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  • 1858
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indispensably must,” Pitt would answer (a man always reverent of coming facts, knowing how inexorable they are); and if the Negative continued obstinate in argument, he has been known to add: “My Lord, to the King’s service, it is a fixed necessity of time. Unless the time is kept, I will impeach your Lordship!” Your Lordship’s head will come to lie at your Lordship’s feet! Figure a poor Duke of Newcastle, listening to such a thing;–and knowing that Pitt will do it; and that he can, such is his favor with universal England;–and trembling and obeying. War-requisites for land and for sea are got ready with a Prussian punctuality,– at what multiple of the Prussian expense, is a smaller question for Pitt.

It is about eighteen months ago that Pownal, Governor of New England, a kind of half-military person, not without sound sense, though sadly intricate of utterance,–of whom Pitt, just entering on Office, has, I suppose, asked an opinion on America, as men do of Learned Counsel on an impending Lawsuit of magnitude,–had answered, in his long-winded, intertwisted, nearly inextricable way, to the effect, “Sir, I incline to fear, on the whole, that the Action will NOT lie,–that, on the whole, the French will eat America from us in spite of our teeth.” [In THACKERAY, ii. 421-452, Pownal’s intricate REPORT (his “DISCOURSE,” or whatever he calls it, “ON THE DEFENCE OF THE INLAND FRONTIERS,” his &c. &c.), of date “15th January, 1758.”] January 15th, 1758, that is the Pownal Opinion-of-Counsel;–and on September 13th, 1759, this is what we have practically come to. And on September 7th, 1760: within twelve months more,–Amherst, descending the Rapids from Ticonderoga side, and two other little Armies, ascending from Quebec and Louisburg, to meet him at Montreal, have proved punctual almost to an hour; and are in condition to extinguish, by triple pressure (or what we call noosing), the French Governor-General in Montreal, a Monsieur de Vaudreuil, and his Montreal and his Canada altogether; and send the French bodily home out of those Continents. [Capitulation between Amherst and Vaudreuil (“Montreal, 8th September, 1760”), in 55 Articles: in BEATSON, iii. 274-283.] Which may dispense us from speaking farther on the subject.

From the Madras region, too, from India and outrageous Lally, the news are good. Early in Spring last, poor Lally,–a man of endless talent and courage, but of dreadfully emphatic loose tongue, in fact of a blazing ungoverned Irish turn of mind,–had instantly, on sight of some small Succors from Pitt, to raise his siege of Madras, retire to Pondicherry; and, in fact, go plunging and tumbling downhill, he and his India with him, at an ever-faster rate, till they also had got to the Abyss. “My policy is in these five words, NO ENGLISHMAN IN THIS PENINSULA,” wrote he, a year ago, on landing in India; and now it is to be No FRENCHMAN, and there is one word in the five to be altered!–Of poor Lally, zealous and furious over-much, and nearly the most unfortunate and worst-used “man of genius” I ever read of, whose lion-like struggles against French Official people, and against Pitt’s Captains and their sea- fights and siegings, would deserve a volume to themselves, we have said, and can here say, as good as nothing,–except that they all ended, for Lally and French India, in total surrender, 16th January, 1761; and that Lally, some years afterwards, for toils undergone and for services done, got, when accounts came to be liquidated, death on the scaffold. Dates I give below. [28th April, 1758, Lands at Pondicherry; instantly proceeds upon Fort St. David. 2d June, 1758, Takes it: meant to have gone now on Madras; but finds he has no money;–goes extorting money from Black Potentates about, Rajah of Travancore, &c., in a violent and extraordinary style; and can get little. Nevertheless, 14th December, 1758, Lays Siege to Madras.

16th February, 1759, Is obliged to quit trenches at Madras, and retire dismally upon Pondicherry,–to mere indigence, mutiny (“ten mutinies”), Official conspiracy, and chaos come again.

22d January, 1760, Makes outrush on Wandewash, and the English posted there; is beaten, driven back into Pondicherry. April, 1760, Is besieged in Pondicherry. 16th January, 1761, Is taken, Pondicherry, French India and he;–to Madras he, lest the French Official party kill him, as they attempt to do.

23d September, 1761, arrives, prisoner, in England: thence, on parole, to France and Paris, 21st October. November, 1762, To Bastille; waits trial nineteen months; trial lasts two years. 6th May, 1766, To be BEHEADED,–9th May was. See BEATSON, ii. 369-372, 96-110, &c.; Voltaire (FRAGMENTS SUR L’INDE) in OEuvres,
xxix. 183-253; BIOGRAPHIC UNIVERSELLE,  Lally.]

“Gained Fontenoy for us,” said many persons;–undoubtedly gained various things for us, fought for us Berserkir-like on all occasions; hoped, in the end, to be Marechal de France, and undertook a Championship of India, which issues in this way! America and India, it is written, are both to be Pitt’s. Let both, if possible, remain silent to us henceforth.

As to the Invasion-of-England Scheme, Pitt says he does not expect the French will invade us; but if they do, he is ready. [Speech, 4th November, supra.]

Chapter VII.


November 6th-8th, Daun had gone to Meissen Country: fairly ebbing homeward; Henri following, with Hulsen joined,–not vehemently attacking the rhinoceros, but judiciously pricking him forward. Daun goes at his slowest step: in many divisions, covering a wide circuit; sticking to all the strong posts, till his own time for quitting them: slow, sullenly cautious; like a man descending dangerous precipices back foremost, and will not be hurried. So it had lasted about a week; Daun for the last four days sitting restive, obstinate, but Henri pricking into him more and more, till the rhinoceros seemed actually about lifting himself,–when Friedrich in person arrived in his Brother’s Camp. [Tempelhof, iii. 301-305.]

At the Schloss of Herschstein, a mile or two behind Lommatsch, which is Henri’s head-quarter (still to westward of Meissen; Daun hanging on, seven or eight miles to southeastward ahead; loath to go, but actually obliged),–it was there, Tuesday, November 13th, that the King met his Brother again. A King free of his gout; in joyful spirits; and high of humor,–like a man risen indignant, once more got to his feet, after three months’ oppressions and miseries from the unworthy. “Too high,” mourns Retzow, in a gloomy tone, as others do in perhaps a more indulgent one. Beyond doubt, Friedrich’s farther procedures in this grave and weighty Daun business were more or less imprudent; of a too rapid and rash nature; and turned out bitterly unlucky to him. “Had he left the management to Henri!” sighed everybody, after the unlucky event.

Friedrich had not arrived above four-and-twenty hours, when news came in: “The Austrians in movement again; actually rolling off Dresden-ward again.” “Haha, do they smell me already!” laughed he: “Well, I will send Daun to the Devil,”–not adding, “if I can.” And instantly ordered sharp pursuit,–and sheer stabbing with the ox-goad, not soft and delicate pricking, as Henri’s lately. [Retzow, ii. 168; Tempelhof, iii. 306.] Friedrich, in fact; was in a fiery condition against Daun: “You trampled on me, you heavy buffalo, these three months; but that is over now!”–and took personally the vanguard in this pursuit. And had a bit of hot fighting in the Village of Korbitz (scene of that Finck-Haddick “Action,” 21st September last, and of poor Haddick’s ruin, and retirement to the Waters);–where the Austrians now prove very fierce and obstinate; and will not go, till well slashed into, and torn out by sheer beating:–which was visibly a kind of comfort to the King’s humor. “Our Prussians do still fight, then, much as formerly! And it was all a hideous Nightmare, all that, and Daylight and Fact are come, and Friedrich is himself again!”

They say Prince Henri took the liberty of counselling him, even of entreating him: “Leave well alone; why run risks?” said Henri. Daun, it was pretty apparent, had no outlook at the present but that of sauntering home to Bohmen; leaving Dresden to be an easy prey again, and his whole Campaign to fall futile, as the last had. Under Henri’s gentle driving he would have gone slower; but how salutary, if he only went! These were Henri’s views: but Friedrich was not in the slow humor; impatient to be in Dresden; “will be quartered there in a week,” writes he, “and more at leisure than now.” [“Wilsdruf, 17th November, 1759,” and still more “19th November,” Friedrich to Voltaire. in high spirits that way ( OEuvres de Frederic, xxiii. 66).] He is
thinking of Leuthen, of Rossbach, of Campaign 1757, so gloriously restored after ruin; and, in the fire of his soul, is hoping to do something similar a second time. That is Retzow’s notion: who knows but there may be truth in it? A proud Friedrich, got on his feet again after such usage;–nay, who knows whether it was quite so unwise to be impressive on the slow rhinoceros, and try to fix some thorn in his snout, or say (figuratively), to hobble his hind-feet; which, I am told, would have been beautifully ruinous; and, though riskish, was not impossible? [Tempelhof, iii. 311, &c.] Ill it indisputably turned out; and we have, with brevity, to say how, and leave readers to their judgment of it.

It was in the Village of Krogis, about six miles forward, on the Meissen-Freyberg road, a mile or two on from Korbitz, and directly after the fierce little tussle in that Village,–that Friedrich, his blood still up, gave the Order for Maxen, which proved so unlucky to him. Wunsch had been shot off in pursuit of the beaten Austrians; but they ran too fast; and Wunsch came back without farther result, still early in the day. Back as far as Krogis, where the next head-quarter is to be;–and finds the King still in a fulminant condition; none the milder, it is likely, by Wunsch’s returning without result. “Go straight to General Finck; bid him march at once!” orders the King; and rapidly gives Wunsch the instructions Finck is to follow. Finck and his Corps are near Nossen, some ten miles ahead of Krogis, some twenty west from Dresden. There, since yesterday, stands Finck, infesting the left or western flank of the Austrians,–what was their left, and will be again, when they call halt and face round on us:–Let Finck now march at once, quite round that western flank; by Freyberg, Dippoldiswalde, thence east to Maxen; plant himself at Maxen (a dozen miles south of Dresden, among the rocky hills), and stick diligently in the rear of those Austrians, cutting off, or threatening to cut off, their communications with Bohemia, and block the Pirna Country for them.

Friedrich calculates that, if Daun is for retreating by Pirna Country, this will, at lowest, be a method to quicken him in that movement; or perhaps it may prove a method to cut off such retreat altogether, and force Daun to go circling by the Lausitz Hills and Wildernesses, exposed to tribulations which may go nigh to ruin him. That is Friedrich’s proud thought: “an unfortunate Campaign; winding up, nevertheless, as 1757 did, in blazes of success!” And truly, if Friedrich could have made himself into Two; and, while flashing and charging in Daun’s front, have been in command at Maxen in Daun’s rear,–Friedrich could have made a pretty thing of this waxen Enterprise; and might in good part have realized his proud program. But there is no getting two Friedrichs. Finck, a General of approved quality, he is the nearest approach we can make to a second Friedrich;–and he, ill-luck too super-adding itself, proves tragically inadequate. And sets all the world, and Opposition Retzow, exclaiming, “See: Pride goes before a fall!”–

At 3 in the afternoon, Friedrich, intensely surveying from the heights of Krogis the new Austrian movements and positions, is astonished, not agreeably (“What, still only here, Herr General!”), by a personal visit from Finck. Finck finds the Maxen business intricate, precarious; wishes farther instructions, brings forward this objection and that. Friedrich at last answers, impatiently: “You know I can’t stand making of difficulties (ER WEISS DASS ICH DIE DIFFICULTATEN NICHT LEIDEN KANN; MACHE DASS ER FORT KOMMT); contrive to get it done!” With which poor comfort Finck has to ride back to Nossen; and scheme out his dispositions overnight.

Next morning, Thursday, 15th, Finck gets on march; drives the Reichsfolk out of Freyberg; reaches Dippoldiswalde:–“Freyberg is to be my Magazine,” considers Finck; “Dippoldiswalde my half-way house; Four Battalions of my poor Eighteen shall stand there, and secure the meal-carts.” Friday, 16th, Finck has his Vanguard, Wunsch leading it, in possession of Maxen and the Heights; and on Saturday gets there himself, with all his people and equipments. I should think about 12,000 men: in a most intersected, intertwisted Hill Country; full of gullets, dells and winding brooks;–it is forecourt of the Pirna rocks, our celebrated Camp of Gahmig lies visible to north, Dohna and the Rothwasser bounding us to east;–in grim November weather, some snow falling, or snow- powder, alternating with sleet and glazing frosts: by no means a beautiful enterprise to Finck. Nor one of his own choosing, had one a choice in such cases.

