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History of Friedrich II of Prussia V

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15th Aug. 1744-25th Dec. 1745.

Chapter I.


Battle being once seen to be inevitable, it was Friedrich's plan
not to wait for it, but to give it. Thanks to Friedrich Wilhelm and
himself, there is no Army, nor ever was any, in such continual
preparation. Military people say, "Some Countries take six months,
some twelve, to get in motion for war: but in three weeks Prussia
can be across the marches, and upon the throat of its enemy."
Which is an immense advantage to little Prussia among its big
neighbors. "Some Countries have a longer sword than Prussia;
but none can unsheathe it so soon:"--we hope, too, it is moderately
sharp, when wielded by a deft hand.

The French, as was intimated, are in great vigor, this Year;
thoroughly provoked; and especially since Friedrich sent his
Rothenburg among them, have been doing their very utmost.
Their main effort is in the Netherlands, at present;--and indeed,
as happened, continues all through this War to be. They by no means
intend, or ever did, to neglect Teutschland; yet it turns out, they
have pretty much done with their fighting there. And next Year,
driven or led by accidents of various kinds, they quit it
altogether; and turning their whole strength upon the Netherlands
and Italy, chiefly on the Netherlands, leave Friedrich, much to his
astonishment, with the German War hanging wholly round HIS neck,
and take no charge of it farther! In which, to Friedrich's
Biographers, there is this inestimable benefit, if far the reverse
to Friedrich's self: That we shall soon have done with the French,
then; with them and with so much else; and may, in time coming, for
most part, leave their huge Sorcerer's Sabbath of a European War to
dance itself out, well in the distance, not encumbering us farther,
like a circumambient Bedlam, as it has hitherto done.
Courage, reader! Let us give, in a glance or two, some notion of
the course things took, and what moment it was when Friedrich
struck in;--whom alone, or almost alone, we hope to follow
thenceforth; "Dismal Swamp" (so gracious was Heaven to us) lying
now mostly to rearward, little as we hoped it!

It was mere accident, a series of bad accidents, that led King
Louis and his Ministers into gradually forsaking Friedrich.
They were the farthest in the world from intending such a thing.
Contrariwise, what brain-beating, diplomatic spider-weaving,
practical contriving, now and afterwards, for that object;
especially now! Rothenburg, Noailles, Belleisle, Cardinal Tencin,
have been busy; not less the mistress Chateauroux, who admires
Friedrich, being indeed a high-minded unfortunate female, as they
say; and has thrown out Amelot, not for stammering alone. They are
able, almost high people, this new Chateauroux Ministry, compared
with some; and already show results.

Nay, what is most important of all, France has (unconsciously, or
by mere help of Noailles and luck) got a real General to her
Armies: Comte de Saxe, now Marechal de Saxe; who will shine very
splendent in these Netherland operations,--counter-shone by mere
Wades, D'Ahrembergs, Cumberlands,--in this and the Four following
Years. Noailles had always recognized Comte de Saxe; had long
striven for him, in Official quarters; and here gets the light of
him unveiled at last, and set on a high place: loyal Noailles.

This was the Year, this 1744, when Louis XV., urged by his
Chateauroux, the high-souled unfortunate female, appeared in person
at the head of his troops: "Go, Sire, go, MON CHOU (and I will
accompany); show yourself where a King should be, at the head of
your troops; be a second Louis-le-Grand!" Which he did, his
Chateauroux and he; actually went to the Netherlands, with baggage-
train immeasurable, including not cooks only, but play-actors with
their thunder-barrels (off from Paris, May 3d), to the admiration
of the Universe. [Adelung, iv. 113; Barbier, ii. 391, 394; Dulaure,
Hist. de Paris; &c.] Took the command,
nominal-command, first days of June; and captured in no-time Menin,
Ipres, Furnes, and the Fort of Knock, and as much of the Austrian
Netherlands as he liked,--that is to say, saw Noailles and Saxe do
it;--walking rapidly forward from Siege to Siege, with a most
thundering artillery; old Marshal Wade and consorts dismally eating
their victuals, and looking on from the distance, unable to attempt
the least stroke in opposition. So that the Dutch Barrier, if
anybody now cared for it, did go all flat; and the Balance of Power
gets kicked out of its sacred pivot: to such purpose have the Dutch
been hoisted! Terrible to think of;--had not there, from the
opposite quarter, risen a surprising counterpoise; had not there
been a Prince Karl, with his 70,000, pressing victoriously over the
Rhine; which stayed the French in these sacrilegious procedures.


Prince Karl, some weeks ago, at Heilbronn, joined his Rhine Army,
which had gathered thither from the Austrian side, through Baiern,
and from the Hither-Austrian or Swabian Winter-quarters; with full
intent to be across the Rhine, and home upon Elsass and the
Compensation Countries, this Summer, under what difficulties
soever. Karl, or, as some whisper, old Marshal Traun, who is
nominally second in command, do make a glorious campaign of it,
this Year;--and lift the Cause of Liberty, at one time, to the
highest pitch it ever reached. Here, in brief terms, is Prince
Karl's Operation on the Rhine, much admired by military men:--

"STOCKSTADT, JUNE 20th, 1744. Some thirty and odd miles north of
Mannheim, the Rhine, before turning westward at Mainz, makes one
other of its many Islands (of which there are hundreds since the
leap at Schaffhausen): one other, and I think the biggest of them
all; perhaps two miles by five; which the Germans call KUHKOPF
(Cowhead), from the shape it has,--a narrow semi-ellipse;
River there splitting in two, one split (the western) going
straight, the other bending luxuriantly round: so that the HIND-
head or straight end of the Island lies towards France, and the
round end, or cow-LIPS (so to speak) towards native Teutschland,
and the woody Hills of the Berg-Strasse thereabouts. Stockstadt,
chief little Town looking over into this Cowhead Island, lies under
the CHIN: understand only farther that the German branch carries
more than two-thirds of the River; that on the Island itself there
is no town, or post of defence; and that Stockstadt is the place
for getting over. Coigny and the French, some 40,000, are guarding
the River hereabouts, with lines, with batteries, cordons, the best
they can; Seckendorf, with 20,000 more ('Imperial' Old Bavarian
Troops, revivified, recruited by French pay), is in his garrison of
Philipsburg, ready to help when needed:"--not moulting now, at
Wembdingen, in that dismal manner; new-feathered now into "Kaiser's
Army;" waiting in his Philipsburg to guard the River there.
"Coigny's French have ramparts, ditches, not quite unfurnished, on
their own shore, opposite this Cowhead Island (ISLE DE HERON, as
they call it); looking over to the hind-head, namely: but they have
nothing considerable there; and in the Island itself, nothing
whatever. 'If now Stockstadt were suddenly snatched by us,' thinks
Karl;--'if a few pontoons were nimbly swung in?'

"JUNE 20th,--Coigny's people all shooting FEU-DE-JOIE, for that
never enough to be celebrated Capture of Menin and the Dutch
Barrier a fortnight ago,--this is managed to be done. The active
General Barenklau, active Brigadier Daun under him, pushes rapidly
across into Kuhkopf; rapidly throws up intrenchments, ramparts,
mounts cannon, digs himself in,--greatly to Coigny's astonishment;
whose people hereabouts, and in all their lines and posts, are busy
shooting FEU-DE-JOIE for those immortal Dutch victories, at the
moment, and never dreaming of such a thing. Fresh force floods in,
Prince Karl himself arrives next day, in support of Barenklau;
Coigny (head-quarters at Speyer, forty miles south) need not
attempt dislodging him; but must stand upon his guard, and prepare
for worse. Which he does with diligence; shifting northward into
those Stockstadt-Mainz parts; calling Seckendorf across the River,
and otherwise doing his best,--for about ten days more, when worse,
and almost worst, did verily befall him.

"No attempt was made on Barenklau; nor, beyond the alarming of the
Coigny-Seckendorf people, did anything occur in Cowhead Island,--
unless it were the finis of an ugly bully and ruffian, who has more
than once afflicted us: which may be worth one word.
Colonel Mentzel [copper-faced Colonel, originally Play-actor,
"Spy in Persia," and I know not what] had been at the seizure of
Kuhkopf; a prominent man. Whom, on the fifth day after ('June
25th'), Prince Karl overwhelmed with joy, by handing him a Patent
of Generalcy: 'Just received from Court, my Friend, on account of
your merits old and late.'--'Aha,' said Barenklau, congratulating
warmly: 'Dine with me, then, Herr General Mentzel, this very day.
The Prince himself is to be there, Highness of Hessen-Darmstadt,
and who not; all are impatient to drink your health!' Mentzel had a
glorious dinner; still more glorious drink,--Prince Karl and the
others, it is said, egging him into much wild bluster and
gasconade, to season their much wine. Eminent swill of drinking,
with the loud coarse talk supposable, on the part of Mentzel and
consorts did go on, in this manner, all afternoon: in the evening,
drunk Mentzel came out for air; went strutting and staggering
about; emerging finally on the platform of some rampart, face of
him huge and red as that of the foggiest rising Moon;--and stood,
looking over into the Lorraine Country; belching out a storm of
oaths, as to his taking it, as to his doing this and that; and was
even flourishing his sword by way of accompaniment; when, lo,
whistling slightly through the summer air, a rifle-ball from some
sentry on the French side (writers say, it was a French drummer,
grown impatient, and snatching a sentry's piece) took the brain of
him, or the belly of him; and he rushed down at once, a totally
collapsed monster, and mere heap of dead ruin, never to trouble
mankind more." [ Guerre de Boheme, iii. 165.]
For which my readers and I are rather thankful. Voltaire, and
perhaps other memorable persons, sometimes mention this brute
(miraculous to the Plebs and Gazetteers); otherwise eternal
oblivion were the best we could do with him. Trenck also, readers
will be glad to understand, ends in jail and bedlam by and by.

"Prince Karl had not the least intention of crossing by this
Cowhead Island. Nevertheless he set about two other Bridges in the
neighborhood, nearer Mainz (few miles below that City);
kept manoeuvring his Force, in huge half-moon, round that quarter,
and mysteriously up and down; alarming Coigny wholly into the Mainz
region. For the space of ten days; and then, stealing off to
Schrock, a little Rhine Village above Philipsburg, many miles away
from Coigny and his vigilantes, he--

"NIGHT OF 30th JUNE-1st JULY, Suddenly shot Pandour Trenck,
followed by Nadasti and 6,000, across at Schrock who scattered
Seckendorf's poor outposts thereabouts to the winds; 'built a
bridge before morning, and next day another.' Next day Prince Karl
in person appeared; and on the 3d of July, had his whole Army with
its luggages across; and had seized the Lines of Lauterburg and
Weissenburg (celebrated northern defence of Elsass),--much to
Coigny's amazement; and remained inexpugnable there, with Elsass
open to him, and to Coigny shut, for the present! [Adelung, iv.
139-141.] Coigny made bitter wail, accusation, blame of Seckendorf,
blame of men and of things; even tried some fighting, Seckendorf
too doing feats, to recover those Lines of Weissenburg: but could
not do it. And, in fact, blazing to and fro in that excited rather
than luminous condition, could not do anything; except retire into
the strong posts of the background; and send express on express,
swifter than the wind if you can, to a victorious King overturning
the Dutch Barrier: 'Help, your Majesty, or we are lost; and France
is--what shall I say!'"

"Admirable feat of Strategy! What a General, this Prince Karl!"
exclaimed mankind,--Cause-of-Liberty mankind with special
enthusiasm; and took to writing LIVES of Prince Karl, [For
instance, The Life of his Highness Prince Charles of &c.,
with &c. &c. (London, 1746); one of the most
distracted Blotches ever published under the name of Book;--
wakening thoughts of a public dimness very considerable indeed, to
which this could offer itself as lamp!] as well as tar-burning and
TE-DEUM-ing on an extensive scale. For it had sent the Cause of
Liberty bounding up again to the top of things, this of crossing
the Rhine, in such fashion. And, in effect, the Cause of Liberty,
and Prince Karl himself, had risen hereby to their acme or
culminating point in World-History; not to continue long at such
height, little as they dreamt of that, among their tar-burnings.
The feat itself--contrived by Nadasti, people say, and executed
(what was the real difficulty) by Traun--brought Prince Karl very
great renown, this Year; and is praised by Friedrich himself, now
and afterwards, as masterly, as Julius Caesar's method, and the
proper way of crossing rivers (when executable) in face of an
enemy. And indeed Prince Karl, owing to Traun or not, is highly
respectable in the way of Generalship at present; and did in these
Five Months, from June onward, really considerable things. At his
very acme of Life, as well as of Generalship; which, alas, soon
changed, poor man; never to culminate again. He had got, at the
beginning of the Year, the high Maria Theresa's one Sister,
Archduchess Maria Anna, to Wife; [Age then twenty-five gone:
"born 14th September, 1718; married to Prince Karl 7th January,
1744; died, of childbirth, 16th December same year" (Hormayr,
OEsterreichischer Plutarch, iv. erstes
Baudchen, 54).] the crown of long mutual attachment; she safe now
at Brussels, diligent Co-Regent, and in a promising family-way; he
here walking on victorious:--need any man be happier? No man can be
supremely happy long; and this General's strategic felicity and his
domestic were fatally cut down almost together. The Cause of
Liberty, too, now at the top of its orbit, was--But let us stick by our Excerpting:

"DUNKIRK, 19th JULY, 1744 [Princess Ulrique's Wedding, just two
days ago]. King Louis, on hearing of the Job's-news from Elsass,
instantly suspended his Conquests in Flanders; detached Noailles,
detached this one and that, double-quick, Division after Division
(leaving Saxe, with 45,000, to his own resources, and the fatuities
of Marshal Wade); and, 19th July, himself hastens off from Dunkirk
(leaving much of the luggage, but not the Chateauroux behind him),
to save his Country, poor soul. But could not, in the least, save
it; the reverse rather. August 4th, he got to Metz, Belleisle's
strong town, about 100 miles from the actual scene; his detached
reinforcements, say 50,000 men or so, hanging out ahead like flame-
clouds, but uncertain how to act;--Noailles being always
cunctatious in time of crisis, and poor Louis himself nothing of a
Cloud-Compeller;--and then,

"METZ, AUGUST 8th, The Most Christian King fell ill; dangerously,
dreadfully, just like to die. Which entirely paralyzed Noailles and
Company, or reduced them to mere hysterics, and excitement of the
unluminous kind. And filled France in general, Paris in particular,
with terror, lamentation, prayers of forty hours; and such a
paroxysm of hero-worship as was never seen for such an object
before." [Espagnac, ii. 12; Adelung, iv. 180; Fastes de
Louis XV., ii. 423; &c. &c.]

