Read Chapter X. - BATTLE OF LEUTHEN. 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

From Neumarkt, on Monday, long before day, the Prussians, all but a small party left there to guard the Bakery and Army Properties, are out again; in four columns; towards what may lie ahead.  Friedrich, as usual in such cases, for obvious reasons, rides with the vanguard.  To Borne, the first Village on the Highway, is some seven or eight miles.  The air is damp, the dim incipiences of dawn struggling among haze; a little way on this side Borne, we come on ranks of cavalry drawn across the Highway, stretching right and left into the dim void:  Austrian Army this, then?  Push up to it; see what it is, at least.

It proves to be poor General Nostitz, with his three Saxon regiments of dragoons, famous since Kolin-day, and a couple of Hussar regiments, standing here as outpost; - who ought to have been more alert; but they could not see through the dark, and so, instead of catching, are caught.  The Prussians fall upon them, front and flank, tumble them into immediate wreck; drive the whole outpost at full gallop home, through Borne, upon Nypern and the right wing, - without news except of this symbolical sort.  Saxon regiments are quite ruined, “540 of them prisoners” (poor Nostitz himself not prisoner, but wounded to death [Died in Breslau, the twelfth day after (Seyfarth, i.]); and the ground clear in this quarter.

Friedrich, on the farther side of Borne, calls halt, till the main body arrive; rides forward, himself and staff, to the highest of a range or suite of knolls, some furlongs ahead; sees there in full view, far and wide, the Austrians drawn up before him.  From Nypern to Sagschuitz yonder; miles in length; and so distinct, while the light mended and the hazes faded, “that you could have counted them [through your glasses], man by man.”  A highly interesting sight to Friedrich; who continues there in the profoundest study, and calls up some horse regiments of the vanguard to maintain this Height and the range of Heights running south from it.  And there, I think, the King is mainly to be found, looking now at the Austrians, now at his own people, for some three hours to come.  His plan of Battle is soon clear to him:  Nypern, with its bogs and scrags, on the Austrian right wing, is tortuous impossible ground, as he well remembers, no good prospect for us there:  better ground for us on their left yonder, at Leuthen, even at Sagschutz farther south, whither they are stretching themselves.  Attempt their left wing; try our “Oblique Order” upon that, with all the skill that is in us; perhaps we can do it rightly this time, and prosper accordingly!  That is Friedrich’s plan of action.  The four columns once got to Borne shall fall into two; turn to the right, and go southward, ever southward: - they are to become our two Lines of Battle, were they once got to the right point southward.  Well opposite Sagschutz, that will be the point for facing to left, and marching up, - in “Oblique Order,” with the utmost faculty they have!

“The Oblique Order, SCHRAGE STELLUNG,” let the hasty reader pause to understand, “is an old plan practised by Epaminondas, and revived by Friedrich, - who has tried it in almost all his Battles more or less, from Hohenfriedberg forward to Prag, Kolin, Rossbach; but never could, in all points, get it rightly done till now, at Leuthen, in the highest time of need.  “It is a particular manoeuvre,” says Archenholtz, rather sergeant-wise, “which indeed other troops are now in the habit of imitating; but which, up to this present time, none but Prussian troops can execute with the precision and velocity indispensable to it.  You divide your line into many pieces; you can push these forward stairwise, so that they shall halt close to one another,” obliquely, to either hand; and so, on a minimum of ground, bring your mass of men to the required point at the required angle.  Friedrich invented this mode of getting into position; by its close ranking, by its depth, and the manner of movement used, it had some resemblance to the “Macedonian Phalanx,” - chiefly in the latter point, I should guess; for when arrived at its place, it is no deeper than common.  “Forming itself in this way, a mass of troops takes up in proportion very little ground; and it shows in the distance, by reason of the mixed uniforms and standards, a totally chaotic mass of men heaped on one another,” going in rapid mazes this way and that.  “But it needs only that the Commander lift his finger; instantly this living coil of knotted intricacies develops itself in perfect order, and with a speed like that of mountain rivers when the ice breaks,” - is upon its Enemy. [Archenholtz, .]

“Your Enemy is ranked as here, in long line, three or two to one.  You march towards him, but keep him uncertain as to how you will attack; then do on a sudden march up, not parallel to him, but oblique, at an angle of 45 degrees, - swift, vehement, in overpowering numbers, on the wing you have chosen.  Roll that wing together, ruined, in upon its own line, you may roll the whole five miles of line into disorder and ruin, and always be in overpowering number at the point of dispute.  Provided, only, you are swift enough about it, sharp enough!  But extraordinary swiftness, sharpness, precision is the indispensable condition; - by no means try it otherwise; none but Prussians, drilled by an Old Dessauer, capable of doing it.  This is the SCHRAGE ORDNUNG, about which there has been such commentating and controversying among military people:  whether Friedrich invented it, whether Cæsar did it, how Epaminondas, how Alexander at Arbela; how” - Which shall not in the least concern us on this occasion.

The four columns rustled themselves into two, and turned southward on the two sides of Borne; - southward henceforth, for about two hours; as if straight towards the Magic Mountain, the Zobtenberg, far off, which is conspicuous over all that region.  Their steadiness, their swiftness and exactitude were unsurpassable.  “It was a beautiful sight,” says Tempelhof, an eye-witness:  “The heads of the columns were constantly on the same level, and at the distance necessary for forming; all flowed on exact, as if in a review.  And you could read in the eyes of our brave troops the noble temper they were in.” [Tempelhof, , 287.] I know not at what point of their course, or for how long, but it was from the column nearest him, which is to be first line, that the King heard, borne on the winds amid their field-music, as they marched there, the sound of Psalms, - many-voiced melody of a Church Hymn, well known to him; which had broken out, band accompanying, among those otherwise silent men.  The fact is very certain, very strange to me:  details not very precise, except that here, as specimen, is a verse of their Hymn: -

     “Grant that with zeal and skill, this day, I do
      What me to do behooves, what thou command’st me to;
      Grant that I do it sharp, at point of moment fit,
      And when I do it, grant me good success in it.”

