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History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 1x by Thomas Carlyle

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Prepared by D.R. Thompson

Carlyle's "History of Friedrich II of Prussia"




Chapter I.


The ill-informed world, entirely unaware of what Friedrich had been
studying and ascertaining, to his bitter sorrow, for four years
past, was extremely astonished at the part he took in those French-
English troubles; extremely provoked at his breaking out again into
a Third Silesian War, greater than all the others, and kindling all
Europe in such a way. The ill-informed world rang violently, then
and long after, with a Controversy, "Was it of his beginning, or
Not of his beginning?" Controversy, which may in our day be
considered as settled by unanimous mankind; finished forever;
and can now have no interest for any creature.

Omitting that, our problem is (were it possible in brief compass),
To set forth, by what authentic traits there are,--not the
"ambitious," "audacious," voracious and highly condemnable
Friedrich of the Gazetteers,--but the thrice-intricately situated
Friedrich of Fact. What the Facts privately known to Friedrich
were, in what manner known; and how, in a more complex crisis than
had yet been, Friedrich demeaned himself: upon which latter point,
and those cognate to it, readers ought not to be ignorant, if now
fallen indifferent on so many other points of the Affair. What a
loud-roaring, loose and empty matter is this tornado of
vociferation which men call "Public Opinion"! Tragically howling
round a man; who has to stand silent the while; and scan, wisely
under pain of death, the altogether inarticulate, dumb and
inexorable matter which the gods call Fact! Friedrich did read his
terrible Sphinx-riddle; the Gazetteer tornado did pipe and blow.
King Friedrich, in contrast with his Environment at that time, will
most likely never be portrayed to modern men in his real
proportions, real aspect and attitude then and there,--which are
silently not a little heroic and even pathetic, when well seen
into;--and, for certain, he is not portrayable at present, on our
side of the Sea. But what hints and fractions of feature we
authentically have, ought to be given with exactitude, especially
with brevity, and left to the ingenuous imagination of readers.

The secret sources of the Third Silesian War, since called "Seven-
Years War," go back to 1745; nay, we may say, to the First Invasion
of Silesia in 1740. For it was in Maria Theresa's incurable sorrow
at loss of Silesia, and her inextinguishable hope to reconquer it,
that this and all Friedrich's other Wars had their origin.
Twice she had signed Peace with Friedrich, and solemnly ceded
Silesia to him: but that too, with the Imperial Lady, was by no
means a finis to the business. Not that she meant to break her
Treaties; far from her such a thought,--in the conscious form.
Though, alas, in the unconscious, again, it was always rather near!
practically, she reckoned to herself, these Treaties would come to
be broken, as Treaties do not endure forever; and then, at the good
moment, she did purpose to be ready. "Silesia back to us; Pragmatic
Sanction complete in every point! Was not that our dear Father's
will, monition of all our Fathers and their Patriotisms and
Traditionary Heroisms; and in fact, the behest of gods and men?"
Ten years ago, this notion had been cut down to apparent death, in
a disastrous manner, for the second time. But it did not die in the
least: it never thinks of dying; starts always anew, passionate to
produce itself again as action valid at last; and lives in the
Imperial Heart with a tenacity that is strange to observe.
Still stranger, in the envious Valet-Heart,--in that of Bruhl, who
had far less cause!

The Peace of Dresden, Christmas, 1745, seemed to be an act of
considerable magnanimity on Friedrich's part. It was, at the first
blush of it, "incredible" to Harrach, the Austrian Plenipotentiary;
whose embarrassed, astonished bow we remember on that occasion,
with English Villiers shedding pious tears. But what is very
remarkable withal is a thing since discovered: [INFRA, next Note
(p. 276).] That Harrach, magnanimous signature hardly yet dry, did
then straightway, by order of his Court, very privately inquire of
Bruhl, "There is Peace, you see; what they call Peace:--but our
TREATY OF WARSAW, for Partition of this magnanimous man, stands all
the same; does n't it?" To which, according to the Documents,
Bruhl, hardly escaped from the pangs of death, and still in a very
pale-yellow condition, had answered in effect, "Hah, say you so?
One's hatred is eternal;--but that man's iron heel! Wait a little;
get Russia to join in the scheme!"--and hung back; the willing
mind, but the too terrified! And in this way, like a famishing dog
in sight of a too dangerous leg of mutton, Bruhl has ever since
rather held back; would not re-engage at all, for almost two years,
even on the Czarina's engaging; and then only in a cautious,
conditional and hypothetic manner,--though with famine increasing
day by day in sight of the desired viands. His hatred is fell;
but he would fain escape with back unbroken.


Friedrich has been aware of this mystery, at least wide awake to it
and becoming ever more instructed, for almost four years.
Traitor Menzel the Saxon Kanzellist--we, who have prophetically
read what he had to confess when laid hold of, are aware, though as
yet, and on to 1757, it is a dead secret to all mortals but himself
and "three others"--has been busy for Prussia ever since "the end
of 1752." Got admittance to the Presses; sent his first Excerpt
"about the time of Easter-Fair, 1753,"--time of Voltaire's taking
wing. And has been at work ever since. Copying Despatches from the
most secret Saxon Repositories; ready always on Excellency
Mahlzahn's indicating the Piece wanted; and of late, I should
think, is busier than ever, as the Saxon Mystery, which is also an
Austrian and Russian one, gets more light thrown into it, and seems
to be fast ripening towards action of a perilous nature. The first
Excerpts furnished by Menzel, readers can judge how enigmatic they
were. These Menzel Papers, copies mainly of Petersburg or Vienna
DESPATCHES to Bruhl, with Bruhl's ANSWERS,--the principal of which
were subsequently printed in their best arrangement and liveliest
point of vision [In Friedrich's Manifestoes, chiefly in MEMOIRE
from the MENZEL ORIGINALS, so soon as these were got hold of:
Berlin, Autumn, 1756). A solid and able Paper; rapidly done, by one
Count Herzberg, who rose high in after times. Reprinted, with many
other "Pieces" and "Passages," in Gesammelte Nachrichten
und Urkunden, --which is a "Collection" of such
(2 vols., 113 Nos. small 8vo, no Place, 1757, my Copy of it).]--are
by no means a luminous set of Documents to readers at this day.
Think what a study they were at Potsdam in 1753, while still in the
chaotic state; fished out, more or less at random, as Menzel could
lay hold of them, or be directed to them; the enigma clearing
itself only by intense inspection, and capability of seeing in
the dark!

It appears,--if you are curious on the anecdotic part,--

"Winterfeld was the first that got eye on this dangerous Saxon
Mystery; some Ex-Saxon, about to settle in Berlin, giving hint of
it to Winterfeld; who needed only a hint. So soon as Winterfeld
convinced himself that there was weight in the affair, he imparted
it to Friedrich: 'Scheme of partitioning, your Majesty, of picking
quarrel, then overwhelming and partitioning; most serious scheme,
Austrian-Russian as well as Saxon; going on steadily for years
past, and very lively at this time!' If true, Friedrich cannot but
admit that this is serious enough: important, thrice over, to
discover whether it is true;--and gives Winterfeld authority to
prosecute it to the bottom, in Dresden or wherever the secret may
lie. Who thereupon charged Mahlzahn, the Prussian Minister at
Dresden, to find some proper Menzel, and bestir himself.
How Mahlzahn has found his Menzel, and has bestirred himself, we
saw. Thief-keys were made to pattern in Berlin; first set did not
fit, second did; and stealthy Menzel gains admittance to that
Chamber of the Archives, can steal thither on shoes of felt when
occasion serves, and copy what you wish,--for a consideration.
Intermittently, since about Easter-Fair, 1753. Three persons are
cognizant of it, Winterfeld, Mahlzahn, Friedrich; three, and no
more. Probably the abstrusest study; and the most intense, going on
in the world at that epoch. [Rotzow, Charakteristik des
Siebenjahrigen Krieges (Berlin, 1802), i. 23.]

"At a very early stage of the Menzel Excerpts it became manifest
that certain synchronous Austrian Ditto would prove highly
elucidative; that, in fact, it would be indispensable to get hold
of these as well. Which also Winterfeld has managed to do. A deep-
headed man, who has his eyes about him; and is very apt to manage
what he undertakes. One Weingarten Junior, a Secretary in the
Austrian Embassy at Berlin (Excellency Peubla's second Secretary),
has his acquaintanceships in Berlin Society; and for one thing, as
Winterfeld discovers, is 'madly in love' with some Chambermaid or
quasi-chambermaid (let us call her Chambermaid), 'Daughter of the
Castellan at Charlottenburg.' Winterfeld, through the due channels,
applied to this Chambermaid, 'Get me a small secret Copy of such
and such Despatches, out of your Weingarten; it will be well for
you and him; otherwise perhaps not well!' Chambermaid, hope urging,
or perhaps hope and fear, did her best; Weingarten had to yield the
required product and products, as required. By this Weingarten,
from some date not long after Menzel's first mysterious Dresden
Excerpts, the necessary Austrian glosses, so far as possible to
Weingarten on the indications given him, have been regularly had,
for the two or three years past.

"Weingarten first came to be seriously suspected June, 1756
(Weingarten Junior, let us still say, for there was a Senior of
unstained fidelity); 'June 15th,' Excellency Peubla pointedly
demands him from Friedrich and the Berlin Police:
'Weingarten Junior, my SECOND Secretar, fugitive and traitor;
hidden somewhere!' ["BERLIN, 22d JUNE: Every research making for
Mr. Weingatten,--in vain hitherto" ( Gentleman's Magazine,
xxvi., i. e. for 1756, p. 363).] Excellency Peubla is
answered, 24th June: 'We would so fain catch him, if we could!
We have tried at Stendal,--not there: tried his Mother-in-law;
knows nothing: have forborne laying up his poor Wife and Children;
and hope her Imperial Majesty will have pity on that poor creature,
who is fallen so miserable.' [ Helden-Geschichte, italic> iii. 713.] So that Excellency Peubla had nothing for it but
to compose himself; to honor the unstainable fidelity of Weingarten
Senior by a public piece of promotion, which soon ensued; and let
the Junior run. Weingarten Junior, on the first suspicion, had
vanished with due promptitude,--was not to be unearthed again.
We perceive he has married his Charlottenburg Beauty, and there are
helpless babies. It seems, he lived long years after, in the
Altmark, as a Herr von Weiss,'--his reflections manifold, but
unknown. [Retzow, i. 37.] What is much notabler, Cogniazzo, the
Austrian Veteran, heard Weingarten's MASTER, Graf von Peubla, talk
of the 'GRAND MYSTERE,' soon after, and how Friedrich had heard of
it, not from Weingarten alone, but from Gross-Furst PETER, Russian
Heir-Apparent! [Cogniazzo, i. 225.]

"As to Menzel, he did not get away. Menzel, as we saw, lasted in
free activity till 1757; and was then put under lock and key.
Was not hanged; sat prisoner for twenty-seven years after;
overgrown with hair, legs and arms chained together, heavy iron bar
uniting both ankles; diet bread-and-water;--for the rest, healthy;
and died, not very miserable it is said, in 1784. Shocking
traitors, Weingarten and he."

Yes, a diabolical pair, they, sure enough:--and the thing they
betrayed against their Masters, was that a celestial thing?
Servants of the Devil do fall out; and Servants not of the Devil
are fain, sometimes, to raise a quarrel of that kind!--

The then world, as we said, was one loud uproar of logic on the
right reading and the wrong of those Sibylline Documents: "Did your
King of Prussia interpret them aright, or even try it? Did not he
use them as a cloak for highway robbery, and swallowing of a
peaceable Saxony, bad man that he surely is?" For Friedrich's
demeanor, this time again, when it came to the acting point, was of
eminent rapidity; almost a swifter lion-spring than ever; and it
brought on him, in the aerial or vocal way, its usual result:
huge clamor of rage and logic from uninformed mankind.
Clamorous rage and logic, which has now sunk irresuscitably dead;--
nothing of it much worth mentioning to modern readers, scarcely
even its HIC JACET (in Footnotes, for the benefit of the
curious!),--and it is, at last, a thing not doubtful to anybody
that Friedrich, in that matter did read aright. So that now the
loud uproar is reduced to one small question with us, What did he
read in those Menzel Documents? What Fact lying in them was it that
Friedrich had to read? Here, smelted down by repeated roastings, is
succinct answer;--for the ultimate fragment of incombustible here
as elsewhere, will go into a nutshell, once the continents of
Diplomatist-Gazetteer logic and disorderly stable-litter,
threatening to heap themselves over the very stars, have been
faithfully burnt away.

