Part 3 out of 6
audible in the Lestwitz-Hulsen quarters: seriously loud; red glow
of conflagration visible withal,--some unfortunate Village going up
("Village of Siptitz, think you?"); and need of Hulsen at his
fastest! Hulsen, with some readiest Foot Regiments, circling round,
makes thitherward; Lestwitz in the van. Let us precede him thither,
and explain a little what it was.
Ziethen, who had stood all day making idle noises,--of what a fatal
quality we know, if Ziethen did not,--waiting for the King's
appearance, must have been considerably displeased with himself at
nightfall, when the King's fire gradually died out farther and
farther north, giving rise to the saddest surmises.
Ziethen's Generals, Saldern and the Leuthen Mollendorf, are full of
gloomy impatience, urgent on him to try something. "Push westward,
nearer the King? Some stroke at the enemy on their south or
southwestern side, where we have not molested them all day?
No getting across the Rohrgraben on them, says your Excellenz?
Siptitz Village, and their Battery there, is on our side of the
Rohrgraben:--UM GOTTES WILLEN, something, Herr General!"
Ziethen does finally assent: draws leftward, westward;
unbuckles Saldern's people upon Siptitz; who go like sharp hounds
from the slip; fasten on Siptitz and the Austrians there, with a
will; wrench these out, force them to abandon their Battery, and to
set Siptitz on fire, while they run out of it. Comfortable bit of
success, so far,--were not Siptitz burning, so that we cannot get
through. "Through, no: and were we through, is not there the
Rohrgraben?" thinks Ziethen, not seeing his way.
How lucky that, at this moment, Mollendorf comes in, with a
discovery to westward; discovery of our old friend "the Butter-
Street,"--it is nothing more,--where Ziethen should have marched
this morning: there would he have found a solid road across the
Rohrgraben, free passage by a bridge between two bits of ponds, at
the SCHAFEREI (Sheep-Farm) of Siptitz yonder. "There still,"
reports Mollendorf, "the solid road is; unbeset hitherto, except by
me Mollendorf!" Thitherward all do now hasten, Austrians,
Prussians: but the Prussians are beforehand; Mollendorf is master
of the Pass, deploying himself on the other side of it, and Ziethen
and everybody hastening through to support him there, and the
Austrians making fierce fight in vain. The sound of which has
reached Hulsen, and set Lestwitz and him in motion thither.
For the thing is vital, if we knew it. Close ahead of Mollendorf,
when he is through this Pass, close on Mollendorf's left, as he
wheels round on the attacking Austrians, is the southwest corner of
Siptitz Height. Southwest corner, highest point of it; summit and
key of all that Battle area; rules it all, if you get cannon
thither. It hangs steepish on the southern side, over the
Rohrgraben, where this Mollendorf-Austrian fight begins; but it is
beautifully accessible, if you bear round to the west side,--a fine
saddle-shaped bit of clear ground there, in shape like the outside
or seat of a saddle; Domitsch Wood the crupper part; summit of this
Height the pommel, only nothing like so steep:--it is here (on tho
southern saddle-flap, so to speak), gradually mounting westward to
the crupper-and-pommel part, that the agony now is.
And here, in utter darkness, illuminated only by the musketry and
cannon blazes, there ensued two hours of stiff wrestling in its
kind: not the fiercest spasm of all, but the final which decided
all. Lestwitz, Hulsen, come sweeping on, led by the sound and the
fire; "beating the Prussian march, they," sharply on all their
drums,--Prussian march, rat-tat-tan, sharply through the gloom of
Chaos in that manner; and join themselves, with no mistake made, to
Mollendorf's, to Ziethen's left and the saddle-flap there, and fall
on. The night is pitch-dark, says Archenholtz; you cannot see your
hand before you. Old Hulsen's bridle-horses were all shot away,
when he heard this alarm, far off: no horse left; and he is old,
and has his own bruises. He seated himself on a cannon; and so
rides, and arrives; right welcome the sight of him, doubt not!
And the fight rages still for an hour or more.
To an observant Mollendorf, watching about all day, the importance
and all-importance of Siptitz Summit, if it can be got, is probably
known; to Daun it is alarmingly well known, when he hears of it.
Daun is zealously urgent on Lacy, on O'Donnell; who do try what
they can; send reinforcements, and the like; but nothing that
proves useful. O'Donnell is not the man for such a crisis:
Lacy, too, it is remarked, has always been more expert in ducking
out of Friedrich's way than in fighting anybody. [Archenholtz's
sour remark.] In fine, such is the total darkness, the difficulty,
the uncertainty, most or all of the reinforcements sent halted
short, in the belly of the Night, uncertain where; and their poor
friends got altogether beaten and driven away.
MAP FACING PAGE 527, BOOK XX--------
About 9 at night, all the Austrians are rolling off, eastward,
eastward. Prussians goading them forward what they could (firing
not quite done till 10); and that all-important pommel of the
saddle is indisputably won. The Austrians settled themselves, in a
kind of half-moon shape, close on the suburbs of Torgau;
the Prussians in a parallel half-moon posture, some furlongs behind
them. The Austrians sat but a short time; not a moment longer than
was indispensable. Daun perceives that the key of his ground is
gone from him; that he will have to send a second Courier to
Vienna. And, above all things, that he must forthwith get across
the Elbe and away. Lucky for him that he has Three Bridges (or
Four, including the Town Bridge), and that his Baggage is already
all across and standing on wheels. With excellent despatch and
order Daun winds himself across,--all of him that is still
coherent; and indeed, in the distant parts of the Battle-field,
wandering Austrian parties were admonished hitherward by the
River's voice in the great darkness,--and Daun's loss in prisoners,
though great, was less than could have been expected: 8,000 in all.
Till towards one in the morning, the Prussians, in their half-moon,
had not learned what he was doing. About one they pushed into
Torgau, and across the Town Bridge; found 26 pontoons,--all the
rest packed off except these 26;--and did not follow farther.
Lacy retreated by the other or left bank of the River, to guard
against attempts from that side. Next day there was pursuit of
Lacy; some prisoners and furnitures got from him, but nothing of
moment: Daun and Lacy joined at Dresden; took post, as usual,
behind their inaccessible Plauen Chasms. Sat there, in view of the
chasing Prussians, without farther loss than this of Torgau, and of
a Campaign gone to water again. What an issue, for the third time!
[Tempelhof, iv. 291-318,; Archenholtz, ii. 159-174; Retzow, ii. 299
et seq.; UMSTANDLICHE BESCHREIBUNG DES &C, (in Seyfarth,
245-300), the Daun DESPATCHES, the Lists, &c.]--
On Torgau-field, behind that final Prussian half-moon, there
reigned, all night, a confusion which no tongue can express.
Poor wounded men by the hundred and the thousand, weltering in
their blood, on the cold wet ground; not surgeons or nurses, but
merciless predatory sutlers, equal to murder if necessary, waiting
on them and on the happier that were dead. "Unutterable!" says
Archenholtz; who, though wounded, had crawled or got carried to
some village near. The living wandered about in gloom and
uncertainty; lucky he whose haversack was still his, and a crust of
bread in it: water was a priceless luxury, almost nowhere
discoverable. Prussian Generals roved about with their Staff-
Officers, seeking to re-form their Battalions; to little purpose.
They had grown indignant, in some instances, and were vociferously
imperative and minatory; but in tbe dark who needed mind them?--
they went raving elsewhere, and, for the first time, Prussian word-
of-command saw itself futile. Pitch darkness, bitter cold, ground
trampled into mire. On Siptitz Hill there is nothing that will
burn: farther back, in the Domitsch Woods, are numerous fine fires,
to which Austrians and Prussians alike gather: "Peace and truce
between us; to-morrow morning we will see which are prisoners,
which are captors." So pass the wild hours, all hearts longing for
the dawn, and what decision it will bring.
Friedrich, at Elsnig, found every hut full of wounded, and their
surgeries, and miseries silent or loud. He himself took shelter in
the little Church; passed the night there. Busy about many things;
--"using the altar," it seems, "by way of writing-table [self or
secretaries kneeling, shall we fancy, on those new terms?], and the
stairs of it as seat." Of the final Ziethen-Lestwitz effort he
would scarcely hear the musketry or cannonade, being so far away
from it. At what hour, or from whom first, he learned that the
Battle of Torgau had become Victory in the night-time, I know not:
the Anecdote-Books send him out in his cloak, wandering up and down
before daybreak; standing by the soldiers' fires; and at length,
among the Woods, in the faint incipiency of dawn, meeting a Shadow
which proves to be Ziethen himself in the body, with embraces and
congratulations:--evidently mythical, though dramatic. Reach him
the news soon did; and surely none could be welcomer.
Head-quarters change from the altar-steps in Elsnig Church to
secular rooms in Torgau. Ziethen has already sped forth on the
skirts of Lacy; whole Army follows next day; and, on the War-
theatre it is, on the sudden, a total change of scene.
Conceivable to readers without the details.
Hopes there were of getting back Dresden itself; but that, on
closer view, proved unattemptable. Daun kept his Plauen Chasm, his
few square miles of ground beyond; the rest of Saxony was
Friedrich's, as heretofore. Loudon had tried hard on Kosel for a
week; storming once, and a second time, very fiercely, Goltz being
now near; but could make nothing of it; and, on wind of Goltz, went
his way. [HOFBERICHT VON DER BELAGERUNG VON KOSEL, IM OCTOBER 1760
"October 21st;" ended "at daybreak, October 27th."] The Russians,
on sound of Torgau, shouldered arms, and made for Poland. Daun, for
his own share, went to Vienna this Winter; in need of surgery, and
other things. The population there is rather disposed to be grumbly
on its once heroic Fabius; wishes the Fabius were a little less
cunctatory. But Imperial Majesty herself, one is proud to relate,
drove out, in Old Roman spirit, some miles, to meet him, her
defeated ever-honored Daun, and to inquire graciously about his
health, which is so important to the State. [Archenholtz, ii. 179.]
Torgau was Daun's last Battle: Daun's last battle; and, what is
more to the joy of readers and their Editor here, was Friedrich's
last,--so that the remaining Two Campaigns may fairly be condensed
to an extreme degree; and a few Chapters more will deliver us
altogether from this painful element!--
Daun lost at Torgau, by his own account, "about 11,000 men,"--
should have said, according to Tempelhof, and even to neutral
persons, "above 12,000 killed and wounded, PLUS 8,000 prisoners,
45 cannon, 29 flags, 1 standard (or horse-flag)," [Tempelhof, iv.
213; Kausler, p. 726.] which brings him to at least 20,000 minus;--
the Prussian loss, heavy enough too, being, by Tempelhof's
admission, "between 13 and 14,000, of whom 4,000 prisoners."
The sore loss, not so computable in arithmetic,--but less sore to
Daun, perhaps, than to most people,--is that of being beaten, and
having one's Campaign reduced to water again. No Conquest of
Saxony, any more than of Silesia, possible to Daun, this Year.
In Silesia, thanks to Loudon, small thanks to Loudon's Chief, they
have got Glatz: Kosel they could not get; fiery Loudon himself
stormed and blazed to no purpose there, and had to hurry home on
sight of Goltz and relief. Glatz is the net sum-total. Daun knows
all this; but in a stoical arithmetical manner, and refuses to be
flurried by it.
Friedrich, as we said, had hoped something might be done in Saxony
on the defeated Daun;--perhaps Dresden itself be got back from him,
and his Army altogether sent to winter in Bohemia again? But it
proved otherwise. Daun showed not the least disposition to quit his
Plauen Chasm, or fall into discouragement: and after some weeks of
diligent trial, on Friedrich's part, and much running about in
those central and Hill-ward parts, Friedrich found he would have to
be content with his former allotment of Saxon territory, and to
leave the Austrians quiet in theirs. Took winter-quarters
accordingly, and let the Enemy take. Cantoned himself, in that
Meissen-Freyberg Country, in front of the Austrians and their
impassable Plauens and Chasms:--pretty much as in the past Year,
only that the Two Armies lay at a greater distance, and were more
peaceable, as if by mutual consent.
Head-quarter of the King is Leipzig; where the King did not arrive
till December 8th,--such adjusting and arranging has he had, and
incessant running to and fro. He lived in the "Apel House, NEW
Neumarkt, No. 16;" [Rodenbeck, ii. 65.] the same he had occupied in
1757, in the Rossbach time. "ACH! how lean your Majesty has grown!"
said the Mistress of it, at sight of him again (mythically, I
should fancy, though it is in the Anecdote-Books). "Lean, JA WOHL,"
answered he: "and what wonder, with Three Women [Theresa, Czarina,
Pompadour] hanging on the throat of me all this while!" But we
propose to look in upon him ourselves, in this Apel House, on more
authentic terms, by and by. Read, meanwhile, these Two bits of
Autograph, thrown off incidentally, at different places, in the
previous busy journeyings over Meissen-Freyberg country:--
1. FRIEDRICH TO MARQUIS D'ARGENS (at Berlin).
"MEISSEN, 10th November, 1760.
