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History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 18 by Thomas Carlyle

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And by and by hussar parties of ours come in, with articulate news
to that bad effect: 'Gabel under hot attack of regulars;
Puttkammer with his 3,000 vigorously defending, will expect to be
relieved within not many hours!' Here has the crisis come.
Crisis sure enough;--and the Prince, to meet it, summons that
refuge of the irresolute, a Council of War.

"Winterfeld, who is just come home in these moments, did not
attend;--not, till three next morning. Winterfeld had gone to bed;
fairly 'tired dead,' with long marching and hurrying about. To the
poor Prince there are three courses visible. Course FIRST, That of
joining the King at Leitmeritz. Gabel, Zittau lost in that case;
game given up;--reception likely to be bad at Leitmeritz!
Course SECOND,--the course Friedrich himself would at once have
gone upon, and been already well ahead with,--That of instantly
taking measures for the relief of Puttkammer. Dispute Gabel to the
last; retreat, on loss of it, Parthian-like, to Zittau, by that
broad Highway, short and broad, whole distance hence only thirty
miles. 'Thirty miles,' say the multitude of Counsellors: 'Yes, but
the first fifteen, TO Gabel, is cross-road, hilly, difficult;
they have us in flank!' 'We are 25,000,' urges the Prince;
'fifteen miles is not much!' The thing had its difficulties:
the Prince himself, it appears, faintly thought it feasible:
'25,000 we; 20,000 they; only fifteen miles,' said he. But the
variety of Counsellors: 'Cross-roads, defiles, flank-march,
dangerous,' said they. And so the third course, which was
incomparably the worst, found favor in Council of War: That of
leaving Gabel and Puttkammer to their fate; and of pushing off for
Zittau leftwards through the safe Hills, by Kamnitz, Kreywitz,
Rumburg;--which, if the reader look, is by a circuitous, nay quite
parabolic course, twice or thrice as far:--'In that manner let us
save Zittau and our Main Body!' said the Council of War. Yes, my
friends: a cannon-ball, endeavoring to get into Zittau from the
town-ditch, would have to take a parabolic course;--and the cannon-
ball would be speedy upon it, and not have Hill roads to go by!
This notable parabolic circuit of narrow steep roads may have its
difficulties for an Army and its baggages!" Enough, the poor Prince
adopted that worst third course; and even made no despatch in
getting into it; and it proved ruinous to Zittau, and to much else,
his own life partly included.

"JULY 16th-22d. Thursday night, or Friday 3 A.M., that third and
incomparably worst course was adopted: Gabel, Puttkammer with his
wagons, ensigns, kettledrums, all this has to surrender in a day:
High Road to Zittau, for the Austrians, is a smooth march, when
they like to gather fully there, and start. And in the Hills, with
their jolts and precipitous windings, infested too by Pandours, the
poor Prussian Main Body, on its wide parabolic circuit, has a time
of it! Loses its pontoons, loses most of its baggage; obliged to
set fire, not to the Pandours, but to your own wagons, and
necessaries of army life; encamps on bleak heights; no food, not
even water; road quite lost, road to be rediscovered or invented;
Pandours sputtering on you out of every bush and hollow, your
peasant wagoners cutting traces and galloping off:--such are the
phenomena of that march by circuit leftward, on the poor Prince's
part. March began, soon after midnight, SATURDAY, 16th, Schmettau
as vanguard; and"--

And, in fine, by FRIDAY, 22d, after not quite a week of it, the
Prince, curving from northward (in parabolic course, LESS speedy
than the cannon-ball's would have been) into sight of Zittau,--
behold, there are the Austrians far and wide to left of us,
encamped impregnable behind the Neisse River there! They have got
the Eckart's Hill, which commands Zittau:--and how to get into
Zittau and our magazines, and how to subsist if we were in?
The poor Prince takes post on what Heights there are, on his own
side of the Neisse; looks wistfully down upon Zittau, asking How?

About stroke of noon the Austrians, from their Eckartsberg, do a
thing which was much talked of. They open battery of red-hot balls
upon Zittau; kindle the roofs of it, shingle-roofs in dry July;
set Zittau all on blaze, the 10,000 innocent souls shrieking in
vain to Heaven and Earth; and before sunset, Zittau is ashes and
red-hot walls, not Zittau but a cinder-heap,--Prussian Garrison not
hurt, nor Magazine as yet; Garrison busy with buckets, I should
guess, but beginning to find the air grow very hot. On the morrow
morning, Zittau is a smouldering cinder-heap, hotter and hotter to
the Prussian Garrison; and does not exist as a City.

One of the most inhuman actions ever heard of in War, shrieks
universal Germany; asks itself what could have set a chivalrous
Karl upon this devil-like procedure? "Protestants these poor
Zittauers were; shone in commerce; no such weaving, industrying, in
all Teutschland elsewhere: Hah! An eye-sorrow, they, with their
commerce, their weavings and industryings, to Austrian Papists, who
cannot weave or trade?" that was finally the guess of some
persons;--wide of the mark, we may well judge. Prince Xavier of
Saxony, present in the Camp too, made no remonstrance, said others.
Alas, my friends, what could Xavier probably avail, the foolish
fellow, with only three regiments? Prince Karl, it was afterwards
evident, could have got Zittau unburnt; and could even have kept
the Prussians out of Zittau altogether. Zittau surely would have
been very useful to Prince Karl. But overnight (let us try to fancy
it so), not knowing the Prussian possibilities, Prince Karl,
screwed to the devilish point, had got his furnaces lighted, his
red-hot balls ready; and so, hurried on by his Pride and by his
other Devils, had,--There are devilish things sometimes done in
War. And whole cities are made ashes by them. For certain, here is
a strange way of commencing your "Deliverance of Saxony"!
And Prince Karl carries, truly, a brand-mark from this
conflagration, and will till all memory of him cease. As to Zittau,
it rebuilt itself. Zittau is alive again; a strong stone city, in
our day. On its new-built Town-house stands again "BENE FACERE ET
MALE AUDIRE REGIUM EST, To do well, and be ill spoken of, is the
part of kings" [A saying of Alexander the Great's (Plutarch, in
ALEXANDRE).] (amazingly true of them,--when they are not shams).
What times for Herrnhuth; preparing for its Christian Sabbath,
under these omens near by!

The Prince of Prussia tells us, he "early next morning (Saturday,
23d July) had his tents pitched;" which was but an unavailing
procedure, with poor Zittau gone such a road. "Bring us bread out
of that ruined Zittau," ordered the Prince: his Detachment returns
ineffectual, "So hot, we cannot march in." And the Garrison Colonel
(one Dierecke and five battalions are garrison) sends out word:
"So hot, we cannot stand it." "Stand it yet a very little; and--!"
answers the Prince: but Dierecke and battalions cannot, or at least
cannot long enough; and set to marching out. In firm order, I have
no doubt, and with some modicum of bread: but the tumbling of
certain burnt walls parted Colonel and men, in a sad way.
Colonel himself, with the colors, with the honors (none of his
people, it seems, though they were scattered loose), was picked up
by an Austrian party, and made prisoner. A miserable business, this
of Zittau!

Next, evening, Sunday, after dark, Prince of Prussia strikes his
tents again; rolls off in a very unsuccinct condition;
happily unchased, for he admits that chase would have been ruinous.
Off towards Lobau (what nights for Zinzendorf and Herrnhuth, as
such things tumble past them!); thence towards Bautzen; and arrives
in the most lugubrious torn condition any Prussian General ever
stood in. Reaches Bautzen on those terms;--and is warned that his
Brother will be there in a day or two.

One may fancy Friedrich's indignation, astonishment and grief, when
he heard of that march towards Zittau through the Hills by a
parabolic course; the issue of which is too gnessable by Friedrich.
He himself instantly rises from Leitmeritz; starts, in fit
divisions, by the Pascopol, by the Elbe passes, for Pirna;
and, leaving Moritz of Dessau with a 10,000 to secure the Passes
about Pirna, and Keith to come on with the Magazines, hastens
across for Bautzen, to look into these advancing triumphant
Austrians, these strange Prussian proceedings. On first hearing of
that side-march, his auguries had been bad enough; [Letter to
Wilhelmina "Linay, 22d July" (second day of the march from
Leitmeritz); OEuvres, xxvii. i. 298.] but the
event has far surpassed them. Zittau gone; the Army hurrying home,
as if in flight, in that wrecked condition; the door of Saxony,
door of Silesia left wide open,--Daun has only to choose! Day by
day, as Friedrich advanced to repair that mischief, the news of it
have grown worse on him. Days rife otherwise in mere bad news.
The Russians in Memel, Preussen at their feet; Soubise's French and
the Reich's Army pushing on for Erfurt, to "deliver Saxony,"
on that western side: and from the French-English scene of
operations-- In those same bad days Royal Highness of Cumberland
has been doing a feat worth notice in the above connection! Read
this, from an authentic source:--

"HASTENBECK, 22d-26th JULY, 1757. Royal Highness, hitching back and
back, had got to Hameln, a strong place of his on the safe side of
the Weser; and did at last, Hanover itself being now nigh, call
halt; and resolve to make a stand. July 22d [very day while the
Prince of Prussia came in sight of Zittau, with the Austrians
hanging over it], Royal Highness took post in that favorable
vicinity of Hameln; at perfect leisure to select his ground:
and there sat waiting D'Estrees,--swamps for our right wing, and
the Weser not far off; small Hamlet of Hastenbeck in front, and a
woody knoll for our left;--totally inactive for four days long;
attempting nothing upon D'Estrees and his intricate shufflings, but
looking idly noonward to the courses of the sun, till D'Estrees
should come up. Royal Highness is much swollen into obesity, into
flabby torpor; a changed man since Fontenoy times; shockingly
inactive, they say, in this post at Hastenbeck. D'Estrees, too, is
ridiculously cautious, 'has manoeuvred fifteen days in advancing
about as many British miles.' D'Estrees did at last come up (July
25th), nearly two to one of Royal Highness,--72,000 some count him,
but considerably anarchic in parts, overwhelmed with Court Generals
and Princes of the Blood, for one item;--and decides on attacking,
next morning. D'Estrees duly went to reconnoitre, but unluckily
'had mist suddenly falling.' 'Well; we must attack, all the same!'

"And so, 26th JULY, Tuesday, there ensued a BATTLE OF HASTENBECK:
the absurdest Battle in the world; and which ought, in fairness, to
have been lost by BOTH, though Royal Highness alone had the ill
luck. Both Captains behaved very poorly; and each of them had a
subaltern who behaved well. D'Estrees, with his 70,000 VERSUS
40,000 posted there, knows nothing of Royal Highness's position;
sees only Royal Highness's left wing on that woody Height;
and after hours of preliminary cannonading, sends out General
Chevert upon that. Chevert, his subaltern [a bit of right soldier-
stuff, the Chevert whom we knew at Prag, in old Belleisle times],
goes upon it like fury; whom the Brunswick Grenadiers resist in
like humor, hotter and hotter. Some hard fighting there, on Royal
Highness's left; Chevert very fiery, Grenadiers very obstinate;
till, on the centre, westward, in Royal Highness's chief battery
there, some spark went the wrong way, and a powder-wagon shot
itself aloft with hideous blaze and roar; and in the confusion, the
French rushed in, and the battery was lost. Which discouraged the
Grenadiers; so that Chevert made some progress upon them, on their
woody Height, and began to have confident hope.

"Had Chevert known, or had D'Estrees known, there was, close behind
said Height, a Hollow, through which these Grenadiers might have
been taken in rear. Dangerous Hollow, much neglected by Royal
Highness, who has only General Breitenbach with a weak party there.
This Breitenbach, happening to have a head of his own, and finding
nothing to do in that Hollow or to rightward, bursts out, of his
own accord, on Chevert's left flank; cannonading, volleying, horse-
charging;--the sound of which ('Hah, French there too!') struck a
damp through Royal Highness, who instantly ordered retreat, and
took the road. What singular ill-luck that sound of Breitenbach to
Royal Highness! For observe, the EFFECT of Breitenbach,--which was,
to recover the lost battery (gallant young Prince of Brunswick,
'Hereditary Prince,' or Duke that is to be, striking in upon it
with bayonet-charge at the right moment), made D'Estrees to order
retreat! 'Battle lost,' thinks D'Estrees;--and with good cause, had
Breitenbach been supported at all. But no subaltern durst;
and Royal Highness himself was not overtakable, so far on the road.
Royal Highness wept on hearing; the Brunswick Grenadiers too are
said to have wept (for rage); and probably Breitenbach and the
Hereditary Prince." [Mauvillon, i. 228; Anonymous of Hamburg,
i. 206 (who gives a Plan and all manner of details, if needed by
anybody); Kausler; &c. &c.]