Readers heard of a "Union of Warsaw," early in 1745, concluded by
the Sea-Powers and the Saxon-Polish and Hungarian Majesties:
very harmless UNION of Warsaw, public to all the world,--but with a
certain thrice-secret "TREATY of Warsaw" (between Polish and
Hungarian Majesty themselves two, the Sea-Powers being horror-
struck by mention of it) which had followed thereupon, in an eager
and wonderful manner. Thrice-secret Treaty, for Partitioning
Friedrich, and settling the respective shares of his skin.
Treaty which, to denote its origin, we called of Warsaw; though it
was not finished there (shares of skin so difficult to settle), and
"Treaty of LEIPZIG, 18th May, 1745," is its ALIAS in Books:--of
which Treaty, as the Sea-Powers had recoiled horror-struck, there
was no whisper farther, to them or to the rest of exoteric
mankind;--though it has been one of the busiest Entities ever
since. From the Menzel Documents, I know not after what circuitous
gropings and searchings, Friedrich first got notice of that Treaty:
[Now printed in OEuvres de Frederic, iv.
40-42.] figure his look on discovering it!

We said it was the remarkablest bit of sheepskin in its Century.
Readers have heard too, That it was proposed to Bruhl, by a
grateful Austria, directly on signing the Peace of Dresden:
"Our Partition-Treaty stands all the same, does it not?"--and in
what humor Bruhl answered: "Hah? Get Russia to join!" Both these
facts, That there is a Treaty of Warsaw and that this is the
Austrian-Saxon temper and intention towards him and it, Friedrich
learned from the Menzel Documents. And if the reader will possess
himself of these two facts, and understand that they are of a
germinative, most vital quality, indestructible by the times and
the chances; and have been growing and developing themselves, day
and night ever since, in a truly wonderful manner,--the reader
knows in substance what Menzel had to reveal.

Russia was got to join;--there are methods of operating on Russia,
and kindling a poor fat Czarina into strange suspicions and
indignations. In May, 1746, within six months of the Peace of
Dresden, a Treaty of Petersburg, new version of the Warsaw one, was
brought to parchment; Czarina and Empress-Queen signing,--Bruhl
dying to sign, but not daring. How Russia has been got to join, and
more and more vigorously bear a hand; how Bruhl's rabidities of
appetite, and terrors of heart, have continued ever since;
how Austria and Russia,--Bruhl aiding with hysterical alacrity,
haunted by terror (and at last mercifully EXCUSED from signing),--
have, year after year, especially in this last year, 1755, brought
the matter nearer and nearer perfection; and the Two Imperial
Majesties, with Bruhl to rear, wait only till they are fully ready,
and the world gives opportunity, to pick a quarrel with Friedrich,
and overwhelm and partition him, according to covenant:
This, wandering through endless mazes of detail, is in sum what the
Menzel Documents disclose to Friedrich and us. How, in a space of
ten years, the small seed-grain of a Treaty of Warsaw, or Treaty of
Petersburg, planted and nourished in that manner, in the Satan's
Invisible World, has grown into a mighty Tree there,--prophetic of
Facts near at hand; which were extremely sanguinary to the Human
Race for the next Seven Years.

This is the sum-total: but for Friedrich's sake, and to illustrate
the situation, let us take a few glances more, into the then
Satan's Invisible World, which had become so ominously busy round
Friedrich and others. The Czarina, we say, was got to engage;
22d May, 1746, there came a Treaty of Petersburg duly valid, which
is that of Warsaw under a new name: and still Bruhl durst not, for
above a year coming,--not till August 15th, 1747; [MEMOIRE RAISONNE
(in Gesammelte Nachrichten ), i. 459.] and
then, only in a hypothetic half-and-half way, with fear and
trembling, though with hunger unspeakable, in sight of the viands.
A very wretched Bruhl, as seen in these Menzel Documents. On poor
Polish Majesty Bruhl has played the sorcerer, this long while, and
ridden him as he would an enchanted quadruped, in a shameful
manner: but how, in turn (as we study Menzel), is Bruhl himself
hagridden, hunted by his own devils, and leads such a ghastly
phantasmal existence yonder, in the Valley of the Shadow of
CLOTHES,--mere Clothes, metaphorical and literal! ["MONTREZ-MOI DES
VERTUS, PAS DES CULOTTES (Have you no virtues then to show me;
nothing but pain of breeches)!" exclaimed an impatient French
Traveller, led about in Bruhl's Palace one day: Archenholtz,
Geschichte des Siebenjahrigen Krieges,
i. 63.] Wretched Bruhl, agitated with hatreds of a rather infernal
nature, and with terrors of a not celestial, comes out on our
sympathies, as a dog almost pitiable,--were that possible, with
twelve tailors sewing for him, and a Saxony getting shoved over the
precipices by him.

A famishing dog in the most singular situation. What he dare do, he
does, and with such a will. But there is almost only one thing safe
to him: that of egging on the Czarina against Friedrich; of coining
lies to kindle Czarish Majesty; of wafting on every wind rumors to
that end, and continually besieging with them the empty Czarish
mind. Bruhl has many Conduits, "the Sieur de Funck," "the Sieur
Gross" plenty of Legationary Sieurs and Conduits;--which issue from
all quarters on Petersburg, and which find there a Reservoir, and
due Russian SERVICE-PIPES, prepared for them;--and Bruhl is busy.
"Commerce of Dantzig to be ruined," suggests he, "that is plain:
look at his Asiatic Companies, his Port of Embden. Poland is to be
stirred up;--has not your Czarish Majesty heard of his intrigues
there? Courland, which is almost become your Majesty's--cunningly
snatched by your Majesty's address, like a valuable moribund whale
adrift among the shallows,--this bad man will have it out to sea
again, with the harpoons in it; fairly afloat amid the Polish
Anarchies again!" These are but specimens of Bruhl. Or we can give
such in Bruhl's own words, if the reader had rather. Here are Two,
which have the advantage of brevity:--

1. ... The Sieur de Funck, Saxon Minister at Petersburg, wrote to
Count Bruhl, 9th July, 1755 (says an inexorable Record),
"That the Sieur Gross [now Minister of Russia at Dresden, who
vanished out of Berlin like an angry sky-rocket some years ago]
would do a good service to the Common Cause, if he wrote to his
Court, 'That the King of Prussia had found a channel in Courland,
by which he learned all the secrets of the Russian Court;'"
and Sieur Funck added, "that it was expected good use could be made
of such a story with her Czarish Majesty."--To which Count Bruhl
replies, 23d July, "That he has instructed the Sieur Gross, who
will not fail to act in consequence."

2. Sieur Prasse, same Funck's Secretary of Legation, at Petersburg,
writes to Count Bruhl, 12th April, 1756:--
"I am bidden signify to your Excellency that it is greatly
wished, in order to favor certain views, you would have the
goodness to cause arrive in Petersburg, by different channels, the
following intelligence: 'That the King of Prussia, on pretext of
Commerce, is sending officers and engineers into the Ukraine, to
reconnoitre the Country and excite a rebellion there.' And this
advice, be pleased to observe, is not to come direct from the Saxon
Court, nor by the Envoy Gross, but by some third party,--to the end
there may be no concert noticed;--as they [L'ON, the "service-
pipes," and managing Excellencies, Russian and Austrian] have given
the same commission to other Ministers, so that the news shall come
from more places than one.

"They [the said managing Excellencies] have also required me to
write to the Baron de Sack," our Saxon Minister in Sweden, "upon
it, which I will not fail to do; and they assured me that our
Court's advantage was not less concerned in it than that of their
own; adding these words [comfortable to one's soul], 'The King of
Prussia [in 1745] gave Saxony a blow which it will feel for fifty
years; but we will give him one which he will feel for a hundred.'"

To which beautiful suggestion Excellency Bruhl answers, 2d June,
1756: "As to the Secret Commission of conveying to Petersburg, by
concealed channels, Intelligence of Prussian machinations in the
Ukraine, we are still busy finding out a right channel; and they
[L'ON, the managing Excellencies] shall very soon, one way or the
other, see the effect of my personal inclination to second what is
so good an intention, though a little artful (UN PEU ARTIFICIEUSE,"
--UN PEU, nothing to speak of)! [MEMOIRE RAISONNE (in
Gesammelte Nachrichten ), i. 424-425; and ib. 472.]

Fancy a poor fat Czarina, of many appetites, of little judgment,
continually beaten upon in this manner by these Saxon-Austrian
artists and their Russian service-pipes. Bombarded with cunningly
devised fabrications, every wind freighted for her with phantasmal
rumors, no ray of direct daylight visiting the poor Sovereign
Woman; who is lazy, not malignant if she could avoid it: mainly a
mass of esurient oil, with alkali on the back of alkali poured in,
at this rate, for ten years past; till, by pouring and by stirring,
they get her to the state of SOAP and froth! Is it so wonderful
that she does, by degrees, rise into eminent suspicion, anger,
fear, violence and vehemence against her bad neighbor? One at last
begins to conceive those insane whirls, continual mad suspicions,
mad procedures, which have given Friedrich such vexation, surprise
and provocation in the years past.

Friedrich is always specially eager to avoid ill-will from Russia;
but it has come, in spite of all he could do and try. And these
procedures of the Czarish Majesty have been so capricious,
unintelligible, perverse, and his feeling is often enough
irritation, temporary indignation,--which we know makes Verses
withal! I can nowhere learn from those Prussian imbroglios of
Books, what the Friedrich Sayings or Satirical Verses properly
were: Retzow speaks of a PRODUKT, one at least, known in interior
Circles. [Retzow, i. 34.] PRODUKT which decidedly requires
publication, beyond anything Friedrich ever wrote;--though one can
do without it too, and invoke Fancy in defect of Print.
The sharpness of Friedrich's tongue we know; and the diligence of
birds of the air. To all her other griefs against the bad man, this
has given the finish in the tender Czarish bosom;--and like an
envenomed drop has set the saponaceous oils (already dosed with
alkali, and well in solution) foaming deliriously over the brim, in
never-imagined deluges of a hatred that is unappeasable;--very
costly to Friedrich and mankind. Rising ever higher, year by year;
and now risen, to what height judge by the following:--

AT PETERSBURG, 14th-15th MAY, 1753, "There was Meeting of the
Russian Senate, with deliberation held for these two days; and for
issue this conclusion come to:--

"That it should be, and hereby is, settled as a fundamental maxim
of the Russia Empire, Not only to oppose any farther aggrandizement
of the King of Prussia, but to seize the first convenient
opportunity for overwhelming (ECRASER), by superior force, the
House of Brandenburg [Hear, hear!], and reducing it to its former
state of mediocrity." [MEMOIRE RAISONNE (in Gesammelte
Nachrichten ), i. 421.] Leg of mutton to be actually
gone into. With what an enthusiasm of "Hear, hear!" from Bruhl and
kindred parties; especially from Bruhl,--who, however, dare not yet
bite, except hypothetically, such his terrors and tremors. Or, look
again (same Senate,

AT PETERSBURG, OCTOBER, 1755): "To which Fundamental Maxim,
articulately fixed ever since those Maydays of 1753, the august
Russian Sanhedrim, deliberating farther in October, 1755, adds this
remarkable extension,

"That it is our resolution to attack the King of Prussia without
farther discussion, whensoever the said King shall attack any Ally
of Russia's, or shall himself be attacked by any of them."
Hailed by Bruhl, as natural, with his liveliest approval.
"A glorious Deliberation, that, indeed!" writes he: "It clears the
way of action for Russia's Allies in this matter; and for us too;
though nobody can blame us, if we proceed with the extremest
caution,"--and rather wait till the Bear is nearly killed.
[MEMOIRE RAISONNE (in Gesammelte Nachrichten italic>), i. 422.]

Many marvels Friedrich had deciphered out of this Weingarten-Menzel
Apocalypse of Satan's Invisible World; and one often fancies
Friedrich's tone of mind, in his intense inspecting of that fateful
continent of darkness, and his labyrinthic stepping by degrees to
the oracular points, which have a light in them when flung open.
But in respect of practical interest, this of October, 1755 (which
would get to Potsdam probably in few weeks after) must have
surpassed all the others. Marvels many, one after the other:
[For example, or in recapitulation: a Treaty of Warsaw or Leipzig,
to partition him (18th May, 1745); Treaty of Petersburg (22d May,
1746, new form of Warsaw Treaty, with Czarina superadded);
tremulous Quasi-Accession thereto of his Polish Majesty (most
tremulous, hypothetic Quasi-Accession, "Yes-AND-No," 15th August,
1747, and often afterwards); first Deliberation of the Russian
Senate, 15th May, 1753; &c. &c. For example, or in recapitulation:
a Treaty of Warsaw or Leipzig, to partition him (18th May, 1745);
Treaty of Petersburg (22d May, 1746, new form of Warsaw Treaty,
with Czarina superadded); tremulous Quasi-Accession thereto of his
Polish Majesty (most tremulous, hypothetic Quasi-Accession,
"Yes-AND-No," 15th August, 1747, and often afterwards); first
Deliberation of the Russian Senate, 15th May, 1753; &c. &c.] no
doubt left, long since, of the constant disposition, preparation
and fixed intention to partition him. But here, in this last
indication by the Russian Senate,--which kindles into dismal
evidence so many other enigmatic tokens,--there has an ulterior
oracular point disclosed itself to Friedrich; in vaguer condition,
but not less indubitable, and much more perilous: namely, That now,
at last (end of 1755), the Two Imperial Majesties, very eager both,
consider that the time is come. And are--as Friedrich looks abroad
on the Austrian-Russian marchings of troops, campings, and unusual
military symptoms and combinations--visibly preparing to that end.

