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Title: History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Volume 18
Author: Carlyle, Thomas, 1795-1881
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Volume 18" ***

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By Thomas Carlyle



Seldom was there seen such a combination against any man as this against
Friedrich, after his Saxon performances in 1756. The extent of his sin,
which is now ascertained to have been what we saw, was at that time
considered to transcend all computation, and to mark him out for
partition, for suppression and enchainment, as the general enemy of
mankind. "Partition him, cut him down," said the Great Powers to one
another; and are busy, as never before, in raising forces, inciting new
alliances and calling out the general POSSE COMITATUS of mankind, for
that salutary object. What tempestuous fulminations in the Reichstag,
and over all Europe, England alone excepted, against this man!

Latterly the Swedes, who at first had compunctions on the score of
Protestantism, have agreed to join in the Partitioning adventure: "It
brings us his Pommern, all Pommern ours!" cry the Swedish Parliamentary
Eloquences (with French gold in their pocket): "At any rate," whisper
they, "it spites the Queen his Sister!"--and drag the poor Swedish
Nation into a series of disgraces and disastrous platitudes it was
little anticipating. This precious French-Swedish Bargain ("Swedes to
invade with 25,000; France to give fair subsidy," and bribe largely) was
consummated in March; ["21st March, 1757" (Stenzel, v. 38; &c.).] but
did not become known to Friedrich for some months later; nor was it of
the importance he then thought it, in the first moment of surprise and
provocation. Not indeed of importance to anybody, except, in the reverse
way, to poor Sweden itself, and to the French, who had spent a great
deal of pains and money on it, and continued to spend, with as good as
no result at all. For there never was such a War, before or since,
not even by Sweden in the Captainless state! And the one profit the
copartners reaped from it, was some discountenance it gave to the rumor
which had risen, more extensively than we should now think, and even
some nucleus of fact in it as appears, That Austria, France and the
Catholic part of the Reich were combining to put down Protestantism. To
which they could now answer, "See, Protestant Sweden is with us!"--and
so weaken a little what was pretty much Friedrich's last hold on the
public sympathies at this time.

As to France itself,--to France, Austria, Russia,--bound by such
earthly Treaties, and the call of very Heaven, shall they not, in united
puissance and indignation, rise to the rescue? France, touched to the
heart by such treatment of a Saxon Kurfurst, and bound by Treaty of
Westphalia to protect all members of the Reich (which it has sometimes,
to our own knowledge, so carefully done), is almost more ardent than
Austria itself. France, Austria, Russia; to these add Polish Majesty
himself; and latterly the very Swedes, by French bribery at Stockholm:
these are the Partitioning Powers;--and their shares (let us spare one
line for their shares) are as follows.

The Swedes are to have Pommern in whole; Polish-Saxon Majesty gets
Magdeburg, Halle, and opulent slices thereabouts; Austria's share,
we need not say, is that jewel of a Silesia. Czarish Majesty, on the
extreme East, takes Preussen, Konigsberg-Memel Country in whole; adds
Preussen to her as yet too narrow Territories. Wesel-Cleve Country, from
the other or Western extremity, France will take that clipping, and make
much of it. These are quite serious business-engagements, engrossed on
careful parchment, that Spring, 1757, and I suppose not yet boiled down
into glue, but still to be found in dusty corners, with the tape much
faded. The high heads, making preparation on the due scale, think them
not only executable, but indubitable, and almost as good as done. Push
home upon him, as united Posse Comitatus of Mankind; in a sacred cause
of Polish Majesty and Public Justice, how can one malefactor resist?"AH,
MA TRES-CHERE" and "Oh, my dearest Princess and Cousin," what a chance
has turned up!

It is computed that there are arrayed against this one King, under
their respective Kings, Empress-Queens, Swedish Senates, Catins and
Pompadours, populations to the amount of above 100 millions,--in after
stages, I remember to have seen "150 millions" loosely given as the
exaggerated cipher. Of armed soldiers actually in the field against him
(against Hanover and him), in 1757, there are, by strict count, 430,000.
Friedrich's own Dominions at this time contain about Five Millions of
Population; of Revenue somewhat less than Two Millions sterling. New
taxes he cannot legally, and will not, lay on his People. His SCHATZ
(ready-money Treasure, or Hoard yearly accumulating for such end) is, I
doubt not, well filled,--express amount not mentioned. Of drilled men he
has, this Year, 150,000 for the field; portioned out thriftily,--as well
beseems, against Four Invasions coming on him from different points. In
the field, 150,000 soldiers, probably the best that ever were; and
in garrison, up and down (his Country being, by nature, the least
defensible of all Countries), near 40,000, which he reckons of inferior
quality. So stands the account. [Stenzel, iv. 308, 306, v. 39; Ranke,
iii. 415; Preuss, ii, 389, 43, 124; &c. &c.;--substantially true, I
doubt not; but little or nothing of it so definite and conclusively
distinct as it ought, in all items, to have been by this time,--had poor
Dryasdust known what he was doing.] These are, arithmetically precise,
his resources,--PLUS only what may lie in his own head and heart, or
funded in the other heads and hearts, especially in those 150,000,
which he and his Fathers have been diligently disciplining, to good
perfection, for four centuries come the time.

France, urged by Pompadour and the enthusiasms, was first in the field.
The French Army, in superb equipment, though privately in poorish state
of discipline, took the road early in March; "March 26th and 27th,"
it crossed the German Border, Cleve Country and Koln Country; had been
rumored of since January and February last, as terrifically grand;
and here it now actually is, above 100,000 strong,--110,405, as
the Army-Lists, flaming through all the Newspapers, teach mankind.
[_Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 391; iii. 1073.] Bent mainly upon Prussia,
it would seem; such the will of Pompadour. Mainly upon Prussia; Marechal
d'Estrees, crossing at Koln, made offers even to his Britannic Majesty
to be forgiven in comparison; "Yield us a road through your Hanover,
merely a road to those Halberstadt-Magdeburg parts, your Hanover shall
have neutrality!" "Neutrality to Hanover?" sighed Britannic Majesty:
"Alas, am not I pledged by Treaty? And, alas, withal, how is it
possible, with that America hanging over us?" and stood true. Nor is
this all, on the part of magnanimous France: there is a Soubise getting
under way withal, Soubise and 30,000, who will reinforce the Reich's
Armament, were it on foot, and be heard of by and by! So high runs
French enthusiasm at present. A new sting of provocation to Most
Christian Majesty, it seems, has been Friedrich's conduct in that
Damiens matter (miserable attempt, by a poor mad creature, to
assassinate; or at least draw blood upon the Most Christian Majesty
["Evening of 5th January, 1757" (exuberantly plentiful details of it,
and of the horrible Law-procedures which followed on it: In Adelung,
viii. 197-220; Barbier, &c. &c.).]); about which Friedrich, busy
and oblivious, had never, in common politeness, been at the pains to
condole, compliment, or take any notice whatever. And will now take the
consequences, as due!--

The Wesel-Cleve Countries these French find abandoned: Friedrich's
garrisons have had orders to bring off the artillery and stores, blow up
what of the works are suitable for blowing up; and join the "Britannic
Army of Observation" which is getting itself together in those regions.
Considerable Army, Britannic wholly in the money part: new Hanoverians
so many, Brunswickers, Buckeburgers, Sachsen-Gothaers so many; add those
precious Hanoverian-Hessian 20,000, whom we have had in England guarding
our liberties so long,--who are now shipped over in a lot; fair wind
and full sea to them. Army of 60,000 on paper; of effective more than
50,000; Head-quarters now at Bielefeld on the Weser;--where, "April
16th," or a few days later, Royal Highness of Cumberland comes to take
command; likely to make a fine figure against Marechal d'Estrees and his
100,000 French! But there was no helping it. Friedrich, through Winter,
has had Schmettau earnestly flagitating the Hanoverian Officialities:
"The Weser is wadable in many places, you cannot defend the Weser!"
and counselling and pleading to all lengths,--without the least effect.
"Wants to save his own Halberstadt lands, at our expense!" Which was the
idea in London, too: "Don't we, by Apocalyptic Newswriters and eyesight
of our own, understand the man?" Pitt is by this time in Office,
who perhaps might have judged a little otherwise. But Pitt's seat is
altogether temporary, insecure; the ruling deities Newcastle and
Royal Highness, who withal are in standing quarrel. So that Friedrich,
Schmettau, Mitchell pleaded to the deaf. Nothing but "Defend the Weser,"
and ignorant Fatuity ready for the Impossible, is to be made out there.
"Cannot help it, then," thinks Friedrich, often enough, in bad moments;
"Army of Observation will have its fate. Happily there are only 5,000
Prussians in it, Wesel and the other garrisons given up!"

Only 5,000 Prussians: by original Engagement, there should have
been 25,000; and Friedrich's intention is even 45,000 if he prosper
otherwise. For in January, 1757 (Anniversary, or nearly so, of that
NEUTRALITY CONVENTION last year), there had been--encouraged by Pitt,
as I could surmise, who always likes Friedrich--a definite, much closer
TREATY OF ALLIANCE, with "Subsidy of a million sterling," Anti-Russian
"Squadron of Observation in the Baltic," "25,000 Prussians," and other
items, which I forget. Forget the more readily, as, owing to the strange
state of England (near suffocating in its Constitutional bedclothes),
the Treaty could not be kept at all, or serve as rule to poor England's
exertions for Friedrich this Year; exertions which were of the
willing-minded but futile kind, going forward pell-mell, not by plan,
and could reach Friedrich only in the lump,--had there been any "lump"
of them to sum together. But Pitt had gone out;--we shall see what, in
Pitt's absence, there was! So that this Treaty 1757 fell quite into
the waste-basket (not to say, far deeper, by way of "pavement" we know
where!),--and is not mentioned in any English Book; nor was known to
exist, till some Collector of such things printed it, in comparatively
recent times. ["M. Koch in 1802," not very perfectly (Scholl, iii. 30
n.; who copies what Koch has given).] A Treaty 1757, which, except
as emblem of the then quasi-enchanted condition of England, and as
Foreshadow of Pitt's new Treaty in January, 1758, and of three others
that followed and were kept to the letter, is not of moment farther.


The thunderous fulminations in the Reich's-Diet--an injured Saxony
complaining, an insulted Kaiser, after vain DEHORTATORIUMS, reporting
and denouncing "Horrors such as these: What say you, O Reich?"--have
been going on since September last; and amount to boundless masses
of the liveliest Parliamentary Eloquence, now fallen extinct to all
creatures. [Given, to great lengths, in _Helden-Geschichte,_ iii. iv.
(and other easily avoidable Books).] The Kaiser, otherwise a solid
pacific gentleman, intent on commercial operations (furnishes a good
deal of our meal, says Friedrich), is Officially extremely violent in
behalf of injured Saxony,--that is to say, in fact, of injured Austria,
which is one's own. Kur-Mainz, Chairman of the Diet (we remember how he
was got, and a Battle of Dettingen fought in consequence, long since);
Kur-Mainz is admitted to have the most decided Austrian leanings:
Britannic George, Austria being now in the opposite scale, finds him
an unhandy Kur-Mainz, and what profit it was to introduce false weights
into the Reich's balance that time! Not for long generations before, had
the poor old semi-imaginary Reich's-Diet risen into such paroxysms; nor
did it ever again after. Never again, in its terrestrial History, was
there such agonistic parliamentary struggle, and terrific noise of
parliamentary palaver, witnessed in the poor Reich's-Diet. Noise and
struggle rising ever higher, peal after peal, from September, 1756, when
it started, till August, 1757, when it had reached its acme (as perhaps
we shall see), though it was far from ending then, or for years to come.

Contemporary by-standers remark, on the Austrian part, extraordinary
rage and hatred against Prussia; which is now the one point memorable.
Austria is used to speak loud in the Diet, as we have ourselves seen:
and it is again (if you dive into those old AEolus'-Caves, at your
peril) unpleasantly notable to what pitch of fixed rage, and hot sullen
hatred Austria has now gone; and how the tone has in it a potency of
world-wide squealing and droning, such as you nowhere heard before.
Omnipotence of droning, edged with shrieky squealing, which fills the
Universe, not at all in a melodious way. From the depths of the gamut
to the shrieky top again,--a droning that has something of porcine or
wild-boar character. Figure assembled the wild boars of the world, all
or mostly all got together, and each with a knife just stuck into its
side, by a felonious individual too well known,--you will have some
notion of the sound of these things. Friedrich sometimes remonstrates:
"Cannot you spare such phraseology, unseemly to Kings? The quarrels of
Kings have to be decided by the sword; what profit in unseemly language,
Madam?"--but, for the first year and more, there was no abatement on the
Austrian part.

Friedrich's own Delegate at Regensburg, a Baron von Plotho, come of
old Brandenburg kindred, is a resolute, ready-tongued, very undaunted
gentleman; learned in Diplomacies and Reich's Law; carries his head
high, and always has his story at hand. Argument, grounded on Reich's
Law and the nature of the case, Plotho never lacks, on spur of the hour:
and is indeed a very commendable parliamentary mastiff; and honorable
and melodious in the bark of him, compared with those infuriated
porcine specimens. He has Kur-Hanover for ally on common occasions, and
generally from most Protestant members individually, or from the CORPUS
EVANGELICORUM in mass, some feeble whimper of support. Finds difficulty
in getting his Reich's Pleadings printed;--dangerous, everywhere in
those Southern Parts, to print anything whatever that is not Austrian:
so that Plotho, at length, gets printers to himself, and sets up a
Printing-Press in his own house at Regensburg. He did a great deal of
sonorous pleading for Friedrich; proud, deep-voiced, ruggedly logical;
fairly beyond the Austrian quality in many cases,--and always far
briefer, which is another high merit. October coming, we purpose to
look in upon Plotho for one minute; "October 14th, 1757;" which may
be reckoned essentially the acme or turning-point of these unpleasant
thunderings. [_Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 745-749.]

What good he did to Friedrich, or could have done with the tongue of
angels in such an audience, we do not accurately know. Some good he
would do even in the Reich's-Diet there; and out of doors, over a German
public, still more; and is worth his frugal wages,--say 1,000 pounds a
year, printing and all other expense included! This is a mere guess of
mine, Dryasdust having been incurious: but, to English readers it is
incredible for what sums Friedrich got his work done, no work ever
better. Which is itself an appreciable advantage, computable in pounds
sterling; and is the parent of innumerable others which no Arithmetic
or Book-keeping by Double Entry will take hold of, and which are indeed
priceless for Nations and for persons. But this poor old bedridden
Reich, starting in agonistic spasm at such rate: is it not touching, in
a Corpus moribund for so many Centuries past! The Reich is something;
though it is not much, nothing like so much as even Kaiser Franz
supposes it. Much or not so much, Kaiser Franz wishes to secure it for
himself; Friedrich to hinder him,--and it must be a poor something, if
not worth Plotho's wages on Friedrich's part.

It would insult the patience of every reader to go into these spasmodic
tossings of the poor paralytic Reich; or to mention the least item of
them beyond what had some result, or fraction of result, on the world's
real affairs. We shall say only, therefore, that after tempests not a
few of porcine squealing, answered always by counter-latration on the
vigilant Plotho's part;--squealing, chiefly, from the Reich's-Hofrath
at Vienna, the Head Tribunal of Imperial Majesty, which sits judging and
denouncing there, touched to the soul, as if by a knife driven into
its side, by those unheard-of treatments of Saxony and disregard to
our DEHORTATORIUMS, and which bursts out, peal after peal, filling the
Universe, Plotho not unvigilant;--the poor old Reich's-Diet did at
last get into an acting posture, and determine, by clear majority of 99
against 60, that there should be a "Reich's Execution Army" got on foot.
Reich's Execution Army to coerce, by force of arms, this nefarious King
of Prussia into making instant restitution to Saxony, with ample damages
on the nail; that right be done to Kurfursts of this Reich. To such
height of vigor has the Reich's-Diet gone;--and was voting it at
Regensburg January 10th, 1757; [_Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 252, 302,
330; Stenzel, v. 32.] that very day when nefarious Friedrich at Berlin,
case-hardened in iniquity to such a pitch, sat writing his INSTRUCTION
TO COUNT FINCK, which we read not long since. Simultaneous movements,
unknown to one another, in this big wrestle.

Reich's-Diet perfected its Vote; had it quite through, and sanctioned
by the Kaiser's Majesty, January 29th: "Arming to be a TRIPLUM" (triple
contingent required of you this time); with Romish-months (ROMERMONATE)
of cash contributions from all and sundry (rigorously gathered, I should
hope, where Austria has power), so many as will cover the expense. Army
to be got on actual foot hastily, instantly if possible: an "EILENDE
REICHS-EXECUTIONS ARMEE;" so it ran, but the word EILENDE (speedy) had
a mischance in printing, and was struck off into ELENDE (contemptibly
wretched): so that on all Market-Squares and Public Places of poor
Teutschland, you read flaming Placards summoning out, not a speedy or
immediate, but "a MISERABLE Reich's Execution Army!" A word which, we
need not say, was laughed at by the unfeeling part of the public; and
was often called to mind by the Reich's Execution Army's performances,
when said SPEEDY Army did at last take the field.

For the Reich performed its Vote; actually had a Reich's Execution Army;
the last it ever had in this world, not by any means the worst it ever
had, for they used generally to be bad. Commanders, managers are named,
Romermonate are gathered in, or the sure prospect of them; and,
through May-June, 1757, there is busy stir, of drumming, preparing and
enlisting, all over the Reich. End of July, we shall see the Reich's
Army in Camp; end of August, actually in the field; and later on, a
touch of its fighting withal. Many other things the Reich tried against
unfortunate Friedrich,--gradual advance, in fact, to Ban of the Reich
(or total anathema and cutting-off from fire and water): but in none of
these, in Ban as little as any, did it come to practical result at all,
or acquire the least title to be remembered at this day. Finis of Ban,
some eight months hence, has something of attractive as futility,
the curious Death of a Futility. Finis of Ban (October 14th, already
indicated) we may for one moment look in upon, if there be one moment
to spare; the rest--readers may fancy it; and read only of the actuality
and fighting part, which will itself be enough for them on such a


Four Invasions, from their respective points of the compass, northeast,
northwest, southeast and southwest: here is a formidable outlook for
the one man against whom they are all advancing open-mouthed. The one
man--with nothing but a Duke of Cumberland and his Observation Army for
backing in such duel--had need to look to himself! Which, we well know,
he does; wrapt in profoundly silent vigilance, with his plans all laid.
Of the Four Invasions, three, the Russian, French, Austrian, are
very large; and the two latter, especially the last, are abundantly
formidable. The Swedish, of which there is rumoring, he hopes may come
to little, or not come at all. Nor is Russia, though talking big, and
actually getting ready above 100,000 men, so immediately alarming.
Friedrich always hopes the English, with their guineas and their
managements, will do something for him in that quarter; and he knows,
at worst, that the Russian Hundred Thousand will be a very slow-moving
entity. The Swedish Invasion Friedrich, for the present, leaves to
chance: and against Russia, he has sent old Marshal Lehwald into those
Baltic parts; far eastward, towards the utmost Memel Frontier, to put
the Country upon its own defence, and make what he can of it with 30,000
men,--West-Prussian militias a good few of them. This is all he can
spare on the Swedish-Russian side: Austria and France are the perilous
pair of entities; not to be managed except by intense concentration of
stroke; and by going on them in succession, if one have luck!--

Friedrich's motions and procedures in canton-quarters, through Winter
and in late months, have led to the belief that he means to stand on the
defensive; that the scene of the Campaign will probably be Saxony;
and that Austria, for recovering injured Saxony, for recovering dear
Silesia, will have to take an invasive attitude. And Austria is busy
everywhere preparing with that view. Has Tolpatcheries, and advanced
Brigades, still harassing about in the Lausitz. A great Army assembling
at Prag,--Browne forward towards the Metal Mountains securing posts,
gathering magazines, for the crossing into Saxony there. There, it is
thought, the tug of war will probably be. Furious, and strenuous, it is
not doubted, on this Friedrich's part: but against such odds, what can
he do? With Austrians in front, with Russians to left, with French to
right and arear, not to mention Swedes and appendages: surely here, if
ever, is a lost King!--

It is by no means Friedrich's intention that Saxony itself shall need to
be invaded. Friedrich's habit is, as his enemies might by this time be
beginning to learn, not that of standing on the defensive, but that of
GOING on it, as the preferable method wherever possible. March 24th,
Friedrich had quitted Dresden City; and for a month after (head-quarters
Lockwitz, edge of the Pirna Country), he had been shifting,
redistributing, his cantoned Army,--privately into the due Divisions,
due readiness for march. Which done, on fixed days, about the end of
April, the whole Army, he himself from Lockwitz, April 20th,--to the
surprise of Austria and the world, Friedrich in three grand Columns,
Bevern out of the Lausitz, King himself over the Metal Mountains,
Schwerin out of Schlesien, is marching with extraordinary rapidity
direct for Prag; in the notion that a right plunge into the heart of
Bohemia will be the best defence for Saxony and the other places under

This is a most unexpected movement; which greatly astonishes the
world-theatre, pit, boxes and gallery alike (as Friedrich's sudden
movements often do); and which is, above all, interesting on the stage
itself, where the actors had been counting on a quite opposite set of
entries and activities! Feldmarschall Browne and General Konigseck (not
our old friend Konigseck, who used to dry-nurse in the Netherlands, but
his nephew and heir) may cease gathering Magazines, in those Lausitz
and Metal-Mountain parts: happy could they give wings to those already
gathered! Magazines, for Austrian service, are clearly not the things
wanted there. One does not burn one's Magazines till the last extremity;
but wings they have none; and such is the enigmatic velocity of those
Prussian movements, one seldom has time even to burn them, in the last
crisis of catastrophe! Considerable portions of that provender fell into
the Prussian throat; as much as "three months' provision for the
whole Army," count they,--adding to those Frontier sundries the really
important Magazine which they seized at Jung-Bunzlau farther in.
[_Helden-Geschichte_, iv. 6-13; &c.] It is one among their many greater
advantages from this surprisal of the enemy, and sudden topsy-turvying
of his plans. Browne and Konigseck have to retire on Prag at their
swiftest; looking to more important results than Magazines.

It is Friedrich's old plan. Long since, in 1744, we saw a march of this
kind, Three Columns rushing with simultaneous rapidity on Prag; and need
not repeat the particulars on this occasion. Here are some Notes on the
subject, which will sufficiently bring it home to readers:--

"The Three Columns were, for a part of the way, Four; the King's being,
at first, in two branches, till they united again, on the other side
of the Hills. For the King," what is to be noted, "had shot out, three
weeks before, a small preliminary branch, under Moritz of Dessau; who
marched, well westward, by Eger (starting from Chemnitz in Saxony); and
had some tussling with our poor old friend Duke d'Ahremberg, Browne's
subordinate in those parts. D'Ahremberg, having 20,000 under him, would
not quit Eger for Moritz; but pushed out Croats upon him, and sat still.
This, it was afterwards surmised, had been a feint on Friedrich's part;
to give the Austrians pleasant thoughts: 'Invading us, is he? Would fain
invade us, but cannot!' Moritz fell back from Eger; and was ready to
join the King's march, (at Linay, April 23d' (third day from Lockwitz,
on the King's part). Onwards from which point the Columns are
specifically Three; in strength, and on routes, somewhat as follows:--

1. "The FIRST Column, or King's,--which is 60,000 after this junction,
45,000 foot, 15,000 horse,--quitted Lockwitz (head-quarter for a month
past), WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20TH. They go by the Pascopol and other roads;
through Pirna, for one place: through Karbitz, Aussig, are at Linay on
the 23d; where Moritz joins: 24th, in the united state, forward again
(leave Lobositz two miles to left); to Trebnitz, 25th, and rest there
one day.

"At Aussig an unfortunate thing befell. Zastrow, respectable old General
Zastrow, was to drive the Austrians out of Aussig: Zastrow does it,
April 22d-23d, drives them well over the heights; April 25th, however,
marching forward towards Lobositz, Zastrow is shot through both temples
(Pandour hid among the bushes and cliffs, OTHER side of Elbe), and falls
dead on the spot. Buried in GOTTLEUBE Kirk, 1st May."

In these Aussig affairs, especially in recapturing the Castle of
Tetschen near by, Colonel Mayer, father of the new "Free-Corps," did
shining service;--and was approved of, he and they. And, a day or
two after, was detached with a Fifteen Hundred of that kind, on more
important business: First, to pick up one or two Bohemian Magazines
lying handy; after which, to pay a visit to the Reich and its bluster
about Execution-Army, and teach certain persons who it is they are
thundering against in that awkwardly truculent manner! Errand shiningly
done by Mayer, as perhaps we may hear,--and certainly as all the
Newspapers loudly heard,--in the course of the next two months.

At crossing of the Eger, Friedrich's Column had some chasing of poor
D'Ahremberg; attempting to cut him off from his Bridges, Bridge of
Koschlitz, Bridge of Budin; but he made good despatch, Browne and he;
and, except a few prisoners of Ziethen's gathering, and most of his
Magazines unburnt, they did him no damage. The chase was close enough;
more than once, the Austrian head-quarter of to-night was that of the
Prussians to-morrow. Monday, May 2d, Friedrich's Column was on the
Weissenberg of Prag; Browne, D'Ahremberg, and Prince Karl, who is now
come up to take command, having hastily filed through the City, leaving
a fit garrison, the day before. Except his Magazines, nothing the least
essential went wrong with Browne; but Konigseck, who had not a Friedrich
on his heels,--Konigseck, trying more, as his opportunities were
more,--was not quite so lucky.

2. "Column SECOND, to the King's left, comes from the Lausitz under
Brunswick-Bevern,--18,000 foot, 5,000 horse. This is the Bevern who so
distinguished himself at Lobositz last year; and he is now to culminate
into a still brighter exploit,--the last of his very bright ones, as it
proved. Bevern set out from about Zittau (from Grottau, few miles south
of Zittau), the same day with Friedrich, that is April 20th;--and had
not well started till he came upon formidable obstacles. Came upon
General Konigseck, namely: a Konigseck manoeuvring ahead, in superior
force; a Maguire, Irish subordinate of Konigseck's, coming from the
right to cut off our baggage (against whom Bevern has to detach); a
Lacy, coming from the left;--or indeed, Konigseck and Lacy in concert,
intending to offer battle. Battle of Reichenberg, which accordingly
ensued, April 21st,"--of which, though it was very famous for so small a
Battle, there can be no account given here.

The short truth is, Konigseck falling back, Parthian-like, with a force
of 30,000 or more, has in front of him nothing but Bevern; who, as he
issues from the Lausitz, and till he can unite with Schwerin farther
southward, is but some 20,000 odd: cannot Konigseck call halt, and
bid Bevern return, or do worse? Konigseck, a diligent enough soldier,
determines to try; chooses an excellent position,--at or round
Reichenberg, which is the first Bohemian Town, one march from Zittau in
the Lausitz, and then one from Liebenau, which latter would be Bevern's
SECOND Bohemian stage on the Prag road, if he continued prosperous.
Reichenberg, standing nestled among hills in the Neisse Valley (one
of those Four Neisses known to us, the Neisse where Prince Karl got
exploded, in that signal manner, Winter, 1745, by a certain King),
offers fine capabilities; which Konigseck has laid hold of. There is
especially one excellent Hollow (on the left or western bank of Neisse
River, that is, ACROSS from Reichenberg), backed by woody hills, nothing
but hills, brooks, woods all round; Hollow scooped out as if for the
purpose; and altogether of inviting character to Konigseck. There,
"Wednesday, April 20th," Konigseck posts himself, plants batteries,
fells abatis; plenty of cannon, of horse and foot, and, say all
soldiers, one of the best positions possible.

So that Bevern, approaching Reichenberg at evening, evening of his
first march, Wednesday, April 20th, finds his way barred; and that the
difficulties may be considerable. "Nothing to be made of it to-night,"
thinks Bevern; "but we must try to-morrow!" and has to take camp,
"with a marshy brook in front of him," some way on the hither side of
Reichenberg; and study overnight what method of unbarring there may be.
Thursday morning early, Bevern, having well reconnoitred and studied,
was at work unbarring. Bevern crossed his own marshy brook; courageously
assaulted Konigseck's position, left wing of Konigseck; stormed the
abatis, the batteries, plunged in upon Konigseck, man to man, horse to
horse, and after some fierce enough but brief dispute, tumbled Konigseck
out of the ground. Konigseck made some attempt to rally; attempted
twice, but in vain; had fairly to roll away, and at length to run,
leaving 1,000 dead upon the field, about 500 prisoners; one or two guns,
and I forget how many standards, or whether any kettle-drums. This
was thought to be a decidedly bright feat on Bevern's part
(rather mismanaged latterly on Konigseck's); [Tempelhof, i. 100;
_Helden-Geschichte,_ iii. 1077 (Friedrich's own Account, "Linay in
Bohmen, 24th April, 1757"); &c. &c. There is, in Busching's _Magazin_
(xvi. 139 et seq.), an intelligible sketch of this Action of
Reichenherg, with satirical criticisms, which have some basis, on Lacy,
Maguire and others, by an Anonymous Military Cynic,--who gives many
such in BUSCHING (that of Fontenoy, for example), not without force of
judgment, and signs of wide study and experience in his trade.]--much
approved by Friedrich, as he hears of it, at Linay, on his own
prosperous march Prag-ward. A comfortable omen, were there nothing more.

Konigseck and Company, torn out of Reichenberg, and set running, could
not fairly halt again and face about till at Liebenau, twenty miles off,
where they found some defile or difficult bit of ground fit for them;
and this too proved capable of yielding pause for a few hours only. For
Schwerin, with his Silesian Column, was coming up from the northeast,
threatening Konigseck on flank and rear: Konigseck could only tighten
his straps a little at this Liebenau, and again get under way; and
making vain attempts to hinder the junction of Schwerin and Bevern, to
defend the Jung-Bunzlau Magazine, or do any good in those parts, except
to detain the Schwerin-Bevern people certain hours (I think, one day in
all), had nothing for it but to gird himself together, and retreat on
Prag and the Ziscaberg, where his friends now were.

The Austrian force at Reichenberg was 20,000; would have been 30 and
odd thousands, had Maguire come up (as he might have done, had not the
appearances alarmed him too much); Bevern, minus the Detachment sent
against Maguire, was but 15,000 in fight; and he has quite burst the
Austrians away, who had plugged his road for him in such force: is it
not a comfortable little victory, glorious in its sort; and a good omen
for the bigger things that are coming? Bevern marched composedly on,
after this inspiriting tussle, through Liebenau and what defiles
there were; April 24th, at Turnau, he falls into the Schwerin Column;
incorporates himself therewith, and, as subordinate constituent part,
accompanies Schwerin thenceforth.

3. "Column THIRD was Schwerin's, out of Schlesien; counted to be 32,000
foot, 12,000 horse. Schwerin, gathering himself, from Glatz and the
northerly country, at Landshut,--very careless, he, of the pleasant
Hills, and fine scattered peaks of the Giant Mountains thereabouts,--was
completely gathered foremost of all the Columns, having farthest to go.
And on Monday, 18th April, started from Landshut, Winterfeld leading one
division. In our days, it is the finest of roads; high level Pass, of
good width, across the Giant Range; pleasant painted hamlets sprinkling
it, fine mountain ridges and distant peaks looking on; Schneekoppe
(SNOWfell, its head bright-white till July come) attends you, far to
the right, all the way:--probably Sprite Rubezahl inhabits there; and no
doubt River Elbe begins his long journey there, trickling down in little
threads over yonder, intending to float navies by and by: considerations
infinitely indifferent to Schwerin. 'The road,' says my Tourist, (is not
Alpine; it reminds you of Derbyshire-Peak country; more like the road
from Castletown to Sheffield than any I could name;'--we have been in
it before, my reader and I, about Schatzlar and other places. Trautenau,
well down the Hills, with swift streams, more like torrents, bound
Elbe-wards, watering it, is a considerable Austrian Town, and the
Bohemian end of the Pass,--Sohr only a few miles from it: heartily
indifferent to Schwerin at this moment; who was home from the Army, in
a kind of disfavor, or mutual pet, at the time Sohr was done. Schwerin's
March we shall not give; his junction with Bevern (at Turnau, on the
Iser, April 24th), then their capture of Jung-Bunzlau Magazine, and
crossing of the Elbe at Melnick, these were the important points; and,
in spite of Konigseck's tusslings, these all went well, and nothing was
lost except one day of time."

The Austrians, some days ago, as we observed, filed THROUGH
Prag,--Sunday, May 1st, not a pleasant holiday-spectacle to the
populations;--and are all encamped on the Ziscaberg high ground, on the
other side of the City. Had they been alert, now was the time to attack
Friedrich, who is weaker than they, while nobody has yet joined him.
They did not think of it, under Prince Karl; and Browne and the Prince
are said to be in bad agreement.


Monday morning, 2d May, 1757, the Vanguard, or advanced troops of
Friedrich's Column, had appeared upon the Weissenberg, northwest corner
of Prag (ground known to them in 1744, and to the poor Winter-King in
1620): Vanguard in the morning; followed shortly by Friedrich himself;
and, hour after hour, by all the others, marching in. So that, before
sunset, the whole force lay posted there; and had the romantic City
of Prag full in view at their feet. A most romantic, high-piled,
many-towered, most unlevel old City; its skylights and gilt
steeple-cocks glittering in the western sun,--Austrian Camp very visible
close beyond it, spread out miles in extent on the Ziscaberg Heights, or
eastern side;--Prag, no doubt, and the Austrian Garrison of Prag, taking
intense survey of this Prussian phenomenon, with commentaries, with
emotions, hidden now in eternal silence, as is fit enough. One thing we
know, "Head-quarter was in Welleslawin:" there, in that small Hamlet,
nearly to north, lodged Friedrich, the then busiest man of Europe; whom
Posterity is still striving for a view of, as something memorable.

Prince Karl, our old friend, is now in chief command yonder; Browne also
is there, who was in chief command; their scheme of Campaign gone all
awry. And to Friedrich, last night, at his quarters "in the Monastery of
Tuchomirsitz," where these two Gentlemen had lodged the night before,
it was reported that they had been heard in violent altercation;
[_Helden-Geschichte, _ iv. 11 (exact "Diary of the march" given
there).]--both of them, naturally, in ill-humor at the surprising turn
things had taken; and Feldmarschall Browne firing up, belike, at
some platitude past or coming, at some advice of his rejected, some
imputation cast on him, or we know not what. Prince Karl is now chief;
and indignant Browne, as may well be the case, dissents a good deal,--as
he has often had to do. Patience, my friend, it is near ending now!
Prince Karl means to lie quiet on the Ziscaberg, and hold Prag; does not
think of molesting Friedrich in his solitary state; and will undertake
nothing, "till Konigseck, from Jung-Bunzlau, come in," victorious or
not; or till perhaps even Daun arrive (who is, rather slowly, gathering
reinforcement in Maren): "What can the enemy attempt on us, in a Post of
this strength?" thinks Prince Karl. And Browne, whatever his insight or
convictions be, has to keep silence.

"Weissenberg," let readers be reminded, "is on the hither or western
side of Prag: the Hradschin [pronounce RadSHEEN, with accent on the last
syllable, as in "SchwerIN" and other such cases], the Hradschin, which
is the topmost summit of the City and of the Fashionable Quarter,--old
Bohemian Palace, still occasionally habitable as such, and in constant
use as a DOWNING STREET,--lies on the slope or shoulder of the
Weissenberg, a good way from the top; and has a web of streets rushing
down from it, steepest streets in the world; till they reach the Bridge,
and broad-flowing Moldau (broad as Thames at half-flood, but nothing
like so deep); after which the streets become level, and spread out in
intricate plenty to right and to left, and ahead eastward, across the
River, till the Ziscaberg, with frowning precipitous brow, suddenly
puts a stop to them in that particular direction. From Ziscaberg top to
Weissenberg top may be about five English miles; from the Hradschin
to the foot of Ziscaberg, northwest to southeast, will be half that
distance, the greatest length of Prag City. Which is rather rhomboidal
in shape, its longer diagonal this that we mention. The shorter
diagonal, from northmost base of Ziscaberg to southmost of Hradschin, is
perhaps a couple of miles. Prag stands nestled in the lap of mountains;
and is not in itself a strong place in war: but the country round
it, Moldau ploughing his rugged chasm of a passage through the piled
table-land, is difficult to manoeuvre in.

"Moldau Valley comes straight from the south, crosses Prag; and--making,
on its outgate at the northern end of Prag (end of 'shortest diagonal'
just spoken of), one big loop, or bend and counter-bend, of horse-shoe
shape," which will be notable to us anon--"again proceeds straight
northward and Elbe-ward. It is narrow everywhere, especially when once
got fairly north of Prag; and runs along like a Quasi-Highland Strath,
amid rocks and hills. Big Hill-ranges, not to be called barren, yet with
rock enough on each hand, and fine side valleys opening here and there:
the bottom of your Strath, which is green and fertile, with pleasant
busy Villages (much intent on water-power and cotton-spinning in our
time), is generally of few furlongs in breadth. And so it lasts, this
pleasant Moldau Valley, mile after mile, on the northern or Lower
Moldau, generally straight north, though with one big bend eastward just
before ending; and not till near Melnick, or the mouth of Moldau, do
we emerge on that grand Elbe Valley,--glanced at once already, from
Pascopol or other Height, in the Lobositz times."

Friedrich's first problem is the junction with Schwerin: junction not
to be accomplished south of Ziscaberg in the present circumstances; and
which Friedrich knows to be a ticklish operation, with those Austrians
looking on from the high grounds there. Tuesday, 3d May, in the way
of reconnoitring, and decisively on Wednesday, 4th, Friedrich is off
northward, along the western heights of Lower Moldau, proper force
following him, to seek a fit place for the pontoons, and get across in
that northern quarter. "How dangerous that Schwerin is a day too late!"
murmurs he; but hopes the Austrians will undertake nothing. Keith,
with 30,000, he has left on the Weissenberg, to straiten Prag and the
Austrian Garrison on that side: our wagon-trains arrive from Leitmeritz
on that side, Elbe-boats bring them up to Leitmeritz; very indispensable
to guard that side of Prag. Friedrich's fixed purpose also is to beat
the Austrians, on the other side of it, and send them packing; but for
that, there are steps needful!

Up so far as Lissoley, the first day, Friedrich has found no fit place;
but on the morrow, Thursday, 5th, farther up, at a place called Seltz,
Friedrich finds his side of the Strath to be "a little higher than the
other,"--proper, therefore, for cannonading the other, if need be;--and
orders his pontoons to be built together there. He knows accurately of
the Schwerin Column, of the comfortable Bevern Victory at Reichenberg,
and how they have got the Jung-Bunzlau Magazine, and are across the
Elbe, their bridges all secured, though with delay of one day; and do
now wait only for the word,--for the three cannon-shot, in fact, which
are to signify that Friedrich is actually crossing to their side of
Lower Moldau.

Friedrich's Bridge is speedily built (trained human hands can be no
speedier), his batteries planted, his precautions taken: the three
cannon-shot go off, audible to Schwerin; and Friedrich's troops stream
speedily across, hardly a Pandour to meddle with them. Nay, before the
passage was complete--what light-horse squadrons are these? Hussars,
seen to be Seidlitz's (missioned by Schwerin), appear on the outskirts:
a meeting worthy of three cheers, surely, after such a march on both
sides! Friedrich lies on the eastern Hill-tops that night (Hamlet of
Czimitz his Head-quarter, discoverable if you wish it, scarcely three
miles north of Prag); and accurate appointment is made with Schwerin
as to the meeting-place to-morrow morning. Meeting-place is to be the
environs of Prossik Village, southeastward over yonder, short way north
of the Prag-Konigsgratz Highway; and rather nearer Prag than we now
are, in Czimitz here: time at Prossik to be 6 A.M. by the clock; and
Winterfeld and Schwerin to come in person and speak with his Majesty.
This is the program for Friday, May 6th, which proves to be so memorable
a day.

Schwerin is on foot by the stroke of midnight; comes along, "over the
heights of Chaber," by half a dozen, or I know not how many roads;
visible in due time to Friedrich's people, who are likewise punctually
on the advance: in a word, the junction is accomplished with all
correctness. And, while the Columns are marching up, Schwerin and
Winterfeld ride about in personal conference with his Majesty; taking
survey, through spy-glasses, of those Austrians encamped yonder on the
broad back of their Zisca Hill, a couple of miles to southward. "What a
set of Austrians," exclaim military critics, "to permit such junction,
without effort to devour the one half or the other, in good time!"
Friedrich himself, it is probable, might partly be of the same opinion;
but he knew his Austrians, and had made bold to venture. Friedrich, we
can observe, always got to know his man, after fighting him a month or
two; and took liberties with him, or did not take, accordingly. And,
for most part,--not quite always, as one signal exception will Show,--he
does it with perfect accuracy; and often with vital profit to his
measures. "If the Austrian cooking-tents are a-smoke before eight in the
morning," notes he, "you may calculate, in such case, the Austrians will
march that day." [MILITARY INSTRUCTIONS.] With a surprising vividness of
eye and mind (beautiful to rival, if one could), he watches the signs of
the times, of the hours and the days and the places; and prophesies from
them; reads men and their procedures, as if they were mere handwriting,
not too cramp for him.--The Austrians have, by this time, got their
Konigseck home, very unvictorious, but still on foot, all but a thousand
or two: they are already stronger than the Prussians by count of
heads; and till even Daun come up, what hurry in a Post like this? The
Austrians are viewing Friedrich, too, this morning; but in the blankest
manner: their outposts fire a cannon-shot or two on his group of
adjutants and him, without effect; and the Head people send their
cavalry out to forage, so little prophecy have they from signs seen.

Zisca Hill, where the Austrians now are, rises sheer up, of well-nigh
precipitous steepness, though there are trees and grass on it, from
the eastern side of Prag, say five or six hundred feet. A steep,
picturesque, massive green Hill; Moldau River, turning suddenly to
right, strikes the northwest corner of it (has flowed well to west of
it, till then), and winds eastward round its northern base. As will
be noticed presently. The ascent of Ziscaberg, by roads, is steep and
tedious: but once at the top, you find that it is precipitous on two
sides only, the City or westward side, and the Moldau or northward.
Atop it spreads out, far and wide, into a waving upland level; bare
of hedges; ploughable all of it, studded with littery hamlets and
farmsteadings; far and wide, a kind of Plain, sloping with extreme
gentleness, five or six miles to eastward, and as far to southward,
before the level perceptibly rise again.

Another feature of the Ziscaberg, already hinted at, is very notable:
that of the Moldau skirting its northern base, and scarping the Hill,
on that side too, into a precipitous, or very steep condition. Moldau
having arrived from southward, fairly past the end of Ziscaberg, had,
so to speak, made up his mind to go right eastward, quarrying his way
through the lower uplands there, And he proceeds accordingly, hugging
the northern base of Ziscaberg, and making it steep enough; but finds,
in the course of a mile or so, that he can no more; upland being still
rock-built, not underminable farther; and so is obliged to wind round
again, to northward, and finally straight westward, the way he came,
or parallel to the way he came; and has effected that great Horse-shoe
Hollow we heard of lately. An extremely pretty Hollow, and curious to
look upon; pretty villas, gardens, and a "Belvedere Park," laid out in
the bottom part; with green mountain-walls rising all round it, and a
silver ring of river at the base of them: length of Horse-shoe, from
heel to toe, or from west to east, is perhaps a mile; breadth, from heel
to heel, perhaps half as much. Having arrived at his old distance
to west, Moldau, like a repentant prodigal, and as if ashamed of his
frolic, just over against the old point he swerved from, takes straight
to northward again. Straight northward; and quarries out that fine
narrow valley, or Quasi-Highland Strath, with its pleasant busy
villages, where he turns the overshot machinery, and where Friedrich and
his men had their pontoons swimming yesterday.

It is here, on this broad back of the Ziscaberg, that the Austrians now
lie; looking northward over to the King, and trying cannon-shots
upon him. There they have been encamping, and diligently intrenching
themselves for four days past; diligent especially since yesterday, when
they heard of Friedrich's crossing the River. Their groups of tents,
and batteries at all the good points, stretch from near the crown of
Ziscaberg, eastward to the Villages of Hlaupetin, Kyge, and their
Lakes, near four miles; and rearward into the interior one knows not how
far;--Prince Karl, hardly awake yet, lies at Nussel, near the Moldau,
near the Wischerad or southeastmost point of Prag; six good miles
west-by-south of Kyge, at the other end of the diagonal line. About the
same distance, right east from Nussel, and a mile or more to south of
Kyge, over yonder, is a littery Farmstead named Sterbohol, which is
not yet occupied by the Austrians, but will become very famous in their
War-Annals, this day!--

Where the Austrian Camp or various Tent-groups were, at the time
Friedrich first cast eye on them, is no great concern of his or ours;
inasmuch as, in two or three hours hence, the Austrians were obliged,
rather suddenly, to take Order of Battle; and that, and not their
camping, is the thing we are curious upon. Let us step across, and take
some survey of that Austrian ground, which Friedrich is now surveying
from the distance, fully intending that it shall be a battle-ground in
few hours; and try to explain how the Austrians drew up on it, when they
noticed the Prussian symptoms to become serious more and more. By nine
in the morning,--some two hours after Friedrich began his scanning, and
the Austrian outposts their firing of stray cannon-shots on him,--it is
Battle-lines, not empty Tents (which there was not time to strike), that
salute the eye over yonder.

From behind that verdant Horse-shoe Chasm we spoke of, buttressed by
the inaccessible steeps, and the Moldau, double-folded in the form of
Horse-shoe, all along the brow of that sloping expanse, stands (by 9
A.M. "foragers all suddenly called in") the Austrian front; the second
line and the reserve, parallel to it, at good distances behind. Ranked
there; say 65,000 regulars (Prussian force little short of the same),
on the brow of Ziscaberg slope, some four miles long. Their right wing
ends, in strong batteries, in intricate marshes, knolls, lakelets,
between Hlaupetin and Kyge: the extreme of their left wing looks over on
that Horse-shoe Hollow, where Moldau tried to dig his way, but could not
and had to turn back. They have numerous redoubts, in front and in all
the good places; and are busy with more, some of them just now getting
finished, treble-quick, while the Prussians are seen under way. As many
as sixty heavy cannon in battery up and down: of field-pieces they
have a hundred and fifty. Excellent always with their Artillery, these
Austrians; plenty of it, well-placed and well-served: thanks to Prince
Lichtenstein's fine labors within these ten years past. [_OEuvres
de Frederic,_ (in several places); see Hormayr,? Lichtenstein.] The
villages, the farmsteads, are occupied; every rising ground especially
has its battery,--Homoly Berg, Tabor Berg, "Mount of Tabor;" say
KNOLL of Tabor (nothing like so high as Battersea Rise, hardly even
as Constitution Hill), though scriptural Zisca would make a Mount of
it;--these, and other BERGS of the like type.

That is the Austrian Battle Order (as it stood about 9, though it had
still to change a little, as we shall see): their first line, straight
or nearly so, looking northward, stands on the brow of the Zisca Slope;
their second and their third, singularly like it, at the due distances
behind;--in the intervals, their tents, which stand scattered, in groups
wide apart, in the ample interior to southward. The cavalry is on
both wings; left wing, behind that Moldau Chasm, cannot attack nor be
attacked,--except it were on hippogriffs, and its enemy on the
like, capable of fighting in the air, overhead of these Belvedere
Pleasure-grounds: perhaps Prince Karl will remedy this oversight; fruit
of close following of the orthodox practice? Prince Karl, supreme Chief,
commands on the left wing; Browne on the right, where he can attack or
be attacked, NOT on hippogriffs. As we shall see, and others will! Light
horse, in any quantity, hang scattered on all outskirts. With foot, with
cannon batteries, with horse, light or heavy, they cover in long broad
flood the whole of that Zisca Slope, to near where it ceases, and the
ground to eastward begins perceptibly to rise again.

In this latter quarter, Zisca Slope, now nearly ended, begins to get
very swampy in parts; on the eastern border of the Austrian Camp, at
Kyge, Hostawitz, and beyond it southward, about Sterbohol and Michelup,
there are many little lakelets; artificial fish-ponds, several of them,
with their sluices, dams and apparatus: a ragged broadish lacing of
ponds and lakelets (all well dried in our day) straggles and zigzags
along there, connected by the miserablest Brook in nature, which takes
to oozing and serpentizing forward thereabouts, and does finally get
emptied, now in a rather livelier condition, into the Moldau, about the
TOE-part of that Horse-shoe or Belvedere region. It runs in sight of the
King, I think, where he now is; this lower livelier part of it: little
does the King know how important the upper oozing portion of it will
be to him this day. Near Michelup are lakelets worth noticing; a little
under Sterbohol, in the course of this miserable Brook, is a string of
fish-ponds, with their sluices open at this time, the water out, and
the mud bottom sown with herb-provender for the intended carps, which
is coming on beautifully, green as leeks, and nearly ready for the fish
getting to it again.

Friedrich surveys diligently what he can of all this, from the northern
verge. We will now return to Friedrich; and will stay on his side
through the terrible Action that is coming. Battle of Prag, one of the
furious Battles of the World; loud as Doomsday;--the very Emblem of
which, done on the Piano by females of energy, scatters mankind to
flight who love their ears! Of this great Action the Narratives old and
modern are innumerable; false some of them, unintelligible well-nigh
all. There are three in Lloyd, known probably to some of my readers.
Tempelhof, with criticisms of these three, gives a fourth,--perhaps the
one Narrative which human nature, after much study, can in some sort
understand. Human readers, especially military, I refer to that as their
finale. [In Lloyd, i. 38 et seq. (the Three): in Tempelhof, i. 123
(the Fourth); ib. i. 144 (strength of each Army), 105-149 (remarks of
Tempelhof).--The "HISTORY," or Series of Lectures on the Battles &c. of
this War, "BY THE ROYAL STAFF-OFFICERS"--which, for the last thirty or
forty years, is used as Text-Book, or Military EUCLID, in the Prussian
Cadet-Schools,--appears to possess the fit professorial lucidity and
amplitude; and, in regard to all Official details, enumerations and the
like, is received as of CANONICAL authority: it is not accessible to
the general Public,--though liberally enough conceded in special cases;
whereby, in effect, the main results of it are now become current in
modern Prussian Books. By favor in high quarters, I had once possession
of a copy, for some months; but not, at that time, the possibility
of thoroughly reading any part of it.] Other interest than
military-scientific the Action now has not much. The stormy fire of soul
that blazed that day (higher in no ancient or modern Fight of men) is
extinct, hopeless of resuscitation for English readers. Approximately
what the thing to human eyes might be like; what Friedrich's procedure,
humor and physiognomy of soul was in it: this, especially the latter
head, is what we search for,--had lazy Dryasdust given us almost
anything on this latter head! What little can be gleaned from him
on both heads let us faithfully give, and finish our sad part of the

Friedrich, with his Schwerin and Winterfeld, surveying these things
from the northern edge, admits that the Austrian position is extremely
strong; but he has no doubt that it must be, by some good method,
attacked straightway, and the Austrians got beaten. Indisputably the
enterprise is difficult. Unattackable clearly, the Austrians, on that
left wing of theirs; not in the centre well attackable, nor in the
front at all, with that stiff ground, and such redoubts and points of
strength: but round on their right yonder; take them in flank,--cannot
we? On as far as Kyge, the Three have ridden reconnoitring; and found
no possibility upon the front; nor at Kyge, where the front ends in
batteries, pools and quagmires, is there any. "Difficult, not undoable,"
persists the King: "and it must be straightway set about and got done."
Winterfeld, always for action, is of that opinion, too: and, examining
farther down along their right flank, reports that there the thing is

Feasible perhaps: "but straightway?" objects Schwerin. His men have been
on foot since midnight, and on forced marches for days past: were it not
better to rest for this one day? "Rest:--and Daun, coming on with 30,000
of reinforcement to them, might arrive this night? Never, my good
Feldmarschall;"--and as the Feldmarschall was a man of stiff notions,
and had a tongue of some emphasis, the Dialogue went on, probably with
increasing emphasis on Friedrich's side too, till old Schwerin, with
a quite emphatic flash of countenance, crushing the hat firm over his
brow, exclaims: "Well, your Majesty: the fresher fish the better fish
(FRISCHE FISCHE, GUTE FISCHE): straightway, then!" and springs off on
the gallop southward, he too, seeking some likely point of attack.
He too,--conjointly or not with Winterfeld, I do not know: Winterfeld
himself does not say; whose own modest words on the subject readers
shall see before we finish. But both are mentioned in the Books as
searching, at hand-gallop, in this way: and both, once well round to
south, by the Podschernitz ["Podschernitz" is pronounced PotSHERnitz
(should we happen to mentionn it again); "Kyge," KEEGA.] quarter, with
the Austrian right flank full in view, were agreed that here the thing
was possible. "Infantry to push from this quarter towards Sterbohol
yonder, and then plunge into their redoubts and them! Cavalry may sweep
still farther southward, if found convenient, and even take them in
rear." Both agree that it will do in this way: ground tolerably good,
slightly downwards for us, then slightly upwards again; tolerable for
horse even:--the intermediate lacing of dirty lakelets, the fish-ponds
with their sluices drawn, Schwerin and Winterfeld either did not notice
at all, or thought them insiginificant, interspersed with such beautiful
"pasture-ground,"--of unusual verdure at this early season of the year.

The deployment, or "marching up (AUFMARSCHIREN)" of the Prussians
was wonderful; in their squadrons, in their battalions, horse,
foot, artillery, wheeling, closing, opening; strangely checkering a
country-side,--in movements intricate, chaotic to all but the scientific
eye. Conceive them, flowing along, from the Heights of Chaber, behind
Prossik Hamlet (right wing of infantry plants itself at Prossik, horse
westward of them); and ever onwards in broad many-checkered tide-stream,
eastward, eastward, then southward ("our artillery went through
Podschernitz, the foot and horse a little on this westward side of it"):
intricate, many-glancing tide of coming battle; which, swift, correct
as clock-work, becomes two lines, from Prossik to near Chwala ("baggage
well behind at Gbell"); thence round by Podschernitz quarter; and
descends, steady, swift, tornado-storm so beautifully hidden in it,
towards Sterbohol, there to grip to. Gradually, in stirring up those old
dead pedantic record-books, the fact rises on us: silent whirlwinds
of old Platt-Deutsch fire, beautifully held down, dwell in those mute
masses; better human stuff there is not than that old Teutsch (Dutch,
English, Platt-Deutsch and other varieties); and so disciplined as here
it never was before or since. "In an hour and half," what military men
may count almost incredible, they are fairly on their ground, motionless
the most of them by 9 A.M.; the rest wheeling rightward, as they
successively arrive in the Chwala-Podschernitz localities; and,
descending diligently, Sterbohol way; and will be at their harvest-work

Meanwhile the Austrians, seeing, to their astonishment, these phenomena
to the north, and that it is a quite serious thing, do also rapidly
bestir themselves; swarming like bees;--bringing in their foraging
Cavalry, "No time to change your jacket for a coat:" rank, double-quick!
Browne is on that right wing of theirs: "Bring the left wing over
hither," suggests Browne; "cavalry is useless yonder, unless they had
hippogriffs!"--and (again Browne suggesting) the Austrians make a change
in the position of their right wing, both horse and foot: change which
is of vital importance, though unnoted in many Narratives of this
Battle. Seeing, namely, what the Prussians intend, they wheel their
right wing (say the last furlong or two of their long Line of Battle)
half round to right; so that the last furlong or two stands at right
angles ("EN POTENCE," gallows-wise, or joiner's-square-wise to the
rest); and, in this way, make front to the Prussian onslaught,--front
now, not flank, as the Prussians are anticipating. This is an important
wheel to right, and formation in joiner's-square manner; and involves no
end of interior wheeling, marching and deploying; which Austrians cannot
manage with Prussian velocity. "Swift with it, here about Sterbohol
at least, my men! For here are the Prussians within wind of us!" urges
Browne. And here straightway the hurricane does break loose.

Winterfeld, the van of Schwerin's infantry (Schwerin's own regiment,
and some others, with him), is striding rapidly on Sterbohol; Winterfeld
catches it before Browne can. But near by, behind that important
post, on the Homely Hill (BERG or "Mountain," nothing like so high as
Constitution Mountain), are cannon-batteries of devouring quality; which
awaken on Winterfeld, as he rushes out double-quick on the advancing
Austrians; and are fatal to Winterfeld's attempt, and nearly to
Winterfeld himself. Winterfeld, heavily wounded, sank in swoon from his
horse; and awakening again in a pool of blood, found his men all off,
rushing back upon the main Schwerin body; "Austrian grenadiers gazing on
the thing, about eighty paces off, not venturing to follow." Winterfeld,
half dead, scrambled across to Schwerin, who has now come up with the
main body, his front line fronting the Austrians here. And there
ensued, about Sterbohol and neighborhood, led on by Schwerin, such a
death-wrestle as was seldom seen in the Annals of War. Winterfeld's miss
of Sterbohol was the beginning of it: the exact course of sequel none
can describe, though the end is well known.

The Austrians now hold Sterbohol with firm grip, backed by those
batteries from Homoly Hill. Redoubts, cannon-batteries, as we said,
stud all the field; the Austrian stock of artillery is very great;
arrangement of it cunning, practice excellent; does honor to Prince
Lichtenstein, and indeed is the real force of the Austrians on this
occasion. Schwerin must have Sterbohol, in spite of batteries and ranked
Austrians, and Winterfeld's recoil tumbling round him:--and rarely had
the oldest veteran such a problem. Old Schwerin (fiery as ever, at the
age of 73) has been in many battles, from Blenheim onwards; and now has
got to his hottest and his last. "Vanguard could not do it; main body,
we hope, kindling all the hotter, perhaps may!" A most willing mind is
in these Prussians of Schwerin's: fatigue of over-marching has tired
the muscles of them; but their hearts,--all witnesses say, these (and
through these, their very muscles, "always fresh again, after a few
minutes of breathing-time") were beyond comparison, this day!

Schwerin's Prussians, as they "march up" (that is, as they front and
advance upon the Austrians), are everywhere saluted by case-shot, from
Homoly Hill and the batteries northward of Homoly; but march on, this
main line of them, finely regardless of it or of Winterfeld's disaster
by it. The general Prussian Order this day is: "By push of bayonet;
no firing, none, at any rate, till you see the whites of their eyes!"
Swift, steady as on the parade-ground, swiftly making up their gaps
again, the Prussians advance, on these terms; and are now near those
"fine sleek pasture-grounds, unusually green for the season." Figure the
actual stepping upon these "fine pasture-grounds:"--mud-tanks, verdant
with mere "bearding oat-crop" sown there as carp-provender! Figure the
sinking of whole regiments to the knee; to the middle, some of them; the
steady march become a wild sprawl through viscous mud, mere case-shot
singing round you, tearing you away at its ease! Even on those terrible
terms, the Prussians, by dams, by footpaths, sometimes one man abreast,
sprawl steadily forward, trailing their cannon with them; only a few
regiments, in the footpath parts, cannot bring their cannon. Forward;
rank again, when the ground will carry; ever forward, the case-shot
getting ever more murderous! No human pen can describe the deadly chaos
which ensued in that quarter. Which lasted, in desperate fury, issue
dubious, for above three hours; and was the crisis, or essential agony,
of the Battle. Foot-chargings, (once the mud-transit was accomplished),
under storms of grape-shot from Homoly Hill; by and by, Horse-chargings,
Prussian against Austrian, southward of Homoly and Sterbohol,
still farther to the Prussian left; huge whirlpool of tumultuous
death-wrestle, every species of spasmodic effort, on the one side
and the other;--King himself present there, as I dimly discover;
Feldmarschall Browne eminent, in the last of his fields; and, as the old
NIEBELUNGEN has it, "a murder grim and great" going on.

Schwerin's Prussians, in that preliminary struggle through the mud-tanks
(which Winterfeld, I think, had happened to skirt, and avoid), were hard
bested. This, so far as I can learn, was the worst of the chaos, this
preliminary part. Intolerable to human nature, this, or nearly so; even
to human nature of the Platt-Teutsch type, improved by Prussian drill.
Winterfeld's repulse we saw; Schwerin's own Regiment in it. Various
repulses, I perceive, there were,--"fresh regiments from our Second
Line" storming in thereupon; till the poor repulsed people "took
breath," repented, "and themselves stormed in again," say the Books.
Fearful tugging, swagging and swaying is conceivable, in this Sterbohol
problem! And after long scanning, I rather judge it was in the wake of
that first repulse, and not of some other farther on, that the veteran
Schwerin himself got his death. No one times it for us; but the fact is
unforgettable; and in the dim whirl of sequences, dimly places itself
there. Very certain it is, "at sight of his own regiment in retreat,"
Feldmarschall Schwerin seized the colors,--as did other Generals, who
are not named, that day. Seizes the colors, fiery old man: "HERAN, MEINE
KINDER (This way, my sons)!" and rides ahead, along the straight dam
again; his "sons" all turning, and with hot repentance following. "On,
my children, HERAN!" Five bits of grape-shot, deadly each of them, at
once hit the old man; dead he sinks there on his flag; and will never
fight more. "HERAN!" storm the others with hot tears; Adjutant von
Platen takes the flag; Platen, too, is instantly shot; but another
takes it. "HERAN, On!" in wild storm of rage and grief:--in a word,
they manage to do the work at Sterbohol, they and the rest. First line,
Second line, Infantry, Cavalry (and even the very Horses, I suppose),
fighting inexpressibly; conquering one of the worst problems ever seen
in War. For the Austrians too, especially their grenadiers there, stood
to it toughly, and fought like men;--and "every grenadier that survived
of them," as I read afterwards, "got double pay for life."

Done, that Sterbohol work;--those Foot-chargings, Horse-chargings; that
battery of Homoly Hill; and, hanging upon that, all manner of redoubts
and batteries to the rightward and rearward:--but how it was done no
pen can describe, nor any intellect in clear sequence understand. An
enormous MELEE there: new Prussian battalions charging, and ever new,
irrepressible by case-shot, as they successively get up; Marshal Browne
too sending for new battalions at double-quick from his left, disputing
stiffly every inch of his ground. Till at length (hour not given), a
cannon-shot tore away his foot; and he had to be carried into Prag,
mortally wounded. Which probably was a most important circumstance, or
the most important of all.

Important too, I gradually see, was that of the Prussian Horse of the
Left Wing. Prussian Horse of the extreme left, as already noticed, had,
in the mean while, fallen in, well southward, round by certain lakelets
about Michelup, on Browne's extreme right; furiously charging the
Austrian Horse, which stood ranked there in many lines; breaking it,
then again half broken by it; but again rallying, charging it a second
time, then a third time, "both to front and flank, amid whirlwinds
of dust" (Ziethen busy there, not to mention indignant Warnery and
others);--and at length, driving it wholly to the winds: "beyond Nussel,
towards the Sazawa Country;" never seen again that day. Prince Karl
(after Browne's death-wound, or before, I never know) came galloping
to rally that important Right Wing of horse. Prince Karl did his very
utmost there; obtesting, praying, raging, threatening:--but to no
purpose; the Zietheners and others so heavy on the rear of them:--and at
last there came a cramp, or intolerable twinge of spasm, through Prince
Karl's own person (breast or heart), like to take the life of him: so
that he too had to be carried into Prag to the doctors. And his Cavalry
fled at discretion; chased by Ziethen, on Friedrich's express order, and
sent quite over the horizon. Enough, "by about half-past one," Sterbohol
work is thoroughly done: and the Austrian Battle, both its Commanders
gone, has heeled fairly downwards, and is in an ominous way.

The whole of this Austrian Right Wing, horse and foot, batteries and
redoubts, which was put EN POTENCE, or square-wise, to the main battle,
is become a ruin; gone to confusion; hovers in distracted clouds,
seeking roads to run away by, which it ultimately found. Done all this
surely was; and poor Browne, mortally wounded, is being carried off
the ground; but in what sequence done, under what exact vicissitudes
of aspect, special steps of cause and effect, no man can say; and only
imagination, guided by these few data, can paint to itself. Such a
chaotic whirlwind of blood, dust, mud, artillery-thunder, sulphurous
rage, and human death and victory,--who shall pretend to describe it, or
draw, except in the gross, the scientific plan of it?

For, in the mean time,--I think while the dispute at Sterbohol, on the
extreme of the Austrian right wing "in joiner's-square form," was past
the hottest (but nobody will give the hour),--there has occurred
another thing, much calculated to settle that. And, indeed, to settle
everything;--as it did. This was a volunteer exploit, upon the very
elbow or angle of said "joiner's-square;" in the wet grounds between
Hlaupetin and Kyge, a good way north of Sterbohol. Volunteer exploit; on
the part of General Mannstein, our old Russian friend; which Friedrich,
a long way off from it, blames as a rash fault of Mannstein's, made good
by Prince Henri and Ferdinand of Brunswick running up to mend it; but
which Winterfeld, and subsequent good judges, admit to have been highly
salutary, and to have finished everything. It went, if I read right,
somewhat as follows.

In the Kyge-Hlaupetin quarter, at the corner of that Austrian right
wing EN POTENCE, there had, much contrary to Browne's intention, a
perceptible gap occurred; the corner is open there; nothing in it but
batteries and swamps. The Austrian right wing, wheeling southward, there
to form POTENCE; and scrambling and marching, then and subsequently,
through such ground at double-quick, had gone too far (had thinned and
lengthened itself, as is common, in such scrambling, and double-quick
movement, thinks Tempelhof), and left a little gap at elbow; which
always rather widened as the stress at Sterbohol went on. Certain
enough, a gap there is, covered only by some half-moon battery in
advance: into this, General Mannstein has been looking wistfully a long
time: "Austrian Line fallen out at elbow yonder; clouted by some battery
in advance?"--and at length cannot help dashing loose on it with
his Division. A man liable to be rash, and always too impetuous in

He would have fared ill, thinks Friedrich, had not Henri and Ferdinand,
in pain for Mannstein (some think, privately in preconcert with
him), hastened in to help; and done it altogether in a shining way;
surmounting perilous difficulties not a few. Hard fighting in that
corner, partly on the Sterbohol terms; batteries, mud-tanks; chargings,
rechargings: "Comrades, you have got honor enough, KAMERADEN, IHR HABT
EHRE GENUG [the second man of you lying dead]; let us now try!" said a
certain Regiment to a certain other, in this business. [Archenholtz, i.
75; Tempelhof, &c.] Prince Henri shone especially, the gallant little
gentleman: coming upon one of those mud-tanks with battery beyond, his
men were spreading file-wise, to cross it on the dams; "BURSCHE, this
way!" cried the Prince, and plunged in middle-deep, right upon the
battery; and over it, and victoriously took possession of it. In a word,
they all plunge forward, in a shining manner; rush on those half-moon
batteries, regardless of results; rush over them, seize and secure them.
Rush, in a word, fairly into that Austrian hole-at-elbow, torrents more
following them,--and irretrievably ruin both fore-arm and shoulder-arm
of the Austrians thereby.

Fore-arm (Austrian right wing, if still struggling and wriggling about
Sterbohol) is taken in flank; shoulder-arm, or main line, the like;
we have them both in flank; with their own batteries to scour them to
destruction here:--the Austrian Line, throughout, is become a ruin.
Has to hurl itself rapidly to rightwards, to rearwards, says Tempelhof,
behind what redoubts and strong points it may have in those parts; and
then, by sure stages (Tempelhof guesses three, or perhaps four), as one
redoubt after another is torn from the loose grasp of it, and the stand
made becomes ever weaker, and the confusion worse,--to roll pell-mell
into Prag, and hastily close the door behind it. The Prussians,
Sterbohol people, Mannstein-Henri people, left wing and right, are quite
across the Zisca Back, on by Nussel (Prince Earl's head-quarter that
was), and at the Moldau Brink again, when the thing ends. Ziethen's
Hussars have been at Nussel, very busy plundering there, ever since that
final charge and chase from Sterbohol. Plundering; and, I am ashamed
to say, mostly drunk: "Your Majesty, I cannot rank a hundred sober,"
answered Ziethen (doubtless with a kind of blush), when the King applied
for them. The King himself has got to Branik, farther up stream. Part
of the Austrian foot fled, leftwards, southwards, as their right wing
of horse had all done, up the Moldau. About 16,000 Austrians are
distractedly on flight that way. Towards, the Sazawa Country; to unite
with Daun, as the now advisable thing. Near 40,000 of them are getting
crammed into Prag; in spite of Prince Karl, now recovered of his cramp,
and risen to the frantic pitch; who vainly struggles at the Gate
against such inrush, and had even got through the Gate, conjuring and
commanding, but was himself swum in again by those panic torrents of

Rallying within, he again attempted, twice over, at two different
points, to get out, and up the Moldau, with his broken people; but the
Prussians, Nussel-Branik way, were awake to him: "No retreat up the
Moldau for you, Austrian gentlemen!" They tried by another Gate, on the
other side of the River; but Keith was awake too: "In again, ye Austrian
gentlemen! Closed gates here too. What else?" Browne, from his bed of
pain (death-bed, as it proved), was for a much more determined outrush:
"In the dead of night, rank, deliberately adjust yourselves; storm out,
one and all, and cut your way, night favoring!" That was Browne's last
counsel; but that also was not taken. A really noble Browne, say all
judges; died here in about six weeks,--and got away from Kriegs-Hofraths
and Prince Karls, and the stupidity of neighbors, and the other ills
that flesh is heir to, altogether.

At Branik the victorious King had one great disappointment: Prince
Moritz of Dessau, who should have been here long hours ago, with Keith's
right wing, a fresh 15,000, to fall upon the enemy's rear;--no Moritz
visible; not even now, when the business is to chase! "How is this?" "Ill
luck, your Majesty!" Moritz's Pontoon Bridge would not reach across,
when he tried it. That is certain: "just three poor pontoons wanting,"
Rumor says:--three or more; spoiled, I am told, in some narrow road,
some short-cut which Moritz had commanded for them: and now they are
not; and it is as if three hundred had been spoiled. Moritz, would
he die for it, cannot get his Bridge to reach: his fresh 15,000 stand
futile there; not even Seidlitz with his light horse could really swim
across, though he tried hard, and is fabled to have done so. Beware of
short-cuts, my Prince: your Father that is gone, what would he say of
you here! It was the worst mistake Prince Moritz ever made. The Austrian
Army might have been annihilated, say judges (of a sanguine temper), had
Moritz been ready, at his hour, to fall on from rearward;--and where had
their retreat been? As it is, the Austrian Army is not annihilated; only
bottled into Prag, and will need sieging. The brightest triumph has
a bar of black in it, and might always have been brighter. Here is a
flying Note, which I will subjoin:--

Friedrich's dispositions for the Battle, this day, are allowed to have
been masterly; but there was one signal fault, thinks Retzow: That
he did not, as Schwerin counselled, wait till the morrow. Fault which
brought many in the train of it; that of his "tired soldiers," says
Retzow, being only a first item, and small in comparison. "Had he waited
till the morrow, those fish-ponds of Sterbohol, examined in the interim,
need not have been mistaken for green meadows; Prince Moritz, with his
15,000, would have been a fact, instead of a false hope; the King might
have done his marching down upon Sterbohol in the night-time, and been
ready for the Austrians, flank, or even rear, at daybreak: the King
might"--In reality, this fault seems to have been considerable; to have
made the victory far more costly to him, and far less complete. No doubt
he had his reasons for making haste: Daun, advancing Prag-ward with
30,000, was within three marches of him; General Beck, Daun's vanguard,
with a 10,000 of irregulars, did a kind of feat at Brandeis, on the
Prussian post there (our Saxons deserting to him, in the heat of
action), this very day, May 6th; and might, if lucky, have taken part at
Ziscaberg next day. And besides these solid reasons, there was perhaps
another. Retzow, who is secretly of the Opposition-party, and well worth
hearing, knows personally a curious thing. He says:--

"Being then [in March or April, weeks before we left Saxony] employed to
translate the PLAN OF OPERATIONS into French, for Marshal Keith's
use, who did not understand German, I well know that it contained the
following three main objects: 1. 'All Regiments cantoning in Silesia as
well as Saxony march for Bohemia on one and the same day. 2. Whole Army
arrives at Prag May 4th [Schwerin was a day later, and got scolded in
consequence]; if the Enemy stand, he is attacked May 6th, and beaten.
3. So soon as Prag is got, Schwerin, with the gross of the Army, pushes
into Mahren,' and the heart of Austria itself; 'King hastens with 40,000
to help of the Allied Army,'"--Royal Highness of Cumberland's; who will
much need it by that time! [Retzow, i. 84 n.]

Here is a very curious fact and consideration. That the King had so
prophesied and preordained: "May 4th, Four Columns arrive at Prag; May
6th, attack the Austrians, beat them,"--and now wished to keep his word!
This is an aerial reason, which I can suspect to have had its weight
among others. There were twirls of that kind in Friedrich; intricate
weak places; knots in the sound straight-fibred mind he had (as in
whose mind are they not?),--which now and then cost him dear! The
Anecdote-Books say he was very ill of body, that day, May 6th; and
called for something of drug nature, and swallowed it (drug not named),
after getting on horseback. The Evening Anecdote is prettier: How, in
the rushing about, Austrians now flying, he got eye on Brother Henri
(clayey to a degree); and sat down with him, in the blessed sunset, for
a minute or two, and bewailed his sad losses of Schwerin and others.

Certain it is, the victory was bought by hard fighting; and but for
the quality of his troops, had not been there. But the bravery of the
Prussians was exemplary, and covered all mistakes that were made. Nobler
fire, when did it burn in any Army? More perfect soldiers I have
not read of. Platt-Teutsch fire--which I liken to anthracite, in
contradistinction to Gaelic blaze of kindled straw--is thrice noble,
when, by strict stern discipline, you are above it withal; and wield
your fire-element, as Jove his thunder, by rule! Otherwise it is but
half-admirable: Turk-Janissaries have it otherwise; and it comes to
comparatively little.

This is the famed Battle of Prag; fought May 6th, 1757; which sounded
through all the world,--and used to deafen us in drawing-rooms within
man's memory. Results of it were: On the Prussian side, killed, wounded
and missing, 12,500 men; on the Austrian, 13,000 (prisoners included),
with many flags, cannon, tents, much war-gear gone the wrong road;--and
a very great humiliation and dispiritment; though they had fought well:
"No longer the old Austrians, by any means," as Friedrich sees; but have
iron ramrods, all manner of Prussian improvements, and are "learning to
march," as he once says, with surprise not quite pleasant.

Friedrich gives the cipher of loss, on both sides, much higher: "This
Battle," says he, "which began towards nine in the morning, and lasted,
chase included, till eight at night, was one of the bloodiest of the
age. The Enemy lost 24,000 men, of whom were 5,000 prisoners; the
Prussian loss amounted to 18,000 fighting men,--without counting Marshal
Schwerin, who alone was worth above 10,000." "This day saw the pillars
of the Prussian Infantry cut down," says he mournfully, seeming almost
to think the "laurels of victory" were purchased too dear. His account
of the Battle, as if it had been a painful object, rather avoided in
his after-thoughts, is unusually indistinct;--and helps us little in the
extreme confusion that reigns otherwise, both in the thing itself and in
the reporters of the thing. Here is a word from Winterfeld, some private
Letter, two days after; which is well worth reading for those who would
understand this Battle.

"The enemy had his Left Wing leaning on the City, close by the Moldau,"
at Nussel; "and stretched with his Right Wing across the high Hill [of
Zisca] to the village of Lieben [so he HAD stood, looking into Prag;
but faced about, on hearing that Friedrich was across the River]; having
before him those terrible Defiles [DIE TERRIBLEN DEFILEES, "Horse-shoe
of the Moldau," as we call it], and the village of Prossik, which was
crammed with Pandours. It was about half-past six in the morning, when
our Schwerin Army [myself part of it, at this time] joined with the
twenty battalions and twenty squadrons, which the King had brought
across to unite with us, and which formed our right wing of battle that
day [our left wing were Schweriners, Sterbohol and the fighting done by
Schweriners after their long march]. The King was at once determined to
attack the Enemy; as also were Schwerin [say nothing of the arguing] and
your humble servant (MEINE WENIGKEIT): but the first thing was, to find
a hole whereby to get at him.

"This too was selected, and decided on, my proposal being found good;
and took effect in manner following: We [Schweriners] had marched off
left-wise, foremost; and we now, without halt, continued marching so
with the Left Wing" of horse, "which had the van (TETE); and moved on,
keeping the road for Hlaupetin, and ever thence onwards along for Kyge,
round the Ponds of Unter-Podschernitz, without needing to pass these,
and so as to get them in our rear.

"The Enemy, who at first had expected nothing bad, and never supposed
that we would attack him at once, FLAGRANTE DELICTO, and least of all in
this point; and did not believe it possible, as we should have to wade,
breast-deep in part, through the ditches, and drag our cannon,--was at
first quite tranquil. But as he began to perceive our real design (in
which, they say, Prince Karl was the first to open Marshal Browne's
eyes), he drew his whole Cavalry over towards us, as fast as it could
be done, and stretched them out as Right Wing; to complete which, his
Grenadiers and Hungarian Regulars of Foot ranked themselves as they
got up [makes his POTENCE, HAKEN, or joiner's-square, outmost end of it

"The Enemy's intention was to hold with the Right Wing of his infantry
on the Farmstead which they call Sterbaholy [Sterbohol, a very dirty
Farmstead at this day]; I, however, had the good luck, plunging on, head
foremost, with six battalions of our Left Wing and two of the Flank, to
get to it before him. Although our Second Line was not yet come forward,
yet, as the battalions of the First were tolerably well together, I
decided, with General Fouquet, who had charge of the Flank, to begin
at once; and, that the Enemy might not have time to post himself still
better, I pushed forward, quick step, out of the Farmstead" of Sterbohol
"to meet him,--so fast, that even our cannon had not time to follow. He
did, accordingly, begin to waver; and I could observe that his people
here, on this Wing, were making right-about.

"Meanwhile, his fire of case-shot opened [from Homoly Hill, on our
left], and we were still pushing on,--might now be about two hundred
steps from the Enemy's Line, when I had the misfortune, at the head of
Regiment Schwerin, to get wounded, and, swooning away (VOR TOD), fell
from my horse to the ground. Awakening after some minutes, and raising
my head to look about, I found nobody of our people now here beside or
round me; but all were already behind, in full flood of retreat (HOCH
ANSCHLAGEN). The Enemy's Grenadiers were perhaps eighty paces from me;
but had halted, and had not the confidence to follow us. I struggled to
my feet, as fast as, for weakness, I possibly could; and got up to our
confused mass [CONFUSEN KLUMPEN,--exact place, where?]: but could not,
by entreaties or by threats, persuade a single man of them to turn his
face on the Enemy, much less to halt and try again.

"In this embarrassment the deceased Feldmarschall found me, and noticed
that the blood was flowing stream-wise from my neck. As I was on foot,
and none of my people now near, he bade give me his led horse which he
still had [and sent me home for surgery? Winterfeld, handsomely effacing
himself when no longer good for anything, hurries on to the Catastrophe,
leaving us to guess that he was NOT an eye-witness farther]--bade
give me the led horse which he still had; AND [as if that had happened
directly after, which surely it did not? AND] snatched the flag from
Captain Rohr, who had taken it up to make the Bursche turn, and rode
forward with it himself.' But before he could succeed in the attempt,
this excellent man, almost in a minute, was hit with five case-shot
balls, and fell dead on the ground; as also his brave Adjutant von
Platen was so wounded that he died next day.

"During this confusion and repulse, by which, as already mentioned, the
Enemy had not the heart to profit, not only was our Second Line come on,
but those of the First, who had not suffered, went vigorously (FRISCH)
at the Enemy,"--and in course of time (perhaps two hours yet), and by
dint of effort, we did manage Sterbohol and its batteries:--"Like as
[still in one sentence, and without the least punctuation; Winterfeld
being little of a grammarian, and in haste for the close], Like as
Prince Henri's Royal Highness with our Right Wing," Mannstein and he,
"without waiting for order, attacked so PROMPT and with such FERMOTE,"
in that elbow-hole far north of US, "that everywhere the Enemy's Line
began to give way; and instead of continuing as Line, sought corps-wise
to gain the Heights, and there post itself. And as, without winning
said Heights, we could not win the Battle, we had to storm them all, one
after the other; and this it was that cost us the best, most and bravest

"The late Colonel von Goltz [if we glance back to Sterbohol itself],
who, with the regiment Fouquet, was advancing, right-hand of Schwerin
regiment" and your servant, "had likewise got quite close to the Enemy;
and had he not, at the very instant when he was levelling bayonets, been
shot down, I think that he, with myself and the Schwerin regiment, would
have got in,"--and perhaps have there done the job, special and general,
with much less expense, and sooner! [Preuss, ii. 45-47 (in Winterfeld's
hand; dated "Camp at Prag, 8th May, 1757:" addressed to one knows not
whom; first printed by Preuss).]

This is what we get from Winterfeld; a rugged, not much grammatical man,
but (as I can perceive) with excellent eyes in his head, and interior
talent for twenty grammatical people, had that been his line. These,
faithfully rendered here, without change but of pointing, are the
only words I ever saw of his: to my regret,--which surely the Prussian
Dryasdust might still amend a little?--in respect of so distinguished
a person, and chosen Peer of Friedrich's. This his brief theory of Prag
Battle, if intensely read, I find to be of a piece with his practice

Schwerin was much lamented in the Army; and has been duly honored ever
since. His body lies in Schwerinsburg, at home, far away; his Monument,
finale of a series of Monuments, stands, now under special guardianship,
near Sterbohol on the spot where he fell. A late Tourist says:--

"At first there was a monument of wood [TREE planted, I will hope],
which is now all gone; round this Kaiser Joseph II. once, in the year
1776, holding some review there, made his grenadier battalions and
artilleries form circle, fronting the sky all round, and give three
volleys of great arms and small, Kaiser in the centre doffing hat at
each volley, in honor of the hero. Which was thought a very pretty thing
on the Kaiser's part. In 1824, the tree, I suppose, being gone to a
stump, certain subscribing Prussian Officers had it rooted out, and a
modest Pyramid of red-veined marble built in its room. Which latter
the then King of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm III., determined to improve
upon; and so, in 1839, built a second Pyramid close by, bigger, finer,
and of Prussian iron, this one;--purchasing also, from the Austrian
Government, a rood or two of ground for site; and appointing some
perpetual Peculium, or increase of Pension to an Austrian Veteran of
merit for taking charge there. All which, perfectly in order, is in
its place at this day. The actual Austrian Pensioner of merit is a
loud-voiced, hard-faced, very limited, but honest little fellow; who
has worked a little polygon ditch and miniature hedge round the two
Monuments; keeps his own cottage, little garden, and self, respectably
clean; and leads stoically a lone life,--no company, I should think, but
the Sterbohol hinds, who probably are Czechs and cannot speak to him. He
was once 'of the regiment Hohenlohe;' suffers somewhat from cold, in
the winter-time, in those upland parts (the 'cords of wood' allowed him
being limited); but complains of nothing else. Two English names were
in his Album, a military two, and no more. 'EHRET DEN HELD (Honor the
Hero)!' we said to him, at parting. 'Don't I?' answered he; glancing at
his muddy bare legs and little spade, with which he had been working
in the Polygon Ditch when we arrived. I could wish him an additional
'KLAFTER HOLZ' (cord more of firewood) now and then, in the cold

"Sterbohol Farmstead has been new built, in man's memory, but is dirty
as ever. Agriculture, all over this table-land of the Ziscaberg,
I should judge to be bad. Not so the prospect; which is cheerfully
extensive, picturesque in parts, and to the student of Friedrich offers
good commentary. Roads, mansions, villages: Prossik, Kyge, Podschernitz,
from the Heights of Chaber round to Nussel and beyond: from any
knoll, all Friedrich's Villages, and many more, lie round you as on a
map,--their dirt all hidden, nothing wanting to the landscape, were it
better carpeted with green (green instead of russet), and shaded here
and there with wood. A small wild pink, bright-red, and of the size of
a star, grows extensively about; of which you are tempted to pluck
specimens, as memorial of a Field so famous in War." [Tourist's Note
(September, 1858).]


