Oh, be patient yet a day or two: he skips about at such a rate! Soltikof gloomily consents to another day or two. Of Czernichef at Auras we shall hear farther on,—were these Royal movements once got completed a little. But, on the other hand, the Hill-roads are reported absolutely impassable for baggage; Pombsen an impossibility, as the other places have been. So Friedrich sits down again in Seichau to consider; does not stir all day.
Towards sunset, General Bulow, with the Second Line second column of march , is sent out Goldberg-way, to take hold of the passage of the Katzbach: and at 8 that night we all march, recrossing there about 1 in the morning; thence down our left bank to Liegnitz for the second time,—sixteen hours of it in all, or till noon of the 13th. Here Friedrich stays one day,—more exactly, 30 hours;— and his shifting, next time, is extremely memorable. Daun, Lacy and Loudon, the Three-lipped Pincers, have of course followed, and are again agape for Friedrich, all in scientific postures: Daun in the Jauer region, seven or eight miles south; Lacy about Goldberg, as far to southwest; Loudon "between Jeschkendorf and Koischwitz," northeastward, somewhat closer on Friedrich, with the Katzbach intervening.
That Czernichef, with an additional 24,, to rear of Loudon, is actually crossing Oder at Auras, with an eye to junction, Friedrich does not hear till to-morrow. The scene is rather pretty, if one admired scenes. Liegnitz, a square, handsome, brick-built Town, of old standing, in good repair population then, say 7, , with fine old castellated edifices and aspects: pleasant meeting, in level circumstances, of the Katzbach valley with the Schwartz-wasser BLACK-WATER ditto, which forms the north rim of Liegnitz; pleasant mixture of green poplars and brick towers,—as seen from that "Victory Hill" more likely to be "Immediate-Ruin Hill!
Kloster Wahlstatt, a famed place, lies visible to southeast, few miles off. Readers recollect one Blucher "Prince of Wahlstatt," so named from one of his Anti- Napoleon victories gained there? Till Thursday, 14th, about 8 in the evening, Friedrich continued in his Camp of Liegnitz.
We are now within reach of a notable Passage of War. Provisions being all but run out; and three Armies, 90, not to count Czernichef and his 24, as a fourth watching round our 30,, within a few miles; there is no staying here, beyond this day. If even this day it be allowed us? This day, Friedrich had to draw out, and stand to arms for some hours; while the Austrians appeared extensively on the Heights about, apparently intending an attack; till it proved to be nothing: only an elaborate reconnoitring by Daun; and we returned to our tents again.
Friedrich understands well enough that Daun, with the facts now before him, will gradually form his plan, and also, from the lie of matters, what his plan will be: many are the times Daun has elaborately reconnoitred, elaborately laid his plan; but found, on coming to execute, that his Friedrich was off in the interim, and the plan gone to air.
Friedrich has about 2, wagons to drag with him in these swift marches: Glogau Magazine, his one resource, should Breslau and Schweidnitz prove unattainable, is forty-five long miles northwestward. March to-night; towards Parchwitz, which is towards Glogau too. Army rest till daybreak on the Heights of Pfaffendorf yonder, to examine, to wait its luck: let the empty meal-wagons jingle on to Glogau; load themselves there, and jingle back to us in Parchwitz neighborhood, should Parchwitz not have proved impossible to our manoeuvrings,—let us hope it may not!
Which done, he too returns home, no doubt a wearied individual; and at 4 of the afternoon lies down to try for an hour or two of sleep, while all hands are busy packing, according to the Orders given. They awaken the King: "The man is drunk, but dreadfully in earnest, your Majesty. Visible only, that his Majesty, before sunset, rode out reconnoitring with this questionable Irish gentleman, now in a very flaccid state; and altered nothing whatever in prior arrangements;—and that the flaccid Irish gentleman staggers out of sight, into dusk, into rest and darkness, after this one appearance on the stage of history.
About one in the morning, all, even the right wing from Schimmelwitz, are safely across. Schwartzwasser, a River of many tails boggy most of them, Sohnelle or SWIFT Deichsel hardly an exception , gathering itself from the southward for twenty or more miles, attains its maximum of north at a place called Waldau, not far northwest of Topferberg. Towards this Waldau, Lacy is aiming all night; thence to pounce on our "left wing,"—which he will find to consist of those empty watchfires merely. All empty yonder too, even as our own Camp is; all gone forth, even as we are; we resting here, and our meal-wagons jingling on Glogau way!
The rest of us lie down on the grass;—among others, young Herr von Archenholtz, ensign or lieutenant in Regiment FORCADE: who testifies that it is one of the beautifulest nights, the lamps of Heaven shining down in an uncommonly tranquil manner; and that almost nobody slept. The soldier-ranks all lay horizontal, musket under arm; chatting pleasantly in an undertone, or each in silence revolving such thoughts as he had.
The Generals amble like observant spirits, hoarsely imperative. Ziethen commands in that smaller Schwartzwasser part of the line, Friedrich in the Katzbach part, which is more in risk. And now, things being moderately in order, Friedrich has himself sat down—I think, towards the middle or convex part of his lines—by a watch-fire he has found there; and, wrapt in his cloak, his many thoughts melting into haze, has sunk ito a kind of sleep.
Seated on a drum, some say; half asleep by the watch-fire, time half-past 2,—when a Hussar Major, who has been out by the Bienowitz, the Pohlschildern way, northward, reconnoitring, comes dashing up full speed: "The King? Friedrich springs to horse; has already an Order speeding forth, "General Schenkendorf and his Battalion, their cannon, to the crown of the Wolfsberg, on our left yonder; swift!