"They have agreed to attack me next Year (1756), if they can; and
next again (1757), without IF:" so Friedrich, putting written word
and public occurrence together, gradually reads; and so, all
readers will see, the fact was,--though Imperial Majesty at
Schonbrunn, as we shall find, strove to deny it when applied to;
and scouted, as mere fiction and imagination, the notion of such an
"Agreement." Which I infer, therefore, NOT to have existed in
parchment; not in parchment, but only in reality, and as a mutual
Bond registered in--shall we say "in Heaven", as some are wont?--
registered, perhaps, in TWO Places, very separate indeed! No truer
"Agreement" ever did exist;--though a devout Imperial Majesty
denies it, who would shudder at the lie direct.

Poor Imperial Majesty: who can tell her troubles and straits in
this abstruse time! Heaven itself ordering her to get back the
Silesia of her Fathers, if she could;--yet Heaven always looking
dubious, surely, upon this method of doing it. By solemn Public
Treaties signed in sight of all mankind; and contrariwise, in the
very same moments, by Secret Treaties, of a fell nature, concocted
underground, to destroy the life of these! Imperial Majesty
flatters herself it may be fair: "Treaty of Dresden, Treaty of
Aix-la-Chapelle; Treaties wrung from me by force, the tyrannic
Sea-Powers screwing us; Kaunitz can tell! A consummate Kaunitz;
who has provided remedies. Treaties do get broken. Besides, I will
not go to War, unless HE the Bad One of Prussia do!"--Alas, your
noble Majesty, plain it at least is, your love of Silesia is very
strong. And consummate Kaunitz and it have led you into strange
predicaments. The Pompadour, for instance: who was it that
answered, "JE NE LA CONNAIS PAS; I don't know her, I"? How gladly
would the Imperial Maria Theresa, soul of Propriety, have made that
answer! But she did not; she had to answer differently. For Kaunitz
was imperative: "A kind little Note to the Pompadour; one, and then
another and another; it is indispensable, your Imperial Majesty!"
And Imperial Majesty always had to do it. And there exist in
writing, at this hour, various flattering little Notes from
Imperial Majesty to that Address; which begin, "MA COUSINE,"
"PRINCESSE ET COUSINE," say many witnesses; nay "MADAME MA TRES
CHERE SOEUR," says one good witness: [Hormayr (cited in Preuss, i.
433 n.,--as are Duclos; Montgaillard; MEMOIRES DE RICHELIEU;
&c.]--Notes which ought to have been printed, before this, or given
at least to the Museums. "My Cousin," "Princess and Cousin,"
"Madame my dearest Sister:" Oh, high Imperial Soul, with what
strange bed-fellows does Misery of various kinds bring
us acquainted!

Friedrich was blamably imprudent in regard to Pompadour, thinks
Valori: "A little complaisance might have"--what might it not have
done!--"But his Prussian Majesty would not. And while the Ministers
of all the other Powers" allied with France "went assiduously to
pay their court to Madame, the Baron von Knyphausen alone, by his
Master's order, never once went ["Don't! JE NE LA CONNAIS PAS"],--
while the Empress-Queen was writing her the most flattering
letters. The Prince of Prussia, King's eldest Brother, wished
ardently to obtain her Portrait, and had applied to me for it;
as had Prince Henri to my Predecessor. The King, who has such
gallant and seductive ways when he likes, could certainly have
reconciled this celebrated Lady",--a highly important Improper
Female to him and others. [Valori, i. 320.]

Yes; but he quite declined, not counting the costs. Costs may be
immediate; profits are remote,--remote, but sure. Costs did indeed
prove considerable, perhaps far beyond his expectation; though, I
flatter myself, they never awoke much remorse in him, on
that score!--

Friedrich's Enigma, towards the end of 1755 and onwards, is
becoming frightfully stringent; and the solution, "What practically
will be the wise course for me?" does not lessen in abstruse
intricacy, but the reverse, as it grows more pressing. A very
stormy and dubious Future, truly! Two circumstances in it will be
highly determinative: one of them evident to Friedrich; the other
unknown to him, and to all mortals, except two or three. FIRST,

That there will be an English-French War straightway; and that, as
usual, the French, weaker at sea, will probably attack Hanover;--
that is to say, bring the War home to one's own door, and ripen
into fulfilment those Austrian-Russian Plots. This is the evident
circumstance, fast coming on; visible to Friedrich and to
everybody. But that, in such event, Austria will join, not with
England, but with France: this is a SECOND circumstance, guessable
by nobody; known only to Kaunitz and a select one or two; but which
also will greatly complicate Friedrich's position, and render his
Enigma indeed astonishingly intricate, as well as stringent for

Chapter II.


Britannic Majesty, I know not at what date, but before the
launching of that poor Braddock thunder-bolt, much more after the
tragic explosion it made, had felt that French War was nearly
inevitable, and also that the French method would be, as
heretofore, to attack Hanover, and wound him in that tender part.
There goes on, accordingly, a lively Foreign Diplomatizing, on his
Majesty's part, at present,--in defect, almost total, of Domestic
Preparation, military and other;--Majesty and Ministers expecting
salvation from abroad, as usual. Military preparation does lag at a
shameful rate: but, on the other hand, there is a great deal of
pondering, really industrious considering and contriving, about
Foreign Allies, and their subsidies and engagements. That step, for
example, the questionable Seizure of the French Ships WITHOUT
Declaration of War, was a contrivance by diplomatic Heads (of bad
quality): "Seize their ships," said some bad Head, after
meditating; "put their ships in SEQUESTRATION, till they do us
justice. If they won't, and go to War,--then THEY are the
Aggressors, not we; and our Allies have to send their auxiliary
quotas, as per contract!" So the Ships were seized; held in
sequestration, "till many of the cargoes (being perishable goods,
some even fish) rotted." [Smollett's History of England;
&c. &c.] And in return, as will be seen, not one
auxiliary came to hand: so that the diplomatic Head had his rotted
cargoes, and much public obloquy, for his pains. Not a fortunate
stroke of business, that!--

Britannic Majesty, on applying at Vienna (through Keith, Sir or Mr.
Robert Keith, the FIRST Excellency of that name, for there are two,
a father and a son, both Vienna Excellencies), was astonished to
learn That, in such event of an Aggression, even on Hanover, there
was no co-operation to be looked for here. Altogether cold on that
subject, her Imperial Majesty seems; regardless of Excellency
Keith's remonstrances and urgencies; and, in the end, is flatly
negatory: "Cannot do it, your Excellency; times so perilous, bad
King of Prussia so minatory,"--not to mention, SOTTO VOCE that we
have turned on our axis, and the wind (thanks to Kaunitz) no longer
hits us on the same cheek as formerly!

"Cannot? Will not?" Britannic Majesty may well stare, wide-eyed;
remembering such gigantic Subsidizings and Alcides Labors,
Dettingens, Fontenoys, on the per-contra side. But so stands the
fact: "No help from an ungrateful Vienna;--quick, then, seek
elsewhere!" And Hanbury and the Continental British Excellencies
have to bestir themselves as they never did. Especially Hanbury;
who is directed upon Russia,--whom alone of these Excellencies it
is worth while to follow for a moment. Russia, on fair subsidy,
yielded us a 35,000 last War (willingly granted, most useful,
though we had no fighting out of them, mere terror of them being
enough): beyond all things, let Hanbury do his best in Russia!

Hanbury, cheerfully confident, provides himself with the
requisites, store of bribe-money as the chief;--at Warsaw withal,
he picks up one Poniatowski (airy sentimental coxcomb, rather of
dissolute habits, handsomest and windiest of young Polacks):
"Good for a Lover to the Grand-Duchess, this one!" thinks Hanbury.
Which proved true, and had its uses for Hanbury;--Grand-Duchess and
Grand-Duke (Catherine and Peter, whom we saw wedded twelve years
ago, Heirs-Apparent of this Russian Chaos) being an abstrusely
situated pair of Spouses; well capable of something political, in
private ways, in such a scene of affairs; and Catherine, who is an
extremely clever creature, being out of a lover just now. A fine
scene for the Diplomatist, this Russia at present. Nowhere in the
world can you do so much with bribery; quite a standing item, and
financial necessary-of-life to Officials of the highest rank there,
as Hanbury well knows. [His Letters (in Raumer), PASSIM.] That of
Poniatowski proved, otherwise too, a notable stroke of Hanbury's;
and shot the poor Polish Coxcomb aloft into tragic altitudes, on
the sudden, as we all know!

Hanbury's immense dexterities, and incessant labors at Petersburg,
shall lie hidden in the slop-pails: it is enough to say, his
guineas, his dexterities and auxiliary Poniatowskis did prevail;
and he triumphantly signed his Treaty (Petersburg, 30th September)
"Subsidy-Treaty for 55,000 men, 15,000 of them cavalry," not to
speak of "40 to 50 galleys" and the like; "to attack whomsoever
Britannic Majesty bids: annual cost a mere 500,OOO pounds while on
service; 100,000 pounds while waiting." [In Adelung, italic> vii. 609.] And, what is more, and what our readers are to
mark, the 55,000 begin on the instant to assemble,--along the
Livonian Frontier or Lithuanian, looking direct into Preussen.
Diligently rendezvousing there; 55,000 of them, nay gradually
70,000; no stinginess in the Czarina to her Ally of England. A most
triumphant thing, thinks Hanbury: Could another of you have done
it? Signed, ready for ratifying, 30th September, 1755 (bad Braddock
news not hindering);--and before it is ratified (this also let
readers mark), the actual Troops getting on march.

Hanbury's masterpiece, surely; a glorious triumph in the
circumstances, and a difficult, thinks Hanbury. Had Hanbury seen
the inside of the cards, as readers have, he would not have thought
it so triumphant. For years past,--especially since that
"Fundamental maxim, May 14th-15th, 1753," which we heard of,--the
Czarina's longings had been fixed. And here now--scattering money
from both hands of it, and wooing us with diplomatic finessings--is
the Fulfilment come! "Opportunity" upon Preussen; behold it here.

The Russian Senate again holds deliberation; declares (on the heel
of this Hanbury Treaty), "in October, 1755," what we read above,
That its Anti-Prussian intentions are--truculent indeed. And it is
the common talk in Petersburg society, through Winter, what a dose
the ambitious King of Prussia has got brewed for him, [MEMOIRE
RAISONNE (in Gesammelte Nachrichten ), i. 429,
&c.] out of Russian indignation and resources, miraculously set
afloat by English guineas. A triumphant Hanbury, for the time
being,--though a tragical enough by and by!


King Friedrich's outlooks, on this consummation, may well seem to
him critical. The sore longing of an infuriated Czarina is now let
loose, and in a condition to fulfil itself! To Friedrich these
Petersburg news are no secret; nor to him are the Petersburg
private intentions a thing that can be doubted. Apart from the
Menzel-Weingarten revelations, as we noticed once, it appears the
Grand-Duke Peter (a great admirer of Friedrich, poor confused soul)
had himself thrice-secretly warned Friedrich, That the mysterious
Combination, Russia in the van, would attack him next Spring;--"not
Weingarten that betrayed our GRAND MYSTERE; from first hand, that
was done!" said Excellency Peubla, on quitting Berlin not long
after. [Cogniazzo, Gestandnisse eines OEsterreichischen
Veterans (as cited above), i. 225. "September 16th,
1756," Peubla left Berlin (Rodenbeck, i. 298),--three months after
Weingarten's disappearance.] The Grand Mystery is not uncertain to
Friedrich; and it may well be very formidable,--coupled with those
Braddock explosions, Seizures of French ships, and English-French
War imminent, and likely to become a general European one;
which are the closing prospects of 1755. The French King he reckons
not to be well disposed to him; their old Treaty of "twelve years"
(since 1744) is just about running out. Not friendly, the French
King, owing to little rubs that have been; still less the
Pompadour;--though who could guess how implacable she was at "not
being known (NE LA CONNAIS PAS)"! At Vienna, he is well aware, the
humor towards him is mere cannibalism in refined forms. But most
perilous of all, most immediately perilous, is the implacable
Czarina, set afloat upon English guineas!

With a hope, as is credibly surmised, that the English might soothe
or muzzle this implacable Czarina, Friedrich, directly after
Hanbury's feat in Petersburg, applied at London, with an Offer
which was very tempting there: "Suppose your Britannic Majesty
would make, with me, an express 'NEUTRALITY CONVENTION;' mutual
Covenant to keep the German Reich entirely free of this War now
threatening to break out? To attack jointly, and sweep home again
with vigor, any and every Armed Non-German setting foot on the
German soil!" An offer most welcome to the Heads of Opposition, the
Pitts and others of that Country; who wish dear Hanover safe enough
(safe in Davy-Jones's locker, if that would do); but are tired of
subsidizing, and fighting and tumulting, all the world over, for
that high end. So that Friedrich's Proposal is grasped at;
and after a little manipulation, the thing is actually concluded.

