This is the Chetardie-L'Estoc conspiracy, of 5th December, 1741; the pitching up of Princess Elizabeth, and the pitching down of Anton Ulrich and his Munnichs, who had before pitched Bieren down. After which, matters remained more stationary at Petersburg: Czarina Elizabeth, fat indolent soul, floated with a certain native buoyancy, with something of bulky steadiness, in the turbid plunge of things, and did not sink. On the contrary, her reign, so called, was prosperous, though stupid; her big dark Countries, kindled already into growth, went on growing rather. And, for certain, she herself went on growing, in orthodox devotions of spiritual type (and in strangely heterodox ditto of NONspiritual!); in indolent mansuetudes (fell rages, if you cut on the RAWS at all!); in perpetual incongruity; and, alas, at last, in brandy-and-water,—till, as "INFAME CATIN DU NORD," she became terribly important to some persons!
At her accession, and for two years following, Czarina Elizabeth, in spite of real disinclination that way, had a War on her hands: the Swedish War (August, 1741-August, 1743), which, after long threatening on the Swedish side, had broken out into unwelcome actuality, in Anton Ulrich's time; and which could not, with all the Czarina's industry, be got rid of or staved off; Sweden being bent upon the thing, reason or no reason. War not to be spoken of, except on compulsion, in the most voluminous History! It was the unwisest of wars, we should say, and in practice probably the contemptiblest; if there were not one other Swedish War coming, which vies with it in these particulars, of which we shall be obliged to speak, more or less, at a future stage. Of this present Russian-Swedish war, having happily almost nothing to do with it, we can, except in the way of transient chronology, refrain altogether from speaking or thinking.
Poor Sweden, since it shot Karl XII. in the trenches at Fredericshall, could not get a King again; and is very anarchic under its Phantasm King and free National Palaver,—Senate with subaltern Houses;—which generally has French gold in its pocket, and noise instead of wisdom in its head. Scandalous to think of or behold. The French, desirous to keep Russia in play during these high Belleisle adventures now on foot, had, after much egging, bribing, flattering, persuaded vain Sweden into this War with Russia. "At Narva they were 80,000, we 8,000; and what became of them!" cry the Swedes always. Yes, my friends, but you had a Captain at Narva; you had not yet shot your Captain when you did Narva! "Faction of Hats," "Faction of Caps" (that is, NIGHT-caps, as being somnolent and disinclined to France and War): seldom did a once-valiant far-shining Nation sink to such depths, since they shot their Captain, and said to Anarchy, "THOU art Captaincy, we see, and the Divine thing!" Of the Wars and businesses of such a set of mortals let us shun speaking, where possible.
Mannstein gives impartial account, pleasantly clear and compact, to such as may be curious about this Swedish-Russian War; and, in the didactic point of view, it is not without value. To us the interesting circumstance is, that it does not interfere with our Silesian operations at all; and may be figured as a mere accompaniment of rumbling discord, or vacant far-off noise, going on in those Northern parts,—to which therefore we hope to be strangers in time coming. Here are some dates, which the reader may take with him, should they chance to illustrate anything:—
"AUGUST 4th, 1741. The Swedes declare War: 'Will recover their lost portions of Finland, will,' &c. &c. They had long been meditating it; they had Turk negotiations going on, diligent emissaries to the Turk (a certain Major Sinclair for one, whom the Russians waylaid and assassinated to get sight of his Papers) during the late Turk-Russian War; but could conclude nothing while that was in activity; concluded only after that was done,—striking the iron when grown COLD. A chief point in their Manifesto was the assassination of this Sinclair; scandal and atrocity, of which there is no doubt now the Russians were guilty. Various pretexts for the War:—prime movers to it, practically, were the French, intent on keeping Russia employed while their Belleisle German adventure went on, and who had even bargained with third parties to get up a War there, as we shall see.
"SEPTEMBER 3d, 1741. At Wilmanstrand,—key of Wyborg, their frontier stronghold in Finland, which was under Siege,—the Swedes (about 5,000 of them, for they had nothing to live upon, and lay scattered about in fractions) made fight, or skirmish, against a Russian attacking party: Swedes, rather victorious on their hill-top, rushed down; and totally lost their bit of victory, their Wilmanstrand, their Wyborg, and even the War itself;—for this was, in literal truth, the only fighting done by them in the entire course of it, which lasted near two years more. The rest of it was retreat, capitulation, loss on loss without stroke struck; till they had lost all Finland, and were like to lose Sweden itself,—Dalecarlian mutiny bursting out ('Ye traitors, misgovernors, worthy of death!'), with invasive Danes to rear of it;—and had to call in the very Russians to save them from worse. Czarina Elizabeth at the time of her accession, six months after Wilmanstrand, had made truce, was eager to make peace: 'By no means!' answered Sweden, taking arms again, or rather taking legs again; and rushing ruin-ward, at the old rate, still without stroke.
"JUNE 28th, 1743. They did halt; made Peace of Abo (Truce and Preliminaries signed there, that day: Peace itself, August 17th); Czarina magnanimously restoring most of their Finland (thinking to herself, 'Not done enough for me yet; cook it a little yet!');—and settling who their next King was to be, among other friendly things. And in November following, Keith, in his Russian galleys, with some 10,000 Russians on board, arrived in Stockholm; protective against Danes and mutinous Dalecarles: stayed there till June of next year, 1744." [Adelung, ii. 445. Mannstein, pp. 297 (Wilmanstrand Affair, himself present), 365 (Peace), 373 (Keith's RETURN with his galleys). Comte de Hordt (present also, on the Swedish side, and subsequently a Soldier of Friedrich's) Memoires (Berlin, 1789), i. 18-88. The murder of Sinclair (done by "four Russian subalterns, two miles from Naumberg in Silesia, 17th June, 1739, about 7 P.M.") is amply detailed from Documents, in a late Book: Weber, Aus Vier Jahrhunderten (Leipzig, 1858), i. 274-279.] Is not this a War!
On the Russian side, General Keith, under Field-marshal Lacy as chief in command (the same Keith whom we saw at Oczakow under Munnich, some time ago), had a great deal of the work and management; which was of a highly miscellaneous kind, commanding fleets of gunboats, and much else; and readers of MANNSTEIN can still judge,—much more could King Friedrich, earnestly watching the affair itself as it went on,—whether Keith did not do it in a solid and quietly eminent and valiant manner. Sagacious, skilful, imperturbable, without fear and without noise; a man quietly ever ready. He had quelled, once, walking direct into the heart of it, a ferocious Russian mutiny, or uproar from below, which would have ruined everything in few minutes more. (Mannstein, p. 130 (no date, April-May, 1742.) He suffered, with excellent silence, now and afterwards, much ill-usage from above withal;—till Friedrich himself, in the third year hence, was lucky enough to get him as General. Friedrich's Sister Ulrique, the marriage of Princess Ulrique,—that also, as it chanced, had something to do with this Peace of Abo. But we anticipate too far.
Chapter IX. — FRIEDRICH RETURNS TO SILESIA.
Friedrich stayed only three weeks at home; moving about, from Berlin to Potsdam, to Reinsberg and back: all the gay world is in Berlin, at this Carnival time; but Friedrich has more to do with business, of a manifold and over-earnest nature, than with Carnival gayeties. French Valori is here, "my fat Valori," who is beginning to be rather a favorite of Friedrich's: with Excellency Valori, and with the other Foreign Excellencies, there was diplomatic passaging in these weeks; and we gather from Valori, in the inverse way (Valori fallen sulky), that it was not ill done on Friedrich's part. He had some private consultation with the Old Dessauer, too; "probably on military points," thinks Valori. At least there was noticed more of the drill-sergeant than before, in his handling of the Army, when he returned to Silesia, continues the sulky one. "Troops and generals did not know him again,"—so excessively strict was he grown, on the sudden. And truly "he got into details which were beneath, not only a Prince who has great views, but even a simple Captain of Infantry,"—according to my (Valori's) military notions and experiences! [Valori, i. 99.]—
The truth is, Friedrich begins to see, more clearly than he did with GLOIRE dazzling him, that his position is an exceedingly grave one, full of risk, in the then mood and condition of the world; that he, in the whole world, has no sure friend but his Army; and that in regard to IT he cannot be too vigilant! The world is ominous to this youngest of the Kings more than to another. Sounds as of general Political Earthquake grumble audibly to him from the deeps: all Europe likely, in any event, to get to loggerheads on this Austrian Pragmatic matter; the Nations all watching HIM, to see what he will make of it:—fugleman he to the European Nations, just about bursting up on such an adventure. It may be a glorious position, or a not glorious; but, for certain, it is a dangerous one, and awfully solitary!—
Fuglemen the world and its Nations always have, when simultaneously bent any-whither, wisely or unwisely; and it is natural that the most adventurous spirit take that post. Friedrich has not sought the post; but following his own objects, has got it; and will be ignominiously lost, and trampled to annihilation under the hoofs of the world, if he do not mind! To keep well ahead;—to be rapid as possible; that were good:—to step aside were still better! And Friedrich we find is very anxious for that; "would be content with the Duchy of Glogau, and join Austria;" but there is not the least chance that way. His Special Envoy to Vienna, Gotter, and along with him Borck the regular Minister, are come home; all negotiation hopeless at Vienna; and nothing but indignant war-preparation going on there, with the most animated diligence, and more success than had seemed possible. That is the law of Friedrich's Silesian Adventure: "Forward, therefore, on these terms; others there are not: waste no words!" Friedrich recognizes to himself what the law is; pushes stiffly forward, with a fine silence on all that is not practical, really with a fine steadiness of hope, and audacity against discouragements. Of his anxieties, which could not well be wanting, but which it is royal to keep strictly under lock and key, of these there is no hint to Jordan or to anybody; and only through accidental chinks, on close scrutiny, can we discover that they exist. Symptom of despondency, of misgiving or repenting about his Enterprise, there is none anywhere, Friedrich's fine gifts of SILENCE (which go deeper than the lips) are noticeable here, as always; and highly they availed Friedrich in leading his life, though now inconvenient to Biographers writing of the same!—
It was not on matters of drill, as Valori supposes, that Friedrich had been consulting with the Old Dessauer: this time it was on another matter. Friedrich has two next Neighbors greatly interested, none more so, in the Pragmatic Question: Kur-Sachsen, Polish King, a foolish greedy creature, who is extremely uncertain about his course in it (and indeed always continued so, now against Friedrich, now for him, and again against); and Kur-Hanover, our little George of England, whose course is certain as that of the very stars, and direct against Friedrich at this time, as indeed, at all times not exceptional, it is apt to be. Both these Potentates must be attended to, in one's absence; method to be gentle but effectual; the Old Dessauer to do it:—and this is what these consultings had turned upon; and in a month or two, readers, and an astonished Gazetteer world, will see what comes of them.