What Friedrich's emotions after the Battle of Prag were, we do not much
know. They are not inconceivable, if we read his situation well; but
in the way of speech, there is, as usual, next to nothing. Here are two
stray utterances, worth gathering from a man so uncommunicative in that

FRIEDRICH A MONTH BEFORE PRAG (From Lockwitz, 25th March, to Princess
Amelia, at Berlin).--"My dearest Sister, I give you a thousand thanks
for the hints you have got me from Dr. Eller on the illness of our dear
Mother. Thrice-welcome this; and reassures me [alas, not on good basis!]
against a misfortune which I should have considered very great for me.

"As to us and our posture of affairs, political and military,--place
yourself, I conjure you, above every event. Think of our Country and
remember that one's first duty is to defend it. If you learn that a
misfortune happens to one of us, ask, 'Did he die fighting?' and if Yes,
give thanks to God. Victory or else death, there is nothing else for
us; one or the other we must have. All the world here is of that temper.
What! you would everybody sacrifice his life for the State, and you
would not have your Brothers give the example? Ah, my dear Sister, at
this crisis, there is no room for bargaining. Either at the summit of
glorious success, or else abolished altogether. This Campaign now
coming is like that of Pharsalia for Rome, or that of Leuctra for the
Greeks,"--a Campaign we verily shall have to win, or go to wreck upon!
[_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxvii. i. 391.]

FRIEDERICH SHORTLY AFTER PRAG (To his Mother, Letter still extant in
Autograph, without date).--"My Brothers and I are still well. The whole
Campaign runs risk of being lost to the Austrians; and I find myself
free, with 150,000 men. Add to this, that we are masters of a Kingdom
[Bohemia here], which is obliged to furnish us with troops and money.
The Austrians are dispersed like straw before the wind. I will send a
part of my troops to compliment Messieurs the French; and am going [if I
once had Prag!] to pursue the Austrians with the rest of my Army." [Ib.
xxvi. 75.]

Friedrich, who keeps his emotions generally to himself, does not, as
will be seen, remain quite silent to us throughout this great Year;
but, by accident, has left us some rather impressive gleanings in that
kind;--and certainly in no year could such accident have been luckier to
us; this of 1757 being, in several respects, the greatest of his Life.
From nearly the topmost heights down to the lowest deeps, his fortunes
oscillated this year; and probably, of all the sons of Adam, nobody's
outlooks and reflections had in them, successive and simultaneous, more
gigantic forms of fear and of hope. He is on a very high peak at this
moment; suddenly emerging from his thick cloud, into thunderous victory
of that kind; and warning all Pythons what they get by meddling with
the Sun-god! Loud enough, far-clanging, is the sound of the silver bow;
gazetteers and men all on pause at such new Phoebus Apollo risen in his
wrath;--the Victory at Prag considered to be much more annihilative
than it really was. At London, Lord Holderness had his Tower-guns in
readiness, waiting for something of the kind; and "the joy of the
people was frantic." [_Mitchell Papers and Memoirs_ (i. e the PRINTED
Selection, 2 vols. London, 1850;--which will be the oftenest cited by
us, "Papers AND MEMOIRS"), i. 249: "Holderness to Mitchell, 20th May,
1757." Mitchell is now attending Friedrich; his Letter from Keith's
Camp, during the thunder of "Friday, May 6th," is given, ib. i. 248.]

Very dominant, our "Protestant Champion" yonder, on his Ziscaberg;
bidding the enormous Pompadour-Theresa combinations, the French,
Austrian, Swedish, Russian populations and dread sovereigns, check their
proud waves, and hold at mid-flood. It is thought, had he in effect,
"annihilated" the Austrian force at Prag, that day (Friday, 6th May, as
he might have done by waiting till Saturday, 7th), he could then, with
the due rapidity, rapidity being indispensable in the affair, have
become master of Prag, which meant of Bohemia altogether; and have
stormed forward, as his program bore, into the heart, of an Austria
still terror-stricken, unrallied;--in which case, it is calculated, the
French, the Russians, Swedes, much more the Reich and such like, would
all have drawn bridle; and Austria itself have condescended to make
Peace with a Neighbor of such quality, and consent to his really modest
desire of being let alone! Possible, all this,--think Retzow and
others. [See RETZOW, i. 100-108; &c. ] But the King had not waited till
to-morrow; no persuasion could make him wait: and it is idle speculating
on the small turns which here, as everywhere, can produce such
deflections of course.

Beyond question, Prag is not captured, and may, as now garrisoned,
require a great deal of capturing:--and perhaps it is but a PEAK, this
high dominancy of Friedrich's, not a solid table-land, till much more
have been done! Friedrich has nothing of the Gascon: but there may well
be conceivable at this time a certain glow of internal pride, like
that of Phoebus amid the piled tempests,--like that of the One Man
prevailing, if but for a short season, against the Devil and All Men:
"I have made good my bit, of resolution so far: here are the Austrians
beaten at the set day, and Prag summoned to surrender, as per

Intrinsically, Prag is not a strong City: we have seen it, taken in few
days; in one night;--and again, as in Belleisle's time, we have seen it
making tough defence for a series of weeks. It depends on the garrison,
what extent of garrison (the circuit of it being so immense), and what
height of humor. There are now 46,000 men caged in it, known to have
considerable magazines; and Friedrich, aware that it will cost trouble,
bends all his strength upon it, and from his two camps, Ziscaberg,
Weissenberg, due Bridges uniting, Keith and he batter it, violently,
aiming chiefly at the Magazines (which are not all bomb-proof); and hope
they may succeed before it is too late.

The Vienna people are in the depths of amazement and discouragement;
almost of terror, had it not been for a few, or especially for one high
heart among them. Feldmarschall Daun, on the news of May 6th, hastily
fell back, joined by the wrecks of the right wing, which fled Sazawa
way. Brunswick-Bevern, with a 20,000, is detached to look after Daun;
finds Daun still on the retreat; greedily collecting reinforcements
from the homeward quarter; and hanging back, though now double or so of
Bevern's strength. Amazement and discouragement are the general feeling
among Friedrich's enemies. Notable to see how the whole hostile world
marching in upon him,--French, Russians, much more the Reich, poor
faltering entity,--pauses, as with its breath taken away, at news of
Prag; and, arrested on the sudden, with lifted foot, ceases to stride
forward; and merely tramp-tramps on the same place (nay in part, in the
Reich part, visibly tramps backward), for above a month ensuing!
Who knows whether, practically, any of them will come on; [See
in Preuss, ii. 50); &c. &c.] and not leave Austria by itself to do the
duel with Friedrich? If Prag were but got, and the 46,000 well locked
away, it would be very salutary for Friedrich's affairs!--Week after
week, the City holds out; and there seems no hope of it, except by
hunger, and burning their Magazines by red-hot balls.


Friedrich, as we saw, on entering Bohmen, had shot off a Light
Detachment under Colonel Mayer, southward, to seize any Austrian
Magazines there were, especially one big Magazine at Pilsen:--which
Mayer has handsomely done, May 2d (Pilsen "a bigger Magazine than
Jung-Bunzlau, even"); after which Mayer is now off westward, into the
Ober-Pfalz, into the Nurnberg Countries; to teach the Reich a small
lesson, since they will not listen to Plotho. Prag Battle, as happens,
had already much chilled the ardor of the Reich! Mayer has two
Free-Corps, his own and another; about 1,300 of foot; to which are
added a 200 of hussars. They have 5 cannon, carry otherwise a minimum of
baggage; are swift wild fellows, sharp of stroke; and do, for the time,
prove didactic to the Reich; bringing home to its very bosom the late
great lesson of the Ziscaberg, in an applied form. Mayer made a pretty
course of it, into the Ober-Pfalz Countries; scattering the poor
Execution Drill-Sergeants and incipiencies of preparation, the
deliberative County Meetings, KREIS-Convents: ransoming Cities, Nurnberg
for one city, whose cries went to Friedrich on the Ziscaberg, and wide
over the world. [In _Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 360-367, the Nurnberg
Letter and Response (31st May-5th June, 1757): in Pauli, _Leben grosser
Helden_ (iii. 159 et seq.), Account of the Mayer Expedition; also in
_Militair-Lexikon, _ iii. 29 (quoting from Pauli).] Nurnberg would have
been but too happy to "refuse its contingent to the Reich's Army," as
many others would have been (poor Kur-Baiern hurrying off a kind
of Embassy to Friedrich, great terror reigning among the wigs of
Regensburg, and everybody drawing back that could),--had not Imperial
menaces, and an Event that fell out by and by in Prag Country, forced

Mayer's Expedition made a loud noise in the Newspapers; and was truly
of a shining nature in its kind; very perfectly managed on Mayer's part,
and has traits in it which are amusing to read, had one time. Take one
small glance from Pauli:--

"At Furth in Anspach, 1st June [after six days' screwing of Nurnberg
from without, which we had no cannon to take], a Gratuity for the
Prussian troops [amount not stated] was demanded and given: at
Schwabach, farther up the Regnitz River, they took quarters; no
exemption made, clergy and laity alike getting soldiers billeted. Meat
and drink had to be given them: as also 100 carolines [guineas and
better], and twenty new uniforms. Upon which, next day, they marched
to Zirndorf, and the Reichsgraf Puckler's Mansion, the Schloss of
Farrenbach there. Mayer took quarter in the Schloss itself. Here the
noble owners got up a ball for Mayer's entertainment; and did all they
could contrive to induce a light treatment from him." Figure it, the
neighboring nobility and gentry in gala; Mayer too in his best uniform,
and smiling politely, with those "bright little black eyes" of his! For
he was a brilliant airy kind of fellow, and had much of the chevalier,
as well as of the partisan, when requisite!

"Out of Farrenbach, the Mayer people circulated upon all the neighboring
Lordships; at Wilhelmsdorf, the Reichs-Furst von Hohenlohe [a too busy
Anti-Prussian] had the worst brunt to bear. The adjacent Baireuth lands
[dear Wilhelmina, fancy her too in such neighborhood!] were to the
utmost spared all billeting, and even all transit,"--though wandering
sergeants of the Reich's Force, "one sergeant with the Wurzburg Herr
Commissarius and eight common men, did get picked up on Baireuth ground:
and this or the other Anspach Official (Anspach being disaffected), too
busy on the wrong side, found himself suddenly Prisoner of War; but was
given up, at Wilhelmina's gracious request. On Bamberg he was sharp
as flint; and had to be; the Bambergers, reinforced at last by
'Circle-Militias (KREIS-TRUPPEN)' in quantity, being called out in mass
against him; and at Vach an actual Passage of Fight had occurred."

Of the "Affair at Vach," pretty little Drawn-Battle (mostly an affair
of art), Mayer VERSUS "Kreis-troops to the amount of 6,000, with twelve
cannon, or some say twenty-four" (which they couldn't handle); and how
Mayer cunningly took a position unassailable, "burnt Bridges of the
Regnitz River," and, plying his five cannon against these ardent awkward
people, stood cheerful on the other side; and then at last, in good
time, whisked himself off to the Hill of Culmbach, with all his baggage,
inexpugnable there for three days:--of all this, though it is set down
at full length, we can say nothing. [Pauli, iii. 159, &c. (who gives
Mayer's own LETTER, and others, upon Vach).] And will add only, that,
having girt himself and made his packages, Mayer left the Hill of
Culmbach; and deliberately wended home, by Coburg and other Countries
where he had business, eating his way; and early in July was safe in
the Metal Mountains again; having fluttered the Volscians in their
Frankenland Corioli to an unexpected extent. It is one of five or six
such sallies Friedrich made upon the Reich, sometimes upon the Austrians
and Reich together, to tumble up their magazines and preparations. Rapid
unexpected inroads, year after year; done chiefly by the Free-Corps; and
famous enough to the then Gazetteers. Of which, or of their doers, as
we can in time coming afford little or no notice, let us add this small
Note on the Free-Corps topic, which is a large one in the Books, but
must not interrupt us again:--

"Before this War was done," say my Authorities, "there came gradually
to be twenty-one Prussian Free-Corps,"--foot almost all; there being
already Hussars in quantity, ever since the first Silesian experiences.
"Notable Aggregates they were of loose wandering fellows, broken Saxons,
Prussians, French; 'Hungarian-Protestant' some of them, 'Deserters from
all the Armies' not a few; attracted by the fame of Friedrich,--as the
Colonels enlisting them had been; Mayer himself, for instance, was by
birth a Vienna man; and had been in many services and wars, from
his fifteenth year and onwards. Most miscellaneous, these Prussian
Free-Corps; a swift faculty the indispensable thing, by no means
a particular character: but well-disciplined, well-captained; who
generally managed their work well.

"They were, by origin, of Anti-Tolpatch nature, got up on the
diamond-cut-diamond principle; they stole a good deal, with order
sometimes, and oftener without; but there was nothing of the old
Mentzel-Trenck atrocity permitted them, or ever imputed to them; and
they did, usually with good military talent, sometimes conspicuously
good, what was required of them. Regular Generals, of a high merit, one
or two of their Captains came to be: Wunsch, for example; Werner, in
some sort; and, but for his sudden death, this Mayer himself. Others of
them, as Von Hordt (Hard is his Swedish name); and 'Quintus Icilius'
(by nature GUICHARD, of whom we shall hear a great deal in the Friedrich
circle by and by), are distinguished as honorably intellectual and
cultivated persons. [Count de Hordt's _Memoirs_ (autobiographical, or
in the first person: English Translation, London, 1806; TWO French
Originals, a worse in 1789, and a better now at last), Preface,
i-xii. In _Helden-Geschichte,_ v. 102-104, 93, a detailed "List of the
Free-Corps in 1758" (twelve of foot, two of horse, at that time): see
Preuss, ii. 372 n.; Pauli (ubi supra), _Life of Mayer._]

"Poor Mayer died within two years hence (5th January, 1759); of fever,
caught by unheard-of exertions and over fatigues; after many exploits,
and with the highest prospect, opening on him. A man of many adventures,
of many qualities; a wild dash of chivalry in him all along, and much
military and other talent crossed in the growing. In the dull old Books
I read one other fact which is vivid to me, That Wilhelmina, as sequel
of those first Franconian exploits and procedures, 'had given him her
Order of Knighthood, ORDER OF SINCERITY AND FIDELITY,'"--poor dear
Princess, what an interest to Wilhelmina, this flash of her Brother's
thunder thrown into those Franconian parts, and across her own pungent
anxieties and sorrowfully affectionate thoughts, in these weeks!--

Shortly after Mayer, about the time when Mayer was wending homeward,
General von Oldenburg, a very valiant punctual old General, was pushed
out westward upon Erfurt, a City of Kur-Mainz's, to give Kur-Mainz a
similar monition. And did it handsomely, impressively upon the Gazetteer
world at least and the Erfurt populations,--though we can afford it no
room in this place. Oldenburg's force was but some 2,000; Pirna Saxons
most of them:--such a winter Oldenburg has had with these Saxons;
bursting out into actual musketry upon him once; Oldenburg,
volcanically steady, summoning the Prussian part, "To me, true Prussian
Bursche!"--and hanging nine of the mutinous Saxons. And has coerced
and compesced them (all that did not contrive to desert) into soldierly
obedience; and, 20th June, appears at the Gate of Erfurt with them,
to do his delicate errand there. Sharply conclusive, though polite and
punctual. "Send to Kur-Mainz say you? Well, as to your Citadel, and
those 1,400 soldiers all moving peaceably off thither,--Yes. As to
your City: within one hour, Gate open to us, or we open it!" [In
_Helden-Geschichte_ (v. 371-384) copious Account, with the Missives
to and from, the Reichs-Pleadings that followed, the &c. &c.
_Militair-Lexikon,_? Oldenburg.] And Oldenburg marches in, as
vice-sovereign for the time:--but, indeed, has soon to leave again;
owing to what Event in the distance will be seen!

If Prag Siege go well, these Mayer-Oldenburg expeditions will have an
effect on the Reich: but if it go ill, what are they, against Austria
with its force of steady pressure? All turns on the issue of Prag
Siege:--a fact extremely evident to Friedrich too! But these are what
in the interim can be done. One neglects no opportunity, tries by every


On the Britannic side, too, the outlooks are not good;--much need
Friedrich were through his Prag affair, and "hastening with forty
thousand to help his Allies,"--that is, Royal Highness of Cumberland and
Britannic Purse, his only allies at this moment. Royal Highness and
Army of Observation (should have been 67,000, are 50 to 60,000, hired
Germans; troops good enough, were they tolerably led) finds the Hanover
Program as bad as Schmettau and Friedrich ever represented it; and,
already,--unless Prag go well,--wears, to the understanding eye, a
very contingent aspect. D'Estrees outnumbers him; D'Estrees, too, is
something of a soldier,--a very considerable advantage in affairs of

D'Estrees, since April, is in Wesel; gathering in the revenues,
changing the Officialities: much out of discipline, they say;--"hanging"
gradually "1,000 marauders;" in round numbers 1,000 this Year. [Stenzel,
v. 65; Retzow, i. 173.] D'Estrees does not yet push forward, owing to
Prag. If he do--It is well known how Royal Highness fared when he did,
and what a Campaign Royal Highness made of it this Year 1757! How the
Weser did prove wadable, as Schmettau had said to no purpose; wadable,
bridgable; and Royal Highness had to wriggle back, ever back; no stand
to be made, or far worse than none: back, ever back, till he got into
the Sea, for that matter, and to the END of more than one thing! Poor
man, friends say he has an incurable Hanover Ministry, a Program that is
inexecutable. As yet he has not lost head, any head he ever had: but he
is wonderful, he;--and his England is! We shall have to look at him once
again; and happily once only. Here, from my Constitutional Historian,
are some Passages which we may as well read in the present interim of
expectation. I label, and try to arrange:--

1. ENGLAND IN CRISIS. "England is indignant with its Hero of Culloden
and his Campaign 1757; but really has no business to complain. Royal
Highness of Cumberland, wriggling helplessly in that manner, is a fair
representative of the England that now is. For years back, there has
been, in regard to all things Foreign or Domestic, in that Country, by
way of National action, the miserablest haggling as to which of
various little-competent persons shall act for the Nation. A melancholy
condition indeed!--

"But the fact is, his Grace of Newcastle, ever since his poor Brother
Pelham died (who was always a solid, loyal kind of man, though a dull;
and had always, with patient affection, furnished his Grace, much
UNsupplied otherwise, with Common sense hitherto), is quite insecure in
Parliament, and knows not what hand to turn to. Fox is contemptuous of
him; Pitt entirely impatient of him; Duke of Cumberland (great in the
glory of Culloden) is aiming to oust him, and bear rule with his Young
Nephew, the new Rising Sun, as the poor Papa and Grandfather gets old.
Even Carteret (Earl Granville as they now call him, a Carteret much
changed since those high-soaring Worms-Hanau times!) was applied to.
But the answer was--what could the answer be? High-soaring Carteret,
scandalously overset and hurled out in that Hanau time, had already
tried once (long ago, and with such result!) to spring in again, and
'deliver his Majesty from factions;' and actually had made a 'Granville
Ministry;' Ministry which fell again in one day. ["11th February, 1746"
(Thackeray, _Life of Chatham,_ i. 146).] To the complete disgust of
Carteret-Granville;--who, ever since, sits ponderously dormant (kind of
Fixture in the Privy Council, this long while back); and is resigned,
in a big contemptuous way, to have had his really considerable career
closed upon him by the smallest of mankind; and, except occasional
blurts of strong rugged speech which come from him, and a good deal of
wine taken into him, disdains making farther debate with the world and
its elect Newcastles. Carteret, at this crisis, was again applied to,
'Cannot you? In behalf of an afflicted old King?' But Carteret answered,
No. [Ib. i. 464.]

"In short, it is admitted and bewailed by everybody, seldom was there
seen such a Government of England (and England has seen some strange
Governments), as in these last Three Years. Chaotic Imbecility reigning
pretty supreme. Ruler's Work,--policy, administration, governance,
guidance, performance in any kind,--where is it to be found? For if
even a Walpole, when his Talking-Apparatus gets out of gear upon him, is
reduced to extremities, though the stoutest of men,--fancy what it will
be, in like case, and how the Acting-Apparatuses and Affairs generally
will go, with a poor hysterical Newcastle, now when his Common Sense is
fatally withdrawn! The poor man has no resource but to shuffle about in
aimless perpetual fidget; endeavoring vainly to say Yes and No to all
questions, Foreign and Domestic, that may rise. Whereby, in the
Affairs of England, there has, as it were, universal St.-Vitus's dance
supervened, at an important crisis: and the Preparations for America,
and for a downright Life-and-Death Wrestle with France on the
JENKINS'S-EAR QUESTION, are quite in a bad way. In an ominously bad. Why
cannot we draw a veil over these things!"--

2. PITT, AND THE HOUR OF TIDE. "The fidgetings and shufflings, the
subtleties, inane trickeries, and futile hitherings and thitherings of
Newcastle may be imagined: a man not incapable of trick; but anxious
to be well with everybody; and to answer Yes and No to almost
everything,--and not a little puzzled, poor soul, to get through, in
that impossible way! Such a paralysis of wriggling imbecility fallen
over England, in this great crisis of its fortunes, as is still painful
to contemplate: and indeed it has been mostly shaken out of mind by
the modern Englishman; who tries to laugh at it, instead of weeping
and considering, which would better beseem. Pitt speaks with a tragical
vivacity, in all ingenious dialects, lively though serious; and with
a depth of sad conviction, which is apt to be slurred over and missed
altogether by a modern reader. Speaks as if this brave English Nation
were about ended; little or no hope left for it; here a gleam of
possibility, and there a gleam, which soon vanishes again in the fatal
murk of impotencies, do-nothingisms. Very sad to the heart of Pitt. A
once brave Nation arrived at its critical point, and doomed to higgle
and puddle there till it drown in the gutters: considerably tragical
to Pitt; who is lively, ingenious, and, though not quitting the
Parliamentary tone for the Hebrew-Prophetic, far more serious than the
modern reader thinks.

"In Walpole's Book [_Memoirs of the Last Ten Years of George II._] there
is the liveliest Picture of this dismal Parliamentary Hellbroth,--such
a Mother of Dead Dogs as one has seldom looked into! For the Hour is
great; and the Honorable Gentlemen, I must say, are small. The hour,
little as you dream of it, my Honorable Friends, is pregnant with
questions that are immense. Wide Continents, long Epochs and AEons hang
on this poor jargoning of yours; the Eternal Destinies are asking
their much-favored Nation, 'Will you, can you?'--much-favored Nation is
answering in that manner. Astonished at its own stupidity, and taking
refuge in laughter. The Eternal Destinies are very patient with some
Nations; and can disregard their follies, for a long while; and have
their Cromwell, have their Pitt, or what else is essential, ready for
the poor Nation, in a grandly silent way!

"Certain it is,--though how could poor Newcastle know it at all!--here
is again the hour of tide for England. Tide is full again; has been
flowing long hundreds of years, and is full: certain, too, that time and
tide wait on no man or nation. In a dialect different from Cromwell's or
Pitt's, but with a sense true to theirs, I call it the Eternal Destinies
knocking at England's door again: 'Are you ready for the crisis,
birth-point of long Ages to you, which is now come?' Greater question
had not been, for centuries past. None to be named with it since that
high Spiritual Question (truly a much higher, and which was in fact
the PARENT of this and of all of high and great that lay ahead), which
England and Oliver Cromwell were there to answer: 'Will you hold by
Consecrated Formulas, then, you English, and expect salvation from
traditions of the elders; or are you for Divine Realities, as the one
sacred and indispensable thing?' Which they did answer, in what way we
know. Truly the Highest Question; which if a Nation can answer WELL, it
will grow in this world, and may come to be considerable, and to have
many high Questions to answer,--this of Pitt's, for example. And the
Answers given do always extend through coming ages; and do always bear
harvests, accursed or else blessed, according as the Answers were. A
thing awfully true, if you have eye for it;--a thing to make Honorable
Gentlemen serious, even in the age of percussion-caps! No, my friend,
Newcastleisms, impious Poltrooneries, in a Nation, do not die:--neither
(thank God) do Cromwellisms and pious Heroisms; but are alive for the
poor Nation, even in its somnambulancies, in its stupidest dreams. For
Nations have their somnambulancies; and, at any rate, the questions
put to Nations, in different ages, vary much. Not in any age, or
turning-point in History, had England answered the Destinies in such a
dialect as now under its Newcastle and National Palaver."

3. OF WALPOLE, AS RECORDING ANGEL. "Walpole's _George the Second_ is a
Book of far more worth than is commonly ascribed to it; almost the
one original English Book yet written on those times,--which, by the
accident of Pitt, are still memorable to us. But for Walpole,--burning
like a small steady light there, shining faithfully, if stingily, on the
evil and the good,--that sordid muddle of the Pelham Parliaments, which
chanced to be the element of things now recognizable enough as great,
would be forever unintelligible. He is unusually accurate, punctual,
lucid; an irrefragable authority on English points. And if, in regard to
Foreign, he cannot be called an understanding witness, he has read
the best Documents accessible, has conversed with select Ambassadors
(Mitchell and the like, as we can guess); and has informed himself to
a degree far beyond most of his contemporaries. In regard to Pitt's
Speeches, in particular, his brief jottings, done rapidly while the
matter was still shining to him, are the only Reports that have the
least human resemblance. We may thank Walpole that Pitt is not dumb to
us, as well as dark. Very curious little scratchings and etchings, those
of Walpole; frugal, swift, but punctual and exact; hasty pen-and-ink
outlines; at first view, all barren; bald as an invoice, seemingly; but
which yield you, after long study there and elsewhere, a conceivable
notion of what and how excellent these Pitt Speeches may have been.
Airy, winged, like arrow-flights of Phoebus Apollo; very superlative
Speeches indeed. Walpole's Book is carefully printed,--few errors in
it like that 'Chapeau' for CHASOT," which readers remember:--"but, in
respect to editing, may be characterized as still wanting an Editor. A
Book UNedited; little but lazy ignorance of a very hopeless type,
thick contented darkness, traceable throughout in the marginal part. No
attempt at an Index, or at any of the natural helps to a reader now at
such distance from it. Nay, till you have at least marked, on the top of
each page, what Month and Year it actually is, the Book cannot be read
at all,--except by an idle creature, doing worse than nothing under the
name of reading!"

4. PITT'S SPEECHES, FORESHADOWING WHAT. "It is a kind of epoch in your
studies of modern English History when you get to understand of Pitt's
Speeches, that they are not Parliamentary Eloquences, but things which
with his whole soul he means, and is intent to DO. This surprising
circumstance, when at last become undeniable, makes, on the sudden, an
immense difference for the Speeches and you! Speeches are not a thing
of high moment to this Editor; it is the Thing spoken, and how far the
speaker means to do it, that this Editor inquires for. Too many Speeches
there are, which he hears admired all round, and has privately to
entertain a very horrid notion of! Speeches, the finest in quality
(were quality really 'fine' conceivable in such case), which WANT a
corresponding fineness of source and intention, corresponding nobleness
of purport, conviction, tendency; these, if we will reflect, are
frightful instead of beautiful. Yes;--and always the frightfuler, the
'finer' they are; and the faster and farther they go, sowing themselves
in the dim vacancy of men's minds. For Speeches, like all human things,
though the fact is now little remembered, do always rank themselves as
forever blessed, or as forever unblessed. Sheep or goats; on the right
hand of the Final Judge, or else on the left. There are Speeches which
can be called true; and, again, Speeches which are not true:--Heavens,
only think what these latter are! Sacked wind, which you are intended
to SOW,--that you may reap the whirlwind! After long reading, I find
Chatham's Speeches to be what he pretends they are: true, and worth
speaking then and there. Noble indeed, I can call them with you: the
highly noble Foreshadow, necessary preface and accompaniment of Actions
which are still nobler. A very singular phenomenon within those walls,
or without!

"Pitt, though nobly eloquent, is a Man of Action, not of Speech; an
authentically Royal kind of Man. And if there were a Plutarch in these
times, with a good deal of leisure on his hands, he might run a Parallel
between Friedrich and Chatham. Two radiant Kings: very shining Men of
Action both; both of them hard bested, as the case often is. For your
born King will generally have, if not "all Europe against him," at
least pretty much all the Universe. Chatham's course to Kingship was
not straight or smooth,--as Friedrich, too, had his well-nigh fatal
difficulties on the road. Again, says the Plutarch, they are very
brave men both; and of a clearness and veracity peculiar among their
contemporaries. In Chatham, too, there is something of the flash of
steel; a very sharp-cutting, penetrative, rapid individual, he too; and
shaped for action, first of all, though he has to talk so much in the
world. Fastidious, proud, no King could be prouder, though his element
is that of Free-Senate and Democracy. And he has a beautiful poetic
delicacy, withal; great tenderness in him, playfulness, grace; in
all ways, an airy as well as a solid loftiness of mind. Not born a
King,--alas, no, not officially so, only naturally so; has his kingdom
to seek. The Conquering of Silesia, the Conquering of the Pelham
Parliaments--But we will shut up the Plutarch with time on his hands.

"Pitt's Speeches, as I spell them from Walpole and the other faint
tracings left, are full of genius in the vocal kind, far beyond any
Speeches delivered in Parliament: serious always, and the very truth,
such as he has it; but going in many dialects and modes; full of airy
flashings, twinkles and coruscations. Sport, as of sheet-lightning
glancing about, the bolt lying under the horizon; bolt HIDDEN, as is
fit, under such a horizon as he had. A singularly radiant man. Could
have been a Poet, too, in some small measure, had he gone on that line.
There are many touches of genius, comic, tragic, lyric, something of
humor even, to be read in those Shadows of Speeches taken down for us by

"In one word, Pitt, shining like a gleam of sharp steel in that murk of
contemptibilities, is carefully steering his way towards Kingship over
it. Tragical it is (especially in Pitt's case, first and last) to see a
Royal Man, or Born King, wading towards his throne in such an element.
But, alas, the Born King (even when he tries, which I take to be the
rarer case) so seldom can arrive there at all;--sinful Epochs there are,
when Heaven's curse has been spoken, and it is that awful Being, the
Born Sham-King, that arrives! Pitt, however, does it. Yes; and the more
we study Pitt, the more we shall find he does it in a peculiarly high,
manful and honorable as well as dexterous manner; and that English
History has a right to call him 'the acme and highest man of
Constitutional Parliaments; the like of whom was not in any Parliament
called Constitutional, nor will again be.'"

Well, probably enough; too probably! But what it more concerns us to
remember here, is the fact, That in these dismal shufflings which have
been, Pitt--in spite of Royal dislikes and Newcastle peddlings and
chicaneries--has been actually in Office, in the due topmost place, the
poor English Nation ardently demanding him, in what ways it could.
Been in Office;--and is actually out again, in spite of the Nation. Was
without real power in the Royal Councils; though of noble promise, and
planting himself down, hero-like, evidently bent on work, and on ending
that unutterable "St.-Vitus's-dance" that had gone so high all round
him. Without real power, we say; and has had no permanency. Came in
11th-19th November, 1756; thrown out 5th April, 1757. After six months'
trial, the St. Vitus finds that it cannot do with him; and will prefer
going on again. The last act his Royal Highness of Cumberland did in
England was to displace Pitt: "Down you, I am the man!" said Royal
Highness; and went to the Weser Countries on those terms.

Would the reader wish to see, in summary, what Pitt's Offices have been,
since he entered on this career about thirty years ago? Here, from
our Historian, is the List of them in order of time; STAGES OF PITT'S
COURSE, he calls it:--

1. "DECEMBER, 1734, Comes into Parliament, age now twenty-six; Cornet in
the Blues as well; being poor, and in absolute need of some career that
will suit. APRIL, 1736, makes his First Speech:--Prince Frederick the
subject,--who was much used as battering-ram by the Opposition; whom
perhaps Pitt admired for his madrigals, for his Literary patronizings,
and favor to the West-Wickham set. Speech, full of airy lightning, was
much admired. Followed by many, with the lightning getting denser
and denser; always on the Opposition side [once on the JENKINS'S-EAR
QUESTION, as we saw, when the Gazetteer Editor spelt him Mr. Pitts]: so
that Majesty was very angry, sulky Public much applausive; and Walpole
was heard to say, 'We must muzzle, in some way, that terrible Cornet
of Horse!'--but could not, on trial; this man's 'price,' as would seem,
being awfully high! AUGUST-OCTOBER, 1744, Sarah Duchess of Marlborough
bequeathed him 10,000 pounds as Commissariat equipment in this his
Campaign against the Mud-gods, [Thackeray, i. 138.]--glory to the
old Heroine for so doing! Which lifted Pitt out of the Cornetcy
or Horse-guards element, I fancy; and was as the nailing of his
Parliamentary colors to the mast.

2. "FEBRUARY 14th, 1746, Vice-Treasurer for Ireland: on occasion of that
Pelham-Granville 'As-you-were!' (Carteret Ministry, which lasted One
Day), and the slight shufflings that were necessary. Now first in
Office,--after such Ten Years of colliding and conflicting, and fine
steering in difficult waters. Vice-Treasurer for Ireland: and 'soon
after, on Lord Wilmington's death,' PAYMASTER OF THE FORCES. Continued
Paymaster about nine years. Rejects, quietly and totally, the big
income derivable from Interest of Government Moneys lying delayed in the
Paymaster's hand ('Dishonest, I tell you!')--and will none of it, though
poor. Not yet high, still low over the horizon, but shining brighter
and brighter. Greatly contemptuous of Newcastle and the Platitudes and
Poltrooneries; and still a good deal in the Opposition strain, and NOT
always tempering the wind to the shorn lamb. For example, Pitt (still
Paymaster) to Newcastle on King of the Romans Question (1752 or so):
'You engage for Subsidies, not knowing their extent; for Treaties,
not knowing the terms!'--'What a bashaw!' moan Newcastle and the top
Officials. 'Best way is, don't mind it,' said Mr. Stone [one of their
terriers,--a hard-headed fellow, whose brother became Primate of Ireland
by and by].

3. "NOVEMBER 20th, 1755, Thrown out:--on Pelham's death, and the general
hurly-burly in Official regions, and change of partners with no little
difficulty, which had then ensued! Sir Thomas Robinson," our old friend,
"made Secretary,--not found to answer. Pitt sulkily looking on America,
on Minorca; on things German, on things in general; warily set
on returning, as is thought; but How? FOX to Pitt: 'Will you join
ME?'--PITT: 'No,'--with such politeness, but in an unmistakable way! Ten
months of consummate steering on the part of Pitt; Chancellor Hardwicke
coming as messenger, he among others; Pitt's answer to him dexterous,
modestly royal. Pitt's bearing, in this grand juncture and crisis, is
royal, his speakings and also his silences notably fine. OCTOBER 20th,
1756: to Newcastle face to face, 'I will accept no situation under your
Grace!'--and, about that day month, comes IN, on his own footing. That
is to say,

"NOVEMBER 19th, 1756, to England's great comfort, Sees himself Secretary
of State (age now just forty-eight). Has pretty much all England at his
back; but has, in face of him, Fox, Newcastle and Company, offering
mere impediment and discouragement; Royal Highness of Cumberland looking
deadly sour. Till finally,

"APRIL 5th, 1757, King bids him resign; Royal Highness setting off for
Germany the second day after. Pitt had been IN rather more than Four
months. England, at that time a silent Country in comparison, knew not
well what to do; took to offering him Freedoms of Corporations in
very great quantity. Town after Town, from all the four winds,
sympathetically firing off, upon a misguided Sacred Majesty, its little
Box, in this oblique way, with extraordinary diligence. Whereby,
after six months bombardment by Boxes, and also by Events, JUNE 29th,
1757"--We will expect June 29th. [Thackeray, i. 231, 264; Almon,
_Anecdotes of Pitt_ (London, 1810), i. 151, 182, 218.]

In these sad circumstances, Preparations so called have been making for
Hanover, for America;--such preparations as were never seen before. Take
only one instance; let one be enough:--

"By the London Gazette, well on in February, 1756, we learn that Lord
Loudon, a military gentleman of small faculty, but of good connections,
has been nominated to command the Forces in America; and then, more
obscurely, some days after, that another has been nominated:--one of
them ought certainly to make haste out, if he could; the French, by
account, have 25,000 men in those countries, with real officers to lead
them! Haste out, however, is not what this Lord Loudon or his rival can
make. In March, we learn that Lord Loudon has been again nominated;
in an improved manner, this time;--and still does not look like going.
'Again nominated, why again?' Alas, reader, there have been hysterical
fidgetings in a high quarter; internal shiftings and shufflings,
contradictions, new proposals, one knows not what. [_Gentleman's
Magazine _ for 1756, pp. 92, 150, 359, 450.] One asks only: How is the
business ever to be done, if you cannot even settle what imbecile is to
go and try it?

"Seldom had Country more need of a Commander than America now. America
itself is of willing mind; and surely has resources, in such a Cause;
but is full of anarchies as well: the different States and sections of
it, with their discrepant Legislatures, their half-drilled Militias,
pulling each a different way, there is, as in the poor Mother Country,
little result except of the St.-Vitus kind. In some Legislatures
are anarchic Quakers, who think it unpermissible to fight with those
hectoring French, and their tail of scalping Indians; and that the
'method of love' ought to be tried with them. What is to become of those
poor people, if not even a Lord Loudon can get out?"

The result was, Lord Loudon had not in his own poor person come to hand
in America till August, 1756, Season now done; and could only write
home, "All is St. Vitus out here! Must have reinforcement of 10,000
men!" "Yes," answers Pitt, who is now in Office: "you shall have them;
and we will take Cape Breton, please Heaven!"--but was thrown out; and
by the wrigglings that ensued, nothing of the 10,000 reached Lord Loudon
till Season 1757 too was done. Nor did they then stead his Lordship
much, then or afterwards; who never took Cape Breton, nor was like doing
it;--but wriggled to and fro a good deal, and revolved on his axis,
according to pattern given. And set (what chiefly induces us to name
him here) his not reverent enough Subordinate, Lord Charles Hay, our old
Fontenoy friend, into angry impatient quizzing of him;--and by and
by into Court-Martial for such quizzing. [Peerage Books,? Tweeddale.]
Court-Martial, which was much puzzled by the case; and could decide
nothing, but only adjourn and adjourn;--as we will now do, not
mentioning Lord Loudon farther, or the numerous other instances at all.
["1st May, 1760, Major-General Lord Charles Hay died" (_Gentleman's
Magazine_ of Year); and his particular Court-Martial could adjourn for
the last time.--"I wrote something for Lord Charles," said the great
Johnson once, many years afterwards; "and I thought he had nothing to
fear from a Court-Martial. I suffered a great loss when he died: he was
a mighty pleasing man in conversation, and a reading man" (Boswell's
_Life of Johnson:_ under date, "3d April, 1776").]

Pitt, we just saw, far from being confirmed and furthered, has been
thrown out by Royal Highness of Cumberland, the last thing before
crossing to that exquisite Weser Problem. "Nothing now left at home to
hinder us and our Hanover and Weser Problem!" thinks Royal Highness.
No, indeed: a comfortable pacific No-government, or Battle of the Four
Elements, left yonder; the Anarch Old waggling his addle head over it;
ready to help everybody, and bring fire and water, and Yes and No, into
holy matrimony, if he could!--Let us return to Prag. Only one remark
more; upon "April 5th." That was the Day of Pitt's Dismissal at
St. James's: and I find, at Schonbrunn it is likewise the day when
REICHS-HOFRATH (Kaiser in Privy Council) decides, in respect to
Friedrich, that Ban of the Reich must be proceeded with, and recommends
Reich's Diet to get through with the same. [_Helden-Geschichte_
(Reichs-Procedures, UBI SUPRA).] Official England ordering its Pitt into
private life, and Official Teutschland its Friedrich into outlawry ("Be
quiet henceforth, both of YOU!")--are, by chance, synchronous phenomena.


Friedrich's Siege of Prag proved tedious beyond expectation. In
four days he had done that exploit in 1744; but now, to the world's
disappointment, in as many weeks he cannot. Nothing was omitted on his
part: he seized all egresses from Prag, rapidly enough; had beset them
with batteries, on the very night or morrow of the Battle; every egress
beset, cannon and ruin forbidding any issue there. On the 9th of May,
cannonading began; proper siege-cannon and ammunition, coming up
from Dresden, were completely come May 19th; after which the place is
industriously battered, bombarded with red-hot balls; but except by
hunger, it will not do. Prag as a fortress is weak, but as a breastwork
for 50,000 men it is strong. The Austrians tried sallies; but these
availed nothing,--very ill-conducted, say some. The Prussians, more than
once, had nearly got into the place by surprisal; but, owing to mere
luck of the Austrians, never could,--say the same parties. [Archenholtz,
i. 85, 87.]

A DIARIUM of Prag Siege is still extant, Two DIARIUMS; punctual diurnal
account, both Austrian and Prussian: [In _ Helden-Geschichte,_ iv.
42-56, Prussian DIARIUM; ib. 73-86, Austrian.] which it is far from our
intention to inflict on readers, in this haste. Siege lasted six weeks;
four weeks extremely hot,--from May 19th, when the proper artilleries,
in complete state, got up from Dresden. Line of siege-works, or
intermittent series of batteries, is some twelve miles long; from
Branik southward to beyond the Belvedere northward, on both sides of
the Moldau. King's Camp is on the Ziscaberg; Keith's on the Lorenz
Berg, embracing and commanding the Weissenberg; there are two Bridges
of communication, Branik and Podoli: King lodges in the Parsonage of
Michel,--the busiest of all the sons of Adam; what a set of meditations
in that Parsonage! The Besieged, 46,000 by count, offer to surrender
Prag on condition of "Free withdrawal:" "No; you shall engage, such of
you as won't enlist with us, not to serve against me for six years."
Here are some select Specimens; Prussian chiefly, in an abridged

"MAY 19th, No sooner was our artillery come (all the grounds and beds
for it had been ready beforehand), than as evening fell, it began to
play in terrific fashion."

"NIGHT OF THE 23d-24th MAY, There broke out a furious sally; their
first, and much their hottest, say the Prussians: a very serious
affair;--which fell upon Keith's quarter, west side of the Moldau.
Sally, say something like 10,000 strong; picked men all, and
strengthened with half a pound of horse-flesh each" (unluckily without
salt): judge what the common diet must have been, when that was
generous! "No salt to it; but a fair supplement of brandy. Browne, from
his bed of pain (died 26th June), had been strongly urgent. Aim is, To
force the Prussian lines, by determination and the help of darkness,
in some weak point: the whole Army, standing ranked on the walls, shall
follow, if things go well; and storm itself through,--away Daun-wards,
across the River by Podoli Bridge.

"Sally broke out between 1 and 2 A.M.; but we had wind of it, and were
on the alert. Sally tried on this place and on that; very furious in
places, but could not anywhere prevail. The tussling lasted for near
six hours (Prince Ferdinand" of Preussen, King's youngest Brother, "and
others of us, getting hurts and doing exploits),--till, about 7 A.M.,
it was wholly swept in, with loss of 1,000 dead. Upon which, their
whole Army retired to its quarters, in a hopeless condition. Escape
impossible. Near 50,000 of them; but in such a posture. Provision of
bread, the spies say, is not scarce, unless the Prussians can burn
it, which they are industriously trying (diligent to learn where the
Magazines are, and to fire incessantly upon the same): plenty of meal
hitherto; but for butcher's-meat, only what we saw. Forage nearly done,
and 12,000 horses standing in the squares and market-places,--not even
stabling for them, not to speak of food or work,--slaughtering and
salting [if one but had salt!] the one method. Horse-flesh two kreutzers
a pound; rises gradually to double that value.

"MAY 29th, About sunset there came a furious burst of weather:
rain-torrents mixed with battering hail;--some flaw of water-spout among
the Hills; for it lasted hour on hour, and Moldau came down roaring
double-deep, above a hundred yards too wide each way; with cargoes of
ruin, torn-up trees, drowned horses; which sorely tried our Bridge at
Branik. Bridge, half of it, did break away (Friedrich's half, forty-four
pontoons; Keith's people got their end of the Bridge doubled in and
saved): the Austrians, in Prag, fished out twenty-four of Friedrich's
pontoons; the other twenty we caught at our Bridge of Podoli, farther
down. A most wild night for the Prussian Army in tents; and indeed for
Prag itself, the low parts of which were all under water; unfortunate
individuals getting drowned in the cellars; and, still more important, a
great deal of Austrian meal, which had been carried thither, to be safe
from the red-hot balls.

"It was thought the Austrians, our Bridge being down, might try a sally
again. To prevent which, hardly was the rain done, when, on our part, a
rocket flew aloft; and there began on the City, from all sides, a deluge
of bombs and red hot balls. So that the still-dripping City was set
fire to, in various parts: and we could hear [what this Editor never can
forget] the WEH-KLAGEN (wail) of the Townsfolk as they tried to quench
it, and it always burst out again. The fire-deluge lasted for six
hours."--Human WEH-KLAGEN, through the hollow of Night, audible to the
Prussians and us: "Woe's me! water-deluges, then fire-deluges; death
on every hand!" According to the Austrian accounts, there perished, by
bursting of bomb-shells, falling of walls, by hunger and other misery
and hurts, "above 9,000 Townsfolk in this Siege." Yes, my Imperial
friends; War is not a thing of streamering and ornamental trumpeting
alone; War is an inexorable, dangerously incalculable thing. Is it not a
terrible question, at whose door lies the beginning of a War!

"JUNE 5th, 12,000 poor people of Prag were pushed out: 'Useless mouths,
will you contrive to disappear some way!' But, after haggling about all
day, they had to be admitted in again, under penalty of being shot.

"JUNE 8th, City looking black and ruinous, whole of the Neustadt in
ashes; few houses left in the Jew Town; in the Altstadt the fire raged
on (WUTHETE FORT). Nothing but ruin and confusion over there; population
hiding in cellars, getting killed by falling buildings. Burgermeister
and Townsfolk besiege Prince Karl, 'For the Virgin's sake, have pity
on us, Your Serenity!' Poor Prince Karl has to be deaf, whatever his

"He was diligent in attending mass, they say: he alone of the Princes,
of whom there were several; two Saxon Princes among others, Prince
Xavier the elder of them, who will be heard of again. A profane set,
these, lodging in the CLEMENTINUM [vast Jesuit Edifice, which had
been cleared out for them, and "the windows filled with dung outside,"
against balls]: there, with wines of fine vintage, and cookeries
plentiful and exquisite, that know nothing of famine outside, they led
an idle disorderly life,--ran races in the long corridors [not so bad a
course], dressed themselves in Priests' vestures [which are abundant in
such locality], and made travesties and mummeries of Holy Religion; the
wretched creatures, defying despair, as buccaneers might when their ship
is sinking. To surrender, everything forbids; of escape, there is no
possibility. [Archenholtz i. 86; _Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 73-84.]

"JUNE 9th, The bombardment abates; a LABORATORIUM of our own flew aloft
by some spark or accident; and killed thirteen men.

"JUNE 15th, From the King's Camp a few bombs [King himself now gone]
kindled the City in three places:"--but there is, by this time, new game
afield; Prag Siege awaiting its decision not at Prag, but some way off.

Friedrich has been doing his utmost; diligent, by all methods, to learn
where the Austrian Magazines were, that is, on what special edifices
and localities shot might be expended with advantage; and has fired into
these "about 12,000 bombs." Here is a small thing still remembered:--

"Spies being, above all, essential in this business, Friedrich had
bethought him of one Kasebier, a supreme of House-breakers, whom he
has, safe with a ball at his ankle, doing forced labor at Spandau
[in Stettin, if it mattered]. Kasebier was actually sent for, pardon
promised him if he could do the State a service. Kasebier smuggled
himself twice, perhaps three times, into Prag; but the fourth time he
did not come back." [Retzow, i. 108. n.] Another Note says: "Kasebier
was a Tailor, and Son of a Tailor, in Halle; and the expertest of
Thieves. Had been doing forced labor, in Stettin, since 1748; twice did
get into Prag; third time, vanished. A highly celebrated Prussian thief;
still a myth among the People, like Dick Turpin or Cartouche, except
that his was always theft without violence." [Preuss, ii. 57 n.]

We learn vaguely that the price of horse-flesh in Prag has risen to
double; famine very sore: but still one hears nothing of surrender. And
again there is vague rumor that the City may be as it will; but that
the Garrison has meal, after all we have ruined, which will last till
October. Such a Problem has this King: soluble within the time; or not
soluble? Such a question for the whole world, and for himself more than



On and after June 9th, the bombardment at Prag abated, and never rose
to briskness again; the place of trial for decision of that Siege having
flitted else-whither, as we said. About that time, rumors came in, not
so favorable, from the Duke of Bevern; which Friedrich, strong in hope,
strove visibly to disbelieve, but at last could not. Bevern reports that
Daun is actually coming on, far too strong for his resisting;--in other
terms, that the Siege of Prag will not decide itself by bombardment, but
otherwise and elsewhere. Of which we must now give some account; brief
as may be, especially in regard to the preliminary or marching part.

Daun, whose light troops plundered Brandeis (almost within wind of the
Prussian Rear) on the day while Prag Battle was fighting, had, on that
fatal event, gradually drawn back to Czaslau, a place we used to know
fifteen years ago; and there, or in those neighborhoods, defensively
manoeuvring, and hanging upon Kuttenberg, Kolin, especially upon
his Magazine of Suchdol, Daun, always rather drawing back, with
Brunswick-Bevern vigilantly waiting on him, has continued ever since;
diligently recruiting himself; ranking the remains of the right wing
defeated at Prag; drawing regiments out of Mahren, or whencesoever to
be had. Till, by these methods, he is grown 60,000 strong; nearly thrice
superior to Bevern; though being a "Fabius Cunctator" (so called by and
by), he as yet attempts nothing. Forty thousand in Prag, with Sixty here
in the Czaslau Quarter, [Tempelhof, i. 196; Retzow (i. 107, 109)
counts 46,000+66,000.] that makes 100,000; say his Prussian Majesty
has two-thirds of the number: can the Fabius Cunctator attempt nothing,
before Prag utterly famish?

Order comes to him from Vienna: "Rescue Prag; straightway go upon it,
cost what it like!" Daun does go upon it; advances visibly towards Prag,
Bevern obliged to fall back in front of him. Sunday, 12th June, Daun
despatches several Officers to Prince Karl at Prag, with notice that,
"On the 20th, Monday come a week, he will be in the neighborhood of Prag
with this view:--they, of course, to sally out, and help from rearward."
"Several Officers, under various disguises," go with that message, June
12th; but none of them could get into the City; and some of them, I
judge, must have fallen into the Prussian Hussar Parties:--at any rate,
the news they carried did get into the Prussian circuit, and produced
an instant resolution there. Early next morning, Monday 13th, King
Friedrich, with what disposable force is on the spot,--10,000 capable
of being spared from siege-work, and 4,000 more that will be capable of
following, under Prince Moritz, in two days,--sets forth in all speed.
Joins Bevern that same night; at Kaurzim, thirty-five miles off, which
is about midway from Prag to Czaslau, and only three miles or so from
Daun's quarters that night,--had the King known it, which he did not.

Daun must be instantly gone into; and shall,--if he is there at all, and
not fallen back at the first rumor of us, as Friedrich rather supposes.
In any case, there are preliminaries indispensable: the 4,000 of Prince
Moritz still to come up; secondly, bread to be had for us, which is
baking at Nimburg, across the Elbe, twenty miles off; lastly (or rather
firstly, and most indispensable of all), Daun to be reconnoitred.
Friedrich reconnoitres Daun with all diligence; pushes on everything
according to his wont; much obstructed in the reconnoitring by Pandour
clouds, under which Daun has veiled himself, which far outnumber our
small Hussar force. Daun, as usual,--showing always great skill in
regard to camps and positions,--has planted himself in difficult
country: a little river with its boggy pools in front; behind and
around, an intricate broken country of knolls and swamps, one ridge in
it which they even call a BERG or Hill, Kamhayek Berg; not much of a
Hill after all, but forming a long backbone to the locality, west end
of it straight behind Daun's centre, at present. Friedrich's position is
from north to south; like Daun's, taking advantage of what heights and
brooks there are; and edging northward to be near his bread-ovens: right
wing still holds by Kaurzim, left wing looking down on Planian, a little
Town on the High Road (KAISER-STRASSE) from Prag to Vienna. Little Town
destined to get up its name in a day or two,--next little Town to which,
twelve miles farther on, is Kolin, secretly destined to become and
continue still more famous among mankind. Kolin is close to the Elbe,
left or south bank; Elbe hereabouts strikes into his long northwestern
course (to Wittenberg all the way; Pirna, say 150 miles off, is his
half-way house in that direction);--strikes off northward hereabouts,
making for Nimburg, among other places: Planian, right south of Nimburg,
is already fifteen good miles from Elbe.

This is Friedrich's position, Wednesday, June 15th and the day
following; somewhat nearer his ovens than yesterday. Daun is yet
parallel to him, has his centre behind Swoyschitz, an insignificant
Village at the foot of those Kamhayek Heights, which is, ever since,
to be found in Maps. Friday, 17th, Friedrich's bread-wagons and 4,000
having come in, as doubtless the Pandours report in the proper place,
Daun does not quite like his strong position any more, but would prefer
a stronger. Friday about sunset, "great clouds of dust" rise from Daun:
changing his position, the Prussians see, if for Pandours and gathering
darkness they can at present see little else. Daun, truly, observing the
King to have in that manner edged up, towards Planian, is afraid of his
right wing from such a neighbor. So that the reader must take his Map
again. Or, if he care not for such things, let him skip, and leave me
solitary to my sad function; till we can meet on easier ground, and
report the battle which ensued. Daun hustles his right wing back out of
that dangerous proximity; wheels his whole right wing and centre ninety
degrees round, so as to reach out now towards Kolin, and lie on the
north slope of the Kamhayek ridge; places his left wing EN POTENCE
(gibbet-wise), hanging round the western end of said Kamhayek, its
southern extremity at Swoyschitz, its northern at Hradenin, where (not
a mile from Planian) his right wing had formerly been;--with other
intricate movements not worth following, under my questionable guidance,
on a Map with unpronounceable names. Enough to say that Daun's right
wing is now far east at Krzeczhorz, well beyond Chotzemitz, whereabouts
his centre now comes to stand (and most of his horse THERE, both the
wings being hilly and rough, unfit for horse);--and that, this being
nearly the last of Daun's shiftings and hustlings for the present, or
indeed in essential respects the very last, readers may as well note the
above main points in it.

Hustled into this still stronger place, with wheeling and shoving, which
lasted to a late hour, Daun composes himself for the night. He lies now,
with centre and right looking northward, pretty much parallel to the
Planian-Kolin or Prag-Vienna Highway, and about a mile south of the
same; extreme posts extending almost to Kolin on that side; left wing
well planted EN POTENCE; Kamhayek ridge, north face and west end of it,
completely his on both the exposed or Anti-Prussian faces. Friedrich
feels uncertain whether he has not gone his ways altogether; but
proposes to ascertain by break of day.

By break of day Friedrich starts, having cleared off certain Pandour
swarms visible in places of difficulty, who go on first notice, and
without shot fired. [Lloyd, i. 61 et seq. (or Tempelhof's Translation,
i. 151-164); Tempelhof's own Account is, i. 179-196; Retzow's, i.
120-149 (fewer errors of detail than usual); Kutzen, _Der Tag von Kolin_
(Breslau, 1857), a useful little compilation from many sources. Very
incorrect most of the common accounts are; Kausler's _ Schlachten,_
Jomini, and the like.] Marches through Planian in two columns, along
the Kolin Highway and to north of it; marches on, four or five miles
farther, nothing visible but the skirts of retiring Pandours,--"Daun's
rear-guard probably?"--Friedrich himself is with Ziethen, who has the
vanguard, as Friedrich's wont is, eagerly enough looking out; reaches
a certain Inn on the wayside (WIRTHSHAUS "of Slatislunz or GOLDEN-SUN,"
say the Modern Books,--though I am driven to think it Novomiesto, nearer
Planian; but will not quarrel on the subject); Inn of good height for
one thing; and there, mounting to the top-story or perhaps the leads,
descries Daun, stretching far and wide, leant against the Kamhayek,
in the summer morning. What a sight for Friedrich: "Big game SHALL be
played, then; death sure, this day, to thousands of men: and to me--?

Friedrich calls halt: rest here a little; to consider, examine, settle
how. A hot close morning; rest for an hour or two, till our rear from
Kaurzim come up: horses and men will be the better for it,--horses can
have a mouthful of grass, mouthful of water; some of them "had no drink
last night, so late in getting home." Poor quadrupeds, they also have to
get into a blaze of battle-rage this day, and be blown to pieces a great
many of them,--in a quarrel not of their seeking! Horse and rider are
alike satisfied on that latter point; silently ready for the task THEY
have; and deaf on questions that are bottomless.

At this Hostelry of Novomiesto (not of Slatislunz or "GOLDEN-SUN" at
all, which is a "Sun" fallen dismally eclipsed in other ways ["The Inn
of Slati-Slunz was burnt, about twenty years ago; nothing of it but
the stone walls now dates from Friedrich's time. It is a biggish
solid-looking House of two stories (whether ever of three, I could not
learn); stands pleasantly, at the crown of a long rise from Kolin;--and
inwardly, alas, in our day, offers little but bad smells and negative
quantities! Only the ground-floor is now inhabited. From the front,
your view northward, Nimburg way, across the Elbe Valley, is fertile,
wide-waving, pretty: but rearward, upstairs,--having with difficulty
got permission,--you find bare balks, tattered feathers, several
hundredweight of pigeon's dung, and no outlook at all, except into walls
of office-houses and the overhanging brow of Heights,--fatal, clearly,
to any view of Daun, even from a third story!" (TOURIST'S NOTE,
1858.)--Tempelhof (UBI SUPRA) seems to have known the right, place; not,
Retzow, or almost anybody since: and indeed the question, except for
expressly Military people, is of no moment.]), Friedrich halted for
three hours and more; saw Daun developing himself into new Order of
Battle, "every part of his position visible;" considered with his whole
might what was to be tried upon him;--and about noon, having made up his
mind, called his Generals, in sight of the phenomenon itself there, to
give them their various orders and injunctions in regard to the same.
The Plan of Fight, which was thought then, and is still thought by
everybody, an excellent one,--resting on the "oblique order of attack,"
Friedrich's favorite mode,--was, if the reader will take his Map,
conceivable as follows.

Daun has by this time deployed himself; in three lines, or two lines and
a reserve; on the high-lying Champaign south of the Planian-Kolin Great
Road; south, say a mile, and over the crests of the rising ground, or
Kamhayek ridge, so that from the Great Road you can see nothing of him.
His line, swaying here and there a little, to take advantage of its
ground, extends nearly five miles, from east to west; pointing towards
Planian side, the left wing of it; from Planian, eastward, the way
Friedrich has marched, Daun's left wing may be four miles distant. On
the other side, Daun's right wing--main line always pretty parallel
to the Highway, and pointing rather southward of Kolin--reaches to the
small Hamlet of Krzeczhorz, which is two miles off Kolin. In front of
his centre is a Village called Chotzemitz (from which for a while,
in those months, the Battle gets its name, "Battle of Chotzemitz," by
Daun's christening): in front of him, to right or to left of Chotzemitz,
are some four or even six other Villages (dim rustic Hamlets, invisible
from the High Road), every Village of which Daun has well beset with
batteries, with good infantry, not to speak of Croat parties hovering
about, or dismounted Pandours squatted in the corn. That easternmost
Village of his is spelt "Krzeczhorz" (unpronounceable to mankind),
a dirty little place; in and round which the Battle had its hinge or
cardinal point: the others, as abstruse of spelling, all but equally
impossible to the human organs, we will forbear to name, except in case
of necessity. Half a mile behind Krzeczhorz (let us write it Kreczor,
for the future: what can we do?), is a thin little Oak-wood, bushes
mainly, but with sparse trees too, which is now quite stubbed out,
though it was then important enough, and played a great part in the
result of this day's work. Radowesnitz, a pronounceable little Village,
half a mile farther or southward of the Oak-bush, is beyond the
extremity of Daun's position; low down on a marshy little Brook,
which oozes through lakes and swamps towards Kolin, in the northerly

Most or all of these Villages are on little Brooks (natural thirst so
leading them): always some little runlet of water, not so swampy when
there is any fall for it; in general lively when it gets over the ridge,
and becomes visible from this Highway. And it is curious to see what
a considerable dell, or green ascending chasm, this little thread of
water, working at all moments for thousands of years, has hollowed out
for itself in the sloping ground; making a great military obstacle, if
you are mounting to attack there. Poor Czech Hamlets all of them, dirty,
dark, mal-odorous, ignorant, abhorrent of German speech;--in what nook
those inarticulate inhabitants, diving underground at a great rate this
morning, have hidden themselves to-day, I know not. The country consists
of knolls and slopes, with swamps intermediate; rises higher on the
Planian side; but except the top of that Kamhayek ridge on the Planian
side, and "Friedrich's-Berg" on the Kolin side, there is nothing
that you could think of calling a Hill, though many Books (and even
Friedrich's Book) rashly say otherwise. Friedrich's-Berg, now so called,
is on the north side of the Highway: half a mile northeastward of
Slatislunz, the mal-odorous Inn. A conical height of perhaps a hundred
and fifty feet; rises rather suddenly from the still-sloping ground,
checking the slope there; on which the Austrian populations have built
some memorial lately, notable to Tourists. Here Friedrich "stood during
the Battle," say they; and the Prussians "had a battery there." Which
remains uncertain to me, at least the battery part of it: that Friedrich
himself was there, now and then, can be believed; but not that he kept
"standing there" for long together. Friedrich's-Berg does command some
view of the Kreczor scene, which at times was cardinal, at others not:
but Friedrich did not stand anywhere: "oftenest in the thick of the
fire," say those who saw.

Friedrich, from his Inn near Planian, seeing how Daun deploys himself,
considers him impregnable on the left wing; impregnable, too, in front:
not so on the Kreczor side, right flank and rear; but capable of being
rolled together, if well struck at there. Thither therefore; that is his
vulnerable point. March along his front: quietly parallel in due Order
of Battle, till we can bend round, and plunge in upon that. The Van,
which consists of Ziethen's Horse and Hulsen's Infantry; Van, having
faced to right at the proper moment and so become Left Wing, will attack
Kreczor; probably carry it; each Division following will in like manner
face to right when it arrives there, and fall on in regular succession
in support of Hulsen (at Hulsen's right flank, if Hulsen be found
prospering): our Right Wing is to refuse itself, and be as a
Reserve,--no fighting on the road, you others, but steady towards
Hulsen, in continual succession, all you; no facing round, no fighting
anywhere, till we get thither:--"March!"

The word is given about 2 P.M.; and all, on the instant, is in motion;
rolls steadily eastward, in two columns, which will become First Line
and Second. One along the Highway, the second at due distance leftward
on the green ground, no hedge or other obstacle obstructing in that part
of the world. Daun's batteries, on the right, spit at them in passing,
to no purpose; sputters of Pandour musketry, from coverts, there may
be: Prussians finely disregarding, pass along; flowing tide-like towards
THEIR goal and place of choice. An impressive phenomenon in the sunny
afternoon; with Daun expectant of them, and the Czech populations well
hidden underground!--

Ziethen, vanmost of all, finds Nadasti and his Austrian squadrons drawn
across the Highway, hitherward of the Kreczor latitude: Ziethen dashes
on Nadasti; tumbles his squadrons and him away; clears the Road, and
Kreczor neighborhood, of Nadasti: drives him quite into the hollow of
Radowesnitz, where he stood inactive for the rest of the day. Hulsen now
at the level of Kreczor (in the latitude of Kreczor, as we phrased it),
halts, faces to right; stiffly presses up, opens his cannon-thunders,
his bayonet-charges and platoon-fires upon Kreczor. Stiffly pressing
up, in spite of the violent counter-thunders, Hulsen does manage Kreczor
without very much delay, completely enough, and like a workman; takes
the battery, two batteries; overturns the Infantry;--in a word, has
seized Kreczor, and, as new tenant, swept the old, and their litter,
quite out. Of all which Ziethen has now the chase, and by no means will
neglect that duty. Ziethen, driving the rout before him, has driven it
in some minutes past the little Oak-wood above mentioned; and, or
rather BUT,--what is much to be noted,--is there taken in flank with
cannon-shot and musketry, Daun having put batteries and Croat parties in
the Oak-wood; and is forced to draw bridle, and get out of range again.

Hulsen, advancing towards this little Oak-wood, is surprised to
discover, not the wood alone, but a strong Austrian force, foot and
horse, to rear of it;--such had been Daun's and Nadasti's precaution, on
view of those Friedrich phenomena, flowing on from Planian, guessed to
be hitherward. At sight of which Wood and foot-party, Hulsen, no new
Battalion having yet arrived to second him, pauses, merely cannonading
from the distance, till new Battalions shall arrive. Unhappily they did
not arrive, or not in due quantity at the set time,--for what reason,
by what strange mistake? men still ask themselves. Probably by more
mistakes than one. Enough, Hulsen struggling here all day, with
reinforcements never adequate, did take the Wood, and then lose it; did
take and lose this and that;--but was unable to make more of it than
keep his ground thereabouts. A resolute man, says Retzow, but without
invention of his own, or head to mend the mistakes of others. In and
about Kreczor, Hulsen did maintain himself with more and more tenacity,
till the general avalanche, fruit of sad mistakes swept HIM, quite
spasmodically struggling at that period, off to the edge of it, and all
the others clean away! Mistakes have been to rightwards, one or even
two, the fruit of which, small at first, suffices to turn the balance,
and ends in an avalanche, or precipitous descent of ruin on the Prussian

One mistake there was, miles westward on the right wing; due to
Mannstein, our too impetuous Russian friend, Mannstein well to right,
while marching forward according to order, has Croat musketry spitting
upon him from amid the high corn, to an inconvenient extent: such was
the common lot, which others had borne and disregarded: perhaps it
was beyond the average on Mannstein, or Mannstein's patience was less
infinite; any way it provoked Mannstein to boil over; and in an evil
moment he said, "Extinguish me that Croat canaille, then!" Regiment
Bornstedt faced to right, accordingly; took to extinguishing the Croat
canaille, which of course fled at once, or squatted closer, but came
back with reinforcements; drew Mannstein deeper in, fatally delayed
Bornstedt, and proved widely ruinous. For now he stopped the way to
those following him: regiments marching on to rear of Mannstein see
Mannstein halted, volleying with the Austrians; ask themselves "How? Is
there new order come? Attack to be in this point?" And successively fall
on to support Mannstein, as the one clear point in such dubiety. So that
the whole right wing from Regiment Bornstedt westward is storming up
the difficult steeps, in hot conflict with the Austrians there, where
success against them had been judged impracticable;--and there is now
no reserve force anywhere to be applied to in emergency, for Hulsen's
behoof or another's; and the Plan of Battle from Mannstein westward has
been fatally overturned. Poor Mannstein, there is no doubt, committed
this error, being too fiery a man. Surely to him it was no luxury,
and he paid the smart for it in skin and soul: "badly wounded in this
business;" nay, in direct sequel, not many weeks after, killed by it, as
we shall see!--

To Mannstein's mistake, Friedrich himself, in his account of Kolin,
mainly imputes the disaster that followed; and such, then and
afterwards, was the universal judgment in military circles; loading the
memory of too impetuous Mannstein with the whole. [See Retzow, i.
135; Templehof, i. 214, 220.] Much talk there was in Prussian military
circles; but there must also have been an admirable silence on the part
of some. To Three Persons it was known that another strange incident
had happened far ahead, far eastward, of Mannstein's position:
incident which did not by any means tend to alleviate, which could only
strengthen and widen, the evil results of Mannstein; and which might
have lifted part of the load from Mannstein's memory! Not till the
present Century, after the lapse of almost fifty years, was this secret
slowly dug out of silence, and submitted to modern curiosity.

The incident is this;--never whispered of for near fifty years (so
silent were the three); and endlessly tossed about since that; the sense
of it not understood till almost now. [See Retzow, i. 126; Berenhorst;
&c. &c.;--then FINALLY Kutzen, pp. 99, 217.] The three parties were:
King Friedrich; Moritz of Dessau, leading on the centre here; Moritz's
young Nephew Franz, Heir of Dessau, a brisk lad of seventeen, learning
War here as Aide-de-camp to Moritz: the exact spot is not known to
me,--probably the ground near that Inn of Slatislunz, or Golden-Sun;
between the foot of Friedrich's-Berg and that:--fact indubitable, though
kept dark so long. Moritz is marching with the centre, or main battle,
that way, intending to wheel and turn hillwards, Kreczor-wise, as per
order, certain furlongs ahead; when Friedrich (having, so I can conceive
it, seen from his Hill-top, how Hulsen had done Kreczor, altogether
prosperous there; and what endless capability there was of prospering to
all lengths and speeding the general winning, were Hulsen but supported
soon enough, were there any safe short-cut to Hulsen) dashed from his
Hill-top in hot haste towards Prince Moritz, General of the centre,
intending to direct him upon such short-cut; and hastily said, with
Olympian brevity and fire, "Face to right HERE!" With Jove-like brevity,
and in such blaze of Olympian fire as we may imagine. Moritz himself
is of brief, crabbed, fiery mind, brief in temper; and answers to the
effect, "Impossible to attack the enemy here, your Majesty; postured as
they are; and we with such orders gone abroad!"--"Face to right, I
tell you!" said the King, still more Olympian, and too emphatic for
explaining. Moritz, I hope, paused, but rather think he did not, before
remonstrating the second time; neither perhaps was his voice so low as
it should have been: it is certain Friedrich dashed quite up to Moritz
at this second remonstrance, flashed out his sword (the only time he
ever drew his sword in battle); and now, gone all to mere Olympian
lightning and thundertone, asks in THIS attitude, "WILL ER (Will He)
obey orders, then?"--Moritz, fallen silent of remonstrance, with gloomy
rapidity obeys.

Prince Franz, the young Nephew of Moritz, alone witnessed this scene;
scene to be locked in threefold silence. In his old age, Franz had
whispered it to Berenhorst, his bastard Half-Uncle, a famed military
Critic,--who is still in the highest repute that way (Berenhorst's
KRIEGSKUNST, and other deep Books), and is recognizable, to LAY readers,
for an abstruse strong judgment; with equal strength of abstruse temper
hidden behind it, and very privately a deep grudge towards Friedrich,
scarcely repressible on opportunity. From Berenhorst it irrepressibly
oozed out; ["Heinrich van Berenhorst [a natural son of the Old
Dessauer's], in his _Betrachtungen uber die Kriegskunst,_ is the first
that alludes to it in print. (Leipzig, 1797,--page in SECOND edition,
1798, is i. 219)."] much more to Friedrich's disadvantage than it now
looks when wholly seen into. Not change of plan, not ruinous caprice on
Friedrich's part, as Berenhorst, Retzow and others would have it; only
excess of brevity towards Moritz, and accident of the Olympian fire
breaking out. Friedrich is chargeable with nothing, except perhaps
(what Moritz knows the evil of) trying for a short-cut! Such is now the
received interpretation. Prince Franz, to his last day, refused to speak
again on the subject; judiciously repentant, we can fancy, of having
spoken at all, and brought such a matter into the streets and their
pie-powder adjudications. [In KUTZEN, pp. 217-237, a long dissertation
on it.] For the present, he is Adjutant to Moritz, busy obeying to the

Friedrich, withdrawing to his Height again, and looking back on Moritz,
finds that he is making right in upon the Austrian line; which was by
no means Friedrich's meaning, had not he been so brief. Friedrich,
doubtless with pain, remembers now that he had said only, "Face to
right!" and had then got into Olympian tempest, which left things dark
to Moritz. "HALB-LINKS, Half to left withal!" he despatches that new
order to Moritz, with the utmost speed: "Face to right; THEN, forward
half to left." Had Moritz, at the first, got that commentary to his
order, there had probably been no remonstrance on Moritz's part,
no Olympian scene to keep silent; and Moritz, taking that diagonal
direction from the first, had hit in at or below Kreczor, at the very
point where he was needed. Alas for overhaste; short-cuts, if they are
to be good, ought at least to be made clear! Moritz, on the new order
reaching him, does instantly steer half-left: but he arrives now above
Kreczor, strikes the Austrian line on this side of Kreczor; disjoined
from Hulsen, where he can do no good to Hulsen: in brief, Moritz, and
now the whole line with him, have to do as Mannstein and sequel are
doing, attack in face, not in flank; and try what, in the proportion of
one to two, uphill, and against batteries, they can make of it in that

And so, from right wing to left, miles long, there is now universal
storm of volleying, bayonet-charging, thunder of artillery, case-shot,
cartridge-shot, and sulphurous devouring whirlwind; the wrestle very
tough and furious, especially on the assaulting side. Here, as at Prag,
the Prussian troops were one and all in the fire; each doing strenuously
his utmost, no complaint to be made of their performance. More perfect
soldiers, I believe, were rarely or never seen on any field of war. But
there is no reserve left: Mannstein and the rest, who should have been
reserve, and at a General's disposal, we see what they are doing! In
vain, or nearly so, is Friedrich's tactic or manoeuvring talent; what
now is there to manoeuvre? All is now gone up into one combustion. To
fan the fire, to be here, there, fanning the fire where need shows: this
is now Friedrich's function; "everywhere in the hottest of the fight,"
that is all we at present know of him, invisible to us otherwise. This
death-wrestle lasted perhaps four hours; till seven or towards eight
o'clock in the June evening; the sun verging downwards; issue still

And, in fact, at last the issue turned upon a hair;--such the empire of
Chance in War matters. Cautious Daun, it is well known, did not like the
aspect of the thing; cautious Daun thinks to himself, "If we get pushed
back into that Camp of yesternight, down the Kamhayek Heights, and right
into the impassable swamps; the reverse way, Heights now HIS, not
ours, and impassable swamps waiting to swallow us? Wreck complete, and
surrender at discretion--!" Daun writes in pencil: "The retreat is to
Suchdol" (Kuttenberg way, southward, where we have heights again and
magazines); Daun's Aide-de-camp is galloping every-whither with
that important Document; and Generals are preparing for retreat
accordingly,--one General on the right wing has, visibly to Hulsen and
us, his cannon out of battery, and under way rearwards; a welcome sight
to Hulsen, who, with imperfect reinforcement, is toughly maintaining
himself there all day.

And now the Daun Aide-de-camp, so Chance would have it, cannot find
Nostitz the Saxon Commandant of Horse in that quarter; finds a "Saxon
Lieutenant-Colonel B---" ("Benkendorf" all Books now write him plainly),
who, by another little chance, had been still left there: "Can the Herr
Lieutenant-Colonel tell me where General Nostitz is?" Benkendorf can
tell;--will himself take the message: but Benkendorf looks into the
important Pencil Document; thinks it premature, wasteful, and that the
contrary is feasible! persuades Nostitz so to think; persuades this
regiment and that (Saxon, Austrian, horse and foot); though the cannon
in retreat go trundling past them: "Merely shifting their battery, don't
you see:--Steady!" And, in fine, organizes, of Saxon and Austrian horse
and foot in promising quantity (Saxons in great fury on the Pirna score,
not to say the Striegau, and other old grudges), a new unanimous assault
on Hulsen.

The assault was furious, and became ever more so; at length irresistible
to Hulsen. Hulsen's horse, pressing on as to victory, are at last hurled
back; could not be rallied; [That of "RUCKER, WOLLT IHR EWIG LEBEN,
Rascals, would you live forever?" with the "Fritz, for eight groschen,
this day there has been enough!"--is to be counted pure myth; not
unsuccessful, in its withered kind.] fairly fled (some of them);
confusing Hulsen's foot,--foot is broken, instantly ranks itself, as the
manner of Prussians is; ranks itself in impromptu squares, and stands
fiercely defensive again, amid the slashing and careering: wrestle of
extreme fury, say the witnesses. "This for Striegau!" cried the Saxon
dragoons, furiously sabring. [Archenholtz, i. 100.] Yes; and is there
nothing to account of Pirna, and the later scores? Scores unliquidated,
very many still; but the end is, Hulsen is driven away; retreats,
Parthian-like, down-hill, some space; whose sad example has to spread
rightwards like a powder-train, till all are in retreat,--northward,
towards Nimburg, is the road;--and the Battle of Kolin is finished.

Friedrich made vehement effort to rally the Horse, to rally this and
that; but to no purpose: one account says he did collect some small
body, and marched forth at the head of it against a certain battery;
but, in his rear, man after man fell away, till Lieutenant-Colonel Grant
(not "Le Grand," as some call him, and indeed there is an ACCENT of
Scotch in him, still audible to us here) had to remark, "Your Majesty
and I cannot take the battery ourselves!" Upon which Friedrich turned
round; and, finding nobody, looked at the Enemy through his glass, and
slowly rode away [Retzow, i. 139.]--on a different errand.

Seeing the Battle irretrievably lost, he now called Bevern and Moritz
to him; gave them charge of the retreat--"To Nimburg; cross Elbe there
[fifteen good miles away]; and in the defiles of Planian have especial
care!" and himself rode off thitherward, his Garde-du-Corps escorting.
Retzow says, "a swarm of fugitive horse-soldiers, baggage-people,
grooms and led horses gathered in the train of him: these latter, at one
point," Retzow has heard in Opposition circles, "rushed up, galloping:
'Enemy's hussars upon us!' and set the whole party to the gallop for
some time, till they found the alarm was false." [Ib. i. 140.] Of
Friedrich we see nothing, except as if by cloudy moonlight in an
uncertain manner, through this and the other small Anecdote, perhaps
semi-mythical, and true only in the essence of it.

Daun gave no chase anywhere; on his extreme left he had, perhaps as
preparative for chasing, ordered out the cavalry; "General Stampach and
cavalry from the centre," with cannon, with infantry and appliances, to
clear away the wrecks of Mannstein, and what still stands, to right of
him, on the Planian Highway yonder. But Stampach found "obstacles
of ground," wet obstacles and also dry,--Prussian posts, smaller and
greater, who would not stir a hand-breadth: in fact, an altogether
deadly storm of Negative, spontaneous on their part, from the indignant
regiments thereabouts, King's First Battalion, and two others; who
blazed out on Stampach in an extraordinary manner, tearing to shreds
every attempt of his, themselves stiff as steel: "Die, all of us, rather
than stir!" And, in fact, the second man of these poor fellows did
die there? [Kutzen, p. 138 (from the canonical, or "STAFF-OFFICER'S"
enumeration: see SUPRA, p. 403 n.).] So that Bevern, Commander in that
part, who was absent speaking with the King, found on his return a new
battle broken out; which he did not forbid but encourage; till Stampach
had enough, and withdrew in rather torn condition. This, if this were
some preparative for chasing, was what Daun did of it, in the cavalry
way; and this was all. The infantry he strictly prohibited to stir from
their position,--"No saying, if we come into the level ground, with such
an enemy!"--and passed the night under arms. Far on our left, or what
was once our left, Ziethen with all his squadrons, nay Hulsen with most
of his battalions, continued steady on the ground; and marched away at
their leisure, as rear-guard.

"It seemed," says Tempelhof, in splenetic tone, "as if Feldmarschall
Daun, like a good Christian, would not suffer the sun to go down on his
wrath. This day, nearly the longest in the year, he allowed the Prussian
cavalry, which had beaten Nadasti, to stand quiet on the field till ten
at night [till nine]; he did not send a single hussar in chase of the
infantry. He stood all night under arms; and next day returned to his
old Camp, as if he had been afraid the King would come back. Arriving
there himself, he could see, about ten in the morning, behind Kaurzim
and Planian, the whole Prussian Baggage fallen into such a coil that the
wagons were with difficulty got on way again; nevertheless he let
it, under cover of the grenadier battalion Manteuffel, go in peace."
[Tempelhof, i. 195.] A man that for caution and slowness could make no
use of his victory!

The Austrian force in the Field this day is counted to have been 60,000;
their losses in killed, wounded and missing, 8,114. The Prussians, who
began 34,000 in strength, lost 13,773; of whom prisoners (including all
the wounded), 5,380. Their baggage, we have seen, was not meddled with:
they lost 45 cannon, 22 flags,--a loss not worth adding, in comparison
to this sore havoc, for the second time, in the flower of the Prussian
Infantry. [Retzow, i. 141 (whose numbers are apt to be inaccurate);
Kutzen, p. 144 (who depends on the Canonical STAFF-OFFICER Account).]

The news reached Prag Camp at two in the morning (Sunday, 19th): to the
sorrowful amazement of the Generals there; who "stood all silent;
only the Prince of Prussia breaking out into loud lamentations and
accusations," which even Retzow thinks unseemly. Friedrich arrived that
Sunday evening: and the Siege was raised, next day; with next to no
hindrance or injury. With none at all on the part of Daun; who was still
standing among the heights and swamps of Planian,--busy singing, or
shooting, universal TE-DEUM, with very great rolling fire and other
pomp, that day while Friedrich gathered his Siege-goods and got on


No tongue can express the joy of the Austrians over this
victory,--vouchsafed them, in this manner, by Lieutenant-Colonel
Benkendorf and the Powers above. Miraculously, behold, they are not upon
the retreat to Suchdol, at double-quick, and in ragged ever-lengthening
line; but stand here, keeping rank all night, on the Planian-Kolin
upland of the Kamhayek:--behold, they have actually beaten Friedrich;
for the first time, not been beaten by him. Clearly beaten that
Friedrich, by some means or other. With such a result, too; consider
it,--drawn sword was at our throat; and marvellously now it is turned
round upon his (if Daun be alert), and we--let us rejoice to all
lengths, and sing TE-DEUM and TE-DAUNUM with one throat, till the
Heavens echo again.

 There was quite a hurricane, or lengthened storm, of jubilation
and tripudiation raised at Vienna on this victory: New ORDER OF MARIA
THERESA, in suitable Olympian fashion, with no end of regulating and
inaugurating,--with Daun the first Chief of it; and "Pensions to Merit"
a conspicuous part of the plan, we are glad to see. It subsists to this
day: the grandest Military Order the Austrians yet have. Which
then deafened the world, with its infinite solemnities, patentings,
discoursings, trumpetings, for a good while. As was natural, surely, to
that high Imperial Lady with the magnanimous heart; to that loyal solid
Austrian People with its pudding-head. Daun is at the top of the Theresa
Order, and of military renown in Vienna circles;--of Lieutenant-Colonel
Benkendorf I never heard that he got the least pension or
recognition;--continued quietly a military lion to discerning men, for
the rest of his days. ["Died at Dresden, General of Cavalry," 5th May,
1801 (Rodenbeck, i. 338, 339).]