By no means much manipulation, both parties being willing.
There was uncommonly rapid surgery of any little difficulties and
discrepancies; rapid closure, instant salutary stitching together
of that long unhealable Privateer Controversy, as the main item:
"20,000 pounds allowed to Prussia for Prussian damages; and to
England, from the other side, the remainder of Silesiau Debt,
painfully outstanding for two or three years back, is to be paid
off at once;"--and in this way such "NEUTRALITY CONVENTION OF
PRUSSIA WITH ENGLAND" comes forth as a Practical Fact upon mankind.
Done at Westminster, 16th January, 1756. The stepping-stone, as it
proved, to a closer Treaty of the same date next Year; of which we
shall hear a great deal. The stepping-stone, in fact, to many large
things;--and to the ruin of our late "Russian-Subsidy Treaty"
(Hanbury's masterpiece), for one small thing. "That is a Treaty
signed, sure enough," answer they of St. James's; "and we will be
handsome about it to her Czarish Majesty; but as to RATIFYING it,
in its present form,--of course, never!"

What a clap of thunder to Excellency Hanbury; his masterpiece found
suddenly a superfluity, an incommodity! The Orthodox English course
now is, "No foreign soldiers at all to be allowed in Germany;"
and there are the 55,000 tramping on with such alacrity. "We cannot
ratify that Treaty, Excellency Hanbury," writes the Majesty's
Ministry, in a tone not of gratitude: "you must turn it some other
way!" A terrible blow to Hanbury, who had been expecting gratitude
without end. And now, try how he might, there was no turning it
another way; this, privately, and this only, being the Czarina's
own way. A Czarina obstinate to a degree; would not consent, even
when they made her the liberal offer, "Keep your 55,000 at home;
don't attack the King of Prussia with them; you shall have your
Subsidy all the same!" "No, I won't!" answered she,--to Hanbury's
amazement. Hanbury had not read the Weingarten-Menzel Documents;--
what double double of toil and trouble might Hanbury have saved
himself and others, could he have read them!

Hanbury could not, still less could the Majesty's Ministry, surmise
the Czarina's secret at all, now or for a good while coming. And in
fact, poor Hanbury, busy as a Diplomatic bee, never did more good
in Russia, or out of it. By direction of the Majesty's Ministry,
Hanbury still tried industriously, cash in both hands; tried
various things: "Assuage the Czarina's mind; reconcile her to King
Friedrich;"--all in vain. "Unite Austria, Russia and England, can't
you, then?--in a Treaty against the Designs of France:" how very
vain! Then, at a later stage, "Get us the Czarina to mediate
between Prussia and Austria" (so very possible to sleek them down
into peace, thought Majesty's Ministry):--and unwearied Hanbury,
cunning eloquence on his lips, and money in both hands, tries
again, and ever again, for many months. And in the way of making
ropes from sand, it must be owned there never was such twisting and
untwisting, as that appointed Hanbury. Who in fact broke his heart
by it;--and died mad, by his own hand, before long. [Hanbury's
"Life" (in Works, vol. iii.) gives sad
account.] Poor soul, after all!--Here are some Russian Notices from
him (and he has many curious, not pertinent here), which are still
worth gleaning.

PETERSBURG, 2d OCTOBER, 1755. ... "The health of the Empress
[Czarina Elizabeth, CATIN DU NORD, age now forty-five] is bad.
She is affected with spitting of blood, shortness of breath,
constant coughing, swelled legs and water on the chest; yet she
danced a minuet with me," lucky Hanbury. "There is great
fermentation at Court. Peter [Grand-Duke Peter] does not conceal
his enmity to the Schuwalofs [paramours of CATIN, old and new];
Catherine [Grand-Duchess, who at length has an Heir, unbeautiful
Czar Paul that will be, and "miscarriages" not a few] is on good
terms with Bestuchef" (corruptiblest brute of a Chancellor ever
known, friend to England by England's giving him 10,000 pounds, and
the like trifles, pretty frequently; Friedrich's enemy, chiefly
from defect of that operation)--she is "on good terms with
Bestuchef. I think it my duty to inform the King [great George, who
will draw his prognostics from it] of my observations upon her;
which I can the better do, as I often have conversations with her
for hours together, as at supper my rank places me always next to
her," twice-lucky Hanbury.

"Since her coming to this Country, she has, by every method in her
power, endeavored to gain the affections of the Nation: she applied
herself with diligence to study their language; and speaks it at
present, as the Russians tell me, in the greatest perfection.
She has also succeeded in her other aim; for she is esteemed and
beloved here in a high degree. Her person is very advantageous, and
her manners very captivating. She has great knowledge of this
Empire; and makes it her only study. She has parts; and Great-
Chancellor [brute Bestuchef] tells me that nobody has more
steadiness and resolution. She has, of late, openly declared
herself to me in respect of the King of Prussia;"--hates him a good
deal, "natural and formidable enemy of Russia;" "heart certainly
the worst in the world [and so on; but will see better by and by,
having eyes of her own]:--she never mentions the King of England
but with the utmost respect and highest regard; is thoroughly
sensible of the utility of the union between England and Russia;
always calls his Majesty the Empress's best and greatest Ally
[so much of nourishment in him withal, as in a certain web-footed
Chief of Birds, reckoned chief by some]; and hopes he will also
give his friendship and protection to the Grand-Duke and herself.--
As for the Grand-Duke, he is weak and violent; but his confidence
in the Grand-Duchess is so great, that sometimes he tells people,
that though he does not understand things himself, his Wife
understands everything. Should the Empress, as I fear, soon die,
the Government will quietly devolve on them." [Hanbury's Despatch,
"October 2d, 1755" (Raumer, pp. 223-225); Subsidy Treaty still at
its floweriest.]

Catherine's age is twenty-six gone; her Peter's twenty-seven:
one of the cleverest young Ladies in the world, and of the
stoutest-hearted, clearest-eyed;--yoked to a young Gentleman much
the reverse. Thank Hanbury for this glimpse of them, most
intricately situated Pair; who may concern us a little in the
sequel.--And, in justice to poor Hanover, the sad subject-matter of
Excellency Hanbury's Problems and Futilities in Russia and
elsewhere, let us save this other Fraction by a very different
hand; and close that Hanbury scene:--

"Friedrich himself was so dangerous," says the Constitutional
Historian once: "Friedrich, in alliance with France, how easy for
him to catch Hanover by the throat at a week's notice, throw a
death-noose round the throat of poor Hanover, and hand the same to
France for tightening at discretion! Poor Hanover indeed; she reaps
little profit from her English honors: what has she had to do with
these Transatlantic Colonies of England? An unfortunate Country, if
the English would but think; liable to be strangled at any time,
for England's quarrels: the Achilles'-heel to invulnerable England;
a sad function for Hanover, if it be a proud one, and amazingly
lucrative to some Hanoverians. The Country is very dear to his
Britannic Majesty in one sense, very dear to Britain in another!
Nay Germany itself, through Hanover, is to be torn up by War for
Transatlantic interests,--out of which she does not even get good
Virginia tobacco, but grows bad of her own. No more concern than
the Ring of Saturn with these over-sea quarrels; and can, through
Hanover, be torn to pieces by War about them. Such honor to give a
King to the British Nation, in a strait for one; and such profit
coming of it:--we hope all sides are grateful for the
blessings received!"


To expectant mankind, especially to Vienna and Versailles, this
Britannic-Prussian Treaty was a great surprise. And indeed it
proved the signal of a general System of New Treaties all round.
The first signal, in fact,--though by no means the first cause,--of
a total circumgyration, summerset, or tumble heels-over-head in the
Political relations of Europe altogether, which ensued thereupon;
miraculous, almost as the Earthquake at Lisbon, to the Gazetteer,
and Diplomatic mind, and incomprehensible for long years after.
First signal we say, by no means that it was the first cause, or
indeed that it was a cause at all,--the thing being determined
elsewhere long before; ever since 1753, when Kaunitz left it ready,
waiting only its time.

Kaiser Franz, they say, when (probably during those Keith
urgencies) the joining with France and turning against poor
Britannic Majesty was proposed in Council at Vienna, opened his
usually silent lips; and opined with emphasis against such a
course, no Kaunitz or creature able to persuade Kaiser Franz that
good would come of it;--though, finding Sovereign Lady and
everybody against him, he held his peace again. And returned to his
private banking operations, which were more extensive than ever,
from the new troubles rising. "Lent the Empress-Queen, always on
solid securities," says Friedrich, "large sums, from time to time,
in those Wars; dealt in Commissariat stores to right and left;
we ourselves had most of our meal from him this year."
[ OEuvres de Frederic, iv. 8.] Kaiser Franz
was, and continued, of the old way of thinking; but consummate
Kaunitz, and the High Lady's fixed passion for her Schlesien, had
changed everybody else. The ulterior facts are as follows,
abbreviated to the utmost.

September 22d, 1755, a few days before Hanbury's Subsidy-feat at
Petersburg, which took such a whirl for Hanbury, there had met for
the first time at Versailles, more especially at Babiole, Pleasure-
House of the Pompadour, a most Select Committee of Three Persons:
Graf von Stahremberg, Austrian Ambassador; Pompadour herself; and a
certain infinitely elegant Count and Reverence de Bernis (beautiful
Clerico-Mundane Gentleman, without right Benefice hitherto, but
much in esteem with the Pompadour);--for deepest practical
consideration in regard to closure of a French-Austrian Alliance.
Reverend Count (subsequently Cardinal) de Bernis has sense in
Diplomacy; has his experiences in Secular Diplomatic matters; a
soft-going cautious man, not yet official, but tending that way:
whom the Pompadour has brought with her as henchman, or unghostly
counsellor, in this intricate Adventure.

Stahremberg, instructed from home, has no hesitation; nor has
Pompadour herself, remembering that insolent "JE NE LA CONNAIS
PAS," and the per-contra "MA COUSINE," "PRINCESSE ET SOEUR:"--but
Bernis, I suppose, looks into the practical difficulties; which are
probably very considerable, to the Official French eye, in the
present state of Europe and of the public mind. From September 22d,
or autumnal equinox, 1755, onward to this Britannic-Prussian
phenomenon of January, 1756, the Pompadour Conclave has been
sitting,--difficulties, no doubt, considerable. I will give only
the dates, having myself no interest in such a Committee at
Babiole; but the dates sufficiently betoken that there were
intricacies, conflicts between the new and the old. Hitherto the
axiom always was, "Prussia the Adjunct and Satellite of France:"
now to be entirely reversed, you say?

JULY, 1755, that is two months before this Babiole Committee met, a
Duc de Nivernois, respectable intelligent dilettante French
Nobleman, had been named as Ambassador to Friedrich, "Go, you
respectable wise Nivernois, Nobleman of Letters so called; try and
retain Friedrich for us, as usual!" And now, on meeting of the
Babiole Committee, Nivernois does not go; lingers, saddled and
bridled, till the very end of the Year; arrives in Berlin January
12th, 1756. Has his First Audience January 14th; a man highly
amiable to Friedrich; but with proposals,--wonderful indeed.

The French, this good while back, are in no doubt about War with
England, a right hearty War; and have always expected to retain
Prussia as formerly,--though rather on singular terms. Some time
ago, for instance, M. de Rouille, War-Minister, requested
Knyphausen, Prussian Envoy at Paris: "Suggest to your King's
Majesty what plunder there is at Hanover. Perfectly at liberty to
keep it all, if he will plunder Hanover for us!" [ OEuvres
de Frederic, iv. 29.] Pleasant message to the proud
King; who answered with the due brevity, to the purport, "Silence,
Sir!"--with didactic effects on the surprised Rouille. Who now
mends his proposal; though again in a remarkable way.
Instructs Nivernois, namely, "To offer King Friedrich the Island of
Tobago, if he will renew Treaty, and take arms for us. Island of
Tobago (a deserted, litigated, but pretty Island, were it ever
ours), will not that entice this King, intent on Commerce?"
Friedrich, who likes Nivernois and his polite ways, answers
quizzingly: "Island of Tobago? Island of Barataria your Lordship
must be meaning; Island of which I cannot be the Sancho Panza!"
[Ib. 31.] And Nivernois found he must not mention Tobago again.

