perfect liberty to go to Warsaw [as he on the instant
now did, and never returned].

"2. Officers to depart on giving their parole, Not to serve against us
during this War [Parole given, nothing like too well kept].

"3. Rest of the Army, with all its equipments, munitions, soul and body
(so to speak), is to surrender utterly, and be ours, as all Saxony shall
for the present be." [In _Helden-Geschichte, _iii. 920-928, at full
length--with Briedrich's MARGINALIA noticeably brief.]

That is, in sum, the Capitulation of Struppen. Nothing articulate in it
about the one now interesting point,--and in regard to that, I can only
fancy Rutowski might interject, interrogatively, perhaps at some
length: "Our soldiers to be Prisoners of War, then?" "Prisoners; yes,
clearly,--unless they choose to volunteer, and have a better fate!
Prisoners can volunteer. They are at discretion; they would die, if we
did NOT lift our finger!" thus I suppose Winterfeld would rejoin, if
necessary;--and that, in the Winterfeld-Rutowski Conferences, the thing
had probably been kept in a kind of CHIAROSCURO by both parties.

Very certain it is, Sunday, 17th October, 1756, Capitulation being
signed the night before, Friedrich goes across at Nieder-Raden (where
the Pilgrim of the Picturesque now climbs to see the BASTEI; where the
Prussians have, by this time, a Bridge thrown together out of those
Pontoons),--goes across at Nieder-Raden, up that chasmy Pass; rides to
the Heights of Waltersdorf, in the opener country behind; and pauses
there, while the captive Saxon Army defiles past him, laying down its
arms at his feet. Unarmed, and now under Prussian word of command,
these Ex-Saxon soldiers go on defiling; march through by that Chasm
of Nieder-Raden; cross to Ober-Raden; and, in the plainer country
thereabouts, are--in I know not what length of hours, but in an
incredibly short length, so swift is the management--changed wholly into
Prussian soldiers: "obliged to volunteer," every one of them!

That is the fact; fact loudly censured; fact surely questionable,--to
what intrinsic degree I at this moment do not know. Fact much
blamable before the loose public of mankind; upon which I leave men to
their verdict. It is not a fact which invites imitation, as we shall
see! Fact how accomplished; by what methods? that would be the question
with me; but even that is left dark. "The horse regiments, three of
heavy horse, he broke; and distributed about, a good few in his own
Garde-du-Corps." Three other horse regiments were in Poland, the sole
Saxon Army now left,--of whom, at least of one man among whom, we may
happen to hear. "Ten foot regiments [what was reckoned a fault] he
left together; in Prussian uniform, with Prussian Officers. They were
scattered up and down; put in garrisons; not easy handling them: they
deserted by whole companies at a time in the course of this War."
[Preuss, ii. 22, 135; in Stenzel (v. 16-20) more precise details.] Not
a measure for imitation, as we said!--How Friedrich defended such hard
conduct to the Saxons? Reader, I know only that Destiny and Necessity,
urged on by Saxons and others, was hard as adamant upon Friedrich at
this time; and that Friedrich did not the least dream of making any
defence;--and will have to take your verdict, such as it may be.

Moritz of Dessau had a terrible Winter of it, organizing and breaking
in these Saxon people,--got by press-gang in this way. Polish Majesty,
"with 500 of suite," had driven instantly for Warsaw; post-horses most
politely furnished him, and all the Prussian posts and soldiers well
kept out of his road,--road chosen for him to that end. Poor soul,
he never came back. For six years coming, he saw, from Warsaw in the
distance (amid anarchy and NIE-POZWALAM, which he never lacked there),
the wide War raging, in Saxony especially; and died soon after it was
done. Nor did Bruhl return, except broken by that event, and to die
in few months after. Let us pity the poor fat-goose of a Majesty
(not ill-natured at all, only stupid and idle): some pity even to the
doomed-phantasm Bruhl, if you can;--and thank Heaven to have got done
with such a pair!--

Friedrich's treatment of the Saxon Troops, Saxon Majesty and Country:
who shall say that it was wise in all points? It would be singular
treatment, if it were! In all things, AFTER is so different from
BEFORE and DURING. The truth is, Friedrich hoped long to have made some
agreement with the Saxons. And readers now, in the universal silence,
have no notion of Friedrich's complexities from fact, and of the
loud howl of hostile rumor, which was piping through all journals,
diplomacies and foreign human throats, against him at that time.

