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Accordingly, Wednesday, August 15th, at eight in the morning, Wolfersdorf by the Elbe Gate moves out; across Elbe Bridge, and the Redoubt which is on the farther shore yonder. Near this Redoubt, Stolberg and many of his General Officers are waiting to see him go. He goes in state; flags flying, music playing. Battalion Hessen-Cassel, followed by all our Packages, Hospital convalescents, King’s Artillery, and whatever is the King’s or ours, marches first. Next comes, as rear-guard to all this, Battalion Grollmann;–along with which is Wolfersdorf himself, knowing Grollmann for a ticklish article (Saxons mainly); followed on the heel by Battalion Hofmann, and lastly by Battalion Salmuth, trusty Prussians both of these.

Battalion Hessen-Cassel and the Baggages are through the Redoubt, Prince of Stolberg handsomely saluting as saluted. But now, on Battalion Grollmann’s coming up, Stolberg’s Adjutant cries out with a loud voice of proclamation, many Officers repeating and enforcing: “Whoever is a brave Saxon, whoever is true to his Kaiser, or was of the Reichs Army, let him step out: Durchlaucht will give him protection!” At sound of which Grollmann quivers as if struck by electricity; and instantly begins dissolving;–dissolves, in effect, nearly all, and is in the act of vanishing like a dream! Wolfersdorf is a prompt man; and needs to be so. Wolfersdorf, in Olympian rage, instantly stops short; draws pistol: “I will shoot dead every man that quits rank!” vociferates he; and does, with his pistol, make instant example of one; inviting every true Prussian to do the like: “Jagers, Hussars, a ducat for every traitor you shoot down!” continues Wolfersdorf (and punctually paid it afterwards): unable to prevent an almost total dissolution of Grollmann. For some minutes, there is a scene indescribable: storm of vociferation, menace, musket-shot, pistol- shot; Grollmann disappearing on every side,–“behind the Redoubt, under the Bridge, into Elbe Boats, under the cloaks of the Croats;” –in spite of Wolfersdorf’s Olympian rages and efforts.

At sight of the shooting, Prince Stolberg, a hot man, had said indignantly, “Herr, that will be dangerous for you (DAS WIRD NICHT GUT GEHN)!” Wolfersdorf not regarding him a whit; regarding only Grollmann, and his own hot business of coercing it at a ducat per head. Grollmann gone, and Battalion Hofmann in due sequence come up, Wolfersdorf–who has sent an Adjutant, with order, “Hessen- Cassel, HALT”–gives Battalion Hofmann these three words of command: “Whole Battalion, halt!–Front!–Make ready!” (with due simultaneous click of every firelock, on utterance of that last);– and turning to Prince Stolberg, with a brow, with a tone of voice: “Durchlaucht, Article 9 of the Capitulation is express on this point; ‘ALL DESERTION STRICTLY PROHIBITED; NO DESERTER TO BE RECEIVED EITHER ON THE IMPERIAL OR ON THE PRUSSIAN SIDE!’ [Durchlaucht silently gives, we suppose, some faint sniff.] Since your Durchlaucht does not keep the Capitulation, neither will I regard it farther. I will now take you and your Suite prisoners, return into the Town, and again begin defending myself. Be so good as ride directly into that Redoubt, or I will present, and give fire!”

A dangerous moment for the Durchlaucht of Stolberg; Battalion Salmuth actually taking possession of the wall again; Hofmann here with its poised firelock on the cock, “ready” for that fourth word, as above indicated. A General Lusinsky of Stolberg’s train, master of those Croats, and an Austrian of figure, remarks very seriously: “Every point of the Capitulation must be kept!” Upon which Durchlaucht has to renounce and repent; eagerly assists in recovering Grollmann, restores it (little the worse, little the FEWER); will give Wolfersdorf “COMMAND of the Austrian Escort you are to have”, and every satisfaction and assurance;–wishful only to get rid of Wolfersdorf. Who thereupon marches to Wittenberg, with colors flying again, and a name mentionable ever since. [Templehof, iii. 201-204; Seyfarth, ii. 562 n., and
Beylagen, ii. 587; Militair-Lexikon, italic> iv. 283.]

This Wolfersdorf was himself a Pirna Saxon; serving Polish Majesty, as Major, in that Pirna time; perhaps no admirer of “Feldmarschall Bruhl” and Company?–at any rate, he took Prussian service, as then offered him; and this is his style of keeping it. A decidedly clever soldier, and comes out, henceforth, more and more as such,– unhappily not for long. Was taken at Maxen, he too, as will be seen. Rose, in after times, to be Lieutenant-General, and a man famous in the Prussian military circles; but given always, they say, to take the straight line (or shortest distance between self and object), in regard to military matters, to recruiting and the like, and thus getting himself into trouble with the Civil Officials.

Wolfersdorf, at Wittenberg or farther on, had a flattering word from the King; applauding his effective procedures at Torgau; and ordering him, should Wittenberg fall (as it did, August 23d), to join Wunsch, who is coming with a small Party to try and help in those destitute localities. Wunsch the King had detached (21st August), as we heard already. Finck the King finds, farther, that he can detach (from Waldau Country, September 7th); [Tempelhof, iii. 211, 237.] Russians being so languid, and Saxony fallen into such a perilous predicament.

“Few days after Kunersdorf,” says a Note, which should be inserted here, “there had fallen out a small Naval matter, which will be consolatory to Friedrich, and go to the other side of the account, when he hears of it: Kunersdorf was Sunday, August 12th; this was Saturday and Sunday following. Besides their Grand Brest Fleet, with new Flat-bottoms, and world-famous land-preparations going on at Vannes, for Invasion of proud Albion, all which are at present under Hawke’s strict keeping, the French have, ever since Spring last, a fine subsidiary Fleet at Toulon, of very exultant hopes at one time; which now come to finis.

“SEA-FIGHT (PROPERLY SEA-HUNT OF 200 MILES), IN THE CADIZ WATERS, AUGUST 18th-19th. The fine Toulon Fleet, which expected at one time, Pitt’s ships being so scattered over the world, to be ‘mistress of the Mediterranean,’ has found itself, on the contrary (such were Pitt’s resources and promptitudes); cooped in harbor all Summer; Boscawen watching it in the usual strict way. No egress possible; till, in the sultry weather (8th July-4th August), Boscawen’s need of fresh provisions, fresh water and of making some repairs, took him to Gibraltar, and gave the Toulon Fleet a transient opportunity, which it made use of.

“August 17th, at 8 in the evening, Boscawen, at Gibraltar (some of his ships still in deshabille or under repair), was hastily apprised by one of his Frigates, That the Toulon Fleet had sailed; been seen visibly at Ceuta Point so many hours ago. ‘Meaning,’ as Boscawen guesses, ‘to be through the Straits this very night!’ By power of despatch, the deshabille ships were rapidly got buttoned together (in about two hours); and by 10 P.M. all were under sail. And soon were in hot chase; the game, being now in view,–going at its utmost through the Straits, as anticipated. At 7 next morning (Saturday, August 18th) Boscawen got clutch of the Toulon Fleet; still well east of Cadiz, somewhere in the Trafalgar waters, I should guess. Here Boscawen fought and chased the Toulon Fleet for 24 hours coming; drove it finally ashore, at Lagos on the coast of Portugal, with five of its big ships burnt or taken, its crews and other ships flying by land and water, its poor Admiral mortally wounded; and the Toulon Fleet a ruined article. The wind had been capricious, here fresh, there calm; now favoring the hunters, now the hunted; both Fleets had dropped in two. De la Clue, the French Admiral, complained bitterly how his Captains lagged, or shore off and forsook him. Boscawen himself, who for his own share had gone at it eagle-like, was heard grumbling, about want of speed in some people; and said: ‘It is well; but it might have been better!’ [Beatson, ii. 313-319; ib. iii. 237-238, De la Clue, the French Admiral’s Despatch;–Boscawen’s Despatch, &c., in Gentleman’s Magazine, xxix. 434.]

“De la Clue–fallen long ago from all notions of ‘dominating the Mediterranean’–had modestly intended to get through, on any terms, into the Ocean; might then, if possible, have joined the Grand ‘Invasion Squadron,’ now lying at Brest, till Vannes and the furnishings are ready, or have tried to be troublesome in the rear of Hawke, who is blockading all that. A modest outlook in comparison;–and this is what it also has come to. As for the Grand Invasion Squadron, Admiral Conflans, commanding it, still holds np his head in Brest Harbor, and talks big. Makes little of Rodney’s havoc on the Flat-bottoms at Havre, ‘Will soon have Flat-bottoms again: and you shall see!’–if only Hawke, and wind and weather and Fortune, will permit.”


Since the first weeks of, August there have been Austrian detachments, Wehla’s Corps, Brentano’s Corps, entering Saxony from the northeast or Daun-ward side, and posting themselves in the strong points looking towards Dresden; waiting there till the Reichs Army should capture its Leipzigs, Torgaus, Wittenbergs, and roll forward from northwest. To all which it is easy to fancy what an impetus was given by Kunersdorf and August 12th; the business, after that, going on double-quick, and pointing to immediate practical industry on Dresden. The Reichs Army hastens to settle its northwestern Towns, puts due garrison in each, leaves a 10 or 12,000 movable for general protection, in those parts; and, August 23d, marches for Dresden. There are only some 15,000 left of it now; almost half the Reichs Army drunk up in that manner; were not Daun now speeding forth his Maguire with a fresh 12,000; who is to command the Wehlas and Brentanos as well. And, in effect, to be Austrian Chief, and as regards practical matters, Manager of this important Enterprise,–all-important to Daun just now. Schmettau in Dresden sees clearly what mischief is at hand.

To Daun this Siege of Dresden is the alpha to whatever omegas there may be: he and his Soltikof are to sit waiting this; and can attempt nothing but eating of provender, till this be achieved. As the Siege was really important, though not quite the alpha to all omegas, and has in it curious points aud physiognomic traits, we will invite readers to some transient inspection of it,–the rather as there exist ample contemporary Narratives, DIARIUMS and authentic records, to render that possible and easy. [In TEMPELHOF (iii. 210-216-222) complete and careful Narrative; in ANONYMOUS OF HAMBURG (iii. 371-377) express “DAY-BOOK” by some Eye-witness in Dresden.]’

“Ever since the rumor of Kunersdorf,” says one Diarium, compiled out of many, “in the last two weeks of August, Schmettau’s need of vigilance and diligence has been on the increase, his outlooks becoming grimmer and grimmer. He has a poorish Garrison for number (3,700 in all [Schmettau’s LEBEN (by his Son), p. 408.]), and not of the best quality; deserters a good few of them: willing enough for strokes; fighting fellows all, and of adventurous turn, but uncertain as to loyalty in a case of pinch. He has endless stores in the place; for one item, almost a million sterling of ready money. Poor Schmettau, if he knew it, has suddenly become the Leonidas of this campaign, Dresden its Thermopylae; and”–But readers can conceive the situation.

“AUGUST 20th, Schmettau quits the Neustadt, or northern part of Dresden, which lies beyond the River: unimportant that, and indefensible with garrison not adequate; Schmettau will strengthen the River-bank, blow up the Stone Bridge if necessary, and restrict himself to Dresden Proper. The Court is here; Schmettau does not hope that the Court can avert a Siege from him; but he fails not to try, in that way too, and may at least gain time.

“AUGUST 25th, He has a Mine put under the main arch of the Bridge: ‘mine ill-made, uncertain of effect,’ reports the Officer whom he sent to inspect it. But it was never tried, the mere rumor of it kept off attacks on that side. Same day, August 25th, Schmettau receives that unfortunate Royal Missive [Tempelhof, iii. 208; Schmettau’s LEBEN (p. 421) has “August 27th.”] written in the dark days of Reitwein, morrow of Kunersdorf (14th or 13th August),” which we read above. “That there is another Letter on the road for him, indicating ‘Relief shall be tried,’ is unknown to Schmettau, and fatally continues unknown. While Schmettau is reading this (August 25th), General Wunsch has been on the road four days: Wunsch and Wolfersdorf with about 8,000, at their quickest pace, and in a fine winged frame of mind withal, are speeding on: will cross Elbe at Meissen to-morrow night,–did Schmettau only know. People say he did, in the way of rumor, understand that Kunersdorf had not been the fatal thing it was thought; and that efforts would be made by a King like his. In his place one might have, at least, shot out a spy or two? But he did not, then or afterwards.

“Already, ever since the arrival of Wehla and Brentano in those parts, he has been laboring under many uncertainties; too many for a Leonidas! Hanging between Yes and No, even about that of quitting the Neustadt, for example: carrying over portions of his goods, but never heartily the whole; unable to resolve; now lifting visibly the Bridge pavement, then again visibly restoring it;–and, I think, though the contrary is asserted, he had at last to leave in the Neustadt a great deal of stores, horse-provender and other, not needful to him at present, or impossible to carry, when dubiety got ended. He has put a mine under the Bridge; but knows it will not go off.