For the rest, Friedrich made no secret of his English Treaty;
showed it with all frankness to Nivernois, in all points:
"Is there, can the most captious allege that there is, anything
against France in it. My one wish and aim, that of Peace for
myself: judge!" Nivernois stayed till March; but seems to have had,
of definite, only Tobago and good words; so that nothing farther
came of him, and there was no Renewal of Treaty then or after.
Thus, in his third month (March, 1756), practical Nivernois was
recalled, without result;--instead of whom fat Valori was sent;
privately intending "to do nothing but observe, in Berlin." From
all which, we infer that the Babiole Committee now saw land;
and that Bernis himself had decided in the affirmative: "Austria,
not Prussia; yes, Madame!" To the joy of Madame and everybody.
For, it is incredible, say all witnesses, what indignation broke
out in Paris when Friedrich made this new "defection," so they
termed it; revolt from his Liege Lord (who had been so exemplary to
him on former occasions!), and would not bite at Tobago when
offered. So that the Babiole Committee went on, henceforth, with
flowing sea; and by Mayday (1st MAY, 1756) brought out its French-
Austrian Treaty in a completed state. "To stand by one another,"
like Castor and Pollux, in a manner; "24,000, reciprocally, to be
ready on demand;" nay I think something of "subsidies" withal,--TO
Austria, of course. But the particulars are not worth giving;
the Performance, thanks to a zealous Pompadour, having quite outrun
the Stipulation, and left it practically out of sight, when the
push came. Our Constitutional Historian may shadow the rest:--

"France and England going to War in these sad circumstances, and
France and Austria being privately prepared [by Kaunitz and others]
to swear everlasting friendship on the occasion, instead of
everlasting enmity as heretofore; unexpected changes, miraculous to
the Gazetteers, became inevitable;--nothing less, in short, than
explosion or topsy-turvying of the old Diplomatic-Political Scheme
of Europe. Old dance of the Constellations flung heels-over-head on
the sudden; and much pirouetting, jigging, setting, before they
could change partners, and continue their august dance again,
whether in War or Peace. No end to the industrious wonder of the
Gazetteer mind, to the dark difficulties of the Diplomatic.
What bafflings, agonistic shufflings, impotent gazings into the
dark; what seductive fiddling, and being fiddled to! A most sad
function of Humanity, if sometimes an inevitable one; which ought
surely at all times to be got over as briefly as possible.
To be written of, especially, with a maximum of brevity;
human nature being justly impatient of talk about it, beyond the
strictly needful."

Most true it is, and was most miraculous, though now quite
forgotten again, Political Europe had to make a complete whirl-
round on that occasion. And not in a day, and merely saying to
itself, "Let me do summerset!" as idle readers suppose,--but with
long months of agonistic shuffle and struggle in all places, and
such Diplomatic fiddling and being fiddled to, as seldom was
before. Of which, these two instances, the Bernis and the Hanbury,
are to serve as specimen; two and no more: a universe of extinct
fiddling compressed into two nutshells, if readers have an ear.

Chapter III.


The French, in reality a good deal astonished at the Prussian-
Britannic Treaty, affected to take it easy: "Treaty for Neutrality
of Germany?" said they: "Very good indeed. Perhaps there are places
nearer us, where our troops can be employed to more advantage!"
[Their "Declaration" on it (Adelung, vii. 613.]--hinting vocally,
as henceforth their silent procedures, their diligence in the
dockyards, moving of troops coastward and the like, still more
clearly did, That an Invasion of England itself was the thing next
to be expected.

England and France are, by this time, alike fiercely determined on
War; but their states of preparation are very different. The French
have War-ships again, not to mention Armies which they always have;
some skilful Admirals withal,--La Gallisonniere, our old Canada
friend, is one, very busy at present;--and mean to try seriously
the Question of Sea-Supremacy once more. If an Invasion did chance
to land, the state of England would be found handy beyond hope!
How many fighting regiments England has, I need not inquire, nor
with what strategic virtue they would go to work;--enough to
mention the singular fact (recently true, and still, I perceive,
too like the truth), That of all their regiments, "only Three are
in this Country", or have Colonels even nominated. Incredible;
but certain. And the interesting point is, his Grace of Newcastle
dare not have Colonels, still less higher Officers nominated;
because Royal Highness of Cumberland would have the naming of them,
and they would be enemies to his Grace. [Walpole, George
the Second, ii. 19 (date, "March 25th, 1755;" and how
long after, is not said: but see Pitt's Speeches, ib., all through
1756, and farther).] In such posture stands the Envy of surrounding
Nations at this moment.

"Hire Hessians," cry they; "hire Hanoverians; if France land on us,
we are undone!"--and continue their Parliamentary Eloquences in a
most distressful manner. "Apply to the Dutch, at any rate, for
their 6,000 as per Treaty", cries everybody. Which is done. But the
Dutch piteously wring their hands: "Dare not, your Majesty;
how dare we, for France and our neglected Barrier! Oh, generous
Majesty, excuse us!"--and the generous Majesty has to do it;
and leave the Dutch in peace, this time. Hessians, Hanoverians,
after eloquence enough, are at last got sent for, to guard us
against this terrible Invasion: about 10,000 of each kind; and do
land, --the native populations very sulky on them ("We won't billet
you, not we; build huts, and be--!"), with much Parliamentary and
Newspaper Commentary going on, of a distressful nature.
"Saturday, 15th May, 1756, Hessians disembark at Southampton;
obliged to pitch Camp in the neighborhood: Friday, 21st May, the
Hanoverians, at Chatham, who hut themselves Canterbury way;"--and
have (what is the sum-total of their achievements in this Country)
a case of shoplifting, "pocket-handkerchief, across the counter, in
open day;" one case (or what seemed to be one, but was not);
["At Maidstone, 13th Septemher, 1756;" Hanoverian soldier,
purchasing a handkerchief, imagines he has purchased two (not yet
clipt asunder), haberdasher and he having no language in common:
Gentleman's Magazine, for 1756, pp. 259, 448,
&c.; Walpole, SAEPIUS.] "and the fellow not to be tried by us for
it!" which enrages the constitutional heart. Alas, my heavy-laden
constitutional heart; but what can we do? These drilled louts will
guard us, should this terrible Invasion land. And indeed, about
three weeks BEFORE these louts arrived, the terrible Invasion had
declared itself to have been altogether a feint; and had lifted
anchor, quite in the opposite direction, on an errand we shall hear
of soon!

About the same date, I observe, "the first regiment of Footguards
practising the Prussian drill-exercise in Hyde Park;" and hope his
Grace of Newcastle and the Hero of Culloden (immortal Hero, and
aiming high in Politics at this time) will, at least, have fallen
upon some method of getting Colonels nominated. But the wide-
weltering chaos of platitudes, agitated by hysterical imbecilities,
regulating England in this great crisis, fills the constitutional
mind with sorrow; and indeed is definable, once more, as amazing!
England is a stubborn Country; but it was not by procedures of the
Cumberland-Newcastle kind that England, and her Colonies, and Sea-
and-Land Kingdoms, was built together; nor by these, except miracle
intervene, that she can stand long against stress! Looking at the
dismal matter from this distance, there is visible to me in the
foggy heart of it one lucent element, and pretty much one only;
the individual named William Pitt, as I have read him: if by
miracle that royal soul could, even for a time, get to something of
Kingship there? Courage; miracles do happen, let us hope!--This is
whitherward the grand Invasion had gone:--

TOULON, 10th APRIL, 1756. La Gallisonniere, our old Canadian
friend, a crooked little man of great faculty, who has been busy in
the dockyards lately, weighs anchor from Toulon; "12 sail of the
line, 5 frigates and above 100 transport-ships;" with the grand
Invasion-of-England Armament on board: 16,000 picked troops,
complete in all points, Marechal Duc de Richelieu commanding.
[Adelung, viii. 70.] Weighs anchor; and, singular to see, steers,
not for England, and the Hessian-Hanover Defenders (who would have
been in such excellent time); but direct for Minorca, as the surer
thing! Will seize Minorca; a so-called inexpugnable Possession of
the English,--Key of their Mediterranean Supremacies;--really
inexpugnable enough; but which lies in the usual dilapidated state,
though by chance with a courageous old Governor in it, who will not
surrender quite at once.

APRIL 18th, La Gallisonniere disembarks his Richelieu with a
Sixteen Thousand, unopposed at Port-Mahon, or Fort St. Philip, in
Minorca; who instantly commences Siege there. To the astonishment
of England and his Grace of Newcastle who, except old Governor
Blakeney, much in dilapidation ("wooden platforms rotten,"
"batteries out of repair," and so on), have nothing ready for
Richelieu in that quarter. The story of Minorca; and the furious
humors and tragic consummations that arose on it, being still well
known, we will give the dates only.

FORT ST. PHILIP, APRIL 18th-MAY 20th. For a month, Richelieu,
skilful in tickling the French troops, has been besieging, in a
high and grandiose way; La Gallisonniere vigilantly cruising;
old Blakeney, in spite of the rotten platforms, vigorously holding
out; when--May 19th, La Gallisonniere descries an English fleet in
the distance; indisputably an English fleet; and clears his decks
for a serious Affair just coming. THURSDAY, 20th MAY, Admiral Byng
accordingly (for it is he, son of that old seaworthy Byng, who once
"blew out" a minatory Spanish Fleet and "an absurd Flame of War" in
the Straits of Messina, and was made Lord Torrington in
consequence,--happily now dead)--Admiral Byng does come on;
and gains himself a name badly memorable ever since. Attacks La
Gallisonniere, in a wide-lying, languid, hovering, uncertain
manner:--"Far too weak" he says; "much disprovided, destitute, by
blame of Ministry and of everybody" (though about the strength of
La Gallisonniere, after all);--is almost rather beaten by La
Gallisonniere; does not in the least, beat him to the right
degree:--and sheers off: in the night-time, straight for Gibraltar
again. To La Gallisonniere's surprise, it is said; no doubt to old
Blakeney and his poor Garrison's, left so, to their rotten
platforms and their own shifts.

Blakeney and Garrison stood to their guns in a manful manner, for
above a month longer; day after day, week after week, looking over
the horizon for some Byng or some relief appearing, to no purpose!
JUNE 14th, there are three available breaches; the walls, however,
are very sheer (a Fortress hewn in the rock): Richelieu scanning
them dubiously, and battering his best, for about a fortnight more,
is ineffectual on Blakeney.

JUNE 27th, Richelieu, taking his measures well, tickling French
honor well, has determined on storm. Richelieu, giving order of the
day, "Whosoever of you is found drunk shall NOT be of the storm-
party" (which produced such a teetotalism as nothing else had
done),--storms, that night, with extreme audacity. The Place has to
capitulate: glorious victory; honorable defence: and Minorca gone.

And England is risen to a mere smoky whirlwind, of rage, sorrow and
darkness, against Byng and others. Smoky darkness, getting streaked
with dangerous fire. "Tried?" said his Grace of Newcastle to the
City Deputation: "Oh indeed he shall be tried immediately; he shall
be hanged directly!"--assure yourselves of that. [Walpole, ii. 231:
Details of the Siege, ib. 218-225; in Gentleman's
Magazine, xxvi. 256, 312-313, 358; in Adelung, vii.; &c. &c.]
And Byng's effigy was burnt all over England. And mobs attempt to
burn his Seat and Park; and satires and caricatures and firebrands
are coming out: and the poor Constitutional Country is bent on
applying surgery, if it but know how. Surgery to such indisputable
abominations was certainly desirable. The new Relief Squadron,
which had been despatched by Majesty's Ministry, was too late for
Blakeney, but did bring home a superseded Byng.

SPITHEAD, TUESDAY, 27th JULY, The superseded Byng arrives; is
punctually arrested, on arriving: "Him we will hang directly:--
is there anything else we can try [except, perhaps, it were hanging
of ourselves, and our fine methods of procedure], by way of
remedying you?"--War against France, now a pretty plain thing, had
been "declared," 17th May (French counter-declaring, 9th June):
and, under a Duke of Newcastle and a Hero of Culloden, not even
pulling one way, but two ways; and a Talking-Apparatus full of
discords at this time, and pulling who shall say how many ways,--
the prospects of carrying on said War are none of the best.
Lord Loudon, a General without skill, and commanding, as Pitt
declares, "a scroll of Paper hitherto" (a good few thousands marked
on it, and perhaps their Colonels even named), is about going for
America; by no means yet gone, a long way from gone: and, if the
Laws of Nature be suspended--Enough of all that!


Friedrich's situation, in those fatefully questionable months and
for many past (especially from January 16th to July),--readers must
imagine it, for there is no description possible. In many
intricacies Friedrich has been; but never, I reckon, in any equal
to this. Himself certain what the Two Imperial Women have vowed
against him; self and Winterfeld certain of that sad truth; and all
other mortals ready to deny it, and fly delirious on hint of it,
should he venture to act in consequence! Friedrich's situation is
not unimaginable, when (as can now be done by candid inquirers who
will take trouble enough) the one or two internal facts of it are
disengaged from the roaring ocean of clamorous delusions which then
enveloped them to everybody, and are held steadily in view, said
ocean being well run off to the home of it very deep underground.
Lies do fall silent; truth waits to be recognized, not always in
vain. No reader ever will conceive the strangling perplexity of
that situation, now so remote and extinct to us. All I can do is,
to set down what features of it have become indisputable; and leave
them as detached traceries, as fractions of an outline, to coalesce
into something of image where they can.

