Chapter VI.—PRINCE HENRI MAKES A MARCH OF FIFTY HOURS; THE RUSSIANS CANNOT FIND LODGING IN SILESIA.
The eyes of all had been bent on Dresden latterly; and there had occurred a great deal of detaching thitherward, and of marching there and thence, as we have partly seen. And the end is, Dresden, and to appearance Saxony along with it, is Daun's. Has not Daun good reason now to be proud of the cunctatory method? Never did his game stand better; and all has been gained at other people's expense. Daun has not played one trump card; it is those obliging Russians that have played all the trumps, and reduced the Enemy to nothing. Only continue that wise course,—and cart meal, with your whole strength, for the Russians!—
Safe behind the pools of Lieberose, Friedrich between them and Berlin, lie those dear Russians; extending, Daun and they, like an impassable military dike, with spurs of Outposts and cunningly devised Detachments, far and wide,—from beyond Bober or utmost Crossen on the east, to Hoyerswerda in Elbe Country on the west;—dike of eighty miles long, and in some eastern parts of almost eighty broad; so elaborate is Daun's detaching quality, in cases of moment. "The King's broken Army on one side of us," calculates Daun; "Prince Henri's on the other; incommunicative they; reduced to isolation, powerless either or both of them against such odds. They shall wait there, please Heaven, till Saxony be quite finished. Zweibruck, and our Detachments and Maguires, let them finish Saxony, while Soltikof keeps the King busy. Saxony finished, how will either Prince or King attempt to recover it! After which, Silesia for us;—and we shall then be near our Magazines withal, and this severe stress of carting will abate or cease." In fact, these seem sound calculations: Friedrich is 24,000; Henri 38,000; the military dike is, of Austrians 75,000, of Russians and Austrians together 120,000. Daun may fairly calculate on succeeding beautifully this Year: Saxony his altogether; and in Silesia some Glogau or strong Town taken, and Russians and Austrians wintering together in that Country.
If only Daun do not TOO much spare his trump cards! But there is such a thing as excess on that side too: and perhaps it is even the more ruinous kind,—and is certainly the more despised by good judges, though the multitude of bad may notice it less. Daun is unwearied in his vigilantes, in his infinite cartings of provision for himself and Soltikof,—long chains of Magazines, big and little, at Guben, at Gorlitz, at Bautzen, Zittau, Friedland; and does, aided by French Montalembert, all that man can to keep those dear stupid Russians in tune.
Daun's problem of carting provisions, and guarding his multifarious posts, and sources of meal and defence, is not without its difficulties. Especially with a Prince Henri opposite; who has a superlative manoeuvring talent of his own, and an industry not inferior to Daun's in that way. Accordingly, ever since August 11th-13th, when Daun moved northward to Triebel, and Henri shot out detachments parallel to him, "to secure the Bober and our right flank, and try to regain communication with the King,"—still more, ever since August 22d, when Daun undertook that onerous cartage of meal for Soltikof as well as self, the manoeuvring and mutual fencing and parrying, between Henri and him, has been getting livelier and livelier. Fain would Daun secure his numerous Roads and Magazines; assiduously does Henri threaten him in these points, and try all means to regain communication with his Brother. Daun has Magazines and interests everywhere; Henri is everywhere diligent to act on them.
Daun in person, ever since Kunersdorf time, has been at Triebel; Henri moved to Sagan after him, but has left a lieutenant at Schmottseifen, as Daun has at Mark-Lissa:—here are still new planets, and secondary ditto, with revolving moons. In short, it is two interpenetrating solar systems, gyrating, osculating and colliding, over a space of several thousand square miles,—with an intricacy, with an embroiled abstruseness Ptolemean or more! Which indeed the soldier who would know his business—(and not knowing it, is not he of all solecisms in this world the most flagrant?)—ought to study, out of Tempelhof and the Books; but which, except in its results, no other reader could endure. The result we will make a point of gathering: carefully riddled down, there are withal in the details five or six little passages which have some shadow of interest to us; these let us note, and carefully omit the rest:—
OF FOUQUET AT LANDSHUT. "Fouquet was twice attacked at Landshut; but made a lucky figure both times. Attack first was by Deville: attack second by Harsch. Early in July, not long after Friedrich had left for Schmottseifen, rash Deville (a rash creature, and then again a laggard, swift where he should be slow, and VICE VERSA) again made trial on Landshut and Fouquet; but was beautifully dealt with; taken in rear, in flank, or I forget how taken, but sent galloping through the Passes again, with a loss of many Prisoners, most of his furnitures, and all his presence of mind: whom Daun thereupon summoned out of those parts, 'Hitherward to Mark-Lissa with your Corps; leave Fouquet alone!' [HOFBERICHT VON DEN UNTERNEHMUNGEN DES FOUQUETSCHEN CORPS, IM JULIUS 1759: in Seyfarth, Beylagen, ii. 582-586.]
"After which, Fouquet, things being altogether quiet round him, was summoned, with most part of his force, to Schmottseifen; left General Goltz (a man we have met before) to guard Landshut; and was in fair hopes of proving helpful to Prince Henri,—when Harsch [Harsch by himself this time, not Harsch and Deville as usual] thought here was his opportunity; and came with a great apparatus, as if to swallow Landshut whole. So that Fouquet had to hurry off reinforcements thither; and at length to go himself, leaving Stutterheim in his stead at Schmottseifen. Goltz, however, with his small handful, stood well to his work. And there fell out sharp fencings at Landshut:—especially one violent attack on our outposts; the Austrians quite triumphant; till 'a couple of cannon open on them from the next Hill,'—till some violent Werner or other charge in upon them with Prussian Hussars;—a desperate tussle, that special one of Werner's; not only sabres flashing furiously on both sides, but butts of pistols and blows on the face: [Tempelhof, iii. 233: 31st August.] till, in short, Harsch finds he can make nothing of it, and has taken himself away, before Fouquet come." This Goltz, here playing Anti-Harsch, is the Goltz who, with Winterfeld, Schmettau and others, was in that melancholy Zittau march, of the Prince of Prussia's, in 1757: it was Goltz by whom the King sent his finishing compliment, "You deserve, all of you, to be tried by Court-Martial, and to lose your heads!" Goltz is mainly concerned with Fouquet and Silesia, in late times; and we shall hear of him once again. Fouquet did not return to Schmottseifen; nor was molested again in Landshut this year, though he soon had to detach, for the King's use, part of his Landshut force, and had other Silesian business which fell to him.
FORTRESS OF PEITZ. The poor Fortress of Peitz was taken again;—do readers remember it, "on the day of Zorndorf," last year? "This year, a fortnight after Kunersdorf, the same old Half-pay Gentleman with his Five-and-forty Invalids have again been set adrift, 'with the honors of war,' poor old creatures; lest by possibility they afflict the dear Russians and our meal-carts up yonder. [Tempelhof, iii. 231: 27th August.] I will forget who took Peitz: perhaps Haddick, of whom we have lately heard so much? He was captor of Berlin in 1757, did the Inroad on Berlin that year,—and produced Rossbach shortly after. Peitz, if he did Peitz, was Haddick's last success in the world. Haddick has been most industrious, 'guarding the Russian flank,'—standing between the King and it, during that Soltikof march to Mullrose, to Lieberose; but that once done, and the King settled at Waldau, Haddick was ordered to Saxony, against Wunsch and Finck:—and readers know already what he made of these Two in the 'Action at Korbitz, September 21st,'—and shall hear soon what befell Haddick himself in consequence."
COLONEL HORDT IS CAPTURED. "It was in that final marching of Soltikof to Lieberose that a distinguished Ex-Swede, Colonel Hordt, of the Free Corps HORDT, was taken prisoner. At Trebatsch; hanging on Soltikof's right flank on that occasion. It was not Haddick, it was a swarm of Cossacks who laid Hordt fast; his horse having gone to the girths in a bog. [Memoires du Comte de Hordt (a Berlin, 1789), ii. 53-58 (not dated or intelligible there): in Tempelhof (iii. 235, 236) clear account, "Trebatsch, September 4th."] Hordt, an Ex-Swede of distinction,—a Royalist Exile, on whose head the Swedes have set a price (had gone into 'Brahe's Plot,' years since, Plot on behalf of the poor Swedish King, which cost Brahe his life),—Hordt now might have fared ill, had not Friedrich been emphatic, 'Touch a hair of him, retaliation follows on the instant!' He was carried to Petersburg; 'lay twenty-six months and three days' in solitary durance there; and we may hear a word from him again."
ZIETHEN ALMOST CAPTURED. "Prince Henri, in the last days of August, marched to Sagan in person; [Tempelhof, iii. 231: 29th August.] Ziethen along with him; multifariously manoeuvring 'to regain communication with the King.' Of course, with no want of counter-manoeuvring, of vigilant outposts, cunningly devised detachments and assiduous small measures on the part of Daun. Who, one day, had determined on a more considerable thing; that of cutting out Ziethen from the Sagan neighborhood. And would have done it, they say,—had not he been too cunctatory. September 2d, Ziethen, who is posted in the little town of Sorau, had very nearly been cut off. In Sorau, westward, Daun-ward, of Sagan a short day's march: there sat Ziethen, conscious of nothing particular,—with Daun secretly marching on him; Daun in person, from the west, and two others from the north and from the south, who are to be simultaneous on Sorau and the Zietheners. A well-laid scheme; likely to have finished Ziethen satisfactorily, who sat there aware of nothing. But it all miswent: Daun, on the road, noticed some trifling phenomenon (Prussian party of horse, or the like), which convinced his cautious mind that all was found out; that probably a whole Prussian Army, instead of a Ziethen only, was waiting at Sorau; upon which Daun turned home again, sorry that he could not turn the other two as well. The other two were stronger than Ziethen, could they have come upon him by surprise; or have caught him before he got through a certain Pass, or bit of bad ground, with his baggage. But Ziethen, by some accident, or by his own patrols, got notice; loaded his baggage instantly; and was through the Pass, or half through it, and in a condition to give stroke for stroke with interest, when his enemies came up. Nothing could be done upon Ziethen; who marched on, he and all his properties, safe to Sagan that night,—owing to Daun's over-caution, and to Ziethen's own activity and luck." [Tempelhof, iii. 233.]
