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History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 13 by Thomas Carlyle

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Prepared by D.R. Thompson

Carlyle's "History of Friedrich II of Prussia"


May, 1741-July, 1742.

Chapter I.


Part First of his Britannic Majesty's Sorrows, the Britannic or
Domestic Part, is now perhaps conceivable to readers. But as to the
Second, the Germanic or Pragmatic Part,--articulate History, after
much consideration, is content to renounce attempting these;
feels that these will remain forever inconceivable to mankind in
the now altered times. So small a gentleman; and he feels, dismally
though with heroism, that he has got the axis of the world on his
shoulder. Poor Majesty! His eyes, proud as Jove's, are nothing like
so perspicacious; a pair of the poorest eyes: and he has to scan
with them, and unriddle under pain of death, such a waste of
insoluble intricacies, troubles and world-perils as seldom was,--
even in Dreams. In fact, it is of the nature of a long Nightmare
Dream, all this of the Pragmatic, to his poor Majesty and Nation;
and wakeful History must not spend herself upon it, beyond
the essential.

May 12th, betimes this Year, his Majesty got across to Hanover,
Harrington with him; anxious to contemplate near at hand that Camp
of the Old Dessauer's at Gottin, and the other fearful phenomena,
French, Prussian and other, in that Country. His Majesty, as
natural, was much in Germany in those Years; scanning the
phenomena; a long while not knowing what in the world to make of
them. Bully Belleisle having stept into the ring, it is evident,
clear as the sun, that one must act, and act at once; but it is a
perfect sphinx-enigma to say How. Seldom was Sovereign or man so
spurred, and goaded on, by the highest considerations; and then so
held down, and chained to his place, by an imbroglio of counter-
considerations and sphinx-riddles! Thrice over, at different dates
(which shall be given), the first of them this Year, he starts up
as in spasm, determined to draw sword, and plunge in; twice he is
crushed down again, with sword half drawn; and only the third time
(in 1743) does he get sword out, and brandish it in a surprising
though useless manner. After which he feels better. But up to that
crisis, his case is really tragical,--had idle readers any bowels
for him; which they have not! One or two Fractions, snatched from
the circumambient Paper Vortex, must suffice us for the
indispensable in this place:--


... After the wonderful Russian Partition-Treaty, which his English
Walpoles would not hear of,--and which has produced the Camp of
Gottin, see, your Majesty!--George does nothing rashly. Far from
it: indeed, except it be paying money, he becomes again a miracle
of cunctations; and staggers about for years to come, like the--
Shall we say, like the White Hanover Horse amid half a dozen sieves
of beans? Alas, no, like the Hanover Horse with the shadows of half
a dozen Damocles'-swords dangling into the eyes of it;--enough to
drive any Horse to its wit's end!--

"To do, to dare," thinks the Britannic Majesty;--yes, and of daring
there is a plenty: but, "In which direction? What, How?" these are
questions for a fussy little gentleman called to take the world on
his shoulders. We suppose it was by Walpole's advice that he gave
her Hungarian Majesty that 200,000 pounds of Secret-Service Money;
--advice sufficiently Walpolean: "Russian Partition-Treaties;
horrible to think of;--beware of these again! Give her Majesty that
cash; can be done; it will keep matters afloat, and spoil nothing!"
That, till the late Subsidy payable within year and day hence, was
all of tangible his Majesty had yet done;--truly that is all her
Hungarian Majesty has yet got by hawking the world, Pragmatic
Sanction in hand. And if that were the bit of generosity which
enabled Neipperg to climb the Mountains and be beaten at Mollwitz,
that has helped little! Very big generosities, to a frightful
cipher of Millions Sterling through the coming years, will go the
same road; and amount also to zero, even for the receiving party,
not to speak of the giving! For men and kings are wise creatures.

But wise or unwise, how great are his Britannic Majesty's
activities in this Pragmatic Business! We may say, they are
prodigious, incessant, ubiquitous. They are forgotten now, fallen
wholly to the spiders and the dust-bins;--though Friedrich himself
was not a busier King in those days, if perhaps a better directed.
It is a thing wonderful to us, but sorrowful and undeniable.
We perceive the Britannic Majesty's own little mind pulsing with
this Pragmatic Matter, as the biggest volcano would do;--shooting
forth dust and smoke (subsidies, diplomatic emissaries, treaties,
offers of treaty, plans, foolish futile exertions), at an immense
rate. When the Celestial Balances are canting, a man ought to exert
himself. But as to this of saving the House of Austria from
France,--surely, your Britannic Majesty, the shortest way to that,
if that is so indispensable, were: That the House of Austria should
consent to give up its stolen goods, better late than never; and to
make this King of Prussia its friend, as he offers to be! Joined
with this King, it would manage to give account of France and its
balloon projects, by and by. Could your Britannic Majesty but take
Mr. Viner's hint; and, in the interim, mind your OWN business!--
His Britannic Majesty intends immediate fighting; and, both in
England and Hanover, is making preparation loud and great. Nay, he
will in his own person fight, if necessary, and rather likes the
thought of it: he saw Oudenarde in his young days; and, I am told,
traces in himself a talent for Generalship. Were the Britannic
Majesty to draw his own puissant sword!-His own puissant purse he
has already drawn; and is subsidizing to right and left; knocking
at all doors with money in hand, and the question, "Any fighting
done here?" In England itself there goes on much drilling,
enlisting; camping, proposing to camp; which is noisy enough in the
British Newspapers, much more in the Foreign. One actual Camp there
was "on Lexden Heath near Colchester," from May till October of
this 1741, [Manifold but insignificant details about it, in the old
Newspapers of those Months.]--Camp waiting always to be shipped
across to the scene of action, but never was:--this actual Camp,
and several imaginary ones here, which were alarming to the
Continental Gazetteer. In England his Majesty is busy that way;
still more among his Hanoverians, now under his own royal eye;
and among his Danes and Hessians, whom he has now brought over into
Hanover, to combine with the others. Danes and Hessians, 6,000 of
each kind, he for some time keeps back in stall, upon subsidy,
ready for such an occasion. Their "Camp at Hameln," "Camp at
Nienburg" (will, with the Hanoverians, be 30,000 odd); their
swashing and blaring about, intending to encamp at Hameln, at
Nienburg, and other places, but never doing it, or doing it with
any result: this, with the alarming English Camps at Lexden and in
Dreamland, which also were void of practical issue, filled Europe
with rumor this Summer.--Eager enough to fight; a noble martial
ardor in our little Hercules-Atlas! But there lie such enormous
difficulties on the threshold; especially these Two, which are
insuperable or nearly so.

Difficulty FIRST, is that of the laggard Dutch; a People apt to be
heavy in the stern-works. They are quite languid about Pragmatic
Sanction, these Dutch; they answer his Britannic Majesty's
enthusiasm with an obese torpidity; and hope always they will drift
through, in some way; buoyant in their own fat, well ballasted
astern; and not need such swimming for life. "What a laggard
notion," thinks his Majesty; "notion in ten pair of breeches, so to
speak!" This stirring up of the Dutch, which lasts year on year,
and almost beats Lord Stair, Lord Carteret, and our chief Artists,
is itself a thing like few! One of his Britannic Majesty's great
difficulties;--insuperable he never could admit it to be.
"Surely you are a Sea-Power, ye valiant Dutch; the OTHER Sea-Power?
Bound by Barrier Treaty, Treaty of Vienna, and Law of Nature
itself, to rise with us against the fatal designs of France;
fatal to your Dutch Barrier, first of all; if the Liberties of
Mankind were indifferent to you! How is it that you will not?"
The Dutch cannot say how. France rocks them in security, by oily-
mouthed Diplomatists, Fenelon and others: "Would not touch a stone
of your Barrier, for the world, ye admirable Dutch neighbors:
on our honor, thrice and four times, No!" They have an eloquent Van
Hoey of their own at Paris; renowned in Newspapers: "Nothing but
friendship here!" reports Van Hoey always; and the Dutch answer his
Britannic Majesty: "Hm, rise? Well then, if we must!"--but sit
always still.

Nowhere in Political Mechanics have I seen such a Problem as this
of hoisting to their feet the heavy-bottomed Dutch. The cunningest
leverage, every sort of Diplomatic block-and-tackle, Carteret and
Stair themselves running over to help in critical seasons, is
applied; to almost no purpose. Pull long, pull strong, pull all
together,--see, the heavy Dutch do stir; some four inches of
daylight fairly visible below them: bear a hand, oh, bear a hand!--
Pooh, the Dutch flap down again, as low as ever. As low,--unless
(by Diplomatic art) you have WEDGED them at the four inches higher;
which, after the first time or two, is generally done. At the long
last, partially in 1743 (upon which his Britannic Majesty drew
sword), completely in 1747, the Dutch were got to their feet;--
unfortunately good for nothing when they were! Without them his
Britannic Majesty durst not venture. Hidden in those dust-bins,
there is nothing so absurd, or which would be so wearisome, did it
not at last become slightly ludicrous, as this of hoisting
the Dutch.

Difficulty SECOND, which in enormity of magnitude might be reckoned
first, as in order of time it ranks both first and last, is:
The case of dear Hanover; case involved in mere insolubilities.
Our own dear Hanover, which (were there nothing more in it) is
liable, from that Camp at Gottin, to be slit in pieces at a
moment's warning! No drawing sword against a nefarious Prussia, on
those terms. The Camp at Gottin holds George in checkmate. And then
finally, in this same Autumn, 1741, when a Maillebois with his 40
or 50,000 French (the Leftward or western of those Two Belleisle
Armies), threatening our Hanover from another side, crossed the
Lower Rhine--But let us not anticipate. The case of Hanover, which
everybody saw to be his Majesty's vulnerable point, was the
constant open door of France and her machinations, and a never-
ending theme of angry eloquences in the English Parliament as well.

So that the case of Hanover proved insoluble throughout, and was
like a perpetual running sore. Oh the pamphleteerings, the
denouncings, the complainings, satirical and elegiac, which
grounded themselves on Hanover, the CASE OF THE HANOVER FORCES, and
innumerable other Hanoverian cases, griefs and difficulties!
So pungently vital to somnambulant mankind at that epoch; to us
fallen dead as carrion, and unendurable to think of. My friends, if
you send for Gentlemen from Hanover, you must take them with
Hanover adhering more or less; and ought not to quarrel with your
bargain, which you reckoned so divine! No doubt, it is singular to
see a Britannic Majesty neglecting his own Spanish War, the one
real business he has at present; and running about over all the
world; busy, soul, body and breeches-pocket, in other people's
wars; egging on other fighting, whispering every likely fellow he
can meet, "Won't you perhaps fight? Here is for you, if so!"--hand
to breeches-pocket accompanying the word. But it must be said, and
ought to be better known than in our day it is, His Majesty's
Ministers, and the English State-Doctors generally, were precisely
of the same mind. TO them too the Austrian Quarrel was everything,
their own poor Spanish Quarrel nothing; and the complaint they make
of his Majesty is rather that he does not rush rapidly enough, with
brandished sword, as well as with guineas raining from him, into
this one indispensable business. "Owing to his fears for Hanover!"
say they, with indignation, with no end of suspicion, angry
pamphleteering and covert eloquence, "within those walls"
and without.

The suspicion of Hanover's checking his Majesty's Pragmatic
velocity is altogether well founded; and there need no more be said
on that Hanover score. Be it well understood and admitted, Hanover
was the Britannic Majesty's beloved son; and the British Empire his
opulent milk-cow. Richest of milk-cows; staff of one's life, for
grand purposes and small; beautiful big animal, not to be provoked;
but to be stroked and milked:--Friends, if you will do a Glorious
Revolution of that kind, and burn such an amount of tar upon it,
why eat sour herbs for an inevitable corollary therefrom! And let
my present readers understand, at any rate, that,--except in
Wapping, Bristol and among the simple instinctive classes (with
whom, it is true, go Pitt and some illustrious figures),--political
England generally, whatever of England had Parliamentary discourse
of reason, and did Pamphlets, Despatches, Harangues, went greatly
along with his Majesty in that Pragmatic Business. And be the blame
of delirium laid on the right back, where it ought to lie, not on
the wrong, which has enough to bear of its own. And go not into
that dust-whirlwind of extinct stupidities, O reader:--what reader
would, except for didactic objects? Know only that it does of a
truth whirl there; and fancy always, if you can, that certain
things and Human Figures, a Friedrich, a Chatham and some others,
have it for their Life-Element. Which, I often think, is their
principal misfortune with Posterity; said Life-Element having gone
to such an unutterable condition for gods and men.

"One other thing surprises us in those Old Pamphlets," says my
Constitutional Friend: "How the phrase, 'Cause of Liberty' ever and
anon turns up, with great though extinct emphasis, evidently
sincere. After groping, one is astonished to find it means Support
of the House of Austria; keeping of the Hapsburgs entire in their
old Possessions among mankind! That, to our great-grandfathers, was
the 'Cause of Liberty;'--said 'Cause' being, with us again,
Electoral Suffrage and other things; a notably different
definition, perhaps still wider of the mark.

