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15th-18th June 1760. " out as long as possible, think of no surrender on open “ field, but if even beaten, defend ourselves to the last
In case of a retreat, I will be one of the last " that leaves the field : and should I have the misfortune * to survive such a day, I give you my word of honour
never to draw a Prussian sword more.”4 This speech of Fouquet's (June 16th) was two days after Friedrich got on march from Schlettau. June 17th, Fouquet got to Landshut; drove out the Austrians more easily than he had calculated, and set diligently, next day, to repair his works, writing to Friedrich: “Your Majesty's Order shall be executed here, while a man of us lives." Fouquet, in the old Crown-Prince time, used to be called Bayard by his Royal friend. His Royal friend, now darker of face and scathed by much ill-weather, has just quitted Schlettau, three days before this recovery of Landshut; and will not have gone far till he again hear news of Fouquet.
Night of June 14th-15th, Friedrich, 'between Zehren and Zabel,' several miles down stream, --his bridges now all ready, out of Lacy's cognisance,-has suddenly crossed Elbe; and next afternoon pitches camp at Broschwitz, which is straight towards Lacy again. To Lacy's astonishment; who is posted at Moritzburg, with headquarter in that beautiful Country-seat of Polish Majesty,--only 10 miles to eastward, should Friedrich take that road. Broschwitz is short way north of Meissen, and lies on the road either to Grossenhayn or to Radeburg (Radeburg only four miles northward of Lacy), as Friedrich shall see fit, on the morrow.
For the Meissen north road forks off there, in those two directions: straight northward is for Grossenhayn, right
* Stenzel, v. 239.
15th-18th June 1760. hand is for Radeburg. Most interesting to Lacy, which of these forks, what is quite optional, Friedrich will take! Lacy is an alert man ; looks well to himself; warns Daun; and will not be caught if he can help it. Daun himself is encamped at Reichenberg, within two miles of him, inexpugnably entrenched as usual; and the danger surely is not great: nevertheless both these Generals, wise by experience, keep their eyes open.
The First great Feat of Marching now follows, on Friedrich's part; with little or no result to Friedrich; but worth remembering, so strenuous, so fruitless was it, so barred by ill-news from without! Both this and the Second stand recorded for us, in brief intelligent terms by Mitchell, who was present in both; and who is perfectly exact on every point, and intelligible throughout --if you will read him with a Map; and divine for yourself what the real names are, out of the inhuman blotchings made of them, not by Mitchell's blame at all.5
Tuesday, June 17th, second day of Friedrich's stay at Broschwitz, Mitchell, in a very confidential Dialogue they had together, learned from him, under seal of secrecy, That it was his purpose to march for Radeburg tomorrow morning, and attack Lacy and his 30,000, who lie encamped at Moritzburg out yonder; for which step his Majesty was pleased further to show Mitchell a little, what the various inducements were: "One Rus' sian Corps is aiming as if for Berlin; the Austrians ' are about besieging Glatz,--pressing need that Fou
quet were reinforced in his Silesian post of difficulty. · Then here are the Reichs-people close by; can be in • Dresden three days hence, joined to Daun: 80,000 • odd there will then be of Enemies in this part: I must
• Mitchell, Memoirs and Papers, ii. 160 et seq.
18th June 1760. * beat Lacy, if possible, while time still is!--and ended by saying: “Succeed here, and all may yet be saved; “ be beaten here, I know the consequences: but what * can I do? The risk must be run; and it is now smaller than it will ever again be.”
Mitchell, whose account is a fortnight later than the Dialogue itself, does confess, My Lord, these reasons,
though unhappily the thing seems to have failed, " appear to me to be solid and unanswerable.” ? Much more do they to Tempelhof, who sees deeper into the bottom of them than Mitchell did; and finds that the failure is only superficial. The real success, thinks Tempelhof, would be, Could the King manæuvre himself into Silesia, and entice a cunctatory Daun away with him thither. A cunctatory Daun to preside over matters there, in his superstitiously cautious way; leaving Saxony free to the Reichsfolk,—whom a Hülsen, left with his small remnant in Schlettau, might easily take charge of, till Silesia were settled? The plan was bold, ' was new, and completely worthy of Friedrich,' votes Tempelhof; and it required the most consummate
delicacy of execution. To lure Daun on, always with 'the prospect opened to him of knocking you on the • head, and always by your rapidity and ingenuity to take care that he never got it done.'
