Read Chapter XII. - SIEGE OF SCHWEIDNITZ:  SEVENTH CAMPAIGN ENDS. of History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia (Vol. XX.) (Friedrich is not to be Overwhelmed: The Seven-Years War Gradually Ends-25th April‚ 1760-15th February‚ 1763.), free online book, by Thomas Carlyle, on ReadCentral.com.

Daun being now cleared away, Friedrich instantly proceeds upon Schweidnitz.  Orders the necessary Siege Materials to get under way from Neisse; posts his Army in the proper places, between Daun and the Fortress, - King’s head-quarter Dittmannsdorf, Army spread in fine large crescent-shape, to southwest of Schweidnitz some ten miles, and as far between Daun and it; - orders home to him his Upper-Silesia Detachments, “Home, all of you, by Neisse Country, to make up for Czernichef’s departure; from Neisse onwards you can guard the Siege-Ammunition wagons!” Naturally he has blockaded Schweidnitz, from the first; he names Tauentzien Siege-Captain, with a 10 or 12,000 to do the Siege:  “Ahead, all of you!” - and in short, AUGUST 7th, with the due adroitness and precautions, opens his first parallel; suffering little or nothing hitherto by a resistance which is rather vehement. [Tempelhof, v.] He expects to have the place in a couple of weeks - “one week (HUIT JOUR)” he sometimes counts it, but was far out in his reckoning as to time.

The Siege of Schweidnitz occupied two most laborious, tedious months; - and would be wearisome to every reader now, as it was to Friedrich then, did we venture on more than the briefest outline.  The resistance is vehement, very skilful: - Commandant is Guasco (the same who was so truculent to Schmettau in the Dresden time); his Garrison is near 12,000, picked from all regiments of the Austrian Army; his provisions, ammunitions, are of the amplest; and he has under him as chief Engineer a M. Gribeauval, who understands “counter-mining” like no other.  After about a fortnight of trial, and one Event in the neighborhood which shall be mentioned, this of Mining and Counter-mining - though the External Sap went restlessly forward too, and the cannonading was incessant on both sides - came to be regarded more and more as the real method, and for six or seven weeks longer was persisted in, with wonderful tenacity of attempt and resistance.  Friedrich’s chief Mining Engineer is also a Frenchman, one Lefebvre; who is personally the rival of Gribeauval (his old class-fellow at College, I almost think); but is not his equal in subterranean work, - or perhaps rather has the harder task of it, that of Mining, instead of COUNTER-mining, or SPOILING Mines.  Tempelhof’s account of these two people, and their underground wrestle here, is really curious reading; - clear as daylight to those that will study, but of endless expansion (as usual in Tempelhof), and fit only to be indicated here. [Tempelhof, v-219; Bericht und Tagebuch von der Belagerung von Schweidnitz vom 7ten August bis 9 October, 1762 (Seyfarth, Beylagen, ii-479); Archenholtz, Retzow, &c.]

The external Event I promised to mention is an attempt on Daun’s part (August 16th) to break in upon Friedrich’s position, and interrupt the Siege, or render it still impossible.  Event called the BATTLE OF REICHENBACH, though there was not much of battle in it; - in which our old friend the Duke of Brunswick-Bevern (whom we have seen in abeyance, and merely a Garrison Commandant, for years back, till the Russians left Stettin to itself) again played a shining part.

Daun - at Tannhausen, 10 miles to southwest of Friedrich, and spread out among the Hills, with Loudons, Lacys, Becks, as lieutenants, and in plenty of force, could he resolve on using it - has at last, after a month’s meditation, hit upon a plan.  Plan of flowing round by the southern skirt of Friedrich, and seizing certain Heights to the southeastern or open side of Schweidnitz, - Koltschen Height the key one; from which he may spread up at will, Height after Height, to the very Zobtenberg on that eastern side, and render Schweidnitz an impossibility.  The plan, people say, was good; but required rapidity of execution, - a thing Daun is not strong in.

Bevern’s behavior, too, upon whom the edge of the matter fell, was very good.  Bevern, coming on from Neisse and Upper Silesia, had been much manoeuvred upon for various days by Beck; Beck, a dangerous, alert man, doing his utmost to seize post after post, and bar Bevern’s way, - meaning especially, as ultimate thing, to get hold of a Height called Fischerberg, which lies near Reichenbach (in the southern Schweidnitz vicinities), and is preface to Koltschen Height and to the whole Enterprise of Daun.  In most of which attempts, especially in this last, Bevern, with great merit, not of dexterity alone (for the King’s Orders had often to be DISobeyed in the letter, and only the spirit of them held in view), contrived to outmanoeuvre Beck; and be found (August 13th) already firm on the Fischerberg, when Beck, in full confidence, came marching towards it.  “The Fischerberg lost to us!” Beck had to report, in disappointment.  “Must be recovered, and my grand Enterprise no longer put off!” thinks Daun to himself, in still more disappointment ("Laggard that I am!"). - And on the third day following, the BATTLE OF REICHENBACH ensued.  Lacy, as chief, with abundant force, and Beck and Brentano under him:  these are to march, “Recover me that Fischerberg; it is the preface to Koltschen and all else!” [Tempelhof, v.]