Winterfeld's opinion was, for some time past, distinct:
"Attack them; since it is certain they only wait to attack us!"
But Friedrich would by no means listen to that. "We must not be the
aggressor, my friend; that would spoil all. Perhaps the English
will pacify the Russian CATIN for me; tie her, with packthreads,
bribes and intrigues, from stirring? Wait, watch!" Fiery
Winterfeld, who hates the French, who despises the Austrians, and
thinks the Prussian Army a considerable Fact in Politics, has great
schemes: far too great for a practical Friedrich. "Plunge into the
Austrians with a will: Prussian Soldiery,--can Austrians resist it?
Ruin them, since they are bent on ruining us. Stir up the Hungarian
Protestants; try all things. Home upon our implacable enemies,
sword drawn, scabbard flung away! And the French,--what are the
French? Our King should be Kaiser of Teutschland; and he can, and
he may:--the French would then be quieter!" These things Winterfeld
carried in his head; and comrades have heard them from him over
wine. [Retzow, i. 43, &c.] To all which Friedrich, if any whisper
of them ever got to Friedrich, would answer one can guess how.

It is evident, Friedrich had not given up his hope (indeed, for
above a year more, he never did) that England might, by profuse
bribery,--"such the power of bribery in that mad court!"--assuage,
overnet with backstairs packthreads, or in some way compesce the
Russian delirium for him. And England, his sole Ally in the world,
still tender of Austria, and unable to believe what the full
intentions of Austria are; England demands much wariness in his
procedures towards Austria; reiterating always, "Wait, your
Majesty! Oh, beware!"--

His own Army, we need not say, is in perfect preparation. The Army
--let us guess, 150,000 regular, or near 200,000 of all arms and
kinds [Archenholtz (i, 8) counts vaguely "160,000" at this date.]--
never was so perfect before or since. Old Captains in it, whom we
used to know, are grayer and wiser; young, whom we heard less of,
are grown veterans of trust. Schwerin, much a Cincinnatus since we
last saw him, has laid down his plough again, a fervid "little
Marlborough" of seventy-two;--and will never see that beautiful
Schwerinsburg, and its thriving woods and farm-fields, any more.
Ugly Walrave is not now chief Engineer; one Balbi, a much prettier
man, is. Ugly Walrave (Winterfeld suspecting and watching him) was
found out; convicted of "falsified accounts," of "sending plans to
the Enemy," of who knows all what;--and sits in Magdeburg (in a
thrice-safe prison-cell of his own contriving), prisoner for life.
["Arrested at Potsdam 12th February, 1748, and after trial put into
the STERN at Magdeburg; sat there till he died, 16th January, 1773"
( Militalr-Lexikon, iv. 150-151).] The Old
Dessauer is away, long since; and not the Old alone. Dietrich of
Dessau is now "Guardian to his Nephew," who is a Child left Heir
there. Death has been busy with the Dessauers:--but here is Prince
Moritz, "the youngest, more like his Father than any of them."
Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick, Moritz of Dessau, Keith, Duke of
Brunswick-Bevern: no one of these people has been idle, in the ten
years past. Least of all, has the Chief Captain of them,--whose
diligence and vigilance in that sphere, latterly, were not likely
to decline!

Friedrich's Army is in the perfection of order. Ready at the hour,
for many months back; but the least motion he makes with it is a
subject of jealousy. Last year, on those Russian advancings and
alacrities, he had marched some Regiments into Pommern, within
reach of Preussen, should the Russians actually try a stroke there:
"See!" cried all the world: "See!" cried the enlightened Russian
Public. This year 1756, from June onwards and earlier, there are
still more fatal symptoms, on the Austrian side: great and evident
War-preparations; Magazines forming; Camps in Bohemia, Moravia;
Camp at Konigsgratz, Camp at Prag,--handy for the Silesian Border.
Friedrich knows they have deliberated on their Pretext for a War,
and have fixed on what will do,--some new small Prussian-
Mecklenburg brabble, which there has lately been; paltry enough
recruiting-quarrel, such as often are (and has been settled
mutually some time ago, this one, but is capable of being ripped up
again);--and that, on this cobweb of a pretext, they mean to draw
sword when they like. Russia too has its Pretext ready. And if
Friedrich hint of stirring, England whispers hoarse, England and
other friends, "Wait, your Majesty! Oh, beware!" To keep one's
sword at its sharpest, and, with an easy patient air, one's eyes
vigilantly open: this is nearly all that Friedrich can do, in
neighborhood of such portentous imminencies. He has many critics,
near and far;--for instance:--

BERLIN, 31st JULY, 1756, Excellency Valori writes to Versailles:
... "to give you account of a Conversation I have had, a day or two
ago, with the Prince of Prussia [August Wilhelm, Heir-Apparent],
who honors me with a particular confidence,"--and who appears to
be, privately, like some others, very strong in the Opposition
view. "He talked to me of the present condition of the King his
Brother, of his Brother's apprehensions, of his military
arrangements, of the little trust placed in him by neighbors, of
their hostile humor towards him, and of many other things which
this good Prince [little understanding them, as would appear, or
the dangerous secret that lay under them] did not approve of.
The Prince then said,"--listen to what the Prince of Prussia said
to Valori, one of the last days of July, 1756,--

"'There is an Anecdote which continually recurs to me, in the
passes we are got to at present. Putting the case we might be
attacked by Russia, and perhaps by Austria, the late Rothenburg was
sent [as readers know], on the King's part, to Milord Tyrconnel, to
know of him what, in such case, were the helps he might reckon on
from France. Milord enumerated the various helps; and then added
[being a blusterous Irishman, sent hither for his ill tongue]:
"Helps enough, you observe, Monsieur; but, MORBLEU, if you deceive
us, you will be squelched (VOUS SEREZ ECRASES)!" The King my
'Brother was angry enough at hearing such a speech: but, my dear
Marquis,' and the Prince turned full upon me with a face of
inquiry, 'Can the thing actually come true? And do you think it can
be the interest of your Master [and his Scarlet Woman] to abandon
us to the fury of our enemies? Ah, that cursed Convention
[Neutrality-Convention with England]! I would give a finger from my
hand that it had never been concluded. I never approved of it;
ask the Duc de Nivernois, he knows what we said of it together.
But how return on our steps? Who would now trust us?'" This Prince
appeared "to be much affected by the King his Brother's situation
[of which he understood as good as nothing], and agreed that he,"
the King his Brother, "had well deserved it." [Valori, ii,

This is not the first example, nor the last, of August Wilhelm's
owning a heedless, good-natured tongue; considerably prone to take
the Opposition side, on light grounds. For which if he found a kind
of solacement and fame in some circles, it was surely at a dear
rate! To his Brother, that bad habit would, most likely, be known;
and his Brother, I suppose, did not speak of it at all; such his
Brother's custom in cases of the kind.--Judicious Valori, by way of
answer, dilated on the peculiar esteem of his Majesty Louis XV. for
the Prussian Majesty,--"so as my Instructions direct me to do;" and
we hear no more of the Prince of Prussia's talk, at this time;
but shall in future; and may conjecture a great deal about the
atmosphere Friedrich had now to live in. A Friedrich undergoing,
privately, a great deal of criticism: "Mad tendency to war; lust of
conquest; contempt for his neighbors, for the opinion of the
world;--no end of irrational tendencies:" [Ib. ii. 124-151 ("July
27th-August 21st").] from persons to whom the secret of his Problem
is deeply unknown.

One wise thing the English have done: sent an Excellency Mitchell,
a man of loyalty, of sense and honesty, to be their Resident at
Berlin. This is the noteworthy, not yet much noted, Sir Andrew
Mitchell; by far the best Excellency England ever had in that
Court. An Aberdeen Scotchman, creditable to his Country:
hard-headed, sagacious; sceptical of shows; but capable of
recognizing substances withal, and of standing loyal to them,
stubbornly if needful; who grew to a great mutual regard with
Friedrich, and well deserved to do so; constantly about him, during
the next seven years; and whose Letters are among the perennially
valuable Documents on Friedrich's History. [Happily secured in the
British Museum; and now in the most perfect order for consulting
(thanks to Sir F. Madden "and three years' labor" well invested);--
should certainly, and will one day, be read to the bottom, and
cleared of their darknesses, extrinsic and intrinsic (which are
considerable) by somebody competent.]

Mitchell is in Berlin since June 10th. Mitchell, who is on the
scene itself, and looking into Friedrich with his own eyes, finds
the reiterating of that "Beware, your Majesty!" which had been his
chief task hitherto, a more and more questionable thing;
and suggests to him at last: "Plainly ask her Hungarian Majesty,
What is your meaning by those Bohemian Campings?" "Pshaw," answers
Friedrich: "Nothing but some ambiguous answer, perhaps with insult
in it!"--nevertheless thinks better; and determines to do so.
[Mitchell Papers.]

Chapter IV.


July 18th, 1756, Friedrich despatches an Express to Graf von
Klinggraf, his Resident at Vienna (an experienced man, whom we have
seen before in old Carteret, "Conference-of-Hanau" times), To
demand audience of the Empress; and, in the fittest terms, friendly
and courteous, brief and clear, to put that question of Mitchell's
suggesting. "Those unwonted Armaments, Camps in Bohmen, Camps in
Mahren, and military movements and preparations," Klinggraf is to
say, "have caused anxiety in her Majesty's peaceable Neighbor of
Prussia; who desires always to continue in peace; and who requests
hereby a word of assurance from her Majesty, that these his
anxieties are groundless." Friedrich himself hopes little or
nothing from this; but he has done it to satisfy people about him,
and put an end to all scruples in himself and others. The Answer
may be expected in ten or twelve days.

And, about the same time,--likely enough, directly after, though
there is no date given, to a fact which is curious and authentic,--
Friedrich sent for two of his chief Generals, to Potsdam, for a
secret Conference with Winterfeld and him. The Generals are, old
Schwerin and General Retzow Senior,--Major-General Retzow, whom we
used to hear of in the Silesian Wars,--and whose Son reports on
this occasion. Conference is on this Imminency of War, and as to
what shall be done in it. Friedrich explains in general terms his
dangers from Austria and Russia, his certainty that Austria will
attack him; and asks, Were it, or were it not, better to attack
Austria, as is our Prussian principle in such case? Schwerin and
Retzow--Schwerin first, as the eldest; and after him Retzow, "who
privately has charge from the Prussian Princes to do it"--opine
strongly: That indications are uncertain, that much seems
inevitable which does not come; that in a time of such tumultuous
whirlings and unexpected changes, the true rule is, Watch well,
and wait.

After enough of this, with Winterfeld looking dissent but saying
almost nothing, Friedrich gives sign to Winterfeld;--who spreads
out, in their lucidest prearranged order, the principal Menzel-
Weingarten Documents; and bids the two Military Gentlemen read.
They read; with astonishment, are forced to believe; stand gazing
at one another;--and do now take a changed tone. Schwerin, "after a
silence of everybody for some minutes,"--"bursts out like one
inspired; 'If War is to be and must be, let us start to-morrow;
seize Saxony at once; and in that rich corny Country form Magazines
for our Operations on Bohemia!'" [Retzow, i. 39.]

That is privately Friedrich's own full intention. Saxony, with its
Elbe River as Highway, is his indispensable preliminary for
Bohemia: and he will not, a second time, as he did in 1744 with
such results, leave it in an unsecured condition. Adieu then,
Messieurs; silent: AU REVOIR, which may be soon! Retzow Junior, a
rational, sincere, but rather pipe-clayed man, who is wholly to be
trusted on this Conference, with his Father for authority, has some
touches of commentary on it, which indicate (date being 1802) that
till the end of his life, or of Prince Henri his Patron's, there
remained always in some heads a doubt as to Friedrich's wisdom in
regard to starting the Seven-Years War, and to Schwerin's entire
sincerity in that inspired speech. And still more curious, that
there was always, at Potsdam as elsewhere, a Majesty's Opposition
Party; privately intent to look at the wrong side; and doing it
diligently,--though with lips strictly closed for most part;
without words, except well-weighed and to the wise: which is an
excellent arrangement, for a Majesty and Majesty's Opposition,
where feasible in the world!--

From Retzow I learn farther, that Winterfeld, directly on the back
of this Conference, took a Tour to the Bohemian Baths, "To
Karlsbad, or Toplitz, for one's health;" and wandered about a good
deal in those Frontier Mountains of Bohemia, taking notes, taking
sketches (not with a picturesque view); and returned by the Saxon
Pirna Country, a strange stony labyrinth, which he guessed might
possibly be interesting soon. The Saxon Commandant of the
Konigstein, lofty Fortress of those parts, strongest in Saxony, was
of Winterfeld's acquaintance: Winterfeld called on this Commandant;
found his Konigstein too high for cannonading those neighborhoods,
but that there was at the base of it a new Work going on; and that
the Saxons were, though languidly, endeavoring to bestir themselves
in matters military. Their entire Army at present is under 20,000;
but, in the course of next Winter, they expect to have it 40,000.
Shall be of that force, against Season 1757. No doubt Winterfeld's
gatherings and communications had their uses at Potsdam, on his
getting home from this Tour to Toplitz.