... "I drove the enemy to the Gates of Dresden; they occupy their
Camp of last Year; all my skill is not enough to dislodge them,"--
[Chasm of Plauen, "a place impregnable, were it garrisoned by
chimney-sweeps," says the King once]. "We have saved our reputation
by the Day of Torgau: but don't imagine our enemies are so
disheartened as to desire Peace. Duke Ferdinand's affairs are not
in a good way [missed Wesel, of which presently;--and, alas also,
George II. died, this day gone a fortnight, which is far worse for
us, if we knew it!]--I fear the French will preserve through Winter
the advantages they gained during the Campaign.
"In a word, I see all black, as if I were at the bottom of a tomb.
Have some compassion on the situation I am in; conceive that I
disguise nothing from you, and yet that I do not detail to you all
my embarrassments, my apprehensions and troubles. Adieu, dear
Marquis; write to me sometimes,--don't forget a poor devil, who
curses ten times a day his fatal existence, and could wish he
already were in those Silent Countries from which nobody returns
with news." [
2. The Second, of different complexion, is a still more interesting
little Autograph, date elsewhere, farther on, in those wanderings.
Madam Camas, Widow of the Colonel Camas whom we knew twenty years
ago, is "Queen's OBER-HOFMEISTERINN (Lady in Chief),"--to whom the
King's Letters are always pretty:--
FREIDRICH TO MADAM CAMAS (at Magdeburg, with the Queen's Majesty.
"NEUSTADT, 18th November, 1760.
"I am exact in answering, and eager to satisfy you [in that matter
of the porcelain: you shall have a breakfast-set, my good Mamma;
six coffee-cups, very pretty, well diapered, and tricked out with
all the little embellishments which increase their value.
On account of some pieces which they are adding to the set, you
will have to wait a few days; but I flatter myself this delay will
contribute to your satisfaction, and produce for you a toy that
will give you pleasure, and make you remember your old Adorer.
It is curious how old people's habits agree. For four years past I
have given up suppers, as incompatible with the Trade I am obliged
to follow; and in marching days, my dinner consists of a cup
"We hurried off, like fools, quite inflated with our Victory, to
try if we could not chase the Austrians out of Dresden: they made a
mockery of us from the tops of their mountains. So I have
withdrawn, like a bad little boy, to conceal myself, out of spite,
in one of the wretchedest villages in Saxony. And here the first
thing will be to drive the Circle gentlemen, [Reichs Army] out of
Freyberg into Chemnitz, and get ourselves room to quarter and
something to live upon. It is, I swear to you, a dog of a life [or
even a she-dog, CHIENNE DE VIE], the like of which nobody but Don
Quixote ever led before me. All this tumbling and toiling, and
bother and confusion that never ceases, has made me so old, that
you would scarcely know me again. On the right side of my head the
hair is all gray; my teeth break and fall out; I have got my face
wrinkled like the falbalas of a petticoat; my back bent like a
fiddle-bow; and spirit sad and downcast like a monk of La Trappe.
I forewarn you of all this, lest, in case we should meet again in
flesh and bone, you might feel yourself too violently shocked by my
appearance. There remains to me nothing but the heart,--which has
undergone no change, and which will preserve, so long as I breathe,
its feelings of esteem and of tender friendship for my good Mamma.
To which add only this on Duke Ferdinand, "whose affairs," we just
heard, "are not in a good way:"--
FIGHT OF KLOSTER KAMPEN (Night of October 15th-16th);
WESEL NOT TO BE HAD BY DUKE FERDINAND.
After WARBURG (July 31st, while Friedrich was on the eve of
crossing Elbe on new adventures, Dresden Siege having failed him),
Duke Ferdinand made no figure to the Gazetteers; fought no Battle
farther; and has had a Campaign, which is honorable only to judges
of a higher than the Gazetteer sort.
By Warburg Ferdinand had got the Diemel; on the north bank of which
he spread himself out, impassable to Broglio, who lay trying on the
opposite bank:--"No Hanover by this road." Broglio thereupon drew
back a little; pushed out circuitously from his right wing, which
reaches far eastward of Ferdinand, a considerable Brigade,--
circuitously, round by the Weser-Fulda Country, and beyond the
embouchure of Diemel,--to try it by that method. Got actually a few
miles into Hanoverian territory, by that method; laid hold of
Gottingen, also of Munden, which secures a road thither: and at
Gottingen there, "ever since August 4th," Broglio has been throwing
up works, and shooting out hussar-parties to a good distance;
intending, it would seem, to maintain himself, and to be
mischievous, in that post. Would, in fact, fain entice Ferdinand
across the Weser, to help Gottingen. "Across Weser, yes;--and so
leave Broglio free to take Lippstadt from me, as he might after a
short siege," thinks Ferdinand always; "which would beautifully
shorten Broglio's communication [quite direct then, and without
interruption, all the way to Wesel], and make Hanover itself,
Hanover and Brunswick, the central Seat of War!" Which Ferdinand,
grieved as he is for Gottingen, will by no means consent to.
Ferdinand, strong only as one to two, cannot hinder Broglio, though
he tries variously; and is much at a loss, seeing Broglio
irrepressibly busy this way, all through August and on into
September;--has heard, however, from Wesel, through secret
partisans there, that Wesel, considered altogether out of risk, is
left in a very weak condition; weak in garrison, weak even in
gunners. Reflecting upon which, in his difficulties, Ferdinand asks
himself, "A sudden stroke at Wesel, 200 miles away, might it not
astonish Broglio, who is so busy on us just here?"--and, September
22d, despatches the Hereditary Prince on that errand. A man likely
for it, if there be one in the world:--unable to do it, however, as
the issue told. Here is what I find noted.
"SEPTEMBER 22d, the Erbprinz, with a chosen Corps of 15,000, mostly
English, left these Diemel regions towards Wesel, at his speediest.
September 29th, Erbprinz and vanguard, Corps rapidly following, are
got to Dorsten, within 20 miles of Wesel. A most swift Erbprinz;
likely for such work. And it is thought by judges, Had he had
either siege-artillery or scaling apparatus, he might really have
attacked Wesel with good chance upon it. But he has not even a
ladder ready, much less a siege-gun. Siege-guns are at Bielefeld
[come from Bremen, I suppose, by English boating, up the Weser so
far]; but that is six score miles of wheel-carriage; roads bad, and
threatening to be worse, as it is equinoctial weather. There is
nothing for it but to wait for those guns.
"The Erbprinz, hopefully waiting, does his endeavor in the interim;
throws a bridge over the Rhine, pounces upon Cleve garrison
(prisoners, with their furnitures), pounces upon this and that;
'spreads terror' on the French thereabouts 'up to Dusseldorf and
Koln,--and on Broglio himself, so far off, the due astonishment.
'Wesel to be snatched,--ye Heavens! Our Netherlands road cut off:
Dusseldorf, Koln, our Rhine Magazines, all and sundry, fallen to
the hawks,--who, the lighter-winged of them, might pay visits in
France itself!' Broglio has to suspend his Gottingen operations,
and detach Marquis de Castries with (say ultimately, for Castries
is to grow and gather by the road) 35,000, to relieve Wesel.
Castries marches double-quick; weather very rainy;--arrives in
those parts OCTOBER 13th;--hardly a gun from Bielefeld come to hand
yet, Erbprinz merely filling men with terror. And so,
"OCTOBER 14th, after two weeks and a day, the Hereditary Prince
sees, not guns from Bielefeld, but Castries pushing into Wesel a
7,000 of additional garrison,--and the Enterprise on Wesel grown
impossible. Impossible, and probably far more; Castries in a
condition to devour us, if he prove sharp. It behooves the
Hereditary Prince to be himself sharp;--which he undoubtedly was,
in this sharp crisis. Next day, our Erbprinz, taking survey of
Castries in his strong ground of Kloster Kampen, decides, like a
gallant fellow, to attack HIM;--and straightway does it.
Breaks, that same night (October 15th-16th, 1760), stealthily,
through woods and with precautions, into Castries's Post;--
intending surprisal, and mere ruin to Castries. And there ensued,
not the SURPRISAL as it turned out, but the BATTLE OF KLOSTER
KAMPEN; which again proved unsuccessful, or only half-successful,
to the Hereditary Prince. A many-winged, intricate Night-Battle;
to be read of in Books. This is where the Chevalier d'Assas, he or
Somebody, gave the alarm to the Castries people at the expense of
his life. 'A MOI, AUVERGNE, Ho, Auvergne!' shouted D'Assas (if it
was D'Assas at all), when the stealthy English came upon him;
who was at once cut down. [Preuss (ii. 270 n.) asserts it to be
of us ever saw, "That the real hero [equal to a Roman Decius or
more] was not Captain d'Assas, of the Regiment Auvergne, but a poor
Private Soldier of it, called Dubois"!--Is not this a strange turn,
after such be-PENSIONING, be-painting, singing and celebrating, as
rose upon poor D'Assas, or the Family of D'Assas, twenty years
afterwards (1777-1790)!--Both Dubois and D'Assas, I conclude, lay
among the slain at Kloster Kampen, silent they forever:--and a
painful doubt does rise, As to the miraculous operation of
Posthumous Rumor and Wonder; and Whether there was any "miracle of
heroism," or other miracle at all, and not rather a poor nocturnal
accident,--poor sentry in the edge of the wood, shrieking out, on
apparition of the stealthy English, "Ho, Auvergne, help!" probably
firing withal; and getting killed in consequence? NON NOSTRUM EST.]
It is certain, Auvergne gave fire; awoke Castries bodily; and saved
him from what was otherwise inevitable. Surprise now there was none
farther; but a complex Fight, managed in the darkness with uncommon
obstinacy; ending in withdrawal of the Erbprinz, as from a thing
that could not be done. His loss in killed, wounded and prisoners,
was 1,638; that of Castries, by his own counting, 2,036:
but Kloster Kampen, in the wide-awake state, could not be won.
"During the Fight, the Erbprinz's Rhine-Bridge had burst in two:
his ammunition was running short;--and, it would seem, there is no
retreat, either! The Erbprinz put a bold face on the matter, stood
to Castries in a threatening attitude; mamoeuvred skilfully for two
days longer, face still to Castries, till the Bridge was got
mended; then, night of October 18th-19th, crossed to his own side;
gathered up his goods; and at a deliberate pace marched home, on
those terms;--doing some useful fighting by the road."
[Mauvillon, ii. 120-129: Tempelhof, ii. 325-332.]
Had lost nothing, say his admirers, "but one cannon, which burst."
One burst cannon left on the field of Kloster Kampen;--but also, as
we see, his errand along with it; and 1,600 good fighters lost aud
burst: which was more important! Criticisms there were on it in
England, perhaps of the unwise sort generally; sorrow in the
highest quarter. "An unaccountable expedition," Walpole calls it,
"on which Prince Ferdinand suddenly despatched his Nephew, at the
head of a considerable force, towards the frontiers of Holland,"--
merely to see the country there?--"which occasioned much solicitude
in England, as the Main Army, already unequal to that of France,
was thus rendered much weaker. King George felt it with much
299.] An unaccountable Enterprise, my poor Gazetteer friends,--
very evidently an unsuccessful one, so far as Wesel went.
Many English fallen in it, too: "the English showed here again a
GANZ AUSNEHMENDE TAPFERKEIT," says Mauvillon; and probably their
share of the loss was proportionate.
Clearly enough there is no Wesel to be had. Neither could Broglio,
though disturbed in his Gottingen fortifyings and operations, be
ejected out of Gottingen. Ferdinand, on failure of Wesel, himself
marched to Gottingen, and tried for some days; but found he could
not, in such weather, tear out that firmly rooted French Post, but
must be content to "mask it," for the present; and, this done,
withdrew (December 13th) to his winter-quarters near by, as did
Broglio to his,--about the time Friedrich and Daun had finally
settled in theirs.
Ferdinand's Campaigns henceforth, which turn all on the defence of
Hanover, are highly recommended to professional readers; but to the
laic sort do not prove interesting in proportion to the trouble.
In fact, the huge War henceforth begins everywhere, or everywhere
except in Pitt's department of it, to burn lower, like a lamp with
the oil getting done; and has less of brilliancy than formerly.
