History of Friedrich II of Prussia— Volume 17

Author: Thomas Carlyle

Chapter IV. Friedrich Puts a Question at Vienna, Twice Over.

July 18th, 1756, Friedrich despatches an Express to Graf von Klinggraf, his Resident at Vienna (an experienced man, whom we have seen before in old Carteret, "Conference-of-Hanau" times), To demand audience of the Empress; and, in the fittest terms, friendly and courteous, brief and clear, to put that question of Mitchell’s suggesting. "Those unwonted Armaments, Camps in Bohmen, Camps in Mahren, and military movements and preparations," Klinggraf is to say, "have caused anxiety in her Majesty’s peaceable Neighbor of Prussia; who desires always to continue in peace; and who requests hereby a word of assurance from her Majesty, that these his anxieties are groundless." Friedrich himself hopes little or nothing from this; but he has done it to satisfy people about him, and put an end to all scruples in himself and others. The Answer may be expected in ten or twelve days.

And, about the same time,—likely enough, directly after, though there is no date given, to a fact which is curious and authentic,— Friedrich sent for two of his chief Generals, to Potsdam, for a secret Conference with Winterfeld and him. The Generals are, old Schwerin and General Retzow Senior,—Major-General Retzow, whom we used to hear of in the Silesian Wars,—and whose Son reports on this occasion. Conference is on this Imminency of War, and as to what shall be done in it. Friedrich explains in general terms his dangers from Austria and Russia, his certainty that Austria will attack him; and asks, Were it, or were it not, better to attack Austria, as is our Prussian principle in such case? Schwerin and Retzow—Schwerin first, as the eldest; and after him Retzow, "who privately has charge from the Prussian Princes to do it"—opine strongly: That indications are uncertain, that much seems inevitable which does not come; that in a time of such tumultuous whirlings and unexpected changes, the true rule is, Watch well, and wait.

After enough of this, with Winterfeld looking dissent but saying almost nothing, Friedrich gives sign to Winterfeld;—who spreads out, in their lucidest prearranged order, the principal Menzel- Weingarten Documents; and bids the two Military Gentlemen read. They read; with astonishment, are forced to believe; stand gazing at one another;—and do now take a changed tone. Schwerin, "after a silence of everybody for some minutes,"—"bursts out like one inspired; ’If War is to be and must be, let us start to-morrow; seize Saxony at once; and in that rich corny Country form Magazines for our Operations on Bohemia!’" [Retzow, i. 39.]

That is privately Friedrich’s own full intention. Saxony, with its Elbe River as Highway, is his indispensable preliminary for Bohemia: and he will not, a second time, as he did in 1744 with such results, leave it in an unsecured condition. Adieu then, Messieurs; silent: AU REVOIR, which may be soon! Retzow Junior, a rational, sincere, but rather pipe-clayed man, who is wholly to be trusted on this Conference, with his Father for authority, has some touches of commentary on it, which indicate (date being 1802) that till the end of his life, or of Prince Henri his Patron’s, there remained always in some heads a doubt as to Friedrich’s wisdom in regard to starting the Seven-Years War, and to Schwerin’s entire sincerity in that inspired speech. And still more curious, that there was always, at Potsdam as elsewhere, a Majesty’s Opposition Party; privately intent to look at the wrong side; and doing it diligently,—though with lips strictly closed for most part; without words, except well-weighed and to the wise: which is an excellent arrangement, for a Majesty and Majesty’s Opposition, where feasible in the world!—

From Retzow I learn farther, that Winterfeld, directly on the back of this Conference, took a Tour to the Bohemian Baths, "To Karlsbad, or Toplitz, for one’s health;" and wandered about a good deal in those Frontier Mountains of Bohemia, taking notes, taking sketches (not with a picturesque view); and returned by the Saxon Pirna Country, a strange stony labyrinth, which he guessed might possibly be interesting soon. The Saxon Commandant of the Konigstein, lofty Fortress of those parts, strongest in Saxony, was of Winterfeld’s acquaintance: Winterfeld called on this Commandant; found his Konigstein too high for cannonading those neighborhoods, but that there was at the base of it a new Work going on; and that the Saxons were, though languidly, endeavoring to bestir themselves in matters military. Their entire Army at present is under 20,000; but, in the course of next Winter, they expect to have it 40,000. Shall be of that force, against Season 1757. No doubt Winterfeld’s gatherings and communications had their uses at Potsdam, on his getting home from this Tour to Toplitz.

