Read Chapter V. - FRIEDRICH AT LEITMERITZ, HIS WORLD OF ENEMIES COMING ON. 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

Of Friedrich’s night-thoughts at Nimburg; how he slept, and what his dreams were, we have no account.  Seldom did a wearied heart sink down into oblivion on such terms.  By narrow miss, the game gone; and with such results ahead.  It was a right valiant plunge this that he made, with all his strength and all his skill, home upon the heart of his chief enemy.  To quench his chief enemy before another came up:  it was a valiant plan, and valiantly executed; and it has failed.  To dictate peace from the walls of Vienna:  that lay on the cards for him this morning; and at night ?  Kolin is lost, the fruit of Prag Victory too is lost; and Schwerin and new tens of thousands, unreplaceable for worth in this world, are lost; much is lost!  Courage, your Majesty, all is not lost, you not, and honor not.

To the young Graf von Anhalt, on the road to Nimburg, he is recorded to have said, “Don’t you know, then, that every man must have his reverses (MAIS NE SAVEZ-VOUS DONC PAS QUE CHAQUE HOMME DOIT AVOIR SES REVERS)?  It appears I am to have mine.” [Rodenbeck, .] And more vaguely, in the Anecdote-Books, is mention of some stanch ruggedly pious old Dragoon, who brought, in his steel cap, from some fine-flowing well he had discovered, a draught of pure water to the King; old Mother Earth’s own gift, through her rugged Dragoon, exquisite refection to the thirsty wearied soul; and spoke, in his Dragoon dialect, - “Never mind, your Majesty!  DER ALLMACHTIGE and we; It shall be mended yet.  ’The Kaiserin may get a victory for once; but does that send us to the Devil (DAVON HOLT UNS DER TEUFEL-NICHT)!’” - words of rough comfort, which were well taken.

Next morning, several Books, and many Drawings and Sculptures of a dim unsuccessful nature, give us view of him, at Kimburg; sitting silent “on a BRUNNEN-ROHR” (Fountain Apparatus, waste-pipe or feeding-pipe, too high for convenient sitting):  he is stooping forward there, his eyes fixed on the ground, and is scratching figures in the sand with his stick, as the broken troops reassemble round him.  Archenholtz says:  “He surveyed with speechless feeling the small remnant of his Life-guard of Foot, favorite First Battalion; 1,000 strong yesterday morning, hardly 400 now;” - gone the others, in that furious Anti-Stampach outburst which ended the day’s work!  “All soldiers of this chosen Battalion were personally known to him; their names, their age, native place, their history [the pick of his Ruppin regiment was the basis of it]:  in one day, Death had mowed them down; they had fought like heroes, and it was for him that they had died.  His eyes were visibly wet, down his face rolled silent tears.” [Archenholtz, , 101; Kutzen, p, 138; Retzow, .]

In public I never saw other tears from this King, - though in private I do not warrant him; his sensibilities, little as you would think it, being very lively and intense.  “To work, however!” This King can shake away such things; and is not given overmuch to retrospection on the unalterable Past.  “Like dewdrops from the lion’s mane” (as is figuratively said); the lion swiftly rampant again!  There was manifold swift ordering, considering and determining, at Nimburg, that day; and towards night Friedrich shot rapidly into Head-quarters at Prag, where, by order, there is, as the first thing of all, a very rapid business going on, well forward by the time he arrives.

To fold one’s Siege-gear and Army neatly together from those Two Hill-tops, and march away with them safe, in sight of so many enemies:  this has to be the first and rapidest thing; if this be found possible, as one calculates it may.  After which, the world of enemies, held in the slip so long, will rush in from all the four winds, - unknown whitherward; one must wait to see whitherward and how.

Friedrich’s History for the remaining six months of this Year falls, accordingly, into three Sections.  Section FIRST:  Waiting how and towards what objects his enemies, the Austrians first of all, will advance; - this lasts for about a month; Friedrich waiting mainly at Leitmeritz, on guard there both of Saxony and of Silesia, till this slowly declare itself.  Slowly, perhaps almost stupidly, but by no means satisfactorily to Friedrich, as will be seen!  After which, Section SECOND of his History lasts above two months; Friedrich’s enemies being all got to the ground, and united in hope and resolution to overwhelm and abolish him; but their plans, positions, operations so extremely various that, for a long time (end of August to beginning of November), Friedrich cannot tell what to do with them; and has to scatter himself into thin threads, and roam about, chiefly in Thüringen and the West of Saxony, seeking something to fight with, and finding nothing; getting more and more impatient of such paltry misery; at times nigh desperate; and habitually drifting on desperation as on a lee shore in the night, despite all his efforts.  Till, in Section THIRD, which goes from November 5th, through December 5th, and into the New Year, he does find what to do; and does it, - in a forever memorable way.

Three Sections; of which the reader shall successively have some idea, if he exert himself; though it is only in snatches, suggestive to an active fancy, that we can promise to dwell on them, especially on the First Two, which lie pretty much unsurveyable in those chaotic records, like a world-wide coil of thrums.  Let us be swift, in Friedrich’s own manner; and try to disimprison the small portions of essential!  Here, partly from Eye-witnesses, are some Notes in regard to Section First:  [Westphalen, Geschichte der Feldzüge des Herzogs Ferdinand (and a Private Journal of W.s there), i-19; Retzow; &c.] -

“SUNDAY, 19th JUNE, At 2 A.M., Major Grant arrives at Prag [must have started instantly after that of “We two cannot take the battery, your Majesty!"] - goes to Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, interim Commander on the Ziscaberg, with order To raise Siege.  Consternation on the part of some; worse, on the Prince of Prussia’s part; the others kept silence at least, - and set instantly to work.  On both Hills, the cannons are removed (across Moldau the Zisca-Hill ones), batteries destroyed, Siege-gear neatly gathered up, to go in wagons to Leitmeritz, thence by boat to Dresden; all this lies ready done, the dangerous part of it done, when Friedrich arrives.

“MONDAY, 20th, before sunrise, Siege raised.  At three in the morning Friedrich marches from the Ziscaberg; to eastward he, to Alt-Bunzlau, thence to Ah-Lissa,” - Nimburg way, with what objects we shall see.  “Marshal Keith’s fine performance.  Keith, from the Weissenberg, does not march, such packing and loading still; all the baggages and artilleries being with Keith.  Not till four in the afternoon did Keith march; but beautifully then; and folded himself away, - rear-guard under Schmettau ‘retreating checkerwise,’ nothing but Tolpatcheries attempting on him, - westward, Budin-ward, without loss of a linstock, not to speak of guns.  Very prettily done on the part of Keith.  By Budin, to Leitmeritz, he; where the King will join him shortly.”

Friedrich’s errand in Alt-Lissa, eastward, while Keith went westward, was, To be within due arm’s-length of the Moritz-Bevern, or beaten Kolin Army, which is coming up that way; intending to take post, and do its best, in those parts, with Zittau Magazine and the Lausitz to rear of it.  One of our Eye-witnesses, a Herr Westphalen, Ferdinand of Brunswick’s Secretary, - who, with his Chief, got into wider fields before long, - yields these additional particulars face to face: -

“TUESDAY, 21st JUNE, 1757.  King’s Head-quarters in Lissa or neighborhood till Friday next; which is central for both these movements, - Thursday, orders seven regiments of horse to reinforce Keith.  No symptom yet of pursuit anywhere.

“FRIDAY, 24th.  Prince Moritz with the Kolin Army made appearance, all safe, and is to command here; King intending for Keith.  After dinner, and the due interchange of battalions to that end, King sets off, with Prince Henri, towards Keith; Head-quarter in Alt-Bunzlau again.  SATURDAY NIGHT, at Melnick; SUNDAY, Gastorf:  MONDAY NIGHT, 27th JUNE, Leitmeritz; King lodges in the Cathedral Close, in sight of Keith, who is on the opposite side of Elbe, - but the town has a Bridge for to-morrow.  ’Never was a quieter march; not the shadow of a Pandour visible.  The Duke [Ferdinand, my Chief, Chatham’s jewel that is to be, and precious to England] has suffered much from a’ - in fact, from a COURS DE VENTRE, temporary bowel-derangement, which was very troublesome, owing to the excessive heats by day, and coldness of the nights.

“TUESDAY, 28th.  Junction with Keith, - Bridge rightly secured, due party of dragoons and foot left on the right bank, to occupy a height which covers Leitmeritz.  ‘Clearing of the Pascopol’ (that is, sweeping the Pandours out of it) is the first business; Colonel Loudon with his Pandours, a most swift sharpcutting man, being now here in those parts; doing a deal of mischief.  Three days ago, Saturday, 25th, Keith had sent seven battalions, with the proper steel-besoms, on that Pascopol affair; Tuesday, on junction, Majesty sends three more:  job done on Wednesday; reported ’done,’ - though I should not be surprised,” says Westphalen, “if some little highway robbery still went on among the Mountains up there.”

No; - and before quitting hold, what is this that Loudon (on the very day of the King’s arrival, June 27th), on the old Field of Lobositz over yonder, has managed to do!  General Mannstein, wounded at Kolin, happened, with others in like case, to be passing that way, towards Dresden and better surgery, - when Loudon’s Croats set upon them, scattering their slight escort:  “Quarter, on surrender!  Prisoners?” “Never!” answered Mannstein; “Never!” that too impetuous man, starting out from his carriage, and snatching a musket:  and was instantly cut down there.  And so ends; - a man of strong head, and of heart only too strong. [Preuss, i; Militair-Lexikon, ii.]

From Prag onwards, here has been a delicate set of operations; perfectly executed, - thanks to Friedrich’s rapidity of shift, and also to the cautious slowly puzzling mind of Daun.  Had Daun used any diligence, had Daun and Prince Karl been broad awake, together or even singly!  But Friedrich guessed they seldom or never were; that they would spend some days in puzzling; and that, with despatch, he would have time for everything.  Daun, we could observe, stood singing TE-DEUM, greatly at leisure, in his old Camp, 20th June, while Friedrich, from the first gray of morning, and diligently all day long, was withdrawing from the trenches of Prag, - Friedrich’s people, self and goods getting folded out in the finest gradation, and with perfect success; no Daun to hinder him, - Daun leisurely doing TE-DEUM, forty miles off, helping on the WRONG side by that exertion! [Cogniazzo, i.] - “Poor Browne, he is dead of his wounds, in Prag yonder,” writes Westphalen, in his Leitmeritz Journal, “news came to us July 1st:  men said, ’Ah, that was why they lay asleep.’”

Till June 26th, Daun and Karl had not united; nor, except sending out Loudon and Croats, done anything, either of them.  Sunday, June 26th, at Podschernitz on the old Field of Prag, a week and a day after Kolin, they did get together; still seemingly a little puzzled, “Shall we follow the King?  Shall we follow Moritz and Bevern?” - nothing clear for some time, except to send out Pandour parties upon both.  Moritz, since parting with the King in Alt-Bunzlau neighborhood, has gone northward some marches, thirty miles or so, to JUNG-Bunzlau, - meeting of Iser and Elbe, surely a good position: - Moritz, on receipt of these Pandour allowances of his, writes to the King, “Shall we retreat on Zittau, then, your Majesty?  Straight upon Zittau?” Fancy Friedrich’s astonishment; - who well intends to eat the Country first, perhaps to fight if there be chance, and at least to lie OUTSIDE the doors of Silesia and the Lausitz, as well as of Saxony here! - and answers, with his own hand, on the instant:  “Your Dilection will not be so mad!” [In Preuss, i, the pungent little Autograph in full.] And at once recalls Moritz, and appoints the Prince of Prussia to go and take command.  Who directly went; - a most important step for the Kings interests and his own.  Whose fortunes in that business we shall see before long! -

At Leitmeritz the King continues four weeks, with his Army parted in this way; waiting how the endless hostile element, which begirdles his horizon all round, will shape itself into combinations, that he may set upon the likeliest or the needfulest of these, when once it has disclosed itself.  Horizon all round is black enough:  Austrians, French, Swedes, Russians, Reichs Army; closer upon him or not so close, all are rolling in:  Saxony, the Lausitz and Silesia, Brandenburg itself, it is uncertain which of these may soonest require his active presence.

The very day after his arrival in Leitmeritz, - Tuesday, 28th June, while that junction with Keith was going on, and the troops were defiling along the Bridge for junction with Keith, - a heavy sorrow had befallen him, which he yet knew not of.  An irreparable Domestic loss; sad complement to these Military and other Public disasters.  Queen Sophie Dorothee, about whose health he had been anxious, but had again been set quiet, died at Berlin that day. [Monbijou, 28th June, 1757; born at Hanover, 27th March, 1687.] In her seventy-first year:  of no definite violent disease; worn down with chagrins and apprehensions, in this black whirlpool of Public troubles.  So far as appears, the news came on Friedrich by surprise: - “bad cough,” we hear of, and of his anxieties about it, in the Spring time; then again of “improvement, recovery, in the fine weather;” - no thought, just now, of such an event:  and he took it with a depth of affliction, which my less informed readers are far from expecting of him.

July 2d, the news came:  King withdrew into privacy; to weep and bewail under this new pungency of grief, superadded to so many others.  Mitchell says:  “For two days he had no levee; only the Princes dined with him [Princes Henri and Ferdinand; Prince of Prussia is gone to Jung-Bunzlau, would get the sad message there, among his other troubles]:  yesterday, July 3d, King sent for me in the afternoon, - the first time he has seen anybody since the news came: - I had the honor to remain with him some hours in his closet.  I must own to your Lordship I was most sensibly afflicted to see him indulging his grief, and giving way to the warmest filial affections; recalling to mind the many obligations he had to her late Majesty; all she had suffered, and how nobly she bore it; the good she did to everybody; the one comfort he now had, to think of having tried to make her last years more agreeable.” [Papers and Memoirs, ; Despatch to Holderness, 4th July (slightly abridged); - see ib. -359 (Private Journal).  Westphalen, i.  See OEuvres de Frederic, i.] In the thick of public business, this kind of mood to Mitchell seems to have lasted all the time of Leitmeritz, which is about three weeks yet:  Mitchell’s Note-books and Despatches, in that part, have a fine Biographic interest; the wholly human Friedrich wholly visible to us there as he seldom is.  Going over his past Life to Mitchell; brief, candid, pious to both his Parents; - inexpressibly sad; like moonlight on the grave of one’s Mother, silent that, while so much else is too noisy!

This Friedrich, upon whom the whole world has risen like a mad Sorcerer’s-Sabbath, how safe he once lay in his cradle, like the rest of us, mother’s love wrapping him soft: - and now!  These thoughts commingle in a very tragic way with the avalanche of public disasters which is thundering down on all sides.  Warm tears the meed of this new sorrow; small in compass, but greater in poignancy than all the rest together.  “My poor old Mother, oh, my Mother, that so loved me always, and would have given her own life to shelter mine!” - It was at Leitmeritz, as I guess, that Mitchell first made decisive acquaintance, what we may almost call intimacy, with the King:  we already defined him as a sagacious, long-headed, loyal-hearted diplomatic gentleman, Scotch by birth and by turn of character; abundantly polite, vigilant, discreet, and with a fund of general sense and rugged veracity of mind; whom Friedrich at once recognized for what he was, and much took to, finding a hearty return withal; so that they were soon well with one another, and continued so.  Mitchell, as orders were, “attended the King’s person” all through this War, sometimes in the blaze of battle itself and nothing but cannon-shot going, if it so chanced; and has preserved, in his multifarious Papers, a great many traits of Friedrich not to be met with elsewhere.

Mitchell’s occasional society, conversation with a man of sense and manly character, which Friedrich always much loved, was, no doubt, a resource to Friedrich in his lonely roamings and vicissitudes in those dark years.  No other British Ambassador ever had the luck to please him or be pleased by him, - most of them, as Ex-Exchequer Legge and the like Ex-Parliamentary people, he seems to have considered dull, obstinate, wooden fellows, of fantastic, abrupt rather abstruse kind of character, not worth deciphering; - some of them, as Hanbury Williams, with the mischievous tic (more like galvanism or St.-Vitus’-dance) which he called “wit,” and the inconvenient turn for plotting and intriguing, Friedrich could not endure at all, but had them as soon as possible recalled, - of course, not without detestation on their part.

At Leitmeritz, it appears, he kept withdrawn to his closet a good deal; gave himself up to his sorrows and his thoughts; would sit many hours drowned in tears, weeping bitterly like a child or a woman.  This is strange to some readers; but it is true, - and ought to alter certain current notions.  Friedrich, flashing like clear steel upon evildoers and mendacious unjust persons and their works, is not by nature a cruel man, then, or an unfeeling, as Rumor reports?  Reader, no, far the reverse; - and public Rumor, as you may have remarked, is apt to be an extreme blockhead, full of fury and stupidity on such points, and had much better hold its tongue till it know in some measure.  Extreme sensibility is not sure to be a merit; though it is sure to be reckoned one, by the greedy dim fellows looking idly on:  but, in any case, the degree of it that dwelt (privately, for most part) in Friedrich was great; and to himself it seemed a sad rather than joyful fact.  Speaking of this matter, long afterwards, to Garve, a Silesian Philosopher, with whom he used to converse at Breslau, he says; - or let dull Garve himself report it, in the literal third-person: -

“And herein, I,” the Herr Garve (venturing to dispute, or qualify, on one of his Majesty’s favorite topics), “believe, lies the real ground of ‘happiness:’  it is the capacity and opportunity to accomplish great things.  This the King would not allow; but said, That I did not sufficiently take into account the natural feelings, different in different people, which, when painful, imbittered the life of the highest as of the lowest.  That, in his own life, he had experienced the deepest sufferings of this kind:  ‘And,’ added he, with a touching tone of kindness and familiarity, which never occurred again in his interviews with me, ’if you (ER) knew, for instance, what I underwent on the death of my Mother, you would see that I have been as unhappy as any other, and unhappier than others, because of the greater sensibility I had (WEIL ICH MEHR EMPFINDLICHKEIT GEHABT HABE).’” [Fragmente zur Schilderung des Geistes, des Charakters und der Regierung Friedrichs des Zweiten, von Christian Garve (Breslau, 1798), -316.  An unexpectedly dull Book (Garve having talent and reputation); kind of monotonous Preachment upon Friedrich’s character:  almost nothing but the above fraction now derivable from it.]

There needed not this new calamity in Friedrich’s lot just now!  From all points of the compass, his enemies, held in check so long, are floating on:  the confluence of disasters and ill-tidings, at this time, very great.  From Jung-Bunzlau, close by, his Brother’s accounts are bad; and grow ever worse, - as will be seen!  On the extreme West, July 3d, while Friedrich at Leitmeritz sat weeping for his Mother, the French take Embden from him; July 5th, the Russians, Memel, on the utmost East.  June 30th, six days before, the Russians, after as many months of haggling, did cross the Border; 37,000 of them on this point; and set to bombarding Memel from land and sea.  Poor Memel (garrison only 700) answered very fiercely, sank two of their gunboats and the like; but the end was as we see, - Feldmarschall Lehwald able to give no relief.  For there were above 70,000 other Russians (Feldmarschall Apraxin with these latter, and Cossacks and Calmucks more than enough) crossing elsewhere, south in Tilsit Country, upon old Lehwald. [Helden-Geschichte, i-413.] Lehwald, with 30,000, in such circumstances - what is to become of Preussen and him!  Nearer hand, the Austrians, the French, the very Reichs Army, do now seem intent on business.

The Reichs Execution Army, we saw how Mayer and the Battle of Prag had checked it in the birth-pangs; and given rise to pangs of another sort; the poor Reichs Circles generally exclaiming, “What!  Bring the war into our own borders?  Bring the King of Prussia on our own throats!” - and stopping short in their enlistments and preparations; in vain for Austrian Officials to urge them.  Watching there, with awe-struck eye, while the 12,000 bombs flew into Prag.

The Battle of Kolin has reversed all that; and the poor old Reich is again bent on business in the Execution way.  Drumming, committeeing, projecting, and endeavoring, with all her might, in all quarters; and, from and after the event of Kolin, holding visible Encampment, in the Nürnberg Country; fractions of actual troops assembling there.  “On the Plains of Furth, between Furth and Farrenbach, east side the River Regnitz, there was the Camp pitched,” says my Anonymous Friend; who gives me a cheerful Copperplate of the thing:  red pennons, blue, and bright mixed colors; generals, tents; order-of-battle, and respective rallying points:  with Bamberg Country in front, and the peaks of the Pine Mountains lying pleasantly behind:  a sight for the curious. [J.F.S. (whom I named ANONYMOUS OF HAMBURG long since; who has boiled down, with great diligence, the old Newspapers, and gives a great many dates, notes, &c., without Index), , 224 (the Copperplate).] It is the same ground where Mayer was careering lately; neighboring nobility and gentry glad to come in gala, and dance with Mayer.  Hither, all through July, come contingents straggling in, thicker and thicker; “August 8th,” things now about complete, the Bishop of Bamberg came to take survey of the Reichs-Heer (Bishop’s remarks not given); August 10th, came the young reigning Duke of Hildburghausen (Duke’s grand-uncle is to be Commander), on like errand; August 11th) the Reichs-Heer got on march.  Westward ho! - readers will see towards what.

A truly ELENDE, or miserable, Reichs Execution Army (as the MISprinter had made it); but giving loud voice in the Gazettes; and urged by every consideration to do something for itself.  Prince of Hildburghausen - a general of small merit, though he has risen in the Austrian service, and we have seen him with Seckendorf in old Turk times - has, for his Kaiser’s sake, taken the command; sensible perhaps that glory is not likely to be rife here; but willing to make himself useful.  Kaiser and Austria urge, everywhere, with all their might:  Prince of Hessen-Darmstadt, who lay on the Weissenberg lately, one of Keith’s distinguished seconds there and a Prussian Officer of long standing, has, on Kaiser’s order, quitted all that, and become Hildburghausen’s second here, in the Camp of Furth; thinking the path of duty lay that way, - though his Wife, one of the noble women of her age, thought very differently. [Her Letter to Friedrich, “Berlin, 30th October, 1757,” OEuvres de Frederic, xxvii. i.] A similar Kaiser’s order, backed by what Law-thunder lay in the Reich, had gone out against Friedrich’s own Brothers, and against every Reichs Prince who was in Friedrich’s service; but, except him of Hessen-Darmstadt, none of them had much minded. [In Orlich, Furst Moritz von Anhalt Dessau (Berlin, 1842), p, 75, Prince Moritz’s rather mournful Letter on the subject, with Friedrich’s sharp Answer.] I did not hear that his strategic talent was momentous:  but Prussia had taught him the routine of right soldiering, surely to small purpose; and Friedrich, no doubt, glanced indignantly at this small thing, among the many big ones.

From about the end of June, the Reichs Army kept dribbling in:  the most inferior Army in the world; no part of it well drilled, most of it not drilled at all; and for variety in color, condition, method, and military and pecuniary and other outfit, beggaring description.  Hildburghausen does his utmost; Kaiser the like.  The number should have far exceeded 50,000; but was not, on the field, of above half that number:  25,000; add at least 8,000 Austrian troops, two regiments of them cavalry; good these 8,000, the rest bad, - that was the Reichs Execution Army; most inferior among Armies; and considerable part of it, all the Protestant part, privately wishing well to Friedrich, they say.  Drills itself multifariously in that Camp between Furth and Farrenbach, on the east side of Regnitz River.  Fancy what a sight to Wilhelmina, if she ever drove that way; which I think she hardly would.  The Baireuth contingent itself is there; the Margraf would have held out stiff on that point; but Friedrich himself advised compliance.  Margraf of Anspach - perverse tippling creature, ill with his Wife, I doubt - has joyfully sent his legal hundreds; will vote for the Reichs Ban against this worst of Germans, whom he has for Brother-in-law.  Dark days in the heart of Wilhelmina, those of the Camp at Furth.  Days which grow ever darker, with strange flashings out of empyrean lightning from that shrill true heart; no peace more, till the noble heroine die! -

This ELENDE Reichs-Heer, miserable “Army of the Circles,” is mockingly called “the Hoopers, Coopers (TONNELIERS),” and gets quizzing enough, under that and other titles, from an Opposition Public.  Far other from the French and Austrians; who are bent that it should do feats in the world, and prove impressive on a robber King.  Thus too, “for Deliverance of Saxony,” to co-operate with Reichs-Heer in that sacred object, thanks to the zeal of Pompadour, Prince de Soubise has got together, in Elsass, a supplementary 30,000 (40,330 said Theory, but Fact never quite so many):  and is passing them across the Rhine, in Frankfurt Country, all through July, while the drilling at Furth goes on.  With these, Soubise, simultaneously getting under way, will steer northeastward; join the Reichs-Heer about Erfurt, before August end; and - and we shall see what becomes of the combined Soubise and Reichs Army after that!

It must be owned, the French, Pompadour and love of glory urging, are diligent since the event of Kolin.  In select Parisian circles, the Soubise Army, or even that of D’Estrees altogether, - produced by the tears of a filial Dauphiness, - is regarded as a quasi-sacred, or uncommonly noble thing; and is called by her name, “L’ARMEE DE LA Dauphiné;” or for shortness “LA Dauphiné” without adjunct.  Thus, like a kind of chivalrous Bellona, vengeance in her right hand, tears and fire in her eyes, the DAUPHINESS advances; and will join Reichs-Heer at Erfurt before August end.  Such the will of Pompadour; Richelieu encouraging, for reasons of his own.  Soubise, I understand, is privately in pique against poor D’Estrees; ["Reappeared unexpectedly in Paris [from D’Estree’s Army], 22d June” (four days after Kolin):  got up this DAUPHINESS ARMY, by aid of Pompadour, with Richelieu, &c.:  BARBIER, i, 231.  Richelieu “busy at Strasburg lately” (29th July:  Collini’s VOLTAIRE, .] and intends to eclipse him by a higher style of diligence; though D’Estrees too is doing his best.

July 3d, we saw the D’Estrees people taking Embden; D’Estrees, quiet so long in his Camp at Bielefeld, had at once bestirred himself, Kolin being done; - shot out a detachment leftwards, and Embden had capitulated that day.  Adieu to the Shipping Interests there, and to other pleasant things!  “July 9th, after sunset,” D’Estrees himself got on march from Bielefeld; set forth, in the cool of night, 60,000 strong, and 10,000 more to join him by the road (the rest are left as garrisons, reserves, - 1,000 marauders of them swing as monitory pendulums, on their various trees, for one item), - direct towards Hanover and Royal Highness of Cumberland; who retreats, and has retreated, behind the Ems, the Weser, back, ever back; and, to appearance, will make a bad finish yonder.

To Friedrich, waiting at Leitmeritz, all these things are gloomily known; but the most pressing of them is that of the Austrians and Jung-Bunzlau close by.  Let us give some utterances of his to Wilhelmina, nearly all we have of direct from him in that time; and then hasten to the Prince of Prussia there: -


LEITMERITZ, 1st JULY, 1757....  “Sensible as heart can be to the tender interest you deign to take in what concerns me.  Dear Sister, fear nothing on my score:  men are always in the hand of what we call Fate” ("Predestination, GNADENWAHL,” - Pardon us, Papa! - CE QU’ON NOMME LE DESTIN); accidents will befall people, walking on the streets, sitting in their room, lying in their bed; and there are many who escape the perils of war....  I think, through Hessen will be the safest route for your Letters, till we see; and not to write just now except on occasions of importance.  Here is a piece in cipher; anonymous,” - intended for the Newspapers, or some such road.

JULY 5th.  “By a Courier of Plotho’s, returning to Regensburg [who passes near you], I write to apprise my dear Sister of the new misery which overwhelms us.  We have no longer a Mother.  This loss puts the crown on my sorrows.  I am obliged to act; and have not time to give free course to my tears.  Judge, I pray you, of the situation of a feeling heart put to so cruel a trial.  All losses in the world are capable of being remedied; but those which Death causes are beyond the reach of hope.”

JULY 7th.  “You are too good; I am ashamed to abuse your indulgence.  But do, since you will, try to sound the French, what conditions of Peace they would demand; one might judge as to their intentions.  Send that Mirabeau (CE M. DE MIRABEAU) to France.  Willingly will I pay the expense.  He may offer as much as five million thalers [750,000 pounds] to the Favorite [yes, even to the Pompadour] for Peace alone.  Of course, his utmost discretion will be needed;” - should the English get the least wind of it!  But if they are gone to St. Vitus, and fail in every point, what can one do?  CE M. DE MIRABEAU, readers will be surprised to learn, is an Uncle of the great Mirabeau’s; who has fallen into roving courses, gone abroad insolvent; and “directs the Opera at Baireuth,” in these years! - One Letter we will give in full: -

“LEITMERITZ, 13th July, 1757.

“MY DEAREST SISTER, - Your Letter has arrived:  I see in it your regrets for the irreparable loss we have had of the best and worthiest Mother in this world.  I am so struck down with all these blows from within and without, that I feel myself in a sort of Stupefaction.

“The French have just laid hold of Friesland [seized Embden, July 3d]; are about to pass the Weser:  they have instigated the Swedes to declare War against me; the Swedes are sending 17,000 men [rather more if anything; but they proved beautifully ineffectual] into Pommern,” - will be burdensome to Stralsund and the poor country people mainly; having no Captain over them but a hydra-headed National Palaver at home, and a Long-pole with Cocked-hat on it here at hand.  “The Russians are besieging Memel [have taken it, ten days ago]:  Lehwald has them on his front and in his rear.  The Troops of the Reich,” from your Plains of Furth yonder, “are also about to march.  All this will force me to evacuate Bohemia, so soon as that crowd of Enemies gets into motion.

“I am firmly resolved on the extremest efforts to save my Country.  We shall see (QUITTE A VOIR) if Fortune will take a new thought, or if she will entirely turn her back upon me.  Happy the moment when I took to training myself in philosophy!  There is nothing else that can sustain the soul in a situation like mine.  I spread out to you, dear Sister, the detail of my sorrows:  if these things regarded only myself, I could stand it with composure; but I am bound Guardian of the safety and happiness of a People which has been put under my charge.  There lies the sting of it:  and I shall have to reproach myself with every fault, if, by delay or by over-haste, I occasion the smallest accident; all the more as, at present, any fault may be capital.

“What a business!  Here is the liberty of Germany, and that Protestant Cause for which so much blood has been shed; here are those Two great Interests again at stake; and the pinch of this huge game is such, that an unlucky quarter of an hour may establish over Germany the tyrannous domination of the House of Austria forever!  I am in the case of a traveller who sees himself surrounded and ready to be assassinated by a troop of cut-throats, who intend to share his spoils.  Since the League of Cambrai [1508-1510, with a Pope in it and a Kaiser and Most Christian King, iniquitously sworn against poor Venice; - to no purpose, as happily appears], there is no example of such a Conspiracy as that infamous Triumvirate [Austria, France, Russia] now forms against me.  Was it ever seen before, that three great Princes laid plot in concert to destroy a Fourth, who had done nothing against them?  I have not had the least quarrel either with France or with Russia, still less with Sweden.  If, in common life, three citizens took it into their heads to fall upon their neighbor, and burn his house about him, they very certainly, by sentence of tribunal, would be broken on the wheel.  What! and will Sovereigns, who maintain these tribunals and these laws in their States, give such example to their subjects?...  Happy, my dear Sister, is the obscure man, whose good sense from youth upwards, has renounced all sorts of glory; who, in his safe low place, has none to envy him, and whose fortune does not excite the cupidity of scoundrels!

“But these reflections are vain.  We have to be what our birth, which decides, has made us in entering upon this world.  I reckoned that, being King, it beseemed me to think as a Sovereign; and I took for principle, that the reputation of a Prince ought to be dearer to him than life.  They have plotted against me; the Court of Vienna has given itself the liberty of trying to maltreat me; my honor commanded me not to suffer it.  We have come to War; a gang of robbers falls on me, pistol in hand:  that is the adventure which has happened to me.  The remedy is difficult:  in desperate diseases there are no methods but desperate ones.

“I beg a thousand pardons, dear Sister:  in these three long pages I talk to you of nothing but my troubles and affairs.  A strange abuse it would be of any other person’s friendship.  But yours, my dear Sister, yours is known to me; and I am persuaded you are not impatient when I open my heart to you: - a heart which is yours altogether; being filled with sentiments of the tenderest esteem, with which I am, my dearest Sister, your [in truth, affectionate Brother at all times] F.” [OEuvres de Frederic, xxvii. , 295, 296-298.]


The Prince of Prussia’s Enterprise had its intricacies; but, by good management, was capable of being done.  At least, so Friedrich thought; - though, in truth, it would have been better had Friedrich gone himself, since the chief pressure happened to fall there!  The Prince has to retire, Parthian-like, as slowly as possible, with the late Kolin or Moritz-Bevern Army, towards the Lausitz, keeping his eye upon Silesia the while; of course securing the passes and strong places in his passage, for defence of his own rear at lowest; especially securing Zittau, a fine opulent Town, where his chief Magazine is, fed from Silesia now.  The Army is in good strength (guess 30,000), with every equipment complete, in discipline, in health and in heart, such as beseems a Prussian Army, - probably longing rather, if it venture to long or wish for anything not yet commanded, to have a stroke at those Austrians again, and pay them something towards that late Kolin score.

The Prince arrived at Jung-Bunzlau, June 30th; Winterfeld with him, and, at his own request, Schmettau.  The Austrians have not yet stirred:  if they do, it may be upon the King, it may be upon the Prince:  in three or even in two marches, Prince and King can be together, - the King only too happy, in the present oppressive coil of doubts, to find the Austrians ready for a new passage of battle, and an immediate decision.  The Austrians did, in fact, break out, - seemingly, at first, upon the King; but in reality upon the Prince, whom they judge safer game; and the matter became much more critical upon him than had been expected.

The Prince was thought to have a good judgment (too much talk in it, we sometimes feared), and fair knowledge in military matters.  The King, not quite by the Prince’s choice, has given him Winterfeld for Mentor; Winterfeld, who has an excellent military head in such matters, and a heart firm as steel, - almost like a second self in the King’s estimation.  Excellent Winterfeld; - but then there are also Schmettau, Bevern and others, possibly in private not too well affected to this Winterfeld.  In fact, there is rather a multitude of Counsellers; - and an ingenuous fine-spirited Prince, perhaps more capable of eloquence on the Opposition side, than of condensing into real wisdom a multitude of counsels, when the crisis rises, and the affair becomes really difficult.  Crisis did rise:  the victorious Austrians, after such delay, had finally made up their minds to press this one a little, this one rather than the King, and hang upon his skirts; Daun and Prince Karl set out after him, just about the time of his arrival, - “70,000 strong,” the Prince hears; including plenty of Pandours.  Certain it is, the poor Prince’s mind did flounder a good deal; and his procedures succeeded extremely ill on this occasion.  Certain, too, that they were extremely ill-taken at head-quarters:  and that he even died soon after, - chiefly of broken heart, said the censorious world.  It is well known how Europe rang with the matter for a long while; and Books were printed, and Documents, and COLLECTIONS BY A MASTER’S HAND. [Lettres Secretes touchant la Deniere Guerre; de Main de Maitre; divisees en deux parties (Francfort et Amsterdam, 1772):  this is the Prince’s own Statement, Proof in hand.  By far the clearest Account is in Schmettau’s Leben (by his Son), p-384.  See also Preuss, i-61, and especially i.] We, who can spend but a page or two on it, must carefully stand by the essential part.

