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Oct. 1778—May 1779. or instruction; to us, all it yields is certain Anecdotes of Friedrich's temper and ways in that difficult predicament; which, as coming at first-hand, gathered for us by punctual authentic Schmettau, who was constantly about him, with eyes open and note-book ready, have a kind of worth in the Biographic point of view.
The Prussian Soldiery, of whom we see a type in Schmettau, were disgusted with this War, and called it, in allusion to the foraging, A scramble for potatoes, “Der Kartoffel-Krieg, The Potato War;” which is its common designation to this day. The Austrians, in a like humour, called it “ Zwetschken-Rummel” (say, “ Three-button Loo"); a game not worth playing; especially not at such cost. Combined cost counted to have been in sum total 4,350,0001. and 20,000 men.21 “The Prussian Army was full of ardour, never abler for fighť (insists Schmettau), which indeed seems to have been the fact on every small occasion;—but fatally forbidden to try. Not so fatally perhaps, had Schmettau looked beyond his epaulettes: was not the thing, by that slow method, got done? By the swifter method, awakening a new Seven-Years business, how infinitely costlier might it have been!
Schmettau's Narrative, deducting the endless lamentings, especially the extensive didactic digressions, is very clear, ocular, exact; and, in contrast with Friedrich's own, is really amusing to read. A Schmettau giving us, in his haggard light and oblique point of vision, the naked truth, naked and all in a shiver ; a Friedrich striving to drape it a little, and make it comfortable to himself. Those bits of Anecdotes in Schmettau, clear, credible, as if we had seen them, are so many crevices through which it is curiously worth while to look.
21 Preuss, iv. 115.
MILLER ARNOLD'S LAWSUIT.
ABOUT the Second Law-Reform, after reading and again reading much dreary detail, I can say next to nothing, except that it is dated as beginning in 1776, near thirty years after Cocceji's;' that evidently, by what causes is not stated, but may be readily enough conjectured (in the absence of Cocceji by death, and of a Friedrich by affairs of War), the abuses of Law had again become more or less unendurable to this King; that said abuses did again get some reform (again temporary, such the law of Nature, which bids you sweep vigorously your kitchen, though it will next moment recommence the gathering of dirt upon it); and that, in fine, after some reluctance in the Law circles, and debating pro and contra, oral some of it, and done in the King's presence, who is so intent to be convinced and see his practical way in it,2—there was, as supplement to the mere Project or Theory of a Codex Fredericianus in Cocceji’s
1 'In 1748' Cocceji's was completed; 'in 1774-75,' on occasion of the Silesian Reviews, Von Carmer, Chancellor of Silesia, knowing of the King's impatience at the state of Law, presented successively Two Memorials on the subject; the Second of which began, '4th January 1776,' to have visible fruit.
? At Potsdam, '4th January 1776,' Debate, by solemn appointment, in the King's Presence (King very unwell), between Silesian-Chancellor von Carmer and Grand-Chancellor von Fürst, as to the feasibility of Carmer's ideas ; old Fürst strong in the negative ;-King, after reflexion, determining to go on nevertheless. (Rödenbeck, üži. 131, 133.)
1779. time, an actual Prussian Code set about; Von Carmer, the Silesian Chancellor, the chief agent: and a First Folio, or a First and partly a Second of it, were brought out in Friedrich's lifetime, the remainder following in that of his Successor; which Code is ever since the Law of the Prussian Nation to this day.3 Of its worth as a Code I have heard favourable opinions, comparatively favourable; but can myself say nothing: famed Savigny finds it superior in intelligence and law-knowledge to the Code Napoléon,—upon which indeed, and upon all Codes possible to poor hag-ridden and wig-ridden generations like ours, Savigny feels rather desperate. Unfortunate mortals do want to have their bits of lawsuits settled, nevertheless; and have, on trial, found even the ignorant Code Napoléon a mighty benefit in comparison to none!
Readers all see how this Second Prussian Law-Reform was a thing important to Prussia, of liveliest interest to the then King of Prussia; and were my knowledge of it greater than it is, this is all I could hope to say
of it that would be suitable or profitable at present. Let well-disposed readers take it up in their imaginations, as a fact and mass of facts, very serious there and then; and colour with it in some degree those five or six last years of this King's life.
