24th April—24th June 1778. “ Nobody wishes more than I to maintain peace and har“mony between the Powers of Europe : but there are limits to

everything; and cases so intricate (épineux) arise that good“ will alone will not suffice to maintain things in repose and “ tranquillity. Permit me, Sire, to state distinctly what the

question seems to me to be. It is to determine if an Emperor

can dispose at his will of the Fiefs of the Empire. Answer in “ the affirmative, and all these Fiefs become Timars" (in the Turk way)," which are for life only; and which the Sultan disposes “ of again, on the possessor's death. Now, this is contrary to the “ Laws, to the Customs and Constitutions of the German Em“ pire.”—“I, as member of the Empire, and as having, by the

Treaty of Hubertsburg, re-sanctioned the Peace of Westphalia, “ find myself formally engaged to support the immunities, the “ liberties and rights of the Germanic Body.

“ This, Sire, is the veritable state of things. Personal in“ terest I have none: but I am persuaded your Majesty's self “ would regard me as a paltry man, unworthy of your esteem, “ should I basely sacrifice the rights, immunities and privileges, “ which the Electors and I have received from our Ancestors. “I continue to speak to your Majesty with the same frank

I love and honour your person. It will certainly be “ hard for me to fight against a Prince gifted with excellent “ qualities, and whom I personally esteem. But”- —And is there no remedy? Anspach and Baireuth stand in no need

of sanction. I consent to the Congress proposed :-being with the &c. &c.-F.'10

The sittings of this little Congress at Berlin lasted all through May and June; to the disgust of Schmettau and the ardent Prussian mess-rooms, “lying ready here, and forbidden to act.” For the Austrians all the while were at their busiest, improving the moments, marching continually hitherward from Hungary, from Limburg, from all ends of the earth. Both negotiating parties had shown a manifest wish to terminate without war; and both made various attempts or proposals that way;

10 Euvres de Frédéric, vi. 187.


24th April—24th June 1778. Friedrich offering, in the name of European peace, to yield the Austrians some small rim or paring of Bavaria from the edge adjoining them; the Austrians offering Anspach-Baireuth with some improvements;—always offering Friedrich his own Baireuth-Anspach with some new sauce (as that he might exchange those Territories with Saxony for a fine equivalent in the Lausitz, contiguous to him, which was a real improvement and increase) :--but as neither party would in the least give up in essentials or quit the ground it had taken, the result was nothing. Week after week; so many weeks are being lost to Friedrich; gained to Austria: Schmettau getting more and more disgusted.

Friedrich still waited; not in all points quite ready yet, he said, nor the futile diplomacies quite complete; -evidently in the highest degree unwilling to come to the cutting point, and begin a War which nobody could see the end of. Many things he tried; Peace so precious to him, try and again try. All through June too, this went on; the result always zero, -obviously certain to be so.

As even Friedrich had at last to own to himself; and likewise that the Campaign season was ebbing away; and that if his grand Moravian scheme was to be tried on Austria, there was not a moment to lose.

Friedrich's ultimate proposal, new modification of what all his proposals had been, “To you some thin rim of Baiern ; to Saxony. and Mecklenburg some etcetera of indemnity, money chiefly (money always to be paid by Karl Theodor, who has left Baiern open to the spoiler in this scandalous manner), was of June 13th; Austrians for ten days meditating on it, and especially getting forward their Army matters, answer, June 24th,

No, we won't.” Upon which Friedrich,—to the joy of Schmettau and every Prussian,-actually rises. Emits 5th July 1778. his War-Manifesto (July 3d): “Declaration to our Brethren (Mitstünde) of the Reich,' that Austria will listen to nothing but War;11 and, on and from that day, goes flowing forward in perfect columns and arrangements, 100,000 strong; through the picturesque Glatz Country, straight towards the Bohemian Border, hour by hour. Flows over the Bohemian Border, by Nachod Town; his vanguard bursting into field-music and flourishes of trumpeting at that grand moment (July 5th); flowed bodily over; and encamped that night on Bohemian ground, with Nachod to rear; thence towards Kwalkowitz, and on the second day to Jaromirtz (“Camp of Jaromirtz"), a little Town which we have heard of before, but which became more famous than ever during the next ten weeks.

