History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XIII. (of XXI.)
by Thomas Carlyle
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Not the least mistake occurred. Cannon with case-shot planted themselves in all the thoroughfares, Horse-patrols went circulating everywhere; Town-arsenal, gates, walls, are laid hold of; Town-guards all disarmed, rather "with laughter on their part" than otherwise: "Majesty perhaps will give us muskets of his own;—well!" The operation altogether did not last above an hour-and-half, and nobody's skin got scratched. Towards 9 A.M. Schwerin summoned the Town Dignitaries to their Rathhaus to swear fealty; who at once complied; and on his stepping out with proposal, to the general population, of "a cheer for King Friedrich, Duke of Lower Silesia," the poor people rent the skies with their "Friedrich and Silesia forever!" which they repeated, I think, seven times. Upon which Schwerin fired off his signal-cannon, pointing to the South; where other posts and cannons took up the sound, and pushed it forward, till, as we noticed, it got to Friedrich in few minutes, on the review-ground at Strehlen; right welcome to him, among the manoeuvrings there. Protestant Breslau or cordwainer Doblin cannot lament such a result; still less dare the devout Old Ladies of Quality openly lament, who are trembling to the heart, poor old creatures, though no evil came of it to them; penitent, let off for the fright; checking even their aspirations henceforth.

Syndic Guzmar and the peccant Officials being summoned out to Strehlen, it had been asked of them, "Do you know this Letter?" Upon which they fell on their knees, "ACH IHRO MAJESTAT!" unable to deny their handwriting; yet anxious to avoid death on the scaffold, as Friedrich said was usual under such behavior; and were sent home, after a few hours of arrest. [Orlich, i. 134; Helden-Geschichte, ii. 228.] Schwerin (as King's substitute till the King himself one day arrive) continued to take the Homaging, and to make the many new arrangements needful. All which went off in a soft and pleasantly harmonious manner;—only the Jesuits scrupling a little to swear as yet; and getting gently sent their ways, with revenues stopt in consequence. Otherwise the swearing, which lasted for several days, was to appearance a joyful process, and on the part of the general population an enthusiastic one, "ES LEBE KONIG FRIEDRICH!" rising to the welkin with insatiable emphasis, seven times over, on the least signal given. Neipperg's Adventure, and Orthodox Female Parliament, have issued in this sadly reverse manner.

Robinson and Hyndford have to witness these phenomena; Robinson to shoot off for Presburg again, with the worst news in the world. Queen and Hofraths have been waiting in agony of suspense, "Will Friedrich bargain on those gentle terms, and help us with 100,000 men?" Far from it, my friends; how far! "My most important intelligence," writes the Russian Envoy there, some days ago, ["5 August, 1741," not said to whom (in Ranke, ii. 324 n.).] "is, that a Bavarian War has broken out, that Kur-Baiern is in Passau. God grant that Monsieur Robinson may succeed in his negotiation! All here are in the completest irresolution, and total inactivity, till Monsieur Robinson return, or at least send news of himself."


This Breslau Adventure, which had yielded Friedrich so important an acquisition, was furthermore the cause of ending these Strehlen inactivities, and of recommencing field operations. August 11th, Neipperg, provoked by the grievous news just come from Breslau, pushes suddenly forward on Schweidnitz, by way of consolation; Schweidnitz, not so strong as it might be made, where the Prussians have a principal Magazine: "One might at least seize that?" thinks Neipperg, in his vexed humor. But here too Friedrich was beforehand with him; broke out, rapidly enough, to Reichenbach, westward, which bars the Neipperg road to Schweidnitz: upon which,—or even before which (on rumor of it coming, which was not YET true),—Neipperg, half done with his first day's march, called halt; prudently turned back, and hastened, Baumgarten way, to his strong Camp at Frankenstein again. His hope in the Schweidnitz direction had lasted only a few hours; a hope springing on the mere spur of pique, soon recognizable by him as futile; and now anxieties for self-preservation had succeeded it on Neipperg's part. For now Friedrich actually advances on him, in a menacing manner, hardly hoping Neipperg will fight; but determined to have done with the Neisse business, in spite of strong camps and cunctations, if it be possible. [Orlich, i. 137, 138.]

It was August 16th, when Friedrich stirred out of Strehlen; August 21st, when he encamped at Reichenbach. Till September 7th, he kept manoeuvring upon Neipperg, who counter-manoeuvred with vigilance, good judgment, and would not come to action: September 7th, Friedrich, weary of these hagglings, dashed off for Neisse itself, hoped to be across Neisse River, and be between Neisse Town and Neipperg, before Neipperg could get up. There would then be no method of preventing the Siege of Neisse, except by a Battle: so Friedrich had hoped; but Neipperg again proved vigilant.

Accordingly, September 11th, Friedrich's Vanguard was actually across the Neisse; had crossed at a place called Woitz, and had there got Two Pontoon Bridges ready, when Friedrich, in the evening, came up with the main Army, intending to cross;—and was astonished to find Neipperg taking up position, in intricate ground, near by, on the opposite side! Ground so intricate, hills, bogs, bushes of wood, and so close upon the River, there was no crossing possible; and Friedrich's Vanguard had to be recalled. Two days of waiting, of earnest ocular study; no possibility visible. On the third day, Friedrich, gathering in his pontoons overnight, marched off, down stream: Neisse-wards, but on the left or north bank of the River; passed Neisse Town (the River between him and it); and encamped at Gross Neundorf, several miles from Neipperg and the River. Neipperg, at an equal step, has been wending towards his old Camp, which lies behind Neisse, between Neisse and the Hills: there, a river in front, dams and muddy inundations all round him, begirt with plentiful Pandours, Neipperg waits what Friedrich will attempt from Gross Neundorf.

From Gross Neundorf, Friedrich persists twelve days (13th-25th September), studying, endeavoring; mere impossibility ahead. And by this time (what is much worth noting), Hyndford, silently quitting Breslau, has got back to these scenes of war, occasionally visible in Friedrich's Camp again;—on important mysterious business; which will have results. Valori also is here in Camp; these two Excellencies jealously eying one another; both of them with teeth rather on edge,—Europe having suddenly got into such a plunge (as if the highest mountains were falling into the deepest seas) since Friedrich began this Neipperg problem of his;—in which, after twelve days, he sees mere impossibility ahead.

On the twelfth day, Friedrich privately collects himself for a new method: marches, soon after midnight, [26th September, 2 A.M.: Orlich, i. 144.] fifteen miles down the River (which goes northward in this part, as the reader may remember); crosses, with all his appurtenances, unmolested; and takes camp a few miles inland, or on the right bank, and facing towards Neisse again. He intends to be in upon Neipperg front the rear quarter; and cut him off from Mahren and his daily convoys of food. "Daily food cut off,—the thickest-skinned rhinoceros, the wildest lion, cannot stand that: here, for Neipperg, is one point on which all his embankments and mud-dams will not suffice him!" thinks Friedrich. Certain preliminary operations, and military indispensabilities, there first are for Friedrich,—Town of Oppeln to be got, which commands the Oder, our rearward highway; Castle of Friedland, and the country between Oder and Neisse Rivers:—while these preliminary things are being done (September 28th-October 3d), Friedrich in person gradually pushes forward towards Neipperg, reconnoitring, bickering with Croats: October 3d, preliminaries done, Neipperg's rear had better look to itself.

Neipperg, well enough seeing what was meant, has by this time come out of his mud-dams and impregnabilities; and advanced a few miles towards Friedrich. Neipperg lies now encamped in the Hamlet of Griesau, a little way behind Steinau,—poor Steinau, which the reader saw on fire one night, when Friedrich and we were in those parts, in Spring last. Friedrich's Camp is about five miles from Neipperg's on the other side of Steinau. A tolerable champaign country; I should think, mostly in stubble at this season. Nearly midway between these two Camps is a pretty Schloss called Klein-Schnellendorf, occupied by Neipperg's Croats just now, of which Prince Lobkowitz (he, if I remember, but it matters nothing), an Austrian General of mark, far away at present, is proprietor.

Friedrich's Oppeln preparations are about complete; and he intends to advance straightway. "Hold, for Heaven's sake, your Majesty!" exclaims Hyndford; getting hold of him one day (waylaying him, in fact; for it is difficult, owing to Valori); "Wait, wait; I have just been to the—to the Camp of Neipperg," silently gesticulates Hyndford: "Within a week all shall be right, and not a drop of blood shed!" Friedrich answers, by silence chiefly, to the effect, "Tush, tush;" but not quite negatively, and does in effect wait. We had better give the snatch of Dialogue in primitive authentic form; date is, Camp of Neundorf, September 22d:—

FRIEDRICH (pausing impatiently, on the way towards his tent). "'MILORD, DE QUOI S'AGIT-IL A PRESENT (What is it now, then)?'

HYNDFORD. "'Should much desire to have some assurance from your Majesty with regard to that neutrality of Hanover you were pleased to promise.' All else is coming right; hastening towards beautiful settlement, were that settled.

FRIEDRICH. "'Have not I great reason to be dissatisfied with your Court? Britannic Majesty, as King of England and as Elector of Hanover, is wonderful! Milord, when you say a thing is white, Schweichelt, the Hanoverian Excellency, calls it black, and VICE VERSA. But I will do your King no harm; none, I say! Follow me to dinner; dinner is cold by this time; and we have made more than one person think of us. Swift! [and EXIT].'" [Hyndford's Despatch, Neisse, 4th October, 1741.]

This is a strange motion on the part of Hyndford; but Friedrich, severely silent to it, understands it very well; as readers soon will, when they hear farther. But marvellous things have happened on the sudden! In these three weeks, since the Camp of Strehlen broke up, there have been such Events; strategic, diplomatic: a very avalanche of ruin, hurling Austria down to the Nadir; of which it is now fit that the reader have some faint conception, an adequate not being possible for him or me:—

"AUGUST l5th, 1741. Robinson reappears in Presburg; and precious surely are the news he brings to an Aulic Council fallen back in its chairs, and staring with the wind struck out of it. Their expected Seizure of Breslau gone heels over head, in that way; Friedrich imperiously resolute, gleaming like the flash of steel amid these murky imbecilities, and without the Cession of Silesia no Peace to be made with him! And all this is as nothing, to news which arrives just on the back of Robinson, from another quarter.

