History of Friedrich II of Prussia— Volume 20

Author: Thomas Carlyle

Chapter III. Battle of Liegnitz.

Friedrich stayed hardly one day in Neissen Country; Silesia, in the jaws of destruction, requiring such speed from him. His new Series of Marches thitherward, for the next two weeks especially, with Daun and Lacy, and at last with Loudon too, for escort, are still more singular than the foregoing; a fortnight of Soldier History such as is hardly to be paralleled elsewhere. Of his inward gloom one hears nothing. But the Problem itself approaches to the desperate; needing daily new invention, new audacity, with imminent destruction overhanging it throughout. A March distinguished in Military Annals;—but of which it is not for us to pretend treating. Military readers will find it in TEMPELHOF, and the supplementary Books from time to time cited here. And, for our own share, we can only say, that Friedrich’s labors strike us as abundantly Herculean; more Alcides-like than ever,—the rather as hopes of any success have sunk lower than ever. A modern Alcides, appointed to confront Tartarus itself, and be victorious over the Three-headed Dog. Daun, Lacy, Loudon coming on you simultaneously, open-mouthed, are a considerable Tartarean Dog! Soldiers judge that the King’s resources of genius were extremely conspicuous on this occasion; and to all men it is in evidence that seldom in the Arena of this Universe, looked on by the idle Populaces and by the eternal Gods and Antigods (called Devils), did a Son of Adam fence better for himself, now and throughout.

This, his Third march to Silesia in 1760, is judged to be the most forlorn and ominous Friedrich ever made thither; real peril, and ruin to Silesia and him, more imminent than even in the old Leuthen days. Difficulties, complicacies very many, Friedrich can foresee: a Daun’s Army and a Lacy’s for escort to us; and such a Silesia when we do arrive. And there is one complicacy more which he does not yet know of; that of Loudon waiting ahead to welcome him, on crossing the Frontier, and increase his escort thenceforth!—Or rather, let us say, Friedrich, thanks to the despondent Henri and others, has escaped a great Silesian Calamity;—of which he will hear, with mixed emotions, on arriving at Bunzlau on the Silesian Frontier, six days after setting out. Since the loss of Glatz (July 26th), Friedrich has no news of Loudon; supposes him to be trying something upon Neisse, to be adjusting with his slow Russians; and, in short, to be out of the dismal account-current just at present. That is not the fact in regard to Loudon; that is far from the fact.


Hardly above six hours after taking Glatz, swift Loudon, no Daun now tethering him (Daun standing, or sitting, "in relief of Dresden" far off), was on march for Breslau—Vanguard of him "marched that same evening (July 26th):" in the liveliest hope of capturing Breslau; especially if Soltikof, to whom this of Glatz ought to be a fine symbol and pledge, make speed to co-operate. Soltikof is in no violent enthusiasm about Glatz; anxious rather about his own Magazine at Posen, and how to get it carted out of Henri’s way, in case of our advancing towards some Silesian Siege. "If we were not ruined last year, it was n’t Daun’s fault!" growls he often; and Montalembert has need of all his suasive virtues (which are wonderful to look at, if anybody cared to look at them, all flung into the sea in this manner) for keeping the barbarous man in any approach to harmony. The barbarous man had, after haggle enough, adjusted himself for besieging Glogau; and is surly to hear, on the sudden (order from Petersburg reinforcing Loudon), that it is Breslau instead. "Excellenz, it is not Cunctator Daun this time, it is fiery Loudon." "Well, Breslau, then!" answers Soltikof at last, after much suasion. And marches thither; [Tempelhof, iv. 87-89 ("Rose from Posen, July 26th").] faster than usual, quickened by new temporary hopes, of Montalembert’s raising or one’s own: "What a place-of-arms, and place of victual, would Breslau be for us, after all!"

And really mends his pace, mends it ever more, as matters grow stringent; and advances upon Breslau at his swiftest: "To rendezvous with Loudon under the walls there,—within the walls very soon, and ourselves chief proprietor!"—as may be hoped. Breslau has a garrison of 4,000, only 1,000 of them stanch; and there are, among other bad items, 9,000 Austrian Prisoners in it. A big City with weak walls: another place to defend than rockhewn little Glatz,—if there be no better than a D’O for Commandant in it! But perhaps there is.

"WEDNESDAY, 30th JULY, Loudon’s Vanguard arrived at Breslau; next day Loudon himself;—and besieged Breslau very violently, according to his means, till the Sunday following. Troops he has plenty, 40,000 odd, which he gives out for 50 or even 60,000; not to speak of Soltikof, ’with 75,000’ (read 45,000), striding on in a fierce and dreadful manner to meet him here. ’Better surrender to Christian Austrians, had not you?’ Loudon’s Artillery is not come up, it is only struggling on from Glatz; Soltikof of his own has no Siege-Artillery; and Loudon judges that heavy-footed Soltikof, waited on by an alert Prince Henri, is a problematic quantity in this enterprise. ’Speedy oneself; speedy and fiery!’ thinks Loudon: ’by violence of speed, of bullying and bombardment, perhaps we can still do it!’ And Loudon tried all these things to a high stretch; but found in Tauentzien the wrong man.