All this was prior to the loss of Dresden. During the crisis of that, when everybody was bestirring himself, Prince Henri made extraordinary exertions: "Much depends on me; all on me!" sighed Henri. A cautious little man; but not incapable of risking, in the crisis of a game for life and death. Friedrich and he are wedged asunder by that dike of Russians and Austrians, which goes from Bober river eastward, post after post, to Hoyerswerda westward, eighty miles along the Lausitz-Brandenburg Frontier, rooting itself through the Lausitz into Bohemia, and the sources of its meal. Friedrich and he cannot communicate except by spies ("the first JAGER," or regular express "from the King, arrived September 13th" [Ib. iii. 207.]): but both are of one mind; both are on one problem, "What is to be done with that impassable dike?"—and co-operate sympathetically without communicating. What follows bears date AFTER the loss of Dresden, but while Henri still knew only of the siege,—that JAGER of the 13th first brought him news of the loss.
"A day or two after Ziethen's adventure, Henri quits Sagan, to move southward for a stroke at the Bohemian-Lausitz magazines; a stroke, and series of strokes. SEPTEMBER 8th, Ziethen and (in Fouquet's absence at Landshut) Stutterheim are pushed forward into the Zittau Country; first of all upon Friedland,—the Zittau Friedland, for there are Friedlands many! SEPTEMBER 9th, Stutterheim summons Friedland, gets it; gets the bit of magazine there; and next day hastens on to Zittau. Is refused surrender of Zittau; learns, however, that the magazine has been mostly set on wheels again, and is a stage forward on the road to Bohemia; whitherward Stutterheim, quitting Zittau as too tedious, hastens after it, and next day catches it, or the unburnt remains of it. A successful Stutterheim. Nor is Ziethen idle in the mean while; Ziethen and others; whom no Deville or Austrian Party thinks itself strong enough to meddle with, Prince Henri being so near.
"Here is a pretty tempest in the heart of our Bohemian meal-conduit! Continue that, and what becomes of Soltikof and me? Daun is off from Triebel Country to this dangerous scene; indignantly cashiers Deville, 'Why did not you attack these Ziethen people? Had not you 10,000, Sir?' Cashiers poor Deville for not attacking;—does not himself attack: but carts away the important Gorlitz magazine, to Bautzen, which is the still more important one; sits down on the lid of that (according to wont); shoots out O'Donnell (an Irish gentleman, Deville's successor), and takes every precaution. Prince Henri, in presence of O'Donnell, coalesces again; walks into Gorlitz; encamps there, on the Landskron and other Heights (Moys Hill one of them, poor Winterfeld's Hill!),—and watches a little how matters will turn, and whether Daun, severely vigilant from Bautzen, seated on the lid of his magazine, will not perhaps rise."
First and last, Daun in this business has tried several things; but there was pretty much always, and emphatically there now is, only one thing that could be effectual: To attack Prince Henri, and abolish him from those countries;—as surely might have been possible, with twice his strength at your disposal?—This, though sometimes he seemed to be thinking of such a thing, Daun never would try: for which the subsequent FACTS, and all good judges, were and are inexorably severe on Daun. Certain it is, no rashness could have better spilt Daun's game than did this extreme caution.
DAUN, SOLTIKOF AND COMPANY AGAIN HAVE A COLLOQUY (Bautzen, September 15th); AFTER WHICH EVERYBODY STARTS ON HIS SPECIAL COURSE OF ACTION.
Soltikof's disgust at this new movement of Daun's was great and indignant. "Instead of going at the King, and getting some victory for himself, he has gone to Bautzen, and sat down on his meal-bags! Meal? Is it to be a mere fighting for meal? I will march to-morrow for Poland, for Preussen, and find plenty of meal!" And would have gone, they say, had not Mercury, in the shape of Montalembert with his most zealous rhetoric, intervened; and prevailed with difficulty. "One hour of personal interview with Excellency Daun," urges Montalembert; "one more!" "No," answers Soltikof.—"Alas, then, send your messenger!" To which last expedient Soltikof does assent, and despatches Romanzof on the errand.
SEPTEMBER 15th, at Bautzen, at an early hour, there is meeting accordingly; not Romanzof, Soltikof's messenger, alone, but Zweibruck in person, Daun in person; and most earnest council is held. "A noble Russian gentleman sees how my hands are bound," pleads Daun. "Will not Excellency Soltikof, who disdains idleness, go himself upon Silesia, upon Glogau for instance, and grant me a few days?" "No," answers Romanzof; "Excellency Soltikof by himself will not. Let Austria furnish Siege-Artillery; daily meal I need not speak of; 10,000 fresh Auxiliaries beyond those we have: on these terms Excellency Soltikof will perhaps try it; on lower terms, positively not." "Well then, yes!" answers Daun, not without qualms of mind. Daun has a horror at weakening himself to that extent; but what can he do? "General Campitelli, with the 10,000, let him march this night, then; join with General Loudon where you please to order: Excellency Soltikof shall see that in every point I conform." [Tempelhof, iii. 247-249.]—An important meeting to us, this at Bautzen; and breaks up the dead-lock into three or more divergent courses of activity; which it will now behoove us to follow, with the best brevity attainable. "Bautzen, Saturday, 15th September, early in the morning," that is the date of the important Colloquy. And precisely eight-and-forty hours before, "on Thursday, 13th, about 10 A.M.", in the western Environs of Quebec, there has fallen out an Event, quite otherwise important in the History of Mankind! Of which readers shall have some notice at a time more convenient.—
Romanzof returning with such answer, Soltikof straightway gathers himself, September 15th-16th, and gets on march. To Friedrich's joy; who hopes it may be homeward; waits two days at Waldau, for the Yes or No. On the second day, alas, it is No: "Going for Silesia, I perceive; thither, by a wide sweep northward, which they think will be safer!" Upon which Friedrich also rises; follows, with another kind of speed than Soltikof's; and, by one of his swift clutchings, lays hold of Sagan, which he, if Soltikof has not, sees to be a key-point in this operation. Easy for Soltikof to have seized this key-point, key of the real road to Glogau; easy for Loudon and the new 10,000 to have rendezvoused there: but nobody has thought of doing it. A few Croats were in the place, who could make no debate.
From Sagan Friedrich and Henri are at length in free communication; Sagan to the Landskron at Gorlitz is some fifty miles of country, now fallen vacant. From Henri, from Fouquet (the dangers of Landshut being over), Friedrich is getting what reinforcement they can spare (September 20th-24th); will then push forward again, industriously sticking to the flanks of Soltikof, thrusting out stumbling-blocks, making his march very uncomfortable.
Strange to say, from Sagan, while waiting two days for these reinforcements, there starts suddenly to view, suddenly for Friedrich and us, an incipient Negotiation about Peace! Actual Proposal that way (or as good as actual, so Voltaire thinks it), on the part of Choiseul and France; but as yet in Voltaire's name only, by a sure though a backstairs channel, of his discovering. Of which, and of the much farther corresponding that did actually follow on it, we purpose to say something elsewhere, at a better time. Meanwhile Voltaire's announcement of it to the King has just come in, through a fair and high Hand: how Friedrich receives it, what Friedrich's inner feeling is, and has been for a fortnight past—Here are some private utterances of his, throwing a straggle of light on those points:—
FOUR LETTERS OF FRIEDRICH'S (10th-24th September).
No. 1. TO PRINCE FERDINAND (at Berlin). Poor little Ferdinand, the King's Brother, fallen into bad health, has retired from the Wars, and gone to Berlin; much an object of anxiety to the King, who diligently corresponds with the dear little man,—giving earnest medical advices, and getting Berlin news in return.
"WALDAU, 10th September, 1759.
"Since my last Letter, Dresden has capitulated,—the very day while Wunsch was beating Maguire at The Barns (north side of Dresden, September 5th) day AFTER the capitulation]. Wunsch went back to Torgau, which St. Andre, with 14,000 Reichs-people under him, was for retaking; him too Wunsch beat, took all his tents, kettles, haversacks and utensils, 300 prisoners, six cannon and some standards. Finck is uniting with Wunsch; they will march on the Prince of Zweibruck, and retake Dresden [hopes always, for a year and more, to have Dresden back very soon]. I trust before long to get all these people gathered round Dresden, and our own Country rid of them: that, I take it, will be the end of the Campaign.
"Many compliments to the Prince of Wurtemberg [wounded at Kunersdorf], and to all our wounded Generals: I hope Seidlitz is now out of danger: that bleeding fit (EBULLITION DE SANG) will cure him of the cramp in his jaw, and of his colics; and as he is in bed, he won't take cold. I hope the viper-broth will do you infinite good; be assiduous in patching your constitution, while there is yet some fine weather left: I dread the winter for you; take a great deal of care against cold. I have still a couple of cruel months ahead of me before ending this Campaign. Within that time, there will be, God knows what upshot." [OEuvres de Frederic, xxvi. 544.]—This is "September 10th:" the day of Captain Kollas's arrival with his bad Dresden news; Daun and Soltikof profoundly quiet for three days more.
No. 2. TO THE DUCHESS OF SACHSEN-GOTHA (at Gotha). Voltaire has enclosed his Peace-Proposal to that Serene Lady, always a friend of Friedrich's and his; to whom Friedrich, directly on receipt of it, makes answer:—
"SAGAN, 22d September, 1759.