"AUGUST 15th-21st. French Army of 40,000 men, special Army of Belleisle, sedulously equipt and completed, visibly crosses the Rhine at Fort Louis (an Island Fortress in the Rhine, thirty miles below Strasburg; STONES of it are from the old Schloss of Hagenau);—steps over deliberately there; and on the sixth day is all on German ground. These troops, to be commanded by Belleisle, so soon as he can join them, are to be the Elector of Bavaria's troops, Kur-Baiern Generalissimo over Belleisle and them; [Fastes de Louis XV., ii. 264.] and they are on rapid march to join that ambitious Kurfurst, in his Passau Expedition; and probably submerge Vienna itself.

"And what is this we hear farther, O Robinson, O Excellencies Hyndford, Schweichelt and Company: That another French Army, of the same strength, under Maillebois, has in the self-same days gone across the Lower Rhine (at Kaisersworth, an hour's ride below Dusseldorf)! At Kaisersworth; ostensibly for comforting and strengthening Kur-Koln (the lanky Ecclesiastical Gentleman, Kur-Baiern's Brother), their excellent ally, should anybody meddle with him. Ostensibly for this; but in reality to keep the Sea-Powers, and especially George of England quiet. It marches towards Osnabruck, this Maillebois Army; quarters itself up and down, looking over into Hanover,—able to eat Hanover, especially if joined by the Prussians and Old Leopold, at any moment.

"These things happen in this month of August, close upon the rear of that steel-shiny scene in the Tent at Strehlen, where Friedrich lifted his hat, saying, ''T is of no use, Messieurs!'—which was followed by the seizure of Breslau the wrong way. Never came such a cataract of evil news on an Aulic Council before. The poor proud people, all these months they have been sitting torpid, helpless, loftily stupid, like dumb idols; 'in flat despair,' as Robinson says once, 'only without the strength to be desperate.'

"Sure enough the Sea-Powers are checkmated now. Let them make the least attempt in favor of the Queen, if they dare. Holland can be overrun, from Osnabruck quarter, at a day's warning. Little George has his Hanoverians, his subsidized Hessians, Danes, in Hanover, his English on Lexden Heath: let him come one step over the marches, Maillebois and the Old Dessauer swallow him. It is a surprising stroke of theatrical-practical Art; brought about, to old Fleury's sorrow, by the genius of Belleisle, aud they say of Madame Chateauroux; enough to strike certain Governing Persons breathless, for some time; and denotes that the Universal Hurricane, or World-Tornado, has broken out. It is not recorded of little George that he fell back in his chair, or stared wider than usual with those fish-eyes: but he discerned well, glorious little man, that here is left no shadow of a chance by fighting; that he will have to sit stock-still, under awful penalties; and that if Maria Theresa will escape destruction, she must make her peace with Friedrich at any price."

This fine event, 80,000 French actually across the Rhine, happened in the very days while Friedrich and Neipperg had got into wrestle again,—Neipperg just off from that rash march for Schweidnitz, and whirling back on rumor (15th August), while the first instalment of the French were getting over. Friedrich must admit that the French fulfil their promises so far. A week ago or more, they made the Swedes declare War against Russia, as covenanted. War is actually declared, at Stockholm, August 4th, the Faction of Hats prevailing over that of Nightcaps, after terrible debates and efforts about the mere declaring of it, as if that alone were the thing needed. We mentioned this War already, and would not willingly again. One of the most contemptible Wars ever declared or carried on; but useful to Friedrich, as keeping Russia off his hands, at a critical time, and conclusively forbidding help to Austria from that quarter.

Marechal de Belleisle, wrapt in Diplomatic and Electioneering business, cannot personally take command for the present; but has excellent lieutenants,—one of whom is Comte de Saxe, Moritz our old friend, afterwards Marechal de Saxe. Among the finest French Armies, this of Belleisle's is thought to be, that ever took the field: so many of our Nobility in it, and what best Officers, Segurs, Saxes, future Marechal's, we have. Army full of spirit and splendor; come to cut Germany in four, and put France at last in its place in the Universe. Here is courage, here is patriotism, of a sort. And if this is not the good sort, the divinely pious, the humanly noble,—Fashionable Society feels it to be so, and can hit no nearer. New-fashioned "Army of the Oriflamme," one might call this of Belleisle's; kind of Sham-Sacred French Army (quite in earnest, as it thinks);—led on, not by St. Denis and the Virgin, but by Sun-god Belleisle and the Chateauroux, under these sad new conditions! Which did not prosper as expected.

"Let the Holy German Reich take no offence," said this Army, eager to conciliate: "we come as friends merely; our intentions charitable, and that only. Bavarian Treaty of Nymphenburg (18th May last) binds us especially, this time; Treaty of Westphalia binds us sacredly at all times. Peaceable to you, nay brotherly, if only you will be peaceable!" Which the poor Reich, all but Austria and the Sea-Powers, strove what it could to believe.

On reaching the German shore out of Elsass, "every Officer put, the Bavarian Colors, cockade of blue-and-white, on his hat;" [Adelung, ii. 431.] a mere "Bavarian Army," don't you see? And the 40,000 wend steadily forward through Schwaben eastward, till they can join Karl Albert Kur-Baiern, who is Generalissimo, or has the name of such. They march in Seven Divisions. Donauworth (a Town we used to know, in Marlborough's time and earlier) is to be their first resting-point; Ingolstadt their place-of-arms: will readers recollect those two essential circumstances? To Donauworth is 250 miles; to Passau will be 180 more: five or six long weeks of marching. But after Donauworth they are to go, the Infantry of them are, in boats; Horse, under Saxe, marching parallel. Forward, ever forward, to Passau (properly to Scharding, twelve miles up the Inn Valley, where his Bavarian Highness is in Camp); and thence, under his Bavarian Highness, and in concert with him, to pour forth, deluge-like, upon Linz, probably upon Vienna itself, down the Donau Valley,—why not to Vienna itself, and ruin Austria at one swoop? [Espagnac, Histoire de Maurice Comte de Saxe (German Translation, Leipzig, 1774), i. 83:—an excellent military compend. Campagnes des Trois Marechaux (Maillebois, Broglio, Belleisle: Armsterdam. 1773), ii. 53-56:—in nine handy little volumes (or if we include the NOAILLES and the COIGNY set, making "CING MARECHAUX," nineteen volumes in all, and a twentieth for INDEX); consisting altogether of Official Letters (brief, rapid, meant for business, NOT for printing in the Newspapers); which are elucidative BEYOND bargain, and would even be amusing to read,—were the topic itself worth one's time.]

The second or Maillebois French Army spreads itself, by degrees, considerably over Westphalia;—straitened for forage, and otherwise not the best of neighbors. But, in theory, in speech, this too was abundantly conciliatory,—to the Dutch at least. "Nothing earthly in view, nothing, ye magnanimous Dutch, except to lodge here in the most peaceable manner, paying our way, and keep down disturbances that might arise in these parts. That might arise; not from you, ye magnanimous High Mightinesses, how far from it! Nor will we meddle with one broken brick of your respectable Barrier, or Barrier Treaty, which is sacred to us, or do you the shadow of an injury. No; a thousand times, upon our honor, No!" For brevity's sake, I lend them that locution, "No, a thousand times,"—and in actual arithmetic, I should think there are at least four or five hundred times of it,—in those extinct Diplomatic Eloquences of Excellency Fenelon and the other French;—vaguely counting, in one's oppressed imagination, during the Two Years that ensue. For the Dutch lazily believed, or strove to believe, this No of Fenelon's; and took an obstinate laggard sitting posture, in regard to Pragmatic Sanction; whereby the task of "hoisting" them (as above hinted), which fell upon a certain King, became so famous in Diplomatic History.

Imagination may faintly picture what a blow this advent of Maillebois was to his Britannic Majesty, over in Herrenhausen yonder! He has had of Danes six thousand, of Hessians six, of Hanoverians sixteen,—in all some 30,000 men, on foot here since Spring last, camping about (in two formidable Camps at this moment); not to mention the 6,000 of English on Lexden Heath, eager to be shipped across, would Parliament permit; and now—let him stir in any direction if he dare. Camp of Gottin like a drawn sword at one's throat (at one's Hanover) from the east; and lo, here a twin fellow to it gleaming from the south side! Maillebois can walk into the throat of Hanover at a day's warning. And such was actually the course proposed by Maillebois's Government, more than once, in these weeks, had not Friedrich dissuaded and forbidden. It is a strangling crisis. What is his Britannic Majesty to do? Send orders, "Double YOUR diligence, Excellency Robinson!" that is one clear point; the others are fearfully insoluble, yet pressing for solution: in a six weeks hence (September 27th), we shall see what they issue in!—

As for Robinson, he is duly with the Queen at Presburg; duly conjuring incessantly, "Make your peace with Friedrich!" And her Majesty will not, on the terms. Poor Robinson, urged two ways at once, is flurried doubly and trebly; tossed about as Diplomatist never was. King of Prussia flashes lightning-looks upon him, clapping finger to nose; Maria Theresa, knowing he will demand cession of Silesia, shudders at sight of him; and the Aulic Council fall into his arms like dead men, murmuring, "Money; where is your money?"