Nay once, on Dauu's TE-DEUM day, he had a kind of recognition;--and
even, by good accident, can tell us of it in his own words: [Kutzen
(citing some BIOGRAPHY of Benkendorf), p. 143.]--

"I was sent for to head-quarters by a trumpeter,"--Benkendorf
was,--"when all was ready for the TE-DEUM. Feldmarschall Daun was
pleased to say at sight of me, 'That as I had had so much to do with the
victory, it was but right I should thank our Herr Gott along with him.'
Having no change of clothes,--as the servant, who was to have a uniform
and some linens ready for me, had galloped off during the Fight, and our
baggage was all gone to rearward,--I tried to hustle out of sight among
the crowd of Imperial Officers all in gala: but the reigning Duke of
Wurtemberg [Wilhelmina's Son-in-law, a perverse obstinate Herr, growing
ever more perverse; one of Wilhelmina's sad afflictions in these days]
called me to him, and said, 'He would give his whole wardrobe, could he
wear that dusty coat with such honor as I!'"--yes; and tried hard, in
his perverse way, for some such thing; but never could, as we shall see.

How lucky that Polish Majesty had some remains of Cavalry still at
Warsaw in the Pirna time; that they were made into a Saxon Brigade, and
taken into the Austrian service; Brigade of three Regiments, Nostitz for
Chief, and this Benkendorf a Lieutenant-Colonel, among them;--and that
Polish Majesty, though himself lost, has been the saving of Austria
twice within one year!


Of Friedrich's night-thoughts at Nimburg; how he slept, and what his
dreams were, we have no account. Seldom did a wearied heart sink down
into oblivion on such terms. By narrow miss, the game gone; and with
such results ahead. It was a right valiant plunge this that he made,
with all his strength and all his skill, home upon the heart of his
chief enemy. To quench his chief enemy before another came up: it was
a valiant plan, and valiantly executed; and it has failed. To dictate
peace from the walls of Vienna: that lay on the cards for him this
morning; and at night--? Kolin is lost, the fruit of Prag Victory too is
lost; and Schwerin and new tens of thousands, unreplaceable for worth
in this world, are lost; much is lost! Courage, your Majesty, all is not
lost, you not, and honor not.

To the young Graf von Anhalt, on the road to Nimburg, he is recorded to
have said, "Don't you know, then, that every man must have his reverses
It appears I am to have mine." [Rodenbeck, i. 309.] And more vaguely,
in the Anecdote-Books, is mention of some stanch ruggedly pious old
Dragoon, who brought, in his steel cap, from some fine-flowing well he
had discovered, a draught of pure water to the King; old Mother Earth's
own gift, through her rugged Dragoon, exquisite refection to the thirsty
wearied soul; and spoke, in his Dragoon dialect,--"Never mind, your
Majesty! DER ALLMACHTIGE and we; It shall be mended yet. 'The Kaiserin
may get a victory for once; but does that send us to the Devil (DAVON
HOLT UNS DER TEUFEL-NICHT)!'"--words of rough comfort, which were well

Next morning, several Books, and many Drawings and Sculptures of a dim
unsuccessful nature, give us view of him, at Kimburg; sitting silent
"on a BRUNNEN-ROHR" (Fountain Apparatus, waste-pipe or feeding-pipe,
too high for convenient sitting): he is stooping forward there, his
eyes fixed on the ground, and is scratching figures in the sand with his
stick, as the broken troops reassemble round him. Archenholtz says: "He
surveyed with speechless feeling the small remnant of his Life-guard of
Foot, favorite First Battalion; 1,000 strong yesterday morning, hardly
400 now;"--gone the others, in that furious Anti-Stampach outburst
which ended the day's work! "All soldiers of this chosen Battalion were
personally known to him; their names, their age, native place, their
history [the pick of his Ruppin regiment was the basis of it]: in one
day, Death had mowed them down; they had fought like heroes, and it was
for him that they had died. His eyes were visibly wet, down his face
rolled silent tears." [Archenholtz, i. 104, 101; Kutzen, pp. 259, 138;
Retzow, i. 142.]

In public I never saw other tears from this King,--though in private
I do not warrant him; his sensibilities, little as you would think it,
being very lively and intense. "To work, however!" This King can shake
away such things; and is not given overmuch to retrospection on
the unalterable Past. "Like dewdrops from the lion's mane" (as is
figuratively said); the lion swiftly rampant again! There was manifold
swift ordering, considering and determining, at Nimburg, that day; and
towards night Friedrich shot rapidly into Head-quarters at Prag, where,
by order, there is, as the first thing of all, a very rapid business
going on, well forward by the time he arrives.

To fold one's Siege-gear and Army neatly together from those Two
Hill-tops, and march away with them safe, in sight of so many enemies:
this has to be the first and rapidest thing; if this be found possible,
as one calculates it may. After which, the world of enemies, held in
the slip so long, will rush in from all the four winds,--unknown
whitherward; one must wait to see whitherward and how.

Friedrich's History for the remaining six months of this Year falls,
accordingly, into three Sections. Section FIRST: Waiting how and
towards what objects his enemies, the Austrians first of all, will
advance;--this lasts for about a month; Friedrich waiting mainly at
Leitmeritz, on guard there both of Saxony and of Silesia, till this
slowly declare itself. Slowly, perhaps almost stupidly, but by no means
satisfactorily to Friedrich, as will be seen! After which, Section
SECOND of his History lasts above two months; Friedrich's enemies being
all got to the ground, and united in hope and resolution to overwhelm
and abolish him; but their plans, positions, operations so extremely
various that, for a long time (end of August to beginning of November),
Friedrich cannot tell what to do with them; and has to scatter himself
into thin threads, and roam about, chiefly in Thuringen and the West of
Saxony, seeking something to fight with, and finding nothing; getting
more and more impatient of such paltry misery; at times nigh desperate;
and habitually drifting on desperation as on a lee shore in the night,
despite all his efforts. Till, in Section THIRD, which goes from
November 5th, through December 5th, and into the New Year, he does find
what to do; and does it,--in a forever memorable way.

Three Sections; of which the reader shall successively have some idea,
if he exert himself; though it is only in snatches, suggestive to an
active fancy, that we can promise to dwell on them, especially on the
First Two, which lie pretty much unsurveyable in those chaotic records,
like a world-wide coil of thrums. Let us be swift, in Friedrich's own
manner; and try to disimprison the small portions of essential! Here,
partly from Eye-witnesses, are some Notes in regard to Section First:
[Westphalen, _Geschichte der Feldzuge des Herzogs Ferdinand _ (and a
Private Journal of W.'s there), ii. 13-19; Retzow; &c.]--

"SUNDAY, 19th JUNE, At 2 A.M., Major Grant arrives at Prag [must have
started instantly after that of "We two cannot take the battery, your
Majesty!"]--goes to Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, interim Commander on
the Ziscaberg, with order To raise Siege. Consternation on the part of
some; worse, on the Prince of Prussia's part; the others kept silence
at least,--and set instantly to work. On both Hills, the cannons are
removed (across Moldau the Zisca-Hill ones), batteries destroyed,
Siege-gear neatly gathered up, to go in wagons to Leitmeritz, thence
by boat to Dresden; all this lies ready done, the dangerous part of it
done, when Friedrich arrives.

"MONDAY, 20th, before sunrise, Siege raised. At three in the morning
Friedrich marches from the Ziscaberg; to eastward he, to Alt-Bunzlau,
thence to Ah-Lissa,"--Nimburg way, with what objects we shall see.
"Marshal Keith's fine performance. Keith, from the Weissenberg, does not
march, such packing and loading still; all the baggages and artilleries
being with Keith. Not till four in the afternoon did Keith march; but
beautifully then; and folded himself away,--rear-guard under Schmettau
'retreating checkerwise,' nothing but Tolpatcheries attempting on
him,--westward, Budin-ward, without loss of a linstock, not to speak of
guns. Very prettily done on the part of Keith. By Budin, to Leitmeritz,
he; where the King will join him shortly."

Friedrich's errand in Alt-Lissa, eastward, while Keith went westward,
was, To be within due arm's-length of the Moritz-Bevern, or beaten Kolin
Army, which is coming up that way; intending to take post, and do its
best, in those parts, with Zittau Magazine and the Lausitz to rear
of it. One of our Eye-witnesses, a Herr Westphalen, Ferdinand of
Brunswick's Secretary,--who, with his Chief, got into wider fields
before long,--yields these additional particulars face to face:--

"TUESDAY, 21st JUNE, 1757. King's Head-quarters in Lissa or neighborhood
till Friday next; which is central for both these movements,--Thursday,
orders seven regiments of horse to reinforce Keith. No symptom yet of
pursuit anywhere.

"FRIDAY, 24th. Prince Moritz with the Kolin Army made appearance, all
safe, and is to command here; King intending for Keith. After dinner,
and the due interchange of battalions to that end, King sets off, with
Prince Henri, towards Keith; Head-quarter in Alt-Bunzlau again. SATURDAY
NIGHT, at Melnick; SUNDAY, Gastorf: MONDAY NIGHT, 27th JUNE, Leitmeritz;
King lodges in the Cathedral Close, in sight of Keith, who is on the
opposite side of Elbe,--but the town has a Bridge for to-morrow. 'Never
was a quieter march; not the shadow of a Pandour visible. The Duke
[Ferdinand, my Chief, Chatham's jewel that is to be, and precious to
England] has suffered much from a'--in fact, from a COURS DE VENTRE,
temporary bowel-derangement, which was very troublesome, owing to the
excessive heats by day, and coldness of the nights.

"TUESDAY, 28th. Junction with Keith,--Bridge rightly secured, due party
of dragoons and foot left on the right bank, to occupy a height which
covers Leitmeritz. 'Clearing of the Pascopol' (that is, sweeping the
Pandours out of it) is the first business; Colonel Loudon with his
Pandours, a most swift sharpcutting man, being now here in those parts;
doing a deal of mischief. Three days ago, Saturday, 25th, Keith had sent
seven battalions, with the proper steel-besoms, on that Pascopol affair;
Tuesday, on junction, Majesty sends three more: job done on Wednesday;
reported 'done,'--though I should not be surprised," says Westphalen,
"if some little highway robbery still went on among the Mountains up

No;--and before quitting hold, what is this that Loudon (on the very
day of the King's arrival, June 27th), on the old Field of Lobositz
over yonder, has managed to do! General Mannstein, wounded at Kolin,
happened, with others in like case, to be passing that way, towards
Dresden and better surgery,--when Loudon's Croats set upon them,
scattering their slight escort: "Quarter, on surrender! Prisoners?"
"Never!" answered Mannstein; "Never!" that too impetuous man, starting
out from his carriage, and snatching a musket: and was instantly cut
down there. And so ends;--a man of strong head, and of heart only too
strong. [Preuss, ii. 58; _Militair-Lexikon,_ iii. 10.]

From Prag onwards, here has been a delicate set of operations; perfectly
executed,--thanks to Friedrich's rapidity of shift, and also to the
cautious slowly puzzling mind of Daun. Had Daun used any diligence,
had Daun and Prince Karl been broad awake, together or even singly! But
Friedrich guessed they seldom or never were; that they would spend
some days in puzzling; and that, with despatch, he would have time for
everything. Daun, we could observe, stood singing TE-DEUM, greatly at
leisure, in his old Camp, 20th June, while Friedrich, from the first
gray of morning, and diligently all day long, was withdrawing from the
trenches of Prag,--Friedrich's people, self and goods getting folded
out in the finest gradation, and with perfect success; no Daun to hinder
him,--Daun leisurely doing TE-DEUM, forty miles off, helping on the
WRONG side by that exertion! [Cogniazzo, ii. 367.]--"Poor Browne, he
is dead of his wounds, in Prag yonder," writes Westphalen, in his
Leitmeritz Journal, "news came to us July 1st: men said, 'Ah, that was
why they lay asleep.'"

Till June 26th, Daun and Karl had not united; nor, except sending out
Loudon and Croats, done anything, either of them. Sunday, June 26th,
at Podschernitz on the old Field of Prag, a week and a day after Kolin,
they did get together; still seemingly a little puzzled, "Shall we
follow the King? Shall we follow Moritz and Bevern?"--nothing clear for
some time, except to send out Pandour parties upon both. Moritz, since
parting with the King in Alt-Bunzlau neighborhood, has gone northward
some marches, thirty miles or so, to JUNG-Bunzlau,--meeting of Iser
and Elbe, surely a good position:--Moritz, on receipt of these Pandour
allowances of his, writes to the King, "Shall we retreat on Zittau,
then, your Majesty? Straight upon Zittau?" Fancy Friedrich's
astonishment;--who well intends to eat the Country first, perhaps to
fight if there be chance, and at least to lie OUTSIDE the doors of
Silesia and the Lausitz, as well as of Saxony here!--and answers, with
his own hand, on the instant: "Your Dilection will not be so mad!"
[In Preuss, ii. 58, the pungent little Autograph in full.] And at
once recalls Moritz, and appoints the Prince of Prussia to go and
take command. Who directly went;--a most important step for the King's
interests and his own. Whose fortunes in that business we shall see
before long!--

At Leitmeritz the King continues four weeks, with his Army parted in
this way; waiting how the endless hostile element, which begirdles his
horizon all round, will shape itself into combinations, that he may
set upon the likeliest or the needfulest of these, when once it has
disclosed itself. Horizon all round is black enough: Austrians, French,
Swedes, Russians, Reichs Army; closer upon him or not so close, all are
rolling in: Saxony, the Lausitz and Silesia, Brandenburg itself, it is
uncertain which of these may soonest require his active presence.

The very day after his arrival in Leitmeritz,--Tuesday, 28th June, while
that junction with Keith was going on, and the troops were defiling
along the Bridge for junction with Keith,--a heavy sorrow had befallen
him, which he yet knew not of. An irreparable Domestic loss; sad
complement to these Military and other Public disasters. Queen Sophie
Dorothee, about whose health he had been anxious, but had again been
set quiet, died at Berlin that day. [Monbijou, 28th June, 1757; born at
Hanover, 27th March, 1687.] In her seventy-first year: of no definite
violent disease; worn down with chagrins and apprehensions, in this
black whirlpool of Public troubles. So far as appears, the news came on
Friedrich by surprise:--"bad cough," we hear of, and of his anxieties
about it, in the Spring time; then again of "improvement, recovery, in
the fine weather;"--no thought, just now, of such an event: and he took
it with a depth of affliction, which my less informed readers are far
from expecting of him.

July 2d, the news came: King withdrew into privacy; to weep and bewail
under this new pungency of grief, superadded to so many others. Mitchell
says: "For two days he had no levee; only the Princes dined with him
[Princes Henri and Ferdinand; Prince of Prussia is gone to Jung-Bunzlau,
would get the sad message there, among his other troubles]: yesterday,
July 3d, King sent for me in the afternoon,--the first time he has seen
anybody since the news came:--I had the honor to remain with him some
hours in his closet. I must own to your Lordship I was most sensibly
afflicted to see him indulging his grief, and giving way to the warmest
filial affections; recalling to mind the many obligations he had to her
late Majesty; all she had suffered, and how nobly she bore it; the good
she did to everybody; the one comfort he now had, to think of having
tried to make her last years more agreeable." [_Papers and Memoirs,_ i.
253; Despatch to Holderness, 4th July (slightly abridged);--see ib.
i. 357-359 (Private Journal). Westphalen, ii. 14. See _OEuvres de
Frederic,_ iv. 182.] In the thick of public business, this kind of mood
to Mitchell seems to have lasted all the time of Leitmeritz, which is
about three weeks yet: Mitchell's Note-books and Despatches, in that
part, have a fine Biographic interest; the wholly human Friedrich
wholly visible to us there as he seldom is. Going over his past Life to
Mitchell; brief, candid, pious to both his Parents;--inexpressibly sad;
like moonlight on the grave of one's Mother, silent that, while so much
else is too noisy!

This Friedrich, upon whom the whole world has risen like a mad
Sorcerer's-Sabbath, how safe he once lay in his cradle, like the rest of
us, mother's love wrapping him soft:--and now! These thoughts commingle
in a very tragic way with the avalanche of public disasters which is
thundering down on all sides. Warm tears the meed of this new sorrow;
small in compass, but greater in poignancy than all the rest together.
"My poor old Mother, oh, my Mother, that so loved me always, and would
have given her own life to shelter mine!"--It was at Leitmeritz, as
I guess, that Mitchell first made decisive acquaintance, what we
may almost call intimacy, with the King: we already defined him as a
sagacious, long-headed, loyal-hearted diplomatic gentleman, Scotch by
birth and by turn of character; abundantly polite, vigilant, discreet,
and with a fund of general sense and rugged veracity of mind; whom
Friedrich at once recognized for what he was, and much took to, finding
a hearty return withal; so that they were soon well with one another,
and continued so. Mitchell, as orders were, "attended the King's person"
all through this War, sometimes in the blaze of battle itself and
nothing but cannon-shot going, if it so chanced; and has preserved, in
his multifarious Papers, a great many traits of Friedrich not to be met
with elsewhere.

Mitchell's occasional society, conversation with a man of sense and
manly character, which Friedrich always much loved, was, no doubt, a
resource to Friedrich in his lonely roamings and vicissitudes in those
dark years. No other British Ambassador ever had the luck to please him
or be pleased by him,--most of them, as Ex-Exchequer Legge and the like
Ex-Parliamentary people, he seems to have considered dull, obstinate,
wooden fellows, of fantastic, abrupt rather abstruse kind of character,
not worth deciphering;--some of them, as Hanbury Williams, with the
mischievous tic (more like galvanism or St.-Vitus'-dance) which he
called "wit," and the inconvenient turn for plotting and intriguing,
Friedrich could not endure at all, but had them as soon as possible
recalled,--of course, not without detestation on their part.

At Leitmeritz, it appears, he kept withdrawn to his closet a good deal;
gave himself up to his sorrows and his thoughts; would sit many hours
drowned in tears, weeping bitterly like a child or a woman. This is
strange to some readers; but it is true,--and ought to alter certain
current notions. Friedrich, flashing like clear steel upon evildoers and
mendacious unjust persons and their works, is not by nature a cruel
man, then, or an unfeeling, as Rumor reports? Reader, no, far the
reverse;--and public Rumor, as you may have remarked, is apt to be an
extreme blockhead, full of fury and stupidity on such points, and
had much better hold its tongue till it know in some measure. Extreme
sensibility is not sure to be a merit; though it is sure to be reckoned
one, by the greedy dim fellows looking idly on: but, in any case, the
degree of it that dwelt (privately, for most part) in Friedrich was
great; and to himself it seemed a sad rather than joyful fact. Speaking
of this matter, long afterwards, to Garve, a Silesian Philosopher, with
whom he used to converse at Breslau, he says;--or let dull Garve himself
report it, in the literal third-person:--

"And herein, I," the Herr Garve (venturing to dispute, or qualify, on
one of his Majesty's favorite topics), "believe, lies the real ground
of 'happiness:' it is the capacity and opportunity to accomplish
great things. This the King would not allow; but said, That I did
not sufficiently take into account the natural feelings, different
in different people, which, when painful, imbittered the life of the
highest as of the lowest. That, in his own life, he had experienced the
deepest sufferings of this kind: 'And,' added he, with a touching
tone of kindness and familiarity, which never occurred again in his
interviews with me, 'if you (ER) knew, for instance, what I underwent on
the death of my Mother, you would see that I have been as unhappy as any
other, and unhappier than others, because of the greater sensibility
Schilderung des Geistes, des Charakters und der Regierung Friedrichs
des Zweiten,_ von Christian Garve (Breslau, 1798), i. 314-316. An
unexpectedly dull Book (Garve having talent and reputation); kind of
monotonous Preachment upon Friedrich's character: almost nothing but the
above fraction now derivable from it.]

There needed not this new calamity in Friedrich's lot just now! From all
points of the compass, his enemies, held in check so long, are floating
on: the confluence of disasters and ill-tidings, at this time, very
great. From Jung-Bunzlau, close by, his Brother's accounts are bad; and
grow ever worse,--as will be seen! On the extreme West, "July 3d," while
Friedrich at Leitmeritz sat weeping for his Mother, the French take
Embden from him; "July 5th," the Russians, Memel, on the utmost East.
June 30th, six days before, the Russians, after as many months of
haggling, did cross the Border; 37,000 of them on this point; and set
to bombarding Memel from land and sea. Poor Memel (garrison only 700)
answered very fiercely, "sank two of their gunboats" and the like; but
the end was as we see,--Feldmarschall Lehwald able to give no relief.
For there were above 70,000 other Russians (Feldmarschall Apraxin with
these latter, and Cossacks and Calmucks more than enough)
crossing elsewhere, south in Tilsit Country, upon old Lehwald.
[_Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 407-413.] Lehwald, with 30,000, in such
circumstances--what is to become of Preussen and him! Nearer hand,
the Austrians, the French, the very Reichs Army, do now seem intent on

The Reichs Execution Army, we saw how Mayer and the Battle of Prag had
checked it in the birth-pangs; and given rise to pangs of another sort;
the poor Reichs Circles generally exclaiming, "What! Bring the war into
our own borders? Bring the King of Prussia on our own throats!"--and
stopping short in their enlistments and preparations; in vain for
Austrian Officials to urge them. Watching there, with awe-struck eye,
while the 12,000 bombs flew into Prag.

The Battle of Kolin has reversed all that; and the poor old Reich is
again bent on business in the Execution way. Drumming, committeeing,
projecting, and endeavoring, with all her might, in all quarters; and,
from and after the event of Kolin, holding visible Encampment, in the
Nurnberg Country; fractions of actual troops assembling there. "On
the Plains of Furth, between Furth and Farrenbach, east side the River
Regnitz, there was the Camp pitched," says my Anonymous Friend; who
gives me a cheerful Copperplate of the thing: red pennons, blue, and
bright mixed colors; generals, tents; order-of-battle, and respective
rallying points: with Bamberg Country in front, and the peaks of the
Pine Mountains lying pleasantly behind: a sight for the curious. [J.F.S.
(whom I named ANONYMOUS OF HAMBURG long since; who has boiled down,
with great diligence, the old Newspapers, and gives a great many dates,
notes, &c., without Index), i. 211, 224 (the Copperplate).] It is the
same ground where Mayer was careering lately; neighboring nobility and
gentry glad to come in gala, and dance with Mayer. Hither, all through
July, come contingents straggling in, thicker and thicker; "August 8th,"
things now about complete, the Bishop of Bamberg came to take survey
of the Reichs-Heer (Bishop's remarks not given); August 10th, came
the young reigning Duke of Hildburghausen (Duke's grand-uncle is to be
Commander), on like errand; August 11th) the Reichs-Heer got on march.
Westward ho!--readers will see towards what.

A truly ELENDE, or miserable, Reichs Execution Army (as the MISprinter
had made it); but giving loud voice in the Gazettes; and urged by every
consideration to do something for itself. Prince of Hildburghausen--a
general of small merit, though he has risen in the Austrian service,
and we have seen him with Seckendorf in old Turk times--has, for his
Kaiser's sake, taken the command; sensible perhaps that glory is not
likely to be rife here; but willing to make himself useful. Kaiser
and Austria urge, everywhere, with all their might: Prince of
Hessen-Darmstadt, who lay on the Weissenberg lately, one of Keith's
distinguished seconds there and a Prussian Officer of long standing,
has, on Kaiser's order, quitted all that, and become Hildburghausen's
second here, in the Camp of Furth; thinking the path of duty lay that
way,--though his Wife, one of the noble women of her age, thought very
differently. [Her Letter to Friedrich, "Berlin, 30th October, 1757,"
_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxvii. ii. 135.] A similar Kaiser's order, backed
by what Law-thunder lay in the Reich, had gone out against Friedrich's
own Brothers, and against every Reichs Prince who was in Friedrich's
service; but, except him of Hessen-Darmstadt, none of them had much
minded. [In Orlich, _Furst Moritz von Anhalt Dessau_ (Berlin, 1842),
pp. 74, 75, Prince Moritz's rather mournful Letter on the subject, with
Friedrich's sharp Answer.] I did not hear that his strategic talent was
momentous: but Prussia had taught him the routine of right soldiering,
surely to small purpose; and Friedrich, no doubt, glanced indignantly at
this small thing, among the many big ones.

From about the end of June, the Reichs Army kept dribbling in: the most
inferior Army in the world; no part of it well drilled, most of it
not drilled at all; and for variety in color, condition, method,
and military and pecuniary and other outfit, beggaring description.
Hildburghausen does his utmost; Kaiser the like. The number should
have far exceeded 50,000; but was not, on the field, of above half that
number: 25,000; add at least 8,000 Austrian troops, two regiments of
them cavalry; good these 8,000, the rest bad,--that was the Reichs
Execution Army; most inferior among Armies; and considerable part of it,
all the Protestant part, privately wishing well to Friedrich, they say.
Drills itself multifariously in that Camp between Furth and Farrenbach,
on the east side of Regnitz River. Fancy what a sight to Wilhelmina, if
she ever drove that way; which I think she hardly would. The Baireuth
contingent itself is there; the Margraf would have held out stiff
on that point; but Friedrich himself advised compliance. Margraf of
Anspach--perverse tippling creature, ill with his Wife, I doubt--has
joyfully sent his legal hundreds; will vote for the Reichs Ban against
this worst of Germans, whom he has for Brother-in-law. Dark days in the
heart of Wilhelmina, those of the Camp at Furth. Days which grow ever
darker, with strange flashings out of empyrean lightning from that
shrill true heart; no peace more, till the noble heroine die!--

This ELENDE Reichs-Heer, miserable "Army of the Circles," is mockingly
called "the Hoopers, Coopers (TONNELIERS)," and gets quizzing enough,
under that and other titles, from an Opposition Public. Far other from
the French and Austrians; who are bent that it should do feats in the
world, and prove impressive on a robber King. Thus too, "for Deliverance
of Saxony," to co-operate with Reichs-Heer in that sacred object, thanks
to the zeal of Pompadour, Prince de Soubise has got together, in Elsass,
a supplementary 30,000 (40,330 said Theory, but Fact never quite so
many): and is passing them across the Rhine, in Frankfurt Country, all
through July, while the drilling at Furth goes on. With these, Soubise,
simultaneously getting under way, will steer northeastward; join the
Reichs-Heer about Erfurt, before August end; and--and we shall see what
becomes of the combined Soubise and Reichs Army after that!

It must be owned, the French, Pompadour and love of glory urging, are
diligent since the event of Kolin. In select Parisian circles, the
Soubise Army, or even that of D'Estrees altogether,--produced by
the tears of a filial Dauphiness,--is regarded as a quasi-sacred,
or uncommonly noble thing; and is called by her name, "L'ARMEE DE LA
DAUPHINE;" or for shortness "LA DAUPHINE" without adjunct. Thus, like a
kind of chivalrous Bellona, vengeance in her right hand, tears and
fire in her eyes, the DAUPHINESS advances; and will join Reichs-Heer
at Erfurt before August end. Such the will of Pompadour; Richelieu
encouraging, for reasons of his own. Soubise, I understand, is privately
in pique against poor D'Estrees; ["Reappeared unexpectedly in Paris
[from D'Estree's Army], 22d June" (four days after Kolin): got up this
DAUPHINESS ARMY, by aid of Pompadour, with Richelieu, &c.: BARBIER, iv.
227, 231. Richelieu "busy at Strasburg lately" (29th July: Collini's
VOLTAIRE, p. 191).] and intends to eclipse him by a higher style of
diligence; though D'Estrees too is doing his best.

July 3d, we saw the D'Estrees people taking Embden; D'Estrees, quiet
so long in his Camp at Bielefeld, had at once bestirred himself, Kolin
being done;--shot out a detachment leftwards, and Embden had capitulated
that day. Adieu to the Shipping Interests there, and to other pleasant
things! "July 9th, after sunset," D'Estrees himself got on march from
Bielefeld; set forth, in the cool of night, 60,000 strong, and
10,000 more to join him by the road (the rest are left as garrisons,
reserves,--1,000 marauders of them swing as monitory pendulums, on their
various trees, for one item),--direct towards Hanover and Royal Highness
of Cumberland; who retreats, and has retreated, behind the Ems, the
Weser, back, ever back; and, to appearance, will make a bad finish

To Friedrich, waiting at Leitmeritz, all these things are gloomily
known; but the most pressing of them is that of the Austrians and
Jung-Bunzlau close by. Let us give some utterances of his to Wilhelmina,
nearly all we have of direct from him in that time; and then hasten to
the Prince of Prussia there:--


LEITMERITZ, 1st JULY, 1757.... "Sensible as heart can be to the tender
interest you deign to take in what concerns me. Dear Sister, fear
nothing on my score: men are always in the hand of what we call Fate"
("Predestination, GNADENWAHL,"--Pardon us, Papa!--"CE QU'ON NOMME LE
DESTIN); accidents will befall people, walking on the streets, sitting
in their room, lying in their bed; and there are many who escape the
perils of war.... I think, through Hessen will be the safest route for
your Letters, till we see; and not to write just now except on occasions
of importance. Here is a piece in cipher; anonymous,"--intended for the
Newspapers, or some such road.

JULY 5th. "By a Courier of Plotho's, returning to Regensburg [who passes
near you], I write to apprise my dear Sister of the new misery which
overwhelms us. We have no longer a Mother. This loss puts the crown on
my sorrows. I am obliged to act; and have not time to give free course
to my tears. Judge, I pray you, of the situation of a feeling heart
put to so cruel a trial. All losses in the world are capable of being
remedied; but those which Death causes are beyond the reach of hope."

JULY 7th. "You are too good; I am ashamed to abuse your indulgence. But
do, since you will, try to sound the French, what conditions of Peace
they would demand; one might judge as to their intentions. Send that
Mirabeau (CE M. DE MIRABEAU) to France. Willingly will I pay the
expense. He may offer as much as five million thalers [750,000 pounds]
to the Favorite [yes, even to the Pompadour] for Peace alone. Of course,
his utmost discretion will be needed;"--should the English get the least
wind of it! But if they are gone to St. Vitus, and fail in every point,
what can one do? CE M. DE MIRABEAU, readers will be surprised to learn,
is an Uncle of the great Mirabeau's; who has fallen into roving courses,
gone abroad insolvent; and "directs the Opera at Baireuth," in these
years!--One Letter we will give in full:--

"LEITMERITZ, 13th July, 1757.

"MY DEAREST SISTER,--Your Letter has arrived: I see in it your regrets
for the irreparable loss we have had of the best and worthiest Mother
in this world. I am so struck down with all these blows from within and
without, that I feel myself in a sort of Stupefaction.

"The French have just laid hold of Friesland [seized Embden, July 3d];
are about to pass the Weser: they have instigated the Swedes to declare
War against me; the Swedes are sending 17,000 men [rather more if
anything; but they proved beautifully ineffectual] into Pommern,"--will
be burdensome to Stralsund and the poor country people mainly; having
no Captain over them but a hydra-headed National Palaver at home, and
a Long-pole with Cocked-hat on it here at hand. "The Russians are
besieging Memel [have taken it, ten days ago]: Lehwald has them on his
front and in his rear. The Troops of the Reich," from your Plains
of Furth yonder, "are also about to march. All this will force me to
evacuate Bohemia, so soon as that crowd of Enemies gets into motion.

"I am firmly resolved on the extremest efforts to save my Country. We
shall see (QUITTE A VOIR) if Fortune will take a new thought, or if she
will entirely turn her back upon me. Happy the moment when I took to
training myself in philosophy! There is nothing else that can sustain
the soul in a situation like mine. I spread out to you, dear Sister,
the detail of my sorrows: if these things regarded only myself, I could
stand it with composure; but I am bound Guardian of the safety and
happiness of a People which has been put under my charge. There lies the
sting of it: and I shall have to reproach myself with every fault, if,
by delay or by over-haste, I occasion the smallest accident; all the
more as, at present, any fault may be capital.

"What a business! Here is the liberty of Germany, and that Protestant
Cause for which so much blood has been shed; here are those Two great
Interests again at stake; and the pinch of this huge game is such, that
an unlucky quarter of an hour may establish over Germany the tyrannous
domination of the House of Austria forever! I am in the case of a
traveller who sees himself surrounded and ready to be assassinated by a
troop of cut-throats, who intend to share his spoils. Since the League
of Cambrai [1508-1510, with a Pope in it and a Kaiser and Most Christian
King, iniquitously sworn against poor Venice;--to no purpose, as happily
appears], there is no example of such a Conspiracy as that infamous
Triumvirate [Austria, France, Russia] now forms against me. Was it ever
seen before, that three great Princes laid plot in concert to destroy
a Fourth, who had done nothing against them? I have not had the least
quarrel either with France or with Russia, still less with Sweden. If,
in common life, three citizens took it into their heads to fall upon
their neighbor, and burn his house about him, they very certainly,
by sentence of tribunal, would be broken on the wheel. What! and will
Sovereigns, who maintain these tribunals and these laws in their States,
give such example to their subjects?... Happy, my dear Sister, is the
obscure man, whose good sense from youth upwards, has renounced all
sorts of glory; who, in his safe low place, has none to envy him, and
whose fortune does not excite the cupidity of scoundrels!

"But these reflections are vain. We have to be what our birth, which
decides, has made us in entering upon this world. I reckoned that, being
King, it beseemed me to think as a Sovereign; and I took for principle,
that the reputation of a Prince ought to be dearer to him than life.
They have plotted against me; the Court of Vienna has given itself the
liberty of trying to maltreat me; my honor commanded me not to suffer
it. We have come to War; a gang of robbers falls on me, pistol in hand:
that is the adventure which has happened to me. The remedy is difficult:
in desperate diseases there are no methods but desperate ones.

"I beg a thousand pardons, dear Sister: in these three long pages I talk
to you of nothing but my troubles and affairs. A strange abuse it would
be of any other person's friendship. But yours, my dear Sister, yours
is known to me; and I am persuaded you are not impatient when I open
my heart to you:--a heart which is yours altogether; being filled with
sentiments of the tenderest esteem, with which I am, my dearest Sister,
your [in truth, affectionate Brother at all times] F." [_OEuvres de
Frederic,_ xxvii. i. 294, 295, 296-298.]


The Prince of Prussia's Enterprise had its intricacies; but, by
good management, was capable of being done. At least, so Friedrich
thought;--though, in truth, it would have been better had Friedrich gone
himself, since the chief pressure happened to fall there! The Prince has
to retire, Parthian-like, as slowly as possible, with the late Kolin or
Moritz-Bevern Army, towards the Lausitz, keeping his eye upon Silesia
the while; of course securing the passes and strong places in his
passage, for defence of his own rear at lowest; especially securing
Zittau, a fine opulent Town, where his chief Magazine is, fed from
Silesia now. The Army is in good strength (guess 30,000), with every
equipment complete, in discipline, in health and in heart, such as
beseems a Prussian Army,--probably longing rather, if it venture to
long or wish for anything not yet commanded, to have a stroke at those
Austrians again, and pay them something towards that late Kolin score.

The Prince arrived at Jung-Bunzlau, June 30th; Winterfeld with him, and,
at his own request, Schmettau. The Austrians have not yet stirred: if
they do, it may be upon the King, it may be upon the Prince: in three or
even in two marches, Prince and King can be together,--the King only too
happy, in the present oppressive coil of doubts, to find the Austrians
ready for a new passage of battle, and an immediate decision. The
Austrians did, in fact, break out,--seemingly, at first, upon the King;
but in reality upon the Prince, whom they judge safer game; and the
matter became much more critical upon him than had been expected.

The Prince was thought to have a good judgment (too much talk in it, we
sometimes feared), and fair knowledge in military matters. The King,
not quite by the Prince's choice, has given him Winterfeld for Mentor;
Winterfeld, who has an excellent military head in such matters, and
a heart firm as steel,--almost like a second self in the King's
estimation. Excellent Winterfeld;--but then there are also Schmettau,
Bevern and others, possibly in private not too well affected to this
Winterfeld. In fact, there is rather a multitude of Counsellers;--and an
ingenuous fine-spirited Prince, perhaps more capable of eloquence on
the Opposition side, than of condensing into real wisdom a multitude
of counsels, when the crisis rises, and the affair becomes really
difficult. Crisis did rise: the victorious Austrians, after such delay,
had finally made up their minds to press this one a little, this one
rather than the King, and hang upon his skirts; Daun and Prince Karl set
out after him, just about the time of his arrival,--"70,000 strong,"
the Prince hears; including plenty of Pandours. Certain it is, the poor
Prince's mind did flounder a good deal; and his procedures succeeded
extremely ill on this occasion. Certain, too, that they were extremely
ill-taken at head-quarters: and that he even died soon after,--chiefly
of broken heart, said the censorious world. It is well known how Europe
rang with the matter for a long while; and Books were printed, and
Documents, and COLLECTIONS BY A MASTER'S HAND. [_Lettres Secretes
touchant la Deniere Guerre; de Main de Maitre; divisees en deux parties_
(Francfort et Amsterdam, 1772): this is the Prince's own Statement,
Proof in hand. By far the clearest Account is in _Schmettau's Leben_ (by
his Son), pp. 353-384. See also Preuss, ii. 57-61, and especially ii.
407.] We, who can spend but a page or two on it, must carefully stand by
the essential part.

"JUNE 30th-JULY 3d, Prince at Jung-Bunzlau, in chief command. Besides
Winterfeld, the Generals under him are Ziethen, Schmettau, Fouquet,
Retzow, Goltz, and two others who need not be of our acquaintance.
Impossible to stay there, thinks the Prince, thinks everybody; and they
shift to Neuschloss, westward thirty miles. July 1st, Daun had crossed
the Elbe (Daun let us say for brevity, though it is Daun and Karl, or
even Karl and Daun, Karl being chief, and capable of saying so at times,
though Daun is very splendent since Kolin),--crossed the Elbe above
Brandeis; Nadasti, with precursor Pandours, now within an hour's march
of Jung-Bunzlau;--and it was time to go.

"JULY 3d-6th, At Neuschloss, which is thought a strong position, key of
the localities there, and nearer Friedrich too, the Prince stayed not
quite four days; shifted to Bohm (BohmISCH) Leipa, JULY 7th,--rather off
from Leitmeritz, but a march towards Zittau, where the provisions are.
'A bad change,' said the Prince's friends afterwards; (change advised by
Winterfeld,--who never mentioned that circumstance to his Majesty, many
as he did mention, not in the best way!'--Prince gets to Bohm Leipa July
7th; stays there, in questionable circumstances, nine days.

"Bohm Leipa is still not above thirty miles northeastward of the King;
and it is about the same distance southwestward from Zittau, out of
which fine Town, partly by cross-roads, the Prince gets his provisions
on this march. From Zittau hitherward, as far as the little Town of
Gabel, which lies about half way, there is broad High Road, the great
Southern KAISER-STRASSE: from Gabel, for Bohm Leipa, you have to cross
southwestward by country roads; the keys to which, especially Gabel, the
Prince has not failed to secure by proper garrison parties. And so,
for about a week, not quite uncomfortably, he continues at Bohm Leipa;
getting in his convoys from Zittau. Diligently scanning the Pandour
stragglings and sputterings round him, which are clearly on the
increasing hand. Diligently corresponding with the King, meanwhile; who
much discourages undue apprehension, or retreat movement till the last
pinch. 'Edging backward, and again backward, you come bounce upon Berlin
one day, and will then have to halt!'--which is not pleasant to the
Prince. But, indisputably, the Pandour spurts on him do become Pandour
gushings, with regulars also noticeable: it is certain the Austrians
are out,--pretending first to mean the King and Leitmeritz; but knowing
better, and meaning the Prince and Bohm Leipa all the while."--By way of
supplement, take Daun's positions in the interim:--

Daun and Karl were at Podschernitz 26th June; 1st July, cross the Elbe,
above Brandeis (Nadasti now within an hour's march of Jung-Bunzlau); 7th
July (day while the Prince is flitting to Bohm Leipa), Daun is through
Jung-Bunzlau to Munchengratz; thence to Liebenau; 14th, to Niemes,
not above four miles from the Prince's rightmost outpost (rightmost or
eastmost, which looks away from his Brother); while a couple of advanced
parties, Beck and Maguire, hover on his flank Zittau-ward, and Nadasti
(if he knew it) is pushing on to rear.

"THURSDAY, 14th JULY, About six in the evening, at Bohm Leipa, distinct
cannon-thunder is heard from northeast: 'Evidently Gabel getting
cannonaded, and our wagon convoy [empty, going to Zittau for meal,
General Puttkammer escorting] is in a dangerous state!' And by and by
hussar parties of ours come in, with articulate news to that bad
effect: 'Gabel under hot attack of regulars; Puttkammer with his 3,000
vigorously defending, will expect to be relieved within not many hours!'
Here has the crisis come. Crisis sure enough;--and the Prince, to meet
it, summons that refuge of the irresolute, a Council of War.

"Winterfeld, who is just come home in these moments, did not
attend;--not, till three next morning. Winterfeld had gone to bed;
fairly 'tired dead,' with long marching and hurrying about. To the poor
Prince there are three courses visible. Course FIRST, That of joining
the King at Leitmeritz. Gabel, Zittau lost in that case; game given
up;--reception likely to be bad at Leitmeritz! Course SECOND,--the
course Friedrich himself would at once have gone upon, and been already
well ahead with,--That of instantly taking measures for the relief
of Puttkammer. Dispute Gabel to the last; retreat, on loss of it,
Parthian-like, to Zittau, by that broad Highway, short and broad, whole
distance hence only thirty miles. 'Thirty miles,' say the multitude
of Counsellors: 'Yes, but the first fifteen, TO Gabel, is cross-road,
hilly, difficult; they have us in flank!' 'We are 25,000,' urges the
Prince; 'fifteen miles is not much!' The thing had its difficulties:
the Prince himself, it appears, faintly thought it feasible: '25,000
we; 20,000 they; only fifteen miles,' said he. But the variety of
Counsellors: 'Cross-roads, defiles, flank-march, dangerous,' said they.
And so the third course, which was incomparably the worst, found favor
in Council of War: That of leaving Gabel and Puttkammer to their fate;
and of pushing off for Zittau leftwards through the safe Hills,
by Kamnitz, Kreywitz, Rumburg;--which, if the reader look, is by a
circuitous, nay quite parabolic course, twice or thrice as far:--'In
that manner let us save Zittau and our Main Body!' said the Council of
War. Yes, my friends: a cannon-ball, endeavoring to get into Zittau
from the town-ditch, would have to take a parabolic course;--and the
cannon-ball would be speedy upon it, and not have Hill roads to go
by! This notable parabolic circuit of narrow steep roads may have its
difficulties for an Army and its baggages!" Enough, the poor Prince
adopted that worst third course; and even made no despatch in getting
into it; and it proved ruinous to Zittau, and to much else, his own life
partly included.

"JULY 16th-22d. Thursday night, or Friday 3 A.M., that third and
incomparably worst course was adopted: Gabel, Puttkammer with his
wagons, ensigns, kettledrums, all this has to surrender in a day: High
Road to Zittau, for the Austrians, is a smooth march, when they like to
gather fully there, and start. And in the Hills, with their jolts and
precipitous windings, infested too by Pandours, the poor Prussian
Main Body, on its wide parabolic circuit, has a time of it! Loses its
pontoons, loses most of its baggage; obliged to set fire, not to the
Pandours, but to your own wagons, and necessaries of army life; encamps
on bleak heights; no food, not even water; road quite lost, road to be
rediscovered or invented; Pandours sputtering on you out of every
bush and hollow, your peasant wagoners cutting traces and galloping
off:--such are the phenomena of that march by circuit leftward, on the
poor Prince's part. March began, soon after midnight, SATURDAY, 16th,
Schmettau as vanguard; and"--

And, in fine, by FRIDAY, 22d, after not quite a week of it, the Prince,
curving from northward (in parabolic course, LESS speedy than the
cannon-ball's would have been) into sight of Zittau,--behold, there are
the Austrians far and wide to left of us, encamped impregnable behind
the Neisse River there! They have got the Eckart's Hill, which commands
Zittau:--and how to get into Zittau and our magazines, and how to
subsist if we were in? The poor Prince takes post on what Heights there
are, on his own side of the Neisse; looks wistfully down upon Zittau,
asking How?

About stroke of noon the Austrians, from their Eckartsberg, do a thing
which was much talked of. They open battery of red-hot balls upon
Zittau; kindle the roofs of it, shingle-roofs in dry July; set Zittau
all on blaze, the 10,000 innocent souls shrieking in vain to Heaven and
Earth; and before sunset, Zittau is ashes and red-hot walls, not Zittau
but a cinder-heap,--Prussian Garrison not hurt, nor Magazine as yet;
Garrison busy with buckets, I should guess, but beginning to find
the air grow very hot. On the morrow morning, Zittau is a smouldering
cinder-heap, hotter and hotter to the Prussian Garrison; and does not
exist as a City.

One of the most inhuman actions ever heard of in War, shrieks universal
Germany; asks itself what could have set a chivalrous Karl upon this
devil-like procedure? "Protestants these poor Zittauers were; shone in
commerce; no such weaving, industrying, in all Teutschland elsewhere:
Hah! An eye-sorrow, they, with their commerce, their weavings and
industryings, to Austrian Papists, who cannot weave or trade?" that was
finally the guess of some persons;--wide of the mark, we may well judge.
Prince Xavier of Saxony, present in the Camp too, made no remonstrance,
said others. Alas, my friends, what could Xavier probably avail,
the foolish fellow, with only three regiments? Prince Karl, it was
afterwards evident, could have got Zittau unburnt; and could even have
kept the Prussians out of Zittau altogether. Zittau surely would have
been very useful to Prince Karl. But overnight (let us try to fancy it
so), not knowing the Prussian possibilities, Prince Karl, screwed to the
devilish point, had got his furnaces lighted, his red-hot balls ready;
and so, hurried on by his Pride and by his other Devils, had,--There are
devilish things sometimes done in War. And whole cities are made
ashes by them. For certain, here is a strange way of commencing your
"Deliverance of Saxony"! And Prince Karl carries, truly, a brand-mark
from this conflagration, and will till all memory of him cease. As to
Zittau, it rebuilt itself. Zittau is alive again; a strong stone city,
in our day. On its new-built Town-house stands again "BENE FACERE ET
MALE AUDIRE REGIUM EST, To do well, and be ill spoken of, is the part
of kings" [A saying of Alexander the Great's (Plutarch, in ALEXANDRE).]
(amazingly true of them,--when they are not shams). What times for
Herrnhuth; preparing for its Christian Sabbath, under these omens near

The Prince of Prussia tells us, he "early next morning (Saturday, 23d
July) had his tents pitched;" which was but an unavailing procedure,
with poor Zittau gone such a road. "Bring us bread out of that ruined
Zittau," ordered the Prince: his Detachment returns ineffectual, "So
hot, we cannot march in." And the Garrison Colonel (one Dierecke and
five battalions are garrison) sends out word: "So hot, we cannot stand
it." "Stand it yet a very little; and--!" answers the Prince: but
Dierecke and battalions cannot, or at least cannot long enough; and set
to marching out. In firm order, I have no doubt, and with some modicum
of bread: but the tumbling of certain burnt walls parted Colonel and
men, in a sad way. Colonel himself, with the colors, with the honors
(none of his people, it seems, though they were scattered loose), was
picked up by an Austrian party, and made prisoner. A miserable business,
this of Zittau!

Next, evening, Sunday, after dark, Prince of Prussia strikes his tents
again; rolls off in a very unsuccinct condition; happily unchased, for
he admits that chase would have been ruinous. Off towards Lobau (what
nights for Zinzendorf and Herrnhuth, as such things tumble past
them!); thence towards Bautzen; and arrives in the most lugubrious torn
condition any Prussian General ever stood in. Reaches Bautzen on those
terms;--and is warned that his Brother will be there in a day or two.

One may fancy Friedrich's indignation, astonishment and grief, when
he heard of that march towards Zittau through the Hills by a parabolic
course; the issue of which is too guessable by Friedrich. He himself
instantly rises from Leitmeritz; starts, in fit divisions, by the
Pascopol, by the Elbe passes, for Pirna; and, leaving Moritz of Dessau
with a 10,000 to secure the Passes about Pirna, and Keith to come on
with the Magazines, hastens across for Bautzen, to look into these
advancing triumphant Austrians, these strange Prussian proceedings.
On first hearing of that side-march, his auguries had been bad enough;
[Letter to Wilhelmina "Linay, 22d July" (second day of the march from
Leitmeritz); _OEuvres,_ xxvii. i. 298.] but the event has far surpassed
them. Zittau gone; the Army hurrying home, as if in flight, in that
wrecked condition; the door of Saxony, door of Silesia left wide
open,--Daun has only to choose! Day by day, as Friedrich advanced to
repair that mischief, the news of it have grown worse on him. Days rife
otherwise in mere bad news. The Russians in Memel, Preussen at their
feet; Soubise's French and the Reich's Army pushing on for Erfurt, to
"deliver Saxony," on that western side: and from the French-English
scene of operations--In those same bad days Royal Highness of Cumberland
has been doing a feat worth notice in the above connection! Read this,
from an authentic source:--

"HASTENBECK, 22d-26th JULY, 1757. Royal Highness, hitching back and
back, had got to Hameln, a strong place of his on the safe side of the
Weser; and did at last, Hanover itself being now nigh, call halt; and
resolve to make a stand. July 22d [very day while the Prince of Prussia
came in sight of Zittau, with the Austrians hanging over it], Royal
Highness took post in that favorable vicinity of Hameln; at perfect
leisure to select his ground: and there sat waiting D'Estrees,--swamps
for our right wing, and the Weser not far off; small Hamlet of
Hastenbeck in front, and a woody knoll for our left;--totally inactive
for four days long; attempting nothing upon D'Estrees and his intricate
shufflings, but looking idly noonward to the courses of the sun, till
D'Estrees should come up. Royal Highness is much swollen into obesity,
into flabby torpor; a changed man since Fontenoy times; shockingly
inactive, they say, in this post at Hastenbeck. D'Estrees, too, is
ridiculously cautious, 'has manoeuvred fifteen days in advancing about
as many British miles.' D'Estrees did at last come up (July 25th),
nearly two to one of Royal Highness,--72,000 some count him, but
considerably anarchic in parts, overwhelmed with Court Generals and
Princes of the Blood, for one item;--and decides on attacking, next
morning. D'Estrees duly went to reconnoitre, but unluckily 'had mist
suddenly falling.' 'Well; we must attack, all the same!'

"And so, 26th JULY, Tuesday, there ensued a BATTLE OF HASTENBECK: the
absurdest Battle in the world; and which ought, in fairness, to have
been lost by BOTH, though Royal Highness alone had the ill luck. Both
Captains behaved very poorly; and each of them had a subaltern who
behaved well. D'Estrees, with his 70,000 VERSUS 40,000 posted there,
knows nothing of Royal Highness's position; sees only Royal Highness's
left wing on that woody Height; and after hours of preliminary
cannonading, sends out General Chevert upon that. Chevert, his subaltern
[a bit of right soldier-stuff, the Chevert whom we knew at Prag, in old
Belleisle times], goes upon it like fury; whom the Brunswick Grenadiers
resist in like humor, hotter and hotter. Some hard fighting there, on
Royal Highness's left; Chevert very fiery, Grenadiers very obstinate;
till, on the centre, westward, in Royal Highness's chief battery there,
some spark went the wrong way, and a powder-wagon shot itself aloft with
hideous blaze and roar; and in the confusion, the French rushed in, and
the battery was lost. Which discouraged the Grenadiers; so that Chevert
made some progress upon them, on their woody Height, and began to have
confident hope.

"Had Chevert known, or had D'Estrees known, there was, close behind said
Height, a Hollow, through which these Grenadiers might have been taken
in rear. Dangerous Hollow, much neglected by Royal Highness, who has
only General Breitenbach with a weak party there. This Breitenbach,
happening to have a head of his own, and finding nothing to do in that
Hollow or to rightward, bursts out, of his own accord, on Chevert's
left flank; cannonading, volleying, horse-charging;--the sound of which
('Hah, French there too!') struck a damp through Royal Highness, who
instantly ordered retreat, and took the road. What singular ill-luck
that sound of Breitenbach to Royal Highness! For observe, the EFFECT
of Breitenbach,--which was, to recover the lost battery (gallant
young Prince of Brunswick, 'Hereditary Prince,' or Duke that is to
be, striking in upon it with bayonet-charge at the right moment), made
D'Estrees to order retreat! 'Battle lost,' thinks D'Estrees;--and with
good cause, had Breitenbach been supported at all. But no subaltern
durst; and Royal Highness himself was not overtakable, so far on the
road. Royal Highness wept on hearing; the Brunswick Grenadiers too
are said to have wept (for rage); and probably Breitenbach and the
Hereditary Prince." [Mauvillon, i. 228; Anonymous of Hamburg, i. 206
(who gives a Plan and all manner of details, if needed by anybody);
Kausler; &c. &c.]

This is the last of Royal Highness's exploits in War. The retreat had
been ordered "To Hanover;" but the baggage by mistake took the road for
Minden; and Royal Highness followed thither,--much the same what road he
or it takes. Friedrich might still hope he would retreat on Magdeburg;
40,000 good soldiers might find a Captain there, and be valuable against
a D'Estrees and Soubise in those parts. But no; it was through Bremen
Country, to Stade, into the Sea, that Royal Highness, by ill luck,
retreated! He has still one great vexation to give Friedrich,--to us
almost a comfort, knowing what followed out of it;--and will have to be
mentioned one other time in this History, and then go over our horizon

Whether Friedrich had heard of Hastenbeck the day his Brother and he met
(July 29th, at Bautzen), I do not know: but it is likely enough he
may have got the news that very morning; which was not calculated to
increase one's good humor! His meeting with the Prince is royal,
not fraternal, as all men have heard. Let us give with brevity, from
Schmettau Junior, the exact features of it; and leave the candid reader,
who has formed to himself some notion of kingship and its sorrows and
stern conditions (having perhaps himself some thing of kingly, in a
small potential way), to interpret the matter, and make what he can of

"BAUTZEN, 29th JULY, 1757. The King with reinforcement is coming hither,
from the Dresden side; to take up the reins of this dishevelled Zittau
Army; to speed with it against the Austrians, and, if humanly possible,
lock the doors of Silesia and Saxony again, and chase the intruders
away. Prince of Prussia and the other Generals have notice, the night
before: 'At 4 A.M. to-morrow (29th), wait his Majesty.' Prince and
Generals wait accordingly, all there but Goltz and Winterfeld; they not,
which is noted.

"For above an hour, no King; Prince and Generals ride forward:--there is
the King coming; Prince Henri, Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick and others
in his train. King, noticing them, at about 300 paces distance, drew
bridle; Prince of Prussia did the like, train and he saluting with their
hats, as did the King's train in return. King did not salute;--on the
contrary, he turned his horse round and dismounted, as did everybody
else on such signal. King lay down on the ground, as if waiting the
arrival of his Vanguard; and bade Winterfeld and Goltz sit by him." Poor
Prince of Prussia, and battered heavy-laden Generals!"After a minute or
two, Goltz came over and whispered to the Prince. 'Hither, MEINE HERREN,
all of you; a message from his Majesty!' cried the Prince. Whereupon,
to Generals and Prince, Goltz delivered, in equable official tone, these
affecting words: 'His Majesty commands me to inform your Royal Highness,
That he has cause to be greatly discontented with you; that you deserve
to have a Court-martial held over you, which would sentence you and all
your Generals to death; but that his Majesty will not carry the matter
so far, being unable to forget that in the Chief General he has a
Brother!'" [Schmettau, pp. 384, 385.]

The Prince answered, He wanted only a Court-martial, and the like, in
stiff tone. Here is the Letter he writes next day to his Brother, with
the Answer:--


"BAUTERN, 30th July, 1757.

"MY DEAR BROTHER,--The Letters you have written me, and the reception I
yesterday met with, are sufficient proof that, in your opinion, I have
ruined my honor and reputation. This grieves, but it does not crush
me, as in my own mind I am not conscious of the least reproach. I am
perfectly convinced that I did not act by caprice: I did not follow the
counsels of people incapable of giving good ones; I have done what I
thought to be suitablest for the Army. All your Generals will do me that

"I reckon it useless to beg of you to have my conduct investigated: this
would be a favor you would do me; so I cannot expect it. My health has
been weakened by these fatigues, still more by these chagrins. I have
gone to lodge in the Town, to recruit myself.

"I have requested the Duke of Bevern to present the Army Reports; he can
give you explanation of everything. Be assured, my dear Brother, that
in spite of the misfortunes which overwhelm me, and which I have not
deserved, I shall never cease to be attached to the State; and as a
faithful member of the same, my joy will be perfect when I learn the
happy issue of your Enterprises. I have the honor to be"

AUGUST WILHELM. _Main de Maitre,_ p. 21.]


"CAMP NEAR BAUTZEN, 30th July, 1757. "MY DEAR BROTHER,--Your bad
guidance has greatly deranged my affairs. It is not the Enemy, it
is your ill-judged measures that have done me all this mischief.
My Generals are inexcusable; either for advising you so ill, or in
permitting you to follow resolutions so unwise. Your ears are accustomed
to listen to the talk of flatterers only. Daun has not flattered
you;--behold the consequences. In this sad situation, nothing is left
for me but trying the last extremity. I must go and give battle; and if
we cannot conquer, we must all of us have ourselves killed.

"I do not complain of your heart; but I do of your incapacity, of your
want of judgment in not choosing better methods. A man who [like me;
mark the phrase, from such a quarter!] has but a few days to live need
not dissemble. I wish you better fortune than mine has been: and that
all the miseries and bad adventures you have had may teach you to
treat important things with more of care, more of sense, and more of
resolution. The greater part of the misfortunes which I now see to be
near comes only from you. You and your Children will be more overwhelmed
by them than I. Be persuaded nevertheless that I have always loved you,
and that with these sentiments I shall die. FRIEDRICH." [MAIN DE MAITRE,
p. 22.]

As the King went off to the Heights of Weissenberg, Zittau way, to
encamp there against the Austrians, that same evening, the Prince
did not answer this Letter,--except by asking verbally through
Lieutenant-Colonel Lentulus (a mute Swiss figure, much about the King,
who often turns up in these Histories), "for leave to return to Dresden
by the first escort."--"Depends on himself;--an escort is going this
night! answered Friedrich. And the Prince went accordingly; and, by two
stages, got into Dresden with his escort on the morrow. And had, not yet
conscious of it, quitted the Field of War altogether; and was soon about
to quit the world, and die, poor Prince. Died within a year, 12th June,
1758, at Oranienburg, beside his Family, where he had latterly been.
[Preuss, ii. 60 (ib. 78).]--Winterfeld was already gone, six months
before him; Goltz went, not long after him; the other Zittau Generals
all survived this War.

The poor Prince's fate, as natural, was much pitied; and Friedrich, to
this day, is growled at for "inhuman treatment" and so on. Into which
question we do not enter, except to say that Friedrich too had his
sorrows; and that probably his concluding words, "with these sentiments
I shall die," were perfectly true. MAIN DE MAITRE went widely abroad
over the world. The poor Prince's words and procedures were eagerly
caught up by a scrutinizing public,--and some of the former were not too
guarded. At Dresden, he said, one morning, calling on a General Finck
whom we shall hear of again: "Four such disagreeing, thin-skinned,
high-pacing (UNEINIGE, PIQUIRTE) Generals as Fouquet, Schmettau,
Winterfeld and Goltz, about you, what was to be done!" said the Prince
to Finck. [Preuss, ii. 79 n.: see ib. 60, 78.]

His Wife, when at last he came to Oranienburg, nursed him fondly; that
is one comfortable fact. Prince Henri, to the last, had privately a
grudge of peculiar intensity, on this score, against all the peccant
parties, King not excepted. As indeed he was apt to have, on various
scores, the jealous, too vehement little man.

Friedrich's humor at this time I can guess to have been well-nigh
desperate. He talks once of "a horse, on too much provocation, getting
the bit between its teeth; regardless thenceforth of chasms and
precipices:" [Letter to Wilhelmina, "Linay, 22d July" (cited
above).]--though he himself never carries it to that length; and always
has a watchful eye, when at his swiftest! From Weissenberg, that
night, he drives in the Pandours on Zittau and the Eckartsberg--but the
Austrians don't come out. And, for three weeks in this fierce necessity
of being speedy, he cannot get one right stroke at the Austrians; who
sit inexpugnable upon their Eckart's Hill, bristling with cannon; and
can in no way be manoeuvred down, or forced or enticed into Battle. A
baffling, bitterly impatient three weeks;--two of them the worst two,
he spends at Weissenberg itself, chasing Pandours, and scuffling on the
surface, till Keith and the Magazine-train come up;--even writing Verses
now and then, when the hours get unendurable otherwise!

The instant Keith and the Magazines are come he starts for Bernstadt;
56,000 strong after this junction:--and a Prussian Officer, dating
"Bernstadtel [Bernstadt on the now Maps], 21st August, 1757," sends us
this account; which also is but of preliminary nature:--

"AUGUST 15th, Majesty left Weissenberg, and marched hither, much to the
enemy's astonishment, who had lain perfectly quiet for a fortnight
past, fancying they were a mastiff on the door-sill of Silesia: little
thinking to be trampled on in this unceremonious way! General Beck, when
our hussars of the vanguard made appearance, had to saddle and ride
as for life, leaving every rag of baggage, and forty of his Pandours
captive. Our hussars stuck to him, chasing him into Ostritz, where they
surprised General Nadasti at dinner; and did a still better stroke of
business: Nadasti himself could scarcely leap on horseback and get off;
left all his field equipage, coaches, horses, kitchen-utensils, flunkies
seventy-two in number,--and, what was worst of all, a secret box, in
which were found certain Dresden Correspondences of a highly treasonous
character, which now the writers there may quake to think of;"--if
Friedrich, or we, could take much notice of them, in this press of
hurries! [_Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 595-599.]

Next day, August 16th, Friedrich detached five battalions to
Gorlitz;--Prince Karl (he calls it DAUN) still camping on the
Eckartsberg;--and himself, about 4 P.M., with the main Army, marched up
to those Austrians on their Hill, to see if they would fight. [_OEuvres
de Frederic,_ iv. 137.] No, they would n't: they merely hustled
themselves round so as to face him; face him, and even flank him with
cannon-batteries if he came too near. Steep ground, "precipitous front
of rocks," in some places. "A hollow before their front; Village of
Wittgenau there, and three roads through it, ONE of them with width for
wheels;" Daun sitting inaccessible, in short. Next day, Winterfeld, with
a detached Division, crossed the Neisse, tried Nadasti: "Attack Nadasti,
on his woody knoll at Hirschfeld yonder; they will have to rise and save
him!" In vain, that too; they let Nadasti take his own luck: for four
days (16th-20th August) everything was tried, in vain.

No Battle to be had from these Austrians. And it would have been so
infinitely convenient to us: Reich's Army and Soubise's French are now
in the actual precincts of Erfurt (August 25th, Soubise took quarter
there); Royal Highness of Cumberland is staggering back into the Sea;
Richelieu's French (not D'Estrees any more, D'Estrees being superseded
in this strange way) are aiming, it is thought, towards Magdeburg, had
they once done with Royal Highness; Swedes are getting hold of Pommern;
Russians, in huge force, of Preussen: how comfortable to have had our
Austrians finished before going upon the others! For four days more
(August 20th-24th), Friedrich arranges his Army for watching the
Austrians, and guarding Silesia;--Bevern and Winterfeld to take command
in his absence:--and, August 25th, has to march; with a small Division,
which, at Dresden, he will increase by Moritz's, now needless in the
Pirna Country; towards Thuringen; to look into Soubise and the Reich's
Army, as a thing that absolutely cannot wait. Arrives in Dresden,
Monday, August 29th; and--Or let the old Newspaper report it, with the
features of life:--

"DRESDEN, 29th AUGUST, 1757, This day, about noon, his Majesty, with a
part of his Army from the Upper Lausitz, arrived at the Neustadt here.
Though the kitchen had been appointed to be set up at what they call The
Barns (DIE SCHEUNEN), his Majesty was pleased to alight in Konigsbruck
Street, at the new House of Bruhl's Chamberlain, Haller; and there
passed the night. Tuesday evening, 30th, his Majesty the King, with his
Lifeguards of Horse and of Foot, also with the Gens-d'Armes and other
Battalions, marched through the City, about a mile out on the Freiberg
road, and took quarter in Klein Hamberg. The 31st, all the Army
followed,"--a poor 23,000, Moritz and he, that was all! ["22,360"
(Templehof, i. 228).]--"the King's field-equipage, which had been taken
from the Bruhl Palace and packed in twelve wagons, went with them."
[Rodenbeck, p. 316; Preuss, ii. 84 n; Mitchell's Interview (_Memoirs and
Papers,_ i. 270).]


Before going upon this forlorn march of Friedrich's, one of the
forlornest a son of Adam ever had, we must speak of a thing which befell
to rearward, while the march was only half done, and which greatly
influenced it and all that followed. It was the seventh day of
Friedrich's march, not above eighty miles of it yet done, when
Winterfeld perished in fight. No Winterfeld now to occupy the Austrians
in his absence; to stand between Silesia and them, or assist him farther
in his lonesome struggle against the world. Let us spend a moment on the
exit of that brave man: Bernstadt, Gorlitz Country, September 7th, 1757.

The Bevern Army, 36,000 strong, is still there in its place in the
Lausitz, near Gorlitz; Prince Karl lies quiet in his near Zittau, ever
since he burnt that Town, and stood four days in arms unattackable
by Friedrich with prospect of advantage. The Court of Vienna cannot
comprehend this state of inactivity: "Two to one, and a mere Bevern
against you, the King far away in Saxony upon his desperate Anti-French
mission there: why not go in upon this Bevern? The French, whom we are
by every courier passionately importuning to sweep Saxony clear, what
will they say of this strange mode of sweeping Silesia clear?" Maria
Theresa and her Kriegs-Hofrath are much exercised with these thoughts,
and with French and other remonstrances that come. Maria Theresa and her
Kriegs-Hofrath at length despatch their supreme Kaunitz, Graf Kaunitz
in person, to stir up Prince Karl, and look into the matter with his
own wise eyes and great heart: Prince Karl, by way of treat to this high
gentleman, determines on doing something striking upon Bevern.

Bevern lies with his main body about Gorlitz, in and to westward of
Gorlitz, a pleasant Town on the left bank of the Neisse (readers know
there are four Neisses, and which of them this is), with fine hilly
country all round, bulky solitary Heights and Mountains rising out of
fruitful plains,--two Hochkirchs (HIGH-KIRKS), for example, are in this
region, one of which will become extremely notable next year:--Bevern
has a strong camp leaning on the due Heights here, with Gorlitz in its
lap; and beyond Gorlitz, on the right bank of the Neisse, united to him
by a Bridge, he has placed Winterfeld with 10,000, who lies with his
back to Gorlitz, proper brooks and fencible places flanking him, has
a Dorf (THORP) called Moys in HIS lap; and, some short furlong beyond
Moys, a 2,000 of his grenadiers planted on the top of a Hill called the
Moysberg, called also the Holzberg (WOODHILL) and Jakelsberg, of which
the reader is to take notice. Fine outpost, with proper batteries atop,
with hussar squadrons and hussar pickets sprinkled about; which commands
a far outlook towards Silesia, and in marching thither, or in continuing
here, is useful to have in hand,--were it not a little too distant from
the main body. It is this Jakelsberg, capable of being snatched if one
is sudden enough, that Prince Karl decides on: it may be good for much
or for little to Prince Karl; and, if even for nothing, it will be a
brilliant affront upon Winterfeld and Bevern, and more or less charming
to Kaunitz.

Winterfeld, the ardent enterprising man, King's other self, is thought
to be the mainspring of affairs here (small thanks to him privately
from Bevern, add some): and is stationed in the extreme van, as we see;
Winterfeld is engaged in many things besides the care of this post; and
indeed where a critical thing is to be done, we can imagine Winterfeld
goes upon it. "We must try to stay here till the King has finished in
Saxony!" says Winterfeld always. To which Bevern replies, "Excellent,
truly; but how?" Bevern has his provender at Dresden, sadly far off;
has to hold Bautzen garrisoned, and gets much trouble with his convoys.
Better in Silesia, with our magazines at hand, thinks Bevern, less
mindful of other considerations.

Tuesday, September 6th, Prince Karl sends Nadasti to the right bank of
the River, forward upon Moys, to do the Jakelsberg before day to-morrow:
only some 2,000 grenadiers on it; Nadasti has with him 15,000, some
count 20,000 of all arms, artillery in plenty; surely sufficient for the
Jakelsberg; and Daun advances, with the main body, on the other side
of the River, to be within reach, should Moys lead to more serious
consequences. Nadasti diligently marches all day; posts himself at night
within few miles of Moys; gets his cannon to the proper Hills (GALLOWS
Hill and others), his Croats to the proper Woods; and, before daylight
on the morrow, means to begin upon the Moys Hill and its 2,000

Wednesday morning, at the set hour, Nadasti, with artillery bursting
out and quivering battle-lines, is at work accordingly; hurls up 1,000
Croats for one item, and regulars to the amount of "forty companies in
three lines." The grenadiers, somewhat astonished, for the morning
was misty and their hussar-posts had come hastily in, stood upon their
guard, like Prussian men; hurled back the 1,000 Croats fast enough;
stubbornly repulsed the regulars too, and tumbled them down hill with
bullet-storm for accompaniment; gallantly foiling this first attempt of
Nadasti's. Of course Nadasti will make another, will make ever others;
capture of the Jakelsberg can hardly be doubtful to Nadasti.

Winterfeld was not at Moys, he was at Gorlitz, just got in from
escorting an important meal-convoy hither out of Bautzen; and was in
conference with Bevern, when rumor of these Croat attacks came in at the
gallop from Moys. Winterfeld made little of the rumors: he had heard
of some attack intended, but it was to have been overnight, and has
not been. "Mere foraging of Croat rabble, like yesterday's!" said
Winterfeld, and continued his present business. In few minutes the sound
of heavy cannonading convinced him. "Haha, there are my guests,"
said he; "we must see if we cannot entertain them right!" sprang to
horseback, ordered on, double-quick, the three regiments nearest him,
and was off at the gallop,--too late; or, alas, too EARLY we might
rather say! Arriving at the gallop, Winterfeld found his grenadiers
and their insufficient reinforcements rolling back, the Hill lost;
Winterfeld "sprang to a fresh horse," shot his lightning glances and
energies, to his hand and that; stormfully rallied the matter, recovered
the Hill; and stormfully defended it, for, I should guess, an hour or
more; and might still have done one knows not what, had not a bullet
struck him through the breast, and suddenly ended all his doings in this

Three other reasons the Prussians give for loss of their Hill, which are
of no consequence to them or to us in comparison. First, that Bevern; on
message after message, sent no reinforcement; that Winterfeld was left
to his own 10,000, and what he and they could make of it. Bevern is
jealous of Winterfeld, hint they, and willing to see his impetuous
audacity checked. Perhaps only cautious of getting into a general
action for what was intrinsically nothing? Second, that two regiments
of Infantry, whom Winterfeld detached double-quick to seize a couple of
villages (Leopoldshayn, Hermsdorf) on his right, and therefrom fusillade
Nadasti on flank, found the villages already occupied by thousands of
Croats, with regular foot and cannon-batteries, and could in nowise
seize them. This was a great reverse of advantage. Third, that an
Aide-de-Camp made a small misnomer, misreport of one word, which was
terribly important: "Bring me hither Regiment Manteuffel!" Winterfeld
had ordered. The Aide-de-Camp reported it "Grenadiers Manteuffel:" upon
which, the grenadiers, who were posted in a walled garden, an important
point to Winterfeld's right, came instantly to order; and Austrians
instantly rushed in to the vacant post, and galled Winterfeld's other
flank by their fire. [Abundant Accounts in Seyfarth, ii. (_Beylagen_),
162-163; _Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 615-633; Retzow, i. 216-221.]

Enough, Winterfeld lay bleeding to death, the Hill was lost, Prussians
drawing off slowly and back-foremost, about two in the afternoon; upon
which the Austrians also drew off, leaving only a small party on the
Hill, who voluntarily quitted it next morning. Next morning, likewise,
Winterfeld had died. The Hill was, except as bravado, and by way
of comfort to Kaunitz, nothing for the Austrians; but the death of
Winterfeld, which had come by chance to them in the business, was
probably a great thing. Better than two pitched battles gained: who
shall say? He was a shining figure, this Winterfeld; dangerous to the
Austrians. The most shining figure in the Prussian Army, except its
Chief; and had great thoughts in his head. Prussia is not skilful to
celebrate her Heroes,--the Prussian Muse of History, choked with dry
military pipe-clay, or with husky cobwebbery and academic pedantry, how
can she?--but if Prussia can produce heroes worth celebrating, that
is the one important point. Apart from soldiership, and the outward
features which are widely different, there is traceable in Winterfeld
some kinship in soul to English Chatham his contemporary; though he has
not had the fame of Chatham.

Winterfeld was by no means universally liked; as what brave man is or
can be? Too susceptible to flattery; too this, too that. He is, one
feels always, except Friedrich only, the most shining figure in the
Prussian Army: and it was not unnatural he should be Friedrich's
one friend,--as seems to have been the case. Friedrich, when this
Job's-message reached him (in Erfurt Country, eight days hence), was
deeply affected by it. To tears, or beyond tears, as we can fancy.
"Against my multitude of enemies I may contrive resources," he was heard
to say; "but I shall find no Winterfeld again!" Adieu, my one friend,
real Peer, sole companion to my lonely pilgrimage in these perilous high

"The Prince of Prussia, contrariwise," says a miserable little Note,
which must not be withheld, "brightened up at the news: 'I shall now die
much more content, knowing that there is one so bad and dangerous man
fewer in the Army!' And, six months after, in his actual death-moments,
he exclaimed: 'I end my life, the last period of which has cost me so
much sorrow; but Winterfeld is he who shortened my days!'" [Preuss, ii.
75; citing Retzow.]--Very bitter Opposition humors circulating, in their
fashion, there as elsewhere in this world!

Bevern, the millstone of Winterfeld being off his neck, has become a
more responsible, though he feels himself a much-delivered man. Had
not liked Winterfeld, they say; or had even hated him, since those
bad Zittau times. Can now, at any rate, make for Schlesien and the
meal-magazines, when he sees good. He will find meal readier there; may
he find other things corresponding! Nobody now to keep him painfully
manoeuvring in these parts; with the King's Army nearer to him, but meal

On the third day after (September 10th), Bevern, having finished
packing, took the road for Schlesien; Daun and Karl attending him;
nothing left of Daun and Karl in those Saxon Countries,--except, at
Stolpen, out Dresden-wards, some Reserve-Post or Rear-guard of 15,000,
should we chance to hear of that again. And from the end of September
onwards, Bevern's star, once somewhat bright at Reichenberg, shot
rapidly downwards, under the horizon altogether; and there came, post
after post, such news out of Schlesien,--to say nothing of that Stolpen
Party,--as Friedrich had never heard before.


The Soubise-Hildburghausen people had got rendezvoused at Erfurt about
August 25th; 50,000 by account, and no enemy within 200 miles of them;
and in the Versailles circles it had been expected they would proceed to
the "Deliverance of Saxony" straightway. What is to hinder?--Friedrich,
haggling with the Austrians at Bernstadt, could muster but a poor
23,000, when he did march towards Erfurt. In those same neighborhoods,
within reach of Soubise, is the Richelieu, late D'Estrees, Army; elated
with Hastenbeck, comfortably pushing Royal Highness of Cumberland,
who makes no resistance, step by step, into the sea; victoriously
plundering, far and wide in those countries, Hanover itself the
Head-quarter. In the Versailles circles, it is farther expected that
Richelieu, "Conqueror of Minorca," will shortly besiege and conquer
Magdeburg, and so crown his glories. Why not; were the "Deliverance of
Saxony" complete?

The whole of which turned out greatly otherwise, and to the sad
disappointment of Versailles. The Conqueror of Minorca is probably aware
that the conquering of Magdeburg, against one whose platforms are not
rotten, and who does not "lie always in his bed," as poor old Blakeney
did, will be a very different matter. And the private truth is, Marrchal
de Richelieu never turned his thoughts upon Magdeburg at all, nor upon
any point of war that had difficulties, but solely upon collecting
plunder for himself in those Countries. One of the most magnificent
marauders on record; in no danger, he, of becoming monitory and a
pendulum, like the 1,000 that already swing in that capacity to rear
of him! And he did manage, in this Campaign, which was the last of his
military services, so as to pay off at Paris "above 50,000 pounds of
debts; and to build for himself a beautiful Garden Mansion there, which
the mocking populations called 'Hanover Pavilion (PAVILION D'HANOVRE);'"
a name still sticking to it, I believe. [Barbier, iii. 256, 271.] Of the
Richelieu Campaign we are happily delivered from saying almost anything:
and the main interest for us turns now on that Soubise-Hildburghausen
wing of it,--which also is a sufficiently contemptible affair; not to be
spoken of beyond the strictly unavoidable.

Friedrich, with his 23,000 setting out from Dresden, August 30th, has a
march of about 170 miles towards Erfurt. He may expect to find--counting
Richelieu, if Royal Highness of Cumberland persist in acting ZERO as
hitherto--a confused mass of about 150,000 Enemies, of one sort and
other, waiting him ahead; not to think of those he has just left
behind;--and he cannot well be in a triumphant humor! Behind, before,
around, it is one gathering of Enemies: one point only certain, that
he must beat them, or else die. Readers would fain follow him in this
forlorn march; him, the one point of interest now in it: and readers
shall, if we can manage, though it is extremely difficult. For, on
getting to Erfurt, he finds his Soubise-Hildburghausen Army off on
retreat among the inaccessible Hills still farther westward; and has
to linger painfully there, and to detach, and even to march personally
against other Enemies; and then, these finished, to march back towards
his Erfurt ones, who are taking heart in the interim:--and, in short,
from September 1st to November 5th, there are two months of confused
manoeuvring and marching to and fro in that West-Saxon region, which
are very intricate to readers. November 5th is a day unforgettable:
but anterior to that, what can we do? Here, dated, are the Three
grand Epochs of the thing; which readers had better fix in mind as a

1. SEPTEMBER 13th, Friedrich has got to Erfurt neighborhood; but Soubise
and Company are off westward to the Hills of Eisenach, won't come down;
Friedrich obliged to linger thereabouts, painfully waiting almost a
month, till

2. OCTOBER 11th, hearing that "15,000 Austrians" (that Stolpen Party,
left as rear-guard at Stolpen; Croats mainly, under a General Haddick)
are on march for Berlin, he rises in haste thitherward, through Leipzig,
Torgau, say 100 miles; hears that Haddick HAS been in Berlin (16th-17th
October) for one day, and that he is off again full speed with a ransom
of 30,000 pounds, which they have had to pay him: upon which Friedrich
calls halt in the Torgau country;--and would have been uncertain what to
do, had not

3. Soubise and Company, extremely elated with this Haddick Feat, come
out from their Hills, intent to deliver Saxony after all. So that
Friedrich has to turn back (October 26th-30th) through Leipzig again;
towards,--in fact towards ROSSBACH and NOVEMBER 5th, in his old Saale
Country, which does not prove so wearisome as formerly!

These are the cardinal dates; these let the reader recur to, if
necessary, and keep steadily in mind: it will then perhaps be possible
to intercalate, in a manner intelligible to him, what other lucent
phenomena there are; and these dismal wanderings, and miserablest two
months of Friedrich's life, will not be wholly a provoking blotch
of enigmatic darkness, but in some sort a thing with features in the
twilight of the Past.

September, 1757).

The march to Erfurt was of twelve days, and without adventure to speak
of. Mayer and Free-Battalion had the vanguard, Friedrich there as usual;
main body, under Keith with Ferdinand and Moritz, following in several
columns: straight towards their goal; with steady despatch; for twelve
days;--weather often very wet. [Tempelhof, i. 229; Rodenbeck, i. 317
(not very correct): in Westphalen (ii. 20 &c.) a personal Diary of this
March, and of what followed on Duke Ferdinand's part.] Seidlitz, with
cavalry, had gone ahead, in search of one Turpin, a mighty hunter and
Hussar among the French, who was threatening Leipzig, threatening Halle:
but Turpin made off at sound of him, without trying fight; so that
Seidlitz had only to halt, and rejoin, hoping better luck another time.

A march altogether of the common type,--the stages of it not worth
marking except for special readers;--and of memorable to us offers only
this, if even this: at Rotha, in Leipzig Country, the eighth stage from
Dresden, Friedrich writes, willing to try for Peace if it be possible,


"ROTHA, 7th September, 1757.

"I feel, M. le Duc, that you have not been put in the post where you are
for the purpose of Negotiating. I am persuaded, however, that the Nephew
of the great Cardinal Richelieu is made for signing treaties no less
than for gaining battles. I address myself to you from an effect of the
esteem with which you inspire even those who do not intimately know you.

"'T is a small matter, Monsieur (IL S'AGIT D'UNE BAGATELLE): only to
make Peace, if people are pleased to wish it! I know not what your
Instructions are: but, in the supposition that the King your Master, zow
assured by your Successes, will have put it in your power to labor in
the pacification of Germany, I address to you the Sieur d'Elcheset"
(Sieur Balbi is the real name of him, an Italian Engineer of mine,
who once served with you in the Fontenoy times,--and some say he has
privately a 15,000 pounds for your Grace's acceptance,--"the Sieur
d'Elcheset), in whom you may place complete confidence.

"Though the events of this Year afford no hope that your Court still
entertains a favorable disposition for my interests, I cannot persuade
myself that a union which has lasted between us for sixteen years may
not have left some trace in the mind. Perhaps I judge others by myself.
But, however that may be, I, in short, prefer putting my interests into
the King your Master's hands rather than into any other's. If you have
not, Monsieur, any Instructions as to the Proposal hereby made, I beg of
you to ask such, and to inform me what the tenor of them is.

"He who has merited statues at Genoa [ten years ago, in those
ANTI-Austrian times, when Genoa burst up in revolt, and the French
and Richelieu beautifully intervened against the oppressors]; he who
conquered Minorca in spite of immense obstacles; he who is on the point
of subjugating Lower Saxony,--can do nothing more glorious than to
restore Peace to Europe. Of all your laurels, that will be the fairest.
Work in this Cause, with the activity which has secured you such rapid
progress otherwise; and be persuaded that nobody will feel more grateful
to you than, Monsieur le Duc,--Your faithful Friend,-- FREDERIC." [Given
in RODENBECK, i. 313 (doubtless from _Memoires de Richelieu,_ Paris,
1793, ix. 175, the one fountain-head in regard to this small affair):
for "the 15,000 pounds" and other rumored particulars, sea Retzow, i.
197; Preuss, ii. 84; _ OEuvres de Frederic,_ iv. 145.]

Richelieu, it appears by any evidence there is, went willingly into
this scheme; and applied at Versailles, as desired; with a peremptory
negative for result. Nothing came of the Richelieu attempt there; nor of
"CE M. DE MIRABEAU," if he ever went; nor of any other on that errand.
Needless to apply for Peace at Versailles (and a mere waste of your "sum
of 15,000 pounds," which one hopes is fabulous in the present scarcity
of money):--or should we perhaps have mentioned the thing at all, except
for the sake of Wilhelmina, whose fond scheme it is in this extremity of
fate; scheme which she tries in still other directions, as we shall see;
her Brother willing too, but probably with much less hope. If a civil
Letter and a bribe of Money will do it, these need not be spared.