“Schmettau has been in many wars, but this is a case that tries his soldier qualities as none other has ever done. A case of endless intricacy,–if he be quite equal to it; which perhaps he was not altogether. Nobody ever doubted Schmettau’s high qualities as a man and captain; but here are requisite the very highest, and these Schmettau has not. The result was very tragical; I suppose, a pain to Friedrich all his life after; and certainly to Schmettau all his. This is Saturday night, 25th August: before Tuesday week (September 4th) there will have sad things arrived, irremediable to Schmettau. Had Schmettau decided to defend himself, Dresden had not been taken. What a pity Schmettau had not been spared this Missive, calculated to produce mere doubt! Whether he could not, and should not, after a ten days of inquiry and new discernment, have been able to read the King’s true meaning, as well as the King’s momentary humor, in this fatal Document, there is no deciding. Sure enough, he did not read the King’s true meaning in it, but only the King’s momentary humor; did not frankly set about defending himself to the death,–or ‘seeing’ in that way ‘whether he could not defend himself,’–with a good capitulation lying in the rear, after he had.

“SUNDAY, AUGUST 26th, Trumpet at the gates. Messenger from Zweibruck is introduced blindfold; brings formal Summons to Schmettau. Summons duly truculent: ‘Resistance vain; the more you resist, the worse it will be,–and there is a worst [that of being delivered to the Croats, and massacred every man], of which why should I speak? Especially if in anything you fail of your duty to the Kur-Prinz [Electoral Prince and Heir-Apparent, poor crook- backed young Gentleman, who has an excellent sprightly Wife, a friend of Friedrich’s and daughter of the late Kaiser Karl VII., whom we used so beautifully], imagine what your fate will be!’–To which Schmettau answers: ‘Can Durchlaucht think us ignorant of the common rules of behavior to Persons of that Rank? For the rest, Durchlaucht knows what our duties here are, and would despise us if we did NOT do them;’–and, in short, our answer again is, in polite forms, ‘Pooh, pooh; you may go your way!’ Upon which the Messenger is blindfolded again; and Schmettau sets himself in hot earnest to clearing out his goods from the Neustadt; building with huge intertwisted cross-beams and stone and earth-masses a Battery at his own end of the Bridge, batteries on each side of it, below and above;–locks the Gates; and is passionately busy all Sunday,– though divine service goes on as usual.

“Hardly were the Prussian guns got away, when Croat people in quantity came in, and began building a Battery at their end of the Bridge, the main defence-work being old Prussian meal-barrels, handily filled with earth. ‘If you fire one cannon-ball across on us,’ said Schmettau, ‘I will bombard the Neustadt into flame in few minutes [I have only to aim at our Hay Magazine yonder]: be warned! ‘Nor did they once fire from that side; Electoral Highness withal and Royal Palace being quite contiguous behind the Prussian Bridge- Battery. Electoral Highness and Household are politely treated, make polite answer to everything; intend going down into the ‘APOTHEKE’ (Kitchen suite), or vaulted part of the Palace, and will lodge there when the cannonade begins.

“This same SUNDAY, AUGUST 26th, Maguire arrived; and set instantly to building his bridge at Pillnitz, a little way above Dresden: at Uebigau, a little below Dresden, the Reichsfolk have another. Reichsfolk, Zweibruck in person, come all in on Wednesday; post themselves there, to north and west of the City. What is more important, the siege-guns, a superb stock, are steadily floating, through the Pirna regions, hitherward; get to hand on Friday next, the fifth day hence. [Tempelhof, p. 210.] Korbitz (half-way out to Kesselsdorf) is Durchlaucht’s head-quarter:–Chief General is Durchlaucht, conspicuously he, at least in theory, and shall have all the glory; though Maguire, glancing on these cannon, were it nothing more, has probably a good deal to say. Maguire too, I observe, takes post on that north or Kesselsdorf side; contiguous for the Head General. Wehla and Brentano post themselves on the south or up-stream side; it is they that hand in the siege- guns: batteries are already everywhere marked out, 13 cannon- batteries and 5 howitzer. In short, from the morrow of that truculent Summons, Monday morning to Thursday, there is hot stir of multifarious preparation on Schmettau’s part; and continual pouring in of the hostile force, who are also preparing at the utmost. Thursday, the Siege, if it can be called a Siege, begins. Gradually, and as follows:–

“THURSDAY MORNING (August 30th), Schmettau, who is, night and day, ‘palisading the River,’ and much else,–discloses (that is, Break of Day discloses on his part) to the Dresden public a huge Gallows, black, huge, of impressive aspect; labelled ‘For Plunderers, Mutineers and their Helpers.’ [ANONYMOUS OF HAMBURG, iii. 373.] The Austrian heavy guns are not yet in battery; but multitudes of loose Croat people go swarming about everywhere, and there is plentiful firing from such artilleries as they have. This same Thursday morning, two or three battalions of them rush into the Pirna Suburb; attack the Prussian Guard-parties there. Schmettau instantly despatches Captain Kollas and a Trumpet:– ‘Durchlaucht, have the goodness to recall these Croat Parties; otherwise the Suburb goes into flame! And directly on arrival of this Messenger, may it please Durchlaucht. For we have computed the time; and will not wait beyond what is reasonable for his return!’ Zweibruck is mere indignation and astonishment; ‘will burn Halle,’ burn Quedlinburg, Berlin itself, and utterly ruin the King of Prussia’s Dominion in general:–the rejoinder to which is, burning of Pirna Suburb, as predicted; seventy houses of it, this evening, at six o’clock.

“Onward from which time there is on both sides, especially on Schmettau’s, diligent artillery practice; cannonade kept up wherever Schmettau can see the enemy busy; enemy responding with what artillery he has:–not much damage done, I should think, though a great deal of noise; and for one day (Saturday, September 1st), our Diarist notes, ‘Not safe to walk the streets this day.’ But, in effect, the Siege, as they call it,–which fell dead on the fifth day, and was never well alive–consists mainly of menace and counter-menace, in the way of bargain-making and negotiation;–and, so far as I can gather, that superb Park of Austrian Artillery, though built into batteries, and talked about in a bullying manner, was not fired from at all.

“Schmettau affects towards the enemy (and towards himself, I dare say) an air of iron firmness; but internally has no such feeling,– ‘Calls a Council of War,’ and the like. Council of War, on sight of that King’s Missive, confirms him with one voice: ‘Surely, surely, Excellenz; no defence possible!’ Which is a prophecy and a fulfilment, both in one. Why Schmettau did not shoot forth a spy or two, to ascertain for him What, or whether Nothing whatever, was passing outside Dresden? I never understand! Beyond his own Walls, the world is a vacancy and blank to Schmettau, and he seems content it should be so.

“SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2d. Though Schmettau’s cannonade was very loud, and had been so all night, divine service was held as usual, streets safe again,–Austrians, I suppose, not firing with cannon. About 4 P.M., after a great deal of powder spent, General Maguire, stepping out on Elbe Bridge, blows or beats Appeal, three times; ‘wishes a moment’s conversation with his Excellency.’ Granted at once; witnesses attending on both sides. ‘Defence is impossible; in the name of humanity, consider!’ urges Maguire. ‘Defence to the last man of us is certain,’ answers Schmettau, from the teeth outwards;–but, in the end, engages to put on paper, in case he, by extremity of ill-luck, have at any time to acoept terms, what his terms will inflexibly be. Upon which there is ‘Armistice till To-morrow:’ and Maguire, I doubt not, reports joyfully on this feeling of the enemy’s pulse. Zweibruck and Maguire are very well aware of what is passing in these neighborhoods (General Wunsch back at Wittenberg by forced marches; blew it open in an hour); and are growing highly anxious that Dresden on any terms were theirs.

“MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3d, The death-day of the Siege; an uncommonly busy day,–though Armistice lasted perfect till 3 P.M., and soon came back more perfect than ever. A Siege not killed by cannon, but by medical industry. Let us note with brevity the successive symptoms and appliances. About seven in the morning Maguire had his Messenger in Dresden, ‘Your Excellency’s Paper ready?’ ‘Nearly ready,’ answers Schmettau; ‘we will send it by a Messenger of our own.’ And about eleven of the day Maguire does get it;–the same Captain Kollas (whose name we recollect) handing it in; and statue-like waiting Answer. ‘Pshaw, this will never do,’ ejaculates Maguire; ‘terms irrationally high!’ Captain Kollas ‘knows nothing of what is IN the Paper; and is charged only to bring a Written Answer from Excellenz.’ Excellenz, before writing, ‘will have to consult with Durchlaucht;’ can, however, as if confidentially and from feelings of friendship, can assure you, Sir, on my honor, That the Garrison will be delivered to the Croats, and every man of it put to the sword. ‘The Garrison will expect that (WIRD DAS ERWARTEN),’ said Kollas, statue-like; and withdrew, with the proper bow. [Tempelhof, iii. 211.] Something interesting to us in these Military diplomatic passages, with their square-elbowed fashions, and politeness stiff as iron!
“Not till three of the afternoon does the Written Answer reach Schmettau: ‘Such Terms never could be accepted.’–‘Good,’ answers Schmettau: ‘To our last breath no others will be offered.’ And commences cannonading again, not very violently, but with the order, ‘Go on, then, night and day!’

“About 10 at night, General Guasco, a truculent kind of man, whom I have met with up and down, but not admitted to memory, beats Appeal on the Bridge: ‘Inform the Commandant that there will now straightway 13 batteries of cannon, and 5 ditto of howitzers open on him, unless he bethinks himself!’ Which dreadful message is taken to Schmettau. ‘Wish the gentleman good-evening,’ orders Schmettau; ‘and say we will answer with 100 guns.’ Upon which Guasco vanishes;–but returns in not many minutes, milder in tone; requests ‘a sight of that Written Paper of Terms again.’ ‘There it still is,’ answers Schmettau, ‘not altered, nor ever shall be.’ And there is Armistice again:–and the Siege, as turns out, has fired its last shot; and is painfully expiring in paroxysms of negotiation, which continue a good many hours. Schmettau strives to understand clearly that his terms (of the King’s own suggesting, as Schmettau flatters himself) are accepted: nor does Durchlaucht take upon him to refuse in any point; but he is strangely slow to sign, still hoping to mend matters.

“Much hithering and thithering there was, till 4 next morning (Durchlaucht has important news from Torgau, at that moment); till 11 next day; till 4 in the afternoon and later,–Guasco and others coming with message after message, hasty and conciliatory: (Durchlaucht at such a distance, his signature not yet come; but be patient; all is right, upon my honor!’ Very great hurry evident on the part of Guasco and Company; but, nothing suspected by Schmettau. Till, dusk or darkness threatening now to supervene, Maguire and Schmettau with respective suites have a Conference on the Bridge,–‘rain falling very heavy.’ Durchlaucht’s signature, Maguire is astonished to say, has not yet come; hut Maguire pledges his honor ‘that all shall be kept without chicane;’ and adds ‘what to some of us seemed not superfluous afterwards), ‘I am incapable of acting falsely or with chicane.’ In fact, till 9 in the evening there was no signature by Durchlaucht; but about 6, on such pledge by Maguire of his hand and his honor, the Siege entirely gave up the ghost; and Dresden belonged to Austria. Tuesday Evening, 4th September, 1759; Sun just setting, could anybody see him for the rain.

“Schmettau had been over-hasty; what need had Schmettau of haste? The terms had not yet got signature, perfection of settlement on every point; nor were they at all well kept, when they did! Considerable flurry, temporary blindness, needless hurry, and neglect of symptoms and precautions, must be imputed to poor Schmettau; whose troubles began from this moment, and went on increasing. The Austrians are already besetting Elbe Bridge, rooting up the herring-bone balks; and approaching our Block- house,–sooner than was expected. But that is nothing. On opening the Pirna Gate to share it with the Austrians, Friedrich’s Spy (sooner had not been possible to the man) was waiting; who handed Schmettau that Second Letter of Friedrich’s, ‘Courage; there is relief on the road!’ Poor Schmettau!”

What Captain Kollas and the Prussian Garrison thought of all this, THEY were perhaps shy of saying, and we at such distance are not informed,–except by one symptom: that, of Colonel Hoffman, Schmettau’s Second, whose indignation does become tragically evident. Hoffman, a rugged Prussian veteran, is indignant at the Capitulation itself; doubly and trebly indignant to find the Austrians on Elbe Bridge, busy raising our Balks and Battery: “How is this Sir?” inquires he of Captain Sydow, who is on guard at the Prussian end; “How dared you make this change, without acquainting the Second in Command? Order out your men, and come along with me to clear the Bridge again!” Sydow hesitates, haggles; indignant Hoffman, growing loud as thunder, pulls out a pistol, fatal-looking to disobedient Sydow; who calls to his men, or whose men spring out uncalled; and shoot Hoffman down,–send two balls through him, so that he died at 8 that night. With noise enough, then and afterwards. Was drunk, said Schmettau’s people. Friedrich answered, on report of it: “I think as Hoffman did. If he was ‘drunk,’ it is pity the Governor and all the Garrison had not been so, to have come to the same judgment, as he.” [P.S. in Autograph of Letter to Schmettau, “Waldau, 11th September, 1759” (Preuss, ii.; Urkundenbuch, p. 45).]
Friedrich’s unbearable feelings, of grief and indignation, in regard to all this Dresden matter,–which are not expressed except coldly in business form,–can be fancied by all readers. One of the most tragical bits of ill-luck that ever befell him. A very sore stroke, in his present condition; a signal loss and affront. And most of all, unbearable to think how narrowly it has missed being a signal triumph;–missed actually by a single hair’s- breadth, which is as good as by a mile, or by a thousand miles!

