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History of Friedrich II of Prussia V

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intent. A far other than welcome message to Friedrich. A message
ominous; thrice unwelcome, not to say terrible. Requires to be
scanned with all one's faculty; to be interpreted; to be obeyed, in
spite of one's reluctances and lazinesses. To plunge again into the
Mahlstrom, into the clash of Chaos, and dive for one's Silesia, the
third time;--horrible to lazy human nature: but if the facts are
so) it must be done!--

Chapter XIII.


The public Events so called, which have been occupying mankind
during this Voltaire Visit, require now mainly to be forgotten;--
and may, for our purposes, be conveniently riddled down to Three.
FIRST, King-of-the-Romans Question; SECOND, English-Privateer
Question; and then, hanging curiously related to these Two, a
THIRD, or "English-French Canada Question." Of some importance all
of them; extremely important to Friedrich, especially that Third
and least expected of them.

Witty Hanbury Williams, the English Excellency at Berlin, busy
intriguing little creature, became distasteful there, long since;
and they had to take him away: "recalled," say the Documents, "22d
January, 1751." Upon which, no doubt, he made a noise in Downing
Street; and got, it appears, "re-credentials to Berlin, 4th March,
1751;" [Manuscript LIST in State-Paper Office.] but I think did not
much reside, nor intend to reside; having all manner of wandering
Continental duties to do; and a world of petty businesses and
widespread intrigues, Russian, German and other, on hand.
Robinson, too, is now home; returned, 1748 (Treaty of Aix in his
pocket); and an Excellency Keith, more and more famous henceforth,
has succeeded him in that Austrian post. Busy people, these and
others; now legationing in Foreign parts: able in their way;
but whose work proved to be that of spinning ropes from sand, and
must not detain us at this time.

The errand of all these Britannic Excellencies is upon a notable
scheme, which Royal George and his Newcastle have devised, Of
getting all made tight, and the Peace of Aix double-riveted, so to
speak, and rendered secure against every contingency,--by having
Archduke Joseph at once elected "King of the Romans." King of the
Romans straightway; whereby he follows at once as Kaiser, should
his Father die; and is liable to no French or other intriguing;
and we have taken a bond of Fate that the Balance cannot be canted
again. Excellent scheme, think both these heads; and are stirring
Germany with all their might, purse in hand, to co-operate, and do
it. Inconceivable what trouble these prescient minds are at, on
this uncertain matter. It was Britannic Majesty's and Newcastle's
main problem in this world, for perhaps four years (1749-1753):--
"My own child," as a fond Noodle of Newcastle used to call it;
though I rather think it was the other that begot the wretched
object, but had tired sooner of nursing it under difficulties.

Unhappily there needs unanimity of all the Nine Electors.
The poorer you can buy; "Bavarian Subsidy," or annual pension, is
only 45,000 pounds, for this invaluable object; Koln is only--a
mere trifle: [Debate on "Bavarian Subsidy" (in Walpole,
George the Second, i. 49): endless Correspondence
between Newcastle and his Brother (curious to read, though of the
most long-eared description on the Duke's part), in Coxe's
Pelham, ii, 338-465 ("31st May, 1750-3d November,
1752"): precise Account (if anybody now wanted it), in
Adelung, vii. 146, 149, 154, et seq.] trifles all, in
comparison of the sacred Balance, and dear Hanover kept scathless.
But unfortunately Friedrich, whom we must not think of buying, is
not enthusiastic in the cause! Far from it. The now Kaiser has
never yet got him, according to bargain, a Reichs-Guarantee for the
Peace of Dresden; and needs endless flagitating to do it. [Does it,
at length, by way of furtherance to this Romish-King Business, "23d
January-14th May, 1751" ( Adelung, vii. 217).]
The chase of security and aggrandizement to the House of Austria is
by no means Friedrich's chief aim! This of King of the Romans never
could be managed by Britannic Majesty and his Newcastle.

It was very triumphant, and I think at its hopefulest, in 1750,
soon after starting,--when Excellency Hanbury first appeared at
Berlin on behalf of it. That was Excellency Hanbury's first journey
on this errand; and he made a great many more, no man readier;
a stirring, intriguing creature (and always with such moneys to
distribute); had victorious hopes now and then,--which one and all
proved fatuous. ["June, 1750," Hanbury for Berlin (Britannic
Majesty much anxious Hanbury were there): Hanbury to Warsaw next
(hiring Polish Majesty there); at Dresden, does make victorious
Treaty, September, 1751; at Vienna, 1753 (still on the aawe quest).
Coxe's Pelham, ii. 339, 196, 469.] In 1751
and 1752, the darling Project met cross tides, foul winds,
political whirlpools ("Such a set are those German Princes!")--and
swam, indomitable, though near desperate, as Project seldom did;
till happily, in 1753, it sank drowned:--and left his Grace of
Newcastle asking, "Well-a-day! And is not England drowned too?"
We hope not.

"Owing mainly to Friedrich's opposition!" exclaimed Noodle and the
Political Circles. Which--(though it was not the fact; Friedrich's
opposition, once that Reichs-Guarantee of his own was got, being
mostly passive, "Push it through the stolid element, then, YOU
stolid fellows, if you can!")--awoke considerable outcry in
England. Lively suspicion there, of treasonous intentions to the
Cause of Liberty, on his Prussian Majesty's part; and--coupled with
other causes that had risen--a great deal of ill-nature, in very
dark condition, against his Prussian Majesty. And it was not
Friedrich's blame, chiefly or at all. If indeed Friedrich would
have forwarded the Enterprise:--but he merely did not; and the
element was viscous, stolid. Austria itself had wished the thing;
but with nothing like such enthusiasm as King George;--to whom the
refusal, by Friedrich and Fate, was a bitter disappointment.
Poor Britannic Majesty: Archduke Joseph came to be King of the
Romans, in due course; right enough. And long before that event
(almost before George had ended his vain effort to hasten it),
Austria turned on its pivot; and had clasped, not England to its
bosom, but France (thanks to that exquisite Kaunitz); and was in
arms AGAINST England, dear Hanover, and the Cause of Liberty!
Vain to look too far ahead,--especially with those fish-eyes.
Smelfungus has a Note on Kaunitz; readable, though far too
irreverent of that superlative Diplomatist, and unjust to the real
human merits he had.

"The struggles of Britannic George to get a King of the Romans
elected were many. Friedrich never would bite at this salutary
scheme for strengthening the House of Austria: 'A bad man, is not
he?' And all the while, the Court of Austria seemed indifferent, in
comparison;--and Graf von Kaunitz-Rietberg, Ambassador at Paris,
was secretly busy, wheeling Austria round on its axis, France round
on its; and bringing them to embrace in political wedlock!
Feat accomplished by his Excellency Kaunitz (Paris, 1752-1753);--
accomplished, not consummated; left ready for consummating when he,
Kaunitz, now home as Prime Minister, or helmsman on the new tack,
should give signal. Thought to be one of the cleverest feats ever
done by Diplomatic art.

"Admirable feat, for the Diplomatic art which it needed; not, that
I can see, for any other property it had. Feat which brought, as it
was intended to do, a Third Silesian War; death of about a million
fighting men, and endless woes to France and Austria in particular.
An exquisite Diplomatist this Kaunitz; came to be Prince, almost to
be God-Brahma in Austria, and to rule the Heavens and Earth (having
skill with his Sovereign Lady, too), in an exquisite and truly
surprising manner. Sits there sublime, like a gilt crockery Idol,
supreme over the populations, for near forty years.

