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History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 18 by Thomas Carlyle

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Prepared by D.R. Thompson




Chapter I.


Seldom was there seen such a combination against any man as this
against Friedrich, after his Saxon performances in 1756. The extent
of his sin, which is now ascertained to have been what we saw, was
at that time considered to transcend all computation, and to mark
him out for partition, for suppression and enchainment, as the
general enemy of mankind. "Partition him, cut him down," said the
Great Powers to one another; and are busy, as never before, in
raising forces, inciting new alliances and calling out the general
POSSE COMITATUS of mankind, for that salutary object.
What tempestuous fulminations in the Reichstag, and over all
Europe, England alone excepted, against this man!

Latterly the Swedes, who at first had compunctions on the score of
Protestantism, have agreed to join in the Partitioning adventure:
"It brings us his Pommern, all Pommern ours!" cry the Swedish
Parliamentary Eloquences (with French gold in their pocket):
"At any rate," whisper they, "it spites the Queen his Sister!"--and
drag the poor Swedish Nation into a series of disgraces and
disastrous platitudes it was little anticipating. This precious
French-Swedish Bargain ("Swedes to invade with 25,000; France to
give fair subsidy," and bribe largely) was consummated in March;
["21st March, 1757" (Stenzel, v. 38; &c.).] but did not become
known to Friedrich for some months later; nor was it of the
importance he then thought it, in the first moment of surprise and
provocation. Not indeed of importance to anybody, except, in the
reverse way, to poor Sweden itself, and to the French, who had
spent a great deal of pains and money on it, and continued to
spend, with as good as no result at all. For there never was such a
War, before or since, not even by Sweden in the Captainless state!
And the one profit the copartners reaped from it, was some
discountenance it gave to the rumor which had risen, more
extensively than we should now think, and even some nucleus of fact
in it as appears, That Austria, France and the Catholic part of the
Reich were combining to put down Protestantism. To which they could
now answer, "See, Protestant Sweden is with us!"--and so weaken a
little what was pretty much Friedrich's last hold on the public
sympathies at this time.

As to France itself,--to France, Austria, Russia,--bound by such
earthly Treaties, and the call of very Heaven, shall they not, in
united puissance and indignation, rise to the rescue?
France, touched to the heart by such treatment of a Saxon Kurfurst,
and bound by Treaty of Westphalia to protect all members of the
Reich (which it has sometimes, to our own knowledge, so carefully
done), is almost more ardent than Austria itself. France, Austria,
Russia; to these add Polish Majesty himself; and latterly the very
Swedes, by French bribery at Stockholm: these are the Partitioning
Powers;--and their shares (let us spare one line for their shares)
are as follows.

The Swedes are to have Pommern in whole; Polish-Saxon Majesty gets
Magdeburg, Halle, and opulent slices thereabouts; Austria's share,
we need not say, is that jewel of a Silesia. Czarish Majesty, on
the extreme East, takes Preussen, Konigsberg-Memel Country in
whole; adds Preussen to her as yet too narrow Territories.
Wesel-Cleve Country, from the other or Western extremity, France
will take that clipping, and make much of it. These are quite
serious business-engagements, engrossed on careful parchment, that
Spring, 1757, and I suppose not yet boiled down into glue, but
still to be found in dusty corners, with the tape much faded.
The high heads, making preparation on the due scale, think them not
only executable, but indubitable, and almost as good as done.
Push home upon him, as united Posse Comitatus of Mankind; in a
sacred cause of Polish Majesty and Public Justice, how can one
malefactor resist? "AH, MA TRES-CHERE" and "Oh, my dearest Princess
and Cousin," what a chance has turned up!

It is computed that there are arrayed against this one King, under
their respective Kings, Empress-Queens, Swedish Senates, Catins and
Pompadours, populations to the amount of above 100 millions,--in
after stages, I remember to have seen "150 millions" loosely given
as the exaggerated cipher. Of armed soldiers actually in the field
against him (against Hanover and him), in 1757, there are, by
strict count, 430,000. Friedrich's own Dominions at this time
contain about Five Millions of Population; of Revenue somewhat less
than Two Millions sterling. New taxes he cannot legally, and will
not, lay on his People. His SCHATZ (ready-money Treasure, or Hoard
yearly accumulating for such end) is, I doubt not, well filled,--
express amount not mentioned. Of drilled men he has, this Year,
150,000 for the field; portioned out thriftily,--as well beseems,
against Four Invasions coming on him from different points. In the
field, 150,000 soldiers, probably the best that ever were; and in
garrison, up and down (his Country being, by nature, the least
defensible of all Countries), near 40,000, which he reckons of
inferior quality. So stands the account. [Stenzel, iv. 308, 306,
v. 39; Ranke, iii. 415; Preuss, ii, 389, 43, 124; &c. &c.;--
substantially true, I doubt not; but little or nothing of it so
definite and conclusively distinct as it ought, in all items, to
have been by this time,--had poor Dryasdust known what he was
doing.] These are, arithmetically precise, his resources,--PLUS
only what may lie in his own head and heart, or funded in the other
heads and hearts, especially in those 150,000, which he and his
Fathers have been diligently disciplining, to good perfection, for
four centuries come the time.

France, urged by Pompadour and the enthusiasms, was first in the
field. The French Army, in superb equipment, though privately in
poorish state of discipline, took the road early in March;
"March 26th and 27th," it crossed the German Border, Cleve Country
and Koln Country; had been rumored of since January and February
last, as terrifically grand; and here it now actually is, above
100,000 strong,--110,405, as the Army-Lists, flaming through all
the Newspapers, teach mankind. [ Helden-Geschichte, italic> iv. 391; iii. 1073.] Bent mainly upon Prussia, it would
seem; such the will of Pompadour. Mainly upon Prussia; Marechal
d'Estrees, crossing at Koln, made offers even to his Britannic
Majesty to be forgiven in comparison; "Yield us a road through your
Hanover, merely a road to those Halberstadt-Magdeburg parts, your
Hanover shall have neutrality!" "Neutrality to Hanover?" sighed
Britannic Majesty: "Alas, am not I pledged by Treaty? And, alas,
withal, how is it possible, with that America hanging over us?" and
stood true. Nor is this all, on the part of magnanimous France:
there is a Soubise getting under way withal, Soubise and 30,000,
who will reinforce the Reich's Armament, were it on foot, and be
heard of by and by! So high runs French enthusiasm at present.
A new sting of provocation to Most Christian Majesty, it seems, has
been Friedrich's conduct in that Damiens matter (miserable attempt,
by a poor mad creature, to assassinate; or at least draw blood upon
the Most Christian Majesty ["Evening of 5th January, 1757"
(exuberantly plentiful details of it, and of the horrible Law-
procedures which followed on it: In Adelung, viii. 197-220;
Barbier, &c. &c.).]); about which Friedrich, busy and oblivious,
had never, in common politeness, been at the pains to condole,
compliment, or take any notice whatever. And will now take the
consequences, as due!--

The Wesel-Cleve Countries these French find abandoned: Friedrich's
garrisons have had orders to bring off the artillery and stores,
blow up what of the works are suitable for blowing up; and join the
"Britannic Army of Observation" which is getting itself together in
those regions. Considerable Army, Britannic wholly in the money
part: new Hanoverians so many, Brunswickers, Buckeburgers, Sachsen-
Gothaers so many; add those precious Hanoverian-Hessian 20,000,
whom we have had in England guarding our liberties so long,--who
are now shipped over in a lot; fair wind and full sea to them.
Army of 60,000 on paper; of effective more than 50,000;
Head-quarters now at Bielefeld on the Weser;--where, "April 16th,"
or a few days later, Royal Highness of Cumberland comes to take
command; likely to make a fine figure against Marechal d'Estrees
and his 100,000 French! But there was no helping it.
Friedrich, through Winter, has had Schmettau earnestly flagitating
the Hanoverian Officialities: "The Weser is wadable in many places,
you cannot defend the Weser!" and counselling and pleading to all
lengths,--without the least effect. "Wants to save his own
Halberstadt lands, at our expense!" Which was the idea in London,
too: "Don't we, by Apocalyptic Newswriters and eyesight of our own,
understand the man?" Pitt is by this time in Office, who perhaps
might have judged a little otherwise. But Pitt's seat is altogether
temporary, insecure; the ruling deities Newcastle and Royal
Highness, who withal are in standing quarrel. So that Friedrich,
Schmettau, Mitchell pleaded to the deaf. Nothing but "Defend the
Weser," and ignorant Fatuity ready for the Impossible, is to be
made out there. "Cannot help it, then," thinks Friedrich, often
enough, in bad moments; "Army of Observation will have its fate.
Happily there are only 5,000 Prussians in it, Wesel and the other
garrisons given up!"

Only 5,000 Prussians: by original Engagement, there should have
been 25,000; and Friedrich's intention is even 45,000 if he prosper
otherwise. For in January, 1757 (Anniversary, or nearly so, of that
NEUTRALITY CONVENTION last year), there had been--encouraged by
Pitt, as I could surmise, who always likes Friedrich--a definite,
much closer TREATY OF ALLIANCE, with "Subsidy of a million
sterling," Anti-Russian "Squadron of Observation in the Baltic,"
"25,000 Prussians," and other items, which I forget. Forget the
more readily, as, owing to the strange state of England (near
suffocating in its Constitutional bedclothes), the Treaty could not
be kept at all, or serve as rule to poor England's exertions for
Friedrich this Year; exertions which were of the willing-minded but
futile kind, going forward pell-mell, not by plan, and could reach
Friedrich only in the lump,--had there been any "lump" of them to
sum together. But Pitt had gone out;--we shall see what, in Pitt's
absence, there was! So that this Treaty 1757 fell quite into the
waste-basket (not to say, far deeper, by way of "pavement" we know
where!),--and is not mentioned in any English Book; nor was known
to exist, till some Collector of such things printed it, in
comparatively recent times. ["M. Koch in 1802," not very perfectly
(Scholl, iii. 30 n.; who copies what Koch has given).] A Treaty
1757, which, except as emblem of the then quasi-enchanted condition
of England, and as Foreshadow of Pitt's new Treaty in January,
1758, and of three others that followed and were kept to the
letter, is not of moment farther.


The thunderous fulminations in the Reich's-Diet--an injured Saxony
complaining, an insulted Kaiser, after vain DEHORTATORIUMS,
reporting and denouncing "Horrors such as these: What say you, O
Reich?"--have been going on since September last; and amount to
boundless masses of the liveliest Parliamentary Eloquence, now
fallen extinct to all creatures. [Given, to great lengths, in
Helden-Geschichte, iii. iv. (and other easily
avoidable Books).] The Kaiser, otherwise a solid pacific gentleman,
intent on commercial operations (furnishes a good deal of our meal,
says Friedrich), is Officially extremely violent in behalf of
injured Saxony,--that is to say, in fact, of injured Austria, which
is one's own. Kur-Mainz, Chairman of the Diet (we remember how he
was got, and a Battle of Dettingen fought in consequence, long
since); Kur-Mainz is admitted to have the most decided Austrian
leanings: Britannic George, Austria being now in the opposite
scale, finds him an unhandy Kur-Mainz, and what profit it was to
introduce false weights into the Reich's balance that time! Not for
long generations before, had the poor old semi-imaginary Reich's-
Diet risen into such paroxysms; nor did it ever again after.
Never again, in its terrestrial History, was there such agonistic
parliamentary struggle, and terrific noise of parliamentary
palaver, witnessed in the poor Reich's-Diet. Noise and struggle
rising ever higher, peal after peal, from September, 1756, when it
started, till August, 1757, when it had reached its acme (as
perhaps we shall see), though it was far from ending then, or for
years to come.

Contemporary by-standers remark, on the Austrian part,
extraordinary rage and hatred against Prussia; which is now the one
point memorable. Austria is used to speak loud in the Diet, as we
have ourselves seen: and it is again (if you dive into those old
AEolus'-Caves, at your peril) unpleasantly notable to what pitch of
fixed rage, and hot sullen hatred Austria has now gone; and how the
tone has in it a potency of world-wide squealing and droning, such
as you nowhere heard before. Omnipotence of droning, edged with
shrieky squealing, which fills the Universe, not at all in a
melodious way. From the depths of the gamut to the shrieky top
again,--a droning that has something of porcine or wild-boar
character. Figure assembled the wild boars of the world, all or
mostly all got together, and each with a knife just stuck into its
side, by a felonious individual too well known,--you will have some
notion of the sound of these things. Friedrich sometimes
remonstrates: "Cannot you spare such phraseology, unseemly to
Kings? The quarrels of Kings have to be decided by the sword;
what profit in unseemly language, Madam?"--but, for the first year
and more, there was no abatement on the Austrian part.