Meanwhile, Klinggraf has had his Audience at Vienna; and has sped as ill as could have been expected. The Answer given was of supercilious brevity; evasive, in effect null, and as good as answering, That there is no answer. Two Accounts we have, as Friedrich successively had them, of this famed passage: FIRST, Klinggraf’s own, which is clear, rapid, and stands by the essential; SECOND, an account from the other side of the scenes, furnished by Menzel of Dresden, for Friedrich’s behoof and ours; which curiously illustrates the foregoing, and confirms the interpretation Friedrich at once made of it. This is Menzel’s account; in other words, the Saxon Envoy at Vienna’s, stolen by Menzel.

July 26th, it appears, Klinggraf—having applied to Kaunitz the day before, who noticed a certain flurry in him, and had answered carelessly, "Audience? Yes, of course; nay I am this moment going to the Empress: only you must tell me about what?"—was admitted to the Imperial Presence, he first of many that were waiting. Imperial Presence held in its hand a snip of Paper, carefully composed by Kaunitz from the data, and read these words: "DIE BEDENKLICHEN UMSTANDE, The questionable circumstances of the Time have moved me to consider as indispensably necessary those measures which, for my own security and for defence of my Allies, I am taking, and which otherwise do not tend the least towards injury of anybody whatsoever;"—and adding no syllable more, gave a sign with her hand, intimating to Klinggraf that the Interview was done. Klinggraf strode through the Antechamber, "visibly astonished," say on-lookers, at such an Answer had. Answer, in fact, "That there is no answer," and the door flung in your face! [<italic> Helden- Geschichte, <end italic> iii. 772. In Valori, ii. 128, Friedrich’s little Paper of INSTRUCTIONS to Klinggraf; this Vienna ANSWER to it, ib. 138:—see ib. 138, 162; and <italic> Gesammelte Nachrichten, <end italic> ii. 214-221.]

Friedrich, on arrival of report from Klinggraf, and without waiting for the Menzel side of the scenes, sees that the thing is settled. Writes again, however (August 2d, probably the day after, or the same day, Klinggraf’s Despatch reached him); instructing Klinggraf To request "a less oracular response;" and specially, "If her Imperial Majesty (Austria and Russia being, as is understood, in active League against, him) will say, That Austria will not attack him this year or the next?" Draw up memorial of that, Monsieur Klinggraf; and send us the supercilious No-Answer: till which arrive we do not cross the Frontier,—but are already everywhere on march to it, in an industrious, cunningly devised, evident and yet impenetrably mysterious manner.

Excellency Valori never saw such activity of military preparation: such Artillery, "2,000 big pieces in the Park here;" Regiments, Wagon-trains, getting under way everywhere, no man can guess whitherward; "drawn up in the Square here, they know not by what Gate they are to march." By three different Gates, I should think; —mysteriously, in Three Directions, known only to King Friedrich and his Adjutant-General, all these Regiments in Berlin and elsewhere are on march. Towards Halle (Leipzig way); towards Brietzen (Wittenberg and Torgau way); towards Bautzen neighborhood,—towards Three settled Points of the Saxon Frontier; will step across the instant the supercilious No-Answer comes to hand. Are to converge about Dresden and the Saxon Switzerland;— about 65,000 strong, equipped as no Army before or since has been; —and take what luck there may be.

Bruhl and Polish Majesty’s Army, still only about 18,000, have their apprehensions of such visit: but what can they do? The Saxon Army draws out into Camp, at sight of this mysterious marching; strong Camp "in the angle of Elbe and Mulde Rivers;"—then draws in again; being too weak for use. And is thinking, Menzel informs us, to take post in the stony labyrinthic Pirna Country: such the advice an Excellency Broglio has given;—French Excellency, now in Dresden; Marechal de Broglio’s Son, and of little less explosive nature than his Father was. Bruhl and Polish Majesty, guessing that the hour is come, are infinitely interested. Interested, not flurried. "Austrian-Russian Anti-Prussian Covenant!" say Bruhl and Majesty, rather comfortably to themselves: "We never signed it. WE never would sign anything; what have we to do with it? Courage; steady; To Pirna, if they come! Are not Excellency Broglio, and France, and Austria, and the whole world at our back?"