MONDAY, AUGUST 16th, pretty early in the day, Lacy, with his Becks and Brentanos, appeared in great force on the western side of Fischerberg; planted themselves there, about the three Villages of Peilau (Upper, Nether and Middle Peilau, a little way to south of Reichenbach), within cannon-shot of Bevern; their purpose abundantly clear.  Behind them, in the gorges of the Mountains, what is not so clear, lay Daun and most of his Army; intending to push through at once upon Koltschen and seize the key, were this of Fischerberg had.  Lacy, after reconnoitring a little, spreads his tents (which it is observable Beck does not); and all Austrians proceed to cooking their dinner.  “Nothing coming of them till to-morrow!” said Friedrich, who was here; and went his way home, on this symptom of the Austrian procedures; - hardly consenting to regard them farther, even when he heard their cannonade begin.

Lacy, the general composure being thus established, and dinner well done, suddenly drew out about five in the evening, in long strong line, before these Hamlets of Peilau, on the western side of the Fischerberg; Beck privately pushing round by woods to take it on the eastern side:  and there ensued abundant cannonading on the part of Lacy and Brentano, and some idle flourishing about of horse, responded to by Bevern; and, on the part of Lacy and Brentano, nothing else whatever.  More like a theatre fight than a real one, says Tempelhof.  Beck, however, is in earnest; has a most difficult march through the tangled pathless woods; does arrive at length, and begin real fighting, very sharp for some time; which might have been productive, had Lacy given the least help to it, as he did NOT. [Tempelhof, v-151.] Beck did his fieriest; but got repulsed everywhere.  Beck tries in various places; finds swamps, impediments, fierce resistance from the Bevern people; - finds, at length, that the King is awake, and that reinforcements, horse, foot, riding-artillery, are coming in at the gallop; and that he, Beck, cannot too soon get away.

None of the King’s Foot people could get in for a stroke, though they came mostly running (distance five miles); but the Horse-charges were beautifully impressive on Lacy’s theatrical performers, as was the Horse-Artillery to a still more surprising degree; and produced an immediate EXEUNT OMNES on the Lacy part.  All off; about 7 P.M., - Sun just going down in the autumn sky; - and the Battle of Reichenbach a thing finished.  Seeing which, Daun also immediately withdrew, through the gorges of the Mountains again.  And for seven weeks thenceforth sat contemplative, without the least farther attempt at relief of Schweidnitz.  It was during those seven weeks, some time after this, that poor Madam Daun, going to a Levee at Schönbrunn one day, had her carriage half filled with symbolical nightcaps, successively flung in upon her by the Vienna people; - symbolical; in lieu of Slashing Articles, and Newspapers the best Instructors, which they as yet have not.

Next day the Joy-fire of the Prussians taught Guasco what disaster had happened; and on the fifth day afterwards (August 22d), hearing nothing farther of Daun, Guasco offered to surrender, on the principle of Free Withdrawal.  “No, never,” answered Tauentzien, by the King’s order:  “As Prisoners of War it must be!” Upon which Guasco stood to his defences again; and maintained himself, - Gribeauval and he did, - with an admirable obstinacy:  the details of which would be very wearisome to readers.  Gribeauval and he, I said; for from this time, Engineer Lefebvre, though he tried (with bad skill, thinks Tempelhof) some bits of assault above ground, took mainly to mining, and a grand underground invention called GLOBES DE COMPRESSION; which he reckoned to be the real sovereign method, - unlucky that he was!  I may at least explain what GLOBE DE COMPRESSION is; for it becomes famous on this occasion, and no name could be less descriptive of the thing.  Not a GLOBE at all, for that matter, nor intended to “compress,” but to EXpress, and shatter to pieces in a transcendent degree:  it is, in fact, a huge cubical mine-chamber, filled by a wooden box (till Friedrich, in his hurry, taught Lefebvre that a sack would do as well), loaded with, say, five thousand-weight of powder.  Sufficient to blow any horn-work, bastion, bulwark, into the air, - provided you plant it in the right place; which poor Lefebre never can.  He tried, with immense labor, successively some four or almost five of these “PRESS BALLS” so called (or Volcanoes in Little); mining on, many yards, 15 or 20 feet underground (tormented by Gribeauval all the way); then at last, exploding his five thousand-weight, - would produce a “Funnel,” or crater, of perhaps “30 yards in diameter,” but, alas, “150 yards OFF any bastion.”  Funnel of no use to him; - mere sign to him that he must go down into it, and begin there again; with better aim, if possible.  And then Gribeauval’s tormentings; never were the like!  Gribeauval has, all round under the Glacis, mine-galleries, or main-roads for Counter-mining, ready to his hand (mine-galleries built by Friedrich while lately proprietor); there Gribeauval is hearkening the beat of Lefebvre’s picks:  “Ten yards from us, think you?  Six yards?  Get a 30 hundredweight of chamber ready for him!” And will, at the right moment, blow Lefebvre’s gallery about his ears; - sometimes bursts in upon him bodily with pistol and cutlass, or still worse, with explosive sulphur-balls, choke-pots and infinitudes of mal-odor instantaneously developed on Lefebvre, - which mean withal, “You will have to begin again, Monsieur!” Enough to drive a Lefebvre out of his wits.  Twice, or oftener, Lefebvre, a zealous creature but a thin-skinned, flew out into open paroxysm; wept, invoked the gods, threatened suicide:  so that Friedrich had to console him, “Courage, you will manage it; make chicanes on Gribeauval, as he does on you,” - and suggested that powder-SACK instead of deal-box, which we just mentioned.