To Daun nothing could be more unwelcome than this news of Finck, embattled there at Maxen in the inextricable Hill Country, direct on the road of Daun’s meal-carts and Bohemian communications. And truly withal,–what Daun does not yet hear, but can guess,– there is gone, in supplement or as auxiliary to Finck, a fierce Hussar party, under GRUNE Kleist, their fiercest Hussar since Mayer died; who this very day, at Aussig, burns Daun’s first considerable Magazine; and has others in view for the same fate. [Friedrich’s second Letter to Voltaire, Wilsdruf, “19th November, 1759.”] An evident thing to Daun, that Finck being there, meal has ceased.

On the instant, Daun falls back on Dresden; Saturday, 17th, takes post in the Dell of Plauen (PLAUEN’SCHE GRUND); an impassable Chasm, with sheer steeps on both sides, stretching southward from Dresden in front of the Hill Country: thither Daun marches, there to consider what is to be done with Finck. Amply safe this position is; none better in the world: a Village, Plauen, and a Brook, Weistritz, in the bottom of this exquisite Chasm; sheer rock-walls on each side,–high especially on the Daun, or south side;–head- quarters can be in Dresden itself; room for your cavalry on the plain ground between Dresden and the Chasm. A post both safe and comfortable; only you must not loiter in making up your mind as to Finck; for Friedrich has followed on the instant. Friedrich’s head- quarter is already Wilsdruf, which an hour or two ago was Daun’s: at Kesselsdorf vigilant Ziethen is vanguard. So that Friedrich looks over on you from the northern brow of your Chasm; delays are not good near such a neighbor.

Daun–urged on by Lacy, they say–is not long in deciding that, in this strait, the short way out will be to attack Finck in the Hills. Daun is in the Hills, as well as Finck (this Plauen Chasm is the boundary-ditch of the Hills): Daun with 27,000 horse and foot, moving on from this western part; 3,000 light people (one Sincere the leader of them) moving simultaneously from Dresden itself, that is, from northward or northwestward; 12,000 Reichsfolk, horse and foot, part of them already to southeastward of Finck, other part stealing on by the Elbe bank thitherward: here, from three different points of the compass, are 42,000. These simultaneously dashing in, from west, north, south, upon Finck, may surely give account of his 12,000 and him! If only we can keep Friedrich dark upon it; which surely our Pandours will contrive to do.

Finck, directly on arriving at Maxen, had reported himself to the King; and got answer before next morning: “Very well; but draw in those Four Battalions you have left in Dippoldiswalde; hit with the whole of your strength, when a chance offers.” Which order Finck, literally and not too willingly, obeys; leaves only some light remnant in Dippoldiswalde, and reinforcement to linger within reach, till a certain Bread-convoy come to him, which will be due next morning (Monday, 19th); and which does then safely get home, though under annoyances from cannonading in the distance.

SUNDAY, 18th, Finck fails not to reconnoitre from the highest Hill- top; to inquire by every method: he finds, for certain, that the enemy are coming in upon him. With his own eyes he sees Reichsfolk marching, in quantity, southeastward by the Elbe shore: “Intending towards Dohna, as is like?”–and despatched Wunsch, who, accordingly, drove them out of Dohna. Of all this Finck, at once, sent word to Friedrich. Who probably enough received the message; but who would get no new knowledge from it,–vigilant Ziethen having, by Austrian deserters and otherwise, discovered this of the Reichsfolk; and furthermore that Sincere with 3,000 was in motion, from the north, upon Finck. Sunday evening, Friedrich despatches Ziethen’s Report; which punctually came to Finck’s hand; but was the last thing he received from Friedrich, or Friedrich from him. The intervening Pandours picked up all the rest. The Ziethen REPORT, of two or three lines, most succinct but sufficient, like a cutting of hard iron, is to be read in many Books: we may as well give the Letter and it:–

FRIEDRICH’S LETTER (WILSDRUF, 18th NOVEMBER, 1759). “My dear General-Lieutenant von Finck,–I send you the enclosed Report from General Ziethen, showing what is the lie of matters as seen from this side; and leave the whole to your disposition and necessary measures. I am your well-affectioned King,–F.” The Enclosure is as follows:–

GENERAL ZIETHEN’S REPORT (KESSELSDORF, 18th NOVEMBER, 1759). “To your Royal Majesty, send [no pronoun “I” allowed] herewith a Corporal, who has deserted from the Austrians. He says, Sincere with the Reserve did march with the Reichs Army; but a league behind it, and turned towards Dippoldiswalde. General Brentano [Wehla’s old comrade, luckier than Wehla], as this Deserter heard last night in Daun’s head-quarter,–which is in the southern Suburb of Dresden, in the Countess Moschinska’s Garden,–was yesterday to have been in Dohlen [looking into our outposts from the hither side of their Plauen Dell], but was not there any longer,” as our Deserter passed, “and it was said that he had gone to Maxen at three in the afternoon.” [Tempelhof, iii. 309.]

Thus curtly is Finck authorized to judge for himself in the new circumstances. Marginally is added, in Friedrich’s own hand: “ER WIRD ENTWEDER MIT DEN REICHERN ODER MIT SICEREN EINEN GANG HABEN,–Either with the Reichers or with Sincere you will have a bout, I suppose.”


Finck, from his own Hill-top, on Sunday and Monday, sees all this of Ziethen, and much more. Sees the vanguard of Daun himself approaching Dippoldiswalde, cannonading his meal-carts as they issue there; on all sides his enemies encompassing him like bees;– and has a sphinx-riddle on his mind, such as soldier seldom had. Shall he manoeuvre himself out, and march away, bread-carts, baggages and all entire? There is still time, and perfect possibility, by Dippoldiswalde there, or by other routes and methods. But again, did not his Majesty expect, do not these words “a bout” still seem to expect, a bit of fighting with somebody or other? Finck was an able soldier, and his skill and courage well known; but probably another kind of courage was wanted this day, of which Finck had not enough. Finck was not king of this matter; Finck was under a King who perhaps misjudged the matter. If Finck saw no method of doing other than hurt and bad service to his King by staying here, Finck should have had the courage to come away, and front the King’s unreasonable anger, expecting redress one day, or never any redress. That was Finck’s duty: but everybody sees how hard it was for flesh and blood.

Finck, truer to the letter than to the spirit, determined to remain. Did, all that Monday, his best to prepare himself; called in his outposts (“Was not I ordered?” thinks Finck, too literally); and sees his multitudes of enemies settle round him;–Daun alone has 27,000 men, who take camp at Dippoldiswalde; and in sum-total they are as 4 to 1 of Finck:–a Finck still resolute of face, though internally his thoughts may be haggard enough. Doubtless he hopes, too, that Friedrich will do something:–unaware that none of his messages reach Friedrich. As for Daun, having seen his people safely encamped here, he returns to Dresden for the night, to see that Friedrich is quiet. Friedrich is quiet enough: Daun, at seven next morning (TUESDAY, 20th), appeared on the ground again; and from all sides Finck is assaulted,–from Daun’s side nearest and soonest, with Daun’s best vigor.

Dippoldiswalde is some seven miles from Maxen. Difficult hill-road all the way: but the steepest, straitest and worst place is at Reinhartsgrimma, the very first Hamlet after you are out of Dippoldiswalde. There is a narrow gullet there, overhung with heights all round. The roads are slippery, glazed with sleet and frost; Cavalry, unroughened, make sad sliding and sprawling; hardly the Infantry are secure on their feet: a terrible business getting masses of artillery-wagons, horse and man, through such a Pass! It is thought, had Finck garnished this Pass of Reinhartsgrimma, with the proper batteries, the proper musketries, Daun never would have got through. Finck had not a gun or a man in it: “Had not I order?” said he,–again too literally. As it was, Daun, sliding and sprawling in the narrow steeps, had difficulties almost too great; and, they say, would have given it up, had it not been that a certain Major urged, “Can be done, Excellenz, and shall!” and that the temper of his soldiers was everywhere excellent. Unfortunate Finck had no artillery to bear on Daun’s transit through the Pass. Nothing but some weak body of hussars and infantry stood looking into it, from the Hill of Hausdorf: even these might have given him some slight hindrance; but these were played upon by endless Pandours, “issuing from a wood near by,” with musketries, and at length with cannon batteries, one and another;–and had to fall back, or to be called back, to Maxen Hill, where the main force is.

In the course of yesterday, by continual reconnoitring, by Austrian deserters, and intense comparison of symptoms, Finck had completely ascertained where the Enemy’s Three Attacks were to be,–“on Maxen, from Dippoldiswalde, Trohnitz, Dohna, simultaneously three attacks,” it appears;–and had with all his skill arranged himself on the Maxen summits to meet these. He stands now elaborately divided into Three groups against those Three simultaneities; forming (sadly wide apart, one would say, for such a force as Finck’s) a very obtuse-angled triangle:–the obtuse vertex of which (if readers care to look on their Map) is Trohnitz, the road Brentano and Sincere are coming. On the base-angles, Maxen and Dohna, Finck expects Daun and the Reich. From Trohnitz to Maxen is near two miles; from Maxen to Dohna above four. At Dohna stands Wunsch against the Reich; Finck himself at Maxen, expecting Daun, as the pith of the whole affair. In this triangular way stands Finck at the topmost heights of the country,–“Maxen highest, but Hausdorf only a little lower,”–and has not thought of disputing the climb upwards. Too literal an eye to his orders: alas, he was not himself king, but only king’s deputy!

The result is, about 11 A.M., as I obscurely gather, Daun has conquered the climb; Daun’s musketries begin to glitter on the top of Hausdorf; and 26 or 32 heavy cannon open their throats there; and the Three Attacks break loose. Finck’s Maxen batteries (scarcely higher than Daun’s, and far inferior in weight) respond with all diligence, the poor regimental fieldpieces helping what they can. Mutual cannonade, very loud for an hour and half; terrific, but doing little mischief; after which Daun’s musketries (the ground now sufficiently clear to Daun), which are the practical thing, begin opening, first from one point, then from another: and there ensues, for five hours coming, at Maxen and at the other two points of Finck’s triangle, such a series of explosive chargings, wheelings, worryings and intricate death- wrestlings, as it would provoke every reader to attempt describing to him. Except indeed he were a soldier, bound to know the defence of posts; in which case I could fairly promise him that there are means of understanding the affair, and that he might find benefit in it. [Tempelhof, iii. 307-317. JOURNAL UND NACHRICHT VON DER GEFANGENNEHMUNG DES FINCK’SCHEN CORPS BEY MAXEN, IM JAHRE 1759 (Seyfarth, Beylagen, ii. 637-654).]

Daun’s Grenadiers, and Infantry generally, are in triumphant spirits; confident of victory, as they may reasonably be. Finck’s people, too, behave well, some of them conspicuously well, though in gloomier mood; and make stubborn fight, successful here and there, but, as a whole, not capable of succeeding. By 3 in the afternoon, the Austrians have forced the Maxen Post; they “enter Maxen with great shoutings;” extrude the obstinate Prussian remnants; and, before long, have the poor Village “on fire in every part.” Finck retreating northward to Schmorsdorf, towards the obtuse angle of his triangle, if haply there may be help in that quarter for him. Daun does not push him much; has Maxen safely burning in every part.

From Schmorsdorf Finck pushes out a Cavalry charge on Brentano. “Could we but repulse Brentano yonder,” thinks he, “I might have those Four Battalions to hand, and try again!” But Brentano makes such cannonading, the Cavalry swerve to a Hollow on their right; then find they have not ground, and retire quite fruitless. Finck’s Cavalry, and the Cavalry generally, with their horses all sliding on the frosty mountain-gnarls, appear to be good for little this day. Brentano, victorious over the Cavalry, comes on with such storm, he sweeps through the obtuse angle, home upon Finck; and sweeps him out of Schmorsdorf Village to Schmorsdorf Hill, there to take refuge, as the night sinks,–and to see himself, if his wild heart will permit him to be candid, a ruined man. Of the Three Attacks, Two have completely succeeded on him; only Wunsch, at Dohna, stands victorious; he has held back the Reich all day, and even chased it home to its posts on the Rothwasser (RED WATER), multitudinous as it was.

Finck’s mood, as the November shadows gathered on him,–the equal heart may at least pity poor Finck! His resolution is fixed: “Cut ourselves through, this night: Dohna is ours: other side that Red Water there are roads;–perish or get through!” And the Generals (who are rallied now “on the Heights of Falkenhain and Bloschwitz,” midway between Maxen and Dohna) get that Order from him. And proceed to arrange for executing it,–though with outlook more and more desperate, as their scouts report that every pass and post on the Red Water is beset by Reichsfolk. “Wunsch, with the Cavalry, he at least may thread his way out, under cloud of night, by the opposite or Daun side,” calculates Finck. And Wunsch sets out accordingly: a very questionable, winding, subterranean march; difficult in the extreme,–the wearied SLIPshod horses going at a snail’s pace; and, in the difficult passes, needing to be dragged through with bridle and even to be left altogether:–in which, withal, it will prove of no use for Wunsch to succeed! Finck’s Generals endeavoring to rank and rearrange through the night, find that their very cartridges are nearly spent, and that of men, such wounding, such deserting has there been, they have, at this time, by precise count, 2,836 rank and file. Evidently desperate.

