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9th-16th July 1780. greatest merit. In former time, Count Mercy among your“ selves” (killed, while commanding in chief, at the Battle of Parma in 1733), “Puységur among the French, had some notions “ of marches and encampments; one sees from Hyginus's Book" (ancient Book) “ on Castrametation, that the Greeks also were “ much occupied with the subject : but your Maréchal surpasses “the Ancients, the Moderns, and all the most famous men who “ have meddled with it. Thus, whenever he was your Quarter“master-General, if you will permit me to make the remark to “you, I did not gain the least advantage. Recollect the two
Campaigns of 1758 and 1759; you succeeded in everything. I “ often said to myself, “Shall I never get rid of that man, then?' “ You yourselves got me rid of him ; and” —(some liberal or even profuse eulogy of Lacy, who is De Ligne's friend; which we can omit).
• Next day, the King, as soon as he saw me, came up; saying with the most penetrated air: “If you are to learn “ the loss of a man who loved you, and who did honour to man
kind, it will be better that it be from some one who feels it as
deeply as I do. Poor Prince Karl is no more. Others, per“haps, are made to replace him in your heart; but few Princes “ will replace him with regard to the beauty of his soul and to “ all his virtues.” In saying this, his emotion became extreme. " I said: “Your Majesty's regrets are a consolation ; and you did “ not wait for his death to speak well of him. There are fine
verses with reference to him in the Poem, Sur l'Art de la “ Guerre.” My emotion troubled me against my will; however, 'I repeated them to him.18 The Man of Letters seemed to
appreciate my knowing them by heart. King: “His passage “ of the Rhine was a very fine thing ;—but the poor Prince de“pended upon so many people! I never depended upon any“ body but myself; sometimes too much so for my luck. He “ was badly served, not too well obeyed: neither the one nor the
18 « Soutien de mes rivaux, digne appui de ta reine,
' Charles, d'un ennemi sourd aux cris de la haine
· Reçois l'éloge' ...... (for crossing the Rhine in 1744): ten rather noble lines, still worth reading; as indeed the whole Poem well is, especially to soldier-students (L'Art de la Guerre, Chant vi. : Euvres de Frédéric, x. 273).
9th-16th July 1780. 6 other ever was the case with me.- Your General Nadasti ap“peared to me a great General of Cavalry ?" Not sharing the · King's opinion on this point, I contented myself with saying, that Nadasti was very brilliant, very fine at musketry, and that he could have led his hussars to the world's end and farther (dans l'enfer), so well did he know how to animate them.
King. “ What has become of a brave Colonel who played “ the devil at Rossbach ? Ah, it was the Marquis de Voghera, “I think ?-Yes, that's it; for I asked his name after the 66 Battle.” Ego. “He is General of Cavalry.”
King.“ Perdi! It needed a considerable stomach for fight, to “ charge like your Two Regiments of Cuirassiers there, and, I be“ lieve, your Hussars also: for the Battle was lost before it began.”
Ego. “ Apropos of M. de Voghera, is your Majesty aware of
little thing he did before charging ? He is a boiling, restless, “ ever-eager kind of man; and has something of the good old “ Chivalry style. Seeing that his Regiment would not arrive
quick enough, he galloped ahead of it; and coming up to the 66 Commander of the Prussian Regiment of Cavalry which he “ meant to attack, he saluted him as on parade; the other re“ turned the salute; and then, Have at each other like madmen.”
King. “A very good style it is! I should like to know that “ man; I would thank him for it.—Your General von Ried,
then, had got the devil in him, that time at Eilenburg” (spurt of fight there, in the Meissen regions, I think in Year 1758, when the D'Ahremberg Dragoons got so cut up), “to let those “ brave Dragoons, who so long bore your Name with glory, “ advance between Three of my Columns ?”—He had asked me
the same question at the Camp of Neustadt ten years since; 6 and in vain had I told him that it was not M. de Ried; that • Ried did not command them at all; and that the fault was Maréchal Daun's, who ought not to have sent them into that · Wood of Eilenburg, still less ordered them to halt there without even sending a patrol forward. The King could not bear our General von Ried, who had much displeased him as Minister at Berlin; and it was his way to put down everything to the account of people he disliked.
King. “When I think of those devils of Saxon Camps” (Summer 1760),—“they were unattackable citadels! If, at 9th-16th July 1780. “ Torgau, M. de Lacy had still been Quartermaster-General, “ I should not have attempted to attack him. But there I saw at once the Camp was ill chosen.”
Ego. “The superior reputation of Camps sometimes causes a “ desire to attempt them. For instance, I ask your Majesty's par“ don, but I have always thought you would at last have attempted “that of Plauen, had the War continued.” King. “Oh, no, in“ deed! There was no way of taking that one.” Ego. “Doesn't
your Majesty think: With a good battery on the heights of “ Dolschen, which commanded us; with some battalions, ranked “ behind each other in the Ravine, attacking a quarter of an “ hour before daybreak” (and so forth, at some length,—excellent for soldier-readers who know the Plauen Chasm), “you “ could have flung us out of that almost impregnable Place “ of Refuge?" King. “And your battery on the Wind“ berg, which would have scourged my poor battalions, a!l the “ while, in your Ravine ?” Ego. “ But, Sire, the night?" King. “Oh, you could not miss us even by grope. That big “ hollow that goes from Burg, and even from Potschappel,—it “ would have poured like a water-spout” (or fire-spout) “over
I am not so brave as you think.”