"One reads all Biographies and Histories of Kaunitz: [Hormayr's (in
OEsterreichischer Plutarch, iv. 3tes,
231-283); &c. &c.] one catches evidence of his well knowing his
Diplomatic element, and how to rule it and impose on it.
Traits there are of human cunning, shrewdness of eye;--of the
loftiest silent human pride, stoicism, perseverance of
determination,--but not, to my remembrance, of any conspicuous
human wisdom whatever, One asks, Where is his wisdom? Enumerate,
then, do me the pleasure of enumerating, What he contrived that the
Heavens answered Yes to, and not No to? All silent! A man to give
one thoughts. Sits like a God-Brahma, human idol of gilt crockery,
with nothing in the belly of it (but a portion of boiled chicken
daily, very ill-digested); and such a prostrate worship, from those
around him, as was hardly seen elsewhere. Grave, inwardly unhappy-
looking; but impenetrable, uncomplaining. Seems to have passed
privately an Act of Parliament: 'Kaunitz-Rietberg here, as you see
him, is the greatest now alive; he, I privately assure you!'--and,
by continued private determination, to have got all men about him
to ratify the same, and accept it as valid. Much can be done in
that way with stupidish populations; nor is Beau Brummel the only
instance of it, among ourselves, in the later epochs.

"Kaunitz is a man of long hollow face, nose naturally rather turned
into the air, till artificially it got altogether turned thither.
Rode beautifully; but always under cover; day by day, under glass
roof in the riding-school, so many hours or minutes, watch in hand.
Hated, or dreaded, fresh air above everything: so that the
Kaiserinn, a noble lover of it, would always good-humoredly hasten
to shut her windows when he made her a visit. Sumptuous suppers,
soirees, he had; the pink of Nature assembling in his house;
galaxy, domestic and foreign, of all the Vienna Stars. Through
which he would walk one turn; glancing stoically, over his nose, at
the circumambient whirlpool of nothings,--happy the nothing to whom
he would deign a word, and make him something. O my friends!--In
short, it was he who turned Austria on its axis, and France on its,
and brought them to the kissing pitch. Pompadour and Maria Theresa
kissing mutually, like Righteousness and--not PEACE, at any rate!
'MA CHERE COUSINE,' could I have believed it, at one time?"

A SECOND Prussian-English cause of offence had arisen, years ago,
and was not yet settled; nay is now (Spring, 1753) at its height or
crisis: Offence in regard to English Privateering.

Friedrich, ever since Ost-Friesland was his, has a considerable
Foreign Trade,--not as formerly from Stettin alone, into the Baltic
Russian ports; but from Embden now, which looks out into the
Atlantic and the general waters of Europe and the World.
About which he is abundantly careful, as we have seen. Anxious to
go on good grounds in this matter, and be accurately neutral, and
observant of the Maritime Laws, he had, in 1744, directly after
coming to possession of Ost-Friesland, instructed Excellency
Andrie, his Minister in London, to apply at the fountain-head, and
expressly ask of my Lord Carteret: "Are hemp, flax, timber
contraband?" "No," answered Carteret; Andrie reported, No. And on
this basis they acted, satisfactorily, for above a year. But, in
October, 1745, the English began violently to take PLANKS for
contraband; and went on so, and ever worse, till the end of the
War. [Adelung, vii. 334.] Excellency Andrie has gone home; and a
Secretary of Legation, Herr Michel, is now here in his stead:--a
good few dreary old Pamphlets of Michel's publishing (official
Declaration, official Arguments, Documents, in French and English,
4to and 8vo, on this extinct subject), if you go deep into the
dust-bins, can be disinterred here to this day. Tread lightly,
touching only the chief summits. The Haggle stretches through five
years, 1748-1753,--and then at last ceases HAGGLING:--

"JANUARY 8th, 1748 [War still on foot, but near ending], Michel
applies about injuries, about various troubles and unjust seizures
of ships; Secretary Chesterfield answers, 'We have an Admiralty
Court; beyond question, right shall be done.' 'Would it were soon,
then!' hints Michel. Chesterfield, who is otherwise politeness
itself, confidently hopes so; but cannot push Judicial people.

"FEBRUARY, 1748. Admiralty being still silent, Michel applies by
Memorial, in a specific case: 'Two Stettin Ships, laden with wine
from Bordeaux, and a third vessel,' of some other Prussian port,
laden with corn; taken in Ramsgate Roads, whither they had been
driven by storm: 'Give me these Ships back!' Memorial to his
Grace of Newcastle, this. Upon which the Admiralty sits;
with deliberation, decides (June, 1748), 'Yes!' And 'there is hope
that a Treaty of Commerce will follow;' [ Gentleman's
Magazine, xviii. (for 1748), pp. 64, 141.] which was
far from being the issue just yet!

"On the contrary, his Prussian Majesty's Merchants, perhaps
encouraged by this piece of British justice, came forward with more
and ever more complaints and instances. To winnow the strictly true
out of which, from the half-true or not provable, his Prussian
Majesty has appointed a 'Commission,'" fit people, and under strict
charges, I can believe, "Commission takes (to Friedrich's own
knowledge) a great deal of pains;--and it does not want for clean
corn, after all its winnowing. Plenty of facts, which can be
insisted on as indisputable. 'Such and such Merchant Ships
[Schedules of them given in, with every particular, time, name,
cargo, value] have been laid hold of on the Ocean Highway, and
carried into English Ports;--OUT of which his Prussian Majesty has,
in all Friendliness, to beg that they be now re-delivered, and
justice done.' 'Contraband of War,' answer the English; 'sorry to
have given your Majesty the least uneasiness; but they were
carrying'--'No, pardon me; nothing contraband discoverable in
them;' and hands in his verified Schedules, with perfectly polite,
but more and more serious request, That the said ships be restored,
and damages accounted for. 'Our Prize Courts have sat on every ship
of them,' eagerly shrieks Newcastle all along: 'what can we do!'
'Nay a Special Commission shall now [1751, date not worth seeking
farther]--special Commission shall now sit, till his Prussian
Majesty get every satisfaction in the world!'

"English Special Commission, counterpart of that Prussian one
(which is in vacation by this time), sits accordingly: but is very
slow; reports for a long while nothing, except, 'Oh, give us time!'
and reports, in the end, nothing in the least satisfactory.
["Have entirely omitted the essential points on which the matter
turns; and given such confused account, in consequence, that it is
not well possible to gather from their Report any clear and just
idea of it at all." (Verdict of the PRUSSIAN Commission: which had
been re-assembled by Friedrich, on this Report from the English
one, and adjured to speak only "what they could answer to God, to
the King and to the whole world," concerning it: Seyfarth,
ii. 183.)] 'Prize Courts? Special Commission?' thinks
Friedrich: 'I must have my ships back!' And, after a great many
months, and a great many haggles, Friedrich, weary of giving time,
instructs Michel to signify, in proper form ('23d November, 1752'),
'That the Law's delay seemed to be considerable in England; that
till the fulness of time did come, and right were done his poor
people, he, Friedrich himself, would hopefully wait; but now at
last must, provisionally, pay his poor people their damages;--would
accordingly, from the 23d day of April next, cease the usual
payment to English Bondholders on their Silesian Bonds; and would
henceforth pay no portion farther of that Debt, principal or
interest [about 250,000 pounds now owing], but proceed to indemnify
his own people from it, to the just length,--and deposit the
remainder in Bank, till Britannic Majesty and Prussian could UNITE
in ordering payment of it; which one trusts may be soon!'"
[Walpole, i. 295; Seyfarth, ii. 183, 157; Adelung, vii. 331-338;
Gentleman's Magazine; &c.]