"AUGUST 29th. While Friedrich was pushing into Neipperg, in the Baumgarten Country, and could get no battle out of him, Excellency Robinson reappears at Breslau; Maria Theresa, after deadly efforts on his part, has mended her offers, in these terrible circumstances; and Robinson is here again. 'Half of Silesia, or almost half, provided his Majesty will turn round, and help against the French:' these, secretly, are Robinson's rich offers. The Queen, on consenting to these new offers, had 'wrung her hands,' like one in despair, and said passionately, 'Unless accepted within a fortnight, I will not be bound by them!' 'Admit his Excellency to the honor of an interview,' solicits Hyndford; 'his offers are much mended.' Notable to witness, Friedrich will not see Robinson at all this time, nor even permit Podewils to see him; signifies plainly that he wants to hear no more of his offers, and that, in fact, the sooner he can take himself away from Breslau, it will be the better. To that effect, Robinson, rushing back in mortified astonished manner, reports progress at Presburg; to that and no better. 'High Madam,' urges Robinson, still indefatigable, 'the King of Prussia's help would be life, his hostility is death at this crisis. Peace must be with him, at any price!' 'Price?' answers her Majesty once: 'If Austria must fall, it is indifferent to me whether it be by Kur-Baiern or Kur-Brandenburg!' [Stenzel, iv. 156.] Nevertheless, in about a week she again yields to intense conjuring, and the ever-tightening pressure of events;—King George, except it be for counselling, is become stock-still, with Maillebois's sword at his throat; and is, without metaphor, sinking towards absolute neutrality: 'Cannot help you, Madam, any farther; must not try it, or I perish, my Hanover and I!'—So that Maria Theresa again mends her offers: 'Give him all Lower Silesia, and he to join with me!' and Robinson post-haste despatches a courier to Breslau with them. Notable again: King Friedrich will not hear of them; answers by a 'No, I tell you! Time was, time is not. I have now joined with France; and to join against it in this manner? Talk to me no more!'" [Friedrich to Hyndford: "Au Camp [de Neuendorf] 14me septembre," 1741. "Milord j'ai recu les nouvelles propositions d'alliance que l'infatigable Robinson vous envoie. Je les trouve aussi chimeriques que les precedentes."—"Ces gens sont-ils fols, Milord, de s'imaginer que je commisse la trahison de tourner en leur faveur mes armes, et de"—"Je vous prie de ne me plus fatiguer avec de pareilles propositions, et de me croire assez honnete homme pour ne point violer mes engagements.— FREDERIC." (British Museum: Hyndford Papers, fol. 133.)]...

Here is a catastrophe for the Two Britannic Excellencies, and the Cause of Freedom! Robinson, in dudgeon and amazement, has hurried back to Presburg, has ceased sending even couriers; and, in a three weeks hence (9th October, a day otherwise notable), wishes "to come home," the game being up. [His Letter, "9th October, 1741" (in Lord Mahon's History of England, iii. Appendix, p. iii: edit. London, 1839)]. Such is Robinson's gloomy view: finished, he, and the game lost,—unless perhaps Hyndford could still do something? Of which what hope is there! Hyndford, who has a rough sagacity in him, and manifests often a strong sense of the practical and the practicable, strikes into—Readers, from the following Fragments of Correspondence, now first made public, will gather for themselves what new course, veiled in triple mystery, Hyndford had struck into. Four bits of Notes, well worth reading, under their respective dates:—

1. EXCELLENCY HYNDFORD TO SECRETARY HARRINGTON (Two Notes). "BRESLAU, 2d SEPTEMBER, 1711 [on the heel of Robinson's second miscarriage].... My Lord, all these contretemps are very unlucky at present, when time is so precious; for France is pressing the King of Prussia in the strongest manner to declare himself; but whatever eventual preliminaries may be probably agreed between them, I still doubt if they have any Treaty signed"—have had one, any time these three months (since 5th June last); signed sufficiently; but of a most fast-and-loose nature; neither party intending to be rigorous in keeping it. "I wish to God the Court of Vienna may be brought to think before it is too late." [HYNDFORD PAPERS (Brit. Mus. Additional MSS. 11,366), ii. fol. 91.]

2. "BRESLAU, 6th SEPTEMBER.... I am not without hopes of succeeding in a project which has occurred to me on this occasion, and which seems to be pretty well relished by some people [properly by one individual, Goltz, the King's Adjutant and factotum], who are in great confidence about the King of Prussia's person; and I think it is the only thing that now remains to be tried; and as it is the least of two evils, I hope I shall have the King my Master's approbation in attempting it; and if the Court of Vienna will open their eyes, they must see it is the only thing left to save them from utter destruction;"—and, finally, here it is:—

"Since Mr. Robinson left this place,—["Sooner YOU go, the better, Sir!"],—"I have been sounding the people afore mentioned, the individual afore hinted at, 'Whether the King of Prussia would hearken to a Neutrality with respect to the Queen of Hungary, and at the same time fulfil his engagements to his Majesty with respect to the defence of his Majesty's German Dominions, IF she would give him the Lower Silesia with Breslau?' At first they rejected it; saying it was a thing they dared not propose. However, I have reason to believe, by a Letter I saw this day, that it has been proposed to the King, and that he is not absolutely averse to it. I shall know more in a few days; but if it can be done at all, it must be done in the very greatest secrecy, for neither the King nor his Ministers wish to appear in it; and I question if his Minister Podewils will be informed of it." [Hyndford Papers, fol. 97, 98.]

3. EXCELLENCY ROBINSON (in a flutter of excitement, temporary hope and excitement, about Goltz) TO HYNDFORD, AT BRESLAU.

"PRESBURG, 8th SEPTEMBER (N.S.), 1741. My Lord, I could desire your Lordship to summon up, if it were necessary, the spirit of all your Lordship's Instructions, and the sense of the King, of the Parliament, and of the whole British Nation. It is upon this great moment that depends the fate, not of the House of Austria, not of the Empire, but of the House of Brunswick, of Great Britain, and of all Europe. I verily believe the King of Prussia does not himself know the extent of the present danger. With whatever motive he may act, there is not one, not that of the mildest resentment, that can blind him to this degree, of himself perishing in the ruin he is bringing upon others. With his concurrence, the French will, in less than six weeks, be masters of the German Empire. The weak Elector of Bavaria is but their instrument: Prague and Vienna may, and probably will, be taken in that short time. Will even the King of Prussia himself be reserved to the last?

"Upon this single transaction [of your Lordship's affair with the mysterious individual] depend the CITA MORS, or the VICTORIA LAETA of all Europe. Nothing will equal the glory of your Lordship, in the latter case, but that to be acquired by the King of Prussia in his immediate imitation of the great Sobieski"—reputed "savior of Vienna," O your Excellency!... "Prince Lichtenstein will, if found in time upon his estates in Bohemia, be, I believe, the person to repair to the King of Prussia, the moment your Lordship shall have signed the Preliminaries. Once again, give me leave, my Lord, to express my most ardent wishes, my"—T. ROBINSON. [Hyndford Papers, fol. 102.]


"BRESLAU, 9th SEPTEMBER,... Received a message to meet him,"—HIM, for we now speak in the singular number, though still without naming Goltz,—"one of the persons I mentioned in my former Despatch: in a very unsuspected place; for we have agreed to avoid all appearance of familiarity. He told me he had received a Letter this morning from the Camp,"—Prussian Majesty's Camp, or Bivouac (in the Munsterberg Hill-Country), on that march towards Woitz, for crossing the Neisse upon Neipperg, which proved impracticable,—"and that he could with pleasure tell me that the King agreed to this last trial, although he would not, nor could appear in it.... Then this person read to me a Paper, but I could not see whether it was the King's hand or not; for when I desired to take a copy, he said he could not show me the original; but dictated as follows:—

"'Toute la Basse Silesie, la riviere de Neisse pour limite, la ville de Neisse a nous, aussi bien que Glatz; de l'autre cote de l'Oder l'ancien limite entre les Duches de Brieg et d'Oppeln. Namslau a nous. Les affaires de religion IN STATU QUO. Point de dependance de la Boheme; cession eternelle. En echange nous n'irons pas plus loin. Nous assiegerons Neisse PRO FORMA: le commandant se rendra et sortira. Nous prendrons les quartiers tranquillement, et ils pourront mener leur Armee oh ils voudront. Que tout cela soit fini en douze jours.'" That is to say:—

"'The whole of Lower Silesia, Neisse Town included; Neisse River for boundary:—Glatz withal. Beyond the Oder, for the Duchies of Brieg and Oppeln the ancient limits. Namslau ours. Affairs of Religion to continue IN STATU QUO. No dependence [feudal tie or other, as there used to be] on Bohemia; cession of Silesia to be absolute and forever.—We, in return, will proceed no farther. We will besiege Neisse for form; the Commandant shall surrender and depart. We will pass quietly into winter-quarters; and the Austrian Army may go whither it will. Bargain to be concluded within twelve days.'" [Coxe (iii. 272) gives this Translation, not saying whence he had it.]—Can his Excellency Hyndford get Vienna, get Feldmarschall Reipperg with power from Vienna, to accept: Yes or No? Excellency Hyndford thinks, Yes; will try his very utmost!—

"He (Goltz) then tore the Paper in very small pieces; and he repeated again, that if the affair should be discovered, both the King and he were determined to deny it.... 'But how about engagements with regard to my Master's German Dominions; not a word about that?' He answered, 'You have not the least to fear from France;' protested the King of Prussia's great regard for his Majesty of England, &c. I told him these fine words did not satisfy me; and that if this affair should succeed, I expected there should be some stipulation." [Hyndford Papers, fol. 115.] Yes; and came, about a fortnight hence, "waylaying his Majesty" to get one,—as readers saw above.

Prussian Dryasdust (poor soul, to whom one is often cruel!) shall glad himself with the following Two bits of Autography from Goltz, who had instantly quitted Breslau again;—and, to us, they will serve as date for the actual arrival of Excellency Hyndford in those fighting regions, and commencement of his mysterious glidings about between Camp and Camp.


