SEVEN-YEARS WAR RISES TO A HEIGHT
BATTLE OF HOCHKIRCH
So soon as Friedrich quitted Bohemia and Silesia for his Russian Enterprise, there rose high question at Vienna, "To what shall our Daun now turn himself?" A Daun, a Reichs Army, free for new employment; in Saxony not much to oppose them, in Silesia almost nothing in comparison. "Recapture of Silesia?" Yes truly; that is the steady pole-star at Vienna. But they have no Magazines in Silesia, no Siege-furnitures; and the season is far spent. They decide that there shall be a stroke upon Dresden, and recovery of Saxony, in Friedrich`s absence. Nothing there at present but a Prince Henri, weak in numbers, say one to two of the Reichs Army by itself. Let the Reichs Army rise now, and advance through the Metal Mountains from southeast on Prince Henri; let Daun circle round on him, through the Lausitz from northeast: cannot they extinguish Henri between them; snatch Dresden, a weak ill-fortified place, by sudden onslaught, and recapture Saxony? That will be magnanimous to our august Allies;--and that will be an excellent scaffolding for recapture of Silesia next year. And cannot Daun leave a Force in the Silesian vicinities,--Deville with so many thousands, Harsch with so many,--to besiege one of their Frontier Places; Neisse, for example? Siege-furnitures to come from Mahren: Neisse is not farther from Olmutz than Olmutz was from it.
That was the scheme fallen upon; now getting executed while Friedrich is at Zorndorf well away. And that, if readers fix it intelligently in their memory, will suffice to introduce to them the few words more that can be allowed us here upon it. A very few words, compressed to the utmost,--merely as preface to Hochkirch, whither we must hasten; Hochkirch being the one incident which, except to studious soldiers, has now and here any interest, out of the very many incidents which, then and there, were so intensely interesting to all mankind. To readers who are curious, and will take with them any poorest authentic Outline of the Localities concerned, the following condensed Note will not be unintelligible.
DAUN AND THE REICHS ARMY INVADE SAXONY, IN FRIEDRICH`S ABSENCE.
"Daun, pushing out with his best speed, along the Bohemian-Silesian border, had got to Zittau AUGUST 17th; which poor City is to be his basis and storehouse; the greatest activity and wagoning now visible there,"--among the burnt walls getting rebuilt. And in the same days, Zweibruck and his Reichs Army are vigorously afoot; Zweibruck pushing across the Metal Mountains, the fastest he can; intending to plant himself in Pirna Country. Not to mention General Dombale, Zweibruck`s Austrian Second; who has the Austrian 15,000 with him; and, by way of preface, has emerged to westward, in Zwickau-Tschopau Country; calculating that Prince Henri will not be able to attend to him just now. And in effect Prince Henri, intent upon Zweibruck and the Pirna Country, takes position in the old Prussian ground there (`head-quarter Gross Seidlitz,` as in 1756); and can only leave a Detachment in Tschopau Country to wait upon Dombale; who does at least shoot out Croat parties, `quite across Saxony, to Halle all the way,` and entertain the Gazetteers, if he can do little real mischief.
"AUGUST 19th, from Zittau, Daun, after short pause, again pushes forward,--nothing but Ziethen attending him in the distance, till we see whitherward;--Margraf Karl waiting impatient, at Grussau, till Ziethen see. [Tempelhof, ii. 258, 260 et seq.] Daun, soon after Zittau, shoots out Loudon, Brandenburg way, as if magnanimously intending `co-operation with the Russians;` which would give Daun pleasure, could it be done without cost. Loudon does despatch a 500 hussars to Frankfurt [Friedrich now gone for Custrin], who, I think, carry a Letter for Fermor there; but lose it by the way,"--for the benefit of readers, if they will wait. "Loudon captures a poor little place in Brandenburg itself; bullies it into surrender, after a day (the very day of Zorndorf Battle, `August 25th`):--place called Peitz, garrisoned by forty- five invalids; who go on `free withdrawal,` poor old souls, and leave their exiguous stock of salt-victual and military furnitures to Loudon. [In Helden-Geschichte, v. 229-232, the "Capitulation" IN EXTENSO.] Upon which Loudon whirls back out of those Countries; finding his skirts trodden on by Ziethen,--who now sees what Daun and he are at; and warns Margraf Karl [properly Keith, who has now joined again, as real president or chief] That HITHER is the way. Margraf Karl, on the slip for some time past, starts from Grussau instantly (I should guess, not above 25,000 of all arms); leaving Fouquet with perhaps 10,000 to do his utmost, when Generals Harsch and Deville with their 20 or 30,000 come upon Silesia and him,--as indeed they are already doing; already blockading Neisse, more or less, with an eye to besieging it so soon as possible.
"Meanwhile, Serene Highness of Zweibruck, the Reichsfolk and some Austrians with him, prefaced by Dombale more to westward, is wending into Pirna Country; and, in spite of what Prince Henri can do (Mayor and the Free Corps shining diligent, and Henri one of the watchfulest of men), Zweibruck does get in; sets Maguire with Austrians upon besieging Pirna, that is to say, the Sonnenstein of Pirna; 3d-5th SEPTEMBER, gets the Sonnenstein, a thought sooner than was counted on; [In Helden-Geschichte, v. 223-228, account of this poor Siege, and of the movements before and after.] and roots himself there,--`head-quarters in Struppen` again, `bridge at Ober-Raden` again, all as in 1756; which, if nothing else can well do it, may give his Highness a momentary interest with some readers here. Prince Henri is at Gross Seidlitz, alive every fibre of him: but with Daun circling round to northward on his left, intending evidently to take him in flank or rear; with Dombale already to rear, in the above circumstances, on his right; and Zweibruck himself lying here in front free to act, and impregnable if acted upon: what is Prince Henri to do? It is for Henri`s rear, not his flank, that Daun aims: AUGUST 26th, Daun, who had got to Gorlitz, a march or two from Zittau, started again at his best step by the Bautzen Highway towards Meissen Bridge, a 70 or 80 miles down the Elbe: there Daun intends to cross, and to double back upon Dresden and Prince Henri; who will thus find himself enclosed between THREE fires,--if two were not enough, or even if one (the Daun one itself, or the Zweibruck itself, not to count the Dombale), in such strength as Prince Henri has!
"A lost Prince Henri,--if there be not shift in him, if there be not help coming to him! Prince Henri, seeing how it was, drew back from Gross Seidlitz; with beautiful suddenness, one night; unmolested: in the morning, Zweibruch`s hussars find him posted ---------------------------------- ^ (sic) ?k ------------
inexpugnable on the Heights of Gahmig,--which is nearer Dresden a good step; nearer Dombale; and not so ready to be enclosed by Daun, without enclosure of Dresden too. Prince Henri`s manoeuvring, in this difficult situation, is the admiration of military men: how he stuck by Gahmig; but threw out, in the vital points, little camps, --`camp of Kesselsdorf` (a place memorable), on the west of Dresden; and on the east, in the north suburb of Dresden itself across the River (should we have to go across the River for Daun`s sake), a `strong abatis;` and neglected nothing; self and everybody under him, lively as eagles to make themselves dangerous, Mayer in particular distinguishing himself much. Prince Henri would have been a hard morsel for Daun. But beyond that, there is help on the road."
FRIEDRICH INTERVENING, DAUN DRAWS BACK; INTRENCHES HIMSELF IN NEIGHBORHOOD TO DRESDEN AND PIRNA; FRIEDRICH FOLLOWING HIM. FOUR ARMIES STANDING THERE, IN DEAD-LOCK, FOR A MONTH; WITH ISSUE, A FLANK-MARCH ON THE PART OF FRIEDRICH`S ARMY, WHICH HALTS AT HOCHKIRCH (September 12th-October 10th, 1758).
Daun, since August 26th, is striding towards Meissen Bridge; without rest, day after day, at the very top of his speed,--which I find is "nine miles a day;" [Tempelhof, ii. 261.] Bos being heavy of foot, at his best. September 1st, Daun has got within ten miles of Meissen Bridge, when--Here is news, my friends; King of Prussia has beaten our poor Russians; will soon be in full march this way! King of Prussia and Margraf Karl both bending hitherward; at the rate, say, of "nineteen miles a day," instead of nine:--Meissen Bridge is not the thing we shall want! Daun instantly calls halt, at this news; waits, intrenches; and, in a day or two, finding the news true, hurries to rearward all he can. From the Russian side too, Daun has heard of Zorndorf, and the grand "Victory" of Fermor there; but knows well, by this sudden re-emergence of the Anti- Fermor, what kind of Victory it is.
Was it here while waiting about Meissen, or where was it, that Daun got his Letter to Fermor answered in that singular way? The Letter of two weeks ago,--carried by Loudon`s Hussars, or by whomsoever,-- for certain, it was retorted or returned upon Daun; not as if from the Dead-Letter Office, but with an Answer he little expected! Here is what record I have; very vague for a well-known little fact of sparkling nature:--
"A curious Letter fell into Friedrich`s hands [Bearer, I always guess, the Loudon Hussar-Captain with his 500, pretending to form junction with Fermor], Prussian Hussars picking it up somewhere,-- date, place, circumstances, blurred into oblivion in those poor Books; Letter itself indisputable enough, and Answer following on it; Letter and Answer substantially to this effect:--
"DAUN TO FERMOR [Probably from Zittau, by Loudon`s Hussars].
"Your Excellenz does not know that wily Enemy as I do. By no means get into battle with such a one. Cautiously manoeuvre about; detain him there, till I have got my stroke in Saxony done: don`t try fighting him. DAUN."