     “Gieb dass ich thu’ mit Fleiß was mir zu thun gebuhret,
      Wozu mich dein Befehl in meinem Stande fuhret,
      Gieb dass ich’s thue bald, zu der Zeit da ich’s soll;
      Und wenn ich’s thu’, so gieb dass es gerathe wohl.”

["HYMN-BOOK of Porst” (Prussian Sternhold-and-Hopkins), “:”  cited in Preuss, i.]

One has heard the voice of waters, one has paused in the mountains at the voice of far-off Covenanter psalms; but a voice like this, breaking the commanded silences, one has not heard.  “Shall we order that to cease, your Majesty?” “By no means,” said the King; whose hard heart seems to have been touched by it, as might well be.  Indeed there is in him, in those grim days, a tone as of trust in the Eternal, as of real religious piety and faith, scarcely noticeable elsewhere in his History.  His religion, and he had in withered forms a good deal of it, if we will look well, being almost always in a strictly voiceless state, - nay, ultra-voiceless, or voiced the wrong way, as is too well known.  “By no means!” answered he:  and a moment after, said to some one, Ziethen probably:  “With men like these, don’t you think I shall have victory this day!”

The loss of their Saxon Forepost proved more important to the Austrians than it seemed; - not computable in prisoners, or killed and wounded.  The Height named Scheuberg, - “Borne Rise” (so we might call it, which has got its Pillar of memorial since, with gilt Victory atop [Not till 1854 (Kutzen, p, 195).]; - where Friedrich now is and where the Austrians are not, is at once a screen and a point of vision to Friedrich.  By loss of their Nostitz Forepost, they had lost view of Friedrich, and never could recover view of him; could not for hours learn distinctly what he was about; and when he did come in sight again, it was in a most unexpected place!  On the farther side of Borne, edge of the big expanse of open country there, Friedrich has halted; ridden with his adjutants to the top of “the Scheuberg (Shy-HILL),” as the Books call it, though it is more properly a blunt Knoll or “Rise,” - the nearest of a Chain of Knolls, or swells in the ground, which runs from north to south on that part.

Except the Zobtenberg, rising blue and massive, on the southern horizon (famous mythologic Mountain, reminding you of an ARTHUR’S SEAT in shape too, only bigger and solitary), this Country, for many miles round, has nothing that could be called a Hill; it is definable as a bare wide-waving champaign, with slight bumps on it, or slow heavings and sinkings.  Country mostly under culture, though it is of sandy quality; one or two sluggish brooks in it; and reedy mères or mires, drained in our day.  It is dotted with Hamlets of the usual kind; and has patches of scraggy fir.  Your horizon, even where bare, is limited, owing to the wavy heavings of the ground; windmills and church-belfries are your only resource, and even these, from about Leuthen and the Austrian position, leave the Borne quarter mostly invisible to you.  Leuthen Belfry, the same which may have stood a hundred years before this Battle, ends in a small tile-roof, open only at the gables: - “Leuthen Belfry,” says a recent Tourist, “is of small resource for a view.  To south you can see some distance, Sagschutz, Lobetintz and other Hamlets, amid scraggy fir-patches, and meadows, once miry pools; but to north you are soon shut in by a swell or slow rise, with two windmills upon it [important to readers at present]; and to eastward [Breslau side and Lissa side], or to westward [Friedrich’s side], one has no view, except of the old warped rafters and their old mouldy tiles within few inches; or, if by audacious efforts at each end, to the risk of your neck, you get a transient peep, it is stopt, far short of Borne, by the slow irregular heavings, with or without fir about them.” [Tourist’s Note, Pênes ME.]

In short, Friedrich keeps possession of that Borne ridge of Knolls, escorted by Cavalry in good numbers; twinkling about in an enigmatic way: - “Prussian right wing yonder,” think the Austrians - “whitherward, or what can they mean?” - and keeps his own columns and the Austrian lines in view; himself and his movements invisible, or worse, to the Austrian Generals from any spy-glass or conjecture they can employ.

The Austrian Generals are in windmills, on church-belfries, here, there; diligently scanning the abstruse phenomenon, of which so little can be seen.  Daun, who had always been against this adventure, thinks it probable the vanished Prussians are retiring southward:  for Bohemia and our Magazines probably.  “These good people are smuggling off (DIE GUTEN LEUTE PASCHEN AB),” said he:  “let them go in peace.” [Muller, .] Daun, that morning, in his reconnoitrings, had asked of a peasant, “What is that, then?” (meaning the top of a Village-steeple in the distance, but thought by the peasant to be meaning something nearer hand).  “That is the Hill our King chases the Austrians over, when he is reviewing here!” Which Daun reported at head-quarters with a grin. [Nicolai, Anekdoten, i.]

Lucchesi, on the other hand, scanning those Borne Hills, and the cavalry of Friedrich’s escort twinkling hither and thither on them, becomes convinced to a moral certainty, That yonder is the Prussian Vanguard, probable extremity of left wing; and that he, Lucchesi, here at Nypern, is to be attacked.  “Attacked, you?” said one Montazet, French Agent or Emissary here:  “unless they were snipes, it is impossible!” But Lucchesi saw it too well.

He sends to say that such is the evident fact, and that he, Lucchesi, is not equal to it, but must have large reinforcement of Horse to his right wing.  “Tush!” answer Prince Karl and Daun; and return only argument, verbal consolation, to distressed Lucchesi.  Lucchesi sends a second message, more passionately pressing, to the like effect; also with the like return.  Upon which he sends a third message, quite passionate:  “If Cavalry do not come, I will not be responsible for the issue!” And now Daun does collect the required reinforcement; “all the reserve of Horse, and a great many from the left wing;” - and, Daun himself heading them, goes off at a swift trot; to look into Lucchesi and his distresses, three or four miles to right, five or six from where the danger lies.  Now is Friedrich’s golden moment.