Schenkendorf, being nimble, was able to astonish the Enemy with volumes of case-shot from the Wolfsberg, which were very deadly at that close distance. Other arrangements, too minute for recital here, are rapidly done; and our Left Wing is in condition to receive its early visitors,—Loudon or whoever they may be. It is still dubious to the History-Books whether Friedrich was in clear expectation of Loudon here; though of course he would now guess it was Loudon.
But there is no doubt Loudon had not the least expectation of Friedrich; and his surprise must have been intense, when, instead of vacant darkness and some chance of Prussian baggage, which he had heard of , Prussian musketries and case-shot opened on him. And now suddenly, instead of Baggage to capture, here, out of the vacant darkness, is Friedrich in person, on the brow of the Heights where we intended to form! Judging at once what the business was, and that retreat would be impossible without ruin, he hastened instantly to form himself, on such ground as he had,— highly unfavorable ground, uphill in part, and room in it only for Five Battalions 5, of front;—and came on again, with a great deal of impetuosity and good skill; again and ever again, three times in all.
Had partial successes; edged always to the right to get the flank of Friedrich; but could not, Friedrich edging conformably.
FREDERICK THE GREAT
From his right-hand, or northeast part, Loudon poured in, once and again, very furious charges of Cavalry; on every repulse, drew out new Battalions from his left and centre, and again stormed forward: but found it always impossible. Had his subordinates all been Loudons, it is said, there was once a fine chance for him. One of the Austrian Columns was just entering Panten when the Fight began: in Panten that Column has stood cogitative ever since; well to left of Loudon and his struggles; but does not, till the eleventh hour, resolve to push through. At the eleventh hour;—and lo, in the nick of time, Mollendorf our Leuthen-and-Hochkirch friend got his eye on it; rushed up with infantry and cavalry; set Panten on fire, and blocked out that possibility and the too cogitative Column.
Loudon had no other real chance: his furious horse-charges and attempts were met everywhere by corresponding counter-fury. Bernburg, poor Regiment Bernburg, see what a figure it is making! Left almost alone, at one time, among those horse-charges; spending its blood like water, bayonet-charging, platooning as never before; and on the whole, stemming invincibly that horsetorrent,—not unseen by Majesty, it may be hoped; who is here where the hottest pinch is.
On the third repulse, which was worse than any before, Loudon found he had enough; and tried it no farther. Rolled over the Katzbach, better or worse; Prussians catching 6, of him, but not following farther: threw up a tine battery at Bienowitz, which sheltered his retreat from horse:—and went his ways, sorely but not dishonorably beaten, after an hour and half of uncommonly stiff fighting, which had been very murderous to Loudon. Loss of 10, to him: 4, killed and wounded; prisoners 6,; 82 cannon, 28 flags, and other items; the Prussian loss being 1, in whole.
What a spectacle! Daun sallied out again, in his collapsed, upset condition, as soon as possible: pushed on, in the track of Friedrich; warning Lacy to push on. Daun, though within five miles all the while, had heard nothing of the furious Fight and cannonade; "southwest wind having risen," so Daun said, and is believed by candid persons,—not by the angry Vienna people, who counted it impossible: "Nonsense; you were not deaf; but you loitered and haggled, in your usual way; perhaps not sorry that, the brilliant Loudon should get a rebuff! Emerging out of Liegnitz, Daun did see, to northeastward, a vast pillar or mass of smoke, silently mounting, but could do nothing with it.
Poor Loudon, alas, must have got beaten! Ziethen across the Schwartzwasser is alert enough. Daun recognizes the impossibility; wends back through Liegnitz to his Camp again, the way he had come. Tide-hour missed again; ebb going uncommonly rapid! And, in fact, nothing of Lacy more than of Daun, could manage to get across: nothing except two poor Hussar regiments; who, winding up far to the left, attempted a snatch on the Baggage about Hummeln,—Hummeln, or Kuchel of the Scrubs.
Mitchell, by magnanimous choice of his own, has been in many Fights by the side of Friedrich; but this is the last he will ever be in or near;—this miraculous one of Liegnitz, 3 to 4. Never did such a luck befall Friedrich before or after. Partly by accident too; the best of management crowned by the luckiest of accidents. Friedrich rested four hours on the Battle-field,—if that could be called rest, which was a new kind of diligence highly wonderful. Major-General Saldern had charge of this, a man of many talents; and did it consummately.
The wounded, Austrian as well as Prussian, are placed in the empty meal-wagons; the more slightly wounded are set on horseback, double in possible cases: only the dead are left lying: or more meal-wagons are left, their teams needed for drawing our 82 new cannon;—the wagons we split up, no Austrians to have them; usable only as firewood for the poor Country-folk.
The 4 or 5, good muskets lying on the field, shall not we take them also? Each cavalry soldier slings one of them across his back, each baggage driver one: and the muskets too are taken care of. About 9 A. One of the succinctest of Kings. I should have mentioned the joy of poor Regiment Bernburg; which rather affected me. Loudon gone, the miracle of Battle done, and this miraculous packing going on,—Friedrich riding about among his people, passed along the front of Bernburg, the eye of him perhaps intimating, "I saw you, BURSCHE;" but no word coming from him.
The Bernburg Officers, tragically tressless in their hats, stand also silent, grim as blackened stones all Bernburg black with gunpowder : "In us also is no word; unless our actions perhaps speak? Such a War is too ruinous! A swift, impetuous kind of man, this Choiseul, who is still rather young than otherwise; plenty of proud spirit in him, of shifts, talent of the reckless sort; who proved very notable in France for the next twenty years. French trade being ruined withal, money is running dreadfully low: but they appoint a new Controller-General; a M.
