ページの画像
PDF
ePub

18th Sept. -4th Oct. 1760. Friedrich himself, successful so far, is abundantly dissatisfied with such a kind of success;—and indeed seems to be less thankful to his stars than in present circumstances he ought. Profoundly wearied we find him, worn down into utter disgust in the Small War of Posts : “Here we still are, nose to nose,” exclaims he (see Letters to Henri), “both of us in unattackable

camps. This Campaign appears to me more unsup“ portable than any of the foregoing. Take what trouble " and care I like, I can't advance a step in regard to

great interests; I succeed only in trifles.” “Oh for “ good news of your health: I am without all assist“ance here; the Army must divide again before long, 66 and I have none to intrust it to."4

And to D'Argens, in the same bad days: “Yes, yes, “ I escaped a great danger there” (at Liegnitz). “In

a common War, it would have signified something; “ but in this it is a mere skirmish; my position little

improved by it. I will not sing Jeremiads to you; “nor speak of my fears and anxieties, but can assure

you they are great. The crisis I am in has taken an“other shape; but as yet nothing decides it, nor can " the development of it be foreseen. I am getting con"sumed by slow fever; I am like a living body losing “ limb after limb. Heaven stand by us: we need it " much."5 “ You talk always of my person, of

my dangers. Need I tell you, it is not necessary that “ I live; but it is that I do my duty, and fight for my

Country to save it if possible. In many little things " I have had luck: I think of taking for my motto, , " Maximus in minimis, et minimus in maximis. A worse

66

· Schöning, ii. 416.

s Euvres de Frédéric, xix, 193 (Dittmannsdorf, 18th September,' day after, or day of finishing, that cannonade).

[ocr errors]

18th Sept.-4th Oct. 1760. Campaign than

any

of the others: I know not some* times what will become of it. But why weary you “ with such details of my labours and my sorrows?

My spirits have forsaken me. All gaiety is buried “ with the Loved Noble Ones whom my heart was 6 bound to.

Adieu." Or, again, to Henri : 'Berlin? Yes; I am trying something in bar of that. Have a bad time of it, in the interim. “Our means, my dear Brother, are so

eaten away; far too short for opposing the prodigious “ number of our enemies set against us :if we must

fall, let us date our destruction from the infamous Day " of Maxen!"

Is in such health, too, all the while: “Am a little better, thank you; yet have still the”—what shall we say (dreadful biliary affair)?-hémorrhoïdes aveugles :

nothing that, were it not for the disquietudes I feel: “ but all ends in this world, and so will these.” "I flatter myself your health is recovering. For these " three days in continuance I have had so terrible a

cramp, I thought it would choke me;—it is now a " little gone. No wonder the chagrins and continual

disquietudes I live in should undermine and at length "overturn the robustest constitution."

Friedrich, we observe, has heard of certain RussianAustrian intentions on Berlin; but, after intense consideration, resolves that it will behove him to continue here, and try to dislodge Daun, or help Hunger to dislodge him; which will be the remedy for Berlin and all things else. There are news from Colberg of welcome tenor; could Daun be sent packing, Soltikof, it is probable, will not be in much alacrity for Berlin!-Sep

• Schöning, ii. 419 : 20 October.' Ibid. ii. 410 : '16th September.' Ibid. ü. 408.

18th Sept. -4th Oct. 1760. tember 18th, at Dittmannsdorf, was the first day of Daun's dead-lock: ever since, he has had to sit, more and more hampered, pinned to the Hills, eating sour herbs; nothing but Hunger ahead, and a retreat (battle we will not dream of), likely to be very ruinous, with a Friedrich sticking to the wings of it. Here is the Note on Colberg:

September 18th, Colberg Siege raised. The same September ' 18th, what a day at Colberg too! It is the twenty-fourth day 6 of the continual bombardment there. Colberg is black ashes,

most of its houses ruins, not a house in it uninjured. But · Heyde and his poor Garrison, busy day and night, walk about ' in it as if fire-proof; with a great deal of battle still left in • them. The King, I know not whether Heyde is aware, has

contrived something of relief; General Werner coming :the ( fittest of men, if there be possibility. When, see, September * 18th, uneasy motion in the Russian entrenchments (for the • Russians too are entrenched against attack): Something that has surprised the Russians yonder. Climb, some of you, to the highest surviving steeple, highest chimney-top if no steeple survive:

“ Yonder is Werner come to our relief, oh God the • Merciful !"