It was February 19th when Friedrich left Berlin; the 21st he spends at Glogau, inspecting the Blockade there, and not ill content with the measures taken: "Press that Wallis all you can," enjoins he: "Hunger seems to be slow about it! Summon him again, were your new Artillery come up; threaten with bombardment; but spare the Town, if possible. Artillery is coming: let us have done here, and soon!" Next day he arrives, not at Breslau as some had expected, but at Schweidnitz sidewards; a strong little Town, at least an elaborately fortified, of which we shall hear much in time coming. It lies a day's ride west of Breslau: and will be quieter for business than a big gazing Capital would be,—were Breslau even one's own city; which it is not, though perhaps tending to be. Breslau is in transition circumstances at present; a little uncertain WHOSE it is, under its Munchows and new managers: Breslau he did not visit at all on this occasion. To Schweidnitz certain new regiments had been ordered, there to be disposed of in reinforcing: there, "in the Count Hoberg's Mansion," he principally lodges for six weeks to come; shooting out on continual excursions; but always returning to Schweidnitz, as the centre, again.
Algarotti, home from Turin (not much of a success there, but always melodious for talk), had travelled with him; Algarotti, and not long after, Jordan and Maupertuis, bear him company, that the vacant moments too be beautiful. We can fancy he has a very busy, very anxious, but not an unpleasant time. He goes rapidly about, visiting his posts,—chiefly about the Neisse Valley; Neisse being the prime object, were the weather once come for siege-work. He is in many Towns (specified in RODENBECK and the Books, but which may be anonymous here); doubtless on many Steeples and Hill-tops; questioning intelligent natives, diligently using his own eyes: intent to make personal acquaintance with this new Country,—where, little as he yet dreams of it, the deadly struggles of his Life lie waiting him, and which he will know to great perfection before all is done!
Neisse lies deep enough in Prussian environment; like Brieg, like Glogau, strictly blockaded; our posts thereabouts, among the Mountains, thought to be impregnable. Nevertheless, what new thing is this? Here are swarms of loose Hussar-Pandour people, wild Austrian Irregulars, who come pouring out of Glatz Country; disturbing the Prussian posts towards that quarter; and do not let us want for Small War (KLEINE KRIEG) so called. General Browne, it appears, is got back to Glatz at this early season, he and a General Lentulus busy there; and these are the compliments they send! A very troublesome set of fellows, infesting one's purlieus in winged predatory fashion; swooping down like a cloud of vulturous harpies on the sudden; fierce enough, if the chance favor; then to wing again, if it do not. Communication, especially reconnoitring, is not safe in their neighborhood. Prussian Infantry, even in small parties, generally beats them; Prussian Horse not, but is oftener beaten,—not drilled for this rabble and their ways. In pitched fight they are not dangerous, rather are despicable to the disciplined man; but can, on occasion, do a great deal of mischief.
Thus, it was not long after Friedrich's coming into these parts, when he learnt with sorrow that a Body of "500 Horse and 500 Foot" (or say it were only 300 of each kind, which is the fact [Orlich, i. 79; OEuvres de Frederic, ii. 68.]) had eluded our posts in the Mountains, and actually got into Neisse. "The Foot will be of little consequence," writes Friedrich; "but the Horse, which will disturb our communications, are a considerable mischief." This was on the 5th of March. And about a week before, on the 27th of February, there had well-nigh a far graver thing befallen,—namely the capture of Friedrich himself, and the sudden end of all these operations.
SKIRMISH OF BAUMGARTEN, 27th FEBRUARY, 1741.
In most of the Anecdote-Books there used to figure, and still does, insisting on some belief from simple persons, a wonderful Story in very vague condition: How once "in the Silesian Wars," the King, in those Upper Neisse regions, in the Wartha district between Glatz and Neisse, was, one day, within an inch of being taken,—clouds of Hussars suddenly rising round him, as he rode reconnoitring, with next to no escort, only an adjutant or so in attendance. How he shot away, keeping well in the shade; and erelong whisked into a Convent or Abbey, the beautiful Abbey of Kamenz in those parts; and found Tobias Stusche, excellent Abbot of the place, to whom he candidly disclosed his situation. How the excellent Tobias thereupon instantly ordered the bells to be rung for a mass extraordinary, Monks not knowing why; and, after bells, made his appearance in high costume, much to the wonder of his Monks, with a SECOND Abbot, also in high costume, but of shortish stature, whom they never saw before or after. Which two Abbots, or at least Tobias, proceeded to do the so-called divine office there and then; letting loose the big chant especially, and the growl of organs, in a singularly expressive manner. How the Pandours arrived in clouds meanwhile; entered, in searching parties, more or less reverent of the mass; searched high and low; but found nothing, and were obliged to take Tobias's blessing at last, and go their ways. How the Second Abbot thereupon swore eternal friendship with Tobias, in the private apartments; and rode off as—as a rescued Majesty, determined to be more cautious in Pandour Countries for the future! [Hildebrandt, Anekdoten, i. 1-7. Pandour proper is a FOOT-soldier (tall raw-boned ill-washed biped, in copious Turk breeches, rather barish in the top parts of him; carries a very long musket, and has several pistols and butcher's-knives stuck in his girdle): specifically a footman; but readers will permit me to use him withal, as here, in the generic sense.]—Which story, as to the body of it, is all myth; though, as is oftenest the case, there lies in it some soul of fact too. The History-Books, which had not much heeded the little fact, would have nothing to do with this account of it. Nevertheless the people stuck to their Myth; so that Dryasdust (in punishment for his sinful blindness to the human and divine significance of facts) was driven to investigate the business; and did at last victoriously bring it home to the small occurrence now called SKIRMISH OF BAUMGARTEN, which had nearly become so great in the History of the World,—to the following effect.
There are two Valleys with roads that lead from that Southwest quarter of Silesia towards Glatz, each with a little Town at the end of it, looking up into it: Wartha the name of the one: Silberberg that of the other. Through the Wartha Valley, which is southernmost, young Neisse River comes rushing down,—the blue mountains thereabouts very pretty, on a clear spring day, says my touring friend. Both at Wartha, and at Silberberg the little Town which looks into the mouth of the northernmost Valley, the Prussians have a post. Old Derschau, Malplaquet Derschau, with headquarters at Frankenstein, some seven or eight miles nearer Schweidnitz, has not failed in that precaution. Friedrich wished to visit Silberberg and Wartha; set out accordingly, 27th February, with small escort, carelessly as usual: the Pandour people had wind of it; knew his habits on such occasions; and, gliding through other roadless valleys, under an adventurous Captain, had determined to whirl him off. And they were in fact not far from succeeding, had not a mistake happened.
Silberberg, and Wartha the southernmost, which stands upon the Neisse River (rushing out there into the plainer country), are each about seven or eight miles from Frankenstein, the Head-quarters; and there are relays of posts, capable of supporting one another, all the way from Frankenstein to each. Friedrich rode to Silberberg first; examined the post, found it right; then rode across to Wartha, seven or eight miles southward; examined Wartha likewise; after which, he sat down to dinner in that little Town, with an Officer or two for company,—having, I suppose, found all right in both the posts. In the way hither, he had made some change in the relay arrangements, which at first involved some diminution of his own escort, and then some marching about and redistributing: so that, externally, it seemed as if the Principal Relay-party were now marching on Baumgarten, an intermediate Village,—at least so the Pandour Captain understands the movements going on; and crouches into the due thickets in consequence, not doubting but the King himself is for Baumgarten, and will be at hand presently. Principal relay-party, a squadron of Schulenburg's Dragoons, with a stupid Major over them, is not quite got into Baumgarten, when "with horrible cries the Pandour Captain with about 500 horse," plunges out of cover, direct upon the throat of it: and Friedrich, at Wartha, is but just begun dining when tumult of distant musketry breaks in upon him. With Friedrich himself, at this time, as I count, there might be 150 Horse; in Wartha post itself are at least "forty hussars and fifty foot." By no means "nothing but a single adjutant," as the Myth bears.
The stupid Major ought to have beaten this rabble, though above two to one of him. But he could not, though he tried considerably; on the contrary, he was himself beaten; obliged to make off, leaving "ten dragoons killed, sixteen prisoners, one standard and two kettle-drums:"—victory and all this plunder, ye Pandour gentry; but evidently no King. The Pandour gentry, on the instant, made off too, alarm being abroad; got into some side-valley, with their prisoners and drum-and-standard honors, and vanished from view of mankind.