For the Cause of Liberty here, we consider, was the culminating
moment; Elsass, Lorraine and the Three Bishoprics lying in their
quasi-moribund condition; Austrian claims of Compensation ceasing
to be visions of the heated brain, and gaining some footing on the
Earth as facts. Prince Karl is here actually in Elsass, master of
the strong passes; elate in heart, he and his; France, again, as if
fallen paralytic, into temporary distraction; offering for
resistance nothing hitherto but that universal wailing of mankind,
Hero-worship of a thrice-lamentable nature, and the Prayers of
Forty-Hours! Most Christian Majesty, now IN EXTREMIS, centre of the
basest hubbub that ever was, is dismissing Chateauroux.
Noailles, Coigny and Company hang well back upon the Hill regions,
and strong posts which are not yet menaced; or fly vaguely, more or
less distractedly, hither and thither; not in the least like
fighting Karl, much less like beating him. Karl has Germany free at
his back (nay it is a German population round him here); neither
haversack nor cartridge-box like to fail: before him are only a
Noailles and consorts, flying vaguely about;--and there is in Karl,
or under the same cloak with him at present, a talent of
manoeuvring men, which even Friedrich finds masterly. If old
Marshal Wade, at the other end of the line, should chance to awaken
and press home on Saxe, and his remnant of French, with right
vigor? In fact, there was not, that I can see, for centuries past,
not even at the Siege of Lille in Marlborough's time, a more
imminent peril for France.


King Friedrich, on hearing of these Rhenish emergencies and of King
Louis's heroic advance to the rescue, perceived that for himself
too the moment was come; and hastened to inform heroic Louis, That
though the terms of their Bargain were not yet completed, Sweden,
Russia and other points being still in a pendent condition, he,
Friedrich,--with an eye to success of their Joint Adventure, and to
the indispensability of joint action, energy, and the top of one's
speed now or never,--would, by the middle of this same August, be
on the field with 100,000 men. "An invasion of Bohemia, will not
that astonish Prince Karl; and bring him to his Rhine-Bridges
again? Over which, if your Most Christian Majesty be active, he
will not get, except in a half, or wholly ruined state. Follow him
close; send the rest of your force to threaten Hanover; sit well on
the skirts of Prince Karl. Him as he hurries homeward, ruined or
half-ruined, him, or whatever Austrian will fight, I do my best to
beat. We may have Bohemia, and a beaten Austria, this very Autumn:
see,--and, in one Campaign, there is Peace ready for us!" This is
Friedrich's scheme of action; success certain, thinks he, if only
there be energy, activity, on your side, as there shall be on mine;
--and has sent Count Schmettau, filled with fiery speed and
determination, to keep the French full of the like, and concert
mutual operations.

"Magnanimous!" exclaim Noailles and the paralyzed French Gentlemen
(King Louis, I think, now past speech, for Schmettau only came
August 9th): "Most sublime behavior, on his Prussian Majesty's
part!" own they. And truly it is a fine manful indifference (by no
means so common as it should be) to all interests, to all
considerations, but that of a Joint Enterprise one has engaged in.
And truly, furthermore, it was immediate salvation to the paralyzed
French Gentlemen, in that alarming crisis; though they did not much
recognize it afterwards as such: and indeed were conspicuously
forgetful of all parts of it, when their own danger was over.

Maria Theresa's feelings may be conceived; George II's feelings;
and what the Cause of Liberty in general felt, and furiously said
and complained, when--suddenly as a DEUS EX MACHINA, or Supernal
Genie in the Minor Theatres--Friedrich stept in. Precisely in this
supreme crisis, 7th August, 1744, Friedrich's Minister, Graf von
Dohna, at Vienna, has given notice of the Frankfurt Union, and
solemn Engagement entered into: "Obliged in honor and conscience;
will and must now step forth to right an injured Kaiser;
cannot stand these high procedures against an Imperial Majesty
chosen by all the Princes of the Reich, this unheard-of protest
that the Kaiser is no Kaiser, as if all Germany were but Austria
and the Queen of Hungary's. Prussian Majesty has not the least
quarrel of his own with the Queen of Hungary, stands true, and will
stand, by the Treaty of Berlin and Breslau;--only, with certain
other German Princes, has done what all German Princes and peoples
not Austrian are bound to do, on behalf of their down-trodden
Kaiser, formed a Union of Frankfurt; and will, with armed hand if
indispensable, endeavor to see right done in that matter."
[In Adelung, iv. 155, 156, the Declaration
itself (Audience, "7th August, 1744." Dohna off homeward "on the
second day after").]

This is the astonishing fact for the Cause of Liberty; and no
clamor and execration will avail anything. This man is prompt, too;
does not linger in getting out his Sword, when he has talked of it.
Prince Karl's Operation is likely to be marred amazingly. If this
swift King (comparable to the old Serpent for devices) were to
burst forth from his Silesian strengths; tread sharply on the TAIL
of Prince Karl's Operation, and bring back the formidably fanged
head of IT out of Alsace, five hundred miles all at once,--there
would be a business!

We will now quit the Rhine Operations, which indeed are not now of
moment; Friedrich being suddenly the key of events again. I add
only, what readers are vaguely aware of, that King Louis did not
die; that he lay at death's door for precisely one week (8th-15th
August), symptoms mending on the 15th. In the interim,--Grand-
Almoner Fitz-James (Uncle of our Conte di Spinelli) insisting that
a certain Cardinal, who had got the Sacraments in hand, should
insist; and endless ministerial intrigue being busy,--moribund
Louis had, when it came to the Sacramental point, been obliged to
dismiss his Chateauroux. Poor Chateauroux; an unfortunate female;
yet, one almost thinks, the best man among them: dismissed at Metz
here, and like to be mobbed! That was the one issue of King Louis's
death-sickness. Sublime sickness; during which all Paris wept
aloud, in terror and sorrow, like a child that has lost its mother
and sees a mastiff coming; wept sublimely, and did the Prayers of
Forty-Hours; and called King Louis Le BIEN-AIME (The Well-
beloved):--merely some obstruction in the royal bowels, it turned
out;--a good cathartic, and the Prayers of Forty-Hours, quite
reinstated matters. Nay reinstated even Chateauroux, some time
after,--"the Devil being well again," and, as the Proverb says,
quitting his monastic view. Reinstated Chateauroux: but this time,
poor creature, she continued only about a day:--"Sudden fever,
from excitement," said the Doctors: "Fever? Poison, you mean!"
whispered others, and looked for changes in the Ministry.
Enough, oh, enough!--

Old Marshal Wade did not awaken, though bawled to by his Ligoniers
and others, and much shaken about, poor old gentleman.
"No artillery to speak of," murmured he; "want baggage-wagons,
too!" and lay still. "Here is artillery!" answered the Official
people; "With my own money I will buy you baggage-wagons!" answered
the high Maria Anna, in her own name and her Prince Karl's, who are
Joint-Governors there. Possibly he would have awakened, had they
given him time. But time, in War especially, is the thing that is
never given. Once Friedrich HAD struck in, the moment was gone by.
Poor old Wade! Of him also enough.

Chapter II.


It was on Saturday, "early in the morning," 15th August, 1744, that
Friedrich set out, attended by his two eldest Brothers, Prince of
Prussia and Prince Henri, from Potsdam, towards this new Adventure,
which proved so famous since. Sudden, swift, to the world's
astonishment;--actually on march here, in three Columns (two
through Saxony by various routes southeastward, one from Silesia
through Glatz southwestward), to invade Bohemia: rumor says 100,000
strong, fact itself says upwards of 80,000, on their various
routes, converging towards Prag. [ Helden-Geschichte, italic> ii. 1165. Orlich (ii. 25, 27) enumerates the various
regiments.] His Columns, especially his Saxon Columns, are already
on the road; he joins one Column, this night, at Wittenberg; and is
bent, through Saxony, towards the frontiers of Bohemia, at the
utmost military speed he has.

Through Saxony about 60,000 go: he has got the Kaiser's Order to
the Government of Saxony, "Our august Ally, requiring on our
Imperial business a transit through you;"--and Winterfeld, an
excellent soldier and negotiator, has gone forward to present said
Order. A Document which flurries the Dresden Officials beyond
measure. Their King is in Warsaw; their King, if here, could do
little; and indeed has been inclining to Maria Theresa this long
while. And Winterfeld insists on such despatch;--and not even the
Duke of Weissenfels is in Town, Dresden Officials "send off five
couriers and thirteen estafettes" to the poor old Duke;
[ Helden-Geschichte, ii. 1163.] get him at
last; and-- The march is already taking effect; they may as well
consent to it: what can they do but consent! In the uttermost
flurry, they had set to fortifying Dresden; all hands driving
palisades, picking, delving, making COUPURES (trenches, or sunk
barricades) in the streets;--fatally aware that it can avail
nothing. Is not this the Kaiser's Order? Prussians, to the amount
of 60,000, are across our Frontiers, rapidly speeding on.

"Friedrich's Manifesto--under the modest Title, 'ANZEIGE DER
URSACHEN (Advertisement of the Causes which have induced his
Prussian Majesty to send the Romish Kaiser's Majesty some Auxiliary
Troops)'--had appeared in the Berlin Newspapers Thursday, 13th,
only two days before. An astonishment to all mankind; which gave
rise to endless misconceptions of Friedrich: but which, supporting
itself on proofs, on punctually excerpted foot-notes, is
intrinsically a modest, quiet Piece; and, what is singular in
Manifestoes, has nothing, or almost nothing, in it that is not, so
far as it goes, a perfect statement of the fact. 'Auxiliary troops,
that is our essential character. No war with her Hungarian Majesty,
or with any other, on our own score. But her Hungarian Majesty, how
has she treated the Romish Kaiser, her and our and the Reich's
Sovereign Head, and to what pass reduced him; refusing him Peace on
any terms, except those of self-annihilation; denying that he is a
Kaiser at all;'--and enumerates the various Imperial injuries, with
proof given, quiet footnotes by way of proof; and concludes in
these words: 'For himself his Majesty requires nothing.
The question here is not of his Majesty's own interest at all
[everything his Majesty required, or requires, is by the Treaty of
Berlin solemnly his, if the Reich and its Laws endure]: and he has
taken up arms simply and solely in the view of restoring to the
Reich its freedom, to the Kaiser his Headship of the Reich, and to
all Europe the Peace which is so desirable.' [Given in Seyfarth,
Beylage, i. 121-136, with date
"August, 1744."]

"'Pretences, subterfuges, lies!' exclaimed the Austrian and Allied
Public everywhere, or strove to exclaim; especially the English
Public, which had no difficulty in so doing;--a Public comfortably
blank as to German facts or non-facts; and finding with amazement
only this a very certain fact, That hereby is their own Pragmatic
thunder checked in mid-volley in a most surprising manner, and the
triumphant Cause of Liberty brought to jeopardy again.
'Perfidious, ambitious, capricious!' exclaimed they: 'a Prince
without honor, without truth, without constancy;'--and completed,
for themselves, in hot rabid humor, that English Theory of
Friedrich which has prevailed ever since. Perhaps the most
surprising item of which is this latter, very prominent in those
old times, That Friedrich has no 'constancy,' but follows his
'caprices,' and accidental whirls of impulse:--item which has
dropped away in our times, though the others stand as stable as
ever. A monument of several things! Friedrich's suddenness is an
essential part of what fighting talent he has: if the Public,
thrown into flurry, cannot judge it well, they must even misjudge
it: what help is there?

"That the above were actually Friedrich's reasons for venturing
into this Big Game again, is not now disputable. And as to the
rumor, which rose afterwards (and was denied, and could only be
denied diplomatically to the ear, if even to the ear), That
Friedrich by Secret Article was 'to have for himself the Three
Bohemian Circles, Konigsgratz, Bunzlau, Leitmeritz, which lie
between Schlesien and Sachsen,' [ Helden-Geschichte, italic> i. 1081; Scholl, ii. 349.]--there is not a doubt but
Friedrich had so bargained, 'Very well, if we can get said
Circles!' and would right cheerfully have kept and held them, had
the big game gone in all points completely well (game, to reinstate
the Kaiser BOTH in Bohemia and Bavaria) by Friedrich's fine
playing. Not a doubt of all this:--nor of what an extremely
hypothetic outlook it then and always was; greatly too weak for
enticing such a man."