"The Kaiser had set out for his Interview' (First Interview, and indeed it is now more than half done, a good six weeks of it gone) with the Czarina of Russia. That Interview the King did not like' (no wonder) :
—and, to undo the good it had done us, he directly, and very unskilfully, sent the Prince Royal to " Petersburg' (who had not the least success there, loutish fellow, and was openly snubbed by a Czarina gone into new courses). His Majesty already doubted that the Court of Russia was about to escape him :—and I was dying of fear lest, in the middle of all his kindnesses, he should remember that I was an 6 Austrian. “What,” said I to myself, “ not a single epigram on us, or on our Master? What a change!"
• One day, at dinner, babbling Pinto said to the person sitting next him, “ This Kaiser is a great traveller; there never “ was one who went so far.” “I ask your pardon, Monsieur,
said the King; “ Charles Fifth went to Africa; he gained the “ Battle of Oran.” And, turning towards me,—who couldn't
9th-16th July 1780.
guess whether it was banter or only history,—“This time,” said 'he, "the Kaiser is more fortunate than Charles Twelfth ; like “ Charles, he entered Russia by Mohilow; but it appears to me « he will arrive at Moscow."
“The same Pinto, one day, understanding the King was at a • loss whom to send as Foreign Minister somewhither, said to • him: “Why does not your Majesty think of sending Lucche“ sini, who is a man of much brilliancy (homme d'esprit) ?” “It “ is for that very reason,” answered the King, “that I want to “ keep him. I had rather send you than him, or a dull fellow “like Monsieur—" I forget whom, but believe it is one whom “ he did appoint Minister somewhere.
M. de Lucchesini, by the charm of his conversation, brought out that of the King's. He knew what topics were agreeable to the King; and then, he knew how to listen; which is not so easy as one thinks, and which no stupid man was ever capable 6 of. He was as agreeable to everybody as to his Majesty, by “his seductive manners and by the graces of his mind. Pinto, “ who had nothing to risk, permitted himself everything. Says • he: “Ask the Austrian General, Sire, all he saw me do when 6 in the service of the Kaiser."
Ego. “A firework at my Wedding, wasn't that it, my dear 66 Pinto ?” King (interrupting). “Do me the honour to say 66 whether it was successful ?" Ego. “No, Sire; it even “ alarmed all my relations, who thought it a bad omen. Mon“sieur the Major here had struck out the idea of joining Two
flaming Hearts, a very novel image of a married couple. But “ the groove they were to slide on, and meet, gave way: my “ Wife's heart went, and mine remained." King. “You see, “ Pinto, you were not good for much to those people, any more 6 than to me.” Ego. “Oh, Sire, your Majesty, since then,
owes him some compensation for the sabre-cuts he had on his “ head." King. “He gets but too much compensation. “ Pinto, didn't I send you yesterday some of my good Preussen “ honey ?” Pinto. “Oh, surely; it was to make it known. “ If your Majesty could bring that into vogue, and sell it all, you 66 would be the greatest King on earth. For your Kingdom pro“ duces only that; but of that there is plenty."
“Do you know," said the King, one day, to me—“ Do
26 Do you
9th-16th July 1780. “ know that the first soldiering I did was for the House of Aus“ tria ? Mon Dieu, how the time passes !"—He had a way of slowly bringing his hands together, in ejaculating these Mon• Dieus, which gave him quite a good-natured and extremely mild “air.—“Do you know that I saw the glittering of the last rays 6 of Prince Eugen's genius ?" Ego. “Perhaps it was at these rays that your Majesty's genius lit itself.”
King. “ Eh, mon “ Dieu! who could equal the Prince Eugen ?"
Ego. “He “ who excels him;— for instance, he who could win Twelve “ Battles !”—He put on his modest air. I have always said, it
is easy to be modest, if you are in funds. He seemed as though he had not understood me, and said:
King. “When the cabal which, during forty years, the Prince “ had always had to struggle with in his Army, were plotting “ mischief on him, they used to take advantage of the evening “ time, when his spirits, brisk enough in the morning, were jaded “ by the fatigues of the day. It was thus they persuaded him to “ undertake his bad March on Mainz”' (March not known to me).
* Ego. “Regarding yourself, Sire, and the Rhine Campaign, · you teach me nothing. I know everything your Majesty did, “ and even what you said. I could relate to you your Journey's
to Strasburg, to Holland, and what passed in a certain Boat.
Apropos of this Rhine Campaign, one of our old Generals, “ whom I often set talking, as one reads an old Manuscript, has “ told me how astonished he was to see a young
Prussian Officer, “ whom he did not know, answering a General of the late King, “ who had given out the order, Not to go a-foraging: “And I, “ Sir, I order you to go; our Army needs it; in short, I will “ have it so (je le veux)!—??
King. “You look at me too much from the favourable side! “ Ask these Gentlemen about my humours and my caprices; “ they will tell you fine things of me.”
“We got talking of some Anecdotes which are consigned to, or concealed in, certain obscure Books. “I have been much
amused,” said I to the King, “ with the big cargo of Books, “ true or false, written by French Refugees, which perhaps are “ unknown in France itself.”' (Discourses a little on this subject, though without telling us.)