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History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 12 by Thomas Carlyle

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pleasanter and peacefuler occupation, and you health, satisfaction
and whatever your heart desires.--F." [ OEuvres de
Frederic, xvii. 84.]


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

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

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

"Adieu, dear Swan of Padua: think, I pray you, sometimes of those
who are getting themselves cut in slices [ECHINER, chined] for the
sake of glory here, and above all do not forget your friends who
think a thousand times of you. "FREDERIC."
[ OEuvres de Frederic, xviii. 28.]

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

Chapter VI.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Chapter VII.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter VIII.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"They agreed to be patient, to be silent; to watch warily till
Winterfeld got home to Prussia, till the Fraulein Malzahn could

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter IX.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book of the day: