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9th-16th Dec. 1761. ' inexpressibly; but it will not do. Withdraws; leaves Colberg to its fate. Next morning, Heyde gets his twenty-sixth summons; reflects on it two days; and then (December 16th), his biscuit done, decides to “march out, with music playing, arms shouldered, and the honours of war." '6 Adieu to the old Hero; who, we hope, will not stay long in Russian prison.
“What a Place of Arms for us!" thinks Romanzow; —“ though, indeed, for Campaign 1762, at this late time of year, it will not so much avail us.” No; and for 1763, who knows if you will need it then!
Six weeks ago, Prince Henri and Daun had finished their Saxon Campaign in a much more harmless manner. November 5th, Daun, after infinite rallying, marshalling, re-arranging, and counselling with Loudon, who has sat so long quiescent on the Heights at Kunzendorf, ready to aid and reinforce, did at length (nothing of“ rashness” chargeable on Daun) make “a general attack on Prince Henri's outposts,' in the Meissen or Mulda-Elbe Country, “from Rosswein all across to Siebeneichen;' simultaneous attack, 15 miles wide, or I know not how wide, but done with vigour; and, after a stiff struggle in the small way, drove them all in; in, all of them, more or less ;—and then did nothing farther whatever. Henri had to contract his quarters, and stand alertly on his guard: but nothing came.
“Shall have to winter in straiter quarters, behind the Mulda, not astride of it as formerly; that is all.” And so the Campaign in Saxony had ended, without, in the whole course of it (say the Books), either party gaining any essential advantage over the other.'
Tempelhof, v. 351-377; Archenholtz, ii. 294-307 ; especially the Seyfarth Beylagen above cited.
Seyfarth, iii. 54; Tempelhof, v. 275 et seq. (ibid. pp. 263-280 for the Campaign at large, in all breadth of detail).
FRIEDRICH IN BRESLAU; HAS NEWS FROM PETERSBURG.
SINCE December 9th, Friedrich is in Breslau, in some remainder of his ruined Palace there; and is represented to us, in Books, as sitting amid ruins; no prospect ahead of him but ruin. Withdrawn from Society; looking fixedly on the gloomiest future. Sees hardly anybody; speaks, except it be on business, nothing. 'One day,' I have read somewhere, General Lentulus dined with ' him; and there was not a word uttered at all. The Anecdote-Books have Dialogues with Ziethen; Ziethen still trusting in Divine Providence; King trusting only in the iron Destinies, and the stern refuge of Death with honour: Dialogues evidently symbolical only. In fact, this is not, or is not altogether, the King's common humour. He has his two Nephews with him (the elder, old enough to learn soldiering, is to be of next Campaign under him); he is not without society when he likes,-never without employment whether he like or not; and in the blackest murk of despondencies has his Turk and other Illusions, which seem to be brighter this Year than ever.1
For certain, the King is making all preparation, as if victory might still crown him: though of practical hope he, doubtless often enough, has little or none.
Letters to Henri : in Schöning, iii. (sæpius).
Oct. 1761—July 1762. England seems about deserting him; a most sad and unexpected change has befallen there: great Pitt thrown out; perverse small Butes come in, whose notions and procedures differ far from Pitt's! At home here, the Russians are in Pommern and the Neumark; Austrians have Saxony, all but a poor strip beyond the Mulda; Silesia, all but a fraction on the Oder: Friedrich has with himself 30,000; with Prince Henri 25,000; under Eugen of Würtemberg, against the Swedes, 5,000; in all his Dominions, 60,000 fighting men.
To make head against so many enemies, he calculates that 60,000 more must be raised this Winter. And where are these to come from; England and its help having also fallen into such dubiety? Next Year, it is calculated by everybody, Friedrich himself hardly excepted (in bad moments), must be the finis of this long agonistic tragedy. On the other hand, Austria herself is in sore difficulties as to cash; discharges 20,000 men,-trusting she may have enough besides, to finish Friedrich. France is bankrupt, starving, passionate for Peace; English Bute nothing like so ill to treat with as Pitt: to Austria no more subsidies from France. The War is waxing feeble, not on Friedrich's side only, like a flame short of fuel. This Year it must go out; Austria will have to kill Friedrich this Year, if at all.