Friedrich had started from dinner; got his escort under way, with the forty hussars and the fifty foot, and what small force was attainable; and hurried towards the scene. He did see, by the road, another strongish party of Pandours; dashed them across the Neisse River out of sight;—but, getting to Baumgarten, found the field silent, and ten dead men upon it. "I always told you those Schulenburg Dragoons were good for nothing!" writes he to the Old Dessauer; but gradually withal, on comparing notes, finds what a danger he had run, and how rash and foolish he had been. "An ETOURDERIE (foolish trick)," he calls it, writing to Jordan; "a black eye;" and will avoid the like. Vienna got its two kettle-drums and flag; extremely glad to see them; and even sang TE-DEUM upon them, to general edification. [Orlich, i. 62-64.] This is the naked primordial substance out of which the above Myth grew to its present luxuriance in the popular imagination. Place, the little Village of Baumgarten; day, 27th February, 1741. Of Tobias Stusche or the Convent of Kamenz, not one authentic word on this occasion. Tobias did get promotions, favors in coming years: a worthy Abbot, deserving promotion on general grounds; and master of a Convent very picturesque, but twelve miles from the present scene of action.
ASPECTS OF BRESLAU.
Friedrich avoided visiting Breslau, probably for the reasons above given; though there are important interests of his there, especially his chief Magazine; and issues of moment are silently working forward. Here are contemporary Excerpts (in abridged form), which are authentic, and of significance to a lively reader:—
"BRESLAU, MIDDLE OF JANUARY, 1741. The Prussian Envoy, Herr von Gotter, had appeared here, returning from Vienna; Gotter, and then Borck, who made no secret in Breslau society, That not the slightest hope of a peaceable result existed, as society might have flattered itself; but that war and battle would have to decide this matter. A Saxon Ambassador was also here, waiting some time; message thought to be insignificant:—probably some vague admonitory stuff again from Kur-Sachsen (Polish King, son of August the Strong, a very insignificant man), who acts as REICHS-VICARIUS in those Northern parts." For the reader is to know, there are Reichs-Vicars more than one (nay more than two on this occasion, with considerable jarring going on about them); and I could say much about their dignities, limits, duties, [Adelung, ii. 143, &c.; Kohler, Reichs-Historie, pp. 585-589.]—if indeed there were any duties, except dramatic ones! But the Reich itself, and Vicarship along with it, are fallen into a nearly imaginary condition; and the Regensburg Diet (not Princes now, but mere Delegates of Princes, mostly Bombazine People), which, "ever since 1663," has sat continual, instead of now and then, is become an Enchanted Piggery, strange to look upon, under those earnest stars. "As King Friedrich did not call at Greslau," after those Neisse bombardments, but rolled past, straight homewards, the three Excellencies all departed,—Borck and Gotter to Berlin, the Saxon home again with his insignificant message.
"JANUARY 19th. Schwerin too was here in the course of the winter, to see how the magazines and other war-preparations were going on: Breslau outwardly and inwardly is whirling with business, and offers phenomena. For instance, it is known that the Army-Chest, heaps of silver and gold in it, lies in the Scultet Garden-House, where the King lodged; and that only one sentry walks there, and that in the guard-house itself, which is some way off, there are only thirty men. January 19th, about 9 of the clock, [Helden-Geschichte, i. 700.] alarm rises, That 2,000 DIEBS-GESINDEL (Collective Thief-rabble of Breslau and dependencies) are close by; intending a stroke upon said Garden-House and Army-Chest! Perhaps this rumor sprang of its own accord;—or perhaps not quite? It had been very rife; and ran high; not without remonstrances in Town-Hall, and the like, which we can imagine. Issue was, The Officer on post at Scultet's loaded his treasure in carts; conveyed it, that same night, to the interior of the City, in fact to the OBERAMTS-HAUS (Government-House that was);—which doubtless was a step in the right direction. For now the Two Feld-Kriegs-Commissariat Gentlemen (one of whom is the expert Munchow, son of our old Custrin friend), supreme Prussian Authorities here, do likewise shift out of their inns; and take old Schaffgotsch's apartments in the same Oberamts-Haus; mutely symbolling that perhaps THEY are likely to become a kind of Government. And the reader can conceive how, in such an element, the function of governing would of itself fall more and more into their hands. They were consummately polite, discreet, friendly towards all people; and did in effect manage their business, tax-gatherings in money and in kind, with a perfection and precision which made the evil a minimum.
"FEBRUARY 17th.... This day also, there arrived at Breslau, by boat up the Oder, ten heavy cannon, three mortars, and ammunition of powder, bombshells, balls, as much as loaded fifty wagons; the whole of which were, in like manner, forwarded to Ohlau. This day, as on other days before and after. Great Magazines forming here; the Military chiefly at Ohlau; at Breslau the Provender part,—and this latter under noteworthy circumstances. In the Dom-Island, namely; which is definable (in a case of such necessity) as being 'outside the walls.' Especially as the Reverend Fathers have mostly glided into corners, and left the place vacant. In the Dom-Island, it certainly is; and such a stock,—all bought for money down, and spurred forward while the roads were under frost,—'such a stock as was not thought to be in all Silesia,' says exaggerative wonder. The vacant edifices in the Dom-Island are filled to the neck with meal and corn; the Prussian brigade now quartering there ('without the walls,' in a sense) to guard the same. And in the Bishop's Garden [poor Sinzendorf, far enough away and in no want of it just now] are mere hay-mows, bigger than houses: who can object,—in a case of necessity? No man, unless he politically meddle, is meddled with; politically meddling, you are at once picked up; as one or two are,—clapped into gentle arrest, or, like old Schaffgotsch, and even Sinzendorf before long, requested to leave the Country till it get settled. Rigor there is, but not intentional injustice on Munchow's part, and there is a studious avoidance of harsh manner.
"FEBRUARY-MARCH. Considerable recruiting in Schlesien: six hundred recruits have enlisted in Breslau alone. Also his Prussian Majesty has sent a supply of Protestant Preachers, ordained for the occasion, to minister where needed;—which is piously acknowledged as a godsend in various parts of Silesia. Twelve came first, all Berliners; soon afterwards, others from different parts, till, in the end, there were about Sixty in all. Rigorous, punctilious avoidance of offence to the Catholic minorities, or of whatever least thing Silesian Law does not permit, is enjoined upon them; 'to preach in barns or town-halls, where by Law you have no Church.' Their salary is about 30 pounds a year; they are all put under supervision of the Chaplain of Margraf Karl's Regiment" (a judicious Chaplain, I have no doubt, and fit to be a Bishop); and so far as appears, mere benefit is got of them by Schlesien as well as by Friedrich, in this function. Friedrich is careful to keep the balance level between Catholic and Protestant; but it has hung at such an angle, for a long while past! In general, we observe the Catholic Dignitaries, and the zealous or fanatic of that creed, especially the Jesuits, are apt to be against him: as for the non-fanatic, they expect better government, secular advantage; these latter weigh doubtfully, and with less weight whichever way. In the general population, who are Protestant, he recognizes friends;—and has sent them Sixty Preachers, which by Law was their due long since. Here follow two little traits, comic or tragi-comic, with which we can conclude:—
"Detached Jesuit parties, here and there, seem to have mischief in hand in a small way, encouraging deserters and the like;—and we keep an eye on them. No discontent elsewhere, at least none audible; on the contrary, much enlisting on the part of the Silesian youth, with other good symptoms. But in the Dom, there is, singular to say, a Goblin found walking, one night;—advancing, not with airs from Heaven, upon the Prussian sentry there! The Prussian sentry handles arms; pokes determinedly into the Goblin, and finding him solid, ever more determinedly, till the Goblin shrieked 'Jesus Maria!' and was hauled to the Guard-house for investigation." A weak Goblin; doubtless of the valet kind; worth only a little whipping; but testifies what the spirit is.
"Another time, two deserter Frenchmen getting hanged [such the law in aggravated cases], certain polite Jesuits, who had by permission been praying and extreme-unctioning about them, came to thank the Colonel after all was over. Colonel, a grave practical man, needs no 'thanks;' would, however, 'advise your Reverences to teach your people that perjury is not permissible, that an oath sworn ought to be kept;' and in fine 'would advise you Holy Fathers hereabouts, and others, to have a care lest you get into'—And twitching his reins, rode away without saying into what." [Helden-Geschichte, i. 723.]
AUSTRIA IS STANDING TO ARMS.
Schwerin has been doing his best in this interim; collecting magazines with double diligence while the roads are hard, taking up the Key-positions far and wide, from the Jablunka round to the Frontier Valleys of Glatz again. He was through Jablunka, at one time; on into Mahren, as far as Olmutz; levying contributions, emitting patents: but as to intimidating her Hungarian Majesty, if that was the intention, or changing her mind at all, that is not the issue got. Austria has still strength, and Pragmatic Sanction and the Laws of Nature have! Very fixed is her Hungarian Majesty's determination, to part with no inch of Territory, but to drive the intrusive Prussians home well punished.
How she has got the funds is, to this day, a mystery;—unless George and Walpole, from their Secret-Service Moneys, have smuggled her somewhat? For the Parliament is not sitting, and there will be such jargonings, such delays: a preliminary 100,000 pounds, say by degrees 200,000 pounds,—we should not miss it, and in her Majesty's hands it would go far! Hints in the English Dryasdust we have; but nothing definite; and we are left to our guesses. [Tindal (XX. 497) says expressly 200,000 pounds, but gives no date or other particular.] A romantic story, first set current by Voltaire, has gone the round of the world, and still appears in all Histories: How in England there was a Subscription set on foot for her Hungarian Majesty; outcome of the enthusiasm of English Ladies of quality,—old Sarah Duchess of Marlborough putting down her name for 40,000 pounds, or indeed putting down the ready sum itself; magnanimous veteran that she was. Voltaire says, omitting date and circumstance, but speaking as if it were indubitable, and a thing you could see with eyes: "The Duchess of Marlborough, widow of him who had fought for Karl VI. [and with such signal returns of gratitude from the said Karl VI.], assembled the principal Ladies of London; who engaged to furnish 100,000 pounds among them; the Duchess herself putting down [EN DEPOSA, tabling IN CORPORE] 40,000 pounds of it. The Queen of Hungary had the greatness of soul to refuse this money;—needing only, as she intimated, what the Nation in Parliament assembled might please to offer her." [Voltaire, OEuvres (Siecle de Louis XV., c. 6), xxviii. 79.]