Soon after 9 o’olock that evening, Durchlaucht in person came rolling through our battery and the herring-bone balks, to visit Electoral Highness,–which was not quite the legal time either, Durchlaucht had not been half an hour with Electoral Highness, when a breathless Courier came in: “General Wunsch within ten miles [took Torgau in no time, as Durchlaucht well knows, for a week past]; and will be here before we sleep!” Durchlaucht plunged out, over the herring-bone balks again (which many carpenters are busy lifting); and the Electoral Highnesses, in like manner, hurry off to Toplitz that same night, about an hour after. What a Tuesday Night! Poor Hoffman is dead at 8 o’clock; the Saxon Royalties, since 11, are galloping for Pirna, for Toplitz; Durchlaucht of Zweibruck we saw hurry off an hour before them,–Capitulation signature not yet dry, and terms of it beginning to be broken; and Wunsch reported to be within ten miles!

The Wunsch report is perfectly correct. Wunsch is at Grossenhayn this evening; all in a fiery mood of swiftness, his people and he; –and indeed it is, by chance, one of Wolfersdorf’s impetuosities that has sent the news so fast. Wunsch had been as swift with Torgau as he was with Wittenberg: he blew out the poor Reichs Garrison there by instant storm, and packed it off to Leipzig, under charge of “an Officer and Trumpet:”–he had, greatly against his will, to rest two days there for a few indispensable cannon from Magdeburg. Cannon once come, Wunsch, burning for deliverance of Dresden, had again started at his swiftest, “Monday, 3d September [death day of the Siege], very early.”

“He is under 8,000; but he is determined to do it;–and would have done it, think judges, half thinks Zweibruck himself: such a fire in that Wunsch and his Corps as is very dangerous indeed. At 4 this morning, Zweibruck heard of his being on march: ‘numbers uncertain’ –(numbers seemingly not the important point,–blows any number of us about our business!)–and since that moment Zweibruck has driven the capitulation at such a pace; though the flurried Schmettau suspected nothing.

“Afternoon of TUESDAY, 4th, Wunsch, approaching Grossenhayn, had detached Wolfersdorf with 100 light horse rightwards to Grodel, a boating Village on Elbe shore, To seek news of Dresden; also to see if boats are procurable for carrying our artillery up thither. At Grodel, Wolfersdorf finds no boats that will avail: but certain boat-people, new from Dresden, report that no capitulation had been published when they left, but that it was understood to be going on. New spur to Wolfersdorf and Wunsch. Wolfersdorf hears farther in this Village, That there are some thirty Austrian horse in Grossenhayn:–‘Possible these may escape General Wunsch!’ thinks Wolfersdorf; and decides to have them. Takes thirty men of his own; orders the other seventy to hold rightward, gather what intelligence is going, and follow more leisurely; and breaks off for the Grossenhayn-Dresden Highway, to intercept those fellows.

“Getting to the highway, Wolfersdorf does see the fellows; sees also,–with what degree of horror I do not know,–that there are at least 100 of them against his 30! Horror will do nothing for Wolfersdorf, nor are his other 70 now within reach. Putting a bold face on the matter, he commands, Stentor-like, as if it were all a fact: ‘Grenadiers, march; Dragoons, to right forwards, WHEEL; Hussars, FORWARD: MARCH!’–and does terrifically dash forward with the thirty Hussars, or last item of the invoice; leaving the others to follow. The Austrians draw bridle with amazement; fire off their carbines; take to their heels, and do not stop for more. Wolfersdorf captures 68 of them, for behoof of Grossenhayn; and sends the remaining 32 galloping home. [Tempelhof, iii. 214.] Who bring the above news to Durchlaucht of Zweibruck: ‘12,000 of them, may it please your Durchlaucht; such the accounts we had!’– Fancy poor Schmettau’s feelings!

“On the morrow Dresden was roused from its sleep by loud firing and battle, audible on the north side of the River: ‘before daybreak, and all day.’ It is Wunsch impetuously busy in the woody countries there. Durchlaucht had shot out Generals and Divisions, Brentano, Wehla, this General and then that, to intercept Wunsch: these the fiery Wunsch–almost as if they had been combustible material coming to quench fire–repels and dashes back, in a wonderful manner, General after General of them. And is lord of the field all day:–but cannot hear the least word from Dresden; which is a surprising circumstance.

“In the afternoon Wunsch summons Maguire in the Neustadt: ‘Will answer you in two hours,’ said Maguire. Wunsch thereupon is for attacking their two Pontoon Elbe-Bridges; still resolute for Dresden,–and orders Wolfersdorf on one of them, the Uebigau Bridge, who finds the enemy lifting it at any rate, and makes them do it faster. But night is now sinking; from Schmettau not a word or sign. ‘Silence over there, all day; not a single cannon to or from,’ say Wunsch and Wolfersdorf to one another. ‘Schmettau must have capitulated!’ conclude they, and withdraw in the night-time, still thunderous if molested; bivouac at Grossenhayn, after twenty- four hours of continual march and battle, not time even for a snatch of food. [BERICHT VON DER ACTION DES GENERAL-MAJORS VON WUNSCH, BEY REICHENBERG, DEN 5 SEPEMBER, 1759 in Seyfarth,
Beylagen, ii. 606-608.]

“Resting at Grossenhayn, express reaches Wunsch from his Commandant at Torgau: ‘Kleefeld is come on me from Leipzig with 14,000; I cannot long hold out, unless relieved.’ Wunsch takes the road again; two marches, each of twenty miles. Reaches Torgau late; takes post in the ruins of the North Suburb, finds he must fight Kleefeld. Refreshes his men ‘with a keg of wine per Company,’ surely a judicious step; and sends to Wolfersdorf, who has the rear-guard, ‘Be here with me to-morrow at 10.’ Wolfersdorf starts at 4, is here at 10: and Wunsch, having scanned Kleefeld and his Position [a Position strong IF you are dexterous to manoeuvre in it; capable of being ruinous if you are not,–part of the Position of a bigger BATTLE OF TORGAU, which is coming],–flies at Kleefeld and his 14,000 like a cat-o’-mountain; takes him on the left flank:–Kleefeld and such overplus of thousands are standing a little to west-and-south of Torgau, with the ENTEFANG [a desolate big reedy mere, or PLACE OF DUCKS, still offering the idle Torgauer a melancholy sport there] as a protection to their right; but with no evolution-talent, or none in comparison to Wunsch’s;–and accordingly are cut to pieces by Wunsch, and blown to the winds, as their fellows have all been.” [HOFBERCHT VON DER AM 8 SEPTEMBER, 1759, BEY TORGAU, VORGEFALLENEN ACTION: in Seyfarth,
Beylagen, ii. 609, 610. Tempelhof, iii. 219-222.]

Wunsch, absolute Fate forbidding, could not save Dresden: but he is here lord of the Northern regions again,–nothing but Leipzig now in the enemy’s hand;–and can await Finck, who is on march with a stronger party to begin business here. It is reckoned, there are few more brilliant little bits of Soldiering than this of Wunsch’s. All the more, as his men, for most part, were not Prussian, but miscellaneous Foreign spirits of uncertain fealty: roving fellows, of a fighting turn, attracted by Friedrich’s fame, and under a Captain who had the art of keeping them in tune. Wunsch has been soldiering, in a diligent though dim miscellaneous way, these five- and-twenty years; fought in the old Turk Wars, under disastrous Seckendorf,–Wunsch a poor young Wurtemberg ensign, visibiy busy there (1737-1739)) as was this same Schmettau, in the character of staff-officer, far enough apart from Wunsch at that time!–fought afterwards, in the Bavarian service, in the Dutch, at Roucoux, at Lauffeld, again under disastrous people. Could never, under such, find anything but subaltern work all this while; was glad to serve, under the eye of Friedrich, as Colonel of a Free Corps; which he has done with much diligence and growing distinction: till now, at the long last, his chance does come; and he shows himself as a real General. Possibly a high career lying ahead;–a man that may be very valuable to Friedrich, who has now so few such left? Fate had again decided otherwise for Wunsch; in what way will be seen before this Campaign ends: “an infernal Campaign,” according to Friedrich, “CETTE CAMPAGNE INFERNALE.”

Finck, whom Friedrich had just detached from Waldau (September 6th) with a new 8 or 6,000, to command in chief in those parts, and, along with Wunsch, put Dresden out of risk, as it were,–Finck does at least join Wunsch, as we shall mention in a little. And these Two, with such Wolfersdorfs and people under them, did prove capable of making front against Reichsfolk in great overplus of number. Nor are farther SIEGES of those Northern Garrisons, but recaptures of them, the news one hears from Saxony henceforth;– only that Dresden is fatally gone. Irrecoverably, as turned out, and in that unbearable manner. Here is the concluding scene:–

DRESDEN, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8th; EXIT SCHMETTAU. “A thousand times over, Schmettau must have asked himself, ‘Why was I in such a hurry? Without cause for it I, only Maguire having cause!’–The Capitulation had been ended in a huddle, without signature: an unwise Capitulation; and it was scandalously ill kept. Schmettau was not to have marched till Monday, 10th,–six clear days for packing and preparing;–but, practically, he has to make three serve him; and to go half-packed, or not packed at all. Endless chicanes do arise, ‘upon my honor!’–not even the 800 wagons are ready for us; ‘Can’t your baggages go in boats, then?’ ‘No, nor shall!’ answers Schmettau, with blazing eyes, and heart ready to burst; a Schmettau living all this while as in Purgatory, or worse. Such bullyings from truculent Guasco, who is now without muzzle. Capitulation, most imperfect in itself, is avowedly infringed: King’s Artillery,–which we had haggled for, and ended by ‘hoping for,’ to Maguire that rainy evening: why were we in such a hurry, too, and blind to Maguire’s hurry!–King’s Artillery, according to Durchlaucht of Zweibruck, when he actually signed within the walls, is ‘NICHT ACCORDIRT (Not granted), except the Field part.’ King’s regimental furnishings, all and sundry, were ‘ACCORDIRT, and without visitation,’–but on second thoughts, the Austrian Officials are of opinion there must really be visitation, must be inspection. ‘May not some of them belong to Polish Majesty?’ In which sad process of inspection there was incredible waste, Schmettau protesting; and above half of the new uniforms were lost to us. Our 80 pontoons, which were expressly bargained for, are brazenly denied us: ’20 of them are Saxon,’ cry the Austrians: ‘who knows if they are not almost all Saxon,’–upon my honor! At this rate, only wait a day or two, and fewer wagons than 800 will be needed! thinks Schmettau; and consents to 18 river- boats; Boats in part, then; and let us march at once. Accordingly,

“SATURDAY, 8th, at 5 in the morning, Schmettau, with goods and people, does at last file out: across Elbe Bridge through the Neustadt; Prussians five deep; a double rank of Austrians, ranged on each side, in ‘espalier’ they call it,–espalier with gaps in it every here and there, to what purpose is soon evident. The march was so disposed (likewise for a purpose) that, all along, there were one or two Companies of Prussian Foot; and then in the interval, carriages, cannon, cavalry and hussars. Schmettau’s carriage is with the rear-guard, Madam Schmettau’s well in the van:–in two other carriages are two Prussian War-and-Domain Ministers. [ANONYMOUS OF HAMBURG, III. 376.] ‘Managers of Saxon Finance,’ these Two;–who will have to manage elsewhere than in Dresden henceforth. Zinnow, Borck, they sit veritably there, with their multiform Account Papers: of whom I know absolutely nothing, –except (if anybody cared) that Zinnow, who ‘died of apoplexy in June following,’ is probably of pursy red-nosed type; and that Borck, for certain, has a very fine face and figure; delicacy, cheerful dignity, perfect gentlemanhood in short, written on every feature of him; as painted by Pesne, and engraved by Schmidt, for my accidental behoof. [ Fredericus Wilhelmus
Borck (Pesne pinxit, 1732; Schmidt, sculptur
Regis, sculpsit, Berolini, 1764): an excellent Print
and Portrait.] Curious to think of that elaborate court-coat and flowing periwig, with this specific Borck, ‘old as the Devil’ (whom I have had much trouble to identify), forming visible part of this dismal Procession: the bright eye of Borck not smiling as usual, but clouded, though impassive! But that of Borck or his Limners is not the point.

“The Prussians have been divided into small sections, with a mass of baggage-wagons and cavalry between every two. And no sooner is the mass got in movement, than there rises from the Austrian part, and continues all the way, loud invitation, ‘Whosoever is a brave Saxon, a brave Austrian, Reichsman, come to us! Gaps in the espalier, don’t you see!’ And Schmettau, in the rear, with baggage and cavalry intervening,–nobody can reach Schmettau. Here is a way of keeping your bargain! The Prussian Officers struggle stoutly: but are bellowed at, struck at, menaced by bayonet and bullet,– none of them shot, I think, but a good several of them cut and wounded;–the Austrian Officers themselves in passionate points behaving shamefully, ‘Yes, shoot them down, the (were it nothing else) heretic dogs;’ and being throughout evidently in a hot shivery frame of mind, forgetful of the laws. Seldom was such a Procession; spite, rage and lawless revenge blazing out more and more. On the whole, there deserted, through those gaps of the espalier, about half of the whole Garrison. On Madam Schmettau’s hammercloth there sat, in the Schmettau livery, a hard-featured man, recognizable by keen eyes as lately a Nailer, of the Nailer Guild here; who had been a spy for Schmettau, and brought many persons into trouble: him they tear down, and trample hither and thither,–at last, into some Guard-house near by.” [The Schmettau DIARIUM in ANONYMOUS OF HAMBURG, iii. 364-376 (corrected chiefly from TEMPELHOF): Protest, and Correspondence in consequence, is in Seyfarth, Beylagen, ii. 611-621; in
Helden-Geschichte, &c. &c.]