At daylight, Daun’s cannon beginning again from the Maxen side, Finck sends to capitulate. “Absolute surrender,” answers Daun: “prisoners of war, and you shall keep your private baggage. General Wunsch with the Cavalry, he too must turn back and surrender!” Finck pleaded hard, on this last score: “General Wunsch, as head of the Cavalry, is not under me; is himself chief in that department.” But it was of no use: Wunsch had to return (not quite got through Daun’s Lines, after such a night), and to surrender, like everybody else. Like Eight other Generals; like Wolfersdorf of Torgau, and many a brave Officer and man. Wednesday morning, 21st November, 1769: it is Finck’s fourth day on Maxen; his last in the Prussian Service.

That same Wednesday Afternoon there were ranked in the GROSSE GARTEN at Dresden, of dejected Prussian Prisoners from Maxen, what exact number was never known: the Austrians said 15,000; but nobody well believed them; their last certain instalment being only, in correct numbers, 2,836. Besides the killed, wounded and already captured, many had deserted, many had glided clear off. It is judged that Friedrich lost, by all these causes, about 12,000 men. Gone wholly,–with their equipments and appurtenances wholly, which are not worth counting in comparison. Finck and the other Generals, 8 of them, and 529 Officers,–Finck, Wunsch, Wolfersdorf, Mosel (of the Olmutz Convoy), not to mention others of known worth, this is itself a sore loss to Friedrich, and in present circumstances an irreparable. [Seyfarth, ii. 576; in Helden-Geschichte,
(v. 1115), the Vienna Account.]

The outburst and paroxysm of Gazetteer rumor, which arose in Europe over this, must be left to the imagination; still more the whirlwind of astonishment, grief, remorse and indignation that raged in the heart of Friedrich on first hearing of it. “The Caudine Forks;” “Scene of Pirna over again, in reverse form;” “Is not your King at last over with it?” said and sang multifariously the Gazetteers. As counter-chorus to which, in a certain Royal Heart: “That miserable purblind Finck, unequal to his task;–that overhasty I, who drove him upon it! This disgrace, loss nigh ruinous; in fine, this infernal Campaign (CETTE CAMPAGNE INFEMALE)!” The Anecdote-Books abound in details of Friedrich’s behavior at Wilsdruf that day; mythical all, or in good part, but symbolizing a case that is conceivable to everybody. Or would readers care to glance into the very fact with their own eyes? As happens to be possible.


TO D’ARGENS (Krogis, 15th November, order for Maxen just given). “Yesterday I joined the Army [day before yesterday, but took the field yesterday], and Daun decamped. I have followed him thus far, and will continue it to the frontiers of Bohemia. Our measures are so taken [Finck, to wit], that he will not get out of Saxony without considerable losses. Yesterday cost him 500 men taken at Korgis here. Every movement he makes will cost him as many.” [ OEuvres de Frederic, xix. 101.]

TO VOLTAIRE (Wilsdruf, 17th November). “We are verging on the end of our Campaign: and I will write to you in eight days from Dresden, with more composure and coherency than now.” [Ib. xxiii. 66.]

TO THE SAME (Wilsdruf, 19th November). “The Austrians are packing off to Bohemia,–where, in reprisal for the incendiary operations they have done in my countries, I have burnt them two big magazines. I render the beatified Hero’s retreat as difficult as possible; and I hope he will come upon some bad adventures within a few days.” [ OEuvres de Frederic, xxiii. 66.]

SAME DAY AND PLACE, TO D’ARGENS. A volley of most rough-paced off-hand Rhyming, direct from the heart; “Ode [as he afterwards terms it, or irrepressible extempore LILT] TO FORTUNE:”

“MARQUIS, QUEL CHANGEMENT, what a change! I, a poor heretic creature, never blessed by the Holy Father; indeed, little frequenting Church, nor serving either Baal or the God of Israel; held down these many months, and reported by more than one shaven scoundrel [priest-pamphleteer at Vienna] to be quite extinct, and gone vagabond over the world,–see how capricious Fortune, after all her hundred preferences of my rivals, lifts me with helpful hand from the deep, and packs this Hero of the Hat and Sword,–whom Popes have blessed what they could, and who has walked in Pilgrimage before now [to Marienzell once, I believe, publicly at Vienna],–out of Saxony; panting, harassed goes he, like a stranger dog from some kitchen where the cook had flogged him out!” [Ib. xix. 103-106.] … (A very exultant Lilt, and with a good deal more of the chanticleer in it than we are used to in this King!)


TO D’ARGENS (Wilsdruf, 22d November). “Do with that [some small piece of business] whatever you like, my dear Marquis. I am so stupefied (E’TOURDI) with the misfortune which has befallen General Finck, that I cannot recover from my astonishment. It deranges all my measures; it cuts me to the quick. Ill-luck, which persecutes my old age, has followed me from the Mark [Kunersdorf, in the Mark of Brandenburg] to Saxony. I will still strive what I can. The little ODE I sent you, addressed TO FORTUNE, had been written too soon! One should not sing victory till the battle is over. I am so crushed down by these incessant reverses and disasters, that I wish a thousand times I were dead; and from day to day I grow wearier of dwelling in a body worn out and condemned to suffer. I am writing to you in the first moment of my grief. Astonishment, sorrow, indignation, scorn, all blended together, lacerate my soul. Let us get to the end, then, of this execrable Campaign; I will then write to you what is to become of me; and we will arrange the rest. Pity me;–ad make no noise about me; bad news go fast enough of themselves. Adieu, dear Marquis.” [ OEuvres de Frederic,
xix. 107.]

All this, of course, under such pressing call of actualities, had very soon to transform itself into silence; into new resolution, and determinate despatch of business. But the King retained a bitter memory of it all his days. To Finck he was inexorable:– ordered him, the first thing on his return from Austrian Captivity, Trial by Court-Martial; which (Ziethen presiding, June, 1763) censured Finck in various points, and gave him, in supplement to the Austrian detention, a Year’s Imprisonment in Spandau. No ray of pity visible for him, then or afterwards, in the Royal mind. So that the poor man had to beg his dismissal; get it, and go to Denmark for new promotion and appreciation.–“Far too severe!” grumbled the Opposition voices, with secret counter-severity. And truly it would have been more beautiful to everybody, for the moment, to have made matters soft to poor Finck,–had Friedrich ever gone on that score with his Generals and Delegates; which, though the reverse of a cruel man, he never did. And truly, as we often observe, the Laws of Fact are still severer than Friedrich was:–so that, in the long-run, perhaps it is beautifulest of all for a King, who is just, to be rhadamanthine in important cases.

Exulting Daun, instead of Bohemia for winter-quarters, pushes out now for the prize of Saxony itself. Daun orders Beck to attack suddenly another Outpost of Friedrich’s, which stands rearward of him at Meissen, under a General Dierecke,–the same whom, as Colonel Dierecke, we saw march out of flamy Zittau, summer gone two years. Beck goes in accordingly, 3d December; attacks Dierecke, not by surprise, but with overwhelming superiority; no reinforcement possible: Dierecke is on the wrong side of the Elbe, no retreat or reinforcement for him; has to fight fiercely all day, Meissen Bridge being in a broken state; then, at night, to ship his people across in Elbe boats, which are much delayed by the floating ice, so that daylight found 1,500 of them still on that northern side; all of whom, with General Dierecke himself, were made prisoners by Beck. [Tempelhof, iii. 321: “3d-4th December, 1759.”] A comfortable supplement to Maxen, though not of the same magnificence.

After which, Daun himself issued minatory from the Plauen Chasm; expecting, as all the world did, that Friedrich, who is 36,000 of Unfortunate against, say, 72,000 of Triumphant, will, under penalty, take himself away. But it proved otherwise. “If you beat us, Excellency Feldmarschall, yes; but till then–!” Friedrich draws out in battalia; Leo in wild ragged state and temper, VERSUS Bos in the reverse: “Come on; then!” Rhinoceros Bos, though in a high frame of mind, dare not, on cool survey; but retires behind the Plauen Chasm again. Will at least protect Dresden from recapture; and wait here, in the interim; carting his provision out of Bohemia,–which is a rough business, with Elbe frozen, and the passes in such a choked wintry state. Upon whom Friedrich, too, has to wait under arms, in grim neighborhood, for six weeks to come: such a time as poor young Archenholtz never had before or after. [Archenholtz, ii. 11-13.] It was well beyond New-year’s day before Friedrich could report of himself, and then only in a sense, as will be seen: “We retired to this poor cottage [cottage still standing, in the little Town of Freyberg]; Daun did the like; and this unfortunate Campaign, as all things do, came actually to an end.”

Daun holds Dresden and the Dell of Plauen; but Saxony, to the world’s amazement, he is as far as ever from holding. “Daun’s front is a small arc of a circle, bending round from Dresden to Dippoldiswalde; Friedrich is at Freyberg in a bigger concave arc, concentric to Daun, well overlapping Daun on that southward or landward side, and ready for him, should he stir out; Kesselsdorf is his nearest post to Daun; and the Plauen Chasm for boundary, which was not overpassed by either.” In Dresden, and the patch of hill-country to the southeastward of it by Elbe side, which is instep or glacis of the Pirna rock-country, seventy square miles or so, there rules Daun; and this–with its heights of Gahmig, valuable as a defence for Dresden against Austria, but not otherwise of considerable value–was all that Daun this year, or pretty much in any coming year, could realize of conquest in Saxony.

Fabius Cunctator has not succeeded, as the public expected. In fact, ever since that of Hochkirch and the Papal Hat, he has been a waning man, more and more questionable to the undiscerning public. Maxen was his last gleam upwards; a round of applause rose again on Maxen, feeble in comparison with Hochkirch, but still arguing hope,–which, after this, more and more died out; so that in two years more, poor Madam Daun, going to Imperial Levee, “had her state-carriage half filled with nightcaps, thrown into it by the Vienna people, in token of her husband’s great talent for sleep.” [Archenholtz (Anno 1762, “last Siege of Schweidnitz”).]

Chapter VIII.


Friedrich was very loath to quit the field this Winter. In spite of Maxen and ill-luck and the unfavorablest weather, it still was, for about two months, his fixed purpose to recapture Dresden first, and drive Daun home. “Had I but a 12,000 of Auxiliaries to guard my right flank, while trying it!” said he. Ferdinand magnanimously sent him the Hereditary Prince with 12,000, who stayed above two months; [“Till February 15th;” List of the Regiments (German all), in SEYFARTH, ii. 578 n.] and Friedrich did march about, attempting that way, [ OEuvres de Frederic, v. 32.
Old Newspaper rumors: in Gentleman’s Magazine, italic> xxix. 605, “29th December,” &c.]–pushed forward to Maguire and Dippoldiswalde, looked passionately into Maguire on all sides; but found him, in those frozen chasms, and rock-labyrinths choked with snow, plainly unattackable; him and everybody, in such frost- element;–and renounced the passionate hope.

It was not till the middle of January that Friedrich put his troops into partial cantonments, Head-quarter Freyberg; troops still mainly in the Villages from Wilsdruf and southward, close by their old Camp there. Camp still left standing, guarded by Six Battalions; six after six, alternating week about: one of the grimmest camps in Nature; the canvas roofs grown mere ice-plates, the tents mere sanctuaries of frost:–never did poor young Archenholtz see such industry in dragging wood-fuel, such boiling of biscuits in broken ice, such crowding round the embers to roast one side of you, while the other was freezing. [Archenholtz (UT SUPRA), ii. 11-15.] But Daun’s people, on the opposite side of Plauen Dell, did the like; their tents also were left standing in the frozen state, guarded by alternating battalions, no better off than their Prussian neighbors. This of the Tents, and Six frost- bitten Battalions guarding them, lasted till April. An extraordinary obstinacy on the part both of Daun and of Friedrich; alike jealous of even seeming to yield one inch more of ground.

The Hereditary Prince, with his 12,000, marched home again in February; indeed, ever after the going into cantonments, all use of the Prince and his Force here visibly ceased; and, on the whole, no result whatever followed those strenuous antagonisms, and frozen tents left standing for three months; and things remained practically what they were. So that, as the grand “Peace Negotiations” also came to nothing, we might omit this of Winter- quarters altogether; and go forward to the opening of Campaign Fifth;–were it not that characteristic features do otherwise occur in it, curious little unveilings of the secret hopes and industries of Friedrich:–besides which, there have minor private events fallen out, not without interest to human readers. For whose behoof mainly a loose intercalary Chapter may be thrown together here.