"Let us try for Hanover," the Belleisles, Choiseuls and wise French
heads had said to themselves: "Canada, India, everything is lost;
but were dear Hanover well in our clutch, Hanover would be a remedy
for many things!" Through the remaining Campaigns, as in this now
done, that is their fixed plan. Ferdinand, by unwearied effort,
succeeded in defending Hanover,--nothing of it but that
inconsiderable slice or skirt round Gottingen, which they kept
long, could ever be got by the French. Ferdinand defended Hanover;
and wore out annually the big French Armies which were missioned
thither, as in the spasm of an expiring last effort by this poor
hag-ridden France,--at an expense to her, say, of 50,000 men per
year. Which was good service on Ferdinand's part; but done less and
less in the shining or universally notable way.
So that with him too we are henceforth, thank Heaven, permitted and
even bound to be brief. Hardly above two Battles more from him, if
even two:--and mostly the wearied Reader's imagination left to
conceive for itself those intricate strategies, and endless
manoeuvrings on the Diemel and the Dill, on the Ohm River and the
Schwalm and the Lippe, or wherever they may be, with small help
from a wearied Editor!--
A melancholy little event, which afterwards proved unexpectedly
unfortunate for Friedrich, had happened in England ten days before
the Battle of Torgau. Saturday, 25th October, 1760, George II.,
poor old gentleman, suddenly died. He was in his 77th year;
feeble, but not feebler than usual,--unless, perhaps, the
unaccountable news from Kloster Kampen may have been too agitating
to the dim old mind? On the Monday of this week he had, "from a
tent in Hyde Park," presided at a Review of Dragoons; and on
Thursday, as his Coldstream Guards were on march for Portsmouth and
foreign service, "was in his Portico at Kensington to see them
pass;"--full of zeal always in regard to military matters, and to
this War in particular. Saturday, by sunrise he was on foot;
took his cup of chocolate; inquired about the wind, and the chances
of mails arriving; opened his window, said he would have a turn in
the Gardens, the morning being so fine. It was now between 7 and 8.
The valet then withdrew with the chocolate apparatus; but had
hardly shut the door, when he heard a deep sigh, and fall of
something,--"billet of wood from the fire?" thought he;--upon
which, hurrying back, he found it was the King, who had dropt from
his seat, "as if in attempting to ring the bell." King said
faintly, "Call Amelia," and instantly died. Poor deaf Amelia
(Friedrich's old love, now grown old and deaf) listened wildly for
some faint sound from those lips now mute forever. George Second
was no more; his grandson George Third was now King.
[Old Newspapers (in
Intrinsically taken, this seemed no very great event for Friedrich,
for Pitt, for England or mankind: but it proved otherwise.
The merit of this poor King deceased, who had led his Nation
stumbling among the chimney-pots at such a rate in these mad German
Wars for Twenty Years past, was, That he did now stand loyal to the
Enterprise, now when it had become sane indeed; now when the Nation
was broad awake, and a Captain had risen to guide it out of that
perilous posture, into never-expected victory and triumph! Poor old
George had stood by his Pitt, by his Ferdinand, with a perfect
loyalty at all turns; and been devoted, heart and soul and
breeches-pocket, to completely beating Bourbon's oppressive ideas
out of Bourbon's head. A little fact, but how important, then and
there! Under the Successor, all this may be different:--ghastly
beings, Old Tutors, Favorites, Mother's-Favorites, flit, as yet
invisible, on the new backstairs:--should Bute and Company get into
the foreground, people will then know how important it was.
"The Yorkes [Ex-Chancellor Hardwicke people] had long distasted
this War:" yes, and been painfully obliged to hold their tongues:
"but now," within a month or so of the old King's death, "there was
published, under Lord Hardwicke's countenance, a Tract setting
forth the burden and ill policy of our German measures. It was
called CONSIDERATIONS ON THE GERMAN WAR; was ably written, and
changed many men's minds." This is the famous "Mauduit Pamphlet:"
first of those small stones, from the sling of Opposition not
obliged to be dormant, which are now beginning to rattle on Pitt's
Olympian Dwelling-place,--high really as Olympus, in comparison
with others of the kind, but which unluckily is made of GLASS like
the rest of them! The slinger of this first resounding little
missile, Walpole informs us, was "one Mauduit, formerly a
Dissenting Teacher,"--son of a Dissenting Minister in Bermondsey, I
hear, and perhaps himself once a Preacher, but at present concerned
with Factorage of Wool on the great scale; got soon afterwards
promoted to be Head of the Custom-house in Southampton, so lovely
did he seem to Bute and Company. "How agreeable his politics were
to the interior of the Court, soon appeared by a place [Southampton
Custom-house] being bestowed on him by Lord Bute." A fortunate
Mauduit, yet a stupidly tragical; had such a destiny in English
History! Hear Walpole a little farther, on Mauduit, and on other
things then resonant to Arlington Street in a way of their own.
"TO SIR HORACE MANN [at Florence]:--
"NOVEMBER 14th, 1760 [tenth night after Torgau]. ... We are all in
guns and bonfires for an unexpected victory of the King of Prussia
over Daun; but as no particulars are yet arrived, there
"DECEMBER 5th, 1760. I have received the samples of brocadella. ...
I shall send you a curious Pamphlet, the only work I almost ever
knew that changed the opinions of many. It is called CONSIDERATIONS
ON THE PRESENT GERMAN WAR, ["London: Printed for John Wilkie, at
the Bible, in St. Paul's Churchyard, 1761," adds my poor Copy (a
frugal 12mo, of pp. 144), not adding of what edition.] and is
written by a wholesale Woollen-Draper [connected with Wool, in some
way; "Factor at Blackwell Hall," if that mean Draper:--and a
growing man ever after; came to be "Agent for Massachusetts," on
the Boston-TEA occasion, and again did Tracts; was "President of
the"--in short, was a conspicuous Vice-President, so let us define
him, of The general Anti-Penalty or Life-made-Soft Association,
with Cause of civil and religious Liberty all over the World, and
such like; and a Mauduit comfortably resonant in that way till he
died [Chalmers, BIOG. DICTIONARY; Nichols, LITERARY ANECDOTES;
&c. &c.]; but the materials are supposed to be furnished by the
faction of the Yorkes. The confirmation of the King of Prussia's
victory near Torgau does not prevent the disciples of the Pamphlet
from thinking that the best thing which could happen for us would
be to have that Monarch's head shot off. [Hear, hear!]--
"There are Letters from the Hague [what foolish Letters do fly
about, my friend!], that say Daun is dead of his wounds. If he is,
I shall begin to believe that the King of Prussia will end
successfully at last. [Oh!] It has been the fashion to cry down
Daun; but, as much as the King of Prussia may admire himself [does
immensely, according to our Selwyn informations], I dare say he
would have been glad to be matched with one much more like himself
than one so opposite as the Marshal."
"JANUARY 2d, i761. The German War is not so popular as you imagine,
either in the Closet or in the Nation." [Walpole,
to Sir Horace Mann
The Mauduit Pamphlet, which then produced such an effect, is still
to be met in old Collections and on Bookstalls; but produces little
save weariness to a modern reader. "Hanover not in real danger,"
argues he; "if the French had it, would not they, all Europe
ordering them, have to give it up again?" Give it up,--GRATIS, or
in return for Canada and Pondicherry, Mauduit's does not say.
Which is an important omission! But Mauduit's grand argument is
that of expense; frightful outlay of money, aggravated by ditto
mismanagement of same.
A War highly expensive, he says--(and the truth is, Pitt was never
stingy of money: "Nearly the one thing we have in any plenty;
be frank in use of that, in an Enterprise so ill-provided
otherwise, and involving life and death!" thinks Pitt);--
"dreadfully expensive," urges Mauduit, and gives some instances of
Commissariat moneys signally wasted,--not by Pitt, but by the
stupidity of Pitt's War Offices, Commissariat Offices, Offices of
all kinds; not to be cured at once by any Pitt:--How magazines of
hay were shipped and reshipped, carried hither, thither, up this
river, down that (nobody knowing where the war-horses would be that
were to eat it); till at length, when it had reached almost the
value of bohea tea, the right place of it was found to be Embden
(nearest to Britain from the first, had one but known), and not a
horse would now taste it, so spoiled was the article; all horses
snorted at it, as they would have done at bohea, never so
expensive. [Mauduit (towards the end) has a story of that
tenor,--particulars not worth verifying.] These things are incident
to British warfare; also to Swedish, and to all warfares that have
their War Offices in an imaginary state,--state much to be abhorred
by every sane creature; but not to be mended all at once by the
noblest of men, into whose hands they are suddenly thrust for
saving his Nation. Conflagration to be quenched; and your buckets
all in hideous leakage, like buckets of the Danaides:--your one
course is, ply them, pour with them, such as they are.
Mauduit points out farther the enormous fortunes realized by a
swindling set of Army-Furnishers, Hebrews mainly, and unbeautiful
to look on. Alas, yes; this too is a thing incident to the case;
and in a degree to all such cases, and situations of sudden crisis;
--have not we seen Jew Ephraim growing rich by the copper money
even of a Friedrich? Christian Protestants there are, withal,
playing the same game on a larger scale. Herr Schimmelmann
("MOULDY-man") the Dane, for instance,--Dane or Holsteiner,--is
coining false money for a Duke of Holstein-Plon, who has not a
Seven-Years War on his hands. Diligently coining, this Mouldy
Individual; still more successfully, is trading in Friedrich's
Meissen China (bought in the cheapest market, sold in the dearest);
has at Hamburg his "Auction of Meissen Porcelain," steadily going
on, as a new commercial institution of that City;--and, in short,
by assiduously laboring in such harvest-fields, gathers a colossal
fortune, 100,000 pounds, 300,000 pounds, or I will not remember
what. Gets "ennobled," furthermore, by a Danish Government prompt
to recognize human merit: Elephant Order, Dannebrog Order; no Order
good enough for this Mouldy-man of merit; [Preuss, ii. 391, 282,
&c.]--and is, so far as I know, begetting "Nobles," that is to say,
Vice-Kings and monitory Exemplars, for the Danish People, to this
day. Let us shut down the iron lid on all that.
Mauduit's Pamphlet, if it raised in the abhorrent unthinking
English mind some vague notion, as probably it did, that Pitt was
responsible for these things, or was in a sort the cause or author
of them, might produce some effect against him. "What a splash is
this you are making, you Great Commoner; wetting everybody's feet,
--as our Mauduit proves;--while the Conflagration seems to be going
out, if you let it alone!" For the heads of men resemble--
My friend, I will not tell you what they, in multitudinous
But thus has woollen Mauduit, from his private camp ("Clement's
Lane, Lombard Street," say the Dictionaries), shot, at a very high
object, what pigeon's-egg or small pebble he had; the first of many
such that took that aim; with weak though loud-sounding impact, but
with results--results on King Friedrich in particular, which were
stronger than the Cannonade of Torgau! As will be seen. For within
year and day,--Mauduit and Company making their noises from
without, and the Butes and Hardwickes working incessantly with such
rare power of leverage and screwage in the interior parts,--a
certain Quasi-Olympian House, made of glass, will lie in sherds,
and the ablest and noblest man in England see himself forbidden to
do England any service farther: "Not needed more, Sir! Go you,--and
look at US for the remainder of your life!"
KING FRIEDRICH IN THE APEL HOUSE AT LEIPZIG
(8th December, 1760-17th March, 1761).
Friedrich's Winter in the Apel House at Leipzig is of cheerfuler
character than we might imagine. Endless sore business he doubtless
has, of recruiting, financiering, watching and providing, which
grows more difficult year by year; but he has subordinates that
work to his signal, and an organized machinery for business such as
no other man. And solacements there are withal: his Books he has
about him; welcomer than ever in such seasons: Friends too,--he is
not solitary; nor neglectful of resources. Faithful D'Argens came
at once (stayed till the middle of March): [
D'Argens "FOR December 8th;" "21st March," D'Argens is back at
Berlin.] D'Argens, Quintus Icilius, English Mitchell; these three
almost daily bore him company. Till the middle of January, also, he
had his two Nephews with him (Sons of his poor deceased Brother,
the late tragic Prince of Prussia),--the elder of whom, Friedrich
Wilhelm, became King afterwards; the second, Henri by name, died
suddenly of small-pox within about seven years hence, to the King's
deep and sore grief, who liked him the better of the two.
Their ages respectively are now about 16 and 14. [Henri, born 30th
December, 1747, died 26th May, 1767;--Friedrich Wilhelm, afterwards
Friedrich Wilhelm II. (sometimes called DER DICKE, The Big), born
25th December, 1744; King, 17th August, 1786; died 16th November,
1797.] Their appetite for dancing, and their gay young ways, are
pleasant now and afterwards to the old Uncle in his grim element.