"MADAM,—I receive on all occasions proofs of your goodness, to which I am as sensible as a chivalrous man can be. Certainly it is not through your hands, Madam, that my Correspondence with V. [with Voltaire, if one durst write it in full] ought to be made to pass! Nevertheless, in present circumstances, I will presume to beg that you would forward to him the Answer here enclosed, on which I put no Address. The difficulty of transmitting Letters has made me choose my Brother," Ferdinand, at Berlin, "to have this conveyed to your hand.
"If I gave bridle to my feelings, now would be the moment for developing them; but in these critical times I judge it better not; and will restrict myself to simple assurances of—" F.
No. 3. TO VOLTAIRE, at the Delices (so her Serene Highness will address it). Here is part of the Enclosure to "V." Friedrich is all for Peace; but keeps on his guard with such an Ambassador, and writes in a proud, light, only half-believing style:—
"SAGAN, 22d September, 1759.
"The Duchess of Sachsen-Gotha sends me your Letter. I never received your packet of the 29th: communications all interrupted here; with much trouble I get this passed on to you, if it is happy enough to pass.
"My position is not so desperate as my enemies give out. I expect to finish my Campaign tolerably; my courage is not sunk:—it appears, however, there is talk of Peace. All I can say of positive on this article is, That I have honor for ten; and that, whatever misfortune befall me, I feel myself incapable of doing anything to wound, the least in the world, this principle,—which is so sensitive and delicate for one who thinks like a gentleman (PENSE EN PREUX CHEVALIER); and so little regarded by rascally politicians, who think like tradesmen.
"I know nothing of what you have been telling me about [your backstairs channels, your Duc de Choiseul and his humors]: but for making Peace there are two conditions which I never will depart from: 1. To make it conjointly with my faithful Allies [Hessen and England; I have no other]; 2. To make it honorable and glorious. Observe you, I have still honor remaining; I will preserve that, at the price of my blood.
"If your people want Peace, let them propose nothing to me which contradicts the delicacy of my sentiments. I am in the convulsions of military operations; I do as the gamblers who are in ill-luck, and obstinately set themselves against Fortune. I have forced her to return to me, more than once, like a fickle mistress, when she had run away. My opponents are such foolish people, in the end I bid fair to catch some advantage over them: but, happen whatsoever his Sacred Majesty Chance may please, I don't disturb myself about it. Up to this point, I have a clear conscience in regard to the misfortunes that have come to me. As to you, the Battle of Minden, that of Cadiz" (Boscawen VERSUS De la Clue; Toulon Fleet running out, and caught by the English, as we saw), these things perhaps, "and the loss of Canada, are arguments capable of restoring reason to the French, who had got confused by the Austrian hellebore.
"This is my way of thinking. You do not find me made of rose-water: but Henri Quatre, Louis Quatorze,—my present enemies even, whom I could cite [Maria Theresa, twenty years ago, when your Belleisle set out to cut her in Four],—were of no softer temper either. Had I been born a private man, I would yield everything for the love of Peace; but one has to take the tone of one's position. This is all I can tell you at present. In three or four weeks the ways of correspondence will be freer.—F." [OEuvres de Frederic, xxiii. 60, 61.]
No. 4. TO PRINCE FERDINAND. Two days later: has got on foot again,—end of his first march upon Soltikof again:—
"BAUNAU, 24th September, 1759.
"Thank you for the news you send of the wounded Officers," Wurtemberg, Seidlitz and the others. "You may well suppose that in the pass things are at, I am not without cares, inquietudes, anxieties; it is the frightfulest crisis I have had in my life. This is the moment for dying unless one conquer. Daun and my Brother Henri are marching side by side [not exactly!]. It is possible enough all these Armies may assemble hereabouts, and that a general Battle may decide our fortune and the Peace. Take care of your health, dear Brother.—F." [OEuvres de Frederic, xxvi. 545.]
Baunau is on Silesian ground, as indeed Sagan itself is; at Baunau Friedrich already, just on arriving, has done a fine move on Soltikof, and surprisingly flung the toll-gate in Soltikof's face. As we shall see by and by;—and likewise that Prince Henri, who emerges to-morrow morning (September 25th), has not been "marching side by side with Daun," but at a pretty distance from that gentleman!—
Soltikof is a man of his word; otherwise one suspects he already saw his Siege of Glogau to be impossible. Russians are not very skilful at the War-minuet: fancy what it will be dancing to such a partner! Friedrich, finding they are for Glogau, whisks across the Oder, gets there before them: "No Glogau for you!" They stand agape for some time; then think "Well then Breslau!" Friedrich again whisks across from them, farther up, and is again ahead of them when they cross: "No Breslau either!" In effect, it is hopeless; and we may leave the two manoeuvring in those waste parts, astride of Oder, or on the eastern bank of it, till a fitter opportunity; and attend to Henri, who is now the article in risk.
Zweibruck's report of himself, on that day of the general Colloquy, was not in the way of complaint, like that of the Russians, though there did remain difficulties. "Dresden gloriously ours; Maguire Governor there, and everything secure; upon my honor. But in the northwest part, those Fincks and Wunsches, Excellenz?"—And the actual truth is, Wunsch has taken Leipzig, day before yesterday (September 13th), as Daun sorrowfully knows, by news come in overnight. And six days hence (September 21st), Finck and Wunsch together will do their "ACTION OF KORBITZ," and be sending Haddick a bad road! These things Zweibruck knows only in part; but past experience gives him ominous presentiment, as it may well do; and he thinks decidedly: "Excellenz, more Austrian troops are indispensable there; in fact, your Excellenz's self, were that possible; which one feels it is not, in the presence of these Russians!"
Russians and Reichsfolk, these are a pair of thumbscrews on both thumbs of Daun; screwing the cunctation out of him; painfully intimating: "Get rid of this Prince Henri; you must, you must!" And, in the course of the next eight days Daun has actually girt himself to this great enterprise. Goaded on, I could guess, by the "Action of Korbitz" (done on Friday, thirty hours ago); the news of which, and that Haddick, instead of extinguishing Finck, is retreating from him upon Dresden,—what a piece of news! thinks Daun: "You, Zweibruck, Haddick, Maguire and Company, you are 36,000 in Saxony; Finck has not 12,000 in the field: How is this?"—and indignantly dismisses Haddick altogether: "Go, Sir, and attend to your health!" [Tempelhof, iii. 276, 258-261.] News poignantly astonishing to Daun, as would seem;—like an ox-goad in the lazy rear of Daun. Certain it is, Daun had marched out to Gorlitz in collected form; and, on Saturday afternoon, SEPTEMBER 22d is personally on the Heights (not Moys Hill, I should judge, but other points of vision), taking earnest survey of Prince Henri's position on the Landskron there. "To-morrow morning we attack that Camp," thinks Daun; "storm Prince Henri and it: be rid of him, at any price!" [Ib. iii. 253-256 (for the March now ensuing): iii. 228-234, 241-247 (for Henri's anterior movements).]
"To-morrow morning," yes:—but this afternoon, and earlier, Prince Henri has formed a great resolution, his plans all laid, everything in readiness; and it is not here you will find Prince Henri to-morrow. This is his famous March of Fifty Hours, this that we are now come to; which deserves all our attention,—and all Daun's much more! Prince Henri was habitually a man cautious in War; not aggressive, like his Brother, but defensive, frugal of risks, and averse to the lion-springs usual with some people; though capable of them, too, in the hour of need. Military men are full of wonder at the bold scheme he now fell upon; and at his style of executing it. Hardly was Daun gone home to his meditations on the storm of the Landskron to-morrow, and tattoo beaten in Prince Henri's Camp there, when, at 8 that Saturday evening, issuing softly, with a minimum of noise, in the proper marching columns, baggage-columns, Henri altogether quitted this Camp; and vanished like a dream. Into the Night; men and goods, every item:—who shall say whitherward? Leaving only a few light people to keep up the watch-fires and sentry-cries, for behoof of Daun! Let readers here, who are in the secret, watch him a little from afar.
Straight northward goes Prince Henri, down Neisse Valley, 20 miles or so, to Rothenburg; in columns several-fold, with much delicate arranging, which was punctually followed: and in the course of to-morrow Prince Henri is bivouacked, for a short rest of three hours,—hidden in unknown space, 20 miles from Daun, when Daun comes marching up to storm him on the Landskron! Gone veritably; but whitherward Daun cannot form the least guess. Daun can only keep his men under arms there, all day; while his scouts gallop far and wide,—bringing in this false guess and the other; and at length returning with the eminently false one, misled by some of Henri's baggage-columns, which have to go many routes, That the Prince is on march for Glogau:—"Gone northeast; that way went his wagons; these we saw with our eyes." "Northeast? Yes, to Glogau possibly enough," thinks Daun: "Or may not he, cunning as he is and full of feints, intend a stroke on Bautzen, in my absence?"—and hastens thither again, and sits down on the Magazine-lid, glad to find nothing wrong there.
This is all that Daun hears of Henri for the next four days. Plenty of bad news from Saxony in these four days: the Finck-Haddick Action of Korbitz, a dismal certainty before one started,—and Haddick on his road to some Watering Place by this time! But no trace of Henri farther; since that of the wagons wending northeast. "Gone to Glogau, to his Brother: no use in pushing him, or trying to molest him there!" thinks Daun; and waits, in stagnant humor, chewing the cud of bitter enough thoughts, till confirmation of that guess arrive:—as it never will in this world! Read an important Note:—
"To northward of Bautzen forty miles, and to westward forty miles, the country is all Daun's; only towards Glogau, with the Russians and Friedrich thereabouts, does it become disputable, or offer Prince Henri any chance. Nevertheless it is not to Glogau, it is far the reverse, that the nimble Henri has gone. Resting himself at Rothenburg 'three hours' (speed is of all things the vitalest), Prince Henri starts again, SUNDAY afternoon, straight westward this time. Marches, with his best swiftness, with his best arrangements, through many sleeping Villages, to Klitten, not a wakeful one: a march of 18 miles from Rothenburg;—direct for the Saxon side of things, instead of the Silesian, as Daun had made sure.
