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Jan.July 1762. I know not hardly of any War there has been with Sweden ;-ask Colonel Belling about it!” Colonel Belling, a most shining swift Hussar Colonel, who, with a 2,000 sharp fellows, hanging always on the Swedish flanks, sharp as lightning, “nowhere and yet everywhere,” as was said of him, has mainly, for the last year or two, had the management of this extraordinary “War.” Peace over all the North, Peace and more, is now Friedrich's. Strangling imbroglio, wide as the world, has ebbed to man's height; dawn of day has ripened into sunrise for Friedrich; the way out is now a thing credible and visible to him. Peter's friendliness is boundless; almost too boundless! Peter begs a Prussian Regiment,--dresses himself in its uniform, Colonel of Itzenplitz ; Friedrich begs a Russian Regiment, Colonel of Schuwalof: and all is joyful, hopeful; marriage-bells instead of dirge ditto and gallows ditto, -unhappily not for very long.
In regard to Friedrich's feelings while all this went on, take the following small utterances of his, before going farther: January 27th, 1762 (To Madame Camas, -eight days after the Russian Event): “I rejoice, my
good Mamma, to find you have such courage; I exhort you to redouble it!
All ends in this world; so we may hope this accursed War will not be the only thing "eternal there. Since Death has trussed up a certain “ Catin of the Hyperborean Countries, our situation has “advantageously changed, and becomes more support« able than it was. We must hope that some other “ good events” (favour of the new Czar mainly) “ will happen; by which we may profit to arrive at a good Peace.”
January 31st (To Minister Finckenstein): “Behold “the first gleam of light that rises ;—Heaven be praised
God grant it.”34
" All that” (at Paris ; about the Pompadourisms, the exile of Broglio and Brother, and your other news) "is very miserable; “ as well as that discrepancy between King's Council 6 and Parlement for and against the Jesuits! But, mon “cher Marquis, my head is so ill, I can tell you nothing
more, -except that the Czar of Russia is a divine man; to whom I ought to erect altars."35
May 25th (To the same,-Russian Peace three weeks ago): “It is very pleasant to me, dear Marquis, that Sans-Souci could afford you an agreeable retreat during the beautiful Spring days. If it depended only on
me, how soon should I be there beside you! But to " the Six Campaigns there is a Seventh to be added, " and will soon open; either because the Number 7 had
once mystic qualities, or because in the Book of Fate “ from all eternity the"
" Jesuits banished “ from France ? Ah, yes :-hearing of that, I made my “ bit of plan for them” (mean to have my pick of them as schoolmasters in Silesia here); “ and am waiting only “ till I get Silesia cleared of Austrians as the first thing. " You see we must not mow the corn till it is ripe."36 May 28th (To the same): *
* Tartar Khan actually astir, 10,000 men of his in Hungary' (I am told); “ Turk potentially ditto, with 200,000' (futile both, as ever): “All things show me the sure prospect of Peace
by the end of this Year; and, in the background of “ it, Sans-Souci and my dear Marquis! A sweet calm
springs up again in my soul; and a feeling of hope, “ to which for six years I had got unused, consoles me
34 Preuss, ii. 312.
36 Ibid. p. 321.
Jan.—July 1762. " for all I have come through. Think only what a “ coil I shall be in, before a month hence” (Campaign opened by that time, horrid Game begun again); " and "what a pass we had come to, in December last : “ Country at its last gasp (agonisait), as if waiting for " extreme unction: and now—!"37
June 8th (To Madame Camas, ---Russian Alliance now come): “I know well, my good Mamma, the sincere part
you take in the lucky events that befal us. The mis“ chief is, we are got so low, that we want at present “all manner of fortunate events to raise us again; and “ Two grand conclusions of Peace” (the Russian, the Swedish), “which might reëstablish Peace throughout,
are at this moment only a step towards finishing the “ War less unfortunately."88
Same day, June 8th (To D'Argens): “Czernichef is on march to join us. Our Campaign will not open till " towards the end of this month” (did open, July 1st); “but think then, what a pretty noise in this
again! In fine, my dear Marquis, the job ahead of me " is hard and difficult; and nobody can say positively “ how it will all go. Pray for us; and don't forget a poor “ devil who kicks about strangely in his harness, who “ leads the life of one damned; and who nevertheless “ loves you sincerely.—Adieu."39 D'Argens (May 24th) has heard, by Letters from very well-informed persons in Vienna, that · Imperial Majesty, for some time past, spends half of her time in praying to the Virgin, and
the other half in weeping.' 'I wish her,' adds the ungallant D'Argens, 'as punishment for the mischiefs her
ambition has cost mankind these seven years past, the • fate of Phaëthon's Sisters, and that she melt altogether