"The essential passages of War and Peace," says a certain Commentator,
"during those Five weeks of Pirna, can be made intelligible in small
compass. But how the world argued of them then and afterwards, and rang
with hot Gazetteer and Diplomatic logic from side to side, no reader
will now ever know. A world-tornado extinct, gone:--think of the sounds
uttered from human windpipes, shrill with rage some of them, hoarse
others with ditto; of the vituperations, execrations, printed and
vocal,--grating harsh thunder upon Friedrich and this new course of his.
Huge melody of Discords, shrieking, droning, grinding on that topic,
through the afflicted Universe in general, for certain years. The very
Pamphlets printed on it,--cannot Dryasdust give me the number of tons
weight, then? Dead now every Pamphlet of them; a thing fallen horrible
to human nature; extinct forever, as is the wont in such cases."

I will give only this of Voltaire; a mild Epigram, done at The DELICES,
in pleasant view of Ferney and good things coming. A bolt shot into the
storm-tost Sea and its wreckages, by a Mariner now cheerily drying his
clothes on the shore there;--in fact, an indifferent Epigram, on Kings
Friedrich and George, which is now flying about in select circles:--

     "Rivaux du Vainqueur de l'Euphrate,
       L'Oncle et le Neveu,
     L'un fait la guerre en pirate,
       L'autre en parti bleu."

"Rivals of Alexander the Great, this Uncle and Nephew make war, the one
as a Pirate [seizure of those French ships], the other [Saxony stolen]
as Captain of an Accidental Thieving-squad,"--PARTI BLEU, as the French
soldiers call it. [Walpole's LETTERS, "To Sir Horace Mann, 8th December;
1756."]

MAP facing page 365, Chap VII, Book 17----

Pirna was no sooner done than Friedrich returned to the "Camp at
Lobositz," where his victorious Keith-Army has been lying all this
while. The Camp of Lobositz, and all Camps Prussian and Austrian, are
about to strike their tents, and proceed to Winter-quarters, to prepare
against next Spring. Friedrich set off thither October 18th (the very
day after that of Waltersdorf); with intent to bring home Keith's Army,
and see if Browne meant anything farther (which Browne did not, or does
only in the small Tolpatch way); also to meet, Schwerin, whom he had
summoned over from Silesia for a little conference there. Schwerin,
after eating Konigsgratz Country well,--which was all he could do,
as Piccolomini would not come out, and we know how strong the ground
is,--had retired to Silesia again, in due season (snapping up, in a
sharply conclusive manner, any Tolpatcheries that attempted chase of
him); taken Winter cantonments in Silesia, headquarter Schweidnitz;
and is now getting his Instructions, here personally, in the Metal
Mountains, for a day or two. [_Helden-Geschichte, _iii. 946, 948.]

Friedrich brought his Keith-Army home to Gross-Sedlitz, to join the
other Force there; and distributed the whole into their Winter-quarters.
Cantoned far and wide, spreading out from Pirna on both hands: on the
left or western hand, by Zwickau, Freyberg, Chemnitz, up to Leipzig,
Torgau; and on the right or northeast hand, by Zittau, Gorlitz, Bautzen,
to protect the Lausitz against Austrian inroads,--while a remote
Detachment, under Winterfeld, watches the Bober River with similar
views. [In _Helden-Geschichte, _iii. 948 et seq., a minute List by Place
and Regiment.] All which done, or settled to be done, Friedrich quits
Gross-Sedlitz, November 14th; and takes up his abode at Dresden for this
Winter.



Chapter VIII.--WINTER IN DRESDEN.

The Saxon Army is incorporated, then; its King gone under the horizon;
the Saxon Country has a Prussian Board set over it, to administer all
things of Government, especially to draw taxes and recruits from Saxony.
Torgau, seat of this new Board, has got fortified; "1,500 inhabitants
were requisitioned as spademen for that end, at first with
wages,"--latterly, I almost fear, without!

