ページの画像
PDF
ePub

17th Oct. 1760.

Reprisal our clear remedy!" But Berlin itself was in alarm, for perhaps another Russian visit ; Berlin and Gotzkowsky were humbly positive the other way. Upon which a visit of Gotzkowsky to the Royal Camp: “ Merchants' Bills are a sacred thing, Your Majesty!" urged Gotzkowsky. Who, in his zeal for the matter, undertook dangerous visits to the Russian Quarters, and a great deal of trouble, peril and expense, during the weeks following. Magnanimous Gotzkowsky, “in ' mere bribes to the Russian Officials, spent about

6,0001. of his own,' for one item. But he had at length convinced his Majesty that Merchants’ Bills were a sacred thing, in spite of Bamberg and desecrative individualities; and that this Million-and-half must be paid. Friedrich was struck with Gotzkowsky and his view of the facts. Friedrich, from his own distressed funds, handed to Gotzkowsky the necessary

Million-andhalf, commanding only profound silence about it; and to Gotzkowsky himself a present of 150,000 thalers (20,0001. odd);16 and so the matter did at last end.

It had been a costly business to Berlin, and to the King, and to the poor harried Country. To Berlin, bombardment of ten hours; alarm of discursive siegework in the environs for five days; foreign yoke for three days; lost money to the amounts above stated; what loss in wounds to body or to peace of mind, or whether

any
loss that

way, nobody has counted. The Berlin people rose to a more than Roman height of temper, testifies D'Argens;17 so that perhaps it was a gain. The King's Magazines and War-furnitures about Berlin are wasted utterly,-Arsenal itself not blown

16 Archenholtz, ii. 146.

1 Euvres de Frédéric, xix. 195-199: ‘D'Argens to the King: Berlin, 19th October 1760,'—an interesting Letter of details.

17th Oct. 1760. up, we well know why ;-and much Hunnish ruin in Charlottenburg, with damage to Antiques,--for which latter clause there shall, in a few months, be reprisal, if it please the Powers !

Of all this, Montalembert declares, “Before God, that he, Montalembert, is and was the mainspring.” And indeed, Tempelhof, without censure of Montalembert and his vocation, but accurately computing time and circumstance, comes to the same conclusion;—as thus: · October 8th, seeing no Lacy come, Czernichef, ' had it not been for Montalembert's eloquence, had ' fixed for returning to Cöpenik: whom cautious Lacy · would have been obliged to imitate. Suppose Czer* nichef had, October 9th, got to Cöpenik, —Eugen and • Hülsen remain at Berlin ; Czernichef could not have got back thither before the 11th; on the 11th was news of Friedrich's coming; which set all on gallop to the right about.'18 So that really, before God, it seems Montalembert must have the merit of this fine achievement: the one fruit, so far as I can discover, of his really excellent reasonings, eloquences, patiences, sown broadcast, four or five long years, on such a field as fine human talent never had before. I declare to you, M. l'Ambassadeur, this excellent vulture-swoop on Berlin, and burning or reburning of the Peasantry of the Mark, is due solely to one poor zealous gentleman!

What was next to follow out of this,-in Torgau neighbourhood, where Daun now stands expectant, --poor M. de Montalembert was far from anticipating; and will be in no haste to claim the merit of before God or man.

Tempelhof, iv. 277.

CHAPTER V.

BATTLE OF TORGAU.

AFTER Hülsen's fine explosion on the Dürrenberg, August 20th, on the incompetent Reichs Generals, there had followed nothing eminent; new futilities, attemptings and desistings, advancings and recoilings, on the part of the Reich ; Hülsen solidly maintaining himself, in defence of his Torgau Magazine and Saxon interests in those regions, against such overwhelming odds, till relief and reinforcement for them and him should arrive; and gaining time, which was all he could aim at in such circumstances. Had the Torgau Magazine been bigger, perhaps Hülsen might have sat there to the end. But having solidly eaten out said Magazine, what could Hülsen do but again move rearward ?1 Above all, on the alarm from Berlin, which called him off double-quick, things had to go their old road in that quarter. Weak Torgau was taken, weak Wittenberg besieged. Leipzig, Torgau, Wittenberg, all that Country, by the time the Russians left Berlin, was again the Reich’s. Eugen and Hülsen, hastening for relief of Wittenberg, the instant Berlin was free, found Wittenberg a heap of ruins, out of which the Prussian garrison, very hunger urging, had issued the day before, as prisoners of war. Nothing more to be done by Eugen, but take post, within reach of Magdeburg and victual, and wait new Order from

the King

1 Hofbericht von dem Rückzug des General-Lieutenants von Hülsen aus dem Lager bey Torgau (in Seyfarth, Beylagen, ii. 755-784).

