[ocr errors]

31st July 1760. hut, Fouquet's downfall there), “and I felt too sad to be in a

state for writing you a sensible Letter; but today, when I have “ come to myself a little again, I will send you my reflections. “ After what has happened to Fouquet, it is certain Loudon can “ have no other design but on Breslau” (he designs Glatz first of all): "it will be the grand point, therefore, especially if the “ Russians too are bending thither, to save that Capital of •“ Silesia. Surely the Turks must be in motion :-if so, we are “ saved; if not so, we are lost! Today I have taken this Camp 6 of Dobritz, in order to be more collected, and in condition to “ fight well, should occasion rise, -—and in case all this that is " said and written to me about the Turks is true" (which nothing of it was), “ to be able to profit by it when the time comes.

Henri (simultaneously, June 26th : Henri is forward from Sagan, through Frankfurt, and got settled at Landsberg, where he remains through the rest of the Dialogue). * “Tottleben, - with his Cossacks, scouring about, got a check from us,* nothing like enough. “By all my accounts, Soltikof, with " the gross of the Russians, is marching for Posen. The other

rumours and symptoms agree in indicating a separate Corps, . under Fermor, who is to join Tottleben, and besiege Colberg: “ if both these Corps, the Colberg and the Posen one, act in “ concert, my embarrassment will be extreme."

“ I have just had news of what has befallen General Fouquet. Before “ this stroke, your affairs were desperate enough; now I see but too well what we have to look for."13 (How comforting !)

Friedrich. “Would to God your prayers for the swift cap“ ture of Dresden had been heard; but unfortunately I must “ tell you, this stroke has failed me.” “ Dresden has been “ reduced to ashes, third part of the Altstadt lying burnt;-con“ trary to my intentions; my orders were, To spare the City,

and play the Artillery against the works. My Minister Graf

von Finck will have told you what occasioned its being set on " fire."14 Henri (July 26th; Dresden Siege gone awry).

"1 am to keep the Russians from Frankfurt, to cover Glogau,

[ocr errors]


12 Schöning, ii. 341 ("Gross-Dobritz, 26th June 1760'). 13 Ibid. ii. .339 - Landsberg, 26th June 1760').

14 Ibid. ii. 361 ( 2d-3d July').

31st July 1760. “ and prevent a besieging of Breslau! All that, forms an over“whelming problem ;—which I, with my whole heart, will give up to somebody abler for it than I am."15

Friedrich (29th July; quits the Trenches of Dresden this night). “I have seen with pain that you represent every

thing to yourself on the black side. I beg you, in the name of “ God, my dearest Brother, don't take things up in their blackest “ and worst shape :—it is this that throws your mind into such an “ indecision, which is so lamentable. Adopt a resolution rather, “ what resolution you like, but stand by it, and execute it with

your whole strength. I conjure you, take a fixed resolution ; “ better a bad than none at all.” “What is possible to “ man, I will do; neither care nor consideration nor effort shall “ be spared, to secure the result of my plans. The rest depends

on circumstances. Amid such a number of enemies, one cannot always do what one will, but must let them prescribe.”16

An uncomfortable little Gentleman ; but full of faculty, if one can manage to get good of it! Here, what might have preceded all the above, and been preface to it, is a pretty passage from him; a glimpse he has had of Sans-Souci, before setting out on those gloomy marchings and cunctatory hagglings. Henri writes (at Torgau, April 26th, just back from Berlin and farewell of friends):

“I mean to march the day after tomorrow. I took arrangements with General Fouquet” (about that long fine-spun Chain of Posts, where we are to do such service?)—“the Black Hussars cannot be here till tomor

row, otherwise I should have marched a day sooner. My Brother” (poor little invalid Ferdinand) “charged

me to lay him at your feet. I found him weak and " thin, more so than formerly. Returning hither, the “ day before yesterday, I passed through Potsdam; I Ah, yes;

16 Ibid. ii.

u Schöning, ii. 369-371 ('Landsberg, 26th July'). 370-2 (Leubnitz, before Dresden, 29th July 1760').

31st July 1760. “ went to Sans-Souci” (April 24th, 1760):—"all is

green there; the Garden embellished, and seemed to “me excellently kept. Though these details cannot

occupy you at present, I thought it would give you

pleasure to hear of them for a moment.”:17 all is so green and blessedly silent there: sight of the lost Paradise, actually it, visible for a moment yonder, far away, while one goes whirling in this manner on the illimitable wracking winds !

Here finally, from a distant part of the War-Theatre, is another Note; which we will read while Friedrich is at Schieritz. At no other place so properly; the very date of it, chief date (July 31st), being by accident synchronous with Schieritz:

Duke Ferdinand's Battle of Warburg (31st July 1760).

Duke Ferdinand has opened his difficult Campaign; and especially,—just while that Siege of Dresden blazed and ended, -has had three sharp Fights, which were then very loud in the Gazettes, along with it. Three once famous Actions; which unexpectedly had little or no result, and are very much forgotten now. So that bare enumeration of them is nearly all we are permitted here. Pitt has furnished 7,000 new English, this Campaign,—there are now 20,000 English in all, and a Duke Ferdinand raised to 70,000 men. Surely, under good omens, thinks Pitt; and still more think the Gazetteers, judging by appearances. Yes : but if Broglio have 130,000, what will it come to? Broglio is two to one; and has, before this, proved himself a considerable Captain.