It was full three weeks before Klinggraf’s Message of Answer could arrive at Berlin. Of Friedrich in the interim, launching such a world-adventure, himself silent, in the midst of a buzzing Berlin, take these indications, which are luminous enough. Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick is to head one of the Three "Columns." Duke Ferdinand, Governor of Magdeburg, is now collecting his Column in that neighborhood, chiefly at Halle; whitherward, or on what errand, is profoundly unknown. Unknown even to Ferdinand, except that it is for actual Service in the Field. Here are two Friedrich Letters (ruggedly Official, the first of them, and not quite peculiar to Ferdinand), which are worth reading:—


"POTSDAM, 15th August, 1756.

"For time of Field-Service I have made the arrangement, That for the Subaltern Officers of your regiment, over and above their ordinary Equipage-moneys, there shall, to each Subaltern Officer, and once for all, be Eight Thalers [twenty-four shillings sterling] advanced. That sum [eight thalers per subaltern] shall be paid to the Captain of every Company; and besides this there shall, monthly, Two Thalers be deducted from the Subaltern’s Pay, and be likewise paid over to the Captain:—in return for which, He is to furnish Free Table for the Subalterns throughout the Campaign, and so long as the regiment is in the field.

"Of the Two Baggage-carts per Company, the regiment shall take only One, and leave the other at home. No Officer, let him be who or of what title he will, Generals not excepted, shall take with him the least of Silver Plate, not even a silver spoon. Whoever wants, therefore, to keep table, great or small (TAFEL ODER TISCH), must manage the same with tin utensils;—without exception, be he who he will.

"Each Captain shall take with him a little Cask of Vinegar; of which, as soon as the regiments get to Camp, he must give me reckoning, and I will then have him repaid. This Vinegar shall solely and exclusively be employed for this purpose, That in places where the water is bad, there be poured into it, for the soldiers, a few drops of the vinegar, to correct the water, and thereby preserve them from illnesses.

"So soon as the regiment gets on march, the Women who have permission to follow are put under command of the Profoss; that thereby all plunderings and disorders may the more be guarded against. If the Captains and Officers take Grooms (JAGER) or the like Domestics, there can muskets be given to these, that use may be had of them, in case of an attack in quarters, or on march, when a WAGENBURG (wagon-fortress) is to be formed. ... FRIEDRICH." [Preuss, ii. 6, 7.]

SAME TO SAME (Confidential, this one).

"POTSDAH, 24th August.

... "Make as if you were meaning to go into Camp at Halle. The reason why I stop you is, that the Courier from Vienna has not yet come. We must therefore reassure the Saxon neighborhood. ... I have been expecting answer from hour to hour; cannot suitably begin a War-Expedition till it come; do therefore apprise Your Dilection, though under the deepest secrecy.

"And it is necessary, and my Will is, That, till farther order, you keep all the regiments and corps belonging to your Column in the places where they are when this arrives. And shall, meanwhile, with your best skill mask all this, both from the Town of Halle, and from the regiments themselves; making, in conformity with what I said yesterday, as if you were a Corps of Observation come to encamp here, and were waiting the last orders to go into camp.

FRIEDRICH." [Ib. ii. 7, 8.]

And in regard to the Vienna Courier, and Friedrich’s attitude towards that Phenomenon, read only these Two Notes:—


POTSDAM, "25th August," 1756.

"MY DEAR BROTHER, MY DEAR SISTER,—I write to you both at once, for want of time. I will follow the advice you are so good as give me; and will take leave of the Queen [our dear Mamma] by Letter. And that the reading of my Letter may not frighten her, I will send it by my Sister, to be presented in a favorable moment.