This is the last of Royal Highness's exploits in War. The retreat
had been ordered "To Hanover;" but the baggage by mistake took the
road for Minden; and Royal Highness followed thither,--much the
same what road he or it takes. Friedrich might still hope he would
retreat on Magdeburg; 40,000 good soldiers might find a Captain
there, and be valuable against a D'Estrees and Soubise in those
parts. But no; it was through Bremen Country, to Stade, into the
Sea, that Royal Highness, by ill luck, retreated! He has still one
great vexation to give Friedrich,--to us almost a comfort, knowing
what followed out of it;--and will have to be mentioned one other
time in this History, and then go over our horizon altogether.

Whether Friedrich had heard of Hastenbeck the day his Brother and
he met (July 29th, at Bautzen), I do not know: but it is likely
enough he may have got the news that very morning; which was not
calculated to increase one's good humor! His meeting with the
Prince is royal, not fraternal, as all men have heard. Let us give
with brevity, from Schmettau Junior, the exact features of it;
and leave the candid reader, who has formed to himself some notion
of kingship and its sorrows and stern conditions (having perhaps
himself some thing of kingly, in a small potential way), to
interpret the matter, and make what he can of it:--

"BAUTZEN, 29th JULY, 1757. The King with reinforcement is coming
hither, from the Dresden side; to take up the reins of this
dishevelled Zittau Army; to speed with it against the Austrians,
and, if humanly possible, lock the doors of Silesia and Saxony
again, and chase the intruders away. Prince of Prussia and the
other Generals have notice, the night before: 'At 4 A.M. to-morrow
(29th), wait his Majesty.' Prince and Generals wait accordingly,
all there but Goltz and Winterfeld; they not, which is noted.

"For above an hour, no King; Prince and Generals ride forward:--
there is the King coming; Prince Henri, Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick
and others in his train. King, noticing them, at about 300 paces
distance, drew bridle; Prince of Prussia did the like, train and he
saluting with their hats, as did the King's train in return.
King did not salute;--on the contrary, he turned his horse round
and dismounted, as did everybody else on such signal. King lay down
on the ground, as if waiting the arrival of his Vanguard; and bade
Winterfeld and Goltz sit by him." Poor Prince of Prussia, and
battered heavy-laden Generals! "After a minute or two, Goltz came
over and whispered to the Prince. 'Hither, MEINE HERREN, all of
you; a message from his Majesty!' cried the Prince. Whereupon, to
Generals and Prince, Goltz delivered, in equable official tone,
these affecting words: 'His Majesty commands me to inform your
Royal Highness, That he has cause to be greatly discontented with
you; that you deserve to have a Court-martial held over you,
which would sentence you and all your Generals to death; but that
his Majesty will not carry the matter so far, being unable to
forget that in the Chief General he has a Brother!'" [Schmettau,
pp. 384, 385.]

The Prince answered, He wanted only a Court-martial, and the like,
in stiff tone. Here is the Letter he writes next day to his
Brother, with the Answer:--


"BAUTERN, 30th July, 1757.

"MY DEAR BROTHER,--The Letters you have written me, and the
reception I yesterday met with, are sufficient proof that, in your
opinion, I have ruined my honor and reputation. This grieves, but
it does not crush me, as in my own mind I am not conscious of the
least reproach. I am perfectly convinced that I did not act by
caprice: I did not follow the counsels of people incapable of
giving good ones; I have done what I thought to be suitablest for
the Army. All your Generals will do me that justice.

"I reckon it useless to beg of you to have my conduct investigated:
this would be a favor you would do me; so I cannot expect it.
My health has been weakened by these fatigues, still more by these
chagrins. I have gone to lodge in the Town, to recruit myself.

"I have requested the Duke of Bevern to present the Army Reports;
he can give you explanation of everything. Be assured, my dear
Brother, that in spite of the misfortunes which overwhelm me, and
which I have not deserved, I shall never cease to be attached to
the State; and as a faithful member of the same, my joy will be
perfect when I learn the happy issue of your Enterprises. I have
the honor to be"

Main de Maitre, p. 21.]


"CAMP NEAR BAUTZEN, 30th July, 1757.
"MY DEAR BROTHER,--Your bad guidance has greatly deranged my
affairs. It is not the Enemy, it is your ill-judged measures that
have done me all this mischief. My Generals are inexcusable;
either for advising you so ill, or in permitting you to follow
resolutions so unwise. Your ears are accustomed to listen to the
talk of flatterers only. Daun has not flattered you;--behold the
consequences. In this aad situation, nothing is left for me but
trying the last extremity. I must go and give battle; and if we
cannot conquer, we must all of us have ourselves killed.

"I do not complain of your heart; but I do of your incapaciy, of
your want of judgment in not choosing better methods. A man who
[like me; mark the phrase, from such a quarter!] has but a few days
to live need not dissemble. I wish you better fortune than mine has
been: and that all the miseries and bad adventures you have had may
teach you to treat important things with more of care, more of
sense, and more of resolution. The greater part of the misfortunes
which I now see to be near comes only from you. You and your
Children will be more overwhelmed by them than I. Be persuaded
nevertheless that I have always loved you, and that with these
sentiments I shall die. FRIEDRICH."
[MAIN DE MAITRE, p. 22.]

As the King went off to the Heights of Weissenberg, Zittau way, to
encamp there against the Austrians, that same evening, the Prince
did not answer this Letter,--except by asking verbally through
Lieutenant-Colonel Lentulus (a mute Swiss figure, much about the
King, who often turns up in these Histories), "for leave to return
to Dresden by the first escort."--"Depends on himself;--an escort
is going this night! answered Friedrich. And the Prince went
accordingly; and, by two stages, got into Dresden with his escort
on the morrow. And had, not yet conscious of it, quitted the Field
of War altogether; and was soon about to quit the world, and die,
poor Prince. Died within a year, 12th June, 1758, at Oranienburg,
beside his Family, where he had latterly been. [Preuss, ii. 60
(ib. 78).]--Winterfeld was already gone, six months before him;
Goltz went, not long after him; the other Zittau Generals all
survived this War.

The poor Prince's fate, as natural, was much pitied; and Friedrich,
to this day, is growled at for "inhuman treatment" and so on.
Into which question we do not enter, except to say that Friedrich
too had his sorrows; and that probably his concluding words, "with
these sentiments I shall die," were perfectly true. MAIN DE MAITRE
went widely abroad over the world. The poor Prince's words and
procedures were eagerly caught up by a scrutinizing public,--and
some of the former were not too guarded. At Dresden, he said, one
morning, calling on a General Finck whom we shall hear of again:
"Four such disagreeing, thin-skinned, high-pacing (UNEINIGE,
PIQUIRTE) Generals as Fouquet, Schmettau, Winterfeld and Goltz,
about you, what was to be done!" said the Prince to Finck.
[Preuss, ii. 79 n.: see ib. 60, 78.]

His Wife, when at last he came to Oranienburg, nursed him fondly;
that is one comfortable fact. Prince Henri, to the last, had
privately a grudge of peculiar intensity, on this score, against
all the peccant parties, King not excepted. As indeed he was apt to
have, on various scores, the jealous, too vehement little man.

Friedrich's humor at this time I can guess to have been well-nigh
desperate. He talks once of "a horse, on too much provocation,
getting the bit between its teeth; regardless thenceforth of chasms
and precipices:" [Letter to Wilhelmina, "Linay, 22d July" (cited
above).]--though he himself never carries it to that length;
and always has a watchful eye, when at his swiftest!
From Weissenberg, that night, he drives in the Pandours on Zittau
and the Eckartsberg--but the Austrians don't come out. And, for
three weeks in this fierce necessity of being speedy, he cannot get
one right stroke at the Austrians; who sit inexpugnable upon their
Eckart's Hill, bristling with cannon; and can in no way be
manoeuvred down, or forced or enticed into Battle. A baffling,
bitterly impatient three weeks;--two of them the worst two, he
spends at Weissenberg itself, chasing Pandours, and scuffling on
the surface, till Keith and the Magazine-train come up;--
even writing Verses now and then, when the hours get
unendurable otherwise!

The instant Keith and the Magazines are come he starts for
Bernstadt; 56,000 strong after this junction:--and a Prussian
Officer, dating "Bernstadtel [Bernstadt on the now Maps], 21st
August, 1757," sends us this account; which also is but of
preliminary nature:--

"AUGUST 15th, Majesty left Weissenberg, and marched hither, much to
the enemy's astonishment, who had lain perfectly quiet for a
fortnight past, fancying they were a mastiff on the door-sill of
Silesia: little thinking to be trampled on in this unceremonious
way! General Beck, when our hussars of the vanguard made
appearance, had to saddle and ride as for life, leaving every rag
of baggage, and forty of his Pandours captive. Our hussars stuck to
him, chasing him into Ostritz, where they surprised General Nadasti
at dinner; and did a still better stroke of business:
Nadasti himself could scarcely leap on horseback and get off;
left all his field equipage, coaches, horses, kitchen-utensils,
flunkies seventy-two in number,--and, what was worst of all, a
secret box, in which were found certain Dresden Correspondences of
a highly treasonous character, which now the writers there may
quake to think of;"--if Friedrich, or we, could take much notiee of
them, in this press of hurries! [ Helden-Geschichte, italic> iv. 595-599.]

Next day, August 16th, Friedrich detached five battalions to
Gorlitz;--Prince Karl (he calls it DAUN) still camping on the
Eckartsberg;--and himself, about 4 P.M., with the main Army,
marched up to those Austrians on their Hill, to see if they would
fight. [ OEuvres de Frederic, iv. 137.]
No, they would n't: they merely hustled themselves round so as to
face him; face him, and even flank him with cannon-batteries if he
came too near. Steep ground, "precipitons front of rocks," in some
places. "A hollow before their front; Village of Wittgenau there,
and three roads through it, ONE of them with width for wheels;"
Daun sitting inaccessible, in short. Next day, Winterfeld, with a
detached Division, crossed the Neisse, tried Nadasti:
"Attack Nadasti, on his woody knoll at Hirschfeld yonder; they will
have to rise and save him!" In vain, that too; they let Nadasti
take his own luck: for four days (16th-20th August) everything was
tried, in vain.

No Battle to be had from these Austrians. And it would have been so
infinitely convenient to us: Reich's Army and Soubise's French are
now in the actual precincts of Erfurt (August 25th, Soubise took
quarter there); Royal Highness of Cumberland is staggering back
into the Sea; Richelieu's French (not D'Estrees any more, D'Estrees
being superseded in this strange way) are aiming, it is thought,
towards Magdeburg, had they once done with Royal Highness;
Swedes are getting hold of Pommern; Russians, in huge force, of
Preussen: how comfortable to have had our Austrians finished before
going upon the others! For four days more (August 20th-24th),
Friedrich arranges his Army for watching the Austrians, and
guarding Silesia;--Bevern and Winterfeld to take command in his
absence:--and, August 25th, has to march; with a small Division,
which, at Dresden, he will increase by Moritz's, now needless in
the Pirna Country; towards Thuringen; to look into Soubise and the
Reich's Army, as a thing that absolutely cannot wait. Arrives in
Dresden, Monday, August 29th; and-- Or let the old Newspaper report
it, with the features of life:--

"DRESDEN, 29th AUGUST, 1757, This day, about noon, his Majesty,
with a part of his Army from the Upper Lausitz, arrived at the
Neustadt here. Though the kitchen had been appointed to be set up
at what they call The Barns (DIE SCHEUNEN), his Majesty was pleased
to alight in Konigsbruck Street, at the new House of Bruhl's
Chamberlain, Haller; and there passed the night. Tuesday evening,
30th, his Majesty the King, with his Lifeguards of Horse and of
Foot, also with the Gens-d'Armes and other Battalions, marched
through the City, about a mile out on the Freiberg road, and took
quarter in Klein Hamberg. The 3lst, all the Army followed,"--a poor
23,000, Moritz and he, that was all! ["22,360" (Templehof,
i. 228).]--"the King's field-equipage, which had been taken from
the Bruhl Palace and packed in twelve wagons, went with them."
[Rodenbeck, p. 316; Preuss, ii. 84 n; Mitchell's Interview
( Memoirs and Papers, i. 270).]

Chapter VI.


Before going upon this forlorn march of Friedrich's, one of the
forlornest a son of Adam ever had, we must speak of a thing which
befell to rearward, while the march was only half done, and which
greatly influenced it and all that followed. It was the seventh day
of Friedrich's march, not above eighty miles of it yet done, when
Winterfeld perished in fight. No Winterfeld now to occupy the
Austrians in his absence; to stand between Silesia and them, or
assist him farther in his lonesome struggle against the world.
Let us spend a moment on the exit of that brave man: Bernstadt,
Gorlitz Country, September 7th, 1757.