20th Oct.-30 Nov. 1760. The King is very unquestionably coming on; leaves Lübben thitherward October 20th. With full fixity of purpose as usual; but with as gloomy an outlook as ever before. Daun, we said, is now arrived in those parts: Daun and the Reich together are near 100,000; Daun some 60,000,-Loudon having stayed behind, and gone southward, for a stroke on Kosel (if Goltz will permit, which he won't at all!),—and the Reich 35,000. Saxony is all theirs; cannot they maintain Saxony? Not

Town or a Magazine now belongs to Friedrich there, and he is in number as 1 to 2. “ Maintain Saxony; indisputably you can!" that is the express Vienna Order, , as Friedrich happens to know. The Russians themselves have taken Camp again, and wait visibly, about Landsberg and the Warta Country, till they see Daun certain of executing said Order; upon which they intend, they also, to winter in those Elbe Prussian parts, and conjointly to crush Friedrich into great confinement indeed. Friedrich is aware of this Vienna Order; which is a kind of comfort in the circumstances. The intentions of the hungry Russians, too, are legible to Friedrich; and he is much resolved that said Order shall be impossible to Daun.

Were it to be possible, we are landless. Where are our recruits, our magazines, our resources for a new Campaign? We may as well die, as suffer that to be possible!” Such is Friedrich's fixed view. He says to D'Argens:

You, as a follower of Epicurus, put a value on “ life; as for me, I regard death from the Stoic point of " view. Never shall I see the moment that forces me " to make a disadvantageous Peace; no persuasion, no

· Rödenbeck, ii. 35: in Anonymous of Hamburg (iv. 241-245) Friedrich's Two Marches, towards and from Berlin (7th-17th October, to Lübben; thence, 20th October—30 November, to Torgau).

20th Oct.-30 Nov. 1760. “ eloquence, shall ever induce me to sign my dishonour. “ Either I will bury myself under the ruins of my

Country, or if that consolation appears too sweet to " the Destiny that persecutes me, I shall know how to

put an end to my misfortunes when it is impossible " to bear them any longer. I have acted, and continue

to act, according to that interior voice of conscience " and of honour which directs all my steps: my conduct " shall be, in every time, conformable to those principles. “ After having sacrificed my youth to my Father, my

ripe years to my Country, I think I have acquired the

right to dispose of my old age. I have told you, and " I repeat it, Never shall my hand sign a humiliating “ Peace. Finish this Campaign I certainly will, resolved “ to dare all, and to try the most desperate things either " to succeed or to find a glorious end (fin glorieuse). "3

Friedrich had marched from Lübben, after threedays settling of affairs, October 20th ; arrived at Jessen, on the Elbe, within wind of Wittenberg, in two days

*He formed a small magazine at Düben,' says Archenholtz; “and was of a velocity, a sharpness,'-like lightning, in a manner! Friedrich is uncommonly dangerous when crushed into a córner, in this way; and Daun knows that he is. Friedrich's maneuverings upon Daun--all readers can anticipate the general type of them. The studious military reader, if England boasts any such, will find punctual detail of them in Tempelhof and the German Books. For our poor objects, here is a Summary which may suffice:

From Lübben, having winded up these bad businesses,—and reinforced Goltz, at Glogau, to a 20,000 for Silesia's sake, to look towards Kosel and Loudon's attempts there,-Friedrich gathered

3 Eurres de Frédéric, xix. 202 (“Kemberg, 28th October 1760,' a week and a day before Torgau).

more.

« 前へ次へ »