"ANSWER AS FROM FERMOR (Zorndorf once done, Daun by the first opportunity got his Answer, duly signed `Fermor,` but evidently in a certain King`s handwriting):--
"Your Excellenz was in the right to warn me against a cunning Enemy, whom you knew better than I. Here have I tried fighting him, and got beaten. Your unfortunate "FERMOR." [Muller, Kurzgefasste Beschreibung der drei Schlesischen Kriege (Berlin, 1755); in whom, alone of all the reporters, is the story given in an intelligible form. This Muller`s Book is a meritoriously brief Summary, incorrect in no essential particular, and with all the Battle-Plans on one copperplate: LIEUTENANT Muller, this one; not PROFESSOR Muller, ALIAS Schottmuller by any means!]
September 9th, Friedrich and Margraf Karl, correct to their appointment, meet at Grossenhayn, some miles north of Meissen and its Bridge; by which time Daun is clean gone again, back well above Dresden again, strongly posted at Stolpen (a place we once heard of, in General Haddick`s time, last Year), well in contact with Daun`s Pirna friends across the River, and out of dangerous neighborhoods. Friedrich and the Margraf have followed Daun at quick step; but Daun would pause nowhere, till he got to Stolpen, among the bushy gullets and chasms. September 12th, Friedrich had speech of Henri, and the pleasure of dining with him in Dresden. Glad to meet again, under fortunate management on both parts; and with much to speak and consult about.
A day or two before, there had lain (or is said to have lain) a grand scheme in Daun: Zweibruck to burst out from Pirna by daybreak, and attack the Camp of Gahmig in front (35,000 against 20,000); Daun to cross the River on pontoons, some hours before, under cloud of night, and be ready on rear and left flank of Gahmig (with as many supplemental thousands as you like): what can save Prince Henri? Beautiful plan; on which there were personal meetings and dinings together by Zweibruck and Daun; but nothing done. [Tempelhof, ii. 262-265.] At the eleventh hour, say the Austrian accounts, Zweibruck sent word, "Impossible to-morrow; cannot get in my Out-Parties in time!"--and next day, here is Friedrich come, and a collapse of everything. Or perhaps there never seriously was such a plan? Certain it is, Daun takes camp at Stolpen, a place known to him, one of the strongest posts in Germany; intrenches himself to the teeth,--good rear-guard towards Zittau and the Magazines; River and Pirna on our left flank; Loudon strong and busy on our right flank, barring the road to Bautzen;-- and obstinately sits there, a very bad tooth in the jaw of a certain King; not to be extracted by the best kinds of forceps and the skilfulest art, for nearly a month to come. Four Armies, Friedrich`s, Henri`s, Daun`s, Zweibruck`s, all within sword-stroke of each other,--the universal Gazetteer world is on tiptoe. But except Friedrich`s eager shiftings and rubbings upon Stolpen (west side, north, and at length northeast side), all is dead-lock, and nothing comes of it.
Friedrich has his food convenient from Dresden; but a road to Bautzen withal is what he cannot do without;--and there lies the sorrow, and the ACHING, as this tooth knows well, and this jaw well! Harsch and Deville are busy upon Neisse, have Neisse under blockade, perhaps upon Kosel too, for some time past, [Neisse "blockaded more and more" since August 4th (Kosel still earlier, but only by Pandour people); not completely so till September 30th, or even till October 26th: Helden-Geschichte, v. 268-270.] and are carting the siege-stock to begin bombardment: a road to Silesia, before very long, Friedrich must and will have. Friedrich`s operations on Daun in this post are patiently artful, and curious to look upon, but beyond description here: enough to say, that in the second week he makes his people hut themselves (weather wet and bad); and in the fourth week, finding that nothing contrivable would provoke Daun into fighting,--he loads at Dresden provisions for I think nine days; makes, from two or from three sides, a sudden spurt upon Loudon, who is Daun`s northern outpost; brushes Loudon hastily away; and himself takes the road for Bautzen, by Daun`s right flank, thrown bare in this manner. [Tempelhof, ii. 278.]
Road for Bautzen; which is the road for Zittau withal, for Daun`s bread-basket, as well as for Neisse and Harsch! Nine days` provision; that is our small outfit, that and our own right-hands; and the waste world lies all ahead. OCTOBER 1st, Retzow, as vanguard, sweeps out the few Croats from Bautzen, deposits his meal-wagons there; occupies Hochkirch, and the hilly environs to east; is to take possession of Weissenberg especially, and of the Stromberg Hill and other strong points: which Retzow punctually does, forgetting nothing,--except perhaps the Stromberg, not quite remembered in time; a thing of small consequence in Retzow`s view, since all else had gone right.
Hearing of which, Daun, with astonishment, finds that he must quit those beautifully chasmy fastnesses of Stolpen, and look to his bread; which is getting to lie under the enemy`s feet, if Zittau road be left yonder as it is. OCTOBER 5th, after councils of war and deliberation enough, Daun gets under way; [Ib. ii. 279.] cautiously, favored by a night very dark and wet, glides through to right of Friedrich`s people, softly along between Bautzen and the Pirna Country; nobody molesting him, so dark and wet: and after one other march in those bosky solitudes, sits down at Kittlitz,--ahead or to east of Bautzen, of Hochkirch, of Retzow and all Friedrich`s people;--and again sets to palisading and intrenching there. Kittlitz, near Lobau, there is Daun`s new head-quarter; Lobau Water, with its intricate hollows, his line of defence: his posts going out a mile to north and to south of Kittlitz. And so sits; once more blocking Zittau road, and quietly waiting what Friedrich will do.
Friedrich is at Bautzen since the 7th; impatient enough to be forward, but must not till a second larger provision-convoy from Dresden come in. Convoy once in, Friedrich hastens off, Tuesday, 10th October, towards Weissenberg Country, where Retzow is; some ten or twelve miles to eastward,--Zittau-ward, if that chance to suit us; Silesia-ward, as is sure to suit. At the "Pass of Jenkowitz," short way from Bautzen, Pandours attempt our baggage; need to be battered off, and again off: which apprises Friedrich that Daun`s whole Army is ahead in the neighborhood somewhere. Marching on, Friedrich, from the knoll of Hochkirch, shoulder of the southern Hills, gets complete view of Daun,--stretching north and south, at right angles to the Zittau roads and to Friedrich, in the way we described;--and is a little surprised, and I could guess piqued, at seeing Daun in such a state of forwardness. "Encamp here, then!" he says,--here, on this row of Heights parallel to Daun, within a mile of Daun: just here, I tell you! under the very nose of Daun, who is above two to one of us; and see what Daun will do. Marwitz, his favorite Adjutant, one of those free-spoken Marwitzes, loyal, skilful, but liable to stiff fits, takes the liberty to remonstrate, argue; says at length, He, Marwitz, dare not be concerned in marking out such an encampment; not he, for his poor part! And is put under arrest; and another Adjutant does it; cannon playing on his people and him while engaged in the operation.
Friedrich`s obstinate rashness, this Tuesday Evening, has not wanted its abundant meed of blame,--rendered so emphatic by what befell on Saturday morning next. His somewhat too authoritative fixity; a certain radiancy of self-confidence, dangerous to a man; his sovereign contempt of Daun, as an inert dark mass, who durst undertake nothing: all this is undeniable, and worth our recognition in estimating Friedrich. One considerably extenuating circumstance does at last turn up,--in the shape of a new piece of blame to the erring Friedrich; his sudden anger, namely, against the meritorious General Retzow; his putting Retzow under arrest that Tuesday Evening: "How, General Retzow? You have not taken hold of the Stromberg for me!" That is the secret of Retzow: and on studying the ground you will find that the Stromberg, a blunt tabular Hill, of good height, detached, and towering well up over all that region, might have rendered Friedrich`s position perfectly safe. "Seize me the Stromberg to-morrow morning, the first thing!" ordered Friedrich. And a Detachment went accordingly; but found Daun`s people already there,--indisposed to go; nay determined not to go, and getting reinforced to unlimited amounts. So that the Stromberg was left standing, and remained Daun`s; furnished with plenty of cannon by Daun. Retzow`s arrest, Retzow being a steady favorite of Friedrich`s, was only of a few hours: "pardonable that oversight," thinks Friedrich, though it came to cost him dear. For the rest, I find, Friedrich`s keeping of this Camp, without the Stromberg, was intended to end, the third day hence: "Saturday, 14th, then, since Friday proves impossible!" Friedrich had settled. And it did end Saturday, 14th, though at an earlier HOUR, and with other results than had been expected. Keith said, "The Austrians deserve to be hanged if they don`t attack us here." "We must hope they are more afraid of us than even of the gallows," answered Friedrich. A very dangerous Camp; untenable without the Stromberg. Let us try to understand it, and Daun`s position to it, in some slight degree.
"Hochkirch (HIGHkirk) is an old Wendish-Saxon Village, standing pleasantly on its Hill-top, conspicuous for miles round on all sides, or on all but the south side, where it abuts upon other Heights, which gradually rise into Hills a good deal higher than it. The Village hangs confusedly, a jumble of cottages and colegarths, on the crown and north slope of the Height; thatched, in part tiled, and built mostly of rough stone blocks, in our time,--not of wood, as probably in Friedrich`s. A solid, sluttishly comfortable-looking Village; with pleasant hay-fields, or long narrow hay-stripes (each villager has his stripe), reaching down to the northern levels. The Church is near the top; Churchyard, and some little space farther, are nearly horizontal ground, till the next Height begins sloping up again towards the woody Hills southward. The view from this little esplanade atop, still better from the Church belfry, is wide and pretty. Free on all sides except the south: pleasant Heights and Hollows, of arable, of wood, or pasture; well watered by rushing Brooks, all making northward, direct for Spree (the Berlin Spree), or else into the Lobau Water, which is the first big branch of Spree.