Wending always south, on their western or invisible side of those Knolls, Friedrich’s people have got to about the level, or LATITUDE as we might call it, of Nadasti’s left.  To Radaxdorf, namely, to Lobetintz, or still farther south, and perhaps a mile to west of Nadasti.  Friedrich has mounted to Lobetintz Windmill; and judges that the time is come.  Daun and Cavalry once got to support their right wing, and our south latitude being now sufficient, Friedrich, swift as Prussian manoeuvring can do it, falls with all his strength upon their left wing.  Forms in oblique order, - horse, foot, artillery, all perfect in their paces; and comes streaming over the Knolls at Sagschutz, suddenly like a fire-deluge on Nadasti, who had charge there, and was expecting no such adventure!  How Friedrich did the forming in oblique order was at that time a mystery known only to Friedrich and his Prussians:  but soldiers of all countries, gathering the secret from him, now understand it, and can learnedly explain it to such as are curious.  Will readers take a touch more of the DRILL-SERGEANT?

“You go stairwise (EN ECHELON),” says he:  “first battalion starts, second stands immovable till the first have done fifty steps; at the fifty-first, second battalion also steps along; third waiting for ITS fifty-first step.  First battalion [rightmost battalion or leftmost, as the case may be; rightmost in this Leuthen case] doing fifty steps before the next stirs, and each battalion in succession punctually doing the same:”  march along on these terms, - or halt at either end, while you advance at the other, - it is evident you will swing yourself out of the parallel position into any degree of obliquity.  And furthermore, merely by halting and facing half round at the due intervals, you shove yourself to right or to left as required (always to right in this Leuthen case):  and so - provided you CAN march as a pair of compasses would - you will, in the given number of minutes, impinge upon your Enemy’s extremity at the required angle, and overlap him to the required length:  whereupon, At him, in flank, in front, and rear, and see if he can stand it!  “A beautiful manoeuvre” says Captain Archenholtz; “devised by Friedrich,” by Friedrich inheriting Epaminondas and the Old Dessauer; “and which perhaps only Friedrich’s men, to this day, could do with the requisite perfection.”

Nadasti, a skilful War-Captain, especially with Horse, was beautifully posted about Sagschutz; his extreme left folded up EN POTENCE there (elbow of it at Sagschutz, forearm of it running to Gohlau eastward); POTENCE ending in firwood Knolls with Croat musketeers, in ditches, ponds, difficult ground, especially towards Gohlau.  He has a strong battery, 14 pieces, on the Height to rear of him, at the angle or elbow of his POTENCE; strong abatis, well manned in front to rightwards:  upon this, and upon the Croats in the firwood, the Prussians intend their attack.  General Wedell is there, Prince Moritz as chief, with six battalions, and their batteries, battery of 10 Brummers and another; Ziethen also and Horse:  coming on, in swift fire-flood, and at an angle of forty-five degrees.  Most unexpected, strange to behold!  From southwest yonder; about one o’clock of the day.

Nadasti, though astonished at the Prussian fire-deluge, stands to his arms; makes, in front, vigorous defence; and even takes, in some sort, the initiative, - that is, dashes out his Cavalry on Ziethen, before Ziethen has charged.  Ziethen’s Horse, who are rightmost of the Prussians:  and are bare to the right, - ground offering no bush, no brook there (though Ziethen, foreseeing such defect, has a clump of infantry near by to mend it), - reel back under this first shock, coming downhill upon them; and would have fared badly, had not the clump of infantry instantly opened fire on the Nadasti visitors, and poured it in such floods upon them, that they, in their turn, had to reel back.  Back they, well out of range; - and leave Ziethen free for a counter-attack shortly, on easier terms, which was successful to him.  For, during that first tussle of his, the Prussian Infantry, to left of Ziethen, has attacked the Sagschutz Firwood; clears that of Croats; attacks Nadasti’s line, breaks it, their Brummer battery potently assisting, and the rage of Wedell and everybody being extreme.  So that, in spite of the fine ground, Nadasti is in a bad way, on the extreme left or outmost point of his POTENCE, or tactical KNEE.  Round the knee-pan or angle of his POTENCE, where is the abatis, he fares still worse.  Abatis, beswept by those ten Brummers and other Batteries, till bullet and bayonet can act on it, speedily gives way.  “They were mere Wurtembergers, these; and could not stand!” cried the Austrians apologetically, at a great rate, afterwards; as if anybody could well have stood.

Indisputably the Wurtembergers and the abatis are gone; and the Brandenburgers, storming after them, storm Nadasti’s interior battery of 14 pieces; and Nadasti’s affairs are rapidly getting desperate in this quarter.  Figure Prince Karl’s scouts, galloping madly to recall that Daun Cavalry!  Austrian Battalions, plenty of them, rush down to help Nadasti; but they are met by the crowding fugitives, the chasing Prussians; are themselves thrown into disorder, and can do no good whatever.  They arrive on the ground flurried, blown; have not the least time to take breath and order:  the fewest of them ever got fairly ranked, none of them ever stood above one push:  all goes rolling wildly back upon the centre about Leuthen.  Chaos come on us; - and all for mere lack of time:  could Nadasti but once stretch out one minute into twenty!  But he cannot.  Nadasti does not himself lose head; skilfully covers the retreat, trying to rally once and again.  Not for the first few furlongs, till the ditches, till the firwood, quagmires are all done, could Ziethen, now on the open ground, fairly hew in; “take whole battalions prisoners;” drive the crowd in an altogether stormy manner; and wholly confound the matter in this part.

