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History of Friedrich II of Prussia V

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our way is, though on such terms. Quick, a plan!" The head of
Friedrich is a bank you cannot easily break by coming on it for
plans: such a creature for impromptu plans, and unexpected dashes
swift as the panther's, I have hardly known,--especially when you
squeeze him into a corner, and fancy he is over with it!
Friedrich gallops down, with his plan clear enough; and already the
Austrians, horse and foot, are deploying upon those Heights he has
quitted; Fifty Squadrons of Horse for left wing to them, and a
battery of Twenty-eight big Guns is establishing itself where
Friedrich's Piquet lately stood.

Friedrich's right flank has to become his front, and face those
formidable Austrian Heights and Batteries; and this with more than
Prussian velocity, and under the play of those twenty-eight big
guns, throwing case-shot (GRENADES ROYALES) and so forth, all the
while. To Valori, when he heard of the thing, it is inconceivable
how mortal troops could accomplish such a movement;
Friedrich himself praises it, as a thing honorably well done.
Took about half an hour; case-shot raining all the while;
soldier honorably never-minding: no flurry, though a speed like
that of spinning-tops. And here we at length are, Staudentz now to
rear of us, behind our centre a good space; Burgersdorf in front of
us to right, our left reaching to Prausnitz: Austrian lines, three
deep of them, on the opposite Height; we one line only, which
matches them in length.

They, that left wing of horse, should have thundered down on us,
attacking us, not waiting our attack, thinks Friedrich; but they
have not done it. They stand on their height there, will perhaps
fire carbines, as their wont is. "You, Buddenbrock, go into them
with your Cuirassiers!" Buddenbrock and the Cuirassiers, though it
is uphill, go into them at a furious rate; meet no countercharge,
mere sputter of carbines;--tumble them to mad wreck, back upon
their second line, back upon their third: absurdly crowded there on
their narrow height, no room to manoeuvre; so that they plunge,
fifty squadrons of them, wholly into the Georgengrund rearward,
into the Kingdom Wood, and never come on again at all.
Buddenbrock has done his job right well.

Seeing which, our Infantry of the right wing, which stood next to
Buddenbrock, made impetuous charge uphill, emulous to capture that
Battery of Twenty-eight; but found it, for some time, a terrible
attempt. These Heights are not to be called "hills," still less
"mountains" (as in some careless Books); but it is a stiff climb at
double-quick, with twenty-eight big guns playing in the face of
you. Storms of case-shot shear away this Infantry, are quenching
its noble fury in despair; Infantry visibly recoiling, when our
sole Three Regiments of Reserve hurry up to support. Round these
all rallies; rushes desperately on, and takes the Battery,--of
course, sending the Austrian left wing rapidly adrift, on loss of
the same.

This, I consider, is the crisis of the Fight; the back of the
Austrian enterprise is already broken, by this sad winging of it on
the left. But it resists still; comes down again,--the reserve of
their left wing seen rapidly making for Burgersdorf, intending an
attack there; which we oppose with vigor, setting Burgersdorf on
fire for temporary screen; and drive the Austrian reserve rapidly
to rearward again. But there is rally after rally of them.
They rank again on every new height, and dispute there; loath to be
driven into Kingdom Wood, after such a flourish of arms.
One height, "bushy steep height," the light-limbed valiant Prince,
little Ferdinand of Brunswick, had the charge of attacking; and he
did it with his usual impetus and irresistibility:--and, strangely
enough, the defender of it chanced to be that Brother of his,
Prince Ludwig, with whom he had the little Interview lately.
Prince Ludwig got a wound, as well as lost his height. The third
Brother, poor Prince Albrecht, who is also here, as volunteer
apprentice, on the Prussian side, gets killed. There will never be
another Interview, for all three, between the Camps! Strange times
for those poor Princes, who have to seek soldiering for
their existence.

Meanwhile the Cavalry of Buddenbrock, that is to say of the right
wing, having now no work in that quarter, is despatched to
reinforce the left wing, which has stood hitherto apart on its own
ground; not attacked or attacking,--a left wing REFUSED, as the
soldiers style it. Reinforced by Buddenbrock, this left wing of
horse does now also storm forward;--"near the Village of Prausnitz"
(Prausnitz a little way to rear of it), thereabouts, is the scene
of its feat. Feat done in such fashion that the Austrians opposite
will not stand the charge at all; but gurgle about in a chaotic
manner; then gallop fairly into Kingdom Wood, without stroke
struck; and disappear, as their fellows had done. Whereupon the
Prussian horse breaks in upon the adjoining Infantry of that flank
(Austrian right flank, left bare in this manner); champs it also
into chaotic whirlpools; cuts away an outskirt of near 2,000
prisoners, and sets the rest running. This seems to have been
pretty much the COUP-DE-GRACE of the Fight; and to have brought the
Austrian dispute to finis. From the first, they had rallied on the
heights; had struggled and disputed. Two general rallies they made,
and various partial, but none had any success. They were driven on,
bayonet in back, as the phrase is: with this sad slap on their
right, added to that old one on their left, what can they now do
but ebb rapidly; pour in cataracts into Kingdom Wood, and disappear
there? [ OEuvres de Frederic, iii. 135-143;
Stille, pp. 144-163; Orlich, ii. 227-243; Feldzuge, italic> i. 357, 363, 374.]

Prince Karl's scheme was good, says Friedrich; but it was ill
executed. He never should have let us form; his first grand fault
was that he waited to be attacked, instead of attacking. Parts of
his scheme were never executed at all. Duke d'Ahremberg, for
instance, it is said, had so dim a notion of the ground, that he
drew up some miles off, with his back to the Prussians. Such is the
rumor,--perhaps only a rumor, in mockery of the hebetated old
gentleman fallen unlucky? On the other hand, that Nadasti made a
failure which proved important, is indubitable. Nadasti, with some
thousands of Tolpatchery, was at Liebenthal, four miles to
southeast of the action; Ruffian Trenck lay behind Eypel, perhaps
as far to east, of it: Trenck and Nadasti were to rendezvous, to
unite, and attack the Prussian Camp on its rear,--"Camp," so ran
the order, for it was understood the Prussians would all be there,
we others attacking it in front and both flanks;--which turned out
otherwise, not for Nadasti alone!

Nadasti came to his rendezvous in time; Ruffian Trenck did not:
Nadasti grew tired of waiting for Trenck, and attacked the Camp by
himself:--Camp, but not any men; Camp being now empty, and the men
all fighting, ranked at right angles to it, furlongs and miles
away. Nadasti made a rare hand of the Camp; plundered everything,
took all the King's Camp-furniture, ready money, favorite dog
Biche,--likewise poor Eichel his Secretary, who, however, tore the
papers first. Tolpatchery exultingly gutted the Camp; and at last
set fire to it,--burnt even some eight or ten poor Prussian sick,
and also "some women whom they caught. We found the limbs of these
poor men and women lying about," reports old General Lehwald;
who knew about it. A doggery well worthy of the gallows, think
Lehwald and I. "Could n't help it; ferocity of wild men," says
Nadasti. "Well; but why not attack, then, with your ferocity?"
Confused Court-martial put these questions, at Vienna subsequently;
and Ruffian Trenck, some say, got injustice, Nadasti shuffling
things upon him; for which one cares almost nothing. Lehwald, lying
at Trautenau, had heard the firing at sunrise; and instantly
marched to help: he only arrived to give Nadasti a slash or two,
and was too late for the Fight. Oue Schlichtling, on guard with a
weak party, saved what was in the right wing of the Camp,--small
thanks to him, the Main Fight being so near: Friedrich's opinion
is, an Officer, in Schlichtling's place, ought to have done more,
and not have been so helpless.

This was the Battle of Sohr; so called because the Austrians had
begun there, and the Prussians ended there. The Prussian pursuit
drew bridle at that Village; unsafe to prosecute Austrians farther,
now in the deeps of Kingdom Forest. The Battle has lasted five
hours. It must be now getting towards noon; and time for breakfast,
if indeed any were to be had; but that is next to impossible,
Nadasti having been so busy. Not without extreme difficulty is a
manchet of bread, with or without a drop of wine, procured for the
King's Majesty this day. Many a tired hero will have nothing but
tobacco, with spring-water, to fall back upon. Never mind! says the
King, says everybody. After all, it is a cheap price to pay for
missing an attack from Pandours in the rear, while such crisis went
on ahead.

Lying COUSIN Trenck, of the Life-guard, who is now in Glatz, gives
vivid eye-witness particulars of these things, time of the morning
and so on; says expressly he was there, and what he did there,
[Frederic Baron de Trenck, Memoires, traduits par lui-meme
(Strasbnrg and Paris, 1789), i. 74-78, 79.]--though in
Glatz under lock and key, three good months before. "How could I
help mistakes," said he afterwards, when people objected to this
and that in his blusterous mendacity of a Book: "I had nothing but
my poor agitated memory to trust to!" A man's memory, when it gets
the length of remembering that he was in the Battle of Sohr while
bodily absent, ought it not to--in fact, to strike work; to still
its agitations altogether, and call halt? Trenck, some months
after, got clambered out of Glatz, by sewers, or I forget how;
and leaped, or dropped, from some parapet into the River Neisse,--
sinking to the loins in tough mud, so that he could not stir

MAP TO GO HERE----BOOK 15-- page 499----

farther. "Fouquet let me stand there half a day, before he would
pick me out again." Rigorous Bouquet, human mercy forbidding, could
not let him stand there in permanence,--as we, better
circumstanced, may with advantage try to do, in time coming!

Friedrich lay at Sohr five days; partly for the honor of the thing,
partly to eat out the Country to perfection. Prince Karl, from
Konigshof, soon fell back to Konigsgratz; and lay motionless there,
nothing but his Tolpatcheries astir, Sohr Country all eaten,
Friedrich, in the due Divisions, marched northward.
Through Trautenau, Schatzlar, his own Division, which was the main
one;--and, fencing off the Tolpatches successfully with trouble,
brings all his men into Silesia again. A good job of work behind
them, surely! Cantons them to right and left of Landshut, about
Rohnstock and Hohenfriedberg, hamlets known so well; and leaving
the Young Dessauer to command, drives for Berlin (30th October),--
rapidly, as his wont is. Prince Karl has split up his force at
Konigsgratz; means, one cannot doubt, to go into winter-quarters.
If he think of invading, across that eaten Country and those bad
Mountains,--well, our troops can all be got together in six
hours' time.