This is Tempelhof's notion: and this, sure enough, was actually Friedrich's mode of management in the weeks following; though whether already altogether planned in his head, or only gradually planning itself, as is more likely, nobody can say. We will look a very little into the execution, concerning which there is no dubiety:
Wednesday, 18th June, ‘Friedrich,' as predicted to Mitchell, the night before, 'did start punctually, in three columns, at 3
• Mitchell, ii. 160 (Despatch, June 30th, 1760'); Tempelhof, iv. 44.
19th June 1760. A.M. (Sun just rising); "and, after a hot march, got encamped
on the southward side of Radeburg: ready to cross the Rödern • Stream there, tomorrow, as if intending for the Lausitz' (should that prove needful for alluring Lacy),—and in the mean while, very inquisitive where Lacy might be. One of Lacy's outposts, those Saxon light horse, was fallen in with ; was chased 'home, and Lacy's camp discovered, that night. At Bernsdorf, not three miles to southward or right of us; Daun only another three to south of him. Let us attack Lacy tomorrow morning; • wind round to get between Daun and him, —with fit arrangements; rapid as light! In the King's Tent, accordingly, his Generals are assembled to take their Orders; brief, distinct, ' and to be done with brevity. And all are on the move for * Bernsdorf at 4 next morning; when, behold,
Thursday 19th, · At Bernsdorf, there is no Lacy to be found. • Cautious Daun has ordered him in,—and not for Lacy's sake, as appears, but for his own : “Hitherward, you alert Lacy; to cover my right flank here, my Hill of Reichenberg,--lest it 'be not impregnable enough against that feline enemy!” And " there they have taken post, say 60,000 against 30,000 ; and • are palisading to a quite extraordinary degree. No fight possible with Lacy or Daun.'
This is what Mitchell counts the failure of Friedrich's enterprise: and certainly it grieved Friedrich a good deal. Who, on riding out to reconnoitre Reichenberg (Quintus Icilius and Battalion Quintus part of his escort, if that be an interesting circumstance), finds Reichenberg a plainly unattackable post; finds, by Daun's rate of palisading, that there will be no attack from Daun either. No attack from Daun ;-and, therefore, that Hülsen's people may be sent home to Schlettau again; and that he, Friedrich, will take post close by, and wearisomely be content to wait for some new opportunity.
Which he does for a week to come; Daun sitting impregnable, entrenched and palisaded to the teeth,-rather wishing to be attacked, you would say; or hopeful sometimes of doing something of the Hochkirch sort again (for the country is woody, and the enemy audacious);—at all events, very clear not to
? Tempelhof, iv. 47-49.
25th June 1760. attack. A man erring, sometimes to a notable degree, by overcaution. •Could hardly have failed to overwhelm Friedrich's small force, had he at once, on Friedrich's crossing the Elbe, 'joined Lacy, and gone out against him,' thinks Tempelhof, pointing out the form of operation too. Caution is excellent; but not quite by itself. Would caution alone do it, an Army all of Druidic whinstones, or innocent clay-sacks, incapable of taking hurt, would be the proper one !—Daun stood there; Friedrich looking daily into him,—visibly in ill-humour, says Mitchell; and no wonder; gloomy and surly words coming out of him, to the distress of his Generals: “which I took the liberty of hinting, one evening, to his Majesty;" hint graciously received, and of effect perceptible, at least to my imagining.
Wednesday, June 25th, After nearly a week of this, there rose, towards sunset, all over the Reichenberg, and far and wide, an exuberant joy-firing: "For what in the world ?” thinks Friedlrich. Alas, your Majesty,--since your own messenger has not arrived, nor indeed ever will, being picked up by Pandours, -here, gathered from the Austrian outposts or deserters, are news for you, fatal enough! Landshut is done; Fouquet and his valiant 13,000 are trodden out there. Indignant Fouquet has obeyed you, not wisely but too well. He has kept Landshut six nights and five days. On the morning of the 6th day, here is what befel:
“ Landshut, Monday 230 June, About a quarter to 2 in the “ morning, Loudon, who had gathered 31,000 horse and foot for “ the business, and taken his measures, fired aloft, by way of “ signal, four howitzers into the gray of the summer morning; “ and burst loose upon Fouquet, in various columns, on his “ southward front, on both flanks, ultimately in his rear too: “ columns all in the height of fighting humour, confident as three “to one,-and having brandy in them, it is likewise said. Fou
quet and his people stood to arms, in the temper Fouquet had “ vowed they would: defended their Hills with an energy, with
a steady skill, which Loudon himself admired; but their Hill“ works would have needed thrice the number ;-Fouquet, by de“ taching and otherwise, has in arms only 10,680 men. Toughly
• Tempelhof, iv. 42, 48.