Schmettau’s protest against all this is vehement, solemnly circumstantial: but, except in regard to the trampled Nailer (Zweibruck on that point “heartily sorry for the insult to your Excellency’s livery; and here the man is, with a thousand apologies”), Schmettau got no redress. Nor had Friedrich any, now or henceforth. Friedrich did at once, more to testify his disgust than for any benefit, order Schmettau: “Halt at Wittenberg, not at Magdeburg as was pretended to be bargained. Dismiss your Escort of Austrians there; bid them home at once, and out of your sight.” Schmettau himself he ordered to Berlin, to idle waiting. Never again employed Schmettau: for sixteen years that they lived together, never saw his face more.

Schmettau’s ill-fortune was much pitied, as surely it deserved to be, by all men. About Friedrich’s severity there was, and still occasionally is, controversy held. Into which we shall not enter for Yes or for No. “You are like the rest of them!” writes Friedrich to him; “when the moment comes for showing firmness, you fail in it.” [“Waldau, 10th September, 1759:” in Preuss, ii. URKUNDEN. p. 44.] Friedrich expects of others what all Soldiers profess,–and what is in fact the soul of all nobleness in their trade,–but what only Friedrich himself, and a select few, are in the habit of actually performing. Tried by the standard of common practice, Schmettau is clearly absolvable; a broken veteran, deserving almost tears. But that is not the standard which it will be safe for a King of men to go by. Friedrich, I should say, would be ordered by his Office, if Nature herself did not order him, to pitch his ideal very high; and to be rather Rhadamanthine in judging about it. Friedrich was never accused of over-generosity to the unfortunate among his Captains.

After the War, Schmettau, his conduct still a theme of argument, was reduced to the Invalid List: age now sixty-seven, but health and heart still very fresh, as he pleaded; complaining that he could not live on his retiring Pension of 300 pounds a year. “Be thankful you have not had your head struck off by sentence of Court-Martial,” answered Friedrich. Schmettau, after some farther troubles from Court quarters, retired to Brandenburg, and there lived silent, poor but honorable, for his remaining fifteen years. Madam Schmettau came out very beautiful in those bad circumstances: cheery, thrifty, full of loyal patience; a constant sunshine to her poor man, whom she had preceded out of Dresden in the way we saw. Schmettau was very quiet, still studious of War matters; [See Leben (by his Son, “Captain Schmettau;” a modest intelligent Book), pp. 440-447.] “sent the King” once,–in 1772, while Polish Prussia, and How it could be fortified, were the interesting subject,–“a JOURNAL,” which he had elaborated for himself, “OF THE MARCHES OF KARL TWELFTH IN WEST PREUSSEN;” which was well received: “Apparently the King not angry with me farther?” thought Schmettau. A completely retired old man; studious, social, –the best men of the Army still his friends and familiars:–nor, in his own mind, any mutiny against his Chief; this also has its beauty in a human life, my friend. So long as Madam Schmettau lived, it was well; after her death, not well, dark rather, and growing darker: and in about three years Schmettau followed (27th October, 1775), whither that good soul had gone. The elder Brother –who was a distinguished Academician, as well as Feldmarschall and Negotiator–had died at Berlin, in Voltaire’s time, 1751. Each of those Schmettaus had a Son, in the Prussian Army, who wrote Books, or each a short Book, still worth reading. [ Bavarian War
of 1778, by the Feldmarschall’s Son; ad this
Leben we have just been citing, by the Lieutenant- General’s.] But we must return.

On the very morrow, September 5th, Daun heard of the glorious success at Dresden; had not expected it till about the 10th at soonest. From Triebel he sends the news at gallop to Lieberose and Soltikof: “Rejoice with us, Excellenz: did not I predict it? Silesia and Saxony both are ours; fruits chiefly of your noble successes. Oh, continue them a very little!” “Umph!” answers Soltikof, not with much enthusiasm: “Send us meal steadily; and gain you, Excellenz’s self, some noble success!” Friedrich did not hear of it for almost a week later; not till Monday, 10th,–as a certain small Anecdote would of itself indicate.

Sunday Evening, 9th September, General Finck, with his new 6,000, hastening on to join Wunsch for relief of Dresden, had got to Grossenhayn; and was putting up his tents, when the Outposts brought him in an Austrian Officer, who had come with a Trumpeter inquiring for the General. The Austrian Officer “is in quest of proper lodgings for General Schmettau and Garrison [fancy Finck’s sudden stare!];–last night they lodged at Gross-Dobritz, tolerably to their mind: but the question for the Escort is, Where to lodge this night, if your Excellency could advise me?” “Herr, I will advise you to go back to Gross-Dobritz on the instant,” answers Finck grimly; “I shall be obliged to make you and your Trumpet prisoners, otherwise!” Exit Austrian Officer. That same evening, too, Captain Kollas, carrying Schmettau’s sad news to the King, calls on Finck in passing; gives dismal details of the Capitulation and the Austrian way of keeping it; filling Finck’s mind with sorrowful indignation. [Tempelhof, iii. 237.]

Finck–let us add here, though in date it belongs a little elsewhere–pushes on, not the less, to join Wunsch at Torgau; joins Wunsch, straightway recaptures Leipzig, garrison prisoners (September 13th): recaptures all those northwestern garrisons,– multitudinous Reichsfolk trying, once, to fight him, in an amazingly loud, but otherwise helpless way (“ACTION OF KORBITZ” they call it); cannonading far and wide all day, and manoeuvring about, here bitten in upon, there trying to bite, over many leagues of Country; principally under Haddick’s leading; [HOFBERICHT VON DER AM 21 SEPTEMBER BEY KORBITZ (in Meissen Country, south of Elbe; Krogis too is a Village in this wide-spread “Action”) VORGEFALLENEN ACTION (Seyfarth, Beylagen, ii. 621-630).
Tempelhof, iii. 248, 258.] who saw good to draw off Dresden-ward next day, and leave Finck master in those regions. To Daun’s sad astonishment,–in a moment of crisis,–as we shall hear farther on! So that Saxony is not yet conquered to Daun; Saxony, no, nor indeed will be:–but Dresden is. Friedrich never could recover Dresden; though he hoped, and at intervals tried hard, for a long while to come.

Chapter VI.


The eyes of all had been bent on Dresden latterly; and there had occurred a great deal of detaching thitherward, and of marching there and thence, as we have partly seen. And the end is, Dresden, and to appearance Saxony along with it, is Daun’s. Has not Daun good reason now to be proud of the cunctatory method? Never did his game stand better; and all has been gained at other people’s expense. Daun has not played one trump card; it is those obliging Russians that have played all the trumps, and reduced the Enemy to nothing. Only continue that wise course,–and cart meal, with your whole strength, for the Russians!–

Safe behind the pools of Lieberose, Friedrich between them and Berlin, lie those dear Russians; extending, Daun and they, like an impassable military dike, with spurs of Outposts and cunningly devised Detachments, far and wide,–from beyond Bober or utmost Crossen on the east, to Hoyerswerda in Elbe Country on the west;– dike of eighty miles long, and in some eastern parts of almost eighty broad; so elaborate is Daun’s detaching quality, in cases of moment. “The King’s broken Army on one side of us,” calculates Daun; “Prince Henri’s on the other; incommunicative they; reduced to isolation, powerless either or both of them against such odds. They shall wait there, please Heaven, till Saxony be quite finished. Zweibruck, and our Detachments and Maguires, let them finish Saxony, while Soltikof keeps the King busy. Saxony finished, how will either Prince or King attempt to recover it! After which, Silesia for us;–and we shall then be near our Magazines withal, and this severe stress of carting will abate or cease.” In fact, these seem sound calculations: Friedrich is 24,000; Henri 38,000; the military dike is, of Austrians 75,000, of Russians and Austrians together 120,000. Daun may fairly calculate on succeeding beautifully this Year: Saxony his altogether; and in Silesia some Glogau or strong Town taken, and Russians and Austrians wintering together in that Country.

If only Daun do not TOO much spare his trump cards! But there is such a thing as excess on that side too: and perhaps it is even the more ruinous kind,–and is certainly the more despised by good judges, though the multitude of bad may notice it less. Daun is unwearied in his vigilantes, in his infinite cartings of provision for himself and Soltikof,–long chains of Magazines, big and little, at Guben, at Gorlitz, at Bautzen, Zittau, Friedland; and does, aided by French Montalembert, all that man can to keep those dear stupid Russians in tune.

Daun’s problem of carting provisions, and guarding his multifarious posts, and sources of meal and defence, is not without its difficulties. Especially with a Prince Henri opposite; who has a superlative manoeuvring talent of his own, and an industry not inferior to Daun’s in that way. Accordingly, ever since August 11th-13th, when Daun moved northward to Triebel, and Henri shot out detachments parallel to him, “to secure the Bober and our right flank, and try to regain communication with the King,”–still more, ever since August 22d, when Daun undertook that onerous cartage of meal for Soltikof as well as self, the manoeuvring and mutual fencing and parrying, between Henri and him, has been getting livelier and livelier. Fain would Daun secure his numerous Roads and Magazines; assiduously does Henri threaten him in these points, and try all means to regain communication with his Brother. Daun has Magazines and interests everywhere; Henri is everywhere diligent to act on them.

Daun in person, ever since Kunersdorf time, has been at Triebel; Henri moved to Sagan after him, but has left a lieutenant at Schmottseifen, as Daun has at Mark-Lissa:–here are still new planets, and secondary ditto, with revolving moons. In short, it is two interpenetrating solar systems, gyrating, osculatiug and colliding, over a space of several thousand square miles,–with an intricacy, with an embroiled abstruseness Ptolemean or more! Which indeed the soldier who would know his business–(and not knowing it, is not he of all solecisms in this world the most flagrant?)–ought to study, out of Tempelhof and the Books; but which, except in its results, no other reader could endure. The result we will make a point of gathering: carefully riddled down, there are withal in the details five or six little passages which have some shadow of interest to us; these let us note, and carefully omit the rest:–

OF FOUQUET AT LANDSHUT. “Fouquet was twice attacked at Landshut; but made a lucky figure both times. Attack first was by Deville: attack second by Harsch. Early in July, not long after Friedrich had left for Schmottseifen, rash Deville (a rash creature, and then again a laggard, swift where he should be slow, and VICE VERSA) again made trial on Landshut and Fouquet; but was beautifully dealt with; taken in rear, in flank, or I forget how taken, but sent galloping through the Passes again, with a loss of many Prisoners, most of his furnitures, and all his presence of mind: whom Daun thereupon summoned out of those parts, ‘Hitherward to Mark-Lissa with your Corps; leave Fouquet alone!’ [HOFBERICHT VON DEN UNTERNEHMUNGEN DES FOUQUETSCHEN CORPS, IM JULIUS 1759: in Seyfarth, Beylagen, ii. 582-586.]

“After which, Fouquet, things being altogether quiet round him, was summoned, with most part of his force, to Schmottseifen; left General Goltz (a man we have met before) to guard Landshut; and was in fair hopes of proving helpful to Prince Henri,–when Harsch [Harsch by himself this time, not Harsch and Deville as usual] thought here was his opportunity; and came with a great apparatus, as if to swallow Landshut whole. So that Fouquet had to hurry off reinforcements thither; and at length to go himself, leaving Stutterheim in his stead at Schmottseifen. Goltz, however, with his small handful, stood well to his work. And there fell out sharp fencings at Landshut:–especially one violent attack on our outposts; the Austrians quite triumphant; till ‘a couple of cannon open on them from the next Hill,’–till some violent Werner or other charge in upon them with Prussian Hussars;–a desperate tussle, that special one of Werner’s; not only sabres flashing furiously on both sides, but butts of pistols and blows on the face: [Tempelhof, iii. 233: 31st August.] till, in short, Harsch finds he can make nothing of it, and has taken himself away, before Fouquet come.” This Goltz, here playing Anti-Harsch, is the Goltz who, with Winterfeld, Schmettau and others, was in that melancholy Zittau march, of the Prince of Prussia’s, in 1757: it was Goltz by whom the King sent his finishing compliment, “You deserve, all of you, to be tried by Court-Martial, and to lose your heads!” Goltz is mainly concerned with Fouquet and Silesia, in late times; and we shall hear of him once again. Fouquet did not return to Schmottseifen; nor was molested again in Landshut this year, though he soon had to detach, for the King’s use, part of his Landshut force, and had other Silesian business which fell to him.