Had he but a Fortunatus-Purse, how lucky were it! With Fortunatus Silhouette as purse-holder, with a fiery young Choiseul on this hand, and a fiery old Belleisle on that, Pompadour meditates great things this Year,—Invasions of England; stronger German Armies; better German Plans, and slashings home upon Hanover itself, or the vital point;—and flatters herself, and her poor Louis, that there is on the anvil, for , such a French Campaign as will perhaps astonish Pitt and another insolent King.
Very fixed, fell and feminine is the Pompadour's humor in this matter. Nor is the Czarina's less so; but more, if possible; unappeasable except by death. Imperial Maria Theresa has masculine reasons withal; great hopes, too, of late. Of the War's ending till flat impossibility stop it, there is no likelihood. To Pitt this Campaign , in spite of bad omens at the outset, proved altogether splendid: but greatly the reverse on Friedrich's side; to whom it was the most disastrous and unfortunate he had yet made, or did ever make.
Pitt at his zenith in public reputation; Friedrich never so low before, nothing seemingly but extinction near ahead, when this Year ended. The truth is, apart from his specific pieces of ill-luck, there had now begun for Friedrich a new rule of procedure, which much altered his appearance in the world. Thrice over had he tried by the aggressive or invasive method; thrice over made a plunge at the enemy's heart, hoping so to disarm or lame him: but that, with resources spent to such a degree, is what he cannot do a fourth time: he is too weak henceforth to think of that.
Friedrich cannot now do Leuthens, Rossbachs; far-shining feats of victory, which astonish all the world. His fine Prussian veterans have mostly perished; and have been replaced by new levies and recruits; who are inferior both in discipline and native quality;—though they have still, people say, a noteworthy taste of the old Prussian sort in them; and do, in fact, fight well to the last. But "it is observable," says Retzow somewhere, and indeed it follows from the nature of the case, "that while the Prussian Army presents always its best kind of soldiers at the beginning of a war, Austria, such are its resources in population, always improves in that particular, and its best troops appear in the last campaigns.
HISTORY OF FRIEDRICH II OF PRUSSIA
And, alas, which cannot figure in History either,—what is more a sorrow to me here! Friedrich, say all judges of soldiership and human character who have studied Friedrich sufficiently, "is greater than ever," in these four Years now coming. A thing which cannot, by any method, be made manifest to the general reader; who delights in shining summary feats, and is impatient of tedious preliminaries and investigations,—especially of MAPS, which are the indispensablest requisite of all. A thing, in short, that belongs peculiarly to soldier-students; who can undergo the dull preliminaries, most dull but most inexorably needed; and can follow out, with watchful intelligence, and with a patience not to be wearied, the multifarious topographies, details of movements and manoeuvrings, year after year, on such a Theatre of War.
What is to be done with it here! If we could, by significant strokes, indicate, under features true so far as they went, the great wide fire-flood that was raging round the world; if we could, carefully omitting very many things, omit of the things intelligible and decipherable that concern Friedrich himself, nothing that had meaning: IF indeed—! But it is idle preluding. Forward again, brave reader, under such conditions as there are!
Friedrich's Winter in Breslau was of secluded, silent, sombre character, this time; nothing of stir in it but from work only: in marked contrast with the last, and its kindly visitors and gayeties. A Friedrich given up to his manifold businesses, to his silent sorrows. When one is sad, it becomes at last too burdensome to hide one's grief continually; and it is better to give way to it by oneself, than to carry one's gloom into society.
Nothing solaces me but the vigorous application required in steady and continuous labor. This distraction does force one to put away painful ideas, while it lasts: but, alas, no sooner is the work done, than these fatal companions present themselves again, as if livelier than ever. Maupertuis was right: the sum of evil does certainly surpass that of good:—but to me it is all one; I have almost nothing more to lose; and my few remaining days, what matters it much of what complexion they be?
The loss of his Wilhelmina, had there been no other grief, has darkened all his life to Friedrich. Punctual bequest did avail: but the eldest Son who was King, and had Schlesien with much else to his share began to encroach, to grasp; upon which the others rose upon him, flung him out into exile; redivided; and hoped now they might have quiet. Hoped, but were disappointed; and could come to no sure bargain for the next twenty years,—not till "the eldest brother," first author of these strifes, "died an exile in Holstein," or was just about dying, and had agreed to take Schlesien for all claims, and be quiet thenceforth.
His, this eldest's, three Sons did accordingly, in , get Schlesien instead of him; their uncles proving honorable. Schlesien thereby was happy enough to get cut loose from Poland, and to continue loose; steering a course of its own;—parting farther and farther from Poland and its habits and fortunes. These three Sons, of the late Polish Majesty who died in exile in Holstein, are the "Piast Dukes," much talked of in Silesian Histories: of whose merits I specify this only, That they so soon as possible strove to be German.
Their merits as Sovereign Dukes seem to have been considerable; a certain piety, wisdom and nobleness of mind not rare among them; and no doubt it was partly their merit, if partly also their good luck, that they took to Germany, and leant thitherward; steering looser and looser from Poland, in their new circumstances. They themselves by degrees became altogether German; their Countries, by silent immigration, introduction of the arts, the composures and sobrieties, became essentially so. On the eastern rim there is still a Polack remnant, its territories very sandy, its condition very bad; remnant which surely ought to cease its Polack jargon, and learn some dialect of intelligible Teutsch, as the first condition of improvement.
In all other parts Teutsch reigns; and Schlesien is a green abundant Country; full of metallurgy, damask-weaving, grain-husbandry. The two who stood out, resisting prayer and price, were the Duke of Jauer and the Duke of Schweidnitz,—lofty-minded gentlemen, perhaps a thought too lofty. Schlesien is henceforth a bit of the Kingdom of Bohemia; indissolubly hooked to Germany; and its progress in the arts and composures, under wise Piasts with immigrating Germans, we guess to have become doubly rapid.