This at Rotha is the day while Winterfeld, on Moys Hill, is meeting his
death. To-day at Pegau, in this neighborhood, Seidlitz, who could not
fall in with Turpin, has given the Hussars of Loudon a beautiful slap;
the first enemy we have seen on this march; and the last,--nothing
but Loudon and Hussars visibly about, the rest of those Soubise-Reichs
people dormant, as would seem. "D'Elcheset," Balbi, or whoever he
was, would not find Richelieu at Hanover; but at a place called
Kloster-Zeven, in Bremen Country, fifty or sixty miles farther on.
There, this day, are Richelieu with one Sporcken a Hanoverian, and
one Lynar a Dane, rapidly finishing a thing they were pleased to call
"Convention of Kloster-Zeven;" which Friedrich regarded as another huge
misfortune fallen on him,--though it proved to have been far the reverse
a while after. Concerning which take this brief Note; cannot be too
brief on such a topic:--

"Never was there a more futile Convention than that of Kloster-Zeven;
which filled all Europe with lamentable noises, indignations and
anxieties, during the remainder of that Year; and is now reduced, for
Europe and the Universe, to a silent mathematical point, or mere mark
of position, requiring still to be attended to in that character,
though itself zero in any other. Here are the main particulars, in their

"August 3d, towards midnight, '11 P.M.' say the Books, Marechal de
Richelieu arrives in the D'Estrees Camp ('Camp of Oldendorf,' still only
one march west of Hastenbeck); to whom D'Estrees on the instant loftily
delivers up his Army; explains with loyalty, for a few days more, all
things needful to the new Commander; declines to be himself Second; and
loftily withdraws to the Baths of Aachen 'for his health.'

"Royal Highness of Cumberland is, by this time, well on Elbe-ward,
Ocean-ward. Till August 1st; for one week, Royal Highness of Cumberland
lay at Minden, some thirty odd miles from Hastenbeck; deploring that
sad mistake; but unpersuadable to stand, and try amendment of it: August
1st, the French advancing on him again, he moved off northward, seaward.
By Nienburg, Verden, Rothenburg, Zeven, Bremenvorde, Stade;--arrived at
Stade, on the tidal Waters of the Elbe, August 5th; and by necessity did
halt there. From Minden onwards, Richelieu, not D'Estrees, has had the
chasing of Royal Highness: one of the simplest functions; only that
the country is getting muddy, difficult for artillery-carriage (thinks
Richelieu), with an Army so dilapidated, hungry, short of pay; and that
Royal Highness, a very furious person to our former knowledge, might
turn on us like a boar at bay, endangering everything; and finally, that
one's desire is not for battle, but for a fair chance of plunder to pay
one's debts.

"Britannic Majesty, in this awful state of his Hanover Armaments,
has been applying at the Danish Court; Richelieu too sends off an
application thither: 'Mediate between us, spare useless bloodshed!'
[Valfons, p. 291.]--Whereupon Danish Majesty (Britannic's son-in-law)
cheerfully undertakes it; bids one Lynar bestir himself upon it. Count
Lynar, an esteemed Official of his, who lives in those neighborhoods;
Danish Viceroy in Oldenburg,--much concerned with the Scriptures, the
Sacred Languages and other seraphic studies,--and a changed man since we
saw him last in the Petersburg regions, making love to Mrs. Anton Ulrich
long ago! Lynar, feeling the axis of the world laid on his shoulder in
this manner, loses not a moment; invokes the Heavenly Powers; goes on
it with an alacrity and a despatch beyond praise. Runs to the Duke of
Cumberland at Stade; thence to Richelieu at Zeven; back to the Duke,
back to Zeven: 'Won't you; and won't YOU?' and in four short days
has the once world-famed 'Convention of Kloster-Zeven' standing on
parchment,--signed, ready for ratifying: 'Royal Highness's Army to go
home to their countries again [routes, methods, times: when, how, and
what next, all left unsettled], and noise of War to cease in those
parts.' Signed cheerfully on both sides 9th September, 1757; and Lynar
striking the stars with his sublime head. [Busching (who alone is exact
in the matter), _ Beitrage,_ iv. 167, 168,? Lynar: see Scholl, iii. 49;
Valfons, pp. 202, 203; _OEuvres de Frederic,_ iv. 143 (with correction
of Preuss's Note there).]

"Unaccountable how Lynar had managed such a difficulty. He says
seraphically, in a Letter to a friend, which the Prussian hussars got
hold of, 'The idea of it was inspired by the Holy Ghost:' at which the
whole world haha'd again. For it was a Convention vague, absurd, not
capable of being executed; ratification of it refused by both Courts, by
the French Court first, if that was any matter:--and the only thing now
memorable of it is, that IT was a total Futility; but, that there ensued
from it a Fact still of importance; namely:--

"That on the 5th of October following, Royal Highness quitted Stade,
and his wrecked Army hanging sorrowful there, like a flight of plucked
cranes in mid-air;--arrived at Kensington, October 12th; heard the
paternal Majesty say, that evening, 'Here is my son who has ruined
me, and disgraced himself!'--and thereupon indignantly laid down his
military offices, all and sundry; and ceased altogether to command
Armies, English or other, in this world. [In WALPOLE (iii. 59-64) the
amplest minuteness of detail.] Whereby, in the then and now diagram of
things, Kloster-Zeven, as a mathematical point, continues memorable in
History, though shrunk otherwise to zero!

"Pitt's magnanimity to Royal Highness was conspicuous. Royal Highness,
it is said, had been very badly used in this matter by his poor peddling
Father and the Hanover Ministers; the matter being one puddle of
imbecilities from beginning to end. He was the soul of honor; brave as
a Welf lion; but, of dim poor head; and had not the faintest vestige
[ALLERGERINGSTE says Mauvillon] of military skill: awful in the extreme
to see in command of British Armies! Adieu to him, forever and a day."

Ever since July 29th, three days after Hastenbeck, Pitt had been in
Office again; such the bombardment by Corporation-Boxes and Events
impinging on Britannic Majesty: but not till now, as I fancy, had Pitt's
way, in regard to those German matters, been clear to him. The question
of a German Army, if you must, have a No-General at the top of it, might
well be problematical to Pitt. To equip your strong fighting man,
and send him on your errand, regardless of expense; and, by way of
preliminary, cut the head off him, before saying "Good-speed to you,
strong man!" But with a General, Pitt sees that it can be different;
that perhaps "America can be conquered in Germany," and that, with a
Britannic Majesty so disposed, there is no other way of trying it. To
this course Pitt stands henceforth, heedless of the gazetteer cackle,
"Hah, our Pitt too become German, after all his talking!"--like a
seventy-four under full sail, with sea, wind, pilot all of one mind, and
only certain water-fowl objecting. And is King of England for the next
Four Years; the one King poor England has had this long while;--his hand
felt shortly at the ends of the Earth. And proves such a blessing to
Friedrich, among others, as nothing else in this War; pretty much his
one blessing, little as he expected it. Before long, Excellency Mitchell
begins consulting about a General,--and Friedrich dimly sees better
things in the distance, and that Kloster-Zeven had not been the
misfortune he imagined, but only "The darkest hour," which, it is said,
lies "nearest to the dawn."

INACTION (13th September-10th October).

Friedrich's march has gone by Dobeln, Grimma, to Pegau and Rotha,
Leipzig way, but, with Leipzig well to right: it just brushes
Weissenfels to rightward, next day after Rotha; crosses Saale River near
Naumburg, whence straight through Weimar Country, Weimar City on your
left, to Erfurt on the northern side;--and,

"ERFURT, TUESDAY 13th SEPTEMBER, 1757, About 10 in the morning [listen
to a faithful Witness], there appeared Hussars on the heights to
northward:--'Vanguard of his Prussian Majesty!' said Erfurt with alarm,
and our French guests with alarm. And scarcely were the words uttered,
when said Vanguard, and gradually the whole Prussian Army [only some
9,000, though we all thought it the whole], came to sight; posting
itself in half-moon shape round us there; French and Reichs folk
hurrying off what they could from the Cyriaksberg and Petersberg, by the
opposite gates,"--towards Gotha, and the Hills of Eisenach.

"Think what a dilemma for Erfurt, jammed between two horns in this
way, should one horn enter before the other got out! Much parleying and
supplicating on the part of Erfurt: Till at last, about 4 P.M., French
being all off, Erfurt flung its gates open; and the new Power did enter,
with some due state: Prussian Majesty in Person (who could have hoped
it!) and Prince Henri beside him; Cavalry with drawn swords; Infantry
with field-pieces, and the band playing"--Prussian grenadier march, I
should hope, or something equally cheering. "The rest of the Vanguard,
and, in succession, the Army altogether, had taken Camp outside, looking
down on the Northern Gate, over at Ilgertshofen, a village in the
neighborhood, about two miles off." [_Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 636, 637.]

That is the first sight Friedrich has of "LA DAUPHINE," as the
Versailles people call this Bellona, come to "deliver Saxony;" and she
is considerably coyer than had been expected. Many sad days, and ardent
vain vows of Friedrich, before he could see the skirt of her again! From
Ilgertshofen, northwestward to Dittelstadt, Gamstadt, and other poor
specks of villages in Gotha Territory, is ten or fifteen miles; from
Dittelstadt eastward to Buttstadt and Buttelstadt, in Weimar Country,
may be twenty-five: in this area, Friedrich, shifting about, chiefly
for convenience of quarters,--head-quarter Kirschleben for a while,
Buttelstadt finally and longest,--had to wander impatiently to and
fro for four weeks and more; no work procurable, or none worth
mentioning:--in the humor of a man whose House is on fire, flaming
out of every window, front and rear; who has run up with quenching
apparatus; and cannot, being spell-bound, get the least bucket of
it applied. And is by nature the rapidest soul now alive. Figure his
situation there, as it gradually becomes manifest to him!

For the present, DAUPHINESS Bellona, hurrying to the Hills, has left
some tagrag of remnant in Gotha. Whereupon, the second day, here is an
"Own Correspondent" again,--not coming by electric telegraph, but (what
is a sensible advantage) credible in every point, when he does come:--

"GOTHA, THURSDAY, 15th SEPTEMBER. Grand-Duke and Duchess, like everybody
else, have been much occupied all morning with the fact, that the
Prussian Army [Seidlitz and a regiment or two, nothing more] is
actually here; took possession of the Town-Gates and Main Guard this
morning,--certain Hungarian-French hussar rabble, hateful to every one
in Gotha, having made off in time, rapidly towards Eisenach and the

"Towards noon, his Royal Majesty in highest person, with his Lord
Brother the Prince Henri's Royal Highness, arrived in Gotha; sent
straightway, by one of his Officers, a compliment to the Grand-Duke;
and 'would have the pleasure to come and dine, if his Serene Highness
permitted.' Serene Highness, self and Household always cordially
Friedrich's, was just about sitting down to dinner; and answered with
exuberantly glad surprise,--or was answering, when Royal Majesty himself
stept in with smiling face; and embracing the Duke, said: 'I timed
myself to arrive at this moment, thinking your Durchlaucht would be
at dinner, that I might be received without ceremony, and dine like a
neighbor among you.' Unexpected as this visit was, the joy of Duke
and Duchess," always fast friends to Friedrich, and the latter ever
afterwards his correspondent, "may be conceived, but not adequately
expressed; as both the Serenities were touched, in the most affecting
manner, by the honor of so great a King's sudden presence among them.

"His Majesty requested that the Frau von Buchwald, our Most Gracious
Duchess's Hof-Dame, whose qualities he much valued, might dine with
them,"--being always fond of sensible people, especially sensible women.
"The whole Highest and High company [Royal, that is, and Ducal] was,
during table, uncommonly merry. The King showed himself altogether
content; and his bright clever talk and sprightly sallies, awakening
everybody to the like, left not the least trace visible of the weighty
toils he was then engaged in;--as if the weightier these were, the less
should they fetter the noble openness (FREYMUTHIGKEIT) of this high
soul, which is not to be cast down by the heaviest burden.

"His Majesty having taken leave of Duke and Duchess, and graciously
permitted the chiefest persons of the Gotha Court to pay their respects,
withdrew to his Army." [Letter in _Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 638, 639.]
Slept, I find elsewhere, "at Gamstadt, on the floor of a little Inn;"
meaning to examine Posts in that part, next morning.

Here has been a cheerful little scene for Friedrich; the last he has
in these black weeks. A laborious Predecessor, striving to elucidate,
leaves me this Note:--

"What a pity one knows nothing, nor can know, about this Duke and
Duchess, though their names, especially the latter's name, are much
tossed to and fro in the Books! We heard of them, favorably, in
Voltaire's time; and may again, at least of the Lady, who is henceforth
a Correspondent of Friedrich's. The above is a dim direct view of them,
probably our last as well as first. Duke's name is Friedrich III.; I do
believe, a man of solidity, honor and polite dignified sense, a highly
respectable Duke of Sachsen-Gotha, contented to be obscure, and quietly
do what was still do-able in that enigmatic situation. He is Uncle to
our George III.;--his Sister is the now Princess-Dowager of Wales, with
a Lord Bute, and I know not what questionable figures and intrigues, or
suspicions of intrigue, much about her. His Duchess, Louisa Dorothee,
is a Princess of distinguished qualities, literary tastes,--Voltaire's
Hostess, Friedrich's Correspondent: a bright and quietly shining
illumination to the circle she inhabits. Duke is now fifty-eight,
Duchess forty-seven; and they lost their eldest Son last year. There has
been lately a considerable private brabble as to Tutorage of the Duke
of Weimar (Wilhelmina's maddish Duke, who is dead lately; and a Prince
left, who soon died also, but left a Son, who grew to be Goethe's
friend); Tutorage claimed by various Cousins, has been adjudged to this
one, King Friedrich co-operating in such result.

"As to the famed Grand-Duchess, she is a Sachsen-Meiningen Princess,
come of Ernst the Pious, of Johann the Magnanimous, as her Husband
and all these Sachsens are: when Voltaire went precipitant, with such
velocity, from the Potsdam Heaven, she received him at Gotha; set him on
writing his HISTORY OF THE EMPIRE, and endeavored to break his fall. She
was noble to Voltaire, and well honored by that uncertain Spirit. There
is a fine Library at Gotha; and the Lady bright loves Books, and those
that can write them;--a friend of the Light, a Daughter of the Sun and
the Empyrean, not of Darkness and the Stygian Fens." [Michaelis, i. 517;
&c. &c.]

Friedrich's first Letter to her Highness was one of thanks, above a year
ago, for an act of kindness, act of justice withal, which she did to
one of his Official people. Here, on the morrow of that dinner, is the
second Letter, much more aerial and cordial, in which style they all
continue, now that he has seen the admired Princess.


DITTELSTADT, "16th September, 1757.

"MADAM,--Yesterday was a Day I shall never forget; which satisfied a
just desire I have had, this long while, to see and hear a Princess whom
all Europe admires. I am not surprised, Madam, that you subdue people's
hearts; you are made to attract the esteem and the homage of all who
have the happiness to know you. But it is incomprehensible to me how you
can have enemies; and how men representing Countries that by no means
wish to pass for barbarous, can have been so basely (INDIGNEMENT)
wanting in the respect they owe you, and in the consideration which is
due to all sovereigns [French not famous for their refined demeanor in
Saxony this time]. Why could not I fly to prevent such disorders, such
indecency! I can only offer you a great deal of good-will; but I feel
well that, in present circumstances, the thing wanted is effective
results and reality. May I, Madam, be so happy as to render you some
service! May your fortune be equal to your virtues! I am with the
highest consideration, Madam, your Highness's faithful Cousin,--F."
[_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xvii. 166.]

To Wilhelmina he says of it, next day, still gratified, though sad news
have come in the interim;--death of Winterfeld, for one black item:--

... "The day before yesterday I was in Gotha. It was a touching scene
to see the partners of one's misfortunes, with like griefs and like
complaints. The Duchess is a woman of real merit, whose firmness puts
many a man to shame. Madam de Buchwald appears to me a very estimable
person, and one who would suit you much: intelligent, accomplished,
without pretensions, and good-humored. My Brother Henri is gone to see
them to-day. I am so oppressed with grief, that I would rather keep my
sadness to myself. I have reason to congratulate myself much on account
of my Brother Henri; he has behaved like an angel, as a soldier, and
well towards me as a Brother. I cannot, unfortunately, say the same
of the elder. He sulks at me (IL ME BODE), and has sulkily retired to
Torgau, from whence, I hear, he is gone to Wittenberg. I shall leave him
to his caprices and to his bad conduct; and I prophesy nothing good for
the future, unless the younger guide him." ["Kirschleben, near Erfurt,
17th September, 1757" (_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxvii. i. 306).]...

This is part of a long sad Letter to Wilhelmina; parts of which we may
recur to, as otherwise illustrative. But before going into that tragic
budget of bad news, let us give the finale of Gotha, which occurred the
next day,--tragi-comic in part,--and is the last bit of action in those
dreary four weeks.

GOTHA, 18th SEPTEMBER. "Since Thursday 15th, Major-General Seidlitz,"
youngest Major-General of the Army, but a rapidly rising man, "has
been Commandant in Gotha, under flourishing circumstances; popular and
supreme, though only with a force of 1,500, dragoons and hussars.
Monday morning early, Seidlitz's scouts bring word that the
Soubise-Hildburghausen people are in motion hitherward; French
hussars and Austrian, Turpin's, Loudon's, all that are; grenadiers
in mass;--total, say, 8,000 horse and foot, with abundance of
artillery;--have been on march all night, to retake Gotha; with all the
Chief Generals and Dignitaries of the Army following in their carriages,
for some hours past, to see it done. Seidlitz, ascertaining these
things, has but one course left,--that of clearing himself out, which
he does with orderly velocity: and at 9 A.M. the Dignitaries and their
8,000 find open gates, Seidlitz clean off; occupy the posts, with due
emphasis and flourish; and proceed to the Schloss in a grand triumphant
way,--where privately they are not very welcome, though one puts
the best face on it, and a dinner of importance is the first thing
imperative to be set in progress. A flurried Court, that of Gotha,
and much swashing of French plumes through it, all this morning, since
Seidlitz had to flit.

"Seidlitz has not flitted very far. Seidlitz has ranked his small
dragoon-hussar force in a hollow, two miles off; has got warning sent to
a third regiment within reach of him, 'Come towards me, and in a certain
defile, visible from Gotha eastward, spread yourselves so and so!'--and
judges by the swashing he hears of up yonder, that perhaps something may
still be done. Dinner, up in the Schloss, is just being taken from the
spit, and the swashing at its height, when--'Hah what is that, though?'
and all plumes pause. For it is Seidlitz, artistically spread into
single files, on the prominent points of vision; advancing again, more
like 15,000 than 1,500: 'And in the Defile yonder, that regiment, do you
mark it; the King's vanguard, I should say?--To horse!'

"That is Seidlitz's fine Bit of Painting, hung out yonder, hooked on
the sky itself, as temporary background to Gotha, to be judged of by the
connoisseurs. For pictorial effect, breadth of touch, truth to Nature
and real power on the connoisseur, I have heard of nothing equal by any
artist. The high Generalcy, Soubise, Hildburghausen, Darmstadt, mount in
the highest haste; everybody mounts, happy he who has anything to mount;
the grenadiers tumble out of the Schloss; dragoons, artillery tumble
out; Dauphiness takes wholly to her heels, at an extraordinary pace: so
that Seidlitz's hussars could hardly get a stroke at her; caught sixty
and odd, nine of them Officers not of mark; did kill thirty; and had
such a haul of equipages and valuable effects, cosmetic a good few of
them, habilatory, artistic, as caused the hussar heart to sing for joy.
Among other plunder, was Loudon's Commission of Major-General, just on
its road from Vienna [poor Mannstein's death the suggesting cause,
say some];--undoubtedly a shining Loudon; to whom Friedrich, next day,
forwarded the Document with a polite Note." [_Helden-Geschichte,_ iv.
640; Westphalen, ii. 37; _OEuvres de Frederic,_ iv, 147.]'

The day after this bright feat of Seidlitz's, which was a slight
consolation to Friedrich, there came a Letter from the Duchess, not of
compliment only; the Letter itself had to be burnt on the spot, being,
as would seem, dangerous for the High Lady, who was much a friend of
Friedrich's. Their Correspondence, very polite and graceful, but for
most part gone to the unintelligible state, and become vacant and
spectral, figures considerably in the Books, and was, no doubt, a
considerable fact to Friedrich. His Answer on this occasion may be
given, since we have it,--lest there should not elsewhere be opportunity
for a second specimen.


"KIRSCHLEBEN, NEAB ERFURT, 20th September, 1757.

"MADAM,--Nothing could happen more glorious to my troops than that of
fighting, Madam, under your eyes and for your defence. I wish their help
could be useful to you; but I foresee the reverse. If I were obstinately
to insist on maintaining the post of Gotha with Infantry, I should ruin
your City for you, Madam, by attracting thither and fixing there the
theatre of the War; whereas, by the present course, you will only have
to suffer little rubs (PASSADES), which will not last long.

"A thousand thanks that you could, in a day like yesterday, find the
moment to think of your Friends, and to employ yourself for them.
[Seidlitz's attack was brisk, quite sudden, with an effect like
Harlequin's sword in Pantomimes; and Gotha in every corner, especially
in the Schloss below and above stairs,--dinner cooked for A, and eaten
by B, in that manner,--must have been the most agitated of little
Cities.] I will neglect nothing of what you have the goodness to tell
me; I shall profit by these notices. Heaven grant it might be for the
deliverance and the security of Germany!

"The most signal mark of obedience I can give you consists
unquestionably in doing your bidding with this Letter. [Burn it, so soon
as read.] I should have kept it as a monument of your generosity and
courage: but, Madam, since you dispose of it otherwise, your orders
shall be executed; persuaded that if one cannot serve one's friends, one
must at least avoid hurting them; that one may be less circumspect for
one's own interest, but that one must be prudent and even timid
for theirs. I am, with the highest esteem and the most perfect
consideration, Madam, your Highness's most faithful and affectionate
Cousin,--F." [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xvii. 167.]

From Erfurt, on the night of his arrival, finding the Dauphiness in such
humor, Friedrich had ordered Ferdinand of Brunswick with his Division
and Prince Moritz with his, both of whom were still at Naumburg, to go
on different errands,--Ferdinand out Halberstadt-Magdeburg way, whither
Richelieu, vulture-like, if not eagle-like, is on wing; Moritz to
Torgau, to secure our magazine and be on the outlook there. Both of them
marched on the morrow (November 14th): and are sending him news,--seldom
comfortable news; mainly that, in spite of all one can do (and it is
not little on Ferdinand's part, the Richelieu vultures, 80,000 of them,
floating onward, leagues broad, are not to be kept out of Halberstadt,
well if out of Magdeburg itself;--and that, in short, the general
conflagration, in those parts too, is progressive. [In Orlich's _First
Moritz,_ pp. 71-89; and in _Westphalen,_ ii. 23-143 (about Ferdinand):
interesting Documentary details, Autographs of Friedrich, &c., in regard
to both these Expeditions.] Moritz, peaceable for some weeks in Torgau
Country, was to have an eye on Brandenburg withal, on Berlin itself; and
before long Moritz will see something noticeable there!

From Preussen, Friedrich hears of mere ravagings and horrid cruelties,
Cossack-Calmuck atrocities, which make human nature shudder: [In
_Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 427-437, the hideous details.] "Fight
those monsters; go into them at all hazards!" he writes to Lehwald
peremptorily. Lehwald, 25,000 against 80,000, does so; draws up, in
front of Wehlau, not far east of Konigsberg, among woody swamps, AUGUST
30th, at a Hamlet called GROSS-JAGERSDORF, with his best skill; fights
well, though not without mistakes; and is beaten by cannon and numbers.
[Tempelhof, i. 299; Retzow, i. 212; &c. &c. ("Russians lost about
9,000," by their own tale 5,000; "the Prussians 3,000" and the Field).]
Preussen now lies at Apraxin's discretion. This bit of news too is on
the road for Erfurt Country. Such a six weeks for the swift man, obliged
to stand spell-bound,--idle posterity never will conceive it; and
description is useless.

Let us add here, that Apraxin did not advance on Konigsberg, or farther
into Preussen at all; but, after some loitering, turned, to everybody's
surprise, and wended slowly home. "Could get no provision," said Apraxin
for himself. "Thought the Czarina was dying," said the world; "and
that Peter her successor would take it well!" Plodded slowly home, for
certain; Lehwald following him, not too close, till over the border.
Nothing left of Apraxin, and his huge Expedition, but Memel alone;
Memel, and a great many graves and ruins. So that Lehwald could be
recalled, to attend on the Swedes, before Winter came. And Friedrich's
worst forebodings did not take effect in this case;--nor in some others,
as we shall see!


Meanwhile, is it not remarkable that Friedrich wrote more Verses, this
Autumn, than almost in any other three months of his life? Singular,
yes; though perhaps not inexplicable. And if readers could fairly
understand that fact, instead of running away with the shell of it, and
leaving the essence, it would throw a great light on Friedrich. He
is not a brooding inarticulate man, then; but a bright-glancing,
articulate; not to be struck dumb by the face of Death itself. Flashes
clear-eyed into the physiognomy of Death, and Ruin, and the Abysmal
Horrors opening; and has a sharp word to say to them. The explanation of
his large cargo of Verses this Autumn is, That always, alternating with
such fiery velocity, he had intolerable periods of waiting till
things were ready. And took to verses, by way of expectorating
himself, and keeping down his devils. Not a bad plan, in the
circumstances,--especially if you have so wonderful a turn for
expectoration by speech. "All bad as Poetry, those Verses?" asks the
reader. Well, some of them are not of first-rate goodness. Should have
been burnt; or the time marked which they took up, and whether it was
good time wasted (which I suppose it almost never was), or bad time
skilfully got over. Time, that is the great point; and the heart-truth
of them, or mere lip-truth, another. We must give some specimens, at any

Especially that notable Specimen from the Zittau Countries: the "Epistle
to Wilhelmina (EPITRE A MA SOEUR [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xii. 36-42.];"
which is the key-note, as it were; the fountain-head of much other
verse, and of much prose withal, and Correspondencing not with
Wilhelmina alone, of which also some taste must be given. Primary
EPITRE; written, I perceive, in that interval of waiting for Keith
and the magazines,--though the final date is "Bernstadt, August 24th."
Concerning which, Smelfungus takes, over-hastily, the liberty to say:
"Strange, is it not, to be on the point of fighting for one's existence;
overwhelmed with so many businesses; and disposed to go into verse in
addition! CONCEIVE that form of mind; it would illuminate something of
Friedrich's character: I cannot yet rightly understand such an aspect of
structure, and know not what to say of it, except 'Strange!'"--

Understand it or not, we do gather by means of it some indisputable
glimpses, nearly all the direct insight allowed us out of any source,
into Friedrich's inner man; what his thoughts were, what his humor was
in that unique crisis; and to readers in quest of that, these Pieces,
fallen obsolete and frosty to all other kinds of readers, are well worth
perusing, and again perusing. Most veracious Documents, we can observe;
nothing could be truer; Confessions they are, in the most emphatic
sense; no truer ever made to a Priest in the name of the Most High.
Like a soliloquy of Night-Thoughts, accidentally becoming audible to us.
Mahomet, I find, wrote the Koran in this manner. From these poor
Poems, which are voices DE PROFUNDIS, there might, by proper care and
selection, be constructed a Friedrich's Koran; and, with commentary and
elucidation, it would be pleasant to read. The Koran of Friedrich, or
the Lamentation-Psalms of Friedrich! But it would need an Editor,--other
than Dryasdust! Mahomet's Koran, treated by the Arab Dryasdust (merely
turning up the bottom of that Box of Shoulder-blades, and printing
them), has become dreadfully tough reading, on this side of the
Globe; and has given rise to the impossiblest notions about Mahomet!
Indisputable it is, Heroes, in their affliction, Mahomet and David, have
solaced themselves by snatches of Psalms, by Suras, bursts of Utterance
rising into Song;--and if Friedrich, on far other conditions, did the
like, what has History to say of blame to him?

Wilhelmina comes out very strong, in this season of trouble; almost the
last we see of our excellent Wilhelmina. Like a lioness; like a shrill
mother when her children are in peril. A noble sisterly affection is
in Wilhelmina; shrill Pythian vehemence trying the impossible. That a
Brother, and such a Brother, the most heroic now breathing, brave and
true, and the soul of honor in all things, should have the whole world
rise round him, like a delirious Sorcerer's-Sabbath, intent to hurl the
mountains on him,--seems such a horror and a madness to Wilhelmina. Like
the brood-hen flying in the face of wild dogs, and packs of hounds in
full trail! Most Christian Pompadour Kings, enraged Czarinas, implacable
Empress-Queens; a whole world in armed delirium rushes on, regardless of
Wilhelmina. Never mind, my noble one; your Brother will perhaps manage
to come up with this leviathan or that among the heap of them, at a good
time, and smite into the fifth rib of him. Your Brother does not the
least shape towards giving in; thank the Heavens, he will stand to
himself at least; his own poor strength will all be on his own side.

Wilhelmina's hopes of a Peace with France; mission of her Mirabeau,
missions and schemes not a few, we have heard of on Wilhelmina's part
with this view; but the notablest is still to mention: that of stirring
up, by Voltaire's means, an important-looking Cardinal de Tencin to
labor in the business. Eminency Tencin lives in Lyon, known to the
Princess on her Italian Tour;--shy of asking Voltaire to dinner on
that fine occasion,--but, except Officially, is not otherwise than
well-affected to Voltaire. Was once Chief Minister of France, and
would fain again be; does not like these Bernis novelties and Austrian
Alliances, had he now any power to overset them. Let him correspond
with Most Christian Majesty, at least; plead for a Peace with Prussia,
Prussia being so ready that way. Eminency Tencin, on Voltaire's
suggestion, did so, perhaps is even now doing so; till ordered to hold
HIS peace on such subjects. This is certain and well known; but nothing
else is known, or to us knowable, about it; Voltaire, in vague form,
being our one authority, through whom it is vain to hunt, and again
hunt. [_OEuvres (Memoires),_ ii. 92, 93; IB. i. 143; Preuss, ii. 84.]
The Dates, much more the features and circumstances, all lie buried
from us, and--till perhaps the Lamentation-Psalms are well edited--must
continue lying. As a fact certain, but undeniably vague.

Voltaire's procedure, one can gather, is polite, but two-faced; not
sublime on this occasion. In fact, is intended to serve himself. To the
high Princess he writes devotionally, ready to obey in all things; and
then to his Eminency Cardinal Tencin, it rather seems as if the tone
were: "Pooh! yes, your Eminency; such are the poor Lady's notions. But
does your Eminency take notice how high my connections are; what service
a poor obscure creature might perhaps do the State some day?" Friedrich
himself is, in these ways, brought into correspondence with Voltaire
again; and occasionally writes to him in this War, and ever afterwards:
Voltaire responds with fine sympathy, always prettily, in the enthusiasm
of the moment;--and at other times he writes a good deal about
Friedrich, oftenest in rather a mischievous dialect. "The traitor!"
exclaim some Prussian writers, not many or important, in our time. In
fact, there is a considerable touch of grinning malice (as of Monkey
VERSUS Cat, who had once burnt HIS paw, instead of getting his own
burnt), in those utterances of Voltaire; some of which the reader will
grin over too, without much tragic feeling,--the rather as they did
our Felis Leo no manner of ill, and show our incomparable SINGE with a
sparkle of the TIGRE in him; theoretic sparkle merely and for moments,
which makes him all the more entertaining and interesting at the
domestic hearth.

Of Friedrich's Lamentation-Psalms we propose to give the First and the
Last: these, with certain Prose Pieces, intermediate and connecting, may
perhaps be made intelligible to readers, and throw some light on these
tragic weeks of the King's History:--

1. EPITRE A MA SOEUR (First of the Lamentation-Psalms).--This is
the famed "Epistle to Wilhelmina," already spoken of; which the King
despatched from Bernstadt "August 24th," just while quitting those
parts, on the Erfurt Errand;--though written before, in the tedium of
waiting for Keith. The Piece is long, vehement, altogether sincere;
lyrically sings aloud, or declaims in rhyme, what one's indignant
thought really is on the surrounding woes and atrocities. We faithfully
abridge, and condense into our briefest Prose;--readers can add water
and the jingle of French rhymes AD LIBITUM. It starts thus:--

"O sweet and dear hope of my remaining days; O Sister, whose friendship,
so fertile in resources, shares all my sorrows, and with a helpful
arm assists me in the gulf! It is in vain that the Destinies have
overwhelmed me with disasters: if the crowd of Kings have sworn my ruin;
if the Earth have opened to swallow me,--you still love me, noble
and affectionate Sister: loved by you, what is there of misfortune?
[Branches off into some survey of it, nevertheless.]

"Huge continents of thunder-cloud, plots thickening against me [in those
Menzel Documents], I watched with terror; the sky getting blacker, no
covert for me visible: on a sudden, from the deeps of Hell, starts forth
Discord [with capital letter], and the tempest broke.

         Ce fut dans ton Senat, O fouqueuse Angleterre!
         Ou ce monstre inhumain fit eclater la guerre:

It was from thy Senate, stormful England, that she first launched out
War. In remote climates first; in America, far away;--between France and
thee. Old Ocean shook with it; Neptune, in the depths of his caves (SES
GROTTES PROFONDES), saw the English subjecting his waves (SES ONDES):
the wild Iroquois, prize of these crimes (FORFAITS), bursts out;
detesting the tyrants who disturb his Forests,"--and scalping Braddock's
people, and the like.

"Discord, charmed to see such an America, and feeble mortals crossing
the Ocean to exterminate one another, addresses the European Kings: 'How
long will you be slaves to what are called laws? Is it for you to bend
under worn-out notions of justice, right? Mars is the one God: Might is
Right. A King's business is to do something famous in this world.'

"O daughter of the Caesars," Maria Theresa, "how, at these words,
ambition, burning in thy soul, breaks out uncontrollable! Probity,
honor, treaties, duty: feeble considerations these, to a heart letting
loose its flamy passions; determining to rob the generous Germans of
their liberties; to degrade thy equals; to extinguish 'Schism' (so
called), and set up despotism on the wrecks of all."

"Huge project"--"FIER TRIUMVIRAT,"--what not: "From Roussillon and the
sunny Pyrenees to frozen Russia, all arm for Austria, and march at her
bidding. They concert my downfall, trample on my rights.

"The Daughter of the Caesars, proudly certain of victory,--'t is the
way of the Great, whose commonplace virtue, pusillanimous in reverses,
overbearing in success, cannot bridle their cupidity,--designates to the
Triumvirate what Kings are to be proscribed [Britannic George and me,
Reich busy on us both even now], and those ungrateful tyrants, by united
crime, immolate to each other, without remorse, their dearest allies."
For instance:--

          "O jour digne d'oubli! Quelle atroce imprudence!
          Therese, c'est l'Anglais que tu vends a la France:

Theresa! it is England thou art selling to France;"--Yes, a thing worth
noting. "Thy generous support in thy first adversities; thy one friend
then, when a world had risen to devour thee. Thou reignest now:--but it
was England alone that saved thee anything to reign over!

         Tu regnes, mats lui seul a sauve tes etats:
         Les bienfaits chez les rois ne font que des ingrats.

"And thou, lazy Monarch,"--stupid Louis, let us omit him:--"Pompadour,
selling her lover to the highest bidder, makes France, in our day,
Austria's slave!" We omit Kolin Battle, too, spoken of with a proud
modesty (Prag is not spoken of at all); and how the neighboring ravenous
Powers, on-lookers hitherto, have opened their throats with one accord
to swallow Prussia, thinking its downfall certain: "Poor mercenary
Sweden, once so famous under its soldier Kings, now debased by a venal
Senate;"--Sweden, "what say I? my own kindred [foolish Anspach and
others], driven by perverse motives, join in the plot of horrors, and
become satellites of the prospering Triumvirs.

"And thou, loved People [my own Prussians], whose happiness is my charge
[notable how often he repeats this] it is thy lamentable destiny, it is
the danger which hangs over thee, that pierces my soul. The pomps of my
rank I could resign without regret. But to rescue thee, in this black
crisis, I will spend my heart's blood. Whose IS that blood but thine?
With joy will I rally my warriors to avenge thy affront; defy death at
the foot of the ramparts [of Daun and his Eckartsberg, ahead yonder],
and either conquer, or be buried under thy ruins." Very well; but ah,--

"Preparing with such purpose, ye Heavens, what mournful cries are those
that reach us: 'Death haa laid low thy Mother!'--Hah, that was the last
stroke, then, which angry Fate had reserved for me.--O Mother, Death
flies my misfortunes, and spreads his livid horrors over thee! [Very
tender, very sad, what he says of his Mother; but must be omitted and
imagined. General finale is:]

"Thus Destiny with a deluge of torments fills the poisoned remnant of my
days. The present is hideous to me, the future unknown: what, you say I
am the creature of a BENEficent Being?--

         Quoi serais-fe forme par un Dieu bienfaisati?
         Ah! s'il etait si bon, tendre pour son ouvrage"--
        --Husht, my little Titan!

"And now, ye promoters of sacred lies, go on leading cowards by the
nose, in the dark windings of your labyrinth:--to me the enchantment
is ended, the charm disappears. I see that all men are but the sport of
Destiny. And that, if there do exist some Gloomy and Inexorable Being,
who allows a despised herd of creatures to go on multiplying here, he
values them as nothing; looks down on a Phalaris crowned, on a Socrates
in chains; on our virtues, our misdeeds, on the horrors of war, and all
the cruel plagues which ravage Earth, as a thing indifferent to him.
Wherefore, my sole refuge and only haven, loved Sister, is in the arms
of Death:--

         Ainsi mon seul asile et mon unique port
         Se trouve, chere soeur, dans les bras de la mort."
        [OEuvres, xii. 36-42; is sent off to Wilhelmina 24th August.]

intercalary Prose Pieces).--Wilhelmina has been writing to Voltaire
before, and getting consolations since Kolin; but her Letters are lost,
till this the earliest that is left us:--

BAIREUTH, 19th AUGUST, 1757 (TO VOLTAIRE).--"One first knows one's
friends when misfortunes arrive. The Letter you have written does honor
to your way of thinking. I cannot tell you how much I am sensible to
what you have done [set Cardinal Tencin astir, with result we will
hope]. The King, my Brother, is as much so as I. You will find a Note
here, which he bids me transmit to you [Note lost]. That great man
is still the same. He supports his misfortunes with a courage and a
firmness worthy of him. He could not get the Note transcribed. It began
by verses. Instead of throwing sand on it, he took the ink-bottle; that
is the reason why it is cut in two." --This Note, we say, is lost to
us;--all but accidentally thus: Voltaire, 12th September, writes twice
to friends. Writing to his D'Argentals, he says: "The affairs of this
King [Friedrich] go from bad to worse. I know not if I told you of the
Letter he wrote to me about three weeks ago [say August 17th-18th: this
same Note through Wilhelmina, evidently]: 'I have learned,' says he,
'that you had interested yourself in my successes and misfortunes. There
remains to me nothing but to sell my life dear,' &c. His Sister writes
me one much more lamentable;" the one we are now reading:--

"I am in a frightful state; and will not survive the destruction of my
House and Family. That is the one consolation that remains to me. You
will have fine subjects for making Tragedies of. O times! O manners!
You will, by the illusory representation, perhaps draw tears; while all
contemplate with dry eyes the reality of these miseries: the downfall of
a whole House, against which, if the truth were known, there is no solid
complaint. I cannot write farther of it: my soul is so troubled that I
know not what I am doing. But whatever happen, be persuaded that I am
more than ever your friend,--WILHELMINA." [In _OEuvres de Frederic,_
lxxvii. 30.]

Friedrich, while Wilhelmina writes so, is at the foot of the
Eckartsberg, eagerly manoeuvring with the Austrians, in hopes of getting
battle out of them,--which he cannot. Friedrich, while he wrote that
Note to Voltaire, and instead of sand-box shook the ink-bottle over it,
was just going out on that errand.

VOLTAIRE, 12th SEPTEMBER (to a Lady whose Son is in the D'Estrees wars).
[Ib. lxxii. 55. 56.]--"Here are mighty revolutions, Madame; and we are
not at the end yet. They say there have 18,000 Hanoverians been disposed
of at Stade [Convention of Kloster-Zeven]. That is no small matter. I
can hope M. Richelieu [who is "MON HEROS," when I write to himself] will
adorn his head with the laurels they have stuck in his pocket. I wish
Monsieur your Son abundance of honor and glory without wounds, and to
you, Madame, unalterable health. The King of Prussia has written me a
very touching Letter [one line of which we have read]; but I have always
Madame Denis's adventure on my heart," at Frankfurt yonder. "If I were
well, I would take a run to Frankfurt myself on the business,"--now
that Soubise's reserves are in those parts, and could give Freytag and
Schmidt such a dusting for me, if they liked! Shall I write to Collini
on it? Does write, and again write, the second year hence, as still
better chances rise. [Collini, pp. 208-211 ("January-May, 1759").]

Pieces).--Not a very zealous friend of Friedrich's, after all, this
Voltaire! Poor Wilhelmina, terrified by that EPITRE of her Brother's,
and his fixed purpose of seeking Death, has, in her despair (though
her Letter is lost), been urging Voltaire to write dissuading him;--as
Voltaire does. Of which presently. Her Letter to Voltaire on this
thrice-important subject is lost. But in the very hours while Voltaire
sat writing what we have just read, "always with Madame Denis's
adventure on my heart," Wilhelmina, at Baireuth, is again writing to him
as follows:--

BAIREUTH, 12th SEPTEMBER, 1757 (TO VOLTAIRE).--"Your Letter has sensibly
touched me; that which you addressed to me for the King [both Letters
lost to us] has produced the same effect on him. I hope you will be
satisfied with his Answer as to what concerns yourself; but you will be
as little so as I am with the resolutions he has formed. I had flattered
myself that your reflections would make some impression on his mind.
You will see the contrary by the Letter adjoined. "To me there remains
nothing but to follow his destiny if it is unfortunate. I have never
piqued myself on being a philosopher; though I have made my efforts to
become so. The small progress I made did teach me to despise grandeurs
and riches: but I could never find in philosophy any cure for the wounds
of the heart, except that of getting done with our miseries by ceasing
to live. The state I am in is worse than death. I see the greatest
man of his age, my Brother, my friend, reduced to the frightfulest
extremity. I see my whole Family exposed to dangers and perhaps
destruction; my native Country torn by pitiless enemies; the Country
where I am [Reichs Army, Anspach, what not] menaced by perhaps similar
misfortune. Would to Heaven I were alone loaded with all the miseries I
have described to you! I would suffer them, and with firmness.

"Pardon these details. You invite me, by the part you take in what
regards me, to open my heart to you. Alas, hope is well-nigh banished
from it. Fortune, when she changes, is as constant in her persecutions
as in her favors. History is full of those examples:--but I have found
none equal to the one we now see; nor any War as inhuman and as cruel
among civilized nations. You would sigh if you knew the sad situation
of Germany and Preussen. The cruelties which the Russians commit in that
latter Country make nature shudder. [Details, horrible but authentic, in
_Helden-Geschichte, _ already cited.] How happy you in your Hermitage;
where you repose on your laurels, and can philosophize with a calm mind
on the deliriums of men! I wish you all the happiness imaginable. If
Fortune ever favor us again, count on all my gratitude. I will never
forget the marks of attachment which you have given; my sensibility is
your warrant; I am never half-and-half a friend, and I shall always be
wholly so of Brother Voltaire.--WILHELMINA.

"Many compliments to Madame Denis. Continue, I pray you, to write to the
King." [In _Voltaire,_ ii. 197-199; lxxvii. 57.]

1757).--"Madam, my heart is touched more than ever by the goodness and
the confidence your Royal Highness deigns to show me. How can I be but
melted by emotion! I see that it is solely your nobleness of soul that
renders you unhappy. I feel myself born to be attached with idolatry to
superior and sympathetic minds, who think like you. "You know how much
I have always, essentially and at heart, been attached to the King
your Brother. The more my old age is tranquil, and come to renounce
everything, and make my retreat here a home and country, the more am
I devoted to that Philosopher-King. I write nothing to him but what
I think from the bottom of my heart, nothing that I do not think most
true; and if my Letter [dissuasive of seeking Death; wait, reader]
appears to your Royal Highness to be suitable, I beg you to protect it
with him, as you have done the foregoing." [In _Voltaire,_ lxxvii. 37,

the Prose Pieces).--"KIRSCHLEBEN, NEAR ERFURT, 17th SEPTEMBER, 1757.--My
dearest Sister, I find no other consolation but in your precious
Letters. May Heaven reward so much virtue and such heroic sentiments!

"Since I wrote last to you, my misfortunes have but gone on
accumulating. It seems as though Destiny would discharge all its wrath
and fury upon the poor Country which I had to rule over. The Swedes
have entered Pommern. The French, after having concluded a Neutrality
humiliating to the King of England and themselves [Kloster-Zeven,
which we know], are in full march upon Halberstadt and Magdeburg. From
Preussen I am in daily expectation of hearing of a battle having been
fought: the proportion of combatants being 25,000 against 80,000 [was
fought, Gross-Jagersdorf, 30th August, and lost accordingly]. The
Austrians have marched into Silesia, whither the Prince of Bevern
follows them. I have advanced this way to fall upon the corps of the
allied Army; which has run off, and intrenched itself, behind Eisenach,
amongst hills, whither to follow, still more to attack them, all rules
of war forbid. The moment I retire towards Saxony, this whole swarm will
be upon my heels. Happen what may, I am determined, at all risks, to
fall upon whatever corps of the enemy approaches me nearest. I shall
even bless Heaven for its mercy, if it grant me the favor to die sword
in hand.

"Should this hope fail me, you will allow that it would be too hard to
crawl at the feet of a company of traitors, to whom successful crimes
have given the advantage to prescribe the law to me. How, my dear, my
incomparable Sister, how could I repress feelings of vengeance and of
resentment against all my neighbors, of whom there is not one who did
not accelerate my downfall, and will not, share in our spoils? How can a
Prince survive his State, the glory of his Country, his own reputation?
A Bavarian Elector, in his nonage [Son of the late poor Kaiser, and
left, shipwrecked in his seventeenth year], or rather in a sort of
subjection to his Ministers, and dull to the biddings of honor, may
give himself up as a slave to the imperious domination of the House of
Austria, and kiss the hand which oppressed his Father: I pardon it to
his youth and his ineptitude. But is that the example for me to follow?
No, dear Sister, you think too nobly to give me such mean (LACHE)
advice. Is Liberty, that precious prerogative, to be less dear to a
Sovereign in the eighteenth century than it was to Roman Patricians of
old? And where is it said, that Brutus and Cato should carry magnanimity
farther than Princes and Kings? Firmness consists in resisting
misfortune: but only cowards submit to the yoke, bear patiently their
chains, and support oppression tranquilly. Never, my dear Sister, could
I resolve upon such ignominy....

"If I had followed only my own inclinations, I should have ended it (JE
ME SERAIS DEPECHE) at once, after that unfortunate Battle which I lost.
But I felt that this would be weakness, and that it behooved me to
repair the evil which had happened. My attachment to the State awoke;
I said to myself, It is not in seasons of prosperity that it is rare to
find defenders, but in adversity. I made it a point of honor with
myself to redress all that had got out of square; in which I was not
unsuccessful; not even in the Lausitz [after those Zittau disasters]
last of all. But no sooner had I hastened this way to face new enemies,
than Winterfeld was beaten and killed near Gorlitz, than the French
entered the heart, of my States, than the Swedes blockaded Stettin.
Now there is nothing effective left for me to do: there are too many
enemies. Were I even to succeed in beating two armies, the third would
crush me. The enclosed Note [in cipher] will show you what I am still
about to try: it is the last attempt.

"The gratitude, the tender affection, which I feel towards you, that
friendship, true as the hills, constrains me to deal openly with you.
No, my divine Sister, I shall conceal nothing from you that I intend to
do; all my thoughts, all my resolutions shall be open and known to you
in time. I will precipitate nothing: but also it will be impossible for
me to change my sentiments....

"As for you, my incomparable Sister, I have not the heart to turn you
from your resolves. We think alike, and I cannot condemn in you the
sentiments which I daily entertain (EPROUVE). Life has been given to us
as a benefit: when it ceases to be such"--! "I have nobody left in this
world, to attach me to it, but you. My friends, the relations I loved
most, are in the grave; in short, I have lost, everything. If you take
the resolution which I have taken, we end together our misfortunes and
our unhappiness; and it will be the turn of them who remain in this
world, to provide for the concerns falling to their charge, and to bear
the weight, which has lain on us so long. These, my adorable Sister, are
sad reflections, but suitable to my present condition.

"The day before yesterday I was at Gotha [yes, see above;--and
to-morrow, if I knew it, Seidlitz with pictorial effects will be

"But, it is time to end this long, dreary Letter; which treats almost of
nothing but my own affairs. I have had some leisure, and have used it
to open on you a heart filled with admiration and gratitude towards
you. Yes, my adorable Sister, if Providence troubled itself about human
affairs, you ought to be the happiest person in the Universe. Your not
being such, confirms me in the sentiments expressed at the end of my
EPITRE. In conclusion, believe that I adore you, and that I would give
my life a thousand times to serve you. These are the sentiments which
will animate me to the last breath of my life; being, my beloved Sister,
ever"--Your--F. [_OEuvres,_ xxvii. i, 303-307.]

WILHELMINA'S ANSWER,--by anticipation, as we said: written "15th
September," while Friedrich was dining at Gotha, in quest of Soubise.

"BAIREUTH, 15th SEPTEMBER, 1757. My dearest Brother, your Letter and the
one you wrote to Voltaire, my dear Brother, have almost killed me. What
fatal resolutions, great God! Ah, my dear Brother, you say you love me;
and you drive a dagger into my heart. Your EPITRE, which I did receive,
made me shed rivers of tears. I am now ashamed of such weakness. My
misfortune would be so great" in the issue there alluded to, "that I
should find worthier resources than tears. Your lot shall be mine: I
will not survive either your misfortunes or those of the House I belong
to. You may calculate that such is my firm resolution.

"But, after this avowal, allow me to entreat you to look back at what
was the pitiable state of your Enemy when you lay before Prag! It is
 occur again, when one is least expecting it, Caesar was the slave of
Pirates; and he became the master of the world. A great genius like
yours finds resources even when all is lost; and it is impossible this
frenzy can continue. My heart bleeds to think of the poor souls in
Preussen [Apraxin and his Christian Cossacks there,--who, it is noted,
far excel the Calmuck worshippers of the Dalai-Lama]. What horrid
barbarity, the detail of cruelties that go on there! I feel all that you
feel on it, my dear Brother. I know your heart, and your sensibility for
your subjects.

"I suffer a thousand times more than I can tell you; nevertheless hope
does not abandon me. I received your Letter of the 14th by W. [who W.
is, no mortal knows]. What kindness to think of me, who have nothing to
give you but a useless affection, which is so richly repaid by yours!
I am obliged to finish; but I shall never cease to be, with the most
profound respect (TRES-PROFOND RESPECT,"--that, and something still
better, if my poor pen were not embarrassed),


Lamentation-Psalms: "Buttstadt, October 9th").--Voltaire's Dissuasive
Letter is a poor Piece; [_OEuvres de Voltaire, _ lxxvii. 80-85 (LES
DELICES, early in September, 1757: no date given).] not worth giving
here. Remarkable only by Friedrich's quiet reception of it; which
readers shall now see, as Finis to those Lamentation-Psalms. There
is another of them, widely known, which we will omit: the EPITRE
TO D'ARGENS; [In _ OEuvres de Frederic,_ xii. 50-56 ("Erfurt, 23d
September, 1757 ").] passionate enough, wandering wildly over human
life, and sincere almost to shrillness, in parts; which Voltaire has
also got hold of. Omissible here; the fixity of purpose being plain
otherwise to Voltaire and us. Voltaire's counter-arguments are weak, or
worse: "That Roman death is not now expected of the Philosopher; that
your Majesty will, in the worst event, still have considerable Dominions
left, all that your Great-Grandfather had; still plenty of resources;
that, in Paris Society, an estimable minority even now thinks highly
of you; that in Paris itself your Majesty [does not say expressly, as
dethroned and going on your travels] would have resources!" To which
beautiful considerations Friedrich answers, not with fire and brimstone,
as one might have dreaded, but in this quiet manner (REPONSE AU SIEUR

         "Je suis homme, il suffit, et ne pour la souffrance;
          Aux rigueurs du destin j'oppose ma constance.

["I am a man, and therefore born to suffer; to destiny's rigors my
steadfastness must correspond."--Quotation from I know not whom.]

But with these sentiments, I am far from condemning Cato and Otho. The
latter had no fine moment in his life, except that of his death. [Breaks
off into Verse:]

         "Croyez que si j'etais Voltaire,
          Et particulier comme lui,
          Me contentant du necessaire,
          Je verrais voltiger la fortune legere,"

--Or,to wring the water and the jingle out of it, and give the substance
in Prose:--

"Yes, if I were Voltaire and a private man, I could with much composure
leave Fortune to her whirlings and her plungings; to me, contented
with the needful, her mad caprices and sudden topsy-turvyings would be
amusing rather than tremendous.

"I know the ennui attending on honors, the burdensome duties, the jargon
of grinning flatterers, those pitiabilities of every kind, those details
of littleness, with which you have to occupy yourself if set on high on
the stage of things. Foolish glory has no charm for me, though a
Poet and King: when once Atropos has ended me forever, what will the
uncertain honor of living in the Temple of Memory avail? One moment
of practical happiness is worth a thousand years of imaginary in such
Temple.--Is the lot of high people so very sweet, then? Pleasure, gentle
ease, true and hearty mirth, have always fled from the great and their
peculiar pomps and labors.

"No, it is not fickle Fortune that has ever caused my sorrows; let her
smile her blandest, let her frown her fiercest on me, I should sleep
every night, refusing her the least worship. But our respective
conditions are our law; we are bound and commanded to shape our temper
to the employment we have undertaken. Voltaire in his hermitage, in a
Country where is honesty and safety, can devote himself in peace to
the life of the Philosopher, as Plato has described it. But as to me,
threatened with shipwreck, I must consider how, looking the tempest in
the face, I can think, can live and can die as a King:--

         Pour moi, menace du naufrage,
         Je dois, en affrontant l'orage,
         Penser, vivre et mourir en roi."
         [_OEuvres,_ xxiii. 14.]

This is of October 9th; this ends, worthily, the Lamentation-Psalms;
work having now turned up, which is a favorable change. Friedrich's
notion of suicide, we perceive, is by no means that of puking up one's
existence, in the weak sick way of FELO DE SE; but, far different, that
of dying, if he needs must, as seems too likely, in uttermost spasm of
battle for self and rights to the last. From which latter notion nobody
can turn him. A valiantly definite, lucid and shiningly practical
soul,--with such a power of always expectorating himself into clearness
again. If he do frankly wager his life in that manner, beware, ye
Soubises, Karls and flaccid trivial persons, of the stroke that may
chance to lie in him!--


October 11th, express arrived, important express from General Finck (who
is in Dresden, convalescent from Kolin, and is even Commandant there, of
anything there is to command), "That the considerable Austrian Brigade
or Outpost, which was left at Stolpen when the others went for Silesia,
is all on march for Berlin." Here is news! "The whole 15,000 of
them," report adds;--though it proved to be only a Detachment, picked
Tolpatches mostly, and of nothing like that strength; shot off, under a
swift General Haddick, on this errand. Between them and Berlin is not
a vestige of force; and Berlin itself has nothing but palisades, and
perhaps a poor 4,000 of garrison. "March instantly, you Moritz, who lie
nearest; cross Elbe at Torgau; I follow instantly!" orders Friedrich;
[His Message to Moritz, ORLICH, p. 73; Rodenbeck, p. 322 (dubious, or
wrong).]--and that same night is on march, or has cavalry pushed ahead
for reinforcement of Moritz.

Friedrich, not doubting but there would be captaincy and scheme among
his Enemies, considered that the Swedes, and perhaps the Richelieu
French, were in concert with this Austrian movement,--from east,
from north, from west, three Invasions coming on the core of his
Dominions;--and that here at last was work ahead, and plenty of it!
That was Friedrich's opinion, and most other people's, when the Austrian
inroad was first heard of: "mere triple ruin coming to this King," as
the Gazetteers judged;--great alarm prevailing among the King's friends;
in Berlin, very great. Friedrich, glad, at any rate, to have done with
that dismal lingering at Buttelstadt, hastens to arrange himself for
the new contingencies; to post his Keiths, his Ferdinands, with their
handfuls of force, to best advantage; and push ahead after Moritz, by
Leipzig, Torgau, Berlin-wards, with all his might. At Leipzig, in such
press of business and interest,--judge by the following phenomenon, what
a clear-going soul this is, and how completely on a level with whatever
it may be that he is marching towards:--

"LEIPZIG, 15th OCTOBER, 1757 (Interview with Gottsched).--At 11 this
morning, Majesty came marching into Leipzig; multitudes of things to
settle there; things ready, things not yet ready, in view of the great
events ahead. Seeing that he would have time after dinner, he at once
sent for Professor Gottsched, a gigantic gentleman, Reigning King of
German Literature for the time being, to come to him at 3 P.M. Reigning
King at that time; since gone wholly to the Dustbins,--'Popular
Delusion,' as old Samuel defines it, having since awakened to itself,
with scornful ha-ha's upon its poor Gottsched, and rushed into other
roads worse and better; its poor Gottsched become a name now signifying
Pedantry, Stupidity, learned Inanity and the Worship of Colored Water,
to every German mind.

"At 3 precise, the portly old gentleman (towards sixty now, huge of
stature, with a shrieky voice, and speaks uncommonly fast) bowed himself
in; and a Colloquy ensued, on Literature and so forth, of the kind we
may conceive. Colloquy which had great fame in the world; Gottsched
himself having--such the inaccuracy of rumor and Dutch Newspapers, on
the matter--published authentic Report of it; [Next Year, in a principal
Leipzig Magazine, with name signed: given in _Helden-Geschichte,_ iv.
728-739 (with multifarious commentaries and flourishings, denoting an
attentive world). Nicolai, _Anekdoten,_ iii. 286-290.] now one of the
dullest bits of reading, and worth no man's bit of time. Colloquy which
lasted three hours, with the greatest vivacity on both sides; King
impugning, for one principal thing, the roughness of German speech;
Gottsched, in swift torrents (far too copious in such company), ready to
defend. 'Those consonants of ours,' said the King, 'they afflict one's
ear: what Names we have; all in mere K's and P's: KNAP-, KNIP-, KLOP-,
KROTZ-, KROK--;--your own Name, for example!'"--Yes, his own Name,
unmusical GottSCHED, and signifying God's-Damage (God's-SKAITH) withal.
"Husht, don't take a Holy Name in vain; call the man SCHED ('Damage'
by itself), can't we!" said a wit once. [Nicolai, _Anekdoten,_ iii.
287.]--"'Five consonants together, TTSCH, TTSCH, what a tone!' continued
the King. 'Hear, in contrast, the music of this Stanza of Rousseau's
[Repeats a stanza]. Who could express that in German with such melody?'
And so on; branching through a great many provinces; King's knowledge
of all Literature, new and ancient, 'perfectly astonishing to me;' and
I myself, the swift-speaking Gottsched, rather copious than otherwise.
Catastrophe, and summary of the whole, was: Gottsched undertook to
translate the Rousseau Stanza into German of moderate softness; and
by the aid of water did so, that very night; [Copied duly in
_Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 726.] sent it next day, and had 'within an
hour' a gracious Royal Answer in verse; calling one, incidentally,
'Saxon Swan, CYGNE SAXON,' though one is such a Goose! 'Majesty to march
at 7 to-morrow morning,' said a Postscript,--no Interviewing more, at

"About ten days after [not to let this thing interrupt us again],
Friedrich, on his return to Leipzig, had another Interview with
Gottsched; of only one hour, this time;--but with many topics: Reading
of some Gottsched Ode (ODE, very tedious, frothy, watery, of THANKS to
Majesty for such goodness to the Saxon Swan; reading, too, of 'some of
Madam Gottsched's Pieces'). Majesty confessed afterwards, Every hour
from the very first had lowered his opinion of the Saxon Swan, till at
length Goosehood became too apparent. Friedrich sent him a gold snuffbox
by and by, but had no farther dialoguing.

"A saying of Excellency Mitchell's to Gottsched--for Gottsched, on that
second Leipzig opportunity, went swashing about among the King's Suite
as well--is still remembered. They were talking of Shakspeare: 'Genial,
if you will,' said Gottsched, 'but the Laws of Aristotle; Five Acts,
unities strict!'--'Aristotle? What is to hinder a man from making
his Tragedy in Ten acts, if it suit him better?' 'Impossible, your
Excellency!'--'Pooh,' said his Excellency; 'suppose Aristotle, and
general Fashion too, had ordered that the clothes of every man were to
be cut from five ells of cloth: how would the Herr Professor like [with
these huge limbs of his] if he found there were no breeches for him, on
Aristotle's account?' Adieu to Gottsched; most voluminous of men;--who
wrote a Grammar of the German Language, which, they say, did good.
I remember always his poor Wife with some pathos; who was a fine,
graceful, loyal creature, of ten times his intelligence; and did no
end of writing and translating and compiling (Addison's CATO, Addison's
SPECTATOR, thousands of things from all languages), on order of her
Gottsched, till life itself sank in such enterprises; never doubting,
tragically faithful soul, but her Gottsched was an authentic Seneschal
of Phoebus and the Nine." [Her LETTERS, collected by a surviving
KULMUS (Dresden, 1771-1772, 3 vols. 8vo)," are, I should suppose, the
only Gottsched Piece which anybody would now think of reading.]--

Monday, 17th, at seven, his Majesty pushed off accordingly; cheery he
in the prospect of work, whatever his friends in the distance be. Here,
from Eilenburg, his first stage Torgau-way, are a Pair of Letters in
notable contrast.

WILHELMINA TO THE KING (on rumor of Haddick, swoln into a Triple
Invasion, Austrian, Swedish, French).

BAIREUTH, "15th October, 1757.

"MY DEAREST BROTHER,--Death and a thousand torments could not equal the
frightful state I am in. There run reports that make me shudder. Some
say you are wounded; others, dangerously ill. In vain have I tormented
myself to have news of you; I can get none. Oh, my dear Brother, come
what may, I will not survive you. If I am to continue in this frightful
uncertainty, I cannot stand it; I shall sink under it, and then I
shall be happy. I have been on the point of sending you a courier; but
[environed as we are] I durst not. In the name of God, bid somebody
write me one word.

"I know not what I have written; my heart is torn in pieces; I feel
that by dint of disquietude and alarms I am losing my wits. Oh, my dear,
adorable Brother, have pity on me. Heaven grant I be mistaken, and that
you may scold me; but the least thing that concerns you pierces me to
the heart, and alarms my affection too much. Might I die a thousand
times, provided you lived and were happy!

"I can say no more. Grief chokes me; and I can only repeat that your
fate shall be mine; being, my dear Brother, your


What a shrill penetrating tone, like the wildly weeping voice of Rachel;
tragical, painful, gone quite to falsetto and above pitch; but with a
melody in its dissonance like the singing of the stars. My poor shrill

KING TO WILHELMINA (has not yet received the Above).

"EILENBURG, 17th October, 1757.

"MY DEAREST SISTER,--What is the good of philosophy unless one employ
it in the disagreeable moments of life? It is then, my dear Sister, that
courage and firmness avail us.

"I am now in motion; and having once got into that, you may calculate I
shall not think of sitting down again, except under improved omens.
If outrage irritates even cowards, what will it do to hearts that have

"I foresee I shall not be able to write again for perhaps six weeks:
which fails not to be a sorrow to me: but I entreat you to be calm
during these turbulent affairs, and to wait with patience the month of
December; paying no regard to the Nurnberg Newspapers nor to those of
the Reich, which are totally Austrian.

"I am tired as a dog (COMME UN CHIEN). I embrace you with my whole
heart; being with the most perfect affection (TENDRESSE), my dearest
Sister, your"-- FRIEDRICH.

... (AT SOME OTHER HOUR, SAME PLACE AND DAY.) "'No possibility of
Peace,' say your accounts [Letter lost]; 'the French won't hear my name
mentioned.' Well; from me they shall not farther. The way will be, to
speak to them by action, so that they may repent their impertinences and
pride." [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxvii. i. 308, 309, 310.]'

The Haddick affair, after all the rumor about it, proved to be a very
small matter. No Swede or Richelieu had dreamt of co-operating;
Haddick, in the end, was scarce 4,000 with four cannon; General Rochow,
Commandant of Berlin, with his small garrison, had not Haddick skilfully
slidden through woods, and been so magnified by rumor, might have
marched out, and beaten a couple of Haddicks. As it was, Haddick
skilfully emerging, at the Silesian Gate of Berlin, 16th October,
about eleven in the morning, demanded ransom of 300,000 thalers (45,000
pounds); was refused; began shooting on the poor palisades, on the
poor drawbridge there; "at the third shot brought down the drawbridge;"
rushed into the suburb; and was not to be pushed out again by the
weak party Rochow sent to try it. Rochow, ignorant of Haddick's force,
marched off thereupon for Spandau with the Royal Family and effects;
leaving Haddick master of the suburb, and Berlin to make its own bargain
with him. Haddick, his Croats not to be quite kept from mischief,
remained master of the suburb, minatory upon Berlin, for twelve hours or
more: and after a good deal of bargaining,--ransom of 45,000 pounds, of
90,000 pounds, finally of 27,000 pounds and "two dozen pair of gloves
to the Empress Queen,"--made off about five in the morning; wind
of Moritz's advance adding wings to the speed of Haddick.
[_Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 715-723 (Haddick's own Account, and the Berlin

Moritz did arrive next evening (18th); but with his tired troops there
was no catching of Haddick, now three marches ahead. Royal Family and
effects returned from Spandau the day following; but in a day or
two more, removed to Magdeburg till the Capital were safe from such
affronts. Much grumbling against Rochow. "What could I do? How could I
know?" answered Rochow, whose eyesight indeed had been none of the best.
Berlin smarts to the length of 27,000 pounds and an alarm; but asserts
(not quite mythically, thinks Retzow), that "the two dozen pair of
gloves were all gloves for the left hand,"--Berlin having wit, and a
touch of ABSINTHE in it, capable of such things! Friedrich heard
the news at Annaburg, a march beyond Torgau; and there paused, again
uncertain, for about a week coming; after which, he discovered that
Leipzig would be the place; and returned thither, appointing a general
rendezvous and concentration there.


Just while Haddick was sliding swiftly through the woods, Berlin now
nigh, there occurred a thing at Regensburg; tragic thing, but ending in
farce,--Finale of REICHS-ACHT, in short;--about which all Regensburg was
loud, wailing or haha-ing according to humor; while Berlin was paying
its ransom and left-hand gloves. One moment's pause upon this, though
our haste is great.

"Reichs Diet had got its Ban of the Reich ready for Friedrich; CITATIO
(solemn Summons) and all else complete; nothing now wanted but to serve
Citatio on him, or 'insinuate' it into him, as their phrase is;--which
latter essential point occasions some shaking of wigs. Dangerous,
serving Citatio in that quarter: and by what art try to smuggle it into
the hands of such a one? 'Insinuate it here into his, Plotho's, hand;
that is the method, and that will suffice!' say the wigs, and choose
an unfortunate Reichs Notary, Dr. Aprill, to do it; who, in ponderous
Chancery-style, gives the following affecting report,--wonderful, but
intelligible (when abridged):--

"Citatio" to come and receive your Ban,--a very solemn-sounding
Document, commencing (or perhaps it is Aprill himself that so commences,
no matter which), "'In the Name of the Most High God, the Father, Son
and Holy Ghost, Amen,'--was given, Wednesday, 12th October, in the
Year after Christ our dear Lord and Saviour's Birth, 1757 Years, To me
Georgius Mathias Josephus Aprill, sworn Kaiserlich Notarius Publicus;
In my Lodging, first-floor fronting south, in Jacob Virnrohr the
Innkeeper's House here at Regensburg, called the Red-Star," for
insinuation into Plotho:

With which solemn Piece, Aprill proceeded next day, Thursday,
half-past 2 P.M., to Plotho's dwelling-place, described with equal
irrefragability; and, continues Aprill, "did there, by a servant of
the Herr Ambassador von Plotho's, announce myself; adding that I had
something to say to his Excellency, if he would please to admit me. To
which the Herr Ambassador by the same servant sent answer, that he was
ill with a cold, and that I might speak to his Secretarius what I had to
say. But, as I replied that my message was to his Excellenz in person,
the same servant came back with intimation that I might call again
to-morrow at noon."

To-morrow, at the stroke of noon, Friday, 14th October, Aprill
punctually appears again, with recapitulation of the pledge given him
yesterday; and is informed that he can walk up-stairs. "I proceeded
thereupon, the servant going before, up one pair of stairs, or with
the appurtenances (GEZEUGEN) rather more than one pair, into the
Herr Ambassador Freiherr von Plotho's Anteroom; who, just as we were
entering, stept in himself, through a side-door; in his dressing-gown,
and with the words, 'Speak now what you have to say.'

"I thereupon slipt into his hand CITATIO FISCALIS, and said"--said
at first nothing, Plotho avers; merely mumbled, looked like some poor
caitiff, come with Law-papers on a trifling Suit we happen to have
in the Courts here;--and only by degrees said (let us abridge; SCENE,
Aprill and Plotho, Anteroom in Regensburg, first-floor and rather

APRILL. "'I have to give your Excellenz this Writing,--[which privately,
could your Excellenz guess it, is] CITATIO FISCALIS from the Reichstag,
summoning his Majesty to show cause why Ban of the Reich should not pass
upon him!' His Excellenz at first took the CITATIO and adjuncts from me;
and looking into them to see what they were, his Excellenz's face began
to color, and soon after to color a little more; and on his looking
attentively at CITATIO FISCALIS, he broke into violent anger and rage,
so that he could not stand still any longer; but with burning face, and
both arms held aloft, rushed close to me, CITATIO and adjuncts in his
right hand, and broke out in this form:--

PLOTHO. "'What; insinuate (INSINUIEREN), you scoundrel!'

APRILL. "'It is my Notarial Office; I must do it.' In spite of which the
Freiherr von Plotho fell on me with all rage; grasped me by the front of
the cloak, and said:--

PLOTHO. "'Take it back, wilt thou!' And as I resisted doing so, he stuck
it in upon me, and shoved it down with all violence between my coat
and waistcoat; and, still holding me by the cloak, called to the two
servants who had been there, 'Fling him down stairs!'--which they, being
discreet fellows, and in no flurry, did not quite, nor needed quite to
do ('Must, sir, you see, unless!'), and so forced me out of the house;
Excellenz Plotho retiring through his Anteroom, and his Body-servant,
who at first had been on the stairs, likewise disappearing as I got
under way,"--and have to report, in such manner, to the Universe
and Reichs Diet, with tears in my eyes. [Preuss, ii. 397-401; in
_Helden-Geschichte, _ iv. 745-749, Plotho's Account.]

What became of Reichs Ban after this, ask not. It fell dead by
Friedrich's victories now at hand; rose again into life on Friedrich's
misfortunes (August, 1758), threatening to include George Second in it;
upon which the CORPUS EVANGELICORUM made some counter-mumblement;--and,
I have heard, the French privately advised: "Better drop it; these two
Kings are capable of walking out of you, and dangerously kicking the
table over as they go!"--Whereby it again fell dead, positively for the
last time, and, in short, is worth no mention or remembrance more.

CORPUS EVANGELICORUM had always been against Reichs Ban: a few
Dissentients, or Half-Dissentients excepted,--as Mecklenburg wholly
and with a will; foolish Anspach wholly; and the Anhalts haggling some
dissent, and retracting it (why, I never knew);--for which Mecklenburg
and the Anhalts, lying within clutch of one, had to repent bitterly in
the years coming! Enough of all that.

The Haddick invasion, which had got its gloves, left-hand or not,
and part of its road-expenses, brought another consequence much more
important on the PER-CONTRA side. The triumphing, TE-DEUM-ing and
jubilation over it,--"His Metropolis captured; Royal Family in
flight!"--raised the Dauphiness Army, and especially Versailles,
into such enthusiasm, that Dauphiness came bodily out (on order from
Versailles); spread over the Country, plundering and insulting beyond
example; got herself reinforced by a 15,000 from the Richelieu Army;
crossed the Saale; determined on taking Leipzig, beating Friedrich, and
I know not what. Keith, in Leipzig with a small Party, had summons from
Soubise's vanguard (October 24th): Keith answered, He would burn the
suburbs;--upon which, said vanguard, hearing of Friedrich's advent
withal, took itself rapidly away. And Soubise and it would fain have
recrossed Saale, I have understood, had not Versailles been peremptory.

In a word, Friedrioh arrived at Leipzig October 26th; Ferdinand, Moritz
and all the others coming or already come: and there is something great
just at hand. Friedrich's stay in Leipzig was only four days. Cheering
prospect of work now ahead here;--add to this, assurance from Preussen
that Apraxin is fairly going home, and Lehwald coming to look after
the Swedes. Were it not that there is bad news from Silesia, things
generally are beginning to look up. Of the hour spent on Gottsched,
in these four days, we expressly take no notice farther; but there was
another visit much less conspicuous, and infinitely more important: that
of a certain Hanoverian Graf von Schulenburg, not in red or with plumes,
like a Major-General as he was, but "in the black suit of a Country
Parson,"--coming, in that unnoticeable guise, to inform Friedrich
officially, "That the Hanoverians and Majesty of England have resolved
to renounce the Convention of Kloster-Zeven; to bring their poor Stade
Army into the field again; and do now request him, King Friedrich,
to grant them Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick to be General of the same."
[Mauvillon, i. 256; Westphalen, i. 315: indistinct both, and with slight
variations. Mitchell Papers (in British Museum), likewise indistinct:
Additional MSS. 6815, pp. 96 and 108 ("Lord Holderness to Mitchell,"
doubtless on Pitt's instigation, "10th October, 1757," is the beginning
of it,--two days before Royal Highness got home from Stade); see ib.
6806, pp. 241-252.]

Here is an unnoticeable message, of very high moment indeed. To which
Friedrich, already prepared, gives his cheerful consent; nominations and
practicalities to follow, the instant these present hurries are over.
Who it was that had prepared all this, whose suggestion it first was,
Friedrich's, Mitchell's, George's, Pitt's, I do not know,--I cannot
help suspecting Pitt; Pitt and Friedrich together. And certainly of all
living men, Ferdinand--related to the English and Prussian royalties,
a soldier of approved excellence, and likewise a noble-minded,
prudent, patient and invincibly valiant and steadfast man--was, beyond
comparison, the fittest for this office. Pitt is now fairly in power;
and perceives,--such Pitt's originality of view,--that an Army with a
Captain to it may differ beautifully from one without. And in fact we
may take this as the first twitch at the reins, on Pitt's part; whose
delicate strong hand, all England running to it with one heart, will be
felt at the ends of the earth before many months go. To the great and
unexpected joy of Friedrich, for one. "England has taken long to produce
a great man," he said to Mitchell; "but here is one at last!"



Friedrich left Leipzig Sunday, October 30th; encamped, that night, on
the famous Field of Lutzen, with the vanguard, he (as usual, and Mayer
with him, who did some brisk smiting home of what French there were);
Keith and Duke Ferdinand following, with main body and rear.

Movements on the Soubise-Hildburghausen part are all retrograde
again;--can Dauphiness Bellona do nothing, then, except shuttle forwards
and then backwards according to Friedrich's absence or presence? The
Soubise-Hildburghausen Army does immediately withdraw on this occasion,
as on the former; and makes for the safe side of the Saale again,
rapidly retreating before Friedrich, who is not above one to two of
them,--more like one to three, now that Broglio's Detachment is come
to hand. Broglio got to Merseburg October 26th,--guess 15,000
strong;--considerably out of repair, and glad to have done with such a
march, and be within reach of Soubise. This is the Second Son of our old
Blusterous Friend; a man who came to some mark, and to a great deal of
trouble, in this War; and ended, readers know how, at the Siege of the
Bastille thirty-two years afterwards!

So soon as rested, Broglio, by order, moves leftwards to Halle, to guard
Saale Bridge there; Soubise himself edging after him to Merseburg, on a
similar errand; and leaving Hildburghausen to take charge of Weissenfels
and the Third Saale Bridge. That is Dauphiness's posture while Friedrich
encamps at Lutzen:--let impatient human nature fix these three places
for itself, and hasten to the catastrophe of wretched Dauphiness.
Soubise, it ought to be remembered, is not in the highest spirits; but
his Officers in over-high, "Doing this PETIT MARQUIS DE BRANDEBOURG
the honor to have a kind of War with him (DE LUI FAIRE UNE ESPECE DE
GUERRE)," as they term it. Being puffed up with general vanity, and the
newspaper rumor about Haddick's feat,--which, like the gloves it got,
is going all to left-hand in this way. Hildburghausen and the others
overrule Soubise; and indeed there is no remedy; "Provision almost
out;--how retreat to our magazines and our fastnesses, with Friedrich
once across Saale, and sticking to the skirts of us?" Here, from
eye-witnesses where possible, are the successive steps of Dauphiness
towards her doom, which is famous in the world ever since.

"Monday, 31st October, 1757," as the Town-Syndic of Weissenfels
records, "about eight in the morning, [Muller, SCHLACHT BEI ROSSBACH ("a
Centenary Piece," Berlin, 1857,--containing several curious Extracts),
p. 44, _Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 643, 651-668.] the King of Prussia, with
his whole Army" (or what seemed to us the whole, though it was but
a half; Keith with the other half being within reach to northward,
marching Merseburg way), "came before this Town." Has been here before;
as Keith has, as Soubise and others have: a town much agitated lately by
transit of troops. It was from the eastern, or high landward side, where
the so-called Castle is, that Friedrich came: Castle built originally on
some "White Crag (WEISSE FELS" not now conspicuous), from which the town
and whilom Duchy take their name.

"We have often heard of Weissenfels, while the poor old drunken Duke
lived, who used to be a Suitor of Wilhelmina's, liable to hard usage;
and have marched through it, with the Salzburgers, in peaceable times.
A solid pleasant-enough little place (6,000 souls or so); lies leant
against high ground (White Crags, or whatever it once was) on the
eastern or right bank of the Saale; a Town in part flat, in part very
steep; the streets of it, or main street and secondaries, running off
level enough from the River and Bridge; rising by slow degrees, but at
last rapidly against the high ground or cliffs, just mentioned; a
stiff acclivity of streets, till crowned by the so-called Castle, the
'Augustus Burg' in those days, the 'Friedrich-Wilhelm Barrack' in ours.
It was on this crown of the cliffs that his Prussian Majesty appeared.

"Saale is of good breadth here; has done perhaps two hundred miles,
since he started, in the Fichtelgebirge (PINE MOUNTAINS), on his long
course Elbe-ward; received, only ten miles ago, his last big branch, the
wide-wandering Unstrut, coming in with much drainage from the northern
parts:--in breadth, Saale may be compared to Thames, to Tay or Beauley;
his depth not fordable, though nothing like so deep as Thames's; main
cargo visible is rafts of timber: banks green, definite, scant of
wood; river of rather dark complexion, mainly noiseless, but of useful
pleasant qualities otherwise."

From this Castle or landward side come Friedrich and his Prussians, on
Monday morning about eight. "The garrison, some 4,000 Reichs folk and
a French Battalion or two, shut the Gates, and assembled in the
Market-place,"--a big square, close at the foot of the Heights; "on the
other hand, from the top of the Heights [KLAMMERK the particular spot],
the Prussians cannonaded Town and Gates; to speedy bursting open of the
same; and rushed in over the walls of the Castle-court, and by other
openings into the Town: so that the garrison above said had to quit, and
roll with all speed across the Saale Bridge, and set the same on fire
behind them." This was their remedy for all the Three Bridges, when
attacked; but it succeeded nowhere so well as here.

"The fire was of extreme rapidity; prepared beforehand:" Bridge all
of dry wood coated with pitch;--"fire reinforced too, in view of such
event, by all the suet, lard and oleaginous matter the Garrison could
find in Weissenfels; some hundredweights of tallow-dips, for one
item, going up on this occasion." Bridge, "worth 100,000 thalers,"
is instantly ablaze: some 400 finding the bridge so flamy, and the
Prussians at their skirts, were obliged to surrender;--Feldmarschall
Hildburghausen, sleeping about two miles off, gets himself awakened in
this unpleasant manner. Flying garrison halt on the other side of the
River, where the rest of their Army is; plant cannon there against
quenching of the Bridge; and so keep firing, answered by the Prussians,
with much noise and no great mischief, till 3 P.M., when the Bridge is
quite gone (Toll-keeper's Lodge and all), and the enterprise of crossing
there had plainly become impossible.

Friedrich quickly, about a mile farther down the River, has picked out
another crossing-place, in the interim, and founded some new adequate
plank or raft bridge there; which, by diligence all night, will
be crossable to-morrow. So that, except for amusing the enemy, the
cannonading may cease at Weissenfels. A certain Duc de Crillon,
in command at this Weissenfels Bridge-burning and cannonade, has a
chivalrous Anecdote (amounting nearly to zero when well examined) about
saving or sparing Friedrich's life on this interesting occasion: How,
being now on the safe side of the River, he Crillon with his staff
taking some refection of breakfast after the furious flurry there had
been; there came to him one of his Artillery Captains, stationed in
an Island in the River, asking, "Shall I shoot the King of Prussia,
Monseigneur? He is down reconnoitring his end of the Bridge: sha'n't I,
then?" To whom Crillon gives a glass of wine and smilingly magnanimous
answer to a negative effect. [_"Memoires militaires de Louis &c. Duc
de Crillon _ (Paris, 1791), p. 166;"--as cited by Preuss, ii. 88.]
Concerning which, one has to remark, Not only, FIRST, that the Artillery
Captain's power of seeing Friedrich (which is itself uncertain) would
indeed mean the power of aiming at him, but differs immensely from that
of hitting him with shot; so that this "Shall I kill the King?" was
mainly thrasonic wind from Captain Bertin. But SECONDLY, that there is
no "Island" in the River thereabouts, for Captain Bertin to fire from!
So that probably the whole story is wind or little more: dreamlike, or
at best some idle thrasonic-theoretic question, on the part of Bertin;
proper answer thereto (consisting mainly in a glass of wine) from
Monseigneur:--all which, on retrospection, Monseigneur feels, or would
fain feel, to have been not theoretic-thrasonic but practical, and of a
rather godlike nature. Zero mainly, as we said; Friedrich thanks you for
zero, Monseigneur.

"The Prussians were billeted in the Town that night," says our Syndic;
"and in many a house there came to be twenty men, and even thirty and
above it, lodged. All was quiet through the night; the French and the
Reichs folk were drawn back upon the higher grounds, about Burgwerben
and on to Tagwerben; and we saw their watch-fires burning." Friedrich's
Bridge meanwhile, unmolested by the enemy, is getting ready.

