History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 19
Thomas Carlyle

Part 5 out of 5

as bad as himself." [Ib. lxxx. 313 ("Chateau de Ferney, 13th July,


TO D'ALEMBERT (in the Rossbach-Leuthen interval: on the Battle of
BRESLAU, 22d November, 1757; called by the Austrians "a
Malplaquet," and believed by Voltaire to be a Malplaquet and more).
... "The Austrians do avenge us, and humble us [us, and our
miserable Rossbachs], in a terrible manner. Thirteen attacks on the
Prussian intrenchments, lasted six hours; never was Victory
bloodier, or more horribly beautiful [in the brain of certain men].
We pretty French fellows, we are more expeditious, our job is done
in five minutes. The King of Prussia is always writing me Verses,
now like a desperado, now like a hero; and as for me, I try to live
like a philosopher in my hermitage. He has obtained what he always
wished: to beat the French, to be admired by them, to mock them;
but the Austrians are mocking him in a very serious way. Our shame
of November 5th has given him glory; and with such glory, which is
but transient and dearly bought, he must content himself. He will
lose his own Countries, with those he has seized, unless the French
again discover [which they will] the secret of losing all their
Armies, as they did in 1741." [Ib. Lxxvii. 133, 134 ("Delices, 6th
December, 1757," day after Leuthen).]


TO CLAIRAUT, THE MATHEMATICIAN (Maupertuis lately dead). An
excellent Treatise, this you have sent me, Monsieur! "Your war with
the Geometers on the subject of this Comet appears to me like a war
of the gods in Olympus, while on Earth there is going on a fight of
dogs and cats. ... Would to Heaven our friend Moreau-Maupertuis had
cultivated his art like you! That he had predicted comets, instead
of exalting his soul to predict the future; of dissecting the
brains of giants to know the nature of the soul; of japanning
people with pitch to cure them of every malady; of persecuting
Konig; and of dying between Two Capuchins" (dead three weeks ago,
on those terms, poor soul)! [ OEuvres de Voltaire, italic> lxxviii. 191 ("Delices, 19th August, 1759").]

TO D'ALEMBERT (a week later). ... "What say you of Maupertuis dying
between Two Capuchins! He was ill, this long while, of a repletion
of pride; but I had not reckoned him either a hypocrite or an
imbecile. I don't advise you ever to go and fill his place at
Berlin; you would repent that. I am Astolpho warning Roger
(Ruggiero) not to trust himself to the Enchantress Alcina; but
Roger was unadvisable." [Ib. lxxviii. 197 ("Delices, 25th August,

TO THE SAME (two years later: Luc, on certain grounds, may as well
be saved). "With regard to Luc, though I have my just causes of
anger against him, I own to you, in my quality of Frenchman and
thinking being, I am glad that a certain most Orthodox House has
not swallowed Germany, and that the Jesuits are not confessing in
Berlin. Over towards the Danube superstition is very powerful. ...
The INFAME--You are well aware that I speak of superstition only;
for as to the Christian religion, I respect and love it, like you.
Courage, Brethren! Preach with force, and write with address:
God will bless you.--Protect, you my Brother, the Widow Calas all
you can! She is a poor weak-minded Huguenot, but her Husband was
the victim of the WHITE PENITENTS. It is the concern of Human
Nature that the Fanatics of Toulouse be confounded." (The case of
Calas, SECOND act of it, getting on the scene: a case still
memorable to everybody. Stupendous bit of French judicature; and
Voltaire's noblest outburst, into mere transcendent blaze of pity,
virtuous wrath, and determination to bring rescue and help against
the whole world.) [ OEuvres de Voltaire,
lxxviii. 52, 53 ("Ferney, 28th November, 1762").]


HUNT OF LOUDON AND HADDICK (Voltaire, under rebuke for
indiscretion, has been whimpering a little. My discreet Niece burnt
those LAST verses, Sire; no danger there, at least! Truculent
Bishop Something-AC tried to attack your Majesty; but was done for
by a certain person). Friedrich answers: "In truth, you are a
singular creature. When I think of scolding you, you say two words,
and the reproach expires. Impossible to scold you, even when you
deserve it. ...

"As to your Niece, let her burn me or roast me, I care little.
Nor are you to think me so sensitive to what your Bishops in IC or
in AC may say of me. I have the lot of all actors who play in
public; applauded by some, despised by others. One must prepare
oneself for satires, for calumnies, for a multitude of lies, which
will be sent abroad into currency against one: but need that
trouble my tranquillity? I go my road; I do nothing against the
interior voice of my conscience; and I concern myself very little
in what way my actions paint themselves in the brain of beings, not
always very thinking, with two legs and without feathers."
["Schmottseifen, 18th July, 1759;" OEuvres de Frederic,
xxiii. 55, 56.]

AT WILSDRUF, JUST BEFORE MAXEN (an exultant exuberant curious
Letter; too long for insertion,--part of it given above). ...
"For your Tragedy of SOCRATE, thanks. At Paris they are going to
burn it, the wretched fools,--not aware that absurd fanaticism is
their dominant vice. Better burn the dose of medicine, however,
than the useful Doctor. I, can I join myself to that set? If I bite
you, as you complain, it is without my knowledge. But I am
surrounded with enemies, one hitting me, another pricking me,
another daubing me with mud;--patience at last yields, and one
flies abroad into a general rage, too indiscriminate perhaps."

You talk of my Verses on Rossbach (my ADIEU TO THE HOOPERS on
finding their Bridge burnt [Supra, p. 21.]). "This Campaign I have
had no beatific vision, in the style of Moses. The barbarous
Cossacks and Tartars, infamous to look at on any side, have burnt
and ravaged countries, and committed atrocious inhumanities.
This is all I saw of THEM. Such melancholy spectacles don't tend to
raise one's spirits. [Breaks off into metre:] LA FORTUNE
INCONSTANTE ET FIERE, Fortune inconstant and proud. Does not treat
her suitors Always in an equal manner. Those fools called heroes,
who run the country,

Ces fous nommes heros, et qui courent les champs,
Couverts de sang et de poussiere,
Voltaire, n'ont pas tous les ans
La faceur de voir le derriere
De leurs ennemis insolents.

Can't expect that pleasure every year"! ...

Maupertuis, say you? "Don't trouble the ashes of the dead; let the
grave at least put an end to your unjust hatreds. Reflect that even
Kings make peace after long battling; cannot you ever make it?
I think you would be capable, like Orpheus, of descending to Hell,
not to soften Pluto and bring back your beautiful Emilie, but to
pursue into that Abode of Woe an enemy whom your wrath has only too
much persecuted in the world: for shame!" [ OEuvres de
Frederic, xxiii. 61-65 ("Wilsdruf, 17th November,
1759").]--and rebukes him, more than once elsewhere, in very
serious terms.

verse, which we abridge:) With how many laurels you have covered
yourself in all the fields of Literature! One laurel yet is wanting
to the brow of Voltaire. If, as the crown of so many perfect works,
he could by a skilful manoeuvre bring back Peace, I, and Europe
with me, would think that his masterpiece! [Takes to prose:]

"This is my thought and all Europe's. Virgil made as fine Verses as
you; but he never made a Peace. It will be a distinction you will
have over all your brethren of Parnassus, if you succeed.

"I know not who has betrayed me, and thought of printing [the
EDITION;--not you, surely!] a pack of rhapsodies which were good
enough to amuse myself, but were never meant for publication.
After all, I am so used to treacheries and bad manoeuvres,"--what
matters this insignificant one?

"I know not who the Bredow is [whom you speak of having met];
but he has told you true. The sword and death have made frightful
ravages among us. And the worst is, we are not yet at the end of
the tragedy. You may judge what effect these cruel shocks made on
me. I wrap myself in my stoicism, the best I can. Flesh and blood
revolt against such tyrannous command; but it must be followed.
If you saw me, you would scarcely know me again: I am old, broken,
gray-headed, wrinkled; I am losing my teeth and my gayety: if this
go on, there will be nothing of me left, but the mania of making
verses, and an inviolable attachment to my duties and to the few
virtuous men whom I know." [ OEuvres de Frederic, italic> xxiii. 69 ("Freyberg, 24th Feb. 1760").]

IN WINTER-QUARTERS, A MONTH LATER (comes still on "Peace" again).
... "I will have you paid that bit of debt [perhaps of postage or
the like], that Louis of the Mill (Louis du Moulin," at Fontenoy,
who got upon a Windmill with his Dauphin, and caught that nickname
from the common men) "may have wherewithal to make war on me.
Add tenth-penny tax to your tax of twentieth-penny; impose new
capitations, make titular offices to get money; do, in a word,
whatever you like. In spite of all your efforts, you will not get a
Peace signed by my hands, except on conditions honorable to my
Nation. Your people, blown up with self-conceit and folly, may
depend on these words. Adieu, live happy; and while you make all
your efforts to destroy Prussia, think that nobody has less
deserved it than I, either of you or of your French." [Ib. xxiii.
72 ("Freyberg, 20th March, 1760").]

STILL IN WINTER-QUARTERS (on "Peace" still; but begins with
"Maupertuis," which is all we will give). "What rage animates you
against Maupertuis? You accuse HIM of having published that Furtive
EDITION. Know that his Copy, well sealed by him, arrived here after
his death, and that he was incapable of such an indiscretion.
[Breaks into verse:]

Leave in peace the cold ashes of Maupertuis:
Truth can defend him, and will.
His soul was faithful and noble:
He pardoned you that scandalous Akakia (CE VIL LIBELLE
And you? Shame on such delirium as Voltaire's!
What, this beautiful, what, this grand genius,
Whom I admired with transport,
Soils himself with calumny, and is ferocious on the dead?
Flocking together, in the air uttering cries of joy,
Vile ravens pounce down upon sepulchres,
And make their prey of corpses:"--

Blush, repent, alas!

These Specimens will suffice. "The King of Prussia?" Voltaire would
sometimes say: "He is as potent and as malignant as the Devil;
but he is also as unhappy, not knowing friendship,"--having such a
chance, too, with some of us!