Schlesien, hanging to Bohemia in this manner, extensively adopted Huss's doctrines; still more extensively Luther's; and that was a difficult element in its lot, though, I believe, an unspeakably precious one. It cost above a Century of sad tumults, Zisca Wars; nay above two Centuries, including the sad Thirty-Years War;—which miseries, in Bohemia Proper, were sometimes very sad and even horrible.
But Schlesien, the outlying Country, did, in all this, suffer less than Bohemia Proper; and did NOT lose its Evangelical Doctrine in result, as unfortunate Bohemia did, and sink into sluttish "fanatical torpor, and big Crucifixes of japanned Tin by the wayside," though in the course of subsequent years, named of Peace, it was near doing so. Here are the steps, or unavailing counter-steps, in that latter direction:—.
Duke of Liegnitz had to give up his parchments, and become zero in that matter: Kur-Brandenburg entirely refused to do so; kept his parchments, to see if they would not turn to something. Act of Ban and Forfeiture was done tyrannously, said most men; and it was persisted in equally so, till men ceased speaking of it;—Jagerndorf Duchy, fruit of the Act, was held by Austria, ever after, in defiance of the Laws of the Reich.
Religious Oppression lay heavy on Protestant Schlesien thenceforth; and many lukewarm individualities were brought back to Orthodoxy by that method, successful in the diligent skilled hands of Jesuit Reverend Fathers, with fiscals and soldiers in the rear of them. Treaty of Westphalia mended much of this, and set fair limits to Papist encroachment;—had said Treaty been kept: but how could it?
By Orthodox Authority, anxious to recover lost souls, or at least to have loyal subjects, it was publicly kept in name; and tacitly, in substance, it was violated more and more. Of the "Blossoming of Silesian Literature," spoken of in Books; of the Poet Opitz, Poets Logan, Hoffmannswaldau, who burst into a kind of Song better or worse at this Period, we will remember nothing; but request the reader to remember it, if he is tunefully given, or thinks it a good symptom of Schlesien.
Treaty of Altranstadt: between Kaiser Joseph I. Swedish Karl, marching through those parts,—out of Poland, in chase of August the Physically Strong, towards Saxony, there to beat him soft,—was waited upon by Silesian Deputations of a lamentable nature; was entreated, for the love of Christ and His Evangel, to "Protect us poor Protestants, and get the Treaty of Westphalia observed on our behalf, and fair-play shown!
The Pope rebuked Kaiser Joseph for such compliance in the Silesian matter: "Holy Father," answered this Kaiser not of distinguished orthodoxy in the House , "I am too glad he did not ask me to become Lutheran; I know not how I should have helped myself! Leipzig, , I mention only lest ingenuous readers should be tempted by the Title to buy it. These are the Three Epochs;—most things, in respect of this Third or Reformation Epoch, stepping steadily downward hitherto. As to the Fourth Epoch, dating "13th Dec. At what hour Friedrich ceased dancing on that famous Ball-night of Bielfeld's, and how long he slept after, or whether at all, no Bielfeld even mythically says: but next morning, as is patent to all the world, Tuesday, 13th December, , at the stroke of nine, he steps into his carriage; and with small escort rolls away towards Frankfurt-on-Oder; [ Helden-Geschichte, i.
Two youngish military men, Adjutant-Generals both, were with him, Wartensleben, Borck; both once fellow Captains in the Potsdam Giants, and much in his intimacy ever since. Wartensleben we once saw at Brunswick, on a Masonic occasion; Borck, whom we here see for the first time, is not the Colonel Borck properly Major-General who did the Herstal Operation lately; still less is he the venerable old Minister, Marlborough Veteran, and now Field-Marshal Borck, whom Hotham treated with, on a certain occasion.
There are numerous Borcks always in the King's service; nor are these three, except by loose cousinry, related to one another. Wartensleben, Borck, and a certain Colonel von der Golz, whom also the King much esteems, these are his company on this drive. For escort, or guard of honor out of Berlin to the next stages, there is a small body of Hussars, Life-guard and other Cavalry, "perhaps horse in all. They drive rapidly, through the gray winter; reach Frankfurt-on-Oder, sixty miles or more; where no doubt there is military business waiting. They are forward, on the morrow, for dinner, forty miles farther, at a small Town called Crossen, which looks over into Silesia; and is, for the present, headquarters to a Prussian Army, standing ready there and in the environs.
Standing ready, or hourly marching in, and rendezvousing; now about 28, strong, horse and foot. A Rearguard of Ten or Twelve Thousand will march from Berlin in two days, pause hereabouts, and follow according to circumstances: Prussian Army will then be some 40, in all. Schwerin has been Commander, manager and mainspring of the business hitherto: henceforth it is to be the King; but Schwerin under him will still have a Division of his own.
Among the Regiments, we notice "Schulenburg Horse-Grenadiers,"—come along from Landsberg hither, these Horse-Grenadiers, with little Schulenburg at the head of them;—"Dragoon Regiment Bayreuth," "Lifeguard Carbineers," "Derschau of Foot;" and other Regiments and figures slightly known to us, or that will be better known. With this Force the young King has, on his own basis pretty much in spite of all the world, as we find now and afterwards , determined to invade Silesia, and lay hold of the Property he has long had there;—not computing, for none can compute, the sleeping whirlwinds he may chance to awaken thereby.
Thus lightly does a man enter upon Enterprises which prove unexpectedly momentous, and shape the whole remainder of his days for him; crossing the Rubicon as it were in his sleep. In Life, as on Railways at certain points,—whether you know it or not, there is but an inch, this way or that, into what tram you are shunted; but try to get out of it again!