Keith, looking across to Merseburg on the morrow morning (Tuesday, Nov.
1st), whither he had marched direct with the other Half of the Army,
finds Merseburg Bridge destroyed, or broken; and Soubise with batteries
on the farther side, intending to dispute the passage. Keith despatches
Duke Ferdinand to Halle, another twelve miles down, who finds Halle
Bridge destroyed in like manner, and Broglio intending to dispute;
which, however, on second thoughts, neither of them I did. Friedrich's
new Bridge at Herren-Muhle (LORDSHIPS' MILL) is of course an important
point to them; Friedrich's passage now past dispute! "Let us fall back,"
say they, "and rank ourselves a little; we are 50 or 60,000 strong; ill
off for provisions; but well able to retreat; and have permission to
fight on this side of the River."

The combined Army, "Dauphiness," or whatever we are to call it, does on
Wednesday morning (November 2d) gather in its cannon and outskirts, and
give up the Saale question; retire landwards to the higher grounds some
miles; and diligently get itself united, and into order of battle better
or worse, near the Village of Mucheln (which means Kirk MICHAEL, and is
still written "SANCT MICHEL" by some on this occasion). There Dauphiness
takes post, leaning on the heights, not in a very scientific way;
leaving Keith and Ferdinand to rebuild their Bridges unmolested, and all
Prussians to come across at discretion. Which they have diligently done
(2d-3d November), by their respective Bridges; and on Thursday afternoon
are all across, encamped at Bedra, in close neighborhood to Mucheln;
which Friedrich has been out reconnoitring and finds that he can attack
next morning very early.

Next morning, accordingly, "by 2 o'clock, with a bright moon shining,"
Friedrich is on horseback, his Army following. But on examining by
moonlight, the enemy have shifted their position; turned on their axis,
more or less, into new wood-patches, new batteries and bogs; which
has greatly mended their affair. No good attacking them so, thinks
Friedrich; and returns to his Camp; slightly cannonaded, one wing of
him, from some battery of the enemy; and immoderately crowed over by
them: "Dare not, you see! Tried, and was defeated!" cry their newspapers
and they,--for one day. Friedrich lodges again in Bedra this night,
others say in Rossbach; shifts his own Camp a little; left wing of it
now at Rossbach (HOME-BROOK, or BECK, soon to be a world-famous Hamlet):
the effects of hunger on the Dauphiness, so far from her supplies, will,
he calculates, be stronger than on him, and will bring her to better
terms shortly. Dauphiness needs bread; one may have fine clipping at the
skirts of her, if she try retreat. That Dauphiness would play the prank
she did next morning, Friedrich had not ventured to calculate.

CATASTROPHE OF DAUPHINESS (Saturday, 5th November, 1757).

Meandering Saale is on one of his big turns, as he passes Weissenfels;
turning, pretty rapidly here, from southeastward, which he was a dozen
miles ago, round to northeastward again or northward altogether, which
he gets to be at Merseburg, a dozen farther down. Right across from
Weissenfels, lapped in this crook of the Saale, or washed by it on south
side and on east, rises, with extreme laziness, a dull circular lump of
country, six or eight miles in diameter; with Rossbach and half a dozen
other scraggy sleepy Hamlets scattered on it;--which, till the morning
of Saturday, 5th November, 1757, had not been notable to any visitor.
The topmost point or points, for there are two (not discoverable except
by tradition and guess), the country people do call Hills, JANUS-HUGEL,
POLZEN-HUGEL--Hill sensible to wagon-horses in those bad loose tracks of
sandy mud, but unimpressive on the Tourist, who has to admit that there
seldom was so flat a Hill. Rising, let us guess, forty yards in
the three or four miles it has had. Might be called a perceptibly
pot-bellied plain, with more propriety; flat country, slightly puffed
up;--in shape not steeper than the mould of an immense tea-saucer would
be. Tea-saucer 6 miles in diameter, 100 feet in depth, and of irregular
contour, which indeed will sufficiently represent it to the reader's

Saale, at four or five miles distance, bounds this scraggy lump on the
east and on the south. Westward and northward, springing about Mucheln
on each hand, and setting off to right and to left Saale-ward, are what
we take to be two brooks; at least are two hollows: and behind these,
the country rises higher; undulating still on lazy terms, but now
painted azure by the distance, not unpleasant to behold, with its litter
all lapped out of sight, and its poor brooks tinkling forward (as we
judge) into the Saale, Merseburg way, or reverse-wise into the Unstrut,
the last big branch of Saale. Southward from our Janus Height, eight or
nine miles off, may be seen some vestige of Freiburg; steeple or gilt
weathercock faintly visible, on the Unstrut yonder;--which I take to
be Soubise's bread-basket at present. And farther off, and opposite the
MOUTH of the Unstrut, well across the Saale, lies another namable Town
(visible in clear weather, as a smoke-cloud at certain hours, about
meal-time, when the kettles are on boil), the Town of Naumburg,--one of
several German Naumburgs,--the Naumburg of Gustaf Adolf; where his slain
body lay, on the night of Lutzen Battle, with his poor Queen and
others weeping over it. Naumburg is on the other side of Saale, not of
importance to Soubise in such posture.

This is the circular block or lump of country, on the north or northwest
side of which Friedrich now lies, and which will become, he little
thinks how memorable on the morrow. Over the heights, immediately
eastward of Friedrich, there is a kind of hollow, or scooped-out place;
shallow valley of some extent, which deserves notice against to-morrow:
but in general the ground is lazily spherical, and without noticeable
hollows or valleys when fairly away from the River. A dull blunt lump of
country; made of sand and mud,--may have been grassy once, with broom on
it, in the pastoral times; is now under poor plough-husbandry, arable or
scratchable in all parts, and looks rather miserable in winter-time. No
vestige of hedge on it, of shrub or bush; one tree, ugly but big, which
may have been alive in Friedrich's time, stands not far from Rossbach
Hamlet; one, and no more, discoverable in these areas.

Various Hamlets lie sprinkled about: very sleepy, rusty, irregular
little places; huts and cattle-stalls huddled down, as if shaken from
a bag; much straw, thick thatch and crumbly mud-brick; but looking warm
and peaceable, for the Four-footed and the Two-footed; which latter, if
you speak to them, are solid reasonable people, with energetic German
eyes and hearts, though so ill-lodged. These Hamlets, needing shelter
and spring-water, stand generally in some slight hollow, if well up the
Height, as Rorschach is; sometimes, if near the bottom, they are nestled
in a sudden dell or gash,--work of the primeval rains, accumulating from
above, and ploughing out their way. The rains, we can see, have been
busy; but there is seldom the least stream visible, bottom being too
sandy and porous. On the western slope, there is in our time a kind of
coal, or coal-dust, dug up; in the way of quarrying, not of mining; and
one or two big chasms of this sort are confusedly busy: the natives mix
this valuable coal-dust with water, mould it into bricks, and so use as
fuel: one of the features of these hamlets is the strange black bricks,
standing on edge about the cottage-doors, to drip, and dry in the sun.
For this or for other reasons, the westward slope appears to be the
best; and has a major share of hamlets on it: Rossbach is high up, and
looks over upon Mucheln, and its dim belfry and appurtenances, which lie
safe across the hollow, perhaps two miles off,--safe from Friedrich, if
there were eatables and lodging to be had in such a place. Friedrich's
left wing is in Rossbach. Bedra where Friedrich's right wing is;
Branderode where the Soubise right is; then Grost; Schevenroda,
Zeuchfeld, Pettstadt, Lunstadt,--especially Reichartswerben, where
Soubise's right will come to be: these the reader may take note of in
his Map. Several of them lie in ashes just then; plundered, replundered,
and at last set fire to; so busy have Soubise's hungry people been,
of late, in the Country they came to "deliver." The Freiburg road, the
Naumburg road, both towards Merseburg, cross this Height; straight like
the string, Saale by Weissenfels being the bow.

The HERRENHAUS (Squire's Mansion) still stands in Rossbach, with
the littery Hamlet at its flank: a high, pavilion-roofed, and though
dilapidated, pretentious kind of House; some kind of court round it,
some kind of hedge or screen of brushwood and brick-wall: terribly in
need of the besom, it and its environment throughout. King, I suppose,
did lodge there overnight: certain it is the Squire was absent; and
the Squire's Man, three days afterwards, reported to him as follows:...
"Saturday, the 5th, about 8 A.M., his Majesty mounted to the roof of
the Herrenhaus here, some tiles having been removed [for that end, or
by accident, is not said], and saw how the French and Reichs Army were
getting in movement"--wriggling out of their Camp leftwards, evidently
aiming towards Grost. "In about an hour, near half their Army was
through Grost, and had turned southward, rather southeastward, from
Grost, out in the Rossbach and Almsdorf region, and proceeding still
towards Pettstadt,"--towards Schevenroda more precisely, not towards
Pettstadt yet. "His Majesty looked always through the perspective: and
to me was the grace done to be ever at his side, and to name for him
the roads the French and Reichs Army was marching." [Muller, p. 50;
Rodenbeck, p. 326.]

The King had heard of this phenomenon hours before, and had sent out
Hussars and scouts upon it; but now sees it with his eyes:--"Going for
Freiburg, and their bread-cupboard," thinks the King; who does not as
yet make much of the movement; but will watch it well, and calculates to
have a stroke at the rear end of it, in due season. With which view, the
cavalry, Seidlitz and Mayer, are ordered to saddle; foot regiments, and
all else, to be in readiness. This French-Reichs Dauphiness is not rapid
in her field-exercise; and has a great deal of wriggling and unwinding
before she can fairly pick herself out, and get forward towards
Schevenroda on the Freiburg road. In three or in two parallel columns,
artillery between them, horse ahead, horse arear; haggling along
there;--making for their bread-baskets, thinks the King. A body
of French, horse chiefly, under St. Germain, come out, in the
Schortau-Almsdorf part, with some salvoing and prancing, as if intending
to attack about Rossbach, where our left wing is: but his Majesty sees
it to be a pretence merely; and St. Germain, motionless, and doing
nothing but cannonade a little, seems to agree that it is so. Dauphiness
continues her slow movements; King, in this Squire's Mansion of
Rossbach, sits down to dinner, dinner with Officers at the usual hour of
noon,--little dreaming what the Dauphiness has in her head.

Truth is, the Dauphiness is in exultant spirits, this morning; intending
great things against a certain "little Marquis of Brandenburg," to whom
one does so much honor. Generals looking down yesterday on the King of
Prussia's Camp, able to count every man in it (and half the men being
invisible, owing to bends of the ground), counted him to 10,000 or so;
and had said, "Pshaw, are not we above 50,000; let us end it! Take him
on his left. Round yonder, till we get upon his left, and even upon his
rear withal, St. Germain co-operating on the other side of him: on left,
on rear, on front, at the same moment, is not that a sure game?" A very
ticklish game, answers surly sagacious Lloyd: "No general will permit
himself to be taken in flank with his eyes open; and the King of Prussia
is the unlikeliest you could try it with!"

Trying it meanwhile they are; marching along by the low grounds here,
intending to sweep gradually leftwards towards Janus-Hill quarter; there
to sweep home upon him, coil him up, left and rear and front, in their
boa-constrictor folds, and end his trifle of an Army and him. "Why not,
if we do our duty at all, annihilate his trifle of an Army; take himself
prisoner, and so end it?" Report says, Soubise had really, in some
moment of enthusiasm lately, warned the Versailles populations to expect
such a thing; and that the Duchess of Orleans, forgetful of poor King
Louis's presence, had in HER enthusiasm, exclaimed: "TANT MIEUX, I shall
at last see a King, then!" But perhaps it is a mere French epigram, such
as the winds often generate there, and put down for fact.--Friedrich's
retreat to Weissenfels is cut off for Friedrich: an Austrian party has
been at the Herren-Muhle Bridge this morning, has torn it up and pitched
it into the river; planks far on to Merseburg by this time. And, in
fact, unless Friedrich be nimble--But that he usually is.

Friedrich's dinner had gone on with deliberation for about two hours,
Friedrich's intentions not yet known to any, but everybody, great and
small, waiting eagerly for them, like greyhounds on the slip,--when
Adjutant Gaudi, who had been on the House-top the while, rushes into the
Dining-room faster than he ought, and, with some tremor in his voice and
eyes, reports hastily: "At Schevenroda, at Pettstadt yonder! Enemy has
turned to left. Clearly for the left."--"Well, and if he do? No flurry
needed, Captain!" answered Friedrich,--(NOT in these precise words; but
rebuking Gaudi, with a look not of laughter wholly, and with a certain
question, as to the state of Gaudi's stomachic part, which is still
known in traditionary circles, but is not mentionable here);--and went,
with due gravity, himself to the roof, with his Officers. "To the
left, sure enough; meaning to attack us there:" the thing Friedrich had
despaired of is voluntarily coming, then;--and it is a thing of stern
qualities withal; a wager of life, with glorious possibilities behind.

Friedrich earnestly surveys the phenomenon for some minutes; in some
minutes, Friedrich sees his way through it, at least into it, and how
he will do it. Off, eastward; march! Swift are his orders; almost still
swifter the fulfillment of them. Prussian Army is a nimble article in
comparison with Dauphiness! In half an hour's time, all is packed and
to the road; and, except Mayer and certain Free-Corps or Light-Horse,
to amuse St. Germain and his Almsdorf people, there is not a Prussian
visible in these localities to French eyes. "At half-past two," says the
Squire's Man,--or let us take him a sentence earlier, to lose nothing
of such a Document: "At noon his Majesty took dinner; sat till about
two o'clock; then again went to the roof; and perceived that the
Enemy's Army at Pettstadt were turning about the little Wood there
northeastward, as if for Lunstadt [into the Lunstadt road];--such
cannonading too," from those Almsdorf people, "that the balls flew over
our heads,"--or I tremulously thought so. "At half-past two, the word
was given, March! And good speed they made about it, in this Herrenhaus,
and out of doors too, striking their tents, and cording up and trimly
shouldering everything with incredible brevity," as if machinery were
doing it; "and at three, on the Prussian part, all was packed and out
into the court for being carried off; and, in fact, the Prussian Army
was on march at three." Seidlitz, with all his Horse, vanishing round
the corner of the Height; speeding along, invisible on his northern
slope there, straight for the Janus-Polzen Hill part; the Infantry
following, double-quick;--well knowing, each, what he has got to do.

But at this interesting point, the Editors--small thanks to them,
authentic but thrice-stupid mortals--cut short our Eye-witness, not
so much as telling us his name, some of them not even his date or
whereabouts; and so the curtain tumbles down (as if its string had
been cut, or suddenly eaten by unwise animals), and we are left to gray
hubbub, and our own resources at second-hand. Except only that a French
Officer--one of those cannonading from Almsdorf, no doubt--declares
that "it was like a change of scene in the Opera (DECORATION D'OPERA),"
[Letter in MULLER: p. 60. In WESTPHALEN (ii. 128-133) is a much superior
French Letter, intercepted somewhere, and fallen to Duke Ferdinand; well
worth reading, on Rossbach and the previous Affairs.] so very rapid; and
that "they all rolled off eastward at quick time." At extremely quick
time;--and soon, in the slight hollow behind Janus Hugel, vanished from
sight of these Almsdorf French, and of the Soubise-Hildburghausen Army
in general. Which latter is agreeably surprised at the phenomenon;
and draws a highly flattering conclusion from it. "Gone, then; off
at double-quick for Merseburg; aha!" think the Soubise-Hildburghausen
people: "Double-quick you too, my pretty men, lest they do whisk away,
and we never get a stroke at them,!"--

Seidlitz meanwhile, with his cavalry (thirty-eight squadrons, about
4,000 horse), is rapidly doing the order he has had. Seidlitz at a sharp
military trot, and the infantry at doublequick to keep up near him,
which they cannot quite do, are, as we have said, making right across
for the Polzen-Hill and Janus-Hill quarter; their route the string,
French route the bow; and are invisible to the French, owing to the
heights between. Seidlitz, when he gets to the proper point eastward,
will wheel about, front to southward, and be our left wing; infantry, as
centre and right, will appear in like manner; and--we shall see!

The exultant Dauphiness, or Soubise-Hildburghausen Army (let us call it,
for brevity's sake, Dauphiness or French, which it mainly was), on that
rapid disappearance of the Prussians, never doubted but the Prussians
were off on flight for Merseburg, to get across by the Bridge there.
Whereat Dauphiness, doubly exultant, mended her own pace, cavalry at
a sharp trot, infantry double-quick, but unable to keep up,--for the
purpose of capturing or intercepting the runaway Prussians. Speed,
my friends,--if you would do a stroke upon Friedrich, and show the
Versailles people a King at last! Thus they, hurrying on, in two
parallel columns,--infantry, long floods of it, coming double-quick but
somewhat fallen behind; cavalry 7,000 or so, as vanguard,--faster and
faster; sweeping forward on their southern side of the Janus-and-Polzen
slope, and now rather climbing the same.

Seidlitz has his hussar pickets on the top, to keep him informed as
to their motions, and how far they are got. Seidlitz, invisible on the
south slope of the Polzen Hugel, finds about half-past three P.M. that
he is now fairly ahead of Dauphiness; Seidlitz halts, wheels, comes
to the top, "Got the flank of them, sure enough!"--and without waiting
signal or farther orders, every instant being precious, rapidly forms
himself; and plunges down on these poor people. "Compact as a wall, and
with an incredible velocity (D'UNE VITESSE INCROYABLE)," says one
of them. Figure the astonishment of Dauphiness; of poor Broglio, who
commands the horse here. Taken in flank, instead of taking other people;
intercepted, not in the least needing to intercept! Has no time to
form, though he tried what he could. Only the two Austrian regiments
got completely formed; the rest very incompletely; and Seidlitz, in the
blaze of rapid steel, is in upon them. The two Austrian regiments,
and two French that are named, made what debate was feasible;--courage
nowise wanting, in such sad want of captaincy; nay Soubise in person
galloped into it, if that could have helped. But from the first, the
matter was hopeless; Seidlitz slashing it at such a rate, and plunging
through it and again through it, thrice, some say four times: so that,
in the space of half an hour, this luckless cavalry was all tumbling off
the ground; plunging down-hill, in full flight, across its own infantry
or whatever obstacle, Seidlitz on the hips of it; and galloping madly
over the horizon, towards Freiburg as it proved; and was not again heard
of that day.

In about half an hour that bit of work was over; and Seidlitz, with
his ranks trimmed again, had drawn himself southward a little, into the
Hollow of Tageswerben, there to wait impending phenomena. For Friedrich
with the Infantry is now emerging over Janus Hill, in a highly
thunderous manner,--eighteen pieces of artillery going, and "four big
guns taken from the walls of Leipzig;" and there will be events anon.
It is said, Hildburghausen, at the first glimpse of Friedrich over
the hill-top, whispered to Soubise, "We are lost, Royal
Highness!"--"Courage!" Soubise would answer; and both, let us hope, did
their utmost in this extremely bad predicament they had got into.

Friedrich's artillery goes at a murderous rate; had come in view, over
the hill-top, before Seidlitz ended,--"nothing but, the muzzles of
it visible" (and the fire-torrents from it) to us poor French below.
Friedrich's lines; or rather his one line, mere tip of his left
wing,--only seven battalions in it, five of them under Keith from the
second or reserve line; whole centre and right wing standing "refused"
in oblique rank, invisible, BEHIND the Hill,--Friedrich's line, we say,
the artillery to its right, shoots out in mysterious Prussian rhythm,
in echelons, in potences, obliquely down the Janus-Hill side; straight,
rigid, regular as iron clock-work; and strides towards us, silent,
with the lightning sleeping in it:--Friedrich has got the flank of
Dauphiness, and means to keep it. Once and again and a third time, poor
Soubise, with his poor regiments much in an imbroglio, here heaped on
one another, there with wide gaps, halt being so sudden,--attempts
to recover the flank, and pushes out this regiment and the other,
rightward, to be even with Friedrich. But sees with despair that it
cannot be; that Friedrich with his echelons, potences and mysterious
Prussian resources, pulls himself out like the pieces of a
prospect-glass, piece after piece, hopelessly fast and seemingly no
end to them; and that the flank is lost, and that--Unhappy Generals of
Dauphiness, what a phenomenon for them! A terrible Friedrich, not fled
to Merseburg at all; but mounted there on the Janus Hill, as on his
saddle-horse, with face quite the other way;--and for holster-pistol,
has plucked out twenty-two cannon. Clad verily in fire; Chimera-like,
RIDING the Janus Hill, in that manner; left leg (or wing) of him
spurning us into the abysses, right one ready to help at discretion!

Hildburghausen, I will hope, does his utmost; Soubise, Broglio, for
certain do. The French line is in front, next the Prussians: poor
Generals of Dauphiness are panting to retrieve themselves. But with
regiments jammed in this astonishing way, and got collectively into the
lion's throat, what can be done? Steady, rigid as iron clock-work, the
Prussian line strides forward; at forty paces' distance delivers its
first shock of lightning, bursts into platoon fire; and so continues,
steady at the rate of five shots a minute,--hard to endure by poor
masses all in a coil. "The artillery tore down whole ranks of us," says
the Wutenberg Dragoon; [His Letter in MULLER, p. 83.] "the Prussian
musketry did terrible execution."

Things began %o waver very soon, French reeling back from the Prussian
fire, Reichs troops rocking very uneasy, torn by such artillery; when,
to crown the matter, Seidlitz, seeing all things rock to the due extent,
bursts out of Tageswerben Hollow, terribly compact and furious, upon the
rear of them. Which sets all things into inextricable tumble; and the
Battle is become a rout and a riding into ruin, no Battle ever more.
Lasted twenty-five minutes, this second act of it, or till half-past
four: after which, the curtains rapidly descending (Night's curtain,
were there no other) cover the remainder; the only stage-direction,
EXEUNT OMNES. Which for a 50 or 60,000, ridden over by Seidlitz Horse,
was not quite an easy matter! They left, of killed and wounded, near
3,000; of prisoners, 5,000 (Generals among them 8, Officers 300): in
sum, about 8,000; not to mention cannon, 67 or 72; with standards,
flags, kettle-drums and meaner baggages AD LIBITUM in a manner. The
Prussian loss was, 165 killed, 376 wounded;--between a sixteenth and a
fifteenth part of theirs: in number the Prussians had been little more
than one to three; 22,000 of all arms,--not above half of whom ever came
into the fire; Seidlitz and seven battalions doing all the fighting that
was needed, St. Germain tried to cover the retreat; but "got broken,"
he says,--Mayer bursting in on him,--and soon went to slush like the

Seldom, almost never, not even at Crecy or Poictiers, was any Army
better beaten. And truly, we must say, seldom did any better deserve
it, so far as the Chief Parties went. Yes, Messieurs, this is the PETIT
MARQUIS DE BRANDEBOURG; you will know this one, when you meet him again!
The flight, the French part of it, was towards Freiburg Bridge; in full
gallop, long after the chase had ceased; crossing of the Unstrut there,
hoarse, many-voiced, all night; burning of the Bridge; found burnt, when
Friedrich arrived next morning. He had encamped at Obschutz, short way
from the field itself. French Army, Reichs Army, all was gone to staves,
to utter chaotic wreck. Hildburghausen went by Naumburg; crossed the
Saale there; bent homewards through the Weimar Country; one wild flood
of ruin, swift as it could go; at Erfurt "only one regiment was in
rank, and marched through with drums beating." His Army, which had been
disgustingly unhappy from the first, and was now fallen fluid on these
mad terms, flowed all away in different rills, each by the course
straightest home; and Hildburghausen arriving at Bamberg, with
hardly the ghost or mutilated skeleton of an Army, flung down
his truncheon,--"A murrain on your Reichs Armies and regimental
chaoses!"--and went indignantly home. Reichs Army had to begin at the
beginning again; and did not reappear on the scene till late next Year,
under a new Commander, and with slightly improved conditions.

Dauphiness Proper was in no better case; and would have flowed home
in like manner, had not home been so far, and the way unknown. Twelve
thousand of them rushed straggling through the Eichsfeld; plundering and
harrying, like Cossacks or Calmucks: "Army blown asunder, over a circle
of forty miles' radius," writes St. Germain: "had the Enemy pursued us,
after I got broken [burst in upon by Mayer and his Free-Corps people]
we had been annihilated. Never did Army behave worse; the first
cannon-salvo decided our rout and our shame." [St. Germain to Verney:
different Excerpts of Letters in the two weeks after Rossbach and before
(given in Preuss, ii. 97).]

In two days' time (November 7th), the French had got to Langensalza,
fifty-five miles from the Battle-field of Rossbach; plundering, running,
SACRE-DIEU-ing; a wild deluge of molten wreck, filling the Eichsfeld
with its waste noises, making night hideous and day too;--in the
villages Placards were stuck up, appointing Nordhausen and Heiligenstadt
for rallying place. [Muller, p. 73.]

Soubise rode, with few attendants, all night towards Nordhausen,--eighty
miles off, foot of the Bracken Country, where the Richelieu resources
are;--Soubise with few attendants, face set towards the Brocken;
himself, it is like, in a somewhat hag-ridden condition.

"The joy of poor Teutschland at large," says one of my Notes, "and how
all Germans, Prussian and Anti-Prussian alike, flung up their caps, with
unanimous LEBE-HOCH, at the news of Rossbach, has often been remarked;
and indeed is still almost touching to see. The perhaps bravest Nation
in the world, though the least braggart, very certainly EIN TAPFERES
VOLK (as their Goethe calls them); so long insulted, snubbed and
trampled on, by a luckier, not a braver:--has not your exultant
Dauphiness got a beautiful little dose administered her; and is gone off
in foul shrieks, and pangs of the interior,--let no man ask whitherward!
'SI UN ALLEMAND PEUT AVOIR DE L'ESPRIT (Can a German possibly have
sharpness of wits)?' Well, yes, it would seem: here is one German
graduate who understands his medicine-chest, and the quality of
patients!--Dauphiness got no pity anywhere; plenty of epigrams, and
mostly nothing but laughter even in Paris itself. Napoleon long after,
who much admires Friedrich, finds that this Victory of Rossbach was
inevitable; 'but what fills me with astonishment and shame,' adds he,
'is that it was gained by six battalions and thirty squadrons [seven
properly, and thirty-eight] over such a multitude!' [Montholon, MEMOIRES
&C. DE NAPOLEON (Napoleon's _Precis des Guerres de Frederic II.,_ vii.
210).]--It is well known, Napoleon, after Jena, as if Jena had not been
enough for him, tore down the first Monument of Rossbach, some poor
ashlar Pyramid or Pillar, raised by the neighborhood, with nothing more
afflictive inscribed on it than a date; and sent it off in carts for
Paris (where no stone of it ever arrived, the Thuringen carmen slinking
off, and leaving it scattered in different places over the face of
Thuringen in general); so that they had the trouble of a new one
lately." [Rodenbeck, _Beitrage,_ i. 299; ib. p. 385, Lithograph of the
poor extinct Monument itself.]

From Friedrich the "Army of the Circles," that is, Dauphiness and
Company,--called HOOPERS or "Coopers" (TONNELIERS), with a desperate
attempt at wit by pun,--get their Adieu in words withal. This is the
Piece; called by Editors the most profane, most indecent, most &c.; and
printed with asterisk veils thrown over the worst passages. Who
shall dare, searching and rummaging for insight into Friedrich, and
complaining that there is none, to lift any portion of the veil; and
say, "See--Faugh!" The cynicism, truly, but also the irrepressible
honest exultation, has a kind of epic completeness, and fulness of
sincerity; and, at bottom, the thing is nothing like so wicked as
careless commentators have given out. Dare to look a little:--

"ADIEU, GRANDS ERASEURS DE ROIS," so it starts: "Adieu, grand crushers
of Kings; arrogant wind-bags, Turpin, Broglio, Soubise,--Hildburghausen
with the gray beard, foolish still as when your beard was black in the
Turk-War time:--brisk journey to you all!" That is the first stanza;
unexceptionable, had we room. The second stanza is,--with the veils
partially lifted; with probably "MOISE" put into the first blank, and
into the third something of or belonging to "CESAR,"--

          "Je vows ai vu comme...
          Dans des ronces en certain lieu
          Eut l'honneur de voir...
          Ou comme au gre de sa luxure
          Le bon Nicomede a l'ecart
          Aiguillonnait sa flamme impure

Enough to say, the Author, with a wild burst of spiritual enthusiasm,
sings the charms of the rearward part of certain men; and what a royal
ecstatic felicity there sometimes is in indisputable survey of the same.
He rises to the heights of Anti-Biblical profanity, quoting Moses on
the Hill of Vision; sinks to the bottomless of human or ultra-human
depravity, quoting King Nicomedes's experiences on Caesar (happily
known only to the learned); and, in brief, recognizes that there is, on
occasion, considerable beauty in that quarter of the human figure, when
it turns on you opportunely. A most cynical profane affair: yet, we must
say by way of parenthesis, one which gives no countenance to Voltaire's
atrocities of rumor about Friedrich himself in this matter; the reverse
rather, if well read; being altogether theoretic, scientific; sings with
gusto the glow of beauty you find in that unexpected quarter,--while
KICKING it deservedly and with enthusiasm. "To see the"--what shall
we call it: seat of honor, in fact, "of your enemy:" has it not an
undeniable charm? "I own to you in confidence, O Soubise and Company,
this fine laurel I have got, and was so in need of, is nothing more
or other than the sight of your"--FOUR ASTERISKS. "Oblige me, whenever
clandestine Fate brings us together, by showing me that"--always that,
if you would give me pleasure when we meet. "And oh," next stanza says,
"to think what our glory is founded on,"--on view of that unmentionable
object, I declare to you!--And through other stanzas, getting smutty
enough (though in theory only), which we need not prosecute farther.
[_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xii. 70-73 (WRITTEN at Freiburg, 6th November,
when his Majesty got thither, and found the Bridge burnt).] A certain
heartiness and epic greatness of cynicism, life's nakedness grown almost
as if innocent again; an immense suppressed insuppressible Haha, on the
part of this King. Strange TE-DEUM indeed. Coming from the very heart,
truly, as few of them do; but not, in other points, recommendable at
all!--Here, of the night before, is something better:--


"NEAR WEISSENFELS [OBSCHUTZ, in fact; does not know yet what the Battle
will be CALLED], 5th November, 1757.

"At last, my dear Sister, I can announce you a bit of good news. You
were doubtless aware that the Coopers with their circles had a mind to
take Leipzig. I ran up, and hove them beyond Saale. The Duc de Richelieu
sent them a reinforcement of twenty battalions and fourteen squadrons
[say 15,000 horse and foot]; they then called themselves 63,000 strong.
Yesterday I went to reconnoitre them; could not attack them in the post
they held. This had rendered them rash. Today they came out with
the intention of attacking me; but I took the start of them (LES AI
PREVENU). It was a Battle EN DOUCEUR (soft to one's wish). Thanks to
God I have not a hundred men killed; the only General ill wounded
is Meinecke. My Brother Henri and General Seidlitz have slight hurts
[gun-shots, not so slight, that of Seidlitz] in the arm. We have all
the Enemy's cannon, all the... I am in full march to drive them over the
Unstrut [already driven, your Majesty; bridge burning].

"You, my dear Sister, my good, my divine and affectionate Sister
[faithful to the bone, in good truth, poor Wilhelmina], who deign to
interest yourself in the fate of a Brother who adores you, deign also
to share in my joy. The instant I have time, I will tell you more. I
embrace you with my whole heart; Adieu. F." [_OEuvres de Frederic,_
xxvii. i. 310.]


Friedrich had no more fighting with the French. November 9th,
at Merseburg, in all stillness, Duke Ferdinand got his Britannic
Commission, his full Powers, from Friedrich and the parties interested;
in all stillness made his arrangements, as if for Magdeburg and his
Governorship there,--Friedrich hastening off for Silesia the while. Duke
Ferdinand did stay six days in Magdeburg, inspecting or pretending to
inspect; very pleasant with his Sister and the Royalties that, are now
there; but, at midnight of day sixth shot off silently on wider errand.
And, in sum, on Thursday, 24th November, 1757, appeared in Stade, on
horseback at morning parade there; intimating, to what joy of the poor
Brunswick Grenadiers and others, That he was come to take command;
that Kloster-Zeven is abolished; that we are not an "Observation Army,"
rotting here in the parish pound, any longer, but an "Allied Army" (such
now our title), intending to strike for ourselves, and get out of pound

"THURSDAY, 24th NOVEMBER-TUESDAY, 29th. Duke Ferdinand did accordingly
pick up the reins of this distracted Affair; and, in a way wonderful
to see, shot sanity into every fibre of it; and kept it sane and
road-worthy for the Five Years coming. With a silent velocity, an
energy, an imperturbable steadfastness and clear insight into cause and
effect; which were creditable to the school he came from; and were
a very joyful sight to Pitt and others concerned. So that from next
Tuesday, 'November 29th, before daylight,' when Ferdinand's batteries
began playing upon Harburg (French Fortress nearest to Stade), the reign
of the French ceased in those Countries; and an astonished Richelieu and
his French, lying scattered over all the West of Germany, in readiness
for nothing but plunder, had to fall more or less distracted in their
turn; and do a number of astonishing things. To try this and that, of
futile, more or less frantic nature; be driven from post after post; be
driven across the Aller first of all;--Richelieu to go home thereupon,
and be succeeded by one still more incompetent.

"DECEMBER 13th, a fortnight after Ferdinand's appearance, Richelieu had
got to the safe side of the Aller (burning of Zelle Bridge and Zelle
Town there, his last act in Germany); Ferdinand's quarters now wide
enough; and vigorous speed of preparation going on for farther chase,
were the weather mended. FEBRUARY 17th, 1758, Ferdinand was on foot
again; Prince de Clermont, the still more incompetent successor of
Richelieu, gazing wide-eyed upon him, but doing nothing else: and for
the next six weeks there was seen a once triumphant Richelieu-D'Estrees
French Army, much in rags, much in disorder, in terror, and here and
there almost in despair,--winging their way; like clouds of draggled
poultry caught by a mastiff in the corn. Across Weser, across Ems,
finally across the Rhine itself, every feather of them,--their
long-drawn cackle, of a shrieky type, filling all Nature in those
months; the mastiff steadily following. [Mauvillon, i. 252-284 ("9th
November, 1757-1st April, 1758"); Westphalen, i. 316-503 (abundantly
explicit, authentic and even entertaining,--with the ample
Correspondences, ib. ii. 147-350); Schaper, _Vie militaire du Marechal
Prince Ferdinand_ (2 tomes, 8vo, Magdebourg, 1796, 1799), i. 7-100 (a
careful Book; of an official exactitude, like Westphalen's,--and appears
to be left incomplete like his).] To the astonishment of Pitt and
mankind. Can this be the same Army that Royal Highness led to the Sea
and the Parish Pound? The same identically, wasted to about two-thirds
by Royal Highness; not a drum in it changed otherwise, only One Man
different,--and he is the important one!

"Pitt, when the news of Rossbach came, awakening the bonfires and
steeple-bells of England to such a pitch, had resolved on an emphatic
measure: that of sending English Troops to reinforce our Allied Army,
and its new General;--such an Ally as that Rossbach one being rare in
the eyes of Pitt. 'Postpone the meeting of Parliament, yet a few days,
your Majesty,' said Pitt, 'till I get the estimates ready!' [Thackeray,
i. 310.] To which Majesty assented, and all England with him: 'England's
own Cause,' thinks Pitt, with confidence: 'our way of Conquering
America,--and, in the circumstances, our one way!' English did land,
accordingly; first instalment of them, a 12,000 (in August next),
increased gradually to 20,000; with no end of furnishings to them and
everybody; with results again satisfactory to Pitt; and very famous in
the England that then was, dim as they are now grown."

The effect of all which was, that Pitt, with his Ferdinands and
reinforcements, found work for the French ever onwards from Rossbach;
French also turning as if exclusively upon perfidious Albion: and the
thing became, in Teutschland, as elsewhere, a duel of life and
death between these natural enemies,--Teutschland the centre of
it,--Teutschland and the accessible French Sea-Towns,--but the
circumference of it going round from Manilla and Madras to Havana and
Quebec again. Wide-spread furious duel; prize, America and life. By land
and sea; handsomely done by Pitt on both elements. Land part, we say,
was always mainly in Germany, under Ferdinand,--in Hessen and
the Westphalian Countries, as far west as Minden, as far east as
Frankfurt-on-Mayn, generally well north of Rhine, well south of Elbe:
that was, for five years coming, the cockpit or place of deadly fence
between France and England. Friedrich's arena lies eastward of that,
occasionally playing into it a little, and played into by it, and always
in lively sympathy and consultation with it: but, except the French
subsidizings, diplomatizings. and great diligenae against him in foreign
Courts, Friedrich is, in practical respects, free of the French;
and ever after Rossbach, Ferdinand and the English keep them in full
work,--growing yearly too full. A heavy Business for England and
Ferdinand; which is happily kept extraneous to Friedrich thenceforth; to
him and us; which is not on the stage of his affairs and ours, but is
to be conceived always as vigorously proceeding alongside of it, close
beyond the scenes, and liable at any time to make tragic entry on him
again:--of which we shall have to notice the louder occurrences and
cardinal phases, but, for the future, nothing more.

Soubise, who had crept into the skirts of the Richelieu Army in Hanover
or Hessen Country, had of course to take wing in that general fright
before the mastiff. Soubise did not cross the Rhine with it; Soubise
made off eastward; [Westphalen, i. 501 ("end of March, 1758").]--found
new roost in Hanau-Frankfurt Country; and had thoughts of joining the
Austrians in Bohemia next Campaign; but got new order,--such the pinches
of a winged Clermont with a mastiff Ferdinand at his poor draggled
tail;--and came back to the Ferdinand scene, to help there; and never
saw Friedrich again. Both Broglio and he had a good deal of fighting
(mostly beating) from Ferdinand; and a great deal of trouble and sorrow
in the course of this War; but after Rossbach it is not Friedrich or
we, it is Ferdinand and the Destinies that have to do with them. Poor
Soubise, except that he was the creature of Generalissima Pompadour,
which had something radically absurd in it, did not deserve all the
laughter he got: a man of some chivalry, some qualities. As for Broglio,
I remember always, not without human emotion, the two extreme points of
his career as a soldier: Rossbach and the Fall of the Bastille. He was
towards forty, when Friedrich bestrode the Janus Hill in that fiery
manner; he was turned of seventy when, from the pavements of Paris,
the Chimera of Democracy rose on him, in fire of a still more horrible

Dauphiness-Bellona, in her special and in her widest sense, has made
exit, then. Gone, like clouds of draggled poultry home across the Rhine.
She was the most marauding Army lately seen, also the most gasconading,
and had the least capacity for fighting: three worse qualities no army
could have. How she fought, we have seen sufficiently. Before taking
leave of her forever, readers, as she is a paragon in her kind, would
perhaps take a glance or two at her marauding qualities,--by a good
opportunity that offers. Plotho at Regensburg, that a supreme Reichs
Diet may know what a "deliverance of Saxony" this has been, submits one
day the following irrefragable Documents, "which have happened," not
without good industry of my own, "to fall into my [Plotho's] hands."
They are Documents partly of epistolary, partly of a Petitionary form,
presented to Polish Majesty, out of that Saxon Country; and have an
AFFIDAVIT quality about them, one and all.

HANGING 1,000 MARAUDERS AND THE LIKE (A private Letter):--

"COUNTY MARK, 20th JUNE, 1757. The French troops are going on here in a
way to utterly ruin us. Schmidt, their President of Justice, whom they
set up in Cleve, has got orders to change all the Magistracies of the
Country [Protestant by nature], so as that half the members shall be
Catholic. Bielefeld was openly plundered by the French for three hours
long. You cannot by possibility represent to yourself what the actual
state of misery in these Countries is. A SCHEFFEL of rye costs three
thalers sixteen groschen [who knows how many times its natural price!].
And now we are to be forced to eat the spoiled meal those French troops
brought with them; which is gone to such a state no animal would have
it. This poisoned meal we are to buy from them, ready money, at the
price they fix; and that famine may induce us, they are about to stop
the mills, and forcibly take away what little bread-corn we have left.
God have pity on us, and deliver us soon! Next week we are to have
a transit of 6,000 Pfalzers [Kur-Pfalz, foolish idle fellow, and
Kur-Baiern too, are both in subsidy of France, as usual; 6,000
Pfalzers just due here]; these, I suppose, will sweep us clean bare."
[_Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 399.]:

Wesel Fortress, Gate of the Rhine, could not be defended by Friedrich:
and the Hanover Incapables, and England still all in St. Vitus, would
not hear of undertaking it; left it wide open for the French; never
could recover it, or get the Rhine-Gate barred again, during the whole
War. One hopes they repented;--but perhaps it was only Pitt and Duke
Ferdinand that did so, instead! The Wesel Countries were at once
occupied by the French; "a conquest of her Imperial Majesty's;"
continued to be administered in Imperial Majesty's name,--and are
thriving as above.


October, a Sunday, that we of Freiburg had our first billeting of
French; a body of Cavalry from different regiments [going to take
Leipzig, take Torgau, what not]: and from that day Freiburg never
emptied of French, who kept marching through it in extraordinary
quantities. The marching lasted fourteen days, namely, till the 6th
November [day AFTER Rossbach; when they burnt our poor Bridge, and
marched for the last time]; and often the billeting was so heavy, that
in a single house there were forty or fifty men. Who at all times had to
be lodged and dieted gratis; nay many householders, over and above
the ordinary meal, were obliged to give them money too; and many poor
people, who can scarcely get their own bit of bread, had to run and
bring at once their sixteen or eighteen groschen [pence] worth of wine,
not to speak of coffee and sugar. And a great increase of the mischief
it was always, that the soldiers and common people did not understand
one another's language."--Heavy billeting; but what was that?... "Vast,
nearly impossible, quantities of forage and provision," were wrung from
us, as from all the other Towns and Villages about, "under continual
threatening to burn and raze us from the earth. Often did our French
Colonel threaten, 'He would have the cannon opened on Freiburg
straightway.' Nay, had it stood by foraging, we might have reckoned
ourselves lucky. But our straits increased day by day; and sheer
plundering became more and more excessive.

"The robbing and torturing of travellers, the plundering and burning of
Saxon Villages... Almost all the Towns and Villages hereabouts are so
plundered out, that many a one now has nothing but what he carries on
his body. Plundering was universal: and no sooner was one party away,
than another came, and still another; and often the same house was three
or four times plundered. Branderode, a Village two leagues from this
[stands on the Field of Rossbach, if we look], is so ruined out, that
nobody almost has anything left: Chief Inspector Baron von Bose's
Schloss there, with its splendid appointments, they ruined utterly; took
all money, victuals, valuables, furniture, clothes, linen and beds, all
they could carry; what could not be carried away, they cut, hewed and
smashed to pieces; broke the wine-casks; and even tore up the documents
and letters they found lying in the place. Branderode Dorf was twice
set fire to by them; and was, at last, with Zeuchfeld, which is an
Amtsdorf,--after both had been plundered,--reduced to ashes. The
Churches of Branderode and Zeuchfeld, with several other Churches, were
plundered; the altars broken, the altar-cloths and other vestures cut
to pieces, and the sacred vessels and cups carried away,--except [for we
have a notarial exactness, and will exaggerate nothing] that in the case
of Branderode they sent the cup back. Of the pollution of the altars,
and of the blasphemous songs these people sang in the churches, one
cannot think without horror.

"And it was merely our pretended Allies and Protectors that have
desecrated our divine service, utterly wasted our Country, reduced the
inhabitants to want and desperation, and, in short, have so behaved that
you would not know this region again. Truly these troops have realized
for us most of the infamies we heard reported of the Cossacks, and their
ravagings in Preussen lately.

"It is one of their smallest doings that they robbed a Saxon Clergyman
(name and circumstances can be given if required), three times over, on
the public Highway; shot at him, tied him to a horse's tail and dragged
him along with them; so that he is now lying ill, in danger of his life.
On the whole, it is our beloved Pastors, Clergymen most of all, that
have been plundered of everything they had.

"Balgart and Zschieplitz, both Villages half a league from this, have
likewise been heavily plundered; they have even left the Parson nothing
but what he wore on his back. Grost," another Rossbach place, "which
belongs to the Kammerjunker Heldorf, has likewise"... OHE, SATIS!--"All
this happened between the 23d and 31st October; consequently before the
Battle.... In many Villages you see the trees and fields sprinkled with
feathers from the beds that have been slit up.

"In several Villages belonging to the Royal Electoral privy Councillor
von Bruhl [who is properly the fountain of all this and of much other
misery to us, if we knew it!] the plundering likewise had begun; and a
quantity of about a hundred swine [so ho!] had been cut in pieces:
but in the midst of their work, the Allies heard that these were Bruhl
estates, and ceased their havoc of them. These accordingly are the only
lands in all this region whose fate has been tolerable.

"The appellation, every moment renewed, of 'Heretic!' was the courteous
address from these people to our fellow-Christians; 'heretic dogs
(KETZERISCHE HUNDE)' was a PRADICAT always in their mouth.

"In Weischutz," a mile or two from us, up the Unstrut, "a French Colonel
who wanted to ride out upon the works, made the there Pastor, Magister
Schren, stoop down by way of horse-block, and mounted into the saddle
from his back. [Messieurs, you will kindle the wrath of mankind some
day, and get a terrible plucking, with those high ways of yours!]

"Churches are all smashed; obscene songs were sung, in form of litany,
from the pulpits and altars; what was done with the communion-vessels,
when they were not worth stealing,"--is hideous to the religious sense,
and shall not be mentioned in human speech.

AT ROSSBACH (Humble Petition from the Magistrates of Sangerhausen, To
the King of Poland's Majesty):--

SANGERHAUSEN, 23d OCTOBER, 1757.--"Scarcely had we, with profound
submission (ALLERUNTERTHANIGST), under date of the 13th current,
represented to your Royal Majesty and Electoral Translucency how heavily
we were pressed down by the forage requisitions and transits of troops,
and the consequent, expenditure in food, drinking, in oats and hay,
which no one pays,--when directly thereafter, on the 14th of October,
a new French party, of the Fischer Corps,"--Fischer is a mighty Hussar,
scarcely inferior to Turpin; and stands in astonishing authority
with Richelieu, and an Army whose object is plunder, [Ferdinand's
Correspondente, SOEPIUS (_Westphalen,_ i. 40-127); &c. &c.]--"new party
of the Fischer Corps, of some sixty men and horse, arrived in the Town;
demanded meat, drink, oats and hay, and all things necessary; which they
received from us;--and not only paid not one farthing for all this, but
furthermore some of them, instead of thanks to their Landlord, Rossold,
forcibly broke up his press, drank his brandy, and carried off a TOUTE
(gather-all) with money in it. From a Tanner, Lindauer by name, they
bargained for a buckskin; and having taken, would not pay it. In the
RATHSKELLER (Town Public-house) they drank much wine, and gave nothing
for it: nay on marching off,--because no mounted guide (REITENDER BOTE)
was at hand, and though they had before expressly said none such would
be needed,--they rushed about like distracted persons (WIE RASENDE
LEUTE) in the market-place and in the streets; beat the people, tumbled
them about, and lugged them along, in a violent manner; using abusive
language to a frightful extent, and threatening every misfortune.

"Hardly were we rid of this confusion and astonishment when, on October
21st, a whole swarm of horses, men, women, children and wagons, which
likewise all belonged to the Fischer Corps, and were commanded by
First-Lieutenant Schmidt, came into our Town. This troop consisted of
80 men, part infantry, part cavalry; with some 80 work-horses, 10
baggage-wagons, and about 100 persons, women, sick people and the
like. They stayed the whole night here; made meat, drink, corn, hay
and whatever they needed be brought them; and went off next day without
paying anything.

"Our Inns were now almost quite exhausted of forage in corn or hay; and
we knew not how we were to pay what had been spent,--when the thirty
French Light Cavalry, of whom we, with profound submission, on the
13th HUJUS gave your Royal Majesty and Electoral Translucency account,
renewed their visit upon us; came, under the command of Rittmeister
de Mocu, on the 22d of October [while the baggage-wagons, work-horses,
women, sick, and so forth, were hardly gone], towards evening, into the
Town; consumed in meat and drink, oats and hay, and the like, what they
could lay hold of; and next morning early marched away, paying, as their
custom is, nothing.

"Not enough that,--besides the great forage-contribution (LIEFERUNG),
which we already, with profound submission, notified to your Royal
Majesty and Electoral Translucency as having been laid upon us; and
that, by order of the Duc de Broglio, a new requisition is now laid on
us, and we have had to engage for sixty-four more sacks of wheat,
and thirty-two of rye (as is noted under head A, in the enclosed
copy),--there has farther come on us, on the part of the Reichs Army,
from Kreis-Commissarius Heldorf [whose Schloss of Grost, we perceive,
they have since burnt, by way of thanks to him [Supra, No. 2.]], the
simultaneous Order for instant delivery of Forage (as under head B, here
enclosed)! Thus are we, at the appointed places, all at once to furnish
such quantities, more than we can raise; and know not when or where we
shall, either for what has been already furnished, or for what is
still to be, receive one penny of money: nay, over and above, we are to
sustain the many marchings of troops, and provide to the same what meat,
drink, oats, hay and so on, they require, without the least return of

"So unendurable, and, taken all together, so hard (SIC) begins the
conduct of these troops, that profess being come as friends and helpers,
to appear to us. And Heaven alone knows how long, under a continuance of
such things, the subjects (whom the Hail-storm of last year had at any
rate impoverished) shall be able to support the same. We would, were a
reasonable delivery of forage laid upon us even at a low price, and the
board and billet of the marching troops paid to us even in part, lay out
our whole strength in helping to bear the burdens of the Fatherland; but
if such things go on, which will soon leave us only bare life and empty
huts, we can look forward to nothing but our ruin and destruction. But,
as it is not your Royal Majesty's and Electoral Translucency's most
gracious will that we, your Most Supreme Self's most faithful subjects,
should entirely perish, therefore we repeat our former most submissive
prayer once again with hot (SIC) sorrow of mind to Highest-the-Same;
and sob most submissively for that help which your Most Supreme Self,
through most gracious mediation with the Duc de Richelieu, with the
Reichs Army or wherever else, might perhaps most graciously procure
for us. Who, in deepest longing thitherwards, with the most deepest
devotion, remain--" [_ Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 688-691.] (NAMES,
unfortunately, not given).

How many Saxons and Germans generally--alas, how many men
universally--cry towards celestial luminaries of the governing kind
with the most deepest devotion, in their extreme need, under their
unsufferable injuries; and are truly like dogs in the backyard barking
at the Moon. The Moon won't come down to them, and be eaten as green
cheese; the Moon can't!

4. DAUPHINESS AFTER ROSSBACH. "Excise-Inspector Neitsche, at Bebra, near
Weissenfels [Bebra is well ahead from Freiburg and the burnt Bridge,
and a good twenty-five miles west of Weissenfels], writes To the King of
Poland's Majesty, 9th NOVEMBER, 1757:--

"May it please your Royal Majesty and Electoral Translucency, out of
your highest grace, to take knowledge, from the accompanying Registers
SUB SIGNO MARTIS [sign unknown to readers here], of the things which, in
the name of this Township of Bebra, the Burgermeister Johann Adam, with
the Raths and others concerned, have laid before the Excise-Inspection
here. As follows:--

"It will be already well known to the Excise-Inspection that on the
7th of November (A. C.) of the current year [day before yesterday, in
fact!], the French Army so handled this place as to have not only taken
from the inhabitants, by open force, all bread and articles of food, but
likewise all clothes, beds, linens (WASCHE), and other portable goods;
that it has broken, split to pieces, and emptied out, all chests,
boxes, presses, drawers; has shot dead, in the backyards and on the
thatch-roofs, all manner of feathered-stock, as hens, geese, pigeons;
also carried forth with it all swine, cow, sheep and horse cattle; laid
violent hands on the inhabitants, clapped guns, swords, pistols to their
breast, and threatened to kill them unless they showed and brought out
whatever goods they had; or else has hunted them wholly out of their
houses, shooting at them, cutting, sticking and at last driving them
away, thereby to have the freer room to rob and plunder: flung out hay
and other harvest-stock from the barns into the mud and dung, and had
it trampled to ruin under the horses, feet; nay, in fact, has dealt with
this place in so unpermitted a way as even to the most hard-hearted man
must seem compassionable."--Poor fellows: CETERA DESUNT; but that is
enough! What can a Polish Majesty and Electoral Translucency do? Here
too is a sorrowful howling to the Moon. [_Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 692.]

... "For a hundred miles round," writes St. Germain, "the Country is
plundered and harried as if fire from Heaven had fallen on it; scarcely
have our plunderers and marauders left the houses standing.... I lead a
band of robbers, of assassins, fit for breaking on the wheel; they would
turn tail at the first gunshot, and are always ready to mutiny. If the
Government (LA COUR," with its Pompadour presiding, very unlikely for
such an enterprise!) "cannot lay the knife to the root of all this, we
may give up the notion of War." [St. Germain, after Rossbach and before
(in Preuss, UBI SUPRA).]...

Such a pitch have French Armies sunk to. When was there seen such
a Bellona as Dauphiness before? Nay, in fact, she is the same
devil-serving Army that Marechal de Saxe commanded with such
triumph,--Marechal de Saxe in better luck for opponents; Army then in
a younger stage of its development. Foaming then as sweet must, as new
wine, in the hands of a skilful vintner, poisonous but brisk; not run,
as now, to the vinegar state, intolerable to all mortals. She can now
announce from her camp-theatres the reverse of the Roucoux
program, "To-morrow, Messieurs, you are going to fight; our Manager
foresees"--you will be beaten; and we cannot say what or where the next
Piece will be! Impious, licentious, high-flaring efflorescence of all
the Vices is not to be redeemed by the one Quasi-Virtue of readiness to
be shot;--sweet of that kind, and sour of this, are the same substance,
if you only wait. How kind was the Devil to his Saxe; and flew away with
him in rose-pink, while it was still time!


The fame of Friedrich is high enough again in the Gazetteer world;
all people, and the French themselves, laughing at their grandiloquent
Dauphiness-Bellona, and writing epigrams on Soubise. But Friedrich's
difficulties are still enormous. One enemy coming with open mouth, you
plunge in upon, and ruin, on this hand; and it only gives you room
to attempt upon another bigger one on that. Soubise he has finished
handsomely, for this season; but now he must try conclusions with Prince
Karl. Quick, towards Silesia, after this glorious Victory which the
Gazetteers are celebrating.

The news out of Silesia are ominously doubtful, bad at the best. Duke
Bevern, once Winterfeld was gone, had, as we observed, felt himself free
to act; unchecked, but also unsupported, by counsel of the due heroism;
and had acted unwisely. Made direct for Silesia, namely, where are
meal-magazines and strong places. Prince Karl, they say, was also
unwise; took no thought beforehand, or he might have gained marches,
disputed rivers, Bober, Queiss, with Bevern, and as good as hindered him
from ever getting to Silesia. So say critics, Retzow and others; perhaps
looking too fixedly on one side of the question. Certain it is, Bevern
marched in peace to Silesia; found it by no means the better place it
had promised to be.

Prince Karl--Daun there as second, but Karl now the dominant hand--was
on the heels of Bevern, march after march. Prince Karl cut athwart him
by one cunning march, in Liegnitz Country; barring him from Schweidnitz,
the chief stronghold of Silesia, and to appearance from Breslau, the
chief city, too. Bevern, who did not want for soldiership, when reduced
to his shifts, now made a beautiful manoeuvre, say the critics; struck
out leftwards, namely, and crossed the Oder, as if making for Glogau,
quite beyond Prince Karl's sphere of possibility,--but turned to right,
not to left, when across, and got in upon Breslau from the other or
east side of the River. Cunning manoeuvre, if you will, and followed by
cunning manoeuvres: but the result is, Prince Karl has got Schweidnitz
to rear, stands between Breslau and it; can besiege Schweidnitz when
he likes, and no relief to it possible that will not cost a battle. A
battle, thinks Friedrich, is what Bevern ought to have tried at first; a
well-fought battle might have settled everything, and there was no
other good likelihood in such an expedition: but now, by detaching
reinforcements to this garrison and that, he has weakened himself
beyond right power of fighting. [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ iv. 141,
159.] Schweidnitz is liable to siege; Breslau, with its poor walls
and multitudinous population, can stand no siege worth mentioning; the
Silesian strong places, not to speak of meal-magazines, are like to go
a bad road. Quite dominant, this Prince Karl; placarding and
proclaiming in all places, according to the new "Imperial Patent," [In _
Helden-Geschichte,_ (iv. 832, 833), Copy of it: "Absolved from all prior
Treaties by Prussian Majesty's attack on us, We" &c. &c. ("21st Sept.
1757").] That Silesia is her Imperial Majesty's again! Which seems to be
fast becoming the fact;--unless contradicted better. Quick!

Bevern has now, October 1st, no manoeuvre left but to draw out of
Breslau; post himself on the southern side of it, in a safe angle there,
marshy Lohe in front, broad Oder to rear, Breslau at his right-hand with
bread; and there intrenching himself by the best methods, wait slowly,
in a sitting posture, events which are extensively on the gallop at
present. One fancies, Had Winterfeld been still there! It is as brave an
Army, 30,000, or more, as ever wore steel. Surely something could have
been done with it;--something better than sit watching the events on
full gallop all round! Bevern was a loyal, considerably skilful and
valiant man; in the Battle of Lobositz, and elsewhere, we have seen him
brave as a lion: but perhaps in the other kind of bravery wanted here,
he--Well, his case was horribly difficult; full of intricacy. And he
sat, no doubt in a very wretched state, consulting the oracles, with
events (which are themselves oracular) going at such a pace.

Schweidnitz was besieged October 26th. Nadasti, with 20,000, was set
to do it; Prince Karl, with 60,000, ready to protect him; Prince Bevern
asking the oracles:--what a bit of news for Friedrich; breaking suddenly
the effulgency of Rossbach with a bar of ominous black! Friedrich,
still in the thick of pure Saxon business, makes instant arrangement for
Silesia as well: Prince Henri, with such and such corps, to maintain the
Saale, and guard Saxony; Marshal Keith, with such and such, to step over
into Bohemia, and raise contributions at least, and tread on the tail of
the big Silesian snake: all this Friedrich settles within a week; takes
certain corps of his own, effective about 13,000; and on November 13th
marches from Leipzig. Round by Torgau, by Muhlberg, Grossenhayn; by
Bautzen, Weissenberg, across the Queiss, across the Bober; and so, with
long marches, strides continually forward, all hearts willing, and all
limbs, though in this sad winter weather, towards relief of Schweidnitz.

At Grossenhayn, fifth day of the march, Friedrich learns that
Schweidnitz is gone. November 12th-14th, Schweidnitz went by
capitulation; contrary to everybody's hope or fear; certainly a
very short defence for such a fortress. Fault of the Commandant, was
everybody's first thought. Not probably the best of Commandants, said
others gradually; but his garrison had Saxons in it;--one day "180 of
them in a lump threw down their arms, in the trenches, and went over to
the Enemy." Owing to whatsoever, the place is gone. Such towers, such
curtains, star-ramparts; such an opulence of cannons, stores, munitions,
a 30,000 pounds of hard cash, one item. All is gone, after a fortnight's
siege. What a piece of news, as heard by Friedrich, coming at his utmost
towards the scene itself! As seen by Bevern, too, in his questioning
mood, it was an event of very oracular nature.

On Monday, 14th, Schweidnitz fell; Karl, with Nadasti reunited to him,
was now 80,000 odd; and lost no time. On Tuesday next, NOVEMBER 22d,
1757, "at three in the morning," long hours before daybreak, Karl, with
his 60,000, all learnedly arranged, comes rolling over upon hapless
Bevern: with no end of cannonading and storm of war: BATTLE OF
BRESLAU, they call it; ruinous to Bevern. Of which we shall attempt no
description: except to say, that Karl had five bridges on the Lohe,
came across the Lohe by five Bridges; and that Bevern stood to his arms,
steady as the rocks, to prevent his getting over, and to entertain
him when over; that there were five principal attacks, renewed and
re-renewed as long as needful, with torrents of shot, of death and
tumult; over six or eight miles of country, for the space of fifteen
hours. Battle comparable only to Malplaquet, said the Austrians; such a
hurricane of artillery, strongly intrenched enemy and loud doomsday of
war. Did not end till nine at night; Austrians victorious, more or
less, in four of their attacks or separate enterprises: that is to say,
masters of the Lohe, and of the outmost Prussian villages and posts in
front of the Prussian centre and right wing; victorious in that northern
part;--but plainly unvictorious in the southeast or Prussian left
wing,--farthest off from Breslau, and under Ziethen's command,--where
they were driven across the Lohe again, and lost prisoners and cannons,
or a cannon. [In Seyfarth, Three Accounts; _ Beylagan,_ ii. 198, 221,
234 et seq.]

Some of Bevern's people, grounding on this latter circumstance, and that
they still held the Battle-field, or most part of it, wrote themselves
victorious;--though in a dim brief manner, as if conscious of the
contrary. Which indeed was the fact. At the council of war, which he
summoned that evening, there were proposals of night-attack, and other
fierce measures; but Bevern, rejecting the plan for a night attack on
the Austrian camp as too dubious, did, in the dark hours, through the
silent streets of Breslau, withdraw himself across the Oder, instead;
leaving 80 cannon, and 5,000 killed and wounded; an evidently beaten man
and Army. And indeed did straightway disappear personally altogether, as
no longer equal to events. Rode out, namely, to reconnoitre in the gray
of his second sad morning, on this new Bank of the Oder; saw little
except gray mist; but rode into a Croat outpost, only one poor groom
attending him; and was there made prisoner:--intentionally, thought
mankind; intentionally, thinks Friedrich, who was very angry with the
poor man. [Preuss, ii. 102. More exact in Kutzen, DER TAG VON LEUTHEN
(Breslau, 1857,--an excellent exact little Compilation, from manifold
sources well studied), pp. 166-169, date "24th November."]

The poor man was carried to Vienna, if readers care to know; but being a
near Cousin there (second-cousin, no less, to the late Empress-Mother),
was by the high now-reigning Empress-Queen received in a charmingly
gracious manner, and sent home again without ransom. "To Stettin!"
beckoned Friedrich sternly from the distance, and would not see him at
all: "To Stettin, I say, your official post in time of peace! Command me
the invalid Garrison there; you are fit for nothing better!"--I will
add one other thing, which unhappily will seem strange to readers: that
there came no whisper of complaint from Bevern; mere silence, and loyal
industry with his poor means, from Bevern; and that he proved heroically
useful in Stettin two years hence, against the Swedes, against the
Russians in the Siege-of-Colberg time; and gained Friedrich's favor
again, with other good results. Which I observe was a common method with
Prussian Generals and soldiers, when, unjustly or justly, they fell into
trouble of this kind; and a much better one than that of complaining in
the Newspapers, and demanding Commissions of Inquiry, presided over by
Chaos and the Fourth-Estate, now is.

Bevern being with the Croats, the Prussian Army falls to General Kyau,
as next in rank; who (directly in the teeth of fierce orders that are
speeding hither for Bevern and him) marches away, leaving Breslau to its
fate; and making towards Glogau, as the one sure point in this wreck of
things. And Prince Karl, that same day, goes upon Breslau; which is in
no case to resist and be bombarded: so that poor old General Lestwitz,
the Prussian Commandant,--always thought to be a valiant old gentleman,
but who had been wounded in the late Action, and was blamably
discouraged,--took the terms offered, and surrendered without firing a
gun. Garrison and he to march out, in "Free Withdrawal;" these are the
terms: Garrison was 4,000 and odd, mostly Silesian recruits; but
there marched hardly 500 out with poor Lestwitz; the Silesian
recruits--persuaded by conceivable methods, that they were to be
prisoners of war, and that, in short, Austria was now come to be King
again, and might make inquiry into men's conduct--found it safer to
take service with Austria, to vanish into holes in Breslau or where they
could; and, for instance, one regiment (or battalion, let us hide the
name of it), on marching through the Gate, consisted only of nine
chief officers and four men. [Muller, SCHLACHT BEI LEUTHEN (Berlin,
1857,--professedly a mere abridgment and shadow of Kutzen: unindexed
like it), p. 12 (with name and particulars).]

There were lost 98 pieces of cannon; endless magazines and stores of
war. A Breslau scandalously gone;--a Breslau preaching day after
next (27th, which was Sunday), in certain of its churches, especially
Cardinal Schaffgotsch in the Dom Insel doing it, Thanksgiving Sermons,
as per order, with unction real or official, "That our ancient
sovereigns are restored to us:" which Sermons--except in the
Schaffgotsch case, Prince Karl and the high Catholic world all there in
gala--were "sparsely attended," say my authors. The Austrians are at
the top of their pride; and consider full surely that Silesia is theirs,
though Friedrich were here twice over. "What is Friedrich? We beat
him at Kolin. His Prussians at Zittau, at Moys, at Breslau in the new
Malplaquet, were we beaten by them? Hnh!"--and snort (in the Austrian
mess-rooms), and snap their fingers at Friedrich and his coming.

It was at Gorlitz (scene of poor Winterfeld's death) that Friedrich,
"on November 23d, the tenth day of his march," first got rumor of
the Breslau Malplaquet: "endless cannonading heard thereabouts all
yesterday!" said rumor from the east,--more and more steadily, as
Friedrich hastened forward;--and that it was "a victory for Bevern."
Till, at Naumburg on the Queiss, he gets the actual tidings: Bevern
gone to the Croats, Breslau going, Kyau marching vague; and what kind of
victory it was.

Ever from Grossenhayn onwards there had been message on message, more
and more rigorous, precise and indignant, "Do this, do that; your
Dilection shall answer it with your head!"--not one message of which
reached his Dilection, till Dilection and Fate (such the gallop of
events) had done the contrary: and now Dilection and his head have made
a finish of it. "No," answers Friedrich to himself; "not till we are all
finished!"--and pushes on, he too, like a kind of Fate. "What does or
can he mean, then?" say the Austrians, with scornful astonishment, and
think his head must be turning: "Will he beat us out of Silesia with
his Potsdam Guard-Parade then?" "POTSDAMSCHE WACHT-PARADE:"--so they
denominate his small Army; and are very mirthful in their mess-rooms. "I
will attack them, if they stood on the Zobtenberg, if they stood on the
steeples of Breslau!" said Friedrich; and tramped diligently forward.
Day after day, as the real tidings arrive, his outlook in Silesia is
becoming darker and darker: a sternly dark march this altogether. Prince
Karl has thrown a garrison into Liegnitz on Friedrich's road; Prince
Karl lies encamped with Breslau at his back; has above 80,000 when fully
gathered; and reigns supreme in those parts. Darker march there seldom
was: all black save a light that burns in one heart, refusing to be
quenched till death.

Friedrich sends orders that Kyau shall be put in arrest; that Ziethen
shall be general of the Bevern wreck, shall bring it round by Glogau,
and rendezvous with Friedrich at a place and day,--Parchwitz, 2d of
December coming;--and be steady, my old Ziethen. Friedrich brushes past
the Liegnitz Garrison, leaves Liegnitz and it a trifle to the right;
arrives at Parchwitz November 28th; and there rests, or at least his
weary troops do, till Ziethen come up; the King not very restful, with
so many things to prearrange; a life or death crisis now nigh. Well, it
is but death; and death has been fronted before now! We who are after
the event, on the safe sunny side of it, can form small image of the
horrors and the inward dubieties to him who is passing through it;--and
how Hope is needed to shine heroically eternal in some hearts. Fire of
Hope, that does not issue in mere blazings, mad audacities and chaotic
despair, but advances with its eyes open, measuredly, counting its
steps, to the wrestling-place,--this is a godlike thing; much available
to mankind in all the battles they have; battles with steel, or of
whatever sort.

Friedrich, at Parchwitz, assembled his Captains, and spoke to them; it
was the night after Ziethen came in, night of December 3d, 1757; and
Ziethen, no doubt, was there: for it is an authentic meeting, this at
Parchwitz, and the words were taken down.

FRIEDRICH'S SPEECH TO HIS GENERALS (Parchwitz, 3d December, 1757). [From
RETZOW, i. 240-242 (slightly abridged).]

"It is not unknown to you, MEINE HERREN, what disasters have befallen
here, while we were busy with the French and Reichs Army. Schweidnitz is
gone; Duke of Bevern beaten; Breslau gone, and all our war-stores there;
good part of Silesia gone: and, in fact, my embarrassments would be
at the insuperable pitch, had not I boundless trust in you, and your
qualities, which have been so often manifested, as soldiers and sons of
your Country. Hardly one among you but has distinguished himself by some
nobly memorable action: all these services to the State and me I know
well, and will never forget.

"I flatter myself, therefore, that in this case too nothing will be
wanting which the State has a right to expect of your valor. The hour is
at hand. I should think I had done nothing, if I left the Austrians in
possession of Silesia. Let me apprise you, then: I intend, in spite of
the Rules of Art, to attack Prince Karl's Army, which is nearly thrice
our strength, wherever I find it. The question is not of his numbers, or
the strength of his position: all this, by courage, by the skill of our
methods, we will try to make good. This step I must risk, or everything
is lost. We must beat the enemy, or perish all of us before his
batteries. So I read the case; so I will act in it.

"Make this my determination known to all Officers of the Army; prepare
the men for what work is now to ensue, and say that I hold myself
entitled to demand exact fulfilment of orders. For you, when I reflect
that you are Prussians, can I think that you will act unworthily? But if
there should be one or another who dreads to share all dangers with
me, he,"--continued his Majesty, with an interrogative look, and then
pausing for answer,--"can have his Discharge this evening, and shall not
suffer the least reproach from me."--Modest strong bass murmur; meaning
"No, by the Eternal!" if you looked into the eyes and faces of the
group. Never will Retzow Junior forget that scene, and how effulgently
eloquent the veteran physiognomies were.

"Hah, I knew it," said the King, with his most radiant smile, "none
of you would desert me! I depend on your help, then; and on victory
as sure."--The speech winds up with a specific passage: "The Cavalry
regiment that does not on the instant, on order given, dash full plunge
into the enemy, I will, directly after the Battle, unhorse, and make
it a Garrison regiment. The Infantry battalion which, meet with what
it may, shows the least sign of hesitating, loses its colors and its
sabres, and I cut the trimmings from its uniform! Now good-night,
Gentlemen: shortly we have either beaten the Enemy, or we never see one
another again."

An excellent temper in this Army; a rough vein of heroism in it, steady
to the death;--and plenty of hope in it too, hope in Vater Fritz. "Never
mind," the soldiers used to say, in John Duke of Marlborough's time,
"Corporal John will get us through it!"--That same evening Friedrich
rode into the Camp, where the regiments he had were now all gathered,
out of their cantonments, to march on the morrow. First regiment he came
upon was the Life-Guard Cuirassiers: the men, in their accustomed way,
gave him good-evening, which he cheerily returned. Some of the more
veteran sort asked, ruggedly confidential, as well as loyal: "What is
thy news, then, so late?" "Good news, children (KINDER): to-morrow
you will beat the Austrians tightly!" "That we will, by--!" answered
they.--"But think only where they stand yonder, and how they have
intrenched themselves?" said Friedrich. "And if they had the Devil in
front and all round them, we will knock them out; only thou lead us
on!"--"Well, I will see what you can do: now lay you down, and sleep
sound; and good sleep to you!" "Good-night, Fritz!" answer all; [Muller,
p. 21 (from Kaltenhorn, of whom INFRA); Preuss, &c. &c.] as Fritz ambles
on to the next regiment, to which, as to every one, he will have some

Was it the famous Pommern regiment, this that he next spoke to,--who
answered Loudon's summons to them once (as shall be noticed by and by)
in a way ineffable, though unforgettable? Manteuffel of Foot; yes, no
other! [Archenholtz, ii. 61; and Kutzen, p. 35.] They have their own
opinion of their capacities against an enemy, and do not want for a
good conceit of themselves. "Well, children, how think you it will be
to-morrow? They are twice as strong as we." "Never thou mind that;
there are no Pommerners among them; thou knowest what the Pommerners can
do!"--FRIEDRICH: "Yea, truly, that do I; otherwise I durst not risk the
battle. Now good sleep to you! to-morrow, then, we shall either have
beaten the Enemy or else be all dead." "Yea," answered the whole
regiment; "dead, or else the Enemy beaten:" and so went to deep sleep,
preface to a deeper for many of them,--as beseems brave men. In this
world it much beseems the brave man, uncertain about so many things, to
be certain of himself for one thing.

These snatches of Camp Dialogue, much more the Speech preserved to us
by Retzow Junior, appear to be true; though as to the dates, the
circumstances, there has been debating. [Kutzen, pp. 175-181.] Other
Anecdotes, dubious or more, still float about in quantity;--of which
let us give only one; that of the Deserter (which has merit as a myth).
"What made thee desert, then?" "Hm, alas, your Majesty, we were got so
down in the world, and had such a time of it!"--"Well, try it one day
more; and if we cannot mend matters, thou and I will both desert."

A learned Doctor, one of the most recent on these matters, is astonished
why the Histories of Friedrich should be such dreary reading, and
Friedrich himself so prosaic, barren an object; and lays the blame
upon the Age, insensible to real greatness; led away by clap-trap
Napoleonisms, regardless of expense. Upon which Smelfungus takes him up,
with a twitch:--

"To my sad mind, Herr Doctor, it seems ascribable rather to the
Dryasdust of these Ages, especially to the Prussian Dryasdust, sitting
comfortable in his Academies, waving sublimely his long ears as he
tramples human Heroisms into unintelligible pipe-clay and dreary
continents of sand and cinders, with the Doctors all applauding.

"Had the sacred Poet, or man of real Human Genius, been at his work, for
the thousand years last past, instead of idly fiddling far away from
his work,--which surely is definable as being very mainly, That of
INTERPRETING human Heroisms; of painfully extricating, and extorting
from the circumambient chaos of muddy babble, rumor and mendacity, some
not inconceivable human and divine Image of them, more and more clear,
complete and credible for mankind (poor mankind dumbly looking up to him
for guidance, as to what it shall think of God and of Men in this Scene
of Things),--I calculate, we should by this time have had a different
Friedrich of it; O Heavens, a different world of it, in so many

"My esteemed Herr Doctor, it is too painful a subject. Godlike fabulous
Achilles, and the old Greek Kings of men, one perceives, after study,
to be dim enough Grazier Sovereigns, 'living among infinite dung,' till
their sacred Poet extricated them. And our UNsacred all-desecrating
Dryasdust,--Herr Doctor, I must say, it fills me with despair! Authentic
human Heroisms, not fabulous a whit, but true to the bone, and by all
appearance very much nobler than those of godlike Achilles and pious
AEneas ever could have been,--left in this manner, trodden under foot of
man and beast; man and beast alike insensible that there is anything
but common mud under foot, and grateful to anybody that will assure them
there is nothing. Oh, Doctor, oh, Doctor! And the results of it--You
need not go exclusively 'to France' to look at them. They are too
visible in the so-called 'Social Hierarchies,' and sublime gilt
Doggeries, sltcred and secular, of all Modern Countries! Let us be
silent, my friend."--

"Prussian Dryasdust," he says elsewhere, "does make a terrible job of
it; especially when he attempts to weep through his pipe-clay, or rise
with his long ears into the moral sublime. As to the German People,
I find that they dimly have not wanted sensibility to Friedrich; that
their multitudes of Anecdotes, still circulating among them in print and
VIVA VOCE, are proof of this. Thereby they have at least made a MYTH of
Friedrich's History, and given some rhythmus, life and cheerful human
substantiality to his work and him. Accept these Anecdotes as the Epic
THEY could not write of him, but were longing to hear from somebody who
could. Who has not yet appeared among mankind, nor will for some time.
Alas, my friend, on piercing through the bewildering nimbus of babble,
malignity, mendacity, which veils seven-fold the Face of Friedrich
from us, and getting to see some glimpses of the Face itself, one is
sorrowfully struck dumb once more. What a suicidal set of creatures;
commanding as with one voice, That there shall be no Heroism more among
them; that all shall be Doggery and Common-place henceforth. 'ACH,
MEIN LIEBER SULZER, you don't know that damned brood!'--Well, well.
'Solomon's Temple,' the Moslems say, 'had to be built under the chirping
of ten thousand Sparrows.' Ten thousand of them; committee of the whole
house, unanimously of the opposite view;--and could not quite hinder it.
That too is something!"--

More to our immediate purpose is this other thing: That the Austrians
have been in Council of War; and, on deliberation, have decided to
come out of their defences; to quit their strong Camp, which lies so
eligibly, ahead of Breslau and arear of Lissa and of Schweidnitz Water
yonder; to cross Schweidnitz Water, leave Lissa behind them; and meet
this offensively aggressive Friedrich in pitched fight. Several had
voted, No, why stir?--Daun especially, and others with emphasis. "No
need of fighting at all," said Daun: "we can defend Schweidnitz Water;
ruin him before he ever get across." "Defend? Be assaulted by an Army
like his?" urges Lucchesi, the other Chief General: "It is totally
unworthy of us! We have gained the game; all the honors ours; let us
have done with it. Give him battle, since he fortunately wishes it; we
finish him, and gloriously finish the War too!" So argued Lucchesi, with
vivacity, persistency,--to his own ill luck, but evidently with approval
from Prince Karl. Everybody sees, this is the way to Prince Karl's favor
at present. "Have not I reconquered Silesia?" thinks Prince Karl to
himself; and beams applause on the high course, not the low prudent one.
[Kutzen, pp. 45-48.] In a word, the Austrians decide on stepping out to
meet Friedrich in open battle: it was the first time they ever did so;
and it was likewise the last.

Sunday, December 4th, at four in the morning, Friedrich has marched
from Parchwitz, straight towards the Austrian Camp; [Muller, p. 26.]
he hears, one can fancy with what pleasure, that the Austrians are
advancing towards him, and will not need to be forced in their strong
position. His march is in four columns, Friedrich in the vanguard;
quarters to be Neumarkt, a little Town about fourteen miles off. Within
some miles of Neumarkt, early in the afternoon, he learns that there are
a thousand Croats in the place, the Austrian Bakery at work there, and
engineer people marking out an Austrian Camp. "On the Height beyond
Neumarkt, that will be?" thinks Friedrich; for he knows this ground,
having often done reviews here; to Breslau all the way on both hands,
not a rood of it but is familiar to him. Which was a singular advantage,
say the critics; and a point the Austrian Council of War should have
taken more thought of.

Friedrich, before entering Neumarkt, sends a regiment to ride quietly
round it on both sides, and to seize that Height he knows of. Height
once seized, or ready for seizing, he bursts the barrier of Neumarkt;
dashes in upon the thousand Croats; flings out the Croats in extreme
hurry, musketry and sabre acting on them; they find their Height beset,
their retreat cut off, and that they must vanish. Of the 1,000 Croats,
"569 were taken prisoners, and 120 slain," in this unexpected sweeping
out of Neumarkt. Better still, in Neumarkt is found the Austrian Bakery,
set up and in full work;--delivers you 80,000 bread-rations hot-and-hot,
which little expected to go such a road. On the Height, the Austrian
stakes and engineer-tools were found sticking in the ground; so hasty
had the flight been.

How Prince Karl came to expose his Bakery, his staff of life so far
ahead of him? Prince Karl, it is clear, was a little puffed up with high
thoughts at this time. The capture of Schweidnitz, the late "Malplaquet"
(poorish Anti-Bevern Malplaquet), capture of Breslau, and the low and
lost condition of Friedrich's Silesian affairs, had more or less turned
everybody's head,--everybody's except Feldmarschall Daun's alone:--and
witty mess-tables, we already said, were in the daily habit of mocking
at Friedrich's march towards them with aggressive views, and called his
insignificant little Army the "Potsdam Guard-Parade." [Cogniazzo, ii.
417-422.] That was the common triumphant humor; naturally shared in by
Prince Karl; the ready way to flatter him being to sing in that tune.
Nobody otherwise can explain, and nobody in any wise can justify, Prince
Karl's ignorance of Friedrich's advance, his almost voluntary losing of
his staff-of-life in that manner.

MAP TO GO HERE--FACING PAGE 48, BOOK 18 continuation----

Prince Karl's soldiers have each (in the cold form) three days,
provision in their haversacks: they have come across the Weistritz River
(more commonly called Schweidnitz Water), which was also the height of
contemptuous imprudence; and lie encamped, this night,--in long line,
not ill-chosen (once the River IS behind),--perpendicular to Friedrich's
march, some ten miles ahead of him. Since crossing, they had learned
with surprise, How their Bakery and Croats had been snapt up; that
Friedrich was not at a distance, but near;--and that arrangements could
not be made too soon! Their position intersects the Great Road at right
angles, as we hint; and has villages, swamps, woody knolls; especially,
on each wing, good defences. Their right wing leans on Nypern and its
impassable peat-bogs, a Village two or three miles north from the Great
Road; their centre is close behind another Village called Leuthen, about
as far south from it: length of their bivouac is about five miles; which
will become six or so, had Nadasti once taken post, who is to form the
left wing, and go down as far as Sagschutz, southward of Leuthen. Seven
battalions are in this Village of Leuthen, eight in Nypern, all the
Villages secured; woods, scraggy abatis, redoubts, not forgotten: their
cannon are numerous, though of light calibre. Friedrich has at least
71 heavy pieces; and 10 of them are formidably heavy,--brought from
the walls of Glogau, with terrible labor to Ziethen; but with excellent
effect, on this occasion and henceforth. They got the name of "Boomers,
Bellowers (DIE BRUMMER)," those Ten. Friedrich was in great straits
about artillery; and Retzow Senior recommended this hauling up of the
Ten Bellowers, which became celebrated in the years coming. And now we
are on the Battle-ground, and must look into the Battle itself, if we


From Neumarkt, on Monday, long before day, the Prussians, all but a
small party left there to guard the Bakery and Army Properties, are out
again; in four columns; towards what may lie ahead. Friedrich, as usual
in such cases, for obvious reasons, rides with the vanguard. To Borne,
the first Village on the Highway, is some seven or eight miles. The air
is damp, the dim incipiences of dawn struggling among haze; a little
way on this side Borne, we come on ranks of cavalry drawn across the
Highway, stretching right and left into the dim void: Austrian Army
this, then? Push up to it; see what it is, at least.

It proves to be poor General Nostitz, with his three Saxon regiments
of dragoons, famous since Kolin-day, and a couple of Hussar regiments,
standing here as outpost;--who ought to have been more alert; but they
could not see through the dark, and so, instead of catching, are
caught. The Prussians fall upon them, front and flank, tumble them into
immediate wreck; drive the whole outpost at full gallop home, through
Borne, upon Nypern and the right wing,--without news except of this
symbolical sort. Saxon regiments are quite ruined, "540 of them
prisoners" (poor Nostitz himself not prisoner, but wounded to death
[Died in Breslau, the twelfth day after (Seyfarth, ii. 362).]); and the
ground clear in this quarter.