Friedrich’s patience seems to have been great; but in the end he began to think the time long.  He was in three successive head-quarters, Dittmannsdorf, Peterswaldau, Bogendorf, nearer and nearer; at length quite near (Bogendorf within a couple of miles); and wondering Gazetteers reported him on horseback, examining minutely the parallels and siege-works, - with a singular indifference to the cannon-balls flying about ("Not easy to hit a small object with cannon!"), and intent only on giving Tauentzien suggestions, admonitions and new orders.  Here, prior to Bogendorf, are three snatches of writing, which successively have indications for us.  KING TO PRINCE HENRI: -

PETERSWALDAU, AUGUST 13th, 1762 (King has just shifted hither, August 10th, on the Bevern-REICHENBACH score; continues here till September 23d)....  “You are right to say, ‘We ourselves are our best Allies.’  I am of the same opinion; nevertheless, it is a clear duty and call of prudence to try and alleviate the burden as much as possible:  and I own to you, that if, after all I have written, the thing fails this time [as it does], I shall be obliged to grant

MAP GOES HERE - FACING PAGE 152, CHAP XII, BOOK 20 -

that there is nothing to be made of those Turks.” - “We are now in the press of our crisis as to Schweidnitz.  The Siege advances beautifully:  but Beck is come hereabouts, Lacy masked behind him; and I cannot yet tell you [not till REICHENBACH and the 16th] whether the Enemy intends some big adventure for disengaging Schweidnitz, or will content himself with disturbing and annoying us.”

PETERSWALDAU, 9th SEPTEMBER.  Springs, water-threads coming into our mines delay us a little:  “by the 12th [in 3 days’ time, little thinking it would be 30 days!] I still hope to despatch you a courier with the news, All is over!  Your Nephew [Prince of Prussia] is out to-day assisting in a forage; he begins to kindle into fine action.  We are nothing but pygmies in comparison to him [in point of physical stature]; imagine to yourself Prince Franz [of Brunswick; killed, poor fellow, at Hochkirch], only taller still:  this is the figure of him at present.”

PETERSWALDAU, SEPTEMBER 19th....  “Our Siege wearies all the world; people persecute me to know the end of it; I never get a Berlin Letter without something on that head; - and I have no resource myself but patience.  We do all we can:  but I cannot hinder the enemy from defending himself, and Gribeauval from being a clever fellow: - soon, however, surely soon, soon, we shall see the end.  Our weather here is like December; the Seasons are as mad as the Politics of Europe.  Finally, my dear Brother, one must shove Time on; day follows day, and at last we shall catch the one that ends our labors.  Adieu; JE VOUS EMBRASSE.” [Schoning, ii, 430, 446.] - Here farther, from the Siege-ground itself, are some traceries, scratchings by a sure hand, which yield us something of image.  Date is still only BEFORE Schweidnitz, far on in the eighth week: -

SEPTEMBER 23d.  “This morning, before 9, the King [direct from Peterswaldau, where he has been lodging hitherto, - must have breakfasted rather early] came into the Lines here: - his quarter is now to be at Bogendorf near hand, in a Farm house there.  The Prince of Prussia was riding with him, and Lieutenant-Colonel von Anhalt [the Adjutant whom we have heard of]:  he looked at the Battery” lately ordered by him; “looked at many things; rode along, a good 100 yards inside of the vedettes; so that the Enemy noticed him, and fired violently,” - King decidedly ignoring.  “To Captain Beauvrye [Captain of the Miners] he paid a gracious compliment; Major Lefebvre he rallied a little for losing heart, for bungling his business; but was not angry with him, consoled him rather; bantered him on the shabbiness of his equipments, and made him a gift of 400 thalers (60 pounds), to improve them.  Lefebvre, Tauentzien and” another General “dined with him at Bogendorf to-day.” ["Captain Gotz’s NOTE-book” (a conspicuous Captain here, Note-book still in manuscript, I think):  cited in SCHONING, ii et seq.]