"AU CAMP DE NEUENDORF, 16me septembre, a 9 heures du seir. (1.) "MILORD,—Vons savez que je suis porte pour la bonne cause. Sur ce pied je prends la liberte de vous conseiller en ami et serviteur, de venir ici incessamment, et de presser votre voyage de sorte que vous puissiez paraitre publiquement lundi [18th] vers midi. Vous trouverez 6 (SIC) chevaux de postes a Olau et a Grottkau tout prets. Hatez-vous, Milord, tout ce que vous pourrez au monde. J'ai l'honneur de" Meaning, in brief English:—

"Be at Neundorf here, publicly, on Monday next, 18th, towards noon." Things being ripe. "Haste, Milord, haste!"

"Ce 18me a 3 heures apres-midi. (2). "Je suis an desespoir, Milord, de votre maladie. Voici le courrier que vous attendiez. Venez le plutot que vous pourrez au monde; si non, dites au General Marwitz de quoi il s'agit, afin qu'il puisse me le faire savoir.... Le courrier serait arrive quatre heures plutot, si nous ne l'avions renvoye au Comte Neuberg (SIC) a cause de votre maladie.—GOLTZ." [Hyndford Papers, fol. 150-152.]—That is to say:—

"Distressed inexpressibly by your Lordship's biliary condition. One cannot travel under colic;—and things were so ripe! Courier would have reached you four hours sooner, but we had to send him over to Neipperg first. Come, oh come!"—Which Hyndford, now himself again, at once does.

This is the Mystery, which, on September 22d, had arrived at that stage, indicated above: "Tush! Follow me: Dinner is already falling cold, and there are eyes upon us!" And in about another fortnight—But we shall have to take the luggage with us, too, what minimum of it is indispensable!


While these combined Mysteries and War-movements go on, in Neisse and its Environs, the World-Phenomena continue,—in Upper Austria and elsewhere. Of which take these select summits, or points chiefly luminous in the dusk of the forgotten Past:—

LINZ, SEPTEMBER 14th. Karl Albert, being joined some days ago at Scharding by the first three French Divisions, 15,000 men in all (the other four Divisions of them are still in the Donauworth-Ingolstadt quarter, making their manifold arrangements), has pushed forward, sixty miles (land-marches, south side of the Donau, which makes a bend here), and this day, September 14th, appears at Linz. Pleasant City of Linz; where, as readers may remember, Mr. John Kepler, long ago, busy discovering the System of the World (grandest Conquest ever made, or to be made, by the Sons of Adam), had his poor CAMERA OBSCURA set out, to get himself a livelihood in the interim: here now is Karl Albert's flag on the winds, and, as it were, the Oriflamme with it, on a singularly different Adventure. "Open Gates!" demands Karl Albert with authority: "Admit me to my Capital of Upper Austria!" Which cannot be denied him, there being nothing but Town-guards in the place.

Karl Albert continued there some weeks, in a serenely victorious posture; doing acts of authority; getting homaged by the STANDE; pushing out his forces farther and farther down the Donau, post after post,—victorious Oriflamme-Bavarian Army may be 40,000 strong or so, in those parts. Friedrich urged him much to push on without pause, and take opportunity by the forelock; sent Schmettau (elder of the two Schmettaus, who is much employed on such business) to urge him; wrote an express Paper of Considerations pressingly urgent: but he would not, and continued pausing.

Vienna, all in terror, is fortifying itself; citizens toiling at the earthworks, resolute for making some defence; Constituted Authorities, National Archives even, Court in a body, and all manner of Noble and Official people, flying else-whither to covert: chiefly to Presburg, where her Majesty already is. The Archives were carried to Gratz; the two Dowager Empresses (for there are two, Maria Theresa's Mother, and Maria Theresa's Aunt, Kaiser Joseph's Widow) fled different ways,—I forget which. An agitated, paralyzed population. Except the diligent wheelbarrows on the ramparts, no vehicle is rolling in Vienna but furniture-wagons loading for flight. General Khevenhuller with 6,000, who pesides with fine scientific skill, and an iron calmness and clearness, over these fortifyings, is the only force left. [Anonymous, Histoire de la Derniere Guerre de Boheme (a Francfort, 1745-1747, 4 tomes), i. 190. A lively succinct little Book, vague not false; still readable, though not now, as then, with complete intelligence, to the unprepared reader. Said, in Dictionaries, to be by Mauvillon PERE, though it resembles nothing else of his that is known to me.]' Neipperg's, our only Army in the world, is hundreds of miles away, countermarching and manoeuvring about Woitz, and Neisse Town and River,—pretty sure to be beaten in the end,—and it is high time there were a Silesian bargain had, if Hyndford can get us any.

DRESDEN, SEPTEMBER 19th (Excellency Hyndford just recovering from his colic, in Breslau), Kur-Sachsen, after many waverings, signs Treaty of Copartnery with France and Bavaria, seduced by "that Moravia," and the ticklings of Belleisle acting on a weak mind. [Adelung, ii. 469, 304, 503.] His troops are 20,000, or rather more; said to be of good quality, and well equipped. In February last we saw him engaged in Russian, Anti-Prussian Partition schemes. In April, as these suddenly (on sight of the Camp of Gottin) extinguished themselves, he agreed to go, in the pacific way, with her Hungarian Majesty for friend (Treaty with her, signed 11th April); but never went (Treaty never ratified); kept his 20,000 lying about in Camp, in an enigmatic manner,—first about Torgau, latterly in the Lausitz, much nearer to the ERZGEBIRGE (Metal-Mountains), Frontier of Bohemia;—and now signs as above; intent to march as soon as possible. Is to have Four Circles of Bohemia, imaginary Kingships of Moravia, and other prizes. Belleisle has tickled that big trout: Belleisle could now have the Election as he wishes it, would the Electors but be speedy; but they will not, and he is obliged to push continually.

"Moriamur pro Rege nostro Maria Theresia," IN THE POETIC, AND THEN ALSO IN THE PROSE FORM.

PRESBURG, SEPTEMBER 21st. This is the date (or chief date, for, alas, there turn out to be two!) of the world-famous "MORIAMUR PRO REGE NOSTRO MARIA THERESIA;" of which there are now needed Two Narratives; the generally received (in part mythical) going first, in the following strain:—

"The Queen has been in Presburg mainly, where the Hungarian Diet is sitting, ever since her Coronation-ceremony. On the 11th September [or 11th and 21st together], the afflicted Lady makes an appearance there, which, for theatrical reality, has become very celebrated. Alas, it is but three months since she galloped to the top of the Konigsberg, and cut defiantly with bright sabre towards the Four Points of the Universe; and already it has come to this. Hungarian Magnates in high session, the high Queen enters, beautiful and sad,—and among her Ministers is noticeable a Nurse with the young Archduke, some six months old, a fine thriving child, perhaps too wise for his age, who became Kaiser Joseph II. in after time.

"The Hungarian Session is not on record for me, Hall of meeting, Magyar Parliamentary eloquence unknown; nor is any point conspicuously visible, exact and certain, except these [alas, not even these]: That it was the 11th of September; that her Majesty coming forward to speak, took the child in her arms, and there, in a clear and melodiously piercing voice, sorrow and courage on her noble face, beautiful as the Moon riding among wet stormy clouds, spake, as the Hungarian Archives still have it, a short Latin Harangue; in substance as follows:... 'Hostile invasion of Austria; imminent peril, to this Kingdom of Hungary, to our person, to our children, to our crown. Forsaken by all,—AB OMNIBUS DERELICTI [Britannic Majesty himself standing stock-still,—blamably, one thinks, the two swords being only at HIS throat, and a good way off!]—I have no resource but to throw myself on the loyalty and help of Your renowned Body, and invoke the ancient Hungarian virtue to rise swiftly and save me!' Whereat the assembled Hungarian Synod, their wild Magyar hearts touched to the core, start up in impetuous acclaim, flourish aloft their drawn swords, and shout unanimously in passionate tenor-voice, 'MORIAMUR (Let us die) for our Rex Maria Theresa!' [Maria Theresiens Leben (which speaks hypothetically), iv, 44; Coxe, iii. 270 (who is positive, "after examining the Documents").] Which were not vain words. For a general 'Insurrection' was thereupon decreed; what the Magyars call their 'Insurrection,' which is by no means of rebellious nature; and many noblemen, old Count Palfy himself a chief among them, though past threescore and ten, took the field at their own cost; and the noise of the Hungarian Insurrection spread like a voice of hope over all Pragmatic countries."—

A very beautiful heroic scene; which has gone about the world, circulating triumphantly through all hearts for above a Century past; and has only of late acknowledged itself mythical,—not true, except as toned down to the following stingy prose pitch:—

PRESBURG, SEPTEMBER 21st. Maria Theresa, since that fine Coronation-scene, June 28th, has had a mixed time of it with her Hungarian Diet; soft passages alternating with hard: a chivalrous people, most consciously chivalrous; but a constitutional withal, very stiff upon their Charter (PACTA CONVENTA, or whatever the name is); who wrangle much upon privileges, upon taxes, and are difficult to keep long in tune. Ten days ago (September 11th), her Majesty tried them on a new tack; summoned them to her Palace; threw herself upon their nobleness, "No allies but you in the world" (and other fine things, authentically, as above, legible in the Archives to this day):—so spake the beautiful young Queen, her eyes filling with tears as she went on, and yet a noble fire gleaming through them. Which melted the Hungarian heart a good deal; and produced fine cheering, some persons even shedding tears, and voices of "Life and Fortune to your Majesty!" being heard in it. In which humor the Diet returned to its Session-House, and voted the "Insurrection,"—or general Arming of Hungary, County by County, each according to its own contingent;—with all speed, in pursuance of her Majesty's implied desire. This was voted in rapid manner; but again, in the detail of executing, it was liable to haggles. From this day, however, matters did decidedly improve; PACTA CONVENTA, or any remainder of them, are got adjusted,—the good Queen yielding on many points. So that, September 20th, Grand-Duke Franz is elected Co-regent,—let him start from Vienna instantly, for Instalment;—and it is hoped the Insurrection will go well, and not prove haggly, or hang fire in the details.