"THURSDAY, 3lst, Loudon, who has two bridges over Oder, and the Town begirt all round, summons Tauentzien in an awful sounding tone: ’Consider, Sir: no defence possible; a trading Town, you ought not to attempt defence of it: surrender on fair terms, or I shall, which God forbid, be obliged to burn you and it from the face of the world!’ ’Pooh, pooh,’ answers Tauentzien, in brief polite terms; ’you yourselves had no doubt it was a Garrison, when we besieged you here, on the heel of Leuthen; had you? Go to!’— Fiery Loudon cannot try storm, the Town having Oder and a wet ditch round it. He gets his bombarding batteries forward, as the one chance he has, aided by bullying. And to-morrow,

"FRIDAY, AUGUST 1st, sends, half officially, half in the friendly way, dreadful messages again: a warning to the Mayor of Breslau (which was not signed by Loudon), ’Death and destruction, Sir, unless’—!—warning to the Mayor; and, by the same private halfofficial messenger, a new summons to Tauentzien: ’Bombardment infallible; universal massacre by Croats; I will not spare the child in its mother’s womb.’ ’I am not with child,’ said Tauentzien, ’nor are my soldiers! What is the use of such talk?’ And about 10 that night, Loudon does accordingly break out into all the fire of bombardment he is master of. Kindles the Town in various places, which were quenched again by Tauentzien’s arrangements; kindles especially the King’s fine Dwelling-house (Palace they call it), and adjacent streets, not quenchable till Palace and they are much ruined. Will this make no impression? Far too little.

"Next morning Loudon sends a private messenger of conciliatory tone: ’Any terms your Excellency likes to name. Only spare me the general massacre, and child in the mother’s womb!’ From all which Tauentzien infers that you are probably short of ammunition; and that his outlooks are improving. That day he gets guns brought to bear on General Loudon’s own quarter; blazes into Loudon’s sitting-room, so that Loudon has to shift else-whither. No bombardment ensues that night; nor next day anything but desultory cannonading, and much noise and motion;—and at night, SUNDAY, 3d, everything falls quiet, and, to the glad amazement of everybody, Loudon has vanished." [Tempelhof, iv. 90-100; Archenholtz, ii. 89-94; HOFBERICHT VON DER BELAGERUNG VON BRESLAU IM AUGUST 1760 (in Seyfarth, <italic> Beylagen, <end italic> ii. 688-698); also in <italic> Helden-Geschichte, <end italic> vi. 299-309: in <italic> Anonymous of Hamburg <end italic> (iv. 115-124), that is, in the OLD NEWSPAPERS, extremely particular account, How "not only the finest Horse in Breslau, and the finest House [King’s Palace], but the handsomest Man, and, alas, also the prettiest Girl [poor Jungfer Muller, shattered by a bomb-shell on the streets], were destroyed in this short Siege,"—world-famous for the moment. Preuss, ii. 246.]

Loudon had no other shift left. This Sunday his Russians are still five days distant; alert Henri, on the contrary, is, in a sense, come to hand. Crossed the Katzbach River this day, the Vanguard of him did, at Parchwitz; and fell upon our Bakery; which has had to take the road. "Guard the Bakery, all hands there," orders Loudon; "off to Striegau and the Hills with it;"—and is himself gone thither after it, leaving Breslau, Henri and the Russians to what fate may be in store for them. Henri has again made one of his winged marches, the deft creature, though the despondent; "march of 90 miles in three days [in the last three, from Glogau, 90; in the whole, from Landsberg, above 200], and has saved the State," says Retzow. "Made no camping, merely bivouacked; halting for a rest four or five hours here and there;" [Retzow, ii. 230 (very vague); in Tempelhof (iv. 89, 90, 95-97) clear and specific account.] and on August 5th is at Lissa (this side the Field of Leuthen); making Breslau one of the gladdest of cities.

So that Soltikof, on arriving (village of Hundsfeld, August 8th), by the other side of the River, finds Henri’s advanced guards intrenched over there, in Old Oder; no Russian able to get within five miles of Breslau,—nor able to do more than cannonade in the distance, and ask with indignation, "Where are the siege-guns, then; where is General Loudon? Instead of Breslau capturable, and a sure Magazine for us, here is Henri, and nothing but steel to eat!" And the Soltikof risen into Russian rages, and the Montalembert sunk in difficulties: readers can imagine these. Indignant Soltikof, deaf to suasion, with this dangerous Henri in attendance, is gradually edging back; always rather back, with an eye to his provisions, and to certain bogs and woods he knows of. But we will leave the Soltikof-Henri end of the line, for the opposite end, which is more interesting.—To Friedrich, till he got to Silesia itself, these events are totally unknown. His cunctatory Henri, by this winged march, when the moment came, what a service has he done!—

Tauentzien’s behavior, also, has been superlative at Breslau; and was never forgotten by the King. A very brave man, testifies Lessing of him; true to the death: "Had there come but three, to rally with the King under a bush of the forest, Tauentzien would have been one." Tauentzien was on the ramparts once, in this Breslau pinch, giving orders; a bomb burst beside him, did not injure him. "Mark that place," said Tauentzien; and clapt his hat on it, continuing his orders, till a more permanent mark were put. In that spot, as intended through the next thirty years, he now lies buried. [<italic> Militair-Lexikon, <end italic> iv. 72-75; Lessing’s <italic> Werke; <end italic> &c. &c.]


AUGUST 1st, Friedrich crossed the Elbe at Zehren, in the Schieritz vicinity, as near Meissen as he could; but it had to be some six miles farther down, such the liabilities to Austrian disturbance. All are across that morning by 5 o’clock (began at 2); whence we double back eastward, and camp that night at Dallwitz,—are quietly asleep there, while Loudon’s bombardment bursts out on Breslau, far away! At Dallwitz we rest next day, wait for our Bakeries and Baggages; and SUNDAY, AUGUST 3d, at 2 in the morning, set forth on the forlornest adventure in the world.

The arrangements of the March, foreseen and settled beforehand to the last item, are of a perfection beyond praise;—as is still visible in the General Order, or summary of directions given out; which, to this day, one reads with a kind of satisfaction like that derivable from the Forty-seventh of Euclid: clear to the meanest capacity, not a word wanting in it, not a word superfluous, solid as geometry. "The Army marches always in Three Columns, left Column foremost: our First Line of Battle [in case we have fighting] is this foremost Column; Second Line is the Second Column; Reserve is the Third. All Generals’ chaises, money-wagons, and regimental Surgeons’ wagons remain with their respective Battalions; as do the Heavy Batteries with the Brigades to which they belong. When the march is through woody country, the Cavalry regiments go in between the Battalions [to be ready against Pandour operations and accidents].