[Letters, &c. in SCHONING.]
Music, too, he had; daily evening Concert, though from himself
there is no fluting now. One of his Berlin Concert people who had
been sent for was Fasch, a virtuoso on I know not what instrument,
--but a man given to take note of things about him. Fasch was
painfully surprised to see his King so altered in the interim past:
"bent now, sunk into himself, grown old; to whom these five years
of war-tumult and anxiety, of sorrow and hard toil, had given a
dash of gloomy seriousness and melancholy, which was in strong
contrast with his former vividly bright expression, and was not
natural to his years." [Zelter's
From D'Argens there is one authentic Anecdote, worth giving.
One evening D'Argens came to him; entering his Apartment, found him
in a situation very unexpected; which has been memorable ever
since. "One evening [there is no date to it, except vaguely, as
above, December, 1760-March, 1761], D'Argens, entering the King's
Apartment, found him sitting on the ground with a big platter of
fried meat, from which he was feeding his dogs. He had a little
rod, with which he kept order among them, and shoved the best bits
to his favorites. The Marquis, in astonishment, recoiled a step,
struck his hands together, and exclaimed: 'The Five Great Powers of
Europe, who have sworn alliance, and conspired to undo the Marquis
de Brandebourg, how might they puzzle their heads to guess what he
is now doing! Scheming some dangerous plan for the next Campaign,
think they; collecting funds to have money for it; studying about
magazines for man and horse; or he is deep in negotiations to
divide his enemies, and get new allies for himself? Not a bit of
all that. He is sitting peaceably in his room, and feeding his
dogs!'" [Preuss, ii. 282.]
INTERVIEW WITH HERR PROFESSOR GELLERT
(Thursday, 18th December, 1760).
Still more celebrated is the Interview with Gellert; though I
cannot say it is now more entertaining to the ingenuous mind.
One of Friedrich's many Interviews, this Winter, with the Learned
of Leipzig University; for he is a born friend of the Muses so
called, and never neglects an opportunity. Wonderful to see how, in
such an environment, in the depths of mere toil and tribulation,
with a whole breaking world lying on his shoulders, as it were,--he
always shows such appetite for a snatch of talk with anybody
presumably of sense, and knowledge on something!
This Winter, say the Books, "he had, in vacant intervals, a great
deal of communing with the famed of Leipzig University;" this or
the other famed Professor,--Winkler, Ernesti, Gottsched again, and
others, coming to give account, each for himself, of what he
professed to be teaching in the world: "on the Natural Sciences,
more especially the Moral; on Libraries, on Rare Books.
Gottsched was able to satisfy the King on one point; namely, That
the celebrated passage of St. John's Gospel--"THERE ARE THREE THAT
BEAR RECORD--was NOT in the famous Manuscript of the Vienna
Library; Gottsched having himself examined that important CODEX,
and found in the text nothing of said Passage, but merely, written
on the margin, a legible intercalation of it, in Melanchthon's
hand. Luther, in his Version, never had it at all."
inclined to the Socinian view? Not the least consequence to
Friedrich or us! Our business is exclusively with Gellert here.
Readers have heard of Gellert; there are, or there were, English
Writings about him, LIVES, or I forget what: and in his native
Protestant Saxony, among all classes, especially the higher, he
had, in those years and onwards to his death, such a popularity and
real splendor of authority as no man before or since. Had risen,
against his will in some sort, to be a real Pope, a practical
Oracle in those parts. In his modest bachelor lodging (age of him
five-and-forty gone) he has sheaves of Letters daily,--about
affairs of the conscience, of the household, of the heart:
from some evangelical young lady, for example, Shall I marry HIM,
think you, O my Father?" and perhaps from her Papa, "Shall SHE,
think you, O my ditto?"--Sheaves of Letters: and of oral consulters
such crowds, that the poor Oracle was obliged to appoint special
hours for that branch of his business. His class-room (he lectures
on MORALS, some THEORY OF MORAL SENTIMENT, or such like) is crowded
with "blue uniforms" (ingenuous Prussian Officers eager to hear a
Gellert) in these Winters. Rugged Hulsen, this very season, who
commands in Freyberg Country, alleviates the poor village of
Hainichen from certain official inflictions, and bids the poor
people say "It is because Gellert was born among you!" Plainly the
Trismegistus of mankind at that date:--who is now, as usual, become
a surprising Trismegistus to the new generations!
He had written certain thin Books, all of a thin languid nature;
but rational, clear; especially a Book of FABLES IN VERSE, which
are watery, but not wholly water, and have still a languid flavor
in them for readers. His Book on LETTER-WRITING was of use to the
rising generation, in its time. Clearly an amiable, ingenious,
correct, altogether good man; of pious mind,--and, what was more,
of strictly orthodox, according to the then Saxon standard in the
best circles. This was the figure of his Life for the last fifteen
years of it; and he was now about the middle of that culminating
period. A modest, despondent kind of man, given to indigestions,
dietetics, hypochondria: "of neat figure and dress; nose hooked,
but not too much; eyes mournfully blue and beautiful, fine open
brow;"--a fine countenance, and fine soul of its sort, poor
Gellert: "punctual like the church-clock at divine service, in all
A man of some real intellect and melody; some, by no means much;
who was of amiable meek demeanor; studious to offend nobody, and to
do whatever good he could by the established methods;--and who,
what was the great secret of his success, was of orthodoxy perfect
and eminent. Whom, accordingly, the whole world, polite Saxon
orthodox world, hailed as its Evangelist and Trismegistus.
Essentially a commonplace man; but who employed himself in
beautifying and illuminating the commonplace of his clay and
generation:--infinitely to the satisfaction of said generation.
"How charming that you should make thinkable to us, make vocal,
musical and comfortably certain, what we were all inclined to
think; you creature plainly divine!" And the homages to Gellert
were unlimited and continual, not pleasant all of them to an idlish
man in weak health.
Mitchell and Quintus Icilius, who are often urging on the King that
a new German Literature is springing up, of far more importance
than the King thinks, have spoken much to him of Gellert the
Trismegistus;--and at length, in the course of a ten days from
Friedrich's arrival here, actual Interview ensues. The DIALOGUE,
though it is but dull and watery to a modern palate, shall be given
entire, for the sake of one of the Interlocutors. The Report of it,
gleaned gradually from Gellert himself, and printed, not long
afterwards, from his manuscripts or those of others, is to be taken
as perfectly faithful. Gellert, writing to his inquiring Friend
Rabener (a then celebrated Berlin Wit), describes, from Leipzig,
"29th January, 1760," or about six weeks after the event: "How, one
day about the middle of December, Quintus Icilius suddenly came to
my poor lodging here, to carry me to the King." Am too ill to go.
Quintus will excuse me to-day; but will return to-morrow, when no
excuse shall avail. Did go accordingly next day, Thursday, 18th
December, 4 o'clock of the afternoon; and continued till a quarter
to 6. "Had nothing of fear in speaking to the King. Recited my
MALER ZU ATHEN." King said, at parting, he would send for me again.
"The English Ambassador [Mitchell], an excellent man, was probably
the cause of the King's wish to see me. ... The King spoke
sometimes German, sometimes French; I mostly German."
herausgegeben von F. A. Ebert
pp. 629, 631.] As follows:--
RING. "Are you (ER) the Professor Gellert?"
GELLERT. "Yea, IHRO MAJESTAT."
KING. "The English Ambassador has spoken highly of you to me.
Where do you come from?"
GELLERT. "From Hainichen, near Freyberg."
KING. "Have not you a brother at Freyberg?"
GELLERT. "Yea, IHRO MAJESTAT."
KING. "Tell me why we have no good German Authors."
MAJOR QUINTUS ICILIUS (puts in a word). "Your Majesty, you see here
one before you;--one whom the French themselves have translated,
calling him the German La Fontaine!"
KING. "That is much. Have you read La Fontaine?"
GELLERT. "Yes, your Majesty; but have not imitated: I am original
(ICH BIN EIN ORIGINAL)."
KING. "Well, this is one good Author among the Germans; but why
have not we more?"
GELLERT. "Your Majesty has a prejudice against the Germans."
KING. "No; I can't say that (Nein; das kann ich nicht sagen)."
GELLERT. "At least, against German writers."
KING. "Well, perhaps. Why have we no good Historians? Why does no
one undertake a Translation of Tacitus?"
GELLERT. "Tacitus is difficult to translate; and the Frenoh
themselves have but bad translations of him."
KING. "That is true (DA HAT ER RECHT)."
GELLERT. "And, on the whole, various reasons may be given why the
Germans have not yet distinguished themselves in every kind of
writing. While Arts and Sciences were in their flower among the
Greeks, the Romans were still busy in War. Perhaps this is the
Warlike Era of the Germans:--perhaps also they have yet wanted
Augustuses and Louis-Fourteenths!"
KING. "How, would you wish one Augustus,then, for all Germany?"
GELLERT. "Not altogether that; I could wish only that every
Sovereign encouraged men of genius in his own country."
KING (starting a new subject). "Have you never been out of Saxony?"
GELLERT. "I have been in Berlin."
KING. "You should travel."
GELLERT. "IHRO MAJESTAT, for that I need two things,--health
KING. "What is your complaint? Is it DIE GELEHRTE KRANKHEIT
(Disease of the Learned," Dyspepsia so called)? "I have myself
suffered from that. I will prescribe for you. You must ride daily,
and take a dose of rhubarb every week."
GELLERT. "ACH, IHRO MAJESTAT: if the horse were as weak as I am, he
would be of no use to me; if he were stronger, I should be too weak
to manage him." (Mark this of the Horse, however; a tale hangs
KING. "Then you must drive out."
GELLERT. "For that I am deficient in the means."
KING. "Yes, that is true; that is what Authors (GELEHRTE) in
Deutschland are always deficient in. I suppose these are bad times,
are not they?"
GELLERT. "JA WOHL; and if your Majesty would grant us Peace (DEN
FRIEDEN GEBEN WOLLTEN)--"
KING. "How can I? Have not you heard, then? There are three of them
against me (ES SIND JA DREI WIDER MICH)!"
GELLERT. "I have more to do with the Ancients and their History
than with the Moderns."
KING (changing the topic). "What do you think, is Homer or Virgil
the finer as an Epic Poet?"
GELLERT. "Homer, as the more original."
KING. "But Virgil is much more polished (VIEL POLIRTER)."
GELLERT. "We are too far removed from Homer's times to judge of
his language. I trust to Quintilian in that respect, who
KING. "But one should not be a slave to the opinion of
GELLERT. "Nor am I that. I follow them only in cases where, owing
to the distance, I cannot judge for myself."
MAJOR ICILIUS (again giving a slight fillip or suggestion). "He,"
the Herr Professor here, "has also treated of GERMAN LETTER-
WRITING, and has published specimens."
KING. "So? But have you written against the CHANCERY STYLE, then"
(the painfully solemn style, of ceremonial and circumlocution;
Letters written so as to be mainly wig and buckram)?
GELLERT. "ACH JA, that have I, IHRO MAJESTAT!"
KING. "But why doesn't it change? The Devil must be in it (ES IST
ETWAS VERTEUFELTES). They bring me whole sheets of that stuff, and
I can make nothing of it!"
GELLERT. "If your Majesty cannot alter it, still less can I. I can
only recommend, where you command."
KING. "Can you repeat any of your Fables?"
GELLERT. "I doubt it; my memory is very treacherous."
KING. "Bethink you a little; I will walk about [Gellert bethinks
him, brow puckered. King, seeing the brow unpucker itself].
Well, have you one?"
GELLERT. "Yes, your Majesty: THE PAINTER." Gellert recites (voice
plaintive and hollow; somewhat PREACHY, I should doubt, but not
cracked or shrieky);--we condense him into prose abridgment for
English readers; German can look at the bottom of the page:
[(Gellert's WERKE: Leipzig, 1840; i. 135.)]--
"'A prudent Painter in Athens, more intent on excellence than on
money, had done a God of War; and sent for a real Critic to give
him his opinion of it. On survey, the Critic shook his head: "Too
much Art visible; won't do, my friend!" The Painter strove to think
otherwise; and was still arguing, when a young Coxcomb [GECK, Gawk]
stept in: "Gods, what a masterpiece!" cried he at the first glance:
"Ah, that foot, those exquisitely wrought toenails; helm, shield,
mail, what opulence of Art!" The sorrowful Painter looked
penitentially at the real Critic, looked at his brush; and the
instant this GECK was gone, struck out his God of War.'"
KING. "And the Moral?"
GELLERT (still reciting):
"'When the Critic does not like thy Bit of Writing, it is a bad
sign for thee; but when the Fool admires, it is time thou at once
strike it out.'"