At any rate, next day, September 21st, Duke Franz, who arrived last night,—and Baby with him, or in the train of him (to the joy of Mamma!)—is in the Palace Audience-Hall, "at 8 A.M.;" ready for the Diet, and what Homagings aud mutual Oath, as new Co-regent, are necessary. Grand-Duke Franz, Mamma by his side, with the suitable functionaries; and to rearward Nurse and Baby, not so conspicuous till needed. Diet enters with the stroke of 8; solemnity proceeds. At the height of the solemnity, when Duke Franz, who is really risen now to something of a heroic mood, in these emergencies and perils, has just taken his Oath, and will have to speak a fit word or two,—the Nurse, doubtless on hint given, steps forward; holds up Baby (a fine noticing fellow, I have no doubt,—"weighed sixteen pounds avoirdupois when born"); as if Baby too, fine mutual product of the Two Co-regents, were mutually swearing and appealing. Enough to touch any heart. "Life and blood (VITAM ET SANGUINEM) for our Queen and Kingdom!" exclaims the Grand-Duke, among other things. "Yes, VITAM ET SANGUINEM!" re-echoes the Diet, "our life and our blood!" many-voiced, again and again;—and returns to its own Place of Session, once more in a fine strain of loyal emotion.

And there, O reader, is the naked truth, neither more nor less. It was some Vienna Pamphleteer of theatrical imaginative turn, finding the thing apt, a year or two afterwards—who by kneading different dates and objects into one, boldly annihilating time and space, and adding a little paint,—gave it that seductive mythical form. From whom Voltaire adopted it, with improvements, especially in the little Harangue; and from Voltaire gratefully the rest of mankind. [Voltaire, Siecle de Louis XV., c. 6 (OEuvres, xxviii. 78); Coxe, House of Austria, iii. 270; and innumerable others (who give this Myth)]; Maria Theresiens Leben, p. 44 n. (who cites the Vienna Pamphleteers, without much believing them); Mailath (a Hungarian), Geschichte des OEsterrichischen Kaiser-Staats (Hamburg, 1850), v. 11-13 (who explodes the fable). Cut down to the practical, it stands as above:—by no means a bad thing still. That of "bringing in Baby" was a pretty touch in the domestic-royal way;—and surely very natural; and has no "art" in it, or none to blame and not love rather, on the part of the bright young Mother, now girdled in such tragic outlooks, and so glad to have Baby back at least, and Papa with him! It is certain the "Insurrection" was voted with enthusiasm; and even became rapidly a fact. And there was, in few months hence, an immense mounted force of Hungarians raised, which galloped and plundered (having almost no pay), and occasionally fenced and fought, very diligently during all these Wars. Hussars, Croats, Pandours, Tolpatches, Warasdins, Uscocks, never heard of in war before: who were found very terrible to look upon once, in the imagination or with the naked eye; but whose fighting talent, against regular troops, was next to worthless; and who gradually became hateful rather than terrible in the military world.

HANOVER, SEPTEMBER 27th. Britannic Majesty, reduced to that frightful pinch, has at last given way. Treaty of Neutrality for Hanover; engagement again to stick one's puissant Pragmatic sword into its scabbard, to be perfectly quiescent and contemplative in these French-Bavarian Anti-Austrian undertakings, and digest one's indignation as one can. For our Paladin of the Pragmatic what a posture! This is the first of Three Attempts by our puissant little Paladin to draw sword;—not till the third could he get his sword out, or do the least fighting (even foolish fighting) with all the 40,000 he had kept on pay and subsidy for years back. The Neutrality was for Hanover only, and had no specific limit as to time. Opportunities did rise; but something always rose along with them,—mainly the impossibility of hoisting those lazy Dutch,—and checked one's noble rage. His Majesty has covenanted to vote for Karl Albert as Kaiser; even he, and will make the thing unanimous! A thoroughly check-mated Majesty. Passing home to England, this time in a gloomy condition of mind, shortly after these humiliations, he was just issuing from Osnabruck by the Eastern Gate, when Maillebois's people entered by the Western,—the ugly shoes of them insulting his kibes in this manner. And a furious Anti-Walpole Parliament, most perturbed of National Palavers, is waiting him at St. James's. Heavy-laden little Hercules that he is!

Karl Albert lay at Linz for a month longer (till October 24th, six weeks in all); pausing in uncertainties, in a pleasant dream of victory and sovereignty; not pouncing on Vienna, as Friedrich urged on the French and him, to cut the matter by the root. He does push forward certain troops, Comte de Saxe with Three Horse Regiments as vanguard, ever nearer to Vienna; at last to within forty miles of it; nay, light-horse parties came within twenty-five miles. And there was skirmishing with Mentzel, a sanguinary fellow, of whom we shall hear more; who had got "1,000 Tolpatches" under him, and stood ruggedly at bay.

Karl Albert has been sending out sovereign messages from Linz: Letters to Vienna;—one letter addressed "To the Arch-duchess Maria Theresa;" which came back unopened, "No such person known here." October 2d, he is getting homaged at Linz, by the STANDE of the Province,—on summons sent some time before,—many of whom attend, with a willing enough appearance; Kur-Baiern rather a favorite in Upper Austria, say some. Much fine processioning, melodious haranguing, there now is for Karl Albert, and a pleasant dream of Sovereignty at Linz: but if he do not pounce upon Vienna till Khevenhuller get it fortified? Khevenhuller is drawing home Italian Garrisons, gradually gathering something like an Army round him. In Khevenhuller's imperturbable military head, one of the clearest and hardest, there is some hope. Above all, if Neipperg's Army were to disengage itself, and be let loose into those parts?


It was the second day after that Homaging at Linz, when Hyndford (Sept. 22d) with mysterious negotiations, now nearly ripe, for disengaging Neipperg, waylaid his Prussian Majesty; and was answered, as we saw, with "Tush, tush! Dinner is already cold!"

It must be owned, these Friedrich-Hyndford Negotiations, following on an express French-Prussian Treaty of June 5th, which have to proceed in such threefold mystery now and afterwards, are of questionable distressing nature: nor can the fact that they are escorted copiously enough by a correspondent sort on the French side, and indeed on the Austrian and on all sides, be a complete consolation,—far otherwise, to the ingenuous reader. Smelfungus indignantly calls it an immorality and a dishonor, "a playing with loaded dice;" which in good part it surely was. Nor can even Friedrich, who has many pleas for himself, obtain spoken acquittal; unspoken, accompanied with regrets and pity, is all even Friedrich can aspire to. My own impression is, Smelfungus, if candid, would on clearer information and consideration have revoked much of what he says here in censure of Friedrich. At all events, if asked: Where then is the specifical not "superstitious" WANT of "veracity" you ever found in Friedrich? and How, OTHERWISE than even as Friedrich did, would you, most veracious Smelfungus, have plucked out your Silesia from such an Element and such a Time?—he would be puzzled to answer. I give his Fragment as I find it, with these deductions:—

"What negotiating we have had, and shall have," exclaims Smelfungus, my sad foregoer,—"fit rather to be omitted from a serious History, which intends to be read by human creatures! Bargaining, Promising, Non-performing. False in general as dicers' oaths; false on this side and on that, from beginning to end. Intercepted Letters from Fleury; Letter dropping from Valori's waistcoat-pocket, upon which Friedrich claps his foot: alas, alas, we are in the middle of a whole world of that. Friedrich knows that the French are false to him; he by no means intends to be romantically true to them, and that also they know. What is the use to human creatures of recording all that melancholy stuff? If sovereign persons want their diplomacies NOT to be swept into the ash-pit, there are two conditions, especially one which is peremptory: FIRST, that they should not be lies;—SECOND, that they should be of some importance, some wisdom; which with known lies is not a possible condition. To unravel cobwebs, and register laboriously and date and sort in the sorrow of your soul the oaths of crowned dicers,—what use is it to gods or men? Having well dressed and sliced your cucumber, the next clear human duty is: Throw it out of window. In that foul Lapland-witch world, of seething Diplomacies and monstrous wigged mendacities, horribly wicked and despicably unwise, I find nothing notable, memorable even in a small degree, except this aspect of a young King who does know what he means in it. Clear as a star, sharp as cutting steel (very dangerous to hydrogen balloons), he stands in the middle of it, and means to extort his own from it by such methods as there are.

"Magnanimous I can by no means call Friedrich to his allies and neighbors, nor even superstitiously veracious, in this business: but he thoroughly understands, he alone, what just thing he wants out of it, and what an enormous wigged mendacity it is he has got to deal with. For the rest, he is at the gaming-table with these sharpers; their dice all cogged;—and he knows it, and ought to profit by his knowledge of it. And in short, to win his stake out of that foul weltering mellay, and go home safe with it if he can."

Very well, my friend! Let us keep to windward of the Diplomatic wizard's-caldron; let Hyndford, Valori and Company preside over it, throwing in their eye of newt and limb of toad, as occasion may be. Enough, if the reader can be brought to conceive it; and how the young King,—who perhaps alone had real business in this foul element, and did not volunteer into it like the others, though it now unexpectedly envelops him like a world-whirlwind (frightful enough, if one spoke of that to anybody), is struggling with his whole soul to get well out of it. As supremely adroit, all readers already know him; his appearance what we called starlike,—always something definite, fixed and lucid in it.

He is dexterously holding aloof from Hyndford at present, clinging to French Valori as his chosen companion: we may fancy what a time he has of it, like a polygamist amid jealous wives. It will quicken Hyndford, he perceives, in these ulterior stages, to leave him well alone. Hyndford accordingly, as we have noticed, could not see the King at all; had to try every plan, to watch, waylay the King for a bit of interview, when indispensable. However, Hyndford, with his Neipperg in sight of the peril, manages better than Robinson with his Aulic Council at a distance: besides he is a long-headed dogged kind of man, with a surly edacious strength, not inexpert in negotiation, nor easily turned aside from any purpose he may have.