At all events, the man means to try;—and is here dining at Crossen, noon of Wednesday, the 14th; certain important persons,—especially two Silesian Gentlemen, deputed from Grunberg, the nearest Silesian Town, who have come across the border on business,—having the honor to dine with him. To whom his manner is lively and affable; lively in mood, as if there lay no load upon his spirits. The business of these two Silesian Gentlemen, a Baron von Hocke one of them, a Baron von Kestlitz the other, was To present, on the part of the Town and Amt of Grunberg, a solemn Protest against this meditated entrance on the Territory of Schlesien; Government itself, from Breslau, ordering them to do so.
Protest was duly presented; Friedrich, as his manner is, and continues to be on his march, glances politely into or at the Protest; hands it, in silence, to some page or secretary to deposit in the due pigeon-hole or waste-basket; and invites the two Silesian Gentlemen to dine with him; as, we see, they have the honor to do. My poor mansion, Schloss of Deutsch-Kessel, is some fifteen miles hence; how infinitely at your Majesty's service, should the march prove inevitable, and go that way! Government at Breslau has ordered such Protest, on the part of the Frontier populations and Official persons: and this is all that comes of it.
During these hours, it chanced that the big Bell of Crossen dropped from its steeple,—fulness of time, or entire rottenness of axle-tree, being at last completed, at this fateful moment. Perhaps an ominous thing?
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Friedrich, as Caesar and others have done, cheerfully interprets the omen to his own advantage: "Sign that the High is to be brought low! Were the march-routes, wagon-trains, and multifarious adjustments perfect to the last item here at Crossen, he will with much cheerfulness step into Silesia, independent of all Grunberg Protests and fallen Bells. On the second day he does actually cross; "the regiments marching in, at different points; some reaching as far as 25 miles in.
They went through the Village of Lasgen; that was the first point of Silesian ground "Circle of Schwiebus," our old friend, is on the left near by ; and "Schwerin's Regiment was the foremost. This evening nearly the whole Army was on Silesian ground. Printed "Patent" or Proclamation, briefly assuring all Silesians, of whatever rank, condition or religion, "That we have come as friends to them, and will protect all persons in their privileges, and molest no peaceable mortal," is posted on Church-doors, and extensively distributed by hand.
Soldiers are forbidden, "under penalty of the rods," Officers under that of "cassation with infamy," to take anything, without first bargaining and paying ready money for it. On these terms the Silesian villages cheerfully enough accept their new guests, interesting to the rural mind; and though the billeting was rather heavy, "as many as 24 soldiers to a common Farmer GARTNER ," no complaints were made. In one Schloss, where the owners had fled, and no human response was to be had by the wayworn-soldiery, there did occur some breakages and impatient kickings about; which it grieved his Majesty to hear of, next morning;—in one, not in more.
Official persons, we perceive, study to be absolutely passive. This was the Burgermeister's course at Grunberg to-night; Grunberg, first Town on the Frontier, sets an example of passivity which cannot be surpassed. Prussian troops being at the Gate of Grunberg, Burgermeister and adjuncts sitting in a tacit expectant condition in their Town-hall, there arrives a Prussian Lieutenant requiring of the Burgermeister the Key of said Gate.
And on the morrow, in returning it, when the march recommences, there are the same phenomena: Burgermeister or assistants dare not for the life of them touch that Key: It lay on the table; and may again, in the course of Providence, come to lie! There was much small laughter over this transaction; Majesty himself laughing well at it. Higher perfection of passivity no Burgermeister could show.
The march, as readers understand, is towards Glogau; a strongish Garrison Town, now some 40 miles ahead; the key of Northern Schlesien. Grunberg where my readers once slept for the night, in the late King's time, though they have forgotten it is the first and only considerable Town on the hither side of Glogau. On to Glogau, I rather perceive, the Army is in good part provisioned before starting: after Glogau,—we must see. Bread-wagons, Baggage-wagons, Ammunition-and-Artillery wagons, all is in order; Army artistically portioned out. That is the form of march; with Glogau ahead.
King, as we said above, dines with his Baron von Hocke, at the Schloss of Deutsch-Kessel, short way beyond Grunberg, this first day: but he by no means loiters there;—cuts across, a dozen miles westward, through a country where his vanguard on its various lines of march ought to be arriving;—and goes to lodge, at the Schloss of Schweinitz, with his other Baron, the Von Kestlitz of Wednesday at Crossen. Silesia, in the way of resistance, is not in the least prepared for him.
A month ago, there were not above 3, Austrian Foot and Horse in the whole Province: neither the military Governor Count Wallis, nor the Imperial Court, nor any Official Person near or far, had the least anticipation of such a Visit. Count Wallis, who commands in Glogau, did in person, nine or ten days ago, as the rumors rose ever higher, run over to Crossen; saw with his eyes the undeniable there; and has been zealously endeavoring ever since, what he could, to take measures.
Wallis is now shut in Glogau; his second, the now Acting Governor, General Browne, a still more reflective man, is doing likewise his utmost; but on forlorn terms, and without the least guidance from Court. Browne has, by violent industry, raked together, from Mahren and the neighboring countries, certain fractions which raise his Force to 7, Foot: these he throws, in small parties, into the defensible points; or, in larger, into the Chief Garrisons. New Cavalry he cannot get; the old Horse he keeps for himself, all the marching Army he has. Fain would he get possession of Breslau, and throw in some garrison there; but cannot.
Neither he nor Wallis could compass that. Breslau is a City divided against itself, on this matter; full of emotions, of expectations, apprehensions for and against. But then also there are forty-four Incorporated Trades; Oppressed Protestant in Majority; to whom Vienna is not breath, but rather the want of it. Breslau is a REICH-STADT; in theory, sovereign member of the Reich, and supreme over its own affairs, even as Austria itself:—and the truth is, old Theory and new Fact, resolved not to quarrel, have lapsed into one another's arms in a quite inextricable way, in Breslau as elsewhere!