"Ein kluger Maler in Athen,
Der minder, weil man ihn bezhalte,
Als weil er Ehre suchte, malte,
Liess einen Kenner einst den Mars im Bilde sehn,
Und bat sich seine Meinung aus.
Der Kenner sagt ihm fiei heraus,
Dass ihm das Bild nicht ganz gefallen wollte,
Und dass es, um recht schon zu sein,
Weit minder Kunst verrathen sollte.
Der Maler wandte vieles ein;
Der Kenner stritt mit ihm aus Grunden,
Und konnt ihn doch nicht uberwinden.
Gleich trat ein junger Geck herein,
Und nahm das Bild in Augenschein.
'O,' rief er, 'bei dem ersten Blicke,
Ihr Gotter, welch ein Meisterstucke!
Ach, welcher Fuss! O, wie geschickt
Sind nicht die Nagel ausgedruckt!
Mars lebt durchaus in diesem Bilde.
Wie viele Kunst, wie viele Pracht
Ist in dem Helm und in dem Schilde,
Und in der Rustung angebracht!'
Der Maler ward beschamt geruhret,
Und sah den Kenner klaglich an.
'Nun,' sprach er, 'bin ich uberfuhret!
Ihr habt mir nicht zu viel gethan.'
Der junge Geck war kaum hinaus,
So strich er seinen Kriegsgott aus."
"Wenn deine Schrift dem Kenner nicht gefallt,
So ist es schon ein boses Zeichen;
Doch, wenn sie gar des Narren Lob erhalt,
So ist es Zeit, sie auszustreichen."
KING. "That is excellent; very fine indeed. You have a something of
soft and flowing in your verses; them I understand altogether.
But there was Gottsched, one day, reading me his Translation of
IPHIGENIE; I had the French Copy in my hand, and could not
understand a word of him [a Swan of Saxony, laboring in vain that
day]! They recommended me another Poet, one Peitsch [Herr Peitsch
of Konigsberg, Hofrath, Doctor and Professor there, Gottsched's
Master in Art; edited by Gottsched thirty years ago; now become a
dumb idol, though at one time a god confessed]; him I flung away."
GELLERT. "IHRO MAJESTAT, him I also fling away."
KING. "Well, if I continue here, you must come again often;
bring your FABLES with you, and read me something."
GELLERT. "I know not if I can read well; I have the singing kind of tone, native to the Hill Country."
KING. "JA, like the Silesians. No, you must read me the FABLES
yourself; they lose a great deal otherwise. Come back soon."
(already cited), pp. 632 et seq.] (EXIT GELLERT.)
KING (to Icilius, as we learn from a different Record). "That is
quite another man than Gottsched!" (EXUENT OMNES.)
The modest Gellert says he "remembered Jesus Sirach's advice, PRESS
NOT THYSELF ON KINGS,--and never came back;" nor was specially sent
for, in the hurries succeeding; though the King never quite forgot
him. Next day, at dinner, the King said, "He is the reasonablest
man of all the German Literary People, C'EST LE PLUS RAISONNABLE DE
TOUS LES SAVANS ALLEMANDS." And to Garve, at Breslau, years
afterwards: "Gellert is the only German that will reach posterity;
his department is small, but he has worked in it with real
felicity." And indeed the King had, before that, as practical
result of the Gellert Dialogue, managed to set some Berlin
Bookseller upon printing of these eligible FABLES, "for the use of
our Prussian Schools;" in which and other capacities the FABLES
still serve with acceptance there and elsewhere. [Preuss, ii. 274.]
In regard to Gellert's Horse-exercise, I had still to remember that
Gellert, not long after, did get a Horse; two successive Horses;
both highly remarkable. The first especially; which was Prince
Henri's gift: "The Horse Prince Henri had ridden at the Battle of
Freyberg" (Battle to be mentioned hereafter);--quadruped that must
have been astonished at itself! But a pretty enough gift from the
warlike admiring Prince to his dyspeptic Great Man. This Horse
having yielded to Time, the very Kurfurst (grandson of Polish
Majesty that now is) sent Gellert another, housing and furniture
complete; mounted on which, Gellert and it were among the sights of
Leipzig;--well enough known here to young Goethe, in his College
days, who used to meet the great man and princely horse, and do
salutation, with perhaps some twinkle of scepticism in the corner
of his eye. [DICHTUNG UND WAHRHEIT, Theil ii. Buch 6 (in Goethe's
WERKE, xxv. 51 et seq).] Poor Gellert fell seriously ill in
December, 1769; to the fear and grief of all the world: "estafettes
from the Kurfurst himself galloped daily, or oftener, from Dresden
for the sick bulletin;" but poor Gellert died, all the same (13th
of that month); and we have (really with pathetic thoughts, even
we) to bid his amiable existence in this world, his bits of glories
and him, adieu forever.
DIALOGUE WITH GENERAL SALDERN (in the Apel House,
Leipzig, 21st January, 1761).
Four or five weeks after this of Gellert, Friedrich had another
Dialogue, which also is partly on record, and is of more importance
to us here: Dialogue with Major-General Saldern; on a certain
business, delicate, yet profitable to the doer,--nobody so fit for
it as Saldern, thinks the King. Saldern is he who did that
extraordinary feat of packing the wrecks of battle on the Field of
Liegnitz; a fine, clear-flowing, silent kind of man, rapid and
steady; with a great deal of methodic and other good faculty in
him,--more, perhaps, than he himself yet knows of. Him the King has
sent for, this morning; and it is on the business of Polish
Majesty's Royal Hunting-Schloss at Hubertsburg,--which is a thing
otherwise worth some notice from us.
For three months long the King had been representing, in the proper
quarters, what plunderings, and riotous and even disgusting
savageries, the Saxons had perpetrated at Charlottenburg,
Schonhausen, Friedrichsfeld, in October last, while masters there
for a few days: but neither in Reichs Diet, where Plotho was
eloquent, nor elsewhere by the Diplomatic method, could he get the
least redress, or one civil word of regret. From Polish Majesty
himself, to whom Friedrich remonstrated the matter, through the
English Resident at Warsaw, Friedrich had expected regret; but he
got none. Some think he had hoped that Polish Majesty, touched by
these horrors of war, and by the reciprocities evidently liable to
follow, might be induced to try something towards mediating a
General Peace: but Polish Majesty did not; Polish Majesty answered
simply nothing at all, nor would get into any correspondence:
upon which Friedrich, possibly a little piqued withal, had at
length determined on retaliation.
Within our cantonments, reflects Friedrich, here is Hubertsburg
Schloss, with such a hunting apparatus in and around it;
Polish Majesty's HERTZBLATT ("lid of the HEART," as they call it;
breastbone, at least, and pit of his STOMACH, which inclines to
nothing but hunting): let his Hubertsburg become as our
Charlottenburg is; perhaps that will touch his feelings!
Friedrich had formed this resolution; and, Wednesday, January 21st,
sends for Saldern, one of the most exact, deft-going and
punctiliously honorable of all his Generals, to execute it.
Enter Saldern accordingly,--royal Audience-room "in the APEL'SCHE
HAUS, New Neumarkt, No. 16," as above;--to whom (one Kuster, a
reliable creature, reporting for us on Saldern's behalf) the King
says, in the distinct slowish tone of a King giving orders:--
KING. "Saldern, to-morrow morning you go [ER, He goes) with a
detachment of Infantry and Cavalry, in all silence, to Hubertsburg;
beset the Schloss, get all the furnitures carefully packed up and
invoiced. I want nothing with them; the money they bring I mean to
bestow on our Field Hospitals, and will not forget YOU in disposing
Saldern, usually so prompt with his "JA" on any Order from the
King, looks embarrassed, stands silent,--to the King's great
surprise;--and after a moment or two says:--
SALDERN. "Forgive me, your Majesty: but this is contrary to my
honor and my oath."
KING (still in a calm tone). "You would be right to think so if I
did not intend this desperate method for a good object. Listen to
me: great Lords don't feel it in their scalp, when their subjects
are torn by the hair; one has to grip their own locks, as the only
way to give them pain." (These last words the King said in a
sharper tone; he again made his apology for the resolution he had
formed; and renewed his Order. With the modesty usual to him, but
also with manliness, Saldern replied:)--
SALDERN. "Order me, your Majesty, to attack the enemy and his
batteries, I will on the instant cheerfully obey: but against
honor, oath and duty, I cannot, I dare not!"
The King, with voice gradually rising, I suppose, repeated his
demonstration that the thing was proper, necessary in the
circumstances; but Saldern, true to the inward voice,
SALDERN. "For this commission your Majesty will easily find another
person in my stead."
KING (whirling hastily round, with an angry countenance, but, I
should say, an admirable preservation of his dignity in such
extreme case). "SALDERN, ER WILL NICHT REICH WERDEN,--Saldern, you
refuse to become rich." And EXIT, leaving Saldern to his own stiff
Nothing remained for Saldern but to fall ill, and retire from the
Service; which he did: a man honorably ruined, thought everybody;--
which did not prove to be the case, by and by.
This surely is a remarkable Dialogue; far beyond any of the Gellert
kind. An absolute King and Commander-in-Chief, and of such a type
in both characters, getting flat refusal once in his life (this
once only, so far as I know), and how he takes it:--one wishes
Kuster, or somebody, had been able to go into more details!--
Details on the Quintus-Icilius procedure, which followed next day,
would also have been rather welcome, had Kuster seen good. It is
well known, Quintus Icilius and his Battalion, on order now given,
went cheerfully, next day, in Saldern's stead. And sacked
Hubertsburg Castle, to the due extent or farther: 100,000 thalers
(15,000 pounds) were to be raised from it for the Field-Hospital
behoof; the rest was to be Quintus's own; who, it was thought, made
an excellent thing of it for himself. And in hauling out the
furnitures, especially in selling them, Quintus having an
enterprising sharp head in trade affairs, "it is certain," says
Kuster, as says everybody, "various SCHANDLICHKEITEN (scandals)
occurred, which were contrary to the King's intention, and would
not have happened under Saldern." What the scandals particularly
were, is not specified to me anywhere, though I have searched up
and down; much less the net amount of money realized by Quintus.
I know only, poor Quintus was bantered about it, all his life
after, by this merciless King; and at Potsdam, in years coming, had
ample time and admonition for what penitence was needful.
"The case was much canvassed in the Army," says poor Kuster;
"it was the topic in every tent among Officers and common Men.
And among us Army-Chaplains too," poor honest souls, "the question
of conflicting duties arose: Your King ordering one thing, and your
own Conscience another, what ought a man to do? What ought an Army-
Chaplain to preach or advise? And considerable mutual light in
regard to it we struck out from one another, and saw how a prudent
Army-Chaplain might steer his way. Our general conclusion was, That
neither the King nor Saldern could well be called wrong.
Saldern listening to the inner voice; right he, for certain.
But withal the King, in his place, might judge such a thing
expedient and fit; perhaps Saldern himself would, had Saldern been
King of Prussia there in January, 1761."
Saldern's behavior in his retirement was beautiful; and after the
Peace, he was recalled, and made more use of than ever:
being indeed a model for Army arrangements and procedures, and
reckoned the completest General of Infantry now left, far and near.
The outcries made about Hubertsburg, which still linger in Books,
are so considerable, one fancies the poor Schloss must have been
quite ruined, and left standing as naked walls. Such, however, we
by no means find to be the case; but, on the contrary, shall
ourselves see that everything was got refitted there, and put into
perfect order again, before long.
THERE ARE SOME WAR-MOVEMENTS DURING WINTER; GENERAL
FINANCIERING DIFFICULTIES. CHOISEUL PROPOSES PEACE.
February 15th, there fell out, at Langensalza, on the Unstrut, in
Gotha Country, a bit of sharp fighting; done by Friedrich's people
and Duke Ferdinand's in concert; which, and still more what
followed on it, made some noise in the quiet months. Not a great
thing, this of Langensalza, but a sudden, and successfully done;
costing Broglio some 2,000 prisoners; and the ruin of a
considerable Post of his, which he had lately pushed out thither,
"to seize the Unstrut," as he hoped. A Broglio grasping at more
than he could hold, in those Thuringen parts, as elsewhere!
And, indeed, the Fight of Langensalza was only the beginning of a
series of such; Duke Ferdinand being now upon one of his grand
Winter-Adventures: that of suddenly surprising and exploding
Broglio's Winter-quarters altogether, and rolling him back to
Frankfurt for a lodging. So that, since the first days of February,
especially since Langensalza day, there rose suddenly a great deal
of rushing about, in those regions, with hard bits of fighting, at
least of severe campaigning;--which lasted two whole-months;--
filling the whole world with noise that Winter; and requiring
extreme brevity from us here. It was specially Duke Ferdinand's
Adventure; Friedrich going on it, as per bargain, to the
Langensalza enterprise, but no farther; after which it did not much
concern Friedrich, nor indeed come to much result for anybody.