"November 23d, 1752, resolved on by Friedrich;" "consummated April
23d, 1753:" these are the dates of this decisive passage (Michel's
biggest Pamphlet, French and English, issuing on the occasion).
February 8th, 1753, no redress obtainable, poor Newcastle shrieks,
"Can't, must n't; astonishing!" and "the people are in great wrath
about it. April 12th, Friedrich replies, in the kindest terms;
but sticking to his point." [Adelung, vii. 336-338.] And punctually
continued so, and did as he had said. With what rumor in the City,
commentaries in the Newspapers and flutter to his Grace of
Newcastle, may be imagined. "What a Nephew have I!" thinks
Britannic Majesty: "Hah, and Embden, Ost-Friesland, is not his.
Embden itself is mine!" A great deal of ill-nature was generated,
in England, by this one affair of the Privateers, had there been no
other: and in dark cellars of men's minds (empty and dark on this
matter), there arose strange caricature Portraitures of Friedrich:
and very mad notions--of Friedrich's perversity, astucity,
injustice, malign and dangerous intentions--are more or less vocal
in the Old Newspapers and Distinguished Correspondences of those
days. Of which, this one sample:

To what height the humor of the English ran against Friedrich is
still curiously noticeable, in a small Transaction of tragic
Ex-Jacobite nature, which then happened, and in the commentaries it
awoke in their imagination. Cameron of Lochiel, who forced his way
through the Nether-Bow in Edinburgh, had been a notable rebel;
but got away to France, and was safe in some military post there.
Dr. Archibald Cameron, Lochiel's Brother, a studious contemplative
gentleman, bred to Physic, but not practising except for charity,
had quitted his books, and attended the Rebel March in a medical
capacity,--"not from choice," as he alleged, "but from compulsion
of kindred;"--and had been of help to various Loyalists as well;
a foe of Human Pain, and not of anything else whatever: in fact, as
appears, a very mild form of Jacobite Rebel. He too got, to France;
but had left his Wife, Children and frugal Patrimonies behind him,
--and had to return in proper concealment, more than once, to look
after them. Two Visits, I think two, had been successfully
transacted, at intervals; but the third, in 1753, proved otherwise.

March 12th, 1753, wind of him being had, and the slot-hounds
uncoupled and put on his trail, poor Cameron was unearthed "at the
Laird of Glenbucket's," and there laid hold of; locked in Edinburgh
Castle,--thence to the Tower, and to Trial for High Treason.
Which went against him; in spite of his fine pleadings, and manful
conciliatory appearances and manners. Executed 7th June, 1753.
His poor Wife had twice squeezed her way into the Royal Levee at
Kensington, with Petition for mercy;--fainted, the first time,
owing to the press and the agitation; but did, the second time,
fall on her knees before Royal George, and supplicate,--who had to
turn a deaf ear, royal gentleman; I hope, not without pain.

The truth is, poor Cameron---though, I believe, he had some vague
Jacobite errands withal--never would have harmed anybody in the
rebel way; and might with all safety have been let live. But his
Grace of Newcastle, and the English generally, had got the
strangest notion into their head. Those appointments of Earl
Marischal to Paris, of Tyrconnel to Berlin; Friedrich's nefarious
spoiling of that salutary Romish-King Project; and now simultaneous
with that, his nefarious oonduct in our Privateer Business:
all this, does it not prove him--as the Hanburys, Demon Newswriters
and well-informed persons have taught us--to be one of the worst
men living, and a King bent upon our ruin? What is certain, though
now well-nigh inconceivable, it was then, in the upper Classes and
Political Circles, universally believed, That this Dr. Cameron was
properly an "Emissary of the King of Prussia's;" that Cameron's
errand here was to rally the Jacobite embers into new flame;--and
that, at the first clear sputter, Friedrich had 15,000 men, of his
best Prussian-Spartan troops, ready to ferry over, and help
Jacobitism to do the matter this time! [Walpole, George
the Second, i. 333, 353; and Letters to
Horace Mann (Summer, 1753), for the belief held.
Adelung, vii. 338-341, for the poor Cameron tragedy itself.]

About as likely as that the Cham of Tartary had interfered in the
"Bangorian Controversy" (raging, I believe, some time since,--in
Cremorne Gardens fist of all, which was Bishop Hoadly's Place,--to
the terror of mitres and wigs); or that, the Emperor of China was
concerned in Meux's Porter-Brewery, with an eye to sale of NUX
VOMICA. Among all the Kings that then were, or that ever were, King
Friedrich distinguished himself by the grand human virtue (one of
the most important for Kings and for men) of keeping well at home,
--of always minding his own affairs. These were, in fact, the one
thing he minded; and he did that well. He was vigilant, observant
all round, for weather-symptoms; thoroughly well informed of what
his neighbors had on hand; ready to interfere, generally in some
judicious soft way, at any moment, if his own Countries or their
interests came to be concerned; certain, till then, to continue a
speculative observer merely. He had knowledge, to an extent of
accuracy which often surprised his neighbors: but there is no
instance in which he meddled where he had no business;--and few,
I believe, in which he did not meddle, and to the purpose, when
he had.

Later in his Reign, in the time of the American War (1777), there
is, on the English part, in regard to Friedrich, an equally
distracted notion of the same kind brought to light. Again, a
conviction, namely, or moral-certainty, that Friedrich is about
assisting the American Insurgents against us;--and a very strange
and indubitable step is ordered to be taken in consequence.
[ OEuvres de Frederic, xxvi. 394 (Friedrich to
Prince Henri, 29th June, 1777.)] As shall be noticed, if we have
time. No enlightened Public, gazing for forty or fifty years into
an important Neighbor Gentleman, with intent for practical
knowledge of him, could well, though assisted by the cleverest
Hanburys, and Demon and Angel Newswriters, have achieved less!--

Question THIRD is-- But Question Third, so extremely important was
it in the sequel, will deserve a Chapter to itself.

Chapter XIV.


Question Third, French-English Canada Question, is no other than,
under a new form, our old friend the inexorable JENKINS'S-EAR
QUESTION; soul of all these Controversies, and--except Silesia and
Friedrich's Question--the one meaning they have! Huddled together
it had been, at the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, and left for closed
under "New Spanish Assiento Treaty," or I know not what:--you
thought to close it by Diplomatic putty and varnish in that manner:
and here, by law of Nature, it comes welling up on you anew. For IT
springs from the Centre, as we often say, and is the fountain and
determining element of very large Sections of Human History, still
hidden in the unseen Time.

"Ocean Highway to be free; for the English and others who have
business on it?" The English have a real and weighty errand there.
"English to trade and navigate, as the Law of Nature orders, on
those Seas; and to ponderate or preponderate there, according to
the real amount of weight they and their errand have? OR, English
to have their ears torn off; and imperious French-Spanish Bourbons,
grounding on extinct Pope's-meridians, GLOIRE and other imaginary
bases, to take command?" The incalculable Yankee Nations, shall
they be in effect YANGKEE ("English" with a difference), or
FRANGCEE ("French" with a difference)? A Question not to be closed
by Diplomatic putty, try as you will!

By Treaty of Utrecht (1713), "all Nova Scotia [ACADIE as then
called], with Newfoundland and the adjacent Islands," was ceded to
the English, and has ever since been possessed by them accordingly.
Unluckily that Treaty omitted to settle a Line of Boundary to
landward, or westward, for their "NOVA SCOTIA;" or generally, a
Boundary from NORTH TO SOUTH between the British Colonies and the
French in those parts.

The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, eager to conclude itself,
stipulated, with great distinctness, that Cape Breton, all its guns
and furnishings entire, should be restored at once (France
extremely anxious on that point); but for the rest had, being in
such haste, flung itself altogether into the principle of STATUS-
QUO-ANTE, as the short way for getting through. The boundary in
America was vaguely defined, as "now to be what it had been before
the War." It had, for many years before the War, been a subject of
constant altercation. ACADIE, for instance, the NOVA SCOTIA of the
English since Utrecht time, the French maintained to mean only "the
Peninsula", or Nook included between the Ocean Waters and the Bay
of Fundy. And, more emphatic still, on the "Isthmus" (or narrow
space, at northwest, between said Bay and the Ocean or the Gulf of
St. Lawrence) they had built "Forts:" "Stockades," or I know not
what, "on the Missaquish" (HODIE Missiquash), a winding difficult
river, northmost of the Bay of Fundy's rivers, which the French
affirm to be the real limit in that quarter. The sparse French
Colonists of the interior, subjects of England, are not to be
conciliated by perfect toleration of religion and the like;
but have an invincible proclivity to join their Countrymen outside,
and wish well to those Stockades on the Missiquash. It must be
owned, too, the French Official People are far from scrupulous or
squeamish; show energy of management; and are very skilful with the
Indians, who are an important item. Canada is all French; has its
Quebecs, Montreals, a St. Lawrence River occupied at all the good
military points, and serving at once as bulwark and highway.