In the beginning of this Year, 1759, Earl Marischal had been called
out of his Neufchatel stagnancy, and launched into the Diplomatic
field again; sent on mission into Spain, namely. The case was this:
Ferdinand VI. of Spain (he who would not pay Friedrich the old
Spanish debt, but sent him merino rams, and a jar of Queen-Dowager
snuff) had fallen into one of his gloomy fits, and was thought to
be dying;--did, in fact, die, in a state nearly mad, on the 10th
August following. By Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, and by all manner
of Treaties, Carlos of Naples, his Half-Brother (Termagant's Baby
Carlos, whom we all knew), was to succeed him in Spain; Don Philip,
the next Brother, now of Parma and Piacenza, was to follow as King
in Naples,--ceding those two litigious Duchies to Austria, after
all. Friedrich, vividly awake to every chance, foresaw, in case of
such disjunctures in Italy, good likelihood of quarrel there.
And has despatched the experienced old Marischal to be on the
ground, and have his eyes open. Marischal knows Spain very well;
and has often said, "He left a dear old friend there, the Sun."
Marischal was under way, about New-year's time; but lingered by the
road, waiting how Ferdinand would turn,--and having withal an
important business of his own, as he sauntered on. Did not arrive,
I think, till Summer was at hand, and his dear Old Friend coming
out in vigor.

August 10th, 1759, Ferdinand died; and the same day Carlos became
King of Spain. But, instead of giving Naples to Don Philip, Carlos
gave it to a junior Son of his own; and left poor Philip to content
himself with Parma and Piacenza, as heretofore. Clear against the
rights of Austria; Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle is perfectly explicit
on that point! Will not Austria vindicate its claim? Politicians
say, Austria might have recovered not only Parma and Piacenza, but
the kingdom of Naples itself,--no France at present able to hinder
it, no Spain ever able. But Austria, contrary to expectation, would
not: a Country tenacious enough of its rights, real and imaginary;
greedy enough of Italy, but of Silesia much more! The matter was
deliberated in Council at Vienna; but the result was magnanimously,
No. "Finish this Friedrich first; finish this Silesia. Nothing else
till that!"

The Marischal's legationary function, therefore, proved a sinecure;
no Carlos needing Anti-Austrian assistance from Friedrich or
another; Austria magnanimously having let him alone. Doubtless a
considerable disappointment to Friedrich. Industrious Friedrich had
tried, on the other side of this affair, Whether the King of
Sardinia, once an adventurous fighting kind of man, could not be
stirred up, having interests involved? But no; he too, grown old,
devotional, apprehensive, held by his rosaries, and answered, No.
Here is again a hope reasonable to look at, but which
proves fallacious.

Marischal continued in Spain, corresponding, sending news (the
Prussian Archives alone know what), for nearly a couple of years.
[Returned "April, 1762" (Friedrich's Letter to him, "10th April,
1762:" in OEuvres de Frederic, xx. 285).]
His Embassy had one effect, which is of interest to us here. On his
way out, he had gone by London, with a view of getting legal
absolution for his Jacobitism,--so far, at least, as to be able to
inherit the Earldom of Kintore, which is likely to fall vacant
soon. By blood it is his, were the Jacobite incapacities withdrawn.
Kintore is a cadet branch of the Keiths; "John, younger Son of
William Sixth Lord Marischal," was the first Kintore.
William Sixth's younger Son, yes;--and William's Father, a man
always venerable to me, had (A.D. 1593) founded Marischal College,
Aberdeen,--where, for a few, in those stern granite Countries, the
Diviner Pursuits are still possible (thank God and this Keith) on
frugal oatmeal. MARISCHAL-COLLEGE Keith, or FIFTH Lord Marischal,
was grandfather's grandfather of our Potsdam Friend, who is tenth
and last. [Douglas's Scotch Peerage, pp. 448
et seq., 387 et seq.] Honor to the brave and noble, now fallen
silent under foot NOT of the nobler! In a word, the fourth Kintore
was about dying childless; and Marischal had come by London on that
heritage business.

He carried, naturally, the best recommendations. Britannic Majesty,
Pitt and everybody met him with welcome and furtherance; what he
wished was done, and in such a style of promptness and cordiality,
Pitt pushing it through, as quite gained the heart of old
Marischal. And it is not doubted, though particulars have not been
published, That he sent important Spanish notices to Pitt, in these
years;-and especially informed him that King Carlos and the French
Bourbon had signed a FAMILY COMPACT (15th August, 1761), or solemn
covenant, to stand by one another as brothers. Which was
thenceforth, to Pitt privately, an important fact, as perhaps we
shall see; though to other men it was still only a painful rumor
and dubiety. Whether the old Marischal informed him, That King
Carlos hated the English; that he never had, in his royal mind,
forgiven that insult of Commodore Martin's (watch laid on the
table, in the Bay of Naples, long ago), I do not know; but that
also was a fact. A diligent, indignant kind of man, this Carlos,
I am told; by no means an undeserving King of Spain, though his
Portraits declare him an ugly: we will leave him in the discreet
Marischal's hands, with the dear Old Friend shining equally
on both.