The Saxon Ministers are getting drilled, cashiered if necessary; and on
all hands, rigorous methods going forward;--till Saxony is completely
under grasp; in which state it was held very tight indeed, for the six
years coming. There is no detailing of all that; details, were they even
known to an Editor at such distance, would weary every reader. Enough to
understand that Friedrich has not on this occasion, as he did in 1744,
omitted to disarm Saxony, to hobble it in every limb, and have it,
at discretion, tied as with ropes to his interests and him.
[_Helden-Geschichte, _iii. 945-956.] His management was never accounted
cruel; and it was studiously the reverse of violent or irregular: but it
had to be rigorous as the facts were;--nor was it the worst, or reckoned
the worst, of Saxony's miseries in this time.

Poor Country, suffering for its Bruhl! In the Country, except for its
Bruhl, there was no sin against Prussia; the reverse rather. The Saxon
population, as Protestants, have no good-will to Austria and its aims
of aggrandizement. In Austrian spy-letters, now and afterwards, they are
described to us as "GUT PREUSSISCH;" "strong for Prussia, the most of
them, even in Dresden itself."

Whether Friedrich could have had much real hope to end the War this
Year, or scare it off from beginning, may be a question. If he had, it
is totally disappointed. The Saxon Government has brought ruin on itself
and Country, but it has been of great damage to Friedrich. Would Polish
Majesty have consented to disband his soldiers, and receive Friedrich
with a BONA-FIDE "Neutrality," Friedrich could have passed the
Mountains still in time for a heavy stroke on Bohemia, which was totally
unprepared for such a visit, And he might--from the Towers of Prag, for
instance--have, far more persuasively, held out the olive-branch to
an astonished Empress-Queen: "Leave me alone, Madam; will you, then!
Security for that; I wanted and want nothing more!" But Polish Majesty,
taking on him the character of Austrian martyr, and flinging himself
into the gulf, has prevented all that; has turned all that the other
way.

Austria, it appears, is quite ungrateful: "Was n't he bound?" thinks
Austria,--as its wont rather is. Forgetful of the great deliverance
wrought for it by poor Polish Majesty; whom it could not deliver-except
into bottomless wreck! Austria, grateful or not, stands unscathed; has
time to prepare its Armaments, its vocal Arguments: Austria is in higher
provocation than ever; and its very Arguments, highly vocal to the Reich
and the world, "Is not this man a robber, and enemy of mankind?" do
Friedrich a great deal of ill. Friedrich's sudden Campaign, instead of
landing him in the heart of the Austrian States, there to propose Peace,
has kindled nearly all Europe into flames of rage against him,--which
will not consist in words merely! Never was misunderstanding of a man
at a higher pitch: "Such treatment of a peaceable Neighbor and Crowned
Head,--witness it, ye Heavens and thou Earth!" Dauphiness falling on her
knees to Most Christian Majesty; "Princess and dearest Sister" to Most
Christian Majesty's Pompadour; especially no end of Pleading to the
German Reich, in a furious, Delphic-Pythoness or quasi-inspired tone:
all this goes on.

From the time when Pirna was blockaded, Kaiser Franz, his high Consort
and sense of duty urging him, has been busy in the Reich's-Hofrath (kind
of Privy-Council or Supreme Court of the Reich, which sits at Vienna);
busy there, and in the Reich's Diet at Regensburg; busy everywhere, with
utmost diligence over Teutschland,--forging Reich thunder. Manifestoes,
HOF-DECRETS, DEHORTATORIUMS, EXCITATORIUMS; so goes it, exploding like
Vesuvius, shock on the back of shock:--20th September it began; and
lasts, CRESCENDO, through Winter and onwards, at an extraordinary rate.
[In _Helden-Geschichte_(iv. 163-174; iii. 956; and indeed PASSIM
through those Volumes), the Originals in frightful superabundance.] Of
all which, leaving readers to imagine it, we will say nothing,--except
that it points towards "Armed Interference by the Reich," "Reich's
Execution Army;" nay towards "Ban of the Reich" (total excommunication
of this Enemy of Mankind, and giving of him up to Satan, by bell, book
and candle), which is a kind of thunder-bolt not heard of for a good
few ages past! Thunder-bolt thought to be gone mainly to rust by the
judicious;--

which, however, the poor old Reich did grasp again, and attempt to
launch. As perhaps we shall have to notice by and by, among the miracles
going.