Southward and westward, France, in its exuberant humor, claims for
itself The whole Basin of the St. Lawrence, and the whole Basin of
the Mississippi as well: "Have not we Stockades, Castles, at the
military points; Fortified Places in Louisiana itself?" Yes;--and
how many Ploughed Fields bearing Crop have you? It is to the good
Plougher, not ultimately to the good Cannonier, that those portions
of Creation will belong? The exuberant intention of the French is,
after getting back Cape Breton, "To restrict those aspiring English
Colonies," mere Ploughers and Traders, hardly numbering above one
million, "to the Space eastward of the Alleghany Mountains," over
which they are beginning to climb, "and southward of that
Missiquash, or, at farthest, of the Penobscot and Kennebunk"
(rivers HODIE in the State of Maine). [La Gallisonniere, Governor
of Canada's DESPATCH, "Quebec, 15th January, 1749" (cited in
Bancroft, History of the United States,
Boston, 1839, et seq.). "The English Inhabitants are computed at
1,051,000; French (in Canada 45,000, in Louisiana 7,000), in all
52,000:" History of British Dominions in North America
(London, 1773), p. 13. Bancroft (i. 154) counts the
English Colonists in "1754 about 1,200,000."] That will be a very
pretty Parallelogram for them and their ploughs and trade-packs:
we, who are 50,000 odd, expert with the rifle far beyond them, will
occupy the rest of the world. Such is the French exuberant notion:
and, October, 1745, before signature at Aix-la-Chapelle, much more
before Delivery of Cape Breton, the Commandant at Detroit (west end
of Lake Erie) had received orders, "To oppose peremptorily every
English Establishment not only thereabouts, but on the Ohio or its
tributaries; by monition first; and then by force, if monition do
not serve."

Establishments of any solidity or regularity the English have not
in those parts; beyond the Alleghanies all is desert: "from the
Canada Lakes to the Carolinas, mere hunting-ground of the Six
Nations; dotted with here and there an English trading-house, or
adventurous Squatter's farm:"--to whom now the French are to say:
"Home you, instantly; and leave the Desert alone!" The French have
distinct Orders from Court, and energetically obey the same;
the English have indistinct Orders from Nature, and do not want
energy, or mind to obey these: confusions and collisions are
manifold, ubiquitous, continual. Of which the history would be
tiresome to everybody; and need only be indicated here by a mark or
two of the main passages.

In 1749, three things had occurred worth mention. FIRST, Captain
Coram, a public-spirited half-pay gentleman in London, originator
of the Foundling Hospital there, had turned his attention to the
fine capabilities and questionable condition of NOVA SCOTIA, with
few inhabitants, and those mostly disaffected; and, by many efforts
now forgotten, had got the Government persuaded to despatch (June,
1749) a kind of Half-pay or Military Colony to those parts:
"more than 1,400 persons disbanded officers, soldiers and marines,
under Colonel Edward Cornwallis," Brother of the since famous Lord
Cornwallis. [Coxe's Pelham, ii. 113.]
Who landed, accordingly, on that rough shore; stockaded themselves
in, hardily endeavoring and enduring; and next year, built a Town
for themselves; Town of HALIFAX (so named from the then Lord
Halifax, President of the Board of Trade); which stands there, in
more and more conspicuous manner, at this day. Thanks to you,
Captain Coram; though the ungrateful generations (except dimly in
CORAM Street, near your Hospital) have lost all memory of you, as
their wont is. Blockheads; never mind them.

The SECOND thing is, an "Ohio Company" has got together in
Virginia; Governor there encouraging; Britannic Majesty giving
Charter (March, 1749), and what is still easier, "500,000 Acres of
Land" in those Ohio regions, since you are minded to colonize there
in a fixed manner. Britannic Majesty thinks the Country "between
the Monongahela and the Kanahawy" (southern feeders of Ohio) will
do best; but is not particular. Ohio Company, we shall find, chose
at last, as the eligible spot, the topmost fork or very Head of the
Ohio,--where Monongahela River from south and Alleghany River from
north unite to form "The Ohio;" where stands, in our day, the big
sooty Town of Pittsburg and its industries. Ohio Company was
laudably eager on this matter; Land-Surveyor in it (nay, at length,
"Colonel of a Regiment of 150 men raised by the Ohio Company") was
Mr. George Washington, whose Family had much promoted the
Enterprise; and who was indeed a steady-going, considerate, close-
mouthed Young Gentleman; who came to great distinction in the end.

French Governor (La Gallisonniere still the man), getting wind of
this Ohio Company still in embryo, anticipates the birth; sends a
vigilant Commandant thitherward, "with 300 men, To trace and occupy
the Valleys of the Ohio and of the St. Lawrence, as far as
Detroit." That officer "buries plates of lead," up and down the
Country, with inscriptions signifying that "from the farthest
ridge, whence water trickled towards the Ohio, the Country belonged
to France; and nails the Bourbon Lilies to the forest-trees;
forbidding the Indians all trade with the English; expels the
English traders from the towns of the Miamis; and writes to the
Governor of Pennsylvania, requesting him to prevent all farther
intrusion." Vigilant Governors, these French, and well supported
from home. Duquesne, the vigilant successor of La Gallisonniere
(who is now wanted at home, for still more important purposes, as
will appear), finding "the lead plates" little regarded, sends, by
and by, 500 new soldiers from Detroit into those Ohio parts (march
of 100 miles or so);--"the French Government having, in this year
1750, shipped no fewer than 8,000 men for their American
Garrisons;"--and where the Ohio Company venture on planting a
Stockade, tears it tragically out, as will be seen!

The THIRD thing worth notice, in 1749, and still more in the
following year and years, had reference to Nova Scotia again.
One La Corne, "a recklessly sanguinary partisan" (military
gentleman of the Trenck, INDIGO-Trenck species), nestles himself
(winter, 1749-50) on that Missiquash River, head of the Bay of
Fundy; in the Village of Chignecto, which is admittedly English
ground, though inhabited by French. La Corne compels, or admits,
the Inhabitants to swear allegiance to France again; and to make
themselves useful in fortifying, not to say in drilling,--with an
eye to military work. Hearing of which, Colonel Cornwallis and
incipient Halifax are much at a loss. They in vain seek aid from
the Governor of Massachusetts ("Assembly to be consulted first, to
be convinced; Constitutional rights:--Nothing possible just, at
once");--and can only send a party of 400 men, to try and recover
Chignecto at any rate. April 20th, 1750, the 400 arrive there;
order La Corne instantly to go. Bourbon Flag is waving on his
dikes, this side the Missiquash: high time that he and it were
gone. "Village Priest [flamingly orthodox, as all these Priests
are, all picked for the business], with his own hands, sets fire to
the Church in Chignecto; "inhabitants burn their houses, and escape
across the river,--La Corne as rear-guard. La Corne, across the
Missiquash, declares, That, to a certainty, he is now on French
ground; that he will, at all hazards, defend the Territory here;
and maintain every inch of it,--"till regular Commissioners [due
ever since the Treaty of Aix, had not that ROMISH-KING Business
been so pressing] have settled what the Boundary between the two
Countries is."--Chignecto being ashes, and the neighboring
population gone, Cornwallis and his Four Hundred had to return
to Halifax.

It was not till Autumn following, that Chignecto could be solidly
got hold of by the Halifax people; nor till a long time after, that
La Corne could be dislodged from his stockades, and sent packing.
[ Gentleman's Magazine, xx. 539, 295.]
September, 1750, a new Expedition on Chignecto found the place
populous again, Indians, French "Peasants" (seemingly Soldiers of a
sort); who stood very fiercely behind their defences, and needed a
determined on-rush, and "volley close into their noses," before
disappearing. This was reckoned the first military bloodshed (if
this were really military on the French side). And in November
following, some small British Cruiser on those Coasts, falling in
with a French Brigantine, from Quebec, evidently carrying military
stores and solacements for La Corne, seized the same; by force of
battle, since not otherwise,--three men lost to the British, five
to the French,--and brought it to Halifax. "Lawful and necessary!"
says the Admiralty Court; "Sheer Piracy!" shriek the French;--
matters breaking out into actual flashes of flame, in this manner.