Friedrich, on the farther side of Borne, calls halt, till the main body
arrive; rides forward, himself and staff, to the highest of a range or
suite of knolls, some furlongs ahead; sees there in full view, far
and wide, the Austrians drawn up before him. From Nypern to Sagschuitz
yonder; miles in length; and so distinct, while the light mended and the
hazes faded, "that you could have counted them [through your glasses],
man by man." A highly interesting sight to Friedrich; who continues
there in the profoundest study, and calls up some horse regiments of the
vanguard to maintain this Height and the range of Heights running south
from it. And there, I think, the King is mainly to be found, looking now
at the Austrians, now at his own people, for some three hours to come.
His plan of Battle is soon clear to him: Nypern, with its bogs and
scrags, on the Austrian right wing, is tortuous impossible ground, as he
well remembers, no good prospect for us there: better ground for us on
their left yonder, at Leuthen, even at Sagschutz farther south, whither
they are stretching themselves. Attempt their left wing; try our
"Oblique Order" upon that, with all the skill that is in us; perhaps
we can do it rightly this time, and prosper accordingly! That is
Friedrich's plan of action. The four columns once got to Borne
shall fall into two; turn to the right, and go southward, ever
southward:--they are to become our two Lines of Battle, were they once
got to the right point southward. Well opposite Sagschutz, that will be
the point for facing to left, and marching up,--in "Oblique Order," with
the utmost faculty they have!

"The Oblique Order, SCHRAGE STELLUNG," let the hasty reader pause to
understand, "is an old plan practised by Epaminondas, and revived by
Friedrich,--who has tried it in almost all his Battles more or less,
from Hohenfriedberg forward to Prag, Kolin, Rossbach; but never could,
in all points, get it rightly done till now, at Leuthen, in the highest
time of need. "It is a particular manoeuvre," says Archenholtz, rather
sergeant-wise, "which indeed other troops are now [1793] in the habit of
imitating; but which, up to this present time, none but Prussian troops
can execute with the precision and velocity indispensable to it. You
divide your line into many pieces; you can push these forward stairwise,
so that they shall halt close to one another," obliquely, to either
hand; and so, on a minimum of ground, bring your mass of men to the
required point at the required angle. Friedrich invented this mode
of getting into position; by its close ranking, by its depth, and the
manner of movement used, it had some resemblance to the "Macedonian
Phalanx,"--chiefly in the latter point, I should guess; for when arrived
at its place, it is no deeper than common. "Forming itself in this way,
a mass of troops takes up in proportion very little ground; and it
shows in the distance, by reason of the mixed uniforms and standards, a
totally chaotic mass of men heaped on one another," going in rapid
mazes this way and that. "But it needs only that the Commander lift
his finger; instantly this living coil of knotted intricacies develops
itself in perfect order, and with a speed like that of mountain rivers
when the ice breaks,"--is upon its Enemy. [Archenholtz, i. 209.]

"Your Enemy is ranked as here, in long line, three or two to one. You
march towards him, but keep him uncertain as to how you will attack;
then do on a sudden march up, not parallel to him, but oblique, at an
angle of 45 degrees,--swift, vehement, in overpowering numbers, on the
wing you have chosen. Roll that wing together, ruined, in upon its own
line, you may roll the whole five miles of line into disorder and ruin,
and always be in overpowering number at the point of dispute. Provided,
only, you are swift enough about it, sharp enough! But extraordinary
swiftness, sharpness, precision is the indispensable condition;--by no
means try it otherwise; none but Prussians, drilled by an Old Dessauer,
capable of doing it. This is the SCHRAGE ORDNUNG, about which there has
been such commentating and controversying among military people: whether
Friedrich invented it, whether Caesar did it, how Epaminondas, how
Alexander at Arbela; how"--Which shall not in the least concern us on
this occasion.

The four columns rustled themselves into two, and turned southward on
the two sides of Borne;--southward henceforth, for about two hours; as
if straight towards the Magic Mountain, the Zobtenberg, far off, which
is conspicuous over all that region. Their steadiness, their swiftness
and exactitude were unsurpassable. "It was a beautiful sight," says
Tempelhof, an eye-witness: "The heads of the columns were constantly on
the same level, and at the distance necessary for forming; all flowed
on exact, as if in a review. And you could read in the eyes of our brave
troops the noble temper they were in." [Tempelhof, i. 288, 287.] I know
not at what point of their course, or for how long, but it was from
the column nearest him, which is to be first line, that the King heard,
borne on the winds amid their field-music, as they marched there, the
sound of Psalms,--many-voiced melody of a Church Hymn, well known to
him; which had broken out, band accompanying, among those otherwise
silent men. The fact is very certain, very strange to me: details not
very precise, except that here, as specimen, is a verse of their Hymn:--

     "Grant that with zeal and skill, this day, I do
      What me to do behooves, what thou command'st me to;
      Grant that I do it sharp, at point of moment fit,
      And when I do it, grant me good success in it."

     "Gieb dass ich thu' mit Fleiss was mir zu thun gebuhret,
      Wozu mich dein Befehl in meinem Stande fuhret,
      Gieb dass ich's thue bald, zu der Zeit da ich's soll;
      Und wenn ich's thu', so gieb dass es gerathe wohl."

["HYMN-BOOK of Porst" (Prussian Sternhold-and-Hopkins), "p. 689:" cited
in Preuss, ii. 107.]

One has heard the voice of waters, one has paused in the mountains at
the voice of far-off Covenanter psalms; but a voice like this, breaking
the commanded silences, one has not heard. "Shall we order that to
cease, your Majesty?" "By no means," said the King; whose hard heart
seems to have been touched by it, as might well be. Indeed there is in
him, in those grim days, a tone as of trust in the Eternal, as of real
religious piety and faith, scarcely noticeable elsewhere in his History.
His religion, and he had in withered forms a good deal of it, if we
will look well, being almost always in a strictly voiceless state,--nay,
ultra-voiceless, or voiced the wrong way, as is too well known. "By
no means!" answered he: and a moment after, said to some one, Ziethen
probably: "With men like these, don't you think I shall have victory
this day!"

The loss of their Saxon Forepost proved more important to the Austrians
than it seemed;--not computable in prisoners, or killed and wounded. The
Height named Scheuberg,--"Borne Rise" (so we might call it, which has
got its Pillar of memorial since, with gilt Victory atop [Not till
1854 (Kutzen, pp. 194, 195).];--where Friedrich now is and where
the Austrians are not, is at once a screen and a point of vision to
Friedrich. By loss of their Nostitz Forepost, they had lost view of
Friedrich, and never could recover view of him; could not for hours
learn distinctly what he was about; and when he did come in sight again,
it was in a most unexpected place! On the farther side of Borne, edge of
the big expanse of open country there, Friedrich has halted; ridden with
his adjutants to the top of "the Scheuberg (Shy-HILL)," as the Books
call it, though it is more properly a blunt Knoll or "Rise,"--the
nearest of a Chain of Knolls, or swells in the ground, which runs from
north to south on that part.

Except the Zobtenberg, rising blue and massive, on the southern horizon
(famous mythologic Mountain, reminding you of an ARTHUR'S SEAT in shape
too, only bigger and solitary), this Country, for many miles round,
has nothing that could be called a Hill; it is definable as a bare
wide-waving champaign, with slight bumps on it, or slow heavings and
sinkings. Country mostly under culture, though it is of sandy quality;
one or two sluggish brooks in it; and reedy meres or mires, drained in
our day. It is dotted with Hamlets of the usual kind; and has patches
of scraggy fir. Your horizon, even where bare, is limited, owing to the
wavy heavings of the ground; windmills and church-belfries are your only
resource, and even these, from about Leuthen and the Austrian position,
leave the Borne quarter mostly invisible to you. Leuthen Belfry, the
same which may have stood a hundred years before this Battle, ends in
a small tile-roof, open only at the gables:--"Leuthen Belfry," says a
recent Tourist, "is of small resource for a view. To south you can see
some distance, Sagschutz, Lobetintz and other Hamlets, amid scraggy
fir-patches, and meadows, once miry pools; but to north you are soon
shut in by a swell or slow rise, with two windmills upon it [important
to readers at present]; and to eastward [Breslau side and Lissa side],
or to westward [Friedrich's side], one has no view, except of the old
warped rafters and their old mouldy tiles within few inches; or, if
by audacious efforts at each end, to the risk of your neck, you get a
transient peep, it is stopt, far short of Borne, by the slow irregular
heavings, with or without fir about them." [Tourist's Note, PENES ME.]

In short, Friedrich keeps possession of that Borne ridge of Knolls,
escorted by Cavalry in good numbers; twinkling about in an enigmatic
way:--"Prussian right wing yonder," think the Austrians--"whitherward,
or what can they mean?"--and keeps his own columns and the Austrian
lines in view; himself and his movements invisible, or worse, to the
Austrian Generals from any spy-glass or conjecture they can employ.

The Austrian Generals are in windmills, on church-belfries, here, there;
diligently scanning the abstruse phenomenon, of which so little can
be seen. Daun, who had always been against this adventure, thinks it
probable the vanished Prussians are retiring southward: for Bohemia and
our Magazines probably. "These good people are smuggling off (DIE GUTEN
LEUTE PASCHEN AB)," said he: "let them go in peace." [Muller, p. 36.]
Daun, that morning, in his reconnoitrings, had asked of a peasant, "What
is that, then?" (meaning the top of a Village-steeple in the distance,
but thought by the peasant to be meaning something nearer hand). "That
is the Hill our King chases the Austrians over, when he is reviewing
here!" Which Daun reported at head-quarters with a grin. [Nicolai,
_Anekdoten,_ iv. 34.]

Lucchesi, on the other hand, scanning those Borne Hills, and the cavalry
of Friedrich's escort twinkling hither and thither on them, becomes
convinced to a moral certainty, That yonder is the Prussian Vanguard,
probable extremity of left wing; and that he, Lucchesi, here at Nypern,
is to be attacked. "Attacked, you?" said one Montazet, French Agent or
Emissary here: "unless they were snipes, it is impossible!" But Lucchesi
saw it too well.

He sends to say that such is the evident fact, and that he, Lucchesi, is
not equal to it, but must have large reinforcement of Horse to his right
wing. "Tush!" answer Prince Karl and Daun; and return only argument,
verbal consolation, to distressed Lucchesi. Lucchesi sends a second
message, more passionately pressing, to the like effect; also with the
like return. Upon which he sends a third message, quite passionate: "If
Cavalry do not come, I will not be responsible for the issue!" And now
Daun does collect the required reinforcement; "all the reserve of Horse,
and a great many from the left wing;"--and, Daun himself heading them,
goes off at a swift trot; to look into Lucchesi and his distresses,
three or four miles to right, five or six from where the danger lies.
Now is Friedrich's golden moment.

Wending always south, on their western or invisible side of those
Knolls, Friedrich's people have got to about the level, or LATITUDE as
we might call it, of Nadasti's left. To Radaxdorf, namely, to Lobetintz,
or still farther south, and perhaps a mile to west of Nadasti. Friedrich
has mounted to Lobetintz Windmill; and judges that the time is come.
Daun and Cavalry once got to support their right wing, and our south
latitude being now sufficient, Friedrich, swift as Prussian manoeuvring
can do it, falls with all his strength upon their left wing. Forms in
oblique order,--horse, foot, artillery, all perfect in their paces;
and comes streaming over the Knolls at Sagschutz, suddenly like a
fire-deluge on Nadasti, who had charge there, and was expecting no such
adventure! How Friedrich did the forming in oblique order was at that
time a mystery known only to Friedrich and his Prussians: but soldiers
of all countries, gathering the secret from him, now understand it, and
can learnedly explain it to such as are curious. Will readers take a
touch more of the DRILL-SERGEANT?

"You go stairwise (EN ECHELON)," says he: "first battalion starts,
second stands immovable till the first have done fifty steps; at the
fifty-first, second battalion also steps along; third waiting for ITS
fifty-first step. First battalion [rightmost battalion or leftmost,
as the case may be; rightmost in this Leuthen case] doing fifty steps
before the next stirs, and each battalion in succession punctually doing
the same:" march along on these terms,--or halt at either end, while you
advance at the other,--it is evident you will swing yourself out of the
parallel position into any degree of obliquity. And furthermore,
merely by halting and facing half round at the due intervals, you
shove yourself to right or to left as required (always to right in this
Leuthen case): and so--provided you CAN march as a pair of compasses
would--you will, in the given number of minutes, impinge upon your
Enemy's extremity at the required angle, and overlap him to the required
length: whereupon, At him, in flank, in front, and rear, and see if he
can stand it! "A beautiful manoeuvre" says Captain Archenholtz; "devised
by Friedrich," by Friedrich inheriting Epaminondas and the Old Dessauer;
"and which perhaps only Friedrich's men, to this day, could do with the
requisite perfection."

Nadasti, a skilful War-Captain, especially with Horse, was beautifully
posted about Sagschutz; his extreme left folded up EN POTENCE there
(elbow of it at Sagschutz, forearm of it running to Gohlau eastward);
POTENCE ending in firwood Knolls with Croat musketeers, in ditches,
ponds, difficult ground, especially towards Gohlau. He has a strong
battery, 14 pieces, on the Height to rear of him, at the angle or elbow
of his POTENCE; strong abatis, well manned in front to rightwards: upon
this, and upon the Croats in the firwood, the Prussians intend their
attack. General Wedell is there, Prince Moritz as chief, with six
battalions, and their batteries, battery of 10 Brummers and another;
Ziethen also and Horse: coming on, in swift fire-flood, and at an
angle of forty-five degrees. Most unexpected, strange to behold! From
southwest yonder; about one o'clock of the day.

Nadasti, though astonished at the Prussian fire-deluge, stands to his
arms; makes, in front, vigorous defence; and even takes, in some sort,
the initiative,--that is, dashes out his Cavalry on Ziethen, before
Ziethen has charged. Ziethen's Horse, who are rightmost of the
Prussians: and are bare to the right,--ground offering no bush, no brook
there (though Ziethen, foreseeing such defect, has a clump of infantry
near by to mend it),--reel back under this first shock, coming downhill
upon them; and would have fared badly, had not the clump of infantry
instantly opened fire on the Nadasti visitors, and poured it in such
floods upon them, that they, in their turn, had to reel back. Back they,
well out of range;--and leave Ziethen free for a counter-attack shortly,
on easier terms, which was successful to him. For, during that first
tussle of his, the Prussian Infantry, to left of Ziethen, has attacked
the Sagschutz Firwood; clears that of Croats; attacks Nadasti's line,
breaks it, their Brummer battery potently assisting, and the rage
of Wedell and everybody being extreme. So that, in spite of the fine
ground, Nadasti is in a bad way, on the extreme left or outmost point
of his POTENCE, or tactical KNEE. Round the knee-pan or angle of his
POTENCE, where is the abatis, he fares still worse. Abatis, beswept by
those ten Brummers and other Batteries, till bullet and bayonet can act
on it, speedily gives way. "They were mere Wurtembergers, these; and
could not stand!" cried the Austrians apologetically, at a great rate,
afterwards; as if anybody could well have stood.

Indisputably the Wurtembergers and the abatis are gone; and the
Brandenburgers, storming after them, storm Nadasti's interior battery of
14 pieces; and Nadasti's affairs are rapidly getting desperate in this
quarter. Figure Prince Karl's scouts, galloping madly to recall that
Daun Cavalry! Austrian Battalions, plenty of them, rush down to help
Nadasti; but they are met by the crowding fugitives, the chasing
Prussians; are themselves thrown into disorder, and can do no good
whatever. They arrive on the ground flurried, blown; have not the
least time to take breath and order: the fewest of them ever got fairly
ranked, none of them ever stood above one push: all goes rolling wildly
back upon the centre about Leuthen. Chaos come on us;--and all for mere
lack of time: could Nadasti but once stretch out one minute into twenty!
But he cannot. Nadasti does not himself lose head; skilfully covers the
retreat, trying to rally once and again. Not for the first few furlongs,
till the ditches, till the firwood, quagmires are all done, could
Ziethen, now on the open ground, fairly hew in; "take whole battalions
prisoners;" drive the crowd in an altogether stormy manner; and wholly
confound the matter in this part.

Prince Karl, his messengers flying madly, has struggled as man seldom
did to put himself in some posture about Leuthen, to get up some
defences there. Leuthen itself, the churchyard of it especially, is on
the defensive. Men are bringing cannon to the windmills, to the
swelling ground on the north side of Leuthen; they dig ditches, build
batteries,--could they but make Time halt, and Friedrich with him, for
one quarter of an hour. But they cannot. By the extreme of diligence,
the Austrians have in some measure swung themselves into a new position,
or imperfect Line round Leuthen as a centre,--Lucchesi, voluntarily
or by order, swinging southwards on the one hand; Nadasti swinging
northwards by compulsion;--new Line at an angle say of 75 degrees to
the old one. And here, for an hour more, there was stiff fighting,
the stiffest of the day;--of which, take one direct glimpse, from the
Austrian side, furnished by a Young Gentleman famous afterwards:--

Leuthen, let us premise, is a long Hamlet of the usual littery
sort; with two rows, in some parts three, of farm-houses, barns,
cattle-stalls; with Church, or even with two Churches, a Protestant
and a Catholic; goes from east to west above a mile in length. With the
wrecks of Nadasti tumbling into it pell-mell from the southeast, and
Lucchesi desperately endeavoring to swing round from the northwest,
not quite incoherently, and the Prussian fire-storm for accompaniment,
Leuthen is probably the most chaotic place in the Planet Earth during
that hour or so (from half-past two to half-past three) while the agony
lasted. At one o'clock Nadasti was attacked; at two he is tumbling
in mid-career towards Leuthen: I guess the date of this Excerpt, or
testimony by a Notable Eye-witness, may be half-past two; crisis of the
agony just about to begin: and before four it was all finished again.
Eye-witness is the young Prince de Ligne, now Captain in an Austrian
Regiment of Foot; and standing here in this perilous posture, having
been called in as part of the Reserve. He says:--

"Cry had risen for the Reserve," in which was my regiment, "and that it
must come on as fast as possible,"--to Leuthen, west of us yonder. "We
ran what we could run. Our Lieutenant-Colonel fell killed almost at the
first; beyond this we lost our Major, and indeed all the Officers but
three,--three only, and about eleven or twelve of the Voluuteer or Cadet
kind. We had crossed two successive ditches, which lay in an orchard to
left of the first houses in Leuthen; and were beginning to form in
front of the Village. But there was no standing of it. Besides a general
cannonade such as can hardly be imagined, there was a rain of case-shot
upon this Battalion, of which I, as there was no Colonel left, had to
take command; and a third Battalion of the Royal Prussian Foot-guards,
which had already made several of our regiments pass that kind of
muster, gave, at a distance of eighty paces, the liveliest fire on us.
It stood as if on the parade-ground, that third Battalion, and waited
for us, without stirring.

"The Austrian regiment Andlau, at our right hand, could not get itself
formed properly by reason of the houses; it was standing thirty deep,
and sometimes its shot hit us on the back. On my left the Austrian
regiment Merci ran its ways; and I was glad of that, in comparison.
By no method or effort could I get the dragoons of Bathyani, who stood
fifty yards in rear of me, to cut in a little, and help me out,"--no
good cutting hereabouts, think the dragoons of Bathyani. "My soldiers,
who were still tired with running, and had no cannon (these either from
necessity or choice they had left behind), were got scattered, fewer in
number, and were fighting mainly out of sullenness. More our honor, than
the notion of doing good in the affair, prevented us from running off.
An Ensign of the regiment Arberg helped me awhile to form, from his and
my own fragments, a kind of line; but he was shot down. Two Officers
of the Grenadiers brought me what they still had. Some Hungarians,
too, were luckily got together. But at last, as, with all helps and the
remnants of my own brave Battalion, I had come down to at most 200, I
drew back to the Height where the Windmill is," [Kutzen p. 103 (from
"Prince de Ligne's DIARY, i. 63, German Translation").]--where many have
drawn back, and are standing in sheltered places, a hundred deep, say
our Books.

Stiff fighting at Leuthen; especially furious till Leuthen Churchyard,
a place with high stone walls, was got. Leuthen Village, we observe, was
crammed with Austrians spitting fire from every coign of vantage; Church
and Churchyard especially are a citadel of death. Cannon playing from
the Windmill Heights, too;--moments are inestimable. The Prussian
Commander (name charitably hidden) at Leuthen Churchyard seems to
hesitate in the murderous fire-deluge: Major Mollendorf, namable
from that day forward, growling, "No time this for study," dashes out
himself, "EIN ANDRER MANN (Follow me, whoever is a man)!"--smashes in
the Church-Gate of the place, nine muskets blazing on him through it;
smashes, after a desperate struggle, the Austrians clean out of it, and
conquers the citadel. [Muller, p. 42.]

The Austrians, on confused terms, made stiff dispute in this second
position for about an hour. The Prussian Reserve was ordered up by
Friedrich; the Prussian left wing, which had stood "refused," about
Radaxdorf, till now: at one time nearly all the Prussians were in fire.
Friedrich is here, is there, wherever the press was greatest; "Prince
Ferdinand," whom we now and then find named, as a diligent little
fellow, and ascertain to be here in this and other Battles of
Friedrich's,--"Prince Ferdinand at one time pointed his cannon on
the Bush or Fir-Clump of Radaxdorf;--an aide-de-camp came to him with
message: "You are firing on the King; the King is yonder!" At which
Ferdinand [his dear little Brother] ERSCHRACK," or almost fainted with
terror. [Kutzen, p. 110.]

Stiff dispute; and had the Austrians possessed the Prussian dexterity in
manoeuvring, and a Friedrich been among them,--perhaps? But on their own
terms, there was from the first little hope in it. "Behind the Windmills
they are a hundred men deep;" by and by, your Windmills, riddled to
pieces, have to be abandoned; the Prussian left wing rushing on with
bayonets, will not all of you have to go? Lucchesi, with his abundant
Cavalry, seeing this latter movement and the Prussian flank bare in that
part, will do a stroke upon them;--and this proved properly the finale
of the matter, finale to both Lucchesi and it.

The Prussian flank was to appearance bare in that leftward quarter; but
only to appearance: Driesen with the left wing of Horse is in a Hollow
hard by; strictly charged by Friedrich to protect said flank, and take
nothing else in hand. Driesen lets Lucchesi gallop by, in this career
of his; then emerges, ranked, and comes storming in upon Lucchesi's
back,--entirely confounding his astonished Cavalry and their career.
Astonished Cavalry, bullet-storm on this side of them, edge of sword
on that, take wing in all directions (or all except to west and south)
quite over the horizon; Lucchesi himself gets killed,--crosses a still
wider horizon, poor man. He began the ruin, and he ends it. For now
Driesen takes the bared Austrians in flank, in rear; and all goes
tumbling here too, and in few minutes is a general deluge rearward
towards Saara and Lissa side.

At Saara the Austrians, sun just sinking, made a third attempt to stand;
but it was hopelessly faint this time; went all asunder at the first
push; and flowed then, torrent-wise, towards all its Bridges over the
Schweidnitz Water, towards Breslau by every method. There are four
Bridges, Stabelwitz below Lissa; Goldschmieden, Hermannsdorf, above; and
the main one at Lissa itself, a standing Bridge on the Highroad (also
of wood); and by this the chief torrent flows; Prussian horse pursuing
vigorously; Prussian Infantry drawn up at Saara, resting some minutes,
after such a day's work. [Archenholtz, i. 209; Seyfarth, _ Beylagen,_
ii. 243-252 (by an eye-witness, intelligent succinct Account of the
Battle and previous March; ib. 252-272, of the Sieges &c. following);
Preuss, ii. 112, &c.; Tempelhof, i. 276.]

Truly a memorable bit of work; no finer done for a hundred years, or for
hundreds of years; and the results of it manifold, immediate and remote.
About 10,000 Austrians are left on the field, 3,000 of them slain;
prisoners already 12,000, in a short time 21,000; flags 51, cannon
116;--"Conquest of Silesia" gone to water; Prince Karl and Austria
fallen from their high hopes in one day. The Prussians lost in killed
1,141, in wounded 5,118; 85 had been taken prisoners about Sagschutz and
Gohlau, in the first struggle there. [Kutzen, pp. 118, 125.] There and
at Leuthen Village had been the two tough passages; about an hour each;
in three hours the Battle was done. "MEINE HERREN," said Friedrich that
night at parole, "after such a spell of work, you deserve rest. This day
will bring the renown of your name, and of the Nation's, to the latest

High and low had shone this day; especially these four: Ziethen,
Driesen, Retzow,--and above all Moritz of Dessau. Riding up the line, as
night fell, Friedrich, in passing Moritz and the right wing, drew bridle
for an instant: "I congratulate you on the Victory, Herr Feldmarschall!"
cried he cheerily, and with emphasis on the last word. Moritz, still
very busy, answered slightly; and Friedrich repeated louder, "Don't
you hear that I congratulate you, Herr FELDMARSCHALL!"--a glad sound to
Moritz, who ever since Kolin had stood rather in the shadow. "You have
helped me, and performed every order, as none ever did before in any
battle," added the grateful King.

Riding up the line, all now grown dusky, Friedrich asks, "Any battalion
a mind to follow me to Lissa?" Three battalions volunteering, follow
him; three are plenty. At Saara, on the Great Road, things are fallen
utterly dark. "Landlord, bring a lantern, and escort." Landlord of the
poor Tavern at Saara escorts obediently; lantern in his right hand,
left hand holding by the King's stirrup-leather,--King (Excellency or
General, as the Landlord thinks him) wishing to speak with the man. Will
the reader consent to their Dialogue, which is dullish, but singular to
have in an authentic form, with Nicolai as voucher? [_Anekdoten_, iii.
231-235.] Like some poor old horse-shoe, ploughed up on the field. Two
farthings worth of rusty old iron; now little other than a curve
of brown rust: but it galloped at the Battle of Leuthen; that is

KING. "Come near; catch me by the stirrup-leather [Landlord with lantern
does so]. We are on the Breslau Great Road, that goes through Lissa, are
n't we?"

LANDLORD. "Yea, Excellenz."

KING. "Who are you?"

LANDLORD. "Your Excellenz, I am the KRATSCHMER [Silesian for Landlord]
at Saara."

KING. "You have had a great deal to suffer, I suppose."

LANDLORD. "ACH, your Excellenz, had not I! For the last eight-and-forty
hours, since the Austrians came across Schweidnitz Water, my poor house
has been crammed to the door with them, so many servants they have; and
such a bullying and tumbling:--they have driven me half mad; and I am
clean plundered out."

KING. "I am sorry indeed to hear that!--Were there Generals too in your
house? What said they? Tell me, then."

LANDLORD. "With pleasure, your Excellenz. Well; yesterday noon, I had
Prince Karl in my parlor, and his Adjutants and people all crowding
about. Such a questioning and bothering! Hundreds came dashing in, and
other hundreds were sent out: in and out they went all night; no sooner
was one gone, than ten came. I had to keep a roaring fire in the kitchen
all night; so many Officers crowding to it to warm themselves. And
they talked and babbled this and that. One would say, That our King
was coming on, then, 'with his Potsdam Guard-Parade.' Another answers,
'OACH, he dare n't come! He will run for it; we will let him run.' But
now my delight is, our King has paid them their fooleries so prettily
this afternoon!"

KING. "When got you rid of your high guests?"

LANDLORD. "About nine this morning the Prince got to horse; and not long
after three, he came past again, with a swarm of Officers; all going
full speed for Lissa. So full of bragging when they came; and now they
were off, wrong side foremost! I saw how it was. And ever after him, the
flood of them ran, Highroad not broad enough,--an hour and more before
it ended. Such a pell-mell, such a welter, cavalry and musketeers all
jumbled: our King must have given them a dreadful lathering. That
is what they have got by their bragging and their lying,--for, your
Excellenz, these people said too, 'Our King was forsaken by his own
Generals, all his first people had gone and left him:' what I never in
this world will believe."

KING (not liking even rumor of that kind). "There you are right; never
can such a thing be believed of my Army."

LANDLORD (whom this "MY" has transfixed). "MEIN GOTT, you are our
GNADIGSTER KONIG (most gracious King) yourself! Pardon, pardon, if, in
my stupidity, I have--"

KING. "No, you are an honest man:--probably a Protestant?"

LANDLORD. "JOA, JOA, IHR MAJESTAT, I am of your Majesty's creed!"

Crack-crack! At this point the Dialogue is cut short by sudden
musket-shots from the woody fields to right; crackle of about twelve
shots in all; which hurt nothing but some horse's feet,--had been aimed
at the light, and too low. Instantly the light is blown out, and there
is a hunting out of Croats; Lissa or environs not evacuated yet,
it seems; and the King's Entrance takes place under volleyings and

King rides directly to the Schloss, which is still a fine handsome
house, off the one street of that poor Village,--north side of street;
well railed off, and its old ditches and defences now trimmed into
flower-plots. The Schloss is full of Austrian Officers, bustling about,
intending to quarter, when the King enters. They, and the force they
still had in Lissa, could easily have taken him: but how could they
know? Friedrich was surprised; but had to put the best face on it. [In
Kutzen (pp. 121, 209 et seq.) explanation of the true circumstances, and
source of the mistake.] "BON SOIR, MESSIEURS!" said he, with a gay
tone, stepping in: "Is there still room left, think you?" The Austrians,
bowing to the dust, make way reverently to the divinity that hedges a
King of this sort; mutely escort him to the best room (such the popular
account); and for certain make off, they and theirs, towards the Bridge,
which lies a little farther east, at the end of the Village.

Weistritz or Schweidnitz Water is a biggish muddy stream in that part;
gushing and eddying; not voiceless, vexed by mills and their weirs. Some
firing there was from Croats in the lower houses of the Village, and
they had a cannon at the farther bridge-end; but they were glad to get
away, and vanish in the night; muddy Weistritz singing hoarse adieu to
their cannon and them. Prussian grenadiers plunged indignant into the
houses; made short work of the musketries there. In few minutes every
Croat and Austrian was across, or silenced otherwise too well; Prussian
cannon now going in the rear of them, and continuing to go,--such had
been the order, "till the powder you have is done." Fire of musketry and
occasional cannon lasts all night, from the Lissa or Prussian side of
the River,--"lest they burn this Bridge, or attempt some mischief." A
thing far from their thoughts, in present circumstances.

The Prussian host at Saara, hearing these noises, took to its arms
again; and marched after the King. Thick darkness; silence; tramp,
tramp:--a Prussian grenadier broke out, with solemn tenor voice again,
into Church-Music; a known Church-Hymn, of the homely TE-DEUM kind;
in which five-and-twenty thousand other voices, and all the regimental
bands, soon join:--

          "Nun dunket alle Gott
          Mit Herzen, Mund und Handen,
          Der grosse Dinge thut
          An uns und allen Enden." [Muller, p. 48.]

         "Now thank God, one and all,
          With heart, with voice, with hands-a,
          Who wonders great hath done
          To us and to all lands-a."

And thus they advance; melodious, far-sounding, through the hollow
Night, once more in a highly remarkable manner. A pious people, of
right Teutsch stuff, tender though stout; and, except perhaps Oliver
Cromwell's handful of Ironsides, probably the most perfect soldiers ever
seen hitherto. Arriving at the end of Lissa, and finding all safe as
it should be there, they make their bivouac, their parallelogram of two
lines, miles long across the fields, left wing resting on Lissa, right
on Guckerwitz; and--having, I should think, at least tobacco to depend
on, with abundant stick-fires, and healthy joyful hearts--pass the night
in a thankful, comfortable manner.

Leuthen was the most complete of all Friedrich's victories; two hours
more of daylight, as Friedrich himself says, and it would have been the
most decisive of this century. [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ iv. 167.] As it
was, the ruin of this big Army, 80,000 against 30,000, ["89,200 was
the Austrian strength before the Battle" (deduct the Garrisons of
Schweidnitz and Liegnitz): Preuss, ii. 109 (from the STAFF-OFFICERS).]
was as good as total; and a world of Austrian hopes suddenly collapsed;
and all their Silesian Apparatus, making sure of Silesia beyond an IF,
was tumbled into wreck,--by this one stroke it had got, smiting the
corner-stone of it as if with unexpected lightning. On the morrow after
Leuthen, Friedrich laid siege to Breslau; Karl had left a garrison of
17,000 in it, and a stout Captain, one Sprecher, determined on defence:
such interests hung on Breslau, such immensities of stores were in it,
had there been nothing else. Friedrich, pushing with all his strength,
in spite of bad weather and of Sprecher's industrious defence, got it
in twelve days. [7th-19th December: DIARIUM, &c. of it in
_Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 955-961.] Sprecher had posted placards on the
gallows and up and down, terrifically proclaiming that any man convicted
of mentioning surrender should be instantly hanged: but Friedrich's
bombardment was strong, his assaults continual; and the ditches were
threatening to freeze. On the seventh day of the siege, a Laboratorium
blew up; on the ninth, a Powder-Magazine, carrying a lump of the rampart
away with it. Sprecher had to capitulate: Prisoners of War, we 17,000;
our cannons, ammunitions (most opulent, including what we took from
Bevern lately); these, we and Breslau altogether, alas, it is all yours
again. Liegnitz Garrison, seeing no hope, consented to withdraw on
leave. [26th December: _Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 1016.] Schweidnitz
cannot be besieged till Spring come: except Schweidnitz, Maria Theresa,
the high Kaiserinn, has no foot of ground in Silesia, which she thought
to be hers again. Gone utterly, Patents and all; Schweidnitz alone
waiting till spring. To the lively joy of Silesia in general; to the
thrice-lively sorrow and alarm of certain individuals, leading Catholic
Ecclesiastics mainly, who had misread the signs of the times in late
months! There is one Schaffgotsch, Archbishop or head-man of them,
especially, who is now in a bad way. Never was such royal favor; never
such ingratitude, say the Books at wearisome length. Schaffgotsch was
a showy man of quality, nephew of the quondam Austrian Governor, whom
Friedrich, across a good deal of Papal and other opposition, got pushed
into the Catholic Primacy, and took some pains to make comfortable
there,--Order of the Black Eagle, guest at Potsdam, and the
like;--having a kind of fancy for the airy Schaffgotsch, as well
as judging him suitable for this Silesian High-Priesthood, with his
moderate ideas and quality ways,--which I have heard were a little
dissolute withal. To the whole of which Schaffgotsch proved signally
traitorous and ingrate; and had plucked off the Black Eagle (say the
Books, nearly breathless over such a sacrilege) on some public occasion,
prior to Leuthen, and trampled it under his feet, the unworthy fellow.
Schaffgotsch's pathetic Letter to Friedrich, in the new days posterior
to Leuthen, and Friedrich's contemptuous inexorable answer, we could
give, but do not: why should we? O King, I know your difficulties, and
what epoch it is. But, of a truth, your airy dissolute Schaffgotsch, as
a grateful "Archbishop and Grand-Vicar," is almost uglier to me than as
a Traitor ungrateful for it; and shall go to the Devil in his own way!
They would not have him in Austria; he was not well received at Rome;
happily died before long. [Preuss, ii. 113, 114; Kutzen, pp. 12,
155-160, for the real particculars.] Friedrich was not cruel to
Schaffgotsch or the others, contemptuously mild rather; but he knew
henceforth what to expect of them, and slightly changed this and that in
his Silesian methods in consequence.

Of Prince Karl let us add a word. On the morrow after Leuthen, Captain
Prince de Ligne and old Papa D'Ahremberg could find little or no Army;
they stept across to Grabschen, a village on the safe side of the
Lohe, and there found Karl and Daun: "rather silent, both; one of
them looking, 'Who would have thought it!' the other, 'Did n't I tell
you?'"--and knowing nothing, they either, where the Army was. Army was,
in fact, as yet nowhere. "Croat fellows, in this Farmstead of ours,"
says De Ligne, "had fallen to shooting pigeons." The night had been
unusually dark; the Austrian Army had squatted into woods, into
office-houses, farm-villages, over a wide space of country; and only as
the day rose, began to dribble in. By count, they are still 50,000; but
heart-broken, beaten as men seldom were. "What sound is that?" men asked
yesterday at Brieg, forty miles off; and nobody could say, except that
it was some huge Battle, fateful of Silesia and the world. Breslau had
it louder; Breslau was still more anxious. "What IS all that?" asked
somebody (might be Deblin the Shoemaker, for anything I know) of an
Austrian sentry there: "That? That is the Prussians giving us such a
beating as we never had." What news for Deblin the Shoemaker, if he is
still above ground!--

"Prince Karl, gathering his distracted fragments, put 17,000 into
Breslau by way of ample garrison there; and with the rest made off
circuitously for Schweidnitz; thence for Landshut, and down the
Mountains, home to Konigsgratz,--self and Army in the most wrecked
condition. Chased by Ziethen; Ziethen (sticking always to the hocks of
them,' as Friedrich eagerly enjoins on him; or sometimes it is, 'sitting
on the breeches of them:' for about a fortnight to come. [Eleven Royal
Autographs: in Blumenthal, _Life of De Ziethen_ (ii. 94-111), a feeble
incorrect Translation of them.] Ziethen took 2,000 prisoners; no end of
baggages, of wagons left in the difficult places: wild weather even for
Ziethen, still more for Karl, among the Silesian-Bohemian Hill-roads:
heavy rains, deep muds, then sudden glass, with cutting snow-blasts: 'An
Army not a little dilapidated,' writes Prince Karl, almost with tears in
his eyes; (Army without linens, without clothes; in condition truly sad
and pitiable; and has always, so close are the enemy, to encamp, though
without tents.' [Kutzen, p. 134 ("Prince Karl to the Kaiser, December
14th").]. Did not get to Konigsgratz, and safe shelter, for ten days
more. Counted, at Konigsgratz in the Christmas time, 37,000 rank and
file,--'22,000 of whom are gone to hospital,' by the Doctor's report.

"Universal astonishment, indignation, even incredulity, is the humor
at Vienna: the high Kaiserinn herself, kept in the dark for some time,
becomes dimly aware; and by Kaiser Franz's own advice she relieves
Prince Karl from his military employments, and appoints Daun instead.
Prince Karl withdrew to his Government of the Netherlands; and with the
aid of generous liquors, and what natural magnanimity he had, spent
a noiseless life thenceforth; Sword laid entirely on the shelf; and
immortal Glory, as of Alexander and the like, quite making its exit from
the scene, convivial or other. 'The first General in the world,' so
he used to be ten years ago, in Austria, in England, Holland, the
thrice-greatest of Generals: but now he has tried Friedrich in Five
pitched Battles (Czaslau, Hohenfriedberg, Sohr, then Prag, then
Leuthen);--been beaten every time, under every form of circumstance; and
now, at Leuthen, the fifth beating is such, no public, however ignorant,
can stand it farther. The ignorant public changes its long-eared
eulogies into contumeliously horrid shrieks of condemnation; in which
one is still farther from joining. 'That crossing of the Rhine,' says
Friedrich, 'was a BELLE CHOSE; but flatterers blew him into dangerous
self-conceit; besides, he was ill-obeyed, as others of us have been.'
["Prince de Ligne, _Memoires sur Frederic_ (Berlin, 1789), p. 38"
(Preuss, ii. 112).] Adieu to him, poor red-faced soul;--and good liquor
to him,--at least if he can take it in moderation!"

The astonishment of all men, wise and simple, at this sudden oversetting
of the scene of things, and turning of the gazetteer-diplomatic theatre
bottom uppermost, was naturally extreme, especially in gazetteer
and diplomatic circles; and the admiration, willing or unwilling, of
Friedrich, in some most essential points of him, rose to a high pitch.
Better soldier, it is clear, has not been heard of in the modern ages.
Heroic constancy, courage superior to fate: several clear features of a
hero;--pity he were such a liar withal, and ignorant of common honesty;
thought the simple sort, in a bewildered manner, endeavoring to forget
the latter features, or think them not irreconcilable. Military judges
of most various quality, down to this day, pronounce Leuthen to be
essentially the finest Battle of the century; and indeed one of the
prettiest feats ever done by man in his Fighting Capacity. Napoleon,
for instance, who had run over these Battles of Friedrich (apparently
somewhat in haste, but always with a word upon them which is worth
gathering from such a source), speaks thus of Leuthen: "This Battle is
a masterpiece of movements, of manoeuvres, and of resolution; enough
to immortalize Friedrich, and rank him among the greatest Generals.
Manifests, in the highest degree, both his moral qualities and his
military." [Montholon, _ Memoires &c., de Napoleon,_ vii. 211. This
Napoleon SUMMARY OF FRIEDRICH'S CAMPAIGNS, and these brief Bits of
Criticism, are pleasant reading, though the fruit evidently of slight
study, and do credit to Napoleon perhaps still more than to Friedrich.]

How the English Walpoles, in Parliament and out of it; how the Prussian
Sulzers, D'Argenses, the Gazetteer and vague public, may have spoken
and written at that time, when the matter was fresh and on everybody's
tongue,--judge still by two small symptoms which we have to show:--

1. A LETTER OF FRIEDRICH'S TO D'ARGENS (Durgoy, near Breslau, 19th
December, 1757).--"Your friendship seduces you, MON CHER; I am but a
paltry knave (POLISSON) in comparison with 'Alexander,' and not worthy
to tie the shoe-latchets of 'Caesar'! Necessity, who is the mother of
industry, has made me act, and have recourse to desperate remedies in
evils of a like nature.

"We have got here [this day, by capitulation of Breslau] from
fourteen to fifteen thousand prisoners: so that, in all, I have above
twenty-three thousand of the Queen's troops in my hands, fifteen
Generals, and above seven hundred Officers. 'T is a plaster on my
wounds, but it is far enough from healing them.

"I am now about marching to the Mountain region, to settle the chain of
quarters there; and if you will come, you will find the roads free and
safe. I was sorry at the Abbe's treason,"--paltry De Prades, of whom we
heard enough already. [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xix. 47.]

2. A POTTERY-APOTHEOSIS OF FRIEDRICH.--"There stands on this
mantel-piece," says one of my Correspondents, the amiable Smelfungus, in
short, whom readers are acquainted with, "a small China Mug, not of bad
shape; declaring itself, in one obscure corner, to be made at Worcester,
'R. I., Worcester, 1757' (late in the season, I presume, demand being
brisk); which exhibits, all round it, a diligent Potter's-Apotheosis
of Friedrich, hastily got up to meet the general enthusiasm of English
mankind. Worth, while it lasts unbroken, a moment's inspection from you
in hurrying along.

"Front side, when you take our Mug by the handle for drinking from it,
offers a poor well-meant China Portrait, labelled KING OF PRUSSIA: Copy
of Friedrich's Portrait by Pesne, twenty years too young for the time,
smiling out nobly upon you; upon whom there descends with rapidity a
small Genius (more like a Cupid who had hastily forgotten his bow, and
goes headforemost on another errand) to drop a wreath on this deserving
head;--wreath far too small for ever getting on (owing to distance,
let us hope), though the artless Painter makes no sign; and indeed both
Genius and wreath, as he gives them, look almost like a big insect,
which the King will be apt to treat harshly if he notice it. On the
opposite side, again, separated from Friedrich's back by the handle,
is an enormous image of Fame, with wings filling half the Mug, with two
trumpets going at once (a bass, probably, and a treble), who flies
with great ease; and between her eager face end the unexpectant one of
Friedrich (who is 180 degrees off, and knows nothing of it) stands
a circular Trophy, or Imbroglio of drums, pikes, muskets, cannons,
field-flags and the like; very slightly tied together,--the knot,
if there is one, being hidden by some fantastic bit of scroll or
escutcheon, with a Fame and ONE trumpet scratched on it;--and high out
of the Imbroglio rise three standards inscribed with Names, which we
perceive are intended to be names of Friedrich's Victories; standards
notable at this day, with Names which I will punctually give you.

"Standard first, which flies to the westward or leftward, has
'Reisberg' (no such place on this distracted globe, but meaning Bevern's
REICHENBERG, perhaps),--'Reisberg,' 'Prague,' 'Collin.' Middle standard
curves beautifully round its staff, and gives us to read, 'Welham'
(non-extant, too; may mean WELMINA or Lobositz), 'Rossbach' (very good),
'Breslau' (poor Bevern's, thought a VICTORY in Worcester at this time!).
Standard third, which flies to eastward or right hand, has 'Neumark'
(that is, NEUMARKT and the Austrian Bread-ovens, 4th December); 'Lissa'
(not yet LEUTHEN in English nomenclature); and 'Breslau' again, which
means the capture of Breslau CITY this time, and is a real success,
7th-19th December;--giving us the approximate date, Christmas, 1757, to
this hasty Mug. A Mug got up for temporary English enthusiasm, and the
accidental instruction of posterity. It is of tolerable China; holds a
good pint, 'To the Protestant Hero, with all the honors;'--and offers,
in little, a curious eyehole into the then England, with its then lights
and notions, which is now so deep-hidden from us, under volcanic ashes,
French Revolutions, and the wrecks of a Hundred very decadent Years."


Friedrich, during those grand victories, is suffering sadly in health,
"COLIQUE DEPUIS HUIT JOURS, neither sleep nor appetite;" "eight months
of mere anguishes and agitations do wear one down." He is tired too, he
says, of the mere business-talk, coarse and rugged, which has been his
allotment lately; longs for some humanly roofed kind of lodging, and
a little talk that shall have flavor in it. [Letters of his to Prince
Henri (December 26th, &c.: _ OEuvres,_ xxvi. 167, 169; Stenzel, v:
123).] The troops once all in their Winter-quarters, he sits down in
Breslau as his own wintering-place: place of relaxation,--of rest, or
at least of changed labor,--no man needing it more. There for some
three months he had a tolerable time; perhaps, by contrast, almost a
delightful. Readers must imagine it; we have no details allowed us, nor
any time for them even if we had.

There come various visitors, various gayeties,--King's Birthday (January
24th); quality Balls, "at which Royal Majesty sometimes deigned to
show himself." A lively Breslau, in comparison. Sister Amelia paid a
beautiful visit of a fortnight or more: Sister Amelia, and along with
her, two married Cousins (once Margravines of Schwedt), whose Husbands,
little Brother Ferdinand, and Eugen of Wurtemberg, are wintering
here. The Marquis d'Argens, how exquisitely treated we shall see, is a
principal figure; Excellency Mitchell, deep in very important
business just now, is another. Reader de Catt (he who once, in a Dutch
River-Boat, got into conversation with the snuffy gentleman in black
wig) made his new appearance, this Winter,--needed now, since De Prades
is off. "Should you have known me again?" asked Friedrich. "Hardly, in
that dress; besides, your Majesty looks thinner." "That I can believe,
with the cursed life I have been leading!" [Rodenbeck, i. 285.] There
came also, day not given, a Captain Guichard ("Major Quintus Icilius"
that is to be) with his new Book on the Art Military of the Ancients,
4to, 1757 (Nicolai, _Anekdoten,_ vi. 134)] which cannot but be welcome
to Friedrich. A solid account of that matter, by the first man who ever
understood both War and Greek. Far preferable to Folard's, a man without
Greek at all, and with military ideas not a little fantastic here and
there. Of Captain Guichard, were his Book once read, and himself a
little known, there will be more to say. For the present, fancy
him retained as supernumerary:--and in regard to Friedrich's Winter
generally, accept the following small hints, small but direct:--

FRIEDRICH TO D'ARGENS (three different times).

1. ON THE ROAD TO LEUTHEN "(Torgau, 15th November 1757).... I have
been obliged to have the Abbe arrested [De Prades, of whom enough, long
since]; he has been playing the spy, and I have many evident proofs of
it. That is very infamous and very ungrateful.--I have made a prodigious
quantity of verses (PRODIGIEUSEMENT DE VERS). If I live, I will show
them you in Winter-quarters: if I perish, they are bequeathed to you,
and I have ordered that they be put into your hand....

"Adieu, my dear Marquis. I fancy you to be in bed: don't rot there;--and
remember you have promised to join me in Winter-quarters;"--on this
latter point Friedrich is very urgent, amiably eager; prepared to wrap
the poor Marquis in cotton, and carry him and lodge him, like glass with
care. [_OEuvres de Frederic,_] xix, 43.] For example:--

2. WHILE SETTLING THE WINTER-QUARTERS ("Striegau, 26th December, 1757:"
Siege of Breslau done ten days ago).... "What a pleasure to hear you
are coming! Your travelling you can do in your own way. I have chosen a
party of Light Horse (JAGER), who will appear at Berlin to conduct
you. You can make short journeys: the first to Frankfurt, the second to
Crossen, the third to Grunberg, fourth to Glogau, fifth to Parchwitz,
sixth to Breslau. I have directed that horses be ordered for you, that
your rooms be warmed everywhere, and good fowls ready on all roads.
Your apartment in this House [Royal House in Breslau, which the King has
built for himself years ago] is carpeted, hermetically shut. You shall
suffer nothing from draughts or from noise." [Ib. xix. 48.]--Lucky
Marquis; what a Landlord! Came accordingly; stayed till deep in
April,--waiting latterly for weather, I perceive; long after the King
himself was off. Thus:--

23d April, 1758"). "Adieu, dear Marquis; I fancy you are now in Berlin
again. Go to Charlottenburg whenever and how you like; take care of
yourself; and be ready for the beginning of October next!--As to me, MON
CHER, I am off to fight windmills and ostriches (AUTRUCHES), that is,
Russians and Austrians (AUTRICHIENS). Adieu, MON CHER." [_OEuvres de
Frederic,_ xix. 49.]

There circulated in the Newspapers, this Winter, something of what was
called a LETTER from Friedrich to Maria Theresa, formally proposing
Peace, after these magnificent successes. And certainly, of all things
in the Earth, Friedrich would have best liked Peace, this year, last
year, and for the next five years: "Go home, then, good neighbors; don't
break into my house, don't cut my poor throat, and we will be friends
again!" Friedrich, it appears, had actually, finding or making
opportunity, sent some polite Letter, of pacific tenor, in his light
clever way, to that address;--not without momentary hopes of perhaps
getting good from it. [In PREUSS, ii. 130 (Friedrich's Letter mostly
given;--bearer a Prince van Lobkowitz, prisoner at Leuthen, now going
home on handsome terms) Stenzel, v. 124 (for the PER-CONTRA feeling).]
And the Kaiserinn herself, Austria's high Mother, did, they say, after
such a Leuthen coming on the back of such a Rossbach, feel discouraged;
but the Pompadour (not France's Mother, whatever she might be to France)
was of far other mind: "Do not speak of it, MA REINE! Double or quits,
that is our game: can we yield for a little ill-luck? Never!"

France dismisses its D'Argenson, "What Armies are these of his; flying
home on us, like draggled poultry, across the Rhine!"--summons the famed
Belleisle to be War-Minister, and give things an eagle-quality: ["26th
February, 1758" (BARBIER, iv. 258).] France engages to pay its subsidies
better (France now the general paying party, Austria, Sweden, Russia
itself, all looking to France,--would she were as punctual as England
used to be!),--in a word, engages to be magnanimous extremely, and will
hear of nothing but persistence. "Shall not we reap, then, where there
is such a harvest standing white to us?" Kaunitz admits that there never
will again be such a chance.--Peace, it is clear enough, will not be got
of these people by any Letter, or human device whatever, except simply
by uttermost, more or less miraculous fighting for it. Friedrich is
profoundly aware of this fact;--is busy completing his Army: 145,000
for the field, this Year, 53,000 the Silesian part, "a good many of
them Austrian deserters;" [Stenzel, v. 155.] and is closing an important
Subsidy Treaty with England,--of which more anon.

And if this is the mood in France and Austria, think what Russia's will
be! The Czarina is not dead of dropsy, as some had expected, but, on
the contrary, alive, and fiercer than ever; furious against Apraxin, and
determined that Fermor, his successor, shall defy Winter, and begin
work at once. She has indignantly dismissed Apraxin (to be tried by
Court-Martial, he); dismisses Bestuchef the Chancellor; appoints a new
General, Fermor by name; orders Fermor to go and lose not a moment, now
in the depth of Winter since it was not done in the crown of Summer, and
take possession of East Preussen in her name.

Which Fermor does; 16th January, crosses the border again, 31,000 in
all, without opposition except from the frost; plants himself up and
down,--only two poor Prussian battalions there; who retire, with their
effects, especially "with seven wagons of money." January 22d, Fermor
enters Konigsberg; publishes no end of proclamations, manifestoes,
rescripts, to inform the poor people, trembling at the Cossack
atrocities of last Year, "That his august Sovereign Elizabeth of All
the Russias has now become Proprietress of East Preussen, which shall be
perfectly protected and exquisitely well-governed henceforth; and that
all men of official or social position have, accordingly, to come and
take the oath to her, with the due alacrity and punctuality, at their

No man is willing for the operation, most men shudder at it; but who can
help them? Surely it was an unblessed operation. Poor souls, one pities
them; for at heart they were, and continued, loyal to their own King;
thoroughly abhorrent of becoming Russian, as Czarish Majesty has
thoroughly resolved they shall. Some few absconded, leaving their
property as spoil; the rest swore, with mental reservation, with shifts,
such as they could devise:--for example, some were observed to swear
with gloves on; the right hand, which they held up, was a mere right
FIST with a stuffed glove at the end of it,--SO help me Beelzebub (or
whoever is the recording Angel here)! [_Helden-Geschichte,_ v. 141-149:
Preuss, ii. 145, iii. 578, iv. 477, &c.] And thus does Preussen, with
astonishment, as by the spell of a Czarina Circe, find itself changed
suddenly to Russian: and does not recover the old human form till four
years hence,--when, again suddenly, as we shall see, the Circe and her
wand chance to get broken.

Friedrich could not mend or prevent this bad Business; but was so
disgusted with it, he never set foot in East Preussen again,--never
could bear to behold it, after such a transformation into temporary
Russian shape. I cannot say he abhorred this constrained Oath as I
should have done: on the contrary, in the first spurt of indignation, he
not only protested aloud, but made reprisals,--"Swear ME those Saxons,
then!" said he; and some poor magistrates of towns, and official
people, had to make a figure of swearing (if not allegiance altogether,
allegiance for the time being), in the same sad fashion, till one's
humor cooled again. [Preuss, ii. 163: Oath given in _Helden-Geschichte,_
v. 631.] East Preussen, lost in this way, held by its King as before, or
more passionately now than ever; still loved Friedrich, say the Books;
but it is Russia's for the present, and the mischief is done. East
Preussen itself, Circe Czarina cherishing it as her own, had a much
peaceabler time: in secret it even sent moneys, recruits, numerous young
volunteers to Friedrich; much more, hopes and prayers. But his disgust
with the late transformation by enchantment was inexpiable.

It was May or June, as had been anticipated, before the Russian main
Army made its practical appearance in those parts. Fermor had, in the
interim, seized Thorn, seized Elbing ("No offence, magnanimous Polacks,
it is only for a time!"),--and would fain have had Dantzig too, but
Dantzig would n't. Not till June 16th did the unwieldy mass (on paper
104,000, and in effect, and exclusive of Cossack rabble, about 75,000)
get on way; and begin slowly staggering westward. Very slowly, and amid
incendiary fire and horrid cruelty, as heretofore;--and in August coming
we shall be sure to hear of it.

Lehwald was just finishing with the Swedes,--had got them all bottled up
in Stralsund again, about New-Year's time, when these Russians crossed
into Preussen. We said nothing of the Swedish so-called Campaign of last
Year;--and indeed are bound to be nearly silent of that and of all
the others. Five Campaigns of them, or at least Four and a half; such
Campaigns as were never made before or since. Of Campaign 1757, the
memorable feature is, that of the whole "Swedish Division," as the
laughing Newspapers called it, which was "put to flight by five Berlin
Postilions;"--substantially a truth, as follows:--

"Night of September 12th-13th, 1757, the Swedes, 22,000 strong, did at
last begin business; crossed Peene River, the boundary between their
Pommern and ours; and, having nothing but some fractions of Militia
to oppose them, soon captured the Redoubts there; spread over Prussian
Pommern, and on into the Uckermark; diligently raising contributions,
to a heavy amount. No less than 90,000 pounds in all for this poor
Province; though, by a strange accident, 60,000 pounds proved to be the
actual sum.

"Towards the end of October they had got as much as 60,000 pounds from
the northern parts of Uckermark, Prentzlow being their head-quarter
during that operation; and they now sent out a Detachment of 200
grenadiers and 100 dragoons towards Zehdenick, another little Town, some
forty miles farther south, there to wring out the remaining sum. The
Detachment marched by night, not courting notice; but people had heard
of its coming; and five Prussian Postilions,--shifty fellows, old
hussars it may be, at any rate skilful on the trumpet, and furnished
with hussar jackets and an old pistol each, determined to do something
for their Country. The Swedish Detachment had not marched many miles,
when,--after or before some flourishes of martial trumpeting,--there
verily fell on the Swedish flank, out of a clump of dark wood, five
shots, and wounded one man. To the astonishment and panic of the other
two hundred and ninety-nine; who made instant retreat, under new shots
and trumpet-tones, as if it were from five whole hussar regiments;
retreat double-quick, to Prentzlow; alarm waxing by the speed; alarm
spreading at Prentzlow itself: so that the whole Division got to its
feet, recrossed the Peene; and Uckermark had nothing more to pay, for
that bout! This is not a fable, such as go in the Newspapers," adds my
Authority, "but an accurate fact:" [_ Helden-Geschichte,_ iv. 764, 807;
Archenholtz, i. 160.]--probably, in our day, the alone memorable one of
that "Swedish War."

"The French," says another of my Notes, "who did the subsidying all
round (who paid even the Russian Subsidy, though in Austria's name), had
always an idea that the Swedes--22,000 stout men, this year, 4,000 of
them cavalry--might be made to co-operate with the Russians; with them
or with somebody; and do something effective in the way of destroying
Friedrich. And besides their subsidies and bribings, the French
took incredible pains with this view; incessantly contriving,
correspondencing, and running to and fro between the parties: [For
example: M. le Marquis de Montalembert, CORRESPONDANCE AVEC &c., ETANT
Swedish Army," yes, and sometimes with the Russian,--and sometimes on
the French Coasts, ardently fortifying against Pitt and his Descents
there:--a very intelligent, industrious, observant man; still amusing
to read, if one were idler), A LONDRES (evidently Paris), 1777, 3 vols.
small 8vo. Then, likewise very intelligent, there is a Montazet, a
Mortaigne, a Caulaiucourt; a CAMPAGNE DES RUSSES EN 1757; &c. &c.,--in
short, a great deal of fine faculty employed there in spinning ropes
from sand.] but had not, even from the Russians and Czarish Majesty,
much of a result, and from the Swedes had absolutely none at all. By
French industry and flagitation, the Swedish Army was generally kept
up to about 20,000: the soldiers were expert with their fighting-tools,
knew their field-exercise well; had fine artillery, and were stout
hardy fellows: but the guidance of them was wonderful. 'They had no
field-commissariat,' says one Observer, 'no field-bakery, no magazines,
no pontoons, no light troops; and,' among the Higher Officers, 'no
subordination.' [Archenholtz, i. 158.] Were, in short, commanded by
nobody in particular. Commanded by Senator Committee-men in Stockholm;
and, on the field, by Generals anxious to avoid responsibility; who,
instead of acting, held continual Councils of War. The history of their
Campaigns, year after year, is, in summary, this:--

"Late in the season (always late, War-Offices at home, and Captaincies
here, being in such a state), they emerged from Stralsund, an
impregnable place of their own,--where the men, I observe, have had
to live on dried fishy substances, instead of natural boiled oatmeal;
[Montalembert, i. 32-37, 335. 394, &c. (that of the demand for Neise
PORRIDGE, which interested me, I cannot find again).] and have died
extensively in consequence:--they march from Stralsund, a forty or
thirty miles, till they reach the Swedish-Pommern boundary, Peene River;
a muddy sullen stream, flowing through quagmire meadows, which are miles
broad, on each shore. River unfordable everywhere; only to be crossed
in four or five places, where paved causeways are. The Swedes, with
deliberation, cross Peene; after some time, capture the bits of
Redoubts, and the one or two poor Prussian Towns upon it; Anklam
Redoubt, PEENE-MUNDE (Peene-mouth) Redoubt; and rove forward into
Prussian Pommern, or over into the Uckermark, for fifty, for a hundred
miles; exacting contributions; foraging what they can; making the poor
country-people very miserable, and themselves not happy,--their soldiers
'growing yearly more plunderous,' says Archenholtz, 'till at length they
got, though much shyer of murder, to resemble Cossacks,' in regard to
other pleas of the crown.

"There is generally some fractional regiment or two of Prussian force,
left under some select General Manteuffel, Colonel Belling; who hangs
diligently on the skirts of them, exploding by all opportunities. There
have been Country Militias voluntarily got on foot, for the occasion;
five or six small regiments of them; officered by Prussian Veterans of
the Squirearchy in those parts; who do excellent service. The Governor
of Stettin, Bevern, our old Silesian friend, strikes out now and then,
always vigilant, prompt and effective, on a chance offering. This,
through Summer, is what opposition can be made: and the Swedes, without
magazines, scout-service, or the like military appliances, but willing
enough to fight [when they can see], and living on their shifts, will
rove inward, perhaps 100 miles; say southwestward, say southeastward
[towards Ruppin, which we used to know],--they love to keep Mecklenburg
usually on their flank, which is a friendly Country. Small fights befall
them, usually beatings; never anything considerable. That is their
success through Summer.

"Then, in Autumn, some remnant more of Prussian regulars arrive,
disposable now for that service; upon which the Swedes are driven over
Peene again (quite sure to be driven, when the River with its quagmires
freezes); lose Anklam Redoubt, Peene-munde Redoubt; lose Demmin, Wollin;
are followed into Swedish Pommern, oftenest to the gates of Stralsund,
and are locked up there, there and in Rugen adjoining, till a new
season arrive."--This year (1757-1758), Lehwald, on turning the key of
Stralsund, might have done a fine feat; frost having come suddenly, and
welded Rugen to mainland. "What is to hinder you from starving them into
surrender?" signifies Friedrich, hastily: "Besiege me Stralsund!" Which
Lehwald did; but should have been quicker about it; or the thaw came
too soon, and admitted ships with provision again. Upon which Lehwald
resigned, to a General Graf von Dohna; and went home, as grown too old:
and Dohna kept them bottled there till the usual Russian Advent (deep in
June); by which time, what with limited stockfish diet, what with
sore labor (breaking of the ice, whenever frost reappeared) and other
hardship, more than half of them had died.--"Every new season there
was a new General tried; but without the least improvement. There
was mockery enough, complaint enough; indignant laughter in Stockholm
itself; and the Dalecarlians thought of revolting: but the Senator
Committee-men held firm, ballasted by French gold, for four years.

"The Prussian Militias are a fine trait of the matter; about fifteen
regiments in different parts;--about five in Pommern, which set
the example; which were suddenly raised last Autumn by the STANDE
themselves, drilled in Stettin continually, while the Swedes were
under way, and which stood ready for some action, under veterans of the
squirearchy, when the Swedes arrived. They were kept up through the
War. The STANDE even raised a little fleet, [Archenholtz, i. 110.] river
fleet and coast fleet, twelve gunboats, with a powerful carronade in
each, and effective men and captain; a great check on plundering and
coast mischief, till the Swedes, who are naval, at last made an effort
and destroyed them all."

Friedrich was very sensible of these procedures on the part of his
STANDE; and perhaps readers are not prepared for such, or for others
of the like, which we could produce elsewhere, in a Country without
Constitution to speak of. Friedrich raises no new taxes,--except upon
himself exclusively, and these to the very blood:--Friedrich gets no
Life-and-Fortune Addresses of the vocal or printed sort, but only of
the acted. Very much the preferable kind, where possible, to all parties
concerned. These poor militias and flotillas one cheerfully puts on
record; cheerfully nothing else, in regard to such a Swedish War;--nor
shall we henceforth insult the human memory by another word upon it that
is not indispensable.


One of Friedrich's most important affairs, at present,--vitally
connected with his Army and its furnishings, which is the
all-important,--was his Subsidy Treaty with England. It is the third
treaty he has signed with England in regard to this War; the second in
regard to subsidy for it; and it is the first that takes real practical
effect. It had cost difficulty in adjusting, not a little correspondence
and management from Mitchell; for the King is very shy about subsidy,
though grim necessity prescribes it as inevitable; and his pride, and
his reflections on the last Subsidy Treaty, "One Million sterling, Army
of Observation, and Fleet in the Baltic," instead of which came Zero and
Kloster-Zeven, have made him very sensitive. However, all difficulties
are got over; Plenipotentiary Knyphausen, Pitt, Britannic Majesty and
everybody striving to be rational and practical; and at London, 11th
April, 1758, Subsidy Treaty, admirably brief and to the point, is
finished: [In four short Articles; given in _ Helden-Geschichte,_ v. 16,
17.] "That Friedrich shall have Four Million Thalers, that is, 670,000
pounds; payable in London to his order, in October, this Year; which
sum Friedrich engages to spend wholly in maintenance and increase of his
Army for behoof of the common object;--neither party to dream of making
the least shadow of peace or truce without the other." Of Baltic Fleet,
there is nothing said; nor, in regard to that, was anything done, this
year or afterwards; highly important as it would have been to Friedrich,
with the Navies so called of both Sweden and Russia doing their worst
upon him. "Why not spare me a small English squadron, and blow these
away?" Nor was the why ever made clear to him; the private why being,
that Czarish Majesty had, last year, intimated to Britannic, "Any such
step on your part will annihilate the now old friendship of Russia and
England, and be taken as a direct declaration of War!"--which Britannic
Majesty, for commercial and miscellaneous reasons, hoped always might be
avoided. Be silent, therefore, on that of Baltic Fleet.

In all the spoken or covenanted points the Treaty was accurately kept:
670,000 pounds, two-thirds of a million very nearly, will, in punctual
promptitude, come to Friedrich's hand, were October here. And in regard
to Ferdinand (a point left silent, this too), Friedrich's expectations
were exceeded, not the contrary, so long as Pitt endured. This is the
Third English-Prussian Treaty of the Seven-Years War, as we said above;
and it is the First that took practical effect: this was followed by
three others, year after year, of precisely the same tenor, which
were likewise practical and punctually kept,--the last of them, "12th
December, 1760," had reference to Subsidy for 1761:--and before another
came, Pitt was out. So that, in all, Friedrich had Four Subsidies;
670,000 pounds x4=2,680,000 pounds of English money altogether:--and it
is computed by some, there was never as much good fighting otherwise had
out of all the 800,000,000 pounds we have funded in that peculiar
line of enterprise. [First Treaty, 16th January, 1756 (is in
_Helden-Geschichte,_ iii. 681), "We will oppose by arms any foreign
Armament entering Germany;" Second Treaty, 11th January, 1757 (never
published till 1802), is in Scholl, iii. 30-32: "one million subsidy,
a Fleet &c." (not KEPT at all); after which, Third Treaty (the FIRST
really issuing in subsidy and performance) is 11th April, 1758 (given in
_Helden-Geschichte,_ v. 17); Fourth (really SECOND), 7th December, 1758
(Ib. v. 752); Fifth (THIRD), 9th November, 1759; Sixth (FOURTH), 12th
December, 1760. See PREUSS, ii. 124 n.]

Pitt had no difficulty with his Parliament, or with his Public, in
regard to this Subsidy; the contrary rather. Seldom, if ever, was
England in such a heat of enthusiasm about any Foreign Man as about
Friedrich in these months since Rossbach and what had followed.
Celebrating this "Protestant Hero," authentic new Champion of
Christendom; toasting him, with all the honors, out of its Worcester and
other Mugs, very high indeed. Take these Three Clippings from the old
Newspapers, omitting all else; and rekindle these, by good inspection
and consideration, into feeble symbolic lamps of an old illumination,
now fallen so extinct.

2d," 1758, "was observed as a Day of Thanksgiving, at the Chapel in
Tottenham-Court Road [brand-new Chapel, still standing and acting,
though now in a dingier manner], by Mr. Whitfield's people, for the
signal Victories gained by the King of Prussia over his Enemies.
[_Gentleman's Magazine,_ xxviii. (for 1758), p. 41.]--'Why rage the
Heathen; why do the people imagine a vain thing? Sinful beings we,
perilously sunk in sin against the Most High:--but they, do they think
that, by earthly propping and hoisting, their unblessed Chimera, with
his Three Hats, can sweep away the Eternal Stars!'"--In this strain,
I suppose: Protestant Hero and Heaven's long-suffering Patiences and
Mercies in raising up such a one for a backsliding generation; doubtless
with much unction by Mr. Whitfield.

No. 2. KING OF PRUSSIA'S BIRTHDAY (Tuesday, January 24th). "This
being the Birthday of the King of Prussia, who then entered into the
forty-seventh year of his age, the same was observed with illuminations
and other demonstrations of joy;"--throughout the Cities of London
and Westminster, "great rejoicings and illuminations," it appears,
[_Gentleman's Magazine,_ xxviii. (for 1758), p. 43; and vol. xxix.
p. 42, for next year's birthday, and p. 81 for another kind of
celebration.]--now shining so feebly at a century's distance!--No. 3 is
still more curious; and has deserved from us a little special inquiring

No. 3. MISS BARBARA WYNDHAM'S SUBSIDY. "March 13th, 1758,"--while Pitt
and Knyphausen are busy on the Subsidy Treaty, still not out with it,
the Newspapers suddenly announce,--

"Miss Bab. Wyndham, of Salisbury, sister of Henry Wyndham, Esq., of that
City, a maiden lady of ample fortune, has ordered her banker to prepare
the sum of 1,000 pounds to be immediately remitted, in her own name,
as a present to the King of Prussia." [_ London Chronicle,_ March
14th-16th, 1758; _ Lloyd's Evening Post;_ &c. &c.] Doubtless to the King
of Prussia's surprise, and that of London Society, which would not want
for commentaries on such a thing!

Before long, the Subsidy Treaty being now out, and the Wyndham topic new
again, London Society reads, in the same Newspaper, a Documentary Piece,
calculated to help in its commentaries. There is good likelihood of
guess, though no certainty now attainable, that the "English Lady"
referred to may be Miss Bab. herself;--of whose long-vanished biography,
and brisk, airy, nomadic ways, we catch hereby a faint shadow,
momentary, but conceivable, and sufficient for us:--

13th-15th April, 1758.

"The following Account, which is a real fact, will serve to show with
what punctuality and exactness the King of Prussia attends to the most
minute affairs, and how open he is to applications from all persons.

"An English Lady being possessed of actions [shares] in the Embden
Company, and having occasion to raise money on them, repaired to Antwerp
[some two years ago, as will be seen], and made application for that
purpose to a Director of the Company, established there by the King of
Prussia for the managing all affairs relative thereto. This person," Van
Erthorn the name of him, "very willingly entered into treaty with her;
but the sum he offered to lend being far short of what the actions would
bring, and he also insisting on forfeiture of her right in them, if not
redeemed in twelve months,--she broke off with him, and had recourse to
some merchants at Antwerp, who were inclinable to treat with her on much
more equitable terms. The proceeding necessarily brought the parties
before this Director for receiving his sanction, which was essential to
the solidity of the agreement; and he, finding he was like to lose the
advantage he had flattered himself with, disputed the authenticity of
the actions, and thereby threw her into such discredit, as to render all
attempts to raise money on them ineffectual. Upon this the Lady wrote a
Letter by the common post to his Majesty of Prussia, accompanied with
a Memorial complaining of the treatment she had received from the
Director; and she likewise enclosed the actions themselves in another
letter to a friend at Berlin. By the return of the post, his Majesty
condescended to answer her Letter; and the actions were returned
authenticated; which so restored her credit, that in a few hours all
difficulties were removed relating to the transaction she had in
hand; and it is more than probable the Director has felt his Majesty's
resentment for his ill-behavior.--The Lady's Letter was as follows:--

"'ANTWERP, 19th February, 1756.

"'SIR,--Having had the happiness to pay my court to your Majesty
during a pretty long residence at Berlin [say in Voltaire's time; Miss
Barbara's "Embden Company," I observe, was the first of the two, date
1750; that of 1753 is not hers], and to receive such marks of favor from
their Majesties the Queens [a Barbara capable of shining in the Royal
soirees at Monbijou, of talking to, or of, your Voltaires and lions,
and investing moneys in the new Embden Company] as I shall ever retain
a grateful sense of,--I presume to flatter myself that your Majesty will
not be offended at the respectful liberty I have taken in laying before
you my complaints against one Van Erthorn, a Director of the Embden
China Company, whose bad behavior to me, as set forth in my Memorial,
hath forced me to make a very long and expensive stay at this place;
and, as the considerable interest I have in that Company may farther
subject me to his caprices, I cannot forbear laying my grievances at
the foot of your Majesty's throne; most respectfully supplicating your
Majesty that you would be graciously pleased to give orders that
this Director shall not act towards me for the future as he hath done

"'I hope for this favor from your Majesty's sovereign equity; and I
shall never cease offering up my ardent prayers for the prosperity of
your glorious reign; having the honor to be, with the most respectful
zeal, Sir, your Majesty's most humble, most obedient, and most devoted
servant, * * *'


"'POTSDAM, 26th February, 1756.

"'MADAM,--I received the Letter of the 19th instant, which you thought
proper to write to me; and was not a little displeased to hear of the
bad behavior of one of the Directors of the Asiatic Company of Embden
towards you, of which you were forced to complain. I shall direct your
grievances to be examined, and have just now despatched my orders for
that purpose to Lenz, my President of the Chamber of East Friesland,'
Chief Judge in those parts. [Seyfarth, ii. 139.] 'You may assure
yourself the strictest justice shall be done you that the case will
admit. God keep you in his holy protection. FRIEDRICH.'"

Whether this refers to Miss Barbara or not, there is no affirming.
But the interesting point is, Friedrich did receive and accept Miss
Barbara's 1,000 pounds. The Prussian account, which calls her "an
English JUNGFRAU, LADY SALISBURY, who actually sent a sum of money,"
[Preuss, ii. 124, whose reference is merely _ "Gentleman's Magazine_
for 1758." Both in the ANNUAL REGISTER of that Year (i. 86),and in the
_Gentleman's Magazine,_ pp. 142, 177, the above Paragraph and Letters
are copied from the Newspapers, but without the smallest commentary
(there or elsewhere), or any mention of a "Lady Salisbury."] would not
itself be satisfactory: but, by good chance, there is still living, in
Salisbury City, a very aged Gentleman, well known for his worth, and
intelligence on such matters, who, being inquired of, makes reply at
once: That the First Earl of Malmesbury (who was of his acquaintance,
and had many anecdotes and reminiscences of Friedrich, all noted down,
it was understood, with diplomatic exactitude, but never yet published
or become accessible) did, as "I well remember, among other things,
mention the King's telling him that he," the King, "had received a
Thousand Pounds from Miss Wyndham; with a part of which he had bought
the Flute then in his hand." [Letter from John Fowler, Esq., "Salisbury,
2d April, 1860," to a Friend of mine (PENES ME): of Barbara's identity,
or otherwise, with the Antwerp Embden Lady, Mr. F. can say nothing.]
Which latter circumstance, too, is curious. For, at all times, however
straitened Friedrich's Exchequer might be, it was his known habit,
during this War, to have always, before the current year ended, the ways
and means completely settled and provided for the year coming; so that
everything could be at once paid in money (good money or bad,--good
still up to this date);--And nothing was observed to fall short, so much
as the customary liberality of his gifts to those about him. I infer,
therefore: Friedrich had decided to lay out this 1,000 pounds in what he
would call luxuries, chiefly gifts,--and, among other things, had said
to himself, "I will have a new flute, too!" Probably one of his last;
for I understand he had, by this time (Malmesbury's time, 1772),
ceased much playing, and ceased altogether not long after. [Preuss, i.

James Harris, First Earl of Malmesbury, was Resident at Berlin, 1772:
that is all the date we have for the King's saying, "And with part of
it I bought this Flute!" Date of Lord Malmesbury's mention of it at
Salisbury, we have none,--likeliest there might be various dates;
a thing mentioned more than once, and not improvable by dating.
The Wyndhams still live in the Close of Salisbury; a respected and
well-known Family; record of them (none of Barbara there, or elsewhere
except here) to be found in the County Histories. [Britton's _Beauties
of England and Wales,_ _xv. part ii. p. 118; Hoare's _Salisbury_
_(mistaken, p. 815); &c.] I only know farther, Barbara died May, 1765,
"aged and wealthy," and "with the bulk of her fortune endowed a Charity,
to be called 'Wyndham College,'" [ANNUAL REGISTER (for 1765), viii.
86.]--which I hope still flourishes. Enough on this small Wyndham
matter; which is nearly altogether English, but in which Friedrich too
has his indefeasible property.


While this Subsidy Treaty is getting settled in England, Duke Ferdinand
has his French in full cackle of universal flight; and before the
signing of it (April 11th), every feather of them is over the Rhine;
Duke Ferdinand busy preparing to follow. Glorious news, day after day,
coming in, for Pitt, for Miss Barbara and for all English souls, Royal
Highness of Cumberland hardly excepted! The "Descent on Rochefort," last
Autumn, had a good deal disappointed Pitt and England;--an expensively
elaborate Expedition, military and naval; which could not "descend" at
all, when it got to the point; but merely went groping about, on
the muddy shores of the Charente, holding councils of war yonder;
"cannonaded the Isle of Aix for two hours;" and returned home without
result of any kind, Courts-martial following on it, as too usual. This
was an unsuccessful first-stroke for Pitt. Indeed, he never did much
succeed in those Descents on the French Coast, though never again so ill
as this time. Those are a kind of things that require an exactitude
as of clockwork, in all their parts: and Pitt's Generalcies and
War-Offices,--we know whether they were of the Prussian type or of the
Swedish! A very grievous hindrance to Pitt;--which he will not believe
to be quite incurable. Against which he, for his part, stands up, in
grim earnest, and with his whole strength; and is now, and at all times,
doing what in him lies to abate or remedy it:--successfully, to an
unexpected degree, within the next four years. From America, he has
decided to recall Lord Loudon, as a cunctatory haggling mortal, the
reverse of a General; how very different from his Austrian Cousin!
[Cousins certainly enough; their Progenitors were Brothers, of that
House, about 1568,--when Matthew, the cadet, went "into Livonia,"
into foreign Soldiering (Papa having fallen Prisoner "at the Battle of
Langside," 1568, and the Family prospects being low); from this Matthew
comes, through a scrips of Livonian Soldiers, the famed Austrian
Loudon. Douglas, _Peerage of Scotland,_ p. 425; &c. &c. VIE DE LOUDON
(ill-informed on that point and some others) says, the first Livonian
Loudon came from Ayrshire, "in the fourteenth century".] "Abercrombie
may be better," hopes he;--was better, still not good. But already in
the gloomy imbroglio over yonder, Pitt discerns that one Amherst (the
son of people unimportant at the hustings) has military talent: and
in this puddle of a Rochefort Futility, he has got his eye on a young
Officer named Wolfe, who was Quartermaster of the Expedition; a young
man likewise destitute of Parliamentary connection, but who may be worth
something. Both of whom will be heard of! In a four years' determined
effort of this kind, things do improve: and it was wonderful, to
what amount,--out of these chaotic War-Offices little better than the
Swedish, and ignorant Generalcies fully worse than the Swedish,--Pitt
got heroic successes and work really done.

On Pitt, amid confused clouds, there is bright dawn rising; and
Friedrich too, for the last month, in Breslau, has a cheerful prospect
on that Western side of his horizon. Here is one of his Postscripts,
thrown off in Autograph, which Duke Ferdinand will read with pleasure:
"I congratulate you, MON CHER, with my whole heart! May you FLEUR-DE-LYS
every French skin of them; cutting out on their"--what shall we say
(LEUR IMPRIMANT SUR LE CUE)!--"the Initials of the Peace of Westphalia,
and packing them across the Rhine," tattooed in that latest extremity of
fashion! [Friedrich to Duke Ferdinand, "Grussau, 19th March, 1758:" in
Knesebeck, _ Herzog Ferdinand,_ i. 64. _Herzog Ferdinand wahrend des
7-jahrigen Krieges_ ("from the English and Prussian Archives") is
the full Title of Knesebeck's Book: LETTERS altogether; not very
intelligently edited, but well worth reading by every student, military
and civil: 2 vols. 8vo. Hannover, 1857.]

Friedrich, grounding partly on those Rhine aspects, has his own scheme
laid for Campaign 1758. It is the old scheme tried twice already: to go
home upon your Enemy swiftly, with your utmost collective strength, and
try to strike into the heart of him before he is aware. Friedrich has
twice tried this; the second time with success, respectable though far
short of complete. Weakened as now, but with Ferdinand likely to
find the French in employment, he means to try it again; and is busy
preparing at Neisse and elsewhere, though keeping it a dead secret for
the time. There is, in fact, no other hopeful plan for him, if this
prove feasible at all. Double your velocity, you double your momentum.
One's weight is given,--weight growing less and less;--but not, or not
in the same way and degree, one's velocity, one's rightness of aim.
Weight given: it is only by doubling or trebling his velocity that a man
can make his momentum double or treble, as needed! Friedrich means to
try it, readers will see how,--were the Fort of Schweidnitz once had;
for which object Friedrich watches the weather like a very D'Argens,
eager that the frost would go. Recapture of Schweidnitz, the last
speck of Austrianism wiped away there; that is evidently the preface to
whatsoever day's-work may be ahead.

March 15th, frost being now off, Friedrich quits Breslau and
D'Argens,--his Head-quarter thenceforth Kloster-Grussau, near Landshut,
troops all getting cantoned thereabout, to keep Bohemia quiet,--and
goes at once upon Schweidnitz. With the top of the morning, so to speak;
means to have Schweidnitz before campaigning usually can begin, or
common laborers take their tools in this trade. The Austrian Commandant
has been greatly strengthening the works; he had, at first, some 8,000
of garrison; but the three months' blockade has been tight upon him and
them; and it is hoped the thing can be done.

APRIL 1st-2d,--Siege-material being got to the ground, and Siege
Division and Covering Army all in their places,--in spite of the heavy
rains, we open our first parallel, Austrian Commandant not noticing till
it is nearly done. April 8th, we have our batteries built; and burst
out, at our best rate, into cannonade; aiming a good deal at "Fort No.
1," called also "GALGEN or Gallows Fort," which we esteem the principal.
Cannonade continues day after day, prospers tolerably on Gallows
Fort,"--though the wet weather, and hardship to the troops, are grievous
circumstances, and make Friedrich doubly urgent. "Try it by storm!"
counsels Balbi, who is Engineer. Night of APRIL 15th-16th storm takes
place; with such vigor and such cunning, that the Gallows Fort is got
for almost nothing (loss of ten men);-and few hours after, Austria beat
the chamade. [Tempelhof, ii. 21-25; _Helden-Geschichte,_ _v. 109-123:
above all, Tielcke, _Beytrage zur Kriegs-Kunst und zur Geschichte des
Krieges von 1756 bis 1763_ _(6 vols. 4to, Freyberg, 1775-1786), iv.
43-76. Volume iv. is wholly devoted to Schweidnitz and its successive
Sieges.] Fifty-one new Austrian guns, for one item, and about 7,000
pounds of money. Prisoners of War the Garrison, 8,000 gone to 4,900;
with such stores as we can guess, of ours and theirs added: Balbi
was Prussian Engineer-in-Chief, Treskau Captain of the Siege;--other
particulars I spare the reader.

Unfortunate Schweidnitz underwent four Sieges, four captures or
recaptures, in this War;--upon all of which we must be quite summary,
only the results of them important to us. For the curious in sieges,
especially for the scientifically curious, there is, by a Captain
Tielcke, excellent account of all these Schweidnitz Sieges, and of
others;--Artillery-Captain Tielcke, in the Saxon or Saxon-Russian
service; whom perhaps we shall transiently fall in with, on a different
field, in the course of this Year.