"Our great-grandfathers lived in perpetual terror that they would
be devoured by France; that French ambition would overset the
Celestial Balance, and proceed next to eat the British Nation.
Stand upon your guard then, one would have said: Look to your
ships, to your defences, to your industries; to your virtues first
of all,--your VIRTUTES, manhoods, conformities to the Divine Law
appointed you; which are the great and indeed sole strength to any
Man or Nation! Discipline yourselves, wisely, in all kinds;
more and more, till there be no anarchic fibre left in you.
Unanarchic, disciplined at all points, you might then, I should
say, with supreme composure, let France, and the whole World at its
back, try what they could do upon you and the unique little Island
you are so lucky as to live in?--Foolish mortals: what Potentiality
of Battle, think you (not against France only, but against Satanas
and the Ministers of Chaos generally), would a poor Friedrich
Wilhelm, not to speak of better, have got out of such a Possession,
had it been his to put in drill! And drill is not of soldiers only;
though perhaps of soldiers first and most indispensably of all;
since 'without Being,' as my Friend Oliver was wont to say, 'Well-
being is not possible.' There is military drill; there is
industrial, economic, spiritual; gradually there are all kinds of
drill, of wise discipline, of peremptory mandate become effective
everywhere, 'OBEY the Laws of Heaven, or else disappear from these
latitudes!' Ah me, if one dealt in day-dreams, and prophecies of an
England grown celestial,--celestial she should be, not in gold
nuggets, continents all of beef, and seas all of beer, Abolition of
Pain, and Paradise to All and Sundry, but in that quite different
fashion; and there, I should say, THERE were the magnificent Hope
to indulge in! That were to me the 'Cause of Liberty;' and any the
smallest contribution towards that kind of 'Liberty ' were a
sacred thing!--

"Belleisle again may, if he pleases, call his the Cause of
Sovereignty. A Sovereign Louis, it would appear, has not governing
enough to do within his own French borders, but feels called to
undertake Germany as well;--a gentleman with an immense governing
faculty, it would appear? Truly, good reader, I am sick of heart,
contemplating those empty sovereign mountebanks, and empty
antagonist ditto, with their Causes of Liberty and Causes of Anti-
Liberty; and cannot but wish that we had got the ashes of that
World-Explosion, of 1789, well riddled and smelted, and the poor
World were quit of a great many things!"--

My Constitutional Historian of England, musing on Belleisle and his
Anti-Pragmatic industries and grandiosities,--"how Chief-Bully
Belleisle stept down into the ring as a gay Volunteer, and foolish
Chief-Defender George had to follow dismally heroic, as a Conscript
of Fate,"--drops these words: in regard to the Wages they
respectively had:--

"Nations that go into War without business there, are sure of
getting business as they proceed; and if the beginning were
phantasms,--especially phantasms of the hoping, self-conceited
kind,--the results for them are apt to be extremely real! As was
the case with the French in this War, and those following, in which
his Britannic Majesty played chief counter-tenor. From 1741, in
King Friedrich's First War, onwards to Friedrich's Third War,
1756-1763, the volunteer French found a great deal of work lying
ready for them,--gratuitous on their part, from the beginning.
And the results to them came out, first completely visible, in the
World-Miracles of 1789, and the years following!

"Nations, again, may be driven upon War by phantasm TERRORS, and go
into it, in sorrow of heart, not gayety of heart; and that is a
shade better. And one always pities a poor Nation, in such case;--
as the very Destinies rather do, and judge it more mercifully.
Nay, the poor bewildered Nation may, among its brain-phantasms,
have something of reality and sanity inarticulately stirring it
withal. It may have a real ordinance of Heaven to accomplish on
those terms:--and IF so, it will sometimes, in the most chaotic
circuitous ways, through endless hazards, at a hundred or a hundred
thousand times the natural expense, ultimately get it done!
This was the case of the poor English in those Wars.

"They were Wars extraneous to England little less than to France;
neither Nation had real business in them; and they seem to us now a
very mad object on the part of both. But they were not gratuitously
gone into, on the part of England; far from that. England undertook
them, with its big heart very sorrowful, strange spectralities
bewildering it; and managed them (as men do sleep-walking) with a
gloomy solidity of purpose, with a heavy-laden energy, and, on the
whole, with a depth of stupidity, which were very great. Yet look
at the respective net results. France lies down to rot into grand
Spontaneous-Combustion, Apotheosis of Sansculottism, and much else;
which still lasts, to her own great peril, and the great affliction
of neighbors. Poor England, after such enormous stumbling among the
chimney-pots, and somnambulism over all the world for twenty years,
finds on awakening, that she is arrived, after all, where she
wished to be, and a good deal farther! Finds that her own important
little errand is somehow or other, done;--and, in short, that
'Jenkins's Ear [as she named the thing] HAS been avenged,' and the
Ocean Highways 'opened' and a good deal more, in a most signal way!
For the Eternal Providences--little as poor Dryasdust now knows of
it, mumbling and maundering that sad stuff of his--do rule; and the
great soul of the world, I assure you once more, is JUST.
And always for a Nation, as for a man, it is very behooveful to be
honest, to be modest, however stupid!"--

By this time, however,--Mollwitz having fallen out, and Belleisle
being evidently on the steps,--his Britannic Majesty recognizes
clearly, and insists upon it, strengthened by his Harringtons and
everybody of discernment, That, nefarious or not, this Friedrich
will require to be bargained with. That, far from breaking in upon
him, and partitioning him (how far from it!), there is no
conceivable method of saving the Celestial Balances till HE be
satisfied, in some way. This is the one step his Britannic Majesty
has yet made, out of these his choking imbroglios; and truly this
is one. Hyndford, his best negotiator, is on the road for
Friedrich's Camp; Robinson at Vienna, has been directed to say and
insist, "Bargain with that man; he must be bargained with, if our
Cause of Liberty is to be saved at all?"--

And now, having opened the dust-bin so far, that the reader's fancy
might be stirred without affliction to his lungs and eyes, let us
shut it down again,--might we but hope forever! That is too fond a
hope. But the background or sustaining element made imaginable,
the few events deserving memory may surely go on at a much
swifter pace.

Chapter II.


Friedrich's Silesian Camps this Summer, Camp of Strehlen chiefly,
were among the strangest places in the world. Friedrich, as we have
often noticed, did not much pursue the defeated Austrians, at or
near Mollwitz, or press them towards flat ruin in their Silesian
business: it is clear he anxiously wished a bargain without farther
exasperation; and hoped he might get it by judicious patience.
Brieg he took, with that fine outburst of bombardment, which did
not last a week: but Brieg once his, he fell quiet again; kept
encamping, here there, in that Mollwitz-Neisse region, for above
three months to come; not doing much, beyond the indispensable;
negotiating much, or rather negotiated with, and waiting on events.
[In Camp of Mollwitz (nearer Brieg than the Battle-field was) till
28th May (after the Battle seven weeks); then to Camp at Grotkau
(28th May-9th June, twelve days); thence (9th June) to Friedewalde,
Herrnsdorf; to Strehlen (21st June-20th August, nine or ten weeks
in all). See Helden-Geschichte, i. 924, ii. 931;
Rodenbeck, Orlich, &c.]

Both Armies were reinforcing themselves; and Friedrich's, for
obvious reasons, in the first weeks especially, became much the
stronger. Once in May, and again afterwards, weary of the pace
things went at, he had resolved on having Neisse at once;
on attacking Neipperg in his strong camp there, and cutting short
the tedious janglings and uncertainties. He advanced to Grotkau
accordingly, some twelve or fifteen miles nearer Neisse (28th May,
--stayed till 9th June), quite within wind of Neipperg and his
outposts; but found still, on closer inspection, that he had better
wait;--and do so withal at a greater distance from Neipperg and his
Pandour Swarms. He drew back therefore to Strehlen, northwestward,
rather farther from Neisse than before; and lay encamped there for
nine or ten weeks to come. Not till the beginning of August did
there fall out any military event (Pandour skirmishing in plenty,
hut nothing to call an event); and not till the end of August any
that pointed to conclusive results. As it was at Strehlen where
mostly these Diplomacies went on, and the Camp of Strehlen was the
final and every way the main one, it may stand as the
representative of these Diplomatizing Camps to us, and figure as
the sole one which in fact it nearly was.

Strehlen is a pleasant little Town, nestled prettily among its
granite Hills, the steeple of it visible from Mollwitz; some
twenty-five miles west of Brieg, some thirty south of Breslau, and
about as far northwest of Neisse: there Friedrich and his Prussians
lie, under canvas mainly, with outposts and detachments sprinkled
about under roofs:--a Camp of Strehlen, more or less imaginable by
the reader. And worth his imagining; such a Camp, if not for
soldiering, yet for negotiating and wagging of diplomatic wigs, as
there never was before. Here, strangely shifted hither, is the
centre of European Politics all Summer. From the utmost ends of
Europe come Ambassadors to Strehlen: from Spain, France, England,
Denmark, Holland,--there are sometimes nine at once, how many
successively and in total I never knew. [ Helden-
Geschichte, i. 932.] They lodge generally in Breslau;
but are always running over to Strehlen. There sits, properly
speaking, the general Secret Parliament of Europe; and from most
Countries, except Austria, representatives attend at Strehlen, or
go and come between Breslau and Strehlen, submissive to the evils
of field-life, when need is. A surprising thing enough to mankind,
and big as the world in its own day; though gone now to small
bulk,--one Human Figure pretty much all that is left of memorable
in it to mankind and us.

French Belleisle we have seen; who is gone again, long since, on
his wide errands; fat Valori too we have seen, who is assiduously
here. The other figures, except the English, can remain dark to us.
Of Montijos, the eminent Spaniard, a brown little man, magnificent
as the Kingdom of the Incas, with half a page of titles (half a
peck, five-and-twenty or more, of handles to his little name, if
you should ever require it); who, finding matters so backward at
Frankfurt, and nothing to do there, has been out, in the interim,
touring to while away the tedium; and is here only as sequel and
corroboration of Belleisle,--say as bottle-holder, or as high-
wrought peacock's-tail, to Belleisle:--of the eminent Montijos I
have to record next to nothing in the shape of negotiation
("Treaty" with the Termagant was once proposed by him here, which
Friedrich in his politest way declined); and shall mention only,
That his domestic arrangements were sumptuous and commodious in the
extreme. Let him arrive in the meanest village, destitute of human
appliances, and be directed to the hut where he is to lodge,--
straightway from the fourgons and baggage-chests of Montijos is
produced, first of all, a round of arras hangings, portable tables,
portable stove, gold plate and silver; thus, with wax-lights, wines
of richest vintage, exquisite cookeries, Montijos lodges, a king
everywhere, creating an Aladdin's palace everywhere; able to say,
like the Sage Bias, OMNIA MEA NAECUM PORTO. These things are
recorded of Montijos. What he did in the way of negotiation has
escaped men's memory, as it could well afford to do.

Of Hyndford's appurtenances for lodging we already had a glimpse,
through Busching once;--pointing towards solid dinner-comforts
rather than arras hangings; and justifying the English genius in
that respect. The weight of the negotiations fell on Hyndford;
it is between him and French Valori that the matter lies, Montijos
and the others being mere satellites on their respective sides.
Much battered upon, this Hyndford, by refractory Hanoverians
pitting George as Elector against the same George as King, and
egging these two identities to woful battle with each other,--
"Lay me at his Majesty's feet" full length, and let his Majesty say
which is which, then! A heavy, eating, haggling, unpleasant kind of
mortal, this Hyndford; bites and grunts privately, in a stupid
ferocious manner, against this young King: "One of the worst of
men; who will not take up the Cause of Liberty at all, and is not
made in the image of Hyndford at all." They are dreadfully stiff
reading, those Despatches of Hyndford: but they have particles of
current news in them; interesting glimpses of that same young
King;--likewise of Hyndford, laid at his Majesty's feet, and
begging for self and brothers any good benefice that may fall
vacant. We can discern, too, a certain rough tenacity and horse-
dealer finesse in the man; a broad-based, shrewdly practical Scotch
Gentleman, wide awake; and can conjecture that the diplomatic
function, in that element, might have been in worse hands. He is
often laid metaphorically at the King's feet, King of England's;
and haunts personally the King of Prussia's elbow at all times,
watching every glance of him, like a British house-dog, that will
not be taken in with suspicious travellers, if he can help it;
and casting perpetual horoscopes in his dull mind.