Singular to see how, in so veracious an intellect as Friedrich's,
so many fallacies of hope are constantly entertained. War in Italy,
on quarrel with King Carlos; Peace with France and the Pompadour,
by help of Edelsheim and the Bailli de Froulay; Peace with Russia
and the INFAME CATIN, by help of English briberies (Friedrich sent
an agent this winter with plenty of English guineas, but he got no
farther than the Frontier, not allowed even to try): sometimes, as
again this winter, it is hope of Denmark joining him (in alarm
against the Russian views on Holstein; but that, too, comes to
nothing); above all, there is perennially, budding out yearly, the
brighter after every disappointment, a hope in the Grand Turk and
his adherencies. Grand Turk, or failing him, the Cham of Tartary,--
for certain, some of these will be got to fasten on the heels of
Austria, of Russia; and create a favorable diversion?
Friedrich took an immense deal of trouble about this latter hope.
It is almost pathetic to see with what a fond tenacity he clings to
it; and hopes it over again, every new Spring and Summer.
[Preuss, ii. 121 et seq., 292 &c.; Schoning, ii. iii. PASSIM.]

The hope that an INFAME CATIN might die some day (for she is now
deep in chaotic ailments, deepish even in brandy) seems never to
have struck him; at least there is nowhere any articulate hint of
it,--the eagle-flight of one's imagination soaring far above such a
pettiness! Hope is very beautiful; and even fallacious hope, in
such a Friedrich. The one hope that did not deceive him, was hope
in his own best exertion to the very death; and no fallacy ever for
a moment slackened him in that. Stand to thyself: in the wide
domain of Imagination, there is no other certainty of help.
No other certainty;--and yet who knows through what pettinesses
Heaven may send help!

Chapter IX.


It was April 25th before Friedrich quitted Freyberg, and took Camp;
not till the middle of June that anything of serious Movement came.
Much discouragement prevails in his Army, we hear: and indeed, it
must be owned, the horoscope of these Campaigns grows yearly
darker. Only Friedrich himself must not be discouraged! Nor is;--
though there seldom lay ahead of any man a more dangerous-looking
Year than this that is now dimly shaping itself to Friedrich.
His fortune seems to have quitted him; his enemies are more
confident than ever.

This Year, it seems, they have bethought them of a new device
against him. "We have 90 million Population," count they; "he has
hardly 5; in the end, he must run out of men! Let us cease
exchanging prisoners with him." At Jagerndorf, in April, 1758 (just
before our march to Olmutz), there had been exchange; not without
haggles; but this was the last on Austria's part. Cartel of the
usual kind, values punctually settled: a Field-marshal is worth
3,000 common men, or 1,500 pounds; Colonel worth 130 men, or 65
pounds; common man is worth 10s. sterling, not a high figure.
[Archenholtz, ii. 53.] The Russians haggled still more, no keeping
of them to their word; but they tried it a second time, last year
(October, 1759); and by careful urging and guiding, were got
dragged through it, and the prisoners on both sides sent to their
colors again. After which, it was a settled line of policy, "No
more exchanging or cartelling; we will starve him out in that
article!" And had Friedrich had nothing but his own 5 millions to
go upon, though these contributed liberally, he had in truth been
starved out. Nor could Saxony, with Mecklenburg, Anhalt, Erfurt,
and their 10,000 men a year, have supplied him,--"had not there,"
says Archenholtz (a man rather fond of superlatives),--

"Had not there risen a Recruiting system," or Crimping system, "the
like of which for kind and degree was never seen in the Earth
before. Prisoners, captive soldiers, if at all likely fellows, were
by every means persuaded, and even compelled, to take Prussian
service. Compelled, cudgel in hand," says Archenholtz (who is too
indiscriminating, I can see,--for there were Pfalzers,
Wurtembergers, Reichsfolk, who had FIRST been compelled the other
way): "not asked if they wished to serve, but dragged to the
Prussian colors, obliged to swear there, and fight against, their
countrymen." Say at least, against their countrymen's Governors,
contumacious Serene Highnesses of Wurtemberg, Mecklenburg and the
like. Wurtemberg, we mentioned lately, had to shoot a good few of
his first levy against the Protestant Champion, before they would
march at all!--I am sorry for these poor men; and wish the Reich
had been what it once was, a Veracity and Practical Reality, not an
Imaginary Entity and hideously contemptible Wiggery, as it now is!
Contemptible, and hideous as well;--setting itself up on that,
fundamental mendacity; which is eternally tragical, though little
regarded in these days, and which entails mendacities without end
on parties concerned!--But, apart from all this, certain it is,