The Bevern Army, 36,000 strong, is still there in its place in the
Lausitz, near Gorlitz; Prince Karl lies quiet in his near Zittau,
ever since he burnt that Town, and stood four days in arms
unattackable by Friedrich with prospect of advantage. The Court of
Vienna cannot comprehend this state of inactivity: "Two to one, and
a mere Bevern against you, the King far away in Saxony upon his
desperate Anti-French mission there: why not go in upon this
Bevern? The French, whom we are by every courier passionately
importuning to sweep Saxony clear, what will they say of this
strange mode of sweeping Silesia clear?" Maria Theresa and her
Kriegs-Hofrath are much exercised with these thoughts, and with
French and other remonstrances that come. Maria Theresa and her
Kriegs-Hofrath at length despatch their supreme Kaunitz, Graf
Kaunitz in person, to stir up Prince Karl, and look into the matter
with his own wise eyes and great heart: Prince Karl, by way of
treat to this high gentleman, determines on doing something
striking upon Bevern.

Bevern lies with his main body about Gorlitz, in and to westward of
Gorlitz, a pleasant Town on the left bank of the Neisse (readers
know there are four Neisses, and which of them this is), with fine
hilly country all round, bulky solitary Heights and Mountains
rising out of fruitful plains,--two Hochkirchs (HIGH-KIRKS), for
example, are in this region, one of which will become extremely
notable next year:--Bevern has a strong camp leaning on the due
Heights here, with Gorlitz in its lap; and beyond Gorlitz, on the
right bank of the Neisse, united to him by a Bridge, he has placed
Winterfeld with 10,000, who lies with his back to Gorlitz, proper
brooks and fencible places flanking him, has a Dorf (THORP) called
Moys in HIS lap; and, some short furlong beyond Moys, a 2,000 of
his grenadiers planted on the top of a Hill called the Moysberg,
called also the Holzberg (WOODHILL) and Jakelsberg, of which the
reader is to take notice. Fine outpost, with proper batteries atop,
with hussar squadrons and hussar pickets sprinkled about;
which commands a far outlook towards Silesia, and in marching
thither, or in continuing here, is useful to have in hand,--were it
not a little too distant from the main body. It is this Jakelsberg,
capable of being snatched if one is sudden enough, that Prince Karl
decides on: it may be good for much or for little to Prince Karl;
and, if even for nothing, it will be a brilliant affront upon
Winterfeld and Bevern, and more or less charming to Kaunitz.

Winterfeld, the ardent enterprising man, King's other self, is
thought to be the mainspring of affairs here (small thanks to him
privately from Bevern, add some): and is stationed in the extreme
van, as we see; Winterfeld is engaged in many things besides the
care of this post; and indeed where a critical thing is to be done,
we can imagine Winterfeld goes upon it. "We must try to stay here
till the King has finished in Saxony!" says Winterfeld always.
To which Bevern replies, "Excellent, truly; but how?" Bevern has
his provender at Dresden, sadly far off; has to hold Bautzen
garrisoned, and gets much trouble with his convoys. Better in
Silesia, with our magazines at hand, thinks Bevern, less mindful of
other considerations.

Tuesday, September 6th, Prince Karl sends Nadasti to the right bank
of the River, forward upon Moys, to do the Jakelsberg before day
to-morrow: only some 2,000 grenadiers on it; Nadasti has with him
15,000, some count 20,000 of all arms, artillery in plenty;
surely sufficient for the Jakelsberg; and Daun advances, with the
main body, on the other side of the River, to be within reach,
should Moys lead to more serious consequences. Nadasti diligently
marches all day; posts himself at night within few miles of Moys;
gets his cannon to the proper Hills (GALLOWS Hill and others), his
Croats to the proper Woods; and, before daylight on the morrow,
means to begin upon the Moys Hill and its 2,000 grenadiers.

Wednesday morning, at the set hour, Nadasti, with artillery
bursting out and quivering battle-lines, is at work accordingly;
hurls up 1,000 Croats for one item, and regulars to the amount of
"forty companies in three lines." The grenadiers, somewhat
astonished, for the morning was misty and their hussar-posts had
come hastily in, stood upon their guard, like Prussian men;
hurled back the 1,000 Croats fast enough; stubbornly repulsed the
regulars too, and tumbled them down hill with bullet-storm for
accompaniment; gallantly foiling this first attempt of Nadasti's.
Of course Nadasti will make another, will make ever others; capture
of the Jakelsberg can hardly be doubtful to Nadasti.

Winterfeld was not at Moys, he was at Gorlitz, just got in from
escorting an important meal-convoy hither out of Bautzen; and was
in conference with Bevern, when rumor of these Croat attacks came
in at the gallop from Moys. Winterfeld made little of the rumors:
he had heard of some attack intended, but it was to have been
overnight, and has not been. "Mere foraging of Croat rabble, like
yesterday's!" said Winterfeld, and continued his present business.
In few minutes the sound of heavy cannonading convinced him.
"Haha, there are my guests," said he; "we must see if we cannot
entertain them right!" sprang to horseback, ordered on, double-
quick, the three regiments nearest him, and was off at the gallop,
--too late; or, alas, too EARLY we might rather say! Arriving at
the gallop, Winterfeld found his grenadiers and their insufficient
reinforcements rolling back, the Hill lost; Winterfeld "sprang to a
fresh horse," shot his lightning glances and energies, to his hand
and that; stormfully rallied the matter, recovered the Hill;
and stormfully defended it, for, I should guess, an hour or more;
and might still have done one knows not what, had not a bullet
struck him through the breast, and suddenly ended all his doings in
this world.

Three other reasons the Prussians give for loss of their Hill,
which are of no consequence to them or to us in comparison.
First, that Bevern; on message after message, sent no
reinforcement; that Winterfeld was left to his own 10,000, and what
he and they could make of it. Bevern is jealous of Winterfeld, hint
they, and willing to see his impetuous audacity checked.
Perhaps only cautious of getting into a general action for what was
intrinsically nothing? Second, that two regiments of Infantry, whom
Winterfeld detached double-quick to seize a couple of villages
(Leopoldshayn, Hermsdorf) on his right, and therefrom fusillade
Nadasti on flank, found the villages already occupied by thousands
of Croats, with regular foot and cannon-batteries, and could in
nowise seize them. This was a great reverse of advantage.
Third, that an Aide-de-Camp made a small misnomer, misreport of one
word, which was terribly important: "Bring me hither Regiment
Manteuffel!" Winterfeld had ordered. The Aide-de-Camp reported it
"Grenadiers Manteuffel:" upon which, the grenadiers, who were
posted in a walled garden, an important point to Winterfeld's
right, came instantly to order; and Austrians instantly rushed in
to the vacant post, and galled Winterfeld's other flank by their
fire. [Abundant Accounts in Seyfarth, ii. ( Beylagen),
162-163; Helden-Geschichte, iv. 615-633;
Retzow, i. 216-221.]

Enough, Winterfeld lay bleeding to death, the Hill was lost,
Prussians drawing off slowly and back-foremost, about two in the
afternoon; upon which the Austrians also drew off, leaving only a
small party on the Hill, who voluntarily quitted it next morning.
Next morning, likewise, Winterfeld had died. The Hill was, except
as bravado, and by way of comfort to Kaunitz, nothing for the
Austrians; but the death of Winterfeld, which had come by chance to
them in the business, was probably a great thing. Better than two
pitched battles gained: who shall say? He was a shining figure,
this Winterfeld; dangerous to the Austrians. The most shining
figure in the Prussian Army, except its Chief; and had great
thoughts in his head. Prussia is not skilful to celebrate her
Heroes,--the Prussian Muse of History, choked with dry military
pipe-clay, or with husky cobwebbery and academic pedantry, how can
she?--but if Prussia can produce heroes worth celebrating, that is
the one important point. Apart from soldiership, and the outward
features which are widely different, there is traceable in
Winterfeld some kinship in soul to English Chatham his
contemporary; though he has not had the fame of Chatham.

Winterfeld was by no means universally liked; as what brave man is
or can be? Too susceptible to flattery; too this, too that. He is,
one feels always, except Friedrich only, the most shining figure in
the Prussian Army: and it was not unnatural he should be
Friedrich's one friend,--as seems to have been the case.
Friedrich, when this Job's-message reached him (in Erfurt Country,
eight days hence), was deeply affected by it. To tears, or beyond
tears, as we can fancy. "Against my multitude of enemies I may
contrive resources," he was heard to say; "but I shall find no
Winterfeld again!" Adieu, my one friend, real Peer, sole companion
to my lonely pilgrimage in these perilous high regions.

"The Prince of Prussia, contrariwise," says a miserable little
Note, which must not be withheld, "brightened up at the news:
'I shall now die much more content, knowing that there is one so
bad and dangerous man fewer in the Army!' And, six months after, in
his actual death-moments, he exclaimed: 'I end my life, the last
period of which has cost me so much sorrow; but Winterfeld is he
who shortened my days!'" [Preuss, ii. 75; citing Retzow.]--Very
bitter Opposition humors circulating, in their fashion, there as
elsewhere in this world!

Bevern, the millstone of Winterfeld being off his neck, has become
a more responsible, though he feels himself a much-delivered man.
Had not liked Winterfeld, they say; or had even hated him, since
those bad Zittau times. Can now, at any rate, make for Schlesien
and the meal-magazines, when he sees good. He will find meal
readier there; may he find other things corresponding! Nobody now
to keep him painfully manoeuvring in these parts; with the King's
Army nearer to him, but meal not.

On the third day after (September l0th), Bevern, having finished
packing, took the road for Schlesien; Daun and Karl attending him;
nothing left of Daun and Karl in those Saxon Countries,--except, at
Stolpen, out Dresden-wards, some Reserve-Post or Rear-guard of
15,000, should we chance to hear of that again. And from the end of
September onwards, Bevern's star, once somewhat bright at
Reichenberg, shot rapidly downwards, under the horizon altogether;
and there came, post after post, such news out of Schlesien,--
to say nothing of that Stolpen Party,--as Friedrich had never
heard before.

Chapter VII.


The Soubise-Hildburghausen people had got rendezvoused at Erfurt
about August 25th; 50,000 by account, and no enemy within 200 miles
of them; and in the Versailles circles it had been expected they
would proceed to the "Deliverance of Saxony" straightway. What is
to hinder?--Friedrich, haggling with the Austrians at Bernstadt,
could muster but a poor 23,000, when he did march towards Erfurt.
In those same neighborhoods, within reach of Soubise, is the
Richelieu, late D'Estrees, Army; elated with Hastenbeck,
comfortably pushing Royal Highness of Cumberland, who makes no
resistance, step by step, into the sea; victoriously plundering,
far and wide in those countries, Hanover itself the Head-quarter.
In the Versailles circles, it is farther expected that Richelieu,
"Conqueror of Minorca," will shortly besiege and conquer
Magdeburg, and so crown his glories. Why not; were the "Deliverance
of Saxony" complete?

The whole of which turned out greatly otherwise, and to the sad
disappointment of Versailles. The Conqueror of Minorca is probably
aware that the conquering of Magdeburg, against one whose platforms
are not rotten, and who does not "lie always in his bed," as poor
old Blakeney did, will be a very different matter. And the private
truth is, Marrchal de Richelieu never turned his thoughts upon
Magdeburg at all, nor upon any point of war that had difficulties,
but solely upon collecting plunder for himself in those Countries.
One of the most magnificent marauders on record; in no danger, he,
of becoming monitory and a pendulum, like the 1,000 that already
swing in that capacity to rear of him! And he did manage, in this
Campaign, which was the last of his military services, so as to pay
off at Paris "above 50,000 pounds of debts; and to build for
himself a beautiful Garden Mansion there, which the mocking
populations called 'Hanover Pavilion (PAVILION D'HANOVRE);'" a name
still sticking to it, I believe. [Barbier, iii. 256, 271.]
Of the Richelieu Campaign we are happily delivered from saying
almost anything: and the main interest for us turns now on that
Soubise-Hildburghausen wing of it,--which also is a sufficiently
contemptible affair; not to be spoken of beyond the
strictly unavoidable.