"Strenuous Ferdinand, very impatient of the Gottingen business and
provoked to see Broglio's quarters extend into Hessen, so near
hand, for the first time, silently determines to dislodge him.
Broglio's chain of quarters, which goes from Frankfurt north as far
as Marburg, then turns east to Ziegenhayn; thence north again to
Cassel, to Munden with its Defiles; and again east, or southeast,
to Langensalza even: this chain has above 150 miles of weak length;
and various other grave faults to the eye of Ferdinand,--especially
this, that it is in the form, not of an elbow only, or joiner's-
square, which is entirely to be disapproved, but even of two
elbows; in fact, of the PROFILE OF A CHAIR [if readers had a Map at
hand]. FOOT of the chair is Frankfurt; SEAT part is from Marburg to
Ziegenhayn; BACK part, near where Ferdinand lies in chief force, is
the Cassel region, on to Munden, which is TOP of the back,--still
backwards from which, there is a kind of proud CURL or overlapping,
down to Langensalza in Gotha Country, which greedy Broglio has
likewise grasped at! Broglio's friends say he himself knew the
faultiness of this zigzag form, but had been overruled.
Ferdinand certainly knows it, and proceeds to act upon it.
"In profound silence, namely, ranks himself (FEBRUARY lst-12th) in
three Divisions, wide enough asunder; bursts up sudden as
lightning, at Langensalza and elsewhere; kicks to pieces Broglio's
Chair-Profile, kicks out especially the bottom part which ruins
both foot and back, these being disjointed thereby, and each
exposed to be taken in rear;--and of course astonishes Broglio not
a little; but does not steal his presence of mind.
"So that, in effect, Broglio had instantly to quit Cassel and warm
lodging, and take the field in person; to burn his Magazines;
and, at the swiftest rate permissible, condense himself, at first
partially about Fulda (well down the leg of his chair), and then
gradually all into one mass near Frankfurt itself;--with
considerable losses, loss especially of all his Magazines, full or
half full. And has now, except Marburg, Ziegenhayn and Cassel, no
post between Gottingen and him. Ferdinand, with his Three
Divisions, went storming along in the wild weather, Granby as
vanguard; pricking into the skirts of Broglio. Captured this and
that of Corps, of Magazines that had not been got burnt; laid siege
to Tassel, siege to Ziegenhayn; blocked Marburg, not having guns
ready: and, for some three or four weeks, was by the Gazetteer
world and general public thought to have done a very considerable
feat;--though to himself, such were the distances, difficulties of
the season, of the long roads, it probably seemed very questionable
whether, in the end, any feat at all.
"Cassel he could not take, after a month's siege under the best of
Siege-Captains; Ziegenhayn still less under one of the worst.
Provisions, ammunitions, were not to be had by force of wagonry:
scant food for soldiers, doubly scant the food of Sieges;"--"the
road from Beverungen [where the Weser-boats have to stop, which is
30 miles from Cassel, perhaps 60 from Ziegenhayn, and perhaps 100
from the outmost or southern-most of Ferdinand's parties] is paved
with dead horses," nor has even Cassel nearly enough of
ammunition:--in a word, Broglio, finding the time come, bursts up
from his Frankfurt Position (March 14th-21st) in a sharp and
determined manner; drives Ferdinand's people back, beats the
Erbprinz himself one day (by surprisal, 'My compliment for
Langensalza'), and sets his people running. Ferdinand sees the
affair to be over; and deliberately retires; lucky, perhaps, that
he still can deliberately: and matters return to their old posture.
Broglio resumes his quarters, somewhat altered in shape, and not
quite so grasping as formerly; and beyond his half-filled
Magazines, has lost nothing considerable, or more considerable than
has Ferdinand himself." [Tempelhof, v. 15-45; Mauvillon, ii.
The vital element in Ferdinand's Adventure was the Siege of Cassel;
all had to fail, when this, by defect of means, under the best of
management, declared itself a failure. Siege Captain was a Graf von
Lippe-Buckeburg, Ferdinand's Ordnance-Master, who is supposed to be
"the best Artillery Officer in the world,"--and is a man of great
mark in military and other circles. He is Son and Successor of that
fantastic Lippe-Buckeburg, by whom Friedrich was introduced to
Free-Masonry long since. He has himself a good deal of the fantast
again, but with a better basis of solidity beneath it. A man of
excellent knowledge and faculty in various departments; strict as
steel, in regard to discipline, to practice and conduct of all
kinds; a most punctilious, silently supercilious gentleman, of
polite but privately irrefragable turn of mind. A tall, lean, dusky
figure; much seen to by neighbors, as he stalks loftily through
this puddle of a world, on terms of his own. Concerning whom there
circulates in military circles this Anecdote, among many others;--
which is set down as a fact; and may be, whether quite believable
or not, a symbol of all the rest, and of a man not unimportant in
these Wars. "Two years ago, on King Friedrich's birthday, 24th
January, 1759, the Count had a select dinner-party in his tent in
Ferdinand's Camp, in honor of the occasion. Dinner was well over,
and wine handsomely flowing, when somebody at last thought of
asking, 'What is it, then, Herr Graf, that whistling kind of noise
we hear every now and then overhead?' 'That is nothing,' said the
Graf, in his calm, dusky way: 'that is only my Artillery-people
practising; I have bidden them hit the pole of our tent if they
can: unhappily there is not the slightest danger. Push the bottles
on.'" [Archenholtz, ii. 356; Zimmermann,
Commandant besieged was Comte de Broglio, the Marshal's younger
Brother, formerly in the Diplomatic line;--whom we saw once, five
years ago, at the Pirna Barrier, fly into fine frenzy, and kick
vainly against the pricks. Friedrich says once, to D'Argens or
somebody: "I hope we shall soon have Cassel, and M. le Comte de
Broglio prisoner" (deserves it for his fine frenzies, at Pirna and
since);--but that comfort was denied us.
Some careless Books say, Friedrich had at first good hopes of this
Enterprise; and "had himself lent 7,000 men to it:" which is the
fact, but not the whole fact. Friedrich had approved, and even
advised this plan of Ferdinand's, and had agreed to send 7,000 men
to co-operate at Langensalza,--which, so far out in Thuringen, and
pointing as if to the Reichsfolk, is itself an eye-sorrow to
Friedrich. The issue we have seen. His 7,000 went accordingly,
under a General Syburg; met the Ferdinand people (General Sporken
head of these, and Walpole's "Conway" one of them); found the
Unstrut in flood, but crossed nevertheless; dashed in upon the
French and Saxons there, and made a brilliant thing of it at
Februar 1761 vorgefallenen Action
Which done, Syburg instantly withdrew, leaving Sporken and his
Conways to complete the Adventure; and, for his part, set himself
with his whole might "to raising contributions, recruits, horses,
proviants, over Thuringen;" "which," says Tempelhof, "had been his
grand errand there, and in which he succeeded wonderfully."
Towards the end of Ferdinand's Affair, Cassel Siege now evidently
like to fail, Friedrich organized a small Expedition for his own
behoof: expedition into Voigtland, or Frankenland, against the
intrusive Reichs-people, who have not now a Broglio or Langensalza
to look across to, but are mischievous upon our outposts on the
edge of the Voigtland yonder. The expedition lasted only ten days
(APRIL 1st it left quarters; APRIL 11th was home again); a sharp,
swift and very pretty expedition; [Tempelhof, v. 48-57.] of which
we can here say only that it was beautifully impressive on the
Reichs gentlemen, and sent their Croateries and them home again, to
Bamberg, to Eger, quite over the horizon, in a considerably
flurried state. After which there was no Small-War farther, and
everybody rested in cantonment, making ready till the Great
The Prussian wounded are all in Leipzig this Winter; a crowded
stirring Town; young Archenholtz, among many others, going about in
convalescent state,--not attending Gellert's course, that I hear
of,--but noticing vividly to right and left. Much difficulty about
the contributions, Archenholtz observes;--of course an ever-
increasing difficulty, here as everywhere, in regard to finance!
From Archenholtz chiefly, I present the following particulars;
which, though in loose form, and without date, except the general
one of Winter 1760-1761, to any of them, are to be held
... "'It is impossible to pay that Contribution,' exclaim the
Leipzigers: 'you said, long since, it was to be 75,000 pounds on us
by the year; and this year you rise to 160,000 pounds; more than
double!'--'Perhaps that is because you favored the Reichsfolk while
here?' answer the Prussians, if they answer anything: 'It is the
King's order. Pay it you must.'--'Cannot; simply impossible.'
'Possible, we tell you, and also certain; we will burn your Leipzig
if you don't!' And they actually, these Collector fellows, a stony-
hearted set, who had a percentage of their own on the sums levied,
got soldiers drawn out more than once pitch-link in hand, as if for
immediate burning: hut the Leipzigers thought to themselves, 'King
Friedrich is not a Soltikof!' and openly laughed at those pitch-
links. Whereupon about a hundred of their Chief Merchants were
thrown into prison,--one hundred or so, riddled down in a day or
two to Seventeen; which latter Seventeen, as they stood out, were
detained a good many days, how many is not said, but only that they
were amazingly firm. Black-hole for lodging, bread-and-water for
diet, straw for bed: nothing would avail on the Seventeen:
'Impossible,' they answered always; each unit of them, in sight of
the other sixteen, was upon his honor, and could not think of
flinching. 'You shall go for soldiers, then;--possibly you will
prefer that, you fine powdered velvet gentlemen? Up then, and
march; here are your firelocks, your seventeen knapsacks: to the
road with us; to Magdeburg, there to get on drill!' Upon which the
Seventeen, horror-struck at such quasi-ACTUAL possibility, gave in.
"Magnanimous Gotzkowsky, who had come to Leipzig on business at the
time [which will give us a date for this by and by], and been
solemnly applied to by Deputation of the Rath, pleaded with his
usual zealous fidelity on their behalf; got various alleviations,
abatements; gave bills:--'Never was seen such magnanimity!' said
the Leipzig Town-Council solemnly, as that of Berlin, in October
last, had done." [Archenholtz, ii. 187-192.]
Of course the difficulties, financial and other, are increasing
every Winter;--not on Friedrich's side only. Here, for instance,
from the Duchy of Gottingen, are some items in the French Account
current, this Winter, which are also furnished by Archenholtz:--
"For bed-ticking, 13,000 webs; of shirts ready-made, 18,000;
shoes," I forget in what quantity; but "from the poor little Town
of Duderstadt 600 pairs,--liability to instant flogging if they are
not honest shoes; flogging, and the whole shoemaker guild summoned
out to see it." Hardy women the same Duderstadt has had to produce:
300 of them, "each with basket on back, who are carrying cannon-
balls from the foundry at Lauterberg to Gottingen, the road being
bad." [Archenholtz, ii. 237.] "These French are in such necessity,"
continues Archenholtz, "they spare neither friend nor foe.
The Frankish Circle, for example, pleads piteously in Reichs Diet
that it has already smarted by this War to the length of 2,230,000
pounds, and entreats the Kaiser to bid Most Christian Majesty cease
HIS exactions,--but without the least result." Result! If Most
Christian Majesty and his Pompadour will continue this War, is it
he, or is it you, that can furnish the Magazines?
"Magazine-furnishings, over all Hessen and this part of Hanover,
are enormous. Recruits too, native Hessian, native Hanoverian, you
shall furnish,--and 'We will hang them, and do, if caught
deserting' [to their own side]!"
I add only one other item from Archenholtz: "Mice being busy in
these Hanover Magazines, it is decided to have cats, and a
requisition goes out accordingly [cipher not given]: cats do
execution for a time, but cannot stand the confinement," are averse
to the solitary system, and object (think with what vocality!):
"upon which Hanover has to send foxes and weasels." [Ib. ii. 240]
These guardian animals, and the 300 women laden with cannon-balls
from the forge, are the most peculiar items in the French Account
current, and the last I will mention.