FORTRESS OF PEITZ. The poor Fortress of Peitz was taken again;–do readers remember it, “on the day of Zorndorf,” last year? “This year, a fortnight after Kunersdorf, the same old Half-pay Gentleman with his Five-and-forty Invalids have again been set adrift, ‘with the honors of war,’ poor old creatures; lest by possibility they afflict the dear Russians and our meal-carts up yonder. [Tempelhof, iii. 231: 27th August.] I will forget who took Peitz: perhaps Haddick, of whom we have lately heard so much? He was captor of Berlin in 1757, did the Inroad on Berlin that year,–and produced Rossbach shortly after. Peitz, if he did Peitz, was Haddick’s last success in the world. Haddick has been most industrious, ‘guarding the Russian flank,’–standing between the King and it, during that Soltikof march to Mullrose, to Lieberose; but that once done, and the King settled at Waldau, Haddick was ordered to Saxony, against Wunsch and Finck:–and readers know already what he made of these Two in the ‘Action at Korbitz, September 21st,’–and shall hear soon what befell Haddick himself in consequence.”

COLONEL HORDT IS CAPTURED. “It was in that final marching of Soltikof to Lieberose that a distinguished Ex-Swede, Colonel Hordt, of the Free Corps HORDT, was taken prisoner. At Trebatsch; hanging on Soltikof’s right flank on that occasion. It was not Haddick, it was a swarm of Cossacks who laid Hordt fast; his horse having gone to the girths in a bog. [ Memoires du Comte de
Hordt (a Berlin, 1789), ii. 53-58 (not dated or intelligible there): in Tempelhof (iii. 235, 236) clear account, “Trebatsch, September 4th.”] Hordt, an Ex-Swede of distinction,–a Royalist Exile, on whose head the Swedes have set a price (had gone into ‘Brahe’s Plot,’ years since, Plot on behalf of the poor Swedish King, which cost Brahe his life),–Hordt now might have fared ill, had not Friedrich been emphatic, ‘Touch a hair of him, retaliation follows on the instant!’ He was carried to Petersburg; ‘lay twenty-six months and three days’ in solitary durance there; and we may hear a word from him again.”

ZIETHEN ALMOST CAPTURED. “Prince Henri, in the last days of August, marched to Sagan in person; [Tempelhof, iii. 231: 29th August.] Ziethen along with him; multifariously manoeuvring ‘to regain communication with the King.’ Of course, with no want of counter- manoeuvring, of vigilant outposts, cunningly devised detachments and assiduous small measures on the part of Daun. Who, one day, had determined on a more considerable thing; that of cutting out Ziethen from the Sagan neighborhood. And would have done it, they say,–had not he been too cunctatory. September 2d, Ziethen, who is posted in the little town of Sorau, had very nearly been cut off. In Sorau, westward, Daun-ward, of Sagan a short day?s march: there sat Ziethen, conscious of nothing particular,–with Daun secretly marching on him; Daun in person, from the west, and two others from the north and from the south, who are to be simultaneous on Sorau and the Zietheners. A well-laid scheme; likely to have finished Ziethen satisfactorily, who sat there aware of nothing. But it all miswent: Daun, on the road, noticed some trifling phenomenon (Prussian party of horse, or the like), which convinced his cautious mind that all was found out; that probably a whole Prussian Army, instead of a Ziethen only, was waiting at Sorau; upon which Daun turned home again, sorry that he could not turn the other two as well. The other two were stronger than Ziethen, could they have come upon him by surprise; or have caught him before he got through a certain Pass, or bit of bad ground, with his baggage. But Ziethen, by some accident, or by his own patrols, got notice; loaded his baggage instantly; and was through the Pass, or half through it, and in a condition to give stroke for stroke with interest, when his enemies came up. Nothing could be done upon Ziethen; who marched on, he and all his properties, safe to Sagan that night,–owing to Daun’s over-caution, and to Ziethen’s own activity and luck.” [Tempelhof, iii. 233.]

All this was prior to the loss of Dresden. During the crisis of that, when everybody was bestirring himself, Prince Henri made extraordinary exertions: “Much depends on me; all on me!” sighed Henri. A cautious little man; but not incapable of risking, in the crisis of a game for life and death. Friedrich and he are wedged asunder by that dike of Russians and Austrians, which goes from Bober river eastward, post after post, to Hoyerswerda westward, eighty miles along the Lausitz-Brandenburg Frontier, rooting itself through the Lausitz into Bohemia, and the sources of its meal. Friedrich and he cannot communicate except by spies (“the first JAGER,” or regular express “from the King, arrived September 13th” [Ib. iii. 207.]): but both are of one mind; both are on one problem, “What is to be done with that impassable dike?”–and co-operate sympathetically without communicating. What follows bears date AFTER the loss of Dresden, but while Henri still knew only of the siege,–that JAGER of the 13th first brought him news of the loss.

“A day or two after Ziethen’s adventure, Henri quits Sagan, to move southward for a stroke at the Bohemian-Lausitz magazines; a stroke, and series of strokes. SEPTEMBER 8th, Ziethen and (in Fouquet’s absence at Landshut) Stutterheim are pushed forward into the Zittau Country; first of all upon Friedland,–the Zittau Friedland, for there are Friedlands many! SEPTEMBER 9th, Stutterheim summons Friedland, gets it; gets the bit of magazine there; and next day hastens on to Zittau. Is refused surrender of Zittau; learns, however, that the magazine has been mostly set on wheels again, and is a stage forward on the road to Bohemia; whitherward Stutterheim, quitting Zittau as too tedious, hastens after it, and next day catches it, or the unburnt remains of it. A successful Stutterheim. Nor is Ziethen idle in the mean while; Ziethen and others; whom no Deville or Austrian Party thinks itself strong enough to meddle with, Prince Henri being so near.

“Here is a pretty tempest in the heart of our Bohemian meal- conduit! Continue that, and what becomes of Soltikof and me? Daun is off from Triebel Country to this dangerous scene; indignantly cashiers Deville, ‘Why did not you attack these Ziethen people? Had not you 10,000, Sir?’ Cashiers poor Deville for not attacking; –does not himself attack: but carts away the important Gorlitz magazine, to Bautzen, which is the still more important one; sits down on the lid of that (according to wont); shoots out O’Donnell (an Irish gentleman, Deville’s successor), and takes every precaution. Prince Henri, in presence of O’Donnell, coalesces again; walks into Gorlitz; encamps there, on the Landskron and other Heights (Moys Hill one of them, poor Winterfeld’s Hill!),– and watches a little how matters will turn, and whether Daun, severely vigilant from Bautzen, seated on the lid of his magazine, will not perhaps rise.”

First and last, Daun in this business has tried several things; but there was pretty much always, and emphatically there now is, only one thing that could be effectual: To attack Prince Henri, and abolish him from those countries;–as surely might have been possible, with twice his strength at your disposal?–This, though sometimes he seemed to be thinking of such a thing, Daun never would try: for which the subsequent FACTS, and all good judges, were and are inexorably severe on Daun. Certain it is, no rashness could have better spilt Daun’s game than did this extreme caution.


Soltikof’s disgust at this new movement of Daun’s was great and indignant. “Instead of going at the King, and getting some victory for himself, he has gone to Bautzen, and sat down on his meal-bags! Meal? Is it to be a mere fighting for meal? I will march to-morrow for Poland, for Preussen, and find plenty of meal!” And would have gone, they say, had not Mercury, in the shape of Montalembert with his most zealous rhetoric, intervened; and prevailed with difficulty. “One hour of personal interview with Excellency Daun,” urges Montalembert; “one more!” “No,” answers Soltikof.–“Alas, then, send your messenger!” To which last expedient Soltikof does assent, and despatches Romanzof on the errand.

SEPTEMBER 15th, at Bautzen, at an early hour, there is meeting accordingly; not Romanzof, Soltikof’s messenger, alone, but Zweibruck in person, Daun in person; and most earnest council is held. “A noble Russian gentleman sees how my hands are bound,” pleads Daun. “Will not Excellency Soltikof, who disdains idleness, go himself upon Silesia, upon Glogau for instance, and grant me a few days?” “No,” answers Romanzof; “Excellency Soltikof by himself will not. Let Austria furnish Siege-Artillery; daily meal I need not speak of; 10,000 fresh Auxiliaries beyond those we have: on these terms Excellency Soltikof will perhaps try it; on lower terms, positively not.” “Well then, yes!” answers Daun, not without qualms of mind. Daun has a horror at weakening himself to that extent; but what can he do? “General Campitelli, with the 10,000, let him march this night, then; join with General Loudon where you please to order: Excellency Soltikof shall see that in every point I conform.” [Tempelhof, iii. 247-249.]–An important meeting to us, this at Bautzen; and breaks up the dead-lock into three or more divergent courses of activity; which it will now behoove us to follow, with the best brevity attainable. “Bautzen, Saturday, 15th September, early in the morning,” that is the date of the important Colloquy. And precisely eight-and-forty hours before, “on Thursday, 13th, about 10 A.M.”, in the western Environs of Quebec, there has fallen out an Event, quite otherwise important in the History of Mankind! Of which readers shall have some notice at a time more convenient.–

Romanzof returning with such answer, Soltikof straightway gathers himself, September 15th-16th, and gets on march. To Friedrich’s joy; who hopes it may be homeward; waits two days at Waldau, for the Yes or No. On the second day, alas, it is No: “Going for Silesia, I perceive; thither, by a wide sweep northward, which they think will be safer!” Upon which Friedrich also rises; follows, with another kind of speed than Soltikof’s; and, by one of his swift clutchings, lays hold of Sagan, which he, if Soltikof has not, sees to be a key-point in this operation. Easy for Soltikof to have seized this key-point, key of the real road to Glogau; easy for Loudon and the new 10,000 to have rendezvoused there: but nobody has thought of doing it. A few Croats were in the place, who could make no debate.

From Sagan Friedrich and Henri are at length in free communication; Sagan to the Landskron at Gorlitz is some fifty miles of country, now fallen vacant. From Henri, from Fouquet (the dangers of Landshut being over), Friedrich is getting what reinforcement they can spare (September 20th-24th); will then push forward again, industriously sticking to the flanks of Soltikof, thrusting out stumbling-blocks, making his march very uncomfortable.

Strange to say, from Sagan, while waiting two days for these reinforcements, there starts suddenly to view, suddenly for Friedrich and us, an incipient Negotiation about Peace! Actual Proposal that way (or as good as actual, so Voltaire thinks it), on the part of Choiseul and France; but as yet in Voltaire’s name only, by a sure though a backstairs channel, of his discovering. Of which, and of the much farther corresponding that did actually follow on it, we purpose to say something elsewhere, at a better time. Meanwhile Voltaire’s announcement of it to the King has just come in, through a fair and high Hand: how Friedrich receives it, what Friedrich’s inner feeling is, and has been for a fortnight past–Here are some private utterances of his, throwing a straggle of light on those points:–

FOUR LETTERS OF FRIEDRICH’S (10th-24th September).

No. 1. TO PRINCE FERDINAND (at Berlin). Poor little Ferdinand, the King’s Brother, fallen into bad health, has retired from the Wars, and gone to Berlin; much an object of anxiety to the King, who diligently corresponds with the dear little man,–giving earnest medical advices, and getting Berlin news in return.

“WALDAU, 10th September, 1759.

“Since my last Letter, Dresden has capitulated,–the very day while Wunsch was beating Maguire at The Barns [north side of Dresden, September 5th) day AFTER the capitulation]. Wunsch went back to Torgau, which St. Andre, with 14,000 Reichs-people under him, was for retaking; him too Wunsch beat, took all his tents, kettles, haversacks and utensils, 300 prisoners, six cannon and some standards. Finck is uniting with Wunsch; they will march on the Prince of Zweibruck, and retake Dresden [hopes always, for a year and more, to have Dresden back very soon]. I trust before long to get all these people gathered round Dresden, and our own Country rid of them: that, I take it, will be the end of the Campaign.

“Many compliments to the Prince of Wurtemberg [wounded at Kunersdorf], and to all our wounded Generals: I hope Seidlitz is now out of danger: that bleeding fit (EBULLITION DE SANG) will cure him of the cramp in his jaw, and of his colics; and as he is in bed, he won’t take cold. I hope the viper-broth will do you infinite good; be assiduous in patching your constitution, while there is yet some fine weather left: I dread the winter for you; take a great deal of care against cold. I have still a couple of cruel months ahead of me before ending this Campaign. Within that time, there will be, God knows what upshot.” [ OEuvres de
Frederic, xxvi. 544.]–This is “September 10th:” the day of Captain Kollas’s arrival with his bad Dresden news; Daun and Soltikof profoundly quiet for three days more.

No. 2. TO THE DUCHESS OF SACHSEN-GOTHA (at Gotha). Voltaire has enclosed his Peace-Proposal to that Serene Lady, always a friend of Friedrich’s and his; to whom Friedrich, directly on receipt of it, makes answer:–

“SAGAN, 22d September, 1759.

“MADAM,–I receive on all occasions proofs of your goodness, to which I am as sensible as a chivalrous man can be. Certainly it is not through your hands, Madam, that my Correspondence with V. [with Voltaire, if one durst write it in full] ought to be made to pass! Nevertheless, in present circumstances, I will presume to beg that you would forward to him the Answer here enclosed, on which I put no Address. The difficulty of transmitting Letters has made me choose my Brother,” Ferdinand, at Berlin, “to have this conveyed to your hand.

“If I gave bridle to my feelings, now would be the moment for developing them; but in these critical times I judge it better not; and will restrict myself to simple assurances of–” F.