Whether Austria's and the world's prophecy would have been fulfilled ? Nobody can say what miraculous sudden shifts, and outbursts of fiery enterprise, may still lie in this man.
Friedrich is difficult to kill, grows terribly elastic when you compress him into a corner. Or Destiny, perhaps, may have tried him sufficiently; and be satisfied ? Destiny does send him a wonderful starof-day, bursting out on the sudden, as will be seen! Meanwhile here is the English calamity; worse than
Oct. 1761—July 1762. any Schweidnitz, Colberg, or other that has befallen in this blackest of the night.
The Pitt Catastrophe : how the Peace-Negotiation
went off by Excplosion ; how Pitt withdrew (3d October 1761), and there came a Spanish War nevertheless.
In St. James's Street, 'in the Duke of Cumberland's late lodgings,' on the 2d of October 1761, there was held one of the most remarkable Cabinet-Councils known in English History: it is the last of Pitt's Cabinet-Councils, for a long time, --might as well have been his last of all;—and is of the highest importance to Friedrich through Pitt. We spoke of the Choiseul Peace-Negotiation; of an offer indirectly from King Carlos, “ Could not I mediate a little ?”—offer which exploded said Negotiation, and produced the Bourbon Family Compact and an additional War instead. Let us now look, slightly for a few moments, into that matter and its sequences.
It was July 15th, when Bussy, along with something in his own French sphere, presented this beautiful Spanish Appendix,—"apprehensive that War
break out again with Spain, when we Two have got settled.” By the same opportunity came a Note from him, which was reckoned important too: “ That the Empress Queen would and did, whatever might become of the Congress of Augsburg, approve of this Separate Peace between France and England, —England merely undertaking to leave the King of Prussia altogether to himself in future with her Imperial Majesty and her Allies.” “Never, Sir!" answered Pitt, with emphasis, to this latter Proposition; and to the former about Spain's interfering, or whispering of interference, he answered—by at once
Oct. 1761—July 1762. returning the Paper, as a thing non-extant, or which it was charitable to consider so. “Totally inadmissible, Sir; mention it no more!”—and at once called upon the Spanish Ambassador to disavow such impertinence imputed to his Master. Fancy the colloquies, the agitated consultations thereupon, between Bussy and this Don, in view suddenly of breakers ahead!
In about a week (July 23d), Bussy had an Interview with Pitt himself on this high Spanish matter; and got some utterances out of him which are memorable to Bussy and us. “It is my duty to declare to you, Sir, " in the name of his Majesty,” said Pitt, “ that his
Majesty will not suffer the disputes with Spain to be “ blended, in any manner whatever, in the Negotiation " of Peace between the Two Crowns. To which I
must add, that it will be considered as an affront
to his Majesty's dignity, and as a thing incompatible “ with the sincerity of the Negotiation, to make further “ mention of such a circumstance." Bussy did not go at once, after this deliverance; but was unable, by his arguments and pleadings, by all his oil and fire joined together, to produce the least improvement on it: “ Time “ enough to treat of all that, Sir, when the Tower of “ London is taken sword in hand!'3 was Pitt's last word. An expression which went over the world; and went especially to King Carlos, as fast as it could fly, or as his Choiseul could speed it: and, in about three weeks, produced,—it and what had gone before it, by the united industry of Choiseul and Carlos, finally produced,—the famed Bourbon Family Compact (August
? In Thackeray, ii. 554 ;-Pitt next day putting it in writing, “word for word,” at Bussy's request.
3 Beatson, ii. 434. Archenholtz (ii. 245) has heard of this expression, in a slightly incorrect way.