British Commissions, two in number, names not worth mention, have,
at last, in this Year 1750, gone to Paris; and are holding manifold
conferences with French ditto,--to no "purpose, any of them. One
reads the dreary tattle of the Duke of Newcastle upon it, in the
Years onward: "Just going to agree," the Duke hopes; "some
difficulties, but everybody, French and English, wanting mere
justice; and our and their Commissioners being in such a generous
spirit, surely they will soon settle it." [His Letters, in Coxe's
Pelham, ii. 407 ("September, 1751"), &c.]
They never did or could; and steadily it went on worsening.

That notable private assertion of the French, That Canada and
Louisiana mean all America West of the Alleghanies, had not yet
oozed out to the English; but it is gradually oozing out, and that
England will have to content itself with the moderate Country lying
east of that Blue range. "Not much above a million of you", say the
French; "and surely there is room enough East of the Alleghanies?
We, with our couple of Colonies, are the real America;--counting,
it is true, few settlers as yet; but there shall be innumerable;
and, in the mean while, there are Army-Detachments, Block-houses,
fortified Posts, command of the Rivers, of the Indian Nations, of
the water-highways and military keys (to you unintelligible);
and we will make it good!"

The exact cipher of the French (guessed to be 50,000), and their
precise relative-value as tillers and subduers of the soil, in
these Two Colonies of theirs, as against the English Thirteen,
would be interesting to know: curious also their little bill, of
trouble taken in creating the Continent of America, in discovering
it, visiting, surveying, planting, taming, making habitable for
man:--and what Rhadamanthus would have said of those Two Documents!
Enough, the French have taken some trouble, more or less,--
especially in sending soldiers out, of late. The French, to certain
thousands, languidly tilling, hunting and adventuring, and very
skilful in wheedling the Indian Nations, are actually there;
and they, in the silence of Rhadamanthus, decide that merit shall
not miss its wages for want of asking. "Ours is America West of the
Alleghanies," say the French, openly before long.

"Yours? Yours, of all people's?" answer the English; and begin,
with lethargic effort, to awake a little to that stupid Foreign
Question; important, though stupid and foreign, or lying far off.
Who really owned all America, probably few Englishmen had ever
asked themselves, in their dreamiest humors, nor could they now
answer; but, that North America does not belong to the French, can
be doubtful to no English creature. Pitt, Chatham as we now call
him, is perhaps the Englishman to whom, of all others, it is least
doubtful. Pitt is in Office at last,--in some subaltern capacity,
"Paymaster of the Forces" for some years past, in spite of
Majesty's dislike of the outspoken man;--and has his eyes bent on
America;--which is perhaps (little as you would guess it such) the
main fact in that confused Controversy just now!--

In 1753 (28th August of that Year), goes message from the Home
Government, "Stand on your defence, over there! Repel by force any
Foreign encroachments on British Dominions." [Holderness, OR
Robinson our old friend.] And directly on the heel of this,
November, 1753, the Virginia Governor,--urged, I can believe, by
the Ohio Company, who are lying wind-bound so long,--despatches
Mr. George Washington to inquire officially of the French
Commandant in those parts, "What he means, then, by invading the
British Territories, while a solid Peace subsists?" Mr. George had
a long ride up those desert ranges, and down again on the other
side; waters all out, ground in a swash with December rains, no
help or direction but from wampums and wigwams: Mr. George got to
Ohio Head (two big Rivers, Monongahela from South, Alleghany from
North, coalescing to form a double-big Ohio for the Far West); and
thought to himself, "What an admirable three-legged place: might be
Chief Post of those regions,--nest-egg of a diligent Ohio
Company.!" Mr. George, some way down the Ohio River, found a
strongish French Fort, log-barracks, "200 river-boats, with more
building," and a French Commandant, who cannot enter into questions
of a diplomatic nature about Peace and War: "My orders are, To keep
this Fort and Territory against all comers; one must do one's
orders, Monsieur: Adieu!" And the steadfast Washington had to
return; without result,--except that of the admirable Three-legged
Place for dropping your Nest-egg, in a commanding and
defenceful way!

Ohio Company, painfully restrained so long in that operation, took
the hint at once. Despatched, early in 1754, a Party of some Forty
or Thirty-three stout fellows, with arms about them, as well as
tools, "Go build us, straightway, a Stockade in the place
indicated; you are warranted to smite down, by shot or otherwise,
any gainsayer!" And furthermore, directly got on foot, and on the
road thither, a "regiment of 150 men," Washington as Colonel to it,
For perfecting said Stockade, and maintaining it against
all comers.

Washington and his Hundred-and-fifty--wagonage, provender and a
piece or two of cannon, all well attended to--vigorously climbed
the Mountains; got to the top 27th May, 1754; and there MET the
Thirty-three in retreat homewards! Stockade had been torn out, six
weeks ago (17th April last); by overwhelming French Force, from the
Gentleman who said ADIEU, and had the river-boats, last Fall.
And, instead of our Stockade, they are now building a regular
French Fort,--FORT DUQUESNE, they call it, in honor of their
Governor Duquesne:--against which, Washington and his regiment,
what are they? Washington, strictly surveying, girds himself up for
the retreat; descends diligently homewards again, French and
Indians rather harassing his rear. In-trenches himself, 1st July,
at what he calls "Fort Necessity," some way down; and the second
day after, 3d July, 1754, is attacked in vigorous military manner.
Defends himself, what he can, through nine hours of heavy rain;
has lost thirty, the French only three;--and is obliged to
capitulate: "Free Withdrawal" the terms given. This is the last I
heard of the Ohio Company; not the last of Washington, by any
means. Ohio Company,--its judicious Nest-egg squelched in this
manner, nay become a fiery Cockatrice or "FORT DUQUESNE:"--need not
be mentioned farther.

By this time, surely high time now, serious military preparations
were on foot; especially in the various Colonies most exposed.
But, as usual, it is a thing of most admired disorder;
every Governor his own King or Vice-King, horses are pulling
different ways: small hope there, unless the Home Government (where
too I have known the horses a little discrepant, unskilful in
harness!) will seriously take it in hand. The Home Government is
taking it in hand; horses willing, if a thought unskilful.
Royal Highness of Cumberland has selected General Braddock, and Two
Regiments of the Line (the two that ran away at Prestonpans,--ABSIT
OMEN). Royal Highness consults, concocts, industriously prepares,
completes; modestly certain that here now is the effectual remedy.

About New-year's day, 1755, Braddock, with his Two Regiments and
completed apparatus, got to sea. Arrived, 20th February, at
Williamsburg in Virginia ("at Hampden, near there," if anybody is
particular); found now that this was not the place to arrive at;
that he would lose six weeks of marching, by not having landed in
Pennsylvania instead. Found that his Stores had been mispacked at
Cork,--that this had happened, and also that;--and, in short, that
Chaos had been very considerably prevalent in this Adventure of
his; and did still, in all that now lay round it, much prevail.
Poor man: very brave, they say; but without knowledge, except of
field-drill; a heart of iron, but brain mostly of pipe-clay
quality. A man severe and rigorous in regimental points;
contemptuous of the Colonial Militias, that gathered to help him;
thrice-contemptuous of the Indians, who were a vital point in the
Enterprise ahead. Chaos is very strong,--especially if within
oneself as well! Poor Braddock took the Colonial Militia Regiments,
Colonel Washington as Aide-de-Camp; took the Indians and
Appendages, Colonial Chaos much presiding: and after infinite
delays and confused hagglings, got on march;--2,000 regular, and of
all sorts say 4,000 strong.