SEPTEMBER 24th, EARLY.  “The King on horseback viewed the trenches, rode close behind the first parallel, along the mid-most communication-line:  the Enemy cannonaded at us horribly (ERSCHRECKLICH); a ball struck down the Page von Pirch’s horse [Pirch lay writhing, making moan, - plainly overmuch, thought the King]:  on Pirch’s accident, too, the Prince of Prussia’s horse made a wild plunge, and pitched its rider aloft out of the saddle; people thought the Prince was shot, and everybody was in horror:  great was the commotion; only the King was heard calling with a clear voice, ’PIRCH, VERGISS ER SEINEN SATTEL NICHT, - Pirch, bring your saddle with you!’”

This of Pirch and the saddle is an Anecdote in wide circulation; taken sometimes as a proof of Royal thrift; but is mainly the Royal mode of rebuking Pirch for his weak behavior in the accident that had befallen.  Pirch, an ingenious handy kind of fellow, famed for his pranks and trickeries in those Page-days, had many adventures in the world; - was, for one while, something of a notability among the French; will “teach you the Prussian mode of drill,” and actually got leave to try it “on the German Regiments in our service:”  [Voltaire’s wondering Report of him ("Ferney, 7th December, 1774"), and Friedrich’s quiet Answer ("Berlin, 28th De"):  in OEuvres de Frederic, xxii, 301.  Rodenbeck (i-200) has a slight “BIOGRAPHY” of Pirch.] - died, finally, as Colonel of one of these, at the Siege of Gibraltar, in 1783.

SEPTEMBER 25th.  “Morning and noon, each time two hours, the King was in his new batteries; and, with great satisfaction, watched the working of them.  This day there dined with him the Prince of Bernburg [General of Brigade here], Tauentzien, Lefebvre and Dieskau” (head of the Artillery).

The King is always riding about; has now, virtually, taken charge of the Siege himself.  “In Bogendorf, the first night, he dismissed the Guard sent for him; would have nothing there but six chasers (JAGER):”  an alarming case!  “After a night or two, there came always, without his knowledge, a dragoon party of 30 horse; took post behind Bogendorf Church, patrolled towards Kunzendorf, Giesdorf, and had three pickets.”

SEPTEMBER 28th.  “Gribeauval has sprung a mine last night;” totally blown up Lefebvre again!  “Engineer-Lieutenants Gerhard and Von Kleist were wounded by our own people; Captain Guyon was shot:”  things all going wrong, - weather, I suspect also, bad.  “The King was in dreadful humor (SEHR Ungnädig); rated and rebuked to right and left:  ’If it should last till January, the Attack must go on.  Nobody seems to be able for his business; Lefebvre a blockhead (DUMMER TEUFEL), who knows nothing of mining:  the Generals, too, where are they?  Every General henceforth is to take his place in the third parallel, at the head of his Covering-Party [most exposed place of all], and stay his whole twenty-four hours there [Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg is Covering-Party today; I hope, in his post during this thunder!]:  Taken the Place can and must be!  We have the misfortune, That a stupid Engineer who knows nothing of his art has the direction; and a General without sense in Sieging has the command.  Everybody is at a NON PLUS, it appears!  Not all our Artillery can silence that Front-fire; not in a single place can Thirty stupid Miners get into the Fort.’  To-day and yesterday the King spoke neither to General Tauentzien nor to Major Lefebvre; Lieutenant-Colonel von Anhalt had to give all the Orders.”  An electric kind of day!

The weather is becoming wet.  In fact, there ensue whole weeks of rain, - the trenches swimming, service very hard.  Guasco’s guns are many of them dismounted; no Daun to be heard of.  Guasco again and again proposes modified capitulations; answer always, “Prisoners of War on the common terms.”  Guasco is wearing low:  OCTOBER 7th (Lefebvre sweating and puffing at his last Globe of Expression, hoping to hit the mark this last time), an accidental grenade from Tauentzien, above ground, rolled into one of Guasco’s powder-vaults; blew it, and a good space of Wall along with it, into wreck; two days after which, Guasco had finished his Capitulating; - and we get done with this wearisome affair. [Tempelhof, v-220; Tagebuch von der Belagerung von Schweidnitz vom 7ten August bis 9ten October, 1762 (Seyfarth, Beylagen, ii-497); Tielke, &c. &c.] Guasco was invited to dine with the King; praised for his excellent defence.  Prisoners of War his Garrison and he; about 9,000 of them still on their feet; their entire loss had been 3,552 killed and wounded; that of the Prussians 3,033.  Poor Guasco died, in Konigsberg, still prisoner, before the Peace came.

Of Austrian fighting in Silesia, this proved to be the last, in the present Controversy which has endured so long.  No thought of fighting is in Daun; far the reverse.  Daun is getting ill off for horse-forage in his Mountains; the weather is bad upon him; we hear “he has had, for some time past, 12,000 laborers” palisading and fortifying at the Passes of Bohemia:  “Truce for the Winter” is what he proposes.  To which the King answers, “No; unless you retire wholly within Bohemia and Glatz Country:”  this at present Daun grudged to do; but was forced to it, some weeks afterwards, by the sleets and the snows, had there been no other pressure.  In about three weeks hence, Friedrich, leaving Bevern in command here, and a Silesia more or less adjusted, made for Saxony; whither important reinforcements had preceded him, - reinforcements under General Wied, the instant it was possible.  Saxony he had long regarded as the grand point, were Schweidnitz over:  “Recapture Dresden, and they will have to give us Peace this very Winter!” Daun, also with reinforcements, followed him to Saxony, as usual; but never quite arrived, or else found matters settled on arriving; - and will not require farther mention in this History.  He died some three years hence, age 60; ["5th February, 1766;” “born 24th September, 1705” (Hormayr OEster-reichischer Plutarch, i-111).] an honorable, imperturbable, eupeptic kind of man, sufficiently known to readers by this time.