France too, urged by the noblest concern, feels itself called upon.
France magnanimously intimates to the Reich's Diet, once and again,
"That Most Christian Majesty is guarantee of the Treaty of Westphalia;
Most Christian Majesty cannot stand such procedures;" and then
the second time, "That Most Christian Majesty will interfere
practically,"--by 100,000 men and odd. [_Helden-Geschichte, _iv. 340
("26th March, 1757").] In short, the sleeping world-whirlwinds are
awakened against this man. General Dance of the Furies; there go they,
in the dusky element, those Eumenides, "giant-limbed, serpent-haired,
slow-pacing, circling, torch in hand" (according to Schiller),--
scattering terror and madness. At least, in the Diplomatic Circles of
mankind;--if haply the Populations will follow suit!--


Friedrich, abundantly contemptuous of Reich's-thunder in the rusted
kind, and well able to distinguish sound from substance in the Reich or
elsewhere, recognizes in all this sufficiently portentous prophecies of
fact withal; and understands, none better, what a perilous position he
has got into. But he cannot mend it;--can only, as usual, do his own
utmost in it. As readers will believe he does; and that his vigilance
and diligence are very great. Continual, ubiquitous and at the top of
his bent, one fancies his effort must have been,--though he makes
no noise on the subject. Considerable work he has with Hanover,
this Winter; with the poor English Government, and their "Army of
Observation," which is to appear in the Hanover parts, VERSUS those
100,000 French, next Spring. To Hanover he has sent Schmettau (the
Younger Schmettau, Elder is now dead) in regard to said Army; has made
a new and closer Treaty with England (impossible to be fulfilled on poor
England's part);--and laments, as Mitchell often does, the tragically
embroiled condition of that Country, struggling so vehemently, to no
purpose, to get out of bed, and not unlike strangling or smothering
itself in its own blankets, at present! With and in regard to Saxony,
his work is of course extremely considerable; and in regard to his own
Army, and its coming Business, considerablest of all. Counter-Manifesto
work, to state his case in a distinct manner, and leave it with
the Populations if the Diplomacies are deaf: this too, is copiously
proceeding; under Artists who probably do not require much supervision.
In fact, no King living has such servants, in the Civil or the Military
part, to execute his will. And no King so little wastes himself in
noises; a King who has good command of himself, first of all; not to be
thrown off his balance by any terror, any provocation even, though his
temper is very sharp.

Friedrich in person is mainly at Dresden, lodged in the Bruhl
Palace;--endless wardrobes and magnificences there; three hundred and
sixty-FOUR Pairs of Breeches hanging melancholy, in a widowed manner:
C'EST ASSEZ DE CULOTTES; MONTREZ-MOI DES VERTUS! Bruhl is far away, in
Poland; Madam Bruhl has still her Apartments in this Palace,--a frugal
King needs only the necessary spaces. Madam Bruhl is very busy here; and
not to good purpose, being well seen into. "She had a cask of wine sent
her from Warsaw," says Friedrich; "orders were given to decant for her
every drop of the wine, but to be sure and bring us the cask." Cask
was found to have two bottoms, intermediate space filled with
spy-correspondence. Madam Bruhl protests and pleads, Friedrich not
unpolite in reply; his last Letter to her says, "Madam, it is better
that you go and join your Husband."

Another high Dame gets sausages from Bohemia;--some of Friedrich's light
troops have an appetite, beyond strict law for sausages; break in, find
Letters along with the other stuffing. [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ iv. 108;
Mitchell, "27th March, 1757" (Raumer p. 321).] Friedrich has a good deal
of watching and coercing to do in that kind,--some arresting, conveyance
even to Custrin for a time, though nothing crueler proved needful. To
the poor Queen he keeps up civilities, but is obliged to be strict as
Argus;--she made him a Gift too, the NIGHT of Correggio, admired NOTTE
of Correggio; having heard that he sat before it silent for half an
hour, on entering that fine Gallery,--which is due to our Sovereign Lord
and his Bruhl, alas! On the other hand, Friedrich had to take from her
Majesty's Royal Abode those Hundred Swiss of Body-guard; to discharge
the same, and put Prussians in their stead. Nay, at one time, on loud
outcry from her Majesty, and great private cause of complaint against
her, there was talk of sending the poor Royal lady to Warsaw, after her
Husband; but her objection being violent, nothing came of that: Winter
following, her poor Majesty died, [27th November, 1757.] and gave nobody
any farther trouble.