Prince Karl, his messengers flying madly, has struggled as man seldom did to put himself in some posture about Leuthen, to get up some defences there.  Leuthen itself, the churchyard of it especially, is on the defensive.  Men are bringing cannon to the windmills, to the swelling ground on the north side of Leuthen; they dig ditches, build batteries, - could they but make Time halt, and Friedrich with him, for one quarter of an hour.  But they cannot.  By the extreme of diligence, the Austrians have in some measure swung themselves into a new position, or imperfect Line round Leuthen as a centre, - Lucchesi, voluntarily or by order, swinging southwards on the one hand; Nadasti swinging northwards by compulsion; - new Line at an angle say of 75 degrees to the old one.  And here, for an hour more, there was stiff fighting, the stiffest of the day; - of which, take one direct glimpse, from the Austrian side, furnished by a Young Gentleman famous afterwards: -

Leuthen, let us premise, is a long Hamlet of the usual littery sort; with two rows, in some parts three, of farm-houses, barns, cattle-stalls; with Church, or even with two Churches, a Protestant and a Catholic; goes from east to west above a mile in length.  With the wrecks of Nadasti tumbling into it pell-mell from the southeast, and Lucchesi desperately endeavoring to swing round from the northwest, not quite incoherently, and the Prussian fire-storm for accompaniment, Leuthen is probably the most chaotic place in the Planet Earth during that hour or so (from half-past two to half-past three) while the agony lasted.  At one o’clock Nadasti was attacked; at two he is tumbling in mid-career towards Leuthen:  I guess the date of this Excerpt, or testimony by a Notable Eye-witness, may be half-past two; crisis of the agony just about to begin:  and before four it was all finished again.  Eye-witness is the young Prince de Ligne, now Captain in an Austrian Regiment of Foot; and standing here in this perilous posture, having been called in as part of the Reserve.  He says: -

“Cry had risen for the Reserve,” in which was my regiment, “and that it must come on as fast as possible,” - to Leuthen, west of us yonder.  “We ran what we could run.  Our Lieutenant-Colonel fell killed almost at the first; beyond this we lost our Major, and indeed all the Officers but three, - three only, and about eleven or twelve of the Voluuteer or Cadet kind.  We had crossed two successive ditches, which lay in an orchard to left of the first houses in Leuthen; and were beginning to form in front of the Village.  But there was no standing of it.  Besides a general cannonade such as can hardly be imagined, there was a rain of case-shot upon this Battalion, of which I, as there was no Colonel left, had to take command; and a third Battalion of the Royal Prussian Foot-guards, which had already made several of our regiments pass that kind of muster, gave, at a distance of eighty paces, the liveliest fire on us.  It stood as if on the parade-ground, that third Battalion, and waited for us, without stirring.

“The Austrian regiment Andlau, at our right hand, could not get itself formed properly by reason of the houses; it was standing thirty deep, and sometimes its shot hit us on the back.  On my left the Austrian regiment Merci ran its ways; and I was glad of that, in comparison.  By no method or effort could I get the dragoons of Bathyani, who stood fifty yards in rear of me, to cut in a little, and help me out,” - no good cutting hereabouts, think the dragoons of Bathyani.  “My soldiers, who were still tired with running, and had no cannon (these either from necessity or choice they had left behind), were got scattered, fewer in number, and were fighting mainly out of sullenness.  More our honor, than the notion of doing good in the affair, prevented us from running off.  An Ensign of the regiment Arberg helped me awhile to form, from his and my own fragments, a kind of line; but he was shot down.  Two Officers of the Grenadiers brought me what they still had.  Some Hungarians, too, were luckily got together.  But at last, as, with all helps and the remnants of my own brave Battalion, I had come down to at most 200, I drew back to the Height where the Windmill is,” [Kutzen (from “Prince de Ligne’s DIARY, , German Translation").] - where many have drawn back, and are standing in sheltered places, a hundred deep, say our Books.

Stiff fighting at Leuthen; especially furious till Leuthen Churchyard, a place with high stone walls, was got.  Leuthen Village, we observe, was crammed with Austrians spitting fire from every coign of vantage; Church and Churchyard especially are a citadel of death.  Cannon playing from the Windmill Heights, too; - moments are inestimable.  The Prussian Commander (name charitably hidden) at Leuthen Churchyard seems to hesitate in the murderous fire-deluge:  Major Mollendorf, namable from that day forward, growling, “No time this for study,” dashes out himself, “EIN ANDRER MANN (Follow me, whoever is a man)!” - smashes in the Church-Gate of the place, nine muskets blazing on him through it; smashes, after a desperate struggle, the Austrians clean out of it, and conquers the citadel. [Muller, .]

The Austrians, on confused terms, made stiff dispute in this second position for about an hour.  The Prussian Reserve was ordered up by Friedrich; the Prussian left wing, which had stood “refused,” about Radaxdorf, till now:  at one time nearly all the Prussians were in fire.  Friedrich is here, is there, wherever the press was greatest; “Prince Ferdinand,” whom we now and then find named, as a diligent little fellow, and ascertain to be here in this and other Battles of Friedrich’s, - “Prince Ferdinand at one time pointed his cannon on the Bush or Fir-Clump of Radaxdorf; - an aide-de-camp came to him with message:  “You are firing on the King; the King is yonder!” At which Ferdinand [his dear little Brother] ERSCHRACK,” or almost fainted with terror. [Kutzen, .]

Stiff dispute; and had the Austrians possessed the Prussian dexterity in manoeuvring, and a Friedrich been among them, - perhaps?  But on their own terms, there was from the first little hope in it.  “Behind the Windmills they are a hundred men deep;” by and by, your Windmills, riddled to pieces, have to be abandoned; the Prussian left wing rushing on with bayonets, will not all of you have to go?  Lucchesi, with his abundant Cavalry, seeing this latter movement and the Prussian flank bare in that part, will do a stroke upon them; - and this proved properly the finale of the matter, finale to both Lucchesi and it.