Meanwhile, Klinggraf has had his Audience at Vienna; and has sped
as ill as could have been expected. The Answer given was of
supercilious brevity; evasive, in effect null, and as good as
answering, That there is no answer. Two Accounts we have, as
Friedrich successively had them, of this famed passage:
FIRST, Klinggraf's own, which is clear, rapid, and stands by the
essential; SECOND, an account from the other side of the scenes,
furnished by Menzel of Dresden, for Friedrich's behoof and ours;
which curiously illustrates the foregoing, and confirms the
interpretation Friedrich at once made of it. This is Menzel's
account; in other words, the Saxon Envoy at Vienna's, stolen
by Menzel.

July 26th, it appears, Klinggraf--having applied to Kaunitz the day
before, who noticed a certain flurry in him, and had answered
carelessly, "Audience? Yes, of course; nay I am this moment going
to the Empress: only you must tell me about what?"--was admitted to
the Imperial Presence, he first of many that were waiting. Imperial
Presence held in its hand a snip of Paper, carefully composed by
Kaunitz from the data, and read these words: "DIE BEDENKLICHEN
UMSTANDE, The questionable circumstances of the Time have moved me
to consider as indispensably necessary those measures which, for my
own security and for defence of my Allies, I am taking, and which
otherwise do not tend the least towards injury of anybody
whatsoever;"--and adding no syllable more, gave a sign with her
hand, intimating to Klinggraf that the Interview was done.
Klinggraf strode through the Antechamber, "visibly astonished," say
on-lookers, at such an Answer had. Answer, in fact, "That there is
no answer," and the door flung in your face! [ Helden-
Geschichte, iii. 772. In Valori, ii. 128, Friedrich's
little Paper of INSTRUCTIONS to Klinggraf; this Vienna ANSWER to
it, ib. 138:--see ib. 138, 162; and Gesammelte
Nachrichten, ii. 214-221.]

Friedrich, on arrival of report from Klinggraf, and without waiting
for the Menzel side of the scenes, sees that the thing is settled.
Writes again, however (August 2d, probably the day after, or the
same day, Klinggraf's Despatch reached him); instructing Klinggraf
To request "a less oracular response;" and specially, "If her
Imperial Majesty (Austria and Russia being, as is understood, in
active League against, him) will say, That Austria will not attack
him this year or the next?" Draw up memorial of that, Monsieur
Klinggraf; and send us the supercilious No-Answer: till which
arrive we do not cross the Frontier,--but are already everywhere on
march to it, in an industrious, cunningly devised, evident and yet
impenetrably mysterious manner.

Excellency Valori never saw such activity of military preparation:
such Artillery, "2,000 big pieces in the Park here;" Regiments,
Wagon-trains, getting under way everywhere, no man can guess
whitherward; "drawn up in the Square here, they know not by what
Gate they are to march." By three different Gates, I should think;
--mysteriously, in Three Directions, known only to King Friedrich
and his Adjutant-General, all these Regiments in Berlin and
elsewhere are on march. Towards Halle (Leipzig way);
towards Brietzen (Wittenberg and Torgau way); towards Bautzen
neighborhood,--towards Three settled Points of the Saxon Frontier;
will step across the instant the supercilious No-Answer comes to
hand. Are to converge about Dresden and the Saxon Switzerland;--
about 65,000 strong, equipped as no Army before or since has been;
--and take what luck there may be.

Bruhl and Polish Majesty's Army, still only about 18,000, have
their apprehensions of such visit: but what can they do? The Saxon
Army draws out into Camp, at sight of this mysterious marching;
strong Camp "in the angle of Elbe and Mulde Rivers;"--then draws in
again; being too weak for use. And is thinking, Menzel informs us,
to take post in the stony labyrinthic Pirna Country: such the
advice an Excellency Broglio has given;--French Excellency, now in
Dresden; Marechal de Broglio's Son, and of little less explosive
nature than his Father was. Bruhl and Polish Majesty, guessing that
the hour is come, are infinitely interested. Interested, not
flurried. "Austrian-Russian Anti-Prussian Covenant!" say Bruhl and
Majesty, rather comfortably to themselves: "We never signed it.
WE never would sign anything; what have we to do with it? Courage;
steady; To Pirna, if they come! Are not Excellency Broglio, and
France, and Austria, and the whole world at our back?"

It was full three weeks before Klinggraf's Message of Answer could
arrive at Berlin. Of Friedrich in the interim, launching such a
world-adventure, himself silent, in the midst of a buzzing Berlin,
take these indications, which are luminous enough. Duke Ferdinand
of Brunswick is to head one of the Three "Columns." Duke Ferdinand,
Governor of Magdeburg, is now collecting his Column in that
neighborhood, chiefly at Halle; whitherward, or on what errand, is
profoundly unknown. Unknown even to Ferdinand, except that it is
for actual Service in the Field. Here are two Friedrich Letters
(ruggedly Official, the first of them, and not quite peculiar to
Ferdinand), which are worth reading:--


"POTSDAM, 15th August, 1756.

"For time of Field-Service I have made the arrangement, That for
the Subaltern Officers of your regiment, over and above their
ordinary Equipage-moneys, there shall, to each Subaltern Officer,
and once for all, be Eight Thalers [twenty-four shillings sterling]
advanced. That sum [eight thalers per subaltern] shall be paid to
the Captain of every Company; and besides this there shall,
monthly, Two Thalers be deducted from the Subaltern's Pay, and be
likewise paid over to the Captain:--in return for which, He is to
furnish Free Table for the Subalterns throughout the Campaign, and
so long as the regiment is in the field.

"Of the Two Baggage-carts per Company, the regiment shall take only
One, and leave the other at home. No Officer, let him be who or of
what title he will, Generals not excepted, shall take with him the
least of Silver Plate, not even a silver spoon. Whoever wants,
therefore, to keep table, great or small (TAFEL ODER TISCH), must
manage the same with tin utensils;--without exception, be he who
he will.

"Each Captain shall take with him a little Cask of Vinegar;
of which, as soon as the regiments get to Camp, he must give me
reckoning, and I will then have him repaid. This Vinegar shall
solely and exclusively be employed for this purpose, That in places
where the water is bad, there be poured into it, for the soldiers,
a few drops of the vinegar, to correct the water, and thereby
preserve them from illnesses.

"So soon as the regiment gets on march, the Women who have
permission to follow are put under command of the Profoss;
that thereby all plunderings and disorders may the more be guarded
against. If the Captains and Officers take Grooms (JAGER) or the
like Domestics, there can muskets be given to these, that use may
be had of them, in case of an attack in quarters, or on march, when
a WAGENBURG (wagon-fortress) is to be formed. ... FRIEDRICH."
[Preuss, ii. 6, 7.]

SAME TO SAME (Confidential, this one).

"POTSDAH, 24th August.

... "Make as if you were meaning to go into Camp at Halle.
The reason why I stop you is, that the Courier from Vienna has not
yet come. We must therefore reassure the Saxon neighborhood.
... I have been expecting answer from hour to hour; cannot suitably
begin a War-Expedition till it come; do therefore apprise Your
Dilection, though under the deepest secrecy.

"And it is necessary, and my Will is, That, till farther order, you
keep all the regiments and corps belonging to your Column in the
places where they are when this arrives. And shall, meanwhile, with
your best skill mask all this, both from the Town of Halle, and
from the regiments themselves; making, in conformity with what I
said yesterday, as if you were a Corps of Observation come to
encamp here, and were waiting the last orders to go into camp.

FRIEDRICH." [Ib. ii. 7, 8.]

And in regard to the Vienna Courier, and Friedrich's attitude
towards that Phenomenon, read only these Two Notes:--


POTSDAM, "25th August," 1756.

"MY DEAR BROTHER, MY DEAR SISTER,--I write to you both at once, for
want of time. I will follow the advice you are so good as give me;
and will take leave of the Queen [our dear Mamma] by Letter.
And that the reading of my Letter may not frighten her, I will send
it by my Sister, to be presented in a favorable moment.

"I have yet got no Answer from Vienna; by Klinggraf's account, I
shall not receive it till to-morrow [came this night], But I count
myself surer of War than ever; as the Austrians have named
Generals, and their Army is ordered to march, from Kolin to
Konigsgratz"--Schlesien way. "So that, expecting nothing but a
haughty Answer, or a very uncertain one, on which there will be no
reliance possible, I have arranged everything for setting out on
Saturday next. To-morrow, so soon as the news comes, I will not
fail to let you know. Assuring you that I am, with a perfect
affection, my dear Brother and my dear Sister,--Yours,--F."
[ OEuvres de Frederic, xxvi. 155.]

Answer comes from Klinggraf that same night. Once more, an Answer
almost worse than could have been expected. "The 'League with
Russia against you' is nonextant, a thing of your imagination:
Have not we already answered?" [In Gesammelte Urkunden,
i. 217: Klinggraf's second question (done by Letter
this time), "18th August;" Maria Theresa's Answer, "21st August,"]


POTSDAM, "26th August," 1756.

"MY DEAR BROTHER,--I have already written to the Queen; softening
things as much as I could [Letter lost]. My Sister, to whom I
address the Letter, will deliver it.

"You have seen the Paper I sent to Klinggraf. Their Answer is 'That
they have not made an Offensive Alliance with Russia against me.'
The Answer is impertinent, high and contemptuous; and of the
Assurance that I required [as to This Year and next], not one word.
So that the sword alone can cut this Gordian Knot. I am innocent of
this War; I have done what I could to avoid it; but whatever be
one's love of peace, one cannot and must not sacrifice to that,
one's safety and one's honor. Such, I believe, will be your opinion
too, from the sentiments I know in you. At present, our one thought
must be, To do War in such a way as may cure our Enemies of their
wish to break Peace again too soon. I embrace you with all my
heart. I have had no end of business (TERRIBLEMENT A FAIRE)."--F.
[ OEuvres, xxvi. 116.]


Ahead of that last Note, from an earlier hour of the same day,
Thursday, 26th August, there is speeding forth, to all Three
Generals of Division, this Order (take Duke Ferdinand's copy}:--
{not in original] ^

"I hereby order that Your Dilection (EW. LIEBDEN), with all the
regiments and corps in the Column standing under your command,
Shall now, without more delay, get on march, on the 29th inst.;
and proceed, according to the March-Tables and Instructions already
given, to execute what Your Dilection has got in charge."--F.

The same Thursday, 26th, Excellency Mitchell, informed by Podewils
of the King's wish to see him at Potsdam, gets under way from
Berlin; arrives "just time enough to speak with the King before he
sat down to supper." Very many things to be consulted of, and
deliberatively touched upon, with Mitchell and England; no end of
things and considerations, for England and King Friedrich, in this
that is now about to burst forth on an astonished world!--Over in
London, we observe, just in the hours when Mitchell was harnessing
for Potsdam, and so many Orders and Letters were speeding their
swiftest in that quarter, there is going forward, on Tower-Hill
yonder, the following Operation:--

"LONDON, THURSDAY, 26th AUGUST, 1756. About five in the afternoon,
a noted Admiral [only in Effigy as yet; but who has been held in
miserable durance, and too actual question of death or life, ever
since his return: "Oh, yes indeed! Hang HIM at once",--if that can
be a remedy!] was, after having been privately shown to many ladies
and gentlemen, brought--in an open sedan, guarded by a number of
young gentlemen under arms, with drums beating, colors flying--to
Tower-Hill, where a Gallows had been erected for him at six the
same morning. He was richly dressed, in a blue and gold coat, buff
waistcoat, trimmed, &c. in full uniform. When brought under the
Gallows, he stayed a small space, till his clergyman (a chimney-
sweeper) had given him some admonitions: that done, he was drawn,
by pulleys, to the top of the Gallows, which was twenty feet high;
every person expressing as much satisfaction as if it had been the
real man.

"He remained there, guarded by the above volunteers, without any
molestation, two hours; when, upon a supposition of being
obstructed by the Governor of the Tower, some sailors appeared, who
wanted to pull him down, in order to drag him along the streets.
But a fire being kindled, which consisted of tar-barrels, fagots,
tables, tubs, &c., he was consumed in about half an hour."
[Old Newspapers ( Gentleman's Magazine,
xxvi. 409).]

That is their employment on Tower-Hill, over yonder, while Mitchell
is getting under way to see Friedrich.