"At Klitten, MONDAY morning, bivouac again, for a few hours,—'has no Camp, only waits three hours,' is Archenholtz's phrase: but I suppose the meaning is, Waits till the several Columns, by their calculated routes, have all got together; and till the latest in arriving has had 'three hours' of rest,—the earliest having perhaps gone on march again, in the interim? There are 20 miles farther, still straight west, to Hoyerswerda, where the outmost Austrian Division is: 'Forward towards that; let us astonish General Wehla and his 3,000, and our March is over!' All this too Prince Henri manages; never anything more consummate, more astonishing to Wehla and his Master.
"Wehla and Brentano, readers perhaps remember them busy, from the Pirna side, at the late Siege of Dresden. Siege gloriously done, Wehla was ordered to Hoyerswerda, on the northwest frontier; Brentano to a different point in that neighborhood; where Brentano escaped ruin, and shall not be mentioned; but Wehla suddenly found it, and will require a word. Wehla, of all people on the War-theatre, had been the least expecting disturbance. He is on the remotest western flank; to westward of him nothing but Torgau and the Finck-Wunsch people, from whom is small likelihood of danger: from the eastern what danger can there be? A Letter of Dauns, some days ago, had expressly informed him that, to all appearance, there was none.
"And now suddenly, on the Tuesday morning, What is this? Prussians reported to be visible in the Woods! 'Impossible!' answered Wehla;—did get ready, however, what he could; Croat Regiments, pieces of Artillery behind the Elster River and on good points; laboring more and more diligently, as the news proved true. But all his efforts were to no purpose. General Lentulus with his Prussians (the mute Swiss Lentulus, whom we sometimes meet), who has the Vanguard this day, comes streaming out of the woods across the obstacles; cannonades Wehla both in front and rear; entirely swallows Wehla and Corps: 600 killed; the General himself, with 28 Field-Officers, and of subalterns and privates 1,785, falling prisoners to us; and the remainder scattered on the winds, galloping each his own road towards covert and a new form of life. Wehla is eaten, in this manner, Tuesday, September 25th:—metaphorically speaking, the March of Fifty Hours ends in a comfortable twofold meal (military-cannibal, as well as of common culinary meat), and in well-deserved rest." [Tempelhof, iii. 255, 256; Seyfarth, Beylagen; &c.]
The turning-point of the Campaign is reckoned to be this March of Henri's; one of the most extraordinary on record. Prince Henri had a very fast March INTO these Silesian-Lausitz Countries, early in July, [Seyfarth, ii. 545.] and another very fast, from Bautzen, to intersect with Schmottseifen, in the end of July: but these were as nothing compared with the present. Tempelhof, the excellent solid man,—but who puts all things, big and little, on the same level of detail, and has unparalleled methods of arranging (what he reckons to be "arranging"), and no vestige of index,—is distressingly obscure on this grand Incident; but at length, on compulsion, does yield clear account. [Tempelhof, iii. 253-258.] In Archenholtz it is not DATED at all; who merely says as follows: "Most extraordinary march ever made; went through 50 miles of Country wholly in the Enemy's possession; lasted 56 hours, in which long period there was no camp pitched, and only twice a rest of three hours allowed the troops. During the other fifty hours the march, day and night, continually proceeded. Ended (NO date) in surprise of General Wehla at Hoyerswerda, cutting up 600 of his soldiers, and taking 1,800 prisoners. Kalkreuth, since so famous," in the Anti-Napoleon Wars, "was the Prince's Adjutant." [Archenholtz, i. 426.]
This is probably Prince Henri's cleverest feat,—though he did a great many of clever; and his Brother used to say, glancing towards him, "There is but one of us that never committed a mistake." A highly ingenious dexterous little man in affairs of War, sharp as needles, vehement but cautious; though of abstruse temper, thin-skinned, capricious, and giving his Brother a great deal of trouble with his jealousies and shrewish whims. By this last consummate little operation he has astonished Daun as much as anybody ever did; shorn his elaborate tissue of cunctations into ruin and collapse at one stroke; and in effect, as turns out, wrecked his campaign for this Year.
Daun finds there is now no hope of Saxony, unless he himself at once proceed thither. At once thither;—and leave Glogau and the Russians to their luck,—which in such case, what is it like to be? Probably, to Daun's own view, ominous enough; but he has no alternative. To this pass has the March of Fifty Hours brought us. There is such a thing as being too cunctatory, is not there, your Excellency? Every mortal, and more especially every Feldmarschall, ought to strike the iron while it is hot. The remainder of this Campaign, we will hope, can be made intelligible in a more summary manner.
FRIEDRICH MANAGES (September 24th-October 24th) TO GET THE RUSSIANS SENT HOME; AND HIMSELF FALLS LAMED WITH GOUT.
Friedrich's manoeuvres against Soltikof,—every reader is prepared to hear that Soltikof was rendered futile by them: and none but military readers could take delight in the details. Two beautiful short-cuts he made upon Soltikof; pulled him up both times in mid career, as with hard check-bit. The first time was at Zobelwitz: September 24th, Friedrich cut across from Sagan, which is string to bow of the Russian march; posted himself on the Heights of Zobelwitz, of Baunau, Milkau (at Baunau Friedrich will write a LETTER this night, if readers bethink themselves; Milkau is a place he may remember for rain-deluges, in the First Silesian War [Supra, p. 323; ib. vol. vii. p. 311.]): "Let the Russians, if they now dare, try the Pass of Neustadtel here!" A fortunate hour, when he got upon this ground. Quartermaster-General Stoffel, our old Custrin acquaintance, is found marking out a Camp with a view to that Pass of Neustadtel; [Tempelhof, iii. 293; Retzow, ii. 163.] is, greatly astonished to find the Prussian Army emerge on him there; and at once vanishes, with his Hussar-Cossack retinues. "September 24th," it is while Prince Henri was on the last moiety of his March of Fifty Hours. This severe twitch flung Soltikof quite out from Glogau,—was like to fling him home altogether, had it not been for Montalembert's eloquence;—did fling him across the Oder. Where, again thanks to Montalembert, he was circling on with an eye to Breslau, when Friedrich, by the diameter, suddenly laid bridges, crossed at Koben, and again brought Soltikof to halt, as by turnpike suddenly shut: "Must pay first; must beat us first!"
These things had raised Friedrich's spirits not a little. Getting on the Heights of Zobelwitz, he was heard to exclaim, "This is a lucky day; worth more to me than a battle with victory." [Retzow, ii. 163.] Astonishing how he blazed out again, quite into his old pride and effulgence, after this, says Retzow. Had been so meek, so humbled, and even condescended to ask advice or opinion from some about him. Especially "from two Captains," says the Opposition Retzow, whose heads were nearly turned by this sunburst from on high. Captain Marquart and another,—I believe, he did employ them about Routes and marking of Camps, which Retzow calls consulting: a King fallen tragically scarce of persons to consult; all his Winterfelds, Schwerins, Keiths and Council of Peers now vanished, and nothing but some intelligent-looking Captain Marquart, or the like, to consult:—of which Retzow, in his splenetic Opposition humor, does not see the tragedy, but rather the comedy: how the poor Captains found their favor to be temporary, conditional, and had to collapse again. One of them wrote an "ESSAY on the COUP-D'OEIL MILITAIRE," over which Retzow pretends to weep. This was Friedrich's marginal Note upon the MS., when submitted to his gracious perusal: "You (ER) will do better to acquire the Art of marking Camps than to write upon the Military Stroke of Eye." Beautifully written too, says Retzow; but what, in the eyes of this King, is beautiful writing, to knowing your business well? No friend he to writing, unless you have got something really special, and urgent to be written.
Friedrich crassed the Oder twice. Took Soltikof on both sides of the Oder, cut him out of this fond expectation, then of that; led him, we perceive, a bad life. Latterly the scene was on the right bank; Sophienthal, Koben, Herrnstadt and other poor places,—on that big eastern elbow, where Oder takes his final bend, or farewell of Poland. Ground, naturally, of some interest to Friedrich: ground to us unknown; but known to Friedrich as the ground where Karl XII. gave Schulenburg his beating, ["Near Guhrau" (while chasing August the Strong and him out of Poland), "12th October, 1704:" vague account of it, dateless, and as good as placeless, in Voltaire (Charles Douse, liv. iii.), OEuvres, xxx. 142-145.] which produced the "beautiful retreat" of Schulenburg. The old Feldmarschall Schulenburg whom we used to hear of once,—whose Nephew, a pipeclayed little gentleman, was well known to Friedrich and us.
For the rest, I do not think he feels this out-manoeuvring of the Russians very hard work. Already, from Zobelwitz Country, 25th September, day of Henri at Hoyerswerda, Friedrich had written to Fouquet: "With 21,000 your beaten and maltreated Servant has hindered an Army of 50,000 from attacking him, and compelled them to retire on Neusatz!" Evidently much risen in hope; and Henri's fine news not yet come to hand. By degrees, Soltikof, rendered futile, got very angry; especially when Daun had to go for Saxony. "Meal was becoming impossible, at any rate," whimpers Daun: "O Excellency, do but consider, with the nobleness natural to you! Our Court will cheerfully furnish money, instead of meal."—"Money? My people cannot eat money!" growled Soltikof, getting more and more angry; threatening daily to march for Posen and his own meal-stores. What a time of it has Montalembert, has the melancholy Loudon, with temper so hot!