"The place is still partly of Wendish speech; the Parson has to preach one half of the Sunday in Wend, the other in German. Among the Hills to south," well worth noting at present, "is one called CZARNABOG, or `Devil`s Hill;` where the Wendish Devil and his Witches (equal to any German on his Blocksberg, or preternatural Bracken of the Harz) hold their annual WITCHES`- SABBATH,--a thing not to be contemplated without a shudder by the Wendish mind. Thereabouts, and close from Hochkirch southward, all is shadowy intricacy of thicket and wild wood. Northward too from Hochkirch, and all about, I perceive the scene was woodier then than now;--and must have looked picturesque enough (had anybody been in quest of that), with the multifarious uniforms, and tented people sprinkled far and wide among the leafy red-and-yellow of October, 1758." [Tourist`s Note, September, 1858.]
In the Village of Wuischke, precisely at the northern base of that shaggy Czarnabog or Devil`s Hill, stand Loudon and 3,000 Croats and grenadiers, as the extreme left of Daun`s position. Wuischke is nearly straight south of Hochkirch; so far westward has Loudon pushed forward with his Croats, hidden among the Hills; though Daun`s general position lies a good mile to east of Friedrich`s:--irregularly north and south, both Friedrich and Daun; the former ignorant what Croats and Loudonries, there may be among those Devil`s Hills to his right; the latter not ignorant. Friedrich`s right wing, Keith in command of it, stretches to Hochkirch and a little farther: beyond Hochkirch, it has Four flank Battalions in potence form, with proper vedettes and pickets; and above all, with a strong Battery of Twenty Guns, which it maintains on the next Height immediately adjoining Hochkirch, and perceptibly higher than Hochkirch. This is the finis of Keith on his right; and--except those vedettes, and pickets of Free-corps people, thrown out a little way ahead into the bushes, on that side--Friedrich`s right wing knows nothing of the shaggy elevations horrent with wood, which lie to southward; and merely intends to play its Twenty Cannon upon them, should they give birth to anything. This is Friedrich`s posture on his right or south wing.
From Hochkirch northward or nearly so, but sprinkled about in all the villages and points of strength, as far up as Drehsa and beyond Drehsa, to near Kotitz, a less important village, Friedrich extends about four miles; centre at Rodewitz, where his own head-quarter is, above two miles north of Hochkirch. Not far from Rodewitz, but a little to left and ahead, stands his second and best Battery, of Thirty Guns; ready to play upon Lauska, a poor village, and its roadway, should the Austrians try anything there, or from their Stromberg post, which is a good mile behind Lauska. His strength, in these lines, some count to be only 28,000, or less. Four or five miles to northeast, in and behind Weissenberg (which we used to know last summer), lies Retzow, with perhaps 10 or 12,000, which will bring him up to 40,000, were they properly joined with him as a left wing. Daun`s force counts 90,000; with Friedrich lying under his nose in this insolent manner.
Daun`s head-quarter, as we said, is Kittlitz; a Village some two miles short of Lobau, in the direction southeast of Friedrich; perhaps five miles to southeast of Rodewitz, Friedrich`s lodging. It is close upon the Bautzen-Zittau Highway; Zittau some twenty miles to south of it, Herrnhuth and the pacific Brethren about half-way thither. Kittlitz lies more to south than Hochkirch itself; and Daun`s outposts, as we saw, circle quite round among those Devil`s Hills, and envelop Friedrich`s right flank. But Daun`s main force lies chiefly northward, and well to west, of Kittlitz; parallel to Friedrich, and eastward of him; with elaborate intrenchments; every village, brook, bridge, height and bit of good ground, Stromberg to end with, punctually secured. Obliquely over the Stromberg, holding the Stromberg and certain Villages to southeast and to northwest of it, lies D`Ahremberg, as right wing: about 20,000 he, put into oblique potence; looking into Kotitz, which is Friedrich`s extreme left; and in a good measure dividing Friedrich from the Retzow 10,000. And lastly, as reserve, in front of Reichenbach, eight or nine miles to east of all that, lies the Prince of Baden-Durlach, 25,000 or so; barring Retzow on that side, and all attempts on the Silesian Road there. Daun`s lines, not counting in the southern outposts or Devil`s-Hill parties, are considerably longer than Friedrich`s, and also considerably deeper. The two head-quarters are about five miles apart: but the two fronts--divided by a brook and good hollow running here (one of many such, making all for Lobau Water)--are not half a mile apart. Towards Hochkirch and the top of this brook, the opposing posts are quite crammed close on one another; divided only by their hollow. Many brooks, each with a definite hollow, run tinkling about here, swift but straitened to get out; especially Lobau Water, which receives them all, has to take a quite meandering circling course (through Daun`s quarters and beyond them) before it can disembogue in Spree, and decidedly set out for Berlin under that new name. The Landscape--seen from Hochkirch Village, still better from the Church-steeple which lifts you high above it, and commands all round except to the south, where Friedrich`s battery-height quite shuts you in, and hides even those Devil`s Hills beyond--is cheerful and pretty. Village belfries, steeples and towers; airy green ridges of heights, and intricate greener valleys: now rather barer than you like. The Tourist tells me, in Friedrich`s time there must have been a great deal more of wood than now.
WHAT ACTUALLY BEFELL AT HOCHKIRCH (Saturday, 14th October, 1758).
Friedrich, for some time,--probably ever since Wednesday morning, when he found the Stromberg was not to be his,--had decided to be out of this bad post. In which, clearly enough, nothing was to be done, unless Daun would attempt something else than more and more intrenching and palisading himself. Friedrich on the second day (Thursday, 12th) rode across to Weissenberg, to give Retzow his directions, and take view of the ground: "Saturday night, Herr Retzow, sooner it cannot be [Friedrich had aimed at Friday night, but finds the Provision-convoy cannot possibly be up]; Saturday night, in all silence, we sweep round out of this,--we and you;--hurl Baden-Durlach about his business; and are at Schops and Reichenbach, and the Silesian Highway open, next morning, to us!" [Tempelhof, ii. 320.] Quietly everything is speeding on towards this consummation, on Friedrich`s part. But on Daun`s part there is--started, I should guess, on the very same Thursday--another consummation getting ready, which is to fall out on Saturday MORNING, fifteen hours before that other, and entirely supersede that other!--
Keith`s opinion, that the Austrians deserve to be hanged if they don`t attack us here, is also Loudon`s opinion and Lacy`s, and indeed everybody`s,--and at length Daun`s own; who determines to try something here, if never before or after. This plan, all judges admit, was elaborate and good; and was well executed too,--Daun himself presiding over the most critical part of the execution. A plan to have ruined almost any Army, except this Prussian one and the Captain it chanced to have. A universal camisado, or surprisal of Friedrich in his Camp, before daylight: everybody knows that it took effect (Hochkirch, Saturday, 14th October, 1758, 5 A.M. of a misty morning); nobody expects of an unassisted fellow-creature much light on so doubly dark a thing. But the truth is, there are ample accounts, exact, though very chaotic; and the thing, steadily examined, till its essential features extricate themselves from the unessential, proves to be not quite so unintelligible, and nothing like so destructive, overwhelming and ruinous as was supposed.
Daun`s plan is very elaborate, and includes a great many combinations; all his 90,000 to come into it, simultaneously or in succession. But the first and grandly vital part, mainspring and father to all the rest, is this: That Daun, in person, after nightfall of Friday, shall, with the pick of his force, say 30,000 horse and foot, with all their artilleries and tools, silently quit his now position in front of Hochkirch, Friedrich`s right wing. Shall sweep off, silently to southward and leftward, by Wuischke; thence westward and northward, by the northern base of those Devil Mountains, through the shaggy hollows and thick woods there, hitherto inhabited by Croats only, and unknown to the Prussians: forward, ever forward, through the night-watches that way; till he has fairly got to the flank of Hochkirch and Friedrich: Daun to be standing there, all round from the southern environs of Hochkirch, westward through the Woods, by Meschwitz, Steindorfel, and even north to Waditz (if readers will consult their Map), silently enclosing Friedrich, as in the bag of a net, in this manner;--ready every man and gun by about four on Saturday morning. Are to wait for the stroke of five in Hochkirch steeple; and there and then to begin business,--there first; but, on success THERE, the whole 90,000 everywhere,--and to draw the strings on Friedrich, and bag and strangle his astonished people and him.