The Prussian flank was to appearance bare in that leftward quarter; but only to appearance:  Driesen with the left wing of Horse is in a Hollow hard by; strictly charged by Friedrich to protect said flank, and take nothing else in hand.  Driesen lets Lucchesi gallop by, in this career of his; then emerges, ranked, and comes storming in upon Lucchesi’s back, - entirely confounding his astonished Cavalry and their career.  Astonished Cavalry, bullet-storm on this side of them, edge of sword on that, take wing in all directions (or all except to west and south) quite over the horizon; Lucchesi himself gets killed, - crosses a still wider horizon, poor man.  He began the ruin, and he ends it.  For now Driesen takes the bared Austrians in flank, in rear; and all goes tumbling here too, and in few minutes is a general deluge rearward towards Saara and Lissa side.

At Saara the Austrians, sun just sinking, made a third attempt to stand; but it was hopelessly faint this time; went all asunder at the first push; and flowed then, torrent-wise, towards all its Bridges over the Schweidnitz Water, towards Breslau by every method.  There are four Bridges, Stabelwitz below Lissa; Goldschmieden, Hermannsdorf, above; and the main one at Lissa itself, a standing Bridge on the Highroad (also of wood); and by this the chief torrent flows; Prussian horse pursuing vigorously; Prussian Infantry drawn up at Saara, resting some minutes, after such a day’s work. [Archenholtz, ; Seyfarth, _ Beylagen,_ i-252 (by an eye-witness, intelligent succinct Account of the Battle and previous March; i-272, of the Sieges &c. following); Preuss, i, &c.; Tempelhof, .]

Truly a memorable bit of work; no finer done for a hundred years, or for hundreds of years; and the results of it manifold, immediate and remote.  About 10,000 Austrians are left on the field, 3,000 of them slain; prisoners already 12,000, in a short time 21,000; flags 51, cannon 116; - “Conquest of Silesia” gone to water; Prince Karl and Austria fallen from their high hopes in one day.  The Prussians lost in killed 1,141, in wounded 5,118; 85 had been taken prisoners about Sagschutz and Gohlau, in the first struggle there. [Kutzen, p, 125.] There and at Leuthen Village had been the two tough passages; about an hour each; in three hours the Battle was done.  “MEINE HERREN,” said Friedrich that night at parole, “after such a spell of work, you deserve rest.  This day will bring the renown of your name, and of the Nation’s, to the latest posterity.”

High and low had shone this day; especially these four:  Ziethen, Driesen, Retzow, - and above all Moritz of Dessau.  Riding up the line, as night fell, Friedrich, in passing Moritz and the right wing, drew bridle for an instant:  “I congratulate you on the Victory, Herr Feldmarschall!” cried he cheerily, and with emphasis on the last word.  Moritz, still very busy, answered slightly; and Friedrich repeated louder, “Don’t you hear that I congratulate you, Herr FELDMARSCHALL!” - a glad sound to Moritz, who ever since Kolin had stood rather in the shadow.  “You have helped me, and performed every order, as none ever did before in any battle,” added the grateful King.

Riding up the line, all now grown dusky, Friedrich asks, “Any battalion a mind to follow me to Lissa?” Three battalions volunteering, follow him; three are plenty.  At Saara, on the Great Road, things are fallen utterly dark.  “Landlord, bring a lantern, and escort.”  Landlord of the poor Tavern at Saara escorts obediently; lantern in his right hand, left hand holding by the King’s stirrup-leather, - King (Excellency or General, as the Landlord thinks him) wishing to speak with the man.  Will the reader consent to their Dialogue, which is dullish, but singular to have in an authentic form, with Nicolai as voucher? [Anekdoten, ii-235.] Like some poor old horse-shoe, ploughed up on the field.  Two farthings worth of rusty old iron; now little other than a curve of brown rust:  but it galloped at the Battle of Leuthen; that is something! -

KING.  “Come near; catch me by the stirrup-leather [Landlord with lantern does so].  We are on the Breslau Great Road, that goes through Lissa, are n’t we?”

LANDLORD.  “Yea, Excellenz.”

KING.  “Who are you?”

LANDLORD.  “Your Excellenz, I am the KRATSCHMER [Silesian for Landlord] at Saara.”

KING.  “You have had a great deal to suffer, I suppose.”

LANDLORD.  “ACH, your Excellenz, had not I!  For the last eight-and-forty hours, since the Austrians came across Schweidnitz Water, my poor house has been crammed to the door with them, so many servants they have; and such a bullying and tumbling: - they have driven me half mad; and I am clean plundered out.”

KING.  “I am sorry indeed to hear that! - Were there Generals too in your house?  What said they?  Tell me, then.”

LANDLORD.  “With pleasure, your Excellenz.  Well; yesterday noon, I had Prince Karl in my parlor, and his Adjutants and people all crowding about.  Such a questioning and bothering!  Hundreds came dashing in, and other hundreds were sent out:  in and out they went all night; no sooner was one gone, than ten came.  I had to keep a roaring fire in the kitchen all night; so many Officers crowding to it to warm themselves.  And they talked and babbled this and that.  One would say, That our King was coming on, then, ‘with his Potsdam Guard-Parade.’  Another answers, ‘OACH, he dare n’t come!  He will run for it; we will let him run.’  But now my delight is, our King has paid them their fooleries so prettily this afternoon!”

KING.  “When got you rid of your high guests?”

LANDLORD.  “About nine this morning the Prince got to horse; and not long after three, he came past again, with a swarm of Officers; all going full speed for Lissa.  So full of bragging when they came; and now they were off, wrong side foremost!  I saw how it was.  And ever after him, the flood of them ran, Highroad not broad enough, - an hour and more before it ended.  Such a pell-mell, such a welter, cavalry and musketeers all jumbled:  our King must have given them a dreadful lathering.  That is what they have got by their bragging and their lying, - for, your Excellenz, these people said too, ’Our King was forsaken by his own Generals, all his first people had gone and left him:’  what I never in this world will believe.”