Friedrich, with his 23,000 setting out from Dresden, August 30th,
has a march of about 170 miles towards Erfurt. He may expect to
find--counting Richelieu, if Royal Highness of Cumberland persist
in acting ZERO as hitherto--a confused mass of about 150,000
Enemies, of one sort and other, waiting him ahead; not to think of
those he has just left behind;--and he cannot well be in a
triumphant humor! Behind, before, around, it is one gathering of
Enemies: one point only certain, that he must beat them, or else
die. Readers would fain follow him in this forlorn march; him, the
one point of interest now in it: and readers shall, if we can
manage, though it is extremely difficult. For, on getting to
Erfurt, he finds his Soubise-Hildburghausen Army off on retreat
among the inaccessible Hills still farther westward; and has to
linger painfully there, and to detach, and even to march personally
against other Enemies; and then, these finished, to march back
towards his Erfurt ones, who are taking heart in the interim:--and,
in short, from September 1st to November 5th, there are two months
of confused manoeuvring and marching to and fro in that West-Saxon
region, which are very intricate to readers. November 5th is a day
unforgettable: but anterior to that, what can we do? Here, dated,
are the Three grand Epochs of the thing; which readers had better
fix in mind as a preliminary:--

1. SEPTEMBER 13th, Friedrich has got to Erfurt neighborhood;
but Soubise and Company are off westward to the Hills of Eisenach,
won't come down; Friedrich obliged to linger thereabouts, painfully
waiting almost a month, till
2. OCTOBER 11th, hearing that "15,000 Austrians" (that Stolpen
Party, left as rear-guard at Stolpen; Croats mainly, under a
General Haddick) are on march for Berlin, he rises in haste
thitherward, through Leipzig, Torgau, say 100 miles; hears that
Haddick HAS been in Berlin (16th-17th October) for one day, and
that he is off again full speed with a ransom of 30,000 pounds,
which they have had to pay him: upon which Friedrich calls halt in
the Torgau country;--and would have been uncertain what to do,
had not
3. Soubise and Company, extremely elated with this Haddick Feat,
come out from their Hills, intent to deliver Saxony after all.
So that Friedrich has to turn back (October 26th-30th) through
Leipzig again; towards,--in fact towards ROSSBACH and NOVEMBER 5th,
in his old Saale Country, which does not prove so wearisome
as formerly!

These are the cardinal dates; these let the reader recur to, if
necessary, and keep steadily in mind: it will then perhaps be
possible to intercalate, in a manner intelligible to him, what
other lucent phenomena there are; and these dismal wanderings, and
miserablest two months of Friedrich's life, will not be wholly a
provoking blotch of enigmatic darkness, but in some sort a thing
with features in the twilight of the Past.

(31st August-13th September, 1757).

The march to Erfurt was of twelve days, and without adventure to
speak of. Mayer and Free-Battalion had the vanguard, Friedrich
there as usual; main body, under Keith with Ferdinand and Moritz,
following in several columns: straight towards their goal;
with steady despatch; for twelve days;--weather often very wet.
[Tempelhof, i. 229; Rodenbeck, i. 317 (not very correct):
in Westphalen (ii. 20 &c.) a personal Diary of this March, and of
what followed on Duke Ferdinand's part.] Seidlitz, with cavalry,
had gone ahead, in search of one Turpin, a mighty hunter and Hussar
among the French, who was threatening Leipzig, threatening Halle:
but Turpin made off at sound of him, without trying fight; so that
Seidlitz had only to halt, and rejoin, hoping better luck
another time.

A march altogether of the common type,--the stages of it not worth
marking except for special readers;--and of memorable to us offers
only this, if even this: at Rotha, in Leipzig Country, the eighth
stage from Dresden, Friedrich writes, willing to try for Peace if
it be possible,


"ROTHA, 7th September, 1757.

"I feel, M. le Duc, that you have not been put in the post where
you are for the purpose of Negotiating. I am persuaded, however,
that the Nephew of the great Cardinal Richelieu is made for signing
treaties no less than for gaining battles. I address myself to you
from an effect of the esteem with which you inspire even those who
do not intimately know you.

"'T is a small matter, Monsieur (IL S'AGIT D'UNE BAGATELLE): only
to make Peace, if people are pleased to wish it! I know not what
your Instructions are: but, in the supposition that the King your
Master, zow assured by your Successes, will have put it in your
power to labor in the pacification of Germany, I address to you the
Sieur d'Elcheset" (Sieur Balbi is the real name of him, an Italian
Engineer of mine, who once served with you in the Fontenoy times,--
and some say he has privately a 15,000 pounds for your Grace's
acceptance,--"the Sieur d'Elcheset), in whom you may place
complete confidence.

"Though the events of this Year afford no hope that your Court
still entertains a favorable disposition for my interests, I cannot
persuade myself that a union which has lasted between us for
sixteen years may not have left some trace in the mind. Perhaps I
judge others by myself. But, however that may be, I, in short,
prefer putting my interests into the King your Master's hands
rather thau into any other's. If you have not, Monsieur, any
Instructions as to the Proposal hereby made, I beg of you to ask
such, and to inform me what the tenor of them is.

"He who has merited statues at Genoa [ten years ago, in those ANTI-
Austrian times, when Genoa burst up in revolt, and the French and
Richelieu beautifully intervened against the oppressors]; he who
conquered Minorca in spite of immense obstacles; he who is on the
point of subjugating Lower Saxony,--can do nothing more glorious
than to restore Peace to Europe. Of all your laurels, that will be
the fairest. Work in this Cause, with the activity which has
secured you such rapid progress otherwise; and be persuaded that
nobody will feel more grateful to you than, Monsieur le Duc,--
Your faithful Friend,-- FREDERIC."
[Given in RODENBECK, i. 313 (doubtless from Memoires de
Richelieu, Paris, 1793, ix. 175, the one fountain-head
in regard to this small affair): for "the 15,000 pounds" and other
rumored particulars, sea Retzow, i. 197; Preuss, ii. 84;
OEuvres de Frederic, iv. 145.]

Richelieu, it appears by any evidence there is, went willingly into
this scheme; and applied at Versailles, as desired; with a
peremptory negative for result. Nothing came of the Richelieu
attempt there; nor of "CE M. DE MIRABEAU," if he ever went; nor of
any other on that errand. Needless to apply for Peace at Versailles
(and a mere waste of your "sum of 15,000 pounds," which one hopes
is fabulous in the present scarcity of money):--or should we
perhaps have mentioned the thing at all, except for the sake of
Wilhelmina, whose fond scheme it is in this extremity of fate;
scheme which she tries in still other directions, as we shall see;
her Brother willing too, but probably with much less hope. If a
civil Letter and a bribe of Money will do it, these need not
be spared.

This at Rotha is the day while Winterfeld, on Moys Hill, is meeting
his death. To-day at Pegau, in this neighborhood, Seidlitz, who
could not fall in with Turpin, has given the Hussars of Loudon a
beautiful slap; the first enemy we have seen on this march; and the
last,--nothing but Loudon and Hussars visibly about, the rest of
those Soubise-Reichs people dormant, as would seem. "D'Elcheset,"
Balbi, or whoever he was, would not find Richelieu at Hanover;
but at a place called Kloster-Zeven, in Bremen Country, fifty or
sixty miles farther on. There, this day, are Richelieu with one
Sporcken a Hanoverian, and one Lynar a Dane, rapidly finishing a
thing they were pleased to call "Convention of Kloster-Zeven;"
which Friedrich regarded as another huge misfortune fallen on him,
--though it proved to have been far the reverse a while after.
Concerning which take this brief Note; cannot be too brief on such
a topic:--

"Never was there a more futile Convention than that of Kloster-
Zeven; which filled all Europe with lamentable noises, indignations
and anxieties, during the remainder of that Year; and is now
reduced, for Europe and the Universe, to a silent mathematical
point, or mere mark of position, requiring still to be attended to
in that character, though itself zero in any other. Here are the
main particulars, in their sequence.

"August 3d, towards midnight, '11 P.M.' say the Books, Marechal de
Richelieu arrives in the D'Estrees Camp ('Camp of Oldendorf,' still
only one march west of Hastenbeck); to whom D'Estrees on the
instant loftily delivers up his Army; explains with loyalty, for a
few days more, all things needful to the new Commander; declines to
be himself Second; and loftily withdraws to the Baths of Aachen
'for his health.'

"Royal Highness of Cumberland is, by this time, well on Elbe-ward,
Ocean-ward. Till August 1st; for one week, Royal Highness of
Cumberland lay at Minden, some thirty odd miles from Hastenbeck;
deploring that sad mistake; but unpersuadable to stand, and try
amendment of it: August lst, the French advancing on him again, he
moved off northward, seaward. By Nienburg, Verden, Rothenburg,
Zeven, Bremenvorde, Stade;--arrived at Stade, on the tidal Waters
of the Elbe, August 5th; and by necessity did halt there.
From Minden onwards, Richelieu, not D'Estrees, has had the chasing
of Royal Highness: one of the simplest functions; only that the
country is getting muddy, difficult for artillery-carriage (thinks
Richelieu), with an Army so dilapidated, hungry, short of pay;
and that Royal Highness, a very furious person to our former
knowledge, might turn on us like a boar at bay, endangering
everything; and finally, that one's desire is not for battle, but
for a fair chance of plunder to pay one's debts.

"Britannic Majesty, in this awful state of his Hanover Armaments,
has been applying at the Danish Court; Richelieu too sends off an
application thither: 'Mediate between us, spare useless bloodshed!'
[Valfons, p. 291.]--Whereupon Danish Majesty (Britannic's son-in-
law) cheerfully undertakes it; bids one Lynar bestir himself upon
it. Count Lynar, an esteemed Official of his, who lives in those
neighborhoods; Danish Viceroy in Oldenburg,--much concerned with
the Scriptures, the Sacred Languages and other seraphic studies,--
and a changed man since we saw him last in the Petersburg regions,
making love to Mrs. Anton Ulrich long ago! Lynar, feeling the axis
of the world laid on his shoulder in this manner, loses not a
moment; invokes the Heavenly Powers; goes on it with an alacrity
and a despatch beyond praise. Runs to the Duke of Cumberland at
Stade; thence to Richelieu at Zeven; back to the Duke, back to
Zeven: 'Won't you; and won't YOU?' and in four short days has the
once world-famed 'Convention of Kloster-Zeven' standing on
parchment,--signed, ready for ratifying: 'Royal Highness's Army to
go home to their countries again [routes, methods, times:
when, how, and what next, all left unsettled], and noise of War to
cease in those parts.' Signed cheerfully on both sides 9th
September, 1757; and Lynar striking the stars with his sublime
head. [Busching (who alone is exact in the matter),
Beitrage, iv. 167, 168, ? Lynar: see Scholl, iii. 49;
Valfons, pp. 202, 203; OEuvres de Frederic,
iv. 143 (with correction of Preuss's Note there).]

"Unaccountable how Lynar had managed such a difficulty. He says
seraphically, in a Letter to a friend, which the Prussian hussars
got hold of, 'The idea of it was inspired by the Holy Ghost:'
at which the whole world haha'd again. For it was a Convention
vague, absurd, not capable of being executed; ratification of it
refused by both Courts, by the French Court first, if that was any
matter:--and the only thing now memorable of it is, that IT was a
total Futility; but, that there ensued from it a Fact still of
importance; namely:--

"That on the 5th of October following, Royal Highness quitted
Stade, and his wrecked Army hanging sorrowful there, like a flight
of plucked cranes in mid-air;--arrived at Kensington, October 12th;
heard the paternal Majesty say, that evening, 'Here is my son who
has ruined me, and disgraced himself!'--and thereupon indignantly
laid down his military offices, all and sundry; and ceased
altogether to command Armies, English or other, in this world.
[In WALPOLE (iii. 59-64) the amplest minuteness of detail.]
Whereby, in the then and now diagram of things, Kloster-Zeven, as a
mathematical point, continues memorable in History, though shrunk
otherwise to zero!

"Pitt's magnanimity to Royal Highness was conspicuous.
Royal Highness, it is said, had been very badly used in this matter
by his poor peddling Father and the Hanover Ministers; the matter
being one puddle of imbecilities from beginning to end. He was the
soul of honor; brave as a Welf lion; but, of dim poor head; and had
not the faintest vestige [ALLERGERINGSTE says Mauvillon] of
military skill: awful in the extreme to see in command of British
Armies! Adieu to him, forever and a day."

Ever since July 29th, three days after Hastenbeck, Pitt had been in
Office again; such the bombardment by Corporation-Boxes and Events
impinging on Britannic Majesty: but not till now, as I fancy, had
Pitt's way, in regard to those German matters, been clear to him.
The question of a German Army, if you must, have a No-General at
the top of it, might well be problematical to Pitt. To equip your
strong fighting man, and send him on your errand, regardless of
expense; and, by way of preliminary, cut the head off him, before
saying "Good-speed to you, strong man!" But with a General, Pitt
sees that it can be different; that perhaps "America can be
conquered in Germany," and that, with a Britannic Majesty so
disposed, there is no other way of trying it. To this course Pitt
stands henceforth, heedless of the gazetteer cackle, "Hah, our Pitt
too become German, after all his talking!"--like a seventy-four
under full sail, with sea, wind, pilot all of one mind, and only
certain water-fowl objecting. And is King of England for the next
Four Years; the one King poor England has had this long while;--his
hand felt shortly at the ends of the Earth. And proves such a
blessing to Friedrich, among others, as nothing else in this War;
pretty much his one blessing, little as he expected it.
Before long, Excellency Mitchell begins consulting about a General,
--and Friedrich dimly sees better things in the distance, and that
Kloster-Zeven had not been the misfortune he imagined, but only
"The darkest hour," which, it is said, lies "nearest to the dawn."