The difficulty has been to keep it perfectly secret from so vigilant a man as Friedrich: but Daun has completely succeeded. Perhaps Friedrich`s eyes have been a little dimmed by contempt of Daun: Daun, for the last two days especially, has been more diligent than ever to palisade himself on every point; nothing, seemingly, on hand but felling woods, building abatis, against some dangerous Lion`s-spring. They say also, he detected a traitor in his camp; traitor carrying Letters to Friedrich under pretence of fresh eggs,--one of the eggs blown, and a Note of Daun`s Procedures substituted as yolk. "You are dead, sirrah," said Daun; "hoisted to the highest gallows: Are not you? But put in a Note of my dictating, and your beggarly life is saved." Retzow Junior, though there is no evidence except of the circumstantial kind, thinks this current story may be true. [Retzow, i. 347.] Certain it is, neither Friedrich nor any of his people had the least suspicion of Daun`s project, till the moment it exploded on them, when the clock at Hochkirch struck five. Daun, in the last two days, had been felling even more trees than they are aware of,--thousands of trees in those Devil`s wildernesses to Friedrich`s right; and has secretly hewn himself roads, passable by night for men and ammunition-wagons there:--and in front of Friedrich, especially Hochkirch way, Daun seems busier than ever felling wood, this Friday night; numbers of people running about with axes, with lanterns over there, as if in the push of hurry, and making a great deal of noise. "Intending retreat for Zittau to-morrow!" thinks Friedrich, as the false egg-yolk had taught him; or merely, "That poor precautionary fellow!" supposing the false yolk a myth. In short, Daun has got through his nocturnal wildernesses with perfect success. And stands, dreamt of by no enemy, in the places appointed for his 30,000 and him; and that poor old clock of Hochkirch, unweariedly grunting forward to the stroke of five, will strike up something it is little expecting!--
The Prussians have vedettes, pickets and small outposts of Free- corps people scattered about within their border of that Austrian Wood, the body of which, about Hochkirch as everywhere else, belongs wholly to Croats. Of course there are guard-parties, sentries duly vigilant, in the big Battery to southeast of Hochkirch,--and along southwestward in that POTENCE, or fore-arm of Four Battalions, which are stationed there. Four good Battalions looking southward there, with Cavalry to right; Ziethen`s Cavalry, --whose horses stand saddled through the night, ready always for the nocturnal "Pandourade," which seldom fails them. There, as elsewhere, are the due vigilances, watchmen, watch-fires. The rest of the Prussian Army is in its blankets, wholly asleep, while Daun stands waiting for the stroke of five.
That Daun, bursting in with his chosen 30,000, will trample down the sleeping Prussian POTENCE at Hochkirch; capture its big Battery to left, its Village of Hochkirch to rear, and do extensive ruin on the whole right wing of Friedrich; rendering Friedrich everywhere an easy conquest to the rest of Daun`s people, who stand, far and wide, duly posted and prepared, waiting only their signal from Hochkirch: much of this, all of it that had regard to Hochkirch Battery and Village, and the Prussians stationed there, Daun did execute. And readers, from the data they have got, must conceive the manner of it,--human description of the next Two Hours, about Hochkirch, in the thick darkness there, and stormful sudden inroad, and stormful resistance made, being manifestly an impossible thing. Nobody was "massacred in his bed" as the sympathetic gazetteers fancied; nobody was killed, that I hear of, without arms, in his hand: but plenty of people perished, fierce of humor, on both sides; and from half-past five till towards eight, there was a general blaze of fiery chaos pushing out ever and anon, swallowed in the belly of Night again, such as was seldom seen in this world. Instead of confused details, and wearisome enumeration of particulars, which nobody would listen to or understand, we will give one intelligent young gentleman`s experience, our friend Tempelhof`s, who stood in this part of the Prussian Line; experience distinct and indubitable to us; and which was pretty accurately symbolical, I otherwise see, of what befell on all points thereabouts. Faithfully copied, and in the essential parts not even abridged, here it is:--
Tempelhof, at that time a subaltern of artillery, was stationed with a couple of 24-pounders in attendance on the Battalion Plothow, which with three others and some cavalry lay to the south side of Hochkirch, forming a kind of fore-arm or POTENCE there to right of the big Battery, with their rear to Hochkirch; and keeping vedettes and Free-corps parties spread out into the woods and Devil`s Hills ahead. Tempelhof had risen about three, as usual; had his guns and gunners ready; and was standing by the watch-fire, "expecting the customary Pandourade," and what form it would take this morning. "Close on five o`clock; and not a mouse stirring! We are not to have our Pandourade, then?" On a sudden, noise bursts out; noise enough, sharp fire among the Free-corps people; fire growing ever sharper, noisier, for the next half-hour, but nothing whatever to be seen. "Battalion Plothow had soon got its clothes on, all to the spatterdashes; and took rank to right and left of the FLECHE, and of my two guns, in front of its post: but on account of the thick fog everything was totally dark. I fired off my cannons [shall we say straight southward?] to learn whether there was anything in front of us. No answer: `Nothing there--Pshaw, a mere crackery (GEKNACKER) of Pandours and our Free- corps people, after all!` But the noise grew louder, and came ever nearer; I turned my guns towards it [southward, southeastward, or perhaps a gun each way?]--and here we had a salvo in response, from some battalions who seemed to be two hundred yards or so ahead. The Battalion Plothow hereupon gave fire; I too plied my cannons what I could,--and had perhaps delivered fifteen double shots from them, when at once I tumbled to the ground, and lost all consciousness" for some minutes or moments.
Awakening with the blood running down his face, poor Tempelhof concluded it had been a musket-shot in the head; but on getting to his hands and knees, he found the place "full of Austrian grenadiers, who had crept in through our tents to rear; and that it had been a knock with the butt of the musket from one of those fellows, and not a bullet" that had struck him down. Battalion Plothow, assailed on all sides, resisted on all sides; and Tempelhof saw from the ground,--I suppose, by the embers of watch-fires, and by rare flashes of musketry, for they did not fire much, having no room, but smashed and stabbed and cut,--"an infantry fight which in murderous intensity surpasses imagination. I was taken prisoner at this turn; but soon after got delivered by our cavalry again." [Tempelhof, ii. 324 n.]
This latter circumstance, of being delivered by the Cavalry, I find to be of frequent occurrence in that first act of the business there: the Prussian Battalion, surprised on front and rear, always makes murderous fight for itself: is at last overwhelmed, obliged to retire, perhaps opening its way by bayonet charge;--upon which our Cavalry (Ziethen`s, and others that gathered to him) cutting in upon the disordered surprisers, cut them into flight, rescue the prisoners, and for a time reinstate matters. The Prussian battalions do not run (nobody runs); but when repulsed by the endless odds, rally again. The big Battery is not to be had of them without fierce and dogged struggle; and is retaken more than once or twice. Still fiercer, more dogged, was the struggle in Hochkirch Village; especially in Hochkirch Church and Churchyard,--whither the Battalion Margraf-Karl had flung themselves; the poor Village soon taking fire about them. Soon taking fire, and continuing to be a scene of capture and recapture, by the flame-light; while Battalion Margraf-Karl stood with invincible stubbornness, pouring death from it; not to be compulsed by the raging tide of Austrian grenadiers; not by "six Austrian battalions," by "eight," or by never so many. Stood at bay there; levelling whole masses of them,--till its cartridges were spent, all to one or two per man; and Major Lange, the heroic Captain of it, said, "We shall have to go, then, my men; let us cut ourselves through!"--and did so, in an honorably invincible manner; some brave remnant actually getting through, with Lange himself wounded to death.
I think it was not till towards six o`clock that the right wing generally became aware what the case was: "More than a Pandourade, yes;"--though what it might be, in the thick fog which had fallen, blotting out all vestiges of daylight, nobody could well say. Rallied Battalions, reinforced by this or the other Battalion hurrying up from leftward, always charge in upon the enemy, in Hochkirch or wherever he is busy; generally push him back into the Night; but are then fallen upon on both flanks by endless new strength, and obliged to draw back in turn. And Ziethen`s Horse, in the mean while, do execution; breaking in on the tumultuous victors; new Cuirassiers, Gens-d`Armes dashing up to help, so soon as saddled, and charging with a will: so that, on the whole, the enemy, variously attempting, could make nothing of us on that western, or rearward side,--thanks mainly to Ziethen and the Horse. "Had we but waited till three or four of our Battalions had got up!" say the Prussian narrators. But it is thick mist; few yards ahead you cannot see at all, unless it be flame; and close at hand, all things and figures waver indistinct,--hairy outlines of blacker shadows on a ground of black.
It must have been while Lange was still fighting, perhaps before Lange took to the Church of Hochkirch, scarcely later than half- past six (but nobody thought of pulling out his watch in such a business!)--about six, or half-past six, when Keith, who has charge of this wing, and lodges somewhere below or north of Hochkirch, came to understand that his big Battery was taken; that here was such a Pandourade as had not been before; and that, of a surety, said Battery must be retaken. Keith springs on horseback; hastily takes "Battalion Kannacker" and several remnants of others; rushes upwards, "leaving Hochkirch a little to right; direct upon the big Battery." Recaptures the big Battery. But is set upon by overwhelming multitudes, bent to have it back;--is passionate for new assistance in this vital point; but can get none: had been "DISARTED by both his Aide-de-camps," says poor John Tebay, a wandering English horse-soldier, who attends him as mounted groom; "asked twenty times, and twenty more, `Where are my Aide-de- camps!`" ["Captens Cockcey and Goudy" he calls them--(COCCEJI whose Father the Kanzler we have seen, and GAUDI whose self),--who both had, in succession, struck into Hochkirch as the less desperate place, according to Tebay: see TEBAY`S LETTER to Mitchell, "Crossen, October 29th" (in MEMOIRS AND PAPERS, ii. 501-505);-- which is probably true every word, allowing for Tebay`s temper; but is highly indecipherable, though not entirely so after many readings and researehings.]--but could get no response or reinforcement; and at length, quite surrounded and overwhelmed, had to retire; opening his way by the bayonet; and before long, suddenly stopping short,--falling dead into Tebay`s arms; shot through the heart. Two shots on the right side he had not regarded; but this on the left side was final: Keith`s fightings are suddenly all done. Tebay, in distraction, tried much to bring away the body; but could by no present means; distractedly "rid for a coach;" found, on return, that the Austrians had the ground, and the body of his master; Hochkirch, Church and all, now undisputedly theirs.