At Trautenau, a week after Sohr, Friedrich had at last received the
English ratification of that Convention of Hanover, signed 26th
August, almost a month ago; not ratified till September 22d.
About which there had latterly been some anxiety, lest his
Britannic Majesty himself might have broken off from it.
With Austria, with Saxony, Britannic Majesty has been entirely
unsuccessful:--"May not Sohr, perhaps, be a fresh persuasive?"
hopes Friedrich;--but as to Britannic Majesty's breaking off, his
thoughts are far from that, if we knew! Poor Majesty: not long
since, Supreme Jove of Germany; and now--is like to be swallowed in
ragamuffin street-riots; not a thunder-bolt within clutch of him
(thunder-bolts all sticking in the mud of the Netherlands, far
off), and not a constable's staff of the least efficacy!
Consider these dates in combination. Battle of Sohr was on

"SUNDAY preceding, SEPTEMBER 26th, was such a Lord's-Day in the
City of Edinburgh, as had not been seen there,--not since Jenny
Geddes's stool went flying at the Bishop's head, above a hundred
years before. Big alarm-bell bursting out in the middle of divine
service; emptying all the Churches ('Highland rebels just at
hand!')--into General Meeting of the Inhabitants, into Chaos come
again, for the next forty hours. Till, in the gaunt midnight,
Tuesday, 2 A.M., Lochiel with about 1,000 Camerons, waiting slight
opportunity, crushed in through the Netherbow Port; and"--And,
about noon of that day, a poor friend of ours, loitering expectant
in the road that leads by St. Anthony's Well, saw making entry into
paternal Holyrood,--the Young Pretender, in person, who is just
being proclaimed Prince of Wales, up in the High-street yonder!
"A tall slender young man, about five feet ten inches high; of a
ruddy complexion, high-nosed, large rolling brown eyes; long-
visaged, red-haired, but at that time wore a pale periwig. He was
in a Highland habit [coat]; over the shoulder a blue sash wrought
with gold; red velvet breeches; a green velvet bonnet, with white
cockade on it and a gold lace. His speech seemed very like that of
an Irishman; very sly [how did you know, my poor friend?];--spoke
often to O'Sullivan [thought to be a person of some counsel; had
been Tutor to Maillebois's Boys, had even tried some irregular
fighting under Maillebois]--to O'Sullivan and" [Henderson,
Highland Rebellion, p. 14.] ... And on Saturday, in
short, came PRESTONPANS. Enough of such a Supreme Jove; good for us
here as a timetable chiefly, or marker of dates!

Sunday, 3d October, King's Adjutant, Captain Mollendorf, a young
Officer deservedly in favor, arrives at Berlin with the joyful
tidings of this Sohr business ("Prausnitz" we then called it):
to the joy of all Prussians, especially of a Queen Mother, for whom
there is a Letter in pencil. After brief congratulation, Mollendorf
rushes on; having next to give the Old Dessauer notice of it in his
Camp at Dieskau, in the Halle neighborhood. Mollendorf appears in
Halle suddenly next morning, Monday, about ten o'clock, sixteen
postilions trumpeting, and at their swiftest trot, in front of
him;--shooting, like a melodious morning-star, across the rusty old
city, in this manner,--to Dieskau Camp, where he gives the Old
Dessauer his good news. Excellent Victory indeed; sharp striking,
swift self-help on our part. Halle and the Camp have enough to
think of, for this day and the next. Whither Mollendorf went next,
we will not ask: perhaps to Brunswick and other consanguineous
places?--Certain it is,

"On Wednesday, the 6th, about two in the afternoon, the Old
Dessauer has his whole Army drawn out there, with green sprigs in
their hats, at Dieskau, close upon the Saxon Frontier; and, after
swashing and manoeuvring about in the highest military style of
art, ranks them all in line, or two suitable lines, 30,000 of them;
and then, with clangorous outburst of trumpet, kettle-drum and all
manner of field-music, fires off his united artillery a first time;
almost shaking the very hills by such a thunderous peal, in the
still afternoon. And mark, close fitted into the artillery peal,
commences a rolling fire, like a peal spread out in threads,
sparkling strangely to eye and ear; from right to left, long spears
of fire and sharp strokes of sound, darting aloft, successive
simultaneous, winding for the space of miles, then back by the rear
line, and home to the starting-point: very grand indeed. Again, and
also again, the artillery peal, and rolling small-arms fitted into
it, is repeated; a second and a third time, kettle-drums and
trumpets doing what they can. That was the Old Dessauer's bonfiring
(what is called FEU-DE-JOIE), for the Victory of Sohr; audible
almost at Leipzig, if the wind were westerly. Overpowering to the
human mind; at least, to the old Newspaper reporter of that day.
But what was strangest in the business," continues he "(DAS
CURIEUSESTE DABEY), was that the Saxon Uhlans, lying about in the
villages across the Border, were out in the fields, watching the
sight, hardly 300 yards off, from beginning to end; and little
dreamed that his High Princely Serenity," blue of face and dreadful
in war, "was quite close to them, on the Height called Bornhock;
condescending to 'take all this into High-Serene Eye-shine there;
and, by having a white flag waved, deigning to give signal for the
discharges of the artillery.'" [ Helden-Geschichte, italic> i. 1124.]

By this the reader may know that the Old Dessauer is alive, ready
for action if called on; and Bruhl ought to comprehend better how
riskish his game with edge-tools is. Bruhl is not now in an
unprepared state:--here are Uhlans at one's elbow looking on.
Rutowski's Uhlans; who lies encamped, not far off, in good force,
posted among morasses; strongly entrenched, and with schemes in his
head, and in Bruhl's, of an aggressive, thrice-secret and very
surprising nature! I remark only that, in Heidelberg Country,
victorious old Traun is putting his people into winter-quarters;
himself about to vanish from this History, [Went to SIEBENBURGEN
(Transylvania) as Governor; died there February, 1748, age
seventy-one ( Maria Theresiens Leben, p. 56
n.).]--and has detached General Grune with 10,000 men; who left
Heidelberg October 9th, on a mysterious errand, heeded by nobody;
and will turn up in the next Chapter.

Chapter XIII.


After this strenuous and victorious Campaign, which has astonished
all public men, especially all Pragmatic Gazetteers, and with which
all Europe is disharmoniously ringing, Friedrich is hopeful there
will be Peace, through England;--cannot doubt, at least, but the
Austrians have had enough for one year;--and looks forward to
certain months, if not of rest, yet of another kind of activity.
Negotiation, Peace through England, if possible; that is the high
prize: and in the other case, or in any case, readiness for next
Campaign;--which with the treasury exhausted, and no honorable
subsidy from France, is a difficult problem.

That was Friedrich's, and everybody's, program of affairs for the
months coming: but in that Friedrich and everybody found themselves
greatly mistaken. Bruhl and the Austrians had decided otherwise.
"Open mouse-trap," at Striegau; claws of the sleeping cat, at Sohr:
these were sad experiences; ill to bear, with the Sea-Powers
grumbling on you, and the world sniffing its pity on you;--but are
not conclusive, are only provoking and even maddening, to the
sanguine mind. Two sad failures; but let us try another time.
"A tricky man; cunning enough, your King of Prussia!" thinks Bruhl,
with a fellness of humor against Friedrich which is little
conceivable to us now: "Cunning enough. But it is possible cunning
may be surpassed by deeper cunning!"--and decides, Bartenstein and
an indignant Empress-Queen assenting eagerly, That there shall, in
the profoundest secrecy till it break out, be a third, and much
fiercer trial, this Winter yet. The Bruhl-Bartenstein plan (owing
mainly to the Russian Bugbear which hung over it, protective, but
with whims of its own) underwent changes, successive redactions or
editions; which the reader would grudge to hear explained to him.
[Account of them in Orlich, ii. 273-278 (from various RUTOWSKI
Papers; and from the contemporary satirical Pamphlet,
"MONDSCHEINWURFE, Mirror-castings of Moonshine, by ZEBEDAUS Cuckoo,
beaten Captain of a beaten Army."] Of the final or acted edition,
some loose notion, sufficient for our purpose, may be collected
from the following fractions of Notes:--

NOVEMBER 17th (INTERIOR OF GERMANY). ... "Feldmarschall-Lieutenant
von Grune, a General of mark, detached by Traun not long since,
from the Rhine Country, with a force of 10,000 men, why is he
marching about: first to Baireuth Country, 'at Hof, November 9th,'
as if for Bohemia; then north, to Gera ('lies at Gera till the
17th'), as if for Saxony Proper? Prince Karl, you would certainly
say, has gone into winter-quarters; about Konigsgratz, and farther
on? Gone or going, sure enough, is Prince Karl, into the convenient
Bohemian districts,--uncertain which particular districts; at least
the Young Dessauer, watching him from the Silesian side, is
uncertain which. Better be vigilant, Prince Leopold!--Grune, lying
at Gera yonder, is not intending for Prince Karl, then? No, not
thither. Then perhaps towards Saxony, to reinforce the Saxons?
Or some-whither to find fat winter-quarters: who knows? Indeed, who
cares particularly, for such inconsiderable Grune and his 10,000!--

"The Saxons quitted their inexpugnable Camp towards Halle, some
time ago; went into cantonments farther inland;--the Old Dessauer
(middle of October) having done the like, and gone home: his force
lies rather scattered, for convenience of food and forage. From the
Silesian side, again, Prince Leopold, whose head-quarters are about
Striegau, intimates, That he cannot yet say, with certainty, what
districts Prince Karl will occupy for winter-quarters in Bohemia.
Prince Karl is vaguely roving about; detaching Pandours to the
Silesian Mountains, as if for checking our victorious Nassau
there;--always rather creeping northward; skirting Western Silesia
with his main force; 30,000 or better, with Lobkowitz and Nadasti
ahead. Meaning what? Be vigilant, my young friend.

"The private fact is, Prince Karl does not mean to go into winter-
quarters at all. In private fact, Prince Karl is one of Three
mysterious Elements or Currents, sent on a far errand: Grune is
another: Rutowski's Saxon Camp (now become Cantonment) is a third.
Three Currents instinct with fire and destruction, but as yet quite
opaque; which have been launched,--whitherward thinks the reader?
On Berlin itself, and the Mark of Brandenburg; there to collide,
and ignite in a marvellous manner. There is their meeting-point:
there shall they, on a sudden, smite one another into flame;
and the destruction blaze, fiery enough, round Friedrich and his
own Brandenburg homesteads there!--

"It is a grand scheme; scheme at least on a grand scale. For the
LEGS of it, Grune's march and Prince Karl's, are about 600 miles
long! Plan due chiefly, they say, to the yellow rage of Bruhl;
aided by the contrivance of Rutowski, and the counsel of Austrian
military men. For there is much consulting about it, and redacting
of it; Polish Majesty himself very busy. To Bruhl's yellow rage it
is highly solacing and hopeful. 'Rutowski, lying close in his
Cantonments, and then suddenly springing out, will overwhelm the
Old Dessauer, who lies wide;--can do it, surely; and Grune is there
to help if necessary. Dessauer blown to pieces, Grune, with
Rutowski combined, push in upon Brandenburg,--Grune himself upon
Berlin,--from the west and south, nobody expecting him. Prince
Karl, not taking into winter-quarters in Bohemia, as they idly
think; but falling down the Valley of the Bober, or Bober and
Queiss, into the Lausitz (to Gorlitz, Guben, where we have
Magazines for him), comes upon it from the southeast,--nobody
expecting any of them. Three simultaneous Armies hurled on the head
of your Friedrich; combustible deluges flowing towards him, as from
the ends of Germany; so opaque, silent, yet of fire wholly:
will not that surprise him!' thinks Bruhl. These are the schemes of
the little man."