WEEK, IN AN AGONY OF INACTION (13th September-10th October).

Friedrich's march has gone by Dobeln, Grimma, to Pegau and Rotha,
Leipzig way, but, with Leipzig well to right: it just brushes
Weissenfels to rightward, next day after Rotha; crosses Saale River
near Naumburg, whence straight through Weimar Country, Weimar City
on your left, to Erfurt on the northern side;--and,

"ERFURT, TUESDAY 13th SEPTEMBER, 1757, About 10 in the morning
[listen to a faithful Witness], there appeared Hussars on the
heights to northward:--'Vanguard of his Prussian Majesty!' said
Erfurt with alarm, and our French guests with alarm. And scarcely
were the words uttered, when said Vanguard, and gradually the whole
Prussian Army [only some 9,000, though we all thought it the
whole], came to sight; posting itself in half-moon shape round us
there; French and Reichs folk hurrying off what they could from the
Cyriaksberg and Petersberg, by the opposite gates,"--towards Gotha,
and the Hills of Eisenach.

"Think what a dilemma for Erfurt, jammed between two horns in this
way, should one horn enter before the other got out! Much parleying
and supplicating on the part of Erfurt: Till at last, about 4 P.M.,
French being all off, Erfurt flung its gates open; and the new
Power did enter, with some due state: Prussian Majesty in Person
(who could have hoped it!) and Prince Henri beside him;
Cavalry with drawn swords; Infantry with field-pieces, and the band
playing"--Prussian grenadier march, I should hope, or something
equally cheering. "The rest of the Vanguard, and, in succession,
the Army altogether, had taken Camp outside, looking down on the
Northern Gate, over at Ilgertshofen, a village in the neighborhood,
about two miles off." [ Helden-Geschichte, iv.
636, 637.]

That is the first sight Friedrich has of "LA DAUPHINE," as the
Versailles people call this Bellona, come to "deliver Saxony;"
and she is considerably coyer than had been expected. Many sad
days, and ardent vain vows of Friedrich, before he could see the
skirt of her again! From Ilgertshofen, northwestward to
Dittelstadt, Gamstadt, and other poor specks of villages in Gotha
Territory, is ten or fifteen miles; from Dittelstadt eastward to
Buttstadt and Buttelstadt, in Weimar Country, may be twenty-five:
in this area, Friedrich, shifting about, chiefly for convenience of
quarters,--head-quarter Kirschleben for a while, Buttelstadt
finally and longest,--had to wander impatiently to and fro for four
weeks and more; no work procurable, or none worth mentioning:--in
the humor of a man whose House is on fire, flaming out of every
window, front and rear; who has run up with quenching apparatus;
and cannot, being spell-bound, get the least bucket of it applied.
And is by nature the rapidest soul now alive. Figure his situation
there, as it gradually becomes manifest to him!

For the present, DAUPHINESS Bellona, hurrying to the Hills, has
left some tagrag of remnant in Gotha. Whereupon, the second day,
here is an "Own Correspondent" again,--not coming by electric
telegraph, but (what is a sensible advantage) credible in every
point, when he does come:--

"GOTHA, THURSDAY, 15th SEPTEMBER. Grand-Duke and Duchess, like
everybody else, have been much occupied all morning with the fact,
that the Prussian Army [Seidlitz and a regiment or two, nothing
more] is actually here; took possession of the Town-Gates and Main
Guard this morning,--certain Hungarian-French hussar rabble,
hateful to every one in Gotha, having made off in time, rapidly
towards Eisenach and the Hills.

"Towards noon, his Royal Majesty in highest person, with his Lord
Brother the Prince Henri's Royal Highness, arrived in Gotha;
sent straightway, by one of his Officers, a compliment to the
Grand-Duke; and 'would have the pleasure to come and dine, if his
Serene Highness permitted.' Serene Highness, self and Household
always cordially Friedrich's, was just about sitting down to
dinner; and answered with exuberantly glad surprise,--or was
answering, when Royal Majesty himself stept in with smiling face;
and embracing the Duke, said: 'I timed myself to arrive at this
moment, thinking your Durchlaucht would be at dinner, that I might
be received without ceremony, and dine like a neighbor among you.'
Unexpected as this visit was, the joy of Duke and Duchess," always
fast friends to Friedrich, and the latter ever afterwards his
correspondent, "may be conceived, but not adequately expressed;
as both the Serenities were touched, in the most affecting manner,
by the honor of so great a King's sudden presence among them.

"His Majesty requested that the Frau von Buchwald, our Most
Gracious Duchess's Hof-Dame, whose qualities he much valued, might
dine with them,"--being always fond of sensible people, especially
sensible women. "The whole Highest and High company [Royal, that
is, and Ducal] was, during table, uncommonly merry. The King showed
himself altogether content; and his bright clever talk and
sprightly sallies, awakening everybody to the like, left not the
least trace visible of the weighty toils he was then engaged in;--
as if the weightier these were, the less should they fetter the
noble openness (FREYMUTHIGKEIT) of this high soul, which is not to
be cast down by the heaviest burden.

"His Majesty having taken leave of Duke and Duchess, and graciously
permitted the chiefest persons of the Gotha Court to pay their
respects, withdrew to his Army." [Letter in Helden-
Geschichte, iv. 638, 639.] Slept, I find elsewhere,
"at Gamstadt, on the floor of a little Inn;" meaning to examine
Posts in that part, next morning.

Here has been a cheerful little scene for Friedrich; the last he
has in these black weeks. A laborious Predecessor, striving to
elucidate, leaves me this Note:--

"What a pity one knows nothing, nor can know, about this Duke and
Duchess, though their names, especially the latter's name, are much
tossed to and fro in the Books! We heard of them, favorably, in
Voltaire's time; and may again, at least of the Lady, who is
henceforth a Correspondent of Friedrich's. The above is a dim
direct view of them, probably our last as well as first. Duke's
name is Friedrich III.; I do believe, a man of solidity, honor and
polite dignified sense, a highly respectable Duke of Sachsen-Gotha,
contented to be obscure, and quietly do what was still do-able in
that enigmatic situation. He is Uncle to our George III.;--his
Sister is the now Princess-Dowager of Wales, with a Lord Bute, and
I know not what questionable figures and intrigues, or suspicions
of intrigue, much about her. His Duchess, Louisa Dorothee, is a
Princess of distinguished qualities, literary tastes,--Voltaire's
Hostess, Friedrich's Correspondent: a bright and quietly shining
illumination to the circle she inhabits. Duke is now fifty-eight,
Duchess forty-seven; and they lost their eldest Son last year.
There has been lately a considerable private brabble as to Tutorage
of the Duke of Weimar (Wilhelmina's maddish Duke, who is dead
lately; and a Prince left, who soon died also, but left a Son, who
grew to be Goethe's friend); Tutorage claimed by various Cousins,
has been adjudged to this one, King Friedrich co-operating in
such result.

"As to the famed Grand-Duchess, she is a Sachsen-Meiningen
Princess, come of Ernst the Pious, of Johann the Magnanimous, as
her Husband and all these Sachsens are: when Voltaire went
precipitant, with such velocity, from the Potsdam Heaven, she
received him at Gotha; set him on writing his HISTORY OF THE
EMPIRE, and endeavored to break his fall. She was noble to
Voltaire, and well honored by that uncertain Spirit. There is a
fine Library at Gotha; and the Lady bright loves Books, and those
that can write them;--a friend of the Light, a Daughter of the Sun
and the Empyrean, not of Darkness and the Stygian Fens."
[Michaelis, i. 517; &c. &c.]

Friedrich's first Letter to her Highness was one of thanks, above a
year ago, for an act of kindness, act of justice withal, which she
did to one of his Official people. Here, on the morrow of that
dinner, is the second Letter, much more aerial and cordial, in
which style they all continue, now that he has seen the
admired Princess.


DITTELSTADT, "16th September, 1757.

"MADAM,--Yesterday was a Day I shall never forget; which satisfied
a just desire I have had, this long while, to see and hear a
Princess whom all Europe admires. I am not surprised, Madam, that
you subdue people's hearts; you are made to attract the esteem and
the homage of all who have the happiness to know you. But it is
incomprehensible to me how you can have enemies; and how men
representing Countries that by no means wish to pass for barbarous,
can have been so basely (INDIGNEMENT) wanting in the respect they
owe you, and in the consideration which is due to all sovereigns
[French not famous for their refined demeanor in Saxony this time].
Why could not I fly to prevent such disorders, such indecency!
I can only offer you a great deal of good-will; but I feel well
that, in present circumstances, the thing wanted is effective
results and reality. May I, Madam, be so happy as to render you
some service! May your fortune be equal to your virtues! I am with
the highest consideration, Madam, your Highness's faithful Cousin,
--F." [ OEuvres de Frederic, xvii. 166.]

To Wilhelmina he says of it, next day, still gratified, though sad
news have come in the interim;--death of Winterfeld, for one
black item:--

... "The day before yesterday I was in Gotha. It was a touching
scene to see the partners of one's misfortunes, with like griefs
and like complaints. The Duchess is a woman of real merit, whose
firmness puts many a man to shame. Madam de Buchwald appears to me
a very estimable person, and one who would suit you much:
intelligent, accomplished, without pretensions, and good-humored.
My Brother Henri is gone to see them to-day. I am so oppressed with
grief, that I would rather keep my sadness to myself. I have reason
to congratulate myself much on account of my Brother Henri; he has
behaved like an angel, as a soldier, and well towards me as a
Brother. I cannot, unfortunately, say the same of the elder.
He sulks at me (IL ME BODE), and has sulkily retired to Torgau,
from whence, I hear, he is gone to Wittenberg. I shall leave him to
his caprices and to his bad conduct; and I prophesy nothing good
for the future, unless the younger guide him." ["Kirschleben, near
Erfurt, 17th September, 1757" ( OEuvres de Frederic, italic> xxvii. i. 306).] ...

This is part of a long sad Letter to Wilhelmina; parts of which we
may recur to, as otherwise illustrative. But before going into that
tragic budget of bad news, let us give the finale of Gotha, which
occurred the next day,--tragi-comic in part,--and is the last bit
of action in those dreary four weeks.

GOTHA, 18th SEPTEMBER. "Since Thursday 15th, Major-General
Seidlitz," youngest Major-General of the Army, but a rapidly rising
man, "has been Commandant in Gotha, under flourishing
circumstances; popular and supreme, though only with a force of
1,500, dragoons and hussars. Monday morning early, Seidlitz's
scouts bring word that the Soubise-Hildburghausen people are in
motion hitherward; French hussars and Austrian, Turpin's, Loudon's,
all that are; grenadiers in mass;--total, say, 8,000 horse and
foot, with abundance of artillery;--have been on march all night,
to retake Gotha; with all the Chief Generals and Dignitaries of the
Army following in their carriages, for some hours past, to see it
done. Seidlitz, ascertaining these things, has but one course
left,--that of clearing himself out, which he does with orderly
velocity: and at 9 A.M. the Dignitaries and their 8,000 find open
gates, Seidlitz clean off; occupy the posts, with due emphasis and
flourish; and proceed to the Schloss in a grand triumphant way,--
where privately they are not very welcome, though one puts the best
face on it, and a dinner of importance is the first thing
imperative to be set in progress. A flurried Court, that of Gotha,
and much swashing of French plumes through it, all this morning,
since Seidlitz had to flit.

"Seidlitz has not flitted very far. Seidlitz has ranked his small
dragoon-hussar force in a hollow, two miles off; has got warning
sent to a third regiment within reach of him, 'Come towards me, and
in a certain defile, visible from Gotha eastward, spread yourselves
so and so!'--and judges by the swashing he hears of up yonder, that
perhaps something may still be done. Dinner, up in the Schloss, is
just being taken from the spit, and the swashing at its height,
when--'Hah what is that, though?' and all plumes pause. For it is
Seidlitz, artistically spread into single files, on the prominent
points of vision; advancing again, more like 15,000 than 1,500:
'And in the Defile yonder, that regiment, do you mark it; the
King's vanguard, I should say?--To horse!'