November 21st, the very day while Finck was capitulating in the Hills of Maxen, Duke Ferdinand, busy ever since his Victory at Minden, did, after a difficult Siege of Munster, Siege by Imhof, with Ferdinand protecting him, get Munster into hand again, which was reckoned a fine success to him. Very busy has the Duke been: industriously reaping the fruits of his Victory at Minden; and this, the conclusive rooting out of the French from that Westphalian region, is a very joyful thing; and puts Ferdinand in hopes of driving them over the Mayn altogether. Which some think he would have done; had not he, with magnanimous oblivion of self and wishes, agreed to send the Hereditary Prince and those 12,000 to assist in Friedrich’s affairs, looking upon that as the vital point in these Allied Interests. Friedrich’s attempts, we have said, turned out impossible; nor would the Hereditary Prince and his 12,000, though a good deal talked about in England and elsewhere, [Walpole, George Second, iii. 248 (in a sour
Opposition tone); &c. &c.] require more than mention; were it not that on the road thither, at Fulda (“Fulda is half-way house to Saxony,” thinks Ferdinand, “should Pitt and Britannic Majesty be pleased to consent, as I dare presume they will”), the Hereditary Prince had, in his swift way, done a thing useful for Ferdinand himself, and which caused a great emotion, chiefly of laughter, over the world, in those weeks.

“No Enemy of Friedrich’s,” says my Note, “is of feller humor than the Serenity of Wurtemberg, Karl Eugen, Reigning Duke of that unfortunate Country; for whom, in past days, Friedrich had been so fatherly, and really took such pains. ‘Fatherly? STEP-fatherly, you mean; and for his own vile uses!’ growled the Serenity of Wurtemberg:–always an ominous streak of gloom in that poor man; streak which is spread now to whole skies of boiling darkness, owing to deliriums there have been! Enough, Karl Eugen, after divorcing his poor Wife, had distinguished himself by a zeal without knowledge, beyond almost all the enemies of Friedrich;–and still continues in that bad line of industry. His poor Wife he has made miserable in some measure; also himself; and, in a degree, his poor soldiers and subjects, who are with him by compulsion in this Enterprise. The Wurtembergers are Protestants of old type; and want no fighting against ‘the Protestant Hero,’ but much the reverse! Serene Karl had to shoot a good few of these poor people, before they would march at all; and his procedures were indeed, and continued to be, of a very crying nature, though his poor Populations took them silently. Always something of perverse in this Serene Highness; has it, I think, by kind.

“Besides his quota to the Reich, Karl Eugen has 12,000 more on foot,–and it is of them we are treating at present. In 1757 he had lent these troops to the Empress Queen, for a consideration; it was they that stood on the Austrian left, at Leuthen; and were the first that got beaten, and had to cease standing,–as the Austrians were abundantly loud in proclaiming. To the disgust of Serene Highness: ‘Which of you did stand, then? Was it their blame, led as they were?’ argued he. And next year, 1758, after Crefeld, he took his 12,000 to the French (‘subsidy,’ or consideration, ‘to be paid in SALT,’ it appears [ OEuvres de Frederic,
v. 10.]); with whom they marched about, and did nothing considerable. The Serenity had pleaded, ‘I must command them myself!’ ‘You?’ said Belleisle, and would not hear of it. Next year again, however, that is 1759, the Duke was positive, ‘I must;’ Belleisle not less so, ‘You cannot;’–till Minden fell out; and then, in the wreck of Contades, Belleisle had to consent. Serenity of Wurtemberg, at that late season, took the field accordingly; and Broglio now has him at Fulda, ‘To cut off Ferdinand from Cassel;’ to threaten Ferdinand’s left flank and his provision-carts in that quarter. May really become unpleasant there to Ferdinand;–and ought to be cut out by the Hereditary Prince. ‘To Fulda, then, and cut him out!’

“FULDA, FRIDAY, 30th NOVEMBER, 1759. Serene Highness is lying here for a week past; abundantly strong for the task on hand,–has his own 12,000, supplemented by 1,000 French Light Horse;–but is widely scattered withal, posted in a kind of triangular form; his main posts being Fulda itself, and a couple of others, each thirty miles from Fulda, and five miles from one another,–with ‘patrols to connect them,’ better or worse. Abundantly strong for the task, and in perfect security; and indeed intends this day to ‘fire VICTORIA’ for the Catastrophe at Maxen, and in the evening will give a Ball in farther honor of so salutary an event:–when, about 9 A.M., news arrives at the gallop, ‘Brunswickers in full march; are within an hour of the Town-Bridge!’ Figure to what flurry of Serene Highness; of the victoria-shooting apparatus; of busy man-milliner people, and the Beauty and Fashion of Fulda in general!

“The night before, a rumor of the French Post being driven in by somebody had reached Serene Highness; who gave some vague order, not thinking it of consequence. Here, however, is the Fact come to hand in a most urgent and undeniable manner! Serene Highness gets on horseback; but what can that help? One cannon (has nothing but light cannon) he does plant on the Bridge; but see, here come premonitory bomb-shells one and another, terrifying to the mind;– and a single Hessian dragoon, plunging forward on the one unready cannon, and in the air making horrid circles,–the gunners leave said cannon to him, take to their heels; and the Bridge is open. The rest of the affair can be imagined. Retreat at our swiftest, ‘running fight,’ we would fain call it, by various roads; lost two flags, two cannon; prisoners were above 1,200, many of them Officers. ‘A merciful Providence saved the Duke’s Serene Person from hurt,’ say the Stuttgard Gazetteers: which was true,–Serene Highness having been inspired to gallop instantly to rearward and landward, leaving an order to somebody, ‘Do the best you can!’

“So that the Ball is up; dress-pumps and millineries getting all locked into their drawers again,–with abundance of te-hee-ing (I hope, mostly in a light vein) from the fair creatures disappointed of their dance for this time. Next day Serene Highness drew farther back, and next day again farther,–towards Frankenland and home, as the surest place;–and was no more heard of in those localities.” [Buchholz, ii. 332; Mauvillon, ii. 80;
Helden-Geschichte, v. 1184-1193; Old Newspapers, in Gentleman’s Magazine, xxix. 603.]

Making his first exit, not yet quite his final, from the War- Theatre, amid such tempests of haha-ing and te-hee-ing. With what thoughts in his own lofty opaque mind;–like a crowned mule, of such pace and carriage, who had unexpectedly stepped upon galvanic wires!–

As to those poor Wurtembergers, and their notion of the “Protestant Hero,” I remark farther, that there is a something of real truth in it. Friedrich’s Creed, or Theory of the Universe, differed extremely, in many important points, from that of Dr. Martin Luther: but in the vital all-essential point, what we may call the heart’s core of all Creeds which are human, human and not simious or diabolic, the King and the Doctor were with their whole heart at one: That it is not allowable, that it is dangerous and abominable, to attempt believing what is not true. In that sense, Friedrich, by nature and position, was a Protestant, and even the chief Protestant in the world. What kind of “Hero,” in this big War of his, we are gradually learning;–in which too, if you investigate, there is not wanting something of “PROTESTANT Heroism,” even in the narrow sense. For it does appear,–Maria Theresa having a real fear of God, and poor Louis a real fear of the Devil, whom he may well feel to be getting dangerous purchase over him,–some hope-gleams of acting upon Schism, and so meriting Heaven, did mingle with their high terrestrial combinations, on this unique opportunity, more than are now supposed in careless History-Books.


In the heat of this Campaign, “July 27th,”- some four days after the Battle of Zullichau, just while Friedrich was hurrying off for that Intersection at Sagan, and breathless Hunt of Loudon and Haddick,–poor Maupertuis had quitted this world. July 27th, 1759; at Basel, on the Swiss Borders, in his friend Bernouilli’s house, after long months of sickness painfully spent there. And our poor Perpetual President, at rest now from all his Akakia burns, and pains and labors in flattening the Earth and otherwise, is gone.

Many beautifuler men have gone within the Year, of whom we can say nothing. But this is one whose grandly silent, and then occasionally fulminant procedures, Akakia controversies, Olympian solemnities and flamy pirouettings under the contradiction of sinners, we once saw; and think with a kind of human pathos that we shall see no more. From his goose of an adorer, La Beaumelle, I have riddled out the following particulars, chiefly chronological, –and offer them to susceptible readers. La Beaumelle is, in a sort, to be considered the speaker; or La Beaumelle and this Editor in concert.

FINAL PILGRIMAGE OF THE PERPETUAL PRESIDENT. “Maupertuis had quitted Berlin soon after Voltaire. That threat of visiting Voltaire with pistols,–to be met by ‘my syringe and vessel of dishonor’ on Voltaire’s part,–was his last memorability in Berlin. His last at that time; or indeed altogether, for he saw little of Berlin farther.

“End of April, 1753, he got leave of absence; set out homewards, for recovery of health. Was at Paris through summer and autumn: very taciturn in society; ‘preferred pretty women to any man of science;’ would sententiously say a strong thing now and then, ‘bitter but not without BONHOMIE,’ shaking slightly his yellow wig. Disdainful, to how high a degree, of AKAKIA brabbles, and Voltaire gossip for or against! In winter went to St. Malo; found his good Father gone; but a loving Sister still there.

“June, 1754, the King wrote to him, ‘VENEZ VITE, Come quickly:’ July, 1754, he came accordingly, [ OEuvres de Frederic,
xx. 49.] saw Berlin again; did nothing noticeable there, except get worse in health; and after eleven months, June, 1756, withdrew again on leave,–never to return this time, though he well intended otherwise. But at St. Malo, when, after a month or two of Paris, he got thither (Autumn, 1756), and still more, next summer, 1757, when he thought of leaving St. Malo,–what wars, and rumors of war, all over the world!

“June, 1757, he went to Bordeaux, intending to take ship for Hamburg, and return; but the sea was full of English cruisers [Pitt’s Descents lying in store for St. Malo itself]. No getting to Berlin by the Hamburg or sea route! ‘Never mind, then,’ wrote the King: ‘Improve your health; go to Italy, if you can.’

“Summer, 1757, Maupertuis made for Italy; got as far as Toulouse;– stayed there till May following; sad, tragically stoical; saying, sparingly, and rather to women than men, strong things, admired by the worthier sort. Renounced thoughts of Italy: ‘Europe bleeding, and especially France and Prussia, how go idly touring?’

“May, 1758, Maupertuis left Toulouse: turned towards Berlin; slow, sad, circuitous;–never to arrive. Saw Narbonne, Montpellier, Nimes; with what meditations! At Lyons, under honors sky-high, health getting worse, stays two months; vomits clots of blood there. Thence, July 24th, to Neufchatel and the Lord Marischal; happy there for three months. Hears there of Professor Konig’s death (AKAKIA Konig): ‘One scoundrel less in the world,’ ejaculated he; ‘but what is one!’–October 16th, to the road again, to Basel; stays perforce, in Bernouilli’s house there, all Winter; health falling lower and lower.

“April, 1759, one day he has his carriage at the door (‘Homeward, at all rates!’): but takes violent spasms in the carriage; can’t; can no farther in this world. Lingers here, under kind care, for above three months more: dying slowly, most painfully. With much real stoicism; not without a stiff-jointed algebraic kind of piety, almost pathetic in its sort. ‘Two Capuchins from a neighboring Convent daily gave him consolations,’ not entirely satisfactory; for daily withal, ‘unknown to the Capuchins, he made his Valet, who was a Protestant, read to him from the Geneva Bible;’–and finds many things hard to the human mind. July 27th, 1759, he died.” [La Beaumelle, Vie de Maupertuis,
pp. 196-216.]

Poor Maupertuis; a man of rugged stalwart type; honest; of an ardor, an intelligence, not to be forgotten for La Beaumelle’s pulings over them. A man of good and even of high talent; unlucky in mistaking it for the highest! His poor Wife, a born Borck,–hastening from Berlin, but again and again delayed by industry of kind friends, and at last driving on in spite of everything,–met, in the last miles, his Hearse and Funeral Company. Adieu, a pitying adieu to him forever,–and even to his adoring La Beaumelle, who is rather less a blockhead than he generally seems.

This of the Two Capuchins, the last consummation of collapse in man, is what Voltaire cannot forget, but crows over with his shrillest mockery; and seldom mentions Maupertuis without that last touch to his life-drama.