To appearance, it was this news of Keith`s repulse (I know not whether of Keith`s DEATH as yet) that first roused Friedrich to a full sense of what was now going on, two miles to south of him. Friedrich, according to his habits, must have been awake and afoot when the Business first broke out; though, for some considerable time, treating it as nothing but a common crackery of Pandours. Already, finding the Pandourade louder than usual, he had ordered out to it one battalion and the other that lay handy: but now he pushes forward several battalions under Franz of Brunswick (his youngest Brother-in-law), with Margraf Karl and Prince Moritz: "Swift you, to Hochkirch yonder!"--and himself springs on horseback to deal with the affair. Prince Franz of Brunswick, poor young fellow, cheerily coming on, near Hochkirch had his head shorn off by a cannon-ball. Moritz of Dessau, too, "riding within twenty yards of the Austrians," so dark was it, he so near-sighted, got badly hit,--and soon after, driving to Bautzen for surgery, was made prisoner by Pandours; [In ARCHENHOLTZ (i. 289, 290) his dangerous adventures on the road to Bautzen, in this wounded condition.] never fought again, "died next year of cancer in the lip." Nothing but triumphant Austrian shot and cannon-shot going yonder; these battalions too have to fall back with sore loss.
Friedrich himself, by this time, is forward in the thick of the tumult, with another body of battalions; storming furiously along, has his horse shot under him; storms through, "successfully, by the other side of Hochkirch" (Hochkirch to his left):--but finds, as the mist gradually sinks, a ring of Austrians massed ahead, on the
--MAP GOES HERE, FACING PAGE 160, BOOK XVIII------
Heights; as far as Steindorfel and farther, a general continent of Austrians enclosing all the south and southwest; and, in fact, that here is now nothing to be done. That the question of his flank is settled; that the question now is of his front, which the appointed Austrian parties are now upon attacking. Question especially of the Heights of Drehsa, and of the Pass and Brook of Drehsa (rearward of his centre part), where his one retreat will lie, Steindorfel being now lost. Part first of the Affair is ended; Part second of it begins.
Rapidly enough Friedrich takes his new measures. Seizes Drehsa Height, which will now be key of the field; despatches Mollendorf thither (Mollendorf our courageous Leuthen friend); who vigorously bestirs himself; gets hold of Drehsa Height before the enemy can; Ziethen co-operating on the Heights of Kumschutz, Canitz and other points of vantage. And thus, in effect, Friedrich pulls up his torn right skirt (as he is doing all his other skirts) into new compact front against the Austrians: so that, in that southwestern part especially; the Austrians do not try it farther; but "retire at full gallop," on sight of this swift seizure of the Keys by Mollendorf and Ziethen. Friedrich also despatches instant order to Retzow, to join him at his speediest. Friedrich everywhere rearranges himself, hither, thither, with skilful rapidity, in new Line of Battle; still hopeful to dispute what is left of the field;--longing much that Retzow could come on wings.
By this time (towards eight, if I might guess) Day has got the upper hand; the Daun Austrians stand visible on their Ring of Heights all round, behind Hochkirch and our late Battery, on to westward and northward, as far as Steindorfel and Waditz;-- extremely busy rearranging themselves into something of line; there being much confusion, much simmering about in clumps and gaps, after such a tussle. In front of us, to eastward, the appointed Austrian parties are proceeding to attack: but in daylight, and with our eyes open, it is a thing of difficulty, and does not prosper as Hochkirch did. Duke D`Ahremberg, on their extreme right, had in charge to burst in upon our left, so soon as he saw Hochkirch done: D`Ahremberg does try; as do others in their places, near Daun; but with comparatively little success. D`Ahremberg, meeting something of check or hindrance where he tried, pauses, for a good while, till he see how others prosper. Their grand chance is their superiority of number; and the fact that Friedrich can try nothing upon THEM, but must stand painfully on the defensive till Retzow come. To Friedrich, Retzow seems hugely slow about it. But the truth is, Baden-Durlach, with his 20,000 of Reserve, has, as per order, made attack on Retzow, 20,000 against 12: one of the feeblest attacks conceivable; but sufficient to detain Retzow till he get it repulsed. Retzow is diligent as Time, and will be here.
Meanwhile, the Austrians on front do, in a sporadic way, attack and again attack our batteries and posts; especially that big Battery of Thirty Guns, which we have to north of Rodewitz. The Austrians do take that Battery at last; and are beginning again to be dangerous,--the rather as D`Ahremberg seems again to be thinking of business. It is high time Retzow were here! Few sights could be gladder to Friedrich, than the first glitter of Retzow`s vanguard, --horse, under Prince Eugen of Wurtemberg,--beautifully wending down from Weissenberg yonder; skilfully posting themselves, at Belgern and elsewhere, as thorns in the sides of D`Ahremberg (sharp enough, on trial by D`Ahremberg). Followed, before long, by Retzow himself; serenely crossing Lobau Water; and, with great celerity, and the best of skill, likewise posting himself,--hopelessly to D`Ahremberg, who tries nothing farther. The sun is now shining; it is now ten of the day. Had Retzow come an hour sooner;-- efore we lost that big Battery and other things! But he could come no sooner; be thankful he is here at last, in such an overawing manner.
Friedrich, judging that nothing now can be made of the affair, orders retreat. Retreat, which had been getting schemed, I suppose, and planned in the gloom of the royal mind, ever since loss of that big Battery at Rodewitz. Little to occupy him, in this interim; except indignant waiting, rigorously steady, and some languid interchange of cannon-shot between the parties. Retreat is to Klein-Bautzen neighborhood (new head-quarter Doberschutz, outposts Kreckwitz and Purschwitz); four miles or so to northwest. Rather a shifting of your ground, which astonishes the military reader ever since, than a retreating such as the common run of us expected. Done in the usual masterly manner; part after part mending off, Retzow standing minatory here, Mollendorf minatory there, in the softest quasi-rhythmic sequence; Cavalry all drawn out between Belgern and Kreckwitz, baggage-wagons filing through the Pass of Drehsa;--not an Austrian meddling with it, less or more; Daun and his Austrians standing in their ring of five miles, gazing into it like stone statues; their regiments being still in a confused state,--and their Daun an extremely slow gentleman. [Tempelhof, ii. 319-336; Seyfarth, Beylagen, i. 432-453; Helden-Geschichte, v. 241-257; Archenholtz, &c. &c.]
And in this manner Friedrich, like a careless swimmer caught in the Mahlstrom, has not got swallowed in it; but has made such a buffeting of it, he is here out of it again, without bone broken,-- not, we hope, without instruction from the adventure. He has lost 101 pieces of cannon, most of his tents and camp-furniture; and, what is more irreparable, above 8,000 of his brave people, 5,381 of them and 119 Officers (Keith and Moritz for two) either dead or captive. In men the Austrian loss, it seems, is not much lower, some say is rather a shade higher; by their own account, 325 Officers, 5,614 rank and file, killed and wounded,--not reckoning 1,000 prisoners they lost to us, and "at least 2,000" who took that chance of deserting in the intricate dark woods. [Tempelhof, ii. 336; but see Kausler, p. 576.]
Friedrich, all say, took his punishment in a wonderfully cheerful manner. De Catt the Reader, entering to him that evening as usual, the King advanced, in a tragic declamatory attitude; and gave him, with proper voice and gesture, an appropriate passage of Racine:--
"Enfin apres un an, tu me revois, Arbate, Non plus comme autrefois cet heureux Mithridate, Qui, de Rome toujours balancant le destin, Tenait entre elle et moi l`univers incertain. Je suis vaincu; Pompee a saisi l`avantage D`une nuit qui laissait peu de place au courage; Mes soldats presque nus, dans"-- ...
Not a little to De Catt`s comfort. [Rodenbeck, i. 354.] During the retreat itself, Retzow Junior had come, as Papa`s Aide-de-Camp, with a message to the King; found him on the heights of Klein Bautzen, watching the movements. Message done with, the King said, in a smiling tone, "Daun has played me a slippery trick to-day!" "I have seen it," answered Retzow; "but it is only a scratch, which your Majesty will soon manage to heal again."--"GLAUBT ER DIES, Do you think so?" "Not only I, but the whole Army firmly believe it of your Majesty."--"You are quite right," added the King, in a confidentially candid way: "We will manage Daun. What I lament is, the number of brave men that have died this morning." [Retzow, i. 359 n.] On the morrow, he was heard to say publicly: "Daun has let us out of check-mate; the game is not lost yet. We will rest ourselves here, a few days; then go for Silesia, and deliver Neisse." The Anecdote-Books (perhaps not mythicalIy) add this: "Where are all your guns, though?" said the King to an Artilleryman, standing vacant on parade, next day. "IHRO MAJESTAT, the Devil stole them all, last night!"--"Hm, well, we must have them back from him." [Archenholtz, i. 299.]
Nothing immoderately depressive in Hochkirch, it appears;--though, alas, on the fourth day after, there came a message from Baireuth; which did strike one down: "My noble Wilhelmina dead; died in the very hours while we were fighting here!" [On a common Business- Letter to Prince Henri, "Doberschutz, 18th October, 1758," is this sudden bit of Autograph: "GRAND DIEU, MA SOEUR DE BAREITH!"-- (Schoning, Der siebenjahrige Krieg, nach der Original- Correspondens &c. aus den Staats-Archiven: Potsdam, 1851: i. 287.)] Readers must conceive it: coming unexpected more or less, black as sudden universal hurricane, on the heart of the man; a sorrow sacred, yet immeasurable, irremediable to him; as if the sky too were falling on his head, in aid of the mean earth and its ravenings:--of all this there can nothing be said at present. Friedrich`s one relief seems to have been the necessity laid on him of perpetual battling with outward business;--we may fancy, in the rapid weeks following, how much was lying at all times in the background of his mind suppressed into its caves.