One is sorry to run athwart such a piece of mutual magnanimity; but the fact is, on considering a little and asking evidence, it turns out to be mythical. One Dilworth, an innocent English soul (from whom our grandfathers used to learn ARITHMETIC, I think), writing on the spot some years after Voltaire, has this useful passage: "It is the great failing of a strong imagination to catch greedily at wonders. Voltaire was misinformed; and would perhaps learn, by a second inquiry, a truth less splendid and amusing. A Contribution was, by News-writers upon their own authority, fruitlessly proposed. It ended in nothing: the Parliament voted a supply;"—that did it, Mr. Dilworth; supplies enough, and many of them! "Fruitlessly, by News-writers on their own authority;" that is the sad fact. [The Life and Heroick Actions of Frederick III. (SIC, a common blunder), by W. H. Dilworth, M.A. (London, 1758), p. 25. A poor little Book, one of many coming out on that subject just then (for a reason we shall see on getting thither); which contains, of available now, the above sentence and no more. Indeed its brethren, one of them by Samnel Johnson (IMPRANSUS, the imprisoned giant), do not even contain that, and have gone wholly to zero.—Neither little Dilworth nor big Voltaire give the least shadow of specific date; but both evidently mean Spring, 1742 (not 1741).]
It is certain, little George, who considers Pragmatic Sanction as the Keystone of Nature in a manner, has been venturing far deeper than purse for that adorable object; and indeed has been diving, secretly, in muddier waters than we expected, to a dangerous extent, on behalf of it, at this very time. In the first days of March, Friedrich has heard from his Minister at Petersburg of a DETESTABLE PROJECT, [Orlich, i. 83 (scrap of Note to Old Dessauer; no date allowed us; "early in March").]—project for "Partitioning the Prussian Kingdom," no less; for fairly cutting into Friedrich, and paring him down to the safe pitch, as an enemy to Pragmatic and mankind. They say, a Treaty, Draught of a Treaty, for that express object, is now ready; and lies at Petersburg, only waiting signature. Here is a Project! Contracting parties (Russian signature still wanting) are: Kur-Sachsen; her Hungarian Majesty; King George; and that Regent Anne (MRS. Anton Ulrich, so to speak), who sits in a huddle of undress, impatient of Political objects, but sensible to the charms of handsome men. To the charms of Count Lynar, especially: the handsomest of Danish noblemen (more an ancient Roman than a Dane), whom the Polish Majesty, calculating cause and effect, had despatched to her, with that view, in the dead of winter lately. To whom she has given ear;—dismissing her Munnich, as we saw above;—and is ready for signing, or perhaps has signed! [OEuvres de Frederic, ii. 68.] Friedrich's astonishment, on hearing of this "detestable Project," was great. However, he takes his measures on it;—right lucky that he has the Old Dessauer, and machinery for acting on Kur-Sachsen and the Britannic Majesty. "Get your machinery in gear!" is naturally his first order. And the Old Dessauer does it, with effect: of which by and by.
Never did I hear, before or since, of such a plunge into the muddy unfathomable, on the part of little George, who was an honorable creature, and dubitative to excess: and truly this rash plunge might have cost him dear, had not he directly scrambled out again. Or did Friedrich exaggerate to himself his Uncle's real share in the matter? I always guess, there had been more of loose talk, of hypothesis and fond hope, in regard to George's share, than of determinate fact or procedure on his own part. The transaction, having had to be dropped on the sudden, remains somewhat dark; but, in substance, it is not doubtful; [Tindal, xx. 497.] and Parliament itself took afterwards to poking into it, though with little effect. Kur-Sachsen's objects in the adventure were of the earth, earthy; but on George's part it was pure adoration of Pragmatic Sanction, anxiety for the Keystone of Nature, and lest Chaos come again. In comparison with such transcendent divings, what is a little Secret-Service money!—
The Count Lynar of this adventure, who had well-nigh done such a feat in Diplomacy, may turn up transiently again. A conspicuous, more or less ridiculous person of those times. Busching (our Geographical friend) had gone with him, as Excellency's Chaplain, in this Russian Journey; which is a memorable one to Busching; and still presents vividly, through his Book, those haggard Baltic Coasts in midwinter, to readers who have business there. Such a journey for grimness of outlook, upon pine-tufts and frozen sand; for cold (the Count's very tobacco-pipe freezing in his mouth), for hardship, for bad lodging, and extremity of dirt in the unfreezable kinds, as seldom was. They met, one day on the road, a Lord Hyndford, English Ambassador just returning from Petersburg, with his fourgons and vehicles, and arrangements for sleep and victual, in an enviably luxurious condition,—whom we shall meet, to our cost. They saw, in the body, old Field-marshal Lacy, and dined with him, at Riga; who advised brandy schnapps; a recipe rejected by Busching. And other memorabilia, which by accident hang about this Lynar. [Busching, Beitrage, vi. 132-164.]—All through Regent Anne's time he continued a dangerous object to Friedrich; and it was a relief when Elizabeth CATIN became Autocrat, instead of Deshabille Anne and her Lynar. Adieu to him, for fifteen years or more.
Of Friedrich's military operations, of his magazines, posts, diligent plannings and gallopings about, in those weeks; of all this the reader can form some notion by looking on the map and remembering what has gone before: but that subterranean growling which attended him, prophetic of Earthquake, that universal breaking forth of Bedlams, now fallen so extinct, no reader can imagine. Bedlams totally extinct to everybody; but which were then very real, and raged wide as the world, high as the stars, to a hideous degree among the then sons of men;—unimaginable now by any mortal.
And, alas, this is one of the grand difficulties for my readers and me; Friedrich's Life-element having fallen into such a dismal condition. Most dismal, dark, ugly, that Austrian-Succession Business, and its world-wide battlings, throttlings and intriguings: not Dismal Swamp, under a coverlid of London Fog, could be uglier! A Section of "History" so called, which human nature shrinks from; of which the extant generation already knows nothing, and is impatient of hearing anything! Truly, Oblivion is very due to such an Epoch: and from me far be it to awaken, beyond need, its sordid Bedlams, happily extinct. But without Life-element, no Life can be intelligible; and till Friedrich and one or two others are extricated from it, Dismal Swamp cannot be quite filled in. Courage, reader!—Our Constitutional Historian makes this farther reflection:—
"English moneys, desperate Russian intrigues, Treaties made and Treaties broken—If instead of Pragmatic Sanction with eleven Potentates guaranteeing, Maria Theresa had at this time had 200,000 soldiers and a full treasury (as Prince Eugene used to advise the late Kaiser), how different might it have been with her, and with the whole world that fell upon one another's throats in her quarrel! Some eight years of the most disastrous War; and except the falling of Silesia to its new place, no result gained by it. War at any rate inevitable, you object? English-Spanish War having been obliged to kindle itself; French sure to fall in, on the Spanish side; sure to fall upon Hanover, so soon as beaten at sea, and thus to involve all Europe? Well, it is too likely. But, even in that case, the poor English would have gone upon their necessary Spanish War, by the direct road and with their eyes open, instead of somnambulating and stumbling over the chimney-tops; and the settlement might have come far sooner, and far cheaper to mankind.—Nay, we are to admit that the new place for Silesia was, likewise, the place appointed it by just Heaven; and Friedrich's too was a necessary War. Heaven makes use of Shadow-hunting Kaisers too; and its ways in this mad world are through the great Deep."
THE YOUNG DESSAUER CAPTURES GLOGAU (MARCH 9th); THE OLD DESSAUER, BY HIS CAMP OF GOTTIN (APRIL 2d), CHECKMATES CERTAIN DESIGNING PERSONS.
Money somewhere her Hungarian Majesty has got; that is one thing evident. She has an actual Army on foot, "drawn out of Italy," or whence she could; formidable Army, says rumor, and getting well equipped;—and here are the Pandour Precursors of it, coming down like storm-clouds through the Glatz valleys;—nearly finishing the War for her at a stroke, the other day, had accident favored;—and have thrown reinforcement of 600 into Neisse. Friedrich is not insensible to these things; and amid such alarms from far and from near, is becoming eager to have, at least, Glogau in his hand. Glogau, he is of opinion, could now, and should, straightway be done.
Glogau is not a strong place; after all the repairing, it could stand little siege, were we careless of hurting it. But Wallis is obstinate; refuses Free Withdrawal; will hold out to the uttermost, though his meal is running low. He pretends there is relief coming; relief just at hand; and once, in midnight time, "lets off a rocket and fires six guns," alarming Prince Leopold as if relief were just in the neighborhood. A tough industrious military man; stiff to his purpose, and not without shift.
Friedrich thinks the place might be had by assault: "Open trenches; set your batteries going, which need not injure the Town; need only alarm Wallis, and TERRIFY it; then, under cover of this noise and feint of cannonading, storm with vigor." Leopold, the Young Dessauer, is cautious; wants petards if he must storm, wants two new battalions if he must open trenches;—he gets these requisites, and is still cunctatory. Friedrich has himself got the notion, "from clear intelligence," true or not, that relief to Glogau is actually on way; and under such imminences, Russian and other, in so ticklish a state of the world, he becomes more and more impatient that this thing were done. In the first week of March, still hurrying about on inspection-business, he writes, from four or five different places ("Mollwitz near Brieg" is one of them, a Village we shall soon know better), Note after Note to Leopold; who still makes difficulties, and is not yet perfect to the last finish in his preparations. "Preparations!" answers Friedrich impatiently (date MOLLWITZ, 5th MARCH, the third or fourth impatient Note he has sent); and adds, just while quitting Mollwitz for Ohlau, this Postscript in his own hand:—
P.S. "I am sorry you have not understood me! They have, in Bohmen, a regular enterprise on hand for the rescue of Glogau. I have Infantry enough to meet them; but Cavalry is quite wanting. You must therefore, without delay, begin the siege. Let us finish there, I pray you!" [Orlich, i. 70.]