Between the two Camps, nearly midway, lies a Hamlet called Klein-Schnellendorf, LITTLE Schnellendorf, to distinguish it from another Schnellendorf called GREAT, which is a mile or two northwestward, out of the straight line. Not far from the first of these poor Hamlets lies a Schloss or noble Mansion, likewise called Klein-Schnellendorf, belonging to a certain Count von Sternberg, who is not there at present, but whose servants are, and a party of Croats over them for some days back: a pleasant airy Mansion among pleasant gardens, well shut out from the intrusion of the world. Upon this Castle of Klein-Schnellendorf judicious Hyndford has cast his eye:—and Neipperg, now come to a state of readiness, approves the suggestion of Hyndford, and promptly at the due moment converts it into a fact. Arrests namely, on a given morning (the last act of his Croats there, who withdrew directly with their batch of prisoners), every living soul within or about the Mansion;—"suspected of treason;" only for one day;—and in this way, has it reduced to the comfortable furnished solitude of Sleeping Beauty's Castle; a place fit for high persons to hold a Meeting in, which shall remain secret as the grave. Such a thing was indispensable. For Friedrich, keeping shy of Hyndford, as he well may with a Valori watching every step, has, by words, by silences, when Hyndford could waylay him for a moment, sufficiently indicated what he will and what he will not; and, for one indispensable condition, in the present thrice-delicate Adventure, he will not sign anything; will give and take word of honor, and fully bind himself, but absolutely not put pen to paper at all. Neipperg being willing too, judicious Hyndford finds a medium. Let the parties meet at Klein-Schnellendorf, and judicious Hyndford be there with pen and paper. [Orlich, i. 146; Helden-Geschichte, i. 1009.]

Monday, 9th October, 1741, accordingly, there is meeting to be held. Hyndford, Neipperg with his General Lentulus (a Swiss-Austrian General, whose Son served under Friedrich afterwards), these wait for Friedrich, on the one hand:—"to fix some cartel for exchange of prisoners," it is said;—in these precincts of Klein-Schnellendorf; which are silent, vacant, yet comfortably furnished, like Sleeping Beauty's Castle. And Friedrich, on the other hand, is actually riding that way, with Goltz;—visiting outposts, reconnoitring, so to speak. "Dine you with Prince Leopold (the Young Dessauer), my fine Valori; I fear I shan't be home to dinner!" he had said when going off; hoodwinking his fine Valori, who suspects nothing. At a due distance from Klein-Schnellendorf, the very groom is left behind; and Friedrich, with Goltz only, pushes on to the Schloss. All ready there; salutations soon done; business set about, perfected:—and Hyndford with pen and ink in his hand, he, by way of Protocol, or summary of what had been agreed on, on mutual word of honor, most brief but most clear on this occasion, writes a State Paper, which became rather famous afterwards. This is the Paper in condensed state; though clear, it is very dull!

KLEIN-SCHNELLENDORF, 9th OCTOBER, 1741. Britannic Excellency Hyndford testifies, That, here and now, his Majesty of Prussia, and Neipperg on behalf of her Hungarian Majesty do, solemnly though only verbally, agree to the following Four Things:—

"FIRST, That General Neipperg, on the 16th of the month [this day week] shall have liberty to retire through the Mountains, towards Moravia; unmolested, or with nothing but sham-attacks in the rear of him. SECOND, That, in consequence, his Prussian Majesty, on making sham-siege of Neisse, shall have the place surrendered to him on the fifteenth day. THIRD, That there shall be, nay in a sense, there hereby is, a Peace made; his Majesty retaining Neisse and Silesia [according to the limits known to us:—nothing said of Glatz]; and that a complete Treaty to that effect shall be perfected, signed and ratified, before the Year is out. FOURTH, That these sham-hostilities, but only sham, shall continue; and that his Majesty, wintering in Bohemia, and carrying on sham-hostilities [to the satisfaction of the French], shall pay his own expenses, and do no mischief." [Given in Helden-Geschichte, i. 1009; in &c.]

To these Four Things they pledge their word of honor; and Hyndford signs and delivers each a Copy. Unwritten a Fifth Thing is settled, That the present transaction in all parts of it shall be secret as death,—his Majesty expressly insisting that, if the least inkling of it ooze out, he shall have right to deny it, and refuse in any way to be bound by it. Which likewise is assented to.

Here is a pretty piece of work done for ourself and our allies, while Valori is quietly dining with the Prince of Dessau! The King stayed about two hours; was extremely polite, and even frank and communicative. "A very high-spirited young King," thinks Neipperg, reporting of it; "will not stand contradiction; but a great deal can be made of him, if you go into his ideas, and humor him in a delicate dexterous way. He did not the least hide his engagements with France, Bavaria, Saxony; but would really, so far as I Neipperg could judge, prefer friendship with Austria, on the given terms; and seems to have secretly a kind of pique at Saxony, and no favor for the French and their plans." [Orlich, i. 149 (in condensed state).]

"Business being done [this is Hyndford's report], the King, who had been politeness itself, took Neipperg aside, beckoning Hyndford to be of the party, 'I wish you too, my Lord, to hear every word:—his Britannic Majesty knows or should know my intentions never were to do him hurt, but only to take care of myself; and pray inform him [what is the fact] that I have ordered my Army in Brandenburg to go into winter-quarters, and break up that Camp at Gottin.' Friedrich's talk to Neipperg is, How he may assault the French with advantage: 'Join Lobkowitz and what force he has in Bohmen; go right into your enemies, before they can unite there. If the Queen prosper, I shall—perhaps I shall have no objection to join her by and by? If her Majesty fail; well, every one must look to himself.'" These words Hyndford listened to with an edacious solid countenance, and greedily took them down. [Hyndford's Despatch, Breslau, 14th October, 1741.]

Once more, a curious glimpse (perhaps imprudently allowed us, in the circumstances) into the real inner man of Friedrich. He had, at this time, now that the Belleisle Adventure is left in such a state, no essential reason to wish the French ruined,—nor probably did he; but only stated both chances, as in the way of unguarded soliloquy; and was willing to leave Neipperg a sweet morsel to chew. Secret mode of corresponding with the Court of Austria is agreed upon; not direct, but through certain Commandants, till the Peace-Treaty be perfected,—at latest "by December 24th," we hope. And so, "BON VOYAGE, and well across the Mountains, M. LE MARECHAL; till we meet again! And you, Excellency Hyndford, be so good you as write to me,—for Valori's behoof,—complaining that I am deaf to all proposals, that nothing can be had of me. And other Letters, pray, of the like tenor, all round; to Presburg, to England, to Dresden:—if the Couriers are seized, it shall be well. 'Your Letter to myself, let a trumpet come with it while I am at dinner,' and Valori beside me!"—"Certainly, your Majesty," answers Hyndford; and does it, does all this; which produces a soothing effect on Valori, poor soul!


Thus, if the Austrians hold to their bargain, has Friedrich, in a most compendious manner, got done with a Business which threatened to be infinite: by this short cut he, for his part, is quite out of the waste-howling jungle of Enchanted Forest, and his foot again on the firm free Earth. If only the Austrians hold to their bargain! But probably he doubts if they will. Well, even in that case, he has got Neisse; stands prepared for meeting them again; and, in the mean while, has freedom to deny that there ever was such a bargain.

Of the Political morality of this game of fast-and-loose, what have we to say,—except, that the dice on both sides seem to be loaded; that logic might be chopped upon it forever; that a candid mind will settle what degree of wisdom (which is always essentially veracity), and what of folly (which is always falsity), there was in Friedrich and the others; whether, or to what degree, there was a better course open to Friedrich in the circumstances:—and, in fine, it will have to be granted that you cannot work in pitch and keep hands evidently clean. Friedrich has got into the Enchanted Wilderness, populous with devils and their works;—and, alas, it will be long before he get out of it again, HIS life waning towards night before he get victoriously out, and bequeath his conquest to luckier successors! It is one of the tragic elements of this King's life; little contemplated by him, when he went lightly into the Silesian Adventure, looking for honor bright, what he called "GLOIRE," as one principal consideration, hardly a year ago!—

Neipperg, according to covenant, broke up punctually that day week, October 16th; and went over the Mountains, through Jagerndorf, Troppau, towards Mahren; Prussians hanging on his rear, and skirmishing about, but only for imaginary or ostensible purposes. After a three-weeks march, he gets to a place called Frating, [Espagnac, i. 104.] easternmost border of Mahren, on the slopes of the Mannhartsberg Hill-Country, which is within wind of Vienna itself; where, as we can fancy, his presence is welcome as morning-light in the present dark circumstances.

Friedrich, on the morrow after Neipperg went, invested Neisse (October 17th); set about the Siege of Neisse with all gravity, as if it had been the most earnest operation; which nobody of mankind, except three or four, doubted but it was. Before opening of the trenches, Leopold young Dessauer took the road for Glatz Country, and the adjoining Circles of Bohemia; there to canton himself, peaceably according to contract; and especially to have an eye upon Glatz, should the Klein-Schnellendorf engagement go awry in any point. The King in his Dialogue with Neipperg had said several things about Glatz, and what a sacrifice he made there for the sake of speedy pace, the French having guaranteed him Glatz, though he now forbore it. Leopold, who has with him some 15,000 horse and foot, cantons himself judiciously in those ultramontane parts,—"all the artillery in the Glatz Country;" [Helden-Geschichte, ii. 431; Orlich, i. 174.]—and we shall hear of him again, by and by, in regard to other business that rises there.

Neisse is a formidable Fortress, much strengthened since last year; but here is a Besieger with much better chance! He marked out parallels, sent summonses, reconnoitred, manoeuvred,—in a way more or less surprising to the eye of Valori, who is military, and knows about sieges. Rather singular, remarks Valori; good engineers much wanted here! But the bombardment did finally begin: night of October 26th-27th, the Prussiaus opened fire; and, at a terrible rate, cannonaded and bombarded without intermission. In point of fire and noise it is tremendous; Valori trusts it may be effective, in spite of faults; goes to Breslau in hope: "Yes, go to Breslau, MON CHER VALORI; wait for me there. Neipperg be chased, say you? Shall not he,—if we had got this place!" And so the fire continues night and day. [Helden-Geschichte, i. 1006.]