Difficulty, quasi-impossibility, on the French side, there
evidently is, perhaps more than on any other. But Choiseul has many
arts;--and his Official existence, were there nothing more, demands
that he do the impossible now if ever. This Spring (26th March,
1761), to the surprise and joy of mankind, there came formal
Proposal, issuing from Choiseul, to which Maria Theresa and the
Czarina had to put their signatures; regretting that the British-
Prussian Proposal of last Year had, by ill accident, fallen to the
ground, and now repeating it themselves (real "Congress at
Augsburg," and all things fair and handsome) to Britannic and
Prussian Majesties. Who answered (April 3d) as before, "Nothing
with more willingness, we!" [The "Declaration" (of France &c.),
with the Answer or "Counter-Declaration," in Seyfarth,
And there actually did ensue, at Paris, a vivid Negotiating all
Summer; which ended, not quite in nothing, but in less, if we might
say so. Considerably less, for some of us. We shall have to look
what end it had, and Mauduit will look!--Most people, Pitt probably
among the others, came to think that Choiseul, though his France is
in beggary, had no real view from the first, except to throw powder
in the eyes of France and mankind, to ascertain for himself on what
terms those English would make Peace, and to get Spain drawn into
his quarrel. A Choiseul with many arts. But we will leave him and
his Peace-Proposals, and the other rumors and futilities of this
Year. They are part of the sound and smoke which fill all Years;
and which vanish into next to nothing, oftenest into pure nothing,
when the Years have waited a little. Friedrich's finances, copper
and other, were got completed; his Armies too were once more put on
a passable footing;--and this Year will have its realities withal.
Gotzkowsky, in regard to those Leipzig Finance difficulties, yields
me a date, which is supplementary to some of the Archenholtz
details. I find it was "January 20th, 1761,"--precisely while the
Saldern Interview, and subsequent wreck of Hubertsburg, went on,
--that "Gotzkowsky arrived in Leipzig," [Rodenbeck, ii. 77.] and
got those unfortunate Seventeen out of ward, and the
And withal, at Paris, in the same hours, there went on a thing
worth noting. That January day, while Icilius was busy on the
Schloss of Hubertsburg, poor old Marechal de Belleisle,--mark him,
reader!--"in the Rue de Lille at Paris," lay sunk in putrid fever;
and on the fourth day after, "January 26th, 1761," the last of the
grand old Frenchmen died. "He had been reported dead three days
before," says Barbier: "the public wished it so; they laid the
blame on him of this apparent" (let a cautious man write it,
"apparent) derangement in our affairs,"--instead of thanking him
for all he had done and suffered (loss of so much, including
reputation and an only Son) to repair and stay the same. "He was in
his 77th year. Many people say, 'We must wait three months, to see
if we shall not regret him,'"--even him! [Barbier, iv. 373;
i. 154.] So generous are Nations.
Marechal Duc de Belleisle was very wealthy: in Vernon Country,
Normandy, he had estates and chateaux to the value of about 24,000
pounds annually. All these, having first accurately settled for his
own debts, he, in his grand old way, childless, forlorn, but
loftily polite to the last, bequeathed to the King. His splendid
Paris Mansion he expressly left "to serve in perpetuity as a
residence for the Secretary of State in the Department of War:"
a magnificent Town-House it is, "HOTEL MAGNIFIQUE, at the end of
the Pont-Royal,"--which, I notice farther, is in our time called
"Hotel de CHOISEUL-PRASLIN,"--a house latterly become horrible in
men's memory, if my guess is right.
And thus vanishes, in sour dark clouds, the once great Belleisle.
Grandiose, something almost of great in him, of sublime,--alas,
yes, of too sublime; and of unfortunate beyond proportion, paying
the debt of many foregoers! He too is a notability gone out, the
last of his kind. Twenty years ago, he crossed the OEil-de-Boeuf
with Papers, just setting out to cut Teutschland in Four; and in
the Rue de Lille, No. 54, with that grandiose Enterprise drawing to
its issue in universal defeat, disgrace, discontent and preparation
for the General Overturn (CULBUTE GENERALE of 1789)) he closes his
weary old eyes. Choiseul. succeeds him as War-Minister;
War-Minister and Prime-Minister both in one;--and by many arts of
legerdemain, and another real spasm of effort upon Hanover to do
the impossible there, is leading France with winged steps the
Since March 17th, Friedrich was no longer in Leipzig. He left at
that time, for Meissen Country, and the Hill Cantonments,--
organized there his little Expedition into Voigtland, for behoof of
the Reichsfolk;--and did not return. Continued, mostly in Meissen
Country, as the fittest for his many businesses, Army-regulatings
and other. Till the Campaign come, we will remember of him nothing,
but this little Note, and pleasant little Gift, to his CHERE MAMAN,
the day after his arrival in those parts:--
TO MADAM CAMAS (at Magdeburg, with the Queen).
"MEISSEN, 20th March, 1761.
"I send you, my dear Mamma, a little Trifle, by way of keepsake and
memento [Snuffbox of Meissen Porcelain, with the figure of a Dog on
the lid]. You may use the Box for your rouge, for your patches, or
you may put snuff in it, or BONBONS or pills: but whatever use you
turn it to, think always, when you see this Dog, the Symbol of
Fidelity, that he who sends it outstrips, in respect of fidelity
and attachment to MAMAN, all the dogs in the world; and that his
devotion to you has nothing whatever in common with the fragility
of the material which is manufactured hereabouts.
"I have ordered Porcelain here for all the world, for Schonhausen
[for your Mistress, my poor uncomplaining Wife], for my Sisters-in-
law; in fact, I am rich in this brittle material only. And I hope
the receivers will accept it as current money: for, the truth is,
we are poor as can be, good Mamma; I have nothing left but honor,
my coat, my sword, and porcelain.
"Farewell, my beloved Mamma. If Heaven will, I shall one day see
you again face to face; and repeat to you, by word of mouth, what I
have already said and written; but, turn it and re-turn it as I
may, I shall never, except very incompletely, express what the
feelings of my heart to you are.--F." [Given in Rodenbeck, ii. 79;
omitted, for I know not what reason, in
It was during this Winter, if ever it was, that Friedrich received
the following Letter from an aspiring Young Lady, just coming out,
age seventeen,--in a remote sphere of things. In "Sleepy Hollow"
namely, or the Court of Mirow in Mecklenburg-Strelitz, where we
once visited with Friedrich almost thirty years ago. The poor
collapsed Duke has ceased making dressing-gowns there; and this is
his Niece, Princess Charlotte, Sister to the now reigning Duke.
This Letter, in the translated form, and the glorious results it
had for some of us, are familiar to all English readers for the
last hundred years. Of Friedrich's Answer to it, if he sent one, we
have no trace whatever. Which is a pity, more or less;--though, in
truth, the Answer could only have been some polite formality; the
Letter itself being a mere breath of sentimental wind, absolutely
without significance to Friedrich or anybody else,--except always
to the Young Lady herself, to whom it brought a Royal Husband and
Queenship of England, within a year. Signature, presumably, this
Letter once had; date of place, of day, year, or even century
(except by implication), there never was any: but judicious
persons, scanning on the spot, have found that the "Victory" spoken
of can only have meant Torgau; and that the aspiring Young Lady,
hitherto a School Girl, not so much as "confirmed" till a month or
two ago, age seventeen in May last, can only have I written it, at
Mirow, in the Winter subsequent. [Ludwig Giesebrecht,--DER
FURSTENHOF IN MIROW WUHREND DER JAHRE 1708-1761, in
Programm des vereinigten Koniglichen und Stadt-Gymnasiums
criticism.] Certain it is, in September NEXT, September, 1761,
directly after George III.'s Wedding, there appeared in the English
Newspapers, what doubtless had been much handed about in society
before, the following "TRANSLATION OF A LETTER, SAID TO HAVE BEEN
WRITTEN BY PRINCESS CHARLOTTE OF MECKLENBERG TO THE KING OF
PRUSSIA, ON ONE OF HIS VICTORIES,"--without farther commentary or
remark of any kind; everybody then understanding, as everybody
still. So notable a Document ought to be given in the Original as
well (or in what passes for such), and with some approach to the
necessary preliminaries of time and place: [From
take, verbatim, the TRANSLATION; from PREUSS (ii. 186) the
"ORIGINAL," who does not say where he got it,--whether from an old
German Newspaper or not.]--
[TO HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF PRUSSIA (in Leipzig, or Somewhere.
MIROW IN MECHLENBURG-STRELITZ, Winter of 1760-1761.]
"Sire!--Ich weiss nicht, ob ich uber Ewr. Majestat letzteren Sieg
frohlich odor traurig sein soll, weil eben der gluckliche Sieg, der
neue Lorbeern um Dero Scheitel geflochten hat, uber mein Vaterland
Jammer und Elend verbreitet. Ich weiss, Sire, in diesem unserm
lasterhaft verfeinerten Zeitalter werde ich verlacht werden, dass
mein Herz uber das Ungluck des Landes trauert, dass ich die
Drangsale des Krieges beweine, und von ganzer Seele die Ruckkehr
des Friedens wunsche. Selbst Sie, Sire, werden vielleicht denken,
es schicke sich besser fur mich, mich in der Kunst zu gefallen zu
uben, oder mich nur um hausliche Angelegenheiten zu bekummern.
Allein dem seye wie ihm wolle, so fuhlt mein Herz zu sehr fur diese
Unglucklichen, um eine dringende Furbitte fur dieselben zuruck
"Seit wenigen Jahren hatte dieses Land die angenehmste Gestalt
gewonnen. Man traf keine verodete Stellen an. Alles war angebaut.
Das Landvolk sah vergnugt aus, und in den Stadten herrschte
Wohlstand und Freude. Aber welch' eine Veranderung gegen eine so
angenehme Scene! Ich bin in partheischen Beschreibungen nicht
erfahren, noch weniger kann ich die Grauel der Verwilstung mit
erdichteten Schilderungen schrecklicher darstellen. Allein gewiss
selbst Krieger, welche ein edles Herz und Gefuhl besitzen, wurden
durch den Anblick dieser Scenen zu Thranen bewegt werden. Das ganze
Land, mein werthes Vaterland, liegt da gleich einer Wuste. Der
Ackerbau und die Viehzucht haben aufgehort. Der Bauer und der Hirt
sind Soldaten worden, und in den Stadten sieht man nur Greise,
Weiber, und Kinder, vielleicht noch hie und da einen jungen Mann,
der aber durch empfangene Wunden ein Kruppel ist und den ihn
umgebenden kleinen Knaben die Geschichte einer jeden Wunde mit
einem so pathetischen Heldenton erzahlt, dassihr Herz schon der
Trommel folgt, ehe sie recht gehen konnen. Was aber das Elend auf
den hochsten Gipfel bringt, sind die immer abwechselnden
Vorruckungen und Zuruckziehungen beider Armeen, da selbst die, so
sich unsre Freunde nennen, beim Abzuge alles mitnehmen und
verheeren, und wenn sie wieder kommen, gleich viel wieder herbei
geschafft haben wollen. Von Dero Gerechtigkeit, Sire, hoffen wir
Hulfe in dieser aussersten Noth. An Sie, Sire, mogen auch Frauen,
ja selbst Kinder ihre Klagen bringen. Sie, die sich auch zur
niedrigsten Klasse gutigst herablassen, und dadurch, wenn es
moglich ist, noch grosser werden, als selbst durch ihre Siege,
werden die meinigen nicht unerhort lassen und, zur Ehre Dero
eigenen Ruhmes, Bedruckungen und Drangsalen abhelfen, welche wider
alle Menschenliebe und wider alle gute Kriegszucht streiten.
Ich bin &c."
"MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
"I am at a loss whether I shall congratulate or condole with you on
your late victory; since the same success that has covered you with
laurels has overspread the Couutry of MecklenburgH with desolation.
I know, Sire, that it seems unbecoming my sex, in this age of
vicious refinement, to feel for one's Country, to lament the
horrors of war, or wish for the return of peace. I know you may
think it more properly my province to study the art of pleasing, or
to turn my thoughts to subjects of a more domestic nature:
but, however unbecoming it may be in me, I can't resist the desire
of interceding for this unhappy people.
"It was but a very few years ago that this territory wore the most
pleasing appearance. The Country was cultivated, the peasant looked
cheerful, and the towns abounded with riches and festivity. What an
alteration at present from such a charming scene! I am not expert
at description, nor can my fancy add any horrors to the picture;
but sure even conquerors themselves would weep at the hideous
prospect now before me. The whole Country, my dear Country, lies
one frightful waste, presenting only objects to excite terror, pity
and despair. The business of the husbandman and the shepherd are
quite discontinued; the husbandman and the shepherd are become
soldiers themselves, and help to ravage the soil they formerly
occupied. The towns are inhabited only by old men, women and
children; perhaps here and there a warrior, by wounds and loss of
limbs rendered unfit for service, left at his door; his little
children hang round him, ask a history of every wound, and grow
themselves soldiers before they find strength for the field.