Bruhl, having constituted himself rival to Friedrich, and fallen
into pale or yellow rage by the course things took, this Plan is
naturally his chief joy, or crown of joys; a bubbling well of
solace to him in his parched condition. He should, obviously, have
kept it secret; thrice-secret, the little fool;--but a poor parched
man is not always master of his private bubbling wells in that
kind! Wolfstierna is Swedish Envoy at Dresden; Rudenskjold, Swedish
Envoy at Berlin, has run over to see him in the dim November days.
Swedes, since Ulrique's marriage, are friendly to Prussia.
Bruhl has these two men to dinner; talks with them, over his wine,
about Friedrich's insulting usage of him, among other topics.
"Insulting; how, your Excellency?" asks Rudenskjold, privately a
friend of Friedrich. Bruhl explains, with voice quivering, those
cuts in the Friedrich manifesto of August last, and other griefs
suffered; the two Swedes soothing him with what oil they have
ready. "No matter!" hints Bruhl; and proceeds from hint to hint,
till the two Swedes are fully aware of the grand scheme:
Grune, Prince Karl; and how Destruction, with legs 500 miles long,
is steadily advancing to assuage one with just revenge.
"Right, your Excellency!"--only that Rudenskjold proceeds to
Berlin; and there straightway ("8th November") punctually makes
Friedrich also aware. [Stenzel, iv. 262; Ranke, iii. 317-323;
Friedrich's own narrative of it, OEuvres,
iii. 148.] Foolish Bruhl: a man that has a secret should not only
hide it, but hide that he has it to hide.

Hennersdorf, 23d November, 1745).

Friedrich, having heard the secret, gazes into it with horror and
astonishment: "What a time I have! This is not living; this is
being killed a thousand times a day!" [Ranke (iii. 321 n.): TO whom
said, we are not told.]--with horror and astonishment; but also
with what most luminous flash of eyesight is in him; compares it
with Prince Karl's enigmatic motions, Grune's open ones and the
other phenomena;--perceives that it is an indisputable fact, and a
thrice-formidable; requiring to be instantly dealt with by the
party interested! Whereupon, after hearty thanks to Rudenskjold,
there occur these rapidly successive phases of activity, which we
study to take up in a curt form.

FIRST (probably 9th or 10th November), there is Council held with
Minister Podewils and the Old Dessauer; Council from which comes
little benefit, or none. Podewils and Old Leopold stare
incredulous; cannot be made to believe such a thing.
"Impossible any Saxon minister or man would voluntarily bring the
theatre of war into his own Country, in this manner!" thinks the
Old Dessauer, and persists to think,--on what obstinate ground
Friedrich never knew. To which Podewils, "who has properties in the
Lausitz, and would so fain think them safe," obstinately, though
more covertly, adheres. "Impossible!" urge both these Councillors;
and Friedrich cannot even make them believe it. Believe it;
and, alas, believing it is not the whole problem!

Happily Friedrich has the privilege of ordering, with or without
their belief. "You, Podewils, announce the matter to foreign
Courts. You, Serene Highness of Anhalt, at your swiftest, collect
yonder, and encamp again. Your eye well on Grune and Rutowski;
and the instant I give you signal--! I am for Silesia, to look
after Prince Karl, the other long leg of this Business."
Old Leopold, according to Friedrich's account, is visibly glad of
such opportunity to fight again before he die: and yet, for no
reason except some senile jealousy, is not content with these
arrangements; perversely objects to this and that. At length the
King says,--think of this hard word, and of the eyes that accompany
it!--"When your Highness gets Armies of your own, you will order
them accordiug to your mind; at present, it must be according to
mine." On, then; and not a moment lost: for of all things we must
be swift!

Old Leopold goes accordingly. Friedrich himself goes in a week
hence. Orders, correspondences from Podewils and the rest, are
flying right and left;--to Young Leopold in Silesia, first of all.
Young Leopold draws out his forces towards the Silesian-Lausitz
border, where Prince Karl's intentions are now becoming visible.
And,--here is the second phase notable,--

"On Monday, 15th, ["18th," Feldzuge, i. 402
(see Rodenbeck, i. 122).] at 7 A.M.," Friedrich rushes off, by
Crossen, full speed for Liegnitz; "with Rothenburg, with the Prince
of Prussia and Ferdinand of Brunswick accompanying." With what
thoughts,--though, in his face, you can read nothing; all Berlin
being already in such tremor! Friedrich is in Liegnitz next day;
and after needful preliminaries there, does, on the Thursday
following, "at Nieder-Adelsdorf," not far off, take actual command
of Prince Leopold's Army, which had lain encamped for some days,
waiting him. And now with such force in hand,--35,000, soldiers
every man of them, and freshened by a month's rest,--one will
endeavor to do some good upon Prince Karl. Probably sooner than
Prince Karl supposes. For there is great velocity in this young
King; a panther-like suddenness of spring in him: cunning, too, as
any Felis of them; and with claws like the Felis Leo on occasion.
Here follows the brief Campaign that ensued, which I strive greatly
to abridge.

Prince Karl's intentions towards Frankfurt-on-Oder Country, through
the Lausitz, are now becoming practically manifest. There is a
Magazine for him at Guben, within thirty miles of Frankfurt;
arrangements getting ready all the way. A winter march of 150
miles;--but what, say the spies, is to hinder? Prince Karl dreams
not that Friedrich is on the ground, or that anybody is aware.
Which notion Friedrich finds that it will be extremely suitable to
maintain in Prince Karl. Friedrich is now at Adelsdorf, some thirty
miles eastward of the Lausitz Border, perhaps forty or more from
the route Prince Karl will follow through that Province.

"It is a high-lying irregularly hilly Country; hilly, not
mountainous. Various streams rise out of it that have a long
course,--among others, the Spree, which washes Berlin;--especially
three Valleys cross it, three Rivers with their Valleys:
Bober, Queiss, Neisse (the THIRD Neisse we have come upon);
all running northward, pretty much parallel, though all are
branches of the Oder. This is Neisse THIRD, we say; not the Neisse
of Neisse City, which we used to know at the north base of the
Giant Mountains, nor the Roaring Neisse, which we have seen at
Hohenfriedberg; but a third [and the FOURTH and last, "Black
Neisse," thank Heaven, is an upper branch of this, and we have, and
shall have, nothing to do with it!]--third Neisse, which we may
call the Lausitz Neisse. On which, near the head of it, there is a
fine old spinning, linen-weaving Town called Zittau,--where, to
make it memorable, one Tourist has read, on the Town-house, an
Inscription worth repeating: 'BENE FACERE ET MALE AUDIRE REGIUM
EST, To do good and have evil said of you, is a kingly thing.'
Other Towns, as Gorlitz, and seventy miles farther the above-said
Guben, lie on this same Neisse,--shall we add that Herrnhuth stands
near the head of it? The wondrous Town of Herrnhuth (LORD'S-
KEEPING), founded by Count Zinzendorf, twenty years before those
dates; ["In 1722, the first tree felled" (LIVES of Zinzendorf).]
where are a kind of German Methodist-Quakers to this day, who have
become very celebrated in the interim. An opulent enough, most
silent, strictly regular, strange little Town. The women are in
uniform; wives, maids, widows, each their form of dress.
Missionaries, speaking flabby English, who have been in the West
Indies or are going thither, seem to abound in the place;
male population otherwise, I should think, must be mainly doing
trade elsewhere; nothing but prayers, preachings, charitable
boarding-schooling and the like, appeared to be going on.
Herrnhuth is 'a Sabbath Petrified; Calvinistic Sabbath done into
Stone,' as one of my companions called it." [Tourist's Note
(Autumn, 1852).]

Herrnhuth, of which all Englishmen have heard, stands near the head
of this our third Neisse; as does Zittau, a few miles higher up.
I can do nothing more to give it mark for them. Bober Valley, then
Queiss Valley, which run parallel though they join at last, and
become Bober wholly before getting into the Oder,--these two
Valleys and Rivers lie in Friedrich's own Territory; and are
between him and the Lausitz, Queiss River being the boundary of
Silesia and the Lausitz here. It is down the Neisse that Prince
Karl means to march. There are Saxons already gathering about
Zittau; and down as far as Guben they are making Magazines and
arrangements,--for it is all their own Country in those years,
though most of it is Prussia's now. Prince Karl's march will go
parallel to the Bober and the Queiss; separated from the Queiss in
this part by an undulating Hill-tract of twenty miles or more.

Friedrich has had somewhat to settle for the Southern Frontier of
Silesia withal, which new doggeries of Pandours are invading,--to
lie ready for Prince Karl on his return thither, whose grand
meaning all this while (as Friedrich well knows), is "Silesia in
the lump" again, had he once cut us off from Brandenburg and our
supplies! General Nassau, far eastward, who is doing exploits in
Moravia itself,--him Friedrich has ordered homeward, westward to
his own side of the Mountains, to attend these new Pandour
gentlemen; Winterfeld he has called home, out of those Southern
mountains, as likely to be usefuler here on this Western frontier.
Winterfeld arrived in Camp the same day with Friedrich; and is sent
forward with a body of 3,000 light troops, to keep watch about the
Lausitz Frontier and the River Queiss; "careful not to quit our own
side of that stream,"--as we mean to hoodwink Prince Karl, if
we can!

Friedrich lies strictly within his own borders, for a day or two;
till Prince Karl march, till his own arrangements are complete.
Friedrich himself keeps the Bober, Winterfeld the Queiss; "all pass
freely out of the Lausitz; none are allowed to cross into it:
thereby we hear notice of Prince Karl, he none of us."
Perfectly quiescent, we, poor creatures, and aware of nothing!
Thus, too, Friedrich--in spite of his warlike Manifesto, which the
Saxons are on the eve of answering with a formal Declaration of
War--affects great rigor in considering the Saxons as not yet at
war with him: respects their frontier, Winterfeld even punishes
hussars "for trespassing on Lausitz ground." Friedrich also affects
to have roads repaired, which he by no means intends to travel:--
the whole with a view of lulling Prince Karl; of keeping the mouse-
trap open, as he had done in the Striegau case. It succeeded again,
quite as conspicuously, and at less expense.