Friedrich's own Delegate at Regensburg, a Baron von Plotho, come of
old Brandenburg kindred, is a resolute, ready-tongued, very
undaunted gentleman; learned in Diplomacies and Reich's Law;
carries his head high, and always has his story at hand.
Argument, grounded on Reich's Law and the nature of the case,
Plotho never lacks, on spur of the hour: and is indeed a very
commendable parliamentary mastiff; and honorable and melodious in
the bark of him, compared with those infuriated porcine specimens.
He has Kur-Hanover for ally on common occasions, and generally from
most Protestant members individually, or from the CORPUS
EVANGELICORUM in mass, some feeble whimper of support.
Finds difficulty in getting his Reich's Pleadings printed;--
dangerous, everywhere in those Southern Parts, to print anything
whatever that is not Austrian: so that Plotho, at length, gets
printers to himself, and sets up a Printing-Press in his own house
at Regensburg. He did a great deal of sonorous pleading for
Friedrich; proud, deep-voiced, ruggedly logical; fairly beyond the
Austrian quality in many cases,--and always far briefer, which is
another high merit. October coming, we purpose to look in upon
Plotho for one minute; "October 14th, 1757;" which may be reckoned
essentially the acme or tuming-point of these unpleasant
thunderings. [ Helden-Geschichte, iv.

What good he did to Friedrich, or could have done with the tongue
of angels in such an audience, we do not accurately know. Some good
he would do even in the Reich's-Diet there; and out of doors, over
a German public, still more; and is worth his frugal wages,--say
1,000 pounds a year, printing and all other expense included!
This is a mere guess of mine, Dryasdust having been incurious:
but, to English readers it is incredible for what sums Friedrich
got his work done, no work ever better. Which is itself an
appreciable advantage, computable in pounds sterling; and is the
parent of innumerable others which no Arithmetic or Book-keeping by
Double Entry will take hold of, and which are indeed priceless for
Nations and for persons. But this poor old bedridden Reich,
starting in agonistic spasm at such rate: is it not touching, in a
Corpus moribund for so many Centuries past! The Reich is something;
though it is not much, nothing like so much as even Kaiser Franz
supposes it. Much or not so much, Kaiser Franz wishes to secure it
for himself; Friedrich to hinder him,--and it must be a poor
something, if not worth Plotho's wages on Friedrich's part.

It would insult the patience of every reader to go into these
spasmodic tossings of the poor paralytic Reich; or to mention the
least item of them beyond what had some result, or fraction of
result, on the world's real affairs. We shall say only, therefore,
that after tempests not a few of porcine squealing, answered always
by counter-latration on the vigilant Plotho's part;--squealing,
chiefly, from the Reich's-Hofrath at Vienna, the Head Tribunal of
Imperial Majesty, which sits judging and denouncing there, touched
to the soul, as if by a knife driven into its side, by those
unheard-of treatments of Saxony and disregard to our
DEHORTATORIUMS, and which bursts out, peal after peal, filling the
Universe, Plotho not unvigilant;--the poor old Reich's-Diet did at
last get into an acting posture, and determine, by clear majority
of 99 against 60, that there should be a "Reich's Execution Army"
got on foot. Reich's Execution Army to coerce, by force of arms,
this nefarious King of Prussia into making instant restitution to
Saxony, with ample damages on the nail; that right be done to
Kurfursts of this Reich. To such height of vigor has the Reich's-
Diet gone;--and was voting it at Regensburg January 10th, 1757;
[ Helden-Geschichte, iv. 252, 302, 330;
Stenzel, v. 32.] that very day when nefarious Friedrich at Berlin,
case-hardened in iniquity to such a pitch, sat writing his
INSTRUCTION TO COUNT FINCK, which we read not long since.
Simultaneous movements, unknown to one another, in this
big wrestle.

Reich's-Diet perfected its Vote; had it quite through, and
sanctioned by the Kaiser's Majesty, January 29th: "Arming to be a
TRIPLUM" (triple contingent required of you this time);
with Romish-months (ROMERMONATE) of cash contributions from all and
sundry (rigorously gathered, I should hope, where Austria has
power), so many as will cover the expense. Army to be got on actual
foot hastily, instantly if possible: an "EILENDE REICHS-EXECUTIONS
ARMEE;" so it ran, but the word EILENDE (speedy) had a mischance in
printing, and was struck off into ELENDE (contemptibly wretched):
so that on all Market-Squares and Public Places of poor
Teutschland, you read flaming Placards summoning out, not a speedy
or immediate, but "a MISERABLE Reich's Execution Army!" A word
which, we need not say, was laughed at by the unfeeling part of the
public; and was often called to mind by the Reich's Execution
Army's performances, when said SPEEDY Army did at last take
the field.

For the Reich performed its Vote; actually had a Reich's Execution
Army; the last it ever had in this world, not by any means the
worst it ever had, for they used generally to be bad.
Commanders, managers are named, Romermonate are gathered in, or the
sure prospect of them; and, through May-June, 1757, there is busy
stir, of drumming, preparing and enlisting, all over the Reich.
End of July, we shall see the Reich's Army in Camp; end of August,
actually in the field; and later on, a touch of its fighting
withal. Many other things the Reich tried against unfortunate
Friedrich,--gradual advance, in fact, to Ban of the Reich (or total
anathema and cutting-off from fire and water): but in none of
these, in Ban as little as any, did it come to practical result at
all, or acquire the least title to be remembered at this day.
Finis of Ban, some eight months hence, has something of attractive
as futility, the curious Death of a Futility. Finis of Ban (October
14th, already indicated) we may for one moment look in upon, if
there be one moment to spare; the rest--readers may fancy it;
and read only of the actuality and fighting part, which will itself
be enough for them on such a matter.


Four Invasions, from their respective points of the compass,
northeast, northwest, southeast and southwest: here is a formidable
outlook for the one man against whom they are all advancing open-
mouthed. The one man--with nothing but a Duke of Cumberland and his
Observation Army for backing in such duel--had need to look to
himself! Which, we well know, he does; wrapt in profoundly silent
vigilance, with his plans all laid. Of the Four Invasions, three,
the Russian, French, Austrian, are very large; and the two latter,
especially the last, are abundantly formidable. The Swedish, of
which there is rumoring, he hopes may come to little, or not come
at all. Nor is Russia, though talking big, and actually getting
ready above 100,000 men, so immediately alarming. Friedrich always
hopes the English, with their guineas and their managements, will
do something for him in that quarter; and he knows, at worst, that
the Russian Hundred Thousand will be a very slow-moving entity.
The Swedish Invasion Friedrich, for the present, leaves to chance:
and against Russia, he has sent old Marshal Lehwald into those
Baltic parts; far eastward, towards the utmost Memel Frontier, to
put the Country upon its own defence, and make what he can of it
with 30,000 men,--West-Prussian militias a good few of them.
This is all he can spare on the Swedish-Russian side: Austria and
France are the perilous pair of entities; not to be managed except
by intense concentration of stroke; and by going on them in
succession, if one have luck!--

Friedrich's motions and procedures in canton-quarters, through
Winter and in late months, have led to the belief that he means to
stand on the defensive; that the scene of the Campaign will
probably be Saxony; and that Austria, for recovering injured
Saxony, for recovering dear Silesia, will have to take an invasive
attitude. And Austria is busy everywhere preparing with that view.
Has Tolpatcheries, and advanced Brigades, still harassing about in
the Lausitz. A great Army assembling at Prag,--Browne forward
towards the Metal Mountains securing posts, gathering magazines,
for the crossing into Saxony there. There, it is thought, the tug
of war will probably be. Furious, and strenuous, it is not doubted,
on this Friedrich's part: but against such odds, what can he do?
With Austrians in front, with Russians to left, with French to
right and arear, not to mention Swedes and appendages: surely here,
if ever, is a lost King!--

It is by no means Friedrich's intention that Saxony itself shall
need to be invaded. Friedrich's habit is, as his enemies might by
this time be beginning to learn, not that of standing on the
defensive, but that of GOING on it, as the preferable method
wherever possible. March 24th, Friedrich had quitted Dresden City;
and for a month after (head-quarters Lockwitz, edge of the Pirna
Country), he had been shifting, redistributing, his cantoned Army,
--privately into the due Divisions, due readiness for march.
Which done, on fixed days, about the end of April, the whole Army,
he himself from Lockwitz, April 20th,--to the surprise of Austria
and the world, Friedrich in three grand Columns, Bevern out of the
Lausitz, King himself over the Metal Mountains, Schwerin out of
Schlesien, is marching with extraordinary rapidity direct for Prag;
in the notion that a right plunge into the heart of Bohemia will be
the best defence for Saxony and the other places under menace.

This is a most unexpected movement; which greatly astonishes the
world-theatre, pit, boxes and gallery alike (as Friedrich's sudden
movements often do); and which is, above all, interesting on the
stage itself, where the actors had been counting on a quite
opposite set of entries and activities! Feldmarschall Browne and
General Konigseck (not our old friend Konigseck, who used to dry-
nurse in the Netherlands, but his nephew and heir) may cease
gathering Magazines, in those Lausitz and Metal-Mountain parts:
happy could they give wings to those already gathered!
Magazines, for Austrian service, are clearly not the things wanted
there. One does not burn one's Magazines till the last extremity;
but wings they have none; and such is the enigmatic velocity of
those Prussian movements, one seldom has time even to burn them, in
the last crisis of catastrophe! Considerable portions of that
provender fell into the Prussian throat; as much as "three months'
provision for the whole Army," count they,--adding to those
Frontier sundries the really important Magazine which they seized
at Jung-Bunzlau farther in. [ Helden-Geschichte, iv. 6-13;
&c.] It is one among their many greater advantages from this
surprisal of the enemy, and sudden topsy-turvying of his plans.
Browne and Konigseck have to retire on Prag at their swiftest;
looking to more important results than Magazines.

It is Friedrich's old plan. Long since, in 1744, we saw a march of
this kind, Three Columns rushing with simultaneous rapidity on
Prag; and need not repeat the particulars on this occasion.
Here are some Notes on the subject, which will sufficiently bring
it home to readers:--

"The Three Columns were, for a part of the way, Four; the King's
being, at first, in two branches, till they united again, on the
other side of the Hills. For the King," what is to be noted, "had
shot out, three weeks before, a small preliminary branch, under
Moritz of Dessau; who marched, well westward, by Eger (starting
from Chemnitz in Saxony); and had some tussling with our poor old
friend Duke d'Ahremberg, Browne's subordinate in those parts.
D'Ahremberg, having 20,000 under him, would not quit Eger for
Moritz; but pushed out Croats upon him, and sat still. This, it was
afterwards surmised, had been a feint on Friedrich's part; to give
the Austrians pleasant thoughts: 'Invading us, is he? Would fain
invade us, but cannot!' Moritz fell back from Eger; and was ready
to join the King's march, (at Linay, April 23d' (third day from
Lockwitz, on the King's part). Onwards from which point the Columns
are specifically Three; in strength, and on routes, somewhat
as follows:--

1. "The FIRST Column, or King's,--which is 60,000 after this
junction, 45,000 foot, 15,000 horse,--quitted Lockwitz (head-
quarter for a month past), WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20TH. They go by the
Pascopol and other roads; through Pirna, for one place:
through Karbitz, Aussig, are at Linay on the 23d; where Moritz
joins: 24th, in the united state, forward again (leave Lobositz two
miles to left); to Trebnitz, 25th, and rest there one day.

"At Aussig an unfortunate thing befell. Zastrow, respectable old
General Zastrow, was to drive the Austrians out of Aussig:
Zastrow does it, April 22d-23d, drives them well over the heights;
April 25th, however, marching forward towards Lobositz, Zastrow is
shot through both temples (Pandour hid among the bushes and cliffs,
OTHER side of Elbe), and falls dead on the spot. Buried in
GOTTLEUBE Kirk, 1st May."

In these Aussig affairs, especially in recapturing the Castle of
Tetschen near by, Colonel Mayer, father of the new "Free-Corps,"
did shining service;--and was approved of, he and they. And, a day
or two after, was detached with a Fifteen Hundred of that kind, on
more important business: First, to pick up one or two Bohemian
Magazines lying handy; after which, to pay a visit to the Reich and
its bluster about Execution-Army, and teach certain persons who it
is they are thundering against in that awkwardly truculent manner!
Errand shiningly done by Mayer, as perhaps we may hear,--and
certainly as all the Newspapers loudly heard,--in the course of the
next two months.

At crossing of the Eger, Friedrich's Column had some chasing of
poor D'Ahremberg; attempting to cut him off from his Bridges,
Bridge of Koschlitz, Bridge of Budin; but he made good despatch,
Browne and he; and, except a few prisoners of Ziethen's gathering,
and most of his Magazines unburnt, they did him no damage.
The chase was close enough; more than once, the Austrian head-
quarter of to-night was that of the Prussians to-morrow.
Monday, May 2d, Friedrich's Column was on the Weissenberg of Prag;
Browne, D'Ahremberg, and Prince Karl, who is now come up to take
command, having hastily filed through the City, leaving a fit
garrison, the day before. Except his Magazines, nothing the least
essential went wrong with Browne; but Konigseck, who had not a
Friedrich on his heels,--Konigseck, trying more, as his opportunities
were more,--was not quite so lucky.