But this were nothing, did we not feel the alternate insolence of
either army, as it happens to advance or retreat. It is impossible
to express the confusion, even those who call themselves our
friends create. Even those from whom we might expect redress,
oppress us with new calamities. From your justice, therefore, it is
that we hope relief; to you even children and women may complain,
whose humanity stoops to the meanest petition, and whose power is
capable of repressing the greatest injustice.
"I am, Sire, &c."
It is remarked that this Young Lady, so amiably melodious in tone,
though she might address to King Friedrich, seems to be writing to
the wind; and that she gives nothing of fact or picture in regard
to Mecklenburg, especially to Mecklenburg-STRELITZ, but what is
taken from her own beautiful young brain. All operatic, vague,
imaginary,--some of it expressly untrue. [In Mecklenburg-SCHWERIN,
which had always to smart sore for its Duke and the line he took,
the Swedes, this year, as usual (but, TILL Torgau, with more hope
than usual), had been trying for winter-quarters: and had by the
Prussians, as usual, been hunted out,--Eugen of Wurtemberg speeding
thither, directly after Torgau; Rostock his winter-quarters;--who,
doubtless with all rigor, is levying contributions for Prussian
behoof. But as to Mecklenburg-Strelitz,--see, for example, in
SCHONING, iii. 30 &c., an indirect but altogether conclusive proof
of the perfectly amicable footing now and always subsisting there;
Friedrich reluctant to intrude even with a small request or
solicitation, on Eugen's behalf, at this time.] So that latterly
there have been doubts as to its authenticity altogether.
Berucksichtigung der Culturgeschichte
1856), ii. 303-305;"--cited by Giesebrecht, who himself takes the
opposite view.] And in fact the Piece has a good deal the air of
some School-Exercise, Model of Letter-writing, Patriotic Aspiration
or the like;--thrown off, shall we say, by the young Parson of
Mirow (Charlotte's late Tutor), with Charlotte there to SIGN; or by
some Patriotic Schoolmaster elsewhere, anywhere, in a moment of
enthusiasm, and without any Charlotte but a hypothetic one?
Certainly it is difficult to fancy how a modest, rational,
practical young person like Charlotte can have thought of so airy a
feat of archery into the blue! Charlotte herself never disavowed
it, that I heard of; and to Colonel Grahame the Ex-Jacobite,
hunting about among potential Queens of England, for behoof of Bute
and of a certain Young King and King's Mother, the Letter did seem
abundantly unquestionable and adorable. Perhaps authentic, after
all;--and certainly small matter whether or not.
SIXTH CAMPAIGN OPENS: CAMP OF BUNZELWITZ.
To the outward observer Friedrich stands well at present, and seems
again in formidable posture. After two such Victories, and such
almost miraculous recovery of himself, who shall say what
resistance he will not yet make? In comparison with 1759 and its
failures and disasters, what a Year has 1760 been! Liegnitz and
Torgau, instead of Kunersdorf and Maxen, here are unexpected
phenomena; here is a King risen from the deeps again,--more
incalculable than ever to contemporary mankind. "How these things
will end?" Fancy of what a palpitating interest THEN, while
everybody watched the huge game as it went on; though it is so
little interesting now to anybody, looking at it all finished!
Finished; no mystery of chance, of world-hope or of world-terror
now remaining in it; all is fallen stagnant, dull, distant;--and it
will behoove us to be brief upon it.
Contemporaries, and Posterity that will make study, must alike
admit that, among the sons of men, few in any Age have made a
stiffer fight than Friedrich has done and continues to do. But to
Friedrich himself it is dismally evident, that year by year his
resources are melting away; that a year must come when he will have
no resource more. Ebbing very fast, his resources;--fast too, no
doubt, those of his Enemies, but not SO fast. They are mighty
Nations, he is one small Nation. His thoughts, we perceive, have
always, in the background of them, a hue of settled black. Easy to
say, "Resist till we die;" but to go about, year after year,
practically doing it, under cloudy omens, no end of it visible
ahead, is not easy. Many men, Kings and other, have had to take
that stern posture;--few on sterner terms than those of Friedrich
at present; and none that I know of with a more truly stoical and
manful figure of demeanor. He is long used to it! Wet to the bone,
you do not regard new showers; the one thing is, reach the bridge
before IT be swum away.
The usual hopes, about Turks, about Peace, and the like, have not
been wanting to Friedrich this Winter; mentionable as a trait of
Friedrich's character, not otherwise worth mention. Hope of aid
from the Turks, it is very strange to see how he nurses this fond
shadow, which never came to anything! Happily, it does not prevent,
it rather encourages, the utmost urgency of preparation:
"The readier we are, the likelier are Turks and everything!"
Peace, at least, between France and England, after such a Proposal
on Choiseul's part, and such a pass as France has really got to,
was a reasonable probability. But indeed, from the first year of
this War, as we remarked, Peace has seemed possible to Friedrich
every year; especially from 1759 onward, there is always every
winter a lively hope of Peace:--"No slackening of preparation;
the reverse, rather; but surely the Campaign of next Summer will be
cut short, and we shall all get home only half expended!"
[Schoning (IN LOCIS).]
Practically, Friedrich has been raising new Free-Corps people, been
recruiting, refitting and equipping, with more diligence than ever;
and, in spite of the almost impossibilities, has two Armies on
foot, some 96,000 men in all, for defence of Saxony and of
Silesia,--Henri to undertake Saxony, VERSUS Daun; Silesia, with
Loudon and the Russians, to be Friedrich's heavier share.
The Campaign, of which, by the one party and the other, very great
things had been hoped and feared, seemed once as if it would begin
two months earlier than usual; but was staved off, a long time, by
Friedrich's dexterities, and otherwise; and in effect did not
begin, what we can call beginning, till two months later than
usual. Essentially it fell, almost all, to Friedrich's share;
and turned out as little decisive on him as any of its foregoers.
The one memorable part of it now is, Friedrich's Encampment at
Bunzelwitz; which did not occur till four months after Friedrich's
appearance on the Field. And from the end of April, when Loudon
made his first attempt, till the end of August, when Friedrich took
that Camp, there was nothing but a series of attempts, all
ineffectual, of demonstrations, marchings, manoeuvrings and small
events; which, in the name of every reader, demand condensation to
the utmost. If readers will be diligent, here, so far as needful,
are the prefatory steps.
Since Fouquet's disaster, Goltz generally has Silesia in charge;
and does it better than expected. He was never thought to have
Fouquet's talent in him; but he shows a rugged loyalty of mind,
less egoistic than the fiery Fouquet's; and honestly flings himself
upon his task, in a way pleasant to look at: pleasant to the King
especially, who recognizes in Goltz a useful, brave, frank soul;--
and has given him, this Spring, the ORDER OF MERIT, which was a
high encouragement to Goltz. In Silesia, after Kosel last Year,
there had been truce between Goltz and Loudon; which should have
produced repose to both; but did not altogether, owing to mistakes
that rose. And at any rate, in the end of April, Loudon, bursting
suddenly into Silesia with great increase to the forces already
there, gave notice, as per bargain, That "in 96 hours" the Truce
would expire. And waiting punctiliously till the last of said hours
was run out, Loudon fell upon Goltz (APRIL 25th, in the
Schweidnitz-Landshut Country) with his usual vehemence;--meaning to
get hold of the Silesian Passes, and extinguish Goltz (only 10 or
12,000 against 30,000), as he had done Fouquet last Year.
But Goltz took his measures better; seized "the Gallows-Hill of
Hohenfriedberg," seized this and that; and stood in so forcible an
attitude, that Loudon, carefully considering, durst not risk an
assault; and the only result was: Friedrich hastened to relief of
Goltz (rose from Meissen Country MAY 3d), and appeared in Silesia
six weeks earlier than he had intended. But again took Cantonments
there (Schweidnitz and neighborhood);--Loudon retiring wholly, on
first tidings of him, home to Bohemia again. Home in Bohemia;
at Braunau, on the western edge of the Glatz Mountains,--there sits
Loudon thenceforth, silent for a long time; silently collecting an
Army of 72,000, with strict orders from Vienna to avoid fighting
till the Russians come. Loudon has very high intentions this Year.
Intends to finish Silesia altogether;--cannot he, after such a
beginning upon Glatz last Year? That is the firm notion at Vienna
among men of understanding: ever-active Loudon the favorite there,
against a Cunctator who has been too cunctatory many times.
Liegnitz itself, was not that (as many opine) a disaster due to
cunctation, not of Loudon's?
Loudon is to be joined by 60,000 Russians, under a Feldmarschall
Butturlin, not under sulky Soltikof, this Year; junction to be in
Upper Silesia, in Neisse neighborhood. We take that Fortress," say
the Vienna people; "it is next on the file after Glatz. Neisse
taken; thence northward, cleaning the Country as we go;
Brieg, Schweidnitz, Glogau, probably Breslau itself in some good
interim: there are but Four Fortresses to do; and the thing is
finished. Let the King, one to three, and Loudon in command against
him, try if he can hinder it!" This is the Program in Vienna and in
Petersburg. And, accordingly, the Russians have got on march about
the end of May; plodding on ever since, due hereabouts before June
end: "junction to be as near Neisse as you can: and no fighting of
the King, on any terms, till the Russians come." Never were the
Vienna people so certain before. Daun is to do nothing "rash" in
Saxony (a Daun not given that way, they can calculate), but is to
guard Loudon's game; carefully to reinforce, comfort and protect
the brave Loudon and his Russians till they win;--after which
Saxony as rash as you like. This is the Program of the Season:--
readers feel what an immensity of preliminary higglings, hitchings
and manoeuvrings will now demand to be suppressed by us! Read these
essential Fractions, chiefly chronological;--and then, at once, To
Bunzelwitz, and the time of close grips in Silesia here.
"Last Year," says a loose Note, which we may as well take with us,
"Tottleben did not go home with the rest, but kept hovering about,
in eastern Pommern, with a 10,000, all Winter; attempting several
kinds of mischief in those Countries, especially attempting to do
something on Colberg; which the Russians mean to besiege next
Summer, with more intensity than ever, for the Third, and, if
possible, the last time. 'Storm their outposts there,' thinks
Tottleben, 'especially Belgard, the chief outpost; girdle tighter
and tighter the obstinate little crow's-nest of a Colberg, and have
it ready for besieging in good time.' Tottleben did try upon the
outposts, especially Belgard the chief one (January 18th, 1761),
but without the least success at Belgard; with a severe reproof
instead, Werner's people being broad awake: [Account of itt,
Tottleben and they made a truce, 'Peaceable till May 12th;'
till June 1st, it proved, about which time [which time, or
afterwards, as the Silesian crisis may admit!] we will look in on
MAY 3d, as above intimated, Friedrich hastened off for Silesia,
quitted Meissen that day, with an Army of some 50,000;
pressingly intent to relieve Goltz from his dangerous predicament
there. This is one of Friedrich's famed marches, done in a minimum
of time and with a maximum of ingenuity; concerning which I will
remember only that, one night, "he lodged again at Rodewitz, near
Hochklrch, in the same house as on that Occasion [what a thirty
months to look back upon, as you sink to sleep!]--and that no
accident anywhere befell the March, though Daun's people, all
through Saxony and the Lausitz, were hovering on the flank,--
apprehensive chiefly lest it might mean a plunge INTO BOHEMIA, for
relief of Goltz, instead of what it did." For six weeks after that
hard March, the King's people got Cantonments again, and rested.
Prince Henri is left in Saxony, with Daun in huge force against
him, Daun and the Reich; between whom and Henri,--Seidlitz being in
the field again with Henri, Seidlitz and others of mark,--there
fell out a great deal of exquisite manoeuvring, rapid detaching and
occasional sharp cutting on the small scale; but nothing of moment
to detain us here or afterwards, We shall say only that Henri, to a
wonderful extent, maintained himself against the heavy overwhelming
Daun and his Austrian and Reichs masses; and that Napoleon, I know
not after what degree of study, pronounced this Campaign of 1761 to
be the masterpiece of Henri, and really a considerable thing,
montre des talents superieurs;
[wait till next Year] nothing in comparison." [Montholon,
Memoires de Napoleon,
soldier-people upon it; but must not us, in any measure. The result
of Henri being what we said,--a drawn game, or nearly so,--we will,
without interference from him, follow Friedrich and Goltz.
Friedrich and Goltz,--or, alas, it is very soon Friedrich alone;
the valiant Goltz soon perishing from his hand! After brief
junction in Schweidnitz Country, Friedrich detached Goltz to his
old fortified Camp at Glogau, there to be on watch. Goltz watching
there, lynx-eyed, skilful, volunteered a Proposal (June 22d):
"Reinforce me to 20,000, your Majesty; I will attack so and so of
those advancing Russians!" Which his Majesty straightway approved