"That is Seidlitz's fine Bit of Painting, hung out yonder, hooked
on the sky itself, as temporary background to Gotha, to be judged
of by the connoisseurs. For pictorial effect, breadth of touch,
truth to Nature and real power on the connoisseur, I have heard of
nothing equal by any artist. The high Generalcy, Soubise,
Hildburghausen, Darmstadt, mount in the highest haste; everybody
mounts, happy he who has anything to mount; the grenadiers tumble
out of the Schloss; dragoons, artillery tumble out; Dauphiness
takes wholly to her heels, at an extraordinary pace: so that
Seidlitz's hussars could hardly get a stroke at her; caught sixty
and odd, nine of them Officers not of mark; did kill thirty; and
had such a haul of equipages and valuable effects, cosmetic a good
few of them, habilatory, artistic, as caused the hussar heart to
sing for joy. Among other plunder, was Loudon's Commission of
Major-General, just on its road from Vienna [poor Mannstein's death
the suggesting cause, say some];--undoubtedly a shining Loudon;
to whom Friedrich, next day, forwarded the Document with a polite
Note." [ Helden-Geschichte, iv. 640;
Westphalen, ii. 37; OEuvres de Frederic,
iv, 147.]'

The day after this bright feat of Seidlitz's, which was a slight
consolation to Friedrich, there came a Letter from the Duchess, not
of compliment only; the Letter itself had to be burnt on the spot,
being, as would seem, dangerous for the High Lady, who was much a
friend of Friedrich's. Their Correspondence, very polite and
graceful, but for most part gone to the unintelligible state, and
become vacant and spectral, figures considerably in the Books, and
was, no doubt, a considerable fact to Friedrich. His Answer on this
occasion may be given, since we have it,--lest there should not
elsewhere be opportunity for a second specimen.


"KIRSCHLEBEN, NEAB ERFURT, 20th September, 1757.

"MADAM,--Nothing could happen more glorious to my troops than that
of fighting, Madam, under your eyes and for your defence. I wish
their help could be useful to you; but I foresee the reverse. If I
were obstinately to insist on maintaining the post of Gotha with
Infantry, I should ruin your City for you, Madam, by attracting
thither and fixing there the theatre of the War; whereas, by the
present course, you will only have to suffer little rubs
(PASSADES), which will not last long.

"A thousand thanks that you could, in a day like yesterday, find
the moment to think of your Friends, and to employ yourself for
them. [Seidlitz's attack was brisk, quite sudden, with an effect
like Harlequin's sword in Pantomimes; and Gotha in every corner,
especially in the Schloss below and ahove stairs,--dinner cooked
for A, and eaten by B, in that manner,--must have been the most
agitated of little Cities.] I will neglect nothing of what you have
the goodness to tell me; I shall profit by these notices.
Heaven grant it might be for the deliverance and the security
of Germany!

"The most signal mark of obedience I can give you consists
unquestionably in doing your bidding with this Letter. [Burn it, so
soon as read.] I should have kept it as a monument of your
generosity and courage: but, Madam, since you dispose of it
otherwise, your orders shall be executed; persuaded that if one
cannot serve one's friends, one must at least avoid hurting them;
that one may be less circumspect for one's own interest, but that
one must be prudent and even timid for theirs. I am, with the
highest esteem and the most perfect consideration, Madam, your
Highness's most faithful and affectionate Cousin,--F."
[ OEuvres de Frederic, xvii. 167.]

From Erfurt, on the night of his arrival, finding the Dauphiness in
such humor, Friedrich had ordered Ferdinand of Brunswick with his
Division and Prince Moritz with his, both of whom were still at
Naumburg, to go on different errands,--Ferdinand out Halberstadt-
Magdeburg way, whither Richelieu, vulture-like, if not eagle-like,
is on wing; Moritz to Torgau, to secure our magazine and be on the
outlook there. Both of them marched on the morrow (November 14th):
and are sending him news,--seldom comfortable news; mainly that, in
spite of all one can do (and it is not little on Ferdinand's part,
the Richelieu vultures, 80,000 of them, floating onward, leagues
broad, are not to be kept out of Halberstadt, well if out of
Magdeburg itself;--and that, in short, the general conflagration,
in those parts too, is progressive. [In Orlich's First
Moritz, pp. 71-89; and in Westphalen, italic> ii. 23-143 (about Ferdinand): interesting Documentary
details, Autographs of Friedrich, &c., in regard to both these
Expeditions.] Moritz, peaceable for some weeks in Torgau Country,
was to have an eye on Brandenburg withal, on Berlin itself; and
before long Moritz will see something noticeable there!

From Preussen, Friedrich hears of mere ravagings and horrid
cruelties, Cossack-Calmuck atrocities, which make human nature
shudder: [In Helden-Geschichte, iv. 427-437,
the hideous details.] "Fight those monsters; go into them at all
hazards!" he writes to Lehwald peremptorily. Lehwald, 25,000
against 80,000, does so; draws up, in front of Wehlau, not far east
of Konigsberg, among woody swamps, AUGUST 30th, at a Hamlet called
GROSS-JAGERSDORF, with his best skill; fights well, though not
without mistakes; and is beaten by cannon and numbers.
[Tempelhof, i. 299; Retzow, i. 212; &c. &c. ("Russians lost about
9,000," by their own tale 5,000; "the Prussians 3,000" and the
Field).] Preussen now lies at Apraxin's discretion. This bit of
news too is on the road for Erfurt Country. Such a six weeks for
the swift man, obliged to stand spell-bound,--idle posterity never
will conceive it; and description is useless.

Let us add here, that Apraxin did not advance on Konigsberg, or
farther into Preussen at all; but, after some loitering, turned, to
everybody's surprise, and wended slowly home. "Could get no
provision," said Apraxin for himself. "Thought the Czarina was
dying," said the world; "and that Peter her successor would take it
well!" Plodded slowly home, for certain; Lehwald following him, not
too close, till over the border. Nothing left of Apraxin, and his
huge Expedition, but Memel alone; Memel, and a great many graves
and ruins. So that Lehwald could be recalled, to attend on the
Swedes, before Winter came. And Friedrich's worst forebodings did
not take effect in this case;--nor in some others, as we shall see!


Meanwhile, is it not remarkable that Friedrich wrote more Verses,
this Autumn, than almost in any other three months of his life?
Singular, yes; though perhaps not inexplicable. And if readers
could fairly understand that fact, instead of running away with the
shell of it, and leaving the essence, it would throw a great light
on Friedrich. He is not a brooding inarticulate man, then; but a
bright-glancing, articulate; not to be struck dumb by the face of
Death itself. Flashes clear-eyed into the physiognomy of Death, and
Ruin, and the Abysmal Horrors opening; and has a sharp word to say
to them. The explanation of his large cargo of Verses this Autumn
is, That always, alternating with such fiery velocity, he had
intolerable periods of waiting till things were ready. And took to
verses, by way of expectorating himself, and keeping down his
devils. Not a bad plan, in the circumstances,--especially if you
have so wonderful a turn for expectoration by speech. "All bad as
Poetry, those Verses?" asks the reader. Well, some of them are not
of first-rate goodness. Should have been burnt; or the time marked
which they took up, and whether it was good time wasted (which I
suppose it almost never was), or bad time skilfully got over.
Time, that is the great point; and the heart-truth of them, or mere
lip-truth, another. We must give some specimens, at any rate.

Especially that notable Specimen from the Zittau Countries:
the "Epistle to Wilhelmina (EPITRE A MA SOEUR [ OEuvres de
Frederic, xii. 36-42.];" which is the key-note, as it
were; the fountain-head of much other verse, and of much prose
withal, and Correspondencing not with Wilhelmina alone, of which
also some taste must be given. Primary EPITRE; written, I perceive,
in that interval of waiting for Keith and the magazines,--though
the final date is "Bernstadt, August 24th." Concerning which,
Smelfungus takes, over-hastily, the liberty to say: "Strange, is it
not, to be on the point of fighting for one's existence;
overwhelmed with so many businesses; and disposed to go into verse
in addition! CONCEIVE that form of mind; it would illuminate
something of Friedrich's character: I cannot yet rightly understand
such an aspect of structure, and know not what to say of it,
except 'Strange!'"--

Understand it or not, we do gather by means of it some indisputable
glimpses, nearly all the direct insight allowed us out of any
source, into Friedrich's inner man; what his thoughts were, what
his humor was in that unique crisis; and to readers in quest of
that, these Pieces, fallen obsolete and frosty to all other kinds
of readers, are well worth perusing, and again perusing.
Most veracious Documents, we can observe; nothing could be truer;
Confessions they are, in the most emphatic sense; no truer ever
made to a Priest in the name of the Most High. Like a soliloquy of
Night-Thoughts, accidentally becoming audible to us. Mahomet, I
find, wrote the Koran in this manner. From these poor Poems, which
are voices DE PROFUNDIS, there might, by proper care and selection,
be constructed a Friedrich's Koran; and, with commentary and
elucidation, it would be pleasant to read. The Koran of Friedrich,
or the Lamentation-Psalms of Friedrich! But it would need an
Editor,--other than Dryasdust! Mahomet's Koran, treated by the Arab
Dryasdust (merely turning up the bottom of that Box of Shoulder-
blades, and printing them), has become dreadfully tough reading, on
this side of the Globe; and has given rise to the impossiblest
notions about Mahomet! Indisputable it is, Heroes, in their
affliction, Mahomet and David, have solaced themselves by snatches
of Psalms, by Suras, bursts of Utterance rising into Song;--and if
Friedrich, on far other conditions, did the like, what has History
to say of blame to him?

Wilhelmina comes out very strong, in this season of trouble;
almost the last we see of our excellent Wilhelmina. Like a lioness;
like a shrill mother when her children are in peril. A noble
sisterly affection is in Wilhelmina; shrill Pythian vehemence
trying the impossible. That a Brother, and such a Brother, the most
heroic now breathing, brave and true, and the soul of honor in all
things, should have the whole world rise round him, like a
delirious Sorcerer's-Sabbath, intent to hurl the mountains on him,
--seems such a horror and a madness to Wilhelmina. Like the brood-
hen flying in the face of wild dogs, and packs of hounds in full
trail! Most Christian Pompadour Kings, enraged Czarinas, implacable
Empress-Queens; a whole world in armed delirium rushes on,
regardless of Wilhelmina. Never mind, my noble one; your Brother
will perhaps manage to come up with this leviathan or that among
the heap of them, at a good time, and smite into the fifth rib of
him. Your Brother does not the least shape towards giving in;
thank the Heavens, he will stand to himself at least; his own poor
strength will all be on his own side.

Wilhelmina's hopes of a Peace with France; mission of her Mirabeau,
missions and schemes not a few, we have heard of on Wilhelmina's
part with this view; but the notablest is still to mention: that of
stirring up, by Voltaire's means, an important-looking Cardinal de
Tencin to labor in the business. Eminency Tencin lives in Lyon,
known to the Princess on her Italian Tour;--shy of asking Voltaire
to dinner on that fine occasion,--but, except Officially, is not
otherwise than well-affected to Voltaire. Was once Chief Minister
of France, and would fain again be; does not like these Bernis
novelties and Austrian Alliances, had he now any power to overset
them. Let him correspond with Most Christian Majesty, at least;
plead for a Peace with Prussia, Prussia being so ready that way.
Eminency Tencin, on Voltaire's suggestion, did so, perhaps is even
now doing so; till ordered to hold HIS peace on such subjects.
This is certain and well known; but nothing else is known, or to us
knowable, about it; Voltaire, in vague form, being our one
authority, through whom it is vain to hunt, and again hunt.
[ OEuvres (Memoires), ii. 92, 93; IB. i. 143;
Preuss, ii. 84.] The Dates, much more the features and
circumstances, all lie buried from us, and--till perhaps the
Lamentation-Psalms are well edited--must continue lying. As a fact
certain, but undeniably vague.

Voltaire's procedure, one can gather, is polite, but two-faced;
not sublime on this occasion. In fact, is intended to serve
himself. To the high Princess he writes devotionally, ready to obey
in all things; and then to his Eminency Cardinal Tencin, it rather
seems as if the tone were: "Pooh! yes, your Eminency; such are the
poor Lady's notions. But does your Eminency take notice how high my
connections are; what service a poor obscure creature might perhaps
do the State some day?" Friedrich himself is, in these ways,
brought into correspondence with Voltaire again; and occasionally
writes to him in this War, and ever afterwards: Voltaire responds
with fine sympathy, always prettily, in the enthusiasm of the
moment;--and at other times he writes a good deal about Friedrich,
oftenest in rather a mischievous dialect. "The traitor!" exclaim
some Prussian writers, not many or important, in our time. In fact,
there is a considerable touch of grinning malice (as of Monkey
VERSUS Cat, who had once burnt HIS paw, instead of getting his own
burnt), in those utterances of Voltaire; some of which the reader
will grin over too, without much tragic feeling,--the rather as
they did our Felis Leo no manner of ill, and show our incomparable
SINGE with a sparkle of the TIGRE in him; theoretic sparkle merely
and for moments, which makes him all the more entertaining and
interesting at the domestic hearth.