Fantastic Bielfeld, in his semi-fabulous style, has a LETTER on this bombardment, attractive to Lovers of the Picturesque,—(written long afterwards, and dated &c. WRONG). As Bielfeld is a rapid clever creature of the coxcomb sort, and doubtless did see Neisse Siege, and entertained seemingly a blazing incorrect recollection of it, his Pseudo-Neisse Letter may be worth giving, to represent approximately what kind of scene it was there at Neisse in the October nights:—

"Marechal Schwerin was lodged in a Village about three-quarters of a mile from Head-Quarters. One day he did me the honor to invite me to dinner; and even offered me a horse to ride thither with him. I found excellent company; a superb repast, and wine of the gods. Host and guests were in high spirits; and the pleasures of the table were kept up so late, that it was midnight when we rose. I was obliged to return to Head-Quarters, having still to wait upon the King, as usual. The Marechal was kind enough to lend me another horse; but the groom mischievously gave me the charger which the Marechal rode at the Battle of Mollwitz; a very powerful animal, and which, from that day, had grown very skittish.

"I was made aware of this circumstance, before we were fairly out of the Village; and the night being of the darkest, I twenty times ran the risk of breaking my neck. We had to pass over a hill, to get to Head-Quarters. When I reached the top, a shudder came over me, and my hair stood on end. I had nobody with me but a strange groom. The country all around was infested with troops and marauders; I was mounted on an unmanageable horse. Under my feet, so to say, I saw the bombardment of the Town of Neisse. I heard the roar of cannon and doleful shrieks. Above our batteries the whole atmosphere was inflamed; and to complete the calamity, I missed the way, and got lost in the darkness. Finally, in descending the hill, my horse, frightened, made a terrible swerve or side-jump. I did not know the cause; but after having, with difficulty, got him into the road again, I found myself opposite to a deserter who had been hanged that day! I was horribly disgusted by the sight; the gallows being very low, and the head of the malefactor almost parallel with mine. I spurred on, and galloped away from such unpleasant night-company. At last I arrived at Head-Quarters, all in a perspiration. I sent my horse back; and went in to the King, who asked me at once, why I was so heated. I made his Majesty a faithful report of all my disasters. He laughed much; and advised me seriously not again to go out by night, and alone, beyond the circuit of Head-Quarters." [Bielfeld, ii. 31, 32.]

After four days and nights of this sublime Playhouse thunder (with real bullets in it, which killed some men, and burnt considerable property), the Neisse Commandant (not Roth this time, Roth is now in Brunn),—his "fortnight of siege," October 17th to October 31st, being accomplished or nearly so,—beat chamade; and was, after grave enough treatying, allowed to march away. Marched, accordingly, on the correct Klein-Schnellendorf terms; most of his poor garrison deserting, and taking Prussian service. Ever since which moment, Neisse, captured in this curious manner, has been Friedrich's and his Prussia's.

November 1st, the Prussian soldiers entered the place; and Friedrich, after diligent inspection and what orders were necessary, left for Brieg on the following day;—where general illuminating and demonstrating awaited him, amid more serious business. After strict examinations, and approval of Walrave and his works at Brieg, he again takes the road; enters Breslau, in considerable state (November 4th); where many Persons of Quality are waiting, and the general Homaging is straightway to be,—or indeed should have been some days ago, but has fallen behind by delays in the Neisse affair.

The Breslau HULDIGUNG,—Friedrich sworn to and homaged with the due solemnities as "Sovereign Duke of Lower Silesia,"—was an event to throw into fine temporary frenzy the descriptive Gazetteers, and Breslau City, overflowing with Quality people come to act and to see on the occasion. Event which can be left to the reader's fancy, at this date. There were Corporations out in quantity, "all in cloaks" and with sublime Addresses, partly in poetry, happily rather brief. There were beautiful Prussian Life-guards "First Battalion," admirable to the softer sex, not to speak of the harder); much military resonance and splendor. Friedrich drove about in carriages-and-six, "nay carriage-and-eight, horses cream-color:" a very high King indeed; and a very busy one, for those four days (November 4th-8th) 1741), but full of grace and condescension. The HULDIGUNG itself took effect on the 7th; in the fine old Rathhaus, which Tourists still know,—the surrounding Apple-women sweeping themselves clear away for one day. Ancient Ducal throne and proper apparatus there was; state-sword unluckily wanting: Schwerin, who was to act Grand-Marshal, could find no state-sword, till Friedrich drew his own and gave it him. [Helden-Geschichte, i. 1022, 1025; ii. 349.]

Podewils the Minister said something, not too much; to which one Prittwitz, head of a Silesian Family of which we shall know individuals, made pithy and pretty response, before swearing. "There were above Four Hundred of Quality present, all in gala." The customary Free-Gift of the STANDE Friedrich magnanimously refused: "Impossible to be a burden to our Silesia in such harassed war-circumstances, instead of benefactor and protector, as we intended and intend!" The Ceremony, swearing and all, was over in two hours; hundreds of silver medals, not to speak of the gold ones, flying about; and Breslau giving itself up joyfully to dinner and festivities. And, after dinner, that evening, to Illumination; followed by balls and jubilations for days after, in a highly harmonious key. Of the lamps-festoons, astonishing transparencies, and glad symbolic devices, I could say a great deal; but will mention only two, both of comfortably edible or quasi-edible tendency:—1. That of David Schulze, Flesher by profession; who had a Transparency large as life, representing his own fat Person in the act of felling a fat Ox; to which was appended this epigraph:—

"Wer mir wird den Konig in Preussen verachten, Den will ich wie diesen Ochsen schlacten."

"Who dares me the King of Prussia insult, Him I will serve like this fat head of nolt."


And then,

2. How, in another quarter, there was set aloft IN RE, by some Pastry-cook of patriotic turn: "An actual Ox roasted whole; filled with pheasants, partridges, grouse, hares and geese; Prussian Eagle atop, made of roasted fowls, larks and the like,"—unattainable, I doubt, except for money down. [Helden-Geschichte, ii. 359.]

On the fifth morning, 9th November,—after much work done during this short visit, much ceremonial audiencing, latterly, and raising to the peerage,—Friedrich rolled on to Glogau. Took accurate survey of the engineering and other interests there, for a couple of days; thence to Berlin (noon of the 11th), joyfully received by Royal Family and all the world;—and, as we might fancy, asking himself: "Am I actually home, then; out of the enchanted jungles and their devilries; safe here, and listening, I alone in Peace, to the universal din of War?" Alas, no; that was a beautiful hypothesis; too beautiful to be long credible! Before reaching Berlin,—or even Breslau, as appears,—Friedrich, vigilantly scanning and discerning, had seen that fine hope as good as vanish; and was silently busy upon the opposite one.

In a fortnight hence, Hyndford, who had followed to Berlin, got transient sight of the King one morning, hastening through some apartment or other: "'My Lord,' said the King, 'the Court of Vienna has entirely divulged our secret. Dowager Empress Amelia [Kaiser Joseph's widow, mother of Karl Albert's wife] has acquainted the Court of Bavaria with it; Wasner [Austrian Minister at Paris] has told Fleury; Sinzendorf [ditto at Petersburg] has told the Court of Russia; Robinson, through Mr. Villiers [your Saxon Minister], has told the Court of Dresden; and several members of your Government in England have talked publicly about it!' And, with a shrug of the shoulders, he left me,"—standing somewhat agape there. [Hyndford's Despatch, Berlin, 28th November, 1741; Ib. Breslau, 28th October (secret already known).]


The late general Homaging at Breslau, and solemn Taking Possession of the Country by King Friedrich, under such peaceable omens, had straightway, as we gather, brought about, over Silesia at large, or at least where pressingly needful, various little alterations,—rectifications, by the Prussian model and new rule now introduced. Of which, as it is better that the reader have some dim notion, if easily procurable, than none at all, I will offer him one example;—itself dim enough, but coming at first-hand, in the actual or concrete form, and beyond disputing in whatever light or twilight it may yield us.

At Landshut, a pleasant little Mountain Town, in the Principality of Schweidnitz, high up, on the infant River Bober, near the Bohemian Frontier—(English readers may see QUINCY ADAMS'S description of it, and of the long wooden spouts which throw cataracts on you, if walking the streets in rain [John Quincy Adams (afterwards President of the United States), Letters on Silesia (London, 1804). "The wooden spouts are now gone" (Tourist's Note, of 1858).]): at Landshut, as in some other Towns, it had been found good to remodel the Town Magistracy a little; to make it partly Protestant, for one thing, instead of Catholic (and Austrian), which it had formerly been. Details about the "high controversies and discrepancies" which had risen there, we have absolutely none; nor have the special functions of the Magistracy, what powers they had, what work they did, in the least become distinct to us: we gather only that a certain nameless Burgermeister (probably Austrian and Catholic) had, by "Most gracious Royal Special-Order," been at length relieved from his labors, and therewith "the much by him persecuted and afflicted Herr Theodorus Spener" been named Burgermeister instead. Which respectable Herr Theodorus Spener, and along with him Herr Johann David Fischer as RATHS-SENIOR, and Herr Johann Caspar Ruffer, and also Herr Johann Jacob Umminger, as new Raths (how many of the old being left I cannot say), were accordingly, on the 4th of December, 1741, publicly installed, and with proper solemnity took their places; all Landshut looking on, with the conceivable interest and astonishment, almost as at a change in the obliquity of the ecliptic,—change probably for the better.