Fight first is that of Korbach (July 10th): of Broglio, namely, who has got across the River Ohm in Hessen (to Ferdinand's great disgust with the General Imhof in command there), and is streaming on to seize the Diemel River, and menace Hanover; of Broglio, in successive sections, at a certain “Pass of Korbach,” versus the Hereditary Prince (Erbprinz of Brunswick),

17 Schöning, ii. 263 ("Torgau, 26th April 1760').

31st July 1760. who is waiting for him there in one good section, -and who beautifully hurls back one and another of the Broglio sections; but cannot hurl back the whole Broglio Army, all marching by sections that way; and has to retire, back-foremost, fencing sharply, still in a diligently handsome manner, though with loss.18 That is the Battle of Korbach, fought July 10th,—while Lacy streamed through Dresden, panting to be at Plauen Chasm, safe at last.

Fight second (July 16th) was a kind of revenge on the Erbprinz's part: Affair of Emsdorf, six days after, in the same neighbourhood; beautiful too, said the Gazetteers; but of result still more insignificant. Hearing of a considerable French Brigade posted not far off, at that Village of Emsdorf, to guard Broglio's meal-carts there, the indignant Erbprinz shoots off for that; light of foot,-English horse mainly, and Hill Scots (Berg-Schotten so-called, who have a fine free stride, in summer weather);—dashes in upon said Brigade (Dragoons of Bauffremont and other picked men), who stood firmly on the defensive; but were cut up, in an amazing manner, root and branch, after a fierce struggle, and as it were brought home in one's pocket. To the admiration of military circles, especially of messrooms, and the junior sort. “ Elliot's light horse” (part of the new 7,000), “what a regiment! Unparalleled for willingness, and “ audacity of fence; lost 125 killed,"—in fact, the loss chiefly fell on Elliot.19 The Berg-Schotten too,-I think it was here that these kilted fellows, who had marched with such a stride, “came home mostly riding:" poor Bauffremont Dragoons being entirely cut up, or pocketed as prisoners, and their horses ridden in this unexpected manner! But we must not linger,—hardly even on

Warburg, which was the third and greatest; and has still points of memorability, though now so obliterated.

"Warburg,' says my Note on this latter, “is a pleasant little Hessian Town, some twenty-five miles west of Cassel, standing on the north or left bank of the Diemel, among fruitful knolls 31st July 1760. • and hollows. The famous Battle of Warburg,"if you try to ' inquire in the Town itself, from your brief railway-station, “it is much if some intelligent inhabitant, at last, remembers to ' have heard of it! The thing went thus : Chevalier Du Muy, • who is Broglio's Rearguard or Reserve, 30,000 foot and horse, • with his back to the Diemel, and eight bridges across it in case of accident, has his right flank leaning on Warburg, and his

18 Mauvillon, ii. 105.

19 Ibid. ii. 109 (Prisoners got 'were 2,661, including General and Officers 179,' with all their furnitures whatsoever, ' 400 horses, 8 cannon,' &c.).

left on a Village of Ossendorf, some two miles to north-west * of that. Broglio, Prince Xavier of Saxony, especially Duke * Ferdinand, are all vehemently and mysteriously moving about, * since that Fight of Korbach ; Broglio intent to have Cassel be* sieged, Du Muy keeping the Diemel for him; Ferdinand eager to have the Diemel back from Du Muy and him.

* Two days ago (July 29th), the Erbprinz crossed over into these neighbourhoods, with a strong Vanguard, nearly equal to • Du Muy; and, after studious reconnoitering and survey had, means, this morning (July 31st), to knock him over the Diemel again, if he can. No time to be lost; Broglio near and in such * force. Duke Ferdinand too, quitting Broglio for a moment, is

on march this way; crossed the Diemel, about midnight, some ten miles farther down, or eastward; will thence bend south• ward, at his best speed, to support the Erbprinz, if necessary, 6 and beset the Diemel when got ;-Erbprinz not, however, in 'any wise, to wait for him; such the pressure from Broglio and others. A most busy swift-going scene, that morning ;-hardly worth such describing at this date of time.

“The Erbprinz, who is still rather to north-eastward, that is * to rightward, not directly frontward, of Du Muy's lines; and * whose plan of attack is still dark to Du Muy, commences' (about 8 A.M., I should guess) by launching his British Legion 6 so-called,—which is a composite body, of Free-Corps nature, * British some of it (“ Colonel Beckwith’s people,” for example),

not British by much the most of it, but an aggregate of wild strikers, given to plunder too :-by launching his British Legion

upon Warburg Town, there to take charge of Du Muy's right 'wing. Which Legion, “ with great rapidity, not only pitched

the French all out, but clean plundered the poor Town;" and ' is a sad sore on Du Muy's right, who cannot get it attended

« 前へ次へ »