Friedrich goes in Three Columns. One, on the south or left shore of
the Elbe, coming in various branches under Friedrich himself;
this alone will touch on Dresden, pass on the south side of
Dresden; gather itself about Pirna (in the Saxon Switzerland so
called, a notable locality); thence over the Metal Mountains into
Bohmen, by Toplitz, by Lowositz, Leitmeritz, and the Highway called
the Pascopol, famous in War. The Second Column, under Leopold the
Young Dessauer, goes on the other or north side of the Elbe, at a
fair distance; marching through the Lausitz (rendezvous or
starting-point was Bautzen in the Lausitz) straight south, to meet
the King at Leitmeritz, where the grand Magazine is to be;
and thence, still south, straight upon Prag, in conjunction with
his Majesty or parallel to him. [ Helden-Geschichte, italic> i. 1081.] These are the Two Saxon Columns. The Third
Column, under Schwerin, collects itself in the interior of Silesia;
is issuing, by Glatz Country, through the Giant Mountains,
BOHMISCHE KAMME (Bohemian COMBS as they are called, which Tourists
know), by the Pass of Braunau,--disturbing the dreams of Rubezahl,
if Rubezahl happen to be there. This, say 20,000, will come down
upon Prag from the eastern side; and be first on the ground (31st
August),--first by one day. In the home parts of Silesia, well
eastward of Glatz, there is left another Force of 20,000, which can
go across the Austrian Border there, and hang upon the Hills,
threatening Olmutz and the Moravian Countries, should need be.

And so, in its Three Columns, from west, from north, from east, the
march, with a steady swiftness, proceeds. Important especially
those Two Saxon Columns from west and north: 60,000 of them, "with
a frightful (ENTSETZLICH) quantity of big guns coming up the Elbe."
Much is coming up the Elbe; indispensable Highway for this
Enterprise. Three months' provisions, endless artillery and
provender, is on the Elbe; 480 big boats, with immense VORSPANN (of
trace-horses, dreadful swearing, too, as I have heard), will pass
through the middle of Dresden: not landing by any means. "No, be
assured of it, ye Dresdeners, all flurried, palisaded, barricaded;
no hair of you shall be harmed." After a day or two, the flurry of
Saxony subsided; Prussians, under strict discipline, molest no
private person; pay their way; keep well aloof, to south and to
north, of Dresden (all but the necessary ammunition-escorts do);--
and require of the Official people nothing but what the Law of the
Reich authorizes to "Imperial Auxiliaries" in such case.
"The Saxons themselves," Friedrich observes, "had some 40,000, but
scattered about; King in Warsaw:--dreadful terror; making COUPURES
and TETES-DE-PONT;--could have made no defence." Had we diligently
spent eight days on them! reflects he afterwards. "To seize Saxony
[and hobble it with ropes, so that at any time you could pin it
motionless, and even, if need were, milk the substance out of it],
would not have detained us eight days." [ OEuvres de
Frederic, iii. 53.] Which would have been the true
plan, had we known what was getting ready there! Certain it is,
Friedrich did no mischief, paid for everything; anxious to keep
well with Saxony; hoping always they might join him again, in such
a Cause. "Cause dear to every Patriot German Prince," urges
Friedrich,--though Bruhl, and the Polish, once "Moravian," Majesty
are of a very different opinion:--

"Maria Theresa, her thoughts at hearing of it may be imagined:
'The Evil Genius of my House afoot again! My high projects on
Elsass and Lorraine; Husband for Kaiser, Elsass for the Reich and
him, Lorraine for myself and him; gone probably to water!'
Nevertheless she said (an Official person heard her say), 'My right
is known to God; God will protect me, as He has already done.'
[ Helden-Geschichte, ii. 1024.] And rose very
strong, and magnanimously defiant again; perhaps, at the bottom of
her heart, almost glad withal that she would now have a stroke for
her dear Silesia again, unhindered by Paladin George and his
Treaties and notions. What measures, against this nefarious
Prussian outbreak, hateful to gods and men, are possible, she
rapidly takes: in Bohemia, in Bavaria and her other Countries, that
are threatened or can help. And abates nothing of heart or hope;--
praying withal, immensely, she and her People, according to the
mode they have. Sending for Prince Karl, we need not say, double-
quick, as the very first thing.

"Of Maria Theresa in Hungary,--for she ran to Presburg again with
her woes (August 16th, Diet just assembling there),--let us say
only that Hungary was again chivalrous; that old Palfy and the
general Hungarian Nation answered in the old tone,--VIVAT MARIA;
AD ARMA, AD ARMA! with Tolpatches, Pandours, Warasdins;--and, in
short, that great and small, in infinite 'Insurrection,' have still
a stroke of battle in them PRO REGE NOSTRO. Scarcely above a
District or two (as the JASZERS and KAUERS, in their over-cautious
way) making the least difficulty. Much enthusiasm and unanimity in
all the others; here and there a Hungarian gentleman complaining
scornfully that their troops, known as among the best fighters in
Nature, are called irregular troops,--irregular, forsooth! In one
public consultation [District not important, not very spellable,
though doubtless pronounceable by natives to it], a gentleman
suggests that 'Winter is near; should not there be some slight
provision of tents, of shelter in the frozen sleety Mountains, to
our gallant fellows bound thither?' Upon which another starts up,
'When our Ancestors came out of Asia Minor, over the Palus Maeotis
bound in winter ice; and, sabre in hand, cut their way into this
fine Country which is still ours, what shelter had they? No talk of
tents, of barracks or accommodation there; each, wrapt in his sheep
skin, found it shelter sufficient. Tents!' [ Helden-
Geschichte, ii. 1030.] And the thing was carried
by acclamation.

"Wide wail in Bohemia that War is coming back. Nobility all making
off, some to Vienna or the intermediate Towns lying thitherward,
some to their Country-seats; all out of Prag. Willing mind on the
part of the Common People; which the Government strains every nerve
to make the most of. Here are fasts, processions, Prayers of Forty-
Hours; here, as in Vienna and elsewhere. In Vienna was a Three
Days' solemn Fast: the like in Prag, or better; with procession to
the shrine of St. Vitus,--little likely to help, I should fear.
'Rise, all fencible men,' exclaims the Government,--'at least we
will ballot, and make you rise:'--Militia people enter Prag to the
extent of 10,000; like to avail little, one would fear. General
Harsch, with reinforcement of real soldiers, is despatched from
Vienna; Harsch, one of our ablest soldiers since Khevenhuller died,
gets in still in time; and thus increases the Garrison of regulars
to 4,000, with a vigorous Captain to guide it. Old Count Ogilvy,
the same whom Saxe surprised two years ago in the moonlight,
snatching ladders from the gallows,--Ogilvy is again Commandant;
but this time nominal mainly, and with better outlooks, Harsch
being under him. In relays, 3,000 of the Militia men dig and shovel
night and day; repairing, perfecting the ramparts of the place.
Then, as to provisions, endless corn is introduced,--farmers
forced, the unwilling at the bayonet's point, to deliver in their
corn; much of it in sheaf, so that we have to thrash it in the
market-place, in the streets that are wide: and thus in Prag is
heard the sound of flails, among the Militia-drums and so many
other noises. With the great church-organs growling; and the bass
and treble MISERERE of the poor superstitious People rising, to
St. Vitus and others. In fact, it is a general Dance of St. Vitus,
--except that of the flails, and Militia-men working at the
ramparts,--mostly not leading any-whither." ["LETTER from a Citizen
of Prag," date, 21st Sept. (in Helden-Geschichte, italic> ii. 1168), which gives several curious details.]

Meanwhile Friedrich's march from west, from north, from east, is
flowing on; diligent, swift; punctual to its times, its places; and
meets no impediment to speak of. At Tetschen on the Saxon-Bohemian
Frontier,--a pleasant Schloss perched on its crags, as Tourists
know, where the Elbe sweeps into Saxon Switzerland and its long
stone labyrinths,--at Tetschen the Austrians had taken post;
had tried to block the River, driving piles into it, and tumbling
boulders into it, with a view to stop the 480 Prussian Boats.
These people needed to be torn out, their piles and they: which was
done in two days, the soldier part of it; and occupied the boatmen
above a week, before all was clear again. Prosperous, correct to
program, all the rest; not needing mention from us;--here are the
few sparks from it that dwell in one's memory:--

"AUGUST 15th, 1744, King left Potsdam; joined his First Column that
night, at Wittenberg. Through Mieissen, Torgau, Freyberg; is at
Peterswalde, eastern slope of the Metal Mountains, August 25th;
all the Columns now on Bohemian ground.

"Friedrich had crossed Elbe by the Bridge of Meissen: on the
southern shore, politely waiting to receive his Majesty, there
stood Feldmarschall the Duke of Weissenfels; to whom the King gave
his hand," no doubt in friendly style, "and talked for above half
an hour,"--with such success! thinks Friedrich by and by. We have
heard of Weissenfels before; the same poor Weissenfels who was
Wilhelmina's Wooer in old time, now on the verge of sixty;
an extremely polite but weakish old gentleman; accidentally
preserved in History. One of those conspicuous "Human Clothes-
Horses" (phantasmal all but the digestive part), which abound in
that Eighteenth Century and others like it; and distress your
Historical studies. Poor old soul; now Feldmarschall and Commander-
in-Chief here. Has been in Turk and other Wars; with little profit
to himself or others. Used to like his glass, they say; is still
very poor, though now Duke in reality as well as title (succeeded
two egregious Brothers, some years since, who had been
spendthrift): he has still one other beating to get in this world,
--from Friedrich next year. Died altogether, two years hence; and
Wilhelmina heard no more of him.

"At Meissen Bridge, say some, was this Half-hour's Interview;
at Pirna, the Bridge of Pirna, others say; [See Orlich, ii. 25;
and Helden-Geschichte, ii. 1166.]--quite
indifferent to us which. At Pirna, and hither and thither in Saxon
Switzerland, Friedrich certainly was. 'Who ever saw such positions,
your Majesty?' For Friedrich is always looking out, were it even
from the window of his carriage, and putting military problems to
himself in all manner of scenery, 'What would a man do, in that
kind of ground, if attacking, if attacked? with that hill, that
brook, that bit of bog?' and advises every Officer to be
continually doing the like. [MILITARY INSTRUCTIONS? RULES FOR A
GOOD COMMANDER OF &c.?--I have, for certain, read this Passage;
but the reference is gone again, like a sparrow from the house-
top!] That is the value of picturesque or other scenery to
Friedrich, and their effect on good Prussian Officers and him.

"... At Tetschen, Colonel Kahlbutz," diligent Prussian Colonel,
"plucks out those 100 Austrians from their rock nest there;
makes them prisoners of war;--which detained the Leitmeritz branch
of us two days. August 28th, junction at Leitmeritz thereupon.
Magazine established there. Boats coming on presently. Friedrich
himself camped at Lobositz in this part,"--Lobositz, or Lowositz,
which he will remember one day.

"AUGUST 29th, March to Budin; that is, southward, across the Eger,
arrive within forty miles of Prag. Austrian Bathyani, summoned
hastily out of his Bavarian posts, to succor in this pressing
emergency, has arrived in these neighborhoods,--some 12,000
regulars under him, preceded by clouds of hussars, whom Ziethen
smites a little, by way of handsel;--no other Austrian force to
speak of hereabouts; and we are now between Bathyani and Prag.

"SEPTEMBER 1st, To Mickowitz, near Welwarn, twenty miles from Prag.
September 2d, Camp on the Weissenberg there." [ Helden-
Geschichte, i. 1080.]

And so they are all assembled about Prag, begirdling the poor
City,--third Siege it has stood within these three years (since
that moonlight November night in 1741);--and are only waiting for
their heavy artillery to begin battering. The poor inhabitants, in
spite of three sieges; the 10,000 raw militia-men, mostly of
Hungarian breed; the 4,000 regulars, and Harsch and old Ogilvy, are
all disposed to do their best. Friedrich is naturally in haste to
get hold of Prag. But he finds, on taking survey: that the sword-
in-hand method is not now, as in 1741, feasible at all; that the
place is in good posture of strength; and will need a hot battering
to tear it open. Owing to that accident at Tetschen, the siege-
cannon are not yet come up: "Build your batteries, your Moldau-
bridges, your communications, till the cannon come; and beware of
Bathyani meddling with your cannon by the road!"

"Bathyani is within twenty miles of us, at Beraun, a compact little
Town to southwest; gathering a Magazine there; and ready for
enterprises,--in more force than Friedrich guesses. 'Drive him out,
seize that Magazine of his!' orders Friedrich (September 5th);
and despatches General Hacke on it, a right man,"--at whose wedding
we assisted (wedding to an heiress, long since, in Friedrich
Wilhelm's time), if anybody now remembered. "And on the morrow
there falls out a pretty little 'Action of Beraun,' about which
great noise was made in the Gazettes PRO and CONTRA: which did not
dislodge Bathyani by airy means; but which might easily have ruined
the impetuous Hacke and his 6,000, getting into masked batteries,
Pandour whirlwinds, charges of horses 'from front, from rear, and
from both flanks,'--had not he, with masterly promptitude, whirled
himself out of it, snatched instantly what best post there was, and
defended himself inexpugnably there, for six hours, till relief
Beylage, i. 136, 137).] Brilliant little action, well
performed on both sides, but leading to nothing; and which shall
not concern us farther. Except to say that Bathyani did now, more
at his leisure, retire out of harm's way; and begin collecting
Magazines at Pilsen far rearward, which may prove useful to Prince
Karl, in the route Prince Karl is upon.