2. "Column SECOND, to the King's left, comes from the Lausitz under
Brunswick-Bevern,--18,000 foot, 5,000 horse. This is the Bevern who
so distinguished himself at Lobositz last year; and he is now to
culminate into a still brighter exploit,--the last of his very
bright ones, as it proved. Bevern set out from about Zittau (from
Grottau, few miles south of Zittau), the same day with Friedrich,
that is April 20th;--and had not well started till he came upon
formidable obstacles. Came upon General Konigseck, namely:
a Konigseck manoeuvring ahead, in superior force; a Maguire, Irish
subordinate of Konigseck's, coming from the right to cut off our
baggage (against whom Bevern has to detach); a Lacy, coming from
the left;--or indeed, Konigseck and Lacy in concert, intending to
offer battle. Battle of Reichenberg, which accordingly ensued,
April 21st,"--of which, though it was very famous for so small a
Battle, there can be no account given here.

The short truth is, Konigseck falling back, Parthian-like, with a
force of 30,000 or more, has in front of him nothing but Bevern;
who, as he issues from the Lausitz, and till he can unite with
Schwerin farther southward, is but some 20,000 odd:
cannot Konigseck call halt, and bid Bevern return, or do worse?
Konigseck, a diligent enough soldier, determines to try; chooses an
excellent position,--at or round Reichenberg, which is the first
Bohemian Town, one march from Zittau in the Lausitz, and then one
from Liebenau, which latter would be Bevern's SECOND Bohemian stage
on the Prag road, if he continued prosperous. Reichenberg, standing
nestled among hills in the Neisse Valley (one of those Four Neisses
known to us, the Neisse where Prince Karl got exploded, in that
signal manner, Winter, 1745, by a certain King), offers fine
capabilities; which Konigseck has laid hold of. There is especially
one excellent Hollow (on the left or western bank of Neisse River,
that is, ACROSS from Reichenberg), backed by woody hills, nothing
but hills, brooks, woods all round; Hollow scooped out as if for
the purpose; and altogether of inviting character to Konigseck.
There, "Wednesday, April 20th," Konigseck posts himself, plants
batteries, fells abatis; plenty of cannon, of horse and foot, and,
say all soldiers, one of the best positions possible.

So that Bevern, approaching Reichenberg at evening, evening of his
first march, Wednesday, April 20th, finds his way barred; and that
the difficulties may be considerable. "Nothing to be made of it
to-night," thinks Bevern; "but we must try to-morrow!" and has to
take camp, "with a marshy brook in front of him," some way on the
hither side of Reichenberg; and study overnight what method of
unbarring there may be. Thursday morning early, Bevern, having well
reconnoitred and studied, was at work unbarring. Bevern crossed his
own marshy brook; courageously assaulted Konigseck's position, left
wing of Konigseck; stormed the abatis, the batteries, plunged in
upon Konigseck, man to man, horse to horse, and after some fierce
enough but brief dispute, tumbled Konigseck out of the ground.
Konigseck made some attempt to rally; attempted twice, but in vain;
had fairly to roll away, and at length to run, leaving 1,000 dead
upon the field, about 500 prisoners; one or two guns, and I forget
how many standards, or whether any kettle-drums. This was thought
to be a decidedly bright feat on Bevern's part (rather mismanaged
latterly on Konigseck's); [Tempelhof, i. 100; Helden-
Geschichte, iii. 1077 (Friedrich's own Account, "Linay in Bohmen, 24th April, 1757"); &c. &c. There is, in Busching's
italic> Magazin (xvi. 139 et seq.), an intelligible
sketch of this Action of Reichenherg, with satirical criticisms,
which have some basis, on Lacy, Maguire and others, by an Anonymous
Military Cynic,--who gives many such in BUSCHING (that of Fontenoy,
for example), not without force of judgment, and signs of wide
study and experience in his trade.]--much approved by Friedrich, as
he hears of it, at Linay, on his own prosperous march Prag-ward.
A comfortable omen, were there nothing more.

Konigseck and Company, torn out of Reichenberg, and set running,
could not fairly halt again and face about till at Liebenau, twenty
miles off, where they found some defile or difficult bit of ground
fit for them; and this too proved capable of yielding pause for a
few hours only. For Schwerin, with his Silesian Column, was coming
up from the northeast, threatening Konigseck on flank and rear:
Konigseck could only tighten his straps a little at this Liebenau,
and again get under way; and making vain attempts to hinder the
junction of Schwerin and Bevern, to defend the Jung-Bunzlau
Magazine, or do any good in those parts, except to detain the
Schwerin-Bevern people certain hours (I think, one day in all), had
nothing for it but to gird himself together, and retreat on Prag
and the Ziscaberg, where his friends now were.

The Austrian force at Reichenberg was 20,000; would have been 30
and odd thousands, had Maguire come up (as he might have done, had
not the appearances alarmed him too much); Bevern, minus the
Detachment sent against Maguire, was but 15,000 in fight; and he
has quite burst the Austrians away, who had plugged his road for
him in such force: is it not a comfortable little victory, glorious
in its sort; and a good omen for the bigger things that are coming?
Bevern marched composedly on, after this inspiriting tussle,
through Liebenau and what defiles there were; April 24th, at
Turnau, he falls into the Schwerin Column; incorporates himself
therewith, and, as subordinate constituent part, accompanies
Schwerin thenceforth.

3. "Column THIRD was Schwerin's, out of Schlesien; counted to be
32,000 foot, 12,000 horse. Schwerin, gathering himself, from Glatz
and the northerly country, at Landshut,--very careless, he, of the
pleasant Hills, and fine scattered peaks of the Giant Mountains
thereabouts,--was completely gathered foremost of all the Columns,
having farthest to go. And on Monday, 18th April, started from
Landshut, Winterfeld leading one division. In our days, it is the
finest of roads; high level Pass, of good width, across the Giant
Range; pleasant painted hamlets sprinkling it, fine mountain ridges
and distant peaks looking on; Schneekoppe (SNOWfell, its head
bright-white till July come) attends you, far to the right, all the
way:--probably Sprite Rubezahl inhabits there; and no doubt River
Elbe begins his long journey there, trickling down in little
threads over yonder, intending to float navies by and by:
considerations infinitely indifferent to Schwerin. 'The road,' says
my Tourist, (is not Alpine; it reminds you of Derbyshire-Peak
country; more like the road from Castletown to Sheffield than any I
could name;'--we have been in it before, my reader and I, about
Schatzlar and other places. Trautenau, well down the Hills, with
swift streams, more like torrents, bound Elbe-wards, watering it,
is a considerable Austrian Town, and the Bohemian end of the Pass,
--Sohr only a few miles from it: heartily indifferent to Schwerin
at this moment; who was home from the Army, in a kind of disfavor,
or mutual pet, at the time Sohr was done. Schwerin's March we shall
not give; his junction with Bevern (at Turnau, on the Iser, April
24th), then their capture of Jung-Bunzlau Magazine, and crossing of
the Elbe at Melnick, these were the important points; and, in spite
of Konigseck's tusslings, these all went well, and nothing was lost
except one day of time."

The Austrians, some days ago, as we observed, filed THROUGH Prag,--
Sunday, May 1st, not a pleasant holiday-spectacle to the
populations;--and are all encamped on the Ziscaberg high ground, on
the other side of the City. Had they been alert, now was the time
to attack Friedrich, who is weaker than they, while nobody has yet
joined him. They did not think of it, under Prince Karl; and Browne
and the Prince are said to be in bad agreement.

Chapter II.


Monday morning, 2d May, 1757, the Vanguard, or advanced troops of
Friedrich's Column, had appeared upon the Weissenberg, northwest
corner of Prag (ground known to them in 1744, and to the poor
Winter-King in 1620): Vanguard in the morning; followed shortly by
Friedrich himself; and, hour after hour, by all the others,
marching in. So that, before sunset, the whole force lay posted
there; and had the romantic City of Prag full in view at their
feet. A most romantic, high-piled, many-towered, most unlevel old
City; its skylights and gilt steeple-cocks glittering in the
western sun,--Austrian Camp very visible close beyond it, spread
out miles in extent on the Ziscaberg Heights, or eastern side;--
Prag, no doubt, and the Austrian Garrison of Prag, taking intense
survey of this Prussian phenomenon, with commentaries, with
emotions, hidden now in eternal silence, as is fit enough.
One thing we know, "Head-quarter was in Welleslawin:" there, in
that small Hamlet, nearly to north, lodged Friedrich, the then
busiest man of Europe; whom Posterity is still striving for a view
of, as something memorable.

Prince Karl, our old friend, is now in chief command yonder;
Browne also is there, who was in chief command; their scheme of
Campaign gone all awry. And to Friedrich, last night, at his
quarters "in the Monastery of Tuchomirsitz," where these two
Gentlemen had lodged the night before, it was reported that they
had been heard in violent altercation; [ Helden-Geschichte,
iv. 11 (exact "Diary of the march" given there).]--
both of them, naturally, in ill-humor at the surprising turn things
had taken; and Feldmarschall Browne firing up, belike, at some
platitude past or coming, at some advice of his rejected, some
imputation cast on him, or we know not what. Prince Karl is now
chief; and indignant Browne, as may well be the case, dissents a
good deal,--as he has often had to do. Patience, my friend, it is
near ending now! Prince Karl means to lie quiet on the Ziscaberg,
and hold Prag; does not think of molesting Friedrich in his
solitary state; and will undertake nothing, "till Konigseck, from
Jung-Bunzlau, come in," victorious or not; or till perhaps even
Daun arrive (who is, rather slowly, gathering reinforcement in
Maren): "What can the enemy attempt on us, in a Post of this
strength?" thinks Prince Karl. And Browne, whatever his insight or
convictions be, has to keep silence.

"Weissenberg," let readers be reminded, "is on the hither or
western side of Prag: the Hradschin [pronounce RadSHEEN, with
accent on the last syllable, as in "SchwerIN" and other such
cases], the Hradschin, which is the topmost summit of the City and
of the Fashionable Quarter,--old Bohemian Palace, still
occasionally habitable as such, and in constant use as a DOWNING
STREET,--lies on the slope or shoulder of the Weissenberg, a good
way from the top; and has a web of streets rushing down from it,
steepest streets in the world; till they reach the Bridge, and
broad-flowing Moldau (broad as Thames at half-flood, but nothing
like so deep); after which the streets become level, and spread out
in intricate plenty to right and to left, and ahead eastward,
across the River, till the Ziscaberg, with frowning precipitous
brow, suddenly puts a stop to them in that particular direction.
From Ziscaberg top to Weissenberg top may be about five English
miles; from the Hradschin to the foot of Ziscaberg, northwest to
southeast, will be half that distance, the greatest length of Prag
City. Which is rather rhomboidal in shape, its longer diagonal this
that we mention. The shorter diagonal, from northmost base of
Ziscaberg to southmost of Hradschin, is perhaps a couple of miles.
Prag stands nestled in the lap of mountains; and is not in itself a
strong place in war: but the country round it, Moldau ploughing his
rugged chasm of a passage through the piled table-land, is
difficult to manoeuvre in.

"Moldau Valley comes straight from the south, crosses Prag;
and--making, on its outgate at the northern end of Prag (end of
'shortest diagonal' just spoken of), one big loop, or bend and
counter-bend, of horse-shoe shape," which will be notable to us
anon--"again proceeds straight northward and Elbe-ward. It is
narrow everywhere, especially when once got fairly north of Prag;
and runs along like a Quasi-Highland Strath, amid rocks and hills.
Big Hill-ranges, not to be called barren, yet with rock enough on
each hand, and fine side valleys opening here and there: the bottom
of your Strath, which is green and fertile, with pleasant busy
Villages (much intent on water-power and cotton-spinning in our
time), is generally of few furlongs in breadth. And so it lasts,
this pleasant Moldau Valley, mile after mile, on the northern or
Lower Moldau, generally straight north, though with one big bend
eastward just before ending; and not till near Melnick, or the
mouth of Moldau, do we emerge on that grand Elbe Valley,--glanced
at once already, from Pascopol or other Height, in the
Lobositz times."

Friedrich's first problem is the junction with Schwerin: junction
not to be accomplished south of Ziscaberg in the present
circumstances; and which Friedrich knows to be a ticklish
operation, with those Austrians looking on from the high grounds
there. Tuesday, 3d May, in the way of reconnoitring, and decisively
on Wednesday, 4th, Friedrich is off northward, along the western
heights of Lower Moldau, proper force following him, to seek a fit
place for the pontoons, and get across in that northern quarter.
"How dangerous that Schwerin is a day too late!" murmurs he;
but hopes the Austrians will undertake nothing. Keith, with 30,000,
he has left on the Weissenberg, to straiten Prag and the Austrian
Garrison on that side: our wagon-trains arrive from Leitmeritz on
that side, Elbe-boats bring them up to Leitmeritz; very
indispensable to guard that side of Prag. Friedrich's fixed purpose
also is to beat the Austrians, on the other side of it, and send
them packing; but for that, there are steps needful!

Up so far as Lissoley, the first day, Friedrich has found no fit
place; but on the morrow, Thursday, 5th, farther up, at a place
called Seltz, Friedrich finds his side of the Strath to be "a
little higher than the other,"--proper, therefore, for cannonading
the other, if need be;--and orders his pontoons to be built
together there. He knows accurately of the Schwerin Column, of the
comfortable Bevern Victory at Reichenberg, and how they have got
the Jung-Bunzlau Magazine, and are across the Elbe, their bridges
all secured, though with delay of one day; and do now wait only for
the word,--for the three cannon-shot, in fact, which are to signify
that Friedrich is actually crossing to their side of Lower Moldau.