Fouquet, on the first movement towards Schweidnitz, had been detached
from Landshut to sweep certain Croat Parties out of Glatz; Ziethen, with
a similar view, into Troppau Country; both which errands were at once
perfectly done. Daun lies behind the Bohemian Frontier (betimes in the
field he too, "arrived at Konigsgratz, March 13th"); and is, with all
diligence, perfecting his new levies; intrenching himself on all points,
as man seldom did; "felling whole forests," they say, building abatis
within abatis;--not doubting, especially on these Ziethen-Fouquet
symptoms, but Friedrich's Campaign is to be an Invasion of Bohemia
again. "Which he shall not do gratis!" hopes Daun; and, indeed, judges
say the entrance would hardly have been possible on that side, had
Friedrich tried it; which he did not.

Schweidnitz being done, and Daun deep in the Bohemian
problem,--Friedrich, in an unintelligible manner, breaks out from
Grussau and the Landshut region (April 19th-25th), not straight
southward, as Daun had been expecting, but straight southeastward
through Neisse, Jagerndorf: all gone, or all but Ziethen and Fouquet
gone, that way;--meaning who shall say what, when news of it comes to
Daun? In two divisions, from 30 to 40,000 strong; through Jagerndorf,
ever onward through Troppau, and not till THEN turning southward:
indubitable march of that cunning Enemy; rapidly proceeding, his 40,000
and he, along those elevated upland countries, watershed of the Black
Sea and the Baltic, bleakly illumined by the April sun; a march into the
mists of the future tense, which do not yet clear themselves to Daun.
Seeing the march turn southward at Troppau, a light breaks on Daun: "Ha!
coming round upon Bohemia from the east, then?" That is Daun's opinion,
for some time yet; and he immediately starts that way, to save a fine
magazine he has at Leutomischl over there. Daun, from Skalitz near
Konigsgratz where he is, has but some eighty miles to march, for the
King's hundred and fifty; and arrives in those parts few days after
the King; posts himself at Leutomischl, veiled in Pandours. Not for two
weeks more does he ascertain it to have been a march upon the Olmutz
Country, and the intricate forks of the Morawa River; with a view to
besieging Olmutz, by this wily Enemy! Upon which Daun did strive
to bestir himself thitherward, at last; and, though very slow and
hesitative, his measures otherwise were unexceptionable, and turned out
luckier than had been expected by some people.

Olmutz is an ancient pleasant little City, in the Plains of Mahren,
romantic, indistinct to the English mind; with Domes, with Steeples
eminent beyond its size,--population little above 10,000 souls;--has its
Prince-Archbishop and ecclesiastic outfittings, with whom Friedrich
has lodged in his time. City which trades in leather, and Russian and
Moldavian droves of oxen. Memorable to the Slavic populations for its
grand Czech Library, which was carried away by the Swedes, happily into
thick night; [To Stralsund (1645), "and has not since been heard of."]
also for that poor little Wenzel of theirs (last heir of the Bohemian
Czech royalties, whom no reader has the least memory of) being killed
on the streets here;--uncertain, to this day, by whom, though for whose
benefit that dagger-stroke ended is certain enough; [Supra, vol. v. p.
118.]--poor little Wenzel's dust lies under that highest Dome, of
the old Cathedral yonder, if anybody thought of such a thing in hot
practical times. Poor Lafayette, too, lodged here in prison, when the
Austrians seized him. City trades in leather and live stock, we said;
has much to do with artillery, much with ecclesiastry;--and Friedrich
besieged it, for seven weeks, in the hot summer days of 1758, to no
purpose. Friedrich has been in Olmiitz more than once before; his
Schwerin once took it in a single day, and it was his for months, in the
old Moravian-Foray time: but the place is changed now; become an arsenal
or military storehouse of Austria; strongly fortified, and with a
Captain in it, who distinguishes himself by valiant skill and activity
on this occasion.

Friedrich's Olmutz Enterprise, the rather as it was unsuccessful, has
not wanted critics. And certainly, according to the ordinary rules of
cautious prudence, could these have been Friedrich's in his present
situation, it was not to be called a prudent Enterprise. But had
Friedrich's arrangements been punctually fulfilled, and Olmutz been got
in fair time, as was possible or probable, the thing might have been
done very well. Duke Ferdinand, in these early May days, is practically
making preparations to follow the French across the Rhine; no fear of
French Armies interfering with us this year. Dohna has the Swedes locked
in Stralsund (capable of being starved, had not the thaw come); and
in Hinter-Pommern he has General Platen, with a tolerable Detachment,
watching Fermor and his Russians; Dohna, with Platen, may entertain the
Russians for a little, when they get on way,--which we know will be at a
slow pace, and late in the season. Prince Henri commands in Saxony, say
with 30,000;--King's vicegerent and other self there, "Do YOUR wisest
and promptest; hold no councils of war!" Prince Henri, altogether on
the aggressive as yet, is waiting what Reichs Army there may be;--has
already had Mayer and Free Corps careering about in Franken Country once
and again, tearing up the incipiencies and preparations, with the usual
emphasis; and is himself intending to follow thither, in a still more
impressive manner. Friedrich's calculation is, Prince Henri will have
his hands free for a good few weeks yet. Which proved true enough, so
far as that went.

And now, supposing Olmutz ours, and Vienna itself open to our insults,
does not, by rapid suction, every armed Austrian flow thitherward;
Germany all drained of them: in which case, what is to hinder Prince
Henri from stepping into Bohmen, by the Metal Mountains; capturing Prag;
getting into junction with us here, and tumbling Austria at a rate
that will astonish her! Her, and her miscellaneous tagraggery of
Confederates, one and all. Konigsberg, Stralsund, Bamberg; Russians,
Swedes, Reichsfolk,--here, in Mahren, will be the crown of the game for
all these. Prosper in Mahren, all these are lamed; one right stroke at
the heart, the limbs become manageable quantities! This was Friedrich's
program; and had not imperfections of execution, beyond what was looked
for, and also a good deal of plain ill-luck, intervened, this bold
stroke for Mahren might have turned out far otherwise than it did.

The march thither (started from Neisse April 27th) was beautiful:
Friedrich with vanguard and first division; Keith with rear-guard and
second, always at a day's distance; split into proper columns, for
convenience of road and quarter in the hungry countries; threading
those silent mountain villages, and upper streamlets of Oder and Morawa:
Ziethen waving intrusive Croateries far off; Fouquet, in thousands
of wagons, shoving on from Neisse, "in four sections," with the
due intervals, under the due escorts, the immensity of stores and
siege-furniture, through Jagerndorf, through Troppau, and onwards;
[Table of his routes and stages in TEMPELHOF, ii. 46.]--punctual
everybody; besiegers and siege materials ready on their ground by the
set day. Daun too had made speed to save his Magazine. Daun was at
Leutomischl, May 5th,--a forty miles to west of the Morawa,--few days
after Friedrich had arrived in those countries by the eastern or left
bank, by Troppau, Gibau, Littau, Aschmeritz, Prossnitz; and a week
before Friedrich had finished his reconnoitrings, campings, and taken
position to his mind. Camps, four or more (shrank in the end to three),
on both banks of the River; a matter of abstruse study; so that it was
May 12th before Friedrich first took view of Olmutz itself, and could
fairly begin his Problem,--Daun, with his best Tolpatcheries, still
unable to guess what it was.

Of the Siege I propose to say little, though the accounts of it are
ample, useful to the Artillerist and Engineer. If the reader can be
made to conceive it as a blazing loud-sounding fact, on which, and on
Friedrich in it, the eyes of all Europe were fixed for some weeks, it
may rest now in impressive indistinctness to us. Keith is Captain of the
Siege, whom all praise for his punctual firmness of progress; Balbi as
before, is Engineer, against whom goes the criticism, Keith's first of
all, that he "opened his first parallel 800 yards too far off,"--which
much increased the labor, and the expenditure of useless gunpowder, shot
having no effect at such a distance. There were various criticisms: some
real, as this; some imaginary, as that Friedrich grudged gunpowder, the
fact being that he had it not, except after carriage from Neisse, say a
hundred and twenty miles off,--Troppau, his last Silesian Town, or safe
place (his for the moment), is eighty miles;--and was obliged to waste
none of it.

Friedrich is not thought to shine in the sieging line as he does in
the fighting; which has some truth in it, though not very much. When
Friedrich laid himself to engineering, I observe, he did it well: see
Neisse, Graudenz, Magdeburg. His Balbi went wrong with the parallels, on
this occasion; many things went wrong: but the truly grievous thing was
his distance from Silesia and the supplies. A hundred and twenty
miles of hill-carriage, eighty of them disputable, for every shot of
ammunition and for every loaf of bread; this was hard to stand:--and
perhaps no War-apparatus but a Prussian, with a Friedrich for sole
chief-manager, could have stood it so long. Friedrich did stand it, in
a wonderfully tolerable manner; and was continuing to stand it, and make
fair progress; and it is not doubted he would have got Olmutz, had
not there another fact come on him, which proved to be of unmanageable
nature. The actual loss, namely, of one Convoy, after so many had
come safe, and when, as appears, there was now only one wanted and no
more!--Let us attend to this a little.

Had Daun, at Olmutz, been as a Duke of Cumberland relieving Tournay,
rushing into fight at Fontenoy, like a Hanover White-Horse, neck clothed
with thunder, and head destitute of knowledge,--how lucky had it been
for Friedrich! But Daun knows his trade better. Daun, though superior
in strength, sits on his Magazine, clear not to fight. By no art of
manoeuvring, had Friedrich much tried it, or hoped it, this time, could
Daun have been brought to give battle. As Fabins Cunctator he is here in
his right place; taking impregnable positions, no man with better skill
in that branch of business; pushing out parties on the Troppau road; and
patiently waiting till this dangerous Enemy, with such endless shifts in
him, come in sight perhaps of his last cartridge, or perhaps make
some stumble on the way towards that consummation. Daun is aware of
Friedrich's surprising qualities. Bos against Leo, Daun feels these
procedures to be altogether feline (FELIS-LEONINE); such stealthy
glidings about, deceptive motions, appearances; then such a rapidity of
spring upon you, and with such a set of claws,--destructive to bovine
or rhinoceros nature: in regard to all which, Bos, if he will prosper,
surely cannot be too cautious. It was remarked of Daun, that he was
scrupulously careful; never, in the most impregnable situations,
neglecting the least precaution, but punctiliously fortifying himself to
the last item, even to a ridiculous extent, say Retzow and the critics.
It was the one resource of Daun: truly a solid stubborn patience is in
the man; stubborn courage too, of bovine-rhinoceros type;--stupid,
if you will, but doing at all times honestly his best and his wisest
without flurry; which character is often of surprising value in War;
capable of much mischief, now and then, to quicker people. Rhinoceros
Daun did play his Leo a bad prank more than once; and this of barring
him out from Olmutz was one of them, perhaps the worst after Kolin.

Daun's management of this Olmutz business is by no means reckoned
brilliant, even in the Fabius line; but, on the contrary, inert,
dim-minded, inconclusive; and in reality, till almost the very last, he
had been of little help to the besieged. For near three weeks (till May
23d) Daun sat at Leutomischl, immovable on his bread-basket there, forty
or more miles from Olmutz; and did not see that a Siege was meant. May
27th-28th, Balbi opened his first parallel, in that mistaken way; four
days before which, Daun does move inwards a march or so, to Zwittau,
to Gewitsch (still thirty miles to west of Olmutz); still thinking
of Bohemia, not of any siege; still hanging by the mountains and the
bread-basket. And there,--about Gewitsch, siege or no siege, Daun
sits down again; pretty much immovable, through the five weeks of
bombardment; and,--except that Loudon and the Light Horse are very
diligent to do a mischief, "attempting our convoys, more than once, to
no purpose, and alarming some of our outposts almost every night, but
every night beaten off,"--does, in a manner, nothing; sits quiet, behind
his impenetrable veil of Pandours, and lets the bombardment take its
course. Had not express Order come from Vienna on him, it is thought
Daun would have sat till Olmutz was taken; and would then have gone back
to Leutomischl and impregnable posts in the Hills. On express order,
he--But gather, first, these poor sparks in elucidation:--

"The 'destructive sallies' and the like, at Olmutz, were principally an
affair of the gazetteers and the imagination: but it is certain, Olmutz
this time was excellently well defended; the Commandant, a vigorous
skilful man, prompt to seize advantages; and Garrison and Townsfolk
zealously helping: so that Friedrich's progress was unusually slow.
Friedrich's feelings, all this while, and Balbi's (who 'spent his first
1,220 shots entirely in vain,' beginning so far off), may be judged
of,--the sound of him to Balbi sometimes stern enough! As when (June
9th) he personally visits Balbi's parallels (top of the Tafelberg
yonder); and inquires, 'When do you calculate to get done, then?' West
side of Olmutz and of the River (east side lies mostly under water),
there is the bombarding; seventy-one heavy guns; Keith, in his expertest
manner, doing all the captaincies: Keith has about 8,000 of foot and
horse, busy and vigilant, with their faces to the east. In a ring of
four camps, or principally three (Prossnitz, Littau, and Neustadt, which
is across the River), all looking westward or northwestward, some, ten
or twenty miles from Keith, Friedrich (head-quarters oftenest Prossnitz,
the chief camp) stands facing Daun; who lies concentric to him, at the
distance of another ten or twenty miles, in good part still thirty or
forty miles from Olmutz, veiled mostly under a cloud of Pandours.

"Of Friedrich's impatiences we hear little, though they must have been
great. Prince Henri is ready for Prag; many things are ready, were
Olmutz but done! May 22d, Prince Henri had followed Mayer in person,
with a stronger corps, to root out the Reichsfolk,--and is now in
Bamberg City and Country. And is even in Baireuth itself, where was
lately the Camp of the new Reichs General, Serene Highness of Zweibruck,
and his nascent Reichs Army; who are off bodily to Bohemia, 'to Eger and
the Circle of Saatz,' a week before. [_Helden-Geschichte,_ v. 206-209.
Wilhelmina's pretty Letter to Friedrich ("Baireuth, 10th May");
Friedrich's Answer ("Olmutz, June, 1758"); in _OEuvres de Frederic,_
xxvii. i. 313-315.] Fancy that visit of Henri's to a poor Wilhelmina;
the last sight she ever had of a Brother, or of the old Prussian
uniforms, clearing her of Zweibrucks and sorrowful guests! Our poor
Wilhelmina, alas she is sunk in sickness this year more than ever;
journeying towards death, in fact; and is probably the most pungent,
sacredly tragic, of Friedrich's sorrows, now and onwards. June 12th,
Friedrich's pouting Brother, the Prince of Prussia, died; this also he
had to hear in Camp at Olmutz. 'What did he die of?' said Friedrich to
the Messenger, a Major Something. 'Of chagrin,' said the Major, 'AUS
GRAM.' Friedrich made no answer.--

"On the last night of May, by beautiful management, military and other,
Duke Ferdinand is across the Rhine; again chasing the French before him;
who, as they are far more numerous, cannot surely but make some stand:
so that a Battle there may be expected soon,--let us hope, a Victory;
as indeed it beautifully proved to be, three weeks after. [Battle of
Crefeld, 23d June.] On the other hand, Fermor and his Russians are
astir; continually wending towards Brandenburg, in their voluminous
manner, since June 16th, though at a slow rate. How desirable the Siege
of Olmutz were done!"

On express from Vienna, Daun did bestir himself; cautiously got on foot
again; detached, across the River, an expert Hussar General ("Be busy
all ye Loudons, St. Ignons, Ziskowitzes, doubly now!"),--expert Hussar
General, one item of whose force is 1,100 chosen grenadiers;--and
himself cautiously stept southward and eastward, nearer the Siege Lines.
The Hussar General's meaning seemed to be some mischief on our Camp
of Neustadt and the outposts there; but in reality it was to throw
his 1,100 into Olmutz (useful to the Commandant); which--by ingenious
manoeuvring, and guidance from the peasants "through bushy woods and
by-paths" on that east side of the River--the expert Hussar General,
though Ziethen was sent over to handle him, did perfectly manage, and
would not quit for Ziethen till he saw it finished. Which done, Daun
keeps stepping still farther southward, nearer the Siege Lines; and, at
Prossnitz, morning of June 22d, Friedrich, with his own eyes, sees Daun
taking post on the opposite heights; says to somebody near him, "VOILA
are learning to march, though!"--getting on their feet, like infants in
a certain stage ("MARCHER" having that meaning too, though I know not
that the King intended it);--they have learned a great many things,
since your Majesty first met them. Friedrich took Daun to be, now at
last, meaning Battle for Olmutz, and made some slight arrangements
accordingly; but that is not Daun's intention at all; as Friedrich will
find to his cost, in few days. That very day, Daun has vanished again,
still in the southerly direction, again under veil of Pandours.

Meanwhile, in spite of all things, the Siege makes progress; "June
22d, Balbi's sap had got to their glacis, and was pushing forward
there,"--June 22d, day when Daun made momentary appearance, and the
reinforcement stole in:--within a fortnight more, Balbi promises the
thing shall be done. But supplies are indispensable: one other convoy
from Troppau, and let it be a big one, "between 3 and 4,000 wagons,"
meal, money, iron, powder; Friedrich hopes this one, if he can get it
home, will suffice. Colonel Mosel is to bring this Convoy; a resolute
expert Officer, with perhaps 7,000 foot and horse: surely sufficient
escort: but, as Daun is astir, and his Loudons, Ziskowitzes and
light people are gliding about, Friedrich orders Ziethen to meet this
important Convoy, with some thousands of new force, and take charge of
bringing it in. Mosel was to leave Troppau June 26th; Ziethen pushes
out to meet him from the Olmutz end, on the second day after; and, one
hopes, all is now safe on that head.

The driving of 3,000 four-horse wagons, under escort, ninety miles of
road, is such an enterprise as cannot readily be conceived by sedentary
pacific readers;--much more the attack of such! Military science,
constraining chaos into the cosmic state, has nowhere such a problem.
There are twelve thousand horses, for one thing, to be shod, geared,
kept roadworthy and regular; say six thousand country wagoners,
thick-soled peasants: then, hanging to the skirts of these, in
miscellaneous crazy vehicles and weak teams, equine and asinine, are one
or two thousand sutler people, male and female, not of select quality,
though on them, too, we keep a sharp eye. The series covers many miles,
as many as twenty English miles (says Tempelhof), unless in favorable
points you compress them into five, going four wagons abreast for
defence's sake. Defence, or escort, goes in three bulks or brigades;
vanguard, middle, rear-guard, with sparse pickets intervening;--wider
than five miles, you cannot get the parts to support one another. An
enemy breaking in upon you, at some difficult point of road, woody
hollow or the like, and opening cannon, musketry and hussar exercise on
such an object, must make a confused transaction of it! Some commanders,
for the road has hitherto been mainly pacific, divide their train
into parts, say four parts; moving with their partial escorts, with an
interval of one day between each two: this has its obvious advantages,
but depends, of course, on the road being little infested, so that your
partial escort will suffice to repel attacks. Toiling forward, at their
diligent slow rate, I find these trains from Troppau take about six
days (from Neisse to Olmutz they take eleven, but the first five are
peaceable [Tempelhof, ii. 48.]);--can't be hurried beyond that pace, if
you would save your laggards, your irregulars, and prevent what we may
call RAGGERY in your rearward parts; the skirts of your procession get
torn by the bushes if you go faster. This time Colonel Mosel will have
to mend his pace, however, and to go in the lump withal; the case being
critical, as Mosel knows, and MORE than he yet knows.

Daun, who has friends everywhere, and no lack of spies in this country,
generally hears of the convoys. He has heard, in particular, of this
important one, in good time. Hitherto Daun had not attempted much
upon convoys, nor anything with success: King's posted corps and other
precautions are of such a kind, not even Loudon, when he tried his best,
could do any good; and common wandering hussar parties are as likely
to get a mischief as to do one, on such service. Cautious Daun had been
busy enough keeping his own Camp safe, and flinging a word of news or
encouragement, at the most a trifle of reinforcement, into Olmutz. when
possible. But now it becomes evident there must be one of two things:
this convoy seized, or else a battle risked;--and that in defect of both
these, the inevitable third thing is, Olmutz will straightway go.

Major-General Loudon, the best partisan soldier extant, and ripening
for better things, has usually a force of perhaps 10,000 under him,
four regiments of them regular grenadiers; and has been active on
the convoys, though hitherto unsuccessful. Let an active Loudon, with
increased force, try this, their vitally important convoy, from the west
side of the River; an active Ziskowitz co-operating on the east side,
where the road itself is; and do their uttermost! That is Daun's
plan,--now in course of execution. Daun, instead of meaning battle, that
day when Friedrich saw him, was cautiously stealing past, intending to
cross the River farther down; and himself support the operation. Daun
has crossed accordingly, and has doubled up northward again to the fit
point; Ziskowitz is in the fit point, in the due force, on this east
side too. Loudon, on the west side, goes by Muglitz, Hof; making a long
deep bend far to westward and hillward of all the Prussian posted corps
and precautions, and altogether hidden from them; Loudon aims to be in
Troppau neighborhood, "Guntersdorf, near Bautsch," by the proper day,
and pay Mosel an unexpected visit in the passage there.

Colonel Mosel, marshalling his endless Trains with every excellent
precaution, and the cleverest dispositions (say the Books), against
the known and the unknown, had got upon the road, and creaked forward,
many-wheeled, out of Troppau, Monday, 26th June. [Tempelhof, ii. 89-94.]
The roads, worn by the much travelling and wet weather, were utterly
bad; the pace was perhaps quicker than usual; the much-jolting Train got
greatly into a jumble:--Mosel, to bring up the laggards, made the morrow
a rest-day; did get about two-thirds of his laggards marshalled again;
ordered the others to return, as impossible. They say, had it not been
for this rest-day, which seemed of no consequence, Loudon would not have
been at Guntersdorf in time, nor have attempted as he did at Guntersdorf
and afterwards. At break of day (Wednesday, 28th), Mosel is again on the
road; heavily jumbling forward from his quarters in Bautsch. Few
miles on, towards Guntersdorf, he discovers Loudon posted ahead in the
defiles. What a sight for Mosel, in his character of Wagoner up with
the dawn! But Mosel managed the defiles and Loudon this time; halted his
train, dashed up into the woody heights and difficult grounds; stormed
Loudon's cannon from him, smote Loudon in a valiant tempestuous manner;
and sent him travelling again for the present.

Loudon, I conjecture, would have struggled farther, had not he known
that there would be a better chance again not very many miles ahead.
London has studied this Convoy; knows of Ziethen coming to it with so
many; of Ziskowitz coming to him, Loudon, with so many; that Ziethen
cannot send for more (roads being all beset by our industry yesterday),
that Ziskowitz can, should it be needful;--and that at Domstadtl there
is a defile, or confused woody hollow, of unequalled quality! Mosel
jumbles on all day with his Train, none molesting; at night gets to his
appointed quarters, Village of Neudorff; [The L, or EL, is a
diminutive in these Names: (NEUDORFL) "New-ThorpLET," (DOMSTADTL)
"Cathedral-TownLET," and the like.] and there finds Ziethen: a glad
meeting, we may fancy, but an anxious one, with Domstadtl ahead on
the morrow. Loudon concerts with Ziskowitz this day; calls in all
reinforcements possible, and takes his measures. Thursday morning,
Ziethen finds the Train in such a state, hardly half of it come up,
he has to spend the whole day, Mosel and he, in rearranging it: Friday
morning, June 30th, they get under way again;--Friday, the catastrophe
is waiting them.

The Pass of Domstadtl, lapped in the dim Moravian distance, is not known
to me or to my readers; nor indeed could the human pen or intellect,
aided by ocular inspection or whatever helps, give the least image of
what now took place there, rendering Domstadtl a memorable locality ever
since. Understand that Ziethen and Mosel, with their waste
slow deluge of wagons, come jumbling in, with anxiety, with
precautions,--precautions doubled, now that the woody intricacies about
Domstadtl rise in sight. "Pooh, it is as we thought: there go Austrian
cannon-salvos, horse-charges, volleying musketries, as our first wagons
enter the Pass;--and there will be a job!" Indecipherable to mankind far
off, or even near. Of which only this feature and that can be laid hold
of, as discernible, by the most industrious man. Escort, in three main
bodies, vanguard, middle, rear-guard, marches on each side; infantry on
the left, cavalry on the right, as the ground is leveller there. Length
of the Train in statute miles, as it jumbles along at this point, is not
given; but we know it was many miles; that horses and wagoners were in
panic hardly restrainable; and we dimly descry, here especially, human
drill-sergeantcy doing the impossible to keep chaos plugged down. The
poor wagoner, cannon playing ahead, whirls homeward with his vehicle, if
your eye quit him,--still better, and handier, cuts his traces, mounts
in a good moment, and is off at heavy-footed gallop, leaving his wagon.
Seldom had human drill-sergeantcy such a problem.

The Prussian Vanguard, one Krockow its commander, repulsed that first
Austrian attack; swept the Bass clear for some minutes; got their
section of the carriages, or some part of it, 250 in all, hurried
through; then halted on the safe side, to wait what Ziethen would do
with the remainder. Ziethen does his best and bravest, as everybody
does; keeps his wagon-chaos plugged down; ranks it in square mass, as a
wagon fortress (WAGENBURG); ranks himself and everybody, his cannon, his
platoon musketry, to the best advantage round it; furiously shoots out
in all manner of ways, against the furious Loudon on this flank, and
the furious Ziskowitz on that; takes hills, loses them; repels and is
repelled (wagon-chaos ever harder to keep plugged); finally perceives
himself to be beaten; that the wagon-chaos has got unplugged (fancy
it!)--and that he, Ziethen, must retreat; back foremost if possible. He
did retreat, fighting all the way to Troppau; and the Convoy is a ruin
and a prey.

Krockow, with the 250, has got under way again; hearing the
powder-wagons start into the air (fired by the enemy), and hearing
the cannon and musketry take a northerly course, and die away in
that ominous direction. These 250 were all the carriages that came
in:--happily, by Ziethen's prudence, the money, a large sum, had been
lodged in the vanmost of these. The rest of the Convoy, ball, powder,
bread, was of little value to Loudon, but beyond value to Friedrich at
this moment; and it has gone to annihilation and the belly of Chaos and
the Croats. Among the tragic wrecks of this Convoy there is one that
still goes to our heart. A longish, almost straight row of young
Prussian recruits stretched among the slain, what are these? These were
700 recruits coming up from their cantons to the Wars; hardly yet six
months in training: see how they have fought to the death, poor lads,
and have honorably, on the sudden, got manumitted from the toils of
life. Seven hundred of them stood to arms, this morning; some sixty-five
will get back to Troppau; that is the invoice account. They lie there,
with their blond young cheeks and light hair; beautiful in death;--could
not have done better, though the sacred poet has said nothing of them
hitherto,--nor need, till times mend with us and him. Adieu, my noble
young Brothers; so brave, so modest, no Spartan nor no Roman more; may
the silence be blessed to you!

Contrary to some current notions, it is comfortably evident that there
was a considerable fire of loyalty in the Prussians towards their King,
during this War; loyalty kept well under cover, not wasting itself in
harangues or noisy froth; but coming out, among all ranks of men, in
practical attempts to be of help in this high struggle, which was their
own as well as his. The STANDE, landed Gentry, of Pommern and other
places, we heard of their poor little Navy of twelve gunboats, which
were all taken by the Swedes. Militia Regiments too, which did good
service at Colberg, as may transiently appear by and by:--in the gentry
or upper classes, a respectable zeal for their King. Then, among the
peasantry or lower class--Here are Seven Hundred who stood well where
he planted them. And their Mothers--Be Spartan also, ye Mothers! In
peaceable times, Tempelhof tells us the Prussian Mother is usually proud
of having her son in this King's service: a country wife will say
to you: "I have three of them, all in the regiment," Billerbeck,
Itzenplitz, or whatever be the Canton regiment; "the eldest is ten
inches [stands five feet ten], the second is eleven, the third eight,
for indeed he is yet young."

Daun, on the day of this Domstadtl business, and by way of masking it,
feeling how vital it was, made various extensive movements, across the
River by several Bridges; then hither, thither, on the farther side
of Olmutz, mazing up and down: Friedrich observing him, till he should
ripen to something definite, followed his bombarding the while; perhaps
having hopes of wager of battle ensuing. Of the disaster at Domstadtl
Friedrich could know nothing, Loudon having closed the roads. Daun by
no means ripens into battle: news of the disaster reached Friedrich next
day (Saturday, July 1st),--who "immediately assembled his Generals, and
spoke a few inspiring words to them," such as we may fancy. Friedrich
perceives that Olmutz is over; that his Third Campaign, third lunge upon
the Enemy's heart, has prospered worse, thus far, than either of the
others; that he must straightway end this of Olmutz, without any success
whatever, and try the remaining methods and resources. No word of
complaint, they say, is heard from Friedrich in such cases; face always
hopeful, tone cheery. A man in Friedrich's position needs a good deal of
Stoicism, Greek or other.

That Saturday night the Prussian bombardment is quite uncommonly
furious, long continuing; no night yet like it:--the Prussians are
shooting off their superfluous ammunition this night; do not quite
end till Sunday is in. On Sunday itself, packings, preparations, all
completed; and, "Keith, with above 4,000 wagons, safe on the road since
2 A.M."--the Prussians softly vanish in long smooth streams, with music
playing, unmolested by Daun; and leaving nothing, it is boasted, but
five or three mortars, which kept playing to the last, and one cannon,
to which something had happened.

Of the retreat there could be much said, instructive to military men
who were studious; extremely fine retreat, say all judges;--of which
my readers crave only the outlines, the results. Daun, it was thought,
should have ruined Friedrich in this retreat; but he did nothing of harm
to him. In fact, for a week he could not comprehend the phenomenon at
all, and did not stir from his place,--which was on the other, or wrong,
side of the River. Daun had never doubted but the retreat would be to
Silesia; and he had made his detachments, and laid himself out for doing
something upon it, in that direction: but, lo, what roads are these,
what motions whitherward? In about a week it becomes manifest that
the retreat, which goes on various roads, sometimes three at once, has
converged on Leutomischl; straight for Bohemia instead of Silesia; and
that Daun is fallen seven days behind it; incapable now to do anything.
Not even the Magazine at Leutomischl could be got away, nor could even
the whole of it be burnt.

Keith and the baggage once safe in Leutomischl (July 8th), all goes in
deliberate long column; Friedrich ahead to open the passages. July 14th,
after five more marches, Friedrioh bursts up Konigsgratz; scattering any
opposition there is; and sits down there, in a position considered, he
knows well how inexpugnable; to live on the Country, and survey events.
The 4,000 baggage-wagons came in about entire. Fouquet had the first
division of them, and a secondary charge of the whole; an extremely
strict, almost pedantic man, and of very fiery temper: "HE, D'OU
VENEZ-VOUS?" asked he sharply of Retzow senior, who had broken through
his order, one day, to avert great mischief: "How come you here, MON
GENERAL?" "By the Highway, your Excellency!" answered Retzow in a grave
stiff tone. [Retzow, i. 302.]

Keith himself takes the rear-guard, the most ticklish post of all, and
manages it well, and with success, as his wont is. Under sickness at the
time, but with his usual vigilance, prudence, energy; qualities apt to
be successful in War. Some brushes of Croat fighting he had from Loudon;
but they did not amount to anything. It was at Holitz, within a march
of Konigsgratz, that Loudon made his chief attempt; a vehement,
well-intended thing; which looked well at one time. But Keith heard the
cannonading ahead; hurried up with new cavalry, new sagacity and fire of
energy; dashed out horse-charges, seized hill-tops, of a vital nature;
and quickly ended the affair. A man fiery enough, and prompt with his
stroke when wanted, though commonly so quiet. "Tell Monsieur,"--some
General who seemed too stupid or too languid on this occasion,--"Tell
Monsieur from me," said Keith to his Aide-de-camp, "he may be a very
pretty thing, but he is not a man (QU'IL PEUT ETRE UNE BONNE CHOSE, MAIS
QU'IL N'EST PAS UN HOMME)!" [Varnhagen, _Leben des &c. Jakob von Keith,_
p. 227.] The excellent vernacular Keith;--still a fine breadth of accent
in him, one perceives! He is now past sixty; troubled with asthma; and
I doubt not may be, occasionally, thinking it near time to end his
campaigns. And in fact, he is about ending them; sooner than he or
anybody had expected.

Daun, picking his steps and positions, latterly with threefold
precaution, got into Konigsgratz neighborhood, a week after Friedrich;
and looked down with enigmatic wonder upon Friedrich's new settlement
there. Forage abundant all round, and the corn-harvest growing
white;--here, strange to say, has Friedrich got planted in the inside of
those innumerable Daun redoubts, and "woods of abatis;" and might make
a very pretty "Bohemian Campaign" of it, after all, were Daun the
only adversary he had! Judges are of opinion, that Daun, with all his
superiority of number, could not have disrooted Friedrich this season.
[Tempelhof, ii. 170-176, 185;--who, unluckily, in soldier fashion, here
as too often elsewhere, does not give us the Arithmetical Numbers of
each, but counts by "Battalions" and "Squadrons," which, except in
time of Peace, are a totally uncertain quantity:--guess vaguely, 75,000
against 30,000.] Daun did try him by the Pandour methods, "1,000 Croats
stealing in upon Konigsgratz at one in the morning," and the like; but
these availed nothing. By the one effectual method, that of beating
him in battle, Daun never would have tried. What did disroot Friedrich,
then?--Take the following dates, and small hints of phenomena in other
parts of the big Theatre of War. "Konitz" is a little Polish Town,
midway between Dantzig and Friedrich's Dominions:--

"KONITZ, 16th JUNE, 1758. This day Feldmarschall Fermor arrives in his
principal Camp here. For many weeks past he has been dribbling across
the Weichsel hitherward, into various small camps, with Cossack Parties
flying about, under check of General Platen. But now, being all across,
and reunited, Fermor shoots out Cossack Parties of quite other weight
and atrocity; and is ready to begin business,--still a little uncertain
how. His Cossacks, under their Demikows, Romanzows; capable of no good
fighting, but of endless incendiary mischief in the neighborhood;--shoot
far ahead into Prussian territory: Platen, Hordt with his Free-Corps,
are beautifully sharp upon them; but many beatings avail little. 'They
burn the town of Driesen [Hordt having been hard upon them there]; town
of Ratzebuhr, and nineteen villages around;'--burn poor old women and
men, one poor old clergyman especially, wind him well in straw-roping,
then set fire, and leave him;--and are worse than fiends or hyenas. Not
to be checked by Platen's best diligence; not, in the end, by Platen and
Dohna together. Dohna (18th June) has risen from Stralsund in check
of them,--leaving the unfortunate Swedes to come out [shrunk to about
7,000, so unsalutary their stockfish diet there],--these hyena-Cossacks
being the far more pressing thing. Dohna is diligent, gives them many
slaps and checks; Dohna cannot cut the tap-root of them in two; that is
to say, fight Fermor and beat him: other effectual check there can be
none. [_Helden-Geschichte,_ v. 149 et seq.; Tempelhof, ii. 135 &c.]

"TSCHOPAU (in Saxony), 21st JUNE. Prince Henri has quitted Bamberg
Country; and is home again, carefully posted, at Tschopau and up and
down, on the southern side of Saxony; with his eye well on the Passes
of the Metal Mountains,--where now, in the turn things at Olmutz have
taken, his clear fate is to be invaded, NOT to invade. The Reichs Army,
fairly afoot in the Circle of Saatz, counts itself 35,000; add 15,000
Austrians of a solid quality, there is a Reichs Army of 50,000 in all,
this Year. And will certainly invade Saxony,--though it is in no hurry;
does not stir till August come, and will find Prince Henri elaborately
on his guard, and little to be made of him, though he is as one to two.

"CREFELD (Rhine Country), 23d JUNE. Duke Ferdinand, after skilful
shoving and advancing, some forty or fifty miles, on his new or French
side of the Rhine, finds the French drawn up at Crefeld (June
23d); 47,000 of them VERSUS 33,000: in altogether intricate ground;
canal-ditches, osier-thickets, farm-villages, peat-bogs. Ground
defensible against the world, had the 47,000 had a Captain; but
reasonably safe to attack, with nothing but a Clermont acting that
character. Ferdinand, I can perceive, knew his Clermont; and took
liberties with him. Divided himself into three attacks: one in front;
one on Clermont's right flank, both of which cannonaded, as if in
earnest, but did not prevent Clermont going to dinner. One attack on
front, one on right flank; then there was a third, seemingly on left
flank, but which winded itself round (perilously imprudent, had there
been a Captain, instead of a Clermont deepish in wine by this time), and
burst in upon Clermont's rear; jingling his wine-glasses and decanters,
think at what a rate;--scattering his 47,000 and him to the road again,
with a loss of men, which was counted to 4,000 (4,000 against 1,700),
and of honor--whatever was still to lose!" [Mauvillon, i. 297-309;
Westphalen, i. 588-604; Tempelhof; &c. &c.]

Ferdinand, it was hoped, would now be able to maintain himself, and push
forward, on this French side of the Rhine: and had Wesel been his (as
some of us know it is not!), perhaps he might. At any rate, veteran
Belleisle took his measures:--dismissal of Clermont Prince of the Blood,
and appointment of Contades, a man of some skill; recall of Soubise and
his 24,000 from their Austrian intentions; these and other strenuous
measures,--and prevented such consummation. A gallant young Comte
de Gisors, only son of Belleisle, perished in that disgraceful
Crefeld:--unfortunate old man, what a business that of "cutting Germany
in four" has been to you, first and last!

"LOUISBURG (North America), JULY 8th. Landing of General Amherst's
people at Louisburg in Cape Breton; with a view of besieging that
important place. Which has now become extremely difficult; the garrison,
and their defences, military, naval, being in full readiness for such an
event. Landing was done by Brigadier Wolfe; under the eye of Amherst and
Admiral Boscawen from rearward, and under abundant fire of batteries and
musketries playing on it ahead: in one of the surfiest seas (but we have
waited four days, and it hardly mends), tossing us about like corks;--so
that 'many of the boats were broken;' and Wolfe and people 'had to leap
out, breast-deep,' and make fight for themselves, the faster the better,
under very intricate circumstances! Which was victoriously done, by
Wolfe and his people; really in a rather handsome manner, that morning.
As were all the subsequent Siege-operations, on land and on water, by
them and the others:--till (August 8th) the Siege ended: in complete
surrender,--positively for the last time (Pitt fully intends); no
Austrian Netherlands now to put one on revoking it! [General Amherst's
DIARY OF THE SIEGE (in _Gentleman's Magazine,_ xxviii. 384-389).]

"These are pretty victories, cheering to Pitt and Friedrich; but the
difficult point still is that of Fermor. Whose Cossacks, and their
devil-like ravagings, are hideous to think of:--unrestrainable by Dohna,
unless he could cut the root of them; which he cannot. JUNE 27th [while
Colonel Mosel, with his 3,000 wagons, still only one stage from Troppau,
was so busy], slow Fermor rose from Konitz; began hitching southward,
southward gradually to Posen,--a considerably stronger Polish Town;
on the edge both of Brandenburg and of Silesia;--and has been sitting
there, almost ever since our entrance into Bohemia; his Cossacks burning
and wasting to great distances in both Countries; no deciding which of
them he meant to invade with his main Army. Sits there almost a month,
enigmatic to Dohna, enigmatic to Friedrich: till Friedrich decides at
last that he cannot be suffered longer, whichever of them he mean; and
rises for Silesia (August 2d). Precisely about which day Fermor had
decided for Brandenburg, and rolled over thither, towards Custrin and
the Frankfurt-on-Oder Country, heralded by fire and murder, as usual."

Friedrich's march to Landshut is, again, much admired. Daun had beset
the three great roads, the two likeliest especially, with abundant
Pandours, and his best Loudons and St. Ignons: Friedrich, making himself
enigmatic to Daun, struck into the third road by Skalitz, Nachod;
circuitous, steep, but lying Glatz-ward, handy for support of various
kinds. He was attempted, once or more, by Pandours, but used them badly;
fell in with Daun's old abatis (well wind-dried now), in different
places, and burnt them in passing. And in five days was in
Kloster-Grussau, safe on his own side of the Mountains again. One point
only we will note, in these Pandour turmoilings. From Skalitz, the first
stage of his march, he answers a Letter of Brother Henri's:--

TO PRINCE HENRI (at Tachopau in Saxony). "What you write to me of my
Sister of Baireuth [that she has been in extremity, cannot yet write,
and must not be told of the Prince of Prussia's death lest it kill
her] makes me tremble! Next to our Mother, she is what I have the most
tenderly loved in this world. She is a Sister who has my heart and all
my confidence; and whose character is of price beyond all the crowns in
this universe. From my tenderest years, I was brought up with her:
you can conceive how there reigns between us that indissoluble bond of
mutual affection and attachment for life, which in all other cases, were
it only from disparity of ages, is impossible. Would to Heaven I might
die before her;--and that this terror itself don't take away my life
without my actually losing her!" [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xxvi. 179,
"Klenny, near Skalitz, 3d August, 1758;" Henri's Letter is dated "Camp
of Tschopau, 28th July" (ib. 277).]...

At Grussau (August 9th) he writes to his dear Wilhelmina herself: "O
you, the dearest of my family, you whom I have most at heart of all in
this world,--for the sake of whatever is most precious to you, preserve
yourself, and let me have at least the consolation of shedding my tears
in your bosom! Fear nothing for US, and"--O King, she is dying, and I
believe knows it, though you will hope to the last! There is something
piercingly tragical in those final Letters of Friedrich to his
Wilhelmina, written from such scenes of wreck and storm, and in
Wilhelmina's beautiful ever-loving quiet Answers, dictated when she
could no longer write. ["July 18th" is the last by her hand, and "almost
illegible;"--still extant, it seems, though withheld from us. Was
received at Grussau here, and answered at some length (_OEuvres,_ xxvii.
i. 316), according to the specimen just given. Two more of hers follow,
and four of the King's (ib. 317-322). Nearly meaningless, as printed
there, without commentary for the unprepared reader.]

Friedrich had last left Grussau April 18th; he has returned to it August
8th: after sixteen weeks of a very eventful absence. In Grussau he
stayed two whole days;--busy enough he, probably, though his people were
resting! August 10th he draws up, for Prince Henri, "under seal of the
most absolute secrecy," and with admirable business-like strictness,
brevity and clearness, forgetting nothing useful, remembering nothing
useless, a Paper of Directions in case of a certain event: "I march
to-morrow against the Russians: as the events of War may lead to all
sorts of accidents, and it may easily happen to me to be killed, I have
thought it my duty to let you know what my plans were," and what you
are to do in that event,--"the rather as you are Guardian of our Nephew
[late Prince of Prussia's Son] with an unlimited authority." Oath from
all the armies the instant I am killed: rapid, active, as ever; the
enemy not to notice that there is any change in the command. I intend
to "beat the Russians utterly [A PLATE COUTURE, splay-seam], if it be
possible;" then to &c.:--gives you his "itinerary," too, or probable
address, till "the 25th" (notably enough); in short, forgets nothing
useful, nor remembers anything that is not, in spite of his hurry.
["DISPOSITION TESTAMENTAIRE" (so they have labelled it); given in
_OEuvres,_ iv. (APPENDICE) 261, 262. Friedrich's TESTAMENT proper is
already made, and all in order, years ago ("11th January 1752"): of
this there followed Two new Redactions (new EDITIONS with slight
improvements, "7th November, 1768," and "8th January, 1769" the FINALLY
valid one); and various Supplements, or summary Enforcements (as here),
at different times of crisis. see PREUSS, iv. 277, 401, and _OEuvres
de Frederic,_ vi. p. 13 (of Preface), for some confused account of that
matter.] For Mlnlster Finck also there went a Paper; seal lzot needing
to be opened for the moment.

With Margraf Karl, and Fouquet under him, who are to guard Silesia, he
leaves in two Divisions about Half the late Olmutz Army:--added to the
other force, this will make about 40,000 for that service. [Stenzel, v.
163.] Keith has the chief command here; but is ordered to Breslau, in
the mean time, for a little rest and recovery of health. Friday, 11th
August, Friedrich himself, with the other Half, pushes off towards
Fermor and the Cossack demons; through Liegnitz, through Hohenfriedberg
Country, straight for Frankfurt, with his best speed.


Sunday, 20th August, Friedrich, with his small Army, hardly above 15,000
I should guess, arrived at Frankfurt-on-Oder: "his Majesty," it seems,
"lodged in the Lebus Suburb, in the house of a Clergyman's Widow; and
was observed to go often out of doors, and listen to the cannonading,
which was going on at Custrin." [Rodenbeck, i. 347.] From Landshut
hither, he has come in nine days; the swiftest marching; a fiery spur
of indignation being upon all his men and him, for the last two days
fierier than ever,--longing all to have a blow at those incendiary
Russian gentlemen. Five days ago, the Russians, attempting blindly
on the Garrison of Custrin, had burnt,--nothing of the Garrison at
all,--but the poor little Town altogether. Which has filled everybody
with lamentation and horror. And, listen yonder, they are still busy on
the solitary Garrison of Custrin;--audible enough to Friedrich from his
northern or Lebus Suburb, which lies nearest the place, at a distance of
some twenty miles.

Of Fermor's red-hot savagery on Custrin, it is lamentably necessary we
should say something: to say much would he a waste of record; as the
thing itself was a waste of powder. A thing hideous to think of; without
the least profit to Fermor, but with total ruin to all the inhabitants,
and to the many strangers who had sought refuge there. One interior
circumstance is memorable and lucky to us. Artillery-Captain Tielcke
happened to be with these people; had come in the train of "two Saxon
Princes, serving as volunteers;" and, with a singular lucidity, and
faithful good sense, not scientific alone, he illuminates these black
Russian matters for such as have to do with them.

Tielcke's Book of _Contributions to the Art of War_ [_Beytrage zur
Kriege-Kunst und (ZUR) Geschichte des Krieges von 1756 bis 1763_ (six
thin vols. 4to, with many Plates); cited above.] is still in repute with
Soldiers, especially in the Artillery line; and indeed shows a sound
geometrical head, and contains bits of excellent Historical reading
interspersed among the scientific parts. This Tielcke, it appears, was
a common foot-soldier, one of those Pirna 14,000 made Prussian against
their will; but Tielcke had a milkmaid for sweetheart in those regions,
who, good soul, gave him her generous farewell, a suit of her clothes,
perhaps a pair of her pails; and in that guise he walked out of bondage.
Clear away; to Warsaw, to favor with the King and others (being of
real merit, an excellent, studious, modest little man); and here he
now reappears, in a higher capacity; as articulate Eye-witness of the
Custrin Business and the Zorndorf, among much other Russian darkness,
which shall remain comfortably blank to us.

Up to Custrin, the Journal of the Operations of the Russian Army, which
I could give from day to day, ["TAGEBUCH BEYDER &c. (Diary of both
Armies from the beginning of the Campaign till Zorndorf"), in Tielcke,
ii. 1-75; Tempelhof, ii. 136, 216-224; _Helden-Geschichte,_ v.; &c.
&c.] is of no interest except to the Nether Powers of this Universe; the
Russian Operations hitherto having consisted in slow marches, sluttish
cookeries, cantonings, bivouackings, with destruction of a poor innocent
Country, and arson, theft and murder done on the great scale by inhuman
vagabonds, Cossacks so called, not tempered on this occasion by the
mercy of Calmucks. The regular Russian Army, it appears, participates
in the common horror of mankind against such a method of making war; but
neither Feldmarschall Fermor, nor General Demikof (properly THEMICOUD, a
Swiss, deserving little thanks from us, who has taken in hand to command
these Missionaries of the Pit), can help the results above described.
Which are justly characterized as abominable, to gods and men; and
not fit to be recorded in human Annals; execration, and, if it were
possible, oblivion, being the human resource with them., The Russian
Officers, it seems, despise this Cossack rabble incredibly; for their
fighting qualities withal are close on zero, though their talent for
arson and murder is so considerable. And contrariwise, the Cossacks, for
their part, have no objection to plunder, or even, if obstreperous,
to kill, any regular Officer they may meet unescorted in a good place.
Their talent for arson is great. They do uncountable damage to the Army
itself; provoking all the Country people to destroy by fire what could
be eaten or used, the foraging, food and equipments of horse and man;
so that horse and man have to be fed by victual carted hundreds of miles
out of Poland; and the Russian Army sticks, as it were, tethered with a
welter of broken porridge-pots and rent meal-bags hung to every foot it

East Preussen is quiet from the storms of War; holds its tongue well,
and hopes better days: but the Russians themselves are little the better
for it, a country so lately burned bare; they are merely flung so many
scores of miles forward, farther from home and their real resources,
before they can begin work, They have no port on the Baltic: poor
blockheads, they are aware how desirable, for instance, Dantzig would
be; to help feeding them out of ships; but the Dantzigers won't.
Colberg, a poor little place, with only 700 militia people in it, would
be of immense service to them as a sea-haven: but even this they have
not yet tried to get; and after trying, they will find it a job. "Why
not unite with the Swedes and take Stettin (the finest harbor in the
Baltic), which would bring Russia, by ships, to your very hand?" This
is what Montalembert is urgent upon, year after year, to the point
of wearying everybody; but he can get no official soul to pay heed to
him,--the difficulties are so considerable. "Swedes, what are they?" say
the Russians: "Russians what?" say the Swedes. "Sweden would be so handy
for the Artilleries," urges Montalembert; "Russians for the Soldiery,
or covering and fighting part."--"Can't be done!" Officiality shakes its
head: and Montalembert is obliged to be silent.

The Russians have got into the Neumark of Brandenburg, on those bad
terms; and are clearly aware that, without some Fortress as a Place of
Arms, they are an overgrown Incompetency and Monstrosity in the field
of War; doing much destruction, most of which proves self-destructive
before long. But how help it? If the carrying of meal so far be
difficult what will the carrying of siege-furniture be? A flat
impossibility. Fermor, aware of these facts, remembers what happened at
Oczakow,--long ago, in our presence, and Keith's and Munnich's, if the
reader have not quite forgot. Munnich, on that occasion, took Oczakow
without any siege-furniture whatever, by boldly marching up to it;
nothing but audacity and good luck on his side. Fermor determines to
try Custrin in the like way,--if peradventure Prussian soldiery be like

Fermor rose from Posen August 2d, almost three weeks ago; making daily
for the Neumark and those unfortunate Oder Countries; nobody but Dohna
to oppose him,--Dohna in the ratio of perhaps one against four. Dohna
naturally laid hold of Frankfurt and the Oder Bridge, so that Fermor
could not cross there; whereupon Fermor, as the next best thing, struck
northward for the Warta (black Polish stream, last big branch of Oder);
crossed this, at his ease, by Landsberg Bridge, August 10th [Tempelhof,
ii. 216.] and after a day or two of readjustment in Landsberg, made for
Custrin Country (his next head-quarter is at Gross Kamin); hoping in
some accidental or miraculous way to cross Oder thereabouts, or even get
hold of Custrin as a Place of Arms. If peradventure he can take Custrin
without proper siege-artillery, in the Oczakow or Anti-Turk way? Fermor
has been busy upon Custrin since August 15th;--in what fashion we partly
heard, and will now, from authentic sources, see a little for ourselves.

The Castle of Custrin, built by good Johann of Custrin, and "roofed
with copper," in the Reformation times,--we know it from of old, and
Friedrich has since had some knowledge of it. Custrin itself is a rugged
little Town, with some moorland traffic, and is still a place of great
military strength, the garrison of those parts. Its rough pavements,
its heavy stone battlements and barriers, give it a guarled obstinate
aspect,--stern enough place of exile for a Crown-Prince fallen into such
disfavor with Papa! A rugged, compact, by no means handsome little Town,
at the meeting of the Warta and the Oder; stands naturally among sedges,
willows and drained mire, except that human industry is pleasantly busy
upon it, and has long been. So that the neighborhood is populous beyond
expectation; studded with rough cottages in white-wash; hamlets in a
paved condition; and comfortable signs of labor victoriously wrestling
with the wilderness. Custrin, an arsenal and garrison, begirt with two
rivers, and with awful bulwarks, and bastions cased in stone,--"perhaps
too high," say the learned,--is likely to be impregnable to Russian
engineering on those terms. Here, with brevity, is the catastrophe of

TUESDAY, 15th AUGUST, 1758. At two in the morning, several thousand
Russians, grenadiers, under Quartermaster General Stoffeln, whom the
readers of Mannstein know from old Oczakow times, are astir; pushing
along from Gross Kamin, through the scraggy firwoods, and flat peat
countries; intending a stroke on Custrin, if perhaps they can get it:
[Tempelhof, ii. 217; but Tielcke, ii. 69 et seq., the real source.]--not
the slightest chance to get Custrin; Prussian soldiership and Turkish
being two quite different things! The pickeering and manoeuvring of
Stoffeln shall not detain us. Stoffeln came along by the Landsberg
road (course of the now Konigsberg-Custrin Railway); and drove in the
Prussian out-parties, who at first took him for Cossacks. Stoffeln set
himself down on the north side of the place; planted cannon in certain
clay-pits thereabouts, and about nine o'clock began firing shells and
incendiary grenadoes at a great rate. Tielcke saw everything,--and had
the honor to take luncheon, that evening, with certain chief Officers,
sitting on the ground, after all was over, and only a few shots from the
Garrison still dropping. [Tielcke, ii. 75 n.]

At the third grenade, which, it seems, fell into a straw magazine,
Custrin took fire; could not be quenched again, so much dry wood in it,
so much disorder too, the very soldiers some of them disorderly (a bad
deserter set); so that it soon flamed aloft,--from side to side one sea
of flame: and man, woman and child, every soul (except the Garrison,
which sat enclosed in strong stone), had to fly across the River, under
penalty of death by fire. Of Custrin, by five in the evening, there was
nothing left but the black ashes; the Garrison standing unharmed, and
the Church, School-house and some stone edifices in a charred skeleton
condition. "No life was lost, except that of one child in arms." All
Neumark had lodged its valuables in this place of strength; all are fled
now in horror and terror across the Oder, by the Bridge, before it also
unquenchably takes fire, at the western or non-Russian end of the place.
Such a day as was seldom seen in human experience;--Fermor responsible
for it, happily not we.

Fermor, in the evening, said to his Artillery People: "Why have you
ceased to fire grenadoes?" "Excellency, the Town is out; nothing now but
ashes and stone." "Never mind; give them the rest, one every quarter
of an hour. We shall not need the grenadoes again. The cannon-balls we
shall; them, therefore, do not waste." On the morrow morning, after
this performance on the Town, Fermor sends a Trumpeter: "Surrender
or else--!" rather in the tremendous style. "Or else?" answers the
Commandant, pointing to the ashes, to the black inconsumable stones; and
is deaf to this EX-POST-FACTO Trumpeter. The Russians say they sent
one yesterday morning, not EX-POST-FACTO, but he was killed in the
pickeerings, and never heard of again. A mile or so to rear of Custrin,
on the westward or Berlin side of the River, lies Dohna for the last
four days; expecting that the Laws of Nature will hold good, and Custrin
prove tenable against such sieging. So stands it on Friedrich's arrival.

We left Friedrich in the Lebus Suburb of Frankfurt, Sunday, August 20th,
listening to the distant cannonade. Next morning, he is here himself;
at Dohna's Camp of Gorgast, taking survey of affairs; came early, under
rapid small escort, leaving his Army to follow; scorn and contemptuous
indignation the humor of him, they say; resolution to be swiftly home
upon that surprising Russian armament, and teach it new manners. The
black skeleton of Custrin stares hideously across the River; "Custrin
Siege" so called still going on;--had better make despatch now, and take
itself away! He greatly despises Russian soldiership: "Pooh, pooh," he
would answer, if Keith from experience said, "Your Majesty does not do
it justice;"--and Keith has been known to hint, "If the trial ever come,
your Majesty will alter that opinion." A day or two hence, amid these
hideous Russian fire-traceries, the Hussars bring him a dozen of
Cossacks they have made prisoners: Friedrich looks at the dirty green
vagabonds; says to one of his Staff: "And this is the kind of Doggery I
have to bother with!"--The sight of the poor country-people, and their
tears of joy and of sorrow on his reappearance among them, much affected
him. Taking inspection of Dohna, he finds Dohna wonderfully clean,
pipe-clayed, complete: "You are very fine indeed, you;--I bring you
a set of fellows, rough as GRASTEUFELN ["grass-devils," I never know
whether insects or birds]; but they can bite,"--hope you can!

Tuesday, August 32d, at five in the morning our Army has all arrived,
the Frankfurt people just come in; 30,000 of us now in Camp at Gorgast.
Friedrich orders straightway that a certain Russian Redoubt on the other
side of the River, at Schaumburg, a mile or two down stream, be well
cannonaded into ruin,--as if he took it for some incipiency of a Russian
Bridge, or were himself minded to cross here, under cover of Custrin.
Friedrich's intention very certainly is to cross,--here or not just
here;--and that same night, after some hours of rest to the Frankfurt
people,--night of Tuesday-Wednesday, Friedrich, having persuaded the
Russians that his crossing-place will be their Redoubt at Schaumburg,
marches ten or twelve miles down the River, silently his 30,000 and
he, till opposite the Village of Gustebiese; rapidly makes his Bridges
there, unmolested: Fermor, with his eye on the cannonaded Redoubt only,
has expected no such matter; and is much astonished when he hears of
it, twenty hours after. Friedrich, across with the vanguard, at an early
hour of Wednesday, gets upon the knoll at Gustebiese for a view; and
all Gustebiese, hearing of him, hurries out, with low-voiced tremulous
blessings, irrepressible tears: "God reward your Majesty, that have
come to us!"--and there is a hustling and a struggling, among the women
especially, to kiss the skirts of his coat. Poor souls: one could have
stood tremendous cheers; but this is a thing I forgive Friedrich for
being visibly affected with.

Friedrich leaves his baggage on the other side of the Oder, and the
Bridge guarded; our friend Hordt, with his Free-Corps, doing it,
Friedrich marches forward some ten miles that night; eastward, straight
for Gross Kamin, as if to take the Russians in rear; encamps at a place
called Klossow, spreading himself obliquely towards the Mutzel (black
sluggish tributary of the Oder in those parts), meaning to reach Neu
Damm on the Mutzel to-morrow, there almost within wind of the Russians,
and be ready for crossing on them. It was at Klossow (23d August,
evening), that the Hussars brought in their dozen or two of Cossacks,
and he had his first sight of Russian soldiery; by no means a favorable
one, "Ugh, only look!"--As we are now approaching Zorndorf, and the
monstrous tug of Battle which fell out there, readers will be glad of
the following:--

"From Damm on the Mutzel, where Friedrich intends crossing it to-morrow
night, south to Gross Kamin, not far from the Warta, where Fermor's
head-quarter lately was, may be about five miles. From Custrin, Kamin
lies northeast about eight or ten miles: Zorndorf, the most considerable
Village in this tract, lies--little dreaming of the sad glory coming to
it--pretty much in the centre between big Warta and smaller Mutzel. The
Country is by nature a peat wilderness, far and wide; but it has been
tamed extensively; grows crops, green pastures; is elsewhere covered
with wood (Scotch fir, scraggy in size, but evidently under forest
management); perhaps half the country is in Fir tracts, what they call
HEIDEN (Heaths); the cultivated spaces lying like light-green islands
with black-green channels and expanses of circumambient Fir. The Drewitz
Heath, the Massin or Zither Heath, and others about Zorndorf, will
become notable to us. The Country is now much drier than in Friedrich's
time; the human spade doing its duty everywhere: so that much of the
Battle-ground has become irrecognizable, when compared with the old
marshy descriptions given of it. Zorndorf, a rough substantial Hamlet,
has nothing of boggy now visible near by; lies east to west, a firm
broad highway leading through: a sea of forest before it, to south; to
north, good dry barley-grounds or rye-grounds, sensibly rising for
half a mile, then waving about in various slow slight changes of level
towards Quartschen, Zicher, &c.: forming an irregular cleared
'island,' altogether of perhaps four miles by three, with unlimited
circumambiencies of wood. It was here, on this island as we call it,
that the Battle, which has made Zorndorf famous, was fought.

"Zorndorf (or even the open ground half a mile to north of it, which
will be more important to us) is probably not 50 feet above the level of
the Mutzel, nor 100 above Warta and Oder, six miles off; but it is the
crown of the Country;--the ground dropping therefrom every way, in
lazy dull waves or swells; towards Tamsel and Gross Kamin on southeast;
towards Birken-Busch, Quartschen, Darmutzel [DAR of the Mutzel, whatever
"DAR" may be.] on northwest; as well as towards Damm and its Bridge
northeast, where Friedrich will soon be, and towards Custrin southwest,
where he lately was, each a five or six miles from Zorndorf.

"Such is the poor moorland tract of Country; Zorndorf the centre of
it,--where the battle is likely to be:--Zorndorf and environs a bare
quasi-island among these woods; extensive bald crown of the landscape,
girt with a frizzle of firwoods all round. Boggy pools there are,
especially on the western side (all drained in our time). Mutzel, or
north side, is of course the lowest in level: and accordingly," what is
much to be marked by readers here, "from the south, or Zorndorf side,
at wide intervals, there saunter along, in a slow obscure manner, Three
miserable continuous Leakages, or oozy Threads of Water, all making for
Quartschen, to north or northwest, there to disembogue into the Mutzel.
Each of these has its little Hollow; of which the westernmost, called
Zabern Hollow (ZABERNGRUND), is the most considerable, and the most
important to us here: GALGENGRUND (Gallows-Hollow) is also worth naming
in this Battle; the third Leakage, though without importance, invites us
to name it, HOSEBRUCH, quasi STOCKING-quagmire,--because you can use no
stockings there, except with manifest disadvantage."--Take this other
concluding trait:--

... "Inexpressible fringe of marsh, two or three miles broad, mostly
bottomless, woven with sluggish creeks and stagnant pools, borders the
Warta for many miles towards Landsberg; Custrin-Landsberg Causeway the
alone sure footing in it; after which, the country rises insensibly, but
most beneficially, and is mainly drier till you get to the Mutzel again,
and find the same fringe of mud lace-work again, Zorndorf we called the
crown of it. Tamsel, Wilkersdorf, Klein Kamin, Gross Kamin, and other
places known to us, lie on the dry turf-fuel country, but looking over
close upon the hem of that marsh-fringe, and no doubt getting peats,
wild ducks, pike-fishes, eels, and snatches of summer pasture and
cow-hay out of it."

Thursday, August 24th, Friedrich is again speeding on; occupying
Darmutzel and other crossing-places of the Mutzel; [Mitchell to
Holderness, "DErmItzel, 24th August, 1758" (MEMOIRS AND PAPERS, i.
425; Ib. ii. 40-47, Mitchell's Private Journal).]--by no means himself
crossing there; on the contrary, carefully breaking all the Bridges
before he go ("No retreat for those Russian vagabonds, only death or
surrender for them!")--himself not intending to cross till he be up at
Damm, Neu Damm, well eastward of his Russians, and have got them all
pinfolded between Mutzel and Oder in that way. In the evening, he
reaches Damm and the Mill of Damm, some three or four miles higher up
the Mutzel;--and there pushes partly across at once. That is to say,
his vanguard at once, and takes a defensive position; his Artillery
and other Divisions by degrees, in the silent night hours; and, before
daybreak to-morrow, every soul will be across, and the Bridge broken
again;--and Fermor had better have his accounts settled.

Fermor's roving Cossack clouds seldom bring him in intelligence; but
only return stained with charcoal grime and red murder: up to late last
night, he had not known where Friedrich was at all; had idly thought him
busy with the Schaumburg Redoubt, on the other side of Oder, fencing
and precautioning: but now (night of the 23d), these Cossacks do come in
with news, "Indisputable to our poor minds, the Prussians are at Klossow
yonder,--captured a dozen green vagabonds of us, and have sent
us galloping!"--which news, with the night closing in on him, was
astonishing, thrice and four times important to Fermor.

Instantly he raises the siege of Custrin, any siege there was; gets his
immense baggage-train shoved off that night to Klein Kamin, Landsberg
way; summons the force from Landsberg to join him without loss of a
moment;--and in the meanwhile pitches himself in long bivouac in the
Drewitz Wood or Fir-Heath, with the quaggy Zaberngrund in front. Quaggy
Zaberngrund,--do readers remember it; one of those "Three continuous
Leakages," very important, to Fermor and us at present? This is the
safest place Fermor can find for himself; scraggy firs around, good
quagmires and Zabern Hollow in front; looking to the east, waiting what
a new day will bring. That was Fermor's posture, while Friedrich quitted
Klossow in the dawn of the 24th. Be busy, ye Cossack doggeries; return
with news, not with mere grime and marks of blood on your mouths!

Evening of the 24th, Cossacks report that Friedrich has got to Damm
Mill; has hold of the Bridge there; and may be looked for, sure as the
daylight, to-morrow. Fermor is 50,000 odd, his Landsberg forces all
coming in; one Detachment out Stettin way, which cannot come in; Fermor
finds that his baggage-train is fairly on the road to Klein Kamin;--and
that he will have to quit this bosky bivouac, and fight for himself in
the open ground, or do worse.


Artless Fermor draws out to the open ground, north of Zorndorf, south
of Quartschen; arranges himself in huge quadrilateral mass, with his
"staff-baggage" (lighter baggage) in the centre, and his front, so
to speak, everywhere. [Excellent Plan of him, or rather Plans, in his
successive shapes, in Tielcke, ii. (PLATES 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).] Mass, say
two miles long by one mile broad; but it is by no means regular, and has
many zigzags according to the ground, and narrows and droops southward
on the eastern end: one of the most artless arrangements; but known to
Fermor, and the readiest on this pinch of time. Munnich devised this
quadrilateral mode; and found it good against the Turks, and their
deluges of raging horse and foot: Fermor could perhaps do better; but
there is such a press of hurry. Fermor's western flank, or biggest
breadth of quadrilateral, leans on that Zabern Hollow, with its fine
quagmires; his eastern, narrowest part, droops down on certain mud-pools
and conveniences towards Zicher. Gallows Hollow, a slighter than the
Zabern, runs through the centre of him; and with his best people he
fronts towards the Mutzel Bridges, especially towards Damm-Mill Bridge
whence Friedrich will emerge, sure as the sunrise, one knows not with
what issue. Artless Fermor is nothing daunted; nor are his people;
but stand patiently under arms, regardless of future and present, to a
degree not common in soldiering.

Friday, August 25th, by half-past three in the morning, Friedrich is
across the Mutzel; self and Infantry by Damm-Mutzel Bridge, cavalry by
another Bridge (KERSTEN-BRUGGE, means "Christian Bridge," in the dialect
of Charlemagne's time, a very old arrangement of Successive Logs up
there!) some furlongs higher up. The Bridge at Damm is perhaps some
three miles from the nearest Russians about Zicher; but Friedrich has
no thought of attacking Fermor there; he has a quite other program
laid, and will attack Fermor precisely on the side opposite to there.
Friedrich's intention is to sweep quite round this monstrous Russian
quadrilateral; to break in upon it on the western flank, and hurl it
back upon Mutzel and its quagmires. He has broken his two bridges after
passing, all bridges are gone there, and the country is bottomless:
surrender at discretion if once you are driven thither! And Friedrich's
own retreat, if he fail, is short and open to Custrin. "Admirable," say
the Critics, "and altogether in Friedrich's style!"--Friedrich, adds
one Critic, was not aware that the Russian Heavy-Baggage Train, which
is their powder-flask and bread-basket and staff of life, lies at Klein
Kamin, within few miles on his left just now, Russians themselves on his
right; that the Russians could have been abolished from those countries
without fighting at all! [Retzow, i. 305-329.] This is very true.
Friedrich's haste is great, his humor hot; and he has not heard of this
Klein-Kamin fact, which in common times he would have done, and of which
in a calmer mood he would, with a fine scientific gusto, have taken his

Friedrich pours incessant southward; cavalry parallel to infantry and
a certain distance beyond it, eastward of it; and they have burnt the
Bridges; which is a curious fact! Continually southward, as if for
Tamsel:--poor old Tamsel, do readers recollect it at all, does Friedrich
at all? No pleasant dinner, or lily-and-rose complexions, there for
one to-day!--Some distance short of Tamsel, Friedrich, emerging, turns
westward;--intending what on earth? thinks Fermor. Friedrich has been
mostly hidden by the woods all this while, and enigmatic to Fermor.
Fermor does now at last see the color of the facts;--and that one's
chief front must change itself to southward, one's best leg and arm
be foremost, or towards Zorndorf, not towards the Mutzel as hitherto.
Fermor stirs up his Quadrilateral, makes the required change, "You, best
or northern line, step across, and front southward; across to southward,
I say; second-best go northward in their stead:" and so, with some other
slight polishings, suggested by the ground and phenomena, we anew await
this Prussian Enigma with our best leg foremost. The march or circular
sweep of these Prussian lines, from Damm Bridge through the woods and
champaign to their appointed place of action, is seven or eight miles;
lines when halted in battle-order will be two miles long or more.

Friedrich pours steadily along, horse and foot, by the rear cf
Wilkersdorf, of Zorndorf,--Russian Minotaur scrutinizing him in that
manner with dull bloodshot eyes, uncertain what he will do. It is eight
in the morning, hot August; wind a mere lull, but southernly if any.
Small Hussar pickets ride to right of the main Army March; to keep the
Cossacks in check: who are roving about, all on wing; and pert enough,
in spite of the Hussar pickets, Desperado individuals of them gallop up
to the Infantry ranks, and fire off their pistols there,--without reply;
reply or firing, till the word come, is strictly forbidden. Infantry
pours along, like a ploughman drawing his furrow, heedless of the
circling crows. Crows or Cossacks, finding they are not regarded, set
fire to Zorndorf, and gallop off. Zorndorf goes up readily, mainly
wood and straw; rolls in big clouds of smoke far northward in upon the
Russian Minotaur, making him still blinder in the important moments now

Friedrich rides up to view the Zabern Hollow: "Beyond expectation deep;
very boggy too, with its foul leakage or brook: no attacking of their
western flank through this Zaberngrund;--attack the corner of them,
then; here on the southwest!" That is Friedrich's rapid resource. The
lines halt, accordingly; make ready. Behind flaming Zorndorf stands his
extreme left, which is to make the attack; infantry in front; horse to
rear and farther leftwards,--and under the command of Seidlitz in this
quarter, which is an important circumstance. Right wing, reaching to
behind Wilkersdorf, is to refuse itself; whole force of centre is
to push upon that Russian corner, to support the left in doing
it;--according to the Leuthen or LEUCTRA principle, once more. May no
mistakes occur in executing it this day!--

The first division of the Prussian Infantry, or extreme Left, marches
forward by the west end of flaming Zorndorf; next division, which should
stand close to right of it, or even behind it in action, and follow it
close into the Russian fire, has to march by the east end of Zorndorf;
this is a farther road, owing to the flames; and not a lucky one. Second
division could never get into fair contact with that first division
again: that was the mistake: and it might have been fatal, but was not,
as we shall see. First division has got clear of Zorndorf, in advancing
towards its Russian business;--is striding forward, its left flank safe
against the Zaberngrund; steadily by fixed stages, against the fated
Russian Corner, which is its point of attack. First division, second
division, are clear of Zorndorf, though with a wide gap between them;
are steadily striding forward towards the Russian Corner. Two strong
batteries, wide apart, have planted themselves ahead; and are playing
upon the Russian Quadrilateral, their fires crossing at the due Corner
yonder, with terrible effect; Russian artillery, which are multitudinous
and all gathered down to this southwestern corner, are responding,
though with their fire spread, and far less effectual. The Prussian line
steps on, extreme left perhaps in too animated a manner; their cannon
batteries enfilade the thick mass of Russians at a frightful rate
("forty-two men of a certain regiment blown away by a single ball," in
one instance [Tielcke.]), drive the interior baggage-horses to despair:
a very agitated Quadrilateral, under its grim canopy of cannon
smoke, and of straw smoke, heaped on it from the Zorndorf side here.
Manteuffel, leader of that first or leftmost division, sees the internal
simmering; steps forward still more briskly, to firing distance; begins
his platoon thunder, with the due steady fury,--had the second division
but got up to support Manteuffel! The second division is in fire too;
but not close to Manteuffel, where it should be.

Fermor notices the gap, the wavering of Manteuffel unsupported; plunges
out in immense torrent, horse and foot, into the gap, into Manteuffel's
flank and front; hurls Manteuffel back, who has no support at hand:
"ARAH, ARAH (Hurrah, Hurrah)! Victory, Victory!" shout the Russians,
plunging wildly forward, sweeping all before them, capturing twenty-six
pieces of cannon, for one item. What a moment for Friedrich; looking on
it from some knoll somewhere near Zorndorf, I suppose; hastily bidding
Seidlitz strike in: "Seidlitz, now!" The hurrahing Russians cannot keep
rank at that rate of going, like a buffalo stampede; but fall into heaps
and gaps: Seidlitz, with a swiftness, with a dexterity beyond praise,
has picked his way across that quaggy Zabern Hollow; falls, with say
5,000 horse, on the flank of this big buffalo stampede; tumbles it into
instant ruin;--which proves irretrievable, as the Prussian Infantry come
on again, and back Seidlitz.

In fifteen minutes more (I guess it now to be ten o'clock), the Russian
Minotaur, this end of it, on to the Gallows Ground, is one wild mass.
Seldom was there seen such a charge; issuing in such deluges of wreck,
of chaotic flight, or chaotic refusal to fly. The Seidlitz cavalry went
sabring till, for very fatigue, they gave it up, and could no more. The
Russian horse fled to Kutzdorf,--Fermor with them, who saw no more of
this Fight, and did not get back till dark;--had not the Bridges been
burnt, and no crossing of the Mutzel possible, Fermor never would have
come back, and here had been the end of Zorndorf. Luckier if it had!
But there is no crossing of the Mutzel, there is only drowning in the
quagmires there:--death any way; what can be done but die?

The Russian infantry stand to be sabred, in the above manner, as if
they had been dead oxen. More remote from Seidlitz, they break open
the sutlers' brandy-casks, and in few minutes get roaring drunk. Their
officers, desperate, split the brandy-casks; soldiers flap down to drink
it from the puddles; furiously remonstrate with their officers, and
"kill a good many of them" (VIELE, says Tielcke), especially the
foreign sort. "A frightful blood-bath," by all the Accounts: blood-bath,
brandy-bath, and chief Nucleus of Chaos then extant aboveground. Fermor
is swept away: this chaos, the very Prussians drawing back from it,
wearied with massacring, lasts till about one o'clock. Up to the
Gallows-ground the Minotaur is mere wreck and delirium: but beyond the
Gallows-ground, the other half forms a new front to itself; becomes a
new Minotaur, though in reduced shape. This is Part First of the Battle
of Zorndorf; Friedrich--on the edge of great disaster at one moment, but
miraculously saved--has still the other half to do (unlucky that he left
no Bridges on the Mutzel), and must again change his program.

Half of the Minotaur is gone to shreds in this manner; but the attack
upon it, too, is spent: what is to be done with the other half of the
monster, which is again alive; which still stands, and polypus-like
has arranged a new life for itself, a new front against the Galgengrund
yonder? Friedrich brings his right wing into action. Rapidly arranges
right wing, centre, all of the left that is disposable, with batteries,
with cavalry; for an attack on the opposite or southeastern end of
his monster. If your monster, polypus-like, come alive again in the
tail-part, you must fell that other head of him. Batteries, well in
advance, begin work upon the new head of the monster, which was once
his tail; fresh troops, long lines of them, pushing forward to begin
platoon-volleying:--time now, I should guess, about half-past two. Our
infantry has not yet got within musket-range,--when torrents of Russian
Horse, Foot too following, plunge out; wide-flowing, stormfully swift;
and dash against the coming attack. Dash against it; stagger it;
actually tumble it back, in the centre part; take one of the batteries,
and a whole battalion prisoners. Here again is a moment! Friedrich,
they say, rushed personally into this vortex; rallied these broken
battalions, again rallied and led them up; but it was to no purpose:
they could not be made to stand, these centre battalions;--"some sudden
panic in them, a thing unaccountable," says Tempelhof; "they are Dohna's
people, who fought perfectly at Jagersdorf, and often elsewhere" (they
were all in such a finely burnished state the other day; but have not
biting talent, like the grass-devils): enough, they fairly scour away,
certain disgraceful battalions, and are not got ranked again till below
Wilkersdorf, above a mile off; though the grass-devils, on both hands of
them, stand grimly steady, left in this ominous manner.

What would have become of the affair one knows not, if it had not been
that Seidlitz once more made his appearance. On Friedrich's order, or
on his own, I do not know; but sure it is, Seidlitz, with sixty-one
squadrons, arriving from some distance, breaks in like a DEUS EX
MACHINA, swift as the storm-wind, upon this Russian Horse-torrent;
drives it again before him like a mere torrent of chaff, back, ever
back, to the shore of Acheron and the Stygian quagmires (of the Mutzel,
namely); so that it did not return again; and the Prussian infantry had
free field for their platoon exercise. Their rage against the Russians
was extreme; and that of the Russians corresponded. Three of these
grass-devil battalions, who stood nearest to Dohna's runaways, were
natives of this same burnt-out Zorndorf Country; we may fancy the
Platt-Teutsch hearts of them, and the sacred lightning, with a
moisture to it, that was in their eyes. Platt-Teutsch platooning,
bayonet-charging,--on such terms no Russian or mortal Quadrilateral can
stand it. The Russian Minotaur goes all to shreds a second time; but
will not run. "No quarter!"--"Well, then, none!"

"Shortly after four o'clock," say my Accounts, "the firing," regular
firing, "altogether ceased; ammunition nearly spent, on both sides;
Prussians snatching cartridge-boxes of Russian dead;" and then began a
tug of deadly massacring and wrestling man to man, "with bayonets,
with butts of muskets, with hands, even with teeth [in some Russian
instances], such as was never seen before." The Russians, beaten to
fragments, would not run: whither run? Behind is Mutzel and the bog of
Acheron;--on Mutzel is no bridge left; "the shore of Mutzel is thick
with men and horses, who have tried to cross, and lie there swallowed
in the ooze"--"like a pavement," says Tielcke. The Russians,--never was
such VIS INERTIAE as theirs now. They stood like sacks of clay, like
oxen already dead; not even if you shot a bullet through them, would
they fall at once, says Archenholtz, but seem to be deliberate about it.

Complete disorder reigned on both sides; except that the Prussians
could always form again when bidden, the Russians not. This lasted till
nightfall,--Russians getting themselves shoved away on these horrid
terms, and obstinate to take no other. Towards dark, there appeared, on
a distant knoll, something like a ranked body of them again,--some 2,000
foot and half as many horse; whom Themicoud (superlative Swiss Cossack,
usually written Demikof or Demikow) had picked up, and persuaded from
the shore of Acheron, back to this knoll of vantage, and some cannon
with them. Friedrich orders these to be dispersed again: General
Forcade, with two battalions, taking the front of them, shall attack
there; you, General Rauter, bring up those Dohna fellows again, and take
them in flank. Forcade pushes on, Rauter too,--but at the first taste of
cannon-shot, these poor Dohna-people (such their now flurried, disgraced
state of mind) take to flight again, worse than before; rush quite
through Wilkersdorf this time, into the woods, and can hardly be got
together at all. Scandalous to think of. No wonder Friedrich "looked
always askance on those regiments that had been beaten at Gross
Jagersdorf, and to the end of his life gave them proofs of it:"
[Retzow;--and still more emphatically, _Briefe eines alten Preussischen
Officiers_ (Hohenzollern, 1790), i. 34, ii. 52, &c.] very natural, if
the rest were like these!

Of poor General Rauter, Tempelhof and the others, that can help it, are
politely silent; only Saxon Tielcke tells us, that Friedrich dismissed
him, "Go, you, to some other trade!"--which, on Prussian evidence too,
expressed in veiled terms, I find to be the fact: _Militair-Lexikon,_
obliged to have an article on Rauter, is very brief about it; hints
nothing unkind; records his personal intrepidity; and says, "in 1758 he,
on his request, had leave to withdraw,"--poor soul, leave and more!

Forcade, left to himself, kept cannonading Themicoud; Themicoud
responding, would not go; stood on his knoll of vantage, but gathered
no strength: "Let him stand," said Friedrich, after some time; and
Themicoud melted in the shades of night, gradually towards the hither
shore of Acheron,--that is, of Acheron-Mutzel, none now attempting
to PAVE it farther, but simmering about at their sad leisure there.
Feldmarschall Fermor is now got to his people again, or his people to
him; reunited in place and luck: such a chaos as Fermor never saw before
or after. No regiment or battalion now is; mere simmering monads, this
fine Army; officers doing their utmost to cobble it into something of
rank, without regard to regiments or qualities. Darkness seldom sank on
such a scene.

Wild Cossack parties are scouring over all parts of the field; robbing
the dead, murdering the wounded; doing arson, too, wherever possible;
and even snatching at the Prussian cannon left rearwards, so that the
Hussars have to go upon them again. One large mass of them plundering in
the Hamlet of Zicher, the Hussars surrounded: the Cossacks took to the
outhouses; squatted, ran, called in the aid of fire, their constant
friend: above 400 of them were in some big barn, or range of straw
houses; and set fire to it,--but could not get out for Hussars; the
Hussars were at the outgate: Not a devil of you! said the Hussars; and
the whole four hundred perished there, choked, burnt, or slain by
the Hussars,--and this poor Planet was at length rid of them.
[_Helden-Geschichte,_ v. 166.]

Friedrich sends for his tent-equipages; and the Army pitches its camp in
two big lines, running north and south, looking towards the Russian side
of things; Friedrich's tent in front of the first line; a warrior King
among his people, who have had a day's work of it. The Russian loss
turns out, when counted, to have been 21,529 killed, wounded and
missing, 7,990 of them killed; the Prussian sum-total is 11,390 (above
the Prussian third man), of whom 3,680 slain. And on the shores of
Acheron northward yonder, there still is a simmering. And far and wide
the country is alight with incendiary fires,--many devils still abroad.
Excellency Mitchell, about eight in the evening, is sent for by the
King; finds various chief Generals, Seidlitz among them, on their
various businesses there; congratulates "on the noble victory [not so
conclusive hitherto] which Heaven has granted your Majesty." "Had it not
been for him," said Friedrich,--"Had it not been for him, things
would have had a bad look by this time!" and turned his sun-eyes upon
Seidlitz, with a fine expression in them. [Preuss, ii. 153. Mitchell
(ii. 432) mentions the Interview, nothing of Seidlitz.] To which
Seidlitz's reply, I find, was an embarrassed blush and of articulate
only, "Hm, no, ha, it was your Majesty's Cavalry that did their
duty,--but Wakenitz [my second] does deserve promotion!"--which
Wakenitz, not in a too overflowing measure, got.

Fermor, during the night-watches, having cobbled himself into some kind
of ranks or rows, moves down well westward of Zabern Hollow; to the
Drewitz Heath, where he once before lay, and there makes his bivouac in
the wood, safe under the fir-trees, with the Zabern ground to front of
him. By the above reckoning, 28 or 29,000 still hang to Fermor, or
float vaporously round him; with Friedrich, in his two lines, are some
18,000:--in whole, 46,000 tired mortals sleeping thereabouts; near
12,000 others have fallen into a deeper sleep, not liable to be
disturbed;--and of the wounded on the field, one shudders to imagine.