Siege-cannon having at last come (September 8th), the batteries are
all mounted:--on Wednesday, 9th, late at night, the Artillery, "in
enormous quantity," opens its dread throat; poor Prag is startled
from its bed by torrents of shot, solid and shell, from three
different quarters; and makes haste to stand to its guns.
From three different quarters; from Bubenetsch northward; from the
Upland of St. Lawrence (famed WEISSENBERG, or White-Hill) westward;
and from the Ziscaberg eastward (Hill of Zisca, where iron Zisca
posted himself on a grand occasion once),--which latter is a broad
long Hill, west end of it falling sheer over Prag; and on another
point of it, highest point of all, the Praguers have a strong
battery and works. The Prag guns otherwise are not too effectual;
planted mostly on low ground. By much the best Prag battery is this
of the Ziscaberg. And this, after two days' experience had of it,
the Prussians determine to take on the morrow.

SEPTEMBER 12th, Schwerin, who commands on that side, assaults
accordingly; with the due steadfastness and stormfulness:
throwing shells and balls by way of prelude. Friedrich, with some
group of staff-officers and dignitaries, steps out on the
Bubenetsch post, to see how this affair of the Ziscaberg will
prosper: the Praguers thereabouts, seeing so many dignitaries, turn
cannon on them. "Disperse, IHR HERREN; have a care!" cried
Friedrich; not himself much minding, so intent upon the Ziscaberg.
And could have skipt indifferently over your cannon-balls ploughing
the ground,--had not one fateful ball shattered out the life of
poor Prince Wilhelm; a good young Cousin of his, shot down here at
his hand. Doubtless a sharp moment for the King. Prince Margraf
Wilhelm and a poor young page, there they lie dead; indifferent to
the Ziscaberg and all coming wars of mankind. Lamentation,
naturally, for this young man,--Brother to the one who fell at
Mollwitz, youngest Brother of the Margraf Karl, who commands in
this Bubenetsch redoubt:--But we must lift our eye-glass again;
see how Schwerin is prospering. Schwerin, with due steadfastness
and stormfulness, after his prelude of bomb-shells, rushes on
double-quick; cannot be withstood; hurls out the Praguers, and
seizes their battery; a ruinous loss to them.

Their grand Zisca redoubt is gone, then; and two subsidiary small
redoubts behind it withal, which the French had built, and named
"the magpie-nests (NIDS A PIE);" these also are ours. And we
overhang, from our Zisca Hill, the very roofs, as it were;
and there is nothing but a long bare curtain now in this quarter,
ready to be battered in breach, and soon holed, if needful. It is
not needful,--not quite. In the course of three days more, our
Bubenetsch battery, of enormous power, has been so diligent, it has
set fire to the Water-mill; burns irretrievably the Water-mill, and
still worse, the wooden Sluice of the Moldau; so that the river
falls to the everywhere wadable pitch. And Governor Harsch
perceives that all this quarter of the Town is open to any comer;--
and, in fact, that he will have to get away, the best he can.

White flag accordingly (Tuesday, 15th): "Free withdrawal, to the
Wischerad; won't you?" "By no manner of means!" answers Friedrich.
Bids Schwerin from his Ziscaberg make a hole or two in that
"curtain" opposite him; and gets ready for storm. Upon which
Harsch, next morning, has to beat the chamade, and surrender
Prisoner of War. And thus, Wednesday, 16th, it is done: a siege of
one week, no more,--after all that thrashing of grain, drilling of
militia, and other spirited preparation. Harsch could not help it;
the Prussian cannonading was so furious. [Orlich, ii. 36-39;
Helden-Geschichte, i. 1082, and ii. 1168;
OEuvres de Frederic, iii. 56; &c. &c.]

Prag has to swear fealty to the Kaiser; and "pay a ransom of
200,000 pounds." Drilled militia, regulars, Hungarians, about
16,000,--only that many of the Tolpatches contrived to whisk
loose,--are marched prisoners to Glatz and other strong places.
Prag City, with plenty of provision in it, is ours. A brilliant
beginning of a Campaign; the eyes of all Europe turned again, in
very various humor, on this young King. If only the French do their
duty, and hang well on the skirts of Marshal Traun (or of Prince
Karl, the Cloak of Traun), who is hastening hitherward all he can.

Chapter III.


This electrically sudden operation on Prag was considered by
astonished mankind, whatever else they might think about it, a
decidedly brilliant feat of War: falling like a bolt out of the
blue,--like three bolts, suddenly coalescing over Prag, and
striking it down. Friedrich himself, though there is nothing of
boast audible here or anywhere, was evidently very well satisfied;
and thought the aspects good. There is Prince Karl whirling
instantly back from his Strasburg Prospects; the general St. Vitus
Dance of Austrian things rising higher and higher in these home
parts:--reasonable hope that "in the course of one Campaign," proud
obstinate Austria might feel itself so wrung and screwed as to be
glad of Peace with neighbors not wishing War. That was the young
King's calculation at this time. And, had France done at all as it
promised,--or had the young King himself been considerably wiser
than he was,--he had not been disappointed in the way we shall see!

Friedrich admits he did not understand War at this period. His own
scheme now was: To move towards the southwest, there to abolish
Bathyani and his Tolpatches, who are busy gathering Magazines for
Prince Karl's advent; to seize the said Magazines, which will be
very useful to us; then advance straight towards the Passes of the
Bohemian Mountains. Towns of Furth, Waldmunchen, unfortunate Town
of Cham (burnt by Trenck, where masons are now busy); these stand
successive in the grand Pass, through which tbe highway runs;
some hundred miles or so from where we are: march, at one's
swiftest, thitherward, Bathyani's Magazines to help; and there
await Prince Karl? It was Friedrich's own notion; not a bad one,
though not the best. The best, he admits, would have been: To stay
pretty much where he was; abolish Bathyani's Tolpatch people,
seizing their Magazines, and collecting others; in general, well
rooting and fencing himself in Prag, and in the Circles that lie
thereabouts upon the Elbe,--bounded to southward by the Sazawa
(branch of the Moldau), which runs parallel to the Elbe;--but well
refusing to stir much farther at such an advanced season of
the year.

That second plan would have been the wisest:--then why not, follow
it? Too tame a plan for the youthful mind. Besides, we perceive, as
indeed is intimated by himself, he dreaded the force of public
opinion in France. "Aha, look at your King of Prussia again.
Gone to conquer Bohemia; and, except the Three Circles he himself
is to have of it, lets Bohemia go to the winds!" This sort of
thing, Friedrich admits, he dreaded too much, at that young period;
so loud had the criticisms been on him, in the time of the Breslau
Treaty: "Out upon your King of Prussia; call you that an honorable
Ally!" Undoubtedly a weakness in the young King; inasmuch, says he,
as "every General [and every man, add we] should look to the fact,
not to the rumor of the fact." Well; but, at least, he will adopt
his own other notion; that of making for the Passes of the Bohemian
Mountains; to abolish Bathyani at least, and lock the door upon
Prince Karl's advent? That was his own plan; and, though second-
best, that also would have done well, had there been no third.

But there was, as we hinted, a third plan, ardently favored by
Belleisle, whose war-talent Friedrich much respected at this time:
plan built on Belleisle's reminiscences of the old Tabor-Budweis
businesses, and totally inapplicable now. Belleisle said,
"Go southeast, not southwest; right towards the Austrian Frontier
itself; that will frighten Austria into a fine tremor. Shut up the
roads from Austria: Budweis, Neuhaus; seize those two Highroad
Towns, and keep them, if you would hold Bohemia; the want of them
was our ruin there." Your ruin, yes: but your enemy was not coming
from Alsace and the southwest then. He was coming from Austria;
and your own home lay on the southwest: it is all different now!
Friedrich might well think himself bewitched not to have gone for
Cham and Furth, and the Passes of the Bohmer-Wald, according to his
own notion. But so it was; he yielded to the big reputation of
Belleisle, and to fear of what the world would say of him in
France; a weakness which he will perhaps be taught not to repeat.
In fact, he is now about to be taught several things;--and will
have to pay his school-wages as he goes.


Friedrich made no delay in Prag; in haste at this late time of
year. September 17th, on the very morrow of the Siege, the
Prussians get in motion southward; on the 19th, Friedrich, from his
post to north of the City, defiles through Prag, on march to
Kunraditz,--first stage on that questionable Expedition up the
Moldau Valley, right bank; towards Tabor, Budweis, Neuhaus;
to threaten Austria, and please Belleisle and the French.

Prag is left under General Einsiedel with a small garrison of
5,000;--Einsiedel, a steady elderly gentleman, favorite of
Friedrich Wilhelm's, has brief order, or outline of order to be
filled up by his own good sense. Posadowsky follows the march, with
as many meal-wagons as possible,--draught-cattle in very
ineffectual condition. Our main Magazine is at Leitmeritz (should
have been brought on to Prag, thinks Friedrich); Commissariat very
ill-managed in comparison to what it ought to be,--to what it shall
be, if we ever live to make another Campaign. Heavy artillery is
left in Prag (another fault); and from each regiment, one of its
baggage-wagons. [ Helden-Geschichte, i. 1083;
Orlich, ii. 41 et seqq.; Frederic, iii. 59; &c.] "We rest
a day here at Kunraditz: 21st September, get to the Sazawa River;
--22d, to Bistritz (rest a day);--26th, to Miltschin; and 27th, to
Tabor:"--But the Diary would be tedious.

Friedrich goes in two Columns; one along the great road towards
Tabor, under Schwerin this, and Friedrich mainly with him; the
other to the right, along the River's bank, under Leopold, Young
Dessauer, which has to go by wild country roads, or now and then
roads of its own making; and much needs the pioneer (a difficult
march in the shortening days). Posadowsky follows with the
proviant, drawn by cattle of the horse and ox species, daily
falling down starved: great swearing there too, I doubt not!
General Nassau is vanguard, and stretches forward successfully at a
much lighter pace.

There are two Rivers, considerable branches of the Moldau, coming
from eastward; which, and first of them the Sazawa, concern us
here. After mounting the southern Uplands from Prag for a day or
two, you then begin to drop again, into the hollow of a River
called Sazawa, important in Bohemian Wars. It is of winding course,
the first considerable branch of the Moldau, rising in Teutschbrod
Country, seventy or eighty miles to east of us: in regard to
Sazawa, there is, at present, no difficulty about crossing; the
Country being all ours. After the Sazawa, mount again, long miles,
day after day, through intricate stony desolation, rocks, bogs,
untrimmed woods, you will get to Miltschin, thence to Tabor:
Miltschin is the crown of that rough moor country; from Prag to
Tabor is some sixty miles. After Miltschin the course of those
brown mountain-brooks is all towards the Luschnitz, the next
considerable branch of the Moldau; branch still longer and more
winding than the Sazawa; Tabor towers up near this branch; Budweis,
on the Moldau itself, is forty miles farther; and there at last you
are out of the stony moors, and in a rich champaign comfortable to
man and horse, were you but once there, after plodding through the
desolations. But from that Sazawa by the Luschnitz on to Budweis,
mounting and falling in such fashion, there must be ninety miles or
thereby. Plod along; and keep a sharp eye on the whirling clouds of
Pandours, for those too have got across upon us,--added to the
other tempests of Autumn.

On the ninth day of their march, the Prussians begin to descry on
the horizon ahead the steeples and chimney-tops of Tabor, on its
high scarped rock, or "Hill of Zisca,"--for it was Zisca and his
Hussites that built themselves this Bit of Inexpugnability, and
named it Tabor from their Bibles,--in those waste mountain regions.
On the tenth day (27th September), the Prussians without difficulty
took Tabor; walls being ruined, garrison small. We lie at Tabor
till the 30th, last day of September. Thence, 2d October, part of
us to Moldau-Tein rightwards; where cross the Moldau by a Bridge,--
"Bridge" one has heard of, in old Broglio times;--cross there, with
intent (easily successful) to snatch that "Castle of Frauenberg,"
darling of Broglio, for which he fought his Pharsalia of a Sahay to
no purpose!

Both Columns got united at Tabor; and paused for a day or two, to
rest, and gather up their draggled skirts there. The Expedition
does not improve in promise, as we advance in it; the march one of
the most untowardly; and Posadowsky comes up with only half of his
provision-carts,--half of his cattle having fallen down of bad
weather, hill-roads and starvation; what could he do? That is an
ominous circumstance, not the less.

Three things are against the Prussians on this march; two of them
accidental things. FIRST, there is, at this late season too, the
intrinsic nature of the Country; which Friedrich with emphasis
describes as boggy, stony, precipitous; a waste, hungry and
altogether barren Country,--too emphatically so described. But then
SECONDLY, what might have been otherwise, the Population, worked
upon by Austrian officials, all fly from the sight of us;
nothing but fireless deserted hamlets; and the corn, if they ever
had any, all thrashed and hidden. No amount of money can purchase
any service from them. Poor dark creatures; not loving Austria
much, but loving some others even less, it would appear. Of Bigoted
Papist Creed, for one thing; that is a great point. We do not
meddle with their worship more or less; but we are Heretics, and
they hate us as the Night. Which is a dreadful difficulty you
always have in Bohemia: nowhere but in the Circle of Konigsgraz,
where there are Hussites (far to the rear of us at this time), will
you find it otherwise. This is difficulty second.