Friedrich's outposts, especially in the Lausitz, are a good deal
disturbed by Austrian Tolpatcheries; and do feats, heroic in the small
way, in smiting down that rabble. A valuable Officer or two is lost in
such poor service, poor but indispensable; [Funeral Discourses (of a
very curious, ponderous and serious tone), in _Gesammelte Nachrichten,
_ii. 458, 464, &c.] and the troops have not always the repose which is
intended them. Lieutenant-Colonel Loudon (Scotch by kindred, and famous
enough before long) is the soul of these Croat enterprises,--and gets
his Colonelcy by them, in a month or two; Browne recommending. Loudon
had arrived too late for Lobositz, but had been with Browne to
Schandau; and, on the march homewards, did a bright feat of the Croat
kind:--surprisal, very complete, of that Hill-Castle of Tetschen and
considerable Hussar Party there; done in a style which caught the eye of
Browne; and was the beginning of great things to poor Loudon, after
his twenty years of painful eclipse under the Indigo Trencks, and
miscellaneous Doggeries, Austrian and Russian. [LA VIE DU FELDMARECHAL
BARON DE LOUDON (Translation of one Pezzl's German: a Vienne et a Paris,
1792), i. 1-32.]

Tetschen, therefore, will again need capture by the Prussians, if they
again intend that way. And in the mean while, Friedrich, to counterpoise
those mischievous Croat people, has bethought him of organizing
a similar Force of his own;--Foot chiefly, for, on hint of former
experience, he already has Hussars in quantity. And, this Winter, there
are accordingly, in different Saxon Towns, three Irregular Regiments
getting ready for him; three "Volunteer Colonels" busily enlisting each
his "Free Corps," such the title chosen;--chief Colonel of them one
Mayer, now in Zwickau neighborhood with 6 or 700 loose handy fellows
round him, getting formed into strict battalion there: [Pauli (our old
diffuse friend), _Leben grosser Helden des gegenwartigen Krieges _(9
vols., Halle, 1759-1764), iii. 159,? Mayr.] of whom, and of whose
soldiering, we shall hear farther. For the plan was found to answer; and
extended itself year after year; and the "Prussian Free Corps," one way
and another, made considerable noise in the world.

Outwardly Friedrich's Life is quiet; busy, none can be more so; but to
the on-looker, placid, polite especially. He hears sermon once or twice
in the Kreuz-Kirche (Protestant High Church); then next day will hear
good music, devotional if you call it so, in the Catholic Church, where
her Polish Majesty is. Daily at the old hour he has his own Concert, now
and then assisting with his own flute. Makes donations to the Poor, and
such like, due from Saxon Sovereignty while held by him; on the other
hand, reduces salaries at a sad rate Guarini, Queen's Confessor,
from near 2,000 pounds to little more than 300 pounds, for one
instance;--cuts off about 25,000 pounds in all under this head.
[_Helden-Geschichte, _iv. 306 ("December, 1756").] And is heavy with
billeting, as new Prussians arrive. Billets at length in the very
Ambassadors' Hotels,--and by way of apology to the Excellencies,
signifies to them in a body: "Sorry for the necessity, your
Excellencies: but ought not you to go to Warsaw rather? Your credentials
are to his Polish Majesty. He is not here; nor coming hither, for some
time!" Which hint, I suppose, the Excellencies mostly took. From his
own Forests there came by the Elbe great rafts of firewood, to warm his
soldiers in their quarters. Once or twice he makes excursions, of a day
of two days; to the Lausitz, to Leipzig (through Freyberg, where he
has a post of importance);--very gracious to the University people:
"Students be troubled with soldiering? Far from it ye learned Gentlemen,
servants of the Muses! Recruitment, a lamentable necessity, is to go
on under your own Official people, and wholly by the old methods."
[_Helden-Geschichte, _iv. 303-313; UNIVERSITATSANSCHLAG ZU LEIPZIG,
WEGEN DER WERBUNG ("University-Placard about Enlisting:" in _Gesammelte
Nachrichten, _i. 811).]