Friedrich's Bridge is speedily built (trained human hands can be no
speedier), his batteries planted, his precautions taken: the three
cannon-shot go off, audible to Schwerin; and Friedrich's troops
stream speedily across, hardly a Pandour to meddle with them.
Nay, before the passage was complete--what light-horse squadrons
are these? Hussars, seen to be Seidlitz's (missioned by Schwerin),
appear on the outskirts: a meeting worthy of three cheers, surely,
after such a march on both sides! Friedrich lies on the eastern
Hill-tops that night (Hamlet of Czimitz his Head-quarter,
discoverable if you wish it, scarcely three miles north of Prag);
and accurate appointment is made with Schwerin as to the
meeting-place to-morrow morning. Meeting-place is to be the
environs of Prossik Village, southeastward over yonder, short way
north of the Prag-Konigsgratz Highway; and rather nearer Prag than
we now are, in Czimitz here: time at Prossik to be 6 A.M. by the
clock; and Winterfeld and Schwerin to come in person and speak with
his Majesty. This is the program for Friday, May 6th, which proves
to be so memorable a day.

Schwerin is on foot by the stroke of midnight; comes along, "over
the heights of Chaber," by half a dozen, or I know not how many
roads; visible in due time to Friedrich's people, who are likewise
punctually on the advance: in a word, the junction is accomplished
with all correctness. And, while the Columns are marching up,
Schwerin and Winterfeld ride about in personal conference with his
Majesty; taking survey, through spy-glasses, of those Austrians
encamped yonder on the broad back of their Zisca Hill, a couple of
miles to southward. "What a set of Austrians," exclaim military
critics, "to permit such junction, without effort to devour the one
half or the other, in good time!" Friedrich himself, it is
probable, might partly be of the same opinion; but he knew his
Austrians, and had made bold to venture. Friedrich, we can observe,
always got to know his man, after fighting him a month or two;
and took liberties with him, or did not take, accordingly. And, for
most part,--not quite always, as one signal exception will Show,--
he does it with perfect accuracy; and often with vital profit to
his measures. "If the Austrian cooking-tents are a-smoke before
eight in the morning," notes he, "you may calculate, in such case,
the Austrians will march that day." [MILITARY INSTRUCTIONS.] With a
surprising vividness of eye and mind (beautiful to rival, if one
could), he watches the signs of the times, of the hours and the
days and the places; and prophesies from them; reads men and their
procedures, as if they were mere handwriting, not too cramp for
him.--The Austrians have, by this time, got their Konigseck home,
very unvictorious, but still on foot, all but a thousand or two:
they are already stronger than the Prussians by count of heads;
and till even Daun come up, what hurry in a Post like this?
The Austrians are viewing Friedrich, too, this morning; but in the
blankest manner: their outposts fire a cannon-shot or two on his
group of adjutants and him, without effect; and the Head people
send their cavalry out to forage, so little prophecy have they from
signs seen.

Zisca Hill, where the Austrians now are, rises sheer up, of well-
nigh precipitous steepness, though there are trees and grass on it,
from the eastern side of Prag, say five or six hundred feet.
A steep, picturesque, massive green Hill; Moldau River, turning
suddenly to right, strikes the northwest corner of it (has flowed
well to west of it, till then), and winds eastward round its
northern base. As will be noticed presently. The ascent of
Ziscaberg, by roads, is steep and tedious: but once at the top, you
find that it is precipitous on two sides only, the City or westward
side, and the Moldau or northward. Atop it spreads out, far and
wide, into a waving upland level; bare of hedges; ploughable all of
it, studded with littery hamlets and farmsteadings; far and wide, a
kind of Plain, sloping with extreme gentleness, five or six miles
to eastward, and as far to southward, before the level perceptibly
rise again.

Another feature of the Ziscaberg, already hinted at, is very
notable: that of the Moldau skirting its northern base, and
scarping the Hill, on that side too, into a precipitous, or very
steep condition. Moldau having arrived from southward, fairly past
the end of Ziscaberg, had, so to speak, made up his mind to go
right eastward, quarrying his way through the lower uplands there,
And he proceeds accordingly, hugging the northern base of
Ziscaberg, and making it steep enough; but finds, in the course of
a mile or so, that he can no more; upland being still rock-built,
not underminable farther; and so is obliged to wind round again, to
northward, and finally straight westward, the way he came, or
parallel to the way he came; and has effected that great Horse-shoe
Hollow we heard of lately. An extremely pretty Hollow, and curious
to look upon; pretty villas, gardens, and a "Belvedere Park," laid
out in the bottom part; with green mountain-walls rising all round
it, and a silver ring of river at the base of them: length of
Horse-shoe, from heel to toe, or from west to east, is perhaps a
mile; breadth, from heel to heel, perhaps half as much.
Having arrived at his old distance to west, Moldau, like a
repentant prodigal, and as if ashamed of his frolic, just over
against the old point he swerved from, takes straight to northward
again. Straight northward; and quarries out that fine narrow
valley, or Quasi-Highland Strath, with its pleasant busy villages,
where he turns the overshot machinery, and where Friedrich and his
men had their pontoons swimming yesterday.

It is here, on this broad back of the Ziscaberg, that the Austrians
now lie; looking northward over to the King, and trying cannon-
shots upon him. There they have been encamping, and diligently
intrenching themselves for four days past; diligent especially
since yesterday, when they heard of Friedrich's crossing the River.
Their groups of tents, and batteries at all the good points,
stretch from near the crown of Ziscaberg, eastward to the Villages
of Hlaupetin, Kyge, and their Lakes, near four miles; and rearward
into the interior one knows not how far;--Prince Karl, hardly awake
yet, lies at Nussel, near the Moldau, near the Wischerad or
southeastmost point of Prag; six good miles west-by-south of Kyge,
at the other end of the diagonal line. About the same distance,
right east from Nussel, and a mile or more to south of Kyge, over
yonder, is a littery Farmstead named Sterbohol, which is not yet
occupied by the Austrians, but will become very famous in their
War-Annals, this day!--

Where the Austrian Camp or various Tent-groups were, at the time
Friedrich first cast eye on them, is no great concern of his or
ours; inasmuch as, in two or three hours hence, the Austrians were
obliged, rather suddenly, to take Order of Battle; and that, and
not their camping, is the thing we are curious upon. Let us step
across, and take some survey of that Austrian ground, which
Friedrich is now surveying from the distance, fully intending that
it shall be a battle-ground in few hours; and try to explain how
the Austrians drew up on it, when they noticed the Prussian
symptoms to become serious more and more. By nine in the
morning,--some two hours after Friedrich began his scanning, and
the Austrian outposts their firing of stray cannon-shots on
him,--it is Battle-lines, not empty Tents (which there was not time
to strike), that salute the eye over yonder.

From behind that verdant Horse-shoe Chasm we spoke of, buttressed
by the inaccessible steeps, and the Moldau, double-folded in the
form of Horse-shoe, all along the brow of that sloping expanse,
stands (by 9 A.M. "foragers all suddenly called in") the Austrian
front; the second line and the reserve, parallel to it, at good
distances behind. Ranked there; say 65,000 regulars (Prussian force
little short of the same), on the brow of Ziscaberg slope, some
four miles long. Their right wing ends, in strong batteries, in
intricate marshes, knolls, lakelets, between Hlaupetin and Kyge:
the extreme of their left wing looks over on that Horse-shoe
Hollow, where Moldau tried to dig his way, but could not and had to
turn back. They have numerous redoubts, in front and in all the
good places; and are busy with more, some of them just now getting
finished, treble-quick, while the Prussians are seen under way.
As many as sixty heavy cannon in battery up and down: of field-
pieces they have a hundred and fifty. Excellent always with their
Artillery, these Austrians; plenty of it, well-placed and well-
served: thanks to Prince Lichtenstein's fine labors within these
ten years past. [ OEuvres de Frederic, (in
several places); see Hormayr, ? Lichtenstein.] The villages, the
farmsteads, are occupied; every rising ground especially has its
battery,--Homoly Berg, Tabor Berg, "Mount of Tabor;" say KNOLL of
Tabor (nothing like so high as Battersea Rise, hardly even as
Constitution Hill), though scriptural Zisca would make a Mount of
it;--these, and other BERGS of the like type.

That is the Austrian Battle Order (as it stood about 9, though it
had still to change a little, as we shall see): their first line,
straight or nearly so, looking northward, stands on the brow of the
Zisca Slope; their second and their third, singularly like it, at
the due distances behind;--in the intervals, their tents, which
stand scattered, in groups wide apart, in the ample interior to
southward. The cavalry is on both wings; left wing, behind that
Moldau Chasm, cannot attack nor be attacked,--except it were on
hippogriffs, and its enemy on the like, capable of fighting in the
air, overhead of these Belvedere Pleasure-grounds: perhaps Prince
Karl will remedy this oversight; fruit of close following of the
orthodox practice? Prince Karl, supreme Chief, commands on the left
wing; Browne on the right, where he can attack or be attacked, NOT
on hippogriffs. As we shall see, and others will! Light horse, in
any quantity, hang scattered on all outskirts. With foot, with
cannon batteries, with horse, light or heavy, they cover in long
broad flood the whole of that Zisca Slope, to near where it ceases,
and the ground to eastward begins perceptibly to rise again.

In this latter quarter, Zisca Slope, now nearly ended, begins to
get very swampy in parts; on the eastern border of the Austrian
Camp, at Kyge, Hostawitz, and beyond it southward, about Sterbohol
and Michelup, there are many little lakelets; artificial fish-
ponds, several of them, with their sluices, dams and apparatus:
a ragged broadish lacing of ponds and lakelets (all well dried in
our day) straggles and zigzags along there, connected by the
miserablest Brook in nature, which takes to oozing and serpentizing
forward thereabouts, and does finally get emptied, now in a rather
livelier condition, into the Moldau, about the TOE-part of that
Horse-shoe or Belvedere region. It runs in sight of the King, I
think, where he now is; this lower livelier part of it: little does
the King know how important the upper oozing portion of it will be
to him this day. Near Michelup are lakelets worth noticing;
a little under Sterbohol, in the course of this miserable Brook, is
a string of fish-ponds, with their sluices open at this time, the
water out, and the mud bottom sown with herb-provender for the
intended carps, which is coming on beautifully, green as leeks, and
nearly ready for the fish getting to it again.

Friedrich surveys diligently what he can of all this, from the
northern verge. We will now return to Friedrich; and will stay on
his side through the terrible Action that is coming. Battle of
Prag, one of the furious Battles of the World; loud as Doomsday;--
the very Emblem of which, done on the Piano by females of energy,
scatters mankind to flight who love their ears! Of this great
Action the Narratives old and modern are innumerable; false some of
them, unintelligible well-nigh all. There are three in Lloyd, known
probably to some of my readers. Tempelhof, with criticisms of these
three, gives a fourth,--perhaps the one Narrative which human
nature, after much study, can in some sort understand.
Human readers, especially military, I refer to that as their
finale. [In Lloyd, i. 38 et seq. (the Three): in Tempelhof, i. 123
(the Fourth); ib. i. 144 (strength of each Army), 105-149 (remarks
of Tempelhof).--The "HISTORY," or Series of Lectures on the Battles
&c. of this War, "BY THE ROYAL STAFF-OFFICERS"--which, for the last
thirty or forty years, is used as Text-Book, or Military EUCLID, in
the Prussian Cadet-Schools,--appears to possess the fit
professorial lucidity and amplitude; and, in regard to all Official
details, enumerations and the like, is received as of CANONICAL
authority: it is not accessible to the general Public,--though
liberally enough conceded in special cases; whereby, in effect, the
main results of it are now become current in modern Prussian Books.
By favor in high quarters, I had once possession of a copy, for
some months; but not, at that time, the possibility of thoroughly
reading any part of it.] Other interest than military-scientific
the Action now has not much. The stormy fire of soul that blazed
that day (higher in no ancient or modern Fight of men) is extinct,
hopeless of resuscitation for English readers. Approximately what
the thing to human eyes might be like; what Friedrich's procedure,
humor and physiognomy of soul was in it: this, especially the
latter head, is what we search for,--had lazy Dryasdust given us
almost anything on this latter head! What little can be gleaned
from him on both heads let us faithfully give, and finish our sad
part of the combat.

Friedrich, with his Schwerin and Winterfeld, surveying these things
from the northern edge, admits that the Austrian position is
extremely strong; but he has no doubt that it must be, by some good
method, attacked straightway, and the Austrians got beaten.
Indisputably the enterprise is difficult. Unattackable clearly, the
Austrians, on that left wing of theirs; not in the centre well
attackable, nor in the front at all, with that stiff ground, and
such redoubts and points of strength: but round on their right
yonder; take them in flank,--cannot we? On as far as Kyge, the
Three have ridden reconnoitring; and found no possibility upon the
front; nor at Kyge, where the front ends in batteries, pools and
quagmires, is there any. "Difficult, not undoable," persists the
King: "and it must be straightway set about and got done."
Winterfeld, always for action, is of that opinion, too: and,
examining farther down along their right flank, reports that there
the thing is feasible.