Friedrich did not recapture Dresden; far enough from that, - though Peace came all the same.  Hardly a week after our recovery of Schweidnitz, Stollberg and his Reichsfolk, especially his Austrians, became unexpectedly pert upon Henri; pressed forward (October 15th), in overpowering force, into his Posts about Freyberg, Pretschendorf and that southwestern Reich-ward part:  “No more invadings of Bohemia from you, Monseigneur; no more tormentings of the Reich; here is other work for you, my Prince!” - and in spite of all Prince Henri could do, drove him back, clear out of Freyberg; northwestward, towards Hulsen and his reserves. [Bericht von dem Angriff so am 15ten October, 1762, van der Reichs-Armee auf die Kongilich-Preussischen unter dem Prinzen Heinrich geschehen (Seyfarth, Beylagen, ii-364). Ausfuhrlicher Bericht von der den 15ten October, 1762, bey Brand vorgefallenen Action (Ib. ii-362).  Tempelhof, v.] Giving him, in this manner, what soldiers call a slap; slap which might have been more considerable, had those Stollberg people followed it up with emphasis.  But they did not; so alert was Henri.  Henri at once rallied beautifully from his slap (King’s reinforcements coming too, as we have said); and, in ten days’ time, without any reinforcement, paid Stollberg and Company by a stunning blow:  BATTLE OF FREYBERG (October 29th), - which must not go without mention, were it only as Prince Henri’s sole Battle, and the last of this War.  Preparatory to which and its sequel, let us glance again at Duke Ferdinand and the English-French posture, - also for the last time.

CANNONADE AT AMONEBURG (21st September, 1762).  “The controversies about right or left bank of the Fulda have been settled long since in Ferdinand’s favor; who proceeded next to blockade the various French strongholds in Hessen; Marburg, Ziegenhayn, especially Cassel; with an eye to besieging the same, and rooting the French permanently out.  To prevent or delay which, what can Soubise and D’Estrees do but send for their secondary smaller Army, which is in the Lower-Rhine Country under a Prince de Conde, mostly idle at present, to come and join them in the critical regions here.  Whereupon new Controversy shifting westward to the Mayn and Nidda-Lahn Country, to achieve said Junction and to hinder it.  Junction was not to be hindered.  The D’Estrees-Soubise people and young Conde made good manoeuvring, handsome fight on occasion; so that in spite of all the Erbprinz could do, they got hands joined; far too strong for the Erbprinz thenceforth; and on the last night of August were all fairly together, head-quarter Friedberg in Frankfurt Country (a thirty miles north of Frankfurt); and were earnestly considering the now not hopeless question, ’How, or by what routes and methods, push to northwestward, get through to those blockaded Hessian Strong-places, Cassel especially; and hinder Ferdinand’s besieging them, and quite outrooting us there?’

“This is a difficult question, but a vital.  ’Sweep rapidly past Ferdinand, - cannot we?  Well frontward or eastward of him, dexterously across the Lahn and its Branches (our light people are to rear of him, on this side of the Fulda, between the Fulda and him):  once joined with those light people by such methods, we have Cassel ahead, Ferdinand to rear, and will make short work with the blockades, - the blockades will have to rise in a hurry!’ This was the plan devised by D’Estrees; and rapidly set about; but it was seen into, at the first step, by Ferdinand, who proved still more rapid upon it.  Campings, counter-campings, crossings of the Lahn by D’Estrees people, then recrossings of it, ensued for above a fortnight; which are not for mention here:  in fine, about the middle of September, the D’Estrees Enterprise had plainly become impossible, unless it could get across the Ohm, - an eastern, or wide-circling northeastern Branch of the Lahn, - where, on the right or eastern bank of which, as better for him than the Lahn itself in this part, Ferdinand now is.  ’Across the Ohm:  and that, how can that be done, the provident Ferdinand having laid hold of Ohm, and secured every pass of it, several days ago!  Perhaps by a Surprisal; by extreme despatch?’