On the very day of Maxen, Tuesday, November 20th, the grand French Invasion found its terminus,–not on the shores of Britain, but of Brittany, to its surprise. We saw Rodney burn the Flat-bottom manufactory at Havre; Boscawen chase the Toulon Squadron, till it ended on the rocks of Lagos. From January onwards, as was then mentioned, Hawke had been keeping watch, off Brest Harbor, on Admiral Conflans, who presides there over multifarious preparations, with the last Fleet France now has. At Vannes, where Hawke likewise has ships watching, are multifarious preparations; new Flat-bottoms, 18,000 troops,–could Conflans and they only get to sea. At the long last, they did get;–in manner following:–

“November 9th, a wild gale of wind had blown Hawke out of sight; away home to Torbay, for the moment. ‘Now is the time!’ thought Conflans, and put to sea (November 14th); met by Hawke, who had weighed from Torbay to his duty; and who, of course, crowded every sail, after hearing that Conflans was out. At break of day, November 20th [in the very hours when poor Finck was embattling himself round Maxen, and Daun sprawling up upon him through the Passes], Hawke had had signal, ‘A Fleet in sight;’ and soon after, ‘Conflans in sight,’–and the day of trial come.

“Conflans is about the strength of Hawke, and France expects much of him; but he is not expecting Hawke. Conflans is busy, at this moment, in the mouth of Quiberon Bay, opening the road for Vannes and the 18,000;–in hot chase, at the moment, of a Commodore Duff and his small Squadron, who have been keeping watch there, and are now running all they can. On a sudden, to the astonishment of Conflans, this little Squadron whirls round, every ship of it (with a sky-rending cheer, could he hear it), and commences chasing! Conflans, taking survey, sees that it is Hawke; he, sure enough, coming down from windward yonder at his highest speed; and that chasing will not now be one’s business!–

“About 11 A.M. Hawke is here; eight of his vanward ships are sweeping on for action. Conflans, at first, had determined to fight Hawke; and drew up accordingly, and did try a little: but gradually thought better of it; and decided to take shelter in the shoaly coasts and nooks thereabouts, which were unknown to Hawke, and might ruin him if he should pursue, the day being short, and the weather extremely bad. Weather itself almost to be called a storm. ‘Shoreward, then; eastward, every ship!’ became, ultimately, Conflans’s plan. On the whole, it was 2 in the afternoon hefore Hawke, with those vanward Eight, could get clutch of Conflans. And truly he did then strike his claws into him in a thunderously fervid manner, he and all hands, in spite of the roaring weather:– a man of falcon, or accipitral, nature as well as name.

“Conflans himself fought well; as did certain of the others,–all, more or less, so long as their plan continued steady:–thunderous miscellany of cannon and tempest; Conflans with his plan steady, or Conflans with his plan wavering, VERSUS those vanward Eight, for two hours or more. But the scene was too dreadful; this ship sinking, that obliged to strike; things all going awry for Conflans. Hawke, in his own Flagship, bore down specially on Conflans in his,–who did wait, and exchange a couple of broadsides; but then sheered off, finding it so heavy. French Vice- Admiral next likewise gave Hawke a broadside; one only, and sheered off, satisfied with the return. Some Four others, in succession, did the like; ‘One blast, as we hurry by’ (making for the shore, mostly)! So that Hawke seemed swallowed in volcanoes (though, indeed, their firing was very bad, such a flurry among them), and his Blue Flag was invisible for some time, and various ships were hastening to help him,–till a Fifth French ship coming up with her broadside, Hawke answered her in particular (LA SUPERBE, a Seventy- four) with all his guns together; which sent the poor ship to the bottom, in a hideously sudden manner. One other (the THESEE) had already sunk in fighting; two (the SOLEIL and the HEROS) were already running for it,–the HEROS in a very unheroic manner! But on this terrible plunge-home of the SUPERBE, the rest all made for the shore;–and escaped into the rocky intricacies and the darkness. Four of Conflans’s ships were already gone,–struck, sunk, or otherwise extinct,–when darkness fell, and veiled Conflans and his distresses. ‘Country people, to the number of 10,000,’ crowded on the shore, had been seen watching the Battle; and, ‘as sad witnesses of the White Flag’s disgrace,’ disappeared into the interior.” [Beatson, ii. 327-345: and Ib. iii. 244-250. In Gentleman’s Magazine, (xxix. 557),
“A Chaplain’s Letter,” &c.]

It was such a night as men never witnessed before. Walpole says: “The roaring of the elements was redoubled by the thunder from our ships; and both concurred in that scene of horror to put a period to the Navy and hopes of France. Seven ships of the line got into the River Vilaine [lay there fourteen months, under strict watching, till their backs were broken, “thumping against the shallow bottom every tide,” and only “three, with three frigates,” ever got out again]; eight more escaped to different ports,” into –PAGE 371 BOOK XIX—NO OPENING QUOTES FOR THESE CLOSING–^—-

the River Charente ultimately. “Conflans’s own ship and another were run on shore, and burnt. One we took.” Two, with their crews, had gone to the bottom; one under Hawke’s cannon; one partly by its own mismanagement. “Two of ours were lost in the storm [chasing that SOLEIL and HEROS], but the crews saved. Lord Howe, who attacked LA FORMIDABLE, bore down on her with such violence, that her prow forced in his lower tier of guns. Captain Digby, in the DUNKIRK, received the fire of twelve of the enemy’s ships, and lost not a man. Keppel’s was full of water, and he thought it sinking: a sudden squall emptied his ship; but he was informed all his powder was wet; ‘Then,’ said he, ‘I am sorry I am safe.’ They came and told him a small quantity was undamaged; ‘Very well,’ said he; ‘then attack again.’ Not above eight of our ships were engaged in obtaining that decisive victory. The Invasion was heard of no more.” [Walpole, George Second, iii. 232.–
Here is the List, accurately riddled out: 1. FORMIDABLE, struck (about 4 P.M.): 2. THESEE, sunk (by a tumble it made, while in action, under an unskilful Captain): 3. SUPERBE, sunk: 4. HEROS, struck; could not he boarded, such weather; and recommenced next day, but had to run and strand itself, and be burnt by the English;–as did (5.) the SOLEIL ROYAL (Conflans’s Flagship), Conflans and crew (like those of the HEROS) getting out in time.]

Invasion had been fully intended, and even, in these final days, considerably expected. In the old London Newspapers we read this notice: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19th: “To-day there came Three Expresses,”–Three Expresses, with what haste in their eyes, testifying successively of Conflans’s whereabouts. But it was believed that Hawke would still manage. And, at any rate, Pitt wore such a look,–and had, in fact, made such preparation on the coasts, even in failure of Hawke,–there was no alarm anywhere. Indignation rather;–and naturally, when the news did come, what an outburst of Illumination in the windows and the hearts of men!

“Hawke continued watching the mouths of the Vilaine and Charente Rivers for a good while after, and without interruption henceforth, –till the storms of Winter had plainly closed them for one season. Supplies of fresh provisions had come to him from England all Summer; but were stopped latterly by the wild weather. Upon which, in the Fleet, arose this gravely pathetic Stave of Sea-Poetry, with a wrinkle of briny humor grinning in it:–

Till Hawke did bang Monsieur Conflans [CONGFLANG], You sent us beef and beer;
Now Monsieur’s beat, we’ve nought to eat, Since you have nought to fear.” [Beatson, ii. 342 n.]

The French mode of taking this catastrophe was rather peculiar. Hear Barbier, an Eye-witness; dating PARIS, DECEMBER, 1759: “Since the first days of December, there has been cried, and sold in the streets, a Printed Detail of all that concerns the GRAND INVASION projected this long while: to wit, the number of Ships of the Line, of Frigates, Galiots,–among others 500 Flat-bottomed Boats, which are to carry over, and land in England, more than 54,000 men;–with list of the Regiments, and number of the King’s Guards, that are also to go: there are announced for Generals-in- Chief, M. le Prince de Conti [do readers remember him since the Broglio-Maillebois time, and how King Louis prophesied in autograph that he would be “the Grand Conti” one day?]–Prince de Conti, Prince de Soubise [left his Conquest of Frankfurt for this greater Enterprise], and Milord Thomont [Irish Jacobite, whom I don’t know]. As sequel to this Detail, there is a lengthy Song on the DISEMBARKMENT IN ENGLAND, and the fear the English must have of it!” Calculated to astonish the practical forensic mind.

“It is inconceivable”, continues he, “how they have permitted such a Piece to be printed; still more to be cried, and sold price one halfpenny (DEUX LIARDS). This Song is indecent, in the circumstances of the actual news from our Fleet at Brest (20th of last month);–in regard to which bad adventure M. le Marquis de Conflans has come to Versailles, to justify himself, and throw the blame on M. le Marquis de Beauffremont [his Rear-Admiral, now safe in the Charente, with eight of our poor ships]. Such things are the more out of place, as we are in a bad enough position,–no Flat- bottoms stirring from the ports, no Troops of the MAISON DU ROI setting out; and have reason to believe that we are now to make no such attempt.” [Barbier, iv. 336.]

Silhouette, the Controller-General, was thought to have a creative genius in finance: but in the eighth month of his gestation, what phenomena are these? October 26th, there came out Four Decrees of Council, setting forth, That, “as the expenses of the War exceed not only the King’s ordinary revenues, but the extraordinaries he has had to lay on his people, there is nothing for it but,” in fact, Suspension of Payment; actual Temporary Bankruptcy:–“Cannot pay you; part of you not for a year, others of you not till the War end; will give you 5 per cent interest instead.” Coupled with which, by the same creative genius, is a Declaration in the King’s name, “That the King compels nobody, but does invite all and sundry of loyal mind to send their Plate (on loan, of course, and with due receipt for it) to the Mint to be coined, lest Majesty come to have otherwise no money,”–his very valets, as is privately known, having had no wages from him for ten months past.

Whereupon the rich Princes of the Blood, Due d’Orleans foremost, and Official persons, Pompadour, Belleisle, Choiseul, do make an effort; and everybody that has Plate feels uneasily that he cannot use it, and that he ought to send it. And, November 5th, the King’s own Plate, packed ostentatiously in carts, went to the Mint;–the Dauphiness, noble Saxon Lady, had already volunteered with a silver toilet-table of hers, brand-new and of exquisite costly pattern; but the King forbade her. On such examples, everybody had to make an effort, or uneasily try to make one. King Friedrich, eight days after Maxen, is somewhat amused at these proceedings in the distance:–

“The kettles and spoons of the French seem to me a pleasant resource, for carrying on War!” writes he to D’Argens. [“Wilsdruf, 28th November, 1759,” OEuvres de Frederic,
xix. 108.] “A bit of mummery to act on the public feeling, I suppose. The result of it will be small: but as the Belleisle LETTERS [taken in Contades’s baggage, after Minden, and printed by Duke Ferdinand for public edification] make always such an outcry about poverty, those people are trying to impose on their enemies, and persuade them that the carved and chiselled silver of the Kingdom will suffice for making a vigorous Campaign. I see nothing else that can have set them on imagining the farce they are now at. There is Munster taken from them by the English-Hanoverian people; it is affirmed that the French, on the 25th, quitted Giessen, to march on Friedberg and repass the Rhine [might possibly have done so;–but the Hereditary Prince and his 12,000 come to be needed elsewhere!]–Poor we are opposite our enemies here, cantoned in the Villages about; the last truss of straw, the last loaf of bread will decide which of us is to remain in Saxony. And as the Austrians are extremely squeezed together, and can get nothing out of Bohmen,”–one hopes it will not be they!

All through November, this sending of Plate, I never knew with what net-result of moneys coinable, goes on in Paris; till, at the highest tables, there is nothing of silver dishes left;– and a new crockery kind (rather clumsy; “CULS NOIRS,” as we derisively call them, pigment of BOTTOM part being BLACK) has had to be contrived instead. Under what astonishments abroad and at home, and in the latter region under what execrations on Silhouette, may be imagined. “TOUT LE MONDE JURE BEAUCOUP CONTRE M. DE SILHOUETTE, All the world swears much against him,” says Barbier;–but I believe probably he was much to be pitied: “A creative genius, you; and this is what you come to?”

November 22d, the poor man got dismissed; France swearing at him, I know not to what depth; but howling and hissing, evidently, with all its might. The very tailors and milliners took him up,– trousers without pockets, dresses without flounce or fold, which they called A LA SILHOUETTE:–and, to this day, in France and Continental Countries, the old-fashioned Shadow-Profile (mere outline, and vacant black) is practically called a SILHOUETTE. So that the very Dictionaries have him; and, like bad Count Reinhart, or REYNARD, of earlier date, he has become a Noun Appellative, and is immortalized in that way. The first of that considerable Series of Creative Financiers, Abbe Terray and the rest,–brought in successively with blessings, and dismissed with cursings and hissings,–who end in Calonne, Lomenie de Brienne, and what Mirabeau Pere called “the General Overturn (CULBUTE GENERALE).” Thitherward, privately, straight towards the General Overturn, is France bound;–and will arrive in about thirty years.