No. 3. TO VOLTAIRE, at the Delices (so her Serene Highness will address it). Here is part of the Enclosure to “V.” Friedrich is all for Peace; but keeps on his guard with such an Ambassador, and writes in a proud, light, only half-believing style:–

“SAGAN, 22d September, 1759.

“The Duchess of Sachsen-Gotha sends me your Letter. I never received your packet of the 29th: communications all interrupted here; with much trouble I get this passed on to you, if it is happy enough to pass.

“My position is not so desperate as my enemies give out. I expect to finish my Campaign tolerably; my courage is not sunk:–it appears, however, there is talk of Peace. All I can say of positive on this article is, That I have honor for ten; and that, whatever misfortune befall me, I feel myself incapable of doing anything to wound, the least in the world, this principle,–which is so sensitive and delicate for one who thinks like a gentleman (PENSE EN PREUX CHEVALIER); and so little regarded by rascally politicians, who think like tradesmen.

“I know nothing of what you have been telling me about [your backstairs channels, your Duc de Choiseul and his humors]: but for making Peace there are two conditions which I never will depart from: 1. To make it conjointly with my faithful Allies [Hessen and England; I have no other]; 2. To make it honorable and glorious. Observe you, I have still honor remaining; I will preserve that, at the price of my blood.

“If your people want Peace, let them propose nothing to me which contradicts the delicacy of my sentiments. I am in the convulsions of military operations; I do as the gamblers who are in ill-luck, and obstinately set themselves against Fortune. I have forced her to return to me, more than once, like a fickle mistress, when she had run away. My opponents are such foolish people, in the end I bid fair to catch some advantage over them: but, happen whatsoever his Sacred Majesty Chance may please, I don’t disturb myself about it. Up to this point, I have a clear conscience in regard to the misfortunes that have come to me. As to you, the Battle of Minden, that of Cadiz” (Boscawen VERSUS De la Clue; Toulon Fleet running out, and caught by the English, as we saw), these things perhaps, “and the loss of Canada, are arguments capable of restoring reason to the French, who had got confused by the Austrian hellebore.

“This is my way of thinking. You do not find me made of rose-water: but Henri Quatre, Louis Quatorze,–my present enemies even, whom I could cite [Maria Theresa, twenty years ago, when your Belleisle set out to cut her in Four],–were of no softer temper either. Had I been born a private man, I would yield everything for the love of Peace; but one has to take the tone of one’s position. This is all I can tell you at present. In three or four weeks the ways of correspondence will be freer.–F.” [ OEuvres de
Frederic, xxiii. 60, 61.]

No. 4. TO PRINCE FERDINAND. Two days later: has got on foot again, –end of his first march upon Soltikof again:–

“BAUNAU, 24th September, 1759.

“Thank you for the news you send of the wounded Officers,” Wurtemberg, Seidlitz and the others. “You may well suppose that in the pass things are at, I am not without cares, inquietudes, anxieties; it is the frightfulest crisis I have had in my life. This is the moment for dying unless one conquer. Daun and my Brother Henri are marching side by side [not exactly!]. It is possible enough all these Armies may assemble hereabouts, and that a general Battle may decide our fortune and the Peace. Take care of your health, dear Brother.–F.” [ OEuvres de Frederic, italic> xxvi. 545.]

Baunau is on Silesian ground, as indeed Sagan itself is; at Baunau Friedrich already, just on arriving, has done a fine move on Soltikof, and surprisingly flung the toll-gate in Soltikof’s face. As we shall see by and by;–and likewise that Prince Henri, who emerges to-morrow morning (September 25th), has not been “marching side by side with Daun,” but at a pretty distance from that gentleman!–

Soltikof is a man of his word; otherwise one suspects he already saw his Siege of Glogau to be impossible. Russians are not very skilful at the War-minuet: fancy what it will be dancing to such a partner! Friedrich, finding they are for Glogau, whisks across the Oder, gets there before them: “No Glogau for you!” They stand agape for some time; then think “Well then Breslau!” Friedrich again whisks across from them, farther up, and is again ahead of them when they cross: “No Breslau either!” In effect, it is hopeless; and we may leave the two manoeuvring in those waste parts, astride of Oder, or on the eastern bank of it, till a fitter opportunity; and attend to Henri, who is now the article in risk.

Zweibruck’s report of himself, on that day of the general Colloquy, was not in the way of complaint, like that of the Russians, though there did remain difficulties. “Dresden gloriously ours; Maguire Governor there, and everything secure; upon my honor. But in the northwest part, those Fincks and Wunsches, Excellenz?”– And the actual truth is, Wunsch has taken Leipzig, day before yesterday (September 13th), as Daun sorrowfully knows, by news come in overnight. And six days hence (September 21st), Finck and Wunsch together will do their “ACTION OF KORBITZ,” and be sending Haddick a bad road! These things Zweibruck knows only in part; but past experience gives him ominous presentiment, as it may well do; and he thinks decidedly: “Excellenz, more Austrian troops are indispensable there; in fact, your Excellenz’s self, were that possible; which one feels it is not, in the presence of these Russians!”

Russians and Reichsfolk, these are a pair of thumbscrews on both thumbs of Daun; screwing the cunctation out of him; painfully intimating: “Get rid of this Prince Henri; you must, you must!” And, in the course of the next eight days Daun has actually girt himself to this great enterprise. Goaded on, I could guess, by the “Action of Korbitz ” (done on Friday, thirty hours ago); the news of which, and that Haddick, instead of extinguishing Finck, is retreating from him upon Dresden,–what a piece of news! thinks Daun: “You, Zweibruck, Haddick, Maguire and Company, you are 36,000 in Saxony; Finck has not 12,000 in the field: How is this?”–and indignantly dismisses Haddick altogether: “Go, Sir, and attend to your health!” [Tempelhof, iii. 276, 258-261.] News poignantly astonishing to Daun, as would seem;–like an ox-goad in the lazy rear of Daun. Certain it is, Daun had marched out to Gorlitz in collected form; and, on Saturday afternoon, SEPTEMBER 22d is personally on the Heights (not Moys Hill, I should judge, but other points of vision), taking earnest survey of Prince Henri’s position on the Landskron there. “To-morrow morning we attack that Camp,” thinks Daun; “storm Prince Henri and it: be rid of him, at any price!” [Ib. iii. 253-256 (for the March now ensuing): iii. 228-234, 241-247 (for Henri’s anterior movements).]

“To-morrow morning,” yes:–but this afternoon, and earlier, Prince Henri has formed a great resolution, his plans all laid, everything in readiness; and it is not here you will find Prince Henri to-morrow. This is his famous March of Fifty Hours, this that we are now come to; which deserves all our attention,–and all Daun’s much more! Prince Henri was habitually a man cautious in War; not aggressive, like his Brother, but defensive, frugal of risks, and averse to the lion-springs usual with some people; though capable of them, too, in the hour of need. Military men are full of wonder at the bold scheme he now fell upon; and at his style of executing it. Hardly was Daun gone home to his meditations on the storm of the Landskron to-morrow, and tattoo beaten in Prince Henri’s Camp there, when, at 8 that Saturday evening, issuing softly, with a minimum of noise, in the proper marching columns, baggage-columns, Henri altogether quitted this Camp; and vanished like a dream. Into the Night; men and goods, every item:–who shall say whitherward? Leaving only a few light people to keep up the watch-fires and sentry-cries, for behoof of Daun! Let readers here, who are in the secret, watch him a little from afar.

Straight northward goes Prince Henri, down Neisse Valley, 20 miles or so, to Rothenburg; in columns several-fold, with much delicate arranging, which was punctually followed: and in the course of to-morrow Prince Henri is bivouacked, for a short rest of three hours,–hidden in unknown space, 20 miles from Daun, when Daun comes marching up to storm him on the Landskron! Gone veritably; but whitherward Daun cannot form the least guess. Daun can only keep his men under arms there, all day; while his scouts gallop far and wide,–bringing in this false guess and the other; and at length returning with the eminently false one, misled by some of Henri’s baggage-columns, which have to go many routes, That the Prince is on march for Glogau:–“Gone northeast; that way went his wagons; these we saw with our eyes.” “Northeast? Yes, to Glogau possibly enough,” thinks Daun: “Or may not he, cunning as he is and full of feints, intend a stroke on Bautzen, in my absence?”–and hastens thither again, and sits down on the Magazine-lid, glad to find nothing wrong there.

This is all that Daun hears of Henri for the next four days. Plenty of bad news from Saxony in these four days: the Finck- Haddick Action of Korbitz, a dismal certainty before one started,– and Haddick on his road to some Watering Place by this time! But no trace of Henri farther; since that of the wagons wending northeast. “Gone to Glogau, to his Brother: no use in pushing him, or trying to molest him there!” thinks Daun; and waits, in stagnant humor, chewing the cud of bitter enough thoughts, till confirmation of that guess arrive:–as it never will in this world! Read an important Note:–

“To northward of Bautzen forty miles, and to westward forty miles, the country is all Daun’s; only towards Glogau, with the Russians and Friedrich thereabouts, does it become disputable, or offer Prince Henri any chance. Nevertheless it is not to Glogau, it is far the reverse, that the nimble Henri has gone. Resting himself at Rothenburg ‘three hours’ (speed is of all things the vitalest), Prince Henri starts again, SUNDAY afternoon, straight westward this time. Marches, with his best swiftness, with his best arrangements, through many sleeping Villages, to Klitten, not a wakeful one: a march of 18 miles from Rothenburg;–direct for the Saxon side of things, instead of the Silesian, as Daun had made sure.

“At Klitten, MONDAY morning, bivouac again, for a few hours,–‘has no Camp, only waits three hours,’ is Archenholtz’s phrase: but I suppose the meaning is, Waits till the several Columns, by their calculated routes, have all got together; and till the latest in arriving has had ‘three hours’ of rest,–the earliest having perhaps gone on march again, in the interim? There are 20 miles farther, still straight west, to Hoyerswerda, where the outmost Austrian Division is: ‘Forward towards that; let us astonish General Wehla and his 3,000, and our March is over!’ All this too Prince Henri manages; never anything more consummate, more astonishing to Wehla and his Master.

“Wehla and Brentano, readers perhaps remember them busy, from the Pirna side, at the late Siege of Dresden. Siege gloriously done, Wehla was ordered to Hoyerswerda, on the northwest frontier; Brentano to a different point in that neighborhood; where Brentano escaped ruin, and shall not be mentioned; but Wehla suddenly found it, and will require a word. Wehla, of all people on the War- theatre, had been the least expecting disturbance. He is on the remotest western flank; to westward of him nothing but Torgau and the Finck-Wunsch people, from whom is small likelihood of danger: from the eastern what danger can there be? A Letter of Dauns, some days ago, had expressly informed him that, to all appearance, there was none.

“And now suddenly, on the Tuesday morning, What is this? Prussians reported to be visible in the Woods! ‘Impossible!’ answered Wehla;–did get ready, however, what he could; Croat Regiments, pieces of Artillery behind the Elster River and on good points; laboring more and more diligently, as the news proved true. But all his efforts were to no purpose. General Lentulus with his Prussians (the mute Swiss Lentulus, whom we sometimes meet), who has the Vanguard this day, comes streaming out of the woods across the obstacles; cannonades Wehla both in front and rear; entirely swallows Wehla and Corps: 600 killed; the General himself, with 28 Field-Officers, and of subalterns and privates 1,785, falling prisoners to us; and the remainder scattered on the winds, galloping each his own road towards covert and a new form of life. Wehla is eaten, in this manner, Tuesday, September 25th:– metaphorically speaking, the March of Fifty Hours ends in a comfortable twofold meal (military-cannibal, as well as of common culinary meat), and in well-deserved rest.” [Tempelhof, iii. 255, 256; Seyfarth, Beylagen; &c.]

The turning-point of the Campaign is reckoned to be this March of Henri’s; one of the most extraordinary on record. Prince Henri had a very fast March INTO these Silesian-Lausitz Countries, early in July, [Seyfarth, ii. 545.] and another very fast, from Bautzen, to intersect with Schmottseifen, in the end of July: but these were as nothing compared with the present. Tempelhof, the excellent solid man,–but who puts all things, big and little, on the same level of detail, and has unparalleled methods of arranging (what he reckons to be “arranging”), and no vestige of index,–is distressingly obscure on this grand Incident; but at length, on compulsion, does yield clear account. [Tempelhof, iii. 253-258.] In Archenholtz it is not DATED at all; who merely says as follows: “Most extraordinary march ever made; went through 50 miles of Country wholly in the Enemy’s possession; lasted 56 hours, in which long period there was no camp pitched, and only twice a rest of three hours allowed the troops. During the other fifty hours the march, day and night, continually proceeded. Ended (NO date) in surprise of General Wehla at Hoyerswerda, cutting up 600 of his soldiers, and taking 1,800 prisoners. Kalkreuth, since so famous,” in the Anti-Napoleon Wars, “was the Prince’s Adjutant.” [Archenholtz, i. 426.]

This is probably Prince Henri’s cleverest feat,–though he did a great many of clever; and his Brother used to say, glancing towards him, “There is but one of us that never committed a mistake.” A highly ingenious dexterous little man in affairs of War, sharp as needles, vehement but cautious; though of abstruse temper, thin- skinned, capricious, and giving his Brother a great deal of trouble with his jealousies and shrewish whims. By this last consummate little operation he has astonished Daun as much as anybody ever did; shorn his elaborate tissue of cunctations into ruin and collapse at one stroke; and in effect, as turns out, wrecked his campaign for this Year.