Prince Karl--whose Tolpatch doggery Winterfeld will not allow to
pass the Queiss, and to whom no traveller or tidings can come from
beyond that River--discerns only, on the farther shore of it,
Winterfeld with his 3,000 light troops. Behind these, he discerns
either nothing, or nothing immediately momentous; but contentedly
supposes that this, the superficies of things, is all the solid-
content they have. Prince Karl gets under way, therefore, nothing
doubting; with his Saxons as vanguard. Down the Neisse Valley, on
the right or Queiss-ward side of it: Saturday, 20th November, is
his first march in Lusatian territory. He lies that night spread
out in three Villages, Schonberg, Schonbrunn, Kieslingswalde;
[ Feldzuge, i. 407 (Bericht von der Action bey
Katholisch-Hennersdorf, &c.).] some ten miles long; parallel to the
Neisse River, and about four miles from it, east or Queiss-ward of
it. Karl himself is rear, at Schonberg; fierce Lobkowitz is centre;
the Saxons are vanguard, 6,000 in all, posted in Villages, which
again are some ten or twelve miles ahead of Prince Karl's forces;
the Queiss on their right hand, and the Naumburg Bridge of Queiss,
where Winterfeld now is, about fifteen miles to east. Their Uhlans
circulate through the intervening space (were much patrolling
needed, in such quiet circumstances), and maintain the due
communication. There lies Prince Karl, on Saturday night, 20th
November, 1745; an Army of perhaps 40,000, dnngerously straggling
out above twenty miles long; and appears to see no difficulty
ahead. The Saxons, I think, are to continue where they are;
guarding the flank, while the Prince and Lobkowitz push forward,
closer by Neisse River. In four marches more, they can be in
Brandenburg, with Guben and their Magazines at hand.

Seeing which state of matters, Winterfeld gives Friedrich notice of
it; and that he, Winterfeld, thinks the moment is come.
"Pontoons to Naumburg, then!" orders Friedrich. Winterfeld, at the
proper moment, is to form a Bridge there. One permanent Bridge
there already is; and two fords, one above it, one below: with a
second Bridge, there will be roadway for four columns, and a swift
transit when needful. Sunday, 21st, Friedrich quits the Bober,
diligently towards Naumburg; marches Sunday, Monday; Tuesday, 23d,
about eleven A.M., begins to arrive there; Winterfeld and passages
all ready. Forward, then, and let us drive in upon Prince Karl;
and either cut him in two, or force him to fight us; he little
thinks where or on what terms. Sure enough, in the worst place we
can choose for him! Friedrich begins crossing in four columns at
one P.M.; crosses continuously for four hours; unopposed, except
some skirmishing of Uhlans, while his Cavalry is riding the Fords
to right and left; Uhlans were driven back swiftly, so soon as the
Cavalry got over. At five in the evening, he has got entirely
across, 35,000 horse and foot: Ziethen is chasing the Uhlans at
full speed; who at least will show us the way,--for by this time a
mist has begun falling, and the brief daylight is done.

Friedrich himself, without waiting for the rear of his force, and
some while before this mist fell (as I judge), is pushing forward,
"a miller lad for his guide," across to Hennersdorf,--Katholisch-
Hennersdorf, a long straggling Village, eight or ten miles off, and
itself two miles long,--where he understands the Saxons are.
Miller lad guides us, over height and hollow, with his best skill,
at a brisk pace;--through one hollow, where he has known the cattle
pasture in summer time; but which proves impassable, and mere
quagmire, at this season. No getting through it, you unfortunate
miller lad (GARCON DE MEUNIER). Nevertheless, we did find passage
through the skirts of it: nay this quagmire proved the luck of us;
for the enemy, trustiug to it, had no outguard there, never
expecting us on that side. So that the vanguard, Ziethen and rapid
Hussars, made an excellent thing of it. Ziethen sends us word, That
he has got into the body of Hennersdorf,--"found the Saxon
Quartermaster quietly paying his men;"--that he, Ziethen, is
tolerably master of Hennersdorf, and will amuse the enemy till the
other force come up.

Of course Friedrich now pushes on, double speed; detaches other
force, horse and foot: which was lucky, says my informant; for the
Ziethen Hussars, getting good plunder, had by no means demolished
the Saxons; but had left them time to draw up in firm order, with a
hedge in front, a little west of the Village;--from which post,
unassailable by Ziethen, they would have got safe off to the main
body, with little but an affront and some loss of goods. The new
force--a rapid Katzler with light horse in the van, cuirassiers and
foot rapidly following him--sweeps past the long Village, "through
a thin wood and a defile;" finds the enemy firmly ranked as above
said; cavalry their left, infantry on right, flanked by an
impenetrable hedge; and at once strikes in. At once, Katzler does,
on order given; but is far too weak. Charges, he; but is counter-
charged, tumbled back; the Saxons, horse and foot, showing
excellent fight. At length, more Prussian force coming up,
cuirassiers charge them in front, dragoons in flank, hussars in
rear; all attacking at once, and with a will; and the poor Saxon
Cavalry is entirely cut to shreds.

And now there remains only the Infantry, perhaps about 1,000 men
(if one must guess); who form a square; ply vigorously their field-
pieces and their fire-arms; and cannot be broken by horse-charges.
In fact, these Saxons made a fierce resistance;--till, before long,
Prussian Infantry came up; and, with counter field-pieces and
musketries, blasted gaps in them; upon which the Cavalry got
admittance, and reduced the gallant fellows nearly wholly to
annihilation either by death or capture. There are 914 Prisoners in
this Action, 4 big guns, and I know not how many kettle-drums,
standards and the like,--all that were there, I suppose. The number
of dead not given. [Orlich, ii. 291; Feldzuge, italic> i. 400-413.] But, in brief, this Saxon Force is utterly cut
to pieces; and only scattered twos and threes of it rush through
the dark mist; scattering terror to this hand and that.
The Prussians take their post at and round Hennersdorf that night;
--bivouacking, though only in sack trousers, a blanket each man:--
"We work hard, my men, and suffer all things for a day or two, that
it may save much work afterwards," said the King to them; and they
cheerfully bivouacked.

This was the Action of Katholisch-Hennersdorf, fought on Tuesday,
23d November, 1745; and still celebrated in the Prussian Annals,
and reckoned a brilliant passage of war. KATHOLISCH-Hennersdorf,
some ten miles southwest of Naumburg ON THE QUEISS (for there are,
to my knowledge, Twenty-five other Villages called Hennersdorf, and
Three several Towns of Naumburg, and many Castles and Hamlets so
named in dear Germany of the Nomenclatures):--Katholisch-
Hennersdorf is the place, and Tuesday about dusk the time. A sharp
brush of fighting; not great in quantity, but laid in at the right
moment, in the right place. Like the prick of a needle, duly sharp,
into the spinal marrow of a gigantic object; totally ruinous to
such object. Never, or rarely, in the Annals of War, was as much
good got of so little fighting. You may, with labor and peril,
plunge a hundred dirks into your boaconstrictor; hack him with
axes, bray him with sledge-hammers; that is not uncommon: but the
one true prick in the spinal marrow, and the Artist that can
guide you well to that, he and it are the notable and
beneficent phenomena.


Next morning, Wednesday, 24th, the Prussians are early astir again;
groping, on all manner of roads, to find what Prince Karl is doing,
in a world all covered in thick mist. They can find nothing of him,
but broken tumbrils, left baggage-wagons, rumor of universal
marching hither and marching thither;--evidences of an Army fallen
into universal St. Vitus's-Dance; distractedly hurrying to and fro,
not knowing whitherward for the moment, except that it must be
homewards, homewards with velocity.

Prince Karl's farther movements are not worth particularizing.
Ordering and cross-ordering; march this way; no, back again: such a
scene in that mist. Prince Karl is flowing homeward; confusedly
deluging and gurgling southward, the best he can. Next afternoon,
near Gorlitz, and again one other time, he appears drawn up, as if
for fighting; but has himself no such thought; flies again, without
a shot; leaves Gorlitz to capitulate, that afternoon; all places to
capitulate, or be evacuated. We hear he is for Zittau;
Winterfeld with light horse hastens after him, gets sight of him on
the Heights at Zittau yonder, [ OEuvres de Frederic, italic> iii. 157; Orlich, ii. 296.] "about two in the morning:"
but the Prince has not the least notion to fight. Prince leaves
Zittau to capitulate,--quits silently the Heights of Zittau at two
A.M. (Winterfeld, very lively in the rear of him, cutting off his
baggage);--and so tumbles, pell-mell, through the Passes of Gabel,
home to Bohemia again. Let us save this poor Note from the fire:

"On Saturday night, November 27th, the Prussians, pursuing Prince
Karl, were cantoned in the Herrnhuth neighborhood,--my informant's
regiment in the Town of Herrnhuth itself. [ Feldzuge, italic> i. ubi supra.] Yes, there lay the Prussians over Sunday;
and might hear some weighty expounder, if they liked.
Considerably theological, many of these poor Prussian soldiers;
carrying a Bible in their knapsack, and devout Psalms in the heart
of them. Two-thirds of every regiment are LANDESKINDER, native
Prussians; each regiment from a special canton,--generally rather
religious men. The other third are recruits, gathered in the Free
Towns of the Reich, or where they can be got; not distinguished by
devotion these, we may fancy, only trained to the uttermost by
Spartan drill."

Before the week is done, that "first leg" of the grand Enterprise
(the Prince-Karl leg) is such a leg as we see. "Silesia in the
lump,"--fond dream again, what a dream! Old Dessauer getting
signal, where now, too probably, is Saxony itself?--Ranking again
at Aussig in Bohemia, Prince Karl--5,000 of his men lost, and all
impetus and fire gone--falls gently down the Elbe, to join Rutowski
at least; and will reappear within four weeks, out of Saxon
Switzerland, still rather in dismal humor.

The Prussian Troops, in four great Divisions, are cantoned in that
Lausitz Country, now so quiet; in and about Bautzen and three other
Towns of the neighborhood; to rest and be ready for the old
Dessauer, when we hear of him. The "Magazine at Guben in 138
wagons," the Gorlitz and other Magazines of Prince Karl in the due
number of wagons, supply them with comfortabIe unexpected
provender. Thus they lie cantoned; and have with despatch
effectually settled their part of the problem. Question now is, How
will it stand with the Old Dessauer and his part? Or, better still,
Would not perhaps the Saxons, in this humiliated state, accept
Peace, and finish the matter?

Chapter XIV.


A "Correspondence" of a certain Excellency Villiers, English
Minister at Dresden,--Sir Thomas Villiers, Grandfather of the
present Earl of Clarendon,--was very famous in those weeks; and is
still worth mention, as a trait of Friedrich's procedure in this
crisis. Friedrich, not intoxicated with his swift triumph over
Prince Karl, but calculating the perils and the chances still
ahead,--miserably off for money too,--admits to himself that not
revenge or triumph, that Peace is the one thing needful to him.
November 29th, Old Leopold is entering Saxony; and in the same
hours, Podewils at Berlin, by order of Friedrich, writes to
Villiers who is in Dresden, about Peace, about mediating for Peace:
"My King ready and desirous, now as at all times, for Peace; the
terms of it known; terms not altered, not alterable, no bargaining
or higgling needed or allowable. CONVENTION OF HANOVER, let his
Polish Majesty accede honestly to that, and all these miseries are
commences, on Podewils's part, 28th November; on Friedrich's, 4th
December; ends, on Villier's, 18th December; fourteen Pieces in
all, four of them Friedrich's: Given in OEuvres de
Frederic, iii. 183-216 (see IB, 158), and in many
other Books.]