Feasible perhaps: "but straightway?" objects Schwerin. His men have
been on foot since midnight, and on forced marches for days past:
were it not better to rest for this one day? "Rest:--and Daun,
coming on with 30,000 of reinforcement to them, might arrive this
night? Never, my good Feldmarschall;"--and as the Feldmarschall was
a man of stiff notions, and had a tongue of some emphasis, the
Dialogue went on, probably with increasing emphasis on Friedrich's
side too, till old Schwerin, with a quite emphatic flash of
countenance, crushing the hat firm over his brow, exclaims: "Well,
your Majesty: the fresher fish the better fish (FRISCHE FISCHE,
GUTE FISCHE): straightway, then!" and springs off on the gallop
southward, he too, seeking some likely point of attack. He too,--
conjointly or not with Winterfeld, I do not know: Winterfeld
himself does not say; whose own modest words on the subject readers
shall see before we finish. But both are mentioned in the Books as
searching, at hand-gallop, in this way: and both, once well round
to south, by the Podschernitz ["Podschernitz" is pronounced
PotSHERnitz (should we happen to mentionn it again); "Kyge,"
KEEGA.] quarter, with the Austrian right flank full in view, were
agreed that here the thing was possible. "Infantry to push from
this quarter towards Sterbohol yonder, and then plunge into their
redoubts and them! Cavalry may sweep still farther southward, if
found convenient, and even take them in rear." Both agree that it
will do in this way: ground tolerably good, slightly downwards for
us, then slightly upwards again; tolerable for horse even:--the
intermediate lacing of dirty lakelets, the fish-ponds with their
sluices drawn, Schwerin and Winterfeld either did not notice at
all, or thought them insiginificant, interspersed with such
beautiful "pasture-ground,"--of unusual verdure at this early
season of the year.

The deployment, or "marching up (AUFMARSCHIREN)" of the Prussians
was wonderful; in their squadrons, in their battalions, horse,
foot, artillery, wheeling, closing, opening; strangely checkering a
country-side,--in movements intricate, chaotic to all but the
scientific eye. Conceive them, flowing along, from the Heights of
Chaber, behind Prossik Hamlet (right wing of infantry plants itself
at Prossik, horse westward of them); and ever onwards in broad
many-checkered tide-stream, eastward, eastward, then southward
("our artillery went through Podschernitz, the foot and horse a
little on this westward side of it"): intricate, many-glancing tide
of coming battle; which, swift, correct as clock-work, becomes two
lines, from Prossik to near Chwala ("baggage well behind at
Gbell"); thence round by Podschernitz quarter; and descends,
steady, swift, tornado-storm so beautifully hidden in it, towards
Sterbohol, there to grip to. Gradually, in stirring up those old
dead pedantic record-books, the fact rises on us: silent whirlwinds
of old Platt-Deutsch fire, beautifully held down, dwell in those
mute masses; better human stuff there is not than that old Teutsch
(Dutch, English, Platt-Deutsch and other varieties); and so
disciplined as here it never was before or since. "In an hour and
half," what military men may count almost incredible, they are
fairly on their ground, motionless the most of them by 9 A.M.;
the rest wheeling rightward, as they successively arrive in the
Chwala-Podschernitz localities; and, descending diligently,
Sterbohol way; and will be at their harvest-work anon.

Meanwhile the Austrians, seeing, to their astonishment, these
phenomena to the north, and that it is a quite serious thing, do
also rapidly bestir themselves; swarming like bees;--bringing in
their foraging Cavalry, "No time to change your jacket for a coat:"
rank, double-quick! Browne is on that right wing of theirs:
"Bring the left wing over hither," suggests Browne; "cavalry is
useless yonder, unless they had hippogriffs!"--and (again Browne
suggesting) the Austrians make a change in the position of their
right wing, both horse and foot: change which is of vital
importance, though unnoted in many Narratives of this Battle.
Seeing, namely, what the Prussians intend, they wheel their right
wing (say the last furlong or two of their long Line of Battle)
half round to right; so that the last furlong or two stands at
right angles ("EN POTENCE," gallows-wise, or joiner's-square-wise
to the rest); and, in this way, make front to the Prussian
onslaught,--front now, not flank, as the Prussians are
anticipating. This is an important wheel to right, and formation in
joiner's-square manner; and involves no end of interior wheeling,
marching and deploying; which Austrians cannot manage with Prussian
velocity. "Swift with it, here about Sterbohol at least, my men!
For here are the Prussians within wind of us!" urges Browne. And
here straightway the hurricane does break loose.

Winterfeld, the van of Schwerin's infantry (Schwerin's own
regiment, and some others, with him), is striding rapidly on
Sterbohol; Winterfeld catches it before Browne can. But near by,
behind that important post, on the Homely Hill (BERG or "Mountain,"
nothing like so high as Constitution Mountain), are cannon-
batteries of devouring quality; which awaken on Winterfeld, as he
rushes out double-quick on the advancing Austrians; and are fatal
to Winterfeld's attempt, and nearly to Winterfeld himself.
Winterfeld, heavily wounded, sank in swoon from his horse;
and awakening again in a pool of blood, found his men all off,
rushing back upon the main Schwerin body; "Austrian grenadiers
gazing on the thing, about eighty paces off, not venturing to
follow." Winterfeld, half dead, scrambled across to Schwerin, who
has now come up with the main body, his front line fronting the
Austrians here. And there ensued, about Sterbohol and neighborhood,
led on by Schwerin, such a death-wrestle as was seldom seen in the
Annals of War. Winterfeld's miss of Sterbohol was the beginning of
it: the exact course of sequel none can describe, though the end is
well known.

The Austrians now hold Sterbohol with firm grip, backed by those
batteries from Homoly Hill. Redoubts, cannon-batteries, as we said,
stud all the field; the Austrian stock of artillery is very great;
arrangement of it cunning, practice excellent; does honor to Prince
Lichtenstein, and indeed is the real force of the Austrians on this
occasion. Schwerin must have Sterbohol, in spite of batteries and
ranked Austrians, and Winterfeld's recoil tumbling round him:--and
rarely had the oldest veteran such a problem. Old Schwerin (fiery
as ever, at the age of 73) has been in many battles, from Blenheim
onwards; and now has got to his hottest and his last.
"Vanguard could not do it; main body, we hope, kindling all the
hotter, perhaps may!" A most willing mind is in these Prussians of
Schwerin's: fatigue of over-marching has tired the muscles of them;
but their hearts,--all witnesses say, these (and through these,
their very muscles, "always fresh again, after a few minutes of
breathing-time") were beyond comparison, this day!

Schwerin's Prussians, as they "march up" (that is, as they front
and advance upon the Austrians), are everywhere saluted by case-
shot, from Homoly Hill and the batteries northward of Homoly;
but march on, this main line of them, finely regardless of it or of
Winterfeld's disaster by it. The general Prussian Order this day
is: "By push of bayonet; no firing, none, at any rate, till you see
the whites of their eyes!" Swift, steady as on the parade-ground,
swiftly making up their gaps again, the Prussians advance, on these
terms; and are now near those "fine sleek pasture-grounds,
unusually green for the season." Figure the actual stepping upon
these "fine pasture-grounds:"--mud-tanks, verdant with mere
"bearding oat-crop" sown there as carp-provender! Figure the
sinking of whole regiments to the knee; to the middle, some of
them; the steady march become a wild sprawl through viscous mud,
mere case-shot singing round you, tearing you away at its ease!
Even on those terrible terms, the Prussians, by dams, by footpaths,
sometimes one man abreast, sprawl steadily forward, trailing their
cannon with them; only a few regiments, in the footpath parts,
cannot bring their cannon. Forward; rank again, when the ground
will carry; ever forward, the case-shot getting ever more
murderous! No human pen can describe the deadly chaos which ensued
in that quarter. Which lasted, in desperate fury, issue dubious,
for above three hours; and was the crisis, or essential agony, of
the Battle. Foot-chargings, (once the mud-transit was
accomplished), under storms of grape-shot from Homoly Hill; by and
by, Horse-chargings, Prussian against Austrian, southward of Homoly
and Sterbohol, still farther to the Prussian left; huge whirlpool
of tumultuous death-wrestle, every species of spasmodic effort, on
the one side and the other;--King himself present there, as I dimly
discover; Feldmarschall Browne eminent, in the last of his fields;
and, as the old NIEBELUNGEN has it, "a murder grim and great"
going on.

Schwerin's Prussians, in that preliminary struggle through the mud-
tanks (which Winterfeld, I think, had happened to skirt, and
avoid), were hard bested. This, so far as I can learn, was the
worst of the chaos, this preliminary part. Intolerable to human
nature, this, or nearly so; even to human nature of the Platt-
Teutsch type, improved by Prussian drill. Winterfeld's repulse we
saw; Schwerin's own Regiment in it. Various repulses, I perceive,
there were,--"fresh regiments from our Second Line" storming in
thereupon; till the poor repulsed people "took breath," repented,
"and themselves stormed in again," say the Books. Fearful tugging,
swagging and swaying is conceivable, in this Sterbohol problem!
And after long scanning, I rather judge it was in the wake of that
first repulse, and not of some other farther on, that the veteran
Schwerin himself got his death. No one times it for us; but the
fact is unforgettable; and in the dim whirl of sequences, dimly
places itself there. Very certain it is, "at sight of his own
regiment in retreat," Feldmarschall Schwerin seized the colors,--as
did other Generals, who are not named, that day. Seizes the colors,
fiery old man: "HERAN, MEINE KINDER (This way, my sons)!" and rides
ahead, along the straight dam again; his "sons" all turning, and
with hot repentance following. "On, my children, HERAN!" Five bits
of grape-shot, deadly each of them, at once hit the old man;
dead he sinks there on his flag; and will never fight more.
"HERAN!" storm the others with hot tears; Adjutant von Platen takes
the flag; Platen, too, is instantly shot; but another takes it.
"HERAN, On!" in wild storm of rage and grief:--in a word, they
manage to do the work at Sterbohol, they and the rest. First line,
Second line, Infantry, Cavalry (and even the very Horses, I
suppose), fighting inexpressibly; conquering one of the worst
problems ever seen in War. For the Austrians too, especially their
grenadiers there, stood to it toughly, and fought like men;--and
"every grenadier that survived of them," as I read afterwards, "got
double pay for life."

Done, that Sterbohol work;--those Foot-chargings, Horse-chargings;
that battery of Homoly Hill; and, hanging upon that, all manner of
redoubts and batteries to the rightward and rearward:--but how it
was done no pen can describe, nor any intellect in clear sequence
understand. An enormous MELEE there: new Prussian battalions
charging, and ever new, irrepressible by case-shot, as they
successively get up; Marshal Browne too sending for new battalions
at double-quick from his left, disputing stiffly every inch of his
ground. Till at length (hour not given), a cannon-shot tore away
his foot; and he had to be carried into Prag, mortally wounded.
Which probably was a most important circumstance, or the most
important of all.

Important too, I gradually see, was that of the Prussian Horse of
the Left Wing. Prussian Horse of the extreme left, as already
noticed, had, in the mean while, fallen in, well southward, round
by certain lakelets about Michelup, on Browne's extreme right;
furiously charging the Austrian Horse, which stood ranked there in
many lines; breaking it, then again half broken by it; but again
rallying, charging it a second time, then a third time, "both to
front and flank, amid whirlwinds of dust" (Ziethen busy there, not
to mention indignant Warnery and others);--and at length, driving
it wholly to the winds: "beyond Nussel, towards the Sazawa
Country;" never seen again that day. Prince Karl (after Browne's
death-wound, or before, I never know) came galloping to rally that
important Right Wing of horse. Prince Karl did his very utmost
there; obtesting, praying, raging, threatening:--but to no purpose;
the Zietheners and others so heavy on the rear of them:--and at
last there came a cramp, or intolerable twinge of spasm, through
Prince Karl's own person (breast or heart), like to take the life
of him: so that he too had to be carried into Prag to the doctors.
And his Cavalry fled at discretion; chased by Ziethen, on
Friedrich's express order, and sent quite over the horizon.
Enough, "by about half-past one," Sterbohol work is thoroughly
done: and the Austrian Battle, both its Commanders gone, has heeled
fairly downwards, and is in an ominous way.

The whole of this Austrian Right Wing, horse and foot, batteries
and redoubts, which was put EN POTENCE, or square-wise, to the main
battle, is become a ruin; gone to confusion; hovers in distracted
clouds, seeking roads to run away by, which it ultimately found.
Done all this surely was; and poor Browne, mortally wounded, is
being carried off the ground; but in what sequence done, under what
exact vicissitudes of aspect, special steps of cause and effect, no
man can say; and only imagination, guided by these few data, can
paint to itself. Such a chaotic whirlwind of blood, dust, mud,
artillery-thunder, sulphurous rage, and human death and victory,--
who shall pretend to describe it, or draw, except in the gross, the
scientific plan of it?

For, in the mean time,--I think while the dispute at Sterbohol, on
the extreme of the Austrian right wing "in joiner's-square form,"
was past the hottest (but nobody will give the hour),--there has
occurred another thing, much calculated to settle that.
And, indeed, to settle everything;--as it did. This was a volunteer
exploit, upon the very elbow or angle of said "joiner's-square;" in
the wet grounds between Hlaupetin and Kyge, a good way north of
Sterbohol. Volunteer exploit; on the part of General Mannstein, our
old Russian friend; which Friedrich, a long way off from it, blames
as a rash fault of Mannstein's, made good by Prince Henri and
Ferdinand of Brunswick running up to mend it; but which Winterfeld,
and subsequent good judges, admit to have been highly salutary, and
to have finished everything. It went, if I read right, somewhat
as follows.