Of Friedrich's Lamentation-Psalms we propose to give the First and
the Last: these, with certain Prose Pieces, intermediate and
connecting, may perhaps be made intelligible to readers, and throw
some light on these tragic weeks of the King's History:--

1. EPITRE A MA SOEUR (First of the Lamentation-Psalms).--This is
the famed "Epistle to Wilhelmina," already spoken of; which the
King despatched from Bernstadt "August 24th," just while quitting
those parts, on the Erfurt Errand;--though written before, in the
tedium of waiting for Keith. The Piece is long, vehement,
altogether sincere; lyrically sings aloud, or declaims in rhyme,
what one's indignant thought really is on the surrounding woes and
atrocities. We faithfully abridge, and condense into our briefest
Prose;--readers can add water and the jingle of French rhymes AD
LIBITUM. It starts thus:--

"O sweet and dear hope of my remaining days; O Sister, whose
friendship, so fertile in resources, shares all my sorrows, and
with a helpful arm assists me in the gulf! It is in vain that the
Destinies have overwhelmed me with disasters: if the crowd of Kings
have sworn my ruin; if the Earth have opened to swallow me,--
you still love me, noble and affectionate Sister: loved by you,
what is there of misfortune? [Branches off into some survey of
it, nevertheless.]

"Huge continents of thunder-cloud, plots thickening against me [in
those Menzel Documents], I watched with terror; the sky getting
blacker, no covert for me visible: on a sudden, from the deeps of
Hell, starts forth Discord [with capital letter], and the
tempest broke.

Ce fut dans ton Senat, O fouqueuse Angleterre!
Ou ce monstre inhumain fit eclater la guerre:

It was from thy Senate, stormful England, that she first launched
out War. In remote climates first; in America, far away;--between
France and thee. Old Ocean shook with it; Neptune, in the depths of
his caves (SES GROTTES PROFONDES), saw the English subjecting his
waves (SES ONDES): the wild Iroquois, prize of these crimes
(FORFAITS), bursts out; detesting the tyrants who disturb his
Forests,"--and scalping Braddock's people, and the like.

"Discord, charmed to see such an America, and feeble mortals
crossing the Ocean to exterminate one another, addresses the
European Kings: 'How long will you be slaves to what are called
laws? Is it for you to bend under worn-out notions of justice,
right? Mars is the one God: Might is Right. A King's business is to
do something famous in this world.'

"O daughter of the Caesars," Maria Theresa, "how, at these words,
ambition, burning in thy soul, breaks out uncontrollable!
Probity, honor, treaties, duty: feeble considerations these, to a
heart letting loose its flamy passions; determining to rob the
generous Germans of their liberties; to degrade thy equals;
to extinguish 'Schism' (so called), and set up despotism on the
wrecks of all."

"Huge project"--"FIER TRIUMVIRAT,"--what not: "From Roussillon and
the sunny Pyrenees to frozen Russia, all arm for Austria, and march
at her bidding. They concert my downfall, trample on my rights.

"The Daughter of the Caesars, proudly certain of victory,--'t is
the way of the Great, whose commonplace virtue, pusillanimous in
reverses, overbearing in success, cannot bridle their cupidity,--
designates to the Triumvirate what Kings are to be proscribed
[Britannic George and me, Reich busy on us both even now], and
those ungrateful tyrants, by united crime, immolate to each other,
without remorse, their dearest allies." For instance:--

"O jour digne d'oubli! Quelle atroce imprudence!
Therese, c'est l'Anglais que tu vends a la France:

Theresa! it is England thou art selling to France;"--Yes, a thing
worth noting. "Thy generous support in thy first adversities;
thy one friend then, when a world had risen to devour thee.
Thou reignest now:--but it was England alone that saved thee
anything to reign over!

Tu regnes, mats lui seul a sauve tes etats:
Les bienfaits chez les rois ne font que des ingrats.

"And thou, lazy Monarch,"--stupid Louis, let us omit him:--
"Pompadour, selling her lover to the highest bidder, makes France,
in our day, Austria's slave!" We omit Kolin Battle, too, spoken of
with a proud modesty (Prag is not spoken of at all); and how the
neighboring ravenous Powers, on-lookers hitherto, have opened their
throats with one accord to swallow Prussia, thinking its downfall
certain: "Poor mercenary Sweden, once so famous under its soldier
Kings, now debased by a venal Senate;"--Sweden, "what say I? my own
kindred [foolish Anspach and others], driven by perverse motives,
join in the plot of horrors, and become satellites of the
prospering Triumvirs.

"And thou, loved People [my own Prussians], whose happiness is my
charge [notable how often he repeats this] it is thy lamentable
destiny, it is the danger which hangs over thee, that pierces my
soul. The pomps of my rank I could resign without regret. But to
rescue thee, in this black crisis, I will spend my heart's blood.
Whose IS that blood but thine? With joy will I rally my warriors to
avenge thy affront; defy death at the foot of the ramparts [of Daun
and his Eckartsberg, ahead yonder], and either conquer, or be
buried under thy ruins." Very well; but ah,--

"Preparing with such purpose, ye Heavens, what mournful cries are
those that reach us: 'Death haa laid low thy Mother!'--Hah, that
was the last stroke, then, which angry Fate had reserved for me.--
O Mother, Death flies my misfortunes, and spreads his livid horrors
over thee! [Very tender, very sad, what he says of his Mother;
but must be omitted and imagined. General finale is:]

"Thus Destiny with a deluge of torments fills the poisoned remnant
of my days. The present is hideous to me, the future unknown:
what, you say I am the creature of a BENEficent Being?--

Quoi serais-fe forme par un Dieu bienfaisati?
Ah! s'il etait si bon, tendre pour son ouvrage"--

--Husht, my little Titan!

"And now, ye promoters of sacred lies, go on leading cowards by the
nose, in the dark windings of your labyrinth:--to me the
enchantment is ended, the charm disappears. I see that all men are
but the sport of Destiny. And that, if there do exist some Gloomy
and Inexorable Being, who allows a despised herd of creatures to go
on multiplying here, he values them as nothing; looks down on a
Phalaris crowned, on a Socrates in chains; on our virtues, our
misdeeds, on the horrors of war, and all the cruel plagues which
ravage Earth, as a thing indifferent to him. Wherefore, my sole
refuge and only haven, loved Sister, is in the arms of Death:--

Ainsi mon seul asile et mon unique port
Se trouve, chere soeur, dans les bras de la mort."
[ OEuvres, xii. 36-42; is sent
off to Wilhelmina 24th August.]

certain intercalary Prose Pieces).--Wilhelmina has been writing to
Voltaire before, and getting consolations since Kolin; but her
Letters are lost, till this the earliest that is left us:--

BAIREUTH, 19th AUGUST, 1757 (TO VOLTAIRE).--"One first knows one's
friends when misfortunes arrive. The Letter you have written does
honor to your way of thinking. I cannot tell you how much I am
sensible to what you have done [set Cardinal Tencin astir, with
result we will hope]. The King, my Brother, is as much so as I.
You will find a Note here, which he bids me transmit to you [Note
lost]. That great man is still the same. He supports his
misfortunes with a courage and a firmness worthy of him. He could
not get the Note transcribed. It began by verses. Instead of
throwing sand on it, he took the ink-bottle; that is the reason why
it is cut in two."

--This Note, we say, is lost to us;--all but accidentally thus:
Voltaire, 12th September, writes twice to friends. Writing to his
D'Argentals, he says: "The affairs of this King [Friedrich] go from
bad to worse. I know not if I told you of the Letter he wrote to me
about three weeks ago [say August 17th-18th: this same Note through
Wilhelmina, evidently]: 'I have learned,' says he, 'that you had
interested yourself in my successes and misfortunes. There remains
to me nothing but to sell my life dear,' &c. His Sister writes me
one much more lamentable;" the one we are now reading:--

"I am in a frightful state; and will not survive the destruction of
my House and Family. That is the one consolation that remains to
me. You will have fine subjects for making Tragedies of. O times!
O manners! You will, by the illusory representation, perhaps draw
tears; while all contemplate with dry eyes the reality of these
miseries: the downfall of a whole House, against which, if the
truth were known, there is no solid complaint. I cannot write
farther of it: my soul is so troubled that I know not what I am
doing. But whatever happen, be persuaded that I am more than ever
your friend,--WILHELMINA." [In OEuvres de Frederic, italic> lxxvii. 30.]

Friedrich, while Wilhelmina writes so, is at the foot of the
Eckartsberg, eagerly manoeuvring with the Austrians, in hopes of
getting battle out of them,--which he cannot. Friedrich, while he
wrote that Note to Voltaire, and instead of sand-box shook the
ink-bottle over it, was just going out on that errand.

VOLTAIRE, 12th SEPTEMBER (to a Lady whose Son is in the D'Estrees
wars). [Ib. lxxii. 55. 56.]--"Here are mighty revolutions, Madame;
and we are not at the end yet. They say there have 18,000
Hanoverians been disposed of at Stade [Convention of Kloster-
Zeven]. That is no small matter. I can hope M. Richelieu [who is
"MON HEROS," when I write to himself] will adorn his head with the
laurels they have stuck in his pocket. I wish Monsieur your Son
abundance of honor and glory without wounds, and to you, Madame,
unalterable health. The King of Prussia has written me a very
touching Letter [one line of which we have read]; but I have always
Madame Denis's adventure on my heart," at Frankfurt yonder. "If I
were well, I would take a run to Frankfurt myself on the business,"
--now that Soubise's reserves are in those parts, and could give
Freytag and Schmidt such a dusting for me, if they liked! Shall I
write to Collini on it? Does write, and again write, the second
year hence, as still better chances rise. [Collini, pp. 208-211
("January-May, 1759").]

Pieces).--Not a very zealous friend of Friedrich's, after all, this
Voltaire! Poor Wilhelmina, terrified by that EPITRE of her
Brother's, and his fixed purpose of seeking Death, has, in her
despair (though her Letter is lost), been urging Voltaire to write
dissuading him;--as Voltaire does. Of which presently. Her Letter
to Voltaire on this thrice-important subject is lost. But in the
very hours while Voltaire sat writing what we have just read,
"always with Madame Denis's adventure on my heart," Wilhelmina, at
Baireuth, is again writing to him as follows:--

BAIREUTH, 12th SEPTEMBER, 1757 (TO VOLTAIRE).--"Your Letter has
sensibly touched me; that which you addressed to me for the King
[both Letters lost to us] has produced the same effect on him.
I hope you will be satisfied with his Answer as to what concerns
yourself; but you will be as little so as I am with the resolutions
he has formed. I had flattered myself that your reflections would
make some impression on his mind. You will see the contrary by the
Letter adjoined. "To me there remains nothing but to follow his
destiny if it is unfortunate. I have never piqued myself on being a
philosopher; though I have made my efforts to become so. The small
progress I made did teach me to despise grandeurs and riches: but I
could never find in philosophy any cure for the wounds of the
heart, except that of getting done with our miseries by ceasing to
live. The state I am in is worse than death. I see the greatest man
of his age, my Brother, my friend, reduced to the frightfulest
extremity. I see my whole Family exposed to dangers and perhaps
destruction; my native Country torn by pitiless enemies; the
Country where I am [Reichs Army, Anspach, what not] menaced by
perhaps similar misfortune. Would to Heaven I were alone loaded
with all the miseries I have described to you! I would suffer them,
and with firmness.

"Pardon these details. You invite me, by the part you take in what
regards me, to open my heart to you. Alas, hope is well-nigh
banished from it. Fortune, when she changes, is as constant in her
persecutions as in her favors. History is full of those examples:--
but I have found none equal to the one we now see; nor any War as
inhuman and as cruel among civilized nations. You would sigh if you
knew the sad situation of Germany and Preussen. The cruelties which
the Russians commit in that latter Country make nature shudder.
[Details, horrible but authentic, in Helden-Geschichte,
already cited.] How happy you in your Hermitage;
where you repose on your laurels, and can philosophize with a calm
mind on the deliriums of men! I wish you all the happiness
imaginable. If Fortune ever favor us again, count on all my
gratitude. I will never forget the marks of attachment which you
have given; my sensibility is your warrant; I am never half-and-
half a friend, and I shall always be wholly so of Brother

"Many compliments to Madame Denis. Continue, I pray you, to write
to the King." [In Voltaire, ii. 197-199;
lxxvii. 57.]

1757).--"Madam, my heart is touched more than ever by the goodness
and the confidence your Royal Highness deigns to show me. How can I
be but melted by emotion! I see that it is solely your nobleness of
soul that renders you unhappy. I feel myself born to be attached
with idolatry to superior and sympathetic minds, who think like
you. "You know how much I have always, essentially and at heart,
been attached to the King your Brother. The more my old age is
tranquil, and come to renounce everything, and make my retreat here
a home and country, the more am I devoted to that Philosopher-King.
I write nothing to him but what I think from the bottom of my
heart, nothing that I do not think most true; and if my Letter
[dissuasive of seeking Death; wait, reader] appears to your Royal
Highness to be suitable, I beg you to protect it with him, as you
have done the foregoing." [In Voltaire,
lxxvii. 37, 39.]

of the Prose Pieces).--"KIRSCHLEBEN, NEAR ERFURT, 17th SEPTEMBER,
1757.--My dearest Sister, I find no other consolation but in your
precious Letters. May Heaven reward so much virtue and such
heroic sentiments!