Got on march; sprawled and haggled up the Alleghanies,--such a
Commissariat, such a wagon-service, as was seldom seen before.
Poor General and Army, he was like to be starved outright, at one
time; had not a certain Mr. Franklin come to him, with charitable
oxen, with 500 pounds-worth provisions live and dead, subscribed
for at Philadelphia,--Mr Benjamin Franklin, since celebrated over
all the world; who did not much admire this iron-tempered General
with the pipe-clay brain. [Franklin's AUTOBIOGRAPHY;
Gentleman's Magazine, xxv. 378.] Thereupon, however,
Braddock took the road again; sprawled and staggered, at the long
last, to the top; "at the top of the Alleghanies, 15th June;"--and
forward down upon FORT DUQUESNE, "roads nearly perpendicular in
some places," at the rate of "four miles" and even of "one mile per
day." Much wood all about,--and the 400 Indians to rear, in a
despised and disgusted condition, instead of being vanward keeping
their brightest outlook.

July 8th, Braddock crossed the Monongahela without hindrance.
July 9th, was within ten miles of FORT DUQUESNE; plodding along;
marching through a wood, when,--Ambuscade of French and Indians
burst out on him, French with defences in front and store of
squatted Indians on each flank,--who at once blew him to
destruction, him and his Enterprise both. His men behaved very ill;
sensible perhaps that they were not led very well. Wednesday, 9th
July, 1755, about three in the afternoon. His two regiments gave
one volley and no more; utterly terror-struck by the novelty, by
the misguidance, as at Prestonpans before; shot, it was whispered,
several of their own Officers, who were furiously rallying them
with word and sword: of the sixty Officers, only five were not
killed or wounded. Brave men clad in soldier's uniform, victims of
military Chaos, and miraculous Nescience, in themselves and in
others: can there be a more distressing spectacle?
Imaginary workers are all tragical, in this world; and come to a
bad end, sooner or later, they or their representatives here:
but the Imaginary Soldier--he is paid his wages (he and his poor
Nation are) on the very nail!

Braddock, refusing to fall back as advised, had five horses shot
under him; was himself shot, in the arm, in the breast; was carried
off the field in a death-stupor,--forward all that night, next day
and next (to Fort Cumberland, seventy miles to rear);--and on the
fourth day died. The Colonial Militias had stood their ground,
Colonel Washington now of some use again;--who were ranked well to
rearward; and able to receive the ambuscade as an open fight.
Stood striving, for about three hours. And would have saved the
retreat; had there been a retreat, instead of a panic rout, to
save. The poor General--ebbing homewards, he and his Enterprise,
hour after hour--roused himself twice only, for a moment, from his
death-stupor: once, the first night, to ejaculate mournfully, "Who
would have thought it!" And again once, he was heard to say, days
after, in a tone of hope, "Another time we will do better!" which
were his last words, "death following in a few minutes."
Weary, heavy-laden soul; deep Sleep now descending on it,--soft
sweet cataracts of Sleep and Rest; suggesting hope, and triumph
over sorrow, after all:--"Another time we will do better;" and in
few minutes was dead! [Manuscript JOURNAL OF GENERAL BRADDOCK'S
EXPEDITION IN 1755 (British Museum: King's Library, 271 e, King's
Mss. 212): raw-material, this, of the Official Account
( London Gazette, August 26th, 1755), where it
is faithfully enough abridged. Will perhaps be printed by some
inquiring PITTSBURGHER, one day, after good study on the ground
itself? It was not till 1758 that the bones of the slain were got
buried, and the infant Pittsburg (now so busy and smoky) rose from
the ashes of FORT DUQUESNE.]

The Colonial Populations, who had been thinking of Triumphal Arches
for Braddock's return, are struck to the nadir by this news.
French and Indians break over the Mountains, harrying, burning,
scalping; the Black Settlers fly inward, with horror and despair:
"And the Home Government, too, can prove a broken reed? What is to
become of us; whose is America to be?"--And in fact, under such
guidance from Home Governments and Colonial, there is no saying how
the matter might have gone. To men of good judgment, and watching
on the spot, it was, for years coming, an ominous dubiety,--the
chances rather for the French, "who understand war, and are all
under one head." [Governor Pownal's Memorial (of which INFRA), in
Thackeray's Life of Chatham. ] But there
happens to be in England a Mr. Pitt, with royal eyes more and more
indignantly set on this Business; and in the womb of Time there lie
combinations and conjunctures. If the Heavens have so decreed!--

The English had, before this, despatched their Admiral Boscawen, to
watch certain War-ships, which they had heard the French were
fitting out for America; and to intercept the same, by capture if
not otherwise. Boscawen is on the outlook, accordingly; descries a
French fleet, Coast of Newfoundland, first days of June; loses it
again in the fogs of the Gulf-Stream; but has, June 9th (a month
before that of Braddock), come up with Two Frigates of it, and,
after short broadsiding, made prizes of them. And now, on this
Braddock Disaster, orders went, "To seize and detain all French
Ships whatsoever, till satisfaction were had." And, before the end
of this Year, about "800 French ships (value, say, 700,000 pounds)"
were seized accordingly, where seizable on their watery ways.
Which the French ("our own conduct in America being so undeniably
proper") characterized as utter piracy and robbery;--and getting no
redress upon it, by demand in that style, had to take it as no
better than meaning Open War Declared. [Paris, December 21st, 1755,
Minister Rouille's Remonstrance, with menace "UNLESS--:" London,
January 13th, 1756, Secretary Fox's reply, "WELL THEN, NO!" Due
official "Declaration of War" followed: on the English part, "17th
May, 1756;" "9th June," on the French part.]

Chapter XV.


The Burning of AKAKIA, and those foolish Maupertuis-Voltaire
Duellings (by syringe and pistol) had by no means been Friedrich's
one concern, at the time Voltaire went off. Precisely in those same
months, Carnival 1752-1753, King Friedrich had, in a profoundly
private manner, come upon certain extensive Anti-Prussian Symptoms,
Austrian, Russian, Saxon, of a most dangerous, abstruse, but at
length indubitable sort; and is, ever since, prosecuting his
investigation of them, as a thing of life and death to him!
Symptoms that there may well be a THIRD Silesian War ripening
forward, inevitable, and of weightier and fiercer quality than
ever. So the Symptoms indicate to Friedrich, with a fatally
increasing clearness. And, of late, he has to reflect withal:
"If these French-English troubles bring War, our Symptoms will be
ripe!" As, in fact, they proved to be.

King Friedrich's investigations and decisions on this matter will
be touched upon, farther on: but readers can take, in the mean
time, the following small Documentary Piece as Note of Preparation.
The facts shadowed forth are of these Years now current
(1752-1755), though this judicial Deposition to the Facts is of
ulterior date (1757).

In the course of 1756, as will well appear farther on, it became
manifest to the Saxon Court and to all the world that somebody had
been playing traitor in the Dresden Archives. Somebody, especially
in the Foreign Department; copying furtively, and imparting to
Prussia, Despatches of the most secret, thrice-secret and thrice-
dangerous nature, which lie reposited there! Who can have done it?
Guesses, researcher, were many: at length suspicion fell on one
Menzel, a KANZELLIST (Government Clerk), of good social repute, and
superior official ability; who is not himself in the Foreign
Department at all; but whose way of living, or the like sign, had
perhaps seemed questionable. In 1757, Menzel, and the Saxon Court
and its businesses, were all at Warsaw; Menzel dreaming of no
disturbance, but prosecuting his affairs as formerly,--when, one
day, September 24th (the slot-hounds, long scenting and tracking,
being now at the mark), Menzel and an Associate of his were
suddenly arrested. Confronted with their crimes, with the proofs in
readiness; and next day,--made a clear Confession, finding the
matter desperate otherwise, Copy of which, in Notarial form, exact
and indisputable, the reader shall now see. As this story, of
Friedrich and the Saxon Archives, was very famous in the world, and
mythic circumstances are prevalent, let us glance into it with our
own eyes, since there is opportunity in brief compass.


"AT WARSAW, 25th SEPTEMBER, 1757: This day, in the King's Name, in
presence of Legationsrath von Saul, Hofrath Ferbers and Kriegsrath
von Gotze the Undersigned: Examination of the Kabinets-Kanzellist
Menzel, arrested yesterday, and now brought from his place of
arrest to the Royal Palace;--who, ADMONITUS DE DICENDA VERITATE,
made answers, to the effect following:--

"His name is Friedrich Wilhelm Menzel; age thirty-eight; is a son
of the late Hofrath and Privy-referendary Menzel, who formerly was
in the King's service, and died a few years back. Has been
seventeen years Kanzellist at the GEHEIME CABINETS-CANZLEI (Secret
Archive); had taken the oath when he entered on his office.