Of Friedrich and his demeanor in this strange scene, centre of a
World all drawing sword, and jumbling in huge Diplomatic and other
delirium about his ears, the reader will desire to see a direct
glimpse or two. As to the sad general Imbroglio of Diplomacies
which then weltered everywhere, readers can understand that, it
has, at this day, fallen considerably obscure (as it deserved to
do); and that even Friedrich's share of it is indistinct in parts.
The game, wide as Europe, and one of the most intricate ever played
by Diplomatic human creatures, was kept studiously dark while it
went on; and it has not since been a pleasant object of study.
Many of the Documents are still unpublished, inaccessible; so that
the various moves in the game, especially what the exact dates and
sequence of them were (upon which all would turn), are not
completely ascertainable,--nor in truth are they much worth hunting
after, through such an element. One thing we could wish to have out
of it, the one thing of sane that was in it: the demeanor and
physiognomy of Friedrich as there manifested; Friedrich alone, or
pretty much alone of all these Diplomatic Conjurers, having a solid
veritable object in hand. The rest--the spiders are very welcome to
it: who of mortals would read it, were it made never so lucid to
him? Such traits of Friedrich as can be sifted out into the
conceivable and indubitable state, the reader shall have; the
extinct Bedlam, that begirdled Friedrich far and wide, need not be
resuscitated except for that object. Of Friedrich's fairness, or of
Friedrich's "trickiness, machiavelism and attorneyism," readers
will form their own notion, as they proceed. On one point they will
not be doubtful, That here is such a sharpness of steady eyesight
(like the lynx's, like the eagle's), and, privately such a courage
and fixity of resolution, as are highly uncommon.

April 26th, 1741, in the same days while Belleisle arrived in the
Camp at Mollwitz, and witnessed that fine opening of the cannonade
upon Brieg, Excellency Hyndford got to Berlin; and on notifying the
event, was invited by the King to come along to Breslau, and begin
business. England has been profuse enough in offering her "good
offices with Austria" towards making a bargain for his Prussian
Majesty; but is busy also, at the Hague, concerting with the Dutch
"some strong joint resolution,"--resolution, Openly to advise
Friedrich to withdraw his troops from Silesia, by way of starting
fair towards a bargain. A very strong resolution, they and the
Gazetteers think it; and ask themselves, Is it not likely to have
some effect? Their High Mightinesses have been screwing their
courage, and under English urgency, have decided (April 24th),
[ Helden-Geschichte, i. 964; the ADVICE
itself, a very mild-spoken Piece, but of riskish nature think the
Dutch, is given, ib. 965, 966.] "Yes, we will jointly so advise!"
and Friedrich has got inkling of it from Rasfeld, his Minister
there. Hyndford's first business (were the Dutch Excellency once
come up, but those Dutch are always hanging astern!) is to present
said "Advice," and try what will come of that, An "Advice" now
fallen totally insignificant to the Universe and to us,--only that
readers will wish to see how Friedrich takes it, and if any feature
of Friedrich discloses itself in the affair.


May 2d, Hyndford arrived in Breslau; and after some preliminary
flourishings, and difficulties about post-horses and furnitures in
a seat of War, got to Brieg; and thence, May 7th, "to the Camp
[Camp of Mollwitz still], which is about an English mile off,"--
Podewils escorting him from Brieg, and what we note farther,
Pollnitz too; our poor old Pollnitz, some kind of Chief Goldstick,
whom we did not otherwise know to be on active duty in those rude
scenes. Belleisle had passed through Breslau while Hyndford was
there:--"am unable to inform your Lordship what success he has
had." Brieg Siege is done only three days ago; Castle all lying
black; and the new trenching and fortifying hardly begun. In a
word, May 7th, 1741, "about 11 A.M.," Excellency Hyndford is
introduced to the King's Tent, and has his First Audience.
Goldstick having done his motions, none but Podewils is left
present; who sits at a table, taking notes of what is said.
Podewils's Notes are invisible to me; but here, in authentic though
carefully compressed state, is Hyndford's minute Narrative:--

Excellency Hyndford mentioned the Instructions he had, as to "good
offices," friendship and so forth. "But his Prussian Majesty had
hardly patience to hear me out; and said in a passion [we rise,
where possible, Hyndford's own wording; readers will allow for the
leaden quality in some parts]:--
KING (in a passion). "'How is it possible, my Lord, to believe
things so contradictory? It is mighty fine all this that you now
tell me, on the part of the King of England; but how does it
correspond to his last Speech to his Parliament [19th April last,
when Mr. Viner was in such minority of one] and to the doings of
his Ministers at Petersburg [a pretty Partition-Treaty that;
and the Excellency Finch still busy, as I know!] and at the Hague
[Excellency Trevor there, and this beautiful Joint-Resolution and
Advice which is coming!] to stir up allies against me? I have
reason rather to doubt the sincerity of the King of England.
They perhaps mean to amuse me. [That is Friedrich's real opinion.
[His Letter to Podewils (Ranke, ii. 268).]] But, by God, they are
mistaken! I will risk everything rather than abate the least of
my pretensions.'"

Poor Hyndford said and mumbled what he could; knew nothing what
instructions Finch had, Trevor had, and--
KING. "'My Lord, there seems to be a contradiction in all this.
The King of England, in his Letter, tells me you are instructed as
to everything; and yet you pretend ignorance! But I am perfectly
informed of all. And I should not be surprised if, after all these
fine words, you should receive some strong letter or resolution for
me,'"--Joint-Resolution to Advise, for example?

Hyndford, not in the strength of conscious innocence, stands
silent; the King, "in his heat of passion," said to Podewils:--
KING TO PODEWILS (on the sudden). "'Write down, that my Lord
would be surprised [as he should be] to receive such
Instructions!'" (A mischievous sparkle, half quizzical, half
practical, considerably in the Friedrich style.)--Hyndford, "quite
struck, my Lord, with this strange way of acting," and of poking
into one, protests with angry grunt, and "was put extremely upon my
guard." Of course Podewils did net write. ...
HYNDFORD. "'Europe is under the necessity of taking some speedy
resolution, things are in such a state of crisis. Like a fever in a
human body, got to such a height that quinquina becomes necessary.'
... That expression made him smile, and he began to look a little
cooler. ... 'Shall we apply to Vienna, your Majesty?'
FRIEDRICH. "'Follow your own will in that.'
HYNDFORD. "'Would your Majesty consent now to stand by his
Excellency Gotter's original Offer at Vienna on your part?
Agree, namely, in consideration of Lower Silesia and Breslau, to
assist the Queen with all your troops for maintenance of Pragmatic
Sanction, and to vote for the Grand-Duke as Kaiser?'
KING. "'Yes' [what the reader may take notice of, and date for
HYNDFORD. "'What was the sum of money then offered her Hungarian

"King hesitated, as if he had forgotten; Podewils answered, 'Three
million florins (300,000 pounds).'

KING. "'I should not value the money; if money would content her
Majesty, I would give more.' ... Here was a long pause, which I did
not break;"--nor would the King. Podewils reminded me of an idea we
had been discoursing of together ("on his suggestion, my Lord,
which I really think is of importance, and worth your Lordship's
consideration"); whereupon, on such hint,
HYNDFORD. "'Would your Majesty consent to an Armistice?'
FRIEDRICH. "'Yes; but [counts on his fingers, May, June, till he
comes to December] not for less than six months,--till December
1st. By that time they could do nothing,'" the season out by
that time.
HYNDFORD. "'His Excellency Podewils has been taking notes;
if I am to be bound by them, might I first see that he has
mistaken nothing?'
KING. "'Certainly!'"--Podewils's Note-protocol is found to be
correct in every point; Hyndford, with some slight flourish of
compliments on both sides, bows himself away (invited to dinner,
which he accepts, "will surely have that honor before returning to
Breslau");--and so the First Audience has ended. [Hyndford's
Despatches, Breslau, 5th and 13th May, 1741. Are in State-Paper
Office, like the rest of Hyndford's; also in British Museum
(Additional MSS. 11,365 &c.), the rough draughts of them.]
Baronay and Pandours are about,--this is ten days before the
Ziethen feat on Baronay;--but no Pandour, now or afterwards, will
harm a British Excellency.

These utterances of Friedrich's, the more we examine them by other
lights that there are, become the more correctly expressive of what
Friedrich's real feelings were on the occasion. Much contrary,
perhaps, to expectation of some readers. And indeed we will here
advise our readers to prepare for dismissing altogether that notion
of Friedrich's duplicity, mendacity, finesse and the like, which
was once widely current in the world; and to attend always strictly
to what Friedrich says, if they wish to guess what he is thinking;
--there being no such thing as "mendacity" discoverable in
Friedrich, when you take the trouble to inform yourself.
"Mendacity," my friends? How busy have the Owls been with
Friedrich's memory, in different countries of the world;--perhaps
even more than their sad wont is in such cases! For indeed he was
apt to be of swift abrupt procedure, disregardful of Owleries;
and gave scope for misunderstanding in the course of his life.
But a veracious man he was, at all points; not even conscious of
his veracity; but had it in the blood of him; and never looked upon
"mendacity" but from a very great height indeed. He does not,
except where suitable, at least he never should, express his whole
meaning; but you will never find him expressing what is not his
meaning. Reticence, not dissimulation. And as to "finesse,"--do not
believe in that either, in the vulgar or bad sense. Truly you will
find his finesse is a very fine thing; and that it consists, not in
deceiving other people, but in being right himself; in well
discerning, for his own behoof, what the facts before him are; and
in steering, which he does steadily, in a most vigilant, nimble,
decisive and intrepid manner, by monition of the same. No salvation
but in the facts. Facts are a kind of divine thing to Friedrich;
much more so than to common men: this is essentially what Religion
I have found in Friedrich. And, let me assure you, it is an
invaluable element in any man's Religion, and highly indispensable,
though so often dispensed with! Readers, especially in our time
English readers, who would gain the least knowledge about
Friedrich, in the extinct Bedlam where his work now lay, have a
great many things to forget, and sad strata of Owl-droppings,
ancient and recent, to sweep away!--

To Friedrich a bargain with Austria, which would be a getting into
port, in comparisori to going with the French in that distracted
voyage of theirs, is highly desirable. "Shall I join with the
English, in hope of some tolerable bargain from Austria? Shall I
have to join with the French, in despair of any?" Readers may
consider how stringent upon Friedrich that question now was, and
how ticklish to solve. And it must be solved soon,--under penalty
of "being left with no ally at all" (as Friedrich expresses
himself), while the whole world is grouping itself into armed heaps
for and against! If the English would but get me a bargain--?
Friedrich dare not think they will. Nay, scanning these English
incoherences, these contradictions between what they say here and
what they do and say elsewhere, he begins to doubt if they
zealously wish it,--and at last to believe that they sincerely do
not wish it; that "they mean to amuse me" (as he said to Hyndford)
--till my French chance too is over. "To amuse me: but, PAR
DIEU--!" His Notes to Podewils, of which Ranke, who has seen them,
gives us snatches, are vivid in that sense: "I should be ashamed if
the cunningest Italian could dupe me; but that a lout of a
Hanoverian should do it!"--and Podewils has great difficulty to
keep him patient yet a little; Valori being so busy on the other
side, and the time so pressing. Here are some dates and some
comments, which the reader should take with him;-- here is a very
strange issue to the Joint-Resolution of a strong nature now
on hand!

A few days after that First Audience, Ginkel the Dutch Excellency,
with the due Papers in his pocket, did arrive. Excellency Hyndford,
who is not without rough insight into what lies under his nose,
discovers clearly that the grand Dutch-English Resolution, or
Joint-Exhortation to evacuate Silesia, will do nothing but
mischief; and (at his own risk, persuading Ginkel also to delay)
sends a Courier to England before presenting it. And from England,
in about a fortnight, gets for answer, "Do harm, think you?
Hm, ha!--Present it, all the same; and modify by assurances
afterwards,"--as if these would much avail! This is not the only
instance in which St. James's rejects good advice from its
Hyndford; the pity would be greater, were not the Business what it
is! Podewils has the greatest difficulty to keep Friedrich quiet
till Hyndford's courier get back. And on his getting back with such
answer, "Present it all the same," Friedrich will not wait for that
ceremony, or delay a moment longer. Friedrich has had his Valori at
work, all this while; Valori and Podewils, and endless
correspondence and consultation going on; and things hypothetically
almost quite ready; so that--

June 5th, 1741, Friedrich, spurring Podewils to the utmost speed,
and "ordering secrecy on pain of death," signs his Treaty with
France! A kind of provisional off-and-on Treaty, I take it to be;
which was never published, and is thought to have had many IFS in
it: sigus this Treaty;--and next day (June 6th, such is the
impetuosity of haste) instructs his Rasfeld at the Hague, "You will
beforehand inform the High Mightinesses, in regard to that Advice
of April 24th, which they determined on giving me, through the
Excellency Herr von Ginkel along with Excellency Hyndford, That
such Advice can, by me, only be considered as a blind complaisance
to the Court of Vienna's improper urgencies, improper in such a
matter. That for certain I will not quit Silesia till my claims be
satisfied. And the longer I am forced to continue warring for them
here," wasting more resource and risk upon them, "the higher they
will rise!" [ Helden-Geschichte, i. 963.]
And this is what comes of that terribly courageous Dutch-English
"Joint-Resolution of a strong nature;" it has literally cut before
the point: the Exhortation is not yet presented, but the Treaty
with France is signed in virtue of it!--

Undoubtedly this of June 5th is the most important Treaty in the
Austrian-Succession War, and the cardinal element of Friedrich's
procedure in that Adventure. And it has never been published;
nor, till Herr Professor Ranke got access to the Prussian Archives,
has even the date of signing it been rightly known; but is given
two or three ways in different express Collections of Treaties.
[Scholl, ii. 297 (copying "Flassan, Hist. de la Diplom.
Franc. v. 142"), gives "5th July" as the date;
Adelung (ii. 357, 390, 441) guesses that it was "in August;" Valori
(i. 108), who was himself in it, gives the correct date,--but then
his Editor (thought inquiring readers) was such a sloven and
ignoramus. See Stenzel, iv. 143; Ranke, ii. 274.] Herr Ranke knows
this Treaty, and the correspondences, especially Friedrich's
correspondence with Podewils preparatory to it; and speaks, as his
wont is, several exact things about it; thanks to him, in the
circumstances. I wish it could be made, even with his help, fully
intelligible to the reader! For, were the Treaty never so express,
surely the mode of keeping it, on both parts, was very strange;
and that latter concerns us somewhat.