"I have yet got no Answer from Vienna; by Klinggraf’s account, I shall not receive it till to-morrow [came this night], But I count myself surer of War than ever; as the Austrians have named Generals, and their Army is ordered to march, from Kolin to Konigsgratz"—Schlesien way. "So that, expecting nothing but a haughty Answer, or a very uncertain one, on which there will be no reliance possible, I have arranged everything for setting out on Saturday next. To-morrow, so soon as the news comes, I will not fail to let you know. Assuring you that I am, with a perfect affection, my dear Brother and my dear Sister,—Yours,—F." [<italic> OEuvres de Frederic, <end italic> xxvi. 155.]

Answer comes from Klinggraf that same night. Once more, an Answer almost worse than could have been expected. "The ’League with Russia against you’ is nonextant, a thing of your imagination: Have not we already answered?" [In <italic> Gesammelte Urkunden, <end italic> i. 217: Klinggraf’s second question (done by Letter this time), "18th August;" Maria Theresa’s Answer, "21st August,"] Whereupon,


POTSDAM, "26th August," 1756.

"MY DEAR BROTHER,—I have already written to the Queen; softening things as much as I could [Letter lost]. My Sister, to whom I address the Letter, will deliver it.

"You have seen the Paper I sent to Klinggraf. Their Answer is ’That they have not made an Offensive Alliance with Russia against me.’ The Answer is impertinent, high and contemptuous; and of the Assurance that I required [as to This Year and next], not one word. So that the sword alone can cut this Gordian Knot. I am innocent of this War; I have done what I could to avoid it; but whatever be one’s love of peace, one cannot and must not sacrifice to that, one’s safety and one’s honor. Such, I believe, will be your opinion too, from the sentiments I know in you. At present, our one thought must be, To do War in such a way as may cure our Enemies of their wish to break Peace again too soon. I embrace you with all my heart. I have had no end of business (TERRIBLEMENT A FAIRE)."—F. [<italic> OEuvres, <end italic> xxvi. 116.]


Ahead of that last Note, from an earlier hour of the same day, Thursday, 26th August, there is speeding forth, to all Three Generals of Division, this Order (take Duke Ferdinand’s copy}:—
{not in original] ^ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"I hereby order that Your Dilection (EW. LIEBDEN), with all the regiments and corps in the Column standing under your command, Shall now, without more delay, get on march, on the 29th inst.; and proceed, according to the March-Tables and Instructions already given, to execute what Your Dilection has got in charge."—F.

The same Thursday, 26th, Excellency Mitchell, informed by Podewils of the King’s wish to see him at Potsdam, gets under way from Berlin; arrives "just time enough to speak with the King before he sat down to supper." Very many things to be consulted of, and deliberatively touched upon, with Mitchell and England; no end of things and considerations, for England and King Friedrich, in this that is now about to burst forth on an astonished world!—Over in London, we observe, just in the hours when Mitchell was harnessing for Potsdam, and so many Orders and Letters were speeding their swiftest in that quarter, there is going forward, on Tower-Hill yonder, the following Operation:—

"LONDON, THURSDAY, 26th AUGUST, 1756. About five in the afternoon, a noted Admiral [only in Effigy as yet; but who has been held in miserable durance, and too actual question of death or life, ever since his return: "Oh, yes indeed! Hang HIM at once",—if that can be a remedy!] was, after having been privately shown to many ladies and gentlemen, brought—in an open sedan, guarded by a number of young gentlemen under arms, with drums beating, colors flying—to Tower-Hill, where a Gallows had been erected for him at six the same morning. He was richly dressed, in a blue and gold coat, buff waistcoat, trimmed, &c. in full uniform. When brought under the Gallows, he stayed a small space, till his clergyman (a chimneysweeper) had given him some admonitions: that done, he was drawn, by pulleys, to the top of the Gallows, which was twenty feet high; every person expressing as much satisfaction as if it had been the real man.

"He remained there, guarded by the above volunteers, without any molestation, two hours; when, upon a supposition of being obstructed by the Governor of the Tower, some sailors appeared, who wanted to pull him down, in order to drag him along the streets. But a fire being kindled, which consisted of tar-barrels, fagots, tables, tubs, &c., he was consumed in about half an hour." [Old Newspapers (<italic> Gentleman’s Magazine, <end italic> xxvi. 409).]

That is their employment on Tower-Hill, over yonder, while Mitchell is getting under way to see Friedrich.