KING (not liking even rumor of that kind).  “There you are right; never can such a thing be believed of my Army.”

LANDLORD (whom this “MY” has transfixed).  “MEIN GOTT, you are our GNADIGSTER KONIG (most gracious King) yourself!  Pardon, pardon, if, in my stupidity, I have -

KING.  “No, you are an honest man: - probably a Protestant?”

LANDLORD.  “JOA, JOA, IHR MAJESTAT, I am of your Majesty’s creed!”

Crack-crack!  At this point the Dialogue is cut short by sudden musket-shots from the woody fields to right; crackle of about twelve shots in all; which hurt nothing but some horse’s feet, - had been aimed at the light, and too low.  Instantly the light is blown out, and there is a hunting out of Croats; Lissa or environs not evacuated yet, it seems; and the King’s Entrance takes place under volleyings and cannonadings.

King rides directly to the Schloss, which is still a fine handsome house, off the one street of that poor Village, - north side of street; well railed off, and its old ditches and defences now trimmed into flower-plots.  The Schloss is full of Austrian Officers, bustling about, intending to quarter, when the King enters.  They, and the force they still had in Lissa, could easily have taken him:  but how could they know?  Friedrich was surprised; but had to put the best face on it. [In Kutzen (p, 209 et seq.) explanation of the true circumstances, and source of the mistake.] “BON SOIR, MESSIEURS!” said he, with a gay tone, stepping in:  “Is there still room left, think you?” The Austrians, bowing to the dust, make way reverently to the divinity that hedges a King of this sort; mutely escort him to the best room (such the popular account); and for certain make off, they and theirs, towards the Bridge, which lies a little farther east, at the end of the Village.

Weistritz or Schweidnitz Water is a biggish muddy stream in that part; gushing and eddying; not voiceless, vexed by mills and their weirs.  Some firing there was from Croats in the lower houses of the Village, and they had a cannon at the farther bridge-end; but they were glad to get away, and vanish in the night; muddy Weistritz singing hoarse adieu to their cannon and them.  Prussian grenadiers plunged indignant into the houses; made short work of the musketries there.  In few minutes every Croat and Austrian was across, or silenced otherwise too well; Prussian cannon now going in the rear of them, and continuing to go, - such had been the order, “till the powder you have is done.”  Fire of musketry and occasional cannon lasts all night, from the Lissa or Prussian side of the River, - “lest they burn this Bridge, or attempt some mischief.”  A thing far from their thoughts, in present circumstances.

The Prussian host at Saara, hearing these noises, took to its arms again; and marched after the King.  Thick darkness; silence; tramp, tramp: - a Prussian grenadier broke out, with solemn tenor voice again, into Church-Music; a known Church-Hymn, of the homely TE-DEUM kind; in which five-and-twenty thousand other voices, and all the regimental bands, soon join: -

“Nun dunket alle Gott
Mit Herzen, Mund und Handen,
Der grosse Dinge thut
An uns und allen Enden.” [Muller, .]

         “Now thank God, one and all,
          With heart, with voice, with hands-a,
          Who wonders great hath done
          To us and to all lands-a.”

And thus they advance; melodious, far-sounding, through the hollow Night, once more in a highly remarkable manner.  A pious people, of right Teutsch stuff, tender though stout; and, except perhaps Oliver Cromwell’s handful of Ironsides, probably the most perfect soldiers ever seen hitherto.  Arriving at the end of Lissa, and finding all safe as it should be there, they make their bivouac, their parallelogram of two lines, miles long across the fields, left wing resting on Lissa, right on Guckerwitz; and - having, I should think, at least tobacco to depend on, with abundant stick-fires, and healthy joyful hearts - pass the night in a thankful, comfortable manner.

Leuthen was the most complete of all Friedrich’s victories; two hours more of daylight, as Friedrich himself says, and it would have been the most decisive of this century. [OEuvres de Frederic, i.] As it was, the ruin of this big Army, 80,000 against 30,000, ["89,200 was the Austrian strength before the Battle” (deduct the Garrisons of Schweidnitz and Liegnitz):  Preuss, i (from the STAFF-OFFICERS).] was as good as total; and a world of Austrian hopes suddenly collapsed; and all their Silesian Apparatus, making sure of Silesia beyond an IF, was tumbled into wreck, - by this one stroke it had got, smiting the corner-stone of it as if with unexpected lightning.  On the morrow after Leuthen, Friedrich laid siege to Breslau; Karl had left a garrison of 17,000 in it, and a stout Captain, one Sprecher, determined on defence:  such interests hung on Breslau, such immensities of stores were in it, had there been nothing else.  Friedrich, pushing with all his strength, in spite of bad weather and of Sprecher’s industrious defence, got it in twelve days. [7th-19th December:  DIARIUM, &c. of it in Helden-Geschichte, i-961.] Sprecher had posted placards on the gallows and up and down, terrifically proclaiming that any man convicted of mentioning surrender should be instantly hanged:  but Friedrich’s bombardment was strong, his assaults continual; and the ditches were threatening to freeze.  On the seventh day of the siege, a Laboratorium blew up; on the ninth, a Powder-Magazine, carrying a lump of the rampart away with it.  Sprecher had to capitulate:  Prisoners of War, we 17,000; our cannons, ammunitions (most opulent, including what we took from Bevern lately); these, we and Breslau altogether, alas, it is all yours again.  Liegnitz Garrison, seeing no hope, consented to withdraw on leave. [26th December:  Helden-Geschichte, i.] Schweidnitz cannot be besieged till Spring come:  except Schweidnitz, Maria Theresa, the high Kaiserinn, has no foot of ground in Silesia, which she thought to be hers again.  Gone utterly, Patents and all; Schweidnitz alone waiting till spring.  To the lively joy of Silesia in general; to the thrice-lively sorrow and alarm of certain individuals, leading Catholic Ecclesiastics mainly, who had misread the signs of the times in late months!  There is one Schaffgotsch, Archbishop or head-man of them, especially, who is now in a bad way.  Never was such royal favor; never such ingratitude, say the Books at wearisome length.  Schaffgotsch was a showy man of quality, nephew of the quondam Austrian Governor, whom Friedrich, across a good deal of Papal and other opposition, got pushed into the Catholic Primacy, and took some pains to make comfortable there, - Order of the Black Eagle, guest at Potsdam, and the like; - having a kind of fancy for the airy Schaffgotsch, as well as judging him suitable for this Silesian High-Priesthood, with his moderate ideas and quality ways, - which I have heard were a little dissolute withal.  To the whole of which Schaffgotsch proved signally traitorous and ingrate; and had plucked off the Black Eagle (say the Books, nearly breathless over such a sacrilege) on some public occasion, prior to Leuthen, and trampled it under his feet, the unworthy fellow.  Schaffgotsch’s pathetic Letter to Friedrich, in the new days posterior to Leuthen, and Friedrich’s contemptuous inexorable answer, we could give, but do not:  why should we?  O King, I know your difficulties, and what epoch it is.  But, of a truth, your airy dissolute Schaffgotsch, as a grateful “Archbishop and Grand-Vicar,” is almost uglier to me than as a Traitor ungrateful for it; and shall go to the Devil in his own way!  They would not have him in Austria; he was not well received at Rome; happily died before long. [Preuss, i, 114; Kutzen, p, 155-160, for the real particculars.] Friedrich was not cruel to Schaffgotsch or the others, contemptuously mild rather; but he knew henceforth what to expect of them, and slightly changed this and that in his Silesian methods in consequence.