A very fast-and-loose Treaty, to all appearance! Outwardly it is a
mere Treaty of Alliance, each party guaranteeing the other for
Fifteen Years; without mention made of the joint Belleisle
Adventure now in the wind. But then, like the postscript to a
lady's letter, there come "secret articles" bearing upon that
essential item: How France, in the course of this current season
1741, is to bring an Army across the Rhine in support of its friend
Kur-Baiern VERSUS Austria; is, in the same term of time, to make
Sweden declare war on Russia (important for Friedrich, who is never
sure a moment that those Russians will not break in upon him);
and finally, most important of all, That France "guarantees Lower
Silesia with Breslau to his Prussian Majesty." In return for which
his Prussian Majesty--will do what? It is really difficult to say
what: Be a true ally and second to France in its grand German
Adventure? Not at all. Friedrich does not yet know, nor does
Belleisle himself quite precisely, what the grand German Adventure
is; and Friedrich's wishes never were, nor will be, for the
prosperity of that. Support France, at least in its small Bavarian
Anti-Austrian Adventure? By no means definitely even that.
"Maintain myself in Lower Silesia with Breslau, and fight my best
to such end:" really that, you might say, is in substance the most
of what Friedrich undertakes; though inarticulately he finds
himself bound to much more,--and will frankly go into it, IF you do
as you have said; and unless you do, will not. Never was a more
contingent Treaty: "unless you stir up Sweden, Messieurs; unless
you produce that Rhine Army; unless--" such is steadily Friedrich's
attitude; long after this, he refuses to say whom he will vote for
as Kaiser: "Fortune of War will decide it," answers he, in regard
to that and to many other things; and keeps himself to an
incomprehensible extent loose; ready, for weeks and months after,
to make bargain on his own Silesian Affair with anybody that can.
[Ranke, ii. 271, 275, 280.]

For indeed the French also are very contingent; Fleury hanging one
way, Belleisle pushing another; and know not how far they will go
on the grand German Adventure, nor conclusively whether at all.
Here is an Anecdote by Friedrich himself. Valori was, one night,
with him; and, on rising to take leave, the fat hand, sticking
probably in the big waistcoat-pocket, twitched out a little
diplomatic-looking Note; which Friedrich, with gentle adroitness
(permissible in such circumstances), set his foot upon, till Valori
had bowed himself out. The Note was from Amelot, French Minister of
the Foreign Department: "Don't give his Prussian Majesty Glatz, if
it can possibly be helped." Very well, thought Friedrich; and did
not forget the fine little Note on burning it. [ OEuvres de
Frederic, ii. 90.] There went, in French couriers'
bags, a great many such, to Austria some of them, of far more
questionable tenor, within the next twelve months.

Two things we have to remark: FIRST, That Friedrich, with an eye to
real business on his part in the Bavarian Adventure, in which
Kur-Pfalz is sure to accompany, volunteered (like a real man of
business, and much to Belleisle's surprise) to renounce the Berg-
Julich controversy, and let Kur-Pfalz have his way, that there
might be no quarrelling among allies. This too is contingent;
but was gladly accepted by Belleisle. SECOND, That Belleisle had
instructed Valori, Not to insist on active help from Friedrich in
the German Adventure, but merely to stipulate for his Neutrality
throughout, in case they could get no more. How joyfully would
Friedrich have accepted this,--had Valori volunteered with it,
which he did not! [Ranke, ii. 280.] But, after all, in result it
was the same; and had to be,--PLUS only a great deal of clamor by
and by, from the French and the Gazetteers, about the Article
in question.

Was there ever so contingent a Treaty before? It is signed,
Breslau, 5th June, 1741, and both parties have their hands loose,
and make use of their liberty for months to come; nay, in some
sort, all along; feeling how contingent it was! Friedrich did not
definitely tie himself till 4th November next, five months after:
when he signed the French-Bavarian Treaty, renounced Berg-Julich
controversies, and fairly went into the French-Bavarian, smaller
French Adventure; into the greater, or wide-winged Belleisle one,
he never went nor intended to go,--perhaps even the contrary, if
needful. Readers may try to remember these elucidative items,
riddled from the immensities of Dryasdust: I have no more to give,
nor can afford to return upon it. May not we well say, as above,
"A Treaty thought to have many IFS in it!"--And now, 8th June,
comes solemnly the Joint-Resolution itself; like mustard (under a
flourish of trumpets) three days after dinner:--

"CAMP OF GROTKAU, 8th JUNE. Hyndford and Ginkel [the same
respectable old Ginkel whom we used to know in Friedrich Wilhelm's
time], having, according to renewed order, got out from Breslau
with that formidable Dutch-English 'Advice' or Joint-Exhortation in
their pocket, did this day in the Camp at Grotkau present the same.
A very mild-spoken Piece, though it had required such courage;
and which is not now worth speaking of, things having gone as we
see. Friedrich received it with a gracious mien: 'Infinitely
sensible to the trouble his Britannic Majesty and their High
Mightinesses took with his affairs; Document should receive his
best consideration,'--which indeed it has already done, and its
Answer withal: A FRENCH Treaty signed three days ago, in virtue of
it! 'Might I request a short Private Audience of your Majesty?'
solicits Hyndford, intending to modify by new assurances, as
bidden.--'Surely,' answers Friedrich.

"The two Excellencies dine with the King, who is in high spirits.
After dinner, Hyndford gets his Private Audience; does his best in
the way of 'new assurances;' which produce what effect we can
fancy. Among other things, he appeals to the King's 'magnanimity,
how grand and generous it will be to accept moderate terms from
Austria, to--' KING (interrupting): 'My Lord, don't talk to me of
magnanimity, a Prince [acting not for himself but for his Nation]
ought to consult his interest in the first place. I am not against
Peace: but I expect to have Four Duchies given me.'" [State-Paper
Office (Hyndford, Breslau, 12th June, 1741).]

Hyndford and Ginkel slept that night in Grotkau Town: "at 4 next
morning the King sent us word, That if we had a mind to see the
Army on march," just moving off, Strehlen way, "we might come out
by the North Gate." We accordingly saw the whole Army leave Camp;
and march in four columns towards Friedewald, where Marshal
Neipperg is encamped." Not a bit of it, your Excellency! Neipperg
is safe at Neisse; amid inaccessible embankments and artificial
mud: and these are mere Hussar-Pandour rabble out here; whom a push
or two sends home again,--would it could keep them there! But they
are of sylvan (or SALVAGE) nature, affecting the shade; and burst
out, for theft and arson, sometimes at great distances, no
calculating where. "The King's Army lay all that night upon their
arms, and encamped next morning, the 10th. I believe nothing
happened that day, for we were obliged to stay at Grotkau, for want
of post-horses, a good part of it."

Hyndford hears (in secret Opposition Circles, and lays the
flattering unction to his soul and your Lordship's): "The King of
Prussia's Army, as I am informed, unless he will take counsel,
another campaign will go near to ruin. Everything is in the
greatest disorder; utmost dejection amongst the Officers from
highest to lowest;"--fact being that the King has important
improvements and new drillings in view (to go on at Strehlen),
Cavalry improvements, Artillery improvements, unknown to Hyndford
and the Opposition; and will not be ruined next campaign. "I hope
the news we have here, of the taking of Carthagena, is true,"
concludes he. Alas, your Excellency!

By a different hand, from the southward Hungarian regions, far over
the Hills, take this other entry; almost of enthusiastic style:--

"PRESBURG, 25th JUNE. Maria Theresa, in high spirits about her
English Subsidy and the bright aspects, left Vienna about a week
ago for Presburg [a drive of fifty miles down the fine Donau
country]; and is celebrating her Coronation there, as Queen of
Hungary, in a very sublime manner. Sunday, 25th June, 1741, that is
the day of putting on your Crown,--Iron Crown of St. Stephen, as
readers know. The Chivalry of Hungary, from Palfy and Esterhazy
downward, and all the world are there; shining in loyalty and
barbaric gold and pearl. A truly beautiful Young Woman, beautiful
to soul and eye, devout too and noble, though ill-informed in
Political or other Science, is in the middle of it, and makes the
scene still more noticeable to us. See, as the finish of the
ceremonies, she has mounted a high swift horse, sword girt to her
side,--a great rider always, this young Queen;--and gallops,
Hungary following like a comet-tail, to the Konigsberg [KING'S-HILL
so called; no great things of a Hill, O reader; made by barrow, you
can see], to the top of the Konigsberg; there draws sword;
and cuts, grandly flourishing, to the Four Quarters of the Heavens:
'Let any mortal, from whatever quarter coming, meddle with Hungary
if he dare!' [Adelung, ii. 293, 294.] Chivalrous Hungary bursts
into passionate acclaim; old Palfy, I could fancy, into tears; and
all the world murmurs to itself, with moist-gleaming eyes, 'REX
NOSTER!' This is, in fact, the beautifulest King or Queen that now
is, this radiant young woman; beautiful things have been, and are
to be, reported of her; and she has a terrible voyage just ahead,--
little dreaming of it at this grand moment. I wish his Britannic
Majesty, or Robinson who has followed out hither, could persuade
her to some compliance on the Silesian matter: what a thing were
that, for herself, and for all mankind, just now! But she will not
hear of that; and is very obstinate, and her stupid Hofraths
equally and much more blamably so. Deaf to hard Facts knocking at
their door; ignorant what Noah's-Deluges have broken out upon them,
and are rushing on inevitable."

By a notable coincidence, precisely while those sword-flourishings
go on at Presburg, Marechal Excellency Belleisle is making his
Public Entry into Frankfurt-on-Mayn: [25th June, 1741 (Adelung, ii.
399).] Frankfurt too is in cheery emotion; streets populous with
Sunday gazers, and critics of the sublime in spectacle! This is not
Belleisle's first entrance; he himself has been here some time,
settling his Household, and a good many things: but today he
solemnly leads in his Countess and Appendages (over from Metz,
where Madame and he officially reside in common times, "Governor of
Metz," one of his many offices);--leads in Madame, in suitably
resplendent manner; to kindle household fire, as it were;
and indicate that here is his place, till he have got a Kaiser to
his mind. Twin Phenomena, these two; going on 500 miles apart;
unconscious of one another, or of what kinship they happen
to have!--


Britannic George, both for Pragmatic's sake and for dear Hanover's,
desires much there were a bargain made with Friedrich: How is the
Pragmatic to be saved at all, if Friedrich join France in its
Belleisle machinations, thinks George? And already here is that
Camp of Gottin, glittering in view like a drawn sword pointed at
one's throat or at one's Hanover. Nay, in a month or two hence, as
the Belleisle schemes got above ground in the shape of facts, this
desire became passionate, and a bargain with Prussia seemed the one
thing needful. For, alas, the reader will see there comes, about
that time, a second sword (the Maillebois Army, namely), pointed
at one's throat from the French side of things: so that a Paladin
of the Pragmatic, and Hanoverian King of England, knows not which
way to turn! George's sincerity of wish is perhaps underrated by
Friedrich; who indeed knows well enough on which side George's
wishes would fall, if they had liberty (which they have not), but
much overrates "the astucity" of poor George and his English;
ascribing, as is often done, to fine-spun attorneyism what is mere
cunctation, ignorance, negligence, and other forms of a stupidity
perhaps the most honest in the world! By degrees Friedrich
understood better; but he never much liked the English ways of
doing business. George's desire is abundantly sincere, not wholly
resting on sublime grounds; and grows more and more intense every
day; but could not be gratified for a good while yet.