"With the First Column, the Ziethen Hussars and Free-Battalion Courbiere have always the vanguard; Mohring Hussars and Free- Battalion Quintus [speed to you, learned friend!] the rear-guard. With the Second Column always the Dragoon regiments Normann and Krockow have the vanguard; Regiment Czetteritz [Dragoons, poor Czetteritz himself, with his lost MANUSCRIPT, is captive since February last], the rear-guard. With the Third Column always the Dragoon regiment Holstein as head, and the ditto Finkenstein to close the Column.—During every march, however, there are to be of the Second Column 2 Battalions joined with Column Third; so that the Third Column consists of 10 Battalions, the Second of 6, while on march.

"Ahead of each Column go three Pontoon Wagons; and daily are 50 work-people allowed them, who are immediately to lay Bridge, where it is necessary. The rear-guard of each Column takes up these Bridges again; brings them on, and returns them to the head of the Column, when the Army has got to camp. In the Second Column are to be 500 wagons, and also in the Third 500, so shared that each battalion gets an equal number. The battalions—" [In TEMPELHOF (iv. 125, 126) the entire Piece.] ... This may serve as specimen.

The March proceeded through the old Country; a little to left of the track in June past: Roder Water, Pulsnitz Water; Kamenz neighborhood, Bautzen neighborhood,—Bunzlau on Silesian ground. Daun, at Bischofswerda, had foreseen this March; and, by his Light people, had spoiled the Road all he could; broken all the Bridges, HALF-felled the Woods (to render them impassable). Daun, the instant he heard of the actual March, rose from Bischofswerda: forward, forward always, to be ahead of it, however rapid; Lacy, hanging on the rear of it, willing to give trouble with his Pandour harpies, but studious above all that it should not whirl round anywhere and get upon his, Lacy’s, own throat. One of the strangest marches ever seen. "An on-looker, who had observed the march of these different Armies," says Friedrich, "would have thought that they all belonged to one leader. Feldmarschall Daun’s he would have taken for the Vanguard, the King’s for the main Army, and General Lacy’s for the Rear-guard." [<italic> OEuvres de Frederic, <end italic> v. 56.] Tempelhof says: "It is given only to a Friedrich to march on those terms; between Two hostile Armies, his equals in strength, and a Third [Loudon’s, in Striegau Country] waiting ahead."

The March passed without accident of moment; had not, from Lacy or Daun, any accident whatever. On the second day, an Aide-de-Camp of Daun’s was picked up, with Letters from Lacy (back of the cards visible to Friedrich). Once,—it is the third day of the March (August 6th, village of Rothwasser to be quarter for the night),— on coming toward Neisse River, some careless Officer, trusting to peasants, instead of examining for himself and building a bridge, drove his Artillery-wagons into the so-called ford of Neisse; which nearly swallowed the foremost of them in quicksands. Nearly, but not completely; and caused a loss of five or six hours to that Second Column. So that darkness came on Column Second in the woody intricacies; and several hundreds of the deserter kind took the opportunity of disappearing altogether. An unlucky, evidently too languid Officer; though Friedrich did not annihilate the poor fellow, perhaps did not rebuke him at all, but merely marked it in elucidation of his qualities for time coming." This miserable village of Rothwasser" (head-quarters after the dangerous fording of Neisse), says Mitchell, "stands in the middle of a wood, almost as wild and impenetrable as those in North America. There was hardly ground enough cleared about it for the encampment of the troops." [Mitchell, ii. 190; Tempelhof, iv. 131.] THURSDAY, AUGUST 7th, Friedrich—traversing the whole Country, but more direct, by Konigsbruck and Kamenz this time—is at Bunzlau altogether. "Bunzlau on the Bober;" the SILESIAN Bunzlau, not the Bohemian or any of the others. It is some 30 miles west of Liegnitz, which again lies some 40 northwest of Schweidnitz and the Strong Places. Friedrich has now done 100 miles of excellent marching; and he has still a good spell more to do,—dragging "2,000 heavy wagons" with him, and across such impediments within and without. Readers that care to study him, especially for the next few days, will find it worth their while.

Tempelhof gives, as usual, a most clear Account, minute to a degree; which, supplemented by Mitchell and a Reimann Map, enables us as it were to accompany, and to witness with our eyes. Hitherto a March toilsome in the extreme, in spite of everything done to help it; starting at 3 or at 2 in the morning; resting to breakfast in some shady place, while the sun is high, frugally cooking under the shady woods,—"BURSCHEN ABZUKOCHEN here," as the Order pleasantly bears. All encamped now, at Bunzlau in Silesia, on Thursday evening, with a very eminent week’s work behind them. "In the last five days, above 100 miles of road, and such road; five considerable rivers in it"—Bober, Queiss, Neisse, Spree, Elbe; and with such a wagon-train of 2,000 teams. [Tempelhof, iv. 123-150.]

Proper that we rest a day here; in view of the still swifter marchings and sudden dashings about, which lie ahead. It will be by extremely nimble use of all the limbs we have,—hands as well as feet,—if any good is to come of us now! Friedrich is aware that Daun already holds Striegau "as an outpost [Loudon thereabouts, unknown to Friedrich], these several days;" and that Daun personally is at Schmottseifen, in our own old Camp there, twenty or thirty miles to south of us, and has his Lacy to leftward of him, partly even to rearward: rather in advance of US, both of them,—if we were for Landshut; which we are not. "Be swift enough, may not we cut through to Jauer, and get ahead of Daun?" counts Friedrich: "To Jauer, southeast of us, from Bunzlau here, is 40 miles; and to Jauer it is above 30 east for Daun: possible to be there before Daun! Jauer ours, thence to the Heights of Striegau and Hohenfriedberg Country, within wind of Schweidnitz, of Breslau: magazines, union with Prince Henri, all secure thereby?" So reckons the sanguine Friedrich; unaware that Loudon, with his corps of 35,000, has been summoned hitherward; which will make important differences! Loudon, Beck with a smaller Satellite Corps, both these, unknown to Friedrich, lie ready on the east of him: Loudon’s Army on the east; Daun’s, Lacy’s on the south and west; three big Armies, with their Satellites, gathering in upon this King: here is a Three-headed Dog, in the Tartarus of a world he now has! On the fourth side of him is Oder, and the Russians, who are also perhaps building Bridges, by way of a supplementary or fourth head.