Once, and once only, he made a run to Berlin, January 4th-18th, 1757:
the last for six years and more. Came with great despatch, Brother Henri
with him, whole journey in one day; got, "to his Mother's about 11
at night." [Ib. iv. 308.] A joyful meeting, for the kindred: cheerful
light-gleam in the dark time, so suddenly eclipsed to them and others
by those hurricanes that have risen. His Majesty seems to be in perfect
health; and wears no look of gloom. At Berlin is no Carnival this
year; all are grave, sunk in sad contemplations of the future. Of his
businesses in this interval, which were many, I will say nothing; only
of one little Act he did, the day before his departure: the writing of
this SECRET LETTER OF INSTRUCTIONS to Graf Finck von Finkenstein,
his chief Home Minister, one of his old boy-comrades, as readers may
recollect. The Letter was read by Count Finck with profound attention,
11th January, 1757, and conned over till he knew every point of
it; after which he sealed it up, inscribing on the Cover:
"HOCHSTEIGENHANDIGE UND GANX GEHEIME"--that is, "Highest-Autographic and
altogether Secret Instructions, by the King, which, with the Appendixes,
were delivered to me, Graf von Finkenstein, the 12th of January, 1757."
In this docketing it lay, sealed for many years (none knows how many),
then unsealed, still in strict keeping, in the Private Royal Archives"
[Preuss, i. 449.]--till on Friedrich's Birthday, 24th January, 1854, it
was, with some solemnity, lithographed at Berlin, and distributed to a
select public,--as readers shall see.


"SECRET INSTRUCTION FOR THE GRAF VON FINCK.

"BERLIN, 10th January, 1757.

"In the critical situation our affairs are in, I ought to give you my
orders, so that in all the disastrous cases which are in the possibility
of events, you be authorized for taking the necessary steps.

"1. If it chanced (which Heaven forbid) that one of my Armies in Saxony
were totally beaten; or that the French should drive the Hanoverians
from their Country [which they failed not to do], and establish
themselves there, and threaten us with an invasion into the Altmark; or
that the Russians should get through by the Neumark,--you are to save
the Royal Family, the principal DICASTERIA [Land-Schedules, Lists of
Tax-dues], the Ministries and the Directorium [which is the central
Ministry of all]. If it is in Saxony on the Leipzig side that we are
beaten, the fittest place for the removal of the Royal Family, and of
the Treasure, is to Custrin: in such case the Royal Family and all above
named must go, escorted by the whole Garrison" of Berlin, "to Custrin.
If the Russians entered by the Neumark, or if a misfortune befell us
in the Lausitz, it would be to Magdeburg that all would have to go: in
fine, the last refuge is Stettin,--but you must not go till the
last extremity. The Garrison, the Royal Family and the Treasure are
inseparable, and go always together: to this must be added the Crown
Diamonds, the Silver Plate in the Grand Apartments,--which, in such
case, as well as the Gold Plate, must be at once coined into money.

"If it happened that I were killed, the Public Affairs must go on
without the smallest alteration, or its being noticeable that they are
in other hands: and, in this case, you must hasten forward the Oaths and
Homagings, as well here as in Preussen; and, above all, in Silesia. If
I should have the fatality to be taken prisoner by the Enemy, I prohibit
all of you from paying the least regard to my person, or taking the
least heed of what I might write from my place of detention. Should such
misfortune happen me, I wish to sacrifice myself for the State; and you
must obey my Brother,--who, as well as all my Ministers and Generals,
shall answer to me with their heads, Not to offer any Province or any
Ransom for me, but to continue the War, pushing their advantages, as if
I never had existed in the world.

"I hope, and have ground to believe, that you, Count Finck, will not
need to make use of this Instruction: but in case of misfortune, I
authorize you to employ it; and, as mark that it is, after a mature and
sound deliberation, my firm and constant will, I sign it with my Hand
and confirm it with my Seal."