"The whole German Reich was deluged with secret Prussian Enlisters.
The greater part of these were not actual Officers at all, but
hungry Adventurers, who had been bargained with, and who, for their
own profit, allowed themselves every imaginable art to pick up men.
Head and centre of them was the Prussian Colonel Colignon," one of
the Free-Corps people; "a man formed by nature for this business
[what a beautiful man!]--who gave all the others their directions,
and taught them by his own example. Colignon himself," in winter-
time, "travelled about in all manner of costumes and characters;
persuading hundreds of people into the Prussian service. He not
only promised Commissions, but gave such,--nominating loose young
fellows (LAFFEN), students, merchants' clerks and the like, to
Lieutenancies and Captaincies in the Prussian Army [about as likely
as in the Seraphim and Cherubim, had they known it]: in the
Infantry, in the Cuirassiers, in the Hussars,--it is all one, you
have only to choose. The renown of the Prussian arms was so
universal, and combined with the notion of rich booty, that
Colignon's Commission-manufactory was continually busy. No need to
provide marching-money, hand-money [shillings for earnest];
Colignon's recruits travelled mostly of will and at their own
charge. In Franken, in Schwaben, in the Rhine Countries, a
dissolute son would rob his father,--as shopmen their masters'
tills, and managers their cash-boxes,--and hie off to those
magnanimous Prussian Officials, who gave away companies like
kreutzers, and had a value for young fellows of spirit.
They hastened to Magdeburg with their Commissions; where they were
received as common recruits, and put by force into the regiments
suitable. No use in resisting: the cudgel and the drill-sergeant,"
--who doubts it?--"till complete submission. By this and other
methods Colignon and his helpers are reckoned to have raised for
the King, in the course of this War, about 60,000 recruits."
[Archenholtz, ii. 53.]

This Year, Daun, though his reputation is on the decline lately, is
to have the chief command, as usual; the Grand Army, with Saxony
for field of conquest, and the Reichsfolk to assist, is to be
Daun's. But, what is reckoned an important improvement, Loudon is
to have a separate command, and Army of his own. Loudon, hot of
temper, melancholic, shy, is not a man to recommend himself to
Kriegshofrath people; but no doubt Imperial Majesty has had her own
wise eye on him. His merits are so undeniable; the need of some
Commander NOT of the Cunctator type is become so very pressing.
"Army of Silesia, 50,000;" that is to be Loudon's, with 40,000
Russians to co-operate and unite themselves with Loudon; and try
actually for conquest of Silesia, this Year; while Daun, conquering
Saxony, keeps the King busy.

At Petersburg, Versailles, Vienna, much planning there has been,
and arduous consulting: first at Petersburg, in time and in
importance, where Montalembert has again been very urgent in regard
to those poor Swedish people, and the getting of them turned to
some kind of use: "Stettin in conjunction with the Swedes;
oh, listen to reason, and take Stettin!" "Would not Dantzig by
ourselves be the advisable thing?" answers Soltikof: "Dantzig is an
important Town, and the grand Baltic Haven; and would be so
convenient for our Preussen, since we have determined to maintain
that fine Conquest." So thinks Czarish Majesty, as well as
Soltikof, privately, though there are difficulties as to Dantzig;
and, in fine, except Colberg over again, there can be nothing
attempted of sieging thereabouts. A Siege of Colberg, however,
there is actually to be: Second Siege,--if perhaps it will prove
luckier than the First was, two years since? Naval Armament
Swedish-Russian, specific Land Armament wholly Russian, are to do
this Second Siege, at a favorable time; except by wishes, Soltikof
will not be concerned in it; nor, it is to be hoped, shall we,--in
such pressure of haste as is probably ahead for us.

"Silesia would be the place for sieges!" say the Vienna people
always; and Imperial Majesty is very urgent; and tries all methods,
--eloquence, flatteries, bribes,--to bring Petersburg to that view.
Which is at last adopted; heartily by Czarish Majesty, ever ready
for revenge on Friedrich, the more fatal and the more direct, the
better. Heartily by her; not so heartily by Soltikof and her Army
people, who know the Austriau habits; and privately decide on NOT
picking chestnuts from the fire, while the other party's paws keep
idle, and only his jaws are ready.

Of Small-War there is nothing or little to be said; indeed there
occurs almost none. Roving Cossack-Parties, under one Tottleben,
whom we shall hear of otherwise, infest Pommern, bickering with the
Prussian posts there; not ravaging as formerly, Tottleben being a
civilized kind of man. One of these called at the Castle of
Schwedt, one day; found Prince Eugen of Wurtemberg there (nearly
recovered of his Kunersdorf wounds), who is a Son-in-law of the
House, married to a Daughter of Schwedt;--ancestor of the now
Russian Czars too, had anybody then known it. Him these Cossacks
carried off with them, a march or two; then, taking his bond for a
certain ransom, let him go. Bond and bondholder being soon after
captured by the Prussians, Eugen paid no ransom; so that to us his
adventure is without moment, though it then made some noise among
the Gazetteers.