Daun finds there is now no hope of Saxony, unless he himself at once proceed thither. At once thither;–and leave Glogau and the Russians to their luck,–which in such case, what is it like to be? Probably, to Daun’s own view, ominous enough; but he has no alternative. To this pass has the March of Fifty Hours brought us. There is such a thing as being too cunctatory, is not there, your Excellency? Every mortal, and more especially every Feldmarschall, ought to strike the iron while it is hot. The remainder of this Campaign, we will hope, can be made intelligible in a more summary manner.


Friedrich’s manoeuvres against Soltikof,–every reader is prepared to hear that Soltikof was rendered futile by them: and none but military readers could take delight in the details. Two beautiful short-cuts he made upon Soltikof; pulled him up both times in mid career, as with hard check-bit. The first time was at Zobelwitz: September 24th, Friedrich cut across from Sagan, which is string to bow of the Russian march; posted himself on the Heights of Zobelwitz, of Baunau, Milkau (at Baunau Friedrich will write a LETTER this night, if readers bethink themselves; Milkau is a place he may remember for rain-deluges, in the First Silesian War [Supra, p. 323; ib. vol. vii. p. 311.]): “Let the Russians, if they now dare, try the Pass of Neustadtel here!” A fortunate hour, when he got upon this ground. Quartermaster-General Stoffel, our old Custrin acquaintance, is found marking out a Camp with a view to that Pass of Neustadtel; [Tempelhof, iii. 293; Retzow, ii. 163.] is, greatly astonished to find the Prussian Army emerge on him there; and at once vanishes, with his Hussar-Cossack retinues. “September 24th,” it is while Prince Henri was on the last moiety of his March of Fifty Hours. This severe twitch flung Soltikof quite out from Glogau,–was like to fling him home altogether, had it not been for Montalembert’s eloquence;–did fling him across the Oder. Where, again thanks to Montalembert, he was circling on with an eye to Breslau, when Friedrich, by the diameter, suddenly laid bridges, crossed at Koben, and again brought Soltikof to halt, as by turnpike suddenly shut: “Must pay first; must beat us first!”

These things had raised Friedrich’s spirits not a little. Getting on the Heights of Zobelwitz, he was heard to exclaim, “This is a lucky day; worth more to me than a battle with victory.” [Retzow, ii. 163.] Astonishing how he blazed out again, quite into his old pride and effulgence, after this, says Retzow. Had been so meek, so humbled, and even condescended to ask advice or opinion from some about him. Especially “from two Captains,” says the Opposition Retzow, whose heads were nearly turned by this sunburst from on high. Captain Marquart and another,–I believe, he did employ them about Routes and marking of Camps, which Retzow calls consulting: a King fallen tragically scarce of persons to consult; all his Winterfelds, Schwerins, Keiths and Council of Peers now vanished, and nothing but some intelligent-looking Captain Marquart, or the like, to consult:–of which Retzow, in his splenetic Opposition humor, does not see the tragedy, but rather the comedy: how the poor Captains found their favor to be temporary, conditional, and had to collapse again. One of them wrote an “ESSAY on the COUP-D’OEIL MILITAIRE,” over which Retzow pretends to weep. This was Friedrich’s marginal Note upon the MS., when submitted to his gracious perusal: “You (ER) will do better to acquire the Art of marking Camps than to write upon the Military Stroke of Eye.” Beautifully written too, says Retzow; but what, in the eyes of this King, is beautiful writing, to knowing your business well? No friend he to writing, unless you have got something really special, and urgent to be written.

Friedrich crassed the Oder twice. Took Soltikof on both sides of the Oder, cut him out of this fond expectation, then of that; led him, we perceive, a bad life. Latterly the scene was on the right bank; Sophienthal, Koben, Herrnstadt and other poor places,– on that big eastern elbow, where Oder takes his final bend, or farewell of Poland. Ground, naturally, of some interest to Friedrich: ground to us unknown; but known to Friedrich as the ground where Karl XII. gave Schulenburg his beating, [“Near Guhrau” (while chasing August the Strong and him out of Poland), “12th October, 1704:” vague account of it, dateless, and as good as placeless, in Voltaire ( Charles Douse, liv.
iii.), OEuvres, xxx. 142-145.] which produced the “beautiful retreat” of Schulenburg. The old Feldmarschall Schulenburg whom we used to hear of once,–whose Nephew, a pipeclayed little gentleman, was well known to Friedrich and us.

For the rest, I do not think he feels this out-manoeuvring of the Russians very hard work. Already, from Zobelwitz Country, 25th September, day of Henri at Hoyerswerda, Friedrich had written to Fouquet: “With 21,000 your beaten and maltreated Servant has hindered an Army of 50,000 from attacking him, and compelled them to retire on Neusatz!” Evidently much risen in hope; and Henri’s fine news not yet come to hand. By degrees, Soltikof, rendered futile, got very angry; especially when Daun had to go for Saxony. “Meal was becoming impossible, at any rate,” whimpers Daun: “O Excellency, do but consider, with the nobleness natural to you! Our Court will cheerfully furnish money, instead of meal.”–“Money? My people cannot eat money!” growled Soltikof, getting more and more angry; threatening daily to march for Posen and his own meal- stores. What a time of it has Montalembert, has the melancholy Loudon, with temper so hot!

At Sophienthal, October 10th, Friedrich falls ill of gout;– absolutely lamed; for three weeks cannot stir from his room. Happily the outer problem is becoming easier and easier; almost bringing its own solution. At Sophienthal the lame Friedrich takes to writing about CHARLES XII. AND HIS MILITARY CHARACTER,– not a very illuminative Piece, on the first perusal, but I intend to read it again; [REFLEXIONS SUR LES TALENS MILITAIRES ET SUR LE CARACTERE DE CHARLES XII. ( OEuvres de Frederic, italic> vii. 69-88).]–which at least helps him to pass the time. Soltikof, more and more straitened, meal itself running low, gets angrier and angrier. His treatment of the Country, Montalembert rather encouraging, is described as “horrible.” One day he takes the whim, whim or little more, of seizing Herrnstadt; a small Town, between the Two Armies, where the Prussians have a Free Battalion. The Prussian Battalion resists; drives Soltikof’s people back. “Never mind,” think they: “a place of no importance to us; and Excellency Soltikof has ridden else-whither.” By ill-luck, in the afternoon, Excellency Soltikof happened to mention the place again. Hearing that the Prussians still have it, Soltikof mounts into a rage; summons the place, with answer still No; thereupon orders instant bombardment of it, fiery storms of grenadoes for it; and has the satisfaction of utterly burning poor Herrnstadt; the Prussian Free-Corps still continuing obstinate. It was Soltikof’s last act in those parts, and betokens a sulphurous state of humor.

Next morning (October 24th), he took the road for Posen, and marched bodily home. [Tempelhof, iii. 299, 291-300 (general account, abundantly minute).] Home verily, in spite of Montalembert and all men. “And for me, what orders has Excellency?” Loudon had anxiously inquired, on the eve of that event. “None whatever!” answered Excellency: “Do your own pleasure; go whithersoever seems good to you.” And Loudon had to take a wide sweep round, by Kalish, through the western parts of Poland; and get home to the Troppau- Teschen Country as he best could.

By Kalish, by Czenstochow, Cracow, poor Loudon had to go: a dismal march of 300 miles or more,–waited on latterly by Fouquet, with Werner, Goltz and others, on the Silesian Border; whom Friedrich had ordered thither for such end. Whom Loudon skilfully avoided to fight; having already, by desertion and by hardships, lost half his men on the road. Glad enough to get home and under roof, with his 20,000 gone to 10,000; and to make bargain with Fouquet: “Truce, then, through Winter; neither of us to meddle with the other, unless after a fortnight’s warning given.” [Tempelhof, iii. 328-331.] NOVEMBER 1st, a month before this, the King, carried on a litter by his soldiers, had quitted Sophienthal; and, crossing the River by Koben, got to Glogau. [Rodenbeck, i. 396.] The greater part of his force, 13,000 under Hulsen, he had immediately sent on for Saxony; he himself intending to wait recovery in Glogau, with this Silesian wing of the business happily brought to finis for the present.

On the Saxon side, too, affairs are in such a course that the King can be patient at Glogau till he get well. Everything is prosperous in Saxony since that March on Hoyerswerda; Henri, with his Fincks and Wunsches, beautifully posted in the Meissen-Torgau region; no dislodging of him, let Daun, with his big mass of forces, try as he may. Daun, through the month of October, is in various Camps, in Schilda last of all: Henri successively in two; in Strehla for some ten days; then in Torgau for about three weeks, carefully intrenched, [Tempelhof. iii. 276, 281, 284 (Henri in Strehla, October 4th-17th; thence to Torgau: 22d October, Daun “quits his Camp of Belgern” for that of Schilda, which was his last in those parts).]–where traces of him will turn up (not too opportunely) next year. Daun, from whatever Camp, goes laboring on this side and on that; on every side the deft Henri is as sharp as needles; nothing to be made of him by the cunning movements and contrivances of Daun. Very fine manoeuvring it was, especially on Henri’s part; a charm to the soldier mind;–given minutely in Tempelhof, and capable of being followed (if you have Maps and Patience) into the last details. Instructive really to the soldier;–but must be, almost all, omitted here. One beautiful slap to Duke d’Ahremberg (a poor old friend of Daun’s and ours) we will remember: “Action of Pretsch” they call it; defeat, almost capture of poor D’Ahremberg; who had been sent to dislodge the Prince, by threatening his supplies, and had wheeled, accordingly, eastward, wide away; but, to his astonishment, found, after a march or two, Three select Prussian Corps emerging on him, by front, by rear, by flank, with Horse-artillery (quasi-miraculous) bursting out on hill-tops, too, –and, in short, nothing for it but to retreat, or indeed to run, in a considerably ruinous style: poor D’Ahremberg! [Seyfarth ( Beylagen, ii. 634-637), “HOFBERICHT VON DER AM 29 OCTOBER, 1759, BEY MEURO [chiefly BEY PRETSCH] VORGEFALLENEN ACTION;” ib. ii. 543 n.] On the whole, Daun is reduced to a panting condition; and knows not what to do. His plans were intrinsically bad, says Tempelhof; without beating Henri in battle, which he cannot bring himself to attempt, he, in all probability, will, were it only for difficulties of the commissariat kind, have to fall back Dresden-ward, and altogether take himself away. [Tempelhof, iii. 287-289.]

After this sad slap at Pretsch, Daun paused for consideration; took to palisading himself to an extraordinary degree, slashing the Schilda Forests almost into ruin for this end; and otherwise sat absolutely quiet. Little to be done but take care of oneself. Daun knows withal of Hulsen’s impending advent with the Silesian 13,000;–November 2d, Hulsen is actually at Muskau, and his 13,000 magnified by rumor to 20,000. Hearing of which, Daun takes the road (November 4th); quits his gloriously palisaded Camp of Schilda; feels that retreat on Dresden, or even home to Bohemia altogether, is the one course left.

And now, the important Bautzen Colloquy of SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th, having here brought its three or more Courses of Activity to a pause,–we will glance at the far more important THURSDAY, 13th, other side the Ocean:–

ABOVE QUEBEC, NIGHT OF SEPTEMBER 12th-13th, In profound silence, on the stream of the St. Lawrence far away, a notable adventure is going on. Wolfe, from two points well above Quebec (“As a last shift, we will try that way”), with about 5,000 men, is silently descending in boats; with purpose to climb the Heights somewhere on this side the City, and be in upon it, if Fate will. An enterprise of almost sublime nature; very great, if it can succeed. The cliffs all beset to his left hand, Montcalm in person guarding Quebec with his main strength.

Wolfe silently descends; mind made up; thoughts hushed quiet into one great thought; in the ripple of the perpetual waters, under the grim cliffs and the eternal stars. Conversing with his people, he was heard to recite some passages of Gray’s ELEGY, lately come out to those parts; of which, says an ear-witness, he expressed his admiration to an enthusiastic degree: “Ah, these are tones of the Eternal Melodies, are not they? A man might thank Heaven had he such a gift; almost as WE might for succeeding here, Gentlemen!” [Professor Robison, then a Naval Junior, in the boat along with Wolfe, afterwards a well-known Professor of Natural Philosophy at Edinburgh, was often heard, by persons whom I have heard again, to repeat this Anecdote. See Playfair, BIOGRAPHICAL ACCOUNT OF PROFESSOR ROBISON,–in Transactions of Royal
Society of Edinburgh, vii. 495 et seq.] Next morning (Thursday, 13th September, 1759), Wolfe, with his 5,000, is found to have scrambled up by some woody Neck in the heights, which was not quite precipitous; has trailed one cannon with him, the seamen busy bringiug up another; and by 10 of the clock stands ranked (really somewhat in the Friedrich way, though on a small scale); ready at all poiuts for Montcalm, but refusing to be over-ready.