"Acknowledges some Slips of Paper (ZETTEL), now shown to him, to be
his handwriting: they contained news intended to be communicated to
the Prussian Secretary Benoit, now residing here", at
Dresden formerly.

"Confesses that he has employed, here as well as previously in
Dresden, his Brother-in-law, the journeyman goldsmith Erfurth (who
was likewise arrested yesterday), to convey to the Prussian
Secretaries, Plessmann and Benoit, such pieces and despatches from
the Secret Cabinet, especially the Foreign department, as he,
Menzel, wanted to communicate to said Prussian Secretaries.

"Confesses having received, by degrees, since the year 1752, from
the Prussian Minister (ENVOYE) von Mahlzahn, and the Secretaries
Plessmann and Benoit, for such communications, the sum of 3,000
thalers (450 pounds) in all.

"Was led into these treasonable practices by the following
circumstance: He owed at that time 100 thalers on a Promissory
Note, to a certain Rhenitz, who then lived (HIELT SICH AUF) at
Dresden, and who pressed him much for payment. As he pleaded
inability to pay, Rhenitz hinted that he could put him into the way
of getting money; and accordingly, at last, took him to the then
Prussian Secretary Hecht, at Dresden; by whom he was at once
carried to the Prussian Minister von Mahlzahn; who gave him 100
thalers (15 pounds), with the request to communicate to him, now
and then, news from the Archive of the Cabinet. For a length of
time Prisoner could not accomplish this; as the said Von Mahlzahn
wanted Pieces from the Foreign Office, and especially the
Correspondence with the two Imperial Courts of Austria and Russia.
These papers were locked in presses, which Prisoner could not get
at; moreover, the Court had, in the mean time, gone to Warsaw,
Prisoner remaining at Dresden. In that way, many months passed
without his being able to communicate anything; till, at last,
about December, 1752, the Secretary Plessmann gave him a whole
bunch of keys, which were said to be sent by Privy-counsellor
Eichel of Potsdam [whom we know], to try whether any of them would
unlock the presses of the Foreign Department. But none of them
would; and Prisoner returned the keys; pointing out, however, what
alterations were required to fit the keyhole.

"And, about three weeks after this, Plessmann provided Prisoner
with another set of keys; among which one did unlock said presses.
With this key Prisoner now repeatedly opened the presses;
and provided Plessmann, whenever required,--oftenest, with
Petersburg Despatches. Had also, three years ago (1754), here in
Warsaw, communicated Vienna Despatches, three or four times, to
Benoit; especially on Sundays and Thursdays, which were slack days,
nobody in the Office about noon.

"The actual first of these Communications did not take place till
after Easter-Fair, 1753; Prisoner not having, till said Fair,
received the second bunch of keys from Plessmann. Now and then he
had to communicate French Despatches. Whenever he gave original
Despatches, he received them back shortly after, and replaced them
in the presses. During this present stay of the Court at Warsaw,
has communicated little to Benoit except from the CIRCULARS
[Legation NEWS-LETTERS], when he found anything noteworthy in them;
also, now and then, the Ponikau Despatches [Ponikau being at the
Reich's Diet, in circumstances interesting to us]. Has received,
one time and another, several 100 thalers from Benoit, since the
Court came hither last."--(And so EXIT Menzel.)

"Hereupon the Second Prisoner was brought in;--who deposed
as follows:--

"He is named Johann Benjamin Erfurth; a goldsmith by trade;
age thirty-two; the Prisoner Menzel's Brother-in-law.

"Confesses that Menzel had made use of him, at Dresden, during one
year: to deliver, several times, sealed papers to the Prussian
Secretary Plessmann, or rather mostly to Plessmann's servant.
Also that, here in Warsaw, he has had to carry Despatches to
Benoit, and to deliver them into his own hands. Latterly he has
delivered the Despatches to certain Prussian peasants, who stopped
at Benoit's, and who always relieved each other; and every time,
the one who went away directed Prisoner, in turn, to him
that arrived.

"He received from Menzel, yesterday towards noon, a small sealed
packet, which he was to convey to the Prussian peasant who had made
an appointment with him at the Prussian Office (HOF) here. But as
he was going to take it, and had just got outside of the Palace
Court, a corporal took hold of him and arrested him.
Confesses having concealed the parcel in his trousers-pocket, and
to have denied that he had anything upon him. ... ACTUM UT SUPRA."
Signed "GOTZE" (with titles).

"Next day, September 26th, Menzel re-examined; answers in
effect following:--

"Plessmann never himself came into the Archive Office at Dresden;
except the one time [a time that will be notable to us!] when the
Prussians were there to take away the Papers by force;
then Plessmann was with them,"--and we will remember
the circumstance.

"Before leaving Dresden for Poland, last Year (1756), he, Menzel,
had returned the said key to Plessmann; who gave him others for use
here. After his arrival here, he returned these keys to Benoit, in
the presence of Erfurth; saying, they were of no use to him, and
that he could not get at the Despatches here. Prisoner farther
declares, that it was the Minister von Mahlzahn who, of his own
accord, and quite at the beginning, made the proposal concerning
the keys; and when Plessmann brought the keys, he said expressly
they were for the Minister, along with fifty thalers, which he,
Menzel, received at the same time. ACTUM UT SUPRA." Signed as
before. [ Helden-Geschichte, v. 677 (as
BEYLAGE or Appendix to the Kur-Sachsen "PRO MEMORIA to the Reich's
Diet;" of date, Regensburg, 31st January, 1758).]

We could give some of the stolen Pieces, too; but they are of
abstruse tenor, and would be mere enigmas to readers here.
Enough that Friedrich understands them. To Friedrich's intense and
long-continued scrutiny, they indicate, what is next to incredible,
but is at length fatally undeniable, That the old TREATY, which we
called OF WARSAW, "Treaty for Partitioning Prussia," is still (in
spite of all subsequent and superincumbent Treaties to the
contrary) vigorously alive underground; that Saxon Bruhl and her
Hungarian Majesty, to whom is now added Czarish Majesty, are fixed
as ever on cutting down this afflictive, too aspiring King of
Prussia to the size of a Brandenburg Elector; busy (in these Menzel
Documents) considering how it may be done, especially how the bear-
skin may be SHARED;--and that, in short, there lies ahead,
inevitable seemingly, and not far off, a Third Silesian War.

Which punctually came true. The THIRD SILESIAN WAR--since called
SEVEN-YEARS WAR, that proving to be the length of it--is now near.
Breaks out, has to break out, August, 1756. The heaviest and direst
struggle Friedrich ever had; the greatest of all his Prowesses,
Achievements and Endurances in this world. And, on the whole, the
last that was very great, or that is likely to be memorable with
Posterity. Upon which, accordingly, we must try our utmost to leave
some not untrue notion in this place: and that once DONE--
Courage, reader!

SOME MINUTES (June 23d, 1755).

In 1755 it was that Voltaire wrote, not the first Letter, but the
first very notable one, to his Royal Friend, after their great
quarrel: [Dated "The DELICES, near Geneva, 4th August, 1755" (in
Rodenbeck, i. 287; in OEuvres de Frederic,
xxiii. 7; not given by any of the French Editors).] seductively
repentant, and oh, so true, so tender;--Royal Friend still
obstinate, who answers nothing, or answers only through De Prades:
"Yes, yes, we are aware!" And it was in the same Year that
Friedrich first saw D'Alembert,--Voltaire's successor, in a sense.
And farther on (1st November, 1755), that the Earthquake of Lisbon
went, horribly crashing, through the thoughts of all mortals,--
thoughts of King Friedrich, among others; whose reflections on it,
I apprehend, are stingy, snarlingly contemptuous, rather than
valiant and pious, and need not detain us here. One thing only we
will mention, for an accidental reason: That Friedrich, this Year,
made a short run to Holland,--and that actual momentary sight of
him happens thereby to be still possible.