At Sophienthal, October 10th, Friedrich falls ill of gout;—absolutely lamed; for three weeks cannot stir from his room. Happily the outer problem is becoming easier and easier; almost bringing its own solution. At Sophienthal the lame Friedrich takes to writing about CHARLES XII. AND HIS MILITARY CHARACTER,—not a very illuminative Piece, on the first perusal, but I intend to read it again; [REFLEXIONS SUR LES TALENS MILITAIRES ET SUR LE CARACTERE DE CHARLES XII. (OEuvres de Frederic, vii. 69-88).]—which at least helps him to pass the time. Soltikof, more and more straitened, meal itself running low, gets angrier and angrier. His treatment of the Country, Montalembert rather encouraging, is described as "horrible." One day he takes the whim, whim or little more, of seizing Herrnstadt; a small Town, between the Two Armies, where the Prussians have a Free Battalion. The Prussian Battalion resists; drives Soltikof's people back. "Never mind," think they: "a place of no importance to us; and Excellency Soltikof has ridden else-whither." By ill-luck, in the afternoon, Excellency Soltikof happened to mention the place again. Hearing that the Prussians still have it, Soltikof mounts into a rage; summons the place, with answer still No; thereupon orders instant bombardment of it, fiery storms of grenadoes for it; and has the satisfaction of utterly burning poor Herrnstadt; the Prussian Free-Corps still continuing obstinate. It was Soltikof's last act in those parts, and betokens a sulphurous state of humor.
Next morning (October 24th), he took the road for Posen, and marched bodily home. [Tempelhof, iii. 299, 291-300 (general account, abundantly minute).] Home verily, in spite of Montalembert and all men. "And for me, what orders has Excellency?" Loudon had anxiously inquired, on the eve of that event. "None whatever!" answered Excellency: "Do your own pleasure; go whithersoever seems good to you." And Loudon had to take a wide sweep round, by Kalish, through the western parts of Poland; and get home to the Troppau-Teschen Country as he best could.
By Kalish, by Czenstochow, Cracow, poor Loudon had to go: a dismal march of 300 miles or more,—waited on latterly by Fouquet, with Werner, Goltz and others, on the Silesian Border; whom Friedrich had ordered thither for such end. Whom Loudon skilfully avoided to fight; having already, by desertion and by hardships, lost half his men on the road. Glad enough to get home and under roof, with his 20,000 gone to 10,000; and to make bargain with Fouquet: "Truce, then, through Winter; neither of us to meddle with the other, unless after a fortnight's warning given." [Tempelhof, iii. 328-331.] NOVEMBER 1st, a month before this, the King, carried on a litter by his soldiers, had quitted Sophienthal; and, crossing the River by Koben, got to Glogau. [Rodenbeck, i. 396.] The greater part of his force, 13,000 under Hulsen, he had immediately sent on for Saxony; he himself intending to wait recovery in Glogau, with this Silesian wing of the business happily brought to finis for the present.
On the Saxon side, too, affairs are in such a course that the King can be patient at Glogau till he get well. Everything is prosperous in Saxony since that March on Hoyerswerda; Henri, with his Fincks and Wunsches, beautifully posted in the Meissen-Torgau region; no dislodging of him, let Daun, with his big mass of forces, try as he may. Daun, through the month of October, is in various Camps, in Schilda last of all: Henri successively in two; in Strehla for some ten days; then in Torgau for about three weeks, carefully intrenched, [Tempelhof. iii. 276, 281, 284 (Henri in Strehla, October 4th-17th; thence to Torgau: 22d October, Daun "quits his Camp of Belgern" for that of Schilda, which was his last in those parts).]—where traces of him will turn up (not too opportunely) next year. Daun, from whatever Camp, goes laboring on this side and on that; on every side the deft Henri is as sharp as needles; nothing to be made of him by the cunning movements and contrivances of Daun. Very fine manoeuvring it was, especially on Henri's part; a charm to the soldier mind;—given minutely in Tempelhof, and capable of being followed (if you have Maps and Patience) into the last details. Instructive really to the soldier;—but must be, almost all, omitted here. One beautiful slap to Duke d'Ahremberg (a poor old friend of Daun's and ours) we will remember: "Action of Pretsch" they call it; defeat, almost capture of poor D'Ahremberg; who had been sent to dislodge the Prince, by threatening his supplies, and had wheeled, accordingly, eastward, wide away; but, to his astonishment, found, after a march or two, Three select Prussian Corps emerging on him, by front, by rear, by flank, with Horse-artillery (quasi-miraculous) bursting out on hill-tops, too,—and, in short, nothing for it but to retreat, or indeed to run, in a considerably ruinous style: poor D'Ahremberg! [Seyfarth (Beylagen, ii. 634-637), "HOFBERICHT VON DER AM 29 OCTOBER, 1759, BEY MEURO [chiefly BEY PRETSCH] VORGEFALLENEN ACTION;" ib. ii. 543 n.] On the whole, Daun is reduced to a panting condition; and knows not what to do. His plans were intrinsically bad, says Tempelhof; without beating Henri in battle, which he cannot bring himself to attempt, he, in all probability, will, were it only for difficulties of the commissariat kind, have to fall back Dresden-ward, and altogether take himself away. [Tempelhof, iii. 287-289.]
After this sad slap at Pretsch, Daun paused for consideration; took to palisading himself to an extraordinary degree, slashing the Schilda Forests almost into ruin for this end; and otherwise sat absolutely quiet. Little to be done but take care of oneself. Daun knows withal of Hulsen's impending advent with the Silesian 13,000;—November 2d, Hulsen is actually at Muskau, and his 13,000 magnified by rumor to 20,000. Hearing of which, Daun takes the road (November 4th); quits his gloriously palisaded Camp of Schilda; feels that retreat on Dresden, or even home to Bohemia altogether, is the one course left.
And now, the important Bautzen Colloquy of SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th, having here brought its three or more Courses of Activity to a pause,—we will glance at the far more important THURSDAY, 13th, other side the Ocean:—
ABOVE QUEBEC, NIGHT OF SEPTEMBER 12th-13th, In profound silence, on the stream of the St. Lawrence far away, a notable adventure is going on. Wolfe, from two points well above Quebec ("As a last shift, we will try that way"), with about 5,000 men, is silently descending in boats; with purpose to climb the Heights somewhere on this side the City, and be in upon it, if Fate will. An enterprise of almost sublime nature; very great, if it can succeed. The cliffs all beset to his left hand, Montcalm in person guarding Quebec with his main strength.
Wolfe silently descends; mind made up; thoughts hushed quiet into one great thought; in the ripple of the perpetual waters, under the grim cliffs and the eternal stars. Conversing with his people, he was heard to recite some passages of Gray's ELEGY, lately come out to those parts; of which, says an ear-witness, he expressed his admiration to an enthusiastic degree: "Ah, these are tones of the Eternal Melodies, are not they? A man might thank Heaven had he such a gift; almost as WE might for succeeding here, Gentlemen!" [Professor Robison, then a Naval Junior, in the boat along with Wolfe, afterwards a well-known Professor of Natural Philosophy at Edinburgh, was often heard, by persons whom I have heard again, to repeat this Anecdote. See Playfair, BIOGRAPHICAL ACCOUNT OF PROFESSOR ROBISON,—in Transactions of Royal Society of Edinburgh, vii. 495 et seq.] Next morning (Thursday, 13th September, 1759), Wolfe, with his 5,000, is found to have scrambled up by some woody Neck in the heights, which was not quite precipitous; has trailed one cannon with him, the seamen busy bringing up another; and by 10 of the clock stands ranked (really somewhat in the Friedrich way, though on a small scale); ready at all points for Montcalm, but refusing to be over-ready.
Montcalm, on first hearing of him, had made haste: "OUI, JE LES VOIS OU ILS NE DOIVENT PAS ETRE; JE VAIS LES E'CRASER (to smash them)!" said he, by way of keeping his people in heart. And marches up, beautifully skilful, neglecting none of his advantages. Has numerous Canadian sharpshooters, preliminary Indians in the bushes, with a provoking fire: "Steady!" orders Wolfe; "from you not one shot till they are within thirty yards." And Montcalm, volleying and advancing, can get no response, more than from Druidic stones; till at thirty yards the stones become vocal,—and continue so at a dreadful rate; and, in a space of seventeen minutes, have blown Montcalm's regulars, and the gallant Montcalm himself, and their second in command, and their third, into ruin and destruction. In about seven minutes more the agony was done; "English falling on with the bayonet, Highlanders with the claymore;" fierce pursuit, rout total:—and Quebec and Canada as good as finished. The thing is yet well known to every Englishman; [The military details of it seem to be very ill known (witness Colonel Beatson's otherwise rather careful Pamphlet, THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM, written quite lately, which we are soon to cite farther); and they would well deserve describing in the SEYFARTH-BEYLAGEN, or even in the TEMPELHOF way,—could an English Officer, on the spot as this Colonel was, be found to do it!—Details are in Beatson (quite another "Beatson"), Naval and Military History, ii. 300-308; in Gentleman's Magazine for 1759, the Despatches and particulars: see also Walpole, George the Second, iii. 217-222.] and how Wolfe himself died in it, his beautiful death.