And next day, Monday 6th, to cut the matter short, he despatches his General-Adjutant Goltz in person (the distance is above seventy miles), with this Note wholly in autograph, which nothing vocal on Leopold's part will answer:—
"OHLAU, 6th MARCH. As I am certainly informed that the Enemy will make some attempt, I hereby with all distinctness command, That, so soon as the petards are come [which they are], you attack Glogau. And you must make your Arrangement (DISPOSITION) for more than one attack; so that if one fail, the other shall certainly succeed. I hope you will put off no longer;—otherwise the blame of all the mischief that might arise out of longer delay must lie on you alone." [Ib. i. 71.]
Goltz arrived with this emphatic Piece, Tuesday Evening, after his course of seventy miles: this did at last rouse our cautious Young Dessauer; and so there is next obtainable, on much compression, the following authentic Excerpt:—
"GLOGAU, 8th MARCH, 1741. His Durchlaucht the Prince Leopold summoned all the Generals at noon; and informed them That, this very night, Glogau must be won. He gave them their Instructions in writing: where each was to post himself; with what detachments; how to proceed. There are to be three Attacks: one up stream, coming on with the River to its right; one down stream, River to its left; and a third from the landward side, perpendicular to the other two. The very captains that shall go foremost are specified; at what hour each is to leave quarters, so that all be ready simultaneously, waiting in the posts assigned;—against what points to advance out of these, and storm Rampart and Wall. Places, times, particulars, everything is fixed with mathematical exactitude: 'Be steady, be correct, especially be silent; and so far as Law of Nature will permit, be simultaneous! When the big steeple of Glogau peals Midnight,—Forward, with the first stroke; with the second, much more with the twelfth stroke, be one and all of you, in the utmost silence, advancing! And, under pain of death, two things: Not one shot till you are in; No plundering when you are.'—In this manner is the silent three-sided avalanche to be let go. Whereupon", says my Dryasdust, "the Generals retired; and had, for one item, their fire-arms all cleaned and new-loaded." [Helden-Geschichte, i. 823; ii. 165.]
Without plans of Glogau, and more detail and study than the reader would consent to, there can no Narrative be given. Glogau has Ramparts, due Ring-fence, palisaded and repaired by Wallis; inside of this is an old Town-Wall, which will need petards: there are about 1,000 men under Wallis, and altogether on the works, not to count a mortar or two, fifty-eight big guns. The reader must conceive a poor Town under blockade, in the wintry night-time, with its tough Count Wallis; ill-off for the necessaries of life; Town shrouded in darkness, and creeping quietly to its bed. This on the one hand: and on the other hand, Prussian battalions marching up, at 10 o'clock or later, with the utmost softness of step; "taking post behind the ordinary field-watches;" and at length, all standing ranked, in the invisible dark; silent, like machinery, like a sleeping avalanche: Husht!—No sentry from the walls dreams of such a thing. "Twelve!" sings out the steeple of Glogau; and in grim whisper the word is, "VORWARTS!" and the three-winged avalanche is in motion.
They reach their glacises, their ditches, covered ways, correct as mathematics; tear out chevaux-de-frise, hew down palisades, in the given number of minutes: Swift, ye Regiment's-carpenters; smite your best! Four cannon-shot do now boom out upon them; which go high over their heads, little dreaming how close at hand they are. The glacis is thirty feet high, of stiff slope, and slippery with frost: no matter, the avalanche, led on by Leopold in person, by Margraf Karl the King's Cousin, by Adjutant Goltz and the chief personages, rushes up with strange impetus; hews down a second palisade; surges in;—Wallis's sentries extinct, or driven to their main guards. There is a singular fire in the besieging party. For example, Four Grenadiers,—I think of this First Column, which succeeded sooner, certainly of the Regiment Glasenapp,—four grenadiers, owing to slippery or other accidents, in climbing the glacis, had fallen a few steps behind the general body; and on getting to the top, took the wrong course, and rushed along rightward instead of leftward. Rightward, the first thing they come upon is a mass of Austrians still ranked in arms; fifty-two men, as it turned out, with their Captain over them. Slight stutter ensues on the part of the Four Grenadiers; but they give one another the hint, and dash forward: "Prisoners?" ask they sternly, as if all Prussia had been at their rear. The fifty-two, in the darkness, in the danger and alarm, answer "Yes."—"Pile arms, then!" Three of the grenadiers stand to see that done; the fourth runs off for force, and happily gets back with it before the comedy had become tragic for his comrades. "I must make acquaintance with these four men," writes Friedrich, on hearing of it; and he did reward them by present, by promotion to sergeantcy (to ensigncy one of them), or what else they were fit for. Grenadiers of Glasenapp: these are the men Friedrich heard swearing-in under his window, one memorable morning when he burst into tears! At half-past Twelve, the Ramparts, on all sides, are ours.
The Gates of the Town, under axe and petard, can make little resistance, to Leopold's Column or the other two. A hole is soon cut in the Town-Gate, where Leopold is; and gallant Wallis, who had rallied behind it, with his Artillery-General and what they could get together, fires through the opening, kills four men; but is then (by order, and not till then) fired upon, and obliged to draw back, with his Artillery-General mortally hurt. Inside he attempts another rally, some 200 with him; and here and there perhaps a house-window tries to give shot; but it is to no purpose, not the least stand can be made. Poor Wallis is rapidly swept back, into the Market-place, into the Main Guard-house; and there piles arms: "Glogau yours, Ihr Herren, and we prisoners of War!" The steeple had not yet quite struck One. Here has been a good hour's-work!
Glogau, as in a dream, or half awake, and timidly peeping from behind window-curtains, finds that it is a Town taken. Glogau easily consoles itself, I hear, or even is generally glad; Prussian discipline being so perfect, and ingress now free for the necessaries of life. There was no plundering; not the least insult: no townsman was hurt; not even in houses where soldiers had tried firing from windows. The Prussian Battalions rendezvous in the Market-place, and go peaceably about their patrolling, and other business; and meddle with nothing else. They lost, in killed, ten men; had of killed and wounded, forty-eight; the Austrians rather more. [Orlich, i. 75, 78; Helden-Geschichte, i. 829; irreconcilable otherwise, in some slight points.] Wallis was to have been set free on parole; but was not,—in retaliation for some severity of General Browne's in the interim (picking up of two Silesian Noblemen, suspected of Prussian tendency, and locking them in Brunn over the Hills),—and had to go to Berlin, till that was repaired. To the wounded Artillery-General there was every tenderness shown, but he died in few days.—The other Prisoners were marched to the Custrin-Stettin quarter; "and many of them took Prussian service."
And this is the Scalade of Glogau: a shining feat of those days; which had great rumor in the Gazettes, and over all the then feverish Nations, though it has now fallen dim again, as feats do. Its importance at that time, its utility to Friedrich's affairs, was undeniable; and it filled Friedrich with the highest satisfaction, and with admiration to overflowing. Done 9th March, 1741; in one hour, the very earliest of the day.
Goltz posted back to Schweidnitz with the news; got thither about 5 P.M.; and was received, naturally, with open arms. Friedrich in person marched out, next morning, to make FEU-DE-JOIE and TE-DEUM-ing;—there was Royal Letter to Leopold, which flamed through all the Newspapers, and can still be read in innumerable Books; Letter omissible in this place. We remark only how punctual the King is, to reward in money as well as praise, and not the high only, but the low that had deserved: to Prince Leopold he presents 2,000 pounds; to each private soldier who had been of the storm, say half a guinea,—doubling and quadrupling, in the special cases, to as high as twenty guineas, of our present money. To the old Gazetteers, and their readers everywhere, this of Glogau is a very effulgent business; bursting out on them, like sudden Bude-light, in the uncertain stagnancy and expectancy of mankind. Friedrich himself writes of it to the Old Dessauer:—
"The more I think of the Glogau business, the more important I find it. Prince Leopold has achieved the prettiest military stroke (DIE SCHONSTE ACTION) that has been done in this Century. From my heart I congratulate you on having such a Son. In boldness of resolution, in plan, in execution, it is alike admirable; and quite gives a turn to my affairs." [Date, 13th March, 1741 (Orlich, i. 77).]
And indeed, it is a perfect example of Prussian discipline, and military quality in all kinds; such as it would be difficult to match elsewhere. Most potently correct; coming out everywhere with the completeness and exactitude of mathematics; and has in it such a fund of martial fire, not only ready to blaze out (which can be exampled elsewhere), but capable of bottling itself IN, and of lying silently ready. Which is much rarer; and very essential in soldiering! Due a little to the OLD Dessauer, may we not say, as well as to the Young? Friedrich Wilhelm is fallen silent; but his heavy labors, and military and other drillings to Prussian mankind, still speak with an audible voice.
About three weeks after this of Glogau, Leopold the Old Dessauer, over in Brandenburg, does another thing which is important to Friedrich, and of great rumor in the world. Steps out, namely, with a force of 36,000 men, horse, foot and artillery, completely equipped in all points; and takes Camp, at this early season, at a place called Gottin, not far from Magdeburg, handy at once for Saxony and for Hanover; and continues there encamped,—"merely for review purposes." Readers can figure what an astonishment it was to Kur-Sachsen and British George; and how it struck the wind out of their Russian Partition-Dream, and awoke them to a sense of the awful fact!—Capable of being slit in pieces, and themselves partitioned, at a day's warning, as it were! It was on April 2d, that Leopold, with the first division of the 36,000, planted his flag near Gottin. No doubt it was the "detestable Project" that had brought him out, at so early a season for tent-life, and nobody could then guess why. He steadily paraded here, all summer; keeping his 36,000 well in drill, since there was nothing else needed of him.