Connected with this Second Law-Reform, and indeed partially a source of it, or provocation to go on with it, mending your speed, there is one little Lawsuit, called the Miller Arnold Case, which made an immense noise in the world, and is still known by rumour to many
; Not finished and promulgated till 5th February 1794;' First Volume (containing Prozess-Ordnung, Form of Procedure, in all its important details) had come out, '26th April 1784' (Preuss, iii. 418-422).
1779. persons, who would probably be thankful, as certainly I myself should, for some intelligible word on it. In regard to which, and to which alone, in this place, we will permit ourselves a little more detail.
In the sandy moors towards the Silesian border of the Neumark, south-west of Züllichau,—where we once were, with Dictator Wedell, fighting the Russians in a tragic way,—there is, as was casually then indicated, on one of the poor Brooks trickling into Oder, a Mill called Krebsmühle (Crabmill); Millers of which are a line of dusty Arnolds, laboriously for long generations grind. ing into meal the ryes, pulses, barleys of that dim region; who, and whose Crabmill, in the year 1779-80, burst into a notoriety they little dreamt of, and became famous in the fashionable circles of this Universe, where an indistinct rumour of them lives to this day. We indicated Arnold and his Mill in Wedell's time; Wedell's scene being so remote and empty to readers: in fact, nobody knows on what paltriest of moors a memorable thing will not happen ;-here, for instance, is withal the Birthplace of that Rhyming miracle, Frau Karsch (Karschinn, Karchess as they call her), the Berlin literary Prodigy, to whom Friedrich was not so flush of help as had been expected. The child of utterly poor Peasants there; whose poverty, shining out as thrift, unweariable industry and stoical valour, is beautiful to me, still more their poor little girl's bits of fortunes, tending three cows' in the solitudes there, and gazing wistfully into Earth and Heaven with her ingenuous little soul,—desiring mainly one thing, that she could get Books, any Book whatever; having half-accidentally picked up the art of reading, and finding hereabouts absolutely nothing to read. Frau Karsch, I have no
1779. doubt, knows the Crabmill right well; and can, to all permissible lengths, inform the Berlin Circles on this point.
Crabmill is in Pommerzig Township, not far from Kay:-Züllichau, Kay, Palzig, Crossen, all come to speech again, in this Narrative; fancy how they turned up
in Berlin dinner circles, to Dictator Wedell, gray old gentleman, who is now these many years War-Minister, peaceable, and well accepted, but remembers the flamy youth he had. Landlord of these Arnolds and their Mill is Major Graf von Schmettau (no connexion of our Schmettaus),-to what insignificantly small amount of rent, I could not learn on searching; 101. annually is a too liberal guess. Innumerable things, of no pertinency to us, are wearisomely told, and ever again told, while the pertinent are often missed out, in that dreary cartload of Arnold Law-Papers, barely readable, barely intelligible, to the most patient intellect: with despatch let us fish up the small cardinal particles of it, and arrange in some chronological or human order, that readers may form to themselves an outline of the thing. In 1759, we mentioned that this Mill was going; Miller of it an old Arnold, Miller's Lad a
• See Jördens (& Karschin), ii. 607-640. An excellent Silesian Nobleman lifted her miraculously from the sloughs of misery, landed her from his travelling-carriage in the upper world of Berlin, ‘January 1761' (age then thirty-nine, husband Karsch a wretched drunken Tailor at Glogau, who thereupon enlisted, and happily got shot or finished): Berlin's enthusiasm was, and continued to be, considerable ;-Karschin's head, I fear, proved weakish, though her rhyming faculty was great. Friedrich saw her once, October 1763, spoke kindly to her (Dialogue reported by herself, with a Chodowiecki Engraving to help, in the Musen-Almanachs ensuing); and gave her a 101., but never much more :—“somebody had done me ill with him,” thinks the Karschin (not thinking, “Or perhaps nobody but my poor self, and my weakness of head"). She continued rhyming and living ---certain Principalities and High People still standing true,-till •12th October 1791.'