AUGUST 9th (BUNZLAU TO GOLDBERG), Friedrich, with his Three Columns and perfect arrangements, makes a long march: from Bunzlau at 3 in the morning; and at 5 afternoon arrives in sight of the Katzbach Valley, with the little Town of Goldberg some miles to right. Katzbach River is here; and Jauer, for to-morrow, still fifteen miles ahead. But on reconnoitring here, all is locked and bolted: Lacy strong on the Hills of Goldberg; Daun visible across the Katzbach; Daun, and behind him Loudon, inexpugnably posted: Jauer an impossibility! We have bread only for eight days; our Magazines are at Schweidnitz and Breslau: what is to be done? Get through, one way or other, we needs must! Friedrich encamps for the night; expecting an attack. If not attacked, he will make for Liegnitz leftward; cross the Katzbach there, or farther down at Parchwitz:—Parchwitz, Neumarkt, LEUTHEN, we have been in that country before now:—Courage!

AUGUST 10th-11th (TO LIEGNITZ AND BACK). At 5 A.M., Sunday, August 10th, Friedrich, nothing of attack having come, got on march again: down his own left bank of the Katzbach, straight for Liegnitz; unopposed altogether; not even a Pandour having attacked him overnight. But no sooner is he under way, than Daun too rises; Daun, Loudon, close by, on the other side of Katzbach, and keep step with us, on our right; Lacy’s light people hovering on our rear:—three truculent fellows in buckram; fancy the feelings of the way-worn solitary fourth, whom they are gloomily dogging in this way! The solitary fourth does his fifteen miles to Liegnitz, unmolested by them; encamps on the Heights which look down on Liegnitz over the south; finds, however, that the Loudon-Daun people have likewise been diligent; that they now lie stretched out on their right bank, three or four miles up-stream or to rearward, and what is far worse, seven miles downwards, or ahead: that, in fact, they are a march nearer Parchwitz than he;—and that there is again no possibility. "Perhaps by Jauer, then, still? Out of this, and at lowest, into some vicinity of bread, it does behoove us to be!" At 11 that night Friedrich gets on march again; returns the way he came. And,

AUGUST 11th, At daybreak, is back to his old ground; nothing now to oppose him but Lacy, who is gone across from Goldberg, to linger as rear of the Daun-Loudon march. Friedrich steps across on Lacy, thirsting to have a stroke at Lacy; who vanishes fast enough, leaving the ground clear. Could but our baggage have come as fast as we! But our baggage, Quintus guarding and urging, has to groan on for five hours yet; and without it, there is no stirring. Five mortal hours;—by which time, Daun, Lacy, Loudon are all up again; between us and Jauer, between us and everything helpful;— and Friedrich has to encamp in Seichau,—"a very poor Village in the Mountains," writes Mitchell, who was painfully present there, "surrounded on all sides by Heights; on several of which, in the evening, the Austrians took camp, separated from us by a deep ravine only." [Mitchell, ii. 194.]

Outlooks are growing very questionable to Mitchell and everybody. "Only four days’ provisions" (in reality six), whisper the Prussian Generals gloomily to Mitchell and to one another: "Shall we have to make for Glogau, then, and leave Breslau to its fate? Or perhaps it will be a second Maxen to his Majesty and us, who was so indignant with poor Finck?" My friends, no; a Maxen like Finck’s it will never be: a very different Maxen, if any! But we hope better things.

Friedrich’s situation, grasped in the Three-lipped Pincers in this manner, is conceivable to readers. Soltikof, on the other side of Oder, as supplementary or fourth lip, is very impatient with these three. "Why all this dodging, and fidgeting to and fro? You are above three to one of your enemy. Why don’t you close on him at once, if you mean it at all? The end is, He will be across Oder; and it is I that shall have the brunt to bear: Henri and he will enclose me between two fires!" And in fact, Henri, as we know, though Friedrich does not or only half does, has gone across Oder, to watch Soltikof, and guard Breslau from any attempts of his,— which are far from HIS thoughts at this moment;—a Soltikof fuming violently at the thought of such cunctations, and of being made cat’s-paw again. "Know, however, that I understand you," violently fumes Soltikof, "and that I won’t. I fall back into the Trebnitz Bog-Country, on my own right bank here, and look out for my own safety."—"Patience, your noble Excellenz," answer they always; "oh, patience yet a little! Only yesterday (Sunday, 10th) the day after his arrival in this region), we had decided to attack and crush him; Sunday very early: [Tempelhof, iv. 137, 148-150.] but he skipped away to Liegnitz. Oh, be patient yet a day or two: he skips about at such a rate!" Montalembert has to be suasive as the Muses and the Sirens. Soltikof gloomily consents to another day or two. And even, such his anxiety lest this swift King skip over upon HIM, pushes out a considerable Russian Division, 24,000 ultimately, under Czernichef, towards the King’s side of things, towards Auras on Oder, namely,—there to watch for oneself these interesting Royal movements; or even to join with Loudon out there, if that seem the safer course, against them. Of Czernichef at Auras we shall hear farther on,—were these Royal movements once got completed a little.