Villiers starts instantly on this beneficent business; "goes to
Court, on it, that very night;" Villiers shows himself really
diligent, reasonable, loyal; doing his very best now and
afterwards; but has no success at all. Polish Majesty is obstinate,
--I always think, in the way sheep are, when they feel themselves
too much put upon;--and is deaf to everybody but Bruhl.
Bruhl answers: "Let his Prussian Majesty retire from our
Territory;--what is he doing in the Lausitz just now! Retire from
our Territory; THEN we will treat!" Bruhl still refuses to be
desperate of his bad game;--at any rate, Bruhl's rage is yellower
than ever. That, very evening, while talking to Villiers, he has
had preparations going on;--and next morning takes his Master,
Polish Majesty August III., with some comfortable minimum of
apparatus (cigar-boxes not forgotten), off to Prag, where they can
be out of danger till the thing decide itself. Villiers follows to
Prag; desists not from his eloquent Letters, and earnest
persuasions at Prag; but begins to perceive that the means of
persuading Bruhl will be a much heavier kind of artillery.

On the whole, negotiations have yet done little. Britannic George,
though Purseholder, what is his success here? As little is the
Russian Bugbear persuasive on Friedrich himself. The Czarina of the
Russias, a luxurious lady, of far more weight than insight, has
just notified to him, with more emphasis than ever, That he shall
not attack Saxony; that if he do, she with considerable vigor will
attack him! That has always been a formidable puzzle for Friedrich:
however, he reflects that the Russians never could draw sword, or
be ready with their Army, in less than six months, probably not in
twelve; and has answered, translating it into polite official
terms: "Fee-faw-fum, your Czarish Majesty! Question is not now of
attacking, but of being myself attacked!"--and so is now running
his risks with the Czarina.

Still worse was the result he got from Louis XV. Lately, "for
form's sake," as he tells us, "and not expecting anything," he had
(November 15th) made a new appeal to France: "Ruin menacing your
Most Christian Majesty's Ally, in this huge sudden crisis of
invasive Austrian-Saxons; and for your Majesty's sake, may I not in
some measure say?" To which Louis's Answer is also given. A very
sickly, unpleasant Document; testifying to considerable pique
against Friedrich;--Ranke says, it was a joint production, all the
Ministers gradually contributing each his little pinch of irony to
make it spicier, and Louis signing when it was enough;--very
considerable pique against Friedrich; and something of the stupid
sulkiness as of a fat bad boy, almost glad that the house is on
fire, because it will burn his nimble younger brother, whom
everybody calls so clever: "Sorry indeed, Sir my Brother, most
sorry:--and so you have actually signed that HANOVER CONVENTION
with our worst Enemy? France is far from having done so; France has
done, and will do, great things. Our Royal heart grieves much at
your situation; but is not alarmed; no, Your Majesty has such
invention, vigor and ability, superior to any crisis, our clever
younger Brother! And herewith we pray God to have you in his holy
keeping." This is the purport of King Louis's Letter;--which
Friedrich folds together again, looking up from perusal of it, we
may fancy with what a glance of those eyes. [Louis's Original, in
OEuvres de Frederic, iii. 173, 174 (with a
much more satirical paraphrase than the above), and Friedrich's
Answer adjoined,--after the events had come.]

He is getting instructed, this young King, as to alliances, grand
combinations, French and other. His third Note to Villiers
intimates, "It being evident that his Polish Majesty will have
nothing from us but fighting, we must try to give it him of the
best kind we have." ["Bautzen, 11th December, 1745" (UBI SUPRA).]
Yes truly; it is the ULTIMATE persuasive, that. Here, in condensed
form, are the essential details of the course it went, in this

General Grune, on the road to Berlin, hearing of the rout at
Hennersdorf, halted instantly,--hastened back to Saxony, to join
Rutowski there, and stand on the defensive. Not now in that Halle-
Frontier region (Rutowski has quitted that, and all the
intrenchments and marshy impregnabilities there); not on that
Halle-Frontier, but hovering about in the interior, Rutowski and
Grune are in junction; gravitating towards Dresden;--expecting
Prince Karl's advent; who ought to emerge from the Saxon
Switzerland in few days, were he sharp; and again enable us to make
a formidable figure. Be speedy, Old Dessauer: you must settle the
Grune-Rutowski account before that junction, not after it!

The Old Dessauer has been tolerably successful, and by no means
thinks he has been losing time. November 29th, "at three in the
morning," he stept over into Saxony with its impregnable camps;
drove Rutowski's rear-guard, or remnant, out of the quagmires,
canals and intrenchments, before daylight; drove it, that same
evening, or before dawn of the morrow, out of Leipzig: has seized
that Town,--lays heavy contribution on it, nearly 50,000 pounds
(such our strait for finance), "and be sure you take only
substantial men as sureties!" [Orlich, ii. 308.]--and will, and
does after a two days' rest, advance with decent celerity inwards;
though "One must first know exactly whither; one must have bread,
and preparations and precautions; do all things solidly and in
order," thinks the Old Dessauer. Friedrich well knows the whither;
and that Dresden itself is, or may be made, the place for falling
in with Rutowski. Friedrich is now himself ready to join, from the
Bautzen region; the days and hours precious to him; and spurs the
Old Dessauer with the sharpest remonstrances. "All solidly and in
order, your Majesty!" answers the Old Dessauer: solid strong-boned
old coach-horse, who has his own modes of trotting, having done
many a heavy mile of it in his time; and whose skin, one hopes, is
of the due thickness against undue spurring.

Old Dessauer wishes two things: bread to live upon; and a sure
Bridge over the Elbe whereby Friedrich may join him. Old Dessauer
makes for Torgau, far north, where is both an Elbe Bridge and a
Magazine; which he takes; Torgau and pertinents now his. But it is
far down the Elbe, far off from Bautzen and Friedrich: "A nearer
Bridge and rendezvous, your Highness! Meissen [where they make the
china, only fifty miles from me, and twenty from Dresden], let that
be the Bridge, now that you have got victual. And speedy;
for Heaven's sake, speedy!" Friedrich pushes out General Lehwald
from Bautzen, with 4,000 men, towards Meissen Bridge; Lehwald does
not himself meddle with the Bridge, only fires shot across upon the
Saxon party, till the Old Dessauer, on the other bank, come up;--
and the Old Dessauer, impatience thinks, will never come. "Three
days in Torgau, yes, Your Majesty: I had bread to bake, and the
very ovens had to be built." A solid old roadster, with his own
modes of trotting; needs thickness of skin. [Friedrich's Letters to
Leopold, in Orlich, ii. 431, 435 (6th-10th December, 1745).]

At long last, on Sunday, 12th December, about two P.M., the Old
Dessauer does appear; or General Gessler, his vanguard, does
appear,--Gessler of the sixty-seven standards,--"always about an
hour ahead." Gessler has summoned Meissen; has not got it, is
haggling with it about terms, when, towards sunset of the short
day, Old Dessauer himself arrives. Whereupon the Saxon Commandant
quits the Bridge (not much breaking it); and glides off in the
dark, clear out of Meissen, towards Dresden,--chased, but
successfully defending himself. [See Plan, p. 10.] "Had he but
stood out for two days!" say the Saxons,--"Prince Karl had then
been up, and much might have been different." Well, Friedrich too
would have been up, and it had most likely been the same on a
larger scale. But the Saxon Commandant did not stand out; he glided
off, safe; joined Rutowski and Grune, who are lying about Wilsdruf,
six or seven miles on the hither side of Dresden, and eagerly
waiting for Prince Karl. "Bridge and Town of Meissen are your
Majesty's," reports the Old Dessauer that night: upon which
Friedrich instantly rises, hastening thitherward. Lehwald comes
across Meissen Bridge, effects the desired junction; and all Monday
the Old Dessauer defiles through Meissen town and territory;
continually advances towards Dresden, the Saxons harassing the
flanks of him a little,--nay in one defile, being sharp strenuous
fellows, they threw his rear into some confusion; cut off certain
carts and prisoners, and the life of one brave General, Lieutenant-
General Roel, who had charge there. "Spurring one's trot into a
gallop! This comes of your fast marching, of your spurring beyond
the rules of war!" thinks Old Leopold; and Friedrich, who knows
otherwise, is very angry for a moment.

But indeed the crisis is pressing. Prince Karl is across the Metal
Mountains, nearing Dresden from the east; Friedrich strikes into
march for the same point by Meissen, so soon as the Bridge is his.
Old Leopold is advancing thither from the westward,--steadily hour
by hour; Dresden City the fateful goal. There,--in these middle
days of December, 1745 (Highland Rebellion just whirling back from
Derby again, "the London shops shut for one day"),--it is clear
there will be a big and bloody game played before we are much
older. Very sad indeed: but Count Bruhl is not persuadable
otherwise. By slumbering and sluggarding, over their money-tills
and flesh-pots; trying to take evil for good, and to say, "It will
do," when it will not do, respectable Nations come at last to be
governed by Bruhls; cannot help themselves;--and get their backs
broken in consequence. Why not? Would you have a Nation live
forever that is content to be governed by Bruhls? The gods are
wiser!--It is now the 13th; Old Dessauer tramping forward, hour by
hour, towards Dresden and some field of Fate.

On Tuesday, 14th, by break of day, Old Dessauer gets on march
again; in four columns, in battle order; steady all day,--hard
winter weather, ground crisp, and flecked with snow. The Pass at
Neustadt, "his cavalry went into it at full gallop;" but found
nobody there. That night he encamps at a place called Rohrsdorf;
which may be eight miles west-by-north from Dresden, as the crow
flies; and ten or more, if you follow the highway round by Wilsdruf
on your right. The real direct Highway from Meissen to Dresden is
on the other side of the Elbe, and keeps by the River-bank, a fine
level road; but on this western side, where Leopold now is, the
road is inland, and goes with a bend. Leopold, of course, keeps
command of this road; his columns are on both sides of it, River on
their left at some miles distance; and incessantly expect to find
Rutowski, drawn out on favorable ground somewhere. The country is
of fertile, but very broken character; intersected by many brooks,
making obliquely towards the Elbe (obliquely, with a leaning
Meissen-wards); country always mounting, till here about Rohrsdorf
we seem to have almost reached the watershed, and the brooks make
for the Elbe, leaning Dresden way. Good posts abound in such broken
country, with its villages and brooks, with its thickets, hedges
and patches of swamp. But Rutowski has not appeared anywhere,
during this Tuesday.

