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29th Oct.-4th Nov. 1762. “ made me twenty" (not to say forty)“ years younger: yester“ day I was sixty, today hardly eighteen. I bless Heaven for “preserving you in health (bonne santé,” so we term escape of lesion in fight); "and that things have passed so happily! You “ took the good step of attacking those who meant to attack you; “ and, by your good and solid measures (dispositions), you have
overcome all the difficulties of a strong Post and a vigorous re“sistance. It is a service so important rendered by you to the “ State, that I cannot enough express my gratitude, and will wait " to do it in person.
Kalkreuter will explain what motions I”— * “ If For“ tune favour our views on Dresden” (which it cannot in the least, at this late season), “ we shall indubitably have Peace this “ Winter or next Spring,—and get honourably out of a difficult “ and perilous conjuncture, where we have often seen ourselves “ within two steps of total destruction. And, by this which you “ have now done, to you alone will belong the honour of having
given the final stroke to Austrian Obstinacy, and laid the foun" dations of the Public Happiness, which will be the consequence “ of Peace.-F."21
Two days after this, November 4th, Friedrich is in Meissen; November 9th, he comes across to Freyberg; has a pleasant day,—pleasant survey of the Battlefield, Henri and Seidlitz escorting as guides. Henri, in furtherance of the Dresden project, has Kleist out on the Bohemian Magazines,—“That is the one way to clear Dresden neighbourhood of Enemies!" thinks Henri always. Kleist burns the considerable magazine of Saatz; finds the grand one of Leitmeritz too well guarded for him :-upon which, in such snowdrifts and sleety deluges, is not Dresden plainly impossible, your Majesty ? Impossible, Friedrich admits,—the rather as he now sees Peace to be coming without that. Freyberg has at last broken the back of Austrian Obstinacy. “Go in upon the Reich,” Friedrich now orders Kleist, the instant
21 Schöning, iii. 495, 496.
24th Nov. 1762.
the Reich, with 6,000, in your old style! That will dispose the Reichs Principalities to Peace.”
Kleist marched, November 3d; kept the Reich in paroxysm,
till December 13th ;-Plotho, meanwhile, proclaiming in the Reichs Diet: “Such Reichs Princes as wish for Peace with my King can have it; those that prefer War, they too can have it!” Kleist, dividing himself in the due artistic way, flew over the Voigtland, on to Bamberg, on to Nürnberg itself (which he took, by sounding ram’s-horns, as it were, having no gun heavier than a carbine, and held for a week);22—fluttering the Reichs Diet not a little, and disposing everybody for Peace. The Austrians saw it with pleasure, “We solemnly engaged to save these poor people harmless, on their joining us;—and, behold, it has become thrice and four times impossible. Let them fall off into Peace, like ripe pears, of themselves; we can then turn round and say, “Save you harmless? Yes; if you hadn't fallen
November 24th, all Austrians make Truce with Friedrich, Truce till March 1st;—all Austrians, and what is singular, with no mention of the Reich whatever. The Reich is defenceless, at the feet of Kleist and his 6,000. Stollberg is still in Prussian neighbourhood; and m
may be picked up any day! Stollberg hastens off to defend the Reich; finds the Reich quite empty of enemies before his arrival;—and at least saves his own skin. A month or two more, and Stollberg will lay down his Command, and the last Reichs-Execution Army, playing Farce Tragedy so long, make its exit from the Theatre of this World.
» Helden-Geschichte, vii. 186-194.
PEACE OF HUBERTSBURG.
The Prussian troops took Winter-quarters in the Meissen-Freyberg region, the old Saxon ground, familiar to them for the last three years: room enough this Winter, “from Plauen and Zwickau, round by Langensalza again;' Truce with everybody, and nothing of disturbance till March 1st at soonest. The usual recruiting went on, or was preparing to go on,-a part of which took immediate effect, as we shall see. Recruiting, refitting, “Be ready for a new Campaign, in any case: the readier we are, the less our chance of having one!" Friedrich's headquarter is Leipzig; but till December 5th, he does not get thither. “More business on me than ever!" complains he. At Leipzig he had his Nephews, his D'Argens; for a week or two his Brother Henri; finally, his Berlin Ministers, especially Herzberg, when actual Peace came to be the matter in hand. Henri, before that, had gone home: “Peace being now the likelihood ;-Home; and recruit one's poor health, at Berlin, among friends!”