MORNING OF AUGUST 12th, Friedrich has, in his bad lodging at Seichau, laid a new plan of route: "Towards Schweidnitz let it be; round by Pombsen and the southeast, by the Hill-roads, make a sweep flankward of the enemy!"—and has people out reconnoitring the Hill-roads. Hears, however, about 8 o’clock, That Austrians in strength are coming between us and Goldberg! "Intending to enclose us in this bad pot of a Seichau; no crossing of the Katzbach, or other retreat to be left us at all?" Friedrich strikes his tents; ranks himself; is speedily in readiness for dispute of such extremity;—sends out new patrols, however, to ascertain. "Austrians in strength" there are NOT on the side indicated;— whereupon he draws in again. 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. To Mitchell’s horror, who, "with great labor," burns all the legationary ciphers and papers ("impossible to save the baggage if we be attacked in this hollow pot of a camp"), and feels much relieved on finishing. [Mitchell, ii. 144; Tempelhof, iv. 144.]

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. Mitchell had been put with the Cavalry part; and "cannot but observe to your Lordship what a chief comfort it was in this long, dangerous and painful March," to have burnt one’s ciphers and dread secrets quite out of the way.

And thus, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13th, about noon, we are in our old Camp; Head-quarter in the southern suburb of Liegnitz (a wretched little Tavern, which they still show there, on mythical terms): main part of the Camp, I should think, is on that range of Heights, which reaches two miles southward, and is now called "SIEGESBERG (Victory Hill)," from a modern Monument built on it, after nearly 100 years. Here Friedrich stays one day,—more exactly, 30 hours;— and his shifting, next time, is extremely memorable.

BATTLE, IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF LIEGNITZ, DOES ENSUE (Friday morning, 15th August, 1760).

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 24,000, to rear of Loudon, is actually crossing Oder at Auras, with an eye to junction, Friedrich does not hear till to-morrow. [Tempelhof, iv. 148-151; Mitchell, ii. 197.]

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 7,000), 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!") where the King now is. Beyond Liegnitz and the Schwartzwasser, northwestward, right opposite to the King’s, rise other Heights called of Pfaffendorf, which guard the two streams AFTER their uniting. 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? Wahlstatt was the scene of an older Fight, almost six centuries older, [April 9th, 1241 (Kohler, REICHS-HISTORIE).]—a then Prince of Liegnitz VERSUS hideous Tartar multitudes, who rather beat him; and has been a CLOISTER Wahlstatt ever since. 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.

Friedrich’s Camp extends from the Village of Schimmelwitz, fronting the Katzbach for about two miles, northeastward, to his Headquarter in Liegnitz Suburb: Daun is on his right and rearward, now come within four or five miles; Loudon to his left and frontward, four or five, the Katzbach separating Friedrich and him; Lacy lies from Goldberg northeastward, to within perhaps a like distance rearward: that is the position on Thursday, 14th. Provisions being all but run out; and three Armies, 90,000 (not to count Czernichef and his 24,000 as a fourth) watching round our 30,000, 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 2,000 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. "Let us lean upon Glogau withal," thinks Friedrich; "and let us be out of this straightway! 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!"—Daun and the Austrians having ceased reconnoitring, and gone home, Friedrich rides with his Generals, through Liegnitz, across the Schwartzwasser, to the Pfaffendorf Heights. "Here, Messieurs, is our first halting-place to be: here we shall halt till daybreak, while the meal-wagons jingle on!" And explains to them orally where each is to take post, and how to behave. 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.

It is a fact recorded by Friedrich himself, and by many other people, That, at this interesting juncture, there appeared at the King’s Gate, King hardly yet asleep, a staggering Austrian Officer, Irish by nation, who had suddenly found good to desert the Austrian Service for the Prussian—("Sorrow on them: a pack of"—what shall I say?)—Irish gentleman, bursting with intelligence of some kind, but evidently deep in liquor withal. "Impossible; the King is asleep," said the Adjutant on duty; but produced only louder insistence from the drunk Irish gentleman. "As much as all your heads are worth; the King’s own safety, and not a moment to lose!" What is to be done? They awaken the King: "The man is drunk, but dreadfully in earnest, your Majesty." "Give him quantities of weak tea [Tempelhof calls it tea, but Friedrich merely warm water]; then examine him, and report if it is anything." Something it was: "Your Majesty to be attacked, for certain, this night!" what his Majesty already guessed:—something, most likely little; but nobody to this day knows. 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. [<italic> OEuvres de Frederic, <end italic> v. 63; Tempelhof, iv. 154.]

From about 8 in the evening, Friedrich’s people got on march, in their several columns, and fared punctually on; one column through the streets of Liegnitz, others to left and to right of that; to left mainly, as remoter from the Austrians and their listening outposts from beyond the Katzbach River;—where the camp-fires are burning extremely distinct to-night. The Prussian camp-fires, they too are all burning uncommonly vivid; country people employed to feed them; and a few hussar sentries and drummers to make the customary sounds for Daun’s instruction, till a certain hour. Friedrich’s people are clearing the North Suburb of Liegnitz, crossing the Schwartzwasser: artillery and heavy wagons all go by the Stone-Bridge at Topferberg (POTTER-HILL) there; the lighter people by a few pontoons farther down that stream, in the Pfaffendorf vicinity. 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. Down from Waldau, past Topferberg and Pfaffendorf (PRIEST-town, or as we should call it, "Preston"), which are all on its northern or left bank, Schwartzwasser’s course is in the form of an irregular horse-shoe; high ground to its northern side, Liegnitz and hollows to its southern; till in an angular way it do join Katzbach, and go with that, northward for Oder the rest of its course. On the brow of these horse-shoe Heights,—which run parallel to Schwartzwasser one part of them, and nearly parallel to Katzbach another (though above a mile distant, these latter, from IT),—Friedrich plants himself: in Order of Battle; slightly altering some points of the afternoon’s program, and correcting his Generals, "Front rather so and so; see where their fires are, yonder!" Daun’s fires, Loudon’s fires; vividly visible both:—and, singular to say, there is nothing yonder either but a few sentries and deceptive drums! 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!