“Amoneburg is a pleasant little Town, about thirty miles east of Marburg, - in which latter we have been, in very old times; looking after St. Elizabeth, Teutsch Ritters, Philip the Magnanimous and other objects.  Amoneburg stands on the left or western bank of the Ohm, with an old Schloss in it, and a Bridge near by; both of which, Ferdinand, the left or southmost wing of whose Position on the other bank of Ohm is hereabouts, has made due seizure of.  Seizure of the Bridge, first of all, - Bridge with a Mill at it (which, in consequence, is called BRUCKEN-Mühle, Bridge-Mill), - at the eastern end of this there is a strong Redoubt, with the Bridge-way blocked and rammed ahead of it; there Ferdinand has put 200 men; 500 more are across in Amoneburg and its old Castle.  Unless by surprisal and extreme despatch, there is clearly no hope!  Ferdinand’s head-quarter is seven or eight miles to northwest of this his Brucken-Mühle and extreme left; next to Brucken-Mühle is Zastrow’s Division; next, again, is Granby’s; several Divisions between Ferdinand and it; ’Do it by surprisal, by utmost force of vehemency!’ say the French.  And accordingly,

“SEPTEMBER 21st [day of the Equinox, 1762], An hour before sunrise, there began, quite on the sudden, a vivid attack on the Brucken-Mühle and on Amoneburg, by cannon, by musketry, by all methods; and, in spite of the alert and completely obstinate resistance, would not cease; but, on the contrary, seemed to be on the increasing hand, new cannon, new musketries; and went on, hour after hour, ever the more vivid.  So that, about 8 in the morning, after three hours of this, Zastrow, with his Division, had to intervene:  to range himself on the Hill-top behind this Brucken-Mühle; replace the afflicted 200 (many of them hurt, not a few killed) by a fresh 200 of his own; who again needed to be relieved before long.  For the French, whom Zastrow had to imitate in that respect, kept bringing up more cannon, ever more, as if they would bring up all the cannon of their Army:  and there rose between Zastrow and them such a cannonade, for length and loudness together, as had not been heard in this War.  Most furious cannonading, musketading; and seemingly no end to it.  Ferdinand himself came over to ascertain; found it a hot thing indeed.  Zastrow had to relieve his 200 every hour:  ’Don’t go down in rank, you new ones,’ ordered he - ’slide, leap, descend the hill-face in scattered form:  rank at the bottom!’ - and generally about half of the old 200 were left dead or lamed by their hour’s work.  ’They intend to have this Bridge from us at any cost,’ thinks Ferdinand; ’and at any cost they shall not!’ And, in the end, orders Granby forward in room of Zastrow, who has had some eight hours of it now; and rides home to look after his main quarters.

“It was about 4 in the afternoon when Granby and his English came into the fire; and I rather think the French onslaught was, if anything, more furious than ever: - Despair striding visibly forward on it, or something too like Despair.  Amoneburg they had battered to pieces, Wall and Schloss, so that the 500 had to ground arms:  but not an inch of way had they made upon the Bridge, nor were like to make.  Granby continued on the old plan, plying all his diligences and artilleries; needing them all.  Fierce work to a degree:  ‘200 of you go down on wings’ (in an hour about 100 will come back)!  In English Families you will still hear some vague memory of Amoneburg, How we had built walls of the dead, and fired from behind them, - French more and more furious, we more and more obstinate.  Granby had still four hours of it; sunset, twilight, dusk; about 8, the French, in what spirits I can guess, ceased, and went their ways.  Bridge impossible; game up.  They had lost, by their own account, 1,100 killed and wounded; Ferdinand probably not fewer.” [Mauvillon, i; Helden-Geschichte, vi-439.]

And in this loud peal, what none could yet know, the French-English part of the Seven-Years War had ended.  The French attempted nothing farther; hutted themselves where they were, and waited in the pouring rains:  Ferdinand also hutted himself, in guard of the Ohm; while his people plied their Siege-batteries on Cassel, on Ziegenhayn, cannonading their best in the bad weather; - took Cassel, did not quite take Ziegenhayn, had it been of moment; - and for above six weeks coming (till November 7th-14th [Preliminaries of Peace SIGNED, “Paris, November 3d;” known to French Generals “November 7th;” not, OFFICIALLY, to Ferdinand till “November 14th” (Mauvillon, i.]), nothing more but skirmishings and small scuffles, not worth a word from us, fell out between the Two Parties there.  That Cannonade of the Brucken-Mühle had been finis.

For supreme Bute, careless of the good news coming in on him from West and from East, or even rather embarrassed by them, had some time ago started decisively upon the Peace Negotiation.  “September 5th,” three weeks before that of Amoneburg, “the Duke of Bedford, Bute’s Plenipotentiary, set out towards Paris, - considerably hissed on the street here by a sulky population,” it would seem; - “but sure of success in Paris.  Bute shared in none of the national triumphs of this Year.  The transports of rejoicing which burst out on the news of Havana” were a sorrow and distress to him. [Walpole’s George the Third, i.] “Havana, what shall we do with it?” thought he; and for his own share answered stiffly, “Nothing with it; fling it back to them!” - till some consort of his persuaded him Florida would look better. [Thackeray, i.] Of Manilla and the Philippines he did not even hear till Peace was concluded; had made the Most Catholic Carlos a present of that Colony, - who would not even pay our soldiers their Manilla Ransom, as too disagreeable.  Such is the Bute, such and no other, whom the satirical Fates have appointed to crown and finish off the heroic Day’s-work of such a Pitt.  Let us, if we can help it, speak no more of him!  Friedrich writes before leaving for Saxony:  “The Peace between the English and the French is much farther off than was thought; - so many oppositions do the Spaniards raise, or rather do the French, - busy duping this buzzard of an English Minister, who has not common sense.” [Schoning, ii (To Henri:  “Peterswaldau, 17th October, 1762").] Never fear, your Majesty:  a man with Havanas and Manillas of that kind to fling about at random, is certain to bring Peace, if resolved on it! -