Mitchell continued at Potsdam over Friday; and was still in eager consultation that night, when the King said to him, with a certain expressiveness of glance: "BON SOIR, then;—To-morrow morning about four!" And on the morrow, Saturday, 28th, Mitchell reports hurriedly:—

"... Am just returned to Berlin, in time to write to your Lordship. This morning, between four and five, I took leave of the King of Prussia. Hr went immediately upon the Parade; mounted on horseback; and, after a very short exercise of his Troops, put himself at their head; and marched directly for Belitz [half-way to Brietzen, TREUENbrietzen as they call it]; where, To-morrow, he will enter the Saxon Territory,"—as, at their respective points, his two other Columns will;—and begin, who shall say what terrible game; incalculable to your Lordship and me, with such Operations afoot on Tower-Hill! [Mitchell Papers, vi. 804 ("To Lord Holderness, 28th August, 1756").]—

Seven Hussar Regiments of Duke Ferdinand’s Column got the length of Leipzig that Sunday Evening, 29th; and took possession of the place. [In <italic> Helden-Geschichte, <end italic> iii. 731, his "Proclamation" there, 29th August, 1756.] Duke Ferdinand to right of the King, Duke of Brunswick-Bevern to left,—the Three Columns cross the Border, at points, say 80 miles from one another; occasionally, on the march, bending to rightwards and leftwards, to take in the principal Towns, and make settlements there, the two might be above a hundred miles from Friedrich on each hand. The length of march for each Column,—Ferdinand "from Leipzig, by Chemnitz, Freyberg, Dippoldiswalde, to the Village of Cotta" (Pirna neighborhood, south of Elbe); Bevern, "through the Lausitz, by Bautzen, to Lohmen" (same neighborhood, north of Elbe); King Friedrich, to Dresden, by the course of the Elbe itself, was not far from equal, and may be called about 150 miles. They marched with diligence, not with hurry; had their pauses, rest-days, when business required. They got to their ground, with the simultaneousness appointed, on the eleventh or twelfth day.

The middle Column, under the King, where Marshal Keith is second in command, goes by Torgau (detaching Moritz of Dessau to pick up Wittenberg, and ruin the slight works there); crosses the Elbe at Torgau, September 2d; marches, cantoning itself day after day, along the southern bank of the River; leaves Meissen to the left, I perceive, does not pass through Meissen; comes first at Wilsdruf on ground where we have been,—and portions of it, I doubt not, were billeted in Kesselsdorf; and would take a glance at the old Field, if they had time. There is strict discipline in all the Columns; the authorities complying on summons, and arranging what is needful. Nobody resists; town-guards at once ground arms, and there is no soldier visible; soldiers all ebbing away, whitherward we guess. [<italic> Helden-Geschichte, <end italic> iii. 732, 733; <italic> OEuvres de Frederic, <end italic> iv. 81.]

At Wilsdruf, Friedrich first learns for certain, that the Saxon Army, with King, with Bruhl and other chief personages, are withdrawn to Pirna, to the inexpugnable Konigstein and Rock- Country. The Saxon Army had begun assembling there, September 1st, directly on the news that Friedrich was across the Border; September 9th, on Friedrich’s approach, the King and Dignitaries move off thither, from Dresden, out of his way. Excellency Broglio has put them on that plan. Which may have its complexities for Friedrich, hopes Broglio,—though perhaps its still greater for some other parties concerned! For Bruhl and Polish Majesty, as will appear by and by, nothing could have turned out worse.

Meanwhile Friedrich pushes on: "Forward, all the same." Polish Majesty, dating from Struppen, in the Pirna Country, has begun a Correspondence with Friedrich, very polite on both hands; and his Adjutant-General, the Chevalier Meagher ("Chevalier de MARRE," as Valori calls him,—MA’AR, as he calls himself in Irish), has just had, at Wilsdruf, an interview with Friedrich; but is far from having got settlement on the terms he wished. Polish Majesty magnanimously assenting to "a Road through his Country for military purposes;" offers "the strictest Neutrality, strictest friendship even; has done, and will do, no injury whatever to his Prussian Majesty—["Did we ever SIGN anything?" whisper comfortably Bruhl and he to one another];—expects, therefore, that his Prussian Majesty will march on, whither he is bound; and leave him unmolested here." [<italic> Helden-Geschichte, <end italic> iii. 774.]