Co-operating with Hyndford, from the Vienna side, is Excellency
Robinson; who has a still harder job of it there. Pity poor
Robinson, O English reader, if you can for indignation at the
business he is in. Saving the Liberties of Europe! thinks Robinson
confidently: Founding the English National Debt, answers Fact;
and doing Bottom the Weaver, with long ears, in the miserablest
Pickleherring Tragedy that ever was!--This is the same Robinson who
immortalized himself, nine or ten years ago, by the First Treaty of
Vienna; thrice-salutary Treaty, which DISJOINED Austria from
Bourbon-Spanish Alliances, and brought her into the arms of the
grateful Sea-Powers again. Imminent Downfall of the Universe was
thus, glory to Robinson, arrested for that time. And now we have
the same Robinson instructed to sharpen all his faculties to the
cutting pitch, and do the impossible for this new and reverse face
of matters. What a change from 1731 to 1741! Bugbear of dreadful
Austrian-Spanish Alliance dissolves now into sunlit clouds,
encircling a beautiful Austrian Andromeda, about to be devoured for
us; and the Downfall of the Universe is again imminent, from Spain
and others joining AGAINST Austria. Oh, ye wigs, and eximious wig-
blocks, called right-honorable! If a man, sovereign or other, were
to stay well at home, and mind his own visible affairs, trusting a
good deal that the Universe would shift for itself, might it not be
better for him? Robinson, who writes rather a heavy style, but is
full of inextinguishable heavy zeal withal, will have a great deal
to do in these coming years. Ancestor of certain valuable Earls
that now are; author of immeasurable quantities of the Diplomatic
cobwebs that then were.

To a modern English reader it is very strange, that Austrian scene
of things in which poor Robinson is puffing and laboring.
The ineffable pride, the obstinacy, impotency, ponderous pedantry
and helplessness of that dull old Court and its Hofraths, is nearly
inconceivable to modern readers. Stupid dilapidation is in all
departments, and has long been; all things lazily crumbling
downwards, sometimes stumbling down with great plunges. Cash is
done; the world rising, all round, with plunderous intentions;
and hungry Ruin, you would say, coming visibly on with seven-league
boots: here is little room for carrying your head high among
mankind. High nevertheless they do carry it, with a grandly
mournful though stolid insolent air, as if born superior to this
Earth and its wisdoms and successes and multiplication-tables and
iron ramrods,--really with "a certain greatness," says somebody,
"greatness as of great blockheadism" in themselves and their
neighbors;--and, like some absurd old Hindoo Idol (crockery Idol of
Somnauth, for instance, with the belly of him smashed by battle-
axes, and the cart-load of gold coin all run out), persuade mankind
that they are a god, though in dilapidated condition. That is our
first impression of the thing.

But again, better seen into, there is not wantiug a certain
worthily steadfast, conservative and broad-based high air
(reminding you of "Kill our own mutton, Sir!" and the ancient
English Tory species), solid and loyal, though stolid Ancient
Austrian Tories, that definition will suffice for us;--and Toryism
too, the reader may rely on it, is much patronized by the Upper
Powers, and goes a long way in this world. Nay, without a good
solid substratum of that, what thing, with never so many ballot-
boxes, stump-orators, and liberties of the subject, is capable of
going at all, except swiftly to perdition? These Austrians have
taken a great deal of ruining, first and last! Their relation to
the then Sea-Powers, especially to England embarked on the Cause of
Liberty, fills one with amazement, by no means of an idolatrous
nature; and is difficult to understand at all, or to be patient
with at all.

Of disposition to comply with Prussia, Robinson finds, in spite of
Mollwitz and the sad experiences, no trace at Vienna. The humor at
Vienna is obstinately defiant; simply to regard Friedrich as a
housebreaker or thief in the night; whom they will soon deal with,
were they once on foot and implements in their hand: "Swift, ye
Sea-Powers; where are the implements, the cash, that means
implements?" The Young Hungarian Majesty herself is magnificently
of that opinion, which is sanctioned by her Bartensteins and wisest
Hofraths, with hardly a dissentient (old Sinzendorf almost alone in
his contrary notion, and he soon dies). Robinson urges the dangers
from France. No Hofrath here will allow himself to believe them;
to believe them would be too horrible. "Depend upon it, France's
intentions are not that way. And at the worst, if France do rise
against us, it is but bargaining with France; better so than
bargaining with Prussia, surely. France will be contentable with
something in the Netherlands; what else can she want of us?
Parings from that outskirt, what are these compared with Silesia, a
horrid gash into the vital parts? And what is yielding to the King
of France, compared with yielding to your Prussian King!"--

It is true they have no money, these blind dull people; but are not
the Sea-Powers, England especially, there, created by Nature to
supply money? What else is their purpose in Creation? By Nature's
law, as the Sun mounts in the Ecliptic and then falls, these Sea-
Powers, in the Cause of Liberty, will furnish us money.
No surrender; talk not to me of Silesia or surrender; I will die
defending my inheritances: what are the Sea-Powers about, that they
do not furnish more money in a prompt manner? These are the things
poor Robinson has to listen to: Robinson and England, it is self-
evident at Vienna, have one duty, that of furnishing money. And in
a prompt manner, if you please, Sir; why not prompt and abundant?

An English soul has small exhilaration, looking into those old
expenditures, and bullyings for want of promptitude! But if English
souls will solemnly, under high Heaven, constitute a Duke of
Newcastle and a George II. their Captains of the march Heavenward,
and say, without blushing for it, nay rejoicing at it, in the face
of the sun, "You are the most godlike Two we could lay hold of for
that object,"--what have English souls to expect? My consolation
is, and, alas, it is a poor one, the money would have been mostly
wasted any way. Buy men and gunpowder with your money, to be shot
away in foreign parts, without renown or use: is that so mnch worse
than buying ridiculous upholsteries, idle luxuries, frivolities,
and in the end unbeautiful pot-bellies corporeal and spiritual with
it, here at home? I am struck silent, looking at much that goes on
under these stars;--and find that misappointment of your Captains,
of your Exemplars and Guiding and Governing individuals, higher and
lower, is a fatal business always; and that especially, as highest
instance of it, which includes all the lower ones, this of solemnly
calling Chief Captain, and King by the Grace of God, a gentleman
who is NOT so (and SEEMS to be so mainly by Malice of the Devil,
and by the very great and nearly unforgivable indifference of
Mankind to resist the Devil in that particular province, for the
present), is the deepest fountain of human wretchedness, and the
head mendacity capable of being done!--

As for the brave young Queen of Hungary, my admiration goes with
that of all the world. Not in the language of flattery, but of
evident fact, the royal qualities abound in that high young Lady;
had they left the world, and grown to mere costume elsewhere, you
might find certain of them again here. Most brave, high and pious-
minded; beautiful too, and radiant with good-nature, though of
temper that will easily catch fire: there is perhaps no nobler
woman then living. And she fronts the roaring elements in a truly
grand feminine manner; as if Heaven itself and the voice of Duty
called her: "The Inheritances which my Fathers left me, we will not
part with these. Death, if it so must be; but not dishonor:--Listen
not to that thief in the night!" Maria Theresa has not studied, at
all, the History of the Silesian Duchies; she knows only that her
Father and Grandfather peaceably held them; it was not she that
sent out Seckendorf to ride 25,000 miles, or broke the heart of
Friedrich Wilhelm and his Household. Pity she had not complied with
Friedrich, and saved such rivers of bitterness to herself and
mankind! But how could she see to do it,--especially with little
George at her back, and abundance of money? This, for the present,
is her method of looking at the matter; this magnanimous, heroic,
and occasionally somewhat female one.

Her Husband, the Grand Duke, an inert, but good-tempered, well-
conditioned Duke after his sort, goes with her. Him we shall see
try various things; and at length take to banking and merchandise,
and even meal-dealing on the great scale. "Our Armies had most part
of their meal circuitously from him," says Friedrich, of times long
subsequent. Now as always he follows loyally his Wife's lead, never
she his: Wife being, intrinsically as well as extrinsically, the
better man, what other can he do?--Of compliance with Friedrich in
this Court, there is practically no hope till after a great deal of
beating have enlightened it. Out of deference to George and his
ardors, they pretend some intention that way; and are "willing to
bargain, your Excellency;"--no doubt of it, provided only the price
were next to nothing!

And so, while the watchful edacious Hyndford is doing his best at
Strehlen, poor Robinson, blown into triple activity, corresponds in
a boundless zealous manner from Vienna; and at last takes to flying
personally between Strehlen and Vienna; praying the inexorable
young Queen to comply a little, and then the inexorable young King
to be satisfied with imaginary compliance; and has a breathless
time of it indeed. His Despatches, passionately long-winded, are
exceedingly stiff reading to the like of us. O reader, what things
have to be read and carefully forgotten; what mountains of dust and
ashes are to be dug through, and tumbled down to Orcus, to
disengage the smallest fraction of truly memorable! Well if, in ten
cubic miles of dust and ashes, you discover the tongue of a shoe-
buckle that has once belonged to a man in the least heroic;
and wipe your brow, invoking the supernal and the infernal gods.
My heart's desire is to compress these Strehlen Diplomatic horse-
dealings into the smallest conceivable bulk. And yet how much that
is not metal, that is merely cinders, has got through: impossible
to prevent,--may the infernal gods deal with it, and reduce
Dryasdust to limits, one day! Here, however, are important Public
News transpiring through the old Gazetteers:--

"MUNCHEN, JULY 1st [or in effect a few days later, when the Letters
DATED July 1st had gone through their circuitous formalities],
[Adelung, ii. 421.] Karl Albert Kur-Baiern publicly declares
himself Candidate for the Kaisership; as, privately, he had long
been rumored and believed to be. Kur-Baiern, they say, has of
militias and regulars together about 30,000 men on foot, all posted
in good places along the Austrian Frontier; and it is commonly
thought, though little credible at Vienna, that he intends invading
Austria as well as contesting the Election. To which the Vienna
Hofrath answers in the style of 'Pshaw!'

"VERSAILLES, 11th JULY. Extraordinary Council of State; Belleisle
being there, home from Frankfurt, to take final orders, and get
official fiat put upon his schemes. 'All the Princes of the Blood
and all the Marechals of France attend;' question is, How the War
is to be, nay, Whether War is to be at all,--so contingent is the
French-Prussian Bargain, signed five weeks ago. Old Fleury, to give
freedom of consultation and vote, quits the room. Some are of
opinion, one Prince of the Blood emphatically so, That Pragmatic
Sanction should be kept, at least War AGAINST it be avoided.
But the contrary opinion triumphs, King himself being strongly with
it; Belleisle to be supreme in field and cabinet; shall execute,
like a kind of Dictator or Vice-Majesty, by his own magnificent
talent, those magnificent devisings of his, glorious to France and
to the King. [Ib. 417, 418; see also Baumer, p. 104 (if you can for
his date, which is given in OLD STYLE as if it were in New; a very
eclipsing method!).] These many months, the French have been arming
with their whole might. The Vienna people hear now, That an 'Army
of 40,000 is rumored to be coming,' or even two Armies, 40,000
each; but will not imagine that this is certain, or that it can be
seriously meant against their high House, precious to gods and men.
Belleisle having perfected the multiplex Army details, rushes back
to Frankfurt and his endless Diplomatic businesses (July 25th):
Armies to be on actual march by the 10th of August coming.
'During this Versailles visit, he had such a crowd of Officers and
great people paying court to him as was like the King's Levee
itself.' [Barbier, ii. 305.]

"PASSAU, 31st JULY. Passau is the Frontier Austrian City on the
Donau (meeting of the Inn and Donau Valleys); a place of
considerable strength, and a key or great position for military
purposes. Austrian, or Quasi-Austrian; for, like Salzburg, it has a
Bishop claiming some imaginary sovereignties, but always holds with
Austria. July 31st, early in the morning, a Bavarian Exciseman
('Salt-Inspector') applied at the gate of Passau for admission;
gate was opened;--along with the Exciseman 'certain peasants'
(disguised Bavarian soldiers) pushed in; held the gate choked, till
General Minuzzi, Karl Albert's General, with horse, foot, cannon,
who had been lurking close by, likewise pushed in; and at once
seized the Town. Town speedily secured, Minuzzi informs the Bishop,
who lives in his Schloss of Oberhaus (strongish place on a Hill-
top, other side the Donau), That he likewise, under pain of
bombardment, must admit garrison. The poor Bishop hesitates;
but, finding bombardment actually ready for him, yields in about
two hours. Karl Albert publishes his Manifesto, 'in forty-five
pages folio' [Adelung, ii. 426.] (to the effect, 'All Austria mine;
or as good as all,--if I liked!'); and fortifies himself in Passau.
'Insidious, nefarious!' shrieks Austria, in Counter-Manifesto;
calculates privately it will soon settle Karl Albert,--'Unless,
O Heavens, France with Prussia did mean to back him!'-- and begins
to have misgivings, in spite of itself."