Two other little passages, and only two, we will mention;
which have in themselves a kind of memorability. First, that of
General Czetteritz and the MANUSCRIPT he lost. Of posts across the
Elbe I find none mentionable here, and believe there is none,
except only Czetteritz's; who stands at Cosdorf, well up towards
Torgau Country, as sentry over Torgau and the Towns there.
On Czetteritz there was, in February, an attempt made by the active
General Beck, whom Daun had detached for that object.
Extremely successful, according to the Austrian Gazetteers; but in
reality amounting to as good as nothing:--Surprisal of Czetteritz's
first vedette, in the dawn of a misty February morning (February
21st, 1760); non-surprisal of his second, which did give fire and
alarm, whereupon debate; and Czetteritz springing into his saddle;
retreat of his people to rearward, with loss of 7 Officers and 200
prisoners;--but ending in re-advance, with fresh force, a few hours
after; [Seyfarth, ii. 655.]--in repulse of Beck, in recovery of
Cosdorf, and a general state of AS-YOU-WERE in that part. A sputter
of Post-War, not now worth mentioning at all,--except only for one
small circumstance: That in the careering and swift ordering, such
as there was, on the rear-guard especially, Major-General
Czetteritz's horse happened to fall; whereby not only was the
General taken prisoner, but his quarters got plundered, and in his
luggage,--what is the notable circumstance,--there was found a
as every Prussian General has, and is bound to keep religiously
secret.[Stands now in OEuvres de Frederic,
xxviii. 3 et. seq.; was finished (the revisal of it was), hy the
King, "2d April, 1748:" see PREUSS, i. 478-480; and (
OEuvres de Frederic, xxviii. PREFACE, for endless
indistinct details about the translations and editions of it.
London Edition, 1818, calls itself the FIFTH.] This, carried to
Daun's head-quarters, was duly prized, copied; and in the course of
a year came to print, in many shapes and places; was translated
into English, under the Title, MILITARY INSTRUCTIONS BY THE KING OF
PRUSSIA, in 1762 (and again, hardly so WELL, in 1797); and still
languidly circulates among the studious of our soldiers. Not a
little admired by some of them; and unfortunately nearly all they
seem to know of this greatest of modern Soldiers. [See, for
example, in Life of General Sir Charles Napier, by his
Brother (London, 1857), iii. 365 and elsewhere,--one
of the best judges in the world expressing his joy and admiration
on discovery of Friedrich; discovery, if you read well, which
amounts to these INSTRUCTIONS, and no more.]

Next, about a month after, we have something to report of Loudon
from Silesia, or rather of the Enemies he meets there; for it is
not a victorious thing. But it means a starting of the Campaign by
an Austrian invasion of Silesia; long before sieging time, while
all these Montalembert-Soltikof pleadings and counter-pleadings
hang dubious at Petersburg, and Loudon's "Silesian Army" is still
only in a nascent or theoretic state, and only Loudon himself is in
a practical one.

Friedrich has always Fouquet at Landshut, in charge of the Silesian
Frontier; whose outposts, under Goltz as head of these, stretch, by
Neisse, far eastward, through the Hills to utmost Mahren;
Fouquet's own head-quarter being generally Landshut, the main gate
of the Country. Fouquet, long since, rooted himself rather firmly
into that important post; has a beautiful ring of fortified Hills
around Landshut; battery crossing battery, girdling it with sure
destruction, under an expert Fouquet,--but would require 30,000 men
to keep it, instead of 13,000, which is Fouquet's allotment.
Upon whom Loudon is fully intending a stroke this Year. Fouquet, as
we know, has strenuously managed to keep ward there for a
twelvemonth past; in spite, often enough, of new violent invadings
and attemptings (violent, miscellaneous, but intermittent) by the
Devilles and others;--and always under many difficulties of his
own, and vicissitudes in his employment: a Fouquet coming and
going, waxing and waning, according to the King's necessities, and
to the intermittency or constancy of pressures on Landshut.
Under Loudon, this Year, Fouquet will have harder times than ever;
--in the end, too hard! But will resist, judge how by the following
small sample:--

"Besides Fouquet and his 13,000," says my Note, "the Silesian
Garrisons are all vigilant, are or ought to be; and there are far
eastward of him, for guarding of the Jagerndorf-Troppau Border,
some 4 or 6,000, scattered about, under Lieutenant-General Goltz,
in various Hill Posts,--the chief Post of which, Goltz's own, is
the little Town of Neustadt, northward of Jagerndorf [where we have
billeted in the old SileSian Wars]: Goltz's Neustadt is the chief;
and Leobschutz, southwestward of it, under 'General Le Grand' [once
the Major GRANT of Kolin Battle, if readers remember him, "Your
Majesty and I cannot take the Battery ourselves!"] is probably the
second in importance. Loudon, cantoned along the Moravian side of
the Border, perceives that he can assemble 32,000 foot and horse;
that the Prussians are 13,000 PLUS 6,000; that Silesia can be
invaded with advantage, were the weather come. And that, in any
kind of weather, Goltz and his straggle of posts might be swept
into the interior, perhaps picked up and pocketed altogether, if
Loudon were sharp enough. Swept into the interior Goltz was; by no
means pocketed altogether, as he ought to have been!