Excellency Mitchell, under horse-escort, among the lighter baggage, is on Kuchelberg Heath, in scrubby country, but well north behind Friedrich’s centre: has had a dreadful march; one comfort only, that his ciphers are all burnt. 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. [Archenholtz, ii. 100-111.] Friedrich’s line, we observed, is in the horse-shoe shape (or PARABOLIC, straighter than horse-shoe), fronting the waters. 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? where is the King?" "What is it, then?" answers the King for himself. "Your Majesty, the Enemy in force, from Bienowitz, from Pohlschildern, coming on our Left Wing yonder; has flung back all my vedettes: is within 500 yards by this time!"

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!" How excellent that every battalion (as by Order that we read) "has its own share of the heavy cannon always at hand!" ejaculate the military critics. 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.

Loudon had, as per order, quitted his Camp at Jeschkendorf, about the time Friedrich did his at Schimmelwitz; and, leaving the lights all burning, had set forward on his errand; which was (also identical with Friedrich’s), to seize the Heights of Pfaffendorf, and be ready there when day broke. scouts having informed him that the Prussian Baggage was certainly gone through to Topferberg,— more his scouts did not know, nor could Loudon guess,—"We will snatch that Baggage!" thought Loudon; and with such view has been speeding all he could; no vanguard ahead, lest he alarm the Baggage escort: Loudon in person, with the Infantry of the Reserve, striding on ahead, to devour any Baggage-escort there may be. Friedrich’s reconnoitring Hussar parties had confirmed this belief: "Yes, yes!" thought Loudon. 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!—

Loudon’s behavior, on being hurled back with his Reserve in this manner, everybody says, was magnificent. 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 (5,000) 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. 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. By this edging always to the northeastward on his part and Friedrich’s, there had at last a considerable gap in Friedrich’s Line established itself,—not only Ziethen’s Line and Friedrich’s Line now fairly fallen asunder, but, at the Village of Panten, in Friedrich’s own Line, a gap where anybody might get in. 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 6,000 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 10,000 to him: 4,000 killed and wounded; prisoners 6,000; 82 cannon, 28 flags, and other items; the Prussian loss being 1,800 in whole. [Tempelhof, iv. 159.] By 5 o’clock, the Battle, this Loudon part of it, was quite over; Loudon (35,000) wrecking himself against Friedrich’s Left Wing (say half of his Army, some 15,000) in such conclusive manner. Friedrich’s Left Wing alone has been engaged hitherto. And now it will be Ziethen’s turn, if Daun and Lacy still come on.

By 11 last night, Daun’s Pandours, creeping stealthily on, across the Katzbach, about Schimmelwitz, had discerned with amazement that Friedrich’s Camp appeared to consist only of watch-fires; and had shot off their speediest rider to Daun, accordingly; but it was one in the morning before Daun, busy marching and marshalling, to be ready at the Katzbach by daylight, heard of this strange news; which probably he could not entirely believe till seen with his own eyes. What a spectacle! One’s beautiful Plan exploded into mere imbroglio of distraction; become one knows not what! Daun’s watchfires too had all been left burning; universal stratagem, on both sides, going on; producing—tragically for some of us—a TRAGEDY of Errors, or the Mistakes of a Night! 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. "Cannon-smoke, no doubt; but fallen entirely silent, and not wending hitherward at all. Poor Loudon, alas, must have got beaten!" Upon which Daun really did try, at least upon Ziethen; but could do nothing. Poured cavalry across the Stone-bridge at the Topferberg: who drove in Ziethen’s picket there; but were torn to pieces by Ziethen’s cannon. Ziethen across the Schwartzwasser is alert enough. How form in order of battle here, with Ziethen’s batteries shearing your columns longitudinally, as they march up? 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! Lacy had been about Waldau, to try farther up the Schwartzwasser on Ziethen’s right: but the Schwartzwasser proved amazingly boggy; not accessible on any point to heavy people,—"owing to bogs on the bank," with perhaps poor prospect on the other side too!

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. And gave a new alarm to Mitchell, the last of several during this horrid night; who has sat painfully blocked in his carriage, with such a Devil’s tumult, going on to eastward, and no sight, share or knowledge to be had of it. Repeated hussar attacks there were on the Baggage here, Loudon’s hussars also trying: but Mitchell’s Captain was miraculously equal to the occasion; and had beaten them all off. 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 4.30 A.M., Friday, August 15th, 1760.

Never did such a luck befall Friedrich before or after. He was clinging on the edge of slippery abysses, his path hardly a foot’sbreadth, mere enemies and avalanches hanging round on every side: ruin likelier at no moment, of his life;—and here is precisely the quasi-miracle which was needed to save him. Partly by accident too; the best of management crowned by the luckiest of accidents. [Tempelhof, iv. 151-171; Archenholtz, ubi supra; HO BERICHT VON DER SCHLACHT SO AM 15 AUGUST, 1760, BEY LIEGNITZ, VORGEFALLEN (Seyfarth, <italic> Beylagen, <end italic> ii. 696-703); &c. &c.]

Friedrich rested four hours on the Battle-field,—if that could be called rest, which was a new kind of diligence highly wonderful. Diligence of gathering up accurately the results of the Battle; packing them into portable shape; and marching off with them in one’s pocket, so to speak. 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: 100 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 5,000 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.M., Friedrich, with his 6,000 prisoners, new cannon-teams, sick-wagon teams, trophies, properties, is afoot again. 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?" But a certain Sergeant, Fugleman, or chief Corporal, stept out, saluting reverentially: "Regiment Bernburg, IHRO MAJESTAT—?" "Hm; well, you did handsomely. Yes, you shall have your side-arms back; all shall be forgotten and washed out!" "And you are again our Gracious King, then?" says the Sergeant, with tears in his eyes.—"GEWISS, Yea, surely!" [Tempelhof, iv. 162-164.] Upon which, fancy what a peal of sound from the ecstatic throat and heart of this poor Regiment. Which I have often thought of; hearing mutinous blockheads,"glorious Sons of Freedom" to their own thinking, ask their natural commanding Officer, "Are not we as good as thou? Are not all men equal?" Not a whit of it, you mutinous blockheads; very far from it indeed!