Or, in Friedrich's own spelling &c., so far as our possibilities
permit:--


"INSTRUCTION SECRETE POUR LE CONTE DE FINE.

"BERLIN, ce 10 de Janv. 1757.

"Dans La Situation Critique ou se trouvent nos affaires je dois Vous
donner mes Ordres pour que dans tout Les Cas Malheureux qui sont dans
la possibilite des Evenemens vous Soyez autorisse aux partis quil faut
prendre. 1)[Yes; but there follows no "2)" anywhere, such the haste!]
Sil arivoit (de quoi le Ciel preserve) qu'une de mes Armees en Saxse fut
totallement battue, oubien que Les francais chassassent Les Hanovryeins
de Leur pais et si etablissent et nous menassassent d'un Invassion
dans la Vieille Marche, ou que les Russes penetrassent par La Nouvelle
Marche, il faut Sauver la famille Royale, les principeaux Dicasteres
les Ministres et le Directoire. Si nous somes battus en Saxse du Cote
de leipssic Le Lieu Le plus propre pour Le transport de La famille et du
Tressor est a Custrin, il faut en ce Cas que la famille Royalle et touts
cidesus nomez aillent esCortez de toute La Guarnisson a Custrin. Si les
Russes entroient par la Nouvele Marche ou quil nous arivat un Malheur
en Lusace, il faudroit que tout Se transportat a Magdebourg, enfin Le
Derni& refuge est a Stetein, mais il ne hut y all&r qu'a La Derniere
exstremite La Guarnisson la famille Royalle et le Tressort sent
Inseparables et vont toujours ensemble il faut y ajouter les Diamans de
la Couronne, et L'argenterie des Grands Apartements qui en pareil cas
ainsi que la Veselle d'or doit etre incontinant Monoyee. Sil arivoit
que je fus tue, il faut que Les affaires Continuent Leur train sans la
Moindre allteration et Sans qu'on s'apersoive qu'elles sont en d'autre
Mains, et en ce Cas il faut hater Sermens et homages tant ici qu'en
prusse et surtout en Silesie. Si j'avois la fatalite d'etre pris
prissonier par L'Enemy, je Defend qu'on Aye le Moindre egard pour ma
perssonne ni qu'on fasse La Moindre reflextion sur ce que je pourois
ecrire de Ma Detention, Si pareil Malheur m'arivoit je Veux me
Sacriffier pour L'Etat et il faut qu'on obeisse a Mon frere le quel
ainsi que tout Mes Ministres et Generaux me reponderont de leur Tette
qu'on offrira ni province ni ransson pour moy et que lon Continuera la
Guerre en poussant Ses avantages tout Come si je n'avais jamais exsiste
dans le Monde. J'espere et je dois Croire que Vous Conte finc n'aurez
pas bessoin de faire usage de Cette Instruction mais en cas de Malheur
je Vous autorisse a L'Employer, et Marque que C'est apres Une Mure et
saine Deliberation Ma ferme et Constante Volonte je le Signe de Ma Main
et la Muni de mon Cachet,

"FREDERIC R."

[Fac simile of Autograph (Berlin, 24th January, 1854), where is some
indistinct History of the Document. Printed also in _OEuvres,_ xxv.
319-323.]

These, privately made law in this manner, are Friedrich's fixed feelings
and resolutions;--how fixed is now farther apparent by a fact which was
then still more private, guessable long afterwards only by one or two,
and never clearly known so long as Friedrich lived: the fact that he had
(now most probably, though the date is not known) provided poison for
himself, and constantly wore it about his person through this War. "Five
or six small pills, in a small glass tube, with a bit of ribbon to
it:" that stern relic lay, in a worn condition, in some drawer of
Friedrich's, after Friedrich was gone. [Preuss, ii. 175, 315 n.] For the
Facts are peremptory; and a man that will deal with them must be equally
so.

Two days after this Finck missive, Friday, 12th, Friedrich took farewell
at Berlin, drove to Potsdam that night with his Brother, to Dresden next
day. Adieu, Madam; Adieu, O Mother! said the King, in royal terms, but
with a heart altogether human. "May God above bless you, my Son!" the
old Lady would reply:--and the Two had seen one another for the last
time; Mother and Son were to meet no more in this world.





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