Misgivings, which soon became fatal certainties. Robinson records,
doubtless on sure basis, though not dating it, a curious piece of
stage-effect in the form of reality; "On hearing, beyond
possibility of doubt, that Prussia, France, and Bavaria had
combined, the whole Aulic Council," Vienna Hofrath in a body, "fell
back into their chairs [and metaphorically into Robinson's arms]
like dead men!" [Raumer, p. 104.] Sat staring there;--the wind
struck out of them, but not all the folly by a great deal.
Now, however, is Robinson's time to ply them.

(Camp of Strehlen, 7th August, 1741).

By unheard-of entreaties nud conjurations, aided by these strokes
of fate, Robinson has at length extorted from his Queen of Hungary,
and her wise Hofraths, something resembling a phantasm of
compliance; with which he hurries to Breslau and Hyndford;
hoping against hope that Friedrich will accept it as a reality.
Gets to Breslau on the 3d of August; thence to Strehlen, consulting
much with Hyndford upon this phantasm of a compliance. Hyndford
looks but heavily upon it;--from us, in this place, far be it to
look at all:--alas, this is the famed Scene they Two had at
Strehlen with Friedrich, on Monday, August 7th; reported by the
faithful pen of Robinson, and vividly significant of Friedrich,
were it but compressed to the due pitch. We will give it in the
form of Dialogue: the thing of itself falls naturally into the
Dramatic, when the flabby parts are cut away;--and was perhaps
worthier of a Shakspeare than of a Robinson, all facts of it
considered, in the light they have since got.

Scene is Friedrich's Tent, Prussian Camp in the neighborhood of the
little Town of Strehlen: time 11 o'clock A.M. Personages of it, Two
British subjects in the high Diplomatic line: ponderous Scotch Lord
of an edacious gloomy countenance; florid Yorkshire Gentleman with
important Proposals in his pocket. Costume, frizzled peruke
powdered; frills, wrist-frills and other; shoe-buckles, flapped
waistcoat, court-coat of antique cut and much trimming: all this
shall be conceived by the reader. Tight young Gentleman in Prussian
military uniform, blue coat, buff breeches, boots; with alert
flashing eyes, and careless elegant bearing, salutes courteously,
raising his plumed hat. Podewils in common dress, who has entered
escorting the other Two, sits rather to rearward, taking refuge
beside the writing apparatus.--First passages of the Dialogue I
omit: mere pickeerings and beatings about the bush, before we come
to close quarters. For Robinson, the florid Yorkshire Gentleman, is
charged to offer,--what thinks the reader?--two million guilders,
about 200,000 pounds, if that will satisfy this young military King
with the alert Eyes!

ROBINSON. ... "'Two hundred thousand pounds sterling, if your
Majesty will be pleased to retire out of Silesia, and renounce
this enterprise!'

KING. "'Retire out of Silesia? And for money? Do you take me for a
beggar! Retire out of Silesia, which has cost me so much treasure
and blood in the conquest of it? No, Monsieur, no; that is not to
be thought of! If you have no better proposals to make, it is not
worth while talking.' These words were accompnnied with threatening
gestures and marks of great anger;" considerably staggering to the
Two Diplomatic British gentlemen, and of evil omen to Robinson's
phantasm of a compliance. Robinson apologetically hums and hahs,
flounders through the bad bit of road as he can; flounderingly
indicates that he has more to offer.

KING. "'Let us see then (VOYONS), what is there more?'

ROBINSON (with preliminary flourishings and flounderings, yet
confidently, as now tabling his best card). ... "'Permitted to
offer your Majesty the whole of Austrian Guelderland; lies
contiguous to your Majesty's Possessions in the Rhine Country;
important completion of these: I am permitted to say, the whole of
Austrian Guelderland!' Important indeed: a dirty stripe of moorland
(if you look in Busching), about equivalent to half a dozen
parishes in Connemara.

KING. "'What do you mean? [turning to Podewils]--QU'EST-CE QUE NOUS
MANQUE DE TOUTE LA GUELDRE (How much of Guelderland is theirs, and
not ours already)?'

PODEWILS. "'Almost nothing (PRESQUE RIEN).

KING (to Robinson). "'VOICI ENCORE DE GUEUSERIES (more rags and
rubbish yet)! QUOI, such a paltry scraping (BICOQUE) as that, for
all my just claims in Silesia? Monsieur--!' His Majesty's
indignation increased here, all the more as I kept a profound
silence during his hot expressions, and did not speak at all except
to beg his Majesty's reflection upon what I had said.--
'Reflection?'" asks the King, with eyes dangerous to behold;--
"My Lord," continues Robinson, heavily narrative, "his contempt of
what I had said was so great," kicking his boot through Guelderland
and the guilders as the most contemptible of objects, "and was
expressed in such violent terms, that now, if ever (as your
Lordship perceives), it was time to make the last effort;" play our
trump-card down at once; "a moment longer was not to be lost, to
hinder the King from dismissing us;" which sad destiny is still too
probable, after the trump-card. Trump-card is this:

ROBINSON. ... "'The whole Duchy of Limburg, your Majesty! It is a
Duchy which--' I extolled the Duchy to the utmost, described it in
the most favorable terms; and added, that 'the Elector Palatine
[old Kur-Pfalz, on one occasion] had been willing to give the whole
Duchy of Berg for it.'

PODEWILS. "'Pardon, Monsieur: that is not so; the contrary of so;
Kur-Pfalz was not ready to give Berg for it!'--[We are not deep in
German History, we British Diplomatic gentlemen, who are
squandering, now and of old, so much money on it! The Aulic
Council, "falls into our arms like dead men;" but it is certain
the Elector Palatine was not ready to give Berg in that kind
of exchange.]

KING. "'It is inconceivable to me how Austria should dare to think
of such a thing. Limburg? Are there not solemn Engagements upon
Austria, sanctioned and again sanctioned by all the world, which
render every inch of ground in the Netherlands inalienable?'

ROBINSON. "'Engagements good as against the French, your Majesty.
Otherwise the Barrier Treaty, confirmed at Utrecht, was for our
behoof and Holland's.'

KING. "'That is your present interpretation, But the French pretend
it was an arrangement more in their favor than against them.'

ROBINSON. "'Your Majesty, by a little Engineer Art, could render
Limburg impregnable to the French or others.'

KING. "'Have not the least desire to aggrandize myself in those
parts, or spend money fortifying there. Useless to me. Am not I
fortifying Brieg and Glogau? These are enough: for one who intends
to live well with his neighbors. Neither the Dutch nor the French
have offended me; nor will I them by acquisitions in the
Netherlands. Besides, who would guarantee them?'

ROBINSON. "'The Proposal is to give guarantees at once.'

KING. "'Guarantees! Who minds or keeps guarantees in this age?
Has not France guaranteed the Pragmatic Sanction; has not England?
Why don't you all fly to the Queen's succor?'"--Robinson, inclined
to pout, if he durst, intimates that perhaps there will be
succorers one day yet.

KING. "'And pray, Monsieur, who are they?'

ROBINSON. "'Hm, hm, your Majesty. ... Russia, for example, which
Power with reference to Turkey--'

KING. "'Good, Sir, good (BEAU, MONSIEUR, BEAU), the Russians! It is
not proper to explain myself; but I have means for the Russians'
[a Swedish War just coming upon Russia, to keep its hand in use;
so diligent have the French been in that quarter!].

ROBINSON (with some emphasis, as a Britannic gentleman). "'Russia
is not the only Power that has engagements with Austria, and that
must keep them too! So that, however averse to a breach--'

KING ("laying his finger on his nose," mark him;--aloud, and with
such eyes). "'No threats, Sir, if you please! No threats' ["in a
loud voice," finger to nose, and with such eyes looking in
upon me].

HYNDFORD (heavily coming to the rescue). "'Am sure his Excellency
is far from such meaning, Sire. His Excellency will advance nothing
so very contrary to his Instructions.'--Podewils too put in
something proper" in the appeasing way.

ROBINSON. "'Sire, I am not talking of what this Power or that means
to do; but of what will come of itself. To prophesy is not to
threaten, Sire! It is my zeal for the Public that brought me
hither; and--'

KING. "'The Public will be much obliged to you, Monsieur! But hear
me. With respect to Russia, you know how matters stand. From the
King of Poland I have nothing to fear. As for the King of England,
--he is my relation [dear Uncle, in the Pawnbroker sense], he is my
all: if he don't attack me, I won't him. And if he do, the Prince
of Anhalt [Old Dessauer out at Gottin yonder] will take care
of him.'

ROBINSON. "'The common news now is [rumor in Diplomatic circles,
rather below the truth this time], your Majesty, after the 12th of
August, will join the French. [King looks fixedly at him in
silence.] Sire, I venture to hope not! Austria prefers your
friendship; but if your Majesty disdain Austria's advances, what is
it to do? Austria must throw itself entirely into the hands of
France,--and endeavor to outbid your Majesty.' [King quite silent.]

"King was quite silent upon this head," says Robinson, reporting:
silence, guesses Robinson, founded most probably upon his
"consciousness of guilt"--what I, florid Yorkshire Gentleman, call
GUILT, as being against the Cause of Liberty and us! "From time to
time he threw out remarks on the advantageousness of
his situation:--

KING. ... "'At the head of such an Army, which the Enemy has
already made experience of; and which is ready for the Enemy again,
if he have appetite! With the Country which alone I am concerned
with, conquered and secured behind me; a Country that alone lies
convenient to me; which is all I want, which I now have; which I
will and must keep! Shall I be bought out of this country? Never!
I will sooner perish in it, with all my troops. With what face
shall I meet my Ancestors, if I abandon my right, which they have
transmitted to me? My first enterprise; and to be given up
lightly?'"--With more of the like sort; which Friedrich, in writing
of it long after, seems rather ashamed of; and would fain consider
to have been mock fustian, provoked by the real fustian of Sir
Thomas Robinson, "who negotiated in a wordy high-droning way, as if
he were speaking in Parliament," says Friedrich (a Friedrich not
taken with that style of eloquence, and hoping he rather quizzed it
than was serious with it, [ OEuvres de Frederic, italic> ii. 84.]--though Robinson and Hyndford found in him no want
of vehement seriousness, but rather the reverse!)--He concludes:
"Have I need of Peace? Let those who need it give me what I want;
or let them fight me again, and be beaten again. Have not they
given whole Kingdoms to Spain? [Naples, at one swoop, to the
Termagant; as broken glass, in that Polish-Election freak!] And to
me they cannot spare a few trifling Principalities? If the Queen
does not now grant me all I require, I shall in four weeks demand
Four Principalities more! [Nay, I now do it, being in sibylline
tune.] I now demand the whole of Lower Silesia, Breslau included;--
and with that Answer you can return to Vienna.'

ROBINSON. "'With that Answer: is your Majesty serious?'

KING. "'With that.'" A most vehement young King; no negotiating
with him, Sir Thomas! It is like negotiating for the Sibyl's Books:
the longer you bargain, the higher he will rise. In four weeks,
time he will demand Four Principalities more; nay, already demands
them, the whole of Lower Silesia and Breslau. A precious
negotiation I have made of it! Sir Thomas, wide-eyed, asks a
second time:--

ROBINSON. "'Is that your Majesty's deliberate answer?'

KING. "'Yes, I say! That is my Answer; and I will never give

HYNDFORD and ROBINSON (much flurried, to Podewils). "'Your
Excellency, please to comprehend, the Proposals from Vienna were--'

KING. "'Messieurs, Messieurs, it is of no use even to think of it.'
And taking off his hat," slightly raising his hat, as salutation
and finale, "he retired precipitately behind the curtain of the
interior corner of the tent," says the reporter: EXIT King!

ROBINSON (totally flurried, to Podewils). "'Your Excellency, France
will abandon Prussia, will sacrifice Prussia to self-interest.'

PODEWILS. "'No, no! France will not deceive us; we have not
deceived France.'" (SCENE CLOSES; CURTAIN FALLS.) [State-Paper
Office (Robinson to Harrington, Breslau, 9th August, 1741); Raumer,
pp. 106-110. Compare OEuvres de Frederic,
ii. 84; and Valori, i. 119, 122.]