Daun, it appears, was considerably elated; spent a great deal of his time, so precious just at present, in writing despatches, in congratulating and being congratulated;--did an elaborate TE-DEUM, or Ambrosian Song, in Artillery and VOX HUMANA,--which with the adjuncts, say splenetic people, as at Kolin, sensibly assisted Friedrich`s affairs. Daun was by no means of braggart turn; but the recognition of his matchless achievement by the gazetteer public, whether in exultation or in lamentation, was loud and universal; and the joy, in Vienna and the cognate quarters, knew no bounds for the time being. Thus, among other tokens, the Holiness of our Lord the Pope, blessing Heaven for such success against the Heretic, was pleased to send him "a Consecrated Hat and Sword,"--such as the old Popes were wont, very long ago, to bestow on distinguished Champions against the Heathen,--(much jeered at, and crowed over, by a profane Friedrich [ OEuvres de Frederic, xv. 122, 124, 126, &c. &c.: in PREUSS, ii. 196, compiete List of these poor Pieces; which are hearty, not hypocritical, in their contemptuons hilarity, but have little other metit.]): "the effect of which miraculous furnishings," says Tempelhof, "turned out to be that the Feldmarschall never gained any success more;" in fact, except that small thing on Finck next Year, never any, as it chanced. Daun had withdrawn to his old Camp, on the day of Hochkirch; leaving only a detachment on the field there: it was not for six or seven days more that he stept out to the Kreckwitz and Purschwitz neighborhood; more within sight of his vanquished enemy,--but nothing like vigilant enough of what might still be in him, after such vanquishing!--We must spare this Note, for the sake of a heroic kind of man, who had not too much of reward in the world:--
"Tebay could not recover Keith`s body: Croats had the plundering of Keith; other Austrians, not of Croat kind, carried the dead General into Hochkirch Church: Lacy`s emotion on recognizing him there,-- like a tragic gleam of his own youth suddenly brought back to him, as in starlight, piercing and sad, from twenty years distance,--is well known in Books. On the morrow, Sunday, October 15th, Keith had honorable soldier`s-burial there,--`twelve cannon` salvoing thrice, and `the whole Corps of Colloredo` with their muskets thrice; Lacy as chief mourner, not without tears. Four months after, by royal order, Keith`s body was conveyed to Berlin; reinterred in Berlin, in a still more solemn public manner, with all the honors, all the regrets; and Keith sleeps now in the Garnison-Kirche:--far from bonnie Inverugie; the hoarse sea-winds and caverns of Dunottar singing vague requiem to his honorable line and him, in the imaginations of some few. `My Brother leaves me a noble legacy,` said the old Lord Marischal: `last year he had Bohemia under ransom; and his personal estate is 70 ducats, (about 25 pounds). [Varnhagen, p. 261.]
"In Hochkirch Church there is still, not in the Churchyard as formerly, a fine, modestly impressive Monument to Keith; modest Urn of black marble on a Pedestal of gray,--and, in gold letters, an Inscription not easily surpassable in the lapidary way: ... `DUM IN PRAELIO NON PROCUL HINC INCLINATAM SUORUM ACIEM MENTE MANU V0CE ET EXEMPLO RESTITUERAT PUGNANS UT HEROAS DECET OCCUBUIT. D. XIV. OCTOBRIS` These words go through you like the clang of steel. [In RODENBECK, i. 149. Given also (very nearly correct) in CORRESPONDEENCE OF SIR ROBERT MURRAY KEITH (London, 1849), i. 151. This is the junior of the two Diplomatic Roberts, genealogical cousins of Keith; by this one (in 1771, not 1776 as German Guide- books have it) the Hochkirch Monument was set up. A very interesting Collection of LETTERS those of his;--edited with the usual darkness, or rather more.] Friedrich`s sorrow over him (`tears,` high eulogies, `LOUA EXTREMEMENT`) is itself a monument. Twenty years after, Keith had from his Master a Statue, in Berlin. One of Four; to the Four most deserving: Schwerin (1771), Winterfeld (1777), Seidlitz (1779, Keith (when?), [Nicolai (Beschreibung der Residenzstadte, i. 193, 194) gives these dates for the Three, and for Keith`s no date.]--which still stand in the Wilhelm Platz there.
"Hochkirch Church has beeu rebuilt in late years: a spapious airy Church, with galleries, and requisites, especially with free air, light and cleanliness. Capable perhaps of 1,500 sitters: half of them Wends. `Above 700 skeletons, in one heap, were dug out, in cutting the new foundations. The strong outer Door of the old Church, red oak, I should think, is still retained in that capacity; still shows perhaps half a dozen rough big quasi- KEYHOLES, torn through it in different parts, and daylight shining in, where the old bullets passed. The Keith Monument, perhaps four feet high, is on the flagged floor, left side of the pulpit, close by the wall,--`the bench where Keith`s body lay has had to be cased in new plank [zinc would be better] against the knives of tourists.`"
Old Lord Marischal--George, "MARECHAL D`ECOSSE" as he always signs himself--was by this time seventy-two; King`s Governor of Neufchatel, for a good while past and to come (1754-1763). In "James," the junior, but much the stronger and more solid, he has lost, as it were, a FATHER and younger brother at once; father, uuder beautiful conditions; and the tears of the old man are natural and affecting. Ten years older than his Brother; and survived him still twenty years. An excellent cheery old soul, he too; honest as the sunlight, with a fine small vein of gayety, and "pleasant wit," in him: what a treasure to Friedrich at Potsdam, in the coming years; and how much loved by him (almost as one BOY loves another), all readers would be surprised to discover. Some hints of him will perhaps be allowed us farther on.
SEQUEL OF HOCHKIRCH; THE CAMPAIGN ENDS IN A WAY SURPRISING TO AN ATTENTIVE PUBLIC (22d October-20th November, 1758).
There followed upon Hochkirch five weeks of rapid events; such as nobody had been calculating on. To the reader, so weary of marchings, manoeuvrings, surprisals, campings and details of war, not many words, we hope, may render these results conceivable.
Friedrich stayed ten days, refitting himself, in that Camp of Klein-Bautzen, on one of the branches of the Spree. Daun, who had retired to his old strong place, on the 14th, scarcely occupying Hochkirch Field at all, came out in about a week; and took a strong post near Friedrich; not attempting anything upon him, but watching him, now better within sight. Friedrich`s fixed intention is, to march to Neisse all the same; what probably Daun, under the shadow of his laurels and his new Papal Hat, may not have considered possible, with the road to Neisse blocked by 80,000 men. Friedrich has refitted himself with the requisite new cannon and furnitures, from Dresden; especially with Prince Henri and 6,000 foot and horse,--led by Prince Henri in person; so Prince Henri would have it, the capricious little man; and that Finck should be left in Saxony instead of him. All which weakens Saxony not a little. But Friedrich hopes the Reichs Army is a feeble article; ill off for provision in those parts, and not likely to attempt very much on the sudden. Accordingly:--
FRIEDRICH MARCHES, ENIGMATICALLY, NOT ON GLOGAU, BUT ON REICHENBACH AND GORLITZ; TO DAUN`S ASTONISHMENT.
SUNDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 22d, Convoy of many wagons quit Bautzen (Bautzen Proper, not the Village, but the Town), laden with all the wounded of Hochkirch; above 3,000 by count, to carry them to Dresden for deliberate surgery. Keith`s Tebay, I perceive, is in this Convoy; not ill hurt, but willing to lie in Hospital a little, and consider. These poor fellows cannot get to Dresden: on the second day, a Daun Detachment, hussaring about in those parts, is announced ahead; and (by new order from head-quarters) the Convoy turns northwards for Hoyerswerda,--(to Tebay`s disgust with the Commandant; "shied off," says Tebay, "for twelve hussars!" [Second LETTER from Tebay, in Mitchell, ubi supra.])--and, I think, in the end, went on to Glogau instead of Dresden. Which was very fortunate for Tebay and the others. The poor wounded being thus disposed of, Friedrich next night, at 10 o`clock, Monday, 23d, in the softest manner, pushes off his Bakery and Army Stores a little way, northward down the Spree Valley, on the western fork of the Spree (fork farthest from Daun); follows, himself, with the rest of the Army, next evening, down the eastern fork, also northward. "Going for Glogau," thinks Daun, when the hussars report about it (late on Tuesday night): "Let him go, if he fancy that a road TO Neisse! But, indeed, what other shift has he," considers Daun, "but to try rallying at Glogau yonder, safe under the guns?"--and is not in the slightest haste about this new matter. [Tempelhof, ii. 341-347.]
United with his baggage-column, Friedrich proceeds northeastward; crosses Spree still northward or northeastward; encamps there, in the dark hours of Tuesday; no Daun heeding him. Before daylight, however, Friedrich is again on foot; in several columns now, for the bad country-roads ahead;--and has struck straight SOUTHeastward, if Daun were noting him. And, in the afternoon of Wednesday, Daun is astonished to learn that this wily Enemy is arrived in Reichenbach vicinity; sweeping in our poor posts thereabouts; immovably astride of the Silesian Highway, after all! An astonished Daun hastens out, what he can, to take survey of the sudden Phenomenon. Tries it, next day and next, with his best Loudons and appliances; finds that this Phenomenon can actually march to Neisse ahead of him, indifferent to Pandours, or giving them as good as they bring;--and that nothing but a battle and beating (could we rashly dream of such a thing, which we cannot) will prevent it. "Very well, then!" Daun strives to say. And lets the Phenomenon march (FROM Gorlitz, OCTOBER 30th); Loudon harassing the rear of it, for some days; not without counter harassment, much waste of cannonading, and ruin to several poor Lausitz Villages by fire,--"Prussians scandalously burn them, when we attack!" says Loudon. Till, at last, finding this march impregnably arranged, "split into two routes," and ready for all chances, Loudon also withdraws to more promising business. Poor General Retzow Senior was of this march; absolutely could not be excused, though fallen ill of dysentery, like to die;--and did die, the day after he got to Schweidnitz, when the difficulties and excitement were over. [Retzow, i. 372.]