With a Head Government which can get no orders from Vienna, the very Town-Rath has little alacrity, inclines rather to passivity like Grunberg; and a silent population threatens to become vocal if you press upon it. Breslau, that is to say the OBER-AMT there, has sent courier on courier to Vienna for weeks past: not even an answer;—what can Vienna answer, with Kur-Baiern and others threatening war on it, and only 10, pounds in its National Purse?
Answer at last is, "Don't bother! Danger is not so near. Why spend money on couriers, and get into such a taking? Head Government OBER-AMT has, through its Northern official people, sent Protest, strict order to the Silesian Population to look sour on the Prussians:—and we saw, in consequence, the two Silesian Gentlemen did dine with Friedrich, and he has returned their visits; and the Mayor of Grunberg would not touch his keys. Head Government is now redacting a "Patent," or still more solemn Protest of its own; which likewise it will affix in the Salz-Ring here, and present to King Friedrich: and this—except "despatching by boat down the river a great deal of meal to Glogau", which was an important quiet thing, of Wallis's enforcing—is pretty much all it can do.
No Austrian Garrison can be got in "Perfectly able to defend ourselves! And as to burning the suburbs, better not whisper of that again. Breslau feels, or would fain feel itself "perfectly able;"—has at any rate no wish to be bombarded; and contains privately a great deal of Protestant humor. Of all which, Friedrich, it is not doubted, has notice more or less distinct; and quickens his march the more.
General Browne is at present in the Southern parts; an able active man and soldier; but, with such a force what can he attempt to do? Browne is in Neisse; and will start into a strange stare when the flying post reaches him: Prussians actually on march! Debate with them, if debate there is to be, Browne himself must contrive to do; from Breslau, from Vienna, no Government Supreme or Subordinate can yield his 8, and him the least help.
Glogau, as we saw, means to defend itself; at least, General Wallis the Commandant, does, in spite of the Glogau public; and is, with his whole might, digging, palisading, getting in meal, salt meat and other provender;—likewise burning suburbs, uncontrollable he, in the small place; and clearing down the outside edifices and shelters, at a diligent rate. A chief Protestant, Baron von Something, begged passionately for only twelve hours of respite,—to lay the case before his Prussian Majesty. Respite conceded, he and another chief Protestant had posted off accordingly; and did the next morning Friday, 16th , short way from Crossen, meet his Majesty's carriage; who graciously pulled up for a few instants, and listened to their story.
Getting to see this Church himself a few days hence, he said, "Why, it must come down at any rate, and be rebuilt; so ugly a thing! Wallis is making strenuous preparation; forces the inhabitants, even the upper kinds of them, to labor day and night by relays, in his rampartings, palisadings; is for burning all the adjacent Villages,—and would have done it, had not the peasants themselves turned out in a dangerous state of mind. He has got together about 1, men.
His powder, they say, is fifty years old; but he has eatable provender from Breslau, and means to hold out to the utmost. Readers must admit that the Austrian military, Graf von Wallis to begin with,—still more, General Browne, who is a younger man and has now the head charge,—behave well in their present forsaken condition. Read this Note on the distinguished Browne:—. We shall meet him repeatedly within the next eighteen years. Maximilian-Ulysses Graf von Browne: I said he was born German; Basel his birthplace 23d October, , Father also a soldier: he must not be confounded with a contemporary Cousin of his, who is also 'Fieldmarshal Browne,' but serves in Russia, Governor of Riga for a long time in the coming years.
This Austrian General, Fieldmarshal Browne, will by and by concern us somewhat; and the reader may take note of him.
I have looked in what Irish Peerages and printed Records there were, but without the least result. There are so many Irish in the like case with these Brownes. Maguires, Ogilvies of the Irish stock , Lieutenants 'Fitzgeral;' very many Irish; and there is not the least distinct account to be had of any of them. Anonymous "of Hamburg" I call my J. Marie Theresie Leipzig, , 27 n. Let us attend his Majesty on the next few marches towards Glogau, to see the manner of the thing a little; after which it will behoove us to be much more summary, and stick by the main incidents.
Friedrich's march proceeds with speed and regularity. Strict discipline is maintained; all things paid for, damage carefully avoided: "We come, not as invasive enemies of you or of the Queen of Hungary, but as protective friends of Silesia and of her Majesty's rights there;—her Majesty once allowing us as it is presumable she will our own rights in this Province, no man shall meddle with hers, while we continue here. To all men, coming with Protests or otherwise, we perceive, the young King is politeness itself; giving clear answer, and promise which will be kept, on the above principle.
Nothing angers him except that gentlemen should disbelieve, and run away. That a mansion be found deserted by its owners, is the one evil omen for such mansion. Thus, at the Schloss of Weichau which is still discoverable on the Map, across the "Black Ochel" and the "White," muddy streams which saunter eastward towards, the Oder there, nothing yet running westward for the Bober, our other limitary river , next night after Schweinitz, second night in Silesia, there was no Owner to be met with; and the look of his Majesty grew FINSTER dark ; remembering what had passed yesternight, in like case, at that other Schloss from which the owner with his best portable furniture had vanished.
At which Schloss, as above noticed, some disorders were committed by angry parties of the march;—doors burst open doors standing impudently dumb to the rational proposals made them! Here at Weichau stricter measures were taken: and yet difficulties, risks were not wanting; and the AMTMANN Steward of the place got pulled about, and once even a stroke or two.