• Werner, with 5,000, was detached from Glogau (September 5th), from Goltz's small Corps there; has come as on wings, 200 miles in thirteen days. And attacks now, as with wings, the

astonished Russian 15,000, who were looking for nothing like ' him,with wings, with claws, and with beak; and in a highly

aquiline manner, fierce, swift, skilful, storms these entrenched • Russians straightway, scatters them to pieces,—and next day is in Colberg, the Siege raising itself with great precipitation ; leaving all its artilleries and furnitures, rushing on shipboard all of it that can get the very ships-of-war, says Archenholtz, hurrying dangerously out to sea, as if the Prussian Hussars

might possibly take them. A glorious Werner! A beautiful de'fence, and ditto rescue; which has drawn the world's attention.”

Seyfarth, ii. 634; Archenholtz, ii. 116: in Helden-Geschichte (vi. 7383), Tagebuch of Siege.

6

6

3d Oct. 1760.

Heyde's defence of Colberg, Werner's swift rescue of it, are very celebrated this Autumn. Medals were struck in honour of them at Berlin, not at Friedrich's expense, but under Friedrich's patronage; who purchased silver or gold copies, and gave them about. Veteran Heyde had a Letter from his Majesty, and one of these gold Medals ;—what an honour! I do not hear that Heyde got any other reward, or that he needed any. A beautiful old Hero, voiceless in History; though very visible in that remote sphere, if you care to look.

. That is the news from Colberg; comfortable to Friedrich; not likely to inspire Soltikof with new alacrity in behalf of Daun. It remains to us only to add, that Friedrich, with a view to quicken Daun, shot out (September 24th, after nightfall, and with due mystery) a Detachment towards Neisse, -4,000 or so, who call themselves 15,000, and affect to be for Mähren ultimately. “For Mähren, and my bit of daily bread!" Daun may well think; and did for some time think, or partly did. Pushed off one small detachment really thither, to look after Mähren ; and (September 29th) pushed off another bigger ; Lacy namely, with 15,000, pretending to be thither,—but who, the instant they were out of Friedrich's sight, have whirled, at a rapid pace, quite into the opposite direction: as will shortly be seen! Daun has now other irons in the fire. Daun, ever since this fatal Dead-lock in the Hills, has been shrieking hoarsely to the Russians, day and night; who at last take pity on him,-or find something feasible in his proposals.

[ocr errors]

The Russians make a Raid on Berlin, for Relief

of Daun, and their own Behoof (October 3d12th, 1760).

Powerful entreaties, influences are exercised at Petersburg, and here in the Russian Camp: “Noble Rus3d Oct. 1760. sian Excellencies, for the love of Heaven, take this man off my windpipe! A sally into Brandenburg: oh, could not you? Lacy shall accompany ; seizure of Berlin, were it only for one day!" Soltikof has fallen sick, and, indeed, practically vanishes from our affairs, at this point;—Fermor, who has command in the interim, finally consents: “Our poor siege of Colberg, what an end is come to it! What an end is the whole Campaign like to have! Let us at least try this of Berlin, since our hands are empty.” The joy of Daun, of Montalembert, and of everybody in Austrian Court and Camp may be conceived.

Russians to the amount of 20,000, Czernichef Commander; Tottleben, Second in command, a clever soldier, who knows Berlin: these are to start from Sagan Country, on this fine Expedition, and to push on at the very top of their speed. September 20th, Tottleben, with 3,000 of them as Vanguard, does accordingly cross Oder, at Beuthen in Sagan Country; and strides forward direct upon Berlin : Lacy, with 15,000, has started from Silesia, we saw how, above a week later (September 29th), but at a still more furious rate of speed. Soltikof,—theoretically Soltikof, but practically Fermor, should the dim German Books be ambiguous to any studious creature --with the Main Army (which by itself is still a 20,000 odd), moves to Frankfurt, to support the swift Expedition, and be within two marches of it. Here surely is a feasibility! Berlin, for defence, has nothing but weak palisades; and of effective garrison 1,200 men. And feasible, in a sort, this thing did prove;

indisputably delivering Daun from strangulation in the Silesian Mountains; filling the Gazetteer mind with loud emotion of an empty nature; and very much affecting

« 前へ次へ »