Of Prince Karl let us add a word.  On the morrow after Leuthen, Captain Prince de Ligne and old Papa D’Ahremberg could find little or no Army; they stept across to Grabschen, a village on the safe side of the Lohe, and there found Karl and Daun:  “rather silent, both; one of them looking, ‘Who would have thought it!’ the other, ’Did n’t I tell you?’” - and knowing nothing, they either, where the Army was.  Army was, in fact, as yet nowhere.  “Croat fellows, in this Farmstead of ours,” says De Ligne, had fallen to shooting pigeons.  The night had been unusually dark; the Austrian Army had squatted into woods, into office-houses, farm-villages, over a wide space of country; and only as the day rose, began to dribble in.  By count, they are still 50,000; but heart-broken, beaten as men seldom were.  What sound is that? men asked yesterday at Brieg, forty miles off; and nobody could say, except that it was some huge Battle, fateful of Silesia and the world.  Breslau had it louder; Breslau was still more anxious.  What IS all that? asked somebody (might be Deblin the Shoemaker, for anything I know) of an Austrian sentry there:  That?  That is the Prussians giving us such a beating as we never had.  What news for Deblin the Shoemaker, if he is still above ground! -

“Prince Karl, gathering his distracted fragments, put 17,000 into Breslau by way of ample garrison there; and with the rest made off circuitously for Schweidnitz; thence for Landshut, and down the Mountains, home to Konigsgratz, - self and Army in the most wrecked condition.  Chased by Ziethen; Ziethen (sticking always to the hocks of them,’ as Friedrich eagerly enjoins on him; or sometimes it is, ’sitting on the breeches of them:’  for about a fortnight to come. [Eleven Royal Autographs:  in Blumenthal, Life of De Ziethen (i-111), a feeble incorrect Translation of them.] Ziethen took 2,000 prisoners; no end of baggages, of wagons left in the difficult places:  wild weather even for Ziethen, still more for Karl, among the Silesian-Bohemian Hill-roads:  heavy rains, deep muds, then sudden glass, with cutting snow-blasts:  ’An Army not a little dilapidated,’ writes Prince Karl, almost with tears in his eyes; (Army without linens, without clothes; in condition truly sad and pitiable; and has always, so close are the enemy, to encamp, though without tents.’ [Kutzen, ("Prince Karl to the Kaiser, December 14th").].  Did not get to Konigsgratz, and safe shelter, for ten days more.  Counted, at Konigsgratz in the Christmas time, 37,000 rank and file, - ’22,000 of whom are gone to hospital,’ by the Doctor’s report.

“Universal astonishment, indignation, even incredulity, is the humor at Vienna:  the high Kaiserinn herself, kept in the dark for some time, becomes dimly aware; and by Kaiser Franz’s own advice she relieves Prince Karl from his military employments, and appoints Daun instead.  Prince Karl withdrew to his Government of the Netherlands; and with the aid of generous liquors, and what natural magnanimity he had, spent a noiseless life thenceforth; Sword laid entirely on the shelf; and immortal Glory, as of Alexander and the like, quite making its exit from the scene, convivial or other.  ‘The first General in the world,’ so he used to be ten years ago, in Austria, in England, Holland, the thrice-greatest of Generals:  but now he has tried Friedrich in Five pitched Battles (Czaslau, Hohenfriedberg, Sohr, then Prag, then Leuthen); - been beaten every time, under every form of circumstance; and now, at Leuthen, the fifth beating is such, no public, however ignorant, can stand it farther.  The ignorant public changes its long-eared eulogies into contumeliously horrid shrieks of condemnation; in which one is still farther from joining.  ‘That crossing of the Rhine,’ says Friedrich, ’was a BELLE CHOSE; but flatterers blew him into dangerous self-conceit; besides, he was ill-obeyed, as others of us have been.’ ["Prince de Ligne, Mémoires sur Frederic (Berlin, 1789), ” (Preuss, i.] Adieu to him, poor red-faced soul; - and good liquor to him, - at least if he can take it in moderation!”