Next day, Saturday, 26th, Fermor, again brought into some kind of rank,
and safe beyond the quaggy Zabern ground, sent out a proposal, "That
there be Truce of Three Days for burying the dead!"--Dohna, who happened
to be General in command there, answers, "That it is customary for
the Victor to take charge of burying the slain; that such proposal is
surprising, and quite inadmissible, in present circumstances." Fermor,
in the mean while, had drawn himself out, fronting his late battle-field
and the morning sun; and began cannonading across the Zabern ground;
too far off for hitting, but as if still intending fight: to which
the Prussians replied with cannon, and drew out before their tents in
fighting order. In both armies there was question, or talk, of
attacking anew; but in both "there was want of ammunition," want of real
likelihood. On Fermor's side, that of "attacking" could be talk only,
and on Friedrich's, besides the scarcity of ammunition, all creatures,
foot and especially horse, were so worn out with yesterday's work, it
was not judged practically expedient. A while before noon, the Prussians
retired to their Camp again; leaving only the artillery to respond, so
far as needful, and bow-wow across the Zabern ground, till the Russians
lay down again.

Friedrich's Hussars knew of the Russian WAGENBURG, or general baggage
reservoirs, at Klein Kamin, by this time. The Hussars had been in it,
last night; rummaging extensively, at discretion for some time; and had
brought away much money and portable plunder. Why Friedrich, who lay
direct between Fermor and his Wagenburg, did not, this day, extinguish
said Wagenburg, I do not know; but guess it may have been a fault of
omission, in the great welter this was now grown to be to the weary
mind. Beyond question, if one had blown up Fermor's remaining gunpowder,
and carried off or burnt his meal-sacks, he must have cowered away all
the faster towards Landsberg to seek more. Or perhaps Friedrich now
judged it immaterial, and a question only of hours?

About midnight of Saturday-Sunday, there again rose bow-wowing,
bellowing of Russian cannon; not from beyond the Zabern ground this
time, nor stationary anywhere, but from the south some transient part of
it, and not far off;--one ball struck a carriage near the King's tent,
and shattered it. Thick mist mantles everything, and it is difficult to
know what the Russians have on hand in their sylvan seclusions. After
a time, it becomes manifest the Russians are on retreat; winding round,
through the southern woods, behind Zorndorf and the charred Villages,
to Klein Kamin, Landsberg way. Friedrich, following now on the heel
of them, finds all got to Klein Kamin, to breakfast there in
their Wagenburg refectory,--sharply vigilant, many FLECHES (little
arrow-shaped redoubts, so named) and much artillery round them. Nothing
considerable to be done upon them, now or afterwards, except pick up
stragglers, and distress their rear a little. The King himself, in the
first movement, was thought to be in alarming peril, such a blaze of
case-shot rose upon him, as he went reconnoitring foremost of all.
[Tempelhof, ii. 216-238; Tielcke, ii. 79-154; Archenholtz, i. 253-264;
_Helden-Geschichte,_ v. 156-179 (with many LISTS, private LETTERS and
the like details); &c. &c.]

And this was, at last, the end of Zorndorf Battle; on the third day
this. Was there ever seen such a fight of Theseus and the Minotaur!
Theseus, rapid, dexterous, with Heaven's lightning in his eyes, seizing
the Minotaur; lassoing him by the hinder foot, then by the right horn;
pouring steel and destruction into him, the very dust darkening all the
air. Minotaur refusing to die when killed; tumbling to and fro upon its
Theseus; the two lugging and tugging, flinging one another about, and
describing figures of 8 round each other for three days before it ended.
Minotaur walking off on his own feet, after all. It was the bloodiest
battle of the Seven-Years War; one of the most furious ever fought; such
rage possessing the individual elements; rage unusual in modern wars.
Must have altered Friedrich's notion of the Russians, when he next comes
to speak with Keith. It was not till the fourth day hence (August
31st), so unattackably strong was this position at Klein Kamin, that the
Russian Minotaur would fairly get to its feet a second time, and
slowly stagger off, in real earnest, Landsberg way and Konigsberg
way;--Friedrich right glad to leave Dohna in attendance on it; and
hasten off (September 2d) towards Saxony and Prince Henri, where his
presence is now become very needful.


Fermor, walking off in this manner,--not till the third day, nay not
conclusively till the seventh day, after Zorndorf,--strove at first to
consider himself victorious. "I passed the night on the field of battle
[or NOT far from it, for good reasons, Mutzel being bridgeless]: may not
I, in the language of enthusiasm, be considered conqueror? Here are 26
of their cannon, got when I cried 'Arah' prematurely. (Where the 103
pieces of my own are, and my 27 flags, and my Army-chest and sundries?
Dropped somewhere; they will probably turn up again!)" thinks
Fermor,--or strives to think, and says. So that, at Petersburg, at Paris
and Vienna, in the next three weeks, there were TE-DEUMS, Ambrosian
chantings, fires-of-joy; and considerable arguing among the Gazetteers
on both parts,--till the dust settled, and facts appeared as they were.
To the effect: "TE DEUM non LAUDAMUS; alas no, we must retract; and it
was good gunpowder thrown after bad!"

On always homewards, but at its own pace, waited on by Dohna, goes the
Russian Monster: violently case-shotting if you prick into its rearward
parts. One Palmbach,--under Romanzow, I think, who had not taken part
in the Battle, being out Stettin way, and unable to join till
now,--Palmbach, with a Detachment of 15,000, which was thought
sufficient for the object, did try to make a dash on Colberg,--how happy
had we any port on the Baltic, to feed us in this Country! But though
Colberg is the paltriest crow's-nest (BICOQUE), according to all
engineers, and is defended only by 700 militia (the Colonel of them, one
Heyde, a gray old Half-pay, not yet renowned in the soldier world, as he
here came to be), Palmbach, with his best diligence, could make nothing
of it; but, after battering, bombarding, even scalading, and in all
ways blurting and blazing at a mighty rate for four weeks, and wasting
a great deal of gunpowder and 2,000 Russian lives, withdrew on those
remarkable terms. [In _Helden-Geschichte,_ v. 349-365 ("3d-31st October,
1758"), a complete and minute JOURNAL of this First Siege of Colberg,
which is interesting to read of, as all the Three of them are.] And
did then, as tail of Fermor, what Fermor and the Russian Monster was
universally doing, make off at a good pace,--having nothing to live upon
farther,--and vanish from those Countries, to the relief of Dohna and

September 2d, Friedrich, leaving all that, had marched for Saxony;
his presence urgently required there. Daun ought to be far on with the
conquest of that Country? Might have had it, say judges, if he had been
as swift as some.--At Zorndorf, among the Russian Prisoners were certain
Generals, Soltikof, Czernichef, Sulkowski the Pole, proud people in
their own eyes: no lodging for them but the cellars of Custrin. Russian
Generals complained, "Is this a lodging for Field-Officers of rank!"
Friedrich was not used to profane swearing, or vituperative outbursts;
but he answered to the effect: "Silence, ye incendiary individuals. Is
there a choice left of lodgings, and for you above others!" Upon
which they lay silent for some days, till better suited; in fact, till
exchanged,--and perhaps will soon turn up on us again.


So soon as Friedrich quitted Bohemia and Silesia for his Russian
Enterprise, there rose high question at Vienna, "To what shall our Daun
now turn himself?" A Daun, a Reichs Army, free for new employment; in
Saxony not much to oppose them, in Silesia almost nothing in comparison.
"Recapture of Silesia?" Yes truly; that is the steady pole-star at
Vienna. But they have no Magazines in Silesia, no Siege-furnitures; and
the season is far spent. They decide that there shall be a stroke upon
Dresden, and recovery of Saxony, in Friedrich's absence. Nothing there
at present but a Prince Henri, weak in numbers, say one to two of the
Reichs Army by itself. Let the Reichs Army rise now, and advance through
the Metal Mountains from southeast on Prince Henri; let Daun circle
round on him, through the Lausitz from northeast: cannot they extinguish
Henri between them; snatch Dresden, a weak ill-fortified place, by
sudden onslaught, and recapture Saxony? That will be magnanimous to our
august Allies;--and that will be an excellent scaffolding for recapture
of Silesia next year. And cannot Daun leave a Force in the Silesian
vicinities,--Deville with so many thousands, Harsch with so
many,--to besiege one of their Frontier Places; Neisse, for example?
Siege-furnitures to come from Mahren: Neisse is not farther from Olmutz
than Olmutz was from it.

That was the scheme fallen upon; now getting executed while Friedrich
is at Zorndorf well away. And that, if readers fix it intelligently in
their memory, will suffice to introduce to them the few words more that
can be allowed us here upon it. A very few words, compressed to the
utmost,--merely as preface to Hochkirch, whither we must hasten;
Hochkirch being the one incident which, except to studious soldiers, has
now and here any interest, out of the very many incidents which, then
and there, were so intensely interesting to all mankind. To readers who
are curious, and will take with them any poorest authentic Outline
of the Localities concerned, the following condensed Note will not be


"Daun, pushing out with his best speed, along the Bohemian-Silesian
border, had got to Zittau AUGUST 17th; which poor City is to be his
basis and storehouse; the greatest activity and wagoning now visible
there,"--among the burnt walls getting rebuilt. And in the same days,
Zweibruck and his Reichs Army are vigorously afoot; Zweibruck pushing
across the Metal Mountains, the fastest he can; intending to plant
himself in Pirna Country. Not to mention General Dombale, Zweibruck's
Austrian Second; who has the Austrian 15,000 with him; and, by way
of preface, has emerged to westward, in Zwickau-Tschopau Country;
calculating that Prince Henri will not be able to attend to him just
now. And in effect Prince Henri, intent upon Zweibruck and the Pirna
Country, takes position in the old Prussian ground there ('head-quarter
Gross Seidlitz,' as in 1756); and can only leave a Detachment in
Tschopau Country to wait upon Dombale; who does at least shoot out Croat
parties, 'quite across Saxony, to Halle all the way,' and entertain the
Gazetteers, if he can do little real mischief.

"AUGUST 19th, from Zittau, Daun, after short pause, again pushes
forward,--nothing but Ziethen attending him in the distance, till we see
whitherward;--Margraf Karl waiting impatient, at Grussau, till Ziethen
see. [Tempelhof, ii. 258, 260 et seq.] Daun, soon after Zittau, shoots
out Loudon, Brandenburg way, as if magnanimously intending 'co-operation
with the Russians;' which would give Daun pleasure, could it be done
without cost. Loudon does despatch a 500 hussars to Frankfurt [Friedrich
now gone for Custrin], who, I think, carry a Letter for Fermor there;
but lose it by the way,"--for the benefit of readers, if they will wait.
"Loudon captures a poor little place in Brandenburg itself; bullies it
into surrender, after a day (the very day of Zorndorf Battle, 'August
25th'):--place called Peitz, garrisoned by forty-five invalids; who go
on 'free withdrawal,' poor old souls, and leave their exiguous stock of
salt-victual and military furnitures to Loudon. [In _Helden-Geschichte,_
v. 229-232, the "Capitulation" IN EXTENSO.] Upon which Loudon
whirls back out of those Countries; finding his skirts trodden on by
Ziethen,--who now sees what Daun and he are at; and warns Margraf Karl
[properly Keith, who has now joined again, as real president or chief]
That HITHER is the way. Margraf Karl, on the slip for some time past,
starts from Grussau instantly (I should guess, not above 25,000 of
all arms); leaving Fouquet with perhaps 10,000 to do his utmost, when
Generals Harsch and Deville with their 20 or 30,000 come upon Silesia
and him,--as indeed they are already doing; already blockading Neisse,
more or less, with an eye to besieging it so soon as possible.

"Meanwhile, Serene Highness of Zweibruck, the Reichsfolk and some
Austrians with him, prefaced by Dombale more to westward, is wending
into Pirna Country; and, in spite of what Prince Henri can do (Mayor
and the Free Corps shining diligent, and Henri one of the watchfulest of
men), Zweibruck does get in; sets Maguire with Austrians upon besieging
Pirna, that is to say, the Sonnenstein of Pirna; 3d-5th SEPTEMBER,
gets the Sonnenstein, a thought sooner than was counted on; [In
_Helden-Geschichte,_ v. 223-228, account of this poor Siege, and of the
movements before and after.] and roots himself there,--'head-quarters in
Struppen' again, 'bridge at Ober-Raden' again, all as in 1756; which, if
nothing else can well do it, may give his Highness a momentary interest
with some readers here. Prince Henri is at Gross Seidlitz, alive every
fibre of him: but with Daun circling round to northward on his left,
intending evidently to take him in flank or rear; with Dombale already
to rear, in the above circumstances, on his right; and Zweibruck himself
lying here in front free to act, and impregnable if acted upon: what
is Prince Henri to do? It is for Henri's rear, not his flank, that Daun
aims: AUGUST 26th, Daun, who had got to Gorlitz, a march or two from
Zittau, started again at his best step by the Bautzen Highway towards
Meissen Bridge, a 70 or 80 miles down the Elbe: there Daun intends to
cross, and to double back upon Dresden and Prince Henri; who will thus
find himself enclosed between THREE fires,--if two were not enough, or
even if one (the Daun one itself, or the Zweibruck itself, not to count
the Dombale), in such strength as Prince Henri has!

"A lost Prince Henri,--if there be not shift in him, if there be not
help coming to him! Prince Henri, seeing how it was, drew back from
Gross Seidlitz; with beautiful suddenness, one night; unmolested: in
the morning, Zweibruch's hussars find him posted-- inexpugnable on the
Heights of Gahmig,--which is nearer Dresden a good step; nearer Dombale;
and not so ready to be enclosed by Daun, without enclosure of Dresden
too. Prince Henri's manoeuvring, in this difficult situation, is the
admiration of military men: how he stuck by Gahmig; but threw out,
in the vital points, little camps,--'camp of Kesselsdorf' (a place
memorable), on the west of Dresden; and on the east, in the north suburb
of Dresden itself across the River (should we have to go across the
River for Daun's sake), a 'strong abatis;' and neglected nothing; self
and everybody under him, lively as eagles to make themselves dangerous,
Mayer in particular distinguishing himself much. Prince Henri would
have been a hard morsel for Daun. But beyond that, there is help on the

12th-October 10th, 1758).

Daun, since August 26th, is striding towards Meissen Bridge; without
rest, day after day, at the very top of his speed,--which I find is
"nine miles a day;" [Tempelhof, ii. 261.] Bos being heavy of foot,
at his best. September 1st, Daun has got within ten miles of Meissen
Bridge, when--Here is news, my friends; King of Prussia has beaten our
poor Russians; will soon be in full march this way! King of Prussia and
Margraf Karl both bending hitherward; at the rate, say, of "nineteen
miles a day," instead of nine:--Meissen Bridge is not the thing we shall
want! Daun instantly calls halt, at this news; waits, intrenches; and,
in a day or two, finding the news true, hurries to rearward all he can.
From the Russian side too, Daun has heard of Zorndorf, and the grand
"Victory" of Fermor there; but knows well, by this sudden re-emergence
of the Anti-Fermor, what kind of Victory it is.

Was it here while waiting about Meissen, or where was it, that Daun got
his Letter to Fermor answered in that singular way? The Letter of two
weeks ago,--carried by Loudon's Hussars, or by whomsoever,--for certain,
it was retorted or returned upon Daun; not as if from the Dead-Letter
Office, but with an Answer he little expected! Here is what record I
have; very vague for a well-known little fact of sparkling nature:--

"A curious Letter fell into Friedrich's hands [Bearer, I always guess,
the Loudon Hussar-Captain with his 500, pretending to form junction
with Fermor], Prussian Hussars picking it up somewhere,--date, place,
circumstances, blurred into oblivion in those poor Books; Letter itself
indisputable enough, and Answer following on it; Letter and Answer
substantially to this effect:--

"DAUN TO FERMOR [Probably from Zittau, by Loudon's Hussars].

"Your Excellenz does not know that wily Enemy as I do. By no means get
into battle with such a one. Cautiously manoeuvre about; detain him
there, till I have got my stroke in Saxony done: don't try fighting him.


"ANSWER AS FROM FERMOR (Zorndorf once done, Daun by the first
opportunity got his Answer, duly signed 'Fermor,' but evidently in a
certain King's handwriting):--

"Your Excellenz was in the right to warn me against a cunning Enemy,
whom you knew better than I. Here have I tried fighting him, and got
beaten. Your unfortunate "FERMOR." [Muller, _Kurzgefasste Beschreibung
der drei Schlesischen Kriege_ (Berlin, 1755); in whom, alone of all the
reporters, is the story given in an intelligible form. This Muller's
Book is a meritoriously brief Summary, incorrect in no essential
particular, and with all the Battle-Plans on one copperplate: LIEUTENANT
Muller, this one; not PROFESSOR Muller, ALIAS Schottmuller by any

September 9th, Friedrich and Margraf Karl, correct to their appointment,
meet at Grossenhayn, some miles north of Meissen and its Bridge; by
which time Daun is clean gone again, back well above Dresden again,
strongly posted at Stolpen (a place we once heard of, in General
Haddick's time, last Year), well in contact with Daun's Pirna friends
across the River, and out of dangerous neighborhoods. Friedrich and the
Margraf have followed Daun at quick step; but Daun would pause nowhere,
till he got to Stolpen, among the bushy gullets and chasms. September
12th, Friedrich had speech of Henri, and the pleasure of dining with
him in Dresden. Glad to meet again, under fortunate management on both
parts; and with much to speak and consult about.

A day or two before, there had lain (or is said to have lain) a grand
scheme in Daun: Zweibruck to burst out from Pirna by daybreak, and
attack the Camp of Gahmig in front (35,000 against 20,000); Daun to
cross the River on pontoons, some hours before, under cloud of night,
and be ready on rear and left flank of Gahmig (with as many supplemental
thousands as you like): what can save Prince Henri? Beautiful plan; on
which there were personal meetings and dinings together by Zweibruck and
Daun; but nothing done. [Tempelhof, ii. 262-265.] At the eleventh hour,
say the Austrian accounts, Zweibruck sent word, "Impossible to-morrow;
cannot get in my Out-Parties in time!"--and next day, here is Friedrich
come, and a collapse of everything. Or perhaps there never seriously was
such a plan? Certain it is, Daun takes camp at Stolpen, a place known
to him, one of the strongest posts in Germany; intrenches himself to
the teeth,--good rear-guard towards Zittau and the Magazines; River
and Pirna on our left flank; Loudon strong and busy on our right flank,
barring the road to Bautzen;--and obstinately sits there, a very bad
tooth in the jaw of a certain King; not to be extracted by the best
kinds of forceps and the skilfulest art, for nearly a month to come.
Four Armies, Friedrich's, Henri's, Daun's, Zweibruck's, all within
sword-stroke of each other,--the universal Gazetteer world is on tiptoe.
But except Friedrich's eager shiftings and rubbings upon Stolpen (west
side, north, and at length northeast side), all is dead-lock, and
nothing comes of it.

Friedrich has his food convenient from Dresden; but a road to Bautzen
withal is what he cannot do without;--and there lies the sorrow, and the
ACHING, as this tooth knows well, and this jaw well! Harsch and Deville
are busy upon Neisse, have Neisse under blockade, perhaps upon Kosel
too, for some time past, [Neisse "blockaded more and more" since August
4th (Kosel still earlier, but only by Pandour people); not completely so
till September 30th, or even till October 26th: _Helden-Geschichte,_ v.
268-270.] and are carting the siege-stock to begin bombardment: a road
to Silesia, before very long, Friedrich must and will have. Friedrich's
operations on Daun in this post are patiently artful, and curious to
look upon, but beyond description here: enough to say, that in the
second week he makes his people hut themselves (weather wet and bad);
and in the fourth week, finding that nothing contrivable would provoke
Daun into fighting,--he loads at Dresden provisions for I think nine
days; makes, from two or from three sides, a sudden spurt upon Loudon,
who is Daun's northern outpost; brushes Loudon hastily away; and himself
takes the road for Bautzen, by Daun's right flank, thrown bare in this
manner. [Tempelhof, ii. 278.]

Road for Bautzen; which is the road for Zittau withal, for Daun's
bread-basket, as well as for Neisse and Harsch! Nine days' provision;
that is our small outfit, that and our own right-hands; and the waste
world lies all ahead. OCTOBER 1st, Retzow, as vanguard, sweeps out
the few Croats from Bautzen, deposits his meal-wagons there; occupies
Hochkirch, and the hilly environs to east; is to take possession of
Weissenberg especially, and of the Stromberg Hill and other strong
points: which Retzow punctually does, forgetting nothing,--except
perhaps the Stromberg, not quite remembered in time; a thing of small
consequence in Retzow's view, since all else had gone right.

Hearing of which, Daun, with astonishment, finds that he must quit those
beautifully chasmy fastnesses of Stolpen, and look to his bread; which
is getting to lie under the enemy's feet, if Zittau road be left yonder
as it is. OCTOBER 5th, after councils of war and deliberation enough,
Daun gets under way; [Ib. ii. 279.] cautiously, favored by a night very
dark and wet, glides through to right of Friedrich's people, softly
along between Bautzen and the Pirna Country; nobody molesting him, so
dark and wet: and after one other march in those bosky solitudes, sits
down at Kittlitz,--ahead or to east of Bautzen, of Hochkirch, of
Retzow and all Friedrich's people;--and again sets to palisading
and intrenching there. Kittlitz, near Lobau, there is Daun's new
head-quarter; Lobau Water, with its intricate hollows, his line of
defence: his posts going out a mile to north and to south of Kittlitz.
And so sits; once more blocking Zittau road, and quietly waiting what
Friedrich will do.

Friedrich is at Bautzen since the 7th; impatient enough to be forward,
but must not till a second larger provision-convoy from Dresden come in.
Convoy once in, Friedrich hastens off, Tuesday, 10th October, towards
Weissenberg Country, where Retzow is; some ten or twelve miles to
eastward,--Zittau-ward, if that chance to suit us; Silesia-ward, as
is sure to suit. At the "Pass of Jenkowitz," short way from Bautzen,
Pandours attempt our baggage; need to be battered off, and again
off: which apprises Friedrich that Daun's whole Army is ahead in the
neighborhood somewhere. Marching on, Friedrich, from the knoll of
Hochkirch, shoulder of the southern Hills, gets complete view of
Daun,--stretching north and south, at right angles to the Zittau roads
and to Friedrich, in the way we described;--and is a little surprised,
and I could guess piqued, at seeing Daun in such a state of forwardness.
"Encamp here, then!" he says,--here, on this row of Heights parallel to
Daun, within a mile of Daun: just here, I tell you! under the very
nose of Daun, who is above two to one of us; and see what Daun will
do. Marwitz, his favorite Adjutant, one of those free-spoken Marwitzes,
loyal, skilful, but liable to stiff fits, takes the liberty to
remonstrate, argue; says at length, He, Marwitz, dare not be concerned
in marking out such an encampment; not he, for his poor part! And is put
under arrest; and another Adjutant does it; cannon playing on his people
and him while engaged in the operation.

Friedrich's obstinate rashness, this Tuesday Evening, has not wanted its
abundant meed of blame,--rendered so emphatic by what befell on Saturday
morning next. His somewhat too authoritative fixity; a certain radiancy
of self-confidence, dangerous to a man; his sovereign contempt of
Daun, as an inert dark mass, who durst undertake nothing: all this
is undeniable, and worth our recognition in estimating Friedrich. One
considerably extenuating circumstance does at last turn up,--in the
shape of a new piece of blame to the erring Friedrich; his sudden anger,
namely, against the meritorious General Retzow; his putting Retzow under
arrest that Tuesday Evening: "How, General Retzow? You have not taken
hold of the Stromberg for me!" That is the secret of Retzow: and on
studying the ground you will find that the Stromberg, a blunt tabular
Hill, of good height, detached, and towering well up over all that
region, might have rendered Friedrich's position perfectly safe. "Seize
me the Stromberg to-morrow morning, the first thing!" ordered Friedrich.
And a Detachment went accordingly; but found Daun's people already
there,--indisposed to go; nay determined not to go, and getting
reinforced to unlimited amounts. So that the Stromberg was left
standing, and remained Daun's; furnished with plenty of cannon by Daun.
Retzow's arrest, Retzow being a steady favorite of Friedrich's, was only
of a few hours: "pardonable that oversight," thinks Friedrich, though it
came to cost him dear. For the rest, I find, Friedrich's keeping of this
Camp, without the Stromberg, was intended to end, the third day hence:
"Saturday, 14th, then, since Friday proves impossible!" Friedrich had
settled. And it did end Saturday, 14th, though at an earlier HOUR, and
with other results than had been expected. Keith said, "The Austrians
deserve to be hanged if they don't attack us here." "We must hope they
are more afraid of us than even of the gallows," answered Friedrich.
A very dangerous Camp; untenable without the Stromberg. Let us try to
understand it, and Daun's position to it, in some slight degree.

"Hochkirch (HIGHkirk) is an old Wendish-Saxon Village, standing
pleasantly on its Hill-top, conspicuous for miles round on all sides,
or on all but the south side, where it abuts upon other Heights, which
gradually rise into Hills a good deal higher than it. The Village hangs
confusedly, a jumble of cottages and colegarths, on the crown and north
slope of the Height; thatched, in part tiled, and built mostly of rough
stone blocks, in our time,--not of wood, as probably in Friedrich's. A
solid, sluttishly comfortable-looking Village; with pleasant hay-fields,
or long narrow hay-stripes (each villager has his stripe), reaching down
to the northern levels. The Church is near the top; Churchyard, and some
little space farther, are nearly horizontal ground, till the next Height
begins sloping up again towards the woody Hills southward. The view from
this little esplanade atop, still better from the Church belfry, is wide
and pretty. Free on all sides except the south: pleasant Heights and
Hollows, of arable, of wood, or pasture; well watered by rushing Brooks,
all making northward, direct for Spree (the Berlin Spree), or else into
the Lobau Water, which is the first big branch of Spree.

"The place is still partly of Wendish speech; the Parson has to preach
one half of the Sunday in Wend, the other in German. Among the Hills
to south," well worth noting at present, "is one called CZARNABOG, or
'Devil's Hill;' where the Wendish Devil and his Witches (equal to any
German on his Blocksberg, or preternatural Bracken of the Harz) hold
their annual WITCHES'-SABBATH,--a thing not to be contemplated without
a shudder by the Wendish mind. Thereabouts, and close from Hochkirch
southward, all is shadowy intricacy of thicket and wild wood. Northward
too from Hochkirch, and all about, I perceive the scene was woodier then
than now;--and must have looked picturesque enough (had anybody been
in quest of that), with the multifarious uniforms, and tented people
sprinkled far and wide among the leafy red-and-yellow of October, 1758."
[Tourist's Note, September, 1858.]

In the Village of Wuischke, precisely at the northern base of that
shaggy Czarnabog or Devil's Hill, stand Loudon and 3,000 Croats and
grenadiers, as the extreme left of Daun's position. Wuischke is nearly
straight south of Hochkirch; so far westward has Loudon pushed forward
with his Croats, hidden among the Hills; though Daun's general position
lies a good mile to east of Friedrich's:--irregularly north and south,
both Friedrich and Daun; the former ignorant what Croats and Loudonries,
there may be among those Devil's Hills to his right; the latter not
ignorant. Friedrich's right wing, Keith in command of it, stretches
to Hochkirch and a little farther: beyond Hochkirch, it has Four flank
Battalions in potence form, with proper vedettes and pickets; and above
all, with a strong Battery of Twenty Guns, which it maintains on the
next Height immediately adjoining Hochkirch, and perceptibly higher than
Hochkirch. This is the finis of Keith on his right; and--except those
vedettes, and pickets of Free-corps people, thrown out a little way
ahead into the bushes, on that side--Friedrich's right wing knows
nothing of the shaggy elevations horrent with wood, which lie to
southward; and merely intends to play its Twenty Cannon upon them,
should they give birth to anything. This is Friedrich's posture on his
right or south wing.

From Hochkirch northward or nearly so, but sprinkled about in all the
villages and points of strength, as far up as Drehsa and beyond Drehsa,
to near Kotitz, a less important village, Friedrich extends about four
miles; centre at Rodewitz, where his own head-quarter is, above two
miles north of Hochkirch. Not far from Rodewitz, but a little to left
and ahead, stands his second and best Battery, of Thirty Guns; ready to
play upon Lauska, a poor village, and its roadway, should the Austrians
try anything there, or from their Stromberg post, which is a good mile
behind Lauska. His strength, in these lines, some count to be only
28,000, or less. Four or five miles to northeast, in and behind
Weissenberg (which we used to know last summer), lies Retzow, with
perhaps 10 or 12,000, which will bring him up to 40,000, were they
properly joined with him as a left wing. Daun's force counts 90,000;
with Friedrich lying under his nose in this insolent manner.

Daun's head-quarter, as we said, is Kittlitz; a Village some two miles
short of Lobau, in the direction southeast of Friedrich; perhaps five
miles to southeast of Rodewitz, Friedrich's lodging. It is close upon
the Bautzen-Zittau Highway; Zittau some twenty miles to south of it,
Herrnhuth and the pacific Brethren about half-way thither. Kittlitz lies
more to south than Hochkirch itself; and Daun's outposts, as we saw,
circle quite round among those Devil's Hills, and envelop Friedrich's
right flank. But Daun's main force lies chiefly northward, and well
to west, of Kittlitz; parallel to Friedrich, and eastward of him; with
elaborate intrenchments; every village, brook, bridge, height and bit of
good ground, Stromberg to end with, punctually secured. Obliquely over
the Stromberg, holding the Stromberg and certain Villages to southeast
and to northwest of it, lies D'Ahremberg, as right wing: about 20,000
he, put into oblique potence; looking into Kotitz, which is Friedrich's
extreme left; and in a good measure dividing Friedrich from the Retzow
10,000. And lastly, as reserve, in front of Reichenbach, eight or nine
miles to east of all that, lies the Prince of Baden-Durlach, 25,000 or
so; barring Retzow on that side, and all attempts on the Silesian
Road there. Daun's lines, not counting in the southern outposts or
Devil's-Hill parties, are considerably longer than Friedrich's, and also
considerably deeper. The two head-quarters are about five miles apart:
but the two fronts--divided by a brook and good hollow running here (one
of many such, making all for Lobau Water)--are not half a mile apart.
Towards Hochkirch and the top of this brook, the opposing posts are
quite crammed close on one another; divided only by their hollow. Many
brooks, each with a definite hollow, run tinkling about here, swift but
straitened to get out; especially Lobau Water, which receives them all,
has to take a quite meandering circling course (through Daun's quarters
and beyond them) before it can disembogue in Spree, and decidedly set
out for Berlin under that new name. The Landscape--seen from Hochkirch
Village, still better from the Church-steeple which lifts you high
above it, and commands all round except to the south, where Friedrich's
battery-height quite shuts you in, and hides even those Devil's Hills
beyond--is cheerful and pretty. Village belfries, steeples and towers;
airy green ridges of heights, and intricate greener valleys: now rather
barer than you like. The Tourist tells me, in Friedrich's time there
must have been a great deal more of wood than now.

WHAT ACTUALLY BEFELL AT HOCHKIRCH (Saturday, 14th October, 1758).

Friedrich, for some time,--probably ever since Wednesday morning, when
he found the Stromberg was not to be his,--had decided to be out of this
bad post. In which, clearly enough, nothing was to be done, unless
Daun would attempt something else than more and more intrenching and
palisading himself. Friedrich on the second day (Thursday, 12th) rode
across to Weissenberg, to give Retzow his directions, and take view of
the ground: "Saturday night, Herr Retzow, sooner it cannot be [Friedrich
had aimed at Friday night, but finds the Provision-convoy cannot
possibly be up]; Saturday night, in all silence, we sweep round out of
this,--we and you;--hurl Baden-Durlach about his business; and are at
Schops and Reichenbach, and the Silesian Highway open, next morning,
to us!" [Tempelhof, ii. 320.] Quietly everything is speeding on towards
this consummation, on Friedrich's part. But on Daun's part there
is--started, I should guess, on the very same Thursday--another
consummation getting ready, which is to fall out on Saturday MORNING,
fifteen hours before that other, and entirely supersede that other!--

Keith's opinion, that the Austrians deserve to be hanged if they
don't attack us here, is also Loudon's opinion and Lacy's, and indeed
everybody's,--and at length Daun's own; who determines to try something
here, if never before or after. This plan, all judges admit, was
elaborate and good; and was well executed too,--Daun himself presiding
over the most critical part of the execution. A plan to have ruined
almost any Army, except this Prussian one and the Captain it chanced
to have. A universal camisado, or surprisal of Friedrich in his Camp,
before daylight: everybody knows that it took effect (Hochkirch,
Saturday, 14th October, 1758, 5 A.M. of a misty morning); nobody expects
of an unassisted fellow-creature much light on so doubly dark a thing.
But the truth is, there are ample accounts, exact, though very chaotic;
and the thing, steadily examined, till its essential features
extricate themselves from the unessential, proves to be not quite
so unintelligible, and nothing like so destructive, overwhelming and
ruinous as was supposed.

Daun's plan is very elaborate, and includes a great many combinations;
all his 90,000 to come into it, simultaneously or in succession. But the
first and grandly vital part, mainspring and father to all the rest, is
this: That Daun, in person, after nightfall of Friday, shall, with the
pick of his force, say 30,000 horse and foot, with all their artilleries
and tools, silently quit his now position in front of Hochkirch,
Friedrich's right wing. Shall sweep off, silently to southward and
leftward, by Wuischke; thence westward and northward, by the northern
base of those Devil Mountains, through the shaggy hollows and thick
woods there, hitherto inhabited by Croats only, and unknown to the
Prussians: forward, ever forward, through the night-watches that way;
till he has fairly got to the flank of Hochkirch and Friedrich: Daun to
be standing there, all round from the southern environs of Hochkirch,
westward through the Woods, by Meschwitz, Steindorfel, and even north
to Waditz (if readers will consult their Map), silently enclosing
Friedrich, as in the bag of a net, in this manner;--ready every man and
gun by about four on Saturday morning. Are to wait for the stroke of
five in Hochkirch steeple; and there and then to begin business,--there
first; but, on success THERE, the whole 90,000 everywhere,--and to draw
the strings on Friedrich, and bag and strangle his astonished people and

The difficulty has been to keep it perfectly secret from so vigilant a
man as Friedrich: but Daun has completely succeeded. Perhaps Friedrich's
eyes have been a little dimmed by contempt of Daun: Daun, for the
last two days especially, has been more diligent than ever to palisade
himself on every point; nothing, seemingly, on hand but felling woods,
building abatis, against some dangerous Lion's-spring. They say also,
he detected a traitor in his camp; traitor carrying Letters to Friedrich
under pretence of fresh eggs,--one of the eggs blown, and a Note of
Daun's Procedures substituted as yolk. "You are dead, sirrah," said
Daun; "hoisted to the highest gallows: Are not you? But put in a Note
of my dictating, and your beggarly life is saved." Retzow Junior, though
there is no evidence except of the circumstantial kind, thinks this
current story may be true. [Retzow, i. 347.] Certain it is, neither
Friedrich nor any of his people had the least suspicion of Daun's
project, till the moment it exploded on them, when the clock at
Hochkirch struck five. Daun, in the last two days, had been felling even
more trees than they are aware of,--thousands of trees in those Devil's
wildernesses to Friedrich's right; and has secretly hewn himself roads,
passable by night for men and ammunition-wagons there:--and in front of
Friedrich, especially Hochkirch way, Daun seems busier than ever felling
wood, this Friday night; numbers of people running about with axes, with
lanterns over there, as if in the push of hurry, and making a great deal
of noise. "Intending retreat for Zittau to-morrow!" thinks Friedrich, as
the false egg-yolk had taught him; or merely, "That poor precautionary
fellow!" supposing the false yolk a myth. In short, Daun has got through
his nocturnal wildernesses with perfect success. And stands, dreamt of
by no enemy, in the places appointed for his 30,000 and him; and that
poor old clock of Hochkirch, unweariedly grunting forward to the stroke
of five, will strike up something it is little expecting!--

The Prussians have vedettes, pickets and small outposts of Free-corps
people scattered about within their border of that Austrian Wood, the
body of which, about Hochkirch as everywhere else, belongs wholly to
Croats. Of course there are guard-parties, sentries duly vigilant, in
the big Battery to southeast of Hochkirch,--and along southwestward in
that POTENCE, or fore-arm of Four Battalions, which are stationed there.
Four good Battalions looking southward there, with Cavalry to right;
Ziethen's Cavalry,--whose horses stand saddled through the night, ready
always for the nocturnal "Pandourade," which seldom fails them. There,
as elsewhere, are the due vigilances, watchmen, watch-fires. The rest of
the Prussian Army is in its blankets, wholly asleep, while Daun stands
waiting for the stroke of five.

That Daun, bursting in with his chosen 30,000, will trample down the
sleeping Prussian POTENCE at Hochkirch; capture its big Battery to left,
its Village of Hochkirch to rear, and do extensive ruin on the whole
right wing of Friedrich; rendering Friedrich everywhere an easy conquest
to the rest of Daun's people, who stand, far and wide, duly posted and
prepared, waiting only their signal from Hochkirch: much of this, all of
it that had regard to Hochkirch Battery and Village, and the Prussians
stationed there, Daun did execute. And readers, from the data they have
got, must conceive the manner of it,--human description of the next Two
Hours, about Hochkirch, in the thick darkness there, and stormful sudden
inroad, and stormful resistance made, being manifestly an impossible
thing. Nobody was "massacred in his bed" as the sympathetic gazetteers
fancied; nobody was killed, that I hear of, without arms, in his hand:
but plenty of people perished, fierce of humor, on both sides; and from
half-past five till towards eight, there was a general blaze of fiery
chaos pushing out ever and anon, swallowed in the belly of Night again,
such as was seldom seen in this world. Instead of confused details, and
wearisome enumeration of particulars, which nobody would listen to or
understand, we will give one intelligent young gentleman's experience,
our friend Tempelhof's, who stood in this part of the Prussian Line;
experience distinct and indubitable to us; and which was pretty
accurately symbolical, I otherwise see, of what befell on all points
thereabouts. Faithfully copied, and in the essential parts not even
abridged, here it is:--

Tempelhof, at that time a subaltern of artillery, was stationed with a
couple of 24-pounders in attendance on the Battalion Plothow, which
with three others and some cavalry lay to the south side of Hochkirch,
forming a kind of fore-arm or POTENCE there to right of the big Battery,
with their rear to Hochkirch; and keeping vedettes and Free-corps
parties spread out into the woods and Devil's Hills ahead. Tempelhof
had risen about three, as usual; had his guns and gunners ready; and was
standing by the watch-fire, "expecting the customary Pandourade," and
what form it would take this morning. "Close on five o'clock; and not a
mouse stirring! We are not to have our Pandourade, then?" On a sudden,
noise bursts out; noise enough, sharp fire among the Free-corps people;
fire growing ever sharper, noisier, for the next half-hour, but nothing
whatever to be seen. "Battalion Plothow had soon got its clothes on, all
to the spatterdashes; and took rank to right and left of the FLECHE, and
of my two guns, in front of its post: but on account of the thick
fog everything was totally dark. I fired off my cannons [shall we say
straight southward?] to learn whether there was anything in front of
us. No answer: 'Nothing there--Pshaw, a mere crackery (GEKNACKER) of
Pandours and our Free-corps people, after all!' But the noise grew
louder, and came ever nearer; I turned my guns towards it [southward,
southeastward, or perhaps a gun each way?]--and here we had a salvo in
response, from some battalions who seemed to be two hundred yards or so
ahead. The Battalion Plothow hereupon gave fire; I too plied my cannons
what I could,--and had perhaps delivered fifteen double shots from them,
when at once I tumbled to the ground, and lost all consciousness" for
some minutes or moments.

Awakening with the blood running down his face, poor Tempelhof concluded
it had been a musket-shot in the head; but on getting to his hands and
knees, he found the place "full of Austrian grenadiers, who had crept in
through our tents to rear; and that it had been a knock with the butt of
the musket from one of those fellows, and not a bullet" that had struck
him down. Battalion Plothow, assailed on all sides, resisted on all
sides; and Tempelhof saw from the ground,--I suppose, by the embers
of watch-fires, and by rare flashes of musketry, for they did not fire
much, having no room, but smashed and stabbed and cut,--"an infantry
fight which in murderous intensity surpasses imagination. I was taken
prisoner at this turn; but soon after got delivered by our cavalry
again." [Tempelhof, ii. 324 n.]

This latter circumstance, of being delivered by the Cavalry, I find to
be of frequent occurrence in that first act of the business there: the
Prussian Battalion, surprised on front and rear, always makes murderous
fight for itself: is at last overwhelmed, obliged to retire, perhaps
opening its way by bayonet charge;--upon which our Cavalry (Ziethen's,
and others that gathered to him) cutting in upon the disordered
surprisers, cut them into flight, rescue the prisoners, and for a time
reinstate matters. The Prussian battalions do not run (nobody runs); but
when repulsed by the endless odds, rally again. The big Battery is not
to be had of them without fierce and dogged struggle; and is retaken
more than once or twice. Still fiercer, more dogged, was the struggle
in Hochkirch Village; especially in Hochkirch Church and
Churchyard,--whither the Battalion Margraf-Karl had flung themselves;
the poor Village soon taking fire about them. Soon taking fire, and
continuing to be a scene of capture and recapture, by the flame-light;
while Battalion Margraf-Karl stood with invincible stubbornness, pouring
death from it; not to be compulsed by the raging tide of Austrian
grenadiers; not by "six Austrian battalions," by "eight," or by never
so many. Stood at bay there; levelling whole masses of them,--till its
cartridges were spent, all to one or two per man; and Major Lange, the
heroic Captain of it, said, "We shall have to go, then, my men; let us
cut ourselves through!"--and did so, in an honorably invincible manner;
some brave remnant actually getting through, with Lange himself wounded
to death.

I think it was not till towards six o'clock that the right wing
generally became aware what the case was: "More than a Pandourade,
yes;"--though what it might be, in the thick fog which had fallen,
blotting out all vestiges of daylight, nobody could well say. Rallied
Battalions, reinforced by this or the other Battalion hurrying up from
leftward, always charge in upon the enemy, in Hochkirch or wherever he
is busy; generally push him back into the Night; but are then fallen
upon on both flanks by endless new strength, and obliged to draw back in
turn. And Ziethen's Horse, in the mean while, do execution; breaking in
on the tumultuous victors; new Cuirassiers, Gens-d'Armes dashing up
to help, so soon as saddled, and charging with a will: so that, on the
whole, the enemy, variously attempting, could make nothing of us on that
western, or rearward side,--thanks mainly to Ziethen and the Horse. "Had
we but waited till three or four of our Battalions had got up!" say the
Prussian narrators. But it is thick mist; few yards ahead you cannot see
at all, unless it be flame; and close at hand, all things and figures
waver indistinct,--hairy outlines of blacker shadows on a ground of

It must have been while Lange was still fighting, perhaps before Lange
took to the Church of Hochkirch, scarcely later than half-past six (but
nobody thought of pulling out his watch in such a business!)--about six,
or half-past six, when Keith, who has charge of this wing, and lodges
somewhere below or north of Hochkirch, came to understand that his
big Battery was taken; that here was such a Pandourade as had not been
before; and that, of a surety, said Battery must be retaken. Keith
springs on horseback; hastily takes "Battalion Kannacker" and several
remnants of others; rushes upwards, "leaving Hochkirch a little to
right; direct upon the big Battery." Recaptures the big Battery. But
is set upon by overwhelming multitudes, bent to have it back;--is
passionate for new assistance in this vital point; but can get none:
had been "DISARTED by both his Aide-de-camps," says poor John Tebay,
a wandering English horse-soldier, who attends him as mounted groom;
"asked twenty times, and twenty more, 'Where are my Aide-de-camps!'"
["Captens Cockcey and Goudy" he calls them--(COCCEJI whose Father
the Kanzler we have seen, and GAUDI whose self),--who both had, in
succession, struck into Hochkirch as the less desperate place, according
to Tebay: see TEBAY'S LETTER to Mitchell, "Crossen, October 29th" (in
MEMOIRS AND PAPERS, ii. 501-505);--which is probably true every word,
allowing for Tebay's temper; but is highly indecipherable, though not
entirely so after many readings and researehings.]--but could get
no response or reinforcement; and at length, quite surrounded and
overwhelmed, had to retire; opening his way by the bayonet; and before
long, suddenly stopping short,--falling dead into Tebay's arms; shot
through the heart. Two shots on the right side he had not regarded;
but this on the left side was final: Keith's fightings are suddenly
all done. Tebay, in distraction, tried much to bring away the body; but
could by no present means; distractedly "rid for a coach;" found, on
return, that the Austrians had the ground, and the body of his master;
Hochkirch, Church and all, now undisputedly theirs.

To appearance, it was this news of Keith's repulse (I know not whether
of Keith's DEATH as yet) that first roused Friedrich to a full sense of
what was now going on, two miles to south of him. Friedrich, according
to his habits, must have been awake and afoot when the Business first
broke out; though, for some considerable time, treating it as nothing
but a common crackery of Pandours. Already, finding the Pandourade
louder than usual, he had ordered out to it one battalion and the other
that lay handy: but now he pushes forward several battalions under Franz
of Brunswick (his youngest Brother-in-law), with Margraf Karl and
Prince Moritz: "Swift you, to Hochkirch yonder!"--and himself springs on
horseback to deal with the affair. Prince Franz of Brunswick, poor young
fellow, cheerily coming on, near Hochkirch had his head shorn off by a
cannon-ball. Moritz of Dessau, too, "riding within twenty yards of the
Austrians," so dark was it, he so near-sighted, got badly hit,--and soon
after, driving to Bautzen for surgery, was made prisoner by Pandours;
[In ARCHENHOLTZ (i. 289, 290) his dangerous adventures on the road to
Bautzen, in this wounded condition.] never fought again, "died next
year of cancer in the lip." Nothing but triumphant Austrian shot and
cannon-shot going yonder; these battalions too have to fall back with
sore loss.

Friedrich himself, by this time, is forward in the thick of the tumult,
with another body of battalions; storming furiously along, has his horse
shot under him; storms through, "successfully, by the other side of
Hochkirch" (Hochkirch to his left):--but finds, as the mist gradually
sinks, a ring of Austrians massed ahead, on the


Heights; as far as Steindorfel and farther, a general continent of
Austrians enclosing all the south and southwest; and, in fact, that here
is now nothing to be done. That the question of his flank is settled;
that the question now is of his front, which the appointed Austrian
parties are now upon attacking. Question especially of the Heights of
Drehsa, and of the Pass and Brook of Drehsa (rearward of his centre
part), where his one retreat will lie, Steindorfel being now lost. Part
first of the Affair is ended; Part second of it begins.

Rapidly enough Friedrich takes his new measures. Seizes Drehsa Height,
which will now be key of the field; despatches Mollendorf thither
(Mollendorf our courageous Leuthen friend); who vigorously bestirs
himself; gets hold of Drehsa Height before the enemy can; Ziethen
co-operating on the Heights of Kumschutz, Canitz and other points of
vantage. And thus, in effect, Friedrich pulls up his torn right skirt
(as he is doing all his other skirts) into new compact front against the
Austrians: so that, in that southwestern part especially; the Austrians
do not try it farther; but "retire at full gallop," on sight of this
swift seizure of the Keys by Mollendorf and Ziethen. Friedrich also
despatches instant order to Retzow, to join him at his speediest.
Friedrich everywhere rearranges himself, hither, thither, with skilful
rapidity, in new Line of Battle; still hopeful to dispute what is left
of the field;--longing much that Retzow could come on wings.

By this time (towards eight, if I might guess) Day has got the upper
hand; the Daun Austrians stand visible on their Ring of Heights all
round, behind Hochkirch and our late Battery, on to westward and
northward, as far as Steindorfel and Waditz;--extremely busy rearranging
themselves into something of line; there being much confusion, much
simmering about in clumps and gaps, after such a tussle. In front of us,
to eastward, the appointed Austrian parties are proceeding to attack:
but in daylight, and with our eyes open, it is a thing of difficulty,
and does not prosper as Hochkirch did. Duke D'Ahremberg, on their
extreme right, had in charge to burst in upon our left, so soon as he
saw Hochkirch done: D'Ahremberg does try; as do others in their places,
near Daun; but with comparatively little success. D'Ahremberg, meeting
something of check or hindrance where he tried, pauses, for a good
while, till he see how others prosper. Their grand chance is their
superiority of number; and the fact that Friedrich can try nothing upon
THEM, but must stand painfully on the defensive till Retzow come.
To Friedrich, Retzow seems hugely slow about it. But the truth is,
Baden-Durlach, with his 20,000 of Reserve, has, as per order, made
attack on Retzow, 20,000 against 12: one of the feeblest attacks
conceivable; but sufficient to detain Retzow till he get it repulsed.
Retzow is diligent as Time, and will be here.

Meanwhile, the Austrians on front do, in a sporadic way, attack and
again attack our batteries and posts; especially that big Battery of
Thirty Guns, which we have to north of Rodewitz. The Austrians do take
that Battery at last; and are beginning again to be dangerous,--the
rather as D'Ahremberg seems again to be thinking of business. It is high
time Retzow were here! Few sights could be gladder to Friedrich, than
the first glitter of Retzow's vanguard,--horse, under Prince Eugen of
Wurtemberg,--beautifully wending down from Weissenberg yonder; skilfully
posting themselves, at Belgern and elsewhere, as thorns in the sides of
D'Ahremberg (sharp enough, on trial by D'Ahremberg). Followed, before
long, by Retzow himself; serenely crossing Lobau Water; and, with great
celerity, and the best of skill, likewise posting himself,--hopelessly
to D'Ahremberg, who tries nothing farther. The sun is now shining; it is
now ten of the day. Had Retzow come an hour sooner;--efore we lost that
big Battery and other things! But he could come no sooner; be thankful
he is here at last, in such an overawing manner.

Friedrich, judging that nothing now can be made of the affair, orders
retreat. Retreat, which had been getting schemed, I suppose, and planned
in the gloom of the royal mind, ever since loss of that big Battery
at Rodewitz. Little to occupy him, in this interim; except indignant
waiting, rigorously steady, and some languid interchange of cannon-shot
between the parties. Retreat is to Klein-Bautzen neighborhood (new
head-quarter Doberschutz, outposts Kreckwitz and Purschwitz); four miles
or so to northwest. Rather a shifting of your ground, which astonishes
the military reader ever since, than a retreating such as the common
run of us expected. Done in the usual masterly manner; part after part
mending off, Retzow standing minatory here, Mollendorf minatory there,
in the softest quasi-rhythmic sequence; Cavalry all drawn out between
Belgern and Kreckwitz, baggage-wagons filing through the Pass of
Drehsa;--not an Austrian meddling with it, less or more; Daun and his
Austrians standing in their ring of five miles, gazing into it like
stone statues; their regiments being still in a confused state,--and
their Daun an extremely slow gentleman. [Tempelhof, ii. 319-336;
Seyfarth, _Beylagen,_ i. 432-453; _Helden-Geschichte,_ v. 241-257;
Archenholtz, &c. &c.]

And in this manner Friedrich, like a careless swimmer caught in the
Mahlstrom, has not got swallowed in it; but has made such a buffeting
of it, he is here out of it again, without bone broken,--not, we hope,
without instruction from the adventure. He has lost 101 pieces of
cannon, most of his tents and camp-furniture; and, what is more
irreparable, above 8,000 of his brave people, 5,381 of them and 119
Officers (Keith and Moritz for two) either dead or captive. In men the
Austrian loss, it seems, is not much lower, some say is rather a shade
higher; by their own account, 325 Officers, 5,614 rank and file, killed
and wounded,--not reckoning 1,000 prisoners they lost to us, and "at
least 2,000" who took that chance of deserting in the intricate dark
woods. [Tempelhof, ii. 336; but see Kausler, p. 576.]

Friedrich, all say, took his punishment in a wonderfully cheerful
manner. De Catt the Reader, entering to him that evening as usual, the
King advanced, in a tragic declamatory attitude; and gave him, with
proper voice and gesture, an appropriate passage of Racine:--

         "Enfin apres un an, tu me revois, Arbate,
          Non plus comme autrefois cet heureux Mithridate,
          Qui, de Rome toujours balancant le destin,
          Tenait entre elle et moi l'univers incertain.
          Je suis vaincu; Pompee a saisi l'avantage
          D'une nuit qui laissait peu de place au courage;
          Mes soldats presque nus, dans"...

Not a little to De Catt's comfort. [Rodenbeck, i. 354.] During the
retreat itself, Retzow Junior had come, as Papa's Aide-de-Camp, with a
message to the King; found him on the heights of Klein Bautzen, watching
the movements. Message done with, the King said, in a smiling tone,
"Daun has played me a slippery trick to-day!" "I have seen it," answered
Retzow; "but it is only a scratch, which your Majesty will soon manage
to heal again."--"GLAUBT ER DIES, Do you think so?" "Not only I, but the
whole Army firmly believe it of your Majesty."--"You are quite right,"
added the King, in a confidentially candid way: "We will manage Daun.
What I lament is, the number of brave men that have died this morning."
[Retzow, i. 359 n.] On the morrow, he was heard to say publicly: "Daun
has let us out of check-mate; the game is not lost yet. We will rest
ourselves here, a few days; then go for Silesia, and deliver Neisse."
The Anecdote-Books (perhaps not mythically) add this: "Where are all
your guns, though?" said the King to an Artilleryman, standing vacant
on parade, next day. "IHRO MAJESTAT, the Devil stole them all, last
night!"--"Hm, well, we must have them back from him." [Archenholtz, i.

Nothing immoderately depressive in Hochkirch, it appears;--though, alas,
on the fourth day after, there came a message from Baireuth; which did
strike one down: "My noble Wilhelmina dead; died in the very hours while
we were fighting here!" [On a common Business-Letter to Prince Henri,
"Doberschutz, 18th October, 1758," is this sudden bit of Autograph:
"GRAND DIEU, MA SOEUR DE BAREITH!"--(Schoning, _Der siebenjahrige Krieg,
nach der Original-Correspondens &c. aus den Staats-Archiven:_ Potsdam,
1851: i. 287.)] Readers must conceive it: coming unexpected more or
less, black as sudden universal hurricane, on the heart of the man; a
sorrow sacred, yet immeasurable, irremediable to him; as if the sky
too were falling on his head, in aid of the mean earth and its
ravenings:--of all this there can nothing be said at present.
Friedrich's one relief seems to have been the necessity laid on him of
perpetual battling with outward business;--we may fancy, in the rapid
weeks following, how much was lying at all times in the background of
his mind suppressed into its caves.

Daun, it appears, was considerably elated; spent a great deal of
his time, so precious just at present, in writing despatches, in
congratulating and being congratulated;--did an elaborate TE-DEUM, or
Ambrosian Song, in Artillery and VOX HUMANA,--which with the adjuncts,
say splenetic people, as at Kolin, sensibly assisted Friedrich's
affairs. Daun was by no means of braggart turn; but the recognition of
his matchless achievement by the gazetteer public, whether in exultation
or in lamentation, was loud and universal; and the joy, in Vienna and
the cognate quarters, knew no bounds for the time being. Thus, among
other tokens, the Holiness of our Lord the Pope, blessing Heaven for
such success against the Heretic, was pleased to send him "a Consecrated
Hat and Sword,"--such as the old Popes were wont, very long ago, to
bestow on distinguished Champions against the Heathen,--(much jeered at,
and crowed over, by a profane Friedrich [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xv.
122, 124, 126, &c. &c.: in PREUSS, ii. 196, complete List of these
poor Pieces; which are hearty, not hypocritical, in their contemptuous
hilarity, but have little other metit.]): "the effect of which
miraculous furnishings," says Tempelhof, "turned out to be that the
Feldmarschall never gained any success more;" in fact, except that small
thing on Finck next Year, never any, as it chanced. Daun had withdrawn
to his old Camp, on the day of Hochkirch; leaving only a detachment on
the field there: it was not for six or seven days more that he stept out
to the Kreckwitz and Purschwitz neighborhood; more within sight of his
vanquished enemy,--but nothing like vigilant enough of what might still
be in him, after such vanquishing!--We must spare this Note, for the
sake of a heroic kind of man, who had not too much of reward in the

"Tebay could not recover Keith's body: Croats had the plundering of
Keith; other Austrians, not of Croat kind, carried the dead General
into Hochkirch Church: Lacy's emotion on recognizing him there,--like
a tragic gleam of his own youth suddenly brought back to him, as in
starlight, piercing and sad, from twenty years distance,--is well known
in Books. On the morrow, Sunday, October 15th, Keith had honorable
soldier's-burial there,--'twelve cannon' salvoing thrice, and 'the whole
Corps of Colloredo' with their muskets thrice; Lacy as chief mourner,
not without tears. Four months after, by royal order, Keith's body was
conveyed to Berlin; reinterred in Berlin, in a still more solemn public
manner, with all the honors, all the regrets; and Keith sleeps now in
the Garnison-Kirche:--far from bonnie Inverugie; the hoarse sea-winds
and caverns of Dunottar singing vague requiem to his honorable line
and him, in the imaginations of some few. 'My Brother leaves me a noble
legacy,' said the old Lord Marischal: 'last year he had Bohemia under
ransom; and his personal estate is 70 ducats, (about 25 pounds).
[Varnhagen, p. 261.]

"In Hochkirch Church there is still, not in the Churchyard as formerly,
a fine, modestly impressive Monument to Keith; modest Urn of black
marble on a Pedestal of gray,--and, in gold letters, an Inscription not
easily surpassable in the lapidary way:... 'DUM IN PRAELIO NON PROCUL
through you like the clang of steel. [In RODENBECK, i. 149. Given also
(London, 1849), i. 151. This is the junior of the two Diplomatic
Roberts, genealogical cousins of Keith; by this one (in 1771, not 1776
as German Guide-books have it) the Hochkirch Monument was set up. A very
interesting Collection of LETTERS those of his;--edited with the usual
darkness, or rather more.] Friedrich's sorrow over him ('tears,' high
eulogies, 'LOUA EXTREMEMENT') is itself a monument. Twenty years after,
Keith had from his Master a Statue, in Berlin. One of Four; to the Four
most deserving: Schwerin (1771), Winterfeld (1777), Seidlitz (1779,
Keith (when?), [Nicolai _ (Beschreibung der Residenzstadte,_ i. 193,
194) gives these dates for the Three, and for Keith's no date.]--which
still stand in the Wilhelm Platz there.

"Hochkirch Church has been rebuilt in late years: a spacious airy
Church, with galleries, and requisites, especially with free air, light
and cleanliness. Capable perhaps of 1,500 sitters: half of them Wends.
'Above 700 skeletons, in one heap, were dug out, in cutting the new
foundations. The strong outer Door of the old Church, red oak, I should
think, is still retained in that capacity; still shows perhaps half a
dozen rough big quasi-KEYHOLES, torn through it in different parts, and
daylight shining in, where the old bullets passed. The Keith Monument,
perhaps four feet high, is on the flagged floor, left side of the
pulpit, close by the wall,--'the bench where Keith's body lay has had
to be cased in new plank [zinc would be better] against the knives of

Old Lord Marischal--George, "MARECHAL D'ECOSSE" as he always signs
himself--was by this time seventy-two; King's Governor of Neufchatel,
for a good while past and to come (1754-1763). In "James," the junior,
but much the stronger and more solid, he has lost, as it were, a FATHER
and younger brother at once; father, under beautiful conditions; and the
tears of the old man are natural and affecting. Ten years older than his
Brother; and survived him still twenty years. An excellent cheery old
soul, he too; honest as the sunlight, with a fine small vein of gayety,
and "pleasant wit," in him: what a treasure to Friedrich at Potsdam,
in the coming years; and how much loved by him (almost as one BOY loves
another), all readers would be surprised to discover. Some hints of him
will perhaps be allowed us farther on.

ATTENTIVE PUBLIC (22d October-20th November, 1758).

There followed upon Hochkirch five weeks of rapid events; such as
nobody had been calculating on. To the reader, so weary of marchings,
manoeuvrings, surprisals, campings and details of war, not many words,
we hope, may render these results conceivable.

Friedrich stayed ten days, refitting himself, in that Camp of
Klein-Bautzen, on one of the branches of the Spree. Daun, who had
retired to his old strong place, on the 14th, scarcely occupying
Hochkirch Field at all, came out in about a week; and took a strong post
near Friedrich; not attempting anything upon him, but watching him, now
better within sight. Friedrich's fixed intention is, to march to Neisse
all the same; what probably Daun, under the shadow of his laurels and
his new Papal Hat, may not have considered possible, with the road to
Neisse blocked by 80,000 men. Friedrich has refitted himself with the
requisite new cannon and furnitures, from Dresden; especially with
Prince Henri and 6,000 foot and horse,--led by Prince Henri in person;
so Prince Henri would have it, the capricious little man; and that Finck
should be left in Saxony instead of him. All which weakens Saxony not a
little. But Friedrich hopes the Reichs Army is a feeble article; ill off
for provision in those parts, and not likely to attempt very much on the
sudden. Accordingly:--


SUNDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 22d, Convoy of many wagons quit Bautzen (Bautzen
Proper, not the Village, but the Town), laden with all the wounded of
Hochkirch; above 3,000 by count, to carry them to Dresden for deliberate
surgery. Keith's Tebay, I perceive, is in this Convoy; not ill hurt, but
willing to lie in Hospital a little, and consider. These poor fellows
cannot get to Dresden: on the second day, a Daun Detachment, hussaring
about in those parts, is announced ahead; and (by new order from
head-quarters) the Convoy turns northwards for Hoyerswerda,--(to Tebay's
disgust with the Commandant; "shied off," says Tebay, "for twelve
hussars!" [Second LETTER from Tebay, in Mitchell, ubi supra.])--and, I
think, in the end, went on to Glogau instead of Dresden. Which was very
fortunate for Tebay and the others. The poor wounded being thus disposed
of, Friedrich next night, at 10 o'clock, Monday, 23d, in the softest
manner, pushes off his Bakery and Army Stores a little way, northward
down the Spree Valley, on the western fork of the Spree (fork farthest
from Daun); follows, himself, with the rest of the Army, next evening,
down the eastern fork, also northward. "Going for Glogau," thinks Daun,
when the hussars report about it (late on Tuesday night): "Let him go,
if he fancy that a road TO Neisse! But, indeed, what other shift has
he," considers Daun, "but to try rallying at Glogau yonder, safe under
the guns?"--and is not in the slightest haste about this new matter.
[Tempelhof, ii. 341-347.]

United with his baggage-column, Friedrich proceeds northeastward;
crosses Spree still northward or northeastward; encamps there, in the
dark hours of Tuesday; no Daun heeding him. Before daylight, however,
Friedrich is again on foot; in several columns now, for the bad
country-roads ahead;--and has struck straight SOUTHeastward, if Daun
were noting him. And, in the afternoon of Wednesday, Daun is astonished
to learn that this wily Enemy is arrived in Reichenbach vicinity;
sweeping in our poor posts thereabouts; immovably astride of the
Silesian Highway, after all! An astonished Daun hastens out, what he
can, to take survey of the sudden Phenomenon. Tries it, next day and
next, with his best Loudons and appliances; finds that this Phenomenon
can actually march to Neisse ahead of him, indifferent to Pandours, or
giving them as good as they bring;--and that nothing but a battle and
beating (could we rashly dream of such a thing, which we cannot)
will prevent it. "Very well, then!" Daun strives to say. And lets the
Phenomenon march (FROM Gorlitz, OCTOBER 30th); Loudon harassing the
rear of it, for some days; not without counter harassment, much waste
of cannonading, and ruin to several poor Lausitz Villages by
fire,--"Prussians scandalously burn them, when we attack!" says Loudon.
Till, at last, finding this march impregnably arranged, "split into
two routes," and ready for all chances, Loudon also withdraws to more
promising business. Poor General Retzow Senior was of this march;
absolutely could not be excused, though fallen ill of dysentery, like
to die;--and did die, the day after he got to Schweidnitz, when the
difficulties and excitement were over. [Retzow, i. 372.]

Of Friedrich's march, onward from Gorlitz, we shall say nothing farther,
except that the very wind of it was salvatory to his Silesian Fortresses
and interests. That at Neisse, on and after November 1st,--which is the
third or second day of Friedrich's march,--General Treskow, Commandant
of Neisse, found the bombardment slacken more and more ("King of Prussia
coming," said the Austrian deserters to us); and that, on November 6th,
Treskow, looking out from Neisse, found the Austrian trenches empty,
Generals Harsch and Deville hurrying over the Hills homewards,--pickings
to be had of them by Treskow,--and Neisse Siege a thing finished.
[TAGEBUCH, &c. ("Diary of the Siege of Neisse," 4th August, 26th
October, 6th November, 1758, "1 A.M. suddenly"), in Seyfarth,
_Beylagen,_ ii. 468-472: of Treskow's own writing; brief and clear.
_Helden-Geschichte,_ v. 268-270.] It had lasted, in the way of blockade
and half-blockade, for about three months; Deville, for near one month,
half-blockading, then Harsch (since September 30th) wholly blockading,
with Deville under him, and an army of 20,000; though the actual
cannonade, very fierce, but of no effect, could not begin till little
more than a week ago,--so difficult the getting up of siege-material
in those parts. Kosel, under Commandant Lattorf, whose praises, like
Treskow's, were great,--had stood four months of Pandour blockading and
assaulting, which also had to take itself away on advent of Friedrich.
Of Friedrich, on his return-journey, we shall hear again before long;
but in the mean while must industriously follow Daun.

(9th-16th November).

OCTOBER 30th, Daun, seeing Neisse Siege as good as gone to water,
decided with himself that he could still do a far more important stroke:
capture Dresden, get hold of Saxony in Friedrich's absence. Daun turned
round from Reichenbach, accordingly; and, at his slow-footed pace,
addressed himself to that new errand. Had he made better despatch,
or even been in better luck, it is very possible he might have done
something there. In Dresden, and in Governor Schmettau with his small
garrison, there is no strength for a siege; in Saxony is nothing but
some poor remnant under Finck, much of it Free-corps and light people:
capable of being swallowed by the Reichs Army itself,--were the Reichs
Army enterprising, or in good circumstances otherwise. It is true the
Russians have quitted Colberg as impossible; and are flowing homewards
dragged by hunger: the little Dohna Army will, therefore, march for
Saxony; the little Anti-Swedish Army, under Wedell, has likewise been
mostly ordered thither; both at their quickest. For Daun, all turns on
despatch; loiter a little, and Friedrich himself will be here again!

Daun, I have no doubt, stirred his slow feet the fastest he could.
NOVEMBER 7th, Daun was in the neighborhood of Pirna Country again, had
his Bridge at Pirna, for communication; urged the Reichs Army to bestir
itself, Now or never. Reichs Army did push out a little against
Finck; made him leave that perpetual Camp of Gahmig, take new camps,
Kesselsdorf and elsewhere; and at length made him shoot across Elbe, to
the northwest, on a pontoon bridge below Dresden, with retreating room
to northward, and shelter under the guns of that City. Reichs Army
has likewise made powerful detachments for capture of Leipzig and the
northwestern towns; capture of Torgau, the Magazine town, first of all:
summon them, with force evidently overpowering, "Free withdrawal, if you
don't resist; and if you do--!" At Torgau there was actual attempt made
(November 12th), rather elaborate and dangerous looking; under Haddick,
with near 10,000 of the "Austrian-auxiliary" sort: to whom the old
Commandant--judging Wedell, the late Anti-Swedish Wedell, to be now
near--rushed out with "300 men and one big gun;" and made such a firing
and gesticulation as was quite extraordinary, as if Wedell were here
already: till Wedell's self did come in sight; and the overpowering
Reichs Detachment made its best speed else-whither. [Tempelhof, &c.;
"Letter from a Prussian Officer," in _Helden-Geschichte_, v. 286.] The
other Sieges remained things of theory; the other Reichs Detachments
hurried home, I think, without summoning anybody.

Meanwhile, Daun, with the proper Artilleries at last ready, comes
flowing forward (NOVEMBER 8th-9th); and takes post in the Great Garden,
or south side of Dresden; minatory to Schmettau and that City. The
walls, or works, are weak; outside there is nothing but Mayer and the
Free Corps to resist, who indeed has surpassed himself this season, and
been extraordinarily diligent upon that lazy Reichs Army. Commandant
Schmettau signifies to Daun, the day Daun came in sight, "If your
Excellenz advance farther on me, the grim Rules of War in besieged
places will order That I burn the Suburbs, which are your defences
in attacking me,"--and actually fills the fine houses on the Southern
Suburb with combustible matter, making due announcements, to Court and
population, as well as to Dann. "Burn the Suburbs?" answers Daun: "In
the name of civilized humanity, you will never think of such thing!"
"That will I, your Excellenz, of a surety, and do it!" answers
Schmettau. So that Dresden is full of pity, terror and speculation. The
common rumor is, says Excellency Mitchell, who is sojourning there for
the present, "That Bruhl [nefarious Bruhl, born to be the death of
us!] has persuaded Polish Majesty to sanction this enterprise of
Daun's,"--very careless, Bruhl, what become of Dresden or us, so the
King of Prussia be well hurt or spited!

Certain enough, NOVEMBER 9th, Daun does come on, regardless of
Schmettau's assurances; so that, "about midnight:" Mayer, who "can hear
the enemy busily building four big batteries" withal, has to report
himself driven to the edge of those high Houses (which are filled with
combustibles), and that some Croats are got into the upper windows.
"Burn them, then!" answers Schmettasu (such the dire necessity of sieged
places): and, "at 3 A.M." (three hours' notice to the poor inmates),
Mayer does so; hideous flames bursting out, punctually at the stroke of
3: "whole Suburb seemed on blaze [about a sixth part of it actually
so], nay you would have said the whole Town was environed in flames."
Excellency Mitchell climbed a steeple: "will not describe to your
Lordship the horror, the terror and confusion of this night; wretched
inhabitants running with their furniture [what of it they had got flung
out, between 12 o'clock and 3] towards the Great Garden; all Dresden, to
appearance, girt in flames, ruins and smoke." Such a night in Dresden,
especially in the Pirna Suburb, as was never seen before. [Mitchell,
_Memoirs and Papers,_ i. 459. In _Helden-Geschichte,_ v. 295-302, minute
account (corresponding well with Mitchell's); ib. 303-333, the certified
details of the damage done: "280 houses lost;" "4 human lives."] This
was the sad beginning, or attempt at beginning, of Dresden Siege; and
this also was the end of it, on Daun's part at present. For four days
more, he hung about the place, minatory, hesitative; but attempted
nothing feasible; and on the fifth day,--"for a certain weighty reason,"
as the Austrian Gazettes express it,--he saw good to vanish into the
Pirna Rock-Country, and be out of harm's way in the mean while!

The Truth is, Daun's was an intricate case just now; needing, above all
things, swiftness of treatment; what, of all things, it could not get
from Daun. His denunciations on that burnt Suburb were again loud; but
Schmettau continues deaf to all that,--means "to defend himself by the
known rules of war and of honor;" declares, he "will dispute from street
to street, and only finish in the middle of Polish Majesty's Royal
Palace." Denunciation will do nothing! Daun had above 100,000 men in
those parts. Rushing forward with sharp shot and bayonet storm, instead
of logical denunciation, it is probable Daun might have settled his
Schmettau. But the hour of tide was rigorous, withal;--and such an ebb,
if you missed it in hesitating! NOVEMBER 15th, Daun withdrew; the ebbing
come. That same day, Friedrich was at Lauban in the Lausitz, within a
hundred miles again; speeding hitherward; behind him a Silesia brushed
clear, before him a Saxony to be brushed. "Reason weighty" enough, think
Daun and the Austrian Gazettes! But such, since you have missed the
tide-hour, is the inexorable fact of ebb,--going at that frightful rate.
Daun never was the man to dispute facts.

November 20th, Friedrich arrived in Dresden; heard, next day, that Daun
had wheeled decisively homeward from Pirna Country; that the Reichs Army
and he are diligently climbing the Metal Mountains; and that there is
not in Saxony, more than in Silesia, an enemy left. What a Sequel to
Hochkirch! "Neisse and Dresden both!" we had hoped as sequel, if lucky:
"Neisse OR Dresden" seemed infallible. And we are climbing the Metal
Mountains, under facts superior to us.

And Campaign Third has closed in this manner;--leaving things much as it
found them. Essentially a drawn match; Contending Parties little altered
in relative strength;--both of them, it may be presumed, considerably
weaker. Friedrich is not triumphant, or shining in the light of
bonfires, as last Year; but, in the mind of judges, stands higher than
ever (if that could help him much);--and is not "annihilated" in the
least, which is the surprising circumstance.

Friedrich's marches, especially, have been wonderful, this Year. In
the spring-time, old Marechal de Belleisle, French Minister of War,
consulting officially about future operations, heard it objected once:
"But if the King of Prussia were to burst in upon us there?" "The King
of Prussia is a great soldier," answered M. de Belleisle; "but his Army
is not a shuttle (NAVETTE),"--to be shot about, in that way, from side
to side of the world! No surely; not altogether. But the King of Prussia
has, among other arts, an art of marching Armies, which by degrees
astonishes the old Marechal. To "come upon us EN NAVETTE," suddenly
"like a shuttle" from the other side of the web, became an established
phrase among the French concerned in these unfortunate matters.
[Archenholtz, i. 316; Montalembert, SAEPIUS, for the phrase "EN

"The Pitt-and-Ferdinand Campaign of 1758," says a Note, which I would
fain abridge, "is more palpably victorious than Friedrich's, much more
an affair of bonfires than his; though it too has had its rubs. Loss of
honor at Crefeld; loss of Louisburg and Codfishery: these are serious
blows our enemy has had. But then, to temper the joy over Louisburg,
there was, at Ticonderoga, by Abercrombie, on the small scale (all
the extent of scale he had), a melancholy Platitude committed: that of
walking into an enemy without the least reconnoitring of him, who proves
to be chin-deep in abatis and field-works; and kills, much at his ease,
about 2,000 brave fellows, brought 5,000 miles for that object. And
obliges you to walk away on the instant, and quit Ticonderoga, like
a--surely like a very tragic Dignitary in Cocked-hat! To be cashiered,
we will hope; at least to be laid on the shelf, and replaced by some
Wolfe or some Amherst, fitter for the business! Nor were the Descents on
the French Coast much to speak of: 'Great Guns got at Cherbourg,' these
truly, as exhibited in Hyde-Park, were a comfortable sight, especially
to the simpler sort: but on the other hand, at Morlaix, on the part of
poor old General Bligh and Company, there had been a Platitude equal or
superior to that of Abercrombie, though not so tragical in loss of men.
'What of that?' said an enthusiastic Public, striking their balance, and
joyfully illuminating.--Here is a Clipping from Ohio Country, 'LETTER
of an Officer [distilled essence of Two Letters], dated, FORT-DUQUESNE,
28th NOVEMBER, 1758:--

"'Our small Corps under General Forbes, after much sore scrambling
through the Wildernesses, and contending with enemies wild and tame,
is, since the last four days, in possession of Fort Duquesne [PITTSBURG
henceforth]: Friday, 24th, the French garrison, on our appearance, made
off without fighting; took to boats down the Ohio, and vanished out
of those Countries,'--forever and a day, we will hope. 'Their
Louisiana-Canada communication is lost; and all that prodigious tract of
rich country,'--which Mr. Washington fixed upon long ago, is ours
again, if we can turn it to use. 'This day a detachment of us goes to
Braddock's field of battle [poor Braddock!], to bury the bones of our
slaughtered countrymen; many of whom the French butchered in cold blood,
and, to their own eternal shame and infamy, have left lying above ground
ever since. As indeed they have done with all those slain round the
Fort in late weeks;'--calling themselves a civilized Nation too!" [Old
Newspapers (in _Gentleman's Magazine_ for 1759, pp. 41, 39).]

LOWER RHINE, JULY-NOVEMBER, 1758. "Ferdinand's manoeuvres, after
Crefeld, on the France-ward side of Rhine, were very pretty: but,
without Wesel, and versus a Belleisle as War-Minister, and a Contades
who was something of a General, it would not do. Belleisle made uncommon
exertions, diligent to get his broken people drilled again; Contades
was wary, and counter-manoeuvred rather well. Finally, Soubise" (readers
recollect him and his 24 or 30,000, who stood in Frankfurt Country, on
the hither or north side of Rhine), famed Rossbach Soubise,--"pushing
out, at Belleisle's bidding, towards Hanover, in a region vacant
otherwise of troops,--became dangerous to Ferdinand. 'Making for
Hanover?' thought Ferdinand: 'Or perhaps meaning to attack my 12,000
English that are just landed? Nay, perhaps my Rhine-Bridge itself, and
the small Party left there?' Ferdinand found he would have to return,
and look after Soubise. Crossed, accordingly (August 8th), by his old
Bridge at Rees,--which he found safe, in spite of attempts there had
been; ["Fight of Meer" (Chevert, with 10,000, beaten off, and the Bridge
saved, by Imhof, with 3,000;--both clever soldiers; Imhof in better
luck, and favored by the ground: "5th August, 1758"): MAUVILLON, i.
315.]--and never recrossed during this War. Judges even say his first
crossing had never much solidity of outlook in it; and though so
delightful to the public, was his questionablest step.

"On the 12,000 English, Soubise had attempted nothing. Ferdinand joined
his English at Soest (August 20th); to their great joy and his; [Duke
of Marlborough's heavy-laden LETTER to Pitt, "Koesfeld, August 15th:"
"Nothing but rains and uncertainties;" "marching, latterly, up to our
middles in water;" have come from Embden, straight south towards Wesel
Country, almost 150 miles (Soest still a good sixty miles to southeast
of us). CHATHAM CORRESPONDENCE (London, 1838), i. 334, 337. The poor
Duke died in two months hence; and the command devolved on Lord
George Sackville, as is too well known.] 10 to 12,000 as a first
instalment:--Grand-looking fellows, said the Germans. And did you ever
see such horses, such splendor of equipment, regardless of expense? Not
to mention those BERGSCHOTTEN (Scotch Highlanders), with their bagpipes,
sporrans, kilts, and exotic costumes and ways; astonishing to the German
mind. [Romantic view of the BERGSCHOTTEN (2,000 of them, led by the
Junior of the Robert Keiths above mentioned, who is a soldier as yet),
in ARCHENHOLTZ, i. 351-353: IB. and in PREUSS, ii. 136, of the "uniforms
with gold and silver lace," of the superb horses, "one regiment all
roan horses, another all black, another all" &c.] Out of all whom
(BERGSCHOTTEN included), Ferdinand, by management,--and management
was needed,--got a great deal of first-rate fighting, in the next Four

"Nor, in regard to Hanover, could Soubise make anything of it; though
he did (owing to a couple of stupid fellows, General Prince von Ysenburg
and General Oberg, detached by Ferdinand on that service) escape the
lively treatment Ferdinand had prepared for him; and even gave a kind
of Beating to each of those stupid fellows, [1. "Fight of Sandershausen"
(Broglio, as Soubise's vanguard, 12,000; VERSUS Ysenburg, 7,000, who
stupidly would not withdraw TILL beaten: "23d July, 1758," BEFORE
Ferdinand had come across again). 2. Fight of Lutternberg (Soubise,
30,000; VERSUS Oberg, about 18,000, who stupidly hung back till Soubise
was all gathered, and THEN &c., still more stupidly: "10th October,
1758"). See MAUVILLON, i. 312 (or better, ARCHENHOLTZ, i. 345); and
MAUVILLON, i. 327. Both Lutternberg and Sandershausen are in the
neighborhood of Cassel;--as many of those Ferdinand fights were.]--one
of which, Oberg's one, might have ruined Oberg and his Detachment
altogether, had Soubise been alert, which he by no means was! 'Paris
made such jeering about Rossbach and the Prince de Soubise,' says
Voltaire, [_Histoire de Louis XV._ ] 'and nobody said a word about these
two Victories of his, next Year!' For which there might be two reasons:
one, according to Tempelhof, that 'the Victories were of the so-so
kind (SIC WAREN AUCH DARNACH);' and another, that they were ascribed to
Broglio, on both occasions,--how justly, nobody will now argue!

"Contades had not failed, in the mean while, to follow with the
main Army; and was now elaborately manoeuvring about; intent to have
Lippstadt, or some Fortress in those Rhine-Weser Countries. On the tail
of that second so-so Victory by Soubise, Contades thought, Now would be
the chance. And did try hard, but without effect. Ferdinand was himself
attending Contades; and mistakes were not likely. Ferdinand, in the
thick of the game (October 21st-30th), 'made a masterly movement'--that
is to say, cut Contades and his Soubise irretrievably asunder:
no junction now possible to them; the weaker of them liable to
ruin,--unless Contades, the stronger, would give battle; which, though
greatly outnumbering Ferdinand, he was cautious not to do. A melancholic
cautious man, apt to be over-cautious,--nicknamed 'L'APOTHECAIRE' by the
Parisians, from his down looks,--but had good soldier qualities withal.
Soubise and he haggled about, a short while,--not a long, in these
dangerous circumstances; and then had to go home again, without result,
each the way he came; Contades himself repassing through Wesel, and
wintering on his own side of the Rhine."

How Pitt is succeeding, and aiming to succeed, on the French Foreign
Settlements: on the Guinea Coast, on the High Seas everywhere; in the
West Indies; still more in the East,--where General Lally (that fiery
O'MuLLALLY, famous since Fontenoy), missioned with "full-powers," as
they call them, is raging up and down, about Madras and neighborhood, in
a violent, impetuous, more and more bankrupt manner:--Of all this we can
say nothing for the present, little at any time. Here are two facts
of the financial sort, sufficiently illuminative. The much-expending,
much-subsidying Government of France cannot now borrow except at 7 per
cent Interest; and the rate of Marine Insurance has risen to 70 per
cent. [Retzow, ii. 5.] One way and other, here is a Pitt clearly
progressive; and a long-pending JENKINS'S-EAR QUESTION in a fair way to
be settled!

Friedrich stays in Saxony about a month, inspecting and adjusting;
thence to Breslau, for Winter-quarters. His Winter is like to be a sad
and silent one, this time; with none of the gayeties of last Year; the
royal heart heavy enough with many private sorrows, were there none of
public at all! This is a word from him, two days after finishing Daun
for the season:--

FRIEDRICH TO MYLORD MARISCHAL (at Colombier in Neufchatel).

"DRESDEN, 23d November, 1758.

"There is nothing left for us, MON CHER MYLORD, but to mingle and blend
our weeping for the losses we have had. If my head were a fountain of
tears, it would not suffice for the grief I feel.

"Our Campaign is over; and there has nothing come of it, on one side or
the other, but the loss of a great many worthy people, the misery of a
great many poor soldiers crippled forever, the ruin of some Provinces,
the ravage, pillage and conflagration of some flourishing Towns.
Exploits these which make humanity shudder: sad fruits of the wickedness
and ambition of certain People in Power, who sacrifice everything to
their unbridled passions! I wish you, MON CHER MYLORD, nothing that has
the least resemblance to my destiny; and everything that is wanting to
it. Your old friend, till death."--F. [_OEuvres de Frederic,_ xx. 273.]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of Friedrich II of Prussia — Volume 18" ***

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