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21st July 1762. he sees good. Of the behaviour of Wied, Möllendorf, and their people, indeed of the Prussians one and all, what can be said, but that it was worthy of their Captain and of the Plannings he had made? Which is saying a great deal. "We got above 14 big guns,' report they; "above 1,000 prisoners, and perhaps twice as
many that deserted to us in the days following.' Czernichef was full of admiration at the day's work: he marched early next morning, - I trust with lasting gratitude on the part of an obliged Friedrich.
Some three weeks before this of Burkersdorf, Duke Ferdinand, near a place called Wilhelmsthal, in the neighbourhood of Cassel, in woody broken country of Hill and Dale, favourable for strategic contrivances, had organised a beautiful movement from many sides, hoping to overwhelm the too careless or too ignorant French, and gain a signal victory over them: Battle, so-called, of Wilhelmsthal, June 24th, 1762, being the result. Mauvillon never can forgive a certain stupid Hanoverian, who mistook his orders; and on getting to his Hill-top, which was the centre of all the rest,—-formed himself with his back to the point of attack; and began shooting cannon at next to nothing, as if to warn the French, that they had better instantly make off! Which they instantly set about, with a will; and mainly succeeded in; nothing all day but mazes of intricate marching, on both sides, with spurts of fight here and there,-ending in a truly stiff bout between Granby and a Comte de Stainville, who covered the retreat, and who could not be beaten without a great deal of trouble. The result a kind of victory to Ferdinand; but nothing like what he expected.' Soubise leads the French this final Year; but he
· Mauvillon, ii. 227-236; Tempelhof, vi, &c. &c.
21st July 1762. has a D'Estrées with him (our old D'Estrées of Hastenbeck), who much helps the account current; and though generally on the declining hand (obliged to give up Göttingen, to edge away farther and farther out of Hessen itself, to give up the Weser, and see no shift but the farther side of Fulda, with Frankfurt to rear), -is not often caught napping as here at Wilhelmsthal. There ensued about the banks of the Fulda, and the question, Shall we be driven across it sooner or not so soon? a great deal of fighting and pushing (Battle called of Lutternberg, Battle of Johannisberg, and others): but all readers will look forward rather to the Cannonade of Amöneburg, more precisely Cannonade of the BrückenMühle (September 21st), which finishes these wearisome death-wrestlings. Peace is coming; all the world can now count on that!
Bute is ravenous for Peace; has been privately taking the most unheard-of steps :-wrote to Kaunitz, “ Peace at once, and we will vote for your having Silesia;" to which Kaunitz, suspecting trickery in artless Bute, answered, haughtily sneering, “ No help needed from your Lordship, in that matter!" After which repulse, or before it, Bute had applied to the Czar's Minister in London: “Czarish Majesty to have East Preussen guaranteed to him, if he will insist that the King of Prussia dispense with Silesia ;" which the indignant Czar rejected with scorn, and at once made his Royal Friend aware of;with what emotion on the Royal Friend's part we have transiently seen. " Horrors and perfidies!" ejaculated he, in our hearing lately; and regarded Bute, from that time, as a knave and an imbecile both in one; nor ever quite forgave Bute's Nation either, which was far from being Bute's accomplice in this unheard-of procedure. “No more Alliances with England !" counted he: “What 21st July 1762. Alliance can there be with that ever-fluctuating People; today they have a thrice-noble Pitt; tomorrow a thricepaltry Bute, and all goes heels-over-head on the sudden!”10_
Bute, at this rate of going, will manage to get hold of Peace before long. To Friedrich himself, a Siege of Schweidnitz is now free; Schweidnitz his, the Austrians will have to quit Silesia.
" Their cash is out: except prayer to the Virgin, what but Peace can they attempt farther? In Saxony things will have gone ill, if there be not enough left us to offer them in return for Glatz. And Peace and As-you-were must ensue!”—
Let us go upon Schweidnitz, therefore; pausing on none of these subsidiary things; and be brief upon Schweidnitz too.
SIEGE OF SCHWEIDNITZ: SEVENTH CAMPAIGN ENDS.
DAUN being now cleared away, Friedrich instantly proceeds upon Schweidnitz. Orders the necessary Siege Materials to get under way from Neisse; posts his Army in the proper places, between Daun and the Fortress,King's headquarter Dittmannsdorf, Army spread in fine large crescent-shape, to south-west of Schweidnitz some ten miles, and as far between Daun and it;-orders home to him his Upper-Silesia Detachments, “ Home, all of you, by Neisse Country, to make up for Czernichef's departure; from Neisse onwards you can guard the Siege-Ammunition wagons!" Naturally he has blockaded Schweidnitz, from the first; he names Tauentzien Siege-Captain, with a 10 or 12,000 to do the Siege: “Ahead, all of you!”—and in short, August 7th, with the due adroitness and precautions, opens his first parallel; suffering little or nothing hitherto by a resistance which is rather vehement. He expects to have the place in a couple of weeks—“one week (huit jours)” he sometimes counts it; but was far out in his reckoning as to time.
The Siege of Schweidnitz occupied two most laborious, tedious months;—and would be wearisome to every reader now, as it was to Friedrich then, did we venture on more than the briefest outline. The resist
· Tempelhof, vi. 126.
7th-16th Aug. 1762.
The external Event I promised to mention is an attempt on Daun's part (August 16th) to break in upon Friedrich's position, and interrupt the Siege, or render it still impossible. Event called the Battle of Reichenbach, though there was not much of battle in it;-in which our old friend the Duke of Brunswick-Bevern
2 Tempelhof, vi. 122-219; Bericht und Tagebuch von der Belagerung von Schweidnitz oom 7ten August bis 9 October 1762 (Seyfarth, Beylagen, iii. 376-479); Archenholtz, Retzow, &c.