In this avalanche of impending destructions, what can be more surprising than to hear of the Editing of Poems on his Majesty’s part! Actual publication of that OEuvre de Poesie, for which Voltaire, poor gentleman, suffered such tribulation seven years ago. Now coming out from choice: Reprint of it, not now to the extent of twelve copies for highly special friends, but in copious thousands, for behoof of mankind at large! The thing cost Friedrich very little meditating, and had become necessary,–and to be done with speed.

Readers recollect the OEUVRE DE POESIE, and satirical hits said to be in it. At Paris, about New-year’s time 1760, some helpful Hand had contrived to bring out, under the pretended date “Potsdam,” a cheap edition of that interesting Work. [ “OEuvres du
Philosophe de Sans-Souci:” 1 vol. 12 mo, “Potsdam
[PARIS, in truth], 1760.”] Merely in the way of theft, as appeared to cursory readers, to D’Argens, for example: [His Letter to the King, OEuvres de Frederic, xix. 138.] but, in
deeper fact, for the purpose of apprising certain Crowned Heads, friendly and hostile,–Czarish Majesty and George II. of England the main two,–what this poetizing King was pleased to think of them in his private moments. D’Argens declares himself glad of this theft, so exquisitely clever is the Book. But Friedrich knows better: “March 17th, when a Copy of it came to him,” Friedrich sees well what is meant,–and what he himself has to do in it. He instantly sets about making a few suppressions, changes of phrase; sends the thing to D’Argens: “Publish at once, with a little prefatory word.” And, at the top of his speed, D’Argens has, in three weeks’ time, the suitable AVANT-PROPOS, or AVIS AU LIBRAIRE, “circulating in great quantities, especially in London and Petersburg” (“Thief Editor has omitted; and, what is far more, has malignantly interpolated: here is the poor idle Work itself, not a Counterfeit of it, if anybody care to read it”), and an Orthodox Edition ready. [Came out April 9th [see MITCHELL, ii. 153], and a second finer Edition in June:” in OEuvres de
Frederic, x. p. x, xix. 137 n., 138; especially in PREUSS, i. 467, 468 (if you will compare him with HIMSELF on these different occasions, and patiently wind out his bit of meaning), all manner of minutest details.] The diligent Pirate Booksellers, at Amsterdam, at London, copiously reproduced this authorized Berlin Edition too,–or added excerpts from it to their reprints of the Paris one, by way of various-readings. And everybody read and compared, what nobody will now do; theme, and treatment of theme, being both now so heartily indifferent to us.

Who the Perpetrator of this Parisian maleficence was, remained dark;–and would not be worth inquiring into at all, except for two reasons intrinsically trifling, but not quite without interest to readers of our time. First, that Voltaire, whom some suspected (some, never much Friedrich, that I hear of), appears to have been perfectly innocent;–and indeed had been incapacitated for guilt, by Schmidt and Freytag, and their dreadful Frankfurt procedures! This is reason FIRST; poor Voltaire mutely asking us, Not to load him with more sins than his own. Reason SECOND is, that, by a singular opportunity, there has, in these very months, [Spring, 1863.] a glimmering of light risen on it to this Editor; illustrating two other points as well, which readers here are acquainted with, some time ago, as riddles of the insignificant sort. The DEMON NEWSWRITER, with his “IDEA” of Friedrich, and the “MATINEES DU ROI DE PRUSSE:” readers recollect both those Productions; both enigmatic as to authorship;–but both now become riddles which can more or less be read.

For the surprising circumstance (though in certain periods, when the realm of very Chaos re-emerges, fitfully, into upper sunshine now and then, nothing ought to surprise one as happening there) is, That, only a few months ago, the incomparable MATINEES (known to my readers five years since) has found a new Editor and reviver. Editor illuminated “by the Secretary of the Great Napoleon,” “by discovery of manuscripts,” “by the Duc de Rovigo,” and I know not what; animated also, it is said, by religious views. And, in short, the MATINEES is again abroad upon the world,–“your London Edition twice reprinted in Germany, by the Jesuit party since” (much good may it do the Jesuit party!)–a MATINEES again in comfortable circumstances, as would seem. Probably the longest-eared Platitude now walking the Earth, though there are a good many with ears long. Unconscious, seemingly, that it has been killed thrice and four times already; and that indeed, except in the realm of Nightmare, it never was alive, or needed any killing; belief in it, doubt upon it (I must grieve to inform the Duc de Rovigo and honorable persons concerned), being evidence conclusive that you have not yet the faintest preliminary shadow of correct knowledge about Friedrich or his habits or affairs, and that you ought first to try and acquire some.

To me argument on this subject would have been too unendurable. But argument there was on it, by persons capable and willing, more than one: and in result this surprising brand-new London moon-calf of a MATINEES was smitten through, and slit in pieces, for the fifth time,–as if that could have hurt it much! “MIT DER DUMMHEIT,” sings Schiller; “Human Stupidity is stronger than the very Gods.” However, in the course of these new inspections into matters long since obsolete, there did–what may truly be considered as a kind of profit by this Resuscitating of the moon- calf MATINEES upon afflicted mankind, and is a net outcome from it, real, though very small–some light rise as to the origin and genesis of MATINEES; some twinkles of light, and, in the utterly dark element, did disclose other monstrous extinct shapes looming to right and left of said monster: and, in a word, the Authorship of MATINEES, and not of MATINEES only, becomes now at last faintly visible or guessable. To one of those industrious Matadors, as we may call them, Slayers of this moon-calf for the fourth or fifth time, I owe the following Note; which, on verifying, I can declare to be trustworthy:–

“The Author of MATINEES, it is nearly certain”, says my Correspondent, “is actually a ‘M. de Bonneville,’–contrary to what you wrote five years ago. [A.D. 1858 (SUPRA, v. 165, 166).] Not indeed the Bonneville who is found in Dictionaries, who is visibly impossible; but a Bonneville of the preceding generation, who was Marechal de Saxe’s Adjutant or Secretary, old enough to have been the Uncle or the Father of that revolutionary Bonneville. Marechal de Saxe died November 30th, 1750; this senior Bonneville, still a young man, had been with him to Potsdam on visit there. Bonneville, conscious of genius, and now out of employment, naturally went thither again; lived a good deal there, or went between France and there: and authentic History knows of him, by direct evidence, and by reflex, the following Three Facts (the SECOND of them itself threefold), of which I will distinguish the indubitable from the inferentially credible or as good as certain:–

“1. Indubitable, That Bonneville sold to Friedrich certain Papers, military Plans, or the like, of the late Marechal and was paid for them; but by no means met the recognition his genius saw itself to merit. These things are certain, though not dated, or datable except as of the year 1750 or 1751. After which, for above twenty years, Bonneville entered upon a series of adventures, caliginous, underground, for most part; ‘soldiering in America,’ ‘writing anonymous Pamphlets or Books,’ roaming wide over the world; and led a busy but obscure and uncertain life, hanging by Berlin as a kind of centre, or by Paris and Berlin as his two centres; and had a miscellaneous series of adventures, subterranean many of them, unluminous all of them, not courting the light; which lie now in naturally a very dark condition. Dimly discernible, however, in the general dusk of Bonneville, dim and vague of outline, but definitely steady beyond what could have been expected, it does appear farther,–what alone entitles Bonneville to the least memory here, or anywhere in Nature now or henceforth,–

“2. Inferentially credible, That, shortly after that first rebuff in Potsdam, he, not another, in 1752, was your ‘DEMON NEWSWRITER,’ whom we gazed at, some time since, devoutly crossing ourselves, for a little while!

“Likewise that, in 1759-1760, after or before his American wanderings, he, the same Bonneville, as was suspected at the time, [“Nicolai, Ueber Zimmermanns Fragmente, i.
181, 182, ii. 253, 254. Sketch of what is authentically known about Bonneville: ‘suspected both of MATINEES and of the Stolen EDITION.'”] stole and edited this surreptitious mischief-making OEuvres du Philosophe de Sans-Souci (Paris or
Lyon, pretending to be ‘Potsdam,’ January, 1760),” which we are now considering! “Encouraged, probably enough, by Choiseul himself, who, in any case, is now known to have been the promoter of this fine bit of mischief, [Choiseul’s own Note, “To M. de Malesherbes, DIRECTEUR DE LA LIBRAIRE, 10th December, 1759: ‘By every method screen the King’s Government from being suspected;–and get the Edition out at once.'” (Published in the Constitutionnel,
2d December, 1850, by M. Sainte-Beuve; copied in Preuss, OEuvres de Frederic, xix. 168 n.)]–
and who may thereupon [or may as probably, NOT “thereupon,” if it were of the least consequence to gods or men] have opened to Bonneville a new military career in America? Career which led to as good as nothing; French soldiering in America being done for, in the course of 1760. Upon which Bonneville would return to his old haunts, to his old subterranean industries in Paris and Berlin.

“And that, finally, in 1765, he, as was again suspected at the time, [“Nicolai, Ueber Zimmermanns Fragmente, i. 181, 182, ii. 253, 254. Sketch of what is authentically known about Bonneville: ‘suspected both of MATINEES and of the Stolen EDITION.'”] he and no other, did write those MATINEES, which appeared next year in print (1766), and many times since; and have just been reprinted, as a surprising new discovery, at London, in Spring, 1863.

“3. Again indubitable, That either after or before those Editorial exploits, Bonneville had sold the Marechal de Saxe’s Plans and Papers, which were already the King’s, to some second person, and been a second time paid for them. And was, in regard to this Swindling exploit, found out; and by reason of that sale, or for what reason is not known, was put into Spandau, and, one hopes, ended his life there.” [“Nicolai, UBI SUPRA;–and besides him, only the two following references, out of half a cart-load: 1. Bachaumont, MEMOIRES SECRETES, ‘7th February, 1765’ (see Barbier, Dictionnaire des Anonymes, §
Matinees), who calls MATINEES ‘a development of the IDEE DE LA PERSONNE,’ &c. (that is, of your ‘DEMON NEWSWRITER;’ already known to Bachaumont, this ‘IDEE,’ it seems, as well as the MATINEES in Manuscript). 2. LETTER of Grimm to Duchess of Sachsen-Gotha [OUR Duchess], dated ‘Paris, 15th April, 1765:’ not in printed
Correspondance de Grimm, but still in the Archives of Gotha, in company with a MS. of MATINEES, probably the oldest extant (see,–in the GRENZBOTEN Periodical, Leipzig, 1863, pp. 473-484, 500-519,–K. SAMWER, who is Chief MALLEUS of this new London moon-calf, and will inform the curious of every particular).”

MATINEES was first printed 1766 (no place), and seven or eight times since, in different Countries; twice or thrice over, as “an interesting new discovery:”–very wearisome to this Editor; who read MATINEES (in poor LONDON print, that too) many years ago,– with complete satisfaction as to Matinees, and sincere wish not to touch it again even with a pair of tongs;–and has since had three “priceless MSS. of it” offered him, at low rates, as a guerdon to merit.]

Fact No. 2, which alone concerns us here,–and which, in its three successive stages, does curiously cohere with itself and with other things,–comes, therefore, not by direct light, which indeed, by the nature of the case, would be impossible. Not by direct light, but by various reflex lights, and convergence of probabilities old and new, which become the stronger the better they are examined; and may be considered as amounting to what is called a moral certainty,–“certain” enough for an inquiry of that significance. To a kind of moral certainty: kind of moral consolation too; only One individual of Adam’s Posterity, not Three or more, having been needed in these multifarious acts of scoundrelism; and that One receiving payment, or part payment, so prompt and appropriate, in the shape of a permanent cannon-ball at his ankle.

This is the one profit my readers or I have yet derived from the late miraculous Resuscitation of MATINEES ROYALES; the other items of profit in that Enterprise shall belong, not to us in the least measure, but to Bonneville, and to his well or ill disposed Coadjutors and Copartners in the Adventure. Adieu to it, aud to him and to them, forever and a day!