87 Cuvres de Frédéric, xix. 323. 38 Ibid. xviii, 146-7.
39 Ibid. xix. 327.
into water!40_ Take one other little utterance; and then to Colonel Hordt and the Petersburg side of things.
June 19th (still to D'Argens): “What is now going on in Russia no Count Kaunitz could foresee: what “ has come to pass in England, -of which the hatefullest
part" (Bute's altogether extraordinary attempts, in the Kaunitz, in the Czar Peter direction, to force a Peace upon me) “is not yet known to you,-I had no notion “ of, in forming my plans! The Governor of a State, in "troublous times, never can be sure. This is what dis
gusts me with the business, in comparison. A Man of “ Letters operates on something certain; a Politician “ can have almost no data of that kind."41 (How easy everybody's trade but one's own!)
Readers know what a tragedy poor Peter's was. His Czernichef did join the King ; but with far less advantage than Czernichef or anybody had anticipated !
- It is none of our intention to go into the chaotic Russian element, or that wildly-blazing sanguinary Catharine-and-Peter business; of which, at any rate, there are plentiful accounts in common circulation, more or less accurate,-especially M. Rulhière's, 42 the most succinct, lucid, and least unsatisfactory, in the accessible languages. Only so far as Friedrich was concerned are we. But readers saw this Couple married, under Friedrich's auspices,—a Marriage which he thought important twenty years ago; and sure enough the Dissolution of it did prove important to him, and is a necessary item here!
Readers, even those that know Rulhière, will doubtJan.-July 1762. less consent to a little supplementing from Two other Eye-witnesses of credit. The first and principal is a respectable Ex-Swedish Gentleman, whom readers used to hear of; the Colonel Hordt above mentioned, once of the Free-Corps IIordt, but fallen Prisoner latterly ;whose experiences and reports are all the more interesting to us, as Friedrich himself had specially to depend on them at present; and doubtless, in times long afterwards, now and then heard speech of them from Hordt. Our second Eye-witness is the Reverend Herr Doctor Büsching (of the Erdbeschriebung, of the Beyträge, and many other Works, an invaluable friend to us all along); who, in his wandering time, has come to be “ Pastor of the German Church at Petersburg," some years back. .
* Euvres de Frédéric, xix. 320 ( 24th May 1762'). 41 Ibid. p. 329.
62 Histoire ou Anecdotes sur la Révolution de Russie en l'année 1762 (written, 1768; first printed, Paris, 1797 : English Translation, London, 43 Suprà, vol. v. p. 534.
What Colonel Hordt and the Others saw at Petersburg
(January-July 1762). Autumn 1759, in the sequel to Kunersdorf,—when the Russians and Daun lay so long torpid, uncertain what to do except keep Friedrich and Prince Ilenri well separate, and Friedrich had such watchings, campings, and marchings about on the hither skirt of them (skirt always veiled in Cossacks, and producing skirmishes as you marched past), - we did mention Hordt's capture ;43 not much hoping that readers could remember it in such a press of things more memorable. It was in, or as prelude to, one of those skirmishes (one of the earliest, and a rather sharp one, at Trebatsch,' in Frankfurt-Lieberose Country, '4th September 1759'), that Iordt had his misfortune: he had been out reconnoitering, with an Orderly or two, before the skirmish began, was suddenly surrounded by 200 Cossacks,' and after desperate plunging into bogs, desperate firing of pistols and the like, was taken prisoner. Was carted miserably to Petersburg,—such a journey for dead ennui as Hordt never knew; and was then tumbled out into solitary confinement in