The astonishment of all men, wise and simple, at this sudden oversetting of the scene of things, and turning of the gazetteer-diplomatic theatre bottom uppermost, was naturally extreme, especially in gazetteer and diplomatic circles; and the admiration, willing or unwilling, of Friedrich, in some most essential points of him, rose to a high pitch.  Better soldier, it is clear, has not been heard of in the modern ages.  Heroic constancy, courage superior to fate:  several clear features of a hero; - pity he were such a liar withal, and ignorant of common honesty; thought the simple sort, in a bewildered manner, endeavoring to forget the latter features, or think them not irreconcilable.  Military judges of most various quality, down to this day, pronounce Leuthen to be essentially the finest Battle of the century; and indeed one of the prettiest feats ever done by man in his Fighting Capacity.  Napoleon, for instance, who had run over these Battles of Friedrich (apparently somewhat in haste, but always with a word upon them which is worth gathering from such a source), speaks thus of Leuthen:  “This Battle is a masterpiece of movements, of manoeuvres, and of resolution; enough to immortalize Friedrich, and rank him among the greatest Generals.  Manifests, in the highest degree, both his moral qualities and his military.” [Montholon, _ Mémoires &c., de Napoleon,_ vi.  This Napoleon SUMMARY OF FRIEDRICH’S CAMPAIGNS, and these brief Bits of Criticism, are pleasant reading, though the fruit evidently of slight study, and do credit to Napoleon perhaps still more than to Friedrich.]

How the English Walpoles, in Parliament and out of it; how the Prussian Sulzers, D’Argenses, the Gazetteer and vague public, may have spoken and written at that time, when the matter was fresh and on everybody’s tongue, - judge still by two small symptoms which we have to show: -

1.  A LETTER OF FRIEDRICH’S TO D’ARGENS (Durgoy, near Breslau, 19th December, 1757). - “Your friendship seduces you, MON CHER; I am but a paltry knave (POLISSON) in comparison with ‘Alexander,’ and not worthy to tie the shoe-latchets of ‘Cæsar’!  Necessity, who is the mother of industry, has made me act, and have recourse to desperate remedies in evils of a like nature.

“We have got here [this day, by capitulation of Breslau] from fourteen to fifteen thousand prisoners:  so that, in all, I have above twenty-three thousand of the Queen’s troops in my hands, fifteen Generals, and above seven hundred Officers.  ’T is a plaster on my wounds, but it is far enough from healing them.

“I am now about marching to the Mountain region, to settle the chain of quarters there; and if you will come, you will find the roads free and safe.  I was sorry at the Abbe’s treason,” - paltry De Prades, of whom we heard enough already. [OEuvres de Frederic, xi.]

2.  A POTTERY-APOTHEOSIS OF FRIEDRICH. - “There stands on this mantel-piece,” says one of my Correspondents, the amiable Smelfungus, in short, whom readers are acquainted with, “a small China Mug, not of bad shape; declaring itself, in one obscure corner, to be made at Worcester, ‘R.  I., Worcester, 1757’ (late in the season, I presume, demand being brisk); which exhibits, all round it, a diligent Potter’s-Apotheosis of Friedrich, hastily got up to meet the general enthusiasm of English mankind.  Worth, while it lasts unbroken, a moment’s inspection from you in hurrying along.

“Front side, when you take our Mug by the handle for drinking from it, offers a poor well-meant China Portrait, labelled KING OF PRUSSIA:  Copy of Friedrich’s Portrait by Pesne, twenty years too young for the time, smiling out nobly upon you; upon whom there descends with rapidity a small Genius (more like a Cupid who had hastily forgotten his bow, and goes headforemost on another errand) to drop a wreath on this deserving head; - wreath far too small for ever getting on (owing to distance, let us hope), though the artless Painter makes no sign; and indeed both Genius and wreath, as he gives them, look almost like a big insect, which the King will be apt to treat harshly if he notice it.  On the opposite side, again, separated from Friedrich’s back by the handle, is an enormous image of Fame, with wings filling half the Mug, with two trumpets going at once (a bass, probably, and a treble), who flies with great ease; and between her eager face end the unexpectant one of Friedrich (who is 180 degrees off, and knows nothing of it) stands a circular Trophy, or Imbroglio of drums, pikes, muskets, cannons, field-flags and the like; very slightly tied together, - the knot, if there is one, being hidden by some fantastic bit of scroll or escutcheon, with a Fame and ONE trumpet scratched on it; - and high out of the Imbroglio rise three standards inscribed with Names, which we perceive are intended to be names of Friedrich’s Victories; standards notable at this day, with Names which I will punctually give you.

“Standard first, which flies to the westward or leftward, has ‘Reisberg’ (no such place on this distracted globe, but meaning Bevern’s REICHENBERG, perhaps), - ’Reisberg,’ ‘Prague,’ ‘Collin.’  Middle standard curves beautifully round its staff, and gives us to read, ‘Welham’ (non-extant, too; may mean WELMINA or Lobositz), ‘Rossbach’ (very good), ‘Breslau’ (poor Bevern’s, thought a VICTORY in Worcester at this time!).  Standard third, which flies to eastward or right hand, has ‘Neumark’ (that is, NEUMARKT and the Austrian Bread-ovens, 4th December); ‘Lissa’ (not yet LEUTHEN in English nomenclature); and ‘Breslau’ again, which means the capture of Breslau CITY this time, and is a real success, 7th-19th December; - giving us the approximate date, Christmas, 1757, to this hasty Mug.  A Mug got up for temporary English enthusiasm, and the accidental instruction of posterity.  It is of tolerable China; holds a good pint, ’To the Protestant Hero, with all the honors;’ - and offers, in little, a curious eyehole into the then England, with its then lights and notions, which is now so deep-hidden from us, under volcanic ashes, French Revolutions, and the wrecks of a Hundred very decadent Years.”