Happily the young Herr of Weichau appeared in person on the morrow, hearing his Majesty was still there: "Papa is old; lives at another Schloss; could not wait upon your Majesty; nor, till now, could I have that honor. This day, Sunday, 18th, the Army rests; their first Sunday in Silesia, while the young Count pays his devoir: and here in Weichau, as elsewhere, it is in the Church, Catholic nearly always, that the Heretic Army does its devotions, safe from weather at least: such the Royal Order, they say; which is taken note of, by the Heterodox and by the Orthodox.creatoranswers.com/modules/springs/estoy-buscando-una-chica.php
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And ever henceforth, this is the example followed; and in all places where there is no Protestant Church and the Catholics have one, the Prussian Army-Chaplain assembles his buff-belted audience in the latter: "No offence, Reverend Fathers, but there are hours for us, and hours for you; and such is the King's Order. Country Gentlemen, Town Mayors and other civic Authorities, soon learn that on these terms they are safe with his Majesty; march after march he has interviews with such, to regulate the supplies, the necessities and accidents of the quartering of his Troops.
Clear, frank, open to reasonable representation, correct to his promise; in fact, industriously conciliatory and pacificatory: such is Friedrich to all Silesian men. Provincial Authorities, who can get no instructions from Head-quarters; Vienna saying nothing, Breslau nothing, and Deputy-Governor Browne being far south in Neisse,—are naturally in difficulties: How shall they act? Best not to act at all, if one can help it; and follow the Mayor of Grunberg's unsurpassable pattern!
Official persons, all of the Catholic creed, have leant heavy, not always conscious of doing it, against Protestant rights. The Jesuits, consciously enough, have been and are busy with them; intent to recall a Heretic Population by all methods, fair and unfair. We heard of Charles XII. Amendment did, for the moment, accordingly take place.
Treaty of Westphalia in all its stipulations, with precautionary improvements, was re-enacted as Treaty of Altranstadt; with faithful intention of keeping it too, on Kaiser Joseph's part, who was not a superstitious man: 'Holy Father, I was too glad he did not demand my own conversion to the Protestant Heresy, bested as I am,—with Louis Quatorze and Company upon the neck of me! In brief, Official human nature, with the best of Kaisers atop, flagitated continually by Jesuit Confessors, does throw its weight on a certain side: the sad fact is, in a few years the brightness of that Altranstadt improvement began to wax dim; and now, under long Jesuit manipulation, Silesian things are nearly at their old pass; and the patience of men is heavily laden.
To see your Chapel made a Soldiers' Barrack, your Protestant School become a Jesuit one,—Men did not then think of revolting under injuries; but the poor Silesian weaver, trudging twenty miles for his Sunday sermon; and perceiving that, unless their Mother could teach the art of reading, his boys, except under soul's peril, would now never learn it: such a Silesian could not want for reflections. Voiceless, hopeless, but heavy; and dwelling secretly, as under nightmare, in a million hearts. Austrian Officiality, wilfully unjust, or not wilfully so, is admitted to be in a most heavy-footed condition; can administer nothing well.
Good Government in any kind is not known here: Possibly the Prussian will be better; who can say? Catholic Officials do not venture on any definite hope, or definite balance of hope and fear, but adopt the Mayor of Grunberg's course, and study to be passive and silent. The Jesuit-Priest kind are clear in their minds for Austria; but think, Perhaps Prussia itself will not prove very tyrannous?
At all events, be silent; it is unsafe to stir. We notice generally, it is only in the Southern or Mountain regions of Silesia, where the Catholics are in majority, that the population is not ardently on the Prussian side. Passive, if they are on the other side; accurately passive at lowest, this it is prescribed all prudent men to be.
On the 18th, while divine service went on at Weichau, there was at Breslau another phenomenon observable. Provincial Government in Breslau had, at length, after intense study, and across such difficulties as we have no idea of, got its "Patent," or carefully worded Protestation against Prussia, brought to paper; and does, this day, with considerable solemnity, affix it to the Rathhaus door there, for the perusal of mankind; despatching a Copy for his Prussian Majesty withal, by two Messengers of dignity.
It has needed courage screwed to the sticking-place to venture on such a step, without instruction from Head-quarters; and the utmost powers of the Official mind have been taxed to couch this Document in language politely ambiguous, and yet strong enough;—too strong, some of us now think it.
In any case, here it now is; Provincial Government's bolt, so to speak, is shot. The affixing took place under dark weather-symptoms; actual outburst of thunder and rain at the moment, not to speak of the other surer omens. So that, to the common mind at Breslau, it did not seem there would much fruit come of this difficult performance. Breslau is secretly a much-agitated City; and Prussian Hussar Parties, shooting forth to great distances ahead, were, this day for the first time, observed within sight of it. And on the same Sunday we remark farther, what is still more important: Herr von Gotter, Friedrich's special Envoy to Vienna, has his first interview with the Queen of Hungary, or with Grand-Duke Franz the Queen's Husband and Co-Regent; and presents there, from Friedrich's own hand, written we remember when, brief distinct Note of his Prussian Majesty's actual Proposals and real meaning in regard to this Silesian Affair.
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Proposals anxiously conciliatory in tone, but the heavy purport of which is known to us: Gotter had been despatched, time enough, with these Proposals written above a month ago ; but was instructed not to arrive with them, till after the actual entrance into Silesia. And now the response to them is—? As good as nothing; perhaps worse. Let that suffice us at present. Readers, on march for Glogau, would grudge to pause over State-papers, though we shall have to read this of Friedrich's at some freer moment.
Monday, 19th, before daybreak, the Army is astir again, simultaneously wending forward; spread over wide areas, like a vast cloud potential thunder in it steadily advancing on the winds. Length of the Army, artistically portioned out, may be ten or fifteen miles, breadth already more, and growing more; Schwerin always on the right or western wing, close by the Bober River as yet, through Naumburg and the Towns on that side,—Liegnitz and other important Towns lying ahead for Schwerin, still farther apart from the main Body, were Glogau once settled.