That was Meagher’s message; that is the purport of all his Polish Majesty’s Eleven Letters to Friedrich, which precede or follow,— reiterating with a certain ovine obstinacy, insensible to time or change, That such is Polish Majesty’s fixed notion: "Strict neutrality, friendship even; and leave me unmolested here." [In <italic> OEuvres de Frederic, <end italic> iv. 235-260 ("29th August-10th September-18th September," 1756), are collected now, the Eleven Letters, with their Answers.] "Strict neutrality, yes: but disperse your Army, then," answers Friedrich; send your Army back to its cantonments: I must myself have the keeping of my Highway, lest I lose it, as in 1744." This is Friedrich’s answer; this at first, and for some time coming; though, as the aspects change, and the dangerous elements heap themselves higher, Friedrich’s answer will rise with them, and his terms, like the Sibyl’s, become worse and worse. This is the utmost that Meagher, at Wilsdruf, can make of it; and this, in conceivable circumstances, will grow less and less.

Next day, September 9th, Friedrich, with some Battalions, entered Dresden, most of his Column taking Camp near by; General Wylich had entered yesterday, and is already Commandant there. Friedrich sends, by Feldmarschall Keith, highest Officer of his Column, his homages to her Polish Majesty:—nothing given us of Keith’s Interview; except by a side-wind, "That Majesty complained of those Prussian Sentries walking about in certain of her corridors" (with an eye to Something, it may be feared!)—of which, doubtless, Keith undertook to make report. Friedrich himself waits upon the Junior Princes, who are left here: is polite and gracious as ever, though strict, and with business enough; lodges, for his own part, "in the Garden-House of Princess Moczinska;"—and next morning leads off his Column, a short march eastward, to the Pirna Country; where, on the right and on the left, Ferdinand at Cotta, Bevern at Lohmen (if readers will look on their Map), he finds the other Two in their due positions. Head-quarter is Gross-Sedlitz (westernmost skirt of the Rock-region); and will have to continue so, much longer than had been expected.

The Diplomatic world in Dresden is in great emotion; more especially just at present. This morning, before leaving, Friedrich had to do an exceedingly strict thing: secure the Originals of those Menzel Documents. Originals indispensable to him, for justifying his new procedures upon Saxony. So that there has been, at the Palace, a Scene this morning of a very high and dissonant nature,—"Marshal Keith" in it, "Marshal Keith making a second visit" (say some loose and false Accounts);—the facts being strictly as follows.

Far from removing those Prussian sentries complained of last night, here seems to be a double strength of them this morning. And her Polish Majesty, a severe, hard-featured old Lady, has been filled with indignant amazement by a Prussian Officer—Major von Wangenheim, I believe it is—requiring, in the King of Prussia’s name, the Keys of that Archive-room; Prussian Majesty absolutely needing sight, for a little while, of certain Papers there. "Enter that room? Archives of a crowned Head? Let me see the living mortal that will dare to do it!"—one fancies the indignant Polish Majesty’s answer; and how, calling for materials, she "openly sealed the door in question," in Wangenheim’s presence. As this is a celebrated Passage, which has been reported in several loose ways, let us take it from the primary source, Chancery style and all. Graf von Sternberg, Austrian Excellency, writing from the spot and at the hour, informs his own Court, and through that all Courts, in these solemnly Official terms:—

"DRESDEN, 10th SEPTEMBER, 1756. The Queen’s Majesty, this forenoon, has called to her all the Foreign Ministers now at Dresden; and in Highest Own Person has signified to us, How, the Prussian intrusions and hostilities being already known, Highest said Queen’s Majesty would now simply state what had farther taken place this morning:—

"Highest said Queen’s Majesty, to wit, had, in her own name, requested the King of Prussia, in conformity with his assurances [by Keith, yesternight] of paying every regard for Her and the Royal Family, To remove the Prussian Sentries pacing about in those Corridors,"—Corridors which lead to the Secret Archives, important to some of us!—"Instead of which, the said King had not only doubled his Sentries there; but also, by an Officer, demanded the Keys of the Archive-apartment [just alluded to]! And as the Queen’s Majesty, for security of all writings there, offered to seal the Door of it herself, and did so, there and then,—the said Officer had so little respect, that he clapped his own seal thereon too.