This was the breaking of Friedrich’s imprisonment in the deadly rock-labyrinths; this success at Liegnitz delivered him into free field once more. For twenty-four hours more, indeed, the chance was still full of anxiety to him; for twenty-four hours Daun, could he have been rapid, still had the possibilities in hand;—but only Daun’s Antagonist was usually rapid. About 9 in the morning, all road-ready, this latter Gentleman "gave three Salvos, as Joy-fire, on the field of Liegnitz;" and, in the above succinct shape,— leaving Ziethen to come on, "with the prisoners, the sick-wagons and captured cannon," in the afternoon,—marched rapidly away. For Parchwitz, with our best speed: Parchwitz is the road to Breslau, also to Glogau,—to Breslau, if it be humanly possible! Friedrich has but two days’ bread left; on the Breslau road, at Auras, there is Czernichef with 24,000; there are, or there may be, the Loudon Remnants rallied again, the Lacy Corps untouched, all Daun’s Force, had Daun made any despatch at all. Which Daun seldom did. A man slow to resolve, and seeking his luck in leisure.

All judges say, Daun ought now to have marched, on this enterprise of still intercepting Friedrich, without loss of a moment. But he calculated Friedrich would probably spend the day in TE-DEUM-ing on the Field (as is the manner of some); and that, by to-morrow, things would be clearer to one’s own mind. Daun was in no haste; gave no orders,—did not so much as send Czernichef a Letter. Czernichef got one, however. Friedrich sent him one; that is to say, sent him one TO INTERCEPT. Friedrich, namely, writes a Note addressed to his Brother Henri: "Austrians totally beaten this day; now for the Russians, dear Brother; and swift, do what we have agreed on!" [<italic> OEuvres de Frederic, <end italic> v. 67.] Friedrich hands this to a Peasant, with instructions to let himself be taken by the Russians, and give it up to save his life. Czernichef, it is thought, got this Letter; and perhaps rumor itself, and the delays of Daun, would, at any rate, have sent him across. Across he at once went, with his 24,000, and burnt his Bridge. A vanished Czernichef;—though Friedrich is not yet sure of it: and as for the wandering Austrian Divisions, the Loudons, Lacys, all is dark to him.

So that, at Parchwitz, next morning (August 16th), the question, "To Glogau? To Breslau?" must have been a kind of sphinx-enigma to Friedrich; dark as that, and, in case of error, fatal. After some brief paroxysm of consideration, Friedrich’s reading was, "To Breslau, then!" And, for hours, as the march went on, he was noticed "riding much about," his anxieties visibly great. Till at Neumarkt (not far from the Field of LEUTHEN), getting on the Heights there,—towards noon, I will guess,—what a sight! Before this, he had come upon Austrian Out-parties, Beck’s or somebody’s, who did not wait his attack: he saw, at one point, "the whole Austrian Army on march (the tops of its columns visible among the knolls, three miles off, impossible to say whitherward);" and fared on all the faster, I suppose, such a bet depending;—and, in fine, galloped to the Heights of Neumarkt for a view: "Dare we believe it? Not an Austrian there!" And might be, for the moment, the gladdest of Kings. Secure now of Breslau, of junction with Henri: fairly winner of the bet;—and can at last pause, and take breath, very needful to his poor Army, if not to himself, after such a mortal spasm of sixteen days! Daun had taken the Liegnitz accident without remark; usually a stoical man, especially in other people’s misfortunes; but could not conceal his painful astonishment on this new occasion,—astonishment at unjust fortune, or at his own sluggardly cunctations, is not said.

Next day (August 17th), Friedrich encamps at Hermannsdorf, headquarter the Schloss of Hermannsdorf, within seven miles of Breslau; continues a fortnight there, resting his wearied people, himself not resting much, watching the dismal miscellany of entanglements that yet remain, how these will settle into groups,—especially what Daun and his Soltikof will decide on. In about a fortnight, Daun’s decision did become visible; Soltikof’s not in a fortnight, nor ever clearly at all. Unless it were To keep a whole skin, and gradually edge home to his victuals. As essentially it was, and continued to be; creating endless negotiations, and futile overtures and messagings from Daun to his barbarous Friend, endless suasions and troubles from poor Montalembert,—of which it would weary every reader to hear mention, except of the result only.

Friedrich, for his own part, is little elated with these bits of successes at Liegnitz or since; and does not deceive himself as to the difficulties, almost the impossibilities, that still lie ahead. In answer to D’Argens, who has written ("at midnight," starting out of bed "the instant the news came"), in zealous congratulation on Liegnitz, here is a Letter of Friedrich’s: well worth reading,— though it has been oftener read than almost any other of his. A Letter which D’Argens never saw in the original form; which was captured by the Austrians or Cossacks; [See <italic> OEuvres de Frederic, <end italic> xix. 198 (D’Argens himself, "19th October" following), and ib. 191 n.; Rodenbeck, ii. 31, 36;—mention of it in Voltaire, Montalembert, &c.] which got copied everywhere, soon stole into print, and is ever since extensively known.


"HERMANNSDORF, near Breslau, 27th August, 1760.

"In other times, my dear Marquis, the Affair of the 15th would have settled the Campaign; at present it is but a scratch. There will be needed a great Battle to decide our fate: such, by all appearance, we shall soon have; and then you may rejoice, if the event is favorable to us. Thank you, meanwhile, for all your sympathy. It has cost a deal of scheming, striving and much address to bring matters to this point. Don’t speak to me of dangers; the last Action costs me only a Coat [torn, useless, only one skirt left, by some rebounding cannon-ball?] and a Horse [shot under me]: that is not paying dear for a victory.