In the Kyge-Hlaupetin quarter, at the corner of that Austrian right
wing EN POTENCE, there had, much contrary to Browne's intention, a
perceptible gap occurred; the corner is open there; nothing in it
but batteries and swamps. The Austrian right wing, wheeling
southward, there to form POTENCE; and scrambling and marching, then
and subsequently, through such ground at double-quick, had gone too
far (had thinned and lengthened itself, as is common, in such
scrambling, and double-quick movement, thinks Tempelhof), and left
a little gap at elbow; which always rather widened as the stress at
Sterbohol went on. Certain enough, a gap there is, covered only by
some half-moon battery in advance: into this, General Mannstein has
been looking wistfully a long time: "Austrian Line fallen out at
elbow yonder; clouted by some battery in advance?"--and at length
cannot help dashing loose on it with his Division. A man liable to
be rash, and always too impetuous in battle-time.

He would have fared ill, thinks Friedrich, had not Henri and
Ferdinand, in pain for Mannstein (some think, privately in
preconcert with him), hastened in to help; and done it altogether
in a shining way; surmounting perilous difficulties not a few.
Hard fighting in that corner, partly on the Sterbohol terms;
batteries, mud-tanks; chargings, rechargings: "Comrades, you have
got honor enough, KAMERADEN, IHR HABT EHRE GENUG [the second man of
you lying dead]; let us now try!" said a certain Regiment to a
certain other, in this business. [Archenholtz, i. 75; Tempelhof,
&c.] Prince Henri shone especially, the gallant little gentleman:
coming upon one of those mud-tanks with battery beyond, his men
were spreading file-wise, to cross it on the dams; "BURSCHE, this
way!" cried the Prince, and plunged in middle-deep, right upon the
battery; and over it, and victoriously took possession of it. In a
word, they all plunge forward, in a shining manner; rush on those
half-moon batteries, regardless of results; rush over them, seize
and secure them. Rush, in a word, fairly into that Austrian hole-
at-elbow, torrents more following them,--and irretrievably ruin
both fore-arm and shoulder-arm of the Austrians thereby.

Fore-arm (Austrian right wing, if still struggling and wriggling
about Sterbohol) is taken in flank; shoulder-arm, or main line, the
like; we have them both in flank; with their own batteries to scour
them to destruction here:--the Austrian Line, throughout, is become
a ruin. Has to hurl itself rapidly to rightwards, to rearwards,
says Tempelhof, behind what redoubts and strong points it may have
in those parts; and then, by sure stages (Tempelhof guesses three,
or perhaps four), as one redoubt after another is torn from the
loose grasp of it, and the stand made becomes ever weaker, and the
confusion worse,--to roll pell-mell into Prag, and hastily close
the door behind it. The Prussians, Sterbohol people, Mannstein-
Henri people, left wing and right, are quite across the Zisca Back,
on by Nussel (Prince Earl's head-quarter that was), and at the
Moldau Brink again, when the thing ends. Ziethen's Hussars have
been at Nussel, very busy plundering there, ever since that final
charge and chase from Sterbohol. Plundering; and, I am ashamed to
say, mostly drunk: "Your Majesty, I cannot rank a hundred sober,"
answered Ziethen (doubtless with a kind of blush), when the King
applied for them. The King himself has got to Branik, farther up
stream. Part of the Austrian foot fled, leftwards, southwards, as
their right wing of horse had all done, up the Moldau. About 16,000
Austrians are distractedly on flight that way. Towards, the Sazawa
Country; to unite with Daun, as the now advisable thing.
Near 40,000 of them are getting crammed into Prag; in spite of
Prince Karl, now recovered of his cramp, and risen to the frantic
pitch; who vainly struggles at the Gate against such inrush, and
had even got through the Gate, conjuring and commauding, but was
himself swum in again by those panic torrents of ebb-tide.

Rallying within, he again attempted, twice over, at two different
points, to get out, and up the Moldau, with his broken people;
but the Prussians, Nussel-Branik way, were awake to him:
"No retreat up the Moldau for you, Austrian gentlemen!" They tried
by another Gate, on the other side of the River; but Keith was
awake too: "In again, ye Austrian gentlemen! Closed gates here too.
What else?" Browne, from his bed of pain (death-bed, as it proved),
was for a much more determined outrush: "In the dead of night,
rank, deliberately adjust yourselves; storm out, one and all, and
cut your way, night favoring!" That was Browne's last counsel;
but that also was not taken. A really noble Browne, say all judges;
died here in about six weeks,--and got away from Kriegs-Hofraths
and Prince Karls, and the stupidity of neighbors, and the other
ills that flesh is heir to, altogether.

At Branik the victorious King had one great disappointment:
Prince Moritz of Dessau, who should have been here long hours ago,
with Keith's right wing, a fresh 15,000, to fall upon the enemy's
rear;--no Moritz visible; not even now, when the business is to
chase! "How is this?" "Ill luck, your Majesty!" Moritz's Pontoon
Bridge would not reach across, when he tried it. That is certain:
"just three poor pontoons wanting," Rumor says:--three or more;
spoiled, I am told, in some narrow road, some short-cut which
Moritz had commanded for them: and now they are not; and it is as
if three hundred had been spoiled. Moritz, would he die for it,
cannot get his Bridge to reach: his fresh 15,000 stand futile
there; not even Seidlitz with his light horse could really swim
across, though he tried hard, and is fabled to have done so.
Beware of short-cuts, my Prince: your Father that is gone, what
would he say of you here! It was the worst mistake Prince Moritz
ever made. The Austrian Army might have been annihilated, say
judges (of a sanguine temper), had Moritz been ready, at his hour,
to fall on from rearward;--and where had their retreat been? As it
is, the Austrian Army is not annihilated; only bottled into Prag,
and will need sieging. The brightest triumph has a bar of black in
it, and might always have been brighter. Here is a flying Note,
which I will subjoin:--

Friedrich's dispositions for the Battle, this day, are allowed to
have been masterly; but there was one signal fault, thinks Retzow:
That he did not, as Schwerin counselled, wait till the morrow.
Fault which brought many in the train of it; that of his "tired
soldiers," says Retzow, being only a first item, and small in
comparison. "Had he waited till the morrow, those fish-ponds of
Sterbohol, examined in the interim, need not have been mistaken for
green meadows; Prince Moritz, with his 15,000, would have been a
fact, instead of a false hope; the King might have done his
marching down upon Sterbohol in the night-time, and been ready for
the Austrians, flank, or even rear, at daybreak: the King might"--
In reality, this fault seems to have been considerable; to have
made the victory far more costly to him, and far less complete.
No doubt he had his reasons for making haste: Daun, advancing Prag-
ward with 30,000, was within three marches of him; General Beck,
Daun's vanguard, with a 10,000 of irregulars, did a kind of feat at
Brandeis, on the Prussian post there (our Saxons deserting to him,
in the heat of action), this very day, May 6th; and might, if
lucky, have taken part at Ziscaberg next day. And besides these
solid reasons, there was perhaps another. Retzow, who is secretly
of the Opposition-party, and well worth hearing, knows personally a
curious thing. He says:--

"Being then [in March or April, weeks before we left Saxony]
employed to translate the PLAN OF OPERATIONS into French, for
Marshal Keith's use, who did not understand German, I well know
that it contained the following three main objects: 1. 'All
Regiments cantoning in Silesia as well as Saxony march for Bohemia
on one and the same day. 2. Whole Army arrives at Prag May 4th
[Schwerin was a day later, and got scolded in consequence]; if the
Enemy stand, he is attacked May 6th, and beaten. 3. So soon as Prag
is got, Schwerin, with the gross of the Army, pushes into Mahren,'
and the heart of Austria itself; 'King hastens with 40,000 to help
of the Allied Army,'"--Royal Highness of Cumberland's; who will
much need it by that time! [Retzow, i. 84 n.]

Here is a very curious fact and consideration. That the King had so
prophesied and preordained: "May 4th, Four Columns arrive at Prag;
May 6th, attack the Austrians, beat them,"--and now wished to keep
his word! This is an aerial reason, which I can suspect to have had
its weight among others. There were twirls of that kind in
Friedrich; intricate weak places; knots in the sound straight-
fibred mind he had (as in whose mind are they not?),--which now and
then cost him dear! The Anecdote-Books say he was very ill of body,
that day, May 6th; and called for something of drug nature, and
swallowed it (drug not named), after getting on horseback.
The Evening Anecdote is prettier: How, in the rushing about,
Austrians now flying, he got eye on Brother Henri (clayey to a
degree); and sat down with him, in the blessed sunset, for a minute
or two, and bewailed his sad losses of Schwerin and others.

Certain it is, the victory was bought by hard fighting; and but for
the quality of his troops, had not been there. But the bravery of
the Prussians was exemplary, and covered all mistakes that were
made. Nobler fire, when did it burn in any Army? More perfect
soldiers I have not read of. Platt-Teutsch fire--which I liken to
anthracite, in contradistinction to Gaelic blaze of kindled straw--
is thrice noble, when, by strict stern discipline, you are above it
withal; and wield your fire-element, as Jove his thunder, by rule!
Otherwise it is but half-admirable: Turk-Janissaries have it
otherwise; and it comes to comparatively little.

This is the famed Battle of Prag; fought May 6th, 1757;
which sounded through all the world,--and used to deafen us in
drawing-rooms within man's memory. Results of it were: On the
Prussian side, killed, wounded and missing, 12,500 men; on the
Austrian, 13,000 (prisoners included), with many flags, cannon,
tents, much war-gear gone the wrong road;--and a very great
humiliation and dispiritment; though they had fought well:
"No longer the old Austrians, by any means," as Friedrich sees;
but have iron ramrods, all manner of Prussian improvements, and are
"learning to march," as he once says, with surprise not quite

Friedrich gives the cipher of loss, on both sides, much higher:
"This Battle," says he, "which began towards nine in the morning,
and lasted, chase included, till eight at night, was one of the
bloodiest of the age. The Enemy lost 24,000 men, of whom were 5,000
prisoners; the Prussian loss amounted to 18,000 fighting men,--
without counting Marshal Schwerin, who alone was worth above
10,000." "This day saw the pillars of the Prussian Infantry cut
down," says he mournfully, seeming almost to think the "laurels of
victory" were purchased too dear. His account of the Battle, as if
it had been a painful object, rather avoided in his after-thoughts,
is unusually indistinct;--and helps us little in the extreme
confusion that reigns otherwise, both in the thing itself and in
the reporters of the thing. Here is a word from Winterfeld, some
private Letter, two days after; which is well worth reading for
those who would understand this Battle.

"The enemy had his Left Wing leaning on the City, close by the
Moldau," at Nussel; "and stretched with his Right Wing across the
high Hill [of Zisca] to the village of Lieben [so he HAD stood,
looking into Prag; but faced about, on hearing that Friedrich was
across the River]; having before him those terrible Defiles [DIE
TERRIBLEN DEFILEES, "Horse-shoe of the Moldau," as we call it], and
the village of Prossik, which was crammed with Pandours. It was
about half-past six in the morning, when our Schwerin Army [myself
part of it, at this time] joined with the twenty battalions and
twenty squadrons, which the King had brought across to unite with
us, and which formed our right wing of battle that day [our left
wing were Schweriners, Sterbohol and the fighting done by
Schweriners after their long march]. The King was at once
determined to attack the Enemy; as also were Schwerin [say nothing
of the arguing] and your humble servant (MEINE WENIGKEIT): but the
first thing was, to find a hole whereby to get at him.

"This too was selected, and decided on, my proposal being found
good; and took effect in manner following: We [Schweriners] had
marched off left-wise, foremost; and we now, without halt,
continued marching so with the Left Wing" of horse, "which had the
van (TETE); and moved on, keeping the road for Hlaupetin, and ever
thence onwards along for Kyge, round the Ponds of Unter-
Podschernitz, without needing to pass these, and so as to get them
in our rear.

"The Enemy, who at first had expected nothing bad, and never
supposed that we would attack him at once, FLAGRANTE DELICTO, and
least of all in this point; and did not believe it possible, as we
should have to wade, breast-deep in part, through the ditches, and
drag our cannon,--was at first quite tranquil. But as he began to
perceive our real design (in which, they say, Prince Karl was the
first to open Marshal Browne's eyes), he drew his whole Cavalry
over towards us, as fast as it could be done, and stretched them
out as Right Wing; to complete which, his Grenadiers and Hungarian
Regulars of Foot ranked themselves as they got up [makes his
POTENCE, HAKEN, or joiner's-square, outmost end of it Horse.]