We said, Prince Henri rallied beautifully from his little slap and loss of Freyberg (October 15th), and that the King was sending Wied with reinforcements to him.  In fact, Prince Henri of himself was all alertness, and instantly appeared on the Heights again; seemingly quite in sanguinary humor, and courting Battle, much more than was yet really the case.  Which cowed Stollberg from meddling with him farther, as he might have done.  Not for some ten days had Henri finished his arrangements; and then, under cloud of night (28th-29th OCTOBER, 1762), he did break forward on those Spittelwalds and Michael’s Mounts, and multiplex impregnabilities about Freyberg, in what was thought a very shining manner.  The BATTLE OF FREYBERG, I think, is five or six miles long, all on the west, and finally on the southwest side of Freyberg (north and northwest sides, with so many batteries and fortified villages, are judged unattackable); and the main stress, very heavy for some time, lay in the abatis of the Spittelwald (where Seidlitz was sublime), and about the roots of St. Michael’s Mount (the TOP of it Stollberg, or some foolish General of Stollberg’s, had left empty; nobody there when we reached the top), - down from which, Freyberg now lying free ahead of us, and the Spittelwald on our left now also ours, we take Stollberg in rear, and turn him inside out.  The Battle lasted only three hours, till Stollberg and his Maguires, Campitellis and Austrians (especially his Reichsfolk, who did no work at all, except at last running), were all under way; and the hopes of some Saxon Victory to balance one’s disgraces in Silesia had altogether vanished. [Beschreibung der am 29sten October, 1762, bey Freyberg vorgefallenen Schlacht (Seyfarth, Beylagen, ii-376).  Tempelhof, v-258; Helden-Geschichte, vi-181.]

Of Austrians and Reichsfolk together I dimly count about 40,000 in this Action; Prince Henri seems to have been well under 30,000. ["29 battalions, 60 squadrons,” VERSUS “49 battalions, 68 squadrons” (Schoning, ii.] I will give Prince Henri’s DESPATCH to his Brother (a most modest Piece); and cannot afford to say more of the matter, - except that “Wegfurth,” where Henri gets on march the night before, lies 8 or more miles west-by-north of Freyberg and the Spittelwald, and is about as far straight south from Hainichen, Gellert’s birthplace, who afterwards got the War-horse now coming into action, - I sometimes think, with what surprise to that quadruped!

PRINCE HENRI TO THE KING (Battle just done; King on the road from Silesia hither, Letter meets him at Lowenberg).

“FREYBERG, 29th October, 1762.

“MY DEAREST BROTHER, - It is a happiness for me to send you the agreeable news, That your Army has this day gained a considerable advantage over the combined Austrian and Reichs Army.  I marched yesternight; I had got on through Wegfurth, leaving Spittelwald [Tempelhof, .] to my left, with intent to seize [storm, if necessary] the Height of St. Michael, - when I came upon the Enemy’s Army.  I made two true attacks, and two false:  the Enemy resisted obstinately; but the sustained valor of your troops prevailed:  and, after three hours in fire, the Enemy was obliged to yield everywhere.  I don’t yet know the number of Prisoners; but there must be above 4,000: - the Reichs Army has lost next to nothing; the stress of effort fell to the Austrian share.  We have got quantities of Cannon and Flags; Lieutenant-General Roth of the Reichs Army is among our Prisoners.  I reckon we have lost from 2 to 3,000 men; among them no Officer of mark.  Lieutenant-General von Seidlitz rendered me the highest services; in a place where the Cavalry could not act [border of the Spittelwald, and its impassable entanglements and obstinacies], he put himself at the head of the Infantry, and did signal services [his Battle mainly, scheming and all, say some ill-natured private accounts]; Generals Belling and Kleist [renowned Colonels known to us, now become Major-Generals] did their very best.  All the Infantry was admirable; not one battalion yielded ground.  My Aide-de-Camp [Kalkreuth, a famous man in the Napoleon times long after], who brings you this, had charge of assisting to conduct the attack through the Spittelwald [and did it well, we can suppose]:  if, on that ground, you pleased to have the goodness to advance him, I should have my humble thanks to give you.  There are a good many Officers who have distinguished themselves and behaved with courage, for whom I shall present similar requests.  You will permit me to pay those who have taken cannons and flags (100 ducats per cannon, 50 per flag, or whatever the tariff was) - “By all manner of means!” his Majesty would answer].