The Camp at Gottin flamed greatly abroad through the timorous imaginations of mankind, that Year; and in the Newspapers are many details of it. And, besides the important general fact, there is still one little point worth special mention: namely, that old Field-marshal Katte (Father of poor Lieutenant Katte whom we knew) was of it; and perhaps even got his death by it: "Chief Commander of the Cavalry here," such honor had he; but died at his post, in a couple of months, "at Rekahn, May 31st;" [Militair-Lexikon, ii. 254.] poor old gentleman, perhaps unequal to the hardships of field-life at so early a season of the year.
FRIEDRICH TAKES THE FIELD, WITH SOME POMP; GOES INTO THE MOUNTAINS,—BUT COMES FAST BACK.
At Glogau there was Homaging, on the very morrow after the storm; on the second day, the superfluous regiments marched off: no want of vigorous activity to settle matters on their new footing there. General Kalkstein (Friedrich's old Tutor, whom readers have forgotten again) is to be Commandant of Glogau; an office of honor, which can be done by deputy except in cases of real stress. The place is to be thoroughly new-fortified,—which important point they commit to Engineer Wallrave, a strong-headed heavy-built Dutch Officer, long since acquired to the service, on account of his excellence in that line; who did, now and afterwards, a great deal of excellent engineering for Friedrich; but for himself (being of deep stomach withal, and of life too dissolute) made a tragic thing of it ultimately. As will be seen, if we have leisure.
In seven or eight days, Prince Leopold having wound up his Glogau affairs, and completed the new preliminaries there, joins the King at Schweidnitz. In the highest favor, as was natural. Kalkstein is to take a main hand in the Siege of Neisse; for which operation it is hoped there will soon be weather, if not favorable yet supportable. What of the force was superfluous at Glogau had at once marched off, as we observed; and is now getting re-distributed where needful. There is much shifting about; strengthening of posts, giving up of posts: the whole of which readers shall imagine for themselves,—except only two points that are worth remembering: FIRST, that Kalkstein with about 12,000 takes post at Grotkau, some twenty-five miles north of Neisse, ready to move on, and open trenches, when required: and SECOND, that Holstein-Beck gets posted at Frankenstein (chief place of that Baumgarten Skirmish), say thirty-five miles west-by-north of Neisse; and has some 8 or 10,000 Horse and Foot thereabouts, spread up and down,—who will be much wanted, and not procurable, on an occasion that is coming.
Friedrich has given up the Jablunka Pass; called in the Jablunka and remoter posts; anxious to concentrate, before the Enemy get nigh. That is the King's notion; and surely a reasonable one; the AREA of the Prussian Army, as I guess it from the Maps, being above 2,000 square miles, beginning at Breslau only, and leaving out Glogau. Schwerin thinks differently, but without good basis. Both are agreed, "The Austrian Army cannot take the field till the forage come," till the new grass spring, which its cavalry find convenient. That is the fair supposition; but in that both are mistaken, and Schwerin the more dangerously of the two.—Meanwhile, the Pandour swarms are observably getting rifer, and of stormier quality; and they seem to harbor farther to the East than formerly, and not to come all out of Glatz. Which perhaps are symptomatic circumstances? The worst effect of these preliminary Pandour clouds is, Your scout-service cannot live among them; they hinder reconnoitring, and keep the Enemy veiled from you. Of that sore mischief Friedrich had, first and last, ample experience at their hands! This is but the first instalment of Pandours to Friedrich; and the mere foretaste of what they can do in the veiling way.
Behind the Mountains, in this manner, all is inane darkness to Friedrich and Schwerin. They know only that Neipperg is rendezvousing at Olmutz; and judge that he will still spend many weeks upon it; the real facts being: That Neipperg—"who arrived in Olmutz on the 10th of March," the very day while Glogau was homaging—has been, he and those above him and those under him, driving preparations forward at a furious rate. That Neipperg held—I think at Steinberg his hithermost post, some twenty miles hither of Olmutz—a Council of War, "all the Generals and even Lentulus from Glatz, present at it," day not given; where the unanimous decision was, "March straightway; save Neisse, since Glogau is gone!"—and in fine, That on the 26th, Neipperg took the road accordingly, "in spite of furious snow blowing in his face;" and is ever since (30,000 strong, says rumor, but perhaps 10,000 of them mere Pandours) unweariedly climbing the Mountains, laboriously jingling forward with his heavy guns and ammunition-wagons; "contending with the steep snowy icy roads;" intent upon saving Neisse. This is the fact; profoundly unknown to Friedrich and Schwerin; who will be much surprised, when it becomes patent to them at the wrong time.
SCHWEIDNITZ, 27th MARCH. This day Friedrich, with considerable apparatus, pomp and processional cymballing, greatly the reverse of his ulterior use and wont in such cases, quitted Schweidnitz and his Algarottis; solemnly opening Campaign in this manner; and drove off for Ottmachau, having work there for to-morrow.
The Siege of Neisse is now to proceed forthwith; trenches to be opened April 4th. Friedrich is still of opinion, that his posts lie too wide apart; that especially Schwerin, who is spread among the Hills in Jagerndorf Country, ought to come down, and take closer order for covering the siege. [OEuvres de Frederic, ii. 70.] Schwerin answers, That if the King will spare him a reinforcement of eight squadrons and nine battalions (say 1,200 Horse, 9,000 Foot), he will maintain himself where he is, and no Enemy shall get across the Mountains at all. That is Schwerin's notion; who surely is something of a judge. Friedrich assents; will himself conduct the reinforcement to Schwerin, and survey matters, with his own eyes, up yonder. Friedrich marches from Ottmachau, accordingly, 29th March;—Kalkstein, Holstein-Beck, and others are to be rendezvoused before Neisse, in the interim; trenches ready for opening on the sixth day hence;—and in this manner, climbs these Mountains, and sees Jagerndorf Country for the first time.
Beautiful blue world of Hills, ridge piled on ridge behind that Neisse region; fruitful valleys lapped in them, with grim stone Castles and busy little Towns disclosing themselves as we advance: that is Jagerndorf Country,—which Uncle George of Anspach, hundreds of years ago, purchased with his own money; which we have now come to lay hold of as his Heir! Friedrich, I believe, thinks little of all this, and does not remember Uncle George at all. But such are the facts; and the Country, regarded or not, is very blue and beautiful, with the Spring sun shining on it; or with the sudden Spring storms gathering wildly on the peaks, as if for permanent investiture, but vanishing again straightway, leaving only a powdering of snow.
He met Schwerin at Neustadt, half-way to Jagerndorf; whither they proceeded next day. "What news have you of the Enemy?" was Friedrich's first question. Schwerin has no news whatever; only that the Enemy is far off, hanging in long thin straggle from Olmutz westward. "I have a spy out," said Schwerin; "but he has not returned yet,"—nor ever will, he might have added. If diligent readers will now take to their Map, and attend day by day, an invincible Predecessor has compelled what next follows into human intelligibility, and into the Diary Form, for their behoof;—readers of an idler turn can skip: but this confused hurry-scurry of marches issues in something which all will have to attend to.
"JAGERNDORF, 2d APRIL, 1741. This is the day when the Old Dessauer makes appearance with the first brigades of his Camp at Gottin. Friedrich is satisfied with what he has seen of Jagerndorf matters; and intends returning towards Neisse, there to commence on the 4th. He is giving his final orders, and on the point of setting off, when—Seven Austrian Deserters, 'Dragoons of Lichtenstein,' come in; and report, That Neipperg's Army is within a few miles! And scarcely had they done answering and explaining, when sounds rise of musketry and cannon, from our outposts on that side; intimating that here is Neipperg's Army itself. Seldom in his life was Friedrich in an uglier situation. In Jagerndorf, an open Town, are only some three or four thousand men, 'with three field-pieces, and as much powder as will charge them forty times.' Happily these proved only the Pandour outskirts of Neipperg's Army, scouring about to reconnoitre, and not difficult to beat; the real body of it is ascertained to be at Freudenthal, fifteen miles to westward, southwestward; making towards Neisse, it is guessed, by the other or western road, which is the nearer to Glatz and to the Austrian force there.
"Had Neipperg known what was in Jagerndorf—! But he does not know. He marches on, next morning, at his usual slow rate; wide clouds of Pandours accompanying and preceding him; skirmishing in upon all places [upon Jagerndorf, for instance, though fifteen miles wide of their road], to ascertain if Prussians are there. One can judge whether Friedrich and Schwerin were thankful when the huge alarm produced nothing! 'The mountain,' as Friedrich says, 'gave birth to a mouse;'—nay it was a 'mouse' of essential vital use to Friedrich and Schwerin; a warning, That they must instantly collect themselves, men and goods; and begone one and all out of these parts, double-quick towards Neisse. Not now with the hope of besieging Neisse,—far from that;—but of getting their wide-scattered posts together thereabouts, and escaping destruction in detail!