Truly a bit of right soldierhood, this Wolfe. Manages his small resources in a consummate manner; invents, contrives, attempts and re-attempts, irrepressible by difficulty or discouragement, How could a Friedrich himself have managed this Quebec in a more artistic way? The small Battle itself, 5,000 to a side, and such odds of Savagery and Canadians, reminds you of one of Friedrich's: wise arrangements; exact foresight, preparation corresponding; caution with audacity; inflexible discipline, silent till its time come, and then blazing out as we see. The prettiest soldiering I have heard of among the English for several generations. Amherst, Commander-in-chief, is diligently noosing, and tying up, the French military settlements, Niagara, Ticonderoga; Canada all round: but this is the heart or windpipe of it; keep this firm, and, in the circumstances, Canada is yours.
Colonel Reatson, in his recent Pamphlet, THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM,—which, especially on the military side, is distressingly ignorant and shallow, though NOT intentionally incorrect anywhere,—gives Extracts from a Letter of Montcalm's ("Quebec, 24th August, 1759"), which is highly worth reading, had we room. It predicts to a hair's-breadth, not only the way "M. Wolfe, if he understands his trade, will take to beat and ruin me if we meet in fight;" but also,—with a sagacity singular to look at, in the years 1775-1777, and perhaps still more in the years 1860-1863,—what will be the consequences to those unruly English, Colonial and other. "If he beat me here, France has lost America utterly," thinks Montcalm: "Yes;—and one's only consolation is, In ten years farther, America will be in revolt against England!" Montcalm's style of writing is not exemplary; but his power of faithful observation, his sagacity, and talent of prophecy are so considerable, we are tempted to give the IPSISSIMA VERBA of his long Letter in regard to those two points,—the rather as it seems to have fallen much out of sight in our day:—
MONTCALM TO A COUSIN IN FRANCE.
"CAMP BEFORE QUEBEC, 24th August, 1759.
"MONSIEUR ET CHER COUSIN,—Here I am, for more than three months past, at handgrips with M. Wolfe; who ceases not day or night to bombard Quebec, with a fury which is almost unexampled in the Siege of a Place one intends to retain after taking it."... Will never take it in that way, however, by attacking from the River or south shore; only ruins us, but does not enrich himself. Not an inch nearer his object than he was three months ago; and in one month more the equinoctial storms will blow his Fleet and him away.—Quebec, then, and the preservation of the Colony, you think, must be as good as safe?" Alas, the fact is far otherwise. The capture of Quebec depends on what we call a stroke-of-hand—[But let us take to the Original now, for Prediction First]:—
"La prise de Quebec depend d'un coup de main. Les Anglais sont maitres de la riviere: ils n'ont qu'a effectuer une descente sur la rive ou cette Ville, sans fortifications et sans defense, est situee. Les voila en etat de me presenter la bataille; que je ne pourrais plus refuser, et que je ne devrais pas gagner. M. Wolfe, en effet, s'il entend son metier, n'a qu'a essuyer le premier feu, venir ensuite a grands pas sur mon armee, faire a bout portant sa decharge; mes Canadiens, sans discipline, sourds a la voix du tambour et des instrumens militaires, deranges pa cette escarre, ne sauront plus reprendre leurs rangs. Ils sont d'ailleurs sans baionettes pour repondre a celles de l'ennemi: il ne leur reste qu'a fuir,—et me voila battu sans ressource. [This is a curiously exact Prediction! I won't survive, however; defeat here, in this stage of our affairs, means loss of America altogether:] il est des situations ou il ne reste plus a un General que de perir avec honneur.... Mes sentimens sont francais, et ils le seront jusque dans le tombeau, si dans le tombeau on est encore quelque chose.
"Je me consolerai du moins de ma defaite, et de la perte de la Colonie, par l'intime persuasion ou je suis [Prediction Second, which is still more curious], que cette defaite vaudra, un jour, a ma Patrie plus qu'une victoire; et que le vainqueur, en s'agrandissant, trouvera un tombeau dans son agrandissement meme.
"Ce que j'avance ici, mon cher Cousin, vous paraitra un paradoxe: mais un moment de reflexion politique, un coup d'oeil sur la situation des choses en Amerique, et la verite de mon opinion brillera dans tout son jour. [Nobody will obey, unless necessity compel him: VOILA LES HOMMES; GENE of any kind a nuisance to them; and of all men in the world LES ANGLAIS are the most impatient of obeying anybody.] Mais si ce sont-la les Anglais de l'Europe, c'est encore plus les Anglais d'Amerique. Une grande partie de ces Colons sont les enfans de ces hommes qui s'expatrierent dans ces temps de trouble ou l'ancienne Angleterre, en proie aux divisions, etait attaquee dans ses privileges et droits; et allerent chercher en Amerique une terre ou ils pussent vivre et mourir libres et presque independants:—et ces enfans n'ont pas degenere des sentimens republicains de leurs peres. D'autres sont des hommes ennemis de tout frein, de tout assujetissement, que le gouvernement y a transportes pour leurs crimes, D'autres, enfin, sont un ramas de differentes nations de l'Europe, qui tiennent tres-peu a l'ancienne Angleterre par le coeur et le sentiment; tous, en general, ne ce soucient gueres du Roi ni du Parlement d'Angleterre.
"Je les connais bien,—non sur des rapports etrangers, mais sur des correspondances et des informations secretes, que j'ai moi-meme menagees; et dont, un jour, si Dieu me prete vie, je pourrai faire usage a l'avantage de ma Patrie. Pour surcroit de bonheur pour eux, tous ces Colons sont parvenues, dans un etat tres-florissant; ils sont nombreux et riches:—ils recueillent dans le sein de leur patrie toutes les necessites de la vie. L'ancienne Angleterre a ete assez sotte, et assez dupe, pour leur laisser etablir chez eux les arts, les metiers, les manufactures:—c'est a dire, qu'elle leur a laisse briser la chaine de besoins qui les liait, qui les attachait a elle, et qui les fait dependants. Aussi toutes ces Colonies Anglaises auraient-elles depuis longtemps secoue le joug, chaque province aurait forme une petite republique independante, si la crainte de voir les Francais a leur Porte n'avait ete un frein qui les avait retenu. Maitres pour maitres, ils ont pefere leurs compatriotes aux etrangers; prenant cependant pour maxime de n'obeir que le moins qu'ils pourraient. Mais que le Canada vint a etre conquis, et que les Canadiens et ces Colons ne fussent plus qu'une seul peuple,—et la premiere occasion ou l'ancienne Angleterre semblerait toucher a leurs interets, croyez-vous, mon cher Cousin, que ces Colons obeiront? Et qu'auraient-ils a craindre en se revoltant?... Je suis si sur de ce que j'ecris, que je ne donnerais pas dix ans apres la conquete du Canada pour en voir l'accomplissement.
"Voila ce que, comme Francais, me console aujourd'hui du danger imminent, que court ma Patrie, de voir cette Colonie perdue pour elle." [In Beatson, Lieutenant-Colonel R.E., The Plains of Abraham; Notes original and selected (Gibraltar, Garrison Library Press, 1858), pp. 38 et seq.] Extract from "Lettres de M. le Marquis de Montcalm a MM. De Berryer et De la Mole: 1757-1759 (Londres, 1777),"—which is not in the British-Museum Library, on applying; and seems to be a forgotten Book. (NOTE OF FIRST EDITION, 1865.)
"A Copy is in the BOSTON ATHENAEUM LIBRARY, New-England: it is a Pamphlet rather than a Book; contains Two Letters to Berryer MINISTRE DE LA MARINE, besides this to Mole the Cousin: Publisher is the noted J. Almon,—in French and English." (From Boston Sunday Courier, of 19th April, 1868, where this Letter is reproduced.)
In the Temple Library, London, I have since found a Copy: and, on strict survey, am obliged to pronounce the whole Pamphlet a FORGERY,—especially the Two Letters to "Berryer MINISTER OF MARINE;" who was not yet Minister of anything, nor thought of as likely to be, for many months after the date of these Letters addressed to him as such! Internal evidence too, were such at all wanted, is abundant in these BERRYER Letters; which are of gross and almost stupid structure in comparison to the MOLE one. As this latter has already got into various Books, and been argued of in Parliaments and high places (Lord Shelburne asserting it to be spurious, Lord Mansfield to be genuine: REPORT OF PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES in Gentleman's Magazine for NOVEMBER and for DECEMBER, 1777, pp. 515, 560),—it may be allowed to continue here in the CONDEMNED state. Forger, probably, some Ex-Canadian, or other American ROYALIST, anxious to do the Insurgent Party and their British Apologists an ill turn, in that critical year;—had shot off his Pamphlet to voracious Almon; who prints without preface or criticism, and even without correcting the press. (NOTE OF JULY, 1868.)
Montcalm had been in the Belleisle RETREAT FROM PRAG (December, 1742); in the terrible EXILLES Business (July, 1747), where the Chevalier de Belleisle and 4 or 5,000 lost their lives in about an hour. Captain Cook was at Quebec, Master in the Royal Navy; "sounding the River, and putting down buoys." Bougainville, another famous Navigator, was Aide-de-Camp of Montcalm. There have been far-sounding Epics built together on less basis than lies ready here, in this CAPTURE OF QUEBEC;—which itself, as the Decision that America is to be English and not French, is surely an Epoch in World-History! Montcalm was 48 when he perished; Wolfe 33. Montcalm's skull is in the Ursulines Convent at Quebec,—shown to the idly curious to this day. [Lieutenant-Colonel Beatson, pp. 28, 15.]
It was on October 17th,—while Friedrich lay at Sophienthal, lamed of gout, and Soltikof had privately fixed for home (went that day week),—that this glorious bit of news reached England. It was only three days after that other, bad and almost hopeless news, from the same quarter; news of poor Wolfe's Repulse, on the other or eastern side of Quebec, July 31st, known to us already, not known in England till October 14th. Heightened by such contrast, the news filled all men with a strange mixture of emotions. "The incidents of Dramatic Fiction," says one who was sharer in it, "could not have been conducted with more address to lead an audience from despondency to sudden exultation, than Accident had here prepared to excite the passions of a whole People. They despaired; they triumphed; and they wept,—for Wolfe had fallen in the hour of victory! Joy, grief, curiosity, astonishment, were painted in every countenance: the more they inquired, the higher their admiration rose. Not an incident but was heroic and affecting." [Walpole, iii. 219.] America ours; but the noble Wolfe now not!