So that the march is in two Columns; Schwerin, with the westernmost small column, intending towards Liegnitz, and thence ever farther southward, with his right leaning on the high lands which rise more and more into mountains as you advance. Friedrich himself commands the other column, has his left upon the Oder, in a country mounting continually towards the South, but with less irregularity of level, and generally flat as yet.
From beginning to end, the entire field of march lies between the Oder and its tributary the Bober; climbing slowly towards the sources of both.
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Which two rivers, as the reader may observe, form here a rectangular or trapezoidal space, ever widening as we go southward. Both rivers, coming from the Giant Mountains, hasten directly north; but Oder, bulging out easterly in his sandy course, is obliged to turn fairly westward again; and at Glogau, and a good space farther, flows in that direction;—till once Bober strikes in, almost at right angles, carrying Oder with HIM, though he is but a branch, straight northward again.
Northward, but ever slower, to the swollen Pommern regions, and sluggish exit into the Baltic there. One of the worst features is the state of the weather. On Sunday, at Breslau, we noticed thunder bursting out on an important occasion; "ominous," some men thought;—omen, for one thing, that the weather was breaking. At Weichau, that same day, rain began,—the young Herr of Weichau, driving home to Papa from dinner with Majesty, would get his share of it;—and on Monday, 19th, there was such a pour of rain as kept most wayfarers, though it could not the Prussian Army, within doors.
Rain in plunges, fallen and falling, through that blessed day; making roads into mere rivers of mud. The Prussian hosts marched on, all the same. Head-quarters, with the van of the wet Army, that night, were at Milkau;—from which place we have a Note of Friedrich's for Friend Jordan, perhaps producible by and by.
His Majesty lodged in some opulent Jesuit Establishment there. And indeed he continued there, not idle, under shelter, for a couple of days. The Jesuits, by their two head men, had welcomed him with their choicest smiles; to whom the King was very gracious, asking the two to dinner as usual, and styling them "Your Reverence.
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On the morrow 20th , came to him, here at Milkau,—probably from some near stage, for the rain was pouring worse than ever,—that Breslau "Patent," or strongish Protestation, by its two Messengers of dignity. The King looked over it "without visible anger" or change of countenance; "handed it," we expressly see, "to a Page to reposit" in the proper waste-basket;—spoke politely to the two gentlemen; asked each or one of them, "Are you of the Ober-Amt at Breslau, then?
Rain still heavier, rain as of Noah, continued through this Tuesday, and for days afterwards: but the Prussian hosts, hastening towards Glogau, marched still on. This Tuesday's march, for the rearward of the Army, 10, foot and 2, horse; march of ten hours long, from Weichau to the hamlet Milkau where his Majesty sits busy and affable ,—is thought to be the wettest on record. Waters all out, bridges down, the Country one wild lake of eddying mud.
Up to the knee for many miles together; up to the middle for long spaces; sometimes even up to the chin or deeper, where your bridge was washed away. The Prussians marched through it, as if they had been slate or iron.
Rank and file, nobody quitted his rank, nobody looked sour in the face; they took the pouring of the skies, and the red seas of terrestrial liquid, as matters that must be; cheered one another with jocosities, with choral snatches tobacco, I consider, would not burn ; and swashed unweariedly forward.
Ten hours some of them were out, their march being twenty or twenty-five miles; ten to fifteen was the average distance come. Nor, singular to say, did any loss occur; except of ALMOST one poor Army-Chaplain, and altogether of one poor Soldier's Wife;—sank dangerously both of them, beyond redemption she, taking the wrong side of some bridge-parapet. Poor Soldier's Wife, she is not named to me at all; and has no history save this, and that "she was of the regiment Bredow.
His Majesty surveyed the damp battalions on the morrow 21st , not without sympathy, not without satisfaction; allowed them a rest-day here at Milkau, to get dry and bright again; and gave them "fifteen thalers a company," which is about ninepence apiece, with some words of praise. Next day, Thursday, 22d, his Majesty and they marched on to Herrendorf; which is only five miles from Glogau, and near enough for Head-quarters, in the now humor of the place. Wallis has his messenger at Herrendorf, "Sorry to warn your Majesty, That if there be the least hostility committed, I shall have to resist it to the utmost.
As to the right Column, or Schwerin's Division, that, after a rest-day or two, gathers itself into more complete separation here, tucking in its eastern skirts; and gets on march again, by its own route. Steadily southward;—and from Liegnitz, and the upland Countries, there will be news of Schwerin and it before long. Rain ending, there ensued a ringing frost;—not favorable for Siege-operations on Glogau:—and Silesia became all of flinty glass, with white peaks to the Southwest, whither Schwerin is gone.
Friedrich was over from Herrendorf with the first daylight, "reconnoitring Glogau, and rode up to the very glacis;" scanning it on all sides. Shall we besiege Glogau, then? We have no siege-cannon here. Time presses, Breslau and all things in such crisis; and it will take time. One thing is evident, there ought to be siege-cannon got straightway; and, still more immediate, the right posts and battering-places should be ready against its coming.
That is the ultimate decision;—arrived at through a welter of dubieties, counterpoisings and perilous considerations, which we now take no account of. A most busy week; Friedrich incessantly in motion, now here now there; and a great deal of heavy work got well and rapidly done. The details of which, in these exuberant Manuscripts, would but weary the reader. Choosing of the proper posts and battering-places post "on the other side of the River," "on this side of it," "on the Island in the middle of it" , and obstinate intrenching and preparing of the same in spite of frost; "wooden bridge built" farther up; with "regulation of the river-boats, the Polish Ferry," and much else: all this we omit; and will glance only at one pregnant point, by way of sample:—.