Jaromirtz, Kwalkowitz, Königsgrätz: this is the old hill-and-dale labyrinth of an Upper-Elbe Country; only too well known to his Majesty and us, for almost forty years past: here again are the Austrians waiting the King; watching diligently this new Invasion of his out of Glatz and the East! In the same days, Prince Henri, who is also near 100,000, starts from Dresden to invade them from the West. Loudon, facing westward, is in watch of Henri; Lacy, or indeed the Kaiser himself, back-to-back of Loudon, stands in this Königsgrätz-Jaromirtz part; said to be embattled in a very elaborate manner, to a length of fifty miles on this fine ground, and in number somewhat superior to the King;—the Austrians in all counting about 250,000; of whom Lacy has considerably the larger share. The terror at Vienna, nevertheless, is very great: “A day of terror,' says one who was there; 'I will not trust myself to describe

n Fischer, ii. 388 ; Dohm, Denkrürdigkeiten, i, 110; Eurres de Frédéric, vi. 145.

5th July 1778. 'the sensation which this news, "Friedrich in Bohemia

again!" produced among all ranks of people.'12 Maria Theresa, with her fine motherly heart, in alarm for her Country, and trembling ‘for my two Sons' (Joseph and Leopold) and dear Son-in-law' (of Sachsen-Teschen) · who are in the Army,' overcomes all scruples of pride; instantly despatches an Autograph to the King (“ Bearer of this, Baron von Thugut, with Full Powers"); and on her own strength starts a new Negotiation,—which, as will be seen, ended no better than the others. 13

Schmettau says, 'Friedrich, cheated of his Mähren schemes, was still in time; the Austrian position being 'indeed strong, but not being even yet quite ready.' Friedrich himself, however, on reconnoitering, thought differently. A position such as one never saw before, thinks he; contrived by Lacy; masterly use of the ground, of the rivers, of the rocks, woods, swamps; Elbe and his branches, and the intricate shoulders of the Giant Mountains: no man could have done it better than Lacy here, who, they say, is the contriver and practical hand.14 From Königsgrätz, northward, by Königshof, by Arnau, up to Hohenelbe, all heights are crowned, all passes bristling with cannon. Rivers Aupa, Elbe beset with redoubts; with dams, in favourable places, and are become inundations, difficult to tap. There are ‘ditches 8 feet deep by 16 broad.' Behind or on the right bank of Elbe, it is mere entrenchment for five-and-twenty miles. With bogs, with thickets full of Croats; and such an amount of artillery,—I believe 8th July 1778. they have in battery no fewer than 1,500 cannon. A position very considerable indeed:-must have taken time to deliberate, delve and invest; but it is done. Near fifty miles of it: here, clear to your glass, has the head of Lacy visibly emerged on us, as if for survey of phenomena :-head of Lacy sure enough (body of him lying invisible in the heights, passes and points of vantage); and its neck of fifty miles, like the neck of a war-horse clothed with thunder. On which (thinks Schmettau privately) you may, too late, make your reflexions!

12 Cogniazzo, iv. 316, 320, 321 ; Preuss, iv. 101, &c.

13 Her Letters, four in all, with their Appendixes, and the King's Answers : in Euvres de Frédéric, vi, 196-200.

14 Euvres de Frédéric, vi. 147.

Schmettau asserts that the position, though strong, was nothing like so infinitely strong; and that Friedrich in his younger days would very soon have assaulted it, and turned Lacy inside out: but Friedrich, we know, had his reasons against hurry. He reconnoitered diligently; rode out reconnoitering 'fifteen miles the first day' (July 6th), ditto the second and following ; and was nearly shot by Croats,—by one specific Croat, says Prussian Mythology, supported by Engraving. An old Engraving, which I have never seen, represents Friedrich reconnoitering those five-and-twenty miles of Elbe, which have so many redoubts on their side of it, and swarm with Croat parties on both sides: this is all the truth that is in the Engraving.15 Fact says: Friedrich (“on the 8th,' if that were all the variation) 'was a 'mark for the Austrian sharpshooters for half-an-hour.' Myth says, and engraves it, with the date of ‘July 7th: Friedrich, skirting some thicket, suddenly came upon a single Croat with musket levelled at him, wild creature's finger just on the trigger;—and quietly admonishing, Friedrich lifts his finger with a Du, Du (Ah you!);” upon which, such the divinity that hedges

15 Rödenbeck, p. 188.

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