Montcalm, on first hearing of him, had made haste: “OUI, JE LES VOIS OU ILS NE DOIVENT PAS ETRE; JE VAIS LES E’CRASER (to smash them)!” said he, by way of keeping his people in heart. And marches up, beautifully skilful, neglecting none of his advantages. Has numerous Canadian sharpshooters, preliminary Indians in the bushes, with a provoking fire: “Steady!” orders Wolfe; “from you not one shot till they are within thirty yards.” And Montcalm, volleying and advancing, can get no response, more than from Druidic stones; till at thirty yards the stones become vocal,–and continue so at a dreadful rate; and, in a space of seventeen minutes, have blown Montcalm’s regulars, and the gallant Montcalm himself, and their second in command, and their third, into ruin and destruction. In about seven minutes more the agony was done; “English falling on with the bayonet, Highlanders with the claymore;” fierce pursuit, rout total:–and Quebec and Canada as good as finished. The thing is yet well known to every Englishman; [The military details of it seem to be very ill known (witness Colonel Beatson’s otherwise rather careful Pamphlet, THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM, written quite lately, which we are soon to cite farther); and they would well deserve describing in the SEYFARTH-BEYLAGEN, or even in the TEMPELHOF way,–could an English Officer, on the spot as this Colonel was, be found to do it!–Details are in Beatson (quite another “Beatson”), Naval and Military History,
ii. 300-308; in Gentleman’s Magazine italic> for 1759, the Despatches and particulars: see also Walpole, George the Second, iii. 217-222.] and how
Wolfe himself died in it, his beautiful death.

Truly a bit of right soldierhood, this Wolfe. Manages his small resources in a consummate manner; invents, contrives, attempts and re-attempts, irrepressible by difficulty or discouragement, How could a Friedrich himself have managed this Quebec in a more artistic way? The small Battle itself, 5,000 to a side, and such odds of Savagery and Canadians, reminds you of one of Friedrich’s: wise arrangements; exact foresight, preparation corresponding; caution with audacity; inflexible discipline, silent till its time come, and then blazing out as we see. The prettiest soldiering I have heard of among the English for several generations. Amherst, Commander-in-chief, is diligently noosing, and tying up, the French military settlements, Niagara, Ticonderoga; Canada all round: but this is the heart or windpipe of it; keep this firm, and, in the circumstances, Canada is yours.

Colonel Reatson, in his recent Pamphlet, THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM,–which, especially on the military side, is distressingly ignorant and shallow, though NOT intentionally incorrect anywhere,–gives Extracts from a Letter of Montcalm’s (“Quebec, 24th August, 1759”), which is highly worth reading, had we room. It predicts to a hair’s-breadth, not only the way “M. Wolfe, if he understands his trade, will take to beat and ruin me if we meet in fight;”
but also,–with a sagacity singular to look at, in the years 1775-1777, and perhaps still more in the years 1860-1863,–what will be the consequences to those unruly English, Colonial and other. “If he beat me here, France has lost America utterly,” thinks Montcalm: “Yes;–and one’s only consolation is, In ten years farther, America will be in revolt against England!” Montcalm’s style of writing is not exemplary; but his power of faithful observation, his sagacity, and talent of prophecy are so considerable, we are tempted to give the IPSISSIMA VERBA of his long Letter in regard to those two points,–the rather as it seems to have fallen much out of sight in our day:–


“CAMP BEFORE QUEBEC, 24th August, 1759.

“MONSIEUR ET CHER COUSIN,–Here I am, for more than three months past, at handgrips with M. Wolfe; who ceases not day or night to bombard Quebec, with a fury which is almost unexampled in the Siege of a Place one intends to retain after taking it.” … Will never take it in that way, however, by attacking from the River or south shore; only ruins us, but does not enrich himself. Not an inch nearer his object than he was three months ago; and in one month more the equinoctial storms will blow his Fleet and him away.– Quebec, then, and the preservation of the Colony, you think, must be as good as safe?” Alas, the fact is far otherwise. The capture of Quebec depends on what we call a stroke-of-hand–[But let us take to the Original now, for Prediction First]:–

“La prise de Quebec depend d’un coup de main. Les Anglais sont maitres de la riviere: ils n’ont qu’a effectuer une descente sur la rive ou cette Ville, sans fortifications et sans defense, est situee. Les voila en etat de me presenter la bataille; que je ne pourrais plus refuser, et que je ne devrais pas gagner. M. Wolfe, en effet, s’il entend son metier, n’a qu’a essuyer le premier feu, venir ensuite a grands pas sur mon armee, faire a bout portant sa decharge; mes Canadiens, sans discipline, sourds a la voix du tambour et des instrumens militaires, deranges pa cette escarre, ne sauront plus reprendre leurs rangs. Ils sont d’ailleurs sans baionettes pour repondre a celles de l’ennemi: il ne leur reste qu’a fuir,–et me voila battu sans ressource. [This is a curiously exact Prediction! I won’t survive, however; defeat here, in this stage of our affairs, means loss of America altogether:] il est des situations ou il ne reste plus a un General que de perir avec honneur. … Mes sentimens sont francais, et ils le seront jusque dans le tombeau, si dans le tombeau on est encore quelque chose.

“Je me consolerai du moins de ma defaite, et de la perte de la Colonie, par l’intime persuasion ou je suis [Prediction Second, which is still more curious], que cette defaite vaudra, un jour, a ma Patrie plus qu’une victoire; et que le vainqueur, en s’agrandissant, trouvera un tombeau dans son agrandissement meme.

“Ce que j’avance ici, mon cher Cousin, vous paraitra un paradoxe: mais un moment de reflexion politique, un coup d’oeil sur la situation des choses en Amerique, et la verite de mon opinion brillera dans tout son jour. [Nobody will obey, unless necessity compel him: VOILA LES HOMMES; GENE of any kind a nuisance to them; and of all men in the world LES ANGLAIS are the most impatient of obeying anybody.] Mais si ce sont-la les Anglais de l’Europe, c’est encore plus les Anglais d’Amerique. Une grande partie de ces Colons sont les enfans de ces hommes qui s’expatrierent dans ces temps de trouble ou l’ancienne Angleterre, en proie aux divisions, etait attaquee dans ses privileges et droits; et allerent chercher en Amerique une terre ou ils pussent vivre et mourir libres et presque independants:–et ces enfans n’ont pas degenere des sentimens republicains de leurs peres. D’autres sont des hommes ennemis de tout frein, de tout assujetissement, que le gouvernement y a transportes pour leurs crimes, D’autres, enfin, sont un ramas de differentes nations de l’Europe, qui tiennent tres-peu a l’ancienne Angleterre par le coeur et le sentiment; tous, en general, ne ce soucient gueres du Roi ni du Parlement d’Angleterre.

“Je les connais bien,–non sur des rapports etrangers, mais sur des correspondances et des informations secretes, que j’ai moi-meme menagees; et dont, un jour, si Dieu me prete vie, je pourrai faire usage a l’avantage de ma Patrie. Pour surcroit de bonheur pour eux, tous ces Colons sont parvenues, dans un etat tres-florissant; ils sont nombreux et riches:–ils recueillent dans le sein de leur patrie toutes les necessites de la vie. L’ancienne Angleterre a ete assez sotte, et assez dupe, pour leur laisser etablir chez eux les arts, les metiers, les manufactures:–c’est a dire, qu’elle leur a laisse briser la chaine de besoins qui les liait, qui les attachait a elle, et qui les fait dependants. Aussi toutes ces Colonies Anglaises auraient-elles depuis longtemps secoue le joug, chaque province aurait forme une petite republique independante, si la crainte de voir les Francais a leur Porte n’avait ete un frein qui les avait retenu. Maitres pour maitres, ils ont pefere leurs compatriotes aux etrangers; prenant cependant pour maxime de n’obeir que le moins qu’ils pourraient. Mais que le Canada vint a etre conquis, et que les Canadiens et ces Colons ne fussent plus qu’une seul peuple,–et la premiere occasion ou l’ancienne Angleterre semblerait toucher a leurs interets, croyez-vous, mon cher Cousin, que ces Colons obeiront? Et qu’auraient-ils a craindre en se revoltant? … Je suis si sur de ce que j’ecris, que je ne donnerais pas dix ans apres la conquete du Canada pour en voir l’accomplissement.

“Voila ce que, comme Francais, me console aujourd’hui du danger imminent, que court ma Patrie, de voir cette Colonie perdue pour elle.” [In Beatson, Lieutenant-Colonel R.E., The Plains of
Abraham; Notes original and selected (Gibraltar,
Garrison Library Press, 1858), pp. 38 et seq.: Extract from “Lettres de M. le Marquis de Montcalm a MM. De Berryer et De la Mole: 1757-1759 (Londres, 1777),”–which is not in the British-Museum Library, on applying; and seems to be a forgotten Book. (NOTE OF FIRST EDITION, 1865.)

“A Copy is in the BOSTON ATHENAEUM LIBRARY, New-England: it is a Pamphlet rather than a Book; contains Two Letters to Berryer MINISTRE DE LA MARINE, besides this to Mole the Cousin: Publisher is the noted J. Almon,–in French and English.” (From
Boston Sunday Courier, of 19th April, 1868, where this Letter is reproduced.)

In the Temple Library, London, I have since found a Copy: and, on strict survey, am obliged to pronounce the whole Pamphlet a FORGERY,–especially the Two Letters to “Berryer MINISTER OF MARINE;” who was not yet Minister of anything, nor thought of as likely to be, for many months after the date of these Letters addressed to him as such! Internal evidence too, were such at all wanted, is abundant in these BERRYER Letters; which are of gross and almost stupid structure in comparison to the MOLE one. As this latter has already got into various Books, and been argued of in Parliaments and high places (Lord Shelburne asserting it to be spurious, Lord Mansfield to be genuine: REPORT OF PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES in Gentleman’s Magazine for NOVEMBER
and for DECEMBER, 1777, pp. 515, 560),–it may be allowed to continue here in the CONDEMNED state. Forger, probably, some Ex-Canadian, or other American ROYALIST, anxious to do the Insurgent Party and their British Apologists an ill turn, in that critical year;–had shot off his Pamphlet to voracious Almon; who prints without preface or criticism, and even without correcting the press. (NOTE OF JULY, 1868.)]

Montcalm had been in the Belleisle RETREAT FROM PRAG (December, 1742); in the terrible EXILLES Business (July, 1747), where the Chevalier de Belleisle and 4 or 5,000 lost their lives in about an hour. Captain Cook was at Quebec, Master in the Royal Navy; “sounding the River, and putting down buoys.” Bougainville, another famous Navigator, was Aide-de-Camp of Montcalm. There have been far-sounding Epics built together on less basis than lies ready here, in this CAPTURE OF QUEBEC;–which itself, as the Decision that America is to be English and not French, is surely an Epoch in World-History! Montcalm was 48 when he perished; Wolfe 33. Montcalm’s skull is in the Ursulines Convent at Quebec,–shown to the idly curious to this day. [Lieutenant-Colonel Beatson, pp. 28, 15.]

It was on October 17th,–while Friedrich lay at Sophienthal, lamed of gout, and Soltikof had privately fixed for home (went that day week),–that this glorious bit of news reached England. It was only three days after that other, bad and almost hopeless news, from the same quarter; news of poor Wolfe’s Repulse, on the other or eastern side of Quebec, July 31st, known to us already, not known in England till October 14th. Heightened by such contrast, the news filled all men with a strange mixture of emotions. “The incidents of Dramatic Fiction,” says one who was sharer in it, “could not have been conducted with more address to lead an audience from despondency to sudden exultation, than Accident had here prepared to excite the passions of a whole People. They despaired; they triumphed; and they wept,–for Wolfe had fallen in the hour of victory! Joy, grief, curiosity, astonishment, were painted in every countenance: the more they inquired, the higher their admiration rose. Not an incident but was heroic and affecting.” [Walpole, iii. 219.] America ours; but the noble Wolfe now not!

What Pitt himself said of these things, we do not much hear. On the meeting of his Parliament, about a month hence, his Speech, somebody having risen to congratulate and eulogize him, is still recognizably of royal quality, if we evoke it from the Walpole Notes. Very modest, very noble, true; and with fine pieties and magnanimities delicately audible in it: “Not a week all Summer but has been a crisis, in which I have not known whether I should not be torn to pieces, instead of being commended, as now by the Honorable Member. The hand of Divine Providence; the more a man is versed in business, the more he everywhere traces that! … Success has given us unanimity, not unanimity success. For my own poor share, I could not have dared as I have done, except in these times. Other Ministers have hoped as well, but have not been so circumstanced to dare so much. … I think the stone almost rolled to the top of the hill; but let us have a care; it may rebound, and hideously drag us down with it again.” [Ib. iii. 225; Thackeray, i. 446.]

The essential truth, moreover, is, Pitt has become King of England; so lucky has poor England, in its hour of crisis, again been. And the difference between an England guided by some kind of Friedrich (temporary Friedrich, absolute, though of insecure tenure), and by a Newcastle and the Clack of Tongues, is very great! But for Pitt, there had been no Wolfe, no Amherst; Duke Ferdinand had been the Royal Highness of Cumberland,–and all things going round him in St. Vitus, at their old rate. This man is a King, for the time being,–King really of the Friedrich type;– and rules, Friedrich himself not more despotically, where need is. Pitt’s War-Offices, Admiralties, were not of themselves quick-going entities; but Pitt made them go. Slow-paced Lords in Office have remonstrated, on more than one occasion: “Impossible, Sir; these things cannot be got ready at the time you order!” “My Lord, they