The unsuccessfulest negotiation well imaginable by a public man.
Strehlen, Monday, 7th August, 1741:--Friedrich has vanished into
the interior of his tent; and the two Diplomatic gentlemen, the
wind struck out of them in this manner, remain gazing at one
another. Here truly is a young Royal gentleman that knows his own
mind, while so many do not. Unspeakable imbroglio of negotiations,
mostly insane, welters over all the Earth; the Belleisles, the
Aulic Councils, the British Georges, heaping coil upon coil:
and here, notably, in that now so extremely sordid murk of
wiggeries, inane diplomacies and solemn deliriums, dark now and
obsolete to all creatures, steps forth one little Human Figure,
with something of sanity in it: like a star, like a gleam of
steel,--shearing asunder your big balloons, and letting out their
diplomatic hydrogen;--salutes with his hat, "Gentlemen, Gentlemen,
it is of no use!" and vanishes into the interior of his tent. It is
to Excellency Robinson, among all the sons of Adam then extant,
that we owe this interesting Passage of History,--authentic
glimpse, face to face, of the young Friedrich in those
extraordinary circumstances: every feature substantially as above,
and recognizable for true. Many Despatches his Excellency wrote in
this world,--sixty or eighty volumes of them still left,--but among
them is this One: the angriest of mankind cannot say that his
Excellency lived and embassied quite in vain!

The Two Britannic Gentlemen, both on that distressing Monday and
the day following, had the honor to dine with the King: who seemed
in exuberant spirits; cutting and bantering to right and left;
upon the Court of Vienna, among other topics, in a way which I
Robinson "will not repeat to your Lordship." Bade me, for example,
"As you pass through Neisse, make my compliments to Marshal
Neipperg; and you can say, Excellency Robinson, that I hope to have
the pleasure of calling, one of these days!"--Podewils, who was
civil, pressed us much to stay over Wednesday, the 9th.
"On Thursday is to be a Grand Review, one of the finest military
sights; to which the Excellencies from Breslau, one and all, are
coming out." But we, having our Despatches and Expresses on hand,
pleaded business, and declined, in spite of Podewils's urgencies.
And set off for Breslau, Wednesday, morning,--meeting various
Excellencies, by degrees all the Excellencies, on the road for that
Review we had heard of.

Readers must accept this Robinsoniad as the last of Friedrich's
Diplomatic performances at Strehlen, which in effect it nearly was;
and from these instances imagine his way in such things. Various
Letters there are, to Jordan principally, some to Algarotti;
both of whom he still keeps at Breslau, and sends for, if there is
like to be an hour of leisure. The Letters indicate cheerfulness of
humor, even levity, in the Writer; which is worth noting, in this
wild clash of things now tumbling round him, and looking to him as
its centre: but they otherwise, though heartily aud frankly
written, are, to Jordan and us, as if written from the teeth
outward; and throw no light whatever either on things befalling, or
on Friedrich's humor under them. Reading diligently, we do notice
one thing, That the talk about "fame (GLOIRE)" has died out.
Not the least mention now of GLOIRE;--perception now, most
probably, that there are other things than "GLOIRE" to be had by
taking arms; and that War is a terribly grave thing, lightly as one
may go into it at first! This small inference we do negatively
draw, from the Friedrich Correspondence of those months: and except
this, and the levity of humor noticeable, we practically get no
light whatever from it; the practical soul and soul's business of
Friedrich being entirely kept veiled there, as usual.

And veiled, too, in such a way that you do not notice any veil,--
the young King being, as we often intimate, a master in this art.
Which useful circumstance has done him much ill with readers and
mankind. For if you intend to interest readers,--that is to say,
idle neighbors, and fellow-creatures in need of gossip,--there is
nothing like unveiling yourself: witness Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and
many other poor waste creatures, going off in self-conflagration,
for amusement of the parish, in that manner. But may not a man have
something other on hand with his Existence than that of "setting
fire to it [such the process terribly IS], to show the people a
fine play of colors, and get himself applauded, and pathetically
blubbered over?" Alas, my friends!--

It is certain there was seldom such a life-element as this of
Friedrich's in Summer, 1741. Here is the enormous jumbling of a
World broken loose; boiling as in very chaos; asking of him, him
more than any other, "How? What?" Enough to put GLOIRE out of his
head; and awaken thoughts,--terrors, if you were of apprehensive
turn! Surely no young man of twenty-nine more needed all the human
qualities than Friedrich now. The threatenings, the seductions, big
Belleisle hallucinations,--the perils to you infinite, if you MISS
the road. Friedrich did not miss it, as is well known; he managed
to pick it out from that enormous jumble of the elements, and
victoriously arrived by it, he alone of them all. Which is evidence
of silent or latent faculty in him, still more wonderful than the
loud-resounding ones of which the world has heard. Probably there
was not, in his history, any chapter more significant of human
faculty than this, which is not on record at all.

Chapter III.


A day or two before that famous Audience of Hyndford and
Robinson's, Neipperg had quitted his impregnable Camp at Neisse,
and taken the field again; in the hope of perhaps helping
Robinson's Negotiation by an inverse method. Should Robinson's
offers not prove attractive enough, as is to be feared, a push from
behind may have good effects. Neipperg intends to have a stroke on
Breslau; to twitch Breslau out of Friedrich's hands, by a private
manoeuvre on new resources that have offered themselves. [
Helden-Geschichte, i. 982, and ii. 227.]

In Breslau, which is by great majority Protestant in creed and
warmly Prussian in temper, there has been no oppression or unfair
usage heard of to any class of persons; and certainly in the matter
of Protestant and Catholic, there has been perfect equality
observed. True, the change from favor and ascendency to mere
equality, is not in itself welcome to human creatures:--one
conceives, for various reasons of lower and higher nature, a
minority of discontented individuals in Breslau, zealous for their
creed and old perquisites sacred and profane; who long in secret,
sometimes vocally to one another, for the good old times,--when
souls were not liable to perish wholesale, and people guilty only
of loyalty and orthodoxy to be turned out of their offices on
suspicion. Friedrich says, it was mainly certain zealous Old Ladies
of Quality who went into this adventure; and from whispering to one
another, got into speaking, into meeting in one another's houses
for the purpose of concerting and contriving. [ OEuvres,
ii. 82, 83.] Zealous Old Ladies of Quality,--these we
consider were the Talking-Apparatus or Secret-Parliament of the
thing: but it is certain one or two Official Gentlemen (Syndic
Guzmar for instance, and others NOT yet become Ex-Official) had
active hand in it, and furnished the practical ideas.

Continual Correspondence there was with Vienna, by those Old
Ladies; Guzmar and the others shy of putting pen to paper, and only
doing it where indispensable. Zealous Addresses go to her Hungarian
Majesty, "Oh, may the Blessed Virgin assist your Majesty!"--
accompanied, it is said, with Subscriptions of money (poor old
souls); and what is much more dangerous and feasible, there goes
prompt notice to Neipperg of everything the Prussian Army
undertakes, and the Postscript always, "Come and deliver us, your
Excellency." Of these latter Documents, I have heard of some with
Syndic Guzmar's and other Official hands to them. Generally such
things can, through accidental Pandour channels, were there no
other, easily reach Neipperg; though they do not always.
Enough, could Neipperg appear at the Gates of Breslau, in some
concerted night-hour, or push out suitable Detachment on forced-
march that way,--it is evident to him he would be let in;
might smother the few Prussians that are in the Dom Island, and get
possession of the Enemy's principal Magazine and the Metropolis of
the Province. Might not the Enemy grow more tractable to Robinson's
seductions in such case?

Neipperg marches from Neisse (1st-6th August) with his whole Army;
first some thirty miles westward up the right or southern bank of
the Neisse; then crosses the Neisse, and circles round to
northward, giving Friedrich wide room: [Orlich, i. 130, 133.] that
night of Robinson's Audience, when Friedrich was so merry at
dinner, Neipperg was engaged in crossing the River; the second
night after, Neipperg lay encamped and intrenched at Baumgarten
(old scene of Friedrich's Pandour Adventure), while Hyndford and
Robinson had got back to Breslau. In another day or so, he may hope
to be within forced-march of Breslau, to detach Feldmarschall
Browne or some sharp head; and to do a highly considerable thing?

Unluckily for Neipperg's Adventure, the Prussians had wind of it,
some time ago. They have got "a false Sister smuggled into that
Old-Ladies' Committee," who has duly reported progress; nay they
have intercepted something in Syndic Guzmar's own hand: and
everything is known to Friedrich. The Protestant population, and
generally the practical quiet part of the Breslauers, are harassed
with suspicion of some such thing, but can gain no certainty, nor
understand what to do. Protestants especially, who have been so
zealous, "who were seen dropping down on the streets to pray, while
the muffled thunder came from Mollwitz that day," [Ranke, ii.
289.]--fancy how it would now be, were the tables suddenly turned,
and indignant Orthodoxy made supreme again, with memory fresh!
But, in fact, there is no danger whatever to them. Schwerin has
orders about Breslau; Schwerin and the Young Dessauer are maturely
considering how to manage.

Readers recollect how Podewils pressed the Two Britannic
Excellencies to stay in Strehlen a day or two longer: "Grand
Review, with festivities, just on hand; whole of the Foreign
Ministers in Breslau invited out to see it,"--though Hyndford and
Robinson would not consent; but left on the 9th, meeting the others
at different points of the road. Next day, Thursday, 10th August,
was in fact a great day at Strehlen; grand muster, manoeuvring of
cavalry above all, whom Friedrich is delighted to find so perfect
in their new methods; riding as if they were centaurs, horse and
man one entity; capable of plunging home, at full gallop, in
coherent masses upon an enemy, and doing some good with him.
"Neipperg's Croat-people, and out-pickets on the distant Hill-
sides, witnessed these manoeuvres," [Ranke, ii. 288.] I know not
with what criticism. Furthermore, about noon-time, there was heard
(mark it, reader) a distant cannon-shot, one and no more, from the
Northern side; which gave his Majesty a lively pleasure, though he
treated it as nothing. All the Foreign Ministers were on the
ground; doubtless with praises, so far as receivable; and in the
afternoon came festivities not a few. A great day in Strehlen:--
but in Breslau a much greater; which explained, to our Two
Excellencies, why Podewils had been so pressing!

August 10th, at six in the morning, Schwerin, and under him the
Young Dessauer,--who had arrived in the Southwestern suburbs of
Breslau overnight, with 8,000 foot and horse, and had posted
themselves in a vigilant Anti-Neipperg manner there, and laid all
their plans,--appear at the Nicolai Gate; and demand, in the common
way, transit for their regiments and baggages: "bound Northward,"
as appears; "to Leubus," where something of Pandour sort has fallen
out. So many troops or companies at a time, that is the rule;
one quotity of companies you admit; then close and bolt, till it
have marched across and out at the opposite Gate; after which, open
again for a second lot. But in this case,--owing to accident (very
unusual) of a baggage-wagon breaking down, and people hurrying to
help it forward,--the whole regiment gets in, escorted as usual by
the Town-guard. Whole regiment; and marches, not straight through;
but at a certain corner strikes off leftward to the Market-place;
where, singular to say, it seems inclined to pause and rearrange
itself a little. Nay, more singular still, other regiments (owing
to like accidents), from other Gates, join it;--and--in fact--
"Herr Major of the Town-guard, in the King's name, you are required
to ground arms!" What can the Town Major do; Prussian grenadiers,
cannoneers, gravely environing him? He sticks his sword into the
scabbard, an Ex-Town Major; and Breslau City is become Friedrich's,
softly like a movement during drill. [ Helden-Geschichte,
i. 982, n. 227, 268; Adelung, ii. 439; Stenzel,
iv. 152.]

Not the least mistake occurred. Cannon with case-shot planted
themselves in all the thoroughfares, Horse-patrols went circulating
everywhere; Town-arsenal, gates, walls, are laid hold of; Town-
guards all disarmed, rather "with laughter on their part" than
otherwise: "Majesty perhaps will give us muskets of his own;--
well!" The operation altogether did not last above an hour-and-
half, and nobody's skin got scratched. Towards 9 A.M. Schwerin
summoned the Town Dignitaries to their Rathhaus to swear fealty;
who at once complied; and on his stepping out with proposal, to the
general population, of "a cheer for King Friedrich, Duke of Lower
Silesia," the poor people rent the skies with their "Friedrich and
Silesia forever!" which they repeated, I think, seven times.
Upon which Schwerin fired off his signal-cannon, pointing to the
South; where other posts and cannons took up the sound, and pushed
it forward, till, as we noticed, it got to Friedrich in few
minutes, on the review-ground at Strehlen; right welcome to him,
among the manoeuvrings there. Protestant Breslau or cordwainer
Doblin cannot lament such a result; still less dare the devout Old
Ladies of Quality openly lament, who are trembling to the heart,
poor old creatures, though no evil came of it to them; penitent,
let off for the fright; checking even their aspirations henceforth.