Of Friedrich`s march, onward from Gorlitz, we shall say nothing farther, except that the very wind of it was salvatory to his Silesian Fortresses and interests. That at Neisse, on and after November 1st,--which is the third or second day of Friedrich`s march,--General Treskow, Commandant of Neisse, found the bombardment slacken more and more ("King of Prussia coming," said the Austrian deserters to us); and that, on November 6th, Treskow, looking out from Neisse, found the Austrian trenches empty, Generals Harsch and Deville hurrying over the Hills homewards,-- pickings to be had of them by Treskow,--and Neisse Siege a thing finished. [TAGEBUCH, &c. ("Diary of the Siege of Neisse," 4th August, 26th October, 6th November, 1758, "1 A.M. suddenly"), in Seyfarth, Beylagen, ii. 468-472: of Treskow`s own writing; brief and clear. Helden-Geschichte, v. 268-270.] It had lasted, in the way of blockade and half-blockade, for about three months; Deville, for near one month, half-blockading, then Harsch (since September 30th) wholly blockading, with Deville under him, and an army of 20,000; though the actual cannonade, very fierce, but of no effect, could not begin till little more than a week ago,--so difficult the getting up of siege-material in those parts. Kosel, under Commandant Lattorf, whose praises, like Treskow`s, were great,--had stood four months of Pandour blockading and assaulting, which also had to take itself away on advent of Friedrich. Of Friedrich, on his return-journey, we shall hear again before long; but in the mean while must industriously follow Daun.
FELDMARSCHALL DAUN AND THE REICHS ARMY TRY SOME SIEGE OF DRESDEN (9th-16th November).
OCTOBER 30th, Daun, seeing Neisse Siege as good as gone to water, decided with himself that he could still do a far more important stroke: capture Dresden, get hold of Saxony in Friedrich`s absence. Daun turned round from Reichenbach, accordingly; and, at his slow- footed pace, addressed himself to that new errand. Had he made better despatch, or even been in better luck, it is very possible he might have done something there. In Dresden, and in Governor Schmettau with his small garrison, there is no strength for a siege; in Saxony is nothing but some poor remnant under Finck, much of it Free-corps and light people: capable of being swallowed by the Reichs Army itself,--were the Reichs Army enterprising, or in good circumstances otherwise. It is true the Russians have quitted Colberg as impossible; and are flowing homewards dragged by hunger: the little Dohna Army will, therefore, march for Saxony; the little Anti-Swedish Army, under Wedell, has likewise been mostly ordered thither; both at their quickest. For Daun, all turns on despatch; loiter a little, and Friedrich himself will be here again!
Daun, I have no doubt, stirred his slow feet the fastest he could. NOVEMBER 7th, Daun was in the neighborhood of Pirna Country again, had his Bridge at Pirna, for communication; urged the Reichs Army to bestir itself, Now or never. Reichs Army did push out a little against Finck; made him leave that perpetual Camp of Gahmig, take new camps, Kesselsdorf and elsewhere; and at length made him shoot across Elbe, to the northwest, on a pontoon bridge below Dresden, with retreating room to northward, and shelter under the guns of that City. Reichs Army has likewise made powerful detachments for capture of Leipzig and the northwestern towns; capture of Torgau, the Magazine town, first of all: summon them, with force evidently overpowering, "Free withdrawal, if you don`t resist; and if you do--!" At Torgau there was actual attempt made (November 12th), rather elaborate and dangerous looking; under Haddick, with near 10,000 of the "Austrian-auxiliary" sort: to whom the old Commandant --judging Wedell, the late Anti-Swedish Wedell, to be now near-- rushed out with "300 men and one big gun;" and made such a firing and gesticulation as was quite extraordinary, as if Wedell were here already: till Wedell`s self did come in sight; and the overpowering Reichs Detachment made its best speed else-whither. [Tempelhof, &c.; "Letter from a Prussian Officer," in Helden-Geschichte, v. 286.] The other Sieges remained things of theory; the other Reichs Detachments hurried home, I think, without summoning anybody.
Meanwhile, Daun, with the proper Artilleries at last ready, comes flowing forward (NOVEMBER 8th-9th); and takes post in the Great Garden, or south side of Dresden; minatory to Schmettau and that City. The walls, or works, are weak; outside there is nothing but Mayer and the Free Corps to resist, who indeed has surpassed himself this season, and been extraordinarily diligent upon that lazy Reichs Army. Commandant Schmettau signifies to Daun, the day Daun came in sight, "If your Excellenz advance farther on me, the grim Rules of War in besieged places will order That I burn the Suburbs, which are your defences in attacking me,"--and actually fills the fine houses on the Southern Suburb with combustible matter, making due announcements, to Court and population, as well as to Dann. "Burn the Suburbs?" answers Daun: "In the name of civilized humanity, you will never think of such thing!" "That will I, your Excellenz, of a surety, and do it!" answers Schmettau. So that Dresden is full of pity, terror and speculation. The common rumor is, says Excellency Mitchell, who is sojourning there for the present, "That Bruhl [nefarious Bruhl, born to be the death of us!] has persuaded Polish Majesty to sanction this enterprise of Daun`s,"--very careless, Bruhl, what become of Dresden or us, so the King of Prussia be well hurt or spited!
Certain enough, NOVEMBER 9th, Daun does come on, regardless of Schmettau`s assurances; so that, "about midnight:" Mayer, who "can hear the enemy busily building four big batteries" withal, has to report himself driven to the edge of those high Houses (which are filled with combustibles), and that some Croats are got into the upper windows. "Burn them, then!" answers Schmettasu (such the dire necessity of sieged places): and, "at 3 A.M." (three hours` notice to the poor inmates), Mayer does so; hideous flames bursting out, punctually at the stroke of 3: "whole Suburb seemed on blaze [about a sixth part of it actually so], nay you would have said the whole Town was environed in flames." Excellency Mitchell climbed a steeple: "will not describe to your Lordship the horror, the terror and confusion of this night; wretched inhabitants running with their furniture [what of it they had got flung out, between 12 o`clock and 3] towards the Great Garden; all Dresden, to appearance, girt in flames, ruins and smoke." Such a night in Dresden, especially in the Pirna Suburb, as was never seen before. [Mitchell, Memoirs and Papers, i. 459. In Helden-Geschichte, v. 295-302, minute account (corresponding well with Mitchell`s); ib. 303-333, the certified details of the damage done: "280 houses lost;" "4 human lives."] This was the sad beginning, or attempt at beginning, of Dresden Siege; and this also was the end of it, on Daun`s part at present. For four days more, he hung about the place, minatory, hesitative; but attempted nothing feasible; and on the fifth day,-- "for a certain weighty reason," as the Austrian Gazettes express it,--he saw good to vanish into the Pirna Rock-Country, and be out of harm`s way in the mean while!
The Truth is, Daun`s was an intricate case just now; needing, above all things, swiftness of treatment; what, of all things, it could not get from Daun. His denunciations on that burnt Suburb were again loud; but Schmettau continues deaf to all that,--means "to defend himself by the known rules of war and of honor;" declares, he "will dispute from street to street, and only finish in the middle of Polish Majesty`s Royal Palace." Denunciation will do nothing! Daun had above 100,000 men in those parts. Rushing forward with sharp shot and bayonet storm, instead of logical denunciation, it is probable Daun might have settled his Schmettau. But the hour of tide was rigorous, withal;--and such an ebb, if you missed it in hesitating! NOVEMBER 15th, Daun withdrew; the ebbing come. That same day, Friedrich was at Lauban in the Lausitz, within a hundred miles again; speeding hitherward; behind him a Silesia brushed clear, before him a Saxony to be brushed. "Reason weighty" enough, think Daun and the Austrian Gazettes! But such, since you have missed the tide-hour, is the inexorable fact of ebb,--going at that frightful rate. Daun never was the man to dispute facts.
November 20th, Friedrich arrived in Dresden; heard, next day, that Daun had wheeled decisively homeward from Pirna Country; that the Reichs Army and he are diligently climbing the Metal Mountains; and that there is not in Saxony, more than in Silesia, an enemy left. What a Sequel to Hochkirch! "Neisse and Dresden both!" we had hoped as sequel, if lucky: "Neisse OR Dresden" seemed infallible. And we are climbing the Metal Mountains, under facts superior to us.
And Campaign Third has closed in this manner;--leaving things much as it found them. Essentially a drawn match; Contending Parties little altered in relative strength;--both of them, it may be presumed, considerably weaker. Friedrich is not triumphant, or shining in the light of bonfires, as last Year; but, in the mind of judges, stands higher than ever (if that could help him much); --and is not "annihilated" in the least, which is the surprising circumstance.
Friedrich`s marches, especially, have been wonderful, this Year. In the spring-time, old Marechal de Belleisle, French Minister of War, consulting officially about future operations, heard it objected once: "But if the King of Prussia were to burst in upon us there?" "The King of Prussia is a great soldier," answered M. de Belleisle; "but his Army is not a shuttle (NAVETTE),"--to be shot about, in that way, from side to side of the world! No surely; not altogether. But the King of Prussia has, among other arts, an art of marching Armies, which by degrees astonishes the old Marechal. To "come upon us EN NAVETTE," suddenly "like a shuttle" from the other side of the web, became an established phrase among the French concerned in these unfortunate matters. [Archenholtz, i. 316; Montalembert, SAEPIUS, for the phrase "EN NAVETTE."]