"APRIL 4th, HEAD-QUARTERS NEUSTADT. By violent exertion, with the sacrifice only of some remote little storehouses, all is rendezvoused at Jagerndorf, within two days; and this day they march; King and vanguard reaching Neustadt, some twenty-five miles forward, some twenty still from Neisse. At Neustadt, the posts that had stood in that neighborhood are all assembled, and march with the King to-morrow. Of Neipperg, except by transitory contact with his Pandour clouds, they have seen nothing: his road is pretty much parallel to theirs, and some fifteen miles leftward, Glatzward; goes through Zuckmantel, Ziegenhals, straight upon Neisse. [Zuckmantel, "Twitch-Cloak," occurs more than once as a Town's name in those regions: name which, says my Dryasdust without smile visible, it got from robberies done on travellers, "twitchings of your cloak," with stand-and-deliver, as you cross those wild mountain spaces. (Zeiller, Beschreibung des Konigreichs Boheim, Frankfurt, 1650;—a rather worthless old Book, like the rest of Zeiller's in that kind.)] Neipperg's men are wearied with the long climb out of Mahren; and he struggles towards Neisse as the first object;—holding upon Glatz and Lentulus with his left. Numerous orders have been speeded from the King's quarters, at Jagerndorf, and here at Neustadt; order especially to Holstein-Beck at Frankenstein, and to Kalkstein at Grotkau, How they are to unite, first with one another; and then to cross Neisse River, and unite with the King,—to which end there is already a Bridge laid for them, or about to be laid in good time.
"APRIL 5th, HEAD-QUARTERS STEINAU. Steinau is a little Town twenty miles east of Neisse, on the road to Kosel [strongish place, on the Oder, some forty miles farther east]: here Friedrich, with the main body, take their quarters; rearguard being still at Neustadt. Temporary Bridge there is, ready or all but ready, at Sorgau [twelve miles to north of us, on our left]: by this Kalkstein, with his 10,000, comes punctually across; while other brigades from the Kosel side are also punctual in getting in; which is a great comfort: but of Holstein-Beck there is no vestige, nor did there ever appear any. Holstein, 'whom none of the repeated orders sent him could reach,' says Friedrich, 'remained comfortably in his quarters; and looked at the Enemy rushing past him to right and left, without troubling his head with them.' [OEuvres de Frederic, ii. 70.] The too easy-minded Holstein! Austrian Deserters inform us, That General Neipperg arrived to-day with his Army in Neisse; and has there been joined by Lentulus with the Glatz force, chiefly cavalry, a good many thousands. We may be attacked, then, this very night, if they are diligent? Friedrich marks out ground and plan in such case, and how and where each is to rank himself. There came nothing of attack; but the poor little Village of Steinau, with so many troops in it and baggage-drivers stumbling about, takes fire; burns to ashes; 'and we had great difficulty in saving the artillery and powder through the narrow streets, with the houses all burning on each hand.'" Fancy it,—and the poor shrieking inhabitants; gone to silence long since with their shrieks, not the least whisper left of them. "The Prussians bivouac on the field, each in the place that has been marked out. Night extremely cold."
In this poor Steinau was a Schloss, which also went up in fire; disclosing certain mysteries of an almost mythical nature to the German Public. It was the Schloss of a Grafin von Callenberg, a dreadful old Dowager of Medea-Messalina type, who "always wore pistols about her;" pistols, and latterly, with more and more constancy, a brandy-bottle;—who has been much on the tongues of men for a generation back. Herr Nussler (readers recollect shifty Nussler) knew her, in the way of business, at one time; with pity, if also with horror. Some weeks ago, she was, by the Austrian Commandant at Neisse, summoned out of this Schloss, as in correspondence with Prussian Officers: peasants breaking in, tied her with ropes to the bed where she was; put bed and her into a farm-cart, and in that scandalous manner delivered her at Neisse to the Commandant; by which adventure, and its rages and unspeakabilities, the poor old Callenberg is since dead. And now the very Schloss is dead; and there is finis to a human dust-vortex, such as is sometimes noisy for a time. Perhaps Nussler may again pass that way, if we wait. [Busching, Beitrage, ii.273 et seqq.]
"APRIL 6th, HEAD-QUARTERS FRIEDLAND. To Friedland on the 6th.,—and do not, as expected, get away next morning. Friedland is ten miles down the Neisse, which makes a bend of near ninety degrees opposite Steinau; and runs thence straight north for the Oder, which it reaches some dozen miles or more above Brieg. Both Steinau and Friedland are a good distance from the River; Friedland, the nearer of the two, with Sorgau Bridge direct west of it, is perhaps eight miles from that important structure. There, being now tolerably rendezvoused, and in strength for action, Friedrich purposes to cross Neisse River to-morrow; hoping perhaps to meet Holstein-Beck, and incorporate him; anxious, at any rate, to get between the Austrians and Ohlau, where his heavy Artillery, his Ammunition, not to mention other indispensables, are lying. The peculiarity of Neipperg at this time is, that the ground he occupies bears no proportion to the ground he commands. His regular Horse are supposed to be the best in the world; and of the Pandour kind, who live, horse and man, mainly upon nothing (which means upon theft), his supplies are unlimited. He sits like a volcanic reservoir, therefore, not like a common fire of such and such intensity and power to burn;—casts the ashes of him, on all sides, to many miles distance.
"FRIDAY 7th APRIL, FRIEDLAND (still Head-quarters). Unluckily, on trying, there is no passage to be had at Sorgau. The Officer on charge there still holds the Bridge, but has been obliged to break away the farther end of it; 'Lentulus and Dragoons, several thousands strong' (such is the report), having taken post there. Friedrich commands that the Bridge be reinstated; field-pieces to defend it; Prince Leopold to cross, and clear the ways. All Friday, Friedrich waiting at Friedland, was spent in these details. Leopold in due force started for Sorgau, himself with Cavalry in the van; Leopold did storm across, and go charging and fencing, some space, on the other side; but, seeing that it was in truth Lentulus, and Dragoons without limit, had to send report accordingly; and then to wind himself to this side again, on new order from the King. What is to be done, then? Here is no crossing. Friedrich decides to go down the River; he himself to Lowen, perhaps near twenty miles farther down, but where there is a Bridge and Highway leading over; Prince Leopold, with the heavier divisions and baggages, to Michelau, some miles nearer, and there to build his Pontoons and cross. Which was effected, with success. And so,
"SATURDAY, 8th APRIL, With great punctuality, the King and Leopold met at Michelau, both well across the Neisse. Here on Pontoons, Leopold had got across about noon; and precisely as he was finishing, the King's Column, which had crossed at Lowen, and come up the left bank again, arrived. The King, much content with Leopold's behavior, nominates him General of Infantry, a stage higher in promotion, there and then. Brieg Blockade is, as natural, given up; the Blockading Body joining with the King, this morning, while he passed that way. From Holstein-Beck not the least whisper,—nor to him, if we knew it.
"Neipperg has quitted Neisse; but walks invisible within clouds of Pandours; nothing but guessing as to Neipperg's motions. Rightly swift, and awake to his business, Neipperg might have done, might still do, a stroke upon us here. But he takes it easy; marches hardly five miles a day, since he quitted Neisse again. From Michelau, Friedrich for his part turns southwestward, in quest of Holstein and other interests; marches towards Grotkau, not intending much farther that night. Thick snow blowing in their faces, nothing to be seen ahead, the Prussian column tramps along. [OEuvres de Frederic, ii. 156.] In Leipe, a little Hamlet sidewards of the road, short way from Grotkau, our Hussar Vanguard had found Austrian Hussars; captured forty, and from them learned that the Austrian Army is in Grotkau; that they took Grotkau half an hour before, and are there! A poor Lieutenant Mitschepfal (whom I think Friedrich used to know in Reinsberg) lay in Grotkau, 'with some sixty recruits and deserters,' says Friedrich,—and with several hundreds of camp-laborers (intended for the trenches, which will not now be opened):—Mitschepfal made a stout defence; but, after three hours of it, had to give in: and there is nothing now for us at Grotkau. 'Halt,' therefore! Neipperg is evidently pushing towards Ohlau, towards Breslau, though in a leisurely way; there it will behoove us to get the start of him, if humanly possible: To the right about, therefore, without delay! The Prussians repass Leipe (much to the wonder of its simple people); get along, some seven miles farther, on the road for Ohlau; and quarter, that night, in what handy villages there are; the King's Corps in two Villages, which he calls 'Pogrel and Alsen,'"—which are to be found still on the Map as "Pogarell and Alzenau," on the road from Lowen towards Ohlau.
This is the end of that March into the Mountains, with Neisse Siege hanging triumphant ahead. These are the King's quarters, this wintry Spring night, Saturday, 8th April, 1741; and it is to be guessed there is more of care than of sleep provided for him there. Seldom, in his life, was Friedrich in a more critical position; and he well knows it, none better. And could have his remorses upon it,—were these of the least use in present circumstances. Here are two Letters which he wrote that night; veiling, we perceive, a very grim world of thoughts; betokening, however, a mind made up. Jordan, Prince August Wilhelm Heir-Apparent, and other fine individuals who shone in the Schweidnitz circle lately, are in Breslau, safe sheltered against this bad juncture; Maupertuis was not so lucky as to go with them.
THE KING TO PRINCE AUGUST WILHELM (in Breslau).
"POGARELL, 8th April, 1741.
"MY DEAREST BROTHER,—The Enemy has just got into Silesia; we are not more than a mile (QUART DE MILLE) from them. To-morrow must decide our fortune.
"If I die, do not forget a Brother who has always loved you very tenderly. I recommend to you my most dear Mother, my Domestics, and my First Battalion [LIFEGUARD OF FOOT, men picked from his own old Ruppin Regiment and from the disbanded Giants, star of all the Battalions]. [See Preuss, i. 144, iv. 309; Nicolai, Beschreibung von Berlin, iii, 1252.] Eichel and Schuhmacher [Two of the Three Clerks] are informed of all my testamentary wishes. Remember me always, you; but console yourself for my death: the glory of the Prussian Arms, and the honor of the House have set me in action, and will guide me to my last moment. You are my sole Heir: I recommend to you, in dying, those whom I have the most loved during my life: Keyserling, Jordan, Wartensleben; Hacke, who is a very honest man; Fredersdorf [Factotum], and Eichel, in whom you may place entire confidence. I bequeath 8,000 crowns (1,200 pounds, which I have with me), to my Domestics; but all that I have elsewhere depends on you. To each of my Brothers and Sisters make a present in my name; a thousand affectionate regards (AMITIES ET COMPLIMENTS) to my Sister of Baireuth. You know what I think on their score; and you know better than I could tell you, the tenderness and all the sentiments of most inviolable friendship with which I am, dearest Brother,
"Your faithful Brother and Servant till death,
"FEDERIC." [OEuvres de Frederic, xxvi. 85; List of Friedrich's Testamentary arrangements in Note there,—Six in all, at different times, besides this.]