"Since I wrote last to you, my misfortunes have but gone on
accumulating. It seems as though Destiny would discharge all its
wrath and fury upon the poor Country which I had to rule over.
The Swedes have entered Pommern. The French, after having concluded
a Neutrality humiliating to the King of England and themselves
[Kloster-Zeven, which we know], are in full march upon Halberstadt
and Magdeburg. From Preussen I am in daily expectation of hearing
of a battle having been fought: the proportion of combatants being
25,000 against 80,000 [was fought, Gross-Jagersdorf, 30th August,
and lost accordingly]. The Austrians have marched into Silesia,
whither the Prince of Bevern follows them. I have advanced this way
to fall upon the corps of the allied Army; which has run off, and
intrenched itself, behind Eisenach, amongst hills, whither to
follow, still more to attack them, all rules of war forbid.
The moment I retire towards Saxony, this whole swarm will be upon
my heels. Happen what may, I am determined, at all risks, to fall
upon whatever corps of the enemy approaches me nearest. I shall
even bless Heaven for its mercy, if it grant me the favor to die
sword in hand.

"Should this hope fail me, you will allow that it would be too hard
to crawl at the feet of a company of traitors, to whom successful
crimes have given the advantage to prescribe the law to me. How, my
dear, my incomparable Sister, how could I repress feelings of
vengeance and of resentment against all my neighbors, of whom there
is not one who did not accelerate my downfall, and will not, share
in our spoils? How can a Prince survive his State, the glory of his
Country, his own reputation? A Bavarian Elector, in his nonage [Son
of the late poor Kaiser, and left, shipwrecked in his seventeenth
year], or rather in a sort of subjection to his Ministers, and dull
to the biddings of honor, may give himself up as a slave to the
imperious domination of the House of Austria, and kiss the hand
which oppressed his Father: I pardon it to his youth and his
ineptitude. But is that the example for me to follow? No, dear
Sister, you think too nobly to give me such mean (LACHE) advice.
Is Liberty, that precious prerogative, to be less dear to a
Sovereign in the eighteenth century than it was to Roman Patricians
of old? And where is it said, that Brutus and Cato should carry
magnanimity farther than Princes and Kings? Firmness consists in
resisting misfortune: but only cowards submit to the yoke, bear
patiently their chains, and support oppression tranquilly.
Never, my dear Sister, could I resolve upon such ignominy. ...

"If I had followed only my own inclinations, I should have ended it
(JE ME SERAIS DEPECHE) at once, after that unfortunate Battle which
I lost. But I felt that this would be weakness, and that it
behooved me to repair the evil which had happened. My attachment to
the State awoke; I said to myself, It is not in seasons of
prosperity that it is rare to find defenders, but in adversity.
I made it a point of honor with myself to redress all that had got
out of square; in which I was not unsuccessful; not even in the
Lausitz [after those Zittau disasters] last of all. But no sooner
had I hastened this way to face new enemies, than Winterfeld was
beaten and killed near Gorlitz, than the French entered the heart,
of my States, than the Swedes blockaded Stettin. Now there is
nothing effective left for me to do: there are too many enemies.
Were I even to succeed in beating two armies, the third would crush
me. The enclosed Note [in cipher] will show you what I am still
about to try: it is the last attempt.

"The gratitude, the tender affection, which I feel towards you,
that friendship, true as the hills, constrains me to deal openly
with you. No, my divine Sister, I shall conceal nothing from you
that I intend to do; all my thoughts, all my resolutions shall be
open and known to you in time. I will precipitate nothing: but also
it will be impossible for me to change my sentiments. ...

"As for you, my incomparable Sister, I have not the heart to turn
you from your resolves. We think alike, and I cannot condemn in you
the sentiments which I daily entertain (EPROUVE). Life has been
given to us as a benefit: when it ceases to be such"--! "I have
nobody left in this world, to attach me to it, but you. My friends,
the relations I loved most, are in the grave; in short, I have
lost, everything. If you take the resolution which I have taken, we
end together our misfortunes and our unhappiness; and it will be
the turn of them who remain in this world, to provide for the
concerns falling to their charge, and to bear the weight, which has
lain on us so long. These, my adorable Sister, are sad reflections,
but suitable to my present condition.

"The day before yesterday I was at Gotha [yes, see above;--and
to-morrow, if I knew it, Seidlitz with pictorial effects will
be there]. ...

"But, it is time to end this long, dreary Letter; which treats
almost of nothing but my own affairs. I have had some leisure, and
have used it to open on you a heart filled with admiration and
gratitude towards you. Yes, my adorable Sister, if Providence
troubled itself about human affairs, you ought to be the happiest
person in the Universe. Your not being such, confirms me in the
sentiments expressed at the end of my EPITRE. In conclusion,
believe that I adore you, and that I would give my life a thousand
times to serve you. These are the sentiments which will animate me
to the last breath of my life; being, my beloved Sister, ever"--
Your--F. [ OEuvres, xxvii. i, 303-307.]

WILHELMINA'S ANSWER,--by anticipation, as we said: written "15th
September," while Friedrich was dining at Gotha, in quest
of Soubise.

"BAIREUTH, 15th SEPTEMBER, 1757. My dearest Brother, your Letter
and the one you wrote to Voltaire, my dear Brother, have almost
killed me. What fatal resolutions, great God! Ah, my dear Brother,
you say you love me; and you drive a dagger into my heart.
Your EPITRE, which I did receive, made me shed rivers of tears.
I am now ashamed of such weakness. My misfortune would be so great"
in the issue there alluded to, "that I should find worthier
resources than tears. Your lot shall be mine: I will not survive
either your misfortunes or those of the House I belong to. You may
calculate that such is my firm resolution.

"But, after this avowal, allow me to entreat you to look back at
what was the pitiable state of your Enemy when you lay before Prag!
It is the sudden whirl of Fortune for both parties. The like can
occur again, when one is least expecting it, Caesar was the slave
of Pirates; and he became the master of the world. A great genius
like yours finds resources even when all is lost; and it is
impossible this frenzy can continue. My heart bleeds to think of
the poor souls in Preussen [Apraxin and his Christian Cossacks
there,--who, it is noted, far excel the Calmuck worshippers of the
Dalai-Lama]. What horrid barbarity, the detail of cruelties that go
on there! I feel all that you feel on it, my dear Brother. I know
your heart, and your sensibility for your subjects.

"I suffer a thousand times more than I can tell you; nevertheless
hope does not abandon me. I received your Letter of the 14th by W.
[who W. is, no mortal knows]. What kindness to think of me, who
have nothing to give you but a useless affection, which is so
richly repaid by yours! I am obliged to finish; but I shall never
cease to be, with the most profound respect (TRES-PROFOND RESPECT,"
--that, and something still better, if my poor pen were not
embarrassed), "your"-- WILHELMINA.

Lamentation-Psalms: "Buttstadt, October 9th").--Voltaire's
Dissuasive Letter is a poor Piece; [ OEuvres de Voltaire,
lxxvii. 80-85 (LES DELICES, early in September, 1757:
no date given).] not worth giving here. Remarkable only by
Friedrich's quiet reception of it; which readers shall now see, as
Finis to those Lamentation-Psalms. There is another of them, widely
known, which we will omit: the EPITRE TO D'ARGENS; [In
OEuvres de Frederic, xii. 50-56 ("Erfurt, 23d
September, 1757 ").] passionate enough, wandering wildly over human
life, and sincere almost to shrillness, in parts; which Voltaire
has also got hold of. Omissible here; the fixity of purpose being
plain otherwise to Voltaire and us. Voltaire's counter-arguments
are weak, or worse: "That Roman death is not now expected of the
Philosopher; that your Majesty will, in the worst event, still have
considerable Dominions left, all that your Great-Grandfather had;
still plenty of resources; that, in Paris Society, an estimable
minority even now thinks highly of you; that in Paris itself your
Majesty [does not say expressly, as dethroned and going on your
travels] would have resources!" To which beautiful considerations
Friedrich answers, not with fire and brimstone, as one might have
dreaded, but in this quiet manner (REPONSE AU SIEUR VOLTAIRE):--

"Je suis homme, il suffit, et ne pour la souffrance;
Aux rigueurs du destin j'oppose ma constance.
["I am a man, and therefore born to suffer; to
destiny's rigors my steadfastness must correspond."--Quotation from
I know not whom.]

But with these sentiments, I am far from condemning Cato and Otho.
The latter had no fine moment in his life, except that of his
death. [Breaks off into Verse:]

"Croyez que si j'etais Voltaire,
Et particulier comme lui,
Me contentant du necessaire,
Je verrais voltiger la fortune legere," --Or,

to wring the water and the jingle out of it, and give the substance
in Prose:--

"Yes, if I were Voltaire and a private man, I could with much
composure leave Fortune to her whirlings and her plungings; to me,
contented with the needful, her mad caprices and sudden topsy-
turvyings would be amusing rather than tremendous.

"I know the ennui attending on honors, the burdensome duties, the
jargon of grinning flatterers, those pitiabilities of every kind,
those details of littleness, with which you have to occupy yourself
if set on high on the stage of things. Foolish glory has no charm
for me, though a Poet and King: when once Atropos has ended me
forever, what will the uncertain honor of living in the Temple of
Memory avail? One moment of practical happiness is worth a thousand
years of imaginary in such Temple.--Is the lot of high people so
very sweet, then? Pleasure, gentle ease, true and hearty mirth,
have always fled from the great and their peculiar pomps
and labors.

"No, it is not fickle Fortune that has ever caused my sorrows;
let her smile her blandest, let her frown her fiercest on me, I
should sleep every night, refusing her the least worship. But our
respective conditions are our law; we are bound and commanded to
shape our temper to the employment we have undertaken. Voltaire in
his hermitage, in a Country where is honesty and safety, can devote
himself in peace to the life of the Philosopher, as Plato has
described it. But as to me, threatened with shipwreck, I must
consider how, looking the tempest in the face, I can think, can
live and can die as a King:--

Pour moi, menace du naufrage,
Je dois, en affrontant l'orage,
Penser, vivre et mourir en roi."
[ OEuvres, xxiii. 14.]

This is of October 9th; this ends, worthily, the Lamentation-
Psalms; work having now turned up, which is a favorable change.
Friedrich's notion of suicide, we perceive, is by no means that of
puking up one's existence, in the weak sick way of FELO DE SE;
but, far different, that of dying, if he needs must, as seems too
likely, in uttermost spasm of battle for self and rights to the
last. From which latter notion nobody can turn him. A valiantly
definite, lucid and shiningly practical soul,--with such a power of
always expectorating himself into clearness again. If he do frankly
wager his life in that manner, beware, ye Soubises, Karls and
flaccid trivial persons, of the stroke that may chance to lie
in him!--


October llth, express arrived, important express from General Finck
(who is in Dresden, convalescent from Kolin, and is even Commandant
there, of anything there is to command), "That the considerable
Austrian Brigade or Outpost, which was left at Stolpen when the
others went for Silesia, is all on march for Berlin." Here is news!
"The whole 15,000 of them," report adds;--though it proved to be
only a Detachment, picked Tolpatches mostly, and of nothing like
that strength; shot off, under a swift General Haddick, on this
errand. Between them and Berlin is not a vestige of force;
and Berlin itself has nothing but palisades, and perhaps a poor
4,000 of garrison. "March instantly, you Moritz, who lie nearest;
cross Elbe at Torgau; I follow instantly!" orders Friedrich;
[His Message to Moritz, ORLICH, p. 73; Rodenbeck, p. 322 (dubious,
or wrong).]--and that same night is on march, or has cavalry pushed
ahead for reinforcement of Moritz.

Friedrich, not doubting but there would be captaincy and scheme
among his Enemies, considered that the Swedes, and perhaps the
Richelieu French, were in concert with this Austrian movement,--
from east, from north, from west, three Invasions coming on the
core of his Dominions;--and that here at last was work ahead, and
plenty of it! That was Friedrich's opinion, and most other
people's, when the Austrian inroad was first heard of: "mere triple
ruin coming to this King," as the Gazetteers judged;--great alarm
prevailing among the King's friends; in Berlin, very great.
Friedrich, glad, at any rate, to have done with that dismal
lingering at Buttelstadt, hastens to arrange himself for the new
contingencies; to post his Keiths, his Ferdinands, with their
handfuls of force, to best advantage; and push ahead after Moritz,

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