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Jan.July 1762. “ This is to become wise by stripes, you will tell me; well, if one “ do become wise, what matters it how?-I read a great deal; I “ devour my Books, and that brings me useful alleviation. But “for my Books, I think hypochondria would have had me in 4 bedlam before now. In fine, dear Marquis, we live in trou6 blous times and in desperate situations :—I have all the pro
perties of a Stage-Hero; always in danger, always on the ،
point of perishing. One must hope the conclusion will come; " and if the end of the piece be lucky, we will forget the rest. “ Patience then, mon cher, till February 20th” (By which time, what far other veritable star-of-day will have risen on me!) “Adieu, mon cher.-F.” 23
Tiff of Quarrel between King and Henri (March-April
1762). In the Spring months, Prince Henri is at Hof in Voigtland, on the extreme right of his long line of ‘Quarters behind the Mulda;' busy enough, watching the Austrians and Reich; levying the severe contributions; speeding, all he can, the manifold preparatives ;-conscious to himself of the greatest vigilance and diligence, but wrapt in despondency and black acidulent humours; a ‘Doctor So much the Worse,' who is not a comforting Correspondent. From Hof, towards the middle of March, he becomes specially gloomy and acidulous; sends a series of Complaints; also of News, not important, but all rather in your favour, my dearest Brother, than in mine, if you will please to observe! As thus :
Henri (at Hof, 10th-13th March). “ Sadly off here, “ my dearest Brother! Of our “1,284 head of commissariat “ horses,' only 180 are come in; of our 6 287 drivers, not one. " Will be impossible to open Campaign at that rate.”—“Grena“ dier Battalions Rothenburg and Grant demand to have picked men to complete them” (of Cantonist, or sure Prussian sort).
“I find” (nota bene, Reader !) “there are eight Austrian “ regiments going to Silesia” (off my hands, and upon yours, in a sense), “eight instead of four that I spoke of: intending, proJan.—July 1762. “bably, for Glatz, to replace Czernichef” (a Czernichef off for home lately, in a most miraculous way; as readers shall hear !) “ —to replace Czernichef, and the blank he has left there?
23 Euvres de Frédéric, xix. 282, 283.
Eight of them : Your Majesty can have no difficulty; but I “ will detach Platen or somebody, if you order it; though I am
myself perilously ill off here, so scattered into parts, not capable “ of speedy junction like your Majesty."
Friedrich (14th-16th March). “Commissariat horses, drivers? “ I arranged and provided where everything was to be got. But “ if my orders are not executed, nor the requisitions brought in, “ of course there is failure. I am despatching Adjutant von “Anhalt to Saxony a second time, to enforce matters. If I “could be for three weeks in Saxony, myself, I believe I could
put all on its right footing; but, as I must not stir two steps “ from here, I will send you Anhalt, with orders to the Generals, “ to compel them to their duty.” 24 “As to Grenadier Battalions “ Grant and Rothenburg, it is absurd.” (Henri falls silent for about a week, brooding his gloom ;—not aware that still worse is coming. King continues :
King (22d March). “Eight regiments, you said ? Here, by “ enclosed List, are seventeen of them, names and particulars all
given,” which is rather a different view of the account against Silesia! Seventeen of them, going, not for Glatz, I should say, but to strengthen our Enemies hereabouts.
Henri. “ Hm, hah” (answers only in German ; dry military reports, official merely ;—thinks of writing to Chief-Clerk Eichel, who is factotum in these spheres). “Artillery recruits are
scarce in the extreme; demand bounty: five thalers, shall we
King. “Seventeen regiments of them, beyond question, instead “ of eight, coming on us: strange that you didn't warn me bet
ter. I have therefore ordered your Major-General Schmettau « hitherward at once. As he has not done raising the contribu“ tions in the Lausitz, you must send another to do it, and have " them ready when General Platen passes that way hither.”— “ "Five thalers bounty for artillery men,' say you? It is not to be thought of. Artillery men can be had by conscription
24 Schöning, iii. 301, 302.
Jan.—July 1762. “ where you are.” Henri (in silence, still more indignant) sends military reports exclusively. March 26th, Henri's gloom reaches the igniting-point; he writes to Chief-Clerk Eichel :
Monsieur, you are aware that Adjutant von Anhalt is on the way hither. To judge by his orders, if they correspond to the “ Letters I have had from the King, Adjutant von Anhalt's
appearance here will produce an embarrassment, from which I
am resolved to extricate myself by a voluntary retirement from " office. My totally ruined (abîmée) health, the vexations I have “ had, the fatigues and troubles of war, leave in me little regret “ to quit the employment. I solicit only, from your attentions “ and skill of management, that my retreat be permitted to take
place with the decency observed towards those who have served “ the State. I have not a high opinion of my services; but per“haps I am not mistaken in supposing that it would be more a “ shame to the King than to me if he should make me endure “ all manner of chagrins during my retirement.”25
Eichel sinks into profound reflexion ; says nothing. How is this fire to be got under? Where is the place to trample on it, before opening door or window, or saying a word to the King or anybody?