"The Enemy's intention was to hold with the Right Wing of his
infantry on the Farmstead which they call Sterbaholy [Sterbohol, a
very dirty Farmstead at this day]; I, however, had the good luck,
plunging on, head foremost, with six battalions of our Left Wing
and two of the Flank, to get to it before him. Although our Second
Line was not yet come forward, yet, as the battalions of the First
were tolerably well together, I decided, with General Fouquet, who
had charge of the Flank, to begin at once; and, that the Enemy
might not have time to post himself still better, I pushed forward,
quick step, out of the Farmstead" of Sterbohol "to meet him,--so
fast, that even our cannon had not time to follow. He did,
accordingly, begin to waver; and I could observe that his people
here, on this Wing, were making right-about.

"Meanwhile, his fire of case-shot opened [from Homoly Hill, on our
left], and we were still pushing on,--might now be about two
hundred steps from the Enemy's Line, when I had the misfortune, at
the head of Regiment Schwerin, to get wounded, and, swooning away
(VOR TOD), fell from my horse to the ground. Awakening after some
minutes, and raising my head to look about, I found nobody of our
people now here beside or round me; but all were already behind, in
full flood of retreat (HOCH ANSCHLAGEN). The Enemy's Grenadiers
were perhaps eighty paces from me; but had halted, and had not the
confidence to follow us. I struggled to my feet, as fast as, for
weakness, I possibly could; and got up to our confused mass
[CONFUSEN KLUMPEN,--exact place, where?]: but could not, by
entreaties or by threats, persuade a single man of them to turn his
face on the Enemy, much less to halt and try again.

"In this embarrassment the deceased Feldmarschall found me, and
noticed that the blood was flowing stream-wise from my neck. As I
was on foot, and none of my people now near, he bade give me his
led horse which he still had [and sent me home for surgery?
Winterfeld, handsomely effacing himself when no longer good for
anything, hurries on to the Catastrophe, leaving us to guess that
he was NOT an eye-witness farther]--bade give me the led horse
which he still had; AND [as if that had happened directly after,
which surely it did not? AND] snatched the flag from Captain Rohr,
who had taken it up to make the Bursche turn, and rode forward with
it himself.' But before he could succeed in the attempt, this
excellent man, almost in a minute, was hit with five case-shot
balls, and fell dead on the ground; as also his brave Adjutant von
Platen was so wounded that he died next day.

"During this confusion and repulse, by which, as already mentioned,
the Enemy had not the heart to profit, not only was our Second Line
come on, but those of the First, who had not suffered, went
vigorously (FRISCH) at the Enemy,"--and in course of time (perhaps
two hours yet), and by dint of effort, we did manage Sterbohol and
its batteries:--"Like as [still in one sentence, and without the
least punctuation; Winterfeld being little of a grammarian, and in
haste for the close], Like as Prince Henri's Royal Highness with
our Right Wing," Mannstein and he, "without waiting for order,
attacked so PROMPT and with such FERMOTE," in that elbow-hole far
north of US, "that everywhere the Enemy's Line began to give way;
and instead of continuing as Line, sought corps-wise to gain the
Heights, and there post itself. And as, without winning said
Heights, we could not win the Battle, we had to storm them all, one
after the other; and this it was that cost us the best, most and
bravest people.

"The late Colonel von Goltz [if we glance back to Sterbohol
itself], who, with the regiment Fouquet, was advancing, right-hand
of Schwerin regiment" and your servant, "had likewise got quite
close to the Enemy; and had he not, at the very instant when he was
levelling bayonets, been shot down, I think that he, with myself
and the Schwerin regiment, would have got in,"--and perhaps have
there done the job, special and general, with much less expense,
and sooner! [Preuss, ii. 45-47 (in Winterfeld's hand; dated "Camp
at Prag, 8th May, 1757:" addressed to one knows not whom;
first printed by Preuss).]

This is what we get from Winterfeld; a rugged, not much grammatical
man, but (as I can perceive) with excellent eyes in his head, and
interior talent for twenty grammatical people, had that been his
line. These, faithfully rendered here, without change but of
pointing, are the only words I ever saw of his: to my regret,--
which surely the Prussian Dryasdust might still amend a little?--in
respect of so distinguished a person, and chosen Peer of
Friedrich's. This his brief theory of Prag Battle, if intensely
read, I find to be of a piece with his practice there.

Schwerin was much lamented in the Army; and has been duly honored
ever since. His body lies in Schwerinsburg, at home, far away;
his Monument, finale of a series of Monuments, stands, now under
special guardianship, near Sterbohol on the spot where he fell.
A late Tourist says:--

"At first there was a monument of wood [TREE planted, I will hope],
which is now all gone; round this Kaiser Joseph II. once, in the
year 1776, holding some review there, made his grenadier battalions
and artilleries form circle, fronting the sky all round, and give
three volleys of great arms and small, Kaiser in the centre doffing
hat at each volley, in honor of the hero. Which was thought a very
pretty thing on the Kaiser's part. In 1824, the tree, I suppose,
being gone to a stump, certain subscribing Prussian Officers had it
rooted out, and a modest Pyramid of red-veined marble built in its
room. Which latter the then King of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm
III., determined to improve upon; and so, in 1839, built a second
Pyramid close by, bigger, finer, and of Prussian iron, this one;--
purchasing also, from the Austrian Government, a rood or two of
ground for site; and appointing some perpetual Peculium, or
increase of Pension to an Austrian Veteran of merit for taking
charge there. All which, perfectly in order, is in its place at
this day. The actual Austrian Pensioner of merit is a loud-voiced,
hard-faced, very limited, but honest little fellow; who has worked
a little polygon ditch and miniature hedge round the two Monuments;
keeps his own cottage, little garden, and self, respectably clean;
and leads stoically a lone life,--no company, I should think, but
the Sterbohol hinds, who probably are Czechs and cannot speak to
him. He was once 'of the regiment Hohenlohe;' suffers somewhat from
cold, in the winter-time, in those upland parts (the 'cords of
wood' allowed him being limited); but complains of nothing else.
Two English names were in his Album, a military two, and no more.
'EHRET DEN HELD (Honor the Hero)!' we said to him, at parting.
'Don't I?' answered he; glancing at his muddy bare legs and little
spade, with which he had been working in the Polygon Ditch when we
arrived. I could wish him an additional 'KLAFTER HOLZ' (cord more
of firewood) now and then, in the cold months!--

"Sterbohol Farmstead has been new built, in man's memory, but is
dirty as ever. Agriculture, all over this table-land of the
Ziscaberg, I should judge to be bad. Not so the prospect; which is
cheerfully extensive, picturesque in parts, and to the student of
Friedrich offers good commentary. Roads, mansions, villages:
Prossik, Kyge, Podschernitz, from the Heights of Chaber round to
Nussel and beyond: from any knoll, all Friedrich's Villages, and
many more, lie round you as on a map,--their dirt all hidden,
nothing wanting to the landscape, were it better carpeted with
green (green instead of russet), and shaded here and there with
wood. A small wild pink, bright-red, and of the size of a star,
grows extensively about; of which you are tempted to pluck
specimens, as memorial of a Field so famous in War." [Tourist's
Note (September, 1858).]

Chapter III.


What Friedrich's emotions after the Battle of Prag were, we do not
much know. They are not inconceivable, if we read his situation
well; but in the way of speech, there is, as usual, next to
nothing. Here are two stray utterances, worth gathering from a man
so uncommunicative in that form.

FRIEDRICH A MONTH BEFORE PRAG (From Lockwitz, 25th March, to
Princess Amelia, at Berlin).--"My dearest Sister, I give you a
thousand thanks for the hints you have got me from Dr. Eller on the
illness of our dear Mother. Thrice-welcome this; and reassures me
[alas, not on good basis!] against a misfortune which I should have
considered very great for me.

"As to us and our posture of affairs, political and military,--
place yourself, I conjure you, above every event. Think of our
Country and remember that one's first duty is to defend it. If you
learn that a misfortune happens to one of us, ask, 'Did he die
fighting?' and if Yes, give thanks to God. Victory or else death,
there is nothing else for us; one or the other we must have.
All the world here is of that temper. What! you would everybody
sacrifice his life for the State, and you would not have your
Brothers give the example? Ah, my dear Sister, at this crisis,
there is no room for bargaining. Either at the summit of glorious
success, or else abolished altogether. This Campaign now coming is
like that of Pharsalia for Rome, or that of Leuctra for the
Greeks,"--a Campaign we verily shall have to win, or go to wreck
upon! [ OEuvres de Frederic, xxvii. i. 391.]

FRIEDERICH SHORTLY AFTER PRAG (To his Mother, Letter still extant
in Autograph, without date).--"My Brothers and I are still well.
The whole Campaign runs risk of being lost to the Austrians; and I
find myself free, with 150,000 men. Add to this, that we are
masters of a Kingdom [Bohemia here], which is obliged to furnish us
with troops and money. The Austrians are dispersed like straw
before the wind. I will send a part of my troops to compliment
Messieurs the French; and am going [if I once had Prag!] to pursue
the Austrians with the rest of my Army." [Ib. xxvi. 75.]

Friedrich, who keeps his emotions generally to himself, does not,
as will be seen, remain quite silent to us throughout this great
Year; but, by accident, has left us some rather impressive
gleanings in that kind;--and certainly in no year could such
accident have been luckier to us; this of 1757 being, in several
respects, the greatest of his Life. From nearly the topmost heights
down to the lowest deeps, his fortunes oscillated this year;
and probably, of all the sons of Adam, nobody's outlooks and
reflections had in them, successive and simultaneous, more gigantic
forms of fear and of hope. He is on a very high peak at this
moment; suddenly emerging from his thick cloud, into thunderous
victory of that kind; and warning all Pythons what they get by
meddling with the Sun-god! Loud enough, far-clanging, is the sound
of the silver bow; gazetteers and men all on pause at such new
Phoebus Apollo risen in his wrath;--the Victory at Prag considered
to be much more annihilative than it really was. At London, Lord
Holderness had his Tower-guns in readiness, waiting for something
of the kind; and "the joy of the people was frantic."
[ Mitchell Papers and Memoirs (i. e the
PRINTED Selection, 2 vols. London, 1850;--which will be the
oftenest cited by us, "Papers AND MEMOIRS"), i. 249: "Holderness to
Mitchell, 20th May, 1757." Mitchell is now attending Friedrich;
his Letter from Keith's Camp, during the thunder of "Friday, May
6th," is given, ib. i. 248.]

Very dominant, our "Protestant Champion" yonder, on his Ziscaberg;
bidding the enormous Pompadour-Theresa combinations, the French,
Austrian, Swedish, Russian populations and dread sovereigns, check
their proud waves, and hold at mid-flood. It is thought, had he in
effect, "annihilated" the Austrian force at Prag, that day (Friday,
6th May, as he might have done by waiting till Saturday, 7th), he
could then, with the due rapidity, rapidity being indispensable in
the affair, have become master of Prag, which meant of Bohemia
altogether; and have stormed forward, as his program bore, into the
heart, of an Austria still terror-stricken, unrallied;--in which
case, it is calculated, the French, the Russians, Swedes, much more
the Reich and such like, would all have drawn bridle; and Austria
itself have condescended to make Peace with a Neighbor of such
quality, and consent to his really modest desire of being let
alone! Possible, all this,--think Retzow and others. [See RETZOW,
i. 100-108; &c. ] But the King had not waited till to-morrow;
no persuasion could make him wait: and it is idle speculating on
the small turns which here, as everywhere, can produce such
deflections of course.

Beyond question, Prag is not captured, and may, as now garrisoned,
require a great deal of capturing:--and perhaps it is but a PEAK,
this high dominancy of Friedrich's, not a solid table-land, till
much more have been done! Friedrich has nothing of the Gascon:
but there may well be conceivable at this time a certain glow of
internal pride, like that of Phoebus amid the piled tempests,--like
that of the One Man prevailing, if but for a short season, against
the Devil and All Men: "I have made good my bit, of resolution so
far: here are the Austrians beaten at the set day, and Prag
summoned to surrender, as per program!"--

Intrinsically, Prag is not a strong City: we have seen it, taken in
few days; in one night;--and again, as in Belleisle's time, we have
seen it making tough defence for a series of weeks. It depends on
the garrison, what extent of garrison (the circuit of it being so
immense), and what height of humor. There are now 46,000 men caged
in it, known to have considerable magazines; and Friedrich, aware
that it will cost trouble, bends all his strength upon it, and from
his two camps, Ziscaberg, Weissenberg, due Bridges uniting, Keith
and he batter it, violently, aiming chiefly at the Magazines (which
are not all bomb-proof); and hope they may succeed before it is
too late.

The Vienna people are in the depths of amazement and
discouragement; almost of terror, had it not been for a few, or
especially for one high heart among them. Feldmarschall Daun, on
the news of May 6th, hastily fell back, joined by the wrecks of the
right wing, which fled Sazawa way. Brunswick-Bevern, with a 20,000,
is detached to look after Daun; finds Daun still on the retreat;
greedily collecting reinforcements from the homeward quarter;
and hanging back, though now double or so of Bevern's strength.
Amazement and discouragement are the general feeling among
Friedrich's enemies. Notable to see how the whole hostile world
marching in upon him,--French, Russians, much more the Reich, poor
faltering entity,--pauses, as with its breath taken away, at news
of Prag; and, arrested on the sudden, with lifted foot, ceases to
stride forward; and merely tramp-tramps on the same place (nay in
part, in the Reich part, visibly tramps backward), for above a
month ensuing! Who knows whether, practically, any of them will
Eye-witness, i. 108 (cited in Preuss, ii. 50); &c. &c.] and not
leave Austria by itself to do the duel with Friedrich? If Prag were
but got, and the 46,000 well locked away, it would be very salutary
for Friedrich's affairs!--Week after week, the City holds out;
and there seems no hope of it, except by hunger, and burning their
Magazines by red-hot balls.