Then, THIRDLY, what much aggravates it,--we neglected to abolish
Bathyani! And here are Bathyani's Pandours come across the Moldau
on us. Plenty of Pandours;--to whom "10,000 fresh Hungarians," of a
new Insurrection which has been got up there, are daily speeding
forward to add themselves:--such a swarm of hornets, as darkens the
very daylight for you. Vain to scourge them down, to burn them off
by blaze of gunpowder: they fly fast; but are straightway back
again. They lurk in these bushy wildernesses, scraggy woods:
no foraging possible, unless whole regiments are sent out to do it;
you cannot get a letter safely carried for them. They are an
unspeakable contemptible grief to the earnest leader of men.--Let
us proceed, however; it will serve nothing to complain. Let us hope
the French sit well on the skirts of Prince Karl: these sorrowful
labors may all turn to good, in that case.

Friedrich pushes on from Tabor; shoots partly (as we have seen)
across the Moldau, to the left bank as well; captures romantic
Frauenberg on its high rock, where Broglio got into such a fluster
once. We could push to Pisek, too, and make a "Bivouac of Pisek,"
if we lost our wits! Nassau is in Budweis, in Neuhaus; and proper
garrisons are gone thither: nothing wanting on our side of the
business. But these Pandours, these 10,000 Insurrection Hungarians,
with their Trencks spurring them! A continual unblessed swarm of
hornets, these; which shut out the very light of day from us.
Too literally the light of day: we can get no free messaging from
part to part of our own Army even. "As many as six Orderlies have
been despatched to an outlying General; and not one of them could
get through to him. They have snapt up three Letter-bags destined
for the King himself. For four weeks he is absolutely shut out from
the rest of Europe;" knows not in the least what the Kaiser, or the
Most Christian or any other King, is doing; or whether the French
are sitting well on Prince Karl's skirts, or not attempting that at
all. This also is a thing to be amended, a thing you had to learn,
your Majesty? An Army absolutely shut out from news, from letters,
messages to or fro, and groping its way in darkness, owing to these
circumambient thunder-clouds of Tolpatches, is not a well-situated
Army! And alas, when at last the Letter-bag did get through, and--
But let us not anticipate!

At Tabor there arose two opinions; which, in spite of the King's
presence, was a new difficulty. South from Tabor a day's march, the
Highway splits; direct way for Vienna; left-hand goes to Neuhaus,
right-hand, or straightforward rather, goes to Budweis, bearing
upon Linz: which of these two? Nassau has already seized Budweis;
and it is a habitable champaign country in comparison.
Neuhaus, farther from the Moldau and its uses, but more imminent on
Austria, would be easy to seize; and would frighten the Enemy more.
Leopold the Young Dcssauer is for Budweis; rapid Schwerin, a hardy
outspoken man, is emphatic for the other place as Head-quarter.
So emphatic are both, that the two Generals quarrel there;
and Friedrich needs his authority to keep them from outbreaks, from
open incompatibility henceforth, which would be destructive to the
service. For the rest, Friedrich seizes both places; sends a
detachment to Neuhaus as well; but holds by Budweis and the Moldau
region with his main Army; which was not quite gratifying to the
hardy Schwerin. On the opposite or left bank, holding Frauenberg,
the renowned Hill-fortress there, we make inroads at discretion:
but the country is woody, favorable to Pandours; and the right bank
is our chief scene of action. How we are to maintain ourselves in
this country? To winter in these towns between the Sazawa and the
Luschnitz? Unless the French sit well on Prince Karl's skirts, it
will not be possible.


French sitting well on Prince Karl's skirts? They are not molesting
Prince Karl in the smallest; never tried such a thing;--are turned
away to the Brisgan, to the Upper Rhine Country; gone to besiege
Freyburg there, and seize Towns; about the Lake of Constance, as if
there were no Friedrich in the game! It must be owned the French do
liberally pay off old scores against Friedrich,--if, except in
their own imagination, they had old scores against him. No man ever
delivered them from a more imminent peril; and they, the rope once
cut that was strangling them, magnificently forget who cut it; and
celebrate only their own distinguished conduct during and after the
operation. To a degree truly wonderful.

It was moonlight, clear as day that night, 23d August, when Prince
Karl had to recross the Rhine, close in their neighborhood;
[ Guerre de Boheme, iii. 196.]--and instead of
harassing Prince Karl "to half or to whole ruin," as the bargain
was, their distinguished conduct consisted in going quietly to
their beds (old Marechal de Noailles even calling back some of his
too forward subalterns), and joyfully leaving Prince Karl, then and
afterwards, to cross the Rhine, and march for Bohmen, at his own
perfect convenience.

"Seckendorf will sit on Karl's skirts," they said: "too late for
US, this season; next season, you shall see!" Such was their
theory, after Louis got that cathartic, and rose from bed.
Schmettau, with his importunities, which at last irritated
everybody, could make nothing more of it. "Let the King of France
crown his glories by the Siege of Freyburg, the conquest of
Brisgau:--for behoof of the poor Kaiser, don't you observe?
Hither Austria is the Kaiser's;--and furthermore, were Freyburg
gone, there will be no invading of Elsass again" (which is anotber
privately very interesting point)!

And there, at Freyburg, the Most Christian King now is, and his
Army up to the knees in mud, conquering Hither Austria; besieging
Freyburg, with much difficulty owing to the wet,--besieging there
with what energy; a spectacle to the world! And has, for the
present, but one wife, no mistress either! With rapturous eyes
France looks on; with admiration too big for words. Voltaire, I
have heard, made pilgrimage to Freyburg, with rhymed Panegyric in
his pocket; saw those miraculous operations of a Most Christian
King miraculously awakened; and had the honor to present said
Panegyric; and be seen, for the first time, by the royal eyes,--
which did not seem to relish him much. [The Panegyric (EPITRE AU
ROI DEVANT FRIBOURG) is in OEuvres de Voltaire, italic> xvii. 184.] Since the first days of October, Freyburg had
been under constant assault; "amid rains, amid frosts; a siege long
and murderous" (to the besieging party);--and was not got till
November 5th; not quite entirely, the Citadels of it, till November
25th; Majesty gone home to Paris, to illuminations and triumphal
arches, in the interim. [Adelung, iv. 266; Barbier, ii. 414 (13th
November, &c.), for the illuminations, grand in the extreme, in
spite of wild rains and winds.] It had been a difficult and bloody
conquest to him, this of Freyburg and the Brisgau Country; and I
never heard that either the Kaiser or he got sensible advantage by
it,--though Prince Karl, on the present occasion, might be said to
get a great deal.

"Seckendorf will do your Prince Karl," they had cried always:
"Seckendorf and his Prussian Majesty! Are not we conquering Hither
Austria here, for the Kaiser's behoof?" Seckendorf they did
officially appoint to pursue; appoint or allow;--and laid all the
blame on Seckendorf; who perhaps deserved his share of it.
Very certain it is, Seckendorf did little or nothing to Prince
Karl; marched "leisurely behind him through the Ober-Pfalz,"--
skirting Baireuth Country, Karl and he, to Wilhelmina's grief;
[Her Letters ( OEuvres de Frederic, xxvii.
i. 133, &c.).]--"leisurely behind him at a distance of four days,"
knew better than meddle with Prince Karl. So that Prince Karl, "in
twenty-one marches," disturbed only by the elements and bad roads,
reached Waldmunchen 26th September, in the Furth-Cham Country;
[Ranke, iii. 187.] and was heard to exclaim: "We are let off for
the fright, then (NOUS VOILA QUITTES POUR LA PEUR)!"--Seckendorf,
finding nothing to live upon in Ober-Pfalz, could not attend Prince
Karl farther; but turned leftwards home to Bavaria; made a kind of
Second "Reconquest of Bavaria" (on exactly the same terms as the
First, Austrian occupants being all called off to assist in Bohmen
again);--concerning which, here is an Excerpt:--

"Seckendorf, following at his leisure, and joined by the Hessians
and Pfalzers, so as now to exceed 30,000, leaves Prince Karl and
the rest of the enterprise to do as it can; and applies himself,
for his own share, as the needfulest thing, to getting hold of
Bavaria again, that his poor Kaiser may have where to lay his head,
and pay old servants their wages. Dreadfully exclaimed against, the
old gentleman, especially by the French co-managers: 'Why did not
the old traitor stick in the rear of Prince Karl, in the difficult
passes, and drive him prone,--while we went besieging Freyburg, and
poaching about, trying for a bit of the Brisgau while chance
served!' A traitor beyond doubt; probably bought with money down:
thinks Valori. But, after all, what could Seckendorf do? He is now
of weight for Barenklau and Bavaria, not for much more. He does
sweep Barenklau and his Austrians from Bavaria, clear out (in the
course of this October), all but Ingolstadt and two or three strong
towns,--Passau especially, 'which can be blockaded, and afterwards
besieged if needful.' For the rest, he is dreadfully ill-off for
provisions, incapable of the least, attempt on Passau (as Friedrich
urged, on hearing of him again); and will have to canton himself in
home-quarters, and live by his shifts till Spring.

"The noise of French censure rises loud, against not themselves,
but against Seckendorf:--Friedrich, before that Tolpatch eclipse of
Correspondence [when three of his Letter-bags were seized, and he
fell quite dark], had too well foreboded, and contemptuously
expressed his astonishment at the blame BOTH were well earning:
Passau, said he, cannot you go at least upon Passau; which might
alarm the Enemy a little, and drag him homewards? 'Adieu, my dear
Seckendorf, your Officer will tell you how we did the Siege of
Prag. You and your French are wetted hens (POULES MOUILLEES),'--
cowering about like drenched hens in a day of set rain. 'As I hear
nothing of either of you, I must try to get out of this business
without your help;'"--otherwise it will be ill for me indeed!
[Excerpted Fragment of a Letter from Friedrich,--(exact date not
given, date of EXCERPT is, Donanworth Country, 23d September,
1744),--which the French Agent in Seckendorf's Army had a reading
of ( Campagnes de Coigny, iv. 185-187;
ib. 216-219: cited in Adelung, iv. 225).] "Which latter expression
alarmed the French, and set them upon writing and bustling, but not
upon doing anything."

"Prince Karl had crossed the Rhine unmolested, in the clearest
moonlight, August 23d-24th; Seckendorf was not wholly got to
Heilbronn, September 8th: a pretty way behind Prince Karl!
The 6,000 Hessians, formerly in English pay, indignant Landgraf
Wilhelm [who never could forgive that Machiavellian conduct of
Carteret at Hanau, never till he found out what it really was] has,
this year, put into French pay. And they have now joined
Seckendorf; [Espagnac, ii. 13; Buchholz, ii. 123.] Prince Friedrich
[Britannic Majesty's Son-in-law], not good fat Uncle George,
commanding them henceforth:--with extreme lack of profit to Prince
Friedrich, to the Hessians, and to the French, as will appear in
time. These 6,000, and certain thousands of Pfalzers likewise in
French pay, are now with Seckendorf, and have raised him to above
30,000;--it is the one fruit King Friedrich has got by that 'Union
of Frankfurt,' and by all his long prospective haggling, and
struggling for a 'Union of German Princes in general.' Two pears,
after that long shaking of the tree; both pears rotten, or indeed
falling into Seckendorf, who is a basket of such quality!
'Seckendorf, increased in this munificent manner, can he still do
nothing?' cry the French: 'the old traitor!'--'I have no
magazines,' said Seckendorf, 'nothing to live upon, to shoot with;
no money!' And it is a mutual crescendo between the 'perfidious
Seckendorf' and them; without work done. In the Nurnberg Country,
some Hussars of his picked up Lord Holderness, an English
Ambassador making for Venice by that bad route. 'Prisoner, are not
you?' But they did not use him ill; on consideration, the Heads of
Imperial Departments gave him a Pass, and he continued his Venetian
Journey (result of it zero) without farther molestation that I
heard of. [Adelung, iv. 222.]