Mitchell continued at Potsdam over Friday; and was still in eager
consultation that night, when the King said to him, with a certain
expressiveness of glance: "BON SOIR, then;--To-morrow morning
about four!" And on the morrow, Saturday, 28th, Mitchell
reports hurriedly:--

"... Am just returned to Berlin, in time to write to your Lordship.
This morning, between four and five, I took leave of the King of
Prussia. Hr went immediately upon the Parade; mounted on horseback;
and, after a very short exercise of his Troops, put himself at
their head; and marched directly for Belitz [half-way to Brietzen,
TREUENbrietzen as they call it]; where, To-morrow, he will enter
the Saxon Territory,"--as, at their respective points, his two
other Columns will;--and begin, who shall say what terrible game;
incalculable to your Lordship and me, with such Operations afoot on
Tower-Hill! [Mitchell Papers, vi. 804 ("To Lord Holderness, 28th
August, 1756").]--

Seven Hussar Regiments of Duke Ferdinand's Column got the length of
Leipzig that Sunday Evening, 29th; and took possession of the
place. [In Helden-Geschichte, iii. 731, his
"Proclamation" there, 29th August, 1756.] Duke Ferdinand to right
of the King, Duke of Brunswick-Bevern to left,--the Three Columns
cross the Border, at points, say 80 miles from one another;
occasionally, on the march, bending to rightwards and leftwards, to
take in the principal Towns, and make settlements there, the two
might be above a hundred miles from Friedrich on each hand. The
length of march for each Column,--Ferdinand "from Leipzig, by
Chemnitz, Freyberg, Dippoldiswalde, to the Village of Cotta" (Pirna
neighborhood, south of Elbe); Bevern, "through the Lausitz, by
Bautzen, to Lohmen" (same neighborhood, north of Elbe);
King Friedrich, to Dresden, by the course of the Elbe itself, was
not far from equal, and may be called about 150 miles. They marched
with diligence, not with hurry; had their pauses, rest-days, when
business required. They got to their ground, with the
simultaneousness appointed, on the eleventh or twelfth day.

The middle Column, under the King, where Marshal Keith is second in
command, goes by Torgau (detaching Moritz of Dessau to pick up
Wittenberg, and ruin the slight works there); crosses the Elbe at
Torgau, September 2d; marches, cantoning itself day after day,
along the southern bank of the River; leaves Meissen to the left, I
perceive, does not pass through Meissen; comes first at Wilsdruf on
ground where we have been,--and portions of it, I doubt not, were
billeted in Kesselsdorf; and would take a glance at the old Field,
if they had time. There is strict discipline in all the Columns;
the authorities complying on summons, and arranging what is
needful. Nobody resists; town-guards at once ground arms, and there
is no soldier visible; soldiers all ebbing away, whitherward we
guess. [ Helden-Geschichte, iii. 732, 733;
OEuvres de Frederic, iv. 81.]

At Wilsdruf, Friedrich first learns for certain, that the Saxon
Army, with King, with Bruhl and other chief personages, are
withdrawn to Pirna, to the inexpugnable Konigstein and Rock-
Country. The Saxon Army had begun assembling there, September 1st,
directly on the news that Friedrich was across the Border;
September 9th, on Friedrich's approach, the King and Dignitaries
move off thither, from Dresden, out of his way. Excellency Broglio
has put them on that plan. Which may have its complexities for
Friedrich, hopes Broglio,--though perhaps its still greater for
some other parties concerned! For Bruhl and Polish Majesty, as will
appear by and by, nothing could have turned out worse.

Meanwhile Friedrich pushes on: "Forward, all the same." Polish
Majesty, dating from Struppen, in the Pirna Country, has begun a
Correspondence with Friedrich, very polite on both hands; and his
Adjutant-General, the Chevalier Meagher ("Chevalier de MARRE," as
Valori calls him,--MA'AR, as he calls himself in Irish), has just
had, at Wilsdruf, an interview with Friedrich; but is far from
having got settlement on the terms he wished. Polish Majesty
magnanimously assenting to "a Road through his Country for military
purposes;" offers "the strictest Neutrality, strictest friendship
even; has done, and will do, no injury whatever to his Prussian
Majesty--["Did we ever SIGN anything?" whisper comfortably Bruhl
and he to one another];--expects, therefore, that his Prussian
Majesty will march on, whither he is bound; and leave him
unmolested here." [ Helden-Geschichte,
iii. 774.]

That was Meagher's message; that is the purport of all his Polish
Majesty's Eleven Letters to Friedrich, which precede or follow,--
reiterating with a certain ovine obstinacy, insensible to time or
change, That such is Polish Majesty's fixed notion:
"Strict neutrality, friendship even; and leave me unmolested here."
[In OEuvres de Frederic, iv. 235-260 ("29th
August-10th September-18th September," 1756), are collected now,
the Eleven Letters, with their Answers.] "Strict neutrality, yes:
but disperse your Army, then," answers Friedrich; send your Army
back to its cantonments: I must myself have the keeping of my
Highway, lest I lose it, as in 1744." This is Friedrich's answer;
this at first, and for some time coming; though, as the aspects
change, and the dangerous elements heap themselves higher,
Friedrich's answer will rise with them, and his terms, like the
Sibyl's, become worse and worse. This is the utmost that Meagher,
at Wilsdruf, can make of it; and this, in conceivable
circumstances, will grow less and less.

Next day, September 9th, Friedrich, with some Battalions, entered
Dresden, most of his Column taking Camp near by; General Wylich had
entered yesterday, and is already Commandant there. Friedrich
sends, by Feldmarschall Keith, highest Officer of his Column, his
homages to her Polish Majesty:--nothing given us of Keith's
Interview; except by a side-wind, "That Majesty complained of those
Prussian Sentries walking about in certain of her corridors" (with
an eye to Something, it may be feared!)--of which, doubtless, Keith
undertook to make report. Friedrich himself waits upon the Junior
Princes, who are left here: is polite and gracious as ever, though
strict, and with business enough; lodges, for his own part, "in the
Garden-House of Princess Moczinska;"--and next morning leads off
his Column, a short march eastward, to the Pirna Country; where, on
the right and on the left, Ferdinand at Cotta, Bevern at Lohmen (if
readers will look on their Map), he finds the other Two in their
due positions. Head-quarter is Gross-Sedlitz (westernmost skirt of
the Rock-region); and will have to continue so, much longer than
had been expected.

The Diplomatic world in Dresden is in great emotion; more
especially just at present. This morning, before leaving, Friedrich
had to do an exceedingly strict thing: secure the Originals of
those Menzel Documents. Originals indispensable to him, for
justifying his new procedures upon Saxony. So that there has been,
at the Palace, a Scene this morning of a very high and dissonant
nature,--"Marshal Keith" in it, "Marshal Keith making a second
visit" (say some loose and false Accounts);--the facts being
strictly as follows.

Far from removing those Prussian sentries complained of last night,
here seems to be a double strength of them this morning. And her
Polish Majesty, a severe, hard-featured old Lady, has been filled
with indignant amazement by a Prussian Officer--Major von
Wangenheim, I believe it is--requiring, in the King of Prussia's
name, the Keys of that Archive-room; Prussian Majesty absolutely
needing sight, for a little while, of certain Papers there.
"Enter that room? Archives of a crowned Head? Let me see the living
mortal that will dare to do it!"--one fancies the indignant Polish
Majesty's answer; and how, calling for materials, she "openly
sealed the door in question," in Wangenheim's presence. As this is
a celebrated Passage, which has been reported in several loose
ways, let us take it from the primary source, Chancery style and
all. Graf von Sternberg, Austrian Excellency, writing from the spot
and at the hour, informs his own Court, and through that all
Courts, in these solemnly Official terms:--

"DRESDEN, 10th SEPTEMBER, 1756. The Queen's Majesty, this forenoon,
has called to her all the Foreign Ministers now at Dresden; and in
Highest Own Person has signified to us, How, the Prussian
intrusions and hostilities being already known, Highest said
Queen's Majesty would now simply state what had farther taken place
this morning:--

"Highest said Queen's Majesty, to wit, had, in her own name,
requested the King of Prussia, in conformity with his assurances
[by Keith, yesternight] of paying every regard for Her and the
Royal Family, To remove the Prussian Sentries pacing about in those
Corridors,"--Corridors which lead to the Secret Archives, important
to some of us!--"Instead of which, the said King had not only
doubled his Sentries there; but also, by an Officer, demanded the
Keys of the Archive-apartment [just alluded to]! And as the Queen's
Majesty, for security of all writings there, offered to seal the
Door of it herself, and did so, there and then,--the said Officer
had so little respect, that he clapped his own seal thereon too.

"Nor was he content therewith,"--not by any means!--"but the same
Officer [having been with Wylich, Commandant here] came back, a
short time after, and made for opening of the Door himself.
Which being announced to the Queen's Majesty, she in her own person
(HOCHSTDIESELBE, Highest-the-Same) went out again; and standing
before the Door, informed him, 'How Highest-the-Same had too much
regard to his Prussian Majesty's given assurance, to believe that
such order could proceed from the King.' As the Officer, however,
replied, 'That he was sorry to have such an order to execute;
but that the order was serious and precise; and that he, by not
executing it, would expose himself to the greatest responsibility,"
Her Majesty continued standing before the Door; and said to the
Officer, 'If he meant to use force, he might upon Her make his
beginning.'" There is for you, Herr Wangenheim!--

"Upon which said Officer had gone away, to report anew to the King
[I think, only to Wylich the Commandant; King now a dozen miles
off, not so easily reported to, and his mind known]; and in the
mean while Her Majesty had called to her the Prussian and English
Ambassadors [Mahlzahn and Stormont; sorry both of them, but how
entirely resourceless,--especially Mahlzahn!], and had represented
and repeated to them the above; beseeching that by their
remonstrances and persuasions they would induce the King of
Prussia, conformably with his given assurance, to forbear.
Instead, however, of any fruit from such remonstrances and
urgencies, final Order came, 'That, Queen's Majesty's own Highest
Person notwithstanding, force must be used.'

"Whereupon her Majesty, to avoid actual mistreatment, had been
obliged to"--to become passive, and, no Keys being procurable from
her, see a smith with his picklocks give these Prussians admission.
Legation-Secretary Plessmann was there (Menzel one fancies sitting,
rather pale, in an adjacent room [Supra, p. 266.]); and they knew
what to do. Their smith opens the required Box for them (one of
several "all lying packed for Warsaw," says Friedrich); from which
soon taking what they needed, Wangenheim and Wylich withdrew with
their booty, and readers have the fruit of it to this day.
"Which unheard-of procedure, be pleased, your Excellencies, to
report to your respective Courts." [ Gesammelte
Nachrichten, i. 222 (or "No. 26" of that Collection);
OEuvres de Frederic, iv. 83.]

Poor old Lady, what a situation! And I believe she never saw her
poor old Husband again. The day he went to Pirna (morning of
yesterday, September 9th, Friedrich entering in the evening), these
poor Spouses had, little dreaming of it, taken leave of one another
forevermore. Such profit lies in your Bruhl. Kings and Queens that
will be governed by a Jesuit Guarini, and a Bruhl of the Twelve
Tailors, sometimes pay dear for it. They, or their representatives,
are sure to do so. Kings and Queens,--yes, and if that were all:
but their poor Countries too? Their Countries;--well, their
Countries did not hate Beelzebub, in his various shapes, ENOUGH.
Their Countries should have been in watch against Beelzebub in the
shape of Bruhls;--watching, and also "praying" in a heroic manner,
now fallen obsolete in these impious times!

Chapter V.


Friedrich reckons himself to have 65,000 men in Saxony. Schwerin is
issuing from Silesia, through the Glatz Mountains, for Bohemia, at
the head of 40,000. The Austrian force is inferior in quantity, and
far from ready:--Two "Camps" in Bohemia they have; the chief one
under Browne (looking, or intending, this Saxon way), and a smaller
under Piccolomini, in the Konigshof-Kolin region:--if well run into
from front and rear, both Browne and Piccolomini might be
beautifully handled; and a gash be cut in Austria, which might
incline her to be at peace again! Nothing hinders but this paltry
Camp of the Saxons; itself only 18,000 strong, but in a Country of
such strength. And this does hinder, effectually while it
continues: "How march to Bohemia, and leave the road blocked in
our rear?"

The Saxon Camp did continue,--unmanageable by any method, for five
weeks to come; the season of war-operations gone, by that time:--
and Friedrich's First Campaign, rendered mostly fruitless in this
manner, will by no means check the Austrian truculencies, as by his
velocity he hoped to do. No; but, on the contrary, will rouse the
Austrians, French and all Enemies, to a tenfold pitch of temper.
And bring upon himself, from an astonished and misunderstanding
Public, such tempests and world-tornadoes of loud-roaring obloquy,
as even he, Friedrich, had never endured before.

To readers of a touring habit this Saxon Country is perhaps well
known. For the last half-century it has been growing more and more
famous, under the name of "Saxon Switzerland (SACHSISCHE
SCHWEITZ)," instead of "Misnian Highlands (MEISSNISCHE HOCHLAND),"
which it used to be called. A beautiful enough and extremely rugged
Country; interesting to the picturesque mind. Begins rising, in

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