What Pitt himself said of these things, we do not much hear. On the meeting of his Parliament, about a month hence, his Speech, somebody having risen to congratulate and eulogize him, is still recognizably of royal quality, if we evoke it from the Walpole Notes. Very modest, very noble, true; and with fine pieties and magnanimities delicately audible in it: "Not a week all Summer but has been a crisis, in which I have not known whether I should not be torn to pieces, instead of being commended, as now by the Honorable Member. The hand of Divine Providence; the more a man is versed in business, the more he everywhere traces that!... Success has given us unanimity, not unanimity success. For my own poor share, I could not have dared as I have done, except in these times. Other Ministers have hoped as well, but have not been so circumstanced to dare so much.... I think the stone almost rolled to the top of the hill; but let us have a care; it may rebound, and hideously drag us down with it again." [Ib. iii. 225; Thackeray, i. 446.]
The essential truth, moreover, is, Pitt has become King of England; so lucky has poor England, in its hour of crisis, again been. And the difference between an England guided by some kind of Friedrich (temporary Friedrich, absolute, though of insecure tenure), and by a Newcastle and the Clack of Tongues, is very great! But for Pitt, there had been no Wolfe, no Amherst; Duke Ferdinand had been the Royal Highness of Cumberland,—and all things going round him in St. Vitus, at their old rate. This man is a King, for the time being,—King really of the Friedrich type;—and rules, Friedrich himself not more despotically, where need is. Pitt's War-Offices, Admiralties, were not of themselves quick-going entities; but Pitt made them go. Slow-paced Lords in Office have remonstrated, on more than one occasion: "Impossible, Sir; these things cannot be got ready at the time you order!" "My Lord, they indispensably must," Pitt would answer (a man always reverent of coming facts, knowing how inexorable they are); and if the Negative continued obstinate in argument, he has been known to add: "My Lord, to the King's service, it is a fixed necessity of time. Unless the time is kept, I will impeach your Lordship!" Your Lordship's head will come to lie at your Lordship's feet! Figure a poor Duke of Newcastle, listening to such a thing;—and knowing that Pitt will do it; and that he can, such is his favor with universal England;—and trembling and obeying. War-requisites for land and for sea are got ready with a Prussian punctuality,—at what multiple of the Prussian expense, is a smaller question for Pitt.
It is about eighteen months ago that Pownal, Governor of New England, a kind of half-military person, not without sound sense, though sadly intricate of utterance,—of whom Pitt, just entering on Office, has, I suppose, asked an opinion on America, as men do of Learned Counsel on an impending Lawsuit of magnitude,—had answered, in his long-winded, intertwisted, nearly inextricable way, to the effect, "Sir, I incline to fear, on the whole, that the Action will NOT lie,—that, on the whole, the French will eat America from us in spite of our teeth." [In THACKERAY, ii. 421-452, Pownal's intricate REPORT (his "DISCOURSE," or whatever he calls it, "ON THE DEFENCE OF THE INLAND FRONTIERS," his &c. &c.), of date "15th January, 1758."] January 15th, 1758, that is the Pownal Opinion-of-Counsel;—and on September 13th, 1759, this is what we have practically come to. And on September 7th, 1760: within twelve months more,—Amherst, descending the Rapids from Ticonderoga side, and two other little Armies, ascending from Quebec and Louisburg, to meet him at Montreal, have proved punctual almost to an hour; and are in condition to extinguish, by triple pressure (or what we call noosing), the French Governor-General in Montreal, a Monsieur de Vaudreuil, and his Montreal and his Canada altogether; and send the French bodily home out of those Continents. [Capitulation between Amherst and Vaudreuil ("Montreal, 8th September, 1760"), in 55 Articles: in BEATSON, iii. 274-283.] Which may dispense us from speaking farther on the subject.
From the Madras region, too, from India and outrageous Lally, the news are good. Early in Spring last, poor Lally,—a man of endless talent and courage, but of dreadfully emphatic loose tongue, in fact of a blazing ungoverned Irish turn of mind,—had instantly, on sight of some small Succors from Pitt, to raise his siege of Madras, retire to Pondicherry; and, in fact, go plunging and tumbling downhill, he and his India with him, at an ever-faster rate, till they also had got to the Abyss. "My policy is in these five words, NO ENGLISHMAN IN THIS PENINSULA," wrote he, a year ago, on landing in India; and now it is to be No FRENCHMAN, and there is one word in the five to be altered!—Of poor Lally, zealous and furious over-much, and nearly the most unfortunate and worst-used "man of genius" I ever read of, whose lion-like struggles against French Official people, and against Pitt's Captains and their sea-fights and siegings, would deserve a volume to themselves, we have said, and can here say, as good as nothing,—except that they all ended, for Lally and French India, in total surrender, 16th January, 1761; and that Lally, some years afterwards, for toils undergone and for services done, got, when accounts came to be liquidated, death on the scaffold. Dates I give below. [28th April, 1758, Lands at Pondicherry; instantly proceeds upon Fort St. David. 2d June, 1758, Takes it: meant to have gone now on Madras; but finds he has no money;—goes extorting money from Black Potentates about, Rajah of Travancore, &c., in a violent and extraordinary style; and can get little. Nevertheless, 14th December, 1758, Lays Siege to Madras.]
16th February, 1759, Is obliged to quit trenches at Madras, and retire dismally upon Pondicherry,—to mere indigence, mutiny ("ten mutinies"), Official conspiracy, and chaos come again.
22d January, 1760, Makes outrush on Wandewash, and the English posted there; is beaten, driven back into Pondicherry. April, 1760, Is besieged in Pondicherry. 16th January, 1761, Is taken, Pondicherry, French India and he;—to Madras he, lest the French Official party kill him, as they attempt to do.
23d September, 1761, arrives, prisoner, in England: thence, on parole, to France and Paris, 21st October. November, 1762, To Bastille; waits trial nineteen months; trial lasts two years. 6th May, 1766, To be BEHEADED,—9th May was. [See BEATSON, ii. 369-372, 96-110, &c.; Voltaire (FRAGMENTS SUR L'INDE) in OEuvres, xxix. 183-253; BIOGRAPHIC UNIVERSELLE, Lally.]
"Gained Fontenoy for us," said many persons;—undoubtedly gained various things for us, fought for us Berserkir-like on all occasions; hoped, in the end, to be Marechal de France, and undertook a Championship of India, which issues in this way! America and India, it is written, are both to be Pitt's. Let both, if possible, remain silent to us henceforth.
As to the Invasion-of-England Scheme, Pitt says he does not expect the French will invade us; but if they do, he is ready. [Speech, 4th November, supra.]
Chapter VII.—FRIEDRICH REAPPEARS ON THE FIELD, AND IN SEVEN DAYS AFTER COMES THE CATASTROPHE OF MAXEN.
November 6th-8th, Daun had gone to Meissen Country: fairly ebbing homeward; Henri following, with Hulsen joined,—not vehemently attacking the rhinoceros, but judiciously pricking him forward. Daun goes at his slowest step: in many divisions, covering a wide circuit; sticking to all the strong posts, till his own time for quitting them: slow, sullenly cautious; like a man descending dangerous precipices back foremost, and will not be hurried. So it had lasted about a week; Daun for the last four days sitting restive, obstinate, but Henri pricking into him more and more, till the rhinoceros seemed actually about lifting himself,—when Friedrich in person arrived in his Brother's Camp. [Tempelhof, iii. 301-305.]
At the Schloss of Herschstein, a mile or two behind Lommatsch, which is Henri's head-quarter (still to westward of Meissen; Daun hanging on, seven or eight miles to southeastward ahead; loath to go, but actually obliged),—it was there, Tuesday, November 13th, that the King met his Brother again. A King free of his gout; in joyful spirits; and high of humor,—like a man risen indignant, once more got to his feet, after three months' oppressions and miseries from the unworthy. "Too high," mourns Retzow, in a gloomy tone, as others do in perhaps a more indulgent one. Beyond doubt, Friedrich's farther procedures in this grave and weighty Daun business were more or less imprudent; of a too rapid and rash nature; and turned out bitterly unlucky to him. "Had he left the management to Henri!" sighed everybody, after the unlucky event.
Friedrich had not arrived above four-and-twenty hours, when news came in: "The Austrians in movement again; actually rolling off Dresden-ward again." "Haha, do they smell me already!" laughed he: "Well, I will send Daun to the Devil,"—not adding, "if I can." And instantly ordered sharp pursuit,—and sheer stabbing with the ox-goad, not soft and delicate pricking, as Henri's lately. [Retzow, ii. 168; Tempelhof, iii. 306.] Friedrich, in fact; was in a fiery condition against Daun: "You trampled on me, you heavy buffalo, these three months; but that is over now!"—and took personally the vanguard in this pursuit. And had a bit of hot fighting in the Village of Korbitz (scene of that Finck-Haddick "Action," 21st September last, and of poor Haddick's ruin, and retirement to the Waters);—where the Austrians now prove very fierce and obstinate; and will not go, till well slashed into, and torn out by sheer beating:—which was visibly a kind of comfort to the King's humor. "Our Prussians do still fight, then, much as formerly! And it was all a hideous Nightmare, all that, and Daylight and Fact are come, and Friedrich is himself again!"