Friedrich, as we saw, on entering Bohmen, had shot off a Light
Detachment under Colonel Mayer, southward, to seize any Austrian
Magazines there were, especially one big Magazine at Pilsen:--which
Mayer has handsomely done, May 2d (Pilsen "a bigger Magazine than
Jung-Bunzlau, even"); after which Mayer is now off westward, into
the Ober-Pfalz, into the Nurnberg Countries; to teach the Reich a
small lesson, since they will not listen to Plotho. Prag Battle, as
happens, had already much chilled the ardor of the Reich! Mayer has
two Free-Corps, his own and another; about 1,300 of foot; to which
are added a 200 of hussars. They have 5 cannon, carry otherwise a
minimum of baggage; are swift wild fellows, sharp of stroke;
and do, for the time, prove didactic to the Reich; bringing home to
its very bosom the late great lesson of the Ziscaberg, in an
applied form. Mayer made a pretty course of it, into the Ober-Pfalz
Countries; scattering the poor Execution Drill-Sergeants and
incipiencies of preparation, the deliberative County Meetings,
KREIS-Convents: ransoming Cities, Nurnberg for one city, whose
cries went to Friedrich on the Ziscaberg, and wide over the world.
[In Helden-Geschichte, iv. 360-367, the
Nurnberg Letter and Response (3lst May-5th June, 1757): in Pauli,
Leben grosser Helden (iii. 159 et seq.),
Account of the Mayer Expedition; also in Militair-Lexikon,
iii. 29 (quoting from Pauli).] Nurnberg would have
been but too happy to "refuse its contingent to the Reich's Army,"
as many others would have been (poor Kur-Baiern hurrying off a kind
of Embassy to Friedrich, great terror reigning among the wigs of
Regensburg, and everybody drawing back that could),--had not
Imperial menaces, and an Event that fell out by and by in Prag
Country, forced compliance.

Mayer's Expedition made a loud noise in the Newspapers; and was
truly of a shining nature in its kind; very perfectly managed on
Mayer's part, and has traits in it which are amusing to read, had
one time. Take one small glance from Pauli:--

"At Furth in Anspach, 1st June [after six days' screwing of
Nurnberg from without, which we had no cannon to take], a Gratuity
for the Prussian troops [amount not stated] was demanded and given:
at Schwabach, farther up the Regnitz River, they took quarters;
no exemption made, clergy and laity alike getting soldiers
billeted. Meat and drink had to be given them: as also 100
carolines [guineas and better], and twenty new uniforms.
Upon which, next day, they marched to Zirndorf, and the Reichsgraf
Puckler's Mansion, the Schloss of Farrenbach there. Mayer took
quarter in the Schloss itself. Here the noble owners got up a ball
for Mayer's entertainment; and did all they could contrive to
induce a light treatment from him." Figure it, the neighboring
nobility and gentry in gala; Mayer too in his best uniform, and
smiling politely, with those "bright little black eyes" of his!
For he was a brilliant airy kind of fellow, and had much of the
chevalier, as well as of the partisan, when requisite!

"Out of Farrenbach, the Mayer people circulated upon all the
neighboring Lordships; at Wilhelmsdorf, the Reichs-Furst von
Hohenlohe [a too busy Anti-Prussian] had the worst brunt to bear.
The adjacent Baireuth lands [dear Wilhelmina, fancy her too in such
neighborhood!] were to the utmost spared all billeting, and even
all transit,"--though wandering sergeants of the Reich's Force,
"one sergeant with the Wurzburg Herr Commissarius and eight common
men, did get picked up on Baireuth ground: and this or the other
Anspach Official (Anspach being disaffected), too busy on the wrong
side, found himself suddenly Prisoner of War; but was given up, at
Wilhelmina?s gracious request. On Bamberg he was sharp as flint;
and had to be; the Bambergers, reinforced at last by 'Circle-
Militias (KREIS-TRUPPEN)' in quantity, being called out in mass
against him; and at Vach an actual Passage of Fight had occurred."

Of the "Affair at Vach," pretty little Drawn-Battle (mostly an
affair of art), Mayer VERSUS "Kreis-troops to the amount of 6,000,
with twelve cannon, or some say twenty-four" (which they couldn't
handle); and how Mayer cunningly took a position unassailable,
"burnt Bridges of the Regnitz River," and, plying his five cannon
against these ardent awkward people, stood cheerful on the other
side; and then at last, in good time, whisked himself off to the
Hill of Culmbach, with all his baggage, inexpugnable there for
three days:--of all this, though it is set down at full length, we
can say nothing. [Pauli, iii. 159, &c. (who gives Mayer's own
LETTER, and others, upon Vach).] And will add only, that, having
girt himself and made his packages, Mayer left the Hill of
Culmbach; and deliberately wended home, by Coburg and other
Countries where he had business, eating his way; and early in July
was safe in the Metal Mountains again; having fluttered the
Volscians in their Frankenland Corioli to an unexpected extent.
It is one of five or six such sallies Friedrich made upon the
Reich, sometimes upon the Austrians and Reich together, to tumble
up their magazines and preparations. Rapid unexpected inroads, year
after year; done chiefly by the Free-Corps; and famous enough to
the then Gazetteers. Of which, or of their doers, as we can in time
coming afford little or no notice, let us add this small Note on
the Free-Corps topic, which is a large one in the Books, but must
not interrupt us again:--

"Before this War was done," say my Authorities, "there came
gradually to be twenty-one Prussian Free-Corps,"--foot almost all;
there being already Hussars in quantity, ever since the first
Silesian experiences. "Notable Aggregates they were of loose
wandering fellows, broken Saxons, Prussians, French; 'Hungarian-
Protestant' some of them, 'Deserters from all the Armies' not a
few; attracted by the fame of Friedrich,--as the Colonels enlisting
them had been; Mayer himself, for instance, was by birth a Vienna
man; and had been in many services and wars, from his fifteenth
year and onwards. Most miscellaneous, these Prussian Free-Corps;
a swift faculty the indispensable thing, by no means a particular
character: but well-disciplined, well-captained; who generally
managed their work well.

"They were, by origin, of Anti-Tolpatch nature, got up on the
diamond-cut-diamond principle; they stole a good deal, with order
sometimes, and oftener without; but there was nothing of the old
Mentzel-Trenck atrocity permitted them, or ever imputed to them;
and they did, usually with good military talent, sometimes
conspicuously good, what was required of them. Regular Generals, of
a high merit, one or two of their Captains came to be: Wunsch, for
example; Werner, in some sort; and, but for his sudden death, this
Mayer himself. Others of them, as Von Hordt (Hard is his Swedish
name); and 'Quintus Icilius' (by nature GUICHARD, of whom we shall
hear a great deal in the Friedrich circle by and by), are
distinguished as honorably intellectual and cultivated persons.
[Count de Hordt's Memoirs (autobiographical,
or in the first person: English Translation, London, 1806;
TWO French Originals, a worse in 1789, and a better now at last),
Preface, i-xii. In Helden-Geschichte,
v. 102-104, 93, a detailed "List of the Free-Corps in 1758" (twelve
of foot, two of horse, at that time): see Preuss, ii. 372 n.;
Pauli (ubi supra), Life of Mayer. ]

"Poor Mayer died within two years hence (5th January, 1759); of
fever, caught by unheard-of exertions and over fatigues; after many
exploits, and with the highest prospect, opening on him. A man of
many adventures, of many qualities; a wild dash of chivalry in him
all along, and much military and other talent crossed in the
growing. In the dull old Books I read one other fact which is vivid
to me, That Wilhelmina, as sequel of those first Franconian
exploits and procedures, 'had given him her Order of Knighthood,
ORDER OF SINCERITY AND FIDELITY,'"--poor dear Princess, what an
interest to Wilhelmina, this flash of her Brother's thunder thrown
into those Franconian parts, and across her own pungent anxieties
and sorrowfully affectionate thoughts, in these weeks!--

Shortly after Mayer, about the time when Mayer was wending
homeward, General von Oldenburg, a very valiant punctual old
General, was pushed out westward upon Erfurt, a City of Kur-
Mainz's, to give Kur-Mainz a similar monition. And did it
handsomely, impressively upon the Gazetteer world at least and the
Erfurt populations,--though we can afford it no room in this place.
Oldenburg's force was but some 2,000; Pirna Saxons most of them:
--such a winter Oldenburg has had with these Saxons; bursting out
into actual musketry upon him once; Oldenburg, volcanically steady,
summoning the Prussian part, "To me, true Prussian Bursche!"--and
hanging nine of the mutinous Saxons. And has coerced and compesced
them (all that did not contrive to desert) into soldierly
obedience; and, 20th June, appears at the Gate of Erfurt with them,
to do his delicate errand there. Sharply conclusive, though polite
and punctual. "Send to Kur-Mainz say you? Well, as to your Citadel,
and those 1,400 soldiers all moving peaceably off thither,--Yes.
As to your City: within one hour, Gate open to us, or we open it!"
[In Helden-Geschichte (v. 371-384) copious
Account, with the Missives to and from, the Reichs-Pleadings that
followed, the &c. &c. Militair-Lexikon, ?
Oldenburg.] And Oldenburg marches in, as vice-sovereign for the
time:--but, indeed, has soon to leave again; owing to what Event in
the distance will be seen!

If Prag Siege go well, these Mayer-Oldenburg expeditions will have
an effect on the Reich: but if it go ill, what are they, against
Austria with its force of steady pressure? All turns on the issue
of Prag Siege:--a fact extremely evident to Friedrich too!
But these are what in the interim can be done. One neglects no
opportunity, tries by every method.


On the Britannic side, too, the outlooks are not good;--much need
Friedrich were through his Prag affair, and "hastening with forty
thousand to help his Allies,"--that is, Royal Highness of
Cumberland and Britannic Purse, his only allies at this moment.
Royal Highness and Army of Observation (should have been 67,000,
are 50 to 60,000, hired Germans; troops good enough, were they
tolerably led) finds the Hanover Program as bad as Schmettau and
Friedrich ever represented it; and, already,--unless Prag go well,
--wears, to the understanding eye, a very contingent aspect.
D'Estrees outnumbers him; D'Estrees, too, is something of a
soldier,--a very considerable advantage in affairs of war.

D'Estrees, since April, is in Wesel; gathering in the revenues,
changing the Officialities: much out of discipline, they
say;--"hanging" gradually "1,000 marauders;" in round numbers 1,000
this Year. [Stenzel, v. 65; Retzow, i. 173.] D'Estrees does not yet
push forward, owing to Prag. If he do-- It is well known how Royal
Highness fared when he did, and what a Campaign Royal Highness made
of it this Year 1757! How the Weser did prove wadable, as Schmettau
had said to no purpose; wadable, bridgable; and Royal Highness had
to wriggle back, ever back; no stand to be made, or far worse than
none: back, ever back, till he got into the Sea, for that matter,
and to the END of more than one thing! Poor man, friends say he has
an incurable Hanover Ministry, a Program that is inexecutable.
As yet he has not lost head, any head he ever had: but he is
wonderful, he;--and his England is! We shall have to look at him
once again; and happily once only. Here, from my Constitutional
Historian, are some Passages which we may as well read in the
present interim of expectation. I label, and try to arrange:--

1. ENGLAND IN CRISIS. "England is indignant with its Hero of
Culloden and his Campaign 1757; but really has no business to
complain. Royal Highness of Cumberland, wriggling helplessly in
that manner, is a fair representative of the England that now is.
For years back, there has been, in regard to all things Foreign or
Domestic, in that Country, by way of National action, the
miserablest haggling as to which of various little-competent
persons shall act for the Nation. A melancholy condition indeed!--

"But the fact is, his Grace of Newcastle, ever since his poor
Brother Pelham died (who was always a solid, loyal kind of man,
though a dull; and had always, with patient affection, furnished
his Grace, much UNsupplied otherwise, with Common sense hitherto),
is quite insecure in Parliament, and knows not what hand to turn
to. Fox is contemptuous of him; Pitt entirely impatient of him;
Duke of Cumberland (great in the glory of Culloden) is aiming to
oust him, and bear rule with his Young Nephew, the new Rising Sun,
as the poor Papa and Grandfather gets old. Even Carteret (Earl
Granville as they now call him, a Carteret much changed since those
high-soaring Worms-Hanau times!) was applied to. But the answer
was--what could the answer be? High-soaring Carteret, scandalously
overset and hurled out in that Hanau time, had already tried once
(long ago, and with such result!) to spring in again, and 'deliver
his Majesty from factions;' and actually had made a 'Granville
Ministry;' Ministry which fell again in one day. ["11th February,
1746" (Thackeray, Life of Chatham, i. 146).]
To the complete disgust of Carteret-Granville;--who, ever since,
sits ponderously dormant (kind of Fixture in the Privy Council,
this long while back); and is resigned, in a big contemptuous way,

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