"These French-Seckendorf cunctations, recriminations and drenched-
hen procedures are an endless sorrow to poor Kaiser Karl; who at
length can stand it no longer; but resolves, since at least
Bavaria, though moneyless and in ruins, is his, he will in person
go thither; confident that there will be victual and equipment
discoverable for self and Army were he there. Remonstrances avail
not: 'Ask me to die with honor, ask me not to lie rotting here;'
[Ib. iv. 241.]--and quits Frankfurt, and the Reich's-Diet and its
babble, 17th October, 1744 (small sorrow, were it for the last
time),--and enters his Munchen in the course of a week.
[17th October, 1744, leaves Frankfurt; arrives in Munchen 23d
(Adelung, iv. 241-244).] Munchen is transported with joy to see the
Legitimate Sovereign again; and blazes into illuminations,--
forgetful who caused its past wretchednesses, hoping only all
wretchedness is now ended. Let ruined huts, and Cham and the burnt
Towns, rebuild themselves; the wasted hedges make up their gaps
again: here is the King come home! Here, sure enough, is an
unfortunate Kaiser of the Holy Romish Reich, who can once more hope
to pay his milk-scores, being a loved Kurfurst of Bavaria at least.
Very dear to the hearts of these poor people;--and to their purses,
interests and skins, has not he in another sense been dear? What a
price the ambitions and cracked phantasms of that weak brain have
cost the seemingly innocent population! Population harried,
hungered down, dragged off to perish in Italian Wars; a Country
burnt, tribulated, torn to ruin, under the harrow of Fate and
ruffian Trenck and Company. Britannic George, rather a dear morsel
too, has come much cheaper hitherto. England is not yet burnt;
nothing burning there,--except the dull fire of deliriums;
Natural Stupidities all set flaming, which (whatever it may BE in
the way of loss) is not felt as a loss, but rather as a comfort for
the time being;--and in fact there are only, say, a forty or fifty
thousand armed Englishmen rotted down, and scarcely a Hundred
Millions of money yet spent. Nothing to speak of, in the cause of
Human Liberty. Why Populations suffer for their guilty Kings?
My friend, it is the Populations too that are guilty in having such
Kings. Reverence, sacred Respect for Human Worth, sacred Abhorrence
of Human Unworth, have you considered what it means? These poor
Populations have it not, or for long generations have had it less
and less. Hence, by degrees, this sort of 'Kings' to them, and
enormous consequences following!"--

Karl VII. got back to Munchen 23d October, 1744; and the tar-
barrels being once burnt, and indispensable sortings effected, he
went to the field along with Seckendorf, to encourage his men under
Seckendorf, and urge the French by all considerations to come on.
And really did what he could, poor man. But the cordage of his life
had been so strained and torn, he was not now good for much;
alas, it had been but little he was ever good for. A couple of dear
Kurfursts, his Father and he; have stood these Bavarian Countries
very high, since the Battle of Blenheim and downwards!

Chapter IV.


One may fancy what were Friedrich's reflections when he heard that
Prince Karl had, prosperously and unmolested, got across, by those
Passes from the Ober-Pfalz, into Bohmen and the Circle of Pilsen,
into junction with Bathyani and his magazines; ["At Mirotitz,
October 2d" (Ranke, iii. 194); Orlich, ii. 49.] heard, moreover,
that the Saxons, 20,000 strong, under Weissenfels, crossing the
Metal Mountains, coming on by Eger and Karlsbad regions, were about
uniting with him (bound by Treaty to assist the Hungarian Majesty
when invaded);--and had finally, what confirms everything, that the
said Prince Karl in person (making for Budweis, "just seen his
advanced guard," said rumor under mistake) was but few miles off.
Few miles off, on the other side of the Moldau;--of unknown
strength, hidden in the circumambient clouds of Pandours.

Suppressing all the rages and natural reflections but those needful
for the moment, Friedrich (October 4th, by Moldau-Tein) dashes
across the Moldau, to seek Prince Karl, at the place indicated, and
at once smite him down if possible;--that will be a remedy for all
things. Prince Karl is not there, nor was; the indication had been
false; Friedrich searches about, for four days, to no purpose.
Prince Karl, he then learns for certain, has crossed the Moldau
farther down, farther northward, between Prag and us. Means to cut
us off from Prag, then, which is our fountain of life in these
circumstances? That is his intention:--"Old Traun, who is with him,
understands his trade!" thinks Friedrich. Traun, or the Prince, is
diligently forming magazines, all the Country carrying to him, in
the Town of Beneschau, hither side of the Sazawa, some seventy
miles north of us, an important Town where roads meet:--unless we
can get hold of Beneschau, it will be ill with us here! Across the
River again, at any rate; and let us hasten thither. That is an
affair which must be looked to; and speed is necessary!

OCTOBER 8th, After four days' search ending in this manner,
Friedrich swiftly crosses towards Tabor again, to Bechin (over on
the Luschnitz, one march), there to collect himself for Beneschau
and the other intricacies. Towards Tabor again, by his Bridge of
Moldau-Tein;--clouds of Pandour people, larger clouds than usual,
hanging round; hidden by the woods till Friedrich is gone.
Friedrich being gone, there occurs the AFFAIR OF MOLDAU-TEIN, much
talked of in Prussian Books. Of which, in extreme condensation,
this is the essence:--

"OCTOBER 9th. Friedrich once off to Bechin, the Pandour clouds
gather on his rearguard next day at Tein Bridge here, to the number
of about 10,000 [rumor counts 14,000]; and with desperate intent,
and more regularity than usual, attack the Tein-Bridge Party, which
consists of perhaps 2,000 grenadiers and hussars, the whole under
Ziethen's charge,--obliged to wait for a cargo of Bread-wagons
here. 'Defend your Bridge, with cannon, with case-shot:' that is
what the grenadiers do. The Pandour cloud, with horrid lanes cut in
it, draws back out of this; then plunges at the River itself, which
can be ridden above or below; rides it, furious, by the thousand:
'Off with your infantry; quit the Bridge!' cries Ziethen to his
Captain there: 'Retire you, Parthian-like; thrice-steady,' orders
Ziethen: 'It is to be hoped our hussars can deal with this mad-
doggery!' And they do it; cutting in with iron discipline, with
fierceness not undrilled; a wedge of iron hussars, with ditto
grenadiers continually wheeling, like so many reapers steady among
wind-tossed grain; and gradually give the Pandours enough.
Seven hours of it, in all: 'of their sixty cartridges the
grenadiers had fired fifty-four,' when it ended, about 7 P.M.
The coming Bread-wagons, getting word, had to cast their loaves
into the River (sad to think of); and make for Bechin at their
swiftest. But the rearguard got off with its guns, in this
victorious manner: thanks to Major-General Ziethen, Colonel Reusch
and the others concerned. [ Feldzuge der Preussen, i. 268;
Orlich, ii. 55.]

"Ziethen handsels his Major-Generalcy in this fine way:
[Patent given him "3d October, 1744," only a week ago, "and ordered
to be dated eight months back" (Rodenbeck, i. 109).] a man who has
had promotion, and also has had none, and may again come to have
none;--and is able to do either way. Never mind, my excellent tacit
friend! Ziethen is five-and-forty gone; has a face which is
beautiful to me, though one of the coarsest. Face thrice-honest,
intricately ploughed with thoughts which are well kept silent (the
thoughts, indeed, being themselves mostly inarticulate; thoughts of
a simple-hearted, much-enduring, hot-tempered son of iron and
oatmeal);--decidedly rather likable, with its lazily hanging
under-lip, and respectable bearskin cylinder atop."


... "These Pandours give us trouble enough; no Magazine here, no
living to be had in this Country beside them. Unfortunate Colonel
Jahnus went out from Tabor lately, to look after requisitioned
grains: infinite Pandours set upon him [Muhlhausen is the memorable
place]; Jahnus was obstinate (too obstinate, thinks Friedrich), and
perished on the ground, he and 200 of his. [ OEuvres de
Frederic, iii. 61.] Nay, next, a swarm of them came to
Tabor itself, Nadasti at their head; to try whether Tabor, with its
small garrison, could not be escaladed, and perhaps Prince Henri,
who lies sick there, be taken? Tabor taught them another lesson;
sent them home with heads broken;--which Friedrich thinks was an
extremely suitable thing. But so it stands: Here by the thousand
and the ten thousand they hang round us; and Prince Karl-- It is of
all things necessary we get hold of that Beneschau, and the
Magazine he is gathering there!

"Rapidity is indispensable,--and yet how quit Tabor? We have
detachments out at Neuhaus, at Budweis, and in Tabor 300 men in
hospital, whom there are no means of carrying. To leave them to the
Tolpaches? Friedrich confesses he was weak on this occasion;
he could not leave these 300 men, as was his clear duty, in this
extremity of War. He ordered in his Neuhaus Detachment; not yet any
of the others. He despatched Schmerin towards Beneschau with all
his speed; Schwerin was lucky enough to take Beneschau and its
provender,--a most blessed fortune,--and fences himself there.
Hearing which, Friedrich, having now got the Neuhaus Detachment in
hand, orders the other Three, the Budweis, the Tabor here, and the
Frauenberg across the River, to maintain themselves; and then,
leaving those southern regions to their chance, hastens towards
Beneschau and Schwerin; encamps (October 18th) near Beneschau,--
'Camp of Konopischt,' unattackable Camp, celebrated in the Prussian
Books;--and there, for eight days, still on the south side of
Sazawa, tries every shift to mend the bad posture of affairs in
that Luschnitz-Sazawa Country. His Three Garrisons (3,000 men in
them, besides the 300 sick) he now sees will not be able to
maintain themselves; and he sends in succession 'eight messengers,'
not one messenger of whom could get through, to bid them come away.
His own hope now is for a Battle with Prince Karl; which might
remedy all things. [ OEuvres de Frederic,
iii. 62-64.]"

That is Friedrich's wish; but it is by no means Traun's, who sees
that hunger and wet weather will of themselves suffice for
Friedrich. There ensues accordingly, for three weeks to come, in
that confused Country, a series of swift shufflings, checkings and
manoeuvrings between these two, which is gratifying and instructive
to the strategic mind, but cannot be inflicted upon common readers.
Two considerable chess-players, an old and a young; their chess-
board a bushy, rocky, marshy parallelogram, running fifty miles
straight east from Prag, and twenty or fewer south, of which Prag
is the northwest angle, and Beneschau, or the impregnable
Konopischt the southwest: the reader must conceive it; and how
Traun will not fight Friedrich, yet makes him skip hither and
thither, chiefly by threatening his victuals. Friedrich's main
magazine is now at Pardubitz, the extreme northeast angle of the
parallelogram. Parallelogram has one river in it, with the
innumerable rocks and brooks and quagmires, the river Sazawa;
and on the north side, where are Kuttenberg, Czaslau, Chotusitz,
places again become important in this business, it is bounded by
another river, the Elbe. Intricate manoeuvring there is here, for
three weeks following: "old Traun an admirable man!" thinks
Friedrich, who ever after recognized Traun as his Schoolmaster in
the art of War. We mark here and there a date, and leave it
to readers.

"RADICZ, OCTOBER 21st-22d. At Radicz, a march to southwest of us,
and on our side of the Moldau, the Saxons, under Weissenfels,
20,000 effective, join Prince Karl; which raises his force to
69,514 men, some 10,000 more than Friedrich is master of. [Orlich,
ii. 66.] Prospect of wintering between the Luschnitz and the Sazawa
there is now little; unless they will fight us, and be beaten.
Friedrich, from his inaccessible Camp of Konopischt, manoeuvres,
reconnoitres, in all directions, to produce this result; but to no
purpose. An Austrian Detachment did come, to look after Beneschau
and the Magazines there; but rapidly drew back again, finding
Konopischt on their road, and how matters were. Friedrich will
guard the door of this Sazawa-Elbe tract of Country; hope of the
Sazawa-Luschnitz tract has, in few days, fallen extinct. Here is
news come to Konopischt: our Three poor Garrisons, Budweis, Tabor,
Frauenberg, already all lost; guns and men, after defence to the
last cartridge,--in Frauenberg their water was cut off, it was
eight-and-forty hours of thirst at Frauenberg:--one way or other,
they are all Three gone; eight couriers galloping with message,
'Come away,' were all picked up by the Pandours; so they stood, and
were lost. 'Three thousand fighting men gone, for the weak chance
of saving three hundred who were in hospital!' thinks Friedrich:
War is not a school of the weak pities. For the chance of ten, you
lose a hundred and the ten too. Sazawa-Elbe tract of country, let
us vigilantly keep the door of that!

"SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24th, Friedrich out reconnoitring from
Konopischt discovers of a certainty that the whole Austrian-Saxon
force is now advaucing towards Beneschau, and will, this night,
encamp at Marschowitz, to southwest, only one march from us! On the
instant Friedrich hurries back; gets his Army on march thitherward,
though the late October sun is now past noon; off instantly;
a stroke yonder will perhaps be the cure of all. Such roads we had,
says Friedrich, as never Army travelled before: long after
nightfall, we arrive near the Austrian camp, bivouac as we can till
daylight return. At the first streak of day, Friedrich and his
chief generals are on the heights with their spy-glasses:
Austrian Army sure enough; and there they have altered their
posture overnight (for Traun too has been awake); they lie now
opposite our RIGHT flank; 'on a scarped height, at the foot of
which, through swamps and quagmires, runs a muddy stream.'
Unattackable on this side: their right flank and foot are safe
enough. Creep round and see their left:--Nothing but copses, swampy
intricacies! We may shoulder arms again, and go back to Konopischt:
no fight here! [ OEuvres de Frederic, iii. 63,
64; Orlich, ii. 69.] Speaking of defensive Campaigns, says
Friedrich didactically, years afterwards, 'If such situations are
to answer the purpose intended, the front and flanks must be
equally strong, but the rear entirely open. Such, for instance, are
those heights which have an extensive front, and whose flanks are
covered by morasses:--as was Prince Karl's Camp at Marschowitz in
the year 1744, with its front covered by a stream, and the wings by
deep hollows; or that which we ourselves then occupied at
Konopischt,--as you well remember. [ Military Instructions
(above cited), p. 44.]