Henri (same day, 26th March). “My dearest Brother,—In “ the List you send me of those seventeen Austrian regiments, “several, I am informed, are still in Saxony; and by all the
news that I get, there are only eight gone towards Silesia.”“ From Leipzig my accounts are, the Reichs Army is to make a “ movement in advance, and Prince Xavier with the Saxons was “ expected at Naumburg the 20th ult. I know not if you have
arranged with Duke Ferdinand for a proportionate succour, in “ case his French also should try to penetrate into Saxony upon “ me? I am, with the profoundest attachment, your faithful and “ devoted servant and Brother.”
King (30th March). “Seventeen of them, you may depend; “ I am too well informed to be allowed to doubt in any way. “ What you report of the Reichsfolk and Saxons moving “ hither, thither; that seems to me a bit of game on their
part. They will try to cut one post from you, then another,
25 Schöning, üi. 307.
Jan.July 1762. “ unless you assemble a corps and go in upon them. Till you “ decide for this resolution, you have nothing but chicanes “ and provocations to expect there. As to Duke Ferdinand of “ Brunswick, I don't imagine that his Orders” (from England) “ would permit him what you propose” (for relief of yourself): “ at any rate, you will have to write at least thrice to him,—that “ is to say, waste three weeks, before he will answer No or Yes. “ You yourself are in force enough for those fellows: but so “ long as you keep on the defensive alone, the enemy gains time, “ and things will always go a bad road.” Ilenri's patience is already out; this same day, he is writing to the King. Henri (30th March).
“ You have hitherto received proofs enough of my ways of thinking and acting to know “ that if in reality I was mistaken about those eight regiments, “ it can only have been a piece of ignorance on the part of my
spy: meanwhile you are pleased to make me responsible for “ what misfortune may come of it. I think I have my
hands “ full with the task laid on me of guarding 4,000 square miles “of country with fewer troops than you have, and of being op“posite an enemy whose posts touch upon ours, and who is “ superior in force. Your preceding Letters” (from March 16th hitherto), “ on which I have wished to be silent, and this last “ proof of want of affection, show me too clearly to what fortune “ I have sacrificed these Six Years of Campaigning.”
King (3d April: Official Orders given in Teutsch; at the tail of which). “Spare your wrath and indignation at your “ servant, Monseigneur! You, who preach indulgence, have a “ little of it for persons who have no intention of offending
you, or of failing in respect for you; and deign to receive with “ more benignity the humble representations which the conjunc
tures sometimes force from me. F.”_Which relieves Eichel of his difficulties, and quenches this sputter.26
Prince Henri, for all his complaining, did beautifully, this Season again (though to us it must be silent, being small-war merely);-and in particular, May 12th, early in the morning, simultaneously in many different parts, burst across the Mulda,
24 Plucked up from the waste imbroglios of Schöning (iii. 296-311), by arranging and omitting.
5th-19th Jan, 1762. ten or twenty miles long (or broad rather, from his right hand to his left), sudden as lightning, upon the supine Serbelloni and his Austrians and Reichsfolk. And hurled them back, one and all, almost to the Plauen Chasm and their old haunts; widening his quarters notably. 27 A really brilliant thing, testifies everybody, though not to be dwelt on here. Seidlitz was of it (much fine cutting and careering, from the Seidlitz and others, we have to omit in these two Saxon Campaigns !)-Seidlitz was of it; he, and another still more special acquaintance of ours, the learned Quintus Icilius; who also did his best in it, but lost his . Amusette' (small bit of cannon, 'Plaything,' so called by Maréchal de Saxe, inventor of the article), and did not shine like Seidlitz.
Henri's quarters being notably widened in this way, and nothing but torpid Serbellonis and Prince Stollbergs on the opposite part, Henri - drew himself out thirty-five miles long;' and stood there, almost looking into Plauen region as formerly. And with his fiery Seidlitzes, Kleists, made a handsome Summer of it. And beat the Austrians and Reichsfolk at Freyberg (October 29th, a fine Battle, and his sole one),---on the Horse which afterwards carried Gellert, as is pleasantly known.
But we are omitting the news from Petersburg, which came the very day after that gloomy Letter to D'Argens ; months before the Tif' of Quarrel with Henri, and the brilliant better destinies of that Gentleman in his Campaign.
Bright News from Petersburg (certain, January
19th); which grow ever brighter; and become a Star-of-day for Friedrich.
To Friedrich, long before all this of Henri, indeed almost on the very day while he was writing so despondently to D'Argens, a new phasis had arisen. Hardly
22 Bericht von dem Uebergang über die Mulde, den der Prinz Heinrich den 12ten May 1762 glucklich ausgeführt (in Seyfarth, Beylagen, iii. 280