THE KING TO M. JORDAN (in Breslau).
"POGARELL, 8th April, 1741.
"My DEAR JORDAN,—-We are going to fight to-morrow. Thou knowest the chances of war; the life of Kings not more regarded than that of private people. I know not what will happen to me.
"If my destiny is finished, remember a friend, who loves thee always tenderly: if Heaven prolong my days, I will write to thee after to-morrow, and thou wilt hear of our victory. Adieu, dear friend; I shall love thee till death.
"FEDERIC." [Ib. xvii. 98.]
The King, we incidentally discover somewhere, "had no sleep that night;" none, "nor the next night either,"—such a crisis coming, still not come.
Chapter X. — BATTLE OF MOLLWITZ.
"To-morrow," Sunday, did not prove the Day of Fight, after all. Being a day of wild drifting snow, so that you could not see twenty paces, there was nothing for it but to sit quiet. The King makes all his dispositions; sketches out punctually, to the last item, where each is to station himself, how the Army is to advance in Four Columns, ready for Neipperg wherever he may be,—towards Ohlau at any rate, whither it is not doubted Neipperg is bent. These snowy six-and-thirty hours at Pogarell were probably, since the Custrin time, the most anxious of Friedrich's life.
Neipperg, for his part, struggles forward a few miles, this Sunday, April 9th; the Prussians rest under shelter in the wild weather. Neipperg's head-quarters, this night, are a small Village or Hamlet, called Mollwitz: there and in the adjacent Hamlets, chiefly in Laugwitz and Gruningen, his Army lodges itself:—he is now fairly got between us and Ohlau,—if, in the blowing drift, we knew it, or he knew it. But, in this confusion of the elements, neither party knows of the other: Neipperg has appointed that to-morrow, Monday, 10th, shall be a rest-day:—appointment which could by no means be kept, as it turned out!
Friedrich had despatched messengers to Ohlau, that the force there should join him; messengers are all captured. The like message had already gone to Brieg, some days before, and the Blockading Body, a good few thousand strong, quitted Brieg, as we saw, and effected their junction with him. All day, this Sunday, 9th, it still snows and blows; you cannot see a yard before you. No hope now of Holstein-Beck. Not the least news from any quarter; Ohlau uncertain, too likely the wrong way: What is to be done? We are cut off from our Magazines, have only provision for one other day. "Had this weather lasted," says an Austrian reporter of these things, "his Majesty would have passed his time very ill." [Feldzuge der Preussen (the complete Title is, Sammlung ungedruckter Nachrichten so die Geschichte der Feldzuge der Preussen von 1740 bis 1779 erlautern, or in English words, Collection of unprinted Narratives which elucidate the Prussian Campaigns from 1740 to 1779: 5 vols. Dresden, 1782-1785), i. 33. Excellent Narratives, modest, brief, effective (from Private Diaries and the like; many of them given also in SEYFARTH); well worth perusal by the studious military man, and creditably characteristic of the Prussian writers of them and actors in them.]
Of the Battle of Mollwitz, as indeed of all Friedrich's Battles, there are ample accounts new and old, of perfect authenticity and scientific exactitude; so that in regard to military points the due clearness is, on study, completely attainable. But as to personal or human details, we are driven back upon a miscellany of sources; most of which, indeed all of which except Nicolai, when he sparingly gives us anything, are of questionable nature; and, without intending to be dishonest, do run out into the mythical, and require to be used with caution. The latest and notablest of these, in regard to Mollwitz, is the pamphlet of a Dr. Fuchs; from which, in spite of its amazing quality, we expect to glean a serviceable item here and there. [Jubelschrift zur Feier (Centenary) der Schlacht bei Mollwitz, 10 April, 1741, von Dr. Medicinae Fuchs (Brieg, 10th April, 1841).] It is definable as probably the most chaotic Pamphlet ever written; and in many places, by dint of uncorrected printing, bad grammar, bad spelling, bad sense, and in short, of intrinsic darkness in so vivacious a humor, it has become abstruse as Sanscrit; and really is a sharp test of what knowledge you otherwise have of the subject. Might perhaps be used in that way, by the Examining Military Boards, in Prussia and elsewhere, if no other use lie in it? Fuchs's own contributions, mere ignorance, folly and credulity, are not worth interpreting: but he has printed, and in the same abstruse form, one or two curious Parish Manuscripts, particularly a "HISTORY" of this War, privately jotted down by the then Schoolmaster of Mollwitz, a good simple accurate old fellow-creature; through whose eyes it is here and there worth while to look. In regard to Fuchs himself, a late Tourist says:—
"This 'Centenary-Celebration Pamphlet' (Celebration itself, so obtuse was the Country, did not take effect) was by a zealous, noisy but not wise, old Medical Gentleman of these parts, called Dr. Fuchs (FOX); who had set his heart on raising, by subscription, a proper National Monument on the Field of Mollwitz, and so closing his old career. Subscriptions did not take, in that April, 1841, nor in the following months or twelve-months: the zealous Doctor, therefore, indignantly drew his own purse; got a big Obelisk of Granite hewn ready, with suitable Inscription on it; carted his big Obelisk from the quarries of Strehlen; assembled the Country round it, on Mollwitz Field; and passionately discoursed and pleaded, That at least the Country should bring block-and-tackle, with proper framework, and set up this Obelisk on the pedestal he had there built for it. The Country listened cheerfully (for the old Doctor was a popular man, clever though flighty); but the Country was again obtuse in the way of active furtherance, and would not even bring block-and-tackle. The old Doctor had to answer, 'Well, then!' and go on his way on more serious errands. The cattle have much undermined, and rubbed down, his poor Pedestal, which is of rubble-work; his Obelisk still lies mournfully horizontal, uninjured;—and really ought to be set up, by some parish-rate, or effort of the community otherwise." [Tourist's Note (Brieg, 1858).]
From the old Mollwitz Schoolmaster we distil the following:—
"MOLLWITZ, SUNDAY, 9th APRIL. Country for two days back: was in new alarm by the Austrian Garrison of Brieg now left at liberty, who sallied out upon the Villages about, and plundered black-cattle, sheep, grain, and whatever they could come at. But this day (Sunday) in Mollwitz the whole Austrian Army was upon us. First, there went 300 Hussars through the Village to Gruningen, who quartered themselves there; and rushed hither and thither into houses, robbing and plundering. From one they took his best horses, from another they took linen, clothes, and other furnitures and victual. General Neuburg [Neipperg] halted here at Mollwitz, with the whole Army; before the Village, in mind to quarter. And quarter was settled, so that a BAUER [Plough-Farmer] got four to five companies to lodge, and a GARTNER [Spade-Farmer] two or three hundred cavalry..The houses were full of Officers, the GARTE [Garths] and the Fields full of horsemen and baggage; and all round, you saw nothing but fires burning; the ZAUNE [wooden railings] were instantly torn down for firewood; the hay, straw, barley and haver, were eaten away, and brought to nothing; and everything from the barns was carried out. And, as the whole Army could not lodge itself with us, 1,100 Infantry quartered at Laugwitz; Barzdorf got 400 Cavalry; and this day, nobody knew what would come of it." [Extract in FUCHS, p. 6.]
Monday morning, the Prussians are up betimes; King Friedrich, as above noted, had not, or had hardly at all, slept during those two nights, such his anxieties. This morning, all is calm, sleeked out into spotless white; Pogarell and the world are wrapt as in a winding-sheet, near two feet of snow on the ground. Air hard and crisp; a hot sun possible about noon season. "By daybreak" we are all astir, rendezvousing, ranking,—into Four Columns; ready to advance in that fashion for battle, or for deploying into battle, wherever the Enemy turn up. The orders were all given overnight, two nights ago; were all understood, too, and known to be rhadamanthine; and, down to the lowest pioneer, no man is uncertain what to do. If we but knew where the Enemy is; on which side of us; what doing, what intending?
Scouts, General-Adjutants are out on the quest; to no purpose hitherto. One young General-Adjutant, Saldern, whose name we shall know again, has ridden northward, has pulled bridle some way north of Pogarell; hangs, gazing diligently through his spy-glass, there;—can see nothing but a Plain of silent snow, with sparse bearding of bushes (nothing like a hedge in these countries), and here and there a tree, the miserable skeleton of a poplar:—when happily, owing to an Austrian Dragoon—Be pleased to accept (in abridged form) the poor old Schoolmaster's account of a small thing:—
"Austrian Dragoon of the regiment Althan, native of Kriesewitz in this neighborhood, who was billeted in Christopher Schonwitz's, had been much in want of a clean shirt, and other interior outfit; and had, last night, imperatively despatched the man Scholzke, a farm-servant of the said Christopher's, off to his, the Dragoon's, Father in Kriesewitz, to procure such shirt or outfit, and to return early with the same; under penalty of—Scholzke and his master dare not think under what penalty. Scholzke, floundering homewards with the outfit from Kriesewitz, flounders at this moment into Saldern's sphere of vision: 'Whence, whither?' asks Saldern: 'Dost thou know where the Austrians are?' (RECHT GUT: in Mollwitz), whither I am going!' Saldern takes him to the King,—and that was the first clear light his Majesty had on the matter." [Fuchs, pp. 6, 7.] That or something equivalent, indisputably was; Saldern and "a Peasant," the account of it in all the Books.