"OCTOBER 26th-NOVEMBER 1st. The Sazawa-Luschnitz tract of Country
is quite lost, then; lost with damages: the question now is, Can we
keep the Sazawa-Elbe tract? For about three weeks more, Friedrich
struggles for that object; cannot compass that either. Want of
horse-provender is very great:--country entirely eaten, say the
peasants, and not a truss remaining. October 26th, Friedrich has to
cross the Sazawa; we must quit the door of that tract (hunger
driving us), and fight for the interior in detail. Traun gets to
Beneschau in that cheap way; and now, in behalf of Traun, the
peasants find forage enough, being zealous for Queen and creed.
Pandours spread themselves all over this Sazawa-Elbe country;
endanger our subsistences, make our lives miserable. It is the old
story: Friedrich, famine and mud and misery of Pandours compelling,
has to retire northward, Elbe-ward, inch by inch; whither the
Austrians follow at a safe distance, and, in spite of all
manoeuvring, cannot be got to fight.

"Brave General Nassau, who much distinguishes himself in these
businesses, has (though Friedrich does not yet know it) dexterously
seized Kolin, westward in those Elbe parts,--ground that will be
notable in years coming. Important little feat of Nassau's; of
which anon. On the other hand, our Magazine at Pardubitz, eastward
on the Elbe, is not out of danger: Pandours and regulars 2,000 and
odd, 'sixty of the Pandour kind disguised as peasants leading hay-
carts,' made an attempt there lately; but were detected by the
vigilant Colonel, and blown to pieces, in the nick of time, some of
them actually within the gate. [ OEuvres de Frederic, italic> iii. 65.] Nay, a body of Austrian regulars were in full
march for Kolin lately, intending to get hold of the Elbe itself at
that point (midway between Prag and Pardubitz): but the prompt
General Nassau, as we remarked, had struck in before them; and now
holds Kolin;--though, for several days, Friedrich could not tell
what had become of Nassau, owing to the swarms of Pandours.

"Friedrich, standing with his back to Prag, which is fifty miles
from him, and rather in need of his support than able to give him
any; and drawing his meal from the uncertain distance, with
Pandours hovering round,--is in difficult case. While old Traun is
kept luminous as mid-day; the circumambient atmosphere of Pandours
is tenebrific to Friedrich, keeps him in perpetual midnight. He has
to read his position as with flashes of lightning, for most part.
A heavy-laden, sorely exasperated man; and must keep his haggard
miseries strictly secret; which I believe he does. Were Valori
here, it is very possible he might find the countenance FAROUCHE
again; eyes gloomy, on damp November mornings! Schwerin, in a huff,
has gone home: Since your Majesty is pleased to prefer his young
Durchlaucht of Anhalt's advice, what can an elderly servant (not
without rheumatisms) do other?--'Well!' answers Friedrich, not with
eyes cheered by the phenomenon. The Elbe-Sazawa tract, even this
looks as if it would be hard to keep. A world very dark for
Friedrich, enveloped so by the ill chances and the Pandours.
But what help?

"From the French Camp far away, there comes, dated 17th October
(third week of their Siege of Freyburg), by way of help to
Friedrich, magnanimous promise: 'So soon as this Siege is done,
which will be speedily, though it is difficult, we propose to send
fifty battalions and a hundred squadrons,'"--say only 60,000 horse
and foot (not a hoof or toe of which ever got that length, on
actually trying it),--"towards Westphalia, to bring the Elector of
Koln to reason [poor Kaiser's lanky Brother, who cannot stand the
French procedures, and has lately sold himself, that is sold his
troops, to England], and keep the King of England and the Dutch in
check,"--by way of solacement to your Majesty. Will you indeed, you
magnanimous Allies?--This was picked up by the Pandours; and I know
not but Friedrich was spared the useless pain of reading it.
[Orlich, ii. 73.]

first day of November, here is a lightning-flash which reveals
strange things to Friedrich. Traun's late manoeuvrings, which have
been so enigmatic, to right and to left, upon Prag and other
points, issue now in an attempt towards Pardubitz; which reveals to
Friedrich the intention Traun has formed, of forcing him to choose
one of those two places, and let go the other. Formidable, fatal,
thinks Friedrich; and yet admirable on the part of Traun: 'a design
beautiful and worthy of admiration.' If we stay near Prag, what
becomes of our communication with Silesia; what becomes of Silesia
itself? If we go towards Pardubitz, Prag and Bohmen are lost!
What to do? 'Despatch reinforcement to Pardubitz; thanks to Nassau,
the Kolin-Pardubitz road is ours!' That is done, Pardubitz saved
for the moment. Could we now get to Kuttenberg before the old
Marshal, his design were overset altogether. Alas, we cannot march
at once, have to wait a day for the bread. Forward, nevertheless;
and again forward, and again; three heavy marches in November
weather: let us make a fourth forced march, start to-morrow before
dawn,--Kuttenberg above all things! In vain; to-morrow, 4th
November, there is such a fog, dark as London itself, from six in
the morning onwards, no starting till noon: and then impossible,
with all our efforts, to reach Kuttenberg. We have to halt an eight
miles short of it, in front of Kolin; and pitch tents there. On the
morrow, 5th November, Traun is found encamped, unattackable,
between us and our object; sits there, at his ease in a friendly
Country, with Pandour whirlpools flowing out and in; an irreducible
case to Friedrich. November 5th, and for three days more,
Friedrich, to no purpose, tries his utmost;--finds he will have to
give up the Elbe-Sazawa region, like the others. Monday, November
9th, Friedrich gathers himself at Kolin; crosses the Elbe by Kolin
Bridge, that day. Point after point of the game going against him."

Kolin was, of course, attacked, that Monday evening, so soon as the
main Army crossed: but, so soon as the Army left, General Nassau
had taken his measures; and, with his great guns and his small,
handled the Pandours in a way that pleased us. [ OEuvres de
Frederic, iii. 68.] Thursday night following, they
came back, with regular grenadiers to support; under cloud of
night, in great force, ruffian Trenck at the head of them:
a frightful phenomenon to weak nerves. But this also Nassau treated
in such a fiery fashion that it vanished without return;
three hundred dead left on the ground, and ruffian Trenck riding
off with his own crown broken,--beautiful indigo face streaking
itself into GINGHAM-pattern, for the moment!

Except Pardubitz, where also the due battalions are left, Friedrich
now holds no post south of the Elbe in this quarter; Elbe-Sazawa
Tract is gone like the others, to all appearance. And we must now
say, Silesia or Prag? Prince Leopold, Council-of-War being held on
the matter, is for keeping hold of Prag: "Pity to lose all the
excellent siege-artillery we brought thither," says he. True, too
true; an ill-managed business that of Prag! thinks Friedrich sadly
to himself: but what is Prag and artillery, compared to Silesia?
Parthian retreat into Silesia; and let Prag and the artillery go:
that, to Friedrich, is clearly the sure course. Or perhaps the
fatal alternative will not actually arrive? So long as Pardubitz
and Kolin hold; and we have the Elbe for barrier? Truth is, Prince
Karl has himself written to Court that, having now pushed his Enemy
fairly over the Elbe, and winter being come with its sleets and
slushes, ruinous to troops that have been so marched about, the
Campaign ought to end;--nay, his own young Wife is in perilous
interesting circumstances, and the poor Prince wishes to be home.
To which, however, it is again understood, Maria Theresa has
emphatically answered, "No,--finish first!"

NOVEMBER 9th-19th: WE DEFEND THE ELBE RIVER. Friedrich has posted
himself on the north shore of the Elbe, from Pardubitz to the other
side of Kolin; means to defend that side of the River, where go the
Silesian roads. At Bohdenetz, short way across from Pardubitz, he
himself is; Prince Leopold is near Kolin: thirty miles of river-
bank to dispute. The controversy lasts ten days; ends in
ELBE-TEINITZ, a celebrated "passage," in Books and otherwise.
Friedrich is in shaggy, intricate country; no want of dingles,
woods and quagmires; now and then pleasant places too,--here is
Kladrup for example, where our Father came three hundred miles to
dine with the Kaiser once. The grooms and colts are all off at
present; Father and Kaiser are off; and much is changed since then.
Grim tussle of War now; sleety winter, and the Giant Mountains in
the distance getting on their white hoods! Friedrich doubtless has
his thoughts as he rides up and down, in sight of Kladrup, among
other places, settling many things; but what his thoughts were, he
is careful not to say except where necessary. Much is to be looked
after, in this River controversy of thirty miles. Detachments lie,
at intervals, all the way; and mounted sentries, a sentry every
five miles, patrol the River-bank; vigilant, we hope, as lynxes.
Nothing can cross but alarm will be given, and by degrees the whole
Prussian force be upon it. This is the Circle of Konigsgratz, this
that now lies to rear; and happily there are a few Hussites in it,
not utterly indisposed to do a little spying for us, and bring a
glimmering of intelligence, now and then.

It is now the second week that Frietrich has lain so, with his
mounted patrols in motion, with his Hussite spies; guarding Argus-
like this thirty miles of River; and the Austrians attempt nothing,
or nothing with effect. If the Austrians go home to their winter-
quarters, he hopes to issue from Kolin again before Spring, and to
sweep the Elbe-Sazawa Tract clear of them, after all. Maria Theresa
having answered No, it is likely the Austrians will try to get
across: Be vigilant therefore, ye mounted sentries. Or will they
perhaps make an attempt on Prag? Einsiedel, who has no garrison of
the least adequacy, apprises us That "in all the villages round
Prag people are busy making ladders,"--what can that mean?
Friedrich has learned, by intercepted letters, that something great
is to be done on Wednesday, 18th: he sends Rothenburg with
reinforcement to Einsiedel, lest a scalade of Prag should be on the
cards. Rothenburg is right welcome in the lines of Prag, though
with reinforcement still ineffectual; but it is not Prag that is
meant, nor is Wednesday the day. Through Wednesday, Friedrich, all
eye and ear, could observe nothing: much marching to and fro on the
Austrian side of the River; but apparently it comes to nothing?
The mounted patrols had better be vigilant, however.

On the morrow, 5 A.M., what is this that is going on? Audible
booming of cannon, of musketry and battle, echoing through the
woods, penetrates to Friedrich's quarters at Bohdenetz in the
Pardubitz region: Attack upon Kolin, Nassau defending himself
there? Out swift scouts, and see! Many scouts gallop out; but none
comes back. Friedrich, for hours, has to remain uncertain; can only
hope Nassau will defend himself. Boom go the distant volleyings;
no scout comes back. And it is not Nassau or Kolin; it is something
worse: very glorious for Prussian valor, but ruinous to
this Campaign.

The Austrians, at 2 o'clock this morning, Austrians and Saxons,
came in great force, in dead silence, to the south brink of the
River, opposite a place called Teinitz (Elbe-Teinitz), ten miles
east of Kolin; that was the fruit of their marching yesterday.
They sat there forbidden to speak, to smoke tobacco or do anything
but breathe, till all was ready; till pontoons, cannons had come
up, and some gleam of dawn had broken. At the first gleam of dawn,
as they are shoving down their pontoon boats, there comes a
"WER-DA, Who goes?" from our Prussian patrol across the River.
Receiving no answer, he fires; and is himself shot down.
One Wedell, Wedell and Ziethen, who keep watch in this part, start
instantly at sound of these shots; and make a dreadful day of it
for these invasive Saxon and Austrian multitudes. Naturally, too,
they send off scouts, galloping for more help, to the right and to
the left. But that avails not. Wild doggery of Pandours, it would
seem, have already swum or waded the River, above Teinitz and
below:--"Want of vigilance!" barks Friedrich impatiently: but such
a doggery is difficult to watch with effect. At any rate, to the
right and to the left, the woods are already beset with Pandours;
every scout sent out is killed: and to east or to west there comes
no news but an echoing of musketry, a boom of distant cannon.
[Orlich, ii. 82-85.] Saxon-Austrian battalions, four or five, with
unlimited artillery going, VERSUS Wedell's one battalion, with
musketry and Ziethen's hussars: it is fearful odds. The Prussians
stand to it like heroes; doggedly, for four hours, continue the
dispute,--till it is fairly desperate; "two bridges of the enemy's
now finished;"--whereupon they manoeuvre off, with Parthian or
Prussian countenance, into the woods, safe, towards Kolin;
"despatching definite news to Friedrich, which does arrive about
11 A.M., and sets him at once on new measures."

This is a great feat in the Prussian military annals; for which,
sad as the news was, Wedell got the name of Leonidas attached to
him by Friedrich himself. And indeed it is a gallant passage of
war; "Forcing of the Elbe at Teinitz;" of which I could give two
Narratives, one from the Prussian, and one from the Saxon side;
[Seyfarth, Beylage, i. 595-598;
Helden-Geschichte, ii. 1175-1181.] didactic,
admonitory to the military mind, nay to the civic reader that has
sympathy with heroisms, with work done manfully, and terror and
danger and difficulty well trampled under foot. Leonidas Wedell has
an admirable silence, too; and Ziethen's lazily hanging under-lip
is in its old attitude again, now that the spasm is over. "WAS
THUTS? They are across, without a doubt. We would have helped it,
and could not. Steady!"--


Seeing, then, that they are fairly over, Friedrich, with a
creditable veracity of mind, sees also that the game is done;
and that same night he begins manoeuvring towards Silesia, lest far
more be lost by continuing the play. One column, under Leopold the
Young Dessauer, goes through Glatz, takes the Magazine of Pardubitz
along with it: good to go in several columns, the enemy will less
know which to chase. Friedrich, with another column, will wait for
Nassau about Konigsgratz, then go by the more westerly road,
through Nachod and the Pass of Braunau. Nassau, who is to get
across from Kolin, and join us northwards, has due rendezvous
appointed him in the Konigsgratz region. Einsiedel, in Prag, is to
spike his guns, since he cannot carry them; blow up his bastions,
and the like; and get away with all discretion and all diligence,--
northwestward first, to Leitmeritz, where our magazines are;
there to leave his heavier goods, and make eastward towards
Friedland, and across the "Silesian Combs" by what Passes he can.
Will have a difficult operation; but must stand to it. And speed;
steady, simultaneous, regular, unresting velocity; that is the word
for all. And so it is done,--though with difficulty, on the part of
poor Einsiedel for one. It was Thursday, 19th November, when the
Austrians got across the Elbe: on Monday, 23d, the Prussian
rendezvousings are completed; and Friedrich's column, and the Glatz
one under Leopold, are both on march; infinite baggage-wagons
groaning orderly along ("sick-wagons well ahead," and the like
precautions and arrangements), on both these highways for Silesia:
and before the week ends, Thursday, 26th, even Einsiedel is under
way. Let us give something of poor Einsiedel, whose disasters made
considerable noise in the world, that Winter and afterwards.