Our four columns, therefore, lie all night, under arms, about
Rohrsdorf: and again by morrow's dawn are astir in the old order,
crunching far and wide the frozen ground; and advance, charged to
the muzzle with potential battle. Slightly upwards always, to the
actual watershed of the country; leaving Wilsdruf a little to their
right. Wilsdruf is hardly past, when see, from this broad table-
land, top of the country: "Yonder is Rutowski, at last;--and this
new Wednesday will be a day!" Yonder, sure enough: drawn out three
or four miles long; with his right to the Elbe, his left to that
intricate Village of Kesselsdorf; bristling with cannon;
deep gullet and swampy brook in front of him: the strongest post a
man could have chosen in those parts.

The Village of Kesselsdorf itself lies rather in a hollow; in the
slight beginning, or uppermost extremity, of a little Valley or
Dell, called the Tschonengrund,--which, with its, quaggy brook of a
Tschone, wends northeastward into the Elbe, a course of four or
five miles: a little Valley very deep for its length, and getting
altogether chasmy and precipitous towards the Elbe-ward or lower
end. Kesselsdorf itself, as we said, is mainly in a kind of hollow:
between Old Leopold and Kesselsdorf the ground rather mounts;
and there is perceptibly a flat knoll or rise at the head of it,
where the Village begins. Some trees there, and abundance of cannon
and grenadiers at this moment. It is the southwestern or left-most
point of Rutowski's line; impregnable with its cannon-batteries and
grenadiers. Rightward Rutowski extends in long lines, with the
quaggy-dell of Tschonengrund in front of him, parallel to him;
Dell ever deepening as it goes. Northeastward, at the extreme
right, or Elbe point of it, where Grune and the Austrians stand, it
has grown so chasmy, we judge that Grune can neither advance nor be

MAP/PLAN GOES HERE--book 15 continuation --page 10--

advanced upon: so we leave him standing there,--which he did all
day, in a purely meditative posture. Rutowski numbers 35,000, now
on this ground, with immensity of cannon; 32,000 we, with only the
usual field-artillery, and such a Tschonengrund, with its half-
frozen quagmires ahead. A ticklish case for the old man, as he
grimly reconnoitres it, in the winter morning.

Grim Old Dessauer having reconnoitred, and rapidly considered,
decides to try it,--what else?--will range himself on the west side
of that Tschonengrund, horse and foot; two lines, wide as Rutowski
opposite him; but means to direct his main and prime effort against
Kesselsdorf, which is clearly the key of the position, if it can.
be taken. For which end the Old Dessauer lengthens himself out to
rightward, so as to outflank Kesselsdorf;--neglecting Grune
(refusing Grune, as the soldiers say):--"our horse of the right
wing reached from the Wood called Lerchenbusoh (LARCH-BUSH)
rightward as far as Freyberg road; foot all between that
Lerchenbusch and the big Birch-tree on the road to Wilsdruf;
horse of the left wing, from there to Roitsch." [Stille (p. 181),
who was present. See Plan.] It was about two P.M. before the old
man got all his deployments completed; what corps of his, deploying
this way or that, came within wind of Kesselsdorf, were saluted
with cannon, thirty pieces or more, which are in battery, in three
batteries, on the knoll there; but otherwise no fighting as yet.
At two, the Old Dessauer is complete; he reverently doffs his hat,
as had always been his wont, in prayer to God, before going in.
A grim fervor of prayer is in his heart, doubtless; though the
words as reported are not very regular or orthodox: "O HERR GOTT,
help me yet this once; let me not be disgraced in my old days!
Or if thou wilt not help me, don't help those HUNDSVOGTE [damned
Scoundrels, so to speak], but leave us to try it ourselves!"
That is the Old Scandinavian of a Dessauer's prayer; a kind of
GODUR he too, Priest as well as Captain: Prayer mythically true as
given; mythically, not otherwise. [Ranke, iii. 334 n.] Which done,
he waves his hat once, "On, in God's name!" and the storm is loose.
Prussian right wing pushing grandly forward, bent in that manner,
to take Kesselsdorf and its fire-throats in flank.

The Prussians tramp on with the usual grim-browed resolution, foot
in front, horse in rear; but they have a terrible problem at that
Kesselsdorf, with its retrenched batteries, and numerous grenadiers
fighting under cover. The very ground is sore against them;
uphill, and the trampled snow wearing into a slide, so that you
sprawl and stagger sadly. Thirty-one big guns, and about 9,000
small, pouring out mere death on you, from that knoll-head.
The Prussians stagger; cannot stand it; bend to rightwards, and get
out of shot-range; cannot manage it this bout. Rally, reinforce;
try it again. Again, with a will; but again there is not a way.
The Prussians are again repulsed; fall back, down this slippery
course, in more disorder than the first time. Had the Saxons stood
still, steadily handling arms, how, on such terms, could the
Prussians ever have managed it?

But at sight of this second repulse, the Saxon grenadiers, and
especially one battalion of Austrians who were there (the only
Austrians who fought this day), gave a shout "Victory!"--and in the
height of their enthusiasm, rushed out, this Austrian battalion
first and the Saxons after them, to charge these Prussians, and
sweep the world clear of them. It was the ruin of their battle;
a fatal hollaing before you are out of the woods. Old Leopold,
quick as thought, noticing the thing, hurls cavalry on these
victorious down-plunging grenadiers; slashes them asunder, into
mere recoiling whirlpools of ruin; so that "few of them got back
unwounded;" and the Prussians storming in along with them,--aided
by ever new Prussians, from beyond the Tschonengrund even,--the
place was at length carried; and the Saxon battle became hopeless.

For, their right being in such hurricane, the Prussians from the
centre, as we hint, storm forward withal; will not be held back by
the Tschonengrund. They find the Tschonengrund quaggy in the
extreme, "brook frozen at the sides, but waist-deep of liquid mud
in the centre;" cross it, nevertheless, towards the upper part of
it,--young Moritz of Dessau leading the way, to help his old Father
in extremity. They climb the opposite side,--quite slippery in
places, but "helping one another up;"--no Saxons there till you get
fairly atop, which was an oversight on the Saxon part. Fairly atop,
Moritz is saluted by the Saxons with diligent musket-volleys;
but Moritz also has musket-volleys in him, bayonet-charges in him;
eager to help his old Papa at this hard pinch. Old Papa has the
Saxons in flank; sends more and ever more other cavalry in on them;
and in fact, the right wing altogether storms violently through
Kesselsdorf, and sweeps it clean. Whole regiments of the Saxons are
made prisoners; Roel's Light Horse we see there, taking standards;
cutting violently in to avenge Roel's death, and the affront they
had at Meissen lately. Furious Moritz on their front, from across
the Tschonengrund; furious Roel (GHOST of Roel) and others in their
flank, through Kesselsdorf: no standing for the Saxons longer.

About nightfall,--their horse having made poorish fight, though the
foot had stood to it like men,--they roll universally away.
The Prussian left wing of horse are summoned through the
Tschonengrund to chase: had there remained another hour of
daylight, the Saxon Army had been one wide ruin. Hidden in
darkness, the Saxon Army ebbed confusedly towards Dresden: with the
loss of 6,000 prisoners and 3,000 killed and wounded: a completely
beaten Army. It is the last battle the Saxons fought as a Nation,--
or probably will fight. Battle called of Kesselsdorf: Wednesday,
15th December, 1745.

Prince Karl had arrived at Dresden the night before; heard all this
volleying and cannonading, from the distance; but did not see good
to interfere at all. Too wide apart, some say; quartered at
unreasonably distant villages, by some irrefragable ignorant War-
clerk of Bruhl's appointing,--fatal Bruhl. Others say, his Highness
had himself no mind; and made excuses that his troops were tired,
disheartened by the two beatings lately,--what will become of us in
case of a third or fourth! It is certain, Prince Karl did nothing.
Nor has Grime's corps, the right wing, done anything except
meditate:--it stood there unattacked, unattacking; till deep in the
dark night, when Rutowski remembered it, and sent it order to come
home. One Austrian battalion, that of grenadiers on the knoll at
Kesselsdorf, did actually fight;--and did begin that fatal
outbreak, and quitting of the post there; "which lost the Battle to
us!" say the Saxons.

Had those grenadiers stood in their place, there is no Prussian but
admits that it would have been a terrible business to take
Kesselsdorf and its batteries. But they did not stand; they rushed
out, shouting "Victory;" and lost us the battle. And that is the
good we have got of the sublime Austrian Alliance; and that is the
pass our grand scheme of Partitioning Prussia has come to?
Fatal little Bruhl of the three hundred and sixty-five clothes-
suits; Valet fatally become divine in Valet-hood,--are not you
costing your Country dear!

Old Dessauer, glorious in the last of his fields, lay on his arms
all night in the posts about; three bullets through his roquelaure,
no scratch of wound upon the old man. Young Moritz too "had a
bullet through his coat-skirt, and three horses shot under him;
but no hurt, the Almighty's grace preserving him."
[ Feldzuge, i. 434.] This Moritz is the Third
of the Brothers, age now thirty-three; and we shall hear
considerably about him in times coming. A lean, tall, austere man;
and, "of all the Brothers, most resembled his Father in his ways."
Prince Dietrich is in Leipzig at present; looking to that
contribution of 50,000 pounds; to that, and to other contributions
and necessary matters;--and has done all his fighting (as it
chanced), though he survived his Brothers many years. Old Papa will
now get his discharge before long (quite suddenly, one morning, by
paralytic stroke, 7th April, 1747); and rest honorably with the
Sons of Thor. [Young Leopold, the successor, died 16th December,
1751, age fifty-two; Dietrich (who had thereupon quitted
soldiering, to take charge of his Nephew left minor, and did not
resume it), died 2d December, 1769; Moritz (soldier to the last),
11th April, 1760. See Militair-Lexikon, i.
43, 34, 38,47.]

Chapter XV.


Friedrich himself had got to Meissen, Tuesday, l4th; no enemy on his
road, or none to speak of: Friedrich was there, or not yet far
across, all Wednesday; collecting himself, waiting, on the slip,
for a signal from Old Leopold. Sound of cannon, up the Elbe
Dresden-ward, is reported there to Friedrich, that afternoon:
cannon, sure enough, notes Friedrich; and deep dim-rolling peals,
as of volleying small-arms; "the sky all on fire over there," as
the hoar-frosty evening fell. Old Leopold busy at it, seemingly.
That is the glare of the Old Dessauer's countenance; who is giving
voice, in that manner, to the earthly and the heavenly powers;
conquering Peace for us, let us hope!