They say Prince Henri took the liberty of counselling him, even of entreating him: "Leave well alone; why run risks?" said Henri. Daun, it was pretty apparent, had no outlook at the present but that of sauntering home to Bohmen; leaving Dresden to be an easy prey again, and his whole Campaign to fall futile, as the last had. Under Henri's gentle driving he would have gone slower; but how salutary, if he only went! These were Henri's views: but Friedrich was not in the slow humor; impatient to be in Dresden; "will be quartered there in a week," writes he, "and more at leisure than now." ["Wilsdruf, 17th November, 1759," and still more "19th November," Friedrich to Voltaire in high spirits that way (OEuvres de Frederic, xxiii. 66).] He is thinking of Leuthen, of Rossbach, of Campaign 1757, so gloriously restored after ruin; and, in the fire of his soul, is hoping to do something similar a second time. That is Retzow's notion: who knows but there may be truth in it? A proud Friedrich, got on his feet again after such usage;—nay, who knows whether it was quite so unwise to be impressive on the slow rhinoceros, and try to fix some thorn in his snout, or say (figuratively), to hobble his hind-feet; which, I am told, would have been beautifully ruinous; and, though riskish, was not impossible? [Tempelhof, iii. 311, &c.] Ill it indisputably turned out; and we have, with brevity, to say how, and leave readers to their judgment of it.
It was in the Village of Krogis, about six miles forward, on the Meissen-Freyberg road, a mile or two on from Korbitz, and directly after the fierce little tussle in that Village,—that Friedrich, his blood still up, gave the Order for Maxen, which proved so unlucky to him. Wunsch had been shot off in pursuit of the beaten Austrians; but they ran too fast; and Wunsch came back without farther result, still early in the day. Back as far as Krogis, where the next head-quarter is to be;—and finds the King still in a fulminant condition; none the milder, it is likely, by Wunsch's returning without result. "Go straight to General Finck; bid him march at once!" orders the King; and rapidly gives Wunsch the instructions Finck is to follow. Finck and his Corps are near Nossen, some ten miles ahead of Krogis, some twenty west from Dresden. There, since yesterday, stands Finck, infesting the left or western flank of the Austrians,—what was their left, and will be again, when they call halt and face round on us:—Let Finck now march at once, quite round that western flank; by Freyberg, Dippoldiswalde, thence east to Maxen; plant himself at Maxen (a dozen miles south of Dresden, among the rocky hills), and stick diligently in the rear of those Austrians, cutting off, or threatening to cut off, their communications with Bohemia, and block the Pirna Country for them.
Friedrich calculates that, if Daun is for retreating by Pirna Country, this will, at lowest, be a method to quicken him in that movement; or perhaps it may prove a method to cut off such retreat altogether, and force Daun to go circling by the Lausitz Hills and Wildernesses, exposed to tribulations which may go nigh to ruin him. That is Friedrich's proud thought: "an unfortunate Campaign; winding up, nevertheless, as 1757 did, in blazes of success!" And truly, if Friedrich could have made himself into Two; and, while flashing and charging in Daun's front, have been in command at Maxen in Daun's rear,—Friedrich could have made a pretty thing of this waxen Enterprise; and might in good part have realized his proud program. But there is no getting two Friedrichs. Finck, a General of approved quality, he is the nearest approach we can make to a second Friedrich;—and he, ill-luck too super-adding itself, proves tragically inadequate. And sets all the world, and Opposition Retzow, exclaiming, "See: Pride goes before a fall!"—
At 3 in the afternoon, Friedrich, intensely surveying from the heights of Krogis the new Austrian movements and positions, is astonished, not agreeably ("What, still only here, Herr General!"), by a personal visit from Finck. Finck finds the Maxen business intricate, precarious; wishes farther instructions, brings forward this objection and that. Friedrich at last answers, impatiently: "You know I can't stand making of difficulties (ER WEISS DASS ICH DIE DIFFICULTATEN NICHT LEIDEN KANN; MACHE DASS ER FORT KOMMT); contrive to get it done!" With which poor comfort Finck has to ride back to Nossen; and scheme out his dispositions overnight.
Next morning, Thursday, 15th, Finck gets on march; drives the Reichsfolk out of Freyberg; reaches Dippoldiswalde:—"Freyberg is to be my Magazine," considers Finck; "Dippoldiswalde my half-way house; Four Battalions of my poor Eighteen shall stand there, and secure the meal-carts." Friday, 16th, Finck has his Vanguard, Wunsch leading it, in possession of Maxen and the Heights; and on Saturday gets there himself, with all his people and equipments. I should think about 12,000 men: in a most intersected, intertwisted Hill Country; full of gullets, dells and winding brooks;—it is forecourt of the Pirna rocks, our celebrated Camp of Gahmig lies visible to north, Dohna and the Rothwasser bounding us to east;—in grim November weather, some snow falling, or snow-powder, alternating with sleet and glazing frosts: by no means a beautiful enterprise to Finck. Nor one of his own choosing, had one a choice in such cases.
To Daun nothing could be more unwelcome than this news of Finck, embattled there at Maxen in the inextricable Hill Country, direct on the road of Daun's meal-carts and Bohemian communications. And truly withal,—what Daun does not yet hear, but can guess,—there is gone, in supplement or as auxiliary to Finck, a fierce Hussar party, under GRUNE Kleist, their fiercest Hussar since Mayer died; who this very day, at Aussig, burns Daun's first considerable Magazine; and has others in view for the same fate. [Friedrich's second Letter to Voltaire, Wilsdruf, "19th November, 1759."] An evident thing to Daun, that Finck being there, meal has ceased.
On the instant, Daun falls back on Dresden; Saturday, 17th, takes post in the Dell of Plauen (PLAUEN'SCHE GRUND); an impassable Chasm, with sheer steeps on both sides, stretching southward from Dresden in front of the Hill Country: thither Daun marches, there to consider what is to be done with Finck. Amply safe this position is; none better in the world: a Village, Plauen, and a Brook, Weistritz, in the bottom of this exquisite Chasm; sheer rock-walls on each side,—high especially on the Daun, or south side;—head-quarters can be in Dresden itself; room for your cavalry on the plain ground between Dresden and the Chasm. A post both safe and comfortable; only you must not loiter in making up your mind as to Finck; for Friedrich has followed on the instant. Friedrich's head-quarter is already Wilsdruf, which an hour or two ago was Daun's: at Kesselsdorf vigilant Ziethen is vanguard. So that Friedrich looks over on you from the northern brow of your Chasm; delays are not good near such a neighbor.
Daun—urged on by Lacy, they say—is not long in deciding that, in this strait, the short way out will be to attack Finck in the Hills. Daun is in the Hills, as well as Finck (this Plauen Chasm is the boundary-ditch of the Hills): Daun with 27,000 horse and foot, moving on from this western part; 3,000 light people (one Sincere the leader of them) moving simultaneously from Dresden itself, that is, from northward or northwestward; 12,000 Reichsfolk, horse and foot, part of them already to southeastward of Finck, other part stealing on by the Elbe bank thitherward: here, from three different points of the compass, are 42,000. These simultaneously dashing in, from west, north, south, upon Finck, may surely give account of his 12,000 and him! If only we can keep Friedrich dark upon it; which surely our Pandours will contrive to do.
Finck, directly on arriving at Maxen, had reported himself to the King; and got answer before next morning: "Very well; but draw in those Four Battalions you have left in Dippoldiswalde; hit with the whole of your strength, when a chance offers." Which order Finck, literally and not too willingly, obeys; leaves only some light remnant in Dippoldiswalde, and reinforcement to linger within reach, till a certain Bread-convoy come to him, which will be due next morning (Monday, 19th); and which does then safely get home, though under annoyances from cannonading in the distance.
SUNDAY, 18th, Finck fails not to reconnoitre from the highest Hill-top; to inquire by every method: he finds, for certain, that the enemy are coming in upon him. With his own eyes he sees Reichsfolk marching, in quantity, southeastward by the Elbe shore: "Intending towards Dohna, as is like?"—and despatched Wunsch, who, accordingly, drove them out of Dohna. Of all this Finck, at once, sent word to Friedrich. Who probably enough received the message; but who would get no new knowledge from it,—vigilant Ziethen having, by Austrian deserters and otherwise, discovered this of the Reichsfolk; and furthermore that Sincere with 3,000 was in motion, from the north, upon Finck. Sunday evening, Friedrich despatches Ziethen's Report; which punctually came to Finck's hand; but was the last thing he received from Friedrich, or Friedrich from him. The intervening Pandours picked up all the rest. The Ziethen REPORT, of two or three lines, most succinct but sufficient, like a cutting of hard iron, is to be read in many Books: we may as well give the Letter and it:—
FRIEDRICH'S LETTER (WILSDRUF, 18th NOVEMBER, 1759). "My dear General-Lieutenant von Finck,—I send you the enclosed Report from General Ziethen, showing what is the lie of matters as seen from this side; and leave the whole to your disposition and necessary measures. I am your well-affectioned King,—F." The Enclosure is as follows:—
GENERAL ZIETHEN'S REPORT (KESSELSDORF, 18th NOVEMBER, 1759). "To your Royal Majesty, send [no pronoun "I" allowed] herewith a Corporal, who has deserted from the Austrians. He says, Sincere with the Reserve did march with the Reichs Army; but a league behind it, and turned towards Dippoldiswalde. General Brentano [Wehla's old comrade, luckier than Wehla], as this Deserter heard last night in Daun's head-quarter,—which is in the southern Suburb of Dresden, in the Countess Moschinska's Garden,—was yesterday to have been in Dohlen [looking into our outposts from the hither side of their Plauen Dell], but was not there any longer," as our Deserter passed, "and it was said that he had gone to Maxen at three in the afternoon." [Tempelhof, iii. 309.]