This Winter there was talk of Peace, more specifically than ever. November 15th, at the Hague, as a neutral place, there had been, by the two Majesties, Britannic and Prussian, official DECLARATION, “We, for our part, deeply lament these horrors, and are ready to treat of Peace.” This Declaration was presented November 15th, 1759, by Prince Ludwig of Brunswick (Head General of the Dutch, and a Brother of Prince Ferdinand our General’s, suitable for such case), to the Austrian-French Excellencies at the Hague. By whom it had been received with the due politeness, “Will give it our profoundest consideration;” [DECLARATION (by the two Majesties) that they are ready to treat of Peace, 15th November, 1759, presented by, &c. (as above); ANSWER from France, in stingy terms, and not till 3d April, 1760: are in London Gazette;
in Gentleman’s Magazine, xxix.
603, xxx. 188; in &c. &c.]–which indeed the French, for some time, privately did; though the Austrians privately had no need to do so, being already fixed for a negative response to the proposal. But hereby rose actual talk of a “Congress;” and wagging of Diplomatic wigs as to where it shall be. “In Breda,” said some; “Breda a place used to Congresses.” “Why not in Nanci here?” said poor old Ex-Polish Stanislaus, alive to the calls of benevolence, poor old Titular soul. Others said “Leipzig;” others “Augsburg;”– and indeed in Augsburg, according to the Gazetteers, at one time, there were “upholsterers busy getting ready the apartments.” So that, with such rumor in the Diplomatic circles, the Gazetteer and outer world was full of speculation upon Peace; and Friedrich had lively hopes of it, and had been hoping three months before, as we transiently saw, though again it came to nothing. All to nothing; and is not, in itself, worth the least attention from us here,–a poor extinct fact, loud in those months and filling the whole world, now silent and extinct to everybody,–except, indeed, that it offers physiognomic traits here and there of a certain King, and of those about him. For which reason we will dwell on it a few minutes longer.

Nobody, in that Winter 1759-1760, could guess where, or from whom, this big world-interesting Peace-Negotiation had its birth; as everybody now can, when nobody now is curious on the question! At Sagan, in September last, we all saw the small private source of it, its first outspurt into daylight; and read Friedrich’s ANSWERS to Voltaire and the noble Duchess on it:–for the sake of which Two private Correspondents, and of Friedrich’s relation to them, possibly a few more Excerpts may still have a kind of interest, now when the thing corresponded on has ceased to have any. To the Duchess, a noble-minded Lady, beautifully zealous to help if she could, by whose hand these multifarious Peace-Papers have to pass, this is always Friedrich’s fine style in transmitting them. Out of many specimens, following that of Sagan which we gave, here are the Next Three:–

FRIEDRICH TO THE DUCHESS OF SACHSEN-GOTHA (Three other Letters on the “Peace”).

“WILSDRUF, 21st November, 1759 [day after Maxen, SURRENDER was THIS morning–of which he has not heard].

“MADAM,–Nothing but your generosities and your indulgence could justify my incongruity [INCONGRUITE, in troubling you with the Enclosed]. You will have it, Madam, that I shall still farther abuse those bounties, which are so precious to me: at least remember that it is by your order, if I forward through your hand this Letter, which does not merit such honor.

“Chance, which so insolently mocks the projects of men, and delights to build up and then pull down, has led us about, thus far,–to the end of the Campaign [not quite ended yet, if we knew]. The Austrians are girt in by the Elbe on this side; I have had two important Magazines of theirs in Bohemia destroyed [Kleist’s doing]. There have been some bits of fighting (AFFAIRES), that have turned entirely to our advantage:–so that I am in hopes of forcing M. Daun to repass the Elbe, to abandon Dresden, and to take the road for Zittau and Bohemia.

“I talk to you, Madam, of what I am surrounded with; of what, being in your neighborhood, may perhaps have gained your attention. I could go to much greater length, if my heart dared to explain itself on the sentiments of admiration, gratitude and esteem, with which I am,–Madam my Cousin,–Your most faithful Cousin, Friend and Servant,–F.”


“FREYBERG, 18th December, 1759.

“MADAM,–You spoil me so by your indulgence, you so accustom me to have obligations to you, that I reproach myself a hundred times with this presumption. Certainly I should not continue to enclose these Letters to your care, had not I the hope that perhaps the Correspondence may be of some use to England, and even to Europe,– for without doubt Peace is the desirable, the natural and happy state for all Nations. It is to accelerate Peace, Madam, that I abuse your generosities. This motive excuses me to myself for the incongruity of my procedures.

“The goodness you have to take interest in my situation obliges me to give you some account of it. We have undergone all sorts of misfortune here [Maxen, what not], at the moment we were least expecting them. Nevertheless, there remains to us courage and hope; here are Auxiliaries [Hereditary Prince and 12,000] on the point of arriving; there is reason to think that the end of our Campaign will be less frightful than seemed likely three weeks ago. May you, Madam, enjoy all the happiness that I wish you. May all the world become acquainted with your virtues, imitate them, and admire you as I do. May you be persuaded that …–F.”


“FREYBERG, 16th February, 1760.

“MADAM,–It is to my great regret that I importune Your Highness so often with my Letters. Your bounties, Madam, have spoiled me;–it will teach you to be more chary of them to others. I regard you as an estimable Friend, to whose friendship I have recourse in straits. The question is still Peace, Madam; and were not the object of my importunities so beautiful, Madam, I should be inexcusable.”–Goes then into practical considerations, about “Cocceji” (King’s Aide-de-Camp, once Keith’s, who carries this Letter), about a “Herr von Edelsheim,” a “Bailli de Froulay”, and the possible “Conditions of Peace,”–not of consequence to us just now. [ OEuvres de Frederic, xviii. 174, 173,
172. Correspondence on this subject lasts from 22d September, 1759, to 8th May, 1760: IB. pp. 170-186. In that final Letter of 8th May is the phrase, hardly worth restoring to its real ownership, though the context considerably redeems it there,–“the prejudice I can’t get rid of, that, in war, DIEU EST POUR LES GROS ESCADRONS.”]

As to Voltaire again, and the new Friedrich-Voltaire Style of Correspondence, something more of detail will be requisite. Ever since the black days of 1757, when poor Wilhelmina, with Rossbach and Leuthen still hidden from her in a future gloomy as death, desperately brought Voltaire to bear upon Cardinal Tencin in this matter, without success, there has been a kind of regular corresponding between Voltaire and Friedrich; characteristic on both sides. A pair of Lovers hopelessly estranged and divorced; and yet, in a sense, unique and priceless to one another. The Past, full of heavenly radiances, which issued, alas, in flames and sooty conflagrations as of Erebus,–let us forget it, and be taught by it! The Past is painful, and has been too didactic to some of us: but here still is the Present with its Future; better than blank nothing. Pleasant to hear the sound of that divine voice of my loved one, were it only in commonplace remarks on the weather,– perhaps intermixed with secret gibings on myself:–let us hear it while we can, amid those world-wide crashing discords and piping whirlwinds of war.

Friedrich sends his new Verses or light Proses, which he is ever and anon throwing off; Voltaire sends his, mostly in print, and of more elaborate turn: they talk on matters that are passing round them, round this King, the centre of them,–Friedrich usually in a rather swaggering way (lest his Correspondent think of blabbing), and always with something of banter audible in him;–as has Voltaire too, but in a finer TREBLE tone, being always female in this pretty duet of parted lovers. It rarely comes to any scolding between them; but there is or can be nothing of cordiality. Nothing, except in the mutual admiration, which one perceives to be sincere on both sides; and also, in the mutual practical estrangement: “Nothing more of you,–especially of YOU, Madam,–as a practical domestic article!”

After long reading, with Historical views, in this final section of the Friedrich-Voltaire Correspondence, at first so barren otherwise and of little entertainment, one finds that this too, when once you CAN “read” it (that is to say, when the scene and its details are visible to you), becomes highly dramatic, Shakspearean-comic or more, for this is Nature’s self, who far excels even Shakspeare;– and that the inextricably dark condition of these Letters is a real loss to the ingenuous reader, and especially to the student of Friedrich. Among the frequently recurring topics, one that oftenest turns up on Voltaire’s side is that of Peace: Oh, if your Majesty would but make Peace! Does it depend on me? thinks Friedrich always; and is, at last, once provoked to say so:–


“REICH-HENNERSDORF, 2d July, 1759,
[shortly before Schmottseifen, while waiting Daun’s slow movements].

“Asking ME for Peace: there is a bitter joke!–[In verse, this; flings off a handful of crackers on the BIEN-AIME, whose Chamberlain you are, on the HONGROISE QUI’IL ADORE, on the Russian QUE J’ABHORRE;–then continues in prose]:

“It is to him,” the Well-beloved Louis, “that you must address yourself, or to his Amboise in Petticoats [his Pompadour, acting the Cardinal-Premier on this occasion]. But these people have their heads filled with ambitious projects: these people are the difficulty; they wish to be the sovereign arbiters of sovereigns;– and that is what persons of my way of thinking will by no means put up with. I love Peace quite as much as you could wish; but I want it good, solid and honorable. Socrates or Plato would have thought as I do on this subject, had they found themselves placed in the accursed position which is now mine in the world.

“Think you there is any pleasure in leading this dog of a life [CHIENNE, she-dog]? In seeing and causing the butchery of people you know nothing of; in losing daily those you do know and love; in seeing perpetually your reputation exposed to the caprices of chance; in passing year after year in disquietudes and apprehensions; in risking, without end, your life and your fortune?

“I know right well the value of tranquillity, the sweets of society, the charms of life; and I love to be happy, as much as anybody whatever. But much as I desire these blessings, I will not purchase them by basenesses and infamies. Philosophy enjoins us to do our duty; faithfully to serve our Country, at the price of our blood, of our repose, and of every sacrifice that can be required of us. The illustrious ZADIG went through a good many adventures which were not to his taste, CANDIDE the like; and nevertheless took their misfortune in patience. What finer example to follow than that of those heroes?

“Take my word, our ‘curt jackets,’ as you call them [HABITS ECOURTES, peculiar to the Prussian soldier at that time], are as good as your red heels, as the Hungarian pelisses, and the green frocks of the Roxelans [Russians]. We are actually on the heels of the latter [at least poor Dohna is, and poor Dictator Wedell will be, not with the effect anticipated!]–who by their stupidities give us fine chance. You will see I shall get out of the scrape this Year too, and deliver myself both from the Greens and the Dirty-Whites [Austrian color of coat]. My neighbor of the Sacred Hat,–I think, in spite of Holy Father’s benediction, the Holy Ghost must have inspired him the reverse way; he seems to have a great deal of lead in his bottom. … F.” [ OEuvres de
Frederic, xxiii. 53.]


“THE DELICES,” guessed to be some time in “August, 1759.”

“In whatever state you are, it is very certain that you are a great man. It is not to weary your Majesty that I now write; it is to confess myself,–on condition you will give me absolution! I have betrayed you; that is the fact”–(really guilty this time, and HAVE shown something of your writing; as your Majesty, oh how unjustly, is often suspecting that I do, and with mischievous intention, instead of good, ah, Sire!)–In fact, I have received that fine “MARCUS-AURELIUS” Letter (Letter we have just read); exquisite Piece, though with biting “JUVENAL” qualities in it too; and have shown it, keeping back the biting parts, to a beautiful gillflirt of the Court, MINAUDIERE (who seems to be a Mistress of Choiseul’s), who is here attending Tissot for her health: MINAUDIERE charmed with it; insists on my sending to Choiseul, “He admires the King of Prussia, as he does all nobleness and genius; send it!” And I did so;–and look here, what an Answer from Choiseul (Answer lost): and may it not have a fine effect, and perhaps bring Peace–Oh, forgive me, Sire. But read that Note of the great man. “Try if you can decipher his writing. One may have very honest sentiments, and a great deal of ESPRIT, and yet write like a cat. …

“Sire, there was once a lion and a mouse (RAT); the mouse fell in love with the lion, and went to pay him court. The lion, tired of it, gave him a little scrape with his paw. The mouse withdrew into his mouse-hole (SOURICIERE); but he still loved the lion; and seeing one day a net they were spreading out to catch the lion and kill him, he gnawed asunder one mesh of it. Sire, the mouse kisses very humbly your beautiful claws, in all submissiveness:–he will never die between two Capuchins, as, at Bale, the mastiff (DOGUE) of St. Malo has done [27th July last]. He would have wished to die beside his lion. Believe that the mouse was more attached than the mastiff.”–V. [ OEuvres de Frederic,
xxiii. 59, 60.]

To which we saw the Answer, pair of Answers, at Sagan, in September last. This Note from Choiseul, conveyed by Voltaire, appears to have been the trifling well-spring from which all those wide-spread waters of Negotiation flowed. Pitt, when applied to, on the strength of Friedrich’s hopes from this small Document of Choiseul’s, was of course ready, “How welcome every chance of a just Peace!” and agreed to the Joint Declaration at the Hague; and took what farther trouble I know not,–probably less sanguine of success than Friedrich. Friedrich was ardently industrious in the affair; had a great deal of devising and directing on it, a great deal of corresponding with Voltaire and the Duchess, only small fractions of which are now left. He searched out, or the Duchess of Sachsen-Gotha did it for him, a proper Secret Messenger for Paris: Secret Messenger, one Baron von Edelsheim, properly veiled, was to consult a certain Bailli de Froulay, a friend of Friedrich’s in Paris;–which loyal-hearted Bailli did accordingly endeavor there; but made out nothing. Only much vague talking; part of it, or most of it, subdolous on Choiseul’s side. Pitt would hear of no Peace which did not include Prussia as well as England: some said this was the cause of failure;–the real cause was that Choiseul never had any serious intention of succeeding. Light Choiseul, a clever man, but an unwise, of the sort called “dashing,” had entertained the matter merely in the optative form, –and when it came nearer, wished to use it for making mischief between Pitt and Friedrich, and for worming out Edelsheim’s secrets, if he had any,–for which reason he finally threw Edelsheim into the Bastille for a few days. [ OEuvres de
Frederic, v. 38-41, detailed account of the Affair.]