"The two main columns were not much molested; that which went by
Glatz, under Leopold, was not pursued at all. On the rear of
Friedrich's own column, going towards Braunau, all the way to
Nachod or beyond, there hung the usual doggery of Pandours, which
required whipping off from time to time; bnt in the defiles and
difficult places due precaution was taken, and they did little real
damage. Truchsess von Waldburg [our old friend of the Spartan feat
near Austerlitz in the MORAVIAN-FORAY time, whom we have known in
London society as Prussian Envoy in bygone years] was in one of the
divisions of this column; and one day, at a village where there was
a little river to cross (river Mietau, Konigsgratz branch of the
Elbe), got provoked injudiciously into fighting with a body of
these people. Intent not on whipping them merely, but on whipping
them to death, Truchsess had already lost some forty men, and the
business with such crowds of them was getting hot; when, all at
once a loud squeaking of pigs was heard in the village,"--
apprehensive swineherd hastily penning his pigs belike, and some
pig refractory;--"at sound of which, the Pandour multitude suddenly
pauses, quits fighting, and, struck by a new enthusiasm, rushes
wholly into the village; leaving Truchsess, in a tragi-comic humor,
victorious, but half ashamed of himself. [ OEuvres de
Frederic, iii. 73.] In the beginning of December,
Friedrich's column reached home, by Braunau through the Mountains,
the same way part of it had come in August; not quite so brilliant
in equipment now as then.

"It was upon Einsiedel's poor Garrison, leaving Prag in such haste,
that the real stress of the retreat fell; its difficulties great
indeed, and its losses great. Einsiedel did what was possible;
but all things are not possible on a week's warning. He spiked
great guns, shook endless hundredweights of powder, and 10,000
stand of arms, into the River; he requisitioned horses, oxen,
without number; put mines under the bastions, almost none of which
went off with effect. He kept Prag accurately shut, the Praguers
accurately in the dark; took his measures prudently; and labored
night and day. One measure I note of him: stringent Proclamation to
the inhabitants of Prag, 'Provision yourselves for three months;
nothing but starvation ahead otherwise.' Alas, we are to stand a
fourth siege, then? say the Praguers. But where are provisions to
be had? At such and such places; from the Royal Magazines only, if
you bring a certificate and ready money! Whereby Einsiedel got
delivered of his meal-magazine, for one thing. But his difficulties
otherwise were immense.

"On the Thursday morning, 26th November, 1744, he marched.
His wagons had begun the night before; and went all night, rumbling
continuous (Anonymous of Prag [Second "LETTER from a Citizen, &c."
(date, 27th November, see supra, p. 348), in Helden-
Geschichte, ii. 1181-1188.] hearing them well),
through the Karlthor, northwest gate of Prag, across the Moldau
Rridge. All night across that bridge,--Leitmeritz road, great road
to the northwest:--followed finally by the march of horse and foot.
But news had already fled abroad. Five hundred Pandours were in the
City, backed by the Butchers' lads and other riotous GESINDEL,
before the rear-guard got away. Sad tugging and wriggling in
consequence, much firing from windows, and uproarious chaos;--so
that Rothenburg had at last to remount a couple of guns, and blow
it off with case-shot. A drilled Prussian rear-guard struggling,
with stern composure, through a real bit of burning chaos.
With effect, though not without difficulty. Here is the scene on
the Noldau Bridge, and past that high Hradschin [Old Palace of the
Bohemian Kings (pronounce RADsheen); one of the steepest Royal
Sites in the world.] mass of buildings; all Prag, not the Hradschin
only, struggling to give us fatal farewell if it durst. River is
covered with Pandours firing out of boats; Bridge encumbered to
impassability by forsaken wagons, the drivers of which had cut
traces and run; shot comes overhead from the Hradschin on our left,
much shot, infinite tumult all round; thoroughfare impossible for
two-wheeled vehicle, or men in rank. 'Halt!' cries Colonel Brandes,
who has charge of the thing; divides them in three: 'First one
party, deal with these river-boats, that Pandour doggery;
second party, pull these stray wagons to right and left, making the
way clear; third party, drag our own wagons forward, shoulder to
shaft, and yoke them out of shot-range;--you, Captain Carlowitz,'
and calls twenty volunteers to go with Carlowitz, and drag their
own cannon, 'step you forward, keep the gate of that Hradschin till
we all pass!' In this manner, rapid, hard of stroke, clear-headed
and with stern regularity, drilled talent gets the burning Nessus'-
shirt wriggled off; and tramps successfully forth with its
baggages. About 11 A.M., this rearguard of Brandes's did; should
have been at seven,--right well that it could be at all.

"Einsiedel, after this, got tolerably well to Leitmeritz; left his
heavy baggage there; then turned at an acute angle right eastward,
towards the Silesian Combs, as ordered: still a good seventy miles
to do, and the weather getting snowy and the days towards their
shortest. Worse still; old Weissenfels, now in Prag with his
Saxons, is aware that Einsiedel, before ending, will touch on a
wild high-lying corner of the Lausitz which is Saxon Country;
and thitherward Weissenfels has despatched Chevalier de Saxe (in
plenty of time, November 29th), with horse and foot, to waylay
Einsiedel, and block the entrance of the Silesian Mountains for
him. Whereupon, in the latter end of his long march, and almost
within sight of home, ensues the hardest brush of all for
Einsiedel. And, in the desolation of that rugged Hill country of
the Lausitz, 'HOCHWALD (Upper Weld),' twenty or more miles from
Bohemian Friedland, from his entrance on the Mountain Barrier and
Silesian Combs, there are scenes--which gave rise to a Court-
Martial before long. For unexpectedly, on the winter afternoon
(December 9th), Einsiedel, struggling among the snows and pathless
Hills, comes upon Chevalier de Saxe and his Saxon Detachment,--
intrenched with trees, snow-redoubts, and a hollow bog dividing us;
plainly unassailable;--and stands there, without covering, without
'food, fire, or salt,' says one Eye-witness, 'for the space of
fourteen hours.' Gazing gloomily into it, exchanging a few shots,
uncertain what more to do; the much-dubitating Einsiedel. 'At which
the men were so disgusted and enraged, they deserted [the foreign
part of them, I fancy] in groups at a time,' says the above
Eye-witness. Not to think what became of the equipments, baggage-
wagons, sick-wagons:--too evident Einsiedel's loss, in all kinds,
was very considerable. Nassau, despatched by Leopold out of Glatz,
from the other side of the Combs, is marching to help Einsiedel;--
who knows, at this moment, where or whitherward? For the peasants
are all against us; our very guides desert, and become spies.
'Push to the left, over the Hochwald top, must not we?' thinks
Einsiedel: 'that is Lausitz, a Saxon Country; and Saxony, though
the Saxons stand intrenched here, with the knife at our throat, are
not at war with us, oh no, only allies of her Majesty of Hungary,
and neutral otherwise!' And here, it is too clear, the Chevalier de
Saxe stands intrenched behind his trees and snow; and it is the
fourteenth hour, men deserting by the hundred, without fire and
without salt; and Nassau is coming,--God knows by what road!

"Einsiedel pushes to the left, the Hochwald way; finds, in the
Hochwald too, a Saxon Commandant waiting him, with arms strictly
shouldered. 'And we cannot pass through this moor skirt of Lausitz,
say you, then?' 'Unarmed, yes; your muskets can come in wagons
after you,' replies the Saxon Commandant of Lausitz.
'Thousand thanks, Herr Commandant; but we will not give you all
that trouble,' answer Einsiedel and his Prussians; 'and march on,
overwhelming him with politenesses,' says Friedrich;--the approach
of Nassau, above all, being a stringent civility. Of course,
despatch is very requisite to Einsiedel; the Chevalier, with his
force, being still within hail. The Prussians march all night, with
pitch-links flaring,--nights (I think) of the 13th-15th December,
1744, up among the highlands there, rugged buttresses of the
Silesian Combs: a sight enough to astonish Rubezahl, if he happened
to be out! As good chance would have it, Nassau and Einsiedel, by
preconcert, partly by lucky guess of their own, were hurrying by
the same road: three heaven-rending cheers (December 16th) when we
get sight of Nassau; and find that here is land! December 16th, we
are across,--by Ruckersdorf, not far from Friedland (Bohmisch
Friedland, not the Silesian town of that name, once Wallenstein's);
--and rejoice now to look back on labor done." [ Helden-
Geschichte, ii. 1181-1190, 1191-1194;
Feldzuge, i. 278-280.]

These were intricate strange scenes, much talked of at the time:
Rothenburg, ugly Walrave, Hacke, and other known figures, concerned
in them. Scenes in which Friedrich is not well informed; who much
blames Einsiedel, as he is apt to do the unsuccessful. Accounts
exist, both from the Prussian and from the Saxon side, decipherable
with industry; not now worth deciphering to English readers.
Only that final scene of the pitch-links, the night before meeting
with Nassau, dwells voluntarily in one's memory. And is the
farewell of Einsiedel withal. Friedrich blames him to the last:
though a Court-Martial had sat on his case, some months after, and
honorably acquitted him. Good solid, silent Einsiedel;--and in some
months more, he went to a still higher court, got still stricter
justice: I do not hear expressly that it was the winter marches, or
strain of mind; but he died in 1745; and that flare of pitch-links
in Rubezahl's country is the last scene of him to us,--and the end
of Friedrich's unfortunate First Expedition in the Second
Silesian War.

"Foiled, ultimately, then, on every point; a totally ill-ordered
game on our part! Evidently we, for our part, have been altogether
in the wrong, in various essential particulars. Amendment, that and
no other, is the word now. Let us take the scathe and the scorn
candidly home to us;--and try to prepare for doing better.
The world will crow over us. Well, the world knows little about it;
the world, if it did know, would be partly in the right!"--Wise is
he who, when beaten, learns the reasons of it, and alters these.
This wisdom, it must be owned, is Friedrich's; and much
distinguishes him among generals and men. Veracity of mind, as I
say, loyal eyesight superior to sophistries; noble incapacity of
self-delusion, the root of all good qualities in man. His epilogue
to this Campaign is remarkable;--too long for quoting here, except
the first word of it and the last:--

"No General committed more faults than did the King in this
Campaign. ... The conduct of M. de Traun is a model of perfection,
which every soldier that loves his business ought to study, and try
to imitate, if he have the talent. The king has himself admitted
that he regarded this Campaign as his school in the Art of War, and
M. de Traun as his teacher." But what shall we say? "Bad is often
better for Princes than good;--and instead of intoxicating them
with presumption, renders them circumspect and modest."
[ OEuvres, iii.76, 77.] Let us still hope!--

Chapter V.


To the Court of Vienna, especially to the Hungarian Majesty, this
wonderful reconquest of Bohemia, without battle fought,--or any
cause assignable but Traun's excellent manoeuvring and Friedrich's
imprudences and trust in the French,--was a thing of heavenly
miracle; blessed omen that Providence had vouchsafed to her prayers
the recovery of Silesia itself. All the world was crowing over
Friedrich: but her Majesty of Hungary's views had risen to a
clearly higher pitch of exultation and triumphant hope, terrestrial
and celestial, than any other living person's. "Silesia back
again," that was now the hope and resolution of her Majesty's high
heart: "My wicked neighbor shall be driven out, and smart dear for
the ill he has done; Heaven so wills it!" "Very little uplifts the
Austrians," says Valori; which is true, under such a Queen;
"and yet there is nothing that can crush them altogether down,"
adds he.

No sooner is Bohemia cleared of Friedrich, than Maria, winter as it
is, orders that there be, through the Giant-Mountains, vigorous
assault upon Silesia. Highland snows and ices, what are these to
Pandour people, who, at their first entrance on the scene of
History, "crossed the Palus-Maeotis itself [Father of Quagmires, so
to speak] in a frozen state," and were sufficiently accommodated
each in his own dirty sheepskin? "Prosecute the King of Prussia,"
ordered she; "take your winter-quarters in Silesia!"--and Traun, in
spite of the advanced season, and prior labors and hardships, had
to try, from the southwestern Bohemian side, what he could do;
while a new Insurrection, coming through the Jablunka, spread
itself over the southeast and east. Seriously invasive multitudes;
which were an unpleasant surprise to Friedrich; and did, as we
shall see, require to be smitten back again, and re-smitten;
making a very troublesome winter to the Prussians and themselves;
but by no means getting winter-quarters, as they once hoped.

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