Read Chapter II. - BATTLE OF PRAG. of History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia (Vol. XVIII.) (Seven-Years War Rises to a Height.-1757-1759.), free online book, by Thomas Carlyle, on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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