Friedrich, as may be supposed, made his best speed next morning:
"All well!" say the messengers; all well, says Old Leopold, whom he
meets at Wilsdruf, and welcomes with a joyful embrace;
"dismounting from his horse, at sight of Leopold, and advancing to
meet him with doffed hat and open arms,"--and such words and
treatments, that day, as made the old man's face visibly shine.
"Your Highness shall conduct me!" And the two made survey together
of the actual Field of Kesselsdorf; strewn with the ghastly wrecks
of battle,--many citizens of Dresden strolling about, or
sorrowfully seeking for their lost ones among the wounded and dead.
No hurt to these poor citizens, who dread none; help to them
rather: such is Friedrich's mind,--concerning which, in the
Anecdote-Books, there are Narratives (not worth giving) of a
vapidly romantic character, credible though inexact. [For the
indisputable part, see Orlich, ii. 343, 344; and OEuvres
de Frederic, iii. 170.] Friedrich, who may well be
profuse of thanks and praises, charms the Old Dessauer while they
walk together; brave old man with his holed roquelaure.
For certain, he has done the work there,--a great deal of work in
his time! Joy looks through his old rough face, of gunpowder color:
the Herr Gott has not delivered him to those damned Scoundrels in
the end of his days.--On the morrow, Friday, Leopold rolled grandly
forward upon Dresden; Rutowski and Prince Karl vanishing into the
Metal Mountains, by Pirna, for Bohemia, at sound of him,--as he had
scarcely hoped they would.

On the Saturday evening, Dresden, capable of not the least defence,
has opened all its gates, and Friedrich and the Prussians are in
Dresden; Austrians and wrecked Saxons falling back diligently
towards the Metal Mountains for Bohemia, diligent to clear the road
for him. Queen and Junior Princes are here; to whom, as to all men,
Friedrich is courtesy itself; making personal visit to the
Royalties, appointing guards of honor, sacred respect to the
Royal Houses; himself will lodge at the Princess Lubomirski's, a
private mansion.

"That ferocious, false, ambitious King of Prussia"--Well, he is not
to be ruined in open fight, on the contrary is ruinous there;
nor by the cunningest ambuscades, and secret combinations, in field
or cabinet: our overwhelming Winter Invasion of him--see where it
has ended! Bruhl and Polish Majesty--the nocturnal sky all on fire
in those parts, and loud general doomsday come--are a much-
illuminated pair of gentlemen.

From the time Meissen Bridge was lost, Prince Karl too showing
himself so languid, even Bruhl had discerned that the case was
desperate. On the very day of Kesselsdorf,--not the day BEFORE,
which would have been such a thrift to Bruhl and others!--Friedrich
had a Note from Villiers, signifying joyfully that his Polish
Majesty would accept Peace. Thanks to his Polish Majesty:--and
after Kesselsdorf, perhaps the Empress-Queen too will!
Friedrich's offers are precisely what they were, what they have
always been: "Convention of Hanover; that, in all its parts;
old treaty of Breslau, to be guaranteed, to be actually kept. To me
Silesia sure;--from you, Polish Majesty, one million crowns as
damages for the trouble and cost this Triple Ambuscade of yours has
given me; one million crowns, 150,000 pounds we will say; and all
other requisitions to cease on the day of signature. These are my
terms: accept these; then wholly, As you were, Empress-Queen and
you, and all surviving creatures: and I march home within a week."
Villiers speeds rapidly from Prag, with the due olive-branch;
with Count Harrach, experienced Austrian, and full powers.
Harrach cannot believe his senses: "Such the terms to be still
granted, after all these beatings and rebeatings!"--then at last
does believe, with stiff thankfulness and Austrian bows.
The Negotiation need not occupy many hours.

"His Majesty of Prussia was far too hasty with this Peace," says
Valori: "he had taken a threap that he would have it finished
before the Year was done:"--in fact, he knows his own mind, MON
GROS VALORI, and that is what few do. You shear through no end of
cobwebs with that fine implement, a wisely fixed resolution of your
own. A Peace slow enough for Valori and the French: where could
that be looked for?--Valori is at Berlin, in complete disgrace;
his Most Christian King having behaved so like a Turk of late.
Valori, horror-struck at such Peace, what shall he do to prevent
it, to retard it? One effort at least. D'Arget his Secretary,
stolen at Jaromirz, is safe back to him; ingenious, ingenuous
D'Arget was always a favorite with Friedrich: despatch D'Arget to
him. D'Arget is despatched; with reasons, with remonstrances, with
considerations. D'Arget's Narrative is given: an ingenuous off-hand
Piece;--poor little crevice, through which there is still to be
had, singularly clear, and credible in every point, a direct
glimpse of Friedrich's own thoughts, in that many-sounding
Dresden,--so loud, that week, with dinner-parties, with operas,
balls, Prussian war-drums, grand-parades and Peace-negotiations.


"DRESDEN, 1745" (dateless otherwise, must be
December, between 18th and 25th).
"MONSEIGNEUR,--I arrived yesterday at 7 P.M.; as I had the honor of
forewarning you, by the word I wrote to the Abbe [never mind what
Abbe; another Valori-Clerk] from Sonnenwalde [my half-way house
between Berlin and this City]. I went, first of all, to M. de
Vaugrenand," our Envoy here; "who had the goodness to open himself
to me on the Business now on hand. In my opinion, nothing can be
added to the excellent considerations he has been urging on the
King of Prussia and the Count de Podewils.

"At half-past 8, I went to his Prussian Majesty's; I found he was
engaged with his Concert,"--lodges in the Lubomirski Palace, has
his snatch of melody in the evening of such discordant days,--
"and I could not see him till after half-past 9. I announced myself
to M. Eichel; he was too overwhelmed with affairs to give me
audience. I asked for Count Rothenburg; he was at cards with the
Princess Lubomirski. At last, I did get to the King: who received
me in the most agreeable way; but was just going to Supper; said he
must put off answering till to-morrow morning, morning of this day.
M. de Vaugrenand had been so good as prepare me on the rumors of a
Peace with Saxony and the Queen of Hungary. I went to M. Podewils;
who said a great many kind things to me for you. I could only
sketch out the matter, at that time; and represented to Podewils
the brilliant position of his Master, who had become Arbiter of the
Peace of Europe; that the moment was come for making this Peace a
General One, and that perhaps there would be room for repentance
afterwards, if the opportunity were slighted. He said, his Master's
object was that same; and thus closed the conversation by
general questions.

"This morning, I again presented myself at the King of Prussia's.
I had to wait, and wait; in fine, it was not till half-past 5 in
the evening that he returned, or gave me admittance; and I stayed
with him till after 7,"--when Concert-time was at hand again.
Listen to a remarkable Dialogue, of the Conquering Hero with a
humble Friend whom he likes. "His Majesty condescended (A DAIGNE)
to enter with me into all manner of details; and began by
telling me,

"That M. de Valori had done admirably not to come, himself, with
that Letter from the King [Most Christian, OUR King; Letter, the
sickly Document above spoken of]; that there could not have been an
Answer expected,--the Letter being almost of ironical strain;
his Majesty [Most Christian] not giving him the least hope, but
merely talking of his fine genius, and how that would extricate him
from the perilous entanglement, and inspire him with a wise
resolution in the matter! That he had, in effect, taken a
resolution the wisest he could; and was making his Peace with
Saxony and the Queen of Hungary. That he had felt all the dangers
of the difficult situations he had been in,"--sheer destruction
yawning all round him, in huge imminency, more than once, and no
friend heeding;--"that, weary of playing always double-or-quits, he
had determined to end it, and get into a state of tranquillity,
which both himself and his People had such need of. That France
could not, without difficulty, have remedied his mishaps; and that
he saw by the King's Letter, there was not even the wish to do it.
That his, Friedrich's, military career was completed,"--so far as
HE could foresee or decide! "That he would not again expose his
Country to the Caprices of Fortune, whose past constancy to him was
sufficiently astonishing to raise fears of a reverse (HEAR!).
That his ambitions were fulfilled, in having compelled his Enemies
to ask Peace from him in their own Capital, with the Chancellor of
Bohemia [Harrach, typifying fallen Austrian pride] obliged
to co-operate.

"That he would always be attached to our King's interests, and set
all the value in the world on his friendship; but that he had not
been sufficiently assisted to be content. That, observing
henceforth an exact neutrality, he might be enabled to do offices
of mediation; and to carry, to the one side and to the other, words
of peace. That he offered himself for that object, and would be
charmed to help in it; but that he was fixed to stop there. That in
regard to the basis of General Peace, he had Two Ideas [which the
reader can attend to, and see where they differed from the Event,
and where not]:--One was, That France should keep Ypres, Furnes,
Tournay [which France did not], giving up the Netherlands
otherwise, with Ostend, to the English [to the English!] in
exchange for Cape Breton. The other was, To give up more of our
Conquests [we gave them all up, and got only the glory, and our
Cod-fishery, Cape Breton, back, the English being equally
generous], and bargain for liberty to re-establish Dunkirk in its
old condition [not a word of your Dunkirk; there is your Cape
Breton, and we also will go home with what glory there is,--not
difficult to carry!]. But that it was by England we must make the
overtures, without addressing ourselves to the Court of Vienna;
and put it in his, Friedrich's, power to propose a receivable
Project of Peace. That he well conceived the great point was the
Queen of Spain [Termagant and Jenkins's Ear; Termagant's Husband,
still living, is a lappet of Termagant's self]: but that she must
content herself with Parma and Piacenza for the Infant, Don Philip
[which the Termagant did]; and give back her hold of Savoy [partial
hold, of no use to her without the Passes] to the King of
Sardinia." And of the JENKINS'S-EAR question, generous England will
say nothing? Next to nothing; hopes a modicum of putty and
diplomatic varnish may close that troublesome question,--which
springs, meanwhile, in the centre of the world!--

"These kind condescensions of his Majesty emboldened me to
represent to him the brilliant position he now held; and how noble
it would be, after having been the Hero of Germany, to become,
instead of one's own pacificator, the Pacificator of Europe.
'I grant you,' said he, (MON CHER D'Arget; but it is too dangerous
a part for playing. A reverse brings me to the edge of ruin: I know
too well the mood of mind I was in, last time I left Berlin [with
that Three-legged Immensity of Atropos, NOT yet mown down at
Hennersdorf by a lucky cut], ever to expose myself to it again!
If luck had been against me there, I saw myself a Monarch without
throne; and my subjects in the cruelest oppression. A bad game
that: always, mere CHECK TO YOUR KING; no other move;--I refer it
to you, friend D'Arget:--in fine, I wish to be at peace.'