"In my life, I was never in so bad a posture as in this Campaign. Believe me, miracles are still needed if I am to overcome all the difficulties which I still see ahead. And one is growing weak withal. ’Herculean’ labors to accomplish at an age when my powers are forsaking me, my weaknesses increasing, and, to speak candidly, even hope, the one comfort of the unhappy, begins to be wanting. You are not enough acquainted with the posture of things, to know all the dangers that threaten the State: I know them, and conceal them; I keep all the fears to myself, and communicate to the Public only the hopes, and the trifle of good news I may now and then have. If the stroke I am meditating succeed [stroke on Daun’s Anti- Schweidnitz strategies, of which anon], then, my dear Marquis, it will be time to expand one’s joy; but till then let us not flatter ourselves, lest some unexpected bit of bad news depress us too much.

"I live here [Schloss of Hermannsdorf, a seven miles west of Breslau] like a Military Monk of La Trappe: endless businesses, and these done, a little consolation from my Books. I know not if I shall outlive this War: but should it so happen, I am firmly resolved to pass the remainder of my life in solitude, in the bosom of Philosophy and Friendship. When the roads are surer, perhaps you will write me oftener. I know not where our winter-quarters this time are to be! My House in Breslau is burnt down in the Bombardment [Loudon’s, three weeks ago]. Our enemies grudge us everything, even daylight, and air to breathe: some nook, however, they must leave us; and if it be a safe one, it will be a true pleasure to have you again with me.

"Well, my dear Marquis, what has become of the Peace with France [English Peace]! Your Nation, you see, is blinder than you thought: those fools will lose their Canada and Pondicherry, to please the Queen of Hungary and the Czarina. Heaven grant Prince Ferdinand may pay them for their zeal! And it will be the innocent that suffer, the poor officers and soldiers, not the Choiseuls and—... But here is business come on me. Adieu, dear Marquis; I embrace you.—F." [<italic> OEuvres de Frederic, <end italic> xix. 191.]

Two Events, of opposite complexion, a Russian and a Saxon, Friedrich had heard of while at Hermannsdorf, before writing as above. The Saxon Event is the pleasant one, and comes first.

HULSEN ON THE DURRENBERG, AUGUST 20th. "August 20th, at Strehla, in that Schlettau-Meissen Country, the Reichsfolk and Austrians made attack on Hulsen’s Posts, principal Post of them the Durrenberg (DRY-HILL) there,—in a most extensive manner; filling the whole region with vague artillery-thunder, and endless charges, here, there, of foot and horse; which all issued in zero and minus quantities; Hulsen standing beautifully to his work, and Hussar Kleist especially, at one point, cutting in with masterly execution, which proved general overthrow to the Reichs Project; and left Hulsen master of the field and of his Durrenberg, PLUS 1,217 prisoners and one Prince among them, and one cannon: a Hulsen who has actually given a kind of beating to the Reichsfolk and Austrians, though they were 30,000 to his 10,000, and had counted on making a new Maxen of it." [Archenholts, ii. 114; BERICHT VON DER OM 20 AUGUST 1780 BEY STREHLA VORGEFALLONEN ACTION (Seyfarth, <italic> Beylagen, <end italic> ii. 703-719).] Friedrich writes a glad laudatory Letter to Hulsen: "Right, so; give them more of that when they apply next!" [Letter in SCHONING, ii. 396, "Hermsdorf" (Hermannsdorf), "27th August, 1760."]

This is a bit of sunshine to the Royal mind, dark enough otherwise. Had Friedrich got done here, right fast would he fly to the relief of Hulsen, and recovery of Saxony. Hope, in good moments, says, "Hulsen will be able to hold out till then!" Fear answers, "No, he cannot, unless you get done here extremely soon!"—The Russian Event, full of painful anxiety to Friedrich, was a new Siege of Colberg. That is the sad fact; which, since the middle of August, has been becoming visibly certain.

SECOND SIEGE OF COLBERG, AUGUST 26th. "Under siege again, that poor Place; and this time the Russians seem to have made a vow that take it they will. Siege by land and by sea; land-troops direct from Petersburg, 15,000 in all (8,000 of them came by ship), with endless artillery; and near 40 Russian and Swedish ships-of-war, big and little, blackening the waters of poor Colberg. August 26th [the day before Friedrich’s writing as above], they have got all things adjusted,—the land-troops covered by redoubts to rearward, ships moored in their battering-places;—and begin such a bombardment and firing of red-hot balls upon Colberg as was rarely seen. To which, one can only hope old Heyde will set a face of gray-steel character, as usual; and prove a difficult article to deal with, till one get some relief contrived for him. [Archenholtz, ii. 116: in <italic> Helden-Geschichte, <end italic> (vi.73-83), "TAGEBUCH of Siege, 26th August-18th September," and other details.]


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Chicago: Thomas Carlyle, "Chapter III. Battle of Liegnitz.," History of Friedrich II of Prussia— Volume 20 in History of Friedrich II of Prussia—Volume 20 Original Sources, accessed August 10, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=B3QSAT562GWQMFJ.

MLA: Carlyle, Thomas. "Chapter III. Battle of Liegnitz." History of Friedrich II of Prussia— Volume 20, in History of Friedrich II of Prussia—Volume 20, Original Sources. 10 Aug. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=B3QSAT562GWQMFJ.

Harvard: Carlyle, T, 'Chapter III. Battle of Liegnitz.' in History of Friedrich II of Prussia— Volume 20. cited in , History of Friedrich II of Prussia—Volume 20. Original Sources, retrieved 10 August 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=B3QSAT562GWQMFJ.