"MARCH 13th, 1760, Loudon orders general muster hereabouts for the
15th, everybody to have two days, bread and forage; and warns
Goltz, as bound in honor: 'Excellenz, to-morrow is March 14th;
to-morrow our pleasant time of Truce is out,--the more the pity for
both of us!' 'Yea, my esteemed neighbor Excellenz!' answers Goltz,
with the proper compliments; but judges that his esteemed neighbor
is intending mischief almost immediately. Goltz instantly sends
orders to all his posts: 'You, Herr General Grant, you at
Leobschutz, and all the rest of you, make your packages;
march without delay; rendezvous at Steinau and Upper Glogau [far
different from GREAT-Glogau], Neisse-ward; swift!' And would have
himself gone on the 14th, but could not,--his poor little Bakery
not being here, nor wagons for his baggages quite to be collected
in a moment,--and it was Saturday, 15th, 5 A.M., that Goltz
appointed himself to march.

"The last time we saw General Goltz was on the Green of Bautzen,
above two years ago,--when he delivered that hard message to the
King's Brother and his party, 'You deserve to be tried by Court-
martial, and have your heads cut off!' He was of that sad Zittau
business of the late Prince of Prussia's,--Goltz, Winterfeld,
Ziethen, Schmettau and others? Winterfeld and the Prince are both
dead; Schmettau is fallen into disaster; Goltz is still in good
esteem with the King. A stalwart, swift, flinty kind of man, to
judge by the Portraits of him; considerable obstinacy, of a tacitly
intelligent kind, in that steady eye, in that droop of the eyebrows
towards the strong cheek-bones; plenty of sleeping fire in
Lieutenant-General Goltz.

"His principal force, on this occasion, is one Infantry Regiment;
REGIMENT MANTEUFFEL:--readers perhaps recollect that stout Pommern
Regiment, Manteuffel of Foot, and the little Dialogue it had with
the King himself, on the eve of Leuthen: 'Good-night, then, Fritz!
To-morrow all dead, or else the Enemy beaten.' Their conduct, I
have heard, was very shining at Leuthen, where everybody shone;
and since then they have been plunging about through the death-
element in their old rugged way,--and re-emerge here into definite
view again, under Lieutenant-General Goltz, issuing from the north
end of Neustadt, in the dim dawn of a cold spring morning, March
15th, 5 A.M.; weather latterly very wet, as I learn. They intend
Neisse-way, with their considerable stock of baggage-wagons; a
company of Dragoons is to help in escorting: party perhaps about
2,000 in all. Goltz will have his difficulties this day; and has
calculated on them. And, indeed, at the first issuing, here they
already are.

"Loudon, with about 5,000 horse,--four Regiments drawn up here, and
by and by with a fifth (happily not with the grenadiers, as he had
calculated, who are detained by broken bridges, waters all in flood
from the rain),--is waiting for him, at the very environs of
Neustadt. Loudon, by a trumpet, politely invites him to surrender,
being so outnumbered; Goltz, politely thanking, disregards it, and
marches on: Loudon escorting, in an ominous way; till, at
Buchelsdorf, the fifth Regiment (best in the Austrian service) is
seen drawn out across the highway, plainly intimating, No
thoroughfare to Goltz and Pommern. Loudon sends a second trumpet:
'Surrender prisoners; honorablest terms; keep all your baggage:
refuse, and you are cut down every man.' 'You shall yourself hear
the answer,' said Goltz. Goltz leads this second trumpet to the
front; and, in Pommern dialect, makes known what General Loudon's
proposal is. The Pommerners answer, as one man, a No of such
emphasis as I have never heard; in terms which are intensely
vernacular, it seems, and which do at this day astonish the foreign
mind: 'We will for him something, WIR WOLLEN IHM WAS--' But the
powers of translation and even of typography fail; and feeble
paraphrase must give it: 'We will for him SOMETHING INEFFABLE
CONCOCT,' of a surprisingly contrary kind! 'WIR WOLLEN IHM WAS'
(with ineffable dissyllabic verb governing it)! growled one
indignant Pommerner; 'and it ran like file-fire along the ranks,'
says Archenholtz; everybody growling it, and bellowing it, in
fierce bass chorus, as the indubitable vote of Pommern in
those circumstances.

"Loudon's trumpet withdrew. Pommern formed square round its
baggage; Loudon's 5,000 came thundering in, fit to break adamant;
but met such a storm of bullets from Pommern, they stopped about
ten paces short, in considerable amazement, and wheeled back.
Tried it again, still more amazement; the like a third time;
every time in vain. After which, Pommern took the road again, with
vanguard, rearguard; and had peace for certain miles,--Loudon
gloomily following, for a new chance. How many times Loudon tried
again, and ever again, at good places, I forget,--say six times in
all. Between Siebenhufen and Steinau, in a dirty defile, the jewel
of the road for Loudon, who tried his very best there, one of our
wagons broke down; the few to rear of it, eighteen wagons and some
country carts, had to be left standing. Nothing more of Pommern was
left there or anywhere. Near Steinau there, Loudon gave it up as
desperate, and went his way. His loss, they say, was 300 killed,
500 wounded; Pommern's was 35 killed, and above 100 left wounded or
prisoners. One of the stiffest day's works I have known:
some twelve miles of march, in every two an attack. Pommern has
really concocted something surprising, and kept its promise to
Loudon! 'Thou knowest what the Pommerners can do,' said they once
to their own King. An obstinate, strong-boned, heavy-browed people;
not so stupid as you think. More or less of Jutish or Anglish type;
highly deficient in the graces of speech, and, I should judge, with
little call to Parliamentary Eloquence." [Preuss, ii. 241
(incorrect in some small points); Archenholtz, ii. 61; Seyfarth,
ii. 640, and Beylagen, ii. 657-660;
Tempelhof, iv. 8-10; in ANONYMOUS OF HAMBURG (iv. 68) the
Austrian account.]