"Nor was he content therewith,"—not by any means!—"but the same Officer [having been with Wylich, Commandant here] came back, a short time after, and made for opening of the Door himself. Which being announced to the Queen’s Majesty, she in her own person (HOCHSTDIESELBE, Highest-the-Same) went out again; and standing before the Door, informed him, ’How Highest-the-Same had too much regard to his Prussian Majesty’s given assurance, to believe that such order could proceed from the King.’ As the Officer, however, replied, ’That he was sorry to have such an order to execute; but that the order was serious and precise; and that he, by not executing it, would expose himself to the greatest responsibility," Her Majesty continued standing before the Door; and said to the Officer, ’If he meant to use force, he might upon Her make his beginning.’" There is for you, Herr Wangenheim!—

"Upon which said Officer had gone away, to report anew to the King [I think, only to Wylich the Commandant; King now a dozen miles off, not so easily reported to, and his mind known]; and in the mean while Her Majesty had called to her the Prussian and English Ambassadors [Mahlzahn and Stormont; sorry both of them, but how entirely resourceless,—especially Mahlzahn!], and had represented and repeated to them the above; beseeching that by their remonstrances and persuasions they would induce the King of Prussia, conformably with his given assurance, to forbear. Instead, however, of any fruit from such remonstrances and urgencies, final Order came, ’That, Queen’s Majesty’s own Highest Person notwithstanding, force must be used.’

"Whereupon her Majesty, to avoid actual mistreatment, had been obliged to"—to become passive, and, no Keys being procurable from her, see a smith with his picklocks give these Prussians admission. Legation-Secretary Plessmann was there (Menzel one fancies sitting, rather pale, in an adjacent room [Supra, p. 266.]); and they knew what to do. Their smith opens the required Box for them (one of several "all lying packed for Warsaw," says Friedrich); from which soon taking what they needed, Wangenheim and Wylich withdrew with their booty, and readers have the fruit of it to this day. "Which unheard-of procedure, be pleased, your Excellencies, to report to your respective Courts." [<italic> Gesammelte Nachrichten, <end italic> i. 222 (or "No. 26" of that Collection); <italic> OEuvres de Frederic, <end italic> iv. 83.]

Poor old Lady, what a situation! And I believe she never saw her poor old Husband again. The day he went to Pirna (morning of yesterday, September 9th, Friedrich entering in the evening), these poor Spouses had, little dreaming of it, taken leave of one another forevermore. Such profit lies in your Bruhl. Kings and Queens that will be governed by a Jesuit Guarini, and a Bruhl of the Twelve Tailors, sometimes pay dear for it. They, or their representatives, are sure to do so. Kings and Queens,—yes, and if that were all: but their poor Countries too? Their Countries;—well, their Countries did not hate Beelzebub, in his various shapes, ENOUGH. Their Countries should have been in watch against Beelzebub in the shape of Bruhls;—watching, and also "praying" in a heroic manner, now fallen obsolete in these impious times!


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Chicago: Thomas Carlyle, "Chapter IV. Friedrich Puts a Question at Vienna, Twice Over.," History of Friedrich II of Prussia— Volume 17 in History of Friedrich II of Prussia—Volume 17 Original Sources, accessed September 25, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=GMJ8PEKW1SCI7TA.

MLA: Carlyle, Thomas. "Chapter IV. Friedrich Puts a Question at Vienna, Twice Over." History of Friedrich II of Prussia— Volume 17, in History of Friedrich II of Prussia—Volume 17, Original Sources. 25 Sep. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=GMJ8PEKW1SCI7TA.

Harvard: Carlyle, T, 'Chapter IV. Friedrich Puts a Question at Vienna, Twice Over.' in History of Friedrich II of Prussia— Volume 17. cited in , History of Friedrich II of Prussia—Volume 17. Original Sources, retrieved 25 September 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=GMJ8PEKW1SCI7TA.