"I represented to him that the House of Austria would never, with a
tranquil eye, see his House in possession of Silesia. 'Those that
come after me,' said he, 'will do as they like; the Future is
beyond man's reach. Those that come after will do as they can.
I have acquired; it is theirs to preserve. I am not in alarm about
the Austrians;--and this is my answer to what you have been saying
about the weakness of my guarantees. They dread my Army; the luck
that I have. I am sure of their sitting quiet for the dozen years
or so which may remain to me of life;--quiet till I have, most
likely, done with it. What! Are we never to have any good of our
life, then (NE DOIS-JE DONC JAMAIS JOUIR)? There is more for me in
the true greatness of laboring for the happiness of my subjects,
than in the repose of Europe. I have put Saxony out of a condition
to do hurt. She owes 14,775,000 crowns of debt [two millions and a
quarter sterling]; and by the Defensive Alliance which I form with
her, I provide myself [but ask Bruhl withal!] a help against
Austria. I would not henceforth attack a cat, except to defend
myself.' ["These are his very words," adds D'Arget;--and well worth
noting.] (Ambition (GLOIRE) and my interests were the occasion of
my first Campaigns. The late Kaiser's situation, and my zeal for
France [not to mention interests again], gave rise to these second:
and I have been fighting always since for my own hearths,--for my
very existence, I might say! Once more, I know the state I had got
into:--if I saw Prince Karl at the gates of Paris, I would not
stir.'--'And us at the gates of Vienna,' answered I promptly, 'with
the same indifference?'--'Yes; and I swear it to you, D'Arget. In a
word, I want to have some good of my life (VEUX JOUIR). What are
we, poor human atoms, to get up projects that cost so much blood?
Let us live, and help to live.'

"The rest of the conversation passed in general talk, about
Literature, Theatres and such objects. My reasonings and
objectings, on the great matter, I need not farther detail: by the
frank discourse his Prussian Majesty was kind enough to go into,
you may gather perhaps that my arguments were various, and not ill-
chosen;--and it is too evident they have all been in vain."--
Your Excellency's (really in a very faithful way)-- D'ARGET.
[Valori, i. 290-294 (no date, except "Dresden, 1745,"--sleepy
Editor feeling no want of any).]

D'Arget, about a month after this, was taken into Friedrich's
service; Valori consenting, whose occupation was now gone;--and we
shall hear of D'Arget again. Take this small Note, as summary of
him: "D'Arget (18th January, 1746) had some title, 'Secretary at
Orders (SECRETAIRE DES COMMANDEMENTS),' bit of pension; and
continued in the character of reader, or miscellaneous literary
attendant and agent, very much liked by his Master, for six years
coming. A man much heard of, during those years of office.
March, 1752, having lost his dear little Prussian Wife, and got
into ill health and spirits, he retired on leave to Paris; and next
year had to give up the thought of returning;--though he still, and
to the end, continued loyally attached to his old Master, and more
or less in correspondence with him. Had got, before long, not
through Friedrich's influence at Paris, some small Appointment in
the ECOLE MILITAIRE there. He is, of all the Frenchmen Friedrich
had about him, with the exception of D'Argens alone, the most
honest-hearted. The above Letter, lucid, innocent, modest,
altogether rational and practical, is a fair specimen of D'Arget:
add to it the prompt self-sacrifice (and in that fine silent way)
at Jaromirz for Valori, and readers may conceive the man. He lived
at Paris, in meagre but contented fashion, RUE DE L'ECOLE
MILITAIRE, till 1778; and seems, of all the Ex-Prussian Frenchmen,
to have known most about Friedrich; and to have never spoken any
falsity against him. Duvernet, the 'M----' Biographer of VOLTAIRE,
frequented him a good deal; and any true notions, or glimmerings of
such, that he has about Prussia, are probably ascribable to
D'Arget." [See OEuvres de Frederic, xx.
(p. xii of PREFACE to the D'ARGET CORRESPONDENCE there).]

The Treaty of Dresden can be read in Scholl, Flassan, Rousset,
Adelung; but, except on compulsion, no creature will now read it,--
nor did this Editor, even he, find it pay. Peace is made. Peace of
Dresden is signed, Christmas Day, 1745: "To me Silesia, without
farther treachery or trick; you, wholly as you were." Europe at
large, as Friedrich had done, sees "the sky all on fire about
Dresden." The fierce big battles done against this man have, one
and all of them, become big defeats. The strenuous machinations,
high-built plans cunningly devised,--the utmost sum-total of what
the Imperial and Royal Potencies can, for the life of them, do:
behold, it has all tumbled down here, in loud crash; the final peal
of it at Kesselsdorf; and the consummation is flame and smoke,
conspicuous over all the Nations. You will let him keep his own
henceforth, then, will you? Silesia, which was NOT yours nor ever
shall be? Silesia and no afterthought? The Saxons sign, the high
Plenipotentiaries all; in the eyes of Villiers, I am told, were
seen sublimely pious tears. Harrach, bowing with stiff, almost
incredulous, gratitude, swears and signs;--hurries home to his
Sovereign Lady, with Peace, and such a smile on his face; and on
her Imperial Majesty's such a smile!--readers shall conceive it.

There are but Two new points in the Treaty of Dresden,--nay
properly there is but One point, about which posterity can have the
least care or interest; for that other, concerning "The Toll of
Schidlo," and settlement of haggles on the Navigation of the Elbe
there, was not kept by the Saxons, but continued a haggle still:
this One point is the Eleventh Article. Inconceivably small;
but liable to turn up on us again, in a memorable manner. That let
us translate,--for M. de Voltaire's sake, and time coming!
STEUER means Land-Tax; OBER-STEUER-EINNAHME will be something like
Royal Exchequer, therefore; and STEUER-SCHEIN will be approximately
equivalent to Exchequer Bill. Article Eleventh stipulates:

"All subjects and servants of his Majesty the King of Prussia who
hold bonds of the Saxon OBER-STEUER-EINNAHME shall be paid in full,
capital and interest, at the times, and to the amount, specified in
said STEUER-SCHEINE or Bonds." That is Article Eleventh.--
"The Saxon Exchequer," says an old Note on it, "thanks to Bruhl's
extravagance, has been as good as bankrupt, paying with
inconvertible paper, with SCHEINE (Things to be SHOWN), for some
time past; which paper has accordingly sunk, let us say, 25 per
cent below its nominal amount in gold. All Prussian subjects, who
hold these Bonds, are to be paid in gold; Saxons, and others, will
have to be content with paper till things come round again, if
things ever do." Yes;--and, by ill chance, the matter will attract
M. de Voltaire's keen eye in the interim!

Friedrich stayed eight days in Dresden, the loud theme of
Gazetteers and rumors; the admired of two classes, in all
Countries: of the many who admire success, and also of the few who
can understand what it is to deserve success. Among his own
Countrymen, this last Winter has kindled all their admirations to
the flaming pitch. Saved by him from imminent destruction;
their enemies swept home as if by one invincible; nay, sent home in
a kind of noble shame, conquered by generosity. These feelings,
though not encouraged to speak, run very high. The Dresdeners in
private society found him delightful; the high ladies especially:
"Could you have thought it; terrific Mars to become radiant Apollo
in this manner!" From considerable Collections of Anecdotes
illustrating this fact, in a way now fallen vapid to us,--I select
only the Introduction:--

"Do readers recollect Friedrich's first visit to Dresden [in 1728],
seventeen years ago; and a certain charming young Countess
Flemming, at that time only fourteen; who, like a Hebe as she was,
contrived beautiful surprises for him, and among other things
presented him, so gracefully, on the part of August the Strong,
with his first flute?"--No reader of this History can recollect it;
nor indeed, except in a mythic sense, believe it! A young Countess
Flemming (daughter of old Feldmarschall Flemming) doubtless there
might be, who presented him a flute; but as to HIS FIRST flute--?
"That same charming young Countess Flemming is still here, age now
thirty-one; charming, more than ever, though now under a changed
name; having wedded a Von Racknitz (Supreme Gentleman-Usher, or
some such thing) a few years ago, and brought him children and the
usual felicities. How much is changed! August the Strong, where is
he; and his famous Three Hundred and Fifty-four, Enchantress
Orzelska and the others, where are they? Enchantress Orzelska
wedded, quarrelled, and is in a convent: her charming destiny
concluded. Rutowski is not now in the Prussian Army: he got beaten,
Wednesday last, at Kesselsdorf, fighting against that Army. And the
Chevalier de Saxe, he too was beaten there;--clambering now across
the Metal Mountains, ask not of him. And the Marechal de Saxe, he
takes Cities, fights Battles of Fontenoy, 'mumbling a lead bullet
all day;' being dropsical, nearly dead of debaucheries; the most
dissolute (or probably so) of all the Sons of Adam in his day.
August the Physically Strong is dead. August the Spiritually Weak
is fled to Prag with his Bruhl. And we do not come, this time, to
get a flute; but to settle the account of Victories, and give Peace
to Nations. Strange, here as always, to look back,--to look round
or forward,--in the mad huge whirl of that loud-roaring Loom of
Time!--One of Countess Racknitz's Sons happened to leave MANUSCRIPT
DIARIES [rather feeble, not too exact-looking], and gives us, from
Mamma's reminiscences" ... Not a word more. [Rodenbeck,
Beitrage, i. 440, et seq.]

The Peace, we said, was signed on Christmas-day. Next day, Sunday,
Friedrich attended Sermon in the Kreuzkirche (Protestant High-
Church of Dresden), attended Opera withal; and on Monday morning
had vanished out of Dresden, as all his people had done, or were
diligently doing. Tuesday, he dined briefly at Wusterhausen (a
place we once knew well), with the Prince of Prussia, whose it now
is; got into his open carriage again, with the said Prince and his
other Brother Ferdinand; and drove swiftly homeward. Berlin, drunk
with joy, was all out on the streets, waiting. On the Heath of
Britz, four or five miles hitherward of Berlin, a body of young
gentlemen ("Merchants mostly, who had ridden out so far") saluted
him with "VIVAT FRIEDRICH DER GROSSE (Long live Friedrich THE
GREAT)!" thrice over;--as did, in a less articulate manner, Berlin
with one voice, on his arrival there; Burgher Companies lining the
streets; Population vigorously shouting; Pupils of the Koln
Gymnasium, with Clerical and School Functionaries in mass, breaking
out into Latin Song:--
--and what not. [Preuss, i. 220; who cites Beschreibung
("Description of his Majesty's Triumphant Entry, on
the" &c.) and other Contemporary Pamphlets. Rodenbeck, i. 124.]
On reaching the Portal of the Palace, his Majesty stept down;
and, glancing round the Schloss-Platz and the crowded windows and
simmering multitudes, saluted, taking off his hat; which produced
such a shout,--naturally the loudest of all. And so EXIT King, into
his interior. Tuesday, 2-3 P.M., 28th December, 1745: a King new-
christened in the above manner, so far as people could.

Illuminated Berlin shone like noon, all that night (the beginning
of a GAUDEAMUS which lasted miscellaneously for weeks):--but the
King stole away to see a friend who was dying; that poor Duhan de
Jaudun, his early Schoolmaster, who had suffered much for him, and
whom he always much loved. Duhan died, in a day or two.
Poor Jordan, poor Keyserling (the "Cesarion" of young days):
them also he has lost; and often laments, in this otherwise bright
time. {In OEuvres, xvii. 288; xviii. 141;
IB. 142 (painfully tender Letters to Frau von Camas and others, on
these events).


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