Friedrich is, this Year, considered by the generality of mankind,
to be ruined: "Lost 60,000 men last Campaign; was beaten twice; his
luck is done; what is to become of him?" say his enemies, and even
the impartial Gazetteer, with joy or sorrow. Among his own people
there is gloom or censure; hard commentaries on Maxen: "So self-
willed, high, and deaf to counsel from Prince Henri!" Henri
himself, they say, is sullen; threatening, as he often does, to
resign "for want of health;" and as he quite did, for a while, in
the end of this Campaign, or interval between this and next.

Friedrich has, with incredible diligence, got together his finance
(copper in larger dose than ever, Jew Ephraim presiding as usual);
and, as if by art-magic, has on their feet 100,000 men against his
enemy's 280,000. Some higher Officers are secretly in bad spirits;
but the men know nothing of discouragement. Friedrich proclaims to
them at marching, "For every cannon you capture, 100 ducats; for
every flag, 50; for every standard (cavalry flag), 40;"--which
sums, as they fell due, were accordingly paid thenceforth.
[Stenzel, v. 236, 237; ib. 243.] But Friedrich, too, is abundantly
gloomy, if that could help him; which he knows well it cannot, and
strictly hides it from all but a few;--or all but D'Argens almost
alone, to whom it can do no harm. Read carefully by the light of
contemporary occurrences, not vaguely in the vacant haze, as the
Editors give it, his correspondence with D'Argens becomes
interesting almost to a painful degree: an unaffected picture of
one of the bravest human souls weighed down with dispiriting labors
and chagrins, such as were seldom laid on any man; almost beyond
bearing, but incurable, and demanding to be borne. Wilhelmina is
away, away; to D'Argens alone of mortals does he whisper of these
things; and to him not wearisomely, or with the least prolixity,
but in short sharp gusts, seldom now with any indignation, oftenest
with a touch of humor in them, not soliciting any sympathy, nor
expecting nearly as much as he will get from the faithful D'Argens.

"I am unfortunate and old, dear Marquis; that is why they persecute
me: God knows what my future is to be this Year! I grieve to
resemble Cassandra with my prophecies; but how augur well of the
desperate situation we are in, and which goes on growing worse?
I am so gloomy to-day, I will cut short. ... Write to me when you
have nothing better to do; and don't forget a poor Philosopher who,
perhaps to expiate his incredulity, is doomed to find his Purgatory
in THIS world." [ OEuvres de Frederic, xix.
138, 139 ("Freyberg, 20th March, 1760").] ... To another Friend, in
the way of speech, he more deliberately says: "The difficulties I
had, last Campaign, were almost infinite: such a multitude of
enemies acting against me; Pommern, Brandenburg, Saxony, Frontiers
of Silesia, alike in danger, often enough all at one time. If I
escaped absolute destructiou, I must impute it chiefly to the
misconduct of my enemies; who gained such advantages, but had not
the sense to follow them up. Experience often corrects people of
their blunders: I cannot expect to profit by anything of that kind;
on their part, in the course of this Campaign:" judge if it will be
a light one, MON CHER. [To Mitchell, one evening, "Camp of
Schlettau, May 23d" (Mitchell, ii. 159).]

The symptoms we decipher in these Letters, and otherwise, are those
of a man drenched in misery; but used to his black element,
unaffectedly defiant of it, or not at the pains to defy it;
occupied only to do his very utmost in it, with or without success,
till the end come. Prometheus, chained on the Ocean-cliffs, with
the New Ruling-Powers in the upper hand, and their vultures
gradually eating him; dumb Time and dumb Space looking on,
apparently with small sympathy: Prometheus and other Titans, now
and then, have touched the soul of some AEschylus, and drawn tones
of melodious sympathy, far heard among mankind. But with this new
Titan it is not so: nor, upon the whole, with the proper Titan, in
this world, is it usually so; the world being a--what shall we
say?--a poorish kind of world, and its melodies and dissonances,
its loves and its hatreds worth comparatively little in the long-
run. Friedrich does wonderfully without sympathy from almost
anybody; and the indifference with which he walks along, under such
a cloud of sulky stupidities, of mendacities and misconceptions
from the herd of mankind, is decidedly admirable to me.

But let us look into the Campaign itself. Perhaps--contrary to the
world's opinion, and to Friedrich's own when, in ultra-lucid
moments, he gazes into it in the light of cold arithmetic, and
finds the aspect of it "frightful"--this Campaign will be a little
luckier to him than the last? Unluckier it cannot well be:--or if
so, it will at least be final to him!


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