In Summer, 1755, after the West-Country Reviews, and a short
Journey into Ost-Friesland, whence to Wesel on the Rhine,--whither
Friedrich had invited D'Alembert to meet him, whom he finds "UN
TRES-AIMABLE GARCON," likely for the task in hand,--Friedrich
decided on a run into Holland: strictly INCOGNITO, accompanied only
by Balbi (Engineer, a Genoese) and one page. Bade his D'Alembert
adieu; and left Wesel thitherward June 19th. [Rodenbeck, i. 287.]
At Amsterdam he viewed the Bramkamp Picture-Gallery, the
illustrious Country-house of Jew Pinto at TULPENBURG (Tulip-
borough!) ... "I saw nothing but whim-whams (COLIFICHETS)," says
he: "I gave myself out for a Musician of the King of Poland;"
wore a black wig moreover, "and was nowhere known:" [
OEuvres, xxvii. i. 268 ("Potsdam, 28th June, 1755;"
and ib. p. 270), to Wilhelmina, who is now on the return from her
Italian Journey. UNCERTAIN Anecdotes of adventures among the
whim-whams, in Rodenbeck, &c.]--and, for finis, got into the common
Passage-Boat (TREKSCHUIT, no doubt) for Utrecht, that he might see
the other fine Country-houses along the Vechte. Fine enough
Country-houses,--not mud and sedges the main thing, as idle readers
think. To Arnheim up the Vechte in this manner; Wesel and his own
Country just at hand again.

Now it happened that a young Swiss--poor enough in purse, but not
without talent and eyesight, assistant Teacher in some Boarding-
school thereabouts; name of him De Catt, age twenty-seven, "born at
Morges near Geneva 1728"--had got holiday, or had got errand, poor
good soul; had decided, on this same day (23d June, 1755), to go to
Utrecht, and so stept into the very boat where Friedrich was.
He himself (in a Letter written long after to Editor LAVEAUX) shall
tell us the rest:--

"As I could n't get into the ROEF (cabin) because it was all
engaged, I stayed with the other passengers in the Steerage (DANS
LA BARQUE MEME), and the weather being fine, came up on deck.
After some time, there stept out of the Cabin a man in cinnamon-
colored coat with gold button-HOLES; in black wig; face and coat
considerably dusted with Spanish snuff. He looked fixedly at me,
for a while; and then said, without farther preface, 'Who are you,
Monsieur?' This cavalier tone from an unknown person, whose
exterior indicated nothing very important, did not please me; and I
declined satisfying his curiosity. He was silent. But, some time
after, he took a more courteous tone, and said: 'Come in here to
me, Monsieur! You will be better here than in the Steerage, amid
the tobacco-smoke.' This polite address put an end to all anger;
and as the singular manner of the man excited my curiosity, I took
advantage of his invitation. We sat down, and began to speak
confidentially with one another.

"Do you see the man in the garden yonder, sitting smoking his
pipe?' said he to me: 'That man, you may depend upon it, is not
happy.'--'I know not,' answered I: 'but it seems to me, until one
knows a man, and is completely acquainted with his situation and
his way of thought, one cannot possibly determine whether he is
happy or unhappy.'

"My gentleman admitted this [very good-natured!]; and led the
conversation on the Dutch Government. He criticised it,--probably
to bring me to speak. I did speak; and gave him frankly to know
that he was not perfectly instructed in the thing he was
criticising.--'You are right,' answered he; 'one can only criticise
what one is thoroughly acquainted with.'--He now began to speak of
Religion; and with eloquent tongue to recount what mischief
Scholastic Philosophy had brought upon the world; then tried to
prove 'That Creation was impossible.' At this last point I stood
out in opposition. 'But how can one create Something out of
Nothing?' said he. 'That is not the question,' answered I;
'the question is, Whether such a Being as God can or cannot give
existence to what has yet none.' He seemed embarrassed, and added,
'But the Universe is eternal.'--'You are in a circle,' said I;
'how will you get out of it?'--'I skip over it" said he, laughing;
and then began to speak of other things.

"'What form of Government do you reckon the best?' inquired he,
among other things. 'The monarchic, if the King is just and
enlightened.'--'Very well,' answered he; 'but where will you find
Kings of that sort?' And thereupon went into such a sally upon
Kings, as could not in the least lead me to the supposition that he
was one. In the end he expressed pity for them, that they could not
know the sweets of friendship; and cited on the occasion these
verses (his own, I suppose):--

'Amitie, plaisir des grandes ames;
Amitie, que les Rois, ces illustres ingrats,
Sont assez malheureux de ne connaitre pas!'

'I have not the honor to be acquainted with Kings,' said I; 'but to
judge by what one has read in History of several of them, I should
believe, Monsieur, that you, on the whole, are right.'--'AH, OUI,
OUI, I am right; I know the gentlemen!'

"We now got to speak of Literature. The stranger expressed himself
with enthusiastic admiration of Racine. A droll incident happened
during our dialogue. My gentleman wanted to let down a little
sash-window, and could n't manage it. 'You don't understand that,'
said I; 'let me do that.' I tried to get it down; but succeeded no
better than he. 'Monsieur,' said he, 'allow me to remark, on my
side, that you, upon my honor, understand as little of it as I!'--
'That is true; and I beg your pardon; I was too rash in accusing
you of want of expertness.'--'Were you ever in Germany?' he now
asked me. 'No; but I should like to make that journey: I am very
curious to see the Prussian States, and their King, of whom one
hears so much.' And now I began to launch out on Friedrich's
actions; but he interrupted me rapidly, with the words: 'Nothing
more of Kings, Monsieur! What have we to do with them? We will
spend the rest of our voyage on more agreeable and cheering
objects.' And now he spoke of the best of all possible worlds;
and maintained that, in our Planet Earth, there was more Evil than
Good. I maintained the contrary; and this dispute brought us to the
end of our voyage.

"On quitting me, he said, 'I hope, Monsieur, you will leave me your
name: I am very glad to have made your acquaintance; perhaps we
shall see one another again.' I replied, as was fitting, to the
compliment; and begged him to excuse me for contradicting him a
little. 'Ascribe this,' I concluded, 'to the ill-humor which
various little journeys I had to make in these days have given me.'
I then told him my name, and we parted." [Laveaux,
Histoire de Frederic (2d edition, Strasbourg, 1789,
and blown now into SIX vols. instead of four; dead all, except this
fraction), vi. 365. Seyfarth, ii. 234, is right; ib. 170, wrong,
and has led others wrong.] Parted to meet again; and live together
for about twenty years.

Of this honest Henri de Catt, whom the King liked on this
Interview, and sent for soon after, and at length got as "LECTEUR
DU ROI," we shall hear again. ["September, 1755," sent for (but De
Catt was ill and couldn't); "December, 1757" got (Rodenbeck, i.
285).] He did, from 1757 onwards, what De Prades now does with more
of noise, the old D'Arget functions; faithfully and well, for above
twenty years;--left a Note-Book (not very Boswellian) about the
King, which is latterly in the Royal Archives at Berlin; and which
might without harm, or even with advantage, be printed, but has
never yet been. A very harmless De Catt. And we are surely obliged
to him for this view of the Travelling Gentleman "with the
cinnamon-colored coat, snuffy nose and black wig," and his manner
of talking on light external subjects, while the inner man of him
has weights enough pressing on it. Age still under five-and-forty,
but looks old for his years.

"June 23d, 1755:" it is in the very days while poor Braddock is
staggering down the Alleghanies; Braddock fairly over the top;--and
the Fates waiting him, at a Fortnight's distance. Far away, on the
other side of the World. But it is notable enough how Pitt is
watching the thing; and will at length get hand laid on it, and get
the kingship over it for above four years. Whereby the JENKINS'S-
EAR QUESTION will again, this time on better terms, coalesce with
Controversies get definitely closed, as the Eternal Decrees had
seen good.

END OF BOOK 16---------------

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