Before getting to Leipzig, the King paid a flying Visit at Gotha ;—probably now the one fraction of these manifold Winter movements and employments, in which readers could take interest. Of this, as there happens
3d Dec. 1762. to be some record left of it, here is what will suffice. From Meissen, Friedrich writes to his bright GrandDuchess, always a bright, high and noble creature in
" Authorised by your approval” (has politely inquired beforehand), “ I shall have the infinite satisfac“ tion of paying my duties on December 3d” (four days hence), “and of reiterating to you, Madame, my live" liest and sincerest assurances of esteem and friend
ship.” "Some of my Commissariat people have 'been misbehaving? Strict inquiry shall be had, '__and we soon find, was. But the Visit is our first thing.
The Visit took place accordingly; Seidlitz, a man known in Gotha ever since his fine scenic-military procedures there in 1757, accompanied the King. Of the lucent individualities invited to meet him, all are now lost to me, except one Putter, a really learned Göttingen Professor (deep in Reichs-History and the like), whom the Duchess has summoned over. By the dim lucency of Putter, faint to most of us as a rushlight in the act of going out, the available part of our imagination must try to figure, in a kind of Obliterated-Rembrandt
way, this glorious Evening; for there was but one,-December 3d-4th,-Friedrich having to leave early on the 4th. Here is Putter's record, given in the third person:
During dinner, Putter, honourably present among the spectators of this high business, was beckoned by • the Duchess to step near the King' (right hand or left, Putter does not say); but the King graciously turned round, and conversed with Putter.' The King said:
King. “In German History much is still buried; many im“portant Documents lie hidden in Monasteries." Putter answered • schicklich—fitly;' that is all we know of Putter's answer.
1 To the Grand-Duchess, ‘Meissen, 29th November (Euvres de Frédéric, xviii. 199).
3d Dec. 1762. King (thereupon). “Of Books on Reichs-History I know “ only the Père Barri.”2
Putter. * * “Foreigners have for most part known only, in regard to our History, a Latin work written by Struve at Jena.”3
King. “Struv, Struvius; him I don't know.”
King. “Barri was a Lorrainer ; Barri must have known Ger“ man !”—Then turning to the Duchess, on this hint about the German Language, he told her, “in a ringing merry tone, How, at Leipzig once, he had talked with Gottscheď (talk known to us) on that subject, and had said to him, That the French had many advantages; among others, that a word could often be
used in a complex signification, for which you had in German 'to scrape together several different expressions. Upon which
Gottsched had said, “We will have that mended (Das wollen ' wir noch machen)!” These words the King repeated twice or thrice, with such a tone that you could well see how the man's
conceit had struck him ;-and in short, as we know already, what a gigantic entity, consisting of wind mainly, he took this elevated Gottsched to be.
Upon which, Putter retires into the honorary ranks again ; silent, at least to us, and invisible; as the rest of this Royal Evening at Gotha is. Here, however, is the Letter following on it two days after: Friedrich to the Duchess of Sachsen-Gotha.
“ Leipzig, 6th December 1762. “Madame, I should never have done, my adorable Duchess, “if I rendered you account of all the impressions which the “ friendship you lavished on me has made on my heart. I could
? Barri de Beaumarchais, 10 voll. 4to, Paris, 1748: I believe, an extremely feeble Pillar of Will-o'-Wisps by Night;-as I can expressly testify Pfeffel to be (Pfeffel, Abrégé Chronologique de l'Histoire d'Allemagne, 2 voll. 4to, Paris, 1776), who has succeeded Barri as Patent Guide through that vast Sylva Sylvarum and its pathless intricacies, for the inquiring French and English.
• Burkhard Gotthelf Struve, Syntagma Historiæ Germanicæ (1730, 2 voll. folio).
'Putter's Selbstbiographie (Autobiography), p. 406 :' cited in Preuss, ü. 277 n.