Respectable Herr Theodorus Spener (we hope it is SpeNer, for they print him SPEER in one of the two places, and we have to go by guess) is ready with an Installation Speech on the occasion; and his Speech was judged so excellent, that they have preserved it in print. Us it by no means strikes by its Demosthenic or other qualities: meanwhile we listen to it with the closest attention; hoping, in our great ignorance, to gather from it some glimmerings of instruction as to the affairs, humors, disposition and general outlook and condition of Landshut, and Silesia in that juncture;—and though a good deal disappointed, have made an Abstract of it in the English language, which perhaps the reader too, in his great ignorance, will accept, in defect of better. Scene is Landshut among the Giant Mountains on the Bohemian Border of Silesia: an old stone Town, where there is from of old a busy trade in thread and linen; Town consisting, as is common there, of various narrow winding streets comparable to spider-legs, and of a roomy central Market-place comparable to the body of the spider; wide irregular Market-place with the wooden spouts (dry for the moment) all projecting round it. Time, 4th December, 1741 (doubtless in the forenoon); unusual crowd of population simmering about the Market-place, and full audience of the better sort gravely attentive in the interior of the Rathhaus; Burgermeister Spener LOQUITUR [Helden-Geschichte, ii. 416.] (liable to abridgment here and there, on warning given):—

"I enter, then, in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, upon an Office, to which Divine Providence has appointed, and the gracious and potent hand of a great King has raised me. Great as is the dignity [giddy height of Mayoralty in Landshut], though undeserved, which the Ever-Merciful has thus conferred upon me, equally great and much greater is the burden connected therewith. I confess"—He confesses, in high-stalking earnest wooden language very foreign to us in every way: (1.) That his shoulders are too weak; but that he trusts in God. For (2.) it is God's doing; and He that has called Spener, will give Spener strength, the essential work being to do God's will, to promote His honor, and the common weal. (3.) That he comes out of a smaller Office (Office not farther specified, probably exterior to the RATHS-COLLEGE, and subaltern to the late tyrannous Mayor and it), and has taken upon him the Mayoralty of this Town (an evident fact!); but that the labor and responsibility are dreadfully increased; and that the point is not increase of honor, of respectability or income, but of heavy duties. (A sonorous, pious-minded Spener; much more in earnest than readers now think!)

It is easy, intimates he, to govern a Town, if, as some have perhaps done, you follow simply your own will, regardless of the sighs and complaints your subjects utter for injustice undergone,—indifferent to the thought that the caprice of one Town Sovereign is to be glorified by so many thousand tears (dim glance into the past history of Landshut!). Such Town Sovereign persecutes innocence, stops his ears to its cry; flourishes his sharp scourge;—no one shall complain: for is it not justice? thinks such a Town Sovereign. The reason is, He does not know himself, poor man; has had his eye always on the duties of his subjects towards him, and rarely or never on his towards them. A Sovereign Mayor that governs by fear,—he must live in continual fear of every one, and of himself withal. A weak basis: and capable of total overturn in one day. On the contrary, the love of your burgher subjects: that, if you can kindle it, will go on like a house on fire (AUSBRUCH EINES FEURES), and streams of water won't put it out.... "And [let us now take Spener's very words] if a man keep the fear of God before his eyes, there will be no need for any other kind of fear.

"I will therefore, you especially High-honored Gentlemen, study to direct all my judicial endeavors to the honor of the great God, and to inviolable fidelity towards my most gracious King and Lord [Friedrich, by Decision of Providence—at Mollwitz and elsewhere].

"To the Citizens of this Town, from of old so dear to me, and now by Royal grace committed to my charge, and therefore doubly and trebly to be held dear, I mean to devote myself altogether. I will, on every occasion and occurrence, still more expressly than aforetime, stand by them; and when need is, not fail to bring their case before the just Throne of our Anointed [Friedrich, by Decision of Providence]. Justice and fairness I will endeavor, under whatever complexities, to make my loadstar. Yes, I shall and will, by means of this my Office, equip myself with weapons whereby I may be capable to damp such humors (INTELLIGENTIEN), should such still be (but I believe there are now none such), as may repugn against the Royal interest, with possibility of being dangerous; and to put a bridle on mouths that are unruly. And, to say much in little compass, I will be faithful to God, to my King and to this Town.

"Having now the honor and happiness to be put into Official friendship with those Gentlemen who, as Burgermeisters, and as old and as new Members of Council, have for long years made themselves renowned among us, I will entertain, in respect of the former [the old] a firm confidence That the zeal they have so strongly manifested for behoof of the most serene Archducal House of Austria will henceforth burn in them for our most Beloved Land's Prince whom God has now given us; that the fire of their lately plighted truth and devotion, towards his Royal Majesty, shall shine not in words only, but in works, and be extinguished only with their lives. [Can that be, O Spener or Speer? Are we alarm-clocks, that need only to be wound up, and told at what hour, and for whom?] God, who puts Kings in and casts them out, has given to us a no less potent Sovereign than supremely loving Land's-Father, who, by the renown of his more than royal virtues, had taken captive the hearts of his future subjects and children still sooner than even by his arms, familiar otherwise to victory, he did the Land. And who shall be puissant and mighty enough, now to lead men's minds in a contrary direction; to control the Most High Power, ruler over hearts and Lands, who had decreed it should be so; and again to change this change? [Hear Spener: he has taken great pains with his Discourse, and understands composition!]

"This change, High-honored Gentlemen [of the Catholic persuasion], is also for you a not unhappy one. For our now as pious as wise King will, especially in one most vital point, take pattern by the King of all Kings; and means to be lord of his subjects only, not of the consciences of his subjects. He requires nothing from you but what you are already bound by God, by conscience, and duty, to render: to wit, obedience and inviolable unbroken fidelity. And by that, and without more asked than that, you will render yourselves worthy of his protection, and become partakers of the Royal favor. Nay you will render yourselves all the worthier in that high quarter, and the more meritorious towards our civic commonweal, the more you, High-honored Gentlemen [of the Catholic persuasion], accept, with all frankness of colleague-love and amity, me and the Evangelical brother Raths now introduced by Royal grace and power; and make the new position generously tenable and available to us;—and thereby bind with us the more firmly the band of peace and colleague-unity, for helping up this dear, and for some years greatly fallen, Town along with us.

"We, for our poor part, will, one and all, strive only to surpass each other in obedience and faith to our Most Gracious King. We will, as Regents of the Citizenry committed to us, go before them with a good example; and prove to all and every one, That, little and in war untenable as our Landshut is, it shall, in extent and impregnability of faith towards its Most Dearest Land's-Prince, approve itself unconquerable. As well I as"—Professes now, in the most intricate phraseology, that he, and Fischer and Umminger (giving not only the titles, but a succinct history of all three, in a single sentence, before he comes to the verb!), bring a true heart, &c. &c.—Or would the reader perhaps like to see it IN NATURA, as a specimen of German human-nature, and the art these Silesian spinners have in drawing out their yarns?

"As well I as [1.] The Titular Herr Johann David Fischer, distinguished trader and merchant of this Town, who, by his tradings in and beyond our Silesian Countries, has made himself renowned, and by his merit and address in particular instances [delicate instances known to Landshut, not to us] has made himself beloved, who has now been installed as Raths-Senior; and also as [2.] The Titular Herr Johann Caspar Ruffer, well-respected Citizen, and Revenue-office Manager here, who for many years has with much fidelity and vigilance managed the Revenue-office, and who for his experience in the economic constitution of this Town has been all-graciously nominated Raths-Herr;—and not less [3.] The Titular Johann Jacob Umminger, whilom Advocate at Law in Breslau, who, for his good studies in Law, and manifested skill in the practice of Law, has been an all-graciously nominated Supernumerary Councillor and Notary's-Adjunct among us:—As well I as these Three not only assure you, High-honored Gentlemen, of all imaginable estimation and return of love on our part; but do likewise assure all and sundry these respectable Herren Town-Jurats [specially present], representing here the universal well-beloved Citizenry of our Town,—that we bring a heart sincere, and intent only on aiming at the welfare of a Citizenry so loveworthy. We have the firm purpose by God's grace, so to order our walk, and so to conduct our government that we may, one day, when summoned from our judgment-seats to answer before the Universal Judgment-seat of Christ, be able to say, with that pious King and Judge of Israel: 'Lord, thou knowest if we have walked uprightly before thee.' And we hope to understand that the rewards of justice, in that Life, will be much more than those of injustice in this.

"We believe that the Most High will, in so far, bless these our honest purposes and wholesome endeavors, as that the actual fruits thereof will in time coming, and when Peace now soon expected (which God grant) has returned to us, be manifest; and that if, in our Office, as is common, we should rather have thorns of persecution than roses of recompense to expect, yet to each of us there will at last accrue praise in the Earth and reward in Heaven. [Hear Spener!]

"Meanwhile we will unite all our wishes, That the Almighty may vouchsafe to his Royal Majesty, our now All-dearest Duke and Land's-Father, many long years of life and of happy reign; and maintain this All-highest Royal-Prussian and Elector-Brandenburgic House in supremest splendor and prosperity, undisturbed to the end of all Days; and along with it, our Town-Council, and whole Merchantry and Citizenry, safe under this Prussian Sceptre, in perpetual blessing, peace and unity [what a modest prayer!]: to all which may Heaven speak its powerful Amen!" [Helden-Geschichte, ii. 416-422.]—

Whereupon solemn waving of hats; indistinct sough of loyal murmur from the universal Landshut Population; after which, continued to the due extent, they return to their spindles and shuttles again.

Chapter VII.


We shall not dwell upon the movements of the French into Germany for the purpose of overwhelming Austria, and setting up four subordinate little Sovereignties to take their orders from Louis XV. The plan was of the mad sort, not recognized by Nature at all; the diplomacy was wide, expensive, grandiose, but vain and baseless; nor did the soldiering that followed take permanent hold of men's memory. Human nature cannot afford to follow out these loud inanities; and, at a certain distance of time, is bound to forget them, as ephemera of no account in the general sum. Difficult to say what profit human nature could get out of such transaction. There was no good soldiering on the part of the French except by gleams here and there; bad soldiering for the most part, and the cause was radically bad. Let us be brief with it; try to snatch from it, huge rotten heap of old exuviae and forgotten noises and deliriums, what fractions of perennial may turn up for us, carefully forgetting the rest.

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