“The Enemy is retiring towards Dresden and Dippoldiswalde.  I am sending at his heels this night, and shall hear the result.  My Aide-de-Camp is acquainted with all, and will be able to render you account of everything you may wish to know in regard to our present circumstances.  General Wied, I believe, will cross Elbe to-morrow [General Wied, with 10,000 to help us, - for whom it was too dangerous to wait, or perhaps there was a spur on one’s own mind?]; his arrival would be [not “would have been:”  CELA VIENDRAIT, not even VIENDRA] very opportune for me.  I am, with all attachment, my dearest Brother, - your most devoted Servant and Brother, - HENRI.” [Schoning, ii, 492.]

To-morrow, in cipher, goes the following Despatch: -

“FREYBERG, 30th October, 1762.

“General Wied [not yet come to hand, or even got across Elbe] informs me, That Prince Albert of Saxony [pushing hither with reinforcement, sent by Daun] must have crossed Elbe yesterday at Pirna [did not show face here, with his large reinforcements to them, or what would have become of us!]; - and that for this reason he, Wied, must himself cross; which he will to-morrow.  The same day I am to be joined by some battalions from General Hulsen; and the day after to-morrow, when General Wied [coming by Meissen Bridge, it appears] shall have reached the Katzenhauser, the whole of General Hulsen’s troops will join me.  Directly thereupon I shall - [Schoning, .] Or no more of that second Despatch; Friedrichs LETTER IN RESPONSE is better worth giving: -

“LOWENBERG, 2d November, 1762.

“MY DEAR BROTHER, - The arrival of Kalkreuter [so he persists in calling him], and of your Letter, my dear Brother, has made me twenty [not to say forty] years younger:  yesterday I was sixty, to-day hardly eighteen.  I bless Heaven for preserving you in health (BONNE Santé,” so we term escape of lesion in fight); “and that things have passed so happily!  You took the good step of attacking those who meant to attack you; and, by your good and solid measures (DISPOSITIONS), you have overcome all the difficulties of a strong Post and a vigorous resistance.  It is a service so important rendered by you to the State, that I cannot enough express my gratitude, and will wait to do it in person.

“Kalkreuter will explain what motions I ...  If Fortune favor our views on Dresden [which it cannot in the least, at this late season], we shall indubitably have Peace this Winter or next Spring, - and get honorably out of a difficult and perilous conjuncture, where we have often seen ourselves within two steps of total destruction.  And, by this which you have now done, to you alone will belong the honor of having given the final stroke to Austrian Obstinacy, and laid the foundations of the Public Happiness, which will be the consequence of Peace. - F.” [Ib. ii, 496.]

Two days after this, November 4th, Friedrich is in Meissen; November 9th, he comes across to Freyberg; has pleasant day, - pleasant survey of the Battle-field, Henri and Seidlitz escorting as guides.  Henri, in furtherance of the Dresden project, has Kleist out on the Bohemian Magazines, - “That is the one way to clear Dresden neighborhood of Enemies!” thinks Henri always.  Kleist burns the considerable magazine of Saatz; finds the grand one of Leitmeritz too well guarded for him: - upon which, in such snowdrifts and sleety deluges, is not Dresden plainly impossible, your Majesty?  Impossible, Friedrich admits, - the rather as he now sees Peace to be coming without that.  Freyberg has at last broken the back of Austrian Obstinacy.  “Go in upon the Reich,” Friedrich now orders Kleist, the instant Kleist is home from his Bohemian inroad:  “In upon the Reich, with 6,000, in your old style!  That will dispose the Reichs Principalities to Peace.”

Kleist marched November 3d; kept the Reich in paroxysm till December 13th; - Plotho, meanwhile, proclaiming in the Reichs Diet:  “Such Reichs Princes as wish for Peace with my King can have it; those that prefer War, they too can have it!” Kleist, dividing himself in the due artistic way, flew over the Voigtland, on to Bamberg, on to Nürnberg itself (which he took, by sounding rams’-horns, as it were, having no gun heavier than a carbine, and held for a week); [Helden-Geschichte, vi-194.] - fluttering the Reichs Diet not a little, and disposing everybody for Peace.  The Austrians saw it with pleasure, “We solemnly engaged to save these poor people harmless, on their joining us; - and, behold, it has become thrice and four times impossible.  Let them fall off into Peace, like ripe pears, of themselves; we can then turn round and say, ‘Save you harmless?  Yes; if you had n’t fallen off!’”

NOVEMBER 24th, all Austrians make truce with Friedrich, Truce till March 1st; - all Austrians, and what is singular, with no mention of the Reich whatever.  The Reich is defenceless, at the feet of Kleist and his 6,000.  Stollberg is still in Prussian neighborhood; and may be picked up any day!  Stollberg hastens off to defend the Reich; finds the Reich quite empty of enemies before his arrival; - and at least saves his own skin.  A month or two more, and Stollberg will lay down his Command, and the last Reichs-Execution Army, playing Farce-Tragedy so long, make its exit from the Theatre of this World.