"The Pitt-and-Ferdinand Campaign of 1758," says a Note, which I would fain abridge, "is more palpably victorious than Friedrich`s, much more an affair of bonfires than his; though it too has had its rubs. Loss of honor at Crefeld; loss of Louisburg and Codfishery: these are serious blows our enemy has had. But then, to temper the joy over Louisburg, there was, at Ticonderoga, by Abercrombie, on the small scale (all the extent of scale he had), a melancholy Platitude committed: that of walking into an enemy without the least reconnoitring of him, who proves to be chin-deep in abatis and field-works; and kills, much at his ease, about 2,000 brave fellows, brought 5,000 miles for that object. And obliges you to walk away on the instant, and quit Ticonderoga, like a--surely like a very tragic Dignitary in Cocked-hat! To be cashiered, we will hope; at least to be laid on the shelf, and replaced by some Wolfe or some Amherst, fitter for the business! Nor were the Descents on the French Coast much to speak of: `Great Guns got at Cherbourg,` these truly, as exhibited in Hyde-Park, were a comfortable sight, especially to the simpler sort: but on the other hand, at Morlaix, on the part of poor old General Bligh and Company, there had been a Platitude equal or superior to that of Abercrombie, though not so tragical in loss of men. `What of that?` said an enthusiastic Public, striking their balance, and joyfully illuminating.-- Here is a Clipping from Ohio Country, `LETTER of an Officer [distilled essence of Two Letters], dated, FORT-DUQUESNE, 28th NOVEMBER, 1758:--
"`Our small Corps under General Forbes, after much sore scrambling through the Wildernesses, and contending with enemies wild and tame, is, since the last four days, in possession of Fort Duquesne [PITTSBURG henceforth]: Friday, 24th, the French garrison, on our appearance, made off without fighting; took to boats down the Ohio, and vanished out of those Countries,`--forever and a day, we will hope. `Their Louisiana-Canada communication is lost; and all that prodigious tract of rich country,`--which Mr. Washington fixed upon long ago, is ours again, if we can turn it to use. `This day a detachment of us goes to Braddock`s field of battle [poor Braddock!], to bury the bones of our slaughtered countrymen; many of whom the French butchered in cold blood, and, to their own eternal shame and infamy, have left lying above ground ever since. As indeed they have done with all those slain round the Fort in late weeks;`--calling themselves a civilized Nation too!" [Old Newspapers (in Gentleman`s Magazine for 1759, pp. 41, 39).]
LOWER RHINE, JULY-NOVEMBER, 1758. "Ferdinand`s manoeuvres, after Crefeld, on the France-ward side of Rhine, were very pretty: but, without Wesel, and versus a Belleisle as War-Minister, and a Contades who was something of a General, it would not do. Belleisle made uncommon exertions, diligent to get his broken people drilled again; Contades was wary, and counter-manoeuvred rather well. Finally, Soubise" (readers recollect him and his 24 or 30,000, who stood in Frankfurt Country, on the hither or north side of Rhine), famed Rossbach Soubise,--"pushing out, at Belleisle`s bidding, towards Hanover, in a region vacant otherwise of troops,-- became dangerous to Ferdinand. `Making for Hanover?` thought Ferdinand: `Or perhaps meaning to attack my 12,000 English that are just landed? Nay, perhaps my Rhine-Bridge itself, and the small Party left there?` Ferdinand found he would have to return, and look after Soubise. Crossed, accordingly (August 8th), by his old Bridge at Rees,--which he found safe, in spite of attempts there had been; ["Fight of Meer" (Chevert, with 10,000, beaten off, and the Bridge saved, by Imhof, with 3,000;--both clever soldiers; Imhof in better luck, and favored by the ground: "5th August, 1758"): MAUVILLON, i. 315.]--and never recrossed during this War. Judges even say his first crossing had never much solidity of outlook in it; and though so delightful to the public, was his questionablest step.
"On the 12,000 English, Soubise had attempted nothing. Ferdinand joined his English at Soest (August 20th); to their great joy and his; [Duke of Marlborough`s heavy-laden LETTER to Pitt, "Koesfeld, August 15th:" "Nothing but rains and uncertainties;" "marching, latterly, up to our middles in water;" have come from Embden, straight south towards Wesel Country, almost 150 miles (Soest still a good sixty miles to southeast of us). CHATHAM CORRESPONDENCE (London, 1838), i. 334, 337. The poor Duke died in two months hence; and the command devolved on Lord George Sackville, as is too well known.] 10 to 12,000 as a first instalment:--Grand-looking fellows, said the Germans. And did you ever see such horses, such splendor of equipment, regardless of expense? Not to mention those BERGSCHOTTEN (Scotch Highlanders), with their bagpipes, sporrans, kilts, and exotic costumes and ways; astonishing to the German mind. [Romantic view of the BERGSCHOTTEN (2,000 of them, led by the Junior of the Robert Keiths above mentioned, who is a soldier as yet), in ARCHENHOLTZ, i. 351-353: IB. and in PREUSS, ii. 136, of the "uniforms with gold and silver lace," of the superb horses, "one regiment all roan horses, another all black, another all" &c.] Out of all whom (BERGSCHOTTEN included), Ferdinand, by management,--and management was needed,-- got a great deal of first-rate fighting, in the next Four Years.
"Nor, in regard to Hanover, could Soubise make anything of it; though he did (owing to a couple of stupid fellows, General Prince von Ysenburg and General Oberg, detached by Ferdinand on that service) escape the lively treatment Ferdinand had prepared for him; and even gave a kind of Beating to each of those stupid fellows, [1. "Fight of Sandershausen" (Broglio, as Soubise`s vanguard, 12,000; VERSUS Ysenburg, 7,000, who stupidly would not withdraw TILL beaten: "23d July, 1758," BEFORE Ferdinand had come across again). 2. Fight of Lutternberg (Soubise, 30,000; VERSUS Oberg, about 18,000, who stupidly hung back till Soubise was all gathered, and THEN &c., still more stupidly: "10th October, 1758"). See MAUVILLON, i. 312 (or better, ARCHENHOLTZ, i. 345); and MAUVILLON, i. 327. Both Lutternberg and Sandershausen are in the neighborhood of Cassel;--as many of those Ferdinand fights were.]--one of which, Oberg`s one, might have ruined Oberg and his Detachment altogether, had Soubise been alert, which he by no means was! `Paris made such jeering about Rossbach and the Prince de Soubise,` says Voltaire, [ Histoire de Louis XV. ] `and nobody said a word about these two Victories of his, next Year!` For which there might be two reasons: one, according to Tempelhof, that `the Victories were of the so-so kind (SIC WAREN AUCH DARNACH);` and another, that they were ascribed to Broglio, on both occasions,--how justly, nobody will now argue!
"Contades had not failed, in the mean while, to follow with the main Army; and was now elaborately manoeuvring about; intent to have Lippstadt, or some Fortress in those Rhine-Weser Countries. On the tail of that second so-so Victory by Soubise, Contades thought, Now would be the chance. And did try hard, but without effect. Ferdinand was himself attending Contades; and mistakes were not likely. Ferdinand, in the thick of the game (October 21st- 30th), `made a masterly movement`--that is to say, cut Contades and his Soubise irretrievably asunder: no junction now possible to them; the weaker of them liable to ruin,--unless Contades, the stronger, would give battle; which, though greatly outnumbering Ferdinand, he was cautious not to do. A melancholic cautious man, apt to be over-cautious,--nicknamed `L`APOTHECAIRE` by the Parisians, from his down looks,--but had good soldier qualities withal. Soubise and he haggled about, a short while,--not a long, in these dangerous circumstances; and then had to go home again, without result, each the way he came; Contades himself repassing through Wesel, and wintering on his own side of the Rhine."
How Pitt is succeeding, and aiming to succeed, on the French Foreign Settlements: on the Guinea Coast, on the High Seas everywhere; in the West Indies; still more in the East,--where General Lally (that fiery O`MulLALLY, famous since Fontenoy), missioned with "full-powers," as they call them, is raging up and down, about Madras and neighborhood, in a violent, impetuous, more and more bankrupt manner:--Of all this we can say nothing for the present, little at any time. Here are two facts of the financial sort, sufficiently illuminative. The much-expending, much- subsidying Government of France cannot now borrow except at 7 per cent Interest; and the rate of Marine Insurance has risen to 70 per cent. [Retzow, ii. 5.] One way and other, here is a Pitt clearly progressive; and a long-pending JENKINS`S-EAR QUESTION in a fair way to be settled!
Friedrich stays in Saxony about a month, inspecting and adjusting; thence to Breslau, for Winter-quarters. His Winter is like to be a sad and silent one, this time; with none of the gayeties of last Year; the royal heart heavy enough with many private sorrows, were there none of public at all! This is a word from him, two days after finishing Daun for the season:--
FRIEDRICH TO MYLORD MARISCHAL (at Colombier in Neufchatel).
"DRESDEN, 23d November, 1758.
"There is nothing left for us, MON CHER MYLORD, but to mingle and blend our weeping for the losses we have had. If my head were a fountain of tears, it would not suffice for the grief I feel.
"Our Campaign is over; and there has nothing come of it, on one side or the other, but the loss of a great many worthy people, the misery of a great many poor soldiers crippled forever, the ruin of some Provinces, the ravage, pillage and conflagration of some flourishing Towns. Exploits these which make humanity shudder: sad fruits of the wickedness and ambition of certain People in Power, who sacrifice everything to their unbridled passions! I wish you, MON CHER MYLORD, nothing that has the least resemblance to mv destiny; and everything that is wanting to it. Your old friend, till death."--F. [ OEuvres de Frederic, xx. 273.]