“JUNE 30th-JULY 3d, Prince at Jung-Bunzlau, in chief command.  Besides Winterfeld, the Generals under him are Ziethen, Schmettau, Fouquet, Retzow, Goltz, and two others who need not be of our acquaintance.  Impossible to stay there, thinks the Prince, thinks everybody; and they shift to Neuschloss, westward thirty miles.  July 1st, Daun had crossed the Elbe (Daun let us say for brevity, though it is Daun and Karl, or even Karl and Daun, Karl being chief, and capable of saying so at times, though Daun is very splendent since Kolin), - crossed the Elbe above Brandeis; Nadasti, with precursor Pandours, now within an hour’s march of Jung-Bunzlau; - and it was time to go.

“JULY 3d-6th, At Neuschloss, which is thought a strong position, key of the localities there, and nearer Friedrich too, the Prince stayed not quite four days; shifted to Bohm (BohmISCH) Leipa, JULY 7th, - rather off from Leitmeritz, but a march towards Zittau, where the provisions are.  ‘A bad change,’ said the Prince’s friends afterwards; (change advised by Winterfeld, - who never mentioned that circumstance to his Majesty, many as he did mention, not in the best way!’ - Prince gets to Bohm Leipa July 7th; stays there, in questionable circumstances, nine days.

“Bohm Leipa is still not above thirty miles northeastward of the King; and it is about the same distance southwestward from Zittau, out of which fine Town, partly by cross-roads, the Prince gets his provisions on this march.  From Zittau hitherward, as far as the little Town of Gabel, which lies about half way, there is broad High Road, the great Southern KAISER-Straße:  from Gabel, for Bohm Leipa, you have to cross southwestward by country roads; the keys to which, especially Gabel, the Prince has not failed to secure by proper garrison parties.  And so, for about a week, not quite uncomfortably, he continues at Bohm Leipa; getting in his convoys from Zittau.  Diligently scanning the Pandour stragglings and sputterings round him, which are clearly on the increasing hand.  Diligently corresponding with the King, meanwhile; who much discourages undue apprehension, or retreat movement till the last pinch.  ’Edging backward, and again backward, you come bounce upon Berlin one day, and will then have to halt!’ - which is not pleasant to the Prince.  But, indisputably, the Pandour spurts on him do become Pandour gushings, with regulars also noticeable:  it is certain the Austrians are out, - pretending first to mean the King and Leitmeritz; but knowing better, and meaning the Prince and Bohm Leipa all the while.” - By way of supplement, take Dauns positions in the interim: -

Daun and Karl were at Podschernitz 26th June; 1st July, cross the Elbe, above Brandeis (Nadasti now within an hour’s march of Jung-Bunzlau); 7th July (day while the Prince is flitting to Bohm Leipa), Daun is through Jung-Bunzlau to Munchengratz; thence to Liebenau; 14th, to Niemes, not above four miles from the Prince’s rightmost outpost (rightmost or eastmost, which looks away from his Brother); while a couple of advanced parties, Beck and Maguire, hover on his flank Zittau-ward, and Nadasti (if he knew it) is pushing on to rear.

“THURSDAY, 14th JULY, About six in the evening, at Bohm Leipa, distinct cannon-thunder is heard from northeast:  ’Evidently Gabel getting cannonaded, and our wagon convoy [empty, going to Zittau for meal, General Puttkammer escorting] is in a dangerous state!’ And by and by hussar parties of ours come in, with articulate news to that bad effect:  ’Gabel under hot attack of regulars; Puttkammer with his 3,000 vigorously defending, will expect to be relieved within not many hours!’ Here has the crisis come.  Crisis sure enough; - and the Prince, to meet it, summons that refuge of the irresolute, a Council of War.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


“BAUTERN, 30th July, 1757.

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

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

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

AUGUST WILHELM. Main de Maitre, .]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“DRESDEN, 29th AUGUST, 1757, This day, about noon, his Majesty, with a part of his Army from the Upper Lausitz, arrived at the Neustadt here.  Though the kitchen had been appointed to be set up at what they call The Barns (DIE SCHEUNEN), his Majesty was pleased to alight in Konigsbruck Street, at the new House of Bruhl’s Chamberlain, Haller; and there passed the night.  Tuesday evening, 30th, his Majesty the King, with his Lifeguards of Horse and of Foot, also with the Gens-d’Armes and other Battalions, marched through the City, about a mile out on the Freiberg road, and took quarter in Klein Hamberg.  The 31st, all the Army followed,” - a poor 23,000, Moritz and he, that was all! ["22,360” (Templehof, .] - “the King’s field-equipage, which had been taken from the Bruhl Palace and packed in twelve wagons, went with them.” [Rodenbeck, ; Preuss, i n; Mitchell’s Interview (Memoirs and Papers, .]