About the end of March I guess it to have been that Choiseul, by way of worming out poor Edelsheim’s secrets, flung him into the Bastille for a day or two. Already in December foregoing, we have seen Choiseul’s Black-Artist busy upon the Stolen EDITION of Friedrich’s Verses. A Choiseul full of intrigues; adroit enough, ambitious enough; restlessly industrious in making mischief, if there were nothing else to be made; who greatly disgusted Friedrich, now and afterwards.

And this was what the grand Voltaire Pacification came to, though it filled the world with temporary noise, and was so interesting to Voltaire and another. What a heart-affecting generosity, humility and dulcet pathos in that of the poor Mouse gnawing asunder a mesh of the Lion’s net! There is a good deal of that throughout, on the Voltaire side,–that is to say, while writing to Friedrich. But while writing of him, to third parties, sometimes almost simultaneously, the contrast of styles is not a little startling; and the beautiful affectionately chirping Mouse is seen suddenly to be an injured Wild-cat with its fur up. All readers of Voltaire are aware of this; and how Voltaire handles his “LUC” (mysterious nickname for KING FRIEDRICH ), when Luc’s back is turned. For alas, there is no man or thing but has its wrong side too; least of all, a Voltaire,–doing TREBLE voice withal, if you consider it, in such a Duet of estranged Lovers! Suppose we give these few Specimens,– treble mostly, and a few of bass as well,–to illustrate the nature of this Duet, and of the noises that went on round it, in a war- convulsed world? And first of all, concerning the enigma “What is Luc?”

What the LUC in Voltaire is? Shocking explanations have been hit upon: but Wagniere (WAGNER, an intelligent Swiss man), Voltaire’s old Secretary, gives this plain reading of the riddle: “M. de Voltaire had, at The Delices [near by Ferney, till the Chateau got built], a big Ape, of excessively mischievous turn; who used to throw stones at the passers-by, and sometimes would attack with its teeth friend or foe alike. One day it thrice over bit M. de Voltaire’s own leg. He had called it LUC (Luke); and in conversation with select friends, as also in Letters to such, he sometimes designated the King of Prussia by that nickname: ‘HE is like my Luc here; bites whoever caresses him!’–In 1756 M. de Voltaire, having still on his heart the Frankfurt Outrage, wrote curious MEMOIRES [ah, yes, VIE PRIVEE]; and afterwards wished to burn them; but a Copy had been stolen from him in 1768,”–and they still afflict the poor world.

To the same effect speaks Johannes von Muller: “Voltaire had an Ape called Luc; and the spiteful man, in thus naming the King, meant to stigmatize him as the mere APE of greater men; as one without any greatness of his own.”–No; LUC was mischievous, flung stones after passengers; had, according to Clogenson, “bitten Voltaire himself, while being caressed by him;” that was the analogy in Voltaire’s mind. Preuss says, this Nickname first occurs “12th December, 1757.” Suppose 11th December to have been the day of getting one’s leg bitten thrice over; and that, in bed next morning,–stiff, smarting, fretful against the sad ape-tricks and offences of this life,–before getting up to one’s Works and Correspondences, the angry similitude had shot, slightly fulgurous and consolatory, athwart the gloom of one’s mood? [Longchamp et Wagniere
Memoires, i. 34; Johannes von Muller, Works
(12mo, Stuttgard, 1821), xxxi. 140 (LETTERS TO HIS BROTHER, No, 218, “July, 1796”); Clogenson’s Note, in
OEuvres de Voltaire, lxxvii. 103; Preuss, ii. 71.] That will account for Luc.

Many of the Voltaire-Friedrich LETTERS are lost; and the remainder lie in sad disorder in all the Editions, their sequence unintelligible without lengthy explanation. So that the following Snatches cannot well be arranged here in the way of Choral Strophe and Antistrophe, as would have been desirable. We shall have to group them loosely under heads; with less respect to date than to subject-matter, and to the reader’s convenience for understanding them.


TO D’ARGENTAL (Has not yet heard of LEUTHEN, which happened five days before). … “I have tasted the vengeance of consoling the King of Prussia, and that is enough for me. He goes beating on the one side, and getting beaten on the other: except for another miracle [like Rossbach], he will be ruined. Better have really been a philosopher, as he pretended to be.” [ OEuvres de
Voltaire, lxvii. 139 (“The Delices, 10th December, 1757”).]

TO THE REVEREND COMTE DE BERNIS (outwardly still our flourishing Prime-Minister, by grace of Pompadour, but soon to be extinguished under a Red Hat. Date is six days before ZORNDORF). … “I cannot imagine how some people have gone into suspecting that my heart might have the weakness to lean a little towards WHOM you know, towards my Ingrate that was! One is bound to have politeness; but one has memory as well;–and one is attached, as warmly as superfluously, to the Good Cause, which it belongs only to you to defend. Certain it is, poor I am not like the three-fourths of the Germans in these days [since ROSSBACH, above all]! I have everywhere seen Ladies’-fans with the Prussian Eagle painted on them, eating the FLEUR-DE-LIS; the Hanover Horse giving a kick to M. de Richelieu’s bottom; a Courier carrying a bottle of Queen-of- Hungary Water to Madame de Pompadour. My Nieces shall certainly not have that fashion of Fans, at my poor little DELICES, whither I am just returning.” [Ib. lxxvii. 35 (“Soleure, 19th August, 1758”).]

TO MADAME D’ARGENTAL (on occasion of MINDEN: Kunersdorf three days ago, but not yet heard of). … “Truly, Madame, when M. de Contades leads to the butchery all the descendants of our ancient chevaliers, and sets them to attack eighty pieces of cannon [not in the least, if you knew it; the reverse, if you knew it],–as Don Quixote did the windmills! This horrible day pierces my soul. I am French to excess, especially since those new favors [not worth mentioning here], which I owe to my divine Angels and to M. le Duc de Choiseul.

“Luc–you know who Luc is [as do we]–is probably giving Battle to the Austrians and Russians [KUNERSDORF, 12th; three days ago, did it, and was beaten to your mind], at the moment while I have the honor of writing to you; at least, he told me such was his Royal intention. If they beat him, as may happen, what a shame for us to have been beaten by the Duke of Brunswick! I wish you knew this Duke [as I have done; a Duke of no ESPRIT, no gift of tongue, in fact no talent at all that I could discern], you would be much astonished; and would say, ‘The people whom he beats must be great blockheads.’ The truth of the fact is, that all these troops are better disciplined than ours:” [ OEuvres de Voltaire, italic> lxxviii, 186, 187 (“Delices, 15th August, 1759”).]–Yes indeed, my esteemed Voltaire; and also, perhaps, that ESPRIT, or gift of tongue, is not the sole gift for Battles and Campaigns?–

TO D’ARGENTAL (seventh day after KUNERSDORF: “mouse upon lion’s net” nearly contemporaneous). “At last, then, I think my Russians must be near Great Glogau [might have been, one thinks, after such a Kunersdorf; did not start for a month yet; never could get very near at all]. Who would have thought that Barberina [Mackenzie’s Dancer once; sent to Glogau, Cocceji and she, when their marriage became public} was going to be besieged by the Russians, and in Glogau: O Destiny!–

“I don’t love Luc, far from it: I never will pardon him his infamous procedure with my Niece [at Frankfurt that time]; nor the face he has to write me flattering things twice a month; without having ever repaired his wrongs. I desire much his entire humiliation, the chastisement of the sinner; whether his eternal damnation. I don’t quite know.” [Ib. lxxviii. 195 (“19th August, 1759”).] (Hear, hear!)

TO THE SAME (a month after MAXEN: “Peace” Negotiation very lively). … “Meanwhile, if Luc could be punished before this happy Peace! If, by this last stroke of General Beck [tussle with Dierecke at Meissen, 4th December, capture of Dierecke and 1,500; stroke not of an overwhelming nature, but let us be thankful for our mercies], which has opened the road from the Lausitz to Berlin [alas, not in the least], some Haddick could pay Berlin a visit again! You see, in Tragedy I wish always to have crime punished.

“There is talk of a great Battle fought the 6th [not a word of truth in it] between Luc and him of the Consecrated Hat: said to have been very murderous. I interest myself very much in this Piece” now playing under the Sun. “Whenever the Austrians have any advantage, Kaunitz says to Madame de Bentinck [litigant wandering Lady, known to me at Berlin and elsewhere], ‘Write that to our Friend Voltaire.’ Whenever Luc has the least success, he tells me, ‘I have battered the oppressors of mankind. Dear Angel, in these horrors I am the only one that has room to laugh:–and yet I don’t laugh either; owing to the CULS-NOIRS [base crockery; one’s Dinner Plate all vanished [Supra, p. 374.]], to the Annuities, Lotteries, and to Pondicherry,–for I am always afraid about that latter!” (Going, that, for certain; going, gone, and your East Indies along with it!) [ OEuvres de Voltaire, lxxviii. 346
(“22d December, 1759”).]

TO PERPETUAL SECRETARY FORMEY (in forwarding a “Letter left with me”). “Health and peace, Monsieur; and be SECRETAIRE ETERNEL. Your King is always a man unique, astonishing, inimitable. He makes charming verses, in times when another could not write a line of prose; he deserves to be happy: but will he be so? And if not, what becomes of you? For my own part, I will not die between two Capuchins. Hardly worth while, exalting one’s soul for such a future as that. What a stupid and detestable farce this world is!” [Ib. lxxviii. 348 (from SOUVENIRS D’UN CITOYEN, i. 302), “11th January 1760.”]

TO D’ARGENTAL (“Peace” Negotiations still at their briskest), … “But, my dear Angel, you will see on Tuesday the great man who has turned my head (DONT JE SUIS FOU), M. le Duc de Choiseul. The Letters he honors me with enchant me. God will bless him, don’t doubt it,”–after all! “We have at Pondicherry a Lally, a devil of an Irish spirit,–who will cost me, sooner or later, above 20,000 livres annually [have rents in our INDIA COMPANY, say 1,000 pounds a year, as my Angels know], which used to be the readiest item of my Pittance. But M. le Duc de Choiseul will triumph over Luc in one way or other; then what joy! I suppose he shows you my impertinent reveries. Do you know, Luc is so mad, that I don’t despair of bringing him to reason [persuading him to give up Cleve, and knuckle as he should, in this Peace Affair]. That were what I should call the true Comedy! I should like to have your advices on the conduct of that Dramatic Piece.” [ OEuvres de Voltaire,
lxxviii. 375 (“Delices, 15th February, 1760”).]

The late “mouse” gnawing its mesh of net, what a subtle and mighty hunter has it grown! This of Cleve, however, and of knuckling, would not do. Hear the stiff Answer that comes: “‘Conditions of Peace,’ do you call them? The people that propose such can have no wish to see Peace. What a logic theirs! ‘I might yield the Country of Cleve, because the inhabitants are stupid’! What would your Ministers say if one required the Province of Champagne from them, because the Proverb says, Ninety-nine sheep and one Champagner make a Hundred head of cattle?” [Friedrich to Voltaire, “Freyberg, 3d April, 1760:” OEuvres de Frederic, xxiii.
73, 74.]


AGAIN TO D’ARGENTAL (three or four months after; Luc having proved obstinate, and still unsuccessful). … “I conjure you make use of all your eloquence to tell him [the supreme Duc de Choiseul], that if Luc misgo, it will be no misfortune to France. That Brandenburg will always remain an Electorate; that it is good there be no Elector in it strong enough to do without the protection of our King; and that all the Princes of the Empire will always have recourse to that august protection (Most Christian Majesty’s] CONTRA L’AQUILA GRIFAGNA,–were the Prussian Kingship but abolished. Nota bene, if Luc were discomfited this Year, we should have Peace next Winter.” [ OEuvres de Voltaire, italic> lxxix. 110 (“July, 1760”).]

TO SUPREME CHOISEUL (a year later). … “He has been a bad man, this Luc; and now, if one were to bet,–by the law of probability it would be 3 to 1 that Lnc will go to pot (SERA PERDU), with his rhymings and his banterings, and his injustices and politics, all