Syndic Guzmar and the peccant Officials being summoned out to
Strehlen, it had been asked of them, "Do you know this Letter?"
Upon which they fell on their knees, "ACH IHRO MAJESTAT!" unable to
deny their handwriting; yet anxious to avoid death on the scaffold,
as Friedrich said was usual under such behavior; and were sent
home, after a few hours of arrest. [Orlich, i. 134;
Helden-Geschichte, ii. 228.] Schwerin (as King's
substitute till the King himself one day arrive) continued to take
the Homaging, and to make the many new arrangements needful.
All which went off in a soft and pleasantly harmonious manner;--
only the Jesuits scrupling a little to swear as yet; and getting
gently sent their ways, with revenues stopt in consequence.
Otherwise the swearing, which lasted for several days, was to
appearance a joyful process, and on the part of the general
population an enthusiastic one, "ES LEBE KONIG FRIEDRICH!" rising
to the welkin with insatiable emphasis, seven times over, on the
least signal given. Neipperg's Adventure, and Orthodox Female
Parliament, have issued in this sadly reverse manner.

Robinson and Hyndford have to witness these phenomena; Robinson to
shoot off for Presburg again, with the worst news in the world.
Queen and Hofraths have been waiting in agony of suspense, "Will
Friedrich bargain on those gentle terms, and help us with 100,000
men?" Far from it, my friends; how far! "My most important
intelligence," writes the Russian Envoy there, some days ago,
["5 August, 1741," not said to whom (in Ranke, ii. 324 n.).] is,
that a Bavarian War has broken out, that Kur-Baiern is in Passau.
God grant that Monsieur Robinson may succeed in his negotiation!
All here are in the completest irresolution, and total inactivity,
till Monsieur Robinson return, or at least send news of himself."

Chapter IV.


This Breslau Adventure, which had yielded Friedrich so important an
acquisition, was furthermore the cause of ending these Strehlen
inactivities, and of recommencing field operations. August 11th,
Neipperg, provoked by the grievous news just come from Breslau,
pushes suddenly forward on Schweidnitz, by way of consolation;
Schweidnitz, not so strong as it might be made, where the Prussians
have a principal Magazine: "One might at least seize that?" thinks
Neipperg, in his vexed humor. But here too Friedrich was beforehand
with him; broke out, rapidly enough, to Reichenbach, westward,
which bars the Neipperg road to Schweidnitz: upon which,--or even
before which (on rumor of it coming, which was not YET true),--
Neipperg, half done with his first day's march, called halt;
prudently turned back, and hastened, Baumgarten way, to his strong
Camp at Frankenstein again. His hope in the Schweidnitz direction
had lasted only a few hours; a hope springing on the mere spur of
pique, soon recognizable by him as futile; and now anxieties for
self-preservation had succeeded it on Neipperg's part. For now
Friedrich actually advances on him, in a menacing manner, hardly
hoping Neipperg will fight; but determined to have done with the
Neisse business, in spite of strong camps and cunctations, if it be
possible. [Orlich, i. 137, 138.]

It was August 16th, when Friedrich stirred out of Strehlen;
August 21st, when he encamped at Reichenbach. Till September 7th,
he kept manoeuvring upon Neipperg, who counter-manoeuvred with
vigilance, good judgment, and would not come to action: September
7th, Friedrich, weary of these hagglings, dashed off for Neisse
itself, hoped to be across Neisse River, and be between Neisse Town
and Neipperg, before Neipperg could get up. There would then be no
method of preventing the Siege of Neisse, except by a Battle:
so Friedrich had hoped; but Neipperg again proved vigilant.

Accordingly, September 11th, Friedrich's Vanguard was actually
across the Neisse; had crossed at a place called Woitz, and had
there got Two Pontoon Bridges ready, when Friedrich, in the
evening, came up with the main Army, intending to cross;--and was
astonished to find Neipperg taking up position, in intricate
ground, near by, on the opposite side! Ground so intricate, hills,
bogs, bushes of wood, and so close upon the River, there was no
crossing possible; and Friedrich's Vanguard had to be recalled.
Two days of waiting, of earnest ocular study; no possibility
visible. On the third day, Friedrich, gathering in his pontoons
overnight, marched off, down stream: Neisse-wards, but on the left
or north bank of the River; passed Neisse Town (the River between
him and it); and encamped at Gross Neundorf, several miles from
Neipperg and the River. Neipperg, at an equal step, has been
wending towards his old Camp, which lies behind Neisse, between
Neisse and the Hills: there, a river in front, dams and muddy
inundations all round him, begirt with plentiful Pandours, Neipperg
waits what Friedrich will attempt from Gross Neundorf.

From Gross Neundorf, Friedrich persists twelve days (13th-25th
September), studying, endeavoring; mere impossibility ahead. And by
this time (what is much worth noting), Hyndford, silently quitting
Breslau, has got back to these scenes of war, occasionally visible
in Friedrich's Camp again;--on important mysterious business;
which will have results. Valori also is here in Camp; these two
Excellencies jealously eying one another; both of them with teeth
rather on edge,--Europe having suddenly got into such a plunge (as
if the highest mountains were falling into the deepest seas) since
Friedrich began this Neipperg problem of his;--in which, after
twelve days, he sees mere impossibility ahead.

On the twelfth day, Friedrich privately collects himself for a new
method: marches, soon after midnight, [26th September, 2 A.M.:
Orlich, i. 144.] fifteen miles down the River (which goes northward
in this part, as the reader may remember); crosses, with all his
appurtenances, unmolested; and takes camp a few miles inland, or on
the right bank, and facing towards Neisse again. He intends to be
in upon Neipperg front the rear quarter; and cut him off from
Mahren and his daily convoys of food. "Daily food cut off,--the
thickest-skinned rhinoceros, the wildest lion, cannot stand that:
here, for Neipperg, is one point on which all his embankments and
mud-dams will not suffice him!" thinks Friedrich. Certain
preliminary operations, and military indispensabilities, there
first are for Friedrich,--Town of Oppeln to be got, which commands
the Oder, our rearward highway; Castle of Friedland, and the
country between Oder and Neisse Rivers:--while these preliminary
things are being done (September 28th-October 3d), Friedrich in
person gradually pushes forward towards Neipperg, reconnoitring,
bickering with Croats: October 3d, preliminaries done, Neipperg's
rear had better look to itself.

Neipperg, well enough seeing what was meant, has by this time come
out of his mud-dams and impregnabilities; and advanced a few miles
towards Friedrich. Neipperg lies now encamped in the Hamlet of
Griesau, a little way behind Steinau,--poor Steinau, which the
reader saw on fire one night, when Friedrich and we were in those
parts, in Spring last. Friedrich's Camp is about five miles from
Neipperg's on the other side of Steinau. A tolerable champaign
country; I should think, mostly in stubble at this season. Nearly
midway between these two Camps is a pretty Schloss called Klein-
Schnellendorf, occupied by Neipperg's Croats just now, of which
Prince Lobkowitz (he, if I remember, but it matters nothing), an
Austrian General of mark, far away at present, is proprietor.

Friedrich's Oppeln preparations are about complete; and he intends
to advance straightway. "Hold, for Heaven's sake, your Majesty!"
exclaims Hyndford; getting hold of him one day (waylaying him, in
fact; for it is difficult, owing to Valori); "Wait, wait; I have
just been to the--to the Camp of Neipperg," silently gesticulates
Hyndford: "Within a week all shall be right, and not a drop of
blood shed!" Friedrich answers, by silence chiefly, to the effect,
"Tush, tush;" but not quite negatively, and does in effect wait.
We had better give the snatch of Dialogue in primitive authentic
form; date is, Camp of Neundorf, September 22d:--

FRIEDRICH (pausing impatiently, on the way towards his tent).
"'MILORD, DE QUOI S'AGIT-IL A PRESENT (What is it now, then)?'

HYNDFORD. "'Should much desire to have some assurance from your
Majesty with regard to that neutrality of Hanover you were pleased
to promise.' All else is coming right; hastening towards beautiful
settlement, were that settled.

FRIEDRICH. "'Have not I great reason to be dissatisfied with your
Court? Britannic Majesty, as King of England and as Elector of
Hanover, is wonderful! Milord, when you say a thing is white,
Schweichelt, the Hanoverian Excellency, calls it black, and VICE
VERSA. But I will do your King no harm; none, I say! Follow me to
dinner; dinner is cold by this time; and we have made more than one
person think of us. Swift! [and EXIT].'" [Hyndford's Despatch,
Neisse, 4th October, 1741.]

This is a strange motion on the part of Hyndford; but Friedrich,
severely silent to it, understands it very well; as readers soon
will, when they hear farther. But marvellous things have happened
on the sudden! In these three weeks, since the Camp of Strehlen
broke up, there have been such Events; strategic, diplomatic:
a very avalanche of ruin, hurling Austria down to the Nadir;
of which it is now fit that the reader have some faint conception,
an adequate not being possible for him or me:--

"AUGUST l5th, 1741. Robinson reappears in Presburg; and precious
surely are the news he brings to an Aulic Council fallen back in
its chairs, and staring with the wind struck out of it.
Their expected Seizure of Breslau gone heels over head, in that
way; Friedrich imperiously resolute, gleaming like the flash of
steel amid these murky imbecilities, and without the Cession of
Silesia no Peace to be made with him! And all this is as nothing,
to news which arrives just on the back of Robinson, from
another quarter.

"AUGUST 15th-21st. French Army of 40,000 men, special Army of
Belleisle, sedulously equipt and completed, visibly crosses the
Rhine at Fort Louis (an Island Fortress in the Rhine, thirty miles
below Strasburg; STONES of it are from the old Schloss of
Hagenau);--steps over deliberately there; and on the sixth day is
all on German ground. These troops, to be commanded by Belleisle,
so soon as he can join them, are to be the Elector of Bavaria's
troops, Kur-Baiern Generalissimo over Belleisle and them;
[ Fastes de Louis XV., ii. 264.] and they are
on rapid march to join that ambitious Kurfurst, in his Passau
Expedition; and probably submerge Vienna itself.

"And what is this we hear farther, O Robinson, O Excellencies
Hyndford, Schweichelt and Company: That another French Army, of the
same strength, under Maillebois, has in the self-same days gone
across the Lower Rhine (at Kaisersworth, an hour's ride below
Dusseldorf)! At Kaisersworth; ostensibly for comforting and
strengthening Kur-Koln (the lanky Ecclesiastical Gentleman,
Kur-Baiern's Brother), their excellent ally, should anybody meddle
with him. Ostensibly for this; but in reality to keep the Sea-
Powers, and especially George of England quiet. It marches towards
Osnabruck, this Maillebois Army; quarters itself up and down,
looking over into Hanover,--able to eat Hanover, especially if
joined by the Prussians and Old Leopold, at any moment.

"These things happen in this month of August, close upon the rear
of that steel-shiny scene in the Tent at Strehlen, where Friedrich
lifted his hat, saying, ''T is of no use, Messieurs!'--which was
followed by the seizure of Breslau the wrong way. Never came such a
cataract of evil news on an Aulic Council before. The poor proud
people, all these months they have been sitting torpid, helpless,
loftily stupid, like dumb idols; 'in flat despair,' as Robinson
says once, 'only without the strength to be desperate.'

"Sure enough the Sea-Powers are checkmated now. Let them make the
least attempt in favor of the Queen, if they dare. Holland can be
overrun, from Osnabruck quarter, at a day's warning. Little George
has his Hanoverians, his subsidized Hessians, Danes, in Hanover,
his English on Lexden Heath: let him come one step over the
marches, Maillebois and the Old Dessauer swallow him. It is a
surprising stroke of theatrical-practical Art; brought about, to
old Fleury's sorrow, by the genius of Belleisle, aud they say of
Madame Chateauroux; enough to strike certain Governing Persons
breathless, for some time; and denotes that the Universal
Hurricane, or World-Tornado, has broken out. It is not recorded of
little George that he fell back in his chair, or stared wider than
usual with those fish-eyes: but he discerned well, glorious little
man, that here is left no shadow of a chance by fighting; that he
will have to sit stock-still, under awful penalties; and that if
Maria Theresa will escape destruction, she must make her peace with
Friedrich at any price."

This fine event, 80,000 French actually across the Rhine, happened
in the very days while Friedrich and Neipperg had got into wrestle
again,--Neipperg just off from that rash march for Schweidnitz, and
whirling back on rumor (15th August), while the first instalment of
the French were getting over. Friedrich must admit that the French
fulfil their promises so far. A week ago or more, they made the
Swedes declare War against Russia, as covenanted. War is actually
declared, at Stockholm, August 4th, the Faction of Hats prevailing
over that of Nightcaps, after terrible debates and efforts about
the mere declaring of it, as if that alone were the thing needed.
We mentioned this War already, and would not willingly again.
One of the most contemptible Wars ever declared or carried on;
but useful to Friedrich, as keeping Russia off his hands, at a
critical time, and conclusively forbidding help to Austria from
that quarter.

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